Venice: January 1593

Pages 52-58

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1897.

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January 1593

Jan. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 118. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Two thousand English have landed in Brittany with the intention of occupying the Duke of Mercœur and preventing him from invading Anjou as he always wished to do. His Majesty has ordered the Marshal d'Aumont, who had started for this place, to return to Brittany, and to exert all his power to recover Laval or Chateau Gonthier (la Vale overo Siateogotier).
It seems that for the present there is but little hope of that peace for the conclusion of which so many personages have engaged their best efforts. The most suspicious circumstance in the case is the post which the Spaniards have promised to the Duke of Mayenne, namely, that which the Duke of Parma held in Flanders, Lieutenant of the King of Spain in France. This would give him command not only of the Spanish but also of the French militia.
Chartres, 1st January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 119. Polo Paruta, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Duke of Tuscany, through his Ambassador, has made a long defence of himself from the charges of assisting Navarre and Lesdiguières.
Rome, 2nd January 1592 [m.v.].
Jan. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 120. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The arrival of the Duke of Guise in Paris was at first supposed to be connected with the assembling of the States; it proved however to be the result of secret intelligences inside the city of Senlis. There, some priests, who had joined the conspiracy, murdered the sentinels, and the troops of the League scaled the walls with so much vigour that two hundred of them were inside the town before the Governor was aware of the attack; he, however, made so valiant a defence that the city was saved, to the great service of the King.
Chartres, 8th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 121. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In communicating the news from Constantinople to Don Juan d'Idiaquez I laid stress upon the preparations for a fleet which the Turk was making, &c. and the certainty that the fleet would put to sea this year which was now upon us, to the danger of all Christendom. Don Juan replied that his Majesty was already aware of this and laid the whole blame upon the continual promptings of England and France at Constantinople (ciò procedeva per li stimuli continuati d' Inghilterra et di Francia a Constantinopoli).
I hear that Drake is about to sail from England in the middle of next month with fifty ships. His Majesty is advised from London that the English intend to sail to the Indies, with a view to seizing and fortifying a port where a fleet might be established, and so to gradually detach that country from the government of this Crowsn; the Spanish have long been afraid of this.
Madrid, 9th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 122. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
All business is conducted here with the greatest secrecy, and so I have not been able as yet to obtain any information as to who will succeed the Duke of Parma. It seems certain that such an appointment cannot be long delayed, and it is possible that your Serenity may have news of it from some other quarter first; for the King is accustomed in matters of great importance to arrive at his determination all by himself, and then with his own hand to write the necessary orders. They say, however, that the Count Mansfeldt and Count Fuentes have received a joint commission to manage the affairs of Flanders as Royal Lieutenant until the election of the Captain General. It is possible that Fuentes will take the command in France, while Mansfeldt continues in Flanders. Signor Tomaso Fresco, the Kings Agent General of the Revenue, tells me that he has orders to send large sums of money to France.
Madrid, 9th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 123. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Capudan Pasha urges his Majesty to allow him to arm sixty galleys over and above the ordinary number, as a protection for the Archipelago, and he promises to inflict great damage on Christendom and to fill the galleys with slaves. The English Ambassador and M. de Breves are in frequent consultation with the Capudan, but there are no signs of extraordinary activity in the Arsenal, and I am in hopes that until the presents from England and the Ambassador from Navarre arrive here, these foreign Agents will not be held of much account.
They have experienced great difficulty in obtaining the consignment of M. de Lancome as their prisoner. Finally, with the most powerful aid of the Sultans secretary, they have succeeded; and on the last day of last month quite suddenly de Lancome was taken from the Tower of the Black Sea, and, with one servant, was placed on board a sloop of Marseilles, whose Captain was ordered, as he valued his life, to keep de Lancome safely and hand him over to the Governor of Toulon, who is acting for Navarre. His relations and suite were put on board another French ship. Before sailing de Lancome spoke to the English Ambassador and to de Breves, who sought to tempt him to win his liberty by taking an oath to go to Navarre and to recognise him as King; an oath which de Lancome steadily refused to take, and he ended by declaring that even if Navarre were recognised as King by all France still he would succeed in unseating him. The English Ambassador then proposed to submit the matter to me, but this de Lancome refused, and while the conversation was in progress the sloop made sail. His departure was so rapid that I had no time to make my formal adieux.
The question of the export of grain from Barbary is still open. The Capudan tells me that, as a bribe, they have offered him a jewel worth three thousand sequins, but that he refused it.
I learn that de Breves has obtained leave to export horses for France.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 10th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 124. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
After the failure of the attempt on Senlis the Dukes of Mayenne and Guise sent most of their troops to the siege of Beaumont, a fortress of the highest importance to his Majesty.
The Papal Bull authorising the Cardinal of Piacenza and the Princes of the League to elect a King of France, has not met with the approval of the Parliament of Paris.
Chartres, 14th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 125. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I had an audience of his Majesty last Thursday, in the course of which I made a humble request that the ship “Sumachi” might be set at liberty; pointing out that, although his Majesty had thrice given orders for its release, it was still detained by the Adelentado of Castille on the ground that she was owned by English, whereas, as I have affirmed again and again, her owner is a Venetian merchant. As everyone knew the kind intentions of the King I feared lest I should be held to blame if the ship were detained any longer; especially as in view of the dread of a Turkish descent this very year, your Serenity was in need of all her ships for transport purposes. The King replied most favourably; but the Adelentado, who is here in person, does not cease to display hostility, and has seized in like manner the ships of the Genoese and of other nations, and has put the crew to torture to force them to depose that the ships are owned by English. The Adelentado has seized most of the cargoes, as common report affirms, and no one here dares to hinder him. He thus takes his vengeance on the English for their continual rapine on the high seas against the ships of Portugal; that kingdom has not only lost its Indian trade, but has been harried by the English ever since it came under this Crowsn. They are now in serious alarm for the safety of the West Indian fleet, as news comes from the coast that English ships are cruising about and waiting to attack it.
Madrid, 17th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 126. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Pietro de' Medici has twenty-four thousand crowsns a year from his patrimony, besides twelve thousand which the King of Spain provides him in virtue of the rank of General in England which Don Pietro holds; add to this five thousand as the income from his wife's dowry.
Madrid, 17th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 127. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I find that the Ragusans, the English and the French, are all united in an effort to obtain the corn contract from the Grand Vizir; accordingly I have broken off negotiations with the Capudan, as I thought it my duty to keep an eye on the operations of those who are making use of the chief Minister, and are therefore in a stronger position than I am, and also to wait for further orders from your Serenity. If the Englishman and M. de Breves obtain a concession I will endeavour to secure a share in it, and will not fail to conclude a concession for your Serenity also, if I can escape the lies and tricks of the Capudan.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 23rd January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 128. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Vizir has received a letter from Count Marigliani, dated Naples 4th November 1592. In this letter Marigliani announces his arrival at Naples, where he had been summoned by the Viceroy to give an account of the difficulties which he encountered when negotiating here for a truce. These difficulties lie in the execution of the terms agreed upon with Sinan Pasha. Marigliani says he would be willing to return and to renew the negotiations were it not for certain deplorable events which had taken place after his departure, for example, the seizure of forts and cities in time of peace, and the imprisonment of the Ambassador of a Crowsn which had for long been an ally of the Porte, — although he was quite certain that no such accident could happen to himself, the servant of so great a monarch as his master. Marigliani also declares that if in Constantinople they ever wish to resume the discussion on the basis of the terms accepted by Sinan Pasha, he is ready to return. This letter, translated into Turkish, has been sent to his Majesty, but as yet the Grand Vizir has given no orders for an answer; not because he is not willing to renew the negotiations, but because the Softas are strongly opposed and give their support to Navarre, desiring to hamper the King of Spain by the despatch of a fleet.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 24th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian ; deciphered]
Jan. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 129. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty has given orders to Don Juan d'Idiaquez that the Venetian ships are to be set at liberty. Accordingly the Council has drawn up instructions for the Adelentado of Castille declaring that by the King's express orders the ship “Sumachi” is to be restored to her master; and that the King does this to please your Serenity, although it is certain from the evidence taken that the ship belongs to the English; and that both the Adelentado and Don Juan d'Idiaquez are aware that the English in the present state of relations between England and Spain, are endeavouring to pass their merchandize off as Venetian.
It now remains to recover the whole of the cargo. Part to the value of two thousand ducats was restored to the supercargo, but the rest was declared by the Adelentado to be forfeited as being English goods.
As regards the two other ships detained in Portugal, the “Stella” and the “Vidala,” they are going to write to the Cardinal Archduke of Austria for information, but all this is done merely with the intention of gaining time, and allowing a sufficient number of ships to be armed against the English. News has recently come from Lisbon that fifteen English ships have been sighted near Cascaes, and very soon after about forty more, not far from the shore. This news causes great alarm for the safety of the West India fleet.
Madrid, 27th January 1592 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 130. Polo Paruta, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
His Holiness said to me, “What worse can the French Princes of the blood do than support a heretic, and even propose to make him King of France ? And we, what can we do? God knows that if we were convinced that we could pacify France we would not hesitate to go there in person, aye, and to suffer martyrdom if need be.” He remained quiet and thoughtful for a bit and then broke out, “How can we believe in Navarre? One of his own party caused us to be told that even if Saint Peter himself declared that the King would become a Catholic we had better not believe it, for he had reached an age when it was ridiculous to think that he would change his faith. And we are only too deeply convinced that this is so, for he was born and bred a heretic, and it is a tale to tell to children to say that he has any genuine thought of becoming a Catholic. This is a ruse suggested to him by the Queen of England, who saved her own life by a like deception, and then, when she came to the throne, she proved the source of all those ills and misfortunes which have fallen upon Catholics.” He then entered upon a detailed account of the whole matter, speaking consecutively and at greater length than is usual with him, and concluded by saying that he could give no credence to the word or pretences of Navarre. “Some of his party,” continued his Holiness, “have suggested that as guarantees of his good faith we should take the word of the cities and the Marshals of France.” To which I said, “Thank you; who will bind the cities or answer for the Marshals? Some say Navarre himself, but when he is King who will venture to disobey him?”
Rome, 30th January 1592 [m.v.].