Venice: April 1593

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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, 'Venice: April 1593', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603, (London, 1897) pp. 64-69. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Venice: April 1593", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603, (London, 1897) 64-69. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "Venice: April 1593", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603, (London, 1897). 64-69. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

April 1593

April 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 146. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is going to send M. de Matigny in a few days to the Queen of England. The object of this mission is to ask for further help. These and the troops which the Constable will bring from Languedoc will enable the King not merely to face his enemies but even to make some attempt on Paris. Signor (Antonio) Perez will join the Embassy in order to consult with the Queen and also with Don Antonio of Portugal, and on his return I may obtain some further information (il Signor Perez se ne va ancor lui per tratter con quella Maestà et con Don Antonio di Porto-gallo; delle quali negociationi al suo ritorno si potrà haver qualche maggior lume).
Chartres, 1st April 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 147. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received orders in your Serenity's despatches to obtain the restitution of the entire cargo of the “Summachi” along with the ship herself, on the ground that both belong to a Venetian subject, I must not conceal from your Serenity that all I have done at present is to continue on the lines laid down by my predecessor and as requested by the supercargo of the said ship. He confessed that a part of the cargo is really the property of Englishmen (though he has entered it all on the ship's books as Venetian) and being now seriously alarmed lest in the course of the trial he lose not merely the cargo but also the ship, he wished to attempt the recovery of the ship alone. I succeeded in bringing the affair to a conclusion satisfactory to him; and since he made his confession as to the English ownership of part of the cargo not merely to me but also to the Adelentado of Castille, I concluded that I could take no further steps in the matter.
Madrid, 2nd April 1593.
April 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 148. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News from Lisbon that several ships have sailed to meet the West India fleet, which has received orders to weigh anchor. It is hoped that this month will see it safe in harbour. It is also reported that other twenty ships are ready in Lisbon besides the twelve galleons which, are lying at Seville ready to sail on his Majesty's orders for Cape St. Vincent. It is well known that although no regular fleet has sailed from England yet there are about fifty English ships in these waters. These ships are doing most serious damage every day, as the larger part of the Spanish ships are built by private individuals on the security of about six per cent. on all the goods which are brought by the India fleets.
During these last few days couriers have been arriving direct from France; but it has been impossible to discover the purport of their news; it is held for certain however that the news is not good, for it is a rule here to suppress all unfavourable and to publish widely all favourable despatches.
Madrid, 4th April 1 593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 149. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
As regards the ship “Black Lion,” she was detained by the Adelentado, and when it was shown that the •ship and cargo were English they were declared forfeited.
The rumour growss that if any election is made to the throne of France it will fall upon the Duke of Lorraine. This would be a choice satisfactory to the King of Spain, as the Duke woul be compelled to rely on this Growsn for help against the Kin of Navarre. And discussing this point one day a member o the Council said that if the Duke of Lorraine were chosen, the Growsn of Spain would have made a good business of it, for no only would a large 'part of Lorraine be freely surrendered, but als Brittany, with the opportunity of acquiring Provence, in return for money and assistance furnished to the Duke. For these reason, the Duke is the most popular candidate; and if he is elected, hi Majesty thinks of marrying the Infanta to one of his sons. Bu this idea is not favoured by the Spanish people, for they consider what would happen if the Infante died and the Princess became heir to the Spanish throne.
Madrid, 8th April 1593.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 10 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 150. Polo Paruta, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Despatches from Spain show that the King is in very bad health, The Ministers desire to secure the affairs of Italy; and for the same reason they are employing the brother of Cicala, Capudan Pasha, in Constantinople.
Rome, 10th April 1593.
April 12 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 151. Mattheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
In the matter of the Florentine trading concessions the English Ambassador has taken a part, perhaps on the ground that the King of Navarre and the Grand Duke of Tuscany are on good terms. The Ambassador called on me the other day and com-plained that, according to information from Venice, sepulture has been denied to the master of an English ship, and, the crew were forced to throws him overboard. He declared that the Queen would be very angry, all the more so that she knew that persons of every kind of religion were to be found in Venice.
I replied that the moment the grievance was laid before the illustrious Court it would be remedied at once.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 12th April 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 152. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The scarcity of money caused by the delay in the arrival of the India fleet and by the excessive expenses which grows daily, has induced his Majesty to raise a loan of seven hundred thousand crowsns with Giulio Spinola at twelve per cent. Five hundred thousand he has sent at once into Flanders and the other two he keeps here to meet certain expenses.
The corsairs in the ocean are said to number upwards of one hundred and fifty; but the ships are small, ill-armed, and not under one commander, but, scattered about in,. squadrons of ten ; they plunder wherever they can; and news has lately come that they have captured eight ships partly from Seville, partly Portuguese; these ships were laden with East India goods. It is also rumoured that Drake is on the point of putting to sea with sixty ships, fully armed and having on hoard a considerable number of troops and sappers; as though he were meditating a second descent on Portugal. As to the West India fleet it is likely that, in the face of these rumours, it is still lying at Havana. The Adelentado of Castille is taking steps to protect the shores against English corsairs. It is common talk at Court that an under-standing between the Turk and the Queen of England, with a view to harassing the King, is highly probable. In that case the Turkish fleet would make a descent on Africa or would cruise off Provence to interrupt the communications in the Mediterranean, while the English fleet would make a descent on Portugal or harry the coast of Spain, and cut off communications by the ocean.
The expenses for France are so great that his Majesty will not be able to bear them much longer. He has made up his mind that come what may they shall not exceed one million of gold a year.
Madrid, 14th April 1593.
[Italian; deciphered,]
April 17, Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 153. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
There is the greatest alarm at the possibility of an English descent upon the coast, of Spain. His Majesty has ordered the Duke of Medina Sidonia to go at once to his territories at San Lucar near the shore and to hold himself ready for anything that may happen. Six out of the twelve galleons which were lying armed in the port of Seville, have put out to sea. They have made towards Cape St. Vincent. The remaining six will sail as soon as possible, while other ten were to leave Lisbon on the fifteenth of this month. Juan Gomez de Silva is in command. All this fleet is intended to act as escort to the gold and silver ships. The Viceroy of Portugal has already despatched four carvels with troops on board, as he has information that part of the Havana fleet has already sailed, and is taking a route in high latitudes in order to avoid the corsairs. The West India fleet has never at any time of its history been so harried by the English and exposed to such danger of capture as at this present moment. But the Spanish indulge in hope on the ground of the route which the fleet is taking this time, and they expect that it will appear suddenly off Cadiz without having to coast along the shores of Spain.
The Procurators of the Cortes of Castille will be asked by the King and his Ministers to vote another five millions in addition to the eight millions already voted, and which they are now exacting. The plea is that the King must be relieved from the weight of so many debts. His Majesty has taken them deep into his confidence, and has shown them that, in addition to all the other obligations already secured upon the Crowsn revenues, he has debts to the amount of about thirteen millions of gold, in the air as they say. These are all unsecured, and his Majesty points out that his credit as well as his private reputation is in danger; adding that these vast sums of money have been spent in the service of God and piety, against the heretics of Flanders and of France, and as all this redounds to the greatness of the kingdom of Castille that nation more than any other ought to provide for the satisfaction of such debts, and pave the way for its King, allowing him the means to discharge his conscience and thus to secure a proper peace of mind for the few years that remain to him. To this insidious request the Procurators replied that all Spain is exhausted by the exaction these eight millions, and one hears on all sides nothing but disaster, and so they could not see any way of compelling the Castillians to undertake this fresh burden, the eight millions being already more than their shoulders could bear.
Madrid, 17th April 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 154. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spa to the Doge and Senate.
Numbers of couriers have been arriving from France, despatched by the Spanish agents in Paris to inform his Majesty of all that is taking place in the Parliament. There are many requests also for money from the Duke of Mayenne, and the Ambassador of Savoy makes similar ones on behaf of his master; but so great is the dearth of money that it is impossible that they should receive any help, until the West India fleet arrives. Drake has sailed to meet the fleet. If he captures it there will be a loss of ten millions in gold between that of private owners and that of Catholic Majesty.
The Duke of Medina Sidonia is constantly exhorted to leave for the coast, but he is in hopes of winning a very important law suit which has kept him here many months. The suit lies between the Duke and the Royal Customs of the Port of San Lucar, the Duke's territory. The Duke accordingly stays on, declaring that he will not leave till his Majesty shall have put an end to his most unmerited troubles.
Madrid, 23rd April 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 155. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Juan d'Idiaguez asked me if I really thought that the Turkish fleet would come out this year. I replied that he had even fuller information than I; all the same I thought a fleet would sail. He replied that it would be a serious mutter if the fleet appeared off Africa, or the Spanish coast, for the English corsairs were quite trouble enough.
Madrid, April 24th 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 156. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Breves's instructions and credentials have arrived, also some cases of goods as presents, but as these were insufficient, he has bought three thousand crowsns' worth here. He will open his term of office by imposing a tax of five per cent. upon all French merchandise for the upkeep of the Embassy. He says he will attend the next divan to kiss hands and to ask for the renewal of the ancient capitulations with the Growsn of France. These capitulations affect merchants chiefly; in them it is declared that all nations except the Venetian and the English can trade securely under the French flag. He tells me he is commissioned to act as if the Grand Duke of Tuscany were an ally of France, and to allow him to be neglected at no point of his wishes. I, however, have my doubts that the tax above-mentioned will cause the Florentines to abandon the French flag, for fear that they too may render themselves liable to this impost.
While M. de Breves was waiting to make his first public appearance, the Capudan Pasha sent for him several times to invite him to his garden at Scutari. M. d Breves always excused himself, but the last time the Capudan sent his own caique and de Breves went. They held a long consultation in the Capudan's garden. De Breves, in answer to a question as to his master's allies, named the Queen of England, the Protestant Princes, Venice and the Grand Duke. The Capudan caught at the name of your Serenity and pointed out that the Republic must, of course, be very suspicious of Spain, and proceeded to enlarge on the course to be pursued if the Grand Vizir is to be won over to advise the Sultan to increase his fleet.
The. Portuguese Jew who had been doctor to the Embassy under the last two Ambassadors has at last embraced Islam, to which he has long been inclined. He now begs to remain in your Serenity's pay, and promises even more useful service, as he will now be freer, and more great houses will be open to him.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 24th April 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 157. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen of England has sent four thousand foot soldiers, well armed, as reinforcements to the King, and has told his Majesty that these are picked troops all ready to die in his service; she therefore begs him to employ them upon any active employment that may seem to him good, whether it be an assault or a pitched battle, for if he allows them to waste away either through the sufferings or the idleness of a long siege, as has happened on other occasions, she warns him that she will send him no more.
Chartres. 26th April 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]