Venice: May 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: May 1593', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603, (London, 1897) pp. 70-76. British History Online [accessed 14 April 2024]

May 1593

May 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 158. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain to the Doge and Senate.
The news is confirmed that the galleons which sailed from Cadiz have put back with their masts carried away by the storm.
From England we hear that Drake with sixty-four big ship sailed from England on the Friday before Palm Sunday. It is thought that Drake intends to force the port of Havana, with a view to capturing and fortifying the whole island, converting it into a station for a fleet which will completely ruin the West India trade. The coast of Spain is very badly guarded, and the Ministry are incensed against the Adelentado of Castille, to whom letters of reproof have been forwarded in the King's name.
Madrid, 1st May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 159. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Vizir, enraged at the answer of the Imperial Ambassador, which did not at all correspond with the information which he had received, communicated to the Sultan and publishednamely that the tribute would certainly be paid this yearsent guards to surround the Ambassadors house and to prevent any one from entering. Then, shortly afterwards, he caused the Dragoman of the Embassy, a Perote, to be arrested and brought to his presence. He accused the Dragoman of treachery and of having made false translations of various documents, and ordered him off to the public prisons, which are reeking with a thousand diseases, where the poor devil still lies; and the knowledge of his fate has terrified all the other Dragomans of the Embassies, and prevents them from the proper discharge of their duties.
I am further informed that yesterday, on indications furnished by the Ambassador's butler, who had become a Turk, the Grand Vizir sent and seized all the Embassy papers, and has caused a selection to be translated into Turkish; a most dangerous innovation from the days of M. de Lancome, the French Ambassador, In the recent divans war has been formally declared against the Emperor, and the Spahis, under the Beglierbey of Greece, have been ordered to the front. Sixty heads of Hungarians and forty slaves have been presented in Divan, and the Sultan has shown favour to those who brought them.
The Ministers of this Growsn have had their attention called to the fact that the King of Poland will likely attack Sweden, and not merely the English Ambassador, who has frequently interfered in the affairs of Poland, but others also, point out that this is a good opportunity to settle the business of that kingdom.
The Ambassador of France has kissed hands and was received with great honour and the gift of fifty robes. Before his reception he had an audience of the Grand Vizir, who asked him if he knew one who had recently brought letters from Florence, for if he did he was to inform that gentleman that the answer was ready. On taking his leave the Ambassador approached the Vizir and said in Turkish that he offered to conduct all the negotiations with Florence to the benefit of the Vizir and the Porte. The Vizir replied that as many merchants as pleased, yes and the Prince himself, were welcome.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 1st May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 160. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They are thinking of sending fresh infantry into Brittany where a large number of English reinforcements have arrived in support of the King of Navarre., The Spanish are resolved to preserve what the Duke of Mercœur won in that province, while the Queen of England is equally resolved to expel the Spanish and, to restore the cities to their ancient allegiance to the French Crowsn.
Madrid, 4th May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 8. Original Despatch, Venetian, Archives. 161. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received your Serenity's orders to take all steps necessary for the recovery of the ship “Summachi” and her cargo; I must, however, repeat what I said in my previous letters, that I have already obtained the royal orders for the restoration of the ship and all of the cargo that is really Venetian. How much that is must be decided by the ordinary courts, and here the Adelentado raises opposition, declaring that some of it is English.
After close study of the supercargo's books, and of the depositions before the court, this is what I personally have arrived at. The supercargo's book contains a complete list of all the various items of the cargo; some have already been restored to the crew and to the supercargo himself. The rest which is now in the hands of the Crowsn, officers, consists of twelve items; of these twelve, two, the most important, stand in the name of Michiel Summachi; one consists of 47 casks, 21 barrels, and 32 sacks of raisins, the other of sulphur. As regards the sacks of raisins, although they appear on the ship's books as the property of the said Summachi, still secret bills of lading have been found on board from which it appears that all the raisins, except 17 casks, belong really to Englishmen. I enclose copies of these bills of lading. The supercargo has confessed that these goods are English, and that is confirmed by intercepted letters from Englishmen interested in the cargo.
As regards the sulphur the Adelentado has judged it to be munition of war destined for England, the foe of this Crowsn. On the strength of this decision all the goods are declared forfeited, and the Spanish concerned in the matter are liable to be sentenced to death.
Two other items, namely, forty-six casks of raisins, are undoubtedly English property. Other four items appear on the books as belonging to merchants in Hamburg and Cologne, and other Germans. The last four items appear on the books as property of your Serenity's subjects; but seeing that the names of the owners are not known, and the goods are addressed to Englishmen whose names are well known here, opposition is raised, and the goods are asserted to be English. This wants proof, however, as the super-cargo's books are not to be relied upon. If those who are interested will send me their papers I will do all I can to support them.
Madrid, 8th May 1593.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 162. Copy of Part of the Book of the Supercargo on board the ship “Sumacchia.”
In the name of God. 1592, 25th April, at Zante. The ship named the “Santa Maria de Scopo,” Master Stellio Ghindazo, for the voyage to London. May God preserve him.
Messer Giorgio Sumacchi has placed on board at the order of Messer Michiel Sumacchi, 47 casks, 21 barrels, 32 sacks of raisins; goods marked by the accompanying signs, and in sound condition. To be consigned in London on the order of the said Messer Michiel Sumacchi. Freight as agreed on.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 163. Copy of Four Secret Bills of Lading found on board the ship “Sumacchia.”
1. Shipped by Thomas Norton (Nortem), Englishman, to order of Serciver (?) and Simon, Englishmen, fifteen casks of currants weighing 29,338 lbs.
2. Shipped by Thomas Norton to order of William Aldis (Aldris), Englishman, fifteen casks of currants, weighing 40,000 lbs.
3. Shipped by Giorgio Sumacchi, to order of Michiel Sumacchi, seventeen casks of currants, weighing 32,000 lbs.
4. Shipped by Cirio Zardinella, Englishman, to the order of Edward Andre and Thomas Quinarez, and of Hugh Ermosen, Englishmen, twenty-one barrels of currants, weighing 15,032 lbs.
May. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 164. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of France had an audience of the Grand Vizir the day before I had mine, nominally to give the news from trance but really to secure the despatch of a fleet, towards which end his whole efforts are directed. He tells me that the Vizir assured him that the number of the galleys would be sixty. He also says that he has the support of the Emirs and the Preachers whose good will he has won by securing the freedom of the Turks who were prisoners to the Maltese. I am informed from a trustworthy source that the Imperial Ambassador has offered six thousand thalers to the Grand Vizir and promised that the tribute shall be here by the end of July, if the Vizir will set the Dragoman at liberty; he has also spent several other thousand thalers on those who have influence with the Grand Vizir, but all, as yet, without effect.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 9th May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 165. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople to the Doge and Senate.
The Imperial Ambassador has offered eighteen thousand thalers for the liberty of his Dragoman, and promises the payment of the tribute by July. The Pasha shows himself unwilling to yield; but it is thought that he will eventually accept the offer.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 9th May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 166. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
While Drake with his war ships and flying squadrons was keeping the sea in wide and open order, and waiting for the gold and silver flotillas in forty-two degrees of north latitude, the whole of his Majesty's fleet came safely into the Azores, where they at once discharged the treasure, and stored it in a safe place. The King was advised of this two days ago, and sent orders at once that all the galleons of Portugal and Seville were to sail to the Azores, and to escort the treasure safe to Seville.
News from Biscay that some English ships landed troops for the support of Navarre not far from Bordeaux, and while lying off that coast they were suddenly set upon by ships of Biscay. Many English were killed; two ships caught fire and were burned; two others were burned by the English themselves to prevent them from falling into the enemy's hands; in fact, the Spanish have won some glory in this comparatively trifling action.
Madrid, 13th May 1593.
May 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 167. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty's Ambassadors in England write to say that in that Kingdom there is considerable suspicion of Catholics in consequence of the rising in Scotland. Scotland is in such a state of confusion that it is doubtful whether the King will be able maintain his authority there. The Queen of England has furnished him with help in men and money, and this leads to the supposition that the King of France will not receive much assistance from her this year, and that therefore the operations of war will not be of great importance this year in France. Everyone would like to see war blazing in Piedmont.
Chartres, 14th May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 168. Polo Paruta, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
His Holiness said that there was another point upon which he wished to speak, namely, that he was fully informed that there was a proposal to send an Ambassador from Venice to England. He was well aware that such proposals had been presented before, but always rejected; he was, therefore, all the more surprised that they should be renewed at a time when many obvious reasons counselled otherwise.
I replied that I had no information on this subject ; all I knew was that a Venetian gentleman had gone to England for his own private affairs, and this might possibly have given rise to the rumour.
Rome, 15th May 1593.
May. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 169. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of France has heard from Jaffer Pasha, who was present at the audience of the Ambassador himself and the subsequent communications by the Dragomans, all that took place subsequently in Divan. The Ambassador came to me and offered to speak to the Sultan's Secretary upon the question of the fisheries (which is pending between the Republic and the Turk) and with the Grand Vizir himself. I thanked the Ambassador and accepted the first of his proposals. The answer from the Secretary was most satisfactory. On the suggestion of the said Secretary the Ambassador offered, when at audience of the Grand Vizir, to point out to him that the Grand Signor was at peace with all, but that if he declared war on the Republic, the King of Spain and all the powers would instantly unite against the Sultan; for experience showed that the Christian powers never made any way against the Turks except in company with the Republic; and it is evident that the King of Spain and the Pope are doing all they can to raise up ill feeling between Venice and the Turk. Now as the policy of the Turks was to thwart the King of Spain it is clear that they ought to uphold the Venetian alliance. This the Ambassador offered to say. I thanked him and said I would refer for instruction, which I do. I begged him, in audience of the Grand Vizir, to act as he saw the temper of the Pasha to require, but to speak as of his own motion, in order to prevent the Turk from conjecturing that, because your Serenity stands well with France, therefore you must stand ill with Spain. I think that the thanks of your Serenity might be presented to this Ambassador through M. de Maisse, the French Ambassador in Venice; for I am of opinion that this Ambassadors' secret negotiations with the Sultan's Secretary, with the Emirs and Preachers, who are all hostile to Spain, are likely to prove of far more value than any public negotiations.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 17th May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 170. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The last post had hardly left when orders were issued by the Sultan that all the slaves and all the workmen in the arsenal should be employed upon some buildings in the old Seraglio, and that the Capudan Pasha should attend to these buildings in person till the foundations were laid and the walls above ground. The French, who thought they had secured the despatch of sixty sail, hardly hope for thirty now. One of the two brothers of Cicala, the Capudan Pasha, has reached Ragusa. It is said he has been sent for by his brother, but as he is travelling with a retinue far above his rank I suspect that the Spaniards, seeing all negotiations for a truce by means of Marigliani and Steffani at an end, have resolved to attempt this other road.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 18th May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 171. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The despatch of the fleet to fetch the treasure home from the Azores is being hastened. The Seville galleons when off Cape St. Vincent capture three English corsairs.
Madrid, 20th May 1592.
May 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 172. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Capudan Pasha has sent to the Sultan the translation of his letter to his brother, in order that his Majesty might give his assent, which he did at once. There is a rumour, which took rise in the Seraglio, that the Ministers know quite well that this brother of the Capudan is coming on the business of the Spanish truce. It is said that the King of Spain promises not to form any league against the Turk, supposing he attacks Candia, provided that the Turk does not interfere with his designs in France.
M. de Breves has visited me on the strength of this rumour and pointed out that your Serenity will be obliged to provide for your own safety, which may be done at a comparatively slight cost, if the Sultan's Secretary can be induced to undertake the matter. I replied that your Serenity had never had any doubts about the friendliness of the King of Spain. I added that, even if his Catholic Majesty, or some of his Ministers in Italy had actually reopened the question of a truce through the agency of the brothers Cicala, still I did not believe he would, conclude the negotiations by means of those persons, and in the meantime he could reap the benefit of time which was so important to the Spanish.
The Ambassador of France has not had an audience of the Grand Vizir; I am glad, for thus he will avoid touching on matters which interest your Serenity. And I have begged him to abstain from meddling in these affairs, for I find that he has taken to writing to the Sultan, through the women of the harem, not only all that he hears but all that he fancies.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 24th May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 173. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Capudan Pasha, seeing that the Sultan desires him to sail, has sent his men to tell his brother Carlo to come by way of Salonica, and to wait on the coast till the Capudan can join him.
The Imperial Ambassador finds the support and favour of the Capigi of little use, as all those who have employed them know. He is still a prisoner in his house as on the first day of this, affair; and the unlucky Dragoman still lies in the public prisons, reeking with a thousand diseases. I am assured that the Ambassador and the Grand Vizir have come to these terms, that if no movement is made upon the frontier the two years' tribute will be here by the end of July. The Pashas on the frontiers have orders to act as the enemy acts; if they are satisfied that the tribute is coming they are to refrain from attack.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 26th May 1593.
[Italian; deciphered.]