Venice
October 1617, 17-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1909

Pages

27-35

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'Venice: October 1617, 17-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 27-35. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88663 Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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October 1617

Oct. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
52. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary in Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They say that the Viceroy's fleet will have 10,000 men to disembark. I do not believe in so many, but there will be 7,000. I have found out how many have been shipped on the galleons of his Excellency vessel by vessel and how many have been levied in Calabria and Apulia. I enclose a note with particulars.
Naples, the 17th October, 1617.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
53. Note of soldiers embarked on the galleons on the 1st October.
Spaniards1,739
Irish and other nations360
[Italian.]
Oct. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
54. To the ambassador at the Imperial Court.
We can confirm the settlement about disarming, notified last week. The documents have not been signed, but are placed in the hands of Cardinal Lodovisio. M. de Bethune went to Mantua to remove the difficulties with the duke, but Don Pedro interfered against him and he left without deciding anything. As no ratification has come from Spain the Duke of Savoy does not consider himself bound, and proposes to remain armed until it comes, maintaining his friendly union with the republic.
Letters from Naples of the 10th announce that the Viceroy has taken to his bed with fever, but he is probably more afflicted by the news which reaches him from Spain.
He has also received strong letters from the pope and from the Catholic king, not to disturb the peace. But he is reported to have remarked to a confident, If the king desires peace there is one equally powerful who wants war. He wishes the galleys to leave Naples but Don Pedro strongly opposes, saying that he must have express orders from the Catholic king. Fresh troops continue to reach our forces in Friuli and we are closely pressing the enemy. No attempt to relieve them has succeeded. They crossed the river once but had to retire.
The like to:
Rome.Florence.
France.Naples.
Spain.The Hague.
Constantinople.Mantua.
England.Zurich.
Savoy.The Grisons.
Milan.
The Proveditore General of the Armies.
The Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
Ayes97.
Noes1.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
55. To the Proveditori General of the Armies.
So many important considerations are involved in deciding upon a commander for the Dutch troops that we cannot as yet tell you our wishes. We will do so as soon as possible, as we know how necessary it is for those men to have a definite chief with full authority. Meanwhile you will assure M. Rocalaura how much we value his courage and experience. The English ambassador recommends an Englishman, Sir John Vere, for the post, who was one of the leaders of these troops. We wish to hear from you about his qualifications, his appointments and his standing among his own people and all other particulars which you consider worthy of our notice. We have decided to employ Sig. Cosmo dal Monte and the Cavalier Cataneo on the mainland.
Ayes103.
Noes3.
Neutral10.
[Italian.]
Oct. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
56. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador extraordinary of England arrived recently at Lerma. He had audience of his Majesty, after which he immediately sent a courier to his king. There is great curiosity at Court about the issue of his negotiations and various opinions are advanced about the marriage. The secretary of that king, resident here, said to me in conversation that the best thing that could be hoped from this embassy was that his king should be undeceived, as he has been hitherto fed upon vain hopes. They have not displayed any pleasure here at the sending of this ambassador, indeed they tried to prevent it, as I know on good authority.
Madrid, the 21st October, 1617.
[Italian.]
Oct. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Prov. Gen.
delle Armi.
Venetian
Archives.
57. PIERO BARBARIGO, Venetian Proveditore General of the Forces in Terra Ferma and Istria, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to Sir John Vere (Guer) who is recommended by the English ambassador with you for the command of the Dutch troops, he is a well-disposed man of good character, especially in keeping his men well in hand (ben custodite), but he is not naturally active nor quick (di natura attiva ne di prontezza di spirito). I have assured Rocca Laura of your favourable disposition towards him, and how much you esteemed his abilities. He only desires to devote his life to your Serenity and we all agree that this post cannot be given to a man of greater experience and ability.
The camp at Forca, the 24th October, 1617.
[Italian.]
Oct. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
58. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Six days ago the king sent Sir [Lewis] Lewknor (il Cavalier Luchnor) with his Majesty's own barges to bring me to this city, where I also found the royal coaches, which accompanied me to my residence. Lewknor gave me full assurance of the satisfaction felt by his Majesty on hearing of my safe arrival in this kingdom, adding that as the minister of a sovereign entertaining such confidential relations with this crown I might always rely on such demonstrations of esteem and honour. I thanked him and acknowledged the compliment to the best of my ability.
While I was awaiting the orders of his Majesty to go to him, he is at Royston, he has given it to be understood that he wishes me to await him here. I shall not therefore be able to present myself before his return on the 10th prox.
I have received the commission from your Serenity containing the orders to be followed by me in the course of this embassy. I shall obey them punctually and also acquaint his Majesty with what has been settled in France for the general peace.
The Secretary Lionello, who has been commanded by your Excellencies to remain with me on this service, although he was very anxious to return home owing to his long absence and his family affairs, has nevertheless seized the fresh opportunity of adding to his deserts. I hope that he will augment the love borne to him universally and also the good opinion which I find he enjoys with all those with whom I have hitherto had occasion to confer. For sixteen months he has performed single handed the duties of this post in a very meritorious manner.
London, the 25th October, 1617.
[Italian.]
Oct. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
59. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agent of his Majesty resident with the duke of Savoy has written hither that besides the observance of the articles agreed to in France, the Governor of Milan, Don Pedro di Toledo, lays claim not only to keep full garrisons wheresoever he may deem necessary for the safe custody of the Milanese, but also to maintain 3,000 infantry in addition; and that the duke of Savoy do disarm and make complete restitution of everything before he himself begins to execute any part of the agreement, as treating with a prince so much beneath him, he does not consider it consonant with the dignity of his king to style this a treaty of peace, but a resumption of commerce. Wherefore the agent noticed that his Highness entertained small hope of peace, perceiving that the other side acted in such a contrary sense. The appointment of Gabaleoni as ambassador to this court, as reported here, is attributed to the intention of acquainting the king with these particulars, and of making earnest and additional demands for assistance.
The French Ambassador, who has been to visit me, says his king is anxiously awaiting the announcements and resolves of Spain concerning the peace of Italy, and although it may very certainly be expected that they will prove favourable, many persons in France, notwithstanding, entertained some doubts on the subject from seeing that the duke of Mantua insisted on not reinstating and pardoning his rebels, it being supposed that unless that prince had the support of the ministers of Spain he would not persist so pertinaciously. He told me besides that as his king had pledged his word and authority he meant to carry it through to the end, as he had promised and as became his royal dignity.
Since the last advices of the arrival in Spain of Sir [John] Digby no letters have been received from him nor is anything known about the progress of his negotiations for the marriage of the prince here to the daughter of that king, and as public opinion is very much divided in this matter, some desiring and others abhorring this alliance, details are awaited with much anxiety and interest.
The ambassador of Holland went to see the king lately, and discussed at great length the disputes which have arisen about certain fisheries, whereof his Majesty answered very warmly, complaining seriously of his lords for having taken steps unbecoming the respect they owed him, by capturing his subjects while they were maintaining the rights of his crown. In spite of the entreaties of the ambassador, his Majesty would not release two Dutchmen whom he had imprisoned by way of reprisal, notwithstanding that the States had set at liberty those whom they arrested.
News has been received here that Sir Walter Raleigh, who left a few months ago with some very well armed ships, has at length reached the Canaries, nor is it as yet known whether it is with a view to stationing himself there, to intercept the fleets coming from the Indies or whether he was driven in by hunger, for since he put to sea it is not known whether he has made any acquisition.
London, the 25th October, 1617.
[Italian.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
60. To the Ambassador Contarini in France.
The Spanish ministers in Italy are not acting in accordance with the peace. Ossuna is sending a fleet to the Gulf and Don Pedro is collecting troops on our Lombard frontiers. Everything points to a fresh breach. You will make representations about this to his Most Christian Majesty and the ministers. You will speak with such confidence as you think proper to the nuncio and the ambassadors of England and Savoy. Do not neglect to express the firm determination of the republic and the Duke of Savoy to maintain their mutual understanding.
Ayes124.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
61. To the ambassador in England.
A courier reached us on Sunday the 22nd from Spain with letters announcing the settlement of universal peace in Italy. Our Ambassador Gritti has obtained the Duke of Lerma's signature in the name of the Catholic king, ratifying the treaty of Asti and promising restitution; and confirming the treaty of Vienna for the republic; reopening commerce and sending letters to the Viceroy of Naples to restore our galleys and ships. All this is to be confirmed by the Spanish ambassador resident here. However, that ambassador has not moved, and in spite of the sincere desire of Savoy and ourselves for peace, we see everything destroyed by the Spanish ministers at Naples and Milan. This is a remarkable fact and must have deep roots. It certainly keeps alive the troubles in this province. Contrary to all agreements we hear that Don Pedro has sent all his troops to the frontiers of our state by Cremona and Lodi and is making active warlike preparations; while on the 17th the Viceroy sent out twenty-two galleys and reinforcements for Calabria. Other ships are to join them and Ossuna proposes to re-enter the Gulf under the specious pretext of defending the Ragusans.
All princes should direct their attention to the evil designs of these ministers. We, as being the ones most threatened, have given the necessary orders to the Proveditore General of the Sea who is in a favourable position to resist any attempt. We have instructed our Proveditore General Cornaro to take the pick of our troops to the Lombard side, and we thus show to the world our determination to maintain the integrity of our state. These ministers with their reckless contrivings and flimsy pretexts are involving the greatest powers of Christendom, who are engaged in this affair by their promises, and they threaten to throw everything into confusion after it had been arranged in a long time with great labour.
The nuncio and the French ambassador have both been in the Cabinet this morning and both suggested a general armistice as a means of carrying out the peace, which, however, they described as established. They introduced fresh conditions in the name of the Viceroy of Naples, namely stipulation for this armistice, pretending that we should stop the levy of troops in Holland, and our naval preparations against the Ragusans. We have been much surprised at these new difficulties and we have replied to this effect, asserting the readiness of the republic to abide by the treaty arranged at the two royal courts, and that the ministers simply had to carry this out, and it did not behove the Viceroy to make any addition, and conditions contrary to his liberty and service could not be prescribed to a free prince. We believe that the two diplomatists were quite taken aback (intieramente paghi), and the Most Christian ambassador has already shown signs of it. We have sent this for your information.
The like to the other Courts and the generals by sea and land.
Ayes124.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
62. To the Ambassador Contarini in England.
The Secretary Lionello tells us in his letters of the 5th of the feeling shown by his Majesty upon the sinister operations of the Spanish ministers in this province, and his determination to oppose them with his royal arm. This is all that can be desired. You will tell his Majesty all particulars in audience, thank him for his efforts for Italy and express our obligations to him. You will say that we hoped to enjoy a peace already signed by the Catholic king; we are more harassed than ever by the arms of Don Pedro and Ossuna. We have decided to order our generals to repel every attack, and his Majesty would not have a better occasion for making his royal declaration. You will make every effort to obtain it and to have it made known at the Catholic Court. You have your instructions for anything further.
Ayes122.
Noes0.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Oct. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
63. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have sent to the States to warn them about the merchant Alexander Rose, so that they may not allow him to use ships of this country to the prejudice of your Serenity. I hope to be back at my usual residence before long, but should he arrive before my return I have instructed a very capable person, who left for Amsterdam yesterday, that if he hears anything about this Alexander, to immediately inform his Excellency. I will use every effort to thwart his designs.
Groningen, the 27th October, 1617.
[Italian.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian.
Archives.
64. That the ambassador of England be summoned to the Cabinet and the following read to him:
The approbation of the Catholic king to the peace arrived on the 22nd and two days later orders in accordance reached the Spanish ministers at Milan and Naples and their ambassador here. Nevertheless the Viceroy of Naples has sent out a new fleet against us and Don Pedro is collecting forces on our Lombard frontiers. Our Ambassador Contarini will communicate everything to his Majesty, and we should like your Excellency to do so also, as the action of these ministers concerns the faith of their king and the promises of the principal sovereigns of Europe as pledged in the treaty of Asti. It will therefore become his Majesty to look well into these things, as no reliance can be placed on the Spaniards, and to come to some resolute declaration, which will produce a great effect in the Catholic Court, will increase his glory and our indebtedness, and lead to universal peace while bridling the ambition of the Spaniards.
Ayes122.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
65. ALMORO BARBARO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The plague has been very severe. It carried off little less than 4,000 persons. Confidence is not yet restored. The English ship has arrived in this port, sent by the Senate with provisions of beans, rice and biscuit for the relief of the people. I have not yet been able to distribute them. Moreover the beans and maize are bad and the biscuit too, while a part of the rice is of little good, so that I fear it will be difficult to dispose of.
Zante, the 28th October, 1617.
[Italian.]
Oct. 29.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
66. The AMBASSADOR OF ENGLAND was summoned to the Cabinet and the declaration of the SENATE of yesterday was read to him, he said:
I thank your Serenity for the confidence. However peace does not seem to me to be absolutely assured. Though it has been digested in Spain and sealed in France there are circumstances which may cause a difficulty. As for Savoy we see that his Highness has consented to disarm first. He has been chiefly persuaded by Lesdiguières upon the supposition that Mantua will pardon the rebels and restore their goods and that the dower of the widowed Infanta is assured. These are two very difficult points. It will not be easy to restore to the rebels goods which have been converted to other uses, and for the dower I see that one side demands more than the other concedes. Your Serenity may judge how easily the Spaniards if they do not desire peace may confuse the issue by inciting Mantua to hold to her notions, thus exonerating themselves, so that difficulties may arise from the other side. But in this case as the word of the Most Christian King has been solemnly pledged, I should like to believe that the treaty will hold. But as regards your Serenity, seeing that the siege of Gradisca is being pressed more than ever, some artifice appears. The Spaniards have brought down their troops to the confines of Lombardy, clearly for the sake of a diversion. If they were genuine they might have relieved that place by putting a garrison in Segna for Ferdinand. It is the custom of your Serenity to send instructions to your ambassador and then to send for me. I may say with due respect that this is bound to have unfortunate consequences with a confidential minister, so devoted to the republic as I am, because the king's reply to your ambassador before he has received my advices is bound to be vague and to be put off to the next week. Such a delay might be grave, so I beg your Serenity to impart the instructions to me at the time when they are sent.
The doge replied saying that frequently the letters are sent and the deliberations of the Senate taken on the evening of the dispatch of the ordinaries, consequently the communications to the ambassador are necessarily delayed until the following day.
The ambassador went on to say that the offers of the earl of Oxford (Osfort) were opportune. He could also find a number of good ships if required. Captain Bel would not only undertake the captaincy of a company, but the direction of artillery, in which he was well versed. The prince of Colet, (fn. 1) cousin german of the King of Denmark, who had hitherto served in Friuli in the regiment of Nassau, wished to resign this and serve the republic as an adventurer.
[Italian.]
Oct. 30.
Sonata,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
67. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses list of the ships with names of masters, and number of soldiers and sailors in them.
Groningen, the 30th October, 1617.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
68. List of eleven ships, including the English ship Cane di Caccia, master Henry Adrianssen of Edam, M. Pithan lieutenant, 280 soldiers and 19 sailors.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Almost certainly Joachim Ernest of the house of Holstein Sunderburg, called the duke of Holstein in the preceding volume of this Calendar, Ibid page 461.