Venice
November 1617, 17-29

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1909

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44-63

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'Venice: November 1617, 17-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 44-63. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88665 Date accessed: 22 September 2014.


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November 1617

Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Prov. Gen.
delle Armi.
Venetian
Archives.
86. PIERO BARBARIGO, Venetian Proveditore General of the Forces in Terra Ferma and Istria, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses muster of all the troops taken on the 10th inst. and amounting to 10,702 men. The accounts of all the captains have been made for the present month. They have all had their warrants but practically no one has received his money.
The Camp at Fara, the 17th November, 1617.
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
87. Extracts from the muster made on the 10th November: In the camp at the fort of la Casetta:
M. de Golen213
Grimeni133
Melander145
Guglielmo140
Lieut. Col. Ver83
Boamignon129
Siler127
Odes115
Vimes166
Thine140
Stieven90
M. de Rocca Laura291
[Italian.]
Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
88. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Majesty sent Lord Clifford with a number of other noblemen to convey me with his own coaches to the first audience, at which, to the best of my ability, I executed the commissions entrusted to me. I acquainted him with the continuance of your sincere respect coupled with a sincere desire for the grandeur and prosperity of his crown, as becoming the mutual ties of sentiment and interest, owing to which your Excellencies had despatched me, and although Sig. Donato had been appointed to this embassy I had been charged to perform his duties as he was delayed with important affairs in Savoy.
At this audience I presented my credentials, which his Majesty graciously received and read. He listened courteously to the statement I made, congratulating himself on the confirmation of the peace in Italy. In returning thanks I warned him that hitherto appearances were contrary to the fact, as the Spanish ministers were acting in a manner which proved them to be bent upon anything rather than quiet; but as the chamber was full of people I did not think fit at the moment to say anything more. I merely said that at his Majesty's convenience I would give him a special account of the true state of affairs, and then, after the king had repeated a few complimentary phrases, I departed.
I afterwards visited the prince, presented my compliments to him and gave him the letters of your Serenity, both which acts he acknowledged graciously. As the queen is indisposed I have been unable to see her, but so soon as I hear of her recovery I shall pay the necessary compliments to her Majesty likewise.
The king appointed me audience for to-day, when I communicated to him the present state of affairs in Italy and what has been treated and settled in France. I gave him the whole in detail, commenting upon the wide difference between the words uttered by the Spaniards in all quarters, and their performances, especially that of the ministers in Italy, who, although well aware that the conditions of the peace had been confirmed in France by the assent of the Spanish ambassador there, nevertheless they were giving great cause for distrust by marching troops towards the frontiers of the republic, whilst another minister, by fitting out war fleets and proclaiming his intention to send them into the Gulf to damage our commerce, clearly prove what their thoughts are and how little we can rely on a lasting peace. I added that your Serenity had charged me to communicate these particulars in proof of the constant trust you repose in his Majesty, feeling confident that should affairs not take the pacific turn desired, his Majesty, by such demonstrations as already promised to the Secretary Lionello, would confer an immediate obligation on the State and vividly demonstrate by facts the greatness of his royal mind.
The king listened to me very attentively, saying that he was extremely surprised at the manner in which these matters proceeded and he neither knew nor understood how it became a great sovereign like the Catholic king, as by his not approving the acts of his ministers, who in their turn disobeyed his orders, whilst the language adopted in one place contradicted the assurances given in another, everything became confused. He said, it seemed to him absurd that the king should keep an ambassador at Venice, the republic also having one in Spain, whilst at the very time that agreements for peace are being prepared and negotiated, the seas of your Excellencies are infested and your galleys robbed and plundered. He told me he was very anxious to come at the truth of this; that he had spoken to the ambassador Gondomar on the subject, pointing out this discrepancy, and received for answer that his king had already assented to the agreement for peace, and wished it to be carried into effect whatever happened, having sent orders to this effect into Italy; that he could give him no account of the proceedings of the duke of Ossuna, beyond the fact of his having misbehaved himself of late. I rejoined that by this double dealing the Spaniards meant to play their own game and lull to sleep the neighbouring powers with regard to defensive measures, thinking to take advantage of them unawares, according to opportunities. The king replied, I can say nothing more on the subject, for I do not well understand the present fashion of negotiating; as even in France the government insisted on your ambassador accepting the proposals made to them at a moment's warning, threatening, in case of refusal, to abstain from maintaining the rights of the republic, should their aid be required. After repeating this topic several times, his Majesty said to me, I shall be very anxious to witness the end of this business, in order that I may subsequently form such resolves as shall seem fit to me.
I then proceeded to tell the king about that Alexander Rose, who left Naples with money supplied him by the viceroy, in order to charter vessels, although under pretence of taking salt fish to Naples, and I besought his Majesty not to allow the viceroy to carry into effect projects which aimed solely at disturbing the public quiet. The king expressed regret at hearing this and told me he did not choose his subjects to have a hand in similar matters by any means, and that I might therefore give him the name of this individual. Having the memorial in my hand I presented it, and he told me that he would cause special enquiry to be made on the subject and would then desire his Secretary to come to me for further information if necessary, so as to form such resolve as due and then, having nothing else to add to his Majesty, I rose from my seat, paid my humble respects and departed.
London, the 17th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
89. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The papers which were in the hands of Secretary Winwood have by the king's order been made over to Secretary Lake, a minister whose opinions and politics are utterly opposed to those of the deceased, indeed I have been assured by many that he has a pension from the Catholic king, and he evidently leans to that side. He has not yet received the seals which are in the hands of his Majesty, and it is thought that they will eventually pass into the hands of the earl of Buckingham, who daily makes more and more progress in the love and favour of his Majesty.
Four days ago the ambassador from Holland went to the king and told him that although some discord yet prevailed in the States on the score of religion, it was hoped nevertheless soon to re-unite men's minds and quell all dispute, as it had been settled to hold a provincial synod, and should that not suffice for adjusting matters, they would then convene another national one so as at any rate to devise means for peace and quiet and general good understanding as formerly. The king approved this resolve, and counselled them not to allow these disturbances to proceed further as they might easily cause effects most prejudicial to their prosperity and liberty.
The Secretary of the Ambassador Digby has been sent back to Spain with instructions concerning the marriage negotiations, the details of which are conducted with so much secrecy that not even the very diligent researches of the French and Dutch ambassadors have been able to elicit any information on the subject.
The Muscovite ambassador (fn. 1) is accompanied by the envoy whom the king sent into those parts three years ago, to make peace between that Grand Duke and Sweden for which the Muscovite is charged to return thanks to his Majesty and to treat other matters concerning the commercial intercourse between the two countries.
The king leaves for Royston to-day and will remain in that neighbourhood until Christmas.
London, the 17th November, 1617.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
90. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By my letters of yesterday I represented to your Serenity what I negotiated with the king at my audience of that day, and this morning, by a foot post sent to me by the Secretary Surian express from the Hague on the 8th inst. I receive the letters of your Serenity dated the 27th and 28th ult. with news of the invasion of Venetian territory by the governor of Milan, and other particulars. I sent immediately to the king for audience, but as he was on the point of departure for Royston he caused me to be informed that it was impossible for him to listen to me then, but that he would desire the Secretary Lake to come to me and hear what I had to say to him.
This letter I send after the courier who left last night.
London, the 18th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
91. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I communicated to his Highness the advices sent me by your Serenity on the 11th. In return he gave me many particulars, among them that the Spaniards are pressing for the consummation of the marriage between the queen and the Most Christian king, who seemed most reluctant; that the marriage between Spain and England is thought to be arranged, and the French do not like it.
Turin, the 19th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 22.
Collegio
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
92. The ambassador of England came into the Cabinet with the earl of Oxford, who was given a place above the Savii of Terra Ferma. The ambassador said:
I have come to speak for the earl what modesty forbids him to say for himself, and I would not do so in his presence, unless to execute my instructions. He is hereditary Lord Chamberlain of England and the direct representative of the house of Vere in the male line. In the wars of the Roses his ancestors always took the right side. He has shown his devotion to your Serenity by coming to serve you, being convinced of the justice of your cause and authorised by the letters of the king which he will present. He was in camp before offering to come and serve your Serenity with 6 to 20 thousand infantry. This he can easily do, not only by the king's licence but by the great credit of his house in the realm. This is a good beginning of the king's declaration in favour of the republic.
After this the earl rose and went to the doge to offer himself. His Serenity thanked him courteously and referred the matter to the Savii. The ambassador and earl left the following letters and departed.
Jacobus etc. Domino Joani Bembo, Venetiarum Duci amico nostro charissimo, salutem.
Comes Oxoniensis vir tam natalium tam loci sui claritate primi inter hujus Regni proceres nominis, nobis nuperrime per litteras suas significavit, magnopere se cupere, ut sub Republica Vestra praesentibus hisce bellis (si modo id nos ratum haberemus) possit mereri. Quod quidem nos non solum libenter concessimus, sed ei insuper potestatem fecimus conscribendi copias, et e subditis nostris, si qui id vellent, cuperentque delectum habendi. Et quidem cum tanti nominis, et æstimationis apud nos sit, et hoc ipso tam egregia erga Rempublicam Vestram studia demonstraverit, justicia et affectus nostros secutus, non potuimus eum utriusque nomine curae vestrae non commendare rogareque ut eam rationem tum propensionsis suae tum stipendiorum habere velitis, qualem tam singularis ipsius affectus mereatur.
Jacobus Rex.
Date e palatio nostro Edimburgensi nono die Julii, Anno Domini 1617.
Presented by the ambassador of England with letters from the king and Lionello.
Captain Bell, recommended by his Majesty as a man of great valour and experience in war, offers himself to serve the republic. He has practised arms under the king of Sweden and the elector of Brandenburg, to wit, the drilling of new troops, and is skilled in the use of all sorts of weapons. He asks to be proven and accepted or dismissed according to the results.
Most Serene Prince.
The Margrave of Brandenburg recommended to the king some days ago Captain Henry Bell, who was going to Venice, hoping to serve the republic. His Majesty recommends him. Yesterday the Secretary Lake wrote asking me to support the application. There has not been time to collect further information about him, especially as he has spent a long while in Germany.
Gio. Battista Lionello.
London, the 17th March, 1617.
Jacobus etc. Domino Joanni Bembo Venetae Reipublicae Duci, amico nostro charissimo, salutem etc.
Cum et Reipublicae vestrae hoc statu temporum rerumque vestrarum fortium virorum opera non minus necessaria quam opportuna videatur, et harum lator Henricus Bel generosus, subditus noster, cum rei militaris usum habeat militarium armorum experientia, et variis bellis comparatum, ut non solum centurionis munus obierit, verum etiam cohortes quinque signorum in acie contra hostem aliquoties duxerit con benignius et libentius annuimus, commendationem nostram suppliciter petenti quam ob rem si Serenitas Vester ipsum eo loco habebit, qui fortunae et conditioni conveniat, quam ante hac obtinuit, ejusque opera eo modo utetur, sicut minime dubitamus quin fideli et strenuo ministerio effecturus sit, ut hanc gratiam recte ac merito collocatam censeatis, ita hoc benevolentiae vestrae erga nos testimonium nobis valde gratum erit, idque ut vobis liquido appareat quotiescumque occasio suppetet, promptissimo animo efficere conabimur.
Jacobus Rex.
Datum e Palatio nostro Westmonasterii quinta die Martii Anno Dni. 1616 stilo veteri.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
91. To the ambassador at the Imperial Court, and the like to all the other Courts and Constantinople and the Proveditori General by sea and land.
The affairs of Lombardy seemed promising after the withdrawal of Don Pedro, but yet a good part of his troops remain on our frontiers facing our army, while the restitution of Vercelli to Savoy is postponed by vain pretexts, though the duke is performing his part. Don Pedro has also sent forces in the direction of the Valtelline to influence the diet being held at Coire.
The Viceroy of Naples continues in his evil courses. He makes difficulties about restoring our galleys and their cargoes and continues his preparations for war, pretending they are against some pirate. Egged on by him the Ragusans tried to set fire to our fleet.
Dampier has arrived at the archducal camp in Friuli and shows how little he likes the truce. For the rest, the intentions of the Emperor and the king of Bohemia seem excellent for the ratification of the peace.
Ayes163.
Noes0.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni
Venetian
Archives.
92. That the ambassadors of France and England have separate audience and that the following be read to them:
Since our last communication to your Excellency we have heard from Germany that their Majesties have chosen the pope and the Grand Duke as their commissioners. This shows their favourable disposition towards the ratification. The selection of such persons, however, involves so many difficulties that we have instructed our Ambassador Giustinano to ask their Majesties to follow the usual course and nominate subjects of integrity and ability, and we will do the same. The Spanish ambassador, whom we have consulted, is entirely of the same opinion.
We thought that danger was past with the withdrawal from our frontiers, but fresh doubts arise when we find the royal troops remaining on our borders and the delay in the restitution of Vercelli, although the duke is doing his part, while Ossuna is always inventing fresh pretexts for detaining our goods and is preparing another fleet against us. Your Excellency will see what uncertainty this creates, and to what lengths it draws out this affair in which his Majesty is so greatly interested. It would become his greatness to put an end to these bickerings, arming and expenses, so that all may enjoy the fruit that is expected from the peace.
Ayes143.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
93. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By virtue of the king's order Secretary Lake came to me and apologised for the inability of his Majesty to see me according to my request, by reason of sundry occupations, and also on account of his departure for Royston. He therefore desired the secretary to come to me to learn what I wished to acquaint him with and to proceed forthwith to report it to his Majesty.
For the sake of thoroughly acquainting this minister with the state of the case, I began at the beginning, informing him how your Serenity had been compelled to take up arms in self defence against the constant attacks of the Uscochi. I then stated what took place during the war; the negotiations begun and finished in France, and concluded by relating what had been established in Spain likewise for the general quiet both on land and at sea; and not less for the interests of the republic than for those of the duke of Savoy. I said that while your Serenity was thus disposed to execute the agreement, expecting the other side to do the like. your territories were suddenly invaded, your borders ravaged and your villages seized, whilst at sea it was understood that the duke of Ossuna in like manner had sent a powerful fleet into the Gulf to attack us there also. Of all these particulars I was desired by your Excellencies to inform the king, not merely as a mark of perpetual confidence which you wish to maintain with him but also that he may become aware of the designs of the Spaniards, who aim at rendering themselves paramount over sovereigns and their territories, and also that he may take such steps as become the greatness of his mind and as are necessary for the common weal. At no time could he prove to the world more opportunely by actual deeds the love he bears to the republic and his wish for its preservation, than in this instance. I alluded to the vast obligation and grateful recollection entertained by your Excellencies of what he promised the Secretary Lionello in Scotland, saying you relied on his realising these promises on so important an occasion, and that together with the whole world he would declare himself as our defender in the present need; nor did I omit to say that the quiet of the State had been unjustly disturbed, expressing the commands of your Serenity as earnestly as I could that they might be communicated to his Majesty as I besought him most affectionately.
He listened to me with extreme attention and said that the king would greatly regret to hear of these fresh disturbances, owing to his affection for the republic. He then showed me a letter from the ambassador Wotton dated the 26th ult, whereby it seems that he considers the march of the royal troops to the confines of the state of your Excellencies as a diversion made to relieve the siege of Gradisca, which was on the eve of surrendering. I immediately pointed out that this was inadmissible as without having recourse to hostilities and offensive operations it would have sufficed for the Catholic ministers in Italy to come forward and show what had been agreed to in Spain, whereby their object would have been attained by a better road; I added that it was very evident these were groundless pretexts; so after repeating the same things which he promised to communicate to the king, he told me that his Majesty had commanded him to obtain information about Alexander Rose, intending that the republic should at least be gratified in this matter, and I make constant enquiries about this man and his operations in order to acquaint him with them. He is now at Yarmouth buying salt fish, and immediately he arrives in London he will be called before the Council and compelled to give an account of his negotiations with the viceroy of Naples.
On the morrow his Majesty sent me the reply purporting that he was greatly surprised at what I had acquainted him with, as he was assured from all quarters of the peace in Italy with the assent of both parties, ratified by the Spanish and French ambassadors, and by the agent of Savoy, who had given him these tidings on behalf of their masters. He had also received letters of the same tenor from France and Spain where his own ambassadors had been charged by him strongly to advocate a good arrangement of some sort; that they wrote to him on all sides that the dispute was settled, nor could he bring himself to believe or imagine any reason why the Catholic king should now fail and offend the Most Christian king and himself by deceiving them, as he had made a statement of a directly contrary nature; wherefore he must await the next news, promising your Serenity the continuance of his good will and in such demonstrations towards your service as already announced by him, whereby he meant to abide most firmly and resolutely. After returning thanks to his Majesty for the continuance of so good a disposition, I told him that so long as the Spaniards remained in the borders, one might attribute the proceeding to a wish to create suspicion and hasten the treaty of peace, but by invading the territory of the republic they at once proved their object, though as his Majesty's commands were such I said I would await further particulars and on their receipt immediately communicate them.
London, the 24th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
94. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday, on the receipt of your Serenity's letters of the 3rd inst, I returned to the Secretary Lake whom I acquainted with the ulterior attacks made by the Spaniards on the Venetian territory, although the Catholic Ambassador had at length announced that his king acceded to the peace, and meant to ratify what had been agreed in France, and that arrangements had been made with the ambassador for the suspension of our hostilities against the two crowns of Germany, nor did I omit any details, repeating the demand already made by me and beseeching his Majesty, on an occasion so important, fraught with such perilous consequences for the common weal, since the Spaniards show themselves not dubious but open enemies, even besieging our fortresses, to be pleased no longer to delay giving us the benefit of his good will and friendship, with the conviction that, whenever an opportunity should occur, Venice would reciprocate all that the service of these realms might require.
Secretary Lake answered that he would immediately acquaint the king with what I had told him and that in the meantime I might assure your Excellencies that his Majesty, persevering in his usual good disposition, will not fail to do his utmost in such manner as is becoming, for the benefit of the republic. He added that Wotton had written to him in conformity with my statement, but with some differences of detail, namely, that the Catholic Ambassador had been into the College insisting upon three points, which, if not conceded he said he could not consent to carry the agreement into effect, and that he had express orders from his king to this end: the one was that the siege of Gradisca be raised; secondly, that the Dutch should be sent home, and those on their voyage should be turned back, and thirdly that the Ragusans be not subjected to any detriment either by the construction of fortresses or in any other way. That with regard to the first demand it seemed that an expedient had been devised by allowing a daily supply of provisions, sufficient for the garrison to enter the fortress, but that there were great difficulties with regard to the other two points, nor could means be devised for adjustment, without which the Catholic Ambassador protested that he could not proceed further.
I told him I had not received notice from your Serenity of these details but that if it was so, the fact proved the pretexts employed by the Spaniards, who lay plots to deceive everybody, so as insidiously to compass their evil designs, it being a strange and unusual proceeding, replete with vast inconvenience, after a treaty had been established and signed by a sovereign, for his ministers to add fresh conditions, and that to consent to such would be a reversion of the order of things and render negotiations interminable. That in Spain this matter had not been discussed, and still less did it become others to raise difficulties; nor could the republic dismiss her Dutch mercenaries, as she chose to see the peace established before disarming; and with regard to the Ragusans, although their misdemeanours deserved the most rigorous treatment, yet the republic, proceeding with great judgment and prudence, in order not to generate noxious humours in that quarter to the detriment of Christendom, abstained from making any demonstration, as it was always in her power to check and chasten them.
Sir [Thomas] Edmonds also arrived yesterday on his return from his embassy in France, and before he went to the king I chose to see and acquaint him with all these particulars, that he might impart them to his Majesty, for as I have always found him well disposed towards the service of your Excellencies, his statement can but prove useful. He promised to make it and told me that the king would not allow him to leave France until after the settlement of these affairs, which he had aided to the utmost so that they might yield good fruit, for which I did not fail to thank him affectionately.
London, the 24th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Inquisitiori
di Stato.
Busta 157.
Venetian
Archives.
95. The INQUISITORS of STATE to CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands.
The measures taken and suggested by you to discover the writer of the letters to the English ambassador have proved very successful. It would be useful to discover if the French- man wrote under an assumed name. We shall be circumspect about disclosing the source of our information.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
96. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
One day recently Sig. Magnus spoke to me about the proposed alliance with your Serenity. He said it would be easy to arrange the terms upon the lines of mutual assistance, free trading, liberty for the subjects of both states in the territory of each and such matters. He went on to talk about the obligations with their other allies. France was bound to help with 8000 foot at their cost in time of war, and they were bound to help France with 5000 or an equivalent in ships; England was to supply 4000 foot and the States as many, and the Hanse towns about 2000 foot, and free trade with all.
The Hague, the 27th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
97. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have heard nothing about Alexander Rose, the merchant, about whom your Serenity instructed me to obtain information. One day recently I asked the President whether they had heard anything about him or others with a similar commission. He said, No, but they had written to all the admirals of the Provinces, though he was not certain about Zeeland; he would ask.
They have written about Rose to Middelburg and Flushing, giving full particulars, but no news has arrived as yet.
The Hague, the 27th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Signori Stati
Venetian
Archives.
98. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I told your Serenity that the English ambassador had asked in the assembly of the States for a reply to his king's letter about religion. In his exposition he said a great deal in favour of the Gomorists or Contra-Remonstrants, to whom he gave the manuscript of his speech, which they had printed. On Monday a reply was published entitled A balance to weigh equitably the speech of the noble and prudent gentleman Sir Dudley Carleton, ambassador of the king of Great Britain. Your Excellencies may imagine how much this has disturbed the ambassador, as he professes that everything that he said was by the king's order, and that to venture to reply to an ambassador in an affair of such a naturs is contrary to all custom, reason and equity; but the manner of it is still more significant, as the author taxes the ambassador with falsehood in a tolerably clear way, though somewhat covertly, and speaks against his religion, against the king's dicta, against the Basilicon Doron, or Munus Regium, which his Majesty dedicated to Prince Henry his son, and other things, so that the work is rather a libel than an apology. (fn. 2)
The ambassador has lodged a complaint through his Secretary with the President and also with M. Barnevelt, with whom he is most dissatisfied. He said these very words to me: I have always considered M. Barnevelt to be a man of prudence and intellect, but now I clearly perceive that he is a fool (matto), as when I sent to complain and tell him that I wished for redress, he sent to tell me to have patience and not to move in the matter, but let it rest so. He added, This means the ruin of me or of some one else. I am clear, because I have done what my king commanded me, but possibly others may rue it. The States have done well to suppress the books here at the Hague and to send orders to the same effect elsewhere, but this does not satisfy me, I want more. He went on in this exaggerated strain, declaring that his king's honour was involved. He appeared before the assembly on Saturday and spoke very gravely, insisting upon an open reparation. He said he expected it would have been offered without his moving in the matter, because the States General were involved by giving their permission to print his exposition and disperse it throughout the country. He cited various precedents, amongst them the punishment of a man who when drunk said he had seen one of the Councillors at mass. He mentioned no names, but was understood to refer to M. Barnevelt. He said that all the ambassadors and diplomats here were standing with eyes and ears wide open to see what the States would decide, and know if they would be safe in similar circumstances. If they had not the courage to remedy this disorder, he would never feel safe any more, and an order to cut his throat might pass equally un-redressed. He asked that the books might be publicly burned and both the author and printer denounced.
The provinces of Guelders, Zeeland, Friesland and Gröningen seemed ready to satisfy the ambassador, while Utrecht and Overyssel were well disposed, but Holland desired that he be asked to allow a decision to be postponed until the general Diet, which is to meet in a week. The ambassador refused to agree, saying that his exposition had not been made to a particular province but to all together, and it behoved the States General to decide without waiting for other opinions. Accordingly this morning they decided to publish a hue and cry against the delinquents, with a fine of 1000 florins and 600 against the printer, but the latter to go free if he designates the author within a certain time. This morning the ambassador presented a memorial asking for the punishment of all concerned in the work. He suspects that it is from the hand of some individual dependent upon M. de Barnevelt, (fn. 3) who belongs to that party, though he cannot assume so much, but I feel sure he will leave nothing undone to probe the matter to the bottom.
The Hague, the 27th November, 1617.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
99. That the following be added when the English ambassador goes to the Cabinet to have our decision of the 25th read to him:
With regard to the earl of Oxford, the republic thinks very highly of him, for his own sake, the greatness of his house and the recommendation of his Majesty. However, owing to the doubtful position of affairs and the present seasons being advanced, and because we do not wish to afford a pretext to others for the maintenance of present disturbances, we shall not take any further steps for the present. But we beg your Excellency to assure the earl that we have been deeply impressed by his noble offer, we shall always be grateful and ready to avail ourselves of it when an opportunity occurs.
We owe the same good will to Captain Bell, and we should accept his offer were it not for the difficulty of language, as we recognise his great merits.
That Captain Bell be given a roll of 200 crowns as a gift and that 100 crowns for refreshments be sent to the earl of Oxford as a mark of honour and the public good-will.
Ayes150.
Noes0.
Neutral6.
[Italian.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
100. To the king of Great Britain.
The earl of Oxford, after satisfying his laudable curiosity to see this province, has shown his good feeling to the republic by offering his services and to bring men. We have welcomed him as his merits deserve, and in accordance with our usual practice towards gentlemen of that noble kingdom and our respect for the recommendation of your Majesty. We should readily accept the offer, but the uncertainty of affairs and the advanced season do not permit it, but we shall always highly value his ability and merit.
We beg to express our sincere esteem for your Majesty and to wish you every prosperity.
Ayes157.
Noes0.
Neutral6.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Cons, de' X,
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
101. That leave be granted to Michiel Grimani son of Francesco to go and speak to the English ambassador to consign to him the goods and plants remaining in that house, pertaining to Zaccaria Grimani, his brother, who has let the house to him.
Ayes16.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
102. The ambassador of England was summoned to the Cabinet and the deliberation of the Senate of the 28th inst. was read to him, he said:
I thank your Serenity for the continued confidence shown to me, and I will do my best to undeceive my king, because I understand from letters from England this week that the peace of this province is published in London. For my part I agree with the common opinion that the intentions of the king of Spain are good and that the difficulties are caused by certain ministers. However, my hope is good and God grant that it may be converted into faith. My conscience assures me that I have done my best for peace since my return to this charge.
With regard to the earl of Oxford. He was able to make good his offer owing to the influence of his house and his personal following. I do not know whether he will take your Serenity's reply to the king with him, or send it on.
With regard to Captain Bell, I may say that he has no equal in Christendom as a brave and experienced soldier. I understand that the question of language is a drawback, but he has made considerable progress and his knowledge of Latin will smooth the way. He was expressly recommended for the purpose by his Majesty, to whose letter I do not know whether a reply has been enclosed in the one written for the earl, or if a separate one will be sent. He has incurred lavish expenditure on his journey and his stay here. The king granted him power to raise troops.
The doge replied: The present decision with regard to the earl was necessary. With respect to the Captain the difficulty of language is very great. For instance, to Candia we only send subjects for military matters who understand the language well.
The ambassador said: I forgot to say that I heard the news about the commissioners with astonishment, which will certainly be shared by his Majesty. If we look at the meaning of the document which declares they are not interested, I say, leaving the pope out of account, that the Grand Duke according to the use of this city in particular, has been excluded with Ferdinand as blotted out (cazzato) to employ the very words used.
After returning to say something more about Captain Bell, the ambassador took leave.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
103. The deliberation of the Senate of the 28th instant was read to the ambassador of Savoy. He said:
I do not know what may be expected from England. The king says a good deal, but is very reserved (retirato). When the Spaniards expect that help may be obtained from France, it may be assumed that they will stir up civil discord there. Everything depends upon the duke and your Serenity standing together, well armed. I praise your prudence in depriving the Spaniards of their footing, as this will at least serve as a justification to the world. Perhaps the pope and some prince, perceiving their designs to oppress Europe, will not permit the universal ruin. The crisis is similar to the one when king Francis was a prisoner. (fn. 4) The duke of Alva advised that good words should be given to the princes of Italy, they should negotiate and make agreements but put nothing in writing, simply to gain time to make themselves strong, as is being done now in my opinion.
The doge replied commending the prudence of the ambassador. He was sure there was no reason to doubt the king, but the actions of the ministers were very suspect.
The ambassador said he was very glad of the resolve of Bethune to have either peace or war definitely, but he was suspicious of the tricks of the Spaniards. The delays of Don Pietro might be his caprice, but those of the duke of Ossuna in manifest disobedience to the royal orders must be attributed to some secret instructions. In short, it was necessary to arm. From England, after so many promises little could be promised. They will have France, if possible, his Serenity, the duke and the Swiss and possibly some Italian prince if it comes to a rupture. The Divine aid may be expected by such religious princes.
[Italian.]
Nov.
Cl. VII.
Cod. MCXXII.
Bibl di S.
Marco
Venice.
103A. RELATION OF HORATIO BUSINO.
Public Solemnity performed for the satisfaction of the populace shortly after the election of the chief magistrate of the city of London, styled the Lord Mayor.
Besides the royal and absolute power exercised by the king there exists in London a chief for the government of the city itself, which may rather be styled a sort of republic of wholesale merchants than anything else. From this busy commonwealth all idlers are banished and even the nobility and aliens are excluded from its government, so that all the houses along the streets of the city with the exception of some few palaces are shops of divers artificers of every trade, and each house has its sign or mark like an inn.
Those who aspire to the mayoralty must have served bare-headed for seven years in their youth in some workshop for the sake of obtaining the mere title of apprentice. This enables them to open a shop, and if they increase their substance to the amount of 200,000 ducats, they become eligible to the aforesaid dignity, though not before they have served as sheriff (a sort of criminal magistracy) and subsequently as alderman, equivalent to senator. In this little London world there are hundreds of Babes of this sort; this is self evident, as the Lord Mayor is changed annually, nor is he re-eligible, indeed those aldermen whose heads are free from fume shun the honour owing to its excessive cost, as the Lord Mayor is obliged to keep a most liberal open house during the whole year.
This monarch is elected by twelve heads of companies of very picked men, extremely wealthy and experienced. In these twelve companies are comprised sixty dependent companies, of all the trades, however mechanical. At their public meetings the members wear gowns down to the ground, with some slight variations.
His Excellency received a private invitation to view the first part of the pageant, which consists of ships, galleys, brigantines, foists and barges coming up the Thames, starting from the Lord Mayor's own house and proceeding towards the palace or royal court, where he takes the oath of allegiance. On the present occasion the magistrate arranged his installation with the greatest pomp, but always with allusion to his trade of a grocer. (fn. 5) The cost he incurred exceeded the means of a petty or medium duke.
At a very early hour his Excellency went to the mansion of a nobleman commanding a fine view of a bridge over the Thames. This runs through the city like our Grand Canal, but as wide as the Giudecca Canal. Scarcely had we arrived when a dense fleet of vessels hove in sight, accompanied by swarms of small boats to see the show like the gondolas about the Bucintoro. The ships were beautifully decorated with balustrades and various paintings. They carried immense banners and countless pennons. Salutes were fired, and a number of persons bravely attired played on trumpets, fifes and other instruments. The oarsmen rowed rapidly with the flood tide, while the discharges of the salutes were incessant. We also saw highly ornamented stages with various devices, which subsequently served for the land pageant, for triumphal cars, when passing through the principal street. When the gay squadron had reached a certain point it received a salute from the sakers, which made a great echo. The compliment was repeated even more loudly when my Lord Mayor landed at the water stairs near the court of Parliament, on his way to take the oath before the appointed judges.
Bewildered by what we had seen, we proceeded to the Row (corso), which is the finest part of the city, to the windows assigned to us in the house of a respectable goldsmith. Whilst the pageant was being marshalled, we gazed about. The houses have many stories and all the fronts are glazed so that the windows fill the entire space. On this occasion they were all crowded with the sweetest faces, looking like so many pretty pictures, with varied head-tire and rich dresses of every possible colour and texture, including cloth of gold and silver. This charming view was spoilt by two objects, namely two ugly Spanish women (as I may conscientiously call them, apart from our national prejudice), ill dressed, lean and livid and with deep set eye balls, perfect hobgoblins, though we could not resist looking at them occasionally for the sake of comparing them with the English ladies nearest to them, whose beauty thus became more manifest. On looking into the street we saw a surging mass of people, moving in search of some resting place which a fresh mass of sightseers grouped higgledy piggledy rendered impossible. It was a fine medley: there were old men in their dotage; insolent youths and boys, especially the apprentices alluded to; painted wenches and women of the lower classes carrying their children, all anxious to see the show. We noticed but few coaches and still fewer horsemen; only a few gentlewomen coming in their carriages for a view at some house in the Row belonging to their friends or relations, for the insolence of the mob is extreme. They cling behind the coaches and should the coachman use his whip, they jump down and pelt him with mud. In this way we saw them bedaub the smart livery of one coachman, who was obliged to put up with it. In these great uproars no sword is ever unsheathed, everything ends in kicks, fisty cuffs and muddy faces.
From the windows an incessant shower of squibs and crackers were thrown into the mass beneath, for which the boys scrambled when they were cold. On surveying the windows along the street, as far as the eye could reach, we perceived sundry gallants in attendance on fine ladies. In our simplicity we imagined that for each lady there would have been a brother or a husband, but we were assured that the gallants were the servants of these ladies, which in plain language means their lovers, being much favoured by them and enjoying great liberty and familiarity (noi altri come semplici credevamo che per custodia di ciascheduna ci fossero li loro fratelli o mariti: tuttavia ci fu detto il contrario che quei tali sono li loro servitori che vuol dire in buona lingua, inamorati et molto favoriti con gran dimestichezza et libertà).
Foreigners are ill regarded not to say detested in London, so sensible people dress in the English fashion, or in that of France, which is adopted by nearly the whole court, and thus mishaps are avoided or passed over in silence. The Spaniards alone maintain the prerogative of wearing their own costume, so they are easily recognised and most mortally hated. Some of our party saw a wicked woman in a rage with an individual supposed to belong to the Spanish embassy. She urged the crowd to mob him, setting the example by belabouring him herself with a cabbage stalk and calling him a Spanish rogue, and although in very brave array his garments were foully smeared with a sort of soft and very stinking mud, which abounds here at all seasons, so that the place better. deserves to be called Lorda (filth) than Londra (London). Had not the don saved himself in a shop they would assuredly have torn his eyes out, so hateful are the airs assumed here by the Spanish, whom the people of England consider harpies, which makes me think that they are less well known elsewhere.
The companies of gownsmen now began to appear, for the mere purpose of lining the streets. They carried their maces and there were officers to protect them from the crowd. Their gowns resemble those of a Doctor of Laws or the Doge, the sleeves being very wide in the shoulder and trimmed with various materials, such as plush, velvet, martens' fur, foynes and a very beautiful kind of astrachan, while some wear sables. These gownsmen belonged exclusively to the Grocers' Company, to which the present Lord Mayor belongs, and they number more than a thousand. Over the left shoulder they wore a sort of satchel, one half of red cloth and the other black, fastened to a narrow stole. There were other gownsmen in long cloth gowns with satchels of red damask. These were younger men than the others, and their duty is to wait at table during the banquet. Others again wore another kind of appendage, also red, on the shoulder, and a fourth set had small stoles about the throat.
To clear the way, the City Marshal on horseback, with a gold collar round his neck, and two footmen in livery, kept parading up and down; he was so smooth and sleek that we unhesitatingly pronounced him to be of the swinish race of jolly Bacchus. The way was also kept by a number of lusty youths and men armed with long fencing swords, which they manipulated very dexterously, but no sooner had a passage been forced in one place than the crowd closed in at another. There were also men masked as wild giants who by means of fireballs and wheels hurled sparks in the faces of the mob and over their persons, but all proved unavailing to make a free and ample thoroughfare.
The first stages which made their appearance were harnessed to griffins ridden by lads in silk liveries. Others followed drawn by lions and camels and other large animals, laden with bales from which the lads took sundry confections, sugar, nutmegs, dates and ginger, throwing them among the populace. The animals which drew these cars were all yoked with silken cords. The first pageant represented a lovely forest with fruit on the top of its trees and peopled with children in Indian costume, with the black tress falling from the back of the head, their faces stained, imitating nudity, with the little apron fringed with red feathers and others of various hues. Then came a pastoral couple with fifes, one dressed entirely in red feathers, while the other represented a tiger, being wrapped in the animal's skin. This couple played the part of man and wife, performing on their instruments in the Indian fashion, the children danced all the while with much grace and great variety of gesture, moving the whole body, head, hands and feet, keeping excellent time and performing figures, first round one tree and then another, changing their positions, so as really to surprise everybody.
Other large and handsome stages followed, one of which, I was told, represented the religion of the Indians; the sun shining aloft in the midst of other figures. On another stage was a fine castle; while a third bore a beautiful ship, supposed to be just returned from the Indies with its crew and cargo. Other stages bore symbols of commerce, or the nations which trade with India. Among the figures represented was a Spaniard, wonderfully true to life, who imitated the gestures of that nation perfectly. He wore small black moustachios and a hat and cape in the Spanish fashion with a ruff round his neck and others about his wrists, nine inches deep. He kept kissing his hands, right and left, but especially to the Spanish Ambassador, who was a short distance from us, in such wise as to elicit roars of laughter from the multitude.
After this triumphant fleet the Archbishop of Canterbury appeared on horseback, which is as much as to say the Pope of England. On his left rode the chief baron, and they were preceded by forty gentlemen on foot, wearing gold chains. There were mace-bearers and footmen and other officers in tabards of black velvet, most richly embroidered on the back in silk and gold with the rose of England. Then followed in pairs the earls, marquises and other lords and treasurers of the kingdom. Next came a display of sundry banners, one in particular of monstrous size belonging to the Grocers' Company, was carried by four or six men, who supported its staff by other small staves fixed to the main one, while others bore the train of the long streamer, so that it really made a fine show. All these banners belonged to the Lord Mayor's own guild, each of the other Companies having separate colours. They were followed by fifty old men, all in livery of long gowns down to the ground, of blue cloth with red sleeves and caps, carrying javelins. At night these men carry the Lord Mayor's torches.
Immediately in the rear of the javelin men came a tall man wearing a large hat of squirrel's fur, the size of a basket, and holding a handsome gilt truncheon. He preceded two small children also gaily dressed, each carrying a nosegay on the top of a wand.
Finally the Lord Mayor elect made his appearance on a barded horse, wearing a red robe and a gold collar round his neck, over which was a large order like the fleece given of yore by the king to the magistrate for having detected a conspiracy, and killed the ringleader. (fn. 6) This badge is of gold with a large and precious jewel in its centre.
Fifteen or twenty aldermen came next, also on horseback, all in a costume of red cloth resembling my Lord Mayor's, and those with gold collars round their necks had previously filled the office. The last line of horsemen consisted of the two sheriffs, also dressed in red, though the shape of their gowns was somewhat different. They also wore gold chains, and these two individuals are those appointed to administer justice in London during the present year, as officials of this Lord Mayor.
The whole of this fine company were to partake of the treat, and the line was closed by an endless train of vagrant hangers on, who all lay claim to the very sumptuous banquet, which begins to-day and will be served, with open doors, for a whole year.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 John Merrick. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–1618, page 236.
2 These circumstances arose out of the discussions as to whether the Dutch should hold a national synod for the settlement of their religious differences. The Gomorists favoured a synod, but the Arminians opposed it. On August 4 the states of Holland under the influence of Barneveld passed 'the sharp resolve,' declaring against a synod. Motley, Life and Death of John of Barneveld, ii. page 134, On Oct. 6, old style, Carleton delivered the speech referred to in the text, in which he spoke strongly in favour of a synod. Grotius spoke against him, but the States decided to have Carleton's speech printed and circulated. On Nov. 20 there appeared the pamphlet referred to, which so angered Carleton and his sovereign. The circumstances are related in great detail in a long despatch of Carleton to Lake dated Nov. 22/Dec. 2 1617. Letters from and to Sir Dudley Carleton, pages 206–211.
3 Carleton believed Grotius to be the author. and the Secretary Lake appears to have cherished no doubt on the subject. Letters from and to Sir Dudley Carleton, page 228. It was subsequently understood, however, that the pamphlet was written by a Remonstrant preacher of Utrecht, named Jacobus Taurinus. Motley, Life and Death of John of Barneveld, ii page 151.
4 After the battle of Pavia in 1525, The parallel does not seem a very satisfactory one.
5 The Lord Mayor for the year 1617–18 was George Bowles. The title of his pageant was 'The triumphs of honour and industry,' written by Middleton. He was knighted during his mayoralty on 31 May, 1618. Cokayne, 'The Lord Mayors and Sheriffs of London,' page 76.
6 Apparently referring to Walworth's slaying of Wat Tyler in 1381, but I cannot find any confirmation of this statement about the grant of the chain of office.