Venice
August 1618, 2-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1909

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280-289

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'Venice: August 1618, 2-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 280-289. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88681 Date accessed: 29 July 2014.


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August 1618

Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
474. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the day before yesterday Secretary Naunton came here to my dwelling, charging me most lovingly on behalf of the king to thank your Serenity for the constant demonstrations of your good-will, and among them the two last, of which he had received notice from his ambassador were held in great account by him. Thereupon he read me Wotton's letter, which in the best possible style expatiates upon the favours received, and magnifies them vastly, narrating the punishment inflicted upon Count Piero and how he was released at his request, mentioning all the circumstances and saying that he deemed it the more requisite to insist on the matter lest others, more suspected and perhaps guilty, should take this opportunity of attributing their own misdeeds to the ministers of England. Secondly he says that on his demand, and in consequence of the representations which he made to your Excellencies, although you had taken Sir Thomas Studer into your pay, you nevertheless dismissed him to oblige his Majesty, to whom he was extremely disaffected, as was clearly proved in Flanders at the court of the Archduke. He states that on arriving in Venice he immediately went to negotiate with the papal nuncio, conferring with several other persons inimical to the crown of Great Britain, and that although the vassal of his Majesty, he never presented himself at the English embassy. The Secretary added that the king was much the more gratified by these courteous acts on the part of the republic as they tended not merely to his satisfaction but moreover, under existing circumstances, to his repute. Besides charging his ambassador to go in purpose to thank your Serenity in his name, he had also chosen to request me likewise to make a similar announcement, that you might be yet more sure of his obligation and more freely avail yourself of this crown in any emergency.
I answered him that in conformity with his own wish and the command of his Majesty I would gladly represent these details to your Serenity with the conviction that they would give you pleasure by reason of your constant wish to gratify him in everything, as he might safely promise himself from the observance of the republic on all other occasions of even greater moment than this one; and after the exchange of similar phrases he took leave.
I have received your Serenity's letter of the 12th ult. with the order to inform his Majesty of what is passing in Italy, but as he is already far advanced in his progress, I shall confide all to the Secretary, being sure that he will forward it.
London, the 2nd August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
475. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of the Ambassador Carleton has returned, who had been sent lately to Prince Maurice to complain of a certain book published by one of the preaching ministers of the Low Countries, extolling the rites of their own religion above that of England, (fn. 1) as in some respects more approaching that of Rome, whereby it seeems that offence was offered to the king. The answer brought by him purports that every endeavour shall be used to give his Majesty satisfaction, though they apologise for the minister on the score of his having composed the work not with a view to give offence, but merely out of pure zeal. The secretary is also the bearer of letters from the States to his Majesty requesting him to send fitting persons to attend the national synod, to devise some good expedient for quelling the disputes now current among them on account of religion. The king has desired the archbishop of Canterbury to select five or six of the most learned and intelligent persons for this purpose.
His Majesty has deprived the earl of Suffolk of the treasurership for mal-administration, appointing commissioners to audit his accounts, which are supposed to be considerably in arrear, as although he is a nobleman of great property and wealth, his constant and lavish expenditure, and that of his children, has vastly exceeded the station of a private individual.
It also seems to be the intention of his Majesty to make the sons of the late earl of Salisbury give account of the administration of their father, who filled the same post during a long period, and with absolute authority. They are expecting to find themselves in trouble (Pare che vogli anco Sua Maestà che li figluoli del gia Conte di Salsberi rendono ragione del carico del Padre, quale havendo nell' istesso officio maneggiato assai, et con somma auttorità, dubitasi che possino haver de'travagli).
Lord Hay (Il Baron d'Es) has resigned the office of master of the wardrobe (guardarobba) for fear lest the king should interfere with that likewise, (fn. 2) in his desire to reform many abuses and curtail much expenditure incurred most recklessly for the benefit of others.
His Majesty has recently created four earls, from three of whom, namely, Barons Compton, Rich and Candish, he has obtained about 100,000 crowns. (fn. 3)
The day before the Spanish ambassador left, one of his gentlemen, riding carelessly through the city, injured a small child who was at play in the middle of the road, and although it was more frightened than hurt, so great a mob collected and followed the Spaniard that notwithstanding his going as fast as he could, he had much ado to reach the embassy. There the crowd and uproar increased instead of diminishing, and in a short while all the neighbouring streets swarmed with people who in the foulest language began to curse all Spain and most contemptuously abused the subjects of that crown. After this, with a shower of stones they broke all the windows of the house and were proceeding to force the door which it would have been impossible to defend against so violent an attack, had not the magistrate of the city made his appearance and in virtue of his office quieted the people, though he experienced great difficulty in making them disperse, notwithstanding his having agreed with the ambassador to make his gentleman prisoner, for the prevention of all pretext for greater tumult.
The king, who did not hear of the accident until the following day, sent to the ambassador promising to punish the authors of this outrage, ordering the Mayor to go in person to make this announcement, and to inflict severe chastisement on the rioters, otherwise he should come in person and deal with them himself. Consequently many arrests have been made and the ambassador took his departure satisfied. This event clearly indicates the aversion of these people to Spain and how much they would resent the marriage of the Prince to the Infanta. (fn. 4)
London, the 2nd August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
476. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The fresh and very heavy burden of the embassy in Spain which you have chosen to lay upon me after a year's service here, preceded by a mission of three years in France and as many more at Turin, inconveniences me so greatly that were I to detail my reasons I believe the Senate would relieve me of this charge. Nevertheless if duty does not call me to Spain it will take me elsewhere and I therefore dutifully obey the commands laid upon me regardless of my own very important interests and also of the difficulties of a journey of 1200 miles at the most inclement season of the year or of the perils of a voyage across the Ocean. But as I know that the scorching climate of Spain will disagree with me, I ask your Serenity and your Excellencies to include my sojourn here in the term of my service in Spain. My purpose is the avoidance of peril. If this be averted I shall be ready for any other mission with which I may be honoured.
London, the 2nd August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
477. To the ambassador in England.
Last week the Captain General at Sea sent word of a mutiny by two hundred English soldiers who came on the ships, upon the very flimsy pretext of an increase of pay. It was necessary to deal firmly with this mutiny so that it should not set a precedent in a fleet composed of men of such different nationalities and eight of the ringleaders were punished. Subsequently the English ambassador sent his secretary to complain about this matter in a far from becoming way. We send you a copy for information, and when you find that the ambassador has represented anything substantially the same as his office with us, as he probably will, we direct you to obtain a special interview with his Majesty and his ministers, telling them that on the arrival of the ships there were some ill disposed men, who induced some two hundred of the soldiers to claim an increase of pay, out of all reason, and to mutiny for that cause, landing and fortifying themselves in a place in the territory of the Ragusans and refusing to return to the ships unless their demands were satisfied. Our Captain General at Sea, in great trouble at these events, first consulted the colonel and captains of the men, who from their experience reported that there was little hope of moving these men. The general then sent his sergeant major to persuade them to come on board, but they only threatened him with their pikes and muskets. The general then landed a number of other troops and compelled them to submit, without giving any promise of pardon, though he confined the punishment to the ringleaders alone. According to military rules he could not do otherwise, as his Majesty must recognise, as to omit to make examples in such a case would soon lead to the total dispersion of the whole army and fleet. It does not mean the slightest cooling of the friendship of the republic for his Majesty or that noble nation, because the faults of some do not affect the qualities and merits of the others. If we had given way, similar pretensions would have arisen throughout the army. The troops have been treated in the best possible manner, such as we should always adopt towards the subjects of his Majesty, who are very dear to us both on his account and their own. You will speak in justification of the necessity of the steps taken, and state our belief that his Majesty's ambassador was not informed of the particulars, as in such case he certainly would not have made the bitter speech, which he caused to be delivered.
Our confidence in your abiility and experience move us to keep you constantly employed in our service, especially now, when prudence and worth are required for the Catholic Court, for which we have chosen you.
That on his return to Venice the English ambassador be summoned to the Cabinet and office in conformity be passed with him.
Ayes116.
Noes0.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Constantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
478. ALMORO NANI, Venetian ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador, believing that he is receiving honour and satisfaction from a letter which the Pasha is writing to his king, has agreed to stay and not to leave. The letter runs substantially as follows By the grace of God I am at present Caimecam. Your ambassador came to tell me that he wished to depart, leaving his agent here. I did not think it fitting that your ambassador should leave the Porte at the moment of the accession of the Sultan Osman, and have asked him to stay, because on our part all his affairs will be favoured and peace will be maintained. In the time of Achmet Pasha some money was taken unlawfully and violently from one of your merchants. We will attend to this matter and send word of the final decision upon it by Imperial letters. At the end of the letter he says that his Majesty should send an ambassador to present his congratulations to the Sultan Osman upon his accession, as all the other friends of the Porte have done, so that peace may be preserved for ever.
The Caimecam has written a similar letter to the Council of England only in addition he gives the reasons why no reply was sent to their king's previous letter, namely, because Alil Pasha was then setting out for Persia. The ambassador told the Pasha that as he wishes to detain him he ought to bear the expense. The Pasha asked: Do you not then receive your ordinary? The ambassador answered No. The Pasha at once said: I will give instructions that every satisfaction be accorded to you.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 4th August, 1618.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
479. To the Captain General at Sea.
The English ambassador through his secretary and a memorial has made the complaint of which we send a copy, together with our reply, which was in conformity with what we have written to the Ambassador Contarini. All this is for information.
Vigore deliberatione Senatus.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Capitano
Gen. da Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
480. PIERO BARBARIGO, Venetian Captain General at Sea, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Colonel of the English troops has not made any fresh demands. If he renews his former requests I will reply as your Serenity dictates. By the punishment of which I sent word I hope to have quelled all mutinies and I hope to derive advantages thus; by good treatment and consideration I hope to dispose these troops and all others favourably to the service of your Serenity.
In choosing commanders for the English ships and others, I have given due consideration to the character and standing of the persons in the fleet, and I have generally appointed nobles of our city, to train them for the service of their country.
The galley at S. Pietro di Nembe, the 4th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
481. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen the English agent. He told me that he had received letters from Spain relating how much the Court there had been upset because the English ships, on their way to serve the republic had encountered and beaten the Spaniards in the Strait, for which reason they proposed to arrest English merchandise. I told him that I understood that it was the Dutch ships which had had the encounter since the English ones had reached Corfu a while ago, but they might naturally feel injured in Spain because they would doubtless have come off equally badly if they had met with the English. The arrest was possibly due to the Spaniards' wrath at the proceedings of Raleigh, and at the traffic in the Indies. He said that your Serenity had the best sea captains with those ships that are to be found in England, and you are making a great mistake in not employing them. If you gave them leave they would enter the very ports of the Spaniards and those of Naples and burn their ships there. It would be a good thing to join these with the Dutch ships and let them have a go at the Spaniards by themselves, when they would undoubtedly acquire great honour.
Turin, the 6th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
482. In the Council of Ten.
That Giulio Muscorno, relegated for two years to Palma by sentence of this Council of 30 June last, be allowed to pass the two years in one of the new prisons across the Canal, shut off from the light, with all the other conditions imposed in his sentence.
Ayes15.
Noes2.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
483. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have informed the Secretary Naunton that the differences between your Serenity and the king of Bohe nia are at an end. An order therefore had been issued to the Venetian troops to withdraw from his Majesty's places and surrender whatever belonged to him. Notwithstanding this, the Spaniards, whether on land or at sea, show little inclination towards peace and I told him how Don Pedro was marching forces to the Venetian borders and what the duke of Ossuna was about, requesting him to announce all these particulars to the king, in conformity with my instructions, in token of the especial confidence which it is desired invariably to maintain with his Majesty. The Secretary promised to do so immediately, having occasion to send a messenger to him on other business, and being very certain that the news would give him great pleasure by reason of the very sincere love he bears Venice. He added that he hoped the Spaniards would soon cease to molest Italy, as they were hard pushed for money and called elsewhere on more important business; without their aid the insurrection of the Bohemians might prove very serious and perilous to the Empire.
His Majesty has received a letter sealed with a number of seals from the states of Bohemia and signed Conservatores Patriae, enclosing a long process justifying the necessity for their outbreak as induced by the extreme danger to which they would all have been exposed had they not by some good resolve provided for their own safety; and they conclude by saying that as this is a religous dispute they demand advice and aid of his Majesty. The king has not yet answered them and his known lack of funds renders it improbable that they should receive succour hence.
His Majesty has appointed a bishop and three other men of learning to attend the national synod in Holland, (fn. 5) with the intention that they may exert themselves to smooth the difficulties rather than dispute about them. In the like manner he has ordered Carleton to return to his post immediately with special instructions to this effect so that all matters may come back to their former state, the arrears of his salary having been paid and he himself despatched, so that he is now on the eve of departure.
Two days ago the king told the French secretary that the instructions given by him to his ambassador were the very reverse of those received by M. de Boissise, ambassador of the Most Christian, as he knew that he was going for the purpose of increasing and fomenting the discord there, whereas his Majesty meant to do his utmost for its immediate cessation. The king has received information that the said Boissise is the bearer of a considerable sum of money, the property moreover of the Catholic king, with a view to supporting the Arminians and thus encouraging dissension among them.
Two days ago his Majesty received letters from Prince Maurice saying that his going to Utrecht had not proved useless, as he disarmed the companies lately established in that city and changed its governor, making good arrangements for the prevention of any fresh disturbances. He was also going to Rotterdam with the certainty of succeeeding in doing the like there.
The king's physician, M. Mayerne, who went lately to the French court on private business of his own, has been desired to quit Paris on suspicion of negotiating with those of the religion on behalf of his Majesty, who seems to resent this and at once sent word to his agent to complain of it and to obtain some more precise information on the subject. (fn. 6)
London, the 9th August, 1618.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
484. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is understood that the seas of Spain are more than ever troubled by the incursions of the pirates. This gives rise to the belief that the galleons of Naples must be sent in that direction. The king's greatest need is there especially as it is said that the king of England proposes to send a squadron of his ships to the Ocean to secure the shipping of his merchants and the affairs of his kingdom. The Spaniards are much upset by this news and assert that the idea is diametrically opposed to the terms of the peace and without any help from England the king of Spain possesses quite sufficient strength to keep the Ocean and the Mediterranean clear of the molestation of pirates. This strengthens the belief that Ossuna will be compelled to send his galleons to Spain in spite of his hatred for the republic.
Rome, the 11th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
485. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TREVISAN, Venetian Secretary in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters from Spain to the court confirm the news of the defeat of the pirates near the Strait by some Spanish galleons joined with Dutch ships. More than twenty ships were taken or sunk and the others routed. They were being pursued with good hope of fresh captures.
Florence, the 11th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
486. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They speak here in different ways about the arrest of Cardinal Klesel (Gliselio), and think the affair is closely bound up with those of Italy. It is said that it may have been done with the concurrence of the emperor himself, although appearances point the other way, and even with the knowledge of Klesel also, simply in order to give some satisfaction to the Bohemians, who claim that they have not obtained what was granted to them in the matter of liberty of conscience, for which they claim the cardinal as being the chief minister and an ecclesiastic, although the emperor and the king were perfectly well disposed; and after they have been placated matters will be resumed as before. Your Serenity will hear the real state of affairs from the proper quarter, but I thought it right to send word of what they say here, especially as I know it to be the opinion of the English agent who may possibly have some substantiation owing to the interest of his king in the Palatine and all the other princes.
Turin, the 13th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Capitano
Gen. da
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
487. PIERO BARBARIGO, Venetian Captain General at Sea, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The twelve Dutch galleons have arrived in the channel of Curzola. The captains report that in the Strait of Gibraltar they fell in with six large Spanish bertons and eight or ten smaller ships. The Spaniards wished to stop them, on hearing that were going to serve your Serenity. A fight took place lasting 22 hours. The Dutch say they lost 15 killed and about 25 wounded. They think that they sank one of the Spanish bertons and damaged some of the others.
I must add that all the money has gone. If more does not come I fear a disturbance because I shall not be able to satisfy the men. The Dutch who came from camp are creditors for two payments. I must beg your Excellencies not to leave me so frequently in this difficulty.
The galley at Liesena, the 13th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
488. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters have arrived here from the Ragusans saying that the Venetian fleet, although comprising a large number of vessels, is disunited and there have been disturbances among the foreigners. They say that this would be the time to engage it. I fancy this information is founded upon the slight disturbance among some of the English soldiers, but here they make the most of things. They say that the fleet is disunited and that some of the ships have left and gone to Tunis. The news may easily encourage the evil thoughts of his Excellency and his desire to do us some harm.
Naples, the 14th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia.
Proveditori.
Venetian
Archives.
489. PIERO BONDUMIER, Proveditore of Candia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There are many private bertons in these seas, armed at Algiers and Tunis, which keep me on the alert. Two ships, the Tobias and the Brindled Cow, have started for this island. The Tobias has arrived at the place of danger, and was seen by an English ship. I fear it is lost, as well as the other, as both are overdue.
Canea, the 15th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Comisario in
Armada.
Mis. Cod.
392.
Venetian
Archives.
491. AGOSTINO MICHIEL, Venetian Commissioner with the fleet, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Asks for money to meet the demands of the fleet. If payments are not made regularly, disorders will ensure, as they have to do with foreigners of different nations and of touchy tempers.
From Liesina, the 15th August, 1618.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
492. Extract from a calculation of the money spent monthly on the fleet:
Extraordinary troops: Dutch, 2103 men34633 ducats
English companies in the twelve ships last arrived and the seven preceding, 1580 men11845 ducats
The payment of a third of the hire of all the ships, including those last arrived30580 ducats
The payment of gunners, pensioners, and others in addition to the aforesaid4320 ducats
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Dissertatio de Gubernatione Ecclesiae Maximeque de Presbiterio et Episcopatu, by Gerson Bucerus. There had been correspondence on the subject previously. See State Papers, Foreign, Holland, for July, 1618.
2 A reference to the financial reforms of Sir Lionel Cranfield, who succeeded to the office. In a letter to Sir Thomas Puckering of July 28th, the Rev. Thomas Lorkin writes, "Lord Hay hath resigned his office of Master of the Standing Wardrobe, under pretence of his Majesty's profit, which might haply suffer by the corruption of inferior officers under him, and his want of experience in business of that kind. But it is thought it proceeded from an apprehension for like proceeding against him, as hath been already used against the lord treasurer that was." Birch, Court and Times of James I., ii page 83.
3 Lisle and Compton were created earls of Leicester and Northampton on Aug. 2; Rich was made earl of Warwick on the 6th, and Cavendish, earl of Devon on the 7th. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–18 pages 563, 564. Gardiner's statement, quoting Contarini, that the three paid 150,000 crowns (Hist. Eng. iii page, 215 note) is probably due to an error in Mr. Rawdon Brown's translation of the despatches, preserved among the Transcripts from the Venetian Archives, at the Public Record Office.
4 The riot took place on Sunday, July 22nd, at the Spanish Ambassador's house in the Barbican, the accident having occurred in Chancery Lane. Four or five thousand people collected about the embassy. The magistrate mentioned in the text is the lord chief justice who took the offender to his own house, promising that the course of justice should pass upon him. Birch, Court and Times of James I., ii, pages 81, 82. A commission was appointed to enquire into the matter, and seven persons were sentenced, but subsequently pardoned on Sept. 20, at the instance of the Spanish agent. Ibid, page 86, Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–18 pages, 564, 565, 569.
5 George Carleton, bishop of Llandaff, with the Dean of Worcester, Dr Davenant, professor of Divinity, and Dr. Ward, two of the King's chaplains. Letter of Naunton to Carleton, of Sept, 24, 1618. State Papers. Foreign, Holland.
6 On July 27th, old style, William Becher, the English resident in France wrote to Naunton "There is nothing that hath so much been agitated in discourse or affected those of the religion with greater indignity than the commandment signified to M. de Mayerne to retire hence, which was since reiterated to him again.... I assure your Honour that if I should write unto you all the conjectures and advices that have been given me of the motives of this matter, they would not be contained in a sheet of paper. But I do find by divers who have treated purposely with some of the ministers of State that either they have nothing to say or are most resolute not to declare it. But this I find, that they have had a most curious espiall upon M. de Mayerne, even upon his ordinary actions, which I take to be the symptom of a state that liveth in great defiance and near an alteration. State Papers, Foreign, France, Vol. 68.