Venice
November 1618, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1909

Pages

349-367

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'Venice: November 1618, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 349-367. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88687 Date accessed: 03 September 2014.


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November 1618

Nov. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
585. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The owners of the English ships will get their agent to appear before your Serenity to represent the prejudice which they claim to have suffered through the delay in the payments due to them and to pray humbly for your gracious consideration. They asked me to mention this matter in my letters and I could not refuse, since I know how much your Serenity desires to satisfy this nation in all reasonable ways.
London, the 16th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Bibl. di S
Marco.
Cl. VII.
Cod. MCXX.
Venice.
586. PIERO CONTRAINI and ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday, the day of All Saints, according to the old style observed in this kingdom, was appointed us for audience by the king, who returned to London on the preceding evening and forthwith sent us notice to this effect. We were conveyed from the embassy in his Majesty's coaches by Lord Clifford, one of the leading noblemen, and several other gentlemen in the king's name and we were also attended by the Italians resident here. Having proceeded thus to the Court in such state as became the national dignity, we found the king in a large hall under the canopy in the midst of the flower of the English nobility, surrounded by the Lords of the Council and the prince his son at his side.
I, Contarini, said that the republic, persevering in that perfect love which it was wished ever to maintain towards his Majesty, had sent another ambassador to reside in the kingdom and assure him of the Signory's affection and observance, as would be proved by deeds at all times.
I, Donato, then added that on this my first appearance before his Majesty I would fain express myself with eloquence equal to the love, esteem and observance borne him by the republic, as I should thus comply with my instructions, and his Majesty would comprehend what must be very well known to him, and should be considered at all times most constant and eternal. Words therefore would, I said, prove superfluous, my heart sincerely entertaining the most loyal love for his Majesty and the highest esteem for the power of these extensive dominions and for the talents and prudence of him who rules them. I then besought his Majesty to hold in account this continuance of demonstrations on behalf of the state, and graciously to accept my poor services as the minister of so loving and obsequious a power, assuring him for myself individually, that having the good fortune to be at length in his presence after two years since my appointment, I should consider myself happy in being near him if I have the honour of exercising this charge to his satisfaction and find favour with him.
His Majesty listened to me very kindly and said he was extremely glad to see me, both as the minister of your Serenity, whom he so greatly loved, and as a scion of the race of Leonardo Donato, the first doge through whom he knitted that friendship with the republic which he will maintain for ever. He wished her all health and prosperity, a sentiment he repeated several times. He added that he retained a lively recollection of the great abilities of the Doge Donato, who had been so great a friend of his that he was very glad to have it renewed through my mission and hoped that I had inherited the endowments as well as the name of so great a man, in conformity with the accounts he had heard of me from several quarters, and that he would always see me willingly and hold me very dear.
To this we answered becomingly, rejoicing at the excellent health in which we found his Majesty. The king replied that he was very well and had chosen to give us audience immediately before transacting any other business; whereupon we took leave his Majesty again embracing us, really with marks of singular love and warm affection towards the republic.
Yesterday as we were unable to see the queen, by reason of her indisposition, we saw the prince, to whom we paid similar compliments, wishing his Highness increase of years and of those virtues which are cultivated by him, a constantly felicitous and fortunate accession to these realms. His Highness reciprocated very lovingly, assuring us of his affectionate disposition towards your Serenity, and of his firm determination to maintain it, with all readiness for the welfare of the republic towards which he seems excellently disposed. He increases in years and in personal vigour, to the satisfaction of all good men, and under fair auspices, in accordance with his name and lustrous eyes, which betoken a prudent vivacity (et cresce ne gli anni et nella prosperità della persona con contento di tutti i buoni et con augurii felici al nome di Carlo, che egli porta, et alla generosità de gli occhi, che dimonstrano una prudente vivacità).
London, the 16th November, 1618. (fn. 1)
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
587. PIERO CONTRAINI and ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After a long trial, in which the evidence and examinations have been most exact, Sir Walter Raleigh has suffered death. He steadfastly denied having plotted anything to the prejudice of his Majesty and said that he merely negotiated with the Frenchman for his escape from prison. Although these fresh practices gave occasion to proceed against him, he was beheaded in execution of a former sentence having been many years in the Tower under sentence of death for conspiracy.
The order given by the king for his men-of-war to put to sea and capture those of the States on their homeward voyage from the Indies, together with the report that his Majesty meant in like manner to allow his subjects to make reprisals on all other vessels belonging to the Low Countries, have caused the Council in Holland to hasten its resolve to send over commissioners. (fn. 2) These delegates are expected daily and seven individuals have been appointed by this side, namely, three members of the government and four merchants, who together with some others to be nominated by his Majesty will endeavour not only to adjust the disputes about the Indian trade, if possible by uniting the two companies, but also to allay the strife about the whale fishery in Greenland. Should the conference effect the result universally desired it seems that they likewise intend to establish a joint stock company to trade in the West Indies, as already determined on by some of the Provinces of the States which purpose making that voyage with a good number of men-of-war, even alone. This news having come to the knowledge of the Spaniards, they are arming and building new vessels along their own coasts with the utmost diligence and have obtained permission to export a considerable amount of iron ordnance from this country (fn. 3) , and hire such seamen as can be got giving them double the usual pay.
His Majesty is strongly urged by the Catholic king to employ his authority and good offices with the states of Bohemia to reconcile them to the emperor, for the sole purpose, it is believed, of preventing his Majesty from joining the Bohemians rather than for any other object, although as yet he has shown no inclination of the sort or any idea of doing so.
A courier has arrived here in three months from Persia with news that the English merchants there have made a contract with the king there for the silk trade, binding themselves to reach his ports by a very circuitous voyage, and thus take this traffic out of the hands of the Turks and all other trades in the Levant, to their great detriment. (fn. 4)
We have received the detailed account sent us by your Serenity of the plots discovered in Venice and shall make use of it as commanded.
We have been very pleased to hear of the payment made to the English ships. It will enable us partially to satisfy the owners, who nevertheless do not fail to bring forward other complaints, pretending that the agreements have not been observed. They have come to me, Contarini, several times, enumerating a multitude of grievances and narrating the great loss incurred by them through the mode of payment. So I could not avoid giving them letters to enable their agents to appear before your Serenity and state their wrongs. They complain that whereas according to their agreements they were promised payment in current value, which at the time was only 6 or 7 below par, they are now subjected to a discount of 20 per cent, which, together with the present very low rate of exchange, reduces their hire by one fourth. They assert that the residue is insufficient to defray the cost of repairing the vessels and of paying and victualling the crews, which were engaged for English coin, and they add that the freight, instead of being paid a month in advance as stipulated, is months in arrear and that they will not submit to this loss. The ship Centurion, already creditor for five months pay, had only received its hire for two months; other grievances being also alleged, as your Excellencies will hear from the agents themselves, so it will suffice for us to observe that in case of any future need of vessels, the having satisfied this nation would prove advantageous. Moreover it is not fitting that Burlamachi, who so readily gave his security, should remain in trouble.
We have further to add that an entire cargo of pepper lately arrived from the East Indies. It had been put on board a vessel for Venice, and is now destined elsewhere in consequence of advices from the merchants representing our bank stock at so high a price, so to render it impossible any longer to make contracts with Venice on such ruinous terms.
London, the 16th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Consiglio
de_ X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
588. That Antonio Foscarini, knight, Savio of Terra Ferma have leave to visit the prince of Razzivil, now in this city and be visited by him, having made his acquaintance while ambassador in England.
Ayes14.
Noes0.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia,
Providitore
Venetian
Archives.
589. PIERO BONDUMIER, Venetian Proveditore of Candia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As there are no ships here going to Venice I am sending these presents by way of Constantinople. Of the sixteen hulks of galleys in the Arsenal here ten will be ready when the small pieces of ordnance have been sent. If the galleys now serving were stopped outside and ordered to arm anew it would be impossible to find sailors, owing to their great scarcity, and the absence of suitable ships of any kind of this kingdom. None but English, French and Flemish ships are seen on these coasts; they are complete masters of the shipping here.
Candia, the 18th November, 1618.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
590. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Highness has postponed all this week giving a reply to what I said about the league. However, yesterday evening Gabaleoni, son of the general of the posts, arrived with news from France, whereupon the duke sent for me. With regard to the marriage he said that matters were proceeding satisfactorily, although there was no lack of enemies, both open and covert. The whole house of Guise was opposed but the king showed great decision. The Spanish ambassadors and especially Monteleone, have gone post haste to Paris to do what they can against it. They say that it is not in the interests of France to decide this now for several reasons. Afterwards, if the king wishes, he might give his third sister to Savoy, but this one has been promised to England, so that they are actually speaking against themselves in their zeal for his Majesty.
Turin, the 19th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
591. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English agent here is ready to start at any moment. He has taken leave of every one and he said to me that he was only awaiting the duke's permission. I cannot quite make out the reasons for his departure or what business he is taking with him. But he is certainly going by arrangement with his Highness. It may be about these Bohemian affairs, but more probably for marriage negotiations. This very day, when walking in the garden with his Highness, I saw all the Infantas. I bowed and remarked to the duke that he ought to give one of them to England. He replied: Please God we shall manage that. He then began to speak to me of the coldness between the two crowns, although the agent had made light of it. His Highness told me that he was interposing to bring about an accommodation. He thought this right in order not to afford the English any cause for uniting more closely with the Spaniards. He added that he had given orders to Gabaleoni, who was in France, to proceed at once to England, and he should be on the way.
Baron Dohna, the German sent by the princes, has left. I could not refuse to receive him as he came to see me accompanied by the English agent. I confined myself to generalities, said I wished the Bohemians well and adopted the ideas expressed in your Serenity's letters of last week. He took with him 20,000 ducats from his Highness for the count of Mansfelt, and a big jewel for himself, with letters from his Highness to the Palatine and the princes of Germany.
Turin, the 19th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
592. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
No ships are coming from Flanders and England, not even with merchandise. It is still less likely that those powers would allow their ships to come to serve in this fleet against your Serenity.
Naples, the 20th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
593. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday evening a friend of mine arrived here from Messina, who is in the way of obtaining news. He told me that it was true the pirate Sanson was in the seas of Sicily, where he is said to have taken this year some eighty ships, great and small. Recently he took four large ships laden with corn. Two ships of this pirate which, owing to a strong scirocco, were obliged to pass il Faro were chased by six of Ossuna's; four others with the pirate Sanson himself, were in the channel of S. Giovanni and were seen to fight with these, the pirates always firing seawards. Nothing has been heard for some days, so it is thought that no capture was made. In the palace, however, they assert that they have taken the ships and smashed the pirate. The other galleys have set out in search of him from Trapani, keeping outside the island. News of their operations is awaited.
Naples the 20th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
594. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are hastening on the sending of their commissioners to England, though unfavourable winds have delayed them. They will have instructions to make some stable arrangement that if the English wish to share in the trade in the East Indies they must also contribute to the cost in case of a war made by the Spaniards on the people there, to which the company here is bound by contract. The English are quite willing to agree to this, but they desire their king to contribute as the States do to their own company. They are also to try and find a means of avoiding the disputes which frequently arise between the two nations over the whale fishing, a matter which greatly concerns them here owing to the advantages derived by the country from those fisheries.
Among the commissioners appointed by the States General there is one of great spirit and reputation. He came to see me and expressed a wish to have letters from me to the Ambassador Donato, so that he might do what he could to help in the settlement of these differences. I did not refuse the request, but our ambassador will be guided by his prudence and by what he knows to be for the advantage of the republic.
It is not impossible that these commissioners may have to try and discover the intentions of the king and Court about the marriage of the prince to a daughter of Spain, which would be a great blow to the States and very prejudicial to them. They would be glad to see an alliance between the sister of the most Christian king and the Prince of Piedmont and are eagerly awaiting the result of the negotiations of the Cardinal of Savoy.
The Hague, the 20th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Consiglio
de_ X,
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
595. That the jewels of the sanctuary and the armoury of this Council be shown to some English noblemen now in this city on their travels. (fn. 5)
Ayes17.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Consiglio
de_ X,
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
596. That the jewels of the sanctuary and the armoury of this Council be shown to some foreign ladies of birth now in this city, on their travels.
Ayes16.
Noes1.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Capitano Gen.
da Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
597. PIERO BARBARIGO, Venetian Captain General at Sea, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ship Dragon, which separated from the body of the fleet, after having been at Calamota has returned to these waters, without having suffered any harm. Only Sig. Francesco Giustiniano, the commander, is seriously indisposed, owing to the anxiety and suffering he has gone through. I hope, however, that he will soon be well again.
The requests of Colonel Peyton, commander of the English troops, for leave to go to Venice, have been so repeated and pressing that I have given him permission for fear of offending him by a refusal. This will give your Excellencies an opportunity of deciding upon his claims. He is leaving someone else in his place to command the troops, so that the service of your Serenity will not suffer by his absence.
From the galley at Corfu, the 20th November, 1618.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 21.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
598. ANTONIO MARIA VINCENTI, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are anxiously awaiting here the results of the negotiations of the Cardinal Prince of Savoy with the most Christian king, especially with regard to the project of a marriage alliance. The Spaniards greatly fear that this will take place. They are also afraid of a conference between the duke and the Most Christian and are using every effort to prevent it. The duke is also said to be thinking of another marriage, with England giving one of the princesses to the Prince of Wales. All these notions increase the dissatisfaction of the Spaniards with the actions of his Highness.
Milan, the 21st November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 22.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esporizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
599. The Ambassador of England came into the Cabinet and said:
It seems a long time since I saw your Serenity. I should like to come often, but when ambassadors do not have frequent audiences, it is a good sign that the friendship between the powers continues. I have come to treat of matters of state and of trade. A gentleman (fn. 6) is to arrive in this city who claims to be of a great house, and possibly of the royal blood. From what I hear he is to treat of grave affairs with your Serenity. I do not believe that he brings letters of recommendation from his Majesty because I have received no previous notice, and if he brings letters from other princes they should serve him but little to gain admission to negotiations prejudicial to my king. Upon another occasion when a certain Englishman (fn. 7) came here to treat with your Serenity, I asked that he should be treated with reserve, and although your Serenity dismissed him rather because of his scandalous behaviour than by my offices, yet I represented to his Majesty that respect for him had induced you to take this decision, and the king returned special thanks to your ambassador. If the king valued that slight thing so highly he will think much more of this important matter. I might bring forward various arguments, but I will only say this. There have been nine ambassadors in England, ordinary and extraordinary, one of these is in Germany and one in Constantinople. Three are in heaven and two are in this city. (fn. 8) Sig. Foscarini, who is here has received as much favour from the king as any other and he always served the republic faithfully. He can bear witness that the king always had the interests of the republic at heart, and often gave him important particulars concerning the service of the republic, which he had derived from other ambassadors. If the king showed himself so friendly I may be allowed to hope that your Serenity will not admit any one to treat here to the prejudice of his Majesty's service. The ambassador asked for pardon if he had been too heated, as he was very tender upon this affair.
The doge replied, We have no information upon the arrival of any person such as your Excellency describes. If we had heard we should have communicated with you in the usual way. The desire of the republic for his Majesty's friendship is notorious, and it is esteemed more than anything else.
The ambassador returned thanks adding: If the gentleman has not arrived I am sure that he will do so, and he himself has let slip that he has to deal with matters of importance. I said at the beginning that I had come to treat of affairs of state and of commerce. It was a bad division because trade is the foundation of states. In any case I beg your Serenity for leave to introduce our merchant Rudolph Simes. When the ships were hired in England for the service of your Serenity payment was promised in advance and the owners gave Simes the commission to recover the money, who has a letter of the Ambassador Contarini. The merchant is a substantial man, well known both in London and here. It is important that the money should be paid to him, as when the payment has been made to the commanders of the ships, they give no account to the principals and when they have finished serving your Serenity they may go Heaven knows where in pursuit of their adventurous career.
The doge replied that they would undoubtedly give the satisfaction promised, only as the captains of the ships might need victuals and munitions the Captain General of the Sea was obliged to supply something; however, they would do what was possible and right.
The ambassador said he hoped something would be done to protect the interests of individuals and of the merchant who had given security in the name of the republic. They replied that orders for satisfaction had been given at the mint. He then asked for an enlargement of the trade in salt fish in accordance with the subjoined memorial.
He then said Sir Henry Mainwaring (Menarin), who was once very famous, though his fame was not altogether good, is now in favour with the king, as he has been converted. He is known to be a valiant soldier, and he wishes to serve the republic. He comes with letters from the Ambassadors Contarini and Zen, as he has passed by Turin.
The ambassador then recommended an Englishman who has a hired room who was imprisoned because he changed house without taking the bulletin. Another who came from Zante without taking quarantine has been condemned to six months' imprisonment. He asked for the release of both. There was an English personage in the fleet who desired to visit his Serenity and express his devotion. The doge asked for the memorials upon the preceding matters so that they should be duly considered.
The ambassador stated that some very distinguished Englishmen had arrived yesterday; they desired to salute his Serenity, especially two nephews of the Lord Keeper. His Serenity desired that they should be admitted. The ambassador said he had fresh news from Germany which concerned the republic. Bavaria was very covetous of the marquisate of Borgao; the house of Austria had suffered a severe blow by the death of the Archduke Maximilian; Leopold had fallen sick when going to his bishopric; numerous wolves had appeared in the neighbourhood of Augsburg; they had been driven from Bohemia by the troops. Prague and the kingdom are free both from wolves and Jesuits. With this the English gentlemen were introduced; they were embraced by his Serenity and then the ambassador took leave.
Most Serene Prince:
Sir Henry Mainwaring, as I have previously stated, so desires to serve the republic, that when he could not join the fleet at present in the Gulf he decided to come privately to offer himself to the Captain General, confiding in the good account he could give of his experience and in the king's letters which he brings for your Excellencies. I know his eagerness and his valour and he has been recommended to me by his Majesty.
London, the 18th April, 1618.
PIERO CONTARINI, ambassador.
Most Serene Prince:
Sir Henry Mainwaring (Magnaringh), an Englishman, has arrived here on his way to Venice. He came to see me secretly, and he is travelling incognito for fear of the Spaniards, as he expects they will do him some harm if he falls into their hands. He says he was principally concerned in obtaining English ships for the service of the republic, and did them damage by buccaneering at sea, in which his Highness told me that he was the best now in England, and he will be very useful for your Serenity's fleet. He says that he has letters from his king and the Ambassador Contarini for your Excellencies.
Turin, the 12th November, 1618.
RANIER ZEN, ambassador.
Most Serene Prince:
Mr. Rudolph Simes, an English merchant, will present himself with this as an agent of the owners of the ships hired, to ask your Serenity for the payment of their owners. I have promised the merchants that satisfaction will be given immediately.
London, the 14th September, 1618.
PIERO CONTARINI, ambassador.
[Italian.]
Nov. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
600. PIERO CONTARINI and ANTONIO DONATO Venetian Ambassadors in England to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to two reports notified in our letters of the 16th inst, the duplicates of which accompany these presents, we have thought fit to employ some research, for the sake of giving your Excellencies well-grounded intelligence on the subject.
In the first place his Majesty, at the request of the Catholic king, whose agent besought him earnestly to this effect, has interfered in the affair of the Bohemians, in order, if possible, to settle it peaceably. He has therefore written a letter to his son in law, the Palatine, in the form of a circular for communication to the other princes of Germany, who many years ago formed a league of which they made his Majesty the head. This letter purports that as the king is most anxious for the peace of the world he requests the princes and especially the Palatine to beware whether the Bohemians have taken up arms for the maintenance of their rights and privileges as conceded and confirmed to them by the late Emperor Rudolph. Supposing this to be the case and the cause therefore most just, his Majesty says he should favour it, being of opinion that aid and support are due to the Bohemians and that no one should by any means be allowed to oppress them. He adds that to prevent such a result he himself would employ all due vigilance. On the other hand however, should the Bohemians wage war with other ends and mean to pass from operations to an attack on the empire, they must be restrained and exhorted to quiet. At the same time, as his Majesty is very well aware that the Emperor Matthias no longer exercises any command and that Ferdinand with the evil aid of the Jesuits goes seeking to annihilate the reformed religion, the Palatine should therefore transmit to his Majesty forthwith a full and detailed account of the state of affairs there, signing the letter with his own hand, the king being determined, out of regard for contingencies, to weigh the matters more cautiously. These particulars about the affairs of the Bohemians were communicated to us by the President of the Council, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is very well informed upon political matters.
In the next place touching the steps taken by the Spaniards from fear of the Dutch, with regard to providing a fresh fleet and ships and mariners, we enquired of the said archbishop what the truth was. He replied that he had heard the report and knew that a Dominican friar, who is now acting here as agent for Spain, had obtained a licence from the king to purchase 120 iron culverins or cannons in this country, such ordnance being the heaviest aboard first rates. Although this permission had not been communicated to the Council or imparted by his Majesty to anyone else, the agent nevertheless said that he had the warrant in his possession and was already making his purchases, which from the facility of exporting and the inattention usually exhibited in such matters, might be expected to exceed the amount specified and might extend to other attempts, such as the hiring of ships and sailors. This suspicion led us to remark to the archbishop that as these fresh precautions on the part of the Spaniards related to a very remote defence, for which there was as yet no visible necessity, they generated suspicion in the breasts of those who continue to be very sorely harassed by their countrymen, and that it would therefore be well to take heed lest the forces of his Majesty (who is anxious for peace in every quarter and seeks to effect it) be employed to foment war and disturbance and to the detriment of his friends and servants. The archbishop rejoined, that no reliance whatsoever could be placed on the words or deeds of the Spaniards and that it would therefore be well to keep on the watch, but that he himself knew nothing more of the business as it had not been brought before the Council. I, Donato, shall be very attentive to what may ensue and will give your Excellencies timely notice of the outcome.
Five vessels freighted with a quantity of merchandise have reached here from Spain, and a sixth, which was with them, foundered in the Channel, both crew and cargo being lost. By these arrivals the report is further confirmed of the preparations along the Spanish coast for fresh vessels and a fresh fleet, and that numerous orders have been given for sailors and ordnance to oppose the attempts meditated by the Dutch in the Indies. With regard to these projects, although there is much talk in Holland and Zeeland has already determined to furnish her quota, as well as the other provinces, yet nothing positive is heard of any preparation, whilst the undertaking is one requiring time and great outlay. The mere report, however, is of service to the Low Countries, and will benefit them in their negotiations for a fresh truce or peace with the Spaniards. They, on the other hand, took advantage of this as a pretext for arming, and yesterday, when I, Contarini, visited the secretary Naunton, he confirmed to me the fact of these preparations for a new fleet and also the orders given by the Spaniards for the purchase of ordnance in this kingdom and to engage mariners at any price. He added, however, that besides the suspicions of the projects of the Dutch there was the necessity for continuing the works begun at Grave-lines by the Archduke Albert who is determined to carry them on, even in the teeth of the French, who maintain that as the site is neutral, being a sea town on the borders of Picardy and Flanders, and very important for navigation and passage, neither party is at liberty to fortify it. (fn. 9)
The king after a few days sojourn in London is gone to Newmarket, sixty miles away, for his hunting, and will remain there until Christmas.
London, the 23rd November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
601. The Nuncio came into the Cabinet and said, among other things:
I have to speak of the doctors created at Padua. It was a good thing to take the privilege from the Counts Palatine, but his Holiness cannot approve of this way of conferring the degree privately. It was said it would only be in medicine, but now by a new form heretics have been receiving the degree in laws for six months. Seven or eight doctors meet, hold the examinations and confer the degree in the form non doctoramus sed licentiamus, and this is done without a profession of faith. I think your Serenity must be ill informed about it. It is nothing less than a scandal. Greeks, Jews and heretics ought not to be able to obtain these privileges except by becoming Christians.
The doge and some of the councillors replied that they knew nothing of the alleged innovation. They assured the nuncio that there was no cause for scandal.
The nuncio also objected to the preaching which had taken place in the house of the Count of Levestein. He was a soldier of the republic and might be commanded; in the case of the English ambassador the case might be overlooked, as he represents a prince; the count could not claim this. The doge said they knew nothing about it; the Count was away.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
602. To the Ambassador at the Imperial Court and the like to the other courts, the Captain General at Sea and the Proveditori General.
While our ambassador was asking for the restitution of our galleys at the court of Spain, some armed ships fell into the hands of our fleet. They have offered to restore our galleys if we will give up the ships, the matter being referred to Rome. We had a right to expect the restitution before, but we have given our ambassador at Rome the necessary instructions. Ossuna, however, shows that he has not the remotest intention of disarming, but continues his preparations for war. Nevertheless, the republic has in any case proved its sincere desire for peace. This is for information.
Ayes130.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
603. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am assured from more than one quarter that the commissioners for England are charged to discover as far as they can how far the king there inclines towards a marriage between the prince and a daughter of Spain, so that they may do their utmost to throw obstacles in the way. They reflect that if it takes place, it will have to be in a year or thereabouts and at that time the truce will be nearly expired, and as the King of England took part in the former negotiations they fear that in the new negotiations he will not so ardently favour the interests of these Provinces owing to this new alliance. Your Serenity has experienced this in the case of the Grisons in the numerous difficulties encountered, and here also they fear the present government of France.
The Hague, the 25th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 26.
Cons. do_X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
604. In the Council of Ten.
That the information received by this Council about words spoken by the brother of the French ambassador, showing ill feeling towards the republic, and also that the English ambassador is not too well disposed, be communicated to the Savii of our Cabinet by a secretary of this Council after first enjoining due secrecy.
Ayes17.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
The information was communicated on the 27th November, and a copy left in the hands of the Secretary Dominici.
1618, Nov. 26th.
An individual, who upon other occasions has shown himself zealous in the service of the republic, reports that he heard the French ambassador's brother say that something was going to happen, because the Venetians care for no one, and they would have to be taught a thing or two, with other words exhibiting malevolence towards the republic.
It is also understood that the English ambassador, under the influence of the ambassador of France, is not well disposed towards the republic. (fn. 10)
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
605. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English agent has gone at last. I am assured on very good authority that he has gone to negotiate for the marriage of one of the infantas here to the Prince of Wales. I believe that the duke has promised him great things. He is an energetic man. Everything is being done with the utmost secrecy and the duke has high hopes of success, as the English have now broken both with France and with Spain and he thinks they will have great difficulty in arranging again. The agent also carries instructions and letters from the duke for his Majesty concerning an accommodation with the Most Christian king, since his Highness has interposed in this affair. The agent himself told me that he had waited three days longer to receive their despatches from the duke, and orders to the cardinal in France, with whom he is to confer at Paris. He said this was all in order to make an accommodation between the two kings, and he was to do the like at Grenoble with the Marshal Lesdiguières.
Turin, the 27th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
606. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some of the royal galleons are at Messina after allowing the two ships of the pirate Sanson to continue their voyage. The reports here of the capture of those ships are thus false. Nothing further is known of the other galleys since their departure from Trapani, but they are reported to have experienced very rough weather.
At last a ship has arrived from England with salt fish. As it is small it has entered the port. Some larger ones are expected, but I understand they have orders to unload at Nissita.
Naples, the 27th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Proveditor
della Armada.
Venetian
Archives.
607. GERONIMO CONTARINI, BERNARDO VENIER, and FRANCESCO MOROSINI, Proveditori of the Fleet, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Captain General at Sea has fallen sick and has committed to us the charge of the fleet. We have this morning informed Colonel Peyton of the assignment of 200 ducats a month made to him and of the gift of a gold chain in testimony of your satisfaction, though the chain has not arrived. He seemed satisfied with the stipend and gratified by the gift. He said he wished to go to Venice and for that journey he embarked some days ago upon the ship Gratia di Dio, which leaves to-night.
The galley at Corfu, the 27th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
608. ANTONIO MARI VINCENTI, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards are trying to make light of the splendid entry into Paris of the Cardinal Prince of Savoy. They know that the marriage may easily follow, but pretend to think little of it. They are also afraid that the duke continues to give his attention to the idea of another marriage with England, and they think the more of it as they believe the going of the English agent, resident at Turin, to that Court to be a mere pretence. It is clear on all sides that the Spaniards are becoming more and more suspcious of the proceedings of the Duke of Savoy.
Milan, the 28th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
609. To the Ambassador in England, and the like, mutatis mutandis to the Secretary at the Hague.
The post with last week's news contains several important particulars upon the new proposals made by Spain, the doubt about the result and other matters, we direct you to inform his Majesty of the whole. It is most important that we should not give the slightest grounds to the Spaniards to place a sinister interpretation upon our intentions and also not to allow ourselves to be blinded by what they say, so different from what they do.
To England add:
We have given confidential information of the news to his Majesty's ambassador resident here, to foster the good relations between his Majesty and our republic; we send you a copy of this. To the requests made by him at his audience we replied as you will see, to show that we are most anxious to do everything to satisfy his king and himself. You will tell his Majesty all this, so that he may hear from you also the expression of our esteem for him.
Ayes126.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
610. That the English Ambassador be summoned to the Cabinet and the following read to him:
We are bound to show our usual confidence with his Majesty, who has always been so anxious for the quiet of this province, especially as we know it will be well presented by your Excellency. Our Ambassador Gritti has continued his requests for restitution, which Ossuna has always evaded. Some armed ships have recently been taken by our fleet, and they now pretend they will restore our galleys if we give up these ships; we had a right to restitution without this, yet we have sent the necessary instructions to our ambassador at Rome. It remains to be seen whether Spain is acting in good faith. This seems doubtful owing to the continued operations of Ossuna and his continued preparations for war. However, the republic has proved her sincerity.
With regard to the requests of your Excellency at the last audience, the Englishman who had the room to let is already at liberty. When we have received information about the salt fish we will decide what is best for general trade. We have written to the Captain General at sea to allow Colonel Peyton to come to Venice. With respect to the gentleman you say is coming to treat with us, you may rest assured that we shall act with every regard for his Majesty's interests, as we always have done.
Ayes126.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia,
Venetian
Archives.
611. SIMONE CONTARINI and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After the departure of the English resident the lords of the Council sent for a certain Frenchman, whom, in the capacity of secretary, he had left in charge of his goods. They told this man that he must resign his position immediately, otherwise at the slightest provocation, they would have him put to death. It appears that the ill feeling between the two kings is constantly growing, and all that is needed is that they should come to open hostilities. Some already say that if his Majesty decides to harass the Huguenots of Bearn, the King of England will help them.
Paris, the 29th November, 1618.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Capitano
nel Golfo.
Venetian
Archives.
612. NODAL DONATO, Venetian Captain in the Gulf, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I arrived on the 18th at Sapienza where I stayed five days, and while there we sighted under Modon three large ships of high board and a tartana. I discovered that among them were the Captains Guarda and Sanson, both famous English renegade pirates, who last year took and burned the ship Foscarina and from whom I rescued two convoys a few days later in the passage to these parts. Both the others were Turks from Tunis. I wrote to the Turkish authorities at Modon to complain of their allowing pirates to shelter under their fortress.
From the galley at Canea, 29 November, 1618.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
613. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agent of his Majesty resident in France has at last returned and was able to travel in safety since he brought with him a passport at once full and friendly. However, negotiations are broken off and the passages and seaports are closed. There is great grief abroad to see these two crowns become mistrustful of each other and even hostile upon such slight grounds with every prospect of the situation lasting a long time, for as the ministers have been withdrawn on both sides the means for a reconciliation are also removed. Such means are desirable on every consideration and for the convenience and security of all, while the joy of the Spaniards is well known and they progress in their ill offices with the hope of a long estrangement between France and England. For this reason the agent of Savoy resident here has bethought him that the cardinal, now at Paris, might be able to do some good and quiet the troubled waters, which will certainly remain in that state unless some one decides to move them. Accordingly, he has spoken to some of the members of the Council to discover if this means would prove acceptable and find out how they would like the business to be conducted. Among them Sir [Thomas] Edmondes, formerly ambassador in France, has welcomed the idea and has spoken about it to the king. His Majesty, with his customary mildness, said he was quite willing that this should be done, and he asked for nothing from France except a declaration that they did not approve of what had been done by their minister, which, as your Serenity well knows, was a somewhat ill-advised negotiation with the late Sir Walter Raleigh. Accordingly the ambassador of Savoy has sent off to the duke and despatched the same letters open to the cardinal in France, so that with the advice which he has at hand he may decide what is best. Everyone thinks that the appointment of ambassadors on both sides without mentioning what has passed, would be the best way, and that to facilitate this the offices of your Excellencies would not be amiss as being the friends of both crowns, and as you have a minister with each sovereign, the affair might be brought to a speedy and successful termination.
The agent of Spain continues to make up his purchase of ordnance, as I wrote in my letter of the 23rd, of which I enclose duplicates. He will have every facility for sending it in two ships which are all ready to sail, and similar facilities will be afforded to him for any other design.
Yesterday at sunrise a large and long comet appeared in the air towards the east. Every one considers this unlucky, and a certain prognostication of ill. Accordingly they fear that the queen will not live much longer. She is in a very bad condition and lies motionless in her bed with clear indications of dropsy.
The Ambassador Contarini has left to-day for the Spanish embassy. He goes through France and will have a tiresome land journey in the worst season. In this kingdom he has left an excellent memory of his ability and prudence, and he gave the utmost satisfaction during his ministry. I pray that God may guide him and give him long years in the public service as an ornament to his country.
London, the 30th November, 1618.
Postscript.—After writing the above I learn that the Cardinal of Savoy has already received the despatch from their agent here and by now the Count of Verua will have opened negotiations for a reconciliation between the two crowns. He says it will be an easy task, and he promises to send the Cavalier Gabaleoni in all haste, to put the finishing touches, as he finds the French exceedingly well disposed. Verua also writes that he considers the marriage between France and Savoy a settled thing, but he does not see a way to get it firmly decided upon so soon as he could desire.
[Italian.]
Nov. 30.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
614. The English Ambassador was summoned to the Cabinet and the deliberation of the 29th was read to him, he said:
I thank your Serenity for the communication made to me. The courier leaves this evening and I will advise his Majesty of what has been told to me. I am sure that he will hasten to employ his offices in favour of the republic. I think that the king's interposition will prove more useful than heretofore, as if I am not misinformed he has been asked to intervene in Bohemia, where I hear matters are going very badly for the Austrians. The king can do much because they are of our religion. I do not know, however, if he will take this charge. His sincerity, goodness and pacific nature would lead him to do so however his prudence may restrain him, owing to the state of Bohemia and the difficulty of a treaty. The King of Spain has spoken very strongly to his Majesty, going so far as to say that if matters turn out ill for King Ferdinand he will help him with all his forces. The Jesuits constitute the chief difficulty; his Majesty does not wish to be their advocate and the Bohemians are determined to shed their last blood rather than re-admit them. If the king intervenes it will be more especially to arrange the affairs of Italy and of our friends in particular.
I thank your Serenity for the gracious reply upon the question of the person who is coming here to treat without me, and for the release of the Englishman who changed his lodging. I also thank you for what is to be done in the matter of the salt fish trade after information has been taken.
The doge said that the intervention of his Majesty would be very pleasing to them and would prove most useful to this province. They would also satisfy the ambassador with regard to the prisoner of the Board of Health. The ambassador returned thanks and departed.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The foregoing despatch is not found among the files of the ambassador's letters at the Archives but is taken from the copy in the ambassador's letter book in the Marciana Library.
2 The Dutch East India Company nominated Thierry Bas burgomaster of Middelburg; Arnoult Jacobsen Lodenstyn, councillor of the Admiralty of Zeeland; Albert Soncq, sometime burgomaster of Hoorn and Councillor of State; Andrew Rickaerts, and William Boreel, doctor of laws, while the States General appointed Jean de Goch, burgomaster of Zutphen, Eruwout van der Dussen vice burgomaster of Delft and Joachim Liens, councillor and pensioner of Tholen; their letters of credence, dated 1 Dec. 1618, are among the State Papers, Foreign, Holland.
3 On Nov. 9th licence was granted to the Count of Gondomar on behalf of the King of Spain to export 100 pieces of iron and two pieces of brass ordnance free of duty. Cal. S.P. Dom, 1611–18, page 593.
4 The articles of a treaty between Persia and England drawn up on June 14, 1618, seem never to have been signed by the Shah. Cal. S.P. Colonial, 1617–21, pages 170, 171. But in a letter of Oct. 31, o.s., John Pory writes to tell Carleton that the East India Company has made a contract with the king of Persia to bring silk by the Persian Gulf, paying one third in money and two thirds in commodities. Ibid., page 208. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1611–18, page 589.
5 On 8/18 Oct. 1618 Wake writes from Turin to Naunton, "This last week here did arrive the young Lord Montjoy, accompanied with Sir Owen Smith and Captain Peeter, who are gone along with him to Venice." State Papers, Foreign. Savoy.
6 Geoffrey Pole.
7 Sir Thomas Stodder.
8 The Venetians did not establish a regular embassy in London until 1603. The nine ambassadors in order are Giovanni Scaramelli, Pietro Duodo, Nicolo Molino, Zorzi Giustinian, Marc' Antonio Correr, Francesco Contarini, Antonio Foscarini, Giorgio Barbarigo and Pietro Contarini. See Rawdon Brown, Archivio di Venezia page 266.
9 The French sent Pericard and Préaux as commissioners to treat upon this question, but only succeeded in obtaining the present suspension of their works, the archduke deciding to send an ambassador extraordinary to France, Pickius, chancellor of Brabant, or Stenhuyse, one of his privy council, to maintain his title. Trumbull to Naunton, 30 Sept, 1618, O.S. State Papers, Foreign, Flanders, Vol. 13. Stenhuyse was the one sent.
10 Copies of the above are preserved in the series Senato, Secreta, Communicazioni dal Consiglio de'X.