Venice
January 1619, 1-10

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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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423-430

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'Venice: January 1619, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 423-430. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88694 Date accessed: 02 August 2014.


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January 1619

1619.
Jan. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
680. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A frigate has reached Brindisi from Corfu, bringing the Viceroy several particulars of your Serenity's fleet, that they are destitute of many things, they are going to Dalmatia, and the English and Dutch have money due to them and declare they will not weigh anchor until they are satisfied, together with other fabrications of similar purport.
The Susannah which came from England laden with fish, a rather fine ship, had some sails removed during its stay here. It has now left unexpectedly on its voyage to Zante, leaving behind the sails that were so removed.
I hear that fresh orders have been sent to Apulia to release the vessels that were detained with oil, but I understand that the governor refuses to execute the order.
Naples, the 1st January, 1619.
[Italian.]
Jan. 3.
Collegio
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
681. The Ambassador of Savoy came into the Cabinet and said:
Some days ago I asked for a statement of the money paid by the republic to the duke. The cardinal prince has interposed his offices in the dispute between France and England. This will gratify your Serenity, to whose interest it is that those two crowns should maintain good relations.
The doge replied: The republic can have no better news than to hear of the prosperity of his Highness. The offices of the cardinal are worthy of such a prince, and we hope they will prove profitable to every prince interested in this province.
[Italian.]
Jan. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
682. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This week I have received your Serenity's letters of the 24th and 29th November and of the 1st ult. with instructions to communicate their contents to the king. I cannot do this before next week, because his Majesty returned to the city yesterday to celebrate Christmas there, and it is necessary to respect the solemnity of these days of theirs and to consider the satisfaction of one who so greatly detests business and seeing the ambassadors. However, when I asked for an audience they told me that the king would certainly see me before anyone else, but I must have patience. I find it very necessary to fortify myself with this as a counterpoise to my zeal for carrying out the public commands.
The Dutch commissioners are suffering from the same delays and difficulties; as they also wish to negotiate with the king and not with the ministers. With the latter they have done something towards opening negotiations about their three questions with the merchants, namely trading in the West Indies jointly with this nation; the herring fisheries about this island and the duty which the English claim, and the whale fisheries in Greenland, Norway and Denmark. The two last affairs are rather private than public, but they are of the highest importance owing to the rich interests involved and to the employment they give to numbers of ships and men who work at nothing else the year round. The first question, which so nearly concerns the general liberty and true salvation from the Spanish ambition, proceeds slowly without the ready and generous decision that all good men desire. As a matter of fact the king will not declare himself either for or against, or promise anything to the merchants. As they have enough ships, money and men to make a powerful fleet in a few months, and this joined with the Dutch would help them to make great acquisitions in the Indies, damage the other's fleets and obtain quantities of gold, they are very dissatisfied at the coldness of his Majesty, and much more so at the behaviour of his infatuated ministers. Accordingly the States will be compelled to think of carrying out their plans with their own unaided forces, as they seem to wish to do and say that they will. At the same time they never cease from their negotiations or from using their utmost endeavours to interest this kingdom. The body of the people here, through such long years of peace and of unbroken commerce, has attained to enormous wealth and acquired an abundance of everything. They detest the name and power of Spain and desire nothing so much as a chance to engage in a war against her, especially over the Indies, about which I am venturing to trouble your Serenity, because they all declare that this would be the true diversion for your ills and the very lance with which to pierce the Spaniards to the heart (l'universal del quale per cosi lunghi anni di pace et di continui negotii arrivato a somma ricchezza et abbondanza di tutte le cose, inimicissimo del nome et della potenza Spagnola, altro non brama ne desidera che occasione d'impiegarsi in una guerra contro di essi, et in questo spetial negotio delle Indie, del quale apporto io queste molestie a Vestra Serenità, perche tutti affermano saria la vera diversione de suoi mali et la propria lancia di piagar Spagnoli nel cuore). When the commissioners visited me the other day they furnished me with the above particulars and made me promise to write them. At the same time they repeated their determination to do all in their power to serve the interests and greatness of the most serene republic, whose preservation they consider inseparable from their own.
The States feel confident in the continued success of the Bohemians, which they desire, and they seem inclined to send them encouragement. On this account an ambassador is expected in a few days from the United Princes of Germany and another from the Palatine to inform his Majesty of these events and to beg him to help them with a sum of money, which the king needs more than those princes. The king's disposition makes him hate anything that requires thought or trouble and leaves little hope of any decision. However, I will send word about it to your Excellencies when the time comes.
In conclusion I have to add what these Dutchmen told me in great confidence, namely, that in order to upset the marriage with Spain which would prove most harmful to their interests they have instructions, after they have settled their other affairs, to offer a daughter of the Margrave Elector of Brandenburg, with a million of gold as dower. They would promise to pay this with all promptitude and to send the bride here at their expense, without causing his Majesty any trouble; but they fear that the hopes of the courtiers for Spanish pensions and the need of the king for a greater sum will thwart their generous design. In this they aim at preserving their present friendship with this kingdom and at winning the favour of the succeeding prince, while they also hope to induce him to help Brandenburg in the states of Cleves and Juliers, now in large part usurped by the Spanish forces, as is well known (aggiongerò per fine di questa quello che li detti Olandesi in molto confidenza mi hanno communicato, et è, che per disturbare il matrimonio di Spagna, che ai loro interessi saria per riuscire sommamente dannoso hanno in commissione, espediti gl'altri negotii, d'offerire una figliuola dell'elettor Marchese di Brandemburgh con un million d'oro di dote, il quale prometteriano di esborsare con ogni prontezza, et di condurre a loro spese la sposa nel Regno, senza che la Maestà Sua ne sentisse aggravio alcuno: ma temono che le speranze de'cortigiani nelle pensioni da Spagnoli, et le necessità del Re di somma maggiore non s'attraversino al loro generoso dissigno con il quale, mirando di conservarsi nel possesso dell'amicitia, che hora tengono con questo Regno et di captivarsi l'animo del Principe successore, vanno anco sperando d'interessarlo ad aiutare Brandemburgh ne' stati di Cleves e Giuliers, che restano, come è noto, in gran parte usurpati dall' armi Spagnole).
London, the 3rd January, 1618. [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
683. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With the return from Turin of his Majesty's agent we have heard of the conclusion of the marriage between France and Savoy and the conditions of the treaty, and soon they will negotiate about the pensions of the cardinal, Prince Thomas and some of the ministers. The negotiations for a union between your Excellencies and the duke have also been divulged, and the opinions of his Highness upon this and the marriage must be well known to the Senate. But the agent has communicated the particulars. He adds that when passing through Paris he was visited in the king's name by MM. de Bethune and Modène and by the Duke of Rohan, who all assured him of the excellent disposition of France towards this kingdom, and of their desire for a reconciliation. The effects of this are expected with the coming of the Cavalier Gabaleoni, ambassador extraordinary of Savoy, who as the first mover of this good idea ought to gain the honour, his Majesty being quite ready to forget the past and to receive and send fresh ambassadors.
The agent further told me that in France everything is ruled according to the wishes of M. de Luynes. They have confined all serious decisions to a cabinet of four persons only, Modène, Gian (fn. 1) and Father Arnoux and he only thinks of supporting his authority by those who can defend and protect it. Thus when they talked of bringing the queen mother back to Court or releasing Condè from prison, each course was considered dangerous and they decided to arrange the marriage with Savoy with the intention of detaining the bride some time longer in France as not being marriageable as yet, and with her, the Prince of Piedmont and their supporters to make a powerful party to support Luynes. But the ill humours of the kingdom and the impatience of the princes, shut out from all affairs, are operating to destroy his favour with the king and to remove him from the control of affairs.
The agent reported all this to the king and many other similar things as being the essence of French affairs. As I had it all from the lips of this minister, who is a most intelligent man, I thought it right to inform your Serenity.
London, the 3rd January, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 3.
Consiglio
de' X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
684. In the Council of Ten.
That leave be granted to Andrea Vendramin son of Luca to receive in his house the ambassador of England, for one occasion only, to see his study with the statues and figures and to pass the usual compliments.
Ayes17.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
685. To the Secretary Surian at the Hague.
With regard to the differences between the Kings of France and England and certain other particulars we desire you to see their High Mightinesses and the prince. You will tell them first that we were exceedingly sorry to hear of these differences, coming as they did at the end of the truce between the States and Spain, between the two powers which have always co-operated for the good of the States. For these and other considerations a reconciliation between the two is desirable; the Duke of Savoy has interposed his good offices, and we have directed our ambassadors in Paris and London to assist with zeal. A close understanding becomes ever more necessary between those who suspect the aims and armaments of the Spaniards, as any harm inflicted by them upon one would cause the gravest prejudice to all the others.
Ayes135.
Noes0.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
686. To the Ambassador at Rome and the like to the other Courts.
The changeableness of the negotiations of Cardinal Borgia upon the question of restitution tallies with the spirit displayed by the Spaniards throughout this affair. Last week they promised an inventory of the goods and now they have withdrawn their promise upon a flimsy pretext. These uncertitudes keep everything unsettled, and meanwhile they continue their naval reinforcements and the action of the Spaniards at various courts gives rise to the gravest misgivings. Our ministers must therefore continue on the alert. The new captain general at sea, Venier, is hastening his departure.
Ayes126.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
687. The Ambassador of England was summoned to the Cabinet and the deliberation of the 4th inst. was read to him. He said:
I thank your Serenity for this information. The truth is that the Ambassador Contarini promised Colonel Peyton that he should be paid in current money, meaning that a Venetian ducat was about the equivalent of an English crown. In England when we speak of current money, even in dealing with the king, the advantage, if any change takes place, goes to the receiver. Peyton, however, confided in the promise of the ambassador and the practice in the country where the contract was made. He is now subjected to an unexpected loss. However, I will do my utmost to counsel him to be patient, but I am not sanguine, as it means his ruin.
With regard to Mainwaring, I understand he has negotiated with Sig. Foscarini and some documents have passed. He is really most skilled in naval matters. I shall be greatly obliged if the matter is decided speedily.
I have sent your Serenity's congratulations to the princess by an English gentleman, who left two days ago.
The doge replied that in the matter of Peyton the republic would fulfil her promises, but they had to be careful not to do more and create a precedent. The ambassador contended that this was a special case, but he promised to do his best. He then took leave.
[Italian.]
Jan. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
688. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States have submitted the Bohemian question to the Provinces. They have also written very fully on the subject to the King of Great Britain, expressing themselves as very well inclined to favour the defence and preservation of the Bohemians, and that with an example from their neighbours they would afford all the assistance that the present condition of the state and their affairs permitted, and they would not fail to do their utmost.
Amsterdam, the 8th January, 1619.
[Italian.]
Jan. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
689. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Secretary Lionello passed through here a month ago on his way home from England. He took the way of the Grisons and by now he should have arrived at the feet of your Serenity.
Paris, the 9th January, 1619.
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
690. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Saturday, the 5th, I had audience of the king and executed the orders of your Serenity. I informed him of the disturbances among the Swiss and the disputes between them. I urged him to see to the quiet and liberty of that valorous race with whom, notably with the towns of Berne and Zurich, he has great influence. The king replied in French that he had received word of what I mentioned and knew that the French minister kept introducing disputes among that people and that their quiet meant a great deal to Italy. He would obtain fresh information and come to some decision. I told him also of the continuance of the hostilities and plots of the Viceroy of Naples, who continued his warlike preparations, and how little confidence could be placed in the mission of Cardinal Borgia for the restitution of the ships, in spite of the loyal conduct of the republic. The king replied that it was high time the republic emerged from her troubles, that the slow fire of a war not declared would in the long run prove worse than war itself and the devil could not send such another minister to Italy as Ossuna, who was mad and had undone everything good. He would write again to Spain but would first await the issue of the negotiations at Rome, during which he understood there was a truce. I replied that there was no truce whatever and that your Serenity would never expose the possession of your house to such conditions. The king added that the Gulf really belonged to Venice, he had always understood as much and the Spaniards had no solid ground for interfering, but his ambassador at Venice wrote that there was a truce. I made a suitable reply. His Majesty asked me whether the league with Savoy was published or would be published. I said that I knew nothing about it. The king said that the duke had informed him about it. With that his Majesty stood up and dismissed me, being quite tired, though I had been with him no longer than half a quarter of an hour. I understood quite well his hatred and distaste for affairs and troublesome matters. If he attended to them in days gone by, that should be attributed to the ministers of the time and to the famous Earl of Salisbury. But at present the change of ministers and the alteration of his Majesty's disposition lead him into continual pleasures and delights, and at the same time he boasts of having brought peace to the kingdom and preserved it both within and without. Your Excellencies must know that the king cares nothing for external troubles and the affairs of the world, except to hear the news, about which he is very curious and likes to discuss it, but not to stop him for a moment. Many lords at Court who are fully acquainted with his strength and with past affairs, are troubled in spirit to see a nobility of such wealth and the people so obedient and patient, immersed in ease and luxury, without knowledge of arms, without vigour of spirit, some of them never seeing the king's face, squander incalculable riches upon sumptuous clothing and magnificent tables, in which the whole greatness of the Court and nobility consists and transforming themselves after the example of their ruler, live in the towns and country districts of the kingdom. (Io compresi benissimo la nausea et lo abhorrimento del suo animo da negotii et da fastidii; ne' quali, se nei tempi a dietro ha havuto qualche applicatione ella deve attribuirsi a ministri di all'hora, et al famoso Conte di Salsbere; ma di presente la mutatione di essi et dal animo de S. Maestà è nelle cose proprie et in continui et perpetui piacere et contenti di animo, ne quali essaltando sempre la gloria di haver portata al Regno la pace, et conservatala dentro et fuori; sappiano l'Eccl. VV. per certissimo che de'travagli esterne et delle cose del Mondo altra cura non è nel Re che intenderne le novelle, delle quali se ne dimostra curioso per trattenersene ma non per impedirsene un momento, che certo a'molti signori del Regno, che sanno della sua forza et delle cose passate intiera notitia, piange l'animo in vedere si grande nobilità, cosi ricca et popoli tanto obedienti et patienti inerti nell' otio et nel lusso, senza cognitione d'arme, senza vigor d'animo, alcuno senza veder mai la faccia del loro Re, profondersi innumerabile quantità d'oro in sontuosi vestiti et laute mense, nelle quali consiste tutta la grandezza della Corte et della nobiltà, che transformandosi all'esempio di chi la regge, habita del continuo nelle Ville et ne' castelli del Regno.)
Although nature has protected them with a wide defence like the ocean, yet their friends and allies cannot help deploring the fact that not a pike is broken nor a ship armed to help and defend them, while he permits their oppression without using that vigilance which is the attribute of a great king and only the due of the power which they have received from God to preserve the proper balance of the world. What regrets would not your Excellencies have at seeing twenty-four royal ships, all first raters and exceedingly fine and large, each like a fallen colossus of the sea, shut up in a ditch of stagnant water, disarmed and abandoned, a prey to the rage and the injuries of the weather, while a great deal is spent to keep them in this condition, with very little advantage; there are merchants who would keep them fit and ready for service, as an ornament and defence for the realm and their friends (et qual scontento non haveriano l'Eccelenze Vestre in vedere vinti quattro navi Regie altissime et di meravigliosa belezza et grandezza quasi abbatuti colosi dal mar, riddotte in una fossa di acqua morta, disarmate et desolate, preda delle bisse et delle injurie del cielo, mentre pure per guardarle in tal stato molto si spende, et con poco d'avantaggio; vi sono mercanti che le teneriano leste et pronte ad ornamento et diffesa del Regno et delli amici). Among these friends your Serenity may consider that you are considered one of the closest by the king and people, and it would be a great boon if you could draw some help from here in your necessities and troubles. I have thought it my duty as a zealous citizen to make these reflections, but I shall keep silent upon any subject that may offend the king's dignity in order to preserve his friendship at all costs, and always to have his Majesty's ear.
London, the 10th January, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
691. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. Von Dohna (Dola), ambassador of the Prince Palatine and of the other United Princes of Germany, has arrived here. He has confirmed verbally the successes of the Bohemians and shows that his visit to this kingdom is on their behalf. However, he has not as yet fully declared himself, as he has not been able to see the king except for a complimentary audience. He has dealt with me, expressing great friendship and esteem for your Serenity. Being a creature of the Prince of Anhalt he threw out something to me about that prince serving your Serenity, saying that if the question of religion did not stand in the way the prince had every recommendation for that service. The ambassador is very well informed about this and fears extended troubles for Italy and your Excellencies.
The Dutch continue to labour at their negotiations, but fresh disputes and difficulties are constantly arising. The king is waiting only for the feast of Epiphany, when he will go back to his hunting, without a thought for anything else. In the meantime, however, he has given his parting instructions to Sir [John] Digby, for Spain, there being speculation about that marriage. Digby is in constant communication with the Spanish agent here, who is negotiating for the purchase of another ship. He has received large remittances from Court to pay the pensions of divers of the nobles here, who think it a glory to be the pensioners of another king and to always render ill service to their own natural sovereign (ha havuto dalla corte grosse rimesse por pagar pensioni a diversi di questi Signori, che stimano gloria esser pensionarii d'un altro Re et servir sempre male al loro proprio e naturale).
London, the 10th January, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 John Deageant, controller general of the finances.