Venice
January 1619, 26-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1909

Pages

456-461

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'Venice: January 1619, 26-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 456-461. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88697 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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January 1619

Jan.26.
Senato,
Secreta,
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
719. To the ambassador at the Imperial Court and the like to the other Courts.
The affair of restitution at Naples is in a worse condition than ever, there not being the slightest sign of the carrying out of what was arranged between Cardinal Borgia and our ambassador. Warlike preparations go on constantly, in striking contrast to the sincerity with which our republic has acted throughout.
We send you a copy of the reply made to our resident at Florence by the Grand Duke upon the question of granting the Spaniards a passage through our Gulf
This is for information.
The like to:
Rome.Naples.
France.The Swiss.
Spain.The Grisons.
Savoy.England.
Milan.The Hague.
Ayes.155.
Noes0.
Neutral.9.
[Italian.]
Jan. 26.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
720. The ambassador of England was summoned to the Cabinet and the deliberation of the Senate of yesterday was read over to him twice. He said:
I thank the Senate for the confidence shown in asking me to interpose with my king about the four ships which the republic desires. I am so far from his Majesty that I cannot know his innermost thought and even if I were in London I should not venture to intervene. But I am able to assure you that when the safety of this dominion is in question and my king is asked to help, he will do so effectively. I must first deal with the necessity for reinforcements, as they believe in our Court that your Serenity's actual fleet is quite equal to confronting the Spanish forces, unless they completely disarm their coasts outside the Strait and leave them at the mercy of pirates and other perils. No doubt the Spanish preparations here and there are extraordinary, and we have remarked it as much as any one else. The king has consulted all the masters, who have all declared that they love the republic and will see that it is preserved from Spanish tyranny, I have letters from Nürenberg and Rothemberg saying there are reports that the Spaniards have asked your Serenity to allow the passage of their troops almost in sight of this city for the help of Ferdinand. Your Excellencies received no small help from that quarter during your own troubles and I cannot believe that you would do anything to their prejudice. Your Serenity may also have reason to fear that the soldiers may become Uscocchi either in going or returning. I conceive a good reply to such a request. If matters in Naples are so disposed as to remove suspicion, leaving the republic in peaceful possession of her seas, the passage may be asked for. I have made this digression because the opportunity presented itself and because I know that the discontent of the powers at such permission would be great.
I now return to the ships. The four royal ones would be useful as they are powerful. I will join my efforts to those of your ambassador, referring to the great preparations of the Spaniards to show the need of your Serenity. It would be a good thing to send Mainwaring (Magnarini), who might take a despatch.
I thank your Serenity with respect to the Duke of Holstein. You will be satisfied with his services.
The doge replied: Your Excellency may see what we think of the intentions of the Spaniards. There are various reports. They speak of Algiers, but their preparations are directed elsewhere. The republic is determined to resist every attempt on their part to enter the Gulf. We are sure of your good will about obtaining the ships and we thank you warmly. We will let you know what is said to the Duke of Holstein. Mainwaring has already been sent off. He will see that he owes much to our appreciation of the recommendation of your Excellency, which has assured us of his good service.
The ambassador said he was glad to hear that the passage to the Gulf would be defended. He asked if the ships were required for defence; when told that they were he said: That is enough, and it will facilitate my request. With that he departed.
[Italian.]
Jan. 26.
Senato,Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
721. That 300 ducats be paid to Giovanni Battista Lionello, of lire 6 grossi 4 to the ducat, for his expenses on his journey back from the Court of England, as has been done on similar occasions previously.
Ayes151.
Noes0.
Neutral8.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
722. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary to the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States welcomed what I said to them about the reconciliation of the two kings and the prudent offices undertaken by your Serenity. The president thanked me for the communication.
I have spoken with Aerssens upon the question of a mutual understanding between the States and our republic. Four days ago I saw the English Ambassador and from his conversation I gathered that he had heard the feeling of the States in this matter. He has very confidential relations with Prince Maurice and takes part in the Council of State as a Councillor. He said they thought that the idea of sending ambassadors on both sides was simply intended by your Serenity with a view to impressing the world by an appearance of a close understanding with these provinces and strike a blow at the Spaniards, to preserve our own state in peace without being bound by a closer union. He said he had discovered that for the sake of less display and greater security they intended to negotiate here, and afterwards send to confirm. He said that your Serenity always had good cause to suspect Spanish armaments so that you could not do better than make an alliance with this state, because the two republics united together with his king might impose their will on the one who now seeks to impose his will upon all. This ambassador has always negotiated confidentially with me. Accordingly I seemed glad at what he told me, thanked him for the information and praised his prudent speech, speaking in general terms of the sincerity and rectitude of the republic.
The Hague, the 27th January, 1619.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
723. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Turkish pirates make themselves felt here and inflict great damage upon shipping. They do not seem to have the hightest fear of the powerful royal galleons here, which remain all the time at Messina.
Naples, the 29th January, 1619.
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta,
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
724. Whereas we hear in letters from the Proveditore and captain of ships that there are many vessels in our fleet of little use for our service, owing to the bad quality of the sailors and defects in the ships themselves:
That the Proveditore of the Fleet be instructed to keep in touch with foreign ships at present in our city or which call there, to discover if the owners are ready to enter our service, to negotiate with them about terms, and when anything is ripe to report to the Cabinet, giving full particulars of the nature, burthen, artillery, arms and munitions of the ships and of their crews, so that what is best for our service may be determined.
Ayes123.
Noes4
Neutral24
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
725. Prolongation for four years from 1st March, 1619, of the exemption from duty of wool coming from the west to Venice in Venetian or foreign ships, which exemption would expire next February, as its extension is for the public service.
Ayes115.
Noes2.
Neutral9.
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
726. ANTONIO MARIA VINCENTI, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards declare that a league between the heretics of Germany, the Kings of England and Denmark and the Palatine is in a very advanced state. It is also said that the league proposed by the Spaniards in Rome is practically dead, as it was presented to his Holiness with more craft than good faith.
Milan, the 30th January, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
727. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday evening M. Howard (Vuart) came to see me and gave me the enclosed note from the Marquis of Buckingham, the king's favourite, who at present exercises favour and authority over all things. He told me that his Majesty had naturally considered what I had imparted to him and had instructed him to tell me that the preparations of the Spaniards were only too true, and suspicions about their armaments were only just and reasonable, but your Serenity being well furnished with a fleet had no need to fear them, while the King of Spain declared that all these preparations were for an undertaking against Algiers, to which all his forces and fleet would be directed, and this was so certain that his Majesty considered that either he was being deceived or the republic was free from all grounds of fear. That the king had letters from his agent in Spain of the 8th inst. repeating the assurance that the Spanish fleets were all going towards Barbary; that they had made an alliance with a prince of those parts and Spain and Portugal were collecting troops in the territory of this prince for the said attack upon Algiers, so they might hope that this would be for the general good. Nevertheless his Majesty would never relax his vigilance and act as sentinel upon all that the Spaniards might contrive and he would write to his agent at Madrid to keep on the alert and follow the Catholic king to Valencia, so as to be nearer to the preparations for this undertaking. Mean time he said that his Majesty had ordered the publication of a proclamation severely forbidding the Spaniards to take arms, ships or munitions of any kind from these realms and that he would certainly punish those who disobeyed. At the same time his Majesty had stayed the going of Lord Digby to Spain, it not being convenient to negotiate for a closer union with that part before the issue of so many armaments and designs could be seen. This delay was solely out of consideration for your Serenity, as these realms have nothing to fear. When the king returns to London, as he will within eight days, he will come to some decision about his ships and he will suffer himself to be influenced by the offer of the merchants to arm them, so that they may arm and sally forth and keep a sharp look out in order to prevent the slightest thing being taken away from the republic, whose preservation the king loves. Howard said all this to me when handing me the enclosed letter of credence and in the very way in which I report it to your Excellencies, which you will value at its worth, since you cannot consider distant and uncertain hopes when you have to think of your own defence.
The same minister afterwards said to me that the king had renewed the league with the princes of Germany, and undertaken to pay for 4,000 foot if the affairs of Bohemia were not settled before the end of next May. As his Majesty would not undertake to give more he adopted the pretext of giving this help pro libertate Germaniae, but knowing the evil case of the emperor and that his death may be expected soon, other powerful influences were at work and his Majesty wished to keep on the alert because of his son-in-law, who, as is known, would in such case become vicar of the Empire. In the present state of affairs he might remain vicar for some time, the election of a new emperor being none too easy. However, for the said reason and that others might not take the sceptre and crown by force, he had promised to help the Palatine with the 4,000 foot and he hoped to obtain the payment of 2,000 more from the States and the princes of Germany will try the same, while your Serenity may count on this distant diversion to secure the safety of your states on land. You ought not to despise the sight of Germany preserved free and the keeping in vigour of an arm that will always be hostile to the Spaniards. This is all that I have to report, adding that the arrival of the ambassador of Savoy is expected at any moment, for the settlement with France; while the duke's agent has informed his Majesty of the conclusion of the marriage and the particulars thereof.
The Dutch are advancing their negotiations every day and hope for a successful issue, especially as concerns the Indies.
The royal hall of the Court where the masques were performed, has been recently burned, and in the fury of the fire the people took the liberty to steal much of the royal furniture. (fn. 1)
Sir [Henry] Wotton, ambassador resident with you, has received leave to return home and writes that he will return in the spring. It is said that his Majesty will send someone else, as he is by no means satisfied with the present service.
I have your Serenity's letters of the 29th ult. and the 4th inst. with the advices and exposition.
London the 31st January, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
in the
preceding
despatch.
728. To the Venetian Ambassador at London.
Sir,
These few words are simply to inform you that his Majesty, having duly considered the proposition which you have sent to him in writing, has charged Mr. Wake to bring you the reply with his best wishes for the good of your republic. You will attend therefore to what he says to you.
G. BUCKINGHAM [autograph].
[French.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
Translation of the above.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The fire consumed the Banqueting Hall; it occurred on the 22nd January, and it seems curious that Donato does not mention the matter in his letters of the 26th.