Venice
February 1619

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1909

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461-480

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'Venice: February 1619', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 461-480. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88698 Date accessed: 01 November 2014.


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February 1619

Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
729. To the Ambassador in France, and the like to the other Courts.
The auditor of Cardinal Borgia has left Naples without anything being arranged. They have taken no steps towards restoring the galleys. The auditor is very disgusted and has expressed his sentiments to our resident. It is probable that the preparations at Naples will increase. Orders have arrived from Spain to forbid leave being given to any troops. At Milan they are making active levies among the Swiss and Germans. Thus while the Spaniards speak of peace they are making preparations for a most severe war. It thus behoves every good prince to provide as far as possible for his own safety amid these imminent perils.
Ayes146.
Noes2.
Neutral6.
[Italian.]
Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
730. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is considered that the negotiations for the marriage of the daughter of the Catholic king to the English prince are very nearly completed (a stretto termine), since Cardinal Borgia has negotiated at length upon the form of the dispensation.
Rome, the 2nd February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
731. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
What you tell us in your letters of the 28th ult. about the duke's statement upon the accounts has greatly troubled us, as the honour of our ambassador is called in question. His integrity is well known. His brother, Lionardo Donato has asked for a full enquiry, for which we have made arrangements.
Ayes150.
Noes0.
Neutral4.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
732. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day before yesterday the Cardinal of Savoy sent to inform me by his secretary that he had letters from England from Biondi with the news that the question of a reconciliation between the two kings was in such good train that nothing was lacking except the arrival at that Court of the Cavalier Gaballeoni, who leaves in a fortnight to complete the task. I said that I congratulated his Highness on the part he was taking in this excellent work.
Last week the Ambassador Donato sent me by express courier some letters for MM. de Bethune and Modene with directions that I should deliver them into their own hands. I have done this and sent the replies by the same courier. The letters related to the affairs of accommodation between the two crowns as the ambassador himself told me. He gave me a copy of the letters as well as of those which Wake (il Vach) wrote to the same MM. Bethune and Modene. The latter, so I am told, did not wish to try any more here, leaving the whole charge to Gaballeoni, who has been sent to England for the purpose by the Duke of Savoy. There is great hope that the matter will speedily be happily arranged, the more so because when Gabaleoni left here the king asked him to salute the King of England affectionately in his name and to kiss the queen's hands.
Paris, the 5th February, 1619.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
733. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The damage inflicted by the pirates and especially by the ships of Sanson is very great. With seven bertons which he keeps above Cape Spartivento he prevents these royal galleons, which proclaimed their intention of going to destroy him in Barbary, from even issuing out of Messina to defend these waters as they ought, for they allow these injuries to be inflicted under their very eyes. Here they say this has decided his Excellency to send for reinforcements of six or seven of his best ships to hunt this pirate.
Naples, the 5th February, 1619.
[Italian.]
Feb. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
734. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This week I have received your Serenity's letters of the 10th ult., and after carefully reading them I sent to ask the king to permit me to go and see him. I told the Lord Chamberlain of the urgency of the business and the pressing necessity of informing his Majesty; I pressed this strongly so that the execution of the commands of your Excellencies should not be delayed. Yesterday I received a reply that his Majesty will be at Theobalds on Sunday and will see me when I please. Accordingly I must wait with patience, which is so necessary with this government and court.
Meanwhile I have spoken with some of the ministers and have had a long conversation with Canterbury, who is much grieved to see the king in this lethargy and so ready to believe the Spaniards and let them deceive him. However, he gives hopes that they will arm ten royal ships and then with others of the merchants and those which the Dutch always keep armed may display the royal flag and speak to the Spaniards in a befitting manner. He incited me to urge the king to do this without delay. I will not fail in my duty as I know that this is the best and easiest way to arouse the king from his most profound sleep. But the party which favours Spain is powerful and always at his Majesty's ear, so it will be most hazardous to hope or promise anything. However, when I informed the ambassadors of the States and the ambassador of the Palatine about all the circumstances we all agreed to hammer away at the king as vigorously as possible and then we need not despair of good results.
The States, indeed, who have to be vigilant and who are nearing the end of their truce, show the utmost ardour, work hard with the ministers here and speak very vigorously to the king, but they know the coldness, the distaste for trouble and the deplorable and abandoned condition of the royal forces, which, bare of money, without vigour and directed from interested motives, languish more every day. The forty armed ships which used to sail in Queen Elizabeth's time are said to be for the most part spoiled and ruined, and the others require a long and thorough overhauling. This however could be done quickly and easily owing to the number of artisans and sailors so that the breath necessary for this resurrection is at the king's call, and I will use every possible and imaginable means to stir him (ma conoscono la freddezza, la poca voluntà de' fastidii et il pessimo et abbandonato stato delle forze Regie; le quali nude de' denari, senza vigore et con passione consigliate vanno ogni di più languendo. Et le 40 nave solite navigar armate per la fù Regina Elisabetta dicesi essere per una gran parte abbissate et guaste; et le altre richiedere longa e grande rinovatione. Questa però seguiria presto et facilmente per la quantità d'operarii et marinari onde la mossa di questa uscita e risvegliamento sta nella voluntà del Rè, con la cui Maestà s'adopereranno per me tutte la vie et tutti i mezi possibili et imaginabili).
The ambassador of the Palatine and of the other princes has renewed with his Majesty the league in which the king binds himself to pay 4,000 foot or give his own subjects armed within two months of being asked by the princes. He has also promised them verbally to help the Bohemians with 200,000 crowns, but as the ambassador worked hard to get the promise in writing and could not obtain it, I look upon it as very uncertain. Canterbury would like the States, the Duke of Savoy and your Serenity to enter this league; such are the remedies which they propose to quench the blazing fire and to confront such imminent and inevitable dangers.
The exportation of fifty pieces of iron ordnance by the Spanish agent has been stopped, the Council having issued very apt and strenuous orders upon this and all other attempts.
The day before yesterday I had the honour of seeing the queen, who, having recovered from her serious and in the general opinion mortal disorders wished to increase the demonstration of her favours by sending for me before any one else had an audience. Her Majesty bears a remarkable affection for the most serene republic, grieves at her troubles and desires to use her influence to induce the king to render assistance. But the estrangement between their Majesties has by now become public and the separated lives they lead only encourages this. Every other means will be employed, as I have said, to induce others to come to a right and resolute determination upon so many evils and such varied fears, which all wise and clear sighted men feel at so many armaments. Among such men I think very highly of the ministers of the States here, and I will again remind your Serenity of their love, confidence and utter good will towards a closer and firmer understanding. They are still working hard at their negotiations in this kingdom and are overcoming with wonderful patience the difficulties and persecutions they encounter from those dependent upon the Spaniards.
London, the 7th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
735. To the Ambassador at the Imperial Court and the like to the other Courts.
The auditor returned from Naples to Rome in great wrath. There is not the slightest sign of any idea of restoring the ships. The Cardinal Borgia confessed to our ambassador that he could not excuse a state of affairs so contrary to what was promised. He took it ill and said he would write again to Spain and urged our ambassador to do the same, though he tried to encourage vain hopes in an affair so unworthy of the greatness of the crown and the sincerity they profess. We have this consolation, that our loyal sincerity is patent to all the world.
Ayes159.
Noes0.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 8.
Senato. Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
736. With regard to the claims of Colonel Peyton, the Englishman, that the 2,000 ducats promised to him by our late general at sea, Barbarigo, be given to him with the usual order of the Cabinet, to serve for his current pay, and he shall make good the twenty-two men whom he claims to have had at all the musters, besides the number prescribed in his contract, even if they they have been at all the musters and have not received any money.
The fleet shall be advised of this so that a double payment be not made, and the same shall be done with regard to the wages assigned to the colonel, by letter written to the Captain General at sea on 10th October last, and which is understood to have begun on the day that they began to pay his troops.
Ayes129.
Noes6.
Neutral6.
[Italian.]
Feb. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
737. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A priest has arrived here from Messina. He reports that he had seen the galleons of Naples in that port; that the pirate Sanson was inflicting immense damage in those seas where he cruised about with the utmost freedom, and the Viceroy intended that these galleons should go out to fight him or drive him away, but they did not know how to manage it and everyone said that they did not dare to face him.
Rome, the 9th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
738. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two deputies have been to see me about the proposals which I submitted to the States about giving commissions to the Dutch captains about pirates, and sending each other fully accredited ambassadors. I informed the ambassadors of France and England of the substance of my exposition to the States. They both were pleased at this mark of confidence and expressed their surprise at the extraordinary proceedings of the Spaniards. France in particular assured me that the king his master was deeply interested in this affair, and in the preservation of the liberty of Italy.
The Hague, the 10th February, 1619.
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
739. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Baron Corsi has arrived from France with news of the unexpected decision of the king to consummate his marriage with the queen. This has greatly upset the duke, who believes it to be the work of Father Arnoux. He told me it would be necessary to dissimulate and pretend to welcome the news. Corsi said he had found the prince a short distance from Paris, where he was eagerly awaited, but the Spanish party had induced the king to take this decision before the prince arrived at Court. His highness had told me that they had tried every possible way to upset the marriage, saying all manner of evil of the prince, and that it would be better to make the princess a nun; that she might even be a queen, if the English prince wishes, he may have her when he likes, and if she wishes to be Queen of Spain they will get the prince to take her instead of the one who has been already promised, and many other things equally amazing. The duke added that their orders to upset the marriage had come too late, because the nail was clinched.
Turin, the 11th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives
740. PIERO CONTARINI and PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassadors in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Here they speak of nothing but the affairs of Bohemia, the violence of the proceedings giving rise to the belief that there are other causes at work besides the maintenance of religion. His Majesty, in addition to sending troops from Flanders to Germany, has consigned 300,000 crowns to Ferdinand and it is said that 40,000 crowns besides will be paid monthly. The armed galleys are to assemble at the Strait of Gibraltar. It is said that the Marquis of Belmar is to go to Rome to incite the pope to interest himself in Ferdinand's cause. The other day a courier arrived from London with instructions to the resident of England here, which he has executed, to request his Majesty to interpose for the settlement of the Bohemian question and to present to his Majesty a printed book containing the grievances of that people against the last government.
To this office his Majesty replied by praising the King of Great Britain for his attitude towards these affairs and urging him to send an ambassador immediately to Bohemia, promising that he would not relax his efforts with the emperor and King Ferdinand for the settlement of those differences, and he would at once send special instructions to his ambassador resident at Vienna, who had already received orders to encourage the most cordial relations with the ambassador to be sent by his Majesty and to support his negotiations.
Madrid, the 12th February 1619.
[Italian.]
Feb. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
741. ANTONIO MARIA VINCENT, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards announce that the negotiations for their marriage alliance with England are in a very advanced state, and will soon be completed. It is well known, however, how much they fear lest the offices of France and Savoy may upset them.
Milan, the 13th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian]
Feb. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
742. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have been to his Majesty to fulfil the commissions of your Serenity of the 12th ult. to the best of my ability, and with great vigour and zeal. Before beginning I begged the king to help me somewhat with regard to the Italian language, as I found I had not expressed myself well. I spoke to him about the terrible forces of the Spaniards, their intentions, the frauds over treaties, the danger of their suppressing the general liberty and the well-being of your Excellencies, the need for a remedy and help, the reasons why help should be speedy, the insult to his Majesty, his insecurity, his obligation before God, by friendship and by his promises. I had previously said the same to many of the ministers here, with whom and with Canterbury I spoke with all freedom and sincerity. I told them that if in the disturbances and the serious conflagration that was preparing some movement took place in these realms, after the refreshment of so long a sleep, we shall be able to put aside the rack and no longer vex ourselves or annoy them with applications.
The king replied that what I said was very true and he had received the same pressure from his own subjects. Accordingly he had given orders for the arming of six of the royal ships, selected out of many others and they would use every sollicitude in fitting them out. He had come to London to find money to arm them, which he would obtain from the merchants. With these same merchants he had arranged to collect a fleet against the pirates and 25 privateers would unite with his royal ships. (fn. 1) The States had promised to send a squadron of twelve ships of war, which they generally kept as a guard, to serve under his flag, and this fleet united would enter the Spanish waters under the pretext of pursuing pirates, to prey upon them and keep them on tenterhooks (per corseggiarli et ingelosirli). It would start before the Spaniards arming at Valencia would be ready. This move would certainly arrest the forces in our direction and two notable results would ensue, one to prevent the whole weight of the Spanish fleets from falling upon Italy alone; the other that the Spaniards will think of home when they see the English and Dutch ships united. Besides doing this, and while the preparations are going forward, he will send an express courier to Spain to tell the king roundly that to collect such armaments, to fill the world with fear, to say never a word about it, but like a whale to think of swallowing all the fish of the sea at one draught, these are things entirely contrary to the friendship which he professes with these realms. The king had therefore decided to send out his ships and those of his subjects and friends, to stand vigilantly to their duty, assuring him that if the Spanish fleet turned against the Turks and the Barbary pirates, he would render assistance, but if they made any attempt to upset the affairs and liberties of Germany, in which his Majesty had such great interests, or if they did any violence to the republic of Venice, his ally and confederate (so he called her), he could not help assisting his friends in accordance with the dictates of justice and duty. The king spoke thus with eloquence, in a firm manner and with great vigour, affording me great consolation. He repeated: These are my resolutions and you will see them carried out.
I kissed his hand and said it would afford great consolation to your Excellencies. I expected nothing else from his prudence; the quickness in execution would augment the glory of the design and would adorn his temples with true immortality.
The king added: What I have said will be done. To-day I shall not go to rest before many orders have been issued. I have delegated ministers for this. Assure the republic with all my heart that I will not permit her misfortunes. With this I took leave, delighted at hearing the truth and much encouraged at finding his Majesty so vigorous and resolute. That is a true saying cor Regis in manu Domini since for the sixteen years that he has been King of England, they have never knocked a nail into any of the royal ships or so much as thought of such things.
Now, most serene prince, since words arc the shadows of things, I may add that they have begun to attend to the ships, and have entered into close negotiations with the merchants for money and to ask them to unite their own ships with the king's. In the Thames there are more than thirty good ships of these merchants which will be all ready in a short time. I have not only heard all this from the ambassadors of the States, with whom all these affairs are being arranged, but they really are perfectly true and right. God grant the complete fulfilment; I will certainly do my very utmost, and the ambassadors of the States will certainly act with vigour. They have already promised to join their ships to the ones here and they hope by arranging the affair of the West Indies to collect yet another united fleet to damage the Spaniards and for the advantage of the common weal. These ambassadors are very worthy men always ready to meet the caprices of Spain with heart and head, and the rules which guide their conduct are the very ones for the circumstances. They have co-operated in the above affair in a powerful manner and they seem most anxious for the preservation of your Excellencies. The day before yesterday we drank this toast together in the house of your Serenity, with expressions well calculated to foster a perfect confidence
London, the 14th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
743. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Majesty has deposed the old admiral and substituted for him, with full powers, the Marquis of Buckingham, (fn. 2) a youth of twenty-one, whose personal beauty and spirit together with the king's favour render him the chief authority in everything, and the entire Court obeys his will. All requests pass through him and without his favour it is most difficult to obtain anything or to reach the king's ear. Accordingly people speak variously about what results or what steadiness can be expected in carrying out such an important matter. I can only write what the king said to me about arming the ships, the reports abroad and the negotiations proceeding with the ambassadors of the States and the merchants. I think that the best course to follow will be to await the event and then say what is rather than say at present what will be. It seems that such powerful reasons have moved the king's heart, including the interests of the liberty of Germany, of religion and the peril of the Palatine, his own security, the outcry of the people and the rawness after such a lengthy lethargy, that the intrepidity of his resolutions cannot grow cold. I can simply repeat upon this important matter that they have begun to fit out six of the best and largest of the royal ships, except the two largest called The Prince and The Princess Palatine, which are of remarkable size and height.
The States have settled with this kingdom about the herring dues and have agreed to restore the captures made. They have very nearly arranged the affairs of the East Indies and are now negotiating to join together about the West. Hopes for the general weal lie in these and they will help to divert trouble from your Serenity.
The ambassador of the Palatine has left, having assisted the interests of Germany by the authority of his prince at this Court and his own qualities. All think that the reawakening of the king is due to his zeal as his Majesty has promised on his word of honour to assist the liberty and religion of the princes with men and money. This question of religion has great influence over the king's heart, and he always asks if the pope is moving and what he is doing in the troubles of Italy.
The ambassador of Savoy has arrived and has been lodged and entertained by the royal ministers. They did not do so much for your Serenity upon a recent occasion. To-day he has seen the king and has begun his negotiations by asking as a favour to the duke that they will forget what has passed with France, and that ambassadors may be nominated on both sides. They will await his Majesty's reply and the outcome of the affair, of which the ambassador has entire charge.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 25th ult. with all the enclosures. I see that you ask me to help Sir [Henry] Mainwaring to obtain four of the royal ships from the king and afterwards to obtain the king's guarantee and various private securities for this Mainwaring, for the arming of ships and sending them with all speed.
This of course depends upon the appearance of Mainwaring and so far he has not come nor do I hear news of him from any part. So soon as he arrives I will fulfil your Serenity's instructions with my customary zeal, and I will not depart from the particulars laid down. I do not anticipate much difficulty in obtaining the ships, at this conjuncture, but I expect more in getting surety for Mainwaring's fidelity, with such a large capital, and more time for the work than is thought. I hear, however, that the arrival at this court of the secretary of the ambassador Wotton is expected, and I think it will be to help Mainwaring, who must appear soon. Everything depends upon his arrival.
London, the 14th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 14.
Consiglio
de'Dieci
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
744. In the Council of Ten.
That the letter of our ambassador in England of the 17th January last, with respect to the representations of the Spanish ambassador about Sir [Henry] Mainwaring (Manarino), and a Dominican priest, agent of Spain at that Court, be sent to the Savii of our Cabinet by a secretary of this Council, who shall enjoin secrecy.
Ayes16.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
The communication was made immediately to the Savii and the letter was left in the hands of the Secretary Busanello, that is to say a copy of part of it. (fn. 3)
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
745. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the other Courts.
We told you last week of the return of Cardinal Borgia's auditor to Rome. This week comes confirmation of the fact that Ossuna had all the remaining goods removed and said he would rather burn them all than give anything back. We direct you to inform his Majesty of this as a matter affecting the general interests as much as our own since it proves the determination of the Spaniards not to abide by treaties or keep within due limits. Past experience left us little hope for a happy issue of the negotiations at Rome, but the republic accepted them in order to prove the justice of our cause and our desire for peace. Although we have settled everything with King Ferdinand, yet the Spaniards have contrived to keep divisions open; they have tried to hoodwink other princes who might help us and in short they behave in an utterly different sense from their spoken utterances. We have tried every possible way and we no longer hope for anything good. The Spaniards clearly wish to devour this province, and first of all the power which offers the most resistance. They are making extensive preparations in Spain, Sardinia, Majorca, Sicily, Naples, Germany and elsewhere. You will express these matters in confidence as the public service requires.
Ayes156.
Noes2.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
Consiglio di X.
Capi.
Lettere
Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
746. To the Ambassador DONATO in England.
With regard to your letter of 17 January last relating to the action of the Catholic ambassador with his Majesty apropos of Sir [Henry] Mainwaring (Manarino) we wish the Savio of our Cabinet to be informed about this and also about that Dominician friar who acts with such extraordinary authority at that Court. We have given them a copy of your letter with power to communicate them to the Senate under great secrecy. We wish to assure you of our satisfaction with your labours. [Draft].
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
747. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It being announced that the Spaniards with the pope's help were trying to bring together the Catholic league of Germany, a note has arrived here of the forces which the Protestant princes of the Union can collect. They are England, Denmark, the States, the Palatine, Saxony and all the other Protestant princes of Germany and all the free lands. It is reckoned that these powers can collect a force of 100,000 foot and 15,000 horse. This might be difficult but yet it is thought that the more the Catholics move the more enthusiastic the Protestants will become.
Rome, the 16th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Communicazioni
dal Cons de'X.
Venetian
Archives.
748. POLO MINIO, to FRANCESCO CONTARINI, Ambassador, and ALMORO NANI, Bailo of Venice at Constantinople.
The choice of Gasparo Gratiani as Prince of Moldavia has alarmed me because I have my family in that province. However, I went to congratulate him and when we were alone he asked me to use my influence to get your Excellencies to allow Marc' Antonio Borisi to give him a daughter of his to wife. He said that his very dear friend the English ambassador was going to approach your Excellencies on the subject, but had only been able to see the bailo.
Presented on the 16th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
749. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke told me: I have good news from England and I appreciate it the better because it assures me that the marriage with Spain is not so nearly arranged as was believed. Perhaps your Excellency may have heard, but I will read you the letter. With that he drew from his pocket a letter from Wake who was resident here, saying he tells me not to show it to any one, but it is not an infringement to show it to the minister of the republic, with which I enjoy such intimacy. The letter was dated the 25th January. The duke did not read the beginning, but I noticed that it was just complimentary. He then said that he had good news because his Majesty was quite of the opinion of his Highness, referring, I believe, from what followed after, to the matter of the King of the Romans. He added that the king had decided to publicly assist the Bohemians and that Baron Dohna who was here and proceeded hence to England, had left there well satisfied with his Majesty and with more than he hoped for. The king had decided to send Wake to the princes of Germany and the Bohemians and on his return he would come and serve his Highness. The king thanked the duke for the help given to the Bohemians by paying Mansfeld's troops, and he begged him to continue this until his return to Piedmont when he hoped to bring still greater news. He goes on to say that his Majesty had asked the Venetian ambassador to urge the Signory to help the Bohemians. As a sign of his good-will and affection towards the republic he had granted three things, to send a special person to Spain to tell them roundly that if they did not cease from harassing the republic his Majesty could not refrain from sending help and standing by her; that no more ships, artillery or other provisions of war will be granted to the Spaniards, and his Majesty had heard with displeasure that some merchant had abused the favour granted in exceeding the quantity of artillery to be taken out; and thirdly that he promised to arm his large ships and send them to the coasts of Spain if the Spaniards persisted in troubling your Serenity. Such are the contents of the letter. The duke told me that if this were true it was the best news that he could possibly have from that quarter. The point is whether the aim of the Spaniards is not to destroy us. For the moment they stay their hand from compulsion, owing to the condition of affairs in Bohemia, which has also called forth important declarations from England, all being united, but if their evil intentions remain, as undoubtedly they do, they will purpose to vent them upon some other occasion; it is no good to trust them, for an action induced by force is worth nothing, and if the affairs of Germany are settled they will be upon us, you may be sure. They are determined to smash the republic and me and that idea is fixed in their mind.
Turin, the 18th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 19.
Inquisitori
di Stato
Busta 1213.
No. 49.
Venetian
Archives.
750. Diana Palermitana, widow of John Bartlett, came of her own accord and said she had some important things to report to the Inquisitors of State which had come to her knowledge since her previous examination. She said she remembered that the English earl left here with a large company at the time of the discovery of the conspiracy. Does not know if they left for that or any other cause. Heard that the earl had gone to collect troops (fn. 4) ; but did not know for what purpose or where he would lead the troops. One Francesco di Zurrino, formerly steward of the English ambassador here, had told her this. He had afterwards gone to Friuli with the French captain, who afterwards deserted. This Francesco went with the earl.
In reading over she asked what Henry Parvis, who left with him, was going to do in England; Francesco replied that he was going on business. He also said that the earl had been retained here with fine speeches, but now he had been dismissed; a time might and would come when the Venetians would need the English. He said the earl was very disgusted that his wife had been imprisoned here, and had been fined 50 ducats, which cost him 100, although the English ambassador had intervened.
As she had heard that friends and familiars of those who had been found traitors were still in Venice, she had come to say that a soldier of Captain Baldissera Juven, lodging with her, had told her that when the captain received the paper about the rebellion, he went to gather his soldiers. The same soldier said that men of all nationalities were concerned in the conspiracy, not only French but Englishmen, Savoyards and even Venetians, but he did not mention any names, though he said there were many. The morning after Captain Baldissera left two soldiers came to my house to ask after him. I said he had gone. They asked if I knew whether he would stop at Verona, and if he was accompanied by the person he had succeeded in releasing from prison. I said they had left together at the second hour of the night and said they talked of going to Padua and Treviso.
She said further: I remind you again to keep an eye on the house of John Holland. He pays a high rent and has enlarged the house by breaking the wall. Those who are within without bulletins of la Biastema can escape in several directions if search is made for them. There is another entrance and a balcony behind by which they can go. You should also keep an eye on the house of Parvis at the Ponte di San Martino, as Englishmen of high rank frequent it.
In reading over: There are three other houses, one at la Crosera of S. Giovanni in Bragora del Piovano called Tedesca, and the other two have their doors near mine. They have some people without bulletins.
Admitted and sworn to silence.
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
751. To the Ambassador in England.
You have satisfactorily fulfilled our instructions in informing the king and his ministers about present events in Italy, and we also commend your efforts with regard to facilitating a reconciliation between the two crowns. What you report about the order from the king and Canterbury deserves consideration and shows that we must not relax our efforts. You will endeavour to incite Canterbury further by informing him of the current events, the dispositon to support occasioned by the decision of the king himself to allow his ships to be armed, to forbid the Spaniards to take ships and munitions from his realms and other things which were notified by his Majesty, whilst the Spaniards remain armed and their designs and machinations are most uncertain. For these things you will especially thank the king, assuring him of our reciprocal good will and you will especially praise his prudence and his worthy aim to preserve and maintain the liberty of princes friendly to him. We send you a copy of the exposition made to-day by his Majesty's ambassador and a copy of the news from Naples, to serve for information and to impart greater warmth to your representations.
We take this opportunity to add that with respect to the Savoy accounts we have sent to Turin the receipts and the very accounts arranged by you. As the uprightness of your management appears, so we are most certain of your integrity, and therefore we shall use every effort to make the truth manifest both in Turin and elsewhere. We will send you full particulars of everything.
Ayes175.
Noes2.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
752. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are seeing to the fitting out of the royal ships and the work is being done in the requisite manner, the need being very great. The repairs are being carried out at Rochester where those ships are preserved. But their sollicitude is not such as the situation demands. There are forty royal ships of high board; six remain continually armed at the ordinary guards, two for each mouth, that is two in the French Channel, two in the direction of Spain, and two in the Irish Sea. Six are being fitted out at this moment and six others remain in reserve to relieve those of the guard, that is to change the ships. From the forty are excluded The Princess Palatine and The Prince, to which they render the greatest honour. Accordingly twenty are engaged in the king's service. The others are unseaworthy and are called the disbanded ones (le riformate). In the agreement made with the merchants they have power to pull them to pieces, with the obligation to make two new ones each year. It will not be difficult for Mainwaring to obtain some of these ill-conditioned ships. A minister constantly with the Marquis of Buckingham, now Lord High Admiral, told me so much. But the expense of fitting them out will be considerable and will require a long time. Meanwhile, however, Mainwaring does not put in an appearance and thus the whole affair and the favours which are expected remain in abeyance. My commissions cannot be executed without the necessary remittances from Venice, which will be at a very high and damaging rate of interest. This is simply to enlighten your Excellencies, who are in urgent need of speedy succour from these ships and ought to provide the means of making them ready if they are obtained.
The king has repeated to the States and to the ambassador of Savoy his decision to arm six ships, join them to the six of the guard and twelve of the merchants and send them towards the Strait. The States have promised to add twenty-four others to these, under the name of a fleet against pirates. They are now discussing the appointment of an admiral, and orders have been issued to stop all the sailors who come from Scotland with coal, to employ them upon this fleet. Whether this will certainly be formed I can say nothing beyond what I have written, but it is very doubtful for the reasons which I give below.
A gentleman has arrived from Spain in fourteen days. He brings word that the marriage negotiations between the two crowns are far advanced, promises that Don Diego Sarmiento will return to this kingdom in a few days and assures the king that all the provisions of the Spanish fleet are against Algiers and the pirates or that the fleets will be disbanded. His Majesty's agent at the Catholic Court gives the same assurance in letters of the 14th inst. and the confirmation of this is expected with the return of the king's courier. The delight of the partisans of Spain at this news is great, and they have yet greater hopes of gain. God grant that this news and the return of Sarmiento may not send the king off to sleep again, and that the snares and delights of the marriage alliance may not gain ground in his heart and will.
The news about Sarmiento's coming is quite true. His power and address at this Court are well known to any who have seen or come into contact with them. The Dutch fear his arrival and say it is in order to make sure about the marriage, secure themselves from so many fleets and separate these kingdoms from their friendship. Nevertheless, only yesterday evening Mr. Howard (Vuart), who now has the management of all the affairs of Italy, confirmed in his Majesty's name that the ships would arm and issue forth and if the Spaniards passed the Strait and wished to unite their fleets, his Majesty's fleet would always be at their tail. He went on to give me hope about the four ships for your Serenity and expressed the same friendly sentiments which the king had uttered to me about the interests of your Excellencies, to whose experience I submit the carrying out of the facts.
The ambassador of Savoy has arranged with his Majesty for an oblivion of all the past differences with France, and accordingly the air being cleared, he has sent to arrange for the nomination of ambassadors. The king complained to the ambassador that the duke had made him say he had arranged the league with your Serenity and that it was not really so. He urged him to remind his Highness of duty and gratitude. The same ambassador informed his Majesty of the arrival of the Prince of Piedmont at Paris and of the consummation of the two marriages almost at the same time, the one considered bitter and premature the other very harmful to the interests of Italy.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 26th ult. and the 1st inst. I am awaiting the coming of Sir [Henry] Mainwaring to carry out your orders, as I wrote on the 14th.
London, the 21st February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 21.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
753. The Ambassador of the King of Great Britain came into the Cabinet and said:
I have come this morning to treat of a public and a private matter. I have written about the ships and done what I thought best to facilitate the matter, and I hope for satisfactory results. The Count Palatine has written me a long letter about the ships. He says he hears that the King of Spain has decided to send help against Bohemia by sea, carrying men across the Gulf to Trieste. It is a short route and the only one now the passes are all closed. The princes are very anxious, he says. His Highness asked me for my opinion. I told him that I had spoken to your Serenity and had been told that this passage would never be allowed while you had the power to prevent it. I sent this reply eight days ago. I urged the Count Palatine to rouse the other princes to unite in friendship. I judged that this would be profitable to the republic, from whom I may claim some consideration, as I have always laboured for her interests.
The private matter concerns the trade in salted fish, which I am anxious to see put in a good way. I presented a memorial on the subject some days ago. It will benefit our people, but if it supplies this city more cheaply it will be no small advantage. I hope to see this matter arranged during my embassy, so that I may be mentioned by the merchants at the Exchange in England, to show that I have not been useless.
I pass to another private matter. The Duke of Holstein has unsheathed his sword in the service of your Serenity and he does not wish to go and serve other princes without your leave. Your Serenity has received him with great honour, but he finds that the words and promises given to him are rather too general. He undertakes to have the pass through the Grisons for his men. I leave this matter to the prudent consideration of your Serenity.
I have also to recommend Colonel Peyton. I have disposed him to continue in the service of your Serenity and he remains quiet and satisfied at length upon the question of the money. Your Serenity is right although he had good grounds. I recommend a request which he has made of the Savio Foscarini.
There remains a work of charity to be done for Captain Tornon, who was recently released by the Council of Ten, and who has been to see me. You may think it strange for me to speak for the subject of another prince, but he is known from the highest to the lowest of his Majesty's Court. He taught the late and the present prince to manipulate the pike. (fn. 5) He told me of his misfortunes and I read him a lecture. I told him that in great affairs rigorous justice is done even upon simple suspicion. He had been tried like gold in the furnace and his innocence was recognised. He asked me to beg your Serenity for pardon. I think it reasonable that he should have something to testify to his loyalty. I shall take it as a favour if your Serenity will grant this.
The doge replied: We thank you for your good offices in the matter of the ships. We shall never permit a passage through the Gulf so long as we have the strength to resist. The question of trade has been considered by the Signory and we know that they are ready to give you satisfaction. The duke knows our readiness to satisfy him, but these affairs cannot be settled so speedily. We will consider his new proposals. The request of Colonel Peyton shall be speedily attended to. Captain Tournon should be satisfied with the justice shown to him, as it cannot be denied that he had secret practices with those villains, but the Council of Ten released him because he had no share in their evil operations. We do not see what else we can do as it is not usual to make such attestations. He can have no better attestation than his release. He has been in our apartments and we thought well of him. We let him have his sword back as a sign of honour. If he learned anything of the intentions and evil proceedings of those villains, the republic will be glad to hear it, and we beg you to persuade him to let us know.
The ambassador promised to do so, took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Feb. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
754. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
We send you an extract from the letters of the ambassador in England with regard to his efforts to facilitate the reconciliation between the two crowns. You will inform the duke of what has been done and how our ambassador has done nothing beyond acceding to the requests made of him with the worthy object of assisting in a consummation so desirable for the general good.
Ayes148.
Noes1.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Feb. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
755. Instructions to Zaccaria Cabriel chosen to be Proveditore General of Corfu, Zante, and Cephalonia.
You know the importance of the trade in raisins. You will see that our interests receive no prejudice from associations of our subjects with foreigners, from smuggling and other frauds; you will keep yourself well informed and see that the regulations are observed. As the smugglers take advantage of some houses situated immediately on the sea coast of Zante, contrary to the provisions that there must be a way outside, we direct you to see that the fronts of such houses are set back so that there may be a clear way round the whole coast of the island.
Ayes139.
Noes0.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Feb. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
756. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England to the DOGE and SENATE.
This is the reply to the demands of the Duke of Savoy about the uprightness of my ministry with him and to his rabid fictions. It is so clear that it will prevent him from getting his teeth into me any more. Your Serenity's treasury has not paid out any more money than the duke's receipts show, anything above from 2 to 2½ per cent., went to the merchants. The Senate never ordered me to take receipts, I asked for them of my own accord. These receipts exist and I ask that they may be shown to the duke so that he may acknowledge them. The payments made by me were not all made at Turin, but at Lyons in great part, by letters of credit. The money paid at Lyons was paid in at Venice and I had nothing to do with it. The first money I received in Turin was given to me by Domenico Pollini, a merchant of your Serenity. He undertook to provide whatever money was necessary to help the duke. He had made due provision in his house, but one night he was suddenly arrested by the duke, and all the money, jewels and things taken away. This dumbfounded the merchants, and I was at my wits end. Then the Count of Verua and the Marquis of Calus came to ask me to employ Lorenzo Georgis and Carlo Baronis. I insisted upon the release of Pollini. He was set free, but lost his money, and had to take refuge in the states of your Serenity. Accordingly the whole affair fell into the hands of Georgis and Baronis, who simply encouraged the duke's natural prodigality. They bought the letters of credit on Lyons and paid the money in advance, at 10 per cent. interest. The duke often sent to ask me for money.
At various times I also had money from other merchants, such as Gio. Antonio Ferari and Company, Gaii and Bonomine, Fontanella and Porro and certain Germans, who brought it by night for fear of the duke, and kept their capital in the house of the pope's ambassador.
At various times I have received money from Georgis and Baronis in large sums to relieve them from paying them to the duke, in obedience to my instructions. His Highness knows how often I have relieved him, with 5,000 or 6,000 dubloons at one time, with 8,000 or 10,000 crowns at another. I cannot tell the value of these payments, they were mostly in dubloons and sequins. I know that the duke allowed much debased coin to be struck in his mint.
That is my case, which rests chiefly upon the receipts. The merchants always had the benefit of the exchange and they admit it. His Highness received the entire payment. If his miseries and the behaviour of his ministers weighed hard upon him, that is not my affair. The receipts should be sent to the ambassador Zen, who should ascertain whether they are in his Highness's hand, and whether the sums correspond with the amount paid out by the Treasury. This will appease the duke, assure your Serenity of my uprightness and inform the world of the mountain of gold given to help the duke.
But this does not suffice. The honour of a famous house is in question. What a cruel fate is mine. I have needed all my self control and sense of duty to keep me from flying to your Serenity's feet to purge myself of this charge. But every reason of justice asserts that I should be able to meet my accusation on the spot. I pray with uplifted hands that you will allow me to come and justify myself. I will not appeal to my past labours or the services of my ancestors, I simply ask for ordinary justice and that the truth may be known. I cannot remain any longer here; the public dignity would suffer, the accusation being public, patent and notorious. My honour or my shame must appear to the world, in no other way can I ever be satisfied. Send at once your gracious permission to return so that my torments may not be prolonged.
London, the 23rd February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian].
Feb. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
757. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke signed the treaty saying that he would even more readily draw his sword for the republic. It was decided to send word to France and that the other Courts should be informed as soon as possible. His Highness said to me that it might be as well to send a despatch to England so that the ambassadors might inform the king in concert. This might go at once by the present courier, so as to lose no time. He said: Perhaps you do not wish to send the news to England or elsewhere without instructions from his Serenity.
Turin, the 25th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
758. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The pirate Sanson continues his depredations. He has taken the Ragusan ship Massibradi of over 1,000 butts burthen, which was going to the Levant to lade corn. He has sent it to the Goletta.
Naples, the 26th February, 1619.
[Italian.]
Feb. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
759. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Although the news which his Majesty has from Spain raises considerable hope that the Catholic king has suspended his naval preparations, and no longer thinks of sending out his fleet this year, this is thought to be rather a deceitful invention and they continue the fitting out of the six royal ships and the four other inferior ones. The Vice Admiral has been sent to hasten on the work and other necessary orders have been issued for the effective arming of the ships. His Majesty wishes them to be ready by the beginning of April, with fourteen provided by the merchants and six of the ordinary guard ships. Meanwhile it is also a settled thing that twenty-six ships of the States are to join these nominally as a fleet to act against the pirates. No one, however, has been mentioned as commander nor yet do they say what route they will take. Some fear that they will only serve as a guard for these kingdoms and to defend their own things. This would offend the Dutch and would upset the agreement for joining together. The decision rests in the heart of the king. He left two days ago for his hunting and will remain there during the whole of next month.
His Majesty has deposed the Secretary Lake and condemned him with his wife and a daughter to perpetual imprisonment upon a question of honour. He has substituted in Lake's place a young man of approved virtue. (fn. 6)
Sir [Henry] Mainwaring does not put in an appearance and nothing is heard of him. The secretary of Sir [Henry] Wotton is only here on private affairs of his master. I am assured that nothing has appeared of any offices or letters of Wotton to ask ships from the king, so that the arrangements and desires of your Serenity are to some extent prejudiced by the delay and uncertainty.
This is all I have worthy of note at present. I have received the letters of the 2nd inst. with news.
London, the 28th February, 1618. [M.V.]
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Apparently there were only twenty-five in all, namely six of the royal navy, five of the Cinque Ports and fourteen merchants. Letter of Sir Edw. Harwood to Carleton of Feb. 6. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1619–23, page 11.
2 The king's commission under the great seal bears the date Jan. 28th old style. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1619–23, page 8. Nottingham received 3,000l. down and 1,000l. pension. Ibid, page 11.
3 The copy is in the series, Senato, Secreta Communicazioni dal Cons. de'Dieci.
4 In reading over, that had gone to get troops under Count Maurice in Flanders.
5 There is a warrant of Feb. 7, 1614 to pay 100l. to M. de Tournon for teaching the prince to toss the pike. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–18 page 222.
6 Sir Thomas Lake and his wife and their daughter Lady Roos were condemned on Feb. 23 for their calumnies against Frances, Countess of Exeter. On Feb. 24, George Calvert was appointed Secretary of State for life. Cal. S.P. Dom; 1619–23, page 14. He had acted as secretary to the Earl of Salisbury, and on that statesman's death took charge of Italian and Spanish affairs for a short while. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–8, page 135.