Venice
April 1619, 2-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1909

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512-522

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'Venice: April 1619, 2-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 512-522. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88702 Date accessed: 24 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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April 1619

April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
814. Owing to the importance of the affairs about the payments made to the Duke of Savoy, which cannot be settled without the presence of the Ambassador Donato, some decision should be taken without delay. That Piero Gritti, returning from the embassy in Spain, be instructed to proceed to the court of the King of Great Britian with all speed, to remain there until the return of the Ambassador Donato and until further order.
That he receive for the journey and preparations 1,000 ducats of lire 7 each, and 400 gold crowns of lire 7 a month for his expenses, for which he need render no account, four months being paid in advance. That he receive 300 ducats for horses, trappings and coffers for which he need render no account. That the two couriers who accompany him shall each receive 40 ducats.
Ayes133.
Noes30.
Neutral21.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
815. To the Ambassador Donato in England.
We have decided to afford you the consolation you have asked for and which is only just. When you hear from the Ambassador Gritti that he is on the road to England, then and not before you may come to this city, after first taking leave of his Majesty and presenting the enclosed letters. You will tell him that Piero Gritti will be in residence until your return and is already on the road, as we wish to have a minister by him. You will then leave all the documents and information in the hands of the secretary, who will write what happens until the arrival of Gritti and will afterwards serve him. You will return in the certainty of receiving our friendly protection, and we expect that you will establish your innocence clearly.
Ayes133.
Noes3.
Neutral21.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
816. To the King of Great Britain.
Antonio Donato has obtained leave to return home for urgent reasons for a short time. Piero Gritti is coming to act as ambassador until his return.
Ayes133.
Noes30.
Neutral21.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
817. To the Queen of Great Britain.
Notification that the Ambassador Donato has leave to return home for a short time.
Ayes133.
Noes30.
Neutral21.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
818. To the Prince of Wales.
Notification that the Ambassador Donato has leave to return home.
Ayes133.
Noes30.
Neutral21.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
819. To the Ambassador Gritti, returning from Spain.
From the enclosed you will see the reasons why we have directed you to go at once to England by the shortest route. It will be very inconvenient for you, but the public service requires the presence of an ambassador of credit. You will notify Donato at once that you are on the way, so that he may immediately inform his Majesty and take leave himself. Your instructions and credentials will be sent straight by way of Flanders to the secretary who will stay on in your service.
We shall await news of the receipt and the immediate execution of the present orders. You may be sure of receiving testimony of the public gratitude for such a good and important service as that in which you will be engaged.
Ayes133.
Noes30.
Neutral21.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
820. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some Ragusans have arrived here from your Serenity's fleet and have had a long colloquy with his Excellency. They report that the whole strength of your fleet consists in the nineteen Dutch and English ships, the rest being very feeble.
Naples, the 2nd April, 1619.
April 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
821. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king's infirmities have recently increased causing him much pain and some anxiety as he is now suffering from stone in addition to the pains of the gout. This is due to the climate and the drink of the country and is generally dangerous. In this condition he stays on in the country (fn. 1) and there is no hope of his return or of being able to negotiate anything, the ministers abstain from worrying him with the least thing. If he abhors trouble when well, his condition in sickness may be imagined.
I have your Serenity's letters of the 4th, 7th and 9th ult., and will obey your commands. I will leave no stone unturned with the ministers and especially with the Marquis of Buckingham, upon whom everything depends and upon whose wishes depends the reply about granting ships. Four additional ones, of great heighth and power, have been placed on the stocks, and they would serve admirably for the defence of your Excellencies. But patience, time and possibly other means are needed to surmount the rocks of difficulties and of not knowing what will best advance the service and greatness of these kingdoms.
The king's fleet will be perfectly fitted out in a few days and every one feels assured of the decision to send it out, since captains have been appointed to each of the ships and it is said that the Vice Admiral will have the command. The interests of the merchants, who pay the king 80,000 crowns a year for arming the ships, are as much concerned as the dignity and glory of his Majesty, as represented by the Marquis of Buckingham, the sole dispenser of the royal actions. The differences with the Dutch, however, which go on increasing, place some difficulties in the way, and owing to the king's indisposition their affairs remain in suspense, much to their distress and to the hurt and dissatisfaction of all.
A courier has arrived post from Spain. He brings letters of the 15th ult. He was sent about the affairs of your Serenity and I am waiting to hear what they will tell me, as I have not yet heard anything. But a rumour is circulating at Court that your Excellencies' affairs have been accomodated, and that the Catholic king promises his Majesty to remove every reason for mistrust. God grant it may be so and that what the Spaniards desire may not happen.
London, the 4th April, 1619.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
822. To the Prince of Wales.
Letters of credence for Piero Gritti, who is to reside as ambassador until the return of Donato.
Ayes153.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
823. To the Queen of Great Britain.
Letters of credence for Piero Gritti.
Ayes153.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
824. To the King of Great Britain.
We have given leave to Antonio Donato to return home upon important affairs which admit no delay. We have appointed Piero Gritti to act as ambassador until his return. He has served in other courts with great praise. We beg your Majesty to give him hearing as to ourselves, and may God prosper you and grant you a long life.
Ayes153.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
825. To the Ambassador Gritti, destined for England.
We send you your instructions and credentials, so that you may take up your duties as soon as you arrive.
Ayes153.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
826. Instructions for Piero Gritti, sent as Ambassador Extraordinary to England.
We have directed you to go with all speed to the Court of the King of Great Britain, to act as ambassador extraordinary until the return of Antonio Donato.
When you arrive in London you will ask audience of his Majesty and present your letters of credence and explain that as the Ambassador Donato had to return home we wished to keep an ambassador near his Majesty to render public testimony to our affection and esteem, feeling sure of his loyal co-operation in all matters concerning the general good. You will add whatever else you think opportune, but especially thank him warmly for his offices on our behalf in Spain and elsewhere, for his good will and so many public declarations in the present disturbances which we shall never forget. You will enlarge upon this as much as you judge best to foster and increase confidence with him. You will maintain good relations with the ministers of princes at that court, passing such offices of compliment and confidence as you judge to be best for our service.
We send letters of credence for the queen and prince, which you will present.
We promised Pope Clement VIII. and the present pope to direct our ambassadors in England to help the Catholic religion whenever they conveniently could do so. You must, however, act with all reserve, in order not to offend the king and do more harm than good; you will only perform very general offices and even then only if you feel sure of succeeding, not otherwise.
From the Secretary Marioni you will receive the public documents and instructions left by Donato; and as the secretary who served you in Spain has returned home sick, we have ordered Marioni to stay on in your service.
You will tell us of all that happens worthy of notice. You will carry out the instructions of your predecessor and whatever else you may hear from time to time.
We give you leave to keep beyond the ordinary household, a chaplain and an interpreter. We assign to the chaplain 186 ducats a year as by decree of the Senate of 26th November, 1610.
We have given you 1,000 ducats of lire 7 to put yourself in order, and 400 gold ducats a month for expenses, four months paid in advance, for which you need not render account.
For horses, coverings and coffers, 200 ducats, for which you need not render account.
For extraordinary expenses, 300 ducats, for which you must render account.
Forty ducats each to the two couriers who accompany.
Ayes153.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
April 6.
Senato Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
827. That the money be set aside for the payment of the following ships:—
Ducats.
To the ship Hercules for our service to the last day of March, 16191,600
To the ship Royal Exchange for our service to the 19th ult1,800
To the ship Abigail for our service to the 18th ult1,600
To the ship Matthew for our service to the 31st ult1,600
To the ship Dragon for our service to the 9th ult1,420
Ayes145.
Noes0.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
April 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
828. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke read me a letter of his to Prince Filibert. He said: I incite them to attack Algiers so that they may leave us alone, and I speak about our being allied with others besides the Bernese in order that they may think we are joined with the English and Dutch, so that the suspicion and fear of having such forces against them may keep them from fresh mischief.
Turin, the 8th April, 1619.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 9.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
829. To the Count of Spalato.
We are informed that there are some Englishmen in your city sent by Dominis the late archbishop who are in negotiation with his relations. We therefore direct you to watch all their proceedings and discover the reason for their visit, sending us word of all things worthy of our notice. You will especially notice if they are distributing books and their nature, and if they are against religion you will take them from those who have them and send them to us.
Ayes23.
Noes0.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
830. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetain Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have appointed the Marquis of Trinel as ambassador extraordinary to England to offer condolences upon the queen's death. The mission should do much to further the reconciliation between the two crowns. The ambassador will start very soon and before the Count of Triglier, the ordinary ambassador. (fn. 2)
Paris, the 10th April, 1619.
[Italian.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
831. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king's life has been in danger for three days and the sickness was so severe that they could apply no remedies and he was given up for lost. The rumour of his death got abroad and possibly spread outside the kingdom. But, thank God, he is better and is now out of danger, although in great pain and extremely weak. The trouble of the stone, fever with constant trembling and vomiting and the colic pains which racked him have shewn his Majesty that even great kings are subject to sudden and inexorable death. He passed three stones, was able to sleep and is now much relieved. However, he remains in the country, it being impossible to bring him to London. He did not wish to die there and promised not to betake himself so much to hunting and solitude in the future. He spoke to the Council and the prince, who all assembled about him, with remarkable prudence and virtue.
In his Majesty's present ill state of health all business sleeps, and no one thinks of any negotiations whatsoever, not even the ministers, who are almost all with the king. However, yesterday I saw Canterbury and heard the following from him which is worthy of the attention and consideration of your Excellencies. By way of Brussels they have heard of the death of the Emperor, (fn. 3) but of the Palatine they have so far no news whatsoever. They understand both from Spain and from Flanders that all the preparations and attentions of the Spaniards are directed to German affairs, to hand back the crown of Bohemia to Ferdinand and make him Emperor, while troubling the princes of the new religion, the allies of this kingdom. Uceda in Spain had with his own lips told his Majesty's agent that the Catholic king was determined to see the dignity of his blood restored in Germany, and the government there could not be left in the hands of the common people. Upon these advices, the emperor's death, if it be true, the peril of the German Protestants, the interests of the Palatine as Imperial Vicar, whose place it is to convoke the diet and to give the lead, his Majesty must, said Canterbury, come to a decision without delay, so soon as his health permits, and hasten to unite his ships with those of the Dutch, giving assistance where required without reserve, without fear and with a decision adequate to the necessity, which was as great as could be. It was perfectly clear that the subjection of Germany and the aims of the Spanish forces to establish their monarchy again in those parts would deal a shrewd blow at the general peace and security of friendly powers, of the Low Countries and of these kingdoms also.
I told Canterbury what I had received in your Serenity's letters of the 4th and 8th ult. and encouraged him to help towards the general good. I again spoke of the grant of ships and showed him the peril of your Serenity, the expense and the duty of friends to relieve the republic of these long and insidious troubles, as she had helped Germany by preventing the passage of Spaniards with her fleet, or at least rendering it difficult.
Canterbury replied that the king's decision about Germany would prove equally helpful to your Serenity and now their fleet was ready to go out, excellently provided, it did not behove them to deprive the realm of other ships which constituted its bulwarks. We must have patience and await a more fitting and opportune time for such a grant, for which neither his Majesty nor the Council was utterly disinclined. Nevertheless I ought not to cease from my representations to the king and other ministers, whenever possible, urging them to see to the junction and setting out of the ships. He was firmly of opinion not to make any further representations to the Spaniards but that vigorous demonstrations would bring them to reason.
I asked him what the courier recently arrived from Spain had brought about the affairs of your Serenity. He told me Uceda had said what I reported above, namely that the Catholic king's whole attention was directed to Germany, where he desired peace also and begged his Majesty to interpose, while he had no thought of attacking others, but had decided to disband his fleets if no occasion arose to use them; he was incurring great expenses for the peace of Christendom and had no other aim, as events would prove. But Canterbury added: Fistula dulce canit, volucres dum decipit auceps, because the fleet and armies are growing and the request for interposition in Germany is simply intended to deceive. Accordingly he said that he hoped Lord Hay would not now go to the emperor, and he would speak strongly to dissuade the king from sending him.
After this conversation we went on to speak of the king's sickness, the queen's death and other things. Canterbury said that acting as a sincere friend of the republic he ought not to conceal from me what a prudent and trustworthy man had written to him, namely that after the league had been arranged with the Duke of Savoy they were by common consent negotiating with the pope. The report of this would work great mischief with the king, and do much more harm if it proved true. The Dutch had already said that if such a league were true they would recall their ships from the service of your Serenity and would think of their own affairs.
I said that I knew nothing about it. In matters of State the pope was considered not as pope but as a temporal prince. If for the liberty of Italy he should join the republic and Savoy, friendly princes ought to rejoice since it would be for the general good.
He said: No sir, such a league will greatly injure you both here and elsewhere. I advise you to let the king know the truth; in present circumstances it will not serve you to damp his friendship. So we left it and I have done my duty in reporting the whole. God grant that the benefit of such a league, if it take place, may prevail over the damage wrought by the report of it.
London, the 11th April, 1619.
[Italian.]
April 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
832. ANTONIO DONATO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 11th ult. with the exposition of his Majesty's ambassador. I will use the particulars about the league with the princes of Germany as instructed. I assure you that there is not a shadow of probability that the ships of these kingdoms will join with the Spaniards. The English consort ill with the Spaniards and the king and his ministers are far from thinking of such a mixture. The ships of his Majesty are more beholden to merchants than to the king himself; they arm them, pay them and claim to command them. Here they speak of this fleet as intended to go against pirates for the benefit of navigation, so that ends the idea that it is to be employed upon the affairs and plans of princes. However fate wills it to join with the Dutch and that they sally forth together, when the results will appear. By the end of this month the English ships will be armed at all points and events in Germany require them to come out and join the Dutch.
Sir [Henry] Mainwaring does not cease to remind me of his services and labours. He promises a surety from the Earl of Dorset, a leading nobleman of great wealth. He wishes to see the quality of your Serenity's fleet improved without the excessive expenditure which he says is incurred. He offers to bring succours of sailors and gunners. The command of the sea, he says, depends upon these, not upon soldiers, and upon having a few large ships. He keeps drawing up papers and making calculations to prove the advantages of keeping a strong fleet sufficient for defence, at considerably less cost. He comes to this embassy every day and constantly shows more and more affection towards your Serenity and his thorough acquaintance with naval affairs, joined to extraordinary ability. He would replace the small and useless ships which are serving you for their own profit solely and with no public advantage, by larger and powerful ones, manned by sailors only, to scour the seas which the republic wishes and must preserve as her own.
The merchants actually interested in these English ships, who by the hire alone have repurchased their very feeble ships, have been convinced by Mainwaring's arguments; these would always provide an answer to any attempt which they might make in the Royal Council and to any harm which Burlamachi might suffer.
The ambassador of Savoy has received a courier from France who brings word of the satisfaction felt by the king at the appointment of an ambassador on this side. He confirms the news of the departure hither of M. de Tillier, and adds that they are sending another as ambassador extraordinary upon the queen's death. The conflagration is spreading over there with little hope of improvement, to the general confusion of everything, doubt, uncertainty and danger reigning everywhere. The Savoyard has no instructions from the duke about communicating the league with your Serenity and does not know what he ought to do.
London, the 11th April, 1619.
[Italian.]
April 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
833. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agent of England has received this week fresh instructions to remonstrate with his Majesty upon the behaviour of the Viceroy of Naples in not carrying out the treaty with your Serenity, and acting in a way so opposed to their promises and to what they have so often assured the king. He would have already executed these orders but for the necessity of putting on mourning for the queen's death. However, he has spoken to some of the ministers and will soon see his Majesty, as I have strongly urged him to.
They are most sorry about the union of the English galleons with those of Holland and that they are ready to sail. Although they are assured that the fleet has no other object than to fight the pirates, yet they would rather hear of its dispersal than of further preparations.
Madrid, the 13th April, 1619.
[Italian.]
April 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives,
834. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TREVISAN, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
If the news that has reached here of the death of the Queen of England be true, it seems probable that this will still further prejudice the interests of King Ferdinand. For this reason the Grand Duke has felt the event very severely, imagining that there will now be negotiations for contracting a fresh marriage for his Majesty, and to give him the widowed Duchess of Saxony to wife. If this came about it would almost completely destroy the hopes of the King of Bohemia for the empire which rest almost entirely upon the support which they expect from that duke in the present circumstances. If the marriage took place this would cease and the adherence of Saxony would be lost. That vote would then certainly go either to the Palatine or to the Duke of Bavaria. Moreover, there are some who say that the Duke of Savoy will eagerly press the hand of his widowed daughter upon his Majesty. (fn. 4) Either of these marriages would gravely prejudice the interests of his Majesty of Germany.
Florence, the 13th April, 1619.
[Italian.]
April 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
835. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen Marini who recently received letters from France. He said he found that his Highness was very doubtful upon the question of the election of the emperor. He was awaiting the results of the operations of the Count of Mansfeld in Germany, and of Wake, the English agent here, who, it seems, has been sent to those parts from London. The duke values him highly and has great confidence in his offices with the princes there. He expects the electors to write to him recommending the affairs of Italy to his care, as is usual on the death of the emperor, and this would afford him a pretext to send some one there to look after his interests.
Turin, the 14th April, 1619.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 15.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
836. The Ambassador of Savoy came into the Cabinet and said:
The Cavalier Gabaleoni, who is now ambassador of his Highness in England, wrote to the duke on 22 February last that the Ambassador Donato was spreading reports that his Highness had been growing cold towards your Serenity since the alliance with France and will not sign the league. The duke is much troubled, feeling that this report will not advance the common service, and is not in conformity with his desire to be known everywhere as the sincere friend and devoted servant of the republic. The ambassador then read the passage from Gabaleoni's letter upon the subject, and said he would hand to his Serenity the duke's own letter on the same. Possibly the Ambassador Donato was sore upon the affair of the accounts, but nothing else could be done and he must have patience. The duke considers him a gentleman of great spirit and worth. Upon the accounts his Highness has sent me the document which I will submit to your Serenity to be copied. It is what the Ambassador Zen asked for. His Highness instructed me to say that he thought it right to send a special ambassador to the pope to inform him about the league, not because the affair had not been well managed by the ordinary ambassador, but to give more weight to the office. That ambassador on his return was also to perform offices with the princes of Italy. His Highness thought Sig. Zen the best fitted for this.
The doge replied that he knew the Ambassador Donato to be prudent and wise and he did not think he would say anything about the league except as a minister zealous for good. If the king or others had asked him he could only say the truth, that it was not yet sealed, but it was not credible that he would say more.
The ambassador said: I could only repeat my instructions, but I know the Ambassador Donato to be a man of singular judgment and prudence.
With respect to the accounts the doge said: We believe that Sig. Donato will show an integrity befitting his birth. We have decided to give him leave to return to Venice in the confidence that he will be able to make everything clear, to the satisfaction of his Highness and ourselves.
The ambassador remarked that if it had merely been a question of 10 or 20,000 ducats the duke would have said nothing, but a matter of 101,000 ducats required notice.
The doge replied that the greater the sum the less they were able to believe anything against Donato. Pessina remarked that the error might rest with the merchants or others, but at any rate it was clear that the money had issued from the mint and his Serenity presumably desired the duke to have it. The doge remarked that the Savii would look into it. The ambassador then took leave after the document with the accounts had been handed to him as well as the letter, after a copy had been taken.
Letter of the Duke of Savoy.
The league between the republic and us having been duly signed and sealed, though hitherto kept secret, we have thought it expedient to make it public and to invite the pope and other Italian princes to enter it, since all are interested in the preservation of the general liberty and peace. This publication will justify our actions and the matter can no longer be called in question. We have, indeed, very little hope that the pope will accept the invitation and still less of the other princes, for notorious reasons, wherefore it will behove us to join with the King of Great Britain and the States of Holland. We have been compelled to have recourse to extreme remedies because we have been denied the ordinary ones which we tried first. If we are accused of joining powers of a different religion or of calling them into Italy, we reply that we only did so in default of near and national allies and for self preservation.
An office to this effect by ordinary ministers would not produce the necessary effect, as it may be denied or twisted from the truth, and we have accordingly chosen this way.
Turin, the 13th March, 1619.
EMANUEL.
Countersigned CROTTI.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 At Newmarket.
2 The ambassadors were Francois Juvenal, Seigneur des Ursins and Marquis de Tresnel, extraordinary, and Taneguy le Veneur, Comte de Tillières, ordinary.
3 Matthias died suddenly on the 20th March, 1619.
4 There were two widowed Duchesses of Saxony, Sophia daughter of Joachim II. Elector of Brandenburg, and widow of Duke Christian I., then aged fifty, and Hedwig, a younger sister of James late queen, widow of Duke Christian II., and aged thirty-seven. The Duke of Savoy's widowed daughter was Margaret, widow of Francis Duke of Mantua, then aged about thirty.