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her majefty as that die might not interpret it for a f Singularity in him,
or a difobedience to her pleafure, which rather then to incur he would
(he faid) lay afide all other refpects, and fubmit his reafon to her will)
that he might be exeufed his comming to Dinner and be prefent onely
at Supper and at the entertainment after it. When I had (as far as good
manners would allow me) provoked him to the reafon of his requeft
(that I might at leaft glance at it in returning his anfwer to the Lord
Chamberlaine, to procure it the better paf fage) he would have made it
appeare, that a part of his reafon was thathis Lent, was already entered,
and that to be at two meales of flefh togeather would be too great a fin;
but when I had removed that objection, with af furing him that at our
great Feafts, Fifh was an efpeciall provifion, he came neerer, telling
me plainly, (but as to his Friend (he faid) Sub Sigillo confeffionis, who
hee knew would carry it no further (that fince the Spanifh Ambaffador
had had the precedence of him in his invitation to the marriage of the
Barle of Somerfet, he would not wrong the Mafter he reprefented to
march in the fecond place, as it would be taken if he fhould come to
dinner, (though many dayes had paf fed fince the other) and that the
Queen, and not the King gave this entertainment; but if he might be

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Appendix 231

fpared (he fayd) from the Brides Dinner, at the like whereof, the other
(the Spanifh Ambaffador) might be thought to have done well to have
fpared his prefence, in regard neither the King nor Queene were there
in perfon (a point, that men (he said) of his reprefentative quality were
efpecially to regard in all f uch publique folemnities) he could not, nor
would refufe the honour of being there at Supper when both King and
Queen would be (as he heard) prefent, yet he concluded, (that riterateing
his requeft, that I would not communicate the formality of thefe
reafons) rather then he would in the leaft point diftaft her Majefty,
he would (poft-pofing all other confiderations) be there both dinner and
Supper. With this fignification I returned to the Lord Lyfle (Lord
Chamberlaine to the Queene) who communicated it to the Earle of
Worcefter Mafter of her Majefties Horfe, that he might convey it to
her Majefty as he fhould go with her in a Coach from White-Hall to
Somerfet Houfe. It hung yet in intention when the Ambaffadors
Secretary came to me from his Lord with a further exception that how-
foever the Queene were pleafed, that he fhould be prefent both dinner
and Supper, he would be bold to prefer this condition to her allowance,
that he might not fit upon a Stoole but in a Chaire in the fame manner
as the Bride fhould be feated. I anfwered, I thought that would be a
matter of no great difficulty. But how (quoth I) if the Prince be there
and have but a Stoole to fit on: If my Lord Ambaffador were fure of
that (replyed the Secretary) I prefume he would make no further ques-
tion, but in all beare his Highnef fe Company. To be refolved of this,
I went at his requeft to my Lord Lyfle, my Lord Worcefter, and my
Lord Carew Vice-Chamberlaine, whom I found all-together, and
having af furance from them of the Prince his prefence with the bride at
Dinner, and requefting their Lordfhips (as the Secretary defired me)
that they would not trouble the Queene any further concerning the
Ambaffador till the Secretary had been with him, and returned with
his finall Satisfaction, he repaired that evening to my Lord Lyfle, and
propounding the fame demand of a Chayre, as he had done to me in the
Afternoone; it was refolved he fhould have one with the Prince, and
fo ended that difference. " John Finnett, Finnetti P htloxenis (1656) t i6.


"The 5th Jan! 1614. The Earle of Sommerset (then Lord Chamber-
laine) notwithstanding he understood how the yeare before the Spanish
& Arch Dukes Ambafsadors had been invited to the Marriage of him
the Earle of Sommerset, & not the French nor the Venetian (for the
reasons elsewhere appearing) gave me directions to invite the Spanish
and the Venetian (not usually coupled (ut supra) to a Maske of Gentle-
men set forth at the charge of his Majesty, & to come at an houre, about

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232 Court Masques of James I

six in the evening to a supper that should be prepared for them in the
Council Chamber. They both (with one question of what Ambafsadors
would be there, St my afsurance that I understood of none besides them-
selves) as indeed then I did not) accepted the invitation, & came the
next day at the time appointed). A little before Supper the Spanish
Ambaisador taking me aside, desired me to deale freely with him, & to
tel him whether Sir Noell Caron, the States Amb^were invited & if
invited, what place was intended him, whether in publique neere his
Majesty, or in private in some corner of the Roome? I answered that
I knew then (& not before) that he was invited, & would be there; But
in which of those conditions, publique or private, I could not resolve
him. Hereupon he requested me immediately to go to my Lord Cham-
berlain for clearing of this doubt, wherewith acquainting his Lordship,
& he his Majesty, I returned with this afsurance, That Sir Noell Caron
was invited and should be placed within the Barres neare the King, as
ambafsadors used to be. To this he made his replye, desiring me to
convey it to the Lord Chamberlaine that if Sir Noell Caron should
togeather with him at supper or in any other place then in the King's
presence he would use him with all the respects of civility, but in so
honorable a place as that, where the sacred Persons of the King Queene
& Prince were to be present, he should never with patience see the
Representant of his Masters Vafsels & Rebells (so he called them) hold
an equall ranck with him. That it was directly against his instructions
to concurr with him in any publique Act. as an Ambafsador,& that there-
fore it would be better for him (as he intended with the favour of his
Majesty) to retire himselfe betimes without noise, then to be forced
(as he must) to discharge his duty by publique exception, & protestation
against the presence of him (Sir Noell Caron) to the disturbance of so
Royall an Assembly, & whereupon I told him (as from my Lord Cham-
berlain) that his Lordship was informed his Predecefsor Don Alonso de
Velasco had stood upon no such Punctilio when Sir Noell Caron had at
another time been invited, as now and sate as it was now determined he
should; he said, he was most afsured there never had been such a con-
currence, so as returning from him with this answer, I fortuned to
deliver it in the hearing of my Lord Treasurer, and received from his
Lordship an afsurance that upon his knowledge, & in his sight, his
Predecefsor Don Alonso de Velasco had indured without any exception
the placing of the States Ambl at the left hand of the King, while he
(Don Alonso) sate on the right. But this neither would satisfy him,
nor hold him from affirming that (not to contradict (he said) my Lord
Treasurer, who yet might forget, or mistake in some circumstances) he
would ingage his head to be cut off; if there ever had been any such
placing, which being againe reported by me to my Lords Chamberlain
& Treasurer, they both sent to the King, & debating the businefse with

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Appendix 233

his Majesty, first in presence of sundry of the Bedd-chamber, & after
more in private with halfe a dozen of other Lords; my Lord Treasurer,
my Lord Chamberlain, my Lord of Worcester (and I to attend them)
were sent to him into the CounceU Chamber, & there (intreating first
the Venetian AmbL to pardon them, if they did awhile leave him alone)
taking onely the Ambafsadors Interpreter, & my selfe with them into
a little Roome thereby, my Lord Treasurer delivered the Kings mind
to this purpose. That his Majesty having invited him to the Maske,
with a mind to give him all content, was sorry that this question should
grow to disturb it. That his Majesty went upon grounds of former
presidents of the like concurrence in the time of the Ambafsadors
predecefsors t & that he had for witnefses of it (besides his owne memorie)
the Queene, the Prince, and sundry of the Lords, who affirmed they had
seen it. That his Majesty having heretofore intertained Sir Noell
Caron in that manner, & now invited him as an Amt£ he left it to his
consideration what injury he should do to abate of his accustomed
respects towards him. That whereas the Amt£ affirmed, it was for-
mally his Instructions not to concurr with him in any publique act, his
Majesty wondered that his predecef sor should not have the like Instruc-
tions, or having had such, should forget, or neglect to stand upon it
that if he had any such, his Majesty requested him, that (reserving
other matter, which he in no sort desired that he should communicate,
besides that purpose) he might have a sight of it for his fuller satisfac-
tion. To this the Ambafsador replyed (with many acknowledgements
of the honour his Majesty had done him &c.) that first, his witnefses
his Majesty had produced were so substantiall, as should he with his
owne eyes have seene the contrary, he should not have trusted them in
opposition of their Testimony; That if it should be known to the King
his Master that Don Alonso had committed such errour it would be
enough to make him loose his head. That it was true, that in generall
instructions received from the hand of the King his Master, it was not
intended, but that upon his arrivall in England finding in what con-
dition of respect Sir Noell Caron was held here, he wrote particularly
to the King for his pleasure about his manner of carriage towards
Sir Noell Caron, in case he should be put to it upon any incounter of
negotiation, or otherwise, whereunto he had received by letter from his
Majesty his will, intimating, that in concurrence of ordinary civill
respects, he should use him with all courtesy; but in no case admit
concurrence with him in or to any publique act, and that his Majesty
should be an eye witnefse of the letter at his pleasure. The Venetian
(who remained in the meantime in the Councell Chamber) having been
by the Spanish Amt£ before the Lords entrance, made acquainted with
the difference like to grow, had affirmed to him, that he could himselfe
remember, that when Don Alonso was invited (as he was now) by his

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234 Court Masques of James I

Majesty, he & Sir Noell Caron were seated in a Compartment, or place
apart, & that Don Alonso did except against Carons sitting in the same
place neare his Majesty; he affirmed also that howsoever it might now
pafse between the Spanish Ambassador & the States, he himself would
not permit that he should sit (allato, his own word) in even ranck with
him; but all the allegations of the Venetian were held to proceed rather
from a spirit of disturbance (forward as his naturally was, to make ill
businefse) then that what he said was simply truth. In fine the Lords
returning with this Declaration of the Ambafsadors to his Majesty,
came back scone after with his definite pleasure thus. That since he
could not accord this difference, which troubled him much for the
respects he bore to the Spanish Amt>~ he had willed them to signifie
to him that he might take what course should best please him; and that
if he would not stay the Maske he would take order, that the States
Amt£ should likewise depart, to avoyde all further question, about
either of their pretences." John Finnett, FnmetU Pkiloxenis copied in
Lord Chamberlain '8 Office, Class Miscellaneous, 5, No. 1, p 1, 21 f.

Cf. also State Papers Domestic, James /, lzzx, No. 4. and Calendar ef
State Papers Venetian, xiii, 317.


"My very goode Lord: the only matter I can aduertife fince I wrote
the last weeke is the fuccefse of the mafke on twelfe night, w** was
fo well liked and applauded that the long had yt reprefented again
the fonday night after, in the very fame manner though neither in
deuife nor fhew was there any thing extraordinarie but only excellent
dauncing, the choife being made of the best both English and Scottes:
but there fell out an accident before yt began that had almost marred
the play, for the Spanish Ambafsador being inuited when he vnderftoode
that S r Noel Caron was likewife to be there he protested against yt
faying he was not to be prefent where a feruant of his masters vafsals
fhold be oouered, or appeare in qualitie of an ambafsador against w**
exceptions there was much difpute twixt him and the Lordee then pre-
fent and many mefsages pafsed to and fro between them and the king,
but in conclufion he wold by no arguments nor precedents be perfwaded
but faide yt was contrarie to his instructions and fo retiring himfelf
went backe the fame way he came: wherupon S r Noel Caron was
wisht to retire likewife and abfent himfelf. The next day the Spanish
ambafsador required audience w<* was appointed him at three a clocke
and was willed to bring his instructions w** him, but he neither came
nor sent that day, w ch vnmannerly part I know not how he excufed
at his next audience, w** was the monday or Teufday following, nor
how he iustified his brauerie w** is much fpoken of, and like to breed

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Appendix 235

no goode bloude neither here nor in Holland whether Caron made a
difpatch the fame night. Yt is obferued that the Spaniards braue more
nowadayes on the fodan then they hane of later time, w** fhewes that
they hane fome great hopes at hand, or that they prefume as much of
others weaknes as of theyre owne f trength. . . .

"From London this ia tk of January 1614

"Yo» D*" to command
"John Chamberlain/'
In State Papers Domestic, James J, lxxx, No. 4.


"After I had written my last, I was invited by the king to the masque
which was danced on the following evening in the great halL I went
to the council chamber and there found the ambassador of Spain, and
soon afterwards one of the masters of the ceremonies. He said that he
would go and inform his Majesty that we were ready. When he re-
turned, he informed the said ambassador that the ambassador of the
States was present at the palace and desired His Majesty that he
might go with us to see the feast; and so he returned to the King
with the ambassador's reply. At that moment we had risen from
the table and saluted. I noticed that the ambassador was greatly
excited. He told me all this and said that he had sent to ask
the king's leave to depart, as he was determined not to have the
ambassador of Holland in his company. Thinking it a worthy action
of a representative of your Excellencies and a Christian to make
peace, I told him that His Excellency ought to beware what he
was about, as at other times Don Alonso di Velasco, his predecessor,
and the Illustrious Correr, who was my predecessor, had been
with the Dutch Ambassador in public, although there was certainly
some distance between them. After some dispute the ambassadors
of Spain and Venice entered two boxes simultaneously, one on
the right and one on the left of His Majesty, and a little while
after the ambassador of Holland entered the Venetian box. He lis-
tened to me attentively, and showed that he valued and would ob-
serve my advice. Seeing that the hall was quite full and that every
one was looking on, I said that it would be as well to withdraw to another
place, and so we did. After we had sat down, he asked me, being very
undecided, to advise him. I told him that he ought to tell the king he
ought not to suffer rules to be laid down in his own house, that he was
ready to give every satisfaction to His Majesty, and for that purpose
he had come as the ambassador of the States, that he might be welcome,
but not to take a subordinate or a somewhat inferior place. He asked
me if I advised him so and if I thought it was fitting. He suggested

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236 Court Masques of James I

that the ambassador had orders from his king not to appear with him.
I asserted that I thought he ought to do so, as if it should happen that
the ambassador of Holland appeared later, sitting in a somewhat inferior
place, it would be all over with his dignity. This was my opinion and
I added a great deal to the same effect. This moved him and induced
him to tell me that he would do as I advised. Meanwhile the Treasurer,
the Chamberlain, and the Earl of Uster had come from the king to ask
for me; the ambassador asked me what he ought to do; I told him to
leave the room and meet them with such terms as courtesy dictated, and
so he did. The Treasurer having made a slight acknowledgment to
the ambassador of Spain, fulfilled his embassy, and I having seen enough
to persuade one to let others alone, did the same. They stopped a
quarter of an hour in the room of which I spoke without any results.
When they left, the ambassador again begged me for an interview and
once more asked for my advice. I repeated the same opinions as before.
He seemed inclined to follow my advice and to desire that I should use
my influence, and so I left him. The same persons returned once or
twice who had previously come for me, and all accompanied me with
terms of great honour to a small room full of lords and ladies, saying
that the ambassador of Spain did not feel well and that he had left.
Their Majesties arrived almost immediately and the prince and they
went in to the masque, where I was alone, because neither the Spanish
nor the Dutch ambassador had gone in there. When the Queen, whom
I sat near, asked me about it, I gave her a particular account. She
seemed to lean strongly to favour Spain, and made some disparaging
remark about the States (mostrd dla intender largamcnte a favore di
Spagna et prcferi qualche concetto a suanlaggio dei StaH). After the
masque and the collation I waited on their Majesties as far as their
apartments. The Queen entered hers first, and I, in taking leave of the
king and thanking him for his favours, told him that I had remonstrated
with the Spanish ambassador and was ready to do more. He thanked
me and said that the ambassador would not recognise the States to be
free. On the following Sunday I had audience, and after a long con-
versation he gathered complete information. He decided that on the
following morning he would see the Spanish ambassador. He pointed
out to him that more than once his predecessors had been with the
ambassador of the States. He was grateful to me for my good feeling
and offices.

"Four days ago I called on the ambassador of Holland. He thanked
me and said that he had been present three times publicly with Don
Alonso di Velasco and with Sig. Correr, and that he had offered to go
if the ambassador of Spain would go also. He enlarged upon many
particulars and ended by saying that this showed the evil disposition
of the Spaniards, that the States will be on their guard and that God

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Appendix 237

sometimes shows by little things what is the heart of the great ones. He
expressed all this with great emotion and seemed grateful to me for my
good offices. The event still continues a subject of discussion, so much
so that hardly anything else is spoken about. Everyone delivers his
own personal opinion and it is certain that it will greatly exacerbate
men's minds and increase rancour.

"London, the 23 January 1615 [Italian]."

In Calendar of State Papers Venice and Northern Italy ; xiii, 317.


"The King being desirous, that the French Venetian, & Savoyard
Ambafsadors should all be invited to a Maske at Court prepared for
New-Yeares night, an exception comming from the French, was the
cause of deferring their invitation till twelfe night, when the Maske was
to be re-acted. This French Amb£ having demanded audience by the
mediation of the Lord Have, and not obtained it, as he affected (haveing
not taken the due course of accefse by the Chamberlain (the Earle of
Pembroke) or being perhaps forgotten) was offended that the Spanish
Amb£ (who had demanded one before the Kings remove to Royston,
but was referred to his conveniency at his returne thence) should have
(as he had) an audience before him.

"With this consideration, & not without his Majesties sence of such
formality, he was not invited till for the twelfe night, when he with the
other two mentioned were received at eight of the clock, the houre
afsigned (no supper being prepared for them, as at other times to avoid
the trouble incident) and were conducted to the privy gallerie by the
Lord Chamberlaine, & the Lord Danvers appointed (an honour more
then had been formerly done to Ambafsadors ordinary) to accompany
them, the Master of the Ceremonies being also present. They were all
there present at the maske on the Kings right hand (not right out, but
By as forward) first and next to the King the French, next him the Vene-
tain, & next him the Savoyard. At his Majesties left hand sate the
Queene, & next her the Prince. The Maske being ended, they followed
his Majesty to a Banquet in the Presence, & returned by the way they
entered: the followers of the French were placed in a seate reserved for
them above over the King's right hand, the others in one on the left.

"The Spanish Ambafsadors Son & the Agent of the Arch-Duke (who
invited himselfe) were bestowed on the forme where the Lords sit, next
beneath the Barons, English, Scotish & Irish, as the Sonus of the Ambaf-
sador of Venice, and of Savoy had been placed the Maske night before,
but were this night placed with their Countrymen in the gallery men-
tioned." John Finett, Finetti Philoxensis, 36, as found in the Lord
Chamberlain's Office, Class Miscellaneous 5, No. 1.

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238 Court Masques of James I

"The French Ambassador has taken it very 01 that he was not
invited to take part in these ceremonies, as reason and custom require,
the more so because he knows that this is due to the influence of the
Spanish ambassador at this Court. A quarrel is going on between
them, and the Spaniard, seeing that he could not have a place himself,
succeeded in obtaining that neither France nor any other minister of a
prince should be invited." Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian
Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate, 17 Nov. [0.8. 7], 1616, in
Calendar of Stole Papers Venetian, xiv, 350, No. 512.


"ItS paid to Robert Seymor one of the offycers of his Ma* Jewells
and Plate for the hier of two horfes for himfelf and his man from the
courte at Grenwich to the Cyttie of London and from thence to None-
f uch and back againe for provyding and carrying to the Prince a Baf on
and yore of redde copper and fixe dozen of bells to be £iven by his
grace to Som of Virginia . . . . " Audit Office, Various Accounts
385, from feast of St. Michael the Archangel 5** of James, to the same feast
6& of James.

J'Sondrye other Paymentes viz:— S* Bdwarde Cecul Knight xxjuC S*
Robte Maunf ell Knight jhC & W« Cavendifhe knight vC and Richard
Martin Efqr. jjuC, to be putt into the lotterie for Virginia by wan* under
the privie feale dated the zxvj^ of June 1612, OC" Audit Office, De-
clared Accounts, Prvry Purse, B. 2021.


" A ship has arrived here from Virginia which has caused universal
rejoicing by the news of success. It appears that the soldiers of the
colony have inflicted a great defeat upon the King of Poitan, and have
taken prisoner one of his daughters by reason of which he has offered
friendship, peace and the knowledge of some rich gold mines. This he
has already done, and vessels are being prepared to strengthen the
colonists with new blood. " Antonio Foscarini, to the Doge and Senate,
9 Aug. [o. s. 31 July], 1613, in Calendar of State Papers Venetian, xiii,
22, No. 42.


"He [the Earl of Arundel] also told me that he had heard from Eng-
land that their expedition to Virginia had proved a great success and
that some ships had recently returned bringing merchandise of consider-
able value, so that many others who had been somewhat discouraged
from making that voyage how hastened to do so with the greatest zeal,
hoping to have a ready and safe traffic with the savage inhabitants of

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Appendix 239

that country because they had a daughter of their King, and in the
capitulations for her restitution it had been agreed that all the arms
which those savages had taken from some of the English should be
restored and that they should also give up other Englishmen who had

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Online LibraryMary SullivanCourt masques of James I: their influence on Shakespeare and the public theatres → online text (page 21 of 24)