Edward VI: April 1551

Pages 81-98

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Edward VI 1547-1553. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1861.

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April 1551

April 5.
313. Peter Vannes to the Council. Since his last letter to their Lordships of the 21st March, has received theirs of 26th Feb. by M. Bartholomew Compaigne. Has had various conversations with the Ambassadors and divers other gentlemen of the state in reference to the proceedings against the Bishop of Winchester. The French Ambassador said, that although he had judged the said Bishop to be a learned man, yet notwithstanding in France he was always taken for a man of great pertinacy in all his doings, and nothing their friend. Had also on Easter-day communicated to the Seigniory the whole matter, but it is little spoken of here, although perhaps some curious persons might suppose otherwise, for here it is thought most necessary, and exactly observed, that for the conservation of great estates, obediency and conformity of orders ought chiefly to be advanced and maintained. Has perceived their Lordships' remarks concerning Horsmaden [Horsmonden], and has already appointed a very discreet and wise friend, who is lately gone to Rome on private business, to bring himself by some feigned occasion in ac quaintance with such fugitives and wandering Englishmen as be there, allowing in some part their sayings, to the intent that the more boldly they may enlarge their communication, as Friar Peto, Pates, and a Scot, being Bishops titulares et nulla tenentes in England and Ireland. Horsmonden has divers kinds of bare shifts, using commonly one of them, appointing one way and taking another, not tarrying long in a place, shifting his journeys according to his wit. After secretly leaving Venice, he went to Milan, where he met a person, from whom, making his moan, as he was wont to do, that he was robbed of great sums of money, making himself of the King's blood, and going in great affairs, he borrowed 20 crowns and certain letters of favour. Thence he went to Lucca, having with him Winslow, showing secretly that he knew Vannes well in England, but saying nothing of his often dining with him in Venice, boasting that if some gentleman of Lucca who had for a while been Ambassador to the Emperor, should see him, he would speak with him cap in hand. For all this, being nothing set by, he went his way, wandering all his journey on foot for falling, though as he pretends, for his pleasure and exercise. So that wherever he may presently be, he is no doubt known for a light merchant. Such light wanderers, for all their devices and babbling words, can do no prejudice to England, as all the noblemen and gentlemen of Italy are greatly affectionate to the King's Majesty. As to what he had written to their Lordships respecting Englishmen repairing hither under the protest of studying languages and seeing countries, all he means to do is to ascertain after what sort they departed out of England, and as nigh as he can to have knowlege of their conversations and communications. Has publicly denied the report set forth by the Bishop of Rome's Legate, that a number of soldiers were going out of England into Ireland to defend that country and for rebellion. Has no certain knowledge of the Turk's preparations, but was informed by a friend that he heard the Cardinal of Trent say that there was likely to be no war in Hungary this year except defensive skirmishings on the frontiers. Nevertheless the Venetians prepare to send 300 or 400 men for the defence of Corfu. The Prince of Spain is expected in Italy, with a good number of horse and foot; some think he will go to Spain, others that he will spend the summer in Italy, and levy large contributions, for what use unknown.
P.S. Two days ago a young Scotsman of the name of John Bog, brother to Nichol Bog, of the Lohene [Lothian], servant to Lord Bothwell, visited him on his way from Rome to England through Germany. Was informed by this Bog that a certain Scottish friar, blind of both his eyes, named Archbishop of Armachan, accompanied with another Archbishop and Bishop of Ireland, being both Irishmen, was prepared to go to Ireland after Easter, the Bishop of Rome having granted to him divers kinds of faculties, as pardons, dispensations, and the like. He has got the palm which the Bishop of Rome carried last Palm Sunday, and has caused it to be dressed solemnly, to be taken with him into Ireland, there to make a relic of the same. Bog had travelled with this blind Bishop to Rome from France, the French King at his departing having given the Bishop a certain reward and letters of recommendation to the Bishop of Meryposey [Mirepoix] beside Narbonne now at Rome, who should both bear his charge and farther his business there, and in whose house the same blind Bishop with two of his men resided. Bog also told him that, being in Genoa at the time of Andrew Doria's departing to Africa, he there met Horsmonden, whom he had well known previously both in Scotland and in France. Addressing him by the name of Horsmonden, he denied it, saying that it was a name given him for pleasure by the Scottish Queen, and that his real name was Stafford, being bastard son to the Duke of Buckingham, and that he did there labour to be retained on wages and to go with Doria into Barbary. Horsmonden, Bog described as a banished man from England, who being a servant of the Scottish Queen, passed into France, and while there always associated with one Stourton, till at length, by reason of his ill behaviour with certain Italians, he was compelled to leave the country. He told Bog that when at Milan he had met with a Dutch merchant belonging some time to the Duke of Suffolk, to whom he showed that he had coming out of England from the Lord Stafford his brother, by exchange into Antwerp, the sum of 100 crowns (doubtless a lie), the receipt whereof being far from his journey, he agreed with this Dutch merchant to receive of him upon his credit certain ready money, and had a bill unto Sardinia, there to receive certain harness to the value of 30 crowns and 70 crowns in ready money, for the repayment of which he had given to the Dutchman his letter of credit to Lord Stafford and the merchant in Antwerp. Bog thinks plainly that he has gone to Africa in the galleys. Thus their Lordships may see how this man shifts the world with lyings and crafty inventions. [Eight pages.] Annexed,
313. I. "Intelligence from Mr. Peter Vannes," containing chiefly the incidents mentioned in subsequent letter of 26th April. [Italian. Two pages.]
April 6. 314. Draft letter. The Council to Sir Richard Morysine. Have received his letters of the 10th, 16th, and 24th of March. Recommend him to reciprocate the great gentleness and familiarity of the French Ambassador and to use all such parts of friendship and good office towards him as may answer to the good amity which is between their masters. On the sending hither of a special gentleman, Sir William Pickering had been sent to the French King on the affairs of Scotland. The King's men of war have ever since these last wars kept a little house near the frontiers of Berwick, which the Scots call Edrington and the English Cawe Mill. They have also forbidden the Scots to fish upon any part of the river of Tweed, and have held in their private possession some part of the debateable ground adjoining to the West Marches, which before the wars lay waste and common to both the realms. These things, which are neither of any value nor indeed worth the keeping, are agreed to remain as they did before these wars. A few hostages, which have been remaining here for the ransom or re-entry of some of those prisoners that were taken at Solomoss [Solway Moss], are agreed to be restored; and it is agreed that their merchants and ships coming into any of the King's ports, by tempest or for want of victuals, shall be used as they have been before the wars, and English subjects and ships heretofore in Scotland. For the full appeasing of these, which were all the differences between the Scots and them, the gentleman of France that before was here has returned, and goes straightway to Scotland with the Master of Erskine; and Commissioners for both realms are to meet out of hand upon the frontiers to end all these matters. The Emperor's Ambassador had been with them six or seven days before they heard what the Emperor had said to Morysine as to the matters of the Lady Mary and Mr. Chamberlain. He was very earnest to have a direct answer how the Lady Mary should be used touching her masses, and how he should be used himself. They told him that as they perceived Morysine's earnest talk in matters of religion had somewhat offended the Emperor, the King would forthwith send Doctor Wotton to his Majesty with such answer as should in honour and reason give good cause of contentment; and touching himself, he should continue his masses as he had done; but if thereafter, upon any necessary respect for the conservation of the policy of the realm, it should be otherwise ordered, he shall have reasonable warning thereof. Dr. Wotton is now almost in full order to go. The Ambassador said he thought the Emperor would be well enough contented to have an answer from Morysine, and would like his continuance so as he had advertisements hence not to attempt the Emperor in their matters of religion. The Ambassador seemed nothing so earnest at the doing of his message as he was before. [Four pages.]
[1551 ?]
April 6.
315. "Advertisements from Rome." The French King had written to Cardinal Tournon, from Janville, on 25th of March, that he was much laboured by Duke Maurice and other confederates in Germany to hasten his journey. The confederates were very strong in the field, and had already passed Frankfort, meaning shortly to join with the French King. The Constable was at Tulle with the foreward. The French King will bring with him 13,000 Almains; 17,000 Gascons and Picards, footmen well exercised in the wars in the name of Venturers; 1,500 men of arms, most part barded; 2,000 light horsemen; and 60 pieces of ordnance. These have with them a bridge drawn with 800 horse, in such wise that there may pass at one time in the way of battle ordnance, horse and foot, and they are very willing to follow this enterprise. The French King's money had safely arrived in Strasburg. He has left in Picardy 500 men of arms, 600 light horsemen, 12 ensigns of foot, and 6,000 Swiss. He has revoked Cardinal Tournon. The said Cardinal has told the Bishop of Rome that the French King has no inclination to war with him and the Turk, but if the Bishop will make war, he shall always defend himself without any thought for offending the Church of Rome. At Rome it is thought for a destiny that the ruin thereof is nigh at hand. The rumour of Pietro Strozzi having lately been in Italy in disguise is untrue. Proposals had been made to the Bishop of Rome by the Frenchmen that he should withdraw his army from Mirandola: certain conditions made, of which the French are not likely to accept. The Parmese have lately taken some castles from the Imperialists, and destroyed some forts constructed by the Marquis of Marignano. The Bishop of Rome is in an evil case on both sides. "The last of March, somewhat afore midnight, was seen at Rome, over Castle St. Angelo, a great fire in the air like a great round ball, giving a great light the space of one quarter of an hour, insomuch that for the time a man might have read any letter; and then the said fire brake in three pieces, the one towards the Bishop of Rome's palace, the second towards the people of Rome, and the third towards the River of Tiber; being these reckoned tokens of fearful signals." The Emperor does all he can to have in his hands the Prince of Solerno, who for his safety presently resides at Padua. He is a man of great credit and reputation in the realm of Naples, highly beloved there and elsewhere, and much esteemed by the banishment of the Emperor, into whose hands he seemeth nothing willing to come. The King of Romans endeavours to raise 3,000 or 4,000 footmen in Italy to be sent into Transylvania, but as yet few will venture that way, the rather for the daily advertisements from those quarters of the great preparations making by the Turk. [One page and a half.]
April 7.
316. Sir Richard Morysine to the Council. Hearing that the Lady Regent meant to make towards Flanders to-day, had on Saturday last requested an audience, which was granted the next morning at nine o'clock. Her Grace's professions of friendship on part of the Emperor and herself were great. Had told her that the news of this Court, which are that three French ships should be going into Ireland and drowned by the way, made him afraid the English should have good need of powder ere they should have leave to fetch it out of Flanders, if her Grace did not both help him to speak, and after help to speed such as should be appointed to fetch it. That the Emperor had given him a very gentle answer, showing a desire to furnish as much as could be conveniently spared; yet he saw the suit would finally be committed to her Grace's order, and therefore prayed her as her plenty might serve their need to help them. He had very good words, "if there were to spare, and we should have occasion to spend powder, we should," &c.; but his prayer is and shall be that there may be no more need of powder than they have will to afford it, and then it must either be wanted or fought hard for before it is had, or shortly after. M. D'Arras had been at Council with her Grace a great while before he came. Whatsoever the matter was, he saw by her countenance she was in dumps, although, smiling twice or thrice, she did what she could to keep cares in the dark. Here be more posting and little audience given to foreign matters. The Bishop of Jaen, as yet, has not spoken with the Emperor since his coming. Pigghinus would fain take his leave. The King of Sweden's men hitherto cannot get to his Majesty. The King of Poland's Ambassador has been there these two months upon taking his leave; he abideth his good hour. It is said that the Queen of Poland is either stark dead or not like to live, and that France will practise with him for a marriage. Has waited upon two Polish gentlemen that came to see the Lady Elizabeth's Grace. Knows that they both went home great praisers of her person and of her bringing up. The Frenchmen that were here have gone, as their Ambassador told Bernardine, towards Vienna. Cannot imagine why they should travel that way, unless it be that France may give from thence better advices to the Turk. Rumours here that France meaneth a voyage into Ireland. Letters from their Ambassador at the Turk's Court had arrived at Venice late at night. In the morning they called a Council, and forthwith despatched 600 new soldiers to Corfu, with money and victuals for themselves and those already there. The Turk is said to have at Vallona, hard against Italy, 200 vessels to ship over horses, every vessel able well to carry little lack of 40 horses. To-day, Signor Gastaldo, who was Master of the Emperor's camp in his wars of Germany, goes towards Vienna. Some Spaniards lately slain by the Turks. Africa not thought to be the mark the Turk shooteth at. Italy and Sicily never fitter to be assaulted, both being so weary of the Spaniards that they care not who comes, so they may trudge away. Great dearth of corn and victuals in both. The General Council, it is said, will be prorogued to September; because of inconvenience to those that are called and are now on their way to it, supposes they will counterfeit a beginning, but there be few likelihoods that it should last any while. Germany is unquiet, and like to wax madder now that cold and snow have almost left. Two of these French gentlemen that came hither of late did communicate at the Protestants' church under both kinds. Duke of Oldenburg is said to have entered into Magdeburg with 300 men well horsed and well hearted. Will know more of the matters of that town by copy of a letter received from thence sent herewith (missing). Since then news have come that on the 25th March the inhabitants had given Duke Maurice's men another great overthrow, and taken prisoner his chief captain, Peter Pfefferkorn, with 200 more, whom, after disarming, they drove altogether before them into the town. Mutual complaints of the Emperor's Council and Duke Maurice; the former thinking that the Duke might have done more than he hath, and the latter that he was promised better aid than hath been sent to him. Men mutter that the Duke will procure himself no longer the hatred of Germany by farther offering displeasure to these men. The three Bishops-Electors and the Palsgrave, who have been always confederated, are, as it is said, together; some think for the Coadjutoria, others because the Emperor has taken into his hands Superiorem Palatinum, and the decease of this man doth make a claim ad Inferiorem. The Court will be but meanly furnished now King Maximilian has gone, the Queen going, and the Electors and Princes have left. The Prince of Spain is also ready to depart. The Emperor has here a guard of 2,000 foot, and it is said intends to bring 1,500 cavalry into the town; if so, the horses there, that now can hardly get meat, must starve, or seek victuals in other places, there being no hay within a dozen English miles round about. People supposed his Majesty would have removed hence, because wine and all kinds of victuals wax not only unreasonable for their price, but not to be had for their scarceness; yet now it is thought they shall lie here most part of the summer. Physicians think it perilous for his Majesty to remove till his health is stronger. Knows not whether it were better to be at the expense of removing where things may be had cheaper, or to remain here, dearth notwithstanding. Trusts their Lordships will devise, or rather have devised already, some help for him. [Four pages. A few lines in cipher, deciphered.]
April 10. 317. Draft instructions by King Edward VI., with the advice of his Council, to Dr. Wotton, Dean of Canterbury and York, sent to the Emperor as Ambassador. He is to explain that no offence was intended by his Majesty, and if any discontent has been caused by the over-earnest speaking of religion to M. D'Arras or the Emperor by the Ambassador now revoked, it is to be ascribed to the excessive zeal of the man. That his Majesty, on grounds of natural equity, expects that his Ambassador in Flanders shall have the same free exercise of his religion in Flanders as the Emperor's has in England. And in regard to the Lady Mary, that no promise of the exercise of religion had ever been made; that a prescribed form of common prayer has been established by Parliament, and that as a subject she is bound, as well as his Majesty, thereby, so should he not but do unjustly to violate it, or in any point to agree to the breaking of it. [Ten pages.]
Two copies of the above, with slight variations, attached.
April. 11.
318. Instructions by the King and Council to Sir William Pickering, sent to France to notify to the French King the appointment of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry [Richard Sampson], Sir Robert Bowes, Sir Leonard Beckwith, and Sir Thomas Chaloner as Commissioners to meet with those of France, for settling the boundaries of Scotland and England, about the beginning of May next, and to commence his duties as Ambassador on the departure of Sir John Masone. [Draft. Seven pages.]
April 14.
319. Sir Richard Morysine to the Council. So long as he hears not from their Lordships, he will pay no attention to the rumours that come abroad. And yet when it is reported that the French King meaneth to be busy in Ireland, and his Ambassador here says it is most false, he might both answer others, if he knew the state of matters at home, and believe the Ambassador as he should see cause. It is said to be very certain that the French King has 28 galleys at Marseilles, and has lately sent thither 140,000 crowns to do such things withal as are in hand; there is also much making of biscuits and such like provision. Further, that a Turkish galiot has arrived there, to solicit the French King to be in readiness, that both their forces may be abroad at the same time. The Emperor has also new ships and galleys at Barcelona. The Prince of Spain's departure is delayed, either because the French galleys may cumber his passage or because Andrew Doria has not yet returned from the succouring of Africa. Some say he means to seek out Dragut Rey, in hope to find him in certain straits where he must either fight or yield. Heard this day that Doria is very sick, and some think that by this time he is stark dead. Was told yesterday that letters from Venice mention the capture of a castle of the Duke of Ferrara by Ferrante Gonzaga; but heard to-day that it is a castle belonging to Parma, called Brusa. Whether it be the one or the other, it is thought that war will follow. Yesterday came from the Bishop of Rome one Dandino, a bishop, to commune with the Emperor in matters of Parma; so that the Bishop has three bishops here, who severally practise with M. D'Arras. Dandino, having risen by the house of Farnese, is like to favour Duke Octavio's desires, being thought to be full Farnese, as the Bishop of Jaen is thought to be Imperial; but both, notwithstanding, use all their friendship to the service of a third. Some reckon that the Bishop of Rome, either to dash the Council or for some other reason, so mindeth to cause a jar between the two Princes, that he will give to the Emperor all the interest that Rome has in Parma, and suffer him after to deal with France for the recovery of it as best he can. Carolo Vic [Carlowicius], agent here for Duke Maurice, was sent four days ago to his master by the Emperor, with instructions, it is supposed, to agree those of Magdeburg, finding less hope now to do them harm than at the beginning. Their Lordships must take all these things as reports, and not as of his own certain knowledge. Hears that an old fellow with a long beard has gone from this Court to serve the Lady Mary; he was a good while servant to Chapuis, and after that to Dilphius, and he has letters, to whom Morysine wots not, from the French Ambassador, which he wrote with leisure and very diligently. Three days since the Admiral of Flanders wrote hither that the French King's naval preparations are great, and thought it convenient the Emperor should have a good eye to his doings. To-day or to-morrow the Emperor entereth into the Diet, and it is thought will not tarry in it past 10 or 12 days: if he means to accord with Magdeburg and Bremen, as some suppose, it is like enough other things are in hand. All men think certainly that war will be proclaimed ere May be quite expired. Pigghinus has taken leave of the Emperor, and goes, they say, to the Council. The Emperor has again written to all his, that they fail not to be at Trent on the day appointed. Thinks that the more show there is of a Council, the less it is meant; and that the Emperor's taking of guaiacum and writing of new letters is but to make men imagine that he thinks of nothing but of the Council; for if the Council were certainly meant, the first letters from the Emperor would serve well enough to command as many of his subjects as must and mean to obey. Yesterday heard that the Bishop of Rome has imprisoned two Bishops in the Castle of St. Angelo, because they have become Protestants: one of these is the Bishop of Bergamo, a Venetian of good house; the other's name he knows not. Paulus Vergerius has set them a goodly example; if these be come, more may follow. Vergerius has done a marvellous deal of good by leaving his bishopric and forsaking his hope of growing great in the world; but he has done much more good by printing daily of new books, which go in great numbers into Italy. Many of these are dedicated to the King's Majesty. The man has left all to follow Christ, and lives very hardly. Many there are can gladlier commend well doing, than provide that virtue go not a-begging. "Bucer's death has raised up again the bruit that was here, that we are become Jews. The tale is thus told: the King's Majesty asking Bucer how the Bishop of Rome's authority might be quite extinct? His answer was, 'Sir, Messias is not yet come, and therefore the authority that Christ hath given him is to be accounted as none.'" Their Lordships see what lust they have to lie, that lie thus, not so much as colouring it with some likelihood of truth. "Bucer is safely laid up, and our country not the worse of a mite that they, which know no more of Christ than his name and dwelling-place, do take us all for damned souls." Many Spaniards and Italians this Lent past went to the Bishop of Rome's Nuncio to be absolved, for that they had served in the wars the King of England. Yesterday saw a letter from Ferdinando's Court that as yet little harm has been done on either part, but the Bassa of Buda has gathered a great power, rather to defend himself than annoy others, although some think he waits a larger force from Adrianople and Belgrade, and then, on all sides at once, to set upon Transylvania. Sends herewith a letter from Wittenberg to an honest man of this town, containing the matters which have been done at Magdeburg during the last month. [Four pages.] Incloses,
319. I. From Wittenberg, 23d March. Here they are building boats for making a bridge across the Elbe. They make frequent sallies, and beyond all expectation defeat Maurice's troops. They intercept ammunition and provisions and convey them into the city. So vigorously do they fight, that two days ago heavy firing was heard about 12 miles from this, and is still occasionally. All say that it is quite impossible they can take the city. The day before these letters were written many country people came to Wittenberg severely wounded, who said that they had saved their lives by concealing themselves behind the dead bodies. When Maurice's troops surrounded the gate to prevent issue from the city, these countrymen were told to leave or abide the consequences. While they delayed 2,000 soldiers rushed out of the city, slew about 300 of them, and attacking a large number of troops who were defending the trenches, killed some, dispersed others, captured several together with a standard, and took them to the city. These on the same night they dismissed, with white rods in their hands, after disarming them and writing down their names. John Margrave of Custrin desired to reconcile them to Maurice, and a convention was held at Corbet, but without results. [One page.]
April 18.
320. Sir John Masone to the Council. George Paris, the Irish agent, mentioned in previous letters, has arrived, in company with a great gentleman from Ireland, offering the service of the rebels, with their country, to the French King, if he will send troops thither. They have had very good countenance both of the King and of the Constable, and have been in communication with the Bishop of Rome's Ambassador; but it is understood that they have been informed they may look for no aid hence. Details the political intrigues and differences among the Scots at the Court. The Emperor is exceedingly displeased with the Pope, whom he believes to have been a worker in the affair of Parma; and it seems that he has no fancy to be doing with the French King, by whom he has been so pricked lately, as, if he had any mind thereunto, he could not have kept his patience. Rumours that the Emperor mindeth to have war with the English. The Scottish Queen's shipping is hasted very much, and it is supposed that she will embark a month sooner than was determined. General musters through France. No great haste making there for sending to the General Council. The reports as to the Turk's intentions against Africa are dying away. The frontier of France upon Spain is very straitly kept. The King of Navarre has been dangerously ill, but is recovering. Lady Fleming departed hence with child by the French King, and it is thought that upon the arrival of the Queen Dowager in Scotland she shall come again to fetch another. States his objections to corporations. Complains of the long absence of Pickering, of his continued feeble health, want of money, and relative discomforts and inconveniences. [Nine pages and a half.]
Eod. die. Copy of the above in Sir John Masone's Letter-Book. [Nine pages. Printed by Tytler, Vol. i., p. 351.]
April 19.
321. Sir Thomas Chamberlain to same. A Secretary of this Court, named Matthew Strick, leaves in four or five days for Scotland, in the capacity of Ambassador resident there, and a like Ambassador from Scotland is expected. Bremen and Hamburg are reported to have agreed with the Emperor, but Magdeburg still holds out. Great warlike preparations are made in Spain, and all the merchant-vessels are pressed into service: their destination is not known, but is supposed to be for another voyage to Algiers. [One page.]
April 20.
322. The Council to Sir John Masone. Sir William Pickering has been detained by them until the Scottish matter should be farther proceeded in. He now leaves, and they request he may be thoroughly instructed by Masone before he enters upon his official duties. [Half a page. Copy.]
April 21.
323. Sir Richard Morysine to the Council. Had received their letters of the 6th curt. on the 17th. With reference to their instructions how he shall behave himself to the French Ambassador, shall so follow their order as he shall be thought friendly enough. Touching the complaint elsewhere of his earnestness, having already communicated to them what had been said on either side, is content to leave the cause in their hands, feeling assured that he may upon good cause rather be blamed of them for saying too little, than worthy to be shent for saying anything too much. If Mr. Wotton comes to tarry (as he prays God he do), he hopes he shall be better able to warrant all his words spoken to the Emperor, than able to excuse himself if he be charged for that he said no more. The matters of Parma wax every day warmer; and there is much talk in the Consistory at Rome against Octavio. They say the Bishop means first to excommunicate, and thereafter, if there be any that dare trust him with money, to make war against Octavio. Dandino, his Secretary and Nuncio, has long conferences with Mons. D'Arras, and is much made of by the Emperor, with whom he has been twice. It is said that the Bishop would fain have the Emperor to win with him, and lend him money till he be better able to make wars. His friends say, his Holiness will not suffer unpunished that Octavio, confaloniere and captain of his Church, shall work this spite to the see apostolical. Dandino has been with the French Ambassador, charging the King his master with lacks in amity that he should take Octavio's part against the Church. Mons. Marillac, as he says, willed him to give the Bishop counsel not to be too busy with Octavio, since if his master has taken him and his town in protection, he is sure he will do his best to protect him against all men; and the Ambassador thinks that neither the Emperor nor the Pope dare offer any harm to Octavio. Dandino looks hourly for his despatch from the Emperor, who wise men suppose is afraid to trust the Bishop of Rome, since in leaving so suddenly the French King, by whom he was made Pope, he has taught the Emperor that for a need he can deceive his best friend. Perhaps the Emperor thinks that if he lent the Bishop money there should be some hurry in Italy to disturb the General Council, and thereafter the Bishop would easily be entreated to leave Octavio and Parma alone. The French Ambassador says that he knows certainly the Electors will not come there till September; and there is much talk that his master has commanded every man of his bishops to remain in his diocese for six months. The French King has commanded his Ambassador at Rome to say that he has made no promise to send to the Council, and that he will wait to see whether the German, for whom it is called and Trent appointed, come thither or no. There is a muttering that in the Bishop of Treves' country soldiers are secretly appointed to be in readiness for the Emperor's service. Letters from Venice, received on the 19th, mention that the Turk has sent Dragut Rey to Constantinople: his army is very strong, and it is thought will shortly do much business in Hungary by land, and Africa by sea. Last night Francis, a Counsellor to Duke Maurice, came here and told Bernardine that he had orders from his master to visit Morysine, the English being the nation that he bare affection to. He also told him that Magdeburg is still besieged, but as the Emperor will lay out no money, it is no marvel that things go no faster forward. He confesses that many of the Duke's subjects refuse to go against Magdeburg, and will rather go to prison than obey. Duke Maurice has many disadvantages: 1, that he came by his dukedom as he did; 2, that he succeeds a man so loved and honoured of all people; 3, that he is thus occupied against Magdeburg. Francis much laments his master's infelicity, that for the service of the Emperor at this time he loses the good will of his country and subjects. He brought with him this paper (missing), containing three suns, and says that he saw them himself with many others. Had heard of it seven or eight days ago, and thought that they who see so oft more moons than they should, may sometimes find more suns than other men can; yet now thinks such a thing might be seen, and let astronomers divine the causes of such disorder in heaven. The opinions of Pliny on such wonders. Heard here that there were three tides in the Thames in nine hours; if so, their Lordships will see whether these tides there and these three suns here were about the same time or no. Duke Otho Henry, brother of Duke Philip, has written to him by his agent here, who in a long and earnest talk has besought him to request their Lordships to be suitors to the King for the Duke to have part of the pension due for a year and three quarters to Duke Philip, to whom as brother he becomes the right heir. The Duke makes no claim, but a suit, to which he is rather forced by necessity than encouraged by title to challenge as due. The Emperor has taken away his land, more, according to his agent's statement, because he misliked Duke Philip's serving his Majesty than that any fault of his had made forfeiture thereof. Had informed the agent that he could not write to the Council, but would mention the matter to one or two of their Lordships, with whom he might be bolder. Perceives that his whole stay now is upon his brother the Count Palatine; a little, if it might be spared, would at such season be thought a great deal. If he would receive the Interim, it is supposed he might with favour save his lands again; but he is very constant in his religion, and knows that if he outlives the Emperor, he shall come by his own well enough; and if he dies before, he supposes he shall not long want it. His agent, Dr. Vitus Polandus, is a handsome man. Desires to know what answer he shall make. Has just heard that Dandino left this forenoon, but he cannot tell after what sort and with what conditions he was despatched. [Four pages.]
April 22.
324. Sir John Masone to the Council. The name of the person who came with George Paris is Cormac O'Connor, the eldest, as he says, of nine brothers all alive; and he states that his father is the great worker of all this rebellion, and could never be induced to submit, notwithstanding the general coming in of the rest of the Irish nobility, in the time of King Henry VIII., although he has one house within a stone's cast of the English pale, and another within 20 miles of it. He charges the French King's messengers with causing the whole stir, and has requested from the Constable an aid of 5,000 men, which, with their own force, would suffice not only for defence but for offence. He has been put off with fair words, and is likely to receive nothing else; but the Queen Dowager of Scotland and the Vidame would fain have them helped. The Scots here are much discontented, and mislike the yoke that foolishly they have put their heads in. Mr. Dudley and Mr. Stukeley, who have been made very much of, return to England in seven or eight days. Schertel, the Protestant captain of Augsburg, despairing of pardon from the Emperor, has within these three days come to the Court and having offered his service to the French King, is very well entertained for the first coming. Hears nothing of Pickering, whose tarrying he can only impute to his own ill-luck. To-day news have arrived that the Queen of Bohemia has been brought to bed of a son, and that both her husband and the Prince of Spain were departing for Spain, the one to see his wife, and the other to keep the ordinary Courts held every fourth year in Castile, Aragon, and Catalonia, to the great advantage of the King. [Two pages and a half.]
Eod. die Copy of the preceding in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book. [Two pages and a half.]
April 26.
325. Peter Vannes to the Council. Letters from Corfu of the 5th curt. state that at Lavallona great provision of stores, biscuits, and horsemen is being made for the Turk's army, which amount to the number of 150 galleys, including those under the command of Dragut. This intelligence is confirmed by another letter of the 10th, which farther mentions that a small galley was passed to Constantinople, sent, as supposed, by the French King. From Constantinople letters of the 21st and 25th likewise speak of the active preparations of the Turk, who already has sent forth 60 galleys. In consequence of these movements the Senators of Venice have, notwithstanding their friendship with the Turk, sent divers provisions, with 700 or 800 men to Corfu; and on the next advertisement from thence intend to appoint a general providetor for the sea, and send out a competent number of galleys for defence of their places on the sea coast. The Prince of Spain and King of Bohemia said to leave for Italy by 1st of May, and to be met near Trent by Don Fernando Gonzaga, with a great number of horsemen, who shall escort them to Genoa, where the Prince shall take shipping for Spain; the King of Bohemia remaining in Italy to await the coming of his wife from Spain in the same fleet that conveys the Prince. Letters from Rome of the 18th state that the Bishop thereof being sore aggrieved with Duke Octavio for the agreement with the French King as to Parma, made without his consent, has cited him to appear within a month under pain of being denounced rebel to the Church; and that Cardinal Farnese has posted from Rome to endeavour to induce the Duke to annul the agreement and restore Parma to the Church, having in recompence therefor the dukedom of Camerino, with 10,000 crowns yearly. Some think that the Cardinal only goes to avoid the dangers of war, or to the French King in reference to these matters. The Bishop of Rome has lately sent to Ancona, Bologna, and elsewhere to raise 300 horse and 3,000 foot, as he says, for defence of his places on the coast against the Turk; but others think for the purpose of employing them against Duke Octavio for the recovery of Parma, aided by the Emperor. The Duke of Ferrara is reported to be about to confederate with the Venetians for the defence of their confines and in the meanwhile with diligence fortifies his holds. Notwithstanding all these rumours, letters from Rome assert that the Council shall be held as appointed, and Cardinal Crescentio being appointed president, has already left Bologna for Trent; and a friend informs him that by special messengers sent from the Emperor, the French King, and the Bishop of Rome jointly, King Edward shall be laboured and required for the sending unto said Council. This seems unlikely, the rather because he sees no hearty agreement between the French King and the Bishop of Rome. There is another rumour that the French King will not suffer the prelates of France to attend the Council, but rather to have a Consilium Nationale within his realm. If so, a schism and great disorder in the Church of Rome may be engendered, of which they are greatly afraid. The Bishop of Bergamo, a Venetian, of the house of Soranza, and kinsman of the Ambassador appointed for England, being a man of 50 years of age, well learned, a preacher, and keeping good order in the clergy of his diocese, has been imprisoned by the Bishop of Rome for matters of religion. Cardinal Pole had much spoken in his favour to the Bishop of Rome, and he answered that if his heart were well known touching these matters, perchance he should otherwise appear than he is known. [Four pages.]
April 26.
326. Peter Vannes to the Council. Since writing to them to-day, has learned that last night the Seigniory received letters from Con stantinople of the 29th ult., confirming all the previous reports of the Turk's preparations. His fleet is to consist of 150 galleys, and to be joined by all the pirates and robbers of the sea, of which sort Christendom is more afraid than of the Turk's own galleys. Although pretended for the recovery of Africa, yet being far beyond what such an enterprise requires, it is thought they will attack Naples and other places, and that there is a great intelligence between the Turk and the French King therein. Towards the cost of the Venetians' defence the Bishop of Rome has granted to them certain tenths or dimes to be levied from their clergy; and therein they have used the said Bishop's authority, rather for a ceremony than otherwise. This business of Parma is like to kindle a great fire. M. de Thermes has spoken very largely to the Bishop of Rome in his master's name, threatening that if the said Bishop should show himself against the French King and his friends, otherwise than right required, his Majesty would withdraw from the Church of Rome, and see his Church of France well ordered, for which purpose he shall not want good and well learned prelates and bishops within his realm. But the Bishop is in great fury, crying out against Duke Octavio for the having of Parma out of his hands, in all things proceeding as Signor Dondego [Don Diego] appoints him in the Emperor's name, and saying that rather than fail, he will go in his own person in that expedition. He has required the aid of Venice, as a member of the Church, but they will not meddle, intending only to mind their own affairs, and keeping of friendship with fair and loving words. The Duke of Ferrara, who always desires to live in peace, is, we understand, in great agony of mind, being importuned to join one side or other. He is rather French than Imperial. The war is likely to be commenced in his own confines, and he is supposed of late to have been here secretly, and to have conferred with the Seigniory of these matters. Some think that by his doings the Bishop of Rome will minister occasion to the Emperor to possess himself of Rome and other cities of the Church, and bring the Turk's army upon Ostia and Civita Vecchia, to the destruction of Christendom. The going about of such matters is greatly misliked, as an affair unmeet for the Bishop of Rome. Has sundry times desired to know their Lordships' pleasure as to his accompanying the other Kings' and Princes' Ambassadors in attendance upon the Duke and Seigniory at such solemn feasts to which he is formally invited, some five or six times a year, when the Senators take the same for great honour and kindness. Also, whether in such places he shall give or take the upper hand of the French Ambassador. Their Lordships shall understand that the resorting in such churches and places is not for the worshipping of idols or images, but rather for the Ambassadors to confer together familiarly of divers things, and observe what may stand there to their masters' behoof and advancement. By the English Ambassador being present, the King's authority, honour, and name would be better known and advanced. As for other secret and mutual visitations of Ambassadors, they are reckoned for a set course or purpose of encherching. A man absenting himself from these companies is not known, but rather reckoned an abject and derelict man, and of no manner of estimation, and less able to serve his master. In his own private house shall endeavour himself according to his bounden duty. Touching the precedence of the French Ambassador, he is informed that both here and at the Emperor's Court, the French Ambassador has precedence not only of the Ambassador from England, but pre-eminence over the Ambassadors of all other Kings and Princes. Commonly the Bishop of Rome's Legate and the Emperor's Ambassador go together, and the English Ambassador goes jointly with the French King's Ambassador, giving him the right hand as time serves. Until he receives instructions from their Lordships, he shall for the reasons aforesaid, when solemnly required, be amongst them as he shall think good, and not sequester himself as an unknown person. [Four pages.]
April 27.
327. Sir John Masone to the Council. The Irishmen mentioned in his last letter were on Friday willed to keep their lodgings, and to resort no more to the Court until they should be sent for. Supposes they will be despatched away very secretly, or that the object of their mission being so clearly known, it is not deemed expedient to entertain them so openly. The departure of the Scottish Queen is deferred again; some think because of a fancy that the French King has for one of her train; Mr. Dudley has behaved himself in this Court very honestly, and has communicated to Masone all that he could learn by haunting the company of the Vidame, than whom a more superstitious man is not in all this realm, and who has done all in his power to have the Irishmen aided. Longs to hear from England, having had no tidings from thence since the 26th of February. Begs to be informed if there is any alteration touching Pickering, in order that he may provide for such things as are necessary for his office, whereof, by too much trust, he is at this present so destitute as never was there in any Court a more miserable Ambassador. Yesterday arrived a Danish nobleman, called the Count D'Igles, who was brought up at this Court, and has come, as he alleges, to christen a son of Marshal St. André. A post from the Commissioners on the frontiers of Scotland has just arrived by sea, and two days ago the Baron de Courton was despatched thither. [One page and a half.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book. [One page.]
April 27.
328. John Hales to Cecil. Thanks him for sending the commendations which at his coming he received from the Ambassador. The news which he has learnt since he came hither are that every thing is excessively dear, the cause of which is assigned to the Emperor's long abode, the multitude that were at the Diet, and those that daily resort here. But the truth is, all the land hereabouts, and what he has seen by the way, albeit it is tilled to the uttermost, and where the plough cannot go digged with the spade and the mattock, is of nature sandy, and not to be compared with England for natural fertility. The diligent labour of the people far surmounts the English. Pastures several or common there be none; all saving meadows be turned into tillage or vineyards, which for the most part be on such steep hills, as would seem impossible to be climbed or to bring forth any good thing. They make such stone walls to keep up the earth as are to be wondered at. Learns that for the keeping of an acre of vines they have after the rate of 40 shillings per ann, which when the worst year comes will bear a fodder of wine at the least, that is, a tun. Among the vines grow apple-trees, pears, peaches, and almonds; and the like in the corn-fields, besides great number of walnuts wherewith they make oil. In many places the meadows are also tilled, and in many they set and sow herbs. Their cattle be kept with straw for the most part in the house, and of the ground where they stand is made the great plenty of saltpetre which the English lack, and need not if they would take pains. The spear-shafts be rent out of the great fir-trees called Abietes, whereof the English may have plenty out of the east land, and need not to send or sue for them in Flanders, and so set a great many on work. Where religion is most favoured here, there also the Interim hath his place. In most places the Papists and Protestants have their service in one church, one after the other; but here and at Strasburg the Protestants have their own particular churches. Here, the Emperor being present, the people be so fervent and earnest in religion as he never saw; is sure yesterday there were in a little church of the Protestants, not so big as the Parliament house, about 6,000 persons, stages being purposely made round about, as be used in England at disguisings. Because things be so dear, prays Cecil to remember to move suit for the leather. Morysine both hath and shall have great need of it, or some other help, which it is believed neither will be so easily obtained nor may be so well spared. In good hope of success has caused his brother to bring a bill thereof ready drawn.
P.S. The Protestants prepare for the Council; and they of Strasburg have sent their pastor Marbachus to Wittenberg, to ascertain the intentions of those of Saxony. They be fully resolved all together to make their confession, and to take exceptions contra judicem et judicium, and so to depart; but it is thought that those that were most desirous of the Council will be the greatest hinderers of it. Apologizes for his blotted letter, the consequence of haste. [Two pages; five lines in cipher, undeciphered. Attached to the following letter from Morysine of April 28.]
April 27. 329. Abstracts of instructions from the Council to Sir John Masone and Sir William Pickering, and of letters from them to the Council, contained in the preceding documents of Feb. 25th and 27th; March 7th, 18th, and 23d; and April 18th, 22d, and 27th. [Twenty pages. Imperfect.]
April 28.
330. Henry II., King of France, to King Edward VI. Has instructed his Ambassador, the Sieur de Chemault, to request that his Majesty will cause to be delivered up to him a Scotsman, named Stuard, implicated in a conspiracy against his grand-daughter the Queen of Scotland. [French. One page.]
April 28.
331. Sir Richard Morysine to Cecil. Though Germany cannot match England in sweet herbs, it can in nettles and such as have skill in stinging. He is a proof who wrote to the Council that Morysine was a messenger (αποστολος) rather than an Ambassador (πρεσβυς). Will not regard John Hales' complaints. Knows who says, it is strange if we can endure the cauteries of the physician, and not advice administered when we do wrong. Begs he will stand his friend, as he did by his attorney, when J. H. was there. Knows the thanks that good advice deserves. Gives a quotation in Greek to this effect, and adds, "My Lady Cecil can easily spy my theft, and so see what I might a-stolen more. I must say my Lady Cecil, and not change an opinion so imprest in me." Must stick to his opinions in that Court like his grandfather. "Knight it you when you can, I may no more unknight you than I can unlady my wife, and yet her ladyship on working-days is very well content to be wrapped in English clothes, and like shortly to mourn for silk if leather make me not able to barat with some shifting mercer." Thanks him for leather, as he expects to be baited when Wotton comes. Will be able to cast off the dog let loose upon him, if it be not the mastiff himself. Is sorry that Cecil would have him speak French, which he hardly understands; "Dieu vous garde, Mr. Buttes was wont to add, de bon jour." The French Ambassador has many advices that the two heads will not easily be reconciled. Cecil must induce him, for whose safety they are both most anxious, to yield a little of his state if the other cannot stoop. Their chief object must be the security of the King and kingdom. Considers he is writing not only to Cecil, but to the Duke of Somerset. Cecil's lady must kneel for him, and pay his compliments to the Duchess. "In earnest, if I have no leather my men will go barefooted." Has written to Northampton and Warwick, in whom is all his trust. [Three pages. Holograph, partly in Greek, partly English in Greek characters.]
April 29.
332. Sir John Masone to the Council. A conspiracy to poison the young Queen of Scots has been detected. He that took the matter upon him is an archer of the guard, who has escaped into Ireland. Much search is made for him, and it is reported that he has been already stayed to be sent into Scotland, and so again into France. The old Queen is fallen suddenly sick upon the opening of these news unto her. The design is supposed to have been devised by some miscontented Scots. The same post that brought these tidings also brought word that the Lady Fleming is brought a-bed of a man child, whereat the women here do not much rejoice. On Monday a French post arrived from England, and since then there has been much talking of dissensions among certain of the English nobility. These he deplores, and thinks that the Ambassador ought to be informed of the truth of occurrents at home so as to stop such rumours: as for himself, these 10 weeks he is more ignorant of any occurrents of England than is the worst pack of this Court. Is in continual hope of the return of Pickering. The Princess of Navarre is with child, to the great rejoicing of the whole house of Vendôme. The King of Navarre has settled 400 francs per ann. on the bearer who brought the news from his daughter, and on his heirs for ever. The Duke of Vendôme is still with his father-in-law, not far from the frontiers; and it is thought that if the Emperor is not encumbered with the Turk, there shall be some exploit attempted for the recovery of Navarre. Has not heard from his doers in England touching the receipts of his diets, and beseeches their Lordships' aid herein. He has lived on credit these two months, not without great interest, and as all his plate and moveables have been sent off, he has no help for himself on this side. His diets are not much more than 37 shillings a day, which only defray his horses and house rent. [Two pages.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book. [Two pages.]
April 30.
333. Peter Vannes to the Council. Takes advantage of the departure of a courier extraordinary to inform them that the Turk's preparations are daily more and more certified to be great, and besides the 109 galleys which he has ready, he is providing 40 or 50 more. The doings of Andrew Doria are very prosperous to the Emperor's affairs, as will be seen by the inclosure communicated to him by the Emperor's Ambassador. The Bishop of Rome's demonstrations against Parma are like to turn into a calm, as it is reported that the Emperor is unwilling to kindle a war in Italy, and the Bishop of Rome is unable of himself to take any such enterprise in hand. The Venetians are very busy, and in eight or ten days their general with the galleys shall set forth. The Prince of Spain, it is said, defers his journey to Spain until the return of Andrew Doria. This day Signor Daniel Barbaro has had his first audience of the Seigniory, and is understood to have reported very honourably of the King's Majesty and their Lordships. [One page and a half.] Inclosure,
333. I. Merely elaborates the Turkish preparations, the efforts of Doria against Dragut Rey, and the Pope's attempt to gain Duke Octavio by the Dukedom of Camerino, as previously detailed. [Italian. Three pages.]
April 30.
334. The Council to Sir John Masone. Six persons have committed a robbery in Jersey, and all escaped to Coutance, where they have been apprehended. The ancient custom of extradition between Normandy and Jersey, having been refused in this instance, desire that he will apply to the King or the Constable that these felons may be delivered up for execution to the officials of Jersey; the more earnestly that they have secret intelligence that these individuals are plotting for the betrayal of the castle of that island to the French.—A note, autograph of Masone, states that this was forthwith attended to by the Constable, who delivered to the bearer of the message (the son of Sir Hugh Paulet) the French King's letter to the Bailli of La Foi for speedy redress of that and some other robberies. [One page and a half. Copy in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book.]