Addenda: Miscellaneous 1565

Pages 705-707

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 17, January-June 1583 and Addenda. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1913.

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Miscellaneous 1565

749. Advertisements from divers parts.
Intelligence by letters from Malta of June 4, 1565, and by the relation of Rafael Salvago, Knight of St. John, who came thence by a frigate, with letters from the Grand Master for Don Garcia de Toledo.
This gentleman says that he reached Malta on Sunday, June 3, about midnight, on a barquetta, which came from Caragoca (fn. 10) without any difficulty, although they saw some of the enemy's ships who were on the watch; and that they set sail from thence at night, after the setting of the moon, and disembarked near the Pilaco [instead of palacio erased], whence he came by land to Carago¸a. There he gave order on behalf of the Master to two galleys of the Religion which were there, that they should transport a company of Italians, of about 200 men, with some adventurers and bombardiers, who had employment in Malta, and that these and about 100 soldiers of the galleys should be disembarked by night in a certain part of Malta, whence they could easily enter the fortress.
These left Carago¸a on Wednesday the 6th inst., and he believes they arrived yesterday, Thursday, and that, the people being disembarked, the galleys had order to return to Sicily.
He says that the voyage from Malta to Sicily is very easy when the east or north-east wind is blowing, as the enemy's galleys cannot lie upon that coast during these winds.
That since May 29 the enemy had put 15 pieces of artillery on the level ground on the summit of St. Elmo, and amongst them one very great one, which fires off 100lb. of powder each time; and other three pieces on the point of Mario Muxeto, from which they “have and do batter” with great fury the castle of St. Elmo in the cavalero grande, which dominates that side; but the rampart of earth (terra-pleno) was so good, and the cavalero so high, that the bullets entered without doing any damage, from which it might be judged that the artillery did not harm their enemies.
Last Sunday, June 3, the enemy determined that the janissaries should make an assault on St. Elmo, and the spahis [horsemen] desired to go with them. They took a ravelin which our men had made in St. Elmo, at a point beyond the ditch, but when they were in it our people slew very many of them and wounded a great number, and retook the ravelin, rebutting the enemy valiantly; there remaining in the ditch a great number of them dead or badly wounded. And of ours there died on that day seven knights, three French, one Spanish, one Florentine and two Germans—and about fifty soldiers, besides some wounded.
Moreover, he says that on Monday there sallied forth from the fortress to skirmish with the enemy about forty soldiers and some knights, leaving about 300 more soldiers at the gate to succour them, and skirmished with a considerable number of Turks so well that they slew many, and took a janissary alive, who informed them that in the assault the day before they had killed more than 600, with two “sanjaques” [sandjaks, i.e. Turkish captains] and that there were many wounded, but that they (the enemy) intended to make every effort to take St. Elmo, for the safety of their fleet and to hold that port, in order afterwards to secure the rest.
[He says] that the Master had placed 200 fresh soldiers in St. Elmo, and some knights, and had brought the wounded into the fort to cure them; and that there were there about 600 soldiers in all; among them the two companies of Spaniards of Miranda and Juan de la Cerda and some horsemen.
That on the side of St. Michael, the enemy had brought about thirty barques into the port from Marcio Xiloque [i.e. Marsa Siroc], which were supposed to be for some design, and it was believed they also wished to put a battery on that side, although they had not begun it up to that day, the 4th of June.
That the Master is very vigilant, and makes his slaves work wherever it is needful, and is having the ravelin pulled down which was made in the ditch of St. Elmo.
That they have in Malta enough food for six months, and abundance of water, both from cisterns and from wells which they had found, but not so many men as they need for all that they have to guard, and to make sallies and to skirmish; and for this reason, orders were given to the galleys immediately to carry over as many as they could.
That Dragut had arrived at the fleet, with twelve galleys and three galliots.
That all the enemy's galleys were in “Marcio Xiloque,” whence some of them went from one part to another.
That the horsemen of the city were having good success throughout the island, and had taken about forty Turks alive between May 29 and June 3, besides those they had killed and taken before, and that they went in and out, from the town to the fortress and from the fortress to the town, when they pleased.
That also the going in and out by night from the fortress to St. Elmo and St. Elmo to the fortress is very safe, and thus boats with people come and go every night, and all affirm that more men are wanted and that it would be well for our succours to come quickly.
Bayonne, June 25.—The Queen [of Spain] came here on the 15th inst., and was very well received by the King and Queen Mother, and there have since been great feasts and banquets, and most days the Kings have dined together.
On Corpus Christi day there was celebrated here the Order of St. Michael. All the Kings went to mass and procession, and after dinner the Duke of Alva, accompanied by the President of Flanders [Viglius, Chancellor of the Order], the kings at arms and the secretary, with the usual ceremonies gave the Order of the Fleece to the King of France in his closet, who received it with much satisfaction. Then they forthwith went to vespers, to celebrate the Order, and after vespers, he touched 1,495 persons for the King's Evil; since which time there have been many feasts and tourneys.
There is at Dias [Dax], about four or five miles from here, an ambassador from the Turk, and six days ago he came to a place half a league from here, where the King and Queen Mother were dining, and gave him audience. He is said to have prayed the King, on the part of the Turk, his friend, that he would give him a harbour and provisions for his fleet; saying that the Turk had sent him to offer the King one of his “Iysa” for a wife, and that she should be baptised; and he would give him all the Kingdom of Italy conquered within two years. So far they have not given him his despatch, but it is believed they are waiting until we have departed, and that he will leave this week.
Rome, June 19.—This morning was sung the mass of the Holy Spirit for the league made with Switzerland, and an oration was given in Latin in praise of his Holiness, of this league and of that nation.
The capitulations are not made public, but nevertheless it is reported that his Holiness will have to deposit 20,000 ducats in Como or in Milan; that he has to give 1,000 harquebusiers, who must obey the General of the Swiss, and the captains and officers whom they will nominate; that the pay is to be 4,000 and not to exceed 6,000; that they are not to be forced to the assault of the city, nor made to fight except for the defence of the ecclesiastical states; that they are not obliged to go by sea or by river into any part; and that in case any new matters should arise, they may at once depart.
His Holiness is supposed to be making this league from the reputation that nation has of being always well affectioned to the Apostolic See, and that hence he considers the capitulations of such importance that they are worth the money.
Endd. by Cecil “Advices in Spanish, 25 June, from Bayonne.” Spanish. 3 pp. [Newsletters XCV. 1.]


  • 10. Probably Calla Goxo is meant; i.e. the roadstead in the island of Goxo, near to Malta.