Rome: 1563, October-December

Pages 152-158

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Vatican Archives, Volume 1, 1558-1571. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


1563, October–December

Vat. Arch.
Arm. xlii.
vol. 19.
p. 290.
284. Pope Pius IV to Antony [Perrenot], Cardinal of Granvelle.
“Dear son, health &c. Whereas our dear sons Richard Bernard, William Wils, William Mugg, William Giblet, Thomas Butler, Thomas Stapleton, John Fowler, Englishmen and clerks, who, as they have lately given Us to understand, having been at pains to discipline themselves in good letters at Louvain, are now graduates, and being afire with devout zeal, are anxious to be promoted to all even the holy and priestly orders, have humbly besought Us of our Apostolic benignity to deign to afford them the opportunity of effecting their purpose: We, therefore, who to the righteous petitions of all Christians, and especially to such as are manifestly prompted by religion, gladly, as far as with God's sanction We may, lend ear, being moved by their entreaties, hereby grant you, in your discretion, licence and authority in regard alike of the persons aforesaid as of other English clerks, either by yourself, or by some other Catholic prelate, to be chosen by you, who is in the grace and communion of the Apostolic See, after careful examination made of the sufficiency of the said clerks' doctrine, the purity of their Catholic faith, and the probity of their morals on three Sundays, or other feast days, even at seasons not appointed by law (for which purpose no licence of their ordinary or any one else shall be necessary), either simultaneously or separately to promote the said clerks to all the holy and priestly orders, provided there be no canonical impediment, and upon their promotion to give them and each of them permission lawfully and without let to minister at the altar, all Apostolic constitutions and ordinances and all statutes and customs sanctioned by oath, confirmation Apostolic, or otherwise, and all else to the contrary, notwithstanding.”
18 Oct., 1563. Rome. Latin.
—“For seven Englishmen studying at Louvain and others of the same nation your Holiness grants to Cardinal Granvelle faculty by himself, or another Catholic prelate to be chosen by him, to promote the said and other Englishmen to holy and priestly orders after careful examination as to the sufficiency of their doctrine, faith and morals, without the ordinary's licence and provided there be no other canonical impediment.”
Certified by D. Tols [Tolomeus] for dispatch by command of his Holiness.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. xxxii.
f. 230.
285. The Abbot of S. Solutor to [John,] Cardinal Moroni, Legate [at the Council].
… “That which Mgr. of Lorraine was pleased to tell me of the procedures of the Queen of England was by way of discourse; and as I told him at every turn that I thought it would be to the advantage of France to make peace with the said Queen in order to be at leisure to re-establish her authority within the kingdom, seeing that, as long as she was at open war with the said Queen, the rebels would be ever in hopes of profiting by English aid, he made answer that the King and the Council had never missed an opportunity of sending the English offers of peace, and now more than ever were doing so, but that the said Queen was minded to have Calais, which would never be granted her, the place being of too great consequence to France, to which he added that, though in the peace between the two sovereigns it was stipulated that it should be restored in eight years' time, this was done because it could not then be avoided, but that in effect there was no lack of grounds upon which the King might have refused to surrender it at all, even though there had supervened no breach of the treaty. So long therefore as the Calais difficulty is outstanding I deem it impossible that they should arrive at peace. And by consequence the French will never make much account of the mediation of the Pope between them and the said Queen; so that it will be necessary to devise some other method without communication with them.
“ You say that Milord Robert [Dudley] favours the Catholic party, and therefore there is hope that, were he married to the Queen, he would re-establish the Catholic religion in the kingdom; and such is the opinion of many; but I find that it is just the princes and the ancient nobility of the kingdom, who are truly Catholic, that detest the said Milord Robert for the bad behaviour of his father and all his kinsfolk, and therefore keep the matrimonial business at a standstill; and it is for this reason, I think, that he may conciliate them, that he pretends to be minded to turn Catholic, but they have such good reasons for hating him that we may anticipate that, hostile as they are to him now, they would be much more hostile to him, were he on the throne. And so the enmity of these princes is a most powerful motive of the Queen's not venturing to marry him. We must therefore leave God to work His own will, for it is not without some great mystery that the affairs of that kingdom are reduced to the confusion in which they stand, so that it is impossible to conjecture what the end may be.
“As to the 1,000 crowns, I think the whole amount should be given to those bishops that are now released from prison; and I would prefer that it should be given to the Bishop of Worcester, and that he be instructed to distribute part thereof among the other bishops his brethren: I should also prefer that this should be done by means of the Spanish Ambassador on his arrival in the kingdom, because I do not think it consists with the dignity of the Pope to send 1,000 crowns to those bishops but just discharged from prison, and that while the pest deprives them of the help which in other days they had from their well-wishers. As to the proposal to distribute part of the money among the English that are in Flanders, I deem it out of the question, because it would be necessary to give to so many that several 1,000 crowns would hardly yield 10 crowns per man, or else those that did not receive their portion would be discontented as was the case three years ago. And besides, the refugees in Flanders have for the most part licence to enjoy the revenues that they enjoyed while they were in England. However, I submit myself in all things to your sage judgment.”
27 Oct., 1563. Rome. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
Arm. lxiii.
vol. 152.
f. 2635.
286. The Legates at the Council to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
… “It is not meet for us to say anything in opposition to his Holiness' resolution to proceed against the Queen of Navarre; howbeit it seems to us that we do not amiss in recording with the reverence due to his Holiness our opinion that thereby the Queen of England and the Princes of Germany might be prompted to some action of importance.”
28 Oct., 1563. Trent. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. lxiv.
vol. 28. f. 66.
287. Elizabeth, Queen of England to the Emperor Ferdinand I.
“Your Majesty's letter dated at Pressburg, 24 Sept., gave Us great pleasure since thereby We learned that You were gratified by the zeal by which We were moved to treat your request with a degree of consideration such as the nature of the case required. Whereby You may readily understand how great is our inclination to sacrifice our own will and grant You all that We reasonably may. For indeed it was a matter of no small moment to treat so leniently men who had so insolently and openly put themselves in opposition to our laws and the peace of our loving loyal subjects, chief among whom were those who during the reigns of those most noble Princes, our father and brother, set mind and hand to work openly by speech and by writing, and that though they were not private persons but magistrates, to commend to others that very doctrine which they now so obstinately reject. Yet these are the men whom We, in deference to your request, have by our grace, but certainly with no small offence to our people, spared.
“Now, as to your Majesty's further intercession in their behalf, to wit, that there be certain churches assigned them in their several cities in which, safely and without let, to celebrate by themselves their divine offices; this request is of such a kind and beset with so many difficulties that We cannot without hurt alike to our country and our own honour, concede it. For indeed there is no just cause why We should do so. For We and our people —thanks be to God—follow no novel and strange religions, but that very religion which is ordained by Christ, sanctioned by the primitive and Catholic Church and approved by the consentient mind and voice of the most early Fathers. But to found churches expressly for diverse rites, besides being openly repugnant to the enactments of our Supreme Parliament, would be but to graft religion upon religion, to the distraction of good men's minds, the fostering of the zeal of the factious, the sorry blending of the functions of church and state, and the utter confounding of all things human and divine in this our now peaceful state: a thing evil in itself, of the worst example, pernicious to our people, and to those themselves, in whose interest it is craved, neither advantageous nor indeed without peril. And therefore, We, who aforetime, moved partly by our natural clemency and moderation, but especially by our desire to grace a request of yours, were fain to try if some little connivance might prove a remedy for the individual insolence of a few, can now in no wise foster and nourish by excessive indulgence the perversity of the same men, and the no less or yet greater presumptuousness of their likes.
“We doubt not that tins expression of our mind, this our answer, will be taken by your Majesty in good part; and grievous indeed it is to Us that your request is such that We have not been able to comply with it, for in aught else that may consist with the weal of our realm We shall shew Ourself ready and zealous to grant your every desire. God preserve your Majesty to the uttermost.
“From our Palace at Windsor, 3 Nov. a.d. 1563, in the fifth year of our reign.”
Latin (by Roger Ascham). Copy differing in some important particulars from the version printed by Strype, Annals (8o) I. ii. 573–5.
Vat Arch.
vol. xxxi. bis.
f. 649d.
288. Il Mandosio to Mgr. Tolomeo [Ptolemy Galli, Archbishop of Siponto].
“Since my letter of the 27th nothing worth mentioning has occurred here except that the Court has gone for recreation upon a tour of some of the places in the neighbourhood of Paris, and to-day is at Monseò [Monceaux], a place that belongs to the Queen; and they say that the Court will return to Paris before Martinmas. They also say that the Court takes this pastime pending some accord which is to be made with the Queen of England, and which is now very nearly concluded, for which reason they have sent hither to summon the English Ambassadors to Court.”
7 Nov., 1563. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
vol. xxxii. bis.
ff. 652d.–3.
289. Il Mandosio to Mgr. Tolomeo [Ptolemy Galli, Archbishop of Siponto].
“The Court has quitted Monseò [Monceaux] and is expected to arrive to-day at Fontainebleau, where the Queen announces her intention of staying three or four days, and then going to Paris, to see the Duke of Orléans, who is still unwell. The day before yesterday there came to this city the Constable, and with him returned the English Ambassadors, from whom it has not been possible to elicit what the Queen has said to them, but I understand that a truce with the English of some years' duration is on the tapis, and that the question of Calais will be reserved for discussion at the date fixed by the peace of '58.”
14 Nov., 1563. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch
Conc. di
vol. xxxii.
f. 264d.
290. Antony [Perrenot], Cardinal of Granvelle to [John,] Cardinal Moroni, and the other Legates at The Council.
Account of the state of factions at the French Court.—The letter concludes thus:—
“This will give you an idea of the diversity of French affairs, and by putting many things together I apprehend, as I have already said, fresh tumults; nor is there ground to anticipate aught else so long as the Queen lends ear to such persons as at present surround her. And I know that since the Admiral [Châtillon] has been at Court he and his brothers have scarce left the King alone for a moment, endeavouring by their baneful conversation to beget in him an evil opinion of the priests and clergy, to which end they read to him books of fables, like Pantagruel and others, stuffed with jests at the expense of Holy Church and the churchly estate, which is the very method by which the Sacramentaries corrupted Edward King of England; and they have set such persons about the Duke of Orléans that God grant he be not already corrupted. They have not yet begun to treat of the accord between the French and the English for the reasons which I have communicated to you, and in London there is still the pest, of which from 700 to 800 persons die weekly. There is no fresh news from Denmark, the fire and fury of both Kings being extinguished by the rains and frosts of those parts.”
5 Dec., 1563. Malines. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
vol. cvii.
ff. 382d–383.
291. [Il Mandosio] to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“His Majesty in this second audience that I have had spoke again at length of the affairs of the Queen of Navarre, saying that not only does he disapprove her conduct and deem her to deserve punishment, but that he omits not daily to write to her in terms of reproof and menace. But on the other hand he deems that his Holiness would be unwise to make a beginning with her; and since his Holiness does not proceed against England, nor yet against many princes of Germany, though he has better cause, he says that he would do well not to meddle at present in affairs here, considering that this kingdom is so ripe for revolution at this time that a slight impetus might result in serious mischief. And though I said much in reply, nay, all that his Holiness bade me, without the least omission, his Majesty still said that this is not the proper time, and that his Holiness knows not the temper that prevails here, and how great a blaze might thus be kindled, as he would give him more particularly to understand by M. d'Ossel [Clutin d'Oysel.]”
22 Dec, 1563. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cxlv.
ff. 34d–42.
292. Extract from Philip Musotti's Summary Account of the Council of Trent in the Time of Pope Pius IV. (fn. 1)
“There came likewise at this time a letter from the King of France to the Council in which he gave account of the victory [at Dreux 19 Dec., 1562], and entreated that a good reform might be made: which letter was read by the Ambassador Ferrier, who thereupon made an oration most earnestly advocating the said reform. On the subsequent arrival of the Emperor at Innsbruck the Cardinal of Lorraine went to visit him, as likewise did Cardinal Madruccio: and on his return Lorraine apprised the Legates how ill satisfied the Emperor was with the Pope and the Council by reason that none of the proposals that he had sent had ever been carried. Whereto reply was made by the Legates, i.e. by Seripando, for Mantua by reason of sickness could not be present at the discussion; of which sickness he died on 2 March, and then on the 17th Seripando also died….
“In the deceased Legates' stead the Pope sent Morone and Navagero. Morone went to confer with the Emperor, and then returned to Trent, and feeling that upon him as first legate rested everything, he with great pains and ability laboured to such purpose that at length he brought the Council to a close, the last session being held on Saturday, 4 Dec., 1563, contrary to the expectation of the King of Spain and the Spanish prelates, who had thought to protract the business to protect themselves against the Pope, being apprehensive that on the conclusion of the Council he would begin to think of turning them out of the State of Milan.
… “After Seripando's death [17 March, 1563] I entered the service of the Cardinal of Lorraine, who betook him to Venice, and tarrying by the way at Padua had a conference with the Duke of Ferrara… On his arrival at Venice, being informed that the Pope was altogether suspicious and afraid of him, he sent me to explain to his Holiness the purpose of his going to the Emperor, which, he said, was but to visit him and treat with him of wedding his niece the Queen of Scotland to the Emperor's son the Archduke Charles and one of his (the Emperor's) daughters to the Duke of Ferrara, as was afterwards done. These were the pretexts, but in truth he went to discover the Emperor's mind in regard to the business of the Council. He added that he had come to Venice to divert his mind from the grief he felt at the death of his brother the Duke of Guise; and that in Council and everywhere else he would be his Holiness' good servant as beseemed a good Cardinal.”
Dec, 1562—Dec, 1563. Italian.


  • 1. Printed in Ungedruckte Berichte und Tagebucher zur Geschichte des Concile von Trient, ed. Dollinger, 2te Abth. (1876), pp. 33–35.