Rome: 1564, January-March

Pages 158-161

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.

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1564, January–March

Vat. Arch.
Pio, vol. cciv.
f. Ed.
293. [Il Mandosio] to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“A man is come from England; and in effect it is manifest that the English reject the treaty of peace or truce, nor is it thought worth while to press it much, as they are supposed to be in treaty or hopes of treaty with others, or as some are disposed to think with the Admiral [Châtillon]. Here it is said that M. d'Agamont [Ayamonte] has crossed from Flanders into England; and though it is given out that his mission is but one of compliment and ceremony, it excites not a little suspicion here.”
14 Jan., 1564. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. H. 294. [The Same] to Mgr. Tolomeo [Ptolemy Galli, Archbishop of Siponto].
“Agamont[Ayamonte]'s crossing to England causes much suspicion here; and among the vulgar it seems there is a bruit of impending war, but totally without foundation, so far as I can see; and as I wrote in my former letters war is abhorrent in the last degree to the Queen, who will therefore avoid all occasion thereof. I am informed this morning that the ambassador of the Catholic King has told the Queen of England that her pretensions to Calais have slipped through her fingers, and that this is the reason that Lansac has been sent [to Spain]. (fn. 1) I will endeavour to ascertain the truth, as it is matter of importance enough to cause without a doubt these Princes to resort to arms; and I will report to you accordingly.”
15 Jan., 1564. Paris. Decipher. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxvi. f. 86.
295. [Zacharias] Delfino, Bishop [of Lesina, Nuncio in Germany] to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“It is plainly apparent that the French are all bent upon a complete understanding with the King of the Romans; and it is surmised that the determination of the French to pay off their foreign debt in four years and their home debt in six years is prompted by a sense that they cannot long remain at peace; and those who know that it is the nature of France never to be long without a war, will perchance with little difficulty be assured of this.
“I have it from a good source that the French have discovered that the Catholic King by means of Mgr. of Granvelle in Flanders, and his ambassador at the French Court, and in short in divers ways, has endeavoured to sow discord between France and England. Which procedure on the part of the Catholic King, whether it was determined by some design of making war upon the Queen [of England], or by reluctance to see the realm of France totally lost, in any case seems to have been by no means agreeable to the Queen of France and her Council.”
26 Jan., 1564. Vienna. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxvi.
ff. 90–95.
296. [Zacharias] Delfino, Bishop of Lesina, [Nuncio in Germany] to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“The French ambassador has gone to Prague, and, on the part of his King and Queen and the realm of France, has besought the King of the Romans to use his influence with the Emperor that in like manner as he prevented proceedings being taken in the Council against the Queen of England, so he should now dissuade the Pope from proceeding against the Queen of Navarre. It was remarked that in his discourse he gave his Holiness the title of Supreme Prince of the Christians, which has never before fallen from the lips of a French minister. For the rest he declared that his King could never, never tolerate such a wrong on the part of his Holiness, and affirmed that if he should so proceed, great disorders would ensue. The King of the Romans on the one hand deemed that the Emperor would do well to give the French some satisfaction, on the other hand he thought that his father should beware of offending the Catholic King: however, he chose the third alternative, replying to the ambassador that he had no knowledge either of what the Pope had done or of the reasons that had determined him, more especially as the ambassador had not with him a copy of the citation to exhibit; so that it would be necessary, he said, to write to Count d'Arco for information as to the whole matter, which had, the course pursued would be such that the King of France would in this matter also recognise the good will which is borne him in this quarter. So much I have learned in confidence from Signors d'Arco and Zasio who govern the King of the Romans. I await your commands, if it should be necessary to take any action in this matter.
“I have further gathered from them in divers discourses that the judicious action taken by the King of the Romans in regard to religion has alone sufficed to dishearten the seditious in France. They also tell me that that kingdom is covertly in a most evil plight, and that the Huguenots hold it for most certain that the Queen and the Duchess of Savoy are privily Huguenots. And though they spoke with reserve of such great persons, it was nevertheless manifest that they deemed their information came from a good source. They also weighed the growing mutual dissatisfaction between France and Spain, as well by reason of the consequences of the peace between the English and the French, which daily develop themselves little to the advantage and less to the contentment of the Spaniards, as also because all men take it for granted that the course his Holiness is pursuing against the Queen of Navarre is prompted and prescribed by Spain.
“They consider as arranged the following three matches; those, to wit, of the Archduke Charles with [the Queen of] Scotland, the eldest daughter of the King of the Romans with the Prince of Spain, and the second daughter of the said King with the King of France. The Catholic King is sending hither a man for the express purpose, it is supposed, of treating of the said match. If his Holiness desire to have the King of the Romans for his slave, he should suffer himself to be wronged or worsted by no man, be he who he may, and rest assured that the King of the Romans is persuaded that the greatness of the Papacy and his own greatness are one and the same, even as I have persuaded him that the Popes are wont to account the greatness of the Empire identical with that of the Papacy, and so dies diei eructabit verbum. There will certainly be an Imperial Diet at the end of next summer at the latest; and I advise that what has passed in confidence between these councillors and me be kept secret.
“Here in Vienna [sic] I learn from Seld (fn. 2) that affairs are in an evil plight in Flanders, and that the Catholic King must needs come or send his son thither this summer: I am also informed by him that both their Majesties deem it a great misfortune that Dietristain (sic) should have vowed that there is talk of making Trivulsio (sic) a Cardinal, and that they should have severely rebuked him in writing.”
8 Feb., 1564. Snam [Znaim], ten leagues from Vienna. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Pio, vol. cciv.
f. 3d.
297. [Prospero Publicola] Santacroce, [Bishop of Chissamos, Nuncio in France] to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
… “The English have taken many French ships and done such hurt to this kingdom that it is deemed that his Majesty will not be able to move far from these parts.”
25 Feb., 1564. Mellun [Melun]. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxvi.
f. 115.
298. [Zacharias] Delfino, Bishop [of Lesina], Nuncio in Germany to the same.
… “I understand that the Catholic King has written hither in such a sense as to leave no doubt that his Majesty has no thought of the Queen of Scotland, and will marry the Prince his son to none other than the eldest daughter of the King of the Romans.”
2 March, 1564. Vienna. Italian. (fn. 3)
Vat. Arch.
Pio, vol. cciv.
ff. 6d–7.
299. [Prospero Publicola] Santacroce, [Bishop of Chissamos, Nuncio in France] to the same.
“I have little to add to what I wrote you on the 25th of last month and the 3rd inst., as affairs have not altered in the least, but are just as they were. All that can be said is that there is some hope of peace with the English, and their Queen's ambassador, who was here, is gone with all speed to England to arrange some accord: many say it is already arranged; in any case we shall be better informed in a few days' time.”
10 March, 1564. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxvi.
f. 160.
300. [Zacharias] Delfino, Bishop [of Lesina], Nuncio in Germany] to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
I am informed by Seld: that the Emperor summoned him on the evening after he had given me audience and caused him to read his Holiness' brief; which done, and the reasons that induced his Majesty to believe that the advent of the Legate would be attended with many dangers having once more been rehearsed and pondered, he bade him come betimes again on the morrow to find me and impart to me his Majesty's thorough appreciation of the good intention of his Holiness, albeit he could not say that it was expedient or convenient that the legation should be sent at this juncture, entreating me above all to believe that in making this pronouncement his Majesty meant not to lay down the law to his Holiness, but only to discuss with him a question of such importance in a spirit of filial confidence and to apprise him of certain matters, knowledge of which is essential to the formation of a sound judgment upon that which concerns the weal, peace and tranquillity of Germany.
Entering then into particulars he indicated a manifest peril, to wit, of the formation of a league of Protestants of Germany, who are only too much instigated thereto not only by the Queen of England but also by some secret sinister influence of the French, in regard whereof he pointed out that inability to dispel certain grave suspicions might entail the loss of all that remains of sound Catholicism in Germany, and so passed in fine to discourse of other matters, from which I gathered that in the most secret recesses of the Emperor's mind there are two considerations which more than all others cause him to walk thus warily: viz. first, that the Emperor's reputation is ever enhanced by preserving the peace of the Empire, and that as well on the side of Transilvania as on the side of the Turk; and as this is in itself most true, so you may be sure that if at this time the Empire were at war, and the Turk or the Transilvanian were to break the peace, all his Majesty's states would be in great jeopardy; and secondly, that as it is on the tapis to summon the Imperial Diet, in which their Majesties hope that the Princes and States of the Empire will treat of the method of defending Hungary against the Turk, you may suppose that the very least thing that should so much as suggest the possibility of thwarting this hope is in the last degree distasteful to him, the more so as in the said Diet the King of the Romans, who will then be for the first time seen and recognised by all the Princes and States of the Empire together, hopes to be able to turn the occasion to his advantage; et hinc, dubio procul, hae lacrimae.
27 March, 1564. Vienna. Italian.


  • 1. Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1564, pp. 10, 15.
  • 2. George Sigismund Seld, Vice-chancellor of the Empire.
  • 3. Printed in Papal Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots, ed. J. H. Pollen, S.J. (Scott. Hist. Soc.), 1901, p. 179.