Rome: 1566, July-December

Pages 198-224

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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1566, July–December

Vat. Lib. Urb.
Lat. 1040.
f. 254.
389. News Letter.
“The Queen of Scotland has given birth to a son.”
8 July, 1566. Lyon. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib. Barb.
Lat. 6509.
(lxxiv. 55).
f. 8 (75).
390. Mary, Queen of Scotland to Pope Pius V.
“From your Holiness' brief and the letter of our ambassador, the Reverend Father the Bishop of Dunblane, We have learned the benevolence and favour which your Holiness deigns to extend to Us, seeing that, having learned the condition of our realm, you are not content merely to condole with Us on the state of our realm, but have determined to reach out to Us helping hands laden with the munificence of your generosity, and to use your influence to prompt other Catholic Princes to furnish Us with subsidies, while sending Us with such dispatch your Nuncio Apostolic to be our coadjutor in your stead in our labours. For which boons conferred upon Us We cannot indeed render such thanks as We should. Howbeit, We promise that never shall there be any defection on our part from the Catholic religion and the respect due to the Holy Apostolic See, which intention your Nuncio, whom We expect within a brief while, will find attested by positive fact. Meantime we look anxiously forward to his arrival with the money which he is commissioned by your generosity to bring Us. And by God's grace and your help and that of the Christian Princes, We are persuaded that our affairs may speedily be brought into a better condition. So grant it He to whom alone all things are possible; and may He preserve your Holiness for many a year in safety to watch over Us and His Church.
“Your Holiness' most obedient daughter Mary R.”
17 July, 1566. Edinburgh. Latin. Autograph. (fn. 1)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 257d.
391. News Letter.
“Three days ago there arrived here four volunteers from England, and the ambassador resident presented them to his Majesty.”
18 July, 1566. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol. i.
ad init.
392. Pope Pius V to [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
“… There is at that Court the English ambassador, an archheretic. Be mindful that you exemplify not that saying cum his qui Deum oderunt amicitia jungeris, and that God alone will confound carnal wisdom.”
3 August, 1566. St. Mark's, Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 1.
393. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi.
Acknowledging receipt of two letters from the Bishop dated respectively 8 and 25 July; commending his diligence and enclosing copies of the Jubilee against the Turks recently published by the Pope, and letters mandatary for their publication with the sanction of the Queen by the Archbishop of St. Andrews and some other prelate in Scotland.
5 August, 1566. Rome. Italian. (fn. 2)
received in Paris on the 22nd.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt d'
vol. I. a. ff. 4–5d.
394. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“… I arrived at Lyon on the 29th [of last month] and there learned that the Cardinal of Lorraine, with Madam his mother, had quitted Nisi [Nice], a place belonging to the Duke of Nemours in Savoy, where he had been for some days with the said Duke and the Duchess his consort, Madam of Guise that was, (fn. 3) and was on his way through Burgundy to Reims; and as his Holiness' commission required me to have some converse with the said Cardinal before I have speech of the Most Christian King and the Queen Mother, I resolved to travel to that Court through Burgundy, though the route is longer and less convenient than that by way of Moulins. I came up with the said Cardinal at a village distant three leagues from Chalon; and delivered to him his Holiness' brief, and apprised him of the Pope's ready good will towards the Queen of Scotland, which afforded him infinite comfort and contentment. He expressed himself as under the greatest obligation to his Holiness, and as mightily astonished that the Pope should be able to be at so great an expense in succouring at one and the same time so many Christian Princes against the Infidels and the heretics.
“I answered that, though the Pope had found the Ecclesiastical State exhausted, and had removed many burdens imposed by past Pontiffs, nevertheless God provided for all needs, and his Holiness, on his part, made all possible economies, living most abstemiously, and contenting himself with few servants, that he might be able to succour afflicted Christendom. Whereat the Cardinal raised his clasped hands heavenward, giving thanks to God that in the hour of greatest need He had granted Christendom a Pontiff of the best and holiest type, and supplicating the Divine Majesty to safeguard him for us for many a year. Then he must needs have me rehearse to him, to his great edification, one by one, the most wise and holy acts of the Pope. And, finally, having learned from him that I might freely make known to their Majesties [of France] the amount of the monthly aid which his Holiness has resolved to give to the Queen of Scotland, I took the road for Paris, where I arrived on the eve of S. Laurence [Aug. 9], the same day that the Bishop of Ceneda, the nuncio, departed for Villacutre [Villers Cotterêts], a place eighteen leagues hence, where he was to confer with the King and Queen.
“I would not go to Court till the return of the nuncio, who, when I had shown him the briefs that I carried for their Majesties, told me that it would be best not to present them because the closing words admonishing their Majesties to cause the Council to be observed by the Catholics are tantamount to evidence that the Pope is content with less than that which the said nuncio demanded in the Pope's name in the briefs sent to the archbishops in this realm, which briefs require the observance of the Council in genere without distinction between Catholics and Huguenots, the reformation of the clergy, the seminary, and the index of virtuous and Catholic persons in each diocese. And though it suffice not that the said briefs have been sent to the archbishops with the licence, given by word of mouth alone, of the King and Queen, but to secure their observance there must be a licence in scriptis approved by the Privy Council and Parliament, which is termed edict or law, as I am informed by the said nuncio; nevertheless it will be well in the first place to procure, as the said nuncio has already endeavoured to do, privy letters of the King and Queen, requiring the observance of the contents of the briefs, that their Majesties may thereafter be disposed to make the less difficulty about completing the work by means of the edict; failing which, the bishops by virtue of the privy letters will be able to secure obedience in the observance of the briefs, at any rate where they are not contrary to the Edict, as they term it here, of Pacification. Accordingly, as the nuncio's view seems to me to be sound, I shall not present the said briefs, but shall wait until it please the Pope to command other two briefs similar to them in all respects save for the omission of the last clause, requiring the observance of the Council by the Catholics.
“I shall tarry in this city until the arrival of the Court, when I cannot but visit their Majesties, to avert suspicion, and my excuse will be that I left Rome on the understanding that the Pope should send the briefs for their Majesties after me, and that I am in daily expectation of receiving the briefs with the bull of my faculties. And this delay is innocuous because by the Queen of Scotland's letters to the nuncio and the Archbishop of Guasco [sic Glasgow] (fn. 4) her ambassador here, and the Bishop of Dunblane, and myself, copies of which I send you. together with the letter itself that was sent to me, the Queen desires me to tarry here until the Prince, her son, has been baptized, as she cannot but be apprehensive lest the reception of the Pope's nuncio should occasion some disturbance in that realm, and is minded, as I am informed by the Archbishop of Guasco [Glasgow], to begin by trying to have the baptism of the said Prince solemnly celebrated according to the rite of the Holy Roman Catholic Church; which being conceded by the nobility and the people, she would be more hopeful that they would acquiesce in the admission of the Pope's nuncio; but if it should prove impossible to have the baptism celebrated in manner aforesaid, the reception of the nuncio by the Queen will present great difficulty, the heretics being both very powerful and very numerous as well among the nobles as among the common people. The date of the baptism is not yet fixed: they await here the return of a gentleman named Mauveysier whom their Majesties have sent to the Queen of Scotland to ascertain from her what lord she would be best pleased should go to Scotland to hold the Prince at baptism in the name of the Most Christian King. It is believed that the Queen [of Scotland] will submit herself entirely to the good pleasure of their Majesties, and that the quality of the person sent by his Most Christian Majesty will determine the choice by the Queen of England of a person of like condition. As to the Duke of Savoy there is no doubt that he will send in any event one of the chief lords of his Court.
“In the said copies which I send you will see how very instant the Queen of Scotland is that she should receive the whole or part of the succour that the Pope grants her. I am most earnestly requested by her said ambassador and the Bishop of Dunblane to cause (pursuant to the Queen's desire) a part of this sum to be placed in his [the ambassador's] hands. I have told him that I have the Pope's order to pay the said sum in five monthly instalments, but only provided the Queen should be in such need that the said succour would be a manifest relief to her. They averred that the need was extreme, and that the aid was of such great importance that with the said succour the Queen might hope to maintain her position and gain strength and reputation day by day, more especially as the Pope has been more prompt to aid her than any other Prince in Christendom. I shall first write about this matter to the Cardinal of Lorraine at Reims, and if he is equally instant with me, I cannot but disburse a month's instalment: this I deem I cannot but do for the sake of the Pope's reputation: and so I shall go on with the payments month by month while the need continues, unless otherwise commanded by the Pope. I shall take care that the first payment is made at the beginning of this September, which is the latest date I can fix for the convenience of the Apostolic See consistently with the dignity of his Holiness, whose name is so honoured and revered by all folk in these parts that not only the Catholics but the Huguenots themselves acknowledge that the Pope's election was verily the work of the Holy Spirit.”
21 August, 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 5)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol. I. a. ff. 43d–44.
395. Separate sheet.—“I understand from the Archbishop of Glasglow the ambassador, that the Queen of Scotland having left it to the Cardinal of Lorraine to determine the manner in which the succour was to be craved of his Holiness, the Cardinal was of opinion that besides the succour it would be well to ask for a nuncio to enhance the Queen's reputation, and to dispose his Holiness to be more prompt and liberal in his aids, the Cardinal deeming himself bound to do his endeavour to obtain a speedy succour for the Queen, as well because he is her uncle as because he had counselled and persuaded her to proceed against the rebels by confiscation of their possessions, upon which decision there ensued that great disturbance which put the Queens life in jeopardy. The Queen now finds herself in the utmost difficulty, not only by reason of her suspicion of the Queen of England, who, being the more apprehensive since the birth of the Prince of Scotland, the lawful heir to the Crown of England, may be expected in consequence to make the aid and encouragement which she secretly affords the Scottish rebels the more effective, but much more by reason of the bad terms on which she stands with the King her husband, who being young, ambitious and unstable, aspires to govern the realm, to which end some months past he set afoot that treasonable plot, secretly summoning the said rebels to Court to have himself crowned king. And as it appears from the testament of one of the rebels, my Lord of Ruthven, lately deceased in England, it was the King that caused the said rebels to slay poor David Riccio, of Piedmont, the Queen's secretary, being minded that all his wife's ministers should be his dependants, which has engendered such distrust between the Queen and him that since the birth [of the Prince] it is averred that they have never occupied the same bed, to the dissatisfaction of the King, who, though he goes to Mass, yet keeps on terms of close friendship and intercourse with the heretic rebels, thereby to maintain and augment his reputation and authority. Whereby the Queen also has been constrained, for regard to her own safety, to pardon her bastard brother, the Earl of Murray, and her bastard sister's husband, the Earl of Argyll, and to make a show of so far trusting the heretics that the captains of her body-guard, the one of 100 horse, the Earl of Boduell [Bothwell] by name, and the other of 300 foot, who is called the Lord of Traquail [Traquair], are heretics, as also the Governor of Edinburgh Castle, Mylord de Askin [Erskine], who has been created by the Queen Earl of Mar, though his wife, who is the Prince's governess, is a Catholic; nor do there lack those among the chief lords, who, to weaken and ruin the kingdom, foment this division and distrust.
“These difficulties might be obviated if the Catholic King should come, as it is hoped he will, with a great force into Flanders, or, as is the opinion of certain lords of consequence, if justice were done upon six rebels, the ringleaders and authors of the treason done of late against the Queen. Their death, it is thought, would completely restore peace and obedience in that kingdom. They are the Earls of Murray and Argyll, who being, as has been said, pardoned, securely carry on intrigues in the Queen's chamber, the Earl of Morton, Lord Ledington [Lethington], Lord Balantin [sic Sir John Bellenden], Justice Clerk, and James Macguyl [MacGyll] a commoner, Clerk of Registers, a contriver of all manner of evil. These four, though not pardoned, are nevertheless familiars and confidants of the King, who, with his wonted levity, would make no difficulty in suffering himself to be persuaded by the blandishments of the Queen, his wife, to consent to this most just execution, which he might accomplish without the least tumult, and with sure hope, as the said lords affirm, that by this means the holy Catholic religion might in a little while easily be re-established throughout the realm, there being no leader of faction left; but it is apprehended that the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Queen, for excess of compassion, will refrain from such a measure. Likewise in the judgment of some of the grandees it is held that peace and tranquillity would be securely established in this realm [of France], to the total ruin of the heretics, if such execution were but done upon a few, as it might be without much difficulty; but the King is as yet too young.”
21 August, 1566. Paris. Decipher. Italian. Copy. (fn. 6)
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm.
i. vol. 108.
Pt. ii. f. 42d.
396. John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano, [Nuncio in Spain] to Pope Pius V.
“Touching the English ambassador, his Majesty says that he has written that an attempt with finesse must be made to persuade the Queen to send a Catholic in his stead: and that he cannot openly dismiss him, because the like would then be done by his ambassador, who, to the no small support of the little religion that is left in that country, is resident there. Nevertheless, the English ambassador has little to do with His Majesty, who has him carefully watched.”
23 August, 1566. Segobia. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. I040.
f. 281d.
397. News Letter.
“Many of the rogues that have robbed and ruined the churches have been taken, and on Thursday three of them were hanged, a Frenchman, a Fleming, and an Englishman.”
31 August. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
(Cf. Calendar of State Papers. Foreign. 1566–68. pp. 121, 123.)
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm.
i. vol. 108.
Pt. i. [f. 18].
398. John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano, [Nuncio in Spain] to [Michael della Torre,] Bishop of Ceneda, Nuncio in France.
“You will perchance have by this time learned how that his Holiness has not neglected for some months past to do his office most earnestly with the Catholic King in favour of the Queen of Scotland, that aid may hence be sent her, which office has not been done without result, as the Queen herself knows; nor does his Holiness as Father of the Universal Church and most zealous for religion and for the spiritual weal and temporal honour of Christian Princes omit, as you know, to do all that he can for their benefit. But when God, whose providence errs not, allows such grievous strokes, we must needs in devout resignation bear them and praise His Divine Majesty.”
7 September, 1566. Segobia. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I. a. f. 6.
399. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“By my last letter I informed you that concern for the Pope's reputation and the Queen of Scotland's necessity required me to disburse a month's allowance to the Archbishop of Glasgow, her ambassador here, provided the Cardinal of Lorraine were equally instant that it should be done. And as I was urged so to do by the Cardinal in a letter in French, which, with the Italian translation, I send you, I last week caused payment of the said sum to be made to the said ambassador by M. Tomaso del Bene, and certified by notary. The money has been placed for remittance in the trusty hands of the ambassador's brother [John], who took his departure this morning in secret. This afforded me an opportunity, which I could not let slip, of sending a reply to the Queen's letter; of which reply, that you may be apprised of the whole matter, I transmit to you a copy. (fn. 7)
“It is the opinion of the good people that this succour will be of great advantage both materially and morally to the cause of the Queen, who, as may be gathered from the advices which I send you herewith, is now at peace with the King her consort, and with the lords of the realm; nevertheless, there can still be no stability, for the same suspicions are rife as before, albeit there is hope that, if the Catholic King should come (as it is hoped he may) to Flanders, the Queen may with no great difficulty succeed in adjusting affairs in her realm, and in restoring, with God's help, the holy Catholic religion. In the meantime, she will do her best to maintain her authority; and for the present she is occupied with the baptism of the Prince, her son, at which the Most Christian King is to be represented by the Count of Brienne, Knight of the Order, and of the House of Luxemburg, who will soon set forth for the island. This was settled upon the return to this Court from Scotland of M. de la Mauvaissière, who reported that her Majesty [of Scotland] is content with whomsoever it pleases their Majesties [of France] to appoint as godfather. Accordingly the Duke of Savoy and the Queen of England likewise are invited to send representatives. It is deemed certain that the baptism will be solemnized according to the ancient rite of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, which will be a fine beginning.
“Soon after the baptism we expect to learn the Queen's decision in regard to my going to that kingdom, albeit the said archbishop, her ambassador, doubts whether she can, without raising a disturbance, make such an innovation as the admission of my person into the realm, unless it be after the arrival of the Catholic King in Flanders.
“Meanwhile, I tarry in this city, not omitting to have frequent interviews with Mgr. of Ceneda, the nuncio, who, being very zealous for the honour of God and the Pope, and by reason of his goodness and sagacity much in the confidence of their Majesties, will be able to render no little service to the Apostolic See; and that which the disastrous complexion of the times permits not now, we may hope, may by God's grace be brought to a most happy conclusion in the future. Et nondum est abbreviata manus Domini; least of all with the aid of the most holy prayers and most sagacious and truly pious guidance of the Pope, sub quo nihil desperandum nobis est.
“As soon as I received your letter with the Popes most holy indulgences, I addressed the letters that you wrote to the two archbishops of Scotland, and placed the one in the hands of the said ambassador, the Archbishop of Glasgow, with four bulls, for so many he must needs have to send to his diocese and his suffragans; and by his advice I sent nine bulls to the Archbishop of St. Andrews together with your other letter, accompanied by one of mine, of which you will receive a copy herewith. Nor did I fail to exhort the ambassador to write to the Queen, commending to her the reception (with the King her consort) of the pardon of this most Holy Jubilee, as well for the weal of their Majesties' own souls as by their example to encourage the Catholics to celebrate it, and induce some of the opposite party not to refuse it; and the said lord, who is a man of exemplary zeal, and very capable, promised to write to their Majesties in most persuasive terms, as did likewise the Bishop of Dunblane, who has the Queen's orders to tarry here to accompany me to Scotland, where, though there is as yet no public church for the Catholics, nay, not even for the Queen, there are nevertheless many private chapels in which the said holy Jubilee may conveniently be celebrated, in like manner as the baptism of the Prince will not be celebrated in a public church, but in the royal chapel of Strivelin [Stirling].” (fn. 8)
9 September, 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 3.
400. [Michael Bonelli] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“Your equally long and sagacious letter of the 21st of last month has afforded the Pope great satisfaction by the information and advices therein contained; and he is especially gratified by the contents of the separate sheet: in regard whereof he has greatly commended your diligence. Nor shall I omit to tell you for your further advisement, that along with your letter there were received two copies of letters of the Queen to those two bishops in France, and an original letter written to you by her Majesty.
“As to the suggestion you make in the matter of the briefs the Pope informs you through me that you have judged well and wisely in conjunction with Mgr. of Ceneda, and they will be sent in due time, nay, they will be dispatched herewith this very evening, amended as you yourself advised. (fn. 9)
“His Holiness is well pleased that the first payment to the Queen of Scotland be made this month. However, if your departure should be postponed for long, he would have no payments made during the ensuing months: and he would also disapprove the payment of any further sum whatsoever, if upon your arrival in the island you find that the money already paid has been barren of result in regard to religious affairs, and that there is no reason to expect any such result in the future, that being the principal concern and desire of his Holiness. Consider well of this matter, if it be found to be actually so, and advise us here of all with your wonted diligence.”
16 September, 1566. Rome. Italian. (fn. 10) Endorsed: received in Paris 5 Oct.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 4.
401. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“I wrote to you on the 16th inst. all that was needful by way of answer to yours of the 21st of last month. I have now to acknowledge receipt of yours of the 9th, together with two copies of letters, one to the Queen of Scotland, the other to the Archbishop of St. Andrews, and therewith an original of Mgr. of Lorraine to you with copious advices of the affairs of that kingdom of the 8th and 15th of last month, in regard whereof the Pope has taken note of your wonted diligence and sagacity, and praised it as it deserved.
“As to the first payment which you report having made to the Ambassador of the said Queen there [in Paris], his Holiness receives the intelligence with pleasure, seeing that my last letter gave you his commission to do exactly what you write you have already done; as to the other payments that are to follow I refer you to my previous letter, as I have now no fresh instruction to give you thereon.
“As to your going to Scotland, which, it would seem, depends upon the Catholic King's going to Flanders, and the baptism of the Prince, his Holiness deems that they may readily avail themselves of the like occasions to defer it as long as they colourably can. In which case, though his Holiness is inclined to believe that his Majesty means to go thither soon at all events, such being his intention signified to his Holiness by his own very last letters, and especially as it is known how necessary his going thither is, and how advantageous it may be to religious affairs, nevertheless, rather than that your going to the island should be deferred without at present certain prospect of being able so much as to think of going thither speedily, his Holiness would deem it better for you to return as soon as may be to your church, and there abide until further order from him, seeing that you will there be of more service in all respects than you can be to her Majesty while you tarry there in France.
“This is the Pope's judgment in regard to this matter, with which, unless you find very good reason to the contrary, you must comply; and let us know day by day what happens.
“As you write that you have already resolved to present those briefs to their two Majesties without awaiting any further answer from here, there is nothing more to be said in regard to that matter save to commend your decision, which in substance is in no respect discordant with the Pope's holy intention in regard thereto, albeit with my former letters I had already sent you the same briefs that you asked for corrected after your own manner.”
30 September, 1566. Rome. Italian.
received in Paris 20 Oct. (fn. 11)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I. a. f. 7d.
402. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I wrote you by my last letter that pursuant to your order given to Mgr. of Ceneda as to the briefs touching the observance of the Council by the clergy, I had resolved, with the concurrence and counsel of the said Mgr., to go to Court to present my briefs, which in this respect differed but little from his; but having learned that their Majesties had embarked at Suessun [Soissons] bound by river for Gaillon, and being myself suddenly troubled with a slight attack of flux, I could not continue the journey; and though the distemper lasted but a few days, nevertheless I determined to await your answer before doing this office with their Majesties, deeming that this slight indisposition had been sent me by God, that thereafter I might fully carry out the Pope's most holy intention, as I mean to do now that I have received the second briefs amended in the manner desired, which briefs I shall present to their Majesties as soon as may be. Nor must I omit to tell you that I shall not fail to pay due heed to the Pope's commands conveyed to me by your letter of the 16th of last month touching the moneys that it has pleased his Holiness to assign in aid of the Queen of Scotland, in order that, to the glory of God and the Pope, and the weal of her Majesty and the peace and tranquillity of her people, the holy Catholic religion may be restored in that realm. This duty discharged with their Most Christian Majesties, I shall betake me to Mgr. of Lorraine, with the view of eliciting from him some good and holy resolution, of which he affords me no little hope by a letter written some days ago in his own hand from the Abbey of S. Denis, whence he is gone to visit his brother M. d'Omale [Aumale], who was very sick at Annet, after which he purposed soon to return to Reims in his archbishopric.
“Since the last advices that I sent you of Scottish affairs, we have no other intelligence but that the brother of the ambassador Mgr. of Glasgow, who went as bearer of the moneys to the Queen, had arrived safely in England, and to procure a safe conduct for free passage into Scotland, had repaired to the English Court; whence he wrote on 16 September to the said ambassador that there was there talk of sending, as representative of the Queen at the baptism of the Prince of Scotland, either the Countess of Rutland or my Lord Robert [Dudley], or the Earl of Bedford, who, though they are Lutherans, yet, in the opinion of Mgr. of Glasgow, may be expected not to refuse to be present at that holy ceremony, the baptismal rite of the Lutheran sect being but little different from that of the Holy Roman Catholic Church; and the Count of Brienne, who is deputed for this purpose by the Most Christian King, has already his orders, and will in a few days' time depart for that kingdom; as to who will be sent by the Duke of Savoy, Mgr. of Glasgow had as yet no intelligence.
“It only remains for me to apprise you that the said Scottish ambassador and the Bishop of Dunblane, on the strength of certain advices sent from Italy, in which mention was made of the sum of 20 or 25,000 crowns that the Pope is to send to the Queen, inferred that the matter was discovered (though it was not so save in general), and before my arrival here communicated the particulars to many and even to the Queen [of France], so that it will be necessary for me to give their Majesties a detailed account of the matter. This, however, so far from being injurious to the affair, has raised it in public repute, inasmuch as the aid of 4,000 crowns a month, besides being of great importance to that kingdom, which is in sore straits for money, has raised the spirits of the Catholics, and, on the other hand, has depressed in some degree the spirits of the heretics, even of this realm, by reason of the opinion which they entertain that the authority of the Pope, which by God's grace is very great, carries with it the concurrence of the Catholic King in so pious and holy an enterprise, which may God, for His glow's sake, be pleased speedily to bring to a most successful conclusion, to the Pope's perfect and perpetual felicity, and the benefit of the Christendom at large.”
7 Oct., 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 12)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I. a.
ff. 8d, 12d.
403. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I presented to their Majesties the last briefs that you were pleased to send me with the letter of 15 [sic 16] September, that came by the last ordinary, which documents arriving at this date might well be my excuse for not immediately upon my arrival in Paris obeying the Pope's command by doing reverence to their Majesties and apprising them of my [proposed] journey to Scotland. I did not fail as best I could to communicate to their Majesties that his Holiness, having for some months past to his great displeasure received intelligence of the disturbances in Scotland by the advices of many, and in particular by the report of the Bishop of Dunblane, who was sent express to Rome by the Queen of Scotland and the Cardinal of Lorraine, could not, as Father of Christendom at large, omit to lend aid and countenance to the great constancy and pious and holy zeal of that Queen, and to defend her against such grave perils and unjust persecutions; and accordingly he was minded to console her by the presence of his nuncio, for which purpose he had deigned to make choice of me, with express commission to do my utmost to serve her said Majesty, and to promote the restoration in that realm of the holy Catholic religion for the glory of God and the weal of her Majesty, and her people, whom the Pope, in imitation of that Most Holy Shepherd who sacrifices his own life for his flock, would fain reclaim to the way of truth, even though he should pour out his own blood for the purpose. And though his Holiness has not been able to avoid employing great part of his forces in aid of the Emperor, the Religion of Malta, and others, against the Infidels, nevertheless he has contrived to collect the sum of 20,000 crowns, of which each month an instalment of 4,000 crowns is to be sent to her said Majesty, as has just been done by hand of the brother of Mgr. of Glasgow (fn. 13); his Holiness' purposing, if God shall deign to deliver the Christians from the Turkish peril, not to fail, in case of need, to grant the Queen further succour towards the re-establishment of the ancient religion in her kingdom. Which, if effected, being fraught with advantage to Christendom at large, and in particular with profit and great glory to this most Christian realm, both by reason of the proximity of the two realms, and the protection which from of old the Most Christian Kings have ever extended to Scotland, the Pope most earnestly prays their Majesties to continue the said protection and afford some notable aid to the said Queen, who, being the widow of Francis II, of happy memory, brother of the Most Christian King, and eldest son of the Queen [Mother], deserves on this account alone their Majesties' whole-hearted countenance and favour; and besides that thereby they will do a work truly pious and worthy of the grandeur of their title of Most Christian, his Holiness will ever cherish towards their Majesties a most grateful remembrance thereof. Nor did I omit to tell their Majesties that the Queen of Scotland, albeit she showed herself very desirous to have me with her, nevertheless made excuse to me through her ambassador, that she could not decide the matter before the baptism of the Prince her son, which she meant to do her best to have celebrated according to the ancient rite of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, after which celebration she hoped, consistently with the Pope's dignity and her own, to be able more safely to receive his Holiness' nuncio.
“I afterwards observerd that the Pope cherished a most tender affection for the King's Majesty; and never for a single day omitted in his most holy orisons to pray God to keep his Majesty to the close of a long and most happy life most steadfast in the holy religion, and to grant him the grace speedily to reduce his kingdom to its ancient and wonted obedience under the one holy Catholic faith. And since their Majesties know well the most holy zeal and extreme reverence and devotion to the Catholic religion, and the Holy Apostolic See, which in all ages the Most Christian Kings have evinced by memorable examples, whereby they have deservedly gained not only the title of Most Christian, but also innumerable victories and the height of felicity, his Holiness in all fatherly affection besought their Majesties to do their utmost to continue, and to the honour of God complete this most holy work, for the conservation and augmentation of their Majesties' glory and grandeur, and for the peace and tranquillity of their realm; and to this end the Pope pledged to their Majesties his own life and all his holy spiritual forces. The happy result, we might hope from the good providence of God, would soon be visible, and most worthily embodied, in the King's most excellent Majesty, especially with the help of the most pious and prudent counsel of the Queen Mother.
“The Queen answered in the King's name and her own, that, for the very reasons that I had set forth, she had always been desirous of aiding the Queen of Scotland as if she were her own sister or daughter, and never would she desert her: true, they had not given her any notable succour, because they were apprised that, if their Majesties declared in favour of the said Queen, they would excite the utmost suspicion in the Queen of England, and give her occasion to declare openly in favour of the rebels of Scotland against their Queen; but that, at the instance of the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Scottish ambassador, they had given orders for the payment to the Queen of Scotland of a round sum of moneys owing to her on account of her jointure, which moneys had not all been recovered by reason of the stress of the times, and that for the future their Majesties will upon request do their utmost ever to give her substantial evidence of the great and true affection that they bear her, and of the great importance that they attach to the suggestions of the Pope in aid of that Queen. And what fell from the Queen Mother the King approved with much warmth and reiteration. They afterwards expressed themselves as grateful in the last degree to the Pope for his very zealous and truly paternal disposition towards them; averring that they are under great obligation to his Holiness, and especially since they are ever hearing from all quarters with what exceeding goodwill the Pope regards them; and that, so far as the complexion of the present times permits, they would do their utmost with due respect and reverence to give effect to the most holy and sagacious warnings and admonitions of his Holiness: true, they could not as speedily as they could desire take measures for the entire re-establishment of the holy Catholic religion in this realm, as they apprehend some disturbance and sedition, the more so as they have precedents therefor, both at home and among their neighbours, to wit, in Flanders, where the Catholic King, a prince so great and of ripe age, has been forced to concede the practice of several new religions in those states, while in France, notwithstanding the late civil war and the tender age of the King, there is no more than one new religion, and they hoped, as years bring the King increase of age and reputation, to be able with God's help to set all things in order. Nor must I omit to tell you that the King, after corroborating what the Queen Mother said, added that he had rather die than change the ancient and true religion of the Most Christian Kings, his forefathers. It was then their Majesties' pleasure to learn from me, to their great satisfaction and edification, the Pope's mode of procedure, as well in his audiences as in his way of life, and in his holy pious works, and they thanked God for the great solace they received from the hope which my report afforded them of the health and long life of his Holiness. I then saluted, on behalf of the Pope, the Dukes of Anjou and Alençon, the King's brothers, who were present, telling them that the Pope sent them his holy blessing, whereat those young princes evinced great joy, and therewith the utmost devotion to his Holiness.
“I then visited the Cardinal of Bourbon (fn. 14); and, knowing that everything would be communicated to the said lord as most in the confidence of the King and Queen [Mother], I deemed that it would be a service to God and the Pope to give him to understand that the Pope held him in consideration. Accordingly, I communicated to him in his Holiness' name all that I had imparted to their Majesties, adding that the Pope, knowing the Cardinal's piety and good zeal, hoped that by his means it might ever be possible not only to preserve but to augment devotion to the holy Catholic religion in the minds of the King, the brothers, and the Queen. To this end I exhorted and besought him, that with the address and prudence that befits a Cardinal and Prince of the Most Christian blood royal, such as he is, he would continue to counsel, persuade and solicit their Majesties, that the ancient and true religion might, as soon as possible, be restored in its integrity throughout the realm. This office afforded the said lord infinite satisfaction, so that he most humbly thanked the Pope for the good opinion that he deigned to have of him, affirming with an oath, that he omits no opportunity of serving the holy religion in his relations with their Majesties and the other princes and lords of this realm, and that to this end he would gladly sacrifice his life: and upon his conscience he assures the Pope that the King and the brothers are entirely and truly Catholic, and that in the Queen [Mother], as far as he can gather, he has ever observed the same disposition: true, that by reason of the sorry character of the times she is constrained very often to stoop to many things which in her heart she disapproves, to avoid disturbance or sedition, but that he hoped, that, as the King grows older, the affairs of the realm will speedily be brought into good order. He assured me also in regard to Avignon, that with God's help, and without cost to the Apostolic See, he would preserve that state from peril of any kind; which security was guaranteed not only by his own care and the respect in which his person was held, but by the encompassment of that state on every side by governors that were thorough Catholics, to wit, in Dauphiné the Duke of Montpensier, in Languedoc Marshal d'Anville [de Damville] (fn. 15) and in Provence the Count of Tenda. He reverently kisses the Pope's most holy feet, evincing an infinite desire still to serve the Pope to his satisfaction; and this his zeal and innate goodness verily merit his Holiness' particular consideration and commendation.
“I have twice had the opportunity of conversing at length with the Cardinal of Lorraine about Scottish affairs; on the first occasion, which was before I went to Court, I told him among other things that not only had I the Pope's express orders not to disburse the moneys of the Apostolic See except for the service of the holy religion, but his Holiness trusted no less to the said lord's piety and goodness, that he would never suffer the succour to be employed for any other cause than that of religion; and that as soon as it should appear that something notable was being done to that end, with hope of re-establishing the practice of the said religion, in that realm, I should confidently expect that the Pope would gladly expend a much greater sum of money than this, and even his own life, for the weal of that Queen and her people. The said lord replied that he will never give the Pope occasion to change the good opinion that he deigns to have of him, and that he will never in any wise consent that the said succour be applied to any service but that of religion, so that he was of the same opinion as I, to wit, that this second instalment should not be disbursed until her Majesty had taken some good and holy resolution, in order that, consistently with the Pope's dignity and her own, and for the well-being of her people,she may, as soon as with safety possible,receive the nuncio apostolic; to which effect he then and there despatched express by one of his gentlemen a letter to the said Queen, from whom we ought speedily to receive an answer. On the second occasion, which was after my return from the Court, the day after I received your letter of the last of September, I explained to the said lord, that I had the Pope's commands, that in default of certain prospect of soon going to that kingdom to do some service to the holy religion and her Majesty, I must return at once to my church, where I could do more service to God than I now do to the Queen, tarrying in France. Wherein I evinced, as is my duty, the utmost zeal, and instantly besought him to be pleased to give me some definite instruction, that I may be able to apprise his Holiness thereof, and put myself in motion in order to arrive as soon as possible at my said church. The said lord most highly approved his Holiness' decision, but besought me with much earnestness that since the Pope had deigned to do a work so holy, and so much to the advantage of the Queen and her realm, as to send her his nuncio, I would he content to await the answer to the last letter that he wrote to her Majesty, as he made no doubt that thereby he would learn her whole policy; that this answer would be had at the latest after the baptism of the Prince of Scotland, the celebration of which could not be delayed for more than a month. And to egg the Queen on, and to discover her whole mind, the said lord is of opinion that Mgr. of Dunblane should go to Scotland. He will accordingly depart in six days' time; and though I know him to be truly Catholic, pious and of great integrity, nevertheless, for greater security, with the consent and approval of the said Cardinal and Mgr. of Dunblane, there will be sent with him Father E[d]mond [Hay], S.J., who was to have accompanied me, a person of much faith and integrity, and of such noble birth in that realm, that he is a near kinsman of that Scottish earl, who in the late disturbances was forward to aid in rescuing the Queen by the window of the chamber in which she was kept prisoner by the rebels. Through him I have good hope of coming to know in more precise and minute detail the condition of that realm, and what is to be hoped from her Majesty for the service of religion, whereby I shall be able soon to determine what to do so as to maintain the Pope's reputation intact, letting it be seen that on the part of his nuncio there has been no neglect of proper means and diligence to give effect to the most pious and holy intention of his Holiness for the weal of her Majesty and her realm; et testis est mihi Deus et conscientia mea quod per me non stetit to do all that was in my power to discharge my duty to God and the Pope.
“The said Cardinal and the Scottish ambassador are extremely well satisfied with what has been done in favour of the Queen of Scotland on the Pope's part at their Majesties' Court, and with the kindly answer that they have given me; and the Cardinal, having visited his brother the Duke of Omale [Aumale] in Annet, and caused him to be brought to Me[u]don, a place belonging to the said Cardinal, distant two leagues from Paris, and there left in a fair way of recovery, will in three days' time, go to Court, purposing speedily to return to Re[i]ms, for the feast of All Saints; after which he will start for Lorraine, purposing to remain there for some time. Meanwhile, I cannot and must not do otherwise than await this final answer and decision [of the Queen of Scotland], upon receipt of which, it is my settled resolve forthwith and at all times to carry out his Holiness' commands, deeming all manner of labour et etiam mori lucrum et summum gaudium in the service of God and his Holiness.” (fn. 16)
21 Oct., 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Polon. vol.
clxxi. f. 5.
404. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“The last letter of yours that I have bears date the 7th inst. It was read by his Holiness with great delight that the second briefs had arrived in time, and that you would have presented them as soon as possible to their Majesties. We shall expect to hear from you their answer by the first letters that arrive.
“As to the disbursement of the moneys, I have no fresh instruction to give you; I can but refer you to my previous letters of the 16th and 30th of last month, by which you must be guided in this business, for such is the Pope's mind.”
28 Oct., 1566. Rome. Italian.
received in Paris on 16 Nov. (fn. 17)
Vat. Arch. Nunt. d' Inghilt. vol. I.a. ff. 13–14. 405. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“By the last ordinary I gave you account of the conversation that I had with their Majesties after I had presented to them the Pope's briefs, and of the decision taken in concert with the Cardinal of Lorraine as to Scottish affairs. Now, as you will see from the copies sent herewith of a letter from that Queen to the Archbishop of Glasgow, her ambassador, and a letter from the [Bishop] Elect of Ross (fn. 18) to the Bishop of Dunblane, who, by consequence, has not set forth on his journey to that kingdom, her Majesty had already resolved to send hither that Mr. Stephen [Wilson], who of late was in Rome with the said Bishop of Dunblane, to summon me to her, to the intent, as Mgr. of Dunblane informs me he is apprised by a letter of the said Stephen, that I should be present at the baptism of the Prince, her son. But it has pleased God to allow it to befall, that the said Queen, on the very day that she despatched the courier of the 16th of last month to announce to the said ambassador the resolution she had taken as to my journey to Scotland, began to feel some of her wonted pains in the spleen and on the left side, which, as we are just informed by letters of the 23rd sent to their Majesties by express courier by M. de Croch [du Croc], their ambassador in Scotland, were attended by continuous vomitings, fainting fits, and such a change for the worse that grave doubts were entertained of her Majesty's life, the more so that the last two vomitings contained a great quantity of blood; and albeit, according to the letter of the [Bishop] Elect of Ross, there is reason to be hopeful as to her Majesty's life, nevertheless in this Court, in consequence of the report of M. de Croch, there is next to no hope thereof.
“Nor shall I omit to tell you that in addition to the said malady there is the Queen's discontent with the King, her husband, who, seeing that the Queen will not allow him the authority that he had before the last turmoils of the realm, to wit, to be seated in council and public places beside his wife, and to have his name inserted in proclamations and public acts with that of the Queen, as was wont, and so forth, and in short finding himself of no reputation, is so mightily offended, that, having absented himself from the Queen since (fn. 19) Michaelmas, he would not, upon his eventual return to Court, spend more than a single night there in company with his wife; and on the following morning took leave of her, and bade adieu to all the Lords of the Council, with intent to embark in a ship that he had ready, but would discover neither the reason of his sudden departure, nor the place to which he purposed to go, either to the Queen or to the said lords, who, of one accord, humbly besought him not to depart, the chief among them, and even the Queen herself, offering to give him complete satisfaction, if they had offended him in any particular. He answered that he had no complaint against them, and anyhow he was resolved to depart: nevertheless he made a show of yielding to the prayers of some of the lords, and giving up the voyage, and withdrew with his father, the Earl of Lennox, to a place near the Court, and of late was in Glasgow, whence, though the Queen was but a short day's journey from him, he never once went to see her during this her most grave indisposition, whereby he shows himself to be too much of a boy.
“We are in daily expectation of another courier from that quarter: God grant he bring tidings of the Queen's restoration to health for the good of her realm; which by such a loss would be brought to manifest ruin, albeit their Majesties here in their own interest could not fail to lend it their aid, if only lest Scotland come to be united with England by the close intercourse and mutual understanding of the heretics of the two realms; and already the commander of the fortress of Inskait [Inch Keith], an island a league in circumference, which the French call L'Isle des Chevaux, eight miles from Edinburgh, and of great importance to that kingdom, has written to their Majesties offering, in case the Queen should succumb, to hold the said fortress at their Majesties' pleasure, if they should be minded to charge themselves with the wonted and ancient protectorate and wardenship of that realm. Touching which matter Mgr. of Ceneda, with his wonted diligence and prudence, will not let slip the opportunity of promoting at their Majesties' Court (as he does most ardently) this most holy public cause, to the glory of God, and for the service of the Pope and the Holy Apostolic See; and I in such circumstances, unless otherwise ordered by the Pope, shall not fail, as soon as may be, to betake me to my church, where I shall do my best, with God's help, to give his Holiness no occasion to lessen the good opinion he has deigned to have of me, praying ever His Divine Majesty, for the weal of Christendom, to keep the Pope safe in all felicity, and grant you grace in your employment to fulfil his holy intentions.”
4 Nov., 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 20)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. f. 14d.
406. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“This morning there is arrived a courier that quitted the Court of Scotland on the 27th of last month with tidings that by God's grace that Queen was in better health, as you will see from the copy which I send you of a letter written to the Bishop of Dunblane. God grant that this improvement bring in its train the Queen's complete recovery; seeing that it is of the utmost importance to that realm and all the neighbouring countries, especially as it may be hoped that her Majesty after this most serious illness will embrace to more purpose and with greater zeal the most holy cause of the Catholic religion. And as a gentleman is just about to post towards Lyon, I will make an end, praying God that the Pope's life may be long and happy.”
5 Nov., 1566. Italian. Copy. (fn. 21)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 317d.
407. News Letter.
… “The Bishop of Mondovi, who set out for Scotland, tarries in France, and writes about the child of the Queen of Scotland, whose husband gives himself out as a Catholic, but his conduct does not correspond with his words.”
9 Nov., 1566. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 44d–45.
408. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“Having by my last despatch (fn. 22) apprised the Pope of the Queen of Scotland's resolve to summon me to her, I will not now omit to add that, according to secret intelligence that I have from a good source, the Queen was only with great difficulty brought to this decision after the arrival at that Court of Mr. [John] Betun, brother of the Scottish ambassador, with the 4,000 crowns sent in his Holiness' name; and the Queen, being assured by the said Betun, as from me, that the said crowns were meant by the Pope to be employed no otherwise than for the behoof of the holy religion, and finding herself in extreme need, was advised by the Lords of her Council to cause me to come to Scotland, that the rest of the moneys might be at her disposal. Which I am inclined to think is the reason why God has suddenly visited her with that most serious and dangerous malady, whereby it may be hoped that He has touched her soul and inspired her to make some good and holy resolution, especially since it is understood that the Queen in the extremity of her sickness declared herself wholly Catholic, and very contrite and penitent for not having done all that she could and should have done for the service of God and religion, owing to the excessive respect that she bore to the lords of her realm.
“Now this misgiving is of no little moment because the lords that are in chief place and of most authority at her Court are heretics; to which it is to be added that the first time that I conversed here with the Cardinal of Lorraine, before I received Cardinal Alessandrino's letter of the last of September, I had much difficulty in persuading him that there was no time to be lost in doing something notable for the service of God in Scotland, since not only was there manifest evidence of the Pope's most benign and zealous disposition towards the Queen, but it was also known how great was the authority of his Holiness with King Philip, although for the re-establishment of the true religion in Scotland the Pope's aid alone, I explained to him, would, in the opinion of the Scottish ambassador and the Bishop of Dunblane, suffice. Which being undeniable, the Cardinal grounded his opposition on the supposed precariousness of his Holiness' life by reason of his indisposition, saying that he had rather not attempt anything so important, and then be left in the lurch; whereto I answered that the life of men and princes, and especially that of the Supreme Vicar of Christ, was in the hand of God, and that this being God's cause, there was good reason to hope it would never fail for lack of His grace. And as to the Pope's health, as far as I could humanly discern, I assured the Cardinal upon my conscience, that I had observed in his Holiness no such indisposition but that he might yet live many and many a year; and that I was in the best of hopes that the Pope by his great sobriety and excellent regimen would with God's help be preserved for a very long time, so that for the future the Cardinal ought not to give credit to this false opinion, which might be disseminated by interested and fanatical men to the most grievous detriment of public affairs. Thereupon, the Cardinal resolved to send one of his most confidential gentlemen to counsel and persuade the Queen to make up her mind to re-establish the holy religion in her realm, and that, as in the opinion of the Cardinal himself, and the Archbishop of Glasgow and the Bishop of Dunblane, and likewise of Father E[d]mond [Hay], the Scotsman, the most summary of all remedies would be the chastisement of some few wicked sedition-mongers, as I apprised the Pope in that separate sheet of the 21st August, she ought not to fail with a high courage, to the glory of God, to execute this most just punishment. And as the Cardinal suspects that if the detail of this his last resolution should be communicated through secretaries, it might be discovered here, and put him in peril of assassination by these Scottish guards of the King of France, who are all, or the more part, Huguenots, he has besought me to find some other and safe way of writing, and I have therefore confided in your wonted integrity. The said gentleman ought to reach Scotland before Mr. Stephen [Wilson], the Scotsman,departs that Court,so that, if peradventure it should be that it is not by zeal for religion, but by some other motive, and at the instigation of the heretics, that the Queen is now prompted to summon me to Scotland, we may yet hope that on the arrival of the said gentleman, especially since this serious illness of hers, she may resolve to give effect to the pious and prudent counsel of the Cardinal. But to be quit, as far as may be, of all suspicion of deception, and to discover the Queen's intention and what hope may be entertained of religion in that realm, already, on receipt of the tidings of the improvement in the Queen's health, there have departed the Bishop of Dunblane and Father E[d]mond, the Scotsman, of the Society of Jesus, who, being both most zealous for the holy religion, will animate the Queen to promote this most holy cause of religion; and Father E[d]mond is ordered to return as soon as may be to apprise me of the true state of affairs. And, as I know this father for a person of great piety, integrity and sense, I shall not, even though I be summoned by the Queen, decide to travel until his return, which I hope will not be long delayed. And since it has pleased the Pope to depute me to this holy work, there will be no failure on my part to advocate the use of all such suitable means as may seem to me necessary for the weal of those souls; and if then the Queen and her people should refuse to adopt them, I shall be excused in the sight of God and the Pope.”
12 Nov., 1566. Paris. Italian. Decipher. (fn. 23)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 320.
409. News Letter.
… “Letters have arrived from Savoy announcing that the Queen of Scotland was poisoned and could not live, and that the Cardinal of Guise was at the point of death with apoplexy.”
14 Nov., 1566. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Vat. Lat.
6410. f. 194.
410. William [Chisholm], Bishop of Dunblane to [John,] Cardinal Moroni.
“As to the course of our affairs in Scotland and the mission of the Pope's nuncio in those parts, so critical has been the situation since I received your letters that I have deferred answering them day by day in the hope of accompanying my answer with some good news. Such and so great, however, has been the malignity of the times that where only good was to be expected we find the event to be quite the contrary. The Queen hoped to solemnize the baptism of our Prince a few days after his birth, and to send to his Holiness tidings at once that her son was born and that he was born anew to our mother the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and therewith to thank both his Holiness and yourself for your good will, especially in regard of the affairs of the church and crown of that realm. At this very time, to the surprise of all, contention and caballing reached their height between the Queen, the King, and the lords of the kingdom; nor was it without the utmost difficulty that by the marvellous prudence and patience of the Queen these dissensions were somehow assuaged. This caused her Majesty great displeasure, which brought on a malady so grave that all folk thought she must die of it. However, God in His mercy, having forborne to remove so soon the hope of that poor kingdom, will after such perils give her grace to do some great service for His honour. For all that, I cannot think that these cabals will be finally, completely and so soon composed; as to which matter you shall hear from me from Scotland, where with God's help I hope soon to be, since I am now on the way, as you will, perhaps, have already learned from the letters sent to his Holiness by the Nuncio of Scotland, with whose desire that I should go forward, which he deems necessary, I have shown myself compliant, notwithstanding that it will be attended with the utmost peril of my life. While I shall be with her Majesty, I shall not fail by God's grace to subserve to the best of my power the public weal of Holy Church, giving her fully to know the great, pious and most holy zeal and purpose of his Holiness, and particularly your own good will and good offices, conspicuous and continuous as they have been and are, especially in regard of the weal of that crown, as also of all its servants in our parts. As for myself, I am in such sort and degree beholden to you not only for the great favour, honour and benefits that I have at divers times received from you, not to speak of the incredible kindness evinced by your writing to me, and being meanwhile the patron of those whom I have left behind in Rome, that I shall deem it a singular token of God's favour, if it should please Him to enable me to do you some good service before I quit this world; if I can do no more, I shall not fail still to pray Him to preserve you and grant you happiness in time and eternity.
“And herewith I end, assuring you that you will never have in this world a servant more affectionate, or more prompt to obey all your behests, than I, who kiss your hand with all lowliness and reverence.”
16 Nov., 1566. Rouen. Italian. (fn. 24)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 14d–15.
411. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I have received your letter of the 28th of last month, in answer to which I will only say that as touching the moneys which the Pope has deigned to assign for promoting the interests of religion in Scotland, they are, as I have already written, disbursed to the amount of no more than 4,000 crowns. As to the residue, I pledge his Holiness the faith that I owe to God and him, ay and my own life, that not a soldo shall be given for any purpose that does not manifestly subserve the cause of the holy Catholic religion in that kingdom, and meet with his Holiness' entire satisfaction; and I hope and feel sure that by God's grace I shall in the discharge of this my office give the Pope no occasion ever to repent him of the good esteem and confidence with which he has deigned to regard me.
“As since my letters of the 4th and 5th no express courier has arrived from Scotland, it is deemed certain that the Queen's health is restored; and the last intelligence from the English Court is that the said Queen was well and was reconciled to her husband, whose extreme youth must needs occasion many quarrels and reconciliations betwixt them, the more so that there lack not many among the chief lords who for their own interests are bent on fostering such differences between the Queen and the King, that thereby their power may be the less.
“Since the tidings came of the Queens convalescence, pursuant to the plan which I wrote you I had concerted with the Cardinal of Lorraine, the Bishop of Dunblane and the Scotsman, Father E[d]mond [Hay], S.J., have departed for Scotland; and by their means I confidently expect to be in a little while fully and truthfully informed of the affairs of that realm, and of the prospects of re-establishing there the holy religion to the glory of God and the Pope.”
18 Nov., 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 25)
Vat. Lib. Urb.
Lat. 1040.
f. 327d.
412. News Letter.
… “On the day next after that of S. Francis (Oct.5), the folk of Medina [Madeira] addressing themselves to the recovery of the island, there was a great skirmish in which Monluch (fn. 26) received an arquebus shot in the head, of which he died; whereupon the French that were with him, being 1,600 Gascon soldiers and a number of Normans, Bretons and English, retreated, and fortified themselves in a part of the island whither they brought booty they had gotten to the value of more than a million of gold.”
24 Nov., 1566. The Catholic Court. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Polon. vol.
clxxi. f. 6.
413. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“The Pope is excellently well informed by your long letter of the 21st of last month of all the history of your negotiation at their Majesties' Court. In regard whereof I need only say that you should regulate your conduct of this negotiation by the commissions received from me in my former letters, to which I refer you, having nothing more to say at present. Take care of yourself, and do not overtax your powers, that God may ever keep you in better and better estate.”
25 Nov., 1566. Rome. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 15d–16d.
414. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“The Queen of Scotland has at last sent hither the Scotsman, Mr. Stephen Vuilson [Wilson], who is directed to go to Rome to thank the Pope on behalf of her Majesty for the paternal good will that he deigns to bear her, and for the succour sent her by hand of the nuncio; he is also to present to his Holiness her Majesty's excuses for not having at once apprised him of the birth of the Prince, her son, the reason being that she was minded to make sure of her own people, so as to be able at one and the same time to apprise his Holiness as well of the spiritual as of the temporal birth, to wit, of her will and power to baptize the child according to the ancient rite of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Immediately upon his arrival here, the said Mr. Stephen, being satisfied that the weather forbade a voyage from France to Scotland, and that the Bishop of Dunblane would therefore have been unable to quit Dieppe, went thither to seek him; and as he has now delayed his return for nearly twelve days, I am disposed to believe that he found the said Bishop yet in Dieppe, more particularly since the weather has not been proper for the voyage except for the last four or five days. The same Stephen brought me three letters from the said Queen, the first in Latin of the 9th, the second of the 16th of October, in French, written throughout with her own hand, and the third, also in French, of the 1st of November, of which letters I send you copies.
“By these letters her Majesty is instant and urgent with me to repair to her. But though I am ready for the journey, yet for greater security I must not fail to await the return of the Scotsman, Father E[d]mond [Hay], especially as the Queen in the letter written with her own hand, by way of excuse for not summoning me before, says that she could not be sure of her subjects, but that at last she has found them compliant, to wit, that they consent to receive me, provided it be under some other colour than that of religion; but what that colour may be, I have not been able to discover either from the Scottish ambassador or from the said Stephen. Besides which, the Cardinal of Lorraine having, as I wrote you, sent one of his gentlemen express to persuade her Majesty to take a resolution deemed by the Cardinal himself, the said ambassador, the Bishop of Dunblane, the said Father E[d]mond, and all good Catholics, necessary for the settlement of the affairs of the holy religion in that realm, her Majesty has not approved it, but is very desirous of speaking with me; all which matters you may perpend in the copy of the Cardinal's letter in answer to one of mine, of which I also send you herewith a copy. And as the said ambassador, the Bishop of Dunblane and Father E[d]mond have told me that other remedy than that proposed by the Cardinal and disapproved by the Queen there is now none, I am disposed to suspect, either that the said Cardinal perchance used no such force of argument as befits such a business, to persuade the Queen, or that her Majesty has some other end in view, or that she has indeed the same end, but with a difference [of means], especially as I, to enable effect to be given to this most expedient and wise counsel, offered in the name of his Holiness certain necessary aids. For all these reasons I shall await the return of Father E[d]mond in the confident expectation that through him I shall learn exactly all that is to be hoped in this business for the service of the holy Catholic religion. Meanwhile I have given the Cardinal of Lorraine and the ambassador reason to hope that I am getting ready to make the voyage; and already the ambassador has begun in the name of his Queen soliciting the Spanish ambassador here to write to his comrade the ambassador in England, and to procure the interposition of the Catholic King's authority there to get me the safe conduct from the Queen for the journey through England; which done, I shall make up my mind to travel by whatever route I may, all perils whatsoever notwithstanding, provided the said father's report afford me hope of doing some good service for the holy Catholic faith to the weal of that people, pursuant to the most pious and holy intention of the Pope.
“I have likewise received the answer to my letter that I sent together with your letter and the holy indulgences to the Archbishop of St. Andrews, of which answer, written as it is in ultramontane (fn. 27) characters and difficult to read, I send you a copy, whereby one plainly perceives the piety and good zeal of that prelate; and the ambassador here assures me that the rest of the bishops, with two or three exceptions, are no whit inferior to him in good will.
“The said Vuilson [Wilson], after his return from Dieppe, ought not to tarry here long, but go forthwith to Rome to carry out the mission with which he is charged by the Queen to his Holiness.”
3 Dec., 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 28)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 333.
415. News Letter.
“Two letters of the 5th Nov. have come from Spain, announcing that it was doubtful whether the Catholic King would go to Flanders; and many say that he will not go; and that forty heretics had recently been burned.
“There arrived on the same day letters from the Court of France of the 3rd and 6th Nov., from which it appears that the Queen of Scotland was cured of her disorder, which was the result not of poison, but of pregnancy.”
5 Dec., 1566. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 7.
416. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“I have received three letters from you dated the 4th, 5th and 18th of last month respectively, and therewith two copies of letters written to the Bishop of Dunblane, and one to Mgr. of Glasgow, the contents of which are very gratifying to the Pope by the good hope which they afford of the health of the Queen, whom may God preserve in that kingdom in these times for the defence and advancement of His Catholic faith, and for the general well-being of souls. To which end it will yet be for you to employ your talent, supposing that you can get there safely and with the approval of her Majesty, as there is on all accounts ground to believe that you will at last succeed in doing, nay, as we expect to hear by your next letters that you have done, seeing that one might readily infer as much from your last advices. Should something fresh happen to bar the way, which God in His goodness forfend, you will be guided by the commissions received in my former letters, to which I refer you.”
9 Dec., 1566. Rome. Italian.
received in Paris on the 28th inst. (fn. 29)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I.a. f. 17.
417. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“Although I make no doubt but you have received my last letter of the 3rd inst. with copies of some letters written by the Queen of Scotland and others to me, nevertheless, as Mr. Stephen Vuilson [Wilson] is going to Rome upon a mission from her said Majesty to the Pope, I have deemed it more prudent to send you the duplicate of the said despatch of the 3rd inst. and in addition a copy of the said Stephen's instructions subscribed by the Queen, that his Holiness may make himself more clearly and fully acquainted with that Queen's good intention than he could gather it from what the said Stephen, since he is not very ready in the use of the Italian and Latin languages, could perchance communicate; but it is to be observed that it would be inexpedient that the said Stephen should come to know this. You will also find herewith the letter written to me from Dieppe by the Bishop of Dunblane, who, the wind being contrary, was not able to embark with Father E[d]mond [Hay] until the 3rd of December. The weather having since been for many days such as to speed the voyage, there is great hope of their arrival at the island ten days ago; so that we may soon receive letters from them, or be joined by Father E[d]mond himself, who, by his commission, was to return as soon as he was well informed of the mind of her Majesty, and of the affairs of that realm, with which, by his conversance with that Court, he will be able to make himself excellently acquainted in the course of a few days. I doubt not that his Holiness with his wonted prudence and most benign piety will deign on this occasion to confirm and enhance the good will and holy zeal of that Queen towards the Catholic religion.
“I have not failed to apprise her Majesty that on the Pope's behalf I have brought with me some Agnus Dei for presentation in his Holiness' name to her Majesty and the Prince her son, when I shall be at that Court. As in the letter written to me by the Queen with her own hand she prays me to commend to his Holiness the despatch of the business (fn. 30) of the [Bishop] Designate of Ross; and as in regard thereto the said Vuilsone [Wilson] has neither spoken with me nor made application of any kind, I am disposed to believe that he has some other commission not contained in the said instructions. Likewise, I am not able to give his Holiness any other report of his qualities than that which the Queen writes me with her own hand: were I on the spot, I could bear ocular testimony.
“Since writing this I have received your letter of the 25th of last month, in answer to which, I will only say that I will ever, with God's help, do my utmost in this negotiation, and in executing whatever other commands I shall receive from you, to be conformable to the Pope's holy intentions and instructions.”
15 Dec., 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 31)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I.a. f. 18.
418. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“Having by letter of the 15th inst., sent by Mr. Stephen Vuilson [Wilson], given you such account as was necessary of the affairs of Scotland, I have no occasion to furnish you with further information, save that we have since learned that after a slight relapse that Queen was steadily regaining strength, and was shortly to go to Strivelin [Stirling], there to celebrate on the said 15th inst. the baptism of the Prince her son. I may add that M. di Muretta, deputed for the office [of godfather] by the Duke of Savoy, not having yet arrived here, the Scottish ambassador is persuaded that her Majesty must needs have had the holy ceremony performed in M. di Muretta's absence, so as not to inconvenience the other godfathers, who had already arrived at that court many days since, to wit, the Count of Brienne, on behalf of the Most Christian King, with a present of a chain and pendant of diamonds, worth between 4 and 5,000 crowns, and the Earl of Bedford, on behalf of the Queen of England, with a font of gold valued at from 8 to 9,000 crowns.
“I am in daily expectation of the return of Father E[d]mond, or of some tidings of him and Mgr. of Dunblane, for neither the one nor the other should long delay their coming, to enable me to give effect to what I shall see to be for the service of God and the Pope.”
26 Dec., 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 32)
vol. I.a. f. 18d.
419. The Same to the Same.
“Since my last letter to you, written on the 26th inst., we are informed by letters of the 18th sent to their Majesties by their ambassador in England, that the baptism of the Prince of Scotland was celebrated on the 12th in the royal chapel of Strivelin [Stirling] according to the ancient rite of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, and that that Queen was by God's grace pretty well recovered of the recent slight return of her malady.
“As soon as I shall be in possession of the report which I expect from Father E[d]mond [Hay] the Scotsman, I shall not fail to carry out to the full the instructions which you were pleased to give me by your other letters, and of which you now deign to remind me by your letter of the 9th.”
30 Dec., 1566. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 33)


  • 1. Printed in Lettres de Marie Stuart, ed Labanoff, vol. i. p. 356; and Reg. Priv. Counc. Scotland, vol. xiv. p. 257.
  • 2. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 265.
  • 3. Anne, widow of Francis, Duke of Guise.
  • 4. James Beaton or Bethune.
  • 5. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 266–70.
  • 6. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 270–74.
  • 7. The letter is missing, but a brief summary of its contents from Tritonio's Life of Lauri is printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 408.
  • 8. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 278–81. The concluding paragraph of this letter is omitted as its contents sufficiently appear from the recapitulation given at the beginning of the letter of 7 Oct., 1566, p. 207, infra.
  • 9. Cf. p. 200, supra.
  • 10. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 284.
  • 11. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 285–7.
  • 12. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 288–90.
  • 13. Cf. pp. 204, 206, supra.
  • 14. Charles de Bourbon-Vendôme, Cardinal Archbishop of Rouen, uncle of Henri IV.
  • 15. Henry, second son of the Constable Anne de Montmorency.
  • 16. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 292–9.
  • 17. Printed ut supra, p. 304.
  • 18. John Leslie. Cf. p. 223 infra.
  • 19. The text is probably corrupt at this point. It should run: having absented himself from the Queen he would not,upon his eventual return to Court at Michaelmas, spend &c. Cf. Teulet, Papiers d' Etat &c. (Bann. Club), vol. ii. pp. 142–4, 148–50; and Pollen, S.J. Papal Negotiations &c., p. 306.
  • 20. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 305–7.
  • 21. Printed ut supra, pp. 309–10.
  • 22. i.e., the letter of 4 Nov., to which that of 5 Nov. is in the nature of a postscript.
  • 23. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra., pp. 310–13.
  • 24. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 315–16.
  • 25. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 318.
  • 26. Charles de Montluc.
  • 27. i.e. Gothic.
  • 28. Printed by Pollen. S.J., ut supra, pp. 320–22.
  • 29. Printed ut supra, pp. 329–30.
  • 30. The business, i.e. Leslie's definitive appointment to the see, was not despatched until Ap. 22, 1575.
  • 31. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 333–4.
  • 32. Printed ut supra, pp. 333–4.
  • 33. Ibid, p. 335.