Rome: 1567, January-March

Pages 224-240

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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1567, January–March

vol. I.a. ff. 18d.–19.
420. The Same to the Same.
“The Most Christian King's ambassador in England, having by letter of the 18th of last month reported to his Majesty that the baptism of the Prince of Scotland was celebrated on the 12th of the same month, has lately apprised his Majesty by letter of the 25th that the said baptism was believed to have been performed on the 12th, but was afterwards understood to have been deferred to the 18th, which is the reason that I, after giving you the first account, am now compelled to give you the second; whereby you may infer that as that country is unstable, so the tidings that come thence are discrepant; insomuch that it is to be hoped that M. di Muretta, who arrived here four days ago, may perhaps get there in time to assist at that holy ceremony on behalf of the Duke of Savoy.”
4 Jan., 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 1)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 8.
421. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“With your last letter of the 3rd of last month I have received three copies of letters of the Queen of Scotland written to you, a copy of a letter of Mgr. of St. Andrews, and likewise a copy of a letter from you to Mgr. of Lorraine with his reply; whereby the Pope has had signal proof of your great diligence, and also of her Majesty's desire that you should go to Scotland. And so we may now by your next letter learn that you have happily, with God's help, accomplished the journey, if Father E[d]mond [Hay] shall have returned safety, as you seemed to anticipate in your said letter, to which there is no need for me to reply just now at greater length. Meanwhile I expect very soon to hear more about your journey which may gratify the Pope, and also of my letter of the 9th of last month.”
6 Jan., 1567. Rome. Italian.
received in Paris on the 24th inst. (fn. 2)
vol. clxxi. f. 9.
422. The Same to the Same.
“Yesterday I received from Mr. Stephen [Wilson], the Scotsman, your further letters of the 3rd of last month, together with all those same copies which I had already received before, with the duplicate, and another letter besides of the 15th, with one of the Bishop of Dunblane, and the copy of the Instruction given to the said Mr. Stephen (fn. 3); in regard whereof the Pope has much praised your diligence and sagacity, as he has also bestowed infinite commendation on the piety and great devoutness evinced by the Queen of Scotland in this her last action, whereby she newly gave the world conspicuous proof thereof, as also in presenting through the said Mr. Stephen her devotion to his Holiness, who received him with all those manifestations of affection which were due to a person of his quality and credentials.”
11 Jan., 1567. Rome. Italian.
received on 12 Feb. in Paris. (fn. 4)
vol. clxxi. f. 10.
423. The Same to the Same.
“Two letters from you have been received together this week, to wit, one of the 26th and the other of the 30th of last month, whereby we have tidings of the baptism of the Prince of Scotland, for which the Pope has given thanks to God, because it was celebrated according to the ancient custom of the Holy Catholic Church, as you write. We shall now be in expectation of learning the report you have received from Father E[d]mond [Hay] as to crossing to the island, or whatever other decision you may have come to pursuant to the orders received from me in my previous letters written by commission from his Holiness. In whose name I present myself to you now as ever, having nothing else to say just now, but by way of precaution to advise you that I have already written to you on the 6th and 11th of this month.”
20 Jan., 1567. Rome. Italian.
received in Paris on 11 Feb. (fn. 5)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 353.
424. News Letter.
… “An English gentleman, conversing in Brussels with the French ambassador, has corroborated the rumour of the marriage of the Queen of England with the Archduke Charles of Austria by reporting that Melon Noben [sic Milord Robert] is altogether out of favour, has dismissed many of his gentlemen, and has diminished his state.”
21 Jan., 1567. Brussels. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
vol. 7. f. 199.
Arm. xliv.
vol. 13.
ff. 6d–7d.
425. Pope Pius V to Mary, Queen of Scotland.
Congratulating her on the birth of her son, and commending the pious zeal which prompts her to restore the holy rites of the Catholic Church in the administration of the sacrament of baptism; and referring her to the bearer for an exposition of the Pope's policy.
22 Jan., 1567. Rome. Latin. Draft and Copies. (fn. 6)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I.a. f. 19.
426. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“Now that the Count of Brienne, who went to Scotland to be present at the baptism [of the Prince] as representative of the Most Christian King, is returned, we understand that the Prince was solemnly baptized on the 17th of December in the Royal Chapel at Strivelin [Stirling] according to the ancient rite of the Holy Roman Catholic Church by the Archbishop of St. Andrews, assisted by the Bishops of Dunkeld and Dunblane, the Bishop Designate of Ross, and the Prior of Whithorn. There were present on behalf of the Crown of France the said Count of Brienne, and on behalf of the Queen of England the Earl of Bedford, who, being unwilling as a Calvinist to assist at that holy ceremony, besought the bastard sister of the Queen of Scotland, the Countess of Arghil [Argyll], to whom he gave a diamond worth 500 crowns, to represent the Queen of England; and there being no intimation of the coming of M. di Muretta, the Queen of Scotland decided that M. de Croch [du Croc], the French ambassador at her Majesty's Court, should be substituted for him as representative of the Duke of Savoy.
“The ceremony was performed at the vesper hour, and later in the evening the Queen supped at a little table apart, with the Englishman on her left and on her right hand the Frenchman, with him that appeared for the Duke of Savoy beside him. The prelates and the other lords supped at a great table by themselves.
“I have received letters of the 23rd of last month from Mgr. of Dunblane and Father E[d]mond [Hay], in which they report their safe arrival on the 13th of the said month at Edinburgh, where Mgr. of Dunblane did his reverence to the Queen and presented to her my letter, but could get no speech of her on any matter, her Majesty being extremely busy by reason of the celebration of the baptism; after which, when all the ambassadors should have taken leave, the said Mgr. hoped to send me the decision of the whole matter; and Father E[d]mond promises to return hither speedily to give me the true account of the Queen's disposition and of the affairs of that realm. God grant they may take such a course that with my personal service they may afford entire satisfaction to the Pope in conformity with the good and holy desire that you deign to notify to me by your letter of the 6th inst.”
24 Jan., 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 7)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 11.
427. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“This is merely to accompany Mr. Stephen [Wilson], the Scotsman, who returns with a brief (fn. 8) of the Pope, the copy of which will be found herewith, that you also may understand the matter in case perchance you should hear it spoken of, and likewise in such converse as you may have with her Majesty or others hold language consistent with his. I must also not omit to tell you that his Holiness has accorded the said Mr. Stephen quite as gracious and loving a reception as he could have desired, as you may more fully learn from his own lips. Meanwhile I refer you to my former letters of the 20th, which I sent by the Lyon ordinary.”
25 Jan., 1567. Rome. Italian.
received on 25 Feb. (fn. 9)
vol. clxxi. f. 13.
428. The Same to the Same.
“I have received on the same day your duplicates or the 4th of last month, to which, as they are brief, I will make brief answer, saying no more than that the Pope is anxiously awaiting intelligence of the celebration of the baptism of the Prince of Scotland, and also the report which you will have received from Father E[d]mond [Hay] as to your passage to Scotland. I have little else to tell you at present save that I wrote to you on the 20th of last month by the ordinary, and on the 25th by hand of Mr. Stephen, the Scotsman, who, I advise you, departed soon afterwards.”
3 Feb., 1567. Rome. Italian.
received on the 23rd instant. (fn. 10)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 19d–20.
429. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“Since I wrote you on the 24th of last month that the baptism of the Prince of Scotland was celebrated at Stirling on the 17th Dec. according to the ancient rite of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, we have no further news except that the Queen soon after her return to Edinburgh repaired to Glasgow to visit the King her husband, who was sick of the petite vérole, which we call measles. He was at Stirling at the time of the baptism, but was present at no public ceremony, keeping for the most part close in his quarters, though now and again he would for his pleasure take a walk outside the town attended by a very small retinue; whereby it is pretty evident that there is still estrangement and no little distrust between him and the Queen; the assiduous fostering and fomenting of which by the malignity of a few powerful and seditious men introduces a most refractory element into public affairs, especially as regards the restoration of the holy religion in the realm. On this side there has been no neglect of due diligence and address to counteract this disorder, but we have indeed need of the special assistance of God, if so be He may deign to humble and chasten the turbulent spirit of that young Prince.
“By this ordinary I have received your letters of the 11th and 20th Jan., in answer to which I have but to say that on Father E[d]mond's return, which I hourly expect, I will forthwith carry out your instructions in accordance with the Pope's most holy and wise intent.”
13 Feb., 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 11)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 12.
430. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to Vincent Lauri, Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“By this ordinary, which has just brought letters of the 28th of last month from that Court [of France], I have received no letters from you; nor yet from the nuncio's letters have we been able to gather any certain intelligence of your passage to Scotland. Wherefore his Holiness, supposing that perchance, when you receive this, you have not as yet quitted the Court upon your journey to the island, has decided that you must return to your church and there abide, seeing that you can there pass your time to much better profit to yourself and to the souls committed to your charge than where you are at present. This is the mind of his Holiness, in whose name I have nothing more to say just now except to bid you look to your health while you are travelling, and as soon as you reach your diocese give us tidings of you, whom God bring safely back and ever preserve in His grace.”
17 Feb., 1567. Rome. Italian.
received on 10 March. (fn. 12)
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xliv. vol.
12. no. 143.
431. Pope Pius V to Philip II, Catholic King of the Spains.
Soliciting his aid in relieving the distress of the English Catholic refugees in Flanders, Louvain and elsewhere within Spanish territory.
21 Feb., 1567. Rome. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 362d.
432. News Letter.
… “They write from England that they had tidings of the death of the young King of Scotland and his father, the rumour being that they were suffocated, and their house blown up by mines of powder at the instance of some of the nobles of the kingdom.”
22 Feb., 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 20–21.
433. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“On the 19th inst. there arrived here M. de Croch [du Croc], ambassador of the Most Christian King in Scotland. He quitted Edinburgh on the 22nd of last month, and being at Dover for the passage to France was overtaken by an express courier sent by the Most Christian King's ambassador at the English Court, who brought him a commission to make all possible haste to reach this Court, and be the first to give their Majesties tidings of the death of the King of Scotland and his father the Earl of Leno' [Lennox]. Nothing more is known except that the Queen of Scotland, having, as I wrote you by my last letter of the 13th inst., gone to Glasgow to visit the King her husband, returned to Edinburgh, bringing with her the King and his father, the Earl of Leno'; that, though it was the King's custom to lodge in the Queen's palace, he on this occasion, perhaps by reason of his recent malady, to wit, the measles, which is apt at times to be contagious, lodged with his father in a house at some little distance from the Queen's palace, and that early in the morning of the last Sunday of Carnival he and his father were found outside the house in the public street, both dead and stripped to the skin, truly a most piteous spectacle. We are in hourly expectation of some express courier to furnish us with a detailed account of this unfortunate occurrence.
“I have received from Mgr. of Dunblane the letter which I send you, in which he affords me great hope of the Queen [of Scotland]'s rectitude, more especially as the said letter was written by him at her Majesty's command and read by her; and, as I understand from a good source, her Majesty would fain have signed it with her own hand to make it the more authentic.
“Father E[d]mond [Hay] on this occasion has not ventured to write to me, perchance because he sees matters somewhat otherwise than as the said Mgr. of Dunblane writes. However, he writes to the Father Provincial [Oliver Manare] of the Society [of Jesus] here enclosing an article in metaphor, (fn. 13) very easy to make out; of which article I send you a copy, that with your wonted sagacity you may apprehend that affairs there are not just now in a condition to enable one to hope, not to say to do, any good; and I am assured by the Scottish ambassador here that it is even so. All the mischief results from the fact that the Queen has shown herself very averse to carry into effect that which some days since was suggested by a gentleman sent express for the purpose by the Cardinal of Lorraine, as I apprised you by my letter of the 3rd Dec.; which counsel, if followed, all the Catholic gentlemen here assured me, would speedily bring about the adjustment of religious affairs in that realm, with great hope of the improvement of religious affairs in England also by reason of the excellent disposition of the majority of the nobles and people of that country. And although by two letters, forwarded, the one by the said bishop and the other by express courier despatched by the said ambassador, I have not failed to urge and exhort her Majesty to adopt some wise and holy resolution, of which letters I send you copies; nevertheless I have not been able as yet to elicit aught but the hopes held out to me by the bishop in his said letter, betwixt which hopes and the information and advice to the contrary which I receive from Father E[d]mond I shall be kept in suspense until the arrival of the said father; when I purpose to determine either forthwith to make the voyage to that island or to return at once to my church, according to what I shall judge to be the service of God and his Holiness, to whom may the Divine Majesty accord the fulfilment of his most holy desires.”
22 Feb., 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 14)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I.a. f. 21.
434. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“Having yesterday sent you tidings of the death of the King of Scotland, as reported to his Majesty through M. de Croch [du Croc] by the Most Christian King's ambassador in England, I now omit not to write that to-day there is arrived here a courier sent by the Queen of Scotland to her ambassador Mgr. of Glasgow with letters of the 10th inst. from Edinburgh, whereby the poor Prince's sad fate is verified, though with a slight difference; to wit, that the said King after passing great part of the evening of the last Sunday of Carnival with the Queen his consort, retired to his quarters some little distance from the Queen's palace, and composed himself to rest in bed, and that two hours after midnight some miscreants set fire to a mine which they had laid under the foundations of the said said quarters, and thereby forthwith wrecked the house, and the King was found dead with a varlet of the chamber in a garden beside the house. No mention is made of the Earl of Leno' [Lennox], his father. As to the cause of this death no more can at present be gathered beyond what I wrote you by my last letter in a separate sheet. (fn. 15) M. di Muretta, who had gone to Scotland on behalf of the Duke of Savoy, was to leave the same day for these parts, but by reason of the occurrence he was besought by the Queen to postpone his departure. Father E[d]mond writes to the Father Provincial here that he will return in company with M. di Muretta. On their arrival, which cannot be long delayed, I shall be fully and accurately informed of the affairs of that country, and of the mind of the Queen and what hope we may entertain touching the holy religion.
“I have received to-day your letter of the 3rd inst. in answer to which I have nothing at present to say.”
23 Feb., 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 16)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 21d–22d.
435. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“By my last letters, to wit, of the 22nd and 23rd inst., I gave you such information as was to hand as to Scottish affairs, and in particular as to the death of the King. I have now to tell you that through a gentleman [Clerneau] who departed from Edinburgh on the 11th, (fn. 17) being sent expressly by the Queen to communicate her sorrow to their Majesties here, the affair is now understood in yet more detail; to wit, that the house in which the King lodged was not only at a distance from the Queen's palace but also apart from the other houses and close to the walls of the town, and moreover so small as to contain only two little apartments, separated the one from the other by a small intermediate courtyard; that the King slept in one of the apartments with but one varlet in the room, and there were but two servants in the other apartment, so that his company was but three in all; that he had already been ten days in Edinburgh, and on the evening of the last Sunday of Carnival the Queen, attended by the Earl of Boduel [Bothwell], and wearing a mask, went to visit him, passed the time cheerfully with her husband until midnight, and then returned to her quarters; that at two or three o'clock after midnight the mine, which was confined to the space beneath the apartment in which the King slept, was fired, and totally wrecked that part of the building, whereby part of the other apartment was also wrecked, though the beams fell in such a manner as to permit the escape of the two servants that dwelt there; and as the King was found dead in the garden beside the house with the servant that slept in his room, and neither body bore any trace of injury, it is conjectured that he rose from his bed by reason of the smell of the powder before the mine exploded, and was afterwards suffocated in the smoke, together with the servant.
“We learn also that on the same Sunday, as it was growing late, the King's father, the Earl of Leno' [Lennox], being at Glasgow, was assaulted by a great number of armed men; and but that the company of the Catholic Milord Sempli [Sempill] came to his aid and valiantly defended him, he would have been slain; whence arose the first tidings that came from England of the death of the King's father. However, he is alive and well in Glasgow, though in extreme peril of being some day slain by stratagem.
“It is believed that the very odious behaviour of the King towards the Queen and the chief lords who govern, besides his haughty disposition and wretched education gotten in England, was in great measure due to the counsel of his father, who is not accounted very wise. May God deign to have mercy on the soul of the poor Prince, who, it would seem, has ever professed himself a Catholic, hearing Mass every morning, and showing himself more zealous in that duty after the Queen, delivered from that most grave peril of the last conspiracy, for which they blamed the King, had in concert with and by the authority of the heretics deprived him of all authority, for that she could no longer confide in him, seeing that he had shown the last degree of ingratitude by bringing her into extreme peril, albeit he would never confess that he was privy thereto. However, we shall be better able to understand the truth of the whole affair on the return of Count di Muretta and Father E[d]mond [Hay], who ought to be here in a few days' time.
“Mr. Stephen [Wilson], the Scotsman, arrived here on the 25th extremely gratified by the most kindly care and courteous treatment which the Pope bestowed upon him, and also very eloquent in your praise. He has brought me the letter that you were pleased to write to me on the 25th of last month. This is all that at present I have to say, being in haste to seize the opportunity afforded by a gentleman in the service of the Duke of Nemours who is going to Piedmont, by whom I am enabled to address this letter to Mgr. of Geneva.”
27 Feb., 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 18)
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i,
vol. 108, pt. i.
[f. 36.]
Borgh. I.
vol. 606. f. 175.
436. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop Of Rossano, [Nuncio In Spain] to [Michael De La Torre, Bishop Of Ceneda,] Nuncio In France.
“Your letter of the first of this month is a boon not to me alone but to all the Court by reason of the account, most gratifying if it be true, which you give of England. I sent it forthwith to his Majesty, to whom the contents were as yet unknown. I trust that it may be granted to our most holy Father that during his pontificate there may be some reparation of the Christian religion, which for so many years has been steadily losing. I have no equally good news to communicate in return, for here nothing is talked of but the risks we run in regard alike of the Turk and the Flanders expedition. For both purposes ample pecuniary provision has been made, and the Duke of Alba has determined not to move until he is very well supplied.”
28 Feb., 1567. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 360d.
437. News Letter.
… “The King of Scotland was slain by the brother of the Queen's secretary, who has been arrested by the English on the border; and it is believed that they will put him to death, as the said King was a kinsman of the Queen of England.”
1 March, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol. i.
f. 66d.
438. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
…“The Queen of England, besides the regard which it behoves her to have for the peace of her realm, finds that she has thrown away much money to no purpose in the cause of the Huguenots of France, and evinces disrelish and weariness of the business.”
6 March, 1567. Rome. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 22d–23.
439. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“There arrived here four days ago a young Frenchman, a varlet of the Queen of Scotland, who brought me a letter from her Majesty, written with her own hand in French, dated the 15th, and a letter from Mgr. of Dunblane, dated the 17th of last month. I have therefore not omitted to send you the letter of the said Mgr. with the Italian translation of the letter of the Queen, who, since she has resolved speedily to send hither the said Bishop of Dunblane, may perchance resolve also to follow the good counsel tendered her on divers occasions for the re-establishment of the holy religion in that kingdom, more especially as she now, being quit of misgiving in regard of her husband, would have no great difficulty in putting it in execution. As to which matter all will soon be known, for the Scottish ambassador here assures me that he is informed that the bishop was to make haste to come hither, and would present himself before long, perchance but a few days after the return of Father E[d]mond [Hay], whom the said varlet left in London in company with M. di Muretta, so that he is hourly expected. Meanwhile the said varlet has brought no further news than what I sent you in my letters of the 22nd, 23rd and 27th of last month, except that by reason of the height from which he fell one of the King's ribs was found to be fractured, and all the inward parts were bruised and broken in pieces. He has also reported in genere her Majesty's good-will towards me, and the desire which she evinces to have me with her.”
8 March, 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 19)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat. 1040. f. 368d.
440. News Letter.
…“It is here published that the King of Scotland is dead, and that he was slain by the brother of that secretary of the Queen whom the King himself put to death.”
11 March, 1567. Prague. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I.a. f. 23.
441. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio FOR Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“By my letter of the 24th Jan. I apprised you of the baptism of the Prince of Scotland; by another of the 13th Feb. I reported the estrangement and great distrust that were betwixt the Queen and her husband; by the others of the 22nd and 23rd of the same month and the 8th inst. I communicated to you all that so far it had been possible to learn touching the circumstances of the said King's death. Now by the last advices from Scotland it is understood that upon inquest directed by the Queen to be made for the perpetrators of the said crime the Earls of Muray and Boduel [Bothwell] have discovered themselves, both heretics and disaffected to the late King, and each laying the blame on the other. They are already in arms with numerous followers, so that that poor realm is all upside down in such sort that even the person of the Queen herself is none too safe. The more part lay the blame on Muray, who, being the Queen's brother, though a bastard, has ever aimed at usurping the dominion of the realm, being persuaded by the opposing sect that it falls to him of right, and most of all because he pretends that his mother was secretly espoused by the King his father.
“By reason of which turmoils and other broils I had already determined to take my leave of their Majesties and of the Cardinal of Lorraine immediately upon the arrival of Father E[d]mond [Hay], and return to my church without awaiting the coming of Mgr. of Dunblane. Now, however, having learned from your letter of the 17th of last month the order that you are pleased to give me on the part of his Holiness, I shall dispense with awaiting the arrival of the said Father E[d]mond, as I deem that his Holiness, verily inspired by the Holy Spirit, has clearly foreseen that the Divine justice has not yet put an end to the chastisement of that poor nation, albeit there is still hope that, when affairs shall have become yet more distraught and desperate, then God will deign to manifest the holy fruits of His infinite mercy, and especially in answer to the most holy prayers of the Pope.
“I shall go to Reims in three days' time to apprise the Cardinal of Lorraine of my intention to return; and then I shall do the same office by their Majesties, making no doubt but they will all be satisfied beyond measure with the Pope's most signal piety and liberality towards that Queen [of Scotland], seeing that he has not failed to second her Majesty's good zeal in all those meet and holy ways that were in his power; and if her Majesty has not been able to avail herself of them to the weal of herself and her realm, that is due to the extremely sinister complexion of the times. I shall hope to depart on the fourth day after Easter for Mondovi, and perchance meanwhile not only Father E[d]mond but also the Bishop of Dunblane will have come; which would be altogether to the satisfaction of the Queen [of Scotland], who, as of late I am informed by M. de Croch [du Croc] in her Majesty's name, has indeed ever been and is most steadfast in the holy Catholic religion, but finding herself ever surrounded by those heretical and very potent lords, is constrained not only to suffer them to enjoy great part of the benefices of the church, but also to give them the little that she has of the revenues of the kingdom. She did indeed her best to persuade the nobility to receive the nuncio apostolic, whose presence her Majesty desired above all things; and having obtained their consent she sent Mr. Stephen Vuilsone [Wilson] to Rome to communicate this decision to the Pope; but afterwards, as by reason of the ambition and haughtiness of her husband the nobility evinced a very different spirit, and the Queen had just cause for apprehension, even so now since the King's death there are fresh outbreaks of turbulence. Nor could the said lord deny that the Queen might well have safeguarded her affairs by punishing a few of the chiefs; but being too compassionate and clement, she has exposed herself to the risk of becoming a slave and a prey to the heretics, not without jeopardy of her own life.
“The said M. de Croch [du Croc] will depart in a few days' time for Scotland in his wonted capacity of ambassador to the Queen, He is a good Catholic and in the confidence of the house of Guise, so that he cannot but be of service to the cause of religion in that kingdom. I shall send by him a letter to the Queen, asking her leave and making my excuse for my departure for my church, seeing that Scottish affairs are in such confusion that her Majesty would not be able at present to make use of the Pope's aid for the re-establishment of the holy religion in her realm; but intimating my confidence in the wonted benignity and most holy zeal of his Holiness, that whenever her Majesty should be able better to dispose the minds of her subjects to receive the holy Catholic faith, the Pope would not only afford her this, ay, and a greater aid, but would also devote all the forces of the Church and his own life to the service of God and the weal of her Majesty and her people; adding that in the meantime, being unable to go myself, as I had desired, to do her some service and present to her the Agnus Dei in his Holiness' name, I sent them to her on behalf of his Holiness by hand of M. de Croch [du Croc], as well for her Majesty herself as for the Prince her son.”
12 March, 1567. Paris. Copy. (fn. 20)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 24d–26.
442. [Vincent Lauri] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“Yesterday Father E[d]mond [Hay] arrived here in company with M. di Muretta, and by what we have learned from the one and the other we are able fully to understand the state of affairs in Scotland, which to-day by reason of the King's death are in such confusion that some very great rising is apprehended, because the Earls of Murray, Athol and Morton, and other lords are banded together with the Earl of Leno' [Lennox], the late King's father, under pretext of avenging the said King's death, and the Earls of Boduuel [Bothwell] and Honthle [Huntly] with many other grandees are with the Queen with the same object. But there is suspicion between the two parties; and already the Earl of Murray, being summoned by her Majesty. has refused to attend her; from which it is inferred that, as I wrote you by my last letter of the 12th inst., he, designing to usurp the sovereign power, is minded to take this opportunity of killing the Earl of Boduuel, a brave man, high in credit, and the Queen's most confidential adviser, thereby to facilitate an ulterior design upon the life of her Majesty, especially because he may hope by reason of the supineness of the Earl of Leno' to have, by the said Earl's permission and consent, the governance of the Prince, and by consequence of all the realm. Which obtained, as please God it be not, he might accomplish the wicked end that he has in view; nor would he therein lack the countenance of England, which Power, regarding the said Prince askance as lawful heir to both realms, would not fail to countenance the said Murray as its dependant and confederate by obligation and religion. To this must be added the scanty loyalty and authority of his [Murray's] mother's brother, Milord of Askin [Erskine], who, being in command of two of the principal fortresses of Scotland, to wit, those of Edinburgh and Strivelin [Stirling], as aforetime at the instance of the English he betrayed the Queen's mother, even so would now desert her Majesty in the interest of his nephew, the more so that he has conceived a suspicion that the Queen was trying to take these fortresses out of his hands in order to give the command of them to the Earl of Boduuel.
“The said lords are all heretics save only the Earls of Leno' and Athol, who, accordingly, have shown themselves so lukewarm in regard to religion as ever to prefer their particular interests to the public weal. Had the Queen adopted the plans and proposals which she received from this side, with promise of all needful help for this most just execution, she would now be verily mistress of her kingdom, and of authority to restore the Holy Catholic Faith in its entirety; but she would never give her mind to it, notwithstanding that Mgr. of Dunblane and Father E[d]mond [Hay] were sent to her for the express purpose of persuading her to embrace this most holy project; and God grant that such unwarrantable leniency bring not total ruin upon her Majesty and her kingdom!
“The said Father E[d]mond has told me that the Queen was determined in a few days' time to send Milord of Setun, a most noble lord and a staunch and honoured Catholic, with three ships to bring the nuncio to the island, and had promised all the Catholic prelates to carry into effect all that in the nuncio's judgment her Majesty might do in the service of holy religion; and that the bishops in their great zeal for the service of God had offered to bear the costs of this voyage and of the honours that her Majesty desired to confer upon the nuncio. The only doubt was as to my personal safety, some proposing to quarter me with the Queen, others in Edinburgh Castle, so extremely suspicious were they of the chiefs of the heretics, almost all of whom were comprised in that list which I sent you in a separate sheet with my letter of the 21st of August; and as the Queen might easily have punished them, so she might with due regard to the Pope's dignity and her own, and without misgiving, have received the nuncio, with sure hope of speedily re-establishing the Catholic religion. And albeit the whole island is now thrown into disorder and confusion by the King's death, yet, as I am informed by M. di Muretta, a staunch Catholic and of great intelligence, as well as by Father E[d]mond, the Queen persists in desiring my presence with her; but neither the one nor the other would have me on any account go thither, assuring me that the heretics would beyond a doubt cause me to come to grief with nothing done for the service of God and little credit to the Holy Apostolic See.
“As to the circumstances of the King's death, the said M. di Muretta is firmly persuaded that that poor Prince, hearing the noise made by the people that surrounded the house and endeavoured to open the doors with false keys, sought exit by a door that gave access to the garden in his shirt and pelisse to escape the danger, and was there stifled, and then brought out of the garden into a little kitchen-garden outside the wall of the town; and that then they burned the house to the ground to kill those that remained inside. To this effect they conjecture, because the King was found dead in his shirt with his pelisse beside him. And some ladies that lodged near the garden aver that they heard him cry, ‘Ah! my brothers! have pity on me for the love of Him that had mercy on all the world!’ And Father E[d]mond assures me that the King had that morning, as usual, heard Mass; and that he had ever been brought up by his mother as a Catholic, but that for desire of reigning he from time to time cloaked his attachment to the ancient religion. If so it be, may the Divine Majesty deign to have mercy on that poor soul! As to the cause of his death, the truth has not yet been discoverable, unless that it be, which, misdoubting, I sent you in two separate sheets by different hands. (fn. 21)
“I wrote of late to the Cardinal of Lorraine to make arrangements for my departure for Mondovi, and have received his answer, of which I send you a copy, as also a copy of my letter to him. I think of departing to-morrow morning for Reims, purposing on my return to take leave of their Majesties here, so as to be ready for my journey immediately after the Easter feasts.”
16 March, 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 22)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 14.
443. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“I have received by this ordinary three letters from you, to wit, of the 13th, 22nd and 23rd of last month, together with a separate sheet concerning the incident in Scotland, and with the copies and the letter mentioned by you as enclosed with your letters. And having already written enough by way of advice in my former letter of the 17th of last month, I refer you thereto with this alone by way of repetition, that on receipt of this you are to set forth on your journey to your church, since there is no longer anything to hope from your journey to Scotland. And though you may have hitherto acted in accordance with this instruction, yet I have felt bound to repeat it as to your departure in his Holiness' name upon this occasion of acknowledging receipt of your said letters.”
17 March, 1567. Rome. Italian.
received on 7 April. (fn. 23)
Vat. Lib
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 368.
444. News Letter.
“The Archduke Charles has come hither, and they say that he will stay here for three weeks, and will then go to Goricia [Görz], Gradisca and Trieste; and afterwards it is thought he may return to Vienna, as it is understood that an ambassador of the Queen of England is coming, to treat, they say, of the marriage.”
23 March, 1567. Lubiana [Laybach]. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 26d–27d.
445. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I quitted this city (as I wrote you of late by my letter of the 16th inst.) to report to the Cardinal of Lorraine at Reims and their Majesties at Fontainebleau the resolution I had formed after the King of Scotland's death to return to Mondovi, seeing that by reason of the turmoils in Scotland the Queen could not to the advantage of religion avail herself of the Pope's aid and my personal services; though, if at any time her Majesty should have any good hope of re-establishing the holy Catholic faith in her realm, I was confident that the Pope with his wonted benignity and most holy zeal would not fail to afford her Majesty this and a yet greater succour; which was fully approved by the said Cardinal, who could not refrain from lamenting that his niece the Queen had not been willing to follow the advice which he had tendered her through his envoy, to wit, that she should punish those few villainous seditious leaders of faction and authors of all the evil of the realm; by which neglect his Lordship affirmed that she had lost all power to do aught of importance for the Catholic religion, nor knew he other excuse for her save that she was a lady.
“The Cardinal devotes much zeal and diligence to preserving and purifying his diocese from the infection of heretical opinions, doing his utmost to secure the exact observance of the decrees of the holy Council of Trent. At the instance of his sister [Renée], the Abbess of St. Peter's Monastery at Reims, he began after luncheon on Passion Sunday expounding in the pulpit of the church of the said Abbey the 11th chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians; and last Thursday I was present when he explained the passage ‘accipite et manducate’ etc., very subtly, clearly and piously in the presence of the Cardinal of Guise, the said lady his sister, and many persons of quality. I spent the whole of that day there, but no more, Holy Week being so near.
“Afterwards at Fontainebleau on Holy Monday I was most graciously and kindly received in audience by the Queen, who, after greatly extolling the Pope's most holy intention and his pious and extreme solicitude for the public weal, broached with me the question of the union of the Christian Princes, saying that this was the task of the Pope alone, and most worthy of his Holiness, because, were it proposed by another than his Holiness, verbi gratia, by the Emperor, it would not commend itself to France or Spain, nor e converse, each of these Princes deeming himself not a whit inferior to either of the others; but from the Pope, who as their common father merits the reverence and obedience of each, the other Princes would be more ready and willing to receive it; and on this head her Majesty enlarged with much earnestness, pledging herself and the King, her son, to do all in their power to further this most holy and useful work; and that the union may be universal, her Majesty deems that it should be begun and founded upon the preservation of Christendom against the common foe, the Turk; after which it might confidently be anticipated that the holy Catholic religion would reap some great advantage.
“I answered that now, if ever, was the time when such a great blessing might be expected by Christians, seeing that it is patent to the apprehension of all the Princes that the Pope, all separate interests laid aside, pursues no other end than the glory of God, the preservation of religion, and the universal well-being of the Christian Princes, and of Christendom at large; and that I firmly believed that for this purpose the Pope was prepared not only to employ all the forces of the Church, but also gladly to pour forth his own blood; and that it will give his Holiness great satisfaction to see her Majesty in so excellent a frame in regard to the well-being of Christendom. On this subject much was said by the Queen, and, on my part, I did not fail to reply in a sense accordant in the main with her proposals.
“I then took my leave of the King, the Dukes his brothers, and the Cardinal of Bourbon. His Majesty put many pertinent questions to me as to my negotiation, which I think I answered to his entire satisfaction, particularly in regard to the readiness and solicitude evinced by the Pope in succouring that Queen [of Scotland] in the interests of religion.
“I shall tarry here during this holy season, but my purpose is set to start on my journey immediately after the feasts; nor shall I fail, as you bade me, to report myself to you as soon as, by God's grace, I shall arrive at Mondovi. And since by your letter to the nuncio of the 3rd inst. you say that you have received his letter of the 25th Jan. and no letter from me except that of the 4th [Jan.], I must needs now send you the duplicate of my letter of the 24th [Jan.], which I sent along with the said nuncio's despatch of the 25th [Jan.]. I marvel that it went astray, particularly as my man affirms that he carried it himself to the nuncio's house, and delivered it to his secretary. I wrote to you afterwards on the 13th, 22nd, 23rd, and 27th Feb., enclosing two separate sheets, and on the 8th, 12th and 16th inst.; which letters I hope will fare better than that of the 24th [Jan.].”
26 March, 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 24)


  • 1. Printed ut supra, p. 336.
  • 2. Ibid. p. 337.
  • 3. Printed from Brit. Mus. MS. Add. 23108, f. 18, by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 326–28.
  • 4. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 338.
  • 5. Printed ut supra, p. 339.
  • 6. Printed in Laderchi, Ann. Eccles., 1567, § 164; and De Vita et Rebus Gestis Ser. Princ. Mariae, ed. Jebb, vol. ii. p. 52.
  • 7. Printed by Pollen, S. J., ut supra, pp. 340–1.
  • 8. The brief of 22 Jan. Cf. p. 226, supra.
  • 9. Printed by Pollen, S. J., ut supra, pp. 342–3.
  • 10. Printed ut supra, p. 345.
  • 11. Ibid. p. 346.
  • 12. Printed ut supra, pp. 347–8.
  • 13. Un articolo in metaphora: apparently a passage in some sort of literary cipher.
  • 14. Printed ut supra, pp. 349–51.
  • 15. It is regrettable that the separate sheet, in which apparently the final cause of the death was discussed, is missing.
  • 16. Printed ut supra, pp. 352–4.
  • 17. Cf. Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 355.
  • 18. Printed ut supra, pp. 355–7.
  • 19. Printed ut supra, pp. 359–60.
  • 20. Printed ut supra, pp. 361–4.
  • 21. Cf. p. 231, supra, and pp. 238, 240, infra.
  • 22. Printed by Pollen., ut supra, pp. 366–9; and also (as from an original addressed to Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany) by Labanoff, Lettres de Marie Stuart, vol. vii. pp. 105–9. In this version the words, “As to the cause of his death” et seq. are lacking.
  • 23. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 372.
  • 24. Printed, ut supra, pp. 373–5.