Rome: 1567, April-June

Pages 240-249

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, April–June

Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I.a. f. 28.
446. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, [Nuncio for Scotland] to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“In the hope that Mgr. of Dunblane would in a few days' time make his appearance here, as he wrote me by his letter of the 17th Feb. (fn. 1) which I sent to you, the Scottish ambassador was instant with me to defer my departure till this week; wherein I was fain to comply with his wishes, to make it evident to him that, in accordance with the most holy intention of the Pope, I failed not to bear myself with all due modesty and patience so long as there might be any hope of doing service to the holy Catholic religion for the weal of that Queen [of Scotland] and her realm. But as some Scotsmen who arrived this week, having quitted Edinburgh on the 15th of last month, hold out no hope whatever of the coming of the said Mgr. of Dunblane, I shall, God helping me, depart in three days' time pursuant to the order that you gave me by your last letter, to wit, of the 17th of last month, as I am at one with the judgment of the good people, and in particular with that of the Spanish ambassador, in thinking that I have fully sustained the dignity and reputation of his Holiness, especially in that I have effectually demonstrated to all the world that his Holiness is in no wise disposed to miss any occasion of evincing his loving and paternal regard for the Queen of Scotland, whenever her Majesty may be able to incline her subjects to receive, with God's help, the holy Catholic faith.
“From the said Scotsmen we understand that the turmoils of Scotland were appeased, all the chief lords being obedient to the Queen, who had taken Edinburgh Castle from Milord of Askin [Erskine],and entrusted it to the Earl of Boduuel [Bothwell],whereat the Earl of Murray, son of Milord of Askin's sister, is so incensed and alarmed that he has craved leave of the Queen to depart from Scotland. And if this be true, we may hope that her Majesty, touched by the Holy Spirit, may gradually make straight the way that leads to obedience to and restoration of the holy religion, the more so as there is now hope of the coming of the Catholic King into Italy, and perchance into Flanders. But as it is not by letter from any quarter that we have this intelligence, but solely upon the report of the said Scotsmen, who are Huguenots, it is not altogether credited, as it may be surmised that it is a fabrication to colour affairs in those parts in accordance with the desires of the Catholics, and perchance to retard the aids that might be furnished by France to the dependants of the Queen, especially since the English ambassador here has disseminated a report of some subsequent passage of arms between those Scottish lords. However, there should be no long delay in ascertaining the truth; of which the nuncio will not fail to apprise you, as in future he should be versed in the affairs of that realm under the guidance of some faithful Catholics, who were accustomed to furnish me with very veracious accounts of Scottish affairs. As to which I will not omit to tell you that it was necessary to use great diligence and to spare neither labour nor expense, otherwise it would have been hard to learn the truth, and perchance the mere reception of false hopes would have brought with it notable prejudice to the Apostolic See; for those who had the chief part in the management of this business certainly proceeded from the beginning, as you might have gathered from the separate sheet which accompanied my letter of 21st August, without the sincerity that befitted it; since I had no sooner begun the discussion of the matter with the Cardinal of Lorraine at Paris than they were heard by some strangely to complain that I was too well informed of Scottish affairs. Howbeit I shall not omit, for the service of God and the Pope, with all due humility and reverence to certify his Holiness that that Queen, woman though she be, and though she suffer herself to be led astray by the interests of the State, as do also many other Christian Princes, is nevertheless a Catholic, and professes herself a Catholic, and desires to be known and reputed as such, so that it may be hoped that God will inspire her, and by His grace in course of time enable her, with the aid and countenance of the Pope, to restore the holy faith in her kingdom; and therefore I would fain hope that his Holiness will deign to deal tenderly with her, and regard her ever with the utmost kindness and clemency. And seeing that Father E[d]mond, for his more complete discharge, has been pleased to give me account of his journey in scriptis, I will not omit, for the service of the Pope, to send you his said writing, from which one can comprehend fairly well all the course of the negotiation, and also what ground there is for hope in regard to the affairs of that country.
“As to the pecuniary aid, there remain 16,000 crowns, for, as you know, 4,000 were sent to the Queen; and I have drawn the allowance for my maintenance here from the month of August, when I came to Paris, to the month of March inclusive, i.e., eight full months.”
8 April, 1567. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 2)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 381d.
447. News Letter.
… “The Earl of Arundel came into these parts last week, and was very well received by her Highness and the lords of these countries. He is on his way to England, whence they write that there was some apprehension of a war in France upon account of Calais, a demand for its restitution having been sent to the Council of France.”
13 April, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 382d.
448. News Letter.
… “The Bishop of Mondovi, who was to be nuncio resident in Scotland, and set out for that country accordingly, is understood to be on his return, having found it impossible to enter the island. They have explained to him that the Queen is well affected, but that they cannot do otherwise.”
19 April, 1567. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Lett. di Princ.
e Titolat.
vol. xxxi. ff. 3–4.
449. Mary, Queen of Scotland to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“What I have heard of the designs of certain of the ministers of the Queen, my good sister, for the maltreatment of some of my people, as they travel, forbids me to risk aught by this despatch. I have therefore begged of the Sieur du Croc to apprise you of my desire to communicate with you. To which end, I will send you an express messenger on my return to Edinburgh, and meanwhile I will pray you to uphold me in his Holiness' favour; and let him not be persuaded to believe aught that is inconsistent with my devout purpose to die in the Catholic faith and for the weal of the Church, which I pray God to foster and maintain, as also to grant you happiness and length of days.”
22 April [,1567]. Stirling. French. Holograph. Italian translation. Printed in Lettres de Marie Stuart, ed. Labanoff, vol. ii. p. 20.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'Inghilt.
vol. I.a. f. 29
450. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I quitted Paris on the 10th inst. and arrived on the 21st at this city, where by Mgr. Buathier, vicar of this archbishopric, a staunch and whole-hearted Catholic, who has charge of two priories which I have in this neighbourhood, I have been informed that I must needs repair to the said places to counteract the mischief that is being done by a heretical minister who resides in their vicinity. And so, finding myself so near the spot, I cannot but protract my journey by some 10 or 15 days in order to visit them; and I doubt not but the Pope with his wonted kindness and benignity will graciously allow me the short time that I shall devote to this visit, thereby to discharge in some measure what is due to my conscience. And though I have not failed to make provision against this disorder by the continuous presence of certain preachers of the Society of Jesus, yet the infection in this district is so great that it spreads contagion in the neighbourhood, insomuch that it is scarce possible to be assiduous enough in the matter. To this end I shall depart to-morrow morning, purposing soon to return to my church, where I shall do my utmost by God's grace to give his Holiness no occasion to repent of his choice of me for that church; (fn. 3) and ever shall it be to me no small delight to spare no toil, and to spend the little all that I have in this world and my very life in the service of his Holiness.”
23 April, 1567. Lyon. Italian. Copy. (fn. 4)
Vat. Arch.
Borgh. I. vol.
606. f. 175.
451. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“The French ambassador has told me that he has letters from France to the effect that two ambassadors from the Queen of England are expected in that Court, and that they are to demand the restitution of Calais, and in default to declare war, which, I doubt not, will occasion fresh trouble in that realm.”
2 May, 1567. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 8.
452. [John Antony Facchinetti,] Bishop of Nicastro, Legate at Venice to the Same.
“The ambassador of the Signory at the Court of the Duke of Savoy writes that the Duchess had letters from France to the effect that the marriage of the Queen of England with the Archduke Charles would take place.”
3 May, 1567. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 387.
453. News Letter.
… “The French, they say, have replied to the Queen of England that they will not restore Calais, so that war is expected between the two countries.”
3 May, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 386d. 454. News Letter.
“In the late Parliament of Scotland Earl Baduel [Bothwell] was acquitted of the death of the King: they also dealt with religion, and passed an ordinance that the same practice should be observed throughout the realm as while the Queen was in France, which was worse than the present state of things; and at the close of the Parliament the Queen went to Stirling to see her little son, purposing to take him with her; but the Earl of Mana [sic Mar], who had charge of him, told her that he would not suffer her to enter with more than ten ladies, because he had charge of the treasure of the realm, and was not minded to risk it; whereupon the Queen went back, and six miles outside of Edinburgh was met by Earl Baduel [Bothwell] with 900 horse, who, attended by twelve of his men with swords in their hands, approached the Queen, and made as if he would take her away with him; and the Queen's people would have defended her, but she bade them to keep quiet, for she was minded to go with the Earl, to avoid effusion of blood; and so he brought her to Dunbar, where she abides; and some say that she will marry him, the Earl having divorced his wife; and thereto the more part of the realm is consenting, whereat this Queen [of England] and this realm evince dissatisfaction. Earl Lennox, the [late] King's father, has, they report, landed on an island belonging to this realm which they call Man, so that Scottish affairs go from bad to worse. Matters here are quiet.”
8 May [,1567]. London. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 29d–30.
455. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I made that journey in visitation of my priories, as to which I wrote you from Lyon; and in the few days that I was there I did my best by Gods grace to introduce such better order as I could for the benefit of those places. I found there but a very small number of Huguenots, who by reason of their evil living have so little credit and so poor a reputation with the people that but for fear of the magistrates they would be sent packing or stoned. That preacher who keeps on the borders is of no more reputation than are his followers; and on the other hand the sermons that are regularly delivered by the Catholic preachers are of the greatest use not only in retaining the good, but also in converting those that are out of the way of the truth, insomuch that it is plainly apparent quod non est abbreviata manus Domini.
“Two days ago I came to this city; and yesterday I visited their Highnesses (fn. 5), and apprised them of the Pope's excellent disposition towards the Queen of Scotland, and of the hindrances that her Majesty finds to the immediate carrying out of the Pope's most holy intention; whereupon their Highnesses commended and extolled in the highest degree the Pope's great piety and benignity, and likewise manifested a compassionate concern for the condition of that realm. I shall depart to-day for Mondovi, where, as soon as I have made myself fully acquainted with the needs of the diocese, I shall endeavour, by God's help, and the exercise of all possible diligence and address, to induce their Highnesses to foster and promote Divine worship and the observance of the holy Catholic religion.
“In my last letter from Paris I gave you to understand that of the 20,000 crowns (deducting the 4,000 that were sent [to Scotland]) there remained 16,000, and that for my subsistence I had drawn the allowance of eight full months, to wit, from the 10th of August to the 10th of April while I was in Paris, and that the Apostolic See was put to no other expense except the 1,000 crowns that the Pope was pleased to give me by way of viaticum when I left Rome. Let this be for your information and my discharge. True it is in regard to the 16,000 crowns, that, as I on my departure from Paris, for the sake of the Pope's reputation, and to stimulate and sustain the good and holy zeal of the Queen of Scotland for the Catholic faith, held out hope to her Majesty and her ambassador that his Holiness, like the most loving and compassionate father that he is, would never on any occasion fail to succour her Majesty to this and an even greater amount for the restitution of the Catholic religion in that realm, so I will not fail with all due reverence to intimate to you that I should deem it expedient for the service of God and the Pope that for some time it should in no wise come to be known that the deposit of the said moneys had been resumed for employment elsewhere, in order that the Queen, seeing in effect that his Holiness stands ever ad hostium et pulsat, may be animated the more ardently to prepare the way in that realm for the re-establishment of the holy Catholic religion.”
13 May, 1567. Turin. Italian. Copy. (fn. 6)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 396d.
456. News Letter.
… “His Majesty has sent to Spain a son of Secretary l'Aubespine, to communicate, they say, to the Catholic King the answer which he has given to the Queen of England's ambassadors touching the demand for the restitution of Calais, which ambassadors had already departed; and as they had accepted the Most Christian King's present, it was believed that affairs might be arranged, but many anticipated war.
“The Queen of Scotland has taken Earl Baduel [Bothwell] for her husband, to the satisfaction of the nobles of the realm, which Earl had obtained his wife's consent to a divorce, in order that he might wed the said Queen; and many marvel at this marriage because the Queen is a Catholic and the Earl a Calvinist.
“The English ambassador who goes to Vienna, to treat, it is said, for the marriage of the Queen with the Archduke Charles, has quitted France.”
16 May, 1567. The Court of France. Italian Copy.
Ibid. f. 386d. 457. News Letter.
“Some servants of the English ambassador have come hither to make ready quarters for the said ambassador, who will arrive this coming week. It is said that he comes to treat for the marriage of the Queen with the Archduke Charles.
“We have letters from the Court of France of the 4th and from Lyon of the 10th May, reporting that the English ambassadors for the restitution of Calais were dismissed, and that the King was about to visit that place and other parts of Picardy.”
17 May, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f 398. 458. News Letter.
… “There has been here of late the German Count Rochefort [Stolberg (fn. 7) ], who goes as his Imperial Majesty's ambassador to the Queen of England.; and. it is believed that the marriage between her and the Archduke Charles will come to pass.”
24 May, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt di
vol. iv. f. 17.
459. [John Antony Facchinetti,] Bishop of Nicastro, Legate at Venice to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“The King of Spain's secretary has reported in College that a Scottish gentleman had seized by force and taken to wife the Queen of Scotland, and that he was the same that was supposed at the said Queen's instance to have slain her husband some time before.
“The Signory seem to deem it certain that the marriage of the Archduke Charles with the Queen of England is to take place.”
24 May, 1567. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 402.
460. News Letter.
… “They write from London that the father of the late King of Scotland was expected at that Court, having the Queen of England's leave to land. They also confirm the tidings of the marriage of the Queen of Scotland with Earl Baduel [Bothwell], who stipulated that he should first be created Duke of Arran.
“The Count of Rochefort [Stolberg], Ambassador of his Imperial Majesty, was daily expected at the English Court.” 31 May, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 401d. 461. News Letter.
… “The English ambassador [, Earl of Sussex,] who should come hither, to treat, it is said, of the marriage with the Archduke Charles, is so slow to make his appearance that it is thought he has died on the road.”
6 June, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 405. 462. News Letter.
… “They write from London that on the 7th inst. there arrived at that Court the Ambassador of his Imperial Majesty, who had audience of the Queen and Council; and hope was entertained of the marriage between her and the Archduke Charles coming to pass.
“In Scotland some that were implicated in the death of the King were to be beheaded, and the nuptials of the Queen recently married to Earl Baduel [Bothwell] were to be celebrated.”
11 June, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 404d. 463. News Letter.
… “The English ambassador, who was expected here, will, they say, not come at present, having been recalled by the Queen as soon as she learned that the Count of Rochefort [Stolberg], Ambassador of his Imperial Majesty, was coming to her.”
12 June, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
Inghilt. vol.
I.a. ff. 31–32d.
464. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I received yesterday a letter from the Queen of Scotland written with her own hand in French (fn. 8), in which her Majesty evinces a great desire still to retain the Pope's good esteem and favour, and to live and die in the holy Catholic faith; and since by reason of the news that comes from France his Holiness might have occasion to doubt of the Queen's disposition, I deemed I must not fail to send you the said letter with the Italian translation, that his Holiness may mark the convincingness of her Majesty's language, and thereby be comforted.
“Now as her Majesty in this letter refers to what M. du Croc, the Most Christian King's ambassador in Scotland, writes to me, I therefore deem it proper to send you also a copy of the said M. du Croc's letter; but notwithstanding he says therein that the Queen greatly desires me to send to Scotland one of my men to whom she might communicate her ideas; yet, as her Majesty tells me in the said letter that on her return to Edinburgh she intends to send me a man expressly for this purpose, I deem that as to this I need make no answer until I am further advised by her Majesty; and in the meantime we shall be able to obtain a yet clearer idea of how it fares with her Majesty and the kingdom.
“True it is that the forebodings of war with England (fn. 9) might be the reason that the Queen was not able to make sure of sending another man, the more so that the letter of M. du Croc, to which her Majesty refers, bearing date the 4th of May, is subsequent to that of her Majesty by twelve whole days, so that it might easily be that the Queen, being in hope of the despatch of the said letter of M. du Croc, forbore to send that express messenger by reason of the said forebodings of war; whereto it may be added that she had many reasons for doubting whether she was in good odour with the Pope, so that, coming perchance to suspect that she was contemned and abandoned by him, she might take some extraordinary resolution, verbi gratia, to marry the Earl of Boduel [Bothwell], the more so as this motive is excessively potent in young and independent ladies; which match could not be effected without affronting and perhaps abandoning (quod absit) the holy Catholic religion, seeing that the Earl's wife is yet alive, and she, being the sister of the Earl of Hontle [Huntly], a most noble and potent lord, is able to take very good care that she be not put to death.
“Accordingly, I will not fail with due reverence to submit to your consideration, that it would be expedient for the service of God and his Holiness that the Pope should by some outward sign manifest his concern for the weal of that Queen and her realm, as by instructing me to send thither, as she desires, some confidential person; for which employ I should deem Father E[d]mond [Hay], the Scotsman, meet, for that he, being acquainted with all the business and with the temper of the country, might, as a Scotsman, be acceptable to the Queen, and induce her to do many good acts, and afterward transmit hither a full report of her Majesty's mind.
“As to the cost of his journey to Scotland and return to Paris, about 60 crowns would suffice; and if it should please his Holiness that he should come to these, parts to make his report, the cost would be about the same; and I should think that thereby much consolation and satisfaction would be afforded to that poor Queen, and with God's help she might be kept true to her duty under the obedience of the Pope.
“As touching Father E[d]mond's safety, he may very well, being a religious, go to Flanders or Holland, and thence cross without risk to Scotland, the passage being short; and as it would be the Pope's service, he ought to have a letter from the General of the Company, requiring him to carry out all his instructions under precept of obedience.
“Zeal for the honour of God and the Pope and the weal of that poor realm has constrained me to say all this, needless though it be, since well indeed I know that the Pope's most sagacious and holy judgment will find some mode of procedure far better than I could devise, not to say utter or commit to writing.
“I have also had a letter from the said Father E[d]mond, who, as to Scottish affairs, refers me to the letter written to me by the Bishop of Dunblane, which, albeit Father E[d]mond says he has sent it me, I have nevertheless not received, as you may gather from the accompanying copy of a letter written to me by the Rector of the College of Lyon, who addressed the said letters to me, and says that he marvels that he has not received that of the Bishop of Dunblane, which was commended to his care by the said Father E[d]mond. I therefore have nothing more to tell you about that kingdom than you can gather from the said letters, which are sent you with a copy of the letter written to me by Mgr. of Glasgow, Scottish ambassador in France, save only what I learn from the letter of Father E[d]mond; to wit, that, although the Earl of Murray has quitted Scotland, there is still in the country Secretary Ledenton [Lethington], a most astute man, an extreme Huguenot, and most friendly to Murray; and as his authority is paramount with the Queen, so to make his peace and amity with the Earl of Boduel [Bothwell], he would be apt, which God forbid, either to corrupt the Queen's mind, and persuade her to wed the said Earl of Boduel, who has ever been her most confidential and obedient servant; or else, dissembling his enmity to Boduel, to render him suspect to the Queen, and cause the recall of the Earl of Murray to Scotland. Which Earl of Murray is indeed hardly likely to go elsewhere than to Geneva; yet, should he by his sins be guided to Venice, it would be a most signal service to God and Holy Church to leave nought undone to induce the Signory, who hold his Holiness in the utmost respect and veneration, to arrest the said Earl as the chief and principal founder of the Huguenotism of Scotland, and send him to the Pope; as to which, however, one must needs bear in mind that the Signory might, for respect to the Queen of England, in whose confidence the said Earl is, give him secret warning to betake himself elsewhere, and afterwards give out for their excuse that he had made his escape.”
18 June, 1567. [Mondovi.] Italian. Copy. (fn. 10)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 408.
465. News Letter.
“They write from Scotland that the lords of the realm, having assembled with a numerous force in Edinburgh, whither they had brought the Prince, departed for Dunbar, preceded by ambassadors, whom they sent to the Queen to tell her that they desired to serve her as they were bound, and besought her to give orders that justice should be done upon Earl Baduel [Bothwell], as they had certain information that he had slain the King. Earl Baduel, being apprised of the motions of the said lords and their men, came forth into the country with his men and some pieces of artillery; and so the ambassadors halted until they were joined by the lords with their forces; and when they drew near the said Earl, the more part of his forces went over to the side of the said lords; and he was forced to retreat to Dunbar, leaving on the field the Queen, whom the said lords brought with much pomp to Edinburgh, where she now is; and they say that there had already been differences between her and the said Earl.
“The French ambassador resident in Scotland had craved on behalf of his King the custody of the Prince, that he might be brought up in France, and this Queen [of England] likewise craved leave to have him at her Court; but the lords gave to both the same answer, to wit, that they would not consent to his quitting the realm.
“They have set up in Edinburgh a banner, whereon is painted a tree, and thereunder two dead men and a little boy upon his knees with a crown on his head, and by way of legend ‘Avenge the death of my father,’ the boy signifying the Prince, and the two dead men the King and his servant, who were found dead.
“The lords have arrested a chieftain named Camillino [Campbell?] who was present at the death of the King, and have sentenced him to death.”
21 June, 1567. London. Italian. Copy.


  • 1. Cf. p. 233 supra.
  • 2. Printed, ut supra, pp. 378–80.
  • 3. Literally “of the choice that he has deigned to make of my person in that city.”
  • 4. Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 382.
  • 5. The Duke and Duchess of Savoy.
  • 6. Printed, ut supra, pp. 383–5.
  • 7. Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 156–8, p. 235.
  • 8. Cf. p. 242, supra.
  • 9. i. e. war between England and France.
  • 10. Printed by Pollen. S.J., ut supra, pp. 386–90.