Rome: 1567, July-September

Pages 249-256

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, July–September

Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I. a. f. 33.
466. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I wrote to you on the 18th of last month, and sent you a letter written to me by the Queen of Scotland, and another from M. du Croc, French ambassador in that kingdom; and being therein apprised by the said lord of her Majesty's desire that I should send her some person to whom she might communicate her will, I failed not to inform you of the whole matter, submitting with all due humility to your consideration the expediency for the service of God and the Pope of affording that Queen this satisfaction, in order that her Majesty, seeing herself beloved and appreciated by his Holiness, may keep within the limits of her duty under the obedience of the Pope; for which purpose I deemed it would be meet to send Father E[d]mond [Hay], the Scotsman, who, being of the nation, and well versed in the affairs of the island, and very pious, would have been able to afford her Majesty satisfaction, induce her to do many good things, or at least prevent some imminent evil, and afterwards report everything in full to his Holiness.
“As I am now informed by Father E[d]mond in a letter which I send you herewith, that the Queen is no longer able to keep from showing the excessive affection which she bears the Earl of Boduel [Bothwell], in view of this last offence against God's honour and her own, there is no more occasion to send anyone to her, unless, inspired by God to amend her ways, she should not only convert the Earl to the Catholic faith (a matter which, as I was informed in France by persons worthy of credit touching the Earl's character, would be by no means difficult); but also, that she may thereafter make use of the zeal and courage of the Earl in the cause of holy religion, should make a new declaration that it is for the glory of God that she desires the aid of his Holiness' authority; but of this I have far more desire than hope, more especially as in general little is to be hoped of persons who are governed by their pleasures.
“As to the letter of Mgr. of Dunblane, of which Father E[d]mond again makes mention, I have not as yet received it, and I suspect it is lost, as I last wrote you.”
1 July, 1567. Mondovi. Italian. Copy. (fn. 1)
Vat. Arch.
di Polon.
vol. clxxi.
f. 16.
467. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“Together with your letter of the 18th of last month I have received those five writings which you cited in the said letter, and I have conferred with the Pope on the whole matter. By way of answer he has bidden me write in substance as follows; to wit, that having never hitherto been minded to dissemble in aught, he will not now begin the practice in this matter of religion, so important as he knows it to be; and therefore, as regards this particular question of the Queen of Scotland, it is his intention to have no further relations with her, unless by and” by he shall discover in her some sign of improvement in life and religion upon what he has observed in the past. This is all I have to say to conclude this business, which you will henceforth direct in conformity with the Pope's view.”
2 July, 1567. Rome. Italian.
Received on the 14th at Mondovi. (fn. 2)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 416.
468. News Letter.
Reporting the arrival at Antwerp of the Imperial ambassador on his return from the English Court, and the arrival two days later of the Earl of Sescen [Sussex], the English ambassador to the Court of Vienna.
7 July, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm.
i. vol. 108.
Pt. iii. f. 84d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606. ff.
469. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I understand that the demand which the Queen of England by her two ambassadors has presented to the King of France, to wit, the restitution of Calais, has been communicated to his Catholic Majesty by the English ambassador, who asserted the pretensions of England, and that as his Catholic Majesty was party to the insertion of the article of restitution in the Capitulations of peace, it seems that it behoves him to take care that it be observed, &c. On the other hand, the King of France has sent a gentleman to communicate the matter to his Catholic Majesty, and acquaint him that England has deviated from the ancient pacts by sending troops to harass France, and take possession of places belonging to the Crown of France, which could only be recovered by force, &c (fn. 3); and that as soon as the King of France had intelligence of this demonstration on the part of England, he deemed that he ought to go and visit those frontiers, and Calais, and the other places in those parts, but refrained from so doing lest by drawing so near to Flanders he should give his Catholic Majesty occasion to suspect him of a design to meddle in the affairs of that country, seeing that it was then in a state of rebellion, for which same reason he still holds back, until his Catholic Majesty shall be in Flanders, &c.
“The King has spoken both sides fair, and has postponed the business for further consideration, promising to deal with it when he shall be in Flanders, i.e., in September next.
“This I write, that his Holiness may know that, as their Majesties will be such near neighbours, it may well happen that they should arrange to confer together in one of the frontier towns.”
10 July, 1567. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 419.
470. News Letter.
… “The intelligence from Scotland is that turbulence was rife there, and that it was expected that they would certainly put Earl Baduel [Bothwell] to death, and deprive the Queen of the crown and make the Prince King, and that until his coming of age the realm would be governed by the chief barons. The said Prince's custody was much desired by the Queen of England, that she might have him in her power.”
12 July, 1567. France. Italian. Copy.
f. 417.
471. News Letter.
… “Advices are to hand from the Court of France that the Queen of Scotland was besieged by her people in a castle situate in the midst of a lake for having taken Earl Baduel [Bothwell] for husband without the consent of the realm, which Earl afterwards took to flight, and was pursued by the people, who were minded to secure his person.
“In this pitiable plight the Queen had craved aid of the Queen of France, who made answer that she had behaved ill, and that she knew not what to do for her.”
12 July, 1567. Turin. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt d'
vol. I.a. f. 33d.
472. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“Although by way of France and otherwise you may be fully apprised of the course of Scottish affairs, yet I think it my duty to impart to you what Father E[d]mond [Hay] from time to time writes me, the more so that, as he is a religious person and intelligent withal, it may be supposed that he writes only what he deems to be true. Now yesterday I received from him a letter, enclosing a minute in French of the instructions given by the Queen of Scotland to Mgr. the Bishop of Dunblane. This letter, therefore, I fail not to send you with the translation of the said minute, in which, as her Majesty is at pains to make of the absence of the nuncio apostolic an excuse and subterfuge for her own actions, so perchance she would not have omitted to lay part of the responsibility for what she has done upon the same nuncio, had he been present; whence it is plainly apparent that the assistance of the Spirit of God is never lacking to the mind of the Pope, who at so opportune a moment was inspired to bid me return hither.
“Meanwhile I will not fail to give to the course of this affair a consideration conformable to the most honest and sound judgment of his Holiness, as it has pleased you to command me in your letter of the 2nd inst.”
15 July, 1567. Mondovi. Italian. Copy. (fn. 4) Enclosure missing.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 419d.
473. News Letter.
… “By his Majesty s orders most honourable quarters are made ready for the English ambassador, a man of the first rank in that realm, who is hourly expected with a goodly company of gentlemen; and it is confirmed that the business upon which he comes is the marriage of the Archduke Charles with his Queen.”
25 July, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi.
f. 18.
474. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“As to your letter of 14 June touching Juvenal Cocco, the answer thereto of the Father Commissary here who was instructed to answer it can hardly have failed to have been received by you. My reply to your other letter, to wit, of the 15th inst., will likewise be brief, as I have little to say on the part of the Pope save to commend you for your diligence, and Father E[d]mond also for his advices, of which we shall be better able to judge by and by than we can at present. His Holiness therefore commits the whole matter to the good providence of God, while he still desires to be informed by you of all that you can gather day by day of the affairs of that Queen [of Scots].”
30 July, 1567. Rome. Italian.
Received 11 August at Mondovi. (fn. 5)
Vat. Arch.
Arm. lxii.
vol. 33. f. 105.
475. English Nuns to [John] Cardinal Moroni.
Thanking him for 100 gold pieces sent to them by hand of Henry Pening, and desiring him to signify their gratitude to the Pope for the liberal alms by which they are supported.
They also crave the Cardinal's influence with the Pope to authorize their migration from the islands to which for lack of other retreat they have been relegated, where the necessaries of life are hardly to be had and the air is unwholesome, to some more suitable residence, if they should be able to find one.
1 August, 1567. Sion, in Zealand.
Signed by Katherine Palmer on behalf of the Convent.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 424.
476. News Letter.
“The English ambassador has come to Bavaria, and is entertained by the Duke with hunting. Next week he will be at Vienna, where his Majesty will also be to receive him, for he will go hence on Monday, and the eldest Princess will be carried in a litter, being but just recovered from the small-pox.”
1 August, 1567. Possonia [Pressburg]. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. I.a. f. 35.
477. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nunico for Scotland to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I have this week received a letter from Father E[d]mond [Hay] the Scotsman, which, though it bears date the 24th of June, nevertheless relates certain particulars which enable us to understand the achievements and designs of the rebels, as for instance, that the Queen is kept prisoner in the fort of the Island of the lake [Lochleven], which castle belongs to the uterine brother (fn. 6) of the Earl of Murray; whence it is a pretty obvious inference that the Earl was privy to the said rebellion, and decided to absent himself, partly for fear of the Earl of Boduel [Bothwell], and partly that in any event he might be able to retain the favour alike of the Queen and of the contrary faction; his absence enabling him not only to make it appear that he was innocent of and averse from these tumults, but also by simulated good offices to win both sides over to himself, thereby to compass his design of reigning, wherein he relies most of all upon the sinister counsel of Secretary Ledinton [Lethington], who is accounted so astute and base as in all these late seditions in Scotland to have been wont to cast, as they say, the stone and conceal the hand, so that, humanly speaking, it was almost impossible to hope for any good in those parts so long as he was in favour with the Queen.
“Accordingly I have thought it best to send the said letter to you, deeming that, if the wounds of that most unhappy realm are laid bare to the quick, they may one day by God's grace be healed by the most holy hand of the Pope.”
5 August, 1567. Mondovi. Italian. Copy. (fn. 7)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 428.
478. News Letter.
“The English ambassador arrived on Tuesday about noon in a bark with a most honourable company of twenty gentlemen and twenty servants, and by his Majesty's orders was met and received by M. Mescoviz and M. Preiner [Breuner] and many other gentlemen, who attended him to his quarters; and yesterday he was visited by M. Trauzen [Trautson] and Dr. Tasio on behalf of his Majesty. He is a most honourable gentleman and praised by all.”
8 August, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 429d. 479. News Letter.
… “They write from London by letters of the 2nd inst. that the nobles of the realm of Scotland have deprived the Queen of the crown and reinstated the Prince, and that the Queen was still in prison, and that they had elected a Council of twelve barons, who are to govern the realm until the Prince shall be of age; also that they preach the Lutheran doctrine, and publicly teach that it is lawful, and a matter of duty, to take action against kings and princes when they do not that which they ought.”
10 August, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 423. 480. News Letter.
“On Friday the English ambassador went to his Majesty in company with the Spanish ambassador and M.Preiner, and explained the scope of his mission, which relates to the marriage of his Queen with the Archduke Charles; which, it is believed, will come to pass notwithstanding the difficulties in which the affair is involved. The ambassador has brought his Majesty the Garter or Order of Knighthood of England.” 15 August, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. clxxi. f. 2.
481. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio for Scotland.
“I have received of late your letter of the 5th inst., together with a letter of Father E[d]mond [Hay], from which it is easy to comprehend the plight in which religion and the Queen stand. But, although such reports cause the Pope some tribulation of spirit, marking, as he does, the decline of religion and devotion in those people, to the manifest ruin of their souls, nevertheless he is gratified by your diligence in this emergency. For which I send you his blessing.”
18 August, 1567. Rome. Italian.
Received the 1st of Sept.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 433.
482. News Letter.
… “The English ambassador is still at Court at his Majesty's charges, awaiting his Queen's instructions as to the matter which he referred to her by despatch sent by express courier; nor until the answer is to hand will his Imperial Majesty accept the Order of the Garter which the Queen has sent him. It is supposed that such answer will relate to the question of religion.”
19 August, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. ff. 433d
483. News Letter.
“We have tidings from London that in Scotland the Lord James, natural brother of the Queen, has been made President of the Realm, to govern the same with the twelve Lords of the Council until such time as the King shall be of age; and that the Queen is quite sequestrated, but in good quarters, and is put to no suffering. The said Lord James and the twelve Lords of the Council are all of the Huguenot faction.”
25 August, 1567. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 439. 484. News Letter.
“The treaty of marriage between the Queen of England and the Archduke Charles goes forward slowly and secretly, nor is it known when his Imperial Majesty will accept the Order [of the Garter]. Meanwhile the Queen's ambassador is entertained at his Majesty's charges.”
12 September, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Venet. vol.
iv. ff. 71–72.
485. [John Antony Facchinetti,] Bishop of Nicastro, Legate at Venice to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I was visited the day before yesterday by the French ambassador [de Foix], and having from the conversation that I had with him gathered some things that seemed to me of consequence, I deemed I ought not to omit to apprise you thereof. The substance was that he had intelligence from France that the Queen of Scotland had renounced that kingdom, together with the claims she had upon England, in favour of her son, who was crowned King on the last day of July, two administrators being nominated at the same time, the one, the bastard brother [of the Queen] and the other, the Earl of Arran, a lord whose blood places him next in succession to the Crown. (fn. 8) He has sons, and is of ripe age and at heart Catholic, though for reasons of his own he has reconciled himself to living outwardly as the rest do, and suffers himself to be counselled and, as it were, governed by his brother the Archbishop of St. Andrews, a religious and Catholic lord, insomuch that hereby we might anticipate some advantage in the work of reducing that kingdom, especially as the government and the administration in chief are to be in the hands of the said Earl, and the bastard is to have only the care and custody of the King his brother (sic.)
“I then drew him out upon the subject of England, where I knew he had been ambassador for six years; and he told me that he was advised that the Queen had bitterly resented the mention made of her realm in the cession of Scotland, and that by what he could learn she was not very far from the Catholic religion, that she still retained a crucifix, and had a secretary named Sicil [Cecil] in whom she greatly trusted, who also dissented so little from all the Catholic dogmas that it would be an easy matter to gain him. He added that among other devices it would be much to the purpose that the Pope should induce his King and the Catholic King to have in that kingdom ambassadors Catholic and learned between whom and his Holiness there might be a good understanding as to this matter of religion, because he believed that it might bear much fruit, especially as great part of the inhabitants of that realm are Catholics at heart.
“I then gave him the cue to speak of France, and he told me, what I knew to be true, that it is above all else necessary to make provision there for good bishops.”
13 Sept., 1567. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 440.
486. News Letter.
… “The Archduke Charles is expected here to-morrow, and his presence is greatly desired by the English ambassador.”
19 September, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 441d. 487. News Letter.
… “The Emperor, being somewhat recovered from the gout, went out of the city on Tuesday in a coach to take the air; and on Wednesday went out half a league with the English ambassador also in a coach to meet the Archduke Charles, and after a little hunting they made their entry here together with the said Archduke on Saturday.
“The English ambassador has a collar with a pendant of a St. George richly jewelled to give to the Archduke Charles on behalf of his Queen.”
26 September, 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.


  • 1. Printed by Pollen. S.J., ut supra, pp. 392–3.
  • 2. Printed, ut supra, pp. 396–7.
  • 3. Referring to the expedition to Havre in 1562. As to the demonstration against Calais in 1567, see Cat State Papers, Foreign, 1566–8, pp. 195, 209–211, 226.
  • 4. Printed, with enclosure in Scottish, ut supra, pp. 397–9.
  • 5. Printed, ut supra, p. 400.
  • 6. Sir William Douglas, son of Sir Robert Douglas, by Lady Margaret Erskine, formerly mistress of James V.
  • 7. Printed, ut supra, p. 401.
  • 8. Cf. Reg. Priv. Counc. Scotl. vol. i. p. 540.