Rome: 1567, October-December

Pages 256-267

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, October–December

Ibid. f. 443.
488. News Letter.
… “On the 29th of last month, and yesterday likewise, his Imperial Majesty hunted with the Archduke Charles and the English ambassador; and albeit many think that the affair of the marriage is settled, yet his Highness stands firm in the matter of religion.”
2 Oct., 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 446.
489. News Letter.
“His Majesty has begun to give audience, though he can hardly walk. The English ambassador has negotiated secretly with his Majesty and with the Archduke Charles; but his Highness is firmer than ever on the point of religion; and it seems that the English will not consent that he should bring preachers with him, or make his chapel public.”
10 Oct., 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 87d.
490. [John Antony Facchinetti,] Bishop of Nicastro, Legate at Venice to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“The intelligence from Scotland is that the Queen was still kept in prison; that the Earl of Arran, one of the twain nominated by her for the government of the realm, was in France, and would not return to Scotland; that the Estates of the Realm had made a law that for the future no woman should be able to succeed to the throne, but that according to the Salic Law of France only males should succeed; and that they had resolved to appoint more than two governors for the King.”
11 Oct., 1567. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 450. 491. News Letter.
…“The English ambassador was to send his principal gentleman to his Queen to apprise her of what has been done in regard to the affair of her marriage, and in particular of the Archduke Charles's most firm resolve to have his chapel public with the rites of his religion, otherwise all to end in smoke. The ambassador is to tarry here until his return.”
13 Oct., 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 453d. 492. News Letter.
…“The gentleman that was to leave for England to learn the final decision as to the marriage of the Queen has not yet departed; but it is said that he will depart to-morrow, and that pending his return the Queen's ambassador will go to Comar and Giavarino to inspect those fortresses, and that afterwards he will visit the riviera of the Turks.”
24 Oct., 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 455. 493. News Letter.
…“On Monday the Archduke Charles departed hence for Graz. The English ambassador accompanied him for half the day's journey, and on the same day despatched the gentleman who goes to England to learn the final decision as to the marriage.”
31 Oct., 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm.i.vol.
108. Pt. ii.
f. 1d.
Borgh. I. vol.
606. f. 282d.
494. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I have spoken with his Majesty at large touching the affairs of France, and commended it to his consideration that the time is now come when France must needs either be delivered once and for all from the heretics, or remain subject to their uncontrolled will, since if the Queen [Mother] and the young King, swayed by forces from without and evil counsels from within, should now come to terms, and agree to apply some new plaster to the sore, it is all over with religion in France, and their neighbours cannot fail to catch the infection; and that the King and Queen will come to such terms, unless they be succoured, is likely enough. And being encouraged to proceed by the answers made by his Majesty, who said that he had already offered all that he could, and the Duke of Alba from Flanders had furnished soldiers, and that the point really was as I said, that they should not come to terms, and so forth, I saw fit to submit to him four matters in which he can most charitably employ himself: 1. Writing to the King of France, and with great urgency counselling him to come to no terms, and promising every assistance; doing his utmost at the same time to assure the King that such assistance will be rendered for no other purpose than God's service and the said King's; and exhorting him to give no ear to the false counsels of some that would make him suspicious of the presence of Spanish soldiers in France; and reassuring him altogether on this head, and convincing him of his good intentions. 2. Proposing to draw nigh the French frontier, or at least to make a feint of so doing, and to send thither forces to lend energy to the King of France's policy, should it be conducive to his advantage. 3. Writing to the Queen of England, who professes amity with him, and doing his office seriously with her, that Boulogne-sur-Mer being in the hands of the Huguenots, and, it is thought, about to be offered by them to her, she go not into this business; intimating to her that he would be greatly displeased and disadvantaged thereby, and would be compelled to oppose her. 4. Doing his office with the Emperor that, as Andalot is now in Germany for the purpose of raising troops, he prohibit and do his best to prevent it, at any rate in great numbers; and giving other aid and counsel to the Emperor such as his Majesty understands better than I or any other.
“These matters I set forth in a colloquy with the King which was on both sides discursive. As to the first point, he approved it, and said that he would write in that sense, and that he was but awaiting an opportunity of influencing the King of France against coming to terms, which would mean total ruin; and that he will make him a fresh offer of his alliance, and endeavour to make his position as secure as he can, and that he believes that in the end all terms will be excluded, and the King will accept some troops, but not many; that necessity must determine the resolution to be taken, and that for himself he will be prepared to furnish all manner of aid for the service of God and the holy faith; and that they have already accepted 1,000 horse, which the Duke of Alva, knowing his mind, has given them, and such further aid as the King shall desire will be afforded him.
“As to the second point, he gave no answer, deeming that it was included in the first.
“As to the third, he said that it was possible that the Queen of England would take action by reason of her pretensions to Calais, and that he was pondering what in that case might be his duty, of which he will not fail.
“As to the fourth point, he said that the Emperor can hardly issue a prohibition, especially as folk are already disquieted in Germany because it is said that there is a league between his Holiness and the Emperor and the Kings of Spain and France against them, and there is some disturbance of the peace on that account.”
13 Nov., 1567. Madrid. Decipher. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 107.
495. [John Antony Facchinetti,] Bishop of Nicastro, Legate at Venice to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
…“By way of Flanders we understand that the Queen of England was arming, in aid, it was supposed, of the Huguenots, but with the intention of not moving unless they gave her by way of pawn and security some town, and Boulogne was the place demanded; that the Queen's design was to garrison the city, and proceed by way of financing [the rebels], taking care always to get in hand more places by way of pawns for the reimbursement of the loans; that the kingdom would be ever ready to find and furnish the Queen with moneys wherewith to embroil affairs in France, as the English would thereby think to gain, if nought else, at least some sort of earnest of the recovery of Calais.”
15 Nov., 1567. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Lett. di Princ.
e Titolat.
vol. xxx. f. 240.
496. Margaret of Austria [Governess of the Netherlands] to Pope Pius V.
Announcing her resignation of the governance of the Netherlands, which she leaves in tranquillity and conformity to the Catholic religion, and her intention of spending the few years that remain to her remote from worldly cares in Italy.
15 Nov., 1567. Brussels. Italian. Holograph.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 222d.
497. [John Antony Facchinetti,] Bishop of Nicastro, Legate at Venice to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
…“From England we have tidings that the Queen makes no move, and she is expected to wait until some fortress be delivered to her; and it is known that in Havre de Grace the inhabitants, who are mostly Huguenots, were bent on seizing the fortress; but the Catholics and the garrison, reinforced by 600 men sent thither by the King, drove out the Huguenots, and are masters of all the place.
“From Scotland the news is that there is little hope of the liberation of the Queen, that the government is altogether in the hands of the bastard brother of the Queen, who is a Huguenot, but otherwise a man of an excellent character, and of Secretary Ledenton [Lethington], a Huguenot indeed, but an intelligent man who may in the end attain to the truth, and from whom one might hope to gain much by negotiation to the advantage of that realm.”
26 Nov., 1567. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 452.
498. News Letter.
“Machiavelli returned on the 9th inst. by way of England bringing with him the leave of absence for Madam [Margaret of Austria], who has forthwith proclaimed her intention of departing for Italy this very month; whereupon the States have besought her so earnestly to tarry that it is thought she will not depart so soon.
“The Duke of Alva still remains in Antwerp, where they are very busy building the castle, employing more than 2,000 workmen. It is four feet high already, and by Christmas they expect to have raised it more than 16 feet, and to have fortified it. At Antwerp last week there was a great uproar in the new city, where all the soldiers assembled, and there was some fear of a tumult; however, quiet was restored, and three or four of the citizens that had caused the uproar are arrested. A great number of horse are expected in these parts, 8,000 they say, from divers districts. One half is to be paid by his Catholic Majesty, the other half by these countries; since indeed we are surrounded on all sides by people that, if not utter enemies, are at least scarcely friendly. The Queen of England has 25 or 30 ships of war ready for action, some say many more; nor do they suffer any ship to pass until they know of what nation it is, and they sink any ship that resists. They are said to have already so done to two or three, nor do they trust either Spain or France, seeing that all alike are arming on all sides.”
26 Nov., 1567. Brussels. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i.
vol. 108.
Pt. ii. f. 4.
Borgh. I
vol. 606.
ff. 289d.–90.
499. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
… “His Catholic Majesty has done his office with the English ambassador, that he write on his behalf to the Queen, praying and exhorting her to make no move, and show the Huguenots no favour; and I believe that he has written to his ambassador there, instructing him to use the like language; and perchance he has written to the Queen herself in the same sense.
“The English ambassador here has told other ambassadors (for he has no converse with me) that the King has charged him with this business, and that he has verily executed the commission, and recognizes that it is reasonable, and that the occasion is not meet, seeing that the Huguenots are not now moving in the cause of religion, but for reasons of state, and in rebellion against their King. The Queen has likewise told the French ambassador that the King has written to the Emperor, urging him to do his best to prevent Germans coming to the aid of the said Huguenots, and that his Majesty has written to the King of France, offering him all manner of aid, giving him all possible assurances of his good will, and exhorting him to consent to no accord; so that, in fine, it seems that that conversation which I reported to you in cipher on the 13th of last month has proved more than idle breath.”
1 Dec, 1567. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 457d.
500. News Letter.
“The gentleman that was sent to England is expected here, and it is held for certain that the Queen will freely consent to the marriage with the Archduke Charles.”
5 Dec., 1567. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Lett. di Princ.
e Titolat.
vol. xxiii.
f. 456.
501. John Andrew Caligari to John Francis, Cardinal Commendone.
“A young man, one of our folk, and of great discretion, has of late returned from England, in which kingdom he has been resident and engaged in affairs for more than five years. He can afford much information about the Catholics and heretics in that country, and has many times discoursed at large with me touching those matters, and the good that might be accomplished in that realm for the Pope's behoof, if he were sent to visit and comfort those poor prisoners in his Holiness' name, and to keep him ever apprised of the course of events there, of which he would hope some day by God's grace to be able to compile a faithful description.
“I, who know not what importance there may be in all this matter, have asked him to put it in writing with intent to send it to you, who, as most conversant with that realm, will be able to deal with it in such manner as may commend itself to your great prudence. The writing he has now finished, and I send it you. He is at present resident in the country, and one can have a copy from him, if it is wanted. Had I thought that all this might in any wise be productive of evil, I should not have said a word about it, but as methinks it is a matter that may do much good and no harm, I have decided I ought not to omit fully to acquaint you therewith. Pray accept the assurance of my good will and perpetual desire to gratify you; and so I humbly kiss your hands.”
6 Dec., 1567. Pieve del Tho'. Italian.
Ibid. f. 457. 502. “Very Great and Very Reverend My Lord.
“It is but a few months since my return from England; and understanding that you were desirous to get some exact information as to matters of religion in that realm and the condition of the Catholics there imprisoned, I have determined for your satisfaction to furnish you with this brief relation or discourse, whichever you may please to term it.
“In the first place you are to know that I have been engaged in affairs in that country almost from the beginning of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and continuously these last five years, not only in the city of London, but also in divers other parts of the realm, and especially in the Northern parts; during which time I, as is usual with those that are engaged in affairs in a country, have had occasion to know divers sorts of people, as well of the nobility and gentry as of the city merchants and the plebeians, and not a few scholars of both universities, and especially of that of Oxford; and having conversed with them of divers topics, as is the way in assemblies, and at times of the matters of the Catholic religion, and of the doctrine and heresies that to-day are taught and preached by those new bishops and their ministers to those poor and simple people, as well in the cities as also in the countryside and elsewhere in the realm, I aver that I verily have found among them numberless good Christians and true Catholics that hold the name and authority of the Holy See and our Supreme Pontiff in such veneration that nothing more could be desired, albeit they are not able openly by deeds to evince the same by reason of the harsh edicts of the present Sovereign, which constrain them to the contrary. Wherefore it verily seems to me that great injustice is done them by some of little experience, as I think, who, as soon as they hear England mentioned, say ‘they are all heretics,’ whereat I, who have experience of them, cannot but verily grieve on their account, on account, I mean, of the good and true Catholics, who, I venture to say. are two-thirds of the realm; besides whom there are those poor imprisoned bishops, doctors, and others, in great number, who, rather than concur in the heresies of the adversaries, and acknowledge the Queen to be supremum caput Ecclesiae Anglicanae, willingly suffer all the hardships of the prisons, nay, shrink not from death itself, if need be. as witness Mgr. Doner [sic Bonner], Bishop of London, who was many times brought before the tribunals to receive sentence of death. These men are entitled to the pity of all faithful Christians, seeing with how constant and religious a mind they defend and sustain the Christian religion in that realm, and the authority of the Holy Roman Catholic Church; of like mind with whom are also those other poor exiles, religious and holy men, though English, who are now at Louvain and in divers other parts of Flanders, and by the exile and pains which they endure have given and still give as good account of themselves as might be expected of the most holy and religious people to be found in our Italy; as is attested also by their writings published against the doctrine and heresies disseminated in that realm by the new bishops and ministers, which writings have fructified and still fructify in such a degree in that realm, not only in confirming the good folk in the true faith and Catholic religion, but also in reclaiming numberless others who had swerved therefrom, that none could believe it who had not, as I have, ocular and tangible evidence thereof: so that,lest the thing should go further, the opponents have been compelled to prohibit the said books of the men of Louvain, because in truth they make too admirable an exposure of the sophistries and quibbles by which they go about suborning and deluding those poor simple folk; but for all that there lack not there those that possess some of the books, and they are continually sent over from this side of the sea notwithstanding the said prohibitions.
“Which things being so, Mr. John Andrew, I have oftentimes reflected that it would be a most pious work, especially considering the great faith and devotion which those poor Catholics, as well those that are in prison as the rest that are dispersed throughout the kingdom, bear towards the Holy See and the Supreme Pontiff, and especially towards his Holiness Pope Pius V, and their most grievous and woeful plight, which they can no longer endure, that those poor souls should be visited, confirmed and consoled, in some degree at least, by words and alms, if no more be possible. And whereas there are, perchance, some that think that this would be too difficult an undertaking, I am of the contrary opinion, and verily believe that if some discreet and diligent person were sent thither, travelling as a private gentleman bent only on visiting the realm and the places therein, as do numberless others of all nations, who flock thither solely for this purpose, he, residing there too with our Italian merchants, would be able in a few months, if aided by some trusty person conversant with the people and places, to accomplish the purpose of his mission excellently well, and be detected by none. It would indeed be necessary that it should be known to few or none at Rome, that nothing concerning it should appear in writing, and that the emissary should not start from Rome, so as not to excite suspicion, but from some other place where he had been resident for months or years; and if he should have to carry with him a sum of money in credit, it would be necessary that the letters of exchange should be at his instance alone, still to avoid any sort of suspicion that he had any correspondent there, and upon his arrival I doubt not the rest would be carried into effect without further difficulty or danger.
“It would also be well that he should carry letters of introduction to some of our Italian merchants; but they should be procured by himself or others at his instance, and should in no wise emanate from Rome, but rather from Venice or Florence; and if they were only for Lyon or for Paris, that would suffice, because the merchants of either place would write to those of England, and there would be less ground for being apprehensive lest it should come to be known before he had crossed the sea.
“I write thus of making the journey through France because it would give rise to less suspicion in England than if he were to pass through Flanders by reason of the other English that are there. True it is that on his return he might visit them also, and do the same office by them as he did by those of England when he was so in commission. And in this way it might be possible to afford the utmost consolation to those poor Catholics, who now suppose that no more thought is taken of them, nor any account made of their hardships and persecutions of so many years' duration; besides which he would acquire experience and knowledge not only of the people and their customs, but also of the places of the kingdom, for use as often as there might be occasion thereafter. It would also be well to have some one there to furnish advices day by day of the course of affairs in regard alike of religion as of the Queen's marriage, which, it seems to be understood, is now in negotiation.”
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 461d.
503. News Letter.
“The courier that was sent to England upon the business of the match between the Archduke and the Queen is daily expected.”
12 Dec., 1567. Graz. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. i. f. 157.
504. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [john Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain]. “Simultaneously I have received your letters of the 15th and 17th Oct., in regard to which, as they are in reply to mine, I have but to ask you, when you have a favourable opportunity, to renew in my country's behalf that good office which is in your power, as I wrote you fully enough in my former letters, and then to advise me of the result by a separate letter. I have also received your letters of the 20th, 21st and 29th of the same month with copies of the proceedings of the Chapters of Compostella and Toledo, and of a letter of his Majesty to his ambassador here; and I may tell you hi regard to this matter that the Pope commends your opinion and counsel and the pains you have been at to reconcile the Chapters, and that he will direct that, with all convenient speed, due effect may at length be given to the decisions of those Councils, whereof you shall be apprised in due time.
“As to the particular affair of the English ambassador, you must do your office with his Majesty that, so far from directing him to attend the offices hi Church, he do rather forbid him, if he should ever evince a desire to go there. And if by some accident it should befall that he enter the Church unexpectedly, and you should be there, it will behove you, as soon as you are aware thereof, to go out, as it beseems you not as a servant of his Holiness to be found in that place in company with such folk.
“The accord now, as you report, being negotiated in France is justly enough distasteful in this Catholic Court, as it is also distasteful in the extreme to his Holiness. However, in this as in all other cases we must resign ourselves to the will of God.
“As to the business of Milan, I have no report to give you by this post, as the Marquis of Ceralvo, who, as you write, is to negotiate it with his Holiness, has not yet presented himself.
“Herewith there will be two briefs, one for his Majesty, the other for Don John of Austria, (fn. 1) both of the same tenor indicated in your last letter, to wit, of the 29th Oct., which you will present with such oral accompaniment as you shall deem appropriate to the persons.”
15 Dec., 1567. Grottaferrata. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i.
vol. 108. Pt. ii.
ff. 6–6d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
f. 295.
505. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
… “As to French affairs, his Holiness will already have seen by a paper in cipher, which I sent, how I did my office with his Majesty, and by another letter will have learned that it was not done in vain. I have now rediscussed the same matter, and find his Majesty in a mood to afford all aid, as he deems that no greater disaster could befall his Majesty [of France] than that he should condescend to make terms of any kind with his rebellious subjects.
“The Duke of Alba has not been able to furnish the Spanish infantry that were asked of him, because they cannot be dispensed with in Flanders, nay, when circumstances shall permit, he desires reinforcements. However, with this exception, he has furnished all the troops that were craved of him to the number of 1,600 horse; and if they want more troops, I believe he will not fail them. His Majesty has written to the King of France, offering, as I understand, to place all his strength at his disposal, and has given him such counsel as befits the Catholic King and his loving brother-in-law. He has used 'his good offices with the Queen of England and the Emperor in favour of France, and in all matters evinces a most friendly disposition towards that Crown.”
18 Dec, 1567. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Figure 1:

Henry VII Family Tree

Names and Faith of English Nobles.

Marquis of Winchester, Lord de Dudley.
Earl of Lineox [Lennox] (asserts title to the throne Lord Lumley. in right of his wife descended from Margaret, the elder of the sisters of Hen. VIII).
Lord Mountegle.
Lord Mordant.
Lord Riche.
Lord Darcye of the North.
Earl of Derby: not so prudent as potent. Lord Seniohn of Hampshire [i.e. Basing].
Earl of Arundel. Lord de Loughborowe.
Earl of Penbroke. Lord Willouby.
Earl of Northumberland. Lord Wharton.
Earl of Westmorland. Lord Audley.
Earl of Cumberland. Lord Morley.
Earl of Southampton. Lord Vaus.
Earl of Salop [Shrewsbury]. Lord Paget.
Viscount Montacute. Lord de Duckhurst [sic Buckhurst].
Lord Dacres of the North (a boy very potent on the Scottish border). Lord Harbarde.
Lord Talbot.
Lord Windesor. Lord Paulet.
Lord Latimer.
Well affected to Wards Catholics.
Duke of Norfolk. Lord William Haward [Howard].
Earl of Suffexe [sic Sussex], at present the Queen's Ambassador at the Imperial Court. Lord Stafford.
Lord Shandois.
Lord Cobham.
Earl Robert of Leicester. Lord Sandes.
Earl of Rutland. Lord Powes.
Earl of Oxford. Lord Burrowithe [sic Boroughe].
Viscount Hereford. Lord Bertlet [sic Berkeley].
Lord Strange. Lord Souche [Zouche].
Lord Aburgavennye. Lord Darcy of the South.
Lord Dacres of the South.
Lord Haward [Howard of Effingham], Chamberlain of England.
Marquis of Northampton. Lord Mountioi.
Earl of Hertford (asserts title to the throne in right of his wife descended from Mary, the younger of the sisters of Henry VIII). Lord Wentworthe (betrayed Calais to the King of the French).
Lord Grey.
Lord Scroupe.
Earl of Huntington (asserts title to the throne by succession from Ed. IV of the House of York). Lord Sheffelde.
Lord Northe.
Lord de Hunsden.
Lord Seniohn de Bedford [sic Bletso].
Earl of Bedford.
Earl of Warwick. Lord Ivers [sic Eure].
Lord de Clynton, Admiral of England.
1567 (?).
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xi
vol. 91. f. 357.
506. Proposal for the Establishment of the Holy Inquisition in Ireland.
“Although in the Province of Ireland, at any rate in the parts that are not occupied by the English, it is the rule that all live as Catholics, yet in some places there are not a few heretics, though they keep close, who under a form of sound doctrine yet by merry tales and pretty conceits disseminate many and diverse empty and profitless matters repugnant to the Catholic faith and the Christian religion, whereby they lead even good Christians into various errors; and to such a degree are these evil colloquies multiplied that none fear to utter derisive and unseemly words even against God's holy church and the Christian religion; wherefore it would seem to be needful and very meet that an office of the Most Holy Inquisition should be established in certain places in the island, for that thereby would ensue not only the destruction or correction of the evil but also the confirmation and corroboration of the good. And especially would this be so under the sway and jurisdiction of the Most Illustrious and Catholic Prince Oneill, and in other places approved by him and the Nuncio Apostolic and the Very Reverend the Archbishop of Armagh, with the advice of other Catholic prelates and princes, where those who should execute this office would be beyond the power of the heretics to disturb or molest them.”
Signed, Fr. Milerus [Magrath], Episcopus de Hibernia. Latin.


  • 1. Cf. p. 270 infra.