Rome: 1570, July-September

Pages 338-355

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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1570, July–September

Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. ii.
vol. 100 (Polit.
99.) ff. 175,
et seq
678. [Robert Ridolfi] to Pope Pius V.
“I wrote to your Holiness under date the 6th of last month in duplicate, giving a detailed account of the affair of the bull affixed to the Bishop of London's door, and of the great stir it is likely to make in this realm, if it be followed up by some marked expression of approval on the part of the other Princes; whereas, failing any other demonstration even by the neighbouring Princes, the result might be a severe blow to your Holiness' authority; and accordingly, in aid of the good disposition of these Catholic Princes, I am earnestly desired to entreat your Holiness to be pleased to be as instant as may be in soliciting the publication of the bull at the earliest moment in Flanders, France, Spain and Portugal, with which countries this nation always does a great trade, the hampering of which, if this bull should have that result, would count for this kingdom as one of the greatest of wars. And it behoves the Kings of Spain, France and Portugal to come to an understanding in regard to this matter, and agree to persist for some time in prohibiting commerce between their States and this realm, and any accord on the part of one without the others; justifying themselves by the force of the bull and the obedience sworn to the Holy See, and giving the English to understand that if they would have a resumption of commerce, they must first address themselves to your Holiness, craving release from the censures of the bull, which granted, they will consent to the resumption of commerce. And this is deemed by the chief men of this realm a very sure expedient, both to encourage the Catholics and set them upon speedily accomplishing something of importance, to which they show themselves well inclined, and also to enable each of the three Princes to avoid an open war; which by our rivalries in regard to this State might confound all Christendom; and each of the three Princes, by reason of the wrongs done him these last three years by this Queen, as I believe your Holiness knows, has good cause to put the matter to the arbitrament of open war, and especially the Catholic King, who can get no justice whatever done for all the goods seized, and daily being taken from his subjects, while they harbour the men of the Prince of Orange and the Queen of Navarre, who scour the seas with many ships, robbing all folk under pretext of hostility to their religion, and find asylum and hospitable reception in all parts of the realm; and get gain by the sale of their spoils; which affords them the means to make war in France and everywhere; and in the course of the last two years they have taken to the value of 4,000,000 of gold; and protest as the ambassadors may, they cannot get justice. And so, if your Holiness will desire the said Princes to unite in suspending commerce and publishing the bull in their States, no doubt is entertained that very soon the English will condescend to return to your Holiness' obedience, and make compensation to the other Princes for the said depredations, seeing that without open commerce it is not possible for this realm to subsist, so that the very Protestants, who to-day put obstacles enough in the way of the designs of the Catholics, will be fain in their own interest to rise against those who at present govern the Queen.”
1 July, 1570. [London.] Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1041. f. 413.
679. News Letter.
… “The Earl of Northumberland, who was the leader of the English that rose of late against their Queen, is here in very sorry plight, purposing, they say, to betake him to the Pope for maintenance, having lost all his estate for zeal for the Christian religion.”
8 July, 1570. Antwerp. Italian.
f. 303.
680. News Letter.
“The English commissaries that were at Brussels upon the business of the accord are departing with little by way of basis for a settlement: they are accompanied by four of our commissaries, to wit, two for Bruges and two for Antwerp.
“The Duke of Alva tarries here till next week to publish the general pardon, and complete the arrangements for the reception of the Queen of Spain. They say that his Excellency is resolved to make no accord with England, unless they restore the goods that they took.
“The corsairs are still busy with their depredations, and do much mischief.”
9 July, 1570. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xliv.
vol. 15. f. 166.
681. Pope Pius V to Mary, Queen of Scotland.
Commending the piety evinced in her letter of April 30, and assuring her that, if she persevere therein, God is able not only to exalt her in Heaven, but also to reinstate her in her earthly kingdom, to which end what help the Holy See can afford will not be wanting.
13 July, 1570. Rome. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 140d.,
Borgh. I.
vol. 607.
ff. 244d–245.
Corsini Lib.
33. E. 13.
f. 197.
682. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
… “As to the Scottish negotiations I have to say that in good sooth the King can do no more; and the course of the affairs of Granada is not what is desired: their importance is incredible, and what with the delay and expense there and in so many other places, and the need of making provision for all, I know not how the burden is to be borne. Nevertheless, I will do all that is in my power, as soon as it is possible to negotiate, and his Majesty has recovered his health, of which, as he is already much better of that slight indisposition which he has had since his return from Andaluzia, there are hopes; the rather that there are those that doubt whether that concord, which, it was reported from Flanders, had been made between the Queen of England and the Duke of Alba, is likely to prove quite solid and durable.
“It is said here that his Holiness has made a brief (sic) against the Queen of England, declaring her deprived, and so forth; whereat they show themselves here not too well pleased, and say that they received the copy from England and not from Rome, though, they say, the said brief was sent by his Holiness to the King of France; and in fine there is some murmuring on this score, which I have answered by telling the truth, to wit, that I know nothing of such a brief, but that I am very sure that his Holiness has done nothing that was not well considered, and wholly intended for the good of Christendom and the encouragement of the Catholics of that realm, and the stimulation of the Catholic Princes and so forth.”
17 July, 1570. Madrid. Italian. Copy. (fn. 1)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1041. f. 436.
683. News Letter.
… “The Duke of Alva writes that the Queen of England has liberated the Bishop [of Ross], ambassador of the Queen of Scotland. And from the Most Christian Court it is understood that, in the course of a few days, ambassadors will depart for England to treat of the liberation of the said Queen of Scotland, who is an ensample of honour and religion, being a martyr.”
2 August, 1570. Rome. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol. iv.
ff. 142–3.
Borgh. I.
vol. 607.
ff. 249d–51d.
684. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“By reason of the King's late indisposition, from which he is now, by God's grace, well recovered, it was not till the day before yesterday that I was able to have the audience; in which, after expressing gratitude for the recent decision to assemble the galleys, I entered on the subject of England and Scotland, descanting on the aid and favour which his Holiness accords to those who adhere to the Catholic side in the said realms, the hope, and grounds for hope, which there are that the Queen of Scotland intends, as soon as she be free and have the power, to keep her kingdom Catholic, and to be grateful for the succours and favours bestowed on her by his Holiness and his Catholic Majesty; the apparent likelihood of the King's being yet in a position to aid the nobles that are up in arms for religion's sake; and the exhortations and prayers with which his Holiness urges him to write bidding the Duke of Alba to succour them, if requested, both with men and with money; all this I set forth as commanded by your most illustrious and reverend lordship in your letters.
“His Majesty replied most courteously, entering into the matter in a somewhat weighty discourse: he said that, as I myself already knew, he had given orders to the Duke to be ready to seize every fair opportunity of favouring the Catholic party; and now he further assured me that these orders were not given lightly, and as little more than a matter of form, but with much deliberation and in his own royal handwriting; for, besides that it is ever his aim and desire to spend to the utmost of his power, ay, and to be spent himself, if need be, in the service of God and His holy faith, to which he was the means and minister of the return of that realm of England, he is grieved to the heart to see that work which was, so to speak, his creature, mauled and marred, and he quite understands, that, if he were minded to make an empty demonstration for mere appearance's sake, he could do so; but being opposed to such ideas, he deems it inexpedient that designs in aid of the Catholics should be made public until the occasion is apt and the time ripe to strike a blow and go for the substance of the thing desired; and such an occasion has been far from presenting itself hitherto, and seems now to be farther off than ever; for when the first move was made, those nobles who took up arms for the Catholic side, perchance, because they could not do otherwise, were in too great a hurry to discover themselves, for they ought to have waited till they had made the compact between them more binding, and to have communicated it to and discussed it with that Prince whose succour they were minded to implore, so that it might be redacted at a time and in a form to be of use to them; whereas by moving prematurely they have merely placed themselves at a disadvantage and their enemies in a position of security. So that now, as to anything substantial (as it should be) to be done, he sees no possibility thereof, since the said nobles, in whom alone there was hope, are, to his infinite distress, already taken or routed and dispersed: he knows them and designates them by their names, and the more part of them are of his own creation.
“Nevertheless, being desirous to satisfy his Holiness as far as may be, he has decided that, as the despatches that arrive here from those parts are commonly late and few by reason of the distance and difficulties of the journey, it will be more convenient that this business be transacted between his Holiness and the Duke of Alba, who shall have orders to come to an understanding with his Holiness in writing, and give him all possible satisfaction. And his Majesty is confident that the Duke, knowing his Majesty's mind as he does, while avoiding any rash movement, will, if some good opportunity present itself of subserving the cause of religion, not fail to embrace it and devote himself to the service and honour of God; as to which matter his Majesty will write to him afresh, and give him the necessary order.
“This in fine is the substance of the answer I had from his Majesty touching this matter, which is all I shall say in this letter, so as not to be too prolix.”
4 August, 1570. Madrid. Italian. Copy. (fn. 2)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
ff. 328d–329.
685. News Letter.
“The Court has departed hence for Ninueghe [Nymegen] to receive the Queen of Spain, and grace her embarcation upon the fleet that is already made ready to convoy her to Spain.
“They write from London under date the 1st inst. that the Queen had reviewed 6,000 foot and a great number of seamen; in which some saw an intention to make war, others a suspicion of the said fleet collected by the Duke of Alva at Nymegen, although the said Queen was disabused of this suspicion by the agents of the Catholic King, who assured her that the fleet was to convoy the Queen to Spain.
“That the corsairs in those seas were still doing much damage.
“That as to the affairs of the Queen of Scotland there was nothing fresh to report; and that the Queen of England had authorized M. de Puligni (sic (fn. 3) ), who was the emissary of the King of France in the said Queen of Scotland's interest, to proceed to Scotland to see if he might arrange matters.
“That the commissaries that departed hence had reached London, their errand being to take account of the merchants' goods that are in those parts.
“In Zealand many ships are made ready, some to accommodate and accompany the Queen [of Spain] with 4,000 Walloons aboard, others merchantmen bound for Spain with the Queen's ships.”
5 August, 1570. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Particolare. (fn. 4)
686. News Letter.
… “On Thursday the Duke of Alva quitted this place for Nymegen, having received tidings that the Queen [of Spain] had departed from Speyer, and was on her way to this place, where he will await her, and there will be many jousts and festivities. They say that she will make her entrance not publicly but incognita, that the city may not be put to expense; and it is believed that the Zealand fleet, which is already under orders for Spain, and will carry many gentlemen and a goodly number of Walloon arquebusiers by way of the Queen's bodyguard, will not set sail until September.
“By letters from London of the 1st we understand that the commissaries sent by the Duke of Alva to take stock of all the Flemish goods detained in England had arrived there, but as yet had done nothing; and that by them the Duke had sent word to the Queen of England that she need have no fear that the fleet collected to convoy our Queen to Spain will do any hurt to her countries. We have also tidings of the arrival there of M. de Pugni [Poigni] with a commission from the Most Christian King to negotiate the restoration of the Queen of Scotland to her kingdom, and that the result was not yet known, but the prospect was hopeful.”
7 August, 1570. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol. vi.
f. 420.
687. Jerome Rusticucci, Cardinal [Bishop of Sinigaglia] to John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
… “I send you herewith an advice lately received from England, that you may see the condition in which affairs are in that realm since the publication of the bull: it is such that with fomentation on his Majesty's part there is no doubt that we may hope for the reclamation of those peoples to the true light of the Catholic religion in a brief while. You will therefore do such office as you shall deem necessary to induce his Majesty to lend his aid according to the tenor of the advice.”
Enclosure wanting. 11 August, 1570. Rome. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
f. 456.
688. News Letter.
“It is reported from England that the Duke of Norfolk is set free, i.e. discharged from the castle on bail: and it is believed, now that peace is made in France, that the Scots must needs follow the lead of the Catholic party, that they have with them the refugees from England, and that they have proclaimed the Queen of Scotland, who is still a prisoner, as their true Queen: that in London they have beheaded him that placarded the Papal excommunication in that kingdom; that the Queen was busy setting her fleet in order; that she was engaging some of the principal corsairs for service with the fleet; and that the commissaries were investigating in the ports how much of the detained merchandise was still in being, in order that they might refer the whole matter to the Duke of Alva.”
12 August, 1570. Rome. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 18d.
689. [Fabius Mirto,] Bishop of Caiazzo, Nuncio in France to [Jerome] Rusticucci, Cardinal [Bishop of Sinigaglia].
… “With the return from England of M. de Pugni [Poigni], brother of M. de Rambouillet, and by a letter of the 10th inst. which I have received, comes intelligence that three days ago the Duke of Norfolk was suffered to reside in his own house, and it was hoped that he would soon be summoned to Court; which afforded some good ground for hoping that the Queen of Scotland would also be set at liberty.”
16 August, 1570. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol. iv.
f. 143.
Borgh. I.
vol. 607.
ff. 252d–253d.
690. [John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano,] Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli], Cardinal Alessandrino.
… “Instructions will be sent in writing by the first courier, as they have already divers times been sent, to the Duke of Alba to correspond and come to an understanding with his Holiness touching the affairs of England and Scotland, as I wrote more at large in my last letter, of the 4th inst.
“In the last audience I did my office with his Majesty to induce him to persuade the Emperor and the King of France to enter the League (fn. 5), and as touching the Emperor he seemed not averse, but said that he had done, and he would not fail to do every good office. But as to the King of France he spoke after a sort that showed that it was to no purpose, because one had so much to do at home: he could not spare a thought either for the League or aught else.
“Some surprise is here felt that, though the Spanish ambassador wrote by his last letters that a courier was to be despatched within two days with news of the League, and perchance of its completion, nevertheless the time is past by more than ten days, and the courier has not arrived.
“His Majesty and the rest have been signally favoured by God in that the fleet of the Indies has arrived safe, for it was feared that some French and English corsairs had gone forth to encounter it; and it would have been a very big mouthful for the corsairs, for it carries about a million for the King and other four millions for divers merchants.
“Affairs in Granada make good progress, though the end is not yet reached, because those Moors who would not accept the King's clemency are in no great strength, and fresh troops have just been sent to destroy the seed which the said Moors have sown, which operation succeeding as we expect it will, they will not have the means of subsistence.
“As to the Queen's coming, you at Rome, being nearer to Flanders, will have earlier tidings of it than we here. Enough that she is expected in Spain at the beginning of September. It is not as yet known where the King purposes to be wedded, and whether we shall have to make another journey, but in any case it can but be a short one.”
16 August, 1570. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxvii. f. 144.
691. Protonotary Biglia, Nuncio in Germany to [Jerome] Rusticucci, Cardinal [Bishop of Sinigaglia].
“I must not omit to tell you that in my opinion, and by what I have been able to gather from the converse I have had with his Majesty, he will not neglect this good opportunity of taking the field against the Turk; but as for joining the League so openly and suddenly I do not think it possible, for he will want first to consider how he may be able to collect a sufficient army to overcome the forces of the Turk, and the money to pay it, and keep the war afoot; and he will also be minded that the occasion of breaking the peace be given by the Turk, which will be easily contrived as soon as he desire it.
“Before the arrival of this courier his Majesty told me that he had received letters from Spain of the 8th of last month; and he evinced more inclination towards the League than before; and I have assurances to the same effect from the Venetian ambassadors, with whom I am constantly closeted, discussing and promoting the negotiation.
“The business of the Grand Duke [of Tuscany] makes silent progress as usual. I have yet to learn what his Majesty shall have to say to me thereon: perchance he will have received the Catholic King's answer which he was awaiting in regard thereto. The Spanish ambassador Avalos promises me his good offices. Of late I have caused the Empress to be petitioned on the matter, nor do I fail to use all the means that I deem best adapted to serve our cause. The answer, which, to judge by the advices received with the letters of the 29th of last month, should have been given by the Pope to his Majesty's ambassador, will enlighten us as to his Majesty's mind. I shall have something to tell you as to this next week.”
17 August, 1570. Speyer. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1041. f. 335d.
692. News Letter.
“The event here is the arrival of the Queen [of Spain] at Nenueghe [Nymegen], and in a day or two she is expected at Berges [Bergen-op-Zoom] to await the season for taking ship for Spain, where the festivities must needs take place. And it is said the fleet will number 200 ships.
… “We have no intelligence from England save that of the liberation of the Duke of Norfolk; and it is believed now that peace is made in France, that the Scots must needs follow the lead of the Catholic party, that they have with them the refugees from England, and that they have proclaimed the Queen that is a prisoner in England as their true Queen: that in England they have beheaded him that placarded the Papal excommunication; and it seems that in that country they, and most of all the nobility, would be ill pleased with such an act.”
19 August, 1570. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
f. 452.
693. News Letter.
“The Queen of Spain arrived on the 14th at Nemegha [Nymegen] and entered the town at 4 o'clock after dinner.”
19 August, 1570. Antwerp. Italian.
Ibid. 694. News Letter.
… “It is reported from England that the Queen has caused to be published throughout her realm, that all that have in their houses merchandise belonging to subjects of his Catholic Majesty are to cause the same to be placed in the hands of the Admiral General within a fortnight on pain of death.”
19 August, 1570. Antwerp. Italian.
f. 462.
695. News Letter.
… “It is understood that in England there are further insurrections, and that the Queen has refused to allow the Most Christian ambassador to pass into Scotland, and has conceived some suspicion of the ships made ready for the Queen of Spain.”
20 August, 1570. Antwerp. Italian.
ff. 466–466d.
696. News Letter.
“The fleet that is to convoy the Queen of Spain consists of 80 ships excellently appointed, and with her will go the Grand Prior, the son of the Duke of Alva, and many lords.
“The Queen of England by reason of her suspicion of this fleet has got ready 40 ships, and apprised all the maritime countries thereof, giving it to be understood that she has armed the said ships for the purpose of escorting the Queen of Spain from Calais roads onward; and to-day an ambassador from England has made his appearance here with a commission to place this fleet at the Queen of Spain's service with liberty to land at all his Queen's ports, for which offers he has received the Queen of Spain's thanks.”
30 August, 1570. Antwerp. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. ii. f. 7.
697. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio at the Court of Savoy to [Jerome] Rusticucci, Cardinal [Bishop of Sinigaglia].
“While of late I was in Paris about the Scottish negotiations I knew Irving, a young Scottish gentleman, a Catholic, and so zealous for the service of the Pope that I resolved to take him with me to that realm; and so I now make bold most humbly to entreat you of your great compassion to deign in the circumstances to take him under your protection; which you may do with full confidence that by deigning to be kind and helpful to him his Holiness will not only exert himself on behalf of a gentleman banished from his country on account of the Catholic religion, but will also afford great edification to the rest of the Catholics of that realm, to whom it may be hoped that in the future the said gentleman may bring some relief under his Holiness's most auspicious direction.”
30 August, 1570. Turin. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. ii.
vol. 100. (Polit.
99.) ff. 171,
et seq.
698. [Robert Ridolfi] to Pope Pius V.
“Some of these lords have given the Duke of Alva to understand that, if he will aid them by placing at their disposal in one of these ports merely a certain quantity of arquebuses, and other arms and munitions, and some money to get a force of cavalry together on this side, they will undertake with the help of all the Catholics to deliver the Queen of Scotland safe out of the hand of this Queen, and to re-establish religion in this realm. And to-day the Catholic ambassador has written that if the Duke of Alva decide, as methinks he cannot fail, so to aid them, for they do not ask for soldiers; and if his aid were supplemented by support afforded by way of France to those that are in Scotland, so that there might be joint simultaneous action, there is no reason to doubt of the speedy accomplishment of the desired end; especially considering the further aid which they count on from your Holiness. And therefore, as soon as your Holiness should see fit to send a credit to Flanders for a sum to be applied as occasion shall require, and not otherwise, I should deem it very necessary for the further encouragement of these lords, to whom, pursuant to your Holiness' first order, I have already disbursed some part of the money with which you have furnished me, for the behoof of those lords that have withdrawn to Scotland: the residue I shall disburse as I shall see need and occasion, keeping careful account of all for your Holiness' satisfaction. And I apprise you that I am provided with the remainder of the 12,000 crowns payable here during next October; and if in the meantime it should be necessary to make any disbursement, I will do so from my own moneys, for from day to day occasion may arise for making some important decision, as the utmost suspicion prevails throughout the realm; and if only the Duke of Alva should give us some reassuring answer, and hold firm by the policy of not reopening commerce, as France and Portugal should also do, and publish the bull, we have every reason to anticipate for this enterprise a most successful issue; for such is the desire of all the Catholics of this realm, who are the majority of the inhabitants, and bent on carrying the enterprise to a conclusion, if the Duke of Alva should lend his aid. They are the following: Baron Guglie [Willougby], Sir Thomas Stanglei [Stanley], Sir Thomas Givarg [Gerrard] with the concurrence and support of all the country of the Earl of Gauci [Derby] and the country of Lancaster, who at the least will put into the field 12,000 men, and are close to the place where the Queen of Scotland is confined. Then to aid this force there are in the country of Bester [Chester], which borders on the other two aforesaid, Sir Thomas Misaubert [sic Fitzherbert] and his friends and confederates, who promise to rise with 6,000 men; and on the hither side at Dort (sic) (fn. 6) are the Queen and all her forces, but distant from the aforenamed by about 200 miles (sic). In the countries called Sure [Surrey], Suseci [Sussex], and Amiscer [Hampshire], are the Earl of Sugnaton [Southampton], Viscount Montarto [Montagu], the Earl of Arrandel [Arundel], and Baron Lomelis [Lumley] and Baron de Rindesoun [Windsor], who, with their followers and friends, promise to rise simultaneously with the rest, and with 15,000 men make themselves masters of the Court.
“On the other side towards the country called Coraucia [Cornwall] and Vallia [Wales] are Lord de Lunai (sic), Arrandel, and the Earl of Vitter [Wiltshire], each of whom will raise 6,000 men, Catholics all, but they are 200 miles (sic) away from the aforenamed, and cut off from them by the Queen's forces. There are besides the countries of Soffolc and Norfolc, which will furnish a goodly number of men, but they are not reckoned at present, since the treaty that was to have been made in those parts of late has been discovered, as I apprised your Holiness; in consequence whereof many gentlemen have absented themselves, and of late seven of their leaders have been sentenced to death, though they are not yet executed, and it is hoped that some will be pardoned; whereby those countries lack leaders, though not a few of the inhabitants are well affected. The condemned are Lonag [Leneve ?], [John] Frogforton [Throgmorton], [John] Ap[li]gosart [Appliarde], [George] Rigman [Redman], [Thomas] Burc [Broke], [Christopher] Pleter [Plater], [Edward] Fiscer [Fisher], all men of quality in that country of Norfolc, and all Catholics. Besides whom there is [James] Obert [Hoberte], condemned to perpetual imprisonment. And a great misfortune it was that they were too hasty, and waited not until the rest of their supporters were ready to join them, but took upon themselves the hazard of the enterprise (fn. 7). However, the misfortune is the less that they have revealed nothing of these other complots, which, if they should lack the aid and countenance of your Holiness and France and Spain, may little by little be discovered and disconcerted; and no such opportunity will ever again present itself. And failing a change of religion at this time in this realm, the two said Princes may be assured that they will never more enjoy peace either in France or in Flanders; because, so long as the government here remains in the hands in which it is at present, they will seek to feed the fire in both those countries, as they have done hitherto, and to confound all Christendom; for this country is the focus of all the counsels and complots of the Protestants; and the last thing they have done has been to instigate the Queen to make a league with all the Protestant Princes of Germany, and negotiations have been set afoot and are still in progress; not that I think they will succeed, because to that end the Queen must needs be at great expense, which is not to her mind; nor has she the money, having spent so much on the French business; nor can she raise it from her people in these times, since there are those that have openly refused it her; for she cannot raise any impost without the sanction of Parliament; and being apprehensive by reason of the division which she sees in the realm, she dares not have recourse to the methods customary there; and as to the League she is mightily afraid of the Catholic King, in whose power it is, if and when he will, to bring this realm back to the Catholic religion, by mere demonstrations and the good offices of friends that he has here.”
1 September, 1570. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 44.
f. 45.
699. [Fabius Mirto,] Bishop of Caiazzo, Nuncio in France to [Jerome] Rusticucci, Cardinal [Bishop of Sinigaglia].
… “At the first convenient opportunity I will send to England the ciphers that I have received with the duplicate of the 28th of last month; and thence I yesterday received the enclosed ciphers, with which I also send the decipher of what is written to me.
“As to the offices that I am asked to do with their Majesties, I have done them several times to no purpose whatever, for they say that, spent and weakened as they are by the civil wars, they have no mind to take a course which might be the occasion of provoking a foreign war, which they could not at present support.
“I am frequently in conference with the ambassador that is here on the part of the Queen of Scotland. He is a prudent and worthy prelate, and we are of one mind in handling this business, and as occasion serves we push and help it forward as best we can; and his Holiness may rely that we will neglect no opportunity of supporting and aiding the cause by all means in our power.”
20 September, 1570. Paris. Italian.
—[Robert Ridolfi] to the Nuncio in France.—“I wrote to you on the 6th of last month; then came your letter of the 22nd of July with letters from Rome, and the copy of the cipher (fn. 8), which I have since found; and for the future I shall use no other. As to affairs here, we are occupied with the negotiations pending for the release of the Queen of Scotland, which I take to be all words and vain hopes; but rather than jeopardize the Queen of Scotland by rupturing them, her friends keep quiet till they may see what the result may be; and in my judgment no good will be done until some succour in soldiers, to the number of one or two thousand, is sent thence [i.e. from France] to Scotland, which to that crown would be a trifle, and by the effect it should have would signify much; wherefore I would have you labour hard to procure it, for it is of great importance. For some lords have sounded the Duke of Alva, whether he be willing to aid them with a certain quantity of arms and munitions in a certain part of the realm; for if they may come by such succour, they are resolved to waste no more time upon these fruitless negotiations, but to have recourse to force, and rally all the realm to the Catholic religion, and possess themselves by force of the person of the Queen of Scotland; wherein, with the means that they have devised, they could not but succeed, supposing, as aforesaid, that they have the assistance of the Duke of Alva, and of France by way of Scotland, and also of his Holiness, to whom by the enclosed letter (fn. 9) I write at large and in detail, which letter you are to forward promptly, albeit you may first decipher it, that you may know all that is going on, and do your best with the Queen Mother, that aid may be sent to Scotland. You will soon see what the result will be; and should it be possible to suspend commerce on the publication of the bull, the business would be managed safely and with little delay and friction.
“Bestir yourself therefore to the best of your power.”
1 September, 1570. London. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. ff. 37d–38d.
700. The Same to The Same.
… “I have seen that advice from England (fn. 10), the contents of which I had already gathered from the Scottish ambassador here, who deemed it inexpedient to treat by reason of the difficulties that are found in the veriest trifles in regard to this matter, and the fixed purpose of their Majesties in no wise to show themselves open enemies of that wicked woman, for fear of irritating her and provoking a fresh war. I adroitly sounded the mind of the Spanish ambassador as to the matter in its bearing on the Catholic King's countries, and found difficulty on that side also. Likewise to-day, as a good opportunity presented itself, I have conversed with their Majesties, and find them altogether opposed to the idea by reason of their dread of provoking a new war on that side, although I did my best to make it plain to them that by this means that woman would be so weakened, by reason of the greater proportions that the insurrectionary movements would assume in that realm, that the dread and danger in which she would stand on her own account would be greater than her power to place others in the like circumstances; sed nihil profeci
“I will take the first convenient opportunity of sending the letters for England, whence by the last advices it is understood that the power of that woman rests on nothing more than that the Catholics have no one to lead them, nor yet any support to enable them to keep the field. The said woman has sent a gentleman to their Majesties to congratulate them on the peace.
“From Scotland it is understood that the Earl of Lennox, father of that Stuart, the Queen of Scotland's late husband, and grandfather of the Prince, has by the influence of the Queen of England been chosen Regent in place of the deceased Bastard. He is a man of little worth, who was for a long while in England, and was ever reputed a good Catholic; but now, suborned by that wicked woman, he has sworn to the heretics' confession, and entered Scotland by the north country, being accompanied by the Earls of Morton, Mar, and Glencher [Glencairn], and others of that heretical faction, who do all the evil they can under the name and with the authority of the same Earl of Lennox, and at the instigation and with the support of the said Queen of England. On the other side the Duke of Châtelherault, and the Earls of Argyll and Athol, and others of the nobility have taken up arms for the Queen of Scotland, and are in the field against the said Earl of Lennox, whom they are like to worst, if he be not succoured from England.”
2 September, 1570. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xiii. ff.
vol. iv. f. 145d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 607.
ff. 259–60.
701. John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Jerome] Rusticucci, Cardinal [Bishop of Sinigaglia].
… “I have had a further conversation as to the affairs of England, and pondering the transcripts which I have received of advices sent to his Holiness by men in that country, I explained to his Majesty that those Catholics deem that, though it be impossible to afford them succour in men, the suspension, by virtue of his Holiness' brief (sic), of commerce on the part of Flanders, France and Portugal with that realm might be of much service, because it would be a stunning blow to the English; so that the Queen would conceive a spite against her advisers, who give her such evil and impious counsel, and would be in a certain sense constrained to change her policy rather than brave such abhorrence on the part of all christian Princes, and such loss to her realm, whose wealth entirely depends on trade and commerce. To this his Majesty replied to the same effect as I wrote you by my letters of the 4th of last month; adding, however, that if he alone were to suspend commerce, he would do himself great injury without any benefit to the common cause. Concerted action by all the other powers would be necessary, and that was hardly to be hoped for, since, not to speak of the parts of Germany, in France there was never a time when they would have been prepared for it, much less now that the effect of this peace will be daily to increase the power of the sectaries; and if the Admiral [Châtillon] should return to office, there will be yet more encouragement given to English shipping and commerce, nor will he suffer it to be hampered in any way whatever. Of Portugal he spoke in the same sense. Enough that I seemed to gather that if this demonstration and undertaking were made universal, this King would not be content with doing his part as the others did theirs, but would be the more zealous that he is much mortified that that realm of England has not kept to the state in which he left it, and to which he had been at pains to restore it, as also to the faith. And he told me again that he had commissioned the Duke of Alva to come to an understanding with his Holiness, and apprise him exactly of all that he learned from his Holiness touching this matter.
“The French peace occasions his Majesty the utmost displeasure and suspicion; and when the French ambassador came to notify him thereof, and said that he was commissioned to rejoice with him thereon, the King answered bidding him write to the Most Christian King that for himself he found no matter for rejoicing save that he had ever given his Most Christian Majesty good, loving and brotherly advice, and that he had offered and afforded him all the aid in his power. For this alone he was glad at heart, but as to the peace he could not but deplore it, for the love that he bears his most Christian Majesty, as he believes it to be opposed to the service and will of God, and to his own interests, and to be prejudicial to his realm. These were the very words of the answer.
“The Duke of Savoy entertains grave suspicions, and is ever sending couriers exhorting the King to prepare to defend himself in Milan, and instantly to raise at least some companies of light horse, because he supposes that these may be of use to himself also.
“The French nuncio has quite understood the communication made to him touching M. de Foys [Foix], and has written to me to the purpose. But this peace will have caused many changes of policy, especially if there should be, as they say, a general re-establishment of the status quo.
7 September, 1570. Madrid. Italian. Orig. and copies. (fn. 11)
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1041. f. 343.
702. News Letter.
“Rubar, a gentleman in the service of the Queen of England, whom she despatched with presents to the Queen of Spain, has come hither, and yesterday had an audience of his Imperial Majesty; and they say that the said Queen wishes to send an ambassador to this Court, and has therefore sent to sound the Emperor's mind.”
14 September, 1570. Speyer. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. ii f. 11.
703. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio at the Court of Savoy to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“This week there departed hence Marquis Rangone, who, by what he has told me, has, hardly to his satisfaction, been dismissed by the Most Christian King, and is on his way to Rome to explain the matter, and offer his services to the Pope. He has informed me that the quondam Cardinal, Odet de Coligni, movet omnem lapidem with the Queen of England to induce her to marry the Duke of Anjou, and that the affair is deemed by no means unaccomplishable; and if it were managed by the Catholics, it might perchance be productive of good, but of ministers of the Devil nought but the most grievous evil is to be anticipated: which result the great sagacity of his Holiness might perhaps without difficulty obviate, if he should propose and solicit the marriage of the said Duke with the Princess of Portugal, the Catholic King's sister, and grant him investiture of the realm of England, thereby to direct the French arms against that island, where, as history tells us in the instances of the Normans and Henry VII, no Prince that has ever taken the field with any show of just title has failed to achieve complete dominion; nor should such an enterprise beget rivalry in the Catholic King, seeing that it is in the interest of Christendom; and more especially as it is notorious that his father Charles V, a Prince of great prudence, did not hesitate in the peace with King Francis I, to pledge himself to the marriage of his daughter or niece with the Duke of Orléans, with Flanders or the Duchy of Milan by way of dowry; which was only prevented by the said Duke's death; the Emperor perchance being convinced by the example of his ancestors the Dukes of Burgundy, that there is commonly envy and inbred hatred of their King on the part of the Princes of the blood royal of France. And by means of such an alliance there would be well-founded hope of the restoration of that island to the obedience of his Holiness, it being firmly believed there that nearly two-thirds of the nobility desire to live as Catholics.”
14 September, 1570. Turin. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1041. f. 346.
704. News Letter.
“The Queen of Spain must needs stay here this winter, the season being now too advanced for her departure; and at Brussels they are preparing a residence for her.
“Madam d'Arimbergh is desired by the Caesarian Majesty to attend the Queen in France, and in four or five days she will depart for Speyer.
“It is said that the Duke of Alva will go to Spain at Easter, and that the King's sister, the widowed Queen of Portugal, will succeed to the governance here, and that with her will be Cardinal Granvelle and Signor Antonio Doria.
“The Duke of Northumberland has arrived here, and has taken quarters, and may be he will stay here some time.”
16 September, 1570. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1041. f. 345d.
705. News Letter.
“Ruban (sic), an English gentleman, is still at this Court, and on his departure from Flanders received from the Queen of Spain by way of gift a chain worth 500 crowns.”
20 September, 1570. Speyer. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxviii.
f. 21.
706. News from Germany.
“Whether it was the Imperial ambassador or another that wrote to his Majesty that there are persons here who report to Rome all that is discussed in the Diet, and with the Polish and Transilvanian ambassadors, his Majesty has complained thereof in the Diet, and has expressed his desire that the ambassadors of foreign Princes be excluded. In regard to this matter some suspicion has fallen upon Mgr. of Augsburg. I have thought it best to apprise you thereof, and at the same time to give you to understand that the Elector of Trier will accompany the Queen of France, his Majesty being minded that her departure be attended with all possible honours. Yesterday there came a courier from France who announces that the gentleman whom the King sends will soon be here, and that the Queen is expected to arrive as soon as may be both by the King and by the Queen Mother.”
22 September, 1570. Speyer. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xiii. f. 206.
vol. iv. f. 147d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 607.
ff. 265–6.
707. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Jerome] Rusticucci, Cardinal [Bishop of Sinigaglia].
“An English gentleman resident in Ireland, who gives himself out as sent by those gentlemen who are in arms for the Catholic religion in the kingdom of Ireland, to crave aid of the Catholic King, has laid before me the enclosed Memorial, which you will do me the favour to submit to his Holiness; apprising him at the same time that, although he has already given me by private letters of Cardinal Alessandrino faculty to absolve and dispense in certain cases not expressed in my faculties, even in cases of heresy, nevertheless, as this case is so grave, I did not venture to touch it, and accordingly determined to communicate with his Holiness after making inquiry as to the qualities of this gentleman: and in brief I find, and the Archbishop of Cashel, who is of that country and is here, attests, that the said gentleman was in those parts deemed Catholic at heart, albeit his deeds belied it; and at present he lives here as a Catholic, going to Mass, and observing the fasts and other Catholic usages, so that in regard to this matter I desire to know what his Holiness bids me do. And if he should direct that absolution be given him, you will be good enough to let me know what form his Holiness would have it take, and what penance should be laid upon him, and to take care that the answer reach me as soon as possible, that the gentleman be not disheartened, and that he be comforted by reception into the bosom of holy church, and not abandoned to despair, since he is now penitent. And in the meantime I will make as if I answered him, and keep him in play with good words. I know not as yet whether, evincing as he does such a desire for this absolution, he may not, to save so much delay, seek it meanwhile of the Cardinal Inquisitor Major. But in any event I desire his Holiness' commission in the matter.”
24 September, 1570. Madrid. Italian. Orig. and copies. Enclosure:
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. ii.
vol. 100.
(Polit. 99.)
f. 196.
Thomas Stucley to [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
“I have heard that the Archbishop of Cashel gave your Lordship a petition of mine in the Latin language, in which I said that I had sworn allegiance to the Queen of England as head of the Church [in England], and that I had lived for eleven years in her religion, and that I had destroyed monasteries; no part of which is so; neither did I ever swear allegiance to the Queen save as queen and sovran lady, nor live in her religion, for I was ever in spirit a Catholic, and kept in my heart the faith and religion of the Holy Mother Church of Rome. That which I did was to live among the heretics of my country, having dealings with them in matters external, not separating myself from their life or society, and eating meat on forbidden days, because I could not do less while I was in my country, where I must needs hazard my life, or do as the heretics did. Outwardly I was consentient with them, but not at heart. I hold the property of an abbey, which I am ready to restore; and I have already built a very good church, and were it possible, and permitted by the Queen and her ministers, I would place religious therein, and give them their own. I have left substance and land and wife to come to crave succour for the Catholics of Ireland, England and Scotland, and to effect the complete restoration of religion in the three realms, that I may be quit of the excommunication which I have incurred, and may confess and communicate as a true Christian.
“I humbly entreat your Lordship as Nuncio Apostolic with faculty from his Holiness to grant me absolution, or else for the love of God to obtain the said faculty from his Holiness, that I, as his obedient son, may have dealings with my brother Catholics, and manage the business of the Church with which I am charged, and present myself before his Holiness and kiss his feet as it behoves me, true vicar of Christ that he is and head of His holy Church.”
[September, 1570.] Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Lett. di Princ.
e Titolat.
vol. xxx. f. 59.
708. The Emperor Maximilian II to Pope Pius V.
“Blessed Father in Christ, Most Reverend Lord. We greet you with the most dutiful expression of filial regard, and pray for your ever increasing felicity.—Whereas the most serene Prince the Lady Elizabeth, Queen of England, &c. has of late sent hither an envoy, and by him among other matters has besought Us to do our endeavour to induce your Holiness either to revoke the sentence of excommunication not long since pronounced and published against her Serenity, or at least to take care that it be not published in print: whereto she adds that otherwise she will not omit to employ other means of her own devising to accomplish this end: and whereas We, of our benevolence, have offered at the earliest possible opportunity to lay this, her Serenity's petition, before your Holiness; therefore, to keep our word, We send you this letter. And since, considering the present state of affairs, how on all hands many are bent above all things upon strife, it is not incongruous to fear that, unless it be looked to, this matter may give rise to most serious turmoil and trouble, We earnestly entreat your Holiness duly to perpend these matters, and to have that regard to the fostering and cherishing of the public peace which our in other respects also too turbulent and calamitous times demand; and either by revoking the said excommunication, or at least not suffering it to be further published in print to shew yourself, as ever in other matters so also in this, a most zealous champion in deed of the common weal, peace and tranquillity; wherein your Holiness will do a thing worthy of your reputation, conducive to the public welfare, and in the last degree gratifying to Us, and which We will endeavour to requite by embracing every opportunity of evincing our zeal and devotion in filial obedience. For the rest, We supplicate for your Holiness very many years of excellent health and successful governance of the Church.”
28 September. 1570. Speyer. Latin.


  • 1. Printed in part by Meyer, England und die Katholische Kirche (1911), vol. i. p. 415.
  • 2. Printed by Meyer, England und die Katholische Kirche (1911), vol. i. pp. 415–16.
  • 3. Cf. p. 343 infra, and Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1569–71, pp. 273, 280. The envoy was Jean d'Angennes, Seigneur de Poigni, 8th son of Jacques d'Angennes, Seigneur de Rambouillet.
  • 4. Reference too imperfect for identification: so left by Mr. Bliss.
  • 5. Cf. pp. 344, 362, 365, 479 infra.
  • 6. Queen Elizabeth was at Rycot near Oxford on 30 Aug. 1570. Progresses, vol. i, p. 274.
  • 7. Cf. Cal. Cecil MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm.), Pt. i. pp. 456–61, 504, 506 et seq., 556; Mason, History of Norfolk (1884), p. 159.
  • 8. Presumably the cipher in which the foregoing letter of 1 Sept. was written.
  • 9. Evidently the foregoing letter of 1 Sept.
  • 10. i.e. as to the publication of the bull and its probable effect if reinforced by concerted suspension of commerce.
  • 11. Printed in part by Moyer, England und die Katholische Kirche (1911), p. 417.