Pages 484-485

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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1560. It is certain that on 17 August, 1560, a golden rose blessed by Pope Pius IV was presented to Mary, Queen of Scots by the Papal Ambassador at the Court of France (Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1560–61, p. 252); but no copy of the brief which should have accompanied the gift, addressed to her either by her French or by her Scottish title, has been discovered, or appears to be discoverable in the Archives of the Vatican, while the two following documents attest an intention on the part of the Pope to send such a rose to Mary, Queen of Bohemia.
Vat. Arch.
Pii. IV.
Epp. ad Princ.
vol. i. f. 277.
I. Pius IV to Stanislaus [Hosius], Bishop of Ermland.
“A golden rose, which, according to the old established custom of the Roman Pontiffs our predecessors, is, by way of symbol of the spiritual joy of the Church, wont with very solemn ritual to be blessed on the Sunday on which is chanted Laetare Hierusalem, We have deemed it especially incumbent upon Us this year to send in token of honour to our very dear daughter in Christ, Mary, the illustrious Queen of Bohemia; and that she may receive this holy gift with the wonted holy ceremonial, We would have you present it to her in our name after solemn celebration of Mass in whatever church she may think fit.
“Given at Rome, &c. on the 25th day of May, 1560: in the first year [of our pontificate].”
Note:Signed but not sent.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xliv.
vol. 26. f. 211.
No. 111.
II. The Same to [Queen Mary (fn. 1) ].
“Dearest our daughter in Christ, greeting and Apostolical benediction. A golden rose, blessed of late by Us with solemn ritual, in the manner observed from of old by the Roman Pontiffs our predecessors, on the fourth Sunday of Lent on which is chanted in church Laetare Hierusalem, We have deemed it especially incumbent on Us to send to your Serenity in token of our fatherly good will towards you, who, like a most beautiful rose among thorns, diffuse far and wide the most sweet odour of your faith and good works. This flower is the symbol of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ, who, sprung of the root of Jesse, is the flower of the field and the lily of the valleys; and signifying, as it does, the joy and gladness of the Church, meet it is that it be sent to you, who with a very pure and solid faith, and no less probity of life and morals, worship Christ our Lord, and by your steadfast faith and piety console the Church Universal that bewails the loss of so many children. This gift, therefore, precious rather in a mystical than in a material sense, and as evidence of our disposition towards you, receive, dearest daughter, in all piety and devoutness.
“The conveyance of the gift to you We have committed to our dear son, John Francis Canobio, (fn. 2) our familiar, much esteemed for his virtue and faith; but that the reception of the holy gift may, as is fit, be accompanied with a holy ceremony, it is our will that the rose be presented to you after Mass duly celebrated by such bishop and in such church as you shall select.
“Incited by the memory of that Eternal Flower may you by perseverance make such progress in the fear of the Lord and the observance of His commandments as by the Lord's own guidance and your merits to attain the eternal joys of the Heavenly Jerusalem.
“Given at St. Peter's, Rome, under the seal of the Fisherman on the 23rd of March, 1561, (fn. 3) in the first year of our pontificate.”
Printed in part by Raynaldus, Ann. 1561, § 76, and wrongly described as addressed to the Queen of Scotland; but perhaps, as the Pope deferred sending the rose to the Queen of Bohemia, he sent the brief along with it to her Scottish namesake.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm.
ii. vol. 84.
(Polit. 83.)
f. 90.
Classified List of Scottish Nobility.
I. Catholics ready to take arms for the Queen in any event.
i. Earls—Lennox; Atholl; Huntly, Chancellor of the realm, a potent man; Bothwell, Admiral; Erroll, Constable of the realm; Montrose, a potent and prudent man; Caithness; Eglinton; Cassilis; Crawford; Sutherland, ii. Lords (less than earls and greater than barons)—Hume, Seton (bis), Sempill, Gray, Fleming, Livingston, Somerville, Borthwick, Invermeath, Ross, Oliphant, Saltoun, Sinclair, Lovat, Yester.
II. Heretics in arms against the Queen.
i. Earls—Moray, bastard brother of the Queen; Argyll, Chief Justiciar; Morton; Glencairn; Rothes. ii. Lords—Ruthven, Lindsay, Boyd, Ochiltre.
III. Heretics ready to take arms for the Queen in any event, who yet in the matter of religion regard her with suspicion and apprehension.
i. Earls—Châtelherault, Arran, Marischal, Mar, Lord Erskine, Angus, Menteith. ii. Lords—Drummond, Ogilvie, Crichton, Glamis, Forbes, Maxwell, Avandale, Cathcart, Methuen.
IV. Bishops, staunch Catholics all save three. Barons follow the earls their superiors. Towns and cities are for the most part stubborn in heresy.
Printed by Pollen, S.J., in Papal Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots (Scott. Hist. Soc.), 1901, p. 254.


  • 1. Supplied from the Index.
  • 2. Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1561–62, p. 66. “The Signor De Cenobio should depart [from Rome] next day [11 Ap. 1561] with the Rose to the Queen of Bohemia and with the hat to the elect of Trent.”
  • 3. Sic: A patent error, March 1561 falling in the second year of the pontificate; it is also evident that for March 1561, we should, as conjectured by Pollen, S.J., Papal Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots, p. 49, read May 1560 as in the prior brief.