Rome: 1562, April-June

Pages 78-93

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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1562, April–June

Vat. Arch.
Arm. lxiv.
vol. 28. f. 75.
150. Oliver Starchey to John, Cardinal Moroni.
An exile for the faith and in extreme poverty, he craves the Cardinal's intercession with the Pope to procure him a yearly pension from the revenues of the British Pilgrims' Hospice at Rome, such as Queen Mary's ambassador to the Holy See, Sir Edward Carne, enjoyed by favour of the said See until his death.
2 April, 1562. Malta. Latin.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv. f. 154.
151. Charles Borromeo Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to [Hippolytus d'Este, Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France].
As regards the two Queens of England and Scotland and the earnest effort that you deemed should be made to induce them to send to the Council, his Holiness relies upon your discretion, informed by what he has written, and you will have learned from Abbot Niquet. (fn. 1)
6 April, 1562. [Rome.] Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1039. f. 357.
152. News Letter.
“The Queen of Scotland will send an envoy to the Council to represent her personally and bear witness to her good intention to live in the religion of her ancestors. The kingdom, being on the opposite side, will send no envoy.”
6 April, 1562. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm.
ff. 174–5.
153. [Hippolytus d'Este,] Cardinal of Ferrara, [Legate in France] to Charles Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“The briefs for the Queens of England and Scotland are to hand, and his Holiness may rest assured that no such use will be made of them as to jeopardise his dignity by a jot. As to the Queen of Scotland, I think I can all but promise that she will be represented at the Council, not indeed that she is going to send many prelates, nor yet that she will have the concurrence of the realm, which is indeed wholly alienated, insomuch that Mass is said nowhere except in the Queen's own house.
“But she will certainly send thither someone to represent herself, and testify at least to her good intention of living in the religion of her forefathers, which cannot fail to be a great help towards the more ready settlement of the affairs of that kingdom in course of time.
“I have not yet given up hope that the Queen of England may do the like, and her ambassador here, though he is of the other sect, concurs in a great measure in the opinion that she should be represented, and evinces some hope thereof; but her Majesty has not as yet answered my letters to M. di Moretta, of which I sent you copies; which letters, though M. di Moretta had already left those parts when they arrived, were nevertheless sent to her Majesty herself; and, saying that she wished carefully to consider them, she is understood to have kept them by her, and then to have formed and followed her own judgment.”
6 April, 1562. Paris. Italian. Copy. (fn. 2)
ff. 211d–17.
154. The Same to The Same.
“The Cardinal of Lorraine has come to Court, and to-day, the 24th, while the Queen, the Cardinal and I were talking of the earnest request made by the Queen of England through her ambassador here for the prorogation of the Council, the Queen, excited by the opinion expressed by the Cardinal, waxed much more ardently desirous that the prorogation should be granted, as the Cardinal set forth the good that might ensue, if the Queen of England and the rest of the Princes should avail themselves of that opportunity of coming into the Council, and the little loss that would result from a brief delay, and how much better it would be to err in point of time than in a matter of substance, ending by laying much weight on this consideration, to wit, that it would be well to leave the said Queen and the other Princes separated from us no ground to complain, and reproach us, that, though they had craved a little delay, they had not been able to get it allowed them; and though, on the other side, I urged the general and indeed particular invitation which the said Queen received, the long delay before the Council was so much as opened, and subsequently the intervals between the sessions, the inconvenience and expense to which the Fathers are put, assembled there now for so long a time, the need which there is of their speedy return to their churches and dioceses for their protection in these perilous times, and lack of assurance on the part of the Queen of England that she would come in at the time proposed; nevertheless the Queen adhered to the opinion that it would be well, in view of the said request, to grant a prorogation for 28 or 30 days, conceiving that the great good that might result was more to be regarded than the trifling inconvenience of the delay, and being above all guided by the policy aforesaid of depriving the Queen of England of all pretext for pleading our refusal in her defence. She therefore earnestly besought me to write again to his Holiness on her behalf and make instant supplication for the delay: she also asked me to charge Niquet to do the same office, which he has since done, believing that his zeal was for a good work. With this I could not fail to comply, setting forth the reasons as above. To which it was added that the Cardinal said that the delay might even turn to our advantage because the prelates of this kingdom would thus be able to be there also; and when I objected that they would already be on the way, he pointed out that their departure would have been delayed not only by the causes which I have heretofore spoken of, to wit, the embarrassments occasioned by Poissy, the season of the year, and the time, but also by the dangers threatening their dioceses.
“I regret to be compelled to write aught that may retard even for a moment the ordinary course of the Council, so desirous am I to see it speedily and happily brought to a close, for the public good that we hope may ensue. But that these princes may have no ground for saying that we are negligent of those whom it most behoves us to reclaim, and more especially as we have now the prorogation expressly limited to a very brief period, and should we have (what we as yet lack) express assurance that it can occasion no considerable inconvenience [I should deem that in this first session, in default of prorogation], we should do well to determine nothing to the prejudice of those who are separated from us, so as not to discourage them from coming into the Council, as being condemned unheard; and that it would also be well to accord them such prorogation of the subsequent session as is demanded, making it clear that we do so at the express request of their Majesties. However, I leave the whole matter to the ripe judgment of his Holiness and the advice of the Legates, to whom I am communicating everything in accordance with your orders conveyed by your last letters.”
24–28 April, 1562. Paris. Italian. Copy.
* Printed in Baluze', Misc., ed. Mansi (1764), vol. iv. pp. 405–6.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv f. 248d.
155. [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to the Legates to the Council.
To the Cardinal of Mantua.
“His Holiness now says that you are to assign Dr. Solis an increment of 5 crowns, so that for the future he have 20 crowns per month; that the Bishops of Liesina and Gaiazzo be each allowed from the day of their arrival at Trent the ordinary subvention of 25 crowns per month, and furthermore that you cause the three Irish bishops, who are on their way hence to Trent, to be paid 60 crowns per month, to wit, 20 crowns a-piece, from the day of their arrival at Trent.”
2 May, 1562. [Rome.] Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
Carte Fames.
vol. xix.
p. 126.
156. [Ægidius Falcetta,] Bishop of Caorle to [Octavius Farnese,] Duke of Parma and Piacenza.
“This morning I am informed by the Imperial Ambassador Secular, that from a letter which he has from his Imperial Majesty it appears that the Duke of Saxony will forthwith send his ambassador [to the Council]; which is here deemed the best of tidings, as also that the Queen of Scotland will send an ambassador and prelates. Moreover we have a letter from the Nuncio at the Court of the Duke of Savoy to the effect that the Queen of England, she too, will send.”
7 May, 1562. Trent. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cxxxviii.
f. 111d.
157. [Hippolytus d'Este,] Cardinal of Ferrara, [Legate in France] to [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan].
“On the 3rd inst. there arrived at this Court, as ambassador of the Queen of England, a kinsman of Milord Robert [Dudley], deploring these tumults, and offering their Majesties his services, more especially as mediator of some arrangement; he also proposed the Prince [of Condé]'s writing [as a basis]; but he has since become sensible of his impertinence, and has said that his Queen has no intention of infringing the capitulations with this country.”
8 May, 1562. Paris. Italian. Summary.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv.
f. 156d.
158. [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to [Hippolytus d'Este, Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France].
“M. de Lansac has been treated, as you proposed, with cordiality, and you may count on its being bettered when he is at Trent, but it depends entirely on the instructions that he shall receive from their Majesties whether he will maintain harmonious relations with the Legates, and keep in view the end for which Councils are summoned, and what the kingdom needs, and not what it may covet but might dispense with. As to his place, the Legates have already devised a method of satisfying everybody, and solving the difficulties about precedence; and the Pope has not failed to do his office, where necessary, to such purpose as to make it manifest that he has the honour and grandeur of that kingdom peculiarly at heart.
“Should the negotiations with the Queens of Scotland and England go forward, his Holiness will be much gratified, and we shall be able to say that it is God's will to guide this Council to the true and perfect service of His holy faith. “The answer you made to the Regent in regard to the English ambassador's proposal as to the prorogation of the Council could not have been more to the purpose, more especially because his Holiness will by no means oppose the resolution of the Fathers, and most of all now that the Emperor, who at first made some proposal of further delay, is himself anxious that business go forward. If, therefore, the Queen of England is really willing to join, and to persuade the Protestant Princes also to join the Council, she needs no further assurance that all will be welcomed and most courteously, lovingly and charitably treated in all that consists with the service of God and the Christian religion.”
9 May [, 1562. Rome]. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
Carte Farnes.
vol. xix. p. 128.
159. [Ægidius Falcetta,] Bishop of Caorle to [Octavius Farnese,] Duke of Parma and Piacenza.
“When I wrote the letter dated two hours before sundown, I was not as yet, as I an now, certified of the tidings that M. de Môbrû [Montbrun], nephew, if I remember aright, of the late Cardinal Tornò [Tournon], has got into Lyon at the head of a strong force of infantry, to wit, 3,000 Huguenots, and made himself master of the place; and that some 1,000 Catholics have been massacred in the churches in which they had taken refuge; and, moreover, that the heretics have got possession of Eduana (sic) (fn. 3) and another place on the English channel. The intelligence has reached the Legates from several quarters, and I am assured of its truth by the Bishop of Paris and the Bishop of Sinigaglia, and finally by the Venetian ambassadors, who have it from the Marquis of Pescara. (fn. 4)
“It seemed worth while reporting it to your Excellency, though it may well have reached you before us.
11 [May ?], one hour after sundown, 1562. Trent. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Pio, vol. cxxxiii.
f. 150d.
160. [Prospero Publicola] Santacroce, [Bishop of Chissamos,] Nuncio in France to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“In Rouen they have unroofed the great church as well for the mere love of mischief as that they may make use of the lead which, they say, is worth 20,000 francs. There were two galleys in the port, in which his Majesty intended to set them to work; but he has found that the Huguenots have already taken possession of them.”
14 May, 1562. Paris. Italian. Copy. Postscript. Decipher.—“The Most Christian King's ambassador in England has told the Queen that the Queen of France has made terms with the people of Orleans; and in consequence the Queen of England has sent a gentleman hither to find out if so it is, in which case he is to offer her powerful support, otherwise her good offices for making peace. Yesterday the Queen went with the King to sup in a garden outside the town, and invited this ambassador to sup with her, which was accounted an extraordinary favour and raised a suspicion that it was not conferred without a quid pro quo; but this morning, while discussing affairs of state, her Majesty said that, on the return of the messenger she had last sent to Orleans, no terms are arranged, that she will treat no more, and is resolved upon war and the chastisement of these people with all ardour; and, in short, she has spoken to better purpose than heretofore. May God deign so to inspire her as His holy service requires.”
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cxxxviii.
f. 113d.
161. [Prospero Publicola] Santacroce, Bishop [of Chissamos], Nuncio in France to [Charles Borromeo,] Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“M. [Jean de Ferrières, Seigneur] de Maligni, a Huguenot, has possessed himself of Havre de Grace, a strong city on the sea-coast towards England, whereat their Majesties are much incensed, albeit, flattering themselves that the Queen of England will not move, they think the less of this mishap.”
20 May, 1562. Paris. Italian. Summary.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cli. f. 12.
162. [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan] to the Legates at Trent.
“The Pope is of opinion that the information conveyed to you first by Pendasio, then by a courier despatched on the 11th, and finally by an express despatched on the 13th, constitutes so full and clear an answer to the contents of your last letters of the 9th and 11th that he has now but to exhort you cheerfully to carry out that which is already judged to be most for the service of God. His Holiness commends the good offices you have used with the Marquis of Pescara and your tactful method of proceeding with him and with the Imperial ambassadors, and trusts you will deal in the same fashion with M. de Lansac and the other ambassadors that will present themselves. But as to the main substance of this holy business, notwithstanding the demand which is made by the Imperial ambassadors, and which perchance is to be made by M. de Lansac, who will be ready enough to promise his interest to procure (as his Holiness has already received a hint) the advent to the Council of ambassadors representing England, Denmark, Sweden and great part of the Protestant states, and many other like matters, which, as we can now perceive, would present great difficulties, and would serve but to protract the Council to no purpose: notwithstanding, I say, all this, his Holiness is of opinion, and deems it necessary, that without further intermission you attend to business, and explain matters at your free, discretion, intimating that this is and must be a continuation [of the former Council of Trent], and addressing yourselves to continue and complete what remains to be done touching the dogmas and the reform in the way indicated in his two letters, to which he refers, longing to hear that you have approved them and carried them into effect without further demur.”
20 May, 1562. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. xxxii.
f. 304.
163. Summary of Conciliar Letters.
M. de Lansac made his appearance on the 18th inst. President Ferrier (fn. 5) arrived yesterday. They said it was necessary to allow time for the nations to assemble, so that the Council might be universal; and that, if time were allowed, they made no doubt but the Queen of England would send the prelates of her kingdom, whom she had already released from prison, and that the Kings of Denmark and Sweden, the Elector of Saxony and the Duke of Württemberg would do the like: that they would not dispute about precedence, but that they meant to insist on their right to sit next after the Imperial Ambassador. The Duke of Bavaria has given express order to his ambassadors not to give way to the Venetians. It is referred to his Holiness to decide who are to give way.
Musotti in Lansac's name suggests that it would be well for the Legates to write to the Queen of England, inviting her to send her prelates.
21 May, 1562. Trent. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Vat. lat.
f. 157d.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cli
f. 10.
164. Cardinals Mantua, Seripando, Ermland, Simoneta and Altemps to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“This morning M. de Lansac has given us to understand by Musotti that he is disposed to think that it would be well to write to the Queen of England in the name of the Council, taking note of her intention, communicated to the Queen of France, of sending her prelates and ambassadors to the Council, and praying her to give effect to it as soon as possible, assuring her at the same time that she will find the Council free and with no other thought or object than a good reformation of united Christendom, and that her ambassadors and prelates will be more honourably and courteously entreated than ever in any place in time past. The letter to be addressed to the Legate in France.
“This proposal, though made by M. de Lansac on his own responsibility, not by order of his King, but at the suggestion of certain prelates, we have nevertheless seen fit to communicate to you that you may have the opportunity of letting us know the Pope's mind thereon; for we will keep M. de Lansac in play, until we receive the answer of his Holiness, who will do us an exceeding great favour if he will send it us by brief or letter, so that we may be able to show it to M. de Lansac and anyone else; and we may add that if his Holiness had rather not himself decide whether the delay should be granted or no, it would seem to us that the proposal might be made to the Synod, for there can be no doubt at all that the Synod would decide that there be no more delay, for those reasons which have been so often reduced to writing, and which have secured the acquiescence and contentment of the Emperor, who likewise claimed delay. Wherefore, as it has not been conceded to him, albeit his authority is so great, much less should it be conceded to the Queen of England even at the instance of the Queen of France. And if the Pope should prefer to determine the question himself rather than refer it to the Synod, we deem that his Holiness might make use of this argument, which is conclusive and admits of no answer.”
Postscript.—“Although we have transcribed the memorial as to English affairs given to us by M. de Lansac, we are nevertheless of opinion that it would not be proper to comply with it. It was merely that you may know all that occurs here that we saw fit to transcribe it.”
21 May, 1562. Trent. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
Carte Farnes.
vol. iii. p. 91.
165. [Ægidius Falcetta,] Bishop of Caorle to [Octavius Farnese,] duke of [Parma and] Piacenza.
“Yesterday I paid a visit to the French ambassador, from whom I had no lack of news. He told me that his King, though but twelve years old, is yet a very prodigy of intelligence and magnanimity; that a few days before his departure from France there came to Court an envoy from the Queen of England to crave of the King and Queen Mother that they would defer sending an ambassador to the Council, because she designed also to send one, and could not send him so soon; that the King and Queen explained that they could not defer sending indefinitely, but that they would do all they could to defer it until she, I mean the Queen of England, might be able to send, i.e., for a month or thereabout, and this they were the more ready to do because the Queen of England also intended to send prelates, whom for that purpose she had set at liberty; that he, the ambassador, hoped that, if the Queen of England sent, the Princes of Germany would also send; that he was certain the Queen of Scotland would send an ambassador and prelates, that he had hopes of Sweden, and of all the Christian kingdoms, and that his King had sent an envoy to the Queen of England to urge her to send speedily, that the strife and confusion about the faith may now be ended; and that, as he had written to Rome suggesting that his Holiness should write to the Queen of England entreating her not to change her mind, so he proposed that very evening to write to the Legates and the Council, urging that the Council should write to her, because he considered that a letter from the Council would be more efficacious than one from his Holiness; and furthermore he meant to be instant with the Imperial ambassadors that it would be well that his Imperial Majesty, after the coronation of his son the King of Poland (sic Bohemia), should come to Innsbruck, with a public intimation that he was coming down to the Council, which would cause all the world to congregate there and make it one of the greatest Councils in history and most productive of good, so that he makes no doubt but it would reform and reunite all Christendom; to which he added that these revolutions in France were but the bursting of an imposthume engendered many years ago among those great people by something else than religion, although they now make religion serve their turn; and that these tumults could not but have happened, and would soon cease, please God.
“On leaving him I went to the house of the Most Illustrious Ponte, the Venetian ambassador, who told me that the Legates had sent him letters from Flanders, which showed that in two places in Flanders the populace had made an insurrection upon the score of religion, as also in many places in France; and that her Highness Madam [of Parma] was raising troops and arming to apply a speedy remedy to such disorders.
“He added that he also had hopes of England, if the match in treaty between the Queen and the son of the Emperor, to wit, the Archduke of Austria, should come about.”
21 May, 1562. Parma. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cli. f. 32.
166. [Zacharias] Delfino, [Bishop of Lesina, Nuncio to the Emperor] to [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan].
It is affirmed by one who perchance may know, that the example set by France has begotten some sort of inclination among the heretics to send to the Council; for which cause it was understood that a covert correspondence passed between the confessionist Princes and the Queen of England. It is possible that these heretics, with a view to avert their condemnation, which they dread, may think of being represented at the Council and demanding a thorough reform, thereby to cause such heats betwixt the Head and the members of the Church and the Princes lay and ecclesiastical, that in the end they themselves may not be left in the lurch. Ridiculous in the extreme though it be, it is supposed here, and that too among great people, that there are not lacking Catholic Princes who are well known to pursue this path of setting discord betwixt the Head and the members of the Church. Certain it is that there is no sign that the Emperor is without hope that the Protestants may perhaps send to the Council; and I find that, just as his Majesty, for the goodness and piety that reign in him, will be false neither to the sacred Council nor to the Catholic cause, even so he is resolved to proceed in such a manner as neither to deprive the Protestants of hope nor to exasperate them; and I take it to be certain that the Catholic King will not thwart the Emperor's manifest inclination, because he too is loath to be left without a party in Germany.
The foregoing considerations render it indubitable that the French will do not only as much as the rest, but even more than they all. Partly, therefore, for these reasons, and partly because, there being already many wild spirits in the Council, the matter will be made worse by the advent not only of those that are expected, but of many more that announce their intention of coming, whereby the perverse sort will gain an accession of strength, I deem that this affair may verily be considered grave, not to say perilous.
25 May, 1562. Prague. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cli. f. 26d.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv. f. 158.
167. [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan] to the Legates at Trent.
“I have received by the courier your letters of the 21st inst., which, as usual, are gratifying to his Holiness.
“M. de Lansac has made no request that was not expected by his Holiness, as I showed in my last letter, in which I by anticipation furnished you with the answer to that which you have since written.
“If the Queen of England, and the others that he [Lansac] mentions, had been minded to send to the Council, they would not have refused to listen to the Nuncios whom his Holiness sent to them upon that very account; and if between that time and this they have repented them, they have still had time enough and to spare in which to send: so that his Holiness is of opinion that on no account whatever should these delays be allowed, and that, to get quit once and for all of ambiguity and dispute, the continuation [of the Council] be expressly made in this first session of the 4th of June, and that you enter seriously upon the business that remains in the manner already prescribed by his Holiness, who does not see why the French prelates should not come, if they have the will, despite all the tumults in their kingdom; for that reason does not operate in their case which perchance operates in that of the Germans, since they are not temporal lords as the Germans are, and they have received a final and most imperative mandate from the King and Queen Mother to be at Trent all this month. Such is the mind of his Holiness, who trusts to your discretion to give effect to it by repulsing the said Lansac on one ground or another, in any case shielding yourselves by the precedent of the refusal of delay to the Emperor, which makes it unseemly to grant it now at the instance of any other prince. And if by referring the question to the Synod, the delay may be summarily negatived, his Holiness will be well pleased that it be so done; but if not, you will still be able to avail yourselves of the name and authority of his Holiness to dispel all hope of such a thing from Lansac's mind. His Holiness adds that without letter or brief sent in evidence of this purpose it will be better that you trust his Holiness that such is his mind.
“As to the suggestion that a letter should be written to the Queen of England, it does not commend itself to his Holiness, the Queen having refused, as I have said, to listen to our Nuncios. Nevertheless, if you are otherwise minded, his Holiness leaves the matter to your discretion.
“As to the question of precedence, his Holiness says that the practice here in Rome has hitherto been, and still is, in public acts to make the [Spanish] ambassador Vargas keep his house, because from ancient precedents it is collected that the French ambassador has precedence before those of all other kings.”
27 May, 1562. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv.
f. 159d.
168. [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to [Hippolytus d'Este, Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France].
“Upon his arrival at the Council and at his first interview with the Legates, M. de Lansac craved delay until the disturbances in France should have ceased, seeking to commend his demand by these hopes—what they are worth you know—of bringing in the Queen of England and the rest of the heretics. The demand seemed to everybody very extraordinary, insomuch that I think it must have been refused, seeing, indeed, that so many of the Fathers there assembled not only suffer themselves, but are the occasion of their churches' suffering by their absence, besides that, the same demand having been refused when made and strongly pressed by the Emperor, it is unseemly to insist on further delays, especially as the best means of curbing the licence and malignity of the heretics, and notably of those in that kingdom, is by common consent to be found in the prosperous course and successful close of this holy Council. Accordingly, his Holiness has directed that unremitting attention be given to business, that which remains being disposed of seriatim, in regard as well of reform as of dogmas; and such, I believe, will be the course pursued, all opposition, no matter whence it may proceed, notwithstanding.
“And in truth it would be impolitic to do otherwise, for in these times, when the clash of arms begins to be heard, it behoves one to take thought for himself, and not to let himself be caught with so costly and troublesome a business on his back as is this Council. You will therefore upon occasion be able to defend the good intention and the procedure of his Holiness, who deems it no slight matter to have waited a year and a half since the indiction of the Council to see if the heretics would come or send, during which time no business of importance has been transacted, as you will better understand from the letter written by his Holiness to the Queen with his own hand, of which a copy will accompany this. It is also much that the session which was to have been held on the 14th inst. has been at Lansac's instance prorogued to the 4th of next month; but as to further prorogation, I do not think the idea can be entertained, because his Holiness desires and deems it necessary to terminate the Council speedily. For the better and readier accomplishment of which purpose his Holiness on his part fails not to make all the reforms that concern this Court, as you will have already understood; and among other reforms that he has made is the revocation and annulment of the faculties of Nuncios which were the occasion of outcry on the part of all the Ordinaries. His Holiness has, however, reserved those of the cardinals, and among others your own, for the respect in which he holds you, and because he knows that you will observe such modesty, moderation and prudence in the exercise of them that neither ordinaries nor any one else will have cause of complaint. The bull for the reform of the Penitentiary is published and printed, and we are just about to print the others made in regard to the other tribunals and offices of the Court, that the world may very soon know whether his Holiness refuses or verily desires the reform, and takes the lead in putting it in practice. And as this, in the judgment of all the nations beyond the Alps, is the matter of most substance that would have had to be handled in Council, and that of which the Catholic Church had most need, we have all the more reason to hope to see the Council soon ended.”
31 May, 1562. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cxlv.
ff. 15d–16.
169. Extract from Philip Musotti's Summary Account of the Council of Trent in the time of Pope Pius IV. (fn. 6)
In regard to the question of residence, (fn. 7) “the number of the prelates on either side was great, and each was so resolute in his opinion that to the very time of the [third] session all that could be done was to try to find some way of composing the dispute and likewise that touching the continuation, for the French ambassadors, who arrived on the 18th of May and were received in congregation on the 25th were instant that the business should be adjourned until the arrival of the French bishops, and also demanded that the Council should by letter invite the Queen of England to send the prelates of her realm, and that the Council should be declared a new Council and not a continuation of the other Tridentine Council, so that amidst so much controversy the Legates were unable to discover a method of satisfying the Pope, who was extremely anxious that the article of residence should be let sleep, and expressly commanded that the continuation should be declared, and that all possible haste should be made to expedite and terminate the Council. And so being minded to gain time, they took occasion of the 4th of June, the day appointed for the fourth session, to do no more than read the mandates of the ambassadors come to represent the Princes, and the decree proroguing the session to the 16th of July, reserving power in general congregation to extend or restrict the time. Which decree was not passed without notable opposition on the part of many of the Fathers, who demanded, some that the question of residence should be dealt with, and others that the continuation should be declared, which the Legates had resolved should be done in the course of the session, as the Pope commanded it. But the Emperor, having heard of it, wrote to his ambassadors bidding them do their utmost to prevent it, and the Nuncio Delfino wrote to the Legates that the Emperor took it so amiss that he had commanded his ambassadors, if it was to be done, to absent themselves and depart from Trent. And so the Legates, considering that without the Emperor's protection the Council would not be safe in Trent, and influenced also by the fact that the French ambassadors made common cause with those of the Emperor, and not only opposed the declaration [of the continuation], but demanded that a new indiction should be declared, and by many other considerations, despatched with all speed a letter to the Pope, setting forth the embarrassments that might result from the declaration, and beseeching him to repeat, if he still required them to obey, his command. The Pope, who had now become extremely afraid of the Council, and desired to be quit of it, and deemed this a good opportunity, despatched forthwith an express courier, who arrived at Trent on the 2nd of June with his command that the continuation should be declared without respect of persons. On the arrival of the letter the Legates met and perused it together, and so amazed and bewildered were they by its contents that they were at a loss not only what to do but what to say, and all stood mute. But at length, recovering from their surprise, and reflecting that compliance would bring ruin upon Christendom, and perpetual infamy upon the Pope and themselves, they resolved to disobey, and prorogue the session, and send the Legate Altemps to the Pope to expound the matter afresh to him. And the Cardinal was already booted for the journey when on the following morning there arrived another courier with a letter from the Pope dated the last day of May, the former having been dated on the 30th of that month, by which he left it to the discretion of the Legates whether the continuation should be expressly declared, provided it should be effected, whereby Cardinal Altemps was spared the journey, more especially as it had already been arranged with the Imperial and French ambassadors that nothing should be said either of continuation or indiction.” (fn. 8)
18 May–4 June, 1562. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cli. f. 33.
170. [Zacharias] Delfino, [Bishop of Lesina, Nuncio to the Emperor] to —.
George Cracow, Councillor of the Duke Elector of Saxony, has told me that the Queen of England has exhorted the Princes of Germany to send to the Council, and that they were firmly resolved to do so, as soon as they had discussed the matter in Frankfort with the Emperor.
Even the Emperor was surprised to hear this talk of multiplying legates to the Council: this I know from an excellent source, as also that after the Assembly of Frankfort affairs in the Council are sure to grow very hot, alike by reason of the appearance of the Protestants as of the proximity of the Emperor, who at the same time designs to spend some months at Innsbruck. These are all matters of importance, and to understand them truly and foresee their consequences demands without doubt no ordinary sagacity; for, as the dangers that threaten us are neither slight nor few, so they may also be foreseen and avoided by one that understands matters, and can reason upon them ab illarum natura. For myself (be it spoken with respect) I would try to avoid all, even the least occasion of seeming to enhance by ever so little the authority or presumption of the Emperor in rebus Conciliaribus, nor would I like to see that which I yet fear will certainly come about, to wit, that the ambassadors of the Princes should give laws to the prelates who are the said Princes' vassals; because that cannot but redound to our very exceeding disadvantage.
1 June, 1562. Prague. Italian. Summary.
Vat. Arch.
Pio, vol. cciv.
f. 351d.
171. Pope Pius IV to the Most Christian Queen.
…“As to the delay demanded for the Queen of England, would to God she were in earnest in what she says! We put no faith in her because she would not listen to our nuncios.
“The Council, in which are assembled so many prelates, neither can nor will wait so long, and has refused her Majesty the delay.
“Consider how long the Council has already waited, how many bishops have abandoned their dioceses, how great have been their perils, their expenses, their labours, their anxieties. But nevertheless, for respect to your Majesty, they have waited and will still wait until the 4th inst. Thereafter We know not what the Council will do, for it is free, though some say the contrary because they would fain have a Huguenot, Lutheran or Protestant Council, and We are determined that it shall be, as it should be, Catholic. And if the Queen of England shall be minded to return to Holy Mother Church, she has yet time; if not God will appoint her a time in His good pleasure.”
1 June, 1562. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Barb. Lat.
2125 (xxxi. 10).
f. 113.
172. The Same to Mary, Queen of Scotland.
Apprising her that, the Nuncio Nicholas de Gouda, S.J., being prevented by sickness from accomplishing his mission, Everard Mercurian, S.T.M., S.J., is appointed in his stead, with the same powers and instructions.
3 June, 1562. Rome. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xliv.
Pii. IV. Epp. ad
Princ. vol. xi.
No. 283.
Arm. lxviii.
Pii. IV. Epp. ad
vol. ii. f. 387.
173. The Same to Father Everard Mercurian, S.T.M., S.J.
Apprising him of his appointment in de Gouda's place.
4 June, 1562. Rome. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv. f. 269.
174. [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to the Legates at Trent.
Reporting that the Pope has during the past week remitted to the King of France 100,000 crowns, and negotiated for him a loan to the same amount by three months' bills, of which the first instalment, to wit, 25,000 crowns, has also been remitted.
Certain conditions touching God's service and the preservation of the Catholic religion are attached to the aid, “and the Pope has written with his own hand a letter to the Queen [Mother] exhorting her to exert herself to purpose on behalf of faith and religion, and to that end placing at her disposal all his forces, all his might, even to the shedding of his own blood, and all his influence to the same end with the Catholic Princes, of which he has already given earnest by sending M. Odescalco to the Catholic King to urge him to take energetic measures for the protection of the Catholics in France. This the Catholic King, as appears from the accompanying advices from France, promises in handsome terms to do, and his Holiness hopes that for his own sake he will be even better than his word.
“As to the prorogation of the Council, which the said Queen demanded at the instance of the Queen of England, his Holiness has replied that he has never trusted the Queen of England, because, if she had ever had a spark of desire to send to the Council, she would not have refused, as she has twice done, to listen to our Nuncios, and besides she has had no lack of time, a year and a half, in which to send: so his Holiness has made it plain to her that she must renounce all hope of a prorogation, as we suppose you have also done to all those who have harped on the same string: the truth being that it is necessary to bring the Council to a speedy close, not only by reason of the inconvenience to which the prelates and their churches are alike put by their absence from their dioceses, but because the alarms of war, which begin to be heard, warn everybody to look to his own safety.
“His Holiness has also granted the Duke of Savoy an aid of 10,000 crowns towards the defence of his borders against the Huguenots, and on the score of Avignon is compelled to be always putting hand to purse. In the course of the last month he has remitted thither, taking one occasion with another, 15,000 crowns, besides which he will send two companies of the thousand horse which he is raising at present.”
6 June, 1562. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxvi.
ff. 5, 7.
175. [Zacharias] Delfino, Bishop [of Lesina], Nuncio to the Emperor to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“Notwithstanding that the Protestant Princes of Germany profess themselves neutral in regard to French affairs, the judicious here hold it for certain that they will covertly afford the Huguenots every sort of countenance and aid, knowing very well, that, should the Huguenots fall, and rise not again, the result will be the lasting defeat of every sect, and the triumph of the Catholic faith.
“I am informed that the Huguenots represent to the Protestants the necessity, as it were, in which they are placed of affording them aid, alleging that the Queen of France has taken counsel with the Pope, who in consequence is making ready to send soldiers and money into France, and is urging the other Catholic Princes to do the like.
“The speech made by the French ambassador in Council strikes all who have read it attentively as in many parts very venomous; and the presumption of censuring, to use his own term, the other councils convened of late, as not free, passes all allowable bounds. Besides which it is observed as a point of substance and consequence that no promise is made of obedience to or compliance with the decrees of the Council, though such a promise was ever wont to be made, and the rule was fully observed by the ambassadors of King Henry at the beginning of this Council in the year '47.
“I have it from a good source that the Emperor has caused Staphilus (fn. 9) to draw up here an instruction for his ambassadors, which, if not already published, will be published on the first opportunity in Council. Therein I am assured he virtually admits the continuation of the Council, but in such a sort that, not content with making another declaration, he even exhorts the Fathers to leave the discussion of the dogmas where it was left in the time of Julius III of pious memory, and attend to the reformation of the church in ritibus and of the clergy in moribus et abusibus that, this done, it may be possible invenire modum et formam docendi hœreticos quod ad dogmata, et efficiendi omnino ut saltem audiant nos. For the rest, besides stuff enough that they talk of the liberty of the Council, they instance many things that seem to stand in need of reform, and above all they propose for discussion the questions de communione sub utraque, et coniugio sacerdotum, articles which in their view sunt iuris positivi, spectant ad ritus ecclesiœ, and are included in eis quœ veniunt reformanda, all matters of the utmost consequence, and in the handling of which there is need to invoke the aid of the Holy Spirit.
“I am doing all I can to come by a copy of the said writing, and when I get it, I will send it to the Legates and yourself.”
15 June, 1562. Prague. Italian.


  • 1. Abbot of St. Gildas. Cf. Lettres de Catherine de Médicis (Docc. Inédd. sur L'Hist. de France), vol. i. p. 244.
  • 2. Printed in Baluze' Misc., ed. Mansi (1764), vol. iv. p. 401.
  • 3. Chalon sur Saône (Cabillo Æduorum). Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1562, pp. 20, 37, and Lettres de Catherine de Médicis ( Docc. Inédd, sur l' Hist, de France), vol. i. pp. 325–6.
  • 4. The Spanish ambassador.
  • 5. Arnold du Ferrier, President of the Chamber of Requests, Paris.
  • 6. Printed in Ungedruckte Berichte und Tagebücher zur Gesch. des Concils von Trient, ed. Döllinger, 1876 2te Abth., p. 15.
  • 7. i.e. whether bishops were bound de jure divino to reside in their sees.
  • 8. The bull convening the Council had been so worded—‘oecumenicum et generate concilium … in civitate Tridentina … indicimus; et ibi celebrandum, sublata suspensione quacumque, statuimus atque decernimus’—as to leave the question open whether it was a new council, or a continuation of the Council of Trent suspended by Pope Julius III in 1552. Acta Concil. Tom. x. (Paris, 1714) col. 111. The latter construction, which restricted the scope of the Council, was the cardinal principle of Spanish policy, and though the declaration was waived, the policy in effect prevailed.
  • 9. Frederic Staphylus, a convert from Lutheranism to Catholicism, and one of the doughtiest controversialists of the age.