Rome: June 1572

Pages 10-19

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Vatican Archives, Volume 2, 1572-1578. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.

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June 1572

Ibid. f. 73.
29. News Letter.
… “The wedding will take place at the end of this month: the Prince of Navarre has set forth on his journey to Court. The Admiral [Châtillon] has arrived here at Paris to-day, and goes to Court, though it is at Madrid, (fn. 1) two leagues hence. M. de Guise, he too, is there at present. It remains to be seen what will pass between them. It is also said that at Court they expect the Admiral of England, (fn. 2) attended by 200 horse, and that some of the Queen's vessels had landed much infantry in Flanders. And we see companies of infantry ever on the march through this kingdom towards Bordeaux, though it is deemed all but certain that Strozzi's journey is terminated or at least suspended.”
8 June, 1572. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. ff. 14–15.
30. [Fabius Mirto,] Bishop of Caiazzo, Nuncio in France to Pope Gregory XIII.
“Their Majesties arrived at Paris on the eve of the vigil of Corpus Christi: on the morning of the feast they joined the procession… and on the following day they repaired to one of the palaces called Madrid, a league from the city….
“In the said palace their Majesties will receive the Admiral of England, who with a great company arrived yesterday evening at this city, bringing with him many nobles. He is lodged by his Majesty in his royal palace, the Louvre.
“He is to establish and confirm by oath the league of that crown with this, just as M. de Montmorenci, who is now on his way to England, is to establish and confirm it by oath with that Queen in this King's name.
“The insurrections in Flanders have had no such great success as they were designed for, and, as was feared at the outset, Valenciennes has been recovered….
“It remains to recover Mons, in which, they say, is Count Louis [of Nassau] with other chiefs of the Huguenots of France.”
9 June, 1572. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. ii.
vol. 100.
(Polit. 99.)
f. 163.
31. News from England.
“Such were the debates and disputes about the case Duke of Norfolk when he was brought to the tribunal that they lasted from morning to 3 o'clock at night before he was sentenced: whereupon he bewailed him that he had been betrayed by the B[ishop] of R[oss] and B[arker]. But at the time of execution and death, which was postponed to 13 [sic 2] June, he bewailed him only of F[elton]. And at the hour of death he protested that he had never been a Catholic, though he had in a certain measure dissembled with the Catholics, the better to succeed in his designs; and that he died in the religion which they call reformed.”
9 June, 1572. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1043. f. 74.
32. News Letter.
… “The Admiral of England has arrived here, and Marshal Montmorenci should be by now in England, both for the purpose of swearing the league which is said to have been made.
“The Queen of Navarre took to her bed six days ago: it was thought to be a trouble in the ribs; yesterday at 9 o'clock in the forenoon she died; and it was found to have been a cold that fell upon the lungs. The Prince, her son, should be on his way hither: the event must needs somewhat retard his marriage with Madam.
“It is the opinion of some that the death of this queen will facilitate the reduction of that prince to the Catholic religion, especially as Madam is a good Catholic; whereat, should it come to pass, everybody would rejoice. The Court is at Madrid, a league hence: the Admiral is here.”
10 June, 1572. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 75. 33. News Letter.
… “Marshal Montmorenci had delayed his journey to England by reason of indisposition, but having since recovered had departed. In Picardy the frontier was all in arms, but the soldiers remained inactive. It is understood from England that the Queen's fleet was all at sea and ready to take the offensive.”
12 June, 1572. Lyon. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxix. p. 4.
34. John [Delfino] Bishop of Torcello, Nuncio at the Imperial Court to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “I am informed by his Majesty that there came hither from Flanders yesterday a courier, who departed thence on the 6th inst., despatched by the Duke of Alva to urge Count Mansfelt, who has been here some days on particular business of his own, to return to his government of Luxemburg, as he will shortly do. Besides this the courier brings confirmation of the recovery of Valenciennes by way of the castle, and of the death of 400 that were therein, and of some of the place who had called in the rebels, and that Don John de Mendoza, general of the cavalry in those parts, and leader of this enterprise, had gone off to recover Mons d'Enaut [Mons d'Hainaut], which alone remained in the possession of the rebels; and that the Duke of Alva was getting ready a fleet for the recovery of Flushing and Bril [Brielle] in Zealand, which are in the possession of the Gueux; and that these Spanish lords were beginning to think that neither the King of France nor the Queen of England had any part in these plots. The arrival of the Duke of Medina Celi in Flanders is not confirmed.”
17 June, 1572. Vienna, Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxv. f. 247.
35. John [Delfino] Bishop of Torcello, Nuncio at the Imperial Court to [John Francis,] Cardinal Commendone, Legate in Poland.
To the same effect as the preceding letter.
17 June, 1572. Vienna. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xvii. f. 6.
36. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“By the last courier I wrote to the Pope (fn. 3) and yourself signifying my delight at this most auspicious assumption of the pontificate. Now—that this courier may not come without a letter from me—I write this.
“It is the affairs of Flanders that to-day occasion this Court most trouble and suspicion, but the confirmation of the recovery of Valenciennes is a great comfort, affording as it does hope that Mons de Enao [Mons d'Hainaut], which is in the centre and surrounded, will, despite its great strength, be recovered; and therefore by many and most intelligent people the recovery of Freslin [Fresnes ?] is deemed more difficult. Much money has been sent hence into those parts, and they keep on sending it; and authority has been given to raise, in case of need, German troops to the number that the Duke of Alva shall deem necessary. Everything depends on whether the King of France and Elizabeth of England foment, openly or privily, the rebellion; and we are hardly sure of the intentions of either of them, albeit on the part of France we have seen as yet no evil symptom, and the utterances of the ambassador of France, as well there [at Rome] as here, seem in great measure reassuring.”
18 June, 1572. Madrid. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. f. 19.
37. [Fabius Mirto,] Bishop of Caiazzo, Nuncio in France to the Same.
“With your letter of 31 May I have received his Holiness' brief to the King touching the league with England, which brief I have presented to his Majesty and the Queen Mother, to whom I have spoken at great length in accordance with his Holiness' mind as to all those points to which you wisely advert, and others that I have mentioned to them many times in many conversations that we have had, nay, so many, I protest, that it is not possible to enumerate them all; and I have ever found, as well in the Queen Mother as in the King, very sage discourse and knowledge of all these matters, as also a firm resolve not to suffer themselves to be deluded either by that wicked woman of England or by any other evil counsellors, and in particular a determination to abide in a good and true friendship and alliance with the Catholic King. And as I told their Majesties of the apprehension which by reason of the said league the Pope had conceived of some discord into which they might have been lured by that woman, who has nought else in mind but to perturb and perplex the kingdoms and states of Christian Princes, whereof their said Majesties for their part have but too abundant evidence in the tumults of this kingdom, adding that his Holiness, being calmed in mind by the promise and assurance which their ambassador had given him in their Majesties' name, was minded, besides the thanks which he had conveyed to their Majesties through their said ambassador, to thank them by a particular brief, and had charged me expressly to do the same office by word of mouth; their Majesties, mother and son, not only replied with many loving words in confirmation of that which on other occasions they have said to me, and which their ambassador has now promised his Holiness, but bade me in their name to assure his Holiness that they have made the league for no other purpose than to relieve themselves of that adversary, and to deprive the rebels against them and God of the friendship and aid of the said woman; whereto they added an express declaration of their purpose ever to abide by their loyal friendship and alliance with his Catholic Majesty, dilating much on the displeasure that they feel at the recent insurrections in Flanders, and the measures which they have taken, forbidding on pain of life and goods the people of this realm to enter those States in offence of his Catholic Majesty, and protesting that in the like and other ways they will never fail to do what may be done on the part of this kingdom to safeguard and defend the States of his said Majesty.
“For their inability at present to join the league against the Turk they alleged by way of excuse the many difficulties which they encounter in their own kingdom, holding out hope that at a more convenient season, and in concert with the rest of the Christian Princes, his Most Christian Majesty will not fail to evince his devotion and zeal in the defence of the honour of God, in consonance with the title of Most Christian borne by him and all his ancestors.
“All the promises and offers of their Majesties I have accepted with thanks in the Pope's name; and I am very sanguine of their observance at least in that article of friendship with the Catholic King, because, besides God's honour and the public weal, they recognize therein their particular interests and the true establishment of their realm.
“The Admiral of England [Lord Lincoln] on the 13th inst. betook him from Paris to the Palace of Madrid, (fn. 4) where their Majesties are staying, accompanied by the Prince d'Ofino [Dauphin], Marshal de Cossé and M. de Lansac. There he was entertained at dinner by the King together with the two other ambassadors of England.
“On the 15th inst. in the morning his Majesty with the brothers and the admiral aforesaid betook him with much royal pomp and display to the Louvre, where he in like manner entertained at dinner the said admiral and ambassadors; and after vespers they went to the parish church of S. Germain, hard by the said palace, and there the King took the oath of the League; and in the evening his Majesty entertained them at supper in a place called the Tuileries; and all this week they have been feasted daily by M. d'Anjou, M. d'Alençon, the Admiral of France, and Marshal Danville [Damville].
“The said Englishmen are about to depart with many gifts of vases and collars.
“I have not been able to come by the Articles of the League in extenso : however, with difficulty, I have obtained a brief summary of them all, of which I send you herewith a copy.”
20 June, 1572. Paris. Italian.
—“I will communicate with the nuncio in Spain in accordance with the cipher which I received with your letter.”
38. Summary of the Articles of the League between France and England.
Part I.
“The League is made defensive, not only between their two Majesties that are now living, but also between their heirs and successors in manner following, to wit:—
“That on the death of one of them, the successor of the deceased shall have a year wherein to confirm the said League; and if he omit so to do within the said year, the other shall be quit of obligation in respect thereof.
“The League is of very wide and ample scope, being against all sorts of persons, of whatever dignity, office, quality, degree of kinship, confederacy, alliance or friendship, and in view of all cases and emergencies whatever, without exception of persons.
“Either party seeking aid of the other must send to crave it by letters, signed with his hand and sealed with his royal seal, notifying that war is being made upon him, and that he is in need of succour.
“In such case, provided the request be subject to no just cause of impediment by reason of suspicion, or necessity, or the like, in which case they are left respectively to the dictates of their consciences, the said Princes shall be bound to aid one another in manner following:—
“In the event of France being attacked and craving England's aid, she shall be succoured by England two months after the request with 6,000 foot, arquebusiers, or pikemen, or archers, as she may demand, paid until their arrival in France, thereafter to be at her charges.
“In the same manner France shall aid England with the same number of foot, arquebusiers, or pikemen, or instead with 3,000 horse, men-at-arms and archers, armed and in order as is usual in France. Each Prince shall pay the soldiers that the other shall send according to the custom of the realm whence they are sent.
“In addition to the aforesaid they shall aid one another with six great ships well provided with pilots, artillery and all else that is necessary, with 200 soldiers and their officers, and mariners in each ship paid in like manner as the soldiers aforesaid.
Part II.
“The King of France promises after the League has been sworn, to grant English merchants all the exemptions, privileges and customs that they had in the Low Countries, e.g. in Bruges, Antwerp and other places, and those also that the Italian, German and other merchants have in France.
“He permits them to do business at Bordeaux, at La Rochelle and at Rouen, where it is appointed that there shall be held the public fairs that are customary at Antwerp and other places in Flanders: to deal in woollens, tin goods, fine cloths, and all sorts of merchandise in which English merchants are wont to deal: to appoint consuls and other officials according to the wont of the English nation: to bequeath their goods of whatever kind to whomsoever they will: and in the event of any Englishman dying intestate his heirs shall succeed him notwithstanding the French law and custom of aubaine, which shall not apply to the said English merchants or their agents, factors, or negotiators of the same nation. He permits them also the exercise of the religion practised in England, provided it be done decently.
“If any person, of whatever degree, dignity or condition, shall molest, or cause to be molested, any English merchant, or his agent, or factor, or other person belonging to him, either in his goods of whatever sort, or in his person, because of religion, or for any other unlawful cause, the King of France is to notify the Prince, or his lieutenant, of the country where such molestation shall have been done within the terms underwritten, to wit:—For Flanders, 17 days; for Italy, 26 days; for Spain, 30 days; and after such term, if just cause shall not be shown for the said molestation, or if just satisfaction shall not be given therefor, the said King of France shall proceed against the persons and goods of the subjects of that Prince that shall be found in his lands, to the complete recompense and reparation of the mischief and annoyance done to the Englishmen as aforesaid.
“The Queen of England, on her part, shall do the like for the vassals of the King of France.
“If at any time, upon any occasion, open war should be declared between the Confederates, the merchants, on the one part, and the other, shall by virtue of this treaty have two months in which to withdraw with their goods and merchandise of whatever kind, exempt from arrest or molestation of any kind by reason of the said outbreak of war; and if during the said two months prize has been made of any of their merchandise, or any injury done them without just cause, the Confederate Princes or their heirs shall be bound on the restoration of peace to do justice and make restitution of all.
Part III.
“As regards Scotland: none of the confederates is to alter the ancient state and form of government of the realm, but is rather to use all means of maintaining it in its laws, customs, constitutions and forms of Parliament. Should any of the confederates have in that kingdom a garrison of soldiers or a force of any kind, as soon as this treaty is sworn, he is to disband the said soldiers, and restore the garrison or force to the native Scots.
“The said confederates are to suffer no foreign Prince, no matter what may be his condition or dignity, or how he may be connected with them by consanguinity, alliance or confederacy, to send military men to the said realm, or do any violence there, or make any change in the State on any account or occasion.
“Should there be at present in the said realm any rebels, English or French, or should they in time to come withdraw thither, and be there supported by the Scots, the Queen of England may by force of arms compel the Scots to deliver the said rebels into her hands, or banish them from the country.
“And as this article is contrary to the ancient league between France and Scotland, and would afford manifest occasion of war, the Most Christian King has caused to be made a Minute of Declaration, which shall be signed by the Queen of England pursuant to the promise given by her ambassadors, whereof the tenor is as follows:—That the said Queen purposes not to make war because some rebels against her may be maintained by individual Scots, but will notify the Estates of that realm thereof, and write to the Most Christian King, who will do the like, that they may surrender the said rebels; and in case they should refuse, then the Queen will be able to have recourse to the said remedy of war; and it is agreed that the like shall be done on the part of France.
“Finally, it is agreed that all the articles of this capitulation shall be construed loyally and without sophistication of any sort, but absolutely according to the words therein written.
“The capitulation was negotiated on the part of the Most Christian King by MM. de Montmorency, Morvilliers, Limoges, Birague, Fois [Foix] and on that of the Queen of England by the two ambassadors, Smitz [Smith] and Walsingham. In the first capitulation Chiligrey [Killigrew] had a hand: it was deemed settled, but being very harsh has since been moderated in the manner abovesaid.
“Not only is no mention whatever made of the Queen of Scotland, but it is manifest by what deals with her realm that she is totally excluded.”
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1043. f. 83.
39. News Letter.
“A week ago there came hither the Admiral of England, who has been received with all honour, and not only lodged in the Louvre Palace at the King's expense but regaled every day with lavish hospitality by his Majesty and the brothers. He has made oath to the peace with the said King, which had not been done since the late wars betwixt this crown and that of England, and was deemed needful for the confirmation and corroboration by oath of the present League. He will depart in two days' time well content in every respect with his negotiation, as will be, it is hoped, on his return M. de Montmorenci, who was to do the like in England, having been no less well seen and honoured in those parts than the said Admiral has been in these.”
20 June, 1572. The French Court. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. ii. ff. 339
and 351.
40. [Fabius Mirto,] Bishop of Caiazzo, Nuncio in France to John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
… “Hard upon the tidings of the league of his Most Christian Majesty with England came tidings of the disturbances in Flanders; and the Pope, considering the evil consequences as well in violation of God's law as in breach of the public peace that may reasonably be apprehended therefrom, has not only done his office zealously in regard thereto with his Most Christian Majesty's ambassador in Rome, but, being stoutly reassurred by the said ambassador in his Majesty's name against any suspicion that he might have conceived of disunion and discord with other princes, and in particular with the Catholic King, has by repeated letters, and particular briefs to their Majesties here, bidden me to thank them in his name for the assurance given him by the said ambassador, and then to do my office with their said Majesties in setting forth the grave evils which were forecasted as the possible result of such discord, to the common and signal hurt of all Christendom and the signal disparagement of the name of Christ, since thereby the Christian forces might be hampered and distracted in their war with the Turk, and to the much more certain and signal hurt and jeopardy of this their Majesties' realm and of their Majesties themselves, since it would be the very way to put arms in the hands of the rebels against them and God, and thereby a great slur upon their Majesties, and the name they bear of Most Christian, for failing to prohibit, as it is deemed they may, the said disorders, and much more so should they in any wise be aiders or abettors thereof….
“Touching the league with England their Majesties have given me account of their motives for making it, which are fair enough, their goal being but the assurance of good and neighbourly relations with no thought of offence to any prince, and least of all to his Catholic Majesty.”
8 June, 1572. Paris. Italian.
vol. xvii. f. 14.
41. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “The King says that he kisses the Pope's feet for the care and thought that he has for the public weal and in particular for the conservation of his States, and thanks him for the brief that he has written, and the order that he has given to the Nuncio of France to report to me the answer that he gets thereto. He adds that what the ambassador of France has told his Holiness accords with what the ambassador resident here has said to his Majesty, and a similar message has been sent to the King of Portugal. Nevertheless, signs to the contrary are beginning to be visible, of which he is apprised on all hands. He subjoins that it may well be that the King of France is leagued with England, though the fact be disguised in words; and that his being leagued with that not merely declared and avowed heretic but persecutor of the Catholic faith cannot but excite just and reasonable suspicion, and also attach some stain to the fair name that he bears of Most Christian King; but that the matter will soon be explained, if words accord with acts; for already one observes armed men going to and fro through all the parts of France, and it is understood that at Bordeaux, La Rochelle and other ports of that realm, they are very busy about the equipment of the fleet, in which fleet are Huguenots as well as Catholics, nay, some [Huguenots] are captains holding the King's commission; nor is it known what their destination is; and the said King has given the Duke of Savoy to understand that he desires of him victuals and others commodities for the soldiers who are and will be in the marquisate of Saluzzo, saying that the ministers of Spain have given him many occasions for misdoubting the mind of his Catholic Majesty, and the like words; which would occasion his said Majesty no suspicion whatever if the King were moving of his own accord, for seeing that he has given him no cause, he does not distrust him; but since he allows himself to be governed by his Council, which is corrupt and greedy of novelty and daily deludes him, there is reason for suspicion. And therefore, though we may suppose that in making a show of being bent upon Italy his purpose is but to lull folk to sleep in Flanders, or elsewhere, nevertheless, all the signs are so much the worse, especially as the men that got into Mons and Valenciennes with Count Louis of Nassau are French; and in Fresamech [sic Fresnes?] likewise it is understood that there are French and English. And his Majesty has been gratified to learn that the Pope has written that brief to France, and given orders to the nuncio to apprise me of the response, because perchance it may serve to afford his Holiness clearer light if it be in time; but he believes it not. In fine, he puts no faith in words how imposing so ever they may be; but he will believe in deeds, and they will soon be manifest; nor, methinks, will he assent to that argument which will probably find utterance, to wit, that these men are Huguenots, and that the King cannot be in league with them, as they themselves have taken arms against him, and so forth; nay, to make this believed, there will be need of much proof on the part of France.”
28 June, 1572. [Madrid.] Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Epp. Greg.
XIII. Lib.
i. f. 184.
Arm. xliv.
vol. 21. f. 74.
42. Pope Gregory XIII to Mary, Queen of Scotland.
Commending the veneration for the pontifical office displayed letters to the late Pope Pius V and her constancy in the Catholic faith, and condoling with her on her sufferings, which he trusts may wean her soul from earthly and attach it to heavenly things. He desires for her Majesty all prosperity, but knows not how to help her save by his prayers, which he ceases not to offer on her behalf.
30 June, 1572. St. Mark's, Rome. Latin. Draft and copy.


  • 1. A castle built by Francis I in the Bois de Boulogne. Cf. p. 13 infra.
  • 2. The Earl of Lincoln.
  • 3. Gregory XIII, elected 13 May, 1572.
  • 4. Cf. Lettres de Catherine de Médicis (Docc. Inédd. sur l'Hist. de France), vol. iv. pp. 103–5.