Rome: November 1573

Pages 133-135

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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November 1573

Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di Polon.
vol. iii. p. 621.
254. Anton Maria Gratiani [Vice-Nuncio in Poland] to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “The ambassador that has come from France reports that on the day of the final arrangement of affairs with the Most Christian King in the Parliament of Paris, the ambassador of England said in the presence of both Kings that by letters just received from England he notified their Majesties that his sovran lady the Queen had resolved to wed their brother, the Duke of Alençon, not so much by this bond to confirm the friendship with the French, from which she had rather reason to recede, as by reason of the recent coalition between the realm of France and that of Poland, for that his Queen, knowing that in that realm there flourished the true worship of God and true martial valour, was desirous to be associated with the French in their coalition with that most noble nation. Besides this he says that the said ambassador of England has had much friendly converse with the Polish ambassadors, and assured them of all good will on the part of the Queen towards this realm.”
1 Nov., 1573. Cracow. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxx.
pp. 508–9
255. [John Delfino,] Bishop of Torcello, Nuncio in Germany to the Same.
“From Flanders by letters of the 15th of last month it is understood that the Catholic fleet has been defeated with the loss of 12 or 13 ships, and, what is more important, with the capture of the Captain-General, M. de Boisu, which causes every one to be much alarmed lest Middelburg should fall, this loss and the retreat of our men from Alchmar [Alkmaar] having greatly reduced the courage of the Catholics, who are also much dismayed by the enmity towards them of Casimir (fn. 1) and other fautors of Orange. This news has caused the utmost vexation to all the good people of this Court, as it is inferred therefrom that the Catholic King will by all means come to an accord with these rebels; and some will have it that Sgr. Choan, his Majesty's Grand Master of the Horse, and Sgr. Eucherio, governor of the young princes, attended by a herald, are shortly to go to Flanders to treat in the name of his Caesarian Majesty of this accord.”
6 Nov., 1573. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol.
vii. p. 506.
256. [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“The many troubles in Flanders are an impediment to his Majesty's acting in accordance with the Pope's suggestions in the matter of the acquisition of England for the Catholic religion: and to this affair of Tunis his Majesty has adverted with some particularity in to-day's conference, saying that attention must be wholly concentrated on preserving this province in the public interest of the Catholic faith rather than in his own particular interest. The blow just received is of some moment by reason of the loss of the Admiral of the sea, which is very serious; but for all that his Majesty is hopeful.”
14 Nov., 1573. [Madrid.] Decipher. Italian.
p. 508.
257. The Same to the Same.
“I have received to-day your letter of the 4th of September, given me by Dr. Nicholas Sander; nor shall I fail to comply with your commands by giving him every assistance in the business which he has to negotiate with his Majesty here, as also I shall not fail to treat him with all courtesy, most virtuous as I knew him to be while I was in England.”
15 Nov., 1573. [Madrid.] Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. vi. p. 805.
258. [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [late] Bishop of S. Papoul, Nuncio in France to the Same.
… “There has arrived from England an ambassador extraordinary, Robert [Randolph] by name, who has passed on to visit the Queen Mother. In England he is a person of consideration, and he it is that under the name of ambassador maintains in Scotland the faction and authority of the Queen, his mistress. What his commission may be, it is impossible at present completely to fathom. We know but that he will give a more specific answer to the proposals made by Marshal de Retz to that Queen.”
22 Nov., 1573. Châlons en Champagne. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol.
vii. p. 520.
259. [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to the Same.
“I have received your letter of 12 August in recommendation of the Englishman, Christopher Damby (sic); in reply to which it will suffice for the present to say that I shall not fail on the first opportunity to do that office with the King which you bid me in this matter with the alacrity and energy that the cause of this poor and worthy gentleman, banished from his country for the Catholic faith, demands; and then I will apprise you of his Majesty's answer.”
25 Nov., 1573. Madrid. Italian.
—“There are many here of these English nobles, and they are well seen of his Majesty, who of his great compassion and charity towards these poor exiles from their country, fails not to the best of his power to relieve their necessity and wants.”
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol.
vii. p. 522.
260. [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“The Englishman, Dr. Sander, imparted to me all his thoughts as to the recovery of England to the unity of the Catholic faith and the obedience of the holy Roman Church; and after he had spoken to his Majesty, and presented to him the Pope's brief with the letters of many English nobles, I accompanied him on the morrow, which was Saturday, the 21st inst., to the audience; in which I spoke at large to his Majesty about this business pursuant to your order by your letter of the 4th of September, brought me by the said doctor, and I found his Majesty as well disposed towards this holy enterprise as even his Holiness himself could desire, which seems to me the most that can be said. The sole obstacle to the accomplishment of these holy designs is the untoward condition in which at present his Majesty's affairs are; to wit, the necessity of guarding Naples and Sicily and the other isles and maritime places against the Turkish fleet without reducing the forces that are required to maintain the conquest of Tunis and the war in Flanders, which is of such importance. But for all that his Majesty will not fail to take good counsel as to this matter, to see what may be done to good purpose; and, meanwhile, it will be seen what effect the Commendador Mayor's going to Flanders will have: his Majesty sagaciously observing that this is an enterprise only to be attempted with all the assurance of success that human prudence can lend, and to be ended well, and that for many reasons, and this in particular, that we put not in jeopardy of the sword the remnant of the Catholic nobles still in England, having regard to the mischief done by the publication of the bull of Pius V against the pretensions of the pretended Queen, and the consequent commotion.
“I replied that I knew very well that this prudence was required in moving in this enterprise, but that on the other hand one must consider the need of prompt action while the minds of the Catholics are well disposed, whereas by procrastination they daily dwindle, as one sees by the many gentlemen of consequence that have recently failed us, so that for lack of their aid the enterprise becomes daily more difficult, and might be brought into an almost desperate plight; and his Majesty confessed that this is so, but added that one must still consider the question of success.”
26 Nov., 1573. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.


  • 1. Cf. p. 65, supra.