Rome: May 1574

Pages 173-175

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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May 1574

Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 355d.
309. News Letter.
…“The garrisons of Holland suffer from scarcity of victuals, as they can receive no supplies from the King either by sea or by the rivers, the passages being held by the enemy's fleet which is very strong, and is making ready to engage the fleet that is to come from Spain; and Montgomery, being now proclaimed the Queen of England's Admiral, will, it is supposed, unite with the fleet of the Prince against that of Spain.”
5 May, 1574. Flanders. Italian. “From Signor Ferrante Vitelli.” Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. vii. p. 361.
310. [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [late] Bishop [of s. Papoul], Nuncio in France to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“Since I wrote on the 28th of last month no further move, so far as we know, has been made on the part of M. the Duke and the King of Navarre, though suspicions have been daily on the increase, insomuch that on the 30th the Regent, being warned that arquebus powder had been placed under her bed, caused search to be made there: but nothing was found there. This warning, however, was of some consequence in adding heat to her determination to imprison Montmorency and Cuse [Cossé (fn. 1) ] who are deemed very astute and able to afford M. the Duke and the King of Navarre ripe counsel, in the event of their deciding to adhere entirely to their party, if not against the Most Christian King, at least, in the event of the [King's] death, against the King of Poland; and the night the King was ill, Montmorency gave some sign of being disposed thereto, as I then wrote. Had they not been imprisoned, Montmorency and Cuse would have gone away, deeming it beneath their dignity to remain on such terms. It was indeed manifest that they were, as it were, detained; and the King and the Regent wanted to make them believe that it was by their advice that they were guided, and that they were the masters of all, a part ill-suited to two such foxes. The King, I understand, reluctantly consented to their imprisonment, therein associating himself with the opinion of Morviglier, who pronounced that policy to be apt to impair the loyalty of all the nobility of France and kindle a great fire in this realm, which at the least would never lack fomentation by the Germans and the English. The Regent, the Chancellor and the Bishop of Paris, who were of the contrary opinion, carried the day….
“As to the Queen of England and the Germans every one is convinced that they will exert themselves mightily on behalf of Montmorency.”
9 May, 1574. [Paris.] Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. viii.
pp. 205–7.
311. [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
…“In the matter of the aid for the Irish, he, [Secretary Perez], sayS that his Majesty, will consider all that can be done to that end, and in like manner that will not cease to do whatever is in his power for the benefit of the Prince, now Grand Duke of Tuscany, and will be particularly sedulous to arrange the matter of the title.”
22 May, 1574. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
Postscript of the 23rd.
—To-day I have had another audience of his Majesty, who has confirmed what he communicated to me yesterday through Signor Perez; and as I was again instant and urgent with him for the concentration of his fleet, he made answer that he has not failed, nor fails, nor will ever fail to do all that is in his power to save Christendom from attack by the Turk, adding that I may well give him credit for so doing, seeing that he has so much at stake, his states being the most exposed to the danger, to say nothing of the public weal of Christendom, which weighs with him no less than his own particular interest; and that his brother Bon John was but now by Secretary Soto very urgent with him, setting forth the requirements and the provision that ought to be made for our defence against the Turkish fleet, and that this evening a courier would certainly depart express to give all orders necessary and expedient for this purpose.
“He then told me of the preparations that were being made in regard of Flanders, and that he had taken good care that his forces should be assembled in Biscay.
“Passing then to speak of the aid that was to be given to the poor Irish Catholics, his Majesty told me that it would not be long before there arrived here a military man that had gone to Ireland to get information as to those matters, from whom much light will be had as to what is feasible, and that meanwhile thought will be given to the means to be adopted to help them, the whole question being whether it be well that his Majesty should now discover himself as the open enemy of the pretended Queen of England with little hope of success in the main matter, seeing that to declare open war against her would perchance but serve to warn her to prepare for the sequel, and if he should go to war with her, he ought to do so in such a manner as to clear all scores.”
2 May, 1574. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. vii. p. 368.
312. [Antonio Maria] Salviati [Late] Bishop [of S. Papoul], Nuncio in France to the Same.
… “It is already apparent that something has been effected by the advent and negotiation of this Englishman; since they began closing the gates and reinforcing the guards at the Wood of Vincennes, never once did either M. the Duke or the King of Navarre quit that place either alone or attended. Only just of late have they gone out twice with the Queen to sup, once at S. Moro [Maur des Fossés] and again at the Tuilleries, on each occasion almost unguarded; and this morning M. the Duke alone with the said Queen has gone to hear Mass at the Capuchins'. The King of Navarre stayed at Court, being indisposed: it is, however, but a trifle. It must be four days since very loving words passed between the King and M. the Duke in the Queen's presence. Both promised for the future to have no thought but for the other's aggrandisement, and to forget bygone discontents.”
22 May, 1574. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. vii. p. 382.
313. [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [late] Bishop [of S. Papoul], Nuncio in France to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como. … “The ambassador that is just come from England is by name Captain [Thomas] Laicton [Leighton (fn. 2) ]. He was bred from boyhood page to the Constable, and was at the siege of Rouen with a company of foot, and was taken prisoner by d'Anville [de Damville]. He has spoken warmly in Montmorency's favour, and in the course of his remarks offered to prove that Montmorency was no party to the plots of St. Germain, nay, that he ever protested against them. I think that no account is taken of his not having forthwith discovered to the King what he knew of such matters, and that the present situation does not allow of its being treated as an offence, so much have the disorders multiplied. But to return to the Englishman, I also understand that the answer that he has received is that even if Montmorency could clear himself in regard to the present intrigues, nevertheless there is something else against him; and in particular that they have letters showing that, having persuaded the Admiral [Châtillon] to come to Court, he wrote besides of his imminent peril, for he bound himself to avenge him if any disaster should befall him; and in conformity therewith, they say that they have other letters written by him after the said Admiral's death, in which he reaffirms his obligation to avenge him, and renews his promise so to do.”
25 May, 1574. Paris. Italian.


  • 1. Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1572–4, p. 496.
  • 2. Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1572–4, p. 495.