Rome: June 1574

Pages 175-178

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 1574

p. 391.
314. The Same to The Same.
“Of the King's death, which took place on the 30th, I apprised you by express courier despatched the same day, almost immediately after the event. The duplicate of the letter will be found enclosed …
“All necessary business is despatched by the Queen Mother, who is declared Regent by the Parliament of Paris, and this was how it came to pass: The day the King died, four hours before noon, he summoned the Chancellor and bade him make a letter patent constituting the Queen Regent until the return of the King of Poland; which letter was issued under date 8 o'clock. The King also bade the Chancellor during the absence of the King of Poland likewise to obey the Queen, and gave the same order to the captains of the guards, causing them to swear fealty to the Queen and to the King of Poland.”
2 June, 1574. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol iv. f. 364.
315. Jerome [de Federicis late] Bishop of Martirano, Nuncio at the Court of Savoy to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “By letters from France of the 19th of last month to the Venetian ambassador here, it is understood that Montgomery was very closely besieged in Danfron [Domfront] in Normandy; so that it was deemed certain that he could not get out. And by other letters of the 24th to the said ambassador we learn that attention was being given to the processes against the two marshals but in a leisurely way, until the result in M. d'Anville's [de Damville's] case should be known, of which they had not as yet intelligence; and that, nevertheless, they kept the marshals closely confined and well guarded, and that they had appointed other four examiners because the first were alleged to be suspects: that the Queen of England had sent to congratulate his Most Christian Majesty on his convalescence, and to do very zealous offices in favour of Montmorency; which it was supposed would be rather prejudicial than otherwise to him; and that his Majesty had had a slight return of fever.”
3 June, 1574. Turin. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xiv. f. 71.
316. John Baptista Castagna, [late] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio at Venice to the Same.
… “I understand that there is resident at Siena an English- man, Mr. Herdson by name, of London, who by some English nobles, who are in exile for religion's sake, is deemed an evil instrument of their Queen, and a spy who sends her reports of the exiles and their doings, whereby they are called to account and harassed.”
5 June, 1574. Venice. Italian. Copy.
vol. xiii. f. 311.
317. [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como to [John Baptista Castagna, late] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio at Venice.
…“Touching that Englishman, who, you say, is at Siena, we have written to the nuncio at Florence, that he may do such office as is needful with his Highness.”
12 June, 1574. Rome. Italian. Draft.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. vii. p. 404.
318. [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [late] Bishop [of S. Papoul], Nuncio in France to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “Soon after the King's death all we ambassadors that were present craved audience of the Queens to make our condolences with them and the Princes that are at Court, but on the pretext that the mourning was not as yet ready, we were put off for many days. Meanwhile, it was understood, and from a very good source, that it came of apprehension lest the English ambassador should do some office with M. the Duke ill in keeping with the present harmony, which the utmost pains are taken to preserve. M. the Duke is for the time called Monsieur simply, as there is no Dauphin, and he is next to the Crown—but after the audience, had been given, we heard not a word about any of those apprehended offices having been done by the Englishman.
“Notwithstanding the function was of so sorrowful a character, the Queen, nevertheless, requested me to write and crave the licence for the sale of ecclesiastical goods, saying that by reason of the King's death there would be more need of money than ever to meet the necessary expenditure, which is increased immeasurably, particularly as the King that we now have has to come all the way from Poland, which must occasion a great outlay of money. Wherein, doubtless, her Majesty says no more than the truth, while it is not every one that can recognize it and admit it without protest. It rests with his Holiness to decide, wherein he will do as he does in other matters of equal or greater importance.
“On Corpus Christi day many were intent to observe what the Court did; and it was seen that the Queen, with the Queen of Navarre, Monsieur and the King of Navarre, was at all the offices, and went in procession through the city, making the usual circuit, which is very long. Around and on all sides there were, however, numberless guards.
“Montmorency, I understand, has, with much instance, craved speech of the Queen, and finding it not granted, is, I also understand, in the sulks, contrasting his treatment with that of Coccona, (fn. 1) who had all the audiences that he desired of the King and Queen, though there was no sort of comparison between him and Coccona. Against Buonaccorsi, Monsieur's majordomo, who was arrested of late, it is alleged that he had an understanding with the English. He has been in England several times in company with French ambassadors that have gone there, not to reside, and in particular with Marshal de Retz; he was also this last November sent by the King with an English ambassador that had come to us, to accompany him on his return as far as the seacoast. What he may have confessed since he has been in prison, we have no means of knowing; but I rather think that they are not certified of all that they lay to his charge.”
13 June, 1574. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxxx.
p, 158.
319. Protonotary Portia, Nuncio in Germany to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “On my arrival in the city I learned the news of the publication of the General Pardon on the 6th inst. in Brussels by the Bishop of Cambrai in the presence of the Comendador Mayor [Requesens], and the Estates, from which beside Orange, Count Fundemberch [Van den Bergh] and Columberch [Culembourg], Baron de Cardes, M. de Lume[y], and a few other magnates to the number of about 14 are excluded. It was then proposed that the pledge given to the Duke of Alva to contribute in six years as many millions of gold for his Majesty's service in lieu of the tenth [penny] should be completely fulfilled as on the two former occasions of levy.
“The same advices bring tidings that M. de Liches [Licques] had slain in Holland 200 English and Scots, and taken and brought to Harlem 400 of the same nations who had come in aid of the rebels. The said 400 had fled to Leyden but had been denied deliverance by the folk of that town, which, notwithstanding its revolt from the King to join the party of Orange, now rather evinces an intention to return to the King's obedience, if Spanish soldiers be not quartered within it.
“It is still rumoured that the Catholic fleet is to be in Flanders all this month to the number of more than 200 ships excellently equipped.”
19 June, 1574. Augsburg. Italian.


  • 1. Otherwise Coconnas or Coconas. Cf. Col. State Papers, Foreign, 1572–4, pp. 487, 492; and Lettres de Catherine de Médicis (Docc. Inédd. sur l'Hist. De France), vol. iv. pp. 292 et seq.