Rome: December 1574

Pages 191-193

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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December 1574

p. 376.
369. The Same to the Same.
… “The English ambassador was entertained with many manifestations of respect; it has, however, proved impossible to discover the real purpose of his negotiation.”
13 Dec., 1574. Augsburg. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. viii. p. 415.
370. Nicholas Ormanetto, Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to the Same.
… “There has come hither from Ireland, Father David [Wolf] the Jesuit, who is of that country, to crave his Majesty's aid for James [Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald] of the Earls of Desmond, a Catholic, and a valiant gentleman, who has taken arms against the heretics, and has sent one of his sons, a boy of twelve years, by way of hostage, who, however, remains in Portugal. This Father [David] has told me of his business, and what has passed between him and the Catholic King, and as he got no speedy answer, he was about to depart hence for Rome. I exhorted him to wait, and have a little more patience, considering how busy his Majesty is; nor has his Majesty been very slow to acquaint him with his decision, which is to send him back with some aid in money, that being the most secret mode of giving aid; and the matter has passed through no hands but his Majesty's own and the Bishop of Cordova's; whereby the money will be delivered to him with the utmost secrecy, which will afford some aid, and keep that gentleman true to his purpose. The son will not come here, as it is not a time to excite that lady's suspicions. I fully believe that his Holiness is in great straits for money by reason of the great expenditure to which he is put in divers parts; but, if he could make some loving demonstration by ever so little aid to this gentleman, who with such zeal and ardour defends the cause of the Catholic religion and the Apostolic See, of which they profess themselves sons and likewise vassals, I consider that it would be of great service to the cause, an 2,000 or 3,000 crowns with those that the King will give would, I believe, suffice to keep things going until better times. I have kept my own counsel as to this matter, that it may be quite open to his Holiness to do as he please; and if he should decide to give something, payment may be made here from the funds of the Collettoria; and no time will be lost, for I believe Father David cannot depart so soon; and should he do so, I have means to remit the money securely to him by way of Portugal; and assuredly this alms in aid of the Catholic religion and these good Catholics will be a very fine thing.”
20 Dec., 1574. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. viii. p. 422.
371. Nicholas Ormanetto, Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “I spoke also [to the King] of some matters bearing on English affairs, as to which the Bishop of Cordova has to-day conversed at large with me, and likewise of some matters that concern Ireland and Scotland, as to which I will inform you when some good opportunity presents itself for dealing with those matters. Were there not so many garboils afoot, or were there means for larger expenditure than there is, I should have some hope of success in these enterprises, considering the offerings that reach us from some good quarters. As Mgr. of Cordova has a great inclination towards these affairs, which have not as yet been communicated to anyone else, it is well, both for this reason, and because he is on more intimate terms with his Majesty than anyone else, that he should know that he is at liberty to remain here because his Majesty also desires it, as I wrote.”
24 Dec., 1574. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxxx.
p. 403.
372. Protonotary Portia, Nuncio in Germany to the Same.
Reporting from Brussels hope that the English ambassador might procure from the Governor leave for English merchants to pass freely with their ships from Flushing to Antwerp, and that the like permission might be granted to all the maritime towns of Germany.
28 Dec., 1574. Augsburg. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Vat. Lat.
6436. f. 261.
373. To [John, Cardinal Moroni, Protector of England]. Complaints of English Catholics.
“1. That though that realm in bygone ages was most devoted to the Holy Apostolic See, and so had ever that See's protection until the time of Pope Clement VII's pronouncement, and though to this day under the heretical Queen, through whom this schism came to pass, devotion to the true religion, and to the Roman Church still abides in the hearts of those peoples, yet never a thought has been given to any of those many nobles who for the sake of the holy faith have abandoned their country and their means of subsistence: whereby those people, who, if they saw that account were made of them, would console themselves with the hope that one day they might be brought back to the bosom of Holy Church, seeing no sign thereof, fall ever into deeper and deeper despair.
“2. That of the Queen of Scotland, on whom, they mainly rely for the reincorporation of those realms with the Catholic Church no more account is now made than if she were no more on earth.
“3. That in handling the affairs of that realm converse is had with any one rather than with those who best of all might afford information as to affairs there, daily counsel as to what is feasible, and aid at need, by the sources of information and influence which they have there. And so long as his Holiness negotiates these matters with the ministers of foreign princes, he may be sure that each of them will have regard rather to the interests of his Prince than to the honour of this Holy See or the weal of that realm.
“5. Finally, that though in the Sacred College there are Cardinals of every realm and other states, never a thought has been bestowed on giving such rank to one of their nation, to be, as it were, a beacon light here in Rome whereon fixing their gaze the English Catholics may hope for relief of their misfortunes.
“The Prior of England is besought to be up and doing, and to come to Rome where he was on his return from Malta; and he has put himself in evidence, but it seems not meet to him to obtrude himself of his own motion. As a man illustrious by birth, and yet more illustrious by his faith, in the time of the Catholic Queen he was honoured and esteemed among the greatest, and so he might be under this Queen, if he would consent to follow her sect. But for religion's sake he has quitted his native land and a rich patrimony, has relinquished 10,000 crowns, revenue of his Priory, and now for fourteen years has led in straitened circumstances the life of an exile and a wanderer. He is a person well versed in the affairs of the world, and for that reason the Venetian Signory proposed to send him to Muscovy and Persia to arm those nations against the Turks. He knows many languages, is learned, writes Latin well, and great as is the desire of the Catholics to have him for their chief, no less is the dread with which the heretics regard him.
“This I will add, that when there was talk of making the Knight Romagas Turcopolier of England, whereat there was some general dissatisfaction, he sent hither offering to devise an arrangement by which his Holiness, the Knight, and all others that were interested would have been satisfied. And he got no answer; which may serve as a warning to people to keep in the background.”
[1574–75.] Rome. Italian. Copy.