Rome: January 1575

Pages 193-196

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


January 1575

Vat. Arch.
Nunt. d'
vol. i. f. 57.
374. Mary, Queen of Scotland to Pope Gregory XIII.
“Very Holy Father. I hope that your Holiness will hold me excused if, until now, I have come short of my duty in that neither by letter nor by any despatch on my part have I rendered you due obedience, for you know the close and perilous prison in which I am kept, and the more jealously watched that I profess myself an obedient daughter of the Catholic Church and your Holiness, whose feet I devoutly kiss, supplicating you to give me your holy benediction, and pardon of my offences. I leave it to the Bishop of Ross, the bearer of this letter, to apprise you of the condition of myself and my affairs, and I pray you to put faith in him even as in myself; and as to himself to let it count in his favour that for his faith and fidelity to the Church he has suffered much in my service, being ousted from his see and deprived of all other possessions. And so, trusting in his sufficiency, I will make an end, humbly praying God the Creator to grant your Holiness long and very happy life.”
10 Jan., 1575. Chefild [Sheffield]. French. Holograph.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. p. 20.
375. Jerome [de Federicis, late] Bishop of Martirano, Nuncio at the Court of Savoy to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “The day before yesterday I learned from the first secretary M. de Cli, that the Prince of Condé is at Basel, where are assembled Ture [Thoré], brother of M. d'Anville [de Damville], and many other chiefs of the Huguenot faction, and the ambassadors of the people of La Rochelle, and all the rest, to discuss together the articles and conditions of the peace that they have proposed to the King; as to which the said M. de Cli is of another opinion than that of his Highness, i.e., that it will not come to pass, by reason of the impertinent demands which they make, to the excessive disadvantage of his Majesty, who by conceding them would be worse off than if he were to make war. The said secretary has also told me that it is held that the Queen of England gives underhand support to this party, and that thence come the moneys to pay the troops, which, he says, the Prince is now getting ready for the spring in case no accord should result; as others say will be the case, his Majesty being minded to make peace by force of arms, and having quite dismissed from his mind the peace negotiations.”
18 Jan., 1575. Turin. Italian.
Arch. Particolare. (fn. 1) 376. Don Cesare Carrafa to Marco Antonio Colonna.
… “We are here in great grief by reason of the death of Milord Edward Windsor, one of the chief nobles of England, beloved by all the city and particularly by the Patriarch [of Aquileia], by the Spanish ambassador, by the Legate, and particularly by me, who, from the day of his arrival in this city, for respect to his great virtue and religiousness, had him ever in loving protection, so that we were never seen save in company. This death has marred all our pleasures. He was twelve days a dying; and his end was as holy as had been his life. By the testimony of the Spanish ambassador and other gentlemen it is many a year since a more blessed man has been seen. He has left his body to Mr. John Pole, and as to all else that pertained to him here his will was that the Prior of England and I do as God should inspire us, as well in beneficence to his servants as in almsgiving and in his obsequies, which have been solemnized in such a sort that it is current in the city that nothing grander has been seen. To which matter I paid particular attention; a chapelle ardente was made; and I resolved that it should be borne on the bier according to the custom of Naples with a great pall, a thing not till then seen in Venice, which all deemed very meet. I followed the corpse with the train, as did also many other persons of quality. The Spanish ambassador awaited it at the church. All the English nobility here followed the corpse with their hoods on their heads according to the English custom. So I have been for the last fortnight busy serving him in life and in death.
“He has left 4,000 crowns in ready money and 10,000 in jewels, silver plate and movables. I would not omit to give your Excellency an account of the death of this lord because he was truly the most devout lord of his great name; and though he has annoyed me many a time, I have done him reverence.
“As to some other matters that are worth reporting, your Excellency must know that his Excellency Soranzo is made ambassador to the new Grand Turk. Sad indeed it is that he should go on such a mission; but men of such capacity must needs be employed in affairs of great importance, such as this on which depends the peace of this Republic. Everyone believes that this new [Grand] Signor is likely to desire peace with the Signory; but yet one is apprehensive of evil on the part of a young and brave man set in his place in time of peace, very wealthy, very powerful and so well obeyed as he is, more especially as he has on his croup a Porte and a Goletta, (fn. 2) which tend to make him the more haughty and vainglorious.
“For my part I hope for the best. I believe that Signor Soranzo will not depart so soon, and it is also supposed that a Chiaus will come here, that folk may be reassured in mind, and that there may be no thought of recourse to measures that might be injurious to that Power.
“As to France I understand that the King is not likely to live long; the death of this lord has prevented me from learning anything more.
“Don John quitted Barcelona for the Court on the vigil of Christmas, so that he should now be on the defensive and offensive in regard to the late losses. God teach him to order his ways better than he has done in the past.
“While I write to your Excellency my Patriarch Grimani has sent to invite me to dine with him, and from his messenger I learn that the last news is that the new Grand Turk has had all his brothers poisoned. Consider, your Excellency, what we may anticipate.
“The courier has not yet arrived from Flanders; if there shall be any news of importance this evening, I will write to your Excellency. And having nothing else to say, I commend me ever to your good grace and humbly kiss your hand.
22 Jan., 1575. Venice. Italian.
—“I have just returned from the Patriarch's, and, by what I understand, the report of the death of the Turk's brothers comes not by public advices but by others.
“John Soranzo is appointed ambassador at Rome in place of his brother. I have been a while with his Excellency Soranzo, who goes cheerfully to serve his country, notwithstanding the discomforts of the voyage. I kiss your Excellency's hands, as does likewise the Patriarch.”


  • 1. Reference too imperfect for identification: so left by Mr. Bliss.
  • 2. Referring to the recent termination of Spanish ascendency in Tunis by the recovery of Goletta.