Rome: February 1575

Pages 196-197

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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February 1575

Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xiv. f. 149d,
and vol. xvi.
f. 261.
377. John Baptista Castagna, [late] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio at Venice to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“I have a letter from Sir Thomas Stucley, the Englishman, in which he apprises me of his arrival in Rome and the attentions that he receives, etc., and asks me to make known to my superiors there that he is my friend and a person worthy of all honour, &c.; and this he craves because I have had much to do with him, and all his business in the time of Pius V, of happy memory, passed through my hands, and it was at my instance that the King [of Spain] gave him that pension which he pays him for himself and his son. So I pray you to say four words to him to let him know that I have written as above, because in truth it cannot but be well to show him attention to keep him loyal and devoted. I must not, however, omit to say, though in confidence, that this gentleman's day is past; for, whereas then one could still think of force in connection with English affairs, it is otherwise now that, if hope there were, it would no longer be by affronting that lady but by means diametrically opposite, to wit, by suavity, lenity and negotiation with her personally, seeing that she is now growing old, and might perchance some day become weary of the life that she leads.
“Meanwhile, however, there is nothing that vexes her more than to hear this gentleman's name, not that she is in the least afraid of him, but because she dislikes him, and is incensed to think that he goes about sowing in the mind of powerful Princes seed of evil against her, and that by this alone he has gotten some credit and favour with them. Not that I say that one should not pay him attentions; but that what has passed through my hands has taught me to believe that, though English affairs should never be given up, they should be handled, as I have said, with suavity and cajolery, and so as to give that lady as little reason as possible for more illwill, because it is impossible to take energetic action, and I believe that any methods but the aforesaid would at present but put us upon a false track. This I have seen fit to write, though the matter concerns me not, and to do what does concern me is no trifling matter, because after all, whatever may be my place, I am his Holiness' servant, and desirous of doing all that may conduce to his service and glory.”
12 Feb., 1575. Venice. Italian. Original and copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. p. 91.
378. News Letter.
… “The people of La Rochelle have sold to the English all their salt, which may amount to 150,000 crowns payable in Germany, the Queen to make the disbursement. It is said that this sale is a cloak to hide the loan which the Queen is making to the Huguenots of France.”
18 Feb., 1575. Paris. Italian. Copy. From Vargas. Forwarded by the Nuncio at Turin to the Cardinal of Como.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xiii. f. 403.
379. [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como to John Baptista Castagna, [late] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio at Venice.
… “ I apprehend what you write as to Sir Thomas [Stucley] the Englishman, to whom I will gladly bear testimony of your affectionate commendations. Here he meets with attentions and courtesies because of what he has suffered for the Catholic religion, not for any hope that may at present be entertained of any improvement to be made of affairs there.”
19 Feb., 1575. Rome. Italian. Draft.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. p. 90.
380. News Letter.
… “The English are changing much money for the fairs of Germany; it is said that that Queen is accommodating the Huguenots of France to the amount of 50,000 angelots (fn. 1); and if this be so, that realm will soon have trouble on its hands.”
21 Feb., 1575. Antwerp. Italian. Copy. From Vargas. Forwarded by the Nuncio at Turin to the Cardinal of Como.


  • 1. The angelot was equivalent to 2 crowns Italian.Florio.