Rome: March 1575

Pages 197-200

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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March 1575

Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1044. f. 392.
381. News Letter.
“The deputies of the one side and the other have conferred, but we know not as yet what result they have reached about the accord; and as a proclamation has been published here, that all the Queen of England's rebels are to quit the States of his Catholic Majesty in a fortnight, our people will thereby be not a little confirmed in adherence to the said Queen, who is much interested in the said accord. We also observe favourable symptoms on the part of the rebels, for there is no more preaching against the Catholic faith, as there was wont to be; and they observe Lent. Nevertheless, they cease not to do evil, having of late taken not a few travellers coming from Brussels to Antwerp.
“There is much talk here of the French peace.”
9 March, 1575. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. viii. p. 123.
382. [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [late] Bishop of S. Papoul, Nuncio in France to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“There is more talk than ever of peace at Court; and above all it seems they would have it believed that the people of La Rochelle will arrange their affairs with his Majesty independently of the rest; to which end they are saying that Lanua [La Noue] will come to the King, and that accordingly a hostage has been sent to La Rochelle, there to remain in his stead while he shall be at Court. These are matters that need to be advanced a little further before we can account them likely to come to pass. The other deputies that were to come on the 20th are no longer expected at that time. The pretext is that they have not yet received the final decision of the people of Dauphiné. And as, nevertheless, there is lack of money, the reiters that were in France in accordance with the terms were some days ago discharged. And as to the adversaries one gathers that they will indubitably have reiters on their side, for they have just received moneys from France, and Méru, who was in England, was to receive 200,000 francs from that Queen. Which disbursement was coloured by saying that the people of La Rochelle were selling to the said Queen salt to such a value.”
11 March, 1575. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. lxxxi.
p. 119.
383. Protonotary Portia, Nuncio in Germany to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
Reporting that there was published in the name of the Catholic King an edict enjoining under heavy penalties the departure from Flanders of English exiles there resident, and that a like edict was to have been published on the same day in England as to Flemings there resident: this rapprochement of the two Powers being due to the belief that peace between the King of France and his rebels was concluded.
14 March, 1575. Augsburg, Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. ii.
84. (Polit. 83.)
ff. 19, 20.
384. Memorial in commendation of Sir Richard Shelley, Prior of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England.
15 March, 1575. Venice. Italian.
This document was probably placed in the hands of the Nuncio Castagna by way of credentials for the rôle, to which Shelley now aspired, of mediator between Queen Elizabeth and the Holy See. It is little more than a rambling eulogy of the Prior, purporting to be written by his secretary.
Cf. Castagna's letter of 11 June, 1575, printed on p. 206 infra.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. ii. ff. 42
et. seq.
385. John Andrew Caligari, Nuncio in Portugal to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“Faults openly and by common consent attributed to the Jesuits of Portugal:—
“1. That they have made mischief between the King and the Barons of the Blood and the other grandees of the realm, kept him from applying himself to business and the administration of the Provinces, ignorant of all languages but his own, though he had need of Latin, Italian and French by reason of the frequent intercourse between him and those nations, and of the books belonging to him that are written, some in Latin and others in Italian.
2. That though the Queen dowager [Catherine], a lady alike by her most noble birth—she was Charles V's sister—and by her old-world prudence and holiness of life, of venerable majesty, was the first to give the governance of the young King, her grandson, to Father Luigi Gonzales; nevertheless, such has been the ingratitude of him and others, who have little by little stolen in behind him that, when by assiduous malpractices to curry favour with the Queen's rival, the Cardinal [Infant Henry], they had involved her in misunderstanding and enmity with the King, she in desperation was driven first to renounce the government of the realm, which thereupon fell into the hand of the said Cardinal according to their design, and soon afterwards to resolve and make ready to betake herself to Castile, though this design, at the King's request, was not carried out….
“3. That they, to no purpose, by perpetual adulations have nourished in the young King the hope of subjugating all Africa, insomuch that last year, with no means of offence meet for such an enterprise or worthy of his Royal Majesty, or even adequate for the protection of his own person, he made with 4,000 foot and 800 horse an expedition against the Moors of Africa, and came back quite unsuccessful.
“4. That they suffer not the King to marry, being firmly persuaded that in that event they and the Cardinal would be forthwith turned adrift by the new Queen, for which reason they frustrated the match with the Most Christian King's sister, who was afterwards given to the King of Navarre: expedient and honourable though that match would have been to this kingdom by reason of the infinite advantages of alliance with a near neighbour, and the check which it would have given to the audacity of the French pirates, whose incessant depredations are a grievous nuisance in the mouths of the port of Lisbon: opposing themselves to the desire of all the realm, to the policy of Pope Pius V, who by his legate Cardinal Alessandrino zealously negotiated the match, and to the honour of the Catholic King, who had already negotiated and arranged it upon a particular instruction which he had from his nephew the King of Portugal. Wherein they gave to private advantage and ambition more consideration than to the public loss and peril in which the King and the realm stand by the King's lack of either wife or child.”
21 March, 1575. Evora. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1044. f. 403.
386. News Letter.
… “Articles presented to the deputies of the Prince of Orange and his confederates on the part of the Commissaries of his Catholic Majesty, and subscribed by Brabant and all the towns:—That as touching the stipulation that all foreigners are to quit the country, that must not be held to comprise Spaniards, as they are subjects of his Majesty, and not strangers, such as Frenchmen, Englishmen, Scotsmen, Gascons and Germans; for that would be to diminish the authority of his said Majesty.”
23 March, 1575. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xvi. f. 280.
387. John Baptista Castagna, [late] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio at Venice to Ptolemy Galli, Cardinal of Como.
… “We have intelligence from Flanders under date the 7th inst. that the treaty of peace was well advanced, and already in such a position that they were exchanging hostages, and that the English that are there would be sent away at the instance of the Queen of England. If this be so, the result would be that great part of them would come to Rome, being at a loss where to live, but the truth as to these matters will be best known there.”
26 March, 1575. Venice. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. viii. p. 150.
388. [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [late] Bishop [of S. Papoul], Nuncio in France to the Same.
… “The King received intelligence from England that Méru was sending one of his secretaries to the Prince of Condé; whereupon his Majesty straightway sent some archers of his guard to Boulogne to take him as soon as he disembarked. The archers arrived in time, and found with him an Englishman, whom, as they had no commission to take him, they let go; but they got the packets which had been brought from England. And so the archers returned with the Frenchman alone to Paris. On entering the city they were bidden to keep him until the King had dined, and then bring him to the King's presence, for that he wished to speak with him. So they betook them to a tavern to get a meal; and meanwhile the prisoner, being ill guarded, escaped and made off.”
27 March, 1575. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1044. f. 416d.
389. News Letter.
… “They write from London under date the 19th inst. that in that city they were expecting at an early date an envoy from the Most Christian King, M. Laxatre [La Châtre], (fn. 1) to what end was not known; and that the Queen had made an edict that within three months rebels to the King of Spain must quit the realm; the like of which had been done by the Commendador Mayor in Flanders.”
30 March, 1575. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.


  • 1. Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1575–7, p. 21.