Rome: July 1575

Pages 210-212

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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July 1575

Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. viii.
p. 400.
412. [John Leslie,] Bishop of Ross to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“Last year I sent you, Most Illustrious Cardinal, two books of Consolations recently put forth by me at Paris, together with a letter presenting my service to you, and thanking you to the best of my poor powers for the rescript procured on my account. Whether the packets were delivered to you, or not, I know not as yet for certain. Indeed in this exile and total shipwreck of our affairs and fortunes I was but desirous that you should have some account of this our idleness. For what debt could be more justly due or gladlier paid than this obligation in some way or another to manifest my most hearty good will towards you, whom I have ever found most zealous in pleading my cause with his Holiness in my straits of hazard and exile. Had fortune but conformed to your counsel and will, it would long ago have been well with me, nor would religion's foes and mine have been in a position to insult the afflicted. For that rescript which, at your instance, his Holiness addressed to the Most Christian King Charles was received with so glad a countenance and so pious a sincerity that, had God granted him a little longer commerce with the light, there had been nothing which I could not have counted on from him forthwith. But although after King Charles' removal your pious benevolence and humanity towards me knew no languor, for you procured me a rescript from his Holiness to Henry as soon as he was seated on the throne of France; yet he, who aforetime at Lyon while I was diligently discharging the duty laid upon me by our most serene Queen, and afterwards at his Holiness' instance, signally manifested his benevolence and love for me, now, nevertheless, immersed perhaps in most grave cares of state, or overburdened by endless petitions of courtiers— mens anxia omnia timet—puts off his care of us, and, more tardily than the state of our affairs can bear, relieves our woes with his munificence. Wherefore ever yet more earnestly I am instant with you, that you be at pains that the Holy Father give his nuncio here resident charge of our business with the Most Christian King, and commend my need to the care of M. de Poigni, brother of Cardinal Rambouillet, the French ambassador at Rome. For such is the favour in which he stands with the Most Christian King that he will readily obtain from him whatsoever he shall ask. By which boon if, as the climax, so to say, I shall by your zeal and diligence obtain it, you will not only bind me by an eternal and sacred obligation, but will also vindicate the Church from a most foul stigma with which the heretics here brand her when they taunt me with my poverty as a judgment upon me for the abandonment of their, si diis placet, religion.”
3 July, 1575. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1044. f. 523.
413. News Letter.
… “In regard to health the course of events is, as usual, very troublous, 132 persons having died this week, and the Paduan physicians being sequestered because two of their servants are dead. Still we try to make the best of it, and recently a tax has been laid upon house rent in aid of the poor both sick and sound. There have made their appearance here a Genoese physician and a young Englishman, who like the Paduan physicians promise to heal the plague-stricken and keep the rest in health; and the Englishman, being set in a house where there were two sick of the pest, cured them with his oils and distilled waters. God grant that he may do the like for the rest; but many say that these are but quackeries. Meanwhile the physicians have advised the Signory that it would be well to suspend commerce in the Rialto and St. Mark's Piazza, and confine everyone to his own quarters.”
6 July, 1576 [sic 1575 ?]. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. p. 305d.
414. News Letter.
“The King was apprised that the Queen of England had beyond a doubt promised the Prince of Condé aid in money and other things; that the Sieur de Méru had quitted London for Germany in company with one of the said Queen's secretaries; and it being suspected that this was in order to compass the levy of the reiters, with which they have so often threatened his Majesty, he has sent M. Chumbert [Schomberg (fn. 1) ] to Germany to prevent, if possible, the said levy, either by promise of moneys or otherwise, or to make a levy in the King's name of eight regiments of reiters which already last year it had been decided to raise. In answer to a complaint by their Majesties on the subject the English ambassador has said that he knows nothing about it, but that undoubtedly his Queen was aggrieved that their Majesties should have taken into their service and pensioned the greatest sedition-monger and rebel that she had in Ireland, and that a gentleman of Brittany, La Roche, (fn. 2) by name, who is gentleman of the chamber to the King's brother, should be arranging with the said rebel to accompany him to Ireland with 12 ships there to start a civil war, so as to prevent succour being given by her to the Prince of Condé, whereby she is in the last degree offended.”
13 July, 1575. Paris. Italian. Copy. From his Highness. Forwarded by the Nuncio at Turin to the Cardinal of Como.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lib.
1044. f. 566d.
415. News Letter.
“As yesterday morning the Deputies returned hither with Julian Romero, it is inferred that there is no more hope of the peace, seeing the demand made of the Catholic King that Spaniards quit the country. Among our other woes it is no small calamity that we have to keep men in the field, and have not wherewith to pay them.
“They say that the Prince of Orange, on the discovery of a negotiation which some English captains had in hand, caused some to be cut in pieces, and now changes the garrisons of the places of importance every fortnight. And of those that have passed through this place one has offered to do something in those parts, to which end he has received 400 crowns, and gone away therewith without a farewell.
16 July, 1575. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.


  • 1. Cf. Lettres de Catherine de Médicis (Docc. Inédd. sur l'Histoire de France), vol. v. p. 122.
  • 2. Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1575–7, p. 81; Ireland, 1574–85, p. 113.