Rome: September 1572

Pages 40-53

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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September 1572

f. 143.
73. News Letter.
“The intelligence of the death of the Admiral and of seven other chiefs of the Huguenots, though it comes not by letters express from Paris, is nevertheless believed by the Cardinal of Lorraine, the Most Christian ambassador and all the Court: the advice, to say truth, comes this way:—There lives ordinarily at Lyon, M. Denes, a gentleman very well known in this Court: it was he that furnished the news of Condé's death, and at present he is in the service of the Governor of Lyon as secretary. From Lyon on the 27th of last month he sent hither at his costs a courier to a French gentleman, his friend, being minded by such good news to elicit a reward from the Pope. He writes that he has divers letters of the 24th of last month from the Court, and also many others which report that on Friday the 22nd, as the Admiral [Châtillon] after attending the King to the Louvre, where they play tennis, was on his return, an arquebus was discharged from a window, whereby he was hit in the right shoulder, of which wound he died in the course of two days, to wit, on Sunday the 24th. And as the Huguenots immediately after his death gathered in conventicles and took arms, the Catholics, marking this, attacked them under pretext that they had broken the articles of the Peace; and the affray lasted five hours, wherein died almost all the chiefs of the Huguenots, only Montgomery making his escape with I know not how many others, who were pursued by the Duke of Guise and three hundred horse, with, it was supposed, the King's consent.
“The Cardinal of Lorraine has by the same courier letters from Lyon from one of his gentlemen confirming the said tidings with the addition that of those that had sent similar advices from Paris one writes de visu that after the fracas he had recognized among the dead on the place, Téligni, Piles, Rochefoucauld, Mouvans, Soubise, Brismor, (fn. 1) Perdilcan, and many other chiefs of the Huguenots; but the seven aforesaid are of such consequence that the King could not desire the death of any others; that already quiet reigns there under the obedience of his Most Christian Majesty. The Cardinal of Ferrara has a letter of the 22nd from Paris written by his agent there, Mgr. di Vercelli, immediately after the arquebus was discharged, which letter, he writes, he sent at a venture to Lyon, whence it was brought by this same courier.”
3 September, 1572. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Pub. Rec. Off.
Arch. di
Stato di
Carte Farnes.
Fasc. 186.
74. Guido Lolgi to [Alexander] Cardinal Farnese.
“By this I have nothing to write you save that I have seen fit to send you the Edict issued by the King touching the execution done upon the Admiral and the rest. As to which Edict, if the King's object in making and publishing it in such sort as he has done was to prevent the Huguenots from all, in desperation, congregating together, it has been effected in certain places: e.g. at Rouen many have fled; in other places it has not been effected: e.g. at Lyon they have detained them; at Orléans a great many have been killed, by what is said. What occurred here I have already described in my former letters, in which, I think, among the few that I named as killed was Bricmor [Bricquemault], (fn. 1) who, nevertheless, has been discovered not to be dead, but his son. The said Bricmor found refuge in the house of the English ambassador [Walsingham]; and now that this is known, the King has determined to have him in hand. Methinks also that I said that Rochefoucauld's son was killed with his father; which is not true, for the son lives and is pardoned. I shall not omit to say that a son of the quondam Knight of Sens was killed, he also, in this persecution of the Huguenots, and his house, which was very splendid, plundered. He had formerly been of the sect, but was so no longer. His name was Villemor, and he was Master of Requests. As to plunderings and sacks, the great booty which the soldiers of the King's guard have made is past belief. I think I told you that M. de Montmorenci was away on his estates when the Admiral was hit: nor indeed was he here when the Admiral was killed; at which time there were not wanting those who said that if he had chanced to be here, his plight would have been perilous. Whereat I laughed, as I do still, but, nevertheless, I have since found reason to think that he had been traduced to the King, who, I likewise understand, has recognized that what he had heard was but calumny. I have not yet been able to make sure if the office of Admiral has been conferred upon Marquis de Villars: I know it is talked of; but there is also talk of the Knight of Angoulême. I will say no more by this than that the affairs of private persons at present are depressed but that public affairs should now right themselves, and likewise afford scope to the former. And herewith I end.”
4 September, 1572. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di.
vol. xii. f. 80.
75. [John Antony Facchinetti,] Bishop of Nicastro, Legate at Venice to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“I congratulate you on the good news from France of the death of the Admiral, and the great slaughter of the Huguenots and their chiefs. The Signory had tidings thereof four days ago by way of Savoy; but for lack of confirmation began to be dubious. This morning by letters of the 28th of last month, written from Paris by the Most Illustrious Michael [Soriano ? (fn. 2) ] we are fully informed of the whole affair. But, knowing that the Pope will have been apprised of it from France, I write not at large. However, among other particulars, there is this, that the King, speaking of the Princes of Navarre and Condé, said: ‘Let these poltroons be forthwith shut up.’ And that in particular he had caused all the gentlemen and servants of the Court of Navarre to be killed. We have now good reason to hope that affairs will go well in Flanders, because, besides other arguments, we shall be able to make the Most Christian King understand that his Majesty is constrained in that king's own interest to make it his aim and endeavour to check the progress of the Huguenots of Flanders and the Prince of Orange, their leader, it being probable that a good part of the heretics of France must in this proscription flee to the army of Orange in Flanders; and if the superiority should there rest with him, his Most Christian Majesty might reckon for certain on war in his kingdom.
“The way is still wide open for the negotiation of that of which I wrote in a former letter as to the Queen of England.”
6 September, 1572. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. cclxxxiii.
p. 100.
76. [Ptolemy Galli, Cardinal of Como] to [Flavio,] Cardinal Orsino, Legate in France.
“This will be Presented by the Scottish knight, Irving, who in the time of Pius V, of holy memory, fleeing from the pernicious pest of heresy that was rife in the realm of Scotland, and had also infected all his house, abandoned alike his country and his kinsfolk, and repaired to this holy See; whence he betook him to Malta, and having taken the habit of that Religion, has ever since remained in this voluntary exile, to preserve himself from that infection. Now, being in hopes—and not without reason—of being able to reclaim to the Catholic faith not only his brothers and sisters and likewise the dependants of his house, but also many others of that realm, he has resolved to return thither, and to that end has besought the Pope to be pleased to authorize some one in those parts to absolve all those that shall be minded to acknowledge the error of their way and repent them thereof. And his Holiness, being certified as well of the nobility as also of the other good qualities of the said knight, and hoping also that he may do some good service to the Catholic religion in that realm, is resolved to gratify him; and deeming that this office should be entrusted to none other than your Most Illustrious Lordship, has directed that a special brief be made for you, conferring upon you the said faculty of absolving the people aforesaid in the manner which you will find therein defined. And furthermore he has bidden me to tell you from him that you are charged with the protection of the said knight in reasonable matters, and particularly in certain business that he has at that Court of France, and are to use your influence on his behalf with his Most Christian Majesty and the Cardinal of Bourbon and the Duke of Nevers as he shall crave it of you.”
7 September, 1572. Rome. Italian. Draft.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. cclxxxiii.
p. 77.
77. [Ptolemy Galli, Cardinal of Como] to [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [late] Bishop [of S. Papoul].
… “Apropos of your news of the King's arming and making a good levy of Swiss, his Holiness says that now would be the time for him to oblige the Catholic King by sending the Duke of Alva an offer of aid in the work of purging Flanders of these rebels and heretics by whom it is now troubled; which would redound in every way to the great advantage of his own realm, since they are no less enemies of his Most Christian Majesty than of his Catholic Majesty. And you will mention the matter to their Majesties in his Holiness' name, telling them that such a union and good understanding would strike terror into the Palatine and the other Princes of Germany; and that bad woman of England would bethink her of her own plight, and concern herself no more with troubling her neighbours. For the rest I refer you to the enclosed cipher, and am yours, desiring you all felicity.
For cipher.—As to revoking or at least not renewing the Edict of Pacification, which allows liberty of conscience, that the people throughout the realm, following the example set at Court, might everywhere for themselves purge their several districts.—The policy proposed to your Lordship is not sound, nay rather it is the reverse, because whatever was done in that frenzy would have been condoned by Germans, Englishmen, and all the world, whereas what might be done hereafter in cold blood would encounter objections in abundance.”
8 September, 1572. [Rome.] Italian. Draft.
Arch. Vat.
Nunt. di
vol. xvi. ff.
78. News from Flanders.
“By letter of 12 Sept., 1572, from the Postmaster of Cambrai to Don Diego de Çuñiga, his [Catholic] Majesty's ambassador in France, now at Paris, it is understood:—‘That the Chief of the Despatch Service in his Majesty's army about Mons had written to him that the Prince of Orange with all his army, consisting of from five to six thousand horse and twenty companies of infantry, showed himself on 8 September at a distance of three arquebus shots from his Majesty's army, confronting it and engaging in some little skirmishes, and on the morning of the 9th, offered battle, and remained in the same place until the afternoon, when he took the road for Bossu, where he halted on the 10th, and advancing with his infantry and three companies of smiths, he united them at a fort which the Duke of Alva had caused to be put in order the day before on the Valenciennes road, hard by a windmill; and some Spanish infantry and a few of our light horse being therein, they made a skirmish, in which there died of Orange's men more than 400, and among them the bastard brother of the Duke of Branswic [Brunswick] and a Count of Solme, and many other gentlemen; and in the said fort there were six pieces of artillery, which did them great damage and were the cause of the success.
“‘That on the 11th the [Prince] of Orange raised his camp to try if he could throw troops into Mons on the side of the town that looks towards Brussels, having no other means of effecting his purpose; and the same day at nightfall Don Frederic of Toledo and M. de Noircarmes, with 2,000 arquebusiers and two companies of light horse, marched upon Orange's army, which lay at a village called Hermelli [Harmignies], a good league from his Majesty's army, and as they approached they found and killed the sentinel, and forthwith they fell upon the corps de garde, which made no stout defence; and entering the place on divers sides they set about burning houses and killing those that they found, and doing such havoc among the enemy from one o'clock after mid-night until three o'clock, that it was computed that they had killed 1,500; and among them it is believed that the Prince of Orange himself was slain, or at least wounded, for almost all his guard fell.
“‘That among the enemy there was discord for lack of money, which is the straight road to their ruin.
“‘That the cannonade upon Mons was already finished, and that the assault was postponed only until the enemy should have withdrawn a little space.
“‘That that morning there had come forth of Mons between two and three hundred women with their sons; and it would be those whom they most loved that would come forth.’
“The original letter of the said Postmaster is sent by Don Diego de Çuñiga with a letter of his of the 14th, in which he says that he had received a letter containing the same intelligence from a man of his who is in the field with the Duke of Alva, who should have been joined by the Duke of Holstein with his horse on the 13th inst., and that on the 10th there had arrived 2,400 horse of the Bishops of Cologne and Münster, so that his Majesty's affairs were in such a train that we may and should hope in God that they will soon be crowned by the desired success.”
Endorsed, “12 Sept. Cambrai. Narrative of what has befallen against the heretics of Flanders.”
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xvii. f. 72.
79. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano to Ptolemy Galli, Cardinal of Como.
“Yesterday evening I quitted Madrid, and came to this place, a distance of but two miles, to tarry two or three days, in order to complete my deliverance from the intrigues of the seven years that I have passed at this Catholic Court. I left Mgr. Nuncio [Ormanetto] after a whole month with me so thoroughly informed of all that is necessary that he has no longer the least occasion for my presence.”
12 September, 1572. Caniliega. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. f. 152d.
80. [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [late] Bishop [of S. Papoul], Nuncio in France to [the Same].
… “And as you have written me several times that the Pope would be very glad to bring the King into the League, and would in due time set before him abundant reasons, I will not omit to remind you that this business is one which is incompatible with aught else; for it was but in the interest of his State that the King recently sent to the Turk, to the Princes of Germany, and to the Prince of Orange in Flanders, as he purposes to send to England, if from the letters received thence it shall appear that there is need; and from the greater part of these affairs he must, if he enter the League, withdraw and make war upon a prince more powerful than he and than the King of Spain, his ancient rival, albeit he pretends of late to have been his best and most serviceable friend; and must unite with his constant adversary and employ his own forces to advance his empire while himself running the risk of making it easier for him to establish a good understanding against him, either with the said Turk or with the Germans or the English, who are not wont to be too cordial with the French: witness just now the dissatisfaction evinced by the English ambassador at the execution done upon the Huguenots and the seizure of Briccomor [Briquemault] in his house, (fn. 3) as to which he has told his intimate friends that he has written to his Queen that it is a point of honour for her to save him, whereof for the best of reasons I have not failed to apprise the Queen Mother.”
15 September, 1572. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xvi. ff. 93
(3), 97 (8).
81. Nicholas Ormanetto, Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to [the Same].
… “It occurs to me as a third plan that to the Queen of Scotland might be given the kingdom [of England], and to her son a daughter of this King to wife, the son being kept here to be bred as a Catholic until the time of making the match; which would also be of service to his Majesty as a guarantee of a good understanding between the Queen, the boy's mother, and his said Majesty. And this, I believe, will be acceptable here, and not difficult to render palatable to the French, by reason of their patronage of the Queen of Scotland, and the loyal and most ancient friendship which there has ever been betwixt France and Scotland. The main difficulty will be to obtain the consent of the mother, Scots and Frenchwoman, as she is, to her son's being taken to Spain, and here brought up; but I hope that this also may be obviated, and Mgr. of Lorraine will serve as an apt instrument for negotiating and concluding the affair, if it should so please the Pope and this King that it should be put on the tapis; nor would this hinder the match with M. d'Anjou, as the King has two daughters, and it would be a difficult matter to give the elder to the said Monsieur, because the Spaniards would be loath that, failing male issue of the King, which God for the public weal and his Majesty's solace forbid, this realm should fall into the hands of the French. This, however, is subject to the consideration that they might not care for a Scotsman either, and that this elder daughter might be reserved for a son of the Emperor who is being brought up here, in view of the possible failure of male issue, in which case there would be but one daughter available. In great affairs, especially of state, great difficulties present themselves; but still one must not give up negotiating, for God not seldom opens the way to the removal of impediments….
“I have laid before his Catholic Majesty the mind of his Holiness as to the business of England, and he has lent a willing ear to it, and at his own time will tell me something. I shall say a little as to this matter because of the experience that I have of that kingdom. (fn. 4) The enterprise of expelling the Queen of England and mastering the realm presents no great difficulty, for it has little money, few fighting men and not a single fortress, while it is torn by the strife between Catholics and heretics. The difficulty consists in the antagonism between the humours; for the English cannot endure the rule of foreigners, and this the Catholic King knows by experience, for they could not be induced to crown him King of England, notwithstanding that the Queen desired it, as the capitulations made on their marriage show. And the plainest evidence thereof is the loss of Calais, which, rather than admit a garrison of the Catholic King into the fortress for fear they should never be able to get it out of his hands, they lost so deplorably for lack of timely arrival of the aid which they expected from England, which was retarded by contrary winds in the channel.
“Besides this there is between Spain and France a normal and great jealousy lest that realm should lapse to one, or a dependant of one of them, by reason of its dangerous proximity to their States, so that the first project, to give that realm to M. d'Anjou, is not in my judgment likely to be agreeable here, though joined with the promise of marriage, for they will never be content to see the realm in the hand of a Frenchman, and worst of all one so closely connected with the Most Christian King as is his brother. The second project would be more readily embraced here; but not only France, so it certainly is deemed here, but the English would look askance at both foreigners; but of the two the English would be better pleased with the German than with the Frenchman, by reason of the ancient enmity between them and the French; and regarding the German, far from his States, as one of themselves, they, not having, as it were, the fire at their doors, would not be apprehensive of his being tyrannical or oppressive or a subverter of the laws by which they govern themselves as in a sort of republic, the King having no power to make general laws, or lay imposts without the consent of the realm. The enterprise would be the more readily and generally embraced for that it would enable them to have a prince over that realm who was a firm Catholic and could wed the Queen of Scotland; and I believe that it might be accomplished by his Catholic Majesty alone in concert with the Catholics of the kingdom. And if affairs in Flanders should assume a peaceful complexion, it would be a great help to the enterprise to have the army in order, so that without loss of time it might pass to England and accomplish the design; and the French, seeing that it was an English King that was being made, and a match with the Queen of Scotland, would make no move to hinder the enterprise, besides that, perchance, they would not be able to hinder it to much purpose, the Flanders army being ready for action, whereby the enterprise might very speedily be accomplished, the other side being allowed no time to make preparations before the business was done.”
18 September, 1572. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. f. 158.
82. [Antonio Maria] Salviati, [Late] Bishop [of S. Papoul], Nuncio in France to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “Though five successive couriers have been despatched to England by the ambassador, of whom three bore letters from the King to the Queen, no answer has been returned save to the ambassador, who wears a more truculent mien than ever, as it is understood that the Queen is arming.”
19 September, 1572. Paris. Italian.
Ibid. f. 162d. 83. The Same to the Same.
“Letters are to hand from the Queen of England to the King, full of resentment at the execution done upon the Huguenots, which seem to imply that she is in league with them. The phrases in themselves are bland and courteous, but nevertheless the meaning is that she is arming.”
22 September, 1572. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xv. f. 64d.
84. [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como to [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain.
… “As to the match between M. de Vendôme and the sister of the Most Christian King you will have learned the rash resolution which they of their own accord have taken without awaiting the dispensation from the Apostolic See. And you will be able to judge the position in which they find themselves, seeing that instead of a marriage they have made an incestuous union. Howbeit by the last letters from France it is understood that there was great hope of reclaiming the said M. de Vendôme and also the Prince of Condé to the Catholic faith.”
22 September, 1572. Rome. Italian. Draft.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. f. 169.
85. [Flavio] Cardinal Orsino, Legate in France to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “It is incredible with what honour and love I have been here received by his Highness [the Duke of Savoy], whose opinion on the matter to be negotiated with his Most Christian Majesty as to the League, to which by order of his Holiness I am restricted, I find to be as follows:—
“That it will be not only difficult but as it were impossible to induce that Majesty to join the League without setting before him some interest of his own of importance.
“That among many interests that may be thought of his Highness sees none more realizable than the match between the daughter of his Catholic Majesty and M. d'Anjou with provision of a fitting State.
“That to this end, it being understood that it would be impossible to pluck out of the hand of the Catholic King a State of importance, attention might be turned to the conquest of the realm of England, with which, as the Queen is deprived thereof —so declared by Pius V, of happy memory—the Pope might see fit to invest the spouses jointly, so that either should succeed the other.
“That the design, though at first sight it seems difficult, is nevertheless most readily realizable, if these two Princes should combine to make joint acquisition, by reason as well of their mighty forces as on the other hand of the weakness of that realm.
“That the match should commend itself in the first place to the Pope and by consequence to both their Majesties, there are very cogent reasons. And as regards his Holiness they seem to be manifest. As regards the Most Christian King, besides that he would thus accommodate a brother, he would make himself master of that realm, which has ever harassed, as it still harasses, his own.
“As for the Catholic King, not to speak of many other reasons that readily present themselves for consideration, it is evident in general what an advantage it would be to his Majesty that the Most Christian King should enter this holy League, as well in the public interest, for which he is so zealous, as in his own private interest; and to come to particulars: The world is convinced that if some union be not effected between their Majesties, France will not keep the peace with his Catholic Majesty; in which event the peril, in particular, of Flanders is manifest, for while trouble prevailed in France, she yet excited notable suspicion in Flanders, and so much the more must she do so now that she finds herself well on the way to recover her pristine strength. Besides which it may readily be believed that, if she incline to this idea, she will avail herself, as aforetime she has done, of the forces of the Turk. And should this happen, it must needs be that there will ensue the total dissolution of the League, as it is reasonably to be supposed that next year the Turk will come in much greater force than he is now in, and the Catholic King be by consequence compelled to defend his States on more sides, and likewise the Venetians to change their policy, and perchance make some forced accord, and that too, perchance, by the mediation of France.
“That against these principles of policy, expedient alike for the one and the other Majesty, is not to be set the suspicion which has perchance in the past indisposed either of them to attempt the acquisition for himself of that realm. This, it is manifest, is done away, if the acquisition is to be for third parties equally allied with the one and the other: who, moreover, when they find themselves in the kingdom, will for ordinary reasons of State postpone all considerations of blood and aught else to their private interests.
“All these reflections upon this business have been discussed by the Duke with me, and so I simply propound them to the Pope through you, subjoining that if his Holiness should be pleased to suggest them to his Highness, it would seem that his Holiness would enable him to negotiate with his Catholic Majesty by means potent and efficacious.”
22 September, 1572. Turin. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. cclxxxiii.
p. 84.
86. [Ptolemy Galli, Cardinal of Como] to Antonio Maria Salviati, [late] Bishop [of S. Papoul], Nuncio in France.
“Already yesterday I had finished the despatch that accompanies this, purposing to send it to-day by the Lyon ordinary, when the King's courier arrived with your letters of the 10th and 11th inst., by which, and much more by the offices done by the ambassador in his Majesty's name, is manifest the stout and resolute determination of his Majesty not to receive the legate; which has caused his Holiness boundless displeasure, not, indeed, by reason of the lessening of his reputation among the worldly, for his Holiness knows well that all his honour and reputation consist but in serving God and discharging the duty laid upon him by His Divine Majesty, but by reason of the damage and disservice that he seems to foresee as the result thereof to the King and his realm, which it were an endless task to discuss and prove.
“God forgive the authors of such counsels, which, however good the intention that gave birth to them, cannot at any rate be commended for prudence. For, to say nothing of other considerations, who in the world is there that does not know that his Holiness in the matter of the extirpation of the heretics was and will ever be in accord with every Catholic prince? And the Germans and the English have seen in the late wars every manifest sign and effect of such union; and as thus it is not possible to cloak it, his Majesty should be the more apt to believe that the legate might rather aid him by the éclat that he would give to his affairs than injure him by distrust that he might inspire in any quarter.
“But this is neither the time nor the occasion for dispute, especially since his Holiness has such love and affection for his Most Christian Majesty that to afford him satisfaction he would gladly triumph over his own mind and sense, and believe in this case as his Majesty would desire. Wherefore you may tell his Majesty that the legate has orders to stop wherever our letters shall reach him and there abide; and if he shall be on this side of the mountains, he is to tarry in some part of the Duke of Savoy's dominions; if he shall be on the other side of the mountains, he is to tarry at Avignon: but his Holiness hopes that in the course of a few days, when matters shall be quieter in the kingdom, and the suspicions and anxieties in regard to Germany and England are dispelled, his Majesty will consent that the legate go to Court to do his office, his Majesty being aware that he comes about the affairs of the League and about no other interests of State, and that he was created and publicly declared legate long before there was news of the slaughter of the Huguenots; and if his Majesty should let this be understood in Germany and England, I am sure that it would dispel suspicion from the mind of any one that had conceived it.
“In regard to all this you must be instant in soliciting with all diligence that his Majesty be pleased as soon as possible to admit the legate; and, having succeeded, you must despatch a courier to proclaim it wherever he passes; and let not his Majesty say that he will have none of the League before he has hearkened to the ambassage; for besides the dishonour that it will ever be to him to have refused to be in this holy company, he will reap yet greater ignominy for having declined so much as to give ear and understanding to the ambassage.
“And his Majesty should also reflect that as soon as he is quite rid of the Huguenots, he would be ungrateful to God, from whom without doubt come all good things, if he should not, to the glory and exaltation of Christ, turn his arms against the Infidels, especially as, having before him our example and invitation, he would be without excuse in the sight of God if he failed so to do.”
22 September, 1572. Rome. Italian. Draft.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. cclxxxiii.
p. 101. (fn. 5)
87. [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como to [Flavio] Cardinal Orsino, Legate in France.
… “There arrived yesterday a courier from his Most Christian Majesty who has confounded and upset all our plans. For his Majesty, not only through his ambassador, but also through the nuncio has made most instant supplication to his Holiness, that for the present he send no legate, and that, if he have started, he recall him, alleging that by this legation the affairs of his realm must needs be much perplexed and prejudiced in regard of the heretic princes of Germany and the Queen of England, who after so great an execution done in France would be thrown into the extremity of suspicion and distrust.”
22 September, 1572. Rome. Italian. Draft.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xvi. f. 105.
88. [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“In regard to the affairs of England the Catholic King has notified me that he is much gratified that the Pope has turned his attention thereto; and the two matches suggested by his Holiness and all that can be done in this business will be pondered by him. Only at the present moment he deems he must not fail to intimate to his Holiness his desire that he would deign to open the eye of his compassion towards the Queen of Scotland in regard of the great persecutions, imprisonments and other grievous tribulations which she has suffered for the sake of religion, a matter worthy of great consideration both in regard of what is due to the Queen's merits, and for the encouragement of every one to stand firm in the holy Catholic faith. This indicates that the second match is more agreeable to him than the first. Upon a proper occasion I may enter upon some discourse touching this matter; and I suggest to you that it were well to consider how it may be possible to carry out both these enterprises at one and the same time, that against the Grand Turk and that against England, by the accession to the League of the Emperor and the Most Christian King, both of whom must do their parts in aid of the enterprise against the Turk.”
23 September, 1572. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Arch. Segr.
Arm. xiv.
Caps. I. no. 83.
p. 131.
89. Antonio Maria Salviati, [late] Bishop [of S. Papoul], Nuncio in France to [the Same].
“I wrote you at some length, sending a sheet of cipher, on the 22nd, by a courier despatched by the King to his ambassador at Rome and with letters for Turin to stop the legate there if he had got so far, as his Majesty held to the opinion that at the present time his advent might be attended with embarrassment, notwithstanding what I have told him to the contrary.
“At the audience, from which I have but now returned, I have done my office to the best of my knowledge and ability. There I found the Cardinal of Guise, who arrived here two days ago. He told me he purposed to send forthwith a courier to the Cardinal, his brother, and it is upon this occasion that I write the present letter. His lordship deems it much for the better that for some time the Cardinal of Lorraine should rather tarry there than come to Court, as it is still apparent that there is much crudity of humours notwithstanding the mighty execution that has been done.
“We are certified of the surrender of Mons on terms to the Duke of Alva, though the French and Spaniards agree in no other particular save that in truth those within did not suffer in such sort as that they would have surrendered the place, had they not been terrified by the report of what had befallen here against the Admiral. For the rest, the Spaniards say that the Duke of Alva got Mons upon condition that he spared the lives of Count Louis [of Nassau], Lanua [La Noue], and all the French, allowing them free exit one by one without beat of drum and without ensigns, and under oath to bear no arms for eight years either against the Most Christian or the Catholic King, and that the men of the place should be at the mercy of his Excellency, who, they will have it, pardoned them all; and that Lanua [La Noue] with the French, upon quitting the place, made for Malines. The French, on the other hand, are of opinion that Count Louis and Lanua [La Noue] went out with colours flying and all their men, and 2,000 men of the place, escorted by the Duke of Alva's people to the frontier of France upon a capitulation, one of the terms of which was the release of Gianlis [Genlis], the Duke making an accord with the Prince of Orange in order to kindle the fire in France. This they are the more inclined to suspect by reason of an advice received rather by good luck than by extraordinary diligence from England, from a secretary sent thither by the Duke with extreme secrecy to treat with the Queen. The French are also aggrieved that on the 21st the Spanish ambassador by the Duke of Alva's orders asked the King what his commands were as to the treatment of the French that were in Mons, whereas at that time everything was already arranged. Whereon they cannot now but reflect, and begin to suspect some stratagem when the ambassador so spoke, for he himself, adverting to it, said to me that he had not been able to get from them a decisive answer.
“In order to oust the Huguenots from the tribunals, and especially from the offices of judicature, they purpose to make an ordinance incapacitating whoever is not a Catholic, fixing a limit of time for the sale of the offices: of this the King has assured me by word of mouth, bidding me write to the Pope that he need have no doubt that he has the affairs of the Catholic religion at heart.
“Confiscation of goods, whether of living or of dead, is disapproved by the Council, nor will the King hear of it.
“The last advices from La Rochelle are not good, as were the others: the tone of those within is courteous and very submissive; but at the close they demand the observance of their privileges, which among other matters comprise that the King place there no guard of strangers; which is as much as to say that they purpose to be subjects, if it serve their turn and not otherwise: besides which they claim to live in liberty of conscience and preaching, ticklish matters all and of a kind to retard amendment of any kind.”
25 September, 1572. Paris. Italian.
—“To-morrow the King of Navarre will go to Mass, and would gladly of his own accord have made his abjuration and confession of faith in my hands, if I had had authority to absolve him; for lack of which I have made my excuse to the King, who craved absolution of me with his own mouth; as also with fair words and many of them I put off many others, and among them persons of consideration, that came to see me.”
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. v. f. 175.
90. [Flavio] Cardinal Orsino, Legate to France to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“This morning as I was about to depart from Chambéry, where I arrived yesterday evening, I was met by a courier with the enclosed letter from his Most Christian Majesty, in which, as you will see, he bade me remain where it should find me; which threw me into the utmost perplexity; however, very soon afterwards the courier arrived with your despatch, which resolved all my doubts, and enabled me easily and quietly to determine what course to pursue. And as you give me his Holiness' instructions that, should I be still in the Alps, I am to tarry in one of the towns of the Duke of Savoy, but that, should I have crossed them, I am to betake me to Avignon, and there stop; and as I have all but crossed these mountains, and am but 14 or 15 leagues from Lyon, I have readily decided to take the shortest and easiest route to Avignon. So, to-morrow, with God's speed, I shall journey thitherward, and there I shall abide until the Pope shall be pleased to order otherwise, doing as you shall bid me. Meanwhile, in pursuance of your instructions by another letter, I have despatched my secretary Onofrio [Vigili] to the Court with a commission in accordance with his Holiness' commands.”
28 September. 1572. Chambéry. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iii. f. 11d.
91. [Vincent Lauri,] Bishop of Mondovi, Nuncio at the Court of Turin to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… As to the proposed match between Spain and France “in case difficulties should be encountered in the affairs of England his Highness suggested for consideration the County of Burgundy [Franche Comté] as dowry, which county being detached and distant from the States of Flanders, and yielding very little revenue,would cost the Catholic King no considerable sacrifice either of purse or of pride; and if by reason of the pettiness of this State the French should be very loath to concur in the establishment of a true peace, there might be added the country of La Bresse, which adjoins the said county and is of about the same extent, to which arrangement his Highness would raise no objection, provided there were given him an equivalent on this side of the mountains.”
28 September, 1572. Turin. Italian. Copy.


  • 1. Cf. p. 36 supra and p. 45 infra.
  • 2. Cf. p. 30 supra.
  • 3. Cf. p. 41 supra.
  • 4. Ormanetto had been in the train and in the confidence of Cardinal Pole during his legation to England. Cf. Pastor, Gesch. der Päpste, Bd. vi. s. 206.
  • 5. The pagination is very irregular; this letter follows the preceding longo intervallo.