Venice: March 1554

Pages 472-477

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 5, 1534-1554. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1873.

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March 1554

March 1. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lxix. p. 4, tergo. 861. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Bailo at Constantinople.
The four ambassadors from the Emperor went to England to the Queen, with whom they treated and concluded her marriage with the Prince of Spain, his Imperial Majesty's son, which marriage [contract] the Emperor subsequently confirmed and signed; and in Cornwall and Kent, the people, wishing for a native Sovereign and not a foreigner, resented this, taking up arms and rebelling. On account of this insurrection the four ambassadors quitted London and returned to Brussels. The last London letters inform the Signory that the rebels in Kent, under their commander Sir Thomas Wyatt, were approaching London, hoping for support from the Londoners, but on the 7th February, the day of the letter's date the Queen's infantry and cavalry marched against them and fought a battle near London, in which her Majesty's forces were victorious, capturing Wyatt, and five other men of quality, who have been taken to London and committed to the Tower. The Emperor, on hearing of this victory, sent orders to Spain for the Prince to come for the consummation of the marriage, and has provided a number of ships for his passage. The Emperor has summoned a Diet at Augsburg for the second week in Easter (per l'ottava di Pasqua), with orders for the Princes of Germany to appear, and giving out that he himself will attend, [that Cardinal Pole, who is on his way to England to the Queen his near relation, has had audience of the Emperor, to whom according to report, in the Pope's name, he proposed terms of peace with the King of France,] (fn. 1) and that news has been received from Spain of the death of the Emperor's mother, and of the Prince of Portugal, his son-in-law, leaving his widow pregnant; and by letters from France of the 13th February, it is heard that she has been delivered of a son, who succeeds to the Crown of Portugal.
Ayes, 176. Noes, 14. Neutrals, 10.
March 2. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 862. Cardinal Pole to Pope Julius III.
Having written what was necessary about his coining into these parts, to the Cardinal di Monte, (fn. 2) it merely remains for him to tell the Pope, that on the third day after his departure from Brussels, the Bishop of Arras sent to him by an express, a letter from the Queen of England, of which he encloses a translation; and the Bishop said the Queen wished it to be delivered to him as soon as possible. On the day after its receipt Pole sent one of his attendants in haste to England with the reply, the summary of which, should the Pope so please, he can hear from Pole's agent at Rome, and save himself the trouble of reading the instructions given to the messenger.
Had he not been compelled by the shortness of the time, Pole would not have given any positive reply to the Queen until he had first heard in detail the will and order of his Holiness, whom he informed, on receipt of the Queen's penultimate letter, that she then made him the same request; and knowing of the Parliament which is to commence at Oxford on the 2nd of April, (fn. 3) he believes it to be the cause of the haste evinced by the Queen, when she says that mora trahit periculum, and that she purposes making use of these bishops in this Parliament; so that Pole deemed it by no means expedient to interpose any difficulty or delay in gratifying her Majesty's pious wish, and giving this commencement of recourse and submission to the authority of the Pope and the Apostolic See. On the return from England of his messenger, which he hopes may take place at any rate by Easter, Pole will immediately give notice to the Pope of the whole.
From St. Denis, the 2nd March 1554.
March 6. Parti Comuni, Consiglio X., v. xxi, p. 90. 863. Embassy to England.
Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta.
That of the moneys destined for ambassadors, 600 golden ducats be given to the nobleman, Ser Zuan Michiel, ambassador elect to the Queen of England, on account of his expenses for four months, and 150 ducats at the rate of 6 livres and 4 “soldi” per ducat, for the purchase of horses, 30 ducats for coverings and trunks, 50 ducats as a gift for his Secretary, and 40 ducats for two couriers, at the rate of 20 ducats each, and also 200 ducats for couriers, despatch of letters, escorts, guides and safe-conducts.
The treasurer of the Council to pay Michiers agents on the expiration of three months after his departure from Venice, at the commencement of the fourth month, 150 golden ducats, namely, one month's salary, so that he may always have one month in advance, and thus from month to month.
Ayes, 28. Noes, 0. Neutrals, 0.
March 6. Parti Secrete, Consiglio X., File no. 8. 864. Embassy to England.
Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta.
That the nobleman Ser Zuan Michiel, ambassador elect to England, do appear tomorrow morning before the Chiefs of this Council, who will tell him that as the Emperor, suspects Michiel's predecessor [Giacomo Soranzo] of having performed some evil office in the matter of the marriage of the Prince his son, and against the Spanish nation, the will of the Council is, that Michiel do proceed with all speed to his legation, so that within the next ten days at the furthest, he is to depart from Venice and go with all diligence to his post, keeping secret what will be told him by the Chiefs aforesaid.
Ayes, 26. No, 1. Neutral, 1.
March 7. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta) v. lxix. p. 5, tergo. 865. Motion made in the Senate about English News destined for Constantinople.
The Emperor's Ambassadors went to England to the Queen, and concluded the marriage between her and the Prince of Spain, the Emperor confirming it. Some Englishmen, resenting this marriage, rebelled, as they wished to have a native for their King, and not a foreigner. Owing to this insurrection, the Ambassadors quitted London, and returned to Brussels; and the rebels in Kent, with troops under the command of their leader, Sir Thomas Wyatt, approached London, hoping for support from the inhabitants, but they were met by the Queen's soldiery and worsted, Wyatt being captured and many others taken to London and committed to the Tower. Some other chiefs of the rebellion were also arrested; and the Lady Jane Grey, who had heretofore been proclaimed Queen, and her husband, were beheaded. The Emperor on hearing of the victory sent an order to Spain for the Prince to come immediately to consummate the marriage, and a number of ships have been provided for his voyage. His Imperial Majesty has sent back one of the aforesaid Ambassadors to England, and has summoned (indito) a Diet at Augsburg for the second Easter-week, desiring the Princes of Germany to attend it in person, and giving out that he himself also would be there. In Flanders, negotiations were on foot to obtain from the states of those provinces (li signori delli paesi di Fiandra) a considerable sum of money. [Cardinal Pole had arrived at Brussels on his way to England from the Pope to the Queen, whose near relation he is. It is said that he is sent on account of the religion, that he will quit Brussels before the end of February, and that his right reverend Lordship has exhorted the Emperor in the Pope's name, to make peace with the most Christian King.] (fn. 4)
Ayes, 86.
March 17. Lettere Secrete Capi Consiglio X. File no. 5. 866. The Chiefs of the Ten to the Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor. (fn. 5)
Have elected as Ambassador in England the nobleman Ser Zuan Michiel, who this day departed on his way to his embassy. Have given him notice of this for his instruction.
Ser Petrus Maurocenus, C.C.X. Lectæ Clmis et Sap. utr. manus.
Ser Thomas Contarenus, C.C.X.
Ser Hieronimus Grimano, C.C.X.
March 27. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta) v. lxix. p. 10, tergo. 867. Commission from the Doge and Senate to Giovanni Michiel, Ambassador designate to England.
Have elected him as their Ambassador to reside with the Queen in the stead of Giacomo Soranzo. On arriving at the court, to present his credentials to the Queen, and express their congratulations on her accession and on her marriage. To announce his appointment as Soranzo's successor, offering his services for the maintenance of the good understanding between the two countries, and recommending to her Majesty the Republic's merchants in England; and whenever they apply to him (Michiel) for assistance and favour, to afford it to them.
If the Prince of Spain, the Queen's Consort, should already be there, or if not, immediately on his arrival, is to perform every office with his Highness to convince him of the Signory's observance towards the Emperor, and of their esteem for his Highness, as also of their intention to persevere in the friendship existing between them and his Imperial Majesty.
To present himself to the Councillors and exhibit the Signory's credentials, addressing each of them in such terms as to assure them of the affection which the Signory bears their Excellencies; and after he has remained a few days with his predecessor, and received from him all due information, they give Soranzo leave to return, as by the accompanying letter to his address.
To visit the other personages of the Court, and the Lords of the Council, according to their grade and authority, so that in return for these compliments, they may favour the interests of the Republic and its merchants.
To visit the Ambassadors of foreign powers at the English Court, so as to preserve the Signory's friendly relations with their sovereigns, taking the same course with regard to the Lords and personages in attendance on the Prince of Spain. During his residence at the Court is to use every possible effort to learn its negotiations and designs (trattatione), and the events of the kingdom, giving them especial notice of everything day by day.
On his journey to England, should he meet with any Prince or personage whom he might think it fit to visit for the advantage of the Signory's affairs, he is not to omit doing so, performing whatever office he shall deem becoming, in conformity with their grade and station.
For his expenses, have appointed him 150 golden ducats per month, 600 of which to be paid in advance, besides 150 ducats, at the rate of 6 livres and 4 soldi per ducat, for the purchase of horses, 30 for trunks and coverings, and 20 for a courier, as usual.
Ayes, 186. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 0.
March 27. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta) v. lxix. p. 12. 868. Commission from the Doge and Senate to the Ambassador Soranzo in England.
Having granted his request to return home, are sending Zuan Michiel to reside with the Queen in his stead. To take leave of her Majesty and return. Are well satisfied with him, and commend the diligence and prudence which he displayed in such matters as he had to treat during his legation.
Ayes, 186. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 0.
March 28. Parti Secrete. Consiglio X., File no. 8. 869. The Council of Ten and Junta to Giovanni Michiel, on his way to England.
Warn him not to go to the courts either of the Emperor or of the most Christian King, but to proceed to his legation through France, adroitly avoiding the court, without showing that he does so designedly, or by their order. He is to desire his predecessor to do the like on his return, and after having read together this letter and its extract (con l'estratto di esse), they are to burn them in secret, to prevent their falling into the hands of other persons.
Ayes, 23. No, 1. Neutrals, 4.
March 28. Parti Secrete, Consiglio X., File no. 8. 870. The Same to the Same.
Not to interfere in matters not relating to the Signory, save as regards learning the state of affairs. Not to evince partiality, but to proceed alike with the ministers, both of the Emperor and of the most Christian King, so that the one may not suspect him of being more inclined to the other. In conversation, and in all his other acts, to avoid giving cause to any one to suspect or talk as they have done of late, much to the Signory's displeasure.
Ayes, 23. No, 1. Neutrals, 4.


  • 1. The bracketed paragraph in the register, was to be ciphered in the letter.
  • 2. The letter has not been found.
  • 3. “The Queen intends to keep Easter at Windsor, and immediately thereafter to repair to Oxford, where she means to hold a Parliament and keep term.” (See Foreign Calendar, 22nd February 1554, Westminster, No. 157. The Council to Dr. Wotton, p. 60.)
  • 4. The bracketed passage was ciphered in the despatch, but not in the register.
  • 5. The letter to be transcribed in cipher.