F. 72 Inf.
|994. William, Bishop of Dumblane, to Cardinal Carlo Borromeo.|
His Holiness being informed that through the malignity of the modern heretics I have been banished from my church and country, deprived at once of my only temporal support and what grieves me much more, of my spiritual charge, so that I could not remain in those parts, especially as they sought my life, moved with compassion and having a good report of my life and conduct because I was in Rome in years gone by, decided to employ me in the service of God in this city during my exile. I cannot sufficiently think this goodness which has moved your lordship to appoint me to your church of S. Maria Maggiore, and as I cannot serve my own, in no other church in Europe would I serve more gladly as I have always from my earliest years had the Most Blessed Virgin in especial reverence.
You certainly could have chosen someone more able and worthy than myself, as I am a feeble instrument, but in zeal and devotion I yield to no one as I hope one day you will recognise, please God.
The canons in chapter have asked me recently to remind your lordship that you ordered four silver candlesticks for the use of that Church to go with a cross given by them, which is so finely wrought and costly that I do not remember having seen its like in Rome. Only two candlesticks are made so far, and the altar requires four at least.
I will be brief, hoping that God will reward you for your many kindnesses and courtesies to me, having granted me the patent of the vicarship and granted me your apartments in S. Prassede. As the provision ordained for me by his Holiness does not suffice for my livelihood and to provide household effects, I am forced to appeal to your charity and ask you to direct your agents to supply me with furniture for my rooms. This would at once relieve me of anxiety and make me more diligent in the service of the vicarship. I ask this with the more confidence as I have proved your kindness in past years when I was in Rome and in the service of my queen, and I do not wish to be bound to any one else for this. I will pray to God for your preservation and happiness.
Rome, the 15th January, 1569.
F. 79, Inf.
|995. Nicolo Ormanetto, to Cardinal Carlo Borromeo.|
I have informed your lordship from time to time of the occurrences in the monasteries and nunneries. You will punish irregularities which are only encouraged from this quarter, as you will have seen from the letter written by his Holiness to the Abbot general, and if they send anything material here with what I brought by the post for Rome, I think they well soon have reason to repent having come with too much diligence. I shall wait to effectuate the house of Narni and shall keep referring to it. The case is a difficult one.
The matters of Brescia will be remedied as you will hear from Mons. Crivello. You will lend me your support when required to proceed with the reforms.
I take every opportunity of helping the poor English exiled for their faith. I will speak to his Holiness about the press, but I have no hope owing to the interests of the Roman people who bear the expense of printing. If I do not succeed I will try to help them in some other way.
I have seen the note of the French gentleman who wished to come and kiss his Holiness's feet. I advised him not to trouble and if he had anything of importance to communicate he could tell it to your lordship.
Rome, the 1st January, 1569.
Postscript.—Your lordship's great kindness has emboldened me to keep one of the mules which has arrived from Naples; if you wish for it I will send it with the others.
I have spoken to his Holiness for Monsig. Paleotti; his needs are well known, but the state of the times does not allow his Holiness to do this or many other things which would cause scandal.
F. 72, Inf.
|996. The Bishop of Dunblane, to Cardinal Carlo Borromeo.|
I have delayed answering your lordship s letter until I could also send word of a good decision which I have obtained for the service of the Church, for I find it very ill-served by the clergy. I have constantly laboured with the Reformers, and especially Mons. Ormanetto, for the privation of five beneficed clergy and six chaplains who, according to my information, have entirely abandoned the service for one or two years, and yet nothing could be done. The church has suffered as the numbers are few and of those present to serve some are sick, and those who are well cannot be induced to serve according to the bull, which obliges them to serve as is done in S. Giovanni and S. Pietro, pretending that they cannot do it owing to the poverty of their benefices, and especially as the clergy cannot live upon such slender provision they are forced to find some other support.
Accordingly if your lordship can ordain that the body of the beneficed clergy can be reduced to equality and the other clergy succeed them when the benefices fall vacant, beginning with the removal of those who have not served for a long time, it would encourage good service; whereas at present no one wants such clerkships, as they are only worth 2, 3, 5 and 6 crowns. Only write me your will and be assured that where I recognise the advantage of the Church and the honour of your lordship, I will not consider myself or any one else. I will say no more, because servants should show their devotion rather by deeds than words. I will do all in my power to repay my obligations to your lordship, especially for courteously supplying me with some of your furniture, for which I thank you and kiss your sacred hands, and shall never cease to pray to God for your felicity.
Rome, the 2nd March, 1569.