1562, January-March


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'Rome: 1562, January-March', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Vatican Archives, Volume 1: 1558-1571 (1916), pp. 70-78. URL: Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


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1562, January–March

Vat. Arch.
Arm. lxiv.
vol. 28. f. 167.
132. — [John,] Cardinal Moroni.
“There at present in the kingdom of England 27 cathedral churches, of which fifteen are void by the death of the Catholic bishops that were lawfully provided by the Apostolic See. Of the twelve other sees the bishops are still living, of whom 10 are in prison in the Tower of London solely for the sake of the Catholic faith and the authority of the Apostolic See, which they are resolved to obey, and suffer martyrdom, rather than acknowledge any other head of the Church of God than the Pope. The other two bishops that are also living are the Bishop of St. Asaph, who is at the Council of Trent by order of the Pope, and the Bishop of Llandaff, who suffered himself to be seduced by the Queen of England into obeying her, and consecrating all those schismatic and heretical bishops whom the Queen appointed of her own authority.
“His Holiness is prayed to make provision for the 15 churches vacant by death; and it is submitted that five of the most learned of the English Catholics that are at Louvain, and elsewhere overseas, should be promoted, and should come to Trent to take part with the Bishop of St. Asaph in the General Council and consult with him how to bring the realm back to the true religion.
“Should his Holiness deign to grant a subvention to the bishops and others imprisoned for religion's sake, I think that for the present it would suffice to direct payment to their account in Antwerp of 100 crowns per month to be disbursed for sustenance for the said bishops by order of Master Clement, an English physician.
“The Pope is also prayed to ordain that to the five bishops that are to come to the Council there be allowed 100 crowns each for the journey and 1 crown per day so long as they shall be resident at the General Council. The present need will therefore be 800 crowns, to wit, 500 for the said five bishops and 300 for imprisoned bishops for their sustenance for three months. The annual cost may therefore amount to 3,000 crowns: meanwhile we shall see what effect the General Council will have, and what hope there is of the reclamation of England.”
Vat. Lib.
Reg. Lat.
2023. f. 245.
133. Jerome de Osorio, subsequently Bishop of Silves [in Portugal] to [Sir Richard Shelley,] Prior of England.
Commending his zeal for the Catholic religion and his solicitude for the maintenance of the discipline of the Knights of Rhodes evinced by his recent letter to the nobles of England.
Evora, 1562. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Barb. Lat.
5798 (lxxi. 58).
f. 170.
134. John Francis Commendone, [Nuncio in Germany] to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“As I was leaving Sandisir [St. Dizier] I learned that the Cardinal of Lorraine was to be that day at Ansorville [Ancerville], distant one league from Sandisir. Thither accordingly I went to seek him, and there I was with him great part of the day, until supper time. As to Scotland he told me that he had received from the Queen, his niece, a letter for the Pope, in which she professes herself ready to die rather than swerve from her obedience to his Holiness and the Apostolic See. He added for himself that he would be greatly pleased if the Queen were consoled by a brief from the Pope. He then went on to speak of the Queen as (religion apart) much beloved and respected in the kingdom, and beloved by the English also, and their Queen, who was even disposed to declare her princess and heir of England. He added that lately his brother, the Grand Prior, on his return from Scotland was received with all honour by the Queen of England, (fn. 1) though she had formerly shown little good will towards the House of Guise. The Cardinals other brother Marquis d'Elbeuf, remains in Scotland, that the Queen may have his company and, in case of need, his succour. And hereupon ‘Consider,’ said the Cardinal to me, ‘what these nobles of Scotland are in the matter of religion when the Queen's own agent (fn. 2) here with me is a Calvinist, and is at no pains to conceal it.’”
1 Jan., 1561[–2]. Ligni. Italian. Copy.

“In to-day's letter I omitted certain matters, which are as follows:—The Cardinal of Lorraine asked me many questions about the two Imperial Archdukes, both as to their qualities and as to their prospective portions, and after a long discourse told me that the Emperor asked the hand of the Queen of Scotland for one of them, and had already written to him about it.
“The Duke of Guise sounded me in like manner: but the Cardinal went further, questioning me in detail about the Kings of Denmark and Sweden, both of whom, he said, were suitors of the Queen, and that the King of Denmark would do much to win her, and that it would be a very good thing for the two realms to be united, but that on the score of religion she is indisposed to consent, and he to counsel her to marry the King, and that he knew well that she would not make up her mind without consulting him. He then adverted to the Prince of Spain and among other remarks uttered these very words: ‘He does not seem to be in very good health, and I am not sure that his father would desire to involve him at present in these intrigues,’ which word intrigues showed that he was not merely thinking of making a King of Scotland, but of what was to follow, as he showed more plainly by enlarging on the state of Christendom and the important issues involved in this Queen's marriage, with the policies and plans connected therewith, just as I set them forth in my letters to you from Lübeck and Flanders. In sum, he deems that it is in the last degree necessary that a course of action against the heretics be decided upon as early as possible, affirming expressly that, if it be delayed for another year or two, it will be futile even to think of a remedy, and thereupon he enlarged much and with much particularity upon French affairs. He then adverted to the Rhinegrave, of whom I have written more than once, enquiring what he was doing for Saxony and Denmark, evincing great dissatisfaction with him, and saying that he was and had ever been his and the Duke of Guise's vassal. I then touched on the claims of the House of Lorraine upon Denmark, and how it was that their vindication, twice attempted, had never been accomplished. Whereupon he told me of the umbrage taken by the Emperor Charles V and the obstacles that he had interposed, adding that if King Henry had lived, this and much more that his Most Christian Majesty designed in the interest of religion would have been effected. Apropos of the Queen of England's good will towards the Queen of Scotland evinced by her readiness to declare her princess and heir, he said: ‘We have it from a good source that this Queen of England has not long to live.’ I have heard from others in Flanders that she readily plays the invalid; and perchance she does so of set purpose in order to induce folk to await her death in patience, leaving her unmolested; and maybe it was to the same end that she was counselled to signify to the Queen of Scotland her intention of making her her heir. She longs to see some evil turn of French affairs; and though her Calvinism is no longer so much in evidence as formerly, she is content enough that the Catholics in that country should be beaten, for in that event she accounts herself secure.
“As to the Queen of Scotland's letter to the Pope, I conjecture that she either craves, or will soon crave, his Holiness' permission to take charge of the church property of Scotland. The Cardinal told me that there are scarce any rectors of benefices now left in that country, that the churches are all but deserted, and that the Queen is advised to take these temporalities into her own hand, else the nobles will appropriate them, but to this she will not agree. His Lordship, therefore, inclined to the opinion that she ought to take possession of them as by way of trust with the obligation of rendering account thereof in due time. This he urged chiefly by way of deliverance from the risk of the heretics taking them and making war on the strength of them, their value amounting, he said, to about 100,000 crowns of revenue.
“We are in receipt of intelligence from France that for the beginning of next month there are summoned to that Court two councillors for each Parliament of France, who are to confer with the Lords of the Privy Council as to whether a church in each city should be placed at the disposal of the heretics, and furthermore it is understood that from all the Parliaments come just the very men that are most suspect in matter of religion.”
1 Jan., 1561[–2]. Ligni. Italian. Copy. (fn. 3)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv. f. 128.
135. [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to [Hippolytus d'Este, Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France].
“The Pope has heard with pleasure of the negotiation initiated in England, and commends the address, prudence and circumspection of which you have given proof in writing to, and procuring speech of the Queen, not that he anticipates that any good will result, after the experience he has had of her obstinacy on each of the two occasions that he sought of sending a nuncio to the kingdom, but solely for the further satisfaction afforded to his conscience by the sense that he has left nothing untried that could emanate from him; and so if you shall see fit to keep the negotiation alive by means, as you suggest, of M. di Moretta, (fn. 4) his Holiness leaves it to your discretion.
“His Holiness knows that Secretary Cecil is very high in authority, and long ago his Holiness applied his mind to devise a method of gaining him over: though, as our nuncios have not been suffered to enter the island, we have since let that and other projects that might have good results pass out of mind. You may therefore well believe that if he can in any manner be gained, either by means of his son or by any better method, his Holiness will be much gratified.”
3 Jan., 1562. Rome. Decipher. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xliv.
Pii IV. Epp. ad
Princ. vol. xi.
No. 180. Arm.
lxviii. Pii IV.
Epp. ad Princ.
vol. ii. f. 237.
Vat. Lib.
Barb. Lat.
2125 (xxxi. 10).
f. 101.
136. Pope Pius IV to Mary, Queen of Scotland.
Reinforcing the message sent her by Nicholas de Gouda, S.J., by a long and earnest exhortation to let no difficulties or obstacles deter her from purging her realm of heresies, and to send bishops and an ambassador to Trent without delay.
12 Jan. 1562. Rome Latin. Copies.
in Raynaldus, Ann. Eccl., 1562, § 182.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cxxxviii.
f. 75d.
137. Zacharias Delfino, Bishop [of Lesina,] Nuncio to the Emperor to [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan].
“The Catholic King has sounded the Queen of England whether she be willing to wed the Archduke Ferdinand. She has no inclination towards him, knowing him to be enamoured of a lady of Augsburg, by whom he has two bastards. She is better disposed towards the Archduke Charles; and this affair has a chance of success, because many of the chief nobles of that kingdom have a great liking for the Catholic King, and the Council has absolutely decided against the King of Sweden and Milord Robert [Dudley].”
19 Jan., 1562. Prague. Italian. Summary.
Vat. Lib.
Barb. Lat.
5798 (lxii. 58).
f. 176.
138. John Francis Commendone, [Nuncio in Lower Germany] to [the Same].
“To-day at Herenbrait Stehin [Ehrenbreitstein], with the Archbishop of Trier, I found Father Everard, Provincial of the Jesuits in Lower Germany, and heard from him of the commission granted by the Pope to Father de Gouda to visit the Queen of Scotland, whereby I was greatly comforted, especially because his Holiness' transcendent benignity has anticipated and accomplished all and more than all that the Cardinal of Lorraine told me he desired of him, as I wrote you on the 1st inst.; and indeed, for the purpose of visiting the Queen, it was not possible to do better in the interest of that kingdom than to choose one of these fathers, and de Gouda is a man of great learning and goodness, and moreover very amiable and modest. I have communicated to the Provincial certain matters that I have learned touching that kingdom, and have exhorted him to send with de Gouda another of the Company, one that is not only well versed in the French language, so as to be able to act as trusty interpreter to the Queen, but also competent to make all investigations required by the instructions, and especially to ascertain how far the church property of that kingdom is in peril, as to which matter I also wrote to you on the 1st inst. This I advise because de Gouda, by what I could make out during the days that he was with me at Brussels, is a person entirely spiritual, and ill-fitted to discern and discover the state of that kingdom. And though the Provincial has told me that they will use all diligence to find such a man, I gravely doubt whether they will find him, unless he himself were to go. He is good and prudent, and energetic enough, and has an excellent knowledge of French, nor would his going occasion much inconvenience to the Company of the Jesuits, because he would either return soon with de Gouda, or without him if the Queen should keep de Gouda with her, and so in a month or little more he would be back in Flanders, and thence might write at large, and with safety, all that he had learned as to that kingdom. It is true, indeed, that, being charged with the office of Provincial, he could not, so far as I can see, be expected to go, unless by commission from his superiors at the instance of the Pope; and, if this should meet with his Holiness' approval, the commission need involve no delay, since, as they must needs go by sea from Flanders to Scotland without touching England, it would be a difficult matter to secure a passage before Easter.”
21 Jan., 1561[–2]. Ehrenbreitstein. Italian. Copy. (fn. 5)
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv. f. 138.
139. [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to [Hippolytus d'Este, Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France].
Assuring him of the Pope's unabated confidence in him, notwithstanding the slow progress that he makes in his principal negotiation, which is attributed solely to its extraordinary difficulty.
“Gratified indeed would his Holiness be were proof forthcoming that their Majesties have religious matters at heart, since thereon depend the peace and preservation of their kingdom, and above all that they accept the remedy of the Council, which proof they may furnish by now setting about despatching their prelates and ambassador to Trent, where the Council was opened on the 18th instant, and is already thinking of beginning business. More than a hundred and twenty Fathers are there, and one of the Imperial ambassadors, nor can the others delay their coming much longer. The Spanish ambassador must also be on the road, as well as the Portuguese, and perchance the Polish ambassador, and little short of a multitude of other prelates hastening to this holy work.
“The writing which has been placed in your hands touching the method of preserving the Catholic religion and ecclesiastical authority in the Kingdom of [France] is so impious and abominable that the Pope could hardly bring himself to read it—not to speak of showing it to others. If you are asked your opinion upon it, you can say that they had better propose it in Council, where in open and full conclave it will receive its due answer.
“The new Assembly [of Poissy] might occasion his Holiness anxiety, considering that its predecessors have borne little good fruit, were it not that he sees that their Majesties have, nevertheless, some sense left of what is due, if not to God, at any rate to honour and worldly interest; so that we will hope that they will not consent to the mischievous measures that were threatened. His Holiness will be interested to learn the result.
“As to the negotiation with England, his Holiness is of opinion that the obstinacy of the Queen makes it impossible to gain anything there by, nay, that we may well lose by reason of the distrust and suspicion in which it may involve us in another quarter when it appears that we are engaged in these intrigues. Nevertheless his Holiness will gladly hear what M. di Moretta has to say by way of answer.”
28 Jan., 1562. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. x. f. 208.
140. [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to [Zacharias] Delfino, Bishop [of Lesina], Nuncio to the Emperor.
“The decision come to by the Assembly of France in its last session is, as you will have learned, to allow the Huguenots no more respite, and not to suffer them to preach in walled towns, albeit they say they must needs connive at their conventicles outside the cities.
“M. de Lansach (fn. 6) is come to apprise his Holiness of this, and at the same time to assure him that the French ambassador and Prelates will come to Trent, and tarry there to the end of March.”
21 Feb., 1562. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cxxxviii.
f. 80d.
141. [Hippolytus d'Este,] Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France to [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan].
“In divers ways he is endeavouring to enlist the influence of the English ambassador with the Queen of England to induce her to send to the Council, and finds him not altogether opposed to such a course. Indeed he has just written a despatch on the subject at the same time that he reported that France was sending to it.
He [the writer] is awaiting the return of the Duke of Guise to Court to do his office that the Queen of Scotland may send to the Council.”
23 Feb., 1562. [St. Germain.] Italian, Summary. (fn. 7)
Vat. Arch.
Conc. di
vol. cxxxviii.
f. 81d.
142. [Hippolytus d'Este,] Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France to [Charles] Borromeo, Cardinal [Archbishop of Milan].
“Their Majesties are resolved to send, as their ambassador to the Council, M. de Lansac, by reason of the procrastination and irresolution exhibited by M. de Candale in view of his law-suit. They sent Lansac word by to-day's courier to proceed to Trent.”
27 Feb., 1562. [St. Germain.] Italian. Summary. (fn. 8)
Ibid. f. 92.143. [Prospero Publicola] Santacroce, Bishop [of Chissamos, Nuncio in France] to [the Same].
“He has been with the Queen, and has carried out his instructions in regard to the Council. Her Majesty informed him that she will send Lansac as her ambassador until she find another, and that she is bidding the Bishops bestir themselves, and some of them were already on the way, and at Lyons.”
4 March, 1562. [Paris.] Italian. Summary.
Ibid. f. 110d.144. the Same to the Same.
“A gentleman, (fn. 9) sent by the Queen of England, has come to this Court, to condole with their Majesties on their present troubles, offering his good offices in general.”
7 March, 1562. [Paris.] Italian. Summary.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xliv.
Pii IV. Epp. ad
Princ. vol. xi.
No. 226.
145. Pope Pius IV to David Wolf, S.J.
Commission and faculties in the same terms as in the brief of 2 Aug., 1560.
10 March, 1562. Rome. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. lxviii.
Pii IV. Epp. ad
Princ. vol. ii.
f. 325.
Arm. xliv.
Pii IV. Epp. ad
Princ. vol. xi.
No. 231.
146. The Same to Elizabeth, Queen of England.
Apprising her that he has given certain instructions to Hippolytus [d'Este], Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France, for her behoof, and fully accrediting the Cardinal Legate, or his nuncio, to her.
15 March, 1562. Rome. Latin, Copies.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. lxviii.
Pii IV. Epp. ad
Princ. vol. ii.
f. 325.
147. The Same to Mary, Queen of Scotland.
To the like effect.
15 March, 1562. Rome. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. Germ.
vol. iv.
ff. 150–2.
148. [Charles Borromeo, Cardinal Archbishop of Milan] to [Hippolytus d'Este, Cardinal of Ferrara, Legate in France].
“His Holiness was greatly gratified by what you wrote in regard to M. di Moretta; and if that Queen [of England] will do as he says, i.e., be guided by the Queen of France in the matter of sending to Trent, we may hope that those offices may bear good fruit; but his Holiness knows not what to believe, and therefore deems that it accords not with his dignity that any further overture should be made in his name after the Queen's refusal to receive alike the letters, the envoys and the ambassages that he was minded to send to her.
“Nevertheless his Holiness would not omit to send a brief accrediting you to the Queen, which brief comes herewith, as also a notification that it is not to be used, unless you know for certain that it will answer its purpose. I send another brief accrediting you to the Queen of Scotland, that you may write to her in his Holiness's name what you may deem proper, especially in regard to the Council; as to which I forbear to say anything, knowing that the Legates and others at Trent must keep you informed of what passes there day by day.”
15 March, 1562. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. lxiv.
vol. 28.
f. 138.
149. [The Same] to [The Same].
“His Holiness authorizes you to take some convenient opportunity of giving the Queen Mother and the King's Governors to understand how nearly it concerns the weal of that realm to devise a remedy for the heresies and schism of the Queen of England, to whose arbitrary power is due the persistent oppression of religion and the many Catholics that are in her kingdom. You will also acquaint them how his Holiness has twice sent an envoy to do his loving office towards the Queen of England, to induce her to acknowledge the true religion, and by consequence send her theologians to the General Council, and how she would not suffer the Nuncios to approach her for that purpose, and how her last answers made it plain that no sort of persuasion will ever avail to bring her back to the unity of Holy Church.
“England remaining thus oppressed by the heretics, it is to be feared that there will be constant correspondence between them and the rebels and heretics of France and other neighbouring countries, whereby heresies and rebellions will be propagated in all the surrounding states. Wherefore his Holiness, being desirous to obviate such untoward consequences as promptly as may be and by means such as the emergency most urgently demands, which, in his opinion, would be the marriage of the Queen of Scotland with some Catholic and powerful Prince, and the consequent settlement of the succession to the throne of England, which of right comes to the Queen of Scotland after the death of Queen Elizabeth, his Holiness, I say, supposing a husband to be found who was both a Catholic and agreeable to the grandees and nobles of England, would gladly exert his authority to the uttermost to bring the marriage about, as desired; which done, his Holiness will not fail to support the Queen of Scotland's claims to the succession to the throne of England by all such means as shall be deemed necessary, to the end that the Catholic religion may be re-established in that kingdom.
“Assuming, then, that his Holiness has the concurrence of those Lords, he remits it to their judgment to select a person to be proposed as the Queen of Scotland's husband; and if he should be acceptable, or at least not manifestly repugnant, to the Catholic King, his Holiness will gladly adhere to him, and will not fail to use his influence with his Catholic Majesty to procure his consent, in the interest of religion.
“You will wait to learn the mind of the Queen Mother and those Lords in regard to the said proposal, that you may be able to report the same to his Holiness, who, being apprised of their policy, will be the better able to determine upon the means necessary to bring England back to the unity of Holy Church.
“If the Lords say that this is no time to anger the Queen of England, because power is at present lacking to give effect to such a policy, you will give them to understand that delay will but increase the difficulty, inasmuch as his Holiness is advised from many quarters that the greater part of the nobles of that island mislike the match which the Queen designs to make with my Lord Robert Dudley, whose father was beheaded as a rebel and usurper of the crown; and it is feared that, should he come to the throne, he would avenge his father's death and extirpate the nobility of the realm. It is also to be feared that the Catholic peoples, who are quite ready enough to temporise, would grow lukewarm in religion, more especially if there should be issue of the marriage, and the succession to the Crown should be established in the present heretical Queen.”
[March, 1562. Rome.] Italian. Draft. (fn. 10)


1 Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1561–2, pp. 372, 377 note, 392 note, 416, 571.
2 Lord St. Colme. Cf. ibid., pp. 408, 433, 458, 479.
3 Printed in part by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 84–87.
4 Late envoy from Savoy to Scotland. As to his mission at the English Court see Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1561–2, pp. 447–8, 496, 510, 517.
5 Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, p. 91.
6 Louis de St. Gelais, Seigneur de Lansac.
7 Printed at length in Baluze', Misc., ed. Mansi (1764), vol. iv. p. 390b.
8 Printed, ibid., p. 393a.
9 Sir Henry Sidney. Cf. Cal. State Papers, Foreign, 1561–2, p. 636.
10 Printed by Pollen, S.J., ut supra, pp. 58–60.