1568, January-June


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'Rome: 1568, January-June', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Vatican Archives, Volume 1: 1558-1571 (1916), pp. 268-281. URL: Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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1568, January–June

Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 475.
507. News Letter.
“At a late hour yesterday evening returned Mr. Coban [Cobham], the gentleman that had been sent by the English ambassador to his Queen; and to-day the said ambassador has been closeted a long while with his Majesty. It is said that he brings good news, and that the match with the Archduke Charles is deemed arranged; which is the more readily believed because the gentleman had no sooner entered the city than he caused the postilion to sound his horn all the way to the ambassador's quarters, crying, ‘Live Austria and England!’ A message was forthwith despatched to the Archduke at Graz, so that he will have received the tidings of the arrival as soon as his Majesty. Great favour is still shown to the said ambassador, and he lives at the Emperor's charges.
“It is said that next Sunday his Majesty will accept the Order of the Garter sent him by the Queen.”
1–2 Jan., 1568. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. ff. 472d–473.508. News Letter.
“On Sunday after dinner the Emperor was invested with the Order of the Garter by the English ambassador, whom his Majesty afterwards publicly entertained at supper. On Wednesday the Emperor, the Empress and the English ambassador went to Casiglia, a place at one Italian mile's distance from Vienna, where after dinner the courtiers engaged in a shooting match, his Majesty having offered a most beautiful cup of gold with an Imperial Eagle by way of prize for the winner, who proved to be Captain Rusceli. There were also other prizes. The Emperor himself shot, and took the first prize, to wit, a horse with gilded harness, which he presented to Don Francesco Lasso: the third was a collar, which fell to a Fleming, one of the princely house of the Antenori; and there were divers other winners….
“The English ambassador will depart in a few days' time; and as to the marriage matters have now reached a point at which it is neither affirmed nor denied.”
9 Jan., 1568. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 475d.
509. News Letter.
… “Yesterday the Queen of England's herald took his departure, having been presented by his Imperial Majesty with a cup of gold worth 150 florins and some robes of silk.
“The English ambassador will also depart in a few days' time; and the marriage treaty is no more talked of, and few think that it will be concluded.”
11 Jan., 1568. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iii. f. 86.
510. Jerome Rusticucci, Papal Secretary to [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
“His Holiness is ever wont to be gratified by your advices, and these last are the more gratifying to him because they give him to understand the good offices done by his Catholic Majesty with their Most Christian Majesties to induce them to keep clear of the accord, and with the Queen of England to prevent her from encouraging the Huguenots, and in like manner with the Emperor to cause him to preclude that succour which the Huguenots expected from Germany. He has also amply commended the loyalty and good disposition of the French ambassador resident at Court, whom, by what you report of his qualities, he deems a worthy minister of their Majesties whom he serves, since he counsels them so wisely and lovingly that God grant they may be guided by him to the universal advantage of the kingdom.”
13 Jan., 1568. Rome. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 481.
511. News Letter.
… “The English match remains still in suspense.” 21 Jan., 1568. Graz. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 480d.512. News Letter.
… “The English ambassador is still here, but it is said that he will depart next week.”
22 Jan., 1568. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. f. 481d.513. News Letter.
… “It is said that the Queen of England has discovered that those chiefs, by whom she has suffered herself to be governed hitherto, have conspired to depose her; and that therefore it seems that she is minded to return ad gremium ecclesiae, and send hither an ambassador to make her submission to the Pope.”
31 Jan., 1568. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 478.
514. News Letter.
“To-day, at 8 o'clock, departed the English ambassador, presented by his Imperial Majesty with 24 silver-gilt cups, two large flasks and two large cups, in all of the value of about 6,000 florins.”
6 Feb., 1568. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid. ff. 488d–9.515. News Letter.
“The Queen of Scotland has been sentenced and condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and the Earl of Baduel [Bothwell]. her husband, to death, if he should fall into the hands of Justice, for having killed the Queen's first (sic) husband.
“In Scotland the Pragmatics (fn. 1) have been held; and among other matters they have got a law passed that all men must live as the Protestants do, and have chosen the Earl of Mora[y], bastard son of King James that died in '42, Regent of the Realm and governor of his nephew the King until he come of age.
“In the said Pragmatics they have also got a law passed that all Catholic Bishops be deprived of their churches and sees, which are to be given to their nearest kinsmen that are of the sect.
“Here in England Catherine [Grey], the Queen's nearest kinswoman, is dead. The Queen still shows no sign of an inclination to many.”
17 Feb., 1568. London. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Lett di Princ.
e Titolat.
vol. xxx.
f. 242.
516. Margaret of Austria to Pope Pius V.
Desiring his Holiness to take into his service the second son of the Count of Mansfelt, who is destined for the ecclesiastical profession. Cardinal da Gambara and her secretary Machiavello will explain matters more fully.
27 Feb., 1568. Piacenza. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xliv.
vol. 13. f. 166d.
517. Pope Pius V to John Baptista [Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
“On behalf of [Richard Creagh,] Archbishop of Armagh and David [Wolf] S.J., in captivity in England.
“We are informed that our venerable brother the Archbishop of Armagh, who, as you know, is Primate of Ireland, has been arrested by the English, and is kept in chains in the Tower of London; that our dear son David, of Ireland, S.J., is kept in most close custody by the said English in the town of Dublin; and that both are very harshly treated. Their several woes are a sore grief to Us by reason of their singular goodness and many labours on behalf of the Catholic religion. But while, as in duty bound, We desire to help them as best We may, We see not how this may be unless our dearest son in Christ, the Catholic King, were to write earnestly on their behalf to the Queen of the English. And so We would have you plead with the King for them both, and be zealous and instant with him, and crave of him in our own words that he write, sparing no pains, to the said Queen and his ambassador on their behalf, than which office there is none by which he could at present better please Us.”
13 March, 1568. Rome. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. vi. f. 2.
518. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
“We have lately received intelligence here of the arrest of the Archbishop of Armagh and Father Davit [sic David Wolf], S.J., in England by order of the Queen; whereat the Pope is the more displeased as they are the less deserving of such persecution by reason of the exemplary life which they have ever led, and the sound and holy character of their teaching; wherefore, being moved to compassion of their case, he has resolved to write briefly thereof to his Catholic Majesty, entrusting the letter to you with the accompanying brief. You will therefore be instant with his Majesty in his Holiness' name, that he may be pleased to do his office with the Queen by letters to such purpose that we may hope to gain the desired end, to wit, their liberation; which you should also solicit through his ambassador resident at that Court, and advise me of the result at your earliest convenience.”
17 March, 1568. Rome. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Lett. di Princ.
e Titolat.
vol. xxx.
f. 218.
519. Don John of Austria to Pope Pius V.
Acknowledging receipt of the brief of the 10th Dec. [1567] (fn. 2) delivered to him by the Archbishop of Rossano, and expressing the gratification afforded him by all its contents and the discourse of the nuncio, and especially by the Pope's approval of his recent appointment by the King as General of the Sea.
12 April, 1568. Madrid. Spanish.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 507.
520. News Letter.
… “They say that another ambassador is coming from England to renew the negotiation of the marriage of the Archduke Charles with that Queen, and that the courier from Flanders left him on the road to Worms; but many disbelieve that he comes for that purpose.”
16 April, 1568. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Ibid.521. News Letter.
… “The English ambassador has not yet made his appearance; nor is it certain that he is coming.”
23 April, 1568. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Lett. di Princ.
e Titolat.
vol. xxx.
f. 246.
522. Margaret of Austria to Pope Pius V.
Thanking him for taking the son of the Count of Mansfelt into his service, and for the gift of some “spiritual treasures” sent by Machiavello.
25 April, 1568. Piacenza. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i.
. 108. Pt. ii.
f. 40.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
ff. 380–382d.
Corsini Palace,
33. E. 3. f. 105.
523. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
… “Touching the affair of the Archbishop of Armagh, as to which his Holiness writes me by the brief just received, I suppose it will be in the recollection of his Holiness that the Archbishop of Cashel in Ireland was likewise at his Holiness' feet, and received the pallium in Rome. He arrived here some days ago, and waited upon me, and told me of the unjust edict of the Queen of England, that he and the said Archbishop of Armagh were to be arrested for being Catholics and having given their obedience to the Pope, and how that it was already carried into effect in the person of the said Archbishop of Armagh, and that he for all that was minded to go to Ireland, but desired first to make sure that he could count on the interest of this King.
“I took the matter to heart, and wrought so upon his Majesty that he wrote to his ambassador in England to do all in his power with the Queen for the liberation of the said Archbishop of Armagh, and for permission to the said Archbishop of Cashel to go and live in security in his church, intimating that we would be content that the Archbishop should go to one of the ports of Spain nearest to Ireland, there to tarry until the withdrawal [of the edict] should be obtained from England and communicated to him in writing, and that thereupon he might forthwith make the best of his way to his church: besides which the King gave him 500 crowns with a promise of more at his departure; and so he went. Of Father Davit [sic David Wolf], S.J., I knew nothing, and therefore I said nothing about him.
“So his Majesty wrote to his ambassador in favour of these two archbishops in very warm terms; but by what I gather, for methinks he is wont to use a certain caution in dealing with this Queen, he bade the ambassador in the first instance to feel his way and be circumspect, giving him to understand that, to avoid a breach of faith, he must promise nothing that could not be performed; that this Archbishop [of Armagh] was taken under the protection and parole of his Catholic Majesty, which must needs be held a great point of honour; and again that he must ask nought that she might deny him, because many nations, and that nation most of all, seem to become, as it were, hostile as soon as they refuse aught that is asked of them, which, accordingly, is what, of all men, great Princes are careful to avoid.
“Pursuant to the brief I have now spoken afresh to the King on his Holiness part, and his reply is that to his letter touching the Archbishop of Armagh he has as yet received no answer, albeit he thinks he has heard that he is somewhat less closely confined. His Majesty adds that he feels great pity, and is sore at heart, for the archbishop and other good and faithful Catholics that are in prison, whom, when he was in that realm, he knew, and that he is trying to secure their discharge, to which end there is nothing that he would not now, if he could, do; and that he will at once write again warmly on behalf of the archbishop and Father Davit to his ambassador there, because with the Queen's ambassador here it would be inopportune to deal in the matter by reason of the affair which I am about to relate. And as his Majesty's offices with this ill affected Queen will be done the gladlier that they are commanded by the Pope, so may God grant that they be not without some good result.
“Having received this answer, I left with his Majesty a minute of the matter.
“The affair of the English ambassador here is as follows:—
“This man has been rather touched in his head, and at last, some days ago, he could no longer keep from venting his venom, but in converse with certain people launched out into words against the Pope and in favour of the Prince of Condé. The matter was reported to his Majesty, who forthwith gave orders that he should quit the Court, and abide at large in a, small place hard by, until his Queen should otherwise provide for him; and that he should no more appear in the presence of his Majesty, who was no longer minded to negotiate with him. I mean that he was to be at large, but for all that he was not to be free from supervision and spies set upon him, to prevent his saying aught that might be harmful; and the King gave him to understand that if he should infringe the rules, he would have him dealt with by the Inquisition, and otherwise gravely admonished him, and despatched forthwith posthaste by courier, to return with the like speed, a letter to the said Queen, to the effect that, if she is minded to have an ambassador here, she must send another, and he should be one that knows after what manner it behoves to speak in a Catholic kingdom and nigh to a Catholic King. And not content with this he purposes to send a gentleman post-haste to England to recount the matter to the Queen, because, on the one hand, he is in no wise minded to have a man here to sow evil seed, and on the other hand he is still less inclined for such a breach as that he would be unable to keep his ambassador in England, seeing that the only place left in that kingdom where seed of religion is still openly sown is the ambassador's house, where Mass is daily celebrated, and the Catholic life is lived.
“This affair has passed so secretly that it is not yet known at Court, nor should I have known it so soon, had not his Majesty himself told it me on the occasion aforesaid; and it is due to the zeal and initiative of his Majesty himself, who, by what I understand, will take care that for good cause it be kept as secret as possible, at least until such time as the policy to be pursued with that Queen is settled; albeit, as the ambassador has already quitted the Court, I know not how it is to be kept secret.”
1 May, 1568. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i.
vol. 108.
Pt. ii. f. 42d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
ff. 388–89.
Corsini Palace, 33. E. 3.
f. 109.
524. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“The courier is not yet gone, and meanwhile letters have come from England, and the ambassador writes to his Catholic Majesty that he has done his office for the Archbishop of Cashel, but finds difficulties; and that he will endeavour to do the like for the Archbishop of Armagh; but by what he writes methinks he has no good hope. Herewith will be a copy of the despatch that he sends to the King.
“He also writes that one that had a secret understanding with his Holiness to the intent that he might do holy and charitable works in that kingdom, and afford the Catholics that are there some comfort, has been detected and arrested; which may give rise to some scandal, as his Holiness will see by the copy of the despatch which I likewise send herewith.
“Secretary Çayas tells me that the ambassador has it in his instructions that, as the Pope cannot keep a nuncio in that kingdom, he must regard himself as there on his Holiness' part also, and act in all matters that he shall perceive to subserve the interests of the Holy Apostolic See, as if he were the minister of that See; and therefore he deems that it would be well that in the matters aforesaid and the like matters his Holiness should direct that everything should be communicated to the said ambassador, because it could not but be helpful and serviceable.
“His Catholic Majesty is minded to send another ambassador to England, who will be the same gentleman that he told me he purposed to send thither to recount the affair of the Queen's ambassador which I reported in the other letter; but who that gentleman will be, is, I believe, as yet undetermined. It is settled that he is to bear the King's commission to do all that he can to procure the discharge of the Archbishop of Armagh and Father Davit [David Wolf], and that like his predecessor he is to have instructions to correspond with his Holiness as if he were his minister; and if his Holiness desire to give him a commission, he should send it hither forthwith, for l expect it will arrive before his departure, and I doubt not that effect will be given to it as his Holiness shall command.
“It is bruited that the said ambassador that is now in England, who is a churchman and a canon of Toledo, is to be sent as ambassador to Venice, but I understand that no decision has as yet been reached as to this Venetian business.
“As to the Archbishop of Cashel in Ireland, who is now tarrying in a port, I know not what he will do when he receives this answer. I should think it would not be amiss that I should learn the mind of his Holiness as to his going [to Ireland], for methinks he has no inordinate desire to expose himself to the risk of martyrdom.”
6 May, 1568. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Copies mentioned in the preceding letter:
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm.
i. vol. 108.
Pt. ii. ff. 43–43d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
ff. 391d–392.
Corsini Palace,
33. E. 3. f. 111.
525. Diego de Guzman de Sylva to his Catholic Majesty.
“The favour and compassion which your Majesty desires to manifest towards the Archbishop of Cashel and the Archbishop of Armagh accord with all that your Majesty does in what concerns the service of God and the weal of His Church Universal, and will have a corresponding reward in great felicity and many years on earth, and eternal life in Heaven. As I have written in reference to this prelate [Cashel] to Secretary Gabriel de Cayas, the business at present is one of great difficulty, and a matter of which it seems just now unmeet to speak to the Queen; for besides that little good could be done therein, the result, by reason of the wonted suspicions of your Majesty, which the heretics of all parts instil into her, might, as I am advised, be untoward, and little to the advantage of the Church in those parts of this kingdom in which the Queen has most power; and so, if one would do one's office with success, it would be necessary to consider carefully how one does it, and walk very warily, for one could not succeed unless one kept in a manner covert there among the Catholics, and so that one could not be molested by those that are not Catholics; for though in effect in certain parts of Ireland they dissemble with them, deeming it expedient so to do for the present in order not to disturb the country, they yet display great vigilance in obstructing any provision that may there be made by bull or ordinance of his Holiness. I will therefore give all due attention and consideration to the case, and find out what is feasible, and the matter shall be handled in accordance with your Majesty's instructions; and the like shall be done in regard to the confinement of the Archbishop of Armagh, which gives me great concern, seeing that it is strict and very grievous for one who is, as he is, in ill health. And the worst of our position here in these matters is that your Majesty's favour, instead of helping these good men, rather makes against them; and for this reason one must needs proceed with great caution.”
27 March, 1568. London. Spanish. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i.
vol. 108.
Pt. ii. f. 43.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
ff. 392d–393.
Corsini Palace,
33. E. 3. f. 112.
526. Diego de Guzman de Sylva to his Catholic Majesty.
“Among other strong measures which they have here taken against the Catholics has been the arrest of one whom they call Unilson [sic Wilson], who, as they advise me, had faculty from his Holiness to absolve and receive such as returned to the Catholic faith, was also engaged in collecting alms from the Catholics here for those at Louvain and elsewhere, and had a book in which were entered the sums contributed and the names of the contributors, which book, they tell me, was found upon him, and might be very damaging to many. I wonder how it was that he did not visit me in common with other good Catholics, as I was one of those that advised that the contribution should be made, and offered my part. I will apprise your Majesty of the result.”
27 March, 1568. London. Spanish. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i.
vol. 108.
Pt. i. f. 51d.
527. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Maurice MacGibbon,] Archbishop of Cashel in Ireland.
“Your letters, the first and the second, have been delivered to me. That I deferred answering the first was due to the reason which you yourself assign. Nothing was lost thereby, for the letter from England had not then been delivered. It is now to hand, and from what the Catholic King's ambassador writes to his Majesty one is better able to discern the cruel animosity of the Queen towards the Catholics than to hope for that which we desire and crave. Secretary Cayas, your constant patron, and moreover a ready promoter of all good works, will write to you, and more fully expound the answer lately received from the King's ambassador. It will now be your part to submit the question of your going thither to prudent and conscientious consideration. I am grieved to hear of your servant's death, and of the ill health with which you are troubled at times. Meanwhile take care of yourself, and so love me as I love you; and be not unmindful of me in your prayers.”
May, 1568. Madrid. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat. 1040.
ff. 515d–516.
528. News Letter.
… “It is understood that the Prince of Orange is mustering mighty forces, and that he may be superior in some degree to him of Cologne; that he will be aided by the Duke of Saxony, his kinsman the Elector, the Landgrave [of Hesse], and the other Princes of Germany; and that he may also receive secret pecuniary assistance from the Prince of Condé and the Queen of England. But for all that the Duke of Alva is well provided with money, men and victuals, and is not disconcerted, particularly as it is not believed that the said Prince of Orange is likely to be able to protract the war.”
9 May, 1568. Antwerp. Italian. Copy.
f. 518d.
529. News Letter.
… “It is bruited here at Court that the Queen of Scotland has escaped from the prison in which she was confined, and that there was great strife in that realm between the faction of the dead King and that of the Queen.”
16 May, 1568. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
di Spagna,
vol. vi. f. 184.
530. [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino to [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
… “In answer to some points in your letters of the 1st, 5th and 6th inst. you are to know that the Pope has sent no one hence to England, nor had commerce with any in that island, either for the purpose of collecting funds, or otherwise. It is true indeed that at the instance of the Jesuit fathers he was fain during the last few months to furnish some Catholics with faculties to grant absolution in those parts to those that were minded to return to the Catholic faith. And furthermore it is true that he is wont every year to send some alms to Louvain in relief of those Catholics of the English and other nations that are there. This is written simply for your information at the present juncture, and for no other purpose.
“Should the Pope have occasion in future to communicate with the Catholic King's ambassador in England, he will not fail on any account to do so.
“In case his Majesty should change his ambassador in England the Pope would be glad to know the name and quality of his successor.”
28 May, 1568. Rome. Italian.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040 f. 535.
531. News Letter.
“It is announced that the Bishop of Umars (fn. 3) , who is to be ambassador resident here, will soon arrive; and that after the flight of the Queen of Scotland her partisans came to blows with the opposing faction, that the Queen's people had the worst of it, and that she afterwards embarked and sought succour in England.”
30 May, 1568. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i.
vol. 108. Pt. ii.
f. 50d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
ff. 412–13.
Corsini Palace,
33. E. 3. f. 143.
532. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
… “This Queen [of Spain] has told me that the Queen of Scotland has escaped from her prison, and withdrawn into a strong castle in the hope of reclaiming the realm to its devotion to her; and that she has acknowledged her error and turned altogether spiritual and Catholic, and is doing her endeavour that her realm may be so likewise. The Spanish Queen and she were brought up together from infancy and love one another much; and so I have bidden the Spanish Queen to write to her and to the Queen Mother, that they should leave nothing undone to deliver the boy who is to succeed to the throne of Scotland out of the hand of her bastard brother [Moray], who, I understand, is a heretic, and to cause the child to be nurtured and bred in the true and Catholic faith before the evil have time to make impression upon him. And the Queen, who has never any other thought than to do good, has promised me to write to such effect, and with much urgency; adding that the Cardinal of Lorraine has written her a long account of the Queen Mother's infirm health, and that there w ere not wanting those who were on the alert, in anticipation of her death, to raise a disturbance, meaning the Prince of Condé, the Admiral [Châatillon] and Montmorency. So she has written to the Queen Mother, bidding her be warned thereby how little she can count upon the Peace that she has made. …”
5 June, 1568. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 528d.
533. News Letter.
“They write from Spain that King Philip has caused the Prince his son's major-domo to be arrested, and for many reasons it is believed that the Prince's affairs are at a critical point.
“It is also understood that the King had given the English ambassador notice to remove at once to a distance of two leagues from the Court. It is said that inter alia this was because he circulated some tractates con taming the doctrines of the Huguenots; and that the ambassador obeyed the edict, and forthwith despatched a special messenger to his Queen.”
10 June, 1568. Vienna. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
di Spagna,
vol. iii. f. 74.
534. [Michael della Torre,] Bishop of Ceneda, Nuncio in France to [John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano,] Nuncio in Spain.
“I wrote of late to you by way of the Spanish ambassador here as much as was needful, and in particular how that the Queen of Scotland after the rout of her forces by the Earl of Moray had withdrawn across the English border, and had there been received with much honour, and entreated with every sign and token of good will by command of the Queen of England, who even went so far as to proffer her aid for her reinstatement in power. Howbeit neither this, nor what the poor Queen of Scotland craved, to wit, liberty to cross to France, was to the mind of the Queen of England's Council, so that it cannot but be suspected that those displays of affection on the Queen of England's part were feigned, and that she is at one with her Council in all their procedures. For which cause I put you in mind that, as there is no Prince in the world of more influence with the Queen of England than his Catholic Majesty, it could not but be well to solicit of him the despatch express of one of his gentlemen to the English Court, there to try to get leave for the Queen of Scotland to cross to France, because here we may be sure that she will keep herself true to the Catholic faith, and while she does so, whatever way that kingdom may go, there will still be hope that at some time or another, with the help of this Crown, it may regain and re-enter the true way, when the seditions shall no longer preclude it; and I besought you to do this office, &c.
“This I have recapitulated because I must tell you that I have also apprised the Pope of what I wrote you in this regard, that his Holiness may be able to use his authority with his Catholic Majesty in furtherance of this pious work, charging you to take the matter up warmly, because if the Queen of Scotland should be left in England, there is little hope of Scotland ever returning to the Catholic religion; and even should the Queen of England aid the Queen of Scotland's reinstatement in power, one cannot but deem it probable that she would wish her to profess the same religion that she herself professes, and to make a declaration to that effect by way of condition precedent, in which case actum est de religione Catholica et ipsius spe in that kingdom. I therefore commend this business to you as strongly as I may in the public interest; and also I commend to your courtesy the enclosed letter, which is for Mr. James Burnell, and which you may give to the Knight of Ingilfeild [Englefield], an Englishman that is there at that Court, who knows who he is, and will take good care of it; and if you want daily information about the affairs of the Queen of Scotland, and events in that country, the said knight will be able fully to advise you. And so I end this letter, commending myself with all my heart to your most noble Grace.”
11 June, 1568. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Misc. Arm. i.
vol. 108.
Pt. ii. f. 52d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
ff. 417–18.
Corsini Palace,
33. E. 3.
f. 149.
535. [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain to [Michael Bonelli,] Cardinal Alessandrino.
“I wrote you some time ago of what befell the English ambassador here, and how that on that account his Majesty had despatched a courier post-haste to communicate the matter to the Queen of England. The said courier has now returned with the answer, and the ambassador there writes that at the outset in the first conference the Queen evinced a little resentment, saying that his Catholic Majesty might have behaved with a little more courtesy and respect, and not have banished her ambassador from the court so suddenly and without a hearing, which was derogatory to her honour, and so forth; and that as to his recall, which the King demanded of her, she was minded before complying to hear what her ambassador himself had to say in his defence, trusting that the King would take it in good part that she should keep, as the saying goes, another ear for her ambassador; and so ended the first pourparler. Afterwards, having thought better of it, she replied in a rambling fashion that she had sent this man, deeming that he would show himself wise and well behaved, and acceptable to his Catholic Majesty, with instructions never by word or deed to give his Majesty or his people any annoyance; but as he had not proved the success that she had anticipated, she would send another, who, she believed, would be more prudent and acceptable, whereby it is manifest that she has borne this affair more patiently than was supposed.
“I understand that she has made an edict that no one in her ports or other places in the kingdom afford aid, countenance or shelter to any of the insurgents of Flanders in some such terms as these: ‘insurgents, rebels and heretics against their King, under pain,’ &c.
“The King will forthwith send another ambassador to England, and I will take care that he carry with him the best possible instructions in favour of the Archbishop of Armagh and Father David [Wolf, S.J.]. The ambassador that is there now, who is a canon of Toledo, will go, by what I understand for certain, to Venice with the style of ambassador, albeit methinks the Signory do not press the matter at present; rather I understand that the Venetian ambassador here has no speech of the King thereof.”
14 June, 1568. Madrid. Italian. Copies.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. f. 539.
536. News Letter.
“They write from London that the Queen of Scotland was still a prisoner in a castle on the Border, that the Queen of England shewed her much favour, but nevertheless would not suffer a soul to speak to her; that there were three persons at the English Court who craved for the said Queen passage for France, but could not get it; and that the King of France had sent to the Queen of Scotland M. de Montmorin (fn. 4) , nephew of Marshal de Bourdillon, but he had not as yet been able to have speech of her.”
21 June, 1568. Brussels. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol. iv.
ff. 1d–2d.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
ff. 425d–427d.
537. [John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano,] Nuncio in Spain to Philip II, King of Spain.
“I have received some letters from the Nuncio of his Holiness resident in France, whereby I am apprised that the Queen of Scotland being in the hands of the Queen of England, and being desirous to cross to France, has not been permitted to do so. The said nuncio, who is a very worthy prelate, zealous for the Catholic religion, deems that it would be very meet that the said Queen of Scotland should quit England, because, if she remain there, he thinks it probable that Scotland will never return to religion, the more so that it may be supposed that the Queen of England will leave no means untried, and easily effect her purpose, to bring her over to her own unbelief; whereas, if she went to France, it might be hoped that one day with French aid she might return to her kingdom, having remained steadfastly Catholic all the while; and so it might be that the kingdom would likewise return to the Catholic faith.
“This the said nuncio deems so true, and a matter of such importance to religion, that he exhorts me most urgently in several letters to do my office with your Catholic Majesty, as that Prince who is held to be the sole mean betwixt us and the Queen of England, and most zealous for the maintenance of the Christian religion in all the realms that are called Christian, that you may be pleased to do your every endeavour with that Queen, even by missives sent post-haste by courier, to induce her to promise that the Queen of Scotland shall go to France.
“To encourage me to do this office with your Majesty the said nuncio informs me that he has apprised the Pope of all that he writes to me, and doubts not that the Pope will give me a commission accordingly. I, on the one hand, recognize that it would behove me to await his Holiness' said commission, and on the other hand I see that your Majesty is on the point of sending in the course of two or three days your new ambassador to England; and I am already very sure of the Pope's mind, which is, that one should ever ponder, propose and recommend whatever operations your Majesty shall yourself deem conducive to the public weal, and especially to the maintenance of the Catholic religion; wherefore, not to let slip this good opportunity, I have resolved on a middle course, to wit, to lay all this that I have said before your Majesty, that, as your great sagacity may dictate, you may either give some commission to your ambassador that is now about to depart, or adopt some other expedient that may commend itself to your royal mind, or—to leave the whole matter to your discretion—may, in short, adopt in regard thereto some resolution that you deem more expedient for the holy Catholic faith and the service of God and your Majesty.
“Touching the departure of the said ambassador it occurs to me to suggest to your Catholic Majesty, that among the many good works which he will be commissioned to do in that realm there be specially included that of which I have often spoken to your Majesty, to wit, that he do every possible office to procure the discharge of the Archbishop of Armagh and the Jesuit, Father David [Wolf] who now languish miserably in the strictest confinement, solely for holding the true faith of our Lord Jesus Christ; in regard to which matter, albeit I know that I have no occasion to quicken your Majesty's zeal, having ever found it most ardent in this and the like works of charity, nevertheless I am fain to remind you of it now that the ambassador is about to depart, and at a time proper for furnishing him with instructions and other commissions. I come not in person so as not to intrude on your Majesty's leisure, if leisure be possible amid so many and so weighty cares; and praying God to preserve you in health and happiness, I most humbly kiss your Catholic Majesty's royal hands.”
24 June, 1568. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
Spagna, vol. iii.
f. 73.
538. [Michael della Torre,] Bishop of Ceneda, Nuncio in France to [John Baptista Castagna,] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio in Spain.
Recapitulating his letter of June 11, and exhorting the nuncio to be diligent in following the instructions contained therein.
25 June, 1568. Paris. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di Spagna,
vol. iv. ff. 3–4.
Borgh. I.
vol. 606.
ff. 428d–430.
539. [John Baptista Castagna, Archbishop of Rossano,] Nuncio in Spain to [Michael della Torre,] Bishop of Ceneda, Nuncio in France.
“I have received two letters from you, the one of the 7th, the other of the 11th inst., both very welcome to me, as are all those that apprise me of your well-being, and both dealing with the very important question of the Queen of Scotland's quitting England, and going to reside with their most Christian Majesties, as to which you exhort me to do my office with his Catholic Majesty as the Prince that, as you say, has most influence with the Queen of England, and express your hope that the Pope, being already apprised by you of the project, will grant me a commission for the purpose.
“In answer whereto I have to say that as to the importance of the matter aforesaid I concur with you, and am also of opinion that it would perchance be yet more important to hit on some way by which the Queen's son, who in all probability will succeed to the throne of Scotland, might be brought up under Catholic discipline, and not as, I understand, he is at present being brought up. As to the office which I am to do with his Catholic Majesty I recognise that I ought to await the Pope's commission; but your authority counts for so much with me, and so great is my confidence in your most prudent judgment, and so sure also and certain am I that the mind of the Pope is that I should omit no office that may bear fruit to the profit and advantage of religion, that I have not failed to set forth and submit to the King's consideration the matter whereof you write, beseeching him to ponder the importance thereof, and if he think that there is any office for him to do therein, to do the same by a gentleman [Don Guerau de Spes] that is even now departing for England as ambassador resident on the part of his Catholic Majesty at the Court of the Queen, he that is now resident there being appointed ambassador resident at Venice.
“His Catholic Majesty has replied that until he is more fully informed as to this business, he can give the ambassador no specific instructions in regard thereto, but only a general commission to occupy himself with all matters that may subserve the cause of religion, and to acquaint himself at first hand with the facts, conditions and circumstances of this business, and report minutely thereon, that his Majesty may then with fuller light be able to determine what should be his office in regard thereto. At present he is the less disposed to take any specific resolution because his ambassador resident in France writes nothing in regard thereto, and most of all because he knows that the Cardinal of Lorraine, who is so concerned for that Queen, has conversed at length with the said ambassador, and nevertheless has craved nothing of him, nor said a word to him on her behalf; whereby I perceive that to induce this Prince to do any office of consequence in regard to this matter, it will be necessary not only that I have his Holiness' commission, but that the ambassador, who is now departing [for England] receive and report good information, and that the ambassador there [i.e. in France] write and certify that it would be for the public good that the Queen should come to France.
“Nor will I omit to tell you that as the Catholic Queen is not only kindly disposed, but very tenderly affectionate towards the Queen of Scotland, related as they are, and besides brought up together from infancy, I have let her know something of the office that I have done with the King, that, when occasion serves, she may appeal to the King in the Queen's favour, which I am sure she will do very warmly, if she find opportunity. This is all I have to tell you as to this matter.”
27 June, 1568. Madrid. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Lib.
Urb. Lat.
1040. ff. 539d–540.
540. News Letter.
“The latest intelligence from the Court is that it seemed that the King desired that the Queen of Scotland should come to France, and that she was expected.”
30 June, 1568. Lyon. Italian. Copy.


1 Primatiche, apparently, like prematiche, a variant of prammatiche.
2 Cf. p. 264 supra.
3 Apparently William Chisholm. Bishop of Dunblane, is meant. Cf. p. 337 infra.
4 Cf. Pap. d'État Relatifs à l'Hist. de l'Écosse, ed. Teulet (Bann. Club.), ii. 222.