Venice
July 1581

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Institute of Historical Research

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Horatio F. Brown (editor)

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1894

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13-16

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'Venice: July 1581', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8: 1581-1591 (1894), pp. 13-16. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=95178 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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Contents

July 1581

July 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 30. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Embassy report to his Majesty that the Queen said that since Monsieur had taken on himself the affairs of Flanders against a King so powerful as his Catholic Majesty, she did not find herself able to support him without the assistance of this Crown. This negotiation was carried on between the Ambassadors and six English deputies among whom were my Lord Robert and three others of his party, who are opposed to the marriage. They did not consult Parliament (con il Parliamento non hanno conferrito cosa alcuna), and a definite conclusion is not credited, all the same there are certain articles floating about, which I send just as they are in discharge of my duty.
The Ambassador of England yesterday demanded audience of their Majesties, with him was a Secretary who had been sent from England after the French Ambassadors had left, But his Majesty sent to beg to be excused as he wished to speak first with his brother, as indeed he endeavoured to do yesterday, in the open country between Paris and St. Germains. The King sent in front of him a large number of people, and Monsieur, who had only five with him, retired in suspicion, and the King came back without accomplishing anything. But by the action of the Queen-Mother the meeting is arranged for to-day, though as yet the result is not known.
No one believes that Monsieur will change his Flanders policy, matters being too far advanced, and if he does not Spain will become more and more suspicious that the King and his brother are in accord.
The Ambassador or representative of Spain has expressed in audience the satisfaction of his master at the promises made, his dissatisfaction at the results. The Ambassador has asked the Nuncio to interfere in the same sense.
I enclose the letter which Monsieur has addressed to the Parliaments of this kingdom.
Every one speaks of Don Antonio's visit to this kingdom as a fact. The Ambassador of Spain says he believes it. The Bishop of Guardia is said to be with him.
There is a report from Scotland that at last the Earl of Morton has been executed in public, without any uprising. His execution is quite justified, but it has caused great sorrow to the Queen of England, against whom the Irish revolution continues. The rebels have seized the money she sent to pay her troops.
Paris, 1st July 1581.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure in preceding Despatch. 31. Extract from the Marriage Contract of his Highness and the Queen.
The marriage shall be celebrated in a public place, upon a raised platform. There shall be a Bishop on one side and a Minister on the other in the dress of the National Church, that is, the Bishop for Monsieur, and the Minister for the Queen.
The Prince shall hear mass, and the Queen shall say her prayers after the manner of her country.
The Prince shall be crowned King, and shall not be allowed to leave the kingdom except in the case of his succession to the throne of France, nor shall he have power to cause the Queen to leave the kingdom against her will.
In case the Queen should die first, Monsieur is to enjoy the kingdom for his life, and should there be male offspring, one shall be King of France and the other King of England.
Should there be female offspring, they shall succeed, as is the custom of the country, which is not under Salic Laws.
If there be sons they shall be brought up in England under the direction of the survivor of the contracting parties.
As regards religion, Monsieur shall have his own church, his Bishop, his worship, for himself and his suite, English may not assist under pain of corporal punishment.
The Queen shall continue her own religion. Monsieur shall have his body guard and a secure place to promenade in with his suite.
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 32. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Embassy were allowed one month in which to convey the reply of his Majesty. That period is passed, and has been prolonged for another month. It is thought that they will drag the matter on like this as long as they can. Mons. de Lansac one of the Ambassadors has been to see me and is full of praise of the Queen; he says in the matter of religion she is not in that desperate state which is generally thought. She always mentioned the Pope, with greatest respect, and said if only he saw into her heart, he would not wish her so ill; that her one desire was the union of the faithful, and that if the Emperor and other Princes wished to summon a Council which should he universal and free, she would give her adherance. She blamed the Calvinists, and said she knew them for criminals whose desire it was to destroy allegiance to Princes (confessando che sono conosciuti da lei per homeni deliciosi et che attendono a levar la obbedientia a principi). Re added that if the marriage took place it would render great service to Christendom. That if children were born of the marriage the next day the kingdom would return to the Catholic Faith; and that even if there were no offspring, that might very well happen, as the Queen showed an excellent disposition towards that faith, though she kept it concealed for fear of causing divisions in the kingdom. Finally he said to me, “I tell you, my Lord Ambassador, that in her heart of hearts the Queen of England is as much a heretic as I am who would die a thousand times for the Catholic Faith”.
He then expatiated on the great obedience, respect, and love which her subjects show her, on her riches and her grandeur, assuring me that they and their suite of eight hundred persons were treated like so many Kings, with feasts and tournays and revels, in which the English had spent a great deal of money. They met with the greatest respect from the common people, who are usually insolent to all strangers especially towards the French (Che suole esser molto insolente contro ogni sorte de forestieri et particolarmente contro Francesi). And he had often seen the Queen on her way through the city receive such blessings from the people as though she had been another Messiah. She bears herself most modestly with the people, and chiefly in the matter of money. Parliament lately voted her two millions of francs but she accepted only one; and yet in spite of this parsimony she had more than six millions of gold in ready money.
I have thought it my duty to report the conversation of this gentleman, of great weight in this Court, though his account is not very probable.
Paris, 14 July 1581.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 33. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
It is true that Don Antonio of Portugal arrived at Calais and passed over to England to treat with the Queen. They say he will return this way. The Conte de Vimiosa has arrived here.
The Azores on receiving help from France and news of Don Antonio, rose in revolt against the King of Spain, and seized some of his officers and cut others to bits.
Paris, 15th July 1581.
[Italian.]
July 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 34. Lorenzo Priuli, Venian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen-Mother and the King of France, though he is unwilling, are both assisting Monsieur in Flanders. An Ambassador from England is expected daily, and preparations for his honourable reception have been made at the King's expense. There are not wanting those who assert that the league will be made against Spain. But I have not heard anything from a trustworthy source as yet. Three thousand English infantry have been landed at Dunkerque to join the troops of the Prince of Orange.
Paris, 28th July 1581.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 35. Leonardo Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
I must inform your Serenity, that on Sunday, in Saint Peter's, an English heretic attacked the priest officiating at mass, and endeavoured to snatch the Host which he was on the point of elevating, from his hands. The heretic was at once attacked with cuffs and kicks by the people, and dragged to the prison of the inquisition, where he has confessed that he is one of several who have come into Italy for this very purpose, and that he desires to die for his sect. He has been condemned to death, and will be executed one of these days.
Rome, 29th July 1581.
[Italian.]
July. Memorie Publiche, Marcian Library, Cl. vii. Cod. DCCCXI. 36. An Englishman in St. Peter's, attending mass, when the Host was consecrated, attacked the priest, and endeavoured to snatch it from his hand. Failing in this, he took the cup which still had some wine in it, and threw it on the ground. He was seized and buffetted by the people, but rescued by the cannons, who consigned him to the Holy Office. He declares that there are several of his sect in Rome, who are resolved to put down the adoration of the Host or to die.
[Italian.]
July 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 37. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Alençon's Flanders army is growing rapidly; it is thought that the Prince of Parma will not try to stop his passage. Don Antonio is in England. All his hopes of causing Portugal to rise consist in his keeping the Azores, whence he can draw money from the Indian fleets. His hopes are not well founded, for it is improbable that the India merchants will put their goods to sea while matters are so unquiet. If he can keep the Azores it will cause great trouble to his Catholic Majesty, for they will become a nest of French and English corsairs; and the King will be obliged to maintain a large fleet for the protection of his Indiamen.
In England, in the city of London, fines were inflicted on two hundred and forty persons who had refused to attend service in the Calvinist churches. The fine consists of sixty-six crowns per head per month for every month that they have absented themselves.
They say that the Earl of Ormonde, who alone held for the Queen in Ireland, has been removed from the management of affairs. News from Scotland gives some hope that the King will become a Catholic.
Paris, 29th July 1581.
[Italian.]


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