Mary: December 1554

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1861.

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'Mary: December 1554', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 142-149. British History Online [accessed 23 June 2024].

. "Mary: December 1554", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 142-149. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2024,

. "Mary: December 1554", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 142-149. British History Online. Web. 23 June 2024,

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December 1554

Dec. 7.
298. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. Sends letters from Mr. Vannes. The Duke's army has taken from the Siennese Crevola and Massa. The Pope's Nuncio and the Venetian Ambassador earnestly follow a peace, of which they say they are in a right good hope. There is a talk of peace between the Turk and the Sophy; if that takes place Christian Princes must be driven to the peace, or else God has determined to bring his religion into a narrower room. They say here that it is possible that Cecil may succeed Petre, whose good meaning must needs be commended of all good men; and surely if in case he well needs be disburdened, he can devise to place so sufficient a successor, the world must needs think, that in leaving the office he minded not to leave his commonwealth unfurnished of a convenient minister, whose match of those pieces Masone knows not within the realm of England. [One page.]
Dec. 8.
299. Peter Vannes to the Council. The Tuscan affairs about Sienna remain in the same state. On the one side, those in Sienna suffer all kinds of hardness, feeding themselves on bread, water, and hope as long as they can, rather than yield; on the other side, the Duke of Florence's men, masters of the open country with plenty of refreshment here and there, continue their siege, preventing any succour from entering the town. They have called together the whole of their army and artillery about Sienna, which has given rise to many opinions. Some think they mean to make batteries and then give an assault, trusting to take the town; some that the people will hold out to the last, so that the charges of the war will be very great. Pietro Strozzi attends to the fortifications of Porto Ercole, Montalcino, Chiusa, and Grosseto, looking for provisions from Marseilles, as the French in Venice say. Cannot see any great assurance that the French have of the winds and weather to make them blow how, when, and where they like. The descent of a great number of foot and horse out of France into Piedmont is spoken of. Reckons them at not more than 6,000 foot, which is a very small number to pass into Tuscany or to venture any exploit in the state of Milan. Thinks either by their brags upon the confines to the state of Milan they might induce the Governors there to revoke their horsemen from Sienna for their own defence, or that they trust intelligence of treason in some place, and may be utterly deceived in that also, as has lately happened at Genoa, where by a certain treaty they had thought to get one of the gates of the town, but the conspiracy is discovered, and many of the authors taken. The state of Milan has not been for many years so faithfully assured to any prince as they are now to their Duke. Thinks the arrival of these few French will do no good beyond consuming the store which their countrymen have in those quarters, and reinforcing their old bands, partly employed and wasted upon the enterprises of Sienna and Corsica. The other occurrents they will learn from the inclosure. [Three pages. Indorsed by Petre.] Inclosure,
299. I. The capture of Crevola has not been followed by anything of importance in Tuscany. The Marquis Marignano has brought together all the army and artillery with the Guastatori under Sie[nna], from which it appears he desires to make a battery on one side or other, and give the assault at once. It seems strange so large a city should hold so long, and it is likely that the inhabitants support themselves more on obstinacy and hope than on bread or victuals. They write from Florence that it is reduced to extremity, and that except bread it suffered great want of all necessaries; that they relied more on the hope of peace than on the aid of the French, who make large promises. Shows at some length the various difficulties with which the French have to contend. There are considerable hopes of peace, to which the Emperor is said to be inclined for the general good. The Turk is sending an Ambassador to Venice; it is reported that he has made agreement with the Sophy, whose Envoy with the terms is expected. The Venetians have recalled their Ambassador from France, and have for two years suspended his privilege of sitting in the Council, for contravention of their laws in chartering one of his vessels with corn from the Levant for other states. They have appointed in his place the Cavaliere Soranzo, who was formerly Ambassador. [Italian. Two pages. Injured by damp.]
Dec. 12.
300. Dr. Wotton to the Council. Has been cited by William Le Gras, a merchant of Paris, to appear before a judge there in reference to the spoiling of a vessel belonging to him in time of peace, and for which he alleges he cannot obtain redress in England. Details at considerable length his interview and conversation with Le Gras upon the merits of the case, and the competency of his instituting a suit against an Ambassador. One Roger Edwards, by some called Roger Arnold, his father's name having been Arnold Edwards, born near Monmouth, has been with him and disclosed his instructions as a spy employed by the Constable to visit England and report upon affairs there and the state of Calais. This Arnold says he intends not to do, but will before leaving endeavour to learn more of the Constable's mind and inform their Lordships thereof. He was in the service of the late Duke of Northumberland, and thinks Lord Pembroke knows him. Cannot well tell what to make of him, and therefore certifies their Lordships that they may decipher the man. There is a common rumour of intelligence between the French King and some of the principal inhabitants of Calais; but so numerous are the false reports, as to their Majesties and the state of England, that he gives like credit to all rumours. [Five pages. Half in cipher, deciphered.]
Dec. 12.
301. Sir John Masone to same. Sends copy of such writing as the Emperor's Commissaries have made and exhibited to the Assembly at Frankfort for answer to a letter lately written by the French King to the same, of which he had not long since sent their Lordships a copy (missing). The Assembly is dissolved, without anything being concluded; but all is reserved to the Diet at Augsburg, which is not likely to meet before Christmas. The French increase in strength both of foot and horse in Piedmont: some think they will pass by the Po or any other way they can to the relief of Sienna; others that they will attempt to set foot in Asti, Vercelli, Vulpiano, or some other unconquered fort, which they will find difficult to do in this weather, so as to withdraw some of the forces before Sienna. They have made an ineffectual attempt on Vulpiano, and are now moving towards Savona. Monluc with two of the chief officers of Sienna have had a parley with the Marquis of Marignano. Has been told for certain that by means of the Pope, the Venetians, and the Duke of Ferrara, both Princes have agreed to a commission in Italy as to a composition for Sienna and Corsica, with powers to conclude if they agree. It is confirmed that the Turk is to winter at Constantinople, and that a treaty of peace between him and the Sophy is on hand. The Duke of Savoy leaves for England in two or three days, taking in his suite the substance of the nobility and gentlemen of this Court to the number of 100 at least; among them is Don Louis D Avila. A number of Ambassadors, regents, and agents from sundry states of Italy also prepare to go thither, who, with their trains, will not be fewer than 200. "God send them horse-meat! which they shall the better find if you make an end shortly of your Parliament." [One page and a quarter.]
Dec. 12.
302. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. Refers to his letter to the Council of same date with its inclosure. Since closing it has seen another answer to the French King made by some one bearing good will to the Emperor's affairs. Sends copy of it, albeit by the perusal it may seem to have been written by one rather to essay his wit, and declare his affection, than of intent to answer particularly the matter. Was this morning told by one of the Emperor's Council, who misliked much the matter, that a preacher of theirs whose name he rehearsed beateth the pulpit jollily in England for the restitution of Abbey lands. "If it be so meant by the Princes, and be thought convenient so to be, then doth he his duty. But if contrarily it be neither meant nor thought convenient, it is a strange thing in a well ordered commonwealth that a subject shall be so hardy to cry unto the people openly such learning as whereby poor winter works may in the summer be attempted with some storm. And were the thing fit to be talked of, yet were the Princes and the Council, who might remedy it, meeter to be spoken with thereon than the multitude, who thereby may receive an ill impression and an occasion of lewd thinking and lewd talking, and lewd doing also, if it may lie in their powers (and that is all that of sowing these matters amongst them can ensue). These unbridled preachings were so much to be misliked in the ill governed time, as good men trusted in this good governance it should have been amended. And so may it be when it shall please my Lords of the Council as diligently to consider it, as it is more than necessary to be looked unto. The party, methinketh, might well be put to silence, if he were asked how, being a monk and having professed and vowed solemnly wilful poverty, he can with conscience keep a deanery and three or four benefices. "Hears by report of other Ambassadors here of the return of the realm to the unity of Christ's Church, whereof all good men have cause to rejoice. Would have wished this confirmed to him by certain knowledge, but as it is the ordinary of English Ambassadors to know least of all others of the matters of the realm, he must be content; trusting that as he is informed it is thought unnecessary for the father to have an Ambassador to the son there, so shall with time the office on this side, being no more needful, be discharged also. If his abode is to be longer, then would be a suitor to Petre to be a mean for licence to him to come over for three weeks or a month to see the King's Highness. [One page and a half.] Inclosure,
302. I. "Copy of an answer to the French King's letter written lately to the Assembly at Frankfort, incerto authore." [Latin. Six pages.]
Dec. 16.
303. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. Sends a little packet from Mr. Vannes. News from Italy state that a conspiracy to deliver Sienna into the hands of the French had been detected by interception of a letter, and the authors had partly fled and partly been executed. This appears to have been the occasion of the large power lately sent into Piedmont by the French King, which now he must either employ about some other enterprise or scatter them again. The Commissioners for the talk of Sienna are sent into Italy; those named for the Emperor are his Ambassador and a Cardinal; "I trow it be Carpi." The French King has chosen such as pleased him. The result will probably depend upon the power of Sienna to hold out. Here to-morrow they shall have a general procession, as well for the certainty of the Queen's being with child, as for the good success of the matters of religion in England. The haste of the messenger has made him send a scribbled letter.
P.S.—On Monday the Duke of Savoy dispatches hence. [One page.]
Dec. 18.
304. The Cardinal of Augsburg [Otho Truchses] to Queen Mary. Congratulating and commending her Majesty on having reduced England to the obedience of the Church. If there is joy in heaven for one sinner that repents, how much greater joy must there be for the repentance of a whole nation! [Latin. Two pages.]
Dec. 20.
Friday at Night. Calais.
305. Thomas Stukeley to Sir Thomas Cheney, K.G., Lord Warden of the Five Ports. The Duke of Savoy arrived at three o'clock p.m. and intends to go to England as soon as the wind serves. He has at least 50 gentlemen of reputation with him, so that his whole train will at least be 200 horses. The Duke has commanded him to attend upon him. Offers his services to Cheney. [One page. Indorsed by Petre.]
Dec. 21.
306. Bona, Queen Dowager of Poland, to Queen Mary. Has learned with much pleasure, by her Envoy John Laurence Pappacoda, both of the welfare of her Majesty and her royal consort, and the Emperor's resignation to the latter of the Kingdom of Naples and the Duchy of Milan; on which event she begs to offer her congratulations. Sends herewith, as Ambassador to King Philip, Camillo Brancati a Neapolitan nobleman, to request that her rights and privileges in these states may be maintained, towards the support of which petition she solicits the favour of her Majesty's influence as a wife. [Latin. Two pages.]
Dec. 24.
307. Dr. Wotton to the Council. Since he wrote to them of Roger Edwards, has received from him the bill inclosed. Does not know what to think of Edwards and his information, because he supposes that Calais and Guisnes are so officered and furnished that there can be no mistrust of these places, and the French speak so fair as if they had no haste to intentions. Nevertheless considers it a duty to certify them of these advertisements that their Lordships may duly weigh them. Before this letter reaches, hopes Captain Drury may be with them; he will mention what communication was had with him at the Court after his delivery, which may seem to make Edwards' tale the likelier to be true. It is rumoured that the King sends back to their own country the Scots who have been serving here, and with them about 3,000 French under the command of the Duc D'Aumale, brother to the Queen Dowager of Scotland, who shall be his lieutenant there. They say the Emperor labours very earnestly to have aid from England next summer, and makes large offers for it; this alarms them lest it be granted, and is probably the cause why they now send to Scotland. Yesterday M. de Lansac, the French King's Ambassador, who had been taken by the Duke of Florence's men near Sienna, came to visit him and the other Ambassadors here, sent by the King to inform them of the news which he had received from Marshal Brissac, his lieutenant in Piedmont, which were that on the second day of battery, the town and citadel of Ivrea, containing 800 Spaniards and some landsknechts, surrendered. This place is considered of importance, being within 28 Italian miles of Milan, and lying between the Val d'Aost and Vercelli, so that neither that city nor the adjoining country can henceforth be provisioned from Val d'Aost; but Ivrea shall be victualled thence, D'Aost having been declared neuter about two months since. Lansac is not freely discharged, but permitted to return on similar conditions as those prescribed to Ascanio della Cornia, the Pope's nephew. Besides their Ambassador Resident here, the Siennese daily send Envoys Extraordinary to hasten the aid intended for them by the King. The city is victualled for all February, but they are very urgent either to have succour, or permission to come to some composition while favourable terms may be had. The troops sent to Piedmont are probably intended to divert those of the Duke of Florence from Sienna. The Count of Vaudemont, who is to be married to the sister of the Duke of Nemours, very near a kin to the Duke of Savoy, is looked for shortly here. It is said he shall have with her 100,000 crowns. Marquis Albert is reported to be at Chateau Thierry or its vicinity, and that he will marry the Duchess of Castro, the King's bastard daughter. This he thinks not very likely. [Two pages and a quarter.] Inclosed, letter from Edwards,
307. I. The King is speedily to send 3,000 men into Scotland; ships for their transport are in preparation. Suspects some other practice is intended, and suggests that the Council of Calais should be warned. Taytue went four day ago to Dieppe, and has not returned yet. Had mentioned this to Mr. Somers. As far as he can perceive they doubt him partly. The Constable has made a warrant for 30 crowns to his use, yet he cannot be dispatched; if need be, must commit himself to Wotton's tuition. Crayer has come to the Court, and the King said he was glad of his coming. Since he saw Wotton, the Council have commanded him to wait until the arrival of a post from England, writing home in the meantime to endeavour to ascertain whether any garrison is shortly to come into Guisnes and Calais, and whether the magistrates of those places are to be changed. Also whether the Queen and King of England are to aid the Emperor, and whether it was concluded for the coronation of the Prince of Spain as King of England. Some captains of Picardy are here, the King being minded to place a great number of men towards Boulogne and Montreuil. [Unsigned and undated. Two pages.]
Dec. 24.
308. Memorandum by the Council concerning the Legate's [Cardinal Pole] reply to the petitions by the Parliament and Clergy, in reference to the erection of cathedral churches, matrimonial dispensations, &c. [Draft. Autograph of Petre. Two pages. See Strype's Memorials, Vol. iii., Part I., p. 254. 8vo. Edition, 1822.]
Dec. 25.
309. Sir John Masone to the Council. Received their letter of the 10th instant on the 19th. Had openly given thanks to Almighty God for the joyful and comfortable news therein contained [of Pole's absolving England and restoring it to unity with Rome]. Had audience of the Emperor on Sunday the 24th, to communicate the same. Describes the interview minutely. The French being baffled both at Sienna and Asti, are besieging Ivrea in Piedmont, but by reason of its strength and the season of the year, they are not likely to continue before it long. The Duke of Brunswick and the Landgrave, who have been always mortal enemies, have lately had sundry meetings and communications, and it is said that the Landgrave's daughter shall be married to the Duke's son and heir. Letters from Constantinople of the 3d ult., mention that there have been great triumphs made for the Turk's victory; his escape being so considered, although the truth is he had a dishonourable overthrow; and to congratulate the same, an Ambassador named Ibrahim has been sent from him to the Signiory of Venice. The Janizaries and a good piece of his army are sent to Constantinople, and he remains at Amasia awaiting the return of the Sophy's Ambassador, his wintering there or his return to Constantinople depending upon the issue of their communications. [Four pages. Partly printed by Tytler, Vol. ii., p. 624.]
Dec. 25.
310. Same to Sir William Petre. Has received his letter of the 12th, and with it one from the Council of the 10th inst. which, if it had come with a fresher date, and been dispatched before its matter was known everywhere, would have served to better purpose. In the packet was a letter to the Emperor not mentioned by the Council, but by the seal and superscription perceived it was from the Queen. Not knowing what was to be said at the delivery of it, and the Council's letter coming in name both of the King and Queen, there was no remedy but to open it, and by reading learned the errand was to be done on her behalf, which otherwise he could not have conjectured. So by doing an act more than was convenient had not necessity constrained him, he both found the argument of his commission, and had time to frame some excuse for the oldness of the date, which was of the 5th inst. Requests that in the like case another time he may receive either a copy of the letter or a memorandum of instructions, and that letters for him may be sent either to Titchet or to Mr. Spilman, as they will reach him sooner and without any extra cost to his Majesty. Sends herewith a prognostication just received, wherein may be seen the lewd author's blind prophecies both of these countries and of England. There is a rumour, which he hopes is incorrect, that the town of Ivrea has surrendered to the French, but that the castle still holds out. [One page.]
Dec. 29.
St. Germain en-Laye.
311. Henry II., King of France, to Queen Mary. Hearing that it has pleased God to reduce her subjects to the union of His Holy Church and obedience of the Holy See, sends the Prothonotary De Noailles, his Almoner in ordinary, bearer hereof, to congratulate her Majesty on these most agreeable news. [French. Copy. One page.]
Dec. 30.
312. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. Sends to him two letters received this morning from Mr. Vannes. The news of the taking of Ivrea were too true. The devil is in the Frenchmen, whom neither time of the year nor any other thing can stay from the attempting daily of some mischief. The poor Duke of Savoy is like to feel these ill-favoured news, which will probably shorten his residence in England. Here it is said he will go to Italy. The French make a power about Mezieres, whether for the revictualling of Marienburg or other mischief is not yet known. The King of Velez, having been three or four years ago driven out of his kingdom by the Xarif, and since having got thither again, is finally taken by his said enemy and beheaded. [One page.]
[End of year.] 313. "A note of examples wherein Ambassadors of England with other foreign Princes have in their writings delivered, preferred their names before the Ambassadors of strangers." [Two pages. Modern writing.]