Mary: April 1555

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'Mary: April 1555', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 162-165. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Mary: April 1555", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 162-165. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Mary: April 1555", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 162-165. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription. Key icon

April 1555

April 11.
344. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. On the 31st ult. had received her Majesty's letter of 28th, with relative documents; and on 1st inst. had audience of the Emperor lying in bed very ill troubled. After the Emperor had caused her Majesty's letter to be opened and read to him by Secretary Bavé, Masone delivered his instructions. His Majesty, highly commending the Queen's godly desire of peace, expressed himself to the effect that never had he had so good success in any wars but he could have been contented to have exchanged the same for a mean peace, which he had always preferred before the war, whereinto he had never entered for any desire to enlarge his limits, which God had given him large enough, but for the defence of what was naturally his, and that he was ever provoked and in effect forced thereunto. Complained of the different outrageous injuries he had received from the French King, whose breaking with him against his assured promise caused the present war. For all that, his desire to ensure the peace of Christendom inclined him to follow her Majesty's overture; but as the matter touching the persons and the time required to be debated among his council, he should that evening dispatch to the Queen at Antwerp, and within a day a resolute answer should be returned. Touching the place of meeting, the Emperor advised a good eye be kept to Calais, the nature of the French being such that they cannot abstain from practices. Since this audience, he has not failed to solicit the matter from time to time, but by reason of the Queen's absence and other causes has only this afternoon received answer from the Council. The Emperor has appointed to send to Gravelines, when the truce shall be fixed, M. de Lalaing, M. de Bignicourt, M. D'Arras, M. Viglius, President of the Council, and M. de Brayarde, President of the High Council of Malines. To these he intended to add a sixth, but it was not thought good he should be named yet, as the resolution touching him depended upon King Philip, whom, if his Highness shall think to be added, then the number will be complete. Having discharged his commission, now humbly desires her Majesty to pardon him for writing something of his own case. An unmeeter man in all respects for her Majesty's affairs could not be; this from the outset he had declared, but since, notwithstanding, she had commanded he should serve in this place, he doubts not but her meaning was he should be furnished from time to time of so much as it liked her to appoint him as well as if he had been much fitter. How that has been answered since his coming hither the Lords of her Majesty's Council can tell. He has often written for their aid, and knows by report their good mind to help him, yet it has not liked the Lord Treasurer so to understand the matter, as either their entreating or any intolerable lack could move him to help Masone in time either with the diets appointed to him for this place or with his fees in the Exchequer, wherein in effect stands his whole living, till by borrowing a good piece thereof was run out in interest. Seeing this ordering continues without hope of amendment, he is driven to make his moan to her Majesty, and most humbly, prostrate on the ground, desires aid and remedy at her hands, or else that she will revoke him and appoint one to the room who may be better able to bear the brunt, which goodness he shall esteem as a sufficient recompence for all the service he may do to her life-during. "For rather than to continue the life I have done sithen my coming hither, still in lack and misery, and alway constrained to live by borrowing, selling, pledging, and credit, which is so far spent as I am scant able to redeem it, I assure your Majesty death were to me much lever." [Five pages.]
April 19.
345. Sigismund Augustus, King of Poland, to Queen Mary. Credentials of Albert Criski, Governor of Dobrzin, sent as Ambassador to her Majesty. [Latin. Broadside.]
April 21.
346. Sir John Masone to the Council. Yesterday the Duke de Vaudemont arrived here in post from France, and has had audience of the Emperor. What passed is not yet known, but his coming forwards the hope of peace, both on account of the greatness of the personage and of his having been here last winter for like matters. Letters from Italy mention that notwithstanding the broil likely to have grown between certain of the Barons of Rome and the Cardinals for the governing of the city, all things go forward there peaceably. There is still, however, some contention between the Imperial Cardinals and those of the French faction for the hasting or tracting of the election. The Imperials, who are as yet stronger than the others, would according to a bull of the last Pope have the matter to be begun out of hand; the others protest that this bull was never published to the Cardinals in France, who rightly should have such time allowed them, as, the distance of the places considered, might enable them to reach Rome before any conclusion. Of those most like to have the place, according to the common voice at Rome, Santa Croce is most spoken of: after him Cheatino [Chieti], Pole, Fano, Puteo, &c. The Cardinal of Ferrara is also talked of: "Marry, we hear of no quality to set him forward but that he is rich." Intelligence has been received from Florence that the Emperor's army has recovered Scarlino, an important fortress on the coast not far from Piombino, which had been taken by the French in the beginning of the war. At this enterprise the Prior of Capua, brother of Pietro Strozzi, was slain; Strozzi himself is at Chiusi, using effort to rescue Sienna, but all too late as it is trusted. The Ambassador of Sienna was still at Florence treating a composition, likely to take effect, as the part offered to the Siennese was very reasonable, and if refused after a day assigned they are put out of hope ever to come to the like. To keep promise with them the Duke leaves 4,000 fresh soldiers to reinforce his army. Their Lordships have probably heard of the attempt of the French to succour Sienna by sea, their retreat to Corsica, and loss of some of their vessels in the chace. The Imperialists in Piedmont are now so strong in the field, that the French are likely to retire to their forts. News from Constantinople state that the French Ambassador there is very much made of, and that 60 gallies shall be afloat by the 25th inst. The King of Denmark is preparing a great navy; the enterprise rather conjectured than known. The Emperor is very well recovered of his late access, and if the warm weather continues he will doubtless daily acquire more strength. A courier just come from Italy mentions that the French army makes towards Vulpiano, rather it is supposed with a view to divert that of the Emperor than for any good they are like to do.
P.S.—As he is making up this letter a gentleman has arrived from Italy in great diligence and brings tidings that on the 9th about 7 p.m. Cardinal de Santa Croce was chosen Pope by the name of Marcellus II. Although this gentleman is not an authorized messenger, the news is reckoned most certain, and the confirmation thereof looked for to-day. [Two pages.]
April 25.
347. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. Sends inclosed a packet from the Bishop of Ely and his colleagues, which doubtless will apprize him of the making of the Pope and belike of the conclusion of the matters of Sienna. Being much prayed to get some cramp-rings from England, requests he will move the Queen for a small number. Requests that when Petre sends any letters to London he will let Mr. Cliffe or some other forward the inclosed packet for Mr. Spilman. Trusts when it shall please God to send to light the fruit that all good men long to hear of, he shall be advertised thereof with the first. Touching his money suit hopes to hear some good tidings from Petre shortly. They look to hear from him when the day shall be appointed for the meeting. Their Commissioners assigned on this side make their liveries and all other preparations with diligence. [One page.]
April 26.
348. Same to the Council. The report of the Pope's election has been confirmed to-day by letters from himself to the Emperor, Cardinal Pole, and others. The man is much commended for his wisdom and all other good parts fit for the place. Void of corruption, and not wont to be led by any partial affection. He was brought up under Paul III., whose secretary he was. The Emperor kept the feast of St. George very solemnly in his chamber of presence, whereat, however, there was no great state more than himself and the Duke of Savoy. Masone was the only Ambassador invited, and the Emperor talked much to him touching the ancients of the Order, saying he was the oldest, having been a Knight for at least 43 years. He is in very good plight. Various noble men and women of this Court are much desirous to have some ramp-rings of this year's blessing: requests they will be suitors to her Majesty to send him a few for division among them. The Duke of Alva arrived last night. [Two pages. Printed by Tytler, Vol. ii., p. 466.]
April 28.
349. William, Duke of Cleves, to Queen Mary. Credentials of Dr. Cruser. [Latin. Broadside. Countersigned by Lindeman.]
April 30.
350. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. This morning a courier from the Duke of Florence brings intelligence that on the 21st Sienna surrendered to the Emperor, receiving his Majesty's garrison and dismissing all those appointed by the French. The particulars he has not yet learned. Thanks him for his most gentle letter of the 25th, and namely for the comfort in which he is put that he shall shortly have some relief. Requests Mr. Cliffe will send the inclosure to Mr. Spilman when any messenger shall go to London. [One page.]