Mary: October 1555

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

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'Mary: October 1555', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 187-195. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Mary: October 1555", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 187-195. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Mary: October 1555", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 187-195. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

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October 1555

Oct. 1.
La Ferté Milon.
418. Dr. Wotton to the Council. The King kept the feast of his Order at Villers-Cote-Retz, the Ambassadors being required to it. They were there both at the first even-song, and on Michaelmas day at mass, dinner, and vigils. Believes that feast was not kept so merrily many years before. A few days previous the Italian Ambassadors had letters that the siege of Vulpiano was raised; but on Michaelmas-eve the King received news of its capture. The great bastion having been carried by assault, the rest surrendered. It would seem they have used their victory somewhat cruelly, as the Constable, on talking to him thereof, went about to excuse it. The only prisoner of consequence named is Sigismund de Gonzaga, captain of 500 soldiers; but is informed this Sigismund is not of the house of Gonzaga, but by favour permitted to bear the name. Another, nephew to the Duchess of Alva, is by some reported to be taken, by others to be slain. The capture of this place enables Turin and other towns thereabout to be kept in a manner without garrisons. While the French were before it, Alva encamped again and went about to fortify Pont d'Asture, towards which, after taking Vulpiano, the French marched. It is said they intend to raze the latter place, and have good hopes of taking Pont d'Asture, which is not considered to be defensible, lying low, and subject to the shot of artillery. Brissac is recovering well, and is in the camp, whereat they much rejoice. Is informed by the Constable that the King has 40,000 soldiers in Piedmont. At the feast the King chose Signor Ludovico Birago to be of the Order, for the good service he has often done, especially of late at Sianttyan. About 1,000 nobles and gentlemen have gone to Piedmont for the battle; among them the Vidâme of Chartres. To-day the King leaves for the frontiers, accompanied by the Dauphin, who shall this journey begin to wear harness, at least mail, and some other light gear meet for him to wear; he shall have his own band waiting for him, whereof he rejoices not a little. The pretence for his Majesty going is, that he may inspect the late fortifications on the frontiers, at Guise, Maubertfontaine, La Capelle, St. Quentin, &c. He will return in 15 or 16 days, and the Ambassadors are required to remain here, although the Queen goes to St. Germain to see her daughter, Madame Marguerite, whom she left there sick. [Two pages.]
[October, about the beginning.]
[La Ferté Milon ?]
419. Dr. Wotton to —. M. de Lansac has returned in post from Rome, and brings news that their Holy Father the Pope has imprisoned Cardinal Santafiore, Signor Camillo Colonna, Ascanio della Cornia, Don Bernardino de Mendoza, and others, and has invaded and taken certain places of Signor Marc Antonio Colonna, son to Vespasiano, whom he will deprive of all the rest of his estate near Rome as fast as he can. It is thought here that all these prisoners shall die. The pretence for this is a conspiracy against the Pope's life; but other things are laid to their charge, such as the conveying away of two gallies. The Cardinal is allied to the Colonnas and the Vesinos, and is cousin-german to the Farneses. Among the other prisoners is one of the Cardinal's Secretaries, who, whether by torture, subornation, or of freewill, has confessed many things of importance. It is also said, that under pretence of his bull revoking alienation of Church lands, he demands already certain places of the Duke of Florence. All this adds to the joy of the French, who judge that these doings of the Pope will set all Italy by the ears. On Michaelmas-day one Annibale Russillaro [Rucillai] came to the Court from the Pope, and had immediately secret audience, the Nuncio not being called to it. His errand is not known, but next day the Cardinal of Lorraine was dispatched to Rome in post; he will stay a day or two at Paris to prepare himself, and with him, it is said, ride the Bishops of Orleans and Bayonne. [One page. Decipher : the original lost.]
Oct. 5.
420. Thomas Gresham to the Council. Arrived here on the 4th. Has prolonged payment with Tybolde Prewen to the 25th inst., and with Andreas Lixshalls to the 1st of April next, according to her Majesty's instructions. Since he left Antwerp the exchange has fallen to 20s. 10d. to pay at usance, so that the Queen has made a good bargain with the merchants-adventurers and staplers, for they allow her 21s. for every pound to pay in London, at double usance. [One page.]
Oct. 8.
421. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. The great cloud, the end whereof they for a time doubted, seems apparently very well overblown. The Cardinal of Santafiore is set at liberty, on large surety for his future appearance, and there is good hope that Colonna shall shortly be restored to his estate again. The suspect proceedings of the Pope's, which they feared would have exceeded his jurisdiction, appear only to have been a desire to restore the gallies, and to reduce the subjects of his see to convenient order. Yet it is said, not without some reason, that his somewhat too hasty and inopportune stirring has not a little hindered the affairs of this Court, since divers companies have been stayed in several places, from doubt of his meaning worse than has appeared, which otherwise might have been employed in Piedmont, and perhaps might have saved the loss and dishonour fallen not long since to this Crown. The repairing of the Duke of Soma, the Prince of Salerno, and other rebels of Naples to Rome, with the taking of Sermoneta and other towns in the very entry of that kingdom, bred a great suspicion of ill meaning that way; but the calming of his Holiness in word and deed since then, and the restitution of the two gallies, has removed much of that doubt. Had the storm lasted, her Majesty's aid by letter to the helping thereof might have been called upon. The German Diet is ended for the present, being adjourned to Ratisbon, the 1st of March next. The general peace of Germany has been concluded in it, but matters of religion are not wholly agreed upon. Until the next meeting it has been arranged (to which, nevertheless, the Emperor minds not to subscribe) that all parties shall live according to the religion accepted of by them, providing that it shall not be lawful for the Protestants to profess their doctrine by preaching or otherwise in any Catholic town. The marriage of Bishops, which has been much demanded, is utterly refused; all other things, as contained in the Confession of Augsburg, to be for the time tolerated where they are already received. Also it is agreed that Marquis Albert shall have a safe-conduct to appear at the next Diet in self-defence, and, as he is deeply indebted, trustees are appointed to receive the revenues of his estate and settle with his creditors. An aid to the King of the Romans, in case the Turk shall invade Hungary or any of his dominions, is also concluded. It is supposed that the Turk's navy has sailed for the Levant, although no certain intelligence of its having passed the Pharos of Messina has been received. On the 3d, notice was given to his household that the Emperor does not intend to take with him into Spain any of the people of this country; and such Spaniards as desire to return were ordered to give in their names in writing within three days. The Emperor is so determined on going to Spain, that they have little thanks who in any way attempt to dissuade him or insinuate doubts of his going. If there is no alteration of his plans, he and King Philip leave for Bruges about the 22d. The English merchants have obtained permission to keep their fairs at Berghes [Bergen], and other privileges by favour of King Philip, whose prudent government, affability, wisdom, gravity, readiness to receive due counsel, and dislike of flatterers,—the pestilence of all Princes,—cause him to be held in high estimation by the people. M. de Vaudemont is expected here to-morrow; but whether his coming be to take leave of the Emperor, to welcome his Majesty, or in connexion with an overture of peace, is known to few or any. M. de Praet is departed to Almighty God, in whom his Majesty has no mean loss, being by his great wisdom and experience grown to the estimation of a worthy councillor.
P.S.—Yesterday it had been suggested to his Majesty to celebrate the Order of the Toison [d'Or]; but he answered that though it would be well to do so, he feared it should hinder the time of his going to England, whereby all men think he will make all the speed he possibly can to see her Majesty again. [Three pages.]
Oct. 14.
422. Sir John Masone to the Council. On receipt of their letter of the 7th, concerning certain forgers of money retired to Bruges or thereabouts, had spoken with his Majesty, who being now upon the point of receiving the whole order of these states into his hands has required him to forbear four or five days, and then to remind him of the matter; by which time he will be in a position to accomplish their desire. Touching the safe conduct for the saltpetre and harness had, after communicating with his Majesty, seen the Queen on the subject. She had questioned whether the whole quantity of these wares were purchased for her Majesty's use; but he had verified her Majesty's letter by producing that from the Council. Yesterday the King talked with him about it; would first read the names of such as had subscribed the letter, and then have its contents declared to him in Spanish. At last he desired the proportion required to be delivered in writing to his Secretary. Wherefore thinks in convenient time the safe-conduct will be made accordingly. To-morrow the assembly of the States commences; they will probably sit four or five days. Requests they will consider his great and long lack and give order for the payment of his diets. Such of their Lordships as have been lately here are able very well to declare what it is to live here with a public countenance. [One page and a half.]
Oct. 16.
423. The Magistrates of the Hanse Towns to Queen Mary. Credentials of Henry Suderman and Herman Apollonius, sent on business of the Confederation. [Latin. Broadside. On vellum.]
Oct. 20.
424. Sir John Masone to the Council. Has received their letter of the 15th, and the lewd book therein inclosed. Shall speedily take such order in the same as appointed. This book and sundry others of the same mould were brought to Antwerp at the time when some of their Lordships were at Calais about the treaty of peace: he then sent a man of his to inquire of the matter, and on his return caused the thing to be declared to the Emperor, who ordered a privy search in Antwerp with no great effect. Had signified this to them at the time, and since then had heard no more of it. The Duke of Cleves has been here to take leave of the Emperor and welcome the King: he has returned somewhat sooner for that he must meet certain Princes at Bacharath on 1st November, for the ending of a quarrel which has long depended between the Landgrave of Hesse and the Prince of Orange in the right of the house of Nassau. It is thought most certainly that next Thursday the renunciation, so often deferred from day to day, shall be put in execution. [One page.]
Oct. 23.
La Ferté Milon.
425. Dr. Wotton to same. The King has at length taken upon him to pay for the goods lost by the merchants of Southampton in the Angel of Wismar, and has assigned his Tresorier de l'Espargne to pay them 21,600l. Tournois, or thereby; the whole payable in one year by quarterly instalments. Sends copy of the assignation. The King has returned to Villers-Cote-Retz, where he intends to keep the feast of All Saints, and thereafter to go to Blois; but he makes such a circuit from place to place, that it is thought it will be a month ere he reaches that place. The Italians here have heard that Alva having well fortified Pont d'Asture and left 3,000 men there, the French did not meddle with it, but went to Mont Calvi, the town of which they took, but not the rock or castle yet; and they think that it lies equally well for Pont d'Asture, as the latter does for Casale, to annoy the French and impede their supplies of provision. Also that the Pope has liberated Cardinal Santafiore, who, with his friends, is bound in a large sum not to leave Rome without permission. The Pope causes the Duke of Urbino to go to Rome with his men: different causes assigned for his pretence against Sig. Marc Antonio Colonna. If the Cardinals would release him of his promise, the Pope would have made six or seven Cardinals; of whom two, Rengier and Soto, wait upon the King. Another is Picart, a doctor of the Sorbonne and a great preacher. The Cardinals of Lorraine and Tournon are appointed to embark at Marseilles, with six or seven gallies, for Rome. Has received two letters from Richard Bunny, one to the Council, the other to himself, which he incloses (that to the Council missing). Has no acquaintance with the man, but is told that he much repents his folly in leaving England without licence. Desires to have the Queen's pleasure on his suit. [Two pages.] Incloses,
425. I. "Copy of the French King's assignation for the merchants of the Angel of Wismar," directed to John de Baillon, Treasurer of his exchequer, 29 September, 1555. [French. Seven pages.]
425. II. Letter from Richard Bunny to Dr. Wotton. Knows that the finishing of his days draws nigh. His sadly reduced circumstances. Thanks God that in his time of trouble he has learned a good lesson of " the holy man St. Job," when he says "Dominus dedit, Dominus abstulit." Only left England after his strait imprisonment, troubles, and losses, for fear of being further punished and troubled, as he was led to believe he should. Professes his loyalty and patriotism; exhibits much home sickness. Paris, 25 September 1555. [Two pages.]
Oct. 24.
426. Dr. Wotton to Queen Mary. On the 16th received her letter of the 7th inst. The King being then at Fere en Tartenois, eight or nine leagues from Villers-Cote-Retz, to which he was not expected to return till the 18th, he had not sought audience. Hears that the French have intercepted various letters; some in Brittany coming from the Princess Regent of Spain to her brother King Philip, stating among other things that by no means can one penny be got there; others since from the Duke of Alva to the Duke of Florence, mentioning that for lack of money the affairs of his charge stand in very ill case, so that if the French venture into the Duchy of Milan he will be unable to prevent their recovering a great part of it. Also a number of letters which the Portuguese Ambassador here used to convey between the Emperor and King Philip, by which all their secrets are discovered. The first knowledge they had of the King going now to the Emperor was by an intercepted letter from him to a Lord of Spain named Vargues. Their joy at the news of the Emperor resigning his dominions and returning to Spain is excessive, considering him henceforth to be, what for five or six years they have gaped for, a dead man: and they believe him and the King to be in such want of money that they can do nothing of importance. The Duke has gone as General to Picardy, where there will be at the least 8,000 foot and 4,000 horse. The Cardinal of Lorraine it was supposed would embark about the 18th inst., taking with him out of Corsica soldiers to Rome for the assistance of the Pope and them of Montalcino, from whom two gentlemen came here to the Court last Sunday. The King arrived at Villers-CoteRetz on the 19th. Had audience of him on Tuesday and delivered her Majesty's request for a safe-conduct to certain gentlemen, which was granted with great frankness and show of much regard for the Queen. The King told him the story of the counterfeited Mustapha, and that if he could have got into Constantinople before the Grand Seignior he probably would either have slain him or driven him out of all his countries; remarking on so small a thing hangs the state of so mighty a Prince. Dined thereafter with the Constable. Shortly after the departure of the Cardinal of Lorraine, the King dispatched in post the Ambassador of Ferrara to his master; for what purpose he knows not. [Four pages. Partly in cipher, deciphered.]
Oct. 26. 427. Queen Mary to Sir John Masone. Sends herewith letter to the Emperor for his revocation, and others to the Queens Dowager of France and Hungary, the contents of which he will perceive by the accompanying copies. He will first signify the receipt of these to King Philip, and at his appointment deliver the same. After taking leave of the Emperor, he is to give attendance upon King Philip during his good pleasure. [Draft. Autograph of Petre. One page.]
Oct. 27.
428. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. On Friday the 25th inst. the cession of all these estates was made to King Philip in such sort as by the order thereof confusedly gathered by him shall be perceived by the inclosed. The speeches being grave and of great length has only written the points of them so as to show rather the manner of the proceeding than the very thing itself, which could undoubtedly of no side be commended. It is said the whole will shortly be printed, when Petre will see that of which he sends now only an unorderly draft without any kind of colour. Next day the King gave his oath to each several estate and took of them their oaths and homages. He is now therefore absolute Seigneur of all the Low Countries, and before the week is out will be the like of Spain and Sicily. The people are marvellously content with him, and such is his affability and wisdom in his resolutions that every man has a wonderful opinion of him. The Brabanters allege an old privilege preventing any stranger from being their Governor, but Masone thinks the Duke of Savoy is so nearly of the blood-royal that he will be proved to be no stranger, and so their privilege will be declared to have such a meaning as they never thought of. Archduke Ferdinand arrived the other day with 60 horses in post. The King met him at the town's end, brought him to the Emperor and afterwards took him to his lodging in the Court. To-day he fetched him to church, and after mass they went together to dine with the Queen [Regent]; the French Queen, her Majesty, the King, the Archduke, and the Duchess of Lorraine sitting at one table. Petre will receive hereby advices from Rome, which Masone had no cipher to translate, by which he will see that things there do not mend. As to his own case, he has so often written that he will now see what will drop out of heaven. If he have no relief shortly he trusts the King will give him leave to go home. [Two pages.] Incloses,
428. I. "The order of the cession of the Low Countries." [Six pages. Printed nearly verbatim by Robertson.]
Copy of preceding in modern handwriting. [Five pages and a half.]
Oct. 27.
429. Thomas Gresham to Queen Mary. Has received, towards payment of her debts, from the merchant adventurers 12,000l.; trusts to receive the rest very shortly for the accomplishment of her payment of 38,085l., which royal and great payment he assures her is not a little spoken of here and through all Christendom to her and the Council's great honour and credit for ever. Sends by John Sprytewell her Majesty's and the City's bonds due to Tybold Prewen on the 1st inst., with those due to Andreas Lixshall and Thomas Flechemore on the 20th, trusting on receipt of the rest of the money of her merchants to send home the rest of her bonds shortly. Reminds her of the 131l. land that it has pleased her to give him towards the augmenting of his living. [One page and a quarter. Indorsed by Petre.]
Oct. 27.
430. Same to the Council. Between the 20th and 25th insts., has received of the merchants adventurers about 12,000l. In this they have done the Queen a great service, money being so scarce, and the payments of the mart not commencing before the 20th November. Hopes they will keep promise for the rest of the sum. The Mayor and Company of the Merchants Staplers have given order for payment of 12,000l. instead of 13,000l., as taken by the Queen and Council. Begs them forthwith to take order with them for the former sum, for he has promised to her Majesty's creditors, according to his instructions, the payment of 38,085l. and he will not be able to accomplish it without further orders from the Council. This is a matter must needs be done, and by the staplers, for they are best able to do it, considering the charge of 25,000l. on the adventurers, which is a great burden for them, all their substance being laid out upon English commodities. Sends by Sprytewell the Queen's and the City's bonds due 1st October, to Tybold Prewen, which he prolonged to the 20th inst., and an obligation of Andreas Lixshalls and Thomas Flechemore, trusting to send her other obligations on receipt of the rest of her money. Begs them to recommend the Queen to give Sprytewell the reversion of the postage at Calais, as he hath done her Highness good service under him. He is a very fit man for the place, for he can speak all kind of languages and is a Calaisian born, very painful and trustworthy. Has had trial of him for five years. Has got for him the good will of Sir John Masone, who is master of all the Queen's posts in England. [One page and a quarter. Indorsed by Petre.]
Oct. 28.
431. Lord Wentworth and the Council at Calais to Queen Mary. On the 24th received her Majesty's letter of the 14th touching the victualling of this town and marches for next year, but are unable to give a resolute answer thereto until they have further conference with the Mayor and the Fellowship of the Staple, as the matter affects the whole estate of the town and country generally. Meanwhile, beseech that the ports may be kept open for their better relief, as they foresee a greater scarcity than any heretofore noted; for they have seen of the grain this year inned, so much impaired through the unseasonableness of weather and abundance of water, that there is small hope to save the one half of it. Wherefore they must sue her Majesty for liberty of free access to all victuallers coming hither. Finding on further debate, great difficulty to accomplish the device in her Majesty's letter, request that one of them may be permitted to wait upon her or the Council thereon. Entreat that payment may be made to the poor garrison and labourers, who undoubtedly were never in more misery. [One page. Indorsed by Petre.]
Oct. 28.
432. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. By his letters of the 27th inst. signified to him the order of the renunciation made on Friday last. On sending this morning to the post found his packet still there; thought good, having occasion by reason of sending the King's letters inclosed, to write three or four lines more. Yesternight in the evening the Duke of Savoy was declared to the nobility assembled for that purpose Lieutenant of the Low Countries in the absence of the King. He has 25,000 crowns a year for the maintenance of his dignity. The name of Governor is not given to him on account of a scruple arising upon the allegation of certain privileges. The one name imports as much as the other, saving that in the time of the King being on this side he shall not meddle. The Archduke's going into Spain is stayed, and it is thought he will shortly return again to his father for affairs of the Empire. The letter inclosed to the Lord Chancellor from the King is written on behalf of two monks of the Charterhouse, who have been in this Court and petitioned the King for a place of resort, liberty to begin again that religion in the kingdom, and payment of their pensions, for which they say the Queen signed a bill two years since. The King's answer touching the place, has been that during the Parliament it is no time to speak of it, but that ended, he would write about it to her Majesty, and on his return shortly would help them as best he could. He would write touching the pensions out of hand and send his letter to Masone to be sent to England. He thus sent them back to Bruges, where their resting place is for the time. This morning he sent Masone the letter for Petre, to be sent by him to the Lord Chancellor. Begs that the other inclosure may be given by one of Petre's men to John Bernardine; it was recommended to him by a gentleman of the King of Poland in this Court. [One page and a quarter. Indorsed by Petre.]
[Oct.] 433. Note of the prolongation of the sum of 25,390l. 18s. 4d., for six months, with the names of those to whom her Majesty's bonds must be made. [Two pages.]