Mary: January 1556

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: January 1556', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 201-206. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Mary: January 1556", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 201-206. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Mary: January 1556", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 201-206. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

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

January 1556

1555–6. Jan. 4.
453. Dr. Wotton to Queen Mary. On the 22d ulto., had received her Majesty's letter of the 16th, and has acted upon her instructions therein. Expects this day to have the three safe conducts sealed. They were once written, sealed, and delivered, and then written again but not sealed, and thirdly written again. [A few lines in cipher, undeciphered. One page.]
Jan. 4.
454. Peter Vannes to Sir William Petre. Has nothing wherewith to trouble the Council, Italian affairs remaining in the same state. The Duke of Alva has left the affairs of Piedmont and Lombardy in good order and appointed worthy persons for the government of the wars and other great affairs and states, as the Cardinal of Trent, Signor John Baptista Castaldo, the Marquese di Pescara, Sig. Cesare di Napoli, &c., so that the French will be less bold to go robbing, having such overseers. The Duke has gone to Genoa and thence will be conveyed to Naples. It is to be thought some good order will be taken between him and the Pope touching the affairs of Naples, Rome, and the confines, and of other matters of Tuscany. Though the Pope is reputed somewhat hasty and vehement, and rather at the requests of the French, regarding more the advance ment of their devices than the conservation of the States of the Church of Rome, by what he can learn in various ways he thinks his Holiness will be advised to break with the King, though he has no just cause for doing so. The Duke of Florence and the Imperialists daily provide all necessary things for the assurance of the state of Tuscany, and lately the Count of Santafiore has taken certain important holds from the French. By what he can gather by a man of knowledge and a right Frenchman, thinks they would be glad to be discharged, with their honour, from the enterprises and charges of Tuscany, seeing they are in doubt and in a manner out of hope to bring the matter easily to their purpose. Thinks their intention is to convert their money and men towards Piedmont. Pietro Strozzi had arrived at Civita Vecchia on his way to Rome; the cause of his coming is still unknown, as is also what the Cardinals of Tournon and Lorraine have concluded since their arrival. The Cardinal of Lorraine is expected at Venice in a few days on his return to France; it is expected he will have commission to treat with the Seigniory on some matter of importance. But supposes he shall report very loving answers and no conclusion of any great matters. Andrea Doria with 13 gallies was coming from Gaeta to Leghorn with 700 Spaniards; 1,000 more will be sent from Genoa to serve the Duke of Florence. The Pope is much aggrieved and proceeds against many men of his estate who serve the Duke of Florence, deprives and rebukes those who have ambitiously laboured to obtain the Cardinal's hat, and calls those to account who have handled any jewels or money of his late predecessor. It is talked of in Venice and written out of France, but upon no certainty, that the Emperor intends this spring to go to the Diet of Ratisbon, thence into Italy, and so to Genoa and Barcelona. If it were consistent with his health and satisfaction to God's pleasure could wish no less, for already men begin to talk about his coming and say that if he come he will prove a schoolmaster to all the Captains of the country. [Five pages and a half.]
Jan. 4.
455. Sir Edward Carne to Queen Mary. Since the departure of Mr. Somerset [Atkinson] on 27th ult. with the expeditions for Canterbury and the executorials against Thomas Cranmer, his Holiness has dispatched Sig. Antonio de Caraffa to Bologna for soldiers, and Ascanio della Cornia to Perugia, and Sig. Giulio Cesarini elsewhere for the same purpose. The cause assigned is, that Count John Francisco de Bavio, of the province of Romandiola, having been cited to appear before the Pope at the suit of the French, for a spoil of 23,000 crowns made in that country during the time of Pope Julius, and of which he had been discharged by the said Pope, has refused to do so and has fortified two of his castles, against which, being within the lands of the Church, his Holiness prepares men of war. On the 1st inst. the Count of Montorio, nephew to the Pope, was invested with the generalship of the Church. After mass in the chapel he received the Pope's benediction, and then went to St. Peter's, where having prayed he rode in arms to the Capitol with a number of men of war and all the noblemen of the city attending upon him. The Archbishop of Pisa being dead, the Duke of Florence, to whose son, with reversion to his father, the see had been granted by Pope Julius, has entered into it, wherefor the Pope is sore aggrieved against him; and it is rumoured that the Cardinal of Lorraine, who had resolved to repair homeward, will now remain for the purpose of stirring his Holiness specially against the Duke. Since Christmas the mother and wife of Marc Antonio di Colonna have fled; both having had orders to keep their houses and been refused licence to depart. In obedience to her Majesty's instructions had commended Victor Aragozoni to his Holiness, when he mentioned his having received her letter in Victor's favour by Cardinal Morono, and said that for her Majesty's sake Jacobe Aragozoni being here should before it were long understand the favour that should be shown to his brother; of this Victor has requested him to advertise her Majesty. [One page and a quarter.]
Jan. 6.
456. Intelligence from Italy. From Milan on 10th December accounts are sent to the effect that the French hearing of the Marquis' [of Pescara] intention to remove his wife from that city, and escort her with 150 men on horseback, had laid an ambush for him. Chancing, however, to reach the spot sooner than the French expected, he passed quietly; but his tail was set upon, and several of them killed and many taken prisoners. The French begin to re-assemble and prepare for the field, and the Imperialists, fearing some attempt may be made on Fossano, have sent to M. della Trinità, Captain of that place, 1,500 foot and 100 light horse. The Captain of Vilferrara had sent to the Duke of Alva that unless he was supplied with aid and provisions he should be compelled to surrender the place. At Genoa 13 Spanish ships and five gallies had arrived, bringing thither 4,000 Spaniards and 500,000 crowns. The French had brought to Moncalvi 400 carts of all kinds of munition and four pieces of artillery; and it seemed they intended to march to Felisiano, a town of much safeguard for Asti, in which the Germans had mutined and threatened to deliver the place unless their wages were paid by a certain day. Count Pandriano had arrived at Milan, being called by the Duke of Alva to take the charge of Novaria.
From the same city, 14th December. The Baron de la Garde had taken about Corsica two of the Spanish ships bound for Genoa, and in them 700 or 800 soldiers. The French had dismissed 6,000 Swiss, to whom the Imperialists had given liberty to pass to their own country through the state of Milan. Of the light horse that set upon the tail of the Marquis of Pescara, 18 were taken prisoner, and of that number five being found to be Milanese and two Spaniards, they were straightway hanged; the others, not being subject to the Emperor, were suffered to depart without ransom.
From Rome, 16th December. The Pope has made seven Cardinals, viz., Cappissucchi, Pietro Contarini, Barnardino Theatino, [J. Barnardo Scoti, of the order of Theatins], Gropen [Gropper] a Canon of Cologne, the Archbishop of Toledo, Romano, an Auditor of Rome who is a Frenchman [John Suavius, Prefect of Justice], and a Neapolitan [Diomede Caraffa], nephew to his Holiness. The Count of Santafiore was in the field with a good number of foot, for the recovering of two of his towns lately taken by the French, and the Pope being therewith displeased assembled men of war. The Duke of Urbino has given up the office of General of the Church, and retired to his own state, misliking that all things in Rome pass by the advice of Cardinal Caraffa, whose stirring head entirely leads the Pope, and doubting of them the more that Pietro Strozzi has been sent for.
From Milan, 6th January. The Cardinal of Trent, having been appointed Governor of Milan, had arrived there; being received three miles from the town by the Duke of Alva, the Senators, a great number of the officers of the city, and nobility of that state. The Duke of Alva is expected to go towards Naples about the end of the month. [Two pages and a half.]
Jan. 8.
457. Sir Edward Carne to Queen Mary. Since his letter of the 4th the Pope has made an order for reformation of grants that were wont to pass here as matters of course by the Datary. All compositions are put down, and all bishoprics, unless filled up within four months after the see is vacant, shall be disposed of by his Holiness as he shall think good. The intent of this order is said to be, that the sees may not be too long without bishops. Is informed of this by Cardinal di Puteo, and apprizes her Majesty that she may provide as seems good to her in England. Signor Giuliano di Cesarini was brought prisoner to the castle of St. Angelo on the 5th, and a monitory for the appearance of Marc Antonio di Colonna, who lately departed hence without licence, has been set up on the gates of his palace here. Yesterday the Ambassadors of the Duke of Florence, sent to make his obedience, arrived. They were four of them, all in purple velvet, who were received and conveyed to their lodgings by all the officers of the Pope's household, as the manner is, very honourably. [One page.] Annexed,
457. I. "A note of the kinsmen of the Bishop of Rome now out of favour with him." These are,—
Charles Caraffa, Cardinal,
John Caraffa, Count Montorio and Duke of Paliano,
Antony Caraffa, Marquis of Montebello. These three brothers, nephew to his Holiness, are now exiled from the city
Diomede Caraffa,
Ferdinand de Sanguine, and
John Baptist Carbo, relations of his Holiness, reside in the city, but have no weight or influence with him
Alphonsus Caraffa, Cardinal of Naples, the son of Antony Caraffa, remains in the city, and is in high favour and constantly with the Pope, who has made him Chief Judge of Causes in the Apostolic Chamber, and is the only one of his relatives in whom his Holiness has confidence and whom he rewards. [Latin. One page.]
Jan. 18.
458. Peter Vannes to the Council. The Duke of Alva, after arranging the military affairs of Milan and Piedmont as mentioned in his letter to Petre of the 4th instant, went to Genoa, where he took his gallies towards Naples, and after 12 days arrived at Leghorn, where the Duke of Florence welcomed him, and they had a long conference. The Duke then determined to proceed without delay to Naples, where as yet no innovation has taken place. Men think that on his coming order will be taken and provision made for such expeditions as shall be thought necessary for the realm of Naples and the affairs of Tuscany, and to outstand French devices as much as can be done by men's wit. After the secret departure from Rome of Marc Antonio Colonna's mother, wife, and children contrary to the Pope's will, a Baron of Rome of much estimation called Sig. Guiliano Cesarini was suddenly and secretly put in prison by the Pope's command, and caused to write a letter to his wife that, upon the token left with her to the keeper and castellan of certain of his fortresses on the confines of Naples called Sinibalde he should deliver them to the Pope's appointment. Whether he has done so or not is unknown. The Pope has also prohibited his Treasurer from delivering to Signora Felice, niece of the said Giuliano, the dowry of 20,000 crowns which he had in his keeping. He has caused the keeper and captain of the gate by which the said ladies left to be hanged; and the soldiers to be sent to the gallies for opening the gates to them, not knowing who they were. On the 8th inst. he published a citation requiring Marc Antonio Colonna to appear before him at Rome within three days upon pain of rebellion; this he has not done and men think he will not, if he love himself. The Pope daily dispatches captains and levies men and distributes them by 200, 300, and 400 in divers towns and places of his states. Cannot tell what he intends, as no preparations against him are heard of. The Pope seems somewhat appeased with the suit of Pietro Strozzi, upon whose arrival he appeared outwardly aggrieved. The Ambassador of the Duke of Florence had come to Rome to do his obedience according to old custom. It is said, but with no certainty, that defensive league on both sides is concluded between the Pope and the French King, and that the Cardinal of Lorraine is come to Venice to try to get the Seigniory and the Duke of Ferrara to enter it. He has been most honourably received, but it is probable that the Venetians will excuse themselves on the ground that being in friendship with all the world they do not mistrust any party, and therefore need not intricate themselves in any new leagues at this unseasonable time. Thinks they would wish the French King to be no stronger towards these parts than he is. Letters state that Camillo Colonna and the Archbishop Colonna are committed to prison in Rome, whereby men judge the Pope to be much offended with the whole family. [Three pages.]
Jan. 23.
459. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. The King arrived at Antwerp on the 17th inst., where he was received with all such demonstrations of joy, as well by pageants, gunshot, lights, fires, and sundry other means, as might well appear the love and good hearts borne of the subjects towards him. The English, though, now as well as then, the whole company was absent occupied about their mart at Berghes, showed their good minds to his honour rather more than less than the others. They constructed a goodly castle of the antique sort, fair painted and trimmed with banners, arms, and writings agreeing to the purpose of it, and with fires, lights, liberal bestowing of wine and other victuals amongst the poor, they contended with any other nation in the advancing of the King's honour, much to his contentation. Their good luck, too, brought all well off, whereas another pageant, which was next before theirs, had such ill fortune, that by "the indiscreet looking to the fire matters, 11 or 12 perished in an instant, and a piece of iron breaking, slew a horse and hurt a gentleman dangerously, within the sight of the King's Majesty." Next Tuesday, the 20th inst., the King began the Feast of the Toison in the cathedral church, which for that effect was so richly apparelled with hangings and sundry other kinds of furniture, that the sight thereof was very notable. This feast lasts four days. On Sunday jousts and tourneys are appointed. After these are over, and some days having been spent in ordering necessary matters, the King will go to Louvain to receive the oaths and fidelity of that town, and of sundry other estates of Brabant. He will spend as little time as he can in this, and make all convenient haste towards the Queen. The more thoroughly he settles all things before his departure, with the more quietness and less care will he enjoy her company. Sends inclosed a copy of the letters sent by the Emperor to Spain upon the renunciation, containing the effect of the speech made to the nobility and others when he put it in execution. [Two pages.] Inclosing,
459. I. The Emperor's letter to the Estates of Spain, upon the resigning of his authority to his son, the King of England. Brussels, January 17, 1555–6. [Three pages. Translation.]
Jan. [24.] 460. Queen Mary to Dr. Wotton. Yesterday the 23d arrived letters from Rome, and among others a brief from the Pope's Holiness to Cardinal Pole, to exhort her Majesty to mediate a peace; the which being desirous to do, she sends credentials to Dr. Wotton, desiring him at his next audience of the French King to open the subject to him. [Draft, autograph of Secretary Petre. Two pages.]
[Jan. 25.] 461. "A brief abstract as touching the state of the Queen's Majesty's debts due in Flanders, with the days of payment when the said debts shall grow due, as hereafter more plainly appeareth." Amounting to 109,013l. 8s. 10d. [Broadside.]