Mary: March 1556

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

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'Mary: March 1556', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 214-220. British History Online [accessed 23 June 2024].

. "Mary: March 1556", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 214-220. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2024,

. "Mary: March 1556", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 214-220. British History Online. Web. 23 June 2024,

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March 1556

March 1.
479. Cosmo de Medicis, Duke, and the Councillors of Florence to Queen Mary. Credentials of Alphonsus, Bishop of Burgos, Envoy to her Majesty and King Philip. [Latin. Broadside on vellum. Signed by the Duke, and countersigned by Lælius.]
March 7.
480. Peter Vannes to the Council. As occurrences of any importance depend on proceedings between those two mighty Princes, he must be brief in this letter. Will, however, tell what he hears and perceives by the communication and discourses had with some wise men. First, in these matters of truce the Queen is highly praised as principal author, mediator, and doer between the said Princes; and her praise is the greater on account of the difficulty and impossibility which every man thought there would have been in bringing it to an [end], being so good and so great a matter. The French openly confess that her Majesty's travail taken therein has been a principal [cause of so good] a deed, trusting by her means that this beginning of friendship will prosper, and increase every day better and better. Whatever the conditions of the truce are, the present state of these countries well considered, the truce ought to be commended and nourished, for it will serve many good purposes, and save a great shedding of Christian blood, and keep Christian Princes from ruin, who, for their high degrees appointed by God, ought not to be poor. It is easily conjectured that many kinds of men had put great trust in the strife of those Princes, and the intolerable charges they would have been at, for the advancement of their private devices, and for that end to abuse the mischievousness of war. Thanks be to God, who has illuminated and mollified Princes' hearts with His grace ! Here in Piedmont, Sienna, and elsewhere, at this termination of war, there is like to be some mischief and spoliation committed by the dismissal of soldiers, but it is to be hoped, by the authority of Princes and good ministers, with the helping hand of God, Qui non in æternum irascitur populo suo, all things will be settled. The Duke of Ferrara, having great commodity in all his estates, is making up his 100 men-at-arms, to be distributed all about his dominions, and kept continually in the way he has wittily devised most to his own commodity; this is for his own safety, and not for any innovation of war, though he sees his neighbour armed. He has also discontinued levying the 2,000 footmen before appointed. There is news from Rome that the Pope has caused a muster of 3,500 foot and 100 light horse to be made, and, what with them and the others in his estate, has ready 10,000 foot and 1,000 horse. Whether they are for his safety, or any mistrust, or any other intent, cannot tell. Thinks the truce will accommodate all this matter, to the pleasure of God and the quiet of Christendom, as the Pope shows to be desirous of it. Hear from Constantinople that there is no preparation of any armament by sea, though the report is that the Turk will have much ado this year against Transylvania and Hungary. It is to be trusted in God that, hearing of the truce, his preparation will be slacker. The Queen of Poland, called regina Bona, is looked for within a fortnight at Treviso, a town within seven miles of Venice, and the King of Poland, her son, and others of her children, with all the state of Poland, are miscontented with her, because it is said she has conveyed out of the country, by divers secret ways, an infinite quantity of treasure and [jewels]. The Cavalier Barnardo, who was appointed [secret amba]ssador to the Turk, is dead, and tha[t] . . . . . . he in judgment (by the reason of a g . . . . . . had here) favouring a cause of a banished man . . . . . . ned counsel on the other side, laid to his charg[e], was a reproach that he secretly enjoyed pensions out of E . . . . upon which words, not remembering that in Venice omnibus est licitum impune maledicere, he took such a thought and such a choler inwardly that he went home and cast himself in his bed, daily increasing his sorrow till he died within 10 days. He had become in such favour that no man's death has been so generally lamented here. Understands that the Seigniory, besides the Ambassador that is there already about her Majesty, has chosen another to wait constantly on the King. He is a gentleman of the family of Soriano, well esteemed in Venice. Sends herewith advices from Rome and other places (missing). [Three pages and a quarter.]
March 10. 481. The Ambassadors of the Hanse Towns to Sir William Petre. Concerning the restraints placed upon their exporting and importing of cloths, and other commodities, and inclosing memorial to the Council on same subject. [Latin. Two pages and a quarter. Inclosure, two pages and a half.]
March 14.
482. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. Yesterday advertised her of the conclusion of the truce. As Lucas the messenger is dispatched with a letter from the King to her Majesty, has thought good to send three or four words to her, having no manner of occurrents worth writing about other than that his Majesty is in good health. Lucas has been very diligent during his stay here, which the King takes in very good and thankful part. [One page.]
March 15.
483. Thomas Gresham to same. Has received her Majesty's letter of the 3d March, by Mr. William Watson. According to her command, paid him on the 11th inst. 1,000l. for the provision of Dantzic, and 500l. for her Majesty's provision in Holland. Mr. Watson has departed towards those parts as expeditiously as he could. He is very careful and mindful of the charge that her Majesty has committed to him, as Gresham has written to the Council of his proceedings. The other 500l. shall be paid at sight of his letter, as her Majesty commands. On the 14th inst. was at Brussels to confer with the Ambassador touching her Majesty's affairs, and saw there the King, who tarries the coming of the French King's Admiral and all his noblemen. Great triumph will be shown upon the conclusion of the truce, which is here much rejoiced at. Very shortly upon the departure of the Admiral the King will make his repair home to her Majesty. As he has advertised the Council, has prolonged the whole sum of 70,000l. for six months, to the full contentation of all her creditors, so that now her Majesty has no more to sorrow for any payment here till October next coming. She will do very well to put the Council in remembrance some time for the better payment of her debts, for which they have provision, though they are not unmindful of the charge. It will redound to her credit, and be no less profitable, for she would avoid the great loss of interest. Has sent the Council a perfect note of all such bonds as must be new made, with advice of all other matters pertaining to her Majesty's affairs in these parts. Prays her to be good to her own mere merchants for their suit of the steel-yard; it is one of the chiefest points she has to look to for the wealth of the realm, wherein he has often before molested her and the Council. [Two pages.]
March 16.
484. Dr. Wotton to same. Received her Majesty's letter of the 27th ult. on the 5th, while the King was on his journey to Amboise, whither he followed, and had audience of his Majesty on the 12th. The King stated that the truce was chiefly made to the intent that in the mean season communication might be had of a final peace, which he trusted by her Majesty's means might be brought to pass. Was sorry to hear of the Scots' doings in Ireland, and should write to the Queen Dowager, who he was sure would see such order taken in the matter as reason required. The day before the Constable sent word to Wotton that the Emperor and his Majesty had sealed and confirmed the truce as concluded by the Commissioners, and that all things taken since the date of the truce should be restored; whereupon when at Court he congratulated both the King and the Constable, whose inward joy was manifested by their outward countenances, as was perceived by the rest of the Ambassadors. The Constable informed him that it is agreed that the prisoners on both sides shall be straight delivered for the value of one year's income, except the Duke of Arschot, the Duke of Bouillon (so the Marshal de la Marche is now called), and the Constable's son. The King told him that he was content to have let the Duke of Arschot go for M. de Montmorency, but that it was refused, and yet the Duke may spend 100,000 francs per ann. Wotton said to this, that the Duke of Arschot was a great Lord indeed, but that he had a mother-in-law and sister-in-law alive. "Marry," quoth the King, "and Montmorency has a father and a mother yet alive, and four or five brethren, and six or seven sisters; and what can he have then of his own?" Was informed that although these three are not released, yet it is agreed they shall within three months be ransomed and delivered. The Constable mentioned that the delay in sealing and confirming the truce proceeded from the King's refusal to seal till the Commissioners should be agreed also for the delivery of the prisoners, which the other made no haste to go through withal. The Constable further said, that to see the treaty ratified and sworn again by the Princes, there should be notable Ambassadors sent on both sides; and for that purpose the Counts of Lalaing and Megue. Upon Wotton inquiring whether it was the fashion to ratify truces in that manner, the Constable replied that it was not usual, but the Princes thought it good to have this one so ratified. Doubts whether, as under the colour of a communication for the delivery of prisoners, they have concluded a truce, so these Ambassadors may, under colour of a ratification, have commission to treat of a peace. Is informed that the King has annexed Savoy and Piedmont to France, and made a special Government of it, as Picardy, Burgundy, and other provinces; appointing thereto Marshal Brissac, who is expected here shortly. On his arrival it is said he shall be of the Council of Affairs; that is to say, of them who, at the King's rising, enter into his chamber. where all the chief matters of great importance are debated. Of this number are the Cardinals of Lorraine and Chastillon, the Constable, the Duke of Guise, Marshal St. André, the Admiral, and a few more. [Two pages and a half.]
March 16.
485. Dr. Wotton to the Council. Acknowledges receipt of their letter of 26th ult. As it is probable the Ambassadors for ratification of the truce will come both in the Emperor's and the King's name, supposes it were no great hurt to give them the preeminence. Such he thinks the French Ambassadors will do likewise, whenever they meet with Ambassadors having commission from the Emperor and his Majesty together. But if the French Ambassadors meet with any having commission from the King only (as at Venice he hears his Majesty's Envoy names himself the King of Spain's Ambassador), thinks and believes that the French Ambassador will look to have the upper hand of him. The English merchants of Rouen have obtained letters under the Great Seal for the maintenance of their privileges, and restitution of money garnished by them, if they may be put in execution as they are granted. But strict reciprocity is required on part of England for the French merchants there, and any restrictions on the French will be met with similar restraints upon the English. This was distinctly notified to the merchants on the delivery of their letters to them. [One page.]
March 18.
486. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. Thinks that by the bearer Francisco, whom the King has caused stay his return into England till this day, his Majesty has made answer to the things which were the cause of the said Francisco's coming hither and signified to him the conclusion of the truce. Much of the long delay arose because the Commissioners, having full authority to bind both Princes, nevertheless left the conclusion of the treaty to be of effect or not as it should please the Princes to accept or refuse it; as, by the latter end of the capitulations, which he sent lately, her Majesty may perceive. The King doubting how the French would use this liberty, thought it not good to publish the truce until by the subscription and seal of the French King it appeared he was content to accept it. Upon the delivery of the writing to the English Commissioners, and the sending of it hither, it was proclaimed in all places of these dominions, in the form given in his last letters. It will be Saturday before the French Commissioners can be here and their tarrying will not be over five days. The Constable's son, the Duke of Bouillon, and Mons. de Villars are sent for to be here against their coming. The Estates having had proponed upon them the King's demands for a subsidy, are returned to declare the same in both places as appertains, and are appointed to be here again on a certain day to make an answer. Has received by her Majesty's kindness 373l. 6s. 8d. for diets due last February. Thanks her most humbly upon his knees. Prays God he may so demean himself in service as the same may be acceptable to her, wherein no good will shall lack. [One page and a half.]
March 23.
487. Same to Sir William Petre. Received yesterday a packet of letters from Mr. Vannes. Sends them with a few words. Nothing worth writing about has happened at this Court since his last letter to the Queen. On Thursday they look for the Admiral of France, Renard, the Lieutenant d'Aumont, who goes as Ambassador into France, and Basse Fontaine, who comes with the Admiral, and remains here for the French King: such a couple for likeness in conditions, as a better match would hardly have been found. The King of Bohemia and the Queen also appoint to be here about the 20th prox. Francisco Bernardi who had a good pension of her Majesty, is departed to God; a great cause of his death is thought to have been, "for thought for that he was charged to have received a pension without the knowledge of the Seigniory." Trusts as such pieces fall back into the Queen's hands, she will let them die and not bestow them again, considering the estate she stands in, until she be at least out of debt and able to satisfy her poor servants and answer her ordinary and necessary charges. The Marquis of Villena, a Spanish nobleman rented to the value of 80,000 crowns a year, is dead, as is also the Count of Niebla, son and heir to the Duke of Medina-Sidonia. Requests he will tell the Lords Treasurer and Privy Seal and the Bishop of Ely that the King's letter of indemnity of Art Van Dalle is dispatched, not without some difficulty made by the officers of Finance. The King's safe-conduct for Mr. Watson stays for word from him what proportion he provides of the things which are to be bought at Amsterdam, the number of pieces of each kind whereof these men will have in any case to be specified. Has written to Watson and looks daily for a bill from him containing the said pieces. Forgot to signify in his last letter that Francisco, on leaving Brussels, had 100 crowns given him for his journey into Spain. Sir Thomas Newenham is here now, about he knows not what suit. It should seem, however, it is touching the stalling of some debt.
P.S.—Requests orders may be given to Mr. Cliff or some other for conveying the inclosed letters to London. [Two pages.]
March 24.
488. Francis, Earl of Bedford, to Sir William Cecil. Is glad to find by Cecil's letter of 12th ult. that the Council take his doings in good part. Has written to Mr. Isham, in reference to his suit for a lease in Ibearye [Highbury], that being left with bare houses void of land or ground in all places, he has thought it meet to keep the same in his own hands; otherwise, he assures him, Isham should have it before any other; and though in this, by reason of his great lack, he may not without his extreme discommodity let Isham have it, yet shall he not fail hereafter to do him as good a turn, if ever it lies in his power. Has returned here from Rome and Naples. The latter, to his mind, is one of the fairest cities in Italy, having great commodities by the sea; the buildings are very fair, and the country so fruitful as he has not seen the like. Rome is beautified through the Pope's and Cardinals' palaces, whereof there is a number passing fair; the antiquities are so many and so worthy to be seen, that no small time will suffice to note them all, nor his capacity reach to bear them all away, but such as his wits will serve unto he shall make Cecil partaker of them at his coming home. Sends his hearty commendations to Lady Cecil, and thanks him for his great good will. [One page and a half. Indorsed by Cecil.]
March 29.
489. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. Lord Fitzwalter, returning presently to her Majesty, can declare the occurrents of this Court, and the state of the Emperor and the King. Will therefore not trouble her with a long letter, leaving to him the fuller report of these matters. The Admiral of France visited the Emperor yesterday; to-day it is decided he shall take his leave. The King travails to employ the time of the truce in such a manner as that, if the peace he most desires succeed not, he may be ready when the truce expires to meet the enemy. He therefore daily studies to cut off all superfluous expenses, and to set the affairs of the states right; and because in his father's time, by reason of the wars, his debts have grown very great, he has demanded a great subsidy, of the particulars whereof when it is granted her Majesty shall be advertised. The Turk makes very great preparation for the annoyance of Christendom this year by sea and land; if God do not set to His helping hand, the scourge is likely to be great in Hungary and elsewhere. [Two pages.]
[After March 22.]
490. Sermon by an Archbishop and Legate Apostolic in London. [Italian. Forty pages and a half. This discourse is evidently by Cardinal Pole, as the author distinctly says he is Archbishop and Legate, and Pole was the only person who held those two offices at the time; and the words "ultimo arcivescovo che voi avete" as clearly denote Cranmer. Its date, too, may be very nearly fixed. Pole's first sermon, "quando prima come arcivescovo io entrai," &c., was preached in Bow Church (a peculiar in the diocese of Canterbury) on the day of his consecration, March 22, 1556. After that, as we know from Beccatelli, he continued a series of similar discourses, "nella lingua patria," in various churches of his diocese; and this, from the manner in which he refers to the first, was evidently the second. It must have been delivered therefore early in the summer, if not in the spring, of 1556. This discourse, which never appears to have been printed, has manifestly been translated from the English; the subject is mission, apostolic succession, and unity.]
[March.] 491. Reply of the Council, by order of their Majesties, to the memorial submitted to them by the Ambassadors of the Hanse Towns. [Latin. Copy. Three pages.]
Another copy. [Two pages.]
Draft of the preceding. [Three pages.]
Translation of the preceding. [Three pages and a half.]
492. Report to King Philip by Lord Paget, the Bishop of Ely, and Secretary Petre, of their conference with and reply to the Ambassadors of the Confederate Cities of the Hanse. [Draft, Autograph of Petre. Seven pages and a half.]
Jottings in reference to the preceding, autograph of Petre. [One page.]