Mary: April 1557

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

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'Mary: April 1557', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 292-300. British History Online [accessed 23 June 2024].

. "Mary: April 1557", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 292-300. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2024,

. "Mary: April 1557", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 292-300. British History Online. Web. 23 June 2024,

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April 1557

April 2.
585. Claude De la Sengle, Grand Master of Malta, to same. Had dispatched the late Grand Conservator of the Order to thank her Majesty for causing a portion of their property in England to be restored, and to be resident at her Court, but while waiting at Brussels for the King's return to England, he had died there. Has now committed the like charge to the bearer, the Commander Felizes. [French. One page.]
April 10.
586. Sir Edward Carne to King Philip and Queen Mary. Yesterday a Consistory was kept in which the Pope has revoked all his ministers within the realms of his Majesty, and specially revoked the Lord Cardinal by name. This was done without any knowledge of the Cardinals until the very time that it was done in the Consistory. Had been to several of them to learn the cause, but they say they neither knew of it nor could help it. And being with Cardinal Morone about the Bishops, the Cardinal said that the Pope would not suffer him to purpose Chichester there, neither Meath in Ireland, which have not yet had his bulls. On this had sent to the Pope for audience with the view of knowing whether he would suffer these bishoprics to be purposed as well as the other three that were purposed about Mid-lent; in which his Holiness had showed himself as favourably as could be required, and had commended them equally so to the Cardinals touching their favour for the annats. This afternoon, "at twenty-two of the clock," had audience of his Holiness, who informed that he would do for her Majesty and her realm with all the favour he could, so that it came in her own name without specifying that of his Majesty, and would take England as a realm separated from the King's other dominions and would not fail it, unless occasion be given thence that he can do nothing for it. Had asked the Pope whether he might boldly write that his Holi ness would provide for the said churches, and he said yea, and would do any other thing he could, willing Carne whatsoever he had to do to repair boldly to him. Antonio Caraffa is said to be appointed General of the Pope's army and to be already to Reati to make preparations for the said army. The expense of these wars, they say, is to be divided between the Pope and the French King, the latter to bear every month 215,000 crowns, and the Pope 85,000 crowns. Ascanio di Colonna is reported to be dead at Naples. [Four pages.]
[April, prior to 14.] 587. Notes by Dr. Wotton, headed "Advertisements of the Admiral's practice upon Guisnes, given by N[icholas] T[hrockmorton], and the plot thereof delivered to N[icholas] W[otton]." The Admiral has mounted some ordnance on wheels to go upon marshy ground. His intent is first to win the town, and then to roll all the earth before them into the castle's ditches. Also to build in some place of most annoyance, probably between Guisnes and Newnham Bridge. Is advertised by T. G. of two Englishmen who offer their services to the French King and to place in his hands a castle on the sea-coast, of which T. G. had seen the plot and called it Plymouth. One of these men is a kinsman of the Captain of that castle, the other is a servant to Thomas Stafford, named Roger. They say there are not above 12 persons in it, and with 20 men doubt not to do their feat. In the castle are all manner of things meet for fortification. Within a day or two thereafter one named P. came to Wotton and confirmed this report, bringing with him a copy of the plot [plan]: the name of the place, as far as he can learn, is Scarborough. Roger told P. that his master T. Stafford had left for Hull: they who know the forts must consider whether the plot refers to Plymouth, Scarborough, Hull, or elsewhere. It is thought the French King will not interfere, till he may perceive some likelihood of breach. Devisat is at Calais. Four bands of Scots have arrived in France. Reported coming over of King Philip to procure her Majesty's aid. Merchants and scholars come daily to Wotton to know what they shall do: he cannot inform them. Rumour of the Duke of Nemours being dangerously wounded at the siege of Corregio, and overthrow of the French soldiers there by the Duke of Florence. [Two pages.]
April 14.
La Ferté Milon.
588. Dr. Wotton to Sir William Petre. Within the last three or four months has sent several letters, but having no reply from her Majesty or the Council fears they have not been delivered. Also 13 weeks ago dispatched his servant Christopher Ambrose, of whom since then he has heard nothing, whether he be dead or alive, or what has become of him. His long absence has been the more annoying, since trusting to have been revoked ere now, and therefore having made little provision for money, had ordered him to bring letters of bank, to receive money here. Wherefore he had sent John Somer with letters to her Majesty and other credentials. A month has elapsed since he left, and as he promised, knowing the case in which Wotton stands, to return with all convenient speed and bring him letters of bank, marvels not a little at having no intelligence of him. Cannot suspect his fidelity, therefore is afraid somewhat has chanced him by the way, whereof in case he had letters from Paget, or have not come to him at all, thinks it meet to certify him thereof. Hears that of late great bands of horse have gone down to Picardy: prays God their pieces on this side be well garrisoned, for if any thing be meant it will appear that small numbers will not well serve for such purposes nowadays. Thinks people should be going to and fro between Calais and the Court here, if only in journey, as at the least they might learn what warlike preparations are being made and whether the passage were stopped. Every one here looks for war between England and France, and he to be again a prisoner. The Duke of Vendôme has gone to Picardy. The Pope has made new Cardinals, of whom the Garde des Sceaux here is one, now named the Cardinal of Sens, which archbishopric he had by the death of the Cardinal of Bourbon. Hears that the Bishop of Beziers, brother to Marshal Strozzi, is another. The news of the Cardinal of Trent's nephew being slain by the Marquis of Pescara, and his flying to Mantua, were pleasant to the Court here. Some think he will be soon in France, and that there are men practising him already. The Mantuan Ambassador here lately went home on pretence of private business; this he cannot believe, as it is not likely that such a mean man as he would bear the charges of posting thither and back. He left again on hearing of the Marquis' arrival at Mantua, and his servants say he only went to Paris and would be back by the 12th, but he has not yet returned, which makes it doubtful whether he be still in Paris or gone to Mantua, as before, to practise the Marquis for the French King. Sir Robert and Thomas Stafford, the Tremaines, Asheton, and other rebels, have been here at Court a good while, which leads him to believe they shall shortly be employed somewhere. The Venetian Ambassador was at Court lately, very long with the King, and much made of. Hears that the Rhinegrave and Rykrad have levied 12,000 landsknechts for the French King.
P.S.—Heard that Thomas Stafford left the Court three or four days ago for Paris, whence a correspondent writes that he has been told by one of Stafford's servants that when at the Court his master was shown much favour and received money to retain men of war, and that he had agreed with a merchant in Paris to have of him pikes, harquebuses, morions, and shirts of mail for 200 men, and had hired a boat to carry all these to Rouen. Within these few days there have passed this way 300 out of 400 horsemen, who go, it is said, to Laon. Since writing thus far his Paris correspondent, who is the same who took him the plan of Scarborough which he sent by Somer, has been with him, and mentioned that T. Stafford had required him to hire a boat for him to Rouen, which he had done, and had willed him to set at a merchant's house 25 halberts and as many partisans, and to carry them in that boat, which this man had done also. Further he said that eight or nine Englishmen of Stafford's company had gone with the boat, and that Stafford told him he would have another plot [plan] made of a place in Sussex, which he promised to do, but he knows not yet the name of the place. Also the name of the young man who says he is of kin to the Captain of Scarborough is, he says, Thomas Brooke. [Cipher, deciphered. Four pages and a half.]
April 17.
589. Sir Edward Carne to Queen Mary. On the evening of the 12th Cardinal Morone sent the Master of his Household to know how he had done with the Pope, although his Eminence had been informed of all that passed by Mr. Pinning, who had gone to apprize him thereof on Carne's return from the audience. Had sent to say he should be with him next morning. That same morning the Cardinal came to a place of his called Santa Maria trans Tiberim very timely, not far from Carne's lodging, and sent the said Master of the Household to inform him of his arrival. Went incontinently and detailed his conversation with the Pope. The Cardinal thereupon desired him to write to her Majesty, requesting that she would intreat his Majesty to send some worthy personage as Ambassador to his Holiness to treat of his Majesty's reconciliation to the Church, with a letter from him to the Pope himself offering his obedience. In such a case much good must ensue; for if the Pope took it in good part, besides quiet to Christendom, the French would be disappointed of their purposed intent; and if the Pope did not agree, the world would judge that his Majesty had done all that any Christian Prince might conveniently do, and lay all the fault of this variance and wars on his Holiness. Those who had been previously sent,—such as Don Garcia and Don Ferrante,—came through the hands of the Duke of Alva, and that the Pope cannot abide, as he must be directly applied to by the King; and the Cardinal stated that in all his declamations of his Majesty in the Consistory, one part invariably is that he does not send to seek any reconciliation to him. Further, the Cardinal suggested, that as his Holiness has revoked his Legate de Latere, on the ground that he will have no Minister of his where his Majesty is, considering the realm of England, through her Majesty's goodness, has been newly reduced to the unity of the Church, and there may happen many cases there daily necessary to be helped, and which cannot be done conveniently without a Legate, her Majesty would address a gracious letter to his Holiness to request the continuance of the said Legate, it would not be denied. But such matter should be laboured by her Majesty's Ambassador here, and by none of the Lord Cardinal's agents. Begs her Majesty will take all this in good part. Cardinal Morone bears great goodwill and service towards his Majesty, and minds nothing but his honour, which makes Carne so bold as to send this to her. [Four pages.]
April 17.
590. Same to King Philip and Queen Mary. Since his letter of the 10th, the French gallies have arrived at Civita Vecchia, 40 miles hence, and are said to have brought 3,000 or more French soldiers, and are to sail to the coast of Naples. On the 12th Cardinal Caraffa was at Neptuno, and remained there two days to see preparations there made for them. The reason assigned for the gallies going thither is, that it is much nearer to Naples than Civita Vecchia. Yesterday all the Pope's troops here departed to their camp, whence, he is informed, they proceed to lay siege to Monte Fortino, four miles beyond Veletri. The troops that were at Tivoli had gone there two days ago. To-day have been sent great ordnance, shot, scaling-ladders, and other engines for the assault, the Pope, it is said, being resolved to have it burnt and destroyed in anywise; because that after the taking of Vicovaro, those within Monte Fortino met with two bands of his soldiers and destroyed them all. Although no great thing, it is said to be strong and well manned; it is within six miles of Anagni, where are a good number of Neapolitan soldiers well appointed. On the 12th, 14 great pieces of ordnance were brought hither from Tivoli. Hears that all is well at Naples, and good provision there to avoid the enemy. The Duke of Guise is said this Easter to lie at Loretto, and his camp thereabouts; also that the Duke of Ferrara, would have him to come back to help against Signor di Corregio, who has entered into Corregio, not far from Ferrara, with a good number of foot and 100 horse, and some Germans that are nigh to the duchy of Ferrara. Cannot hear that the said Duke of Guise removes as yet. [Two pages and a quarter.]
April 24.
591. Sir Edward Carne to King Philip and Queen Mary. The Duke of Guise and his army still lie at La Marcha, near Loretto. Neither he nor the gentlemen of France that came with him upon their own heads only for love of him, are said to be well contented of their coming, perceiving that they be of no power to do any great hurt in the realm of Naples. Hears that Antonio di Caraffa, with such as he has of the Pope's army, does what he can to draw them forwards, and for that purpose had invaded some small and defenceless villages with that view, but in vain. The force of the French is said to be not above 10,000 horse and foot. It is reported that those who came in the French gallies are fortifying in an island called Pontia, not far from Gaeta, in order to stay the passage to the latter place. This rumour has continued here these four or five days, notwithstanding their Majesties' fleet,—viz., 26 gallies, the rest ships and fusts to the number of 40 sail,—have passed towards Naples, and it is thought will not suffer the French to nestle them there. Some say Monte Fortino has yielded upon discretion; others say not, and that the countrymen there are so desperately set that the besiegers cannot come by it without great loss of men in the assault. Is informed that Bartholomeo di Beneventino, General Commissary to the Pope, intends to take order that all the corn in the country here that is yet on the ground shall be taken for the Chamber here upon certain prices, leaving to the owners sufficient for their households, and no more; by which they intend not only to provide necessary corn, but also to get thereby a great sum of money. As far as he can learn, the Caraffas would gladly have agreement between his Majesty and the Pope. The forces of the Church are but small, and the foreign troops that they have, have destroyed the country of La Marcha and all the way they came through the Pope's lands, with infinite other misorders so that every one cries out upon them as far as he dare. Since the news arrived that their Majesties had met together, no intimation has been given to him to come to the chapel, neither in Passion-week nor all Easter, where the officers were wont heretofore never to fail to intimate the chapel to him as oft as they did to the Cardinals.
P.S.—News have arrived that the soldiers of Monte Fortino yielded, and left shortly after it was taken. All in it, men, women, and children, were destroyed; the chief countrymen and the feeblest that were taken hanged, and the rest sent to the gallies. All else burnt, and the Pope's troops have gone towards Anagni. [Three pages.]
April 24.
592. Intelligence from Rome, Ancona, and Ferrara. Letters from Rome of the 24th April mention that the Papal troops have taken Monte Fortino, which after three assaults surrendered at discretion. The soldiers who were within were disarmed; the greater part of those of La Terra cut to pieces, the others made prisoners; the women and children all placed together were burned, it is said, by a fire which accidentally broke out,—some say by the inhabitants of La Terra, who set fire to it. From the army the other day there were sent to the Pope two ensigns of Italian infantry taken at Campoli, with news that many other places in the neighbourhood, though not of importance, kept their keys without expecting a contest, and that in these places there was yet something to live on. What has been done up to the present time has been by the troops of the Marquis of Montebello and some arquebusiers of the vanguard of the army. Of Mons. de Guise is nothing known except that he was at Loretto. The Duke of Paliano has had a touch of tertian, so that his departure will be deferred for some days. Marshal Strozzi will depart in five or six days for Bologna. It seems advices have been received that the Imperial fleet, having previous notice that the French still remained at Ponza, where it seems fortifications are being made, set sail and arrived in Sicily, where it has placed the Duke of Medina Celi, then levied eight Sicilian gallies, together making a number of 30 gallies, and thus are coming towards Naples with warlike intentions.
2. By letters from Ancona of the 24th April it is stated that the French army is still at Fermo, Marano, Ascoli, and in that vicinity, and waits for victuals, oxen, and waggons which have been ordered to pass the Tronto; nevertheless Mons. de Guise wishes to move slowly and considerately, it is said. He goes amusing the enemy here and there, wherever he can get subsistence. The people of Ascoli went with some Gascon arquebusiers, and took without a contest Campoli and other places of little importance.
April 27.
3. By letters from Ferrara of the 27th April, mention that it is said the Duke of Ferrara will make great preparations for the storming of Corregio, and that at the least he will have 1,500 infantry, 300 men-at-arms, and 800 light horse, and the battery will be made in a cross with 30 guns, such as the Emperor made when he was before Landrecy; and it is thought that the victory will be very bloody, for the besieged are finely fortified and have made two bulwarks of strong defence. They have recently placed within two companies of infantry and cavalry, and are cutting down the corn precipitately in order to make straw. The other day they sent money to procure oil and salt, and it is said that those of Carpi made a sally and seized the money, but this is not verified. It is understood that by their account there are at Parma and Cremona 4,000 infantry, and Sign. Geronimo negotiates everything at Milan. Strozzi is hourly expected at Ferrara with the French troops which he will bring with him to join with these and those whom he shall levy; meanwhile Sig. Cornelio Bentivoglio makes private levies at Modena and Reggio, and carries on the works of the fortification by day and night. It is said that at Milan a proclamation has been issued that all the Ferrarese there are to evacuate the country within a certain time under pain of death, and it is said that his Excellency is doing the same thing here as to the boundary neighbourhood. The Duke has sent into France with speed "il fiaschino," for what purpose is unknown, and was present at his dispatch. The Cardinal is better, and has begun to go out in a coach. [Italian. Two pages.]
April 27.
La Ferté Milon.
593. Dr. Wotton to Queen Mary. Five or six days ago sent one of his servants by Dieppe with a letter to Sir William Petre, whom he yet took to be one of her Majesty's Principal Secretaries, mentioning the purchase of arms, &c. by Thomas Stafford. Since then has had a letter from Sir Nicholas Throckmorton corroborating these things, and stating that Stafford has with prest assembled 400 or 500 men, and is to have as many more; that Stafford's friends spread many reports concerning this, but he takes it they blast one thing and mean another, though he fears they meditate an attempt on Calais or some of the other pieces on this side, and they let fall secretly that some invasion is meant into England, talking of Scarborough, Hull, the Castle of Dover, or of the Camber, and another while of mustering in Champagne as though they should serve against the Imperialists. Sir Nicholas continues that it is not to be liked that the French have so many ships ready or in preparation, the leading of which he hears John Rybawde and Captain Hores shall have, and that the passages are stopped or shall be shortly. Somer has now returned, and informs him that all these bands of horsemen are now in Picardy. The Dauphin's, the Admiral's, those of the Prince De la Rochesurion, Prince of Condé, Count of Sancerres, Jarnac's, four Scottish bands, and that of Tutty. Besides those there are others near Reynes [Rheims], which may soon join them. As Somers came by Boulogne he found there Devisat who leapt the wall at Calais. Doubtless he is not there for nothing; he is now brave, and it is openly spoken that he is now of the King's chamber. The Venetian Ambassador says that it is concluded that the Duke of Guise shall invade Naples, and that by this time the army has marched; also that he believes the report of the Cardinal of Trent's nephew having been slain by the Marquis of Pescara is incorrect, having received letters from Mantua which make no mention of it. Having written thus far was required with the other Ambassadors to be present at the Feast of the Order of the Garter, which was kept after the accustomed fashion. On the right hand of the choir, over the chief seat, were her Majesty's and the King of Spain's arms united. The King kept his place on the left side of the choir, and the Constable his on the right before her Majesty's place. Believes there was never so joyful a St. George's Feast kept here, for the night before news came from Brissac of the taking of Valsernier, a place of such ignobility and so little known to Wotton, that he has much ado to remember its name, and is not well assured whether he hits right upon it. For all that the French look upon it as of right great importance, for as they say the only three places in Piedmont which rest in the King of Spain's hands are Chierasco, Fossano, and Coni; and these must shortly yield without siege, seeing by the loss of Valsernier they cannot be succoured. The cause of the loss is said to have been a dissension between the Spaniards in the town and the landsknechts, who were in the majority. Hears that the landsknechts were suffered to depart with their swords by their sides, the Spaniards onlycon la bachetta in mano. On that day, when one of the Ambassadors was congratulating the Cardinal of Lorraine on the good news, he heard the latter say, "If God will you shall hear of more things than that done there shortly;" and two days after, when returning with the other Ambassadors from seeing the Cardinal of Sens receive his hat, he heard the Venetian Ambassador say to the Nuncio that news of great importance from Piedmont were daily looked for at the Court. Sir Robert Stafford, Dudley, and other of that sort are yet at the Court, why he knows not. There is a report that 30 of the English bands who serve here had conspired to have taken the King of Navarre while he was hunting at Fere, and conveyed him to Flanders, but this being disclosed by some of their own company, they fled to Flanders. Knows not if this be true, but would not be sorry if it were, as thereby the rebels here were like to be so much discredited that little trust should be had in them.
P.S.—Has received a letter from Thomas Randall [Randolph], a scholar of Paris, who mentions that Thomas Stafford took ship on Easter day at night, and that he is accompanied by more French than English. He went on the Fleur de lis, whereof the captain is John Rybawde, and with him another ship laden with artillery. The voice at Dieppe is that they go to Scotland; scarcely credits this because of Rybawde, whom he fears more than any man that fled out of England this great while. Another letter from Sir Nicholas Throckmorton mentions that both the ships are well armed and manned, and that there is a proclamation made at Paris for the speedy mustering of the Arrière-Ban. There is likewise a rumour at Court that the Spaniards have landed at Belle Isle, an island of Brittany, and taken the fort and keep the island, which when known is likely to trouble the French very much. [Chiefly in cipher, deciphered. Six pages.]
April 30.
594. Intelligence from Ancona. Mons. de [Guise] with the camp is near Civitella, divided into three squadrons. They have taken a church, distant from Terra an arquebuse shot, with the loss of 20 Gascons. On the 28th inst. they planted 10 pieces of artillery in the church, which is such a troop as can batter it, and battered it incessantly; and, as some say who were there, they cannot bring the artillery nearer than this church, because from the church to the city there is a descent into a valley and then a great ascent to Terra. Those within still resist valorously, and there are between Spaniards and Calabrians 1,400 infantry in pay; they have destroyed the houses opposite the battery, have sent the women and children to the mountains, disarmed the inhabitants of Terra, and injure those outside with the artillery; they stripped a trumpeter who was sent to them, and sent him back in his shirt, with a message that they had no desire to have to do with any more such embassies; whereupon Mons. de Guise determined to have the place or to leave all his troops there. They say that there are provisions within for ten years, and all the grain of the neighbourhood. The inhabitants would suffer greatly if the enemy cut off their supply of water, which is a fountain outside the city, where they have made bastions and covers that they may go to procure it without the camp being able to damage them, and within Terra there are no ponds from which, if the fountain were taken, they could obtain water. [Italian. One page.]
595. King Philip and Queen Mary to Ivan IV. [Vasilevitch], Emperor of Russia. Have received his letters by his Ambassador, Oseph Nepea, whom they and their Council have frequently heard on the subjects of his mission, which they trust have been satisfactorily concluded, and will tend to perpetual amity between the two nations. As it has pleased God to open this voyage by sea which was unknown before, so they trust He will prosper the same for the advancement of His honour and glory and increase of the Catholic religion, as well as the common profit of their respective dominions. The merchants of both countries are to enjoy equal privileges of free trade and protection. Oseph Nepea has very well and wisely demeaned himself in his charge: he will declare the full particulars of the commercial treaty. [Latin. Draft. Four pages.]
Translation of the above. [Six pages.]