BHO

Mary: August 1557

Pages 326-332

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

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August 1557

Aug. 5.
Camp at Blandicke beyond St. Omer.
654. The Earl of Pembroke and others to same. Having executed her Majesty's every answer to their letter of the 23d ult., beg to renew the same and state what else had been done. Sir. Edward Braye is installed in the complete charge of the coast of Guisnes as amply as was Lord Grey, and with the like number of soldiers and furniture thereto belonging. Lewis Dyves, a gentleman of great experience, whose entertainment is yet to be considered, is appointed to assist him. Sir Henry Palmer is quartered in the town, in command of 500 soldiers. 200 are under the command of Mr. Crippes and Mr. Herbert. Nicolas Alexander, captain of Newnham Bridge, a man of very good experience in service, valiant, politic, and of good conduct, has the whole charge of all the horsemen at Guisnes, with the entertainment only of a captain of demi-lances, and Mr. Drury is captain of 100 light horse. In the place of Mr. Alexander at the Bridge they have put Richard Windebank, the younger, whom they think meet enough to supply that room. At Hampnes they have laid 100 foot men of a new increase, who were of Lord Chandos' number. Request for the defence of the low country that 300 men may be levied in England and sent over without captains, that such meet and experienced men as are now here void of entertainment may be placed, which they think will not a little further her Majesty's service. To this charge they mean to advance Mr. Henry Wingfield, who is able to do good service. Think it necessary to have 100 light horse at the Causeway, which would stand as good stead for the inning of harvest in the high country. If her Majesty agree to this, they may easily be levied on this side, so that she shall be no further troubled, except to give warrant to the Treasurer for the payment of the above mentioned soldiers. [Two pages.]
Aug. 7.
Rome.
655. Sir Edward Carne to Queen Mary. Francis Pycher, her Majesty's post, arrived here on the 3d inst., with her letters of the 24th ult., a letter from her to the Pope, one from Father Peto, and her instructions to himself. In pursuance of these applied next day for audience, which he could not obtain till this evening at 21 o'clock, when he went to the palace. His Holiness first asked him with a merry countenance how her Majesty did? and he made answer as he thought pleased, and then delivered her Majesty's and Peto's letters to him. After having read these the Pope stood a great while with a heavy countenance saying nothing. At last he said the matter was weighty and required great and long deliberation and examination, and he would do as God would put in his mind to do to His honour, which he would preserve before all things. Carne then said that her Majesty desired nothing at the hands of his Holiness, but what pertained to the honour and glory of God. The Pope's conclusion was that he would deliberate with his brethren and send for Carne when he had decided what should be done. He has sent for the French army, which is with the Duke of Guise, to go to assay to victual Paliano, where Marc Antonio Colonna keeps the siege so strongly that no victuals can reach them. On the morning of the 3d, the Duke of Paliano and Pietro Strozzi rode to Tivoli, 12 miles off, to view it for the purpose of deciding how it should be made strong, for the Pope intends to put all his munitions for the war there when it is fortified. On Monday last Cardinal Strozzi was brought in with all the Cardinals and received in open Consistory. To-day the late Duke of Paliano and Pietro Strozzi are gone to meet the Duke of Guise at Spoleta. It is said in Rome that Strozzi and Camillo di Ursinis [Orsini] will be Generals of the Pope's army. Sends copies of advices from Lombardy (missing). [Three pages.]
Aug. 12. 656. Advices of the victory at St. Quentin. On St. Lawrence's day, about 8 a.m., the Constable came to relieve St. Quentin with a great number of French and German cavalry, 30 ensigns of German foot and 18 of French, picked troops. They were attacked by the Duke of Savoy with the most of his army, leaving round St. Quentin only sufficient for the siege. The French were broken and put to flight; many of the Germans on their side were slain, and 5,000 taken, but these King Philip has suffered to depart to Germany, after swearing never again to take arms against him. Above 3,000 French infantry were killed and 1,000 taken, and of their horse many were slain and almost all the rest taken. Among the slain were M. D'Enghien and the Count de Villars. They lost 20 pieces of great ordnance. Among the principal prisoners are, the Constable of France, his youngest son, Duke de Montpensier, Duke de Longueville, Marshal St. André, the Rhinegrave Colonel of the Germans, Roche du Maine, Rochfort, Vicomte de Torroyna, Baron de Courton, and the Prince of Mantua. On King Philip's side a few were hurt and only one gentleman slain. His Majesty came to the camp there on the 12th inst., and all the English with him. Those in St. Quentin are few, and much discouraged by the defeat of the French. [One page and a half. Indorsed by Cecil as 10th August.]
Aug. 14.
Rome.
657. Sir Edward Carne to Queen Mary. In his letter of the 7th, had intimated the arrival of Francis Pycher, her Majesty's post, on the 3d, and also the delivery of her letter to the Pope on the evening of the said 7th. The Pope had then said the matter of its contents was so weighty he must consult with the College of Cardinals; but hitherto he has heard nothing from his Holiness on the subject. There was a Consistory last Monday, and a congregation of the Inquisition on the following Thursday, but the matter was not spoken of on either occasion. Has seen several of the Cardinals who will gladly support the measure if his Holiness should move it, but they say that the Pope's fashion is that when he purposes any matter he does withal declare his opinion, against which none will speak. "If any do he shall come in displeasure, and do no good therewith; his Holiness is so wedded to his own opinion, and so terrible to such as speak against him, that they hold their tongues and let him do what he will." The Cardinals with whom he has spoken much doubt the Pope in this matter; but if there is no Consistory held this week, or being so the subject shall not be moved, he will sue to have audience earnestly. Recent rules as to communicating with his Holiness through the medium of others occasion much delay and loss of time. Last time while conversing with him, and expressing her Majesty's great devotion and obedience to him, and the beneficial results which would ensue were her petition granted, his Holiness said, "that though he would be glad to embrace the amity of Princes, yet he would not buy their benevolence against the honour of God." Still further seeking to prevail with him, the Pope replied, "We be contented to hear you," and concluded as previously written. On the 11th Cardinal Mignonelli was buried here. It is said that Marc Antonio Colonna keeps the siege of Segni, five miles from Paliano, where all the victuals for the latter place were laid in, and this prevents it from being provisioned; and that the Duke of Guise's camp, both foot and horse, has come to Tivoli and its vicinity, to assay to victual Paliano. Their number is reported to be 5,000 French foot and 3,000 horse. The Pope is also said to gather 10,000 Italians to re-inforce them; but the French have no great trust that the Italians will fight one stroke. Should Segni not be rescued within two or three days it is likely to be taken, Colonna being very strong.
P.S.—This evening it is reported, and generally believed, that Segni has been taken to-day with all the stores and ordnances for Paliano, as well as provisions of 3,000 men of war for a twelvemonth. [Four pages and a half.]
Aug. 21.
Rome.
658. Sir Edward Carne to Queen Mary. Since writing on the 14th has had secret information that on the 12th his Holiness caused her Majesty's letter of the 24th ult., and that of Father Peto, to be read; and after they were so read had willed the Cardinals present to think upon their contents against the next Congregation, with charge upon pain of excommunication to keep the matter secret to themselves. On hearing this, went to the different Cardinals without appearing to know that the subject had been mentioned, and urged their support of her Majesty's petition when it should be moved; all said they would do what they could, but all fear his Holiness' stiffness therein. In the last Congregation, held on Thursday the 19th, his Holiness mentioned the subject, but as all the Cardinals were not present, said he would not treat of the matter of England, being so great, unless the rest were there. It was therefore deferred. Those who were absent were Cardinals Carpi, St. Jacobo, Puteo, and Pisano. Were the Pope as well disposed as he could wish him to be, he could have all the Cardinals present when he would. Had thought to call earnestly upon him, but has been dissuaded by the Cardinals who are friendly to her Majesty, both because the Pope had appointed him not to come till sent for, and because his Holiness is at present so much molested with the wars and more vexed since the loss of Segni. That town was not taken till the fourth assault, when the Spaniards entered, meeting resistance to the uttermost from the 200 soldiers within it, and the townsmen; but they were all overthrown with their Captain John Battista della Conti, one of the Nobles of Rome, and Lord of the town, and after their death the most of the inhabitants, men, women, and children, were destroyed by the Germans and Italians; the few who were saved were saved by the Spaniards. The Pope is said never to have been so earnestly set to the wars as he is now. Some report that all the French who were with the Duke of Guise and all his horse are coming hither. 300 horse and five ensigns of foot have come out of Montalcino. They say plainly they will either victual Paliano or be foughten withal. Pietro Strozzi has the chief care of that enterprise, and everything that they can provide here is put in order; on the other part, Marc Antonio, who keeps the siege of Paliano and Veletri, is strong both in horse and footmen, and is considered able to meet them in plain battle. The Duke of Guise, who is at Spoleto, is reported to be in bad health. No news from Naples. On the 19th the Secretary of Cardinal di Fano was arrested and imprisoned; and men think his master is likely to follow, as it is said his name is in the Inquisition among those who are suspected in religion; but the truth is, he is Imperial for the life. Cardinal Morone is still confined in St. Angelo; nothing can be justified against him, but no man dare speak for him here. [Three pages and a half.]
Aug. 21.
Rome.
659. Intelligence from Rome. Segni was taken at three assaults, which lasted three hours and a half; and the place was given up to sack, fire, and slaughter. There were three companies of infantry inside; the captains were all taken and the soldiers who surrendered to the Spaniards or Italians were spared, but those who yielded to the Germans were all killed. The loss of this place has made the whole city wonder, as it was considered to be impregnable. Giovanni Batta of Valmontone, the Governor, was taken with the Bishop of the city, and when the butchery was over everything was sacked; the booty is estimated at more than 200,000 crowns, for all the lands of the neighbourhood had brought in their property; and after having made many excursions through the country, part of the army returned to Valmontone and part to Paliano, where they have taken all the roads, shut up all the passes, and made trenches so as to prevent reinforcements arriving, and it is said that if none such come it will not hold out three days. On Tuesday there arrived in Rome from Montalcino St. Marco, brother of Cardinal Santafiore, and brought with him two companies of Italians, three of Gascons, and two standards of horse, who have since gone to Tivoli to join the rest of the army, which is moving to the place where on Tuesday they will be all assembled. To-day six captains of the veterans were sent hither to supply as many Italians to the existing number, who number in all 6,000. Marc Antonio Colonna has sent a drummer to Veletri to call upon them to surrender or he will destroy the vineyards, because they engaged to surrender within five days if they had no reinforcements. Two days ago M. D'Aumale, the Marshal, and the Duke of Paliano arrived in Rome, and this morning all of them with Cardinal Caraffa have left for Tivoli, it is said to see the best position for the camp: but, to speak freely, they will do nothing, because the enemy by the taking of Segni have acquired such reputation; and so much the more by having inclosed Paliano, and exposing it to loss in three days, as it is said, everything will be abandoned, notwithstanding great provision of victual, munitions, and artillery to reinforce it is being made, and equally so because there is little union among those who govern. News has arrived that two companies of our horse going to Veletri have been defeated by the enemy, and it is understood that the Duke of Alva has taken up a position with the army on this frontier of the Marches. Here is dearth of all kinds of provisions, nothing can be procured without a ticket, and a proclamation has gone forth that all useless persons are to evacuate the city, except those who have suits and real estate, and it is said that a part of the families of the Cardinals will also be sent away. Our people have abandoned Prese and Piperno, and the garrisons have retired to Sermoneta, which is not deemed to be so strong as to make it free from doubt. [Italian. One page and a half.]
Aug. 28.
Rome.
660. Sir Edward Carne to Queen Mary. Since his letter of the 21st has diligently sought for audience from his Holiness to speed the petition contained in her Majesty's letter of the 24th ulto. Such audience he had this evening, when the Pope excused his delay by reason of the troubles in which he has been and continues to be placed by the wars and of the absence of the Cardinals in the two last Congregations; but in the next, he said, he would move the matter and do his best for her Majesty's satisfaction. Having said to the Pope he had no doubt his Holiness might do according to her desire, was told to consider that he was but a minister and must do therein what is consistent with conscience to the honour of God, and would not fail to do what he might for her Majesty. Hopes, therefore, better now than at the beginning. The Pope then complained that the great joy which he had on the wish for peace expressed by his Majesty was marred by the late conduct of the Duke of Alva, who not only persists in destroying the patrimony of the Church,—not his inheritance, but that of Christ's Church and the patrimony of St. Peter,—without respect to God or man, but would have taken this very city two nights ago had not God provided. This he begged should be communicated to her Majesty. The Pope then showed him the copy of a letter from the Duke of Alva which the Cardinal di Sancto Flore had received yesterday in reply to a message sent to him by the Cardinal's Secretary to seek peace at the desire of his Holiness. The effect of this letter, written in Spanish but communicated to him by the Pope in Italian, was, that the Duke had sent to his Majesty requesting that the treaty of peace might be committed to some other, and that he might be suffered to have to do with the wars; yet notwithstanding whatsoever agreement another should make, he would consider it and use it as should seem good to him. This letter the Pope took wondrous ill, and seems to be very much moved against the Duke; requiring that this also should be communicated to her Majesty. On the 10th instant his Majesty has had a notable victory over the French. Some say the French King has sent for the Duke of Guise to return home; but he has not gone, and the Pope does what he can to detain him, since, if he leaves, his Holiness has no help to speak of. Last Tuesday he sent the Duke of Paliano and Pietro Strozzi to the Duke: they returned this evening, and people suppose that the object of their mission was to endeavour to stay his Grace. The camp of the Duke is at Colonna, 12 miles distant. On Thursday night they marched to La Farme, six miles off, and hearing that few soldiers were in Rome, had designed to take it by escalade. This they might lightly have done if Cardinal Caraffa had not been warned by a spy and at midnight sent out some horsemen to meet the army, who perceiving themselves observed, came no farther, except a few who approached the walls, and of whom three or four were taken, by whom the whole enterprise is said to have been disclosed. In consequence of this all the city has been in arms and about the walls these last two nights. Marc Antoniodi Colonna still besieges Paliano, and has great hope to take it in a few days. Yesterday at 17 of the clock the Pope sent in post the Florentine Ambassador to his master with his views regarding the peace between him and his Majesty, the Duke having, it is said, full authority from the King to agree with his Holiness, who as yet has stayed all the great ordnance, victuals, and supplies that he intended to send for the provision of Paliano, which it was reported he thought to send with his army by Subiaco out of the common way, all the states in that direction being kept by the Duke of Alva's army, which is wondrous great. [Five pages and a half.]