Addenda: Miscellaneous 1583

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

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, 'Addenda: Miscellaneous 1583', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914) pp. 649-653. British History Online [accessed 28 May 2024].

. "Addenda: Miscellaneous 1583", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914) 649-653. British History Online, accessed May 28, 2024,

. "Addenda: Miscellaneous 1583", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914). 649-653. British History Online. Web. 28 May 2024,

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Miscellaneous 1583

Nov. 16/26. 787. News from Venice.
Letters from Constantinople say that a present sent from the Porte to the Tartars was stolen on the way by the Cossacks, and on demand to the King of Poland for its restoration, he only answered that these people did not respect his authority, and he could neither bridle nor chastise them. The Turk thought of another way to revenge himself, and finding that the ambassador, on leaving Constantinople, was taking some horses with the Sultan's passport, when he had gone some distance, his passport was demanded and declared not to be good; he was sent back to Constantinople, and on the way was cut to pieces with all his company. If true this might have serious results.
It is also said that Ferat Bassa, having provisioned the forts had retired to Algirone, and that there had been a change of dignities; Imbror, a favourite of the Sultan, being made Aga of the janissaries; that Aga, the Bassa of Buda; the Bassa, Beglerbey of Greece, and the Beglerbey, Bassa Vizier.
News is come of the wreck of the ship Ema and galleon Grattarvolo near Zante; that the master of one of them escaped to land but was killed by the islanders, who also cut off the hands of his wife in order to get her bracelets more easily.
On Wednesday the galley Ema arrived here, having with others, escorted Madame di Parma to Ortona. Her Highness had given large gifts to the captains &c; she was treated royally, with all the pomp which these lords are accustomed to use, and her expences paid from the public purse.
Here they apply themselves diligently to put to flight robbers and Capparvoli, and divers who are taken have been found guilty of other crimes besides robbery.
At Cologne, a preaching priest, always considered a good Catholic, lately mounted the pulpit to declare the entire contrary of what he had been wont to do, saying many things against the Apostolic See and the saints, for which he was imprisoned, and, it was said, would be punished by the magistrates as he deserved, although the new Bishop urged that he should be given into his hands.
Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [Newsletters LXXXI. 27.]
Nov. 16/26. 788. News from Rome.
Signor Cæsare Gaetano, by means of intelligence held with one of his pages and a soldier of Perugia, on Saturday night tried to escape by a rope ladder, got out of the room where he was confined, and had reached the great staircase of the tower of the Castle when the page who guided him slipped and fell into the moat, breaking his thigh and head and making such a noise that he was heard by a sentinel, who waked the other soldiers, and thus Signor Cæsare and the page were caught, but the soldier escaped by the ladder. Sunday and Monday the Governor and fiscal, with other judges of his cause were at the castle examining him and it is said that he was given the strappado (corda) and convicted of many crimes. Thursday night he was beheaded and next morning carried to the Transpontina, where crowds flocked to look at him. Not all the good offices of Cardinals Farnese, Sermoneta and Colonna could appease the Pope and get him to pardon the attempted flight. The page was hanged and fastened by the leg to the battlements of the castle. This morning a groom of the said Caesar was hanged as a robber, and one Lelio Talione, a follower of these Signori Mattei, beheaded.
In Monday's consistory, a church in France was settled for a nephew of Cardinal Birago, and that of Bamberg in Germany for the elect of that chapter.
Cardinal Maffei on Tuesday morning passed to a better life and in the evening was privately buried in the Minerva. He leaves to a natural son and the sons of his brother, an inheritance of 80,000 crowns, and by his death there fall vacant benefices and pensions of 10,000 crowns.
The Priory of Verona has been given by the Pope to Cardinal Delfino, the Abbey of Norcia to the Datario, and that of Assisi to Monsignor Bolognetti, nuncio in Poland. The office of signatura di brevi will be given either to Cardinal Sta. Croce or to Cesis or Vercelli . . . The Pope has announced to divers his going to Bologna, having lately conferred with the Cardinal d'Este, and is using all ornaments received to furnish a silver chapel to offer to the house at Loretto.
The Cardinal di Medicis is said to be going to Mantua and Ferrara with Don Alfonso d'Este, finally to conclude the marriage there, in the presence of the Duke of Ferrara, but this is not entirely believed.
At Pesaro is arrived the Polish personage who came here as ambassador from that crown, and whom the Marquis del Guasto twice defeated.
Letters from Madrid say that the King had gone to divert himself in the forest of Segovia, whither were also gone the nuncii Sega and Taverna, to negotiate as commanded by the Pope; that Granvelle was completely recovered, with whom there was lodging the Prince Doria; that the Marquis de Santa Croce was expected at the Court; that the army was dispersed, part being sent into Flanders, part to Naples, part into Milan; and that the Germans returned from Terceira have been paid and are to be disbanded, with some of the Italians.
Endd.”Occurrents from Venice"[sic]. Italian. 2¼ pp.[Newsletters LXXXI. 28.]
Although giving only news from Rome, this letter is in the same handwriting and clearly one of the same series as the preceding and following.
Nov. 23/Dec. 3 789. News from Venice.
The Signory, to please the Pope, has resolved to give up to the Order of Malta the two galleys, with the knights and spoils taken, and on Monday last summoned all the ambassadors to notify this to them; but the galleon commanded by the Cavaliere Brochero is not yet freed.
On Monday morning near the church of San Fantino, fourteen men of Morostega, armed, attacked five of their enemies, killing three of them. Nine were taken and hanged. The next day, a fruit-seller going to mass, was attacked and robbed.
Signor Catino Orsino embarked on Saturday night on the galley Ema, and goes first to Zara, to review the Militia. From France we hear that the Duke of Alençon is ill at Chateau-Thierry and that the Assembly at St. Germains still continues; at which neither the King of Navarre or the Prince of Condé have appeared.
Endd. Italian. 11/8 p. [Newsletters LXXXI. 29.]
[Nov.] 789A. Paper endorsed “The first leaf of a book upon the Press in Paris, touching the troubling of the Papists in England, 1584.”
Written in imitation of printing. 1 p. [France X. 85a.]
[Found among undated papers at the end of 1584, but evidently the enclosure mentioned in Stafford's letter of Nov. 23, 1583.]
[Dec.] 790. Mendoza to [the Prince of Parma?].
On the 9th of this month I wrote to your Excellency that they had sentenced the lunatic who was said to wish to kill the Queen, with his father and mother in law and the clerk who married him (fn. 1) (in the time of Queen Mary); the men to be hanged and quartered, and the woman ”que malla en peticot,” (fn. 2) as it is the law of the country never to quarter a woman. Many say that they have all been condemned without any foundation. They took the lunatic to gel, and spoke to him secretly, and when he went out, he said he was only to beg pardon of the Queen. The father and mother-in-law refused, protesting against being put to death without more proofs. The priest confessed that he had reconciled the lunatic to the holy Roman Catholic church, which is a crime of high treason, by act of parliament. The sentence on the wife of the lunatic is deferred, she being with child.
In order that the gentlemen who conducted the enquiry might judge whether he was a lunatic or no, they brought into court a letter signed by five councillors, certifying that he was not, but there are proofs to the contrary. Taking him to the prison where the thieves are [Newgate], in order to deliver him up to justice, he there hanged himself with his own garters the day before he was to be executed with his father in law, who suffered accordingly.
They have sent [blank] to the Earl of Rutland that he is not to go ten miles from the Court; and to take the Earl of Northumberland, his guard being Captain Layton. The Earl of Arundel is to remain a prisoner in his own house, and the Countess his wife, who was in the castle of Arundel, being with child, is to come hither; who is a very brave lady, a great Catholic and a servant of 49 [Elizabeth]. Mr. Shelley, a rich gentleman of Sussex, has been arrested on suspicion of having aided the lords who have gone to France in their embarkation.
There has just now happened an accident which causes great alarm to all the Catholics. A Jesuit father who is in France sent to ask another father who was going into gal [France ?] to go to Rouen, to confer with some gentlemen. He did so, embarking with great secrecy in an English ship, which sailed from Rye with a good wind, but six leagues out at sea, it veered so contrary that the sailors were forced to put into Queenborough, some leagues away, where the inquisitors of the Queen, coming to inspect the ship, took him merely on suspicion and sent him to Lord Cobham, governor of the country, who had him brought before the Council. They, having examined him, ordered him into a prison not so strait of others of this kingdom, all of which are filled with Catholics; all those who had gone away being ordered to be brought back by troops and many others being taken, while the judges of the counties have orders to proceed against the goods of those who are not living in their own houses. This may show his Majesty with what fury 49 [Elizabeth] permits the persecution of the good party daily to increase.
Moreover, another accident has occurred which has made a great disturbance in the kingdom. A soldier ["mariner” written above] returned from Terceira came to Bordeaux, and there embarked with some ships bringing wines to this country, where he was with an Indian mariner in the service of Don Antonio, who desired him to go to the Court to give a letter to the Earl of Bedford and to see the Queen. The soldier did so, and with such boldness that he found his way to the place where the Queen was with two other ladies. She, seeing that he was [blank] cried out angrily for him to be seized and carried to the chamber of the Earl of Leicester, where he was asked whether I had sent him to kill the Queen and if he bore arms, though he having nothing but a blunt knife. After giving him something to eat, they detained him in the Council Chamber, and questioned him anew, with caresses and promises, whether I had sent him thither, and how many times he had spoken with me about the 59, who replied that he had never seen me, nor knew any other person in the Indies or England whom they named. Afterwards examining him about the Pope, and seeing him to be a Protestant, they encouraged him, and the said mariner gave out his entrance to be in order to irritate the people against me, and make them cry out that it was by my intervention that the lunatic desired to kill the Queen; who has said publicly to the ambassador of France that there are three hundred Catholics who have sworn to kill her; whence her Majesty judged me to be a fit instrument to meddle in anything.
On the same sheet.
791. Mendoza to [the Prince of Parma ?].
Captain Henriques Firon, a Portuguese, who will present this to your Excellency, has served Don Antonio, but upon some discontent is come into this kingdom; where these counsellers, learning that he is a seaman and knows well La Mina and the navigation of the Indies, have proposed to him that he should go with the ships which they are arming for the said Mina. To prevent the harm which might arise, I caused it to be privately suggested to him that it would be much better for him to go into your service, praying me to obtain his pardon from your Excellency, which he has done without suspecting that I had any interest in it, and I have given him good assurances of what you will be pleased to do. There are so many evil-disposed persons here who, if I should let him enter my house publicly would try to bribe him to agree to the voyage that (having signified to Rul [qy. the King of Spain] how expedient it is for his royal service that the English should not make that voyage with an experienced man) I thought it best to send him to the chief town in those countries, and to accompany him with these lines, praying his Majesty to be pleased to give orders for his entertainment there and to desire M. de la Mota [Motte] to employ him in sea services, since, by reason of his experience, he will do good service therein and also to your Excellency.
Decipher. Endd. “Letters of the Spanish ambassador deciphered.” Spanish. 2¾ pp. [Spain II. 11 bis.]


  • 1. *John Somerville, Edward Arden and Mary his wife, and Hugh Hall, priest. In a letter of Dec. 20, 1583, they are said to have been “arraigned and condemned.” (See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1580–90, p. 138. Also Spanish Cal. 1580–86, p. 612; Camden's Elizabeth &c.)
  • 2. Apparently malla (very clearly written by Phelippes himself) is a mistake in the cipher for mata.