Spain: April 1551, 1-5

Pages 250-251

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 10, 1550-1552. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

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April 1551, 1–5

April 5. Brussels, E.A. 126. The Council of State to the Bishop of Arras.
On Easter Monday there arrived at Bergues-St.-Winoc a Piedmontese coming from England, who went to two other Piedmontese, money-lenders, and lodged in their house; for he had known them formerly when he resided in this country, particularly at Brussels. He told them he had a packet of letters of great importance addressed to the King of France and other lords of that country, and that for 800 years no King of France had had such news. The other Piedmontese, on hearing this and realising that it might be something to his Imperial Majesty's hurt, took the packet away from him and informed the officers of the place, who arrested him. Then these Piedmontese, full of zeal and thinking they were doing his Imperial Majesty a great service, came hither to Brussels with the intention of going on to Augsburg to deliver the packet. However, before taking the post, they informed me, M. de Praet; and we (the Council) fearing they might have committed some homicide and wishing to know the reason of their sudden movements, summoned them to appear before us, commanding them to declare to us why they had come, and whether we could give them any advice as to how they might best serve his Majesty. They then told us the facts related above and showed us the packet of letters, which they had already opened. It contained several addressed to the King of France, M. de Châtillon, the Bailiff of Troyes and other persons, and also a book composed by one Jean Leonardi, formerly treasurer to the Duke of Savoy, now resident in England. On reading the letters (which they had opened), (fn. 1) we found that they might corrupt the people; and the book, according to the opinion of the vicar of the Chapel Church (église de la chapelle) here, given after he had read and examined it, is that it is full of false doctrine. Besides this, it appears that the Piedmontese talked with the other two in a manner that showed he wished to seduce them, so we sent men to bring him before us, that we might examine him on the cause of his coming hither, as to who gave him the packet, whether he had intelligence with any parties here, whom he intended to visit, and other details, in order to decide what should be done with him. In the meantime we are sending you the book and a note in Italian, which was to guide the prisoner in the speech he was to have made on handing over the book to the King of France. Be pleased to inform his Majesty of this and ascertain what he wishes to have done with the book and letters: whether they shall be delivered over to Ambassador Marillac, or what, as his Majesty shall command.
Brussels, 5 April, 1751.
Minute. French.


  • 1. The words here printed between brackets are faintly crossed out in the original.