Spain: July 1556

Pages 271-274

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1954.

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July 1556

273. Mary to the Emperor
St. James, 15 July My Lord: Now that June is over and July drawing to an end it would pleasanter for me to be able to thank your Majesty for sending me back the King, my lord and good husband, than to despatch an emissary to Flanders to visit my good brother, the King of Bohemia, and the Queen his wife. However, as your Majesty has been pleased to break your promise in this connection, a promise you made to me regarding the return of the King, my husband, I must perforce be satisfied, although to my unspeakable regret. As I am sending Lord Maltravers (fn. 1) to visit the said King and Queen on my behalf, I have instructed him to present my humble commendations to your Majesty and to tell you that I am always desirous of news of your good health.
Holograph. Written in a trembling hand. French.
Vienna, E.1.
274. Mary to the King of Bohemia
London, 16 July I have been informed of your Highness's safe arrival (in Flanders). Had affairs permitted, I should have been very happy to see you myself and bid you welcome, but as on this occasion this appears impossible, I have decided to send to greet you Lord Maltravers, bearer of these letters, who will congratulate you on my behalf on your safe arrival in Brussels. As I understand that both you and the Queen (of Bohemia) have arrived in good health, I cannot do otherwise than to inform you how glad I am of this, and to assure you that I should be very happy to give you proof of the goodwill and affection I bear you. I beg you to give credence to what Lord Maltravers has been instructed to say to you on my behalf.
A short time ago, I received your Highness's letter of 28 May in favour of the affairs of the Marquess of Terranova. I am sure that it will not be necessary to intercede with the King, my husband, in favour of a person whose services, like those of his ancestors, render him highly deserving, but as your Highness has written to me on the subject, and as I know the Marquess's merits, I have written to the King, my husband, to recommend him, and I hope that the result will be as we desire.
Signed. Spanish.
Vienna, Sp.H.C.1.
275. “The things his Holiness has done against his Majesty and in favour of the King of France”
25 and 30 July. (fn. 2) He began by proceeding against the Colonna family and other servants and allies of his Majesty, and soon turned Marcantonio Colonna out of his possessions under pretext of giving them to the Church, and in fact gave them to his nephews. The greatest share went to Count Montorio, with the title of Duke of Paliano. Another obtained the title of Marquess of Cave. He then made hot haste to have Paliano and other places along the Neapolitan frontier fortified, and did the same at Porto Nettuno, with a view to invading the said Kingdom as has become obvious by the alliance he has concluded with the King of France and his further intrigues, accepting the protection of the said King and receiving exiles in these places.
He resented the conclusion of a truce between his Majesty and the King of France without his having been informed, regarding it as contrary to his own plans. He sent off two legates, supposedly to further peace: Cardinal Carafa went to the King of France and made three proposals, besides acting in other ways against his Majesty. First, he asked whether the King wished to conclude a peace. Second, he stated that his Holiness desired to transfer the Council to Rome. Third, supposing that the King of France did not wish to make peace, he inquired whether he would like to have the Kingdom of Naples conquered. This indeed was the main business he had in hand, as the conclusion of the alliance has shown, concluded as it was a few days after Carafa arrived in France. This league between his Holiness and the King of France was joined by the Duke of Ferrara, who has become head of it in Italy. He has been given 24,000 ducats a year for himself and 6,000 for his lieutenant, as well as 100 men at arms and 300 light horse, to be kept up both in peace and war. In time of war he is to have 1,000 foot. He has agreed to give the King 300,000 crowns in Venice at 12 per cent, and the same amount in Ferrara at 5 per cent. He is also to provide the Pope with 300,000 crowns. During the first few months, expenses are to be met by the King of France without touching these 900,000 crowns, and a fund of 500,000, in cash, is to be created in Rome or Venice for emergencies, 350,000 being contributed by the King and 150,000 by the Pope. The Ferrarese Ambassador resident in France has been sent to Ferrara to obtain the Duke's agreement to all this and to offer him 12,000 ducats when he comes to Court to swear to the alliance. They have also agreed that four new French cardinals be created. The King has given Cardinal Carafa the bishoprick of Comminges, which is worth 10,000 ducats a year.
The alliance is to be offensive and defensive, and war is to begin next year in the Kingdom of Naples and Tuscany, or towards Cremona or Milan, according to what seems most opportune. The idea therefore is that either his Majesty will lose Naples or the Pope will lose Rome and the States of the Church. The King is to send to Italy 8,000 infantry, 500 lances and 1,200 light horse. For the present, Cardinal Carafa is going back to Rome and is taking with him 3,000 infantry in 30 galleys, which are being fitted out for the purpose at Marseilles. Some of these troops are already on the way; others are being thrown into Rome. The King had agreed to put up 140,000 ducats to pay the troops going to Tuscany. There are plans to raise 6,000 Swiss and 10 ensigns of Germans, and the Pope is to keep up 10,000 infantry, which he has already raised, and 2,000 horse. As men-at-arms are needed in Italy, 400 are being ordered. The Duke of Ferrara is to have 100; his son, 100; the Duke of Parma, 50; Paolo Orsini, 50. The members of this league are sharing up his Majesty's states among them. The Kingdom of Naples is to go to the King of France's second son; and another, not the eldest, is to have Milan, it being understood that the Pope's nephews are to obtain that which they lost in the Kingdom of Naples, and over and above this Count Montorio is to have a free state worth 25,000 crowns a year in the kingdom, and Don Antonio Carafa one of 15,000 in Sicily. The former frontiers of the Church are to be re-established, and Siena given to the Church or Count Montorio, or to some one else of his Holiness's choice. An expedition is to be undertaken to free Florence. If the Venetians wish to join the league, a place will be given them and they will be promised Sicily, a state being reserved there for the Church. Don Antonio Carafa had gone to Venice in order to try to persuade the Seignory to enter the league, holding out Cervia and Ravenna as a reward.
The King of France says that even if it costs him half his Crown he must protect the Pope and the possessions the Pope has given to his nephews. Count Montorio says that if anyone disturbs him in the Paliano affair, he will appeal for help not only to the French but also to the devil, and that the Pope will call in the Turk, as he has done before. They intend to make a harbour at Talamone, whither an engineer called Giambattista Peloso has gone to examine the ground, and has reported that he would very soon be able to make room for 30 galleys, and that afterwards it could be made a convenient port.
His Holiness sent Cardinal Motula to their Majesties, but Motula did not leave Rome until Carafa had half-finished his negotiations in France. Also, when Motula had already reached Flanders and his Majesty had sent to receive him, he suddenly went back to France. This shows his Holiness's intentions, especially as he had refused to negotiate with the Marquess of Sarriá, without having any valid reason for his refusal and in the meantime speaking and acting in an unfriendly manner towards his Majesty. He treated the Marquess in a manner unworthy of so high a dignitary. If he has listened to him at all it has been in a way which might afterwards be repudiated; he has again and again sent for the Marquess and at the same time seen to it that he should be prevented from going. All this has been done to spite his Majesty and his ministers. Although, on account of this treatment, Sarria has asked for leave to withdraw, it has not been granted to him, and indeed he is being detained. Garcilaso de La Vega, who was sent to Rome by his Majesty, is being held a prisoner in the Castle. If he has not actually been put to the rack, he has been examined, and it appears that if the rupture is consummated they propose to cut off his head. Juan Antonio Taxis, the chief courier, has been racked and it is said that he has been hanged. Both he and other postmasters had been deprived of their offices. The Pope gave instructions that he should have a courier personnel of his own, and that all other couriers should be searched to see what they were carrying.
When things had reached this pitch, his Majesty, in order not to break off altogether and to maintain the truce, sent Don Hernando de Saugo (?) to his Holiness to make a proposal: he offered to give 8,000 ducats a year in Church property to Cardinal Carafa and to naturalize him in Spain in order that he might receive 6,000 more there, his Holiness making the appointments. He offered Count Montorio property in Naples of equivalent value to that of Marcantonio Colonna, on condition that Colonna should receive his own back or at least that a person of his Majesty's confidence should be put into Paliano, and that the points in dispute should be submitted to justice. All this was refused by his Holiness, who preferred to go on with his plans and accept the protection of the King of France. He has raised 10,000 men, without counting the batallions, and is fortifying the Borgo and the Belvedere. In conversation with the Roman gentlemen of his guard, the Pope said: “these Spaniards want to loot Rome again, but they will not be able to take it. If I were to show you the letters I have found, you would see how they have shared up the posts in Rome among themselves, and have usurped our property, until you would be ready to kill them all. I am not telling you this in order that you should do it, for I do not wish you to do so. But when I think the time has come, I will join you, myself.”
The following paragraph also occurs in a separate paper headed: “A summary of letters from the Ambassador in Franee”, dated 14, 18 and 19 July, 1556, which was formerly in the Archives Nationales, Paris (K.1489), but which was returned to Spain in 1940 and is now at Simancas.
At the last Congregation the Pope's Fiscal, (fn. 3) followed by a large company, entered and stated that he had come to make certain proposals to his Holiness concerning his honour and greatness. As the Emperor's and the King of England's ministers had proceeded with sinister intent against his Holiness and behaved in a manner unsuited to the dignity of the Apostolic See, it appeared to be necessary to proceed against them with a protest. He then read a document which he had brought with him to the effect that given the evil actions of the ministers of the Emperor and the King of England it must be supposed that these actions had been undertaken with their Majesties' consent. Therefore a protest called incitativo was being uttered, announcing the intention of declaring that the Emperor had forfeited the Empire and the King the fief of Naples, and that this would be amply justified because they had aided and abetted Marcantonio Colonna in their dominions.
Now, above all, it must be remembered that his Holiness's predecessors, moved by good and sufficient reasons, granted the quarta and the cruzada as a contribution to defense against the Infidel and especially the Turk, who has so often been called in by the French to the great harm of all Christendom and especially of his Majesty's states, and also with the object of maintaining that which the Catholic Kings won with so much labour and shedding of Spanish blood, for which his Holiness should be deeply grateful. Also, Spain is the province above all others in the world which has served the Papacy. It has conquered the Indies. Thanks to Spain, Our Lord has been pleased to lead England back to the Faith, his Majesty having risked his life in this adventure. But not only has the Pope repealed the quarta, listening to ill-intentioned ecclesiastics and indeed spurring them on to harm Spain as much as possible with a view to getting money out of them, but also the cruzada. By doing all this he has clearly shown that he wishes to enfeeble his Majesty and to strengthen the League against him to the utmost of his ability.
Simancas, E.883.


  • 1. Henry Fitzalan, son of the Earl of Arundel.
  • 2. This paper is not dated, but it appears from other documents in the same bundle that it was written on 25 and 30 July, and that it is a summary of letters from the Ambassador in France (Simon Renard).
  • 3. i.e. Fiscal Procurator, whose office is comparable to that of a public prosecutor in criminal cases.