Venice: August 1554, 1-15

Pages 526-531

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 5, 1534-1554. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1873.

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August 1554, 1–15

Aug. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 925. Marc' Antonio Damula to the Doge and Senate.
The Auditor [Ormanetto ?] of the Bight Rev. Legate has arrived from Rome with letters from his Holiness, greatly commending all that Cardinal Pole has done (tutto il procedere di S. S. Revma.), giving him leave either to remain [in Brussels], or go [to England], at his option (dandole libertà di stare et andare come vole), and fuller powers to do what shall seem expedient to him there about the affairs of the religion, and especially with regard to such Church property as has been alienated and placed in the Exchequer, or bestowed on private individuals, (fn. 1) having no care nor thought for anything but to gain those souls (nè pensier d' altro che di guadagnar queue anime), and bring them back to the obedience of the Apostolic See; so the Cardinal has sent one of his attendants to the King, and to the English Queen, to persuade both one and the other to attend heart and soul (ad attendere con ogni spirito) to the religion, and to bring back that kingdom to its pristine state (et ridur quel regno nel suo pristino essere), as becoming their titles of “Catholic “ and “Defender of the Faith” and not to show themselves ungrateful for the great benefits conferred by the Almighty on her Majesty. (fn. 2)
But as Cardinal Pole strongly suspects that in England they will do neither more nor less than what the Emperor tells or commands them, (fn. 3) he has sent this same Auditor [Ormanetto ?] to acquaint his Imperial Majesty with the deep interest (grande affettione) deservedly taken by his Holiness in this cause of England, and to demonstrate to him, that for his own advantage, he should desire Pole to go and introduce the Catholic religion into that island, and by means of it render the people much more obedient to the Crown than when they were of one creed, and their sovereigns of another (fn. 4)
The Cardinal will await the opinion of the Emperor, who, as told to me on good authority, sent to the Prince his son by the Regent, Figueroa, when he went to England, the investiture of the kingdom of Naples and Jerusalem, which has been kept a most profound secret, and was known solely to the Secretary Vargas and the aforesaid Figueroa; this step having been taken to give repute to the marriage, by conferring on the Prince the title of King.
Subsequent advices from the camp received yesterday announce that the Emperor chooses (vole) the Prince to be forthwith (de presenti) put in possession of the entire government of the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, and of what relates to justice, acts of grace, and current affairs (et le cose di justitia et di gratia, et li negocii pendenti), and he has had it intimated to the Regents of Naples and Sicily, who are here at Brussels, to prepare for going to England for this purpose on receiving the order, though I do not believe it will be given so immediately, as there will be many things to do before effecting this change, and especially because a trustworthy person has told me that the Emperor wrote to the Prince, his son, saying it would please him, should the Queen give her consent, were he, shortly after the coronation, to cross over to these parts, he saying that he wished to come and assist his father in his present necessities (in questi bisogni); and I am informed that the object of this arrangement is to guarantee the Prince against any stir which the English might make at this commencement, and also to gain repute for him by his treating these momentous affairs of the war here. They are very intent on this scheme, and therefore give him the government of those kingdoms; and he will have councils (consegli), and men of gravity and esteem about him, thus obtaining great repute.
Brussels, 4th August 1554.
[Italian, partly in cipher, the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 926. The Same to the Same.
Account (in cipher) of the war in the Low Countries, and of a dispute with respect to the neutrality of Treves.
Cardinal Pole's Auditor [Ormanetto ?] has arrived from the camp; the conclusion is, that they put off his Right Rev, Lordship's journey to England, and it is evident that the Emperor does not approve of his going thither. (fn. 5)
The attendants of the Legate and Nuncio [Muzzarelli] , who have returned from the camp, say that, in the presence of the Duke of Savoy and the chief personages, they heard it said that the Turks have come to a rupture with your Serenity, on the authority of the advices from Trent, which were sent hence to the camp, but my letter to the Bishop of Arras will have explained the matter to them (fn. 6)
Brussels, 5th August 1554.
[Italian, in cipher, deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 927. Giovanni Capello, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Has seen a letter from Cardinal d' Epernon at Rome, touching the disagreement between the Pope and the Duke of Florence, and gives an account of the Cardinal's interview with the Pope on the subject.
It is reported here that the Spaniards who came with the most Serene Prince of Spain, having landed at a short distance from Calais, took a French fortress called Ambleteuse (Ablatu), between Boulogne and Calais, and I detained my letter the whole of this day, in order to ascertain the fact, but receiving no further confirmation of it, save this public rumour, I will no longer delay this packet, and refer myself to my next for more certain news of the circumstance.
Compiegne, 7th August 1554.
[Italian, in cipher, deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 928. Marc' Antonio Damula, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
A few days ago there arrived here Count Horn, sent by King Philip, and an English gentleman, on behalf of the Queen, to give the Emperor account of what took place at the marriage, and of its consummation. The Emperor in return has sent a gentleman of his chamber, Mons. d'Hibermon (sic), with congratulations, and, perhaps, to convey some other orders. The Ambassador from Ferrara has also returned hither from England, whither he went for these festivities, but comes back in a very melancholy mood, from having been deprived of the precedence claimed by him over the Florentine Ambassador, and because on his return he was plundered by English highwaymen (dalli ladroni di quel paese). (fn. 7)
Gives an account of the war in the Low Countries (in cipher).
I understand that three days ago, 500 cavalry escorted from Calais (a place belonging to the English) to the Emperor's sea town of Gravelines, a considerable sum of money, which came with the Prince of Spain, but I do not know the amount, and during these [last few] days the mart of Antwerp has become more liberal (più largo).
Brussels, 11th August 1554.
Aug. 11. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), vol. lxix., p. 35. 929. The Doge and Senate to Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Have lately received several sets (mani) of his letters down to the 20th ult., the last of which announce the arrival in England of the most Serene Prince of Spain, (fn. 8) his reception at the port of Hampton, and the order given in the Queen's name to him and the other Ambassadors to betake themselves to Salisbury, where their lodgings were prepared for them. Desire him again to perform a congratulatory office with their Majesties in England.
Ayes, 202. Noes, 3. Neutral, 1.
Aug. 11. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta). vol. lxix., p. 36, tergo. 930. The Doge and Senate to the “Bailo” at Constantinople.
By advices from England dated the 20th July, the Prince of Spain arrived there on the preceding day with 130 large ships (grosse navi) and soldiery, and landed in Southampton harbour, and by letters from Brussels, dated the 29th, it seems that the marriage was celebrated on the 25th, and consummated that same night.
Ayes, 44. Noes, 5. Neutrals, 3.
Amendment. Ayes, 159.
Aug. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 931. Marc' Antonio Damula, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
By my last of the 5th I announced the return of Cardinal Pole's Auditor (Ormanetto ?) from the camp, he having then just arrived, so I was unable at the moment to learn any details, the summary of which was, that the Bishop of Arras told the Auditor that by no means was the Bight Reverend the Legate to think of going to England without permission from the Emperor; and even were he to ash it during ten thousand years he must not think to obtain it unless he sent his Majesty the powers lately received from Rome, authorizing him to dispose of the Church property which had been alienated, and either placed in the Exchequer or bestowed on private English subjects; and, moreover, unless he acquainted his Majesty with his opinion and intention with regard to what he meant to do about the said Church property, as this was a very important matter, on which the quiet or commotion of all England depended. (fn. 9) On hearing this, Cardinal Pole clearly understood that the Emperor does not choose him to go to that island, the Legate being unable to tell his Majesty what he purposes doing about the Church property, because it is of various sorts, and the mode of alienation varies, each of which [cases] requires different cognizance and [a different] award (fn. 10) So, as the Queen wished to see them, he has this day sent her a copy of the powers; and as she seemed desirous that he should go to England his Right Reverend Lordship will remain here awaiting a decision either from here or. from there (o di qua o di là), but the English Government does not gainsay the will of the Imperial ministry (ma quelli di là, non si parteno dal volere di questi).
Concerning the sum of money which, as written by me yesterday, was escorted from Calais to Gravelines, I understand from a person who was present when the cases were loaded and unloaded, that it does not exceed 300,000 crowns. Great part of the silver brought from Spain is in plates. (fn. 11)
It is being treated about, to give the government of the kingdom of Naples to the Queen of Poland, (fn. 12) together with a council, and the Emperor has already said that he is content with this; and they are endeavouring to obtain the consent of the King of England, who is expected to give it readily, the kingdom of Naples being now weary and depressed (afflitto) by the many wrongs (travagli) endured at the hands of the Spanish governors. The ambassador of the Queen aforesaid [Bonna Sforza ?] has purchased an organ at Antwerp for 3,000 crowns, as also goldsmith's work to the amount of 6,000, to give to the Queen of England, and will go thither to endeavour to arrange this business, which is supposed to be very near conclusion. A chamberlain (un camerier) of the Duke of Florence has arrived post-wise, express, and went off immediately to the camp. The Duke's ambassador keeps the news secret, but I understand it announces the rout of Strozzi's army, and some proposal (partite) from the Siennese; and they keep it secret, lest further orders or reinforcement be sent forthwith from France to Italy.
Brussels, 12th August 1554.
[Italian, in cipher, deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 932. Marc' Antonio Damula, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
I wrote that the Emperor had given the government of Naples and Sicily to the King of England, but for the present he gives him Naples alone, and not Sicily. The Fuggers have made a bargain (un partito) with the court for 150,000 crowns. The securities are not yet given, but it is thought these States will bind themselves, as I also hear that Brabant, Flanders, and Holland are content to furnish a certain quota (un certo che), but the sum is not yet limited.
At Antwerp they have postponed the payments for one month, allowing 1 per cent. interest per month to such as will accept it (a chi vole), because the moneys from Spain have not yet arrived.
Brussels, 13th August 1554.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]


  • 1. Et specialmente delli beni delle chiese alienati, et posti nel publico et nel privato.
  • 2. Et non usar ingratitudine delli grandi beneficii che Dio ha fatti ad essa Regina.
  • 3. Ma perchè sua Signoria Reverendissima dubita assai che in Anglia non si farà più ne meno di quello che sarà ditto overo ordinato da Cesare.
  • 4. Et col mezzo di quella a far i populi assai più obedienti a quella corona di ciò che s' erano essendo loro di una religione, et li loro Re di un' altra.
  • 5. E giunto dal campo lo auditore del Revmo Legato; la stinia è che si proroga la andata di sua Sigria Revma in Anglia, et si vede chiaro che Cesare non ha piacer che vi vada.
  • 6. A ciphered paragraph in the letter dated 4th August informed the Senate that it was not for the honour of the Signory to have it reported that the Turks meditated invasion of the Venetian territory, or that they had put the Venetian fleet to flight, and therefore Damula wrote to the Bishop of Arras, suggesting the probable origin of this false intelligence.
  • 7. This Ferrarese Ambassador was Count Rodrigo Montecuccolo, see Foreign Calendar, year 1554, pp. 89, 90, 107. At p. 118, allusion is made to the dispute about precedence in a letter from Sir John Masone, dated Brussels, 18 September, but it makes no mention of the robbery.
  • 8. On the 20th July 1554. See Mr. Turnbull's Foreign Calendar, July 25, 1554, p. 106.
  • 9. Scrissi del ritorno dell' Auditor del Revmo Legato dal campo, donde egli era venuto poco innanzi; et però non potei hora saper i particolari, liquali in somma furono che Mons. di Aras disse all' Auditor preditto, che il Revmo Legato non si pensasse di andar in Anglia ad alcun modo, senza licentia dell' Imperatore, et se ben la demandasse 10 mille anni, non pensasse di doverla havere se non mandava a sua Maestà le facultà novamente havute da Roma del poter disponer delli beni ecclesiastici alienati et posti così nel fisco, come nelli particolari di Anglia, et oltra di ciò se non facesse saper a sua Maestà la opinione et volontà sua sopra quello che voleva far circa essi beni ecclesiastici, perchè questa era materia importantissima et concernente la quiete o perturbatione di tutto quel regno.
  • 10. Non gli pol dire quello che egli vogli far delli beni ecclesiastici, perchè di essi sono diversi conditioni et diverse alienationi sopra cadauna di le qual bisogna far una differente cognitione et iudicio.
  • 11. E in piastre. “Piastra “ signifies a thin plate of any metal. Dr. Johnson does not give the etymology of piaster, nor do I know when the word was first used to signify “an Italian coin about five shillings sterling in value.”
  • 12. The reigning Queen of Poland was Catherine of Austria, daughter of Ferdinand, king of the Romans, niece of Charles V., widow of Francesco Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and third wife of Sigismund Augustus, King of Poland, to whom she was married in the year 1553. (See L'Art de vérifier les Dates.) This regency of Naples by the Queen of Poland was not effected, and I believe it related not to the reigning queen but to the Queen Dowager Bonna Sforza, who by her last will appointed King Philip heir to her whole Duchy of Bari, estimated at 150,000 ducats per annum. (See Foreign Calendar, date Rome, 1st December 1557, entry No. 688, pp. 346–347.)