Venice: June 1537

Pages 63-65

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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June 1537

June 9. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), v. lviii. p. 29. 148. Amendment concerning England—Motion made in the Senate.
As the secretary in England has not been written to since upwards of six months: Put to the ballot,—
That the summary of the letters from Constantinople, dated 16th and 21st May, be sent to him likewise, for communication to the King.
Ayes, 66. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1. (The letter to be dated 12th April.)
June 10 ? MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl. X. No date. Printed in vol. 2. pp. 59–61. “Epistolarum, Reginaldi Poli.” 149. Cardinal Pole to Pope Paul III.
Have at length reached Liège, employing forty days for a journey which might have been performed in two. The Bishop of Liège received him most graciously, showing himself the son and friend of the Pope. Therefore commends him much, but does not write about business to avoid wearying the Pope. A few days ago the Bishop of Verona wrote on the subject, addressing his letter to the Pope's secretary.
Liège, 10th June 1537?
[Latin, 31 lines.]
June 10. MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl.x. No date. Printed in vol. 2. pp. 64–68. “Epistolarum, Reginalds Poli.” 150. The Same to Cardinal Gasparo Contarini.
From his (Cardinal Contarini's) letter, dated Rome, 12th May, received on the 5th June, understood how he had exerted himself about the money matter, and how readily the Pope had supplied his need, which was very great; but must describe the sort of imprisonment endured by him at Cambrai, where he and his attendants remained well nigh forty days, as it were besieged, and had to avail themselves of the assistance of others to obtain their liberty, which necessarily increased their extraordinary expenses. May rest assured that he does not waste the money, and he can obtain good evidence of this from Priuli; incurs no unnecessary expenditure; Cato, the censor, could neither suppress nor diminish any part of it; and the assiduity of the Bishop of Verona, who has especial care for the economy of his household, leaves him nothing to wish for, but the monthly salary is insufficient: nor on this will he dilate any further. How matters are proceeding in England may be inferred from what those who now rule there plotted against him. Sends him copy of a letter written by him to the Pope, and of one from Priuli on the same subject. With regard to his legation, he has as yet merely been able to withdraw to a place secure from treachery and conspiracies (tutum ab istorum insidiis et conjurationibus) with great difficulty, through the goodness of the Bishop of Liège. The citizens here are ready to defend him. Two days ago a certain Englishman arrived here, and he (Pole) obtained some intercepted letters addressed to this person by the English Ambassador in Flanders, telling him that if he could accomplish what they had discussed together, he would find great favour with the King, and be well rewarded. The rogue therefore came to Liège, pretending that having been outlawed from England, he was starving, and therefore wished to enter his (Pole's) service; but, had he remained another night in the town, he would certainly have been imprisoned; so anticipating this, or conscience-stricken, he made his escape before daybreak. From the letters of Priuli, he (Contarini) will learn several particulars of this sort, which clearly demonstrate the intentions of those (istorum) who track his footsteps in every place, and at all times, but his hope in God dispels all fear. Should he (Contarini) ask about his hopes with regard to the entire cause, they are very great, provided but moderate care be had.
The Bishop of Verona [Giberti] is now absent at Brussels; so not knowing what he has done, is unable to write distinctly at present, but by the next courier will give a fuller account of all things. Does not despair of the cause, more than the Children of Israel, who in an excellent cause gave battle twice to their brethren of Benjamin, when the Lord assisted Israel (fn. 1); and in like manner, those who defend this cause will be victorious in their defence, although at present they seem to have been conquered twice, once in Ireland and again in England, where the people in like manner were moved of God (semel in Hiberniâ Deo duce providente, iterum in Anglia, Deo, ut ipse etiam judico, populum hortante). (fn. 2) Is glad to hear that the Pope perseveres in his projects of reform; and has derived no less pleasure from the perusal of Contarini's confutation (censura) of Melancthon. Hopes that should the Pope persevere in the reform of morals (in censura morum), there will not be much controversy about the rest, and may God give peace to the Church.
Liège, 10th June 1537.
[Latin, 114 lines.]


  • 1. See Judges, Chap. xx.
  • 2. Query the rebellion of Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, attainted 21st May 1536. Lord Thomas Fitzgerald sent Charles Reynold, Archdeacon of Kells, to Pope Paul III. and Dominick Power to the Emperor Charles V. with letters craving their aid towards the conquest of Ireland, which he promised to hold of them for ever. (See Cox in Collins, vol. vi. p. 149.)