Venice: January 1555

Pages 1-13

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1877.

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January 1555

Jan. 2. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 1. Cardinal Pole to the Bishop of Viterbo, Nuncio in France.
Has received his letters of the 26th ulto., delivered by the brother of the French ambassador, (fn. 1) both of whom came to Pole last evening and delivered to him their King's most gracious letter in reply to what Pole wrote to his most Christian Majesty, who thereby shows himself most truly deserving of his title. He also gave him a letter from the Constable in conformity with the noble and pious disposition of his master. The ambassador also confirmed the Nuncio's account of the good opinion of King Philip and Queen Mary entertained at the French Court, and also of the constant desire of his most Christian Majesty for peace and the common weal. To-day Pole narrated the whole to King Philip and Queen Mary, alluding also to what the Nuncio wrote to him about the “deputation” (deputatione); and after some conversation on the subject, the King told Pole he would write to the King of France about it, evincing the best possible disposition, as he does in whatever relates to works of piety. Has written about this to the Nuncio at Brussels, that he may speak in conformity with what Pole said to their Majesties, and knows that he will not fail to use his best endeavours for the desired end, according to the intention of his Holiness, and in furtherance of the common weal. Will acquaint the Bishop of Viterbo with the result, and requests him humbly to kiss King Henry's hands in his name, thanking him much for his great graciousness towards Pole, and returning due thanks to the French ministers, to whom he will not fail to write when any suitable occasion presents itself.
From London, 2nd January 1555.
Jan. 2. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 2. Cardinal Pole to the Archbishop of Conza Muzzarelli, Papal Nuncio with the Emperor].
Conza will already have heard of the hint about peace which Pole dropped to the King of France, availing himself of the congratulations on the auspicious reconciliation of England to the Church. Pole performed the like office with the Constable and the Cardinal of Lorraine, and has now received their replies, as Conza will perceive by the enclosed copies. Communicated these letters to-day to King Philip and Queen Mary, as also what he wrote to the King of France, telling them also what else he had been able to elicit from the French ambassador when he presented him the letters yesterday, which was in short in conformity with the contents of the letter from the Nuncio in France, namely, that he considers it certain that should the Emperor assuredly be content to do the like, his King would be induced (si redduria) to send two personages to any neutral place to treat for peace; and when Pole asked him what he meant by a “neutral place,” he said some place near Calais. Pole then inquired whether he considered England a neutral place, and as the ambassador replied affirmatively, Pole endeavoured moreover to learn some particulars, in case the project be realized, most especially as the ambassador's brother, who has now come to England, was with him, and as he is mentioned in the King's letter. They said they had no further instructions, and that the negotiation embracing many topics, it was impossible to come to any conclusion by messengers or letters, but that they hoped for a good result by means of such a deputation of persons of note and authority; saying, however, that he spoke of this particular without any commission, though he believed, etc., and showing, in short, that his King has a good opinion of the King and Queen, and places great trust in them. After having mentioned all this to their Majesties, King Philip told Pole he would write to the Emperor, nor will Conza fail to perform such offices at the Imperial Court as to his prudence shall seem fitting.
From London, 2nd January 1555.
Jan. 4. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 3. Cardinal Pole to the Bishop of Viterbo, Nuncio in France.
With the Bishop's letters of the 23rd ulto. received one from the Cardinal of Lorraine, rejoicing at the auspicious return of England to the unity and obedience of the Church, and informing him of the commission received from his most Christian Majesty (as announced by the Bishop) to celebrate a public thanksgiving for it. Encloses copy of his reply. Showed the Cardinal's letter to the King and Queen, and on every account thinks it warrants fair hopes for the negotiation of the peace. He also told their Majesties what the Bishop wrote about the good disposition towards it at the French court, and hopes that the replies to his last letters will give him an opportunity for proceeding further with them in this matter.
From London, 4th January 1555.
Jan. 4. MS, St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 4. Cardinal Pole to the Cardinal of Lorraine.
From the conversation held by him [at Fontainebleau] with the most Christian King, having known his wish for the re-establishment of the Catholic religion in England, thought it his duty to congratulate him by letter on its having been effected, and at the same time alluded to the peace, which is so much desired and so necessary for the whole of Christendom.
Wrote also to the Cardinal of Lorraine, well knowing how much he wishes to aid both matters, and was beyond measure gratified to find himself anticipated by the Cardinal's letter of the 22nd December, written before his receipt of Pole's, expressing not merely his own ardent and pious affection, but also the great satisfaction and joy of his most Christian Majesty at this so great and auspicious an event, and that he had chosen to announce it throughout his kingdom by ordaining a general thanksgiving, in which circumstance, as in that of the prodigal son, his Majesty has not only imitated the elder brother, but when rejoicing at the recovered health of the younger, has sought the joy of the father, an act well worthy of his Majesty's great piety.
They subsequently occupied themselves with the completion of this holy work, which was terminated to-day in Parliament by the abrogation of all the laws and acts (constitutioni) passed at the time of the schism against the authority of the See Apostolie; re-establishing them as they were previously, and restoring their pristine and due jurisdiction to the bishops and clergy, which body has been reduced to such a state of weakness by the past misfortunes, that in the matter of the Church property and of the interests of private individuals it became necessary to make concessions, (fn. 2) though it may be hoped that the true foundation having by God's grace been laid, the late ruins will daily undergo further repair, to which they will attend strenuously, and their Majesties, through their piety, give great hopes of the best result. Again entreats the Cardinal, by means of his great authority, to favour the negotiation for peace, which Pole will never cease to recommend to their Majesties.
From London, 4th January 1555.
Jan. 5. Lettere del Colegio (Secreta), File No. 20. 5. The Doge and College to Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England.
To congratulate the King and Queen on the conversion of their subjects to the Christian faith, and on the certainty now obtained of the Queen giving an heir to the realm (et della certezza che si ha della posterita sua in quel Regno).
Ayes, 23. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
Jan. 5. Lettere del Collegio (Secreta,) File No. 20. 6. Doge Francesco Venier to Queen Mary.
The announcement made lately by her Majesty's ambassador of the return of the realm of England to its obedience to the holy mother church, was very agreeable and much desired by him, but subsequently his satisfaction increased on hearing it through the Queen's most loving letter, and by the statement of her ambassador, whom he has requested to congratulate her Majesty in his (the Doge's) name with all affection on so auspicious and desired an event, and to tell her that although many thanks should be rendered to the Almighty for this great gift conferred on the whole of Christendom, yet must its own part be assigned to the very prudent government and to the religion and great authority of her Majesty and of the most serene King in England.
Has charged his ambassador in England to represent this and other things to the Queen, whom he requests to give Michiel full credence, as all proceeds from the Doge's respect for her Majesty.
Ayes, 23. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
Jan. 9. Original Letter Book of Agostino Barbarigo in the Venetian Archives. 7. Agostino Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Mons. de S. Sulpice (S. Sulpitio) has been sent to England to congratulate the Queen on the return of that kingdom to the true faith, and to its obedience to the Apostolic See, a thing which has caused great satisfaction to all good Christians, and should any mention be made of the peace, he is commissioned to say that his most Christian Majesty will never be averse to any fair and suitable adjustment, such having always been his wish, he neither desiring the Emperor's possessions, nor that his Imperial Majesty should have what belongs to France. According to the statement (relation) of a gentleman able to know the fact, it seems that twelve captains have been sent to take troops from this kingdom to Scotland, it having been previously said that Mons. d'Aumale would be sent thither, but it seemed that subsequently nothing more was said about this. (fn. 3)
A few days ago an envoy (huomo) arrived from the Marquis Albert of Brandenburg, and has had several conferences with the Constable. Has not been able to obtain any authentic account of his negotiations, but it is said that the Marquis wishes to re-enter the French service, promising to bring into the field 15,000 infantry and 4,000 horse, wherever his Majesty shall please, not excepting Italy, the stipend demanded for this service being 50,000 ducats monthly; but unless Barbarigo's memory fail him, this negotiation was on foot last year, and well nigh stipulated, the Marquis marching southwards with his troops at the time when he was routed and put to flight. (fn. 4)
Poissy, 9th January 1555
Jan. 14. MS. St. Mark's Library, God. xxiv. Cl. x. 8. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal Morone.
Is debtor to him for three letters, to the last of which, written throughout in Morone's own hand, he will reply autographically, and for the preceding ones Morone will allow him to acquit his debt in the handwriting of others.
This last, which is throughout congratulatory, comforted him greatly, not merely from hearing, and having well nigh palpable proof of his joy, but also from seeing that it commences and ends with the praise of God and acknowledgment of his infinite mercy and providence in bringing this so important an act to such an end. Had Morone seen how it came to pass he would say, as is said by those who were the agents, that divine providence did everything, both by giving such pious princes as the means and instruments for bringing this holy work to an end, as also by removing obstacles from the sight of those who so promptly resumed their obedience. Certain points and doubts which were subsequently mooted caused much difficulty, as Morone will have heard, and it now appears that the providence of God did this to accelerate and facilitate the introduction of the obedience, in like manner as He accelerated the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt, (fn. 5) who having been let go (licentiati), and having already departed, Morone knows how Pharaoh, before they crossed the Red Sea, again returned to persecute them, and endeavoured with his whole host to prevent their passage. The like seems to have occurred in the present case, the common enemy not having failed by indirect means and with all his might and malice to endeavour to prevent the repeal of the laws against the authority of the Pope, which act was the passage of the Red Sea and departure out of Egypt, which were at length effected, nevertheless, by the power of God, through the piety of Philip and Mary, for which be the divine goodness praised and thanked eternally.
Pole was much pleased to hear the way in which the Pope demonstrated his joy, and yesterday, having commenced speaking about this with their Majesties, the King anticipated me by telling the Queen in detail all the various rejoicings made by his Holiness, and afterwards whilst his Majesty was reading the Roman jubileebull, the Queen desired Pole to repeat the narrative in English, and they were much pleased with it. After this, her Majesty commenced speaking about sending an ambassador to Rome, and after having discoursed a little about finding persons suited to this office, the nomination was deferred until after the dissolution of Parliament, which please God will take place in two days, (fn. 6) and then, arrangements will be made for the remedy of abuses and irregularities of late introduced into the religion, which will be done together with the Bishops, who show themselves ready to do their duty in this matter, for which purpose they wish to confer with Pole, as they must do more than once, there being so much and such great disorder, and the body of the kingdom is so infirm, that to apply a remedy res non est parvi eonsilii et magni laboris, and also requires much time; but as by God's grace the jurisdiction of the Bishops is restored, the Legate also having full scope (corso) to exercise every faculty relating to this matter, it is hoped that in time things will daily go from good to better, for which they must constantly pray God.
With regard to the private affairs about which Morone writes to Pole in his other letters, he will merely tell him that concerning any matters to be treated or requested for him, through King Philip, Pole will always do willingly more than he has done hitherto for himself, never having spoken as yet with their Majesties about any private business either of his own or of his kinsfolk, who crowd round him, as Morone may imagine, and also how much they are in want; but until he sees the public affairs more consolidated, Pole is determined not to molest their Majesties about any private affair, and this he has hitherto adhered to strictly, but, as aforesaid, will always willingly break this rule whenever he can serve Morone, as he did last evening, by speaking to King Philip about the affair of the church of Novara in such a way as seemed to him suitable at the moment, dilating on Morone's personal qualities, and presenting his letter. His Majesty listened to Pole willingly, and desired him to draw up a memorial, as he will do, and Morone shall be acquainted with the result.
The other letters will acquaint Morone with the commencement given to the affair of the peace, which they must constantly pray God to grant, in like manner as he has already granted the reconciliation of England.
From London, 14th January 1555.
Jan. 16. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 9. Cardinal Pole to the Cardinal of Trent.
Has received his letter in reply to the one delivered by Pole's gentleman, concerning the return of England to the obedience of the church. The Cardinal expressed himself so eloquently that it gave Pole an opportunity for speaking about him to the King, who seems to esteem and love him as his great worth and affectionate observance towards his Majesty deserve. For news of subsequent events, refers him to Messer Hercole Pagnano, from whom he hopes to have news of the Cardinal. Apologizes for merely writing these few words in reply to his long and most affectionate letter, again alluding to its extreme eloquence.
From London, 16th January 1555.
Jan. 18. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 10. Cardinal Pole to the Bishop of Arras.
The Bishop's letter of the 10th, in answer to what Pole wrote him by his gentleman despatched to Rome, has by so much the more gratified him, not because he had need of any testimony of the great satisfaction which he was certain the Emperor and the Bishop would derive from the auspicious reconciliation, etc., but that with regard to this matter he might be enabled to satisfy others who are not so well acquainted with the Bishop's nature, which, like that of Pole, is averse to ceremony; nor have they due consideration for his incessant occupations. The Bishop will have heard subsequently all that has taken place from day to day and the good decision formed lately by their Majesties about the Parliament (che ultimamente quelle Maestà hanno fatto del Parlamento); and he will have seen that the whole was done, not only with the concurrence (correspondentia) of their Majesties, as the Bishop says, but at their constant instigation (continui indrizi), they having been, as it were, throughout the chief movers of everything, and great thanks are due to God for their goodness and piety. Arras will have heard of the movement which Pole thought it opportune to make about the peace, by writing to France (with the opportunity afforded by transmission of his congratulations on these auspicious events), and the result obtained, which Pole having communicated to their Majesties, he is also writing about it to the Nuncio at Brussels. Does not doubt but that the Bishop, who has always shown himself anxious for peace, will perform every good office for this object, which is desired for the general benefit and welfare of Christendom; and the sooner some positive reply is given the more expedient would it be, in order not to lose the opportunity of the moment and of the season. Pole for his own part, although he has never had any greater wish than to serve the Emperor, thinking thus to farther the common weal, at the same time; yet should he know his service to be less acceptable than he would wish it to be, he will withdraw and turn aside, according to his custom, to serve his Majesty by praying God, whom he beseeches to comfort King Philip and Queen Mary, and all Christendom by a peace, if not altogether such as wished, at least such as may daily give hopes of something better. Recommends himself to the Bishop and requests him humbly to kiss the Emperor's hand on his behalf.
From London, 18th January 1555.
Jan. 19. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 11 Cardinal Pole to Pope Julius III.
Pole's agent will have acquainted the Pope with the daily course of events in England since the reconciliation, and now that Parliament is dissolved and everything quite concluded and established, he sends him more full and particular information of the whole, together with the writings, that he may present them to his Holiness or to such person as the Pope shall appoint. The agent will also have reported what Pole did about the peace when writing his congratulations to the King of France on the auspicious events in England. The Pope will now hear, that from the reply received, and from the discourse of the French ambassador in London, and of their Majesties, Pole has thought fit again to enter upon this negotiation, for which purpose he has sent the Abbot of San Saluto to the Imperial Court, both as a demonstration of greater zeal in this matter, as also to obtain a positive reply more speedily lest the opportunity of time and season be lost. Will not weary the Pope with particulars which he can hear at his pleasure from the agent. If the peace can be obtained, as a sequel to the reconciliation of England, it will fill up the measure of the Pope's joy.
From London, 19th January 1555.
Jan. 19. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 12. Cardinal Pole to the Emperor.
As by means of King Philip and Queen, the Almighty has reunited England to his Church, having also employed the intervention of Pole, according to the first commission received from the Pope, he now has greater hope that the Lord will also comfort his Holiness by the grant of the peace between the Emperor and France, for which having also been enjoined to exert himself as he did, he now again recommenced, availing himself of an opportunity to write to the French King, from whom and from his ambassador he had the reply which the Emperor will hear from the Abbot of San Saluto, for whom he requests audience, and prays God to open the way for so great and necessary a blessing, and long to preserve and prosper the Emperor, whose hands he humbly kisses.
From London, 19th January 1555.
Jan. 19. MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. Printed in vol. 5, “Epistolarum Reginaldi Poli,” etc., pp. 60–62. 13. Cardinal Pole to the Cardinal of Augsburg.
Together with the Cardinal's congratulatory letter on the auspicious return of England to the Catholic Church, received a certain printed libel (libellus quidam typis excussus) in abuse of him, which, now that he is receiving so many congratulations, so far from causing anger, was accepted by him as an antidote to the dulcet melody of praise; but with regard to the author, what Pole wrote about the supremacy of the Pope (de primatu summi Pontificis), (fn. 7) if Pole's opinion—which is not his, but that of the Catholic Church—did not please him, why did he not commence by confuting it. If he wished to render Pole odious to the reader, could he not have done so more easily by confuting in the first place his doctrine. Instead of this he extracted from the book such parts as concern the King [Henry VIII.], interpreting them in a sense quite contrary to Pole's meaning. Pole wished to lay before the King what might befall him by provoking the wrath of God, the Pope, and the Emperor, by persisting in his error. This Pole did, because he desired the welfare and safety of the King, who knew not his own danger.
This was Pole's object throughout the discourse, which the Emperor never read, Pole taking care that the King should read it, as it greatly concerned him; but as all these things are sufficiently explained, partly in the books themselves, (fn. 8) and partly in his intended preface, he now sends them to the Cardinal of Augsburg, with permission, should he think fit, to publish them together with the other works written by him concerning this matter, without the slightest thought of publication; but being thus induced by divine providence, through the iniquitous and malignant calumny of the interpreter, he dedicates them to Christ and the Church (Christo, et Ecclesiœ, dedicata sunto). He had determined to do this last summer, on receiving a certain “epistle” containing much abuse, in which, as it seems, this same person threatened to write against him, as he has now done; but as Pole heard nothing farther about the publication, he neither sent to the Cardinal of Augsburg the letter which he had written to him on the subject, nor yet the writings for publication, but now does so the more willingly, hoping that if published he may thus be saved the trouble of any farther reply. In the meanwhile they must pray Christ, the light of truth and true physician of souls, to cure that of this man and the other renegades, which are ulcerated by malevolence and hatred towards ecclesiastics, so that they may the more easily discern the truth, and be received into the bosom of the Church. Sends many salutations to Father Soto, for whom, as he is comprised in the maledictions of that reviler (conviciator ille), Pole greatly wishes as assistant and co-operator in England, where that sort of crop abounds, and he is wished for by many, not only of his own country, but by Englishmen likewise, and unless he is enabled to come shortly, as hoped, Pole will have no rest. (fn. 9)
[Latin, 82 lines.]
Jan. 20? (fn. 10) MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 14. Brief Summary of what took place concerning the Church Property.
When Renard, the Imperial ambassador resident in England, was sent to Brussels by Queen Mary to settle with the Legate about his coming hither, he asked him, amongst other things, to state his determination. The principal matter was the restitution of the Church property held here by the laity, about which the Legate could never be induced to promise anything, from his conviction that it would be too injurious for the matter in hand (which ought to be treated with all sincerity) if they proceeded by means of compacts and obligations; so he merely announced to Renard his general intention that on the return of the kingdom to its obedience to the See Apostolic, they would know in everything the grace, benignity, and paternal will of his Holiness.
On the Legate's arrival the King, before stipulating the union, went in person to Pole, and told him in short that it was impossible to effect the return to the obedience, unless the holders of this Church property were allowed to retain its actual possession. To this, after much discussion, the Legate at length said that should the Pope have to condescend to some indulgence for the removal of the impediments to so holy and necessary a work, this would be done after the completion of the return to the obedience, and that then this indulgence might be used, “ob duritiam cordis illorum,” but that with regard to that part of the Church property which was in the hands of their Majesties, they could not in honour allege these reasons; to which the King replied that they would occupy themselves with the conclusion of the union, and that as to the property held by the crown he believed (teneva) their intention was not to retain any part of it, unless it was deemed that they could do so with a clear conscience, and that they would always refer themselves to the Pope and his Legate, and thus the matter rested (et con questo si restò).
The kingdom having subsequently freely resumed its obedience, as known, promising to abrogate all the laws enacted at the time of the schism against the Pope and the See Apostolic, and whilst occupied with this repeal the Parliament having presented a petition to the King and Queen for that, amongst the other things, they should intercede for the renunciation (resalattione, sie) of the Church property; and the bishops in like manner petitioning apart to the same effect, for the sake of the common weal, although contrary to their own private interest; the Legate having first of all endeavoured by several ways to recover as much as he could for the churches; at length, being unable to do otherwise, in order not to impede the completion of so important a work, and for the public welfare and quiet of England, condescended in such a way to the retention of this property that everybody might very easily perceive that his dispensation was a mere permission (fn. 11) ob duritiam cordis illorum, as in this dispensation he never would consent to add the clause “quod absque aliquo conscientiœ scrupulo possent hujusmodi bona relinere,” (fn. 12) although he was several times urged strongly to insert it; and this he did to leave in their minds a goad (unstimulo) which in the course of time might move them to make some fitting and due acknowledgment, as some of them have done already.
The repeal of the acts having been passed, and Parliament being dissolved, Pole again spoke to their Majesties about the Church property incorporated with the Crown; and for conscience sake they evinced their readiness not to fail in the intention announced (data) “by them to him, with regard to which they have referred themselves to the Pope and his Legate, as seen by their letters, a resolve which it may be well supposed met with many and great impediments; but their piety at length overcame them all; and the reverend fathers who are about the King, likewise performed every good office in this matter.
After the renunciation had been made, Pole, in order more maturely to accomplish the disposal (dispositione) of this property, requested their Majesties to appoint some of the chief personages of their Council to give him particular information respecting its quality and quantity, and the necessities of the kingdom (et de bisogni del regno), so they appointed him the Chancellor and the others who are named in the minute of the bull drawn up concerning this property, they being those suggested by Pole, persons of piety, and who are very well acquainted with these matters. There was no lack of other members of the Council who opposed this committee (deputatione), wishing to be comprised in it, and whose intervention might greatly have confused and disturbed the business; but Pole nevertheless contrived that the [original] number [of the committee] should not be added to; and so subsequently the commissioners held frequent conferences with their Majesties, and everything having been well examined, the business was at length concluded, as seen by the said minute of the bulls which is annexed. (fn. 13)
Although the advantage thus obtained is self-evident, yet, for a full comprehension of the quantity and quality of the Church property incorporated with the Crown, will mention that in the. . . . year (fn. 14) of the reign of Henry VIII. . . . . . . [it was decreed ?] by Act of Parliament that he and his successors, for the maintenance of the crown, and of the title of Supreme Head of the Anglican Church, were to levy and receive the entire first fruits of all the church benefices of the kingdom, whenever they fell vacant, and that no one could take possession of any benefice until after payment of said first fruits, or compounding for them, the sum thus raised amounting to the sum of X. (fn. 15)
Considering the quality of this ecclesiastical revenue, which could not be taken from the Crown without depriving their Majesties of the means of maintaining their dignity to the benefit of the religion, care was had nevertheless not to leave to the Crown that part of the property which concerns the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and dignity and interest of the clergy, such as levying the first fruits and the tenths. They therefore, in the first place, entirely annulled (si sono levate) the levying of the first fruits, and, secondly, of the tenths, conferring them on the clergy, but with the obligation to pay the pensions paid by the King to the regular and secular clergy who had been expelled; and as these pensions were for life, and their holders of advanced age, the clergy will soon be relieved from this burden.
Secondly, by decree of the said Parliament it was established that the King and his successors were to receive annually for the same cause all the tenths, revenues, and profits, both temporal and spiritual, of all the ecclesiastical benefices of the kingdom, amounting to the sum of X. (fn. 16) Thirdly, by Acts of Parliament passed in 1527 and 1531, there were annexed to the Crown all the property and rights of all the monasteries and religious houses (luoghi religiosi), including expressly those of St. John's of Jerusalem, by force of which decree the Exchequer (il fisco) took possession of all this property, including 700 church benefices attached to these monasteries and religious houses, yielding an annual rental of X. (fn. 17)
Thirdly, they have recovered from the Crown (si sono levati) all the benefices and property annexed to the monasteries and places aforesaid, no longer leaving these titles at the disposal of laymen, and thus benefiting the people, who will be better served by their own pastors than they were by mercenaries in the time of the monasteries before the schism; and as some of the benefices in England have a very small revenue, it has been thought fit to augment them at the expense of the richer ones; and besides this, provision may also be thus made for the education of young students destined for the service of the Church. The rest of the property belonging to the monasteries has been left to the Crown, to lighten the burden of State expenditure, most especially as in this case no injury is done to private individuals, the monasteries having been completely destroyed; and this property is also renounced, with the hope that from time to time their Majesties will realise the intention professed by them of restoring the monasteries and other religious institutions (et altri luoghi pij).
On presenting this statement to the Pope, [Pole's agent?] is to request him to let the Legate know if he sanctions it; in which case, after concluding it with their Majesties, a convocation will be held of the Bishops and other persons who usually attend the synods in England, that this arrangement may be carried into execution.
“Et perchè i beni de' beneficij di questo Regno alcuni sono molto tenui, si è pensato di supplire con parte di quelli che sono più grassi, il che non solo si potrà fare, ma oltre acciò provedere anco alla educatione de giovani in studio, ordinati al servitio del elero.”
[From London, 20th January 1555?]
Jan. 21. Original Letter Book of Agostino Barbarigo in the Venetian Archives. 15. Agostino Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Wrote lately that Monsr. de S. Sulpice had been sent to England, this information having been derived by him from the Nuncio, who repeated it, but told him subsequently that this charge was given to the Prothonotary de Noailles, brother of the French Ambassador in England, whose arrival thence at this court was announced to the Signory. [Understands that the troops sent to Scotland, as mentioned in his last, may have been for the purpose of filling up some companies in need of recruits, but it is nevertheless said that this has caused some suspicion to the Imperialists, and it also seems that some cavalry officers are now going to join their companies towards Champagne and Picardy.] (fn. 18)
Poissy, 21st January 1555.
Jan. 24 Deliberazioni Senato (Serecta), Vol. 69, p. 79. 16. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Bailo at Constantinople.
Our letters from England confirm the fact of that kingdom having returned to its pristine Catholic faith, and obedience to the Pontiff. The “Bailo” is to communicate these advices as usual.
Ayes, 165; Noes, 9; Neutrals, 6.
Jan. 26. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 17. Cardinal Pole to [Pietro] Contarini, Bishop of Paphos.
Acknowledges receipt of his letter of congratulation on the auspicious events in England, and thanks him for it.
From London, 26th January 1555.
Jan. 30. Original Letter Book of Agostino Barbarigo in the Venetian Archives. 18. Agostino Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Conversing lately [with the Papal Nuncio, was told by him, that considering some days ago the impossibility for the Emperor or the most Christian King to take the field in these parts for the next four months, he wrote to Cardinal Pole that for this reason he should think it well for him to seek another conference between two personages in the confidence of the Emperor, as for instance, the Bishop of Arras and one of his colleagues, and for this side the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable, assuring him that so far as he could see, he considered the most Christian King very well disposed to that effect. Cardinal Pole replied that the government being then intent on reducing the kingdom to the obedience of the church, he did not perceive the opportunity for putting forward the matter at that time, neither did he see how he could attend to it, but on the accomplishment of the act of reconciliation, on which he relied through God's assistance, he would commence this other undertaking. Thus has it come to pass, as on the 13th instant, Cardinal Pole wrote to the Nuncio, that having spoken to their Majesties on the subject they showed themselves so well inclined towards it, that they immediately sent a despatch to the Emperor, in such wise that the Nuncio was of opinion, that were anything whatever to take place, it will be through the mediation of their said Majesties; and concerning peace, the Portuguese Ambassador told the writer that more than once King Philip had sent to and from England to the Emperor, a Portuguese gentleman (whose name he mentioned), his intimate servant and chief chamberlain, and the Portuguese ambassador believed him to have been sent for this cause.
On the day before yesterday Monsr. de Vendome, having been met with great demonstrations of honour from the nobility, arrived at the court, having come to consummate his marriage with the sister of the Duke of Nemours at Fontainebleau], (fn. 19) so some persons say that this also may afford an opportunity [for speaking about peace, in conformity with what was said by the English ambassador, as written to the Doge on the 11th December. The Nuncio also told the writer that some days ago, the Emperor acquainted Don Juan Manrique with his intention of coming to some understanding about the affairs of Sienna, of which they have good hopes here.]
At the close of the King's stay at St. Germain, one of the Dukes of Brunswick arrived there, Monsr. de Lansac having been sent to meet him, and from what the writer has heard, it is the one who visited the Doge at Venice. [His most Christian Majesty will be here to-morrow, and after remaining a few days, will then go to Fontainebleau with the Queen for her delivery.]
Paris, 30th January 1555.
Jan. 30. Parti Secrete Consiglio X. File No. 8. 19. Peter Vannes.
Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta.
The reverend Ambassador of England—not as Ambassador from his King, but in virtue of letters of credence from the Signory of Lucca—having requested our Signory to allow him to hire two ships in Venice, that they may be sent into the Levant to load wheat for the use of their city, and it being necessary to answer him:
Put to the ballot, that when said Ambassador returns for the reply, our most Serene Prince do apologize for being unable to grant his demand, making such excuses as to his Serenity's wisdom shall seem fit.
Ayes, 22; Noes, 3; Neutral, 0.


  • 1. This brother of the French ambassador was François de Noailles, prothonotary, and bishop of Acqs. (See Mr. William Hackett's admirable Index to the late Mr. Turnbull's Foreign Calendar, 1553–1558.)
  • 2. Che egli è stato necessario nelle cose pertinenti ai beni et interessi privati, condescendere all' infirmità sua.
  • 3. This report is also mentioned by Dr. Wotton. (See Foreign Calendar, Mary, 1554, December 24, Poissy, p. 146.)
  • 4. It was also reported in December 1554 that Marquis Albert purposed marrying “the Duchess of Castro, the King's bastard daughter.” (See Foreign Calendar as above.)
  • 5. Exodus, ch. xiv. v. 17, 20.
  • 6. Parliament was dissolved on the 16th January 1555. (See Froude, vol. vi. p. 309.)
  • 7. Query, in Pole's work addressed to Henry VIII., and entitled, “De Unitate et Primatu Ecclesiæ”?
  • 8. The five books “De Unitate,” etc. (See Beccatello, Life of Pole, p. 390.)
  • 9. This shows that Soto was still at the University of Dillingen on the 19th January 1555, and that he did not accompany King Philip to England, as stated by his biographers. In the printed edition of this letter, the entire paragraph about Father Soto has been omitted.
  • 10. No date of time or place in manuscript.
  • 11. Che ognuno poteva molto bene accorger la sua dispensava (sic) esser totalmente una permissione ob duritiam, etc.
  • 12. See 1 and 2 Philip and Mary, cap. 8, sec. 31. “Et licet omnes res mobiles,” etc.
  • 13. This draft does not exist in the manuscript.
  • 14. 23 Henry VIII. cap. 20.
  • 15. La sũma de quali ascende alla sũma de X.
  • 16. La qual decima ascende alla suma de X.
  • 17. De quali ascende alla suma de X.
  • 18. The portion in brackets was put into cipher in the despatch.
  • 19. The bracketed passages were ciphered from the letter book, which contains no cipher at all.