Venice: May 1557, 26-31

Pages 1119-1129

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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May 1557, 26–31

May 28. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. XXIV., Cl. X., p. 186 recto. 904. Cardinal Pole to the Abbot of St. Paul's at Rome. Very Reverend in Christ as a brother.
I received from my Henry [Penning] your Reverend Paternity's letter, and thereby learnt the diligence used by you in sending to the fathers-visitors resident in Spain the license to come hither, as in truth I should have been very glad to see them for the purpose which induced me to ask for them. Your Paternity will perhaps have heard that the affairs of St. Peter's Monastery here [Westminster Abbey] go on well, and thus, by God's grace, they still continue proceeding from good to better, (fn. 1) and I am not indeed without hope that one of the two monasteries at my church of Canterbury may be soon restored. I am very certain that I do not, and never shall, lack the constant aid of the devout orisons of your Paternity and of the whole congregation, to whose members I greatly recommend myself, and pray our Lord God ever to assist and comfort you all in His holy service, and to free you from the troubles you of necessity endure on account of these wars, by speedily granting Christendom that peace and quiet of which there is so much need in every quarter. I salute with all affection our father Dom Sylvester.
Croydon, 28th May 1557.
May 28. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 905. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis of Montebello is of opinion that no battle will be fought, from the weakness of the Duke de Guise. He said, “I have always disapproved of this war, and if I meddled with it I did so to obey the Pope, but it did not seem to me that, if able to obtain a peace advantageous for Christendom, for the See Apostolic, for the life of this old man, and for our family, war should be attempted, for there is no lack of good will on the part of King Philip, as notorious through several channels; he wrote about it to the Signory, he sent Don Francisco Pacheco, and Placido di Sanguine came from the Duke of Alva; Fantuccio wrote to us, and I have seen the letters, that besides the obedience and reverence which King Philip is willing to render to the Pope, he offers us nephews very honourable terms. I know not what they are about (non so quello che si stia a fare), nor why the end which is peace should be abandoned for the sake of having recourse to such means as war. It might be said, 'I will the freedom of Italy' (voglio la libertà d'Italia), which is fitting, and I should desire it, could we of ourselves expel all the barbarians, a feat not to be accomplished by an old man of 80 (al che non basta l'età d'un vecchio di 80 anni); but to get rid of one master and take one more insolent, does not seem to me advantageous, and were not the outrages perpetrated by the French in all former times very notorious, would not (as I said to the Pope) those suffice of which they were guilty when they took Campli (sic) (Campiglia) (fn. 2) on Holy Thursday, their impiety in slaughtering the men and violating the women; and although they told me it was the enemy's town, notwithstanding my protest against such cruelty, I will nevertheless pass to things which are unanswerable, such as the conduct of the French in Romagna and the March of Ancona, for it may be said with truth that they sacked those provinces. I now omit the wrongs they did me and my Italians. But in conclusion I am at a loss to comprehend why they do not embrace the peace, and for my own part I will do my best to that effect, and am of opinion that the Cardinal [Carlo Caraffa] likewise will act more warmly than ever, for he has letters (though they are kept very secret) from his secretary in France, informing him that the Constable [Montmorency] has evinced very great resentment for the repulse (as such it may be styled) given to M. de Montmorency about the dispensation, (fn. 3) and lays the blame of it on my brother the Cardinal, giving it to be understood that he shall remember the circumstance; so having lost over there it would indeed be fitting to come to an adjustment here; and I choose to hope in God that through the Signory's incessant good offices the Pope may be induced to make the agreement. Nor will I omit telling you this likewise, that when I was at Venice I only executed half my commission, which was to justify the Pope's proceedings, and to speak in general terms about the other half, which was to demand a league; but seeing how well disposed those most illustrious and most prudent Lords were, I omitted it entirely, and wrote hither that I had not alluded to this part because, from the replies given me, I inferred it was not the moment, and that it would have been refused me.”
Rome, 28th May 1557.
May 28. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. (2nd letter.) 906. The Same to the Same. (fn. 4)
Owing to my illness the Pope received my secretary, who said, “Holy Father, the ambassador wished to execute with your Holiness a commission received by him from the Signory, but being unable to do so he has sent me to read the identical letter of his Sublimity, which is in reply to what the ambassador wrote on the 15th instant, concerning the words uttered to him by your Holiness about your inclination towards the peace.” Having said this he read the letter, to which the Pope listened with a very joyful countenance, and at its close he said, “We have heard this letter much to our satisfaction, because we perceive that the Signory do not allow themselves to be deceived (as many others do) by a belief that we are the cause of the peace not being made; the Doge and Senate do not believe those who say one thing and do the contrary; they have peace on their lips and war in their hands, together with an infinite avidity to occupy what belongs to others. Would to God that that misguided youth (quel giovane mal guidato) understood the matter well, and would do as he ought, more for his own advantage than for that of others, because dubius est eventus belli; he has excited the great he-goats who might bite him in earnest (ha escitato (sic) li cabroni (sic) che lo potriano mordere da dovero). Should it please God to make him repent of his errors, and that through the medium of my Signory of Venice this peace were made, no greater consolation could be granted us, for to speak freely we cannot rely on those people (costoro) for the observance of their promises; but should the Signory mediate we shall believe that they will adhere to the agreement, and if they fail to do so those Lords for the glory of God and their own honour will not put up with it, which certain other Powers who offer their mediation would be unable to do as they have neither authority nor forces. The conclusion of this discourse is, that we will do nothing unworthy of this place; we indeed choose the ambassador to know and let him write it to the Signory as a fixed resolution (per cosa resoluta), that should God inspire those people (costoro) to do what they ought, so that we could have so necessary a thing as a good and lasting peace, we should prefer and desire that the praise of this peace might fall to the lot of the Signory, whom we consider our country, so that it might be written in the histories (nell' historic) that Venice put an end to the impending ruin and calamities of this poor Italy already laid waste; for the more we see the number of barbarians increase in this province, on one side and the other, because as the enemy reinforce themselves we also for our defence must do the like, by so much the more do we desire quiet; and as we see the flames rise to heaven so we hope in the mercy of God that He will stretch forth His arm. Thou wilt thank the ambassador for this office, performed by him with us through thee, and yet more are we obliged to the Signory for having charged him to do so, telling him besides that whatever he may write to the State about our inclination towards quiet—provided we can obtain it to the dignity of this Holy See—this much will the Republic find true in fact, nor will we ever deceive them.” With this the secretary took leave.
Rome, 28th May 1557.
May 29. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 907. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday the 23rd I heard that on that day there were letters from the camp from the Duke of Paliano, urging the mission of the promised horse and foot and other necessary supplies, because it was heard that the Duke of Alva intended to dislodge from Giulia Nuova, and to retreat beyond Atri, so that were the French army reinforced they might make some progress. With these same letters there were also some from Marshal Strozzi, to say that he was leaving Ascoli for the camp, on a summons from the Dukes de Guise and Paliano, to consult what they were to do should the Duke of Alva retreat, adding that he could not believe this to be true, as both in cavalry and infantry Alva was much stronger than the French; and being quartered in a strong position with a kingdom at his back to supply him with all necessary commodities, it was incredible that after relieving Civitella he should choose to retire, thus losing repute, and giving the French an opportunity to perform some important feat; that he, Strozzi, would go and see, and then let the Pope know the state of affairs. His Holiness commended these letters of the Marshal, but not those of the Duke his nephew. Then on Monday Captain Vico di Nobili, a person much in Strozzi's confidence, arrived to let his Holiness and Cardinal Caraffa know that he the Marshal had discovered that the Duke de Guise was determined not only to retreat but to abandon the Pope and depart entirely (e partirsi del tutto), under pretext that they had failed to give any of the things promised him from Rome; that he, Strozzi, had stopped him by saying it was not for the service of the most Christian King that he should go away, as it would place the Pope under the necessity of making terms with the Imperialists, who, when relieved from this war, might attend to the fortresses held by King Philip? (del Re) in Tuscany and Piedmont, to the detriment of the King of France? (del Re).
The Captain Vico says that these reasons, having been urged almost in the form of a protest, stopped the Duke de Guise, but that it will be only for a few days; so Marshal Strozzi counselled the Pope to give ear to the agreement whilst in his power, and to act speedily, as being deserted by the Duke de Guise, as Strozzi suspected, he ran very great risk (scorreva grandissimo pericolo); that in the meanwhile he would fortify some of the frontiers on the Tronto, in order to be able to make some resistance to the Duke of Alva should he choose to push forward. After this the ambassador of the Republic of Montalcino, Landazzo, also arrived from the camp, who had been to the Duke de Guise to demand succour, from fear of being pillaged by the Imperialists. He reports the French army as being quartered on an eminence (alloggiato sopra una collina) near Carapelle, (fn. 5) a castle in the Abruzzo, where horse and foot were arriving constantly; that they were bold (animosi) and desirous of giving battle, as written in like manner by the Duke of Paliano; that the Duke of Alva, on decamping from Giulia Nuova, did not retreat towards Atri but approached the French army, being within four miles of it, having taken a very strong site called Giulia Vecchia, seizing even the brood mares (le cavalle da razza) to mount his harquebusiers. Between one army and the other is a small walled town (una terrazza) in which was Giacomo Malatesta, the son of Leonidas, who greatly harassed the enemy; so to get rid of him the Duke of Alva sent thither a good body of troops, which was repulsed, young Malatesta having thus obtained for himself the reputation of a very brave man. Then at a late hour yesterday a French gentleman arrived, who left the camp last Tuesday, and from what Marquis Montebello told my secretary, who asked him where the French army was, he replied that it had all retreated to this side of the Tronto, about which, when the Ferrarese ambassador asked Cardinal Caraffa, he said he had no advices; but the Marquis also told my secretary that there being no letters from his brother was a manifest indication of the truth of this retreat, Paliano not having chosen to give this bad news; Montebello adding, “Never was Rome in so much danger; there is great need of assistance from the Lord God; I am sorry to have been a prophet, for as known to you, I said long ago what has now taken place.”
On Sunday the Pope attended chapel for the anniversary of his election, and then gave a dinner to all the cardinals and ambassadors, at which I also was present, but on Wednesday the anniversary of his coronation I was unable to go owing to my illness. On Sunday after the dinner the Pope withdrew into his chamber with all the cardinals, and when the ambassadors from France and Portugal, and the others, wished to enter they were made to remain outside, being told that his Holiness intended (volea) to hold congregation, in which he commenced by complaining that the ambassadors of the Emperor and King (d'Impre e Re) were accustomed in chapel to stand near his chair; that he chose to provide for their sitting with the others in their ancient place; and he then added that he had a mind (e' havea animo) to assemble consistory, principally for the purpose of reforming the affairs of the Princes who put faleem in messem alienam. From this discourse he proceeded to speak about his conclave, saying how on that day two years ago they were in debate about his election; that the principal Cardinals who went into chapel to make him Pope were moved by personal interests (particolari interessi); that the others, sage and prudent, by taking time to consider chose to make sure that the inspiration was good, and proceeded in truth from the Holy Spirit, and here his Holiness commenced exhorting their right reverend Lordships to make the Popes as inspired by the Holy Spirit, and not moved by mundane respects (da rispetti mondani), which he said because he knew himself to be about to depart this world, adding, “Let God make the Popes, and not the having in the bosom bonds for 100,000 and 200,000 crowns, and dispensations of benefices for 50,000 and 60,000, like that Simon the magician, as known to all your right reverend Lordships,” whose stench was still in his nostrils; and that he marvelled how this individual had certain Cardinals who served him like lap-dogs, and that they ought to be ashamed of themselves, being so noble as they are. Who his Holiness meant by “Simon the magician,” and whom he intended to brand as “lap-dogs,” although it is very clear, yet as the Pope scrupled to name them I also must do the like. (Ch' Iddio facia li Pontefici, e non l' haver in seno polizze per 100m, e 200m scudi, e benefitij per 50m, 60m da poter dispensare, come quel Simon Mago, che tutte sue Signorie conoscevano;” la pussa del quale li perveniva ancora al naso, e che si meravigliava, come questo tale havesse alcuni Cardinali che lo servivana come cagnoletti; quali si doveriano vergognare, essendo così nobili, come sono. Chi intendesse Sua Santità per “Simon Mago,” e chi habbi voluto notare per “Cagnoletti,” se bene è assai chiaro, havendo hauto rispetto Sua Santità di nominarli, debbo haverlo anco Io.)
On that same day Cardinal Caraffa invited himself to dine with Cardinal Santa Fiore [Guido Ascanio Sforza], and on the following Monday went accordingly with Cardinal Vitelli. After dinner the three Cardinals withdrew together for two hours, and by a person who can know it I have been told that Cardinal Caraffa evinced very great kindness towards the Camerlengo [Ascanio Sforza], reminding him that in minoribus he had done many services to the Count his brother [Carlo Sforza], he Caraffa receiving many more; that he desired the welfare of the Sforza family no less than that of his own; that if it were in the power of the Camerlengo he would oblige him (li sarà grato) by doing something for universal quiet, and especially for that of this See, in which Sforza has so great a share. The Camerlengo replied that it remained for Caraffa to command and that he would always obey him willingly. In conclusion Cardinal Caraffa told him he would send some particulars by Cardinal Vitelli, purporting that the Camerlengo was to negotiate the agreement as of himself, without letting it appear that he had one word about it, either from the Pope or his kinsfolk. The Camerlengo replied that being his servant he will obey Caraffa's commands; but to the person who gave me this account he said that he will put nothing whatever of his own, but insist on written instructions about all he may have to do.
It is said to-day that the Imperial fleet, with the Germans who embarked at Spezia, has sailed towards Naples, which if true is considered very important news.
I send your Serenity the printed bull about the 1 per cent. (fn. 6) The only signatures wanting are those of the Cardinals Carpi and Pacheco, and although Cardinal Carpi told my secretary that nothing was to be paid on property under 100 crowns, the bull nevertheless makes no mention of this, but says absolutely that real property under 100 crowns is to pay half per cent.
Yesterday, as determined by them in council, the conservators of Rome complained of this tax to the Pope, telling him that any other would be less onerous to them; and they proposed the grinding tax (la masena) of 2s. 6d. (cinque giulij) per “rubbio,” and telling him that this money would be got more speedily. The Pope answered them quietly, and from what was said by the Pope's Maggior-domo, who is a Roman, his words were all general and inconclusive.
Rome, 29th May 1557.
May 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 908. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In a conversation with the Cardinal de Sens [Jean Bertrand] he told me that the Constable would go to the army here in Picardy, and that his most Christian Majesty was of opinion that if the English cross the Channel they will show themselves on the confines of Boulogne and the neighbouring places; so the King chose to be well provided and not to be taken by surprise, his determination being to have an army of 25,000 infantry and 8,000 cavalry, including men-at-arms and light horse. He also told me that he did not think either of their Majesties would allow a pitched battle to be fought, but that the summer would be passed in skirmishing, and that there was a great scarcity of provisions; nor although the King was doing his utmost to have his army in the field by the 1st of July, he did not believe that it could be in a state to give battle until the following month, and that during this interval Christendom might hope for some relief; saying that a general peace was needed, and evincing a very great wish, as he always does on every occasion, for it to take place. When I said that the Pope did not seem averse to it, he replied, “His Holiness has, in fact, some negotiation on foot (è in qualche maneggio), nor can he do otherwise, being unable to raise money, for to tell you the truth his most Christian Majesty is obliged to provide for everything.” I continued that his Holiness would doubtless negotiate this peace, with the inclusion of the King of France, by reason of the many causes he had to be much obliged to him. The Cardinal rejoined, “Such is the duty of the universal Father, and with difficulty can the contrary be credited.” This likewise I confirmed, saying that according to common report the Pope seemed greatly to wish for Sienna, but that it was not heard whether the King of Spain would choose to give it him. The Cardinal replied, “I know not what will come of this (di questo non so quel che serà), but it seems to me that we may be certain that the King of England is in a condition to wish for peace; and I assure you in like manner that should terms be offered to the most Christian King he will not refuse them, not indeed that he will ever request them; so we may say that nothing is wanting but the means for knowing how to adjust the disputes and conclude some marriage, which is apparently very reasonable and easy to arrange.” To this I said that his most Christian Majesty had always shown himself thus well disposed, but that concerning these matters it was heard lately at the court that a certain discourse (ragionamento) had been held with the Admiral. The Cardinal replied, “Rest assured that the only thing on which reliance can be placed, is the affair which the Pope is supposed to be treating; but his most Christian Majesty shows himself in force, and chooses to persevere in his undertakings in every direction; nor will he fail to avail himself of the valour and good fortune of M. de Brissac, doing the like with regard to M. de Guise; he is sending 6,000 Germans.” I answered, “Monseigneur, these preparations which are great in Picardy, great in Piedmont, and great for the kingdom of Naples, are they demonstrative signs of agreement?” to which he replied, “Who knows what will take place between this and August, should there be some good way for making the Germans perhaps turn back before they arrive in Italy.” From this discourse of the Cardinal de Sens, who has a seat in the French King's most secret council, your Serenity will form such an opinion of his most Christian Majesty's mind as shall seem fitting to you
There arrived subsequently fresh advices from Rome, and it is heard that the Pope had given it to be understood (si havea lassato intender) that he would not deprive King Philip of the kingdom of Naples until after the capture of Civitella; and the same advices also announce much difficulty about that undertaking, it being also heard that the Pope would not send the Duke of Paliano to the army, nor his son to this court, there being on the contrary an “advice” that the Archbishop of Vienne, who was to bring him, has already arrived at Marseilles without him; so his most Christian Majesty has not only suspended the march to Italy of the 6,000 Germans, but it is also suspected that he will recall the Duke de Guise from the kingdom of Naples, he having in fact gone thither by no means to the satisfaction of the most Christian King, and indeed had he remained a few days longer in Rome he would have received his Majesty's despatch telling him not to go, as I wrote to your Serenity at the time. (fn. 7)
The Admiral entered Flanders a few days ago with 2,000 infantry, 500 men-at-arms and 500 light cavalry, and passing between Arras and Bethune went to Lens, where he cut the garrison to pieces, sacked the place, plundered to the amount of 150,000 crowns, and burnt a great part of the town, taking the booty with him, as also the Captain, a Spaniard, by name Mondragon, who was taken prisoner. The Admiral returned with three ensigns, and without any hurt (senza patire danno alcuno).
La Forté Milon, 29th May 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 909. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
My last was dated the 25th. (fn. 8) Don Luis de Toledo and the Lord of Piombino departed subsequently one after the other for Italy, and I have heard nothing more than what I wrote in my former letters concerning the Lord of Piombino, purporting in short that his State is to be restored to him, King Philip retaining the fortresses and most especially that of Elba, which was constructed by the Duke of Florence and is very important on account of its large and secure harbour, and from its position, which may be said to command the whole of Tuscany, as also from the quality of the fortress, which has been rendered impregnable.
With regard to Don Luis de Toledo, who was here for the express purpose of settling the affair of Sienna (the moment appearing, opportune to the Duke of Florence for the attainment of his wish) I understand that the decision is made thus. King Philip is content that the Duke should have Sienna, the citadel remaining in his Majesty's hands, but he chooses him to restore his State to the Lord of Piombino, with the exception of the fortresses, though I do not yet know whether they are to remain in the power of the King or of the Duke, but that the Duke should ever relinquish them is incredible. The King also chooses nothing more to be said about any pecuniary debt claimed by the Duke on any account, either from the Emperor or from his Majesty. That his Excellency do declare himself friend of friends and foe of foes (amico delle amiei et inimico delle nimici), and that he keep on foot especially 10,000 paid infantry, to wage war on the Duke of Ferrara. Besides these conditions I understand that the King wished for another, viz., that the Duke should declare himself his Majesty's vassal, and acknowledge Sienna as a fief; but he was answered that the Duke chose to remain free, and that it would be better not to insist on this, because by declaring himself, his Excellency must at any rate depend on the King, most especially as the citadel of Sienna would remain in his Majesty's hands; but I do not yet know what was decided about this article.
The representation (la espositione) was made very secretly, as usual et this court with all matters of great importance, which are treated amongst a few individuals, and unless heard from the persons themselves who negotiate them it is difficult to ascertain the fact in any other way; so although what I write was told me by persons of some importance I do not venture to assert that there may not be something more or less than is contained in my statement.
I was informed yesterday by the ambassador from Mantua, who requested me to keep it a secret, that unless the Duke of Florence enters Sienna before the arrival at this court of Don Ferrante Gonzaga he will never do so (non vi entrarà più); from which I draw two conclusions, the one that Don Ferrante does not approve of strengthening the Duke of Florence; the other, that he comes with the intention of ruling everything; which reminds me of having heard that Don Ruy Gomez was the only person who seemed to wish for the coming of Don Ferrante, saying that he chose him to have supreme authority in everything, with the sole exception of dressing the King (eccetto solamente nel vestir il Re), in which office he, Ruy Gomez, would have neither associate nor concurrence. The favour shown by him to Don Ferrante was because, seeing himself (by reason of his extreme authority and as a Portuguese) hated by the Spaniards, he deemed it very advantageous to put forward a person who knew how to depress the Spaniards, and had the wish to do so, and who should depend upon him entirely (et che dependesse in ogni cosa da lui). Thus do pitiable princes (i poveri principi) place themselves and their affairs in the hands of those who think of nothing but their private interests, which to the praise and glory of God is not the case with your Serenity, to whose favour I respectfully recommend myself.
London, 30th May 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 31. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 910. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
At a late hour yesterday there arrived here Marshal Strozzi and a chamberlain of the Duke of Paliano; and a personage of consequence sent me word that the said Marshal confirmed the information transmitted by him to the Pope, through the Captain Vico di Nobili, as written by me, that the Duke de Guise had not only retreated but chose to depart entirely; and that Paliano's chamberlain required means to be sent to his master for the defence of the March of Ancona, or else orders as to what he was to do.
Persons here who know the state of affairs are much and reasonably alarmed, as they see the small supply of soldiers and the very few means, and perhaps none at all, for reinforcing them; they are apprehensive lest the Germans bound for Naples (as mentioned in my last) disembark at Gaieta, and perhaps at Terracina, where the Spaniards who arrived lately from Spain are also said to be, and that these ultramontanes may join Mare' Antonio Colonna, who is in the direction of Piperno, and will always have a good number of his own subjects, they, besides their natural affection for the Colonna family, having been deprived of life and property by the Pope; and lest when the corn is ripe they ravage Paliano and the rest of this Campagna, and come with these rabid troops to the walls of Rome and possibly yet farther; there being in addition to the other perils the despair of the Roman barons and people caused by the new tax of one per cent., which the government apparently chooses to exact, having appointed commissioners for that purpose.
By letters received here, in date of London the 3rd instant, it is heard that the plot of the English outlaws (fuorusciti) has been discovered, the greater part of them having been already put to death, and some 10 persons of consequence (e circa 10 che sono d'importanza) including the Signor Tommaso [Stafford], Cardinal Pole's nephew, had been sent to London. I do not dilate on this subject knowing that the news will have reached your Serenity long ago, though I will not omit to add that his right reverend Lordship's agent here told my secretary, as a great secret, that he had letters from the Cardinal announcing his departure from Canterbury for the Court, having been called by the King and Queen under pain of their disgrace (sotto pena della disgratia delle loro Mta), as announced by the said agent to Cardinal Morone, who, having been sent for this morning by Cardinal Caraffa, went to him, and was then sent to the Castle. A certain Messer Marc' Antonio, a Neapolitan, his private secretary, who is said to have heretofore apostatized (quale si dice, ch' altre volte abiurò) has also been arrested. Immediately on Morone's arrest the officials went to his house to seize and carry off to the palace all his writings. The cause assigned for this is the late arrest, as written by me, of his maggiordomo by the Inquisition, and now this present one of Messer Marc' Antonio, who has been sent to the prisons of the Inquisition at Ripetta; but there may also be some other greater cause for the arrest of so eminent a Cardinal, who heretofore was amongst the first of those nominated by the Imperialists for the Popedom, and who, so far as can be known, is dear to King Philip, but most dear to the Queen of England, and the very great friend of Cardinal Pole. This causes universal suspense, especially in these times when there is so much need to treat the agreement, on account of which Cardinal Santa Fiore went yesterday to dine with Cardinal Caraffa, when they discoursed at great length. To-day the “Camerlengo” told a person who imparted it to me that he begins to believe that these Lords (questi Signori) speak in earnest about wishing for the peace, and that possibly some good may be done, though he can give no other particular, it being requisite to see a little farther.
To enable me to write more authentically I sent my secretary to Marquis Montebello, who told him the Duke de Guise had halted at the Tronto, and consented to await advices after the arrival here of Marshal Strozzi, but that in fact he was going away, because things are proceeding sinisterly, and that the time has now come for talking of peace, and that every Christian prince, and the Italians more than the others, ought for their own interests, besides that of religion, to labour for the agreement; and that he having seen the letter, shown him by the secretary, about your Serenity's goodwill in seeking the peace, he rejoiced greatly at it.
Rome, 31st May 1557.
May. (fn. 9) MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. XXIV., Cl. X., pp. 186 recto, and verso. 911. Cardinal Pole to the Cardinal of Trent [Cristoforo Madrucci].
From your most illustrious and right reverend Lordship's gentleman, being then at Canterbury, whither I went during Passion week on occasion of the King's coming, to visit my church, I received your letter of the 12th instant.
The great troubles in the midst of which your most illustrious Lordship finds yourself, owing to the events of these present times, will I hope give you a greater opportunity for demonstrating your ability and worth, whereon his Majesty the King with good reason relies greatly, as frequently evinced by him, and most especially of late when speaking with me about you. Being unable of myself to serve you in any other way I do not omit praying our Lord God to vouchsafe you succour, and to have you always under His protection, and speedily to bring to some good conclusion the many calamities and perils of Italy and of all Christendom; and humbly kissing your most illustrious and right reverend Lordship's hand I recommend myself to your good favour.
I have spoken with your Lordship's servant Gropello (fn. 10) (col suo Gropello) about the affair of Captain Federico Ormanetto, whom I recommended to your most illustrious Lordship heretofore, praying you to have his honour under your favour and protection, as I heard subsequently you were disposed to do; for which I thank you greatly and again repeat my request with all possible earnestness, wishing greatly to obtain satisfaction in this matter for his brother Messer Nicolò, (fn. 11) the very affectionate servant of your most illustrious Lordship, whom may our Lord God have always in His keeping.
Canterbury, May 1557.


  • 1. The day before this letter was written Machyn made the following entry in his Diary; “The XXVII day of May, the wyche was the Assensyon day, the Kynges and the Queen('s) grace rod unto Westmynster with all the lords and knyghtes and gentyllmen, and ther ther graces whent a prossessyon abowt the Clowster, and so thay hard masse.”
  • 2. Campli is a small city in Sicily (see Büsching's Geography (Italian translation, vol. 25 (b), p. 121). Campiglia is in Tuscany, and on a roaring torrent near it called Cestio, there were visible in 1778 the well-preserved remains of a stupendous Roman bridge of one arch. (See Büsching, vol. 24, p. 77 (b). The sack of Campiglia by the French on the 15th April 1557 has been already recorded in this correspondence, in date of 8th May 1557.
  • 3. Concerning this dispensation, see Mr. Turnbull's Calendar, “Mary,” Index; name “Montmorency, François de, eldest son to the Constable.”
  • 4. The marriage of M. de Montmorency to the Duchess de Castres took place on Tuesday the 4th May 1557, “either not esteeming or else not considering that their nostrodamus in his prognostications said on this day should be made an unlucky marriage.” (See Letter from Dr. Wotton, English Ambassador in France, dated La Ferté Milon, 6th May, in Foreign Calendar, “Mary,” p. 303.)
  • 5. See Büsching's map, “Il Regno di Napoli.”
  • 6. Not found.
  • 7. See Soranzo's letter dated 2nd April 1557.
  • 8. This despatch does not exist in the file, and in vain have I sought for it elsewhere.
  • 9. In the MS. the day of the mouth is in blank, but as Cardinal Pole was at Croydon on the 28th it was probably written in the middle of the month.
  • 10. Gropello seems to have been sent by the Cardinal of Trent to King Philip.
  • 11. The Veronese Nicolo Ormanetto, Datary of Cardinal Pole.