Venice: July 1557, 1-5

Pages 1191-1202

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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July 1557, 1–5

July 1. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 951. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The servant of the Cardinal “Camerlengo,” who took his letter to Marc' Antonio Colonna, has returned with the reply, to the effect that he is very desirous of peace, and will never impede a thing so holy, but that it was not in his power to desist from the undertaking now in hand, so he would send a courier to the Duke of Alva, and transmit his reply to the “Camerlengo,” who sent Colonna's letter to Cardinal Caraffa, who is satisfied with his words, but not with his deeds, as at a late hour yesterday his cavalry carried off a great number of cattle within a mile of Rome. The said servant says that Marc' Antonio's army consists really of 2,500 Germans, good troops, and very well armed, 1,500 Calabrese, good soldiers, 1,000 peasants, and 500 horse, and that it is reinforced daily. The commanders, besides the Lord Marc' Antonio, are the Count Giovan Francesco da Bagno, Pompeio Colonna, son of the Signor Camillo, and Pompeo Tuttavilla, all young and injured men.
This morning Marquis Montebello told my secretary that last evening he was with his brothers the Cardinal and Duke, and said to them, “You tell me of the Pope's goodwill and yours towards the agreement, and that you have acquainted his Holiness with the condition in which this State finds itself, and with the small remaining amount of the French army, so I know not whence it proceeds that peace be not made, the Duke of Florence having promised that it will be effected entirely to the Pope's satisfaction; to which Cardinal Caraffa replied that the Imperialists did not yet come to any particular, and that the mediation of the Duke of Florence was not good, because he would wish to rid the Pope of the French entirely, in order more easily to make himself master of the fortresses held by them in Tuscany; and that were the negotiation in the hands of the Signory of Venice it might be concluded more willingly. The Marquis also said to the secretary that he fears there is some demon (qualche diacolo) interfering, to open the veins of this State, and to prevent the Pope and these others (questi altri) from seeing the extreme necessity to which they are reduced, with Marc' Antonio at the gates of Rome, and the Duke of Alva in such force on the confines of the March of Ancona.
For the sake of giving your Serenity more authentic information about the negotiation for peace, I sent my secretary to the Florentine ambassador, whom he found in bed with a violent attack of lumbago, brought on by the fatigue endured by him yesterday in obtaining audience of the Pope, and subsequently of Cardinal Caraffa. To see his Holiness he was compelled to go up and down the Vatican stairs ten times, and at length, choosing at any rate to confer with the Cardinal, it behoved him to go into the Pope's audience chamber, where Caraffa was with his Holiness, and thus, accompanying him through the palace to his own apartments, he had an opportunity for telling him what he wanted. After giving these details, the ambassador courteously and confidentially told the secretary the whole affair thus. After a long debate (battaglia), after demonstrating to his Holiness all the detriment and dishonour that may befall him through the war, and the advantage and glory which would result to him from peace (che li resulteria della pace); after convincing him of the goodwill of King Philip, and of his wish to be his Holiness' good son and servant, and to give him every satisfaction; and after having assured him that if he allows this opportunity to escape, his Duke [Cosmo de' Medici] will never more interfere in this matter, the Pope said a thing never previously uttered by him, that he was content to treat the terms of the agreement provided hostilities be now suspended (sempre che si facci opera ch' al presente si soprasseda dall' offese), and that the Duke of Alva and Marc' Antonio Colonna remain without advancing farther; and thus was it settled by Cardinal Caraffa likewise.
The ambassador added, “In ten days full powers will arrive from the court of King Philip for my Duke to treat and conclude, although even now he has so much in hand that he can promise largely, and I was already at liberty to assure his Holiness of such reverence and submission as he desires; and from what I can discover, King Philip merely requires the Pope to detach himself from his league with the French; not to become their enemy, but at the same time not to be their confederate. I sounded his Holiness about this, and he responded favourably. I also elicited another important article (passo), which is that of damages and indemnities; that provided the Pope get back all his own, he will let the King do as seems fit to him about the claims of papal subjects. The release from prison of those of the Emperor and King Philip will be demanded, because, as I wrote to Duke Cosmo, everything depends on disentangling this old man (in disligare questo vecchio) from the French, as eventually he will give whatever can be asked of him. And as I might be told that the Pope and Cardinal do not speak in earnest (non parlano da vero), but to avoid the danger now hanging over them, and in the meanwhile to get the reply from France, I reply, in the first place, that I believe they speak from the heart, and that even were they to deceive me, it would do me no harm, as at any rate this affair, as also their decision, must be cleared up; and thus will it be done at present, without any prejudice to King Philip, the truce not being made for many days, and in three days (in one way or another) the affair will be finished Should they not have spoken in earnest, the deceit will fall upon themselves, as the Imperialists will always be in time to do their own work (di fare il fatto loro) when convinced that the Pope will not make peace.
“I believe that my Duke, immediately on the arrival of the courier sent by me to him last night, will write to the Duke of Alva to stop Marc' Antonio Colonna, and to me to commence treating the conditions of the peace, and in the meanwhile the full 'power,' in his Excellency's person, will arrive (venirà il mandato libero nella persona di sua Ecca), and in ten days at the farthest we shall be sure of what the decision will be. You now know what no one else knows but the Pope, Cardinal Caraffa, and I (Hora voi sapete quello che non sa altri, ch' el Pont., Carle Caraffa, et Io); tell it to the Lord Ambassador, praying him to write it to the most serene Signory with the utmost possible secrecy, because, were it to be divulged, besides my being ruined, and my Duke's having cause to remain dissatisfied with his Sublimity, it would confound the whole affair, because, were the French to know it, all their agents (ministri) here accredited to the Pope would rush to him (correriano) and promise everything, even giving up Piedmont to come hither, and thus prevent him from making terms with the Imperialists, the French seeing clearly that this would be the heaviest blow that in these times could be received by them.
“I did not choose to tell this to Cardinal Pacheco when he asked me about it yesterday, as I know it would have been unseasonable, nor will the Pope give him more than general words (as he has done hitherto), so that Pacheco may send a courier to King Philip with account of his Holiness' good but indistinct will (buona se ben general volontà), which may nevertheless somewhat benefit the negotiation. I will also tell you that neither the Duke of Paliano nor Marquis Montebello are aware of this, nor will they know it so speedily, for the fact is that should the Pope wish to conclude the business, it must not be made known. Your most illustrious Republic is Italian, desirous of quiet for the See Apostolic, so it is well that they should know this, to enable them to commission their ambassadors to aid the business, which will be to the greatest possible benefit of Italy, and consequently of his Serenity.”
The secretary thanked his Lordship for this very confidential communication, and assured him that it should be kept secret.
From what I write in the accompanying letter, proof is afforded of the truth of what the Florentine ambassador said, that the resolve formed with him by the Pope and Cardinal Caraffa is unknown to the Duke of Paliano and Marquis Montebello.
Rome, 1st July 1557.
July 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. (1st letter.) 952. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
As a supplement to what I wrote on the 27th, I now add that I have been with Cardinal Pole and Don Antonio de Toledo, who is one of the most serene King's chief councillors, both of whom confirm the fact of his Majesty's being very much inclined to make peace with the Pope, and that had his Holiness been of the same disposition a good peace might easily have been concluded by this time; but the right reverend Legate attaches great importance to the arrest of Cardinal Morone (fa gran caso della retentione del reverendissimo Morone), who had been appointed by the most serene King for this negotiation, and this seems a strong proof that the Pope will not have regard for any one who speaks to him in favour of peace. Advices have also been published by the ambassador from Florence, purporting that the Pope is intent on preparing money and reinforcing his troops, and that he threatens everybody and even your Serenity; uttering strange words about King Philip and his dependants, and showing his aversion to any thought for peace. In the midst of so many contradictory statements I find it difficult to defend myself, although I have the authority of your Serenity, who writes to me that your most noble ambassador [Bernardo Navagero], when exhorting the Pope to that effect, found him well inclined towards the peace, and disposed to accept a fair agreement; but these Lords (questi Signori) are so ill impressed, that it is hard to convince them of the truth of this.
I nevertheless when talking with Cardinal Pole about the affair of Cardinal Morone, said what I find to be the truth, that when Morone was arrested, the courier with the King's commission for him [to negotiate the peace] had not yet arrived, so it ought not to be inferred that he was persecuted on that account; and this greatly soothed his right reverend Lordship, who had almost despaired of the possibility of effecting this adjustment. I then adroitly attenuated the other charges, by telling Don Antonio de Toledo that what is said about [abusive] words and threats might be false, and not to be at all relied on, most especially as your Serenity writes that the Pope is inclined to make peace; and that the report of his providing money and reinforcements does not prevent it, as at one and the same time the Pope may well wish for peace, and that perhaps not seeing any evident sign of King Philip's intention his Holiness does not choose to abandon himself. Don Antonio remaining well satisfied with this explanation said that King Philip will certainly have to restore to the Pope all that he holds belonging to the Church; he will humble himself, will go down upon his knees and ask pardon, provided the Pope will open the door to him and not show himself his enemy, but his father; the King in like manner showing himself the Pope's obedient son, and requiring nothing else of him, except to be secure in his kingdom of Naples.
He then said to me that should the courier from Rome arrive before I can be with the King, who departs to-morrow morning for Brussels, and should he see any hope of the Pope's being . . . . ., (fn. 1) he will perform such offices with his Majesty as to satisfy me; adding that so great is the most serene King's esteem for your Serenity, that in every matter, and especially in this one, he will follow your sage counsel; remarking to me spontaneously how perilous for the King was this war with the Pope, both on account of the [Roman Catholic] religion, as also by reason of the affairs of Italy, where, should the war continue, he said that the King might lose much and not gain anything.
London, 2nd July 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. (2nd letter.) 953. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
When the King received certain advice of Don Ferrante Gonzaga's arrival in Flanders, he immediately determined to depart hence so as to be at Brussels before the middle of the month, and in the field by the end of it; so he departs early to-morrow morning, accompanied by the most serene Queen to the seaside (fino al marc). (fn. 2) It is said publicly that in the course of the month, his Majesty will have ready upwards of 30,000 infantry, more than 10,000 horse, 60 pieces of heavy artillery for battering, besides many field pieces, and a great store of ammunition and victuals. The artillery is at Mechlin in Flanders, from which place part of the ammunition will be obtained, and part from England; and for the victuals they are awaiting the harvest, which will commence in a few days. His Majesty and everybody thus show by their words and deeds great readiness for war, great mental vigour (gran vigor d'animo) and great hope of victory. The herald who returned lately from France, whither he went to proclaim war, brings back word that he saw no preparation for it there, and that the harvest, especially towards the confines, does not seem very abundant, and that the most Christian King greatly regretted that this kingdom should have declared war; so the less the alacrity shown on the other side, the greater is that exhibited here.
In two days I will follow his Majesty, and on arriving in Flanders, shall be able to advise your Serenity with more foundation, both about the amount and quality of the army, and of the undertaking destined for it.
I return your Serenity my utmost thanks for your graciousness as announced to me by my relatives, and which is a very great relief in these times when compelled to incur expense infinitely beyond my means.
London, 2nd July 1557.
July 2. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 954. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day at audience of the Pope, in execution of your Serenity's orders dated the 26th ultimo, I said the city of Brescia was of great importance to you on many accounts, and above all from its being on the frontier. Thereupon his Holiness commenced pricking up his ears, and like one who foresaw what I was driving at (come quello che prevedera dove volea venire), showed manifest signs of resentment. I added, that these respects induced Julius III. to give the accesso of that bishopric to the Reverend Priuli, (fn. 3) he being one of the four noblemen nominated by the Senate at the request of his Holiness, who thereby intended to do what was agreeable to your Sublimity. This act was passed in Consistory by a unanimous vote of all the Cardinals, and especially of Cardinal Durante, to whom Julius would not concede that bishopric, without giving assurance to the Signory that, on his death, it would pass to a Venetian nobleman. The appointment of a coadjutor to Cardinal Durante was, in fact, a repeal of the favour, and you with reason resented this act. During my discourse the Pope's anger went increasing, and the colour of his face changed, as usual when he gets into a rage, but I continued, that you charged me to beseech him to find a way, so that you might not be deprived of this favour.
When I had finished, the Pope stopped short, (fn. 4) and muttering, and swinging his right arm (e movendo la bocca e vibrando il braccio destro), he remained some while without uttering a word, like a person who wishes to say something that oppresses him greatly (che li prema molto), and then said, “Would that the Signory had limited (mesurato) their appetites, and not chosen to misuse the love we bear them, so as not to give us cause to deny them anything they ask us, for as we have so often told you, nothing that is just would we refuse them, but they must take patience about such matters as are contrary to the glory of God, contrary to the common weal of Christendom, and contrary to our honour, of which matters this is one, and indeed the principal one, and to tell you the truth it has quite sickened us.” I replied that the Signory remonstrated on most reasonable and important accounts. The Pope rejoined, “Were our respects weighed with yours, they would greatly overbalance them, our respects being most exalted (altissimi) and most firmly founded (fondatissimi), so that we cannot listen to yours without 'nausea;' in the slight reform effected by us hitherto, we have done nothing better than the repeal of the accessi, and this is known to everybody who is a Christian. What is the meaning of accesso? Never was there an operation nor an invention more diabolical than this one, nor one that has more scandalized the world; it was devised, periculosissimis et afflictissimis temporibus, nor is mention made of it previously. By an accesso a Pope deprives himself of his own liberty, and of that of his successors, to provide for any church when it becomes vacant! God and the world will (vuol Dio et il mondo) that the reigning Popes do confer such benefices as become vacant in their time, without seizing those of living men.”
I replied that the favour had been granted with the consent of Cardinal Durante. He rejoined, “What matters it that so iniquitous and unjust an operation be performed by any person whomsoever, since besides the aforesaid impropriety, it points a dagger at the throat of the actual bishop (del vescovo attiuale). Let me not be spoken to about such a thing, which is contrary to the honour of God and of our office, as rather than fail in that respect we would leave this life, as, if my most immaculate Lord laid down His for sinners, why ought not I, a most vile and grievous one, to lay down mine for His Majesty?” At this point I did not choose to omit saying that the same impropriety as was attributed by his Holiness to the accessi, was common to the “coadjutorship,” both with regard to prejudicing the successors, as also by giving cause to desire the death of the possessor.
His Holiness replied, “The coadjutorship is ancient, and was instituted in the time of Bishop Valerian (fn. 5) Neporense, who elected St. Augustin for his coadjutor, and this was continued at all times, because it is very fair for a bishop who is impotent through age or infirmity to be given assistance, that the Church may not suffer, and to avoid the other incongruity (et per fuggire l'altro inconveniente), a person in confidence, according to his own request, is given him, provided the coadjutor's qualities are worthy of so grave an office as that of taking care of souls. So in conclusion, Magnifico Ambassador,” and he then commenced speaking with less vehemence, and with rather a more placid countenance, “our resolve in general was very sane, and with regard to Brescia in particular, it was formed for reasons very well grounded and of the utmost importance, nor will we say more on this subject; let it suffice you to know that we can render such account of it to God, nor are we responsible to others; that we pray His Majesty to grant us the grace to give an equally good one of all our actions; and should you wish to have more precise satisfaction, we, from the love we bear the Signory and you, will give it you; but you will hear things which will displease you; so we now proceed (scorremo), and repeat that our repeal of the accessi in general was most general (generalissima), and such as to produce much improvement, the repeal of this one of Brescia, in particular, being most perfectly founded (fondatissima), and effected with all becoming respects, the last of them being that of Cardinal Durante, though we wished to satisfy him, as we love him for his services rendered to our father, Paul the Third. We have given Brescia a bishop, who is your subject and vassal. And to return to the accessi, they produced this other inconvenience, that they conferred the church upon an individual who at that time was good and deserved it, but who before taking possession might, by becoming sinful (vitioso), have rendered himself unworthy of it.”
I said, “Holy Father, coadjutors are liable to this same objection of being at one time good, and of becoming bad (tristi) before the demise of the bishop in possession; but although I repeated this, the Pope demonstrated inattention to it, and commenced talking about the plurality of cathedral churches (della pluralità delle chiese cattedrali), which originated in the time of Gregory the First, a most holy and most innocent man, who, a church having fallen vacant, and there being no one to his liking on whom to confer it, wrote to a neighbouring bishop to rule the vacant see until he provided for it; that this abuse was removed in the time of Paul III., but through the regressi a way was found to infringe the repeal; that he (Paul IV.) suppressed them in genere, leaving them to the Cardinals solely “usque 'quo;” and he is still seeking the means to provide for them, and therefore (as written by me) he made that intimation to the Cardinals, desiring them to give a note of all their regressi; and when his Holiness receives it he will prevent them from holding more than one. The Pope then requested me to write to the Signory, praying them to moderate their desires. He added, “Concerning this, there is no occasion to say anything farther; all that we did, both in general and in particular, was with all possible reason and consideration, and to cancel it would be contrary to reason, contrary to God, and contrary to our honour; let what we said suffice you, viz., that should you wish for greater satisfaction about the causes which moved us arripere occasionem in this particular case of Brescia, the moment it presented itself to us, we will give it you, but beware lest you subsequently regret knowing it.”
I replied earnestly, but perceiving him to be again getting into a rage I proceeded to lay before him the contents of the news-letters from Constantinople, and after discussing them he said, “That you may be able to tell the Signory, in whose name you have performed so many good offices for the peace, they themselves having done so many others with Philip and the Duke of Alva, we will tell you that what we have so often said to you that these friends of ours carry peace on their lips, and war in their hands, is now clearly manifested; you see how after their offers to give us every satisfaction, as written by that King to the Signory, and to many Cardinals here, after we gave it to be understood that should he do so we would forgive him all his offences and receive him as a son, and after we had opened to him the way to return in every possible manner, Marc' Antonio Colonna, sent by the Duke of Alva, is again ravaging the Campagna, and they continue proclaiming that they offer us peace, and that we reject it. It is evident which side fails to do its duty; but they must not think to compel us to do anything unworthy of our grade, as we would rather die under any sort of torture and martyrdom. We will nevertheless not cease to pray for assistance from God, who is Lord of the universe and can give it. To-day the Duke our nephew is returning to the Duke de Guise, to detain him, so that in that quarter likewise we may be exempt from any additional injury, nor assuredly could any other anodyne (temperamento) be needed for French fury (furia Francese) than the discreet and quiet proceeding of this nephew of ours, who is so beloved by the Duke de Guise that he cannot live without him (che non paò stare senzo esso), and he wrote to us to send him to him speedily; but would to God that we had need neither of the Duke de Guise nor of others.” “So be it, Holy Father,” said I, “that we may witness a good peace, as hoped for, through your Holiness' consummate prudence. He replied, “By this time you can clearly comprehend our desire, not only for particular peace but for peace universal, should it please God to give it us, though you see the good road taken by these Imperialists; but we tolerate them with the greatest patience in the world, promising them pardon for all offences, which we perhaps ought not to have done, as their rebellion and contempt for God and His vicar are too great, yet nevertheless in order not to ruin Christendom we are content to receive them into favour, should they choose to return.”
On my taking leave of the Pope, he said to me, “Magnifico Ambassador, we regret being unable to gratify the most serene Signory and you with regard to your request, for to tell you what we perhaps ought not to say, the honour and glory of God are concerned in this matter, for which as we have had more respect than for anything else, so shall we continue to do for the future.”
Rome, 2nd July 1557.
July 3. Original Letter B Venetian Archives. 955. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The gentleman in the service of the Cardinal of Pisa (fn. 6) has left for England with the Pope's despatch about the creation and the legation of the new Cardinal [Father Peto, of Greenwich], it being also said that he carries the brief recalling Cardinal Pole.
When at audience yesterday, it did not seem fit to me to ask for a copy of the letter, his Holiness having already said that he would give it me in due season, as he did not choose the copy to arrive in England before the letter itself.
Rome, 3rd July 1557.
July 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 956. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Marshal Strozzi arrived here at the Court on the day before yesterday, having, to the surprise of everybody, remained two days in Paris, as was also said by him at Lyons (come havea detto anche in Lione). He was well received by everybody, and after having been with the Constable for an hour without interruption he then went to the King and Queen. I understand that his business was to inform his Majesty in the Pope's name, that if his Holiness has hitherto failed in some respects (di qualche cosa), it was rather from want of power (impotentia) than from lack of goodwill and readiness to persevere (di continuare) in the League; wherefore he offered to send 6,000 Italian infantry to the army, besides the Switzers whom he hoped to have, and not to fail in making the entire payments according to his obligation. For the King's additional security he has sent hither to the Court the Duke of Paliano's son, the Marquis de Cava, as hostage for his Holiness' faith and that of his nephews, praying his Majesty by no means to remove any of his troops from his protection, and especially the person of the Duke de Guise, without which it would seem to him to remain abandoned. Should the King fail in this respect the Pope would be compelled (era astretta) to try and adjust his affairs as well as he could, so as not to fall entirely into the hands of his enemies. The person who told me this much said besides, that the form of these words was almost in the form of a protest, but without giving it that title (senza però nominarlo).
I also hear that Strozzi has not omitted the performance of every office (as he continues doing) to keep this coalition united, for the benefit of one side and the other; nor does he fail to demonstrate in like manner to his most Christian Majesty, that all he did about these negotiations was principally on account of what he owes this Crown (per il debito ch' el tiene verso questa corona). I understand that he was listened to graciously, and they in fact confer many more favours on him than he received these last times when here at the Court.
This proposal of the Pope's has greatly troubled these Lords, considering in what a narrow compass this negotiation finds itself (considerando il stretto termine nel qual si ritrova questo maneggio), for although his Majesty would easily bring himself not to desert his Holiness, leaving him such assistance as necessary, yet would he have been glad to see M. de Guise here, to get rid of many costs and designs (dissegni) which it is requisite to make for his honour and dignity; and on the other hand should he not satisfy the Pope (his Holiness giving it to be understood that he shall make the best terms he can), his Majesty through the increase of the enemies' repute, and perhaps from something else they might do, thus suffers likewise in his own dignity from having assumed that protection; so I have heard that after long consultations it has been determined for M. de Guise to remain in the Pope's service with all the troops under his command, and to this effect they are sending the present express, who will take these letters of mine as far as Ferrara.
I have heard something about a scheme for garrisoning Civitavecchia with French troops, but as yet I have no authentic news of this. I endeavoured to ascertain whether particular orders have been sent to M. de Guise about what he is to do, and understand that the King sends him many warnings (avvertimenti), but leaves all the resolves at his free disposal (liberamente in mano sua), as they have been hitherto. I have heard in like manner that a fresh order is now given for the Switzers raised on account of the Duke of Ferrara (should he not have need of them) to be sent to the army, so that with this reinforcement, and the 6,000 promised by the Pope, it would number upwards of 20,000 foot; but any undertaking that may be commenced seems to present such difficulties that to overcome them will be very laborious.
I am assured that the most Christian King is in no slight trouble, as besides it being the nature of the French, when once they entertain suspicion, never more (mai più) to divest themselves of it, even in trifles, still less in great affairs such as this present one, I hear that with all these demonstrations made by the Pope, it is nevertheless believed that should he be able to make a satisfactory agreement he will not fail to do so. They are much less dissatisfied with his Holiness individually than with his nephews, against whom they speak unsparingly (largamente).
The Duke of Paliano's son, who made the sea voyage with the Marshal, is coming by day journeys; a monthly allowance of 500 crowns has been assigned (consignati) for his expenses and those of Marquis Montebello's son, who was left here by Cardinal Caraffa, (fn. 7) and they [the two cousins] will remain in the service of the most serene Dauphin. His Majesty has sent for the person who is to be his governor, and in many kind words exhorted him to take watchful care of the youth, and not to let him want for any of such conveniences as the Court can afford, and always to apply to the Constable.
The ambassadors who came from the Switzers as written by me are four, from the four cantons of Zurich, Berne, Basle, and Appenzel. They have performed an office with his Majesty, in favour of the inhabitants of the valley of Lucera (sic), which since the capture of Ivrea is held by him, because they being Lutherans (and therefore allied with the said cantons), the Parliament of Turin a few days ago burned some of them with their preachers; so the said ambassadors prayed his Majesty very earnestly to allow them to live according to their opinion (nella loro opinione) until the first future Council. As yet they have received no answer whatever, but from the necessities of the present times it is understood that his Majesty will grant the request, as they were of the same opinion before they became his subjects.
Nothing new has taken place in this part of Picardy since I wrote on the 29th ult., but they are as intent as possible on making provision for the war, and from what is heard the Constable will assuredly depart for the army at the close of this month, although as yet there is no body of troops in existence; but if the fine weather lasts they can very soon be mustered from the convenience (commoditò) of the fresh wheat, of which this year there is so great an abundance throughout France that no one remembers there ever having been the like, and it is hoped that all the other crops will be no less plentiful, of which there is very great need, owing to the extreme scarcity of this year until now.
The most Christian King has made the Constable's second son, M. de Damville, a knight of the Order of St. Michael.
Compiegne, 4th July 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 5. Deliberazioni Senato. File No. 30. 957. The Doge and Senate to Antonio Barbarigo, (fn. 8) “Baylo” at Constantinople.
By letters from England, which have been confirmed to us by letters from the Court of the most Christian King, we understand that the kingdom of England has proclaimed war on his most Christian Majesty, and that in England they were intent on mustering troops, to make them cross the Channel and march towards Flanders, where it is heard that the King of France has his frontiers well furnished (ben fornite), and that he on his part was making provision for the war. Between the armies of the most Christian King and of the most serene King of Spain in l'ebrezo (sic) (the Abruzzi?) nothing else has taken place since we wrote you our last. The negotiation for agreement between the Pope and the King of Spain continues.
By letters from Naples dated the 19th June we are informed that in the Mole there, there are 60 galleys of the Imperialists, and the advices from Rome tell us that they have ten others. Of the galleys of the most Christian King we have heard nothing else since what we wrote to you in our preceding letters. The advices from Piedmont tell us that the Imperialists have succoured Cuni [Coni?] and that the French have departed thence.
We with the Senate charge you to communicate these advices.
Ayes, 151. Noes, 18. Neutrals, 17.
[Original draft, to be ciphered throughout. Italian.]


  • 1. Two or three words corroded in MS.
  • 2. “The iij day of July the Kyng and the Quen toke her gornay toward Dover, and lay all nyghtt at Syttyngborne.” (See Machyn's Diary, 1557, July 3, p. 142.)
  • 3. Luigi Priuli, of the parish of S. Severo in Venice, the bosom friend of Cardinal Pole, with whom he was residing at Lambeth when Bernardo Navagero wrote this letter from Rome.
  • 4. Si fermò in due piedi. The Pope had apparently been walking u p and down his chamber with the ambassador.
  • 5. Qu. Valerian, second Bishop of Treves, mentioned in the martyrology of St. Jerome.
  • 6. This gentleman's name was Antonio Dangadro; see Foreign Calendar, Mary, p. 319.
  • 7. Cardinal Caraffa arrived at the French Court on the 16th June 1556, and left Paris for Rome on the 17th August in that year; but Soranzo's despatches do not allude to his being accompanied by the Marchesino Don Pietro, son of Marquis Montebello.
  • 8. See his “Report” of Constantinople in Albèri, Series III., vol. 3, p. 145 to p. 160.