Venice: July 1557, 11-20

Pages 1215-1225

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, 11–20

July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 965. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the day before yesterday Marshal Strozzi departed hence to embark at Marseilles on his way to Rome, nor has he anything more to impart to the Pope than what I mentioned heretofore, save that his most Christian Majesty is well satisfied with his Holiness, for whose benefit he will never fail to do what he can; and in conformity with what I wrote on the 8th, it is now more and more confirmed that the King considers it certain the Pope will no longer fail him, and rejoiced greatly at the rejection in Consistory of the pension for the kingdom of Naples, whereby it seems, as it were, declared that King Philip has forfeited that fief (che il Re Filippo sia caduto da quel feudo). I tried to elicit whether any positive order had been sent to M. de Guise to make an enterprise, but from all quarters it is heard that everything is referred to him, with liberty to do whatever time and opportunity shall indicate; and I may add that Strozzi has gained so much by this negotiation that he may almost be said to have recovered his former favour with the King, and the Constable in particular has shown himself most friendly towards him.
The King of England having crossed the Channel with the English troops, said to number 10,000 men, it being also heard that he will soon have a large number of German troops, his army thus amounting to upwards of 40,000 infantry and 10,000 horse, the French are in no little trouble, as hitherto no one believed the King of England to have such considerable forces; and as his most Christian Majesty will not have more than 20,000 infantry in the field, including Germans and Frenchmen, his men-at-arms and light horse being about 7,000, no thought is had for anything but self-defence, to which effect frequent consultations are held, not only about the best means for securing these frontiers, but also for preventing invasion of the French territory. According to report, it is almost certain that the enemy will make their first attack on the new fortress called Riacherot (sic) [Rocroy?], near Marienburg, in which direction a certain amount of troops have marched already, and as it is not yet completed there is a general fear of its loss, and being on this side of Marienburg, that fortress, remaining exposed (esclusa), causes in like manner apprehension, although it is well garrissoned and victualled for some time. They also suspect that, should Riucherota (sic) be taken, the enemy might go to Mezieres, about which place, however, they do not seem alarmed, as it is a strong fortress and well provided (munito). The Duke de Nevers, the governor of Champagne, did his utmost to enter the place, but the King, would not allow him to do so, as he is a personage of the great quality, and in right of his governorship has charge of the whole of that province, but there entered it the Baron de Carton, (fn. 1) a knight of the Order, and a very old soldier.
It is also suspected that in this other quarter, with the assistance of their fleet, the English may make some attempt upon Boulogne, where the French have not failed to make much provision, but as they have not yet cropped all the wheat, any undertaking must at least he delayed until towards the end of this month, when his most Christian Majesty's forces will be marshalled, and they are therefore hastening every sort of supply; and the Constable will go to Moncornet, near Lan [Laon] where the troops will be mustered sooner than was said a few days ago, but from what is heard his Excellency will not remain there long, but after passing the review, and giving such orders as he shall know to be necessary, may return to the Court, provided necessity do not compel him to remain with the army.
It cannot yet be affirmed whether the King will go thither in person, for although every provision continues being made as customary on former occasions when he did so, many persons nevertheless are of opinion that he will not go, finding himself less powerful in the field than the enemy will be. Everything necessary is also being prepared for the going of the Dauphin, who wishes to accompany his father, but of this likewise there is as yet no certainty.
The Germans who made the muster as written by me are still in Champagne, and treat the friars, priests, and churches with every sort of insolence, much to the universal regret, and for the most part they are very sorry troops (et par il più sono assai trista gente). The King has formed a junta of a certain number of counsellors and presidents of the law courts (corte presidiali), in order to sell those offices as usual, to the amount of about 500,000 francs; so the parliaments have sent to his Majesty to complain of this fresh addition of ministers, but they will have to take patience, as the King chooses to avail himself of this money.
His Majesty has also received 200 000 crowns at Lyons at 16 per cent., with the usual conditions. The ambassadors of the four Swiss cantons, who came for the causes assigned by me, have lately been despatched with the following reply, that his Majesty will not allow Lutheran preachers to 'preach in that valley, but that no inquisition will be made about anybody's mode of living (contra il modo di viver di alcuno), with which they remained well satisfied, and when the King sent them 200 crowns each for their expenses they would not accept them.
The King of Portugal is dead, his successor being his grandson, (fn. 2) a child of about three years old.
Compiegne, 15th July 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 10. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archvies. 966. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome to the Doge and Senate.
To-day at 5 p.m., the hour assigned me, I went to the Pope, and in conformity with your Serenity's missive of the 10th gave him account of what took place at Venice between King Philip's ambassador and Cardinal Trivulzi, and in reply his Holiness said: “Is it possible for us to be disbelieved? we know not whether it be blockishness or Divine judgment; you know how often we have told you that those Imperialists (costoro) are traitors, that whatever they do has for object to deceive, that they preach peace for the sole purpose of making war more commodiously. This has indeed been known by a thousand signs, and is now moreover so evident that he who does not see it is blind, and he who ignores it is lethargic and stupid.
“Philip writes to a number of cardinals about his excellent will towards the peace, desiring them to communicate it to us, and he also employs his brother the most illustrious Signory (et adopera anco fr'ello la Sigria Illm (sic). We offer ourselves to him; we open to him the bosom of commiseration, and do more than was becoming from the wish we have for quiet, and from our hope of effecting universal peace; but simultaneously the Duke of Alva sends a rebel of ours, 'an excommunicated convict, an accursed son of Satan, giving him sufficient soldiery to come and insult us face to face; for it would have been less injurious had the said Duke come again with all his forces into those parts. You also will see them, and the Signory will be certified that they have been bantered by them, to our detriment and to their shame, for it seems that they assume authority after all the good offices performed by you for the peace; and they moreover permit that sorry Hebrew (quel tristo Giudeo) to beard them, thus allowing King Philip as it were to command. In their capital his ambassador ought to observe your laws, as do our representatives, although we are supreme head, and yet no demonstration of resentment is made; you are too familiar with them; may God give you good counsel; they are bad company, and we choose to let you know it; they are on the wrong side.
“The Imperialists carry with them the title of heretics, schismatics, and enemies of God, and the like may be said of their adherents. We have proof in our hands when it shall please us to exercise the dignity conferred on us by the Lord God, who has power to turn the wheel, and to show you to-morrow another world. Cognoscet Dominus judicium faciens. We shall remain intent on serving Him, and on hoping in His Majesty alone, for we are certain that He will have knowledge, power, and will to defend His cause, and we who treat it are prepared, without the slightest anxiety in the world, to suffer any torment and death for His glory; and to you we repeat that they are bad company, and should you bind yourselves too much to that quarter (a quelle parti) it may prove to your detriment.”
In reply, I requested his Holiness not readily to believe that you would do anything contrary to the honour and advantage of this Holy See, and of himself individually, as he would credit that which is not; saying, that what took place was inevitable, it not being in your power to make any demonstration against an ambassador who represents his prince, and may be said to have acted for his benefit, nor yet against a notary who committed no other error than that of accompanying a person who calls him to perform his office.
The Pope said, “With regard to the notary, this excuse is frivolous, for he is a public person, bound to perform any office relating to acts of private individuals, but he has nothing to do where affairs of State are concerned, and he well knows that his interference might cost him his life, and we know that the Signory is more disputatious (più contexta) with her subjects concerning affairs of State than any other prince.” I rejoined that the notary seemed to me to have evinced judgment by not having chosen to sign the instrument on perceiving such a tumult (non havendo volute rogar l'instriemento, poi c'havea veduto quelli tumulti), and that therefore his Holiness had no cause for exasperation.
The Pope continued, “We cannot conceal from you that we should have wished the Signory to have resented such extreme audacity and rashness, and if we speak to you angrily it is out of the love we bear you, which makes us wish to see you preserve your dignity and not give yourself as a prey to those Imperialists, for if we considered you an enemy we should be silent, dissembling everything, and without farther discourse we should treat you as such; but the love we bear you makes me warn you of what has eventually to prove for your welfare, viz., that you should at length see clearly the deceitful practices of these our enemies, or rather yours, and first of all of God. Do not allow yourselves to be fed with words; maintain yourselves in your dignity, as this will suffice us. We have seen you of yore, for the defence of this Holy See, in league with the Pope and at the time of the sack send your fleet and your army into these parts; at present we know not what to say, but we nevertheless remember that once when in affliction you had great assistance from our house, viz., from our uncle Oliverio Cardinal Caraffa, who was the refuge of Messer Hieronimo Donado, when everybody expelled you, besides which that ambassador elected him as minister for the reconciliation, and principally through his assistance the six ambassadors were accepted. (fn. 3) That is notorious, and we on every occasion, even from our infancy, have given evident marks of our love for that 'Dominion,' acting in like manner during our cardinalate, so that after the Consistories the Venetian cardinals were compelled to come and thank me; nor at present do we fail, nor shall we fail the Signory; but it would at least be fair that the truth spoken by us and visible facts should be credited, and that you should not allow yourselves to make promises to the enemies of God, and of the Italian race, but rather avenge the injuries done us to our dishonour.”
I replied, “Holy Father! in like manner as the most Serene Signory will not fail rendering all obedience and reverence to your Holiness and the See Apostolic, so with regard to what has happened all they could do was to regret it, and to negative (negar) the two demands made by the Spanish Ambassador; and if my Signory, as confessed by your Holiness, received so much from you when in minoribus, now that your Holiness is greater than at that period, the more does the Signory at present expect from you.”
His Holiness, being thus somewhat pacified, proceeded to say, “Yesterday, in the congregation of the Inquisition, with the junta of certain persons summoned by us in addition to the ordinary members, viz., the cardinals, vice-chancellor, penitentiary, camerlengo, governor, president of the chamber, auditor di ruota, and the like, we did a thing which we believe to be more useful for the 'Reform' than anything that has been done during the last 300 years, if carried into effect (we must allude to ourselves) (bisogna che tocchiamo noi), a thing which other Pontiffs never chose to do, and to this we can bear true testimony, having been always employed on similar business.
“We think to please the most illustrious Signory, who is so solicitous for the glory of God, and will assist us to carry the plan into execution so far as the State is concerned. We are of opinion that no tribunal acts with more sincerity, nor more with a view to the honour of God, than this one of the Inquisition. We have proposed to ourselves to assign to it (deputarli) whatever depends on the articles of faith, or can be made to approach them (overo che si possono tirare a quelli). Profane swearing, which we assigned them heretofore, is a species of infidelity, as it attributes to God what is not His, depriving Him of what He has. We assign to them the heinous crime against nature, from its enormity; and yesterday we assigned to them besides the simoniacal heresy, forbidding all the other tribunals, penitentiary, chancery, chamber, “auditoriato,' and all others of every denomination, to interfere with those matters for the future, but to despatch the processes already commenced in their respective courts.
“We shall thus abolish the sale of the sacraments, the ordination of lads, as any beast could be ordained, for money, the sale of benefices and all the other illicit contracts, which have caused all possible mischief and scandal. We may say that yesterday we did a thing, of the point of which, as relating to our profession (pertinente all nostra arte), we can draw the lines, the surface and the substance, &c., which we have chosen to tell you that you may write it to the most illustrious Signory, in proof that notwithstanding all the anxieties caused us by these children of the devil, we do not fail to proceed with the reform in such a way as is in our power, and as passed by us, likely to bear fruit.”
Rome, 16th July 1557.
July 17. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 967. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Marcantonio Colonna, having retired towards Paliano, remains passive, perhaps owing to the despatch from the Cardinal “Camerlengo” and from the Duke of Florence, but he does not allow either persons or effects (robba) to enter Paliano, which is said not to be victualled for many days.
Cardinal Caraffa evinces great hopes of peace, and told Marquis Montebello to be of good cheer, as he will now know that what he so often told him about not wishing for war, but that it became him to obey the Pope, was the truth.
The ambassador from Florence [Ricasoli] sent me some letters for the ambassador Vargas in Venice, saying that they were in reply to what the said ambassador had written to him about the affair with Cardinal Trivulzi. I declined accepting them and had him told that there were other means for their transmission, I on certain reasonable accounts not choosing to involve myself in this matter. Ricasoli communicated to me King Philip's treaty with the Duke of Florence about Sienna. He said that the Pope seemed to approve of it, although the Duke is bound to assist the kingdom of Naples and the Milanese whenever they are molested by a league of Italian Princes. The Duke stipulated it on the 4th instant; and on the 6th Figueroa entered Sienna, he being commissioned to give possession of it to Dom. Luigi and Chiappino Vitelli, who were to receive it in the Duke's name, but that the troops were not to enter, as the Spanish soldiery laid claim to many arrears of pay, and although King Philip sent some “assignments,” there is a difficulty about them, as the Cardinal of Burgos [Francisco Mendoza y Bobadilla] says he is the King's creditor for a considerable sum. The Duke promised to disburse the money on receiving an assignment guaranteeing its repayment, nor is it known whether this will be settled without sending to the King.
The Pope has deprived Cardinal Morone of the government of Sutri, conferring it on the Cardinal of Naples.
Rome, 17th July 1557.
July 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 968. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday, by invitation, I accompanied the King in a general procession, in which his Majesty, the Queen, the Dauphin, and all the other personages now at the Court took part, it being customary in France to perform this ceremony whenever an army takes the field.
In the afternoon, when about to tell the Constable what your Serenity desired me, I was anticipated by his telling me that as it had pleased his most Christian Majesty to appoint his commander-in-chief of his army in this quarter of Champagne and Picardy, he should therefore depart one of these days, and that I was to assure your Serenity that wheresoever he might find himself he would be your servant and good friend; adding, “Request the most serene Signory, should they hear of the many preparations making by King Philip, to suspend their judgment of his most Christian Majesty's affairs until it be heard how they proceed, as before the end of this month our matters will be in a different state to that in which they are represented at the Court of King Philip, where it is said publicly that his Majesty here (questa Maestà) has neither money, nor troops, nor commanders; but they will perhaps find themselves mistaken, and should they not do something of importance before our army is in being, they will possibly find more impediments than they expect; but in case they succeed, I shall nevertheless endeavour to repair the damage as well as I can.” I replied that any auspicious event happening to his Majesty would always be hailed by your Serenity with satisfaction. I then made the statement about restitution of Venetian merchandise, in accordance with your Serenity's last letter, and repeated it when introduced to the King, who, without allowing me to finish speaking, said, “Lord Ambassador, I am accustomed to speak freely with you, and thus will I do at present, though with others I should perhaps do otherwise. I told you heretofore that this prize (presa) does not belong to me but to my subjects, to whom I cannot deny justice, most especially in these present times. Assure the Signory that in whatever appertains to me I will always gratify them as much as they can desire, but in this nothing more can be done.” The King also said that the council had determined thus, and that nothing more could be done.
I communicated to him the news-letters from Constantinople. He then told me that the Constable would depart one of these days to marshal the army, and that his 30 German companies (insegue) were at Tigni (sic), a place near Mezieres, and the French troops were still marching in that direction, they being 60 regiments (bande), with about 16,000 infantry, and the cavalry was marching in like manner, so that about the 25th of the present month they would all be ready; and that although the Spaniards still continued adding to their numbers, he nevertheless 'did not think they would in fact be so many as reported, and most especially with regard to the English, of whom as yet only a very small number had crossed the Channel. I asked if his Majesty would go to the army. He said, laughing, “I do not know; I wish to go thither, but these attendants of mine (questi mei) endeavour to persuade me to the contrary, but my arms and horses are in order, together with all the other requisites. According to opportunity I shall do as God may inspire me. King Philip causes it to be reported that he will take the field, but I do not expect him to do so at this commencement. We shall wait to see how things go.” He then added, “What think you, Lord Ambassador, of the King of Spain's having after all tricked the Pope (ha pur burlato il Papa), having kept him in hope of giving the Duke of Paliano Sienna, and bestowing it on the Duke of Florence? I asked his Majesty if he had received advice that the thing was quite settled. He said, “Yes, for certain, and I very well know the agreement. The King gives Sienna, with the citadel and all the rest of that state, to the Duke of Florence, except Orbitello and Port Hercule, which will remain in his hands; and he, on the other hand, makes him give the Lord of Piombino the whole of his state, except Porto Ferraro and a circuit of two miles of territory, which remains in the Duke's hands, he in return promising to assist the King with 4,000 infantry and 400 horse to combat any league formed in Italy against him; and, to explain this point to you better, he is not bound to send these troops elsewhere than against the forces of the leagues, as, for instance, in Piedmont, where the whole cost is defrayed with my money alone; in acknowledgment for which King Philip promises him 4,000 foot, 200 men-at-arms, and 300 light cavalry for the defence of his state.”
His Majesty then added, “The Pope is of good cheer, and expecting Marshal Strozzi, who will soon arrive, and the Duke de Guise is also awaiting the orders which I have already sent him.” I said to his Majesty that it was nevertheless heard that something continued to be said about peace between his Majesty and the King of Spain. He replied, “It is always rumoured, but nothing is ever concluded,” adding that he supposed I had heard of the state in which the Marquis of Pescara finds himself, in a very narrow pass, out of which he has only two exits, the one by Le Langhe (sic), a mountainous territory and very arduous (difficile), the other by way of Asti, which were he to attempt he would have to give battle, so some result will soon be heard.” In conclusion he said that after the capture of Pienza in Tuscany, Montluc had provisioned for at least two years the fortresses entrusted to him.
The Constable has confessed and communicated, and will depart in three or four days. The enemy's plan of the campaign not being yet known, they are therefore compelled to remain undecided here likewise, but I will not omit to mention, on good authority, that in the field the French troops will exceed 20,000 infantry, with about 7,000 horse, viz., 1,500 men-at-arms, 2,200 mounted boumen (arcieri), some 2,000 light horse, and 600 “Feraroli,” and the rest will consist of the King's household and other gentlemen. The garrisons in all the fortresses have been reinforced, orders being given to withdraw all the provisions from the places near the frontiers, and to place what remains in the rest of the territory in the fortresses, so that should the enemy invade the kingdom they may be unable to find victuals there. The Constable purposes mustering the said troops (as written by me) at Mont Cornet and the neighbouring places between Laon and Mezieres, which territory being on the borders between Champagne and Picardy, his Excellency intends to push forward in such direction as he shall know to be necessary. Should the enemy lay siege to any fortress, his Excellency, with the army, will take up a position distant six or eight leagues from them, to intercept their victuals and other supplies, with the intention of not fighting, but remaining merely on the defensive, and retreating at the same distance in such direction as the enemy may apparently have in view, according to what he shall deem most to his advantage.
It is not believed that the most Christian King will join the army, from its inferiority of force to that of the enemy, but should the King of England go, as is anticipated, it seems that his most Christian Majesty will with very great difficulty comply with the wishes of these Lords (questi signori), who even in that case exhort him not to go; but a person of quality has told me that unless the enemy's forces outnumber those of the French by more than 10,000 infantry, and if the King of England be in the field, it will by no means be possible to prevent his most Christian Majesty from doing the like. Everybody seems to have a very great wish for some agreement, and it is spoken of largely even by persons the most exalted (anche dalli maggiori largamente), it being said that the need on both sides is such that should they delay during the whole of the remainder of this summer, at the commencement of the winter, should no one else be found to interfere, the Princes will have to mediate between themselves. I have been told by a person of importance, that in pursuance of his constant wish to bring his most Christian Majesty to some agreement, he is going to the army with the intention of not losing such opportunities as may present themselves to that effect, which your Serenity will keep secret. As all the powers except your Serenity seem interested parties, and therefore unqualified to interfere (intromettersi) with this negotiation, it is said publicly at the Court that you (Lei) would be the best medium.
Some while ago I wrote that Cardinal Tournon was treating to enlist the Duke of Urbino in the most Christian King's service, and subsequently the negotiation advanced so far that here it is considered settled, his Majesty having given full power to Cardinal Tournon to adjust such differences as remain. The convention is supposed to purport that the King takes him and his state under his protection, giving him 12,000 crowns salary (provisione), pay for 100 men-at-arms, and a certain subsidy to complete the fortification of Sinigaglia, and that his Majesty will make him a knight of the Order (of St. Michael). I understand that here they hold this conclusion in great account, by reason of the accommodation derivable by the King from the duchy of Urbino for the possible attack (la impresa che si potesse far) either on Naples or Tuscany.
A gentleman of the territory of Lyons (del paese di Lion), by name M. de Mions (sic), by means of an understanding with some of the inhabitants of that city, and through assistance promised him from the “Franche Comté,” (fn. 4) had plotted (dissegnava) to give Lyons to the King of Spain, having already assembled in his house, two leagues thence, several accomplices and a large supply of arms; and, through secret intelligence with the warder of one of the gates, he intended on the day of the next fair to introduce a certain number of troops in the garb of merchants, and during that confusion to make himself master of the said gate, which is a very strong one, and that after keeping it four days, as he hoped to do, he should be reinforced by 4,000 infantry from the “Franche Comté” as aforesaid; but having been discovered, he made his escape, and some of his accomplices having been arrested, they, by the King's order, will be hanged, and the house of the said principal razed to its foundation.
Compiegne, 19th July 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 20. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 969. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday evening, Placido and the Florentine courier returned from the Duke of Alva, and on Monday he conferred with Cardinal Caraffa, with the Cardinal Camerlengo, and with the ambassador from Florence. From their report it is heard that the Duke of Alva is in a castle two miles from Ascoli, which castle he had determined to raze. That they departed on Thursday evening, on the morning of which day they saw the army decamp; it numbered eight ensigns (insegne) of Germans, and seven of Spaniards, with three standards (standardi) of men-at-arms, which the Duke was sending to Marc' Antonio Colonna, having more horse and foot than he required either for the safe custody of the kingdom of Naples or for the invasion of the March of Ancona. They say that the Duke perseveres in his wish to make terms with the Pope in such form as discussed by him and Cardinal Caraffa on the island of Porto, but that he will not listen to a word about truce or suspension of hostilities. The Cardinal “Camerlengo” has told a person in his confidence, that Cardinal Caraffa sent him a memorandum (una poliza) which he said contained what had been mooted on the island for consideration (quanto era stato ragionato nell' Isola d'avviso), but that he Caraffa had lost the paper (la poliza) containing the terms on which the Duke of Alva would make peace, which memorandum (la qual poliza) the Duke of Alva found to differ in many important parts from the one he has in the handwriting of said Cardinal Caraffa; so not having the autograph with him he delayed this despatch for five days, as he had to send to Naples for the document, a copy of which he now transmits, saying that he remains firm in his purpose to grant those conditions, and that should it be chosen not to accept them, there was no occasion to toil any farther by sending here and there; as if they did not adhere to what they had promised, and put to writing, he knew not what more to say nor to believe. When the confident of the Cardinal “Camerlengo” (who repeated it to me) asked him about Paliano and the securities, which are the most important articles, he replied that the Duke chooses to have Paliano in his hands for a certain time, or else [that a confidant (un confidente) be placed in it, and with regard to security they will be agreed, provided the Pope dismiss the French and withdraw from the League.
The Florentine ambassador told my secretary subsequently, that when speaking with Cardinal Caraffa about this memorandum (questa polizza) he did not deny its being his holograph (di sua mano), but he says that it has neither date non signature, implying that it is not authentic; and that he prayed him to despatch the courier immediately to Florence, as he did on that very day at 4 p.m. The ambassador says that the Duke of Alva wrote nothing else to him, save that in his letters to the Duke of Florence, he gives account of the whole fact, and that he (Ricasoli) thinks he sent him the copy of the Cardinal's holograph memorandum, which his Duke having seen, and as the Caraffas do not choose to observe what they have once promised, he (Ricasoli) is of opinion that Duke Cosmo will send orders that if they will not keep their promise, Ricasoli is no longer to mediate, and that the Duke of Florence will write to the Duke of Alva to do what profits him.
Yesterday at 1 p.m., the Switzers made their entry into Rome through St. Peter's gate, the Pope having chosen to see and to bless them, and therefore had his dinner prepared in Belvedere, so that from a window overlooking the meadows through which they passed he saw them and blessed them. On that day and some days previously he greatly commended the Switzer nation for fidelity and valour, calling them “Angels sent by God to defend His cause,” saying that before the reign of Julius II., the Popes formed their body guard of Italians, but having experienced the fidelity of the Switzers, they thenceforth placed themselves in their hands; and that he himself, had he to form a household (a far famiglia), would have none but Switzers in his service, even as chamberlains. He sent refreshments for them to Ponte Molle, and also his guard of horse and foot and six pieces of artillery, and on passing the Castle the ten ensigns were saluted with discharges of cannon. These troops do not amount to 2,000, they are all armed with pikes and swords, without corslets or sallets, and lodging was assigned them in the quarter “del Populo.” To-day the Pope had a mass of the Holy Spirit celebrated, after which he knighted their colonel, and gave a gold chain of no great value to each of his 11 captains.
As told me to-day in chapel by Marquis Montebello and Giulio Orsini they will go to-morrow morning with these Switzers and the rest of the Roman cavalry and infantry to succour Paliano.
Rome, 20th July 1557.


  • 1. Carton (see Père Daniel, vol. 9, p. 886), one of the prisoners at the rout of St. Quentin, 10th August.
  • 2. Don Sebastian, born 20th January 1554. (See L'Art de Vérifier les Dates.)
  • 3. For details of this embassy, see Cardinal Bembo, “Della Istoria Viniziana” (vol. 2, p. 95. Ed. Vinegia, 1770).
  • 4. Franche Comté, successively part of the kingdom and duchy of Burgundy and the kingdom of France, was given to Philip II. of Spain as the dowry of Isabella of France, whom he married in 1559. It was conquered and retained by Louis XIV. in 1674. (See Haydn's Dictionary of Dates.)