Venice: July 1557, 21-31

Pages 1226-1237

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, 21–30

July 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 970. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the very day when I wrote my last of the 19th to your Serenity there came hither to the Court M. de Vandemont, (fn. 1) the uncle of the Duke of Lorraine, he having come chiefly to pay his respects to the King as usual, having been to the English Court to visit King Philip and to accompany the Duchess his sister-in-law. With this opportunity he informed his most Christian Majesty that he found the King of England very well inclined to treat some agreememt, and should the King of France be of the same mind M. de Vaudemont said he would not fail to repeat such offices as performed by him heretofore. He was answered in general terms, evincing good will and inclination towards the agreement should it be possible to conclude it on fair terms; but from what I have heard Vaudemont's office having been very general, and merely with a view to ascertain his most Christian Majesty's mind, he is in doubt whether or not to continue the negotiation, which although earnestly desired here seems very difficult because King Philip being strongly armed (gagliardamente armata), it is thought that he will choose first of all to try how far his good fortune will favour him. The like may also be said of King Henry, who shows that having no fear of being unable at least to defend himself securely, he will not condescend to terms diminishing his repute, but when these first ebullitions shall have subsided everybody hopes that at any rate matters will be adjusted. M. de Vaudemont then told his most Christian Majesty that in the event of the troops of the King of England choosing to pass through the Duchy of Lorraine he could not prevent them from doing so, and that indeed choosing to presevere in his neutrality, he must needs accommodate them with victuals and such other things as they shall ask of him, in like manner as he did by the German soldiery of his most Christian Majesty who passed through the said territory, complaining of them greatly because on their passage they committed many thefts and other atrocious damages; that besides this I also understand him to have informed the King that should this passage of the aforesaid troops take place he is somewhat apprehensive lest they seize some of the fortresses in Lorraine, which he, relying on his neutrality, has hitherto not kept so well garrisoned and provisioned as requisite; and with this he took leave and will depart for his government.
Yesterday the Constable departed, being accompanied by the Marechal de St. Andrá (fn. 2) and almost all the rest of the Court, and as the King has given it to be understood that he chooses all his servants to go to the war, scarcely anyone will dare to appear at the Court. His Excellency is going straight to Lan [Laon ?] where he will remain to give such orders as he shall think necessary for the immediate incorporation of the army, taking a good part of the veteran soldiers out of the fortresses and substituting recruits, so as to strengthen it. Having heard that the forces of the King of Spain are mustering in two directions, one between Mons and Valenciennes, and the other at Namur, his Excellency in like manner will determine about his troops according to circumstances and as shall be most opportune. On the morning of his Excellency's departure my secretary went again in my name to take leave of him.
Three days ago a courier arrived from Rome, despatched by Cardinal Caraffa to Marshal Strozzi, who having already departed hence, the Nuncio acquainted his most Christian Majesty with the stir made so near Rome by the Lord Marc' Antonio Colonna, and again laying before the King the need in which the Pope finds himself, prayed him in his Holiness' name to continue succouring him; all which having been already settled as written by me, no further confirmation of the King's good will was needed. By the Pope's order Cardinal Caraffa also wrote to the said Nuncio, by name Cesare Brancazzo, a Neapolitan, late governor of Rome, to take leave of the King immediately and to return post haste to Rome where his Holiness requires his personal services for some very important negotiation (maneggio); so after taking leave of his Majesty and receiving a present of 1,000 crowns, he departed postwise, the King and the whole Court having the best possible opinion of him, both as a most prudent minister and as a right honourable gentleman. He will be succeeded by the Bishop of Fermo.
The Bishop of Aix [Acqs], (fn. 3) who has been appointed by his most Christian Majesty ambassador to your Serenity, will depart in a week on his way to you by day journeys, and from what I have heard he will not be charged with the management of the money matters as the Bishop of Lodève was.
The merchants here have received letters dated Valladolid the 1st instant, informing them that the assignments made heretofore by the King of Spain to the merchants for payment in three years of seven millions of gold, for which he is their debtor, have all been retracted (levati), without appointing them any prorogation of time; of the which sum four millions belong to the Genoese, one to the Fuggers, and two to divers other merchants. They also write that the King of Portugal had agreed to pay two millions of gold, due from him to the merchants, within the three next years, and that he had given them the assignments.
Compiegne, 23rd July 1557.
This letter being detained until the 25th, the Court having hitherto delayed the despatch of the aforesaid courier, I now announce the departure of M. de Vaudemont. The King of Navarre has in like manner departed and returns to his State, with orders to survey the frontiers of his government of Gascony, and to provide them with whatever shall be necessary both towards the sea and on the confines of Spain.
The Constable will arrive at Laon to-day and will enforce the orders already given for the retirement into the fortresses of all the victuals and everything else. It is not believed that the whole of the army can be embodied until about the 8th of next month.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 971. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip to the Doge and Senate.
The King will not depart hence until the 27th or 28th, and in the meanwhile what I have about the army is as follows. There are with the Duke of Savoy from 13,000 to 14,000 infantry, 3,000 men-at-arms, and 1,500 light cavalry and mounted harquebusiers. The infantry consist of veteran Spaniards, some 3,500 who were in Hesdin, 15 ensigns of Walloons under the Count de Meghen, 20 ensigns of Germans, one half under Lazarus Schwendy, the other half under George Van Holt, both good colonels. The ordinary men-at-arms of this territory are under the command of M. de Benincourt, the light infantry and harquebusiers having the Count d'Egmont for their general. (fn. 4)
The Duke of Savoy is now with these troops in the direction of Marienburg; it is not get known for certain whether he will attack Rocroy or same other place, Rocroy being that fortress which the French erected to succour Marienburg, it having been heretofore a church with a lower, to which they added certain flanks of earthwork, with a good moat. It is situated in a wood, where it would be difficult to encamp, and it is rather to the left, between Marienburg and Mezieres, viz., to the westward, and, being a small place, it is not engraved on the maps.
Such is the present march of the Duke of Savoy, but the most serene King will proceed to Valenciennes, and remain there three or four days, the States having to assemble there to give the further orders required for the due procisions. During this interval the rest of the army is now living at discretion round Mastricht, with such discontent to the poor people as intelligible to any one, and so great is the inexperience of these ministers that, although they have the money ready, they nevertheless do not give the troops their pay. This commander of the army is said to number from 50 to 60 ensigns of infantry, including Germans, “High” and “Low,” and Frieslanders, and from 6,000 to 7,000 cavalry, one half Blacksmiths (Ferraruoli), but the truth will be better amount to from 20,000 to 22,000 infantry, including Germans and Walloons, 6,000 to 7,000 Spaniards, together with the recruits who arrived lately on board the fleet, and some 12,000 cavalry, of which one third are Blacksmiths. Besides these there are the English troops, which do not exceed 5,000 infantry, nor have they yet orders to leave the environs of Calais. Thus there are three army corps (3 membri), each turned in different directions, so that no opinion can be formed as to where the blow will be struck.
The King sent me word to-day that we ambassadors are to remain here, where the Council of Justice also remains, and that his Majesty does this for our greater convenience. This resolve has been caused by two things, the one the request of the Florentine ambassador to be spared this toil, the other the dislike of al these Lords (as was the case heretofore with the Emperor) to have persons near them who see and write what they are doing. I shall request the King's permission for me to join the army.
Brussels, 23rd July 1557.
[Italian, in cipher; deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 24. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 972. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
On Thursday night the ambassador from Florence had a courier from his Duke, in reply to his last, sent with the despatch from the Duke of Alva; so my secretary being indisposed I sent my coadjutor to him for authentic intelligence. He said he went yesterday to Cardinal Caraffa and let him know that his Duke writes, that having mediated for this peace he will continue doing so, provided the Pope will now conclude it, but should he this time detach himself (ma se questa volta la si stacea) his Excellency will no longer interfere in the matter, but attend to his own interests, King Philip and his ministers doing the like, they seeing that they have hitherto obtained nothing but words. The Cardinal replied that he would confer with the Pope, and to-day he gave him the answer, couched in general terms, expressing a desire for peace, all his endeavours failing to obtain any farther decision.
The Pope's forces, horse and foot, with succour for Paliano, marched out of Rome on Thursday at 7 p.m., with eight field pieces, Marquis Montebello being captain-general of the expedition.
Letters from Monte Alcino announce the entry into Sienna last Monday of the troops of the Duke of Florence, and that the Cardinal of Burgos had proceeded towards his see by way of Milan, carrying with him the arm of St. John the Baptist, hitherto preserved at Sienna; this the Duke will not suffer, and will do everything to make him restore it.
His Excellency has written to M. de Montluc that he has always observed the truce, and that now that he has obtained Sienna he shall continue to do so, provided it be not broken by the French. M. de Montluc answered him, that he is of the same mind about observing the truce, but that as it was heretofore broken by those who ruled Sienna he could not do so of his own accord, but must write to the French Ambassador and to M. de Guise in the March of Ancona; and as the French troops had made certain plunder at the Certosa, distant about one mile from Sienna, and at another place called Rosia, also distant six miles thence, were it not restored to his soldiers, he could not fail to do justice to his “subjects;” which plunder of animals, &c., Montluc had restored. The person who gives me this intelligence says that at Montalcino, when this word “subjects” was heard, not a man in the place could refrain from tears. The French Ambassador says that all he knows about these matters is that the Duke of Florence has obtained possession of Sienna without paying any money, and that great rejoicings had been made there.
On the day I wrote my last the Pope, when at dinner, in the presence of all the bystanders, said that those persons who believed that a pontiff would make peace receiving its conditions from others deceived themselves; that to him, as to the Vicar of God (come a Vicario di Dio), it appertained to impose them on all princes, and trample them under foot (et haverli sotto piedi); and when talking in private with a certain cardinal who is much attached to your Serenity, the Pope said to him, “These people (questi) really believed that we would make peace without the Cardinal and our most obedient son the King of France, who has done so much for us; they deceived themselves, and we laughed at this their opinion; it was always our intention to make a general peace, and arm in arm with the King.”
Yesterday the Abbate di Jesis, a distant relation of the Pope's, was hanged in the bridge (in ponte), these Lords having discovered that, thinking thus to ingratiate himself with them, he falsely accused several persons of plotting with the Duke of Alva to poison his Holiness and Cardinal Caraffa.
The Pope did not give audience either yesterday or to-day, being somewhat indisposed from loss of appetite and a catarrhal affection, notwithstanding which he always dined in public, though to say the truth he ate little and loathed whatever was presented to him. On Thursday, the day appointed for the Inquisition, which he never misses by any accident, after keeping the cardinals and other persons appointed waiting till 6 p.m., he made his appearance, apologizing on account of his age, and because he had need of repose, as he felt rather unwell, and thus dismissed them. Then this morning I hear that he ate of everything, and almost as much as usual. At the Vatican they say he has ordered his house steward to prepare as well as he can certain little rooms (stansiette) at Monte Cavallo, where he formerly resided with his Theatins, (fn. 5) as he wishes to stay there for a few days in retirement, with three or four of his chamberlains and his guards, but a variety of accidents may impede or alter these projects.
Rome, 24th July 1557.
July 24. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 973. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Chiefs of the Council of Ten.
The Cardinal who told me what the Pope had said to him, as written in the public letters, is Cardinal Pisani.
I am now sending to your most excellent Lordships the copy of the consistorial schedule (cedola), (fn. 6) alluded to in my last, in which, to say the truth, there is no mention whatever of the “accesso” of the reverend Priuli.
Rome, 24th July 1557.
July 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 974. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
I had a long conversation with the King to-day about divers matters. I said that although I saw his Majesty in arms, remembering, nevertheless, what he had always told me about being intent on peace, I wished to know what might be hoped about it. His Majesty replied that the courier from Rome had already arrived, bringing the worst possible news of the Pope's disposition (animo), and narrated many things written by me heretofore, expatiating on the recall of Cardinal Pole, and those other matters, from which his Majesty inferred extreme ill will towards him on the part of the Pope. He then added that, notwithstanding all this, his Majesty on his part will not fail performing every office to attain the desired end, and showing himself the Pope's obedient son, though he will not say, as desired by his Holiness, that he has been against the Church, as it is unbecoming, and he would be telling a lie (et diria la buggia). I said I would hope that the Pope might not be so averse to peace as he makes it appear, and if, as said by his Majesty, the Pope did every act of enmity to compel him to wage war, so should he perform every act of friendship to induce his Holiness to make peace.
His Majesty rejoined, that the Pope had been sounded (tentato) by your Serenity and by the Duke of Florence, and by many others, and gave no indication of inclining towards peace, having always made demonstrations to the contrary; notwithstanding which, his Majesty would try to conquer him (voleva veder di vincerlo), and that remembering what I had already said to him, that he should send an envoy to his Holiness for this purpose, he thenceforth had it in his mind to do so; but partly from what he said to me at the time, and in part from subsequent press of business, he had been unable to attend to this, but that he would not depart hence without deciding.
I prayed him to elect such a person as would warrant hope of an auspicious result. He said that he would decide this evening or to-morrow, and would appoint Vargas, his ambassador with your Serenity, and a discreet and prudent person, and that he will give him orders to move to Florence, and then regulate his proceedings according to those of the Duke with his Holiness. All he required was, to be secure of his kingdom of Naples, concerning which he dilated much.
I said that no greater security than was already in his hands could be wished for. He rejoined, “What is it?” I said, “Your Majesty's power, which having been so superior during open war to that of those who sought to offend you in that quarter, I know not have there can be apprehension in time of peace.” If this security is demanded on account of Paliano, I understand there are many places of the Church of greater importance for the kingdom of Naples than that fortress.
It seems to me so much has been obtained from this side that more could not be expected, and the person appointed as envoy is most suited to the purpose, by reason of his parts (le conditioni sue), and your Serenity will be able to give him insurrections.
Brussels, 25th July 1557.
[Italian, in cipher; deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. (2nd letter.) 975. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
When conversing with the King I told his Majesty what had been communicated to me by his order about remaining in this place, and prayed him to leave me at liberty to follow the army, but I could not change his Majesty's mind. I said the necessity might arise for me to be with him on business, and asked what I was to do in that case. He replied that I might send one of my attendants, according to circumstances, and if the matter was, of importance, requiring me to go in person, he left me at liberty to do so.
The putting to sea of the Turkish fleet causes great alarm here. A letter from the Duke of Ferrara arrived yesterday for transmission to the Duke of Savoy, one of whose servants says it relates to the peace. It is not get settled who is to replace the Cardinal of Trent at Milan, he having been dismissed, as written by me lately; but the choice will be made, and a considerable sum of money will be sent hence postwise into the Milanese to provide for the need there, the funds being derived from the money destined for the war here, as in the meanwhile Don Ruy Gomez will arrive with a considerable sum from Spain, raised on the produce of the Indies.
I forgot to annuonce the depth of the Archbishop of Toledo.
Brussels, 25th July 1557.
[Italian, in cipher; deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 28. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 976. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
This morning, at 10 a.m., a courier arrived here from the Pope's camp which went to succour Paliano, with news that Marquis Montebello, finding himself unable to succour Paliano, the enemy having been reinforced by the Spanish and German cavalry, he retreated, and in the act of doing so was routed. Owing to this most important feat, Paliano and Veletri may be considered as lost, and Rome is placed in very great danger, as there is no one here to defend it, nor has any distressed city in the world a more disaffected population, as, besides what it has suffered hitherto, Cardinal Caraffa has given the Romans to understand that as they do not disburse the 130,000 crowns promised by them, in lieu of the one per cent., they must prepare to pay this last tax, as they will have to do with the Exchequer (perchè haveranno da fare col Camerario).
Yesterday the Pope gave public audience, but remained only a short while, many persons being of opinion that, having heard of the general report of his indisposition, he chose to show himself. Cardinal Caraffa likewise has been unwell during the last two days, but it is said that his illness is slight and that he got up to-day.
The Florentine ambassador [Ricasoli] told my secretary that the day before Cardinal Caraffa took to his bed he discussed the affair of the peace with him, and that they agreed about all the articles except that of the securities, which he settled yesterday with Cardinal Vitelli, being unable to see Cardinal Caraffa owing to his indisposition. Cardinal Vitelli was to have given the reply to-day, but this evening he sent to request him to delay the despatch of the courier until to-morrow.
In the course of his conversation with Ricasoli my secretary adroitly elicited from him the substance of the articles, thus:—The Pope to renounce his league with the King of France, and to send notice of this to the Duke de Guise, dismissing him at the same time, so that he may return home, evacuating all the papal fortresses. This being done, the Duke of Alva to restore all the towns occupied by him in the Papal States to his Holiness, and not to speak of reinstating Marc' Antonio Colonna, nor others, but to leave the Pope at liberty to judge his own subjects. With regard to the prisoners in the Castle, the ambassador says that no difficulty is made about the release of King Philip's subjects, merciful judgment to be passed on the others who remain. That, as security for one side and the other, the Duke of Alva is to send one of his sons to Rome, and the Pope will send Cardinal Caraffa or the Duke of Paliano either to Naples or to Florence. Ricasoli added that all these things were promised by him three months ago, when he fashioned them with his Duke, and the Duke with the Duke of Alva and with King Philip, and received the order accordingly. The ambassador also said that by his next letters from Florence he expects to hear that the Duke has received the full power from King Philip to enable him to conclude, and he also told Cardinal Vitelli that if, besides the Duke's signature, he wishes for that of the King, he will pledge himself to have it sent; saying in conclusion, “I have bound them to say of necessity either yes or no, for delay will be considered no. I know not what they will do; it seems well to me that every satisfaction should be given, and that, peace not being made, the whole world may see clearly who fails to do so. Besides which, they are in such need that greater cannot be imagined, nor does their condition leave them sufficient time to await the coming of Strozzi, for they must take care to decide speedily, as should they have the bad luck to lose Paliano, these articles now under consideration would be null, and the Duke of Alva would speak in another form.” He then said, as a great secret, “The making these numerous concessions to the Pope, to tell it you as it stands, proceeds from the approval by my Duke and by King Philip of a reason written by me to them some months ago, that they should not insist on punctilios with the Pope, as everything depended on detaching him from the French, which, if effected, they would be rendered so distrustful of each other as never again to be reconciled, these Lords being compelled eventually to throw themselves into the arms of King Philip and do what his Majesty chooses, being unable of themselves, after the Pope's death, to defend either the Duchy of Paliano or the Marquisate of Montebello when deprived of French support, it being credible that a future Pope would neither wage war for them, nor perhaps permit them even to hold those states, so that they will have to pray King Philip as a favour to dispose of them, making some compensation to their present holders, as they will perhaps do during the present Pope's life;” Ricasoli being of opinion that this restless old man (questo vecchio inquieto) will become the enemy of the French, it not seeming to him possible that his humour (cevvello) can adapt itself to neutrality.
When in the act of despatching this letter, Spina, the secretary of Cardinal Caraffa, came to tell me in his Lordship's name that an imperial trumpet had just arrived to let him know that Giulio Orsini was alive, but badly wounded in the thigh by a harquebuse shot, and that he had therefore ordered Maestro Realdo to go immediately to attend him.
Rome, 28th July 1557.
July 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 977. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the very day when I wrote my last of the 25th, the troops of the King of Spain, said to be in number about 30,000 infantry and 10,000 horse, willed (volsero) to approach the new fortress of Rocroy, as it was expected here for certain that they would on their first entry [into the French territory]. Some of them having advanced to reconnoitre it, the garrison, in number 2,000 infantry and some 500 horse, went out, and before the enemy got near had a sharp skirmish, killing 50 of them, so that they retreated without reconnoitring the fortress, and returning into it with the loss of one single foot soldier. After this the whole army retreated a distance of two leagues into their own territory to a place called Himes, (fn. 7) three leagues from Marienburg. Rocroy is situated in the Ardenne forest with no more open country round it than is within range of a cannonsshot, and by the Constable's order its construction was commenced on Ash Wednesday in this present year, since when the works have been continued with great asiduity, his Excellency not having failed to furnish every sort of supply so as to render it a fortress as soon as possible, which hitherto it has been impossible to effect so completely as to render it secure, and consequently on hearing of the enemy's approach there was great fear of their taking it. The chief hope was derived from the difficulty about water, which has to be brought from a place five miles off, and by reason of this difficulty it was considered certain that unless the fortress surrendered in two or three days the enemy would raise the siege. The erection of Rocroy was to facilitate the victualling of Marienburg, which could not be accomplished last year without a very considerable escort, and were Rocroy lost, Marienburg, remaining isolated, would certainly fall likewise, the enemy being thus enabled without any opposition to come to Rheims and ravage a great part of Champagne. Nor has this apprehension yet ceased, it not being known what the enemy purpose doing, although the Constable, who was yesterday at Notre Dame de Liesse, a place near Laon, wrote to the King to rest assured (che stia con sicurtà) by this commencement of retreat, as his Majesty's forces having taken heart he hopes that the enemy will be unable to do hereafter more than they have done hitherto.
His Excellency also writes that yesterday, at a place called “le Torre,” he inspected the German infantry, and that they are 10,000 fighting men, very fine troops, and that the French, both horse and foot, continue to arrive, so that they will soon be embodied, but in fact I do not hear that this can be done before about the 8th or 10th of next month. It is also understood that 5,000 English infantry and 1,000 horse have landed, and 1,000 sappers, nor are they without some suspicion that in the parts of Flanders towards Picardy the King of Spain will form another army corps.
At the Court it seems that well nigh no account at all is taken either of the affairs of Piedmont or of M. de Guise, although a brisk skirmish in the neighbourhood of Ascoli has been heard of, everybody's thoughts and words reverting, on the contrary, to this part of Picardy. They do not in any particular delay pecuniary supply or whatever else is needed, both because this is necessary on account of the Constable taking the field in person, and also because it seems that the other undertakings matter little when this one of harassing or invading the kingdom of France is being treated (si perchè così conviene essendovi la persona del Sigor Contestabile, come perchè pare che le altre imprese poco importino quando si tratta di questa di travagliare ovvero di invadere il Regno). There have been intercepted lately a great number of letters from Spain under a cover addressed to merchants at Lyons, beneath which cover was another addressed to merchants at Besancon, and on opening all the packets, letters were found from the Emperor to his most serene son, to whom he thereby writes his opinion about the mode of conducting (di maneggiar) this war, and I have been told that through this dissertation (discorso) it is acknowledged that his Câesarean Majesty is of as sound intellect as ever he was. This correspondence has also enlightened the King of France about many things to his advantage, and as he heard that in Spain there was some idea of sending troops towards Fonterabia, he therefore despatched the instructions mentioned in my last to the King of Navarre, who is in those parts. It is also heard by the said letters that the [Spanish] Council had retracted all the assignments given heretofore to the merchants (as written by me), which were thus pledged down to the year 1566, and that they would requite them for their credits [by mortgages ?] on estates and other property of the Spanish crown at the rate of three per cent.
The Duke of Paliano's son has arrived in Paris, and will come to the Court on the King's return from Offemont (sic), whither he departs to-morrow, to remain six or eight days; it is not yet decided whether he will return hither or go to Villers-cote-Retz.
Compiegne, 30th July 1557.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 31. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 978. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Marquis Montebello arrived here last Thursday at 7 p.m., and at 11 he was followed by the troops who went with him to succour Paliano. They are supposed to have made their entry by night, both because many of them are missing, and as those who remain most especially the Switzers are without arms, having merely their swords, and some of them being without that weapon, all of them in the flight having thrown down their pikes. The rout in substance was as follows: last Saturday at a very early hour the Papal forces arrived in the neighbourhood of Paliano, so that on that same day, after resting the army, they might have attempted to succour it, but they did nothing; on Sunday, Flaminio della Casa, the governor of Paliano, sent out a soldier to Marquis Montebello to tell him that the enemy had received reinforcements of horse and foot; on Monday morning the Marquis sent the ammunition, victuals, and artillery towards Segni, the army halting the whole of Monday; on Tuesday morning the cavalry company of Matteo Stendardo, which was on guard, discovered the enemy marching towards them in battle array with their artillery. When Giulio Orsini heard this he and some of his followers ascended a hill, and seeing it to be true, sent word to the Marquis, who rose from table where he was dining, and went in like manner to ascertain the fact. On his return he had the troops put in order of battle for their retreat. The enemy moved quickly, and some of their cavalry with a number of harquebusiers having crossed a stream (fn. 8) and commenced skirmishing, the Marquis made them recross the river by giving a charge, during which the infantry ought to have ascended the hill, but owing to confusion amongst the commanders, each of whom chose to give orders, he halted so long that the enemy came up, charging the rearguard and breaking through it; the Marquis' horse was wounded under him, and he chose to fight on foot (volse combattere a piè), but the troops took flight, and throwing away pikes and harquebuses ascended the hill to save themselves; the enemy occupied the road for retreat, which being perceived by the Marquis and the others, including Francesco da Vicenza, who gave me the foregoing particulars, they each seized a pike (of those thrown down by their own soldiers), opening the way by force and escaping, as otherwise they would have been killed or captured like Giulio Orsini, of whom no farther news has been received beyond what I wrote in my last, nor has Maestro Realdo, who was sent to dress his wound, yet returned. He also says that 400 of the best soldiers were killed, the good ones being those who fight. Having had this statement from a person who was on the spot, and who seems to me intelligent and experienced, I would not omit transmitting it to your Serenity.
It is said that Captain Flaminio della Casa, who is in Paliano, seeing that it could not be succoured, sent all the men and women out of the place to save the victuals for the soldiery.
On the day when the news of the rout arrived, the delegate from Bologna went to Cardinal Caraffa and offered him the 70,000 crowns demanded in lieu of the 1 per cent., with the understanding that the clergy contribute to it. The delegates acted thus, perceiving these Lords to be determined to obtain that sum, whilst on the other hand their letters from Bologna desired them to put an end to this imposition, as the Bolognese resenting the registry of their property were so irritated that the city had never been more so since the flight of the Bentivoglio family. (fn. 9)
Rome, 31st July 1557.


  • 1. Nicolas Comte de Vaudemont, guardian of his nephew Charles III., Duke of Lorraine.
  • 2. Jacques d'Albon. (See Foreign Calendar, Mary, Index.)
  • 3. François de Noailles. (See Foreign Calendar, “Mary,” Index.)
  • 4. For the correct orthography of the names, Meghen, Schwendy, Benincourt, and Egmont, I am indebted to the late Sir William Hackett's Index to the Foreign Calendar of Queen Mary's reign.
  • 5. After the death of Pope Adrian in September 1522, Gian Pietro Caraffa retired into solitude and lived with the Theatins. According to Panvinio (p. 684), he there resided “in una picciola stanza nè amena nè bella sotto il monte Pincio, e da ogni cura delle cose humane affatto si rimosse, et allontanò.”
  • 6. Not found.
  • 7. Han-sur-Somme? (See Foreign Calendar, Mary, Index.)
  • 8. Passage of the river Sacco. (See Busching's map of the Campagna di Roma.)
  • 9. Alluding to the expulsion by Pope Julius II., in the year 1506, of the Magnifico Giovanni, who was then the feudal lord of Bologna.