Venice: August 1555, 1-15

Pages 145-163

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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August 1555, 1–15

Aug. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 170. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Secretary Erasso, who was sent by the Emperor to England, writes to his Majesty that he found the King determined to go in person to Spain, and thinks that his chief chamberlain Don Ruy Gomez inclined him to this resolve, and well nigh established it, which, according to the Spaniards, greatly displeased his Majesty, and all the ministers, who, judging the matter impartially, consider it more for the dignity, honour, and need of both their Majesties' interests, that the Emperor should go to Spain, and the King come to reside in Flanders; the Bishop of Arras having said that by Erasso's next letters they will know the day of the King's departure on his way to the Emperor, and subsequently it will be decided which of the two goes to Spain.
Brussels, 1st August 1555.
Aug. 1. Lettere Capi Consiglio X., File No. 40. 171. The Chiefs of the Ten to the Signory's Governors of the Venetian Provinces, and their other Representatives.
Yesterday, they, with their Council of Ten, conceded a license to the within written English noblemen to carry arms for the next two months in Venice, and in all their towns and places. They therefore, by said Council's authority, charge all and each of their governors and representatives to observe with regard to them the Council's aforesaid concession.
The Earl of Bedford. Anthony Trulo.
Sir John Chichester. Thomas Fitzwilliam.
Thomas and Clement, their servants. Thomas Windham.
Mr. William Godolphin. Henry Kingismel (sic).
John Broke. John Morley.
Thomas Reyme. Thomas Trytson.
John Eustace. John Rugge.
Vigore partis.
August 2. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), vol. lxix. p. 136. 172. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Bailo at Constantinople.
Their last letters from England are dated the 9th ulto., nor down to that time had the Queen been delivered. The Bailo is to communicate these advice as usual.
Ayes, 191. Noes, 3. Neutral, 2.
Aug. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 173. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
By order of the Emperor, a servant of Lord Paget's, who came hither from France, and is a native of these provinces, has been arrested on suspicion of being a spy, passing himself off for an Englishman, speaking that language as fluently as his own and the French; and from a person capable of knowing it, I have heard that his Majesty not only no longer places that trust in Lord Paget which he used to have, but bears him great hatred, both because he has discovered that at the late conference he communicated beforehand to the French commissioners what the Imperialists told him in confidence they purposed proposing, as also because for a long while he wrote constantly to a friend of his at this court that the Queen was not really pregnant.
An intimate servant of Lord Courtenay's has been wounded mortally and premeditately by a Spaniard; and on two other occasions twelve other Spaniards having picked a quarrel with his Lordship's attendants, they were in one instance pursued to his own chamber, which pained him beyond measure; he having told a person in his confidence, that he is compelled to believe either that these Spaniards persecute his servants to avenge injuries received in England, or that they have perhaps had some order to raise such frequent disputes with his attendants, that he himself may at length encounter the misfortune which is wished him; adding, that he suspects these injuries will be repaid to upwards of a hundred Spaniards in England; nor would he demand justice either of Queen Maria or of the Bishop of Arras, saying that they cannot but know too well the effect which would be produced by the arrival there of such a report, the persons being not merely Englishmen but his own servants; and he departed for Louvain, saying he should remain some days for his pleasure, as not caring whether he had audience of the Emperor one week or another, he would have it on his return (perchè non importandoli haver l'audientia da Sua Maestà Cesa. più una settimana che l'altra l'haverà poi). The Bishop of Arras hearing of the circumstance, and being told how much Courtenay resented it, sent immediately to desire the person charged with the affairs of justice to investigate the matter, and report upon it to Queen Maria.
The Duke of Ferrara wrote a letter to the secretary whom he kept here before the arrival of the Ambassador, commissioning him to visit Lord Courtenay and to make him the greatest and most particular offers imaginable, inviting him to go and remain awhile in his territory on his passage into Italy.
The fleet of 18 sail from Portugal has arrived in Zealand, and besides bringing spices, sugar, wine, and other merchandise, it has about 100,000 crowns in money for private individuals.
Brussels, 4th August 1555.
Aug. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 174. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the departure of Don Ruy Gomez, their Majesties, three days ago, proceeded to the little village of Oatlands, four miles farther from London, (fn. 1) not merely to give opportunity for the cleansing of Hampton Court, where they have remained so long a while, and of which the place had very great need, but on another more important account, and perhaps a more necessary one, which, although no one dares to proclaim it, is nevertheless tacitly understood by everybody; and it will be well for the Doge to enjoin such secrecy on the subject as is due for many reasons.
The fact is, that the move has been made in order no longer to keep the people of England in suspense about this delivery, by the constant and public processions which were made, and by the Queen's remaining so many days in retirement, seriously to the prejudice of her subjects; as not only did she transact no business, but would scarcely allow herself to be seen by any but the ladies, who, in expectation of this childbirth, especially the gentlewomen and the chief female nobility, had flocked to the court from all parts of the kingdom in such very great number, all living at the cost of her Majesty, that with great difficulty could Hampton Court, although one of the largest palaces that can be seen here or elsewhere, contain them. At present by this change of residence an opportunity is afforded for dispensing with the processions without any scandal, and for the Queen to free herself from expense, by giving permission to the greater part of these ladies to return to their homes, under pretence of very limited accommodation; and by degrees her Majesty has resumed the audiences and replaced other matters in their former ancient state, the usual officials (I am told) resuming their service about her person, and the females being removed.
All this has been done in order that by this release (allar-gamento), without proceeding to any farther formal announcement, all persons may of themselves clearly comprehend that the hope of childbirth has so diminished that but little reliance can now be any longer placed on it, and that all must take patience (si aquieti), as has been the case with the chief personages here, and their Majesties' other intimates, who, as told me several days ago on high authority (da alto loco), perceiving not only that her Majesty's belly did not increase, but rather diminished, have come to the conclusion, although they have hitherto dissembled it, that the pregnancy will end in wind rather than anything else (sia più presto per convertirsi in vento che in altro), although it is said, for the sake of keeping the populace in hope, and consequently in check, and very judiciously asserted constantly by those most intimate with their Majesties, that the Queen is in her sixth or seventh month; but the result of this [rumour] likewise will soon be cleared up, as it is not a thing that can long be concealed.
The reported insurrections in the provinces, and which caused so much apprehension some days ago, their origin having subsequently been ascertained authentically, were found to be slight and unimportant, part having arisen from a great concourse of men at a grand periodical fair (un solenne mercato che ordinariamente si fa) held in Warwickshire? (nel paese di Arraschier) (sic), when, on account of the price of wheat, which had been raised extraordinarily by certain persons, who having a great supply wished to sell it in their own fashion, by reason of the backward season and the small hope of the present harvest, the summer being so rainy and cold, that the like is not remembered in the memory of man for the last 50 years, so that no sort of grain or corn ripens, and still less can it be reaped, a prognostic of scarcity yet greater than that of last year; so that in part from this, owing to the murmurs and complaints of the multitude, which were construed into rebellion, and partly from a report circulated in Cornwall and Devonshire that the most Serene Queen was dead, and that to deceive the people, as they said was done in the time of King Edward, they exhibited her effigy at the casement and not her real face; so having half rebelled (mezzo ammutinati), they said they would come towards the court to ascertain the fact. These disturbances were also caused in part by a gentleman, who, being on bad terms with his tenants, who had risen against him, and not knowing in what other way to suppress the outbreak, sent word to the court that they were in arms against the Queen; and the falsehood being discovered, he, together with eight others who originated the reports of the other unreal insurrections, were deservedly imprisoned, everything, thank God, remaining quiet and peaceable.
By the enclosed advice the Doge will see the progress of the Danish fleet, the document having been obtained by the ambassador, from an individual with whom he is very intimate, and one of the chief personages in England.
On the Queen's departure hence, (fn. 2) leave was given to “Miladi” Elizabeth to withdraw with all her attendants to a house distant three miles from her Majesty's; and on the Queen's expected return to Hampton Court in eight or ten days, it is supposed that said “Miladi” will not come back again, but either remain where she is, or go to another of her palaces (un altro suo palazzo), as she is completely free.
Richmond, 5th August 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 175. News-letter from a Member of the English Council of State to the Duke of Alva, concerning the Danish Fleet.
Although your Excellency will have heard about the Danish fleet from another quarter, I will, nevertheless, not omit telling you that King Christian armed 40 ships; on board of which, having embarked 3,000 infantry, he sent them towards the north-west, without its being known to any person whatever, not even to the commanders themselves of the fleet, what expedition it was intended to make, as he put into their hands the sealed commission, with orders not to open it until under sail towards the N.W.
The said fleet having made Scotland, the Queen there [Mary of Lorraine] being alarmed, commanded everybody throughout the kingdom to be prepared and in [marching] order, and sent soldiers (diverse gienti et soldati) to the most suspected places, and despatched a herald to the captain of said ships, inquiring whether he was come there as a friend or an enemy. He replied that he came as a friend, but was driven there by stress of weather; and he sent one of his gentlemen to visit her with a demand for some supplies (commodità) and victuals, &c., which were furnished him; and on setting sail the contrary winds drove him to the Orkney Isles, where he yet is; but it having been discovered that he was bound for the island of Walcheren, obtained by the Emperor, where by this time due provision will have been made, and the said fleet having lost much time, the expedition can no longer succeed.
London ? 5th August 1555.
Aug. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 176. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before their Majesties' departure from Hampton Court the Legate went again to the palace, not so much for the purpose of conferring with the Queen about the resolve formed together with her councillors concerning the restitution of the Church revenues held by the Crown, as in order to discuss the peace, Cardinal Pole having this question no less at heart for the general good of Christendom, than the restitution of the Church property for the individual benefit of England. Although unable to learn the precise point of the discussion, believes it to be the same as was subsequently debated to-day, when the Lords Commissioners came and dined [at Richmond] with his Right Reverend Lordship, who also invited the French Ambassador and his brother; and when they were all alone together, the said commissioners made no slight complaint, in the name of Queen Mary, about a writing published in France, and announced throughout the realm in the King's name to his rear-bands, whereby he exculpates himself, and shows that it was not his fault if the peace, negotiated at Calais, failed to take effect, as he on his part was willing to accept any terms, even less than fair; whereas on the other hand he accuses the Emperor and abuses him grossly (et gravemente lo incarica), laying all the blame on his obstinacy and harshness, with a view not only to render his Imperial Majesty more unpopular in his dominions, but to justify himself, and proce that he [King Henry] does not continue the war by choice, but from necessity. The mediators, therefore, having taken occasion from this proclamation, which they said was utterly at variance with the truth, expressed themselves moreover haughtily (altamente), making a semi-protest of rupture, unless, on resuming the negotiation, matters came to such a good end as due, all for the sake of rendering them [the French] more accommodating and tractable about the negotiation than they have been hitherto. Has been unable to hear what reply the ambassador made, still less the agreement come to between them, but it was finally settled to await the Emperor's commands, whether in case the business be continued here, he will send fresh commissioners or change those now here, to notify his pleasure to King Philip, the French having offered that in this matter his most Christian Majesty will abide by the Emperor's decision. Believes this to be the present state of the case, and at the latest, the decision will be known on the return of Don Ruy Gomez, when he (the ambassador) will transmit the most exact account he can of this and all the other events.
On the return of this personage it will also be known whether his Majesty's passage across the Channel is to take place now, or to be deferred until another time, many people being of opinion, and thus is it already said in public, that as the time draws nigh for the meeting of the Cortes of Castille and Aragon, for whose sessions, by reasons of the great toil and trouble to be endured there, the Emperor's presence is ill adapted, he being so feeble and indisposed as he is, King Philip himself may go thither, and shortly; it being, moreover, necessary to provide against many illegal proceedings, especially for this last in Aragon, which proceeded from the viceroy there, contrary to the statutes, having caused a man to be put to death on a charge of exporting and causing the exportation of horses from Spain to France, for the maintenance of which statutes the Doge knows how united and well disposed the Aragonese are, their entire liberty depending thereon; so it is no wonder they have risen at present, as they also did the like heretofore.
Should it, therefore, come to pass that on this or other accounts his Majesty should go to Spain, requests the Doge to tell him what he is to do, as he was desired by the Signory's despatches dated in December last to leave his secretary here, and to follow his Majesty, no other journey than that of Flanders or Italy being then spoken of.
Many days ago King Philip appointed Don Luis Vanega ambassador to the Kings of the Romans [Ferdinand] and of Bohemia [Maximilian], (fn. 3) to condole with them on the death of the Queen of Spain, but delayed his departure, hoping that he might convey the news of Queen Mary's delivery, and thus perform two errands in one journey; but will now defer no longer, and sent him off to-day.
Richmond, 6th August 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 7. MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 177. Cardinal Pole to Henry II., King of France.
By the King's letter and from the statement made in his name by the Prothonotary De Noailles, was informed that his Majesty has taken in good part the office performed by Pole at the congress, the prothonotary also giving assurance that his Majesty is well inclined towards the continuation of this negotiation, and will never reject any terms which he can accept with honour. Although Pole has heard this very willingly, nevertheless, considering how long a time it is since the King has always evinced the same desire, notwithstanding which Christendom finds itself not only not relieved from the many evils and troubles which accompany war, but yet more heavily burdened by them, he cannot but with great pain suppose this to be a judgment and punishment of Divine justice, nor can anything comfort him, save the belief that God having given the King, amongst the royal virtues, magnanimity and moderation, his Majesty will consent to their making the peace in such a way and on such conditions as may fitly be proposed to magnanimous Princes endowed with moderation, and that he will accept them. Is the more convinced that this is the will of God, as when pondering the particular difficulties of the peace, he does not see any one of them which may not be easily removed by the combination of these two virtues; a peace being thus made most glorious and advantageous to himself and to his kingdom, and one yielding greater comfort to all Christendom than any that has been stipulated since many centuries. In coming to the conclusion of this peace, mention is made of some restitution; Pole knows that this word may at first sight seem rather disagreeable, not conveying any idea either of that advantage or honour which all Princes generally anticipate on making peace after such successes as have been hitherto obtained by his Majesty; but the affairs of Christendom are now in such a state that by his making the proposed restitution in such a way as to effect the quiet of Italy, this so called restitution will in reality be a greater gain, honour, and profit, and contribute more to the security of France than any he could make by war, and by retaining that which all Italy universally wishes to have restored. As Pole does not know how it may please the King to give ear to this, he will merely add that his wish would be for him to have more honour than was ever had by Charlemagne, a King so renowned and glorious amongst the ancestors of his Majesty; and should he choose to regulate the treaty of peace in a form becoming a king of such moderation and magnanimity as he is, and as Charlemagne did in a case which was not dissimilar, it may be hoped for to his honour and praise, he simultaneously procuring for his kingdom great advantage and security; nor will Pole fail to pray for this, as he constantly does, that God may give him this supreme grace, offering his service for whatever may effect this end.
Richmond, 7th August 1555.
Aug. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 178. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Erasso has returned from England and informed the Emperor that the Queen, having scrupulously (studiosamente) discussed the affair of the peace with the gentleman sent by the most Christian King, could merely elicit that his King is well disposed towards the peace, and that it will take place should the Emperor accept the terms already proposed by the French Commissioners.
Erasso told the Emperor that King Philip had determined to send Ruy Gomez hither, to acquaint him with his desire (volontà) to go to Spain, and the necessity for it, and with the time and mode of his coming to the Emperor. A letter was sent for Don Ruy Gomez to the place where he had been detained by fever, and on his arrival here, by advice of the physicians he was blooded, notwithstanding which he went yesterday to the Emperor, and told him that according to the letters received by the King from Spain, he comprehends the necessity for one or the other of them to go thither; and with regard to the King's coming to Brussels, he said his Majesty desired it beyond measure to escape from the great and constant distress in which he found himself (per uscire delle grandi et continue afflitioni nelli quali si ritrovava), but that he was intent principally on two things; the one, to leave the Queen firmly convinced that he would always continue to love her most dearly, and come back shortly to remain with her, she showing that she would not consent to his departure, either mentally or verbally; the other, to devise means for returning without difficulty, so as not to have thrown away so much money, time, toil, and repute; suggesting also, that as Lord Courtenay had been made to come to Brussels, so should the Queen's sister, the Lady Elizabeth, be removed from England. The Emperor, on hearing these things, sent for Queen Maria, the Bishop of Arras, and M. de Praet, and after a consultation of three . . . . . . ., (fn. 4) the Emperor decided that the King was to come hither as soon as he can . . . (fn. 4) [convince?] the Queen of his speedy return, leaving her better satisfied that . . . . . (fn. 4) [he is to bring?] with him certain Englishmen suspected of illwill towards their Majesties . . . . . . (fn. 4) [and to endeavour?] to induce (per ridur) the Lady Elizabeth to come and reside with these Queens; (fn. 5) the whole to be effected cautiously, so as not to cause commotion. This resolve (la qual voluntà) of the Emperor will be communicated to King Philip by Secretary Erasso, and not by Don Ruy Gomez, who by reason of his indisposition could not make this journey without risking his life, but he has sent his secretary to tell the King this, and to give him account of what he has treated with the Emperor. No determination has yet been made about the going to Spain of one or other of their Majesties, and it is generally said that the King will go, being thus advised by the Flemings and Spaniards, with the exception of a few of either nation who blame this advice, and accuse all those who give it of doing so for their own private interest.
Lord Courtenay, having returned from Louvain, went immediately to visit Don Ruy Gomez, requesting he would obtain from King Philip leave for him to go and see Italy. Don Ruy Gomez replied that he expected His Majesty here in the course of the month, and that Courtenay would obtain everything possible from him, adding all sorts of loving language (ogni sorte di amorevoli parole). It has been told me by Don Juan Menzi (sic), a Spanish knight, that Lord Courtenay will be compelled either to accompany the King to Spain, or be sent in custody to Sicily, without giving any hint or notice of it, and that the like will befall the Lady Elizabeth as befell the Duke of Calabria, (fn. 6) whom they sent to Spain and allowed him to marry, when his children could cause the Emperor no trouble.
Lord Paget has written to the Bishop of Arras thanking him for his courtesy in giving him notice of the arrest of the individual from France who passed himself off for his servant, and as to the information required by the Bishop about him, affirms to his having been heretofore in his, Lord Paget's, service, and that he does not know him to have any other defect than immoderate love of wine, which injures his intellects; that should any mischievous design enter his head, he would have ability to execute it well, and he recommends him to the Bishop's justice, adding that, as a reward for his good . . . [service?], he gave him a letter of recommendation for M. de Vendôme, as he was going into Picardy on certain business of his own; so the Bishop, after causing him to be examined, ordered his release, it having merely transpired by the reply of M. de Vendôme that he had been desired by the King of France, on hearing of the certificate and recommendation, to do what was requested as a mark of his constant wish to oblige Lord Paget.
Brussels, 8th August 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 9. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 179. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal Morone.
Several months have elapsed since Pole has had letters from Morone, save of the sort which God is wont to write in works for the benefit of his servants, (fn. 7) as Morone has done by his labours for the service of England and their Majesties, who, from their ambassadors, and by what was written to Pole himself by his agent, have heard with much pleasure what he did in this matter, and retain a very grateful recollection of it, as Pole hopes Morone will know by facts when the opportunity presents itself. At present Pole is induced to write by two things of some importance; the one is, that though he had the Queen's promise about the free renunciation of the Church property upwards of four months ago, and her Majesty at the same time charged certain members of the Council, fearing God and of good conscience, to confer with Pole to give him sure information about the quality and quantity of this property, as he required, and this took place some months ago; yet, notwithstanding every entreaty, and a fresh command from their Majesties, it was impossible to obtain this renunciation in an authentic form until a week since, when, for many reasons which cannot well be written, he thought fit not to delay making the dispensation (la dispensa), and concluded it in such form as Morone will perceive by the accompanying copy, (fn. 8) together with a certain instruction containing the substance of the whole. Hopes the Pope will be satisfied with it, as a great acquisition has been made since his Holiness' confirmation of the late acts (cose passate), which dispensed (dispensara) in the form now adopted, and may be followed in other cases likewise, whereas had it been done in the form required by rigid justice (esatta giustitia), to which their Majesties never seem to make any opposition, not only would the form have been rejected in subsequent acts, but it would have been so disputed as to impede the execution, and any subsequent modification would have endangered what has been accomplished hitherto. This may be seen by what some members of the Council commenced attempting when they first heard of this free renunciation intended by their Majesties; they opposed it, saying that what by the consent of Parliament had been assigned to the Crown could not be renounced by the Queen without the Parliament's consent; but becoming acquainted with the moderation with which Pole purposed proceeding, they were pacified, and at length, after many difficulties which arose subsequently, the business was settled, as Morone will perceive by the information aforesaid.
The second thing which Pole has to tell Morone occurred after this settlement. The King warned him that some members of the Council had already commenced murmuring greatly about the revocatory bull (bolla revocatoria) (fn. 9) concerning the late alienations, &c., as if the things here were likewise comprised therein (come se in esse se comprehendesseno anco le cose quì), and that unless this suspicion were removed it might cause some great scandal, so it would be well for the matter to be kept secret, no one knowing it as yet save the Queen's secretary, who was the person who spoke about it to the King. His Majesty discussing the matter with Pole, in the presence of the Queen, she immediately rejoined that there was no occasion to trust to secrecy, but to apply a remedy; whereupon Pole answered that it had been already applied by Cardinal Morone, vice-protector [of England at Rome], who, perceiving the suspicion which might arise, had warned the Pope (although it is seen by the bull that his Holiness had not in view the things done in England) (le cose fatte quì), who, for the removal of any scruple, had ordered another bull to be drawn up, adapted to the affairs here in England, and that Pole was expecting it by the next courier from Rome. Should it not have been despatched, he requests Morone to send it forthwith, (fn. 10) and to pray the Pope to confirm this last dispensation given by Pole according to the desire of their Majesties, which being done, he hopes that thenceforth matters in England will proceed more quietly. Refers himself for the rest to the letters of Messer Gio. Francesco and of the Abbot of San Saluto.
Richmond, 9th August 1555.
Aug. 10. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 180. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal [Carlo] Caraffa.
In a former letter congratulated him on his being elected Cardinal, nor in rejoinder to his most gracious reply, dated 16th July, will he do more than return thanks for its loving expressions.
Caraffa's letter was accompanied by three briefs addressed to Pole by the Pope, and one for their Majesties, to whom he immediately presented it, acquainting them with what the Pope told him, and with what he heard by Caraffa's letter, and through his own agent, of his Holiness' great desire for the peace, and how much he promised himself from their piety in this and every other matter. This seemed to give them much pleasure, and to make them anticipate every paternal office from his Holiness for the quiet and advantage of Christendom, and of England in particular, they being extremely satisfied with the ample testimony of this his disposition, as demonstrated by his reception and despatch of their ambassadors. (fn. 11)
With regard to the peace, Caraffa will have heard, as Pole wrote to the Pope, that the French ambassador's brother, Prothonotary de Noailles, came to England to thank the Queen on behalf of the most Christian King for her good offices about the peace, towards which his Majesty seems still well disposed, and would be glad that this negotiation should be continued, so as to produce some good result; and with Pole also he performed the like office. This being made known to the Emperor, the answer purported that he also was well disposed, if the peace could be made on fair and fitting terms; after which reply the French ambassador and the prothonotary, with the Chancellor and the other two personages who were sent by the Queen to the congress, conferred with Pole, who told the ambassador and the prothonotary what had been received from the Emperor, and how he held to the proposal made at the conference about the restoration of the Duke of Savoy. After much general conversation, in which it is easy for all sides to agree, it was settled to think of finding ways and means to facilitate the conclusion of this business, it being hoped that the arrival of the Duke at Brussels, as also the summer season, might be of use, and that by stopping the war on land and sea, some good conclusion might be effected. Pole does not fail doing what he can for this purpose, and although certain that the Pope will have acquainted the King of France with his good disposition, will let the French ambassador know the orders received by him from his Holiness in this matter, to attend to it with all diligence, it being most worthy of the Pope to provide for these disorders, as written by Caraffa, and as expected by all Christendom.
With regard to Pole himself it is not necessary for him to say how readily he will always obey and serve his Holiness in whatever he shall be pleased to command him, as he has already informed the Pope, and according to the commission given by him subsequently to the Bishop of St. Asaph [Thomas Goldwell], who departed hence on his way to Rome on the 2nd ult. to confirm this, giving the Pope at the same time full information about the state of affairs in England, that he may be the better able to give Pole his commands. It does not seem fit to him farther to intrude his opinion in this matter, although his Holiness is pleased to ask it through Caraffa's letter, and, to save the Pope trouble, will say nothing more in reply to the brief, whereby he vouchsafed [to answer] three alone of the letters which Pole has written him, (fn. 12) and will merely pray Caraffa humbly to kiss his feet in Pole's name for the graciousness evinced towards him, both in the said brief and also in the one written by his Holiness to their Majesties.
Has given the Bishop of Worcester [Richard Pate] the papal brief, accompanying it with ample assurance of his Holiness being satisfied with him, and ready to prove it by facts. Diomede Caraffa has had his request fully granted by King Philip, and is now on the eve of departure from England. Pole will perform the same office with the Emperor as he did with the King, assuring him of the Pope's regard for Diomede, who, from what Pole hears and sees, is in excellent conceit with their Majesties, as due to his ability (virtù), and to the long and faithful service rendered by him to his Imperial Majesty.
Richmond, 10th August 1555.
Aug. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 181. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of England has sent his chief purveyor (forrier maggiore) to the Emperor, with letters from his sister the Queen of Bohemia, (fn. 13) complaining extremely of not having been able to obtain from him or her father, notwithstanding her entreaties, the sum due on account of her mother's dower; (fn. 14) adding that her consort King Maximilian, for this reason, and moreover because he could not get the provision assigned him for his board by the Emperor, is ill disposed towards both their Majesties. To mitigate this anger, and provide for what is due to his daughter, the Emperor is said to have found means to send her shortly 60,000 crowns, which news will be conveyed to her postwise by this purveyor, in the Emperor's name and that of the King.
Three ambassadors have arrived, one from the Duke of Mantua to reside with the Emperor, the other two from the Milanese, who will depart to-day on their way to England to complain to the King both of the military force (l'armata) required by the Duke of Alva, and of other intolerable demands to which he has subjected that territory.
A report circulated here at the court on the authority of letters from Antwerp, that King Maximilian, King of Bohemia, had by many signs displayed Lutheran opinions, which very greatly surprised and displeased the Emperor, who, having received letters from his brother assuring him that this was false, ordered the report to be contradicted by his chamber attendants (dalli suoi della camera). It was subsequently reported that Queen Maria will go to the King of the Romans (he by reason of his affairs, and on several accounts, being unable to come to the Emperor), as it is requisite to settle matters of very great importance between them, but that this decision will not be made until the coming hither of the King of England, on account of whose coming, and for the need of the army, the Emperor has had a loan negotiated at Antwerp for 150,000 crowns, which will be disbursed by several German and Genoese merchants; it is not said on what security, nor at what rate of interest, but it is considered settled, and the arrival from Seville of the 300,000 crowns is expected daily.
Brussels, 11th August 1555.
Aug. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 182. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The office performed by the English mediators in the presence of Cardinal Pole with the French ambassador and his brother, consisted in a remonstrance against the writing published in France, with this in addition, that King Henry was to be told in the Queen's name, that should he wish for any adjustment, it would be requisite for him to send hither a person with sufficient authority, not merely to treat, but also to offer and propose some better form of convention than was proposed by the mediators, or than they would ever be able to imagine; and that his most Christian Majesty should send credentials to the prothonotary to this effect. To the first part, touching the complaint about the writing, the ambassador said that neither he or his brother knew anything of its contents, but even were it such as the mediators represented it to be, it ought not to surprise them, as neither the King nor any other prince should fail doing or saying whatever turned to his account, regardless of any one, and least of all of the enemy; and also because it contained nothing untrue, referring himself for the fact to the mediators, who were very well acquainted with all the past circumstances, and therefore knew whether the King, both by restitution and without it, and by referring the disputes and his claims to arbitration, would or would not have come to terms. Then, respecting the last part, that the King was to send a person with authority to treat, the prothonotary replied, as he had also said previously, that whenever they made a similar announcement to the Emperor, whatever his decision might be, both about the person [appointed to negotiate], as also with regard to the faculty, more ample, or more limited and restricted, the like would be formed by the King; but as to sending to propose and make any offer, he said, making a display of resentment, that on no account would he represent such a thing, not only because it was contrary to the will and intention and dignity of the King—who, although he desired the peace, and was willing to make it, did not seek, and still less solicit it — but because, by their order, he had lately written to the contrary, that his Majesty was to send a power to approve or reject the proposals of the arbitrators, and he therefore did not choose to be ridiculed by his Majesty, nor to be considered frivolous and indiscreet for having willingly consented to deliver such a message, and that therefore this letter of credence was unnecessary; but that if such was the Queen's intention, they could not do otherwise than put the proposal into writing, signing and sending it to the King as a paper from the Commissioners and not from the French ambassador. No farther answer or rejoinder having been made by the mediators, the ambassodor and the prothonotary took leave ill satisfied.
On the morrow, the 7th, Cardinal Pole, to give account of what had passed, and owing to the receipt of a despatch from Rome, went [from Richmond] to the Court [at Oatlands], the Pope having charged him, not merely strongly to urge the Queen to exhort King Philip to persevere in what he is doing, but adroitly to let it be understood that whichever of the sovereigns shall fail to come to fair terms, his Holiness, in virtue of his grade and office, cannot but evince such resentment as becoming towards that one who will have been the cause of so much detriment and ruin to Christendom.
Two days later, the prothonotary, accompanied by the ambassador his brother, went to the Queen to take leave on his return to France, it not seeming to him that he could any longer remain with honour to his King, there being no business or negotiation to detain him. The Queen spoke very graciously to him, giving assurance of her being well inclined to remain in peace and friendship with the King, and that she will not fail again to do her utmost, in order that this negotiation may produce some good result, soothing the prothonotary greatly, and saying she would desire the Chancellor to give a written minute of what he is to tell his King, which it is supposed will have been drawn up by order of her Majesty, with the counsel of Cardinal Pole, having been modified (mitigato) in better form. He will perhaps depart to-day, leaving little or rather no hope of adjustment, unless Don Rug Gomez come with some better resolve from the Emperor, now that the Duke of Savoy has returned; but the general opinion is, that although during these two months, whilst awaiting the effects produced by the Turkish fleet, and such large armies in Piedmont, the negotiation will be kept on foot—the fashion in which this last office was performed, showing that it merely had for object to create delay—yet no agreement can take place, as both parties, but especially the Imperialists, hope either by coming to a battle, or by taking or recovering some important place in Piedmont, to gain greater repute and advantage in the agreement than they have at present.
Then, with regard to the Duke of Savoy, on the 3rd, the very day of his arrival at Brussels, he announced it in an autograph letter to Cardinal Pole; that he would await such resolve as should be given him by the Bishop of Arras and the Emperor, both with regard to his own affairs, as also about being able to negotiate with France, as in this matter they insisted on negotiating with him, and not with the Emperor; and that he would let Cardinal Pole know the result immediately. And as the French have frequently said, that were the Duke to go or send thither they would offer him satisfactory terms, the Abbot of San Saluto by his order wrote to the Constable that the King being thus well disposed towards him, should be pleased to manifest the fact by some detail, in order that the Duke may in some way be better convinced of this good inclination, it not being fair, if but for the sake of his honour, that he should consent to send and treat on this general basis (questa generalità) without first hearing farther about these conditions.
Has been told as a great secret, and as such it would be well for the Doge to keep it, that the Abbot of San Saluto, perceiving that the offices performed by these French mediators and agents and their mode of proceeding, did not only not tend towards the adjustment, but on the contrary utterly excluded it, the distrust between the parties increasing—it seeming to Cardinal Pole and him, that it was detrimental for the negotiation to protract matters farther—determined to turn the course of the treaty into a surer and faster flowing channel; so without communicating the thing to anybody but his right reverend Lordship, he wrote to the Bishop of Arras six days ago, expatiating to him on whatever he thought most fitting in the writing (quella scrittura) given to him (the Abbot) by the Constable at the conference of Calais, and the contents of which he (Michiel) has never been able to ascertain, and is told that neither the French Ambassador nor his brother, nor any of the mediators, have knowledge of them; and contemporaneously the Abbot wrote to France, to the Constable, sending him the copy of what he had written to the Bishop of Arras, in order that the King may see in what manner and with what opportunity he took the step; but by no means did he let the Bishop know that what he wrote him proceeded either from the Constable or from France, keeping the affair of the writing a very close secret, but letting it appear that he acted spontaneously, in order that should his proposal please the Emperor, the King may not disapprove of it, when communicated in like manner to him. At present, on the replies which may be expected from the two Courts from day to day, the hope and decision of the business will in great part depend.
By the same despatch from Rome, the Legate received from his Holiness the confirmation of all his decrees; the bulls for all the bishoprics in England being sent this once, gratis, without payment either of annat or anything else, although some of these English bishops offered to pay them spontaneously; and in addition to this, there was the brief erecting the Lordship (dominio) of Ireland into a kingdom, which title Henry VIII. usurped at the time of his secession from the Church, constituting himself “supreme head,” as he also did in all ecclesiastical matters.
Cardinal Pole is strongly urged by the Pope to despatch the settlement of the affairs of his legation, and to see what he can do during the next two months respecting the agreement with these sovereigns; the Pope having scruples about recalling him at present, owing to the heat in Italy, but evincing a great wish to have him about his person for the need of the reform, provided his right reverend Lordship does not find it necessary to remain in England. Cardinal Pole in reply refers himself entirely to the Pope's will, with regard either to staying or going.
By the last advices from Spain, it is heard that the 6,000 Spaniards destined for Italy would be near the seaside for embarkation by the middle of next month.
Richmond, 12th August 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 183. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Council of Ten.
Most Excellent Lords, King Philip's ministers and councillors, perceiving that all the difficulties of the adjustment, reduced themselves to the restoration of the parties despoiled on either side—to facilitate the negotiation, and to discover the intention of France—caused Don Gutierre Lopez de Padilla to tell the Abbot of San Saluto to propose that whenever the King of France may choose to restore Corsica, the Emperor, on the other hand, will reinstate Duke Ottavio Farnese. The Abbot instantly announced this most adroitly to the French Ambassador here, writing also to the Constable, showing by many arguments, that of all the acts of restitution to which the French must at length necessarily condescend, should the agreement ever be effected, none would matter less to the King than the surrender of Corsica, not so much by reason of the small profit which it yielded him—he being unable to do much damage to his enemies in that quarter where they are always armed and prepared for defence, but on the other hand being obliged to incur great cost in garrisons, for its preservation, it being surrounded almost in every direction by his enemies, and in the centre of their dominions—as yet more by reason of the great detriment and dishonour of which he would rid himself, by not allowing the island to be a constant refuge (nido) for the Turkish fleet, with the risk of its infesting his own coasts and shores, by introducing it into harbours so near at hand, very much to the injury of all the Christian powers, and especially of Italy, who owing to him is exposed to perpetual depredation; in addition to which, he would perform an act of mere justice, holding it without just title, and without having received any offence from those who possessed it, his dominion being obtained by mere force and power. On the other hand, the Abbot represented the great advantage which the King would obtain by freeing himself from the expense of Parma, and the repute he would gain with the whole world, not only from being considered the chief author of the relief of a personage so miserably oppressed as Duke Ottavio, but from having completely reinstated him.
According to the reply now received by the ambassador, it does not seem that any one gave ear to these proposals, as they thanked the Abbot greatly for his assiduity and good will, and told him that the King did not think fit to accept the proposal, as since the Duke has been his confederate and under his protection, he not having lost anything of his own, neither would his Majesty give what was his in order to enable the Duke to recover what he lost at a more remote period; nor did he choose to strip himself to clothe others; but that nevertheless in order to decide better, he would await the opinion on this subject of the Cardinal of Lorraine, who, being absent from the Court, his Majesty had as yet been unable to hear it; and that he would then write more positively, showing hitherto that he holds the Duke in small account, it being perhaps his intention to keep for himself what belongs to him [Duke Ottavio], should he succeed as he hopes in recovering it from the enemy. The Abbot having given account here of the reply, and it seeming to them that this design was at an end, they commenced another, proposing that in lieu of the restoration of Corsica, Sienna and its whole territory should resume their pristine Republican form of government, both the Imperialists and the French abandoning whatever they hold there, and thus are the affairs of one Republic squared by means of another; concerning which proposal, the Imperial and French ambassadors said they would report to their sovereigns, who will decide the matter.
Richmond, 12th August 1555.
[Italian, in cipher; deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 184. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In reply to the King's enquiries as to whether he had any news from England, said he had heard nothing save the continuation of the report that the Queen was still desirous to adjust the disputes between his most Christian Majesty and the Emperor. The King replied, “It really is so, nor is there less inclination on the part of Cardinal Pole, who often discusses the matter with my ambassador, but there is nothing whatever of importance.” Answered that he nevertheless understood that for this purpose Don Ruy Gomez de Silva had gone to the Emperor. To this his most Christian Majesty rejoined that he well knew he was gone, and that the King of England likewise wished for an adjustment (compositione), though he really did not know whether he had made the journey for this or some other cause, but that it was impossible to negotiate with the English ministers, because what one does the other undoes by reason of their partialities and disunion (le partialità et disunioni), most especially between the right reverend Chancellor and Lord Paget. He then said that the Queen had dismissed the greater part of the Court and withdrawn to Oatlands, and that she herself admitted she was not pregnant, and that of this his Majesty had been assured by a person to whom she had confessed the fact with her own lips. In conclusion, the King alluded to the general report that the Danish fleet had been in Scotland, and said it was astonishing, and for a few days had caused him great anxiety, but that at length, by letters from the Queen (fn. 15) and from his Lieutenant in Scotland, he had ascertained that it had never appeared off that coast, nor had they ever heard any news whatever of it.
Was also informed by the Cardinal of Lorraine that the French ambassador in England had been requested by Cardinal Pole to induce (di disporre) his most Christian Majesty to send one of the two bishops who attended the conference as his ministers, with a commission empowering him to treat such adjustment as might be proposed on the coming of the Duke of Savoy, but that the King replied that he could give no other commission, nor one more ample, nor more particular, than what he gave at the time of the conference; so as the Emperor was not then satisfied with it, the King did not know how to devise any plan save that the Emperor should determine to do himself that which he wished others to do, as he the King would not send any other ministers for this purpose.
In reply to an enquiry why they were expecting the Duke of Savoy, the Cardinal of Lorraine said, to try and adjust something with him, but the King holds the parties under his protection in such account that if the Emperor will not satisfy them, neither will France on her part give satisfaction to the Emperor's dependents (ma il Re tiene tal conto de quelli che sono sotto la sua prottettione, che se l'Impre non satisfà quelli dal canto nostro, nè anche S. M Xmã vorrà satisfare quelli dal canto di S. Mta Cesa.).
Poissy, 14th August 1555.
August 14. Parti Comuni Consiglio X. vol. xxii. p. 40. 185. Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta about the salary of the Venetian Ambassador in England.
It having been carried in the Senate on the 2nd instant, that to the monthly salary of 150 golden crowns received by the nobleman Ser Zuan Michiel, our ambassador in England, there be added 30 ducats, so that he may have 180 golden ducats per month, the payment to commence on the said 2nd instant:
Put to the ballot, that the present treasurer of this Council and his successors be charged, commencing on the 2nd of this present month, to give to the agents of the ambassador aforesaid 180 golden ducats per month for his expenses during the time of his stay at that embassy.
Ayes, 26. Noes, 3. Neutral, 2.
Exiit Ser Melchior Michael, consiliarius.


  • 1. The departure of the court from Hampton Court for Oatlands took place on the 3rd of August. (See Machyn's Diary, p. 92.)
  • 2. That is, from Hampton Court.
  • 3. The Archduke Maximilian had already assumed the title of King of Bohemia on the 10th September 1550. (See Foreign Calendar under that date, p. 54.)
  • 4. MS. corroded and illegible.
  • 5. Eleanor of Austria, Queen Dowager of France, and Maria of Austria, Queen Dowager of Hungary.
  • 6. Ferdinand of Aragon, Duke of Calabria, who died in 1559. He married, first, Germaine de Foix (widow of Ferdinand the Catholic), who died 1538, and in 1539 he took for his second wife Mencia de Mendoza. (See Chiusole Genealogies, p. 614.)
  • 7. Se non di quella sorte che Dio suole cou le opere scriver in beneficio delli soi servi.
  • 8. The copy does not exist in the manuscript.
  • 9. Immediately on his accession, Paul IV. issued a bull about the alienation of Church property in general. (See Panvinio's Lives of the Popes, p. 687.)
  • 10. See Froude, vol. 6, pp. 391, 392 (ed. London, 1860).
  • 11. The English ambassadors had their first audience of Paul IV. on the 10th June 1555, and seem to have left Rome on the 20th of the month. (See Hardwicke's State Papers, vol. 1, pp. 96, 100.)
  • 12. Non le scriverà altro in risposta del breve con quaale si è degnata [di rispondere?] a tre mie sole epistole.
  • 13. Maria of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Charles V., married her cousin Maximilian on the 18th September 1548. (See L'Art de vérifier les Dates.)
  • 14. Per conto della dote della madre.
  • 15. Mary of Lorraine, Queen Dowager of Scotland.