Venice: July 1558

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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'Venice: July 1558', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558, (London, 1877), pp. 1512-1524. British History Online [accessed 13 June 2024].

. "Venice: July 1558", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558, (London, 1877) 1512-1524. British History Online, accessed June 13, 2024,

. "Venice: July 1558", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558, (London, 1877). 1512-1524. British History Online. Web. 13 June 2024,

July 1558

July 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1246. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The roads are more interrupted than ever, for besides the soldiers from Saxony who are passing into France, the other French troops likewise who were at the siege (l'impresa) of Thionville ravage the territory of Liege, almost as far as Maestricht, doing much damage everywhere, so it has been necessary to remove some posts from their usual stations, and for their security to place them at a greater distance from these incursions, and most especially those that were near Luxemburg, whither the French say they mean to go with the army; though today it is heard that they intend to take Maestricht, a pass which would be of very great importance, as besides preventing any military assistance from Germany they would thus blockade all those Provinces; but until now it is not heard that they are on their march; and today an advice from the neighbourhood of Gravelines announces their having made a foray (che sono corsi) as far as Dunkirk, three leagues on this side of Gravelines, and some persons believe them to have taken it, but this is not certain.
In the meanwhile King Philip's army is being reinforced, cavalry and infantry arriving constantly and joining the rest of the, troops towards Valenciennes, where, as written by me, the Duke of Savoy is to make the muster, and today he was to leave Namur, where he has been all this time, and will go in that direction, nor is it yet heard what expedition he will undertake, though some days ago it was said he would besiege Guise, it being true that the troops on those frontiers foraged as far as that place, and made some booty, but nothing of importance. It is not yet known when his Majesty will depart, but, as I wrote, every one is prepared, and since many days the waggons (li carri) have been under requisition for the Court, as if they were to leave instantly; and yesterday some waggons were sent to Antwerp with valuable effects belonging to the Court which are not required for present use; so it is expected that his Majesty will depart on the sudden, and that no one will know of his departure until the hour when he is about to mount on horseback; still less can it be known what route he will take; nor is it unreasonable for these things to be kept secret, lest they be revealed to the enemy.
But notwithstanding these warlike intentions, peace nevertheless continues to be talked about; and a few days ago the Marshal de St. André [Jacques d'Albon], who, as written by me heretofore, was engaged in this negotiation, went into France, and they let him go on merchants' security, and with the Constable's promise, he giving his own word to return speedily, and as he is a very leading personage it is believed he will effect something; but happen what may, it will not be too honourable for this side, now that they have lost Thionville, and with it a great part of their repute. There came hither lately that M. de Garaba (sic) (fn. 1) who was governor of Thionville, but he went first to Namur to speak with the Duke of Savoy, who would neither listen to him nor see him, and he is accused of having lost that place by his own fault, it being said that the private soldiers did their duty better than the captains; the King has had him confined to the house, and will prosecute him. His Majesty has also had some other persons arrested in this city on suspicion of giving advices, and amongst the rest an assistant of Secretary Vargas, by name Sanguosa, is talked of.
Secretary Erasso has also been severely reprimanded, the Duke of Savoy having accused him to the King of raising a difficulty of his own accord, about the contract made with the soldiers, as written in my last, and they wished to punish him for having chosen to take such a step on his own authority, but he excused himself on the plea of having mentioned this his design in the Council, the Duke of Savoy also being present there; and as neither his Excellency nor any one else confuted it, he inferred approval of the measure, and therefore attempted it; but the Duke made a great noise about this, and his Excellency's physician told me that he said to King Philip long before, that unless his Majesty provide in such a war that his orders be executed, he will resign his charge of Captain-General; and that if for the Emperor he lost his state, he will not lose what remains to him, viz., his honour and repute.
I respectfully remind your Serenity to have whatever I write kept secret.
Brussels, 2nd July 1558.
[Italian, in cipher throughout; deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1247. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Since my last of the 2nd confirmation has been received of the taking of all the places in the duchy of Luxemburg, especially of Arlon, which was sacked and burned and in great part destroyed, although contrary to the wish of M. de Guise; but after the sack, the soldiers having commenced setting fire to the place, it then became impossible to quench it, M. de Guise having nearly perished in the flames, as did great part of his effects, together with those of many other great personages, which was a remarkable circumstance. M. de Guise was still under Arlon on the 6th, awaiting there the 3,000 Blacksmiths (Ferraruoli), with the son of the late Duke of Saxony, who had not yet arrived, and he would then retreat towards Picardy. The Duke de Némours in the meanwhile, with part of his light cavalry, made a foray as far as under the town of Luxemburg, and commenced a great skirmish (grossa scaramuccia) with the enemy, retiring very honourably; and he went back with some profit (utile, plunder?). The most Christian King, still intending to join the camp, chose to go postwise in person last week to Paris, to inspect all his great horses (i suoi cavalli grossi), (fn. 2) for which purpose he remained there almost the whole of the week, nor did he return hither until Monday, but with the intention, as told me by the Cardinal of Lorraine, of leaving for the camp in three or four days, though I have been informed by a person very familiar with his Majesty and who constantly accompanies him on all his journeys, that he is determined first of all to have an interview somewhere with M. de Guise, for which purpose he will go postwise to him one of these days, and then return hither to take leave of the Queen, after which he will depart definitely. Yesterday and this morning advices were received purporting that M. de Termes has made such progress where he is that not only did he take the fortress of Borburc (sic), (fn. 3) but having crossed the stream above Gravelines (fn. 4) reached the town of Dunkirk and took it, making so much booty and so many prisoners that they will yield him a considerable sum of money, the Dunkirkers being all wealthy and opulent (comodi) through their fishing trade and herring draughts, which are so very lucrative (et del tratto delle arenghe, che è cosa di tanto momento); and that he was still continuing his march and proceeding with the intention of foraging as far as Bruges, having at this commencement caused such agitation and alarm in the whole of that Flemish province that the entire population is taking flight, retiring either to Brabant or Hainault, or to the neighbouring provinces, as far away as they can.
Ferté Milon, 10th July 1558.
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1248. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Early on the morning of the 4th the Secretary Pellegrin brought me your Serenity's order about the affair of the precedence. (fn. 5) With Pellegrin another courier arrived, despatched by Vargas.
The decision of the Senate was published at the Court, and could not have been heard more bitterly had your Serenity openly declared yourself the partisan of France, which feeling of discontent is so universal that not one single individual in this Court has failed greatly to resent the result. Although what the vulgar think and say should not be held in much account, I perceive that at this Court the majority is vulgar, as both all the grandees and even the King, on the present occasion, feel as the vulgar feel; for all are of opinion that you have done King Philip a most grevious injury, by passing this “judgment” (for such they call it) upon him, and declaring his Majesty inferior to the King of France, and it is the more keenly felt because least expected, as also from its having taken place at a time when the Spaniards are less powerful than the French; so strength and fortune failing them, their great mortification can neither be expressed nor imagined; although the Duke of Alva told me that he attaches less importance to the fact than to the mode in which your Serenity effected it. As they cannot find fault with the decision, they blame the mode in which it was announced, and accuse your Serenity of being intimidated by the threats of the French, which make you forget your love for his Majesty, and his honour. This idea of your Serenity's having been moved by fear, arose from its having been thus written from Venice, and I believe by Vargas; the letters of the Florentine Secretary, that rogue del Pero (quel tristo del Pero), being of the like tenour. Vargas writes it from a wish to excuse himself in this form, from fear of being accused (as he will be) of having promised the King so much in this matter, and the result being so contrary to the hopes thus conceived by his Majesty. I defended this measure by all means possible, at length using such high language as to let it be understood that I would not tolerate their speaking in that way, yet I could obtain no other effect than this, that they speak rather more reservedly; but the opinion impressed on everybody by the letters from Venice is not effaced. Yesterday the Duke of Alva told me that this thing is not feigned (ferita, finta?) here, but came from Venice, and was known through members of the Senate. I rejoined that it was an invention of those who wrote it, and defended your determination.
The other hostile act (oppositione) with which they reproach your Serenity is that you have chosen to judge between these two great princes, and that you were the first who willed to pass this sentence at the suit of the French, without even hearing Vargas. This I endeavoured to confute by demonstrating that your Serenity gave no judgment, but that you indeed would have done so, had you continued to insist on suspending or abolishing the place of the French ambassador, who has held it for a thousand years (già mille anni). I have spoken hitherto with the Duke of Alva, with the Confessor, and with De Luna, Quiñones, and others, who all see the truth, and the two last have confessed that I speak the truth.
The general opinion is that they will remove the Ambassador, and send an agent; but I will use all such offices as possible to let them know these two things: the one, which matters the most, that your Serenity has passed no sentence; the other, that you could not do otherwise than you did, not choosing either to judge, nor to show partiality nor to wrong any one; and the offices performed by me hitherto have at any rate borne some fruit, as that first impetuosity is greatly stayed, and there are even some persons who view the matter in its true light; and the more it is examined, that which seems at first so strange and unpleasant, will I hope become bearable from its very fairness, which irritated and inflamed minds do not perceive so immediately; but after my audience of the King I shall be able to give your Serenity more sure advice on the subject.
Brussels, 10th July 1558.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. (2nd letter.) 1249. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the capture by the French in this part of Flanders of Dunkirk, and some other neighbouring places of little importance except on account of the plunder made by them there, and since they took Thionville in the Luxemburg territory, they are now marching towards Picardy, perhaps to join the rest of the army in the direction of Flanders and Calais; but in the meanwhile the Duke of Savoy is already at Maubeuge, near Valenciennes, where the troops were to be mustered, and by degrees his army is being re-enforced, and orders have been sent for the English fleet to set sail, though its destination is unknown, as these affairs require secrecy; but apparently the design is for the army to march in the same direction as the fleet, that they may assist each other, and attempt the seizure of some place, either on the sea coast, or inland, so that by keeping and fortifying it, they with the assistance of the fleet and army may isolate (tagliar fuori) the county of Boulogne and its territory. As yet there are two things evidently against their design, the one is that the French are marching in that direction, the other that the Duke of Savoy having few troops cannot yet think of attempting any important expedition. It is said that he will be as powerful in the field as the French, but until I see him so in fact I dare not affirm it. The King is still here, not having departed because he has not ready money for the travelling expenses of the Court, but he is nevertheless so prepared that from one hour to another he can mount on horse-back, and those who think of following his Majesty do the like. It is true that the courtiers' waggons have been dismissed for a fortnight to save expense, which amounted to a dollar per waggon, but those who bought (comprati) waggons for this purpose are by no means free from the cost, being unable to dismiss them; so it is often more advantageous to remain thus ready for a move, than to keep in motion.
The Duke of Parma having come hither, I went to visit him, and his Excellency apologized for not having anticipated me, saying he had intended to do so but was prevented, having as yet only been with the King once, at the hour of his arrival, when he went to kiss hands, booted and spurred as he was.
Brussels, 10th July 1558.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1250. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
At this hour, 5 p.m., advices have arrived that his Majesty's troops, about which I write in my other letter under this date, (fn. 6) have routed and annihilated (et distrutte) the French forces under Gravelines, capturing M. de Termes, their commander-in-chief on that expedition. The glory of this feat rests with the Comte d'Egmont, a Flemish captain general of the cavalry, and with Don Luis de Caravajal, commander of the Spaniards in Gravelines. Having already despatched the courier Pellegrin I send one of my servants to come up with him on the road, if possible, that your Serenity may have advice of this event with the utmost speed.
Brussels, 14th July 1559.
July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1251. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
As the Court is sending a courier to Italy I will say a word about the negotiation of these last few days, concerning which I feared some difficulty might be raised, owing to this victory, my apprehension arising from the nature of this nation, which sometimes allows itself to be transported by prosperity; but what you did is now interpreted in a better sense than it was taken at first, and the reasons alleged to the King and the Duke of Alva produced the necessary effect. Many persons now say that this difficulty about precedence ought not to have been brought forward; and amongst others Don Diego de Mendoza said that he would not have attempted it, and that he would, as much as he could, have avoided meeting the French ambassador, but in case of their meeting he would have given him precedence. The efficacious office performed by me has also obliterated the sinister opinion entertained by them that the Republic had been moved by fear; nor should I have been able to remove the false impression already made, had I not shown myself rather more warm than I usually am, which has been by so much the more to the purpose, as the whole weight of the dilemma reduced itself to this sole opposition, which being removed there no longer remained other cause for complaint; but be God eternally praised for that this thing, from an irritation greater than can be credited, has been brought to a very reasonable state of quiet, and should any innovation be made, such as recalling the ambassador [Vargas] or any other casualty, I know not what more can be desired, for the intention has been announced to me that on my speaking to the King I shall find him otherwise disposed than on the day of my last audience.
To come now to the battle between King Philip's troops and the French, which resulted in this victory, your Serenity will have already learned by my letters that M. de Termes, with his forces, amounting to some 6,000 infantry, including Gascons, Germans, and others of the territory, with from 1,600 to 2,000 horse, after having taken Dunkirk, and sacked some other neighbouring places, encamped under (s'era messo sopra) Gravelines, in a position to surround it, relying on the besieged having no army corps; but whilst remaining thus orders were given to the Count d'Egmont and M. de Bennodret (sic) [Bugnicourt, Ponce de Lalain] to go and attack him, the one with some 3,000 cavalry, the other with all the infantry he could muster in the territory, besides three regiments (tre colonelli) of Germans, two of which are in the service of King Philip, and one, then about to embark for England, marched in that direction. The French, partly on this account, and partly from hunger, having no victuals, decamped and crossed the river [Aa] beyond Gravelines towards Calais, and thinking themselves safe fell in with the Comte, who had already crossed it, and after a variety of accidents which kept the two armies in sight of each other for many hours, they at length attacked each other, the French cavalry being routed at the first shock (nel primo impeto), but the infantry stood firm for a good two hours, but was at length routed in like manner and utterly dispersed, M. de Termes with the greater part of his forces remaining prisoners; so it has been a great victory considering the great embarrassment of this side (questa parte) both from the losses suffered by them and from the French successes.
This battle was fought on the sea-shore in the presence of part of the English fleet, which, being unable to assist this side in any other way, it being impossible for them to approach the land, cannonaded the French from afar with their artillery. It is not to be told how much satisfaction this victory has caused to King Philip, to the whole Court, to this city, and to all these provinces; but it may easily be imagined, considering that they had two hostile armies in the heart of their territory, and both of them successful. Since the advices of this event his Majesty has sent Ascanio dalla Cornia postwise to the Duke of Savoy, with an order about what he is to do; its particulars are unknown, but in substance he is to advance the army farther towards the frontiers, to prevent the war from being again carried so far into the interior. This may be the more easily done as his Excellency is already so much reinforced that if not superior his army is at least equal in amount to that of M. de Guise, which was hastening by forced marches towards those frontiers of Picardy, with the intention, it was supposed, of effecting a junction with this one which has been routed, but he will now be compelled to change his tactics.
Brussels, 15th July 1558.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1252. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The most Christian King was to have departed hence yesterday for Picardy to confer with M. de Guise, but will not go until next week, because, as told me by the Cardinal of Lorraine, he will not be there earlier. His Majesty has been enjoying the victories which he heard daily were gained by his forces, having heard that after taking Dunkirk and Borbur (sic) M. de Termes also took Berges (sic), where the English usually land the merchandise brought by them to Flanders, and that he realised enormous booty there. By the arrival at the Court of the Sea-Captain de Clé (de Cleres?) the King was also assured of the capture made by him of nine English ships to which he gave battle, having found them separated from the rest of the fleet by stress of weather. On board of these vessels, besides other things, he found more than 150 great brass cannons, 80 of which and upwards were mounted on their carriages and ready to be landed for the purpose of battering some place on the coast. The Cardinal of Lorraine told me that owing to the loss of these guns the English might be supposed to have abandoned their intentions of attempting any assault, so his Majesty attached great importance to the acquisition of this artillery.
In the midst of rejoicings at such good news, three messengers arrived unexpectedly from Calais, Montreuil, and Boulogne with advices (fortune thus showing her inconstancy) of the rout of M. de Termes, whilst returning hitherwards with his plunder and prisoners. He was surprised and surrounded, when crossing the stream above Gravelines, by from 4,000 to 5,000 of the enemy's horse and 15,000 foot, the greater part having been landed from the English fleet, (fn. 7) and the cavalry being placed in ambuscade on each side of the river, so that M. de Termes until he had reached its banks did not know what awaited him, and after fighting for six or seven consecutive hours, he was routed and roughly handled (et mal menato), with the loss of 500 men-at-arms, two of whose companies were the first to cross the river, led by M. de Senarpont [Jean de Mouchy], Knight of St. Michael and Governor of Boulogne, a person in great esteem, and who was cut to pieces with them. All the rest of the cavalry, in number 800 horse, were defeated, the greater part of the infantry likewise, in number 10,000, all Frenchmen, being killed. As yet nothing certain is known about M. de Termes, whether he be dead or alive, but none of his followers nor those of others appearing to say that he has really been found, the worst is anticipated; nothing more being known beyond the narrative of a wounded man-at-arms belonging to the companies who were the first to cross the river, he having by good fortune escaped to Calais. This news has made all here turn pale, and forget the late victories, and what matters more is, that all the best commanders and troops having been removed from Calais, Ardres, Boulogne, Montreuil, and other fortresses to take the field with M. de Termes, the enemy after this rout may advance into France, and probably lay siege to and take Boulogne, which is not only destitute of every provision, but utterly without soldiers and defenders. The enemy may then demand all the other fortresses, each of which has need of either one supply or the other. The garrison of Calais is earnestly asking for powder and ammunition, and that of Montreuil for victuals and refreshments (rinfrescamenti); so the King despatched to Boulogne and Calais not only M. de Sipierre, who arrived most opportunely from the camp, but also M. d'Amville, the Constable's son, who was on the point of departure for Piedmont to .assume the charge of general of the cavalry there; and he has likewise sent all those now at the Court, who have a sword at their side, be they gentle or otherwise (ò gentil-huomeni ò d'altra sorte), the only persons remaining being his Majesty alone and the Cardinal of Lorraine.
Everybody is terrified, the King's sorrow being the greater, as he commanded M. de Termes to leave Calais and advance, as he did, owing to the advices received by his Majesty that there would be no resistance or opposition; so the loss of M. de Termes must be entirely attributed to the King. These regrets were increased by the news of a fresh peril incurred by M. de Guise, from which he escaped by a miracle, for an affray having taken place in a certain part of the camp, owing to a German soldier being killed by a Frenchman, these two having come to words when watering their horses, and the two sides having discharged their harquebuses at each other, and M. de Guise hastening to the spot, the German soldiers fired upon him, and although they missed their aim, and several of them were hanged, their captains to absolve themselves offering as hostages their wives and children, and to renew the oath taken by them to serve faithfully, yet from this and many other accidents it being evident how speedily and readily that nation revolts, and how prone it is to mutiny, the Germans, moreover, from their number and force constituting the entire army now on foot of his most Christian Majesty, the personal danger incurred by M. de Guise and his staff is not only rendered more manifest hourly, but also the peril of this kingdom, which is totally in the power and at the mercy of the said nation, there being neither a cavalry nor an infantry force of such quality or number as to be capable of opposing or impeding their wishes.
Ferté Milon, 16th July 1558.
P.S.—16th July, 8 p.m.—Have received from one of the secretaries of the Cardinal of Lorraine news of the death of M. de Termes, although through another channel he is said to have surrendered himself (perhaps not to distress the French people); and that M. de Villebon, Governor of Ardres, after the first engagement, although the water was high, crossed it with the cavalry and saved a great part of the army.
July 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1253. Michiel Surian, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The King will depart tomorrow morning, Tuesday, for Mons in Hainaut, on his way to the army, and although his Majesty told me to remain here, lest I should be inconvenienced, I have nevertheless performed such an office that I hope it will be conceded me to follow him. I have congratulated his Majesty on this victory, and found that what I wrote lately was the truth, for he received me with words and demonstrations full of goodwill towards your Serenity, and well nigh (quasi) of extraordinary affection towards me, much to my comfort.
Brussels, 17th July 1558.
July 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1254. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The rout of M. de Termes took place as written by me, except that the enemy had no infantry, neither English nor of any other nation, but only a cavalry force of from four to five thousand men, all Pistolers or Blacksmiths led by M. de Benincourt (sic), on whom with all the others great praise is bestowed for the speed made by him, as from his starting point to the field of battle, a distance of 20 Flemish leagues, he employed but one day and one night, which was the cause of M. de Termes' never having news of him; but he had not much spare time, and if perchance he had found the French on this side of the Aa, instead of on the other, De Termes would have saved himself, the height of the water preventing them from pursuing or reaching him; but when he got to the river the flood tide delayed his passage for four or five hours until it ebbed, and thus it was easier for the enemy to accomplish their designs, they having calculated the ebb and flow of the tide, knowing that at such an hour M. de Termes could not cross; so being taken unawares in a most disadvantageous position, his troops being all in confusion and disorder, and embarrassed by the plunder they were taking with them, he was routed immediately, and the more easily as his cavalry would not fight, but took flight and surrendered voluntarily. Thus he was utterly defeated at once, and of 500 men-at-arms, and 700 or 800 other horse, two companies alone with M. de Villebon (fn. 8) were saved by retreating to the sea when the ebb tide commenced, and having found a ford they were enabled to cross in safety and save themselves. (fn. 9) All the infantry in number some 8,000 were roughly handled (malmenati), but more of them were drowned than killed; amongst them a thousand German veterans, who, although they fought very bravely to the last, keeping always in their ranks, were likewise all slain. Messieurs de Termes and Senarpont, the two chief personages, (there being no other chiefs or distinguished men of greater repute) were both wounded and taken prisoners into Gravelines. As yet there are no other authentic particulars known, everybody speaking on the subject as little as possible, a sign that there may be something worse than what is reported. This defeat has quite annihilated the projects formed previously, and the only consolation they derive from it is that the enemy having neither infantry or artillery, nor any other things required for any expedition, except cavalry, they will be unable for the present to advance farther into the French territory in that direction, which will give time for securing and provisioning the fortresses there, which have need of many things. After the despatch of M. d'Amville, M. de Sipierre and the others, his Majesty next morning sent M. d'Orfe (d'Urfe?), gouty and infirm (impedimentato) as he is, although not a soldier, so that there may be a person of repute in Montreuil, the place of his destination. M. d'Aumale is also said to have been ordered from Picardy to Abbeville, which is in a very bad state; and M. de Lansac has been appointed to guard Calais (alla guardia di Cales).
Last week in public in the great hall, there being present the King of Navarre and all the other knights of the Order now at the Court, his most Christian Majesty received a herald from Flanders, who came on behalf of the late Emperor Charles V. with letters from Spain to the effect, that owing to his many ailments (per la molta indisposition sua) he living in total retirement, and having divested himself of every kingdom, dignity, and public administration, he sent back the great Order of collar with the other insignia (insieme con gli altri ornamenti) of the Order of St. Michael received from King Francis, he for the same reason having returned that of the Fleece. His most Christian Majesty accepted the collar readily, answering the herald himself that although it was contrary to the statutes of the Order to accept and send back the collars, until after the death of those to whom they had been given, yet nevertheless, admitting the cause and impediments which had been written by the Emperor, and which the said herald had set forth, he received it willingly, and would give orders for his discharge to be given him, and the due certificates, presenting the herald also with the very honourable present of 1,000 crowns and thus dismissing him. (fn. 10)
Ferté Milon, 19th July 1558.
July 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1255. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English have retaken Alderney (fn. 11) (Origni) one Captain Malherbe and several soldiers (parechi soldati) having been killed; and since the English fleet withdrew towards Scotland it seems that nothing more is known of it.
Ferté Milon, 25th July 1558.
July 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1256. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King having heard that his army was within two leagues of Laon (Lam), and 10 leagues from this place, determined to go thither, and departed hence yesterday with the King-Dauphin, who has completely recovered his health, the King of Navarre, and the Duke of Lorraine, and all the rest of the Court; the enemy's army being 10 leagues from Laon (Lam), at a place called Marolles, in a very strong position, where heretofore the Emperor also halted. Shortly before his Majesty departed the Prince of Ferrara and his brother, Don Alvise, arrived postwise, both one and the other of them being more cordially greeted than they would have been some time ago, as they come at a moment of such great need of men of every condition, from the want and loss of them which his Majesty day by day more and more knows he has incurred through the rout of the Constable at St. Quentin, and this last defeat of M. de Termes. Whoever comes (not only princes and lords) is very well received by him, as he infers from their appearance here that he had not lost that credit and repute which he attributed to himself before those disasters; so he is glad to see all comers, and above all those from whom he can derive the greatest profit and honour (ornamento), such as foreigners and great personages.
The master of the ship on board of which were the goods loaded in the name of Ragazzoni, has been allowed to proceed on his voyage, and the Royal Council, after examination of the bills of lading, will decide whether Ragazzoni is, or is not, a naturalized Englishman.
Rheims (Rens), 31st July 1558.


  • 1. Jean de Quarible, a gentleman of Brabant. (See Père Daniel, Ilistoire de France, vol. 9, p. 867. Ed. Paris, 1755.)
  • 2. For the term “Great Horses,” signifying horses adapted to the weight of a man in armour, see “Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1547–1580,” date, 16th April 1547, p. 3.
  • 3. Bourbourg? or Bergue Saint Vinok, as in Père Daniel, vol. 9, p. 871.
  • 4. The river Aa. See Lingard's History of England, vol. 5, p. 257. Ed. London, 1854.
  • 5. On the eve of Ascension Day 1558, the Spanish Ambassador Vargas, and François de Noailles, Bishop of Acqs, the representative of Henry II., having announced their intention of disputing vi et armis the right of precedence, when accompanying the Doge in the “Bucintor” to espouse the sea, the two Sages of the Council, Bernardo Navagero and Jacopo Loranzo, officially requested them not to attend the ceremony; and shortly afterwards, to prevent a repetition of similar brawls, the Doge and Senate informed Vargas that on the Emperor's retirement to Spain, when he, Vargas, filled the post of ambassador from Philip, King of Spain and England, the decision had been suspended, but the Ambassador from the new Emperor Ferdinand having arrived in Venice, there was no longer any reason for refusing to De Noailles the post always conceded to the King of France, immediately after the Emperor, and before the other Princes of Christendom; as proved by many documents recording treaties of peace, and alliances, and by other public acts. (See Andrea Morosini's History of Venice, Italian Translation, p. 310 to p. 315.)
  • 6. This letter, giving account of Surian's audience of King Philip, to explain why the Signory gave precedence to France over Spain, cannot be found.
  • 7. This is contradicted in a subsequent despatch.
  • 8. Villebon, Jean, d'Estouteville. (See the late Sir William Hackett's Index to Foreign Calendar “Mary.”)
  • 9. No mention is made of the English Admiral Malin with his 12 vessels at the mouth of the Aa, the broadside of whose ships obtained the victory for the Flemings. (See Lingard, vol. 5, p. 257.)
  • 10. The Venetian Ambassador does not givé the date of the Emperor's resignation of the orders of the Fleece and St. Michael, nor do I find any notice of the circumstance in Mignet's “Charles Quint, son abdication,” &c.
  • 11. See letter dated 25 June, in which the name of the island is not given. In Campbell's “Naval History of England,” vol. 2, p. 276, the seizure of Sarke is mentioned, but that name could not be converted into Origni, which I believe means Alderney.