Venice: August 1555, 16-31

Pages 163-175

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, 16–31

Aug. 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 186. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The Emperor sent secretary Erasso to Antwerp to raise a loan, and has had several letters from him saying he cannot at present stipulate with any merchant owing to news brought by a courier from England, purporting that on the 11th instant, between Dover and Calais, he saw 22 French ships attack the fleet bound from Spain with 300,000 crowns for account of the Emperor, and 50,000 for the Queen of England, his Majesty having granted this export-permit for the residue of the 300,000 already conceded her, besides a considerable quantity of money for the Antwerp merchants, who were in doubt whether this engagement took place with the fleet, said to be of 27 sail, or with the one of 25 sail which departed lately for Portugal loaded for the most part with grain, the rest of the cargoes being merchandize of various sorts of great value. The courier added that this sea-fight commenced at 11 a.m. and lasted until nearly night, and that three ships were burned, without knowing whether they were Imperial or French. Three days have elapsed without any confirmation of this intelligence, but secretary Erasso writes that some merchants have exhibited letters from their correspondents at Rouen who had the same news, with some variation, about which your Serenity will hear more authentically from the ambassadors Soranzo and Michiel.
The Florentine ambassador had audience of the Emperor, and acquainted him with the proceedings of the Turkish fleet at Piombino and Elba, telling him that although the Duke was not the least apprehensive, if it returned with the French fleet, that they would be able to do anything of importance, yet he greatly feared lest the French, who hold the fortresses of the Siennese, should reinforce themselves in such wise that, being at present equal to the Imperialists and perhaps outnumbering them, they should become greatly their superiors; wherefore it would be necessary for the Emperor to provide troops or charge the Duke to do so, sending orders to Naples for the funds required for their payment. He also requested the Emperor to give the title of Governor of Sienna to Don Francesco de Toledo and to confirm him in that post, as he could not send a more adroit minister for what was required there, or more dear to him, the Duke, by reason of the close connexion and good friendship between them. (fn. 1) He then besought his Majesty earnestly to give the archbishoprie of Trani to the son of the late Duke Alessandro, and presented the Emperor with a quantity of most excellent fresh plums called “Massimiana.” His Majesty told the ambassador he was well disposed to comply with the Duke's requests, and would give him a reply on the return of the courier sent by him to the King of England about the demand for the archbishopric, which is in his gift as King of Naples; and the Emperor requested the ambassador to write to the Duchess to take good care of what remained of other similar fruit, as he liked it beyond measure (et richiese al detto ambre che serivesse alla Duchessa, che fusse buona custoditrice delli altri simili fratti che restaveno, che oltra modo li delettareno).
The English ambassadors who returned from Rome, after making obeisance to the Emperor, departed immediately, and at the very time when I sent to announce my intention of going to visit them, they sent to say they were getting on horseback to continue their journey, apologizing and expressing regret at being unable to come and see me, as they wished, to demonstrate their gratitude for the many courtesies received from your Serenity, about whom and your affairs (le cose sue) they expressed themselves in the most loving terms possible.
Brussels, 16th August 1555.
Aug. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 187. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Several letters have arrived to-day from Calais, giving a different account of the engagement between the Imperial and French ships. The Marquis di Terra Nova, who is on his way back to this court from England, writes that the French, who had 17 armed ships, attacked 27 Flemish merchantmen on their voyage from Spain, and that three out of the entire number were burned, without giving farther particulars.
The Vice-Chancellor of the Empire says he has received advice that the French ships were only six, very large and very well armed, and that they went to attack the Flemings, in number 17, ten of which detached themselves from their consorts, steering with a fair wind towards England, and that the seven were compelled to fight, and one of them having thrown fireworks (fuoghi artificiali) into the French squadron, burned four others which went to their assistance, and the flames spread to the Flemish ships likewise, so only two of them were saved and one of the Frenchmen. These various advices have been communicated to the Emperor, who has no true account of the affair from any of his ministers.
Lord Courtenay, whilst riding for his pleasure through Brussels, had his attendants attacked by some Spaniards on account of the former disputes, and he wishing to favour his followers by reproving the Spaniards, they threatened him, so seeing a number of Spaniards hastening to the assistance of their countrymen . . . . . . . . . (fn. 2) he returned in haste to his lodging, and on the retreat . . . . . four of his attendants were wounded, and some of the Spaniards also. He went therefore to the Bishop of Arras and made great complaint of the assaults (persecutioni) to which his retinue had been four times subjected, and his right reverend Lordship promised him that he should not again suffer similar annoyances, attributing the blame to prostitutes, and disputes of that sort between menials (tra quella gente plebea); and he invited Lord Courtenay to accompany him to mass in the Cathedral, to show the world that what took place was owing to rogues, from other causes and not from lack of goodwill on the part of the Imperial ministers towards the English nation.
Don Ruy Gomez has recovered his health, and told the Emperor that with his good leave he can go back to the King of England. This, he says, has been conceded him, and that he will certainly depart, hoping to meet his Majesty on the road rather than to find him in England.
Brussels, 18th August 1555.
Aug. 18. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 188. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal [Carlo] Caraffa.
Late on the 14th instant, received his letter of the 27th July about the vacancy of the church of Trani. In order not to be anticipated by others, wrote immediately to the King, acquainting him with the Pope's earnest wish about it, and as Monsigr. Agostini likewise had received a similar commission Pole thought it desirable before speaking to the King that Agostini should hear from his Majesty the difficulties of the case, so that Pole might then be better able to remove them. On the morrow Agostini told the King how earnestly the Pope wished the church of Trani to be conferred on his Datary, testifying to his rare and worthy qualities, &c. The King inquired whether he was a native of the kingdom of Naples and could reside on the see, and evincing in general terms his due observance towards the Pope, deferred particulars until he spoke to Pole, who went to him the next day, and having performed the office enjoined him by Caraffa, perceived at once, as he knew before, that there was no occasion to render the King more disposed than he already was to oblige the Pope in whatever depended on him, and that he would very willingly have gratified him in this matter, regretting and showing concern at being unable to do so, as he was bound not to infringe the promise given by him to the Emperor and to the kingdom of Naples to nominate a native of it to any church in his gift, vacant through the death of a foreigner, in like manner as if the vacancy occurred by the death of a Neapolitan, it remained optional with him to appoint a foreigner. Pole replied that to his knowledge Trani had nevertheless been conferred on two foreigners successively, to which the King rejoined that this perhaps took place before he made the promise. Pole then requested that this reply might not be conclusive, and so the King promised to give him fuller information on the subject, as he did yesterday by sending to him the Regent Figueroa, who after many assurances of the King's wish always to gratify the Pope, repeated what had been said about his Majesty's promise, adding how religiously he kept his word. Pole then said how much the Pope relied on the King's courtesy, and in some degree on Pole's mediation by reason of his Majesty's graciousness towards him, alluding also to the excellent qualities of the person proposed; and to this being the first favour requested in his Holiness' name, and to convince Figueroa of the Pope's wish in this matter, showed him Caraffa's letter, and let him take it with him that he might show it to the King. He also said that as his Majesty had received this privilege of nomination from the Apostolic See, it would be the more fitting to oblige the Pope in this matter. Figueroa departed saying he would again speak about it to the King, and return on the morrow, as he did with this decision, that Pole was to announce the impediment to the Pope, who, being a Neapolitan, would understand its importance, his Majesty promising in the meanwhile not to appoint any one else. As to the date of the promise, Figueroa did not know it exactly, but it was at the time when Serepando, Archbishop of Salerno, was sent by the city of Naples to Brussels, where the writing is. The King also told Pole how much he hesitated to name a person not destined to reside on his see, as said by him also previously to Monsigr. Agostini.
Pole then told the King and Queen of the jubilee proclaimed by the Pope, and which they and their household will very gladly celebrate in the present week, and a copy of it will be sent to all the bishops of England and Ireland, with orders to publish it throughout their dioceses. Trusts it may please God to grant the prayers of Christendom for peace. The King spoke to him about the revocation of the Church property, suspecting that the parties concerned in England may suppose themselves comprised in it. Pole replied that the bull itself fully explained that such was not the Pope's intention, but that his Holiness nevertheless had ordered a brief to be made out, to render it more clear. Pole's agent has informed him of Caraffa's friendly and courteous offers for whatever he (Pole) requires “nelle occorentie mie,” for which he thanks him most heartily, and in case of need will have recourse to him with all security, in like manner as Caraffa may on every account command Pole. Much has been said lately about the King's departure for Brussels; to-day it is announced for certain, and will take place in eight days, with few attendants, his Court remaining here, as he purposes returning within a month.
Richmond, 18th August 1555.
Aug. 19. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 189. Cardinal Pole to the Bishop of Sessa.
Has received an unsigned letter from him, not written by himself but the affectionate and gentle reproaches it contained, convinced Pole from whom it came. Apologizes for not having answered the request of such a friend and such a bishop, whom all cardinals are bound to serve, it being their duty always to serve bishops residing at their sees, when they make demands relating to the service of God. The Bishop in his letter thanks God for what Pole has effected for the cause in England, and trusts he will continue to serve it with regard to the see of Sessa. Not only does Pole pro- mise to do so, but prays the Bishop to command him in all things as a father would a son, he considering himself such, with regard to the Bishop. He has written the letter to Naples as required, and Monsigr. Priuli will give him farther particulars.
Richmond, 19th August 1555.
Aug. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 190. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 11th instant twenty large Flemish “urche.” on their voyage from Spain to Flanders, in company with three vessels from Civita Vecchia, freighted with alum, fell in with 18 French ships and three brigantines; a battle commenced on the 11th, five hours before noon, and was carried on until five p.m. on the morrow the 12th, with great slaughter and loss of life, and each party had six vessels burned and two sunk, the rest much crippled (malissimo trattate); four Frenchmen returned to Dover in such a state as to be no longer serviceable, and five Flemings were taken into French harbours. It is said that the two flagships and their admirals (amiragli) were burned.
Last week their Majesties returned to Hampton Court, the Lady Elizabeth remaining at the seat to which she went; and now the Queen shows herself and converses with everybody as usual, her health being so good as perhaps never to have been better, to the universal surprise of all who see her, but of delivery or pregnancy small signs are visible externally, and no one talks or thinks of them any longer. As to the King's departure, he yesterday sent the Signor Carlo da Sanguino, gentleman of the mouth (gentilhomo della bocca), (fn. 3) to Brussels, (they say) to fix his going, having already adroitly broached the topic to the Queen, who will acquiesce; so it is said he will leave in eight or ten days, postwise, leaving the greater part of his household for the sake of convincing the Queen by as many signs as he can that he purposes returning speedily; though on the contrary it is said more than ever, that he will go to Spain, and remove hence his household and all the others by degrees.
Concerning the negotiation for the peace, nothing farther has taken place since the departure of the Prothonotary de Noailles. The Abbot of San Saluto has received a reply from France to what he wrote about the disclosure made by him to (circa l'essersi allargato) the Bishop of Arras, commending him for what he did.
In consequence of a despatch from Rome, Cardinal Pole went to the Court the day before yesterday to announce the publication of the jubilee, and to request the King, in the name of his Holiness (who has made very earnest suit to this effect), to oblige him by conceding the archbishopric of Trani for Monsignor d'Osio. The nomination to that see, as one of the 24 of which the jus patronatus is reserved for the kingdom of Naples, belongs to his Majesty, from whom the Legate could not obtain the grant, as he excused himself on the plea of inability to infringe his promise and obligation to confer those benefices on natives of that kingdom; and the Doge will hear from Rome how this reply has been taken by the Pope. Cardinal Pole also returned thanks to both their Majesties for the finishing stroke (ultimo fine) put to the restitution of the Church property held by the Crown, all the Lords of the Council having at length approved it, and the bull being already published, though not without some impediment, certain English noblemen (alcuni di questi signori) having endeavoured to thwart it, perhaps from unwillingness to be invited by this example, for they can neither be compelled nor molested on this account, to do the like by what they themselves hold, and thus spontaneously disburden their consciences. By a subsequent despatch the Doge will see the tenour of the bull.
By a recent despatch from Spain it is said that the Castilians have already consented to give the subsidy of 800,000 ducats usually given at the time appointed by the Cortes, and they also hope for the benevolence extraordinary of 400,000, but no mention is made of the Aragonese subsidies.
Count Sforza Morone and Signor Gieronymo Crotto came hither from Milan, in the name of the community, to complain of the donative (pensione) lately demanded on account of King Philip from the feudatories, pensioners, and tributaries (donatarij) of the Milanese, as a thing due and usually paid by them to well nigh all the dukes on their taking possession of the duchy; which donative (pensione), signifying one year's income derived from either fief, pension, or office, is said to amount to no less than 180,000 ducats. This they requested of the King as a gift, or that he would at least defer the exaction of it until another time, by reason of the innumerable burdens and taxes to which the Milanese has been subjected, and which it continues to defray. At the audience given them by the King on the morrow of their arrival, he did not allow them to proceed far with their narrative, for, to the surprise of all the bystanders, moved by his usual graciousness, he interrupted them, saying that then and for ever he remitted them the tax; which reply so affected them that, humbly throwing themselves at his Majesty's feet, as an act of thanksgiving they offered him their property, their lives, and their blood for his service, and return completely satisfied with such speedy and auspicious despatch, having (it may be said) obtained the boon before they asked it. Has been told that, in consequence of this, and for other causes which are kept secret, the aforesaid Signor Carlo Sanguino will go to the Duke of Alva to acquaint him with the matter.
Richmond, 19th August 1555.
Aug. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 191. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prothonotary de Noailles returned yesterday from England, giving assurance, on behalf of the Queen, that she perseveres in her usual goodwill towards the French crown, and wishes his most Christian Majesty to send commissioners to England; but to this the King continues averse, and it is understood that when the Constable discusses this subject he expresses himself angrily, and especially because the prothonotary brings back word that the English ministers evince such affection for the Imperial interests that but very little remains for those of France, which increases the difficulty of negotiating; and Dr. Wotton has hinted to Soranzo that he knew all this to be passing in the Constable's mind, adding also that were the King of France to send his commissioners to England for this business, the Emperor would do the like, on which account he urges his most Christian Majesty to consent.
Poissy, 22nd August 1555.
Aug. 2. Senato Mar, vol. 33, p. 27. 192. Motion made in the Senate, 2nd August.
The grant of the fair demand made by their beloved noble Zuan Michiel, ambassador in England, ought not to be withheld, both by reason of the great expense in ordinary which it behoves him to incur in that legation, as also on account of the outlay extraordinary, incurred of necessity for the honour of the State on several occasions which arose there after the arrival of the Prince of Spain, and also by reason of what he may have to incur hereafter for the same cause; which provision is the more due because their said noble has already been for about 14 months on that legation without being provided with such additional salary as decreed by the Senate for all the other ambassadors before the despatch or departure from Venice of said Ser Zuan Michiel for his legation; wherefore it will be put to the ballot that to the 150 ducats monthly salary now received by him, there be added, during the rest of his stay in said legation, to commence with the day of the present motion, 30 ducats extra, so that he will receive 180 golden ducats per month; his successor also to have the like stipend, according to the motion carried in the Senate on the 15th March 1554, which, as aforesaid, was carried before said ambassador's departure from Venice.
Ayes, 156. Noes, 39 ¾. Neutrals, 11.
30th May 1555, in the College.
Ayes, 21. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2 ¾. Kinsfolk withdrew.
Aug. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 193. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
A Neapolitan gentleman-of-the-mouth, of the King of England, has come hither to inform the Emperor that his son will soon be with him, and from a person able to know the fact I have heard that he has written to the Emperor at great length about the very earnest suit (efficacissimo officio) made to him by Lord Paget not to take the Princess Elizabeth out of the kingdom, as it would certainly cause too great disturbance, and most certain mischief; and this same person told me that Lord Courtenay will shortly be allowed to depart for Italy, and during the last few days the Bishop of Arras has honoured him so in public that he compels him by force to take precedence and keep the right hand.
Don Ruy Gomez has departed on his way to meet the King, having failed to obtain permission from the Emperor (sua Maestà) to go to the baths of Liège for the cure of his malady, and he went by way of Antwerp for pecuniary supply. Before his departure Queen Maria invited him to dinner, which caused him to be much envied, especially by the Spaniards.
Brussels, 22nd August 1555.
Aug. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 194. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The most Christian King complains that the English commissioners for the negotiation of the peace, in their conversations with his ambassador in England, said that at the late conference the French ministers uttered certain words, which the King declares he had never before heard of, the commissioners in like manner affirming not only that they did not say them, but that no such topic was even mooted. Can learn no farther particulars save that his most Christian Majesty said that although the words, had they been uttered, were not such as to matter much, yet did it seem strange to him that his ministers should be reproached with saying what they did not say. So talking with the person who narrated the circumstance to me, and is worthy of entire credence, the King said he did not see how he could trust in the said English, or again send his minister to that kingdom to negotiate.
Poissy, 23rd August 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 24. Filza, No. 134, Miscellanea di Atti diversi Manoscritti, Venetian Archives. 195. James Basset to Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire.
My very good Lord, my bounden duty most humbly remembered. These are to excuse myself in that of long time I have not written any private letters unto your Lordship, the cause whereof being sent into Dorsetshire about her Majesty's affairs, and being otherwise the time so busied with me as I well could not, and also I participated first to Prune, (fn. 4) and after from time to time to Walker, (fn. 5) all things which I thought requisite [for] your Lordship to understand, so as that considering my own letter hath I hope so fully supplied my own writing, as I trust your Lordship will be satisfied therewith. And now, forasmuch as John Walker, your trusty servant, is the bearer hereof, to whom I have imparted my full mind in all things, and also hoping to see your Lordship myself very shortly, which is the cause, I do assure you, that I will do what I can to procure myself a journey, after the King's assent, as soon as I possibly can, which I trust shall not be long, referring myself in the rest to Walker's declaration by mouth, to whom I know your Lordship will, as you well may, give full credit, I will for this time commit your Lordship to the tuition of Almighty God, who ever preserve your Lordship, and grant unto you your own most virtuous desire.
In haste, the 24th of August.
Your good Lordship's most assuredly at commandment.
(Signed) James Basset.
[Addressed:] “To the right honourable and my very good lord, the Earl of Devonshire.”
[Endorsed by Courtenay's secretary:] “Mr. Basset, the 24th of August 1555, from England to Brussels.”
Aug. 24 (sic) [28?] MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 196. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal [Carlo] Caraffa.
On the 18th wrote to Caraffa of the King's determination to go to Flanders; so on the day before yesterday his Majesty, accompanied by the Queen, came to dine in London, and went afterwards to Greenwich, Pole accompanying their Majesties all through the city, where there was a much greater crowd than usual, on account of a fair [St. Bartholomew's], (fn. 6) and the populace applauded them the whole way until they embarked [at Tower wharf]. Yesterday Pole went to Greenwich, where their Majesties seemed to wish him to remain. He has not failed to pray and exhort the King to do his utmost with the Emperor to promote this negotiation for peace, saying again how much the Pope had it at heart. Then to-day after dinner the King departed, and in two days will be at Dover, (fn. 7) and seems to intend returning (please God) in October.
The Queen's ambassadors arrived from Rome four days ago, (fn. 8) showing themselves very well satisfied with the gracious reception given them by his Holiness, and with all the other courtesies received, of which they willingly tell everybody. On the road they heard of the repeal made by the Pope of the alienation of the Church property, and from what they told me, not without some anxiety lest it cause great disturbance here, a fear which has been expressed to Pole by many others also, but he has not failed to demonstrate to everybody that the intention of the Pope was by no means to alter anything done here, as may be seen by the bull itself; but that nevertheless, to remove any doubt, his Holiness had given orders for a special declaration to this effect to be made by another bull, which it will be well to have done, and to send the bull hither forthwith. Wrote to Caraffa that the King had determined to do nothing about the church of Trani until he heard farther from the Pope, after his being acquainted with the cause which prevented the King from gratifying him in this matter, as it would be his wish to do always. This the King confirmed to Pole yet more strongly, and Pole again repeated how much the Pope seemed to desire this concession, and how meritorious was the person proposed.
Greenwich, 24th (sic) [28th?] August 1555.
Aug. 25. Filza, No. 134, Miscellanea di Atti diversi Manoscritti, Venetian Archives. 197. Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, to Mr. Englefeld.
Having the opportunity of writing by this messenger, Mr. Morrise, thanks Englefeld for his friendship and the trouble he has taken in his affairs, and having some things at present to do and some suits to make, the particulars of which this messenger shall explain, begs his furtherance of them.
(Signed) Yours most bounden,
E. Devon.
Brussels, 25th August 1555.
[Original draft, in the handwriting of Courtenay's secretary.]
Aug. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 198. Federico Badoer Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The post-master Tassis will depart to-morrow for Gravelines to give orders about post-horses for the persons who come with the King of England; he has desired that 50 horses be kept ready at each post-house. His Majesty writes to the Emperor that Cardinal Pole and the Chancellor have been thrice with the French ambassador discussing the peace, and they talked of treating it again in October, which is not credited, certain chief personages saying indeed that Cardinal Pole devises this mode of . . . . . (fn. 9) to avoid being called to Rome, as for various and important projects of his he wishes to remain in England. The King also prays the Emperor to decide about the acts of grace and rewards to be conferred by him, as he wishes to be free from this trouble at both courts, and the Emperor has already commenced inspecting the lists of things for distribution, as also those of the petitioners, Secretary Erasso having been with him during a long while for this purpose.
Brussels, 25th August 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Aug. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 199. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The 300,000 crowns which the Emperor promised to furnish to the Duke of Alva through exchanges with the Genoese merchants have not been paid, and although they think the contract will take effect, yet will but a small part of the sum be sent to Italy, as the Imperial ministers have already pledged their word to distribute it in these parts, and that the first payments will be made to these said Genoese merchants, to reimburse the 24,000 crowns given by some of them to the Secretary Erasso that he might send them to King Philip for this his coming.
Brussels, 26th August 1555.
Aug. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 200. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Their Majesties came hither from Hampton Court yesterday morning, remaining merely to dine, and then went to Greenwich, where the Queen will remain during the whole time of the King's stay beyond sea. On departing hence, his Majesty had determined, when passing through London, to show himself in public to the people on horseback, leaving the Queen to follow him at leisure by water as usual, but her Majesty chose to give the City the satisfaction of seeing her likewise in his company, she having made the determination when in the very act of embarking; so having herself carried in an open litter, she went, accompanied not only by the English and Spanish nobility now at the court, but also by the Cardinal Legate and the ambassadors, the Lord Mayor and all the aldermen having met her at Temple Bar (alla porta della Città), (fn. 10) coming with the royal insignia and all the other solemnities, as customary when the Queen appears in public. It is not to be told what a vast crowd of people there was all along the road, which is a very long one, nor yet the joy they demonstrated at seeing their Majesties, which was really great, and the more as the London populace were firmly convinced that the Queen was dead; so when they knew of her appearance, they all ran from one place to another, as to an unexpected sight, and one which was well nigh new, as if they were crazy, to ascertain thoroughly if it was her, and on recognising and seeing her in better plight than ever, they by shouts and salutations, and every other demonstration, then gave yet greater signs of their joy, inasmuch as to their great comfort and that of her Majesty they saw her come with the King on one side of her and Cardinal Pole on the other, both of whom are universally popular by reason of the reported kindness of their nature, and of which daily proof is afforded by facts, so that the determination to make this display, most especially at the present moment, has been very useful.
The King will leave Greenwich as soon as he hears that the fleet with which he is to cross, and which until yesterday was here in the Thames to complete its outfit, shall be off Dover. It consists of 12 ships and a galleon for his Majesty's person, armed and provided in the best fashion possible, (fn. 11) and, in addition to this force, they are expecting some Flemish ships, to render the passage track yet more secure, as it is daily infested by Frenchmen, who without any scruple attack every vessel in order to take out of them all property and subjects belonging to the enemy.
His Majesty will be accompanied as far as Calais, that is to say, beyond the confines of the kingdom, by the Earls of Arundel and Huntingdon, (fn. 12) and Lord Paget, Huntingdon, and the Earl of Pembroke will follow him as far as Brussels, the last having been appointed captain and governor-general of all the English possessions across the Channel; and besides these personages the King will also be followed by the Admiral and the Queen's vice-chamberlain, and by the sons of the Earls of Arundel and Huntingdon, who are his Majesty's chamber attendants, together with some others of inferior grade, the number of persons being much less than reported.
His Majesty did not choose that the Portuguese ambassador and I should follow him, as we offered to do, he himself saying that as he was going postwise on a summons from the Emperor about business, with the intention of returning very speedily, he would not for so short a time give us this trouble, but, thanking us for our ready will, said he should hold the honour in the same account through our residence, as intended by us, with the Queen at Greenwich.
Concerning the King's return, discourse varies, his taking with him the Regents (li Regenti), and well nigh the whole Council, implying length and delay; so on the other hand, seeing that the German and Spanish infantry and the Burgundian cavalry remain in England, as also the chapel [functionaries], the physicians, the pages, and the whole stable [department], this affords arguments in favour of brevity and speed; but everything is conjecture.
In the meanwhile, as may be imagined with regard to a person extraordinarily in love, the Queen remains disconsolate, though she conceals it as much as she can, and from what I hear mourns the more when alone and supposing herself invisible to any of her attendants. During this absence Cardinal Pole will reside with her, lodgings having been assigned him in the palace, that he may comfort and keep her company, Her Majesty delighting greatly in the sight and presence of him.
With the King's departure all business will cease; so during this interval there will be little news to give, as everything in England proceeds in the usual course, and without any disturbance.
The affair of the peace likewise will also be suspended, independently of other respects, by reason of this absence of the King, but not remain entirely dormant, as last week Messer Gasparo Ponciglione, the nephew of the Abbot of San Saluto, was sent postwise to Brussels to confer with the Duke of Savoy (whose subject he is and much in his confidence) (fn. 13) about all current events; and should the Emperor determine on sending persons hither with such power as required by the mediators, in conformity with the offer made by the French ambassador and his brother, the negotiation would continue, notwithstanding the King's absence, as both one and the other are more than ever anxious about it.
Has heard from his relatives at Venice that, to relieve him in part from the expense incurred for the service and honour of the State, the Doge has very graciously been pleased to grant him the same increase of salary as destined for his successors. Returns thanks for this to his Serenity and the Senate; holds the demonstration and its result equally in account, though they cannot increase his wish to serve the Republic, as from duty and nature it had already reached its extreme limit.
London, 27th August 1555.


  • 1. Don Francisco was the brother-in-law of Cosmo de Medici, the consort of Eleanor de Toledo.
  • 2. Mutilated.
  • 3. The office of “Gentilhuomo della bocca.” may be translated either “Esquire carver,” “Gentleman of the mouth,” or “Sewer,” so I use the terms indifferently.
  • 4. Query Walter Prune. See Domestic Calendar, Mary, p. 68, 1555, July 10.
  • 5. Query John Walker. See Domestic Calendar, Mary, p. 67, 1555, June 10.
  • 6. According to Machyn's Diary, the King and Queen embarked at Tower wharf on the 26th August, and as Bartholomew Fair did not commence until the 24th I think Machyn was correct, and that this letter should be dated 28th August.
  • 7. The King quitted Greenwich for Dover on the 29th August. (See Machyn, as above.)
  • 8. In Machyn's Diary (p. 93) it is stated that they arrived in London on the 24th August, which is an additional reason for supposing that this letter was written on the 28th.
  • 9. Illegible in MS.
  • 10. This “rydyng thrugh London unto Towr's-warff” is recorded by Machyn, p. 93.
  • 11. Armate et provvedute di tutte le cose sue come si possa.
  • 12. Francis Hastings, second Earl of Huntingdon.
  • 13. As already stated, Vincenzo Parpaglia, Abbot of San Saluto, was a Piedmontese, and both uncle and nephew were staunch to their sovereign the Duke of Savoy.