Venice: September 1555, 1-15

Pages 175-188

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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September 1555, 1–15

Sept. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 201. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The Imperial purveyors have departed to assign the quarters in all the places through which the King of England has to pass, and the Queens and the Bishop of Arras together have sent his Majesty six such fast hackneys (chinee) that they will serve him instead of post horses, and for his followers they have taken at Antwerp and other places as many as 500, to be stationed at all the post houses. The Duke of Savoy, Lord Courtenay, and the English ambassador have gone separately towards Calais to meet the King, and it is said that on hearing of his having crossed the Channel, Queen Maria likewise and the Bishop of Arras will proceed towards Ghent. The Mantuan ambassador inquired of the Bishop what he was to do about going to meet the King, and received for answer that he was to follow the example of the other ambassadors. The Florentine says that he shall not go unless told to do so by some of the Imperial ministers; the Ferrarese will remain on account of [disputes about] precedence; the Portuguese will avoid encountering Sir John Masone. I shall do as the Nuncio does, if sure of not meeting the Duke of Savoy, knowing that your Serenity does not intend such an opportunity to present itself.
King Philip will lodge in the palace with the most Serene Queens [Eleanor and Maria, Queens Dowager of France and Hungary], and the purveyors have marked the habitations for all the lords of these provinces who have been called for the 12th instant, some say in order that the King may persuade them to give money to carry on the war, some because the Emperor purposes publishing his cession of these provinces to him, as he did Naples and Milan; others to make them consent to accept the Duke of Savoy as governor of said provinces, and consequently it will be heard whether he purposes taking the Duchess of Lorraine for his wife or not.
Several personages of this court, and of those who have arrived from that of the King of England, say it will soon be decided which of their two Majesties goes to Spain, and they will settle whether Queen Maria is to go to treat the matters for adjustment with the King of the Romans, or (as said by many) the King of Bohemia shall come hither for that purpose, especially as he has written a humble and very loving letter to the Emperor in justification of himself for the second time, purporting that, because he favoured certain preachers of rare ability, who were accused by some persons of having Lutheran opinions, his Imperial Majesty must not believe that he approved of them in this particular, adding the following circumstance, that on one of them the Cardinal of Trent had conferred some benefices.
The Pope has desired the Nuncio to acquaint the Emperor with the mode in which the galleys were taken by the Prior of Lombardy [Carlo Sforza], and to tell him that it was just they should be taken back to Civitavecchia, and that such therefore was his Holiness' will. The Bishop of Arras gave a favourable reply to the Nuncio, who took occasion to say that this business will be settled to the satisfaction of the Pope and the Emperor, to whom the Imperial ambassador at Rome has written that his Majesty would do well not to give him any cause for altercation with his Holiness, as he does not seem well disposed towards his Imperial Majesty. The Bishop of Arras evinced great displeasure on hearing of the arrest of Lottino, secretary of Cardinal Santa Fiore (fn. 1) [Guido Ascanio Sforza], especially because, after the election of the present Pope, it was said that he had told the Emperor many things to the discredit of many cardinals, which the Bishop denies, but says nevertheless that it would be well for certain persons who are too anxious to injure him not to go investigating matters, which, if divulged, might get themselves into trouble.
The Duke of Savoy, before his departure, requested the Ferrarese ambassador to write to his Duke, requesting him, as a favour, to give his Excellency the felons sentenced in his territory, and such as shall be condemned hereafter, that he may employ them on board certain galleys which he purposes fitting out.
Brussels, 1st September 1555.
Sept. 2. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 202. Cardinal Pole to King Philip.
The royal virtues and goodness of their Majesties having had the force to bind him to the Court for their service, he considers it his duty to write to the King occasionally, but is unwilling to molest him; and as the first office enjoined him by the King on his departure was to endeavour to comfort the Queen, who could not but be much distressed by the absence of such a King and consort, he will now merely tell him with regard to this matter, that besides the great pleasure derived by her, as she tells him, from writing to his Majesty and reading his letters (the basis of her consolation being the hope she has that God's providence will preserve him in health and prosper his affairs), no slight remedy for her grief is that which the King has devised and ordered by keeping her occupied with public business, about which Pole found her yesterday very anxious, owing to the King's letters; and her Majesty acquainted him with certain things about which the King wrote that provision was to be made, and on the day before she sent to him the persons named in the memorandum signed by his Majesty, that he might hear their opinion concerning the matter in question, as he is certain the King will have been informed. Prays God that he may have a good passage, and that his affairs may prosper.
Greenwich, 2nd September 1555. (fn. 2)
Sept. 2. Senato Terra, vol. 40, p. 51. 203. Motion made in the Senate concerning costs incurred in honour of Anthony Brown, Viscount Montagu, when passing through Venice on his return to England from Rome, where he had been ambassador.
Two hundred and twenty-six ducats and 16 soldi having been expended by order of our Signory by our officials of the office for “old accounts” (rason vecchie) in payment of the expenses of Viscount Montagu (il Sigr. di Montagu), an English nobleman who came to this city, as appears in detail by the account presented to the College, it is fitting to provide for liquidation of the entire sum.
Put to the ballot, that, by authority of this Council, there be given from the moneys of our Signory to the aforesaid officials of the office for “old accounts” 226 ducats and 16 soldi, in payment of all the costs incurred for the cause aforesaid.
Aloysius Rhenerio, S.C.
Aloysius Mocenico, S.T.F.
Ayes, 159. Noes, 3 ¾. Neutrals, 2.
1555, 24 August, in the College. (fn. 3)
Ayes, 21. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
Sept. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 204. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 29th ult. the most Serene King left Greenwich, accompanied by the English noblemen whose names have been already written, and although from beyond Gravesend, whither he went by water as usual, he proceeded post-wise for greater despatch, yet nevertheless, being accompanied to the seaside by his guard of 100 English halberdiers, he on the first day did not get farther than Sittingbourne, a distance of 15 miles, where he was received with great demonstrations of honour, having been met three miles in advance by the Lord Warden, Captain of the Cinque Ports, and Lord Lieutenant (Governator) of Kent, with a company of gentlemen of the county, in number 200, all on foot, clad in one livery; and on entering the town they found tables prepared in the streets as a mark of rejoicing, everybody being boarded and lodged gratis. On the morrow he went but 10 miles beyond, to Canterbury, where he stopped on account of the convenience of the lodgings, and where he still is, only 10 miles from Dover, awaiting news from the Admiral of the arrival of the Flemish ships, and of fair weather for crossing, having been detained hitherto by both one and the other, as to secure himself against any danger he will not put to sea without this Flemish convoy.
Much to my pleasure I accompanied Cardinal Pole and the other noblemen on the day when they went with the King to his barge, to see him take leave of the Queen, who on that occasion really expressed very well the sorrow becoming a wife, and a wife such as she is, invested with the regal habit and dignity, for without displaying much extrinsic disquietude, though evidently deeply grieved internally, she chose to come with him through all the chambers and galleries (sale) to the head of the stairs, constraining herself the whole way to avoid, in sight of such a crowd, any demonstration unbecoming her gravity, though she could not but be moved when the Spanish noblemen kissed her hand, and yet more, when she saw the ladies in tears take leave of the King, who, according to the custom of the country, kissed them one by one. On returning, however, to her apartments, placing herself at a window which looks on the river, not supposing herself any longer seen or observed by any one, it was perceived that she gave free vent to her grief by a flood of tears, nor did she once quit the window until she had not only seen the King embark and depart, but remained looking after him as long as he was in sight; and the King on his part mounted aloft on the barge in the open air (il qual montato in piedi in un alto della barca), in order to be better seen when the barge approached in sight of the window, and moreover, waived his bonnet from the distance to salute her, demonstrating great affection. Now whilst his Majesty is at Canterbury, not only every day, but every hour, expresses are on the road from the King to the Queen, and in like manner from hence to his Majesty, the gentlemen-in-waiting being always booted and spurred ready for a start.
Shortly before he departed, the King sent for Cardinal Pole, and all the Lords of the Council, into the chamber, and in very suitable language recommended the government of the kingdom to them during this his absence, alluding especially to justice and religion, leaving a writing in which, as I was told by the Legate, were noted all such warnings as he deemed most important and necessary, with a detailed list (una particolar nota) of such persons as could be trusted and employed for any necessary business or office, a matter which, although discussed previously, surprised every one by reason of the judgment and tact displayed in it by his Majesty, who then, thus in public, turning towards Cardinal Pole, besought him very earnestly in his own name and that of the Queen to assume this charge, in conformity with his own patriotism and the wish of their Majesties, desiring all the others to defer to him in everything. This same office had been performed by the King with the Cardinal the day before, they being alone together, his Majesty for this purpose having gone very privately in person to the Legate's own apartment, taking him quite by surprise. Cardinal Pole told me that by so much the less did he think fit to combat the wish of his Majesty, as he trusted, and was indeed certain, that the will of their Majesties, being in accordance with his natural obligation would also have the approval of his Holiness, from which, by another second obligation, both as a member of the apostolic see and as the Pope's representative, he could not depart. Henceforth, therefore, to the great comfort of their Majesties and the whole kingdom, all public and important business will be discussed and decided according to the opinion and advice of his right reverend Lordship, who, for the avoidance of envy and molestation, will not interfere with private and ordinary matters, leaving their despatch as before to the other members of the Council; and this will perhaps be the chief cause, besides the others, for his remaining here.
The Prothonotary De Noailles foresees that the decision announced to him by the mediators with regard to resuming negotiations here, even should it be put into a better form than was proposed to him, would not at all please his most Christian Majesty, whose reply to the English ambassador resident with him purports that having sufficiently declared his mind and intention at the conference of Calais, it was superfluous to send again hither to explain better than was done then, and that should it be necessary to propose any new scheme here, recourse might be had to his ambassador, who will reply to whatever shall be necessary. Such was the answer sent hither by the English ambassador [Dr. Wotton], the French ambassador not having had letters thence for many a day, as lest he should give notice of all King Philip's projects connected with this departure, all his packets are detained at the ports, whether coming or going.
Notwithstanding this reply, the Abbot of San Saluto does not fail to discuss these matters daily with said ambassador, the negotiation as written by me now passing through another channel, but as yet I am unable to ascertain whether any reply has been received, either from Brussels or from Missier Gasparo, the Abbot's nephew, who was sent to confer with the Duke of Savoy, though it may be supposed that everything is reserved for King Philip's arrival at the Imperial court.
Yesterday at the Court it was reported that there had been a second sea-fight in the British Channel, between some Flemish “urche,” on their voyage from Spain, and French ships, eight of which last had been captured, and that two of the Flemings were sunk, but as yet entire credence is not given to this account.
Shortly before the King's departure a Spanish gentleman, Don Francisco de Ribera, resident in Peru, sent thence with a salary of 40 ducats per diem, and full authority from the inhabitants of that province, arrived at Hampton Court, to treat and decide with the Emperor about the division of the territory already acquired, and such as will be obtained hereafter, that it may be conceded in perpetuity to the heirs and successors of those on whom it shall have been bestowed, and not for one or two lives at the utmost, the petitioners compounding for this grant by payment of a sum of money on the best terms they can get, having long earnestly urged the matter in vain, the denial proceeding from scruples of conscience, which were freely dictated to his Majesty by a bishop, who is a friar and a doctor of divinity, whom the Emperor seemed to believe more than all the other theologians who have spoken and written to the contrary. This Don Francisco is now going to Brussels with King Philip, who is in favour of the bargain, which would yield him so considerable a sum that the mere mention of it is alarming. On board the ship in which Don Francisco came from Peru to Spain, the vessel having foundered at sea, he lost upwards of 50,000 ducats, held by him in no account, as he says that on his return they will be repaid him twice over by the natives (da quelli del paese).
London, 3rd September 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Sept. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 205. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Five leagues hence Queen Maria has prepared a grand banquet and hunt, to gratify (carezzare) the King of England, of whose passage across the Channel no intelligence has as yet been received.
Persons who come from Calais say that some French armed ships were off the harbour, but not in sufficient number to prevent the King's passage. The Emperor has again desired the Prince of Orange to march with the army as soon as he can towards the city of Arras, and proceed beyond, to prevent the French from burning that part of the county of Artois, as they continue doing.
Here there have assembled nearly all the deputies and some of the Lords of these provinces, of whom the demand for money will not be made until the King arrive.
The Marquis of Terranova, on his return from England, came yesterday to visit me, and said that by the Emperor's order he was to depart for Sicily, to arrange various matters with the Viceroy, both about the Turkish and French fleets and the affairs of Tunis, his Majesty having let him know that he will thus render more service than by remaining here, as he had intended, wishing honestly to favour with the King of England the suits of many Sicilians against the Viceroy, who is too much protected by the Spanish ministers at both courts; and he expatiated greatly on the Viceroy's misconduct, as detrimental not only to the Sicilians, but to his Imperial Majesty.
Brussels, 3rd September 1555.
Sept. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 206. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Last night a courier came to the Emperor with news that on the day before the King of England had made a good passage across the Channel in four hours with four ships, not choosing to wait for the others destined for his convoy, being thus counselled in order that the French might not suspect him of being then on his voyage. Yesterday he lodged at Dunkirk, to-day he will be at Bruges, and to-morrow at Ghent; and he has written to the Emperor that on Sunday the 8th he will arrive here, where no preparation has been made in honour of his entry, as he comes post-wise, but it is said that, including all his followers and those who accompany him from the neighbouring towns, and who will go to meet him from hence, there will be well nigh 2,000 horse. The Count of Egmont, who is the chief personage of these provinces, after the Prince of Orange, has been sent by the Emperor to go to see him (a visitarla), and his Majesty has ordered all persons able to supply provisions for men and horses to furnish all Englishmen accompanying and following the King, without receiving any payment, which will be made by his Imperial Majesty subsequently.
Brussels, 6th September 1555.
Sept. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 207. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Before the King of England quitted that kingdom, its passage ports were all closed according to custom, to prevent the news from being spread abroad, and the French ambassador having found means to send his most Christian Majesty a messenger by an express boat, which was discovered, and detained for some days, the English ambassador apologised to his most Christian Majesty, in the Queen's name; and the King, who wishes her to remain neutral, said that although she was the wife of his enemy, on which account she might incline more towards the Emperor than towards him in the negotiations for peace, yet such was his opinion of her goodness and integrity, that should any adjustment be effected between the Emperor and himself, her Majesty's mediation would prove the best.
King Philip's journey is said to be chiefly for the purpose of deciding which of their two Majesties is to go to Spain; and either because such is the wish here, or because the Emperor desires quiet, it is considered at the French court well nigh settled that his Imperial Majesty will be the one to make the voyage, landing first in England.
I am assured on good authority, that his most Christian Majesty has ordered his ambassador in England, in case the Queen or others propose terms to him respecting the agreement with the Emperor, similar to those suggested at the late conference, to demonstrate his Majesty's absolute resolve not to alter his commissioners' terms; but should fresh proposals be made, he is to take time to reply, and acquaint his Majesty with them, though there is little prospect at present of any negotiations producing a good result.
Poissy, 6th September 1555.
Sept. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 208. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the most serene Queens [Eleanor and Maria of Austria] the Duchess of Lorraine, the Bishop of Arras, and several lords of these provinces, departed on their way to meet the King of England, who is expected here this evening, when the townspeople, according to the custom of these provinces, will receive him by the light of torches, although it will be daylight, 400 having been prepared for this purpose. At Bruges and Ghent some presents have been prepared for His Majesty, some say in money, and some in refreshments; yet the ambassadors have made no preparation to go and meet him, so I shall abstain from doing so, as besides what I wrote to your Serenity about the Duke of Savoy, I am confined to my bed by a violent pain in my side.
Brussels, 8th September 1555.
P.S.—The most Serene King of England has arrived with the number of horses and in the fashion announced by me, his Majesty riding abreast with the Duke of Savoy. None of the ambassadors went out to meet him.
His Majesty went immediately to the Casino to kiss the Emperor's hand. (fn. 4)
Sept. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 209. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Contrary winds detained the King at Canterbury from the 30th August until the 4th instant, Don Ruy Gomez de Silva having in the meanwhile come back hither, unable any longer to endure absence from his Majesty, having recovered his health, and being accompanied by the Marquis di Bargas, (fn. 5) gentleman of the chamber both having come from Brussels to wait for him at Calais. His Majesty embarked on the morning of the 4th at 8 a.m., according to English reckoning, and at the 13th hour by that of Italy, and had so good a passage that in two hours and half, as written by him to the Queen in his own hand, he crossed without any danger or suspicion from coast to coast, and in little more than three landed at Calais, his good fortune being so much the greater as shortly afterwards such a storm of wind and rain arose that all the ships then at sea ran great danger, and were driven here and there during 24 or 30 hours, and “malissimo trattati,” and amongst them were those of the Lord Treasurer and the Lord Warden, who, together with the others, having accompanied the King to Calais, chose to return immediately.
At Calais, besides other demonstrations made on receiving his Majesty with the honours suited to the place, he was presented with the keys of the town and castle; the staplers offering him 2,000 ducats ready money, and the mayor, in the name of the town, 500, which sums were afterwards very generously given by him to the soldiers of the place, who escorted his Majesty to Gravelines, he having done the like by the donatives received at Sittingbourne and Canterbury, which by his order were distributed amongst the poor; nor on leaving Calais did he fail to use another act of liberality towards Lord Grey, (fn. 6) captain (sic) of the fortress of Guisnes, to whom, in acknowledgment of his valour and loyalty, out of his own money he had a purse given, containing 500 golden ducats. At Gravelines he found the Duke of Savoy, with 4,000 infantry, he having, with good reason, come to guard the pass for him, as it is a frontier town; and thus accompanied, taking with him, amongst the rest, the Earl of Arundel, (fn. 7) who had not intended to proceed farther, having sent all the Spaniards in advance, and remaining with the English alone, he rode post-wise towards Brussels.
The Queen in the meanwhile, not content with having sent two of her chief chamberlains in the King's company for the purpose of being acquainted with all that takes place, writes to him daily in her own hand, and despatches couriers, demonstrating in every way her great desire, though it is not to be told how much comfort and consolation she derives from the conversation and society of Cardinal Pole, according to whose account she gradually reconciles herself to this absence.
With regard to affairs here, is told that, according to the King's suggestion, a sort of privy council will be established for matters of state and of importance, those in ordinary and such as relate to justice being referred to the one which already exists, wherein many persons who are considered sage have seats, but they apparently do not enjoy such esteem and repute as to qualify them for this other, for which (as understood by the writer) the only persons hitherto destined are the Cardinal, the Chancellor, the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke, (fn. 8) the Treasurer, (fn. 9) the Bishop of Ely, (fn. 10) Lord Paget, and Secretary Petre; but until the return of some of them who are with the King, it is impossible to know with certainty, and for the present affairs continue to be treated and decided as before, with this in addition, that when necessary those of weight are communicated to Cardinal Pole.
The French ambassador has had audience of the Council on account of the Queen of Scotland, (fn. 11) who has often complained of many acts of insolence and outrages committed on both sides of the Borders, without any punishment being inflicted on the English, contrary to what she does by her own subjects, who, when found guilty [of similar misdemeanours], are severely punished by her; concerning which the royal Council having written strongly to the captains and governors on the Borders there, sending thither also lately the Earl of Shrewsbury to confer with the Scottish governors, and discuss the grievances on either side, and apply a remedy, at this interview, from the site of which the Queen was not far distant, the Earl did not execute the orders of the Council, nor comply with the contents of their letters; so the ambassador demanded fresh letters and fresh provision, so as entirely to remove all cause for greater disturbance.
Messer Gasparo, the nephew of the Abbot of San Saluto, who was sent to the Duke of Savoy, met his Excellency four leagues on this side of Brussels, so Messer Gasparo's conference was deferred until the Duke's return to Brussels.
The English ambassadors lately returned from Rome (fn. 12) have rendered him thanks for the generous demonstrations made them by the Doge, both at Venice and throughout his territory, which, being held by them in great account, they have proclaimed and continue proclaiming everywhere, showing their grateful recollection of them; the like having been done by the Earl of Bedford, (fn. 13) who wrote to all his family of the liberality and courtesy with which he had been treated; and a few days ago a gentleman came, in the name of the Earl's mother (fn. 14) and of his consort, (fn. 15) they having sent him from the country upwards of 20 miles off, to offer him [Michiel] anything in their power (tutte le cose loro), presenting him at the same time, as a mark of their gratitude, with a large stag killed in their forests at a hunt, such a present, in England, being considered suitable and handsome.
London, 9th September 1555.
Sept. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 210. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Papal Nuncio having received letters from the Abbot of San Saluto (Cardinal Pole's secretary), sent to show them to the Constable. They were dated London, the 22nd ulto., and purported that before the King's departure the Cardinal would not fail exhorting him to persuade the Emperor to consent to the stipulation of an agreement with France, the Cardinal adding that King Philip was well disposed.
Poissy, 9th September 1555.
Sept. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 211. The Same to the Same.
The French ambassador in England has written to the King that Cardinal Pole exhorted King Philip on going to his father to urge him to make a truce with his most Christian Majesty, and the King answered that for himself he was inclined to perform every possible good office with the Emperor, but could give no farther reply until he had spoken with him, and as he is not yet known to have arrived at Brussels, nothing more is known about this business; but some persons are of opinion that, with the opportunity for showing that he does so at the request of his son, the Emperor might condescend to it.
Paris, 12th September 1555.
Sept. 12. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), vol. 69, p. 144, tergo. 212. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador in England.
In case the King depart he is not to follow him, but remain with the Queen, and if the King should have crossed to Flanders, and been followed by the ambassador, and his Majesty proceed to Spain, the ambassador will return to England to the Queen.
Ayes, 151. Noes, 7. Neutral, 29.
Sept. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 213. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Many months having passed without my speaking to the Queen, who had been so long in retirement on account of the delivery, I now, although no better occasion presented itself than that of recommending some of our merchants to her, did not think fit any longer to delay waiting upon her, as I did yesterday, when, besides the aforesaid office, I congratulated myself on the good and prosperous state of health in which I found her, as in the opinion of all the persons with me she had never, thank God, been seen so well, still less better, to the great comfort of your Serenity, who wished it, I said, to be such by reason of your ancient and great affection for this most serene crown, and particularly for her Majesty and her consort, for one and the other of whom your Serenity desired such increase of prosperity and such auspicious result for all their proceedings as became their great goodness, piety, and conformity of will; congratulating myself at the same time, having been persuaded so to do by the most illustrious Legate, on such a generous and Christian resolve as had emanated from the upright election and judgment of her Majesty with regard to the restitution of the Church revenues and property, which, I said, in like manner as it was a confirmation of her zeal for religion and Christian piety, the light which our Lord God had been pleased to give her, becoming daily more manifest, would become the brightest of mirrors, not only for her own subjects but likewise for all other nations, and both one and the other seeing therein its glorious reflexion, would be induced to imitate her Majesty, and sedulously follow this example.
The Queen's reply, which was more kind than usual, showed that the compliment pleased her greatly; she thanked me for my congratulations on both circumstances, and showed great readiness about the affairs of the merchants. She then called the Bishop of Ely and Lord Montagu, lately returned from their embassy to Rome, and who having accompanied and presented me to her Majesty had respectfully drawn aside to a remote part of the chamber, and said to me, “These personages have related to me how honourably and kindly they were received and treated by your lords, from whom receiving, as I do daily, greater proofs of the love and affection they bear me, I pray you to thank them to the utmost, in like manner as I thank you greatly for the present received,” she herself distinctly describing the coloured silk, which some months ago, as known to your Serenity, (fn. 16) was asked of me in her Majesty's name, and arrived lately, I being unable without great reproach, as the request was made to me earnestly more than once, to fail executing the commission, nor when performed did I think it becoming the dignity of the post unworthily held by me to ask or seek its payment, which was never offered. Concerning this silk, addressing herself to Lord Montagu and the Bishop of Ely, and speaking aloud so that the ladies and the Venetian merchants and many others who were present heard her, she said so many things in English, which were communicated to me afterwards, as clearly to show that what she had received she liked very much. In my reply, therefore, I said that even had the demonstrations in favour of the ambassadors been much greater than reported to her, they would have fallen short of your Serenity's wish, by reason of what is due to her Majesty's grandeur and merit; and as to the silk, that I most humbly kissed her hands for the favour conferred by commissioning me to do a thing which she said had proved so much to her satisfaction. Having then commenced talking about the King's journey, her Majesty telling me very passionately with the tears in her eyes that for seven days she had no letters from him, I comforted her by [anticipating] a speedy return, and having dwelt on this subject as much as seemed fit to me, perceiving the great pleasure it gave her Majesty, I then took leave.
I have given your Serenity a more detailed account of this audience than is perhaps becoming, that you may fully understand the kindness of her Majesty's manner and nature, as also her great affection for you, and the great account moreover in which she holds your demonstrations and good offices by receiving them so gratefully; nor in the meanwhile, with regard to the silk, which (I am informed) did not cost more than 40 ducats, as for the honour of the Signory I shall never demand payment, it will be reasonable for it to go to your Serenity's account (sarà di ragione vadi a conto della Serenità vostra).
London, 13th September 1555.
Sept. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 214. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
In my foregoing I wrote about the arrival of the King of England, and that he dismounted at the “Casino.” of the Emperor, who went down stairs to wait for him. The King knelt before him requesting leave to kiss his hand, to which the Emperor would not consent, and taking off his own bonnet instead and holding it in his hand, requested him earnestly to rise, in the act of doing which the King insisted on kissing his left arm, and the Emperor embraced and kissed him so affectionately that the tears came to his eyes. The King immediately called by name the Admiral [Lord William Howard], the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke, and some other Englishmen, and presented them to his Majesty, who received them joyfully (con allegro animo) but did not allow them to kiss his hand, as customary with him with regard to those who are not his own subjects. He then ordered another chair to be brought, and making the King cover desired him to sit down, as he did after much resistance, doffing his bonnet well nigh at every word. The King went through the park to sup with the Queens and the Duchess of Lorraine on their return, not from meeting the King, as it was said they would, but from the hunt, taking with him the Duke of Savoy, to whom on his journey he showed signs of great love and honour, especially near Calais, when, seeing his Excellency dismount, he returned the compliment, keeping him for a good while embraced; and now that the Duke is confined to his bed with fever and smallpox, the King sends Don Ruy Gomez to visit him daily, as do the Emperor and the Bishop of Arras, both their Majesties choosing to have an account of him every hour, and it is heard that he is getting better.
On the two following days the King was along with the Emperor morning and afternoon, two hours each time, and yesterday once in the afternoon until night, sitting with him at a table, with a drawer of writings before them. All the ambassadors have been to visit King Philip, and I presented him with the letters of credence, saying that your Serenity, bearing him great affection and reverence by reason of his so many and glorious virtues, had commissioned me to visit and congratulate him on his auspicious state. His Majesty answered me that he considered it certain that you loved him in the same way as he knew you had loved the Emperor, his father and lord, and that from his own will and by command of his Imperial Majesty he had always reciprocated this sentiment, and would persevere in the said goodwill and friendship, and when opportunities offered oblige the State in whatever he could, repeating this most lovingly and receiving me with great graciousness, quickly doffing his bonnet to me completely four times when uttering these words, and when I made a suitable reply to what he said about remembering my having been ambassador to him. (fn. 17)
The Emperor has given orders for the obsequies of his most Serene mother, for which purpose the black cloths and a torch for each have been given to 200 poor people, the trades of Brussels being desired by him to send a certain number of their members to assist at this funeral pomp, and along the street from the palace to the cathedral for the passage of the King and Queens they are making the stages (le sbare), which will be covered with black cloth. The mass will be sung by the Bishop of Liège, the natural son of the late Emperor Maximilian, who has come hither for this purpose and to visit the King, and the ceremony is to commence on the 17th and will terminate on the morrow. Consultation has been held about inviting the ambassadors, and owing to the dispute for precedence between England and Portugal it is said they will not be asked, as in these times both the Emperor and King Philip are but too much interested in not giving offence to either of those crowns; but the English ambassador says that although he may not be invited he purposes attending the ceremony with the other Englishmen here, who say that after the funeral they shall return home, nor would they accept the lodging provided for them by the King in order that their expenses might be paid, thanking his Majesty for this courtesy, and requesting him to allow them to select a dwelling to their own satisfaction.
It is said that on the termination of the obsequies the King has had leave from the Emperor to change his mourning apparel, and two days afterwards he will go to a hunt arranged at a short distance hence by Queen Maria.
Long letters, said to be autograph and in French, from the Queen of England to the King, arrive here daily, as also several persons of his court, and effects belonging to himself and his courtiers.
Brussels, 14th September 1555.


  • 1. Panvinio writes the name S. Fiore, but Cardella prints it Santafiora.
  • 2. In the MS. this letter is dated as above, and by a despatch from Giovanni Michiel to the Signory it is seen that King Philip crossed from Dover to Calais on the 4th September 1555.
  • 3. Although the account was not passed by the College until the 24th August, the expenses were incurred at the close of June, as may be inferred from the entry relating to Lord Montagu, date 28 June 1555, and from a paragraph in the Foreign Calendar, date Brussels, 21 July 1555 (p. 180); whilst from “The Journey of the Queen's Ambassadors,” published by Lord Hardwicke, it is seen that on its way home the embassy was at Bologna on the 1st of July 1555, and at Trent on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of that month. Lord Montagu apparently parted company from his colleague the Bishop of Ely, and went to Venice incog.
  • 4. “The Cashio was a lodge in the park at Brussels, near the Louvain gate. The Emperor purchased it in 1551, and in 1554 repaired and improved it, previous to going to live there.” See Stirling, Notices of the Emperor Charles the Fifth in 1555 and 1556.
  • 5. Marquis de Vargues? (See Foreign Calendar, 1553–1558. Index.)
  • 6. William Grey, 13th Lord (of Wilton), English Lieutenant at Guisnes. (See the late Mr. Turnbull's Calendar, 1553–1558. Index.)
  • 7. Henry Fitz-Alan, 21st Earl of Arundel.
  • 8. William Herbert, 20th Earl of Pembroke.
  • 9. William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester.
  • 10. Thomas Thirlby.
  • 11. Mary of Lorraine, Queen Dowager of Scotland.
  • 12. Anthony Brown, Viscount Montagu, and Thomas Thirlby, Bishop of Ely.
  • 13. Francis Russell, second Earl of Bedford.
  • 14. Anne Sapcotes, widow of Sir John Broughton. (See Collins' Peerage, vol. 1, p. 266.)
  • 15. Margaret St. John. (See Collins, as above, p. 272.)
  • 16. The Ambassador's letter, informing the Doge and Senate that Queen Mary wished for a gown of Venetian silk, has not been found.
  • 17. In November 1548, when Federico Badoer accompanied the Prince of Spain from Genoa through the Venetian territories, the Prince being on his way to Brussels.