Venice: October 1555, 26-31

Pages 221-237

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


October 1555, 26–31

Oct. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 254. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday afternoon the Emperor made the cession of these States to his son, the lords and delegates having requested his Majesty no longer to detain them, by reason of the great scarcity which they experience here, their daily expenditure exceeding 1,200 florins; his Majesty has declared that he made the renunciation in this town solely for his personal convenience, assuring all parties that the King will confirm the old privileges, re-establishing such as are desired, and conceding fresh ones.
His Majesty came from the Villa (Casino) through the park on a mule, in a long black gown, wearing the Order of the Fleece, the King of England having gone shortly before him. The Emperor seated himself in the town hall (nella sala maggiore), having on his right hand the King, who wore the same Order, and on his left Queen Maria, near whom he made the Duke of Savoy sit, and a little beyond, the Knights of the Fleece, and the lords and delegates of the provinces; all except the Duke remaining with their heads uncovered. A member of the Council of Brussels (fn. 1) then narrated the causes which had induced his Majesty to make this cession, namely, his age and illness; and after other words in honour of their Majesties, he made use of such notarial terms as are ordinarily adopted in public acts of renunciation and cession. The Emperor, apologising for weak memory, with a memorandum in his hand, narrated chronologically what he had done in the course of his life, the toil, inconvenience, and peril undergone by him by sea and land, and his undertakings for the defence of these provinces now joined with England, and of his other realms, for the preservation of the Empire, and for the increase (accrescimento) of the religion, saying of each circumstance, “By the grace of God thus did I,” “Thus did it befall me;” adding that, no longer feeling himself so vigorous as required for the government of so many States, and knowing his most serene son to be equal to the weight of these burdens, he chose to give the remainder of his own life to the service of God, and cede these States, as he had done, and would do others, to the said King, proceeding to this particular, that it might even come to pass for him to return to see them again, the renunciation affording him the comfort of knowing that to them he left a prince worthy of the faith and devotion they had always shown their sovereign, and to the Prince subjects as meritorious as himself (et al Principe, sudditi corrispondenti al suo merito). Then turning to his son, he exhorted him to assume this charge willingly for his, the Emperor's, relief; reminding him, above all things, to have regard for the [Roman Catholic] religion and equity.
At these last words the King rose up, cap in hand, and then kneeling before the Emperor, said that he should have wished his Majesty during all the rest of his life to have governed both these and all his other realms, but that as such was his Majesty's firm resolve, he swore to execute the commands given him to the utmost of his power; whereupon the Emperor embraced him, with many tears on both sides, and which were shed by the Queen [Maria], and many others also.
One of the delegates replied in the name of all [his colleagues] that they would have wished his [Imperial] Majesty to grant them the grace, they having lived in safety under the government of the greatest prince who had appeared in Christendom for many centuries, to continue ruling them during the whole course of his life; but as it was the will of God to subject them to this change, they were bound to return Him thanks for having given him such a successor as his royal Majesty [of England], expatiating greatly in praise of him, and coming to the conclusion that they would all obey and serve him willingly; beseeching the Emperor not to leave these provinces, both for his own service and their advantage. The King, after saying a few words in French, as the others had done, desired the Bishop of Arras to reply, in accordance with his goodwill; so his right reverend lordship said that his Majesty accepted the burden willingly, with the hope that the Lord God would favour him, giving assurance that he would have such care of them as became their fidelity and good opinion of him; he, on the other hand, relying on their loving obedience to his ministers and commands; the bishop expressing himself in such a way as to imply that the King desired some pecuniary subsidy for the war. Queen Maria then rose and took leave to speak, saying that if during her regency she had in any way failed, it proceeded from the defects of her sex, and not wilfully; and she then gave account, in her usual very masculine manner, of her administration during so many years; whereupon the same delegate, in the name of all the States, greatly commended and thanked her; and finally, in a few words, the Emperor dismissed the assembly. Then, this morning, the States of Flanders and Brabant met in a hall in the Queen's palace to swear fealty to the King; which ceremony will also be performed to-morrow by the other States; and the King has confirmed all the government officials in their posts for one year.
The Archduke Ferdinand, having been met by the Duke of Savoy and the Duke de Medina Celi (who went in the Emperor's name), arrived this evening with sixty posters, and dismounted at the Emperor's villa (casino), being accompanied thither by the King, who went as far as the gate of the town to meet him. The Archduke arrived at Louvain, four leagues hence, on the day before yesterday, remaining there until to-day, some say by the advice of Don Martin de Guzman, (fn. 2) that he might not be present at the renunciation of these States by reason of the claims, which, as mentioned by me heretofore, (fn. 3) his father, the King of the Romans, has, or pretends he has (ò vole haver), upon them; and some because it was written to him that he would do well not to come until after the cession had been made. (fn. 4)
Orders have been given by the Emperor for the harbingers to leave for Zealand for the purpose of assigning all the cabins in the ships, and making out the roll of the persons who are to follow his Majesty to Spain. Queen Maria had purposed embarking 200 horses, but the Emperor reduced them to 80, doing the like by the menial servants, not allowing any gentleman to have more than one, and he charged Secretary Erasso to supply the victuallers with money, so that they have already provided every requisite. Don Luis de Avila, general of the light horse and the Emperor's chamberlain, intending to follow him, has resigned his command. The Imperial servants have been to the King, letting him know that, owing to the Emperor's departure, they have been summoned to appear in court, and have been hard pressed to pay their debts for provisions and apparel, and that therefore his Majesty should see to the payment of their arrears; saying also that they were very anxiously expecting the publication about donatives, hoping by these two means to pay their debts. Thereupon the King held a consultation with the “Alcaldi” [burgomasters ?] about what they could do; the result being that if the parties summoned will pay forthwith one third of what they owe, and give security through merchants of Antwerp for acquittance of the residue within two years, the burgomasters hope to quiet the creditors, whose consent the King desired them to test. (fn. 5)
Brussels, 26th October 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 26. MS. St. Mark's Library Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 255. Cardinal Pole to the Archbishop of Conza [Girolamo Muzzarelli], Nuncio at Brussels.
Thanks him for the news from Rome; although he has always asserted it positively in London, yet as he had not received letters thence since a long while, many persons did not give it such credit as he could have desired. Conza can have no idea how many false rumours were circulated there by the malignants to alienate men's minds from their devotion to the Pope, availing themselves of the letters of certain Englishmen abroad in Italy on account of their bad religion (loro mala religione), and who, moreover, for the sake of creating tumult, sent hither lately the bull against the alienation of the church property. When Pole speaks to the Queen about this matter, she sighs and laments, saying she has not the heart to tell him all that is reported to her, but cannot conceal from him her apprehension that, should any discord arise between these great chiefs, (fn. 6) the disturbance in England would be so great as to render a remedy difficult. Pole has done, and does, all he can to dispel suspicion from everybody, but having no letters, his words have not such weight with the opponents (gli altri) as would be necessary, though the Queen seems to trust his affirmation that he knows the Pope's mind and nature better than other men; but what Conza now writes about the words of the Count of Montorio (fn. 7) was of great avail to confirm what Pole has always said, and the Queen remained much comforted.
Concerning Pole's writing addressed to that wretched man (a quel misero), (fn. 8) he should be glad to hear Conza's opinion of it more in detail, in order to determine whether he should allow it to circulate; although he does not know, Conza being such a friend to him as he is, whether we ought not to be more suspicious of his opinion than of that of an enemy. The Chancellor [Gardiner], whose life is now despaired of (fn. 9) (to the great sorrow of all good men), had given orders for it to be translated into English and published. Pole did not send it to the person to whom it is addressed until three days ago, (fn. 10) and perhaps had he known previously what Father Sotto wrote to Monsignor Priuli, despairing of the salvation of that unfortunate man (di quel misero), he would not have sent it, following the rule of Hippocrates, qui de-speratis morbis vetat adhiberi medicinam, although this rule is not applicable to diseases of the soul, of whose health one can never utterly despair whilst life remains, as sometimes the grace of God comes with the departing spirit; and thus, if not before, does Pole pray that of His infinite mercy it may come to pass with regard to that individual (che intcrvenga a costui).
London, 26th October 1555.
Postscript.—By letters from Rome dated the 12th ulto. has received news in conformity with what Conza wrote. Praises the goodness of God for removing suspicion from all quarters, and suppressing the causes of many and great disturbances.
Oct. 26 ? MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl.x. No date. Printed in Vol. 5, pp. 45–48, “Epistolarum Reginaldi Poli,” &c. without any date. 256. Cardinal Pole to King Philip.
In his last letter abstained from writing what would have been communicated to him by the Lords of the Council, but by his Majesty's letter of the 15th October Pole perceives that from him likewise the King wishes to receive news of the most Serene Queen, and of current events in England. He read to her the paragraph in the King's letter to the effect that although he was glad to hear that she attended to the public business recommended to her by him on his departure, yet would this pain him were it in any way to injure her health, desiring Pole so to act in this matter that she may use moderation, lest too much labour affect that which is of greater consequence to him than anything else. When the passage about this care and anxiety for her health was read it touched her greatly, as did the thought of absence from that consort of whose great love she received this assurance; but she resigned herself to the will of God, whose providence directs everything. Her Majesty again attended Parliament, (fn. 11) when the King's letter was read and listened to universally with due reverence, the Queen by no means dissembling either her affection for her beloved consort or her respect for his royal person. The proceedings of those two days, and the Chancellor's statement, will be known to the King both by the Latin translation of his speech and by the acts sent to his Majesty; but Pole will not omit to say that in these two days, when speaking in Parliament, the Chancellor seemed to him not only to surpass himself in ability, eloquence, discretion, and piety, in which he is wont to excel all men, but to surpass his own physical strength, for whilst serving his sovereigns and his country by word of mouth, he so subdued his malady as to show no sign of corporal infirmity. Should the Lower House, when it comes to vote, show the same mind in matters relating to religion, and the honour and advantage of the Crown, as evinced by their Speaker, there is no doubt that everything will be settled satisfactorily. Nothing could be more holy than what he said about religion, nothing more honourable than his mention of their Majesties; alluring everybody to further their interests, as common to those of the republic, and of this fair hope is given by what has been done during the last few days. Concerning the church property placed by their Majesties at the disposal (arbitrio permissis) of the Pope and his Legate, which has been adjudged by them to the clergy, experienced English jurists are of opinion that the renunciation must be confirmed by Act of Parliament, but who will follow the prudent course recommended by the King; nor does Pole doubt of the general assent, as those who were at first of a contrary opinion do not now consider the difficulty of the case to be so great, as it seems to consist in distributing the property in such a way as not to impose on those who are bound to exonerate their Majesties any heavier burden than the church property can bear, and that the persons in receipt of pensions may not be defrauded when they become due (tota vero difficultas versari videtur in partiendis ac distribuendis obnis illis, ut qui exonerare majestates vestras debent, iis non plus oneris imponatur, quam facultates ecclesiarum sustinere possint, nce quibus pensiones debentur, ii, cum tempus solvendi aderit, fraudentur). Will act diligently in this matter with the clergy and all the bishops, including those of the diocese of York actually in London, he and they being agreed, not only to act about the distribution of the church property, but to regulate all matters relating to the reform of the Anglican Church, and to convoke a synod for that purpose.
Has received letters dated Oxford from the Reverend Father Soto, giving him account of what he did with those two heretics (fn. 12) after their condemnation, one of whom would not even speak with him; to the other he spoke, but it profited nothing, it being easily intelligible that no one can save those whom God has rejected; and thus, according to report, the sentence was executed, the people looking on not unwillingly, as it was known that nothing had been neglected with regard to their salvation (itaque de illis supplicium est sumtum, non illibenter spectante populo, cum cognitum fuisset, nihil esse prœtermissum, quod ad eorum salutem pertineret). The late Archbishop of Canterbury, whose sentence of condemnation is now expected from Rome, does not show himself so obstinate, and desires a conference with Pole (atque se cupere mecum loqui). If he can be brought to repent, the Church will derive no little profit from the salvation of a single soul; but they are awaiting what may be expected from the next letters of Father Soto, and will certify it to his Majesty. Soto also writes that theology (doctrinam scholasticam) is greatly neglected at Oxford, no works of that sort being expounded publicly, so he thinks it would be useful to appoint an interpreter of the doctrines of Pietro Lombardo (fn. 13) (magistri sententiarum explicationem), an office which, if approved of, he would undertake. Having communicated this to the Chancellor, Pole, according to his opinion, treated with the Queen (cum Serenissimâ Reginâ egi) for the Hebrew lectureship, which has few or no pupils, to be exchanged for this one, in such wise as to cause no detriment to the former professor.
Complains of difficulties about safe-conducts demanded by him from the French government.
Is expecting the return from Rome of his envoy with the declaratory brief concerning the bull about the alienation of the church property.
London, 26th October 1555 ?
[Latin, 84 lines.]
Oct. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 257. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of England has had letters from the Queen his consort informing him that many violent opposition members having been returned to Parliament, she had sought his Majesty's coming (procurato che venisse), and hesitated to propose his coronation, adding that if unable to carry this act, so beneficial for the common weal, she thought of effecting it on the dissolution of Parliament with a number of peers (signori) and other personages of the kingdom. To this the King replied that as she necessarily desires this result (questo effetto) more than he does, he therefore requests her not to propose anything in this matter unless she is sure of its success, adding that being now absolute sovereign of the Netherlands, which are thus joined with England, he will attend to their defence against the common enemy the King of France, earnestly praying her to make every demonstration to convince King Henry that unless he come to fair terms of peace, now that on no plausible pretence can they be refused by him, as the Emperor is departing for Spain, she will make the kingdom take up arms for the protection of the two countries.
The wife of that Sir Peter Carew, who heretofore, on the eve of his Majesty's departure from Spain for England, was accused of inciting the English to cut the Spaniards to pieces, has come hither from England to the King. She requests his Majesty to grant her husband permission to return home, after having suffered so much and for so long a while, and has presented a letter from her husband, who is at Antwerp, setting forth his desire to obtain his Majesty's favour and that of the Queen, which favour he had not lost from any fault of his own, saying that should he know his case to be hopeless, he will be compelled to enter the service of the King of France, which he has never chosen to do hitherto. The King, taking into consideration the quality of the individual, who is the chief gentleman of Cornwall, and a person of very great ability and authority, and the services which might be expected from him in England, has requested the Queen as a favour to forgive him his transgression.
After the ceremony of the cession, the Prince of Orange departed postwise on his return to the army, with the intention of preventing the French from victualling Marienburg. The Spaniards in Hesdin, in reply to a letter written by King Philip to their commander, exhorting him to persuade them to bear patiently a few days delay in the payment of their arrears, as he promised them that the Emperor or himself would soon make provision, have answered his Majesty, contrary to the will of their commander, in the following precise words:-That necessity induces them no longer to place trust either in him or in his father, and that unless duly and speedily satisfied they shall be compelled to do a strange deed, to the detriment of their Majesties, their language being that of men no less desperate than haughty. This event has caused much comment.
Brussels, 27th October 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 258. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days after her first appearance there the Queen attended Parliament a second time, as usual, to confirm the procurator or Speaker, Cardinal Pole being present on this occasion likewise. After this ceremony, which, according to custom, consisted solely in a panegyric on the King and Queen, and apologies for his own insufficiency on the part of the Speaker, together with a reply in the Queen's name from the Chancellor, Secretary Sir William Petre read first an original Latin letter written by the King, and then its English translation, addressed to all the estates and orders of Parliament, thereby excusing himself and lamenting his absence, which did not proceed from election or will, but from force and necessity, owing to the great need which affairs in Flanders had of his presence, nor could he at present abandon them withont seriously injuring himself; saying that although the Queen, who represented their joint authority, would act in his stead, yet he would have greatly wished to be himself likewise on the spot, but if personally at a distance, he was more than present with them mentally, retaining the same thought, wheresoever he might be, for the interests of England, for their protection and maintenance, as for his own, being equally attached to both, and holding them in the like account; and exhorting Parliament, with regard to such proposals as might be made them by her Majesty for the service and advantage of the realm, to evince such goodwill and disposition towards her as they always had done, as he on his part likewise would be grateful to them; expressing himself very graciously in these and other similar terms, which were listened to very attentively, as if the King himself had been present, and hailed with applause and the usual acclamations. After the reading of the letter the Queen also said a few words, and caused many more to be uttered by the Lord Chancellor, about the King's wish, assuring them it was much stronger than had been expressed, either by word or letter, or in any other way. After this acknowledgment his lordship spoke at great length to remove any doubt or suspicion of its being intended to make any motion about church revenues or property, certain persons having disseminated a malicious report to the effect that her Majesty insisted on everybody surrendering them, as she herself had done, saying that this had never been thought of, and assuring the House that no one would ever receive injury or molestation on this account; and he ordered the reading of the bull made by the most illustrious Legate about the cession of the said revenues, and the confirmation of the bull lately received from Rome, so that everybody may know the fact, and become aware of the amount whereby the Crown revenues are diminished.
On the morrow both Houses determined to appoint a committee of 20 members to devise the present supply, and state their opinion in Parliament for its approval or rejection, on which they are now intent; nor as yet does it appear that they will discuss any other matter, it having been told me that on the first day he spoke the Lord Chancellor gave it publicly to be understood that they must not be disturbed by false reports, as nothing would be said about the King's authority, or of his Majesty personally, thus alluding to the coronation without specifying it distinctly. In the meanwhile the English of inferior grade, even the members of the Lower House, do not fail giving it freely to be understood with regard to this pecuniary supply, that there will be much to do before obtaining it, alleging that there is no lack of means for relieving the Queen without burdening the people, who, by reason of their poverty, and owing to the present year's grievous scarcity, can bear no farther taxation; the measure of wheat which usually costs little more than two “grossi,” being now worth ten; nor is there any to be had in consequence of the very heavy rains this summer, which have not only hindered the harvest, but rotted and putrified in the ground the grain, barley, and other sorts of corn sown for the composition of liquors (per far bevanda); this same moisture having caused great part of the sheep to sicken and die; the hay destined for the nourishment of the other animals being swamped on the field, and on these things the livelihood of the people and their resources entirely depend. (fn. 14) The means of which the Queen (as alleged by them) might avail herself would be that without any scruple her Majesty, as she ought to do, should compel all the debtors of the Crown to pay up their arrears, there not being one, or but few, of the great personages here who do not owe, some five, some six, and some eight thousand pounds sterling and upwards, as under favour of her Majesty, and through their influence with the ministers, they are not only conceded time, but may be said to have full dispensation from payment. In addition to this, the opponents say that so long as her Majesty is in debt she should retain, and not despoil herself as she has done of the sort of ecclesiastical revenue lately alienated by her from the Crown, this cession causing infinite loss to her Majesty, and but little profit to others, as these revenues are derived from potent communities (luochi) and personages who are scarcely, or not at all, inconvenienced by the payment, which consists in great part of tenths and first fruits of vacant benefices (chiese), which are here called “premices.” So, for the sake of the poor, they seem bent on violent opposition, which, according to their custom, will end in words rather than in deeds, as neither in this nor any other government measure do they dare contradict the Queen (non havendo ardire di partirsi da quello, che così in questa, come nelle altre proposte, vogli la Serenissima Regina).
I was told lately on good authority that Cardinal Pole, having thought fit to speak to the Queen about the peace with regard to the performance of a certain office, her Majesty answered him very sharply (molto bruscamente), that it was no longer to be spoken of nor thought about, evincing great resentment and ill-will towards the French, so much so that the general opinion of the Court was, and still is, that ere long she will declare herself against them; but I have since heard, from the same informant, that her Majesty is now much soothed, her first violent ebullition being perhaps allayed. The Lieutenant d'Amont, late ambassador here, has written from Brussels that he had already spoken to the Emperor and the King about the information received here by the Abbot of San Saluto, and shewn to their Majesties, moreover, the Cardinal of Lorraine's letters to the Abbot. The latter was much commended for the manner in which he had transferred the negotiation to the Bishop of Arras, taking it out of the hands of the English mediators (era il ditto abate molto laudato del modo con il qual si era mosso in voltar la pratica con il vescovo di Arras levandola dalli mediatori Inglesi). As both the letters and the information (le informationi) pleased the Emperor and the King, he [the Lieutenant d'Amont], should both sides persevere in the negotiation, did not despair of its being brought to a good end. When Cardinal Pole, therefore, returned to the Queen to give account of this, as also of some other detail of greater importance (with which my friend was unable to acquaint me), her Majesty answered him that he was not to fail pursuing the negotiation, but to let it appear that he did everything of his own accord, without using her authority or mentioning her. It is also told me that the Abbot will probably go very soon to France, seeing that the hope of the negotiation increases rather than diminishes. Thus the business is not only not abandoned as desperate, but is more brisk than ever, and continues advancing.
The departure hence of Don Diego de Azevedo with the rest of the household and the King's guards is delayed until pecuniary supply be provided for payment of the debts of the household here, and to give them the means for commencing their journey, although the Queen has done her utmost to prevent the move. Her Majesty, who at present avails herself in all matters of the counsel and assistance of Cardinal Pole, causes him to remonstrate both with the Emperor and the King, reminding them that it would be much better for the advantage of matters, both in England and Flanders, that the Emperor should postpone his voyage, at least until they were somewhat better established; laying before them not only the negotiation for peace still on foot, but proving by many arguments how important it is, both for his reputation and on other accounts, that at the present time the Emperor should be in person in these parts, although he be unable to occupy himself cither with politics or anything else (con tutto chè non potesse adoperarsi ne travagliarsi, in negotio, nè in cosa alcuna). This office Cardinal Pole performed willingly, he being exclusively intent on the common weal, in conformity with the wish of the most Serene Queen. Although, therefore, notwithstanding King Philip's having written by his last letters to the Cardinal that the Emperor's departure on the 20th of next month was irrevocable (risolutissima), it having been thus decided on account of his health, a motive, the King writes, to which he was compelled to yield, as being so just and necessary he dared not oppose it; yet nevertheless a courier was sent off to his Majesty yesterday, with a despatch as aforesaid, acquainting him likewise with all that had taken place hitherto in Parliament.
Don Diego de Azevedo, by order of the King, informed the Lord Chamberlain, and all the other gentlemen of his Majesty's household, that they were at liberty, if they wished it, to follow him to Flanders for the continuance of their functions; their stipend being paid them in like manner should they choose to remain [in England]; so, as they are to receive their salaries, it is supposed that few or none will stir, they being too comfortable here in their own homes.
Three Suffolk men have been sent prisoners to the Tower, one of them (as reported) being a gentleman, who, on the day the Queen opened Parliament in state, allowed, it to escape him, when talking with the other two, his companions, that to free the kingdom from oppression it would be well to kill the Queen. It is said besides, that thus had he intended to do, having already prepared weapons for the purpose; and on unbosoming himself to the two, they prevented its execution, and then laid the accusation, the truth or falsity of which will be proved by his sentence.
London, 27th October 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 27. Filza No. 134. Miscellancea di Atti diversi Manoseritti, Venetian Archives. 259. James Basset to Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire.
My duty most humbly remembered to your good Lordship. I have received your letter of the 12th of this instant by Mr. Francis Brown, being greatly to my comfort to understand of your Lordship's so well doing there, and specially of that you are upon so good a waiter, (fn. 15) thereby so well used to your own great quietness and comfort there, and to the great rejoicing of your friends here, that understand the same; and I take it for an assured argument and good token of the continuance of your well doing, that even as your first good fortune, which, as it flashed out suddenly, so it suddenly vanished, (fn. 16) even so, in this second fortune of yours, which hath proceeded sensibly by so many sundry several degrees, I do firmly believe it to be an assured true token of the perfect good continuance thereof; even according to the wise man's saying, which is, that the substance acquired, little and little, hath the better foundation, and is of longer continuance; and, therefore, I reckon your Lordship hath much cause to take great comfort in this your fortune, which hath gone forward from your second delivery by so many small degrees, and shall in the end grow to that perfection which your Lordship or your, friends can reasonably desire, whereof I am in such good and perfect hope, that I put no doubt of your very well doing. I took occasion to declare to her Highness, upon the receipt of your letters, of your good waiting, and of your well using, whereof I perceived her Majesty was very glad to understand, inasmuch as when my Lady, your mother, took her leave of her Highness, which was the first parliament-day [21st October ?], her Highness asked when she had any letters from you. She answered that not this five or six weeks; whereat the Queen marvelled, for there had come letters to others since, which I think she meant to me; and her Majesty declared how your Lordship used yourself there as serviceably and well as could be wished, and how gentylly and well the King's Majesty, and the rest of the noblemen, did use you there, and concluded that she doubted not but you should do the King and her good service, and that his Majesty would be as much your good and gracious lord as yourself or your friends could desire. Your mother rejoiced not a little to see her Majesty's good affection to you, and she, with the rest of your friends, were very glad to hear that your Lordship is so well satisfied with the using of you there. I conversed with my Lady your mother, in whom I found much motherly affection and great care..... you in thinking your Lordship shall not find all things true which you fear and suspect in her towards you. I wish earnestly your Lordship should with your often letters entertain her as is convenient, she being your mother, whereby no occasion be ministered by you of loss or decay of goodwill between you.
My Lord Chancellor, your most assured friend, doth amend; nevertheless, being the dead time of the year, he cannot increase in his amendment as he should, if it were in the spring time; but all the physicians here be in a marvellous good hope of his recovery, and the Queen's Majesty used him as well in her coming through her house at Westminster where he lieth, whilst her Majesty lieth at St. James's, and also openly in the Parliament Chamber, in the face of the whole world there, and by her often sending unto him, with such exceeding great gentylnes, as her Majesty hath made a very good demonstration thereby, what a special love and an exceeding great care she hath of him, for it is impossible to show more gentylnes, kindness, care, and love than her Majesty hath showed divers ways unto him. My Lord Chancellor never did better in his life than he did these two days at the Parliament, and Mr. Pollard, who is Speaker, and was presented on Wednesday, and was very well liked by the Queen and the rest there, made an excellent oration; Mr. D. Curlyng hath done the same in Latin very well, which is sent to the King's Majesty from her Highness; the same to Mr. Mason, where you can see it, nevertheless I am promised a copy thereof, which by the pt [post ?] I will send your Lordship.
The Nether House of themselves devised that it should be committed to 20 of them to devise upon some subsidy for the Queen's relief, which they did, and agreed that the self-same subsidy should be granted unto her which she had when she came to her estate, and two fifteenths when that is done; which yesterday, being declared by the committees to the House, was .... of more, but appointed learned men of them to devise that for the giving of it to be made in all points in the self-same wise that the same was, she forgave. (fn. 17) This day it will be brought into the House, and I think we shall have a short Parliament. Heydon is not yet come, and until his coming we cannot do nothing (sic) in your matters. It was very happy that Hammerston hath made so good a survey, for we should else hardly have gotten any money in time to save your Lordship. Mr. Peter [Sir William Petre, Secretary of State] . . . . to move your Lordship again (agoyng) for exchange or buying of your manor of Whitefords, which lieth so entangled with the manor of Shute, which was the Duke of Suffolk's, as it was the occasion of continual dissension between the .... servants thereof. He saith that divers of your tenements of the manor of Whitford lieth on the further side of the manor of Shute, and divers of the manor of Shute lieth in the farther side of the manor of Whitford. The same is, as Mr. Peter doth esteem it, about a XL marks by the year. Thinks Courtenay had better sell this estate to Mr. Peter, considering who he is, and that he may do him some pleasure. Knows that Courtenay thinks Englefeld is of opinion it were preferable to sell in any other place than in Devonshire. Says Shute is a very stately thing, and Mr. Peter hath divers great and profitable things there. I think he can dispend in that shire about four or five hundred pounds a year, and saith that he beginneth to have a .... [mind ?] to leave Essex and settle in that shire. If your Lordship mind to sell it, you may refer it to those you have put in commission. Gives advice about the measures to be adopted for the sale of some of Courtenay's lands.
I send for your Lordship herein enclosed a copy of a letter which the King sent to my Lord Chancellor by the last post, whereby your Lordship may perceive his Majesty's good affection towards him.
Westminster, 27th October.
[Addressed:] “To the Right Honorable my very good lord, Earl of Devonshire.”
[Endorsed:] “Mr. Basset, 26th October 1555. England to Brussels.”
[Holograph original. N.B. The date in Basset's hand in the letter is 27th October, but so written that Courtenay's secretary read it xxvj., as he has endorsed it.]
Oct. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 260. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Was told by the King that the Constable had intercepted a number of letters of the Imperialists, including some from the King of England, one of which was written by him to his sister the Regent in Spain [Joanna of Austria], praying her earnestly to pay certain moneys taken by him on his word at interest, saying they were the first for which he had ever pledged his word; and there was also another letter which he had addressed to Don Juan Vasquez, president of the treasury board in Spain; also that the affairs of Spain were directed by three councillors, one for the government of the realm, one for military affairs, and the third for pecuniary supply. His Majesty then continued that this Don Juan Vasquez seemed to be the very intimate servant of King Philip, who wrote to him in cipher that he was about to cross from England to Brussels to kiss the Emperor's hand and speak to him about a secret which as yet he [King Philip] had communicated to no one in the world, and that if he could dispose his Imperial Majesty to give him absolutely the charge of all his states, he, the Emperor, would doubtless cross to Spain, which was also confirmed by letters from Don Ruy Gomez; so his most Christian Majesty, although as yet without news from Brussels of any farther decision on the subject, cannot but suppose that thus will it be, though not until March, the bad weather having already commenced (cominciando già li tempi a pesare); in addition to which, the King had been informed that at a monastery near Madrid (presso a Madril (sic)), called San Giusto, (fn. 18) much preparation (molte provisioni) had been made by order of his Imperial Majesty, he having announced his intention of going into retirement there. In conclusion, the King said that from all quarters he heard the Emperor was in great need of money, which additionally impeded all his affairs, and went on to say, “The Pope did manfully to imprison those noblemen” (che Sua Santità si havea portato virilmente a reddur quelli signori in prigione), and that the two galleys of Sta. Fiora had already been sent back to Civita Vecchia, contrary to the commands of the Duke of Alva, which arrived too late; and that the Pope knew that the Duke blamed the Imperial ambassador at Rome for not departing thence when he saw that the Pope delayed giving him audience, saying that such is the way to do with priests, which exasperated the Pope more than anything.
La Fertè Milon, 28th October 1555.
Oct. 30. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), vol. lxix. p. 155. 261. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor.
Should the Emperor's will be to go without ambassadors to Spain, he is to remain with the King of England, the Signory wishing always to have an ambassador with his Royal Majesty. [ (fn. 19) Should the King cross over to England, after accompanying him to Calais, or to the site of his embarkation, he, in the act of taking leave, is to say that as his Majesty is going where he will find the Signory's ambassador Michiel, that personage will supply his place until the arrival of a fresh ambassador, who will be appointed to reside with his Majesty.] After performance of this office he is to return home. Should he be unable to obtain audience of the Emperor, is to perform the office aforesaid with the King and the Bishop of Arras, so that his Imperial Majesty may have knowledge of it.
Ayes, 176. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 4.
Oct: 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 262. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the arrival of the Archduke Ferdinand, King Philip and the Queens have shown him many marks of love and honour, they going together to several banquets and hunting parties, and remaining in each other's company; on which occasions his Majesty, making signs to the Duke of Savoy to go to the left, took the Archduke between them, and this he did moreover on meeting him outside the town, when the Archduke having alighted from his horse, the King did the like. The Spaniards say he came for the purpose of paying his respects to the Emperor, the Archduke's attendants declaring that his Imperial Majesty sent for him with the hope of making him marry either the sister of the Queen of England or the daughter of Queen Eleanor, who is in Portugal, and has a dower of 50,000 crowns revenue; and some say that the wife destined for him is the Emperor's daughter, widow of the Infant of Portugal, with the county of Burgundy for her dowry. Has heard that, besides the reasons aforesaid, he came for the purpose of confuting the current belief in there being a misunderstanding between the Emperor and the King of the Romans, as also between the sons of their Majesties, owing to several causes, and especially on account of certain letters full of angry expressions which passed between them a year ago. (fn. 20) According to report, the Archduke also confirmed to the Emperor what Don Martin de Guzman came to notify to him with regard to the will and opinion of the King of the Romans about renouncing the administration of the Empire on the Emperor's departure for Spain, concerning which matter it is said that the Electors, and especially the Palatine, have let his Majesty know that should he make a written act of renunciation of the Empire in any form whatever, it would not be approved by them, as according to the laws it is not feasible; and the Elector of Cologne, who is now expected here, is supposed to be coming chiefly on this account, although his professed object is to pay his respects to the Emperor before he embarks. So the chief ministers both of the Emperor and of King Philip declare that his Imperial Majesty will not make any renunciation of the Empire, but that in a few days he will cede the kingdoms of Spain and Sicily to his son, to which effect Don Juan Manrique and Don Diego de Azevedo will be sent to Spain in the name of both their Majesties, and that he will remain with the sole dignity of Emperor.
The lords and delegates of these provinces departed after taking the oaths of allegiance to the King, having previously apologized for their inability at present to give him any sum of money, both because the people are exhausted by reason of the long and uninterrupted war, as also because, according to report, he having perhaps ere long to make a progress through the provinces, they will then, as customary, be compelled to make him a present; and according to general report, before departing they gave him to understand that whilst he is present here they do not intend to be ruled by any one else, alluding thus to the Duke of Savoy, some of whose attendants attribute this to the King's disinclination (non ardente volontà) to give him the absolute command, which greatly dispirits his Excellency, although his Majesty has given him the grade of his lieutenant and captain general, and entrusts much of the business of the provinces to him, but he has not the supreme authority exercised by Queen Maria.
Brussels, 31st October 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Oct. 31. Lettere del Collegio (Seereta), File No. 20. 263. The Doge and College to Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Are writing to our ambassador with the Emperor that should his Majesty go to Spain, and not choose the ambassadors to follow him, he (the ambassador) is to remain with the King of England, the Signory wishing always to have an ambassador with the King's Majesty, with whom he is also to perform a similar office on the Emperor's departure (et che 'l faccia ancora questo officio con Lei partito che sarà l'Imperator); [and that when the King goes over to England, after accompanying him to Calais, or wherever he may embark, in the act of taking leave of him, is to say that as his Majesty is going to England, where you are, your presence will supply his place until the arrival of a new ambassador, who will reside with his Royal Majesty], (fn. 21) and that after the performance of this office he do return home; and in case the ambassador accompany the Emperor to Spain, on taking leave of the King of England he is to tell him that the Signory, wishing always to have an ambassador with his Majesty, will elect one.
Ayes, 21. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
Oct. 31. Lettere del Collegio (Seereta), File No. 20. 264. Doge Lorenzo Priuli to the King of England.
Have commissioned our beloved noble Federigo Badoer, ambassador with the Emperor, to remain with your Majesty, by reason of our desire and will always to have an ambassador of ours with your Royal Highness.
Ayes, 21. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.


  • 1. Philibert de Bruxelles, President of the Council of Flanders. (See Robertson and Mignet.)
  • 2. Lord High Chamberlain to Ferdinand, King of the Romans.
  • 3. See entry No. 248, dated 16th October.
  • 4. In M. Mignet's “Charles Quint, son abdication, son séjour, et sa mort au monastère de Yuste,” p. 92 (ed. Paris, 1857), it is stated that at the ceremony of the cession of the Netherlands to King Philip, the Emperor was “accompagnè de ses soeurs les Reines de “Hongrie et de France, de ses neveux l'Archiduc Ferdinand d'Autriche et le Due de Savoie,” &c. &c. We now learn from Badoer, not only that the Archduke was not present, but that his absence was probably caused by circumstances to which the narrators of the last three years of the Emperor's life have made no allusion.
  • 5. Onde di sua Maestà Regia li fu imposto a far prova della volontà loro.
  • 6. “Questi gran Capi,”—the Pope and the Emperor.
  • 7. Giovanni Caraffa, nephew of Paul IV., and brother of Cardinal Carlo Caraffa.
  • 8. Pole's letter to Cranmer, written I suppose originally in Latin, and printed in French in the “Collectio Epistolarum,” &c. (Vol. 5, pp. 238–274.)
  • 9. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, died on the 13th November 1555.
  • 10. It has been supposed (see Froude, vol. 6, p. 413, ed. 1860), that “when this letter reached the Archbishop, it was very near the period of his sentence,” which was not published (at Rome) until the 14th December 1555. The trial of Cranmer commenced at Oxford on the 7th September 1555. (See Froude, as above, p. 372.)
  • 11. The session of Parliament here alluded to was opened on the 21st October by the Queen in person, who made her second appearance there two days later to confirm the appointment of the Speaker. (See Michiel, despatches dated 21st and 27th October.) It is therefore probable that Cardinal Pole wrote this letter to King Philip from London.
  • 12. For the burning of Ridley and Latimer at Oxford on the 16th October 1555, see Froude, vol. 6, p. 385, ed. London, 1860.
  • 13. Pietro Lombardo, born near Novara in the 12th century, was so able a theologian that his work entitled “Sententiœ” obtained for him the title of “Magister Sententiarum.”
  • 14. “The XXIX day of September [1555] was the grettest rayn and fludes that ever was sene in England,” &c. &c. (See Machyn's Diary, pp. 94, 95.)
  • 15. Allusion to Courtenay's attendance on the Emperor.
  • 16. Query, his expected marriage to Queen Mary. See Cardinal Pole's letter to him, dated Trent, 2nd October 1553.
  • 17. J infer the writer's meaning to have been that the Queen forbad any mention of the fifteenth, as she remitted it entirely. (See despatch of Giovanni Michiel, date London, 4 November.)
  • 18. Yuste. See Stirling's Cloister Life of Emperor Charles V.
  • 19. In cipher between the brackets.
  • 20. Et spetialmente per alcune lettere che già fu un anno passarono tra loro piene di alteratione.
  • 21. In cipher between the brackets.