Venice: March 1555, 16-31

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1877.

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, 'Venice: March 1555, 16-31', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558, (London, 1877) pp. 23-35. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Venice: March 1555, 16-31", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558, (London, 1877) 23-35. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Venice: March 1555, 16-31", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558, (London, 1877). 23-35. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

March 1555, 16–31

March 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 30. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassader with the Emperor to the Doge and Senate.
The Emperor has sent a courier to King Philip in England, desiring him to send immediately for Don Garcia de Toledo; some say, in order to despatch him to Sienna, as he wishes to appoint the Marquis of Marignano, at Milan, colonel of the Spanish troops in Italy; which is taken amiss by those who manage the affairs of Don Bernardino de Mendoza, to whom the intention had been announced of attaching him to the Duke of Alva; and by the agent of the Marquis of Pescara, who, before being appointed to the light horse, had been promised by the King of England this command of the Spanish infantry, of which he was desirous. The Signory of Genoa has been assigned a sum in Spain, on account of their credit with the Emperor, and the amount being small, as compared with the debt, the Genoese agent lately urged full payment or the greater part of it, and being unable to obtain from the secretary Vargas a reply in conformity with his need, he went to the Bishop of Arras at Antwerp, where having heard about the loan of 500,000 ducats, contracted for by the King of England with the German merchants, the Fuggers, and Keti (sic), (fn. 1) he purposes urging payment of the remainder of this debt, out of the sum to be disbursed by them in Spain; and he said that should this be denied him, he will go to the King of England, for whom solely, the Emperor's gentleman . . . . . told him this provision had been made.
Antonio Doria's agent, who accompanied to Mastricht the prisoners given him by the Emperor, for the galleys, has returned in very sorry plight to Antwerp; having run the risk of his life, as the people of Mastricht lapidated him for bringing these slaves, sixty of whom made their escape, complaining of being condemned to go and die at the oar for their opinions about religion; and he thinks that unless the others who went on, are conducted more cautiously, the like will take place with them. Yesterday the Auditor di Rota Agostini had audience of the Emperor, together with the Nuncio; and after saying that the cause of his being sent to the King and Queen of England, was to congratulate their Majesties and thank them for what they had done in the matter of religion, and to give the King the rose and sword. He made a very serious complaint against the greater part of the bishops in Spain, that they allowed many churches to go to ruin, and maltreat the canons, reproaching them with other misdemeanours worthy of great punishment; which matter was referred by his Majesty to his son.
Brussels, 16th March 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
March 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives 31. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassader with the Emperor to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Pembroke, who is considered the chief personage in England, having more followers (più seguito) there than anybody, has arrived at Calais with only six servants, bringing letters from the King and Queen for the warder, desiring him to obey the Earl's orders. He has not said a word about the cause, of his coming, which there and here has caused much comment. Some say that it is because the French have mustered in great force at Montreuil; and that from fear of their usual plots, he has been sent to make provision on that frontier. Others are of opinion, as before leaving England he engaged several captains, giving them pay, that King Philip has persuaded the Queen to make war on the King of France. Many suppose, that to facilitate the peace with his most Christian Majesty, the Emperor induced the Queen to send Lord Pembroke because the French hold him in great esteem. The Florentine Ambassador has received two autograph letters from his Duke, one addressed to the Emperor, the other to the King of England; the former to be delivered immediately with a mere verbal compliment; the latter to be forwarded express. Thus did he, and being unable to obtain audience as soon as he wished, he gave the one destined for the Emperor to his chamber attendant Messer Adriano; telling other persons that he was unacquainted with its contents.
Yesterday, the Emperor wrote for a long while with his own hand, retracting certain promises of audience; and despatched three couriers, one after the other in rapid succession, to England.
Brussels, 17th March 1555.
March 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives 32. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassader in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Abbot of San Saluto, who left Brussels on the 13th instant, arrived here on the 16th with very favourable letters from the Emperor to Cardinal Pole, in accordance with the verbal communication made to the Abbot, not merely approving the determination to hold the proposed conference, but with regard to this business referring himself entirely to the authority and judgment of his Right Reverend Lordship, who was to disregard inconvenience, nor fail, despite any fatigue or trouble whatever, to persevere in bringing the matter to a close; the Emperor giving it almost openly to be understood that such was his wish and desire. Contrary to general belief the Abbot says that this goodwill and disposition was evinced by the Queen of Hungary, who expressed regret at being prevented by her sex from attending the future conference and being employed in it, and throughout this negotiation, as she earnestly desired. (fn. 2) With this resolve being therefore assured of the Emperor, Cardinal Pole wrote immediately to France, and for some unknown cause, the Prothonotary de Noailles not having yet departed, he had him despatched forthwith with a promise from him to send back a courier instantly, with the most Christian King's reply and decision, in order that his most illustrious Lordship may know at what time to set out, on his way across the Channel; so they await the courier, who is not expected to remain there more than 10 days or a fortnight. In the meanwhile the Cardinal hopes if not for peace, at least for some sort of truce, perceiving that both sovereigns (perhaps solely from finding themselves weary and exhausted) seem thus inclined. Has been told that this reply from the Emperor rejoiced them the more, as they apprehended, and expected the contrary, fearing that besides other causes and respects, the news of the capture of Casale (fn. 3) might not only have hardened the Emperor s heart, but cause him entirely to retract the reply given by him to the Abbot (ogni risposta et risolutione data invasi (sic) questa nova all' Abbate). (fn. 4) His intelligencer also told him of the persons suggested by Cardinal Pole as negotiators at this conference, and that he counselled the Emperor to send persons the most intimate with him, and of the highest authority, much time being gained and much labour spared by negotiating with the like, rather than with inferiors; so his Right Reverend Lordship is of opinion that should the King determine on accrediting two personages, he might send the Cardinal of Lorraine, the Emperor to appoint the Bishop of Arras, and Mons. de Praet, should his health admit of it; (fn. 5) if not, some one else of the chief intimates, and perhaps Don Ferrante.
This news of the capture of Casale has made them at once proclaim the departure and despatch to Italy of the Duke of Alva, as already written, King Philip choosing him to depart forthwith; nothing but this despatch being now attended to, he will set out post-wise in the course of the present week, and being always accustomed to travel quickly, and not intending to stop long at Brussels, he may be expected to arrive at Milan very soon. He has already commenced exercising his authority, having appointed his eldest son Don Federico, a young man 20 or 22 years old, General of the Spanish troops in Lombardy, to start him with repute in the military profession.
According to the intention mentioned in his last, said what was necessary both to the Duke and the King, who with his usual graciousness said that both by word of mouth and in writing, he had given orders, which should now be repeated, for the Signory's ministers and affairs to be treated with such respect as he knew was the wish of the Emperor and of himself, in conformity with the friendship which had long subsisted between one and the other; and he told me that he considered the friendship of your Serenity one of the chief bulwarks of his Italian territories.
The Duke spoke at great length, saying that he knew better than the others what became his office, as for a long while, both in public and private, he had been aware of the goodwill both of the King and of the Emperor towards your Serenity, and in what account your interests were held by their Majesties, so that neither he nor his ministers would fail to have the greatest consideration and respect for them.
Secretary Erasso departed two days ago, having been despatched sooner than intended for pecuniary supply, and to hasten all the Emperor's instructions for the Duke, in order to shorten his stay; and he is also said to be the bearer of the decision about the coming to England [as Lord Chamberlain of King Philip] of Don Ferrante, in case he choose to accept it. The broker Pinelo has also come from Antwerp, to obtain, as he did, the confirmation and signature of King Philip (da questa Maestà) to a loan of 500,000 ducats made lately by the Antwerp merchants, who for their greater security chose him likewise (anco essa) to put his hand to it. The bargain purported, that the Emperor being debtor for that amount, now due in Spain, the creditors, receiving their usual interest, consented to prolong the payment for another year, their Majesties, on the other hand, binding themselves on the expiration of that term to give them the value in Antwerp at the rate of 80 pence per ducat, they holding securities to that amount in bonds (oblighi) and transfers (assegnamenti) from those towns (quelle terre) [in Flanders?]. By this prolongation their Majesties are enabled now to avail themselves of the supply, which had to be made, or was perhaps already made, for payment of that debt; and Don Juan Figueroa has already come hither, being sent by the Emperor to take his passage for Spain, and to bring thence as much money as he can from the fleet lately arrived [from the Indies], and from the rest which is expected (et del resto che si aspetta); and he is on the eve of departure.
As already stated, Lord Pembroke crossed the Channel to inspect the English fortresses; many persons say that he is also charged to dismiss many of the principal officials of the crown at Calais, whose religious opinions being evil (li quali sentendo male della religione), their Majesties doubt their fidelity, it being feared they may make some change; and it is said that even the soldiers and populace (popolari) there exceed their office (escono dell' officio loro), having comported themselves insolently about this matter of religion, being unable or unwilling to adapt themselves to the Catholic creed as they ought to do. The Queen is intent on its augmentation and diffusion here, having sent for many English friars of the orders of St. Dominick and St. Francis, who, to escape the past persecutions, withdrew beyond the sea, and lived in poverty in Flanders, in order to give them monasteries and the means of subsistence; and, they, showing themselves in public everywhere, are tolerably well received and kindly treated (li qual frati comparendo per tutto publicamente sono honestamente ben veduti, et carezati). Sixteen Benedictine monks have also reassumed the habit and returned to the order spontaneously, although they were able to live, and had lived out of it much at ease and liberty, there being included amongst them the Dean of St. Paul's, (fn. 6) who has a wealthy revenue of well nigh 2,000; notwithstanding which, they have renounced all their temporal possessions and conveniences, and press for readmission into one of their monasteries. The entire 16 last week appeared in their habits before the Queen, who from joy, immediately on seeing them, could not refrain from shedding tears; and for [the adjustment of] this matter she has appointed six of the leading members of the Council, including the Chancellor [Gardiner], the Treasurer [William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester], the Comptroller [Sir Robert Rochester], and Secretary Petre, so that together with the Legate, they may, according to their judgment, decide what is most fitting and beneficial for the realm, both about these monasteries and all the church property in possession of the Crown. Her Majesty wishes it to be entirely restored to those who were deprived of it, should any of the original possessors be alive; and accordingly two delegates having already made their appearance on behalf of the order of Rhodes, there will be consigned to them without delay all the revenues of the commanderies held by the Crown, both in England and Ireland, though nothing is said of those which have passed into the hands of private individuals, and constitute the chief amount. With her Majesty's example, it is hoped that many others may do the like; and already in the city of Oxford a gentleman has announced his intention of restoring 200 marks rental derived from their monastery, to the Franciscan friars.
On the other hand, the Londoners, however, do not desist from daily outrages against the Catholic religion, having not only again mutilated the statue of St. Thomas of Canterbury, which had been restored and put back in its place, (fn. 7) but even robbed several churches of the tabernacles of the sacrament; nor, at least at this commencement, does the government think fit to act with such rigour as becoming, hoping that by address and leniency, time, rather than severe punishment, may mitigate this their rage and fury.
After many days illness the Lord Privy Seal, the Earl of Bedford, (fn. 8) has departed this life, his vacant post being talked of for the Bishop of Ely, (fn. 9) ambassador to Rome, or Secretary Petre.
London, 19th March 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
March 21. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta) Vol. 69, p. 104, tergo. 33. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Bailo at Constantinople.
By the last advices from Brussels, the Signory is informed that the Emperor was expected at Antwerp, and in those parts, to provide money; and the military forces were ordered to be in readiness. In those borders French troops had shown themselves, and according to the advices from France his most Christian Majesty had ordered them to attempt the recovery of “New Hesdin,” lately built by the Imperialists. The King was intent on providing money, and purposed going to Fontainebleau, where the Queen is expecting her delivery; and the most serene Queen of England is in like manner near her time. Is to communicate the advices as usual.
Ayes, 198. Noes, 4. Neutrals, 2.
March 23. Original Letter Book of Agostino Barbarigo in the Venetian Archives. 34. The Bishop of Viterbo, Papal Nuncio in France, to the Venetian Secretary, Phebo Capella.
It has been at length settled that a conference is to be held between the chief ministers of both their Majesties, as negotiated since some while by Cardinal Pole, and alluded to by him, the Nuncio, to Capella at Poissy. Received this intelligence yesterday, through a letter from Cardinal Pole, and proceeded immediately to Montereau-Fault-Yonne (Monterio), where he arrived at the sixth hour, when it was nearly night, and had immediate and most gracious audience of the King. The final arrangement is, that on the 20th or 26th April the Duke of Alva and the Bishop of Arras will be at Gravelines on behalf of the Emperor, the Constable and the Cardinal of Lorraine representing the King at Ardres, and the Bishop of Winchester will be at Guisnes in the name of the Queen of England, as also the Cardinal Legate Pole; and by means of such good ministers it will perhaps please God to grant peace, about which he can say that he found his Majesty and the said ministers so very zealous and anxious to terminate the quarrels justly, that he has great hope it will be effected; and this day his Majesty has despatched Robertet hence to England. This morning, when on the eve of departure from Montereau, a courier arrived from Monsieur de Brissac with news of the capture of the castle [of Casale].
Melun, 23rd March 1555.
March 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 35. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Pembroke having left Calais with 15 posters, went to Guisnes, and here the reason assigned is that the King and Queen of England sent him thither because they doubted the [good?] faith of the Marshal of Calais. The French were then victualling Ardres, which is within sight of Guisnes, and did the like at Montreuil and Marienburg, some of their forces marching more towards Liege and Luxemburg, in which places they burned two abbacies and some villages; and part went to Namur, burning everything of value in the territory. All the inhabitants of the town took flight, as it is not strong, and had only 100 foot soldiers for its defence; and many of the people of Nivelles, near Brussels, have sent much property hither.
Brussels, 23rd March 1555.
March 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 36. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Letter about Don Ferrante Gonzaga, the Duke of Savoy, &c.
Yesterday Don Ferrante's secretary told me that the Secretary Erasso was come back from England with the decision about his Lord's business, and told him (Don Ferrante), in course of conversation, that it would be very difficult for him to have the post of maggiordomo maggiore, as the Duke of Alva did not choose to deprive himself of it, but that the King would make him chief of the Council, and captain general whenever his Majesty takes the field in person; to which Don Ferrante replied that he humbly thanked the King for these very loving offers, which he did not desire, but wished for and solicited a written declaration from the Emperor that he considers him an honest man (huomo da bene), as he had repeatedly caused this to be said to him, and immediate permission to go to his home (as he has hitherto expended here 50,000 crowns), and receive payment of 80,000 for which he is creditor, having for his Majesty's service in the war of Piedmont, pledged his word, his plate, and moveables. The Secretary Erasso having made this statement to the Emperor, and returned to his Excellency, told him he was commissioned by his Majesty to go and give account of his demands to the Queen [Maria of Hungary] at Antwerp, as she had with her the last process (processo) sent from Italy, of which the Emperor had not received information, and that then his Excellency would be despatched. Don Ferrante's secretary, both by speech and gesture, evinced apprehension that his master will again receive but words, and the members of his household say openly that neither the past services of Don Ferrante, and of the entire Gonzaga family, nor this fresh one on the part of the Cardinal, by declaring himself a most staunch imperialist (imperialissimo), and that by means of the Montferrat territory he will make a shield for the Emperor's interests, will avail to change his Majesty's will. After the arrival of Secretary Erasso the Emperor told the Duke of Savoy positively that he does not choose him to go into Italy, because his Excellency, not having sufficient forces to keep what territory remains to him, he and all his vassals would be compelled to turn French (a farsi Francese), and that, remaining here, besides the grade of general, he will have the command of the 5,000 Spaniards in these parts, their colonel having had leave to go to Spain on account of the death of his wife; which troubled him (the Duke) more than ever, and well nigh in despair he two hours afterwards mounted his horse and went to a monastery near Brussels to keep Lent. The Signer Giovanni Battista Gastaldo, who has often had hopes from the Bishop of Arras and the Duke of Alva that the King of England would reward him for the services rendered to his father during so many years, and give him some honourable appointment, is much grieved to hear that the Duke of Alva is going as lieutenant-general in Italy, the charge of state affairs at Naples being given to Don Francisco de Toledo, and that of military matters to Don Bernardino de Mendoza, whilst at Milan the affairs of state are entrusted to Don Diego de Azevedo, and those of war; and he said, in public . . . . that it was evident that neither the Emperor nor the King of England will trust any Italian, and he prayed God to grant that the Italians united, may not cause their Majesties to lose their Italian possessions, (fn. 10) and that after paying all his debts at Brussels he will go to his marquisate of Cassano, and perhaps into the Brescian territory, whither his wife and sons write to him that they have sent all the best of his effects.
Brussels, 24th March 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
March 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 37. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassader in England, to the Doge and Senate.
These Lords of the Council, either through the accusation or revelation of some one, have lately had suspicion that certain inhabitants of Cambridge, more daring and licentious than the rest, not choosing to inconvenience themselves (incomodarsi) by living according to the present religion, had leagued together and privily collected a large supply of arms (una grande municion di arme) for a rising (per uscir) when the moment should seem fit to them, (fn. 11) not merely to conspire against the faithful and Catholics (li fedeli et Cattolici), termed by them Papists, but, with the numerous adherents whom they expected to have, march upon this city, hoping (spersmdo) with the assistance of the Londoners who share their opinions, not merely by slaughter and maltreatment to expel all strangers hence, but even to attack their Majesties, and, under the pretext of religion, kindle such a flame and cause such confusion as in their power, to the detriment and perhaps utter ruin of the King and Queen, as the authors of this return to Catholicism.
In order to convince themselves and verify the suspicion and danger, the Lords of the Council immediately caused the arrest and removal to the Tower of many of the inhabitants of Cambridge, including an individual considered one of the gentry of the place (uno delli Signor de lì), by name Anthony Bowes (Antonio Boos), a man utterly averse to religion; and other arrests are made daily in this town, the prisoners being strictly examined to ascertain the origin and basis of the plot, and detect the conspirators; so some severe demonstration and act of justice is expected, it appearing to everybody that the graciousness and clemency hitherto exercised by their Majesties in pardoning everybody, and especially the Ipswich people, who laid a similar plot last summer, merely give cause, through the hope of pardon, for the daily perpetration of fresh excesses, instead of mitigating or eradicating the ill will of persons of this sort; it having been as it were discovered (come scoperto) that a few days before [the intended outbreak at Ipswich], in the county of Norfolk, whither one of the condemned heretics by name Dr. Taylor had been sent to be burned, (fn. 12) the country-people there (fn. 13) (part of whom were subsequently arrested) resenting this execution, had agreed, that on the day and at the hour when it was to be done they would set fire to a number of houses, and raise a great tumult; not merely to release that Doctor from the stake, but to punish and revenge themselves on those whose religion was opposed, to their own.
A few days ago, the Earl of Devonshire [Edward Courtenay] through a friend of his, wrote a letter in English to the King, being induced to take this step and confirmed in it, by the great graciousness and, benignity which he understood the King exercised, by interceding for every one with the most Serene Queen, having sought and obtained the release (la deliberatione) (fn. 14) of many persons. When the King received the letter and saw it written in this language, he had, him answered, that he was to write in French or Latin, that his Majesty might not have to employ an interpreter, but hear from himself without having to confide his letters to any one, thus showing that he did him the favour to bear him the same good will as demonstrated by his Majesty towards all the others who had, recourse to him? (alle irudee) (sic). The Earl wrote a second time in French, recommending himself to his Majesty, and very submissively beseeching him to be his protector and deign to take him into his service (ct dignarsi di accettarlo nel suo servitio). The friend who delivered, the letter is now very anxiously awaiting the result of this office (il frutto che haverà questo officio), but fears that the discovery of this plot and conspiracies may greatly delay his Majesty's favour.
Three days ago there arrived here Monsignor Antonio Agustini, “Auditor di Rota,” sent by the Pope to visit and thank their Majesties for the auspicious events of the religion (delli felici successi della religione), and to present them with the rose, sword, and hat (capello), which his Holiness is in the habit of sending to one prince or another; and so yesterday, the day of the Annunciation and commencement of the year according to the English style, the ceremony was performed in the private chapel of her Majesty's palace, there being present the most illustrious Legate, all the ambassadors, and the lords of the Court. Monsignor Agostini, after the mass, presented the rose to the most Serene Queen, and the sword and hat to the most Serene King; accompanying the present with a brief from his Holiness which was read in public, replete with praise of their Majesties and his Holiness' great love and affection [for them?]; and the most illustrious Legate in his episcopal habit, with mitre and cope, having recited certain prayers over the presents, and given the usual benediction, the most Serene Queen evinced the utmost delight at hers, for after a short prayer, she carried it in her own hand and placed it on its altar. In the afternoon, they made the joust destined for the close of carnival, but which was delayed until that day, owing to the absence of Don Ruy Gomez, who, in company with Sir George Howard, an English gentleman, (fn. 15) was the maintainer (mantenitore) [challenger?] making a stately appearance, bearing themselves bravely, as did the King and all the other jousters, in number twenty, both with regard to their liveries and their tilting; all ending well, and causing great pleasure and consolation, especially to the Queen, who, however, could not conceal her fear and disquietude (gelosia) about the King, sending to pray him (having done his duty, and run many courses (et huvendo corso assai) as in truth he did) not to encounter further risk, which request he gratified.
The Duke of Alva is still here, but according to report will depart in the course of this week, taking the Duchess with him across the Channel, and then leaving her, will proceed postwise.
Don Ferrante [Gonzaga] has sent all the correspondence between himself and Don Francesco of Este, (fn. 16) to convince King Philip and the whole Court that Don Francesco has unjustly slandered him; but he has not yet sent the reply to the letter lately addressed to him, which will more clearly elicit the opinion of this Court, though everybody will speak very cautiously on the subject by reason of his friends and supporters here, notwithstanding which, I shall not fail to write freely what is said about him.
London, 26th March 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
March 27. MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod, xxiv. cl. x. 38. Cardinal Pole to the Emperor.
Received his Majesty's letter from the Abbot of San Saluto, who narrated to him the gracious audience received and what the Emperor answered him about the proposal for peace. The brother of the French ambassador departed with this reply, and subsequently the English ambassador in France wrote to the Queen that the King of France approved what her Majesty designed about the place of meeting for the deputies on both sides, and had also named those whom he purposed sending. Prays the Emperor to do the like with regard to the persons to be sent by him, and the time of meeting; about which Pole is writing to the Nuncio, in order not to molest his Majesty farther.
From London, 27th March 1555.
March 27. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. cl. x. 39. Cardinal Pole to the Archbishop of Conza, Nuncio at Brussels.
Yesterday the Queen sent to show him a letter from her ambassador in France, dated Peronne the 20th, telling her that when speaking with the King about the affair of the peace, and the places proposed by the Queen for the deputies, namely, Ardres and Gravelines, and Calais and some other neighbouring place for the mediators, his Majesty seemed to approve of them, and said he had determined to send in his name the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable; and the Queen wishing Pole to write this to the Emperor, he does so by the accompanying letter, to which the Nuncio will obtain the speediest possible reply, to make amends for the delay caused by the Emperor's indisposition. It is not requisite to await any farther reply from the prothonotary, as this was received from the King's own lips, who moreover told the English ambassador that he could but anticipate a good result from this negotiation, as the Queen, its mediatrix, has been elected by God to accomplish great things to her own honour and to the comfort of Christendom, as she had already commenced doing by the reconciliation. The Nuncio can communicate with the English ambassador at Brussels, who will most assuredly perform every good office for this end.
From London, 27th March 1555.
P.S.57—Conferred to-day with their Majesties, and, discoursing about the affair of the peace, the Queen informed him that she is writing to the Emperor about it, urging him to appoint the commissioners as soon as possible, and desiring her ambassador to do the like, and to send the answer instantly; (fn. 17) so it is evident that in this matter likewise her Majesty does not fail to do all that can be expected from her piety. Hopes that this fresh affair of Casale will not alter the Emperor's good disposition in this matter, and that, besides his regard for God and the common weal, he will be greatly influenced by a desire to gratify the pious wish of this most serene and most holy Queen his daughter.
To-day Monsignor Agostini (fn. 18) presented the Pope's other gifts (munusculi) to the Queen, who received everything with such devotion as becoming her great piety.
28th March.
March 31. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. cl. x. 40. Cardinal Pole to the Archbishop of Conza [Girolamo Muzzarelli], Nuncio at Brussels.
Wrote to him on the 27th and 28th what the King of France had said to the English ambassador about the affair of the peace. Then, last evening, the French secretary Robertet arrived, having been sent express by the King, and after confirming his determination about the places and the two personages to be sent, added much concerning his Majesty's readiness and good disposition in this business, and the hope of a good result. As to the time, he says the King did not think he could send his representatives before the 20th to the 28th April, having to await the return of Robertet, and the reply and total resolve of the Emperor; and with regard to this matter of the time, he refers himself to what shall be deemed most expedient in England. This morning, when Robertet, accompanied by the French ambassador, came to Pole, they had not yet had audience of the Queen, who, Pole is sure, will not fail to write and perform every good office, as she has done hitherto. The Nuncio thus sees the present state of the matter, and how desirable it is to gain time. Is very sure he will gladly do whatever is necessary for the common weal, and when everything is settled about the going, they will be able to learn from the ministers of the sovereigns their will about the attendance of the Nuncios, and Pole will also write in this sense to the Bishop of Viterbo [Nuncio in France], who has asked him for instructions on the subject. Robertet will await the reply and orders of his Imperial Majesty, that he may take them back with him to France.
From London, 31st March 1555.
March 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 41. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The news of the Pope's death was brought to the Emperor by a courier from the Cardinal of Trent, so his Majesty desired the Secretary Vargas to go to Antwerp to consult the Queen [Maria of Hungary, Governess of the Low Countries] and the Bishop of Arras about what is to be done, both with regard to the creation of the new Pope and the preservation of the imperial dominions in Italy. The Emperor wrote also to the King of England to despatch Cardinal Pole immediately, and he has already sent a gentleman to the Cardinal of Burgos, who is at a monastery at a short distance from Brussels, to set out immediately; and he wrote in like manner to the Cardinals of Augsburg and Trent. The Queen and the Bishop of Arras are also to decide who is to go as governor to Naples, so that Cardinal Pacheco may proceed to Rome, and whether Don Juan Manrique should quit Sienna and go to Rome. (fn. 19) They are to make as good a bargain as they can with the Fugger and Schetz firms for pecuniary supply for the going to Italy of the Duke of Alva, who, as told me by one of his gentlemen, wrote freely to Queen Maria that he would not set out without the necessary pecuniary supply, and unless the ammunition promised him from Germany was sent in advance, and that he could have an army in the field, giving it to be understood that the Siennese territory must be evacuated [by the French?], and saying that all the authority given him by the Emperor and King Philip is not sufficient to enable him to serve them well and to preserve his own honour.
The Grand Master of Rhodes writes to the commander (commendator) who negotiates his affairs with the Emperor, desiring him to inform his Majesty that the Order is well nigh determined to disarm its four galleys, not being able to avail themselves of grain and biscuit from Sicily, according to their usual custom, by reason of the unbearable duties laid on them by the Viceroy, who evinces hatred towards the Grand Master, both on account of his being a Frenchman, as also because he would not give the Viceroy's son a commandery, yielding an annual revenue of 3,000 crowns, instead of doing his duty to the Emperor.
The ambassador from the Queen of England has this day received a courier, with a commission to obtain from the Emperor permission for her to draw from Spain (di poter trazzer dalla Spagna) 50,000 crowns, in addition to the 300,000 which she took from the merchants; but he could not obtain audience, nor yet the ambassador from Florence, who presses for it greatly; both one and the other being told that his Majesty is very . . . . [unwell?]
Brussels, 31st March 1555.


  • 1. Query Schetz. (See Foreign Calendar 1553–1558, Index.)
  • 2.
  • 3. The town of Casale was taken by the French in February 1555. (See Pere Daniel, Ilistoire de France, vol. 9, p. 779. Ed. Paris, 1755.)
  • 4. The signs which, according to Pasini's key, represent the letters i. n. v. a. s. i., were evidently made incorrectly.
  • 5. Mons. de Praet died at Brussels early in October 1555. (See Mr. Turnbull's Calendar, date 8 October 1555.)
  • 6. John Howman, of the Forest of Feckenham, by which last name he is commonly known. In Machyn's Diary, p. 118, date 21 November 1556, there is the following entry:—“The same day was the new abbots of Westmynster putt in docthur Fecknam, late dene of Powlles, and xiiij moo monkes sworne in.” March 1555. The Venetian Ambassador writes distinctly that they were sixteen in number.
  • 7. In Machyn's Diary, date 14th March 1555 (pp. 82, 83), there is the following entry:—“In the nyght, ther serten veleyns dyd breke the neke of the ymage of Saint Thomas of Cantrubere, and on of ys arms broke.” The first mutilation of the freestone image of St. Thomas is noted by Machyn, 17th February 1555, p. 82.
  • 8. John Russell, first Earl of Bedford, died at his house in the Strand, London, 14th March 1555. (See Collins, vol. 1, p. 269.) Also Machyn, pp. 83, 84.
  • 9. Thomas Thirlhy.
  • 10. In the original, “chiaro si può comprender, che nè l'Imperator nè Re d'lnghilterra vogliono haver fede in alcun Italiano, et che Dio faccia, che tutti questi non vadino a perder alle loro Maesta i Stati di Italia.”
  • 11. Machyn alludes to this conspiracy as follows : “The XVIII day of March was browth to the Towre owt of Cambrydge shyre Master Bowes, Master Cutt, and Master Hynd and dyvers odur, for a nuw conspyrase, the wyche shuld have byne don in Suffoke and odur plases.” (See Diary, p. 83.)
  • 12. In Machyn's Diary, date 6 February 1555, there is the following entry;—“Doctur Tayller was sent in-to Suffoke, and to be brentt.” Doctor Rowland Taylor had been Bishop of Lincoln, and was burnt on Aldham Common, in Suffolk, on the 9th February 1555. (See Froude, vol. 6, p. 323.)
  • 13. Nel paese di Norwich dove fu mandato ad abbrugiar uno delli heretici condennati ditto il Dottor Teler, quelli paesani, etc.
  • 14. “Deliberar per liberar.” See Boerio, Venetian Dictionary.
  • 15. I can find no notice in Collins' Peerage of Sir George Howard, who was evidently in favour with Queen Mary. Shortly after this joust, she sent him to Brussels with letters to the Emperor and to the Queen Regent of Flanders. (See Mr. Turnbull's Calendar, 8–9 June 1555, p. 174.) There is an account of this joust, “at the tylt at Vestmynster,” in Machyn's Diary, date 25th March 1555, p. 84, “Ser George Haward” being mentioned, but the name of Ruy Gomez is omitted.
  • 16. Don Francesco of Este, second son of Alfonso I., Duke of Ferrara and Lucrezia Borgia, was in the French interests, and had sent a challenge to Don Ferrante, for which he apologized by letters addressed to the Emperor, the Queen Regent of Flanders, and Bishop of Arras, as stated by the Venetian Ambassador Badoer, in a despatch dated Brussels 4th August 1555.
  • 17. For the reply, see Foreign Calendar, April 11, 1555, p. 162.
  • 18. Antonio Agostini. See Foreign Calendar, March 9, 1555, p. 159.
  • 19. In the Foreign Calendar, date 16 July 1555, it is shewn that Don Juan Manrique was then Imperial Ambassador Extraordinary at Rome. Badoer writes the name Merick, which I am enabled to correct by means of the late Mr. Turubull's Calendar, 1553–1558.