Venice: December 1555, 1-15

Pages 267-282

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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December 1555, 1–15

Dec. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 296. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
King Philip has informed the English Ambassador that he has desired his steward Don Diego de Azevedo to send hither the rest of his attendants, giving assurance, however, that according to what he promised by letter to the Queen he will return to her shortly after Christmas. His Majesty is said to have given this order both from seeing by the letters of the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke that they despair of being able, or do not choose as promised by them, to make England attack France, as also with a view so to agitate the Queen as to cause her to determine on taking some positive step in conformity with the desire and need of her consort (che ella si rissolvi di far in fatto, alcuna cosa conforme al desiderio et bisogno del suo consorte).
Sir John Masone says he has written twice to the Queen, counselling her to convince the most Christian King of her wish for him to make peace with her consort, and that she should send for the French Ambassador and again tell him positively (con efficacia) that should she be convinced that his King will not accept fair terms of peace she must execute the treaty stipulated between England and these provinces in 1542, purporting that the two countries were to supply each other reciprocally with 4,000 foot and 600 horse, or the money [for their procurement], for the defence of their respective territories, and for the recovery of places taken by the enemy. This office being in accordance with King Philip's intention, has put Sir John Masone in favour with all the chief personages of his Majesty's court; he remains with them all day in the antechamber, no longer bearing the title of ambassador, but of councillor.
The King kept his bed for three days from fever, which Don Ruy Gomez, who in like manner has been indisposed lately, attributes to his Majesty's unaccustomed application to business; but he is now recovered, and yesterday had six Knights of the Fleece to dine with him in celebration as usual of St. Andrew's day, and the report of his going to Antwerp in the middle of next month continues.
The Mantuan Ambassador told the Bishop of Arras that having heard in secret that peace was being negotiated between the Emperor and King Philip and the French King, by means of England, as also a truce in Piedmont between the Duke of Alva and the ministers of his most Christian Majesty, he requested that the interests of his master with regard to the State of Montferrat might be remembered. The Bishop replied that the reports current in the court about this negotiation were imaginary. The ambassador then performed the like office with Don Ruy Gomez, who told him that perhaps by way of England the Queen and Cardinal Pole, in accordance with their good will, might spontaneously mediate in this matter, and the Duke of Alva also treat some suspension of hostilities, either because requested to do so, or from thinking it advantageous for the King by reason of some sage opinion of his own.
Persons who have lately come from Queen Maria report that she is very dissatisfied, owing to what is said to her disparagement at the court, both by the Flemings and Spaniards.
Brussels, 1st December 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Dec. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 297. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Lower House, not having yet agreed to pass the bill confirming the cession of the church property, which for its better comprehension and discussion enumerated each article clause by clause (distinta in tanti articoli quanti erano li capi), yesterday, after long debate, referred it to a committee of ten members, who, with six to be elected by the Upper House, namely two earls, two barons, and two bishops, with the doctors of laws usually in attendance, are, within five days, to consider and revise the objections alleged against each article, amending and adding as may seem necessary to them, and then to present the amended bill to Parliament for approval or rejection. From the influence of the committee, if they agree as anticipated, it is certain that the measure will not meet with so much opposition as hitherto, which opposition was in proportion to the great fear entertained by holders of this class of property, lest at some future period they, by virtue of this Act of Parliament, should be compelled to make a similar cession.
The President d'Amont, in reply to a letter written hence to him by the Abbot of San Saluto, wrote lately from Brussels that he had again spoken to the Emperor and the King, showing them what the Abbot had written, which they commended, exhorting him to continue urging the Cardinal, by means of his own authority and that of the Queen, to resume the negotiation either with the French Ambassador in England, or by writing about it himself to France, pushing the business in such a way that a commission may be given either to the said ambassador in England, or by sending some other agent elsewhere, as the like will be done at Brussels; d'Amont adding that he found their Majesties excellently inclined towards the acceptance of any fair terms, and that he should by so much the more zealously pursue this matter, as owing to the renunciation made to King Philip of all the States of Flanders and Burgundy, there being no longer that reciprocal irritation between him and his most Christian Majesty which was said to prevail between the latter and the Emperor, the adjustment between them may, it is hoped, prove more speedy and less difficult; and d'Amont offers and promises on his part to do whatever he can to aid its conclusion, giving the Abbot notice of his proceedings.
On account of this letter, and for something else which it was not chosen to tell me, the chief ministers here have held frequent conferences with the Queen, and with each other apart; the Cardinal and Lord Paget having been summoned on behalf of her Majesty, and on the part of the King, Don Diego de Azevedo and his Majesty's friar confessor [Alfonso de Castro?], a man of business and understanding (who has already interfered in this negotiation, performing many offices), and also the Abbot aforesaid. Subsequently two expresses were despatched, one by the French Ambassador, to whom Cardinal Pole always addressed himself, communicating whatever occurred through the Abbot; the other to Brussels, through the Queen's couriers, and they are awaiting replies from both parties. I am also told that, as an additional stimulant, the Legate did not fail writing to the Nuncio at Brussels to take an opportunity, when with the Emperor and the King, of letting them know that the French complained greatly of his coldness at the conference of Calais, he not having done what he ought and could have done with regard to stipulating that during the war the belligerents should abstain from incendiarism, and agree reciprocally about ransoms and exchange of prisoners, both which matters were so praiseworthy, fair, and necessary; and that he was to persuade their Majesties to consent to this, as by treating it they might also commence negotiating about the chief and principal quarrel.
King Philip has again ordered Don Diego to depart hence. The Queen complained of and lamented this departure, and desired to write to countermand it, had not a letter from Don Ruy Gomez to Don Diego, with orders for him to show it to the Queen in his name, convinced her of the King's speedy arrival, confirming what his Majesty also wrote, that it will take place at the latest at the Epiphany; so she has resigned herself to the departure of these officials, who are preparing for it (but without display), until they receive sufficient funds for the journey. His Majesty's armoury and wardrobe will set out in two days by sea, the German and Spanish halberdiers being sent on board the ships for their security.
Through the return from Brussels of Lord Maltravers, Lord Arundel's son, the only one of the English gentlemen remaining there, the Queen heard of the indisposition of the King, who had two paroxysms of fever, the third, however, having stopped short (essendole perhò fallito il terzo), and sent her messenger, Mr. Kempe, post haste to his Majesty. Lord Maltravers also, like his companions, was presented with a chain worth 800 crowns.
Of late a great quantity of books printed in English have been distributed clandestinely throughout London, concerning the King individually and his mode of government, vituperating the acts of extortion and oppression exercised in his realms, principally in the kingdom of Naples and the Milanese, where the natives are not only debarred from any magistracy, dignity, pension, or other advantage due to them by birthright, but they are also excluded from any post in his Majesty's court or household, only one or two Italians of inferior rank being seen there, and everything is reserved for and bestowed on the Spaniards; the author warning the English, to whom the book is dedicated, that the like will befall them also, and that they must therefore look to it whilst there is yet time. Yesterday, on account of this book, all the city companies (tutte le arti), by order of the Lord Mayor, met separately in their respective halls to make diligent inquisition as to the place from which this book can have come, for the purpose, if possible, of discovering its author; and orders were given for all persons having any copies of the book to take them to the Lord Mayor, who will then report to the Court what he shall have thus ascertained about it; but the book is supposed to come from Strasburg, from the English who are there, and endeavour by all means to make the people here rebel against the present Government.
The Queen is about to recall all her ambassadors save the one in France, to save their cost; such business as necessary to be transacted by those remaining in the King's name, for her likewise; and Mr. Vannes, the resident at Venice, will soon have orders to return.
London, 3rd December 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Dec. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 298. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Members of the committee for the revision of the articles stipulating the cession, having reported their opinion this morning in Parliament, after great disputes and contention in the Lower House, from daybreak (dalla prima hora del giorno), when they met, until 3 p.m., during which time the doors were closed, no one being allowed egress, either to eat or for any other purpose; at length, this evening, the bill was carried by 183 ayes against 120 noes, the Lords being unanimously content, without one single dissenting vote, which Cardinal Pole holds in as much account as he did the act of reconciliation, rejoicing at it extremely, both for the sovereign's repute and his own, and for the benefit of the kingdom, in which strain he is now writing to the Pope.
London, 3rd December 1555.
Dec. 4. MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 299. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal [Gianangelo?] de' Medici.
Condoles with him on the death of his brother the Marquis. For news of himself refers to his agent.
London, 4th December 1555.
Dec. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 300. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Three days ago a wedding took place, the bride and bridegroom being of two noble families in this town, and the King masked, and went to dance at the marriage entertainment, remaining there until two in the morning, when he betook himself to the residence of the Duke of Savoy, who was asleep, so he had him roused, and remained a long while with his Excellency, laughing and joking. Count Chinchon, who was sent by his Majesty to congratulate the Pope on his accession, is returned from Rome, and says publicly that, unless provision of counsel and of money be made for the affairs of Italy, they will proceed worse next year than they do at present.
Brussels, 5th December 1555.
Dec. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 301. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The Emperor will not depart for Spain this winter, and has sent to dismiss the Dutch fleet (l'armata delle navi d'Olanda), and has told the King of England to write to his consort that she may dispense with the cost of refitting the vessels destined for his convoy to Spain; but he has not given orders for the departure of the Spanish armed ships, and on the contrary, when their commander, Don Luis de Caravajal, asked his Majesty's leave to go on a cruise against the French, he was refused. Subsequently the Emperor gave permission to the Queens, who came from “Lavra” to visit him, to return thither; saying that they were to come back in a few days for the purpose of residing here as usual. The Bishop of Arras, both by his countenance and language, evinces extraordinary joy, caressing everybody who transacts business with him, which is supposed to proceed from no other cause than the resolve formed by the Emperor not to depart for Spain; so that the Bishop will no longer think of retiring, or doubt being employed by the King in the same capacity as he was by his father, and will certainly intend to retain his usual authority (il che intendera certo di star nella solita sua auttorità). Don Ruy Gomez, on the contrary, looks lean and melancholy, and the persons who negotiate with him say he seems well-nigh incapable of performing such functions as are required by a sovereign from a minister in his position.
The cause of this change in the Emperor's decision is attributed to Queen Maria and the Bishop of Arras, and other Flemish ministers, who, as they never approved the Emperor's departure from these provinces, have persuaded him to revoke it, representing not only the perilous state of affairs in Italy, and the trouble which might arise in the Netherlands, but also that King Philip has not sufficient experience to maintain himself in the States of which cession has been made to him, without the Emperor's counsel and authority. Others, who never expected him to depart, say that the report circulated to that effect was to accomplish the renunciation of these States quietly, and by means of the fleet give support to the Queen of England, and to those English lords who purposed crowning King Philip, and declaring war against France if unable to induce his most Christian Majesty to make peace with the Emperor; and they say besides that it was also for his advantage to ascertain more clearly whether the King of the Romans would allow the King of England to maintain the Emperor's authority as Vicar of the Empire in Italy, (fn. 1) and to endeavour to obtain the money grant from the “Cortes” at Monzon [in Aragon], thus favouring the affairs in Africa, and encouraging the Spaniards at Bugia; so the Emperor circulates a report of his having prolonged the period of departure, and will perhaps change his mind about the voyage, going through Germany and into Italy; but certain old courtiers say that his Imperial Majesty will not make this voyage, but will pass the rest of his life in the land of his birth. The King of England has also put off his journey to Antwerp until after the Christmas holidays; the reason assigned generally being the nonarrival from Spain of the commissions from the Knights of the Fleece, as usually sent by them, giving their votes in favour of those proposed; but I have heard from others that this delay is on account of a project under discussion, and as yet not well matured, for laying a new tax on merchandise, with the consent of these States, which could not succeed heretofore owing to the clamours of the merchants.
A part of King Philip's household has arrived from England, and some of his chamber attendants say that on his return from Antwerp he will go back to the Queen at her request, and that of some of the English nobility who are attached to him; and independently of other causes, for the purpose of still keeping the people in hope of his having heirs, lest by some perverse means (con alcun mal modo) they seek the election of a successor to the crown; and as this constant desire of the Queen is notorious here, many of the Spaniards say that the King should not go thither, knowing that he could obtain nothing of importance from her, and that even had she the utmost inclination, and were she to make every imaginable exertion to bring about the peace between the King her consort and the King of France, the English, nevertheless, as they have done hitherto in many ways, will make her desist from the attempt, lest the King thus obtain in effect that authority in the kingdom which he now exercises nominally; this war, moreover, being advantageous for the English, as it causes them to be held in esteem by both sides. The Spaniards also complain that both Lords and Commons have displayed the worst possible will in printed books, greatly to the dishonour of the King and of the Spanish nation, which causes general displeasure here.
Brussels, 6th December 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Dec. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 302. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 27th ulto. announced what had been written by Cardinal Pole to the Constable about the hope of peace. The Constable's reply to the Cardinal was that his most Christian Majesty will never fail showing himself anxious for the quiet of Christendom, and that should the King of England accept the terms proposed by the French ministers at the late conference his Majesty will not fail demonstrating the same goodwill as evinced by him then, and subsequently without intermission.
Flodaus (sic), 6th December 1555.
Dec. 7. Original Letter Book, penes me, Letter No. 30, p. 85. 303. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
On Wednesday the 4th instant consistory was held, in which they deprived the Archbishop of Canterbury of the archbishopric, and of all the ecclesiastical dignities, and moreover permitted his delivery to the temporal judicature (et di più permesso che fusse datto (sic) in mano della giustitia temporale).
Rome, 7th December 1555.
Dec. 7. Original Letter Book, penes me (second letter), Letter No. 31, pp. 88, 91. 304. The Same to the Same.
Went yesterday to the Pope; the Pope said, “We well know how intensely we Italians are hated by those who are great, and seek to render themselves yet greater; may God forgive him who was the cause and commencement of our calamities, which annihilated all the grandeur of Italy. At the commencement, when elected to this popedom, which of its own authority takes away and confers both empires and kingdoms, as we ourselves have done by erecting a kingdom for the Irish (che à quelli d'Hibernia habbiamo cretto un Regno), it was suggested to us to send legates to both these powerful princes, to induce them to make peace. The moment did seem to us opportune, and we suspected that this office would prove demonstrative rather than necessary, or likely to produce any good result. We have determined to send two of our confidants, the one to France, and the other to the Emperor and the King of England, in such haste as their physical strength allows of, for it is not every man who can bear the fatigue of travelling postwise at full speed. We shall commission them to send us word or announce in person what hopes can be entertained, and when we shall see the business in a fair way, we will then send personages of greater importance, but we have not yet determined whom to send at present.”
Although his Holiness said he had not appointed the nuncios who are to perform this mission, I hear from a very good quarter that Commendone will go the Emperor and the King of England, and the Bishop of Toulon (quel di Tolone), heretofore destined as nuncio to your Serenity, to France.
Rome, 7th December 1555.
Dec. 8? MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. without any date. Printed in vol. v. “Epistolarum Reginaldi Poli, &c.,” date, St. James's, London, 5 December. 305. Cardinal Pole to King Philip.
When the King wrote to the Queen about his indisposition her Majesty could not but be greatly distressed by the news, though her sorrow was much mitigated, first by receiving the first intelligence through his own autograph letter, and then considering his habitual abstemiousness and sound constitution, this likewise increased her hope that the malady would be neither serious nor protracted. They congratulate his Majesty on this result, rejoicing at it greatly, and pray God to grant him perpetual good health.
On the morrow of St. Andrew's festival [30th November], which was the first Sunday in Advent, as it had been decreed by them in the synod, annually to celebrate throughout the realm by thanksgiving and public prayers the restoration of this kingdom to the unity of the Church, the Queen thought fit now to have it established that this should be done here in St. Peter's church, whither he (Pole) was accompanied by the bishops and all the nobility now attending Parliament in great number, being received at the church gates as Legate by the Archbishop of York [Nicholas Heath] and all the [officiating] ministers of the church as usual, there being a concourse of clergy and people. One of the Queen's chaplains, a pious and learned man, preached a sermon in apt explanation of the great benefit conferred by God on the kingdom through their Majesties, which was also admirably proved by him. Many persons are of opinion that the example afforded by the nobility who thus showed their great readiness to assist at the thanksgiving and high mass, will do no less now to confirm the people in their obedience to the Church than any sermon preached last year, for which be God very greatly thanked.
Three days afterwards the bill (decretum) about the church property, submitted by their Majesties to the decision of the Pope and his Legate, was read in the Lower House, and although on several previous days, and on that day also, there was a great debate between the pious members (pios homines) and those who seemed less favourable to the cause, it nevertheless obtained a great majority, and nothing remains but to dissolve Parliament, as the Queen will do to-morrow. (fn. 2)
By the enclosed copy the King will perceive the opinion formed in France of his humanity and liberality in releasing the French prisoners. With regard to the peace, it is unnecessary to exhort the King, he being already so well disposed towards it.
St. James's, London, (fn. 3) 8th December 1555.
[Latin, 58 lines.]
Dec. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 306. Federico Badger, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The three ambassadors appointed by the King of England to the Princes of Germany, to acquaint them with the cession of the States made to him by the Emperor, have departed, and he subsequently despatched the Governor of Luxemburg in like manner to the King of Denmark, they being also commissioned to perform the same office with the principal Hanse Towns. On the departure of the envoy accredited to the Princes of the Rhine (ai Signori del Rheno) he was desired to inform one of the brothers of the Elector of Cologne that his Majesty has assigned him an annual pension of 2,000 dollars, without the obligation to perform military service, unless it be demanded of him. Don Luis de Caravajal said this day that positive hope has been given him of obtaining leave from the Emperor to go and try his luck (tentar la fortuna sua) against some French ships off Britany; from which it is inferred that the Spanish ships also, like those of Holland, will be dismissed.
The Nuncio has received orders that in case of the Emperor's departure for Spain he is to remain with the King, but to return to Rome should his Majesty go to England.
Brussels, 8th December 1555.
Dec. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 307. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the passing of the bill for the cession of the church property, the motion for the recall of the absentees was made, but although it was framed in the underwritten form so that it might pass without difficulty, as was the case in the House of Lords, the Act purporting that if the absentees did not return within four months they were not to lose their property, nor have it confiscated, save during the time of their absence, so as to cause no detriment to their children, grandchildren, and heirs; notwithstanding, after long debate and contention, the Lower House threw out the bill. This rejection may be supposed to have troubled the Queen on the score of repute, yet she prudently dissembled, and displayed indifference, and to-day, for the purpose of dissolving Parliament (per dar intieramente fine al Parlamento), in her own name and that of the King, she assembled both Houses in her Palace at Westminster, to avoid going such a distance through the ice to the ancient and usual place of meeting; she gave her assent, with the usual ceremonies, to all the Acts passed in it, ending and terminating it entirely, giving leave to the peers and all the others to return to their homes in the country, and relieving them from the great expense they incurred here. Her Majesty then proceeded to Greenwich, not so much to be nearer the sea for the King's return, as for the sake of the monastery there, leaving Cardinal Pole in London to continue [sitting] in the synod with the bishops and the clergy until full completion of the proposed reforms.
The Acts of Parliament will be printed as usual, and when translated into Italian and abridged, will submit them to the Doge.
The late despatch to France was based on an “advice” received from Brussels to the effect that the proposals, sent hence, seemed to the Emperor and the King to differ little from their intention; so that if the French adhere to them and wish the negotiation to be resumed, the mediators, namely the Queen and Cardinal, would have little difficulty in adjusting matters. But before the Queen and Cardinal proceeded further, the Emperor and the King were of opinion that, for the avoidance of the contumely which two such personages would incur were either of the parties not to assent to their mediation, it would be better for the person in whom the French have hitherto shown so much trust—meaning the Abbot of San Saluto, the Constable in fact showing daily that he places great confidence in him—to be the one to make this discovery, not only with regard to hearing, but by ascertaining from the French themselves whether they would or not accede to this negotiation; because, if satisfied, the Queen and Cardinal might with such dignity as becomes their station, suggest a fresh congress. This scruple caused by uncertainty of the intention of the French restrained the Emperor and the King from writing to the Queen in person, and to the Cardinal, to perform an office to this effect, their Majesties not deeming it becoming the Queen's dignity to bestir herself at a venture, as this public congress should not be sought by a sovereign save when certain of the will of the parties, as otherwise they produce no fruit, and diminish the repute of those who seek them, whereas the Abbot [Vincenzo Parpaglia] being a private individual, was a better instrument for guiding (per condur) such a resolve; so they requested him to enter upon the negotiation, as neither King-Philip nor the King of France being irritated or provoked with each other, it might be hoped that the adjustment between them would prove more sure. In conformity with this order the Abbot acted, he having written and sent off the despatch, but with the participation of the French Ambassador resident here, and through his medium. Should the reply be such as is considered certain by the Abbot, he having sent a draft of the reply to be made by them, that he may show and send it to Brussels, the Queen and Cardinal will then discover themselves, either by writing or by despatching two gentlemen, the one to France and the other to Brussels, to settle about the negotiators, and the time and place. If this congress takes place there is good hope of an adjustment, which was not the case at the conference of Calais.
London, 9th December 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Ib. 308. Acts of the Parliament summoned in the month of October 1555, and which were confirmed by the most Serene Queen of England in her own name, and that of the most Serene King, on the 9th December.
1 An Acte of a subsydye graunted by the temporaltie.
2 An Acte for the confirmac[io]n of a subsidie graunted by the clergie.
3 An Acte for the contynuance of certayne statutes.
4 An Acte to take away the benefite of clergie from Benet Smythe for the murther of Rufforde.
5 An Acte agaynst the byeng of stolen horses.
6 An Acte for the reedifieng of iiij milles nere the citie of Hereforde.
7 An Acte agaynst thexcessive taking of purveyours.
8 An Acte that purveyours shall not take victalles within v. miles of Cambridge or Oxforde.
9 An Acte wherby theyres of Sr. Edwarde Nevyle, Knight, arre restored to the remaynder of the barronnye of Burgavenye.
10 An Acte for thenlargyng of the Duchye of Lancastre.
11 An Acte towchyng watermen and bargemen upon the ryver of Thamys.
12 An Acte to make voyde dyvers lycences of houses wherin unlawfull games bee used.
13 An Acte for thamending of highe wayes.
14 An Acte for the vieuyng and sellyng of clothes called Bridge-waters.
15 An Acte touching weavers.
16 An Acte for thinhabitantes of Halyfaxe touching the byeng of woolles.
17 An Acte touching commissions of the peace and gaole delyverye in townes corporate not being cownties in themselfes.
18 An Acte wherby the Duke of Norfolk, by thadvice of the L. Chancellor of England, therle of Arondell, and the Bisshopp of Ely, maye make sales and grauntes of his landes, etc., notwithstanding his minoritee.
19 An Acte for the reliefe of the poore.
20 An Acte for thextinguishement of the fyrst fruites, and touchyng order and disposition of the tenthes of spirituall and ecclesiasticall promotyons, and of rectories and personages impropriate remaynyng in the Queenes Majesties handes.
21 An Acte for the kepyng of milch kyne, and for the breadyng and rearing of calves.
22 An Acte for the reedyfieng of decayed houses of husbandrie, and for thencrease of tyllage.
23 An Acte for the reedyfieng of castelles and fortes, and for thenclosing of growndes from the borders towardes and against Scotlande.
(See Statutes of the Realm, Vol. IV., Part I., p. 265.) (fn. 4)
Dec. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 309. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of England has determined to keep a factor resident at Antwerp, to enable him to contract loans (far cambij) when required, without sending the Secretary Erasso from time to time; his Majesty has made choice of a German, by name Matthew Schetz, with an annual salary of 4,000 crowns.
King Philip's harbingers (forieri) depart to-day for Antwerp to prepare his quarters there, he being expected to go thither shortly, though the day is not fixed.
His Majesty has been again, masked, to another wedding in the house of Madame d'Aler, who is considered very handsome, and of whom he seems much enamoured (alla quale mostra portar amor grande).
Orders have been sent to Louvain to print certain articles said to have been stipulated heretofore between the King of France and Sultan Soliman, as also some letters addressed by his most Christian Majesty to Dragut Rey (sic), (fn. 5) in which he styles him “mon cousin.”
This is said to be in exchange for the books printed and circulated in England to the disparagement of King Philip and the Spanish nation, the blame of this being attributed to the most Christian King aforesaid.
Brussels, 11th December 1555.
Dec. 11. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. xv. 310. Cardinal Morone to Cardinal Pole.
If God with His infinite power, goodness, and wisdom rules and directs all the affairs of the world, as Morone believes, although his ignorance and pride often endeavour to persuade him to the contrary, he cannot doubt that what has been done to-day in consistory about providing for the church of Canterbury, was done by His great providence and goodwill, as through His Spirit his vicar has been moved to confer upon Pole the cure of that church, and of all the realm of England, as also of the Apostolic See, and, as Morone hopes, of all Christendom. (fn. 6) Prays God who has called Pole to this toil to increase His gifts to him, so that the appointment may conduce to the salvation of souls and to the divine glory, as universally expected.
The Pope decided to make the proposal in consistory, greatly commending the prudence, goodness, doctrine (dottrina), and religion of Pole, much to the consolation of the whole College, which competed with his Holiness in bestowing these praises; the cardinals absent from gout being, Carpi, San Giacomo, Tournon, and Pisani, and Crispo was out of Rome. The Cardinal of Lorraine evinces so much love for Pole that Morone has become his slave, and believes him to be a man of worth, and excellently disposed. The Pope has also willed that from this day forth Pole be removed from the list of cardinal deacons to that of cardinal priests; and when despatching the bulls, will send the other necessary things required hence for the execution of the archiepiscopal office.
His Holiness was also very glad to hear of the convocation of bishops now being held by Pole for the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline, nor can he sufficiently thank God, and praise the Queen for her piety, in so ardently seeking the constant increase of religion in England, and the welfare of her subjects; and when expediting the affair of the archbishopric, he will send the briefs required for the said convocation, having given Fiordibello the order to this effect; and will also send the briefs for the Legation about the peace, which, as said by him this morning to Morone, the Pope hopes for (after God) solely by means of the Queen and of Pole; adding that should it be necessary, he will give him orders to go to Flanders about this business, and to whatever other place shall be deemed expedient; as, in fact, affairs at Rome keep always fluctuating, the Pope being dissatisfied with the proceedings of all the foreign ministers in Italy, both Imperialists and French, they on their part showing themselves equally ill-pleased with the bad actions (le male attioni) of his Holiness, so that it will be difficult to do any good in this quarter, although the Pope seems willing to proceed with all patience for the sake of bringing this affair of the peace to an end. Pole will perceive how indolent Morone has become, writing to him so seldom, and when he does write, as at present, not using his own hand. Prays Pole to pardon him, and to love him as usual, and to remember him in his prayers.
Rome, 11th December 1555.
P.S. Salutes Monsigr. Priuli and the Abbot of San Saluto.
Dec. 14. Original Letter Book, penes me, p. 98. 311. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday, when speaking about the peace, the Pope said to me, “The French continue well inclined towards it, and to refer everything to us, but we find greater harshness (darezza) on the part of the Imperialists, perhaps because their ministers here are not agreed together, nor are they experienced. There is the Marquis of Sarria, a rough Biscayan, with little practical knowledge of business, who was preceded by Count Chinchon, a more adroit and intelligent person, but as the Marquis Sarria disliked him, and he not being ambassador in ordinary, he departed. There has now come Garcilasso de la Vega, a person somewhat tractable and discreet, but in the end they are all alike, et omnes uno ordine habetis Achiros. We bear with them as much as we can, in order to preserve fitting means whereby to effect some good.”
Rome, 14th December 1555.
Dec. 14. Original Letter Book, penes me, Letter No. 32, pp. 93, 94. 312. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The consistory gave the archbishopric of Canterbury to the Cardinal of England, the whole college applauding, and bestowing so much praise on his right reverend Lordship that it was remarkable (che fu cosa grande). The friends and servants of Cardinal Pole here in Rome say, nevertheless, that when giving him this archbishopric no one dared reproach him, as they did when he was proposed for the popedom (al tempo del Pontificato) [in 1549–1550], with entertaining certain anti-Catholic opinions (che fusse in alcuni opinioni non Catholici); and that now even his invidious and lukewarm friends have commended his collation to this bishopric, thinking thus to compel him—he having always made the profession he did—to remain for life at his own see of Canterbury, for the government of his church, and by keeping him in this way at a distance from Rome, to free themselves from a very formidable competitor for the popedom when a vacancy shall occur. (Et per questa via lontanandolo di quì liberarsi d'un grandissimo concorrente al Pontificato, quando occorrerà il caso.)
Rome, 14th December 1555.
Dec. 15. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 313. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal [Carlo] Carraffa.
Is more and more confirmed in his hope that the presence in Rome of the Cardinals Tournon and Lorraine will facilitate the peace. On the 7th November wrote to Caraffa announcing the opening of Parliament, which has now been adjourned (che è poi finito), the subsidy having been granted very readily unanimously (da tutti); and they also confirmed the grant of the church property which had been annexed to the Crown, but not without much difficulty and repugnance (impugnantia) on the part of some members of the Lower House, though both the Prelates and the Peers agreed to it easily, as Pole wrote in detail to his agent. On the first Sunday in Advent a solemn procession was made for the great benefit received through the reconciliation; and in the convocation of the Prelates it was ordained that this is to be done every year on St. Andrew's day throughout the kingdom. The convocation is still sitting, and Pole will give detailed account of its proceedings to the Pope. Should his Holiness be pleased to send the brief about which Pole wrote to Caraffa, it might arrive in time, as he believes the convocation will not end before Lent.
London, 15th December 1555.
Dec. 15. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 314. Cardinal Pole to [Francisco de Mendoza], Cardinal of Burgos.
The merchants in Spain who are commissioned to receive Pole's pension on the see of Burgos, write that when they applied for its arrears to the Cardinal's agents they were told that it was intended always to keep in hand the first fruits of one year. Pole cannot believe that such is the Archbishop's intention, as he remembers the reply given by him on this subject to his messenger at Louvain, which was quite contrary to this, and in accordance with the justice and courtesy always shown by Mendoza towards Pole, and with the affection and service rendered by him to the Archbishop, whom he requests to give orders for the full payment of Pole's entire credit, as he has great need of his scanty revenues, because of the many expenses he has had to incur, and to which he is constantly liable. Had the agents paid the arrears when due, as Pole expected by reason of his reliance on Mendoza, he would have been able to receive the money in England, without any interest, whereas he will now lose about 25 per cent. Received lately the Archbishop's letter, delivered by Count Chinchon, and full of Mendoza's usual affection for him, for which he thanks him to the utmost. They have heard in London of Mendoza's going to Sienna. Prays God to comfort that city, as he is sure the Archbishop desires.
London, 15th December 1555.
Dec. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 315. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen of England sent one of her three chamberlains (uno delli tre camerieri) to her consort to visit him (per visitar Sua Maestà Regia), having heard of his late slight indisposition, and to tell him that on several accounts she ought not to wish for his return to England (et per dirle, ch' ella non potria per più rispetti desiderare il ritorno suo in quel Regno), and that to do him due honour she will not confer either the see of Winchester, or the grade of Lord High Chancellor, nor the charge of the Privy Seal, until his arrival, provided it take place speedily, as such important charges must of necessity be filled up. The King sent him back yesterday, with thanks to the Queen for her loving office and protestations (et proteste), announcing his firm intention of performing without fail the promise given her repeatedly as soon as he can, that is to say, on completion of the business which compels him to go to Antwerp. Before his departure the chamberlain said to some of the King's attendants that in like manner as he shall gladly be the bearer of this good news to his mistress, so did he promise not to give account of his Majesty's having twice gone abroad masked in this wretched weather (per questo pessimo aere), and of his dancing at the weddings, as he feared lest the Queen, who is easily agitated, might take it too much to heart (perchè dubiteria che, la Regina che è facile ad alterarsi non sentisse troppo passione).
According to general report, King Philip has appointed Don Luis Davila to go to the Queen to return thanks for what is aforesaid, but from what I have heard from a person of quality, and who ought to know the fact, for the purpose of negotiating that in virtue of a law of the realm, purporting that any King may of his own authority crown his consorts, the Queen as heir of the crown of England do avail herself of this law, to crown him (per negotiar che la Regina in virtù di una legge del Regno, la qual è, che ogni Re di propria auttorita possa incoronar le consorti, voglia, come herede che è di essa corona, servirsi della detta legge, per incoronarlo), especially as there are many persons of quality, the dependents of their Majesties, who will by all means favour the accomplishment of this result. The same person, who is an Englishman, told me that according to his belief the Queen will not take upon herself to do so great a thing, because there being another statute, compelling all Englishmen to obey their kings in all military matters, after they have been crowned, under penalty of loss of life and property, she would fear a rebellion in the kingdom (conciosiachè essendovi un altra legge che obliga tutti gli Inglesi ad obbedir in tutte le cose della guerra alli Re coronati che siano, sotto pena di perder la vita et la roba, ella temeria di qualche sollevamento in esso Regno); and that the English [ministers] now in her service will not counsel her to do so, by reason of their own private interests, especially from suspicion that the King would subsequently displace them for those of the opposing factions (delle fattioni contrarie), who now advise her Majesty to demand this coronation. My informant [Sir Philip Hoby?] came to the conclusion that the Queen will compromise this matter with the King, by giving him part of the money obtained by her from Parliament.
Sir Peter Carew has arrived here and says he will accompany the King, together with Sir Philip Hoby and Sir John Masone, when his Majesty goes to England; Carew thus showing, that although the Queen has pardoned him owing to the King's mediation, he does not venture to go sooner, not having received from her a written release. The King has had a courier despatched to his steward Don Diego de Azevedo with 15,000 crowns, for distribution amongst the persons of his household who remained in England. With regard to his Majesty's departure for Antwerp, it is uncertain whether it will take place before or after the Christmas holidays, and the harbingers who went in advance write that every thing connected with their office is prepared, and that the platform in the cathedral, on which the King is to perform the ceremony of the Knights of the Fleece, will soon be completed. The King would wish the Emperor's attendants to go and wait upon him at this ceremony, but according to report, they find their Flemish creditors determined not to allow them to depart until they pay for the goods received by them, from fear lest they subsequently proceed to England with the King, without returning hither, as is said to be his Majesty's intention.
Three days ago the Emperor again took to his bed from gout, which the courtiers here say has prevented the publication of the renunciation of the kingdoms of Sicily and Aragon, to his most serene son; and Don Ruy Gomez and Gonzalo Perez assure every one that on the cessation of this impediment it will be indubitably published, after which the despatch of all affairs will be heard of.
The Siennese delegates thanked the King for the charitable donation of 20,000 crowns, which they understood had been already ordered by him for the hospitals, but in his reply the King expressed himself ambiguously, declining their thanks, either because he had not sent this commission, or as said by some of his Majesty's attendants, because he does not choose to make a boast of what should be done, and not talked about. These delegates have transacted business several times with the Bishop of Arras, telling him they were commissioned to beseech the Emperor to take pity on their misfortunes, and to give orders for the soldiery no longer to behave with such great insolence as they do, both towards the nobility and others, insulting them in various manners, even in their own houses, as enemies on account of the past events, robbing as much as they can, even the most trifling effects which remained to the inhabitants.
Brussels, 15th December 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]


  • 1. Che tornava anco bene a sua Maestà scoprir più chiaramente l'animo del Re de' Romani se voleva conceder che il serenissimo Re d'Anglia gli mantenesse l'auttorità di vicario dello Imperio in Italia.
  • 2. The despatch of the Ambassador Michiel of 9th December enables me to date this letter accurately.
  • 3. Local date in printed copy.
  • 4. The ambassador has not registered the act “Touching Poodyke in Marshande” (see Vol. IV. as above, p. 294), and as it concerned the preservation of dikes, a subject of great interest to the Venetians, I am at a loss to account for the omission.
  • 5. Dragut-Rais was the favourite, and subsequently the successor, of the famous pirate Barbarossa, alias Barberousse, who, in the second part of King Henry VI. (Act 4, scene 2), is styled “Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pirate.”
  • 6. “Perchè ha mosso col suo spirito il Vicario suo a dar la cura di essa Chiesa et di tutto il Regno de Inghilterra, ma anchora di questa santa sede, et come Io spero di tutta la Christianità.”