Venice: February 1556, 1-15

Pages 333-345

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.


February 1556, 1–15

Feb. 1. Original Letter Book, penes me, Letter No. 49, pp. 180–182. 372. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis of Sarria, the Emperor's ambassador, has been informed by way of Venice that the Cardinal of Lorraine had found your Serenity favourable to the peace with the Emperor and the King of England your confederates (suoi compagni), and has given me thanks accordingly. I answered I did not know what the Cardinal of Lorraine had proposed, though I was aware of your Serenity's intention to keep peace with friendly powers your confederates. He then told me he went yesterday to the Pope, who spoke to him more warmly than ever about peace, evincing a great wish to attack the Turk, and saying that the King of France would not fail to aid the expedition with his forces, and that your Serenity, without whom the undertaking could not be made, would also give a great number of galleys; to which the Marquis told me he replied, “Holy Father! your Holiness has often spoken to me about this peace, and nevertheless I do not see that any of your actions serve to bring it about, whilst by treating us so badly as you do, you give us small cause to trust you entirely. I may observe that former pontiffs, when they wished to perform such a feat, either went in person or sent men of importance (huomeni d'importanza). As yet we have had nothing but words from your Holiness.” He then said that as to French assistance against Sultan Soliman, he did not see how that could be expected from those who had so often brought infidel forces into the heart of Christendom, in addition to which he understood that a very handsome present sent by the King of France for the Turk had already arrived at Venice for the purpose of strengthening their mutual friendship, and in order that this year likewise he might have the Turkish fleet to plunder Christian souls (che depredasse anime Christiane).
The Pope's rejoinder purported that he was glad the Marquis had spoken thus freely, and that it would be well to find means for the removal of every difficulty.
To me Sarria added—“Had there been anybody but myself at this court, a total rupture would have taken place many months ago; what has not been said about me here? what sort of injury have they abstained from doing to the honour of my masters? yet it has been tolerated, and this our toleration will serve as testimony to the world that we, on our part, shall not have recourse to arms, save from compulsion. The Pope gives us fair words and hopes daily, and by so much the less do we expect compliance with the demands made by D. Garcilasso; his Holiness nevertheless binds himself more and more closely to the French, and in every way increases our reasonable jealousy and suspicion.”
Rome, 1st February 1556.
Feb. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 373. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Last evening the Bishop of Arras arrived here from Antwerp, the King having sent him to give account to the Emperor of what he had heard from the Queen of England about the reply to the proposals conveyed by San Saluto, and to tell him of the difficulties made by the French commissioners with the Spaniards, which are reduced to two conditions; the one, that the French wish the truce to last for six years, and the Spaniards for two; the other, that they object to the inclusion in it of the Republic of Genoa and the Duke of Florence, saying that neither one nor the other have anything to do with the crown of Spain, and that, as they are not now treating with the Emperor, his son has not to solicit this. I hear from the Nuncio that the Bishop of Arras said that at last a truce will be made, and he departed this morning on his way back to the King to tell him the opinion of the Emperor, to whom his Majesty is to return next Monday. The King has not yet elected the knights of the “Fleece,” his own wishes in this matter being in part opposed by the Flemish knights, who wish a greater number of their own countrymen to be elected than of any other nation, either Spanish, English, or Italian.
Brussels, 1st of February 1556.
P. S.—The Ferrarese ambassador has just heard that the truce is already made, the parties keeping what they hold, and that this decision will not be published for a fortnight. The ambassador remarked to me that this might facilitate the acquisition by the Imperialists of some places in Italy, adding his belief that the Emperor will be named in the said truce, although it was said at first that it would be negotiated and stipulated solely with the King of Spain, this having been necessary to stay the exorbitant demands made by the French. With regard to the duration of the truce he said he had heard nothing.
Feb. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 374. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have ascertained that in the proposal made by the Imperialists, besides asking for the restitution of Marienburg, they also demanded that of Ivrea for the Duke of Savoy, the most Christian King keeping the fortress in his hands, and allowing the Duke to have possession (de poter goder) of the city and its revenues in the same way as he permits the Duke of Mantua to hold Casale (che goda Casale). In reply the French commissioners were desired to say that if the Emperor wished for Marienburg, he should give the most Christian King thefortress of Hesdin, his Majesty not choosing to come to a compact unless matters proceeded with reciprocity; neither as to Ivrea did it seem to him the fitting moment when treating the truce to talk about giving anything to the Duke of Savoy, towards whom, should a negotiation for peace take place, the King would make every fair demonstration; and on the 28th ultimo this reply was given to the Imperialists, who took time to announce it to the Emperor and the King of England, promising to meet again on the 2nd instant, which will be to-morrow. Now that this negotiation seems to narrow itself (che vedendosi astringer questa trattatione), the conflicting passions in this court come to light; the adherents of the Constable, together with the public, being desirous of its conclusion; whilst, on the other hand, the dependants both of the Queen [Catherine de' Medici] and of the house of Guise, together with those of Madame de Valentinois, demonstrate openly that for the benefit of his affairs his most Christian Majesty ought not to come to this agreement, but pursue the execution of the League (ma seguitare la essecutione della Liga), for which they say another opportunity will not so easily occur; and that although the Pope may not be able to furnish such great assistance as would be required, and therefore uses the utmost art to conceal his policy (et che per ciò faccia con ogni arte tenire le cose sue secrete), yet nevertheless he cannot fail to be very useful (non potè non dare molto beneficio); in addition to which, should the Duke of Ferrara have declared himself his most Christian Majesty's ally (collegato), he will run the risk of losing what he holds under the Emperor's jurisdiction; and as it is heard that the Cardinal of Lorraine will be here in a few days, they hope that, should the ratification not have taken place by that time, his coming may serve greatly to interrupt it, and having already heard something about these negotiations, he is expected to speed his journey.
Blois, 1st February 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Feb. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 375. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The truce is here considered settled, but from an agent of the Cardinal of Trent, who is come from the King to the Emperor on his way back to his master, I have heard that although it was supposed to be settled, the difficulties between the commissioners at Cambrai being adjusted, there remained the question of its duration, the French commissioners insisting on six years, whilst the Spaniards wish for only three; and Dr. Malopera, who attended the former negotiation, on behalf of the Duke of Savoy, says that all the friends, dependants, and subjects of both their Majesties will be included. Am also informed that the said Duke, when speaking to the Bishop of Arras about this truce, was seen to be in so great a rage with him, that his right reverend lordship remained cap in hand longer than usual. Subsequently his Excellency sent him an additional article about his affairs to be sent to the commissioners, whereupon the Bishop told the gentleman who brought it that he had not sufficient authority to do what the Duke wished, and shrugging his shoulders suggested to him that it would be well for the Duke to use his own influence and to write to the commissioners, knowing that they were his devoted servants, but said he would nevertheless send them the said clause. One of his Excellency's intimate attendants says that when the Duke prayed the King to ponder well all that the world would say about the stipulation of a truce of this sort, his Majesty replied that he had not formed so momentous a resolve merely in conformity with his own opinion, but also with that of the Emperor, on hearing which the Duke was struck dumb.
Last night, at Antwerp, the King went to an entertainment and tournament, given in the English Guildhall by the Marquis del Valle; (fn. 1) and although the persons of his Majesty's court, who have returned hither, and the “advices” say that he will leave Antwerp in four or six days, some persons are of opinion that he will not come to the Emperor until the commissioners shall have fixed the duration of the truce; his Imperial Majesty having perhaps given orders for the decision to be made by the King while away from him.
Brussels, 2nd February 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Feb. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 376. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day received advices from Antwerp informing me that the King had received letters from the commissioners at Cambrai, including one from the Regent of Milan to Secretary Perez, who, being at dinner with Sir John Masone, councillor of the Queen of England, (fn. 2) mentioned that the said Regent wrote to him that after the removal of all the difficulties, there remaining the one about the longer or shorter duration of the peace, the French raised other doubts (andavano movenlo altri dubbij); and thereupon the King sent a courier to the commissioners with some other clauses, decreed in council, whereby he conceded nearly all the French wished, and on the return of this courier the final resolve was expected. Although both in this court and in that of the King it continues to be reported that the truce may be considered concluded, the Emperor having consented both to be named in it and to the other difficulties (sic) which might prevent the settlement (havendo acconsentito l'Imperatore di esser (sic) et nominato in essa, et all' altre difficultà che potevano impedir la conclusione, (fn. 3) there are some Spaniards of condition who say that from the proceedings of the French they rather suspect them of raising certain difficulties, not so much for the sake of benefiting their King, as in furtherance of some secret project for delaying this matter, they hoping perhaps that his most Christian Majesty may form a league with the Pope for the present exigencies of Italy; and it has been said to me that the coming to your Serenity of the Cardinal de Guise causes suspicion of a league with his Holiness and the most Christian King; it also seeming to them that the reception given to his right reverend lordship was too warm. In all my conversations I demonstrated that this was your Serenity's ordinary mode of receiving personages of his grade when they come to see Venice, and I positively assured everybody that you persevere, as you always will do, in your constant friendship and observance towards the Emperor, and also in the great goodwill and respect you bear his son.
Some days ago King Philip's confessor (fn. 4) suggested to him, and urged his Majesty to determine on sending to his ambassadors in all foreign parts, and to his viceroys at Naples, Sicily, and Milan, two or three gentlemen to each place, to instruct themselves thoroughly in statesmanship, so as in a few years to have men of experience in his service; and he says that all the reverses which befell the Emperor and his Majesty in this war with France, although the Emperor was always most prudent and valorous, proceeded from his not having foreseen that he might have need of men well skilled in matters of that sort; and that the King of France caused their Majesties more trouble and detriment, by means of the assiduous counsel of many persons in his employment, and of the intelligent agents who executed his resolves, than he did either through money, or other means of war. This suggestion has general approval, and the only impediment which prevents his Majesty from carrying it into effect is, that he has not so many and such able persons at his disposal as would be required for that purpose.
On the night before last King Philip supped with the Portuguese merchants, he having invited himself to do them that favour; and passing through the street where the English reside, he enquired in the hearing of many persons where they dwelt; but as they are few, and not wealthy, they turned a deaf ear to the honour intended them.
Brussels, 5th February 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Feb. 5. (fn. 5) Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 377. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the departure of the Magnifico Missier Mattio di Priuli, who was despatched hence for the purposes narrated in my last of the 27th ulto., as confirmed to me subsequently by Cardinal Pole himself, nothing further has hitherto taken place concerning this business. What yet more determined the Cardinal to make use of Missier Mattio, and not of the Abbot or of an Englishman, was that when the Abbot was at Brussels, the King having told him freely the Emperor's mind and opinion about such particulars as were most important in this matter; and the Abbot thereupon having asked his Majesty for an instruction respecting the mode to be observed by him with the French, that he might know how far he was or was not to unbosom himself to them; the King told him that on his return hither he would find it in the hands of the Queen and of the Cardinal, to each of whom he would write his intention yet more precisely than he had told it to him, and send an express who would arrive as soon as the Abbot, if not sooner. This not having been done, as this instruction never arrived, during the Abbot's stay at Calais, nor after his arrival here, nor perhaps down to the present day, Cardinal Pole began to suspect (fece entrar in sospetto il Cardinal) that the King had changed his mind, transferring the negotiation elsewhere, and removing it hence, so that it was unnecessary for him to do anything more than what he as it were (in certo modo) deemed necessary, in accordance with his wish to maintain himself as much as possible in the confidence of both sides, namely, to send word to France of the Abbot's return from Brussels and of the excellent hope brought back by him, from the disposition of those sovereigns; thus showing that he did as much by the most Christian King as he had done by the Emperor and the King of England.
At this present time the delay in hearing that any decision has yet been formed by the commissioners at the conference (fn. 6) induces his right reverend lordship to believe that the mission of Missier Mattio will prove neither vain nor useless, most especially as the Abbot, according to what he himself has told me, represented amply by letter great part if not the whole of what he would have said by word of mouth and in [the most Christian King's] presence, although he made it appear that he wrote on his own account, and not by order of the Cardinal, which comes however to the same thing (il che importa perhò il medesimo) by reason of the trust gained by him in these negotiations with both sides.
The two companies of “Merchant Adventurers” and “Staplers” were lately requested in the name of the Queen to pay in Flanders 100,000l. her Majesty being debtor there for that amount, which she received in Spain on account of the loan contracted there two years ago. Both companies made many excuses, which not being admitted, they were at length compelled to pledge themselves, the “Adventurers” disbursing 60,000l. and the “Staplers” 40,000l. and for their repayment such provision will be made in the course of time as shall be most convenient for her Majesty. (fn. 7)
They are now intent on the general taxation of the city and the kingdom, the payment of the subsidy being at hand, which seems to proceed with such severity, no regard being had either for aliens or Englishmen, that it will greatly exceed former taxations, many persons having to pay three times as much as their usual quota. The Queen continues in hopes of her consort's return, as confirmed to her recently by his letters and messengers, to two of whom she gave each a chain worth 400 ducats; and she ordered the ships to drop down towards the sea forthwith, ordering the guard of 100 English halberdiers to be at Dover on the 20th instant; and the Earl of Pembroke, who is appointed to receive his Majesty at Calais, will depart from one day to another.
Some of the persons arrested with the new King Edward have been hanged, and the affair is consigned to silence.
London, 5th February 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Feb. 5. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 378. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal Morone.
In reply to his letter of the 4th ulto, concerning the Chancellorship of England, is very glad to find that his opinion agreed with that of the Pope and Morone. With regard to the Cardinal of Trani, was very sure that Morone would consider him such as Pole has always known him to be, and rejoices much at the reciprocal satisfaction of the whole College of Cardinals.
London, 5th February 1556.
Feb. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 379. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The truce is settled to last for five years, and the Secretary Banos (sic) is to bring the news express to both their Majesties.
When the courier wished to announce the intelligence in person to the Emperor, having come hither before going to Antwerp to the King of Spain, one of the Imperial ministers charged him to depart instantly for Antwerp to give the first news to the King.
Brussels, 6th February 1556.
Postscript.—M. de la Chaux and Don Luis de Avila, to whom I sent my secretary with congratulations on this conclusion of the truce, confirmed the fact, and Avila told him that it had been concluded for five years, but with a reservatory clause about the Emperor's acceptance, though the fact is that his Imperial Majesty formed the decision when the Bishop of Arras came hither.
Feb. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 380. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Last night the King sent news to his sister, Madame Margaret, that on the 3rd instant the truce between the Emperor and his most Christian Majesty was concluded for five years, without restoring anything on either side, but with the obligation on the part of his most Christian Majesty to give an annual pension of 25,000 francs to the Duke of Savoy. All the honour of this adjustment is attributed to the Constable.
Blois, 7th February 1556.
Feb. 8. Original Letter Book, penes me, Letter No. 51, pp. 185–187. 381. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
I yesterday presented to the Pope the honoured privilege (fn. 8) conceded by your Serenity to his nephews of the Caraffa family. He never tired of looking at the parchment, examined the golden seal, folded the patent with his own hand, and replaced it himself in its case (nella borsa), saying to me, “We will call our nephews and rejoice together; return the greatest possible thanks in our name; assure the State that as long as we live we shall have no greater wish than to do them some signal service.” He then said to me, “We will unbosom to you all our ideas (tutti i nostri concetti). We have tolerated so many and such great injuries from these Imperialists, that in patience we have surpassed Job. We have so many proofs of all their plots and acts of treachery that some day, when at leisure, we could tell enough to astound you. We have dissembled everything from our wish for peace, but what they did lately cannot be put up with. It is this, that they attempted to bribe (corrompere) even the soldiers of our guard, to kill my cardinal and me; and they moreover reached such a pitch of impiety as to purpose poisoning the water of the palace, which fact the goodness of our Lord God has willed should come to our knowledge, nor is there reason to doubt the truth of this; (fn. 9) so we greatly fear being compelled to proceed ad ultimum terribilium, which is war. We shall do so unwillingly; but perhaps Divine Providence, to punish them for their sins, will allow us to be driven to this, which may perchance be the way to free this wretched and unhappy Italy; nor will we call our most Serene Signory to any share in the danger, but we indeed hope that when matters are arranged to the grandeur and honour of Italy, she will take thought for the liberty of the said Italy, in which she has so great a part, and for her own likewise.”
I remarked that the Pope said these things to me with his mind in much suspense and trouble (con l'animo tutto suspeso et travagliato).
Rome, 8th February 1556.
Feb. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 382. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
On the arrival at Antwerp of the courier to the King of Spain with the news of the conclusion of the peace, his Majesty assembled the council of state, but did not say a word on the subject to any other of his attendants.
This same courier brought a letter from the Regent of Milan to the Dr. Malopera, one of the chief ministers of the Duke of Savoy, giving him notice of having been unable to obtain more than is expressed by the letters sent to the King, to whom the Duke went immediately, and after reading the letters of the commissioners, his attendants say, that perceiving how disastrous the decision was for him, he remained (to use their own words) more dead than alive (tra viva e morta), nor until then had he ever been seen to shed tears; and they assert truly that what has come to pass was foreseen by him. On his return to his lodging, the Bishop of Arras, and the Knights of the Fleece, and many other noblemen, went to comfort him, but he never evinced resignation. His adherents add that he has refused an annuity of 20,000 crowns which the King of France wished to give him during the truce, his Excellency not having chosen to degrade himself by so base an act; and if on account of the Emperor and the King of Spain he was deprived of all his revenues, and if their Majesties did not think of providing him with another State, although on the other hand they did think of availing themselves of his services for their own States, he would nevertheless endure this misfortune likewise, and neither they nor the most Christian King would ever prevent his Excellency from remaining a brave prince, and bearing with this adverse fortune.
Shortly after this, Secretary Bave arrived with the draft of the articles to be signed by the King, who sent them to the Emperor. None of the chief ministers of either of their Majesties have chosen to tell the Duke of Savoy, or anyone else clearly, what they are, common report saying they are not honourable; although letters from Antwerp tell me that the truce is to last for the five years, so that what each of them holds may be enjoyed quietly during that period, neither of the parties being allowed to fortify any place, nor to keep a greater number of troops than usual on the frontiers, and that should either of them make war he be bound to declare it sufficient time beforehand, to save the subjects and merchants from any loss; the truce moreover comprises all their Majesties' friends and dependants, the Pope also being left at liberty to join it or not, and I heard subsequently that your Serenity is specified.
His Majesty, with the council of state, has fixed the salaries of each of the secretaries already elected, and of the officials to be named hereafter, and has enacted a law condemning to death such as accept presents of any sort, proposing a reward for those who inform against them, and binding them also when in council neither to speak nor to suggest anything unless demanded.
Brussels, 8th February 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Feb. 8. Parti Secrete Consiglio X. File No. 9. 383. Apology proposed by the Chiefs of the Ten to Edward Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter.
Motion made in the Council of Ten and junta by the chiefs, Alvise Contarini, Hironimo da Leze, and Domenico Morosini.
That by the chiefs of this council our faithful Vicenzo Pelegrini, advocate, be told, in such good form of words as shall seem fit to them, that our beloved noble, Philippo Foscari, sage of the council, having reported to us what the said Pelegrini narrated to him about Lord Courtenay, he is to let his lordship know that we did not make a demonstration of our goodwill and esteem for him, on account of respects relating to himself (per rispetti di sua Signoria), as, did they not exist, we should not have failed to display our benevolence, nor will we omit to do so when the opportunity occurs.
Ayes, 23. No. 1. Neutral, 2.
Feb. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 384. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the Constable gave me notice that the truce had been made on fair terms. The King will be here in three days, when M. de Bassefontaine [Sebastien de l'Aubespine] is also expected with the agreement (capitulatione) duly made and signed, and the Admiral will be present at the ratification by the Emperor and the King of England; and when the agreement is returned, the Prothonotary de Noailles, brother of the French ambassador in England, will depart hence for Italy, to announce this adjustment to the Pope and your Serenity, and to the other potentates there. The terms of the truce are, neither side to make restitution of any kind, the truce to be valid in all the states and dominions of either Majesty, both by land and sea, commencing on the 5th instant, and lasting for five years. Should any towns or any place whatever be taken or occupied, they are to be restored reciprocally. The most Christian King has included in the truce his Holiness, the King and Queen of England, and the other kings of Christendom, your Serenity, the Duke of Ferrara, the Duke of Parma, Madame his wife, (fn. 10) the Prince of Salerno, and the Marquis Albert, and the Duke de Bouillon (who is now the Emperor's prisoner), with regard to certain free jurisdictions held by him (per rispetto de certi sui dominij liberi che possiede), and the whole League of the Switzers.
Besides this general agreement two particular articles (altri due articoli particolari) have been stipulated, by one of which the most Christian King permits Queen Eleanor [widow of Francis I.], the Emperor's sister, to enjoy the revenues of the estates (usufruttuare li beni) assigned for her dower (duario) as late Queen of France, and what she possesses in this country on account of her marriage portion (per conto della sua dotte); and on the other hand, at the suit of the most Christian King, the Emperor will restore to the aforesaid Duchess of Parma, his daughter, her estates (li beni sui) now in the hands of his Imperial Majesty. The other article stipulates payment by the King of France of an annual recompense under the name of pension to the Duke of Savoy on account of Ivrea, which city the Imperial commissioners laboured hard to obtain for the Duke; but to this not only did the King refuse his consent, but would not even allow either of the articles to be included in the general agreement, and the recompense will consist in an annual pension of 25,000 francs. The Imperialists earnestly endeavoured to have the truce made for ten years, but as the French seemed averse to its lasting for more than three, the term of five years was at length agreed to as aforesaid.
With regard to the release of the prisoners, the Imperialists have always made a difficulty about stipulating any agreement until the conclusion of the truce, saying that when the general agreement was settled, the prisoners likewise might very speedily be despatched, and thus was all discussion about their release postponed until the 5th instant. I have heard that no decision has been given, save that the agreement already made will be confirmed; and that the Duke d'Arschot and Count Mansfeldt, who are his most Christian Majesty's prisoners, will be released for money, as also the Duke de Bouillon and the Constable's son, who are the Emperor's prisoners. And thus after five years will there be an end of this war, which, according to persons able to ascertain the fact, has cost the King upwards of 45 millions of crowns, including the ordinary and extraordinary supply, which last having been already imposed and agreed to for the present year, his Majesty will receive the money without having occasion to spend it.
Blois, 9th February 1556.
Feb. 10. Parti Comuni Consiglio X. Vol. 22, p. 100. 385. Precautions taken by Edward Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter.
Motion made in the Council of Ten.
That license be given to Lord Courtenay, with 15 servants, of whose names a list is to be given as usual, to carry weapons in this city and in all our towns and places.
Ayes, 13. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
Feb. 11. Parti Comuni Consiglio X. Vol. 22, p. 100. 386. Marquis of Exeter.
Motion made in the Council of Ten.
That the arms-license given yesterday to Lord Courtenay be increased from the number of 15 to 25, according to the request which he caused to be made (che esso ha fatto ricercar) of the chiefs of this council.
Feb. 15. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta) Vol. lxix. p. 171, to. 387. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor.
By his letters of the 16th ultimo, heard that the Emperor had renounced to the King, his son, the realms and signories of the crown of Castille and Aragon, in addition to the renunciations made by him previously of his other kingdoms and states.
To congratulate the King on his accession in suitable terms, and inform his Imperial Majesty that they will send an ambassador to reside with his son. To transmit the accompanying packet to the Ambassador Michiel in England, who is to congratulate the Queen.
Proposed, to elect forthwith an ambassador to the said most serene King, to reside with his Majesty; the person elected being unable to refuse under the penalties contained in the Act passed by our Grand Council in the year 1536, against those who refuse embassies to crowned heads.
The person elected to have two hundred golden ducats per month for his expenses, without being obliged to show any account of them, and to be bound to keep eleven horses, comprising those of his secretary and servant, and four stirrup-men, and to depart at such time, and with such commission, as shall seem fit to this council.
Ayes, 102. No, 1. Neutral, 0.
Elected, Ser Michiel Surian, Knight.
Feb. 15. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), Vol. 69, p.172 to. 388. The Doge and Senate to the King of Spain.
The Magnifico Don Francisco de Vargas, Imperial ambassador resident with us, has acquainted us with the renunciation of the kingdoms and signories of the crown of Castille and Aragon made by the Emperor your father. It has caused us such satisfaction as becomes the love and observance we bear your Majesties.
Similar letter to be sent to the ambassador in England, changing the name, vidt., Zuan Michiel, who is with his Majesty's Most Serene Consort.
Ayes, 162. No, 1. Neutral, 0.
Feb. 15. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), Vol. 69, p. 172, to. 389. The Doge and Senate to the Ambassador in England.
By letters from our ambassador with the Emperor, dated the 16th ultimo, we have heard of the renunciation made by him to the King, his son, of the kingdoms and signories of the crown of Castille and Aragon, in addition to the other renunciations made previously. To congratulate the Queen in the name of our Signory; and also to congratulate the Right Reverend of York and Lord Paget, saying you have orders from us to that effect, on the dignities obtained from their Queen. (fn. 11)
Ayes, 162. No, 1. Neutral, 0.
Feb. 15. Senato Terra, vol. 40, p. 87, &c. 390. Introduction of Edward Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, to the Doge and Signory, and present made to him.
The Lord Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire, having lately arrived in this city, and having been to visit the Most Serene Prince and our Signory, it is fitting to make some demonstration towards his Excellency, as usually practised in similar cases; wherefore, put to the ballot, that our College be authorised to spend to the amount of 100 ducats on such things and refreshments (quelle robbe et rinfrescamenti) as shall be most fitting to present to the aforesaid Lord.
Ayes, 182. Noes, 4. Neutral, 0.
Mem.—That the above-written motion was made by a mandate from the College on the above-written day, whilst the Senate was sitting, and the laws about the distribution of the public moneys were called to mind (memoratœ fuerunt).
[Motion in Italian, memorandum in Latin.]
Feb. 15. Original Letter Book, penes me, Letter No. 52, p. 190. 391. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
It is said that a truce may possibly be made between the most Christian King and the King of England. Yesterday at audience I asked the Pope what might be hoped, and he answered me as your Serenity will see by the enclosed.
Rome, 15th February 1556.
Feb. 15. Dispacci, Roma, Venetian Archives, No. 7 B. 392. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Council OF Ten.
The Pope told me I was to write, as otherwise he should have cause to complain of me, that he had a later advice than the one received by the Nuncio, whereby he was informed that the Bishop of Arras went up and down (in su et in giù) to settle the business, which was not yet concluded, and that he had said they were compelled to make a disgraceful treaty through the obstinacy (durezza) of the Pope; at which I remarked that his Holiness was quite delighted. He said to me besides that the Emperor is quite out of his mind, for which reason the renunciations were made, and that both father and son were bad Christians, as he understood that at this Lenten season good joints of meat are served (vanno intorno) at their court; and they must beware, either with or without the truce, of giving him cause to break it, as should he once begin the dance (chese entra una volta in ballo) he shall choose to finish it, and that even were they to come upon their knees he will not listen to any sort of adjustment, as he well knew how they stood in the kingdom of Naples, which is in such despair owing to their vile treatment (i loro tristi portamenti) that it would give itself to the Turk, not only to a Pope, being a fief of the Church, and especially moreover to one of its own citizens [a person] of some account, to say the least of it.
Rome, 15th February 1556.


  • 1. This marquis was the son of Hernando Cortez, who died in the year 1554.
  • 2. In date of Antwerp, 7th February, Sir John Masone wrote to the Council, “The truce so commonly talked of yesterday is not, it seems to him, so hot to-day.” (See Foreign Calendar 1553–1558, p. 209.)
  • 3. The writer probably meant that the Emperor had consented to the removal of the difficulties, &c., but in the original despatch the sentence is written as above.
  • 4. The Franciscan friar, Francisco Alfonso de Castro. He died at Brussels at the age of 63 on the 13th February 1558. (See Biographical Dictionary, published at Bassano.)
  • 5. The original letter is misdated 5th January.
  • 6. As seen in the despatch from the ambassador Soranzo, date Blois 27th December 1555, the conference at the abbey of Vaucelles was originally held for the purpose of stipulating an exchange of prisoners, which was followed by a truce, as recorded in Mr. Turnbull's Foreign Calendar, date 5th February 1556, No 466.
  • 7. In Hume's History (vol. 3, p. 387, ed. London, 1744), allusion is made to “the Queen's extortions,” and the author quotes “a bargain with the merchant adventurers in London,” but does not name the staplers.
  • 8. In a despatch dated 18th January 1556, the ambassador wrote to the Doge and Senate, that on the preceding day Paul IV. expressed a wish to him that the Signory would deign (si degnara) to inscribe his nephews on the golden book, and the “privilege” here alluded to was the “patent” with the pendant golden seal. When making this demand, Gian Pietro Caraffa told Bernardo Navagero that he was eighty years old.
  • 9. In this same letter, Navagero mentions having been told by Cardinal Caraffa that the conspiracy was entrusted to the Pope's Switzer guards, one of whom was to have shot the Cardinal from the guard house when he stood at a certain window, but no particulars are given about the mode of poisoning the water.
  • 10. Margaret of Austria, the illegitimate daughter of Charles V.
  • 11. Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York, had recently been made Lord Chancellor; the office of Lord Privy Seal being also conferred on William Lord Paget. (See Haydn's Book of Dignities.)