Venice: May 1556, 26-31

Pages 458-472

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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November 1556, 21–25

May 26. Origianl Despatch Venetian Archives. 494. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
After the flight of the Duke d'Arschot, the Constable determined to send the Secretary Dardoes (sic) to Brussels, to pray the Emperor and King Philip, in the name of his most Christian Majesty, to determine about the release of the prisoners, and to put a fair ransom on the two personages who were reserved, before the expiration of the three months' term, which will end in a fortnight, letting their Majesties know that should this matter meet with any further delay or other difficulties, his most Christian Majesty would be compelled to believe that with regard to the execution of the other articles of the truce their Majesties' mind was in like manner insincere, wherefore he would also form fresh projects (farebbe novi pensieri) for the benefit of his affairs. After the departure of this secretary, his most Christian Majesty being on his way to supper one evening, allusion was made to the Duke d'Arschot's escape, which the King resents greatly, it seeming to him that his honour is at stake (parendoli esser stato come punto nell' honore); and when speaking about what the Secretary Dardoes (sic) might effect, his Majesty said aloud, “Unless they give me back the prisoners according to their promise, I in like manner shall seek my own advantage in the observance of the rest of the truce.” These words cause great talk of war at the court, as hitherto there is very little hope of the release of the prisoners.
The last advices from Rome announce the intended departure of Cardinal Caraffa on the 18th, as also the creation of the new Duke of Paliano, and the Count di Bagno, concerning which, from what I have been enabled to elicit on good authority, the Pope's design is to add to this state of Paliano some territory thereabouts belonging to the Church to strengthen the duchy, and together with the advantage and security thus obtained for his family, and to remove the impediments which might injure the Caraffas (che gli potessero nocere), he wishes to put it under the protection of the King of France, who will grant it the more willingly, as at small cost he will have a strong frontier in his hands towards the kingdom of Naples, and the Pope will separate his own acquisitions from the rest of the Church strongholds (dal suo venirà a separare il resto delle forze della chiesa), giving his most Christian Majesty also no little addition to his other forces in Italy; and for these reasons chiefly has his Holiness determined to send Cardinal Caraffa, that he may enter into close negotiations. No one at this court believes him to have the slightest thought of peace.
Melun, 26th May 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 495. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Francesco Piamontese, who left Brussels on the 23rd, returned to-day, and from the report made by him by word of month, he heard that Carew and Cheke, who were arrested, had been sent on hither; but he did not fall in with them on the way, as might have been expected, he having come postwise, and all three travelling the same road. Notwithstanding this, it is reported at the Court that they will be here to-morrow, in which case the true cause of their arrest, which has hitherto remained secret and doubtful, will be ascertained.
Their arrest has been followed here by that of Lord Thomas Howard, (fn. 1) who on the morning before last, Whit-Sunday, was sent to “the Fleet,” being arrested at the palace of the guard, in the presence of the whole Court, there having been released from that same prison a few days previously, and restored to their full liberty, two of those cavaliers who were confined there. (fn. 2) This Lord Thomas was the brother of the late Earl of Surrey [the poet], and the younger son of the late Duke of Norfolk, (fn. 3) of a most ancient and noble family, of those best deserving of their sovereigns, and he is supposed to be deeply implicated. It had been generally supposed from the beginning that he would be sent to prison by reason of his intimacy with the conspirators, and because one of the three last executed had been his servant and pupil. (fn. 4)
The French ambassador M. de Noailles took leave of the Queen yesterday, as for many months, subsequent, however, to the discovery of the conspiracy, he has most earnestly requested his King to recall him hence, for the removal simultaneously of the suspicions and accusations to which he will be hourly subjected, through the examinations of the conspirators, and to avoid any dishonour, from which he has indeed had a very narrow escape, for from what I hear there was a debate and decision in the Privy Council as to whether by proceeding against him individually as a plotter (machinatore) and contriver (insidiatore) against the state and person of the sovereign with whom he resides, the “jus gentium” would thus be violated; but to avoid coming to open hostilities at the present moment and under existing circumstances, it seems that the ministry has not chosen to proceed further; dissembling their indignation and consigning the affair to silence, for the present, perhaps in conformity with the will and command of the most Serene King.
There will remain here in his stead as agent a brother of his, a Councillor [of the Parliament] of Bordeaux, who was sent lately for this purpose from France, until the arrival of the other brother, the Prothonotary, destined a long while ago for the embassy in ordinary.
The Portuguese ambassador resident here also took leave last week; it sufficing his King to make use of the one who resides at Brussels, as by following King Philip hither he will simultaneously serve the Queen, the return of whose consort will (it is confirmed) take place at the time last appointed.
I am told that her Majesty has invited and entreated the Emperor to grant her the favour of an interview when passing the British Channel on his voyage to Spain, it being her intention to go down to the seaside that he may do so with less inconvenience.
London, 26th May 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 496. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The Emperor has sent for his most serene son, who was at Laura (sic), whither he went to confess and communicate, and to pass these holydays hunting; and the object of this call is supposed to be that they may discuss together the important advices received from Rome, about the acts and designs of the Pope, concerning whom the chief ministers here use the most abusive language possible, and have twice debated in council whether they should desire the Duke of Alva to march with the greatest number of troops he can muster to prevent the erection of fortresses in the state which until now belonged to Marc' Antonio Colonna, lest they become not only a fresh bulwark and frontier against the kingdom of Naples for the service of the most Christian King, but the chief cause of any reverse to which King Philip might be subjected in that kingdom. Some of the members proposed sending this order, and the majority would have wished the Duke to execute it as of his own accord; but they came to the conclusion that it would be better to send two ambassadors to his Holiness, to see whether by acts of humility (officij di humiltà) it be possible to deter him from those projects which they understand he is forming to the detriment of the Emperor and the King, and in order better to discover the object of his intention; and should his replies show it to be evil, they will then protest to him that not only in all the states of King Philip will they withdraw the obedience to his Holiness, and create a patriarch in Spain, but attack in all possible ways with an armed force. The ambassadors mentioned for this mission are the Italian Regent of Milan and the Spanish Duke of Medina Celi, or Count Chinchon.
It is generally believed at these courts, and it has been said to me by some of the chief ministers, that the Pope would never have dared to make his nephew Duke of Paliano, or to speak so violently against the Emperor and King Philip, had he not formed some secret league with his most Christian Majesty and others. Those who suspected your Serenity of some private understanding have been undeceived by me in the most distinct and loving terms that could be desired by you, as I assured everybody that you will always maintain a constant friendship with their Majesties, as has been the case hitherto, and that you honour and respect them to the utmost, as becoming. This, by reason of your Serenity's proceedings, has been fully credited by certain well-affected and prudent persons, including a doctor in the confidence of Don Juan Manrique, a member of the privy council, and he told me he knew I should be spoken to about a very important matter, which according to his belief might be for the mutual benefit of their Majesties and of your Serenity, and that the proposal might be reasonably desired and accepted by the Signory by reason of the manifest advantage which it promises. I replied in general and loving terms, and although he did not come to farther particulars, I think I understood his meaning to be a defensive league, offering terms which he expected your Serenity to accept. In case of my being spoken to on this subject I shall keep to general replies, according to what I believe to be the Signory's intention, always speaking kindly, and giving your Serenity minute account of everything.
Yesterday the Emperor sent the harbingers to prepare his lodgings at Ghent, into which city he purposes making his entry on St. John's day, they being also ordered to provide apartments for the ambassadors. He has also sent Don Luis de Caravajal, who commands certain ships, to make a fresh choice of the one on board of which his Majesty is to embark, having heard that the one destined for him is not suited to his purpose.
Subsequently M. de Buren [Maximilian, Count d'Egmont], admiral of these seas, and M. d'Andelot, one of his Majesty's chamberlains, were sent by him to superintend the execution of all his commands, and from what I hear there are some 50 ships in readiness, for which they have sent from Antwerp a quantity of guns, military stores, and provisions. The troops which the Count of Nassau went to raise in Friesland to be put on board these ships are said to be 20 companies (bandiere), in addition to which there will be 10 composed of certain soldiery called here Walloons, and 500 Germans to be taken to Spain to work the new silver mines, besides the 1,200 Spaniards who came with the ships from Biscay.
This mode of proceeding on the part of the Pope, and the result to be feared from it, make some persons marvel greatly, considering the detriment which it may cause his most serene son, at the Emperor's choosing to cross to Spain, as he says he will, and thus deprive himself and King Philip of such benefit as might accrue to them by his employing the Imperial authority in Germany to keep the Pope more to his duty (per contener più in officio di Pontifice); and being unable to imagine that the Emperor really means to depart, they infer that the object of all he says and does is to favour the King's journey to England for the purposes desired by them. (fn. 5)
Brussels, 27th May 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 497. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday Don Bernardino de Mendoza came to me and commenced discussing the present proceedings and future designs of the Pontiff, which according to his belief would cause great trouble, not only to Italy, but to all Christendom, saying that as I was your Serenity's representative, and his personal acquaintance since many years, he would communicate to me a thing of great moment, known at these courts (as he believed) solely to the Emperor and the King, and to the members of the privy council, namely, that a league had been concluded and signed between his Holiness, the most Christian King, the Duke of Ferrara, and the Switzers, with the obligation to deposit 1,200,000 crowns either in Venice or Rome, 400,000 of which to be contributed by the Pope, 600,000 by the King of France, and 200,000 by the Duke. Some of their proposals were to the effect that, amongst them all, an army was to take the field and, commence the war at such time and in such place as the Pope shall choose, and that should their projects be realized, Sienna was to be under the protection of the Church, the Pope being then empowered to appoint one of his nephews its governor; Florence was to return to its former republican rule, Piombino to be restored to its lord, (fn. 6) and Genoa to remain as a free republic, and not dependent on the Emperor, and the King, accepting (accettando) a French ambassador; that an Italian duke was to be placed, in Milan, but before appointing him, certain conveniences and advantages derived from the said state were to be had by the Duke of Ferrara and the Switzers (ma far innanzi sentir alcuni commodi et utili al Duca di Ferrara et Svizzeri, tratti da esso stato), the which Switzers to be given 100,000 crowns before sending their troops to serve the league; that the kingdom of Naples be given to the second son of his most Christian Majesty, with the obligation to increase the fief of the Church by 500,000 crowns rental (con obligo di accrescer il feudo alla Chiesa di 500 mille scudi di entrata), and not to interfere in the collation of benefices, freeing the feudatories there from divers exactions (agarie), and providing moreover for an annual rental of 300,000 crowns in that kingdom for the Count of Montorio, and of 15,000 to be derived from church benefices for Cardinal Caraffa.
In this league place is also reserved enabling your Serenity to join it, with a promise that should Sicily be obtained, it be understood to be yours (che essendo della Sicilia fatto acquisto, ella se intenda esser suo), his most Christian Majesty binding himself to defend his Holiness, his nephews, and the See Apostolic against any potent prince, be he who he may (contro qualsivoglia potente principe); the Pope, however, not being bound to take part in the affairs relating to the Duke of Savoy.
Don Bernardino then told me that what the Pope did against Marc' Antonio Colonna, and what he intended doing against Paolo Giordano Orsini and other feudatories of the Church, was to rid his mind of them (per levarseli de sui pensieri), and that should the Imperialists choose to defend them, and forbid the mission of delegates into the kingdom of Naples, and his Holiness demand French assistance there, in that case his most Christian Majesty, both because he had made this league (so long back as the 17th of October last, Mendoza said) before concluding the truce, and from having named the Pope therein, and under pretence (sotto nome) of aiding the See Apostolic, might effect a rupture with the Emperor and the King, who therefore, were they not to resist, would thus leave his Holiness to put all Italy in confusion, and expel Spain for the purpose of introducing France; so it seemed desirable to him for me to write to your Serenity, that by reason of your extreme prudence you should provide against the great evils which might occur, and that as you had no claims to urge against the King of Spain nor his Majesty against your Serenity, it would be well to make a defensive league in all of the common States, or in part of them, according to your pleasure; and at this part of his discourse, rising from the place where he was seated, he stood up and uttered with earnestness the following precise words:- “Now, lord ambassador, let us unite these princes of ours, as I pledge my faith to you that in taking this resolve the most illustrious Signory will find in King Philip a perpetual good disposition and fidelity in performing whatever he promises and binds himself to, in such wise that his Serenity would have cause to remain satisfied;” adding that he left to you to consider what friendly neighbours the French usually prore themselves (et che a lei lasciava il considerare che amicisogliono esser Francesi quando sono vicini), and that although the Pope appears to be your Serenity's friend, he, Mendoza, nevertheless knows that since a long while his Holiness is not well disposed towards you, and, putting his hand to his forehead, he said that one of the chief things which weighed upon the papal brow was to see you in possession of certain places on the mainland (et mettendosi una mano sopra gli occhi, disse, che una delle principali cose che le pesava era il veder che ella possedesse alcuni luoghi in terra ferma che possiede).
I thanked his lordship extremely for his courteous visit, and for the great praise bestowed by him in the course of his conversation on your Serenity, as also for the confidential communication made by him to me about everything, which loving mode of proceeding was, I said, in conformity with the goodness of his nature, and with the good opinion which your Serenity had always entertained of his great ability (molto valore) and regard for your interests, as demonstrated by him everywhere, and lately by the loving offers made to your secretary at Milan. I then said that I knew your Serenity's bias towards the Emperor and King Philip to be as good as it could be towards the best of friends, and that when you said you loved, your love was eternal (et che quando ella dice di amare ama per sempre), because you love wisely, like their Majesties here, by reason of their many great virtues, and the multitude of their other truly royal parts (conditioni), as also from having known that they amply reciprocated your sentiments; and that I hoped that this reciprocal friendship, and the reverence and respect on the part of your Serenity, would continue to be of such a sort as to prove by facts that you would never fill up that void which he told me had been left for you as a party to the league; telling him, in short, that I considered it certain, not only that you would not join it, but that no thought of doing so had ever entered your mind, as I knew, on the contrary, that in like manner as all their Majesties' successes had caused you satisfaction, so had their reverses distressed you; and I added divers other assurances, calculated to rid him of the slightest suspicion in case his lordship should have come purposely to tell me the contents of the treaty, in order to elicit what I knew about your Serenity's intention in the matter of this league, as in fact, since the Pope's undisguised abuse of their Majesties, when conversing with any of the members of the Privy Council, I perceived a sort of suspicion that unless the Pope had your Serenity's support he would not act as he does against the Emperor and his son.
I am very glad to have, as it were, convinced him by my assurances, for the ministers here do by me what they are not wont to do with regard to other foreign ambassadors, coming familiarly to dine with me, as was the case with Don Ruy Gomez, the King's confessor [Francesco Alfonso de Castro], and other chief personages; Don Ruy Gomez, when I spoke to him lately (as enjoined me by your Serenity) about favouring the Dr. Torniello and Antonio Brutti of Dulcigno, having promised to despatch their business in the best possible manner, assuring me that for the future the demands made by me in your Serenity's name would be expedited more favourably and honourably than hitherto, owing to the carelessness of the ministry, and that he would always be the instrument for establishing a true and permanent union between his King and your Serenity, and from his knowledge of my sincere mode of proceeding, he considered it certain that I should do the like; telling me in conclusion that his Majesty would send a new ambassador to Venice, the one now there having demanded his recall, and that a gentleman of great condition would be sent, as your Serenity deserves; and when I commended the gravity of Don [Francisco] de Vargas, (fn. 7) and said how acceptable he was to the Signory, by reason of his great discretion, Don Ruy Gomez replied that he knew the King of his goodness would reward him.
Brussels, 29th May 1556.
[Italian, partly in chipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 498. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In conformity with what was written by me about the Duke of Paliano, I receive assurance from several quarters that in the treaty of truce between these Majesties, there being a clause which authorises either of the parties, within three months from the time of its signature, to include, besides the adherents already specified, such others as the said Princes shall think fit; his most Christian Majesty, before the expiration of that term, nominated the Count of Montorio and the Pope's whole family; in addilion to this it seems to be likewise confirmed that his most Christian Majesty had previously conceded him his protection; the which two facts are said to have been accomplished (li qual doi effetti si dice esser stati fatti), because the Pope, having to create the Count, Duke of Paliano as he did, and the Duke choosing to jortify Paliano and Rocca di Pope, the Imperialists may be incapacitated from preventing him without breaking the truce, and that should they disturb his operations, the King of France must defend him.
The Abbot of San Saluto arrived here lately to transact some business of his own, with the intention also of waiting for Cardinal Caraffa and then proceeding to Rome. He paid his respects to his most Christian Majesty and to the Constable, both of whom did him much honour; and being' persuaded by the Constable to sail something to the Imperial ambassador, who is much his friend, about this release, of prisoners, and to do his utmost to discover his mind, he did so, having spoken to him and rejoined several times (havendo più fiate parlato et risposto); and from what he told me he found the Imperialists well inclined, adding that their need is such that provided this side do not trouble them, there is no doubt whatever of their observing the truce; and in a long conversation with me the Abbot evinced a suspicion that this side will very soon wage war; for he said to me that should these French be able to obtain the release of the prisoners it would not please them, as wishing for a rupture, they are content that the world should believe the non-restitation of the prisoners to be the cause of their breaking the truee; and he put before me the before me the discovery of the attempt on Vereelli, adding, “Had it succeeded would it not have been a fine excuse to make to everybody that as the Imperialists did not restore the prisoners, the King also should attend to his own advantage.” In short it seemed to me to comprehend that he believes everything to have proceeded from the Pope's constant intrigues to thwart these adjustments (finalmente mi parve di comprendere che tutto vi si esistimasse da lui, per li officij che continuamente ha fatto far il Pontefice per disturbare questi appontamenti); and above all, that having hitherto merely given the King hope of doing great things, and having come to this fact of Paliano, he by positive deeds has proved his will (animo) by giving into the hands of his most Christian Majesty a strong frontier against the kingdom of Naples (una gagliarda frontiera al Regno di Napoli).
The Imperial ambassador came subsequently to visit me, and discussing these same matters, I discovered that he also was much troubled by this doubt lest the truce be broken, and it seemed to me to comprehend that it all proceeded from the coming hither of Cardinal Caraffa (et mi parve di comprendere che tutto procedesse dalla venuta qui del Cardinale Caraffa); and, from one word to another he wnet so far as to say, “Rest assured, ambassador, that if the French wish for peace it is in their hands, nor will I deny that my King has perhaps the greater need of it; but considering the interests of both sides, I find that the advantage to be derived from peace will perhaps prove equal; and to produce this effect nothing is wanting but a good mediator, for it does not seem either fair or hardly possible that the Princes in person should declare themselves; nor for this would there be any better instrument than the Pontiff, provided he choose to act with the fear of God before his eyes; and should this ambassador [the Legate Caraffa] be the bearer in fact of what is said to be the cause of his coming, I think I can affirm that he will have the honour accomplishing it; though on the other hand, should personal affections (proprij affetti) prove a more powerful motive than the benefit of Christendom, we shall certainly have war” For my own part the slight knowledge I have of this court does not make me view things in so hopeless a light, and indeed I am of opinion that should the prisoners be released, there will be no danger of disagreement (disparere) at present, everybody evincing a great wish for quiet, and they are disarming in all quarters, both galleys, cavalry, and infantry.
Morette, 30th May 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 30. Dispacci Roma, Venetian Archives, No. 6. B. 499. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
On Tuesday chapel was held for the anniversary of the Pope's coronation, to which all the cardinals and ambassadors were invited, as also to dine with his Holiness afterwards. (fn. 8) Amongst the rest there came the English and Portuguese ambassadors, who have a dispute about precedence, so when the Pope came down to array himself in the pontifical habits, the master of the ceremonies, to prevent any disturbance, said to him “Holy Father, it would be well to put an end to the competition between England and Portugal before going into chapel, lest in the presence of such a crowd they do something unbecoming.” The Pope got into a rage instantly, and having called the Duke of Paliano, (fn. 9) said to him, “Make those ambassadors go away, or have them put in the castle, for we will not put up with these indignities. We are not Paul the Third, who tolerated Don Diego, whom we would forthwith have imprisoned in the castle.” The Duke announced the Pope's will to the ambassadors, and they departed.
After the mass and dinner, the Pope withdrew with the cardinals and us ambassadors into the audience chamber, and amongst various topics of conversation said that of his courtesy, and not indeed from any obligation, he was giving notice to the Powers, of the Council, which he purposes holding here in Rome; and that should no other prelates come, he will hold it with those on the spot, as they well know the authority he has. Then at about 4 p.m., the aldermen (caporioni) having got together all the ordnance of this city at the Campidoglio, commenced their march and went over Ponte St. Angelo to Borgo, to St. Peter's Square, making a very fine show, and remaining there until the harquebusiers had given the Pope two salutes. According to report, they are in number 7,000, including 1,000 cuirassiers (corsaletti), but the Duke told me they were 5,000, and moreover the “Collateral General” said that were the bad troops cashiered there would remain but 5,000 (che quando bisognasse cassare i tristi non resteriano 5 mille).
The Bishop of Agram (Zagabria) who came hither from the King of the Romans, to ask assistance for Hungary, is departing very dissatisfied, having had for reply from the Pope that he is sending the Legates to stipulate the peace between the Kings of France and England, and when it is concluded, an attack will be made on the Turk, and thus Hungary and other provinces be released from slavery; and a person who had it from the lips of Don Diego la Chaux ? (Lasso) (sic) (the agent of the King of the Romans) told me that before arriving at this reply the Pope narrated to him the birth, education, and all the virtues and valour of Cardinal Caraffa, with every particular, even down to his nurse, and then gave a similar biography of the Cardinal of Pisa, (fn. 10) the discourse being so long, that Don Diego, who is a feeble diminutive hunchback (un gobbetto debole), being unable any longer to keep on his legs, well nigh fell to the ground, and was forced to go out of the room to rest. I have chosen to mention these details, that your Serenity may see how the Pope, when unwilling to reply to any proposal, goes wandering to avoid a positive refusal.
The Rev. Comendone, Bishop of Zante, who accompanies the Cardinal of Pisa, and will remain as Nuncio in England, departed for Padua on the day before yesterday, to see his kinsfolk before quitting Italy.
Rome, 30th May 1556.
May 30. Dispacci Roma, Venetian Archives, No. 7. B. 500. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Council of Ten.
Cardinal Cornaro has told me that Cardinal Farnese, talking confidentially with him, said he knew for certain that the intention of Cardinal Caraffa is to place himself entirely in the hands and at the disposal (et nel voler) of the most Christian King, to whom he will offer the Pope himself, and his whole family, with all their dependants in the kingdom [of Naples]. He will demonstrate of what importance the investiture of the new duchy in the person of his brother is, reminding the King, that to maintain and defend the Duke is the way to gain the kingdom of Naples; and moreover that a treaty is on foot to make the Cardinal of Ferrara (fn. 11) successor to the present Pope in case of his death; as will be proposed to his Majesty by Cardinal Caraffa, in order yet more to obtain his favour; so that after the demise of this one he may be sure to have an Italian Pope, after his own fashion, of might and authority (di autorità et di forze). The Cardinal of Ferrara has written to the King to gratify and oblige Cardinal Caraffa, by giving him all his (Ferrara's) benefices, as he will be very glad of it (che ne sarà molto contento). This negociation has been set on foot by Cardinal Sermoneta, (fn. 12) who is under great obligations to the Cardinal of Ferrara, and much the friend of Cardinal Caraffa; and to facilitate its execution, the Pope promised Caraffa before his departure to have a dozen cardinals (di haver una dozena de Cardinali), all of whom were not only to be of the French faction, but dependent on Cardinal Caraffa, so that he might command and turn them to any side he pleased. Cardinal Cornaro told me besides that this was confirmed to him by the Cardinal “Camerlengo” [Guido Ascanio Sforza]; and that both one and the other of these Cardinals [Farnese and Sforza] evinced great dissatisfaction; requesting me to write this to a secret quarter (in loco secreto).
Rome, 30th May 1556.
May 31. Original Despatch, Venetian 501. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the Emperor received two separate couriers, sent by the King of the Romans. The one, as told me by King Philip's confessor [Francesco Alfonso de Castro], brings news that the Pope has said he will hold a Lateran Council (un Concilio Latterano), summoning all the Princes of Christendom to his presence, to deprive the Emperor and the said King of the Romans of their dignities, because at the last Diet of Augsburg concerning the matter of religion, the King consented that Germany should live according to the Confession of Augsburg, and to this resolution the Emperor submitted (havendo sua Maestà nell' ultima Dieta di Augusta accnsentito in materia della religione che la Germania vivi secondo la confessione Augustana, et la Cesarea soportata la deliberatione). The other courier's letters announce that the King of Bohemia and the Queen his consort have quite determined to come to their Majesties, and are expected here in three weeks.
The Emperor immediately on receiving these despatches, and hearing the Pope's resolve to send commissioners into the kingdom of Naples, gave signs of the most violent rage (fece segni della maggior alteratione di animo che dar si possa), and forthwith ordered the King and his counsellors to assemble in his Imperial Majesty's own chamber to consult (as they have already done several times) about the expedients to be adopted in these matters. From what Don Bernardino de Mendoza has told me, the first was that the Emperor do suspend his departure for Spain, the King doing the like with regard to England; and to-day several officials who were sent to Ghent and Zealand to make the necessary arrangements have been recalled. I heard subsequently that M. de Lalain and the president Viglius were sent yesterday to the French ambassador to assure him positively in their Majesties' names that the prisoners shall be indubitably released as soon as the commissioners who came hither for the purpose shall fix their ransoms: in addition to which, they requested him to write to his most Christian Majesty that in like manner as the Emperor and King Philip, let happen what may, will not fail in the promise given by them to observe the truce, so may it please his Majesty to be content not to take under his protection those who seek to disturb it, and to give especial trouble to the Emperor and his Son. Yesterday they also sent one of the two couriers to the King of the Romans and of Bohemia, nor is it known for what particular purpose; but the chief ministers, who a few days ago were heard to say that there was a bad understanding between the King of the Romans and the Emperor, now express hopes that the Pope, thinking to do their Majesties harm, will make them become friends, and their sons also.
Several letters and messengers-express have also been sent to Germany to know for what purpose certain free towns in Swabia especially are raising horse and foot; Augsburg having sent eight companies and 1,000 horse with Sebastian Sentilin towards Donavert, and being unable to learn from their chiefs on whose account they were mustered, he attacked and routed them, with some loss to himself. The postmaster has received advices, which he took to the Emperor, purporting that a report circulated in those parts that these troops were raised by the King of Spain, some persons saying that it was for the purpose of going to have himself crowned in England, and others that by these means he meant secretly to receive the Emperor's renunciation of the Empire (et chi perchè voleva secretamente con tal modo ricever la rinuntia dall' Imperator dell' Imperio); notwithstanding which, it is said that at the request of the King of the Romans, made by Baron Poibaler (sic), (fn. 13) part of these troops were raised for Hungary; and other neighbouring towns hearing subsequently of the troops raised by Augsburg near Donavert, everybody commenced recruiting. The Emperor has also heard that Herbrot (sic), who caused Augsburg to detach itself from the Emperor in the time of Maurice, has gone to reside with the Elector Palatine, both of them daily circulating reports very prejudicial to the Emperor; and here they are somewhat disturbed by the ill-will which the said Elector bears the whole house of Austria.
During the last three days a courier has had his foot in the stirrup to go to the Duke of Alva, and this delay proceeds from the great diversity of opinions as to whether instructions should be given to the Duke not only not to receive but to punish the commissioners whom the Pope says he will send into the kingdom of Naples, and to go and prevent the fortifications which the Duke of Paliano is raising, or whether the ambassadors already destined for his Holiness should be despatched; and it was debated whether it would be well to send the Bishop of Arras alone to the Pope, to defer him from these proceedings, and if unable to obtain this, that he should then demand a fresh audience in consistory, and there declare war against him; but they were informed, by the Bishop that by reason of his grade he was by law incapacitated from performing such an office against his Holiness, who would not admit him, and, that he should indeed receive punishment at his hands; and in the council he suggested sending King Philip's maggiordom Don Diego de Azevedo.
Signor Ferrante di Sanguini has told me with great sorrow that he was recalled when on his way to the Pope, because the ministers suspected that going through France he might meet Cardinal Caraffa, to whom he is related, and communicate his commission to him, and that by reason of the wavering and feeble counsel which his Majesty received many inconveniences were seen to arise; but that he hoped that the Emperor (who knew better how devoted he was), having again turned his attention to public business (già che tornava ad intender li negotij), would soon have him sent to his Holiness.
When I went to return the visit of Don Bernardino de Mendoza he repeated all that he had said, again exhorting me to write what was notified by me in my foregoing, saying he expected some reply, and that their Majesties' ambassador at Venice will then be instructed to discuss the details; telling me besides that they had made choice of him to speak to me on this subject, because he professed to know and eulogize the grandeur of the most Serene Republic, and to have the Signory's interests at heart by reason of the many courtesies received from a great number of very illustrious senators during his residence at Venice, and that henceforth he would acquaint me with all the thoughts and resolves of the Emperor and the King, that your Serenity might be privy to them, and that the Duke of Alva had been charged always to give account to you of everything. I thanked his Lordship in loving and general terms for this kind mode of proceeding, using the same expressions as on the former occasion, adding, however, that as he wished me to do so I would write the whole to your Serenity.
That intimate friend of Don Juan Manrique about whom I wrote heretofore has again spoken to me about the alliance (unione) which the members of the privy council wish the King to make with your Serenity, telling me in very strong language (con rissolutissime parole) that he was come to let me know, but chose me to receive the whole as in the confessional, that should the King know that he could form a perpetual league with your Serenity, you might do precisely whatever you pleased with the affairs of Italy, using the phrase “as a good and discreet son does by a good and sage father.” My informant added, that should it ever be known that he had confided in me it would ruin him completely, and that he intrusted his honour to that faith which he had always placed in me as a true nobleman, not considering himself as addressing the ambassador; so I beseech your Serenity to have such silence enjoined as usual with regard to matters the most secret.
The King is indisposed and has been blooded, but the malady is not considered important.
Brussels, 31st May 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 31. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 502. Cardinal Pole to Bishop Vida [Marco Girolamo Vida of Cremona, (fn. 14) Bishop of Alba on the Tanaro].
Has lately received Vida's two printed books, one [copy] (fn. 15) of which, as ordered, has been given to the Queen, who seemed pleased with it, and availing himself of this opportunity Pole spoke to her Majesty about Vida and his rare qualities. This publication will gratify many persons whose wish was greater than their hope of seeing him soon continue and complete his great work in six books; (fn. 16) as these [last] two may possibly increase the wish for the others. Prays God to grant him also time and opportunity thus to satisfy the great expectation to which his deserts have with reason given rise. Pole will be the more glad to read them as when doing so he shall fancy himself in his presence conversing with him, which always gave and gives Pole so much delight, both as an acknowledgment of Vida's eminent virtues, and of the benevolent affection always evinced by him towards Pole. Will say nothing farther about his own condition, referring himself to Monsignor Priuli. Recommends himself most lovingly to Vida, offering him his services, and praying God to remove all the impediments which prevent him from returning to tend his flock in person.
London, 31st May 1556.
May? (fn. 17) MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 503. Cardinal Pole to [Pier Francesco Agugliano] Bishop of Pistoia.
Has received his letter dated the 1st of January, requesting information from him about Messer Mariano Vittorio, concerning whom Pole wrote to the Bishop of Pistoia heretofore, requesting him to propose a person capable of bearing the burden of that see, for which Agugliano purposed electing a suffragan.
Pole continues to have the same good opinion of Vittorio as he then expressed, and indeed the more he has associated with him the more is he confirmed in his belief that Vittorio is capable of bearing such a burden, and worthy of it. Prays God to move Agugliano to make such choice either of Vittorio or of others as may prove most to the services of His Divine Majesty, of the Bishop's flock, and of his lordship himself. Is glad to hear that the reverend friar Reginald is with him, being certain, as said by the Bishop, that by his learning and piety he will be of great assistance to him. Recommends himself to his prayers, and rejoices greatly to perceive the maintenance and increase of that piety with which he has always known Agugliano to be endowed.
London, May 1556?


  • 1. Thomas Howard, second son of Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk. In the “Additions” to “Queen Jane and Queen Mary” (Camden Society Publication, p. 187). it is shown that Lord Thomas Howard was on the proposed “bounty list” in favour of persons who had espoused the cause of Queen Mary against Wyatt. On the 13th January 1559, Queen Elizabeth created Lord Thomas Howard Viscount Bindon. (See Burke's “Extinct Peerages,” p. 275.)
  • 2. See before, date 5 May.
  • 3. Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, died at Kenning Hall in Norfolk on the 26th August 1554. His son, Henry Earl of Surrey, the poet, was beheaded in January 1547, and his son Thomas, fourth Duke of Norfolk, was twenty years of age in 1556. (See Collins, vol. i. pp. 96, 98, and Nott's Memoirs of Surrey, p. ciii.)
  • 4. “Servitor et allievo.” The three last political executions seem to have been those of Throckmorton and Uvedale on the 28th April, and of Staunton on the 19th May. I am unable to ascertain which of these persons had been the dependant of Lord Thomas Howard.
  • 5. A fine di favorir Pandata del Re in Anglia per gli effetti desiderati.
  • 6. Giacomo Appiano. (See Sir William IIackett's Index, Foreign Calendar, 1553–1558.)
  • 7. For the christian name of this ambassador, see Sir William Hackett's Index to Mr. Turnbull's Foreign Calendar, 1553–1558.
  • 8. Compare what follows with Carne's account of the same circumstance in Foreign Calendar, 9th June 1556, p. 228.
  • 9. Giovanni Caraffa, Count of Montorio, was made Duke of Paliano on the Sunday preceding the 16th May, as stated in a despatch from Navagero, which I did not think it necessary to calendar.
  • 10. Seipione Rebiba, translated from Motula to Pisa, and who was on his way as legate to King Philip.
  • 11. Ippolito d'Este. (See Cardella, vol. 4, pp. 209, 212.)
  • 12. Niccolo Gaetani, of the Ducal family of Sermoneta, made Cardinal by Paul III., 22nd December 1536, at the age of 12 years. (See Cardella, vol. 4, p. 197.) He was protector of Scotland at the time of Queen Mary's imprisonment, and provided largely for Scottish and other Catholics, who emigrated to Rome on account of religious persecution.
  • 13. Baron Nycolas de Polweyler? (See Correspondez des Kaisers, Karl V., by Dr. Karl Lanz, vol. 3, p. 627.)
  • 14.
  • 15.
  • 16. “Christiados libri sex.” Cremona, 1535. I am unable to find any notice of a sequel to the six books of the “Christiados.” Two editions of Vida's poems were printed at Oxford in 1722–1723, and the tribute rendered by Pope at that same period to their author is now seen to have been anticipated by Vida's contemporary Cardinal Pole, in 1556.
  • 17. No date of time in MS.