Venice: June 1556, 1-15

Pages 472-484

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

June 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 504. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the King told me that Cardinal Caraffa embarked on the 21st ulto., and was bringing with him Paolo Giordano Orsini, the destined son-in-law of the Duke of Florence, and who has now been persuaded to change his mind, and to become the adherent of his most Christian Majesty; and he said to me laughing, “It would indeed have been a pity that an Orsini, and most especially this one also, who is the head of that family, should not be my friend.” He continued that he believed Cardinal Caraffa was already at Marseilles, but that he had so numerous a retinue that, although he was coming postwise, he could not use much speed; and he then said that he understood from Torquato Conte, and secretary Bruchiero, who had arrived from Rome, that the Pope was in such good health, and had become so fat and lusty (et era fatto così grasso et gagliardo) as to give promise of his living for many years, and most especially at present from the great joy caused him by the creation of the Duke of Paliano; and he said, “In the treaty of truce I have denominated (ho denominato) the Caraffa family, and taken them under my protection, with all their possessions, notwithstanding that at Brussels, in the council of the King of England, it was proposed to prevent the Duke of Paliano from fortifying.” I asked his Majesty what news he had of the Emperor. He answered me, “It is rumoured everywhere that he will go to Spain with the queens his sisters, and Queen Eleanor has sent to France to purchase certain things which could not be had in Flanders, and she sent me word that she should go with his Imperial Majesty, apologizing to me for not passing through France on account of the heat of the weather.” When I asked the King if the Emperor would live remote from political affairs (passcria ritirato dalli negotij), he said “he believed he would no longer transact business, and amongst the other signs which seemed most important was, that it had not been heard that the Bishop of Arras would go with his Imperial Majesty, he being on such bad terms with the King of England that he cannot remain in his service; so if he does not accompany the Emperor, the Emperor will retire from business (si ritirerd dalli negotij), and I have desired my ambassador at that court to address himself for all affairs to Don Ruy Gomez, who proves (riesce) very gracious and well disposed.”
His Majesty then added, “I have heard on good authority that the Emperor on his passage has a mind (ha animo) to take with him to Spain Madame Elizabeth, the sister of the Queen of England, giving her to understand that should the Queen not have children, they will marry her to the Prince of Spain [Don Carlos], but this they do to remove her from that kingdom, of which they are endeavouring by all means to make themselves masters, and it continues to be said more than ever that the King will go over with an army (ch' el Re passerà in quel Regno armato), to which I perceive many obstacles; for even were he to take with him 10,000 or 12,000 soldiers, they would not suffice to keep all of those devilish souls in order (a tenere in frenotattiquelli animi indiarolati); and I verily believe that for his security there would be no other remedy than to expatriate all the inhabitants of that island and plant a colony there, as the Romans did, nor could he ever trust himself otherwise. Then, as you know, there aré no fortresses in that kingdom, and should it be chosen to hold it by force, they must raise some, and in great number, which would require time and enormous expenditure, but I do not know whether he will have the means to realize these designs. Nor will I omit telling you that the other day, when Lord Clinton was here, he complained to me that I harboured the Queen's rebels and listened to their proposals, and I answered him that the malcontents of that kingdom were in such number that they had already filled not only France, but the whole of Italy, and that it was true that they came to me and proposed the most extravagant things possible, but that I had never given ear to any of them; and to tell you the truth, ambassador, I know the English well, and that they are not to be trusted by anyone (Io conosco bene li Inglesi, et so che non e' è persona che si possi fidare di loro). I have also heard that in England they plotted (hanno trattato) to make Courtenay go back, but my ambassador at Venice (fn. 1) writes to me that by no means will he go thither.”
I then asked him the cause of the King of Bohemia's visit to the Emperor, and he replied, “They say it is for his own private affairs, as they have never given him what was promised for his marriage portion (la sua dote), it being also his wish to see his Imperial Majesty before he sets sail; though I think that they will again tempt him to renounce the empire (ma io non mi posso persuadere che non lo tentino di nuovo dalla rinuntia dell' Imperio).” (fn. 2) I asked his Majesty in what state the affair of the prisoners was. He said, “Last evening I received letters from my ambassador with the fairest promises in the world. I believe that at any rate they will release them, but nine days have yet to elapse before the expiration of the three months within which the Emperor promised to set them at liberty, and we will wait to see what will take place, but three of them have been already released, and have even arrived here;” and he again repeated, “As I believe at any rate that they will give the others their liberty, should this prove true, I also will effect whatever I am bound to do, and I have already given orders for some ships captured after the conclusion of the truce to be surrendered, as the King of England also has done the like.”
Morette, 1st June 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
June 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 505. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The number of persons imprisoned increases daily, the arrest of Lord Thomas Howard having been followed by that of Lord La Ware (fn. 3) (Milord Alvard), a person who, although a nobleman, is nevertheless factious and scandalous, having been heretofore deprived of his seat in Parliament as baron for an attempt to poison one of his uncles, for the sake of inheriting from him so much the sooner; wherefore no one is surprised at his having been guilty as an associate in the plot. Two other gentlemen were arrested with him and sent together to the Tower, one of them having been a very favourite chamber attendant of King Edward. Two days later Mistress [Katharine] Ashley was taken thither, she being the chief governess of Miladi Elizabeth, the arrest, together with that of three other domestics, having taken place in the country, 18 [Venetian?] miles hence, even in the aforesaid Miladi's own house [Hatfield], and where she at present resides, which has caused great general vexation. (fn. 4) Amongst the domestics is a certain Battista [Castiglione], an Italian, native of Piedmont, the Signora's master for the Italian tongue, and who has been twice before imprisoned on her account, (fn. 5) he being much suspected on the score of religion, as likewise is the governess and all the others. I am told that they have all already confessed to having known about the conspiracy; so not having revealed it, were there nothing else against them, they may probably not quit the Tower alive, this alone subjecting them to capital punishment. This governess was also found in possession of those writings and scandalous books against the religion and against the King and Queen which were scattered about some months ago, and published all over the kingdom; and by reason of her grade with the “Signora,” who is held in universal esteem and consideration, it is supposed that on this account chiefly Francesco Piamontese was immediately sent back in haste to Brussels, it being credible that nothing is done, nor does anything take place, without having the King's opinion about it, and hearing his will.
Subsequently, yesterday, the two prisoners Carew and Cheke arrived by sea, having been embarked at Flushing, near Antwerp (so it is no wonder the courier Francesco missed them), and on being taken from shipboard they also were conveyed to the Tower. Not only the cause but likewise the fact of the arrest of these two persons has been kept very secret here, and I understand that the most Serene King has complained, and is angry with the provost (prevosto) of Vilvorde, who was charged with the arrest, for not having effected it quietly and without noise, as ordered, that it might not be divulged so immediately. One of the chief members of the Privy Council, who busied himself with this arrest, and was perhaps the author of it, has said that Carew is arrested because being in the company of Cheke, against whom alone the warrant was given, he, together with his servants, chose to resist the provost, which is but slightly verified, he himself not being subsequently released, as his servants were; and indeed this same lord has repeated that as Carew is taken it would be desirable on several accounts to find him guilty of something, to have an opportunity for putting him out of sight, his presence here being of no benefit.
Three other persons were seized subsequently; having been found secreted in a vessel for the purpose of escaping, and they have moreover arrested an official of the Court, who has the charge of providing cards and dice for gambling there, and the profit derived thence; (fn. 6) so that the business of the Lords of the Council with regard to this matter increases daily instead of diminishing. To-day the trial took place of three of those who had an understanding with the conspirators to rob the Exchequer, of which they were officials and administrators, they having been arrested at the beginning, and all of them were convicted and condemned. (fn. 7)
The Queen has already commenced her projects for departure hence, taking the road towards the sea, and has given orders for the furnishing and provisioning of a house belonging to the archbishopric of Canterbury, some 20 miles from London, (fn. 8) where she will remain with Cardinal Pole until further intelligence, his most illustrious Lordship purposing in like manner to send his entire establishment to Canterbury, so that after the arrival of King Philip he may remain there as long as shall be conceded him; nor for anything else does he evince a greater wish than that of being able to live in his [archiepiscopal] residence.
London, 2nd June 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
June 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 506. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The King has sent a courier to England to the Queen his consort to give her news of his indisposition, and that he felt somewhat better after being blooded, and hoped soon to rise from his bed. He also sent her letters from the King and Queen of Bohemia confirming their speedy arrival, apologising for his inability to go to her at the time appointed, by reason of such great and unavoidable impediments. Three days ago her Majesty also sent him another courier with news of the eight Englishmen lately arrested by her order, telling him, in short, that from the evidence of certain persons she has understood that this plot against their Majesties was so astutely laid that none of the English ministers ever read or remember to have heard of a similar one being formed in that kingdom.
Brussels, 4th June 1556.
June 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 507. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Dardois has returned from Brussels. The Emperor and King Philip purpose releasing the prisoners, but as the French lords have never specified what ransom they will pay, their Majesties consent to reduce the 100,000 crowns required for the Duke de Bouillon to 80,000, and will accept 45,000 instead of 60,000 for the Constable's son. He also brought a list of the sums which their Majesties considered fair ransom for all the other prisoners, saying that if they found it unsatisfactory, they were to avail themselves of their rights by offering what they thought suitable, as their Majesties would do justice. In conformity herewith their Majesties' ambassador [the Lieutenant d'Amont] went yesterday to the Constable, who stated he desired nothing but observance of the promises; if these were broken, his most Christian Majesty would seek his own advantage; and he went so far with the Imperial ambassador that he considered it certain he should be dismissed within a few days, whence arose his timidity; but the mediation of the Abbot of San Saluto has also greatly soothed the Constable, who yesterday, when giving the said ambassador audience, said his proposal in the name of the Emperor and King Philip was a thing to be accepted, and that he was therefore to go to Paris, where his Majesty would be, and there give him a reply. The coming of Cardinal Caraffa causes the Imperialists such suspicion as to make them now urge the settlement of this matter, which being known to the Constable, he avails himself of it marvellously.
Cardinal Caraffa arrived at Marseilles on the 27th ultimo, and was to be to-day at Lyons. His right reverend Lordship will then come to the court, but being lame of one leg (aggravato d'una gamba) he will not ride more than three posts each day; and tomorrow the Prince of Salerno will depart, M. de Lansac following him with a numerous company, he being sent by the King to meet the Cardinal, whose colleagues will all go to meet him at one day's journey hence; nor will they fail to show him every other mark of extraordinary honour, the King paying his expenses and those of all his attendants, and it is said they will give him an annual income of 12,000 crowns. The King departs to-morrow for Paris, there to remain until the Cardinal gets near Fontainebleau, whither he will return to receive him.
The English ambassador [Dr. Wotton] has again remonstrated very strongly with his most Christian Majesty, complaining, in his Queen's name, that her rebels who had plotted to kill her are entertained (trattenuti) and favoured here, staying even in the King's presence; and prayed him that their evil-disposed accomplices may not be encouraged by this example; to which his Majesty, in reply, made it appear that he knew nothing whatever about it, but would have inquiry made whether any such persons were in his kingdom, and make due provision (et ne farebbe provisione).
Morette, 6th June 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
June 6. Dispacci Roma, Venetian Archives, No. 6, B. 508. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters dated the 22nd ulto. from England have been received by Cardinal Morone, vice-protector of that kingdom, with money for the despatch of certain bishoprics, including the important see of Winchester. The courier who passed through France says that Cardinal Caraffa arrived at Marseilles on the 27th ulto.
Count Brocardo, a Cremonese, has arrived here on his way to Naples to visit the Queen of Poland on behalf of the King of England.
Rome, 6th June 1556.
June 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 509. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday a courier was sent to the Princess in Spain, desiring her not to allow Spanish subjects to go to Rome to obtain anything whatever from the See Apostolic, nor permit the Nuncio in Spain to exercise his ordinary authority with regard to the personal effects (spoglie) of deceased bishops and other ecclesiastics, unless the Pope abstain from what he is now doing against their Majesties. This resolve proceeds from the will of the Emperor, and every day, without awaiting the hour assigned for the meeting of the council, he sends to summons the counsellors to his presence, his whole discourse being about papal matters, always in a very angry tone, and when anyone who in consultation does not tend towards the same end as his Majesty, or would arrive at it by other means than those imagined by him, he, interrupting them all, is accustomed to say, “So and so must be done” (bisogna far così e così), always adding an illustration derived from what has happened to himself with former Popes, and how he had conducted himself with them; and whereas previously he would not listen to letters from any place, and no longer received their summaries which Secretary Vargas was in the habit of making for him, he now has them brought to him, and especially those from Italy, and stays listening to them most patiently, and pondering the slightest details.
Yesterday there was a long consultation about sending the Duke of Savoy as Governor of the Milanese, both to thwart the projects of the Pope and the King of France, according to whose league a son of the Duke of Ferrara is to have Italy, and also to gratify Queen Maria by reappointing her Regent of Flanders for three years, as she openly shows herself beyond measure enraged both with the Emperor and the King, and moreover because, should the truce be broken, their Majesties could find no more fitting Regent for these states than the said Queen.
The French ambassador here has obtained from their Majesties the release of the ten prisoners of quality, and says that in a few days the Constable's son will also be set at liberty.
A gentleman of the Queen's chamber arrived yesterday from England, sent by her Majesty to visit the King on account of his indisposition. His Majesty sent for him immediately to his bedside, and told him to write to the Queen that he was much better, and hoped to begin getting up in two days. This gentleman then gave account to his Majesty of the whole affair of the prisoners, and especially of the strong evidence she had against Sir Peter Carew, exhorting his Majesty to take care of his health, and to bear in mind the promise made by him heretofore to the Queen in England. The King answered him that after the arrival and departure of the King and Queen of Bohemia, he would perform his promise of going to her.
Colonel Cesare of Naples has told Don Ruy Gomez positively that he will no longer serve King Philip, because the post of captain of the artillery has been given to Aldanna, who was sent last week to the Duke of Alva. He complains that the service rendered by him to the Emperor during so many years has not been acknowledged.
The King having seen that neither the Marquis of Gierace nor the Signor Andrea Arduino, nor any of the Sicilians of great quality (di gran conditione), have chosen to go back to that kingdom from fear of being maltreated by Don Juan de Vega the Viceroy, his Majesty wrote, desiring him to come to the court, and he replied that the King perchance intends to punish him, supposing that he has committed some act of injustice towards certain persons now with his Majesty, and to whom they had appealed; that the King has authority to do this in his own kingdom (nel proprio luogo); and should he not choose Vega to serve him any longer, and if he is to go to Spain, it would be much more inconvenient for him to do so than to come to Brussels, but that as the King perhaps requires his presence, in order to reward him, the favour would be greater were he to receive it in Spain, instead of coming hither; and should his Majesty intend to avail himself of his services, by giving him some other post, he says postively that by reason of a variety of diseases he knows himself unfit to be employed in any other. This strange and impudent mode of proceeding, which this Vega also adopted in like manner with the Emperor, has surprised the court.
The Abbot Gevio, who is in the service of Cardinal Morone, departs to-day. I conjecture he brought their Majesties the copy of the league made between the Pope and the King of France, about which Don Bernardino de Mendoza told me, as I wrote to your Serenity. (fn. 9)
Brussels, 8th June 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
June 9. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 510. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The arrest of the governess and of Miladi Elizabeth's three domestics having subsequently been added to by that of two other gentlemen resident here, who although her dependents and receiving salaries from her are in less constant attendance on her than the aforesaid, the Queen was induced to send to her in the country [at Hatfield] yesterday, Sir Edward Hastings, Master of the Horse (Grand Escudier), and Sir H. Englefield (et il Signor Inghilfel), one of the Lords of the Royal Council, to console and comfort her on behalf of her Majesty, knowing, as may well be supposed, that this circumstance had distressed and dejected her; and to present her, as a token of loving salutation, and of a message of good will, according to the custom here, with a ring worth 400 ducats; (fn. 10) and also to give her minute account of the cause of their arrest, to acquaint her with what they had hitherto deposed and confessed, and to persuade her not to take amiss the removal from about her person of similar folks (simile giente), who subjected her to the danger of some evil suspicion; assuring her of the Queen's good will and disposition, provided she continue to live becomingly, to her Majesty's liking; together with some other particulars, which cannot now be ascertained; using in short loving and gracious expressions, to show her that she is neither neglected nor hated, but loved and esteemed by her Majesty. This message (officio) is considered most gracious by the whole kingdom, everybody in general wishing her all ease and honour, and very greatly regretting any trouble she may incur; the proceeding having been not only necessary but profitable, to warn her of the licentious life led, especially in matters of religion, by her household, independently of the certain knowledge had by those members of it who have been arrested, of these conspiracies; she being thus clandestinely exposed to the manifest risk of infamy and ruin. The Queen has thus moreover an opportunity for remodelling her (Elizabeth's) household in another form, and with a different sort of persons to those now in her service, replacing them by such as are entirely dependent on her Majesty; so that as her own proceedings and those of all such persons as enter or quit her abode will be most narrowly scanned, she may have reason to keep so much the more to her duty, and together with her attendants behave the more cautiously (di star tanto pià in officio et di viver insieme con li suoi con tanto più rispetto); but on the return of the gentlemen aforesaid the effect produced by them will be still better ascertained.
The three prisoners last condemned were put to death yesterday in the same way as the others. It does not appear that Carew and Cheke have yet been examined; the latter runs some risk of faring badly should he be found really guilty of having compiled one of those books against the King and Queen, and the present state of affairs, which were privily circulated here. (fn. 11)
As yet, not one of the three couriers despatched lately one after the other to Brussels, by the Queen and the Regent Figueroa, has returned; and they were followed by a chamberlain sent in haste by her Majesty the moment she heard of the King's illness, which news greatly increased her own.
London, 9th June 1556.
June 13. Dispacci Roma, Venetian Archives, No. 6, B. 511. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Chiefs of the Ten.
Has heard from Cardinal Farnese that the Duke of Alva had offered him the restitution of the whole of the Parmesan territory, and of 50,000 ducats revenue in the kingdom of Naples, and the revenue of Monreale in Sicily, provided he would renounce his claims on Piacenza to the King of England, and that the Farnese family would be the friends and servants of Spain as heretofore. He added that these seemed great offers, but that he was determined not to accept them from fear of being deceived, as he always had been, and that he would never do anything without the good grace and consent of the most Christian King.
He then proceeded to tell me that when he took leave of the Pope his Holiness kept him more than four hours, asking him what he thought would take place with regard to the new duchy of his nephew, and that he told him his mind freely. He also ventured to point out to the Pope many abuses (inconvenienti) practised both in the courts of justice, by daily arresting many persons and never expediting anyone, and in many other matters, which terrified the court, and would cause Rome to be deserted; and this also, he said, the Pope took very kindly.
Cardinal Farnese then said he thought it probable Cardinal Caraffa was gone to France to make the King determine on some fresh stir, though he was of opinion that the same necessity which induced his most Christian Majesty to make the truce, would cause him to observe it for some time, and the more so as the Constable bears little friendship to the Guise family, which is desirous of novelty, nor will he suffer his counsel to be so speedily annulled.
Rome, 13th June 1556.
June 13. Dispacci Roma, Venetian Archives. No. 6, B. Second Letter. 512. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Chiefs of the Ten.
Count Brocardo, who came from the court of the King of England to visit the Queen of Poland, has left for Naples. After much solicitation he obtained audience of his Holiness, and spoke to him in his King's name about the affairs of the Lord Giulio Cesarino. In his reply the Pope showed that he had a very bad account of the affair; nor did the Count make any rejoinder, being requested by the adherents of the Signor Giuliano thus to do, as they were of opinion that this intercession would not profit him.
On Wednesday the Abbot Nania was beheaded; a certain captain, his companion, being hanged. The abbot is said to have been put to death because he plotted with Don Garcia d'Aron (sic) (who absented himself) to poison Cardinal Farnese; the captain, for having sought to kill Cardinal Farnese with an harquebuse. Both one and the other when taken to the place of execution said publicly that they were sinners, and for their sins deserved every misfortune, but that they were utterly innocent of the crime for which they suffered, nor for it did they ask pardon of God's mercy.
The Duke of Paliano sent me letters from Cardinal Caraffa, dated Marseilles, the 29th ultimo, together with letters from the most Christian King, the Constable, and the Cardinal of Lorraine, of which I transmit copies. I understand that besides these letters, there was one from the Cardinal to the Duke his brother, demanding fresh pecuniary supply, but the Duke does not know how to represent this matter to the Pope.
To-day the Imperial ambassador had sent for the baggage-mules into his court-yard to load his effects, and in the evening he was given to understand that an order had been sent to the gates not to let him pass. At his request the Cardinal of Santiago [Juan Alvarez de Toledo] sent his secretary to the Pope requesting that the licence which he had twice given to the Marquis [of Sarria] might take effect. The Pope replied that it is true he gave it him, but that the Marquis is too violent (è troppo terribile), alluding to the affair of the gate, and of the gentlemen who were put to death in his house, and that he would inform himself about the order given at the gates not to let him depart. The Duke of Paliano, being requested in like manner thus to do, said he would speak about it to the Pope; so it is evident that they do not choose him to go away.
Rome, 13th June 1556.
June 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 513. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
After the commissions sent by their Majesties to the Duke of Alva desiring him, after praying and persuading, finally to declare war on the Pope should he not desist from his projects and operations, the Duke was subsequently ordered to have the Count of Montorio, and all the nearest kinsfolk of his Holiness, summoned to Naples, or to the court here; and to inform all the Spanish syndics in Rome that they must quit that city and the States of the Church, under pain of being considered rebels.
The Emperor continues to assemble the Council of State once, and sometimes twice, a day in his own chamber, discussing various things necessary to be done in case of war, which here is considered certain, owing to the frequent advices received from their Majesties' ministers, and to manifest signs, indicating the Pope's determination that the Emperor and King Philip shall commence it, as also from what they hear about the King of France, who, as told me by Don Juan Manrique, has sent to give money in Switzerland; in addition to which, the said King's ministers say that he will never allow the Pope to be attacked. The Count Broccardo also writes that when he negotiated with the Duke of Ferrara, he comprehended and heard that his Excellency will be declared captain general in Italy of his Holiness and his most Christian Majesty, and that the Duke of Parma will proceed against the Lord of Colorno, his vassal, and who is the dependent of the Emperor and King Philip, to have a pretext for commencing the war.
Three days ago their Majesties' confessors [Soto and Castro] were again called into the Council of State, and certain letters received lately from Rome were shown them, whereby it is understood that the Pope took occasion to say that if the King of Spain withdrew his obedience, he would excommunicate and deprive him of his title of king, as chanced to a former King of Aragon, and that he would free his vassals from their oath. The confessors suggested that without much trouble the people may be kept to their allegiance, as was done some ninety years ago, when Spain alienated herself from the church, leaving the care of all [spiritual] matters to the two primates, the one of Castille and the kingdoms dependent thereon, namely, the Archbishop of Toledo; the other of Aragon, Valentia, and Catalonia, who is Archbishop of Tarragona.
The Emperor having sent for Count Schwartzburg, held three long conferences with him about the mode and time for raising 3,000 cavalry, and according to his own account he will soon be despatched on this service; but he has not been able to ascertain whether his Imperial Majesty destines them for Flanders or Italy.
Colonel Aldanna tells me he has heard from Don Bernardino de Mendoza, that on the arrival of the King of Bohemia all the decisions which have been formed, both about what is to be done in Italy, and with regard to the expedient to be adopted by his Imperial Majesty concerning the Empire, (fn. 12) will be announced; and speaking about the Emperor personally, he added that in these great troubles caused him by the Pope, he daily exhibited to certain new counsellors of state his mature prudence; and but for the courage thus given them he declared that their panic would be too immoderate; and whilst the King kept his bed the Emperor gave satisfaction, moreover, by conceding audience to such private persons as asked it of him. All the lodgings have been prepared for the King and Queen of Bohemia; and the Duke of Holstein, before his departure, gave it to be understood that on their arrival he would return; the King of Spain negotiating two marriages for two daughters of the King of the Romans, one to the said Duke, the other to his nephew, the son of the King of Denmark. The King of Spain has sent to Antwerp to make a bargain with the merchants for 100,000 crowns to be given to the King of Bohemia on his arrival here on account of his credits, their Majesties' promise being to that effect.
The French ambassador resident here sent a spy to Holland, to ascertain what orders have been given about the ships already prepared for the Emperor's voyage to Spain, and he brings back word that he found 55 sail, all in good order with ammunition and provisions, and 1,500 Spaniards quartered at Middelburg, who had received two months' pay (due paghe) as earnest money. The troops raised in Friesland and Guelders amount to 2,000 infantry, but they are not near the place of embarkation, nor is it known whether they will disband (se si dissolveranno) or remain together; but the Spaniards are ordered to remain in their present quarters during the whole of July, with a promise that they shall go to England with the King, who sent back the Queen's chamberlain with fresh assurances of returning to her after settling what is necessary with King Maximilian, fully certifying his consort that he has issued such commands as will prevent the Spaniards, when at table, from speaking dishonourably of the English nation for the future, as her Majesty had prayed him to do, complaining of similar insults, on several accounts. A secretary from Cardinal Farnese has been sent to reside here with the French ambassador, for the purpose of demanding, in virtue of the treaty of truce, that the Farnese family be allowed to keep possession of the 50,000 crowns revenue, which it enjoyed heretofore in the States of the King of Spain. The ambassador has spoken about this to their Majesties' ministers, and urged the release of the prisoners [of war]; he received fair words in reply, and was also requested to write to the King of France to allow the nephew of the Cardinal of Trent, and the son of the Count of Colorno, to be set free on payment of their rate of ransom.
The King's maggiordomo Don Diego de Azevedo has been sent to Spain to provide money, and is commissioned to remain as treasurer-general in the kingdom of Aragon.
Brussels, 14th June 1556.


  • 1. The Venetian Archives contain no document bearing the name of this ambassador; but by Mr. Turnbull's Calendar it is seen that the French ambassador at Venice on the 20th October 1554 was the Bishop of Lodève; and a subsequent despatch, dated Compiegne 8th July 1557, shows that he was still there at that time.
  • 2. See also letter from Badoer, date Brussels, 12th May 1556.
  • 3. “Wylliam West, sqwyre, odur-wyse callyd lord La Ware.” (See Machyn, p. 109.)
  • 4. Che è stato di grave molestia di ciascuno.
  • 5. See entry No. 80, p. 70, date 13th May 1555.
  • 6. This person was the groom-porter Lewkner. (See Machyn, p. 108.)
  • 7. The individuals arraigned at Westminster Hall on the 2nd of June 1556, were Rossey, Bedyll, and Dethick. (See Machyn, p. 107.)
  • 8. In Strickland's Mary (p. 562), it is said on the authority of Jane Dormer, that the Queen passed the summer of 1556 in the palace of Croydon, which had been a dower-residence of her mother Katharine of Aragon.
  • 9. See before, entry No. 490, letter dated Brussels 21st May 1556.
  • 10. This confirms a quotation from the MS. Life of the Countess de Feria (Jane Dormer), in Dr. Lingard's History of England, vol. 5, p. 246, ed. London, 1854.
  • 11. See before, date 13th May 1555.
  • 12. Et dell' espediente dell' Imperio che prenderà Sua Maestà Cesarea.