Venice: July 1556, 21-31

Pages 534-551

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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July 1556, 21–31

July 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 554. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Lords of the Council are of opinion that by prohibiting the exportation hence of kerseys and other woollens for Flanders, by anyone, not even by the English themselves, the prices, which have risen greatly, will diminish; and what matters more is the wish to oblige the merchants-adventurers in reward for the services rendered to the Queen by accommodating her Majesty with considerable sums of money when required. It is intended to obtain a fresh loan from them at present; and lest the present supply of woollens in Flanders be increased, and that they may be enabled to dispose of their goods, and, being without competition, make sales, with greater despatch and advantage, the demand of the Venetian merchants, made through me, for an export permit at least for such kerseys as they have had manufactured and which are ready, they offering valid security for their mere transit through Flanders, has been of little avail, as intimated by me in my last. The arguments adduced orally and in writing by the merchants and by me, in reply to all the grounds alleged by them, took no effect; for the Bishop of Ely came to my house with the verbal reply in the name of the whole Council. They apologized not so much with reference to what had been remarked by us, as to more important matters to which there was no occasion to refer; and as to the loss and inconvenience incurred by Venetian merchants, they said that the prohibition had been issued solely for three months, and as in the meanwhile the road through France and all the others were open, the merchants might conveniently send their goods that way, if unable to abide this brief delay; and although my rejoinder demonstrated the cost, inconvenience, and risk of all those other roads, I could obtain no other decision. A similar refusal was given subsequently to the Hansards (Osterlinj) notwithstanding all their privileges, they having made the same offer, to give security for the exportation of the woollens, these being merely embaled (solamente imballate et preste—sic); and the other nations have been treated in like manner; so all further demands may be considered vain and useless.
For this same purpose of cheapening woollens, I understand that they have stopped them in general for two years; not even the Staplers being allowed to export wools for any quarter, and with great difficulty could they obtain leave to make this last transmission (questa ultima condutta).
With regard to these commercial topics, your Serenity must know that two years ago, when King Philip landed at Southampton, the inhabitants there obtained an order from him for all ships loaded with malmsies to land them in that port, according to ancient custom; which measure the London merchants for their own interest opposed, and spoke to me about it, whereupon I gave notice accordingly to the Lord Treasurer [William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester], who promised my secretary not to despatch the privilege, and to summon the merchants and hear their case. From that time forth, although on the arrival of the “Vianuola,” the “Barbara,” and the “Tamisera,” the inhabitants of Southampton urged fulfilment of the promise made them by the King, a mere word from the Lord Treasurer then sufficed nevertheless to obtain permission for them to unload here. The London merchants therefore expected the like with regard to other vessels, but were disappointed, for according to their account, the privilege having been already expedited and taken out (cavato), the ship —–, Marcopulo master, having arrived lately at Margate, and beginning to unload, the Hamptonians (li Antonitani) protested violently that he must be made to go back to Southampton, and obtained an order for the merchants not to enter anything in the London custom-house. I remonstrated strongly with Cardinal Pole and the whole Council, alleging that the ship's stowage (stiva) had been already moved (mossa), and that the vessel leaked, so that if they insisted on her putting back she would incur evident risk of loss; and being convinced by these and similar arguments, they left it to me to give drink-money (beveraggio) to the Hamptonians (Antonitani), and the vessel was allowed to continue unloading here. Although I complained of the wrong done to the merchants by not hearing them, according to the Treasurer's promise, before ratifying the privilege, they nevertheless took but little heed of this, and choose at any rate to enforce it; and unless the merchants here adduce valid arguments proving the especial detriment to the Crown (del re) through the inconvenience or loss to which they and the English themselves will be subjected to, by making all other ships nuload at Southampton, they will not move the government to cancel the privilege, and must necessarily discharge there. I will not fail, as I have done hitherto, with your Serenity's support and authority, to assist and favour them, and to be their advocate and intercessor, whenever they apply to me, though I trust but little that they and I shall succeed, unless an arrangement of some sort be made with the Hamptonians (li Antonitani) to prevent their opposition, as it was for their sake and to benefit their town that all this was conceded they being the more favoured, as at present no one dare oppose and gainsay the first boon granted by the King.
Her Majesty departed to-day, but merely went a distance of seven miles to Eltham, such has been the variety of resolves formed within the last week.
Before moving, the Queen chose to give orders and arrange about the prisoners, so as not to be troubled with this business during her absence, having some of them released on giving security, others being fined, others remaining in prison as they were; to others she conceded liberty within the Tower; and the execution of those condemned to death is deferred, from what I hear, until her return, perhaps in order that the King being then here, may, with his usual clemency, obtain their entire release, so as to gain for himself so much the more favour and popularity.
Doctor Cheke at the last moment asked and obtained permission to speak with Cardinal Pole, and by the goodness of God his most illustrious Lordship's words produced such an effect upon him that he recanted entirely (che egli si è in tutto riditto) and purposes living catholically, submitting to any penance the Cardinal pleased, and which reduces itself to a brief penitential and confessional discourse in public, as an example for others, in the presence of the courtiers, by whom, having been the King's schoolmaster (maestro), he is chiefly known, whereupon free and secure he will be restored to his wife and children, and to his estates (et alli beni suoi); this act being in truth very advantageous, by reason of the universal opinion entertained of his learning, and of the good life he led, as his example will confirm those who are virtuous (li buoni), and serve to dispose and move some . . . . . . (corroded in MS.)
Last week, eight of the Queen's ships alone, after chasing ten English pirate-vessels which they attacked, brought six of them into Plymouth harbour, the captain of which six, a man of valour and condition, who made his escape to Ireland in a small boat (con un piccolo botto), thinking to be safe there, was killed by the natives. On board the four that sheered-off was one Killigrew, (fn. 1) an Englishman, an old pirate, whose name and exploits are most notorious, and he is therefore in great repute and favour with the French. (fn. 2) As some ships have gone in pursuit of them, it is believed that they may have the same end as their consorts.
Yesterday Don Francisco de Mendoza was sent back to the King, accompanied by the courier Gamboa, that he may return in haste with the reply to certain despatches as usual. Mendoza assured the Queen of the King's immediate coming. Requests his recal on the arrival of the ambassador Surian.
London, 21st July 1556.
July 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 555. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
I went yesterday to visit the King of Spain on his return from Laura,” and to congratulate him on the coming hither of his brother-in-law and sister, which assurances he reciprocated, his manner being kind, and the expression of his countenance cheerful. After taking leave of his Majesty I had a long conversation with Don Ruy Gomez, who said that (speaking confidentially with me as was his wont) at a secret conference with the French ambassador he told him that if he on his part would do as became a true minister, he, Ruy Gomez, ventured to say that a good peace would be made between the two crowns, as he knew his king would offer very fair terms; wherefore he should induce King Henry to send commissioners, and King Philip would do the like; but he found that the ambassador had no such intention; adding, he knew by sure signs that the King of France was determined to break the truce, but would assign as the cause the affair of the prisoners, about which he had no reason to complain, and that King Henry waited for the Pope to stir, his Holiness, on the other hand, wishing the Emperor and King Philip to commence; but that this they will not do, as they choose the world to know that they are averse to war, and that the object of the Pope and the King of France is to make them do things by force, but that his King will never be drawn into a war by these means, and would rather shed all the blood in the veins of his faithful subjects; and that indeed, from courtesy, fair concessions will be made. He then entered into the following detail, that it seemed strange to him to hear sinister advices from every quarter, and of so much preparation as was being made by the most Christian King's ministers to give him trouble, and that as matters could not be worse than they are, he hoped that they would arrive at the opposite extreme, namely, at some auspicious result; and he said he knew his Majesty to be good, and that he never sought to usurp what belonged to others, so he trusted in God that He would watch over his interests.
To-day I went to visit the King of Bohemia, and after congratulating him on his arrival in this town, his Majesty came almost to the door of the chamber to meet me, holding his bonnet in his hand a long while, and returned my compliments graciously. I enquired whether his departure would take place so immediately as had been told me, to which he replied, “In truth I purpose remaining here a few days, and have come to give satisfaction to the Emperor, he having very earnestly requested me; and to speak freely with you, as is my nature, which has moreover done me harm, and as I think I may be confidential, I may perhaps stay yet longer, in order to learn the cause of my coming; and I know that great things are said, but I believe I may say, 'Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus';” and he added, “The world is in great agitation; I do not find this court in the state in which I have so often seen it. The Italian affairs are ill managed, and by persons full of pride and caprice (gente piena di fantasia et superbia), so that I am accustomed to call them dwarf Spaniards (spagnoleti); and when I heard that the King, my brother-in-law, had made the marriage with the Queen of England, I said that if his Majesty were so fortunate as to have the Spaniards and the English on good terms with each other, as the Queen had been with him, his power might be considered greater than that of any Prince in Christendom, but (and this he said with a loud laugh) from what I hear, the Spaniards have been enlightened by the English (ma (con gran riso disse) per quanto intendo i Spagnoli sono stati chiariti dagli Inglesi).” With such address as seemed fit to me I left to his Majesty the satisfaction of speaking, and after having made him a loving offer of your Serenity's good-will I took my leave, telling him that to-morrow I should go to visit his most Serene Consort, and on my departure he again accompanied me towards the door with the same gracious and courteous forms as on receiving me.
Yesterday evening the Queens Eleanor and Maria, the King of Spain, and the King and Queen of Bohemia, and the Duchess of Lorraine, supped together in the park, there being several sorts of musical performances, and other amusements, which banquet was given by Queen Maria; and this evening the King of Spain will do the like by the aforesaid Majesties. On the 25th instant the personages of these courts will make a tourney on foot, and on the morrow they will joust. The Queen of Bohemia has been several times with the Emperor, and alone, for a long while, and also with Queen Maria, who, according to report, is charged to commence negotiating such matters as the Emperor has a mind (ha in animo) to settle with his son-in-law. The persons of the court of the said King of Bohemia say that the Emperor and the King of Spain will be deceived if they think to avail themselves of the name and person of their King, not only with the German nation but with others; or to make him remain as Governor of these States for their preservation in case of war with the King of France; or give him the charge of vicar-general in Italy, to march troops thither in case of a rupture with the Pope; as their King does not choose to be their Majesties' Delegate (sustituito) either in these provinces or in Italy, as he would not only lose repute, but incur detriment in many ways; and that by the exchange of the Tyrol, Stiria, and Carinthia, and should the Emperor choose to renounce the Empire to the King of the Romans, he would remain under the obligation to do what he could for their Majesties, and for their benefit (et che co'l contracambio del Tiruol, Stiria, et Carintia, et rinuntia che volesse far l'Impre. dell' Imperio al Re di Romani, restaria con obligo a queste Maestà di far per esse, et a loro beneficio, quello che egli potesse).
Three days ago the son of the Earl of Arundel [Henry Fitzalan, Lord Maltravers] arrived here, having been sent by the Queen of England to visit the King and Queen of Bohemia, and with a commission to use every entreaty with the King her consort, that on the departure of his brother-in-law and sister his Majesty be pleased to return to England, praying him to remove whatever impediment may arise any longer to delay farther this his return, so earnestly desired by her; and he also performed an office in the name of the said Queen with the Emperor, for him to exercise his authority with his son, that she may be gratified by the performance of the promises received from their Majesties. The King of Bohemia, besides other loving words, said, that were he not impeded by his usual indisposition, he would go postwise to see her, but the shortness of the time, and urgent business compelling him to return immediately to his father, he would send her one of his gentlemen to reciprocate this loving office; the Emperor and King Philip repeating very positively to him (the envoy) the promise that on the departure of the King and Queen of Bohemia his royal Majesty will go to England. Lord Maltravers also said that Queen Mary had written to Lord Courtenay, at Venice, to let him know that all the first and last charges brought against him had been found to be false, and that she loves and always shall love him in conformity with his station (secondo le conditioni sue), and that she was induced to perform this office for the sake of truth, and that he may not continue to despair of the King's favour and of hers; especially as his most Christian Majesty is understood not to have omitted the performance of loving offices (di far de gli officij amorevoli) with regard to the said Lord Courtenay. Sir John Masone, counsellor of the Queen of England, has obtained her permission to return home, provided it be confirmed by her consort, and on going to ask this favour of him, as necessary on account of his private affairs, Masone was answered that the King could not grant it him at present, because on his arrival in England everybody would infer that he (the King) did not purpose going thither so immediately as he intends doing, but that in a few days he will give him a decisive answer.
The Emperor again says, and does so every day, that before the middle of next month he intends to depart for Spain, and he has despatched a harbinger to Holland again to inspect the cabins (gli appartamenti) which he had constructed the last time, when everything was prepared, but no one will believe this until it comes to pass, saying besides, that although the affairs of Africa and Spain require the presence of one of their Majesties in the last-named kingdom, yet is there greater need for the Emperor to remain in these provinces should war break out, on account both of the King of France and the Pope; and it is supposed that should his Imperial Majesty move from hence, it will be for the purpose of taking some step about the affairs of England (per far qualche effetto per le cose d'Inghilterra).
Brussels, 21st July 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 556. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of Spain having heard from a Fleming that the Cardinal of Pisa had left Baden, near Spires, and was coming hither in great haste, despatched two couriers yesterday, by different roads, to ascertain the truth, as also the road taken by his right reverend Lordship, to enable him to give orders as he subsequently did to the Prince of Ascoli and Count Chinchon to be the first to go and meet him; and afterwards the Duke of Savoy to go as far as Louvain; King Philip, with the King of Bohemia, intending to go and receive his Lordship at the gate of this town; and for his lodging they have prepared the palace of the Bishop of Tournai. As yet the King's couriers have not returned, and one has arrived here, despatched from Bologna to the Cardinal, with a commission, should he not find him, to take the letters waiting for him here, and to depart with them for delivery to his right reverend Lordship at his present abode. This being heard here, the postmaster has been desired not to let him have horses for his return, the Emperor and King Philip choosing to know first of all if their couriers have found the Cardinal, and whether the news of the imprisonment of Don Garcia de la Vega and the postmaster Tassis be true; and the Nuncio having gone to negotiate with Don Ruy Gomez about certain benefices, and talking to him as usual about the Pope's good will, Ruy Gomez, in a rage, answered him that seeing all his facts at variance with similar assurances, he was compelled to believe either that he had always intended to deceive him, or had himself been deceived by his Holiness.
The French ambassador went again lately to the King, making a fresh demand for the release of the prisoners, saying that thing alone might cause the truce to be broken, his most Christian Majesty being unable any longer to withstand the words and tears of their blood-relations (congionti di sangue loro), who demand justice of him by his causing the agreement to be executed. In reply the King spoke him fair, saying he would send M. de Lalain to him to give a more precise answer, and from what the ambassador has said, Lalain went to him, and he is perfectly satisfied with the courtesy of his words, but says that his King chooses to witness deeds, and that otherwise he will do what is becoming; nor does the ambassador scruple to discourse indiscriminately with everybody, saying anything he pleases, as if certain that the truce will be broken.
It is reported here that the Duke of Sesa, who was expected from Spain, has been arrested by the French; nor does any Spaniard now think it safe to pass through that country, and many have asked the ambassador for safe-conducts; and from the report of an engineer who has returned from the Flemish frontiers, to give information about such of them as should be garrisoned, if the truce be broken, he saw evident signs of its not lasting, by reason of the many and various supplies with which the French have provided their places.
The Abbot of San Saluto writes to the Regent of Milan that he has had several close conferences with the Constable of France about the affair of the peace, and through him he spoke with the King, who said to him, that to reduce to one word all that he could say, he would be content that the Duke of Savoy should receive the Milanese from King Philip, and that King Henry would give him his sister in marriage, on condition that his Excellency renounce his claims on Savoy and Piedmont to the second son of his most Christian Majesty; but this proposal has not been taken into consideration, both because the said Abbot [Parpaglia] is the subject of the Duke of Savoy, and also because he is supposed to incline towards the interests of France.
Brussels, 23rd July 1556.
July 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 557. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday a gentleman arrived here postwise, having been sent by Cardinal Caraffa to the Cardinal of Pisa, and from what he told the Nuncio, who repeated it to King Philip, he is commissioned to tell Pisa that his master, Caraffa, seeing the King of France constantly well inclined towards the peace and the Council-General, will delay his return, although called to Rome, in the hope of hearing what Pisa may have negotiated with their Majesties, who do not evince satisfaction at the coming of this messenger, neither do their ministers, considering it an artifice devised by Cardinal Caraffa, as one of the two couriers who went in quest of Pisa, after riding 200 miles, could hear nothing of his right reverend Lordship.
The King of Bohemia remains daily with the Emperor for two or three hours, and from what the Provost of Trent tells me they have not yet settled anything, but to-day they were to draw up a schedule of articles (una forma di capitoli), to see if they could agree together. I, wishing to discuss the particulars, as heard by me from several persons at the Court, namely, that to the said King of Bohemia they would give Burgundy, which yields one hundred thousand crowns annual revenue, and would cause the Archduke Ferdinand to have for wife the sister of the Queen of England, with a promise that the Prince of Spain [Don Carlos], should take for wife, when she becomes of marriageable age, the eldest daughter of said King Maximilian, finding means also to marry her sisters for him; the Provost answered me, that for the present the only thing he could assure me positively was, that it was true his Imperial Majesty had made certain offers, which of themselves were good, but that to speak to me freely in confidence, the Emperor showed the piece of meat in one hand to his son-in-law, who was afraid there might be a cudgel in the other, like the dog who doubtless looks at the morsel and longs for it, but by the dread of a heavy blow is deterred from taking it. I, laughing with him at the simile, and wishing adroitly to ascertain the quantity and quality of this meat, he said I might figure to myself that the Emperor purposed giving Sienna or Milan to the said King, and availing himself of his authority and person against anyone soever, and in whatever way suited his Imperial Majesty and King Philip; but that not having money and other means whereby to keep possession of either of those states, he would incur the loss both of them and his repute, and sacrifice his legitimate hope of becoming Emperor; adding, that let them say what they will, and whether the Emperor resign the imperial dignity or not, Maximilian will never do anything to his own disadvantage, whether they give or deprive him of these hopes, as either sooner or later he believes himself sure of obtaining that grade; but should the Emperor wish to win him over to his son, rendering him as true a friend as he already is the close kinsman of King Philip, he ought to give him something solid and firm (soda et ferma), as, for instance, by making an exchange of these provinces for the county of the Tyrol, and the duchies of Styria and Carinthia. The Provost then expatiated on the many advantages which both these kings (Philip and Maximilian), and the whole House of Austria, might thus from time to time obtain, demonstrating on the other hand the many ills that might befall them, and saying in conclusion, that he would quote Horace to me, repeating the very words used to me by King Maximilian, thus—“parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus,” saying, that should the war with the Pope and the King of France not take place, facts would convince me that nothing of importance will be stipulated, as the Emperor was not so fond of giving as of taking (perchè S. C. Mta non era tanto amica del dare quanto del tuore).
Brussels, 25th July 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 25. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 6 B. 558. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday the Pope told Camillo Orsini that he had sent for him to Rome to give him the government and care of it, with regard to the war; that he was certain he would not refuse it, as besides being his country, it is the most honourable city in the world, and the See of the vicar of Christ.
On Sunday (as said by the cashiers of the banks who carried the money) the Pope deposited in the castle 300,000 crowns. On the morrow Cardinal S. Giacomo [Juan Alvarez de Toledo] went to his Holiness and prayed him, for the love and respect he bore him, and for their ancient friendship, to grant him (S. Giacomo) a favour. The Pope, expecting him to ask for Don Garcilasso, or for some one else of the Imperial prisoners, replied that he might make his demand, and that if fair it should be conceded him. The Cardinal then said that he wished for leave to speak freely to him for half an hour, and to tell him the state of affairs, and what is said about his Holiness, who replied that he would hear him willingly and quietly. Thereupon the Cardinal told him much, blaming the present government and his ministers, who counselled him to wage a war, which would prove so detrimental to the whole world. He demonstrated to his Holiness that it was not well for him to lavish so much abuse on the Emperor and the King of England, for after all it was undeserved, as never had they withdrawn their obedience from him like the King of France, whom he praises so much (fn. 3) He told him that he had erred in giving the bishopric of Cominges to Cardinal Caraffa, because he is an Italian, and cannot reside there, neither can he speak either French or Latin; and that by acting thus the Pope, instead of being the universal father of all, as in duty bound, shows himself partial to the King of France; and he also told him that the privation of Marc' Antonio Colonna had no foundation, nor could it last. With great difficulty could the Pope restrain himself, and told the Cardinal he loved him better than ever, that henceforth he would proceed more reservedly, and that his words were caused by his being naturally choleric. S. Giacomo replied that many persons believed his Holiness' choler to be feigned as a foil, when he had no reason to assign, and that he made use of it to silence reply (per non lasciar parlar gli altri).
This conversation having ended without anger, Cardinal S. Giacomo began to have some hope of an adjustment, and sent his secretary to Francesco di Sanguini (who precisely on that day at 5 p.m. returned from Naples) not to tell the Pope anything vexatious, as he had left him well disposed. Signor Ferrante obeyed, for although the Duke of Alva had blustered greatly about the imprisonment of Don Garcilasso, saying that if the slightest personal injury were done him he would have four of the chief members of the Caraffa family beheaded, he did not tell the Pope this, and merely informed the Duke of Paliano that at Naples they were giving [earnest?] money, and had despatched [recruiting?] captains for 10,000 foot soldiers.
Don Garcilasso is examined daily on fresh charges. He is supposed to have had an understanding with some Roman, who dared to defend Marc' Antonio Colonna, which if proved would send some heads flying (faria saltar teste). One of the Roman cavaliers of the guard [Bernardo Caffanello] told the Pope that if he would let them know who they are, they themselves would quarter the culprits; and the Cardinal “Decano,” (fn. 4) who had dined with the Pope, told him that being joined with his King he had nothing to fear; to which his Holiness replied in a rage, “What need have I of your King? I have the Emperor under these feet;” and the Cardinal having said that the King was his servant, and ready to execute all his commands, the Pope continued, “We love the King, and will make use of him as we would even of the Turk, for the need of this See Apostolic; but it is not your business to speak when we are speaking.” Then, unmindful of his promise to Cardinal S. Giacomo, the Pope proceeded with his usual gross abuse of the Emperor, and exhorted the Romans to arm, together with the women and boys, and that those who could not carry arms were to throw stones; and said that if they were truly Romans they would avenge the blood of their ancestors, and the injuries done them by the Spaniards, who had slaughtered and sacked them in their homes; and twice or thrice he repeated that thus would they show their ancient Roman courage.
Rome, 25th July 1556.
July 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 559. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Gordes has arrived from Brussels, and is bearer of a letter addressed to the Constable by M. de Benincourt [Ponce de Lalain] to whom belongs the ransom of M. de Montmorency, informing his Excellency that should he desire the release of his son for 50,000 crowns, he would concede it him on condition that the reply be sent to him, Benincourt, in the course of the present month of July, and at the same time security from the merchants at Antwerp, that one month after the aforesaid release his Excellency would send him 50,000 gold crowns of the sun, drawn (cavati) from France, should the sum not be disbursed by the merchants. His Excellency determined to accept the terms, and despatched a courier to Lyons to arrange for the [bankers] Guadagni to send to Antwerp to give the security, and then at the appointed time send the sum in cash. Thus will there be an end of this negotiation, but, although it is very agreeable to the Constable, as it gives him back his son, for whom he has greatly longed, yet as the conditions do not seem in accordance with his dignity, both because previously they announced their intention of accepting a smaller ransom, as also by their showing they trust but little in his word and promise, he does not evince much joy at this arrangement, and is extremely angry; so the persons who would wish the negotiation for peace between the two crowns to advance, disapprove of this proceeding on the part of the Imperialists.
The Legate Caraffa has informed the Imperial ambassador that the affairs of Rome being in a more tranquil state, and the Cardinal of Pisa [Motula] having received orders to continue his journey, he (Caraffa) had determined to await his colleague's arrival at Brussels. Cardinal Caraffa says he shall wait as long as necessary for replies about the agreement for peace and for the Council, wishing above all things to convey some comfort to the Pope respecting these matters. M. de Montluc, with the title of his most Christian Majesty's lieutenant-general in Tuscany, has already departed for Marseilles, and will await the Legate there.
It has been determined to send a new ambassador to England, Prothonotary de Noailles, the brother of the ambassador who returned lately, because although on the King's part it seemed superfluous to keep one ambassador with the husband and another with the wife, yet considering the many affairs and schemes (negotij et maneggi) which his Majesty has in that kingdom, it has not seemed fit to have a person there of inferior grade to that of ambassador, and in a few days he will depart.
Don Juan de Luna, warder of Milan, has come to the King, it being reported that he fled from the Imperial court.
Paris, 25th July 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 560. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
This morning the Spaniards, with marks of gladness, circulated a report that last evening the Emperor and the King of Bohemia concluded a compact, which for the future will produce a practically good understanding between all the members of the House of Austria, the only particular mentioned by them being that the Emperor and King Philip give Maximilian the county (il contado) of Burgundy, guaranteeing its revenue to the amount of one hundred thousand crowns, and should the province not yield that sum the deficit to be supplied by the King of Spain. The Spaniards do not say to what conditions the King of Bohemia binds himself, nor can the form of the convention be ascertained, no minister having been present at this conference, their Majesties choosing to keep the matter to themselves, after taking a solemn oath to observe its articles. The personages of King Maximilian's court say they have no sign whatever of these conditions, and merely know that their King has announced to everybody his departure for the 10th of next month, and that he will go first with his consort to see Antwerp. One of his chief ministers has been heard to say that the King of Spain has written a very kind letter to the King of the Romans, in which, besides other courteous expressions, he tells him that as the Emperor his father and Lord is quite determined to put aside the administration of the rest of his affairs, and to go to Spain, he, King Philip, wishes him, the King of the Romans, to accept him as his son, in like manner as he will receive him for his father.
The French ambassador sent an express to Zealand to know whether the Emperor's orders for a good number of ships to be prepared to accompany him to Spain had been executed, and the ambassador says that to-day he has received news that hitherto thirty-two “urche” had been detained, the crews reporting that this was done for the purpose of going to England, and that all the necessary arrangements have been made in the ship which is to convey the Emperor, who every day goes telling all persons indiscriminately, and in very forcible language, that before the middle of next month he intends to have left Brussels.
This morning the Nuncio received an advice from an express sent by him to Maastricht to hear something about the Legate Pisa, of whom he had received notice that he had just arrived within three leagues of that city, travelling incognito from fear of the Lutherans. The Nuncio announced this to their Majesties' chief ministers, who immediately sent off the courier, who had failed to find Pisa, to ascertain the truth of this, and that they might send the Prince of Ascoli and Count Chinchon, who have been appointed to meet his right reverend Lordship.
The courier despatched by the King of Spain in pursuit of Don Juan de Luna arrived last night, and says he reached him at a village near Peronne, a place belonging to the King of France. On presenting to him the letter written by King Philip's maggiordomo, Don Diego de Azevedo, by commission from his Majesty, exhorting him to return, and promising not only to exculpate him from the charge which he thought had been brought against him by the Emperor, but to benefit him in such a manner as always to render him satisfied. He replied immediately, and wrote a second letter to his son, who is page to the King, giving him notice of what has taken place hitherto, and with regard to the King's promises, expressing himself precisely as follows, “God grant they may take effect, as I have already promised a gentleman in the service of the Constable of France, that on obtaining the terms desired by me from his most Christian Majesty I have constituted myself his vassal, nor shall I any longer be able to serve my natural sovereign, on account of him who unjustly degraded me.” (“Che ottenendo le conditioni, ch' Io desidero da S. Mth Cristma, mi son fatto suo vassallo, nè potro pià servire il mio natural Re, per cagione de chi ingiustamente mi ha disgradato.”)
The French ambassador has again been commissioned by the Constable, together with the agent sent by his Excellency heretofore for the ransom of his eldest son, to make a final offer of forty thousand crowns, as he cannot do more by reason of the great number of his children; which proposal being made by them to Don Ruy Gomez, he replied that the King had caused the ransom to be reduced by 20,000 from the 100,000 originally demanded, and that neither could he, nor ought he, further to extend his authority by depriving the captor of what belonged to him, but that he would, nevertheless, do everything possible to gratify his Excellency, though according to general report neither he nor the other prisoners will any longer be released.
Brussels, 26th July 1556.
July 27. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 6 B. 561. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Signory.
Yesterday morning at table the Cardinals Perugia [Fulvio della Cornia, Bishop of Perugia], Seraceno, Trani, and Ariano, having dined with his Holiness, the Pope said that the treacherous acts of the Imperialists came more and more to light daily, and that Romans and even cardinals were concerned in them, saying he who “intingit mecum manum in parapside, hic me traditurus est,” (fn. 5) but that he would treat them as they deserved, degrading them from the cardinalate and cutting off heads, so that those who had rotten livers (fegato guasto) would do well to take heed for themselves, as what he said was uttered by him from the benignity of his nature, which was averse to bloodshed.
Many persons present also remarked that when the Cardinal of Perugia gave him the napkin to wipe his hands the Pope took it impetuously, and rising from table in a rage, went into the library to say the “office,” having left in the audience chamber the aforesaid cardinals and the Portuguese ambassador, (fn. 6) who had joined them. Having finished the office, the Pope returned into the chamber with a very gladsome countenance, but when the Portuguese ambassador approached him, saying that he purposed despatching a courier to his King, and was therefore come to his Holiness to hear whether he could give any good news to his Majesty, who is the Emperor's brother-in-law (germano), and tell him that his Holiness has pardoned the said Emperor and his son, and is reconciled to them, the Pope would not allow him to proceed farther, and drawing up his sleeve and rochet half way up his arm, and shaking it, as usual with him when in a rage, he said, “Lord ambassador, let there be no more talk of peace, but of war. Woe is me (ohimè!) are you not aware of the impiety and acts of treachery of these rogues, heretics, and scelerats (scelerati)? We will give them as much war as they shall desire. Charles has always been schismatic, and Philip rapacious; both one and the other are unworthy of the so many favours received by them from the goodness of God. Continuing to act in conformity with their nature, they sought to outrage us (volevano assassinarne), as they did heretofore; we will deprive them of their realms and dignity, and do our worst by them, and hope in God that He will show how powerful His most holy arm is. They are not of the blood of the Catholic King, nor of Queen Isabella, to wage war on us, which signifies to wage it against Christ, without any cause in the world. By seeking to outrage us (in cercare di'assassinarne) they will have greatly injured themselves.” The ambassador, seeing the Pope so exasperated, went away without transacting any of the business for which he had come, the four cardinals remaining greatly perplexed, pondering the discourse held at table, and which of them it concerned; but this morning everybody knew for certain that it was meant for the Cardinal of Perugia, news having come that his brother Ascanio della Cornia had fled from Velletri to Nettuno, having placed troops in the citadel, and raised the cry of “Empire and Spain.” (fn. 7)
This morning Consistory assembled, and before he made his entry the Pope had the Cardinal of Perugia put in the castle.
His Holiness spoke with great vehemence as usual against “his traitors,” without naming any one in particular. He said he should have no regard for any sort of person whatever, not even for Cardinals; all his gestures and his countenance evinced extreme anger. The Fiscal Advocate (il Fiscale) and Messer Silvestro Aldobrandini being then introduced to plead the rights (per la ragione) of the See Apostolic, they commenced reading an opinion (sentenza) that whereas for his misdeeds Marc' Antonio Colonna had been deprived of his state, whereby his Holiness had willed to do justice without scruple, and had with the same justice willed that in no place, nor by any one, might he be assisted and favoured; and it being heard that the Emperor and King Philip his son had aided him with cavalry and infantry, captains and money; it seemed to them, the “Fiscale” and Aldobrandini, that the Emperor and the King of England had incurred the penalties contained in the sentence, that they had forfeited all the rights of their fiefs, and that as an example to others they ought to be punished and chastised (puniti e castigati) (fn. 8). The Pope replied that the Fiscal Advocate and his colleague having performed their office so freely, he was pleased with them; that this was a thing of importance, that he would think about it, and not form any decision without the counsel of his right reverend brothers.
Cardinal Tournon has written from Narni to Cardinal d'Armagnac, that on account of the heat he will not proceed beyond the Duchy of Urbino. It becomes daily more and more evident that he left Rome because the freedom with which he expressed his disapproval of this war, made the Pope rather distrust him; so he did not think it compatible with his dignity to remain.
Rome, 27th July 1556.
July 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 562. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the receipt of the advices of the fresh troubles which beset the Pope, Cardinal Caraffa has informed the King that his Holiness wished him to do three things—first, that in Rome or Venice a deposit be made of 500,000 crowns, of which 350,000 to be supplied by the King, and 150,000 by his Holiness; that his most Christian Majesty should also be pleased to send him 300 spears, to whom the Pope would assign their garrisons in the Papal States; and, thirdly, that his Christian Majesty should send 12 of his galleys to remain at Civitavecchia; and to charge his ministers in Italy, on hearing from the Pope his need, without any farther order from the King, to place at his Holiness' disposal the aforesaid subsidies, both of money, troops, and galleys, besides the infantry already destined for him.
The King of France, for the present not wishing to break the truce, provided he can do so without loss of dignity, has often endeavoured to satisfy the Legate with general expressions, assuring him that not only will he not fail in his promised protection, but that should the need require it, he, for the defence of the Holy Church, would pass into Italy in person, together with all his forces; but that, knowing the position of the King of England, it was hardly credible that he would move against the Pope, most especially as his most Christian Majesty had openly declared he would send 3,000 infantry into Italy for his protection. But the Legate does not cease urging the King to answer him more precisely, and having understood that his Majesty would wish him to depart, he says he will not do so until he obtains a clearer determination from the King, who diverts him with every sort of amusement, endeavouring thus to retain his adherence (di tenerlo), not wishing to exasperate him, lest on his arrival at Rome he turn his mind to fresh thoughts.
The Constable sent back M. de Gordes to Brussels to accept the offer of 50,000 crowns for the ransom of his son, and the sureties have been sent from Lyons for transmission to Antwerp; in addition to which, a German here offered the Constable spontaneously to do the like; the money also being ready, having been disbursed by his Excellency's wife, being derived from what is called her nest-egg (sua musina); so that there are hopes of seeing the son so greatly longed for, within a few days.
Don Juan de Luna having escaped from Brussels, came to his most Christian Majesty, who welcomed him liberally; and subsequently the Constable told him to be of good cheer (ch' el stia di buon animo), as his Majesty will recompense him for all the services he has rendered to the Emperor.
Paris, 30th July 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 563. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Cardinal of Pisa [Motula] has arrived at Maastricht. The Nuncio at the Imperial court sent him a courier, informing him that by reason of the fresh movements discovered at Rome, if he could avoid going to the court he was to do so; the Nuncio adding that although three couriers had been sent to the King, one from his ambassador at Rome, one from the Duke of Alva, and one from Don Ferrante Gonzaga, giving account of the arrest of La Chaux (Lasso) and Capiluppi, yet their Majesties' ministers evinced an extraordinary wish for the Legate Motula to arrive at the court, which seeming to him, the Nuncio, a thing constrained (cosa forciata), he recommended him to take a decided course (a pigliar partito), so the Legate, leaving his retinue [to follow], departed postwise with only six attendants, nor was it known whither he went; but Cardinal Caraffa is hourly expecting his secretary, Antonio Sachetti, whom he sent to Brussels to see the right reverend of Pisa [Motula], and to bring him back word of the state of his negotiation.
Paris, 30th July 1556.
July 30. Original Despatch, Venetian [Archives. 564. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the French Ambassador and Don Ruy Gomez discoursed a long while together, the latter expressing great surprise at the most Christian King's now sending so many and such various supplies to these frontiers, saying that these are deeds in accordance with the words usually uttered at the court of France, and that consequently King Philip was certain not only that peace would not take place, but that the truce must be broken. The ambassador answered him, that there was no cause for surprise, nor for taking amiss the provision which his most Christian Majesty was making in several places, as Princes are always wont to be jealous about their fortresses; but that his King had indeed reason to be suspicious of the great number of armed ships which are ready for action in Zealand, it being given out that this is for the Emperor's voyage to Spain, which he, the ambassador, did not believe that his Imperial Majesty will undertake. Don Ruy Gomez then told the ambassador that the King of Spain had conferred on the Duchess of Parma the favour of being allowed to receive her income of 18,000 crowns on account of dower, provided the King of France allow Queen Eleanor to receive her marriage portion in France, which is nearly of the same amount.
The Nuncio says he is in hourly expectation of a reply to a letter written by him to the Legate Pisa, exhorting him to come to this court without apprehension, as their Majesties would receive him most graciously, and he believes him to have stopped at some place immediately on arriving in the French territory. Their Majesties are said to have despatched the courier to give the Legate confidence, and as a final experiment to show that they do not wish for war with the Pope; and should he still persist in dragging them into it, we shall soon hear of their sending cavalry and infantry, to be raised by Duke Eric of Brunswick, who is here, and by the Duke of Holstein and Count Schwartzenburg, amounting in all to five thousand horse and five thousand foot, for service in Italy; and it has been several times recommended to send an honourable commission to Don Ferrante Gonzaga, on whom they think they can rely, having restored him to his honour by depriving those who calumniated him of their grades.
The Emperor every day tells all persons indiscriminately that before the middle of next month he is determined to depart for Spain, (fn. 9) and some persons of the court say that he has already provided the hundred and thirty thousand crowns; and as a mark of affection towards his confessor, he has caused King Philip to assign him an annual pension of two hundred crowns; dispensing him from the trouble of following his Majesty to Spain. Yesterday, moreover, when talking with his sisters, daughter, son, and son-in-law, turning to this last, and to his daughter especially, he said he should depart, greatly comforted and satisfied at having seen them, which he did not expect, and that he hoped they would always live lovingly together, and that he thought his departure would take place two or three days after they commenced their journey, and that shortly after them the King of Spain will depart for England.
No other settlement has been made between their Majesties except that of adjusting the affairs of the Emperor's daughter, and certain other credits due to the King of the Romans from his Imperial Majesty; and the Emperor has executed a writing whereby the King of Spain is bound to pay the King of Bohemia annually about sixty thousand crowns on security in the kingdom of Naples, or in Burgundy.
The King of Bohemia, when conversing with the Nuncio, uttered nearly the same conceits and words as to me, with the following additional particulars; the one, that the business on account of which he had been called might have been done without his coming hither; the other, that he knew that many persons had complained of his not having sound opinions (che non sentisse bene) about the true religion, and that in like manner as he knew himself to be innocent of this accusation, so he hoped in God to have some day a post in which he should be able to demonstrate the devotion of his mind towards the See Apostolic, offering himself in loving terms to his Holiness; after which he commenced greatly blaming the mode of proceeding of the ministers here, especially of those who held the most important charges, and from what I hear he is accustomed to use this language to any person in whom he thinks he can place a little confidence. Yesterday the said King received a letter from his father, urging him to return to act as vice-regent, his Majesty intending to go to the Diet at Ratisbon, and having to remain there to assist the forces in Hungary, expressing great fear lest the Turks overpower his troops; and, he adds, that he is to tell the Emperor to go auspiciously, according to his intention, to Spain, that he, the King of the Romans, will bear willingly this very heavy burden of the affairs of the Empire, and that the Emperor is not to think of depriving himself of the title, as he, the King of the Romans, does not wish for it, because, having been upheld by his Imperial Majesty's good prudence and felicity, he would not that, owing to the present troublous state of the world's affairs, this rule and felicity should be changed; all which things the King of Bohemia reported to the Emperor.
The French ambassador did not go to visit the King of Bohemia until yesterday, and from what the Provost of Trent told me, during the conversation, which lasted more than two hours and a half, a great change was visible in the countenance of his Majesty, who at first greeted him with fair and courteous words and manners, and at length, seeing that he would never go away, and that he continued saying disagreeable things, he was compelled to dismiss him, which he, however, did very adroitly. The Provost remarked to me that the ambassador performed this office with his Majesty for the express purpose of making the Emperor and King Philip suspect him of having a good understanding with the King of France; and in the Provost's presence, when talking with some of his confidential attendants, the King of Bohemia said that the ambassador, in certain impertinent terms (con certi modi impertinenti), had requested him to perform offices with the King of Spain for the release of the prisoners in order that the truce might be confirmed, using several sorts of words to ascertain whether hatred still prevailed between him and the Emperor and his son.
Brussels, 30th July 1556.


  • 1. Peter Kyllygrew. (See Domestic Calendar, August 18 and 21, 1556, p. 86.)
  • 2. In date of 31st July 1556, Machyn (p. 111) records the execution of six “robars of the see,” but gives no names.
  • 3. Che non l'haveano mai levato l'obedienza, come havea fatto il Re di Franza.
  • 4. Jean de Bellai, senior cardinal, elected by Paul III. on the 20th May 1535. (See Cardella, vol. 4, pp. 145–147.)
  • 5. See Gospel according to St. John, chapter 14, verses 21–26.
  • 6. Don Andres de Castro. (See Foreign Calendar, Index.)
  • 7. The Duke of Paliano told the Venetian Ambassador that Ascanio della Cornia, being military governor of Velletri for the Pope, had an understanding with Don Garcilasso de la Vega, which being discovered, he was ordered to Rome, but excused himself under various pretences, and when troops were sent to bring him by force, he made his escape as aforesaid.
  • 8. By the letter of the Duke of Alva to the Pope (Foreign Calendar, Mary, p. 250), it is seen that this demand made by the Procurator and Fiscal Advocate was one of the insults most resented by the Imperialists.
  • 9. The ambassador now repeats what he wrote in the preceding letter.