Venice: September 1556, 26-30

Pages 644-655

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 6, 1555-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1877.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


September 1556, 26–30

1556. Sept. 26. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives NO. 7 B. 630. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Francisco Pacheco has departed for the camp with the decision about the interview, accompanied by a papal courier to bring back the Duke of Alva's reply. The courier returned the next night with letters from the Duke purporting that at 11 a.m. on the day after he would be at Grottaferrata, an abbacy belonging to Cardinal De Monte, some ten miles hence, where he would await the cardinals S. Giacomo and Caraffa, and next morning a gentleman arrived with the safe-conduct. Although Cardinal San Giacomo had passed a restless night from gout and fever, he determined, for so holy a purpose as peace, to go at any rate, and had already had his litter arranged with everything necessary, whilst Cardinal Caraffa breakfasted rather early to be ready for departure.
The Pope on rising sent immediately for Cardinal Caraffa, who, after they had been a long while together, returned to his apartments (in the Palazzo di San Marco) in suspense and very thoughtful, and dismissed the prelates and gentlemen who were waiting for him, booted and spurred, saying the day was too far advanced to allow of their going and returning that same night to Rome, and that it would be unsafe to sleep abroad. On that day no one was allowed to go out of Rome, even although provided with a permit, until after 6 p.m., when a servant of Cardinal S. Giacomo went to the camp with a writing addressed by Cardinal Caraffa to his right reverend lordship, regretting having been unable to go to the Duke, as he wished, but that he did not despair of seeing him soon, and perhaps even at Rome, to the satisfaction of one side and the other.
Then, two nights ago, a trumpet came hither from the Duke with a letter addressed to Cardinal Carpi (he being the person who had written the first to his Excellency), dated Grottaferrata, saying that he had proceeded himself thither at 11 a.m., as he wrote, and remained there until 4, so not having seen anyone he did not choose to omit the performance of this last complimentary office to let him know that he was on his departure to join the army, which he should march in such direction as might seem to him most for his Majesty's service. Cardinal Carpi, who had also a fit of the gout, sent this letter to Cardinal Caraffa, saying that should his right reverend lordship choose him to answer it, he was to send him a draft of what he was to write.
At 2 a.m. a gentleman from Cardinal Caraffa took him a draft, purporting in substance that his not going to the interview was owing to the safe-conduct's having arrived late, and also because they were of opinion that the conference should be held in the open country, with a limited number of persons (as usual), and also nearer Rome, by reason of the indisposition of Cardinal San Giacomo, but that the Pope and his familiars continue well disposed to accept a good and secure peace should it be offered them; and thus wrote the Cardinal of Carpi, sending the letter to the Duke of Alva by his own trumpet.
Various reasons are assigned for their not having gone to this conference; some say that the place was not safe, as there were woods and ravines round about favourable for an ambuscade; others that the safe-conduct was less clearly worded than becoming. Many declare that the French, fearing lest the result of this interview might deprive them of the Cardinal and the Caraffa family, thwarted it, and gave great hopes of assistance. What I know for certain is, that the day after it had been settled to go, the French Ambassador and Marshal Strozzi held a long conference with the Pope. But it is muttered by the majority that those in command here (questi Signori) are disinclined towards peace, perhaps because, in addition to their natural enmity with the Imperialists, they understand there is some scarcity of money and provisions in the camp, and that the army is not so formidable as they thought.
A trustworthy person tells me that the Pope, when talking with Camillo Orsini about this interview, having said that the safeconduct was fraudulent, Orsini replied that he could not think the Duke of Alva would break his word in a matter so important and manifest; and when his Holiness rejoined that similar Moriscos (Marani) could not be trusted, the Lord Camillo said that the interview could not be otherwise than advantageous, if but to try and effect some adjustment, and yet more to justify his cause before the world, most especially as affairs here were in the state known to his Holiness, and the assistance which might be expected at so great a distance. When the Pope told him that he had to do with a feeble army, without victuals and without money, and therefore discontented, Camillo said that he knew not how an army, master of a fertile territory, with a kingdom completely its own in the rear, and master of the sea, could be in want of victuals, and that even were the case such as represented by his Holiness, an army of that sort, famished and desperate, was much to be feared. The Pope then became enraged, saying, “We took you for another man,” and, turning his back upon him, went into another room; but after this, yesterday, with many caresses, and embracing him repeatedly, he endeavoured to soothe him by extolling him above all captains, ancient and modern.
Here, as the determination to hold a conference caused incredible satisfaction and joy, so has this subsequent innovation caused pain and astonishment, a similar mode of negotiating having been seldom, and perhaps never witnessed; and Friar Manrich (sic) complaining of this, said that for 20 days at least the Pope ought not to listen to any of his counsellors. The same friar, on the day appointed for the interview, was by the Pope's order detained in his antechamber, being told that the Pope wished to speak to him.
Rome, 26th September 1556.
Sept. 26. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 7 B. (Second Letter.) 631. The Same to the Same.
The servant of Cardinal S. Giacomo, who went to the camp, returned last night with a letter from the Duke of Alva to his right reverend lordship, telling him that he was about to decamp from Val Montone and go with the army where he thought he might be able to do his King service, and that as to seeing Cardinal Caraffa he should always be glad to do so in his present attire, as he had known him for an honourable gentleman in other garb. (fn. 1) It is heard that this Imperial army receives reinforcements daily and now numbers some 10,000 infantry, and I have been told on good authority that it does not suffer from the scarcity reported here, with the exception of the innumerable light horse, who are slightly inconvenienced owing to their constant forays, which prevent them from getting into good quarters. The Duke has despatched fresh captains to raise infantry and cavalry besides those levied in Tuscany under the command of Martio Santa Fiora, the Cardinal's brother, (fn. 2) who it is said will go to Velletri, the Roman Government having sent thither Adrian Baglione in order that the Duke of Somma may come to Rome, though others expect Santafiora to come to Tivoli, so as to get nearer to this city, nor is there any doubt of his obtaining the place, as it is not fortified, although to facilitate a retreat it has been half destroyed, and orders have been given for the total destruction of all the mills there, and that the place is to be abandoned if necessary. The enemy's cavalry and infantry scour the country daily, always occupying new places though hitherto none of them are of any importance, and they proceed freely, not fearing any encounter, although some Papal light horse in a hostel near Grottaferrata captured 14 Spaniards and brought them here to-day along the Bankers' Street (via de Banchi) as it were in triumph.
The lords here do not fail making what provision they can, and on the day before yesterday they harnessed the Jews to some pieces of artillery, which were thus dragged to the bastions at the gates towards the “Campagna;” taking thither also powder and ball, billeting the infantry and cavalry in the houses and vineyards of private individuals regardless of their being Cardinals or personages of any grade however exalted, and taking away a mattress from each of the public prostitutes, for the accommodation of the soldiery. They make the populace and the priests and friars work at the bastions, in virtue of a proclamation from Camillo Orsini, under penalty of 25 crowns each and of being sent to the galleys, and to-day Cardinal Caraffa appointed the Archbishop of Cosenza as their superintendent, desiring them to obey him as if he were the Pope in person. All private coaches are made to carry the fascines for the bastions, and there is a talk of pulling down the churches of S. Paulo and Santa Croce in Hierusalem, which are two of the seven most famous churches, and which have so many devotees. Some of these measures are considered but of little utility, and cause much comment. Nothing more can be known about the amount of money to be derived from the toll on ground corn, as since the war broke out the population has diminished by about two thirds; so the conservators of Rome have issued a decree for the men who accompanied the women and children to return within five days under penalty of losing their property moveable and immovable, and of being eternally dishonoured and considered infamous.
In ordinary times Rome consumes annually 110,000 rubbi of grain, (fn. 3) amounting to 9,000 per month, so that the ground-grain toll of two crowns per rubbio ought to yield monthly 18,000 crowns, and although it was said the Pope would levy this toll and spend it on the fortifications, a report nevertheless circulated of fresh taxes on wine, salt, and oil. The other day a Roman gentleman, one Bernardino Caffarello, when the Pope was at dinner, offered him the property, blood, and souls of all the Romans, which somewhat soothed his Holiness, who in part estranged himself from them owing to their lack of courage. Amongst the Romans and the merchants the government has distributed some 90 of the “Knighthoods of the Lily,” receiving in payment so much wheat at the rate of 48 “giulij” per “rubbio,” which will perhaps be sold to the bakers at a higher price, and thus will the “Chamber” obtain the money for them. This morning Cardinal Caraffa and the Reverend Vitellozzo, with some Romans were appointed for the purpose of making a depôt of grain, wine, vinegar, and grease (grassa), of which things there is greater need than was supposed.
The Government acts with great severity against property taken out of Rome without a permit, and in like manner against those persons who have failed to bring their grain into this city according to the orders given, on which account a few days ago some light horse were sent to sack a hamlet (casale) belonging to Messer Camillo Capranica.
During the last few days Cardinal Caraffa has been seen to enter the Pope's chamber alone, leaving the Duke of Paliano in the antechamber, which is said to proceed from the dissatisfaction which his rule has caused both to the Pope and Cardinal. Yesterday, which was the bad day of his Excellency's quartan-ague, he had so severe a paroxysm that when the Cardinal his brother went to visit him he was met by a groom of the chambers, who prayed him to allow his lordship to repose.
It is also said that the Pope has complained to the Cardinal of his having written from France more than the King said to him, which his Holiness comprehended both by what the French ministers have told him here as also by the scanty provision made by his Majesty for his assistance; but the Cardinal declares that he never wrote anything but what was told him, and that if at present they either cannot or will not keep their promise, he is not to blame for it. They have nevertheless great hope, and are therefore anxiously expecting a courier from France in reply to their letters of the 7th and 9th announcing the rupture, and on the evening before last they despatched secretary Bucchia to the most Christian King to give him account of what has taken place hitherto.
Yesterday evening the German troops from Mont' Alcino entered Rome; they are fine troops and well armed, forming two regiments (insegne), but they are not supposed to amount to more than 400 men, although at the commencement it was said they would be 1,500, and then 800. Cardinal Caraffa went to reside in the palace of St. Mark as written by me, but it is scarcely supposed he can remain there, having at every hour of the day to transact business with his Holiness.
The Portuguese Ambassador informs me that the siege of Oran in Africa has been raised with the assistance of King Philip's fleet, which was sent thither at the request of the Princess of Spain. (fn. 4)
Rome, 26th September 1556.
Sept. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 632. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador at Ghent, to the Doge and Senate.
The courier destined for Milan has been delayed owing to letters addressed by the Marquis of Pescara to the King, informing him that should the truce with France be broken in Piedmont there is great risk of his Majesty's losing some fortress there, from the despair of the soldiers, who, he says, are creditors for 14 arrears of pay (di quatordeci paghe); so before despatching the courier they will treat about pecuniary supply, and also about sending some for the soldiers on these frontiers, who are creditors for an equal amount, it being suspected, owing to the protest of the King of France, and from the account received from King Philip's ambassador at his Court that 6,000 Switzers are to go to assist the Pope, that from day to day there will be a rupture on these frontiers, and since the news of the capture of the Papal places by the Duke of Alva's troops, many of the chief personages of this Court are very apprehensive that your Serenity move to the Pope's assistance in case the Duke continue making progress. The deputies of Brabant give some indication to the King (with whom they negotiate daily) of consenting in part to his demand for money, but they insist either on his returning to Brussels or that he go to some other town in that duchy; and these people here of Flanders, from fear of his returning to keep the Court there, have made an offer for this town alone to pay 600 crowns per month to the Duke of Savoy to remain here; and an agent arrived to-day from the Queen of England to transact with his Excellency the usual necessary business between that kingdom and these provinces. (fn. 5)
King Philip has sent Don Juan de Mendoza de Riviriera (sic) as ambassador to Portugal, and Don Juan de Figueroa as warder of Milan in lieu of Don Juan de Luna, giving him an additional 1,000 crowns annual revenue.
Ghent, 26th September 1556.
Sept. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 633. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday the Spanish Ambassador went to his most Christian Majesty, and in his King's name laid before him that he, owing to the Pope's proceedings, having been compelled to arm for the defence of his interests (delle cose sue), his ministers, without his order, had pushed forward, but that King Philip, desiring the quiet of Christendom, and also that the world might know the respect borne by him to the See Apostolic, had written a letter to the Duke of Alva, whereby he charged him to halt, and not to proceed farther, the copy of which the Ambassador showed his most Christian Majesty, adding that if he would pledge his word to King Philip that the Pope would not molest the kingdom of Naples, King Philip would desist entirely from hostilities (che leveria del tutto le arme).
To this his most Christian Majesty replied that with regret had he heard of these disturbances, because it was the duty (officio) of every Christian to pay respect to the Pope, and even should any misunderstanding arise, means ought to be found for adjusting it pacifically, and that if King Philip did not desist from his hostilities against the Pope, he, King Henry, was compelled to defend him, but that he would acquaint his Holiness with the performance of this office, and not fail to employ all means for the entire cessation of hostilities.
His most Christian Majesty has therefore been in constant consultation, the Constable advising him to dissemble, and not to break the truce, but to assist the Pope with money, and by negociation induce him to make peace, whilst the house of Guise and M. de Brissac demonstrate the necessity, in case the King of England continue the war, that his most Christian Majesty should do the like, but everything will be decided on the arrival of the next courier from Rome.
The deposit on the part of his most Christian Majesty is quite settled, Messer Albizzi, of the bank (del bene) (sic), under the name of the Guadagni of Lyons, having bound himself to disburse 150,000 crowns, and a German has agreed for as many more, which money will be paid to the Bishop of Lodève, in Venice, thus:—100,000 crowns on the 15th October, 100,000 on the 15th November, and 100,000 on the 15th December next, and the sums assigned in repayment (li assignamenti), which yield interest at the rate of 16 per cent., will be due in two years, one half to be paid annually.
M. de Scipier [Philibert de Marcilly, Seigneur de Sipierre], (fn. 6) who was sent by his most Christian Majesty to the King of Bohemia, has returned, and brings back word that he found him at Ingolstadt. He is understood to have obtained mere general expressions of goodwill towards the King of France, and assurance of his wish to continue in good friendship with him, and moreover, on some other occasion, to confer and form an intimacy with him (di abboccarsi et stringersi con lei), but that at present, being compelled to go to Vienna, he could neither stop nor say when he could realise his wish. As this compliment (officio) does not seem quite in accordance with the words uttered by him to the French Ambassador at Brussels, as his most Christian Majesty told me (and as I wrote to your Serenity), (fn. 7) it is inferred that the irritation which then possessed him has perhaps subsided.
The Duke de Guise, with his brothers the Cardinal de Guise and the Marquis d'Elbœuf, went lately into Lorraine and conferred with M. de Vaudemont, (fn. 8) informing him that his most Christian Majesty wished to replace the Duke of Lorraine in his State, as besides his being already of an age to exercise his authority in person (di poter esser patrone del suo), he wished to remove the opinion in circulation that he, the King, kept the Duke with him, as it were, in prison, and that when established in his duchy his Majesty would conclude the marriage between him and his second daughter, by which means he thought also to gratify the Count de Vaudemont by relieving him from the cares of government. In reply, his Excellency returned many thanks to the King for the goodwill evinced by him towards the Duke, both by replacing him in his State, as also by giving him his daughter for wife, but with regard to his own removal from the government Vaudemont answered very coldly; and I hear that having discovered how with this opportunity afforded by his removal the King purposed replacing him by some member of this Guise family, he, the Count, will not consent, and indeed he has made valid provision for the defence of the strongholds in Lorraine, in some of which he has put victuals and ammunition for three years, which being heard here, this scheme has been consigned to silence for the moment; and although it was said publicly that at Michaelmas his Majesty would confer his order of St. Michael on the Dauphin and the Duke of Lorraine, this likewise is deferred till another time.
M. de Selve is being sent by the King as his Ambassador resident at Rome, and M. d'Avanson (sic) will return, it being said that in case of the death of the keeper of the seals, who is at the extremity of life, they will give him that office, as also the generalship of the finances of the whole kingdom, all this proceeding from the many favours bestowed on him by Madame de Valentinois [Diane de Poitiers]. The King has arrived in this city, but not the Dauphin, who is a short way off, but unwell with quartan ague.
Paris, 27th September 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Sept. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 634. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier was sent hither last week express from Flanders, it being supposed he would find the Emperor detained in some English harbour, to let him know that the siege of Oran had been raised, but before his arrival, the wind having again changed to fair, and still continuing so, the sailors here were of opinion that the fleet was already but at little distance from the coast of Spain; so they sent the courier back.
The Queen, thank God, continues in her good plight (nella sua prosperità), rejoicing to see the monks of St. Benedict return to their old abbey of Westminster, into which, the canons having been removed, they, in God's name, will make their entry to-morrow, and this will be the third monastery and order of regulars (di religiosi osservanti), besides one of nuns, which has been hitherto re-established, to which will be soon added the fourth, of the Carthusians [at Shene], who have already made their appearance, to return, as they will, according to the promise given them, to their ancient abode eight miles hence, although it is now occupied by the Duchess of Somerset, (fn. 9) who is, however, to be recompensed with something else (perhò per esser ricompensata con altro).
The ambassadors of whom I wrote were recalled, but should it thus please the most Serene King, and if he approve of it, a doctor called the Dr. Martin has been named for France.
London, 28th September 1556.
Sept. 28. Origina. Despatch, Venetian Archives. 635. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier has arrived from Rome, with news of the capture of Anagni, and that the troops of Spain were on their march to Velletri. Thereupon, consultations were resumed, and the Constable persisted in his opinion, which is to dissemble, whilst the house of Guise and M. de Brissac persuade the King that he cannot in honour fail to assist the Pope, and that it is no longer possible to consider the truce otherwise than broken. His Majesty at length decided that the truce had been violated, and that they must therefore provide for the war; and it was determined to protest to the Spanish ambassador, and then send 6,000 Switzers and 6,000 Germans into Piedmont, where from 8,000 to 10,000 Italian troops are to be raised, 400 spears being also sent thither to divert the forces of the King of Spain from Rome; and should this not succeed, although Parma has alienated itself from his most Christian Majesty, the Marshal de Brissac offers to march with this army into those parts. Yesterday the above-mentioned ambassador was sent for, and his Majesty told him, that hearing that the troops of his King were making daily progress against the Papal States, contrary to what he had told him was the will of King Philip, King Henry, not choosing to forfeit either his title of “Most Christian” or his promise made to the Pope to defend him and the Church, protested that the truce was to be considered broken; [that he held King Philip responsible] for all the loss and detriment thus caused to the Church and to Christendom, and that he would soon cause to be felt how great were the forces of his Crown. On hearing this, the Ambassador [Simon Renard, Lieutenant d'Amont] besought his Majesty to delay doing anything for 20 days, during which term he promised that his King would make all his troops retire; this demand being made by him solely that he might have time to let his King know what his most Christian Majesty had said to him, and that King Philip might be able to send an express to Italy. To this King Henry replied, that not being desirous of any fresh stir of arms he was content to give him the aforesaid term, but that on its expiration, he would deem the truce to be broken. The commissions have nevertheless been despatched in every direction, with orders for all the troops to hold themselves in readiness, but not to march without fresh instructions; and although it is believed that after hearing this protest the King of Spain will not proceed farther, they will get everything ready during during this interval.
Paris, 28th September 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Sept. 30. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 7 B. 636. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The news has arrived here that the Imperialists had occupied Tivoli, which is some 20 miles hence, the country being quite level as far as this city; M. De Montluc went hence with some Gascons to destroy the mills, and had scarcely time to save himself and withdraw the two companies in garrison there. The townspeople are supposed to have called the army to prevent the destruction of the mills and buildings, on which their livelihood depends, most especially as the Pope and Cardinal Caraffa had already given them permission to adjust their affairs with the enemy.
Tivoli is said to contain some 5,000 “rubij” of grain, much wine, oil, and barley, and of the 20 mills only six were injured (guastati), so this occupation will be convenient for the Imperialists; besides which, in their rear they have the Abruzzo, which may be said to border on Tivoli.
Here the Government is greatly blamed for placing troops in untenable places, and for leaving the enemy to avail themselves of so much food and so many conveniences.
The army is encamped (allogia) at Ponte Lucano, near Tivoli, on the river Anieno, now called Teverone, and they have sent horse and foot to occupy the small castles round Tivoli, so as to have none but their own places in the rear. On Monday morning the cavalry scattered itself over the “Campagna,” and some of them came to a hamlet belonging to Messer Mario Bell'homo, two miles hence; others came as far as the vineyards, and took some beasts of burden loading wine for conveyance into this city, and as a bravado they came and touched the walls and the gate. Aurelio Fregoso was sent out, and at Ponte Mamolo, which crosses the Teverone, at no great distance hence, espied a very large body of cavalry, and skirmished a little, but it was not an affair of importance, as being unable to withstand the charge, he retreated.
At 8.30 p.m. on that night the alarm was sounded here, with the usual shrieks of terror, though it was satisfactory to see that, besides the paid soldiers, the battalions of the populace and Roman gentry mustered very bravely. The cause of this stir is reported variously, but one of the chief captains has said that it was by order of the lords in command here, to see what they can hope for.
Cardinal Caraffa and the Duke of Somma, who came from Velletri, rode round the city, in order not to have need of receiving information from others, and M. De Montluc is outside with horse and foot to check (if he can) the extreme audacity of the enemy in coming up to the walls, and to inspect the bed of the Tiber, and the spot where the enemy may purpose crossing it.
The majority (although many are dreading every disaster) do not think that this army can storm Rome, though everybody declares that being masters of the open country they will soon straiten this city, and cause a want of everything, more especially of wine, meat, and other provisions, which causes great apprehension, there being but little hope of adjustment, and assistance seeming so remote that whether of troops or money it cannot arrive in time, armies not being raised so speedily, nor can they fly on their march, in addition to which the winter is at hand. Nor is there any money here, all the merchants having departed, so that it was impossible to find 5,000 crowns, and to have coined money sent would be hazardous, the roads being insecure. And here I will not omit mentioning a circumstance that it may be held in such account as your Serenity shall think fit.
The ambassador from Ferrara, talking in secret about the succour which the Pope might receive from Italy and France, said that the King must not remain looking on whilst the others are dancing; let him make an attack in Piedmont, and the others will play their part. Here, as commissioners for pecuniary supply, they have appointed the right reverend Montepulciano, the Reverend Treasurer and Bishop Vitellozzi, Aldobrandini and Giovan di Nepi, to consult and report to Cardinal Caraffa, but Vitellozzo expressed himself thus, that “ex nihilo nihil fit.” The Pope's familiars either conceal everything, or at least do not give his Holiness the details of these reverses, in order not to sadden him. The 14 Spanish soldiers have been released, and Marquis Montebello will perhaps leave to-day for Bologna and Romagna, to engage 3,000 foot and some cavalry. The Reverend Governor of Rome was to have departed two days ago for France, and as he is going on account of this stir, he will probably remain as Nuncio with his most Christian Majesty.
The Germans who came from Mont' Alcino live according to their detestable custom, eating meat every day without distinction; and the Gascons do not desist from their acts of larceny, stripping people of their cloaks, taking bread and wine by force, and choosing to be masters of the women, although Cardinal Caraffa complained to their commanders, and threatened to punish them.
Fabricio de' Sanguini, son of Signor Ferrante, the Pope's relation, has arrived from the Emperor's Court, with a very gracious letter from King Philip to his father, and respectful with regard to the Pope. He says that the rupture was not known at the Court, though they were indeed expecting news of the Duke of Alva's having taken the field.
It is heard that in the direction of the Abruzzo, the Count di Populo has reinforced himself with horse and foot towards the river Tronto. Having obtained a copy of the letter written by the Duke of Alva to Cardinal S. Giacomo, I enclose it, (fn. 10) as besides its reported tenour as written by me, it contains some other particulars which were not then told nor are they mentioned at present, and I think them worthy of your Serenity's notice.
The Papal Government, to avail themselves of the Count of Pitigliano, have appointed him general of the cavalry; and to Matheo Stendardo they give the command of the mounted harquebusiers, the report continuing that, should they not raise the whole 500, they will at least have 300. Yesterday officials were sent in the Pope's name to take note of the number of mouths for which they have to provide, that the necessary supplies may be more authentically ascertained, it being said that the heads of districts (caporioni) will also be charged to give a list of all persons subject to their Prior (haveranno cargo di dar tatti quelli del loro Priore).
On Monday, there was Consistory, which the Pope entered in a rage, nor would he give audience to any one. He apologised for not having held Consistory sooner, because he had had, and continued to have, many and very great anxieties about his own life and that of others. He said that to this army and to its chiefs he would send juridically a monitory (un monitorio giuridicamente), to let them know what censures they have incurred by waging war on the Pope and the See Apostolic, although he said he did not expect it to be of any use; adding that he would take care not to fall into their hands, and that if compelled to abandon Rome, he shall go to a place where he will be received, and aided to exercise his office, which most important words have been held in very great account. He abused the Emperor in his usual language; of the King he said less evil, but what he uttered of his ministers was boundless.
Some Consistorial business was next despatched, and his Holiness wished to issue a decree, forbidding Bishops to hold dignities in any church, such as canonries, deaneries, archpresbyterships and the like, but the Cardinals endeavoured to prove to his Holiness that there are many mere titular Bishops, and others whose revenues are very scanty, and but for similar dignities they would be unable to maintain the episcopal grade, wherefore dispensations even for parochial benefices with care of soals were usually granted them. The Pope replied that those who granted such dispensations did not journey towards that bourne whither he is journeying, and that at any rate in the next Consistory he will pass this decree, and not only for the future, but also with regard to the past.
It having been told me that there were letters from France, I caused inquiry to be made of a person who could know it, and he wrote me the enclosed memorandum, (fn. 11) without the day and without any signature, for a good reason. The capture of Tivoli, and the near approach of the army to this city, being of such great importance as they are, and knowing at these present times in what hourly expectation of my letters your Serenity will be, I have chosen to despatch to you Iseppo Tagliagola, who arrived from Venice to-day, (as I have but two other sick couriers here,) and I have desired him to be with your Serenity on Saturday before the dismissal of the College, in which case you will be pleased to have him paid 16 golden crowns, I having given him as many more; and he gave me your Serenity's letters of the 26th, containing orders which shall be executed at my next audience.
Rome, 30th September 1556.


  • 1. Cardinal Carlo Caraffa commenced life as a soldier and quitted the Imperial service in consequence of a dispute about a prisoner of war taken by him when under the command of the Duke of Alva. Carlo Caraffa challenged his comrade who had possession of the prisoner, and when on his way to Italy for the duel, was arrested by the Emperor's order, and confined during some months at Trent. (See Cardella, vol. 4, p. 337.)
  • 2. Guido Ascanio Sforza, Cardinal of Santafiora, whose imprisonment in Castelsantangelo has been already recorded, was a staunch Imperialist.
  • 3. According to Boerio's Venetian Dictionary, the “rubbio” weighed twenty-one pounds avoirdupois.
  • 4. Joanna of Austria, widow of John, Prince of Portugal and Regent of Spain.
  • 5. This agent seems to have been Mr. Anthony Hussey, Governor of the English merchants at Antwerp, and agent in Flanders; and in Foreign Calendar, Mary, date Ghent, 26th September 1556, there is mention of credentials given him by the Duke of Savoy, acknowledging a letter from Queen Mary relative to his return.
  • 6. See Foreign Calendar, Mary, Index.
  • 7. See before, despatch dated Morette, 2nd September 1556.
  • 8. Nicholas de Lorraine, Comte de Vaudemont, Due de Merrœur. (See Foreign Calendar, Mary, Index.)
  • 9. Anne Stanhope, by descent (in the female line), a Plantagenet, second wife of the Protector. In October 1551, at the time of her husband's arrest, she also was sent to the Tower, together with Mr. Newdigate, whom she afterwards married, but I know not in what year. On the 11th August 1553, on the accession of Queen Mary, the Duchess of Somerset was released from the Tower, and died 16th April 1587. She was buried in Westminster Abbey. (See Machyn, and Queen Jane and Queen Mary (Camden Society publications), and Collins, vol. 1, pp. 171, 172).
  • 10. Not found.
  • 11. Not found.