Venice: May 1555, 16-25

Pages 72-82

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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May 1555, 16–25

May 16. Parti Secrete Consiglio X. File No. 9. 83. Motion made in the Council of Ten, about intercession made by Charles V. and King Philip, for repeal of the sentence passed on one of the accomplices of Lodovico Da l' Armi.
When the Imperial ambassador and the ambassador from the King of England return into the College for the decision about the safe conduct demanded for Marco Antonio Erizzo, be they answered by the Doge with his usual wisdom, in the name of this Council, in conformity with what his Serenity has now represented as having been said by him to the Imperial ambassador aforesaid in this matter, expressing himself in such a way that their magnificencies may know that our wish would be to gratify their Majesties, but apologising on the plea of the atrocity of the case. (fn. 1)
Ayes, 23; Noes, 3; Neutral, 0.
(May 18.) Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 84. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Medina Celi, who arrived postwise on the day before yesterday, to speak to the Emperor by order of the King of England, for the cause written in my last despatch, departed yesterday for Gravelines, whither the other Imperial commissioners have betaken themselves. The Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable were expected to-day at Ardres, and the other three French commissioners were to arrive in the course of three days. Those of the Queen of England have erected a wooden lodging (alloggiamento) in the country, near Guisnes and Ham, midway between Ardres and Gravelines, where they will reside (dove staranno); and when the others shall have betaken themselves to their places, they will go and congratulate them on their having come for so good a purpose, and inspect their commissions, for the purpose of subsequently commencing the negotiation of the peace. It is said that the right reverend Legate will not go to visit either of the parties, but will act (si adopererà) when both shall be on the spot.
This morning a courier arrived from England, with letters from the King and Queen addressed to the Emperor, requesting him most earnestly (efficacissimamente) to write to his adherents at Rome in favour of Cardinal Pole, and not take into account that his right reverend Lordship does not request him so to do (et non considerar che Sua Sigria. Revma. non la ricerchi di cio); sofor this reason chiefly, and to acquaint all his partisans with the present state of the negotiations for peace, the Emperor this day sent off a despatch to Rome showing that he is no less desirous of it than he is prepared for war.
Lord Courtenay (II Sigr. Cortiné) [Earl of Devonshire] arrived here yesterday, and the Emperor assigned him a lodging (li fece dar alloggiamento); and the day before, his Majesty sent for the Earl of Bedford, receiving him graciously, and giving him leave to go to Italy, which it is said will not be given so immediately to Courtenay.
Brussels, 18th May 1555.
May 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 85. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The commissioners of the Queen of England arrived at Calais on the 15th instant, Cardinal Pole was expected on the 17th, and the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable reached Ardres on the 15th, the Imperialists being at Gravelines; and on the arrival of the other three French commissioners and of the right reverend Legate, the negotiation for the peace will commence in a plain called Marck in the English territory, distant five miles from Calais, Ardres, and Gravelines, in the wooden lodging (nell' alloggiamento di legno) ordered by the Queen. The King of the Romans writes to the Emperor that it having pleased God to call the Queen [Joanna] their mother to himself, and knowing that should peace be made it is the Emperor's intention to cross to Spain, he wishes to confer with him; so he would fain know whether he purposes making the journey through Italy, or by way of England, that he may wait for him at Augsburg, or come to see him in Flanders. The Imperial troops are mustering between Namur and Marienburg, the French forces likewise marching in the same direction, with the intention of preventing the Imperialists from erecting a fortress near Marienburg, for which purpose the 3,000 pioneers mentioned by me were sent thither. Last evening a Spaniard arrived here postwise, sent by the King of England to the Emperor to tell him of the many libels which have been thrown into several houses and about the streets to his own dishonour and that of the Queen, for the purpose of making the people rebel against their Majesties, asking advice whether he ought to proceed against the inventor of this device (di tal fatto); giving him notice also of the suspicion entertained by them that the Queen had died in childbed.
To-morrow the Duchess of Alva will depart for Italy.
Brussels, 19th May 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signer Luigi Pasini.]
May 19 MS. St Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. 86. Cardinal Pole to Anne De Montmorency, Constable of France.
On his arrival here yesterday, heard by the Constable's letter of the l6th from Montreuil, and by the verbal statement of Monsieur de Lansac, that he purposed being at Ardres next Monday. Is very glad of this, as it confirms his hopes of peace. The Bishop of Arras has arrived at Gravelines. Has answered the Constable's enquiries made through Monsieur de Lansac, as also his letter from Paris of the 8th.
Calais, 19th May 1555.
May 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 87. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador resident here has lately negotiated the release of certain delegates (ambasciatori) who were sent from Cremona, Lodi, and Novara to the King of England, and who were captured by his most Christian Majesty's ships between Dover and Calais, and after much discussion the resolve announced to the ambassador was to the effect that had they been going to England on the service of the Queen they would have been released immediately, by reason of the good peace between France and her, but as amongst the papers of the delegates (ambasciatori) their commissions were found, showing that they were going to negotiate with the King about his own affairs, in which the Queen has no interest whatever, they were rightfully made prisoners and taken to Paris.
The Cardinal de Tournon will arrive at the court to-day, having been called by the King that he may make use of him during the absence of the Constable and the Cardinal of Lorraine.
Melun, 20th May 1555.
May 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 88. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Cardinal Pole arrived at Calais on the 18th instant, but the three remaining French commissioners had not reached Ardres. Lord Paget, the commissioner from the Queen of England, writes that as soon as they come he and his colleagues will spend four days in visiting the Imperial and French commissioners, and awaiting their return of the compliment. The posts which used to come from Calais to Brussels have by the Emperor's order been changed to Antwerp, his Majesty choosing Queen Maria to be the first to open the letters, to save the time lost by sending them from this place. The French commissioners are charged to negotiate a truce for 10 years, and the Imperialists the suspension of hostilities until September. A secretary is come to Brussels from the Duke of Mantua to urge the Emperor to have at heart the restitution of the marquisate of Montferrat. The Imperial forces are ordered to Namur, and 1,000 more pioneers have been sent to reinforce the 3,000, it being intended to build a fortress on a site three leagues beyond Marienburg, 1,200 paces in circumference, to secure the province of Namur; besieging, as it were, Marienburg, and facilitating invasion of the French territory and a safe retreat. At Antwerp Queen Maria has reformed the Council, changing all its former members, and adding three merchants, which election of new ministers has very greatly pleased the people and the merchants, and it is said the Queens will return to Brussels this week. Don Ferrante's agent, who departed with him, has come back, and tells me he asked leave to go and stay at his own home in Burgundy, but was desired not to depart until he obtained performance of the promises made him [Don Ferrante] by the Emperor, and until after his interview with King Philip, as both their Majesties have given him to understand that they think of employing him; the secretary adding that, should there be war, they will avail themselves of Don Ferrante, by reason of the necessity for having in Italy a personage of such valour and authority, but too many great things would be needed before they could move him from Mantua; and that in time of peace he considered it certain they would not again employ his Excellency.
A Spanish gentleman has arrived here postwise, sent by Cardinal Pacheco for the purpose, it is said, of praying the Emperor to favour his election as Pope, a demand which surprises the whole court, he not being a man of any ability.
The Duke of Alva, the Duchess, and the Signor Gio. Battista Gastaldo, departed this morning, and the Duke took with him eight post horses (et menò seco otto poste), having had advices yesterday that the cavalry of Marquis Albert, stationed on the Moselle, was no longer there, and that the Princes and free towns, to whom the Emperor wrote, assured him that his Excellency would be well greeted and in safety everywhere; notwithstanding which, he arrayed one of his servants sumptuously, so that on the journey he might be taken for the master. The Spaniards who accompany the Duchess are about 300, on horseback, including some 25 poor gentlemen of the Toledo family. The Italians complain that, having requested the Duke to take them into his service in several military capacities, he would not give any one, as he did to the Spaniards, the sure promise [to that effect]. Two of his Excellency's sons (the one legitimate and the other natural) departed postwise subsequently, and to-morrow will be followed by Don Garcia de Toledo and Don Juan de Figueroa, his Excellency's near relations. Between the Duke's sons and Don Garcia there is a misunderstanding, because the grade of general of the Spanish infantry, of which hope had been given to Don Garcia, was desired by the Duke's son, who caused his father to ask it of the Emperor, but being a youth who gives small indication of military prowess, and not wishing to prejudice Don Garcia, his Majesty would not grant it him. On the Duke's arrival in Italy he will receive his Majesty's orders about the bestowal of this grade, and that of the government of Sienna, concerning which, it has been much debated whether Don Garcia, being the brother-in-law of the Duke of Florence, (fn. 2) was adapted to such a post, nor has anything as yet been decided. The Emperor's order is for the Duke of Alva to remain a certain time at Milan, and when he goes to Naples Don Bernardino de Mendoza is to come into the Milanese as his lieutenant there, remaining always apart from the Duke, about whose person it is said there will be the Signor Gio. Battista Gastaldo and the Colonel Hironimo da Pisa. The Duke's partisans say that, being a personage of great goodness and good intellect, and very adroit in business, being also wealthy, he might do the Emperor and the King good service, as he has done heretofore. Others say that his Excellency, not having much knowledge of military matters, and being very faint-hearted, and his constitution impaired and feeble, he will be ill able to bear so important a charge; of which his Excellency being aware, he therefore, since he came from England, has suggested to the Emperor, and well nigh importuned him, to make peace or a good truce (Altri dicono che non havendo sua Eecellentia molta iatelligentia della militia et essendo molto timido di cuore, et fatto adusto et debile di complessione, sarà poco atto a sostenere così importante carico, et perchè sua Eccellentia si conosce tale, ha in tutti i ragionamenti da poi che venne d'Inghilterra ricordato et quasi importunato L'Impevatore a voler la pace ò una buona tregua), which would be the means of aggrandizing his family and kinsfolk, he having such powerful enemies as Don Ferrante, the Bishop of Arras, Don Ruy Gomez, and well nigh all the grandees of Spain.
The agent of Ascanio Colonna departs today, to reside with his Excellency, to whom the affair of his master has been referred, as likewise all Italian matters.
Brussels, 21st May 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 89. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King wished to conceal the death of his grandmother, Queen Archives. Joanna of Spain, which, although known so long ago as the beginning of last week, was kept secret until after Queen Mary's delivery; but it being heard subsequently that the event had been published immediately at the Emperor's court, his Majesty was compelled to adapt himself to his father's custom (uso), he and his whole court going into mourning without farther delay. Whilst the obsequies and funeral (mortorio) are being prepared, his Majesty will seclude himself, and not appear in public until after the performance of this ceremony, when he will divest himself [of mourning], and for joy of the delivery change his costume, should God be pleased to prosper it. Queen Joanna died on Good Friday the 12th ulto., of this death, which is natural, though of another which is accidental she may be said to have died many years ago. This demise, besides other consequences, will enable their Majesties (queste Maestà) to avail themselves of 20,000 or 25,000 ducats per annum, which had been assigned for the expenses and household provision of Queen Joanna, who was waited on precisely as if her royal dignity had undergone no restraint (la quale non era altrimente servita, come se fusse stata senza alcun impedimento nella sua dignità Regale).
Here, although matters are now proceeding quietly (le cose di quà benchè procedino al presente quiete), yet is everything in suspense, and dependent on the result of this delivery, which, according to the opinion of the physicians, unless it take place at this new phase of the moon two days hence, may be protracted beyond the full [moon], and [its] occultation, on the 4th or 5th of next month (quando non siegua in questa nuova congiontione di luna che sarà fra dui giorni, possa andar più in là che al tondo et oppositione alli 4 ò 5 dell' altro); (fn. 3) her Majesty's belly having greatly declined, which is said yet more to indicate the approaching term (essendosi molto abbassato il ventre a sua Maestà, segno, secondo dicono, di avvicinarsi tuttavia più al fine).
King Philip gave the same commissions and orders about the fresh election to the Popedom, to the Imperial ambassador at Rome, and to the Cardinals his adherents (Cardinali confidenti), as on the former occasion, proposing the most illustrious Legate [in preference] to any [other candidate]; and although the said commissions were then of no use, the election having taken place before they arrived, the present instructions are expected to arrive [in time] and to prove serviceable.
The Constable and the Cardinal of Lorraine arrived at Boulogne on the 18th, and were to be at Ardres on the 19th; on that same day the Bishop of Arras with the other Imperial Commissioners arrived at Gravelines, and Cardinal Pole, who departed hence after the others, is already known to have made a good passage [to Calais] on Saturday the 18tb. All those who are to attend being already assembled, it may be supposed that the negotiation will commence speedily. I desire to suggest to your Serenity whether you would think it fit, in case any peace be concluded between these Princes, for me to perform any office with his Majesty here (con questa regia Maestà); in order that you may be named, amongst their friends and confederates. Now that as he is master of Naples and Milan, and will be mentioned distinctively (hora che sua Maestà come patrona di Napoli et Milano separatamente sarà nominata), you might give me a commission to that effect, as I dare not speak on the subject without your express order, from lack of which I have hesitated to send any one of my attendants (un mio) across the Channel, to the conference, so as more authentically and speedily to acquaint you with the negotiation there, from fear, as nobody can make the passage without a permit or unknown to those on whom it depends, of possibly displeasing the parties, and lest my messenger should be ill received, nor did I know how far it might be agreeable to your Serenity; but the other ambassadors will perhaps not have failed to supply this deficiency, they being able to do so with greater convenience and less regard than I (et minor rispetto di me).
The three ships prepared by these English merchants for the voyage to Muscovy and Cathayo (Cattajo), being already loaded and supplied with every requisite, will depart this week with greater hope of prosperous navigation out and home than the last time.
The summaries received with your Serenity's letters of the 23rd ult, were communicated as usual.
London, 21st May 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 90. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Commissioners who were missing arrived at Ardres on the 20th instant, and they all demanded of the English Commissioners a safe-conduct from King Philip, not being satisfied with the one from the Emperor alone, as his Imperial Majesty might die.
In the place where the Queen of England had the house built, four doors have been made, near each of which is a house, three being for the commissioners, and the fourth for the right reverend Legate; and the first, where the conference is to be held, will be in the centre, and in the evening all will return to their own quarters.
The Imperialists have commenced the fortress near Dinant in a site considered excellent by nature, and Martin Van Holt? (Martin Vairos—sic) is gone with 7,000 infantry to support them.
Cardinal Pacheco's agent has left for England to make the same request to the King that he did to the Emperor, and to give account of his master's proceedings in the kingdom of Naples.
Brussels, 23d May 1555.
May 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 91. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Went to Fontainebleau and was invited to dinner by the Duke de Guise, who afterwards presented me to the King. Asked him if he had any news of the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable. The King replied that he had advices that his commissioners, with the Imperialists, and the English, and Cardinal Pole likewise, arrived at the places appointed them on the 20th, namely, the French at Ardres, the Imperialists at Gravelines, and the English together with Cardinal Pole at Calais, and that his most Christian Majesty's commissioners had sent Mons. de Lansac with the safeconduct in his name, and were waiting for the Imperialists to do the like; whereupon the day of the conference would be appointed, and that it would take place about the 24th; adding that the English had brought with them five wooden houses to be erected in the open country, one for Cardinal Pole, one for the Imperialists, one for the French, one for the English themselves, and the fifth, in which the conference was to take place, would be in the centre. His Majesty then remaining silent, I asked him what he hoped about peace, in reply to which, the words he uttered were these, “Peace! either truce or peace; my ministers will not depart from what is reasonable;” but when pronouncing that first word “peace” he made a certain motion with his body and eyes, whereby it seemed to me to comprehend that there was not much hope of it in his Majesty, who then added, “For the present it is not possible to form any opinion, as the Imperialists say many fair words, and the King of England shows himself very anxious for it; but in two or three conferences, which I hope my ministers will have held by the 10th or 12th of next month, we shall ascertain the fact.” After this, continuing the conversation, he said that the Queen of England had not yet brought forth, which began to surprise everybody, but that the ambassador resident here had told him lately that she could not go beyond the 20th of this month; and although some persons chose to disbelieve her pregnancy, and an individual who had seen her Majesty asserted that her body bore no signs whereby any one could vouch for it, yet nevertheless, knowing women's ways (il proceder che fanno le donne), his most Christian Majesty was of opinion that she was pregnant, but exceeded her time (ma che scorresse), as they often do, but that at any rate the matter will soon be very manifest to everybody.
A very intelligent nobleman of great quality told me in the course of conversation, that as to the will of the King, it was notorious that he was not inclined either towards peace or truce, but that the persuasions of the Constable, of the Cardinal of Lorraine, and of all the others were so stringent, and put his most Christian Majesty to such straits (et metevano sua Maestà Christianissima in così stretti termini), laying before him the poverty of the people, the death and imprisonment of so many of his subjects, the expense incurred, and other similar matters; that as they had induced him to agree to this conference, so might it be apprehended that finding the mode to make peace well nigh impossible, should the Emperor persist in not consenting to it, these ministers, from their great wish for quiet, may persuade his most Christian Majesty to purchase it by restoring to him some part of what he has in hand; and he gave me a hint about the fortresses retained by him in Tuscany.
Melun, 23d May 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
May 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 92. News-letter enclosed in the despatch of Giovanni Michiel, to the Doge and Senate, dated 27th May 1555.
On the 20th instant, Lord Paget went to Gravelines, to visit the Emperor's commissioners (Deputati), and on the morrow, did the like by those of the most Christian King at Ardres; and on Ascensionday, the 23d, all the commissioners for either party, together with the Legate (Cardinal Pole) and the English lords, assembled in the country at the place called Marck (La Marca), (fn. 4) two leagues equi-distant from Ardres and Gravelines, where, by order and at the cost of the most Serene Queen, wooden lodgings had been prepared for all the aforesaid personages, who were separated from each other by a centre hall in which to meet on the days of the conference. (fn. 5)
At this first congress the English lords arranged that neither the Imperialists nor the French were to have more than a hundred horse, with one single [running] footman for each, which arrangement greatly displeased the French lords, as they had come fully attended, accompanied both by noblemen and prelates, and by gentlemen and servants. By this regulation they were compelled, both Bishops and Knights of St. Michael (Cavalieri dell' ordine) as well as the Princes likewise, to take but one stirrup-man (staffiero) with them, and for the avoidance of giving offence to any one, owing to the great number of gentlemen there, it was requisite to draw lots for the hundred [horse] who on that occasion were to accompany the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable, promising the others, in number 400, who remained at Ardres, that they should go from time to time by lot, in turn, whenever the commissioners shall chance to assemble.
Calais, 23d May 1555.
May 25. Original Desptch, Venetian Archives. 93 News-letter enclosed in the despatch of Giovanni Michiel to the Doge and Senate, dated 1st June.
As determined on Ascension-day, Cardinal Pole with the English commissioners were, at 1 p.m. yesterday, at the site of the conference, where the French commissioners had arrived shortly before, and being taken by the English commissioners to the Cardinal's lodgings (stanza), they withdrew into the privy-chamber (in la camera privata) where they remained together for upwards of two hours; and on their departure the Imperialists came and remained as long a time or a little less; both parties stating their rights and pretensions, accusing their adversaries and apologising for themselves. In the meanwhile, the French commissioners remained in their own quarters, and when the Imperialists returned to theirs, they were requested by Monsieur de Lansac to discourse together in the common hall (nella commune casa) of the conference, where on arriving, being accompanied as usual by the English commissioners, the Cardinal of Lorraine spoke apart with the Bishop of Arras, and the Constable did the like with Monsieur de Benincourt (fn. 6) for an hour, during which Cardinal Pole remained in his own apartment; but according to report, they merely treated about the Emperor's French prisoners; after which, all having taken leave of each other very courteously, they returned to their lodgings in their towns, departing from the place [Marck] at sunset, having arranged to return to the conference on the morrow.
Calais, 25th May 1555.
May 25. Filza No. 134. Miscellanea di Atti diversi Manoscritti, Venetian Archives. 94. James Basset to Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire.
My very good (sic) [Lord?]
I have received two letters from you of the 8th of this instant with the commission to us five (sic) [touching?] the bargain and sale with the other box with the patent and the bill for Mr. Comptroller which I delivered; and first touching Mr. Blunt, (fn. 7) I have procured for him to go with my Lord Admiral to the Emperor's court, and being there upon his letter, or my Lord Admiral's in his behalf to Mr. Petre, or to me, I doubt not to obtain his license, as you do wish; and this is thought to be the best way for him, and with less difficulty.
Concerning yourself, that manor you purposed to sell is entailed, as we be informed by Heydon. We have sent for your patent to try the matter certainly, but Heydon declareth upon his credit that it is assuredly so. Also there are other matters in it whereby your purpose therein is frustrate. I cannot at this time discourse as I fain would at length, for want of time, wherefore I will but touch the matter now, deferring the more full declaration thereof to my next letters. Your friends be of the advice, saying your mind cannot be accomplished in this matter. To supply it, the best way is thought to be a general survey, whereby, without any sale of lands or any spoil of wood sale, or any excessive leases, you may be holpen with what will serve your turn, and if you mind to take that way as I . . . ve, which way it can be no (nowe) otherwise than may be, by substantial, skilful, and honest persons, a perfect survey made, whereby it will appear what may be gotten, and the book may be sent thereof unto yourself, by the which you shall be as perfectly instructed as any of us, and nothing to be determined until your Lordship, upon the sight of the book, shall signify your pleasure what you will have us to do in it anew. This way cannot be prejudicial unto you, for the survey being made whereby the state of your lands will fully appear unto you what may be done, yet your Lordship is at your liberty to do as you shall think best when you know it. This is the opinion of those you put in trust.
I trust my Lady your mother shall have a chamber in the Court.
There is 430l. which Heydon hath, and will shortly pay for this half year's rent, whereof 200l. is paid to Low and Blunt; 100l. I shall shortly receive, and for the other 100 I am contented to spare it, to be disbursed among the poorer sort of your creditors which hath most want, and that as it shall be ordered will satisfy for the time the most part of them. Walker receiveth the money of Heydon, and payeth it out by our order.
I am glad to perceive, as I do by letters from Mr. Bonvisi, (fn. 8) that your Lordship arrived at Brussels about the 15th of May, and especially because I understand the Duke of Alva was not gone before your departure, which the King and Queen wished earnestly, and so did all your friends; and now I desire much to be advised how you were received and used there, which I doubt not was exceeding honourably. I rejoice at the kindness Mr. Bonvisi showeth you.
My Lord Cardinal past over the seas to Calais this day seveñight, and had a goodly passage as might be, and was nothing sick. My Lord Chancellor and my Lord Steward past the Wednesday or Thursday before. On Wednesday last I think all the commissioners met. God grant they may bring their good purpose to happy conclusion.
My Lady Elizabeth is at her full liberty (sic, the word “and” erased), yet she remaineth still at the court. She hath seen the Queen's highness twice. I did all your messages and commendations, according to your Lordship's letter, who all were most glad to hear of you, and most humbly and heartily, every one by one, recommendeth them unto you. Your Lordship did well specially to name them, because they might see their names in your letter, and I, for haste, omit them.
Her Majesty, thanks be to God, is in as good health as may be wished, and by the next full of the moon, or shortly thereupon, I perfectly hope in God his goodness we shall have that comfortable news of her Highness' happy and prosperous deliverance.
This, with my duty most humbly remembered, with like thanks for your Lordship's great goodness unto me, I will commit the same to the blessed tuition of Almighty God.
From London, the 25th of May, in great haste, as you may perceive by it.
Your Lordship's most assuredly at commandment,
(Signed) James Bassett.
Directed: To the right honorable and my verie good Lorde my Lo. of Devon, at Brussels.
Contemporary endorsement; 25 May 1555. Mr. Bassett.
[Original draft.]


  • 1. Marco Antonio Erizzo had been convicted as an accomplice in the murder of his uncle Mafio Bernardo, for which crime he was banished for life to the islands of Cherso and Ossero, and had probably escaped from thence. (See Venetian Calendar, vol. v. p. 215.)
  • 2. In March 1539, Cosmo de Mediei married Eleanor, daughter of Don Pedro de Toledo, Viceroy of Naples. (See L'Art de vérifier les Dates.)
  • 3. There was a new moon on the 5th June 1555 (see L'Art de vérifier les Dates, ed. Paris, 1770, p. 82).
  • 4. A village in the Calais Pale. (See Chronicle of Calais.)
  • 5. A rough outline of the “wooden-lodgings” accompanies this news letter.
  • 6. Benincourt [Bugnicourt], M. de. (See Lalain, Ponce de, in the late Mr. Turnbull's Index, 1553–1558.)
  • 7. Query John Blount. See Domestic Calendar, Mary, p. 66, 1555, May 8, Calais. “Earl of Devonshire to James Basset. Desires him to procure for his uncle John Blount a licence to travel.”
  • 8. The Antwerp merchant, Anthony Bonvisi. (See Foreign Calendar, Queen Mary, Index.)