Venice: November 1556, 16-20

Pages 788-804

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

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November 1556, 16–20

Nov. 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 703. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador at Brussels, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day had audience of the King; congratulated him on having risen from his bed, and on being in better health than had been said; and then commenced telling him that, although I considered it certain that Don Ruy Gomez would have communicated to his Majesty in detail all that I said to him, I would then repeat it, and remarked that in the course of my statement his Majesty seemed now and then pensive. He then answered me precisely as follows: “Ambassador, I have told you several times, informing the Signory likewise, that I greatly desire peace with everybody, and especially with his Holiness, who willed to have these difficulties with me, and not I with him, so I will do all that can be expected from me, so far as is compatible with my dignity and with the security of the kingdom of Naples. You know that I desired nothing else save that the Signory should be the arbitrator to hear and judge these disputes (differentie), and I again pray the State, and request you to persuade those lords, to have one of their agents present, that they may know whether the defect is on my side or on the Pope's; if his Holiness fails, let them perform such offices as to make him condescend to fair terms; if I fail, all their commands will be obeyed by the Duke, who has been thus commissioned by me repeatedly;” and again the King said to me, “I pray you to persuade the Signory to have an agent of theirs present at the negotiation, and that he do perform a good office, and I am willing to believe that they, knowing how I for my own part do not cease desiring the peace, will choose to continue in that good friendship which they have always had with the Emperor, my father and Lord, and with myself.”
The King then remaining silent, I rejoined that I would speak with him as of myself, with such frankness and freedom as I thought he desired in those who might be able to tell him a thing to his advantage and honour, but that I was not going to do so without an express command from his Majesty, who answered me, with a smile, that he would listen to me willingly, and he prayed me to speak freely; so I continued, “Your Majesty has always assured me that the real object of your intention is nothing but the wish for peace with every one, and especially with his Holiness, and I firmly believed it, thinking it excellent and most prudent,” but that the proceedings of his ministers did not afford such testimony to the world as these present times required, his Majesty being at war with the holy See Apostolic. I therefore told him that what was passing required his steady and prudent attention with regard to future events and to his title of Catholic King, and that having heretofore made to me his profession of being the obedient son of the holy See Apostolic, it behoved him to act precisely as the son truly good and prudent does by his father, tolerating ill looks and words rather than do any deeds against him, to which he never has recourse save at the last extremity. I said that I believed his Majesty had really a mind to be this true son of the holy See Apostolic, but that by reason of the great and alarming progress made by his troops against the said See, it did not seem to me that his ministers had equally well understood this very just mind and most prudent opinion, as invariably expressed to me by his Majesty in reply to me, as the said troops continued doing many bad deeds, whereas he, being a Catholic King, was bound to defend it against those who sought to occupy its territory; so I would tell him ingenuously that when writing to your Serenity I knew not what form of words to employ to convince you fully of this his goodwill, and at one and the same time to satisfy the State that the many offices enjoined me had produced the desired effect, and I prayed him to believe me that your Serenity also desired that he should keep the kingdom of Naples and preserve his honour; and as I saw that his Majesty looked on me kindly, I then added my opinion that the son had less cause to stand upon his dignity with his father than the father had with the son; so as the Pope and the Church are the common parents of all Christian princes they must all respect them, and not wait to be respected; and in conclusion I requested his Majesty to take my words in good part as they came from a sincere heart, by birth naturally inclined towards peace, and that they were uttered in the course of duty by a great lover of his welfare, owing to the so many truly regal virtues which since a long while I had known him to possess.
His Majesty replied, “I am much pleased with what you have said to me, because I know you to be a sincere and prudent nobleman, and in consequence of your discourse I will consider with my councillors what fresh commission can be sent to the Duke of Alva, and will then let you know the whole;” and in conclusion he again repeated to me, “I earnestly request you to persuade the Signory, as they will not arbitrate, to have one of their agents present at the negotiation.” I rejoined that I hoped firmly that when consulting with his council he would find an expedient for removing the difficulties of this matter, and that I left his presence cheered by this auspicious announcement, trusting the resolve would be in conformity with the service of God and for the benefit of your Serenity's affairs and those of all Italy, this result being your chief wish at the present moment, and that on receiving his Majesty's message I would communicate it in detail to the State.
With regard to the difference between the words written at the commencement of the King's letter to the ambassador Vargas and those uttered to me by his Majesty and Don Ruy Gomez at divers times with so many particulars, as notified by me to your Serenity, I now inform you that two days after the despatch of the said letter Don Ruy Gomez told me that the secretary Saya had evinced but little prudence in its composition, and that he had caused this his error to be corrected by writing other letters to Vargas' secretary resident with your Serenity, and that those which had been written on this subject to the Duke of Alva did very well (stavano bene), and would not cause any doubt about his Majesty's goodwill. I heard subsequently from the Regent of Milan that the said secretary had been blamed and reproved by Don Ruy Gomez, and that his ignorance and pride, or that of the person who ordered it in such a form, for the sake of maintaining, to use his own expression, too much repute, had been too great, and that these were not the times to bind his King to such punctilios about dignity, as these fashions would prove very detrimental to his interests; and he prayed me most earnestly to take the business in hand, and (to use his own words) take the road for performing good offices with my natural prudence, as he swore to me by his life that King Philip would bear the most illustrious Signory as much respect as if they were his mother. As I did not precisely understand what sort of error this had been, I answered both one and the other civilly that what the King and Don Ruy Gomez said to me I had written word for word, and that your Serenity retained me amongst the servants employed by you on account of my sincerity, and not because any of my other qualities entitled me to such honour.
This secretary Saya (fn. 1) some two months ago was introduced into the council of state, secretary Gonzalo Perez having gone to Louvain for change of air on account of his indisposition, and knowing in how imprudent a form he had written the letter to the Viceroy of Sicily about the damage done by the galliots in the waters of Cyprus, I went to Don Ruy Gomez and showed him certain passages purporting that in my memorial things were said such as I had never thought of. Don Ruy Gomez sent for him, and made him write the letter over again in my presence, I telling him that had he inspected my memorial carefully he would not have written the conceits and words that he did of his own accord (come da se), and he apologised for having erred, he knew not how; so that everybody attributes the blame to the said secretary. Thus in particular what I wrote to your Serenity about the words uttered to me by the King was true, as also what was written in conformity by the King to the Duke of Alva, as appears by the paragraph in the letter of Secretary Capella which your Serenity condescended to send me; and I have to add that at various periods the Cardinal of Mantua sent hither three dissertations to Don Juan Manrique, in each of which he constantly counselled King Philip to refer himself spontaneously to your Serenity (a rimettersi di propria volontà sua a vostra Serenità), and to appoint you judge, and that it should be sought to deposit Paliano in your hands. Since then the Lord Hieronimo da Correggio (fn. 2) and the Regent of Milan have repeatedly exhorted the King and Don Ruy Gomez to their utmost to end the war well and fairly by appointing your Serenity arbitrator, and you may rest assured that here you are alike feared and esteemed (che quì eè è de pari temuta che stimata).
I hear from Antwerp that all the chief merchants are beginning in great haste to wind up their affairs and return to France, the French ambassador resident here having giving them warning to that effect, and a number of Germans in that town have sent their agents to King Philip requesting him most earnestly to repay the loan of about one million and four hundred thousand crowns, with which they supplied the Emperor a long while ago, and for which they say they have never received either capital or interest. The agents were dismissed with fair promises, and Don Bernardino de Mendoza has been despatched to treat this matter with the intention of promising them as much as 25 per cent. interest for the future.
The deputies of this province of Brabant persist in their determination not to contribute the sum demanded of them unless the three new taxes on wine, beer, and bread are repealed.
The Emperor left [Laredo (fn. 3) ] for Valladolid on the 3rd ultimo without transacting any of the business proposed to him by the grandees of Spain, and has proceeded to his monastery of S. Yuste.
Brussels, 16th November 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Nov. 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 704. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have nothing to tell save to acquaint your Serenity with the auspicious progress made in the matter of religion through two additional monasteries, the most illustrious Legate having on this very day to his infinite pleasure gone in person together with the Lord High Treasurer and the Bishop of Ely eight miles hence to the ancient Carthusian place (luogo) of Shene (Seī) on the banks of the river near the royal palace of Richmond, to replace in possession, as he did by the royal authority, several fathers of that order, the remains for the greater part of those who were there heretofore, and at the time of the devastations (delle rovine) not choosing to renounce the habit were compelled to depart and retire to Flanders, from whence they now return, besides some who remained here and have resumed the habit.
In the same locality (nel medesimo loco), but on the opposite side of the river, at Sion—an ancient and most notable monastery of nuns which was suppressed at the time of those devastations (in quelle rovine), and which the Duke of Somerset appropriated to himself, converting it into one of the most beautiful palaces in this neighbourhood, it being subsequently confiscated by the Crown at the time of his execution— (fn. 4) they replaced some of the aforesaid nuns, who have returned to their habit and ancient [religious] orders; so that not a day passes without discovering persons who replete with zeal and piety do not hesitate to renounce both liberty and their many conveniences, and to retire to monasteries there to live in subjection, want, and poverty, thus increasing the service and worship of God.
Three days ago, much on the sudden and in great haste, Francesco Piamontese was sent to the King with orders to return immediately, and as there was no apparent occasion for this, another messenger having been sent off only two days previously, it has seemed strange, nor as yet have I been able to discover the cause, about which it will have been more easy for your Serenity to obtain some information.
Dr. Martin has brought word on his return from Antwerp that the English [merchants-adventurers] there will no longer prevent the Londoners from exporting anything at all times, but some claims urged by one side and the other remain undecided. (fn. 5)
London, 16th November 1556.
Nov. 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 705. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day, when the King had dined, and after the Duke de Guise had taken leave of the Queen and of the other ladies, they mounted on horseback together, and followed by the Constable, by the Cardinals, by all the Princes now at the court, and by a very great number of gentlemen, they set out, and the King having accompanied him to a plain about half a mile from the castle [of St. Germain?], gave him leave, and his Excellency departed for Paris, accompanied by the greater part of the aforesaid persons, and will remain two days in that place and then set out for Lyons, where he will arrive in the course of the present month, as he travels leisurely, his wife [Anne d'Este] accompanying him as far as that place. His brothers, the Duke d'Aumale and the Marquis d'Elbœuf, departed with his Excellency, and the Duke de Nemours [Jacques de Savoie], who will have the charges in the army already mentioned by me, and besides the infantry and cavalry, all of which have commenced marching, he will be followed by upwards of 400 gentlemen without any allowance or stipend, but merely by reason of his great name and the extreme affection borne him by this entire kingdom. The said Duke will stop at Lyons for some days to make many arrangements required for the war, and chiefly to take a considerable sum of money which he will find there, thus giving more time for the march of the army, which, although they say it will be ready by Christmas, the belief is that it cannot take the field before the middle of January at the earliest. It seems that, according to the commission received by his Excellency, he is at liberty to assist the Pope in such ways as shall be deemed by him most opportune (per quelle vie che da lui seranno giudicate più opportune), but it is foreseen that there are understandings in the Milanese, which it is said will be more matured from day to day, through the presence of his Excellency, and many persons believe that the war will be limited to those parts, but of this I cannot now give such confirmation as I hope to do hereafter. The King has made considerable donations to these lords, and to many gentlemen who accompany his Excellency, which gifts have all been diminished by the Constable, who thus openly discountenances (così apertamente disfavorisse) all the provisions to be made for this expedition, thus making many persons suspect that the commander-in-chief and the army may suffer some inconvenience, although the Cardinal of Lorraine speaks very loudly in favour of his brother, and the Duke de Guise himself has told many persons that he is sure of having fixed supply for the payment of the army during six months, to which effect the Guise brothers have accommodated the King with a good sum of money, in addition to which they have borrowed some from several of their friends at interest, under promise [of repayment], and it is heard that the Duke's father-in-law, the Duke of Ferrara, has given him his word to supply him largely. Notwithstanding these resolves, it nevertheless seems that the hope of the Pope's coming to terms is not yet extinct, nor does the Nuncio deny this, though it is apparently true that Cardinal Caraffa, rather than his Holiness, would consent to an adjustment, but knowing that your Serenity has been already and more authentically informed about this matter, it is not my province to say anything more about it. The despatch for Constantinople is not yet gone, and M. de Cambre having fallen ill, M. de Vigne will go in his stead, with the same resolve as written by me four or six days ago, but from what I hear he will join the Duke de Guise on the road, and not proceed on his journey until his Excellency be more positively determined about the affairs of Rome. The Prince of Ferrara, who, as I wrote, had prepared to depart with M. de Guise, is not of gone, having determined to await the return from Ferrara of his ambassador, who to the great surprise of everybody delays from day to day his coming, with which it is hoped to have the decision formed by the Duke.
I wrote heretofore to your Serenity the reply given by the King to the Duke of Mantua about the revenues of Montferrat, and the other day, when his Excellency's ambassador pressed for the settlement of this matter he obtained nothing but general expressions; so on hearing that the King had given to some Mantuan rebels certain mills and other property belonging to his Excellency, the ambassador complained of this, and assured the Constable that the Duke will accept of no recompense whatever, showing him his commission to that effect, but as yet he has accomplished nothing.
Poissi, 16th November 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Nov. 16. Lettere Secrete, Capi Conso X., File No. 5, Venetian Archives. Legatis solus.
706. The Chiefs of the Ten to the Bailiff of Padua (Potestati Paduœ). (fn. 6)
After the death of Lord Courtenay at Padua, the reverend ambassador of the most serene Queen of England [Peter Vannes] requested your predecessor to effect the sequestration of the letters and writings belonging to his said late lordship, and to hold them in custody. This your said predecessor caused to be done, and having had them sealed in a casket, they were deposited in the Paduan archives (in quella cancellaria).
The said reverend ambassador has now demanded of us the said writings, concerning which demand of his, wishing to have a little consideration, and suspecting that in the meanwhile they may be in like manner demanded of you, we have chosen to send these present letters to you immediately to warn you that, until you receive another order from us, you must not allow them to be given to anyone, and should they be asked of you, you will excuse yourself, as it were spontaneously, saying you are not informed about this affair, which happened under your predecessor, gaining time adroitly, as you will know how to do, without showing that you have had any commission from us, and giving advice of the receipt of these present letters, and of any request that may have been made to you in this matter, to the Chiefs of our Council of Ten.
Lecta Collegio.
Nov. 17. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 7 B. p. 75. 707. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
A cardinal, who shows himself much the friend and servant of your Serenity, said to my secretary, with regard to the present disturbances, that “in this year and half of his pontificate the Pope has spent much more than a million of gold, and all to the detriment of the See Apostolic, and now at the commencement of the war he is in want of a thousand crowns, and therefore has recourse to such violent measures as would scarcely be adopted had it lasted ten years, and it is very evident that he cannot sustain it without assistance from others who are at a distance; yet will he not give ear to peace, which is the sole remedy for impending ruin, this side departing more and more from the means whereby it might be effected, as for instance, coming to details, leaving generalities aside, and saying 'this clause I reject,' 'this other is unfair,' 'it might be done thus,' 'and this would not displease,' for, to say the truth, discussion removes difficulties. Here they talk solely of dethroning kings and emperors, although the King of Spain is not a king of cups; (fn. 7) to me it seems that since hundreds of years there has not been a greater prince in Christendom than he is. When the Pope shall have deprived him he will have done the last he can do, and his Majesty from necessity will go over to the schism; whereas at present he dares not declare himself openly, and it might come into his mind to occupy the patrimony of St. Peter and never give it back, with the intention of having Rome as a frontier for the kingdom of Naples, annexing it to Sienna and the state of Florence; and do you suppose that in order to keep Rome he would have to increase his present expenditure? His ordinary paid forces of horse and foot in the kingdom of Naples would suffice him. But supposing that this do not take place, there is the danger of the Pope's giving the French the fortresses of the Church, as security for the expenses they will incur in the war, it being told me (horresco referens) that they demand even Ancona; nor do I know whether worse news could be imagined for the whole of Christendom, but especially for the most serene Signory, by reason of the existing friendship and confederacy between the King of France and Sultan Soliman, besides the league he has with the Duke of Ferrara, the state of Venice being thus in the midst of them; nor is the world in the dark about the will (animo) of the French, and their insolence; which things the Pope ought to see, and avoid them by making the agreement, as he might effect it on very honourable terms, and not persevere in a war which will ruin the world, and for which no cause can be discovered. 'Oh!' [says the Pope] 'I choose to drive the Spaniards out of the kingdom of Naples.' To do this it would be requisite first of all to know why, and then how to be able to do it, to have made arrangements and formed understandings. I, for my own part, believe that the King of Spain before commencing war against the Pope imagined that he might be attacked by the King of France and others, and thought how he should defend himself, and were it to be said that he has no experience of military matters it may be rejoined that he has no lack either of councillors or of military commanders; but, in conclusion, unless the Almighty stretch forth His arm we shall first of all remain encircled and deprived of part of our territory by the enemy, and of the other part by (thus will I call them) false friends, and the rest of Italy will not fare well, not to say worse; et utinam sim falsus vates.”
Rome, 17th November 1556.
[Italian, in cipher throughout.]
Nov. 17. Parti Secrete, Conso X., File No. 9, Venetian Archives. 708. Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta by Francesco Foscarini and Alvise Gritti.
That the bailiff of Padua be written to, to send hither immediately, to the chiefs of this Council, the casket containing the writings of the late Lord Courtenay, for such purpose as shall subsequently seem fit to this Council, the which casket the said bailiff to send in a wrapper (in un imboglio), in a cautious manner and secretly, without communicating it to anyone.
Ayes, 20.
Nov. 17? (fn. 8) Parti Secrete, Consn X., File No. 9, Venetian Archives. 709. Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta by the Councillor Filippo Capello and the Chief Paolo Contarini.
Will (vol) that the present matter be delayed until a reply be received to the letter sent to Padua last evening, and another request be made by the ambassador of the most Serene Queen of England.
Ayes, 7. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
Nov. 17. Lettere Secrete, Capi Conso X., File No. 5, Venetian Archives. Legatis solus.
710. The Chiefs of the Ten to the Bailiff of Padua (Potestati Padua).
By the authority of our Council of Ten and Junta we charge you to send hither immediately to the chiefs of the said Council the casket containing the papers (scritture) of the late Lord Courtenay, the which casket you will send in a wrapper (invoglio) (sic), so that no one may know what it be, and this you will do cautiously and secretly, without communicating it to any person, advising the said chiefs of the execution by letters in your own hand.
Vigore partis.
Endorsed: Ser Philipp. Capello, cons.
Ser Paulus Contarini, caput.
— 7.
Ser Franciscus Fuscarenus,
Ser Alovisius Gritti, cons.
— 20.
— 0.
— 1 (fn. 9).
Nov. 18. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 7 B. p. 76. 711. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The battering of Hostia continued Sunday, Monday, and yesterday morning, and in the afternoon they made two assaults, the first by the Spaniards, the second by the Italians, both of which were repulsed, many of the assailants being killed, amongst whom were the sergeant-major of the Spaniards and two well-born Neapolitans. The Signor Vespasian Gongaza, captain of the Italian infantry, had his upper lip carried away by an arquebuse shot, and a ball struck Ascanio della Cornia, but the gorget over his corslet saved him. The Duke of Alva then ordered the third assault, but the besieged seeing they could not hold out demanded a parley and surrendered at discretion, and are now in camp, the Imperialists having made their entry at 7 p.m. Hostia was defended by 110 foot soldiers, commanded by a Roman, one Horatio del Sbirro, who is much praised for his courage. On Sunday, by order of Cardinal Caraffa, Cardinal Sta. Fior sent back Placido to the Duke of Alva to treat the conference, and the Duke is supposed to have detained him until he saw the result of the attack on Hostia.
Rome, 18th November 1556.
Nov. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 712. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador at Brussels, to the Doge and Senate.
I, this morning, being ill in bed with stone and fever, the King sent Secretary Calderon to tell me that in conformity with my request that he would give satisfaction to your Serenity, he had willingly determined to give very ample commissions to the Duke of Alva, in order to effect some pacific adjustment with the Pope (qualche conclusione di pace co 'l Pontce), and that Don Ruy Gomez had charged him, Calderon, to show me the draft of a letter written by his Majesty on this subject. I answered him as becomingly as my usual malady allowed of, and subsequently I was visited by Don Francisco de Vargas, late ambassador with your Serenity, who told me that the King had communicated to him what I said, and what he had decided about enlarging his commission to the Duke of Alva, and writing himself to your Serenity about this matter, because the secretary who had remained with you wrote hither, that although the majority of those most illustrious Lords very greatly esteemed his Majesty's spontaneous goodwill as evinced by selecting your Serenity for arbitrator, he understood that a few of them nevertheless deemed it an artifice his Majesty's having written differently at the commencement of his letter to what he said to me, for the sake of taking the step with great repute to himself; Vargas praying me in conclusion to communicate to him frankly (as his Lordship had done by me) all that had reached me through this last despatch from your Serenity. I answered him that not only had no mention been made to me of this circumstance, but that in the first paragraph of the letter I was desired to thank his Majesty greatly for the trust he had reposed in you, and I then imparted to his Lordship all the rest of its contents in the most loving form possible, because (independently of other respects) he seems to me heartily grateful, as proclaimed by him universally, for the loving demonstrations and very handsome present made to him by your Serenity on his departure. His Lordship then said to me the following precise words: “His Majesty writes to the most serene Signory, and will do so again and again, and demonstrate his wish to do whatever the State shall wish, so that not one of those lords will fail to believe that such is the personal desire of his Majesty.”
The ambassador from Florence has been to negotiate with the King, without having occasion to do so through letters from his master, and one of my confidants informs me that he urged his Majesty not readily to condescend to the agreement with the Pope.
Don Ferrante Gonzaga has written a very long letter to King Philip, recommending him to adjust his affairs with the Pope in the best way he can, alluding to the many evils which might ensue were these disputes not terminated, and that he knows clearly that none of the potentates of Italy, nor of the rest of Christendom, can ever approve of this continuation of the war against the Church.
There has arrived here the Abbate Gerio, who is in the service of Cardinal Morone, but who is come in the name of the Cardinal of Trent to show his Majesty what is required for the defence of the Milanese in case the French break the truce, but in like manner as the said abbot was the person who in the name of Cardinal Morone secretly commenced the adjustment between the Duke of Parma and King Philip, so is it supposed that he has now also come hither for some great and unknown cause, the Cardinal of Trent having already, three months ago, sent Messer Christoforo Tressino to reside as his agent at this court.
At this hour letters have arrived from Cambrai announcing that the French had mustered troops thereabouts, and that towards a castle in its neighbourhood they were conveying some pieces of artillery with the intention of taking it, and the people within knowing they could not hold out informed the enemy they would surrender; and a Spanish captain has also come in the name of his comrades and countrymen on those frontiers, with an earnest request for money, and for permission to do by the French what they shall see the French beginning to do against themselves; this captain also confirming the intended attack on the castle near Cambrai; and when the Duke of Savoy and Don Ruy Gomez were asked whether they had any certain news about this, they both answered in the negative, but said they considered it certain that the French on their part would soon break the truce.
The day before yesterday the Marquis de las Navas (fn. 10) and Don Luis de Avila, his brother, departed for Spain, the Marquis, who was maggiordomo, being very well satisfied by reason of the many great benefits he has received, owing to the extraordinary favour shown him designedly by Don Ruy Gomez; and Don Luis, the councillor of State, is utterly discontented, seeing that he cannot have such share in the public business as would be to his satisfaction. (fn. 11)
Brussels, 18th November 1556.
Nov. 19. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 7 B. p. 76. 713. Bernardo Navagero, Ambassador, and Febo Capella, Secretary, to the Doge and Senate.
Having sent the secretary to Cardinal Caraffa to demand audience for us he replied that we were to choose our own hour, telling him to let me know that the Duke of Alva had stipulated a ten days truce with him, so that in the meanwhile they might confer together, and treat the agreement. We therefore went to him to-day at 12 o'clock, when, in reply to the statement made by us in your Serenity's name, he said God knew that nothing was more desired by him than peace, for which alone he went to the King of France, although on hearing subsequently that war was to be waged on the See Apostolic, he endeavoured to obtain such pecuniary and other aid as will arrive should the agreement not take place; that he would attend to it heart and soul, for which purpose he had made a truce for ten days, and signed the stipulation an hour ago (as your Serenity will perceive by the accompanying copy which he had given us), for the purpose of effecting the interview conveniently, he having yesterday evening obtained the consent of the Pope, who gave it unwillingly from suspicion of treachery, but the Cardinal told him he should be perfectly safe as the interview would be held on an island, a place given by God, on one side of which would be the Imperial army, and on the other that of his Holiness, they being separated by a stream, nor would anyone save the persons appointed cross over to the island, the Duke of Alva placing one of his own sentries (un suo homo) at the bridge made by the Pope, the Cardinal doing the like at the bridge made by the Imperialists; the Cardinal adding, that his Holiness could not prevent this interview without being reproached with rejecting the agreement; so he gave him his blessing, and thus in God's name will the interview be held, and perhaps next Sunday. The Cardinal said he should go prepared with reasons, whereby to reply to the proposals made to him, hoping they might be fair, as he will show the world that should peace not be made it will not be his fault, and that it would please him to have Secretary Capella (or any other person I might appoint) present as a witness at the interview. We replied that no witnesses were needed where a personage so replete with goodness and Christian piety as his most illustrious Lordship was concerned; and this we said in conformity with the order received from your Serenity, that I, secretary, was to decline being present at the conference. I, ambassador, added that I trusted his Lordship would bestow on the world this most precious gift of peace, thus obtaining immortal praise for himself, much advantage for his most illustrious family, and long and tranquil life for the Pope, by means of which his Holiness would be enabled to realize those Christian designs expected by the world for so long a while from him alone. The Cardinal rejoined, “Lord Ambassador, I wish it, and God grant that when the reinforcements expected by them arrive the Imperialists may not become more insolent, for should they come to fair terms (as I have said) the desired result will be obtained;” saying he was glad that the Secretary also was here, because should any difficulty arise he might perform good offices, both with the Pope and with the Duke of Alva. We made answer that everything possible would be done to that effect, your Serenity keeping him here for the service of his Holiness and his most illustrious Lordship.
The Cardinal then told us that the Imperialists had bought Hostia very dear (che Imperiali haveano comprata Hostia molta cara), both because several brave men had been killed under it, as also because they had discharged about 1,300 cannon shots, showing that they did not know much about artillery practice, by aiming aloft instead of below, where the weight of the wall brings it down sooner, and they also fired aslant instead of point blank, as they ought to have done (et anco andando per storto, che bisogna andar dritto al traverso). There were also two other places which could not have stood a hundred shot, for which reason they were abandoned, so as Ascanio della Cornia had been many times in Hostia it caused surprise his not having cannonaded those points, but it is supposed to be by the will of God, in order that provision may be made for some other place (by which we believe he meant Civitavecchia). The Cardinal added that should peace be made he will obtain what he desires; and, if not, he had so provided for the places he wishes to keep, that either the Imperialists will not attempt them, or else they will remain under them longer than they wish, which would also have been the case with some other fortresses taken by them had his most illustrious Lordship been here; and he said that to this Horatio, who defended Hostia, he would give such reward as to induce every one to follow his example, as he had also done by the foot soldier who revealed the plot against Paliano, conferring on him a monthly pension of 15 crowns for life, besides a gift of 100 for his hose (per le calze).
Rome, 19th November 1556.
Nov. 20. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives, No. 7 B. p. 77, 714. The Same to the Same.
We wrote yesterday that by reason of the truce and the interview it was our intention to go to the Pope as soon as possible to exhort him to make peace, and also to see by his words (et per veder anco dalle sue parole) what could be hoped about it, and whether he persevered in speaking as he has done hitherto; so to-day we went to his Holiness, who after greeting us with great kindness and familiarity in the presence of the Cardinal of Pisa [Scipione Rebiba], to whom (when he was about to quit the chamber) the Pope said, “Stay, Monsignor, for as you know I trust you, and the Magnifico Ambassador will like you to be present.” After which words his Holiness continued, “We are going to tell you things witnessed by us and which we remember, none of you three perhaps being then born. Down to the year 1494 this most noble province of Italy was in such a state as to allow of its being said that no greater concert and harmony nor anything more dulcet could be desired. There was the See Apostolic, a King of Naples, my most illustrious Signory of Venice, a Duke of Milan, with a thousand other private Lords of Italy (particular Signori d'Italia), who all bore such respect to the Pope as is due to a Vicar of Christ and to a father. Then came, proh dolor, those enmities as known to you between Alfonso King of Naples and Lodovico Duke of Milan, who, to be revenged one on the other like two dogs, were always at the ears of King Charles of France, who, content with his own kingdom, had less desire for the States of Italy than for anything else. They called him, and with marvellous good fortune and speed, and with great forces, he obtained the result known to you. He was a King to be remembered (fu Re memorabile), for besides his forces he was most generous and most clement, treating his ministers (li soi) not as subjects but like comrades. Subsequently Lodovico, being dissatisfied, and perhaps having repented of his scheme, made a league with Pope Alexander, with the most illustrious Venetian lords, and many others of Italy, to expel him.
“'Hinc mihi prima mali labes.—(Virg. Æn. II. 97.)
Et ex illo omnia in peius ruere.'—(Virg. Georg. I. 200—201).
“To this are to be attributed all the calamities of Italy, past, present, and future, although the counsels of that bloated Pope Leo (di quel Papon di Papa Leon,) (fn. 12) (nor from the life he led could anything else be expected), and moreover those of Clement, constantly increased our miseries, which will not only last but will become greater, until Italy return to her former harmony and liberty. Magnifico Ambassador, this beautiful instrument is spoiled, it must be repaired; and what state can be worse than its present one? Any slavery is misery, but the yoke of so vile a race as this which commands us is intolerable. Are we to put up with half a dozen renegade Moriscos? (quattro scalzi Marani si soporteranno?) No, no, my most illustrious Signory, who has so great a share in Italy, will rouse herself; the same race who, for this See, for former Popes, for the liberty of this their country, performed of yore such honourable feats. Should this not come to pass, and that our paternal suggestions fail to take effect, we shall believe it to be the divine wrath which chooses to punish your sins and ours. I pray you at length to rouse yourselves, and with increase of territory, free, free us, your mother, from this servitude. Nothing was ever easier; we and you alone would suffice, and this would be to our immortal praise, that with the sole forces of Italy we should realize these glorious and magnanimous aspirations. Were you merely to show yourselves, all the rest of Italy would follow, and we should not have cared to call others (et noi non si havessamo curato di chiamar altri); and were we to be told that these [Frenchmen?] are also in like manner Ultramontanes, and that what is taken from hence will be theirs, so that we shall not free ourselves, I reply that the descendants of these Ultramontanes, and perhaps they themselves, will in a very short time become Italians. Moreover it would be much easier to expel them than to dream of release, by leaving these ribalds to continue their tyranny, which has lasted for so many years.” Then, turning to the Cardinal of Pisa, the Pope continued, “Monsignore, we intend to give Sicily, your birthplace, (fn. 13) to my most illustrious Lords, nor could anything more felicitous happen either to you or to them; you will be free, the Signory will receive the Sicilians like her own sons, and under that protection you will sweeten the aloes of all your past wrongs and injuries. We know what we can promise ourselves from the moderation of the most illustrious Republic; they on their part will enjoy all those advantages which have been specified by us heretofore to you, ambassador.”
The Pope having repeated all these things over and over again, with his usual eloquence, I, ambassador said, “Holy Father, this truce, having for object an interview between Cardinal Caraffa and the Duke of Alva, gives everybody hope of soon witnessing the peace and enjoying it; and if this truce of a few days causes such universal comfort, what will it be subsequently when the prudence, the piety, and the goodness of your Holiness, shall find means to confer so important a gift as this peace on the world, on Italy, and especially on my most illustrious Signory, who are so anxious for this holy result? To this effect they sent hither their secretary and keep him here, and for this same purpose I, their minister and representative, have performed such offices as known to your Serenity.” The Pope replied, “We have chosen to consent to this truce and to the interview, in order not to show that we reject the peace (per non mostrar che ricusiamo la pace), but nothing will come of it;” and then flaring up (accendendosi), he repeated, “Nothing will come of it (non serà niente); we tell you, we protest to you, that nothing will come of it (ve lo diciamo, ve lo protestamo, non serà niente); we are informed that this little beast (fn. 14) (bestiola), begotten of that diabolical father (nata di quel indiavolato padre), says that he cannot hope to consolidate his affairs so long as this See possesses territory (che non pò sperar d'haver stabilità nelle cose sue, fin che questa sede habbia stato). See what a disposition this is, and doubt not the truth of what we tell you, for we are advised of it also by way of Germany, and we will interpret to you more clearly what this means. It signifies, I cannot consider my affairs consolidated whilst anyone holds state in Italy, and to speak yet more plainly to you, when talking of us he talks of you. Everybody, except yourselves, who have fallen asleep, sees that your destruction is linked with ours. We shall soon leave you, and we wish to do so, for we have nothing in this life to make us delight in it; you will then know that our advice to you was good, and you will regret that it did not take effect.” He then repeated as an apostrophe (a caso), “Not consider his affairs consolidated without our ruin! and will you wait and see? Magnifico ambassador, write these words of this little beast (Scrivete, Magco Ambre, queste parole di questa bestiola), and then do you, secretary, narrate them, as otherwise we shall complain both of one and the other of you, and we shall hear whether you have done so.” To this we replied that it being our duty to write and relate faithfully, his Holiness should not suspect us of doing otherwise, and he rejoined, “We well know that the secretary will not fail to do so, in like manner as this Magnifico ambassador has never omitted doing.” Then approaching me, ambassador, and putting his mouth to my ear, he said, “If you will show yourselves, be it known to you that the Duke of Florence likewise will declare himself; the Italians in short are Italians;” and putting his hand to his heart, he added, “Believe us that it is so,” repeating to me the things about Sicily, as written by me heretofore, and telling me in conclusion that he loved your Serenity so affectionately that he wished and would render you the mistress of Italy, because he knows that you would not desert his nephews and his descendants (perchè sà che non mancheria alli soi nepoti, et alla sua descendentia).
This conversation, which was carried on with great gentleness (con molta dolceza), having lasted nearly three hours, we took leave, although it seemed that he wished to continue discussing the same topics.
Rome, 20th November 1556.
Nov. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 715. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador at Brussels, to the Doge and Senate.
Having understood that down to this present time his Majesty's resolve to send fresh commissions to the Duke of Alva had not been executed, and considering how much your Serenity may have this at heart, I (as my malady had somewhat abated), went to Don Ruy Gomez and very earnestly exhorted him no longer to delay sending off this despatch to the said Duke, remarking to him how many additional difficulties might arise were the war to continue and the negotiation be farther protracted. I also told him as of myself that I thought he would do well, with his great prudence and the authority enjoyed by him with the King, to anticipate and provide, so that commissions might be given to the Duke of Alva, with such particulars as required for the establishment of a good adjustment with the Pope, lest his Excellency, from fear of reproof for acting of his own accord, omit to conclude this peace, which is so much desired and so very necessary. His Lordship answered me that hitherto the cause of the delay in despatching the aforesaid commission proceeded from the variety of opinions of his Majesty's councillors with regard to it, but that he would go and remind his Majesty again of your Serenity's wish as demonstrated by this fresh office on my part, and that he considered it certain the King would determine to send these commissions in such form that nothing would any longer remain that could reasonably be desired, and that your Serenity would see by facts that he negotiates veraciously; adding that his Majesty had again charged Don Juan de Ayala, who is now at Milan, to go to you postwise, in lieu of the ambassador Vargas, for the performance of such offices as might be required before the return to your Serenity of the said Vargas; and as now at midnight Don Ruy Gomez has sent to tell me that having conferred with the King, he is now despatching the courier with the orders for the Duke of Alva, I have merely time to add that at all these frontiers the French troops are in movement, and that the capture of the castle near Cambrai has not been verified.
Brussels, 20th November 1556.
Nov. 20. Parti Secrete, Conso X., File No. 9, Venetian Archives. 716. Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta by the Chiefs Francesco Foscarini and Alvise Gritti.
That by the chiefs of this Council a carpenter be sent for, such a one as shall seem fit to them, and, after swearing him to silence, the said chiefs to have opened, in such manner as shall seem best to them, the casket sent from Padua, so that it may subsequently be returned in the state in which it now is, and the said casket being opened, they to show to have taken (far pigliar) (fn. 15) the writings to such persons as shall seem fit to them, that they may be seen by this Council, and then to come with them to this Council to deliberate as to the said Council shall seem fit.
Ayes, 14.
Endorsed: Ser Franc. Fuscareno.
Ser Alovis. Gritti.
Ser Paulus Cont.
— 7.
— 0.
— 5. (fn. 16)
Nov. 20 (fn. 17) Parti Secrete, Conso X., File No. 9, Venetian Archives. 717. Motion made in the Council of Ten by the Chief Paulo Contarini.
That the casket be sent back to Padua in such cautious and secret manner as shall seem fit to the chiefs of this Council, with an order to the bailiff there, should it be again demanded of him, not to give it, but to gain time by saying that the persons who consigned the writings to him must be present, the due forms of justice being observed, and other similar things, giving account from time to time to the chiefs of this Council of what may occur (occorrerà) in this matter.
Ayes, 7. Noes, 0. Neutral, 5.
Nov. 20. Consiglio X, Parti Comuni, Vol. 22, p. 175. 718. Embassy in England.
Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta.
That of the moneys destined for ambassadors, 300 ducats be given to the agents of the nobleman, Ser Zuan Michiel, ambassador in England, for the expenditure of which he is bound to give account on his return, as also of the other sums received for similar purposes.
Ayes, 24. Noes, 2. Neutral, 0.


  • 1. The name is written “Saya,” but in Sir William Hackett's Index (Foreign Calendar, Mary) I find the name “Aa, Secretary Van Der.” This secretary was at Vienna, 25th January 1554. Sir Richard Shelley does not state distinctly whose secretary he was, but the name being Dutch, it is probable that he was the Emperor's subject, and that it was borne by a secretary in the service of King Philip in 1556, when Badoer mis-spelt it “Saya.”
  • 2. The Correggios were the feudal lords of Correggio, but it is not known whether they gave the name to that town, or took theirs from it. (See Alberti, “Descrittione de la Italia,” pp. 325–331, ed. Bologna, 1550.)
  • 3. Compare with Mignet, pp. 141–145. (Charles Quint, &c. edition, Paris, 1860.)
  • 4. From an entry in the Domestic Calendar, 1547–1580, p. 26, it seems that in October 1549, the Protector Somerset held the two religious houses of Shene and Sion. Sion was originally founded by Henry V. for 60 nuns and 25 religious men, acording to Dugdale; and in vol. 3, Venetian Calendar, 1527, July 30, it is seen that the scholar and diplomatist Richard Pace was then the guest of those “religious men,” and studying at Sion, but they were not reinstated by Cardinal Pole.
  • 5. Part of this last paragraph is illegible, but I have gathered its meaning from the letter of the 21st July, alluding to the competition between the merchants-adventurers at Antwerp and the staplers in London.
  • 6.
  • 7. Cups were emblems on Spanish and Italian playing cards.
  • 8. In the Register No. 6, “Parti Secrete,” C.X., page 164 tergo, this motion is placed immediately beneath the one made by Foscarini and Gritti, and I therefore assign the same date to it.
  • 9. I believe the endorsement to signify that two motions were made in the Council of Ten and Junta, and that the first had seven “ayes,” and the second 20.
  • 10. Don Pedro de Avila. (See Sir William Hackett's Index to the late Mr. Turnbull's Foreign Calendar, “Mary.”)
  • 11. In Mignet (pp. 281, 282), allusion is made to the fact that in the summer of 1557, the historian Don Luis de Avila went to his master the Emperor at San Yuste, but no reason is assigned for his having left the court of King Philip.
  • 12. That Gianpictro Caraffa did not always vituperate the counsels “di quel Papon di Papa Leon”, is implied by the acceptance at his hands in the year 1513, of the Nuncioship in England, and on his departure thence at the close of 1515, he then represented Leo X. as Nuncio in the Low Countries, and in Spain, until the year 1519.
  • 13. Scipione Rebiba was born in the mountains of Messina, at a place called S. Marco (See Cardella, vol. iv. p. 347.)
  • 14. Federico Badoer, in his “Report” of King Philip made to the Senate in the year 1557, expressed himself thus:—“On the 20th of last May King Philip entered his thirty-first year. He is of low stature and small-limbed,” &c. (Il Re Filippo à 20 di maggio passato entrò in trent 'un anno. E di statura piccola e di membri minuti, &c.) See Le Relazioni degli Ambri. Veneti. Series 1, Vol. 3, p. 233, published at Florence by Eugenio Albéri.
  • 15. In the original draft the pen is drawn through the words italicized.
  • 16. This second endorsement confirms my explanation of the preceding one, and shows that the three Chiefs of the Ten were not of one mind about the Courtenay papers.
  • 17. In the File, this document has no date, but in the Register, No. 6, Parti Secrete, C. X., p. 165, tergo, it follows the preceding one, thus confirming the endorsement of the foregoing original draft, so I date accordingly.