Venice: November 1556, 26-30

Pages 812-831

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.


November 1556, 26–30

Nov. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 727. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The bearer of the present letter will be M. de Lavigna, who is despatched by his most Christian Majesty to Constantinople to make the fleet put to sea, as already written by me, and he has given him the title of his ambassador, he being an honourable gentleman and very intimate (molto familiare) with the King's sister, Madame Margaret.
It is also heard that his Majesty has some idea of recalling his ambassador resident with Sultan Soliman, and that he will replace him by this present one, and the Prince of Salerno (fn. 1) not being employed in this war in any capacity, it is understood that the King will make use of him in person on board the aforesaid fleet.
On the 22nd I announced the decision made by the Duke of Ferrara, and its conveyance hither by his ambassador, which was subsequently confirmed, and the courier who took my aforesaid letter was despatched by the King with the ratification of the articles in the letters addressed to his Excellency, his Majesty appointing him general of the league and his lieutenant-general in Italy. The conditions of the said treaty (capitulatione) are the same as those repeatedly written by me, with this in addition, that his Excellency is forthwith to disburse at Venice, into the hands of M. de Lodève, 300,000 crowns, for which he is not to receive any interest; and after the Duke de Guise shall have crossed the Alps he is in like manner to pay another 300,000 crowns, for which his Majesty is to pay interest at the rate of 8 per cent., the King giving 40 pieces of artillery, to be brought for safety from Dauphignè by 500 horse, and they will cross with the Duke de Guise, who, being thus conveniently supplied with artillery, will not remove any from Piedmont, and the riddance of this impediment will greatly facilitate his march. The Duke of Ferrara is also bound to provide victuals of every sort for the army, and all the necessary ammunition, receiving due payment for everything. His Excellency will raise 6,000 infantry to join the army, besides the 2,000 for the garrison of his state, 100 men-at-arms, and 200 light horse, to be paid him by his most Christian Majesty. As to these 6,000 infantry, although it is generally said that they likewise will be paid him by the King, it has been hinted to me on good authority that he will pay them with his own money; and should it be true that his Excellency contribute so largely, the most intelligent persons here suspect yet more that the Parma expedition (l'impresa di Parma), which he greatly desires, and represents as easy, is for his account, although it is said that the army will march straight towards Rome unless it be impeded in the Milanese; in addition to which, M. de Forcovoe (sic), when passing through Piacenza on his return from Ferrara, was commissioned by the Duke of Parma to tell the King that should his army have occasion to pass through his (the Duke's) territories, he, like that affectionate servant which he has always been to him, besides giving it free transit, will not fail to supply it with victuals and all other necessaries.
The Duke de Guise is hastening his journey more than seemed to be his intention when he departed hence, and according to fresh orders which have been sent him he will remain at Lyons as short a time as possible, and proceed on his way to cross the Alps with the utmost speed; notwithstanding which, it is confirmed that the body of the army cannot be got together (unito) before the 10th of January.
The Prince of Ferrara, who is very glad of the decision formed by the Duke his father, will depart postwise in two or three days to join the Duke de Guise, with whom he will remain during this campaign (presso il quale starà in questo viaggio, che farà Vessercito).
I wrote to your Serenity heretofore that this most Christian Queen [Catherine de Medicis] had sent Captain Nicolò Alemanj to Lyons to urge the Florentine outlaws again to offer the King the terms proposed by them to him of yore, and he is returned with a promise from the [Florentine] merchants there, on behalf of the outlaws, that they will pay the King for 2,000 infantry and 400 horse when his Majesty shall know that it is the moment for him to turn his forces against Tuscany, and that for this purpose a gentleman will come from Rome, in the name of all of them, to make his Majesty the aforesaid offer more in detail. It has been determined to double the garrisons on the whole frontier of Picardy and Champagne, both because the like is being done by the King of Spain, as also because, besides the plots already discovered, another has recently been detected at Montreuil, where two Gascons who directed it were quartered.
Dom. Domenico della Mirandola, who is here to urge the despatch of the affairs of Montferrat on behalf of the lords of Mantua, has come to me, in the name of the Cardinal, of Madame, and of the Duke, his lords, and by express commission received from them, laid before me their grievance, his most Christian Majesty not having restored to them their revenues and judicial supremacy in those places, as written by me to your Serenity heretofore, expatiating to me at great length on the many evil demonstrations made towards them and the prince who resides at this court with the Dauphin. (fn. 2)
He also told me that the aforesaid lords wished your Serenity to know all this, so that if they were compelled to make any fresh resolve, you, as a power to whom every Italian, especially in such calamitous times as these, is bound to defer, might know the cause of it, assuring me that his Duke, who had many more mental endowments than physical forces, desired nothing more than to be able to serve your Serenity. I performed such general office as seemed to me necessary, thanking those lords in your Serenity's name, and told him that he might assure their most illustrious lordships that you esteemed and loved them as much as if they were your own children. He then continued that what he had told me hitherto was by commission of his lords, but that he would tell me as of himself that this resolve formed by the Duke of Ferrara was of great importance, it being evident that he did not intend to remain content with his own, but to aggrandise himself by means of French support, and therefore, through his most Christian Majesty, he sought to get possession of La Mirandola, giving its lord (fn. 3) recompense through the estates held by his Excellency (the Duke of Ferrara) in France on account of his wife's dower, together with something additional to be given by the King; and besides this, something had been heard of his intending to make himself master of Parma; which things seemed to him worthy of consideration. I replied in general terms, thanking him for this his confidential communication.
The Lord Giordano Orsini arrived at Lyons on the 18th instant, so he is expected hourly. When he comes I will take a good opportunity for being with his lordship and perform the office enjoined me by your Serenity. The salary paid him by the King is 3,000 francs per annum, 1,200 as his gentleman of the chamber, and for his generalship (il generalato) in Corsica 600 francs per month; nor is his service with his Majesty for any fixed time, as he serves him like a servant in ordinary, nor is it even customary at the French court for this form of service to be stipulated for a term, it being optional with every one (ma ogni uno è in sua libertà); and it is said the King will confer on him his order of St. Michael.
Poissi, 23rd November 1556.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Nov. 26. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 7 B. p. 80. 728. Bernardo Navagero and Febo Capella to the Doge and Senate.
To-day at 10 a.m. Cardinal Caraffa returned to Rome with a few horsemen, and went in his boots to the Pope, going back again after dinner, without the slightest particular transpiring. At 6 p.m. we went to Cardinal Caraffa, he having sent us word that he could appoint no earlier hour, having to negotiate with the Pope, and to transact other business, which consisted in a long consultation with the French ministers in the Duke of Paliano's chamber.
The moment we entered his apartment the Cardinal told me he would open his heart to us and disclose the whole business, out of the respect which he and all his family were bound to bear your Serenity, and because he knew that such was the will of the Pope; and he then told us of his going on Sunday to La Magliana, from whence he sent Placido to the Duke of Alva, to hear the site and hour of the conference. He did not return until very late on Monday, nor did he bring any decision, but a writing, whereby it appeared that the Duke considered the island his own, a point which the Cardinal not choosing to dispute, said that part of the island which the Imperialists had occupied was theirs for the present, whilst the other part, which the Papal troops had defended by har-quebuse-fire (a tiro di archibuso), belonged to his Holiness; and he sent this message to the Duke by Torquato Conte, who brought back word that the Duke would pitch a tent in the centre of the island, where they would speak to each other (dove si parleriano); so on Tuesday morning the Cardinal went to dine at Porto, and on hearing that the Duke had come forth from his fortress, he also did the like. He was met by the Count di Populi and other Neapolitan lords his relations, and great were the greetings. He then met the Duke, and after the preliminary compliments, and after embraces lavished on the lords and gentlemen by one side and the other, they entered the tent, where there was a table, a few sheets of paper, and a little bell, with only two chairs. All the bystanders being dismissed they remained alone, with a guard round the tent to prevent anyone from approaching it. The Duke endeavoured to justify the military movements made by him (il mover che havea fatto dell' arme), as they were for the purpose of prevention, and in order not to be anticipated; for which prevention cause had been given by the words and deeds of the Pope during his cardinalate and pontificate. To this, the Cardinal said, he replied that the cause was a slight one, as what the Pope said was uttered by way of admonition that they might mend their ways, which were improper (acciò che se emendas-scro delle cose che faccvano, quale non stavano bene), and that he had reason to speak as he did, knowing that they had endeavoured to have him poisoned when he was cardinal, and that during the three last conclaves (fn. 4) they did everything to prevent him from being made pope; and that then after his election they plotted against himself in person and his kindred. To this, the Cardinal says, dice il Cardinal), the Duke replied “es cerdad” (to use the Spanish word), and therefore he was the more afraid, and had chosen to anticipate. To this the Cardinal replied that they had no cause to fear the Pope's forces, as they have been able to ascertain by the fact of their ravaging so great a part of the Papal States without opposition.
After some allusion to the Imperialists now imprisoned in Castle St. Angelo, the Duke said that the only thing which remained to trouble him was the territory (il stato) of Marco Antonio Colonna, because the King's forces being in their present position, it would not be to his honour to remove them without having his territory (stato) restored to one who was his friend and servant; whereupon the Cardinal rejoined, that a demand of this sort afforded proof that they had not commenced the war from fear of the Pope's words, but for the sake of Marc' Antonio Colonna, and that if the Duke persevered in this opinion he did not see for what purpose he had sought the interview, as he already knew that the Pope, having according to law (per giustitia) sequestered his estate (stato), would not consent to its being restored to him. The Duke inquired, “What is to be done then?” and the Cardinal said, “Although I am not come to counsel nor to propose, but solely to hear and report, I will nevertheless say, that if your Excellency really wishes for peace with his Holiness, you should vacate the States of the Church, restore to the Pope what you have deprived him of, come and render him that submission and reverence which is his due as the Vicar of Christ; and then if you desire anything, ask it as a favour, for I am certain that he will not allow himself to be excelled in courtesy (che ella non si lasserà vincer di cortesia).” The Duke then said, “Would you do so were you in the position in which I am?” to which the Cardinal rejoined, “Yes, to make amends (per emendar) for the error committed in commencing war on the See Apostolic.” The Duke continued that he would be satisfied with receiving assurance that his estate should be restored to Marc' Antonio Colonna, provided the Cardinal's brother the Duke [of Paliano] obtained suitable compensation from the King of Spain; and that on obtaining this security he would leave the Papal States and restore what he has taken, dismantling the fortresses, as otherwise he could not do so with honour to his King. The Cardinal replied that if he was anxious about the King's honour, the Pope was no less jealous of his own; and that these demands were such as might be made if they had the Pope in the “Castel Novo” at Naples, and not now when he is in Rome, and has other towns which will defend themselves, and cost the Imperialists dear should they choose to take them, as the Duke might know by his loss at Hostia, which is a mere fortilage (cassina) of no importance.
Thereupon, the Duke, praying the Cardinal to keep secret what he was about to say to him (and here his Right Reverend Lordship requested us also, to whom he chose to communicate the whole, to keep it secret, as at any rate in the course of time it would be known), added, “I will content myself with a writing from you, to the effect that when the Duke your brother receives from the King my lord compensation of greater value than the estate of Paliano, that estate shall be given to the nominee of the King of Spain (a chi vorrà il Re di Spagna) without any further mention of Marc' Antonio Colonna, as thus the Pope's honour will be intact.” To this the Cardinal replied that although it seemed to him he knew not what (“un non so che”), yet was it in fact the same demand as made by them from the beginning, and being unable to elicit anything else from it, he added that he would do nothing without speaking on the subject to the Pope, and to the Duke his brother, but that he had no hopes of producing any effect. This was all that they negotiated at those two conferences, and on the Cardinal's reporting them to the Pope he made no reply, though everyone might imagine that his Holiness would not allow the Duke of Alva to compel him to do anything by force; and that to-night the Pope would tell him what answer he is to give, so that he may return to the conference to-morrow; yet did the Pope tell him that he would do all he could to bring about the peace, which he, however, chose to be to the honour of God; as to all the injuries done to himself personally as to man, he forgave them.
When the Cardinal had finished, I, ambassador, after thanking him for this confidential communication, said it seemed to me that the whole difficulty reduced itself to Paliano, and that this ought not to be such as to preclude adjustment, for avoidance of the ills which war would cause to both sides and to all Italy, and that I hoped the Duke might leave that place to his Holiness; wherefore if the Pope and his Lordship pleased, the Secretary would return to the Duke of Alva for that purpose. He replied that he should much like it, and that he and all his family would feel immensely obliged to your Serenity for doing so; and that he was certain the Pope would very much approve of this office; but that he would speak to him about it to-night, and give my secretary the reply to-morrow morning, so that the secretary (Capella) might go to the Duke before the close of the conference; and that he would take upon himself to speak about this to the Pope, as it would be difficult for us to do so in time, consistory sitting to-morrow.
In case (as we believe) the Pope should wish me, secretary, to go, I will immediately mount postwise to execute with all speed what he enjoins me.
Rome, 26th November 1556.
Nov. 26. Parti Secrete, Conso X., File No. 9, Venetian Archives. 729. Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta by the Councillors Ser Pietro Loredano, Ser Zacharia Vendramino, and Ser Justiniano Contareno.
That the letters of Lord Courtenay now read, addressed by him to divers persons, together with those to his address, which have been marked with the cross, (fn. 5) be taken out of the bundles (dei mazzi), and be the others put back into the linen cover (intemella) and stitched (ct cussita), and being placed in the casket, be it nailed and sent with the greatest possible secrecy to the bailiff of Padua, [with order that, being requested by the ambassador, he do consign it to him, having a memorandum made of the consignment by his, the bailiff's, order in the Paduan archives.]
Ayes, 15.
Nov. 26. Parti Secrete, Conso X., File No. 9, Venetian Archives. 730. Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta by the Councillors Ser Marco Antonio Grimano and Ser Paulo Cornaro, and the Chiefs Ser Francesco Foscarini and Ser Alvise Gritti.
Will (vuoleno) the above-written motion, with the exception of the words within the [ ], instead of which they will that it be said: with order that, being requested by the ambassador or by his agent (commesso), he do let him know that the letters having been sealed in the said casket by his predecessor in the presence of the retinue (della famiglia) of the late Lord Courtenay, and sealed with the seal of the said lord, he must make them appear, in order then to do as justice shall require in execution of the decree of the bailiff's said predecessor.
Ayes, 7.
Nov. 26. (fn. 6) Parti Secrete, Conso X., File No. 9, Venetian Archives. 731. Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta by the Chief Ser Paulo Contarini.
It being due (dovendosi) in this matter of the writings of Lord Courtenay to proceed with such sincerity and rectitude as has always been the custom of our Signory:
Be all the said writings put back into the casket, and after rearranging them (raceonciate) as they were at first, be they returned secretly to our bailiff of Padua, he to be charged to send for the English ambassador and all those other persons at whose request the said casket was sealed, and after hearing what they may choose to say, in order to colour the matter, having dismissed all the others, he then to consign the said writings to the said ambassador, regulating himself herein with such prudence, circumspection, and secrecy as this matter, by reason of its importance, requires. (fn. 7)
That he do give notice by his letters to the chiefs of this Council of all that may be alleged (addutto) to him, and that shall take place in this matter, and be the whole read to this Council, that it may then determine as it shall think fitting.
Ayes, 2. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
Ser Petrus Lauredanus. Ser Marcant. Grimani.
Ser Zach. Vendramin. Ser Paulus Cornelio.
Ser Justin. Contar. Cons.
x 15. Ser Franc. Fuscarenus.
Ser Alovisius Gritti.
Ser Paulus Contar. 7
— 2.
— 0.
— 1.
Nov. 27. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives, No. 7 B. p. 81, &c. 732. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
As Cardinal Caraffa was to depart very early to confer with the Duke of Alva to-day, I sent my secretary to his Lordship before sunrise for the answer about the going of Secretary Capella to the said Duke. On entering his chamber he found the Cardinal in his mantelet, booted and spurred, talking with the “Camerario Commissario General;” then came the French ambassador and M. de Lansac; and the Cardinal, seeing the Secretary, told him it would be well for me, before consistory, to be with the Pope, as he would give me audience, although it is not customary for his Holiness to hear anybody in the morning. The Secretary sent me this message, and remained with the Cardinal, and heard him complain to the French ambassador that the artillerymen in Cività Vecchia had not been paid. The ambassador replied that immediately on returning home he would desire their treasurer (thesorier) to pay them. In the meanwhile the Cardinal heard that the Pope was dressed, so taking leave of the Frenchmen he went to his Holiness, with whom he remained about half an hour, and on going out, seeing my secretary in the antechamber, he repeated that the Pope would willingly see me, and proceeding towards the apartments of the Duke of Paliano he added (li soggionse) that a messenger sent by him last evening to the Duke of Alva to let him know that he had been unable to return to his Excellency yesterday, but would go thither this morning, came back with news that the Duke evinced great gladness at the message, being perhaps apprehensive lest the Cardinal should have departed dissatisfied, and would not return again, the Cardinal saying that this gave him hope that the Duke would come to terms, and by so much the more on the reiterated performance of the office by the Secretary Capella, in the name of your Serenity.
Conversing thus he led him (lo condusse) to his brother's chamber, and he then said, “I have gained a great point with the Pope, for at first his Holiness would not listen to the Duke of Alva, until he had first of all vacated the Papal States and restored what he had taken; and now he has consented to put to writing what you shall see;” so he then drew from his bosom a sheet of paper, which he gave to the secretary to read, its substance being as follows: that the ministers (li ministri) of the King of England having given the Christian Powers to understand that they made war on the Pope for the defence of the kingdom of Naples, from suspicion of being anticipated, his Holiness, to show the purity of his mind (l'innocente animo suo), into which there had never entered even the slightest thought of coveting what belonged to others, nor anything unreasonable, he desiring solely to defend the state which the Lord God had conceded him, was willing, for the removal of this suspicion, to assure them by such means as fitting and usual with other powers, and that being placed by God in his present dignity his word was entitled to credit. The writing having been read, both Cardinal Caraffa and the Duke of Paliano then said that it would now be discovered whether the Imperialists in fact wish for peace, and whether the cause assigned by them for commencing hostilities be the true one, or that there be something else besides suspicion about the kingdom of Naples, and consequently which side fails to make peace; and they requested Secretary Capella to go as soon as possible, as he would very greatly aid the negotiation. The secretary replied that on being despatched by the Pope he would immediately go postwise to the Duke of Alva, and thereupon he took leave.
In the meanwhile Capella and I went to the Pope, who was about to hear mass, and robing himself in his consistorial habits, and when he called me after the mass I stated to him your Serenity's commission in the same form as done by me on the preceding evening to Cardinal Caraffa. The Pope replied that he was very glad that the secretary was going, because it could not but be beneficial, and that he prayed God to assist him in persuading the Duke to do what was becoming; and thus did his Holiness proceed towards the consistory hall, and after accompanying him thither we went home, the secretary mounting postwise, going at full speed to the Duke of Alva, so as to negotiate with him before his interview with the Cardinal, who departed at the same time. I understand that last evening the Cardinal S. Giacomo [Juan Alvarez de Toledo] received a letter from his nephew the Duke of Alva, in which he greatly commended Cardinal Caraffa, saying in short that the agreement was not excluded (che non era escluso l'accordo); the Cardinal adding, to the person who told it me, that from the Duke's letter nevertheless, and from one of his gentlemen by word of mouth, the information was not such as to be able to rely on it assuredly, yet was it not to be despaired of.
In consistory the Pope said that he had summoned their right reverend Lordships about the negotiation for peace, which he had much at heart, and therefore had sent, and was again sending, the Cardinal his nephew to the Duke of Alva; and that as it was necessary to have public prayers offered up to God for the peace, he purposed proclaiming a plenary jubilee, in curiâ ct extra, to that effect.
Rome, 27th November 1556.
Nov. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 733. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador at Brussels, to the Doge and Senate.
The French ambassador went yesterday to Don Ruy Gomez, informing him that the French troops on their march towards Italy were merely going to assist the Pope, and not to break the truce; and he then told him, as of himself, that were King Philip to send an order to the Duke of Alva to suspend hostilities, with an ample commission to make fresh proposals for peace, he hoped some agreement at least would soon take place. Don Ruy Gomez answered him that he did not know what road the said troops could take without infringing the truce, so it would be well to state their line of march, and that to make very sure of this, his Majesty would perhaps send one of his gentlemen to hear the most Christian King's decided will in this matter; and that as to suspending hostilities he would not give such counsel to his king, from doubt lest by doing so he might increase the difficulty of making peace, in addition to which he did not think it fit for his Majesty to have incurred such great expense without any fruit; and that as to sending fresh orders to the Duke of Alva, King Philip had already done so at the request of your Serenity, in consequence of my demand. The ambassador rejoined that to him it did not seem fit for one Prince to ask another what he was going to do for the future in things of such great importance, and that whether the troops went by land or sea they would go to succour his Holiness. Subsequently in the council it was discussed whether anyone should be sent for this purpose to France, nor as yet has anything been settled, but it is expected to be done more for the purpose of having an opportunity to treat the peace with the most Christian King, rather than because they consider King Philip's desire insufficiently proved by what he is doing.
A son of Signor Ferrante di Sanguini has arrived here postwise to inform the King that the Pope, at his last conversation with him, evinced a great inclination to talk about the peace, provided only that his Holiness' repute were preserved; but the ministers here are of opinion that the said Signor Ferrante sent his said son hither rather to render himself meritorious with King Philip, or to remain here for a purpose at the Pope's desire (he being his Holiness' kinsman), than because there is any hope of agreement, nor do any of the chief ministers anticipate it, though they all desire it, being aware that from such a war many evil results are inevitable, owing to very great difficulties about money and other requisites for its maintenance.
The “Abbate” Gerio, who came hither from the Cardinal of Trent, has made three statements to his Majesty, the one that the Duke of Ferrara told his right reverend Lordship that he knows for certain of a fair way, whereby to further the peace between him and the King of France, offering to do his best in this matter should he know it to be agreeable to King Philip. The second informs his Majesty that should war with the King of France break out he does not know how he could sustain it in the Milanese, principally because his forces have such an inefficient (debole) commander as the Marquis of Pescara, (fn. 8) whom he blames in very strong terms as a young man much occupied with vain and frivolous objects. The third statement had for object to show the King how in Italy he might make good use of the German nation, reminding him how advantageous it would be to appoint a German commander, and hinting that his right reverend Lordship's brother might be better suited to this post than anyone else now in his service. With regard to the Duke of Ferrara's proposal the King did not hold it in any account, and the affair of the Marquis of Pescara was heard and well examined in the Council of State, it being treated to give that post to Gio. Battista Gastaldo or to Antonio Doria, and to call the said Marquis to the Court. The objection to Doria was his extreme haughtiness, and that he knew less about warfare on land than at sea, whilst of Gastaldo they said they could not trust him, he being too astute, the ministry here having discovered that in order to obtain that great reward given him a few days ago for himself and his son, he caused it to reach the King's ears that your Serenity was about to give him high grade in your service.
Don Ruy Gomez has answered the said “Abbate” that King Philip did not intend to diminish the Duke of Alva's authority with regard to placing in his stead in the Milanese such persons as pleased him, and that he therefore left it to his care to provide for this matter, as also whether it was fitting to appoint a commander of the German troops.
It is said that Don Bernardino de Mendoza is very desirous of going as governor to Milan, and that the Duke of Alva will nominate him, he having been reconciled to his Excellency.
Brussels, 27th November 1556.
Legatis solus.
Nov. 27? (fn. 9) Lettere Secrete, Conso X., File No. 5, Venetian Archives. 734. The Chiefs of the Ten to the Bailiff of Padua (Potestati Paduœ).
The casket which by our order you sent lately to our chiefs of the Council of Ten we send back to you bound (ligata) and sealed as it was sent hither, and it will be delivered to you by the circumspect secretary of the aforesaid Council, Zuan Batta Ramusio, to whom we have given the order to have it consigned to you secretly. You will keep it in your chamber in such a way as to appear that since its removal from the archives (di cancellaria) it has always been in your chamber for greater security, and, with our Council of Ten and Junta, we charge you that in case of your being requested by the English ambassador, you do consign it to him, having a note made in the Paduan archives of the consignment made by your order, and giving notice of all that you have done by letters written in your own hand to the chiefs of our Council of Ten.
Ser Franco Fuschareno C.C.X.
Ser Aloysius Gritti C.C.X.
Ser Paulus Contarenus C.C.X.
Nov. 28. (fn. 10) Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 7. B. p. 82. 735. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
This morning at daybreak, Cardinal Caraffa's secretary Sachetti brought me the enclosed letter containing the stipulation of the truce for 40 days, and he told me besides that he believed the Secretary Capella had been with the Duke of Alva before the Cardinal, and he added that his right reverend Lordship and the Duke of Alva were to go out hunting together to-day. I then sent my secretary to the Duke of Paliano, who returned thanks to you for this last office performed by Capella, which had singularly aided the business; and said that the Cardinal merely announced the prolongation of the truce for the 40 days, the Government here being of opinion that if unable to stipulate peace, a truce should be attempted, so that the powers of Christendom might be advised of the difficulties about the agreement; hopes being entertained that through their mediation the adjustment would ensue, and a firmer peace be made with the assent of all parties, the only two difficulties here being the security for the kingdom of Naples, and Paliano; the first was adjusted according to the writing which the secretary saw yesterday, nor was the other excluded; as perhaps by time, submission, and intercessions, the Pope's consent would be obtained, by so much the more as the individual chiefly concerned (fn. 11) had offered and again offered, for the common weal, to renounce the said state to the Pope, without compensation of any sort; and in conclusion Sachetti said that he hoped for the best possible effect from this.
A person of authority conversant with these matters informs me that he believes the peace is concluded in pectore, and that the delay is [for the sake of giving a sop (pasto) to the French, and not leaving them utterly dissatisfied]; (fn. 12) which, on his return, I expect to ascertain from Secretary Capella, as the Duke of Alva will probably have opened his mind to him.
Rome, 28th November 1556.
Nov. 28. Lettere Secrete, Conso X., File No. 5, Venetian Archives. 736. The Chiefs of the Ten to the Bailiff of Padua (Potestati Paduœ).
The reverend ambassador of the most Serene Queen of England is sending Domino Paulo Pizzamiglio to Padua, with a letter from himself to your address, to take (pigliare) the sealed casket containing the writings of the late Lord Courtenay, which is deposited with you; so, with the chiefs of our Council of Ten, we charge you, on the said gentleman's presenting you with letters from the aforesaid ambassador, to consign the aforesaid casket, making a note to that effect, as memorandum, in the Paduan archives (in quella cancellaria).
Ser Franciscus Fuscareno, C.C.X.
Ser Aloysius Gritti, C.C.X.
Ser Paulus Contarenus, C.C.X.
Nov. 28. Deliberazioni Senato Secreta, Vol. 70, p. 54, verso. 737. Motion made in the Senate concerning the English Ambassador, Peter Vannes.
The Reverend D. Peter Vannes, ambassador from the Queen of England, having taken leave to return to her Majesty:
There will be put to the ballot, that of the moneys of our Signory, there be given to the ambassador aforesaid 500 ducats, and to his secretary 100.
Ayes, 178. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.
Nov. 28. Consiglio X. Parti Comuni. Vol. 22, p. 180. 738. Gratuity to Peter Vannes, English Ambassador in Venice.
Motion made in the Council of Ten and Junta.
That to the 500 ducats which it was this day carried (preso) in the Senate to give to the reverend ambassador from England, he do receive an additional sum, forming a total of 1,000 Venetian crowns.
And to the 100 ducats which it was carried (preso) to give to his secretary, be there added the sum required to make it 100 Venetian crowns.
Ayes, 25. No, 1. Neutral, 0.
Nov. 29. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. No. 7 B. p. 82, &c. 739. Secretary Febo Capella to the Doge and Senate.
Last Friday morning, at a little after 10, I mounted postwise for Hostia to do what was requisite with the Duke of Alva, according to your Serenity's order, and was with him so early, that Cardinal Caraffa had not yet arrived on the island to confer with him at the usual place under a tent pitched by the Duke for this purpose, so I had time to tell his Excellency that in like manner as I obeyed him by not giving notice to anyone of what he told me confidetially on the 2nd instant about his good intention, as to the state of Paliano remaining eventually (finalmente) to the Pope, so, as in duty bound, I could not omit writing it to your Serenity, who had therefore desired me to return to him and persuade his Excellency for your gratification freely to leave the aforesaid place to the Pope, so that a matter of minor importance might not be the cause and incentive of so momentous a war as this would prove, for that it would assuredly bring with it such loss and ruin to Italy and all Christendom, as his Excellency, who was replete with prudence, judgment, and goodness, might well imagine. The Duke answered me that from several conversations we had held together, I might know how well disposed he was to witness the establishment of a good peace, to which effect he never had failed doing everything in his power, and would continue to do so, and that for this purpose it was necessary to remove the obstacle, which was Paliano, an obstruction and hostile bulwark to the Kingdom (of Naples), as it had been and always would be, unless it were replaced in the hands of the Colonnas, his Majesty's adherents (confidenti), or dismantled, or destroyed (ruinato), in such a way as to prevent any fear or suspicion about it. To this I replied that on this subject his Excellency had also said to me what I wrote to your Serenity. He rejoined that such was the truth, but that subsequently he had received a fresh order from his Majesty; notwithstanding which he would still consent to the non-re-establishment of Marc' Antonio Colonna, which was also in conformity with what he had said to me. I continued, that although I was aware of this his goodwill, I must again request him out of consideration for your Serenity (a contemplation di V. Serenità), to do as entreated by me in your name, expatiating also at the same time on the calamities which from this slight cause would assuredly ensue, were the war to continue. Talking thus, one of his Excellency's gentlemen came to tell him that the Cardinal was approaching, so we went in that direction, his Excellency telling me that it would not be his fault should this good result fail to take effect; and having taken leave I went towards Hostia (as it was too late to return to Rome, the distance being 18 miles, my horses tired, and the road a bad one), with the intention of returning to him, if from what I might hear about the day's conference it should seem necessary to me.
The interview ended at 4 p.m., and the Duke of Alva told me subsequently that they agreed to make a truce for 40 days, and that as the Roman Government (questi signori) believed him to be the cause why this peace was not stipulated, he had been requested to refer such difficulties as were the most important to their respective sovereigns, so that they might hear them and decide, to which he very willingly consented, and was ready to send one of his gentlemen to the King, together with anyone this side may choose to appoint, in which case he said it would be well for your Serenity likewise to send to his Majesty's court, I made answer that your Serenity will never swerve from your maxim with regard to procuring this peace, to which his Excellency could bear good witness by mentioning the offices performed with himself, and that it was unnecessary to send, as you had an ambassador there. He replied that it would be well to send a fresh person (persona nuova), to which a rejoinder suggested itself to me from my having heard that the most noble the knight Suriano had already set out, so I told him that the ambassador accredited to King Philip departed for his legation a few days ago; and discoursing thus, having asked the Duke what he himself intended to do, he told me he should retire towards “the Kingdom,” and perhaps go to Naples.
Yesterday morning, in the act of taking leave of him, he told me he was to confer with the Cardinal again on that day, to stipulate (per capitolar) and establish the truce, about which he did not anticipate any difficulty unless it were (saying, “I should not care to make it otherwise”) on account of the aforesaid island, (fn. 13) which his Excellency intended to be all his (che fasse tutta sua), having acquired it, and to keep his artillery there and his sentries, although Cardinal Caraffa immediately on passing the stream had raised a certain trench. The Duke then told me of the places taken by him, commencing with Mentana and Monterotondo, and went on to say that these lords (questi signori) treated this business with him as harshly (si duramente) as if they were in the position of his Excellency, and had occupied the fortresses of “the Kingdom,” and had their army close to Naples; but that they deceived themselves if they expected the King to swerve from what he the Duke had told them, unless they changed their mind, his Majesty requiring nothing but security against attack in “the Kingdom;” and the Pope not choosing to give it otherwise than verbally, the Imperialists will not trust to that, knowing that the intention and design of his Holiness never had any other object than that of expelling them the Kingdom (di cacciarlo del Regno).
The Duke added, “You Venetians know it, and the Signory is very well acquainted with the fact by reason of the demands made to them hourly by the Pope for an alliance, and if the Pope constantly persevered without any cause in his hatred of their Majesties, how can we believe him now, when we have taken his fortresses? Have we perchance thus rendered him some notable service, and shown our readiness to do his bidding, in order by such means to enable him to relax his hatred? (remetter Vodio). We therefore cannot, nor ought we to trust to his word, which he will always change as shall seem best to him. From us, he could not have greater security than we will give him in fact (effettualmente) by restoring to him the fortresses held by us, which would enable us to make him waste years and years before he could recover even one of them or invade “the Kingdom;” and indeed with the forces now under my command, and those expected by me hourly, viz. 4,000 Germans, 1,500 Spaniards, and another 3,000 on their way from Spain, who had been destined to succour Oran, all excellent troops, I, by besieging Paliano and Veletri, and intercepting their victuals (vittuarie), shall obtain those places. I told you heretofore that we were compelled to take these fortresses for our defence, and although I was at liberty to take Rome likewise, it being in my power to do so after the capture of Anagni, and that this exploit (effecto) might have obtained great glory for me, yet as I knew that it was of no use for the security of “the Kingdom,” I did not choose to perform it, so that our cause is justified both before God and man; but the hope which I had of peace no longer exists, unless the most serene Signory principally, and the other potentates (principi) of Italy, undertake to give this security, for we desire nothing else, as will be proved by the result; and I should wish you to make this announcement to those most illustrious Lords.”
I said that you had not failed to perform such offices as his Excellency knew, and that I was certain you would do the like to see this peace set forward (introdotta), as by this mode of offices you hoped to obtain greater fruit, as I said to him at our last meeting, it not seeming fit to your Serenity, on suitable accounts, in such important disputes to impose your arbitration (à poner l'arbitrio suo), and that I therefore knew not how to write to your Serenity; and this I said in order to decline the office entirely.
The Duke replied, that the mode of this security would be, that on giving this security, your Serenity would have to declare yourself against those who commenced war. To this I felt bound to rejoin that besides what I had told his Excellency, I could assure him from what I knew, that it was your Serenity's intention to preserve your friendship with every one (con cadauno.) His Excellency said, “'Tis enough (Basta); I know that this would be the best road to peace, nor do I know how to imagine a better one, and yet I go devising hourly (et pur vado fantasticando ogn' hora). Let those Lords take possession of these papal fortresses now held by me, and I will pay their garrison. For this security let the Pope give them Civitavecchia; provided they be secure, we will do everything; and should his Holiness choose to give what remains to him to the French, he will find it more difficult to get rid of them than he thinks. Write it to the most illustrious Signory, as I should like to hear their intention;” and with this I took leave.
On my departure an advice boat (una fregata) arrived, giving hopes of the arrival of the galleys on that very day, the wind being very fair. By his Excellency's order, I saw the battery made in the citadel (rocca) of Hostia, and the site of the assault; and the undertaking was certainly much more difficult than had been expected, but the valour of the soldiers overcame every difficulty. I in like manner saw the fort which the Imperialists are making at the mouth of the Tiber near the sea, and which renders them masters of the river; of which Gio. Thomaso Scala, a Venetian engineer, having given me a design by his own hand I send it to your Serenity. (fn. 14)
Having done as aforesaid, I yet arrived in this city yesterday at 2 p.m.
Rome, 29th November 1559.
Nov. 29. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives, No. 7 B. p. 84, &c. 740. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
I had wished to ask audience of the Pope to-day, that Secretary Capella might report to his Holiness what he had negotiated with the Duke of Alva, but the chapel service at which his Holiness was present having commenced very late, and I understanding that he wished to remain in retirement the rest of the day, having determined to say mass (di celebrar) to-morrow, and make a procession for the peace (according to the tenor of the jubilee which has been proclaimed, as your Serenity will perceive by the accompanying printed paper), (fn. 15) it was necessary to delay until Tuesday. In the meanwhile, it not being fit any longer to detain the ordinary post, I will give what little additional news there is, to the effect that Placido wrote to the Cardinal Camerlengo [Guido Ascanio Sforza] that the Duke of Alva had concluded the truce for 40 days, to give him time to let the King of Spain know in what the difficulty of the agreement consists, and to await his Majesty's reply, most especially about Paliano, which is the important point. Cardinal Pacheco says the Pope has given it to be understood that he will not establish anything with the Duke of Alva, but with the King of Spain. Those of the Imperial faction consider the peace settled, not so much from any information received by them about it (and which may be supposed identical with what the Duke told Capella), as to increase the suspicion of the French, who are understood to be dissatisfied on account of these conferences of Cardinal Caraffa, who, having sent some game (alcune salvaticine) (fn. 16) and other refreshments (altri rinfrescamenti) to the Duke of Alva, his Excellency in return gave him Horatio del Sbirro and all the soldiers taken in Hostia.
The ambassador from Florence has sent me word that on Saturday night he was for a long while with the Pope, whom he found very gentle with regard to the Imperialists (assai dolce verso Imperiali), although he told him that should the peace not be made, your Serenity would not fail to assist him; to which the ambassador says he replied, that he thought your Serenity would do as you have done for upwards of 800 years, assisting the See Apostolic whenever anyone sought to seize the Papal territory; but that when you saw the Pope wishing to draw the French into Italy, and omitting to make terms when he could do so with dignity, you will not choose to interfere in the matter; and to this he says the Pope rejoined that he would not fail to do everything for the success of the agreement, provided it be not to the dishonour of God.
Cardinal Medici (fn. 17) says he has great hopes that the agreement will take place, because he cannot believe that the Duke of Alva would grant the Pope 40 days, his Excellency having the fleet and reinforcements so near at hand, unless he had something more than what has been published; by so much the more as Cardinal Caraffa may be supposed to wish for the agreement, knowing by experience that the war can bring no profit to his family, which profit may be supposed to be his aim and object, though possibly the Pope may have some other opinion. Matters are in this state, between hope and fear, nor can any reliance be placed on one side more than on the other (nè si può far alcun fondamento più in una parte che nell' altra); we await Cardinal Caraffa, from whom some word may perhaps be elicited to enlighten us a little, he having said to me and to others that he was to return this morning, but as yet, it being now 4 p.m., he has not made his appearance. To-day in chapel, Cardinal Pisa [Scipione Rebiba] told me that the last office performed by your Serenity's secretary with the Duke of Alva was of the utmost benefit; and Cardinal Morone said to my secretary, that any good that had been done hitherto, and all that was hoped, must be acknowledged by the See Apostolic as proceeding from the prudent and opportune offices of your Serenity.
Rome, 29th November 1556.
Nov. 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 741. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador at Brussels, to the Doge and Senate.
The King sent for Count Amerigo da Lodrone into his presence yesterday, and told him that understanding that the King of France had sent a great number of troops to Piedmont, it being reported that they were to serve the Pope, his Majesty was resolved to march 8,000 German infantry into the Milanese, having placed 12 ensigns of Germans in the territory of Trent, to demonstrate his sense of the good service rendered him by the Cardinal bishop there, under the command of his brother Signor Nicolò, (fn. 18) and that he now commissioned the said Count Lodrone to raise the other 4,000, charging him to get ready with all speed, as in three days he would have him despatched postwise, to raise the said troops in the Tyrol or thereabouts; and this morning his Majesty sent Don Alvarez de Mendoza to the King of the Romans to request him to give immediate and peremptory orders to the government of Inspruck to permit the said Count and the Cardinal's brother to raise those troops and muster them at Botzen, or in such places as shall be most convenient, allowing them to export corslets and pikes from his ammunition stores in that county (dalla munitione che tiene in quel contado).
Count Lodrone, who gave me this information, said besides that he knew that the King would pray your Serenity to give him the necessary conveniences for crossing either by Valcamonica or Val di Sabbia, assuring me that your subjects would have no cause to complain of his troops, as he knew had been the case with you on the passage of other Germans, from the fault of their commanders, and that he, Lodrone, would be extremely careful about this matter, for the interest of his own honour, and because he wishes your Serenity always to receive good news of him, not only with regard to all his operations but of the following fact in particular, that he is your most devoted and hearty servant, and hopes some day to prove it by deeds, like his ancestors, vowing that what he had said to me was uttered with all sincerity.
The agent of the Marquis of Pescara has presented a letter to his Majesty showing that he is aware of the ill-will borne him at present by the Cardinal of Trent, and narrating the great need of the Milanese, and the little authority and power had by him; he says that from fear lest the King lose some place (should the French break the truce, of which there is every sign), and that the blame be laid to him, he beseeches his Majesty's permission to come and serve him at the Court, and that his post be given to others; and he gives account of having saved the King 60,000 crowns in the payment made by him to the troops on those frontiers. These personages of the Court are at a loss to comprehend what sudden and important accident can have occurred to change the very good understanding between the parties into so bad a one as is now very clearly manifested.
All the French merchants who went to Mons after the truce have now left the town, which is one day's journey hence, and those at Antwerp go doing the like from fear lest it be broken.
The King has sent commissaries to several places of these provinces to make notes of the amount of corn they possess, owing to the great scarcity, which was increasing, and they have made such arrangements for the people that it will perhaps not go increasing further; but the Dutch who had large supplies complain of having been compelled to sell for nine what cost them ten.
The inhabitants of the other towns of Brabant are as usual determined not to give his Majesty anything unless he repeal the new taxes.
My secretary is in bed with fever and flux, which malady is now very rife in this town.
Brussels, 29th November 1556.
Nov. 30. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives, No. 7 B. p. 85. 742. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Early this morning the Lord Camillo Orsini sent for my secretary, who found him alone in the refectory of the Friars of San Salvator “in Lauro.” His lordship said that he would have come in person to me, but abstained to avoid causing suspicion to the Roman Government (à questi Sigri Illmi), because although he does not choose to be the Pope's soldier, notwithstanding the demand made to him again by the Duke of Paliano, yet is he his subject, nor would it be for his own advantage, nor for that of his sons, for him to speak against the designs of his Holiness; yet he does so for the benefit of this See Apostolic, and of all Italy, and especially for the maintenance of that quiet now enjoyed by the Signory. He then continued, that, contrary to his interests as a soldier, he very much regretted this war, as notwithstanding his profession, it did not prevent him from having been born an Italian, and eminently christian (et Xmo). He said he knew that if this war continued it must bring ruin to Italy, and above all to the Papal States, whichever side win, as we may be sure of Spanish arrogance and of French insolence (si pò esser chiari dell' arrogantia Spagnola, et dell' insolentia Francese); so as he did not see that any great trust could be placed in the good result of the 40 days truce, he would not fail to give your Serenity his opinion.
He commended the offices performed by your Serenity's secretary with the Pope and the Duke of Alva, which, he said, had brought a great remedy for this sore, but that the whole would be wasted unless some able physician applied a restringent (un defensivo) to prevent the humours from flowing towards the injured part, and that this would be to perform cogent offices (offitij gagliardi) with the most Christian King in favour of peace, as it is certain that if his Majesty determines on war here the loss of life will be great; and although hitherto by the advice of the Constable the King has proceeded coldly, yet might it come to pass that the youth of France, the incitements (stimuli) of the Guise family, the necessity for providing for his sons, the opportunity afforded by having a Pope so resolutely in his favour that centuries will pass before such another be found, the Emperor's retirement from politics, and King Philip's little experience of public business, might stimulate him to war; in which case, besides the desolation of these provinces, your Serenity would be in greater trouble than you had ever experienced, because to take part with one of the belligerents would be very perilous, whilst to remain neutral, as has been your custom of late years, would render you the prey of the victor; wherefore it seemed to him that the Republic could not fail doing its utmost to quiet matters; so that having brought the sore here to a very good state, you should compound the restringent (il defensivo) through the King of France, and that he thought it would be well to send him an envoy, who orally, by means of the Constable, might induce the King to desire the quiet of Italy, giving it to be understood (as evil counsel requires strong medicines) that these disturbances would molest you, adding certain other words to cause the King suspicion; the performance of which office, he said, ought not to be delayed, as time pressed, it being credible that within two days at the farthest an express will be sent from hence on these subjects.
Rome, 30th November 1556.


  • 1. Fernando Sanseverino. (See Foreign Calendar, Mary, Index.)
  • 2. I believe this “Prince” to have been the younger brother of Guglielmo, Duke of Mantua, namely, Lodovico Gonzaga, who was horn in the year 1538, and eventually married Henriette of Cleves, Duchess of Nevers and of Rhetel.
  • 3. Luigi Pico. (See Foreign Calendar, Mary, Index.)
  • 4. 1549, November, to February 1550 (when Cardinal Pole was his chief competitor); the second conclave was the one held in March and April 1555, when Pole was again supported by the Imperialists; and finally, at the third conclave, Caraffa was made Pope by the French faction, on the 23rd May 1555.
  • 5. Of the thirty-two drafts of letters from and to the Earl of Devonshire now preserved in the Venetian Archives, and which are dated from 8th May 1555 to 22nd February 1556, not one is marked with a cross, and if they formed part of the contents of the casket, I am at a loss to guess why they were not replaced in it. With regard to the papers on which the Chiefs of the Ten placed a cross, they are no longer in existence, much to my regret, as I suspect them to have been of great political importance, and that they were addressed to the Earl of Devonshire by Henry II., or by his ministers, who sought to place him on the throne of England; and I therefore infer that the Council of Ten seized the entire correspondence at the suggestion of the Bishop of Lodève, then French Ambassador at Venice; nor can I offer any other conjecture in explanation of this act of state larceny, as the Republic of Venice individually had no reason to be inquisitive about the ambitious schemes of Edward, Courtenay, which on the other hand were of vital interest for France.
  • 6. The original draft is not dated, but in the Register the motion follows the other two of the 26th November.
  • 7. The italicized passage is cancelled in the original.
  • 8. Fernando Franceso d'Avalos; see Sir William Hackett's Index to the late Mr. Turnbull's Calendar (Mary), in which, date 27th April 1557 (p. 298), there is an extract from a letter of Dr. Wotton's, thus: “Believes the report of the Cardinal of Trent's nephew having been slain by the Marquis of Pescara is incorrect.” Badoer's despatch shows that there was cause for enmity between the Marquis of Pescara and the Cardinal of Trent.
  • 9. No date in the original.
  • 10. In the Foreign Calendar, p. 278, allusion is made to a letter sent from Rome on this day to Queen Mary by Sir Edward Carne, but it no longer exists.
  • 11. Giovanni Caraffa, Count of Montorio, and created Duke of Paliano by his uncle Paul IV.
  • 12. Cipher.
  • 13. Sir Edward Carne, in a despatch dated 5th December 1556, calls it “the island of Ostia.” (See the late Mr. Turnbull's Calendar, p. 279.)
  • 14. Not found.
  • 15. Not found.
  • 16. The present consisted of “pheasants, venison, and divers other good meats.” (See Sir Edward Carne's letter to King Philip and Queen Mary, date Rome, 5th December 1556, in the late Mr. Turnbull's Calendar, entry No. 563, pp. 278, 279.)
  • 17. The Milanese Gianangelo de' Medici, sometimes called the Medichino, elected Pope with the title of Pius IV., on the 26th December 1559. In his reign, on. the 6th March 1561, at midnight, Cardinal Caraffa was strangled in Castle St. Angelo, his brother the ex-Duke of Paliano having been already beheaded in Tordinona two hours previously. (See Pietro Nores, p. 297, ed. Firenze, 1847.)
  • 18. Nicolò, Baron of Madruccio. (See Biographical Dictionary, published at Bassano 1796.)