Venice: January 1557, 11-20

Pages 907-921

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.


January 1557, 11–20

Jan. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 790. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday I received your Serenity's letters of the 5th ultimo, together with those to the Queen about my taking leave of her. For this I return thanks. Shall be compelled to leave the Secretary here on account of his quartan ague, in the house of one of these merchants of ours, with orders to take such care of him as he requires, until he is better able to travel.
On Saturday morning the Queen received an express from the Earl of Pembroke at Calais, with news of the rupture of the truce by the French in Flanders, towards England (in questa parte di Fiandra). The particulars of the mode in which they made the incursion will have been immediately known to your Serenity through many channels, whereas here it is reported variously, nor can one as yet know the truth. Your Serenity may imagine with what mind her Majesty received such news (una simil nova), though many persons are of opinion that this will greatly accelerate the King's return, his presence seeming necessary to make this kingdom declare that, if it will not break entirely, it will at least lend him assistance.
London, 11th January 1557.
Jan. 12. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), File No. 29. 791. The Doge and Senate to Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome.
On the 21st of last month there arrived in this city the most illustrious and right reverend Cardinal Caraffa, his Holiness' legate, who was met and received by us with the greatest possible demonstration of love towards him, both on account of his Holiness, whom we respect and revere extremely as our Republic's loving Father, and also by reason of his most illustrious Lordship's singular virtues (preclare virtù) and rare qualities, perfectly well known to us by the very judicious and prudent manner in which he negotiated, which has still more increased our love and affection for him and for the whole of his illustrious house. We with the Senate charge you, after representing what is aforesaid to his Holiness, to render most ample thanks to him in our name for this so loving an office which he deigned to perform with us, by sending so honourable a personage and the most dear to him of any about his person; and you will make this same announcement to the Duke of Paliano.
Then on the 23rd his Lordship came to us and narrated in detail all that had taken place from the commencement of his Holiness' pontificate until the stipulation of the last truce, deferring until another day what else he had to communicate. On the 26th when he returned and made a statement, as by the enclosed copy, (fn. 1) to which we replied as you will learn by the copy, which we in like manner send, herewith. (fn. 2) His most illustrious Lordship desiring a more positive declaration, as by his rejoinder, which we also enclose, we made him another answer and send you that likewise for your instruction, so that should the Pope speak to you on this subject (and not otherwise by any means) you may be able, if necessary, to speak in conformity with the tenor and contents of the said replies. (fn. 3) As we know you to be prudent and circumspect, we rely on your not uttering a word that can bind us to anything; and should the Pope propose to you to negotiate this matter at Rome, you will take time to write to our Signory what he may have said to you about this business; nor will we omit to tell you that although the replies made to his Lordship are in the name of the Senate, they were nevertheless communicated to him by the chiefs of our Council of Ten, as he made all his proposals in their presence for greater secrecy, about which we enjoined the strictest silence (strettissima credenza), and thus do we warn you also by reason of the great importance of the affair. The aforesaid Cardinal took leave of us yesterday, having repeated the words contained in his preceding statements, and remaining apparently well satisfied with us he left this city to-day, but on his arrival in Rome you will visit him in our name, using such loving language as of your prudence you shall think fitting, declaring to him how agreeable it is to us to have seen his Lordship in person, towards whom if we did not make all such demonstrations as we wished, we at least did what we could as becoming our devotion to his Holiness and the great affection borne by us towards his most illustrious house.
Ayes, 164.
Expulsis Papalistis. 1557 die 12 Jani. Lecta Collegio.
Amendment proposed by Francesco Soranzo, Sage of the Council.
That as this afternoon at the farthest the letters from our ambassador at Rome will arrive, whereby we may have some notice of what he negotiated at his last audience of the Pope, and be then able to write more groundedly, that therefore the present matter be postponed until the arrival of the above written letters.
Ayes, 9. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
Jan. 16. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 792. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Marshal Strozzi, with the troops who accompanied him out of Rome, went under Hostia, where the Imperialists, not having succeeded in mining or burning it entirely, had placed about twenty Spanish infantry, who surrendered at the first cannon shot, and being brought hither, and asked why when unable to keep the place they remained within it, they said it was the custom of that nation to obey their commanders, and that it is desirable to have officers who know how to command. (fn. 4) When the papal troops made their entry, they inadvertently set fire to the powder, of which three barrels were burned, a few men being killed and some maimed; so the Marshal, writing an account of this capture to the Duke of Paliano, said, “We have made rejoicings for the recovery of Hostia by burning a few soldiers.”
The Pope gave 50 crowns to the person who brought him this news, promising him a yet greater reward, and spoke publicly of this capture in such a way that all who heard him were compelled to believe that it had been a very important victory, although the Duke of Paliano told my secretary that this recovery is unimportant, because the whole place having suffered from the enemy's battering, and being still open, and defended by a very few troops, everybody was convinced that they (the Papal troops) would obtain it by merely presenting themselves, as came to pass, but that he did not believe that it would be the same with the fort, in which there were about 500 Spaniards, well supplied with artillery and victuals, although they might suffer from a scarcity of water and fuel. As yet it is not heard that the papal troops have approached the said fort, but merely that they carried off a few wethers that were grazing thereabouts, and some butts of wine which had been landed on the banks of the river but not yet housed, and having made this plunder they proceeded to the island, where Strozzi has commenced another fort near the sea, distant half a mile from that of the enemy. The Duke of Paliano went yesterday to his army, to see how things are going (per veder come passano le case). They do not allow it to transpire what is to be done with this body of troops, but the general opinion is that it will go to Tivoli, to try and take it before the Imperialists shall have had time to strengthen it, as they are doing, they having 500 Spaniards there. Marshal Strozzi has sent part of the troops to recover certain small places of little importance in that neighbourhood, including Castel Gandolfo, in which there were a few soldiers, who went out when they saw Villaferrarese with some others on the wall, by means of scaling ladders.
It is said to-day that a company belonging to Sciarra Colonna, now in the Pope's service, having fallen in with some of the enemy's horse, was half stripped by them, nor as yet are any farther particulars known. It is also said that the Spaniards and Germans who landed at Gaeta are in sorry plight from having suffered greatly. On Monday, when Consistory assembled, the Pope did nothing else but confer the bishopric of Teano on a friar, and despatch (espedic) four abbacies in France; and as certain churches in England, given by the Queen, were not despatched (espedite), Cardinal Morone, “vice-protector” of that kingdom, went to his Holiness on Wednesday, and so contrived (et operò di modo), that he disposed him to satisfy her Majesty, although his Holiness made resistance (fece resistentia), saying that she was the wife of a schismatic, and that she let it be understood that she would assist him.
I hear that in the course of that conversation the Pope began saying to him that in this his so just war he will have no lack of assistance, even from Germany, by reason of State policy (per ragione di Stato), because it has been offended by this House of Austria, nor will it ever lose an opportunity for revenging itself. Morone replied, that although the Pope's argument was based on reason, he believed his Holiness might deceive himself, owing to his, Morone's, experience of that nation, which has no greater hatred than that which it bears the Pope. When his Holiness rejoined, “The Turks will not fail us,” Morone continued, “Holy Father! I believe your Holiness to be of such great goodness as not to choose to have recourse to these infamous aids, and that you will provide in such a way as not to require them; and I being assured of the reverence which I know King Philip bears your Holiness and this See Apostolic, can certify to you that his Majesty, through the restitution of the whole of the papal territory, and by such other submissive and respectful amends as necessary, will show himself your obedient son and be known for such.” To this the Pope replied, “They, however, delay; they will wish to do so when there will no longer be time.”
Here both the French and the Imperialists say that, by the most Christian King's order, the army is to halt in Piedmont until the receipt of farther commands. Concerning this the French tell their most trusty adherents that the cause is, the small account in which they seem to be held after having expended and continuing to spend so much for the Pope, and after assisting him both with troops and by giving him repute, while he in the meanwhile negotiates with the Imperialists without their being especially informed of it; and that he sent a Cardinal of such great consequence to your Serenity without having communicated his intended departure to the French ambassador, save accidentally on the evening before (se non a caso la sera avanti), he being then in the Pope's chamber on other business. The Imperialists, on the contrary, assign another cause to the King's order, namely that at one and the same time two envoys had arrived at the French Court, the one sent by King Philip, the other by the Queen of England, to let his most Christian Majesty know that they wished for peace, and would do whatever war fair and fitting to that effect; the English envoy adding that should the war continue, his Queen, together with her entire kingdom, could not desert (non potria manear) the King her husband.
Two messengers have arrived from Cardinal Caraffa, the one a courier, who left Venice on the 10th at 2 p.m., and arrived here on the 12th at that same hour; the other, who left on the 11th at 10 p.m. and arrived here on the 13th at 4 p.m. These frequent despatches conveyed with such speed cause comment, and what I hear is, that the courier brought the reply to the letters of the Duke of Alva and of Cardinal Pacheco, who immediately sent to the Duke the letter from Cardinal Caraffa, forwarded by his Holiness; and concerning his own, Pacheco said to the person who repeated it to me, that although Caraffa did not utterly exclude the discussion of truce, he nevertheless does not evince any great wish for it. From Aldobrandini's son it has merely been heard that Cardinal Caraffa was to depart from your Serenity on the 12th, but after Aldobrandini's arrival many persons having come to visit me because I had a fit of the gout, I heard that now the Pope and some of his intimates (alcuni delli soi) evince much greater cheerfulness than previously.
Yesterday, an hour before daybreak, I also received your Serenity's letters of the 12th, with the enclosed copies of Cardinal Caraffa's proposals, and of your Sublimity's replies. When able to go to the Pope, (I am now in bed lame of my right foot), I will immediately do as enjoined me, not speaking in any way about the replies unless stimulated (provocato) by the Pope, in which case not a word will I utter, save the identical ones written by the most sage and illustrious Senate.
The Bishop of Carzola (fn. 5) tells me that yesterday evening the Pope, when at table, asked him what had become of me, as he had not seen me, and wished to demonstrate the great cause he had to hold your Serenity in account for the costly and honourable reception given by you to the Cardinal, his nephew, as were not his Holiness Venetian, as he is from affection, this thing alone would suffice to make him such, and that he was satisfied with the most excellent Republic, not merely for these honours, but for all its actions, charging instantly the Reverend President of the Treasury (della camera), who is in such favour with him, to come and visit me in his name, as he did this morning with great kindness and affection, when I told him that I respectfully kissed his Holiness' foot for so great a favour, and that as soon as I could I would go to do him reverence.
The Bishop of Carzola told me besides that the Pope also commenced speaking against the Emperor and King Philip, and the whole Spanish nation, with greater warmth and vehemence than ever.
Rome, 16th January 1557.
Jan. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archvies. 793. Federigo Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday Monsignor Fantuzzo came to me and said he was sent by Cardinal Caraffa to the King to make the last trial whether after so many injuries done to his family he (the King) would at length be reconciled to it (coleva finalmente amarla), and have the said Cardinal for his special friend and servant, which if his Majesty demonstrated by facts, his right reverend Lordship offered to act in such a way (di far tal opera) that peace might be made with the Pope. He then told me of several things done by the Emperor and by King Philip's ministers against his Holiness, evincing the utmost possible ill-will, using many exclamations at several passages, and adding that he would acquaint me with the result of his negotiation as to your Serenity's representative, particularly as he knew what offices had been performed by me in your name for his Holiness, and for the honour and security of the Holy See Apostolic. At these words I told his Lordship that I assured him they had been much greater and more efficacious than he perhaps had been able to learn; for that on no other occasion had I ever known your Serenity to be so ardent as you had shown yourself for the dignity and conservation of his Holiness and of the See Apostolic; and that I, as the most obedient of servants, and as a Christian, had identified myself with the will of your Serenity. I then thanked him for his offer to communicate everything to me, and when he rose to depart I asked him to say what hope he gave me of peace, and to be pleased to tell me some particulars about it, the reports which had reached me being contradictory.
Fantuzzo replied that although he was ordered to go at that hour to visit Don Juan Manrique, he would impart to me his commission, which purported that he was to let the King know that the Pope's just and intense anger must be appeased by all possible means, nothing being said about the restitution of Paliano, the Duke his brother being held no less dear [by the Pope] than Marc' Antonio Colonna [by King Philip?]; and in short, that if his Majesty wished to have the Cardinal for his friend and special servant, as one capable of doing him more service in Italy than anyone else of his grade, he should be pleased to do him an amount of good offices, equal to the evil ones which had caused the King to lose his allegiance; and that he, Fantuzzo, had told Don Ruy Gomez that his Majesty could and ought to give such additional territory and revenue as becoming to the Duke of Paliano, he being a most staunch Imperialist (Imperialissimo), and so fixed in this humour (et in quest humor sà fisso), that all the injuries in the world could not eradicate this affection; and that by the King and Don Ruy Gomez he was answered in language no less bland and gracious, than that of all the rest of the Court was lofty and sour, owing to a variety of bad opinions entertained by them, they in particular choosing to believe that the sole cause for which the said Cardinal went to your Serenity was to induce you to act injuriously against his Majesty.
Fantuzzo then told me that Don Ruy Gomez had asked him whether he was vested with authority to ratify whatever might be concluded, to which he replied in the negative, because it was unnecessary, or rather unbecoming, the said Cardinal being the injured party, and that it was the business of his Majesty's ministers to offer him what he proposed doing, on hearing which he will send an express to Cardinal Caraffa, and not depart hence until the reply arrive, as otherwise he should depart speedily; and he ended by praying me to use my good offices for the conclusion of this peace for the prevention of those troubles which would otherwise be heard of in Italy, or that I would at least bear witness that he had not failed in the performance of every office to effect it. After thanking him for his confidential communication, I said that knowing your extreme desire for this peace by reason of your great affection for his Holiness, and your love and esteem for the Cardinal and the Duke of Paliano and the whole of their most illustrious family, I would, when the opportunity offered itself, perform all such good offices as his Lordship could desire; but I shall not speak about this matter to the King unless by accident, having no commission from your Serenity about this coming of the aforesaid Monsignor Fantuzzo, and at the fitting time, if it comes, I will use such exhortations as I know your Serenity desires, showing him good will, and granting his request to send his despatches with my own, as he told me there was no other way of transmitting them in safety; and as the King seems to hold him in great account, and all the chief personages and principal ministers of the Court, and some of the ambassadors, having visited him, I also shall do the like in such form as to preserve your Serenity's dignity.
I have been assured to-day, that although the King implied that he would give Don Francisco de Vargas the grade of President of the Council of Valladolid, and the title of Councillor of State in Spain, giving him also other rewards, he has determined again to send him as ambassador to your Serenity, considering the nature of the times, in order to give you an ambassador much to your taste and of great experience; and although the said Vargas constantly evinced a wish to return home to see his wife and children, he nevertheless professed obedience to his Majesty provided he gave him some other grade and benefice. (fn. 6) He also lately assured these Spanish cavaliers who were apprehensive of your Serenity, that unless you had very just cause you would never join a league against King Philip for the sake of favouring others.
Since the inroads made by the French along nearly the whole line of these frontiers, the Spaniards in Luxemburg and Charlemont went out, and these from the former place took several hundred head of cattle belonging to the French in the adjoining territory, and the troops from Charlemont captured provisions and the troops who were taking them to Marienburg, the provisions being estimated by the Duke of Savoy at 30,000 crowns, and the value of property belonging to French merchants which has been seized in these provinces is said to amount to 300,000 crowns.
The said Duke has caused the arrest here in Brussels of a Frenchman who represented himself to be a Spaniard, he speaking the Spanish language like a native, and on him was found a letter in cipher without any address. He was immediately tortured to ascertain the cause of his coming hither, and the name of the person for whom the said letter was destined, but it is not yet known what he confessed.
His Majesty had sent to tell the French ambassador that as on becoming accounts he did not choose his attendants (i suoi) to have intercourse with any one, he was to go with his retinue to a village one league hence; but shortly afterwards, a courier having arrived in safety from Spain, passing through France, his Majesty did not allow his intention to be carried into effect; as also by reason of the coming hither of a gentleman in the service of his ambassador in France, but the intelligence brought by him has not yet been divulged.
Several advices have been received here from Germany, purporting that the Marquis of Baden, brother-in-law of the late Marquis Albert of Brandenburg, is raising troops in the State of the Count Palatine at the request of the King of France, who sent him a courier lately with a sum of money; and it is supposed that these troops are to go and serve his most Christian Majesty in France, both to prevent King Philip from receiving reinforcements from Germany, and to approach these parts to attack him.
Sir Richard Shelley has arrived here, as ambassador from the Queen of England to the Duchess of Parma, to contragulate her on her coming, and to invite her Excellency to go to England, making her the offer as to a sister-in-law, to which the Duchess replied after the usual compliments, that she was unable to go thither being compelled, to return to the Duke her consort in March, as she had commissioned a secretary sent by her lately to pay her respect; to her Majesty, to tell the Queen; and thus did she despatch the said ambassador, presenting him with a chain.
Don Ruy Gomez has just sent me the King's letter addressed to the Viceroy of Sicily in the form desired by your Serenity; and by a secretary of the Duke of Savoy, I also received from him the written “permit” to export twenty-five chargers (corsieri) (fn. 7) from these provinces for the company of men-at-arms of the Lord Marco Savorgnano, which I obtained in such becoming form as I understood to be the wish of your Serenity, through the letter written to me on this subject.
Brussels, 17th January 1557.
Jan. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 794. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen's indecision about returning to London, and this general muster of the Gentlemen Pensioners (questa monstra general delli Pensionarij della Corte) which for the last week have been expected daily, (fn. 8) has prevented her Majesty from giving the audience sought for by me, but I trust it will not be delayed more than two or three days now that her Majesty is determined not to move; and with regard to the muster, it will be made to-morrow. On receiving the passport, although, owing to the intense cold and ice, the weather is very ill-suited to the commencement of a journey, I shall not on that account fail to set out immediately, should nothing else detain me.
The courier, Gamboa, has been sent back from Brussels; and, two days ago, he was followed by another, in greater haste, with letters to the “Regent” here, Don [Juan de (fn. 9) ] Figueroa, from whom it has not been possible to learn anything but the confirmation of the rupture of the truce.
There also arrived at the same time a messenger despatched in haste by the English ambassador in France; the Earl of Pembroke having also sent hither the Treasurer of Calais, who is a principal personage, but the cause of his coming has not transpired.
The French ambassador resident here asserts that by letters of the 8th from his King, not one word is said to him about the rupture, and he apologises by saying that if any disorder took place it was caused by those disbanded mutineers on the frontiers, who moved of their own accord to plunder, and not to invade by the King's order; and these other Frenchmen here say that the Imperialists were the first who attacked.
Good arrangements have been made here for certain vessels to secure the passage and keep this Channel free, so that should the rupture continue, it be not crowded with [sea] robbers and corsairs (di ladri et di corsari).
London, 19th January 1557.
Jan. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 795. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
By my last of the 13th (fn. 10) I wrote about the stir in Picardy. Subsequently I heard the particulars of the fact, thus:—The Admiral removed 200 horse and 300 foot from the frontiers, and having an understanding with a French gentleman, who, under pretence of making love to a gentlewoman there, resided at Douai, the Admiral approached that place, and the evening before having sent some soldiers, who lodged in certain cottages (casette) near the walls, and they having had a dispute with their host, they killed him, his wife escaping and concealing herself in a ditch near the town gate, and at daybreak, when the guard within came to open it, the French cavalry having already commenced their approach, the woman aforesaid shouted “Look to the French” (guarda li Francesi); so the guard within, hearing this, mounted the ramparts without opening the gate and rang the alarum bell, to call the garrison to arms, the French retreating to perform some other exploit. As his most Christian Majesty had it proclaimed in Picardy and Champagne that all the cattle were to be driven within the borders by the 5th instant, the ministers of the King of Spain, on hearing this, inferred that it was the commencement of the rupture of the truce, and on the 6th plundered a good quantity of animals which it had been impossible to remove into the interior in time; so the Admiral made reprisals, he in like manner capturing a great amount of animals in the neighbouring territory. But the most Christian King has sent a messenger express to the frontier of the King of Spain to let him know that he does not intend to break the truce, and that should they restore the plunder taken by them, his most Christian Majesty has given orders that on his part likewise entire restitution be made. He has not sent any apology for the affair of Douai, it being said at the Court that the King of Spain having countenanced the plot discovered at Metz, the King of France considers himself at liberty to do the same, but to-day the Spanish ambassador told me that he had letters from the Constable expressing great surprise at a certain report in circulation that merchants and ships belonging to the subjects of his most Christian Majesty had been seized at Antwerp and other places in Flanders, and that the passes hitherwards were closed, so that 20 days had elapsed without the receipt by the King of letters from his ambassador. His Excellency added that his Majesty in like manner heard with regret (con dispiacere) that between your Serenity's frontiers and those of the Switzers a courier coming with letters to his most Christian Majesty had been robbed by his (the Spanish ambassador's) King's troops (gente), and he therefore requested of the said ambassador one of his attendants to accompany a courier whom his Majesty intended to despatch to Flanders (voleva spazzar in Flandra). The said ambassador told me that his reply to the Constable purported that he had no “advice” whatever (non teneva avviso alcuno) of what is aforesaid, but that he believed that his King had done the like of what his Majesty here did by his subjects, and the ambassador sent the Constable his (the ambassador's) messenger (l'homo suo), that he may despatch him to Flanders; notwithstanding which, the Count Mansfeldt and other persons, who when on their way to Flanders were arrested on the French frontiers, were set at liberty; yet I have also heard that a ship from Spain loaded with wool has been detained at Rouen, and even yesterday they were still unloading it, the Flemish merchants there being in like manner arrested. The last advices from the Duke de Guise are in date of Turin, the 3rd, and on the 7th the army was to march towards Casale and then cross.
Poissy, 19th January 1577.
Jan. 19. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 796. Bernardo Navagero, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Although with difficulty could I put my foot to the ground, I nevertheless went this very day to the Pope. On entering his Holiness' chamber, I found the ambassador of the King of Portugal waiting for audience, and shortly afterwards the Pope entered with the right reverend “Decano” [Cardinal de Bellai], they after dinner having been to inspect the chapel his Holiness is building near that chamber. The moment the Pope saw me, after having asked how I was, he embraced me, with rare demonstration of love, saying that I must take care of myself in this variable weather (in questa inequalità di aere); that he was sorry I had incurred the inconvenience of going to him, although he was glad to see me, because he was so full of obligations to your Serenity for the honours and caresses bestowed by you on his Cardinal, that he knew not with what words to commence thanking you; but that he prayed, and would constantly pray the Lord God for the felicity, conservation, and increase of the most illustrious Dominion's state.
To this I replied that I had had an order from your Serenity and the Senate to thank his Holiness in the Republic's name most lovingly, for having willed to send them so honourable a personage, and so near akin and dear to him, as Cardinal Caraffa, towards whom your Serenity had made such trifling demonstrations as the shortness of the time allowed of, for that scarcely had the news arrived of his lordship's intention of going to Venice, ere it was heard that he was already at Chioggia. The Pope rejoined, “We are advised that more could not have been done; do write that we are so much satisfied with what the Doge's Sublimity and those most excellent Lords have done by our nephew, who is ourself in person (che è la nostra persona), that we choose to be obliged to them, hoping in God some day or other to let them know it effectively” (con effetti).
I then began telling him how satisfied your Serenity was with the prudence, gravity, and judgment displayed by his most illustrious nephew in all his actions, expatiating on this particular as I was aware of the satisfaction it gave the Pope, who by his gestures could not conceal it; again embracing me, his whole countenance evincing that he was beyond measure rejoiced; returning, in conclusion, thanks to God for that he was such, and acknowledged as such; adding, “Enough, we cannot get it out of our head that the infinite love which we bear the Signory, and the reciprocity received by us, is not besides a natural inclination, moreover by the will of God; so that we may one day perform some notable feat to the praise of His Majesty for the universal benefit, and for the particular advantage and grandeur of the Republic; and because, as our minds are united in love, so we wish our affairs to be mutually known (che sia congionta, la intelligentia delli negotij) and that nothing pass without our communicating it to his Sublimity and to you, as we always have done, so that quos Deus conjunxit homo non separet.
“On the arrival here the day before yesterday of Don Francisco Pacheco from the Court of King Philip, and it being understood that he had no commission to negotiate with us, but merely to convey the despatch to the Duke of Alva, who was then to treat with our Cardinal, we, although Don Francisco requested that he might come to us, did not choose him to do so, as we will maintain the dignity of the station (loco) in which God has placed us; for that of our own private person we hold in no account, and are ready to lay it down (a metterla in terra) when necessary; but we do not think it suited to the grade we hold, that an individual should appear before us, to say, 'it will not be sent to you, I am going to another person;' so yesterday we sent for Cardinal Pacheco, and told him to let Don Francisco know that he must go to Naples, whither he is despatched, as with us he has nothing more to do; and we believe that he departed accordingly this morning. On our Cardinal's return, should the Duke of Alva wish to treat with him, they having already negotiated together, God speed them; should they make becoming proposals we shall then hear them, and grant they may be such as to enable us to accept them. For the present we will not bind ourselves to anything, but be arbiters of ourselves and of our will according to opportunity.
“That you may know our whole heart we will indeed tell you that were Philip to come in person to humble himself before us, and ask pardon for the very great error committed by him, we would not go to meet him, as we would choose him to make this public demonstration, that the whole world might know that he had truly repented, and was dissatisfied (malcontento) with his villanous and impious acts, which had been public.”
When I said it was reported that Don Francisco was the bearer of terms so dignified and satisfactory for his Holiness, that the peace so desired by everybody, and amongst the rest by your Serenity, might be considered settled, he made no farther reply; wherefore, although I had intended to congratulate his Holiness on the capture of Hostia, having heard how much joy he evinced at that event I changed my mind, in order not to give him an opportunity for discoursing about the victories which might be obtained by continuing the war. I indeed congratulated him on the Duchess of Paliano's pregnancy having resulted well by her delivery this morning of a daughter.
He thanked me, and added, “We have let the Duke and Duchess, and others their kinsfolk (et altri soi), know that should anyone evince dissatisfaction at her not having had a son, we shall consider them bad Christians, and they will lose our favour.” As he uttered this last word, the Duke of Paliano, with the Marquis his son, coming into the chamber, and by kissing the Pope's foot having rejoiced at this birth, (quali col basciar il piede a San Santità si allegrorno di questo parto his Holiness said to them. “At this very moment we told the ambassador that should any persons evince dissatisfaction about this daughter they would fall into disgrace with us, as (besides its being repugnant to the will and providence of God) we are as glad as if a son had been born, especially as we are told that the mother is well, the great love we bear her being known to you, for she is in truth a little saint (fn. 11) (perchè in verita è una santarella). We have given this female infant (questa figliola) to the Lord God, who will avail Himself of her as He shall think fit, either for marriage or otherwise, nor can we know what He will do with her, though we indeed hope that she is destined to bring happiness to our house. We wish her to be named Paula, in memory of that most holy woman, Paula, a very noble Roman lady, who having left a great part of her wealth here, went to Jerusalem and built a nunnery near Bethlem, about which Saint Jerome (San Hieronimo) write in terms of great honour; and we intend to rebuild her church, which is in ruins at the foot of the Aventine, doing the like by that of Saint Servolo, as we should have done by many others had not these schismatics, accursed of God, disturbed us as they have done.” His Holiness then recommenced speaking about the Duchess and his joy at her being well delivered, adding that it was no wonder she had a bad pregnancy and difficulty in parturition, because, according to the physicians (phisici), the bringing forth of females is for the most part worse than that of males, the females being feeble, frigid, and relaxed (debili, frigide, molli), and not assisting themselves, whereas the males are strong, sustaining, moving and aiding themselves. Thereupon, it seeming to me that I had an opportunity for doing so, I took my leave, and wishing respectfully to bow, he raised me up, saying, “We have indeed detained you ill-at-case too long,” and charging me to keep him on loving terms with your Serenity (che lo mantenisse caro appresso rostra Serenità).
I then went to wait for the Duke of Paliano in his apartments. He said that by fresh demonstrations your Serenity rendered them, the (three) brothers, more obliged daily, so that they were unable to return thanks, but that they would always be ready to lay down their lives for you. I then asked about Don Francisco Pacheco, and he repeated what had been already told me by the Pope, and that on the day of his arrival he went to dine with his Excellency, merely saying in general terms that he was the bearer of things so much to the Pope's satisfaction, and so advantageous for his family, that he believed the peace was settled; to which he had replied that the interest of his family would not affect him, provided regard were had for his Holiness' dignity, and he hoped the Pope would be able to give them their livelihood; and that he said this, not because this disposition of King Philip was not agreeable to him, but to show that his own personal interest would never thwart the adjustment. I commended his preferring peace, and his Excellency, having said that God knew his mind, told me that the fortress erected by the Imperialists at Hostia would certainly be taken.
Rome, 19th January 1557.
Jan. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 797. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador to King Philip II, to the Doge and Senate.
In consequence of the coming hither of his Majesty's secretary in France the King sent the Councillor Borsielle (sic) to the French ambassador here to tell him that he was now at liberty to have free intercourse, and to allow his attendants to go abroad, telling him that the cause which had induced his Majesty to forbid communication with them was a very just one, because seeing the French make so many incursions everywhere on these frontiers, his Majesty considered it certain that the most Christian King chose to break the truce, and that consequently his ambassador in France had been arrested, but that having heard from the aforesaid secretary, and subsequently by his ambassador's letters, that the most Christian King did not intend the truce to be broken, his Majesty informed the French ambassador that he would regulate his proceedings by those of his King. The ambassador replied that the cause of these disturbances had proceeded from several circumstances, but from two in particular; the one, from what had been done at Montreuil by the mutineers at Hesdin; the other, because letters had been intercepted in France addressed by the ministers of King Philip to his ambassador resident with your Serenity. Notwithstanding all this M. de Lalain, the lieutenant of the Duke of Savoy, has been despatched to give several orders on these frontiers, and the preparations of troops and other necessaries continue, it being considered certain that the said truce will be broken in Italy, and that it must necessarily be broken here.
Through the tortures inflicted on that Frenchman who said he was a Spaniard, it is heard that he confessed to having an understanding with two Spaniards to carry into effect certain schemes on these frontiers.
Monsignor Fantuzzo is despatching his secretary postwise to-day to go and give account to Cardinal Caraffa of the matters treated with his Majesty and Don Ruy Gomez, conveying an offer of three things; the one, that with regard to appeasing the Pope's anger, the King will charge the Duke of Alva to go in person to his feet, and ask pardon in his Majesty's name for what has been done, restoring to him in their original state the places taken from the Church in the Papal territory; the other, that his Majesty is content to leave the Duke of Paliano in possession of what he holds, but that for the security of the kingdom of Naples he would wish some person in his confidence to be placed in Paliano with a suitable garrison, and should this proposal be rejected, that the place be held neither for the Duke nor by Marc' Antonio Colonna; and from what has been hinted to me they discussed together I know not what project about the State of Sienna. The third thing is about gratifying Cardinal Caraffa; that his Majesty is of opinion he should come to this Court, promising by an autograph letter which he is now writing to him that he will do such things for his right reverend Lordship that he will remain quite content, and that otherwise the King will be always suspicious of him.
Monsignor Fantuzzo has assured Don Ruy Gomez that the said Cardinal will not come, both because the Pope will not give him leave, and because he will not choose to detach himself so much from the French as to have cause for repentance should this side fail him.
According to the intention written by me to your Serenity, his Majesty sent for the ambassador Vargas, and after many complimentary expressions to his honour about being well satisfied with the service he had rendered him with your Serenity, and because he knew him to be personally acceptable to you, he commanded him to return to Venice, praying him not to say no, pledging his word to do him great honour, and to reward him largely. The ambassador said that he would obey the King without farther thought for his children, of whom he left the care to his Majesty, for whose service he was content to end his whole life at Venice; and so from what he himself told me I heard that he will depart in a fortnight, going postwise half stages (andando mezze poste), his language to me in honour of your Serenity being the most loving and respectful possible.
Brussels, 20th January 1557.


  • 1. This copy no longer exists in the Venetian Archives, nor can any draft of its contents be found in the.” Secreti Senato,” nor in the “Parti Secrete, Comuni, C. X.,” nor yet in the Archives of the Chiefs of the Ten; but in the 2nd volume of Andrea Morosini's Venetian History, pp. 278, 279, it appears that Cardinal Caraffa's statement purported that if the Republic would join the League against Philip II., Paul IV. would consign Cervia and Ravenna to the Venetians until they got possession of the ports of Puglia and of the Ghiara d'Adda.
  • 2. Not found.
  • 3. None of these copies exist in the Venetian Archives, but the “Deliberazioni Senato” supply this deficiency.
  • 4. Sir Edward Carne's account to Queen Mary of the capture of Hostia, does not agree with this present one by Bernardo Navagero.” (See Foreign Calendar, date Rome, January 30, 1557, p. 286.)
  • 5. The Bishop of Curzola in January 1557 was a Venetian nobleman, by name Pietro Barbarigo. (See Illyricum Sacrum, vol. vi.)
  • 6. Francisco de Vargas wrote a Latin treatise on Papal and Episcopal Jurisdiction, and Memoirs concerning the Council of Trent; but in the printed biographical notices of him, there is no mention of his embassy to Venice, which is, however, recorded in the late Mr. Turnbull's Calendar, 1553–1558.
  • 7. The war horses of Flanders were in great repute at this period, and in the “Report of Giovanni Michiel it will be seen that England also imported them for the service of the heavy cavalry.
  • 8.
  • 9. See the late Sir William Hackett's Index to Foreign Calendar, 1553–1558.
  • 10. This letter of the 13th January does not exist in the Venetian Archives.
  • 11. For the tragic fate of the Duchess of Paliano, see Part I., p. 451, where the site of her death, Gallese, is misprinted Jallese.