Venice: June 1555, 1-15

Pages 93-110

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

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June 1555, 1–15

June 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 116. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Here they attend to nothing but constant prayers and public processions for the most Serene Queen's auspicious delivery, as most earnestly desired by everybody, and principally by the King, who awaits nothing but this result in order to cross the Channel instantly, for, from what I hear, one single hour's delay in this delivery seems to him a thousand years. He has already given full leave to all his attendants (a tutti gli suoi) to go in advance, at their pleasure, and wait for him in Flanders, and next week part of his body-guard will follow, which many people interpret as a sign that, should no sort of agreement take place between these Princes, he purposes being present at the war in person; and this sudden departure also shows that he will perhaps return hither this winter.
To-morrow, Whitsunday, the King will appear in public, the mourning apparel of his household, [the lack of] which kept him hitherto secluded, being well nigh completed; and I shall go to Hampton Court to accompany him to chapel as usual on holydays.
They are sending to Spain to urge the embarkation of the infantry for Italy forthwith; and the Colonel Pimentel at length departs, for although he was sent hence three months ago, yet having to return to Brussels, he was unable to despatch his business there until now.
They are also intent on executing the sentences against the heretics, and two days ago, to the displeasure as usual of the population here, two Londoners were burned alive, one of them having been public lecturer in Scripture, a person sixty years of age, who was held in great esteem. (fn. 1) In a few days the like will be done to four or five more; and thus from time to time to many others who are in prison for this cause, and will not recant, although such sudden severity is odious to many people (anchora che a molti questa così subita severità sia molesta).
London, 1st June 1555.
June 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 117. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The news of the election to the popedom of Cardinal Caraffa was received here last evening by an express from the Duke of Florence to his ambassador, who took it imediately to the Emperor, and according to the conversation of the courtiers it has not proved agreeable, both because well nigh all the Pope's relatives have been considered ill disposed towards the Emperor by reason of the affairs of the kingdom of Naples, and also on account of his Majesty's having been so opposed to him with regard to his archbishopric of that city. (fn. 2) The Pope has, moreover, for a long while evinced partiality towards the French crown, and his temper (qualità di spirito) likewise is considered at variance with the character (genio) of the Emperor, who, however, will have many means of benefiting his Holiness's relations, and thus have him favourable or not hostile.
Don Diego de Azevedo, one of the chamberlains of the King of England, arrived here last evening, for the purpose of condoling with the Emperor on the death of his mother, though others say it is to represent to him the position of King Philip and Queen Mary, and to receive his orders when the result of the delivery shall be manifest.
Brussels, 1st June 1555.
June 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 118. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 29th ulto. the negotiations for the peace were on the eve of dissolution, owing to the firm resolve of the French commissioners relative to the Milanese, and the Constable and his colleagues would positively have departed, had not Cardinal Pole and the English, by their prayers, compelled the Cardinal of Lorraine to remain, and to make the others do the like, in order that they might reconsider matters.
The Emperor having received letters about this from his commissioners, sent immediately for Queen Maria, who bad gone to an abbacy two leagues hence to pass these Easter holidays; and after consulting with her and Mons. de Praet, about fresh instructions to be given to his commissioners, he sent them an order to propose to refer all the disputes between him and the most Christian King to a Council, which, both parties are to urge the Pope to hold as soon as possible; saying that as to the Milanese, should it be decided that it belongs by right to the King of France, lie the Emperor is content that the Duke of Orleans do take to wife a daughter of the King of the Romans, giving her in the Milanese such dower as shall seem suitable, their children to be the legitimate heirs of that duchy; but should the decision be in favour of the Emperor, the Milanese is then to belong to the son of the King of England [Don Carlos], with the condition that he marry the eldest daughter of the King of France, giving her the same dower, and the Milanese in like manner descending to their children.
Brussels, 2nd June 1555.
June 2. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. cl.x., without date, as printed in vol. v., pp. 11–13, 'Epistolarum “Reginaldi Poli,” &c. 119. Cardinal Pole To Pope Paul IV.
On Whitsunday, (fn. 3) the day of the celebration of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles, heard that by the inspiration of that same Spirit his Holiness had been elected by the Sacred College of Cardinals, and placed on the throne (in sedem) of the Prince of the Apostles, this having been done on the day set apart for the commemoration of Christ's ascension to heaven. From these two festivals, takes occasion to congratulate the Pope, and exhorts him to persevere in his constant efforts for the reform of the Church. Awaits the Pope's commands after hearing the instructions received by him from Popes Julius and Marcello. Would fain give the Pope good news about the peace; but alas! the more they advance, the more does he doubt of success.
Calais ? 2nd June 1555.
[Latin, 43 lines.]
June 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 120. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Concerning the new election of the Pope, the King said to me with a very joyful countenance that he considered it an excellent election by reason of the good qualities of his Holiness, and that it also gave him personal satisfaction, he having been as it were created by the Cardinals, his Majesty's dependents; and he narrated to me copiously the mode of this creation, laying stress on two things, the one, the danger incurred of schism, which, had it taken place, nothing, he said, could have caused him greater regret; the other, that the Imperialists had done very wrong to hold the Pope in such small account, as his Majesty knew that an autograph note from the Imperial ambassador at Rome to a cardinal, his confident in conclave, had fallen into the Pope's hands, telling him that by no means were the Imperialists to consent to the election of his Holiness, many of whose dependents being outlawed from Naples, it was not a thorn to keep in their feet, and should they be unable to do otherwise, they were to consent rather to Ferrara, or to any other French cardinal whatever.
Concerning the conference, the King told me he really knew not what to hope with regard to the result, as the Constable had stated his Majesty's case so equitably that the Imperialists knew not how to reply, save in general terms (se non con parole che non stringevano); and his Majesty then added, “Ambassador! although I ought perhaps to be silent about what I am going to say to you, yet will I tell you that the Bishop of Arras produced a writing containing four articles which the Constable confuted to his face, proving them to be false, so the Bishop apologized and changed his purpose” (et mutò il suo proposito). Endeavoured to converse with his Majesty and ascertain what these articles were, but could elicit nothing farther, but asked him what news was brought by Mons. de Lansac, who arrived yesterday from the Constable; and he answered me that Cardinal Pole had sent to request his Excellency and the Cardinal of Lorraine to send a personage in their name to Calais, on the 1st of this month, as the Imperialists would do the like, because it having been impossible hitherto to devise any adjustment, his right reverend Lordship would try what he could effect with these two individuals, proposing a truce or something else, or perhaps some marriage. His Majesty added, “Rest assured, ambassador, that there is no other matter of importance beyond what I have told you, save that my ministers determined to send the Bishop of Orleans to the Cardinal, and the Imperialists another, whose name I do not remember,” but that as yet he had no advice whatever of what had been done.
Melun, 3rd June 1555.
June 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 121. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
After the transmission by the Emperor to his commissioners of the orders mentioned in my letter of the 2nd, the French and the others met thrice to discuss the proposals, and their reply was that they would not accept the terms offered, which forthwith deprived the King of what he had gained, and rendered his just claims doubtful for a long period; the commissioners holding that if the Duke of Savoy required anything of the King, his own commissioner was to speak, as his most Christian Majesty would not fail to act becomingly; saying that by no agreement which might ensue with the Duke should the Emperor keep any fortress; and respecting the Marquisate of Montferrat and Corsica, the King would gratify the Duke and the Genoese when they pleased (quando li paresse). The commissioners repeated their first demand, that unless they had the Milanese on the terms written by me, this peace would not be concluded; and saying they had no further commission, they were again on the point of departure, had not the Legate and the English commissioners persuaded them to send the Emperor's proposals to the King and await the reply, which they consented to do for eight days. Lord Paget's son and son-in-law, (fn. 4) who came hither to see the court, say that he and the other English commissioners have no hope of peace, so they were preparing for departure, and thinking how they could take leave of the Imperialists and the French to the satisfaction of both parties.
The Emperor, on receiving these advices from his commissioners, sent Don Ernando della Noia to them with orders to protract the negotiation as long as possible.
Lord Paget's son said also that a commissioner had arrived at Calais from the Queen of Scotland, to consent to whatever the French wish. (fn. 5)
Don Diego de Azevedo, who came from the King of England to condole with the Emperor, departed post-wise last night to the surprise of everybody, as for this morning he had invited the English ambassador and others to dinner. It is said that he is the bearer of instructions for King Philip about the mode to be observed by him and the Queen, having the certainty that the pregnancy (il parto) be not true, in removing the popular opinion on the subject, by issuing an order in Council for the bishops to have it announced in their parishes, to prevent any commotion should it become manifest that she was not pregnant, without any previous announcement of the fact, and also to tell him the time of the King's passage, which is expected to take place shortly.
It continues to be said that the King of the Romans will come, and that their Majesties will discuss together the adjustment both of their family affairs and those of the empire, but from what I have heard, as the King of England is childless, the Emperor purposes marrying the Queen's sister [Elizabeth] to the Archduke Ferdinand.
Brussels, 4th June 1555.
June 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 122. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Sent his secretary to the Duke de Guise concerning what the King promised to let him know about the negotiation of the Bishop of Orleans, who was sent to Cardinal Pole, and he brought back word that the Bishop of Winchester endeavoured to prove by many arguments to the Bishop of Orleans that the most Christian King ought to assent to the stipulation of the peace, and received for answer that his most Christian Majesty was as well inclined towards it as could possibly be wished.
Melun, 5th June 1555.
June 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 123. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
The French commissioners received the [counter] proposal from the King to the proposal made by the Imperial commissioners, which was that they were to treat solely to have the Milanese, and that should the Emperor choose to speak about the affairs of the confederates they were to demand, as they did, the restitution of Navarre (which is held by the Emperor) to the Queen [Jeanne d'Albret] and Monsr. de Vendôme. To this the Bishop of Arras replied that by following this course the King showed clearly he was not disposed to make peace, reviving quarrels of 30 years standing. The Constable answered him that the older injuries are, the more was it necessary to revenge them. So the English commissioners, seeing them about to dissolve the conference for the third time, requested both sides to adjourn until the 7th or 8th instant, which they all consented to do, at the suit, it is supposed, of the Imperialists, they expecting some fresh commission from the Emperor which may have been sent by Don Diego de Azevedo. Should it not have been given, it is considered certain that they will depart without any adjustment, the failure of which the Imperialists attribute to the King, both because it seems to him that the present Pope may favour his affairs in Italy, as also because he does not choose by the peace to disfavour the league formed a few months ago in Saxony by the 17 Princes of Germany, who would be compelled to go or send to the Diet at Augsburg to treat measures to which they will not consent, they having indeed threatened to oppose them by force of arms. It is moreover said that the Imperialists know the King has promised Sultan Soliman to make neither peace nor truce during the present year.
A gentleman from the Queen of England has arrived, having been sent to the Emperor to condole with him on the death of the Queen his mother, and having demanded audience, his Majesty sent to tell him he was welcome, desiring the ambassador likewise to come with him. Thereupon Sir John Masone sent his secretary to ascertain from the Chief Chamberlain, Monsr. de la Chaux (Monsr. della Scia) whether it would displease the Emperor if he went in his ordinary habits, as neither the Queen nor the Council of England having gone into mourning, it seemed to him that this was not his business, but that on the other hand he did not wish to be disagreeable to his Majesty. Monsr. de la Chaux would not decide, but told the secretary to return, and it is evident that he asked the Emperor what he was to tell the ambassador, to whom he subsequently gave it to be understood that for the present he was to appear in a cloak (con un mantello), and thus did he. After performing the office of ceremony, the gentleman said in the first place that on his leaving England the physicians (li medici) affirmed that the Queen would be brought to bed (parturiria), but that they had deceived themselves by one month, the ambassador saying that he had letters of the same tenor; but from the Englishmen who accompanied the gentleman it has been understood that two of the Queen's bedchamber women (che due donne che stanno presso la Regina) have been heard to say that she has not yet given any sign of being in such a state of pregnancy as to bring forth speedily.
A gentleman from the Duke of Cleves came subsequently to perform the like office of condolence with the Emperor.
The ambassador from Florence, having asked several times to speak in person to the Emperor, being commissioned thus to do by his master, was answered that his Majesty will give it him when he can; and the secretary Vargas warned him not to appear without a cloak, so thenceforth he has never left it off and wears it daily; the persons of the court doing the like, they having received the cloth required for making them. In the cathedral preparation is being made slowly for the obsequies, the cause of the delay being that they expect the King of England shortly, the Emperor also wishing to wait for the King of the Romans. Neither the Nuncio nor the other ambassadors in ordinary having been to condole with the Emperor, it did not seem to me necessary to perform this office, thinking that your Serenity, according to your custom, should be the person to give me the order. Martin Van Rossem (Martin Vairos), (fn. 6) general of the troops sent to give support for the building of the fortress, is dangerously ill, his indisposition being caused by over fatigue in superintending it, and by several times ascending the adjoining height which they are fortifying.
At Antwerp they are negotiating a loan of 300,000 crowns for the table of the King of England (sopra il piatto del Re d'Inghilterra) [to be secured] on the revenues derived by him from Spain, the rate of interest exceeding 25 per cent., which was what they paid on the last loan; and the merchants say that, if effected, the revenues will be pledged until the year 1557.
Lord Courtenay has been to visit me, accompanied by the English Ambassador, and told me he was soon to depart for Italy, with the intention of residing some time at Venice, and I performed such office of goodwill and esteem with him as seemed to me becoming. From many indications I comprehend that he is in great fear for his life, and thinks of nothing but preserving it, without evincing suspicion of the Emperor, who, however, at his audience received him lovingly (sta molto dubioso della vita sua, et che non pensa ad altro che ad assicurarla senza far sospetto di temer dell' Imperatore, dal qual gli è però stato fatto dimonstratione di amore nella audientia che hebbe).
Brussels, 6th June 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
June 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 124. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Transmits advices coming from a great personage and of authority, indeed the chief representative of one of the parties at the Congress. These advices were transcribed and translated from the original letters addressed by the Constable to the French Ambassador. I have not omitted the transcription of the whole of the ciphered part likewise, noting the identical characters, which, should they perchance be understood by your Serenity's officials of this profession, you will, doubtless, through this correspondence on the part of the French, discover their whole intention and secret, and be able sooner than anyone else to judge what may be hoped from this conference (far giuditio di quello sia da sperar dal presente coloquio). (fn. 7)
According to the intention announced by me I came to the Court, and when with the King yesterday I condoled with him on the death of his grandmother, thanking him also for his intercession with the Emperor in favour of the Magnifico Spathafora, and I communicated to him the last summaries from Constantinople; with all which offices he seemed pleased, and thanked me very graciously for my condolence. Some days before his Majesty had been troubled with pains supposed to proceed from cholic, so by the advice of his physicians he did not appear in public, but remained in retirement, notwithstanding which I found him looking very well (con bonissima ciera). Whilst accompanying him from his apartment to the chapel, he with his usual affability discoursed with me the whole way, and speaking about the conference he said that down to Saturday the 1st instant, the date of his last advices, there was but little hope of a good result; and he gave me news of the election as Pope of the Cardinal of Naples, (fn. 8) which at that very moment had been announced to him by way of Brussels, nor from the expression of his countenance did it seem to me that he evinced much pleasure at this, as was more fully confirmed to me afterwards by these Spanish Lords (da questi Signori Spagnuoli), who by no means approve of this election.
I found and saw (ho trovata et veduta) the most Serene Queen looking very well, for placing herself every morning at a small window, she chooses to see the procession pass, and which at her Majesty's request goes round the palace court [at Hampton Court], she most courteously bowing her head in acknowledgment to all the personages, who salute her whilst following the procession, as she did twice with extraordinary cheerfulness and graciousness to the Portuguese ambassador and myself, we having gone into the court to accompany the King to mass, and joined the procession on invitation from the Lords of the Council.
Her Majesty expects and hopes during this week to comfort the realm by an auspicious delivery, but the greater part of her women (donne) [bedchamber women] think she will go beyond (si condurrà più innanzi).
Richmond, 6th June 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
June 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 125. Mathio Di Priuli, son of the Procurator Antonio, to . . . . . , enclosed in the despatch of Giovanni Michiel, dated 11th June 1555. (fn. 9)
No great change has take place since the 31st ult., the Commissioners (questi Signori) having only met once, on the 1st instant, as his correspondent heard, and although immediately when they arrived on the spot at noon, they withdrew to confer alone with the mediators in the centre hall (nella sala di mezzo), where they remained for three hours, they are nevertheless not understood to have discussed anything which could give hope of adjustment (di conclusione), having on the contrary maintained their first demands, nor would they modify them save by silence. The mediators, after trying divers means, and proposing several agreements, being unable to devise anything to the satisfaction of all the parties, determined to tell them that as their disputes about these states (di questi stati) prevented any adjustment, they should see if it suited them to refer their differences to persons deemed fit to decide them, or else remit them to a council general; and concerning this affair of the council, as it was his idea, the Lord Chancellor [Stephen Gardiner] very hotly urged them to it (si scaldò assai in persuaderli), they neither accepting nor refusing, but giving them hopes rather than otherwise, saying they would write to their Princes, and arrange to meet again on the 7th instant, to put an end to this business; and tomorrow being the day appointed for the last conference, I do not find that during this interval anything has been treated which can give the slightest hope of adjustment (conclusione), but that they will depart in greater confusion than before, and they will perhaps have additionally irritated both sides.
Calais, 6th June 1555.
June 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 126. Mathio di Priuli, son of the Procurator Antonio, to . . . . . . , enclosed in the despatch of Giovanni Michiel, dated 11th June 1555.
Wrote yesterday that the Commissioners were to hold their last conference to-day, and it came to pass, for they departed this moment, 6 p.m., having taken leave of each other on the spot, without any adjustment (conclusione) either for peace or truce, although they remained five hours together, and during part of the conversation it even seemed (pur paresse) that they would come to terms, but at the close the conference was broken off with little concord (con poca concordia); so all will return, as the saying is, “with empty pockets” (con le trombe in sacco). Hopes in a few days, accompanied by Cardinal Pole, again to see his Magnificence, and discuss with him the whole of this affair at length, which can be done more easily, orally, than by letter.
Calais, 7th June 1555.
June 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 127. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord Paget writes to the English ambassador that the ships sent for by the Commissioners had arrived at Calais, and they were to return to England on the 9th or 10th, unless in the meanwhile the Imperial Commissioners receive some fresh order to treat with the French, whose final decision was, that in order to form a good friendship with the Emperor, the King was willing to give his eldest daughter to [Don Carlos], the son of the King of England, and give her a dower of from three to four hundred thousand crowns in the Milanese, but that the duchy was to remain to the Duke of Orleans. High words have passed between some of the attendants of the English and French Commissioners, the English having said that the King of France got back Boulogne by foul means (con mali modi), and then failed to perform his promises in full. (fn. 10) There has also been a great quarrel between the Governor of Calais (fn. 11) and the Lord Chancellor of England, the latter having run very great risk of personal injury (offese di fatti), in consequence of the authority he sought to exercise by judging one of the Governor's gentlemen in the matter of religion.
The Emperor gave orders for refreshments to be sent to Lord Paget's son and son-in-law, and as they had not asked to kiss hands, his Majesty gave them to understand, through Mons. de la Chaux and Secretary Vargas (who as of their own accord, but by commission from the Emperor, presented them), that he wished to see them before their departure, as he did, showing them many marks of good will out of regard for Lord Paget.
By the English, and others of the court, it has been remarked that the Imperial ministers have made no such demonstrations towards Lord Courtenay, who is infinitely the superior of the Pagets, and departed with only two servants, giving out that he was going as far as Louvain for his pleasure, and as the period assigned by his attendants for his return has expired, it is inferred that he will never come back.
Brussels, 8th June 1555.
June 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 128. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
By advices now received from Calais in date of the 7th, the French Commissioners went to Cardinal Pole and the English, telling them they had received a fresh commission from the King not to waste more time in negotiations which could not produce the result for which they had been sent; so, seeing the impossibility of obtaining fair terms from the Imperialists, they had determined to depart immediately, and requested the Legate and his countrymen to give them leave [to depart] as readily as they had invited them to attend this conference. Having received an equally courteous rejoinder, they dismissed themselves, the Constable saying, in the act of departure, that perhaps on some future occasion the Almighty would inspire those who had now failed to make the peace. The Imperialists forthwith performed the like office, which was in like manner reciprocated by the English, who embarked to cross the Channel, but were detained by a storm which arose on that day, and will depart with the first fair wind. The Bishop of Arras writes that he will come to-morrow postwise, and the other commissioners by day journeys [with their own horses] (à giornate). I have heard that the last proposal made by the French was that the King would consent to have the dispute about the Milanese settled by the council, but that in the meanwhile he would not make restitution of anything, and that in order that both their Majesties might live pacifically, he would give his eldest daughter, with a considerable dower, the Emperor giving security for it out of his own territories, to the Infant of Spain [Don Carlos]; and that if the Duke of Savoy would go to France to make himself known, as customary when a man wishes to marry, and if his Majesty's sister like his Excellency's qualities, he may then rely on being gratified with such part of his territory as he can reasonably desire (potrà poi esser sicura di esser gratificata di quella parte di stato che ragionevolmente potesse desiderar).
The Imperialists told the English that it being neither just nor for the dignity of the Emperor that he should make peace without the restitution of what belonged to his confederates, they would not accept these offers. The result of this negotiation is much regretted here. Some say that in September they will treat again, and, from what has been said by Mons. de Praet, conclude either peace or truce.
Brussels, 9th June 1555.
June 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 129. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day news arrived that on the 7th the Commissioners met as agreed, and the Imperialists gave the French the reply received by them from the Emperor, purporting that he does not intend to stipulate any agreement, unless restitution be made of all that has been taken on both sides (dall' una et l'altra parte) from the beginning of this war until the present time; to which the Constable answered immediately, that his most Christian Majesty would not make restitution of anything. Both sides then took leave of each other, the conference being dissolved without any decision, and to-day they were to leave Ardres, on their way to the court. This intelligence was received to-day at 4 p.m., and the Lieutenant of the Marquis Albert, who is now at the Court, was despatched immediately with 150,000 crowns for a levy of German troops, an order being sent to raise 15,000 Switzers, after which the most Christian King went out hunting. So far as can be known, the reason why the Imperialists took time was to avail themselves of the opportunity for advancing under Marienburg, but it is well garrisoned (ben munito).
Melun, 9th June 1555.
June 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 130. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the resolve formed by all the commissioners to depart, as mentioned by me yesterday, no other letters have arrived, either from Gravelines or Calais. These personages of the court say that the Imperial commissioners return not quite satisfied with the last office performed by the English with the French, to whom, besides the other terms, they added that the Emperor was also content to give the most Christian King the county of Burgundy, and Hesdin, and Terouenne, demanding Marienburg and the six towns in Luxemburg taken heretofore by the French, not because the Emperor would thus obtain an equivalent, but in order to render the terms more advantageous and convenient for the King throughout, so as yet more to facilitate the agreement; but in representing this offer, which was the last one conveyed by Don Diego de Azevedo, the Imperialists accuse the English of not having taken the matter to heart (che non pigliassero tal negotio a cuore), as otherwise the commissioners would, at least, not have separated so suddenly, though in all the rest of the business they praise the English greatly.
Lottino, late secretary of the Duke of Florence, who was sent by Cardinal Sta. Fiore, and at the request of Don Juan Metich (sic), to tell the Emperor by word of mouth who the Cardinals were who failed to do his Imperial Majesty's bidding (volontà) in electing the Pope, had audience immediately, it being said that he gave a bad account of eight, and principally of San Giacomo, Morone, and Augsburg; (fn. 12) and he also acquainted the Emperor with sundry means whereby to gain the good will of his Holiness. The Pope has sent the usual brief to the Nuncio, for the performance of the customary office of congratulation with his Majesty, who answered most lovingly, and at great length, saying, amongst other particulars, that he remembered his features (la sua effigie), although 40 years had passed since he saw him in these provinces, at the time when they were ruled by his Majesty's aunt, the Lady Margaret, (fn. 13) and that he also remembered his Holiness having sung mass on a festival, celebrating it as well as the life always led by him, which he hoped would be the like during the present Pontificate. On the Nuncio's taking leave, the Emperor said to him, that although he had written to the Pope in recommendation of the Elector of Mentz, in order that he might be pleased to grant him the annats, his territory having been ravaged by the Marquis of Brandenburg, yet did he nevertheless request the Nuncio also to perform the like good office.
Brussels, 10th June 1555.
June 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 131. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Council of Ten. (fn. 14)
Most Excellent Lords,
Don Gutierre Lopez de Padilla, one of King Philip's chamberlains and councillors for the affairs of state and war, being beside me in chapel at mass on Whitsunday, commenced discussing current events, especially those of Italy, and made me a long discourse about the great importance at the present moment of electing a Pope well and sincerely disposed (che fusse buono et sincero), and above all, that he should be neutral, as should he perchance, as was to be feared, incline towards the French, and favour them rather than the Imperialists, it would not only cause additional embarrassment to King Philip, but might kindle such a flame in Italy as would be difficult to extinguish, and put the whole province to confusion, including its other potentates, especially the Republic of Venice. He added that there would be less to fear from such a catastrophe were King Philip in the same position as the King of France, whose forces and territories being united, he can very easily provide for defence or attack without quitting his own kingdom, availing himself of all his troops and moving them from one place to another, according to circumstances, without much danger and with no inconvenience, either from having to cross the sea, or to traverse foreign territories in order to supply them with reinforcements or money, or whatever else may be required; whereas King Philip, on the contrary, having his dominions so far asunder, and disjointed and remote, besides the extraordinary cost required for their maintenance, cannot avail himself of the resources and forces of one realm to succour the other, without fresh cost, peril, and delay.
Don Gutierre then said, that matters being in this state, as France from these causes had made such advance and proceeded so far into Italy, King Philip, perceiving his own difficulties and disadvantages, was compelled to form other resolves, and entertain other ideas than he has done hitherto; and then Don Gutierre unbosomed himself openly, and said to me, “Ambassador! the remedy is, that we must form a defensive league together for the affairs of Italy, and in order not only to comfort but to give confidence to that whole province, whose detriment and ruin concern him, his Majesty will determine to create an individual Duke of Milan (un particolar Duca di Milano), that he may live and reside in the Milanese, availing himself of its forces, of the Signory's, and of those of friends, against all assailants, but on condition that both he and you and we do our utmost to replace the poor Duke of Savoy in his duchy; acting in such wise, that after he shall have been compensated for the spoliation they inflicted on him, the French may thenceforth remain on this side the Alps in their own home, as we, all of us, in ours.”
After this he returned to his first remark about the power, the insolence, and the audacity of the French, laying before me the great danger of the Republic, should they, through their friendship with the Turks, advance yet farther, reminding me of the many losses suffered heretofore through the said French, and the great danger in which the Republic was of losing its whole territory, he having been present at all the wars of that period; and he added so many other things on that subject, that to narrate them would be too long and tiresome. Seeing that he was burning (in fervore), I let him gratify himself, listening attentively without any interruption, and then replied briefly, as the time and the place where we were permitted, thanking him in the first place for his confidential communication, and then saying that as to the matters mentioned by him I knew not what answer to give, until he explained to me first of all whether he spoke of his own accord, or by commission from others, in order that I might transmit it elsewhere; and when acquainted with his motive, I would make such answer as might seem to me suited to the proposal. To this he did not reply to the point, saying evasively, “Enough! I believe thou hast understood me; it assuredly concerns us all, and at any rate a resolve of this sort must be made for the common weal and remedy (per la salute et rimedio commune); and another time I will let thee know in what danger the Republic's affairs would find themselves should ours go wrong.” and as the mass was already at the end, he had to go to his place, so we could no longer remain together.
I have given your Excellencies a detailed narrative of this conversation, as it has seemed to me on many accounts important and worthy of your notice, coming from a person not only in his Majesty's confidence, but intimate with him, for if of no other use, it will at least enable you to discover many things showing the power of King Philip and his need, as also his intention and aim; and should your Excellencies think fit (which be it said without presumption) to give me any hint about your will and intention, so that in case of being spoken to again, I may, being acquainted with your pleasure, entirely break off any design or proposal, thus preventing the occasion for their going to Venice to trouble you; or else by entering into the business, allow them to proceed farther and discover some additional particulars, leaving it, as I say, to your Excellencies' sage judgment to decide about giving me some hint (qualche lume); and in the meanwhile, if spoken to again more positively (con più fondamento), I shall merely make a general reply.
Richmond, 10th June 1555.
Endorsed:—3 July 1555. England. Read in the Council of Ten and Junta. A long discourse about making a Duke of Milan.
[Italian, in cipher throughout, deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
June 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 132. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The result of the conference, although foreseen and expected by the majority, has disappointed some persons, amongst whom is Cardinal Pole, they having hoped that, if peace was impossible, a suspension of hostilities might at least have ensued. At this Court (in questa Corte) it has proved the more vexatious, as everybody, especially King Philip (questa Maestà), was in favour of the adjustment, he having throughout this negotiation sustained the office (sostenuto lo officio) of mediator rather than of principal; so the termination not being such as he wished and expected, his reputation seems somewhat affected by it, he having exerted himself to that end, and the enemy not appearing to have due esteem for him; perhaps, because it having been understood that he is disinclined towards war, and considering him unfitted for it, they expect to obtain greater advantage for the future than they have done hitherto (forse perchè si sia dato ad intendere, chè non havendo ella inclinatione, nè parendoli che sia atta alla guerra, sia per haver più vantaggio che non ha havuto per il passato). This regret (dispiacere) is dissembled as much as possible by everybody, if but for the sake of not increasing the audacity and insolence of these English, whose internal delight at seeing the affairs of this faction (di questa fatione) in trouble and peril, and those of the enemy, on the contrary, prospering and in repute, is not to be told. But with regard to matters in general, so far as can be judged, this government will keep aloof and look on, at least until they see the end of this delivery, which now cannot long be delayed; and then, according to its result, fresh resolves may be anticipated, as possibly King Philip will not live in this realm so much like an alien as he does. He has hitherto not only abstained from interfering (adoperarsi), and commanding as master, but would scarcely hear about anything at all, leaving this care to Queen Mary and her Council, and referring himself to them; nor has he as yet availed himself of one penny of the national revenue (delle entrate di quello, the word regno being understood), but supplied it considerably from his own resources through the money with which he accommodated the Queen last year (ma havendosi messo del suo grossamente con li danari che lo anno passato ne accommodò la serenissima regina), and for any necessary costs, however small, he still spends the money with which he is provided from elsewhere. On this account his Majesty's treasurers are yet across the Channel intent on raising money, which they find very scarce and hard to be got, having hitherto obtained but a small sum, part of which is sent hither from time to time for the daily expenses of the court, where for many weeks there has not been a penny in circulation, and they are obliged to live on credit, with much lamentation from the creditors, and, what is worse, greatly to the inconvenience and detriment of these poor courtiers, who in truth have a very bad time of it (li quali in vero la fanno molto male), both by reason of the intolerable scarcity of everything, which has doubled in price owing to them, as also because there is no one who, either with money or credit, will succour and assist them in their need; so it may be well said that they have come hither to do penance for their sins.
The Queen's sister, the Lady Elizabeth, although she does not appear in public out of her own apartment, has been allowed free admission for her attendants (li servitori suoi) and for some other gentlemen here at the court, but with the exception of her own [attendants] they all avail themselves of it with great reserve (con molto rispetto).
After going out of London, determined to remain [at Richmond] near the court, for the purpose of being more frequently with the King and the other personages of the palace, both Spaniards and English, thinking thus to learn more about passing events than by remaining at a distance, regardless of personal inconvenience and that of his household, owing to the exorbitant cost of everything, and the very narrow lodgings (et li alloggiamenti strettissimi), as also from being compelled to incur the expense of two houses (one in London and the other at Richmond), which exceeds his means; but for the service and honour of the Signory will bear it as patiently as he can.
London (sic) [Richmond?], 11th June 1555.
[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
June 12. Deliberazioni Senato (Secreta), vol. lxix. p. 125, tergo. 133. The Doge and Senate to the Venetian Bailo at Constantinople.
In their last, announced the death of Pope Marcellus the Second, in lieu of whom the Cardinal of Chieti, a Neapolitan of the Caraffa family, has been elected and crowned Pope, being named Paul the Fourth.
Since their last advices, the Imperial and French commissioners, having gone to the borders of Flanders, assembled in a plain between Ardres and Gravelines, where, on the 25th ulto., they commenced the conference, there being present Cardinal Pole, who was sent by the King and Queen of England. Notwithstanding this, the Emperor and the most Christian King continue mustering their forces, and adding to them, both in Piedmont and towards the borders of Flanders and Picardy.
The “Bailo” is to communicate these advices as usual.
Ayes, 176. Noes, 3. Neutrals, 2.
June 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 134. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day the prothonotary, brother of the French ambassador in England, will go thither on a mission from his most Christian Majesty to thank the Queen and Cardinal Pole for their goodwill about this negotiation for peace, and for the excellent choice made by her Majesty in the persons of her representatives.
Melun, June 13th, 1555.
June 13. Filza No. 134. Miscellanea Manoscritti di Atti diversi, Venetian Archives. 135. James Basset to Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire.
My very good Lord,—My bounden duty most humbly remembered, I have received your Lordship's letters by this bearer, your trusty and diligent servant Prune, (fn. 15) with further credit by mouth which he declared unto me in your Lordship's behalf, according whereunto I moved the Queen's Highness myself, and caused the King's Majesty to be moved by Don Ruy Gomez, your very friend, touching your repair to the baynes of Liège, or Aquisgranda [Spa?], for the recovery of your health, and also to understand their pleasure for your repair to see the Emperor's camp, and to see the towns in those parts, whereof I received answer, first, of the King, by the mouth of Ruy Gomez, and yesterday, being Corpus Christi day, of Her Highness, who also conferred with the King thereupon, to this effect: that your Lordship making Brussels the place of your abode, you might, with the good contentations, either repair to the one for your necessity, or to the others for your commodity and experience, so that when you have done you do from time to time return to the Emperor's court as the place of your residence. Ruy Gomez showed me that the King meant you should be there to serve the Emperor without any restraint in the world, but as they are; and when you have sauftye [safe conduct] to repair to any place, asking the Emperor's pleasure, as all others do, and as it is meet, his good contentation being known, you might as you would go into any place of those parts at your pleasure. Me bethought (?) I perceived by her Highness, who uttered the same by way of advice, as one that hath great consideration of you, that she thought it better for divers respects you went not to the baynes unless your necessity and disease were such as you could not be otherwise holpen than to go; and also in your repair to other places you should use the same with such temperance and discretion as you might, as much could be (sic) occasions of suspicion, not that she or the King had any “one sete” themselves in you, but that you should for the stopping of the mouths of others do what in you lieth to avoid all occasions. I assure you I perceive her Highness rejoiceth, and is very glad to hear of your good and so wise using of yourself, and desireth the continuance thereof; and I protest unto your Lordship, even from the very bottom of my heart, by that faith I bear to God and unto the world, that there is much cause your Lordship should comfort, and fully and most assuredly repose yourself in the special goodness which I perceive both their Majesties meaneth unto you, as your Lordship yourself or your Lordship's friends could reasonably wish or desire, and peradventure more than you do. . . . I have more at length declared my mind to this bearer, whom I know your Lordship doth, as you well may, trust, as well in this as also in other things, beseeching your Lordship to take in good part my plain and faithful meaning towards you; and although I have not attempted that which you were most desirous of, I trust, when you shall understand the causes why I did not, I hope you will not only content and satisfy yourself . . . . but allow my not doing thereof, and think I did it upon very good consideration.
I received your Lordship's letters of the 6th of this instant, by Sir George Howard, which, as they were very comfortable unto me to hear from you, so they grieved me not a little to perceive by them, that my letters which I wrote so long ago were not as then come to your hands, whereby you justly might suppose a greater slackness of my duty towards you than there was cause. I cannot think but by this time they arrived unto you, and then they will be my just excuse, and therefore the more surely I have fully instructed this bearer, as well touching the effect of them, as also in all other things necessary for your Lordship to be informed of; to whose declaration referring myself, I will commit your good Lordship to the blessed tuition of Almighty God.
In haste this, the 13th (sic) of June 1555.
Your Lordship's most assuredly at commandment.
(Signed) James Basset.
[Addressed without:] “To my very good lord the Earl of Devonshire.”
[Contemporary endorsement:] “14 June 1555, from Mr. Basset.”
[And again:] “Mr. Bassat, 14 June 1555. England to Brussels.”
June 15. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x., without date. Printed in vol. v. pp. 13, 14, “Epistolarum Reginaldi Poli,” etc., date Calais. 136. Cardinal Pole to Pope Paul IV.
Has received two briefs, one for himself, with orders to present the other to King Philip and Queen Mary. The contents of this brief containing the usual protestations of paternal love, had already been announced by Pole, and concerning the peace, for which the Pope urges their Majesties earnestly to exert themselves, Pole must say that although he crossed the Channel with the best intentions, and that he and the Queen's commissioners negotiated for many days with those appointed by the Emperor and the King of France, they could come to no conclusion. Although the Imperial and French negotiators announced the best disposition on the part of their sovereigns, and indeed they spoke of a marriage, as an additional pledge of peace, yet when they came to treat about the restitution of what had been taken in war, they demurred somewhat (aliquandiu hœsimus), both parties arguing that such acquisitions were their lawful property (ad se jure ipso pertinere utrique contendebant). The messenger about to be despatched by Pole to the Pope will tell him all that was said and proposed; and in the meanwhile he informs his Holiness that on the dissolution of the conference, both the commissioners [Imperial and French] conferred with him separately, speaking in such a way as if the hope of peace had not yet been set aside; so they departed, not without hope, sed infectâ re. Is now returning to England, where he will await the Pope's orders.
Calais, 15th June 1555? (fn. 16)
[Latin, 31 lines.]


  • 1. Cardmaker, Prebendary of Wells, and an upholsterer named Warne, suffered at Smithfield on the 30th May 1555. (See Froude, vol. 6, pp. 352, 353, ed. 1860.)
  • 2. Cardinal Caraffa was translated from the Archbishopric of Chieti to that of Naples in the year 1549, but owing to the opposition of Don Pedro de Toledo, Viceroy of Naples, did not obtain possession of it until September 1551. (See Cardella, vol. 4, pp. 166,167.)
  • 3. In the year 1555 the 2nd of June was Whitsunday, and I date this letter accordingly.
  • 4. Lord Paget had four sons and six daughters. See Collins, vol. 5, p. 185.
  • 5. Per acconsentire quello che Franccsi vorranno.
  • 6. Martin Van Rossem, Marshal of Gueldres. (See Foreign Calendar, 1553–1558, Index.)
  • 7. These advices have not been found.
  • 8. Giovanni Pietro Caraffa was elected Pope on the 23rd May 1555.
  • 9. This letter is without any address, but was probably written to Monsignor Luigi Priuli, who perhaps remained in England whilst Cardinal Pole was at the conference.
  • 10. Et che mancasse poi di far la compiuta satisfattione delle promesse.
  • 11. Il Governator di Calais. The Lord Deputy at Calais was Thomas, second Lord Wentworth, and his good will for the refugees in France is alluded to in the index to the late Mr. Turnbull's Calendar.
  • 12. Namely, Giovanni Alvarez de Toledo, Giovanni Morone, and Otho Truchses.
  • 13. Namely, at the commencement of the year 1514. (See Venetian Calendar, vol. 2, p. 158. Entry 372. Date 6th February 1514.)
  • 14. This letter was discovered by Signor Luigi Pasini amongst the miscellaneous papers of the Chiefs of the Ten (17th March 1869), and is now bound up with the other letters addressed by Michiel to the Doge and Senate.
  • 15. Walter Prune. (See Domestic Calendar, Mary, p. 18.)
  • 16. By the letter from the Venetian Ambassador Michiel, date London, 17th June 1555, it is seen that Cardinal Pole was then at Canterbury, so I infer that he probably wrote to the Pope from Calais on the 15th.