Venice: January 1559, 16-31

Pages 10-24

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7, 1558-1580. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1890.

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January 1559, 16–31

Jan. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 9. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days ago, M. de Montpesat, who was sent with a letter from the most Christian King, inviting the Duchess of Lorraine to the marriage of her son, returned from Flanders with the determination to transfer the peace-conference from the Abbey of Cercamp to Gateau Cambresis, whither the Bishops of Orleans and Limoges departed this morning with Secretary Aubespine, and will be followed on the 25th by the Constable. As for his convenience the Constable goes by easy stages, the King has determined to accompany him with a few attendants as far as his place at Chantilly, twelve leagues hence, to enjoy his society in his own house more familiarly and with greater liberty, the Cardinal of Lorraine being thus enabled to remain here two or three days longer, and then follow postwise. In the meanwhile they are intent on concluding the marriage of the aforesaid Duke of Lorraine, who returned from his duchy two days ago in company with his uncle, M. de Vaudemont. Yesterday, in the presence of the ambassadors and the great personages of the kingdom, who were called for this purpose, the Duke solemnly gave his hand to the bride, which they here call “the betrothal”; and the day after to-morrow, Sunday the 22nd, the marriage ceremony will be performed in the cathedral church of Notre Dame with the same state as that of the King-Dauphin; on which same night the marriage is to be consummated, although the bride has scarcely entered her twelfth year. She is to have 300,000 crowns dowry. To-day the jousts, tournaments, and other entertainments commenced, and will continue for five or six consecutive days, until the departure of the Constable, who, simultaneously, will terminate the marriage of his son M. de Damville to a daughter of Madame de Bouillon, daughter of the Duchess de Valentinois; and Madame de Bouillon's son, the Duke, will also marry the daughter of the Duke de Montpensier.
The Duchess, mother of the Duke of Lorraine, sent to apologize for not having come, on account of the shortness of the time, and the inconvenience of the season, and saying that she remained in Flanders no less for her own convenience, than for his most Christian Majesty's service, having to attend this second conference for the conclusion of the peace, within so very few days; for which reason she was intent in the meanwhile on fully confirming the good disposition of his Catholic Majesty.
Concerning the affairs of England, I have been told in secret by a trustworthy person, through whose hands what I will now tell passed, that a few days ago, a person was sent clandestinely from England, but who arrived here, nevertheless, to the knowledge of the Vidame de Charlres, Governor of Calais, who sent to receive him at a place called Blachine (sic) near Calais, where he landed; and then on his arrival here, he, by the King's order, was lodged and entertained by my informant. This Englishman (il qual Inglese), after having spoken in secret with the Constable and the King, to whom he brought some letters, received replies to them, and was then accompanied to the seaside, in great haste, and he seems to have said he was to return in 10 or 12 days. So far as can be gathered from his words, and from the favour shewn to him by his Majesty, he seems to have brought very good news of the Queen's mind, about wishing to resume the friendship (tornar in amicitia) with his kingdom, so they do not fear any difficulties as to the affairs of Calais (intanto che non si teme che per le cose di Cales non si pigli appuntamento).
During the last three days, owing to the return of another messenger, an Englishman sent back by Lord Grey (rimandato da milord Gre), a report circulated of the expected arrival here, from day to day, of a lord of that kingdom, viz. the Lord William [Howard], late Admiral, that Queen's uncle (sic), and who was sent Ambassador hither heretofore.
Paris, 20th January 1559.
Jan. 23. Original Letter, Mantuan Archives. 10. Il Schifanoya to the Castellan of Mantua.
As I suppose your Lordship will have heard of the farce performed (farsa fatta) in the presence of her Majesty on the day of the Epiphany, and I not having sufficient intellect to interpret it, nor yet the mummery performed after supper on the same day, of crows in the habits of Cardinals, of asses habited as Bishops, and of wolves representing Abbots, I will consign it to silence, as also the new commencement of ritual made in her Majesty's Chapel with the English Litanies, which omit Saint Mary, all the Saints, the Pope, and the Dead. Nor will I record the levities and unusual licentiousness practised at the Court in dances and banquets, nor the masquerade of friars in the streets of London, nor the statue of St. Thomas stoned and beheaded, which is now thrown down entirely, and the stucco statue of a little girl placed in its stead; limiting myself exclusively to the coronation, entertainments, ceremonies, pomps, and pageants, made as you will see by the accompanying copies.
Her Majesty, being pleased to follow the example of her ancestors about the Coronation, determined to have it performed on the 15th January of this year 1559; so she left her palace of Whitehall on Thursday the 12th to go to the Tower by water. The necessary ships, galleys, brigantines, &c, were prepared as sumptuously as possible to accompany her Majesty and her Court thither by the Thames, which reminded me of Ascension Day at Venice, when the Signory go to espouse the sea.
At 2 p.m., the flood-tide then serving to pass under London Bridge, her Majesty, accompanied by many knights, barons, ladies, and by the whole Court, passing through the private corridor, embarked in her barge, which was covered with its usual tapestries, both externally and internally, and was towed by a long galley rowed by 40 men in their shirts, with a band of music, as usual when the Queen goes by water. Her Majesty having passed the bridge, in sight of the Tower, some pieces of artillery were fired; she landed at the private stairs, and, entering by a little bridge, was seen but by very few persons.
On the morning of Saturday the 14th, as in the afternoon her Majesty was to make her state entry into London, the whole Court so sparkled with jewels and gold collars that they cleared the air, though it snowed a little. During this assemblage the Queen dined. The houses on the way were all decorated; there being on both sides of the street, from Blackfriars to St. Paul's, wooden barricades, on which the merchants and artisans of every trade leant in long black gowns lined with hoods of red and black cloth, such as are usually worn by the rectors of universities in Italy, with all their ensigns, banners, and standards, which were innumerable, and made a very fine show. Owing to the deep mud caused by the foul weather and by the multitude of people and of horses, everyone had made preparation, by placing sand and gravel in front of their houses.
The number of horses was in all 1,000, and last of all came her Majesty in an open litter, trimmed down to the ground with gold brocade, with a raised pile, and carried by two very handsome mules covered with the same material, and surrounded by a multitude of footmen in crimson velvet jerkins, all studded with massive gilt silver, with the arms of a white and red rose on their breasts and backs, and laterally the letters E. R for Elizabetta Regina wrought in relief, the usual livery of this Crown, which makes a superb show. They were uncovered (scoperti), and without anything on their heads. The Gentlemen-Pensioners of the Axe walked at the sides, with hammers in hand, and clad in crimson damask, given them by the Queen for livery, all being on foot and bareheaded.
Her Majesty was dressed in a royal robe of very rich cloth of gold, with a double-raised stiff pile, and on her head over a coif of cloth of gold, beneath which was her hair, a plain gold crown without lace, as a princess, but covered with jewels, and nothing in her hands but gloves.
Behind the litter came Lord Robert Dudley, Master of the Horse, mounted on a very fine charger (corsiero), and leading a white hackney (acchinea) covered with cloth of gold. Then came the Lord Chamberlain and other Lords of her Majesty's Privy Chamber, who were followed by nine pages dressed in crimson satin on very handsome chargers richly caparisoned, with their Governor and Lieutenant.
After passing the Tower, her Majesty arrived at . . . . , (fn. 1) where the Londoners had raised the first triumphal arch, which was very lofty, divided into three floors. In the first were King Henry the Seventh, of the House of Lancaster, with a large white rose in front of him, and his wife, the Queen Elizabeth, of the House of York, with another large red rose in front of her, both in royal robes.
On the second floor above there were seated King Henry VIII. with a white and red rose in front of him, with the pomegranate between them, and Queen Anne Boleyn, mother of the present one, with a white eagle and a gold crown on its head and a gilt sceptre in its right talon (nella destra griffa), the other resting on a hillock; and surrounded in front of her by small branches of little roses, the coat of arms and device (arma et impresa) of the said Queen.
On the third floor above a Queen was seen in majesty, to represent the present one, who is descended from the aforesaid.
Externally and above, as facade, there were the royal arms of England, trophies, festoons, &c.
The arch had three fronts and three entrances (porte), two small, and a great one, with columns, capitals, and bases, &c.
In the compartment on one side were written in English, and on the other side in Latin, the following verses:—
Hi, quos jungit idem (fn. 2) quos annulus idem,
Hæc albente nitens, ille rubente rosa,
Septimus Henricus Rex, Regina Elizabetha,
Scilicet, hseredes gentis uterque suæ:
Hæc Eboracensis, Lancastrus ille, dederunt
Connubio, e geminis quæ foret una domus.
Excipit hos hseres Henricus copula regum
Octavus. Magni regis imago potens,
Regibus hinc succedis avis, regique parenti,
Patris juxta hæres, Elizabetha, tui!
On her Majesty approaching the aforesaid arch a boy, in a little chair above the centre door, briefly interpreted the whole subject, and her Majesty listened to him most attentively, evincing much satisfaction.
Then going on her way by Cornhill, having passed the first water conduit, which was painted with the royal arms and English and Latin mottoes, farther on she found the second arch, no less handsome than the first, but not so high, with a very extravagant inscription, purporting that hitherto religion had been misunderstood and misdirected, and that now it will proceed on a better footing, which was exemplified by a queen seated aloft on her throne, there being on one side many persons clad in various fashions, with labels inscribed Religio pura; Justicia gubernandi; Intelligentia; Sapientia; Prudentia; Timor Dei. On the other side, hinting I believe at the past, were Ignorance, Superstition, Hypocrisy, Vain Glory, Simulation, Rebellion, and Idolatry.
This arch had in like manner three doors, on the two smaller of which were written in capital letters in English and Latin the following verses:—
Quæ subnixa alto solio Regina superba est,
Effigie sanctæ Principis alma refert,
Quam civilis amor fulcit, sapientia rimat,
Justitia illustrat, religioque beat.
Vana superstitio et crassæ ignorantiæ fontes
Pressæ sub pura religione jacent.
Regis amor domat effrænos (fn. 3) animosque rebelles
Justus, (fn. 4)
Cum regit imperium sapiens, si in (fn. 5) luce sedebunt
Stultitia, atque hujus numen, inanis honor.
When passing under the arch an interpreter explained the whole to her Majesty, as at the first arch.
On entering Cheapside, near the church of St. Thomas, after passing the fountain, which had been newly repainted with arms, labels, and mottoes, in English and Latin, she found the third arch with the eight beatitudes described by the Evangelist Matthew, chapter V., verses 1 to 10, all of which they deem her Majesty to possess, as appears by the following verses on the sides in Latin and English; her Majesty being informed of the meaning of this inscription as she had been of the others.
Qui lugent, hilares fient. Qui mitia gestant
Pectora, multa soli jugera culta metent.
Justitiam exuriens, sitiensve replebitur ipse.
Fas homini puro corde videre Deum.
Quem alterius miseret, Dominus miserabitur hujus.
Pacificus quisquis fllius ille Dei est.
Propter justitiam quisquis patietur, habetque
Demissam mentem, cœlica regna capit.
Huic hominum generi Terram, Mare, Sidera vovit
Omnipotens: horum quisque beatus erit.
Further on she came to the little conduit, which is a small tower having eight fronts, called the Standard, and on it there were painted to the life all the kings and queens chronologically in their royal robes down to her present Majesty.
At a short distance thence she found the great cross, like a pyramid, completely gilt and somewhat renovated, with all the saints in relief, they being neither altered nor diminished; and at the end of that street she was presented by the aldermen with a purse containing 1,000 gold, marks; the Recorder of London making her a very short speech.
The fourth arch had on it two mounts, somewhat separated from each other; the one green, flourishing and fruitful, the other dry, sterile and uncultivated. On the summit of the green mount there sat a handsome youth well dressed, joyous, and jocund, under the shade of a green laurel. On the sterile mount there sat another youth dressed in black velvet, melancholy, pale, and wan, under a dry and arid tree, loaded with labels and mottoes indicating the cause of its dryness and sterility, whilst on the green mount conversely the cause of its greenness and fertility were demonstrated. Between the two mounts there was a grotto with a wicket, and when her Majesty arrived at it, an old man, scythe in hand, representing “Time,” came forth, accompanied by his daughter “Truth,” and expressed a wish to mow and reap the grass on the pleasant mount; an allusion to the money heretofore coined by her Majesty of holy memory. The whole implied in their tongue that the withered mount was the past state, and the green one the present, and that the time for gathering the fruits of truth was come; as by the following verses in.Latin and English on both sides of the arch:—
Ille videns falcem læva quam sustinet uncam,
Tempus is est, cui stat filia vera comes.
Hanc pater exesam, deducta rupe, reponit
In lucem, quam non viderat ante diu.
Qui sedet a læva cultu malo tristis inepto,
Quern duris crescens cautibus arbor obit,
Nos monet effigie qua sit respublica quando
Corruit; et contra, [quam] (fn. 6) beata viget,
Ille docet juvenis, forma laudandus,
Festus, et æterna laurea fronde virens.
On the left side of the arch there was a little pulpit, from which a lad explained the whole meaning of the two mounts, presenting her Majesty with a book generally supposed to be the New Testament in English, which the Queen clasped in her arms and embraced passionately, returning thanks, &c.
Her Majesty then turned towards St. Paul's churchyard to enter Fleet Street, passing the City of London School, where the scholars made her the following oration.
“Philosophus ille divinus Plato, inter multa præclare ac sapienter dicta, hoc posteris proditum reliquit, Rempublicam illam fœlicissimam fore, cui Princeps sophise studiosa, virtutibusque ornata contigerit. Quern si vera dixisse (fn. 6) (ut quidam), (fn. 6) cur non Terra Britanica plauderet? cur non populus gaudium atque lætitiam agitaret? cur non hunc diem albo (quod aiunt) lapillo notaret? quo Princeps talis nobis adest, qualem priorem non viserunt, qualemque posteritas haud facile concernere poterit, dotibus quum animi, turn corporis undique fcelicissima. Casti quidem corporis dotes ita apertæ sunt, ut oratione non egeant; animi vero tot tantæque, ut ne verbis quidem exprimi possunt. Hæc nempe Regibus summis orta morum atque animi nobilitate genus exuperat. Hujus pectus Christi religionis amore flagrat. Hæc gentem Britanicam virtutibus illustrabit, clypeoque justitiæ teget. Hæc Uteris Græcis et Latinis exiinia, ingenioque præpollens est. Hac imperante, pietas vigebit, Anglia florebit, aurea sæcula redibunt. Vos igitur, Angli, tot commoda accepturi, Elizabetham Reginam vestram celeberrimam, ab ipso Christo hujus regni imperio destinatam, honore debito prosequimini. Hujus imperils animo libentissimo subditi estote, vosque tali Principe dignos præbete. Et quoniam pueri non viribus sed precibus officium præstare possunt, nos alumni hujus scholæ, ab ipso Coletto (fn. 6) olim Templi Paulini Decano extructæ, teneras palmas ad cœlum tendentes, Christum Optimum Maximum precaturi sumus, ut tuam celsitudinem annos Nestoreos summo cum honore Anglis imperitare faciat, matremque pignoribus charis beatam reddat. Amen.
Anglia, nunc tandem plaudas, lætare, resulta!
Præsto jam vita est, presidiumque tibi.
En tua spes venit, tua gloria, lux, decus omne;
Venit jam solidam quæ tibi præstat opem,
Succurretque tuis rebus, quæ pessum abiere.
Perdita quæ fuerant hæc reparare volat.
Omnia florebunt; redeunt nunc aurea secla.
In melius surgent quæ cecidere bona.
Debes ergo illi totam te reddere fidam,
Cujus in accessu commoda tot capies.
Salve, igitur dicas, immo de pectore summo,
Elizabeth, Regni non dubitanda salus!
Virgo venit, veniuntque opes. Comitata deinceps
Pignoribus charis læta parens veniat.
Hoc Deus Omnipotens ex alto donet Olympo,
Qui cœlum et terram condidit atque regit.
On Sunday, 15th January, mass was sung for the coronation in Westminster Abbey, which was decorated with the handsomest and most precious tapestries that were ever seen, they having been purchased by Henry VIII., representing on one side the whole of Genesis, and on the other the Acts of the Apostles, from a design by Raffael d'Urbino; and the chambers were hung with the history of Cæsar and Pompey. At one of the sides the buffet was prepared with its raised steps, on which were seen 140 gold and silver drinking cups, besides others which were below for the service.
The Queen was received under the canopy by the Archbishop and another Bishop, they having previously perfumed her with incense, giving her the holy water and the pax, the choristers singing; then the Earl of Rutland followed her Majesty with a plain naked sword without any point, signifying Ireland, which has never been conquered; then came the Earl of Exeter with the second sword; the third was borne by Viscount Montagu; the Earl of Arundel, having been made Lord Steward and High Constable for that day, carried the fourth (sword) of royal justice, with its gilt scabbard loaded with pearls. The orb was carried by the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Marshal, and in advance were knights clad in the ducal fashion, carrying the three crowns, they being the three Kings-at-arms; they bore the three sceptres, with their three crowns of iron, of silver, and of gold on their heads, and in their hands three naked iron swords, signifying the three titles of England, France, and Ireland.
In this way they proceeded to the church, the Queen's long train being carried by the Duchess of Norfolk, after whom followed the Lord Chamberlain, upon purple cloth spread on the ground; and as her Majesty passed, the cloth was cut away by those who could get it. Then followed the duchesses, marchionesses, countesses, etc., dragging their trains after them, going two by two, and being exquisitely dressed, with their coronets on their heads, and so handsome and beautiful that it was a marvellous sight.
On her Majesty's arrival at the church, all the bells in London ringing, she ascended the lofty tribune erected between the high altar and the choir, being thus exhibited to the people, of whom it was asked if they wished her to be their crowned Queen? Whereupon they all shouted “Yes;” and the organs, fifes, trumpets, and drums playing, the bells also ringing, it seemed as if the world were come to an end. Descending from the tribune, the Queen placed herself under her royal canopy; and then the choristers commenced the mass, which was sung by the Dean of her Chapel, her Chaplain, the Bishops not having chosen to say mass without elevating the host or consecrating it, as that worthy individual did; the Epistle and Gospel being recited in English.
After the Epistle, the Bishop of Carlisle commenced the coronation according to the Roman ceremonial, neither altering nor omitting anything but the outward forms, which were not observed as in Italy; the English having no Masters of the Ceremonies, except the Kings-at-arms, and still less caring about formalities.
The mass and all the ceremonies being concluded, and the Queen having twice changed her apparel, they returned into Westminster Hall in the same order as at first, except that the clergy and the bishops remained in the Abbey; her Majesty carrying in her hands the sceptre and orb, and wearing the ample royal robe of cloth of gold. She returned very cheerfully, with a most smiling countenance for every one, giving them all a thousand greetings, so that in my opinion she exceeded the bounds of gravity and decorum.
In the meanwhile, the Lord Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, and the Lord Steward, the Earl of Arundel, in accordance with their offices, proceeded to arrange the banquet. After inspecting the hall and excluding many persons, and carefully attending to the tables and the kitchen, the Queen during this interval having divested herself of her heavy robe, they dressed themselves again in short capes according to the Spanish fashion, the Earl of Arundel in cloth of gold, and the Duke of Norfolk in silver tissue, both their capes being lined with sables.
They then mounted two fine chargers, both of which had housings of the same material as their riders' apparel, the Duke's horse being covered with white lions rampant. The Duke was bareheaded, and had a silver truncheon in his hand, indicating the office of Lord Marshal. Arundel bore a silver staff a yard in length, indicating the office of Lord Constable, who for that day commanded the Duke and everybody. Both of them went about the victuals; and after 3 p.m., when the Queen commenced washing her hands, the water and the napkin were given her by the noblemen who had waited on her Majesty as server and as carver, viz., William Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord High Admiral, and the Earl of Sussex [Henry Ratcliffe], the former carving, and the latter placing and removing the dishes, both of them serving on their knees.
Beside her Majesty there stood those two Earls who had supported her to the Abbey by the arms, viz., Shrewsbury and Pembroke, with the sceptre and orb in their hands; the others likewise being in the Queen's presence with the aforesaid iron swords. They all remained covered with their coronets on their heads, and although her Majesty spoke occasionally to some of them, they never uncovered, except when she drank all their healths, thanking them for the trouble they had taken.
The banquet lasted till the ninth hour of the night, (fn. 7) and I need not say that it was a stately one, as all persons may think for themselves. No one served but peers and the sons of peers. Much music was performed, but it not being remarkable, and having heard better, I will say nothing about it.
Westminster Hall is 400 paces in length (sic); in it four tables were prepared, but divided in the ceutre to facilitate the waiting of the servants, who all had red liveries; and no one was allowed, or at most but a few, to enter the Hall, or to remain there, unless he was dressed in red.
The Barons, titled and untitled, with the Council and Aldermen, Mayor, Sheriffs, and other men of the law (et altri huomini di legge), servants of the Court, baronesses, duchesses, ladies (dame) (of quality?), etc., sat at the first table, the peeresses having their coronets on their heads, there being also numerous knights and gentlemen of all sorts. At each table there sat upwards of 200 persons.
After the second course, which was brought like the first one to the trumpets' sound, and preceded by the Earl of Arundel and the Duke of Norfolk on horseback, a knight in steel armour, spear on thigh, and on a very handsome barbed charger, after saluting the Queen, proclaimed three times to the people that if there was any person of any grade or condition who denied, disputed, or contradicted that the Queen his Sovereign (pointing at her) was not the true and legitimate crowned Queen of England, France, and Ireland, he was ready to maintain it by force of arms to the death, throwing clown his gauntlet each time; and as no one answered him, he took leave of her Majesty, who drank his health and thanked him, giving him a silver-gilt cup worth 200 crowns. This was a country gentleman, whose family has long been privileged to do this at all the coronations.
The banquet being ended, the collation (la collatione) was brought by three Earls—Bedford, Oxford (Oxetle), and Montague, (fn. 8) Shortly afterwards her Majesty rose, and by a covered way returned to her Palace of Whitehall by water; everybody in like manner returning home.
On Monday, the 16th, these English personages (signori) had prepared a joust, but it was postponed until the morrow, her Majesty feeling rather tired. I was not present. They could not finish it on the first day, the challengers, viz., the Duke of Norfolk, Sir George Howard, and Lord Robert Dudley, having as many hits as the adventurers. The judges therefore could not award the prize, which, as they jousted for love, was a diamond.
On Monday next, the 23rd, please God, Parliament will commence; all the peers accompanying the Queen in her royal crimson robe, preceded by the cap and sword, carried by some great personage, and the bishops in their rochets, over which they wear a scarlet cape with a cardinal's hood, but not so long, and they carry their own trains.
I pray God of His goodness and mercy to enlighten them to do what may be according to His holy will.
London, 23rd January 1559. [Signed] Il Schifanoya.
Jan. 23. Original Letter, Mantuan Archives. 11. Il Schifanoya to Ottaviano Vivaldino, Mantuan Ambassador to King Philip II. at Brussels.
Parliament will assemble to-day, and within a week some idea may be formed as to what will be done in the matter of religion. I hear that the prelates, bishops, and other old lords (lordi vecchi) will fight for and maintain the true and holy religion. We shall also hear something more certain about the marriage than has been whispered hitherto at the Court. Some persons declare that she (the Queen) will take the Earl of Arundel, he being the chief peer (principale barone) of this realm, notwithstanding his being old in comparison with the Queen. This report is founded on the constant and daily favours he receives in public and private from her Majesty.
Other persons assert that she will take a very handsome youth, 18 or 20 years of age, robust, &c., (disposto, &c.) judging from passion (giudicando secondo l'appetito), and because at dances and other public places she prefers him more than any one else (ella il mira piu d'ogn'altro).
A third opinion is, that she will marry an individual who till now has been in France on account of his religion, though he has not yet made his appearance, it being known how much she loved and loves him. He is a very handsome gentleman, whose name I forget. But all are agreed in wishing her to take an Englishman, notwithstanding that the Ambassadors of the King of Sweden seek the contrary.
May God give her a good and Christian husband, that the affairs of this kingdom may not continue to grow worse.
London, 23rd January 1559. [Signed] Il Schifanoya.
Jan. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian A rehires. 12. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The marriage of the Duke of Lorraine to the King's daughter was solemnized on the 22nd with no less pomp than that of the King-Dauphin last year. The Duke displayed his grandeur and generosity conspicuously by heading a grand joust performed at the back of the palace of the Duke de Guise, his band of twelve jousters, including the King, and M. de Guise and others of these Princes, being richly clad by the Duke of Lorraine in cloths of gold and of silver, at his cost and to match his livery; and the opposing band being headed by the King-Dauphin, who in like manner clad his fellow jousters. But what exceeded even this munificence was, that the Duke caused eight or nine gowns (matching in like manner his own livery) to be made, richly wrought, all covered with most superb embroidery of gold and silver, and lined with the most beautiful lynx's paunch (panze di bellissimi lovi cervieri,) each gown being valued at 1,000 crowns; which gowns, according to the custom here, he presented to the King, to the King-Dauphin, to his uncle M. de Vaudemont, to the Prince of Ferrara, and to three of the brothers of the Guise family, and they were worn by the donees on the day of the espousal; and besides these, he gave many other dresses of great value to the ladies of the Court. These presents were in addition to what he spent in a masquerade on the evening of the joust, amounting to 7,000 or 8,000 ducats (a like sum having been spent by the King-Dauphin); so that of the 200,000 crowns donation lately received from his States—an extraordinary demonstration of the love borne him, it never having been customary on similar occasions to give the Dukes, his predecessors, more than 100,000—by the above and many other acts of liberality practised by him, he will have spent the greater part.
It was supposed that contemporaneously with this marriage ceremony that of M. de Damville likewise would have been concluded; but for the greater satisfaction of his relatives and to receive more honour, he obtained permission from the King to terminate it in his house at Chantilly, whither their Majesties went alone on the morrow, to enjoy these three or four days in privacy (privatamente). All the other Princes, with the rest of the Court, are to be there for the close of the marriage festivities next Sunday, the 29th. On the morrow of that day, without further delay, the Constable with the other two Lords Commissioners for the Peace, viz., the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Marshal de St. André, will proceed to the Conference, not to break the appointment made between the parties, to assemble on the 5th of next month at Cateau Cambresis. For this purpose the Cardinal of Lorraine told me yesterday they had prolonged the truce till the end of February, although they expect to finish this business sooner, the Spaniards urging its despatch, and evincing greater wish than ever for it, as the Cardinal told me he had heard through a very loving letter received on that very day from the Duchess of Lorraine. When I asked him if the Commissioners of the Queen of England would attend the Conference, as they did the last time, and what was heard from those parts; with regard to the Commissioners, he said that he knew nothing certain, but believed they would attend the Conference; and that from England there was no other news save that the Queen, by divers sorts of offices and by fair words, was intent covertly (copertamente), both there and here, on procrastinating (ad intertenersi), showing that she by no means wished to prevent the peace in any way, but to live in quiet.
Paris, 28th January 1559.
1559. Jan. 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 13. PauloTiepolo, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday evening, the courier sent by the Spanish ministry to France, returned with a reply purporting that on the 5th of next month the French Commissioners will be at Cambresis; so these others likewise intend to be there on that day, and will depart hence on the 1st or 2nd.
The truce expires on the 12th of February, so during this interval it will be known whether any form of agreement is possible; and unless the French swerve from the intention professed by them at the other Conference [of Cercamp] to make peace, it may easily be concluded. I am assured that the Queen of England, has referred the affair of Calais to King Philip, that he may arrange it as well as he can; she not choosing that on her account Christendom should fail to obtain so great a benefit as is anticipated from this peace. As I know this to be contrary to the Queen's first desire (volontà) and to that of her kingdom, I should not dare write thus, had it not been confirmed to me from three different quarters, and most especially as this advice has changed the opinion of certain persons who previously had no expectation of peace, whereas they now hope and believe in it. They begin also to hope for the Queens marriage to King Philip much more than they did before, the Count de Feria writing that a favourable intention has been communicated to him; and he apologizes for the Queen if she has been unable to make such a demonstration as he hoped for, because to say the truth the affairs of religion there have gone daily from bad to worse, and in various ways the Queen has shown herself inclined towards the religion of her father, which she has herself hitherto professed; but in a few days the result will be better known, and in the meanwhile they are anxiously expecting here Lord Howard, the Ambassador sent by the Queen, who was to have left London on the 25th instant.
The Scots made a foray, advancing full 30 miles into England, (fn. 9) and carried off not only plunder, but also men and women, contrary to the custom of former wars.
The King, as Lord of these Provinces, is sending Count d'Aremberg as his Ambassador to the Diet of Augsburg, where he will do his utmost to prevent the princes and soldiers of Germany from going so freely to serve the King of France against him.
The Duke of Florence, having heard that this Court is dissatisfied with him, has availed himself of the opportunity afforded by the death of the Emperor to condole with his Majesty by sending Chiapino Vitellio, his chief minister, who is a person of much ability and judgment, and greatly esteemed.
It having been reported at Antwerp, as here likewise, that the King was sending the Duke of Savoy thither with a number of troops to chastise the disobedient, the magistracy became bolder than before, and, having seized some of the ringleaders, had two of them burnt, thus frightening the others, who kept quiet, and they now no longer dare to go out of the city to attend the sermons, as they did at first, to the number of 2,000.
Brussels, 29th January, 1559.
[Italian; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Jan. 30. Despatches, Brussels. File No. 3. Venetian Archives. 14. Extract from a letter of [Don Alvarez de Quadra], Bishop of Aquila. (fn. 10)
Affairs here are in such a state that we know not how they will end. On the 25th there was a meeting of Parliament, in which they still continue to propose certain troublesome matters, and we do not know how they will be settled. The diligence and authority of the Count de Feria have extremely benefited affairs here, as otherwise certain unbecoming acts would perhaps have been passed; and it is to be hoped that the Count's exertions may aid the object (conclusione) of the session, which will be to vote the Queen money.
London, 30th January 1559.
Jan. 30. Original Letter, Mantuan Archives. 15. Il Schifanoya to Octaviano Vivaldino, Mantuan Ambassador with King Philip at Brussels.
Parliament was to have commenced on the 23rd, but was adjourned for two days owing to events and to the bad weather; so on Wednesday the 25th, St. Paul's Day, all the peers of this realm, both temporal and spiritual, who sit in Parliament, with two members for every unwalled district (villa), castle, and borough, and four for each city, called by them “the Lower House,” went to the place appointed them, and awaited the arrival of her Majesty at the Church as usual for the mass of the Holy Ghost, which custom was not observed this year, the mass having been sung at an early hour in Westminster Abbey, without elevating the Sacrament, as is done in the Chapel Royal.
The Court having dined rather earlier than usual, her Majesty came to the Abbey, attended by all the gentlemen, both of the Court and of other conditions, and by all the peers in their coronation robes (and including spiritual and temporal, titled and untitled, they were about 46), in her ordinary litter, wearing a royal crimson robe lined with ermine, but not with the hood, as generally worn by former [sovereigns]. The robe fitted close to the body, and was high up to the throat, with a lace trimming at the top, and around cape of ermine like the one worn by the Doge of Venice, with a cap of beaten gold covered with very fine oriental pearls on her head, and a necklace, from which was suspended a most marvellous pendant. As on her passage the populace knelt, shouting “God save and maintain thee,” she turned first to one side and then to the other, answering “Gramercy, good people,” and smiling most sweetly on all of them.
The Earl of Arundel carried the royal sword on a small truncheon, and her Majesty was followed by the ladies and dames (le signore et dame) on horseback, with their footmen all dressed in their own fashion.
This procession was neither more nor less than on the entry into London, with the trumpets, kings-at-arms, heralds, and macebearers.
On arriving at Westminster Abbey, the Abbot, robed pontifically, with all his monks in procession, each of them having a lighted torch in his hand, received her as usual, giving her first of all incense and holy water; and when her Majesty saw the monks who accompanied her with the torches, she said, “Away with those torches, for we see very well”; and her choristers singing the litany in English, she was accompanied to the high altar under her canopy. Thereupon Dr. Cox, a married priest, who has hitherto been beyond the sea, ascended the pulpit and preached the sermon, in which, after saying many things freely against the monks, proving by his arguments that they ought to be persecuted and punished by her Majesty, as they were impious for having caused the burning of so many poor innocents under pretext of heresy, on which he expatiated greatly; he then commenced praising her Majesty, saying amongst other things that God had given her this dignity to the end that she might no longer allow or tolerate the past iniquities; exhorting her to destroy the images of the saints, the churches, the monasteries, and all other things dedicated to divine worship; proving by his own arguments, that it is very great impiety and idolatry to endure them; and saying many other things against the Christian religion. This sermon lasted an hour and a half, the peers standing the whole time, after which they went to the place prepared for the Parliament, which is a handsome chamber (una bella saletta), furnished with very fine hangings and benches all round, as seats for the peers, and the royal canopy and throne, with its cushions of cloth of gold, for her Majesty; and in the centre there were some scarlet wool sacks (alcune bisache di scalatto), where the auditors, secretaries, Chancellor, and lawyers sit. This hall is separated from the Lower House, which is like a theatre, and in which the representatives of the cities, castles, boroughs, and unwalled districts assemble.
On her Majesty entering Parliament with all the peers, after silence had been enjoined, the official who has the custody of the Great Seal, and holds the place of the Lord Chancellor (quel che tiene in custodia il gran sigillo et è in loco del gran Cancelliere), having made a reverence to the Queen, delivered an eloquent speech, alluding to three essential points: the first, “Pro reformanda religione, et tollenda idolatria”; the second, “Pro mitigandis nonnullis legibus pœnalibus”; the third and last, “Pro petendo subsidio contra hostes”; proving how just and reasonable this was, &c. This speech being ended, her Majesty rose, and went to her palace by water, whereupon everybody departed.
Parliament resumed yesterday, when the Lower House elected their Speaker, who is the personage who goes to and fro expressing and reporting the will of the Lower House, and of the House of Lords (dove la Casa Bassa fece il suo parlatore, che qui chiamano il “speccher,” qual è quello che va inanzi, e indietro, dicendo et referrendo la volontà della Casa Bassa, et dell' Alta).
To-morrow, as usual, her Majesty will return to Parliament, and, should she think fit, will confirm the Speaker presented to her by the Commons, who will make a speech, excusing himself as not being worthy of such a charge nor sufficient for it; and being answered by the Queen's Commissioner that her Majesty commends his election, he then asks two favours of her: the first, that it be lawful for every member to state his opinion freely, without respect or fear, or dread of capital punishment or loss of property, or incurring any penalty; the second, that no member be legally molested by his creditors during Parliament; which are always obtained, though every one is careful how he speaks, lest he incur either wrath or contempt (ma però ogn' uno se guarda come parli per non incorrer in ira, o dispetto).
London, 30th January 1559. [Signed] Il Schifanoya.


  • 1. Blank in MS.
  • 2. Blank in original; probably the word omitted was “vinclum.”
  • 3. “effrænois” in MS.
  • 4. sic.
  • 5. sic: qu. sine.
  • 6. Blank in original.
  • 7. John Colet.
  • 8. Sino alle nove hore di notte. On the 15th January the sun sets at 4h. 18m., so by Italian reckoning the banquet lasted till 1h. 18m. a.m. on Monday morning.
  • 9. Anthony Browne was a Viscount, not an Earl.
  • 10. This “foray” commenced on the 30th December 1558. (See Foreign Calendar, Elizabeth, 1559, January 6. Entry No. 209, p. 77.)
  • 11. This paragraph from Quadra's letter is alluded to in Tiepolo's despatch dated 12th February, which shows to whom it was addressed.