Venice: July 1560

Pages 234-242

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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July 1560

July 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 179. Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Several persons have arrived on a mission from the Viceroy of Sicily, and from others, not so much to give account of what took place, as to justify themselves, each endeavouring to prove that the blame of the disaster was not his. Gio. Andrea Doria wrote distinctly attributing it to the Viceroy of Sicily [the Duke of Medina Celi], who did not allow him to depart with the galleys when he wished. But no confirmation has been received of the good news from Italy, to the effect that all the ships had been saved and many other galleys, besides the first seventeen; and the only comfort is the hope that the fortress erected at Gerbes may hold out through the valour displayed by its defenders; but it is incredible that the King will form any fresh and important decision without the opinion of the Duke of Alva, to whose authority and knowledge he defers more than to those of any one else.
The Duke of Sessa has been again lately to see his mother-in-law, and will now go to the King, who has told him to prepare his writings and affairs, as on his return his Majesty will attend to the matter.
The news from Rome of the imprisonment of the Caraffas (fn. 1) has caused more satisfaction than surprise here, as besides such ill will being borne them that no one takes their part, it seems that the King will be relieved from the obligation, which greatly distressed him, to benefit and give a pension to an individual who had done him small service.
The conclusion of the marriage of the sister of the Duke of Montalto to the German Emps (fn. 2) is disapproved of here, as it seems a novelty requiring restriction, that the chief feudatories of the Kingdom of Naples should form any marriage without first asking the opinion and consent (volontà) of the King; this being the second, instance, as Don Cesare Gonzaga also married without awaiting the reply of his Majesty, whose father the Emperor showed himself very severe against those who took this liberty.
The Aragonese have urged his Majesty to visit their kingdom, and he answered them that he greatly wished it, and would go thither as soon as the illness of his son [Don Carlos] permitted.
King Philip is compelled by important causes to go to Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia, both because for many years he has had no subsidy from those kingdoms, which will never give anything to their sovereign unless he is there himself to hold the Cortes, in order that they, on the other hand, may obtain some compensation from him; as also because until now his Majesty has not been sworn King, nor his son Prince, in those realms, which act it is now intended to perform jointly; but the son has had a very severe quartan ague, and is so weak and reduced that it would be dangerous for him to travel.
Toledo, 9th July 1560.
[Italian; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 15 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 180. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Last night the English Ambassador [Sir Nicholas Throckmorton] received an express from his Queen announcing the conclusion of the agreement between the French Commissioners, her said Majesty and the Kingdom of Scotland, almost in conformity with the particulars written by me heretofore, as your Serenity will learn by the accompanying chief articles communicated to my Secretary by Throckmorton himself, who sent them off immediately to the Court of his most Christian Majesty. The King and the Cardinal of Lorraine, with a very few attendants, are on their way to Fontainebleau, after having been in Paris for five or six days with all the Princes and nearly all the officials; but the Queen Mother went to a place of hers called Monceaux, and the Duke de Guise to his county of Nanteuil.
This news will appear so much the less strange as it was foreseen and expected. It was heard shortly before that Monsieur de Martigues, the colonel of the infantry, had been killed by two harquebuse shots; he was a person of very noble lineage, of the house of Luxemburg, and greatly favoured by these Lords of the Guise family, for young as he was he conducted himself admirably; (fn. 3) but the English Ambassador knows nothing about it.
Paris, 15th July 1560.
[Articles of Agreement between Scotland and France]; enclosed in foregoing Despatch. (fn. 4)
That all the soldiers now in Little Leith (Pettilit) on publication of the agreement, will immediately evacuate it, and the Queen of England will allow the personages of superior grade and consideration to pass through her Kingdom that they may proceed to France, and she will provide all others with ships for their voyage thither by sea, the French Commissioners giving hostages for the restitution of the ships lent to them in their primary condition.
That Little Leith shall be immediately dismantled and reduced to such condition as in the opinion of commanders, to be appointed for this purpose by the English Commissioners, will render its fortification impossible for the future.
That Dunbar and Inchkeith shall remain in their present state; each of those fortresses to be garrisoned by only 60 French soldiers with their Captains, but who are to be paid and mustered by the Scottish Ministry (dalli ministri Scocesi).
That all the fortresses and castles which have been commenced in the Kingdom of Scotland shall be levelled at the same time and with the same conditions as Little Leith.
That the Government of the Kingdom of Scotland shall henceforth be constituted as follows:—
That of the three Estates of the kingdom, clergy, lords, and commons, there shall now be elected twenty-four native Scots, who will then elect twelve others, of whom the most Christian King and Queen to name seven most to their liking, the Estates nominating the other five. These twelve are to rule the kingdom for life, and as they die off their successors to be elected in the same way; all these persons together having royal authority and absolute power in the Government.
That the Scots shall be permitted to live in their own fashion about religion without any hindrance.
That all the rebels who from the year 1558 until the present time have renounced their allegiance to the most Christian King and Queen, shall have their estates, offices, and profits restored to them, and shall be received as their Majesties' good vassals.
That for the future the said most Christian King and Queen shall no longer use the title of King of England, either in letters or writings, or in public acts, and such instruments and public acts as have been passed hitherto shall be repealed within the term of four months, or otherwise they shall be taken (s'intenderanno) as inoperative. The like to be done in all places where the arms of England have been painted or engraved, as quartered with those of their said Majesties, and for the future they are never to be used again in any place, nor on any occasion.
That the treaty of agreement shall be signed by the most Christian King and Queen, by the Queen of England, and by the Parliament of Scotland. And should their most Christian Majesties fail in performing the contents of the treaty relating to the Scots, the said Queen of England may in that case undertake their protection, to enforce the observance of what was granted. (Et mancando esse MMta Ghristme al contenuto di essa appartenents a Scocesi, potrà in questo caso la detta Regina d'Inghilterra prender la protection loro, per far che sia osservato ciò che fusse stato accordato.)
Extract of the Summary of the principal Articles agreed to between the Commissioners of Her Majesty the Queen of England and those of France and Scotland on the 6th July 1560; also enclosed in the foregoing despatch.
First of all, the King and Queen of France will not only abandon the style, title, and arms of England and Ireland within the precise period expressed in the treaty, but will bind themselves never again to use them for the future, and no longer to bear the said title and arms; and they will in like manner prohibit their subjects from using the said title in all their realms and signories in any way whatever; they on their part making every possible prohibition against placing or quartering in any manner the arms of England with those of France or of Scotland.
All letters patent or other writings and instruments executed hitherto, in which mention is made of the said title, or to which any seal is affixed furnished with the said arms, are to be renewed without inserting in them the title or arms of England or Ireland; and all documents or instruments containing the said title or sealed with the said arms, unless renewed within the term of six months after the publication of the present treaty, will be annulled and of no value.
The Kingdom of Scotland to be governed by a Council of twelve noblemen of the country, to be chosen from twenty-four, who are in the first place to be elected and nominated by the Parliament of the three Estates of that kingdom; and of these twelve the Queen of Scotland is to name seven, and the Lords of the Parliament to elect the five others.
All matters transacted since March 1558 to be considered null and consigned to oblivion, the Parliament giving a general pardon and assurance that every one in Scotland shall be restored to his office.
No Frenchman to hold any office in Scotland.
Only one hundred and twenty French soldiers to remain in Scotland, viz., sixty in Dunbar and as many more in Inchkeith (nell' Isola di Cavalli), who are to make their musters every month, and to be paid by the Council of the Kingdom, having their due (dretto) according to the laws of Scotland.
No ammunition or provisions to be taken to Scotland, except once in every six months; these supplies being solely for the two fortresses and for the said number of 120 soldiers.
No foreign vessel with troops for the future to be brought to Scotland without the consent and will of the Scots.
Little Leith to be demolished (sarà rovinato) in the sight and presence of the Commissioners of the Queen of England, and reduced to such a state as they shall think fit.
Nothing was said about the affairs of the religion in Scotland, but everything was allowed to pass in silence without any dispute.
The league between her Majesty the Queen and the nobility of Scotland passed in like manner without being amended.
And finally, in the said treaty between the said Queen of England and the King and Queen of France, their French Majesties are bound to the Queen of England for the fulfilment and observance of the aforesaid conventions relating to the subjects and kingdom of Scotland.
July 18. Archiv. dell' Avogaria di Comun (Frari). 181. [Death of Alvise Priuli.]
The most noble Messer Alvise Priuli has been brought dead from Padua to San Severo. (fn. 5)
[July 18.] Raecolta Cicogna, No. 2892. Correr Museum. 182. Extract from the Genealogy of the Priuli Family.
Alvise Priuli. Bishop, was born in the year 1497. He took priest's orders in 1526, under the protection of Cardinal Pisani, brother-in-law of Antonio Priuli, his brother. He was a prelate of much learning, and acquired the Greek, Chaldean, and Latin languages, for which he was much esteemed at Court. In 1528 he went as Ambassador to England with Cardinal Pole, with whom he was most intimate, and whom he followed in all his (the Cardinal's) journeys and nunciatures for thirty years continuously, in Germany, in France, at the Council of Trent, and in England. In his absence he was designated Bishop of Brescia; and on his return he was elected Bishop of Verona, but he died on the 28th (sic) of July before he obtained the investiture.
When he was nominated by the Republic to the bishopric of Brescia, he was “elected” by Pope Julius [III.] as successor to Cardinal Durante. Although he was in England at the time with Cardinal Pole, he accepted the charge against his will, so as not to abandon it. By Cardinal Pole, who died in 1558, he was appointed sole heir to all his (the Cardinal's) possessions, but he refused the whole, and would accept only the breviary and journal [of the Cardinal].
July 20. Delib. Senato (Secreta), v. 72, p. 19. 183. The Signory of Venice to [Mary Stuart,] Queen of France.
A letter of condolence on the death of the Queen, her mother, which has caused them much grief, owing to the singular virtues, goodness, and religion, for which she was remarkable.
July 20. Ibid. 184. The Same to the Cardinal of Lorraine.
A similar letter.
July 20. Ibid. 185. The Same to their Ambassador in France.
Commission to perform suitable offices of condolence on the same occasion with the King, the Queen, the Cardinal of Lorraine, and the other Lords of the Guise family.
July 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 186. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The news of the agreement with England and Scotland was confirmed by Monsieur de Lignerolles, he having been despatched from the Conference by the French Commissioners and arrived at the Court three days after the first advice received by the Ambassador of the Queen of England, who told me that the person sent by him to announce this intelligence to the Cardinal of Lorraine, saw that his Bight Rev. Lordship remained not only greatly surprised, but astounded, as by an event which had happened contrary to his expectation. The Cardinal inquired whether M. de Bueil, who was sent off on the 1st instant with the ultimatum had yet arrived, but when he saw Throckmorton's Articles of the Agreement signed on the 6th July he perceived that by that day de Bueil could scarcely have arrived in London, still less at the site of the conference in the heart of Scotland; so his regret was yet greater, but he said nothing further. Nothing else been heard from England, but Queen Elizabeth cannot delay sending to have the agreement signed, notwithstanding which she has taken into her service the Duke of Holstein, the brother of the King of Denmark, with considerable pay, honouring him also with the Order of the Garter. She has also pensioned one of the Dukes of Lunenburg, and was daily expecting John, King designate of Sweden, who was going with upwards of 400 horsemen to England, to make himself known to the Queen, and, with regard to his marriage with her, to see whether he could manage his affairs better in person than through his brother the Duke of Finland, who remained so long a time in England last year; about which marriage, Throckmorton says, she will now make up her mind.
It is also heard that the said Queen, anticipating some revolution about the affairs of the religion, has caused to be arrested and put in the Tower the principal Bishops who were “deprived” by her for being Catholics, namely the Archbishop of York, who was Lord Chancellor [Nicholas Heath], the Bishop of Ely [Thomas Thirlby], the Bishop of Winchester [John Whyte], the Bishop of Worcester [Richard Pate], the late Abbot of Westminster [John Feckenham], a most exemplary person, and Dr. [John] Boxall, also a Churchman and Chief Secretary of State to the late Queen Mary.
Although the most Christian King went to Fontainbleau he nevertheless visited the Queen Mother subsequently at Monceaux; the Duke de Guise also going to his county of Nanteuil, and the greater part of the Lords and officials of the Court going here and there, many also coming to this town (terra); so no business was transacted at the Court, nor did anyone go thither.
The muster-general of the men-at-arms commenced on the 20th in their garrisons, and is continued daily; they have been paid, but under heavy penalties are forbidden to quit their quarters during the whole of the month of August; and besides the eight companies who since these disturbances usually follow his Majesty and lodge in the places nearest to the Court, they have now added two hundred horse harquebusiers, and have issued an order about carrying pistols.
The suspicion, not to say the fear, of these chief Ministers about many malcontents and seditious characters, who evince their evil disposition more and more hourly, continues. A few days ago the Government hanged and then quartered the printer of the anonymous placards posted on the walls of this city (città); but it chanced that the said printer having revealed the name of some of the authors and composers of the said writings, one of them, having been found and arrested, whilst being taken from one prison to another, was rescued in one of the principal thoroughfares of Paris, and neither then nor since have the assailants ever been recognised.
During the last week and this present one the Constable being in Paris was much visited and honoured by everybody, especially by many of the noblemen of the Court, and whenever he went out he was accompanied by two hundred gentlemen on horseback with the same amount of followers as he used to have formerly. He has not chosen to refer the lawsuit about the County of Dammartin, pending between him and the Duke de Guise, who was content that certain judges should compromise the matter, whereas the Constable chooses the Parliament to continue judging it.
Paris, 22nd July 1560.
July 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 187. Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador from Lucca informs me that the Duke of Florence is negotiating his nomination as King.
Since the election of the present Pope, much more is said about this negotiation of the Duke of Florence than previously, for according to report it continues; the French Ambassador (fn. 6) having more than once assured me that he knew the matter was being treated not only with the Pope, but also with the Emperor; and at this Court I hear that there are various opinions, for whilst the Duke of Alva is the close and affectionate kinsman of the said Duke, greatly desiring the title of King for him, and favouring the negotiation, and also hoping by these means to advance his own fortune; Don Ruy Gomez on the contrary thinks that nothing could be more prejudicial to King Philip than to have another King in Italy, most especially an Italian, so great, so wealthy, and so fortunate as Cosmo de' Medici. All these difficulties being very well known to the Duke of Florence, he thinks to remove them by marrying the Prince his son (fn. 7) to the Princess [of Portugal, Joanna of Austria], sister of the King Catholic. I wrote heretofore that the Princess was very averse to the marriage, as she considered it too degrading, this opinion being confirmed by the Kingdom of Portugal, who sent to pray her to have regard for her dignity, and that of the King of Portugal her son; but the Duke of Florence, who for the accomplishment of his designs omits no device, found means to make her change her mind according to his will; and certain leading ladies who are constantly with the Princess, and the Duke of Alva likewise, who frequently visits her, when the opportunity offers, do what they can to aid the matter. Moreover the Papal Nuncio, when visiting her occasionally, always endeavours to talk to her about the affairs of Italy, commending that country, its cities, and customs, and above all to extol and exalt the City of Florence, the state and the political position of the Duke. Thus it is that the Princess, having apparently abandoned her first harshness, disposes herself towards what is desired; and I know that when I was talking to her Highness about the coming to this Court of the Prince of Florence, on my saying that after his father he would have a revenue of a million of crowns, she rejoined, as if interested in the matter, that it was much more. In fact, she being handsome and, a Spaniard, and always reared with every luxury, it may be reasonably credited that she longs for a husband; nor were she perchance to search all Christendom could she find a richer or greater one than the Prince of Florence, as the Prince of Spain [Don Carlos], on whom she had already laid the basis of her whole design, owing to his indisposition, has not only failed to grow tall, as was hoped, but has also become so weak and feeble that for many years he will not be marriageable. Many persons therefore infer that this matrimonial alliance will take place as being so dignified, and that the King Catholic will not only not prevent, but rather afford every sort of favour to the Duke that he may obtain the title of King.
Toledo, 28th July 1560.
[Italian; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
July 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 188. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the audience which the Nuncio had yesterday of the most Christian King, he has been in lengthy conference with the Eight Reverend of Lorraine about the affairs of the religion. The Cardinal told him that his Majesty and his Ministers were so troubled and perplexed on this account that they knew not which way to turn for the formation of some good resolve, as not only was he advised by the Bishop of Agen that all the inhabitants of that city, in a state of furious insurrection, went to the churches, destroyed all the images and maltreated certain priests, but he, the Cardinal, through certain written papers which were dropped before the Queen Mother whilst she was at supper, had understood that unless she speedily released certain preachers imprisoned at Troyes, she would become the most unhappy Princess living. But what matters and presses more is, that his Majesty has been informed through several channels that a very great number of these persons who are disaffected in religious matters have secretly settled to bring to pass in a few days a design against the King and his Ministers of worse quality than the recent Amboise conspiracy. The Cardinal uttered these words most mournfully, showing that the grief of the King and his Ministers is so much the greater, as this tremendous calamity has advanced so far that no remedy can any longer be expected from human prudence or counsel, but only from the hand of God. The Nuncio then told me that he informed the Cardinal confidentially of a paragraph in a letter, written from Flanders by the Abbot of San Saluto [Vincenzo Parpaglia], to the effect that many of the chief personages of the United Provinces asserted publicly that the enmity between the Guise Lords and the House of Montmorency had become so open and proceeded so far, owing to the dispute about Dammartin, that it was expected they would take up arms, which in the United Provinces they supposed to be of very great consequence. The Cardinal, having read the paragraph, after remaining in great suspense, said that the Houses of Guise and Montmorency had so fair-minded a Sovereign that he would soon make his Ministers of Justice ascertain on which side the wrong was, so that by these means, and not by force of arms, their differences would be terminated
Melun, (fn. 8) 30th July 1560.


  • 1. The imprisonment of the nephews of Paul IV. took place on the 13th June 1560; they were executed on the 4th March 1561. (See Pallavicino, “Istoria del Concilio di Trento,” Vol. 3, p. 412, foot note (c), p. 414 foot note (A), edition Faenza, 1793.;
  • 2. “Nel Emps Todesco” (sic); to the German Altemps? The family name of the Counts of Altemps, Barons of Hohenembs, was Sitico. (See Cardella, Vol. 5, p. 40 seq.)
  • 3. In Foreign Calendar, date June 28, 1560, p. 149, it is seen that M. de Martigues died it, Leith on the 28th June 1560.
  • 4. Compare with the first enclosure in Tiepolo's despatch of 5th Sept. 1560.
  • 5. i.e., to the parish church there, which no longer exists. The Priuli palace at San Severo is described by Ruskin (Stones of Venice II. 264).
  • 6. Sebastian de l'Aubespine, Bishop of Limoges.
  • 7. Francesco Maria de' Medici, Cosmo's eldest son, in the year 1565 married Joanna of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand I.
  • 8. Whilst the French Court was at Fontainebleau, the Venetian Ambassador generally lodged at Melun.