Venice: September 1560

Pages 251-260

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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September 1560

Sept. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 194. Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio Santa Croce will remain here some days before going to his legation in Portugal, as he is ordered to wait and hear how they mean to receive him, because in that kingdom the affairs of religion are ruled by the King's uncle, the Cardinal, who will dislike the coming of the Nuncio, because authority will be taken from the Cardinal.
Whilst Santa Croce stays here, he will receive the property of priests dying in Spain, which belongs to the Pope. Santa Croce has been commissioned by his Holiness to give account to King Philip of the accusations against the Caraffas, which are many and great. He also brings information that the Duke of Savoy had already intended to make the expedition against Geneva, for which his Holiness had promised him assistance ; but subsequently, considering that the present moment was inopportune for hostilities, the convocation of the Council General being now talked about, the Pope, lest it seem that they intend to use force instead of reason, now dissuaded the Duke from the enterprise, and King Philip approves of the Pope's having done so.
Santa Croce also notified the replies received by his Holiness about the Council from the Emperor and from France, and prayed his Majesty to send a person from himself to France, to prevent the National Council, which the most Christian King has promised his subjects; but King Philip had previously appointed Don Antonio de Toledo, who departed yesterday evening; and I have confirmation of what I wrote, that he will afterwards proceed to Flanders, both for the need of those States, and to thwart the marriage of the Queen of England.
In addition the Nuncio brought the Pope's determination about the case of the Archbishop of Toledo [Bartolome Caranza], who, having been charged with heresy more than a year ago, is in such close imprisonment that he has neither seen nor spoken to anyone. The Archbishop of Seville, as General of the Inquisition, laid claim to judge him, but the Archbishop of Toledo declared the Archbishop of Seville to be also suspected, owing to several disputes between them, about which the King, the Princess [of Portugal, his sister], and many principal personages were examined. The judges appointed concerning this matter passed sentence that the Archbishop of Seville was a suspected judge, and inadmissible therefore to decide this cause ; but the Archbishop of Seville, alleging that repute was thus withdrawn from the office of the Inquisition, which is so important in Spain, appealed to the Pope, and persuaded the King to believe him. His Holiness however made this case known to several persons, and having heard that besides the strife between the Archbishops various irregularities had occurred, amongst which was the deprivation of the Archbishop of Toledo of the administration of the revenues of the archbishopric before cognisance of the cause, the Pope has declared that his Majesty is to depute another impartial person to draw up the process against the Archbishop. His Holiness has laboured earnestly to convince his Majesty that this determination does not diminish the authority of the Inquisition, as it shows what great care is taken that the persons charged with so important an office should be devoid of any suspicion of partiality.
Last week the Inquisition arrested the Abbot of Valladolid, brother of the Admiral of Castile, (fn. 1) one of the chief grandees in Spain. By letters written in the King's name the Abbot was summoned to come to his Majesty, it being promised him that in a week he should be liberated. On arriving he was put in prison. The accusation against him is that he favoured the Archbishop of Toledo by writing to Rome, and to the Nuncio here, about the Archbishop of Seville and some other members of the Inquisition, calling them, ignorant and full of prejudice. All this tends to make everybody not only respect the holy office, but to fear it.
The Nuncio Santa Croce has complained in the Pope's name, that unknown to his Holiness indulgences were obtained at Rome, and then published and preached in Spain otherwise than intended by him, as was especially done with regard to a bull lately obtained from the Congregation of Indulgences, which was sold on account of the King to the merchants for 244,000 crowns; but in Spain such is the custom, and as it combines profit it can with difficulty be annulled. In conclusion, the Pope chose Santa Croce, accompanied by the other Nuncio, (fn. 2) to testify to his Majesty that his Holiness is well inclined towards the Farnese family, and that he will never permit any injury to be done to them. His Majesty in reply said the Farnese family was so allied with him (fn. 3) that it cannot be touched without touching his Majesty likewise; and that whosoever offends the Farnese family might rely on having to do, not only with King Philip's friends and confederates, but with the King himself. Here they strongly suspect that the Pope is hostile to the Farnese family, both owing to the relationship contracted with the Duke of Urbinos daughter, who lays claim to Camerino, which was heretofore exchanged for Parma and Piacenza; and also at the instigation of several Italian princes, and principally of the Duke of Florence, who is considered omnipotent with his Holiness and unfriendly to the house of Farnese; the Dukes of Ferrara and Mantua being also their enemies, the one from past wars, and the other because that family deprived the Cardinal of Mantua of the Popedom. This suspicion has increased owing to the flight from Italy of Duke Ottavio, lest he should be summoned to Rome, and above all by reason of the Pope's going to Bologna. Therefore, amongst the other orders given by the Marquis of Pescara to Don Giorgio Manrique, whom he sent to this Court, he charged him to ascertain from his Majesty how he was to regulate himself in case Duke Ottavio was attacked. The King answered firmly, making sure that on its being known how warmly he means to protect the Farnese family, everybody would beware of injuring them.
The Ambassador from Lucca has informed his Majesty that his Lords had discovered through several channels that the Duke of Florence was treating to have himself named King of Tuscany, which if it took place they very well knew would be prejudicial to their liberty; so they had recourse to his Majesty as to the sole protector from whom they had constantly promised themselves all assistance. The Ambassador tells one that to this discourse his Majesty replied that when the occurrence came to pass he would prove to the city of Lucca how much he desires its preservation, by reason of his well known affection for that place, and he exhorted the Ambassador to be of good cheer in this matter.
Toledo, 2nd September 1500.
[Italian; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Sept. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 195. Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
A few days ago, Don Giorgio Manrique arrived at this Court from Milan, having been sent by the Marquis of Pescara to procure pay for the soldiers, who had already begun to mutiny, and about the suspension, ordered by the King, of the taxes imposed in the Milanese, which deprived the Marquis of means to pay the troops. They have now provided sufficiently for the present need, and Don Giorgio is returning to Milan.
The Marquis of Pescara sent by Don Giorgio to notify two things to the King in the name of his brother-in-law the Duke of Mantua: (fn. 4) first, that the Duke would exchange Montferrat for Cremona; secondly, that the Duke offered to marry according to the will of his Majesty. With regard to the first proposal I hear it has been neither accepted nor refused, and as regards the marriage, his Majesty replied, that he would wish the Duke to take for his wife one of the daughters of the Emperor, the King having ordered Don Giorgio [Manrique], should the Duke consent to this, to go to Germany to negotiate the marriage in his name with the Emperor.
The Nuncio here has requested King Philip to give his sister the Princess [of Portugal] for wife to the Prince of Florence, saying that the Prince would be content to take her without any dower, and moreover that the Pope was ready to name the Duke of Florence King. His Majesty replied that he must refer this matter to his sister, though he would be very pleased were the marriage to take place, especially on such honourable conditions as those mentioned by the Nuncio; but the King subsequently told the Nuncio that his sister had firmly determined not to marry, so that the Nuncio was to pray the Pope to treat the marriage of the Prince of Florence with one of the daughters of the Emperor. The King's answer has not yet discouraged the Duke's adherents, who believe that his Majesty chooses greater entreaty to be made him in this matter; which agrees with what the Nuncio told one, that he did not think the Pope would solicit the marriage of the Emperors daughter, as he greatly desires this marriage with the Princess [of Portugal]. The Pope and, the Duke, by thus announcing to King Philip the Duke's design of having himself made King, may think that they may carry it into effect; and although this might greatly offend his Majesty, yet nevertheless he looks to nothing else but his own interest. The Ambassador from Lucca dreads this proposal more than any one else.
A courier has been despatched to Flanders to the Duchess Governess, who is to give notice to Don Antonio de Toledo in France, if she thinks that his going [to Flanders] can assist in bringing back the inhabitants there to their duty.
The King has granted the Duke of Sessa power to authorise the sale made by him of the duchy of Terra Nuova, in the kingdom of Naples, to Signor Tommaso Marin, and although at first there was a difficulty about the title, they nevertheless at length consented to style him Duke.
Toledo, 5th September 1560.
[Italian; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
196. Articles of the Treaty and Agreement made between the most Christian King and Queen and the Scots: enclosed in the foregoing despatch. (fn. 5)
First. That the soldiers of France or of any other nation shall not pass into Scotland without the consent of the three Estates of the kingdom, except in case of invasion.
Secondly. That all the French soldiers shall be removed thence, save one hundred and twenty as is aforesaid. (fn. 6)
Thirdly. That the three Estates shall name twenty-four persons, of whom the Queen Consort of the most Christian King will select seven and the Estates five, to form a Council; and should it seem necessary to have fourteen councillors the Queen will choose eight, and the Estates six.
Fourthly. All the civil and criminal law courts shall be served by native Scots, and not by foreigners of another nation.
Fifthly. The soldiers shall pay in ready money for the victuals taken by them.
Sixthly. The Scots shall perform in everything the service due from them to the most Christian King and Queen his wife, as native subjects are bound to do.
Seventhly. The three Estates shall keep the kingdom in quiet, and all that has been done illegally shall be forgotten.
Ninthly. The towns, possessions, and pensions belonging to the Duke of Châtellerault, his son, and all the others are to be restored.
Tenthly. Should anyone contrary to the ordinances raise a force within the kingdom, he shall be pursued by the three Estates like a rebel, without the King or Queen having need to send any foreign force to subdue them.
197. Articles of the Treaty and Agreement made between the Queen of England and the most Christian King and Queen; also enclosed in the foregoing despatch. (fn. 7)
First. That perpetual peace be made and continue between the two crowns and their states and subjects.
Secondly. The treaty of Cateau Cambresis is approved and ratified, and resumes its original force and vigour.
Thirdly. All French soldiers shall leave Scotland except one hundred and twenty, of whom sixty will remain in garrison at Dunbar and sixty on the island of Inchkeith.
Fourthly, All hostilities shall cease, and no French men-of-war shall be sent to England, Ireland, or Scotland; nor from England or Ireland to France.
Fifthly. The right and just title which the Queen of England has to the Crown of that kingdom and Ireland is confessed and acknowledged by the most Christian King and his wife to appertain and belong to her Majesty alone, by express words and by a manifest declaration.
Sixthly. That the most Christian King and Queen will no longer bear the arms and title of England, and will prohibit their subjects from making public or any other exhibition of them.
Seventhly. That all letters patent, writings, or public instruments made with the said title and sealed with the said arms shall he revoked and cancelled.
Eighthly. As compensation for the costs incurred by the Queen on this occasion, together with the restitution of Calais, and [or ?] 500,000 crowns damages, which by the treaty of Cateau Cambresis France was bound to restore ; it is agreed that for this purpose commissioners are to be appointed by one side and the other, to treat about the costs, and if they do not agree within three months the matter shall be referred for arbitration to the King Catholic, to pass sentence in the following year. (fn. 8)
Sept. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 198. Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Nearly two months have elapsed since the Duke of Alva has left the Court, for since accompanying the King to Madrid until now, he has never returned. The cause of his absence is very well known to proceed from dissatisfaction on his part, because, as he exceeds all the other Ministers in authority and understanding, so he wishes everything to depend upon himself alone, nor can he suffer others, unworthy to be compared with him, to have power equal to his, and superior to it in some respects. A circumstance occurred a few days before his departure which led him to form this resolve. His Majesty was closeted with Secretary Erasso, (fn. 9) as is his frequent custom, the King greatly respecting his judgment and opinion, not only in the financial matters which are intrusted to him alone, but also in all other matters; the King having ordered him not to open the door to anyone until their conversation had ended.
In the meanwhile the Duke of Alva came, and after trying to open the door, rapped more than once, so Erasso, approaching it, replied that the Duke could not enter, and repeated the same answer, although the Duke told him who he was; but at length he opened the door, when the Duke in a rage, less from having been denied entry than because the King was taking counsel privily from this person, whom the Duke considers his personal enemy and opposed to him, in the King's hearing let fly a volley of abuse against Erasso, and in a violent rage asked his Majesty as a favour to give him leave to go home, as he could no longer tolerate such contemptuous treatment. The King replied that the Duke had little cause for such great anger, and the Duke rejoined that the causes of his anger were great and just, as they concerned both honour and substance, because for his Majesty's service he had sold and mortgaged many estates, and that in lieu of the reward given him by the King in Flanders, from which he had hitherto derived but little benefit, he should prefer being recompensed for those expenses, as equity and justice required; but that the King should well remember how after the toil endured by the Duke for his service in Italy, and after security had been established there, he was deprived of that government that he might be much more opposed and harassed at this Court, where he was at length so despised that Erasso dared to shut the door in his face, though he the Duke was the King's Maggiordomo; wherefore he prayed his Majesty to grant him leave to go home, that he might at least live there with his mind more quiet and at ease.
The King did all he could to appease the Duke, but at length, as the Duke insisted on having leave of absence, his Majesty said he would grant it him for a few days, but not as he required it; though even now., after availing himself of this leave for so long a while, he does not say when he will return, notwithstanding the King's repeated orders for him to do so; and as a favourable demonstration the King has sent to ask the Duke's advice about various matters.
Such was the cause of the departure of the Duke of Alva, from whose absence this Court suffers greatly, for he exceeds all other Ministers in experience and judgment. It is said that he absented himself willingly whilst the affairs of the Duke of Sessa were under discussion, as he knew that the result would not be in accordance with the hopes of the Duke of Sessa; and being considered unfriendly to the Duke of Sessa, he (the Duke of Alva) wished to avoid the imputation of having opposed him.
It is considered certain here that the King Catholic has reduced the rate of interest paid by him in the Milanese, amounting to seven, eight, ten and twelve per cent., to only five, but the decree has not yet been published.
Last Sunday a tournament was held in the quadrangle of the palace. The challengers were three Flemings, who comported themselves very well, meeting with pike and sword some seventy cavaliers, who made their appearance in magnificent array, and with beautiful devices. Amongst them was the King, who chose to play his part in person, there being in his Majesty's company, Don John of Austria, the Prince of Parma, Don Ruy Gomez, a son of the Duke of Alva, and two other cavaliers. Don John of Austria, lad as he is, fought very gracefully, and the Prince of Parma who is also a youth, broke all three of his spears, for which feat he won the prize. I was present at this entertainment, with the Apostolic Nuncios and the Ambassadors of France and England, and as I went with the French Ambassador before the entertainment commenced, we being in the Queen's antechamber, the French Ambassador sent to request audience of her Majesty, to whom he was introduced. Whilst he remained within, all the persons in the antechamber being dismissed, except myself, who was told to remain, there came thither her Majesty's French maids of honour, who commenced dancing together with as much grace and courtesy as I ever beheld, performing many and several sorts of French, Spanish, and Italian dances. When the French Ambassador came forth from the audience chamber, he told me that the Queen, lest it should weary me to remain in solitude, had desired these ladies to dance before me; and 1 was much pleased with so agreeable and delightful a spectacle (felice vista), and with the great courtesy shown me.
Toledo, 11th September 1560.
[Italian; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Sept. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 199. Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
A Turk, who says he came from Sultan Bayazet, remains outside Toledo, without having had audience of the King, who twice sent to him his Chief Secretary of State, Gonzalo Perez, to hear why he came, and with what commission, but he always replied pertinaciously that he had been sent to his Majesty, and that to him alone does he intend to communicate his mission. Here they greatly doubt his having a mission from Bayazet, as there is not sufficient confirmation of its credibility. Gonzalo Perez asked me whether I knew anything about him, especially as he was heard to say that some three years since he went to Venice to ask your Serenity for 800 wheel harquebuses (archibusi da ruota) and that he obtained them. I utterly denied this story to Gonzalo, assuring him that your Serenity never granted arms, nor whatever might serve for warfare, to infidels, and that if at any time similar demands had been made, the invariable answer was that our religion prohibited the grant, which seemed to satisfy that barbarous race. On my telling Perez that I had no information from your Serenity about this individual, he added that he had written to the Secretary resident with you for information; and it would assuredly cause great pleasure here could any certain news be given of this individual, that they might make sure of his being an envoy from Bayazet. His name is Cassan Chiaus, and he is a man about 34 years of age, knowing many languages, being no less astute than all other natives of Corfu, and from Christian he has turned Mahometan.
A fortnight ago last Sunday, an act was performed at Murcia which is called at Toledo an act of Inquisition, whereat twenty-nine individuals were burnt as Jews, and amongst them were some chief personages (et tra questi alcuni homeni principali) so that the confiscation of their property will yield the King upwards of 400,000 ducats. I have already informed your Serenity that a Jew, whilst a prisoner in that city, corrupted a great part of the population, and how the plot was discovered; (fn. 10) so punishment of the culprits has not yet ended; The twenty-nine persons who were burnt lately, were all impenitent (ostinati in non voter confessar), but if they had recanted (che se havessero confessato), and demanded mercy even at the last, their lives would have been spared, though with loss of their property and freedom, by virtue of a privilege to this effect which is enjoyed by the Kingdoms of Murcia, Granada, Aragon, Catalonia, and Valencia, but which is not conceded to those of Castile, where, unless recantation be made within a certain period, the individual who omits to make it is necessarily put to death.
The King had several times represented to his most Christian Majesty that the latter should no longer tolerate the audacity of those who cause religious disturbance in France, but that on ascertaining who were the chief ringleaders he should irrespectively punish them in this cause, which concerns the salvation of souls, the conservation of the kingdom, its dignity and grandeur, as also the nobility (sic) of other realms, King Philip promising the King of France every sort of assistance required by him. Consequently, after the arrest of the Vidâme de Chartres, and the summons to the Court of the Prince de Condé, brother of the King of Navarre, who is suspected in this matter, his most Christian Majesty, to anticipate greater evil, has requested the King Catholic, according to his promise, to have military forces ready both in Spain and Flanders, that the King of France may avail himself of them if necessary. King Philip has therefore sent orders to Flanders that on receiving any request there from his most Christian Majesty, the three thousand Spaniards still in those Provinces, and five hundred cavalry, were to go to France for his service. It has also been determined to raise some two thousand infantry about Narbonne, and another four thousand in Biscay, and to make them march with a large body of Spanish cavalry into the Kingdom of Navarre, so that if requested they may assist his most Christian Majesty; these forces to be under the command of Don Juan Manrique. But although it is reported that they are raising this new infantry solely for the service of France, yet from what the French Ambassador told me I know on good authority that whether France does or does not avail herself of this infantry, it is their intention here to send it subsequently to Italy and Sicily in lieu of the forces lost by Spain at Gerbes.
A herald is being sent to Italy, to convey the order of the Fleece to the Duke of Urbino and to Marc Antonio Colonna.
It was reported here lately that all the Italian powers had leagued together, to which King Philip showed that he gave no credit, for at that very time his Majesty regulated the Milanese soldiery and determined to suppress that expense; notwithstanding which, certain Ambassadors of the Italian powers obtained an interview with his Majesty in order to remove from his mind the thought that the report might be true, and I learn from themselves that King Philip assured them he had not the slightest suspicion on the subject. More than one of those Ambassadors asked whether I had spoken to his Majesty about this rumour, and my constant reply was that I had not, neither was it my intention to do so, lest it appear that I attached importance to these reports, which were held by me in no account, knowing that his Majesty was quite convinced of your Serenity's friendship and good understanding with him.
Toledo, 28th September 1560.
[Italian; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]


  • 1. The office was hereditary in the Cabrera family.
  • 2. The Bishop of Terracina (see before date, 7 April).
  • 3. The consort of Duke Ottavio Farnese was King Philip's sister.
  • 4. Hernando Francisco d'Avalos, Marquis of Pescara, was the Consort of Isabella di Gonzaga, sister of Duke William of Mantua. (See the late Sir William Hackett's Index to Foreign Calendar, “Mary,” p. 442.)
  • 5. Compare with the enclosures in Michiel's despatch of 15th July 1560.
  • 6. In the first Article. (See Foreign Calendar, 1560–1561, date 6 July 1560, p. 172.)
  • 7. Compare with Foreign Calendar as before, 6th July 1560, p. 173.
  • 8. See Foreign Calendar, 6th July 1560, 7th Article, p. 174, lines 3, 4, 5.
  • 9. Erasso, Francisco de, Spanish Secretary to Charles V. and Philip II. (See the late Sir William Hackett's Index to Foveign Calendar, “Mary,” p. 423.)
  • 10. Letter not found.