Venice: October 1560

Pages 260-262

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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October 1560

Oct. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 200. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the morning of the 11th the King came to this city, but only remained there to dine, and during the short time occupied by him in addressing the presidents and chief councillors of the Parliament, the deputies of the city, and the doctors and theologians of the Sorbonne, whom he received in the great hall of the Louvre, his Majesty's usual lodging, he informed them that he was hastening to Orleans, because he heard daily of fresh disturbances in the neighbouring towns, the people of Amboise and Tours having stormed the prisons and released all those who had been put in confinement as agitators (seduttori) on account of religion, which had also given rise to a strange report at Blois. He assigned as the reason for his havingraised an army, that it was to oppose the rebels who had raised insurrections in various provinces by clandestine understandings and plots having for object to remove the present government and to introduce a new one, changing the religion and oppressing the kingdom universally and his Majesty in person. With regard to religion, the King said that he chose to live and die in the one in which his predecessors had lived and died. He recommended to them the quiet of the city, and said he trusted they would not fail to be his good and loyal subjects in like manner as he would endeavour to be their good master and good King; adding in conclusion that from circumstances, and owing to his present need, though to his very great regret, he was compelled both for his own defence and for their safety and preservation to avail himself of a loan of 400,000 francs, which from the love and devotion they evinced for him, would, he was sure, be accepted and paid willingly. After having performed this office, he departed immediately, taking the road towards Orleans, being escorted not only by his usual foot and horse guards, more heavily armed than is customary, but also by three companies of veteran infantry which had arrived on that day from the garrisons of Picardy, very well armed, and numbering more than three hundred men in each company. With this force he passed through the city, not without much murmur from the whole populace and from all these burgesses, who considered themselves greatly offended, because his Majesty had shown distrust of them by passing in battle array, and also because he held them in small account, his Majesty having shown himself openly and in public without making any other entry, it having been customary for former Kings, when they had not performed the usual entry with great pomp and solemnity, not to show themselves, but to pass through Paris privately (occultamente).
The Vidâme de Chartres has been brought back to the Bastille, his indictment having been drawn up, and his affairs will proceed according to the turn taken by those of the King of Navarre; and the Constable, who until now hoped well for him, seems at present to have changed his opinion.
During the Constable's absence from the Court the especial care of this city has been recommended to him, he residing in places sc near at hand as Chantilly and Enghien. Last night to his very great joy one of his daughters-in-law, the wife of his eldest son, François de Montmorency, [Diane], bastard daughter of the late King Henry, was delivered of a son, who is the first born of his family.
Paris, 15th October 1560.
P.S.—Detained till the 20th.
To-day the most Christian King made his entry into Orleans, and the Queen Mother is going two days in advance to her seat of Chenonceau near Amboise, where the King of Navarre is expected, that she may speak with him before he comes to the Court. The King of Navarre was two days' journey on this side of Poitiers, and had but forty or fifty horsemen in all. His brother, the Prince of Condé, it is said, remained a little in the rear unwell, or feigning to have tertian ague.
Oct. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 201. Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassador with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The King returned from his field sports to Toledo three days ago, being accompanied by the Duke of Alva, who for counsel, authority, and ability occupies the chief place at this Court.
Don Antonio de Toledo has come from France, bringing fair promises from the most Christian King, who wishes to satisfy his Catholic Majesty in whatever way he can, but knows clearly that unless the Council-General be held soon, and in any other place of Germany than Trent, as at Cologne, Mayence, or some such place, it would cause the utter ruin and confusion of France, unless his most Christian Majesty observe his promise to convoke the National Council.
Don Antonio did not proceed to Flanders, because to remedy affairs there the presence of other persons was needed. According to report there has been some important religious commotion at Antwerp, and it is notorious that almost the entire population there in this respect are very corrupt; so it is apprehended, should the National Council take place in France, that it may give them an opportunity to make some perilous rebellion, most especially as in those provinces there is no person who has sufficient authority to oppose it (remediarvi); advice having been received that these people render scarcely any obedience to Madame the Governess, who for this reason wishes the Serene King to release her from the charge she holds. The Province of Brabant gave his Majesty to understand heretofore that according to their privileges no bastard could be appointed to rule them, and therefore they consider it lawful to be disobedient, and with their example the other Provinces likewise fail in what is due from them.
I am assured on the best authority that these are the causes which induced his Majesty to consider whom he could most advantageously place in that government, and all of his most prudent councillors came to the conclusion that no one could succeed but his Majesty in person, as to no Spaniard would obedience ever be rendered by the inhabitants, amongst whom there is no personage in such esteem that the others would consent to be subject to him; nor can Spain trust the Duchess of Lorraine, whose son is so interested in the affairs of France, whilst Don Carlos is too young, and still infirm, nor has the King's sister, the Princess of Portugal, such knowledge as is required for the charge; and what matters greatly, she would hardly abandon Spanish customs, and her haughty manners, so utterly ill adapted to gain the love of those people, who expect their Prince to be very gracious and affable, almost like the French, on which account Charles the Fifth and King Philip were much more condescending and familiar with them than with any other nation. Hence it is inferred that his Majesty will have to go thither shortly, and nothing is talked of at Toledo but the voyage to Flanders.
The Spanish infantry, who until now have been kept in Flanders, so much to the dissatisfaction of the people there, were to embark for Spain, from whence, together with the five or six thousand now being raised, they will be sent to Naples and Sicily.
The Ambassador from England resident here [Sir Thomas Chamberlain] has recent letters from his colleague at the Court of France [Sir Nicholas Throckmorton], showing he has great doubts whether the peace made between his Queen and the most Christian King will take effect, as until then his Majesty had not chosen to sign the treaty as he was bound to do, and from day to day devised reasons for protracting the business.
Toledo, 23rd October 1560.
[Italian; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]