Venice: November 1562

Pages 349-351

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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November 1562

Nov. 3. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 308. Marc' Antonio Barbaro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Owing to a death in my house from the plague, I have retired with twelve of my attendants from the city to the suburbs. The authorities of this city propose to fortify it, if there be time; but I believe the Huguenots will change their purpose [of marching to Paris ?] now that Rouen has been taken, although the King's army remains at that place, and designs to go towards Dieppe. It was at first said that Dieppe had offered to surrender, but it has since been heard that the person who came thence came only to treat of an agreement in which they demanded the same conditions as were granted to those of Bourges, (fn. 1) and moreover liberty to preach in their fashion. Hence it is supposed that the King makes a show of sending forward troops to that town, with threats of treating them worse than those of Rouen. But I believe the camp is more likely to return hither than go to Dieppe, and I am informed that the King will come to St. Germain as soon as the King of Navarre can bear the journey. Montgomery was not taken, as was hoped, but has fled, although it seems he was wounded.
Paris, 3rd November 1562.
Nov. 9. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 309. Marc' Antonio Barbaro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Announces preparations against the Prince of Condé. The King of Navarre's condition has become dangerous, and this accident has happened at a time when it is likely to cause much confusion. (fn. 2)
The new Ambassador [Sir Thomas Smith] who came lately from England has had a long interview (porlamento) with the Queen, and also with the Legate. He has taken up his abode at the Court, and the other Ambassador [Throckmorton] is still in Orleans.
Paris, 9th November 1562.
Nov. 12. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 310. Marc' Antonio Barbaro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
According to a letter of the 9th from the Court, the King of Navarre's life is despaired of. (fn. 3) If, when he was created the King's Governor and Lieutenant there were in that quiet time such great difficulties, what will there now be, during the present confusion and disorder, when his successor has to be appointed! The Prince of Condé's appointment would meet with great opposition, especially on account of his having introduced the English into the kingdom, and given into their hands a fortress of such importance as Havre de Grace. But it appears that the English Ambassador [Smith] is now most diligently negotiating at the Court with the Queen and the Legate about this matter; and if there is a real intention to come to some just conclusion, an agreement will readily follow, as the Prince of Condé is bound to do his best endeavour to that effect. The government is likewise bound to do their utmost to recover Havre de Grace, for it is one of the principal places in the whole kingdom, and situate upon the mouth of the Seine, which passes almost through the centre of France. If that place were held by the English, a very considerable commerce would be lost, and consequently incalculable profits and advantages.
Mons. de Selve and a President of the Parliament of Paris have long been kept prisoners at Orleans. The Prince of Condé has now caused the latter to be executed, in revenge for the execution by the King of the first President in Rouen. Here also four gentlemen have been beheaded.
Paris, 12th November 1562.
Nov. 15. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 311. Marc' Antonio Barbaro, Venetian Ambasssador in France, to the Signory.
I have received certain information that the negotiation of the English Ambassador [Smith] relates to the restitution of Havre de Grace to this Crown. The Legate has rendered most effective aid in this matter; and further, with this opportunity, he has introduced a proposal (prattica) to persuade the Queen of England to send her prelates to the Council. It appears that by making every effort with his usual boldness he has greatly influenced the mind of this Ambassador, who shows himself inclined to do his utmost to this effect, unless indeed such demonstration be intended to gain time, so as to establish their possession [of Havre de Grace].
Paris, 15th November 1562.
Nov. 25. Original Letter Book, Venetian Archives. 312. Marc' Antonio Barbaro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
The Prince of Condé is marching upon Paris. The Court expects him to take the road to Normandy in order to unite with a great number of English, who, it is said, are coming. He will probably attempt to regain possession of Rouen and Dieppe, and of that province, which can easily be held by his party with the English at their back.
Paris, 25th November 1562. (fn. 4)


  • 1. These were: liberty to go their houses or to enter the King's service, and in either case “to live according to their consciences, but with prohibition of the preachings, and of the use of their sacraments.” (Barbaro's despatch of 4th September 1562.)
  • 2. In a letter of the 10th November, Barbaro gives a particular account of the sufferings of the King of Navarre.
  • 3. His death on board a boat, on his way to Paris, is announced in a despatch of the 18th November.
  • 4. In several subsequent letters Barbaro gives account of the lengthy negotiations which then took place between the Queen Mother and the Prince of Condé.