Venice: January 1559, 1-15

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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'Venice: January 1559, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7, 1558-1580, (London, 1890), pp. 4-10. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Venice: January 1559, 1-15", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7, 1558-1580, (London, 1890) 4-10. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

. "Venice: January 1559, 1-15", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7, 1558-1580, (London, 1890). 4-10. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

January 1559, 1–15

1559. Jan. 1. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 3. Michiel Surian and Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassadors with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Michiel Surian presented his successor Paulo Tiepolo to King Philip, with whom Tiepolo condoled, in the name of the Republic on the Emperor's death and on that of his consort, and also on that of his aunt Queen Mary of Hungary; adding that he was commissioned by the Signory not only to preserve the peace and good understanding that prevailed between them and his Majesty, but also to act in such a way that he might have daily proof of their sincere affection; which assurances the King reciprocated.
Brussels, 1st January 1559.
Jan. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. (2nd letter.) 4. Michiel Surian and Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassadors with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Lorraine, having announced his intention of coming hither, was very anxiously expected, so that post-horses were ordered so far away as Cambray; but he no longer intends to do so, and the cause assigned is that the French have detained him under pretence of marrying him. What however chiefly weighs here, is the suspicion that the French are but little inclined towards peace, and that the Duke has therefore been stopped; which suspicion is greatly increased by a current report that the King of France has sent to raise 6,000 Blacksmiths (Feraroli) in Germany, as also owing to the death of the Queen of England, and to many other events which have happened since the meeting of the French and Spanish Commissioners at Cercamp. (fn. 1)
King Philip returned from the Abbey last Wednesday, and on Thursday and Friday the obsequies of the late Emperor [Charles V.] were performed with great pomp, in the presence of the King and of the whole Court clad in mourning; the only ambassadors in attendance being those of the reigning Emperor [Ferdinand], and of Portugal, and J Michiel (Surian), in the name of your Serenity, as I Paulo (Tiepolo) had not yet been to his Majesty. The other ambassadors accredited to the King by Republics and Dukes were not invited on account of the disputes they have with each other about precedence, although on this occasion no ambassador failed to clothe himself and his attendants in mourning. Amongst the other notable things witnessed at these obsequies, was a large ship almost entirely gilt, which was drawn through the streets to the church, this ship being full of flags, as memorials of all the victories gained by the Emperor, and on the flags were inscribed in letters of gold what your Serenity will see by the enclosed illustrated broadsheet (l'inclusa polizza).
Yesterday evening Don Juan Manrique arrived here from Naples, accompanied by Marc' Antonio Colonna; and many ambassadors have come from divers Princes to condole with his Majesty on the death of the Emperor, and on that of Queen Mary.
Brussels, 1st January 1559.
[Italian; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini]
Jan. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 5. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day, after I had dined with the Constable as usual, he introduced me to the King, who told me he had understood from a person lately arrived from England that the Queen, by frequently showing herself in public, giving audience to all who wish for it, and using every mark of great graciousness towards every one, daily gains favour and affection from all her people, the greater part of whom, following her example, have entirely renounced the mass, but she does not prevent any of the few who attended it from continuing to do so in safety, and without being outraged in any way. With regard to her marriage, it was reported in England that she would marry an Englishman, though no one is named in particular; or were she to choose a foreigner (o se pur fosse forestiere), as seemed to be her inclination, that at least he would not be a potentate of another state (che almen non seria persona de altro stato), nor have any greater interest than that of England, nor any occasion to depart thence and leave her, but remain there permanently. His Majesty added that the Emperor's second son, the Archduke Ferdinand, was talked of; and that with regard to King Philip,—besides his being unpopular in the island, most especially with the new ministry,—his marriage with Queen Elizabeth was spoken of very coldly in Flanders, at the court of the Catholic King; and all persons coming from Flanders say that there Queen Elizabeth is openly and freely reproached and blamed, rather than in any way praised or esteemed; which was an evident sign (his Majesty said) that King Philip had no hope of getting her, as otherwise his own people would not dare to speak ill of her as they do.
Then about the Conference of the Commissioners for the peace, his Majesty said that on the return of one of the Constable's secretaries, who was sent to Flanders with the 60,000 francs on account of the Constable's ransom, King Philip's decision about the time and place of the Conference will be known, and thereto, the King (Henry) said, his Commissioners would consent. This very day, the Constable received a most loving and familiar letter from Don Ruy Gomez, praying him to give a safeconduct for two of the Duke of Alva's nephews, that they might pass to Spain; and telling him that as the time is drawing near when they will see each other, he hoped the interview would take place much more joyfully than the last time, as King Philip was becoming daily more and more disposed towards the peace, and Don Ruy Gomez, supposing King Henry likewise to be of the same mind, hoped that they would soon come to a conclusion. His Majesty added that they were intent here on celebrating with the utmost pomp and rejoicing the marriage of the Duke of Lorraine, when he returns from his duchy, whither he went for his private affairs; everybody is in motion, nothing being talked of or thought about but jousts, cane-games in the Spanish fashion, tournaments, masquerades, and similar entertainments. On the same occasion, the Constable's second son [Henri de Montmorency] M. de Damville will marry one of the daughters of the Duchess de Bouillon; and other matrimonial alliances will take place. They have sent to Italy for Ludovico Gonzaga, the Duke [of Mantua]'s brother, his Majesty having sent one of his gentlemen last week for this express purpose, letting him know not only that he will honour him with the Order of St. Michael contemporaneously with the Duke de Longueville, in whose company he was taken prisoner [at St. Quentin], (fn. 2) but will also reimburse him for the 45,000 crowns which he paid for his ransom; and that during his stay here he will treat him like one of his own sons. I am also told that, to supply him with the means for making a suitable figure at these nuptials, the Constable has had a supply (provisions) of 10,000 crowns prepared for him as a gift immediately on his arrival; and should he be inclined to make a very rich and honourable marriage, the intention has been announced of giving him Madame de St. Pol, the widow of the King of Navarre's brother, who was killed at the time of the Constable's capture; that lady's annual income being supposed to exceed 60,000 francs.
Paris, 2nd January 1559.
Jan. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 6. Michiel Surian and Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassadors with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duchess of Lorraine departed hence to-day for Treves, the French having promised her for certain that she shall see her son there, though some persons here expect her to be disappointed of his going thither, as was the case about his coming to Brussels for the Emperor's obsequies, which was in like manner promised by the French; but this Court is so anxious for peace that they omit no possible means for obtaining it; and were the Duke to go and see his mother, besides considering it a good sign, they hope that with this opportunity he may perform some useful office.
The Commissioners of Spain and France are to assemble on the 25th instant, but the site of their meeting is not settled; it is hoped to be in the Imperial city of Cambrai, although the French make a difficulty about going thither, on account of King Philip's garrison there.
Brussels, 6th January 1559.
[Italian; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Jan. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 7. Michiel Surian and Paulo Tiepolo, Venetian Ambassadors with King Philip, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord Cobham, the Ambassador of the new Queen of England who came hither on the death of Queen Mary, to perform an office with the King, has taken leave of him; so the only two English Ambassadors remaining are those sent to treat the peace; (fn. 3) who will accompany King Philip's to the conference to be held with the French; though it was said the Queen would send another ambassador, but he has not yet made his appearance.
The affairs of religion are not proceeding very well in England, for although the Queen would appear to continue in the religion professed by her sister, many persons nevertheless of their own authority had made a great change, and again introduced the custom of celebrating (l'uso dicelebrar) according to the manner observedunder King Edward; and many who in the time of Queen Mary were exiles on account of religion have returned, including some preachers who now preach as before, and have numerous congregations. Parliament is to meet in the course of this month, when God grant that some vote of evil (qualche mala determinatione) be not passed in this matter; for the Queen shows herself very greatly inclined to humour the people in everything, and to keep on good terms with them; so not only does she permit what is narrated above, but for their gratification announces her intention of marrying the Earl of Arundel, who is a native Englishman.
Brussels, 8th January 1559.
[Italian; the portion in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]
Jan. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 8. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
These Lords Commissioners for the peace are already preparing for their departure, so as to meet those of King Philip at the same place as heretofore, and at the time agreed, namely, the 18th. The Bishops of Orleans and Limoges and Secretary l'Aubespine are to proceed in advance, and then after the marriage of the Duke of Lorraine, appointed for the 22nd instant, they will be followed by the Constable, the Cardinal of Lorraine, and the Marshal de St. André, unless in the meanwhile the Constable's secretary, who has not yet returned from Flanders, bring any order to the contrary Lest the departure of these lords be delayed on account of this marriage, a message has been sent to the Duke of Lorraine urging him to be here at the appointed time; and his most Christian Majesty moreover, by a very courteous letter, has invited the Duchess, his mother, to be present at the ceremony, but it is supposed that this short notice will not give her time to make the necessary preparations. All here are constantly intent on exercising themselves, for which purpose his Majesty with the King Dauphin and all the Princes frequently tilt privately one against the other, so that they may succeed better on the solemn day of the contest. Of the affairs of England nothing more is known than was written by me on the 2nd instant. Ever since the first day of his return, the Constable has endeavoured not only to procure the favour of his Majesty, but also that of the nobility, and of the kingdom in general. He has found means to pay the men-at-arms four or five instalments of pay; and he has given the merchants a charge in perpetuity on the city of Lyons; thus gratifying two classes of persons, whereby he gratifies everybody; and for himself he has obtained from his Majesty a donation of 100,000 crowns, and also 100,000 francs for his son Montmorency. It has been decreed that no one is to receive payments on the vacancies of offices, confiscations, and arbitrary fines, or on “aubaines,” which are inheritances lapsed to the exchequer through the death of those who are not qualified to make a will, being foreigners or persons without heirs, until the Constable be satisfied; so he will soon reimburse himself to this and even a greater amount. To the Constable has also been conceded for his said son the reversion of his government of Languedoc, the most important and lucrative of any of the provinces; and letters patent have also been given him for the office, after his own death, of “Great Master” for his said son.
The departure of the two Ambassadors to the Emperor [Ferdinand] was hastened, in order that after congratulating him, they might remain as long as possible at the Diet, which at other Diets in the time of Charles the Fifth was never permitted to any minister from France. They also convey letters from their King to all the States and Princes of the Empire present at the Diet, to confirm his affection and friendship for them.
An express arrived yesterday from the Bishop of Angouleme, French Ambassador at Rome, with letters dated 27th (fn. 4) ultimo informing his Majesty that Cardinal Caraffa had reported that a negotiation had been on foot for the cession by his Majesty of the fortresses of Tuscany to the See Apostolic upon the following terms. That the King should cede the fortresses to be united to the States of the Church; and that his Holiness on the other hand, by authority of the Consistory, would give his Majesty as compensation the duchy of Camerino, and also free possession of Avignon, though Cardinal Caraffa said he could not give an absolute promise concerning the Pope's will about Avignon. He also suggested that, at request of his most Christian Majesty, his Holiness would make such a number of Cardinals to be nominated by the King, that the King might make sure of the present Pope's successor being devoted to him. Should this take place, his Majesty on the other hand is to cede the said state and duchy of Camerino to the said Cardinal, or to the Duke of Paliano; they acknowledging it (in fief?) from the King, and not from the See Apostolic, not merely from their being obliged to him for it, but to render themselves secure, through his usual (solita) protection, from any molestation by any future Pope. To this he added endless assurances of his devotion to his Majesty, out of respect for whom he had never hitherto chosen to accept any sort of honour or profit (utile) offered him by King Philip or his ministers, as he never meant to renounce the protection of the French Crown.
By the same courier, Cardinal Caraffa made a similar announcement to the Legate here, through whom he sent private letters, not only to the King and Queen, to the King-Dauphin, to Madame Marguerite, and to the Duchess of Valentinois, but to all these chief personages who take part (che intervengono) in the Council of Affairs, that they may favour his intention. Although the Legate has not yet had audience, my informant, who is the Constable's mouthpiece, tells me the reply will purport that having first to see what will take place about the cession of the fortresses in this treaty of peace, it is not possible as yet to enter upon any other negotiation either with his Holiness or with others; and as to the Constable personally, my informant told me it does not seem that he at all dislikes the Cardinal's proposal, were it but to thwart the designs of the Prince and Duke of Ferrara, who are chiefly assisted by the Guise family; and also to prevent so great an enemy, as he says the Duke of Florence is, of the most Christian King, from so vastly aggrandizing himself
Paris, 11th January 1559.


  • 1. Abbey or monastery of Gruniendal. (See Foreign Calendar, 1558–1559, p. 9, date 21st November, 1558.)
  • 2. For the capture of Ludovic Gonzaga and the Duke de Longueville, at the rout of St. Quentin, see before in this Calendar.
  • 3. Viz., the Bishop of Ely and Dr. Wotton. See Foreign Calendar, “Elizabeth,” 6th January 1559, p. 75.
  • 4. In Pallavicini's History of the Council of Trent (Vol. 3, p. 372), it is stated that Cardinal Carlo Caraffa was disgraced by Pope Paul IV. on the 27th January 1559; so the circumstance narrated in this despatch was probably the last political act performed by him during his uncle's reign. (See p. 8.)