Venice: June 1568

Pages 424-426

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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June 1568

June 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 443. Sigismondo di Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Signory.
His Majesty summoned from Aragon a gentleman, whose name is Girau Spes, (fn. 1) and whom his Majesty has frequently employed upon missions to the Princes of Germany, because he speaks Latin excellently, which is no small merit amongst these nations; and it seems that his Majesty intends to send him to England to acquaint the Queen with the cause which moved his Majesty to dismiss her Ambassador from his Court, and to attribute the blame to the Queen, because she had, in the first instance, prohibited his Majesty's Ambassador from having mass celebrated in his private house according to custom. He is also to endeavour to satisfy the Queen, so that she should not by means of her naval forces harass Flanders, or impede the reinforcements which are being sent from Spain thither, particularly because the Prince of Orange has sought assistance at her hands, and she has not shown herself indisposed to give it. This gentleman, before proceeding to England, has received orders to communicate everything to the Duke of Alva, in order to obtain from him many particulars and other information with regard to these affairs which cannot be ascertained here.
Madrid, 7th June 1568.
June 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archrves. 444. Sigismondo di Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Signory.
Letters have been received from England; it appears that his Majesty's Ambassador had already left England, and that her Majesty had recalled hers, but notwithstanding his Majesty will still send the gentleman whom I have mentioned to England, because all these events were foreseen.
News has arrived of the defeat which the Queen of Scotland suffered after she escaped from prison, and that she was compelled to take refuge in England. Certain chiefs in Ireland have given information to his Majesty that a great number of Catholics had risen in that island to drive out the English, and that the Queen was sending forces against them, and the chiefs therefore implored his Majesty, as a magnanimous and Christian prince, to give them assistance; but his Majesty will not take any steps until his relations with the Queen take some definite form.
Madrid, 7th June 1568.
June 17, Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 445. Sigismondo di Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Signory.
Concerning the dismissal of the English Ambassador from this Court, I now understand that his Majesty immediately communicated the cause to the Queen, alleging that the Ambassador was a scandalous person, and had shown a bad example in his Majesty's kingdom; for the Ambassador had not been content to live quietly. in his own house, but had used unbecoming language to every one whom he met with regard to religion, and in disparagement of the Pontifical dignity and of the clergy; and when, after due warning, he had refused to abstain from such conduct, his Majesty had finally no alternative but to order him to depart from the Court. The King, nevertheless, requested her Majesty to recall her Ambassador and to send another, less scandalous, his Majesty being aware that it was not her Majesty's wish that such inconveniences should arise. The answer which the Queen gave respecting this matter was, that she could not credit such things of her Ambassador, she well knowing the instructions which she had given him for his guidance; and also knowing him to be a prudent man, she was sure he would not act otherwise; that moreover her Majesty was not accustomed to condemn upon a first charge, but reserved an ear for the defence; but that if what had been alleged proved to be true, she would not fail to apply a remedy according to the desire of his Catholic Majesty. Her Majesty added, with some resentment, that his Majesty might have awaited her Majesty's reply, rather than drive her Ambassador from the Court with so little regard for her honour and reputation. The King was awaiting new advices, and also the information which he would obtain on the arrival of the secretary whom his Ambassador has sent from England, before despatching from hence the Aragonese gentleman whom he had thought of employing; and he will do all he can to keep an Ambassador to represent him in England, so as to satisfy the Queen as much as possible, and to console the few Catholics who were still to be found in that country.
Madrid, 17th July 1568.


  • 1. Don Guerau de Spes. (Same Calendar.)