Venice: September 1571

Pages 474-476

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 1571

Sept. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 519. Alvise Contarini and Leonardo Contarini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Signory.
Announce their first audience of the King.
Blois, 4th September 1571.
Sept. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 520. Alvise Contarini and Leonardo Contarini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Signory.
The Queen of Navarre was expected in these parts, so the Queen-Mother had intended to proceed to Chenonceau to meet her; but contrary to all expectation, the Queen of Navarre has gone to Béarn, a possession of hers on the frontiers of Spain, and at a great distance from this place. She has taken with her the Prince, her son, and communicated to these Majesties that she was compelled to visit that country in order to take the waters of the baths which are there, and which, unless taken at that season, would be of no benefit to her, but that she would return within the space of two months; and in the meanwhile the Admiral Avould attend the Court in order to arrange any points which might be left open concerning the marriage, with instructions not only to satisfy those who belong to the new religion, but also to consider with the King certain contemplated expeditions against the King of Spain both by sea and by land; and her Majesty of Navarre added that she understood she should have the assent both of the Queen of England and the Princes of Germany.
However, all must wait the arrival of the Admiral, who is expected in this city in four or six days. The English Ambassador has told me that he is advised by letters of the 2nd of this month, that Monsieur de Foix was shortly about to leave England, but that it was not known what decision he would bring. He also informs mo of the great conflagration and ruin made by the Tartars in the city of Moscow, the capital of Muscovy, and that it had resulted in severe loss to many merchants, particularly to the English, who were trading in those parts. Signor Chiappin Vitelli has lately passed through this place on his road from Spain to Flanders. He visited me, and desired me to express his extreme respect for the Republic of Venice.
Blois, 9th September 1571.
Sept. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 521. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
The Admiral arrived in this city three days ago, very honourably accompanied, and two days previously the Duke of Montpensier and the Count of Lude were summoned here by the King, probably as a demonstration against the Admiral. The Admiral was met by a large assemblage, and he went immediately to pay his respects to the King, who was in the chamber of the Queen-Mother, her Majesty being in bed and indisposed. The most Christian Queen, Madame the sister of the King, the Cardinal of Bourbon, and the Duke of Montpensier were also present. No one entered the chamber with the Admiral, except the Marshal de Cosse, and the Admiral having made two most respectful bows to his Majesty, a remarkable change passed over the face of each of them, and they both turned very pale; but the King, after the Admiral's second reverence, raised his bonnet and embraced the Admiral, and listened to a few words which the Admiral spoke privately in his ear. The Admiral then proceeded to the Queen-Mother, and was most graciously received by her, but she did not embrace him as was the custom; and she having then told him to pay his respects to the most Christian Queen, her daughter-in-law, the Admiral fell upon his knees and desired to kiss her most Christian Majesty's hand, but her Majesty, becoming quite red, drew back, and would not allow him even to touch her. Nothing further happened, except that the Admiral went to wait upon the Dukes of Anjou and Alençon in their apartments.
Subsequently the Admiral has daily attended the levee, the dinner, and the supper of the King, and he appears at all hours near his Majesty's chair (cadrega) upon the same terms as the lords who have never left the Court; in fact, the King treats him with the same familiarity as he shows towards the other lords, and it really would appear as if all past events were buried in oblivion. This state of things is observed every day by a large number of persons who assemble wherever the King and the Admiral chance to be found together. But there is no information concerning new negotiations, probably either because the Admiral is very cautious in his proceedings, or because since he arrived he has had little opportunity to negotiate on account of the indisposition of the Queen, and also because Monsieur d'Anjou has had a violent attack of fever, which has kept him three days in bed, but he is better to-day and has risen.
Blois, 15th September 1571.
Sept. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 522. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
The illustrious Leonardo Contarini departed from this place on the 15th instant. During his stay here he received greater marks of honour than were paid to any other of the foreign Ambassadors resident at this Court.
Blois, 28th September 1571.
Sept. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 523. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Mons. de Foix, who has been in England, has just arrived here, and while he announces that the marriage between the Queen of England and Mons. d'Anjou, the King's brother, is entirely broken off, he says nevertheless that a good understanding has been established between England and France, and that he was highly honoured by the Queen, who presented him with many vases of gold and silver, with palfreys, and with considerable sums of money, and a chief personage is expected from England here in a few days to communicate further with his Majesty. To-morrow, the King will hold the ceremony of the Order of St. Michael, which has not been performed for four years past. The Ambassadors who have been invited are those from the Pope, Portugal, and Venice. The Ambassador from Scotland has not been invited on account of his dispute about precedence with the Ambassador from Portugal, and though the Ambassador from Spain has been resident at this Court for more than eight years, yet it is believed that his Majesty is dissatisfied with his conduct, and especially on account of the quarrels he has had with the Cardinal de Bourbon.
Blois, 28th September 1571.