Venice: October 1579

Pages 618-621

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


October 1579

Oct. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 779. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
I have been informed on good authority that three days ago the Queen of England concluded a new and precise league with the King of Denmark, the Duke of Saxony, and the Count Palatine of the Rhine, for their common defence; the Queen undertaking to advance a specified sum to each of the other parties, they thereby agreeing to furnish troops in the following proportions, viz., Denmark ten thousand soldiers, with thirty armed ships; Saxony eight thousand infantry, and the Palatine four thousand horse; and apparently Monsieur will have liberty to join the league should he please to do so. I also hear that the Queen has consented to pay Casimir six thousand crowns annually, on condition that he will at her request provide five thousand horse and ten thousand infantry for any undertaking she may name, and she is to pay the cost.
Great exasperation is rife in England against the King of Spain in the matter of Ireland, where five hundred Spaniards disembarked to join a chief of that island who has recently rebelled; and I am informed that if the Earl of Desmond (di Esmont) had not died, the whole kingdom of Ireland would have risen and freed itself from obedience to England. The Queen has therefore again written to the Catholic King saying, amongst other things, that his Majesty had hitherto been in doubt whether she had assisted the Flemings, but for the future, if the Spaniards did not cease to trouble her, she would act in such a mode that her operations would be perfectly clear. The meeting of Parliament will take place at the end of this month, when the question of the marriage will be decided.
Monsieur is now at Alençon, whither an English Lord has gone to treat negotiations with him. Letters from the Queen-Mother announce that she is indisposed, but I am secretly informed that she suffers more mentally than bodily, because she thinks that the Council of State has not paid sufficient respect and attention to the advice and demands which she has preferred, and she has written to the effect that she will not come to Court unless she receive full satisfaction. In consequence the King has sent Mons. dc St. Luc express to Lyons bearing an autograph letter from himself, promising that he will comply with all her requests, and praying her to return at once.
Paris, 10th October 1579.
Oct. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 780. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
I hear on good authority that the gentleman who lately visited Monsieur represented to his Highness, that he should take patience with regard to the affairs of Flanders, because the moment the treaty of Cologne (fn. 1) was broken, without concluding any other terms of peace, which the Queen of England says will speedily be the case, the States would send a gentleman to Mons. de La Noue (Nua), with conditions so framed that they can easily be accepted, and to the effect that the States would declare war against the provinces of Artois and Hainault, and pronounce the Catholic King for ever deposed and ineligible for the dominion and government of the Low Countries and especially because he had failed to observe the articles of Ghent! Monsieur was also requested by the Queen to watch the Franche Comté (Franca Contea), and she, on her part, declared that she would not fail to obtain a satisfactory decision from her Parliament upon the question of the marriage. The Queen has sent to his Highness by this gentleman a most beautiful watch, and also a jewelled hat-band of the value of four thousand crowns, accompanied by a letter, a copy of which having secretly come into my hands, I forward a translation of the same from the French to your Serenity.
Mons. Camille Ferre, who went to Monsieur from the King, has returned. He reports that he met with gracious and honourable expression from his Highness, but failed to discover any substantial goodwill. His Highness said that he had left the Court to apprise the world that he was not held a prisoner, as his enemies continually asserted and wrote. It is believed that Monsieur will go to meet his mother, who, it is hoped, will, according to the King's desire, conduct Monsieur to the Court and endeavour, temporarily at least, to heal the mutual dissatisfaction and suspicion which now exist between her sons.
Paris, 18th October 1579.
781. Elizabeth, Queen of England, to the Duke of Alençon ; translation, enclosed in the preceding.
Lord Cobham will deliver to your Highness these few lines written with my own hand, to assure you of my welfare, and he will give you more ample account of every particular, and of my constant desire to serve you ; so I pray you to trust him in all negotiations whatsoever, as you would trust myself, because he is a gentleman and my faithful servant, and consequently the servant of your Highness, to whom I now send two trifling gifts ; the one, that whilst wearing it on your neck, you may have cause every hour, to think of me ; the other, to wear on the cap in token of the Crown of this Kingdom which I would myself most willingly place with my own hand on your head, were it in my power to do so, as I think you are sure and certain, and as your Ambassador, Mons. Simier, resident with us, if required, will give you ample proof. And thus I wish your most serene and most noble person all that complete felicity and glory for which sovereigns live in the world.
12th October 1579.
Oct. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 782. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
La Roche Guyon, being in doubt whether Monsieur would not abandon him, and to save his life, proposed to the Prince of Parma to join him with a thousand good soldiers, but the Prince declined the offer, and gave information of it to this King (of France); and therefore La Roche Guyon has opened negotiations with Casimir, who has assured him protection, which result is most displeasing to the most Christian King.
Monsieur still remains at Alençon, whither many personages and Princes go to see him; and amongst others the Marquis d'Elbœuf, and Mons. de Thore, the brother of Montmorency; an event which causes much talk, though without any certain inference.
A very artful and satirical book has been published in England, in opposition to the marriage of the Queen to Monsieur, which speaks very contemptuously of Monsieur. Her Majesty has issued a proclamation declaring that this publication has been made against her will (as you will perceive by the enclosed summary); (fn. 2) and the author having been discovered, the Queen has imprisoned him, and it is said he will be severely punished, as he has excited the feelings of many individuals, who say openly that they will not consent in Parliament to this marriage.
In Ireland the Viceroy and Governor of the island has been slain by the insurgents who are now fortifying the coasts, as the whole interior of the country is devoted to their cause.
Paris, 23rd October 1579.
Oct. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 783. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
It is reported that another English Lord is coming to Monsieur to give him account of the Queen's regret at the publication of the book against their marriage, and that the Queen, having heard that Secretary Walsingham had knowledge of this affair, had dismissed him from the Court.
It is also reported that Monsieur had recalled de Simier, his Ambassador in England, which report, if true, renders it quite credible that the marriage will not take place, and particularly because many of the principal Lords do not intend his Highness to be crowned, notwithstanding that he may be the Consort of the Queen; and the Queen has deferred the meeting of Parliament until the end of next month.
Paris, 27th October 1579.


  • 1. In the Ambassador's despatch dated October 10, a document was enclosed, dated Utrecht, August 24, signed Vander Voort, and alluding to the treaty of peace concluded at Cologne, “tra il duca di Terra Nova, et li deputati delli Stati di questi Paesi Bassi.”
  • 2. The summary is missing.