Venice: April 1580

Pages 636-638

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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April 1580

April 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 800. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
In addition to what I have written relative to the marriage of Monsieur, I have heard from a person who is in the confidence of this Court, that the Queen-Mother has heard from Rome that if the proposals for a marriage between Monsieur and an Infanta of Spain were renewed, his Holiness would most willingly intervene in the matter; but when the Queen-Mother broached the subject to her son, he showed himself most averse, so that the Abate Guadagni, who was lately sent to Monsieur, received instruction that if he found the usual disinclination, he was then to propose the Princess of Lorraine, the niece of the Queen-Mother, and brought up and greatly loved by her, and to suggest to the Duke that it was necessary he should now marry, and that he could not find a more suitable match if he wished to espouse a Catholic Princess. Guadagni, who has returned after six days absence, reports that Monsieur answered that he had no thoughts of marrying for some months, and that when he did make up his mind he would inform their Majesties accordingly. The Queen-Mother had recently determined to effect a reconciliation between the King and Monsieur, and to go in person to visit Monsieur and persuade him to come to Court, and for that purpose she went to Blois three days ago.
It is also certain that her Majesty has revived the last project of marriage, out its success is deemed difficult, because the Princess is very ugly, and by such a connexion Monsieur would not obtain any further position of material advantage, which is the object of his designs. No signs are visible of any speedy result of the negotiations between his Highness and the States of Flanders. Some say that they are awaiting the final departure of the Spaniards, who still occupy Luxemburg, and are reported to be expecting pay there; but from what I can gather from the principal ministers the cause principally concerns this King, because without his aid Monsieur would not have sufficient means to effectuate his intentions, and also because it is the object of the Queen of England, who is the guiding spirit in this transaction, to involve his Majesty in it, and to secure herself by setting France and Spain against each other; otherwise it is not thought she would much care if Monsieur did go to Flanders, where she would be bound in honour to maintain him at too great a cost to herself.
Large quantities of provisions are being sent by sea to Portugal in merchant ships. It is reported that the Queen of England is arming. She has sent, and is continually sending, her gentlemen to Portugal with large offers, and she has lately detained all the vessels on her coasts, so that in a few days she can assemble a very powerful fleet.
Paris, 8th April 1580.
April 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 801. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
I have heard that the Queen-Mother, having been unable to satisfy Monsieur, has obtained the King's permisson to offer him the Marquisate of Saluzzo, Provence, and part of Languedoc, upon condition of his giving up the province which he now possesses. It is believed that this proposal will prevail with Monsieur, and make the King master of Monsieur's territories, where Monsieur directs his ambitious thoughts upon pretensions to a State near at hand, and also free the King from the inconvenience of having constantly for a neighbour a brother who is so restless, and who, if removed to a distance from the Queen of England, would no longer pursue the intrigues with her which it was the principal object of their Majesties to defeat. The Ambassador of the Duke of Savoy views with great alarm the possibility of having Monsieur for a neighbour
Paris, 16th April 1580.
April 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 802. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
Huguenot plots for seizing territory are daily discovered. Letters from England announce that on the 6th instant a violent earthquake was felt in those islands, and did great damage to many houses, striking terror into the people, for no such earthquake had never been experienced there by any living person. The same occurrence took place in Calais, Bruges, Holland, and Zealand. The English Ambassador told me to-day that he had advices that the Catholic King had fitted out in Cadiz three vessels with seven hundred foot soldiers on board, to be sent to Ireland to assist the rebels, at the request of the Nuncio of his Holiness resident in Spain, and that the Queen of England had also lately despatched reinforcements and six galleons to Ireland.
Paris, 22nd April 1580.