|March 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||21. Phebo Capella, Venetian Secretary in France, to the Doge and Senate.|
|The Admiral, Monsr. de Guise, and the Duke de Nemours departed last Monday for Champagne and other frontier provinces, and although it may be supposed that they go for the purpose of commencing the campaign betimes, as said by the Constable heretofore, it is also heard that towards St. Lys (Ssonli) from 15,000 to 16,000 Burgundians have mustered and are ravaging. A messenger lately sent by King Philip to his ambassador, told him (the ambassador) that on his way from Amiens to Abbeville, he heard that a certain amount of infantry was being drafted from those fortresses, and others adjoining, with orders to take with them victuals for five days. Of this, however, there is no further confirmation; nor has anything certain been heard about the operations of the Marshal de St. André against the Imperial fortress near Hesdin.|
|Since the last three days the Marquis Albert [of Brandenburg] is lodged publicly at the Court at Fontainebleau. No particulars are known about his business with the King, who two days previously conferred with him whilst hunting. Will not fail to learn as much as he can on the subject, and will acquaint the Doge with it.|
|The English ambassadors on their way to Rome are said to have arrived in this kingdom.|
|Melun, 6th March 1555.|
|[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]|
|March 8. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x.
||22. Cardinal Pole to Cardinal Morone.|
|I write this to your Lordship to give you minute information about my mind (animo) concerning the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury, one of the chief causes for the despatch of this courier being the deprivation (depositione) of the present Archbishop [Cranmer], and the provision to be made for his successor.|
|Your right reverend Lordship may have heard how before my coming hither I was twice requested to accept this charge, the first time on the part of this most serene Queen, who commissioned a servant of mine to tell me by word of mouth her wish in this matter; the second time, on the part of the King and Queen together, by means of the Imperial ambassador resident here when he came to Brussels; and I believe that at present their Majesties will make the same request to his Holiness; so I think it necessary to let him know through your right reverend Lordship my sentiment in this case, which in short is none other than that which by the grace of God I have always had, readily to conform (di obedir) to whatever God shall inspire him to command me, but in such a way that if I am to bear this burden his Holiness do liberate me from Rome for ever, and let me serve God and him here and not elsewhere. Your right reverend Lordship also knows my sentiment about the residence of bishops, in which matter if it has sometimes seemed to certain persons that I am too scrupulous, being unable to convince myself that it is fitting for a bishop to reside elsewhere than in his own diocese, and in the midst of his flock, as is the duty of a shepherd; this is a scruple which I could never renounce, and I hope that the divine goodness will never allow me to change this sentiment, which I for my own part am convinced is at the very bottom of my heart (secretissimo). This will suffice to assure your Lordship of what you have always known and heard me say, whenever I have had occasion to discuss this subject. But in addition to this I would wish your Lordship to know, that in case his Holiness, after hearing my mind herein, should determine, to the satisfaction of King Philip and Queen Mary, to employ me elsewhere rather than here, and not to give me this charge, I should also remain perfectly satisfied, nor could anything distress me in this business, save to see myself assigned a post in which I could not serve, and that I should consider it a great relief (una gran libertà) to be able to remain without similar posts, which I would never undertake (non pigliarei) save from mere obedience, and as I have said I should consider it a great favour the not being compelled to undertake them, although combined with all the honours and conveniences in the world, as in great measure is the case with the primacy in England. Your right reverend Lordship now knows my entire sentiment in this business, which however is not new to you, and for your more complete knowledge of the whole case, I will moreover tell you that since my sojourn here their Majesties have never spoken to me about accepting the archbishopric (fn. 1) though their ministers have, without however showing that they were commissioned to do so, but they indeed told me lately that the King and Queen purpose writing about this to his Holiness, and, as aforesaid, I shall be content with whatever he may determine, after being well acquainted, both with my mind and with that of their Majesties, as I never find greater repose than in God's providence when I allow myself to be ruled by it throughout, without any farther intrusion of my own, (fn. 2) save what conscience requires me to
lay before my superior, as I have chosen to do at present by means of your Lordship, and referring myself for the rest to “our” Messer Gio. Francesco, I humbly kiss your hands, praying our Lord God always to have you in his holy keeping.|
|From London, 8th March 1555.|
|[Italian.] (fn. 3) |
|March 10. MS. St. Mark's Library, Cod. xxiv. Cl. x. Printed in vol. 5, pp. 4, 7. “Epistolarum Reginaldi Poli,” etc. Dated as above.
||23. Cardinal Pole to Pope Julius III|
|Recommends to the Pope the three ambassadors who are going to him from England.|
|The Youngest of them, and who is the chief personage of the embassy [Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague], gave such proof of his piety heretofore in his youth, that when after his father's death, (fn. 4) on succeeding to his inheritance, he had to take the usual oath according to the words of the statute, which constituted the King supreme head of the Church in his kingdom, his voice suddenly failed him, nor for some time could he utter a word (vox eum subito defecit, et aliquandiu ne verbum quidem effari potuit), which caused him to be so suspected by the persons then in authority that he narrowly escaped the loss both of life and property (ut parum abfuerit, quin tune bonis simul cum vita spoliaretur). Some years afterwards he was, moreover, imprisoned on account of religion (religionis causâ), but being his kinsman (fn. 5) Pole does not think fit to say more in praise of him. His colleague, the Bishop of Ely [Thomas Thirlby], in those troublous times when the abrogation of the mass was discussed, opposed that measure, both in public and private; and had he not been absent on an embassy to the Emperor (fn. 6) he would have been cast into prison, Like so many others of his episcopal brethren. He is a good jurist, and an able negotiator. The third [Sir Edward Carne] is “Eques auratus,” as they call him, and an able lawyer, and like his other colleagues is supposed to be well inclined towards the Catholic religion and piety (parique ac ceteri Collegce Catholicce religionis ac pietatis studio tenetur); of yore when King Henry commenced being schismatic, he sent him to Rome as Excusator, (fn. 7) and to inform the Pope of the danger of rebellion in case of his refusal to consent to the divorce. At present, the piety of Queen Mary and King Philip induces them to appoint him their resident ambassador at Rome as
a witness of the cessation of the schism, and of the true and due obedience of this kingdom to the Pope and the Apostolic See. The King and Queen request his Holiness to reinvest them with the Lordship of Ireland, which during the schism had been made a kingdom (inducto jam schismate in regnum fuerit erectum); and considering the poverty of the English bishops the ambassadors are charged to ask his Holiness for “Apostolic Letters” in their favour.|
|London, 10th March 1555.|
|[Latin, 44 lines.]|
|March 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||24. Giovanni Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in England to the Doge and Senate.|
|Through the return from the Imperial Court of Don Ruy Gomez, (fn. 8) the despatch for Italy of the Duke of Alva, with the charge, as already written by me, of vicar and governor general of all King Philip's dominions, with great and extraordinary authority, such as perhaps at no time was ever heard to have been vested in any minister of a prince, is confirmed but not yet published; he in short having been given full and absolute power to do in all matters whether of law or favour (di poter fare in tutte le cose, ò siano di giustitia ò siano di gratia), as if he were the King in person, the only reservation being, that he may not change the warders of Naples and Milan. It is said he will depart, after the despatch of the secretary Erasso, (fn. 9) at the close of the present month, with a considerable supply of money, and travel post-wise, as is his custom, with very few attendants, leaving his household to accompany the Duchess his wife leisurely, she possibly delaying her departure until after the delivery of the most Serene Queen.|
|His Excellency purposes making use of four persons as his lieutenants, two at Naples and two at Milan, the one for the affairs of justice and of the [municipal?] government, in each of those places, the other for military matters, for which last, the persons mentioned are Don Bernardin de Mendoza, (fn. 10) and Don Garcia de Toledo, (fn. 11) the Duke of Alva's cousin; Don Francisco de Toledo (now resident with the Duke of Florence), and Don Diego de Azevedo (one of King Philip's chamberlains, (fn. 12) who will accompany the Duchess into Italy), for the civil department (per la giustitia). The Duke of Alva retains his office of Lord High Chamberlain to the Emperor, but resigns the same grade hitherto held by him at the court of King Philip, and which, together with other honourable terms for his children, has been offered to Don Ferrante, (fn. 13) that he may come and reside in England; but as he delays his decision until
the return of Erasso, it cannot be known whether he accepts the post, though the general belief is that he will. On the Duke of Alva's departure, will not fail to remind him of the Signory's vicinity to the Milanese, and of the orders given to the Venetian governors for thu maintenance of the peace with the Emperor and the King, as reciprocated by former Imperial ministers; and to express hopes that this good understanding may continue. Will also perform the same office with King Philip, so that besides verbal orders, especial mention may be made of this on the Duke's [written] instructions.|
|The King having sent last week in haste for the Earl of Pembroke, (fn. 14) one of the chief noblemen of England, who, as usual with him, was living in retirement at his country seat, 60 miles hence; his sudden appearance in London caused, a very general report of its being induced by war with France, as argued from a rumour current lately at the Court, and which circulated, everywhere, that the French were at Montreuil and thereabouts, with several companies (insegne) of infantry, and, a large supply of ladders, and other engines (instromenti) for scaling and breaching walls, having an understanding in Calais, and, thinking to take it by a plot which was discovered by the flight of one of the Queen's chief officials there to France, by name Anthony Aucher? (come tonio Ager) (sic), (fn. 15) who is considered a shrewd and bold man (persona accorta et di spirito); and this coupled with the arrest of certain other persons, was said, and, universally suspected to have induced, their Majesties to send for Lord Pembroke, and. likewise to summon all the other peers of the realm (li altri Signori del Regno), to proclaim this evil proceeding on the part of the French, and have a declaration of war made against them. But having by cell means in my power endeavoured to ascertain the truth, and learn the origin and foundation of this rumour, I find that as to the flight of that individual, and the plot or suspicion of a plot, the whole is vain and false; and I am assured they merely sent for the Earl that he might cross the Channel to inspect the fortress of Guisnes, which is understood to need repair, and that his authority and, presence there may hasten every necessary provision. He will cross to-morrow or next day, and besides this repair of Guisnes, he will also carefully inspect the fortress of Calais, to provide them with ammunition, victuals, or whatever else they may require, as the Royal Council does not entirely rely on the judgment of the present governor, (fn. 16) although they have no doubt of his fidelity, he being young and inexperienced; and as the Queen's confinement is approaching, they are apprehensive, should it go ill (andasse male), which God forbid., with the French patrolling (chepasseggiano)
those borders, that should the English fortresses (le cose loro) be weak or ill provided, an opportunity might present itself for some one to seize them.|
|Owing to the diligence and industry which the King enjoined with regard to the senators, delegates (ambassatori), and many other private persons from Milan and the other towns of the Milanese, they have well nigh all been despatched, and in great part obtained their demands; his Majesty, so far as time and opportunity permit, not having failed to reward everybody. He has added 2,000 Milanese livres to the annual salary of the senators, but deprived them of their exemptions. To the delegates (ambassatori) he has remitted a debt of 70,000 ducats due from the city for unpaid taxes, and besides giving security for restitution of the money supplied lately by Milan, derived from the fund for the building of the walls, and from the charitable institutions (lochi pii), for the need of Piedmont, he has promised as soon as the present active (gagliarda) war allows him to take breath, that he will take off all the imposts extraordinary, in like manner as he has now ordered the complete cessation of the pay given to the Neapolitan men-at-arms. He has referred the dispute between the cities themselves, about the estimate and contributions, to the future governor, to whom he has also in great part referred all the suits of private individuals (tutte le cose de' particolari di giustitia). To the conspirators of Piacenza (fn. 17) he has assigned 600 ducats revenue to be levied throughout the Milanese for them and their heirs, with the exception of Count Agostin de Lando, to whom he has confirmed the donation made to him by the Emperor of the Castle of Borgo de Val de Farro, which was confiscated from the Fieschi [family] (che fu confiscato alii Fieschi) and given him an export permit for 2,000 measures of grain [annually] during his life; and to Count Giovanni Angussuola, according to his request, he has promised a military appointment, referring the despatch of this matter to the Governor, as he does not choose it to be published in England. (fn. 18) |
|To the Signor Giovanni Battista Gastaldo, he has conceded that his pension of 2,000 ducats on the chamber of Milan, which from inability has not been paid, be assigned him on the customs, a sure fund and very good pay (paghabilissimo); besides many other largesses of export permits for grain to captains, soldiers, and officials, so that now well nigh everything has been despatched.|
|London, 12th March 1555.|
|[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]|
|March 14. MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. cl. x.
||25. Cardinal Pole to the Bishop of Viterbo Nuncio in France.|
|Will have heard how he sent to the Emperor the Abbot of San Saluto, who, partly from his Majesty's indisposition, and partly from other impediments, had not had audience down to the 3rd instant, (fn. 19) but the Bishop of Arras assured him that he should soon be despatched with a good resolution, in conformity with Pole's proposal, the Bishop, however, announcing this as an opinion of his own. This sure hope induced Pole to exhort the French Ambassador in London not to scruple detaining his brother the prothonotary a little longer. Then, on the day before yesterday, King Philip told Pole that the Emperor had given him to understand that should the King of France choose to send two personages to propose and treat the peace, his Imperial Majesty would in like manner send two others. He also hinted that should the King of France determine to send the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable, the Emperor might send the Duke of Alva for one; and Pole conversing about this with the prothonotary, it seemed to them that the other might be the Bishop of Arras, he being the Emperor's prime minister. King Philip also alluded to the places which would seem opportune for the meeting, the French negotiators going to Ardres, and the Emperor's to Gravelines, saying that they might then assemble together in some intervening place (in qualche loco medio). Something was also said about Pole individually as the minister of his Holiness; and of the Chancellor [Gardiner] as the minister of Queen Mary. With this resolve the prothonotary took leave of the Queen to-day, and will depart to-morrow; and it was moreover suggested that if Pole and the Bishop of Winchester went, they might go to Guisnes. After this Pole received letters from the Abbot of San Saluto dated the 9th, announcing his having had gracious audience of the Emperor, and this same reply; and that he will return immediately on receiving a letter from his Imperial Majesty. Pole does not write to the King, or to the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Constable, referring himself to what he writes to the Nuncio; prays God that in this matter, which is so necessary for the welfare of Christendom, the Pope may be comforted. Monsigr. Agostini had arrived at Brussels, and after obtaining audience, will continue his journey to England.|
|From London, 14th March 1555.|
|P.S.—Urges him to take advantage of the opportunity, and not to delay the commencement of this negotiation.|
|March 14? (fn. 20) MS. St. Mark's Library. cod. xxiv. cl. x. No date.
||26. Cardinal Pole to Henry II., King of France.|
|The King will have heard that after performing his duty as Legate by writing to his Majesty in favour of the peace, Pole sent the Abbot of San Saluto to perform the like office with the Emperor, and although the reply did not arrive until now, owing to his
Majesty's indisposition, it is nevertheless precisely what Pole desired, as the King will hear from the Prothonotary de Noailles and from the Nuncio, to whom he refers himself with all reverence and affection. Prays him to demonstrate by facts his readiness to obtain so great a blessing, and one so necessary for all Christendom, as expected from his piety and generosity.|
|[From London, 14th March 1555?]|
|March 15. MS. St. Mark's Library. Cod. xxiv. el. x.
||27. Cardinal Pole to . . . . . . (fn. 21) [Anne De Montmorency, Constable of France?]|
|Most illustrious and most excellent Lord. The Prothonotary de Noailles returning [to France] well acquainted with all that has passed at the English Court relating to the negotiation for the peace, which Pole as in duty bound endeavoured to resume, it is unnecessary for him to write anything more on the subject to his Excellency, referring him to the Prothonotary and the Nuncio, to whom Pole has written what King Philip said to him about the business, and what has been written to him by his Abbot of San Saluto, who, as . . . . [the Constable?] will have heard, was sent by him to Brussels. It remains for him to request [the Constable] to continue using his good offices and influence with the most Christian King for the desired end and the common weal, as expected from him in accordance with his constant declaration that he is in favour of the peace, which may God of his goodness grant to Christendom and long preserve his Excellency, to whom Pole recommends himself.|
|From London, 15th March 1555.|
|March 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||28. Phebo Capella, Venetian Secretary in France, to the Doge and Senate|
|Was told by the Constable that the English ambassadors would go to Fontainebleau to his Christian Majesty, and on the morning of the 10th, before their departure from Melun, the Nuncio visited them, but from what he told the writer on the subject he could not understand that they had seen or heard on their journey anything relating to war on the frontiers, they saying they were commissioned never to speak or interfere about war; and it is supposed that their Queen may have ordered them to say a word about agreement and peace. The Marquis Albert continues at the court, nor as yet is anything more known than was announced, by the writer on the 21st January, namely, that the King will give him 1,000 crowns per month, and employment (intertenimento) to some of his captains. The Admiral departed without the Dukes de Guise and de Nemours, by whom Capella wrote lately that he was accompanied.|
|Paris, 15th March 1555.|
|[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Sig. Luigi Pasini.]|
|March 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.
||29. Federico Badoer, Venetian Ambassador with the Emperor, to the Doge and Senate.|
|The Emperor sent one of his chamberlains to require (richieder) Don Ferrante [Gonzaga] to write to the warder of [the castle of Casale] to comport himself like a faithful and valorous commander, by keeping it, promising him, on the faith of a true Emperor, that should he not fail thus to do, he would reward him most honourably. Don Ferrante, after promising to execute the Emperor's will, said he was surprised that after the loss of the town of Casale, and other great events in Piedmont, about which had be been consulted, he might have rendered his Majesty service, the Emperor had never chosen to say a word to him, nor allowed him to speak about his own affairs, sending to tell him lately, by Don Ruy Gomez, that his will was that he should never again return to the government of Milan, merely allowing him, in right of his chamberlainship, to enter his Majesty's chamber; complaining, in conclusion, that the Emperor has not acknowledged his indefatigable service and the devotion shown him by his whole family; praying the chamberlain to beseech his Majesty to grant him this one favour, namely, to let him depart speedily; and since the news of Casale his Excellency announces this wish more fully, the Cardinal his brother having written to him especially, and sent to tell him by the Sig. Giulio Cavriano, that if ever he accepts either the title of Maggiordomo Maggiore, or similar titles and appointments from the King of England, he will no longer consider him his brother, nor worthy of having been born of the Gonzaga family. The said Signor Giulio came to the Emperor to request him to relieve the Marquisate of Monferrat from the devastation it suffered from the Imperial troops, and asked audience solely to take leave to return to his Duke, (fn. 22) from whom he will, however, await orders [at Brussels] whether he is to go to England to perform the like office with King Philip. The Spaniards say the Emperor has remarked that not only did the Cardinal not choose to give notice or any account to his Majesty of the entry of the French into Casale, but did not even notify it to Don Ferrante, who may indeed talk of going to Italy, though leave to that effect will never be obtained by him from the Emperor, who entertains a suspicion that the Gonzaga, family has alienated itself from him and inclines towards France.|
|The Count of Avignon, a vassal of the Duke of Savoy, has come post-wise to his Excellency, sent by his subjects in the valley of Aosta, to request him to go and provide for the common cause, and protesting that should he not go they will find a master to remedy their disasters. His Excellency, therefore, went immediately to the Emperor, and having narrated this to him, requested his permission to go and preserve what remains to him of his territories. The Emperor replied that after the Duke's last conversation with him on the subject he wrote certain things to his son, and that on receipt of the reply he would acquaint him with its results, adding that he
(the Emperor) also knew that of no personages of these states, (both because they are incapable of commanding armies, as also by reason of the rivalry between them,) could he avail himself as general, nor would they obey any other Italian than him (the Duke of Savoy), on account of his authority and position as the Emperor's nephew. The Duke rejoined that his Majesty was aware how very necessary it was for his private interests that he should depart, but that he would obey and await the reply from the King of England. A few days ago his Excellency sent to invite me to dine with him, and subsequently invited himself to dine with me, as he did, together with the Sigr. Gio. Batta. Gastaldo and Mons. de Colegno, the Duke's vassal, ambassador from the Duke of Ferrara; and after a variety of conversation the Duke of Savoy told me he had determined to go to his territory (allo stato suo), which he wished me to notify to your Serenity, whose good friend, son, and servant, he chose always to be, commending your Serenity's prudence and forces, in high terms; the Sigr. Gio. Batta. Gastaldo doing the like.|
|Brussels, 15th March 1555.|
|[Italian, partly in cipher; the portions in italics deciphered by Signor Luigi Pasini.]|