August 1554


Institute of Historical Research



William B. Turnbull (editor)

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'Mary: August 1554', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Mary: 1553-1558 (1861), pp. 110-117. URL: Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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August 1554

Aug. 2.
246. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. The news of the Prince's arrival and of the marriage has caused universal joy here. The storms which in all times past had risen in England, and were in danger to continue, may by this blessed joining of two so well meaning Princes together be clearly calmed and set in quiet. The chief way to this end is to restore again the fear of God, which for a time has been banished, and thereby to reconcile themselves to Him whose displeasure they have felt in so many kinds of way, and whom, for his own part, he thanks most humbly, with all earnestness prostrate on the ground, that he has lived to see this day, which so long and with so many prayers of all good men, has been desired; the benefit of which not England only, but all Christendom must feel and enjoy. If it shall be her Majesty's pleasure to continue him in this place, requests to know whether his original commission is to hold, or whether it is to be altered by reason of the marriage. As upon the approach of the Emperor's army at Binche, the French retired in such sort as he had in former letters (now missing) signified to her Majesty, so their retreat was so fast, that although the Emperor used a diligence beyond the reason of the war, and marched in one day 21 miles, he could not overtake them. At length approaching to their frontiers lack of victuals caused him to stay, sending only after them some bands of horsemen who distressed a great part of their carriage, and had done them much more harm if, as it is said, some of the captains had done their part. Had the French been as desirous of battle as they bragged, they might easily have had commodity to give it, since the same place where, in their retreat, they lay the one night, was occupied by the Emperor's troops on the one following. The Emperor having rested his army at Quesney, and laid in provisions, hearing that the enemy had stayed not far from Cambray marched forward in that direction, and is now encamped one league and a half on this side of the town, and the enemy at about the same distance on the other. There are daily skirmishes, without any notable hurt on either part. The town is weak, albeit there is a strong castle in it, and if the Imperial army were not so near, some sudden violence might be attempted there. Although the Emperor's army is very strong, in a few days it will amount to between 40,000 and 50,000, horse and foot. The Turk's army is arrived on the coast of Italy. Andrea Doria has gone to Messina with 48 gallies, to which he joins six gallies of Sicily, and five of Spain, so as in all they will be upon the point of 60, either to meet the Turk's army if they shall find them strong enough, or at least to stay them from coming farther to the aid of the French faction. Doria's gallies are well manned with old Spanish soldiers from Naples, and the Emperor has commanded them to try fortune with the enemy, in case they see any advantage. Were it not that of late years Princes have not much sought foughten fields, this month shows great appearance of the likelihood of four notable battles:—1. Between the French and the Emperor, if the former keep the field; 2. Between the Marquis of Marignano and Strozzi; 3. Between the Turk and Andrea Doria; 4. between the Sophy and the Turk, whose armies, by last accounts, were not far asunder. The states of Brabant are summoned to meet here on the 6th for consultation as to defences and aids. Nothing of late done in Italy; Strozzi being in desperation for lack of victual seems to desire the fight; the Marquis perceiving his lack will do what he can to weary him by the belly. The German Princes have met at Worms, for the staying of Marquis Albert, who again begins to stir, and also for the repressing of the Bishop's soldiers, who since the Marquis' overthrow have committed sundry insolencies. Antwerp, where was the beginning of a small tumult, is pacified and quiet, and so is all the rest of the country. The Emperor is, for a Prince in his case, in right good plight, and condescended in the camp to commune for a quarter of an hour with Francisco, the bearer hereof. [Three pages.
Aug. 4.
247. Sir John Masone to Sir William Petre. Sends packet from Mr. Vannes. The Emperor is close by Cambray and nearer the French than before. By a book of the last pay found in a coffer, taken among other things in the late distress of the French carriages by some Spaniards, who found with it 5,000 crowns, it appears there are in the French camp 35,000 foot and 10,000 horse. The Emperor's camp increases daily, but Georych Van Holt with his band is not so nigh as was said, and some doubt whether he will come at all. The Emperor neither will, nor conveniently may, move from his present position, so long as the French remain where they are; and they are so nigh that either some exploit must follow or one of the parties must dislodge, which undoubtedly the Emperor will not. Thinks them too wise to try battle, although there is much likelihood thereof on the Emperor's side; for which reason the French have drawn to them the Duke of Vendôme with the power which he had on the coast of Artois. Beseeches Petre as he may to help the poor miserable woman, Sir John Cheke's wife. Her husband is in Italy, which that Petre may the more boldly affirm, sends copy of his last letter written from Padua. Is in good hope that Christopher Millanest shall have a convenient good end in his matter. [One page.] Incloses,
247. I. Sir John Cheke to Sir John Masone. Padua, July 12th 1554. Mr. Wrothe and he came to Padua on the 10th, and there in a fair and quiet city entered to rest. Trusts he shall not mislike this part. Beseeches him to help his poor wife's travail to Masone's friend to come to some end of the travail and misery wherewith he thinks she is now burdened, as easily by letter he may do, and to let him have by some of his servants sometime such necessary understanding as is fit for him to know. If he may tarry here, he intends to learn not only the Italian tongue, which he despairs not of, but also philosophically to course over the civil law; not seeking perfection, which requires a man's life, but avoiding the extremity of ignorance, and learning to give aim like a stander by, where he is not in game like a shooter. This he trusts to do by the time his licence is expired, and though he come not home rather yet shall he be more able to serve if God do hereafter, as he trusts He will not, call him to such misery as he has before been overthrown with. If by Masone's means he can hear sooner of his own matters and of his wife than he can from herself, prays that he may receive the benefit of it, as Masone knows how ignorance of all things is troublesome, and specially of those things that be nighest a man. Desires Masone to make his commendations to his (Cheke's) mother. [One page. Copy.]
Aug. 8.
248. The Magistrates ["Gli Antiani e Gonfaloniere di Giustizia"] of Lucca to Queen Mary. Credentials of Bartholomeo Micheli and Scipione Sardini, Ambassadors to her Majesty. [Italian. One page.]
Aug. 10.
249. Dr. Wotton to King Philip and Queen Mary. On the 29th ult. had received the Council's letter, informing him of the safe arrival of his new Sovereign Lord, and of the marriage of their Majesties, whereof he received as much gladness and contentation of mind as he might receive of any worldly thing, considering the great benefit likely to ensue therefrom, not only to England but to all Christendom. Wherefore he thinks, that God at last beholding with pity the lamentable state of the rented and divided Christendom, running headlong into manifest and apparent perdition, has for its conservation and reformation ordained this marriage; for such is the fervent zeal which both their Majesties bear to the maintaining of the Catholic faith and true Christian religion, such their wisdoms, virtues, knowledge, and power, that it is well to be hoped and looked for that God will assist, prosper, and bring to good effect whatsoever they shall undertake for His glory and the profit of His people. Recalls to their remembrance the great commodity and benefit to all Christendom from the marriage of their progenitors Ferdinand and Isabella: no less, he trusts, will come of this marriage, which he heartily prays God may prosper. Will defer to his next letter the various news, which will be fully explained, however, by the bearer Edward Randall, who has been at the French camp and learned all that could be known there. He can also declare the dissolution of the band of rebels, effected by means of Staunton, their complete discredit here, and the departure of Pickering and Carew, which last was also wrought chiefly by Randall. As the Duchess of Valentinois goes to Anet, there to remain for some time, it is supposed that the King will not return here soon. The information that Strozzi had taken the fort next Sienna, proves to have been incorrect. [Two pages. The latter half in cipher, deciphered.]
Aug. 10.
250. Dr. Wotton to Queen Mary. Strongly recommending the bearer, Edward Randall, to her Majesty's clemency and employment. No man is better skilled in military matters. [One page.]
Aug. 10.
251. Same to Sir William Petre. They have to give thanks to God for this marriage, whereon most men consider the welfare of England and the great commodity of Christendom to depend; since thereby, God willing, the tyrannical ambition of some lawless Princes, putting all Christendom in trouble, may the more easily be resisted and repressed. Is right glad to hear that the King uses himself so gently and lovingly to all men, because it had been reported, that when in Italy it had been wished that he had shown somewhat more benign countenance to the people than he did. Whether such report was malicious, or increase of years has increased knowledge in him, it is great cause of rejoicing that his present use is otherwise; so that henceforth the rebels shall be fain to seek some other colour whereon to ground their rebellion, than the terrible and fearful oppression of the Spaniard. Does not clearly understand the terms used in the cession by the Emperor to the King of the Realms of Naples and Sicily; since in one letter Petre terms it "Naples and Jerusalem," and in another of same date "Naples and Sicily." Explains the diplomatic difference between the "Realm of Naples" and "Kingdom of the Two Sicilies." As these realms are feuda Ecclesiœ, going ever together and not well to be separated, it were better that the Emperor made the cession by known and accustomed, than in doubtful words, whereof may arise contention. As the Queen, by Act of Parliament, is to make statutes for the newly-erected cathedral churches, fears lest his fellows of Christchurch will, in his absence, seek to have certain statutes devised and confirmed, which shall take from the Dean certain rights and privileges secured to him by the foundation deed under the Great Seal, as in his former absence they have gone about to do. Therefore requests Petre, in such event, to find the means that he may be apprized of it, and see the book, and be heard for his interest in it, as is but reasonable. Thanks him for the efforts made by him and the Council to have the lives of his own nephews, Rudstone and Cromer, spared; and is desirous, if it be possible, that her Majesty should restore them to their former livings. Requests to know whether he should make direct or indirect application to her Majesty for this purpose. [Two pages. Two or three lines in cipher, deciphered.]
Aug. 10.
252. Dr. Wotton to the Council. Acknowledges their letter of the 20th ult. informing him of the Prince's safe arrival and of the marriage; for which marriage he heartily thanks God, believing it to be appointed by his Providence, for the working some notable effect to the great good and benefit not only of England, but of all Christendom. Had communicated to Cardinal Tournon in French, such portions of the letter as he considered expedient. Their Ambassador had written to the King of the marriage; "to say the truth, they rejoice hereof, never a whit more than they have cause to do." Had not made any mention of their Ambassador, thinking it time enough when they shall speak of that matter to him. Has also received the copy of Sir Hugh Poulett's letter concerning the handling of Le Bretoniére, which shall serve him well if they should again refer to it. Edward Randall will largely satisfy them of the news here. [One page, partly in cipher, deciphered.]
Aug. 13.
253. Sir John Masone to same. Had expected daily to have sent them intelligence of a battle between the French and the Imperialists, but they have passed without any notable exploit all this time. The Emperor's army is now about Bethune, and that of the French King a good day and a half's journey from him. Some say the Emperor stayed to continue the following of him so near, being informed that he intended to send back a good part of his army to have taken hold again of the river of Meuse. So much is he with child with that country. Instead of that, it is rather thought that he intends for the saving of money to dismiss his Swiss, having bargained with them that if they should be continued in service after payment of the first three months, they must be entertained three whole months more. If this be true he will not long keep the field. Renti was threatened, and to aid it 400 Spaniards are sent into the town under the conduct of one Navaretto. In these nine or ten days following of his enemy the Emperor has shown great courage and warlike skill; but much more notably by entering with so small an army as he then had into Namur, a town of no strength but commodious for the letting of his enemy's purpose, against the advice and persuasion of all his captains. Had he not done so, Liege and all those countries would have had such a foil as would long after have been remembered. Had Marienburg not have been betrayed, the French would have nothing to boast of in this expedition beyond the burning and spoiling of all sorts of poor people, a matter easily to be done and scanty to be avenged; yet in their letters to Italy they have represented Dinant and Bouvis [Bouvines] as impregnable as if they had been two castles of Milan, and God wot they were two very weak pieces builded altogether d l'antiqua, without any kind of such defences as are requisite for the wars now-a-days." Hears that Marquis Albert came to the French Court on the last day of July very simply accompanied: if so he has well bestirred himself, that having lost an estate of 20,000l. per ann. in his own country is now driven to seek his living in the Court of him whom once he so notably deceived! The Turk's army, making a face towards the strait of Sicily, have turned their sail suddenly toward the Gulf of Venice, to the great marvel at the first of that state; but finally have come to the coast of La Puglia, and are battering Beaustesin, where they would gladly land. "The piece is not strong; marry it may with small travail be satisfied. It is trusted they shall be kept off well enough." On the 26th of July the army of the Duke of Florence and the enemy had two notable skirmishes in which above 2,000 were slain on both sides, and another on the 31st, when were slain and hurt above 800; but the greatest stroke fell upon Strozzi's side. These two armies are so close, that tidings of a pitched battle are daily expected.
P.S.—Autograph of Masone. Before making up his letter received the inclosed schedule, whereby they may perceive that Pietro Strozzi with his whole army is overthrown. [Two pages. Inclosure. Italian. Four lines.]
Aug. 15.
254. The Council to Thomas Gresham. Perceive by his letter of the 10th ult. the small readiness in which the treasure to be received there is. At this they much marvel, the rather as since receipt of his letter they have heard nothing of his proceedings in the charge committed to him. As he alleges that the lack of a passport for its transportation was the cause why the money was not received before his Majesty left, they cannot tell what let such lack should be to the receiving of the money. As he says he has by his instructions only one way left for sending over the treasure, they think that, seeing he says money is now so scant to come by there, he may find honest and sure merchants, who occupying the traffic of oils, wines, fruits, and other wares commonly laden from them, will be content to take a good portion of the money from him to be repaid in England to her Majesty's use. Require him to see what may be done therein, foreseeing that he deals not but with such men as be honest and substantial. As regards his instructions to send the said treasure by his servant to Calais for shipment there, and himself thereafter to return home by land, they cannot but much marvel that he would commit the doings and order of a matter of such importance to any other but himself, the thing being of such great weight and consequence as they think there cannot be too much diligence, policy, and circumspection used therein. Wherefore they pray him to consider the matter in such substantial sort, and to take such order therein, as may be answerable to the trust reposed in him. As for the 120,000 ducats that remain above the 200,000 for which he has already passport, he shall do well to sue for them at the hands of the Princess of Portugal, to whom as Governess and to the Council, both the Emperor and her Majesty had addressed letters for that purpose. Beg that they may hear from him more frequently.
P.S.—If the money were not ready at the days agreed upon, presumes he will consider it unreasonable that her Majesty should pay at the days covenanted, promises on the other side not having been kept, and that he will protest and use the matter accordingly; apprizing them whether money has been paid at all hands to him according to agreement or not. [Two pages.]
Aug. 23.
255. Maximilian, King of Bohemia, to Queen Mary. Credentials of Don Perolasso de Castilla, Master of the Household of the Queen of Bohemia, by whom he has written relative to the elevation to the Cardinalate of the Nuncio resident at his Court, and requesting her Majesty's mediation with the Cardinals of Naples, Carpi and Santiago, that they will support the claims of the Nuncio at the first creation of Cardinals. [Spanish. One page.]
Aug. 26.
256. Sir John Masone to the Council. Yesterday received their letter of the 14th inst., and having talked with Petro Usore Mare, broker of Antwerp (called here il Solicito), perceives that the bargain opened by him to the Council will not altogether take place, although he says he is at a point another way not much different from the other, except that the spice must be turned to fustian. He incontinently thereafter departed for Antwerp, and to-day or to-morrow will be back with his full resolution in the matter, which shall be instantly forwarded by an express messenger. Is unable to inform them of the proceedings between the Emperor and the French King with such speed as were worth the reading, because the Ambassadors are commanded to reside here, which is almost a hundred miles from the place where they think they ought rather to be. All news from the place where the Emperor is may be heard at London as soon, if not sooner than here. Presumes by other means, they have heard of the skirmish on the 13th, with some loss on both sides, about the getting of a hill; of the French standing in arms the most part of the 14th, as if they would have prevented battle, and of their retreat on the 15th, unespied till out of all danger, favoured by a dark night and thick mist on the morning of the 16th. Does not know whether they mind to dismiss the Swiss or to dissolve their whole army. The news of Strozzi's overthrow are confirmed. In his carriages which were taken were found not only his writings, plate, and collar of the Order of France, but 20,000 crowns, and about the same time were taken in another place coming to him 24,000 more. Among his writings were found many practices worth discovery, especially one which was a treason concluded for the setting on fire of the powder and munition in the castle of Naples and Gaeta at the same time on the 20th inst., when the Prince of Salerno should have landed with 3,000 soldiers. The draft of this now disappointed enterprise was in the French King's hand. Among the conspirators, all of whom are in hold, the chief is called Spinosa. Strozzi has returned to Montalcino, gathering reliquias fusi exercitus, but being without money and credit, he is likely to do but little more hurt this year. The Marquis has returned to Sienna, where he fortifies before Porta Romana, which gate until now he could never shut up. The city is said to be victualled for two or three months yet, and to contain 3,000 soldiers. Thinks they have been informed by the Ambassador there that Peter Carew is in Venice. Forty-four great pieces of artillery, of which ten are mortars, have left Mechlin for St. Omer, to be employed, it is said, upon Ardres. An Ambassador from the Duke of Savoy to the King and Queen has this day departed in post. He is a gentleman of a right good house in Piedmont, and was long time Ambassador in this Court for the late Duke of Savoy. He has always borne good affection to the English Crown, and is very courteous to its Ambassadors. Begs their Lordships will let him understand that somewhat has been written to them of him. Has this evening received a letter from il Solicito, the broker above mentioned, mentioning that one of the merchants with whom he must have to do is presently at the camp, and therefore till Monday he can do nothing. The merchants' names will not be learned till it be assured whether the bargain shall be accepted. [Two pages and a half.]
Aug. 31.
257. Cardinal Sarasino [John Michael Sarracena] to Queen Mary. Congratulates her Majesty upon her marriage with his master the King of Naples. [Italian. Half a page.]

July 1554