April 1574


Institute of Historical Research



J. M. Rigg (editor)

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'Rome: April 1574', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Vatican Archives, Volume 2: 1572-1578 (1926), pp. 169-173. URL: Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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April 1574

pp. 147, 148.
298. The Same to the Same.
“As to the English business the intentions are good, and preparations were being made; but I believe that these grievous troubles on all hands will cause the postponement of this holy expedition. If God shall be pleased to give us some respite, there will, I hope, be no default on this side. That Secretary Cecil is not dead after all.”
… “As touching Don John I have not omitted in a becoming manner to suggest to the King that he should be honoured with the title of King of Tunis. When first I spoke thereof, his Majesty said that one must take good heed lest by aiming at the whole one should lose a part, but that the matter should be considered; and whenever I have recurred to it, I have been able to elicit nothing more, but that good heed is being taken.
“Besides what his Majesty said to me then, I believe that this question has since been complicated by an overture made to his Majesty by these English, to wit, that they would be glad that Don John should go upon the English enterprise and glad to accept him for their King with the Queen of Scotland for his wife, some also being of opinion that if the King should not go to Flanders, it would be necessary that at least Don John should go there; whence perchance arose the first resolution that he should come here; and the hesitation as to the matter of the title may have been due to knowledge that the kingdom of Tunis is not well established and assured in the hands of the Christians, considering the alarms caused by the Turk; and that it would seem to the world an empty honour to bestow the sovereignty of a realm that might soon be lost. There may be other family and private reasons that may not at present be put into writing. It is resolved that he [Don John] tarry in Italy for the enterprise against the Turk, and it seems that there is none better fitted for the enterprise than he.”
1 April, 1574. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Arm. xliv.
vol. 28. f. 41d.
No. 77.
299. [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como to John [Leslie], Bishop of Ross.
“After I had acquainted the Pope with the contents of your letter to me of 24 Feb., great was his consolation to learn that after so many hardships, toils and calamities, endured by you, in the discharge of your legation, for the liberation of your Queen, you were at length, by God's grace, restored to freedom and permitted to go to France. But bitter beyond all expression is the grief that wrings and lacerates his Holiness' heart to think that such are the times that it is beyond his power to render the opportune aid that he fain would to a Queen so endowed with piety, faith and religion, and so sorely oppressed and harassed. What may be in his power his Holiness will certainly never neglect to do, as indeed he has now gladly written to the Most Christian King the brief annexed to this letter, soliciting the liberation of the Queen and at the same time the relief of your indigence. The same office, as regards the Queen, he will most diligently do with the Emperor and the Catholic King through the Nuncios Apostolic resident at their courts. But we must pray God of His mercy to aid such pious endeavours, and guide them to the desired end.”
1 April, 1574. Rome. Latin. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xiv. f. 56d.
300. John Baptista Castagna, [late] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio at Venice to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“There is here an English gentleman, a Catholic and a worthy man, one of whose intimate friends born and bred in England has been a heretic, but wishes to turn to the faith, not, however, by way of the Holy Office of the Inquisition, but privily by way of confession to a Jesuit Father who has applied to me for such a faculty; but as I possess it not myself, I cannot give it to another. So, considering that it would be well to gather in such men in the way most to their taste, I have promised to write thereof, as I do, entreating you to apprise the Pope thereof, that he may direct what is to be done, it being premised that all is in foro sacramentali and secret, and not otherwise.”
3 April, 1574. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. viii. p. 164.
301. [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to Same.
“The truth is that this commission which is gone to Don John is that he go to Milan and there abide. This may be affirmed for certain, as there may at this very time be proof positive of it; but how long he is to stay there, and what he has to do there, and by what advice and with what design this decision has been taken is not so easy to determine. It is a matter that lends itself to discussion apropos of affairs that are now coming on to the tapis; and from what I have heard say here I believe that the first idea was that Don John should come hither, in order that he might be sent to Flanders with this fleet of Biscay, both to set the affairs of those States in order, and by reason of the designs upon England.”
5 April, 1574. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 322d.
302. News Letter.
“There are daily fresh rumours from Court of arms being sent to Rouen to be employed against Montgomery, to whose support they say, Englishmen are coming. Troops are being raised to send to succour the Duke of Montpensier against La Noe [La Noue] who is in the field with 400 horse and 2,000 foot in Poitou.”
6 April, 1574. Lyon. Italian. “From the Ambassador of Ferrara, 12 April.” Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xiii. f. 288d.
303. [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como to [John Baptista Castagna, late] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio at Venice.
… “The Pope is well pleased that you should absolve a crimine haeresis that Englishman who desires to turn to the obedience of the Church, imposing on him such penance as you shall deem meet. And though I suppose that this my attestation should suffice; if, nevertheless, he should desire further assurance you have but so to apprise me, and it shall be sent.”
10 April, 1574. Rome. Italian. Draft.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. iv. f. 328.
304. News Letter.
… “It was said yesterday that Montgomery had put to sea with 40 vessels, but whitherward was not known. He had left in Carentan, and other places that he holds in Normandy, ample garrisons.”
16 April, 1574. Paris. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xiv. f. 58d.
305. John Baptista Castagna [late] Archbishop of Rossano, Nuncio at Venice to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
… “An edict has been made in England that all of that nation are to return, which affords matter of much reflection to some who are here, merely that, being Catholics, they may be able to live as such, and have all their substance in that island.”
17 April, 1574. Venice. Italian. Copy.
Vat. Arch.
Nunt. di
vol. xv. f. 445d.
306. [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como to [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain.
“The Catholics of Ireland, by what we understand, are in great peril of losing the few bits of land that still belong to them: you will therefore in his Holiness' name do your office with his Majesty, that some soldiers be sent them from Flanders by the Comendador Mayor [Requesens] that they may be able to defend and maintain themselves, and not fall into the hands of the heretics.”
22 April, 1574. Rome. Italian. Draft for cipher.
vol. viii. f. 191.
307. [Nicholas Ormanetto,] Bishop of Padua, Nuncio in Spain to [Ptolemy Galli,] Cardinal of Como.
“I am told that at the end of May the fleet of Biscay may put to sea for the Low Countries, and that they still propose to send with it 18 or 20 of these galleys.
“The English business is not given up, and perchance it was for this among many other reasons that it was decided that Don John should go to Milan. Here we are all lost in wonder that the courier from Italy is so slow to appear to give us news of Don John and of the Turkish fleet. Nor yet have we any news from France of those events.
“To-day, the 27th, we are in receipt of tidings of some successes in Flanders; and if this good progress be maintained, we may hope to go ahead in many matters to the benefit of Christendom, and especially in the English enterprise. God in His goodness grant the Pope this consolation that under his pontificate and the holy name of Gregory that realm may be won a second time to Christ our Lord to the salvation of so many souls.”
26–27 April, 1514. Madrid. Decipher. Italian.
f. 193.
308. The Same to the Same.
… “From the affairs of Flanders I passed to touch on those of England, pointing out that we have now a better opportunity than ever of making this enterprise: as to which he told me that he was doing all that he could. I once more did my office as to the union with France, and in regard of that likewise had of him the best of words, as on former occasions; and the good progress made in Flanders will have been of great advantage to the Most Christian King's affairs.”
28 April, 1574. Madrid. Decipher. talian.

March 1574
May 1574