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FROM THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY
TO THE REVOLUTION IN 1688.
Notes, Additions, and a Continuation
THE REV. M. A. TIERNEY, F.R.S., F.S.A.
PUBLISHED BY CHARLES DOLMAN,
(NEPHEW AND SUCCESSOR TO THE LATE JOSEPH BOOKER)
SINCE the publication of the preceding volumes, my attention has been called to a note in vol. ii. 121, where, relying on the authority of Pallavicino, and following the example of our best historians, I have said that Elizabeth, on her accession, ordered Carne, the resident ambassador at Rome, to notify that event to the reigning pontiff, Paul the fourth ; that, in reply, Paul not only denounced her as a bastard, but also refused to acknowledge her title, until she should have submitted her claims to his judgment; and, finally, that Elizabeth, stung by the affront conveyed in this haughty and irritating answer, immediately recalled Carne, and broke off all further intercourse with the Roman court.
There is no doubt that this statement, in all its parts, is a pure fabrication. As far as I can discover, it is indebted for its origin to the inventive powers of father Paul Sarpi, who, in 1619, sixty years after the date of the supposed transaction, first published it in his history of the council of Trent (ad annum 1558, lib. v. 420, Ed. Genev. 1660). From Sarpi
it was copied, first by Spondanus (ad an. 1559, n. 5), and afterwards by Sarpi's professed opponent, Pallavicino (ii. lib. xiv. c. 8. p. 532). These were followed by Heylin, Burnet, Fleury, Carte, Hume, and numerous other writers; and the story thus repeated by successive authors, seems at length to have acquired a species of prescriptive title to belief. But the industry of Mr. Howard of Corby has lately stepped in, to detect and expose its falsehood. Among the correspondence still preserved in the State Paper Office, that gentleman has discovered two letters written by Carne, one to Cecil in December, 1558, and the other to Elizabeth in the following April. An intermediate despatch, addressed also to Elizabeth, he has found in the Cotton Library; and from these, and from some other printed and MS. documents, he has distinctly shown that no official notification of the queen's accession was ever conveyed to the pontiff, either through Carne or any other person;
that the insulting declaration, therefore, said to have been made by Paul in the way of reply, could not have been uttered; and that Carne himself, who was never commissioned by Elizabeth, was ultimately “ licensed to return,” partly in consequence of his own earnest solicitation, and partly because, a resolution having been adopted to separate from the Roman communion, “there was now no further cause why he should make any longer abode there” (Strype, Annals i. 36). I will subjoin the documents, for which I am glad of an opportunity to acknowledge my obligations to Mr. Howard.
1°. Mary died on the seventeenth of November, 1558. By the seventeenth of the following month, her demise
was publicly known in Rome ; and yet, a fortnight after that period, Carne had received neither letters nor instructions from the English government. This fact is clear from his complaint to Cecil, on the thirty-first of December,—Original, in the State Paper Office :
“Pleaseth it your mastership, forasmuch as I am informed that the same is principal secretary to the queen's most excellent majesty, whereof I am very glad, and therein do congratulate, praying you to be my good master, and to be as good to me, as my hope is you will.
"I have sent letters to her majesty of congratulation, according to my most bounden duty, the seventeenth of this, with such occurrents as I could learn here then ; for then was it advertised first from all parts of the departing out of this world of the late most noble queen Mary ; though I had no advertisement thereof therehence. I did send a letter also to her majesty, of such occurrents as I could hear of here, the twenty-fourth of this ; for, every Saturday, I was wont to write to the late queen Mary, by Venice way : and so, sithence I heard of her departure from this world, I did write to the queen's most excellent majesty that now is, with all I would have addressed to your mastership, if I had had knowledge that you had been in that place, that you be in. Nevertheless, I trust that you will take it in good part, as I most heartily beseech you so to do. If there be any service that I can do, you may command me as your own ; beseeching you to help to keep me in her majesty's grace and favour, as one that shall be always most ready, according to my most bounden duty, to serve her majesty as far as my life and goods will extend unto.
“Also I most humbly beseech your mastership to help me in my affairs there, as well as renewing of my warrant for my diets, as also to be paid for the time that I have served, and not paid, and for such time as shall please her majesty to have me to continue here, or absent therehence, which, I trust, shall not be long ; for I have continued here four years, to my undoing (unless her most excellent majesty be gracious to me), notwithstanding I have made suit there two years, to have license to return, and was promised, in the beginning of this new year, to have a license so to do. I would be glad to hear what her majesty's pleasure is that I should do here ; for my old commission is expired. The acceptation of her majesty's ambassador here is a