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Full text of "The history of the popes from the close of the Middle Ages : drawn from the secret archives of the Vatican and other original sources"

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THE HISTORY OF THE POPES. Translated from 

the German of LUDWIG, FREIHERR VON PASTOR. Edited, as to 
Vols. I. -VI., by the late FREDERICK IGNATIUS ANTROBUS, and, 
as to Vols. VII -XX., by RALPH FRANCIS KERR, of the 
London Oratory. In 20 Volumes. 

Vols. I. and II. A.D. 1305-1458 

Vols. III. and IV. A.D. 1458-1483 

Vols. V. and VI. A.D. 1484-1513 

Vols. VII. and VIII A.D. 1513-1521 
Vols. IX. and X. A.D. 1522-1534 

Vols. XI. and XII. A.D. 1534-1549 

Vols. XIII. and XIV. A.D. 1550-1559 
Vols. XV. and XVI. A.D. 1559-1565 
Vols. XVII. and XVIII. A D. 1566-1572 
Vols. XIX. and XX. A.D. 1572-1585 

The original German text of the History of the Popes is published 
by Herder & Co., Freiburg (Baden). 










GREGORY XIII. (1572-1585) 








Table of Contents ix 

List of unpublished documents in Appendix . . xxiii 

The Revolt in the Low Countries. Decisive change in 

the situation in the Netherlands . . . 1-24 

The Catholic Revival in Germany. The German 

Congregation. Bavaria. The Tyrol. Salzburg . 25-65 

The Nunciatures of Portia, Gropper and Ninguarda in 

South Germany, Austria and Bavaria . . 66126 

Nunciatures in South-West Germany. State of Religion 

in Switzerland ...... 127186 

The Catholic Revival in Germany .... 187-242 

The " Declaration " of Ferdinand. Rudolph II and the 

Catholic Revival 243-283 

State of Religion in North Germany .... 284-353 

The situation in the Rhineland. Treves, Aix-la-Chapelle, 

Cologne . . . 354~3 8 4 

The Catholic Revival in Poland .... 385-416 

The Missions to Sweden and Russia .... 417-447 

Foreign Missions. Japan. China. The Indies . . 448-480 

Foreign Missions. The Turkish Empire. Africa. Spanish 

America ....... 481-512 

The Papal States. Brigandage. The Pope s care for 

Rome ...... . 513-556 

Gregory XIII. and Art. New Churches and Buildings 560-606 
Decorations at the Vatican. The Ouirinal. Death of 

the Pope. Importance of his Pontificate . . 607-643 

Appendix of unpublished documents . . . 644-653 

Index of Names ....... 655 

l For Bibliography see Volume XIX. 





William of Orange the soul of the opposition to Spain . i 

Principal object of the Calvinists brutal ferocity of 

their persecution of Catholics . . i 

1 573 Orange formally becomes a Calvinist but is denounced 
by the pastors as an atheist and that " he wor 
shipped his own advantage as his God " . . 2 

Utter failure of Alba s regime, and he leaves the Low 

Countries (December 1 8th) .... 3 

The Pope wishes for a peaceful settlement with the 

rebels ....... 3 

Requesens succeeds Alba Orange does his best to 

make the task of Requesens difficult . . 4 

Increase of discontent even in the loyal Provinces . 4 

1576 Death of Requesens (March) ..... 4 
The States General convoked their demands . . 5 

The " Pacification of Ghent " 5 

John of Austria appointed Governor ; he has authority 

to make great concessions, but does not win 
sympathy ...... 6 

1577 The " Perpetual Edict " (February i2th) confirms the 

" Pacification " and is approved by Philip II. . 7 
The Pope sends Sega to the Low Countries to support 

the peace proposals and promote the Catholic 

restoration ..... 7 

Orange takes the citadel of Namur (July 24th) 
The new Governor the Archduke Matthias of Austria 

is won over by Orange .... 
Renewed outrages upon Catholics a storm of icono- 

clasm begun in churches and convents . 9 

Ever growing anxiety in Rome . . .10 

1578 The Pope once more attempts a peaceful intervention . 1 1 
The charge of this given to Castagna . . .12 
The wild excesses of the Calvinists are distasteful to 

Orange . . . . . .12 

1578 The Walloons act with energy and form a Catholic 

League .13 

1579 The Catholic " Union of Arras " (January 6th) . . 13 
The Calvinist " Union of Utrecht " (January 23rd) . 13 




Alessandro Farnese sent as Governor . . . .14 
He concludes the " Peace of Arras " (May lyth), which 

makes a decisive and important change . . 15 
Attitude of the Walloon States praised by the Pope . 1 6 
1581 The States General of Holland renounce allegiance to 

Spain . . . . . . .17 

Edict by Orange of December aoth his hopes of 

assistance from France . . . . .18 
Anarchy in Flanders and Brabant . . . .18 

1584 Victory of Farnese, who promises an amnesty . . 19 
Murder of William of Orange (July loth) . . .19 
Fall of Antwerp restoration of churches ... 20 
The Catholics of the southern provinces : their 

mentality . . . . . . .21 

Quick recovery of the Church The Jesuits . . 22 

Result of the victories of Farnese . . . .23 

1585 The Capuchins Triumph of the Catholic revival . 24 




Interest of Gregory XIII. in Germany ... 25 

1573 He gives new life to the German Congregation . . 26 
And seeks information as to the state of affairs in 

Germany ....... 27 

Reports from Cardinal Truchsess, Delfino and Canisius 28 

Present a gloomy picture the bishops the clergy . 29 

Lack of learned, capable, hard-working men . . 30 
Deplorable condition of the Chapters . . . -31 
Election capitulations by the Canons . . . -31 
Tie the hands of the bishops, who surfer the continuance 

of scandals ....... 32 

Hostile suspicion of Rome becomes gradually less . 33 
And some of the reports are hopeful Protestant 

theologians becoming held in contempt . . 33 

Divisions and discord among the Protestants . . 34 
A great desire for religious revival calls to the Pope 

for help ....... 35 

Need for permanent nuncios ..... 36 

And for the establishment of seminaries 37 
Care in appointing to canonries less delay in replying 

from Rome to requests wider faculties should 

be granted ....... 38 

Suggestions from Truchsess and Portia ... 39 
The German nunciatures The German College in 

Rome ....... 40 

1 5 79 Gregory XI 1 1. is its second founder .... 41 

Albert V. of Bavaria the pivot of Catholic hopes . . 42 

Attitude of the Bavarian dukes .... 43 



Albert V. becomes a stronger champion of the Church . 44 

Takes energetic steps for religious instruction . . 45 

His firmness ........ 46 

Promotes the Catholic restoration everywhere . . 47 
Wins back Baden to the Church . . . .48 

*573 State of religion in Baden-Baden .... 49 

The Pope s reliance upon Albert V. . . . .50 

1576 Especially in the struggle for the bishoprics of Northern 

Germany ....... 51 

Sincere piety of William V., son and successor of Albert 52 

He refuses all concessions to the Protestants . . 53 

And does his utmost to give new life to religion . 55 

His influence in the election of bishops 55 
Strong support of the Church in the Tyrol by the 

Archduke Ferdinand ..... 56 

Bad state of religion in the Tyrol .... 57 
Energetic measures by Ferdinand . . . -57 

The Francescan Johann Nas his influence and work . 58 

The Pope and the Imperial territories 61 
A beginning to be made at Salzburg The mission of 

Ninguarda (1554-1573) .... 62 

Advice given by him ...... 65 



1573 The appointment of Portia and Caspar Cropper as 

nuncios (May 5th) ...... 66 

Good reputation of Portia ..... 67 

Instructions laid down for him ..... 68 

Portia and the Archbishop of Salzburg ... 72 

From whom he obtains far-reaching promises . . 73 

But does not trust him over-much .... 74 

Ninguarda s opinion of the Archbishop ... 75 

Who hesitates in the matter of a synod ... 76 
W r hich however is at last held from August 26th to 

September 3rd ...... 77 

Principal points of reform ..... 78 

Efforts for establishment of seminaries ... 79 

Portia at Innsbruck ...... 80 

Difficulty with the claims of the princes . . .81 

The episcopal election at Wiirzburg .... 82 

And Gurk ........ 83 

Efforts of Portia in Wurtemberg .... 84 

Ninguarda in Salzburg ...... 86 

1572-1574 His visitations in the diocese .... 87 

1574 Ninguarda and Duke Albert in Munich ... 88 
Condition of affairs in Freising and Ratisbon . . 89 
Question of the reform of religious Orders ... 91 



Description by Portia and Ninguarda of the 

monasteries and convents . . . -93 

Ninguarda and the monasteries in Ratisbon . . 95 

State of religious houses in Austria .... 96 

Ninguarda in Vienna ...... 97 

Is given full powers for his visitation .... 99 

And also the Imperial authority for exercise of them . 100 

1574-1576 Strenuous work of this visitation . . . 101 

1576 Ninguarda returns to Salzburg (March 2oth) The 

Synod. ....... 109 

Efforts to establish a seminary at Salzburg . . 1 1 1 

1577 Ninguarda returns to Italy . . . . .112 
Memorials for reform from the Archduke Charles and 

some of the Bishops . . . . .113 
Special memorial by Ninguarda . . . .116 

Instructions to Portia relating to seminaries and 

colleges . . . . . . .121 

1573 Difficulties at Augsburg ...... 123 

Death of Cardinal Truchsess (April 2nd) and election 

of the new Bishop . ..... 125 

1575 Recall of Portia from Augsburg (May) . . .126 




*575 Nunciatures of Portia and Sporeno . . . .127 

Sporeno in the Tyrol Portia describes his new duties 

as impracticable . . . . . .128 

Unsatisfactory state of the dioceses of the Upper Rhine 
Portia and Sporeno arrive at Freiburg in 
Breisgau (October 4th) . . . . .129 

Visits to Sion, St. Gall, Strasbourg and Constance . 130 

1576 Sporeno remains with the Archduke Ferdinand 

(January) 131 

Journeys of Portia . . . . . . .131 

The University and Seminary at Freiburg . . .132 

T 575 Death of the Bishop of Basle and election of Blarer . 137 

Which is confirmed in Rome . . . . .138 

!575 Negotiations between Bishop Blarer and Portia. . 139 

Great work of Blarer in the diocese of Basle . .141 
Lamentable conditions in Strasbourg . . 143 

Good will of the Bishop . . . . . .144 

Insistence of the nuncio, Portia . . . .145 

Whose efforts are seconded by the Bishop . . . 147 

Influence for good of the parish-priest Rasser . .148 

1576 Work of Portia in the diocese of Spires . . . 149 

State of the diocese Diocese of Constance . . .153 

1578 Death of Portia ; he is succeeded by Ninguarda . . 154 
Labours of Ninguarda, 1578-1583 .... 155 
His action in Bavaria and his complaints . . .159 



1583 Assembly of the Bavarian Bishops . .160 
The Concordat of Bavaria 
Ninguarda s nunciature in Switzerland . 

Work of the Jesuits in Lucerne. . . .164 

The Swiss dioceses . . .165 
Conditions in the Catholic Cantons . 

1578 Bonhomini in the Valtelliria . .168 

1579 He is appointed nuncio in Switzerland . .169 
The Helvetian College in Milan . . 1 70 
The Swiss visitation by Bonhomini . . . .172 
Accusations against him . 

His attitude towards these makes a great impression . 1 77 

His energy and courage disarm opposition . . 179 

The difficulties about the diocese of Chur . .180 
Jesuit College established at Freiburg Journeys of 

Bonhomini .... .181 

1581 End of his nunciature in Switzerland . . 183 
Importance of his work The Jesuits are his auxiliaries 1 84 

He establishes the Capuchins, whose convents are a 

starting point for religious revival . .185 

Charles Borromeo and Switzerland . . . .186 



1573 Missions of Caspar Cropper . .187 

1574 Alexander Trivius and Nicholas Elgard . 

Travels of Elgard ... .189 

Decadent state of the diocese of Bamberg . .190 

Quite different is the condition of Eicbstatt . .192 

1573-1617 Bishop Julius Echter of Wiirzburg ; his energy. 193 

And great work of restoration . . . 194 

The seminary and university of Wiirzburg . .199 

And important charitable foundations . .201 

The monastery and territory of Fulda . . 204 

Work of the Abbot Balthasar von Dernbach . . 205 
Fulda becomes " a Catholic fortress " Protestant 

attack upon the Abbot . .209 
His great difficulties Action of the Pope . 
And of the adversaries of the Abbot . 

Who continues his work of reform . .215 
Elgard at Fulda his suggestions . 

1576 Steps taken by Balthasar . 

The Bishop of Wiirzburg and the Abbot . 
Violence to Balthasar at Hammelburg . 221 
Demands of Gregory XIII. . . 223 
But Balthasar has to wait twenty-six years for re 
instatement. ; . . 22 5 
His exile 22 7 


A - D - PAGE 

Continued support of the Abbot by the Pope . . 229 
The Jesuits at Fulda In the end Fulda is once more 

substantially Catholic . . . . .231 

Conditions in the diocese of Mayence .... 232 
Elgard s experiences in the diocese . . . -237 
Resistance to the Catholic reforms conies from the 

nobles and inhabitants of the cities . . . 238 




The so-called " Declaration of Ferdinand " : variety 

of opinion as to its legal value . . . . 243 
The Elector Augustus of Saxony and the Declaration 245 
Protestant hope of its confirmation at the Diet of 

Ratisbon ....... 248 

1575 Which opens in October its work . . . .250 

1576 The Pope sends Cardinal Morone to the Diet (April) . 254 
Work of Morone the advantage of his presence in 

Germany ....... 256 

Salentin of Isenburg, Archbishop of Cologne . .259 
The Duke of Bavaria and the Emperor . . .260 
Anxiety of Morone . . . . . .261 

Split in the Protestant party 263 

Death of Maximilian II. (October i2th) Result of the 

Diet 264 

The new Emperor, Rudolph II., a contrast to his father 265 

His action Joy of the Catholics . . . .266 

1579 Melchior Klesl of Vienna and Catholic restoration . 267 

1581 Bonhomini nuncio to the Emperor his activities . 268 

1582 The Diet of Augsburg Cardinal Madruzzo as legate . 269 
His memorial and plans . . . . . .270 

His arrival at Augsburg and reception (June) . . 273 
Negotiations at the Diet . ..... 274 

Close of the Diet (September 2oth) ; its results . . 281 



Difficult task of Cropper in the north of Germany . 284 

Prospects for Catholic revival there . . . .285 

Help hoped for from Bavaria . . . . .286 

Conditions in the diocese of Hildesheim . . .287 

Question of the succession to the bishopric . . .289 
Z 573 At the death of Bishop Burchard (February 23rd) 

many claimants for the diocese arise . . 291 

Ernest of Bavaria is elected . . . . .291 



1574-1575 He makes a long stay in Rome .... 293 

Trivius makes a visitation of Hildesheim . . . 293 

Case of the diocese of Halberstadt . . . .295 

Tt ceases to be a Catholic diocese . . . .301 

Duke Julius of Brunswick becomes bishop . . .301 

Members of the House of Brunswick. . . . 303 

Johann von Hoya, Bishop of Miinster . . . 304 
Visitation of the diocese. ..... 305 

The Dukes of Jiilich-Cleves and Miinster . . . 306 

1573-1574 The nuncio Cropper at Miinster. . . .309 

His embarrassing position . . . . 311 

1574 His instructions from Rome . . . . -313 
John William of Cleves, Bishop of Miinster . . . 315 

1575 He resigns on the death of his eldest brother . -315 
Candidates for the succession to Miinster . . .316 

1585 After a long struggle Duke Ernest of Bavaria becomes 

Bishop of Miinster ..... 346 

Condition of the diocese of Paderborn . . . 347 
Instructions to Elgard who visits Halberstadt and 

Magdeburg His report. .... 348 

1575 Trivius sent to Northern Germany .... 350 

His visit to Minden . . . . . . 351 

Bremen, Liibeck, Verden, and Hamburg . . . 352 

Religious conditions in these places. . . . 353 




1567-1581 Jakob von Eltz, Archbishop of Treves . . 354 

His visitations and ordinances . .... 355 

Religious state of the electorate .... 357 

1574-1614 The struggle at Aix-la-Chapelle . . . . 359 

Importance to the faith of the electorate of Cologne . 359 

The Archbishop Salentin of Isenburg. . . . 361 

1577 His resignation election of Gebhard Truchsess . . 362 

Character and conduct of Gebhard .... 364 

1582 His apostasy ....... 365 

The Pope takes action and sends Minucci on a mission 

to Cologne ....... 368 

Candidates for the Archiepiscopate .... 370 

Gebhard marries Agnes von Mansf eld (February 2nd) . 371 
His deposition by the Pope (April ist) . . -373 

Ernest of Bavaria nominated archbishop (June 2nd) . 374 
The war of Cologne . . . . . . -375 

Victory of the Catholic cause its importance . -379 

Necessity for a permanent nuncio in Lower Germany . 380 

1585 Bonhomini appointed to this post (January 1 9th) . 382 

Importance of this nunciature ..... 383 




1572 Death of Sigismund Augustus, the last Jagellon. 385 
Candidates for the crown Commendone succeeds in 

averting the selection of a Protestant . . 386 

1573 Henry of Anjou elected King (May 1 6th) . . . 387 
Confederation of Protestants at Warsaw . . .387 

1574 Henry returns to France on the death of Charles IX. . 388 

1575 The candidates Stephen Bathory elected (December 

1 4th) 389 

1576 Who is crowned and announces his election to the Pope 390 
Gregory XIII. recognizes him as King and sends 

Laureo as nuncio (November 6th) . . . 391 

Great confusion of faith in Poland The sects . .391 
Bathory keeps his promise to the Confederation, but 

does his best to restore the Catholic Church . 393 
Is helped in this by Hosius, the Jesuits and the nuncios 393 
1578 Sends to make his obedientia and appoints a permanent 

ambassador in Rome ..... 395 
Bathory gives every possible support to Catholic 

restoration. . .... 395 

And effectual help to the Jesuits .... 395 

Important works of the Jesuits in Poland . . . 396 
Peter Skarga the " Canisius " of Poland . . .401 

Energy of the Bishops of Ermland, Kulm, Wilna, 

Lemberg and Chelm . . . . .405 
Zeal of the nuncio Caligari, w T ho sometimes lacks 

prudence . . . . . . .406 

1581 He is recalled and replaced by Bolognetti . . . 407 

The vigorous and exemplary nunciature of Bolognetti . 408 

1583-1584 Two Polish Cardinals created . . . .411 

State of religion in Transylvania labours of the 

Jesuits . . . . . . .412 

Pontifical seminaries established in Poland . . . 415 



Hopes from the training of missionaries for Sweden . 417 
The Catholic wife of John III. Antagonism of 

Eric XIV 417 

John III. not so anti-Catholic as his predecessors . .418 
His candidature for the throne of Poland . . . 418 

1572 Negotiations opened with the Holy See . . .419 
Gregory XIII. replies with courtesy but with firmness . 420 
The first missionaries to Sweden . . . .421 

1576 The King decides to send an embassy to Rome . 422 

1577 The Swedish envoy La Gardie in Rome . . 423 
Possevino called upon to accept the mission to Sweden . 424 
Is La Gardie sincere ? . . . - 425 
Possevino reaches Stockholm on December igth . ,426 



1578 John III. accepts the Tridentine profession of faith 

and is absolved by Possevino who leaves Sweden 

on May 2oth . . . . . 4 2 7 

Plan for setting up a seminary for the northern 

countries ..... . 428 

Discussion on the concessions asked for by John III. . 429 

1579 Possevino a second time in Sweden . . 430 
His experience of the hesitation of the King . . 431 
Who is influenced by political motives chiefly . . 432 

1583 On the death of the Queen and marriage (1585) of the 
King to a Protestant there is a great change for 

the worse .... ... 433 

Gregory XIII. and the Czar Ivan IV. . . . 434 

1581 Three envoys from Russia arrive in Rome . . . 435 
Cunning of Ivan IV., who asks for a Papal envoy to 

Moscow ....... 436 

Possevino is given this task ... . 437 

His journey and arrival in August . . 439 

Diplomatic skill of the Russians . . . .440 

Russia and Poland . . . . . . 441 

1582 The discussion in the Kremlin on reunion . . . 442 
Possevino and Ivan ... -443 
A second Russian mission to Rome . . . . 445 
Possevino s mission a failure his memorials to the 

Pope ..... . 44 6 



Activity of Gregory XIII. in the matter of foreign 

missions .... . 448 

The Japanese mission zeal of the converts . . 449 

Perils and perseverance of the missionaries . . 451 

The Jesuits in Japan .... . 452 

Interesting conversions The new King favours the 

Jesuits 455 

Apostolate of Francis Cabral . . . 456 

And of Alessandro Valignani his great work . . 457 

1582 The Japanese envoys to Rome start their journey . 460 

1585 And arrival in Rome (March 23rd) . . . 461 

The discourse of Consalvi to the Pope on Japan . . 462 
And the reply of Boccapaduli . . -4^3 

Edification given by the envoys .... 465 

Hopes for the faith in China ... . 4^6 

1574 Valignani starts for China . . . -4^7 

His plans for organization of the mission . . 468 

1582 Matteo Ricci in China .... 4^9 

His extraordinary work there . . 47 

The missions in Portuguese India . . . 47 2 

The Jesuit province of the East Indies . 473 

The Great Mogul Akbar and the Jesuits . . 475 

The Augustinians and Franciscans in the Philippines . 478 

VOL, xx. & 






1580 The Jesuit mission in Abyssinia . . . .481 

Missions on the west coast of Africa Dominicans in 

Mozambique and on the Zambesi . . . 482 
1569-1580 Condition of Catholics in European Turkey 

Work of the Franciscans . . . 483 
1580 Visitation of the Balkan peninsula by Boniface de 

Stefani ....... 484 

1584 And by Komulowic and the Jesuit Raggio produce 

good results ...... 485 

1573 Catholics in Constantinople Efforts of Gregory XIII. 

for the union of Greek schismatics . . . 486 
1580 Mission of Cedulini to Constantinople its difficulties 

ill-will of the Venetians ..... 487 

Cedulini s account of the Latin Church in Turkey . 488 

1 583 Result of the reports of Cedulini to the Pope . . 490 
1578 The Armenians, Jacobites and Maronites send envoys 

to Rome ....... 490 

Jesuit missionaries sent to the Maronites . . . 492 
Satisfaction of the Pope with result of this mission 

He establishes the Maronite College in Rome . 494 

1583 Bishop Abel sent on a mission to the eastern patriarchs 495 

Negotiations with them ...... 496 

Christianity in Spanish possessions in America . . 498 

The Catholic hierarchy there ..... 499 

Franciscans and Dominicans in America . . * 502 

Turibio, " the Apostle of Peru " .... 503 

Jesuit missions in Mexico ..... 504 

And in Peru ........ 505 

Importance of the work of Jose de Acosta . . -507 

Difficulties in Brazil Dread of Portuguese colonists . 509 

Jose de Anchieta, " the Apostle of Brazil " . . . 510 

1585 Missions in Japan restricted to the Jesuits. . 511 
Active part taken by the Pope in all that concerns the 

missions ....... 512 



Heavy financial burdens on the Holy See . . -5*3 
Heavy revenue insufficient for extraordinary expenses 514 
Strong fiscal measures examination of all title deeds 515 
This affects the great Roman families . . .515 
1581 Many confiscations of fiefs ... . 516 

The greater number submit, but there is some resistance 517 
Difficulty in the Romagna Report of the president 

Ghislieri . 158 



Rich natural resources of the Romagna its 

government .... . 520 

Witness of Ghislieri to the devotedness of the 

Romagnoli . . . . . . .521 

Political party feuds are very general. . . . 5 22 

Brigandage, a national scourge . .... 523 

Bandits are protected by the land-owners . . . 524 

The Pope relaxes severity and affairs become worse . 525 

The brigand chiefs. .... . 526 

Bandits even in Rome itself . 5 2 7 

1580 The Pope complains of some of the Cardinals . . 528 
Severe enactments against all who aid or abet bandits . 529 
Punitive expedition of Cardinal Sforza . . 531 

1581 Death of Sforza the bandits raise their heads . . 532 
Outrages by Piccolomini . ... . 533 
Malatesta, Valenti and the " Priest of Guercino " . 534 
Murder of Francesco Peretti . . . . -53^ 

1583 Serious disturbances in Rome the Orsini danger 

threatened by the bandits .... 537 

" No one dares go outside the gates " . . 53^ 

1585 Failure of every attempt to suppress brigandage . . 539 

All Italy suffers Avogadro, the Venetian bandit . 540 

Increase in the population of Rome . . . 541 
The Pope imposes no fresh taxes his assiduity for the 

provisioning of Rome ..... 542 

His efforts to preserve Rome from the plague . . 543 

1580 His care for the sick in an outbreak of influenza. . 544 

Mendicants and vagabonds Public morals . . 545 

Strictness of Gregory XIII. as to the Carnival . . 546 

Restrictions in theatrical performances . . . 548 

Efforts to improve the ports of the Papal States . . 549 

Works at Ancona and Civitavecchia . . . . 55 

Terracina and Lore to . . . . . 551 

1580-1581 Description of Rome by Montaigne . . . 55 2 

Plans of Rome by Du Perac-Lafrery ." . . . 554 
" Rome the most cosmopolitan city in the world " 

(Montaigne) ....... 559 



The mand -.iti, vrgistri, etc. of Gregory XIII. . . . 560 

Chief architects employed by the Pope : Yignola, della 

Porta and Lunghi . ..... 561 

And the painters : Vasari, Zuccaro and Muziano . . 562 
W r ith them many others associated . . . .563 

The artistic programme of Gregory XIII. . . . 564 

One of his chief cares the completion of St. Peter s . 565 

Unfortunate destruction of older remains . . . 566 

The Gregorian Chapel ...... 567 



1580 Translation to St. Peter s of relics of St. Gregory 

Nazianzen ....... 570 

1581 Montaigne s account of the Gregorian Chapel . . 573 
Much restoration in the churches . -574 
The Lateran, St. Mary Major and Aracoeli . -575 
New Church of the Gesu . . . . . 576 

And of the Oratorians : Sta Maria in Vallicella . .580 

Many other convents and churches assisted . . 582 

The Greek Church and College of St. Atanasio . . 584 

The English College and that for Maronites . . 585 

The Roman College of the Jesuits .... 586 

Reconstruction of the Roman University . . .589 

Establishment of hospitals ..... 590 

Erection of fountains ...... 592 

Improvement of the streets and roads in view of the 

Jubilee of 1575 594 

New appoach to the Capitol The Borgo Pio . . 595 

Restoration of the bridges . . . . .596 

But the removal of materials from ancient buildings 
continues ....... 597 

Works at the Cancellaria and the Capitol . . . 598 

1574 The Pope issues a Constitution concerning building . 600 

Previous enactments of earlier Popes . . . .603 

What the Constitution aimed at and its provisions . 604 




1576 Gratitude of the Romans to Gregory XIII.. . . 607 

Statue and inscription in his honour . . . .608 

Extensive works at the Vatican .... 609 

Frescoes by Vasari . . . . . . .609 

Also by Sabbatini, Sammachini and others . . . 610 

Work in the Pauline Chapel and the halls . . 613 

And in the Loggie .... . . 614 

The Galleria Geografica . . . . . .616 

The maps by Ignazio Danti . . . . .617 

The so-called " Tower of the Winds " . . .621 

Visits of the Pope to the villa of Cardinal Este on the 

Quirinal ....... 622 

1583 He decides upon the erection of a Papal residence there 622 

1584 The works in the Quirinal ..... 624 

Frequent visits of the Pope to Frascati . . . 625 

Works at Fiumicino, Civitavecchia and Ancona . .626 

Improvement of roads and bridges . . . .627 

Benefactions to Loreto . . . . . .628 

Number of schools and seminaries erected at the Pope s 

expense . . . . . . .629 

Vigour and strength of the Pope .... 630 



1581 His recovery from an illness . 

- -Ss His activity in all affairs . 

Holds a consistory on April 8th, is taken ill and dies 

Burial rnthGregorian Chapel the monument to him 637 
Estimate and importance of the pontificate ot 
Gregory XIII. . . 

" His memory must always remain in benediction 



I. Camillo Capilupi to the Duke of Mantua . . 644 

II. Cleansing of morals in Rome, 1573-1582 . . 644 

III. Pompeo Strozzi to the Duke of Mantua . . . 647 

IV. Pompeo Stroz/i to the Duke of Mantua . . . 647 
V. AvvisodiRomaof October 3oth, 1577 . . . 647 

VI. Ciov. Ant. Odescalchi to the Duke of Mantua . . 648 

VII. Avvisidi Roma of August 6th and loth, 1580 . . 648 

VIII. Audiences of Cardinal Santori with Gregory XIII. 

concerning the Greek Church of S. Atanasio . 649 

IX. AvvisodiRomaof May 30th, 1584 . . . . 649 

X. AvvisodiRomaof June 61 h, 1584 .... 650 

XI. Notes on the pictures and buildings of Gregory XIII. 650 

XXI 11 



THE politico-religious struggles in the Low Countries, which 
were closely connected with the disturbances in France, had 
occupied the attention of Gregory XIII. and his advisers 
since the beginning of the pontificate. The development of 
affairs there had been followed in Rome with the greatest 
interest because a triumph of Calvinism in the Low Countries 
would be of decisive importance to the future of the Church, 
not only in France, but also in England and Germany. 

William of Orange, who was the soul of the opposition to 
Spain in Holland, was obviously principally influenced by 
political considerations. His sense of statesmanship clearly 
recognized the impossibility of drawing the whole of the 
seventeen provinces into united action against Philip II., 
which would have given a completely free hand to the 
Calvinists, whose principal object was the total destruction 
of the Catholic Church, whereas the majority of the people 
of the Netherlands still belonged to the latter. Not content 
with prohibiting Catholic worship, and the spoliation of 
churches and monasteries, the Calvinists practised the most 
brutal ferocity against the Catholic priests. They initiated 
a methodical persecution of them and the unfortunate men 
who fell into their power were put to death with every refine 
ment of torture. " Never," wrote a contemporary on May 
3oth, 1572, " has the holy Church been so persecuted either 
by Goths or Turks." 1 A leading part in this was taken by 
the head of the Gueux, Count William von der Mark, Lord 

1 Cf. BLOK, Verslag van onderzoekingen naar Archivalia in 
Italic, s Gravenhage, 1901, 34 seq. ; HOLZWARTH, II., i, 496 seq., 
II., 2, 63, 85 seq., 98 seq., 133 seq., 512 ; PIRENNE, IV., 40 seq. 



of Lumey, who on July gth, 1572, at Briel, sent to the gallows, 
after many tortures, seventeen religious, for the most part 
Franciscans, and two lay-brothers, who had almost all fallen 
into the hands of the Gueux at Gorcum. 1 Such persecution 
of the Catholics involved Orange in the danger of losing, 
in his struggle with Spain, the southern provinces, which 
were almost entirely Catholic. He therefore wished, together 
with Calvinism, to tolerate the practice of Catholic worship 
as well, a plan the realization of which met with the greatest 
opposition on the part of Calvinist fanaticism. Since the 
Calvinists were Orange s strongest supporters, he formally 
joined their church in October, 1573, but, for political reasons, 
he was still unwilling to consent to the immediate suppression 
of Catholic worship, and at first would only countenance a 
division of the churches and of ecclesiastical property between 
the Protestants and Catholics. This brought down upon him 
the wrath of the Calvinist pastors, who denounced him as 
an atheist, and declared that the prince changed his religion 
as he would his coat, that all he cared about was considerations 
of state, and that he worshipped his own advantage as his 
God. 2 

A politician who was able so cleverly to draw advantage 
out of every circumstance was bound to prove an extremely 
dangerous enemy to Philip II. That all Alba s efforts had 
turned to the advantage of Orange alone was obvious to anyone 
who studied the situation at the moment when Gregory XIII. 
ascended the throne. The iron military dictatorship of the 
duke, and his system of taxation which threatened to bring 

1 See G.Esxius, Hist. Martyrum Gore., Douai, 1603; Acta Sanct. 
lulii II., 754 seq. ; HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 25 seq., 47 seq.; Katholik, 
1867, II., 253 seq., 457 seq., 579 seqq. ; FRUIN in Verspreide 
Geschnften, II., 277 seq. ; MEUFFELS, Les martyrs de Gorcum, 
Paris, 1908. G. HESSE, De Martelaren van Roermond, Sittard, 
1911 ; cf. Anal. Holland., XXXVIII. (1920), 447 seq. 

2 See PIRENNE, IV., 49 seq., 143, 185. Even as late as 1578 
Mass was being said in Orange territory, at Breda, to the great 
indignation of the Calvinists ; see BEZOLD, Briefe des Pfalzgrafen 
Joh. Casimir 1., Munich, 1882, 326. 


ruin upon a people that was so rich in commerce and industry, 
had led at the beginning of 1572 to the insurrection of Holland 
and Zeeland. Although Alba remained for the moment 
master in the field, he was unable to subdue the cities of 
Holland. This unfortunate state of affairs, and the complaints 
which reached him from all parts, shook the confidence of 
Philip II., who, alarmed at the extraordinary cost of the war, 
at length resolved to change the governor. When, on December 
i8th, 1573, the duke left the Low Countries, the entire 
responsibility for the catastrophes which had occurred during 
his period of government was laid upon his shoulders. The 
hatred which his oppressive rule had aroused not only weakened 
the authority of the King of Spain, but also that of the Catholic 
Church. Later on the Bishop of Namur was of the opinion 
that Alba, in seven or eight years, had done more harm to 
the cause of religion than had been done by Luther, Calvin, 
and all their supporters together. 1 This was of course a great 
exaggeration, which nevertheless contained an element of 

It was also realized in Rome that the pacification of the 
Low Countries could never be brought about by the violent 
methods of Alba. Gregory XIII. wished for a peaceful 
settlement of the controversies between Philip II. and his 
subjects in the Low Countries, all the more so as the con 
tinuance of the rising made the necessary league against 
the Turks impossible, as well as the struggle against Queen 
Elizabeth of England. 2 The Pope therefore was disposed 
towards a peaceful settlement with the rebels, and said 
that they must not be afraid of treating with Orange himself. 3 

After the departure of Alba, Philip II. unfortunately 
refused to go in person to the Low Countries, as Pius V. had 
already several times advised him to do. 4 It was in vain 
that the theological faculty at Louvain appealed to his 

1 See GACHARD, Actes des fitats-Generaux, I., Brussels, 1861, 

2 See HANSEN, Nuntiaturberichte, II., xxxvi. seq. 

3 See Corresp. de Philippe II., ed. GACHARD, III., 68. 

4 See Vol. XVIII. of this work, pp. 10, 93. 


feelings as a man and a Catholic, and adjured him to come 
to their country. Once again the government passed into 
the hands of an official who was always a Spaniard and looked 
down upon the Netherlanders ; this was Luis Requesens, 
hitherto viceroy at Milan. The choice of this man, apart 
from anything else, cannot be described as a happy one : 
Requesens was indeed worthy of all respect and was a man 
of strong Catholic sentiments, but he was in bad health, 
hot-tempered and nervous, and proved himself by no means 
suited to his difficult task. 1 

Orange did his best to make the task of Requesens more 
difficult and to spread mistrust of him everywhere, because 
it was only by maintaining a state of unrest that he could 
attain his ends. He had the satisfaction of knowing that by 
the autumn of 1574 the new governor was already more hated 
than Alba. 2 The death of Requesens at the beginning of 
March, 1576, was for him a happy release. In consequence 
of his unexpected demise the government passed into the 
hands of the Council of State, whose position immediately 
became extremely difficult. 

Even in the time of Requesens the discontent in the provinces 
which still remained loyal to the king and the Church had 
become so great, that they would have joined the insurgents 
of the north, if they had not feared the suppression of their 
religion on the part of the Calvinists. The general indignation 
was increased by the mutiny which broke out among the 
Spanish troops who were in need of money and the necessaries 
of life. This was turned to good effect by Orange, who was 
able so cunningly to conceal his real purposes that even many 
Catholic priests believed that he was still a Catholic at heart ! 
With insidious devices the prince was put forward as the 
defender of the liberties of his country and the common 
saviour from the tyrannical government of the Spaniard. 3 

When the ground had been sufficiently prepared by means 
of an unscrupulous propaganda, Orange, who was the guiding 

1 See PIRENNE, IV., 65 seq. ; BLOK, III., 164 seq. 

2 See PIRENNE, IV., 68. 
8 See ibid. 100. 


spirit of the whole movement, 1 thought that the time had 
come to venture upon an act of violence. In the autumn 
of 1576 the members of the Council of State were arrested, 
and by means of the States of Brabant, Flanders and Hainault, 
the States General were convoked. Further revolutionary 
steps followed. Thereafter things moved swiftly along their 
beaten path. Simultaneously with the demand for the 
withdrawal of the Spanish troops, the assembly of the States 
General formed a national army which at once marched 
against the royal troops. The latter withdrew to the fortress 
of Antwerp. Incited by the delay in the discharge of their 
pay, they there began to sack and massacre, and as a 
consequence hastened on the conclusion of a treaty of alliance 
between the States General and Holland and Zeeland. The 
principal obstacle to this had lain in the religious question. 
The provinces of the north, where the Calvinists had obtained 
the upper hand, remained firm in their suppression of Catholic 
worship within their territories. Influenced by the cruelties 
practised at Antwerp and the threatening attitude of the 
masses of the people, 2 even the representatives of the Catholics 
of the south gave their consent. Thus the Pacification of 
Ghent was concluded on November 8th, 1576. The States 
of Flanders, Brabant, Hainault, Artois, Valenciennes, Lille, 
Douai, Orchies, Namur, Tournai, Utrecht, and Malines on 
the one hand, and those of Holland and Zeeland under Orange 
on the other, promised mutual assistance against their enemies, 
especially in driving out the Spanish soldiers. Later on the 
States General were to be summoned from all the provinces 
of the Low Countries in order to regularize what had been 
done. In the meantime all the edicts and enactments of 
Alba against the heretics were suspended, and the absolute 
authority of Calvinism in Holland and Zeeland was guaranteed, 
though these two provinces were not to undertake any 

1 See RITTER, in Deutsche Zeitschr. f. Geschiohtswissenschaft, 
III. (1890), 28 seq. ; BLOK, HI., 20 seq. 

2 Catholics who resisted the complete confiscation of their 
churches were threatened with massacre ; see Corresp. de Philippe 
II., ed. GACIIARD, IV., 769 seq. 


proceedings against the Catholic Church outside their own 
territories. 1 

A little while before the signing of the Pacification of 
Ghent the new governor at length arrived . This was the half- 
brother of Philip II., Don John of Austria. The victor of 
Lepanto came full of far-reaching plans. Armed with 
authority to make great political concessions, he hoped that 
he would very soon be able to smooth over the disturbances 
in the Low Countries, and then lead his forces in a bold coup 
de main across the Channel, liberate Mary Stuart, depose 
Elizabeth, and himself ascend the English throne with the 
Queen of Scots. 2 His passionate character made him totally 
unfit for his position, nor was he destined to succeed in winning 
any sympathies in the Low Countries. Orange made every 
effort from the first to oppose the Hapsburg prince, who had 
before anything else to engage in a struggle to obtain 
recognition as governor. In spite of this, after months of 
negotiation there was concluded on February i2th, 1577, 
the so-called Perpetual Edict. This confirmed the Pacification 
of Ghent, and approved the withdrawal of the Spanish troops, 
while on the other hand the States General bound themselves 
to recognize the royal authority and to maintain the Catholic 
religion everywhere, even in Holland and Zeeland. 3 This 
treaty, which was at once approved by Philip II., and was in 
striking contrast to the Pacification of Ghent, was a severe 
blow to Orange and the Calvinists. The news of its conclusion, 
which reached Rome in the middle of March, caused the 
greatest joy there. 4 

A month earlier the Pope had sent to the Low Countries 

1 RlTTER, I., 496. HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 323 Seq. PlRENNE, 

IV., 109 seq. BLOK, III., 208 seq. ; HUBERT, 35 seq. 

2 See HAVEMANN, Don Juan, 186 seq., 194 seq. ; KRETSCHMAR, 
47 seq. ; cf. HUYBERS, Don Juan van Oostenrijk, landvoogt der 
Nederlanden, 2 Vols, Amsterdam, 1915. 

8 See HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 362 seq. ; BLOK, III., 218 seq., 224 ; 
PIRENNE, IV., 126; HUBERT, 36. 

4 See *Odescalcm"s report, dated March 16, 1577, m the Gonzaga 
Archives at Mantua. Cf. also the Briefs in THEINER, II., 334 seq. 


a special nuncio in the person of Filippo Sega, with instructions 
to support the peace proposals of Don John, to defend Catholic 
interests in the settlement of the various questions, and finally 
to further the expenditure against England, for which purpose 
he had been given a letter of credit for 50,000 gold ducats. 1 
When Sega reached the Low Countries he found that one 
part of his mission, namely that which was concerned with 
Catholic interests, had already been fulfilled by the Perpetual 
Edict, but he could not fail to see how difficult was the position 
of Don John, since Orange was doing all in his power to reopen 
the quarrel, which had just been healed. Sega supported 
Don John both with his advice and by his actions. In view 
of the want of money felt by the new governor, he did not feel 
any hesitation in handing over to him the draft for 50,000 
gold ducats, which had been intended solely for the war 
against Elizabeth of England. It was entirely in keeping 
with the intentions of the Pope when Sega also energetically 
promoted the cause of Catholic restoration by recommending 
to the bishops of the Low Countries their duty of residence. 2 
In purely political matters the nuncio brought his influence 
to bear for the complete reconciliation of the provinces with 
Spain, though in this question, in accordance with the 
instructions which he had received, he maintained a wise 
reserve. In July came his transference to the nunciature 
at Madrid, rendered vacant by the death of Ormaneto. 3 
By this time it could already be foreseen that the 

1 See MAFFEI, I., 261 seq. ; HANSEN, Nimtiaturberichte, 1., 
309 ; KTREZSCHMAR, 50 seq. The brief to Don John, dated 
February IT, 1577, regarding Sega s mission, in THEINER, II., 333. 
Sega s credentials also dated February n, 1577, in PIOT, Corresp. 
de Granvelle, VI., 205 note. On the same day Grgeory XIII 
informed the Cardinals of Sega s appointment ; see *Acta consist., 
Consistorial Archives of the Vatican. Sega was even expected 
to treat with Orange ; see THEINER, II., 335. 

2 See MAFFEI, I., 262 seq., 266 ; cf. A. TIEPOLO, 265. 

3 See *" Relatione compendiosa della negotiatione di Mgr. 
Sega " in the Inf. polit., 28, p. 309 seq. in the State Library at 
Berlin. See Vol. XIX. of this work, p. 352, n. 2. 


restoration of peace was not to be expected from the Perpetual 
Edict. The Calvinists of Holland and Zeeland refused to 
accept the settlement unconditionally, because they were 
not willing to abandon their persecution of the Catholics. 
The agents of Orange were active in their efforts to stir up 
the southern provinces against the governor of Philip II., 
and in this they were successful beyond all expectations. 
Don John very soon realized that the ground was tottering 
under his feet. Having learned that Orange was preparing 
a blow in order to obtain possession of his person, he left 
Brussels. A bold stroke on July 24th, 1577, placed him in 
possession of the citadel of Namur. The cry of the perfidy 
of the Spaniards echoed throughout the country. The hour 
haa come for Orange to reap the harvest of his anti-monarchical 
propaganda. Antwerp and Brussels hailed him joyfully as 
the " restorer of freedom and fatherland," and the States 
of Brabant chose him as the regent of their territory. Nor 
was his advantageous position in the least degree shaken by 
the choice as governor of the Archduke Matthias, the younger 
brother of the Emperor Rudolph II., which had been brought 
about by the jealous aristocracy. Orange was able with 
extraordinary cleverness to win over the young and inexperi 
enced Hapsburg prince to his policy, and thus reduce him 
to a mere figurehead. The military and political direction 
of the insurrection remained in his own hands. Even in 
religious matters he gained an important victory by the 
union at Brussels of the seventeen provinces of the Low 
Countries, which took place on December loth, 1577. 
Whereas the Perpetual Edict had obliged the States General 
to " support in every way and everywhere the Catholic 
religion," in this new agreement, the Calvinists and Catholics, 
in the interests of their struggle with the common enemy, 
guaranteed each other mutual toleration. 1 What this meant 
to the adherents of the Catholic Church was soon to be seen. 
Deaf to the warnings of the Pope, 2 the majority of the 

1 See PIRENNE, IV., 127 seq., 135 seq., 140 seq., 150 seq. 

2 See the memorandum to the Netherlands episcopate of 
November 16, 1577, in THEINER, II., 336 seq 


Catholics, out of hatred for Spain, had made common cause 
with the Calvinists, who, however, were not on that account 
at all disposed to abandon the destruction " of the papistical 
idolatry." After they had, even in 1577, taken every 
advantage of the political position in order to carry on an 
agitation in their own favour, and to perpetrate acts of violence, 
such as the arrest of the Bishops of Bruges and Ypres, at the 
beginning of the following year there broke out in several 
places a storm against the Catholic Church, which rivalled 
that of 1566. 

The Calvinist preachers, and with them a horde from the 
Palatinate, and Netherlander priests who had fled to the 
Palatinate, with the violent Peter Dathenus at their head, 
made their way into Flanders and Brabant, and cleverly 
profiting by the political conditions, launched a campaign 
to the death against the ancient Church. 1 An oath was 
imposed upon Catholic priests to treat Don John as an enemy 
and not to preach against apostasy from the faith. Anyone 
that refused was subjected to every kind of persecution. 
In May the Jesuits and Franciscans at Antwerp were driven 
out, and their churches profaned. As early as January the 
Jesuits had had to fly from Utrecht, and the same thing 
happened to the Franciscans in April. At Amsterdam at 
the end of May the Calvinists made their way into the Rathaus, 
drove out the Minorites and pillaged the churches, in which 
Calvinist sermons were at once begun. Similar scenes took 
place at Haarlem. The fanatical mob carried out a terrible 
work of destruction at Ghent ; as a result of the Calvinist 
preaching Catholic priests were not able by March to walk 
through the streets in their habits. In May a storm of 
iconoclasm was begun in the churches and convents. Aftei 
the walls of the Catholic churches had been carefully washed 
and covered with whitewash, they were used for Calvinist 
worship. On June 28th six religious were burned alive on 
false charges. In a like manner in many other places in 

1 For what follows cf. HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 419 seq ; RJTTER, I., 
536 seq. ; BLOK, III., 256. 


Flanders the Catholic priests were ill-treated and persecuted, 
their churches profaned, and church property put up for 
auction. 1 At the end of August Dathenus wrote that ol 
the twenty-eight cities of Flanders twenty-four had received 
the " Gospel." He said nothing about the fact that his 
followers there " had sacked and devastated churches, 
convents, abbeys and hospitals with worse cruelties than 
Moors and barbarians." At Antwerp by the end of October 
six churches had been taken from the Catholics and handed 
over to the Calvinists. 2 

In Rome the course of events in the Low Countries was 
being followed with ever growing anxiety. 3 Now as before 
the Pope favoured a peaceful settlement of the disturbances 
that were taking place. 4 In view of the contradictory 
accounts that arrived of the complicated events, it was 
extremely difficult to decide whether it would be opportune 
to send a Papal legate for the restoration of peace. A special 
commission composed of Cardinals Morone, Galli, Granvelle, 
Sforza, Orsini, Madruzzo and Guastavillani was formed to 
treat of this matter. 5 Although the greater number of the 
Pope s advisers thought that " the appearance of the apostolic 
cross " in the rebellious provinces was premature, 6 neverthe 
less the nuncio in Germany, Bartolomeo Portia, received that 
charge at the end of 1577, w ^ n directions himself to obtain 
further information from the Low Countries. Prevented 
by the disturbances caused by the war from making his own 
observations on the spot, Portia was enabled, from the news 
which he received, to come to the conclusion that nothing 

1 See PIRENNE, IV., 174 seq. ; HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 425 seq. 

2 See v. BEZOLD, Briefe, I., No. 115 note; HOLZWARTH, II., 
2, 455 ; RITTER, I., 537. 

3 See *Odescalchi s reports dated Rome, July 24, August 14, 
October 12, December 4, 1577, in the Gonzaga Archives at 

4 Cf. HANSEN, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 173, n. 3, II., xxxviii. 

5 See MAFFEI, I., 267. 

6 Odescalchi reports this in his memorandum dated Rome, 
November 27, 1577, in the Gonzaga Archives at Mantua. 


but armed force would be able to restore order in the Low 
Countries. 1 On the other hand the Pope was informed that 
the inhabitants of that unhappy country had become so 
alienated from Spain, that nothing but the mediation of a 
third power could restore peace ; Gregory XIII., therefore 
brought his influence to bear upon Philip II. to accept the 
mediation of the Emperor. 2 

Statements of a similar nature confirmed Gregory XIII. 
in his desire to attempt once more a peaceful intervention in 
the disturbances in the Netherlands instead of the drastic 
procedure against the States General which was desired by 
Spain. 3 News of the negotiations of the Duke of Anjou with 
the insurgents decided the Pope in June, 1578, to take definite 
steps. First there came the mission of Frangipani to Henry 
III. to prevent the alliance between Anjou and the Nether- 
landers. 4 Then at the end of June Cardinal Madruzzo was 
charged to enter into negotiations with the Emperor Rudolph 
II. for the cessation of the disturbances in the Low Countries. 
The Pope s plan was built upon the fact that he believed, as 
did Philip II., that it was first of all necessary to remove 
the Archduke Matthias. The Emperor Rudolph must 
further forbid any assistance begin given to the insurgents 
within the Empire. But Gregory XIII. intended to carry 
out his real peace negotiations himself, by means of his 
legates. 5 

At the beginning of July 1578 Madruzzo set out ; in order 
to obtain a happy issue to his mission the Pope ordered special 
prayers and processions by means of the promulgation of a 

1 See HANSEN, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 205, 214, 255, II., 
xxxviii seq. 

8 See THEINER, II., 430 seq. and HANSEN, loc. cit., II., 

8 The opposition in Rome asserted that the " stati uniti " did 
wish to remain Catholic ; see *Odescalchi s report dated Rome, 
April 5, 1578, in the Gonzaga Archives at Mantua. 

4 See the *Relatione di Mgr. Sega in the Inf. polit., 28, p. 331, 
in the State Library at Berlin. 

6 See HANSEN, loc. cit., II., XL seq., 195 seq., 203 seq. 


general jubilee. 1 Since neither the Emperor nor Philip II. 
raised any objection to the sending of a Papal representative 
to the discussions of the Assembly for the pacification of the 
Low Countries, at the end of August 1578 this charge was laid 
upon Gian Battista Castagna, a man who was in great favour 
at the court of Spain. 2 A long time nevertheless had to 
elapse before the negotiations between the representatives 
of the States General and those of Philip II. were opened 
at Cologne under the mediation of the Emperor. 

In the meantime a change of great importance had begun 
to take place in the Low Countries. Since Orange wished 
to unite the whole nation against Spain the wild excesses of 
the Calvinists were bound to be very distasteful to him. 
But at the same time he had no means of restraining them, 
for the very reason that he would thus have lost his strongest 
support against Spain. The less successful were his attempts 
to curb the terrorism of the Calvinists, the less satisfied were 
the Catholics with his government, and they little by little 
became accustomed to the idea of a reconciliation with the 
Spanish power, which at any rate gave them assurance of 
personal safety and the defence of their faith. 3 

The Catholic Walloons in Hainault and Artois acted with 
the greatest determination. There for the first time a definite 
stand was made against revolutionary excesses. The leader 
ship in this movement was taken by the Catholic Bishop of 

1 After the Pope had come to an agreement with the Cardinals 
and had obtained their consent in a consistory held on July 23, 
1578 (see *Acta consist. Consistorial Archives of the Vatican) 
a Bull was prepared on July 30 (reprinted by THEINER, II., 
431 seq., and also to be found in Compte rendu de la Commiss. 
d hist. de Belgique, V., 2 (1892), 465 seq.). Cf. also *Odescalchi s 
report of July 26, 1578, in the Gonzaga Archives at Mantua, and 
the Avviso di Roma of August 9, 1578, Urb. 1046, p. 289, Vatican 

2 See THEINER, II., 433 seq. ; HANSEN, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 
218 seq. (reprint of the Instruction dated August 29, 1578) ; 
BROM, Archivalia, I., 223 seq. 

8 See BLOK, III., 256 seq. 


Arras, Matthieu Moullart, Jean Sarrazin, the Abbot of Saint- 
Vaast, and the Catholic nobles. 1 They clearly realized the 
consequences that threatened them if the revolutionary 
movement should penetrate into their Catholic district, as it 
had especially succeeded in doing at Ghent. 2 As soon as this 
danger seemed to be imminent, they energetically took up an 
attitude of defence. In October, 1578, the States of Hainault 
and Artois planned the formation of a Catholic league, which 
had for its object the strict carrying out of the terms of the 
Pacification of Ghent, defence against " the barbarous and 
worse than Spanish arrogance of the secretaries and their 
accomplices " and the maintenance of the Catholic faith. 
The authors of this plan had taken their stand upon an 
absolutely legal basis, and no fault could be found with them 
if they were determined to defend themselves against the 
violation of solemn pledges given by the Calvinists. 3 

The Walloon provinces were successful in warding off a 
tyrannical Protestant government ; first of all at Arras, and 
afterwards at Lille and Douai, their adversaries were defeated. 
Here, as in the whole of the remainder of the Walloon territory, 
an end was put, together with Calvinism, to the rule of the 
democratic masses, in favour of the aristocracy and the upper 
classes of the people. On January 6th, 1579, Artois, Hainault, 
Lille, Douai and Orchies formed the Union of Arras, the object 
of which was the defence of the Catholic religion and 
reconciliation with Philip II. 4 

The answer to this was the Union of Utrecht, which was 
formed on January 23rd, 1579, between the five northern 

1 See PIRENNE, IV., 192 seq., which shows that Ranke s state 
ments (Papste, II. [8], 63 seq.) need correction. For particulars 
of Moullart cf. Gallia christ., III. ; for particulars of Sarrazin 
see HIRSCHAUER, Corresp. de J. Sarrazin, Arras, 1912. 

2 See Michele s report in ALBERT, I., 4, 400. 
* According to PIRENNE, IV., 202. 

4 See HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 460 seqq. ; PIRENNE, IV., 204 seq. ; 
BLOK, III., 268 ; HUBERT, 39 seq. ; BUSSEMAKER, De afscheiding 
der Waalsche Gewesten van der Generale Unie, II., Haarlem, 
1896, 124 seqq. 


provinces which had not surrendered, and from which was to 
emerge the republic of the Netherlands. Holland, Zeeland, 
Utrecht, Guelders, Groningen and Ommelande, to which there 
were soon joined Friesland and Overyssel, as well as Calvinist 
Ghent, Ypres, Antwerp, Bruges and Brussels, formed a union 
similar to the Swiss Confederation, for the defence of the 
national rights and the Pacification of Ghent. The decisions 
of the league on religious questions were naturally an obstacle 
to this alliance. Holland and Zeeland were to go on as they 
thought best, and the other provinces received a like liberty. 
The religious settlement which had been come to in July by 
Orange and the States General was urged upon them, according 
to which the right to practise any religion and the distribution 
of the churches between the Calvinists and the Catholics was 
made dependent upon the existence of a sufficient number 
of the adherents of the respective religions. 1 

After this events moved quickly. It was in vain that 
Orange attempted to prevent the reconciliation of the Walloon 
provinces with Spain. He met his match in Alessandro 
Farnese, in whom Philip II. had at length set a capable man 
at the head of affairs, after Don John, who was a soldier, 
but no diplomatist or politician, 2 had died on October ist, 
1578. 3 The high hopes with which Gregory XIII. hailed this 
appointment 4 were fully justified. Equally distinguished 
as a general and as a diplomatist, the son of Margaret, the 
former regent of the Low Countries, and of Ottavio Farnese, 
possessed all the qualities for resuming the struggle with 
Orange. 5 

1 See HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 440 seq, ; BLOK, III., 276 seq. ; 

RlTTER, I., 545. 

2 See FEBVRE S opinion, in Philippe II. et la Franche-Comte, 
Paris, 1914, 699. 

8 According to *Odescalchi s memorandum of October 18, 1578, 
" domenica sera " came to Rome by the " dolorosa nova " and 
caused much grief to the Pope. Gonzaga Archives at Mantua. 

* Brief of December 3, 1578 ; see BROM, Archivalia, I., 225. 

6 See FEA, A. Farnese, Torino, 1886; HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 
446 seq. ; PIRENNE, IV., 243 seq. ; BLOK, III., 282 seq. 


Without paying any attention to the peace congress at 
Cologne, from whose deliberations, 1 which had been begun 
on May 7th, 1579, Farnese looked for no results, he brought 
to a conclusion the separate negotiations with the Walloon 
provinces. On May I7th a treaty was concluded at Arras 
between himself and the Walloon territories of Artois, Hainault, 
Lille, Douai and Orchies, by which those territories dissociated 
themselves from the insurgents, and submitted themselves 
to the crown of Spain. They naturally insisted upon a great 
measure of autonomy and freedom. Philip II. had to promise 
to protect the privileges of the States, to remove the foreign 
troops, and always to appoint as governor-general a member 
of his own family. In return an oath of obedience and of the 
preservation of the Catholic faith was taken. 2 

The decisive and highly important change which thus took 
place in the affairs of the Low Countries by means of the 
Peace of Arras, was principally owing to the Walloon clergy. 
They alone, from the commencement and throughout the 
course of the negotiations, which took place in the celebrated 
Abbey of Saint- Vaast, showed a complete understanding of 
the position, while the aristocracy and the States still hesitated 
for a long time in consequence of the deep-rooted antipathy 
for Spain. On April 27th, 1579, the ecclesiastical States 
had informed the Pope of their intention. In this document 
they pointed, as the reason for the attitude taken up by the 
Walloon States, to the misdeeds of the Calvinists, the 
destruction of the churches, and the banishment of the clergy 
in almost every part of Flanders. Whereas they had actually 

1 For particulars of the nugatory proceedings of the Cologne 
Peace Congress, and the attitude of Castagna see GACHARD, 
Corresp. de Guillaume le Taciturne IV., Introduction 98 seq. ; 
KERVYN DE LETTENHOVE, Huguenots, V., 395 seq. ; LOSSEN in 
Hist. Taschenbuch, V., 6, 277 seq. ; HANSEN in the Westdeutschen 
Zeitschrift, XIII., 223 seq. and in the Nuntiaturberichte, II., 
lix. seq. 

2 Sec DUMONT, V., 350. Philip II. ratified the peace as early 
as June 29, 1579 ; see GACHARD, Actes des tats G&ieraux, II., 
No. 1845, 


carried out these cruelties there, in violation of the Pacification 
of Ghent, the Calvinists intended to do the same in Artois 
and especially at Arras, but had been prevented from doing 
so by the fact that the Catholics had plucked up courage, 
and had successfully adopted an attitude of self-defence. 
In order to prevent a recurrence of such acts of violence, 
and for the defence of the Catholic faith, the Walloon States 
had met, and were prepared to be reconciled to Philip II., 
if he, for his part, would guarantee liberal peace terms. To 
this end they asked for the help of the Pope. 1 

When, on May i8th, 1579, Gregory XIII., together with 
praise for the attitude taken up by the States, promised his 
assistance, 2 the peace, as the result of the prudent and 
restrained attitude of Farnese had already been settled, and 
in consequence, not only had an end been put to the tyranny 
and despotism which had prevailed hitherto, but the main 
tenance of the ancient Church in the aforesaid provinces 
had been assured. Even before the news reached Rome, the 
Pope had caused prayers to be said in all the monasteries and 
religious houses for a happy issue. 3 The peace, and the 
capture of Maestricht, which soon followed, filled Gregory 
with the greatest joy. 4 On August ist the Walloon States 
were honoured with a special brief, and Alessandro Farnese 
was sent the blessed hat and sword. 5 After this the Pope 
felt that he could be at peace, which was very welcome to 
him ; 6 thenceforward he could watch the development of 

1 See THEINER, III., 93 seq. Cf. also the "Letter of John 
Metellus Sequanus to Cardinal Sirleto dated Cologne, April 24, 
1579, in which the Cardinal is asked to use his good offices with 
the Pope in favour of peace. Vat. 6190, 2, p. 411 seq., Vatican 

2 See THEINER, III., 94 seq. ; cf. HANSEN, Nuntiaturberichte, 
IL, 329, 337- 

* *Avviso di Roma of June 7, 1597, Urb. 1047, p. 186, Vatican 

4 *Avviso di Roma of July 22, 1579, ibid. 242. 

5 THEINER, III., 95 seq. ; MAFFEI, II., 24. 

6 See the *Memorie of Cardinal Galli, Boncompagni Archives 
at Rome. 


events in the Low Countries with renewed hope ; Bois-le-duc 
and other cities which were tired of the yoke of the Gueux, 
voluntarily returned to their obedience to Philip II. 1 

The sentence pronounced on Orange by the King of Spain 
was answered by the prince in his Apologia. On July 26th, 
1581, the States General of Holland, Zeeland, Flanders, 
Guelders, Friesland, Utrecht, Overyssel and Malines solemnly 
renounced at the Hague their allegiance to the King of Spain. 2 

Now that the authority of the lawful king, which was 
set aside in accordance with the political principles of the 
Huguenots, 3 had actually passed into the hands of Orange, 
it became more and more clear that what was aimed at was 
i he total destruction of the Catholic Church. Orange himself, 
for political reasons, was naturally opposed to a persecution 
of the Catholics, for, with the exception of Zeeland, Calvinism 
had not been successful in obtaining absolute dominion in 
any of the northern provinces. 4 In all that part of the 
country, especially in Utrecht and the west, the Catholics still 
formed the majority ; 5 in consequence, however, of the 
influence of the spirit of Erasmus, they, like that scholar, were 
confused, uncertain and weak ; moreover they had no one to 
lead them, since their bishops had been taken away from them, 
and the spirit of Catholic reform had not as yet penetrated 
among them. 6 Thus it is not surprising that but few of them 

See PIRENNE, IV., 224 seq. ; BLOK, 111., 279. 

2 PUMONT, V., 413. 

3 See KILLER, I., 489, 547 seq. 

4 See BLOK, III., 321. 

5 See ibid. 380. The opinion held by RANKE (Papste, II." 68) 
and others that the northern provinces were " completely pro- 
testant " is untenable. 

8 The great deterioration of the clergy in many places, notably 
in Utrecht, Maastricht and Roermond can be seen from BLOK, 
III., 378 (cf. Katholik, 1871, I., 708 seq.) and FRUIN, Verspreide 
Geschriften, III., s Gravenhage, 1901, 254 seqq. where emphasis 
is also laid on the change for the better which took place towards 
the end of the pontificate of Gregory XI II., when the energetic 
S. Vosmeer infused a new spirit into the clergy of northern 
Holland (see ibid. 286 seq.). 

VOL. XX. 2 


showed any readiness to undergo danger and sacrifice for 
the Catholic faith. Frightened and intimidated, they 
remained partly crushed, partly indifferent, while a noisy 
minority tried to trample upon their religion. And this state 
of affairs gradually grew worse. Thus in 1573 Catholic 
worship in private was still permitted, and Catholics were only 
forbidden the public exercise of their religion. But after 
the renunciation of allegiance to Philip II., the more zealous 
Calvin ists brought fresh pressure to bear, and Orange gave 
way to them completely. An edict published by him on 
December 2oth, 1581, prohibited in the strictest way, both in 
the cities and in the country districts, any meeting whatever 
in the churches or private houses in Holland for the purpose 
of " papistical usages," such as masses, sermons, etc. ; nor 
was it any longer lawful to wear sacerdotal vestments. 1 

In his war against Spain Orange placed his chief hopes in 
the assistance of France, but from the Duke of Anjou he met 
with nothing but disappointment. In the meantime the 
fortune of war was favourable to Farnese. On November 
3oth, 1581, he captured Tournai, and on July 5th, 1582, 
Oudenarde. The terms which he granted to both these cities 
excited general surprise by their moderation. Farnese wished 
to win over his opponents by his leniency. 2 

The question of the possession of Flanders and Brabant, 
which were situated between the Catholic confederation of 
the south and the Calvinist rule in the north, was still in doubt. 
The political anarchy which prevailed in those provinces 
had been made use of in the cities by the Calvinist minority 
for the suppression of Catholic worship. At Brussels, Antwerp 
and Ghent the adherents of the ancient faith were ill-treated 
in defiance of all law and right, and driven into exile. The 
Catholic priests who had the courage to remain were obliged 

1 See H. J. ALLARD, Een Encycliek van Willem den Zwijger, 
Utrecht, 1884. Cf. also DOLLINGER, Kirche und Kirchen, 64 ; 
KNUTTEL, De Toestand der Nederlandsche Katolieken ten tijde 
der Republiek, I., s Gravenhage, 1892, 2 seq. ; HUBERT, 61 ; 
FRUIN, loc. cit., 271 seq. 

* See PIRENNE, IV., 251 seq. 


to say mass with closed doors, as was the case later on in 
France, at the time of the great revolution. In 1584 even 
this was forbidden at Brussels. 1 At last the persecution 
ceased with the victory of Farnese. After Ypres and Bruges 
had fallen at the beginning of 1584, Ghent too was forced 
to surrender in September. When this news reached Rome 
a mass of thanksgiving was celebrated in S. Giuliano, the 
national church of the Flemings. 2 

Already the question was being discussed in Rome of the 
mission of a distinguished prelate to support the work of 
Catholic restoration in the Low Countries, but it was decided 
that the propitious moment had not yet come. 3 With far- 
seeing policy F^arnese promised a general amnesty ; even the 
Calvinists of Ghent, who had committed so many crimes 
against the Catholics, were granted a period of two years to 
decide whether they would in future live as Catholics. In 
the meantime the insurgents had lost their leader by the 
murder of Orange (July loth, 1584). 4 Brussels capitulated 

1 See PIRENNE, IV., 222 seq. 

1 See *Odescalchi s report of October 20, 1584, in the Gonzaga 
Archives at Mantua. 

8 *Agebatur nee non de mittendo aliquo authoritatis praelato 
in Flandriam qui converses confirmaret et quos posset ad meliorem 
reduceret mentem, sed rebus adhuc fluctuantibus expedire non 
est visum quod, ut credo, net postea. Report of F. Sporeno to 
the Archduke Ferdinand dated Rome, September 22, 1584, 
Government Archives at Innsbruck. 

4 For particulars of the murderer Balthasar Gerard and of his 
execution, see GACHARD. Corresp. de Guillaume le Taciturne, VI., 
and Bullet, de I acad. roy. de Belgique, XXIII. ; also FREDERIKS, 
Oorspronkelijke Verhalen en gelijktijdige Berichten van den 
moord gepleegd aan Prins W. v. Oranje, s Gravenhage, 1884. 
For particulars of earlier murder plots of Philip II., the best 
authority is PLATZHOFF, Mordbefugnis, 67 seq. RANKE (Papste, 
II. 8 71) still maintains that " a Jesuit of Treves supported " 
B. Gerard in his murderous designs. This assertion was proved 
to be a calumny as long ago as 1764 by REIFFENBERG (Hist. prov. 
ad Rhen. inf., 296 seqq ; a work which Ranke himself quotes a 
few pages further on !) ; and later on, MARX (Geschichte des 


on March loth, 1585. The siege of Antwerp, the second 
capital of Brabant, proved extraordinarily difficult, 1 but it 
fell at last on August I7th. The time granted to the Pro 
testants there for their acceptance of the Catholic faith was 
extended to four years, on account of their great number. 2 

Then there began everywhere the restoration of the Catholic 
churches, many of which had been converted by the Calvinists 
into warehouses, and even into stables. 3 Filled with renewed 
courage the champions of the Catholic restoration returned 
to their task, which had been interrupted by the revolution. 4 

Er/stiftes Trier, II., 2 [1862], 513 seq.) draws particular attention 
to this fact. But all this did not prevent WENZELBURGER (Hist. 
Zeitschr., LI 1 1., 63 seq.) from referring to Orange s murderer as : 
" armed with the blessing of a Jesuit confessor." Droysen speaks 
in the same strain. For the opposite point of view cf. DUHR, 
Jesuitenfabeln, 724. The *Relatione del successo della morte 
di Guilelmo de Nassau (Inf. polit., XII., 280-287, State Library 
at Berlin) has been over-rated by Ranke. As GACHARD points 
out (Compte rendu de la Commiss. d hist. de Belgique, IV., i [1873], 
61 seq.), it contains nothing new about the deed. FORNERON 
(Rev. de France, May 15, 1881) calls B. Gerard " un fou." The 
news of Orange s death reached Rome in the beginning of August ; 
see F. Sporeno s report dated August 2, 1584. On October 6 
*Sporeno reports that lie handed to the Pope a picture of B. 
Gerard s execution. Government Archives at Innsbruck. For 
particulars of a letter of Baronius about B. Gerard see FRUIN in 
Verslagen en mededel. der K. Akad. van Wetenschapen, XL, Amster 
dam, 1882. 

1 Cf. MOLTKE S opinion on the subject in Ges. Schriften, II., 21. 

2 See PIRENNE, IV., 267 (cf. 259) ; HUBERT, 41. 

3 See ibid. 485. 

4 What great obstacles eminent bishops like Francis Sonnius 
and William Lindanus had to contend with in their efiorts for 
reform, cf. HOLZWARTH, II., 2, 265 seq. ; Katholik, 1871, II., 
103 seq., 442 seq. ; HABETS, Gesch. van het Bisdom Roermond, 
II., Roermond, 1892. Two memoranda of Lindanus, written in 
the year 1578, and preserved in the Secret Papal Archives (Nunziat. 
di Germania, 91, p. 88 seq.} have been published by BROM in the 
Publicat. de la Societe hist, dans le duche de Limbourg, 1892. They 
give us a picture often a sad one of ecclesiastical conditions in 
the Netherlands. 


This was, especially at first, extremely difficult, because the 
Catholics of the southern provinces, who were still under the 
influence of the ideas of Erasmus, displayed such indifference 
and weakness as to afford a striking contrast to the zeal and 
activity of the Calvinists in the north. In the case of the 
majority of the inhabitants of the southern provinces the 
Catholic faith was rather a matter of habit than a real 
conviction. Men followed their religion merely externally 
" as a usage which was deeply rooted by long custom." 1 In 
view of such tepidity and indifference about religion, it is 
hardly surprising that when political disturbances broke out 
men should have turned their backs upon the ancient Church 
merely in order to combat the Spanish dominion. Strenuous 
labours were needed in order to win back such apostates, 
and restore a true religious life to the tepid. 2 

After their separation from the north had removed the danger 
of Calvinist rule from the Walloon provinces, it was soon seen 
that the material losses were greater than the moral. The 
majority of the people, especially in the country districts, 
were still, as before, attached to the ancient Church. 3 There 
fore Gregory XIII., who even in the time of the war in the 
Low Countries had devoted special attention to the work 
of Catholic restoration, 4 was able to hope for the best results, 

1 See PIRENNE, IV., 171. 

1 A memorandum *Remedia pro instauranda in Belgio religione 
catholica, dated Louvain, September 8, 1574, suggests : " Accura- 
tior populi in fide per concionatores doctrina cum visitatione ac 
reformatione cleri ac potissimum cathedralium ecclesiarum 
secundum canones." State Archives at Naples. 

8 See PIRENNE, IV., 172 seq., 486. 

4 See supra, p. 7 in the matter of the commissions entrusted 
to Sega. See also HOLZWARTH (Katholik, 1871, II., 665 seq.} 
where he deals with the unfulfilled project of founding a seminary 
which should serve as a training school for good clergy for the 
northern provinces. The University of Louvain, in 1580, sent 
Gregory XIII. a present of 2,000 gold ducats ; see de RAM, 
Considerations sur 1 hist. de I universit6 de Louvain, Brussels, 
1854, 92. 


all the more so as he was zealously supported by the govern 
ment. It was obviously a disadvantageous circumstance 
that many of the bishops were not suited to their office. 
Requesens had repeatedly complained of the supineness and 
lack of courage of some of the bishops, 1 in whose case the wise 
decrees which had been approved by the synods of 1570 and 
1574, on the basis of the decrees of the Council of Trent, had 
remained to a great extent a dead letter. 2 If, in spite of this, 
the Catholic Church quickly recovered from its state of 
decadence, and began to flourish more than ever, 3 this was 
in no small degree to be attributed to the activity of the 

At first the Jesuits in the Low Countries belonged to the 
Rhenish province of the congregation, until the General, 
Francis Borgia, formed a special Belgian or Flemish province 
on September 24th, 1564. Its development was hindered, 
not only by the insurrection in Holland, but also by the tact 
that Alba, who was a strong supporter of cesaropapalism, 
showed an obvious antipathy for the Society of Jesus. 4 In 
spite of this the Society found many protectors. Better times 
came with Requesens, who fully realized the services which 
the Jesuits could render to the country, and therefore extended 
to them his full sympathy. 5 After his death a further period 
of difficulty for the members of the Society of Jesus ensued, 
with the so-called Pacification of Ghent. The steadfastness 
with which they refused in 1578 to take an oath which was 
incompatible with the rights of the lawful sovereign and the 
interests of the Church led to their expulsion. 6 The Calvinists 

1 See Corresp. de Philippe II., ed. GACHARD, III., 306, 350. 

2 See ibid. 307 ; PIRENNE, IV., 484. 

3 According to PIRENNE,. IV., 486. 

4 See Vol. XVIII., page 104 of this work. 

6 See Corresp. de Philippe II., ed. GACHARD, III., 21 ; FRUIN 
in Verslagen en mededeL der K. Akad. van Wetenschappen, XI., 
322 ; PIRENNE, IV., 498. 

8 See A. PONCELET, La Compagnie de Jesus en Belgique, 
Anvers, 1907, 2. Interesting particulars in the Litt. ann., 
especially 1582, p. 206 seq., 1584, p. 237 seq. 


instinctively recognized in them their most dangerous enemies, 
and wherever they obtained the upper hand the fathers had 
to go away. 1 They repaired to Louvain, where Bellarmine 
taught theology between 1570 and 1576. 2 As Louvain at 
that time was ravaged by a terrible plague the Jesuits under 
took the care of the sick ; four of the fathers succumbed there 
in the performance of this work of charity, and seven others 
died in other places as victims to their love for their neighbour. 

The victories of Alessandro Farnese, which were so decisive 
for the restoration of the ancient Church, were all the more 
gratifying to the Jesuits because friendship for the Order of 
Loyola was a family tradition with the Farnese. Under the 
protection of the victorious general the Jesuits returned 
immediately. They, and in this Philip II., who in other 
respects had shown but little favour towards the Jesuits, was 
in complete agreement with Alessandro Farnese, were to secure 
the spiritual results of the victory. Courtrai had scarcely 
been occupied when the Jesuits appeared there; they also 
quickly made their way to Bruges, Ypres, Ghent, Antwerp 
and Brussels. 3 In 1583 Farnese busied himself with the 
establishment of a Jesuit college at Mons, and the Order owed 
to his intervention with Philip II. the fact that in 1584 its 
right was recognized to acquire and hold property under 
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, as well as that of making free use 
of the privileges granted to it by the Apostolic See. 4 

A special protector of the Jesuits was the Bishop of Liege, 
Gerhard von Groesbeek, who also supported in every possible 
way the needs of the work of Catholic restoration. He 
nevertheless in this met with so much opposition on the part 
of the clergy of Liege, that he was only able to obtain small 
results. 5 His successor, Ernest of Bavaria, who was appointed 

1 Cf. PIRENNE, IV., 499 seq. 

8 Cf. COUDERC, Card. Bellarmin, I., Paris, 1893, 92 seq. ; 
FRENTZ, Kard. Bellarmin, Freiburg, 1921, 35 seq. 

1 See SACCHINI, V., 189. 

* See SACCHINI, V., 189 ; Bullet, de la Commits, d hist. de 
Belgique, V., 2 (1892), 160-1. 

5 See PIRENNE, IV., 410 seq. 


in 1581, was more fortunate. It is worthy of note that it 
was especially under this worldly bishop that the Catholic 
reform made great strides. 1 The principal credit for this 
belongs to the Jesuits, who had great influence with him. 

In the autumn of 1585 the first Capuchins joined the Jesuits 
in that part of the Netherlands which was subject to Spain. 2 
They too co-operated vitally in recovering for the Catholic 
Church the nation that during the rebellion had become a 
playground for the heretics, supported by France, Germany 
and England. 3 If the Capuchins have been called " the 
Jesuits of the Poverello," this is especially true in the case 
of the Spanish Netherlands. 4 Of great importance, too, 
for the ecclesiastical life of that people was the apostolic 
nunciature established at Cologne by Gregory XIII., which, 
in October, 1584, was filled by the capable Bonhomini. 5 Thus 
the Pope, at the close of his pontificate, in the midst of the 
anxieties occasioned by the state of France, could at least 
look with joyful anticipations to the neighbouring territories 
held by Philip II. in the Netherlands. The restoration of 
political order by Farnese could not fail to assist in the triumph 
there of the religious revival. 

1 See ibid. 428 seq. 

2 Cf. BOVERIUS, II., 165 seq. ; ROCCA DA CESINALE, I., 367 seq. ; 
ALENCON, Documents (Paris, 1894), 89 seq. 

3 See Sega s opinion in his report of August 2, 1578, in HANSEN, 
Nuntiaturberichte, II., 212 seq. 

4 Cf. PIRENNE, IV., 515. 

5 See MAERE, Origines de la nonciature de Flandre in the Rev. 
d hist. eccles., VII., 577. Cf. infra p. 382 seq. 



The second year of the pontificate of Gregory XIII. had 
hardly begun when news reached Cologne from Rome that 
the new Pope had especially taken the interests of Germany 
to heart, that he was thinking of enlarging the German College 
at Rome, and that a special congregation of ten Cardinals had 
been appointed to discuss the question of the best way of 
assisting Germany. 1 

This was that German Congregation which, projected under 
Pius IV., 2 had been formed in 1568 by Pius V., but which, 

1 Document dated June 30, 1573, in HANSEN, Rheinische 
Akten, 648. 

* SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten xi. A *Consilium pro restituenda 
Germania (Graziani Archives at Citta di Castello, Instruz., I., 
224) also gives, first and foremost, the following advice : " Con- 
gregatio instituatur, per quam S. D. N. iuvet Germanium in 
spiritu apostolicae mansuetudinis ac veritatis orthodoxae in 
Christo lesu ad maiorem Omnipotentis gloriam. Necessitatem 
congregationis metiri possumus ex interitu aeterno tot animarum, 
ex calamitate nationis christianae, ex S. D. N. obligatione. Tem- 
pus opportunum ex electione tarn pii, tarn sapientis, tarn mansueti 
pontificie, ex sectis et pugnis mutuis haereticorum, unde pax 
ecclesiastica consequatur, ex pace christianorum principum, ex 
spe concepta a piis omnibus. Ad congregationem cardinales 
eligantur, qui pietate, sapientia, dignitate sint excellentes, quibus 
congregatio adiurigatur ex selectis iureconsultis et theologis, qui 
congregation! sint a consiliis. lurisdictio nulla sit congregationi 
ordinaria, sed summa auctoritas et gratia apud S. D. N. et omnes 
statue ecclesiae, quod efflagitat negotii magnitude et difficultas. 
Misisteria congregationis : Primum ut curet concilium oecumeni- 
cum celebrari. Reformationem item universalem expediri em- 
caciter. ..." The approximate date of this document can be 



on account of the unfavourable circumstances, had held its 
meetings " with but little result." 1 At the beginning of 1573 
Gregory XIII. gave it new life ; for its members he chose by 
preference the German Cardinals, Truchsess, Mark Sittich von 
Hohenems, Hosius, Cristoforo and Lodovico Madruzzo ; of the 
Cardinals on the congregation who were not of German origin, 
Morone, Zaccaria Delfino, Farnese and Santa Croce had known 
Germany as nuncios, while Tolomeo Galli, as secretary under 
Pius IV., had had to make himself acquainted with conditions 
there. 2 Truchsess died in this same year, and Commendone 
took his place. 3 

When the hope of being able to strike a powerful blow at 
the Turks had been proved to be impossible of fulfilment, 

fixed from the remark about the council and also from the sentence : 
" In editione librorum observetur cathalogus editus Romae sub 
Paulo IV. cum emendatione S. D. N. (Pius IV.)" ; cf. the above 
sentence about the " electio tarn pii pontificis " which had only 
just recently taken place. 

1 Cardinal Truchsess in the N untiaturberichten , III., xviii. ; 
Cf. Vol. XVIII., p. 247 of this work. 

2 Nuntiaturberichte, III., xv seq. SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 
xvii seqq. 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, III., xv seq. ; Bernerio on March 6, 1574, 
ibid., 366. The session of January 7, 1573, of which both Truch 
sess and Cusano give a report (SCHWARZ, loc. tit., xvii) is also 
mentioned by *Aurelio Zibramonte who says that the following 
cardinals were present : Morone, Truchsess, Farnese, Delfino, 
Galli, Madruzzo, Hosius and F. Boncompagni (letter of January 
J 6, 1573, addressed to the Duke of Mantua : Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). The protocols of the meetings of the German Con 
gregation from May 18, 1573, to February 28, 1578, from a manu 
script in the Borghese Library, are reproduced by SCHWARZ, 
loc. cit. t 73-131. These reports are supplemented by some loose 
sheets, originally prepared for the state secretariate and bound 
up with the volumes of the Nunziat. di Germania. Such reports 
of single sessions are to be found in Vols. XCI. and CII. They 
begin just where the Borghese manuscript stops, i.e. with the 
session of April 17, 1578 (Vol. XCI., 18), and continue up to the 
end of the pontificate of Gregory XIII. 


Gregory XIII. felt doubly inclined to pay all possible attention 
to events in Germany. It was the Cardinal of Augsburg who 
tried to turn to the advantage of his own country the plans 
that had proved vain as far as the east was concerned. 1 In 
every way Otto Truchsess intervened on behalf of his own 
country ; when, in July, 1572, the immediate return of 
Commendone from Poland was erroneously expected, Cardinal 
Otto proposed that Commendone should be employed at 
Vienna for the religious revival in Germany. 2 Cardinal Hosius 
of Ermland, too, intervened with the Pope on behalf of Ger 
many ; he specially urged that steps should be taken to 
bring about the return of Saxony to the Church. 3 It was also 
possible to obtain information as to the state of affairs in 
Germany from the Dominican, Feliciano Ninguarda, who 
was in Rome until September 1572, as the representative of 
the ecclesiastical province of Salzburg. 4 Peter Canisius was 
expected in April, 1573, to take part in the election of the 
new General of the Jesuits ; in the meantime he was charged 
to obtain information from the Archbishop of Salzburg, and 
the princes of the Tyrol and Bavaria, as to what would be in 
their opinion the best way to further the interests of religion. 5 
The Secretary of State, Galli, soon found himself called upon 
to make a definite statement that it was intended to make 
use of none but peaceful means ; at the news of the meeting 

1 Seb. Beretarius in M. RADERUS, De vita Petri Canisii (1614), 

2 SCHWARZ in the Rdmische Quartalschrift, IV. (1890), 40-3. 
The ideas developed in this article will be met with again in 
Otto s later memorandum (see infra p. 28). 

3 SCHWARZ. Zehn Gutachten, xvi. 

* Nuntiaturberichte, III., xiv. 

* Ibid, xxi seqq. * Brief to the Archbishop of Salzburg, dated 
January 24, 1573 : " Volumus dil. fil. Petrum Canisium tecum 
agere nonnullis de rebus ad hanc quam diximus curam pertinenti- 
bus ; cuius verbis fidem adhibebis et quid tibi spiritus s. in 
animum immittat expones, cupimus enim tuam sententiam 
cognoscere, quam propter prudentiam et pietatem tuam plurimi 
facimus." Consistorial Archives, Salzburg. 


of the German Congregation the rumour had been spread, 
especially in Vienna, that Rome was planning a massacre of 
St. Bartholomew against the religious innovators in Germany. 
Galli replied to the request for enlightenment from the nuncio 
in Vienna that there was not the least idea of armed inter 
vention nor of violent measures " which are no longer suited 
to these times, and in no way represent the intentions or ideas 
of the Pope." 1 Cardinal Otto, too, wrote at the beginning 
of 1573 to Duke Albert V. : 2 Gregory XIII. intends to devote 
his attention to Germany " in all kindness and gentleness," 
" zealously and in all seriousness " ; if only he knew what to 
do, how hard he would work ! 

What serious efforts were being made at that time in Rome 
to obtain detailed information as to the state of affairs in 
Germany, is clear from a whole number of written opinions 
intended for the use of the German Congregation, and which 
go in great detail into the means to be adopted in coming to 
the assistance of Germany. 3 The Cardinal of Augsburg had 
already expressed his views on this question to Pius V. in 
1568. He now, at an audience, in January, 1573, laid his 
opinions before the new Pope with certain unessential 
alterations. 4 Zaccaria Delfino, who was at that time nuncio 
in Vienna, made a speech before the German Congregation 
on the same subject before January 7th, 1573, 5 while Peter 
Canisius made a report concerning the information which, 
in accordance with the instructions he had received, he had 
obtained from the Archduke of the Tyrol and the Duke of 
Bavaria as to the best procedure of reform. 6 Canisius had 
handed on the task of consulting the Archbishop of Salzburg 
on the subject to Ninguarda, 7 whose report, however, 8 

1 Galli on March 7, 1573, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., xxi. 
1 On January 31, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., xxiv. 
8 Printed ibid, i seqq. 

4 Ibid., 1-19. For the date of this and the following memoran 
dum, cf. Nuntiaturberichte, III., xviii. 
SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 19-28. 

6 Ibid., 29-33. f- Nuntiaturberichte, III., xxi seq. 

7 Ibid, xxv seq. 

8 Of February 24, 1573, in THEINER, I., 106-9. 


represents his own ideas rather than those of the archbishop. 
Lastly there are a number of reports from unknown writers. 1 

The accounts of the state of Germany which are given in these 
reports present a gloomy picture. Any improvement in the 
state of affairs must start with the bishops, in so far as they 
are still men of good will. But, as Cardinal Otto Truchsess 
points out, the clergy resist the smallest attempt at reform, 
and reject the decrees of Trent, relying on pretended privileges. 
The bishops do not dare to interfere by means of synods, 
visitations or strong measures. If an immoral priest is 
removed by his bishop, he goes to a neighbouring diocese and 
there meets with a ready welcome on account of the scarcity 
of priests, or, as happens every day, he goes to the Protestants, 
from whom he is certain to receive some prominent and 
well-paid office. It is impossible to fill the place of such 
fugitives except by men who have given public scandal, or 
at any rate, have fallen under manifest and grave censures. 
A bishop finds himself in the difficult position of having to 
tolerate against his will parish priests and others who are 
simoniacal, unsuitable, scandalous, excommunicated, and 
the like ; he must keep his parishes filled in some way, for 
otherwise the danger will arise of the parishioners turning to 
the Protestants in order to have a preacher. 2 

Moreover there are a great number of Protestants even in 
the territories of the ecclesiastical princes. 3 Even among the 
counsellors of the bishops there are some who, either openly 
or in secret, favour the new doctrines. 4 The blame for this 
rests with the Protestant universities, whence, according 
to the view of an experienced witness, almost all the errors as 

1 In SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 33-70. No. VII : " Abusus Germaniae " 
(ibid., 50-2) is by the nuncio B. Portia (cf. Nuntiaturberichte, V., 
473-5) < No. VIII. is given in a German translation in Katholik, 
1900, II., 440 seqq. A memorandum of May i, 1573, by Rhetius 
for the German Congregation in HANSEN, Rheinische Akten, 

2 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 4. 

3 Ibid., 34. 

* Mainzer Gutachten, ibid., 37. 


to faith have come. 1 Catholic high schools in Germany are 
very few in number, and these few are in a deplorable state. 2 
Academic degrees, to which great importance is attached in 
Germany, are conferred there as elsewhere indiscriminately, 
upon learned and unlearned, good and bad, Catholics and 
Protestants. 3 The bishops are very badly provided with 
trustworthy assistants, both for the government of their 
temporal territories and for their ecclesiastical administration ; 
there are in fact hardly any men in Germany who are learned, 
honourable, capable, hard-working or God-fearing. 4 

It is a perpetual menace to the German church that in 
filling canonries preference is given to men of noble birth. 5 
Since the young nobles are aware that their birth opens to them 
the way to canonries, prelacies, and the episcopal and archi- 
episcopal dignity, they care nothing about studv or piety, but 
pass their time in drinking, hunting, and with women. Even 
the deans, provosts and archdeacons give for the most part 
the worst possible example. The prelates are rarely to be 
seen in the churches, and the canons hardly ever. If in the 
course of the year there should be some special or rich distribu 
tion of gifts, they walk about chattering outside the choir 
while their representatives perfunctorily go through the 
office. 6 At the office itself they think it beneath their dignity 
to sing even one antiphon or one verse of a psalm ; in their 
opinion it is far more fitting for a noble to make a great show 
in the streets with military trappings and arms, very often 

1 Ibid. 

2 Ibid., 63. 

3 Ibid., 37- 
Ibid., 4. 

5 Cf. ALOIS SCHULTE, Der Adel und die deutsche Kirche im 
Mittelalter (Kirchenrechtliche Abhandlungen, edited by U. STUTZ, 
63-4), Stuttgart, 1910 ; A. L. VEIT in the Hist. Jahrbuch, XXXIII. 
(1912), 323-58, where, on page 325 seq., further literature on the 
subject is given. Examples of the absence of the burgesses from 
the chapters*, in LOSSEN. Kolner Krieg, I., 19 ; FIEDLER, Re- 
lationen, 69 ; SUGENHEIM, Bayrische Kirchenzustande, 96. 

6 SCHWARTZ, loo. cit., 65. 


with gold chains round their necks, and amuse themselves 
with dogs and horses. The revenues of the richest churches, 
so they say, are intended by the will of the founders only for 
the maintenance of the nobles, and the divine office for the 
lower classes ; whence has come the proverb : " the vicars 
go to church for the canons, and the canons go to hell for the 
vicars." 1 Deans, archdeacons and others must, it is true, 
when they take possession of their benefice, take an oath 
to receive sacred orders within a given period, but they evade 
this oath in various ways. Thus it comes about that in the 
greater churches it is rare to find a priest among the canons, 
and this example is only too often followed in the smaller 
churches. 2 For the rest, most of the burgesses can obtain 
admission to the chapters if they have the doctorate, but 
every effort is made to exclude them altogether, which has 
already been the case in some churches. Cologne provides 
an exception ; there the cathedral chapter still contains eight 
doctors, all men of distinction ; these have the same right of 
voting in the chapter as the nobles, but they cannot obtain 
prelacies. 3 Besides their own canonries the noble canons 
obtain possession of all the rich benefices of the whole diocese, 
so that there is no prospect of advancement for other priests, 
no matter how pious or learned they may be. 4 

Before the election of the bishop the canons draw up an 
election capitulation by means of which they strive to protect 
themselves as far as possible against the authority of the 
future bishop and to minimize their own obligations. They 
do not intend, as they say, like common priests, to have 
launched against them visitations, improvement of morals 
or reforms, nor to be hampered by canons and regulations 
like monks, nor to become Jesuits. Each one must take an 
oath that in the event of his being elected bishop he will observe 
this election capitulation, that he will not ask to be dispensed 

1 Ibid., 66. 

2 Ibid., 66 seq. 

3 Ibid., 68 seq. 

4 Ibid., 65 seq. 


from his oath, and that he will not give information as to this 
arrangement to anyone, not even the Pope. 1 

The bishops who are chosen from among such people, 
naturally, after the life they have led, know nothing about the 
administration of their office, nor do they take any interest in 
it, nor do they dare, on account of the election capitulation, 
to touch the plague-spot of their canons, and suffer shocking 
scandals to go on. They hand over the care of the diocese 
to a representative, who, however, has not the necessary 
authority to obtain obedience to his orders ; while they, for 
their part, strive to raise and enrich their own families, amuse 
themselves with a display of luxury and worldly pomp, and 
strive to be looked upon as princes rather than bishops. 2 
The outcome of all this in many dioceses has been either that 
the bishop himself has apostatized from the Church, or that 
the chapter has elected a Protestant as bishop, unless they 
have preferred to make no election at all, and to place the 
civil administration of their hitherto ecclesiastical territory 
in the hands of a Protestant prince. 3 

The salvation of the German Catholics could not, under 
these difficult circumstances, come from the bishops, but only 
from the centre of the universal Church, and nothing short of 
this extraordinary means of salvation seemed to hold out any 
real prospect of success. The evil, so states a report of about 
1576, seems to be almost incurable, for the very reason that 
ecclesiastics and prelates are no longer willing to listen to the 
mother and mistress of all the churches, the Roman Church. 4 
Among many German Catholics, Rome has a bad name, says 
a priest who was probably educated in Rome ; the reply is 
made, if they speak of reform in Germany, that they might 
well make a beginning with Rome itself ; if the suggestions 
for reform, be they mild or be they strong, bear the stamp of 
Rome, they are condemned as harsh and unsuitable, and it is 
only under the pressure of necessity that the appearance of 

1 Ibid., 66. 

2 Ibid., 67. 
8 Ibid., 68. 

SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 37. 


union with the Roman See is still maintained. 1 The Protest 
ants, for their part, among whom the very name of Rome is 
as much hated as that of the Turks, 2 speak in quite another 
way : the conviction of the infamies of the Roman See is with 
them the foundation and pivot of all their doctrines, and 
anyone who could remove this conviction would have healed 
Germany of all her ills. 3 

It is only by taking into consideration such expressions of 
opinion that the importance of the reforms that were carried 
out at the Roman court by Pius V. can be estimated. 4 In 
spite of the hostile suspicion with which the news of this 
initial reform was at first received, it gradually acquired greater 
force. 5 The hope that some day God would raise up a Pope 
who would take Germany to his heart, had been awakened 
among the better disposed. 6 

On the other hand some of the reports are full of expressions 
of hope. A report on the condition of Protestant Saxony 
deems that the princes are wearied of the quibbles of their 
theologians, that the nobility are deriding their shallowness, 
the townsfolk holding them in contempt, and the countryfolk 
extolling the bygone days on account of their purity of morals 
and their piety. If to-day the prince-elector of Saxony or of 
Brandenburg were to join the Catholic Church, the nobles, 
townsfolk and countryfolk would flock into it on the same 
day. 7 The Cardinal of Augsburg, who saw a special miracle 
of Providence in the fact that Germany had not fallen into 
complete ruin, was also of opinion that if the necessary zeal 

1 Ibid., 38, cf., 48. 

2 Ibid., 33. 

3 Ibid., 54- 

* " Boni vero gaudent maxime Deo gratias agentes, de bona 
fama iam de V. S. (Pius V.) sparsa et de studio V. S. reformandi 
et emendatione Romanae curiae." Otto Truchsess to Pius V., 
1568, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., n. 2. 

6 " Ut vel invitis Germanorum auribus religiosa Romanorum 
fama influeret," ibid., 40. 

6 Otto Truchsess, ibid., 2. 

Ibid., 56. 

VOL, XX. ^ 


and earnestness were employed, the salvation and improve 
ment of the majority might without doubt be looked for 
very quickly. 1 We still have Catholic princes. It is true 
that the bishops hesitate at the magnitude of the work of 
reform, but they hope for assistance on the part of the Pope 
and the Emperor ; some provinces and cities have remained 
true to the Catholic faith, as have innumerable prelates, counts, 
barons and nobles who rule over huge territories. Many who 
are doubtful and undecided would very easily be won over 
with gentle correction. Division and discord have made 
their way into the ranks of the Protestants, and they are 
fighting fiercely among themselves. 2 Their strength is very 
much weakened ; their dealings with foreign powers are no 
longer very active, and there is much mutual mistrust. 
Their adherents are weary of the everlasting divisions and 
changes of religion, and every year more of them are inclined 
to turn to the ancient Church. If they could but see the 
Catholics free from at anyrate public scandals, and if they 
had hard-working priests, there is no doubt that every day a 
large number would be won back. 3 

According to the author of a memorial from Mayence the 
Catholics in the Empire were stronger than the Protestants, 
if not perhaps in numbers, 4 at any rate in power ; but they 
were naturally over timid, because no one encouraged or 
revived their still actual living faith. 5 A sign that was full 

. t 4. 

2 The religious disruption had come to such a pass, that, in 
1574 the Venetian ambassador in Vienna, Giovanni Corraro, was 
of opinion that chaos itself (1 istessa confusione) could be more 
easily described than the number of religions in Germany, most 
of which no longer knew what they ought to believe. Fontes 
rerum Austriacamm, XXX., 331. 

s SCHWARZ, IOC. Clt., 4-7. 

4 Ibid., 35. If one counts as Protestants all those who made 
use of the so-called evangelical freedom in the ordering of their 
lives, then, without doubt, this kind of Protestant was certainly 
more numerous than the number of those who kept to the laws 
of the Church. 
6 Ibid., 34. 


of promise was the fact that the Protestants were asking to 
hear the word of God. The errors that were holding them 
back from the word of God, could not last for long, if the 
Church could only provide learned ministers, who were skilled 
in word and deed. Even in the Protestant districts there 
were still a number of Catholics who, by their words and 
writings, and by their good lives and example, were encourag 
ing the doubtful, reclaiming those who had been led away, 
or at anyrate causing them to question their false beliefs. 
Lastly there was among all Catholics, from the Pope 
downwards, a great desire for the religious revival of Germany. 
Whence could this come, except from the fact that God wishes 
a renewal of the struggle against error P 1 " Now is the time 
to awake from sleep," Truchsess cries to the Pope. " The 
cause of Christ is astir in us, of whom your Holiness is the 
representative on earth. Your Holiness must trust in God, 
and gather together men of action and experience, as well as 
the necessary means, nor feel any doubt that God is still 
strong enough to produce saving grace and the most abundant 
fruits in the vineyard of Germany, which implores so insistently 
the help of its pastor Gregory." 2 

In spite of all the discontent occasioned by the behaviour 
of the prelates and the authorities in Rome the conviction 
of the divine institution of the Papacy was still alive among 
the Catholics, for whom even in Germany Rome still possessed 
a power that could in no way be passed over. All the reports 
sent to the German Congregation look for salvation in the 
religious affairs of Germany from the intervention of the 
Holy See. 

The necessity of having more representatives of the Pope in 
Germany, besides the nuncio at Vienna, is again and again 
brought out in the reports from all parts. On account of the 
long interruption in their relations with it, the Cardinal of 
Augsburg was of opinion that the German princes, both 
Catholic and Protestant, had become distrustful of the 
Apostolic See ; they thought that Rome no longer cared 

1 Ibid., 34-5. 

2 Ibid., 17. 


about them, and the Protestants let no opportunity slip 
of widening the breach by their invectives, calumnies and 
falsehoods. Therefore there was need of more representatives 
of the Pope in the various districts, to whom they could make 
known the needs of the country, and from whom they could 
seek advice and help, or at any rate consolation. 1 Before we 
can think of converting the heretics, says Delfino, we must 
before everything else be sure of our own prelates. And 
how can this be possible if we are not definitely and thoroughly 
informed as to the means available, and the method of govern 
ment, the zeal and the negligence of each prelate ? " It is 
certainly a great evil that we know so little as to the state 
of affairs in Germany. It is the result of this ignorance if 
in the years that have elapsed so many ecclesiastical offices 
have been so ill provided for." 2 The greater number of the 
metropolitan and cathedral chapters in Germany have for 
years past been filled with Protestants, not only through the 
neglect of the bishops, but also because the officials of the 
Dataria in Rome have not paid sufficient attention to the 
matter. Every bishop ought therefore to be obliged to send 
a list of the persons who are suited to fill such offices. 3 As 
things are to-day, it is stated in another report, 4 the Romans 
and Germans take no trouble to know anything about each 
other ; the German prelates only go to Rome to obtain the 
confirmation of their appointment, and then hardly give 
another thought to the Apostolic See ; their confirmation 
itself is only looked upon as a matter of payment. 

Another report, on the then burning question of seminaries, 
aims at showing what great difficulties could be obviated 
by the presence of permanent nuncios. 5 All reasonable men in 
Germany see in these institutions the most efficacious means 
of reform, and anyone that refuses to come to the assistance 
of Germany in that matter, was refusing to help her altogether. 

1 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, i seq. 

2 Ibid., 20. 

3 Ibid., 28. 

4 Ibid., 36, 42. 
6 Ibid., 43-4- 


The bishops and princes, who had not moved a finger in that 
direction, would be more likely to be aroused by the spoken 
word than by any number of letters. Many of them, moreover, 
are men of good will, but now some of them write to Rome in 
one sense on the subject of the seminaries, and others in 
another, and thus the question becomes more and more 
involved, and drags on interminably ; in the end nothing is 
accomplished, or else the Protestants get to know of the 
plans of the Catholics and circumvent them. For example, 
if the question were to be raised whether the seminaries were 
to be established by means of the contributions of the clergy, 
then immediately all would cry out that on account of the 
bad times they had not enough to live upon, although in 
many cases it was manifest that the opposite was the case. 
But if it was suggested that the abandoned monasteries and 
their revenues, which were, moreover, being turned to very 
bad use, should be made over to the seminaries, then there 
would be another outcry, some saying that the monasteries 
were being destroyed, while others would think that it was 
intended to seize the property of the monasteries, not for the 
seminaries, but for some private purpose. It was therefore 
very difficult for Rome to decide who was to be believed. The 
supporters of the project grew weary or else died, while the 
heretics robbed the monasteries and educated their children 
with the money of the Catholics. If there were nuncios at 
hand, they would at once be able to come to a decision in 
accordance with the information they had themselves obtained. 
" In a word " so the writer concludes, " it is necessary to 
establish more seminaries, and more quickly, and better ones 
than at present, for otherwise all negotiations for reform will 
be vain and useless. 1 

It is further recommended in these plans of reform that 
care should be taken for the instruction of the faithful by 
means of suitable books, and that Rome should therefore 
encourage capable writers, 2 at the same time subjecting the 

1 Mid., 44, cf. 13-4, 31, 37, 57, 63-4. 

8 Ibid., 39, 60. " Capable writers should be assembled together 
in one spot where they could devote themselves to the composition 


printing and spread of heretical works to severe penalties 
with the help of the Catholic princes. 1 The penetration of 
Protestants and doubtful Catholics into the cathedral chapters 
might be prevented if in future no canonry were to be conferred 
upon anyone who had not sworn to the Tridentine profession 
of faith. 2 To put a stop to the loss of the bishoprics, an 
attempt should be made to bring pressure to bear uporf the 
Emperor never to grant to bishops-elect the investiture of 
their civil rights, unless they were prepared to accept the 
Papal confirmation, make the profession of faith, and receive 
sacerdotal orders. 3 

Rome should show itself ready to favour the Germans and 
show itself friendly towards them, and therefore be quick 
to give effect to the requests which came from Germany. 
Only a short time before a German abbot had had to wait 
for three years, and at great expense to himself, for his 
confirmation. In consequence of this delay and this dragging 
on of affairs, prelates had themselves installed in their benefices 
by lay authority, without seeking the confirmation of Rome, 
and having thus become disobedient in one point to the 
Apostolic See, they soon became so in others, and in the end 
even became filled with hatred of Rome. 4 

Lastly, very wide faculties must be granted for Germany 
in certain cases so as to mitigate the severity of the ecclesiastical 
laws, and for the remission of sins and ecclesiastical penalties, 
the absolution of which is in itself reserved to the Apostolic 
See. The bishops, says the Cardinal of Augsburg, must have 
in greater measure than they have at present the right to 

and spread of literature " (ibid., 49). On September i, 1574, 
Canisius made a similar suggestion to the General of his Order. 
NADAL, Epistolae, III., 821. 

1 SCHWARZ, loc, cit., 38, cf. 35 seq. See also P. M. BAUMGARTEN 
in Hist. Jahrbuch, XXXI. (1910), 88 seq. For particulars of 
similar suggestions made in the year 1566, see O. BRAUNSBERGER, 
ibid., XXX. (1909), 62-72. 

2 SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 12, 37. 

3 Ibid., ii. 

4 Ibid., 46. 


appoint learned priests who, in cases of heresy and other sins 
which are to-day very common in Germany, have full authority 
and power to absolve. Daily experience shows that neither 
the clergy nor the people can be induced to have direct recourse 
to either the bishop or the Apostolic See for absolution. 1 
The bishops themselves are not uncommonly as much involved 
in ecclesiastical censures as they are, 2 and must find in the 
nuncio someone to admonish them. " In this way many 
grave evils which at present seem incurable might be 
removed." 3 It seemed better to others, however, that such 
powers should be given only to the nuncios, because the 
German bishops had not the necessary knowledge of canon 
law. 4 Cardinal Truchsess, too, in the end limited his 
suggestions, to the extent of desiring that only bishops who 
had proved themselves fit should be given these extraordinary 
powers. 6 

The wishes and suggestions of the Cardinal of Augsburg 
(who died on April 2nd, 1573), which were also expressed in 
similar terms by the nuncio Bartolomeo Portia, 6 made a great 
impression in Rome ; in the course of the year 1574 briefs 
were sent to Cardinal Otto s successor at Augsburg, as well 
as to the Bishops of Wiirzburg and Ratisbon, in which his 
suggestions were to some extent accepted. 7 

The desire of the German Catholics to have in their midst, 
in addition to the nuncio at the Imperial court, a larger number 
of representatives of the Holy See, was also acted upon by 
Gregory. As early as 1573 he sent one such to Upper Germany, 
and another to Central Germany, and especially for the North. 8 
Both these nuncios, contrary to the custom of the time, were 
not accredited to any definite court, but were sent to all the 

1 Ibid., 12, cf. 1 8, 48. 
* Ibid., 58. 

3 Ibid., 12 seq. 

4 Ibid., 60. 

5 Ibid., 18. Cf. MERGENTHEIM, I., 134-45. 

6 Nuntiaturberichte, III., 315-7. 

7 MERGENTHETM, I., 91 seqq., 145. 

8 See infra, p. 66. 


princes in their district. The nunciature of Upper Germany 
was discontinued after ten years and that of Lower Germany 
after five. But the latter had a successor after 1584 in chat 
of Cologne, which lasted for two centuries. Already (in 1580) 
a permanent representative of the Holy See had been sent to 
Graz. The above-mentioned nunciatures were distinguished 
from those of former times, most of which had been embassies 
intended for the transaction of political business, by their 
religious purpose ; in their case politics became a purely 
subordinate consideration. 

In the reform plans laid before the German Congregation it 
had been strongly insisted upon that the German College 
in Rome must be enlarged and that it must revert entirely 
to its original purpose. It has happened, says one of the 
reports, 1 that excellent young men, who wish to devote them 
selves to the priesthood, but met with opposition from their 
parents, have fled to Rome, but, on account of the poverty 
of the German College, have not been able to obtain admission 
there, and have been obliged, with many difficulties, to return 
to toil and drudge in their own country. In the end the 
college had come to be German in little more than name. If 
every year ten or twelve good priests could be sent to Germany 
it would produce very great results. Since they had been 
educated in Rome these priests, in whatever part of Germany 
they were, would look to the Roman Church as their mother, 
and could, in the capacity of eye-witnesses, refute the constant 
calumnies against the Pope, the Cardinals, and the state of 
Rome. Even though there were seminaries in Germany, 
they should cause some of their students to be educated in 
Rome ; in that case they would be removed as far as possible 
from the danger of infection, and they would learn the truth 
far better in Rome by what they saw, than they would in 
Germany from books, to which must be added the enthusiasm 
which would be enkindled in an unspoiled German youth 
by receiving his education in a place where everything would 
speak to him of the foundations of the true faith. The German 

1 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 41. 


College, says another report, ought to be increased to at least 
100 students ; l if, against this 2 the objection were raised of the 
cost of living in Rome, and the unfavourable climate for 
Germans, in favour of seminaries on German soil, the practical 
Cardinal Truchsess refused to accept these objections, 3 and 
said that experience had shown that it was impossible at the 
moment to carry into effect the decrees of the Council of Trent 
in all the dioceses ; they must therefore turn their attention 
to a general seminary, and for this purpose it was impossible 
to think of Germany, but rather, and above all, of Rome. 
The more students were received there, the better it would be ; 
in course of time the good repute of such a universal German 
college in Rome would induce many even of the nobles to 
send their sons there to be educated. 

Otto Truchsess, as well as Cardinal Hosius, Canisius and 
Albert V., had many times during his life vainly given 
expression to such desires, but now, when he expressed them 
for the last time, only a short time before his death, he met 
with a response far greater than he could ever have hoped for. 
A pamphlet of 1579 speaks of Gregory XIII. as the second 
founder of the German College, a Pope who was truly 
" German," who from the first had with the greatest kindness 
devoted special attention to " our " Germans ; in the German 
College he was maintaining 130 youths ; in Austria and 
Bohemia he had established two colleges, and had raised two 
Austrians to the cardinalate. 4 Another contemporary thinks 
that it may be said that Gregory has " a German heart," 
and that there is no nation to which he devotes so much 
attention as Germany ; in every mass, the same writer says, 
he recommends to God the German Church. 5 

1 Ibid., 49 seq. 

2 Ibid., 57 seq. 

8 Ibid., 13 seq., cf. 17. 

4 " Est enim hie Gregorius vere Germanicus Pontifex, qui inde 
ab initio Germanos nostros summa est humanitate complexus 
magnamque illorum rationem semper habuit, ut de illis possit 
bene mereri." MORITZ, 8, n. i. 

6 Perneder from Rome, January 2, 1586, JANSSEN-PASTOR, 
V.i>i 193. 


Among the secular princes of Germany whose assistance 
for the German College had been especially sought by Peter 
Canisius, only one gave any proof of acquiescence and favour 
able dispositions, 1 the man who, in the opinion of Paolo 
Tiepolo, 2 was the only one of the princes of Germany whom 
Gregory XIII. could trust at the beginning of his pontificate ; 
this was the Duke of Bavaria, Albert V. Bavaria was indeed 
at that time the pivot of Catholic hopes. It is true that 
Canisius also speaks of the Archduke of the Tyrol, Ferdinand, 
as being, in 1567, a pioneer of Catholicism together with 
Albert, 3 but he too gives the first place to the Duke of Bavaria, 
as being a man who had no equal in Germany in his zeal for 
religion. 4 His view of the importance of Bavaria was justified 
by the event. The example of Albert V. and his son inspired 
courage in the ecclesiastical princes who were his neighbours ; 
by means of the daughter of Albert V., Mary, the wife of the 
Archduke Charles of Styria, the princes of Austria were stirred 
up to zeal for the Catholic faith ; the intervention of Bavaria 
in the war of Cologne saved the bishoprics in the north of 
Germany, and assured the continuance of the Catholic 

Already in the time of Luther, William IV., the father of 
Albert V., had resisted all temptations to apostatize from 
the Catholic faith. The Lutheran princes naturally did all 
they could to induce the powerful prince of Bavaria to follow 
their example. 5 At the same time even at Munich men saw 

1 STEINHUBER, I., 49. CANISTI Epist., VI., 290. GOETZ, 
Beitrage, V., n. 469. SCHWARZ, loc. cit. 

2 ALBERI, II., 4, 228. 

3 " duos et praecipuos illos Catholicorum heroes (to Hosius on 
September 7, 1567, CANISII Epist., VI., 37). It is these same two 
that Commendone also calls " le principal! colonne de la fede 
cattolica in Germania " (to Canisius on October 6, 1568 ; ibid., 

4 To Francis Borgia on August 27, 1567 ; CANISII Epist., IV., 
25. Under Ferdinand I. he called Bavaria and Austria Catholic 
countries (to Otto Truchsess on January 17, 1556 ; ibid., I., 596). 

6 REIZLER, IV., 309. 


with feelings of envy how many nobles and princes, by their 
acceptance of the new doctrines, had got into their own hands 
so many bishoprics and abbacies. 1 Even though the attitude 
of William IV. towards the great political changes had not 
always been without blame from the Catholic point of view, 2 
and his zeal for religion had to some extent been held in 
suspicion even by a Papal nuncio, 3 none of these things alters 
the fact that it was that prince who might, more easily than 
the others, have enriched himself by the confiscation of seventy 
Bavarian monasteries, 1 who resisted that temptation from 
conscientious motives. 5 

In spite of everything, however, even in Bavarian territory 
the tendency towards the new doctrines made some progress 
at first. The nobility were for the most part inclined towards 
them, 6 and the abuses among the Catholics paved the way 
for them. 7 In the first years of his reign, Albert V., the son 
and successor of William IV., was wanting in resolution as to 
matters of religion ; 8 he sought to find salvation in concessions, 
especially in granting the chalice to the laity, and allowing 

1 Ibid., 308 ; cf. 152. 

2 Ibid., 76, 240, 251. 

3 Ibid., 307. 

4 Ibid., 96, 307. 

8 " That the dukes had been led into the Roman camp by 
motives of self- interest is one of those historical fairy-tales which 
it seems impossible to eradicate. ... If pure selfishness, without 
any religious motive, had decided the ecclesiastical policy of the 
Bavarian princes, then the dice would have fallen quite differently. 
For as things soon shaped themselves, desertion to the Protestant 
camp promised incomparably greater advantages to the Bavarians 
than did supporting the old Church." Thus REIZLER, IV., 93 seq. 
Concerning Christopher von Schwarzenberg, cf. ibid., 75 seq: and 
N. PAULUS in the Hist, polit. Slattern , CXI. (1893), 10-32 ; CXII., 

8 RlEZLER, IV., 348, 501, 524. 

7 DOEBERL, I., 385-90. 

8 JANSSEN-PASTOR, IV. 15 - 16 112 seq. Cf. Eisengrein to 
Cromer on February 29, 1568, in PFLEGER, 150 ; DOEBERL, I., 
438 seq. 


the marriage of priests. 1 Already, far-seeing Catholics felt 
the most serious apprehension ; Austria they said has already 
failed us, if Bavaria too should apostatize, the ancient religion 
in Germany is finished. 2 

By the time that these apprehensions had found expression, 
an important change had already taken place in the views of 
the duke. As early as 1557 Albert declared that he would 
rather come, with his wife and children, to a state of misery 
than make any further concessions in the matter of religion. 3 
After 1563 he steadily became a stronger and stronger champion 
of the ancient Church. His chancellor, Simon Thaddeus Eck, 
who was a convinced Catholic, the half-brother and disciple 
of the theologian, Johann Eck, but above all the influence 
of the Jesuits and the impression made by the Council of 
Trent, which had at length been brought to an end, may 
explain this change. 4 Certain experiences which he had had 
on the occasion of the so-called conspiracy of the nobles at 
Ortenburg in 1564, and above all the correspondence that was 
confiscated at the trial, convinced him that all his leniency 
had not prevented the Protestant nobles from describing 
their duke as Pharoah, and his efforts for the chalice and 
the marriage of priests as the work of a madman and inspired 
by the devil. 5 Further, the trial broke the resistance of the 

1 See Vol. XVI. of this work, p. 115 ; SCHWARZ in the Hist. 
Jahrbuch, XIII. (1892), 144 seq. P or Ormaneto s mission to 
Bavaria, of. the official documents in ARETIN : Bayenis auswaertig 
Verhaeltnisse, Records, 6-16. 

2 Canisius to Lainez on October 14, 1569, CANISII Epist., VI., 
533 i / RIEZLER, IV., 499 seqq. 

3 Ibid., 507. 

4 Ibid., 497. The words of the Roman Breviary : the Apostles 
Peter and Paul, O Lord, have taught us Thy law " were applied 

by Albert V. to himself with reference to Peter Canisius and 
Paul Hotfaeus. A. BRUNNER, Excubiae tutelares, Munich, 1637, 

6 RIEZLER, IV., 528, cf. 525. There was no real conspiracy 
although there was a well-founded suspicion of such. See 
DOEBERL, I., 442 seq. 


nobles, and left the duke a free hand in the matter of religion. 1 
Whereas in 1563 Albert V. was of the opinion that the 
people would "in no way " suffer themselves to be deprived 
of the use of the chalice, and that nothing ," neither mildness, 
nor harshness, nor scourging, nor punishment, nor torture " 
would be of any use, but that they would have to be banished 
from the duchy, 2 in the very next year the duke s council came 
to the conclusion that the desire for communion under both 
kinds was by no means general. 3 A visitation of the fiscal 
district of Burghausen, where the request for the chalice was 
especially strong, seemed to confirm this view. 4 At the 
beginning of 1571, a few years after Bavaria had received the 
concession of the chalice granted by Pius IV., it had already 
fallen into disuse, and the chalice was forbidden to the 
laity. 5 

From 1564 onwards energetic steps had been taken for the 
religious instruction of the people by means of missions ; 
those who would not suffer themselves to be wen over, were 
to be banished. 6 A new and important religious ordinance 
of September 30th, 1569, 7 sought to put a stop to the two 
principal causes of the religious dissensions in Bavaria, by a 
careful surveillance over the primary schools and the press, 
A visitation of the whole duchy was proclaimed, and officials, 
markets, cities, and indeed all subjects, were threatened with 
severe penalties if they failed to conform to the orders. On 
January 5th, 1570, an " ecclesiastical council " was set up, 
which was composed of ecclesiastics and laymen, and was to 

1 RIEZLER, IV., 532. 

2 ARETIN, Maximilian, I., 108 seq. 

8 KNOPFLER, 154 seq. RIEZLER, IV., 518 seq. 

4 In ARETIN, loc. cit. 156 seq. Cf. KNOPFLER, 215 seq. 

5 RIEZLER, IV., 550. KNOPFLER, 213. Description of the 
dogmatic confusion which was aggravated by the concessions, 
ibid. Cf. the Visitation Records of the years 1558 and 1559 
given by HOLLWECK in the Hist.-polit. Slattern, CXIV. (1894), 
728 seq., 737. 

RIEZLER, IV., 542 seq. 
Ibid., 546. 



serve as a permanent vigilance committee to watch over the 
carrying out of the laws concerning religion. 1 

By 1571 the triumph of the old doctrines might be said to 
have been assured. 2 Of the Protestant nobles, the duke 
wrote at that time, nothing but the fear of the opinion of the 
world holds some of them back from an open profession of 
Catholicism. 3 Among the learned and wealthy, and in the 
larger cities, some looked upon it as a point of honour not to 
allow themselves to be won over too easily, a thing that is not 
difficult to understand. On December I4th, 1570, the Council 
of Munich pointed out to the duke that during recent years 
the departure of rich people had occasioned a reduction in the 
ordinary taxes of 100,000 florins, and that there was reason 
to fear yet more departures. 4 But Albert V. refused to allow 
himself to be influenced by this ; the losses of the moment, he 
thought, would be compensated in course of time ; a people 
" whose God is their belly and their purse, and whose religion 
is based upon the unbalanced calculation of their mind " 
could never bring the blessing of God upon their country. 5 

1 Ibid., 559. ARETIN, Maximilian I., 162 seq. As early as 
April 29, 1559, Canisius had recommended the duke to set up a 
mixed council of that kind ; but he warned him, at the same time, 
not to overstep the boundaries between spiritual and temporal 
jurisdiction. CANISII Epist., II., 268 seqq. 

2 RIEZLER, IV., 552. According to the " Priester Verzeichnis " 
20,000 priests renounced the chalice (ARETIN, loc. cit., 160). In 
Wasserburg, in 1569, 250 priests still wanted the chalice ; in 
1571 the number was much smaller (ibid.). In Landshut it was 
given up without any difficulty (KN6PFLER, 216). Traunstein 
gives an isolated instance of " obstinacy, temerity and uncouth- 
ness " where the citizens could not be induced to receive either 
under one kind or under two kinds. (ARETIN, loc. cit., 160). For 
the forbearing treatment of Apian cf. ibid., 163 seq. ; RIEZLER, 
IV., 55L 

3 GOETZ, Beitrage, V., n. 598. 

*Ibid., n. 550. KNOPFLER, 218. Similar complaints of the 
harm done to the country by the forced emigration were heard 
in the Landtag of 1568. RIEZLER, IV., 544. 

8 KNOPFLER, 219. 


Relying upon such principles as these the duke did all in 
his power to promote the Catholic restoration everywhere. 
In the small countship of Haag, which was entirely surrounded 
by Bavarian territory, the count, Ladislaus von Frauenberg, 1 
had in 1557 introduced Lutheranism. 2 After the death of 
the count, without heirs, the countship passed to the Duke 
of Bavaria, who at once sent Martin Eisengrein to Haag to 
restore the Catholic, religion. Eisengrein won back to the old 
faith the court preacher of the dead count, Caspar Franck ; 
the latter, having been ordained priest, returned in 1568 to 
the scene of his former activities, and by his prudence succeeded 
within a few months in winning back all the inhabitants to the 
Catholic Church. 3 

For a time at anyrate Duke Albert V. reintroduced the 
Catholic faith at Ortenburg. Count Joachim had summoned 
Lutheran preachers into his little state, but the Duke of 
Bavaria contested his right to do so, as Ortenburg was not 
politically independent, and occupied the countship in force 
and drove out the preachers. The Imperial Chamber, however, 

1 For details about him : W. GOETZ in the Oberbayrischen 
Archiv, XLVL (1889-90), 108-65 ; W. GEYER in the Beitr. zur 
bayrischen Kirchengeschichte, I., Erlangen, 1895, 207 seqq. ; 
RIEZLER, IV., 316 seq., 473, 538. 

2 GOETZ (loc. cit., 148) thinks that: "There seems to be no 
doubt that the chief reason was the hope that, by changing 
sides, he would more easily obtain a divorce from his wife." 

3 PAULUS in the Hist.-polit. Slattern, CXXIV. (1899), 547, 550, 
557. L. PFLEGER, Eisengrein, 28 seq., 150 seq. Moreover, as 
early as 1564, while Count Ladislaus was still alive, complaints 
were heard from Haag about the introduction of the new doctrine. 
The people said that it had brought nothing but bad luck, war, 
dissension, famine, hunger and trouble into the world ; " Die 
Herrschaft beim Evangelio sei geschwinder, beschwere die Unter- 
tanen hef tiger " (PAULUS, loc. cit., 549). For details about 
Gaspar Franck, cf. ibid., 545-57, 617-27 ; RAESS, Konvertiten, II., 
Freiburg, 1866, 15-84 ; HUNGERI Orationes, L, Ingolstadt, 1601, 
531 ; ARETIN, loc. cit. 191 ; Panegyric in ROB. TURNER, Panegyrici 
. . . Orationes, Ingolstadii, 203 seqq. 


decided the controversy in favour of Ortenburg in 1573, which 
again threw open its territory to Lutheranism. 1 

Even in the time of Duke William IV. the political 
independence of the lordship of Hohenwaldeck had been a 
matter of controversy. Albert V. put an end to the dispute 
by renouncing his rights, but under the condition that there 
should be no changes in religion in Waldeck. 2 In this way 
a strong check was put upon the efforts of the zealous 
Protestant Lord of Waldeck. 3 

Another territory which did not belong to Bavaria was 
also won back to the Church by the influence of Albert V. ; 
this was the small margravate of Baden-Baden . The Margrave 
Philibert had allowed the parishes there to be occupied by 
Lutherans. When, in 1569, he fell in battle at Moncontour 
against the Huguenots, through the influence of his aunt, the 
Duchess Jacobea, the mother of Albert V., the guardianship 
of Philibert s eleven year old son passed to the Duke of 
Bavaria and the Count of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Albert 
caused his ward to be educated as a Catholic by Eisengrein 
and the Jesuits at Ingolstadt. 4 and sent as governor to Baden- 
Baden the zealous Catholic Count Otto Henry von Schwarzen- 
berg. 5 At first the preachers thundered violently from the 
pulpit against the new " atheist authority " and the governor 
was jeered at. But the labours of the energetic and untiring 
Jesuit, Georg Schorich, soon brought about a change. Priests 
were summoned from abroad and the Catholic worship was 

, IV., 527, 537. 

2 Ibid., 539- 

8 Ibid., 540 seq. Cf. W. KNAPPE, Wolf Dietrich von Maxlrain 
und die Reformation in der Herrschaft Hohenwaldeck, Leipzig, 

4 PFLEGER, Eisengrein, 106 seq. and in the Zeitschrift fur die 
Geschichte des Oberrheins, LVII. (N. F. XVIII. ), 1903, 696-704. 

6 RIEZLER, IV., 604 seq. KARL REINFRIED in the Freib. 
Diozesanarchiv, XXXIX. (N.F. XII.), 1911, 90-110; cf. XLVII. 
(1919), 1-45. William IV., as the mouthpiece of Philibert, had 
also expelled the Protestant preachers from Baden-Baden. 
RIEZLER, IV., 292. 


again solemnly introduced. The number of those who 
attended Schorich s sermons had by 1571 grown from fifteen 
to four hundred. A Catholic school met with such success 
that people sent their sons from abroad to Baden-Baden, 
there to receive a Catholic education. On April i5th, 1573, 
Schorich was able to write that thirty-eight churches had 
been won back together with almost the whole of the 
margravate, and that twenty-four Lutheran pastors had been 
driven out. 1 " As far as I know/ wrote the Jesuit Hoffaus 
on August I5th, I573, 2 " Baden is the first case of the 
recovery of an entire Protestant province." 

After the premature death of Schorich the progress of the 
Catholic religion fell off considerably, yet in 1576 the nuncio 
Portia found two zealous secular priests labouring in Baden, 
though they were justly dissatisfied with the government, 
which interfered in everything. There were, they complained, 
hardly two parish priests in the state who had received their 
investiture from the bishop. 3 

But these and similar interferences in ecclesiastical matters 
do not alter the fact that the ancient faith, when Gregory XIII. 
ascended the throne, found in Albert V. a strong supporter 
and protector. Wherever an opportunity offered the Duke 
urged, even with other princes , manifest decision and firmness 
in religious matters ; this he did especially in the case of the 
ever-hesitating Emperor Maximilian at the Diet of Augsburg, 
of 1566, and of his son and successor Rudolph II. at the Diet 
of Ratisbon. 4 Albert V. was therefore much trusted by the 

1 DUHR, I., 402 seqq. In the year 1574 seventeen localities, 
which had hitherto been Protestant, were again provided with 
Catholic priests. BIERORDT, Geschichte der evangelischen Kirche 
in Baden, II., 52. 

2 DUHR, I., 406. Recognition of the Duke s services : Morone 
to Albert V. on September 17, 1576, in ARETIN, Maximilian, I., 
Records, I., 33 seq. 

3 Portia to Galli on April 4, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 405 seqq, 
For the young Margrave s visit to Rome see *Capilupi s Memor 
andum dated February 27, 1585, Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 

4 RIEZLER, IV., 585 seq., 608, 

VOL, XX, 4 


Pope. Tears came to the eyes of Pius V. when he learned 
of the efforts which the Duke of Bavaria had made with 
Maximilian II. for the recall of the religious concessions in 
Austria in 1568 ; he could not sufficiently thank Our Lord, 
he told the Cardinal of Augsburg, that in those critical times 
there was still in Germany a Catholic prince who was so 
steadfast, noble and judicious. 1 Delfino, the nuncio of 
Gregory XIII. assured the duke during the election at 
Ratisbon in 1575, that the Pope placed the greatest 
"confidence and hope " in him among all the princes of 
Germany, 2 that he as well as all good men spoke of him as a 
" pillar of the true faith " ; 3 according to Cardinal Hoisus, 
he was, among the princes of Germany, a " lily among thorns." 4 
The Pope had recourse to Albert every time there was reason 
to hope that a word of weight from the prince would turn the 
balance in favour of the Catholics. When in Rome anxiety 
was felt concerning the election of a worthy successor to 
the dead Cardinal of Augsburg, Albert \\as asked , to bring 
his influence to bear upon the cathedral chapter, a!s well as 
to do the same in the cases of those of Eichstatt and Freising. 5 
If the needful resoluteness against the Protestants was 
wanting in the Archduke Charles of Central Austria, or anxiety 
was felt as to the firnmess of the newly elected Emperor, by 
the Pope s wish it was the Duke of Bavaria who was chosen to 
address to them his exhortations. 6 He even, by the Pope s 

id., 588. 

2 ARETIN, Bayerns auswartige Verhaltnisse, Records, I., 31. 

8 MORITZ, 259, n. i. Pius V. also regarded him as " columen 
in Germania religionis catholicae " (Letter of the Nuncio at 
Vienna of July 14, 1566, in ARETIN, Maximilian, L, 153). Canisius 
writes of him : " Tanto catholicae pietatis tuendae studio flagras, 
ut losiam aliquem aut Theodosiurn nobis referre videaris " (De 
Maria Virgine, Ingolstadii., 1577; Epist. nuncup., fol. 5). 

4 ARETIN, Maximilian, L, 165. 

6 Brief of April 6, 1573, in THEINER, I., 101, n. 10. Albert V. 
to Gregory XIII. on May 28, 1573, ibid, 

6 ARETIN, loc. cit., 237. Brief of April 9, 1575, in THEINER, II., 
8, n. 1 6. 


desire, addressed a letter to far-off Sweden in 1578, to encourage 
King John III., who wished to return to the Catholic Church, 
in his purpose. 1 Above all, as was natural, the Curia 
encouraged him to prevent further losses to the Catholics in 
Germany itself, and to prepare the way for and promote the 
conversion of the Protestant princes and provinces. 2 In the 
fierce struggle for the bishoprics of northern Germany, 
Minister, Hatberstadt and Hildesheim, the hopes of the 
Catholics were above all fixed upon the protection of the 
Duke of Bavaria. It was to him that Cardinal Morone had 
recourse 3 when, in 1576, there was a danger of the young 
Duke of Cleves falling into the hands of Protestant tutors. 
Special briefs urged the Bavarian duke to interest himself 
in the conversion of the Prince Elector of Saxony, and of Duke 
Adolphus of Holstein. 4 

If, by the confession of Albert V. 5 it was Peter Canisius and 
his companions to whom he owed his own changed opinions 
in religious matters, it is easy to understand why later 
Catholics, in their gratitude, have honoured Canisius with 
the title of Apostle of Germany. In winning over Bavaria, 

1 RIEZLER, IV., 602. 

2 SCHELLHASS (Nuntiaturberichte, IV., cxii) thinks that : " It 
may be confidently asserted that, in the matter of German Reform, 
the Curia relied entirely on the Prince [Albert V.]." 

3 On September 17, 1576, in ARETIN, Bayerns auswartige 
Verhaltnisse, Records, I., 34 seq. 

* September 4, 1574, m THEINER, I., 225, n. 7. The hope of 
seeing the Saxons return to the old Church occupies a prominent 
place in the correspondence of the Papal Nuncios (Nuntiaturber 
ichte, III., Ixxv, IV., Ixxxvii, V., xcvii, cii seqq.}. This hope grew 
specially strong in 1574 when the dishonesty of the Saxon Court 
theologians was revealed. They professed to be opposing Calvin 
ism but were really supporting it. The Elector Augustus ex 
pressed himself in bitter terms against this continued deception, 
and the Duke of Bavaria had to put a check to the aspirations of 
Rome. It seemed to him that the matter was being delayed 
chiefly by human respect (ibid., IV., Ixxxix, V., ciii). 

5 On April 27, 1574, in THEINER, I., 225, n. 7. 


he was able, by means of this state, to bring an influence to 
bear which extended far beyond its borders ; his spiritual 
influence long survived in Bavaria after the death of Albert V. 
on October 24th, 1579. 

The son of Albert V. and his successor, William V., proved 
himself, by his personal and deep piety, even more than his 
father, the supporter and protector of the Catholic religious 
revival. 1 Even before he ascended the throne, it caused 
general surprise and made a deep impression when, in 1576, 
the young prince, together with his wife, Rene"e of Lorraine, 
who shared his ideas, in order to gain the Papal indulgence 
of the Jubilee, visited four churches every day for fifteen days, 
and for several weeks, on appointed days, fed a number of 
poor men, served them with their own hands, and sent rich 
presents to Loreto and the sanctuaries of Rome. 2 In 1569 
at Landshut he attended every day the Lenten sermons of 
the Jesuit Schorich, together with his court, and would not 
allow the poor people in the church to give up their places 
on his account, because they were as much creatures of God 
as he was. Moreover, he already at that time took part in the 
public religious exercises, and visited the sick in the hospitals. 
The whole city was edified by this " because hitherto no Duke 
of Bavaria had ever been seen to do such things." 3 Pilgrim 
ages, as well as frequent communion, which was looked upon 
almost as a superstition, once again became common as the 
result of the example of William and Renee, and religious 
life flourished to such an extent that Munich was called the 
Rome of Germany. 4 William too conferred great and almost 
prodigal benefits on the Jesuits. He built their great church 

1 For his character cf, the notices in STIEVE, Politik, I., 407-38 ; 
RIEZLER, IV., 626-32 ; for the religious side especially 
BRUNNER, Excubiae tutelares, 561-604 ; F. X. KROPF, Historia 
provincia S. J. Germaniae superioris, P. 4, dec. IX., nn. 


2 BRUNNER, loc. cit., 565. DUHR, I., 170. 

3 Schorich in DUHR, I., 710. 

4 BRUNNER, loc. cit., 563 seq. For the religious celebrations 
at William s accession to the throne ibid., 566. 


of St. Michael at Munich, as well as their beautiful college ;* 
others of his works are their houses at Ratisbon and Altotting ; 2 
he also caused the abbeys of Biburg and Ebersberg to be 
handed over to the Jesuits, 3 and as " the father of poor young 
students " came to the assistance of their impoverished houses 
at Munich and Ingolstadt. 4 His private life was entirely 
under the direction of the Jesuits, who, however, had no 
influence over his political life. 5 At the age of thirty-nine, 
in 1597, ne resigned the throne, in order to be able to devote 
himself more zealously to the salvation of his own soul, and 
what we are told of the remaining twenty-nine years of his 
life, his zeal for prayer, and the severity of his penances, 
read like a page from the life of a saint. 6 It was said of him, 7 
as it was of his wife, Renee, 8 that he never committed a mortal 
sin. In spite of this, William, at the end of his life thought 
that he had never done anything to merit paradise. 9 The 
motto of his arms : Agnosce, dole, emenda, bears witness to 
his constant striving after perfection. 10 

That no religious concessions to the Protestants were to be 
looked for from William V. was evident in the first days of 
his reign. A request that reached him secretly from south 
Bavaria for communion under both kinds, he indignantly 
tore in pieces saying that he would never consent to it. 11 

1 DuHR, I., 185 seq., 625 seq. Cf. Hist.-polit. Blatter, XVIII. 
(1846), 440-3 ; for the costs ibid. XI. (1843), 682-7 ; JOSEPH 
BRAUN, Die Kirchenbauten der deutschen Jesuiten, II., Freiburg, 
1910, 49-95- 

2 DUHR, I., 206 seq., 396 seq. 

3 Ibid., 376, 400. 

* Ibid., 297, 316 seq. 

6 STIEVE, loc. cit., 417 : " It is certain that the Jesuits were 
consulted only to determine whether a proposed action were 

8 BRUNNER, loc. cii. ; KROPF, loc. cit., especially nn. 396, 403. 

7 Ibid., n. 395. 

8 BRUNNER, loc. cit., 595. 

9 KROPF, loc. cit., n. 405. 

10 BRUNNER, loc. cit., 561. RIEZLER, IV., 629. 

11 Ninguarda to Galli on December 5, 1579, in THEINER, III., 654. 


Certain measures in favour of the new doctrines were feared 
^from his first national Diet, but William declared that in any 
thing that was essential he " would break its head . . . you 
can then attack me as much as you like." 1 When, at the 
close of the Diet, two Protestants were chosen among the 
deputies of the Diet, he could not rest until they were replaced 
by two Catholics. " Would to God," Ferdinand of the Tyrol 
wrote at that time to William V., " that the Emperor and the 
Archduke Charles had long ago acted in the same way, for 
then things would never have gone so far as they have." 2 
The ordinances of Albert V. against attendance at Protestant 
worship in places outside his jurisdiction, and for the banish 
ment of the innovators, were renewed. 3 

When Protestantism tried to make its way from Waldeck 
into the Bavarian territory at Aibling, the holder of that 
lordship, Wolf Dietrich von Maxlrain, was informed of the 
treaty of 1582, by which Bavaria had renounced her claims 
upon Waldeck, but it was enacted that any change of religion 
in the territory was prohibited. A little time before this 
the duke had caused to be arrested in the neighbourhood of 
Waldeck certain parish priests who were suspect, and the 
leader of the Protestant movement in those parts was ordered 
in 1581 either to embrace the old religion or go into banish 
ment. The more obstinate followed the latter course. In 
I 5^ > 3> by the desire of William V. the Bishop of Freising 
pronounced excommunication upon the Protestants of 
Waldeck, whereupon the duke with his troops cut off the 
little state from all communication with the outside world. 
As there were very scanty crops in Waldeck the inhabitants 
were soon obliged to give in. In May there was already 
talk of an exodus of 330 of the inhabitants of Waldeck to 
Tuntenhausen. Even the family of von Maxlrain returned 
to the Church. 4 William V. acted with special severity, 
and quite in accordance with the laws of those days, against 

1 ARETIN, Maximilian, I., 235. 

2 Ibid., 236. 

3 RIEZLER, IV., 634. 

4 RIEZLER, IV., 634-6. 


the Anabaptists, whose principles were incompatible with 
the ordinary life of the state. Envoys had come from 
Moravia who sought to induce them to join their sect and 
remove themselves to Moravia. In 1586 they induced 600 
persons to emigrate, but no further result of this mission 
occurred during the pontificate of Gregory XIII. The year 
1587 witnessed the execution of an Anabaptist, which was 
later followed by others in the territory of the Abbey of 
Kempten. 1 

William V. did all that he could to give new life to religion 
in his own state by his example, by his care for the splendour 
of divine worship, 2 and by special enactments. As soon as 
he had assumed the reins of government, he expressed 
a wish to reform his court ; 3 he took care that the 
members fulfilled their religious duties, so that the court of 
Munich was jokingly spoken of as a monastery. 4 He sought 
to raise the clergy, especially by the establishment and support 
of institutions aimed at the training of good priests. 5 

At the same time the zeal of William V. was even 
less restricted to the limits of Bavaria than was that of his 
father. Minucci, the secretary for German affairs in Rome, 
wrote in 1593 that it was the general opinion that anything, 
that concerned the Catholic religion for that very reason 
became a matter of concern to William. 6 At the Diets, with 
the Archduke of Central Austria, with the Bishop of Wiirzburg, 
the Margrave of Baden, and the Prince-Elector of Saxony, 
he put in his word to revive their zeal for the Church or to 
recall them to Catholicism ; at the election of the Bishops 
of Eichstatt, Augsburg and Cologne, he brought his influence 
to bear. Blame has inevitably fallen upon him for having too 
often placed his sons or brothers in episcopal sees, but the 
fact cannot be gainsaid that, against the loss of so many 

1 Ibid., 636 seq. 

2 STIEVE, Politik, I., 415. 

8 Ninguarda to Galli on December 5, 1579, in THEINER, III., 653. 
4 STIEVE, loc. cit. t 416. 

See supra, p. 53. 

STIEVE, loc. cit., 404. 


bishoprics, which had passed over to Protestantism, no better 
protection could have been found than to fill them with 
members of the powerful princely house of Bavaria. 

As she had done in Bavaria, so did the ancient Church find 
strong support in the Tyrol. The Archduke Ferdinand II. 
made the following declaration in 1580 in the presence of 
an envoy from Brixen : " You must know that I am a 
Catholic prince, and with the help of God intend to remain 
so ; Our Lord could not punish me more severely than by 
allowing me to apostatize from the Catholic faith. You 
may therefore tell the Lord of Brixen that I will not spare 
myself if he needs rny help for the preservation of the 
Catholic religion, and that it is my intention, as far as I can, 
to defend the Church, even though it costs me my life s 
blood." 1 

When the Archduke took over the government of the 
Tyrol, religion was in a very bad state, in spite of all the 
religious ordinances of his father, the Emperor Ferdinand I. 
Scarcely one in a hundred, say the contemporary reports 
of the government of the Emperor and his son, goes to church 
on Sunday, and many do not even know the Pater Noster ; 
swearing and blasphemy are prevalent, nor are murders and 
robberies uncommon. A great quantity of Protestant books 
have made their way into the country ; Tyrolese who have 
served as soldiers abroad have brought back the new doctrines 
to their own land ; 2 more especially the miners, on account 
of their dependence upon the Protestant mine-owners abroad, 
have been led into heresy in great numbers. 3 There was, 
moreover, a lack of Catholic priests, and the few there were 
were insufficiently educated, and had many vices, things 
which, as elsewhere, made any useful activity impossible 
for them. 4 Things were very bad in the diocese of Brixen 
in 1566 ; the bishop was continually absent, his vicar had 
not received priest s orders, and the auxiliary bishop had no 

1 HIRN, L, 162. 

2 Ibid., 74 seqq. 

3 Ibid., 142 seq., 197 seq. 

4 Ibid., 87 seq. 


knowledge of German. 1 Of the eighteen canons of Trent in 
1565, half did not say mass, and on the occasion of the visita 
tion of 1577 not one f tne fi ye canons who were present had 
received sacred orders. 2 Nevertheless, the higher clergy, 
and for the most part the aristocracy, remained faithful to 
the Church. 3 The Archduke Ferdinand strove to put an end 
to this state of affairs. 4 In the first years of his rule many 
ordinances insisted on the observance of such precepts of 
the Church as fasting, 5 hearing mass, 6 and the sanctification 
of Sundays and festivals. 7 The government especially 
brought pressure to bear to ensure that the sacraments of 
penance and communion should be received at least once 
a year, for to abstain from those sacraments was the surest 
sign of Protestant leanings. If instruction and warnings 
did not produce the desired effect in this respect, there followed, 
both in the case of the townsfolk and the countryfolk, the 
threat of banishment. 8 Besides this, Protestant books were 
confiscated 9 and a strict watch kept over the press. 10 Officials 
had to swear allegiance to the Church, and expressly to 
the Roman Church. 11 Attendance at foreign high-schools, 
especially Protestant ones, are forbidden. 12 

The carrying into effect of these ordinances cannot for 
the most part be described as harsh. In the case of the 
Protestant miners, who showed themselves very ready to 
propagate their ideas, and who argued about them, even 
coming to blows about it, in the taverns, the government 

1 Ibid., 79. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid., 134, 138. 

* Decree of September 16, 1566, ibid., 167. 

5 Ibid., 169. 

6 Ibid., 173. 

7 Ibid., 175. 

8 HIRN., I., 176 seqq. 

9 Ibid., 182. 

10 Ibid., 192. 

11 Ibid., 194. 
11 Ibid., 203. 


intervened for the most part by ordering the mine-owners to 
dismiss them, a thing, however, which was hardly ever carried 
into effect. 1 Above all, recourse was never had to wholesale 
banishment, but the cases in which obstinate heretics were 
obliged to leave the country amounted to several hundred. 2 
Gregory XIII. praised the religious zeal of the Archduke 
of the Tyrol on July 26th, 1572, 3 and when he created his son 
Andrew a Cardinal in 1577, he said that the promotion was a 
reward for the services of his father, " for he is a strong arm 
of our faith." 4 

The Catholic Tyrol at that time possessed an extraordinary 
man in the Franciscan, Johann Nas, 5 who had been born in 
Franconia, at Eltman on the Maine. Nas was a convert ; 
from being a tailor s apprentice and a lay-brother in his 
Order, he was raised to the priesthood, and in that capacity, 
after some earlier labours in Bavaria, devoted his great talents 
after 1571 to the Tyrol, as a preacher in the cathedral of 
Brixen, 6 as commissary-general of the Franciscan convents, 7 
and lastly as auxiliary bishop of Brixen. 

Nas was an orator, and highly esteemed as a popular 
preacher ; he was feared by the Protestants on account of. 
his polemical writings, which were several times reprinted, 
and widely read, and which bear witness to the power of his 
words, though they were inevitably couched in the bitter, 

1 Ibid., 197. 

2 Ibid., 199 seqq. 

3 THEINER, I., 35. 
4 HmN, II., 378. 

5 Autograph notes by Nas on the principal dates in his life up 
to 1580, published by ZINGERLE in the Zeitschrift fur deutsche 
Philologie, XVIII. (.1886), 488-90. JOH. BAPT. SCHOPF, Johannes 
Nasus, Franzjskaner und Weihbischof von Brixen, 1534-90 
(Programm des k. k. Gymnasiums zu Bozen), Bozen, 1860. 
HIRN, I., 250-62, 264. G. SCHNEIDER in Archiv fur Unterfranken, 
XVI., i (1836), 179 seqq. JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. (15-16), 401. 

6 See SINNACHER, 581 seq., cf. 585 seq. 

7 Brief of appointment of July 4, 1578, given by M. STRAGANZ 
in the Forschungen und Mitteilungen zur Geschichte Tirols, V. 

, 307 ; SCHOPF, 45. 


biting, and sometimes vulgar, language which had been 
introduced by the preachers of the new doctrines. 1 In 1563 
his eloquence led to the closing of the Frauenhaus at Ingolstadt, 
and in 1566 he brought about the return of the city of Straubing 
to Catholicism. 2 

The former tailor s apprentice preached the Lenten sermons 
at Munich in 1568, in the presence of Albert V. ; in 1573 he 
pleased the Archduke at Innsbruck so much that he had again 
in the following year to preach in the presence of the court ; 
in 1576 he was sent to Pustertal to suppress the tendency to 
Protestantism, as, in the opinion of the government, he had 
" a special gift for dealing with people of that sort," and in 
1585 the Archduke assured him that he had confirmed in the 
faith not a few people who were hesitating ; 3 in 1577 and 
1578 he preached the Lent at Augsburg, in the presence of 
from 4000 to 5000 people. 4 "As everyone admits," wrote 
the nuncio Portia, 5 "he is most eloquent in the German 
tongue, displays great zeal, and works incredibly hard in 
his constant sermons and his writings against the heretics . . . 
He is much loved by the Duke of Bavaria, who is displeased 
that he has been got hold of by the Archduke, with whom 
he is also in great favour." "He leads a good life," the 
nuncio goes on to say, 6 and has a love for learning, though he 
is lacking in real culture. He works hard, is. loved by the 
princes, and labours with no small results. Moreover, he 
does not aim at honours or riches, he loves solitude and retire 
ment, so that it may well be believed that he is working only 
for the love and honour of God." 

There is no need to conceal the fact that Nas also suffered 
greatly from the defects of his good qualities. He was a 
man with a gift of expression, but he was also harsh and 

. l He himself apologizes for the " abuse and coarse buffoonery " 
of these writings. SCHOPF, he. cit., n. 

2 Ibid., n, 15. 

3 HIRN, I., 256, 262 n. 4. 

4 Ibid., 256, n. 3. SCHOPF, 44. 

5 On July 28, 1573, Nuntiaturberichte, III., 47 seq. 

6 Ibid., 50. 


obstinate ; he was frank and out-spoken, but regardless of 
what he said ; he was firm arid resolute, but narrow and 
precipitate in his judgments. Portia speaks of him as an 
uncouth and violent nature, 1 when he was instructed to adjust 
his quarrels with the Jesuits ; to the scandal of the people 
Nas had attacked them in his public sermons at Innsbruck, 
making accusations that were manifestly unjust, and in any 
case not suited to the pulpit. 2 Portia attributed it to the 
moderation shown by the Jesuits that the quarrel did not 
assume more serious proportions, 3 but all remonstrances to 
Nas were in vain, so that the nuncio told the Archduke that 
he would have to address himself to the Pope in order that 
he might be forbidden to preach. But Nas went on in his 
sermons to even more dangerous ground ; he spoke against 
those who paid too much attention to good works, and main 
tained, without any due limitations, that it was better to 
hear sermons than mass. Many were of opinion that the 
superiors of his Order ought to send him elsewhere, but that 
this should be done under some pretext, so as not to annoy 
the prince, who loved him greatly. 4 It may be attributed to 
the attacks made upon them by Nas that for a time the 
Archduke withdrew his favour from the Jesuits. 5 However, 

1 " La natura dell huomo et rozza et rotta " (to Galli on July 28, 
1573, Nuntiaturberichte, III., 47). " Huomo di natura molto 
rozza et spirito indomito " (to Galli on February 24, 1574, ibid., 

8 C/. Nas Apologia to a cleric of Brixen (Melchior von Fabri), 
dated January 30, 1573, in JULIU JUNG, Zur Geschichte der 
Gegenreformation in Tirol, Innsbruck, 1874, 11-24. Original 
letter in the possession of the Franciscans at Halle. In the 
beginning of 1574, he even reproached the Jesuits with their name 
of Society of Jesus. *Initium et progressus Collegii Societatis lesu 
Oenipontani, p. u, Archives of the Jesuit College at Innsbruck. 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, III., 47. 

4 Nuntiaturberichte, III., 358 seq. 

6 HIRN, I., 243. " Tantam concepit offensionem, ut multa 
eius aperta iudicia non verbis modo, verum reipsa ostenderit " 
(*Initium et progressus, 12 seqq.). When, in 1575, Ferdinand 
wished to nominate Count Schweikart von Helfenstein as governor. 


Nas soon fell out of favour with Ferdinand II., 1 and after 
1576 the Jesuits once more were restored to favour. 2 

Later on the momentary mistakes of this fiery zealot were 
again smoothed over, for, in a kind of testament in 1583, 
he asks pardon and prayers for all " who are otherwise of the 
Catholic faith," and promises his own prayers and forgiveness. 3 
Only heretics and abandoned sinners are excluded ; in their 
case he has nothing to retract of what he has spoken and 
written against them. 

These last words of his are characteristic of this unwearied 
champion of the Church. Worn out by his labours he died 
at Innsbruck in 1590, when not yet 57 years of age. The 
Archduke Ferdinand II. erected a monument to him in the 
ducal church ; he must always hold an important place in 
the history of Catholic reform in the Tyrol. 

In view of the friendly attitude adopted by the princes in 
Bavaria and the Tyrol, it was natural that Gregory XIII. 
should first attempt the religious revival of Germany in that 
ecclesiastical province which embraced, in addition to the 
Imperial territories, those of the Archduke Charles, and the 
bishoprics of Passau, Ratisbon, Brixen, and Freising, as 
well as Bavaria and the Tyrol ; this was the ecclesiastical 
province of Salzburg. Pius V. had already had the same idea ; 
from the beginning of his pontificate, he had deeply pondered 
and discussed the best way to bring back Germany to Catholic- 
asm, and it seemed to him that the best thing for this purpose 
was the convocation of provincial synods throughout Germany. 
" By reason of the personal qualities of the Archbishop of 

" inter ceteras conditiones hanc addi voluit, ne deinceps lesuitis 
tarn familiariter uteretur." Helfenstein refused, fell into dis 
favour and left the Tyrol (ibid., 15 seq.}. Helfenstein had been 
a convert since 1565 (ibid.} ; HIRN is mistaken, I., 240, 
n. i. 

1 Portia to Galli on May 8, 1574, Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 47. 

* List of benefactions 1576-83 in *Initium et progressus, 23, 24, 
26, 29, 32, 34, 36. A certain amount of mistrust remained. 
HIRN, I., 245 seq. 

3 SCHOPF, 48. 


Salzburg this was Johann Jakob Khuen von Belasy and 
by reason of the importance of his ecclesiastical province, 
which touched upon so many neighbouring states, and which 
on the whole was still Catholic," a beginning ought to be made 
at Salzburg ; the other German bishops would then follow 
the example of the Archbishop of Salzburg. 1 

The instrumen t chosen by Pius V. to carry out this plan 
was the Dominican, Feliciano Ninguarda, who came from 
Morbegno in the Valtellina, and had been since 1554 i* 1 
Germany as vicar-general of his Order and professor of theology 
at Vienna, and who since 1559 had devoted his services to 
the archiepiscopal see of Salzburg, 2 and was one of the most 
zealous and determined supporters of the ecclesiastical reform ; 
in this respect his influence over the archbishop cannot be 
too highly estimated. 3 Even before the decree of Trent about 
seminaries he had pressed for the establishment of such 
institutions at Salzburg and Passau ; he and the Bishop of 
Lavant were the representatives of the archbishop at the 
Council of Trent, 4 and had received the praises of the presidents 
at the Council. 5 

In 1566 Pius V. summoned this zealous Dominican reformer 
to Rome ; he listened to his advice and then sent him back 
to Salzburg armed with the necessary Papal briefs, to urge 
in the Pope s name, and with all his power, the convocation 

1 Ninguarda to Galli on February 24, 1573, in THEINER, I., 107. 

2 SCHELLHASS, Akten, L, 40 ; III., 40. 

3 The opinion of SCHELLHASS, ibid., I., 42. 

4 On May 26, 1562, they were admitted as representatives. 
THEINER, Cone. Trid., I., 720. RAYNALDUS, 1562, n. 47. LE 
PLAT, V., 171-4. Ninguarda on the difficulties of withdrawing 
the chalice in Salzburg, September 9, 1562, ibid., 489 seq. Cf. 
Fickler s letter of June 4, 1563, ibid., VI., 96. About the presidency 
of Salzburg, ibid., 3 seq., 87, 92. 

* Cf. the imprimatur of the four presidents of the Council of 
Trent on Ninguarda s book, "Assertio fidei " (Venice, 1563). 
According to the preface, dated February 19, 1561, he wrote the 

Assertio " at the urgent request of Michael Khuen, Archbishop 
of Salzburg (d. 1560). 


of a provincial synod, 1 which was actually held in 1569. 2 
It was Ninguarda who in the end brought this about ; he 
drafted the decrees of the synod, and induced the assembled 
bishops to ask for the Papal approval of their decrees, 3 and 
then himself went to Rome to obtain the confirmation of 
Pius V. An illness, followed by the outbreak of the plague 
at Salzburg prevented his return for a long time ; 4 then the 
Pope died, and the long delay that ensued led some to think 
that the synod oi Salzburg had been buried with Pius V. 5 
In spite of this Gregory XIII. gave its decrees his approval 
as his predecessor had done ; at the same time he approved 
of a scheme which, by the desire of the bishops, Ninguarda 
had drafted for the province of Salzburg. 6 Fourteen briefs 
which Ninguarda took back with him to Germany were 
intended to enable him to inaugurate the carrying into effect 
of the decrees of the synod of 1569; they were addressed 
to the five bishops and the five chapters of the ecclesiastical 
.province of Salzburg, as well as to the four secular princes 
over whose territories it extended. 7 

I THETNER, I., 107. A *letter of Commendone to Ninguarda, 
in Salzburg, dated September 26, 1568, in the British Museum, 
London, Cod. Egerton, 1078, p. 150 (according to kind information 
received from Professor Dengel). 

2 Reprinted in DALHAM, 348-556. Ninguarda s speech at the 
opening of the synod, ibid., 349-54 ; the request for Papal con 
firmation, ibid., 547 ; list of members, ibid., 548 ; WIEDEMANN, 
I., 258 seqq. A *report of Ninguarda to Commendone about the 
synod, dated July 31, 1569, in A. 42, t. u, n. 129, Papal Secret 

3 SCHELLHASS, IOC. tit., 43. 

4 Ibid., 44 seq. 

5 So thought Ferdinand of Tyrol ; see Nuwtiaturberichte, III., 43. 

6 SCHELLHASS, Akten, L, 45. The synod was subject to the 
criticism of the Cardinals Commendone, Alciati and Morone 
(THEINER, I., 107). For the alterations they made in the texts 
of the decrees, cf. Nuntiaturberichte, III., 130 seq., 422 seqq. ; 

7 SCHELLHASS, loc. tit. The brief for the Archbishop of Salzburg 
of June 28, 1572, in DALHAM, 557. 


At the beginning of December, 1572, Ninguarda reached 
Brixen, going thence to Innsbruck to visit the Archduke, 
and thence to Salzburg. He everywhere urged the carrying 
out of the decrees of the provincial synod ; the best means, 
in his opinion, would be to hold a diocesan synod at Brixen, 
and another provincial synod at Salzburg. At the court of the 
Archduke he asked for the assistance of the secular arm. All 
welcomed these proposals and declared themselves entirely 
prepared to carry them out. Ninguarda s demands for 
a seminary met with greater difficulties. The canons 
of Brixen declared that they were too burdened with 
taxes by the Archduke, so that nothing could be expected 
from Ferdinand II. but an evasive reply. 1 

At that time Ninguarda did not go beyond Salzburg in 
his projected tour. The archbishop retained him, because 
he had need of his help for the new provincial synod, and 
Cardinal Galli approved this step of the archbishop. 2 In the 
meantime in Rome it became more and more clear, in the 
course of the discussion of German affairs, that it was necessary 
to consult at first hand with men who were well acquainted 
with the state of affairs in Germany. Ninguarda accordingly 
received orders on February 7th, 1573, to return to Rome. 3 
On receipt of this summons, which was so great an honour, 
he pointed out that he was being withdrawn from a work 
which he had just begun, to its great injury. As information 
was specially desired in Rome as to the best means to bring 
back Saxony to Catholicism, Ninguarda took the opportunity 
of expressing his views in a long memorandum 4 as to the best 
way of carrying out the work of reform in Germany. 

1 SCHELLIIASS, Akten, I., 48-53, and letter to Gregory XIII. of 
February 18, 1573, in THEINER, I., 105 seq. Cf. SCHELLHASS, 
Akten ueber die Reformtatigkeit Fel. Ninguardas in Bayern und 
Oesetrreich, 1572-7, in the Zeitschrift des westpreussischen Gesch- 
ichtsvercins, XXXVII. ; B. ALBERS in the Studien und Mitteil- 
ungen aus dem Benediktiner und Zisterzienserorden, XXIII. (1902), 

2 SCHELLHASS, Akten, III., 53. 

3 Ibid., 54. Nuntiaturberichte, III., xxvi. 

4 Dated February 24, 1573, in THEINER, I., 106-8, 


According to the advice given by Ninguarda it was still 
too soon to think of Saxony or other places which were already 
Protestant. They must first devote their attention to states 
that were nearer and already Catholic ; in these the Catholics 
should be encouraged in every possible way to persevere in the 
ancient faith and in a Christian life, and those who had 
apostatized brought back. For this purpose it would be 
well to take steps to ensure that the clergy were first instructed 
and trained, so as to afford a model of the Christian life. It 
would be well to devote their attention to more distant 
countries later on, for otherwise they would be leaving what 
was certain for what was uncertain ; by means of the peoples 
thus renewed the faith would be automatically carried to 
the furthest parts of the country. This had always been the 
intention of Pius V., to whom was due the plan of holding 
everywhere in Germany, in accordance with the instructions 
of the Council of Trent, provincial councils, beginning with 
Salzburg. Ninguarda therefore urged that they should con 
tinue in the course thus marked out. He himself had no idea 
at the moment beyond securing the promulgation and the 
observance of the synod by means of a new provincial council. 
If this were successful, in a few years time there would be a 
whole province that was solid in faith and completely united 
to the Apostolic See. The Pope would then have to take care 
that the other archbishops followed the example of Salzburg ; 
in this way ecclesiastical life would first be restored in the 
Catholic territories, and gradually spread to Saxony and the 
other territories which had recently apostatized. 

VOL. xx. 



WHILE Ninguarda was waiting at Salzburg for the new 
provincial council, which for various reasons was put off 
again and again, the discussions in Rome had led to important 
results. On May 5th, 1573, the German Congregation resolved 
to send Bartolomeo Portia, at that time abbot of Moggio, as 
" apostolic nuncio " to Upper Germany ; x his actions were 
to extend to the states of the Archduke Ferdinand of the Tyrol, 
Charles of Styria, Duke Albert V. of Bavaria, and the Arch 
bishop of Salzburg. 2 At the same meeting of the congregation, 
Gaspar Gropper, Auditor of the Rota, who had been born 
at Soest in Lower Germany, was selected for the difficult 
task of inducing the cathedral chapter of Augsburg to approve 
the foundation of a Jesuit college, and of negotiating at Cleves 
concerning the election of the young duke, John William, 
as coadjutor of the Bishop of Miinster. 3 Gropper too was 
expressly given the powers of a nuncio, and received the full 
faculties of a legate a latere for the cities and dioceses of Treves, 
Cologne, Mayence, Augsburg, Spires, Worms, Miinster and 
Minden, the whole of Westphalia, and the duchies of Cleves, 
Julich and Berg. 4 Thus, as had been asked for in a report 
to the German Congregation, there were now three nuncios 

1 SCHWA RZ, Zehn Gutachten, 74. 

2 Draft of Portia s Instruction, in the Nuntiaturberickte, III., 


4 SCHWARZ, Gropper, 41. The document here reproduced 
settles the dispute as to whether Gropper was really a nuncio 
(Nuntiaturberichte, I., 724 seqq., III., xxxvii). Cf. GOETTING, 
Gel. Anz., 1897, I., 311, n. i. 



on German soil, at Vienna, in North Germany and in south 
Germany. 1 As far as possible, another desire expressed in 
the same report, had been complied with, namely that 
nunicos should be appointed who spoke German, since 
Latin was not familiar to the princes of Germany and the 
bishops. 2 

The choice of Portia for the difficult nunciature of south 
Germany was looked upon as a good one. 3 Portia belonged 
to the school of Charles Borromeo ; he had been ordained 
priest by him in 1566, and had received from him the abbey 
of Moggio. In 1570 he had, by the Pope s orders, undertaken 
the visitation of the dioceses of Aquileia, with such good 
results that as early as 1571 there had been thought of sending 
him as nuncio to the Imperial court. So shrewd a judge as 
Morone thus describes Portia in 1576 : " he is versatile, 
experienced, capable, and has so good a reputation and is held 
in such high esteem by the princes that great results may be 
looked for from his labours." 4 The poet Torquato Tasso 
has sung his praises in enthusiastic terms. 6 The reports sent 
by Portia to Rome show him as " a diplomatist of the first 
rank " ; 6 on all sides we have evidence of his independent 
judgment, the clearness of his ideas, and the shrewdness of 
his observations. He was not very proficient in German, 
and therefore had generally to carry on his negotiations in 
Latin, 7 but was able to make up for this defect by his 
versatility. He was also well fitted for the office of nuncio 
in south Germany by the fact that his family, old-established 
gentry from Friuli, had always been attached to the service 
of the sovereigns of Austria, and Bartolomeo Portia himself, 
after the visitation of Aquileia, had gone to Graz, and had 

1 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 61 . 
8 Ibid. 

8 For particulars about him, cf. HANSEN, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 
5-10 ; SCHELLHASS, ibid., III., xx, IV., cix-cxi. 

4 HANSEN, loc. cit., 7. 

5 Ibid., 10. 

6 Schellhass opinion, Nuntiaturberichte, III., Ixxxviii. 

7 Ibid., 169. 


there won the favour of the Archduke Charles. 1 Above all, 
he knew how to adapt himself to his hearers in conversation, 
and always to adopt the right tone. 2 The effect of these 
distinguished talents was still more enhanced by a great 
modesty, which led him never to speak of himself without 
necessity, and never to ignore the merits of others. Portia s 
reports to Rome were entirely confined to the matter in hand, 
so much so that when he had escaped from some deadly peril 
in Styria, he only mentioned it much later, when the occasion 
seemed to call for it. 3 

Detailed instructions 4 laid down for the nuncio his line of 

According to this document, the object of his mission was 
to bring pressure to bear on the bishops in favour of eccles 
iastical reform, and to remove the difficulties in its way with 
the help of the Pope and the princes. 5 He was to keep in close 
touch with the nuncio and the Imperial court, and was to 
visit the bishops regularly in turn. 6 Since, contrary to the 
regulations of the Council of Trent, the German bishops foi 
the most part had not got the doctor s degree, he was to press 
them to have theologians and canonists with them. Every 
three years at least the bishops must go to Rome. 7 It was 
the duty of the secular princes to further the work of reform 
initiated by the supreme ecclesiastical authorities, and subjects 
must be made to understand that they have to deal with 
Catholic princes, who are prepared to uphold the faith. They 
must be given to understand that they are offending against 
their own ruler if they send their sons to foreign universities. 8 

1 Nuntiaturbenchte, III., 42. 

2 Ibid., Ixxxix. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Ibid., 17-34. Although it is only a draft, it was probably 
repeated verbatim in the actual Instruction. SCHELLHASS, ibid., 
16, n. i. 

5 Instruction, Nos. 2-5. 
8 Ibid., Nos. 53-4. 

7 Ibid., Nos. 57-8. 

8 Ibid., Nos., 48-50. 


The princes make complaints of the prelates and the Roman 
authorities, so Portia must have at hand the mandates and 
warnings addressed to the bishops, as well as the decisions 
of Rome, and give assurances that only in the most pressing 
cases would recourse to the Curia be refused. 1 

As a guide for the details of the reform the nuncio must 
make use of the decrees of the synod of Salzburg, and the 
decisions of the German Congregation in Rome. 2 It was 
therefore natural that the projects aimed at in those decisions 
should be repeated in the instructions for the information 
of the nuncio. Thus Portia must insist that none but 
Catholics are appointed to offices of importance, that heretical 
books are replaced by Catholic ones, that three or four Catholic 
printing presses are established, that Catholic scholars and 
preachers are assisted, students sent to the German College 
in Rome, and that new breviaries and other works which are 
lacking are printed. 3 The nuncio must inform the Pope of 
learned Catholics so that they may be recommended to the 
princes as their advisers ; 4 he must especially protect the 
Jesuits, and insist that the bishops also have a care for the 
advancement of the other Orders. 5 

Besides these general regulations, Portia s instructions 
also contained detailed hints as to his relations with each of 
the bishops and princes, and especially as to his manner of 
appealing to the conscience of the Archbishop of Salzburg. 
He that desires the end, Portia must say to him, must also 
desire the means, and since Salzburg can only become more 
Catholic by the co-operation and assistance of many persons, 
the archbishop must employ his wealth to procure such 
assistance, and especially to attract more theologians to his 
service. If the archbishop should raised objection, Portia 
must reply : the Pope is well aware that if the reform is 
introduced in those places where the bishops are also princes, 

1 Ibid,, No. 52. 

2 Ibid., No. 2. 

3 Ibid., Nos. 45-7, 55, 56, 59. 

4 Ibid., No. 51. 

5 Ibid., No. 15. 


in that case the rest of the diocese, as well as the neighbouring 
territory, will also be put into good order. Lastly, it will be 
well to lay down this general principle : the Council of Trent 
has now been ended for ten years, but it is not clear that any 
steps have been taken for putting it into force. Above all, 
concubinage must be rooted out, and seminaries must be 
established ; the archbishop must once for all set himself to 
the establishment of a seminary at Salzburg, and send some 
youths to the German College. In a word, as the archbishop 
is so wealthy, he may well spend a part of his wealth for the 
honour of God I 1 The archbishop promises a great deal and 
does very little ; let the nuncio therefore at least insist that 
the work of reform is begun. 2 

In the case of the Archduke Ferdinand II. of the Tyrol, 
who had the reputation of interfering with the rights of the 
Church, Portia must ask for his co-operation in the further 
reform of his states, and point out to him that he cannot 
accomplish anything in this direction without the bishops. 
He must be praised for having forbidden his subjects to 
attend foreign universities, but he must also prevent his 
subjects from contracting marriage with Protestants from 
vStyria and Carinthia, because it has been by mixed marriages 
that the states of the Emperor and the Archduke Charles 
have been ruined. Portia must try and put an end to the 
misunderstandings between the auxiliary bishop, Nas, and 
the Jesuits at Innsbruck. Lastly the Archduke must restore 
the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Trent. 3 

The position in the states of the Archduke Charles in Central 
Austria was more serious than in the Tyrol. The nuncio, 
the instructions say, may follow one of two courses : he may 
either induce the Archduke to revoke the concession made 
in the last two Diets, or merely content himself with regulariz 
ing the position of the Catholics. In the latter case Portia 
must in the first place have recourse to the bishops and warn 
them to provide their parishes with good priests who will 

1 Instruction, Nos. 7-10. 

2 Ibid., No. 53. 

3 Ibid., Nos. 16-24. 


preach pure Christian doctrine to the people. This will apply 
to the Archbishop of Salzburg and the Patriarch of Aquileia 
and their suffragans, especially, in Carniola, the Bishop of 
Laibach, whose diocese was in so bad a state. Special 
attention must be paid to the decadent state of the monasteries. 

The nuncio must praise the Duke of Bavaria for his zeal, 
and promise the paternal benevolence of the Pope towards the 
candidature of his son Ernest for the dioceses of Hildesheim 
and Cologne. On account of the proximity of Bavaria to 
the city of Ratisbon, which was almost entirely Lutheran, 
Portia must take an opportunity of getting information 
concerning the intolerable position of the ecclesiastics there, 
and the best way of remedying it. 1 Duke Albert must also 
urge his son-in-law, the Archduke Charles of Styria, to show 
greater firmness. 2 At Munich the nuncio will also be able 
to find out who, generally speaking, among the German princes 
are disposed to return to the Catholic Church, whether it be 
the young Duke of Wurtemberg, or one of the sons of the 
Duke of Zweibriicken, or a member of the house of Brunswick. 3 
Information concerning Weilderstadt in Wurtemberg, which 
was still to a great extent Catholic, might be obtained from 
the councillor, Fickler, at Salzburg. 4 

The warnings which were given to the nuncio concerning 
Salzburg undoubtedly betray considerable mistrust of the 
archbishop. It was felt in Rome that Johann Jakob did 
not take the carrying out of the Council of Trent at all seriously, 
and that he had kept on putting off the promised synod in 
order to gain time. 6 This mistrust was one of the reasons 
why it was resolved to complete the work of Ninguarda at 
Salzburg by sending a special nuncio, who was ordered in his 
instructions to deal directly with the archbishop and bring 
pressure to bear on him. 6 When Portia, who had come from 

1 Ibid., Nos. 35-9. 

2 Ibid., No. 40. 

3 Ibid., No. 42. 

4 Ibid., Nos. 11-12. 

6 Nuntiaturbericht?, 111., 15. 
6 Ibid., 17. 


Venice and Trent, reached Brixen on July i8th, 1573, he 
there learned that Archbishop Johann Jakob had in the 
meantime summoned the new provincial synod for August 24th, 
1573. It seemed, therefore, that nothing further was required 
than that Portia should busy himself with the early realization 
of the desired meeting of the bishops. He therefore departed 
from his instructions and his original plan, and did not go on 
to Salzburg, but went first to Munich, and then, not finding 
Duke Albert V. there, to Innsbruck to the Archduke Ferdinand; 
to know more exactly the intentions of those princes concerning 
reform could not fail to be useful to him at the synod. He 
reached Salzburg on August 12th. 1 The archbishop expressed 
his goodwill towards the work of reform, 2 but went on to point 
out the great difficulties which he met with outside the limits 
of his civil principality. 

Canonical visitations, he complained, could only be made 
with the help of a civil official, and the latter often interfered 
on behalf of the authority of his sovereign, and caused a 
disturbance, or he made known the programme of the visitation 
to persons who, for the sake of peace, were opposed to any 
improvement, or else he secretly made known the articles 
of the visitation in order to expose them to derision and give 
warning to the guilty. If a man were prevented from obtaining 
a parish on account of his ignorance, he would bribe the court 
officials, who put him in possession of the parish. To cover 
up such things, appeal was made to the Papal approbation, 
which, however, no one had seen. 3 If Rome, the archbishop 
added, would first ask the bishops concerning concessions 
made to the princes, the condition of the clergy would be 
improved. 4 It was only because of pressing business, and 
because he wished to act in common with the other bishops, 

1 Ibid., xlvi seq., 74. 

* Portia to Galli on August 20, 1573, ibid. 79. 

8 Ibid. These complaints refer to the territory of the Archduke 
Charles. Ibid. 87. 

4 Ibid., 79 seq. Ninguarda also impressed this point on Pius V., 
Gregory XIII., and Sixtus V. ; see REICHENBERGER in the Rom, 
Ouartalschrift, XIV. (1900), 375 seq. 


that he had not yet laid these grievances before the Pope. 
At the same time a general meeting of the bishops was 
difficult ; Freising, Brixen, Gurk and Lavant would stand out. 1 
Portia replied that the archbishop could, before he did 
anything else, begin the reform in the territories of his civil 
principality ; the example of Salzburg and the intervention 
of the Pope would show the way to success in the other parts 
of his ecclesiastical province. But above all, the provincial 
synod must not be deferred any longer ; the perpetual delays 
only made the state of affairs more serious. 2 The archbishop 
appeared to agree to this, but he soon said to Portia that he 
was made very anxious by a fear that the nuncio had come 
to assume the presidency of the synod, and to play a part in 
it that was incompatible with the dignity of the archbishop ; 
Portia s modesty at once brushed aside this difficulty, and he 
made it clear that it was indifferent to the Pope whether the 
nuncio or the archbishop laid before the synod the Pope s 
desires and demands. After this Johann Jakob appeared to 
be very much relieved, and he visibly became more enthus 
iastic about the synod. 3 The nuncio then went on to fan the 
archbishop s enthusiasm still further, and he obtained the 
most far-reaching promises. For the seminary, which was 
also to serve for the suffragan sees of Chiemsee, Gurk, Seckau, 
and Lavant, two houses had been bought only two days 
previously. 4 Ratisbon and Passau were to have a common 
seminary in the last-named city ; Freising, on the other hand, 
was to have its own. 5 Concubinage would be removed from 
the city of Salzburg within 14 days, as only one of the canons 
there had fallen into this sin, but for the other parts of the 
ecclesiastical province the archbishop could only venture to 
make conditional promises. 6 Apart from that, in the 
principality of Salzburg no one dared to appear publicly as 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, III., 80. 

2 Nuntiaturberichte , II T., 80 seq. 

3 Ibid., 81. 
*Ibid., 83. 

5 Ibid., 83 seq. 

6 Ibid., 84. 


a heretic, and if anyone belonging to it had become guilty of 
suspicious acts outside his own country, on his return he was 
thrown into prison and was made to give an explanation of 
his sentiments. 1 The refusal of the chalice had at first given 
rise to seditious talk, which had given the archbishop a great 
deal of anxiety, 2 but now men s minds were once more at rest. 
Only the mountain districts, 3 and the territories bordering 
on Styria and Carinthia were still unresigned, though a preacher 
who had been sent to the Carinthian district had accomplished 
a great deal, contrary to all expectation, so that the archbishop 
thought of going there himself at the beginning of October. 
He thought of appointing a limit of two months, within which 
they must either give way or be banished. 4 

Portia did not trust overmuch in the promises of the 
archbishop. He thought that the power of Johann Jakob 
did not extend so far : moreover he was proceeding with more 
regard to human respect than was necessary ; he spoke a 
good deal of the rising which had broken out in his state at 
the beginning of the Lutheran innovations, 5 and feared the 
renewal of such occurrences, because the neighbouring princes 
were not friendly to him. Albert V., he said, was usurping 
the rights of the Church : ecclesiastics were obliged to keep 
dogs for hunting at great expense, devote themselves to music, 
and lend him money, which was not repaid. The duke would 
not allow the bishops to contribute to the seminaries, and 
would not establish one himself ; he oppressed the monasteries 
with expenses without the permission of the Pope. The 
Archduke Charles prevented ecclesiastical visitations. On 
the other hand the Archduke Ferdinand showed great zeal 
against the heretics and allowed but little encroachments 
on spiritualities. 6 In contradiction to the mistrust of Portia 


2 Cf. Ninguarda at the Council of Trent, 1562, in LE PLAT, V., 173. 

3 Ninguarda calls them " genus hominum ferox, inquietum et 
indomitum." Ibid., 172. 

4 Nitntiaturberichte, III., 85 seq. 
Ibid., 85. 

6 Ibid., 87. 


Ninguarda was of opinion that the archbishop would now 
certainly keep his word ; the archbishop s councillor, Fickler, 
on the other hand, told the nuncio that he must not cease to 
insist until he saw things accomplished, and Portia added that 
henceforward he would apply himself to this with all zeal. 
On the other hand he bestows praise on the archbishop ; 
he assists every day at a sung mass and vespers, and on 
Sundays at matins, though he is too much inclined to princely 
pageantry. If he is spoken to about economy, so that he 
may be able to surround himself with men of piety and learning, 
he excuses himself on the score of the great Imperial taxes, 
or of the damage caused by inundations, or the large necessary 
expenses. Very little improvement is to be looked for in 
this respect, unless the archbishop should change his views, 
or great pressure bring about what requests have not been 
able to do. 1 

The nuncio was shown to be no pessimist when, in spite 
of all promises of the immediate opening of the provincial 
synod, it did not even yet appear to be certain. The nuncio 
had hardly handed over his first report to Rome to the courier, 
when the archbishop, in a long speech, protested that he would 
willingly carry out the injunctions of the Pope, but that the 
difficulty of getting all the bishops together was so great that 
he was inclined to a further postponement of the synod ; 
it was necessary to trust to time for the carrying out of the 
decrees of the synod, and to proceed with great prudence 
and gentleness. 2 Portia replied that he was very much taken 
aback by such a statement ; after such great preparations 
and proclamations he could not in honour draw back. If 
nothing was done, it would have been better if the provincial 
synod of 1569 had never been held. This continual delay 
was making him a laughing-stock, and, in a word, it would 
be all over with the good name of the archbishop both as a 
churchman and a prince. 3 These considerations made a 
visible impression on Johann Jakob ; he declared that he 

1 Ibid., 87 seq. 

- Portia to Galli on August 25, 1573, ibid., 92 seq. 

3 Ibid., 93 seq. 


would sooner abdicate than bring his authority into disrepute, 
but that if he tried to call together the members of the council, 
Ernest of Freising would excuse himself as being only a civil 
administrator ; the coadjutor of Brixen, though he was a 
good man and prepared to face every obstacle, would certainly 
not come ; the Bishops of Gurk and Lavant would be detained 
as the councillors of the Archduke ; each of the provosts 
and archdeacons would have some excuse to make, even 
perhaps that they must be at the disposal of the Duke of 
Bavaria for hunting. 1 Behind such subterfuges it was highly 
probable that the real motive would be that the princes feared 
lest the synod should bring to light their usurpations and 
interference in ecclesiastical matters. 2 Portia replied that 
in anv case those who were summoned would send their 
representatives, and reports concerning these abuses. 3 If 
the bishops did not come, then the glory of the archbishop 
would be all the greater, if he, in spite of all the difficulties, 
alone stood firm, and brought the synod to an end. Pie must 
therefore definitely perform what was the most important 
duty before God and man which had occurred for many years. 4 
Johann Jakob then seemed to give way, but only to adduce 
a personal difficulty. It was not fitting, he thought, that 
the nuncio should exercise any authority at the synod, or 
that he should even assist at it ; this the dignity of the church 
of Salzburg demanded, as well as the state of the times, and 
the dignity of the persons taking part in it. In 1569 
Commendone had gone awa} on the very day that the 
provincial synod was opened. It would be best for the nuncio 
to go away at once, otherwise the meeting of the bishops 
would certainly either not take place, or would be unsuccessful. 
Portia did not fail to defend the rights of the Apostolic See, 
but in the end showed himself ready to leave Salzburg before 
the synod commenced ; before his departure, however, he 
wished to speak to the bishops and prelates who had arrived. 5 

1 Ibid., 95. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Ibid., 96. 

5 Nuntiaturberichte, III., 96 seq. 


Johann Jakob thereupon began to suspect that he wished 
to obtain information about himself, but when Portia had 
satisfied him as to this, it seemed that the difficulties had at 
last been overcome. 

But all this was merely apparent. That same evening 
letters of refusal arrived from the Bishops of Lavant and 
Passau, and some of the archdeacons of Styria, who all said 
that it was impossible for them to come. Once more the 
archbishop was undecided, and once more Portia had to lay 
before him the considerations which had made so great an 
impression before. With the help of Ninguarda and the 
provost of the chapter, who was an aged and much revered 
man, he succeeded in keeping the archbishop firm in his 
previous decision. The Bishop of Passau, who was not far 
away, was ordered by means of a courier, to attend, and 
arrived on the evening before August 25th, and thus the synod 
was assured. Portia had thus with much labour at last 
obtained a first result. 1 

The synod was then held from August 26th to September 
3rd. 2 On this occasion Johann Jakob presided in person 
and himself put forward all the proposals ; 3 of the other 
bishops, only those of Passau and Chiemsee were present ; 
the Bishops of Seckau-Lavant and Gurk did not even send 
a representative. 4 The opening discourse, as well as that 
at the end, was delivered by Ninguarda, 5 who spoke of his 
efforts in Rome to obtain the approbation of the earlier synod, 6 
and of his other services. The discussions were in great 

1 Ibid., 98 seq. 

a Records in THEINER, I., 489-509. For the transactions, cf. 
the Protocol, ibid., 504, and Portia s report to Galli of September 
18, 1573, Nuntiaturberichte, III., 124 to 138. 

3 Portia, loc. cit., 12.5. He had not done so in the year T569. 

4 Portia, loc. cit., 124 seq. List of members in THEINER, I., 
508 seq. 

6 DALHAM, 564 seq. 

THEINER, I., 489 seqq. A second part dealing with the 
corrections made in Rome in the Acta of the Synod of 1569 in the 
Nunitaturberichte, III., 422-9. 


measure based upon a document divided into forty points, 
which he had drawn up and sent to each of the bishops. 1 
Before his departure Portia had summarized the principal 
points of reform ; these concerned concubinage, seminaries, 
episcopal visitations, the need of theologians and canonists 
at the episcopal courts, the triennial visits of the bishops 
to Rome, the setting up of printing-presses, and the sending 
of students to the Germanicum in Rome. 2 All these points 
were agreed to, except that they were unwilling to set up 
printing-presses in addition to those in Bavaria, in order, as 
Portia thought, to save expense. 3 As to the interference of 
the civil authorities in ecclesiastical matters, many complaints 
were raised. 4 As to the changes in the decrees of 1569 which 
had been made during their revision in Rome, the request 
was made that in three cases they might be allowed to adhere 
to the original decrees. 5 The profession of faith of the Council 
of Trent was then solemnly made by all taking part in the 
council. 6 

During the synod Portia went to visit the Archduke Charles 
at Graz. On his return, he found the archbishop filled with 
joy at the success of what had been accomplished, and much 
more zealous and resolute than before. At the beginning of 
October Johann Jakob proposed personally to carry out an 
episcopal visitation in the threatened districts on the borders 
of his diocese, to administer the sacrament of confirmation 
from place to place, where it had been almost forgotten, to 
remove communion under both kinds, to reintroduce Extreme 
Unction, which had almost fallen into disuse, and to combat 
the marriage and concubinage of priests. Two preachers 
were to instruct the ignorant people during the visitation. 7 
The synod had shown great zeal concerning the seminaries, 

1 Reprinted with the synod s answers in THEINER, I., 492 seqq. 

2 Ibid., 503 seqq. 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, III., 139 seq., but cf. 128. 
Ibid., 129. 

6 Ibid., 129 seqq. 
Ibid., 134. 

7 Ibid., 134 seq. 


as well as visitations. Seminaries were to be begun at the 
latest within six months, and the visitations were to be com 
menced immediately after the closure of the synod. Naturally, 
as regards the seminaries, the bleeding of the clergy by the 
civil princes had been taken into consideration, and much 
stress had again been laid upon the difficulties which the 
princes and their rebellious subjects might put in the way 
of the episcopal visitors. 1 In spite of all the fair promises 
Portia remained doubtful and anxious. 2 In the course of 
a journey to Munich and Freising in October, 1573, he found, 
not only that the cathedral chapter of Freising was opposed 
to a seminary, but he also learned of a secret arrangement that 
had been come to at the synod of Salzburg. None of the 
bishops, it had been decided, was to establish a seminary within 
six months, but it was to be considered enough if two more 
professors were added to the already existing schools. 3 

The difficulties that lay in the way of the seminaries were 
actually very real. The Archbishop of Salzburg made serious 
efforts to transform the buildings which he had acquired into 
a seminary. 4 His greatest difficulty lay in finding a suitable 
director for the establishment. 5 So long as Portia was at 
Salzburg he did not let a day go by without reminding the 
archbishop of the seminary, 6 but it was not until 1582 that 
it was actually established. 7 Greater zeal was shown by the 
Bishop of Passau, Urban von Trennbach, who had already 
opened his seminary at the beginning of April, 1573. 8 The 
visitations too were delayed ; it was necessary, it was said, 
that the decrees of Salzburg, which were to form the basis 
of the canonical visitation, should first be published. 9 

1 Ibid., 136. 

2 Ibid., 135, 136. 

3 Ibid., 190. 

4 Ibid., 216. 

5 Ibid., 343. 

6 Ibid., 148. 

7 SCHMIDLIN, Kirchliche Zustande, I., 82. Cf. WIDMAN, 97 seqq. 

* Nuntiaturberickte, III., 404. 

* Ibid., 269, 297 n. 


"After his return from Bavaria, Portia took up his residence 
at Innsbruck. The city, he pointed out in his justification 
of this choice to the Secretary of State in Rome, was almost 
the central point of the territory included in his nunciature. 
He had already obtained all that could be obtained for the 
moment from the Archduke Charles, namely his verbal and 
written promise to support the decrees of the synod of Salzburg. 
The constant presence of a mentor with the zealous Duke of 
Bavaria was useless, while it would be even harmful with 
the dilatory Archbishop of Salzburg. Moreover he had 
his informants in the most distant parts of his district, for 
example, the experienced Ninguarda at Salzburg, the 
chancellor Hans von Kobenzl at Graz, and at Freising the 
administrator himself, Duke Ernest. 1 They were satisfied 
with these reasons in Rome, though they would have preferred 
that the nuncio should keep a watch over his territory by 
means of constant journe}^. 2 

During the few months that Portia remained at Innsbruck 
he found many opportunities of displaying his zeal. Numerous 
though the tasks assigned to him in his instructions were, 3 
he soon found himself obliged to devote his whole attention 
to them all. He laboured at restoring peace between Johann 
Nas and the Jesuits, 4 at settling the controversies between 
the Archduke Ferdinand and the Cardinal Bishop of Trent, 
Lodovico Madruzzo, and between the Archduke Charles 
and the Patriarch of Aquileia, Francesco Barbaro. By reason 
of a dispute which he was carrying on with Ferdinand concern 
ing his civil rights, Madruzzo was keeping away from his 
diocese, nor was Portia able to effect any improvement in 
their relations. 5 As far as Aquileia was concerned, he was 
of opinion that the patriarch would have to be satisfied with 

1 Portia to Galli on December 9, 1573, ibid., 273 seq, 

2 Galli to Portia on November 21, 1573, ibid., 243. 

3 See supra, p. 68. 

4 Portia to Galli on July 28, 1573, loc. tit., 47 seqq. 

6 JOSEPH HIRN, Der Temporalienstreit des Erzherzogs Ferdinand 
von Tirol mit dem Stifte Trient (1567-78), Vienna, 1882. SCHELL- 
HASS, Nuntiaturberichte, III., Ixviii seqq. 


the restoration of his spiritual rights, and abandon his civil 


The constant complaints made by the prelates of the princes 
and their ecclesiastical rights, real or presumed, were one of 
the most difficult questions with which the nuncio had to deal. 
The Duke of Bavaria had on his own account sent his vice- 
chancellor, Eisengrein of Ingolstadt, to the synod of Salzburg, 
who was to inform him if, in the proposed reform " there 
were anything which might be harmful to us as sovereigns." 
With regard to their demands, the bishops must come to an 
agreement with him as their sovereign, but nothing was to be 
included in them which " was opposed either to our sovereignty 
as prince or to ancient established customs, or to their common 
duties and obligations to our state." 2 These claims met with 
much disapproval in Rome, 3 but Portia saw no way of 
obviating them. The evil is a great one, he wrote ; the 
establishment of seminaries as well as episcopal visitations 
is rendered almost impossible ; 4 whatever is left over, after 
the modest requirements of a few monks have been satisfied, 
in seventy-two monasteries which are supposed to be for 
the most part wealthy, goes to the duke ; the election of 
superiors is not free, and the representatives of the prince 
who attend them strive to secure the appointment of good 
administrators, without taking into consideration their 
scholastic attainments. The Jesuits themselves, although 
they are in other respects highly esteemed by the duke, are 
very discontented because his hunting parties impose a great 
burden on their houses ; they say that they have pondered 
deeply how they can in conscience accommodate themselves 
in this matter to a prince who has in other respects deserved 
so well of them. But every day they become more hopeless. 
At Salzburg the prelates say that the whole world would not 
be able to modify the duke s encroachments in a single point. 5 

1 To Galli on January 6 and March 31, 15 74, ibid., 302, 397 

2 Eisengrein s Instructions, ibid. t 133 n. 

3 Galli to Portia on October 10, 1573, ibid. t 158. 

4 See supra, p. 72 seq. 

5 Portia to Galli on October 30, 1573, loc. cit., 198 seq. 

VOL, XX, 6 


Portia proposed getting the Pope to intervene with the duke 
and the other secular princes, but it was thought that he 
would obtain more by a direct appeal to the secular rulers. 1 
On the strength of the reports received from the nuncio it 
was decided in Rome to address a brief to Albert V. on behalf 
of the monasteries. 2 But Portia did not dare to irritate the 
duke and his advisers, and kept back the brief on his own 
responsibility, in spite of the prudent terms in which it was 
expressed, seeming, indeed, to acquit the prince of all blame. 3 
How carefully, after the accession to the throne of Gregory 
XI II., they followed the course of events in Germany in other 
matters as well was seen when, on October 2oth, 1573, Portia 
sent word of the grave illness of the Bishop of Wiirzburg, 
Frederick von Wirsberg, suggesting that steps should be 
taken by means of the nuncio Gropper and the Bishop of 
Eichstadt to see that so important a diocese did not fall into 
the hands of the Protestants. 4 Briefs were at once sent to 
Gropper and the chapter of Wiirzburg, 6 and after the death 
of the bishop further instructions were sent to Portia to send 
to Wiirzburg his companion Schenking, in the place of Gropper 
who was too far away ; an order was also sent to the nuncio at 
Vienna, Giovanni Delhno, to urge the Emperor to appoint a 
Catholic, a brief to the Bishop of Augsburg, who held a canonry 
at Wiirzburg, another to the chapter as a body, and separate 
ones to each of the eight canons. 6 Such precautions were 
unnecessary ; even before Portia received the copies of the 
briefs, the great reforming bishop, Julius Echter of 
Mespelbrunn, had been elected at Wiirzburg. 7 

1 Portia on October 10, 1573, ibid., 153. 

2 Galli on November 21, 1573, ibid., 241. Copy of the Brief 
in THEINER, I., 117. Cf. Nuntiaturberichte, III., 248, n. 2. 

3 To Galli on December 16, 1573, ibid., 281 seq. 

4 To Galli on October 12, 1573, ibid., 160 seq. 

5 Galli to Portia on November 15, 1573. ibid., 225. Copy of the 
Briefs in THEINER, I., 103 seq. 

6 Galli to Portia on December 12, 1573, Nuntiaturberichte, III., 
276 seqq. 

7 Ibid., Ixxix. 


A short time before the diocese of Wiirzburg fell vacant, 
Bishop Urban of Gurk had also died ; to the nuncio there 
then fell the thorny task of procuring for that very neglected 
diocese a bishop who would be zealous for reform. At Rome 
they would have liked the councillor at the Imperial court, 
Eder, a layman who had been twice a widower, but who, 
according to the nuncio at Vienna was looked upon as " a 
Catholic of the purest faith and the greatest zeal in this 
country," 1 and, according to the Cardinal Secretary of State, 
was " very learned and Catholic." 2 But just at that moment 
Eder had published at Dillingen a book under the title " An 
evangelical inquisition on true and false religion " which 
found favour in Rome and with Duke Albert V., but excited 
the anger of the Emperor in the highest degree. 3 The 
Archbishop of Salzburg, who had the right of nomination to 
Gurk alternately with the Duke of Carinthia, and whose turn 
it was on this occasion, would only decide upon Eder if he 
were to be asked in writing by the Emperor, and if the Dukes 
of Bavaria and the Tyrol would recommend the councillor 
of the Imperial court. It was to no purpose that the nuncios, 
Delfino and Portia, brought pressure to bear upon the arch 
bishop, or that his own tried adviser, Ninguarda, who was 
also wished for as Bishop of Gurk, but who shrank from such 
an honour on account of the responsibility, 4 strongly urged 
the cause of Eder, or that the Archdukes Ferdinand and 
Charles were in favour of him, or that the Emperor, at any 

1 Ibid., 229, n. 4. 

2 Galli on November 15, 1573, ibid. 

3 Ibid. For information about this book cf. STIEVE, Politik, I., 
145 ; also in the Mitteilungen des Instituts fur osterr. Geschichts- 

forschung, VI., 440, n. i ; Galli to Cropper on October 23, 1574, 
in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 200, cf. 236 ; *Galli to the Venetian nuncio 
on March 13, 1574 (Nunziat. di Venezia, XIII., 280, Papal Secret 
Archives) : " Eder has written a very good book ; the Pope has 
had it translated into latin. It would be better not to publish 
it in Rome but in Venice." The nuncio is to pilot it through the 

4 Nuntiaturberichte, III., 286, n. 2. 


rate verbally, withdrew his opposition. The matter was ended 
when Eder, on account of his precarious financial state, entered 
into a third marriage with a rich widow. The dean of Brixen, 
Christopher Andreas von Spaur, became Bishop of Gurk. 1 

Portia had been given a special charge on behalf of the 
little Wurtemberg city of Weilderstadt, which belonged to 
the diocese of Spires. So far some remains of the old religion 
had been preserved in Wurtemberg. When, in 1581, the 
envoys of the Duke of Bavaria went to Liege, where Duke 
Ernest was to be solemnly installed as bishop, the inhabitants 
of the territory of Ulm crowded round them, showing them 
their rosaries and strings of paternosters, and bewailing with 
tears that they had been forcibly forbidden the exercise of 
the old religion, and telling joyfully of the masses and Catholic 
sermons which they had had during the stay of Duke Albert 
at the baths of Ueberkingen. 2 At Geislingen, where the 
influence of the good parish .priest, Georg Oswald, who had 
been banished in 1531, had for a long time continued to produce 
great effects, the Protestant pastors, as late as 1597, had to 
seek the intervention of the council of Ulm against " papistical 
superstitions," and especially against the attendance at mass 
at Ueberkingen and Eybach, and against the pilgrimages to 
Dozburg and Hohenrechberg ; 3 ; the acta of the visitation in 
1569 inveigh against the " idolatry " of placing wooden crosses 
on graves, and in 1575 against masses for the dead and vigils, 
which the superstitious people still clung to ; in 1584 severe 
penalties were enacted against those who still followed the 
customs of the papistical church. 4 Weilderstadt especially 
had, " by a miracle of God," remained entirely Catholic, 5 
and the little city was specially recommended by Rome to 

1 Ibid., Ixxix-lxxxv. 

2 " Robert! Turner! sermo panegyricus, quo Bavariae dux 
Ernestus . . . fuit inauguratus episcopus Leodius," in his 
Panegyric! sermones duo, Ingolstadt, 1583, 97 seq. 

3 Hist.-polit. Blatter, LI. (1863), 266. 

* Ibid., 264 seq. 

6 Portia s Instructions, Nuntiaturbe/ichte, III., 21, cf. 19. 
Portia to Gall! on August 20, 1573, ibid., 89. 


the care of the nuncio Portia. From Weil came one of the 
most capable advisers of the Archbishop of Salzburg, Johann 
Fickler, and from him Portia was able to obtain accurate 
information -as to what he ought to do, to find out whether 
it would not be possible to win over a councillor of the Duke 
of Wurtemberg, or some distinguished local magnate, how 
many people in the neighbourhood of Weil attended mass on 
festival days, and how it would be possible to introduce a 
good preacher into the city. 1 Fickler told him that not many 
people went to mass at Weil from outside, but that a preacher 
of repute was very much wanted and could easily attract 
large crowds, because a great number of the inhabitants of 
the duchy who were directly the subjects of the Empire had 
not yet been infected by error, and were determined to remain 
firm in the Catholic religion. 2 Moreover, the almost extinct 
monastery of the Augustinians at Weil, couM, with the help 
of their religious superiors, be filled with good religious, or 
be changed into a college. 3 Fickler revived this latter project 
again in 1576 at the Diet of Ratisbon. 4 A preacher had in the 
meantime become doubly necessary at Weil, because the 
parish priest there, who had hitherto been a Catholic, had 
married and was preaching the new doctrines ; his place 
was first filled by a man who was quite unsuitable, and then 
by a disciple of Dillinger, who also failed to fulfil what was 
expected of him. 5 Nevertheless, all Portia s efforts to find 
an efficient substitute for him failed ; not even Peter Canisius 
could help him. 6 

1 Instruction to Portia, ibid., 21. 

1 Portia to Galli on August 20, 1573, ibid., 89 seq. 

3 Ibid., 91. 

4 Ibid., V., 483 seqq. 

6 Portia to Galli on September 29, 1.573, an d February 17, 
1574, Nuntiaturberichte, III., 142, 344. 

Portia to Galli on December 23, 1573, ibid., 299. Two briefs 
of Gregory XIII., dated November 15, 1574, to the town of Weil, 
and to the Bishop of Spires concerning the mission of Johann 
(Fickler) to Weil, in THEINER, I., 124 seq. A brief of August 24, 
1577, to Rudolph II. in favour of the Catholics of Ulm, ibid., II., 


Besides Weilderstadt, Schwabisch-Gmiind had also remained 
entirely loyal to the old faith. 1 When the nuncio at Vienna, 
Zaccaria Delfino, invited the council and municipality to the 
Council of Trent in 1561, he. highly praised their steadfastness 
in the Catholic religion. 2 Gregory XIII., too, addressed to 
the city a letter of thanks, which was taken there by the 
student of the German College, Vitus Miletus. 3 After 1574 
the Council took determined steps against the few innovators 
at Gmiind ; their banishment had already been decided upon, 
but could not be carried into effect because of the threats 
of the Protestant states of the Empire. 4 

For the most important of the questions affecting it, the 
carrying out of the reform decrees of 1569, the vast arch 
diocese of Salzburg, now as before, had to depend upon the 
energy of Ninguarda alone. The first step was to secure the 
publication of the decrees, to serve as a guide for future 
episcopal visitations. 5 It was Ninguarda who took this 
wearisome task upon himself; 6 even by the end of 1575 he 
had still to discuss with Rome the last sheets that remained 
to be published. 7 

In the meantime Rome brought pressure to bear upon this 
busy man to undertake, for the purpose of carrying out the 
synod of 1569, his journey to the various bishops and princes, 

1 Fielder s Memorandum of 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 485. 

2 " Pietas vestra nobis satis perspecta est probeque novi vos 
hactenus per varies insultus adversarii fidem catholicam in omni 
patientia, dilectione et perseverantia conservasse." Vienna, 
September 24, 1561 : E. WAGNER in the WilrUembergische Viertel- 
jahf she/ten fur Landesgeschichte, N.F., I. (1892), 114. 

3 Ibid., N.F., II. (1893), 314. The letter of May 24, 1575, in 
SCHWARZ, Gropper, 287. 

4 WAGNER, loc. cit., II., 282-325, MORITZ, 152. 

6 Ninguarda to Galli on December 10, 1573, in THEINER, I., 512 ; 
to Portia on December 18, 1573, in the Nuntiaturberichte, III., 
297, n. i. 

6 Ibid., Ixvii., 137, 216, 235, 270. SCHELLHASS, Akten Ii., 
226, 273, 279. 

Ibid., III., 59, 67. 


which he had already begun in 1572. l Ninguarda himself, 
when he sent the acta of the synod of 1573 to Rome, 2 asked 
for a renewal of the now obsolete commendatory briefs to 
the princes whom he had not yet visited : the Emperor, 
the Archduke Charles, and the Duke of Bavaria, and caused 
a fourth to be included to the excellent Catholic Landgrave, 
Georg Ludwig von Leuchtenberg of the Upper Palatinate. 3 
But the interests of the publication of the synod of 1569, as 
well as the desire of the Archbishop of Salzburg to keep his 
experienced adviser by his side, kept Ninguarda at Salzburg 
until January, 1574. 4 In the meantime the skilful and hard 
working Dominican had received yet a third and a fourth 
task. In February 1573 his religious superiors had appointed 
him to act as provincial and visitor of the Dominicans of 
Bohemia and Austria, 5 while in November there came from 
the Pope the yet heavier task of visiting all the houses of the 
Mendicant Orders in the dioceses of Salzburg and Freising, 
and in the states of the Archdukes Charles and Ferdinand. 6 
In Rome, Portia had urged a visitation of the monasteries ; 7 
the German Congregation had advised this on November iQth, 
I 573 8 an d on December 5th the three nuncios, Delfino, 
Gropper and Portia, had been given orders to send a report 
of the monasteries in the territories included in their nuncia 
tures. 9 Delfino replied by advising delay. 10 Portia excused 

* Ibid., L, 59. 

2 Complete list of documents sent in the Nuntiaturberichte, III. 
183, n. 5. Cf. THEINER, I., 510. 

8 Nuntiaturberichte, III., lii, 132. SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 58. 

4 Ibid., 59. 

5 Ibid., 55. Portia to Galli on November 29, 1573, Nuntiatur- 
berichte, III., 142, 233. 

6 Galli to Portia on November 21, 1573, ibid., 240, cf. Ixiii seqq. 
The Duke of Bavaria is not mentioned, probably so as not to give 
him any further opportunity of interfering with the religious 

1 Ibid., 240, n. 4. 

8 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 80. 

9 Nuntiaturberichte, III., Ixiv, 259 seq., 260, n. 3. SCHWARZ, 
Gropper, 74 seq., 142 seqq., 227 seqq., 232 seq., 245. 

10 Nuntiaturberichte, III., 295, n. i. 


himself on the ground that sufficient knowledge of the state 
of the monasteries could only be obtained by going to them 
all. 1 This task was entrusted to Ninguarda, who during the 
years that followed especially directed his energies to the 
reform of the Orders. 

At the end of January, 1574, Ninguarda went to Munich, 
whence he went up the Iser to Freising and Landshut, and 
thence to Ratisbon and Pfreimd in the Upper Palatinate, 
travelling thence down the Danube to Straubing and Passau, 
whence he was summoned to Austria. 2 At Munich he met 
Duke Albert V., and at Pfreimd the zealous Catholic mother 
and guardian of the eleven year old Count of Leuchtenberg ; 
at Freising, Ratisbon and Passau he visited the cathedral 
chapters, and in the last-named two cities the bishops as well ; 
at Freising he saw the administrator, Duke Ernest. Every 
where he sought, with all the authority of a Papal nuncio, 
to work on behalf of the synod of Salzburg. He urged the 
ecclesiastical authorities to take seriously the reform ordinances 
of that synod, and the representatives of the civil authorities 
to back up the reforming efforts of the bishops. Ninguarda 
met everywhere with a cordial reception, and, at anyrate in 
appearance, with good-will. The Duke of Bavaria, whom 
he informed of the grievances of the clergy against the civil 
officials, promised to inquire into the matter. 3 The Countess 
of Leuchtenberg received the Dominican with every mark 
of h onour ; for a century, she said, no envoy of the Apostolic 
See had been seen in the state, and she only knew of one bishop 
within living memory who had administered the sacrament 
of confirmation there. She was glad to show favour to the 
bishops and clergy. 4 

1 To Galli on December 23, 1573, ibid., 294. 

2 SCHELLHASS, IOC. tit., 61-77. 

8 SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 61. Ninguarda s speech before Albert 
V. and the latter s reply, ibid., 241 seqq., 246 seq. 

4 Ibid., 73. Morone s extract from Ninguarda s report of his 
visit on February 19, 1574, ibid., II., 56. As the Countess dowry 
had been seized in the Netherlands, she asked for Papal mediation 
with Philip II., which was granted to her. Ibid., 52, 231, 262, 
264 ; III., 190. 


During the previous year Portia had received a bad account 
of the cathedral chapter of Freising. The administrator 
reported that it was opposed to any sort of reform. At one 
time it would maintain that the administrator s only business 
was to look after the temporal affairs, and at another reminded 
him of the oath which he had had to take at his election to 
leave everything as it was. Thus he had wished to carry 
out at once the decrees of the synod of Salzburg about 
seminaries, and had set aside a house for that purpose, but 
the chapter " which is opposed to such institutions as to 
everything else," had again raised the objection of his oath. 1 
In the presence of Ninguarda the chapter now promised in 
writing to obey in all things, and apologized for its previous 
negligence. 2 Ninguarda was supported by a representative 
of the duke, Andreas Fabricius, Duke Ernest s majordomo, 
whom Ninguarda had asked for from Albert V., on account 
of the ill repute of the chapter. 3 

Ratisbon had an even worse name than Freising ; Portia 
wrote* that the clergy there were perhaps the most corrupt 
in all Germany. 

It is a fact that Ninguarda, immediately after his arrival 
in the city, was presented with long memorials detailing 
the shortcomings of the chapter and its dean, as well as of 
the custodian and former scholastic of the cathedral, 6 for 
which misdeeds the dean and chapter, after Ninguarda s 
return from Pfreimd, attempted to excuse themselves in 
writing. 6 At Ratisbon, too, there were not wanting com 
plaints of the arbitrary action of the Bavarian court in 
conferring benefices. 7 The bishop, David Kolderer, who 

1 Portia to Galli on October 21, 1573, Nuntiaturberichte, III. 

2 SCHELLHASS, IOC. tit., 63. 

3 Ibid., 244, 245, 247. Cf. Nuntiaturberichte, III., 363, n. 2. 

4 On August 20, 1573, ibid., 83. Cf. Portia s instructions from 
Rome, No. 3, ibid., 30. 

6 SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., 43-51. 

6 Ibid., 63-71. 

7 Ibid., 52 seqq. 


received the Pope s representative courteously, expressed in 
writing his readiness for reform, but said that he was powerless 
before the vagaries of the chapter, as the latter was exempt, 
and he himself was bound by the election capitulation. 1 
Ninguarda nevertheless succeeded in arranging a settlement 
between the bishop and the chapter on the question of the 
seminary, 2 while the chapter itself promised to do away with 
the abuses. 3 

The old religion was not yet extinct among the population 
of the city. The magistracy, Ninguarda reported, 4 was 
indeed Protestant, and there were very few Catholics among 
the burgesses proper, and even these, for the most part, did 
not openly profess themselves as such, out of fear of the 
magistracy. But among the working classes the adherents 
of the old religion were still numerous, while even among the 
burghers some were returning to it. There were also many 
Catholics among those who came from outside, some of whom 
belonged to the aristocracy, as well as the large entourage of 
the bishop, and of the greater and lesser prelates, as well as 
of the monasteries. 5 On the other side of the Danube, opposite 
Ratisbon, was Stadtamhof, which was subject to the Duke 
of Bavaria, and was, with its 200 communicants, entirely 
Catholic. Of the six parish churches in Ratisbon, St. Ulrich, 
in the neighbourhood of the cathedral, was always filled 
with the faithful on festival days. Since 1570 the bishop had 
caused the divine service there to be carried on according 
to the full Catholic ritual ; the church, which had been in a 
ruinous state, had been rebuilt by the pious contributions 
of the faithful, and sumptuously decorated, and this had 
brought back many Protestants to the faith. Whereas before 

1 Ibid., 42 seq. 

2 Ibid., 74-7. 

3 Ibid., 71-4. 

4 Ibid., 57-63- 

5 A companion of Morone in 1576 estimated the number of 
Catholics who could lead unmolested lives as low as 800. The 
real number was certainly higher than that. Nuntiaturberichte, 

II., 57, n. 4. 


there had only been 600 communicants, now there were more 
than 1500, and nothing but the attitude of the magistracy 
prevented the return of many others. Of the large number 
of chapels, the majority were either in the hands of Protestants 
or were used for profane purposes. The territory of the free 
city of Ratisbon hardly extended more than a mile outside 
the walls of the city. 

At Passau Ninguarda also worked for the carrying out of 
the decrees of Salzburg, both with the chapter and with the 
bishop, whose acquaintance he had made at Salzburg. 1 

Whenever, in the course of his travels, he found monasteries 
in the cities which he visited, the zealous Dominican also 
devoted himself to the other part of his instructions, the 
reform of the religious Orders. 

Portia set forth his views as to the general state of the 
monasteries in a report of a rather later date, 2 which was 
principally concerned with the state of affairs at Augsburg, 
but which may be unconditionally extended to all. 3 

The question of the religious Orders, he thought, was much 
more complicated and difficult than was supposed. He sums 
up under three heads the disorders which had " grown beyond 
all bounds, together with the complete decline of monastic 
discipline." The primary cause of the decadent state, of the 
monasteries was that men of education and good family no 
longer entered them, first, because they would infallibly 
lose their good name and would manifestly endanger the 
salvation of their souls in those undisciplined monasteries, 
and secondly because the Protestants had brought the religious 
Orders into disrepute, for which the religious themselves had 
given occasion. It thus happened that for the most part 
only those entered who had no other means of livelihood, 
of were of no use for anything. There was no proper 
noviciate, and the novices were only distinguished from laymen 

1 SCHELLHASS, IOC. tit., 75. 

2 To Galli on October 2, 1574, Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 225 seq. 
8 He is corroborated, with regard to the Mendicant Orders of 

Bamberg, by N. Elgard to Galli on October 4, 1575, in SCHWARZ, 
Cropper, 321 seq. 


and from the professed monks by their dress. In the general 
disappearance of religious discipline things could not well be 
otherwise, when there were no capable masters of novices. 

It was from this ill-trained and ill-instructed body that 
in the end the superiors were chosen, who proceeded to show 
by their conduct and government the way they had them 
selves been trained. A thing that especially ruined the rich 
monasteries was the fact that whether they liked it or not 
they had to afford hospitality on their journeys to the princes 
and their suites. They found themselves all the more obliged 
to put up with this inconvenience because the princes had 
the appointment to the offices of the monastery in their hands, 
and could vent their displeasure on those who opposed them. 
Hence came the perpetual taxes and money contributions 
of the monasteries, and hence the election of abbots, who 
were well qualified indeed to maintain and increase the 
revenues, but who had no zeal whatever for religious discipline. 
These abuses were especially to be regretted because, with 
the exception of the Mendicant Orders, each monastery was 
independent, and self contained, so that the lack of discipline 
in one could not be improved by sending a capable man from 
another monastery. When monks had entered an Order, 
they lived on and remained there until their death, and 
rendered no account to anyone, neither as to their rule, of 
which there was generally no copy in existence, whether 
they called themselves Benedictines or Augustinians, nor 
as to their state or their government. The abbots lived apart 
from the rest, like secular nobles, and had their own servants 
to wait upon them, and their own horses and hounds. The 
rest were provided with abundant maintenance and had 
whatever freedom they desired. 

Portia frankly confessed that he could not see how this 
state of affairs was to be remedied. Cures for " such mortal 
diseases " could indeed be suggested, but how were they to be 
applied ? To force such persons, who were supported by such 
powerful protectors, to the observance of a rule that was 
not in being, would be impossible, and would only open the 
way to complete apostasy, which, in view of the general 


absence of discipline, was near enough as it was. And even 
supposing the impossible took place, namely that the civil 
officials no longer battened upon the monasteries, a thing 
which would never be realized so long as the world remained 
what it was, but even if it should happen that the officials 
no longer placed obstacles in the way of the rights of the 
Church, who was there to enforce the ordinances made during 
the course of the visitation ? all the more so as neither the 
existing state of affairs, nor the good-will of the religious 
themselves, nor the dispositions of the princes was suitable 
for a visitation of the monasteries, nor what it would have 
to be if religious discipline was to be restored. 

This gloomy picture drawn by the nuncio did not directly 
concern the Mendicant Orders, who were the only ones con 
templated by Ninguarda s visitation. As a matter of fact 
Portia s description was only partly true of the monasteries 
of Bavaria. 

At Munich the Poor Clares generally enjoyed a good name, 
so much so that the visitor did not think it necessary to hold 
a visitation of their convent. 1 In the same way two houses 
of Franciscan nuns of the Third Order there were highly 
praised by the duchesses, Anna and Jacobea. 2 Ninguarda 
found " almost everything in a good state " among the 
Observant Friars Minor at Munich. 3 The Franciscans at 
Landshut received even higher praise ; 4 their superior was a 
very good preacher and did much good in the city. 5 The 
Franciscans at Munich and Landshut only complained of the 
arbitrary action of the commissary-general Nas. 8 

1 SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 63. 

a Supplica addressed to Rome on June 15, 1574, in THEINER, 
II., Si. 

8 SCHELLHASS, loc. tit., 61. 

* " Hoc monasterium est huic civitati laudi et commodo 
maximo." Ibid., 260. 

6 Ibid., 257, 258, cf. 64. When he visited Landshut in 1576, 
Morone was delighted to find Catholic life in a flourishing condition. 
Nuntiaturberichte, II., 45. 

SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., 248, 257. For Nas and the German 
Franciscans, cf. SCHWARZ, Gropper, 320 seq. 


In other cases the abuses were not very great, and were 
rather the result of the difficulties of the times than of bad 
will. The Conventual Augustinians at Munich carried out 
the offices of the Church carefully, but there was no superior 
in the monastery because they did not know how to provide 
a successor for the prior, who had recently died ; there was 
no teacher of grammar and no real novice master for the 
young religious. Contrary to the enactments of Pius V., 
in cases of illness women relatives were admitted to the 
monastery, the novices did not go to confession often enough, 
and the monastery was burdened with debts. Nlnguarda 
thought of seeking from the General of the Augustinians the 
necessary authority to send two of the younger monks 
to Italy for the renewal of the religious life, and of asking 
the help of the duke for the payment of the debts. 1 The 
convent of the Dominicans at Landshut suffered principally 
from its poverty, the greater number of the friars were often 
out of the enclosure in order to obtain means of subsistence, 
for the same reason the novices were unable to devote them 
selves entirely to their studies and the spiritual life, or the 
master of novices to his duties ; the church and convent were 
threatened with ruin. 2 Ninguarda tried to help them by 
asking the duke to give the Dominicans part of the revenues 
of the deserted Benedictine monastery of Biburg, or some 
other monastery. 3 The prior, who had committed many 
faults through ignorance, escaped with a severe warning. 4 
On the whole Albert V. could boast that the worst evils had 
been removed from the monasteries of Bavaria, and that 
speaking generally the conditions were not so bad. 5 

1 SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., I., 62, 249 seq., 251 seqq., 253 seqq., 
II., 88, 248. 

2 Ibid., I., 255. 

3 Ibid., 260. 

4 SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 64. 

5 " Effectum quoque est Suae Celsitudinis pietate,, ut quae 
graviora atque enormiora iis in locis conspicerentur, statim sint 
correcta et sublata, ita ut Bavarica monasteria, quantum quidem 
per temporum horum impedimenta omnino potuit, non ita turpia 
aut scandalosa hucusque apparuerint." Albert V. on December 
24, 1574, Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 388 seq. 


On the other hand Ninguarda found a lamentable state of 
affairs in Ratisbon. 1 There were only one or two monks 
left in the monasteries of the Scots, the Franciscan Conventuals 
and the Dominicans, the roof and walls of the house of the 
Augustinians had fallen, the church was more like a stable 
than the house of God, and two Italian lay-brothers who lived 
among the ruins in secular dress, and gained their livelihood 
by trade, had a very bad reputation. The three noble 
monasteries, in which only the abbess took vows, were a 
scandal to the whole city, especially two of them which, 
being directly subject to the Empire, paid no attention to 
any bishop. However, even in Ratisbon the state of the 
monasteries was not altogether bad. The eleven Poor Clares 
kept their enclosure irreproachably, as well as the rest of 
their religious discipline ; 2 the same was the case with the 
eighteen Dominican nuns. The abbot and the sixteen 
Benedictines at St. Emmeran did credit to the Catholics by 
assiduity at the office and their good conduct. 3 Outside the 
city, in the diocese ot Ratisbon, there were many monasteries 
which refused to have anything to do with the bishop, looked 
upon the Duke of Bavaria as their only superior, and lived 
without any sort of discipline. 4 

Straubing and Passau did not fall within the limits covered 
by Ninguarda s visitation faculties. In spite of this in the 
first named city he visited the Carmelites and admonished 
them in a friendly way to wear the religious habit and to live 
in accordance with their state. At Passau, at the request 
of the bishop, he visited the Canons Regular and the Bene 
dictine nuns. Among the Canons he found everything in 
order ; 5 he urged the nuns to observe the enclosure and to 

1 SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., I., 69-73 ; II., 62 seq. 

2 Ibid., I., 71. 

3 Ibid., II., 62. In his " informatio " (ibid., I., 69), Ninguarda 
makes no mention of this monastery because it did not come 
under his jurisdiction. 

4 Ibid., I., 72 ; II., 99 seqq. 

5 Ibid., I., 76. 


obey the bishop ; they promised to obey and thanked him 
for his warning. 1 

At Passau Ninguarda received from Rome, from the superiors 
of his own Order, as well as from the nuncio at Vienna and 
the Dominican prior there, a pressing invitation to go as 
soon as possible to Vienna and restore order among the 
monasteries there. This referred especially to Italian religious. 

One result of the legatine instructions sent to Portia was 
that the Dominicans and Franciscan Conventuals had begun 
to send unworthy members of their Italian houses beyond 
the Alps. Consequently many religious houses with good 
revenues in Styria, Carniola and Carinthia had passed into 
the hands of the Italians, who were a sore trial to the patience 
of the Archduke. 2 

The Emperor in his capital was no less dissatisfied with 
the Dominicans, Franciscans and Augustinians who came 
from Italy, because, as he said, they did not understand the 
German language, and gave scandal by their dissolute lives. 3 
At the request of the States of Austria he was on the point 
of driving them all out. Delfino informed Rome of this, and 
the procurators-general of the three Orders were ordered to 
find good German monks there for the monasteries of Vienna. 

Only Flemings, however, and Italians living in Austrian 
territory could be found, and when the Emperor remarked 
that he could have found real Germans, Delfino begged him 
to seek for them himself, while he in the meantime would 

1 Ibid. 

* Portia s Instructions, No. 31. Nuntiaturberichte, III., 26 seq. 

SCHELLHASS, IOC. tit., 1., 107, n. 3. WlEDEMANN, II., 187. 

3 SCHELLHASS, loc. tit., 80 seq. Maximilian further particularizes 
his complaints in two letters to Rome of January 2 and March 8, 
1574, ibid., I., 237 seqq. ; II., 77 seqq. However, all the Italian 
monks were not giving scandal (ibid., II., 82). Ninguarda praises 
a Dominican of Vienna whom he describes as a " persona assai 
literata e virtuosa." He was a professor at the university and 
everyone spoke well of him. His lectures did much good (ibid.}. 
The answer given by the monks in Vienna to the accusations, 
ibid., III., 34. 


try and reform the Italians. He placed all his hopes for the 
reform of the monks in Ninguarda, who was summoned for 
that purpose from Passau. 1 

If Ninguarda had found the state of the Bavarian 
monasteries not entirely bad, he was to have the saddest 
experience of them in Austria. This was the case with the 
first monastery which he visited in the territory of the Emperor, 
that of his own Order at Krems. The two friars who were 
still there did not at first make such a bad impression, and 
it was only afterwards that it was discovered that they had 
conspired to deceive the visitor ; one of them was later on 
condemned by Ninguarda to the galleys. 2 

Ninguarda reached Vienna a little after the middle of 
March, 1574. He first presented to the Emperor the brief 
accrediting him as the authorized envoy of the council of 
bishops at Salzburg. That synod, he declared, marked the 
beginning of an improvement in the sad state of affairs in 
Germany, but that the concurrence of the Emperor was needed 
for the carrying out of its decrees. 3 Maximilian promised 
his help, so long as the bishops would do their duty. Ninguarda 
then gave him the names of certain abbots, provosts and 
parish priests, who not only lived with women as their wives, 
but professed heretical opinions. 1 

The nuncio Delfino had already on many occasions asked 
for the intervention of the civil power in the case of such 
persons, but a commission of inquiry had hardly been appointed 
when it reached the ears of the Emperor that some of these 
abbots were dissipating the property of their abbeys in favour 
of their sons. The government had cunningly tried to place 
the abbot of Melk in close confinement, but had wrapped its 
action in profound mystery, in order that the guilty man 
might not escape to the Protestants with the gold and silver 
objects belonging to the monastery. 5 In consequence of 

1 Ibid., I., 57, n., 80 seq., n. i. 

2 Ibid., I., 78; II., 58; III., 161, 172, 

3 Ibid., I., 78 seq. ; cf. II., 8i ; 91. 
* Ibid., I., 79. 

6 SCHELLHASS, Akten, 1., 79, n. 2, 

VOL. XX. 7 


the protests of Ninguarda the Emperor promised in future 
to leave the punishment of the guilty to the bishops. As 
for the foreigners in the monasteries of Vienna, who gave 
signs of improvement, the Papal envoy obtained permission 
to allow them to remain, so long as the superior and some 
of the monks in each monastery were Germans, and German 
novices were received. 1 

Ninguarda might well believe that he had accomplished 
something ; he hastened to provide the Dominican convent 
at Vienna with a German superior and preacher, as well as a 
capable master of novices, and to admit four novices. 2 But 
the Emperor Maximilian very soon went back to some extent 
upon his word with regard to the Italian monks, 3 though he 
again renewed his promises when Ninguarda protested. 4 
But the promise to take action against the Abbot of Melk 
was not taken seriously by the Emperor ; only a little while 
before he gave it he had said that there was nothing serious 
in the matter and that he had punished the abbot s accusers. 5 
Nevertheless in 1577 the Bishop of Passau made the most 
serious accusations against him, as well as against a whole 
number of Benedictine and Cistercian abbots in Austria. 6 

In the meantime so many scandals concerning the 
monasteries had reached the ears of the zealous Dominican 
that he would willingly have taken refuge anywhere rather 
than visit them. 7 But the question of the foreign religious, 

1 Ibid., 8 1 seq. 

2 Ibid., cf. II., 82. 

3 Explanation of April 21, 1574, ibid., II., 106 seq. 

4 Ibid., I., 83 seq. Ninguarda s reasons for not straightway 
excluding all foreigners, in his letter to the Emperor of April 29, 
1574, ibid., in seqq., only gradually could a preponderance of 
Germans be brought about. The Emperor thereupon declared 
himself satisfied (ibid., ITO). 

6 Ibid., 79, n. 3* 

6 Ibid. t V., 39 seq. For the visitation of the Conventual Francis 
cans of Austria and Bohemia by Paolo da Norcia, cf, ibid., 94 seq., 
233 and I., 82, n. 2, 95, n. 2. 

To Galli on March 26, 1574, ibid., II., 80. 


and the oppression of some of the Imperial officials, which 
was by no means favourable to the cause of the Catholic 
religion, 1 made him prolong his stay in Vienna from March 
iQth to June i/j-th. His original plan had been to present 
himself first before the Archduke Charles at Graz, as the 
representative of the reforming synod of Salzburg, and then 
to take in hand the reform of the monasteries of Styria and 
Carinthia. 2 While he was there, however, he received news 
that the prior of the Dominicans at Prague had been arrested 
by the order of the archbishop and the civil authorities, 3 
and decided to go first of all to Prague. Before he set out, 
however, by the advice of Delfino he undertook the visitation 
of the Conventual Franciscans at Vienna. 4 

Ninguarda had received ample powers for the tour which 
he now began. As the visitor of the Dominicans he had two 
duties to perform ; he was charged by his own superiors to 
visit the territories of the Archduke Charles and the Emperor, 
with the exception of Hungary ; 5 he was charged by the 
Pope to do the same in Austria, Bohemia and Moravia. 6 
As far as the Mendicant Orders in general were concerned, 
that is to say the Augustinians, Franciscans, Dominicans 
and Carmelites, he at first only had powers as visitor for 
Salzburg, Freising and the states of the Archdukes Charles 
and Ferdinand. 7 Ninguarda had naturally pointed out in 
Rome that it was necessary that his mandate should also 
include Central Austria, for otherwise the monks would be 
constantly escaping from one region to another ; at the same 
time he had also begged that someone else should be given 
this huge task, whereas he himself had enough to do with 

1 To G?lli on May 7, 1574, ibid., 232. 

2 Ibid., 81. 

3 Ibid., I., 84. 

4 Ibid., 87 ; II., 240 seq. 

5 See supra, p. 87 seq. 

6 Brief of January 9, 1574, Nuntiaturberichte, III., 308, n. 8. 
Ninguarda himself had desired the Papal commission (ibid.). 

7 Brief of November 20, 1573, ibid. t 240 ; SCHELLHASS, loo. cit., 
I., 59. 


the convents of his own Order. 1 But the reply came from 
Rome that the Pope did not know of anyone else who was 
capable of carrying out this duty, and that Ninguarda must 
therefore also take this burden upon his own shoulders, 2 to 
which the loyal servant of the Holy See replied that he would 
shrink from no labours, in obedience to the Pope, no matter 
how great the difficulties might be ; it seemed to the Emperor 
as well to be absolutely necessary that his faculties of visitation 
should be extended to Central Austria. 3 

In addition to his plenary ecclesiastical powers Ninguarda 
also obtained the Imperial authority for the exercise of his 
office, since the monasteries were forbidden to receive visitors 
without the express consent of the Emperor. 4 

In the middle of June, 1574, Ninguarda was able at last 
to set out upon his intended journey to Prague. The Imperial 
mandates, which would have opened to him the doors of the 
Augustinian and Franciscan convents, had not yet reached 
him ; he could therefore, for the moment, only deal with the 
houses of his own Order, and convince himself by personal 
experience of their sad condition. 

At Ratz the Dominican convent had been abandoned for 
sixteen years ; the buildings were in the hands of the citizens, 
who were allowing them to fall into ruin. At Znaim a fire 
had several years before destroyed the Dominican convent ; 
the religious, one of whom had recently been sent thither by 
Ninguarda, were living there literally among the ruins. The 
visitation of this convent, and that of Briinn, Ninguarda 
postponed until he returned. 5 At Olmutz, too, where, in 
spite of his haste, he had to wait for fifteen days for an 
Imperial official in order to discuss the question of the religious, 
the convent of the Dominicans was almost extinct ; many 
accusations were made against the Italian prior and the two 

1 To Galli on April i, 1574, ibid., II., 86. 

2 Galli to Ninguarda on June. 12, 1574, ibid., 254. 
8 Ninguarda to Galli on April 8, 1574, ibid., 91. 
* Ibid., I., 85, of. II., 92, 93, 240, 241, 250, 252. 

i Ibid., I., 87 seq. 


religious who still remained. 1 Ninguarda replaced him by a 
German, who later on also led an unedifying life. 2 He also 
admitted two novices. At the convent of the Dominicanesses 
at Olmiitz he made the enclosure more strict. 3 

At Prague the conditions were no better. The arrested 
Dominican prior, on whose account the visitor had hastened 
his journey, had escaped from prison. The only inhabitant 
of the convent was a novice, with two brothers of the Order 
whom Ninguarda himself had a short time before summoned 
by letter. At the houses of the Franciscan Conventuals and 
the Augustinians in each case he only found two religious, 
who were leading scandalous lives ; he had to throw the two 
Franciscans into prison. Ninguarda did what he could under 
the circumstances ; he gave the Dominicans a new prior, 
and the Franciscans a new provincial and a new guardian ; 
he was compelled by necessity to leave the superior of the 
Augustinians, who promised in writing to amend his ways, 
in his office. In other convents he especially insisted upon 
the observance of the enclosure. He naturally interested 
himself especially in the members of his own Order ; he 
systematized the legal position, obtained from the government 
the restoration of the property of the monastery, which had 
been confiscated on account of the flight of the prior, and 
increased their diminished revenues. 4 

At the end of July Ninguarda began to collect fuller informa 
tion as to the condition of the religious Orders in the rest 
of Bohemia by making further journeys. He first went 
towards the east, to Pilsen, Mies, Pniow and Eger. Then, 
again starting from Prague, he went northwards to Leitmeritz, 
Gablonz and Melnik. 5 In Rome, however, they began to fear 
that the indefatigable Dominican, who was the right hand of 
the Holy See for the reform of the monasteries of Germany, 
would succumb under the burdens laid upon him. A Papal 

1 SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 88. 

2 Ibid., 98 ; II., 282. 
9 Ibid., I., 89. 

4 Ibid., 89-91. 
6 Ibid., 91-93. 


brief therefore allowed him, in the case of those religious 
houses which he had not been able to visit in person, to choose 
one or two representatives to do so. 1 In accordance with this 
permission he chose the provincial of the Conventuals to 
visit the convent of the Observants at Kaaden in western 
Bohemia, where none but the guardian remained. He in 
formed himself later on of the state of the monasteries in 
south Bohemia, at Bechin, Budweis and Neuhaus, in the 
course of his journey to Moravia. 

Even in the monasteries of Bohemia bright spots were not 
altogether wanting. Ninguarda praised the five Franciscan 
Observants as well as the twenty Poor CJares of Eger. The 
prior of the Dominicans there had distinguished himself as 
an administrator and preacher. 2 Of the Franciscan 
Observants at Pilsen there only remained two old men ; 
of the Augustinians at Pniow, as at Melnik, only the superiors 
were left, but they did honour to their state. 3 The same 
could be said of the two Conventuals whom the Archbishop 
of Prague had sent to the two Observant houses at Neuhaus 
and Bechin, which had entirely died out. 4 But generally 
speaking religious life in Bohemia was at its last gasp. The 
superiors themselves gave a wholly bad example, and 
Ninguarda imprisoned the guardians of the Minors at Mies 
and Leitmeritz, 5 and the prior of the Dominicans at Pilsen, 
who was the only religious left in that convent. 6 For the 
most part, too, the monastic buildings were in a miserable 
state ; those of the Dominicans at Pilsen, Eger and Gablonz, 

1 Galli to Ninguarda on July 10, 1574, ibid., II., 263 ; Memor 
andum of the German Congregation dated July 7, in SCHWARZ, 
Zehn Gutachten, 92. 

2 SCHELLHASS, IOC. tit. I., 93. 

3 Ibid., 92 seq. 

4 Ibid., 96. On December 5, 1574, Ninguarda wrote from the 
Franciscan monastery at Neuhaus : " E assai ben in ordine (the 
building), ma merce di quel signore (Lord of Neuhaus) ch e 
catholico." Ibid., II., 281. 

5 Ibid., I., 93. 

6 Ibid., 92. 


were on the point of falling into ruin, 1 and that of the Minors 
at Mies was half in ruins ; their convent at Lietmeritz seemed 
like a lodging house ; a crowd of tenants, men and women, 
often persons of ill-fame, had made it their dwelling place. 
The buildings were to a great extent falling down through 
old age, and the church was full of cracks. 2 The revenues 
were hardly enough for one inmate. The Conventuals at 
Mies could spare nothing for the repair of their house. 3 Just 
as the Franciscan Observants had entirely abandoned their 
houses at Neuhaus and Brechin, so had the Dominicans at 
Leitmeritz and Budweis. 4 At Weisswasser a secular ruler 
had confiscated the convent of the Augustinians, and had 
left no religious there at all. At Rakow the convent of the 
Augustinians had experienced much the same fate ; the 
prior, who alone remained of all the religious, had, trusting 
to the noble owners, for two years refused obedience to the 
archbishop, so much so that the visitor deemed it useless to 
make a special visit there. 5 

Ninguarda, in common with the ecclesiastical and secular 
princes, felt that he had good reason to be satisfied with the 
results of this journey. It was the first visitation that had 
been made for many years, and everything had passed over 
without disputes or disturbances, while not a few evils had 
been remedied. Ninguarda owed much to the assistance of 
the Archbishop of Prague, who, on bidding him farewell, had 
begged him to keep a close watch upon the monasteries of 

But if the visitor thought that there would be an interior 
change in the religious whom he had visited, he was very soon 

1 Ibid., 92-4. 

2 Ibid., 93 seq. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Ibid., 93, 96. Concerning Budweis ibid., II., 281. The 
monastery had been given up in 1566 ; Ninguarda regretted that 
" si perche la citta e catholica, come anco che in tutta Boemia 
non ho veduto droppe la cathedrale di Praga la piu bella chiesa 
ne ho ritrovato al trove tanta argentaria come li." Ibid. 

5 Ibid., I., 95. 


disillusioned. Soon afterwards the Archbishop of Prague 
had recourse to Ninguarda, and through him, to the General 
of the Dominicans, and earnestly begged him to do all that 
he could to have the Dominican convents occupied by other 
capable and active religious, because so far very little result 
seemed to have been produced by the visitation. 1 

In Moravia, whither Ninguarda went on December 3rd, 
1574, the same state of affairs prevailed as in the rest of 
Bohemia. Here too there were monasteries in a state of 
absolute poverty, occupied by lay tenants, with three, or 
even fewer religious, who were not uncommonly quite un 
worthy. Ninguarda began his visitation at Iglau, and then 
went on at once, without stopping at Briinn, to Olmiitz, to 
settle a dispute between the city and the Dominicans. When, 
after this, he was making ready for his visitation of Briinn, 
an Imperial order reached him to go at once to Vienna. He 
reached that city on December 24th, 2 and learned that he 
had been summoned on account of the Italian monks, whom 
the Emperor wished to drive out altogether. 3 At last 
Maximilian II. agreed once more to allow a postponement 
in the case of the three monasteries in Vienna. 4 Ninguarda 
had hardly set out for Prague when, in accordance with an 
Imperial injunction of February 4th, 6 all the property, both 
moveable and immoveable, of the three Mendicant convents 
was inventoried and sequestrated. 6 It was the council for 
convents which had taken this step, and this, as Ninguarda 
knew, was, with two exceptions, composed of declared 
Protestants, who only wished to injure the Church. 7 After 

1 The Archbishop to Ninguarda on January 8, 1576, ibid., IV, 
no seqq. 

2 ScHELLHASS,Akteri, I., 97-9 ; II., 281 seq. 

3 Ninguarda and Delfino to Galli on the first and second of 
January, 1575, ibid., III., 23 seq. ; cf. I., 100 ; III., 26, 31, 35, 38, 
41 seqq. 

4 Ibid., I., 100. Ninguarda to Galli on January 28, 1575, ibid., 
III., 46 seqq. 

5 Ibid., 60 seq., 62 seq. THETNER, II., 62 seq., 63. 

6 SCHELLHASS, lOC. tit., I., IO2. 

7 lo Gall on March 2,. 1575, ibi- r l. t III., 169. 


this the superiors of the Augustinians and the Franciscan 
Conventuals at once gave full authority for the repatriation 
of all the Italians in the convents of Vienna. 1 

After his visit to Vienna it had been the intention of 
Ningtiarda to complete his visitation of Moravia, 2 but the 
Archduke Charles, who had been living at Vienna since the 
end of 1574, incessantly urged the visitor to devote his attention 
as soon as possible to the territories of Central Austria ; unless 
help was soon given to the monasteries there, there would 
be an end of them. 3 Armed with full powers from the prince, 4 
and with the authority of the Archbishop of Salzburg, 5 
Ninguarda went to Central Austria, 6 where he remained 
until the beginning of September ; after anothei visit to 
Vienna he then went on to Moravia. 7 

In the course of his journey Ninguarda was able to convince 
himself that the Archduke had not exaggerated with regard 
to Styria and Carinthia. Religious life there was indeed 
at its last gasp, nor was it any better in Moravia. A number 
of the monasteries were entirely empty, or had been turned 
to other purposes ; of the convents of men, only two still 
had five religious. 8 Moreover, the moral conduct of these 

1 Concerning the Emperor s wish that these monasteries should 
be attached to German Provinces of their respective Orders, see 
ibid., 39, 182 seqq. ; cf. I., 208, n. i. ; III., 65 seq., ij6seq., 181 seqq. 

8 Ibid., I., 104 ; III., 170. 

3 Ninguarda to Galli on January 14, 1575, ibid., III., 28. 

4 Ibid., I., 104, 

5 Ibid., 106. 

6 On March 12, 1575, ibid., 102. Ninguarda to Galli on January 
2, 1575, ibid., III., 23. 

7 Ibid., I., 222-9. 

8 Ninguarda s report of his visitation, ibid., I., 104-8, 204-20. 
It is impossible to give an exact itinerary of Ninguarda s journey ; 
see Quellen und Forschungen, I., 104, n. 5, 204, n. 3. In the 
following list the names of completely abandoned religious houses 
are given in brackets. The number of religious that Ninguarda 
found in each house are added in brackets. In Styria Ninguarda 
visited the Dominicans at Leoben (2), Graz (?), Pettau (4), Neuk- 
loster (5) ; the Conventual Franciscans at (Bruck a. d. Mur), 


intruders was such that at Laibach the officials of the Archduke 
demanded that Ninguarda should degrade the guardian of 
the Conventuals, and hand him over to the secular arm, 
because he had incurred the death penalty. 1 In other convents 
conditions were rather better. In the course of his journey 
through Styria the visitor went to Tuln ; there, six years 
earlier, Commendone had found eight Dominican nuns, who 
in spite of their wretched poverty were leading irreproachable 
lives ; Ninguarda only found five still alive, who also gave 
no cause for blame. 2 The same was true of the Dominican 
nuns at Mahrenberg in Carinthia, at Graz, 3 and at Studenitz ; 4 
yet here, as was generally the case with the convents of Austria, 
there was no strict observance of the enclosure, which the 
Papal legate now introduced for the first time. The prior of 
the Augustinians at Fiirstenfeld was praised as a man who 
was alike capable in spiritual and temporal matters 5 . The 

Marburg (i), Cilli (3), Pettau (4) ; the Observant Franciscans at 
Graz (2), (Lankowitz), (Judenburg) ; the Augustinians at (Juden- 
burg), Fiirstenfeld (2), (Radkersburg), (Giissing) ; the Carmelites 
at Voitsberg (2) ; the Dominican nuns at Graz (14), Studenitz (7) ; 
the Poor Clares at Judenburg (8) ; in Carinthia and Carniola he 
visited the Dominicans at Freisach (3) ; the Conventual Fran 
ciscans at Villach (i), Wolfsberg (i), Laibach (i), Minkendorf (2) ; 
the Augustinians at (Volkermarkt), Hohenmauthen (i) ; the 
Dominican nuns at Mahrenberg (4), Michelstetten (5) ; the Poor 
Clares at (Sankt Beit), Bischofslaak (8), Minkendorf (8) ; in 
Mahren he visited the Dominicans at Znaim (3), Olmiitz (2), 
Briinn (3) ; the Observant and Conventual Franciscans at Znaim 
(2), Olmiitz (2), Briinn (Observants 5, Conventuals i) ; the 
Augustinians at Tebiz (i), Briinn (4) ; the Dominican nuns at 
Olmiitz (8), Briinn (2 convents of 8 nuns each) ; the Poor Clares 
at Znaim (their convent occupied by 3 Benedictine nuns), Olmiitz 
(3) ; the sisters of the Third Order at Briinn (6). 

1 SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., I., 213. Similiar conditions at Briinn, 
ibid., 229. 

2 Ibid., 103. 

3 Ibid., 206. 

4 Ibid., 211. " Laudabiliter ac religiose vivunt." Archduke 
Charles to Gregory XIII. on March 12, 1576, ibid., IV., 117. 

5 Ibid., I., 210. 


Franciscan Observants at Lankowitz and Judenburg had a 
very good reputation, but their fine and well-kept houses were 
now abandoned, because the religious had been taken to 
fill up the convent at Innsbruck, but they had been much 
loved by the people of Lankowitz, while at Judenburg both 
nobles and prelates bewailed their loss. 1 At Minkerdorf in 
Carniola he found eight Poor Clares who were still keeping 
their enclosure with great exactitude, and living in accordance 
with their rule. The two Franciscan Conventuals in the same 
place were also in a good state. 2 

In Moravia too some of the Franciscan Observants stood 
out ; at Znaim the guardian of the convent was living with 
one brother, in accordance with the rule of the Order ; but 
there was a want of harmony between them as well as of the 
enclosure ; 3 in the same way everything was satisfactory with 
the five Franciscan Observants of Brunn, 4 though here too 
the enclosure was not observed, and the office had ceased, 
since all the fathers collected alms outside. Under their 
direction there were six nuns of the Third Order, who lived 
" in a praiseworthy and irreproachable way." 5 The same 
applied to the eight Dominican nuns at Olmiitz. 6 On his 
way to Moravia Ninguarda visited the nuns of his Order near 
Krems, who observed their rule " not inaccurately." 7 That, 
in spite of the general decadence, all that was required was 
the strong hand of a capable man in order to revive the 
monastic life, was shown in the case of the Benedictine 
monastery of St. Lamprecht near Friesach. The Benedictines, 
not being Mendicants, were not subject to Ninguarda s visita 
tion, yet the abbot invited the visitor to come to them, because 
there were at St. Lamprecht a fugitive Dominican from 
Landshut, and a Benedictine who had apostatized and 

1 Ibid., 106, 107. 

2 SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 214. 

3 Ibid., 224. 

4 Ibid., 228. 

5 Ibid. 

6 Ibid., 225, cf. 89. 

7 Ibid., 222. 


afterwards repented, and had taken refuge there. " The 
abbot," 1 wrote Ninguarda, 2 " is a man of excellent life, and 
full of zeal, not only for the Catholic faith, but also for monastic 
discipline, so that everyone rightly loves and reveres him. 
Would to God that all the other convents in this country 
had such superiors, for things would then be far better than 
they are now. Before his appointment his monastery had 
practically died out, for it had no monks. But thanks to 
his zeal, he has not only restored the buildings very well, 
but, which is much more important, has provided the 
monastery with many good monks. They now number 
twenty, including the one who repented, among whom six 
are already priests, and the others youths. They have a 
very good name and give much edification ; the reason for 
all this is to be found in the diligence with which the abbot 
maintains discipline and the monastic enclosure." 3 The 
convent of the Premonstratensians at Bruck on the Thaya 
near Znaim also had in Abbot Sebastian Freytag of Czoppern, 
an excellent abbot and reformer. 4 

In the meantime Ninguarda, who was in request in so many 
places, and with no one to replace him anywhere, had been 
frequently warned that he was wanted again in Salzburg. 5 

1 John Trattner, Abbot, 1562-91 ; see PIRMIN LINDNER, 
Monasticon Metropolis Salzburgensis antiquae, Salzburg, 1908, 53. 

2 To Galli on May 5, 1575, SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., IV., 97. 

3 " Tutti danno di se buonissimo adore et edificazione per la 
diligenza, qual usa il reverendo abbate in mantener la disciplina 
et clausura dell osservanza monastica " (ibid.). On April 4, 1581, 
Archduke Charles recommended this monastery to the support 
of the Pope, and, at the same time, praised the abbot who " et 
verbo et exemplo inter omnes harum mearum provinciarum 
praelatos veluti stella luce t." THEINER, III., 260. C/.DUHR, I., 504. 

4 SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 225 ; V., 183. W. SCHRAM in the 
Zeitschrift des Vereins fur Gesch. Mdhrens und Schlesiens, III. 
(1899), 312 seqq. 

6 Galli to Ninguarda on May 22, 1574, SCHELLHASS, Akten, II., 
246; on January 29 and February 12, 1575, ibid., III., 56, 65. 
Ninguarda to Delfino on April 8, 1575, ibid., 183. On September 
1 8, 1575, yet another warning, ibid., IV., 103. 


As the result of the insistence of the German Congregation, 1 
on January yth, 1576, he received a Papal injunction to let 
everything else be and to go to Salzburg for the carrying out 
of the provincial synod. 2 If Ninguarda, wrote the Archbishop 
of Salzburg, 3 had been with him, no doubt much would have 
been done, which was still delayed ; if he could return by the 
middle of Lent, in that case he and the bishops of the province 
would hold diocesan synods. 

Ninguarda left the visitation of some of the Franciscan 
convents to the Franciscan Observant, Michele Alvarez, 
who had been appointed by his superiors, visitor of all the 
monasteries of his Order, 4 and after a visit to the Archduke 
Charles at Graz, who wished to discuss certain matters with 
him, 5 he went to Salzburg. When he reached that place 
on March 2oth, 1576, the parish priests and prelates of the 
whole diocese had assembled for the synod. The decrees 
of the provincial synod of 1569 and the liturgy were published, 
and their carrying out ordered, each member being given a 
copy ; the archdeacons and deans of the district were ordered 
to do the same in the case of their priests after their return. 6 

Gregory XIII. had sent briefs recommending concerted 
action against the worst vices of the clergy to the Archbishop 
of Salzburg, the Archduke Ferdinand and Duke Albert V. 7 

Session of January 4, 1576,* SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 112. 

2 Ninguarda to Galli on February 22, 1576, SCHELLHASS, 
Akten, IV., 106. 

3 On February 8, 1576, ibid., 109. 

4 Ibid., I., 231. For particulars about, him, cf. SCHELLHASS 
in Quellen und Forschungen, VI. (1904), 134-45- See also i n f ra > 
p. 122, n. 4. 

5 The most important question of all was the establishment of 
the Jesuit College at Graz. The matter was settled by handing 
over the convent of the Dominican nuns at Studenitz while 
sparing the Dominican Priory at Neukloster (ibid., L, 220, 230, 
n. 8 ; IV., 10 1 seqq.). By a Brief of July 10, 1577, Gregory XIII. 
dissolved Studenitz (ibid., V., 227). 

6 Ibid., L, 234. 

7 Ibid., 234 seq. For the result cf. ibid., 234, n. i ; 235, 
n. i. 


At the wish of the Archduke, 1 a meeting was held on January 
I5th, 1576, at which the archbishop, together with the Bishop 
of Chiemsee, and the representatives of Freising, Ratisbon, 
Passau and Brixen, discussed the steps to be taken, and 
appointed a diocesan synod for March 1576. 2 The last 
meeting decided upon a limit of three months for ecclesiastical 
offenders, after which they must expect severe punishment. 3 
An agreement with the rulers of the Tyrol and Bavaria made 
it impossible for them to escape punishment by flying to a 
neighbouring district. 4 It was inevitable that the synod 
should once more discuss the usurpations of the secular princes 
in ecclesiastical matters. It had already been decided at 
the meeting in January to collect the facts which gave grounds 
for complaint, for the purpose of making an appeal to Gregory 
XIII. and asking for his intervention ; in order that the 
secular princes might not be confirmed in their previous line 
of action it was also decided to ask the Pope not to entrust 
in future to the secular princes questions which, like con 
cubinage, came under the jurisdiction of the bishops, and not 
to make any further concessions to the civil authorities 
without the knowledge of the bishops. By another decision 
of the January meeting it was their intention to present the 
same request at the coming Imperial Diet. The synod then 
concluded by all present promising obedience to the decrees, 
and making the profession of faith. It was then announced 
that the archbishop, on the occasion of one of his canonical 
visitations, would see whether they had been faithful to 
their promises. 5 By the command of the metropolitan, all 
the bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Salzburg were 
to hold similar synods in their own dioceses. 

1 In a document written by Ferdinand on October 26, 1575, 
in SCHELHORN, Ergotzlichkeiten, I., Ulm Leipzig, 1762, 699 seq. 

2 A. v. Arzt in SINMACHER, Beytrage, VII., 607. The Arch 
bishop to Gregory XIII., in GARTNER, Salzburgische gelehrte 
Unterhaltungen, III., Salzburg, 1812, 180 seqq. 

3 GARTNER, loc. cit. 

4 SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 235. 

6 SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., 236, n. i. 


In spite of all these promises and exhortations the representa 
tives of the Holy See did not consider that further insistence 
would be out of place. When in 1576 Cardinal Morone was 
at the Diet of Ratisbon as Papal legate, he did not lose the 
opportunity of repeating, from the mouth of one of the greatest 
dignitaries of the Church, what had already been said so 
often. In a letter to the whole of the clergy of the ecclesiastical 
province of Salzburg, Cardinal Morone complained, after a 
courteous introduction, that both from his personal observa 
tion and the testimony of others, he found that in spite of 
all the decrees everything was in its former state, both among 
the bishops and canons, and the regular and secular clergy. 
He summed up the principal ordinances of the provincial 
synod of Salzburg, together with some additions of his own, 
in 47 points, upon the observance of which he again insisted. 1 
The hand of Ninguarda can be clearly recognized in this 
document. He had accompanied the Archbishop of Salzburg 
to Ratisbon and had spoken with Morone. 2 Portia too, who 
was also present at Ratisbon, called the attention of the 
Cardinal legate in writing to eight points which he should 
strongly impress upon the Archbishop of Salzburg. 3 

The representatives of Rome were especially and justly 
dissatisfied with the archbishop in one respect. " It seems 
necessary," Portia wrote in his eight points, 4 " to insist 
urgently upon the establishment of a seminary, because the 
necessity for it is obvious and the suffragan bishops will not 
move a finger until they see the archbishop make up his 
mind." A year earlier Delfino had also urged the erection 
of a seminary, " on which everything depended " with the 
greatest insistence. 5 The archbishop had excused himself 
by saying that he wished first to wait for the return of 
Ninguarda, though Delfino did not attach much weight to 

1 Ibid., IV., 123-37. 

2 Ibid., 121, n. i. 

3 Ibid., 122. 
* Ibid. 

5 Ibid., 216, n. 2. 


that excuse. For many years past, he wrote to Galli, 1 the 
archbishop has enjo)/ed vast revenues, but it is not apparent 
that he uses even a small part for the good of the Church. 
With an expenditure of from 2000 to 3000 thalers a year he 
could maintain a seminary, or, what would be better, a number 
of students with the Jesuits, and at that cost he could educate 
so many persons that the whole ecclesiastical province would 
be supplied with the good and trained priests, who are at 
present entirely lacking. But Johann Jakob has no sym 
pathy with the Jesuits, and will not make use of them, so 
that there is reason to fear that he will stop short with mere 
words or with a nominal seminary. In 1577 negotiations 
were begun with the Jesuits, and an agreement was drafted 
for the establishment of a seminary. 2 Ninguarda sent the 
plan of the building to Rome, 3 but the matter again came 
to nothing. It was only in 1582 or 1583 that the institution 
which had been so long projected came into existence. 4 The 
visitation of the archdiocese, on which Portia also insisted, 
had been commenced by the archbishop in the neighbourhood 
of his episcopal city at the end of 1576 ; visitors were also 
sent to Styria. 5 

After his great labours Ninguarda felt a desire to be allowed 
to return to Italy. He sent a letter from Ratisbon to Morone, 
who had already left, 6 begging him to urge his recall in Rome. 
The Pope acceded to the request of the man who had worked 
so hard, and appointed him Bishop of Scala near Amain, 
on February 25th, 1577. 7 

In the middle of April Ninguarda again went to Graz to 

1 On October 21, 1575, ibid. 

2 Ninguarda to Galli on February 21, 1577, ibid., IV., 214 seqq. 
Negotiations with the Jesuits of February 26, 1577, ibid., 218-21, 
cf. 223. Hoffaus to Ninguarda on March 10, 1577, ibid., 224. 

3 Ibid., 223, n. 2. 

4 Rieder in ZSCHOKKK, Theol. Studien und Anstalten in Oster- 
reich, Vienna, 1894, 618. Cf. WIDMANN, 97, 150. 

5 SCHELLHASS, Akten, IV., 222 seq. 

6 Of October n, 1576, ibid., 208. 

7 Galli to Ninguarda on March 2, 1577, ibid., V., 204, 


the Archduke Charles, in order to discuss the religious reform 
of Central Austria, and towards the end of August, 1577, he 
set out for Italy. 1 He was entrusted with a number of 
memorials containing plans for reform and complaints to be 
laid before the Pope 2 by the Archduke Charles and the govern 
ment of the archduchy, as well as by the bishops of Gurk, 
Passau, Salzburg and Chur. 

However gloomy these documents may be, with their 
dispassionate enumeration of the gravest abuses, they 
nevertheless have their bright side. They afford proof of a 
serious wish for reform, and leave one amazed at the trust 
of the reformers, who, in spite of all the decadence, never 
despaired, as well as at the inherent vitality of an organism 
which set itself triumphantly to overcome such deep-seated 
maladies. From what these documents reveal the historian 
can learn the radical causes of the decay of religion, and can 
see how it was indeed based upon what had so often been 
insisted upon on the part of the clergy, namely, that the 
principal cause of the decay was to be found in lay interference 
in ecclesiastical matters. 

As the Bishop of Passau points out, 3 the hands of the bishop 
were tied by the civil authorities. This was especially the 
case in the conferring of ecclesiastical benefices, above all 
in that part of the diocese which was under the rule of Austria. 
The civil bureaucracy, without the knowledge of the bishop, 
welcomed heretical preachers, even when they had been driven 
out of other places, as for example apostate monks, and 

1 SCHELLHASS, Akten, V., 53, n. 2. 

2 Memorandum of the archducal government on the reform of 
monasteries and clergv, dated May TO, 1577, ibid., IV., 225 ; of 
the bishop of Gurk on the disadvantages of administering the 
chalice to the laity and on concubinage, ibid., 233 seqq. ; of the 
Bishop of Passau on various abuses, ibid., V., 35 seqq. ; of the 
ecclesiastical province of Salzburg on the encroachments of the 
secular power, ibid., 41 seqq., with covering letter and letter of 
recommendation for Ninguarda, ibid., 50 seqq., 54 seqq. ; of the 
Bishop of Chur on September 2, 1577, ibid., 55 seqq. 

3 loc. cit. 


protected them. At Hofkirchen and Wels a crowd of 300 
men with arms in their hands had protected their pastor 
against the commands of the Emperor and the bishop. 1 
Where the right of patronage over ecclesiastical benefices 
was held, the priest who was chosen was placed in possession 
of his office without the bishop ; 2 if he was subsequently 
rejected by the latter and forbidden to remain in the diocese, 
the laity maintained and protected him. 3 The cities, the 
prelates, and the laity had forcibly confiscated certain 
revenues in Austria, and secretly employed them for their 
own purposes, so that it was no longer possible to maintain 
a priest there. 4 Abbots, prelates, provosts, administrators 
and stewards were appointed and deposed by the civil 
authorities. There was a custom in Bavaria by which, at the 
death of an abbot or provost the civil authority prevented 
a new election, and placed a steward in the place of the 
deceased. The monasteries in consequence were falling 
into ruin. 5 Moreover the bishop no longer had any real 
power to punish ecclesiastics who failed in their duties. If 
a priest married, the laity defended him ; in Austria un 
married priests were not allowed in certain places. 6 If the 
bishop summoned a lesser prelate or a parish priest before 
his tribunal, they took refuge with the secular prince. The 
administrator of the convent at Fiirstenzell, who had not 
appeared when thus summoned, had been excommunicated 
by the bishop of the diocese. The officials of the Archduke 
then wrote to the bishop in imperious terms, and under their 
threats, the excommunication had to be removed. 7 To these 
things were added usurpations in the administration of Church 
property, 8 and contempt for the ecclesiastical tribunals. The 

1 Ibid., Memorandum, no. 5. 

2 Ibid., no. 13, 

3 Ibid., nos. 14, 15. 

4 Ibid., no. 1 6. 

5 Ibid., no. 20. 

6 Ibid., no. 9. 

7 Ibid., no. 21. 

9 Ibid., nos. IT, 12, 17, 18, 22. 


bishop s representatives were ill-treated by the laity, by 
the heretics, and by the preachers. 1 Government officials 
summoned matrimonial causes before them, and a divorce 
could be obtained from a preacher for ten shillings. 2 Not 
even purely ecclesiastical matters were free from attack ; 
the preachers and states issued professions of faith, and the 
laity claimed to decide upon the services of the Church. 3 
It was partly for this reason that there was cause for com 
plaint of so many abuses in the celebration of divine worship. 
In many parts of Austria mass was either not celebrated at 
all or very rarely. Priests consecrated out of mass and 
absolution was given after a merely general confession ; men 
would have nothing to do with the rites and ceremonial of the 
Church. 4 

The memorial from Salzburg makes much the same 
complaints. 5 In this Duke Albert V. is specially complained 
of because, even in the case of ecclesiastical benefices belonging 
to Rome, he claims the right of collation of those sent by 
the Pope 6 . It is especially insisted that the princes prevent 
ecclesiastical visitations. 

But the point which the Salzburg memorial brings out 
above all others is the interference of the civil authorities 
in the Church s right of possession. When a priest dies, 
at once the civil authorities appear on the scene, make an 
inventory of his property, and decide what is to be done with 
it. On the death of a prelate, they at once on their own 
authority appoint an administrator and steward, undertake 
the administration and appoint a new prelate ; sums of 
money which the dead man has left, pass as " loans " into 
their own pockets. 7 If a priest is unable to pay his debts 
the officials call together the creditors and decide what each 

1 Ibid., no. 6. 

2 Ibid., no. 10. 

3 Ibid., nos. 7, 8. 

4 Ibid., nos. 1-4. 

Ibid,, V., 43-50. 

6 Ibid., no. 17. The duke is not mentioned by name. 

7 Ibid., no. i. 


is to have, while they confiscate the possessions of the poor 
priest. 1 In addition to the taxes which are common to all, 
they arbitrarily demand many others from ecclesiastics, 
and more and more as the years go by. There are also taxes 
for colleges and seminaries, so that there is nothing left for 
the bishop s diocesan seminary ; 2 moreover, contrary to all 
right and liberty, in some places they have begun to levy a 
personal tax upon all ecclesiastical persons of both sexes. 
Some of the secular princes, without the bishop s knowledge, 
obtain from the Pope leave to oppress ecclesiastics yet further. 
Church property is hypothecated and sold by the lesser 
prelates and parish priests with the consent of the prince 
alone and without the knowledge of the bishop, even when 
the needs of the church do not require it. 3 Superiors of 
Orders, both of men and women, have to pledge their property 
for the prince, and are in danger of losing it if the prince does 
not pay. 4 During recent years prelates, chapters and rich 
priests have had to lend money to the sovereign without any 
term being fixed for repayment. This is still the case, and 
if they have nothing to give, they must raise loans and pledge 
the property of the Church. 5 As the result of these extra 
ordinary expenses monasteries and churches cannot be restored 
and are falling down. 6 

After Ninguarda had presented in Rome the memorials 
entrusted to him, he proceeded to make his own observations 
on the abuses in Germany in a carefully drawn up document, 7 
and then summed up the principal points more briefly for 
the use of the German Congregation. 8 

Ninguarda does not repeat the matters treated of by the 

1 Ibid., no. 2. 

2 Ibid., nos. 5, 6. According to one manuscript, by colleges 
is meant Jesuit colleges. 

3 Ibid., nos. 7-9. 

4 Ibid., no. 10. 
6 Ibid., no. ii. 

6 Ibid., no. 12. 

7 Ibid., V., 177-94- 

8 Ibid., 194-7. 


bishops of the province of Salzburg, and especially by the 
Bishop of Passau, but adds to them some remarks of his own. 
In the first place he alludes in strong terms to a deep-seated 
evil in the religious life of German} 7 , the election capitulations 
of the bishops, by which the canons sought to tie the hands 
of the future bishop, so that he should not interfere with them, 
and their dissolute lives. These capitulations had to be sworn 
to, and on account of his oath the bishop did not then dare 
to lift a finger against the canons. 1 

Moreover, on account of the scarcity of priests, many 
benefices which had no cure of souls attached to them were 
left vacant ; the princes, whether ecclesiastical or secular, 
whose business it was to confer them, then kept the revenues 
without concerning themselves about the office for which the 
benefice had been founded. Some of these benefices which 
had fallen into unlawful hands might be recovered in Central 
Austria by means of the Archduke Charles, and at Ratisbon 
by Duke Albert, and then better employed. 2 Naturally 
Ninguarda again recommends, as he had so often done before, 
the annual visitation of the dioceses by their bishops. The 
Archduke Charles had insisted upon the necessity for this 
in Central Austria, but it was equally important for the whole 
of Germany. On the occasion of these canonical visitations 
the sacrament of confirmation would again be given ; at 
present there were old men who did not even know that there 
was such a sacrament. The priests with their women and 
their frequentation of taverns, their disputes and altercations, 
und their indifference about the care of souls and their sacred 
functions, made canonical visitations urgently necessary. 

After these remarks, the memorial turns to the subject on 
which the author, more than anyone else, was expected to 
give his opinion, the reform of the religious Orders. He 
recommends the regular visitation of the monasteries as 
an important step. The Archduke Charles had already 
.asked for a special visitor for the very decadent Cistercian 

2 Ibid., 179. 


monasteries in his dominions. l This should not be an Austrian , 
but should live there and annually visit his subjects. Niriguarda 
approved of this plan, which was also well suited for the 
whole of Germany, besides Central Austria. 2 The Archduke 
had recommended the bishops as visitors of the Benedictines, 
but Ninguarda thought it better that the various monasteries 
should be united into one congregation, which should then 
nominate its own visitors, as the religious would have a better 
understanding of their own conditions than the bishops. 3 
Among them there were still some whose religious spirit 
was undiminished, and who were sufficiently filled with zeal, 
and desired with all their hearts the reform of the monasteries ; 4 
this was especially the case with the abbot of St. Lamprecht, 
who might be entrusted with the difficult task of inaugurating 
the visitation, with every hope of success, and who was more 
over very much in favour with the Arch duke, as well as with the 
Archbishop of Salzburg. 

A similar course of action could be adopted in the case 
of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. They had many 
monasteries, especially in the ecclesiastical province of 
Salzburg, but they were in a very decadent state. Many 
of them no longer wore the habit of the Order ; in one of 
the houses there was not a single member, from the highest 
to the lowest, who had not a woman and children. Not 
one of them had ever seen the rule of St. Augustine. 5 

Other religious communities already had their visitors, 
but these were themselves in need of reform. This was 
.the case with the Carthusians, who had in some places for a 
long time past begun to give up monastic discipline. 6 The 
same applied to the Premonstratensians of Bohemia and 
Moravia, whose General, like the General of the Carthusians, 
lived in France, and thus too far away. The office of visitor 

1 Ibid., IV., 225-33. Details, ibid., V., 39 seq. 
z Ibid., V., 1 80. 

3 Ibid., i Si. 

4 Ibid., 182. 
6 Ibid. 

e Ibid., 183. 


held by the so-called " abbot of abbots " was handed down 
in one fixed monastery from abbot to abbot But among 
other things this " abbot of abbots " was very far from being 
an ideal religious ; he was held in no respect by his subjects, 
and either omitted the visitations altogether or made them 
superficially. Such an arrangement could no longer be 
tolerated, but after the death or removal of a visitor, some 
capable successor, drawn from any abbey, must be appointed. 
For the moment the person best fitted for this would be 
Abbot Sebastian of Bruck, near Znaim, who was a pious and 
exemplary religious who had reformed his own monastery, 
and then established two seminaries, one for the religious 
and one for boys of good birth. 1 

The visitors of all these monasteries must also turn their 
attention to heretical books, because heresy had found its 
way among some of the religious by means of such literature. 2 

With regard to the Mendicant Orders, that is the Augustinian 
Hermits, the Franciscans, the Carmelites and the Dominicans, 
there were already in Rome detailed reports of the visitation 
made by Ninguarda ; in his memorial, therefore, he only 
touches briefly upon the more serious evils, such as scandalous 
life, dispersion of property, unwillingness to wear the religious 
habit, and friendship with Protestants, under whose protection 
they seek refuge from their superiors, in order to be able to 
continue their scandalous life. Even in Catholic districts 
the secular princes assume unlimited rights over the convents, 
on the ground that they had been founded by their ancestors. 
They wait for the death of a superior, and then do not allow 
a new election, but take possession of the property of the 
convent, which is allowed to go to ruin. 3 In the case of the 
nuns the absence of enclosure is especially lamentable ; they 
take part in dances both inside and out of the convents, 
masquerade at the carnival and go hunting. 4 

Since many houses are reduced to one or two religious, he 

1 Ibid., cf. supra, p. 108. 

2 loc. cit., 184. 

3 Ibid. 

4 Ibid., 189. 


had thought of suppressing all the convents in a province 
and leaving only one, uniting there all the religious of the 
province, and concentrating all the revenues of the houses 
suppressed. But against this was the consideration that 
if the half-ruined buildings of the monasteries left vacant 
had to be restored, there would be very little revenue left, 
while the removal of the religious to another place would be 
harmful to the needs of the laity, as in many places the divine 
worship at the monastery was the only one which the few 
still remaining Catholics could attend. Therefore it seemed 
better to leave the one priest of the Order where he was, and 
try to provide him with good fellow religious. 1 

Light is thrown upon the state of affairs at the time by 
the fact that several monasteries could not find any lay-brothers 
to work in the kitchen, so that they were obliged to have 
recourse to women. Ninguarda tried to remove the women 
cooks from the monastery kitchens, but Gregory XIII. 
decided at length that in places where the enclosure bull 
of Pius V. had not been published, respectable women of 
at least 46 years of age might, in cases of necessity, do this 
work. Ninguarda also obtained permission for respectable 
and elderly women to enter the monasteries, but only if they 
were accompanied ; any rule to the contrary had been shown 
to be impracticable in the case of Germany. During the 
stay of the Emperor at Prague in 1575 this concession was 
made use of too freely ; complaints reached Rome, and the 
entrance of all women into the monasteries was again for 
bidden in the diocese of Prague. But soon the people of 
Prague had recourse to Cardinal Morone and Ninguarda 
during the Diet of Ratisbon ; they felt that the enforcement 
of the bull was doubly impossible at Prague because the 
national States held their meetings in the monasteries, and 
while these were going on it was necessary that all sorts of 
people should be admitted. 2 

As the principal means for the renewal of monastic life 
Ninguarda again urged the establishment of seminaries for 

1 SCHELLHASS, Akten, V., 184 seq. 

2 Ibid., 1 86 seq. 


religious, for the training of a vigorous new generation. This 
matter had been often discussed, and recently in the presence 
of Cardinal Morone at the Diet of Ratisbon. The Augustinians 
and Franciscan Observants were thinking of establishing a 
seminary at Munich ; the Dominicans contemplated three, 
at Bozen, Freiburg and Vienna ; the General of the Franciscan 
Conventuals, a short time before his departure; had chosen 
Friuli as the place best fitted for the purpose. The carrying 
out of this useful project would be ensured if the Pope would 
issue a definite order, and at the same time urge the obtaining 
of the best possible professors and teachers. 1 

At the suggestion of Ninguarda Portia was instructed to 
bring pressure to bear upon the Duke of Bavaria for the 
establishment of a seminary for religious in one of the 
monasteries of his states, 2 and a brief to the duke 3 was 
intended to further this project. In the meantime the nuncio 
opinted out the difficulty, 4 in the then condition of the 
monasteries of Germany, of finding a sufficient number of 
suitable professors ; at the same time, so great was the dislike 
of the religious in Germany, that it would be difficult to find 
a sufficient number of intelligent youths to enter the 
monasteries. Therefore there must be established in the 
Catholic universities houses for religious novices, who could 
attend the university lectures. This had already been 
attempted with much success at Dillingen, where he had 
seen more than thirty young religious, drawn from various 
places, being instructed with great profit in learning and 
a good manner of life. One of these students already bore 
the abbot s crozier in a praiseworthy manner. 5 Duke 
Albert V. agreed with the nuncio 6 that a house of studies 
for young religious might be established at Munich, or at 


2 Galli on October 30, 1574, Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 255. 

3 In THEINER, I., 250. 

4 To Galli on November 20, 1574, Nuntiatitrberichte, IV., 289. 
6 Ibid. 

6 Answer of December 24, 1574, to Portia s memorandum, 
ibid., 338. 


Ingolstadt, at the Jesuit College ; the Jesuit schools were 
every day sending out to the various houses young men 
who were sufficiently trained in sacred and secular learning. 1 

When, some ten years later, the monasteries had been 
rescued from their state of decadence, it could be stated as a 
generally accepted fact that a great part of this change for 
the better had been effected by the Jesuit colleges. Gretser 
wrote 2 that they were the sources of supply for the 
monasteries, and no one could deny that the revival of some 
of the Orders and the re-population of the empty monasteries 
had begun with the opening of the Jesuit schools. Elgard 
too saw in the disappearance of the instruction of the young 
the reason for the decadence of the monasteries, and that 
therefore the way to their revival must be sought in the 
schools, where learning, and still more piety, were taught. 
Such were the schools of the Jesuits ; if many of the religious 
were opposed to the Jesuits as newcomers, and put difficulties 
in their way, they were causing their own ruin. He considered 
that the Mendicant Orders in Bamberg and Franconia would 
have been destroyed if they had not gradually been reinforced 
by the pupils of the Jesuits. 3 

The Spaniard, Michele Alvarez, who to some extent carried 
on the work of Ninguarda in reforming the Orders among 
the Franciscan Observants of the monastic provinces of 
Austria, Strasbourg, Bohemia and Hungary, in a memorial 
of I579 4 finds little to praise in the monasteries which he 
visited, but sees salvation from their terrible state of ruin 
in the formation of a new generation of friars. He thought 

1 Ibid., 338 seq. Cf. DUHR, 1., 500 seqq. 

2 " Haereticus vespertilio " : Opera omnia, XI., 872. 

3 SCHWARZ, Cropper, 322. Cf. DUHR, I., 499-508. 

4 Printed by SCHELLHASS in Quellen und Forschungen, VI. 
(1904), 137-45. For Alvarez work in Austria, for his dispute 
with Nas in which both appealed to Gregory XIII., for the 
Brief of July 19, 1578, which entrusted to the Archduke the duty 
of warning Nas to be willing to make peace, for the foundation 
of the Franciscan Province in the Tyrol in 1580 see MAX STRAGANZ 
in the Forschungen und Mitteilungen zur Gesch. Tirols und Vorarl- 


of summoning capable teachers and professors from Spain. 1 
The Premonstratensians in Moravia had established such 
colleges. 2 The General of the Cistercians, who visited the 
monasteries of his Order in Bavaria in 1573, on the other 
hand, thought that the damage could be repaired by sending 
young religious from Bavaria to the Cistercian monasteries 
in France to be educated. 3 By the advice of Ninguarda 
the Augustinians at Munich thought of sending monks to 
Italy for the same purpose. 4 

If the reform at Salzburg was delayed by the fact that 
Ninguarda was not, for a long time, to come to the side of 
Johann Jakob, it was also impeded by the fact his other 
adviser and mentor, the nuncio Portia, was summoned from 
the neighbourhood of Salzburg to a new sphere of action, 
which had a short time before been occupied by the Papal 
nuncio, Gaspar Gropper, namely Augsburg. 

At first, the only thing that was under consideration in 
the Imperial city of South Germany was the establishment 
of a Jesuit college, which had been desired by Cardinal Otto, 
and had for many years been zealously striven for by the 
patrician families of the Fugger and Ilsung. The adversaries 
of this project were the Council of Augsburg and the cathedral 
chapter. Without the consent of the Council no ecclesiastics 
could acquire any settled property, but the attempt to apply 
to the purposes of a Jesuit college a piece of land that was 
already in ecclesiastical hands was again and again ship 
wrecked by the claims of the cathedral chapter. 5 

In the meantime, at the end of September, 1572, a few 
months after Gregory XIII. ascended the throne, the provost 
of the house of the Augustinian Canons of the Holy Cross 
at Augsburg died, and a new election was delayed because 
it was difficult to find a possible successor in the utterly 

bergs, V. (1908), 303-9 ; HIRN, I., 250. Cf. v. OTTENTHAL in the 
Mitteilungen des osterr. Hist. Institute, XI. (1890), 322 seqq. 

1 SCHELLHASS in Quellen und Forschungen, VI., 141 seqq. 

*Ibid., 141. 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 338. 

4 Ibid., n. 6. 

6 Nuntiaturberichte, IV., xv-xxviii. 


decadent convent. The patricians then thought of suggesting 
to the bishop, and through him to the Pope, a plan for trans 
ferring the five remaining religious of the convent of the 
Holy Cross to another house of the same Order in Augsburg, 
and changing the convent of the Holy Cross into a Jesuit 
college. Cardinal Otto, who was then in Rome, was opposed 
to this, but the chapter, who thought that he was in favour 
of the plan, resolved to oppose their bishop, and against this 
express prohibition caused Anton Beirer, hitherto procurator 
of the convent, to be elected on January 7th, 1573, as the 
new provost. After this it was no longer merely a question 
of the Jesuit college with Cardinal Truchsess, who took up the 
gauntlet that had been thrown down, and gave orders that 
the election of Beirer should be declared invalid, and himself 
fought for the handing over of the convent of the Holy Cross. 
A memorial from the Fugger and Ilsung, 1 which was taken 
to Rome by Nicholas Elgard, who at that time held a canonry 
at Augsburg, and a petition from Elgard himself, 2 which was 
supported by Cardinal Otto, 3 laid the matter before the Pope. 
Gregory XIII. showed himself favourable to the project, 
but first wished for an assurance that Beirer had not really 
been canonically elected, and to know whether the disturbances 
which Cardinal Otto feared from the handing over of the 
convent were really to be expected. 4 The Fugger and Ilsung 
definitely replied in the negative to both questions in a further 
memorial. 5 Commendatory letters from the princes of 

1 Dated November 19, 1572, in THEINER, I., 27-31. The 
description of the monastery given by the patricians is called 
mendacious by THEINER (ibid. 27), though confirmed by Cardinal 
Truchsess (ScHWARZ, Cropper, 20, cf. 40) and by Portia (Nuntia- 
turberichle, V., 476). 

2 In SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 17-19. 

3 Ibid., 19-23. 

4 Nuntiaturberichte, IV., xxx seq. Briefs of March 13, 1573^ 
to the patricians and to the princes providing Elgard with recom 
mendations, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 27-9. 

6 Dated May 30, 1573, in THEINER, I., 88-91. A memorandum: 
of the same date for the German Congregation ibid., 91 seqq. ; 
another one, probably from Elgard, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 40. 


Bavaria and the Tyrol, as well as from the Emperor himself, 
rendered a definite decision on the part of the Pope possible, 
and he handed over the convent of the Holy Cross to the 

But before this took place a settlement of the question 
had become more complicated. On April 2nd, 1573, Cardinal 
Otto had died in Rome. The cathedral chapter of Augsburg 
held that during the vacancy in the see it fell to it to confirm 
Beirer, and it at once proceeded to do so. They drew up 
an election capitulation for the new bishop which made it im 
possible for him to hand over the convent of the Holy Cross, 
and this was sworn to by the new bishop, Johann Egolf von 
Knoringen on May 22nd, 1573. J In Rome, however, where 
nothing was known of this capitulation, the newly-elected 
bishop was charged, in a brief of July I5th, to carry out, 
together with Duke Ernest of Bavaria, the handing over of 
the convent, and the nuncio Cropper, who reached Germany 
on July 23rd, had the difficult task of making it possible 
for the bishop to perform a duty which he had bound himself 
by oath not to do. 2 

Gropper did not accomplish a great deal during his flying 
visit to the bishop, but Johann Egolf handed him a copy of 
the election capitulation, which excited great indignation 
in Rome. 3 The German Congregation then decided, 4 after 
long discussion, 5 to have the foundation of the college of 
Augsburg carried out by the nuncio Portia. 

With this decision, Portia found himself faced by a task 
which soon filled him with disgust. At first the canons tried 
to avoid making any reply to his remonstances ; the nuncio 
had to wait for months in Augsburg doing nothing, and when 
at last he received a reply it was clear that the chapter had 
no intention of doing what was required of them. Neither 
protests, nor memorials, nor admonitions from the Pope 

1 Nunliaturberirhte, IV., 263-74. 

2 Ibid., xxxv. Cropper s instructions of July 19, 1573, in 
SCHWARZ, loc. cit,, 43 seq. 

8 Nuntiaturbenchte, IV., xxxvii., xliii. 

4 On March 2, 1574, * n SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 86,. 

6 Ibid., 81, 82, 84. 


and the Emperor, and still less negotiations carried on by 
Duke Albert V., had any effect. The matter ended with 
the recall of Portia from Augsburg in May, 1575. 1 

Nevertheless, out of consideration for the bishop, who was 
seriously ill, Portia put off his departure until September. 
At the approach of death, Johann Egolf became more and 
more troubled by the election capitulation to which he had 
sworn, but for a long time he would not express himself on 
the subject to the nuncio. It was only a few days before 
his death, on June 4th, 1575, that he freed himself from the 
matter that was weighing upon his conscience. 

The successor of Johann Egoll was Marquard von Berg, 
the author of the election capitulation. It now seemed that 
all hope of the Jesuit college had vanished, yet it was just 
at this moment that its realization became possible. Contrary 
to all expectations, the syndic and the Council gave their 
consent in 1580 to the foundation of the establishment, and 
within a short time the college which had so long been resisted 
was set up. 2 

1 See infra, p. 128. 

2 Agricola, dec. 4, .n. 407-32, p. 214^ 



THE new task which fell to Portia opened out to him an 
entirely new sphere of work. 1 Besides the north and south 
of Germany, the Pope wished for information from his nuncio 
concerning the state of affairs in south-west Germany and 
in Switzerland. The first to be chosen for this difficult task 
was Francesco Sporeno, a Franciscan from Udine, who had, 
as lecturer in the convent of the Holy Cross at Innsbruck, 
attracted the attention of the Archduke Ferdinand, had been his 
representative in Rome since 1573, and since 1575 had been 
trying to pave the way to the episcopal see of Miinster for 
Andrew, Ferdinand s son. 2 Sporeno seemed to be the very 
man for those parts of further-Austria which belonged to 
the Archduke ; by his means it would be possible and easy 
to obtain the powerful help of Ferdinand for the restoration 
of the ancient religion in the dioceses of the Upper Rhine, 
the revival of the as yet Catholic university at Freiburg in 
Breisgau, and the seminaries which had so long been needed 
for the training of novices for the deserted monasteries of 
Germany. Since, however, a task which included Switzerland 
as well as the south-west of Germany seemed to be too great 
for one man, it was decided that Portia should share it. 3 
He and Sporeno were at first to work together at Freiburg 
and in the territory of Basle, after which Sporeno was to 

1 On May 6, 1575, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 10 seqq. ; REINHARDT- 

a Nuntiaturberichte, V., xiii. seqq. ; HIRN, II., 83-5. 
8 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 10 seq. 



separate from the nuncio and devote himself to Switzerland. 1 
Another four months passed, however, before the two 
envoys could set out from Augsburg for their new field of 
labour. Sporeno was still delayed for several months by 
the affairs of the Tyrol ; he visited the monastery of 
Georgenberg, 2 and occupied himself with outstanding questions 
of reform ; he especially projected severe measures against 
the concubines of the clergy ; the penalties of whipping 
and exile, and, in case of relapse, of perpetual imprisonment, 
were to be employed against them, and, for reasons frequently 
reiterated, 3 the Tyrol, Bavaria and Salzburg were to act 
in like manner. 4 It was inevitable that the carrying out 
of such a project should involve a journey which would take 
up a great deal of time, 5 as also did the negotiations concerning 
the succession to the episcopal see of Minister, to which 
Sporeno had again to devote himself upon his return from 
Rome. 6 When, at the end of August, his instructions for 
his new nunciature reached the hands of Portia, he too found 
himself delayed. 

In a letter to Rome, 7 Portia describes the new duties 
which were assigned to him as impracticable. He was of 
opinion that not only the professors and rectors, but also 
the pupils for the projected seminaries were lacking. 
The Jesuits could not provide them because of the smallness 

1 Ibid., 12. The credentials for Portia and Sporeno to the 
bishops and chapters, etc., of April 30, 1575, in REINHARDT- 
STEFFENS, 55 seqq. 

z Archduke Ferdinand to the Pope on July 9, 1575, in THEINER, 
II., 66 seq. ; Nuntiaturberichte , V., 92, n. 5. Sporeno to Galli on 
July 6, 1575, in REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 61. Ibid., 63, 65 seq., 
69 seq., also in the letters quoted below dated August 6 and 15, 
October 4, 10, 19, November 2, 1575. 

3 Cf. supra, pp. 29, no. 

4 Portia on August 22, 1575, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 155 seq. 

5 Ibid., 157, n. 4. 

6 Sporeno to the Pope on July 9, 1575, ibid. 147, n. 3. Sporeno 
was in Munich at the beginning of September, 1575, on account 
of the Minister question, ibid., 186, and n. i. 

7 Of August 6, 1575, ibid., V., 115-20. 


of their own numbers ; experience had shown that the 
introduction of Jesuit schools into the universities led to 
disturbances, and for this reason the Jesuits had recently 
left the city of Ingolstadt, and in order to prevent a renewal 
of the disputes the General had forbidden their return. The 
state of affairs at Freiburg was even worse than at Ingolstadt, 
for there the university did not recognize either the Archduke 
or the Emperor as its superiors, and would not allow a 
visitation. In the dioceses of the Upper Rhine the state 
of affairs was very unsatisfactory Thus at Strasbourg 
only six of the canons were looked upon as Catholics, and 
they were only allowed to go out in their ecclesiastical dress 
in the limited space between their houses and the cathedral ; 
they could not appoint any preacher, nor recite the office 
in choir aloud, nor celebrate mass except with closed doors. 
When the election of a bishop had to be held at Basle, only 
three of the canons were stated to be Catholics. The roads 
through Switzerland were closed on account of the plague, 
and in Alsace because of the troops of Henry of Conde, who 
lived on plunder. 1 

Sporeno, who reached Augsburg on August I3th, for the 
most part confirmed this disturbing account of the nuncio, 
in the light of his own observation and experience at 
Innsbruck. 2 Galli replied to the objections of Portia 3 that 
nothing could be accomplished in this world without difficulties, 
and that the nuncio must do what he could in order to satisfy 
the Pope. On October 4th Portia and Sporeno entered 
Freiburg in Breisgau. 4 Until the time of his departure for 
the Diet of Ratisbon in June 1576, the city on the Upper 
Rhine became the centre of Portia s activities. 

During the first few months it seemed that he could not 
by any means leave Freiburg. In order to fulfil his duties 
as nuncio he intended successively to visit the diocese of 

1 For the insecure conditions in Alsace at the end of 1575, see 
Nuntiatiirberichte, V., xlii-1. 

2 Portia on August 15, 1575, ibid., 136. 

3 On September 3, 1575, ibid. 164 seq. 

4 Portia on October 4, 1575, Nuntiatiirberichte, V., 198. 

VOL, XX. 9 


Sion, the Abbey of St. Gall, the city of Strasbourg, and the 
Bishop of Strasbourg, who lived at Zabern. But the abbot 
and monks of St. Gall had fled because of the plague, and 
in the other places, as he had already been warned, all the 
roads were closed. 1 When, on October I5th, Portia sent a 
first and long report to Rome, 2 he learned that the abbot 
of St. Gall was at Rorschach ; he then set out to find him, 3 
but because of the plague he only got as far as Constance, 4 
whence he sent to Rome a memorial on the reform of the 
University of Freiburg. 5 At Constance he met Duke Eric II. 
of Brunswick, 6 but otherwise the only result of his journey 
was the visitation of the Cistercian abbey of Salem. 7 

There Portia found things in a fairly good state ; besides 
the abbot, the monastery contained forty-five monks, thirty- 
seven of whom were priests ; 8 it had a good name in the 
neighbourhood, and the nuncio himself said that nowhere 
in Germany, generally speaking, had he found a better 
observance of external monastic discipline. 9 Nevertheless 
the monks received the Papal envoy with a certain reluctance, 
and Portia contented himself with pointing out to them 
certain matters which needed reform, and bestowing upon 
them general praise. 10 

In the meantime Sporeno had worked together with Portia 
at Freiburg until the middle of October, and had made the 
journey to Salem and Constance with him. 11 Immediately 

1 Portia on October 10, 1575, ibid., 202 seq. 

2 Ibid., 207-14. 

3 Portia on October 19, 1575, ibid., 216 seq. 

4 Portia on November 2, 1575, ibid., 254 seq. 

5 Ibid., 218-25 ; THEINER, II., 533-5. 

6 Nuntiatiirberichte, V., 226-30. 

7 Ibid., 233-54. 

8 Ibid., 239. 

9 Ibid., 236. 

10 To the abbot and fathers on October 28, 1575, ibid., 244-50, 
The abbot s reply of October 29, ibid., 251-4. Cf. THEINER, II.. 
26-70, 70-2. 

1 1 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 200, 210. 


on his arrival at Salem the Franciscan received a summons 
to Innsbruck from the Archduke Ferdinand, 1 and at the 
beginning of November went once more to Rome as his 
representative. 2 The Curia still counted upon his going 
back to Portia 3 but Sporeno remained entirely in the service 
of the Archduke of the Tyrol. At the end of January, 1576, 
Ferdinand IT. requisitioned his services to accompany his 
son Andrew on his pilgrimage to Rome. 4 The Pope thereupon 
dispensed him entirely from his duty as Portia s companion, 
and appointed him, though reluctantly, titular Bishop of 
Sebaste. 5 

When Portia returned to Freiburg at the beginning of 
November, 1575, without Sporeno, he found himself at first, 
to his great disgust, tied to that city. He complained that 
there he knew nothing of what was going on in the world ; 8 
the letters which he wrote remained on his table, because 
he could find nobody to take them. 7 He anxiously awaited 
the time when the way to the various parts of his nunciature 
should be reopened. 8 At the end of January, 1576, his 
desire was granted ; he went to Porrentruy to visit the Bishop 
of Basle, and thence to Besancon, on his way back visiting the 
Bishop of Strasbourg at Dachstein, and reaching Freiburg 
once more about February 22nd. A few days later he received 
orders to set out upon another long journey, this time to the 
Bishop of Spires. He got there at the end of March, but 
returned almost immediately to Freiburg. At the end of 

1 Portia on October 23, 1575, ibid., 230. 

2 Portia on November 18, 1575, ibid., 270. 

3 Ibid., xviii seq. 

* On January 20, 1576, ibid., 330. 

5 On Februray n (15), 1576, ibid., 330, n. 4 ; THEINER, II., 181. 

6 On November 12, 1575, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 258. The same 
complaint had already been made on October 15, ibid., 211 seq. 

7 On January 3, 1576, ibid., 300. A letter from Freiburg to 
Rome had taken a month to reach its destination so that Portia 
often thought that his manuscripts had been lost. Ibid., cxiii. 

" per non stare inutilmente tra queste mura con noia et 
crucio d animo rinchiuso." On January 17, 1576, ibid. t 307. 


May he was called to quite a new field of labour, 1 so Portia 
certainly could not complain of want of employment. In 
addition to Freiburg and the abbey of Salem, he was able 
to bring his influence to bear in person in the three dioceses 
of Strasbourg, Basle and Besancon, and by letter from 
Besangon on the Bishop of Lausanne ; the questions in which 
he interested himself, whether by way of encouragement or 
reproof, were by no means unimportant. 

In Freiburg itself the nuncio and to some extent his 
colleague Sporeno, devoted themselves in the first place 
to the often discussed project of a seminary for young monks, 
and the reform of the university. 

Freiburg might be considered the most suitable place for 
a monastic seminary ; 2 there was there a Catholic university 
where the religious who went there could study, and there 
were also the two almost entirely empty monasteries of 
Oberried and All Saints, the buildings and revenues of which 
might with advantage be handed over to the projected 
establishments. 3 Two colleges were contemplated, one of 
which was to be used by the novices of the Mendicant Orders, 
and the other by those of the remaining Orders. 

When Sporeno, to whom the question of these seminaries 

1 Ibid., xix-xxii. 

2 In Freiburg most of the religious houses were in a satisfactory 
or good condition, as for example the convents of the Sisters of 
Penance and of the Tertiaries, also the convent of Voluntary 
Poverty and especially that of the Poor Clares. " Also the 
religious houses for men gave no grounds for complaint, and the 
blameless conduct of the Augustinians was especially a matter 
for rejoicing. They carried on a Latin school in their house and 
made their members diligently attend the colleges of the university. 
A beautiful library was the pride of the monastery. Another 
Augustinian monastery, in the town, All Saints/ was at this 
time (of the archiducal visitation) quite empty." HIRN, I., 12.4. 
Ibid., 122 seq. for the conditions of the religious houses in Upper 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 10, n. i ; 131, n. 2 ; 133, n. and p. i. 
Gregory XIII. to Archduke Ferdinand on April 30, 1575, in 


was entrusted, was preparing to visit the monastery of the 
Williamites of Oberried, seven religious were hurriedly 
admitted to the empty monastery, and the admission of 
three more was expected. The house therefore was once 
again full, and therefore safe, and Portia, who had announced 
his visit, was not admitted at all. 1 

There were better hopes in the case of the monastery of 
All Saints. The congregation of the Canons of St. Augustine 
still had three religious in three houses of the Order, one of 
which was All Saints. The monastery was large, well 
situated and solidly built, and had a revenue of a thousand 
florins, which could, in Portia s opinion, be used for the 
education of candidates for the cloister ; part of the house 
could be given over to the religious who were sent to study 
at Freiburg by their supporters ; they would live at the 
expense of their monastery, under the care of some learned, 
pious and prudent man, who could certainly be found in 
Freiburg. But as a result of the behaviour of the Council 
of Freiburg, whose discourtesy, perversity and obstinacy 
were beyond belief, nothing could be accomplished without 
the Archduke Ferdinand. 2 

The latter declared himself in favour of the project ; 3 in 
Rome it was decided to carry out in the monastery of All 
Saints, of the two suggested sections of the seminary, only 
that for the monastic students. 4 A brief of January 2oth, 
1576, addressed to Portia and Sporeno, gave them authority 
to take possession of the convent of All Saints ; 5 a second, 6 

1 Portia on October, 1575, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 210. 
3 Ibid., 210 seq. 

3 Decree of November 5, 1575, ibid., 274 seqq. 

4 Ibid., 311, n. 3. Brief to Ferdinand II. of January 21, 1576, 
in THEINER, II., 184 seq. 

5 Nuntiatiirberichie, V., 433, n. 3. 

6 Of January 21, 1576, in THEINER, II., 185 ; Nuntiaturberichte, 
V., 312. According to a decree of the German Congregation 
dated January 4, 1576, the statutes of the Freiburg College were 
to be drafted by the Rector of the German College. SCHWARZ, 
Zehn Gutachten, 113. 


sent in six copies, giving the address in Freiburg, was to 
invite six abbots to send their young subjects to make their 
studies there. But the foundation of the establishment 
came to nothing owing to the resistance of these abbots ; even 
before this the Archduke Ferdinand and the Cardinal Bishop 
of Constance had met with no response each time they put 
forward similar projects. 1 On this occasion the Cardinal 
of Constance showed himself but little inclined to the plan. 2 
It may also have seemed distasteful to the Canons of St. 
Augustine, for an attempt was being made to take away 
from them a monastery at Augsburg, and now a similar 
attempt was being made at Freiburg. In any case no further 
steps were taken in Rome in the matter, and Portia was forced 
to abandon it whether he liked it or not. 

Whereas the affairs of the religious seminaries were 
principally in the hands of Sporeno, the whole matter of 
the University of Freiburg was entirely in those of Portia. 
He wished to avoid a real visitation of the university, as 
being too invidious ; he contented himself with informing 
himself in secret as to its condition, and then bringing influence 
to bear upon individual professors in private interviews. 
What he learned in this way was not reassuring. 3 It was 
true that lectures in all four faculties were still delivered 
at Freiburg, as well as in Latin, Greek and Hebrew ; 
the university was still Catholic, and the professors made 
the profession of faith on taking office, but as the Protestants 
of the surrounding districts sent their sons to the Protestant 
universities of Strasbourg, Basle and Zurich, Freiburg had 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 434. 

2 Ibid., 313. 

3 See Portia s memorandum of October 15, 1575, ibid., 218-25 ; 
THEINER, II., 533-5. As a matter of fact an archiducal visitation 
of the university had been held at the end of July, 1575 (HiRN, I., 
337). Portia was of opinion therefore (on October 19, 1575, 
Nuntiaturberichte, V., 224) that Gregory XIII. should com 
municate his wishes with regard to reform to the Archduke so 
that the latter could impose them on the university in his own 
name and as coming from his own initiative. 


very much declined. In the medical faculty there were 
more professors than pupils ; the total number of students 
was not more than 250 and of these 80 lived together in 
college and were maintained in great poverty. 1 Above all, 
the students of the faculty of law betrayed their poverty 
in their appearance and dress, and they were guided by no 
other aim than quickly to accumulate a little practical 
knowledge, so that they might earn their bread. 2 In the 
teaching of canon law and theology the attempt was made 
to get through it as quickly as possible, so that the students 
received little more than an external smattering of those 
sciences. 3 Moreover the lectures only lasted at the outside 
for half an hour, and there were three months vacation for 
the higher classes. 4 The dogmatic theology lacked all true 
scholastic form ; 5 the professors were badly paid, were for 
the most part former students of the university itself, and 
did not rise above a very ordinary degree of mediocrity ; 
to attract better material from outside would only be possible 
by considerably increasing the emoluments, while the jealousy 
of the local professors would have made it impossible for 
foreigners to come. 8 In consequence of the remarks of Portia, 
that it would be well to improve the study of scholasticism, 
or to introduce it on account of the Protestant schools of 
the neighbourhood, the professors tried to attract a capable 
man from Louvain, but they were asked for an annual stipend 
of 600 thalers, whereas at Freiburg an annual payment of 
200 scudi was looked upon as something extraordinary. The 
attempt thus failed, but it was seen from the first that unless 
there were an improvement in the revenues it would be im 
possible to assist the university. 7 Various plans for doing 
this came to nothing ; there was a suggestion for handing 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 222. 

2 Ibid., 220. 

3 Ibid., 223. 
* Ibid., 22 T. 
6 Ibid. 

6 Ibid., 222. 

7 Portia on March 14, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 371. 


over to it the abandoned monasteries, or of obtaining a large 
contribution from the many religious houses which still 
existed. 1 A third solution was put forward, of which the 
rector and professors of the university declared themselves 
to be in favour in a memorial to Portia ; 2 it was suggested 
that each of the greater churches should set aside one benefice 
for the university. Portia recommended this suggestion 
of the professors to Cardinal Morone at the Diet of Ratisbon, 
where he insistently harped upon the importance of the 
University of Freiburg. It alone provided priests for the 
dioceses of Constance, Basle and Strasbourg, and it was 
generally believed that it was due to it that Catholicism 
had not disappeared in Swabia, on the Lake of Constance, 
and in the territory of Basle. 3 It appeared to the German 
Congregation that it would be difficult to put this plan into 
execution. 4 Nevertheless, at the suggestion of Portia, the 
rector and the leading professors addressed a memorial to 
the nuncio, 5 in which they reiterated their request. This 
petition was lost, and it was only on September 5th, 1577, 
that Portia, who was at that time nuncio in Cologne, could 
send a new copy to Rome. 6 In the December of the same 
year the matter passed outside his jurisdiction ; in Rome 
it was thought that it would first be necessary to obtain 
the consent of the Archduke Ferdinand, and Portia realized 
the impossibility of getting into touch with the Archduke 
from Cologne. 7 

The efforts made by Portia on behalf of the university 
as a source of supply of priests and religious, helped towards 
the religious regeneration of the whole of south-east Germany. 
At the same time, in his capacity of nuncio, he sought to 

1 See Portia s memorandum of October 19, 1575, ibid., 224. 

2 Of March 5, 1576, in THEINER, II., 185 seq. 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 481 seq. 

4 Protocol of May 29, 1576, in SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 116. 
6 Of August 8, 1576, in THEINER, II., 186; Nuntiaturberichte, 

V., 495- 

6 Nuntiaturberichte, I., 161. Cf. SCHREIBER, II., 138, 308. 

7 Nuntiaturberichte, I., 206, cf. V., 520, n. 2, 

BASLE 137 

bring his influence to bear in all the dioceses in the region of 
Freiburg. In this connexion he first turned his attention 
to the diocese of Basle. 

Portia had already, in a letter to Rome from Augsburg, 1 
before he set out for the scene of his new nunciature, spoken 
of the death of the Bishop of Basle, Melchior von Lichtenfels. 
He at once received in reply a brief 2 seriously calling the 
attention of the canons of Basle to their duties with regard 
to the forthcoming election. Bearing a letter from the Arch 
duke Ferdinand, Sporeno, or the nuncio himself, if he were 
not detained by the election of the Bishop of Augsburg, was 
to go there, in order to prevent the nomination of an unsuitable 
man. 3 

As had happened before, after the death of the Bishop of 
Wiirzburg, 4 so now the pontifical brief came too late. 5 But, 
as had been the case at Wiirzburg, this time too the votes 
fell upon the most worthy candidate, 6 Jakob Christopher 
Blarer von Wartensee, hitherto canon of Basle and Constance, 
whose family had, during the period of the religious changes, 
given more than one distinguished man to the Church. 7 

1 Of June 12, 1575, ibid., V., 40. 

2 Of July 2, 1575, ibid., 60, n. REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 60. 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 60 seq. 

4 See supra, p. 82. 

6 Portia reports the completion of the election on the nth, 
the arrival of the brief on the i8th of July; see REINHARDT- 
STEFFENS, 62 ; Sporeno to Galli concerning the election on 
July 19, ibid. 

8 On June 22, 1575, Sporeno loc. cit., 63. Cf. Nuntiaturberichte , 
V., Ixx. 

7 Gerwick Blarer, Abbot of Weingarten 1520-67, according to 
Truchsess, " a pillar and support of religion " ; Abbot Diet helm 
Blarer, 1530-64, the " Third Founder of St. Gall " ; Abbot Louis 
Blarer of Einsiedeln, 1526-44 (Freib. Kirchenlex. (2), II., 902, 
V., 62, XII., 1267). According to STALIN (VI., 758) Abbot 
Gerwick was " together with Otto Truchsess the most active 
promoter of the counter-reformation in Swabia " ; according to 
MEYER VON KNONAU (Herzogs Real-Enzyklopddie, VI. [3], 351) 
Abbot Diethelm was " one of the most distinguished representa- 


When three months later Portia went to Freiburg, Blarer 
was not yet appointed bishop, because the Papal approbation 
had not yet arrived, and it became the first duty of the nuncio 
to obtain it. 1 

A memorial to the German Congregation in 1573 points 
it out as a serious drawback that the approbation of German 
dignitaries was often so long delayed in Rome. 2 The case 
of Blarer shows that the blame did not always lay with the 
Curia. A few days after his election 3 he had sent a petition 
for its confirmation, while at the same time he asked that 
he might receive priest s orders outside the usual time and 
receive episcopal consecration from a single bishop assisted 
by two abbots, and also retain his two canonries ; there was 
also a request for the reduction of the annates on account of 
his poverty. But it was August before this petition, together 
with the acta of the election, reached Constance where an 
agent was to recommend it to the Cardinal bishop of that 
place, Mark Sittich von Hohenems. In the middle of 
September it came back in its entirety to Blarer, who, 
probably in an altered form, once more sent it to his agent, 
only to receive a definite reply at the beginning of October 
that the Cardinal was ill, and could not attend to 
business. 4 

Portia and Sporeno, who reached Freiburg soon after this, 
expressed themselves as much surprised at the delay. Blarer, 
so Portia said to the auxiliary bishop of Basle, had everywhere 
the highest reputation for piety and learning, even with the 
Pope. He would willingly take the matter up, and a reply 

tives of the restored Catholicism in Switzerland." However, the 
heretical reformer, Ambrose Blarer, was also a member of the 
same family. For particulars about him cf. Freib. Kirchenlex., 
II., (2], 902 ; Allgem. Deutsche Biogr., II., 691. 

1 Memorandum of the suffragan of Basle, Mark Tegginger, on 
October 12, 1575. Nuntiatiirberichte, V., Ixx, n. i. 

2 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 46. See supra, p. 38. 

3 On June 30, 1575. 

4 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 288, n. 2. Portia to Galli on December 
13; T 575, in REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 77, 

BASLE. 139 

might be obtained from Rome within a month. 1 As far as the 
poverty of the sadly reduced diocese of Basle was concerned, 
both the nuncio and the Curia promised every facility. 2 
Naturally, Gregory XIII. pointed out that it was not right 
that the officials in Rome should entirely forego their 
accustomed fees, and the diocese of Basle could still afford 
to pay something. 3 At his visit to Porrentruy Portia offered 
to pay the expenses of the confirmation in Rome out of his 
own funds, and Blarer could repay him in Germany. 4 

Before all these negotiations between the bishop and 
Portia, 5 and Portia and Rome were completed, several further 
months elapsed. It was the end of December when the 
nuncio sent to Rome the request of the bishop-elect for con 
firmation, and the reduction of the annates, at the same 
time recommending that account should be taken of his 
desire to retain, of the two benefices which he held, at anyrate 
that at Constance. 6 The profession of faith of the new 
bishop, the careful inquiries into his previous behaviour 
and his moral conduct, together with the instrument of 
election, could only be sent on March i4th. 7 

On April 5th the documents were in Rome ; 8 on the nth 
of the same month the confirmation of Blarer was proposed 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, V., Ixx. 

8 Portia on December 26, 1575, ibid., 294 and Ixxvi. An 
auditor of Cardinal Lodovico Madruzzo was Blarer s representative 
in Rome. Ibid., 319, n. 

8 Galli on January u, 1576, ibid., 318. 
4 Ibid., 339, n. 2. 

6 They were carried through in Portia s name by Tegginger, 
suffragan of Basle, in December, 1575 (ibid., Ixxiv, n. 3). 
Tegginger disguised himself and, carefully avoiding the main 
roads, crept into Basle in order to ordain Blarer to the priesthood. 
Portia to Galli on December 13, 1575, in REINHARDT-STEFFENS 

6 Portia on December 26, 1575 ; also on March 14, 1576 ; 
ibid., 295, 370 ; REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 78, 93. Ibid., 98 seq., 
also Portia s letters to Blarer of May 30 and June 4, 1576. 

7 Portia on March 14, 1576; Nuntiaturberichte, V., 369 seq. 

9 Ibid., 451, n. 5. 


by Ludovico Madruzzo and granted on May 4th. 1 A Papal 
brief 2 allowed the bishop-elect to take possession of his 
diocese before the bulls were sent, and the annates were 
reduced to one third. 3 With regard to Blarer s desire to 
retain the benefice which he held at Constance, out of con 
sideration for the Cardinal of Constance, nothing was definitely 
decided. 4 Blarer received through both Portia and Morone 
the authorit}^ to be consecrated by one bishop assisted by 
two abbots. 5 

On the occasion of his visit to Porrentruy at the end of 
January, 1576, Portia, on account of the good qualities of 
Blarer, made an exception to the usual custom of Rome of 
not treating with bishops who were not yet consecrated 
concerning the affairs of the pastoral office. He strongly 
urged upon him the reform decrees which he was insisting 
upon everywhere : synods, frequent canonical visitations, 
care in conferring sacred orders and the appointment of 
parish priests, and examination and concursus of parish 
priests, and above all the establishment of a seminary, as 
there was not a single school in the whole diocese, so that 
even the Catholics sent their sons to Protestant teachers in 
Basle. The bishop-elect listened with attention and promised 
to carry out his pastoral ministry in person. He pointed 
out that in some of the matters touched upon by the nuncio 
the work had already been begun, but that there were very 
great and real difficulties in the diocese ; the poverty of the 
diocese was a special hindrance to the establishment of a 
seminary, and it would be impossible to find a way out of the 

1 Ibid. SANTORI, Diario concist., XXV., 103, 106. 

2 Of March 12, 1576, in REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 97. 

3 SANTORI, loc. cit. 

4 Consultation on the subject on May 4, 1576, N untiaturberichte , 
V., 451, n. 5. Portia felt this rebuff very keenly (to Blarer on 
May 30, 1576, ibid., 451). For Blarer s canonry in Basle, ibid., 

5 Ibid., Ixxix. Portia to Galli on September 29, 1576, in 
REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 102. Gregory XIII. to Blarer on 
November 6, 1576, ibid., 103. 


difficulty unless the Pope would grant him the revenues 
of the abandoned monasteries. 1 

Portia formed a favourable impression as to the personality 
of Blarer, who was scarcely thirty-three ; he led a life that 
was truly ecclesiastical, loved study, was rilled with the love 
of his neighbour and with piety, was convinced of the import 
ance of the episcopal office and often said mass. 2 Blarer 
has " the capacity, the scientific culture, and the independence 
of spirit to accomplish great things." 3 

As bishop, Jakob Christopher Blarer became indeed the 
restorer of the diocese of Basle. 4 He insistently asked Charles 
Borromeo for his synodal constitutions ; 5 in 1581 he held a 
synod at Delsberg, inviting Peter Canisius, 6 laboured for the 
establishment of a Jesuit college at Porrentruy, which, after 
great difficulties, came into existence in 1591 ; 7 he was zealous 
in the visitation of his diocese, and admitted no one to the 
care of souls without a favourable report from the examiners. 8 
It was especially by means of the college at Porrentruy that 
he succeeded in regenerating his clergy ; he himself paid the 
expenses of the education of poor youths. 9 Jakob Christopher 
only reaped the fruits of his labours and sacrifices under the 

1 Portia on February 14, 1576, in REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 
86-91 ; Credentials for Portia to Blarer on November 12, 1576, 
ibid., 72. A brief of March 22, 1578 (WiRz, 409) once more 
warns the bishop of his duty with regard to good priests, visita 
tions and seminary. 


3 On February 27, 1576, ibid., 92. Also on February 2, 1576, 
ibid., 83. 

4 " One of the most remarkable clerics to appear at that time, 
an energetic and unfailing representative of the counter-reforma 
tion " (DIERAURER, III.. 352). Cf., his reports to Rome in 
SCHMIDLIN, III., 68-76, and FIALA in the Freib. Kirchenle^., II. 2 

5 FIALA, he. cit., 903. 

6 SCHMIDLIN, he. cit., 69. 

7 SCHMIDLIN, III., 70. DUHR, I., 222-6. 

8 SCHMIDLIN, he. cit. 
8 Ibid., 73- 


successors of Gregory XIII. ; when in 1602 he carried out a 
solemn visitation by means of the auxiliary bishop, Franz 
Bar, together with the vicar-general and a Jesuit, the people 
everywhere flocked to the sermons and catechism, which was 
held twice a day by the Jesuits, willingly threw open the 
churches and gave every sign of their submission. 1 

A short time after Blarer had taken possession of his diocese 
his Protestant subjects demanded the free exercise of their 
religion. The bishop s desire and efforts, on the contrary, was 
to rule over none but Catholics. He won back the Sissgau, 
where the new doctrines had already taken too deep root, 
to the city of Basle. In order the better to cope with the 
Protestants in the other parts of his territory, on September 
28th, 1579, he concluded a treaty at Lucerne with the Catholic 
cantons of Switzerland, which was solemnly sworn to at 
Porrentruy on January I3th, 1580. The cantons bound 
themselves to support the bishop in bringing back his heretical 
subjects to the true Christian religion, and their obedience 
to their lawful superior, but refused to make use of any force 
without their own consent. Uri, which at first had had no 
share in this treaty, was advised by Gregory XIII. to adhere 
to it, 2 and later on the Pope praised the bishop for this 
alliance. 3 Blarer himself preached to the Protestants in 
the districts of Birseck and Laufen. A short time before the 
death of Gregory XIII. a decision by arbitration assured 
to the Catholics as well as the Protestants in both these 
districts the free exercise of their religion, and forbade any 
use of force. It was only after the death of Gregory that 
greater results were obtained. 4 

1 Ibid., 72. For particulars of the auxiliary bishop, Bar 
1550-1611) see GFRORER in the Zeitschrift fur die Gesch. des Oberr- 
heins, N.F., VXIII. (1903), 86-103. 

2 On November 22, 1579, WIRZ, 415. 

3 On May 10, 1580, ibid., 420. 

4 FIALA in the Freib. Kirchenlex. 2 , II. 1 903 seq. ; DIERAUER, III., 
355 ; DUHR, I., 476. Cf. CONSTANTINE SCHMIDLIN, Das Jahr- 
hundert der politisch-religiosen Umwalzungen in den deutschen 
Vogteien des ehemaligen Furstentums Basel 1502-1608 (special 


Jakob Christopher, in taking possession . of his office, so 
states the encomium on his epitaph, had found his diocese 
oppressed by error and sin, but owing to his prudence and 
firmness it had been saved. 1 Portia therefore had been right 
in the estimate which he had formed of Blarer from the time 
of his first meeting him in 1576, and that his intervention 
on his behalf had not been wasted. His exhortations to 
the other bishops whom he spoke with during the course 
of the same year were not altogether in vain. After his 
visit to Blarer at Porrentruy, Portia had gone to Besan^on, 
and on his way back had met Johann von Manderscheid, 2 
Bishop of Strasbourg, at Dachstein, where the bishop had 
built himself a splendid residence. For the most part Johann 
lived at Zabern ; Strasbourg was closed to him, and Portia 
himself thought that his life would be in danger should he 
go there. 3 

In that city, which was entirely Protestant, Catholic worship 
was still tolerated, though with closed doors, only in two 
or three convents of nuns until their death. 4 Of the twenty- 
four canons six or eight still remained at Strasbourg, 5 the 
rest only passing some six weeks in the city every year, so 
as to receive the rich revenues of their office. 6 The cathedral 
chapter of Strasbourg was composed entirely of the sons 
of princes, counts, and barons, and was looked upon as the 
most distinguished in Germany ; at the time of Portia s 
visit it included the sons of the Dukes of Saxony-Lauenberg, 
Cleves and Holstein. The canons were entirely secularized, 

reprint from the Geschichtsbldttern, IV.), Laufen, 1908-10, part II., 
and also TROXLER in the Zeitschrift fur schwiezerische Kirchen- 
geschichte, VI., 63 seq. Troxler is preparing a work on Blarer. 

1 SCHMIDLIN, III., 69, n. See also infra, p. 174. 

2 K. HAHN, Die kirchlichen Reformbestrebimgen des Strass- 
burger Bischofs Johann von Manderscheid 1569-92, Strassburg, 


3 Portia on February 23, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 354. 

4 Ibid., 351. 

6 Portia, loc. cit., 354. 

6 Cropper on November 5, 1574, in SCHWARZ, Cropper, 436. 


and wore the dress of secular nobles ; new members were 
admitted at will, and with only the sanction of the provost. 
Portia would very gladly have seen the making of the profession 
of faith made a condition for admission, but the bishop did 
not dare to lay any such proposal before such important 
nobles. 1 

Johann von Manderscheid received from his contemporaries 
the character of a good life, and of love for the Church ; 2 
to the nunico he appeared to be very courteous, restrained, 
prudent, hard-working and intelligent, but too covetous of 
honours. 3 Portia recommended to the bishop the seminary, 
visitations and a synod ; Johann Manderschied showed his 
good will in these respects but emphatically pointed out 
the difficulties of his position. No diocese in Germany had 
fallen so low as his, and none moreover was richer in privileges 
and liberties, but now it was plunged in licentiousness. In 
spite of long reflection, he had been able to find no means 
of raising his clergy, as to whose lack of culture and morals 
he expressed himself in much the same way as did public 
opinion. 4 

The auxiliary bishop, Johann Delphius, 5 pointed out, on 
the following day, that professors were lacking for a seminary ; 
Portia might be able to come to their assistance in this respect. 
The scarcity of priests militated against any strong stand 
against concubinage ; the priests who were expelled would 
be received with open arms by the Protestants, and could 

1 Portia on February 23, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 340. 

2 See DUHR, I., 134 seq. The Papal confirmation, which was 
also asked for by Cardinal Otto Truchsess (cf. his "letter to Mander 
scheid of July 2, 1569, with an autograph postscript, Strassburger 
Bezirksarchiv] was not granted to the bishop until June 26, 1573. 
SCHWARZ, Cropper, 39. 

3 Portia on February 23, 1576, loc. cit., 355. 

4 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 346. Cf. HAHN, Die kirchen lichen 
Reformbestrebungen des Strassburger Bischofs Joha,nn von 
Manderscheid, 53. 

5 For particulars of him see POSTINA in the Festgabefur Hermann 
Grauert, Freiburg, 1910. 


not be replaced. To fill the parishes only by means of a 
concursus was equally impossible because of the want of 
priests, and because their appointment was in the hands of 
lay patrons. 1 As to the point that at that time it was 
impossible tq obtain equality of rights for Catholics and 
Protestants in the city of Strasbourg, it would seem that 
Portia found himself in agreement with the account given 
by the auxiliary bishop. It was moreover of no use to count 
upon the extreme step of Imperial intervention, because no 
attention was any longer paid there to the commands of 
the Emperor. 2 With all the greater insistence did the nuncio 
urge the bishop to resist the spread of the new religion at 
anyrate in the territory where he had civil authority, and 
Johann promised this with great firmness. In Schlettstadt, 
which was seriously threatened, he had, in the course of his 
journey obtained from the council the promise to remain 
true to the old faith. He had introduced a good preacher 
at Oberehnheim, and wished to do the same at Schlettstadt ; 
there was moreover a good parish priest there, who was much 
revered by the older councillors. The fate of both these 
cities depended upon the way in which religious events 
turned out at Colmar. The promulgation of the Council 
of Trent had proved to be impossible even under his 
predecessor. 3 

The Archduke Ferdinand had already exhorted the bishop 
to visit his diocese in 1570 and again in 1573, 4 but on both 
occasions without result, although a Papal brief had placed 
all the necessary faculties at his disposal. 5 Johann von 
Manderscheid contented himself with obtaining information 
as to the conditions in his diocese, and especially the state 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 347-5. 

Ibid., 351- 

3 Ibid., 352 seq. 

* K. HAHN in the Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte des Oberrheins, 
N.F. XXVI. (IQII), 206 seq., 208 seq. Under date February 18, 
1578, Ferdinand asked the Pope to found seminaries in Constance, 
Basle and Besan9on. THEINER, II., 367. 

6 On March 30, 1574, in HAHN, he. cit., 211, n. 5. 

VOL. XX. I0 


of the clergy, by means of his assistant. 1 Portia now pointed 
out to him that such measures were not sufficient, that he 
ought rather to appoint true and real visitors, who would 
strive to correct, not only the faults of the clergy, but also 
the errors, abuses and immorality of the laity , t and demand 
an account of the state of the churches, the ecclesiastical 
furniture and the celebration of the sacred functions. Portia s 
advice bore fruit : 2 after 1576 there was great activity in 
the matter of canonical visitations, 3 which continued after 
the death of Gregory XIII. Sixtus V. gave the bishop 
authority to visit all the ecclesiastical institutions in his 
diocese. 4 

On May 22nd, 1578, Gregory XIII. had already asked for 
information as to what steps had been taken so far for the 
establishment of a seminary. 5 As the bishop told Portia, 
he would gladly have invited the Jesuits to direct the institute, 
but feared the disturbances to which such a step might give 
rise. 6 It would seem that in this matter as well the nuncio 
succeeded in giving him courage. On the strength of this 
the bishop, in the very year following his visitation, wrote 
to the Pope 7 that he was thinking of establishing a Jesuit 
school, and of equipping it with the revenues of the deserted 
monasteries. In 1580 the college was opened at Molsheim ; 8 
a Papal brief confirmed the new establishment. 9 

1 Ibid., 207. Nuntiaturberichte, V., 347. 

2 Ibid., 348. 

3 Cf. HAHN loc. cit., 204-49, 501-43, 573-98. 

4 On April 30, 1588, ibid., 220. 

5 HAHN, loc. cit., 271. 

6 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 349. 

7 On April 20, 1577, in THEINER, II., 297. 

8 DUHR, I., 133-6. N. PAULUS in the Revue cath. d Alsace, 
1887, 175 seqq., cf. ibid., 1867, 1869, 1875. HAHN, loc. cit., XXV. 
(1910), 246-94. Owing to pressure of work, the Jesuits had 
refused, at first, to undertake the college, and had advised the 
bishop to apply to other Orders, " non enim Deus Societatis 
tantum Deus est, sed etiam aliorum." HAHN, loc. cit., 270. 

9 Of April 27, 1584, HANN, loc. cit., 277. Cf. THEINER, III., 
4i, 252. 


If, at the beginning of his government, opinions were 
rightly divided about Bishop von Manderscheid, who was 
the son of a Protestant mother, 1 after the foundation of the 
Jesuit college, his ecclesiastical conduct continued to gain 
in zeal and firmness. In consequence of the remarks of the 
rector of the Jesuits, Ernfelder, he had himself ordained a 
priest. 2 The schools at Schlettstadt, Oberehnheim, Benfeld 
and Zabern were reformed on the model of that at Molsheim. 3 
The bishop gladly seconded the efforts of the Jesuits for 
the instruction of the children and the common folk by means 
of the catechism. 4 A circular from the bishop to the chapters 
of the territory enjoined 5 that there should be hung up in all 
the churches a printed notice containing the principal points 
of the Catholic faith, and that this should be read aloud 
after the sermon. In those places where the bishop was 
also the civil prince, by the advice of Portia he took proceedings 
against the Protestants : henceforth only Catholics were to 
be recognized as citizens, and those who did not fulfil their 
religious duties were to be driven out. 6 The reform of the 
clergy, after the canonical visitation, began to make progress, 
so much so that in the city of Strasbourg itself Catholic life 
began to revive. 7 

Among the lower clergy of Alsace one who especially 
distinguished himself was Johann Rasser, who was first 
parish priest at Colmar and afterwards at Ensisheim. 8 A 
report to the Archduke 9 praises him in that not only " at 

1 M. LOSSEN in the Abhandlungen der bayr. akad. der Wissen- 
schaften, 1889, 754, n. 18. 

2 HAHN, loc. cit., 280. 

3 Ibid., 282. 
4 DuHR, I., 459. 

5 Of September 20, 1582 ; HAHN, loc. cit., 284. 

6 HAHN in the Zeitschrift fur die Geschchichte des Oberrheins, 
N.F. XXV., 285. 

7 Ibid., 291. 

8 GFRORER in the Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte des Oberrheins, 
N.F., X. (1895), 514 to 519. Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 
XXVII., 332 (especially for his poetical and literary activities). 

9 From Landvogt George von Thurn, 1580 ; GFRORER, loc. oit., 
515. HIRN, I., 270. 


the altar, or in the pulpit, but also in the choir and the school, 
he served God and His Highness the prince so faithfully 
and well that such zeal and diligence, united to such keenness 
and unwearied labour had never yet been seen in anyone " ; 
" the whole of his conduct and character gave occasion for 
no complaint." Rasser was the true founder of the academy 
of Ensisheim ; he increased from his own property, and the 
annual revenues of his parish, the limited income received 
from the deserted monasteries. Worn out with years and 
feeble health in 1584 he thought of handing over the school 
to the Jesuits. It was only in 1614 that this project was 
carried out ; in the negotiations carried on in 1584 with the 
Jesuit, Ferdinand Alber, the latter marvelled at Rasser s 
" sincerity, purity, rectitude and zeal for souls " ; owing to 
his labours the people of Ensisheim became good Catholics. 1 

Rasser was also the principal adviser of the Austrian 
government in his district in ecclesiastical matters, and in 
the canonical visitations he repeatedly acted as its representa 
tive. 2 But his mixing himself up with the civil authorities 
had certain evil consequences ; Bishop Blarer wrote once 
concerning the Archduke s exhortations for the carrying 
out of the Tridentine decrees, 3 that it was just as " as though 
a man had been given a good sword and had had his hands 
tied behind his back, and was then scolded and severely 

Thanks to its parish priest Rasser, the Imperial free city 
of Colmar, which was ecclesiastically dependent upon Basle, 
had for a long time resisted the religious changes. But in 
May, 1575, despite the religious peace, two Protestant pastors 
had been forcibly introduced. 4 There soon followed a 
prohibition on the part of the council against people sending 
their sons to the school of the canons of St. Martin, against 
the use of the large bells and the organ in that church, as 

1 DUHR, II., i, 271. 

2 GFRORER, loc. cit., 514. 

3 Ibid., 504. SCHMIDLIN, III., 76. 

4 Portia on June 12, 1575, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 40. 

SPIRES. 149 

well as a prohibition to the Dominicans to preach. 1 There 
was also a danger lest the neighbouring cities of Schlettstadt, 
Oberehnheim, Turkheim and Kaisersberg should follow the 
example of Colmar. Portia at once had recourse from 
Augsburg to the nuncio in Vienna in order to obtain the 
intervention of the Emperor, as the Archduke Ferdinand 
had no power to intervene in the free cities of the Empire. 2 
But no definite step was to be expected from the Emperor 
Maximilian II., 3 even though Gregory XIII. had recourse 
to him in an autograph letter 4 on behalf of Colmar, and though 
later on the Curia did all in its power to save the Catholic 
religion in that city of the Empire. 5 Immediately after the 
arrival of the nuncio Portia at Freiburg the prior of the 
Dominicans at Colmar informed him that the Catholic 
religion there was bound to perish. 6 In 1586 the council 
of Colmar was entirely Protestant. 7 

More cautious, perhaps, than Johann von Manderschied, 
in his early days, was his colleague Markward von Hattstein 
(1560-1581) in the diocese of Spires. The principal city 
of the diocese had turned to Protestantism in 1540, and only 
the numerous clergy, the officials of the Imperial tribunal, 
and less than thirty citizens still adhered to the old faith, 
but the Council, which was very much opposed to Catholicism, 
in violation of the religious peace, forbade men to assist at 
Catholic sermons. 8 Moreover the city of Spires was surrounded 
by the territories of the Counts Palatine, who were zealous 
reformers ; some parts of the diocese were surrounded by 

1 See Portia s report to Morone, 1576, ibid., 304, n. 2. 

2 Ibid., 40 seq. ; HIRN, I., 203 seq. 

3 Cf. Nuntiaturberichte, V., Ixii-lxvii. 

4 Of December 10, 1575; ibid., 214, n. i. The Pope also 
addressed himself to the Archduke Ferdinand on February 25, 
1576; THEINER, II., 181. 

5 Nuntiaturberichte, V., Ixv. 

6 Portia on October 15, 1575 ; ibid., 209. 

7 SCHMIDLIN, III., 67. F. LERSE : Geschichte der Reformation 
cler ehemaligen Reichstadt Colmar, Miilhausen, 1856, 9. 

8 Portia on April 4, 1576 ; Nuntiaturberichte, V., 399. 


the possessions of the Protestant Dukes of Wurtemberg, 
and the Margrave of Baden-Durlach. In some villages the 
bishop and the Count Palatine exercised their jurisdiction 
jointly. 1 The cathedral chapter of Spires was still Catholic, 
and the scholastic, Andreas von Oberstein, dean of the 
cathedral since 1586, was further " a man who enjoyed the 
highest reputation throughout Germany on account of his 
rare piety and sanctity, and his truly religious conduct, and 
who kept the canons obedient to their duties and under strict 
discipline." 2 According to Portia, too, 3 Oberstein was one 
of the most pious and deserving ecclesiastics in all Germany, 
as all bore witness, and as was specially recognized by the 
fathers of the Society of Jesus, since it was to him they owed 
their residence in that city and all that they possessed there, 
for it had been Oberstein who, in 1567, had been successful 
in bringing about the establishment of the Jesuit college 
at Spires. 4 

The attention of Portia had been drawn to Spires since 
1573. The Calvinist Count Palatine, Frederick III., at that 
time was seeking from the Council the expulsion of the Jesuits 
from Spires, and had already gone so far as to cut off from 
the city the supply of wood and victuals. The bishop 
allowed himself to be intimidated, but not so the chapter. 5 
The Jesuits had recourse through Portia to Gregory XIII., 
and the latter asked, through the nuncio at Vienna, for a 
letter from the Emperor to the Council of Spires, which for 
the time being settled the dispute. 6 

1 SCHMIDLIN, III., 87 seqq. 

2 Minucci, 1588, ibid., 90, according to STEINHUBER, Ger- 
manicum, I., 236. 

8 On July 30, 1577, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 147. Oberstein 
stayed with the Jesuits for three weeks making the Spiritual 
Exercises, after which he thought of becoming a Carthusian. 
DUHR, I., 543. 

4 Ibid., 115. Cf. REMLING, Bischofe, II., 375 seq. 

5 Portia on December 9, 1573 and January 6, 1574; Nuntia- 
lurberichte, III., 266, 305. 

6 Galli on January 23, 1574 ibid., 322 ; cf. 335, n. ; 336, n. 21. 

SPIRES. 151 

But in the following year it broke out afresh. As was 
always the case every fifteen years, on June 24th, 1575, there 
was a renewal of the terms of the contract existing, on the 
basis of the convention of 1420, between the council and the 
clergy of the city. On this occasion the council protested 
because this contract did not include " the sneaking Jesuits 
of Spires, who had been secretly introduced in these days." 1 
Portia at once had recourse to the Emperor through the 
nuncio at Vienna, as well as to the Pope and Duke Albert V. 2 
But the Bishop of Spires had already anticipated him. On 
July 20th, 1575, a letter from the Emperor arrived from 
Prague which again saved the Jesuits. 3 The briefs of 
Gregory XIII. to the chapter and the bishop 4 were no longer 
necessary when they came ; but the hatred of the Council 
of Spires was not extinguished, and they forbade the citizens 
to harbour the pupils of the Jesuits. 5 

When the bishop sent to the nuncio his reply to the papal 
brief, 8 so that he might forward it, he subjoined two requests 
to it. He desired that the property of the church of Our 
Lady of Landau, which was falling down and was neglected 
by unworthy priests, might be given to the parochial church 
of St. Nazarius at Udenheim, so that it might not fall into 
the hands of the Protestants, 7 and also that the almost extinct 
convent of the Franciscans at Spires might be used for a 
seminary. 8 These suggestions gave the nuncio an opportunity 
of going in person to Spires. With regard to the convent 
of the Franciscans he pronounced in favour of the bishop s 

1 Portia on July 9, 1575 ; ibid., V., 74. Extract from the 
Protestation, ibid., 159, n. 2. 

2 Ibid., 74-6. 

8 Portia on August 29, 1575 ; ibid., 162, n. 4. DUHR, I., 119. 
4 Of July 30, 1575, in THEINER, II., 51 seq., 52. 
8 DUHR, I., 119. 

6 Of September 6, 1575, in THEINER, II., 53. Ibid., 52 seq. 
the reply of the Chapter on September 5. 

7 Ibid., 53 seq. Cf. Portia on September 12, 1575; Nuntia- 
turberichte, V., 182. 

8 Portia on February 4, 1576; ibid., 319. 


wishes, 1 but he thought that the church of Landau, as the 
last remains of Catholicism, ought to be left to that city. 2 
The German Congregation approved of these decisions. 3 

Before Portia came to these decisions he had met with 
several surprises at Spires. Immediately after his arrival, 
the suffragan, Fabricius, and the vicar-general, Beat Moses, 
informed him that the news of the arrival of a Papal legate 
would throw the whole city into an uproar, and that the 
nuncio must therefore either remain hidden at Spires, or 
chose the neighbouring Udenheim for his residence. Portia 
could not devote much time to the question and decided on 
the latter alternative. At Udenheim he at once received 
further news that the bishop was ill and unable personally 
to visit the nuncio. 4 Actually during the whole of his stay 
Portia was able to. keep in touch with that timid man, either 
in writing or by means of Michael, the rector of the Jesuits. 

In the meantime the nuncio took the opportunity of getting 
information as to the state of affairs at Spires. He learned 
that the bishop was looked upon as a member of the supreme 
tribunal, but in no way as the head of the diocese ; he did 
not dare to mention the Council of Trent or reform. 5 Some 
even doubted his staunchness in the faith, as he was in constant 
relations with the Count Palatine and with John Casimir ; 
both these had publicly stated that the diocese would be at 
peace so long as Bishop Markward lived, and that later on 
they would know what to do. The suspicions against his 
faith were removed when Markward in the most definite 
way declared that he had always been a sincere Catholic 
and wished always to remain so ; he was cut to the heart 
to think that such suspicions were entertained about him ; 
his only reason for keeping on good terms with the Count 

1 Ibid., 401. 

2 Ibid., 403. Cf. Portia to Bishop Markward on March 27, 
1576; ibid., 413-7; THEINER, II., 188. 

3 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 115. 

4 Portia on March 27, 1576 ; Nuntiaturberichte, V., 396 seq. 

5 Portia on April 4, 1576 ; ibid., 400. Moreover see REMLING, 
Bischofe, II., 370, 374. 

SPIKES. 153 

Palatine was that Spires might not be destroyed as had 
already happened in the case of the diocese of Worms, which 
had been practically reduced to nothing. 1 Portia found the 
secular clergy of Spires better than elsewhere, a thing which 
was to be attributed to the zeal of the pious and prudent 
dean. 2 On the other hand the regular clergy were in a bad 

In the convent of the Dominicans there was only one 
religious, who had recently been in prison ; he belonged to 
a special congregation consisting of three houses with ten 
depraved religious. The nuncio suggested to Rome that 
this congregation should be suppressed. 3 The supreme 
authorities of the Order, moreover, had for a long time been 
working to that end, and Portia himself had been engaged 
upon the matter at Freiburg. 4 The profound decadence 
of the convent of the Friars Preachere had led to the Council 
of Spires causing Protestant pastors to preach in the church 
of that Order as well as in that of the Augustinians. 5 

Otherwise, that part of the diocese of Spires which lay 
in Wurtemberg and the Palatinate might be said to have been 
lost to Catholicism. A third part remained, but there the 
clergy were in a bad state ; some of the priests had attempted 
to marry openly. Among the laity the Anabaptists had 
a strong following. At the instance of the chapter the bishop 
promised to make a visitation, but afterwards excused himself 
on the score of his duties as president of the supreme tribunal, 
and the disturbances caused by the war. 6 

In the diocese of Constance Portia thought it unnecessary 
}o interfere, or to do more than make some inquiries into 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 409 seq. Cf. his letter to Portia of 
April 5, 1576; ibid., 420. 

2 Ibid., 400. 

3 Ibid., 400 seq. As a matter of fact five convents belonged to 
that Congregation ; see ibid., lix, n. 6. 

4 Ibid., Iviii-lxi, 325 seq. Acta capitulorum generalium O.P., 
ed. B. M. REICHERT, V., Romae, 1901, 105, 123, 160. 

5 Nuntiaturberichte , V., 400. 
> 6 Ibid., 402. 


its condition, all the more so, as he wrote to the auxiliary 
bishop of Constance, Balthasar Wurer, 1 because of the zeal 
and capacity of that prelate, whom he had learned to appreciate 
and esteem by his personal dealings with him. Before his 
departure from Freiburg the nuncio nevertheless felt himself 
obliged in a letter to Wurer 2 to recommend to the reforming 
zeal of the auxiliary bishop all the principal abuses which he 
had noticed in the diocese of Constance ; the radical cause 
of all the evils he declared to be the ignorance of the clergy, 
who took upon themselves the sacerdotal office without 
knowing its duties. The Austrian government treated the 
Protestants of Constance with great consideration ; above 
all they refused to allow any Jesuit college there so as not 
to rouse religious feeling. 3 The Jesuit mission, however, 
was doing much good in Constance ; 4 in 1592 scarcely half 
the inhabitants were still Protestants, and where formerly 
there had been only one Catholic there were now ten or more. 5 

Portia s activities in Upper Germany came to an end 
with his departure for Ratisbon. At the beginning of 1577 
the Pope sent him as his representative to Cologne, and at 
the end of the following year he was chosen as nuncio to 
the Emperor, but he did not hold that office for long. Hardly 
recovered from a serious illness he set out for the national 
Diet of Bohemia at Prague, and died there as the result of 
a relapse, a victim to his devotion to duty and his zeal in 
the service of the Holy See. 6 

Portia s successor in 1578 in Upper Germany was Feliciano 
Ninguarda, who now, no longer as a simple Dominican, or 
as Papal commissary, but as Bishop of Scala and real nuncio, 

1 On June 5, 1576, in REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 100. 

2 Ibid., 100-2. For the deplorable conditions prevailing in 
the diocese of Constance cf. SCHMIDLIN, III., 7 seqq. ; GMELIN 
in the Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte des Oberrheins, XXV., 129-204 ; 
SCHELLHASS, ibid., N.F. XXXII. seq. 

3 HlRN, I., 204. 

4 DUHR, I., 408 seqq. 

5 HIRN, I., 205. 

6 Nuntiaturberichte, I., 8 seq. 


took upon himself the reform work of his predecessor. 1 If 
Portia had especially distinguished himself as a capable 
diplomatist who, in his dealings with the civil and ecclesiastical 
princes and other dignitaries, had been able to give the first 
impulse to reform, Ninguarda in his turn sought above all 
to apply a healing hand to the evils of the clergy, and 
especially of those in the monasteries. The labours and 
sacrifices which he endured in carrying out his task were 
marvellous. Between the years 1578 and 1583 he indefatig- 
ably travelled about the vast district of his nunciature ; 
he was not dismayed by the hardships of the winter in the 
north, or by the sight of the discouraging state of affairs ; 
neither the weariness of the unending monotony of the work 
of reform, nor the resistance which he encountered, nor the 
want of results could ever make him fold his hands in despair. 
Thus in 1578 he laboured with but scanty results at the 
reform of the cathedral of Freising, and the visitation of the 
monasteries of Neuenzell and Weihenstephan. 2 At the 
beginning of the following year he devoted his attention 
to the chapter of Brixen, 3 and addressed severe remonstrances 
to the Archbishop of Salzburg, 4 because after a lapse of ten 
years the decrees of the provincial synod of Salzburg had 
not been put into force. During the months of August and 
September he spent some time in visiting Constance. 5 

1 His appointment, which had for its object the influencing of 
the Archduke Charles, was discussed by Odescalchi in a"*letter 
of May 24, 1578, to the Duke of Mantua. Gonzaga Archives, 

3 SCHLECHT, Ninguarda, 68. Ordinance made to the canons on 
October 10, and their reply in THEINER, II., 361 seqq. 

3 Rescript to the bishop in February, 1579, to the canons 
on February 14, and their answer which caused a warning to be 
sent to the bishop on February 26, ibid., III., 28 seqq. ; to the 
Poor Clares at Brixen on February 22, ibid., 33 ; to the 
Dominicans Trent on January 16, 1579 ; ibid., 35. 

4 On April 15, 1579, ibid., 37. 

6 SCHELLHASS in the Zeitschrift fur die Geschichte des Oberrheins, 
N.F., XXXII. (1917), 3-43. REINHARDT-STEFFENS, n, 141 
529, 713- 


Ninguarda devoted his activities to Ratisbon after the 
beginning of 1580 ; the year before, to the advantage of 
the diocese, the bishop, David Kolderer, had died ; Gregory 
XIII. after some hesitation, 1 had consented to the request 
of the chapter 2 and the Archbishop of Salzburg 3 that the 
five year old son of Duke William V. should be chosen as 
bishop, and appointed Ninguarda as administrator of the 
diocese. The nuncio therefore devoted special attention to 
Ratisbon. He visited the cathedral church, the two collegiate 
churches, and the Charterhouse of Priihl ; also the three 
convents of noble women, the Franciscans, Benedictines, 
Scots, and Dominicans, the nuns of S. Clare and Holy Cross, 
and the Augustinian Canons and Hermits. 4 In 1581 there 
was issued a severe ordinance against the immoral clergy 
of the diocese, which was also printed. 5 In 1580 there was 
a visitation of that part of the diocese of Eichstatt which 
came within Bavaria, especially Ingolstadt, 16 as well as of the 
capital of Bavaria 7 and Passau. 8 During the following years 
the work of reform at Salzburg especially absorbed the energies 
of the nuncio ; in September 1581 he visited the canons, for 
whose benefit he embodied his demands in a decree of October 
24th ; similar enactments had already been issued for the 
clergy, the Hospitallers and the monasteries ; on October 
3ist a general decree for the court, the city and the civil 
government completed the work. 9 

As one who was so zealous for the reform of the Orders, 

1 On November 21, 1579; ibid., 16. 

2 On August 15, 1579 ; in THEINER, III., n seqq. 
8 On August 17, 1579 ; ibid., 16. 

4 SCHLECHT, loc. cit., 69. REiciiENBERGER in the Romische 
Quartalschrift, XIV. (1900), 356 seqq. 
6 On April 25 ; in THEINER, III., 254. 

6 SCHLECHT, loc. cit., 70, 124-50. 

7 Ibid., 70. 

8 Ninguarda to Bishop Urban on August 20, 1580 ; in THEINER, 
III., 143-6. 

9 SCHLECHT, loc. cit., 71-4. Since 1580 George von Kuenburg 
had been coadjutor to the Archbishop of Salzburg who had been 
struck with apoplexy. WIDMANN, 104. 


Ninguarda 1 encouraged the Benedictines of Swabia during 
the years 1580-1583,2 as well as to the other religious con 
gregations of Bavaria who were desirous -of joining together 
in one congregation and establishing a seminary for young 
novices. This scheme came to nothing when it already seemed 
to be almost realized. 3 

In 1582 Ninguarda issued some enactments concerning 
prohibited books, 4 and the enclosure in monasteries. 5 His 
health, however, had in the meantime suffered badly ; he 
could no longer walk and one arm was completely paralysed. 
He was accordingly given permission to return to Italy, 6 

1 A mandate for the nuncio from the Archduke Charles to the 
religious superiors in his territory on June 23, 1578 ; in THEINER, 
III., 359. Ninguarda s visitation regulations for the Benedictine 
monasteries have been brought to light by B. ALBERS in the 
Studien und Mitteilungen aus dem Benediktiner und Zisterzienser- 
orden. Regulations for the convent of nuns at Niedernburg 
(diocese of Passau) in August, 1581, and July, 1583, in volume XXI 
(1900), 197-216; for Tegernsee in July, 1581, ibid., XXII. (1901), 
113 seqq., 334 seqq. ; for Salzburg in September and October, 1581, 
ibid., 338 seqq., 349. 

2 THEINER, HI., 138 seq. 

3 Cf. Ninguarda s pronouncement to the Bavarian Benedictines, 
Cistercians, Augustinian Canons and Premonstratensians on 
May 24, 1583, in ALBERS, loc. cit. XXII., 127 ; SCHMIEDER, ibid., 
XII. (1891), 80 seq. A house for the seminary had already been 
bought in Ingolstadt ; but, in spite of this, it was decided to find 
accommodation for the religious in a separated part of the 
Georgianum in Munich (Romische Quartalschrift, V., 127). Con 
cerning the plan of a seminary for the female orders, see ARETIN, 
Maximilian, I., 348. 

4 On May i, 1582, in THEINER, III., 326. Cf. REUSCH, I., 472. 
He confiscated those books which contained sham miracles, 
mythical stories of the saints and such like things (ibid., 478 ; 
JANSSEN-PASTOR, 1. 19 - 20 , 77, n. For the inquiry into the 
miraculous hosts of Andechs, see SCHLECHT in the Jahresbericht 
des Hist. Vereins Dillingen, VIII. (1895), 65 seqq. 

5 On May 13, 1582, in THEINER, III., 327 seq. 

6 Madruzzo to Galli on July 21, 1582; Nuntiaturberichte, II., 


but was content to go to a spa to seek his cure. 1 In the 
autumn of 1582 and the following year he again devoted 
himself to important tasks. 

In addition to his reforming activities among the chapters 
and monasteries, Ninguarda also had important business 
to transact and conclude at the courts of the princes and 
magnates. These took him in the first instance to Graz, 2 
to the Archduke Charles, to whom he addressed severe 
remonstrances on account of his concessions to the Protestants 
The disturbances at Chur obliged him to make a stay of four 
weeks in 1578 with the Bishop of Chur at Fiirstenburg, and 
in the following year to undertake long journeys in 
Switzerland. 3 But most important of all were the negotiation 
between Ninguarda and the Duke of Bavaria. 

Although Albert V. had done so much on behalf of the 
Catholic cause, yet the interference of his officials in the 
affairs of the Church caused much discontent among zealous 
Catholics. The nuncio Portia had already had to listen to 
the gravest complaints on this subject, but had seen no way 
of providing a remedy. 4 Cardinal Morone, on leaving the 
Diet of Ratisbon, had made grave remonstrances to the 
Duke s councillor, Fend ; Fend, however, had sheltered 
himself behind the plea that, in view of the negligence of 
the bishops, they ought to be glad that at anyrate the govern 
ment took steps to remedy the grave abuses, that unless it 
did so Bavaria would no longer have any Catholic Church, 
and that the levies made upon the property of the monasteries 
rested upon Imperial privileges. 5 

Much the same reply was received by Ninguarda 6 when 

1 SCHLECHT, Ninguarda, 75. For the Papal permission to 
return, see Nuntiaturberichte, II., 490. 

2 Where he stayed from May 30 until June 26, 1578, THEINER, 
II., 351 seqq. 

3 See infra, p. 166. 

4 See supra, pp. 72, 81, cf. 117. 

5 Fend s report of his conversation with Morone has been 
brought to light by SCHELLHASS in Quellen und Forschungen, XIII. 
(1910), 366-78. 

6 THEINER, II., 365. 


in the Pope s name he again raised the former complaints, 
though naturally in a courteous and prudent way, in the 
presence of Albert V. himself. 1 The Duke was displeased 
that all his efforts on behalf of the Church only met with 
rebukes, and as long as he lived Ninguarda did not dare to 
take any further steps in the matter, but under Albert s 
son, William V., hope again revived in ecclesiastical circles. 
The new Duke himself obviously had in view the regularization 
of his political relations with the Church, and immediately 
after his succession to the throne he assured the Pope 2 that 
he would as prince make every effort to keep his conscience 
unstained, and not interfere in matters which did not 
pertain to him. 

But the question whether the interferences in ecclesiastical 
matters, which rested upon a long tradition, were the province 
of the Duke of Bavaria or not, was a question that was hotly 
debated. When Ninguarda, immediately after the succession 
to the duchy of William V., again made the old complaints, 
the Duke s councillors maintained that they were ; Ninguarda 
denied this. Georg Eder, the councillor of the Empire, to 
whom the Duke submitted the written opinions of the 
councillors and the nuncio, declared in a memorial that he 
took the part of the theologians rather than the jurists, as 
custom could never justify an abuse. Finally, he advised 
the Duke to consult with the bishops and the Pope concerning 
the points under discussion. 3 

William then drew up the debated points in twenty-two 
requests, which he submitted to Ninguarda and the nuncio 
at Vienna, Bonhomini, for their observations, 4 and in the 
spring of 1581 he sent his court preacher, Martin Dum, to 
the Pope to ask for absolution for what had been done in 
the past, as well as for the confirmation of the claims now 
put forward for the future, and the concession of new ones. 
Rome, however, referred the duke to the bishops. 

1 Ibid., 362-5. 

2 On November 24, 1579, ibid., III., 7. 

3 ARETIN, loc. cit., 292-6. 

4 ARETiN, Maximilian, 1., 296; Auswartige Verhaltnisse, 
Urkunden i, 43 seqq., 48. 


In the meantime the desired meeting of the bishops was 
again and again postponed. At first it was arranged for 
September, 1581 ; in preparation the nuncio held conferences 
with the duke s representatives from June 28th to July 4th, 
and mnay points were then settled. 1 Under the presidency 
of Cardinal Madruzzo, and in the presence of the nuncios, 
Ninguarda and Bonhomini, a further conference was held 
with the Bavarian councillors on the occasion of the Diet 
at Augsburg in 1582. 2 But the assembly of the bishops 
had not yet been brought about at the beginning of the follow 
ing year, so that Gregory XIII. had to remind the Duke of 
Bavaria of it on January 29th, 1583. 3 William V. replied 4 
that he too was very desirous of this meeting of the bishops, 
and again pointed out that he did not wish for anything 
that he could not have by right and with a clear conscience. 
On August i5th of the same year there met together at Munich 
the Archbishop of Salzburg, and the Bishops of Freising, 
Ratisbon, Passau and Chiemsee, and from their negotiations 
with the representatives of the duke there resulted the 
concordat of Bavaria. The duke s councillor, Erasmus 
Fend, displayed special zeal, beyond all the rest, on behalf 
of the claims of the duke ; 5 it was he who in September, 
1581, had called attention to and insisted upon the conditions 
prevailing in France, Spain and Portugal, 6 namely, that 
what was permitted to the Emperor and to those sovereigns 
must also be allowed to the Duke of Bavaria in his own 
dominions. On the other side, Ninguarda showed himself 
very ready to meet the wishes of the government. The 
Bavarian councillors naturally did not succeed in obtaining 
all that they asked for, but several rights which the dukes 

1 ARETIN, Maximilian, I., 296. 

2 On September 10 ; see SCHLECHT in the Romische Quartal- 
schrift, V., 80. 

3 ARETIN, Maximilian, I., 300, n. 14. 

4 On February 21, 1583 (new style), THEINER, III., 411. 

5 ARETIN, loc. cit., 300 seq. 

6 To William V. on September 5, 1581 ; see ARETIN, Auswartige 
Verhaltnisse, Urkunden i, 47 seq. 


had hitherto only enjoyed de facto, were now granted to 
them de jure under the concordat. Both parties gained an 
advantage in that henceforth various legal uncertainties 
were cleared up. 1 

Nevertheless, almost another ten years elapsed before the 
concordat of Bavaria was promulgated in 1592. The reason 
for this lay in the fact that Duke William wished, together 
with its confirmation, for other things which Rome found a 
difficulty in granting. Above all he wished that Munich 
should be made an episcopal see, with a diocese including 
the district of the capital. It is easy to understand why 
such a request was made, since seven bishops shared the 
spiritual authority over Bavaria, namely, those of Salzburg, 
Chiemsee, Augsburg, Eichstatt, Ratisbon, Freising and 
Passau, 2 yet none of these seven had their see in a city which 
was subject to the Duke of Bavaria. Hence came the desire 
that the capital of the Duchy should also be the place of 
residence of one of the principal ecclesiastical dignitaries. 
The diocese of the new bishop was not to extend outside 
the city of Munich, but he was to be directly subject to the 
Pope, and to exercise a kind of authority over the other 
bishops who ruled in Bavaria ; he was to be the president 
of the ecclesiastical council and to hold the office of nuncio. 
The plan came to nothing because of its singularity. 3 

When at the end of 1583 Ninguarda bore the petition for 
the diocese of Munich, together with other requests, across 
the Alps, his work in Germany was ended. At the beginning 
of 1583 he was appointed Bishop of S. Agata dei Goti, and 
in 1588 received the bishopric of Como, where he died in 
1595. In 1584 Cardinal Galli inquired whether his health 
would permit of his going back to Germany ; in 1586 he was 
again designated as nuncio to Switzerland, but no further 

I RIEZLER, VI., 271 seqq. DOEBERL, I., 466-74. 

2 ARETIN, Auswartige Verhaltnisse, 64. 

3 SCHLECHT, loc. cit., IV., 363-76. RATZiNGER in the Hist.-polit. 
B latter n, CX., 346-56, and in the Forschungen zu/ bayr. Geschichte, 
Kempt en, 1898. 



work was given to him in those countries for which he had 
made such great sacrifices. 1 

During the whole course of his travels through the 
vast territory of his nunciature, Ninguarda nowhere 
received a better impression of the piety of the faithful 
than in Switzerland. 

In the cantons of Lucerne, Unterwalden, Uri, Schwyz and 
Zug, so he wrote in his report to Galli, 2 both the authorities 
and private persons received him everywhere as the represen 
tative of the Holy See, with a love and veneration such as 
he had nowhere met with in Germany. " All, from the 
highest to the lowest, show the greatest zeal for the mass, 
for the Catholic faith, and for Christian piety. Not only on 
festival days, but also on working days, the churches are 
filled with the faithful, with their rosaries or their prayer 
books in their hands. I can recall no place in the whole 
of Germany where the churches are so frequented by so 
many people or with such deep piety as in these Catholic 
cantons, where apostasy from the faith is punished by 

But Ninguarda also saw very clearly some dark spots. The 
original cantons belonging to the diocese of Constance were 
much neglected by the officials of the bishop, who was 
generally absent. This had the result that the Catholic 
authorities, who, in the absence of the ecclesiastical organiza 
tion, interfered with the best intentions, were gradually in 
self defence adding to their powers in a way that was both 
unfitting and harmful, so that ecclesiastical liberties were 
threatened with extinction. In one of his reports to the 
Secretary of State, Ninguarda speaks of the scandalous lives 
led by ecclesiastics, the complete non-observance of the 
enclosure in convents of women, the encroachments of the 
civil authority, who had reduced many convents to a state 
of absolute dependence, and had usurped judicial powers over 
the clergy. The one exception was Lucerne, where the 

1 REINHARDT-STEFFENS, Introduction, p. c.ccxciii seq. 

2 On June 22, 1579, REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 361. 


tribunal for ecclesiastics had for some time been left in the 
hands of the dean. 1 

Charles Borromeo had a little while before formed the same 
opinion as Ninguarda. 2 After his journey into the interior 
of Switzerland in 1570 he had laid two proposals before the 
Holy See for the religious revival of that country : there 
should be an authorized representative of the Pope in Switzer 
land, who, unlike former nuncios, should direct his attention, 
not to political questions, but primarily to the internal reform 
of the Church ; there should also be established at Lucerne 
a Jesuit college for German Switzerland, and the projected 
seminary at Constance should be set up. 3 

In the time of Pius V. it had not been possible to realize 
either of these proposals, 4 but his successor at once took care 
that German Switzerland should have its educational establish 
ments. Gregory XIII. s plan of founding a Jesuit college 
at Constance was not carried into effect, so it was with all 
the greater pleasure that he acceded to the request of the 
citizens of Lucerne that some members of the Society of 
Jesus should be sent there. During the summer of 1574 
they began their pastoral work as well as their school. 5 The 
instructions which the provincial of the Jesuits in Upper 
Germany gave to the two fathers who were first sent to 
Lucerne, recommended them to adapt themselves as far as 
possible and in all things to the simplicity of the people. 

1 Ninguarda to Galli on July 8, 1579; REINHARDT-STEFFENS, 
I., 380 seqq. 

2 Cf. Vol. XVIII., p. 314 of this work. 

3 REINHARDT-STEFFENS, Introduction, p. cccxxvii. 

4 Cf. Vol. XVIII., p. 322 of this work. 

5 Cf. SEGESSER : Rechtsgeschichte von Luzern, IV., 551 seq. 
and Ludwig Pfyffer, II., 94 seq. ; FLEISCHLIN, Aus den Annalen 
des Gymnasiums zu Luzern, in the Monatsrosen, XXV. ; GRUTER : 
Das Kollegium zu Luzern unter dem ersten Rektor P. Martin 
Leubenstein, Lucerne, 1905 ; DUHR, I., 211 seq. See also J. 
BUCHER : Zur Gesch. des hoheren Schulwesens in Luzern, in the 
publication issued to commemorate the opening of the Cantonal 
School Building, Lucerne, 1893. 


Father Leubenstein was especially to occupy himself with 
preaching, and Father Liner with the catechism ; to the 
latter the hospitals, prisons and the sick were also expressly 
recommended. " In the sermons they were to avoid words 
of rebuke, and love and prayer were to predominate. They 
were not to occupy themselves with the objections of the 
heretics, but must inculcate Catholic doctrines solidly, in a 
short and popular form, and not too learnedly. The same 
thing must apply to the catechism. They must be discreet 
in their requirements, learn the language well, and not be 
too easy in dealing with women outside the confessional. 
Generally speaking, they must not engage in controversies 
with the clergy, and at. first, at anyrate, not even touch upon 
their shortcomings. By acting thus all would realize that 
they had no other end in view than the salvation of souls." 1 
The work of the Jesuits at Lucerne had hardly been begun 
when it was threatened by the unhealthy climate of the city, 
situated in a marshy lowland, so that in 1576 there was an 
idea of giving it up again. But the municipal council as 
well as the Pope insisted that the work which had been begun 
must be continued. In May, 1577, there followed the establish 
ment of the college, to which was made over the most beautiful 
building in the city, the so-called Palace of the Knights (the 
present Rathaus). The school was opened in the autumn, 
and quickly succeeded. Noble benefactors, and, above all, 
the secretary of the municipality, Cysat, and the magistrate, 
Ludwig Pfyffer, occupied themselves concerning the material 
welfare of the establishment. 2 The work of the fathers was 
not limited to their labours in the school, which at first, 
indeed, was not their chief preoccupation ; preaching and 
the care of souls took the first place. The results of their 
work was shown at the jubilee of 1576. Religious associations 
were soon formed, as for example the Confraternity of the 
Rosary in 1578, in which many pious persons enrolled 
themselves. 3 

1 See MAYER, II., 192 seq. 

2 DUHR, I., 215 seqq. 

3 GRUTER, loc. cit., 31. 


A long time elapsed before Borromeo s second suggestion 
was fulfilled, the sending of a special nuncio to Switzerland, 
in reality a nuncio for the work of internal reform. As early 
as October, 1573, there had been the appointment of Bishop 
Volpi of Como as nuncio in Switzerland, but its only purpose 
was resistance to the Genevese, who wished to be joined 
to the federation as an additional canton. As far as can 
be ascertained Volpi contented himself with a written agree 
ment, which the Pope in 1574 supported by a special brief. 1 
When the nuncio Bartolomeo Portia and the Franciscan, 
Francesco Sporeno, were sent to the south-west of Germany 
in 1575, their mission included Switzerland, and in particular 
the dioceses of Chur, Lausanne and Sion. 2 But, apart from 
the fact that Sporeno was not a nuncio, Portia could not 
devote his attention exclusively to Switzerland, and thus 
Borromeo s idea was not fulfilled by his mission. Portia s 
warnings, however, met with a favourable reception from 
the Bishop of Basle, Jakob Christopher Blarer, 3 whose diocese 
extended into both Alsace and Switzerland. Of the instruc 
tions which Sporeno had received concerning Switzerland, 
he was only able to carry out one. 4 In February, 1576, 
he went to the Bishop of Chur, Beatus von Porta, at his 
castle at Fiirstenburg, and visited Vintschgau. The lamentable 
state of the diocese of Chur gave Sporeno plenty to do. 
Under the pretext of recovering certain debts from the 
bishop, the partisans of the Salis family were troubling 
the Bishop of Chur to such an extent that the latter 
asked the Pope through Sporeno to relieve him of his 
office. Gregory XIII. would not consent to this. The 
bishop himself at length realized how dangerous a new 
election would be, and worked to get Abbot Joachim Opser 

1 THEINER, I., 135. REINHARDT-STEFFENS, Introduction, 
p. cccliii seqq. 

2 Nuntiaturberichte, V., xv. See supra, p. 127. 

3 See supra, p. 139 seqq. 

4 For the commissions entrusted to Sporeno see Nuntiatur 
berichte, V., 10, n. i. 


of St. Gall appointed as his co-adjutor with the right of 

Sporeno, who was soon afterwards recalled, was followed 
by Ninguarda, who, in addition to the question of Chur, 1 
was to direct his attention to the reform of the secular clergy 
and the monasteries, 2 and did so with all zeal. He remained 
at Fiirstenburg almost a whole month, 3 and besides the bishop, 
he visited the clergy and the monasteries, and issued regulations 
for the cathedral chapter. 4 In June he went to Lucerne, 
Oberwalden, Nidwalden, Uri and Schwyz to carry out the 
duties of his mission. 5 He met with a courteous reception, 
especially at Lucerne. 

Ninguarda s work, however, was for the most part 
temporary and transitory, and it was while he was in Switzer 
land that the question of the nunciature was definitely settled, 
and a true nuncio appointed, who was to devote himself 
entirely to Switzerland. 6 

Already in August 1577 Uri, Unterwalden and Zug had 
suggested that the Pope should be asked to send a 
representative, who should devote himself to the necessary 
reform of the clergy in the federation, and in the dioceses 
of Chur, Sion and Basle. But no definite decision on this 
point had been arrived at. The matter, however, seemed 
to be all the more pressing in that in the democratic Forest 
cantons the authorities, in spite of their good will, had not 
the power to carry out a reform of the clergy. The conditions 

1 REINHARDT-STEFFENS, Introduction, p. ccclxvii seq. MAYER 
gives a detailed account of Bishop Beatus in his Geschichte des 
Bistums Chur, II., 122 seqq., 170 seqq. 

2 REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 121 seqq. 

3 From November 9 to December 8, 1578, ibid., Introduction, 
p. ccclxxviii. 

4 Ibid., I., 205 seq., 213 seq. 

5 Ninguarda to Galli on June 22, 1579, ibid., 357 seqq. 

6 For what follows : SEGESSER, Rechtsgeschichte von Luzern, 
IV., 428 seqq. ; FELLER, Lussy, II., 39 seqq. ; MAYER, II., 202 seq. ; 
REINHARDT-STEFFENS, Introduction, p. cccxcv seqq. ; J. 
BERTHIER, Lettres de J. F. Bonomo (to Fribourg), Fribourg, 1894. 


were different in Lucerne, where the Council, in conjunction 
with the Jesuits, were working to remove the abuses in the 


These different conditions partly explain the unfavourabl 
attitude adopted by Lucerne, when the secretary of the 
municipality, Balthasar Luxsinger of Schwyz, urgently 
pressed Rome to send a nuncio. The authorities in Lucerne 
feared lest the position of their Captain of the Guard in Rome, 
Jost Segesser, should be threatened by the presence of a 
nuncio in Swiss territory, and treated the intervention of 
Luxsinger all the more coldly because he arbitrarily stated 
that he had the right to make official application to the Pope 
in the matter. They therefore demanded that Luxsinger 
should be called to account, and stirred up the seven Catholic 
cantons to send a letter to Gregory XIII. on February 2 4 th, 
1578, stating that if Luxsinger had asked for a nuncio thi 
had been done without the knowledge of and against the 
wishes of the cantons ; the sending of such a nuncio at that 
moment would give rise to suspicion and distrust, and was 
therefore undesirable, that Segesser was sufficient for all 
their business, and that the Pope could very well continue 
to make use of the Captain of the Guard in all his trans 
actions with them. Ludwig Pfyffer expressed himself even 
more strongly in his letter to Cardinal Mark Sittich von 
Hohenems. 1 

In absolute disagreement with the biassed and selfish 
point of view of Lucerne, Melchior Lussy of Stans, who, with 
Pfyffer, was the most important representative of the Swiss 
Catholics, 2 maintained the need for a nuncio. The Governor 
of Uri, Walter Roll, expressed himself in like manner. 3 
March lyth, 1578, the canton of Schwyz associated itself 
with the plan of Uri, Unterwalden and Zug. In spite of this, 
however, Lucerne maintained its hostile attitude, 4 but just 

1 See THEINER, II., 391 seqq. and SEGESSER, Pfyffer, II., 424, " 

2 Cf. Vol. XVII I. of this work, p. 315 seq. 

3 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 113 seq. 

4 See Sammlung der eidgenossischen Abschiede, IV., 2, 645; 
SEGESSER, Rechtsgeschichte von Luzern, IV., 429. 


then an event occurred which resulted in the sending of a 
special nuncio to Switzerland. 

On February I5th, 1578, Gregory XIII. charged the Bishop 
of Vercelli, Giovanni Francesco Bonhomini, who had once 
accompanied Charles Borromeo on his travels through Switzer 
land, with the visitation and reform of the dioceses of Novara 
and Como. 1 Since the territories in Switzerland and the 
Federation belonged to the latter, Bonhomini was once again 
brought into direct contact with Switzerland. In the middle 
of July, 1578, the zealous bishop began by making a visitation 
of the most difficult part of his district, the Valtellina, where 
there had been no bishop within living memory. He there 
administered the sacrament of confirmation to 5000 persons, 
and gave communion to 3000, and encouraged the Catholics 
who had gathered together from the distant mountains to 
resist the religious changes. A prohibition on the part of 
the government of the three leagues put an end to this work 
on August 2nd. 2 Bonhomini then devoted himself to the 
visitation of the territory proper of the diocese of Como ; 
at Lugano and in the Ticino he carried out the work of reform 
with such good results that even to-day his work there is 
still held in honour. 3 At the same time he brought pressure 
to bear on all sorts of persons for the sending of a special 
nuncio to Switzerland ; he especially addressed himself with 
great insistence to Charles Borromeo. The latter wrote in 
January 1579 to Speciani, his distinguished agent in Rome 
with Gregory XIII. : .since Bonhomini had carried out his 
visitation of the Ticino to the great satisfaction of the Swiss, 
it might also be hoped that he would be able to effect much 
good as a visitor of the interior of Switzerland itself, provided 
that the Bishop of Constance, Cardinal Mark Sittich, was 
of the same opinion. In this way it would be possible to 
discover by experiment what a nuncio could accomplish, 
and the visitation could also be extended to the territories 


2 See ibid., 133 seq., 144 seq., 148 seq., 150 seq., 155 seq., 157 seq. 

3 >See EHSES MEISTER, Nuntiaturberichte, I., xxiii, 


bordering on the German Empire. As Cardinal Mark Sittich 
agreed to this, and was also willing to share the expenses 
of the visitation, Gregory XIII. ordered that the necessary 
briefs should be prepared for Bonhomini after Easter. 1 

Bonhomini was ready to obey the Pope s orders, but he 
expressed doubts as to the wisdom of the title of visitor, 
which would not satisfy the Swiss because they thought they 
deserved a nuncio as much as the princes. At Rome where 
an intrigue on the part of Lussy against Segesser was suspected 
they would not at first hear of a Swiss nunciature, but later 
on Charles Borromeo intervened on behalf of an appointment 
being made in the sense desired by Bonhomini. A decisive 
factor was the memorial which the Archbishop of Milan sent 
to Rome on April 6th, 1579. 

In this he set forth in the clearest way the importance of 
the questions that had to be dealt with in Switzerland, and 
how the chances of success would be greater in proportion 
to the authority enjoyed by the Pope s representative. The 
visitor should therefore be given the title of nuncio. The 
name of visitor was much disliked, and bad ecclesiastics, 
who feared punishment, would try to make it even more 
hateful among the people. Moreover, many things would 
be withheld the visitor on the pretext that they were being 
kept for the nuncio. 2 

The result of this was the appointment on May 2nd, 15/9, 
of Bonhomini as Papal nuncio in the dioceses of Constance 
Chur, Lausanne, Sion and Basle, and in all other territories 
" which were subject or united to the Federation and the 
allies." Bonhomini was to make a personal visitation of 
those territories and dioceses, and to carry into effect the 
decrees of the Council of Trent, for which purposes he was 
given full faculties. 3 

1 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 231 seq., 246 seq. 

2 See ibid., 316 seq. 

3 See ibid., 325 seq. ; cf. 340 seq. the credentials for the seven 
Catholic regions dated May 27, 1579. In the Bull of January i, 
1580 (ibid., II., i seq.) which granted faculties to Bonhomini, 
the latter is described as "ad Helvetios, Rethos et Sedunenses 


At the same time Gregory XIII. took another step which 
was of great importance for the religious revival of Switzerland 
by founding the Helvetian College at Milan. 

In this establishment, which was to be dependent upon 
the bishop of Milan for the time being, at least fifty youths 
from Switzerland and the Orisons were to be educated, and 
trained as model priests. It was again Charles Borromeo 
who led the Pope to take this extremely important step for 
the carrying out of the work of Catholic reform. What the 
German College in Rome was for Germany, the Helvetian 
College in Milan was to be for Switzerland : a training ground 
for the formation of a capable, educated and zealous priest 
hood. The Pope expended an annual sum of 2400 scudi 
upon the institution, and gave his sanction to the handing 
over to it of the provostship of the Humiliati of S. Spirito, 
with its gardens, buildings and revenues. The college was 
given all the rights and the dignity of a university, and the 
tuition was undertaken by the Jesuits. 1 

After Bonhomini had had a personal interview with 
Borromeo at Milan, and another with Volpi at Como, he set 
out for the scene of his labours. It may truly be said that 
a new era in the ecclesiastical history of Switzerland began 
when this distinguished representative of Catholic reform 
crossed the pass of the St. Gothard at the beginning of July, 
1579. The nuncio was accompanied by the canon of Milan, 
Bellini, as auditor, Canon Caresana of Vercelli as secretary, 

eisque subiectos et confederates ac in Basiliensi et Constantiensi 
diocesibus noster et Ap. Sedis nuntius cum potestate legati de 

1 Cf. Vol. XIX., 246; MAYER, II., 60 seq. ; WYMANN, Der heilige 
Karl Borromeo &c., Stans, 1903. REJNHARDT-STEFFENS, I. 
and II. gives new documents which throw additional light on the 
genesis of the college. See also WYMANN, in Schweiz. Geschichts- 
freund, LII., 294 seq., LIII. and LIV. passim. Picture of the 
magnificent building (Palazzo Elvetico), which is now used for 
State Archives, in WYMANN : Kardinal Borromeo und seine 
Beziehung zur alten Eidgenossenschaft, Stans, 19*0, 92, 123, 127. 
For Borromeo s visitation of the Collegium Helveticum in March, 
1583, see Katholische Schweizerblatter, 1896, 


and the Jesuit Wolfgang Pyringer, an Austrian, as interpreter 
and preacher. 1 

Bonhomini made such speed on his journey as to reach 
Baden in Aargau in time to assist at the federal Diet. On 
July loth, he there presented to the representatives of the 
seven Catholic cantons his credentials as Papal nuncio, 
pointing out at the same time that his mission, as well as 
the foundation of the Helvetian College, was a fresh proof 
of the good will of the Pope, so often manifested before. 

The requests which he presented to the assembly concerned 
three points : first, intervention on behalf of the Catholics 
of the Valtellina, whose ill-treatment in the matter of the 
suppression of Catholic preaching and the unrestricted liberty 
accorded to that of the Protestants he had seen for himself 
in the previous year as visitor : secondly, that a person should 
be appointed by the Catholic cantons to assist him in his 
work at Chur and Sion, and if necessary in an even wider 
field : thirdly, full information as to the abuses and scandals 
existing among the secular and regular clergy, the removal 
of these being his principal duty. 2 

On July i6th Bonhomini began by making a visitation 
of the city of Lucerne, for which purpose he put himself into 
touch with the Council. In order to complete the work 
more quickly he shared it with the members of his legation. 
After a visitation had also been made in the territory of 
Lucerne the nuncio went on to Unterwalden, where he was 
lodged by Lussy in the Winkelriedhaus, and thence he 
proceeded to Uri and Schwyz. Everywhere the authorities 
received him with marks of honour, and he insisted especially 
upon the suppression of the concubinage of the clergy and 
the wearing of the sacerdotal dress. Ill-natured accusations 
made by guilty priests were soon recognized by the people 
as calumnies. 3 

Bonhomini found himself faced by a difficult situation by 

1 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., cdxiii seqq., II., x. For 
Pyringer cf. SOMMERVOGEL, VI., 855. 


3 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 396 scq., .\\-j, 431. 


the fact that the authorities of Schwyz, in violation of canon 
law, had thrown Abbot Heer of Einsiedeln into prison because 
of crimes of a moral nature. By so doing they had incurred 
excommunication, which, however, Bonhomini prudently 
refrained from pronouncing. He solved the difficulty by 
conveying the abbot to Einsiedeln, interning him there in 
his own rooms, suspending him and instituting a canonical 
process against him. The people of Schwyz apologized 
for having arrested him, whereupon Bonhomini absolved 
them. 1 

The visitation of Schwyz passed off better than anywhere 
else. Bonhomini then went to Zug, the parish priest of 
which he described as the best priest he had yet found in 
Switzerland. 1 The nuncio bestowed great praise upon the 
laity of the Catholic cantons, in contrast to the clergy, who 
had to a great extent fallen into a very decadent state ; 
although they were not free from covetousness and drunken 
ness, they otherwise led irreprehensible lives, and showed 
a strong Catholic feeling. Their weaknesses were explained 
by the temptations put before them by all the princes, and 
by the want of moral guidance on the part of the priests, 
who for the most part gave them a very bad example. 
Bonhomini devoted himself to their improvement with all 
the greater vigour ; he refused to delay the work of reform 
as had been suggested at Lucerne. It made a very good 
impression when the Pope s representative, in spite of the 
fact that at first he found himself in financial straits, granted 
all dispensations and every kind of favour gratuitously. 3 

From these districts which were entirely Catholic Bonhomini 
then passed on to places where the population was avowedly 
mixed, and first of all Aargau and Thurgau. There he 
frequently found an unspeakably sad state of affairs. Of 
the eleven canons at Zurzach, ten were living in concubinage, 
though these promised to amend their ways. At Rheinau, 

1 See ibid., II., xi. 

2 See ibid., I., 431. 

3 See ibid., 447, 452 seq., 462 seq. 


besides the abbot, there were only three religious ; the abbot 
himself knew no Latin. 1 

Form Rheinau Bonhomini intended to go to St. Gall, but 
the Abbot of that place, Joachim Opser, 2 thought it his duty 
to advise caution because of the fear of a Protestant rising : 
" We are not in Italy, nor yet in the five cantons," he wrote 
to Bonhomini. The latter replied that he did not understand 
what he meant by so unworthy a letter, but felt it his duty 
to remind the abbot that he must not treat with contempt 
the help which the Holy See was offering him. 3 

At the beginning of September Bonhomini interrupted 
his visitation by stopping for six days at Constance. There 
he discussed the affairs of Switzerland and the interests of 
the Federation with Ninguarda, as well as the religious state 
of Constance itself, and came to an agreement with him as 
to uniformity of procedure in the visitations. He carried 
away a good impression of the activities of Ninguarda, and 
with him visited the convent of nuns at Munsterlingen and 
the ancient Benedictine abbey of Reichenau, and was also 
with him on the occasion of the removal of Abbot Funck 
of Petershausen. The resistance which he encountered 
in his efforts to introduce the enclosure at Miinsterlingen 
was very displeasing to Bonhomini. " I have not yet met 
with any opposition among the Protestants ; " he wrote to 
Rome, " it has all come from ecclesiastics and monks, 
and now the nuns are beginning, but God is stronger than 
them all." 4 

Bonhomini had to put off the visitation of the abbey of 
St. Gall because the abbot excused himself on the ground 

1 See ibid., 481. As late as 1584, the Provost of Zurzach was 
called upon by Charles Borromeo to reform himself and to bring 
back the inhabitants of Kadelburg to the Church ; see Fribourg 
Diocesan Archives XL, 239 seqq. 

2 For Opser s worthy predecessors cf. E. ZIEGLER, Abt. Otmar II. 
von St. Gallen : Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Gegenreformation 
in der Schweiz, Zurich, 1896. 

3 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, L, 467, 472. 

4 See ibid., 486. 


of having had to go to take the baths, and when he came 
back it was not possible to have speech with him. The 
nuncio visited several parishes and monasteries in the territory 
of the abbey. In two convents of women he not only found 
that, as was the case everywhere, the enclosure was not kept, 
but also that the breviary was not recited at all. " How 
great is the negligence of ecclesiastical superiors in these 
matters ! " exclaims the zealous disciple of Borromeo in 
one of his letters. " The Council of Trent is quite unknown ; 
the convents of women will give me plenty to do, but with 
the help of God I hope to overcome all the difficulties." 1 

After a wearisome journey through Thurgau Bonhomini 
went to Porrentruy, to the Bishop of Basle, Blarer von 
Wartensee, who, as he states in his report to Rome, " is not 
like the others, but shows a pious anxiety to meet me." The 
principal subject of discussion at the meeting at Porrentruy 
was the plan for an alliance between Blarer and the Catholic 
cantons, which was to result in the restoration of Catholicism 
in those parts of the diocese of Basle which had fallen into 
Protestantism 80 places with 40,000 inhabitants. Bonhomini 
advised a change in the abnormal position by which Blarer 
did not reside in his own diocese, and caused Porrentruy 
to be separated from Besancon and united to Basle. 

An attempt made by the nuncio at Porrentruy to reform 
the Cistercian monastery of Liitzel in Alsace not only led to 
troublesome controversies with the religious, but also with 
the officials of the Archduke Ferdinand of the Tyrol, who 
saw in the conduct of Bonhomini an interference with his 
sovereign rights. 2 

At the beginning of October the nuncio was at Soleure, 
where he carried out the visitation of the city and the neigh 
bouring countryside, preached, and took proceedings against 
two concubinists. 3 

After Bonhomini had met with so many difficulties, he 

1 See ibid., 489. 

2 See ibid., 489, 543 seq., 553 seq., II., xii-xiii ; Zisterzienster- 
Chronik, XXI. (1909), 84 seqq. 



experienced all the greater joy when he met with full approval 
of his mission at Freiburg, which he reached on October loth. 
Not only was the welcome of the city more solemn and splendid 
than it had been anywhere else, but more important still 
was the fact that he found a kindred spirit in the provost, 
Peter Schnewly, 1 a man distinguished alike for his learning 
and piety, who supported his efforts for reform in the most 
zealous way. In spite of the plague Bonhomini visited many 
places in the territory of Freiburg, although he had to put off 
the completion of his visitation until a later time, because 
pressing business recalled him to Lucerne. 2 The grave 
accusations which the ecclesiastics of Uri, Schwyz, and 
Unterwalden had made in September, 1579, against the Pope s 
representative, were to be discussed at the Diet which was 
to be held there. Faced by the terrible nature of the abuses 
which he met with, Bonhomini may have occasionally acted 
with harshness, 3 but in the main his conduct was entirely 
justified, and the accusations made against him were mere 
pretexts ; the real cause of the opposition to him lay in his 
enactments against concubinage ; to this there was added 
the democratic spirit of independence which found it hard 
to endure the interference of a stranger. 

How little real foundation there was for the accusations made 
against Bonhomini may be clearly seen from an extraordinarily 
characteristic document bearing the title : " Accusations 
and complaints made by the whole clergy of the three 
cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden/ 4 This states 

1 Bonhomini s letters to Schnewly, the most important source 
for the introduction of the Jesuits into Fribourg, have been 
published by Berthier in the Revue de la Suisse cath., 1894. 
Schewly s treatise on State and Church has been published by 
Holder in the Archiv fur kath. Kirchenrecht, LXXIX. (1899), 
291 seqq., 425 seqq. ; LXXX. (1900), 18 seqq. For particulars 
of Schnewly himself cf. BRASEY : Le chapitre de 1 insigne collegiale 
de St. Nicolas a Fribourg, Fribourg, 1912, 42 seqq. 


3 Cf. Zisterzienster-Chronik, XXL, 16, 123 seq. 

5 German and Latin text in REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 495 seq. 


that " the foreign bishop " says that he wishes to enforce 
the enactments of the Council of Trent, but in reality his 
reforms are directed against that Council, which places the 
work of reform in the hands of the diocesan bishop ; this 
is the Bishop of Constance, who takes no interest in his diocese ; 
reform at the hands of the auxiliar} bishop would be willingly 
tolerated, but not at those of a stranger, and least of all of an 
Italian, for the latter, on the pretext of making a visitation 
is only trying to obtain information as to the wealth of the 
Germans in the Alps ! This is followed by the equally untrue 
statement that Bonhomini, like the vendors of indulgences 
in the days of Luther, had demanded money for his indulgences. 
It is interesting to see how this memorial deals with the 
principal point at issue, the enforcement of celibacy. It is 
impossible under the present circumstances of benefices and 
of the houses of parish priests to do without the service of 
women, since no ecclesiastic can himself collect his revenues, 
which to a great extent consist in tithes in kind, or look after 
gardens or manage the house. It is not denied that con 
cubinage is a sin and a scandal, but it is not given to everyone 
to live in chastity ! Some indulgence must be shown, because 
they had not been trained to a higher ecclesiastical life. Lastly 
the memorial of accusation formally asks the civil authorities 
to drive out " the foreign bishop." If it is insisted upon 
imposing this Italian upon them they would rather expatriate 
themselves in a body ! 

Bonhomini s treatment of this accusation, which the 
secretary of the municipality of Lucerne, Renward Cysat, 
rightly described as a " vile document, and one unworthy 
of priests " was very dignified. On October 2Qth he first 
of all informed the envoys of the seven cantons of the Pope s 
decision to maintain a permanent nuncio in Switzerland 
after his departure, to look after the interests of religion. 
He then passed on to the accusations which had been made 
against him on the part of the recalcitrant priests. His first 
idea had been not to let such an act pass unpunished, but 
after mature reflection he had decided to pardon it, and 
further begged the delegates to abstain from any sort of 


punishment. On the other hand, he made inquiries on his 
own plenary authority into the accusations made against 
him, and sent the result to the Pope for decision as 
the one supreme judge. Bonhomini then passed on to the 
consideration of the points which lay at the root of the existing 
abuses : the concubinage of priests, the usurpation of punitive 
jurisdiction against the clergy, the neglect of the enclosure 
by convents of nuns, and the conferring of ecclesiastical 
benefices in defiance of canon law. The abuse mentioned 
in the second place had already been removed, therefore 
Bonhomini asked all the more urgently for help in dealing 
with the concubinage of the clergy. With regard to this 
he addressed a special exhortation to the authorities of Schwyz, 
Uri, Unterwalden and Zug, imploring them no longer to 
allow God to be constantly offended, the people to be exposed 
to great dangers, and their Catholic name dishonoured. He 
then pointed out in detail the necessity he was under, both 
because of the canon law, and the instructions he had received 
from the Pope, of punishing the violation of celibacy by 
suspension. The enforcement of the enclosure in the convents 
of nuns, in accordance with the prescriptions of the Council 
of Trent, was not a matter of very great hardship, because 
this did not entirely prevent visits from relations, or their 
being lodged in houses outside the convent. The question 
of the conferring of benefices too was easier to arrange than 
was thought by many people. The right of patronage would 
not be violated, but rather confirmed. They might ask 
the authorities at Freiburg concerning the suggestions he 
had made to them, and follow their example. Finally, 
Bonhomini pointed out that the requirements for reform 
contained nothing more than the Catholic cantons had already 
accepted by their adherence to the Council of Trent. 1 

How great an impression was made by Bonhomini s 
attitude is seen from the letter which the seven cantons wrote 
to the Pope on October 3oth. They thanked him for sending 

590 seq. 

VOL. XX. 12 


the nuncio, whose coming, because of their religious needs 
and especially the reform of the clergy, had been very 
necessary and much desired. This letter expressly states 
that Bonhomini had fulfilled his mission perfectly, and had 
shown himself helpful and kindly tov/ards them. 1 The 
nuncio, too, had every reason for not being dissatisfied with 
the results of his labours, even though he had not been able, 
as far as his demands were concerned, to arrive at an agree 
ment with the Catholic cantons with regard to united action. 
In the meantime he proposed, in view of the existing condition 
of Switzerland, henceforward to adopt a method more in 
conformity with his purpose, and more likely to be effectual, 
by dealing separately with each canton concerning his plans 
for reform. By this means he was able to effect much good, 
especially in Lucerne and Freiburg, which later on, owing 
to the power of example and the influence of those two cities, 
gradually made its way into the other cantons. 2 In order 
to carry out his lofty aims he continued as before to labour 
unceasingly both in word and in writing. Fie was very soon 
able to point to good results in the cantons of Uri and Schwyz, 3 
more especially in his struggle against concubinage, which 
was so strongly approved of by the Holy See. 4 

Even the Abbot of St. Gall, Joachim Opser, 5 now showed 
himself more amenable. Bonhomini was able to carry out 
his visitation there, and on September 28th to hold a meeting 
of the clergy with regard to the publication of the reform 
decrees. He did the same at Wyl. What strong Catholic 
feeling there still was in Switzerland was shown by the 
enthusiastic welcome accorded to him in the territory of 
Appenzell, which had not seen a bishop for a century. At 
the same time he was not without experiences of another 

1 See ibid., 604 seq. 

2 See SEGESSER, Rechtsgeschichte von Luzern, IV., 432. 

3 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 625, 636. 

4 See ibid., 617, 628, 641. 

5 For J. Opser, who eventually sided completely with the 
Catholic Restoration, see SCHWETWILER in the Zeitschr. fur 
schweiz. Kirchengeschich., XII., 43 seqq. 


kind, such as his offensive rejection by the Charterhouse of 
Ittingen and the Abbey of Wettingen, where the abbots had 
been stirred up by the local governors. Bonhomini summoned 
them to appear at Lucerne. 1 Thence he went on December 
I2th for the second time to Freiburg, in order to continue 
his visitation and hold a diocesan synod. After Freiburg 
he intended to visit the Valais. Although the governing 
body of the Protestant movement there held itself entirely 
aloof, yet the tendency towards a state church, and the 
submission of the church to the state had obtained such a 
hold there that the Pope s representative met with an offensive 
refusal ; the prevalent opinion that the visitation was a 
pretext for the covetousness of the Curia formed an excuse 
for the prevention of the correction of a very demoralized 
state of affairs by the supreme authority. 3 The same was 
the case elsewhere, but Bonhomini s energy and courage 
refused to be dismayed by any difficulties. When the 
circumstances demanded it, he knew how to give way, and 
this was shown by his conduct before the envoys of the 
Catholic cantons at Lucerne in January, 1580. 

As a result of the complaints that had been made, especially 
by the monasteries of Thurgau, as well as of the difficulties 
which Bonhomini had met with from the governors of the 
Catholic cantons in the conferring of benefices, a very un 
favourable impression of him had got abroad, which even 
affected the people of Lucerne, who thought that he had 
treated them with little consideration. Bonhomini explained 
and defended his conduct and disarmed all opposition by 
declaring that in future, before he published any edicts 
he would inform the cantons of them. He hoped that in 

1 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, II., xv. \Vith reference to 
Ittingen, see the essay by BUCHI in the Zeitsohrift fur schweiz. 
Kirchengeschichte, I., 84 seq. This essay deals with the course 
of the reform in the religious houses of Thurgau. For W r ettingen, 
see Zisterzienser-Chronik , XXL, 122 seqq. 

2 Fueter is right in laying special emphasis on this point in 
his review on the reports of the Swiss Nuncios in the Historische 
Zcitschrift, CI., 163. 


return for this they would help him in punishing guilty 

After this Bonhomini was kept busily employed by the 
disputes between the Bishop of Chur, Beatus von Porta, 
and his bitter adversaries. His behaviour in this matter 
showed how little truth there was in the idea which the nuncio s 
enemies had formed of him as a fiery southerner". There 
being no hope of being able to settle the matters at issue 
between the Bishop of Chur and his adversaries by the way 
of law, nor of inducing the League of the House of God to 
recognize all the rights of the Bishop of Chur, Bonhomini 
maintained the principle that for the saving of the diocese 
it was necessary to make great concessions in economic 
questions, for in Chur, he wrote, it is not right but might 
that decides matters. 2 He further insisted that Beatus von 
Porta should take up his residence at Chur. At the con 
ferences which he held with Beatus at Fiirstenburg in 
Vintschgau the bishop refused to return to Chur. All that 
Bonhomini could obtain was a resignation into the Pope s 
hands, which was at first to be kept secret ; he then went to 
Innsbruck, to the Archduke Ferdinand, and afterwards to 
Brescia for an interview with Charles Borromeo. By his 
advice, after summoning a synod in his diocese of Vercelli, 
he set out upon a journey to Rome, in order personally to 
inform the Pope and the Cardinal Secretary of State concerning 
the affairs of Chur and other matters in Switzerland. In 
June he was back at Chur, where he prevented any further 
action on the part of the League of the House of God by 
announcing the eventual resignation of the bishop. He 
then went to Baden to the federal Diet, where he laid before 
the representatives of the seven cantons the proposal that 
they should definitely embark upon the reforms of the secular 
and regular clergy which he had suggested. 3 

The difficult question of Chur entailed new and fatiguing 

1 See MAYER, Konzil von Trient, I., 261 seq. ; REINHARDT- 
STEFFENS, II., 43 seq. ; HURBIN, II., 247. 

2 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 634 ; II., xx. 

3 See ibid., II., xxi seq. 


journeys* in July and August, without however any definite 
result. The nuncio was comforted, however, by finding 
a more favourable disposition towards reform at Lucerne. 
At Freiburg he was able to remove all the difficulties concern 
ing the establishment, which he had long and eagerly 
advocated, of a Jesuit college, which Gregory XIII. had 
erected by a bull of February 25th, 1580 " to promote the 
salvation of souls, the instruction of youth, and the eradication 
of innovations in the faith." 1 

In the autumn this indefatigable man, in the interests of 
the dioceses of Lausanne and Basle, undertook a journey 
to Burgundy, visiting Cardinal de la Baume, Archbishop 
of Besancon, and displaying his zeal for the introduction 
of ecclesiastical reform in the Franche Conte. He then visited 
Bishop Blarer at Porrentruy for the second time, and urged 
him to move more quickly against his subjects who had 
apostatized from the Church. He then visited, with the 
concurrence of the officials of the Archduke Ferdinand, the 
Abbey of Liitzel in Alsace, and with that of the Archbishop 
of Besangon, the city of Porrentruy. Then he went by way 
of Basle, to Thurgau, where the obstinacy of the Abbot of 
Kreuzlingen and the abbess of the Cistercian convent of 
Feldbach caused him great annoyance. He there met with 
the same experiences as his master Borromeo had done in 
the Ticino ; in both places it was the ambition and selfishness 
of the governors which stood in the way of reform and 
encouraged the recalcitrant monasteries. 2 

The month of October was occupied by a journey into 
South Germany and the Tyrol. Bonhomini was successful 
in winning over the Archduke Ferdinand to a settlement of 
the disputes at Chur, and of ecclesiastical affairs in the 
Austrian part of the dioceses of Basle and Constance, as 
well as in overcoming the opposition of the provincial of 
the Jesuits, Paul Hoffaeus, to the foundation of the Jesuit 
college at Freiburg on the ground of the lack of suitable and 

1 See ibid., II., xxii. 

2 See ibid., xxv seqq. 


trained subjects. 1 At Ratisbon, whither he went on November 
7th, he had a conference with Ninguarda on the subject of 
Chur. There he found the state of affairs more critical than 
ever ; the very existence of the diocese was at stake. Although 
he was personally threatened, he did not lose courage. 
Trusting in the power of prayer, in which he asked the help 
of all his friends, he succeeded at last in bringing about a 
settlement between the chapter and the League of the House 
of God, by which, by the sacrifice of certain rights, the 
existence of the diocese was saved. The new election, which 
had become necessary owing to the resignation of Bishop 
Beatus, was put off until Corpus Domini in the following year, 
and Bonhomini thought that he could leave the ancient 
Roman city with an easy mind on October 29th. 2 At Lucerne 
he was at last successful in coming to a satisfactory agreement 
with the . government, concerning the reform of the clergy 
in accordance with the mind of the Council of Trent. 3 Thus, 
with his mind relieved, he was able to set out for Freiburg 
accompanied by Peter Canisius and another Jesuit ; as the 
people of Berne had complained on a previous occasion that 
the nuncio always avoided their city, he this time took the 
road through Berne. But on his arrival there he found 
himself exposed to the vulgar attacks of the populace, in 
spite of the fact that he was accompanied by an official of 
the city of Lucerne. 4 At Freiburg, where he spent the 
greater part of December, he was happily successful in 
removing the last difficulties in the way of the establishment 
of the Jesuit college, to which, in virtue of the Papal authority, 
the property of the lapsed Premonstratensian abbey of 
Marsen had been assigned. 5 Bonhomini presented the two 

1 See DUHR, I., 227. 

2 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, II., xxviii seq. Cf. HIRN, II., 
218 seq. ; EHSES-MEISTER, Nuwtiaturberichte, I., xxviii. 

3 See SEGESSER, Rechtsgescliichte von Luzern, IV., 452 seq. ; 

4 MAYER, I., 280 seq. REINHARDT-STEFFENS, II., 554 seq. 

5 Cf. BUCHI in the Freib. Geschichtsbldlter, 1897 ; DUHR, I., 
26 seq. For particulars of the eminent Rector of the Jesuit 


fathers to the Council with the words : " Men of Freiburg, 
you have here a precious stone which you must wrap up 
carefully, enclose it in a silken covering, and treat it with 
special veneration as a holy thing." 1 

At the beginning of 1581 Bonhomini repaired to his diocese 
of Vcrcelli, whence he hastened in March to Chur to super 
intend the election of the bishop at which Peter Rascher 
was elected on June 3rd. 2 He knew already that after this 
act his nunciature in Switzerland was ended. A decisive 
factor in the Pope s decision was the by no means energetic 
action taken by the Catholic cantons in reference to the 
occurrences at Berne, in defiance of the rights of nations, 
which had made a deep impression in Rome. 3 The Swiss 
nunciature was to remain vacant for a time, so that men 
there might learn better to appreciate the presence of a 
representative of the Holy See in their midst. 4 

Bonhomini then returned to his diocese of Vercelli, but 
he was not able to devote himself to it for long, since in August, 
with expressions of the most lively confidence, the Pope 
entrusted him with the visitation of the diocese of Novara. 
While he was getting ready for this, there came on September 
i6th, 1581, his appointment as nuncio at the Imperial court 
in succession to Ottavio di Santa Croce, who had died 
unexpectedly. 5 

His selection for this post, which was as honourable as 

College at Fribourg (the Silesian Peter Michael), see DUHR, loc. cit. 
and also KALIN in the Freib. Geschichtsbldtter, 1901. 

1 See RIESS : Petrus Canisius, 473. 

2 See MAYER : Geschichte des Bistums Chur, II., 174 seq. 

3 Cf. the Brief of February u, 1581, in the Archiv fur schweiz. 
Kirchengeschichte, II., 57. 

4 g ee EHSES-MEISTER, Nuntiaturberichte, I., xxix. Cf. 
HURBIN, II., 247. 

5 See ibid., xxix-xxx. After Bonhomini s departure, Ninguarda 
was once more left to deal with the more important matters 
connected with Switzerland. See MAYER, I., 223 seq. ; Zeitschrift 
fiir schweiz. Kirchengeschichte, X., 209 seq. For S. Croce, cf. 
HAMSEN, I., 302, II., Ixvi. 


it was important, shows how highly Bonhomini s work in 
Switzerland was appreciated in Rome, for that distinguished 
disciple of Borromeo, though he was often incapacitated by 
illness, had, in his noble zeal for duty, left no place of eccles 
iastical importance unvisited, and, filled with a burning love 
for the Church, had done all that was in his power for the 
renewal of the secular and regular clergy, who had fallen 
into so decadent a state. " Would that such a man had 
been sent " wrote Canon Marcantonio Bellini to Charles 
Borromeo, "before the apostasy of Switzerland." 1 

Bonhomini had made no mistake in thinking that it would 
be the work of years to set upon a firm basis the work of 
reform which he had begun in Switzerland. The abuses 
there had been so long rooted, and had spread so far, that 
it was not enough " to have once cleansed the temple." 2 
What was above all wanted was an auxiliary force to carry 
on the work in the way it had been begun. 

Such a force, ever unwearied, the nuncio found in the Jesuits. 
He had had personal experience of their work at Lucerne, 
but he aimed at establishing more of their houses. His plan 
for introducing the Jesuits at Baden had come to nothing. 
On the other hand Bonhomini, by the foundation of the 
college at Freiburg, had ensured the work of reform, and 
removed the danger of the city and its territory being drawn 
by the neighbouring Protestant cantons to embrace the new 
doctrines. 3 In course of time the college of Freiburg 
became a stronghold of the Catholic Church in the west 
of the Federation, as that at Lucerne already was for 
the centre of Switzerland. 4 

Further help came to the Swiss Catholics by the mission 

1 Letter from Einsiedeln dated August 15, 1579, in REINHARDT- 
STEFFENS, I., 435. " The results achieved by Bonhomini before 
he had even completed his first six months in Switzerland were 
altogether extraordinary," says BUCHI in the Zeitschrift fur 
schweiz. Kirchengeschichte, I., 148. 

2 See GRUTER, loc. cit., 33. 

3 Cf. DUHR, I., 228, 440, 479. 

4 According to DIERAUER, III., 339. 


of the Capuchins. Already in 1570, Charles Borromeo, 
with his wonted foresight in all things ecclesiastical, had 
turned his attention to them. It was the Archbishop of 
Milan who. together with Bonhomini, supported the efforts 
of Walter Roll and Melchior Lussy for the establishment of 
a Capuchin convent at Altdorf. 1 It was in 1581 that the 
first fathers reached the little town where legend places the 
scene of William Tell shooting at the apple ; above the church 
was built the small and hospitable convent so well known 
to all visitors to the Forest Cantons. 2 

Bonhomini had already introduced some Capuchins into 
the Valtellina in 1578, but the foundation of a convent there 
was not possible on account of the disturbances concerning 
the Bishop of Chur. 3 On the other hand the pontificate 
of Gregory XIII. saw the successful establishment of the 
convents at Stans and Lucerne, where the sanctuary of 
Wesemlin was entrusted to the fathers. 4 These convents, 
which afterwards increased in number, were the starting 
point of the revival of religious life in Switzerland, 
and Charles Borromeo devoted special attention to 

At the end of 1583 the great Archbishop of Milan once 
again appeared in person in Switzerland, accompanied by 
a Jesuit and a Franciscan. He began by holding a visitation 
for the reform of the Misoxthal in the Grisons. The zeal 
and self-sacrifice which he displayed were rewarded by 
extraordinary results. The people flocked in great numbers 
to the sacraments, many Protestants returned to the Church, 
while many who were hesitating were confirmed in the faith, 
and ancient abuses were removed. The opposition of the 
Protestants in the Grisons, however, prevented the further 
carrying on of the visitation in the Grisons and Valtellina, 

1 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, I., 192 seq. ; II., 123, 141, 225, 
238, 255, 306. 

2 See Chronica provinciae Helveticae Ordinis Capucinorum, 
Solod., 1884, 6 seqq. Cf. Geschichtsfreund, LIL, 292 seq. 

3 See REINHARDT-STEFFENS, L, 158 ; II., 493. 

4 See Chronica, 12. 


as well as the foundation of a Jesuit college at Rovereto. 1 
Towards the end of his life Charles Borromeo had in view 
another journey into Switzerland, in order to consecrate 
the Capuchin churches at Altdorf and Stans, but death 
prevented him from putting this plan into execution. The 
great merits of the Archbishop of Milan in the preservation 
and purification of the Catholic Church in Switzerland 2 can 
never be forgotten there ; to this day, in every part of the 
country there are numerous signs and proofs of grateful love 
and veneration for the man whom Paul V. included in the 
catalogue of the saints. 3 

1 In addition to the sources quoted Vol. XIX. of this work, 
pp. 92, 93, see also MAYER, I., 193 seq. ; Geschichtsfreund, LIV., 
2 TO, 213. With reference to the work of CAMENICH, C. Borromeo 
und die Gegenreformation im Veltlin, Chur, 1901, see WYMANN 
in the Hist. Jahrbuch, XXIII., 633 seq., and MAYER in the Schweiz. 
Rundschau, II., 416 seq. 

2 Cf. KOHLER in the Archiv fur Kulturgeschichte, XIII. (1917), 


3 See MAYER, I., 201 ; WYMANN in the Geschichtsfreund, LI1., 
263 seq., LIV., 144 seq. 



At the same time as Portia, on May 5th, 1573, Caspar Cropper 
had been sent beyond the Alps as the second of the new 
nuncios in Germany. Cropper came from Lower Germany, 
from Soest. After profound studies in law he devoted himself 
first to the service of the Duke of Jiilich-Cleves, and afterwards 
of the archdiocese of Cologne. Together with his celebrated 
elder brother, Johann, he resisted in 1558 the unfortunate 
election of the Count of Mansfeld as Archbishop of Cologne, 
fled to Rome, and there, after his brother s death, obtained 
the benefice which he had held, and became a member of the 
Rota. 1 Thus he seemed to be the man best fitted to protect 
the interests of the Church in Lower Germany. 

With the exception of Augsburg and the dispute concerning 
the monastery of Holy Cross, 2 Cropper s duties at first only 
concerned the diocese of Minister in Westphalia. Gradually, 
however, these duties were added to. A bull of July ist, 
I 573 3 assigned to him as his sphere of action, first the cities 
and dioceses on the Rhine, namely, Treves, Cologne, Mayence, 
Spires, and Worms, then Augsburg, with the whole of West 
phalia, including Miinster and Minden, and lastly, all the 
territories of the Duke of Jiilich-Cleves and Berg. 4 Naturally, 
this vast territory, in almost the whole of which Catholicism 
and Protestantism were struggling for the supremacy, was 

1 SCHWARZ, Cropper, xx-xxviii, cf. 363-85. 

2 See supra, p. 123 seq. 

3 Printed in extenso in MERGENTIIEIM, II., 228-39. The 
faculties contained therein were extended and amplified by a 
Brief of March 12, 1574, ibid., 242-5. 

4 SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 41 ; cf. xxxv. Credentials dated June n, 
T 573> to Duke William of Cleves in KELLER, 194 seq. ; to the 
Archbishop of Mayence in THEINER, I., 97 ; to the Bishop of 
Wiirzburg, the Cologne Chapter, the Council and Burgomaster 



too large for the energies of a single man, and after a brief 
sojourn in the centre of Germany, Cropper s activities were 
almost entirely confined to the Lower Rhine and Westphalia. 
For the visitation of Minden, Bremen, Liibeck, Verden and 
Hildesheim, his place was filled by Alexander Trivius, a canon 
of Bonn, who had been the companion of Cardinal Commendone 
for many years. 1 

Cropper soon had to relinquish the care of central Germany 
entirely to his colleague, Nicholas Elgard, who there carried 
on a work that was distinguished for its zeal, and was highly 
valued in Rome. 

Elgard, who was a native of Elcherait near Arlon in 
Luxemburg, and had been educated by a parish priest of 
the neighbourhood, had been sent after his ordination as 
priest to the German College in Rome by the Archbishop 
of Treves, and again went to Rome as the envoy of the 
aristocracy of Augsburg in the dispute concerning the 
monastery of Holy Cross, where the German Congregation 
had chosen him to accompany the nuncio Cropper. 2 Very 
soon, however, this travelling companion threw his principal 
into the shade. As early as October, 1573, both the nuncio 
and his companion thought that they had accomplished 
their mission and asked to be relieved of their office. 3 Rome, 
however, would not hear of this ; the complications in 
Cropper s field of activity became greater and greater ; fresh 
duties continued to be laid upon him from Rome, so that 
Cropper had to content himself with transferring a part of 
his burden to the shoulders of his companion, who was not 
yet thirty. In June, 1574, Elgard, as Cropper s representative, 
set out upon a journey which took him from Cologne to 
Eichsfeld, to the Archbishop of Mayence, to Fulda, Wiirzburg, 

of Cologne and the Bishop of Miinster in SCHWAKZ, loo. cit., 36-8 ; 
to the Archbishop of Cologne on July 8, to the Bishop of Minden 
on July 1 8, ibid., 42-3. Instruction for Cropper on July 19, 
1573, ibid., 43-56. 

1 SCHWARZ, loc. cit., xcii-xcvii. 

2 Ibid., xxviii seq. 

3 Ibid., Ixx. 


Bamberg, and to the Prince-elector of Treves at Mergentheim. 1 
Elgard s reports found high favour in Rome ; 2 a mission to 
the centre of Germany, which it had at first been intended 
to entrust to Alexander Trivius, was given to him, and in 
the middle of winter, on January i6th, 1575, Elgard again 
set out upon his travels. He visited Fulda for the second 
time, and met the Archbishop of Mayence at Aschaffenburg. 
Following his own natural inclination for the direct care of 
souls, he occupied himself with this for about five months 
at Eichsfeld, which was almost entirely ngelected, and thence 
made two expeditions into Protestant territory. In April 
he had a conversation immediately after the midnight office 
with the dean of the cathedral at Halberstadt, and with the 
same complete secrecy he went on to Magdeburg. In May 
he went to the neighbourhood of Naumburg, intending to get 
detailed information with regard to that diocese, as well as 
Meissen and Merseburg. At the end of July Elgard left 
Eichsfeld, and passing through Hersfeld, went for a third 
time to Fulda, Mayence, Wiirzburg and Bamberg, where he 
received orders from the Pope to go to Ratisbon, to assist 
at the election of the future King of the Romans. 3 From 
Cologne, whither he returned after the election on December 
3rd, 1575, he accompanied Cropper to Minister, for the election 
of the bishop. Both before this journey and after it, the 
Pope s orders took him to Westphalia, to the Archbishop of 
Cologne, and twice to the court of Cleves ; thence he was 
sent by the orders of the Secretary of State in Rome to the 
Diet of Ratisbon, to place himself at the disposal of Cardinal 
Morone. 4 At the suggestion of the latter, Elgard was 
appointed auxiliary bishop of Erfurt ; worn out by his zeal 
and his labours, he died there in 1587, when he was hardly 
forty years old, one of the most worthy representatives of 
the Holy See in Germany at that time, and one of the brightest 
glories of the German College. 5 

1 Ibid., Ixxiv-lxxvii. 

2 Galli to Gropper on November 6, 1574 ; ibid., 212. 

3 Ibid., Ixxi.v, Ixxxi, Ixxxiii-lxxxix. 

4 Ibid., xci. 

5 Ibid., xcvii, 390-402. STEINHUBER, I., 209-20. 


If in Bavaria and Salzburg, as far as the higher clergy 
were concerned, the impulse towards an improvement in 
religious conditions came entirely from Portia and Ninguarda, 
the position of the Papal representatives in Central Germany 
was not quite the same. There certain energetic defenders 
of the Catholic Church arose among the prelates themselves, 
who did not receive their inspiration and guidance in interesting 
themselves in the disastrous state of affairs from the nuncios. 

In the profoundly decadent diocese of Bamberg, however, 1 
Gropper and Elgard were the only ones to urge men to rise 
up from the abyss of decadence, but for the moment their 
words fell on sterile ground. The clergy of Bamberg were 
no better than their bishop, but Bishop Veit von Wurtzburg 
had done good service to the diocese as its temporal ruler, 2 
though from the moral point of view he was the principal 
stumbling block of the diocese. After he had, to the general 
scandal, accorded a solemn public funeral to the mother 
of his sons and his open concubine, he had, however, amended 
his ways, and at the instance of the Bishop of Wiirzburg had 
received priest s orders. Cropper s report on this state 
of affairs 3 brought him orders to visit the diocese, when he 
had hardly completed his duties in the north. 4 This duty 
was afterwards transferred to Trivius, and by him was given 
to Elgard. 5 The latter brought great pressure to bear, 
especially for the establishment of a Jesuit college at Bamberg, 
with the idea that they should at least begin with the founda- 

1 LOOSHORN, Geschichie des Bistums Bamberg, 1556-1622, 
Bamberg, 1903. 

2 W. HOTZELT : Beit II. von Wurtzburg, Fiirstbischof von 
Bamberg 1561-77, Freiburg, 1919. 

3 Of September 26, 1573, i n SCHWARZ, Gropper, 411. 

4 Galli on the I2th and igth of December, 1573, ibid., 76, 85. 
Cropper s reply of January 20, 1574, ibid., 114. The German 
Congregation on December 10, 1573, in SCHWARZ : Zehn 
Gutachten, 83. 

5 Credentials for Trivius dated July 30, 1574, to the bishop and 
chapter of Bamberg, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 168 seq. Instruction 
for Trivius dated August, 1574, ibid., 176 seqq. 


tion of some sort of school. But he could not do anything 
with the timid bishop, either in this matter or in anything 
else. 1 When in the course of his travels he came again to 
Bamberg in the following year, he found no more signs of 
results of his efforts than if he had never been there. 2 In 
other respects he considered the bishop to be a kindly old 
man, who was still true to the Catholic faith. 3 He admitted 
no canon who had not made the profession of faith, and was 
thinking of demanding the same thing from all the professors. 
At Forcheim, near Bamberg, he would not allow a Protestant 
to be admitted into the Council. 4 Elgard praised the auxiliary 
bishop, Jakob Feucht, as a zealous preacher, though, in 
order to publish his sermons, he neglected reform. 5 The 
common people at Bamberg were not in such a bad state, 
and could easily be brought back to better ways, since the 
Protestant preachers had not as yet been able to obtain 
access to the city. 6 With regard to the monasteries in 
Bamberg, the Papal envoy could find little good to say. 7 
Yet Gregory XIII. lived to see, in 1583, a bishop given to 
Bamberg in Ernest von Mengersdorf who was very zealous 
for reform. 8 

1 Elgard to Galli on August 23, 1575, in SCHWARZ, dropper, 305. 
His memorandum about a Jesuit College, answer of the bishop 
and Elgard s reply ibid., 306-13, cf. 319 seq. On December 3, 
T 575, Galli desired Elgard to press for a school without Jesuits, 
ibid., 331 seq. Cf. Elgard to Galli on Augrst 15, 1574, i n THEINER, 
I., 214 seq. 

2 To Galli on November 24, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 328. 
Cf. to Galli on October i, 1575, ibid., 319. 

3 To Madruzzo on July 31, 1574, ibid., 171. 

4 To Galli on October 8, 1575, ibid., 323. 

5 SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 323. Earlier, on July 31, 1574, Elgard 
had been vrore unqualified in his praise of the assistant bishop 
(ibid., 173). 

Ibid., 324. " Populus non est emnino pessimus sed 
miserrimus " (ibid., 316). 

7 To Galli on October 4, 1575, ibid., 320-3. 

8 SCHMIDLIN, II., 143. On August 29, 1579, a brief was 
addressed to Zobel von Gibelstadt, Veit von Wiirtzburg s 


In quite a different case from Bamberg was Eichstatt, 
where the bishop, Martin von Schaumberg (1560-1590) had 
from the first realized the importance of the Council of Trent. 
With the exception of the Bishop of Lavant, his auxiliary 
bishop had been the only representative of the episcopate 
of Germany at Trent during the last period of the Council. 
Immediately afterwards Schaumberg set up the first seminary 
in Germany in accordance with the prescriptions of Trent, 
and maintained it at his own expense until Gregory XIII. 
provided it with revenues of its own. 1 He generally drew 
the professors from the German College in Rome, to which 
he also sent many pupils. 3 Immediately after the Council 
Bishop Martin began to devote his attention to the moral 
regeneration of his diocese ; however frank and friendly 
he was in his relations with them, he nevertheless in the case 
of bad priests made use of ecclesiastical censures, imprisonment, 
fines, suspension and banishment. The diocesan synods 
recommended by the Council could with difficulty be held at 
Eichstatt, yet the bishop managed to provide a substitute 
by capitular meetings of the eight deaneries. At his death 
Schaumberg left behind him a body of clergy whose morals 
were above reproach, and the scarcity of priests had been 
overcome ; most of the people went regularly to mass and 
frequented the sacraments ; no Protestant was admitted 
to the rights of citizenship. 3 If all the bishops had been like 

immediate successor, in which he was severely blamed for having 
appointed a Protestant governor of Carinthia and Styria (THEINER, 
III., 21). Zobel s successor, Martin von Eyb, who had notified 
nis election to Rome on January 17, 1581 (TKEINER ,111., 248), 
was likewise rebuked by the Pope, on April T, 1581, for the very 
same thing (ibid., 249). His excuses of June 17 (ibid., 250) were 
rejected by- the Pope on July 1 5 (ibid. , 2 52 ) . Cf. Nuntiatitrberich te, 
II., Ixxxvi. 

1 SUTTNER, Geschichte des bischonichen Seminars in Eichstatt, 
Eichstatt, 1859. SCHMIDLIN, II., 76. 

2 STEINHUBER, I., 280 seqq. 

3 JULIUS SAX : Geschichte der Bischofe und Reichsfiirsten von 
Eichstatt, II. (1884), 453 seqq. SCHMIDLIN, II., 75-9. Between 


Martin von Schaumberg, in the opinion of a Protestant 
scholar, there would never have been any separation from 
Rome. 1 

The diocese of Wurzburg had, in the second year of the 
pontificate of Gregory XIII., an even greater bishop in Julius 
Echter of Mespelbrunn. 2 No Bishop of Wurzburg ruled 
over the diocese for 43 whole years as he did (1573-1617), and 
none of his predecessors or successors have even approached 
his important services to the diocese. Equally great as a 
civil ruler and as a prince of the Church, and endowed with 
extraordinary shrewdness, vast prudence, an iron will and 
a great power of administration, he restored the diocese of 

1587 and 1590, Robert Turner wrote to a Jesuit who was to 
become cathedral preacher at Eichstatt and described the con 
ditions prevailing there as follows : " Principem esse gemmam 
sacerdotum, populum suavissimum et sanissimum, ecclesiam 
optime conformatam, clerum numerosum sine labe communi, 
quae nos et prodidit Luthero et perdidit Deo " (Epistolae, 
Cologne, 1615, 375). According to Ninguarda s secretary the 
bishop was " integerrimae vitae sed timidus, unde canonici 
liberius vivunt, cum eos coercere non audeat." SCHLECHT in the 
Rom. Quartalschrift, V. (1891), 127. 

1 In the funeral panegyric Turner said of him : " Qui tota vita 
ita dixit, ita fecit, ut et vita verbo et verbum vitae et utrumque 
fidei fecerit fidem, usque eo, ut ab haeretico audiverim, si omnes 
sacerdotes fuissent hac vita Martini, numquam secessio fuisset 
facta a Roma " (Orationes, Cologne, 1615, 223). Cf. Eiszepf s 
extracts from the funeral oration in SCHLECHT, loc. cit. t 126, n. 4. 

2 GROPP, I., 409 seq., JOH. NEP. BUCHINGER, Julius Echter von 
Mespelbrunn, Bischof von Wurzburg und Herzog von Franken, 
Wurzburg, 1843. C. BRAUN, Heranbildung des Klerus, I., 
162 seqq. A. L. BEIT in the Hist.-polit. Bldttern, CLX. (1917), 
113-27. TH. HENNER in the Neujahrsbldttern der Geschellschaft 
fur frdnkische Geschichte, XIII. (1917). Cf. HENNER S Jubilaums- 
schriften (Munich, 1918), CI. B. HESSDORFER (Wurzburg, 1917), 
B. BRANDER (ibid., 1917). Various notices by RULAND in the 
Serapeum, 1863, 219 seqq. ; 1864, 104 seq. ; 1866, 33 seqq. ; 
1867, 9 seqq. ; 1870, 260 seqq. W. GOETZ in Herzogs Real- 
Enzyklopddie, IX 3 ., 628 seqq. v. WEGELE in the Allg. Deutsche 
Biographie, XIV., 671 seqq. 

VOL. XX. 13 


Wiirzburg from a state of complete disorganization and 
bankruptcy to a healthy condition, and from the religious 
point of view, brought it back permanently to the old Church. 
Among those who were well disposed towards the Church 
the election of the not yet thirty years old dean of the chapter 
was hailed with joy. He was born in 1545 of parents who 
were staunch Catholics, at the castle of Mespelbrunn 1 in 
Spessart ; he had made his studies at good Catholic schools, 
as a boy with the Jesuits at Cologne, 2 as a young man at 
the academies in Belgium, France and Italy, 3 and had 
obtained his licentiate in law in Rome itself. 4 Although 
he was the youngest of the canons, in 1567 he was scholastic 
of the cathedral, and in 1570 its dean. In this capacity, a 
short time before he was raised to the episcopal dignity* he 
asked the superior of the Jesuits on the Rhine whether good 
and zealous priests could not be sent from Cologne to 
Wurzburg ; 5 twenty days after his election he wrote in the 
same sense to Rome to obtain some teacher from the German 
College for his diocese. 6 An annual report of the Jesuits 
on the Rhine 7 seems, therefore, to be right in describing 

1 For particulars of the castle see SCHULTE VOM BRUHL, Deutsche 
Schlosser (1889) ; Zeitschrift fur Kulturgeschichte, 1873, 231 seq. ; 
for the year of his birth : Archiv fur Unterfranken, V., 2 (1839), 
181 seq. 

2 HANSEN, Rheinische Akten, 627, 695. 

3 The Archbishop of Mayence lays stress on both these facts 
in his letter to Gregory XIII. of March 16, 1574, i n THEINER, I., 
236 ; the Archbishop of Treves did the same on March 20, 1574, 
in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 127. 

4 RANKE (Papste, II 9 ., 80), and others are wrong in saying that 
he was at the German College ; see LOSSEN in the Forschungen 
zur deutschen Geschichte, XXIII. (1883), 361, n. i ; BRAUN, I., 
163, n. i. About his studies and the years before his episcopal 
election see SCHAROLD in the Archiv filr Unterfranken, VI., 3 
(1841), 154 seqq. ; WEGELE, Geschichte, I., 130-4. 

*The superior s letter of August n, 1572, in HANSEN, loc. cit., 

6 In BRAUN, I., 163. 

7 Of September 16, 1574, in HANSEN, loc. cit., 695. 


the new prince bishop as the declared friend of the Jesuits 
and of ecclesiastical reform. Julius swore to the Tridentine 
profession of faith on March 27th, 1 and two days later promised 
in a letter, in which he asked for confirmation from Rome, 2 
to carry on the work of reform of his predecessor, Frederick 
von Wirsberg. He prepared himself for his sacerdotal 
ordination and episcopal consecration on May 2Oth and 
22nd, 1575, for several days and with great devotion by 
means of the spiritual exercises of the Jesuits, and often 
said that he wished to live in a manner befitting a Catholic 
bishop, 3 and either to do all that appertained to his office 
or resign the episcopal dignity. 4 

Nevertheless the first years of the government of the new 
bishop did not seem to hold out any great hopes for the future. 
Many had expected from him an immediate and strong course 
of action, as for example that he would, by means of a 
diocesan synod, remind a clergy that was forgetful of its duties, 
of their obligations, and that he would employ force against 
those who were obstinate. Instead of this the new bishop 
contented himself with demanding as a condition for ordina 
tion, or for the conferring of a benefice, the making of the 
Tridentine profession of faith, 5 with trying to influence the 
clergy by means of spiritual exercises, 6 and with reprinting 
the Breviary of Wiirzburg, 7 and if, in 1575, he expelled immoral 

1 HANSEN, loc. cit., 68 1. 

2 THEINER, I., 238, Cf. 236. SCHWARZ, loc. tit., I2J, 138, 211. 

3 Jesuit letters of June 16 and 18, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 
291 seq. Cf. HANSEN, loc. cit., 705. 

4 Elgard to Galli on August 23, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 305. 
cf- 355- 

6 Portia to Galli on January 26, 1577, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 38. 

6 In the years 1574 and 1575. REININGER, 201. 

7 RULAND in the Serapeum, 1863, 219 seqq. He also had a 
prayerbook of the Archduke Maximilian of Austria (for soldiers) 
republished in 1600 and the following years (ibid., 1864, 104 seqq.). 
About the printing of the Catechism of Canisius in 1590 and 1614, 
ibid., 1867, 9 seqq. ; about the Wiirzburg hymn books, 1591-1615, 
ibid., 1866, 33 seqq. 


women from the houses of the clergy and the canons, this 
was limited to the city of Wiirzburg itself. 1 Some preachers 
were also expelled, but down to 1577 only fourteen had thus 
been driven out. 2 Echter is a tedious temporizer, wrote 
one of the Jesuits. 3 Even the Pope complained 4 that in 
spite of the insistence of Elgard, Julius would not be persuaded 
to hold a diocesan synod before his metropolitan, the Arch 
bishop of Mayence, held a provincial one ; at the same time, 
only common action on the part of the bishops could effect 
a sensible improvement of the clergy. Gregory XIII. did 
not deem it out of place to remind the bishop of his promise 
to set up a Tridentine seminary, and charged Cropper, 5 as 
well as Elgard, 6 to address remonstrances to him on this 
subject as well as about the synod ; Portia, too, on the occasion 
of his visit to Wiirzburg in 1577, again brought pressure to 
bear on behalf of both synod and seminary. 7 

But if Bishop Julius only proceeded very slowly, this was 
not from any want of zeal, but because he only wished to 
undertake what he could carry out. It was impossible, so 

1 Elgard to Galli on August 23, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 305. 

2 Portia, loc. cit., 37. 

3 " satis magnus cunctator," in HANSEN, loc. cit., 674, n. i. 
In a written complaint of the year 1573 (published by S. MERKLE 
in the Archiv fur Unterfranken, XLI. (1899), 263 seqq.} the bishop 
is even suspected of Protestant leanings. RANKE (loc. cit., 79 seq.) 
thought it probable that Julius had hesitated as to whether he 
should make his bishopric Protestant and hereditary. Opposed 
to this view are LOSSEN, loc. cit., 359 seq., S. KADNER in the 
Beitrdgen zur bayr . Kirchengeschichte, IV. (1898), 128-36 ; WEGELE, 
loc. cit., 158. 

4 On November 27, 1574, in THEINER, I., 238. " Chi tentara 
per se solo si concitara un odio immortale de principi, et forse 
senza frutto potendo avvenire che da gl altri non habbia 
approbatione," declared Julius in reply to the nuncio Portia. 
Portia to Galli on January 26, 1577, Nuntiaturberichte, 1., 38. 

6 On November 27, 1574, i n SCHWARZ, Gropper, 226. 

6 On January 22, 1575, ibid., 242. 

7 Portia, loc. cit. 


he pointed out to Elgard, and later on to Portia, 1 to proceed 
with severity against the ecclesiastics of the territory, because 
in that case they would leave the country, and the whole 
district would be deprived of Catholic worship. He devoted 
his attention rather to the training of young and good priests, 
and the moment he found any such at his disposal, he put 
him in the place of some unworthy priest. Elgard did not 
venture to contradict him, but he was of the opinion 2 that 
Bishop Julius in his excessive zeal, embarked upon too many 
plans, so that one hindered the other ; 3 but that it was fair 
to say that, considering his youth and the fact that he had 
only recently begun to govern, he had fulfilled his duties as 
bishop with steadfastness and resolution. 4 Portia too, in 
1577, recognized the bishop s zeal. 5 It was quite true that 
his hands were tied on every side by great obstacles. Julius 
complained to Cardinal Madruzzo at the Diet of Ratisbon 
that the patrons of more than 300 parishes would not allow 
the parish priests they nominated to be subjected to the 
examination desired by the Church. So that he might have 
some support against these patrons he suggested that the 
Pope might make a complaint to the bishop in a brief, to 
the effect that he had not opposed this arrangement with 
sufficient energy ; this suggestion was actually carried out. 6 
If Bishop Julius saw the only hope of better conditions 
for the Church in the schools and the rising generation, he 
was able to find confirmation for this view in the experience 
of his predecessor. Frederick von Wirsberg had been a 
zealous pastor ; he himself preached and administered the 

1 Elgard on August 23, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit. ; Portia loc. cii. 

2 To Galli on November 24, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 329. 

8 " Tarn multa fervore quodam proponit, ut metuam, ne 
seipsum multitudine nimia confundat et impediat." Ibid. 

* " Ego ipsi plurimum confido in Domino. Nam pro ea aetate 
et initio administrationis suae constanter et fortiter omcium 
episcopale praestitit." Memorandum of July, 1576, in SCHWARZ, 
loc. cit., 355. 

6 loc. cit., 37 seq. 

6 Nuntiaturberichte, II., 493, 512. 


sacraments. After he had taken possession of his see he 
issued a series of enactments against the Protestants. On 
fixed days of the week the Council of Trent was read to the 
clergy, and later on this reading was again repeated. The 
higher clergy and religious superiors were obliged in 1569 
to take an oath according to the formulary of Trent, and 
to exact the same thing from their subjects. 1 But in spite 
of all this the bishop himself realized that the ecclesiastical 
revival was making very little progress. Often the pious 
old man rose in the night to pray God to raise up for the diocese 
a more energetic successor. 2 

As far as the education of youth was concerned, Frederick 
von Wirsberg had prepared the ground for his successor in 
a remarkable way. His first attempt at setting up an estab 
lishment for higher education in 1561 failed indeed, 3 but 
in 1567 a Jesuit college, as well as a house of studies was estab 
lished. 4 Nevertheless the want of a true university in the 
district of Franconia was badly felt, since the youths who 
attended the high-schools returned home almost Protestants, 
or at any rate were " neither flesh nor fish." 5 There was also 
a want of a theological seminary in accordance with the 
prescriptions of the Council of Trent, since the college of 
Frederick von Wirsberg was intended for students in all 
the faculties. The prince bishop Julius supplied these 
deficiencies, and established education in Franconia in such 
a way as to make it independent of outside resources, and 
well provided for in every way. First ol all he obtained 
for the Jesuit college the pontifical and Imperial privileges 
which converted it into a university. 6 He further established 

I GROPP, I., 386. WEGELE in the Allg. Deutsche Biogr., VIII., 
60 seq. 

2 GROPP, I., 388. 

3 BRAUN, I., 106 seqq. 

4 Ibid., 124 seqq., 139 seqq., 145 seqq. 

5 Julius to the Chapter on February 28, 1575, ibid., 178. 

6 Gregory XIII. on March 28, 1575, in GROPPER, I., 499 seq. ; 
WEGELE, Geschichte, II., 80 seqq. Maximilian, II., on May n, 
1575, ibid., 84 ; cf. BRAUN, I., 167 seqq. 


three colleges which were intended to ensure to the rising 
generation a means of recovery and protection from danger. 1 
The first, the college of St. Kilian, for forty theological students, 
was to form the true Tridentine theological seminary ; to 
this was attached a house for students in all the faculties. 2 
The second, the Marian College, intended to serve as a 
preparatory school for that of St. Kilian, was also for forty 
students ; this was to serve for the classics and philosophy. 3 
The third institution for poor boys, was in its turn to serve 
as a preparatory school for the Marian. 4 To these three there 
was added in 1607 a seminary for 24 young nobles ; 5 in this 
way, provision had now been made for all, as far as education 
was concerned. The teachers and professors in all these 
institutions were drawn by Bishop Julius from the Jesuits. 

So as to prepare a suitable residence for his university, 
as well as for the college of St. Kilian, he erected a splendid 
new building. 8 He too had to contend with the same financial 
difficulties which had prevented Bishop Frederick from 
founding the university which he too had had in view. But 
in spite of all difficulties, and in spite of the opposition of 
his unintelligent chapter and their hostility to the Jesuits, 
Julius was successful in carrying out his intentions. Some 
times it is true, there was a tendency on his part to have 
recourse to force, the natural effect of his iron will. When 

X A written document, dated January 2, 1589, decreed that 
the work of education should be distributed among three colleges. 
BRAUN, I., 316 seqq. 

8 Ibid., 175 seqq. 

8 Ibid., 259. 

Ibid., 312. 

6 BRAUN, I., 351. F. K. HUMMER, Das von Fiirstbischof Julius 
gestiftete Seminarium nobilium zu Wiirzburg, Wiirzburg, 1906. 

6 BRAUN, I., 285 seqq. BUCHINGER, 147 seqq. Opening 
celebrations on January 2, 1582 (WEGELE, Geschichte, I., 196 seq., 
II., 127). About the university, see Kunstdenkmdler von Unter- 
franken und Wiirzburg, XII. (1914) ; R. STOLZE, Erziehungs und 
Unterrichtsanstalten im Julius-spital seit 1580 bis 1803, Munich, 


for example the chapter would not concede the use of an 
empty monastery for the projected Tridentine seminary, he 
himself handed over the building to the Jesuits, brevimanu, 
and the chapter had to give way whether they liked it or not. 1 

The zeal of Bishop Julius was not yet satisfied with all 
these institutions. He was not only a promoter of learning, 
but he was also a fathei of the poor and needy. 2 The 
destructive military campaigns of which the Duchy of 
Franconia had been the scene during the XVIth century, 
had directly injured many pious institutions, and given their 
unscrupulous administrators an excuse for being unfaithful 
to their trust. The prince-bishop now intervened ; he 
examined the state of these institutions, saved some from 
ruin, and improved and reorganized them in general. Several 
of his enactments on behalf of the still existing hospitals, 
such as that for Arnstein in 1573, for Heidingsfeld in 1585, 
for Miinnerstadt in 1591, for Dettelbach, Gerolzhofen, 
Mellrichstadt, Neustadt, and Rottingen in 1616, together 
with the ordinances on behalf of Ebern, Karlstadt, Volkach, 
Hassfurt, Iphofen and Konigshofen, are couched in eloquent 
language. 3 In many instances the efforts of Echter on behalf 
of ancient institutions took the form of an almost entirely 
new foundation. He himself described the spirit which 
guided him in his works of charity in an autograph postscript 
to the statute for the hospital at Volkach, which he had rebuilt 
from its foundations ; 4 " I do not remember having ever 
read of anyone dying a bad death who willingly devoted 
himself to works of charity, for such a one has many to inter 
cede for him, and it is impossible for the prayers of many 
people not to be heard." 

The most important of the bishop s charitable foundations 
was the great Julian hospital which still exists in the city 

1 BRAUN, I., 180, 259 seq. In 1581 Gregory XIII. issued a 
prohibition preventing the bishop from seizing the property of 
the Jesuits (ibid., 206, n. i). Cf. DUHR, I., 126 seqq. 

2 BUCHINGER, 243 seqq. JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. 15 " 16 , 239. 

3 BUCHINGER, 244. 

4 Of 1607, ibid., 246. 


of Wiirzburg. Persons with means were not to be admitted 
to this wealthy institution, and no attention was to be paid 
to recommendations in admitting inmates, because owing 
to such recommendations and payments the sick would be 
crowded out by the healthy. This bishop wished to assist 
none but the needy : the poor, the sick, the orphans, pilgrims 
on their way, and all in need, and these were assisted 
gratuitously out of the large revenues. The cathedral chapter 
made objections to this splendid undertaking as well, but 
at last agreed that the revenues of the deserted monastery 
of Heiligental and other funds should be made over to the 
hospital. Bishop Julius himself laid the first stone on March 
I2th, 1576, on March I2th, 1579, he signed the charter of 
foundation, and on July loth, 1580, he was able to consecrate 
the church of the hospital. 1 

The great Bishop of Wiirzburg also distinguished himself 
in yet a third kind of foundation, and the epitaph which his 
successor placed upon his tomb records the fact that he had 
built more than 300 churches. 2 

When Bishop Julius had won for himself an established 
reputation both with his own subjects and throughout the 
Empire, and had laid the necessary foundations for a religious 
revival, he set himself in 1585 to the task of restoring the 
ancient faith, and carried it out with the resolution and 
prudent gentleness which distinguished him. As early as 
1582 the nobility of Franconia had demanded of him the 
suppression of the ecclesiastical council, and of the Jesuits, 
as well as a chapel for Lutheran sermons, and marriage for 
the clergy of the country. 3 This last blow struck on behalf 
of Protestantism failed before the calm firmness of the bishop. 4 

1 BUCHINGER, 247-56. 
z GROPP, I., 429. 

3 BUCHINGER, 277, 290 seq. JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. 15 * 16 , 235. 
Jos. CHMEL, Die Handschriften der k.k. Hofbibliothek in 
Wien, L, Vienna, 1840, 368, supplement to no. xxvii. The 
knights also expressed their opposition to the foundation of the 

4 BUCHINGER, 291. 


Three years later, in the year of the death of Gregory XIII., 
Julius Echter took the offensive. 1 Missionaries and visitation 
commissions were sent throughout the country, and every 
subject was obliged to declare whether he preferred to return 
to the old faith or leave the country. The prince-bishop 
himself took part in the visitation. 2 In two years 120 
Lutheran pastors had to leave. 3 Very few of the Protestants 
preferred exile to returning to Catholicism. 4 As early as 
June, 1586, we are told that hardly a sixth part of the state 
remained Protestant. Bishop Julius himself estimated 
the number of converts at that time at 53,000 ; only 34 
persons had gone into exile. In the two years 1586 and 
1587 fourteen cities and 200 villages, with their 62,000 
inhabitants had again become Catholic. 5 Very often the 
reports speak of the readiness and joy with which the 
people came back to the ancient faith. 6 By 1590 Protes- 

1 EUCH. SANG, Triumphus Franconiae, Wiirzburg, 1618, 
reproduced in GROPP, I., 637-46. 

2 BUCHINGER, 172 seqq. HEPPE, Fulda, 161 seqq. where some 
extracts from original sources may be found on pp. 173, 174 n., 
1 79, *83 seq., 187, 188 n. RITTER, I., 626. 

3 RITTER, I., 627. SANG (loc. cit., 639) merely remarks: 
" Tempore progrediente non deni aut viceni, sed centeni ... ex 
diocesi moti sunt." 

4 " Inventi sunt, quanquam numero non ita magno, qui . . . 
hinc migrarunt " (SANG, Triumphus, loc. cit., 643). Some actual 
figures in JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. 11111 , 238; DUHR, I., 488 seq. 
Cf. RITTER, I., 628. Speaking of the entirely Protestant county 
of Wertheim, SANG says (p. 645) : " . . . ut intra paucorum 
mensium spatium nova denuo et nobilissima ad catholicam 
religionem accessio facta fuerit, et ex universis vix unus aut alter 
inventus, qui piis monitis repugnaret et de abitu loqueretur vel 
cogitaret." Certain districts bordering on Saxony remained 
Protestant. DENZINGER in the Archiv fur Unterfranken, X., i 
(1850), 121 seqq. 

5 DUHR, I., 486, 488. 

8 Ibid. " But in general Wiirzburg was like every other place 
where the counter-reformation had been energetically undertaken. 
In the very next generation the people had become completely 


tantism in Wiirzburg may be said to have been destroyed. 1 
Although Bishop Julius had done nothing against the 
Protestants in his duchy which had not long been in common 
use against the Catholics in Protestant districts, yet his 
method of procedure called forth strong complaints. The 
three secular Electors, the Landgrave of Hesse, the Count 
Palatine of Neuberg, together with the Duke of Wurtemberg 
and other princes made strong protests by letter. A series 
of Protestant writings heaped abuse upon the courageous 
person of the reformer, but Bishop Julius did not allow him 
self to be deterred by this. He replied to the princes calmly 
and in a dignified way, treating these abusive letters like 
votive offerings by hanging them up for a time at the altar 
of his castle chapel. 2 

In spite of the uproar caused by events in Franconia, 
Bishop Julius was by no means the only Catholic prince who 
set himself to the task of restoring the ancient faith in a state 
that had become almost completely Protestant. The signal 
for this really came from the tomb of the man who, sent in 
the first instance from Rome, had planted Catholicism in 
Germany, namely from Fulda. What bishops who were 
already advanced in years had not ventured to do, was there 
ventured upon by a Benedictine abbot of only twenty-two, 
Balthasar von Dernbach, 3 and his example, in spite of the 

changed and devoted both to the Church and to the Jesuits." 
(GoETZ in Herzog s Real-Enzyklopddie, IX., 1 634). Cf. HEPPE, 
Fulda, 193 : " The altered manner of public life made it almost 
impossible to imagine that the Protestant teaching had once 
nourished here." JANSSEN-PASTOR, V., 15 " 16 238. 

1 BUCHINGER, 169 seqq. SCHMIDLIN, II., 128. 

2 BUCHINGER, 179 seqq., 332. HEPPE, loc. cit., 170 seqq., 188 seq. 
Mission of the Elector of Saxony, ibid., 176 seqq. Memorial 
presented by the knights to the chapter and the bishop s reply, 
ibid., 174, n. i, 178 ; cf. 186 seq. 

8 H. HEPPE, Die Restauration des Katholizismus in Fulda, 
auf dem Eichsfelde und in Wiirzburg, Marburg, 1850 ; also 
Katholik, 1863, I., 716-46. J. GEGENBAUR, Geschichte der 
religiosen Bewegung im Hochstifte Fulda wahrend des 16 Jahr- 


failures at first, had the effect of inspiring courage in 

Fulda and its surrounding territory had at one time been 
rich in monasteries, but, as Elgard wrote in I575, 1 the principal 
monastery was now no longer a monastery, and the rest had 
disappeared. Of the religious of the ancient and celebrated 
abbey of St. Boniface, those who formed the chapter had 
to be nobles ; of these there were only four, and they, like 
the other canons, lived each one by himself in his own house. 
As the last remaining trace of their special position they wore 
the scapular over a dress that could hardly be described 
as a fitting raiment for a secular priest. 2 Besides the 
members of the chapter ten monks attended the office in 
choir. The learning of the canons was so little that they 
were unable to succeed in understanding even sufficient 
Latin. 3 

In the city of Fulda, as in the whole of the principality, 
the appeal of the Confession of Augsberg had become more 
and more strong ever since the middle of the century. As 
is shown by the repeatedly renewed demands of its subjects, 
toleration of the new faith had not yet been allowed, although 
Abbot Philip Schenk von Schweinsberg had in 1542 allowed 
freedom in the matter of communion under two kinds and 
in the use of the Latin tongue at baptisms. In spite of the 
Catholic sentiments of the abbots, the new doctrines continued 
to make progress under the influence of the neighbouring 

hunderts (Progr.) Fulda, 1861. KOMP, Fiirstabt Balthasar von 
Fulda und die Stifts-rebellion von 1576, in the Hist.-polit Blatter, 
LVI. (1865), 1-26, 106-33, 186-208, 288-99 (revised reprint together 
with certain hitherto unpublished documents by G. RICHTER, 
Fulda, 1915 ; cf. Fuldaer Geschichtsbldtter, X. (1911), 39 seqq. ; 
XI. (1912), 65 seqq. KOMP, Die zweite Schule Fuldas und das 
papstliche Seminar, 1571-3, Fulda, 1877. H. v. EGLOFFSTEIN, 
Fiirstabt Balthasar von Dernbach und die katholische Restaura- 
tion im Hochstifte Fulda, 1570-1606, Munich, 1890. 

1 On March 9 to Galli, in THEINER, II., 74. 

2 Ibid. 

8 Ibid., 75. 


Protestant states, and the last traces of the ancient religion 
threatened soon to disappear entirely. 1 

It was under these threatening conditions that Balthasar 
von Dernbach assumed the reins of government in 1570. 
The new abbot came from a completely Protestant family 
of Hesse. 2 In his early youth he went to Fulda, where his 
great-uncle William von Klaur was abbot. We do not know 
exactly how it was that Balthasar embraced the Catholic 
faith, not only externally, but with all his heart, nor how 
he succeeded in preserving the spotless purity of his morals 
in a society that was certainly not a school of virtue. It is 
certain that the gifted youth soon drew attention to himself ; 
as his subsequent life showed he was possessed in the highest 
degree of strength of character, resoluteness, steadfastness, 
prudence, and gentleness combined with deep piety and zeal 
for religion. 3 Even before he was twenty he became a canon, 
in 1568, and was elected abbot in 1570. 

From the commencement of his rule 4 Balthasar set himself 

1 KOMP in the Hist-polit Blatter, LVL, 8. Against Heppe s 
description of the edict of 1542 and its significance, see Katholik, 
1863, I., 719 seqq. Evidence that the old faith had not been 
completely wiped out, ibid., 724 seqq. 

2 " In it (in Lutheranism) his father had lived and died ; also, 
without doubt, he himself, the abbot, had been baptized, 
instructed and educated in it from his youth " (Instruction for the 
ambassadors of the Protestant princes to Balthasar on September 
24, 1573, in HEPPE, loc. cit., 200). " Di cui Icdano infmitamente 
la bonta et la constanza, che in cosi giovenile eta non eccedendo 
il 23 anno in lui risplendono, che truovandosi cinto da heretici et 
nato di padre et di parenti infettissimi, etc." (Portia on December 
9, I 573> Nuntiaturberichte, III., 265). Cf. EGLOFFSTEIN, loc. cit., 
2 seq. According to other accounts, Balthasar s father was the 
only knight of Hesse who still remained Catholic (KoMP, Zweite 
Schule, 7 ; Katholik, 1863, I., 745). His mother, though originally 
Protestant (see KOMP, loc. cit., 26), communicated in 1574 at 
Fulda under one kind (HANSEN, Rheinische Akten, 680). 

3 Cf. Katholik, 1853 ; I., 744. 

4 He says so himself in a letter of December 28, 1573, to 
Gregory XIII. THEINER, I., 92. 


to restore as far as possible the Catholic faith in his principality. 
He began by removing from his entourage all untrustworthy 
officials, and frequently at great expense summoned capable 
men to his counsels. 1 A second step was the establishment 
of a Jesuit college. The nobility, in paying their homage, 
had asked for a school ; two of Balthasar s new councillors, 
who had both studied at Treves under the Jesuits, called his 
attention to the new Order, of which Balthasar had not even 
heard, and on October 2Oth, 1572, the new establishment 
was opened at Fulda. 2 The chapter, to whom the abbot 
had at his election given a promise in writing that he would 
not annoy " the diocese and the abbey with foreign eccles 
iastics " had consented to this. 3 Gregory XIII. allowed the 
Franciscan convent, which had been empty for twenty years, 
to be used for this purpose. 4 In 1579 the number of the 
pupils had already risen to 250. 5 

Other enactments followed these first steps. Prohibitions 
were issued against the singing of Lutheran hymns at divine 
worship, and the use of the books of the innovators ; Catholic 
practices were again introduced, such as the administration 
of baptism in Latin, processions, etc. ; a sodality of Our 
Lady was established. Balthasar interested himself especially 
in the improvement of his clergy and of the monks of his 
abbey, by insisting upon the prescriptions of Trent, 6 and 

1 KOMP, loc. cit., 7. HANSEN, loc. cit., 691. Abbot Balthasar 
to Gregory XIII. on April 20, 1577, in THEINER, II., 300. 

2 KOMP, loc. cit., 9-12. DUHR, I., 128 seqq. 

3 Cf. Katholik, 1863, I., 729 seqq. (against Heppe). That, in 
spite of this promise, the Jesuits could have been introduced 
without the chapter, was admitted by the Dean of the chapter 
and two of the canons. Ibid., 732. 

4 Brief of June 28, 1573, in SCHANNAT, Diocesis, 352. Zaccaria 
Delfino recommended the Abbot to the German Congregation. 
SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 22. 

5 HANSEN, loc. cit., 738. 

6 KOMP in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, LVI., 12. SCHANNAT, loc. cit. 
350. There is room for doubt as to whether the date of the 
mandate is March 14, 1573, or 1574. 


Gregory XIII. supported the efforts of the prince-abbot 
by granting privileges. 1 Above all Balthasar himself influenced 
others by the example of his holy life and fear of God. He 
zealously assisted at the office and sermons, carefully observed 
the ecclesiastical fasts, and prepared himself to receive his 
abbatial benediction by making the spiritual exercises of the 
Jesuits. 2 

It was easy to foresee that the Protestants would not accept 
all this in silence. As early as March 8th, 1571, the knights 
held a meeting at Hiinfeld, asked once more for the concession 
of the Confession of Augsburg, and told the abbot that they 
had indeed asked for a school, but not a Jesuit school. 3 With 
the knights was associated the chapter, 4 which, in spite of 
its former approval of the foundation of a Jesuit college, now 
refused its consent to the carrying out of the plan. 5 

Soon the agitation affected others. The municipal council 
asked 6 that the religious peace should not only be understood 
according to the letter, and complained that they had been 
deprived of the chalice as well as of the use of Latin at 
baptisms. 7 The magistracy expressed their desire for the 

1 A dispensation for the ordination to the priesthood of a 
23-year-old candidate dated June 22, 1573 , and faculties for 
absolution from heresy of the same date, in SCHANNAT, loc. cit., 
351 ; a dispensation for the ordination of illegitimate candidates 
dated February 17, 1574 ; and another one for the absolution of 
apostates on May 17, 1574, ibid., 366, 367. Cf. SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 
76 ; MERGENTHEIM, II., 227 seq. ; cf. I., 102 : " And thus Fulda 
was provided with counter Reformation faculties quite as 
richly, or even more richly than were most of the German 

2 KOMP, loc. cit. For the confirmation a Wiirzburg document 
of Bishop Frederick von Wirsberg in the Augsb. Postztg., 1899, 
suppl., 163. 

3 KOMP, loc. cit., 10. 

4 Ibid. 

6 Ibid., n, 12. 

On May 28, 1573, in HEPPE, Restauration, 29, n. i. 

7 On July 24, 1573. Zeitschrift des Vereins fur hessische Gesch. y 
II. (1838), 77 seqq. 


Confession of Augsburg, 1 and laid their demands before the 
abbot through the municipal council and the chapter. 2 
Rejected by Balthasar, the chapter and the nobles met in 
a Diet at Geisa, in order to draw up a common petition, in 
which a supposed consent of the abbot to the Confession of 
Augsburg was mentioned. 3 Whereas the other petitions 
were still couched in terms of respect to the prince, that of 
the nobles and canons clearly struck the note of future 

Balthasar did not allow himself to be alarmed. On August 
26th, 1573, he replied by issuing a detailed religious edict, 4 
in which he justified the course he had adopted by custom 
and the terms of the religious peace, and ended by commanding 
them in the name of the obedience they owed to their sovereign 
to accept the ancient faith. Every kind of interference in 
ecclesiastical government was forbidden, as well . as all 
discussion of the subject or any speech against the Catholic 
religion. Balthasar summoned the knights and the canons 
to his presence, each party separately, and warned the canons 
that in convoking the nobles they had exceeded their powers 
and had dared to take the part of the innovators ; 5 the knights 
he referred to his edict on religion. The latter replied by 
once more demanding the free use of the Confession of 
Augsburg. 6 The heads of the magistracy, when they received 
the edict, declared that they would act in common with the 
council and the citizens, but the latter, at a further meeting, 
expressed themselves almost unanimously against the 
abbot. 7 

The storm which these repeated meetings and petitions 
stirred up soon threatened to lead to disturbances, even 
outside the borders of the state. The significance of a Catholic 

1 HEPPE, lac. cit., 30 seq, 
*Ibid., 31. 

3 On August 24, 1573, ibid., 32. 

4 In SCHANNAT, IOC. Clt., 356-63. 

5 KOMP in the Hist.-polit Blatter, LVI., 14. 

6 On August 27, 1573, in HEPPE, Restauration, 32. 

7 Ibid., 36. 


Fulda in the midst of its neighbouring states, all Protestant, 
was recognized from the first by the adherents of both the 
old and the new religions ; it was like a Catholic fortress 
placed in the midst of an enemy country. Zaccaria Delfino 
recommended the cause of the abbot to the German Con 
gregation in Rome in this light. 1 The Landgrave William 
of Hesse said that he could not tolerate the Jesuits at Fulda 
because they not only attracted the flower of the nobility 
of Hesse to their college, but were also able to spread their 
books everywhere in secret. 2 Abbot Balthasar was further 
the first ecclesiastical prince who had dared to make use of 
the religious peace of Augsburg in favour of Catholicism. 
Should he be successful, his example would certainly find 
imitators among the other prelates ; on the other hand, 
if they could succeed in crushing and driving out the courageous 
Abbot of Fulda, the Protestant princes would be encouraged 
to adopt a similar policy with regard to the other ecclesiastical 
princes. 3 It thus came about that the private disputes at 
Fulda very soon became a question involving the whole of 
Germany, and drew down a violent storm on the head of 
Balthasar. The Prince-elector of Saxony, the two Landgraves 
of Hesse, and at first the Margrave of Ansbach, 4 who, however, 
soon withdrew, united in making a common attack. There 
was already talk of armed intervention, of the expulsion by 
force of the Jesuits, who, as a new sect, were not included 
in the religious peace, 5 of the removal of Balthasar, and the 
election of a Protestant prince-abbot. 

On October 2ist, 1573, an embassy from the three princes 

1 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 22. 

2 KOMP, Zweite Schule, 23. 

3 Rhetius on January 25, 1574, in HANSEN, Rheinische Atken, 
668 seq. ; DUHR, I., 764. 

4 At a meeting on September 14, 1573 (HEPPE, he. cit., 38) 
which took place under the auspices of the Elector Augustus 
(EGLOFFSTEIN, Fiirstabt Balthasar von Dernbach, 9, 84). For 
a meeting of tbe ahove named princes held at Leipzig, cf. Nuntia- 
turberichte, III, Ixxvii, 288, 305, 345. 

5 1 bid, 331. 

VOL. XX. 14 


arrived at Fulda ; in the event of the abbot refusing the free 
concession of the Confession of Ausgburg and the banishment 
of the Jesuits, the envoys were to proceed to threats, and 
to demand from the dean and chapter the election of the young 
Count Palatine, Frederick j 1 the abbot gave his reply on 
the following day, asking for time for reflection. 2 Without 
the permission of the prince the envoys then went to the 
municipality and reminded the council and the magistrates 
that the Protestant princes would give them their support, 
in maintaining " the pure doctrine." 3 In spite of the protest 
of the abbot they also got into touch with the nobles and 
the chapter. 4 A special envoy from the Landgrave William 
Johann Meckbach, advised the citizens to avail themselves 
of the Landgrave s help. 5 

Naturally the noble canons and knights were emboldened 
by all this. At the beginning of November they again 
presented themselves before the abbot. But the canons 
again received a severe rebuke ; the nobles, who once more 
demanded the expulsion of the Jesuits and asked for a 
Protestant preacher, were informed by the prince-abbot 
that he was prepared to submit the whole affair to the 
Emperor and the tribunal of the Imperial Chamber for 
decision. 6 The chapter sought to adopt another method 
of procedure, by issuing an order of expulsion to the Jesuits 

1 The envoys instruction of September 24, 1573, in HEPPE. 
loc. cit., 199 seqq. The Elector of Saxony, however, was not 
really so eager in the Fulda affair as he gave himself out to be 
(MoRixz, 413, n., 415 ; Nuntiaturberichte, III., 266, 323). 
Landgrave William was opposed to the abbot for political reasons 
as well ; see Graziani to Galli on January 20, 1574, in THEINER, I., 

2 Report of the envoys of October 24, 1573, in HEPPE, loc. cit. 
203-9. KOMP in the Hist.-polit Blatter, LVL, 15 seq. 

3 Report in HEPPE, loc. cit., 209-11. 

4 Ibid, 211, 221. 
6 Ibid., 45. 

6 KOMP, loc. cit., 15-8. DUHR, I., 130. Supplica of the Chapter 
of November 3, 1573, in HEPPE, loc. cit., 222-5. 


on their own account, as shairng in the government of the 
abbey. 1 

Balthasar was not left without help in his difficulties : 
by the intervention of a friend, the tribunal of the Imperial 
Chamber at Spires had already, on November I3th, 1573, 
issued an edict from the Emperor in his favour. 2 Albert V. 
assured the abbot of his support 3 and recommended his 
case to the Emperor, as also did the Archduke of the Tyrol 
and the Archbishop of Mayence. 4 Later on Gregory XIII. 
took up the cause of the persecuted abbot strongly. Balthasar 
had asked for his intervention ; 5 the Pope, according to 
his desires, could do two things for him ; he could obtain 
a prohibition from the Emperor to the princes to interfere 
in his government and, under the pretext of religion, invade 
his territory, and he could issue an Imperial declaration 
that the rights over religion in his own territory belonged 
to him, and that the Jesuits, since they had been approved 
by the Pope and the Council of Trent, were included in the 
religious peace. The Pope might further exhort the chapter 
of Fulda to obedience. Gregory XIII. acceded to these 
two requests on February I3th, 1574, in two letters, to the 
Emperor 6 and to the canons of Fulda. 7 On April 3rd he 
also had recourse to the more important Catholic princes 
of Germany, namely, the Dukes of the Tyrol, 8 Styria 9 and 

1 Of November 6, 1573, in SCHANNAT, loc. cit., 363 seq. (extract) ; 
HEPPE, loc. cit., 231-4. Concerning the reply of the Jesuits of 
November 12, see DUHR, I., 130. A letter of consolation from 
the General of the Order to Thyraus of February 16, 1574, i n 
REIFFENBERG, Historia S.J. ad Rhenum inferiorem, Cologne, 

1764. 135. 

2 SCHANNAT, loc. cit., 364 seqq. KOMP, loc. cit., 19. 

3 On November 27, 1573, in HEPPE, Restauration, 238 seqq. 

* Albert on the 22, Ferdinand on the 30, Maximilian II. (to the 
Archbishop of Mayence) on the 24 January, 1574, in THEINER, 
Schweden, IT., documents 289 seq. 

6 On December 28, 1573, in THEINER, I., 92. 

6 Ibid., 256. 

7 In SCHWARZ, Gropper, 121. 

8 In THEINER, I., 256 seq. 

9 In SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 133. 


Bavaria, 1 and the three ecclesiastical Electors, 2 asking them 
to unite with the Emperor on behalf of the abbot. He also 
asked the new King of Poland, who had gone to Fulda on 
his journey to his kingdom, 3 to take up the cause of the abbot 
with the Protestant princes. 4 It is an act of madness, and 
something contrary to the laws of the Empire, Gregory wrote 
to Portia on the same date, 5 for a prince to wish to prevent 
another from living as he chooses in his own house, or from 
having with him those religious whom he chooses ; not even 
among the Turks would anything of the sort be done. 

Nevertheless, peace was far from being restored by the 
decision of the Imperial Chamber. Johann Meckbach, the 
envoy of the Landgrave of Hesse, again presented himself 
at Fulda ; 6 he was to suggest to the chapter whether they 
ought not to remove the abbot as a lunatic, and put in his 
place either the dean or the young Count Palatine. The 
justificatory letters of Balthasar to the Prince Elector of 
Saxony 7 and the two Landgraves 8 were rudely rejected. 9 
Augustus of Saxony sent Balthasar s letter to the Landgrave 
William and advised him to ask the chapter to expel the 
Jesuits, and send the canons an auxiliary force of 500 or 
1000 horse. 10 From Spires too there came news of the enrol 
ment of troops to march against the ecclesiastical princes ; 
a beginning was to be made with Fulda. The abbot was 
advised to hand over the principality to his brother and fly 
in disguise to Cologne. 11 

1 DUHR, I., 131. 

2 SCHWARZ, IOC. dt., 134. 

3 SCHANNAT, Historia. Cod. Prob., 429. 

4 SCHWARZ, 133. 

5 Galli to Portia on April 3, 1573, Nuntiaturberichte, III., 401 seq. 

6 On January 14, 1574, HEPPE, loc. cit., 54 seq. 

7 Of December 4, 1573, ibid., 49. 

Delivered by the envoy Johann Klinghard, who arrived in 
Cassel on January 12, 1574, and in Marburg on the I7th. Ibid., 
58 seq. 

9 Reply of the Saxon on December 18, 1573, ibid., 52, n. 
"Ibid., 53- 
11 Lopperz on February n, 1574 (HANSEN, Rheinische Akten, 672). 


Soon afterwards, on March ist, 1574, Maximilian sent 
out four injunctions in defence of the prince abbot ; l these 
were addressed to the three principal opponents of Balthasar, 
the nobility of Fulda, 2 the magistracy 3 and the chapter. 
But these Imperial edicts caused as their first result nothing 
but a fresh outbreak of indignation. In order to win over 
the Emperor to their side, Balthasar s three principal 
adversaries sent him a joint letter 4 to which the citizens 
associated themselves, while the nobility decided to have 
recourse to the tribunal of the Chamber. 5 

In one matter, however, the letters of the Pope and the 
Emperor produced a very definite effect : the canons dis 
sociated themselves from the nobles, passed over to the side 
of the abbot, and declared that the views which they had 
hitherto held and the reasons by which they had defended 
them had been mistaken. 6 They everywhere spoke openly 
of the force of the declaration made by Ferdinand, now made 
public for the first time, as an appendix to the religious peace 
of Augsburg, 7 to which they denied any juridical authority, 
even supposing that it was authentic. It had been the 
Landgrave William of Hesse who, in the letter from the 
three Protestant princes which he himself had written, had 
brought to light this declaration, which had hitherto been 
quite unknown ; according to this the nobles, the cities, 
and the municipalities which were not immediately subject 
to the Empire were to be left free to use the Confession of 
Augsburg, so long as they could show that it had been in 
use with them before 1555. 

1 HEPPE, loc. cit., 60. KoMPinthe//* s/.-/?o^/. Blatter, LVI., 20 seq. 

z HEPPE, loc. cit., 235-7. 

8 SCHANNAT, loc. cit., 430 seq. 

4 Drafted by the Landgrave William at the beginning of April 
and dispatched on May i, 1574 ; printed in the Zeitschrift des 
Vereins fur hessische Geschichte, N.F., II. (1869), 187 seqq. Cf. 
HEPPE, loc. cit., 62. 

6 Ibid., 6 1 seqq. 

6 Their explanation of June 18, 1574, ibid., 65-70. 

7 Ibid., 67 seq. 


If the withdrawal of the chapter of Fulda was a blow for 
the Protestant party, no less so was the reply of the Emperor 
rejecting the demands of the citizens. 1 Thus matters seemed 
to have taken a favourable turn for the prince abbot. At 
the end of March, 1574, there was hope that the disturbances 
at Fulda had been brought to an end ; 2 a letter from 
Wiirzburg in the middle of April expressed the view that 
}he piety and firmness ot the abbot would have great results 
for Germany, would dispel the vain fears of the other princes, 
and encourage them to unite together for the defence of the 
Church. 3 

Abbot Balthasar then proceeded unperturbedly with his 
plans. On March 27th, 1574, he openly instructed the 
magistracy to banish all those who refused to become 
Catholics. 4 When the Imperial decision came he turned 
likewise upon the nobles, and forbade communion in the 
Lutheran form in the cities and the whole territory. 5 In 
the June of the same year Protestant officials and ministers 
were again dismissed. 6 As it had been steadily maintained 
in the statements and demands of the nobles and the citizens 
that the Confession of Augsburg had already been in possession 
for ten years past, on August I3th, 1574, Balthasar summoned 
the burgomaster and the council to his castle and asked each 
one what proofs they had for such an assertion. Most of 
them could find nothing to say. Then on August 2oth the 
abbot presented to them their own petition, proving that 
they had repeatedly asked him for a Protestant preacher, 

1 On July 3, 1574, ibid., 73; printed in the Zeitschrift des 
Vereins fiir hessische Geschichte, II., 94 seqq. 

2 HANSEN, loc. cit., 677. 

3 The Jesuit Thyraus to L. Kessel on April 15, 1574, Nuntiatur- 
berichte, III., 409, n. 2 (in the last line read " sedari " instead of 
" scctari "). 

4 HEPPE, Restauration, 61. 

5 Ibid., 73. Protest of the knights against it on October 7, 
1574, ano - reply of the abbot on February 17, 1575, ibid., 74 seq. 

6 Ibid., 71. Lopperz on July 18, 1574, in HANSEN, Rheinische 
Akten, 691. 


which showed that they had never had one. On October I5th 
and i6th he repeated this demonstration before the 
magistracy. 1 Under the existing circumstances this had a 
special importance for Fulda, for if the Confession of Augsburg 
had never been legally in use, it was impossible to appeal 
to the declaration of Ferdinand I. on the religious peace of 

These proofs, however, were not sufficient to block the 
movement. The knights had recourse to their princes, 
and protested against the threat of expulsion from the princi 
pality. 2 Balthasar referred them to legal procedure. In 
the difficulty they experienced in finding a handle, the 
nobles clung to the declaration of Ferdinand I., and with 
their colleagues of Eichsfeld demanded 3 its confirmation 
by the Diet of the Electors, which had assembled at Ratisbon 
in 1575 for the election of the future Emperor. The electoral 
Diet at length referred the matter to the Imperial Diet of 
Ratisbon in the following year, before which the nobles and 
citizens of Fulda appeared with a long list of grievances 
against their prince. 4 But discussion of the matter was 
no longer necessary, since in the meantime open rebellion 
had broken out at Fulda. 

In 1575 Balthasar had once more devoted himself to the 
work of reform with his accustomed zeal. In February, 
Nicholas Elgard, the companion of the nuncio Cropper, 
went to Fulda. He had already been there in the June of 
the previous year, and it was during his stay there that the 
canons had sent to the nobles their letter of withdrawal ; 
by way of excuse for their previous conduct, they called 

1 KOMP in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, LVI., 23 seqq. 

2 On October 7, 1574, HEPPE, loc. cit., 74. 

3 In a memorial presented on September 5, 1575, according to 
HEPPE (loc. cit., 76), in October, according to KOMP (loc. cit., 25). 
Concerning Heppe s version of the Fulda-Eichsfeld trouble and 
the affair of the Declaration at the assembly of the Electors, 
p. 95 seq. , cf. the opinion of MORITZ (151, n. 8) who does not agree 
with Heppe. 

4 Printed in HEPPE, loc. cit., 111-20. Cf. MORITZ, 265, n. 3. 


attention, through the dean, to the utter ruin which threatened 
the principality at the hands of the Protestants, for which 
reason they had tried to hold back the abbot from taking 
any rash steps. 1 At his second visit Elgard went into matters 
with the abbot and the chapter in greater detail. 

The principal difficulty in the way of reform lay in the fact 
that, in some parts of the principality, it was not clear to 
which diocese they belonged. For this reason the abbot 
had proposed to the chapter that the whole of the little state 
should be incorporated in one of the neighbouring dioceses, 
or that Fulda should be made into a diocese of its own ; 
failing this the existing state of affairs should indeed be 
continued, but the whole position subjected to reform. Elgard 
was of the opinion that it would be advantageous to confer 
on the abbot an authority similar to that of a bishop over the 
whole of his principality. 2 He could be appointed as Papal 
delegate for possibly six or seven years, or else the Bishops 
of Mayence and Wiirzburg could appoint a special official 
for Fulda with the necessary powers. 3 Elgard further 
recommended the third plan of carrying out a radical reform 
of the existing state of affairs. As far as the chapter was 
concerned, this would consist in its return to the rule of 
St. Benedict, though on account of the heretics, the wearing 
of the monastic habit might be omitted. The canons, how 
ever, did not give Elgard any reply on this point, but they 
told the abbot that on entering the Order they had found 
a certain manner of life in use, and that they were only bound 
to the observance of that, and that the existing customs 
must be preserved. 4 

Elgard had, nevertheless, obtained this much, that the 
canons began to feel ashamed of their conduct though the 
true remedy could only come from Rome. Thither then, 

1 Cropper to Galli on August 15, 1574, in THEINER, I., 213. 
Elgard to Madruzzo on July 31, 1574, * n SCHWARZ, Cropper, 171. 

2 Elgard to Galli on March 9, 1575, in THEINER, II., 75. 

3 Elgard to Galli on October 19, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit. 
326 seq. 

* THEINER, II., 76. 


Elgard sent his views. First of all he insisted that there 
was no need to give up hope, as something is always accom 
plished by continued exhortations and warnings. The Pope 
should address a brief to the canons, and urge them themselves 
to draw up a scheme of reform. 1 Elgard had been led to 
give this advice by his secret conviction that the canons 
were prepared out of very shame to remove some of the abuses, 
if only in order not to have to own to them in Rome. 2 He 
further suggested the sending of a special representative 
to Fulda with wider faculties ; the abbot might be urged to 
cause some of the young nobles to be educated with the 
Jesuits and at the German College. Once the chapter was 
filled up and renewed with such men, everything else would 
right itself. 

Elgard s suggestions were acted upon in Rome in their 
entirety. 3 The news that the Pope desired that some youths 
should be sent from Fulda to the German College in Rome 
was received with great joy by Balthasar. 4 

Elgard had recommended in Rome that the canons should 
be treated with gentleness, for otherwise they would be driven 
to side with the seditious citizens and the angry nobles. 5 
The abbot too was warned by other friends not to ask for 
too much at a time. 6 But Elgard saw for himself after a 
few months on the occasion of his third visit to Fulda how 
little the abbot allowed himself to be dismayed by the 
difficulties which he met with. There were at that time in 
the neighbourhood of the principality bands of soldiers who 
had been enrolled for the Huguenot wars, and who were 
uttering threats against the abbot on account of his " Jesuitical 
reforms." In spite of this, not only did Balthasar go on 

1 Ibid. 

2 Gropper to Galli on August 15, 1574, ibid., I., 213. 

8 Briefs to the abbot and chapter of May 7, 1575, in SCHWARZ, 
loc. cit., 284. 

4 Elgard on February 17, 1575, ibid., 258. Cf. STEINHUBER, I., 
221 seq. 

THEINER, II., 76. 

6 KOMP in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, LVL, 106 seq. 


with the building of the Jesuit college, but at that very time 
set to work with all zeal to put an end to the disgraceful 
lives of the canons. 1 By this time there was hardly a 
Protestant left at his court, and those who would not take 
the Tridentine profession of faith were dismissed. 2 

When, in January, 1576, Balthasar took steps once more 
to fill the abbey with worthy monks, he asked for the con 
currence of the chapter in their maintenance, as well as for 
the construction of the necessary buildings. The canons 
replied that the present revenues did not suffice for this. 
The abbot declared his readiness to take upon his own 
shoulders the administration of the property, and therefore 
insisted upon an examination into the accounts, and finally, 
when this was refused by the administrator, he threw him 
into prison. 3 Steps were then taken against the immorality 
of the canons. He was dissuaded from his design of whipping 
the concubines out of the city in a body, but he nevertheless 
caused the dean s " lovely maiden " to be arrested in the 
public streets, and only released her after she had promised 
on oath not to set foot any more in the monastery. 4 

Then there occurred what Elgard had feared : the chapter 
once more made common cause with the nobles. 

The barons were especially irritated with Balthasar because 
he had redeemed not a few lordships which they had pawned, 
and that for the small sum for which they had been pledged. 
Moreover, Balthasar had resolutely opposed their attempts 
to be made directly dependent upon the Empire, with the 
assistance of their neighbours in Franconia who were thus 
directly dependent, and so free themselves from Balthasar s 
authority over them. 5 

Besides the canons and the knights, the citizens as well 
were irritated by the new measures taken by the abbot. He 

i Elgard to Galli on August 10, 1575, in SCHWARZ, Cropper, 301. 
8 An unknown correspondent to Elgard on December 3, 1575, 
ibid., 332. 

8 KOMP, loc. cit., 107. 
Ibid., 108. 
6 Ibid., 109 seq. 


would not approve the election of a zealous Protestant as 
municipal secretary, and asked the council for the keys of 
the city. 1 Attendance at Protestant worship was forbidden 
throughout the district. 2 An ordinance of December 27th, 
1575, 3 ordered fathers of families and all citizens to attend 
mass on Sundays and festivals, together with their households. 
The controversy over a new regulation of the city earned for 
the two senior burgomasters an imprisonment of 14 days. 4 
In this way the idea gradually took shape in the 
minds of the nobles and the canons of removing the 
abbot and placing the abbey in the hands of an admin 
istrator. The understanding between the malcontents and 
the nobles of Franconia makes it easy to see why for the 
same purpose they joined forces with their powerful neighbour, 
Bishop Julius of Wiirzburg, upon whom the greater part 
of the principality was dependent ecclesiastically, and who 
had so far given little trouble to the Protestants in his own 
principality in eastern Franconia. It is much more difficult 
to understand how Bishop Julius should have allowed himself 
to be mixed up in such a project. He himself a few months 
later tried to justify his action to the Pope. He was influenced 
by his anxiety, he said, lest the principality of Fulda might 
pass entirely into the hands of the heretics ; if he had not 
intervened it would already be in their power. 5 That such a 

1 Ibid., in. HEPPE, Restauration, 117. 

* EGLOFFSTEIN, Fiirstabt Balthasar von Dernbach, 32. 

3 Promulgated on January i, 1576, printed in HEPPE, loc. cit., 
106, n. 2, cf. 116 ; SCHANNAT, Dioecesis, 368 (with the impossible 
date, July 27, 1576). 

4 On March 27, 1576, HEPPE, loc. cit., ng. 

6 On July 17, 1576, in THEINER, II., 192. As late as 1-582 
Julius told Madruzzo that he felt certain the abbot would never 
be able to govern the nobles and people of Fulda which would 
also be a source of embarrassment to neighbouring countries 
(Madruzzo to Galli on August 4, 1582, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 493, 
cf. III., 39 seq.). WEGELE says (Gesch, I., 161) : " With regard 
to motives . . . the only point that he brings forward in his own 
defence, namely, that he refused to allow the Abbey of Fulda 
to fall into the hands of the enemy through internal intrigues for 


danger existed cannot be denied ; it is equally clear that 
Bishop Julius could not feel much sympathy with the proceed 
ings of Balthasar, who was his direct opposite in everything. 
If he had not intervened the conspirators would have found 
another administrator, and a Protestant ; that would have 
meant the end of Catholicism in Fulda, and he himself would 
have been seriously threatened in Wiirzburg. It is thus 
possible to understand to some extent the course of action 
adopted by the great Bishop of Wiirzburg, but it will always 
remain a stain upon his memory. 1 

The nobles had already entered into relations with Julius. 
When the questions at issue between the abbot and the chapter 
became more and more involved, Balthasar proposed a 
decision by arbitration, for example, by the prince Electors 
of Treves and Mayence. But the chapter wished to have 
as arbitrator either the Bishop of Wiirzburg alone, or else 
the entire Roman Empire, and Balthasar at length agreed to 
this. 2 Julius suggested the following plan : the two prelates 
of Wiirzburg and Fulda were respectively to nominate each 
other as co-adjutors with the right of succession, but Balthasar 
rejected this strange plan. There then began secret meetings 
of the canons and nobles with Neidhardt von Thiingeri, the 
dean of the chapter of Wiirzburg, and some of the nobles of 
Franconia, and on May 6th a decision was arrived at that 
an embassy of three nobles and two canons should treat with 
the bishop concerning his acceptance of the title of co-adjutor. 3 

The carrying out of their plan was made easier for the 
conspirators by the fact that Balthasar, on May ist, 1576, 
had gone to the second largest town of his principality, to 
Hammelburg in the immediate neighbourhood of the territory 
of Wiirzburg. There had been no Catholic priest at Hammel- 

which he was in no way responsible, must be considered as some 
thing more than a mere pretext, for it must be admitted that the 
danger he feared was by no means remote." 

1 KOMP, loc. cit., 177 seqq. 

2 Ibid., 106. HEPPE, loc. cit., 135, n. i. Nuntiaturberichte, II., 

8 KOMP in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, LVI., in. 


burg since 1553, and Balthasar celebrated mass there for 
the first time, which was not, however, done without the 
opposition of the council. On June 8th he told the citizens 
of Hammelburg that he did not intend to interfere with the 
practice of their religion, but that Catholic worship must be 
permanently carried out in Hammelburg for the future. He 
would recommend the Catholic priest not to show hostility 
towards the Confession of Augsburg, but he expected the 
same attitude towards the old faith from the preachers. 1 

In the meantime Balthasar received bad tidings one after 
another. Bishop Julius, whom he asked for an account of 
his dealings with Fulda, openly admitted on June i3th, that 
in order to lessen the danger to the abbot, he had accepted 
the coadjutorship. Immediately after this Balthasar learned 
that the nobles, the canons and the city had publicly declared 
on June iyth that they wished to elect a new ruler. In spite 
of this the abbot took no precautions ; even when the news 
came that the conspirators with 100 horsemen were only 
two hours distance from the city, he still refused the advice 
to take to hasty flight, saying that those who were coming 
were all bound by their oath of fealty. 2 

On June 2oth the rebels entered Hammelburg, produced 
a long list of grievances and threatened to hold the election 
of a coadjutor. 3 On the afternoon of the following day, the 
feast of Corpus Domini, Balthasar went in a friendly way 
to meet Bishop Julius, who had announced his coming ; 
in spite of the advice of a trusted friend, that he should rather 
go at once to the Diet of Ratisbon, he still continued to put 
his trust in the bishop. 4 

On the Friday the rebellion broke out openly. Without 
warning, the conspirators went to the abbot, demanded 
that he should voluntarily abdicate and formally hand over 
the coadjutorship to the bishop, who, with Balthasar s consent, 

1 Ibid., 1 1 1-7. HEPPE : Das evangelische Hammelburg und 
dessen Untergang durch das Papsttum, Wiesbaden, 1862, 82-131. 

2 KOMP, loc. cit., 121 seq. 

3 KOMP, loc. cit., 123. HEPPE, Restauration, 140 seq. 
* KOMP, loc. cit., 124. 


was also present. Already they refused to accord to the abbot 
his title, and the air was filled with cries and uproar, yet the 
abbot, although so gravely threatened, remained firm. 1 
Other means were then adopted. On the morning of Saturday, 
shortly after midnight, a great tumult broke out. The 
marshall of Wiirzburg climbed through a window into the 
abbot s lodgings, the door was thrown open, the alarm bell 
rung, the abbot s servants disarmed, and the Jesuit who 
accompanied him ill-treated. The whole day was passed in 
pressing the abbot with angry threats : "If your lordship 
will not consent, it will be a case of : sign or sink " ; if they 
were forced to come back again and the abbot would not 
consent, they would cut him into as many pieces as he had 
drops of blood in his veins, and they 2 would kill him like 
a mad dog. 3 In the evening of the same day Balthasar let 
himself be persuaded to sign an already prepared document, 
and hand over the administration of the abbey to Bishop 
Julius. On Sunday the citizens took the oath to their new 
master ; on the following Wednesday, in the presence of 
the abbot and the bishop, homage was paid in Fulda, after 
the new administrator had been canonically elected and 
installed in the church. 4 

Balthasar went first to Neuhof. There he was met by 
his two brothers and his chancellor, Winkelmann, who were 
returning from the Diet at Ratisbon, and brought the news 
that the Emperor had, on June 28th, 1576, ordered the re 
instatement of the abbot under severe penalties, and that 
the Imperial commissaries had set out with them from 
Ratisbon and were already at Wiirzburg. 5 On July 3rd 
Balthasar had again been forced to sign a report to Louis 
of Hesse, announcing his resignation in the sense desired 

1 Ibid., 125 seq. 

2 Ibid., 129. 

3 Cf. Balthasar s letter to the Pope dat. August i, 1576, where 
events are described, in THEINER, II., 191, and EGLOFFSTEIN, 
Fiirstabt Balthasar von Dernbach, 41 seq. 

4 KOMP, loc. cit., 129-33. 

6 Ibid., 187 seq. EGLOFFSTEIN, loc. cit., 48. 


by his adversaries ; x but they could not induce him to sign 
a similar letter to the Pope, 2 notwithstanding the fact that 
he was entirely in his adversaries hands. On July I2th, 
he escaped them by flying to the territory of Mayence, where 
he found refuge in a small castle near Hausen. 3 Thence 
he sent his complaints to the Pope. 4 

Naturally what had happened at Hammelburg had made 
a deep impression on Gregory XIII. 5 

That act of violence was, as Erstenberger, the secretary 
of the Imperial Chancery put it, a glaring example of the 
way " they were trying to extirpate and devour the priests " : 6 
fi strict reparations were not insisted upon, it would find 
many imitators, and that would mean the end of all Gregory 
XIII. s plans for reform in Germany. As Giovanni Delfino 
wrote six days after the occurrence, the case was one of the 
most important that had occurred in those times, not only 
on account of the violence offered to the person of the abbot, 
but also because of its serious consequences, and the arrogance 
hwich their enemies would display if this offence did not meet 
with prompt and severe punishment. 7 Similar expressions 
also are of frequent occurrence in the correspondence of 
Roman circles. 8 Gregory XIII. therefore demanded in 
the most definite terms the reinstatement of the abbot. On 
September 3rd he sent a special messenger with five briefs, 
to the Emperor, Bishop Julius, the Archbishop of Mayence, 

1 Reproduced in HEPPE, loc. cit., 275 seqq. 

2 Reproduced in SCHANNAT, Diocesis, 10 seqq. 

3 KOMP, loc. cit., 189. On August 4 he retracted his letter to 
the Landgrave. HEPPE, loc. cit., 281 seq. 

* On August i, 1576, in THEINER, II., 190 ; SCHANNAT, Hist., 
269 seq. 

5 " S.S U ha questo fatto molto a core (Galli on August n, 
1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 118) ; una causa che preme a N.S. 
quanto meritamente deve " (Galli on August 18, 1576, ibid., 

6 July 28, 1576, in MORITZ, 414, n. 2. 

7 To Galli, Ratisbon, 1575, June 29, Nuntiaturberichte, IJ., 66. 

8 Ibid., 94, 122, 


the Duke of Bavaria and the chapter of Fulda, 1 and when 
Balthasar s letter arrived, further briefs were sent of September 
I5th to Maximilian II., the Bishop of Wiirzburg, the Prince 
Elector of Mayence, the Archduke Ferdinand of the Tyrol 
and Balthasar himself. 2 The brief to Bishop Julius threatened 
him with excommunication. 3 Immediately after the events 
at Hammelburg Morone as well addressed reproofs to Bishop 
Julius. 4 They had in Rome, however, taken into considera 
tion the fact that the reinstatement of Balthasar might 
prove impossible ; in that case Bishop Julius was provisionally 
to hand over the abbey into the hands of a third party, who 
was to be nominated by Morone, until a definite settlement 
of the case had been arrived at ; in this way an honourable 
way out of the difficulty was opened to the Bishop of Wiirzburg 
as well. 5 

The Imperial edicts for the reinstatement of Balthasar 
were not carried into effect. Bishop Julius declared that 
without a judicial decision he could not renounce his canonically 
acquired rights over the abbey ; 6 the nobles of Fulda and 
the canons refused to obey them ; 7 the nobles of Franconia 
refused to accept Balthasar as their neighbour ; 8 the nobles 
of Franconia and Fulda, moreover, were able to get together 
more than 4000 horsemen, so that the Emperor was unable 

1 Galli to Morone on September /], 1576, ibid., 147. The Brief 
to Maximilian II., in THEINER, II., 193. 

* Galli to Morone on September 15, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 
149. The Briefs to Julius and Balthasar in THEINER, II., 193 seq. ; 
the one to the Emperor in SCHANNAT, Hist., 270, the one to 
Julius also in SCHANNAT, Dioecesis, 368. 

8 But Morone was left free to send it or not (Nuntiaturberichte, 
II., 149). On October 31 it was in the hands of the bishop 
(THEINER, II., 197). 

4 On June 27, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 114. 

6 Galli to Morone on September i, 1576. Gregory XIII. to 
Bishop Julius on September 15, 1576, in THEINER, II., 193. 

KOMP in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, LVT., 189 seq. 

7 EGLOFFSTEIN, Fiirstabt Balthasar von Dernbach, 53 seq. 

8 Morone to Galli on August 9, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 114. 
Cf. MORITZ, 411 seq., 416 seq. 


to enforce his orders. 1 Morone, too, held back the brief 
which threatened the Bishop of Wiirzburg with excommuni 
cation ; in Germany, he wrote, 2 there is very little submission 
to the Holy Sec, so he was afraid that Bishop Julius might 
be won over to Protestantism, a fear that even Balthasar 
later on described as groundless. 3 

A stormy outlook now opened for the prince-abbot 
Balthasar. From the first he had resigned himself to 
tribulation. He told Elgard in a moment of danger that 
he was more fitted to be the anvil than the hammer, 4 and 
when the Jesuit Lopperz came to him with tears in his eyes 
after his arrest, the abbot consoled him by telling him that 
he had often prayed to Our Lord to be pleased to prove him, 
and to prove him greatly for the glory of God and the Church. 5 

Balthasar s via dolorosa was a long one. He had to wait 
for 26 years for his reinstatement, and during that time he 
had, so to speak, to pass as a beggar from door to door in 
order to obtain what was his plain and clear right. But 
the sorely tried man remained steadfast. With the revenues, 
which the convention of Hammelburg had assigned to him 
as the price of his resignation, 6 he might have led a life of 
ease, but he refused the convention, and thus condemned 
himself to the loss of his princely state, and to humiliation 
and struggles. For many years he remained without any 
assured means of support, and had to depend upon the 
hospitality of strangers, while his chapter enjoyed the revenues 
of the abbey and mocked at their abbot. 7 Standing firm, 
amid his sacrifices and privations, and in no way dismayed 

1 Morone to Galli on October 10, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II. 
1 66. 

2 Ibid. 

3 KOMP, loc. cit., 198. 

4 " se passurum, non percussurum." Elgard on August 10, 
1575, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 301. 

6 KOMP, loc. cit., 131. 

6 Ibid., 129. Balthasar in THEINER, II., 192. 

7 Balthasar to Gregory XIII., on April 20, 1576, THEINER, II., 

VOL XX. 15 


by the artifices of the pettifogging notaries and their endless 
scribblings, Balthasar continued unmoved to defend his cause, 
which was at the same time the cause of the whole of Catholic 
Germany. If he had not distinguished himself before as a 
statesman, he now proved himself to be such. 

When it was seen that the Imperial mandates could not 
be put into force, Maximilian II. laid the matter before the 
Diet of Ratisbon, which had just assembled. 1 The Council 
of the Prince Electors declared in favour of the abbot, but 
that of the Princes on the other hand was divided, since even 
among the Catholics, Bishop Julius had " great friends " 
who " perhaps had more regard for his friendship than for 
justice." 2 Even the Duke of Bavaria for a short time allowed 
himself to be won over by the Bishop of Wiirzburg. 3 The 
Protestants in general were not against the abbot, who was 
present in person at Ratisbon from the end of August ; 4 the 
zealous Lutheran Landgrave William himself preferred him 
as a neighbour to the powerful Julius. 5 On condition that 
Balthasar would allow the free use of the Confession ol 
Augsburg they were prepared to join the Catholics with 
their eighteen votes, and thus secure a majority for the abbot. 
But Balthasar could not be induced to enter into any such 
agreement. 6 In view of the divergence of opinion Maximilian 
II. at length decided on October 5th that the abbey should 
be placed in sequestration to the Empire until a definite 
settlement could be arrived at. 

With the commencement of the reign of Rudolph II. the 

1 Balthasar to Gregory XIII., on November 10, 1576, ibid., 
194-6. MORITZ, 411-8. 

2 Morone to Galli on October 7, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 166. 

3 EGLOFFSTEIN, Fiirstabt Balthasar von Dernbach, 44 seq. 
(Albert s letter of renunciation to Julius is dated August 8, ibid., 50, 
n. 5). KOMP in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, LVI., 119 seq., Nuntiatur 
berichte, II., 114, 122. LOSSEN in Forsch. zur deutschen Geschichte, 
XXIII., 354. 

4 MORITZ, 415. 

5 Ibid., 416 n. 

6 THEINER, II., 195. 


negotiations concerning the carrying out of the Imperial 
decree led to fresh difficulties for the abbot. The new 
Emperor had to refer the question to his advisers, but, as 
Balthasar seriously suspected, the latter had been persuaded 
by his adversaries not to show him any favour. If the abbot 
asked for his metropolitan, the Archbishop of Mayence, as 
administrator of Fulda, it was said that that prelate was 
not impartial, as he had given shelter to the exiled abbot ; 
if he proposed the Prince Electors of Cologne and Treves, 
the answer was made that they were too far off. Thus the 
choice was bound to fall either upon a Protestant or upon a 
partisan of Julius. 1 Moreover it was customary in the case 
of sequestration for the confiscated property to be left 
to its owner on the condition of his maintaining an 
administrator ; in the case of Balthasar this was not 
observed. 2 

At last the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Henry 
von Bubenhausen, went to Fulda on March I2th, 1577, 
as administrator. The bishop renounced his right to the 
oath of fealty of his subjects, but retained the right of appoint 
ing officials who were bound to him by oath, so that the 
common folk imagined that they were still the subjects of 
the bishop. 3 Bubenhausen proved himself in all things 
in favour of his feudal lord, the Bishop of Wiirzburg, and 
opposed to the abbot. Balthasar still had to work for a 
long time before he was at length assigned a definite place 
of residence, and a fair share of the revenues of the abbey. 
He very much feared, he wrote to the Pope, that the sum 
would be calculated in such a way that he would not be able 
to give anything to his loyal supporters. He had only been 
able to send one councillor to the Emperor to watch over 
his affairs, since his means did not permit of his going in 
person to Vienna and making his appearance there as a prince. 4 

1 Ibid., 196. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Balthasar to Gregory XIII. on the 8th and 2Oth of April, 
I 577> ibid., 298 seq., 300 seq. 

4 Ibid., 299. 


Gregory XIII. intervened on behalf of Balthasar, 1 and 
succeeded in getting the Emperor to invite him together 
with the bishop to Vienna for a conference. 2 

The result of this meeting was favourable to Balthasar. 
An Imperial decree of December 4th, 1577, referred his case 
to a judicial decision, and in the meantime assigned him an 
annual charge of 10,000 florins on the revenues of Fulda 
and the castle of Neuhof as a residence. 3 But Balthasar 
received neither the 10,000 florins nor Neuhof, as the 
administrator entered a protest ; he had to take refuge 
in the territory of the Archbishop of Mayence at Seligenstadt, 4 
until, in 1578, Rudolph II. assigned to him the castle of 
Bieberstein near Fulda, with its rents and services. 5 Still 
more painful for him was the fact that the Emperor referred 
his case to the tribunal of the Imperial Chamber, where 
such matters were apt to drag on interminably, sometimes 
for ten years. 6 As he wished to see whether the intercession 
of Gregory 7 would not win over the Emperor, and as the 
Pope had forbidden him to trust his case to the civil courts, 8 
the abbot tried once more to gain his ends by negotiations 
and agreement with the Bishop of Wiirzburg. But these 
negotiations, which since 1578 had been carried on by the 
Archbishop of Mayence, before the Bishop of Spires, and 
in 1582 at Mayence and the Diet of Augsburg, came to 
nothing. 9 In 1584 therefore, recourse was had to legal 

1 On June 7, 1577, ibid., 303. 

2 KOMP, loc. tit., 195. 

3 Ibid. Cf. Balthasar to Gregory XIII. on October 26, 1577, 
in THEINER, II., 305 seq. 

4 Balthasar to Gregory XIII. on February 16, 1578, ibid., 
383 seq. 

5 KOMP, loc. tit., 200. 
c Ibid., 306, 383. 

7 Of December 14, 1577, ibid., 307. 

8 Gregory XIII. to Rudolph II. on February 4, 1584, in THEINER, 
III., 542 ; to Balthasar on February 27, 1580, and February 5. 
1584, ibid., 543. 

9 KOMP, loc. tit., 202-4. 


procedure, 1 which at last, after another eighteen years delay, 
brought about a settlement. By an Imperial decree of 
August 7th, 1602, 2 the prince abbot Balthasar was reinstated 
in all his rights and dignities, and his adversaries were ordered 
to make restitution. 

In all these controversies the abbot s most staunch 
supporter was the Pope. It is true that the three eccles 
iastical Electors also repeatedly took his part, 3 but the sorely 
tried man always had recourse in the first place to Rome. 
Gregory XIII., as he himself said, 4 never ceased to write 
to the Emperor ; 5 he frequently addressed himself to the 
Bishop of Wurzburg, 6 and repeatedly threatened him with 
excommunication, 7 while he sought to obtain the support 
of the other Catholic princes. No nuncio went to Germany 
without having the cause of the abbot committed to him 
as one of his principal duties. 8 There can be no doubt that 
without the continued insistence of the Pope and the nuncios 
the cause of Balthasar would have failed miserably. 

1 KOMP, loc. cii., 204 seq. A sensation was caused in 1576 by 
the written defence of the chancellor Winkelmann : " Informatio 
iuris," ibid., 206. Gregory XIII. to Balthasar and to Julius on 
September 9, 1576, Balthasar to Gregory XIII. on October 25, 
1577, in THETNER, II., 303 seqq. 

2 SCHANNAT, Historia, 431 seq. ; Diocesis, 373. 

8 C/. the documents in THEINER, II., 302 seq. (forwarded to 
Rome by Balthasar on June 4, 1577) and in the Rom. Quartalschrift, 
1897, 431-45 (brought to light by Ehses). 

4 To Balthasar on November n, 1581, THEINER II., 264. 

6 See supra p. 228, and letters of December 23, 1576 ; April 5, 
1578; November u, 1581 ; February 4, 1584, in THEINER, II., 
198 seq., 386 ; III., 542. 

6 See supra, p. 224, and letters of December 18, 1576, and 
February 4, 1584, in THEINER, II., 199; III., 5^2; SCHANNAT, 
Historia, 272 seq. 

7 THEINER, II., 193. 

8 KOMP in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, LVI., 198. *Instructions for 
the Imperial nuncio Annibale di Capua, of December 7, 1576 
(Var. polit. 129, p. 173, Papal Secret Archives), and Bonhomini 
of September 30, 1581 (Barb. p. 208, Vatican Library). 


The Protestants of the territory of Fulda had not obtained 
the advantages they expected from the expulsion of their 
lawful master, for Bishop Julius at first acted with the greatest 
severity towards the adherents of the Confession of 

He has appointed a Protestant as administrator, Balthasar 
complained to the Pope, 1 the Catholics are persecuted and 
put in prison for trifling offences ; the banished pastors have 
returned, and the concubines have been recalled, even those 
who have taken a solemn oath not to do so. The officials, 
so he again said later on, 2 who had been dismissed by him 
for disloyalty, or who were tainted by the new doctrines, 
were now upheld, and in the course of a few months the 
learned and pious Catholics whom Balthasar had collected 
from all parts with great labour and expense, would all have 
gone away. 

In reality, however, Julius was very far from allowing 
any legal status to the Confession of Augsburg. When, 
immediately after the arrest of Balthasar at Hammelburg, 
such proposals had been laid before him, he had managed 
adroitly to evade them. 3 Similar requests had been laid 
before the administrator, Henry von Bubenhausen, but the 
Emperor had decided that the religion of the magistracy 
must be authoritative for Fulda. 4 

The Jesuit college, the object of so many attacks, was 
maintained at Fulda, and continued to grow. 5 In 1584 
a pontifical seminary for forty noble students was added to 
it ; the Jesuit Lopperz was enabled to bring this institution 
into being by pointing out to Gregory XIII., on the occasion 

1 On August i, 1576, THEINER, II., 191. 

3 To Gregory XIII. on April 20, 1577, ibid., 300. 

3 HEPPE, Das evangelische Hammelburg, 154 seqq. 

4 HEPPE, Restauration, 146-50. 

5 DUHR, I., 132. Lopperz to Gregory XIII. on December 15, 
1584, in THEINER, III., 543. Cf. Jahresbericht dev Rheinischen 
Provinz of January i, 1577, in HANSEN, Rheinische Akten, 713 ; 
KOMP, Zweite Schule, 26 seq. Credentials for Lopperz to the 
Pope of October 27, 1583, in THEINER, III., 417 seq. 


of a visit to Rome, that the conversion of the rest of the 
country depended upon the nobility of Germany. The prince 
abbot Balthasar assisted the Jesuits of Fulda as far as his 
revenues permitted. 1 He had recourse by means of 
personal letters to Sixtus V. and Gregory XIV. on behalf 
of the seminary. In order to give new life to the 
Catholic faith, he wrote, no better means could be 
imagined than this seminary, since " the common people 
depend to such an extent upon the nobility that they easily 
and willingly accept any religion which they see to be 
supported by the aristocracy." 2 

The reason why the doctrines of the innovators were able 
to make such progress in the territory of Fulda is explained 
by these words, as well as the fact that they were easily 
stamped out again among the common folk. They had 
never taken any deep roots in their hearts. When Balthasar 
returned to his principality in 1602, he found all the necessary 
conditions for a restoration of Catholicism. The last of the 
recalcitrant canons had died in the previous year. 3 The 
instructions and other activities of the Jesuits had reformed 
the capital, and restored the religion of bygone days its good 
name. 4 Within a few years the whole principality of Fulda 
was once more substantially Catholic. 8 

The sorely tried abbot had found a friend and a protector 
from the first in his metropolitan, the Archbishop of Mayence, 
Daniel Brendel, of Homburg ; when the first difficulties 
arose concerning the project of a Jesuit college at Fulda, 

1 Jahresbericht der Rheinischen Provinz of January i, 1580, in 
HANSEN, loc. cit., 738. KOMP, in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, LVI., 
202. For the erection of the high altar and the foundation of 
two free places in the college of Fulda on September 29, 1599, 
see SCHANNAT, Dioecesis, 371 seq. 

2 To Gregory XIV., 1590, ibid., 370. The same opinion is 
expressed in Balthasar s letter to Sixtus V. of May 12, 1585, in 
EHSES-MEISTER, I., 74, cf. 103. 

8 KOMP, loc. cit., 291. 

4 DUHR, I.. 133. 

* KOMP, loc. cit., 293 seq. Katholik, 1863, I., 741 seqq. 


Daniel at once took his part and encouraged him. 1 Nor 
was it long before Daniel himself began to follow the example 
of the reforming abbot. 

The new doctrines had made considerable progress even 
in Mayence, and at first conditions were not changed under 
that zealous Catholic, Daniel. Mayence has a Catholic prince, 
wrote an eye-witness, Robert Turner of the Germanicum, 
in 1581, but the government is in the hands of his Protestant 
subjects. 2 Out of consideration for the neighbouring 
Protestant princes, the archbishop was obliged to fill the 
greater part of the offices at his court with Protestants ; 
even in the kitchen there were Lutheran servants, and noble 
boys entered the service of the prince on the condition that 
they were not to become Catholics. 3 Above all the arch 
bishop stood in need of trustworthy fellow workers. With the 
exception of his chancellor and a simple court chaplain, wrote 
Elgard, 4 he has no one he can talk to about Catholic interests. 
Especially was he in need of a capable and moral priesthood. 

Nevertheless the election of Daniel to the see of St. Boniface 
marked the salvation of the archdiocese ; his cleverest rival 
for the mitre was a secret adherent of Protestantism, and 
immediately embraced it openly. 5 As bishop, Daniel as 
he himself stated to the nuncio Gropper sought from the 
first with all his might to maintain the Catholic faith among 
both clergy and people. 6 As far as good will is concerned 
Elgard thought, 7 the archbishop leaves nothing to be desired, 

1 Document dat. Dec. 10, 1571, in *Collegii Fuldensis exordia 
et annuae literae, library of the seminary at Fulda. BROWER, 
Fuldensium antiquitatum libri IV., Antwerp, 1612, 365. 
SCHANNAT, Dioecesis, 354. Nuntiaturberickte, III., 266. 

2 " Sedet ad clavum princeps catholicus, tractat clavum subditus 
haereticus." Triumphus Bavaricus, in TURNER, Panegyrici 
sermones duo, Ingolstadt, 1583, 109. 

3 TURNER, loc. cit., 108. 

4 To Galli on February 27, 1575, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 264 seq. 

5 KNIEB, 58. 

6 Gropper to Galli on October T, 1573, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 413. 

7 On August 10, 1575, ibid., 301 seq. 


but he is too much immersed in affairs of state, and with the 
exception of the Jesuits has no one to work with him. It 
was just at the time of Elgard s visit, that the difficulties 
that lay in the way of any sort ot reform were shown. Daniel 
had just then attempted to purify the morals of his clergy, 
but everything was shipwrecked by the opposition of the 
chapter, which held up the election capitulation of the arch 
bishop as an impregnable shield against any sort of reform. 1 
As far as the greater part of his diocese was concerned, the 
archbishop could do little more than prepare the way for 
a better future by his care to provide good priests. His 
efforts in this respect won for him the high praise of Gregory 
XIII. 2 As early as 1558 Daniel Brendel sent some youths, 
among them the future Bishop Julius of Wiirzburg, to be 
educated at the Jesuit college at Cologne. 3 He soon 
planned and founded a similar institution at Mayence, 4 
and very gratefully welcomed the offer of Gropper to 
receive youths from Mayence at the German college in 

1 Ibid., 302, 352. That efforts for reform were made is proved 
by a Jesuit letter from Mayence dat. March 30, 1575 (library at 
Leyden, Cod. 77) : " Generale quoddam bellum concubinariis in 
variis Germaniae partibus indictum est, Pontificis, ut arbitror 
edicto, sed impellentibus, ut alii fingunt, lesuitis. Dux Bavariae 
libens edicto paruit et S.S mi voluntatem perfecit. Reverendis- 
simus noster, ne ea in parte segnior videretur, totam etiam suam 
dioecesim expurgare coepit." All concubines driven out. 
" Singula iam fere canonicorum collegia Moguntiae sunt expurgata. 
Sunt sane permulti, qui admodum gaudent, tanto se onere elevari 
et a turpi vita vindicari. Longum esset, quae in Effordia, ubi 
duo de nostris agunt, acta sunt commemorari. Missi sunt in 
cam dioecesis partem, quae oppidis aliquot, pagis vero plus quam 
ducentis abundat, et Saxoniae proxima est, aliquot visitatores, 
in quibus fuit D. suffraganeus qui aliquot milia confirmationis 
sacramento armavit. In Badensi quoque marchionatu quatuor 
ex societate degunt, sacerdotes duo, totidem adiutorcs ; multum 
hi catholicam fidem promo vent." 

2 Letter of October 26.. 1574, i n SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 209. 

3 HANSEN, Rheinische Akten, 334, 339. 

4 DUHR, I., 103 seqq. 


Rome. 1 For the primary schools he sought for Catholic 
masters, who were to teach in accordance with the Catholic 
catechism and had to make the Tridentine profession of 
faith. 2 

Daniel was several times urged by Cropper 3 and afterwards 
by Elgard 4 to hold a visitation of his diocese. Their exhorta 
tions had their effect, at anyrate for part of the archdiocese, 
namely the Thuringian district of Eichsfeld, on the western 
border. On March 4th, 1574, the archbishop set out to 
visit that long neglected part of his state, 5 which had not 
seen its pastor since 1544. 6 

Lutheranism had made great progress at Eichsfeld. As 
was the case at Fulda, 7 it had been spread outside the cities 
by the aristocracy, who had learned the new doctrines at 
the university of Erfurt, and who since 1547 had introduced 
Protestant preachers into the Catholic churches. 8 The 
leading inhabitants in the two principal cities, Heiligenstadt 
and Duderstadt, had also been won over to the new doctrines 
during the time of their studies at Erfurt, and about the 
time of the Peasants War had drawn the whole citizen 
population with them. 9 The magistracy at Eichsfeld favoured 
the innovations and tried to deceive the archbishop as to 
the true state of affairs. 10 As soon as Daniel had seen with 
his own eyes how matters stood, he wrote to the Emperor 

1 Daniel to Gregory XIII. on December i, 1575, in THEINER, I., 
95. Johann Schweikart von Cronberg, afterwards Elector, was 
among their number. STEINHUBER, I., no. SCHWARZ, loo. cit., 
209. KNEIB, 125. 

2 SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 414. 

3 Ibid., 1 10, 414. 

4 Ibid., 262. 

5 KNIEB, 127. 

6 Ibid., 59. Cropper to Galli on August 15, 1574, in THEINER, 
I., 212. 

7 See supra, p. 231. 

8 KNIEB, 47 seqq., 63 seqq. 

9 Ibid., 42 seqq., 79 seqq. 
1 Ibid., 45, 61 seq. 


Rudolph II. 1 that " the horrors, the devastation and the 
moral and ecclesiastical abuses in several places " were far 
worse than anything he could have been told or have imagined. 
It had been quite impossible during his short stay to restore 
everything to its former state. 

Nevertheless, during his stay at Heiligenstadt Daniel did 
all that he could ; he placed at the head of the officials a 
convert from Mecklenburg, Leopold von Stralendorff, who 
was trustworthy and experienced ; 2 he again forbade 
communion under both kinds, and redeemed several territories 
which had been pledged to Protestant nobles. 3 At his 
visitation of Duderstadt he replaced two evangelical preachers 
by two Catholic priests. 4 The same thing was only done 
in the country districts at that time in a few cases, namely 
when the pastor had committed some offence against the 
lord of the manor. 5 Some of the parishes asked that they 
might be given Catholic pastors, 6 but owing to the want of 
good priests it was often found impossible to comply with 
their requests. 

On the whole, compared with the Protestant princes of 
his time, Daniel acted with great gentleness. 7 When, as 
the result of a nocturnal attack he had got into his power 
the hated tyrant Barthold von Wintzingrode, and had thus 
recovered the castle of Bodenstein which belonged to him 
by right, he left the religious conditions unchanged in the 
neighbourhood of the castle. 8 He renewed the promise of 
religious liberty to the knights, and allowed some of the 
nobles to have private Lutheran worship in their own houses. 9 
Even later on he adhered strictly to the religious peace. 

1 On April 16, 1579, ibid., 128. 
z Ibid., 128 seq. 
3 Ibid., 129 seq. 
Ibid., 133. 
6 Ibid., 130 seq. 

6 Ibid., 149, cf. 212, 215. 

7 KNIEB, 136. 

8 Ibid., 133 seqq< 

9 Ibid., 136, 


In his struggle with the Prince-Elector Augustus he laid it 
down as his guiding principle that in view of the " general 
peace and common welfare of the country " he did not wish 
to claim anything to which he had not a right, and further 
that he did not desire or seek anything but "to be left in 
quiet possession of those things which belonged to him, and 
to which he was bound by his office and which it was his 
duty to carry out." 1 In spite of this leniency Daniel s 
stay of two months in Eichsfeld was of great importance for 
Catholicism, and Gregory XIII. expressed his great gratitude 
to him for it. 2 

Immediately after Daniel had left Eichsfeld Stralendorff 
thought it necessary to issue a severe decree in order that 
the enactments of the Prince-Elector might not be flouted. 
The "running back" of the Protestant preachers into the 
neighbourhood was prohibited under severe penalties at 
Duderstadt and Heiligenstadt, and in the case of contumacy 
under the penalty of banishment. It caused much bad blood 
when Stralendorff thus threatened the Protestants with 
a measure which they had themselves employed a short time 
before against the Catholics of Eichsfeld, namely that those 
who died in Protestantism were not to be buried in con 
secrated ground. 3 Daniel approved of the steps taken by 
his chief magistrate. Otherwise the archbishop left the 
carrying out of the Catholic restoration to a commission 
composed of the excellent auxiliary bishop of Mayence, 
Stephen Weber, and three other members. Two Jesuits 
and a worthy secular priest assisted the commission ; 4 it 
began its visitation of Heiligenstadt at the end of December, 
on February ist, 1575, it reached Duderstadt, and in the 
middle of the month turned its attention to the parishes 
of the territory. The country people for the most part 

1 Ibid., 214. 

2 On September 17 and November 27, 1574, in THEINER, I., 
241 ; SCHWARZ, Cropper, 225. 

3 KNIEB, 139 seq. 

4 Ibid., 140. Elgard gives a very favourable report of the four 
commissioners, June 18, 1575, to Galli, in SCHWARZ, loo. cit., 295. 


accepted the reform without much difficulty. The common 
people, the commission reported, is " dissatisfied with the 
evangelical preachers who have been imposed upon them " ; 
the people do not wish for anything but that " by your 
princely favour, they may be removed once and for all." 1 
By 1575 in 72 villages where there was no reason to fear 
the influence of the nobility, almost the whole of the population 
had been persuaded to receive communion at Easter. 2 During 
1579 and 1580 Elgard, who had been auxiliary bishop of 
Erfurt since 1578, administered the sacrament of confirmation 
to 5000 persons in Eichsfeld. 3 By the end of 1576 the 
Protestant pastors had been driven out from fourteen villages 
and replaced by Catholic priests ; 4 and the removal of the 
preachers went on slowly but steadily during the years that 
followed. 5 In 1576 Daniel established a Jesuit college at 
Heiligenstadt, the " most important work " that he accom 
plished in Eichsfeld for the restoration of Catholicism. 6 The 
foundations for a revival of Catholic life were laid under 
the government of Daniel, but another ten years elapsed 
before the whole of the little state, with the exception of a 
few places, was reunited to the Church. 7 

Elgard had experience of the way in which attachment 
to Catholic usages was still rooted in the people when, in 
1574, he took part in the visitation, instead of the auxiliary 
bishop, who had been recalled to Mayence, and was thus a 
witness during the season of Pentecost of the great pilgrimage 
which still took place at that time to the celebrated 
Hiilfensberg. Great crowds flocked thither, and the nobles 
themselves from the neighbouring Protestant territories 
were present. Some of the leaders of the aristocracy, who 
had been brought up in Protestantism, remained on the 

KNIEB, 149. 
Ibid., 148. 
Ibid., 203. 
Ibid., 200. 
Ibid., 206. 

Ibid., 179 seq., 201 seq. ; DUHR, I., 109 seqq. 
7 KNIEB, 244-416. 


mountain the whole day without food in order to hear Elgard 
preach a second time in the evening, having heard his sermon 
in the morning. A Jesuit who had been summoned from 
Heiligenstadt preached on the Monday after Trinity to from 
2000 to 3000 people. 1 The number of the pilgrims 
increased during the following years, and at Hiilfensberg too 
the number that approached the sacraments continued to 
grow. 2 

The resistance to the reform, both at Fulda and in 
Eichsfeld, came from the nobles and the inhabitants 
of the cities ; in those country districts too where the 
aristocracy or Protestant citizens had influence over the 
rural population, the visitors met with difficulties. 3 At 
the beginning of March, 1575, almost the whole of the nobles 
of Eichsfeld met together at the instigation of the two brothers, 
William and Henry von Westerhagen, without the permission 
of the Prince-Elector, and addressed a petition to their lord, 4 
and when the latter rejected it and prohibited such meetings 
without the permission of the Prince-Elector, 5 had recourse 
to William of Hesse, who with his customary zeal for 
Protestantism interested him in their cause. 

William wrote to Daniel and asked for the support of the 
Prince-Electors of the Palatinate and Saxony. 6 But Frederick 
of the Palatinate, who complied with the request, was no 
longer able to occupy himself with the matter after Daniel 
had made his reply. William had asked the Prince-Elector 
of Saxony, by means of a special envoy, to send from the 
Saxon archives to the Emperor and the tribunal of the 
Imperial Chamber the declaration of Ferdinand I. to which, 
following the example of Fulda, the nobles of Eichsfeld had 

1 Ibid., 158, cf. 107 seq. Elgard to Galli on June 18, 1575, in 
SCHWARZ, loc. tit., 297. 

2 KNIEB, 201. 

3 Ibid., 149, 164, 206 seq. 

4 Of March 9, 1575, ibid., 150 ; printed in HEPPE, Restauration, 

5 On March 22, 1575, ibid., 257-60. 

6 Ibid., 88-91. KNIEB, 151-5. 


called the attention of the Landgrave. 1 But Augustus curtly 
replied that the nobles of Fulda and Eichsfeld could them 
selves have recourse to the Emperor, at whose command 
he would hand over the declaration to the tribunal of the 
Chamber. In his reply to the Landgrave William, Daniel 
called attention to the way in which the Protestants had 
abused his patience, and to the way in which their ignorant 
preachers, some of whom could hardly read, committed 
outrages against their lords, and treated the sacraments 
without respect. Nothing was known of Ferdinand s 
declaration. William then tried to defend the Protestant 
preachers, 2 and once more, with threats, and appealing to 
the laws of the Empire, demanded religious liberty for his 
co-religionists. He also worked for a defensive alliance 
with the Prince-Electors of the Palatinate and Saxony. 3 
Frederick of the Palatinate, who was the most violent 
upholder of his religious convictions in his day, had the 
effrontery to say that no man should have violence done to 
him on account of his religion ! 4 

There was certainly no question of violence in Eichsfeld, 
according to the view of the archiepiscopal visitors ; on 
the contrary, they complained of the extraordinary leniency 
of the archbishop. Three preachers had so far been sent 
away by him ; two of them had been recalled by the efforts 
of the nobles, and the third was not inconvenienced by his 
removal. So instead of resisting force by force, nothing 
happened except in the case of the recalcitrant ; a final date, 
June 24th, 1575, was fixed, but this was again extended. 5 
The visitors thought that such procedure would only confuse 
the people ; the populace feared lest " they should be left 
defenceless to be flayed alive by the Junkers." 6 

1 Cf. supra, p. 213. 

2 April 12, 1575, in KNIEB, 155. The document shows the 
credulity of the Landgrave. Examples of it, ibid, and in HEPPE, 
Restauration, 91. 

3 On April 6th and 9th, KNIEB, 155. 

4 Ibid., 156. 

5 Ibid., 164, 170. 

6 Ibid., 164. 


Twice again the nobles had recourse to the archbishop ; 
the first time through their colleagues outside Eichsfeld, 
and again by a new petition. They did not, however, 
obtain anything ; after their interview with Daniel their 
envoys gave them the advice that they should impose due 
moderation upon the evangelical pastors, and not use the 
property of the Church for their own advantage, but only 
for the honour of God. 1 They then once more brought before 
the Prince-Elector of Saxony their previous request that 
he would support the confirmation of the declaration of 
Ferdinand at the coming Diet of the princes at Ratisbon. 
The Prince-Elector agreed to do this, and the Landgrave 
William was also prepared to support their demands, but 
insisted that the other Protestant princes should also be 
stirred up to take action. 2 

Apart from the nobles the resistance to the reform 
found its chief support among the population of the cities, 
whose leaders, like the nobles, had received their education 
at the university of Erfurt. In spite of this it would be 
comparatively easy, for example, to win back Heiligenstadt 
to the faith ; in 1574 the citizens told the magistrate 
Stralendorff that they would willingly attend the Catholic 
mass, if only there were better priests. 3 As a matter of 
fact every year Catholicism gained ground at Heiligenstadt. 
In 1584 there were 2064 communions, and more than 3000 
in the following year. Greater and greater vigilance was 
used to see that none but Catholics were admitted to the 
municipal council, and processions, which had once been 
customary, were again introduced. 4 

On the other hand, the powerful Duderstadt, where 
Catholic worship had been entirely forbidden since 1562, 
obstinately resisted Catholic reform, so that by 1574 the 
whole of the citizens had apostatized. 5 After Daniel, on 

1 Ibid., 165-70. 

z Ibid., 171 seq. Cf. MORITZ, 122; HEPPE, loc. cit., 93. 

3 KNIEB, 142. 

4 Ibid., 203 seq. 



the occasion of his visitation, had removed the two pastors, 
and taken away the churches from the Protestants, 1 the 
citizens had at first gone voluntarily to the Catholic mass, 
but, under the influence of the council and the masters of 
the guilds, this was soon changed. Those who attended 
Catholic worship were mocked at, threatened with being 
excluded from the magistracy, and their sons beaten. More 
over, the new parish priest who was appointed, a priest who 
was not very exemplary in other respects, proved himself 
weak before the pressure of the Protestants, and with a 
miserable forgetfulness of his duties, handed over to them 
once more one of the churches of Duderstadt. The preacher 
then fulminated from the pulpit against the Pope and the 
Catholics, to whom no obedience must be paid. The council 
forbade the citizens to attend the sermons of the Catholic 
parish priest, and threatened those who disobeyed with 
expulsion from the city. 2 When the visitors demanded the 
restitution of the church which had thus unjustly been taken 
away, the citizens were filled with anger, and swore they would 
shed their blood for their faith, and to kill those who were 
sent to them by the visitors. The council in the meantime 
appealed to the declaration of Ferdinand I., and to the Prince- 
Electors, and presented a protest to the visitors by the hands 
of a Brunswick notary from Gflttingen. Daniel again stated 
that he knew nothing of the declaration of Ferdinand, and 
that if his commissary had made any concession with regard 
to the Confession of Augsburg this had been done without 
his authority. He then caused the disobedient preacher 
to be removed, but desired that in other respects the objectors 
should be converted by the way of instruction rather than 
by violence. 3 

The citizens of Duderstadt were only confirmed in their 
resistance by this leniency. When further injunctions were 
received from the archbishop they set the fortifications in 
order and laid in supplies of gunpowder ; the pastor was 

1 Ibid., 133. 

2 Ibid., 136 seqq. 

3 Ibid., 144-8. 

VOL. XX. 1 6 


instructed to resume his duties. 1 A deputation was sent 
to Daniel by the opposing party, 2 but the Prince-Elector 
replied by proclaiming his rights and renewing his orders. 
At length, when nothing else had proved of any use, he had 
recourse to stern measures. One of the principal sources 
of revenue of the city was from the sale of the beer of Duder- 
stadt, which was celebrated even as far off as Vienna. Now 
Daniel threatened, 3 in case of further disobedience, to forbid 
the export of this celebrated beer. At first neither this 
threat nor the actual prohibition had any effect, until at 
length StraJendorff confiscated thirty barrels of beer at the 
city gates. 4 After this the prohibition of the export of the 
beer became one of the principal grounds of complaint of 
the citizens of Duderstadt. 

Even before Daniel had taken this severe measure, the 
citizens had had recourse to the Protestant princes with the 
request that they would uphold their cause at the Diet of 
Ratisbon which had already been convoked. The city also 
sent a representative thither. The knights of Eichsfeld, 
like those of Fulda, rested their hopes on the confirmation 
of the declaration of Ferdinand at the electoral Diet of 
Ratisbon, to which the nobles of Eichsfeld sent a special 
representative, and the nobles of Fulda a petition. The 
princes there assembled thus, after so many requests, had 
to devote themselves to the consideration of all the questions 
connected with the declaration of Ferdinand. 5 

1 KNIEB, 160. 

2 In May, August and September, 1575, ibid., 160-2. 

3 On March 3, 1576, ibid. 163. 

4 On April 16, 1576, ibid. 

5 MORITZ, 151 seqq. The Declaration is given in LEHMANN, 55 ; 
[ERSTENBERGER] De Autonomia, 81, Munich, 1593- HEPPE S 
version (Restauration, 3 seqq.) is incredibly careless just at the 
principal passage. 



UNTIL, during the disturbances at Fulda, a Saxon councillor 
had unearthed in the archives of the Prince-Elector the so- 
called declaration of Ferdinand, and had placed it in the 
hands of the Protestants, 1 it had remained entirely unknown 
to the public for almost twenty years, and only in certain 
forgotten documents were there a couple of unimportant 
references to it. 2 After the Landgraves of Hesse and the 
Prince-Elector of Saxony, however, had appealed to this 
document before the Emperor, and it had been subsequently 
printed in Saxony and Hesse, 3 and spread among the 
Protestants by the Landgrave William, the declaration 
began to assume importance and became the central point 
of the questions at issue between the parties. 

Opinions as to the legal value of this document varied 
according to men s religious views. The Protestants 
defended its legal force as a self-evident fact, without giving 
any reasons ; the Catholics challenged it. The Prince- 
Elector of Mayence stated to the people of Eichsfeld 4 that 
he knew nothing about the declaration ; if such a document 
really existed he, as an Elector and Chancellor of the Empire, 
ought to have it in his chancery, which was not the case. A 
year before, 5 the chapter of Fulda, which at that time had 
once more rallied to the abbot, contested the legal value of 

1 MORITZ, 22. 

2 1560 and 1570, ibid., 23. 

3 Dated 1555, ibid. 

4 On February 13, 1575, KNIEB, 146. 

5 On June 18, 1574, in HEPPE, loc. cit., 67. 



the declaration in a detailed statement. 1 It was impossible 
to find a trace of it either in the chancery of Mayence or in 
that of the supreme tribunal. The religious peace of 1555 
made no mention of it, but on the contrary laid it down 
that no contrary declaration was to have any force. None 
of those who had been present at the Diet of 1555, and none 
of the oldest assessors of the supreme tribunal could remember 
it. As far as the tribunal of the Chamber was concerned, 
moreover, no Imperial constitution could have any force 
if it had not been sent to it by the Elector of Mayence as 
chancellor^ but no one remembered such a communication 
of the declaration, which moreover preceded the religious 
peace by a day, and would therefore have been cancelled 
by it. The secretary of the Imperial Chancery, Erstenberger, 
especially brought out this latter fact, 2 showing that the 
cancelling clause in the religious peace, which had been written, 
sealed and signed with the consent of all the states, was " so 
stable and complete " that the declaration could not be 
adduced against it. 

The Protestants too for the most part knew nothing of the 
declaration until 1574. At the Diet of Augsburg in 1566 
they promised to observe the religious peace of 1555 without 
changes or additions, nor did they at that time make any 
mention of any accessory enactment of the Emperor 
Ferdinand. 3 When, on the first appearance of the declaration, 
the Protestant states sought for copies of it in their archives, 
none were to be found. The ordinance had been kept entirely 
secret, and had not even been given to the representatives 
of the states of the Empire to copy, although it had been 
discussed with them. 4 The Imperial Chancery only had a 
draft of it, and the original copy was in the sole possession 

1 Its author was the Spires jurist, Winkelmann, who afterwards 
became Balthasar s chancellor. Ibid., 66, n. 

2 To Albert V. of Bavaria, Vienna, July 17, 1574, in the Reports 
of the meetings of the Munich Academy for the year 1891, Munich, 
1892, 159 seq. 

3 ERSTENBERGER, ibid., 160. 

4 MORITZ, 33, n. 


of the Elector of Saxony, 1 who was affected by the declaration 
owing to special circumstances. 

The Elector Augustus had interested himself at the Diet 
at Augsburg in 1555 in bringing about the religious peace, 
but had also sought to obviate the disastrous consequences 
which that peace might have for him. After the Schmalkaldic 
war Catholicism had begun to revive in Merseburg and 
Naumburg owing to the activity of Bishops Helding and 
Pflug ; if this continued Augustus would not have been 
able so easily to incorporate those two dioceses into his own 
territory. 2 He could not, with a clear conscience, so he 
wrote in this connexion to his representative at Augsburg, 3 
see, either now or in the future, the episcopal cities such as 
Magdeburg, Halberstadt, Halle, Jiiterbog, Merseburg, 
Naumburg and others which lay within his principality or 
its vicinity, being " disturbed on account of the Christian 
religion " on the pretext of the religious peace. The coun 
cillors of Saxony, who had laboured at Augsburg that religion 
should be left free, were above all things determined on this. 4 
After his attempt to obtain religious liberty for all his subjects 
had failed, he pointed out to the sovereign together with the 
other Protestant states, that there would inevitably be war 
or a revolution if the barons, cities and communes which 
were subject to certain bishops and ecclesiastics were interfered 
with by them on account of their Protestant religion which 
they had long practised. 5 It was remarks such as these 
which led to the so-called declaration of Ferdinand, by which 
such barons, cities and communes were assured the desired 
independence from their ecclesiastical princes. 

1 The original document was completed in duplicate (RSTEN- 
BERGER, loc. cit., 159). The electoral councillor Lindemann 
vouches for the fact, and therefore it is probable that he had both 
original copies before him in the electoral chancery. 

2 Autonomia, 391 (a). 

3 See RANKE, Deutsche Geschichte : Werke, VI., 322. 

4 Autonomia, 391 (b). MORITZ, 28. 

5 According to the introductory words of the declaration. 
Cf. LEHMANN, 47. 


It is not clear what it was exactly which led to this Imperial 
concession. For the sake of simplicity the negotiations 
were carried on only by the representatives of the two religious 
parties. 1 At first the Catholics refused to have anything 
to. do with it, until King Ferdinand, who presented himself 
in person in the room where the discussions were being held, 
at length declared that he would not let the councillors 
separate until everything was settled. Then the Catholics 
took counsel together, and decided to leave the whole matter 
to the decision of Ferdinand. After a period of reflection 
which lasted until night, it was finally announced to both 
the parties that the king wished to meet the wishes of the 
Protestants, though without disturbing the religious peace ; 
his declaration on this point, was, in spite of the derogatory 
clause of the religious peace, to be binding, and the king 
should give the States of the Confession of Augsburg " an 
accessory, authentic, sealed, and signed ordinance " on the 
subject. 2 

No true accessory ordinance was ever made. A declaration 
concerning the general promise was authenticated, sealed 
and signed by Ferdinand, in virtue of the Imperial authority, 
without any further summoning of the States, but it was 
not sent to all the Protestant States, but only sent in secret 
to the Elector of Saxony. Substantially the negotiations 
about the declaration had come to nothing, but the Elector 
Augustus had obtained his end. As far as its text was 

1 Act of His Royal Majesty on September 2oth and 2ist, 1566, 
in LEHMANN, 50 seq. It would be worth while to examine more 
closely into the origin and reliability of this report which seems 
to be unknown except for the version printed in Lehmann. It 
is remarkable that, not only according to the Autonomia 
(392), but also according to the Saxon envoys to the Diet 
of 1576, apart from the actual introductory words of 
the declaration, no documentary evidence existed as to how 
they came into being. It is difficult to see how this can 
be reconciled with the report mentioned by LEHMANN (50 

2 LEHMANN, 51. 


concerned the declaration was quite general ; l that it had 
been asked for by Saxony, with special reference to his own 
position, is clear from the express declaration which the 
Emperor Maximilian II. made to the Catholic states " after 
diligent research " ; 2 it is also clear from the researches 
of Erstenberger, 3 and also from the otherwise inexplicable 
fact that the declaration was only sent to the Elector of 
Saxony, while it was kept secret from all the rest. 4 Taking 
it altogether this document shows the hopeless misery of the 
state of affairs in Germany. Constrained by necessity 
Ferdinand had to adopt a policy which admirably succeeded 
in saying " yea and nay " at the same time, for by his 
declaration he withdrew what had been granted by the 
religious peace, placed the Catholics in an inferior position 
to the Protestants, and among the Catholics themselves 
placed the ecclesiastical princes under the secular ones ; its 

1 It was the Saxon councillors who pressed for the general 
terms of the declaration, the Elector himself thought only of 
Naumburg and Merseburg (Morone to Galli on July 16, 1576, 
Nuntiaturberichte, II., 89). Augustus was only concerned with 
the rounding off of his territory and the filling of his coffers ; 
general considerations had no interest for him. Cf. KOLDE in 
Herzog s Real-Enzyklopddie, II. 3 , 252 ; KLUCKHOHN in the Allg. 
Deutsche Biogr., I., 676, 679. 

2 On August 15, 1576 ; see the report of the Mayence councillor, 
of this date in KNIEB, 187 ; another report in MORITZ, 28, n. 4, 358. 

3 Autonomia, 390 seqq. 

4 Arguments against this view brought forward by MORITZ 
(22 seqq.} are rightly described as unconvincing by KNIEB (188, 
n. i). That the representations which eventually led to the 
declaration originated from all the Protestant States is evident 
from the declaration itself ; and neither Maximilian II. nor 
Erstenberger would wish to deny it. The Emperor says (MORITZ, 
29, n.) that the declaration was " not principaliter desired by 
all the States of the A.C., but only by Saxony particulariter, 
which means that the declaration, though certainly desired by 
all the States of the A.C., was, nevertheless, not " principaliter" 
desired by them all, for the beginning and original impulse came 
from Saxony. 


derogative formulas made both documents mutually 
destructive, while it honoured with the beautiful name of 
peace a work which of its very nature was bound to prove 
an apple of discord and an incendiary torch. Out of a pure 
love of peace a fire was enkindled which was to burn until 
the sea of flames of the Thirty Years War had reduced the 
whole of Germany to ashes. 

The hopes of getting the declaration confirmed by the 
Electoral Diet of Ratisbon were very promising. The invalid 
Emperor was bound to be inclined to make concessions as 
he was very anxious that his successor should be elected 
during his life-time, and the supreme dignity thus be ensured 
to the House of Austria. It would seem that some of the 
German princes wished to place the Imperial crown upon 
the head of a Protestant, but France, in spite of her internal 
dissensions, aimed at the empty semblance of universal 
dominion, by aspiring at the same time to the throne of 
Poland as well as of the Empire. 1 It is true that all these 
schemes did not in the end turn out to be very dangerous ; 
the aspirations of France did not meet with much approval 
in Germany, 2 and Augustus of Saxony, who alone of all the 
Protestant princes had any serious chance of attaining to 
the Imperial crown, preferred being a wealthy duke to being 
an impoverished Emperor. 3 He therefore allowed himself 
to be won over to the election of the Hapsburg prince, 4 and 
strongly promoted his candidature with the other princes 
of the Empire. 6 

At the same time there was also a threat of serious danger 
from that ardent Calvinist, the Elector Frederick III. of the 
Palatinate, the declared enemy of the Catholics and the 
opponent of the existing constitution of the Empire. 6 He 

1 MORITZ, 43 seq. 

2 Ibid., 45 seq. 

3 Ibid., 96, cf. 46 seq. 

4 Ibid., 55, 61. 

5 Ibid., 61. 

6 Otto Truchsess calls him " Author seditionum et receptor 
rebellium omnium nationum," in SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 5. 


aimed, not only at preventing the election of a Hapsburg, 1 
but also was opposed to any appointment being made during 
the life-time of Maximilian, because at the death of the 
Emperior the Imperial vicariate would pass into the hands 
of the Electors and himself, in which case he would undoubtedly 
make use of his position to place the dioceses of the north 
of Germany in the hands of Protestants. 2 At anyrate he 
intended to make use of the coming electoral Diet to extort 
from the Catholic states the so-called " exemption " or 
abolition of the reservatum ecclesiasticum, and above all the 
confirmation of the declaration of Ferdinand. 3 The Catholics 
especially had reason to fear lest with the vicariate of Frederick 
in the Empire, to use the words of the Venetian ambassador, 
Tron, in Germany and perhaps in the rest of the world, that 
which was most exalted might be dragged down to the lowest 
depths. 4 They had, nevertheless, every reason to desire a 
happy issue to the election, and it was to be expected that 
they would be ready to purchase the desired result by making 

Fortunately for the Catholics there was a want of union 
among the Protestants. William of Orange had put away 
his wife, Anna, the daughter of Augustus, on account of 
adultery, and even before his divorce had married Charlotte 
de Bourbon, who was living at the court of the Palatinate ; 5 
on account of this " dog-nuptials," as Augustus put it, 6 
there was the deepest enmity between the Protestant leaders, 
the Elector of Saxony and the Elector Palatine, and thus 
the prospect of united action by the whole Protestant party 
at the electoral Diet was seriously endangered. 7 As far as 
favouring the confirmation of the declaration was concerned all 
the Protestant states were indeed agreed, but in other respects, 

1 MORITZ, 82 seq. 
*Ibid., 83, cf. 44, 51. 

3 Ibid., 105 seq. 

4 ALBERT, I., 6, 192. 

5 MORITZ, 106 seq., in seq. 
fl Ibid., 145. 

* fbid., 147, 



with the exception of the Landgrave William, they were but 
little inclined to favour the plans of the Count Palatine. 

At the beginning of October, 1575, a brilliant gathering 
f princes assembled at Ratisbon. 

The Emperor was accompanied by his son, Rudolph, King 
of Bohemia, his wife, and the three Archdukes. With the 
exception of the Calvinist Elector Palatine, who was 
represented, and not for the better, by his Lutheran son, 
Louis, ah 1 the Prince Electors were present in person ; 
there were also present the Archbishop of Salzburg, the Duke 
of Bavaria, and several other princes of the Empire. Cardinal 
Lodovico Madruzzo had suggested to the Pope that he should 
send a legate a latere to the Electoral Diet, but the Pope 
found a difficulty in consenting to this in the fact that it 
was not customary, and it was not known how the legate 
would be treated. 1 When subsequently, the Emperor, 
unquestionably out of consideration for the Protestants, 
refused to accept a legate, the nuncio at Vienna, Giovanni 
Delfino, was instructed to represent the Catholic cause at 
Ratisbon ; 2 in other words, he was to point out to the Emperor 
that the principal obstacle to reform was the fact that the 
bishops-elect of Germany received investiture from the civil 
power before they had the Papal approbation. 3 So as to 
prevent the movement in favour of the " exemptions " he 
was to devote himself to the defence of the religious peace. 4 

On October loth the sessions were begun at Ratisbon and 

1 *Report of Giulio Masetti to the Duke of Ferrara, dat. Rome, 
June 15, 1575 (State Archives, Modena). 

2 MORITZ, 139 seq. Credentials for Delfino, dat. August 20, 
T 575 to the Emperor and the Archbishop of Mayence, in THEINER, 
II., 21 seq. Delfino s reports from Ratisbon to Galli between 
October 7 and November 3, 1575, ibid., 463-70. According to 
an *Avviso di Roma, dat. August 13, 1575, the German Congrega 
tion, on August 6, resolved to send a nuncio. Urb. 1044, P- 5 12 
Vatican Library. 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, I., xxxi, n. i. 

4 STIEVE, Ursprung des Dreizigjahrigen Krieges, I., Munich, 
1875, n. 94- 


the twelve Electors informed the Emperor that they had 
made up their minds about the election. October 24th was 
chosen for the day of the election. 

But matters were not destined to proceed so smoothly, 
and very soon the question of the declaration of Ferdinand 
divided men s minds to such an extent that it seemed as 
though the electoral Diet would have to be dissolved without 
anything having been accomplished. The Protestant Electors 
definitely insisted that the declaration must be included in 
the election capitulation of the future King of the Romans, 
while the Catholic party equally decidedly would not hear 
of this. The councillors of the Electors and several times 
the princes themselves met in conference ; again and again 
the Emperor was asked by both parties to intervene and 
he summoned the ecclesiastical Electors at one time, and 
the secular Electors at another to confer with him. 1 But 
it seemed that nothing was of any avail. 

The Catholic states and princes recognized the declaration 
which was now presented to them in the original as authentic, 
but nevertheless would not admit the validity of the document. 
The Archbishop of Treves declared that he had heard from 
three or four of the princes how the declaration had come 
to be made, and no one was able to give him a satisfactory 
reply. 2 The Elector of Cologne declared that his chancellor 
and his majordomo had been present at the discussion of 
the religious peace ; they could well remember " the weari 
some business, but knew nothing of any discussion of the 
declaration." 3 The Protestants, including the Elector of 
Saxony, made no reply to these statements, and even when 
the Emperor asked them why they had never brought the 
matter to light before, while his father was alive, or at the 
time of his own election, "they could not make any other reply 
than that they had been waiting for the present occasion." 4 

1 MORITZ, 154 seqq. 

2 LEHMANN, 127. MORITZ, 160. 

8 LEHMANN, 127. MORITZ, 156, n. 3. 

* " Non hanno saputo dir altro, si non d haver aspettato questa 
occasione." Delfino to Galli on October 28, 1575, in THEINER, II., 


Maximilian found himself in a very embarrassing position. 
The Elector Augustus had already declared on October i8th, 
that the declaration must not be thrown overboard ; that 
if the ecclesiastics did not give way it was probable that in 
three days time the Emperor would see very few secular 
Electors at Ratisbon. 1 On the following day the same threat 
was again made by the three Protestant Electors. 2 The 
Emperor implored and adjured them ; he would rather, he 
said, be 100 feet underground than have the electoral assembly 
broken up without completing its work. 3 But everything 
seemed useless. 

In the meantime, one thing seemed clear ; if the Catholics 
held firm their adversaries would give way. In reality the 
declaration was no longer of any great importance to the 
Elector of Saxony. 4 Even without it he had been able to 
get the dioceses of Merseburg and Naumburg into his power, 5 
and to put off the election of the king until the Greek Kalends 
for the sake of a religious scruple seemed to him, in view of 
its incalculable consequences, to be too serious a thing to do. 6 
He decided to adopt a way out of the difficulty which the 
Emperor proposed to him on October 2ist, and to refer the 
question of the declaration to the next Diet. Augustus 
won over the Elector of Brandenburg, as well as the Elector 
Palatine, to this view ; the Count Palatine did not inform 
his councillors, to whom the failure to elect the king seemed 
likely to be useful to the revolutionary plans of the Palatinate, 
before the session. 7 In this way, on October 27th the election 
of Rudolph II. took place, and was followed by his coronation 

1 MORITZ, l6l. 

*Ibid., 162. 

3 Ibid., 163. 

4 Cf. ibid., 189. 

5 " They have devoured and already digested their [founders]" 
said a councillor of the Palatinate in 1570 with regard to Saxony 
and Hesse. Ibid., 123, n. 4. 

6 Autograph memorandum of Augustus, ibid., 167. Cf. 
IANSSEN-PASTOR, IV., 15-16 391, n 2 

7 MORITZ, 1 68 seqq. 


on November ist. 1 The election capitulation was the same 
as at the election of Maximilian in 1562. 

With a view to obtaining help against the Turks, the 
Emperor, on his way back from the election, convoked a 
new Diet for February I5th in the following year at Ratisbon, 
but this, on account of the nomination of Maximilian as 
King of Poland, was postponed to April ist, and afterwards 
to May ist. 2 The Landgrave William of Hesse then recom 
mended his fellow princes not to agree to a single farthing 
of tax for the Emperor s Turkish war, unless he first approved 
the declaration. 3 This unworthy attempt to profit by the 
necessities of the Emperor did not, however, meet with much 
approval. 4 

As far as the Catholics were concerned, Duke Albert V. 
warned his representatives at the Diet not to be led into any 
discussion of the declaration or of any religious exemptions, 
saying that he would rather " suffer and endure " anything 
than consent to depart from even a syllable of the religious 
peace. The declaration was certainly invalid, and offensive to 
Catholics, since it placed the ecclesiastical princes in a worse 
position than the secular princes. The suppression of the 
reservatum ecclesiasticum would make benefices hereditary, 
and would at last lead to the undoing of the nobles ; the 
attempt to obviate these sad consequences by means of 
Imperial constitutions would be a vain one, and would break 
down the religious peace. The dioceses, moreover, had not 
been established in order to provide for the nobles, but only 
for the sake of that Catholic worship which the Protestants 
could not comply with. 5 Albert V. also tried to influence 
the other princes. 6 He wished to present himself at the Diet 

1 Description of the election and coronation : Delfino to Galli 
on October 28 and November 3, 1575, in THEINER, II., 465 seq., 
468 seq. 

2 MORITZ, 176, 188, 194. 

3 MORITZ, 189, 192, 222 seq. 

4 Ibid., 197. 

5 Ibid., 241 seq. 

6 Ibid., 242. 


only after the religious question had been dealt with, so 
that the rancour of the Protestants might not be directed 
against him as the zealous supporter of the old religion. 1 
It was perhaps for this reason that he put off a visit to Augustus 
of Saxony until the very time of the Diet. 2 

In Rome men were fully convinced that this Diet might 
turn out to be of decisive importance. 

At the consistory of April 23rd, 1576, Gregory XIII. 
expressed his determination to observe the previous custom 
of sending a special legate to the Diet of Germany ; when 
Santa Croce objected that perhaps the presence of a Papal 
envoy would not be pleasing to the Emperor, the Pope replied 
that even so a legate should be sent ; he did not for his part 
intend to omit anything that he could do. This decision 
of the Pope s met with the approval of all the Cardinals. 3 
Gregory then chose for this difficult task Cardinal Morone, 
the best of his diplomatists, and when the Cardinal, who was 
already seventy-seven years of age, wished to be excused, 
Gregory said to him that either Morone or the Pope himself 
should go to Ratisbon. 4 Care for religion, so it was stated 
in the legate s instruction, 5 must naturally be the principal 

1 Ibid., 243. 

2 Ibid., 243, 246 seq. 

3 Protocol of the Consistory, in the Nuntiaturberichte, II., 
ii seq. 

4 Elector Frederick of the Palatinate to whom " a reliable and 
well-known person of experience reported it " (KLUCKHOHN, II., 
971 ; of. MORITZ, 249). Pompeo St.rozzi *reports on April 21 
to the Duke of Mantua that when Morone shrank from the mission 
the Pope implored him with tears to go. On April 24 Strozzi 
*reports that Morone received the legatine cross some days before, 
and on the 29th, that he intended to start that evening. On 
November 17 *he writes that Morone had arrived on the previous 
day. (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

5 Of April 26, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 21 seqq. Of less 
importance are two memoranda of Cardinal Lodovico Madruzzo 
about resisting attacks on the Catholic Church and winning back 
the lost North German bishoprics and the apostate German 
princes. Ibid., 12 seqq., 17 seqq. 


preoccupation of Morone during the Diet, but with the 
Emperor he must present himself principally as his counsellor 
in the question of Poland and Hungary, as well as in that 
of the Turkish peril. With the help of the princes and the 
Catholic bishops he must prevent the discussion of the 
declaration of Ferdinand and of the suppression of the 
reservatum ecclesiasticum ; on his way to Ratisbon he could 
come to an arrangement on this subject with Ferdinand of 
the Tyrol and with Duke Albert of Bavaria. With the 
Emperor, from whom secret concessions were to be feared, 
Morone was to point out clearly that by his constant readiness 
to give way the Church in Germany was being ruined. 
Maximilian should also not confer investiture with civil 
rights upon those who had been intruded into ecclesiastical 
office. 1 

Morone set out from Rome in April. He made a fairly 
long stay at Innsbruck with the Archduke Ferdinand, 2 and 
at Landshut with Duke William, the heir to the throne of 
Bavaria. The city seemed to him, on account of the great 
concourse of people at the churches, the Catholic sentiments 
of the inhabitants, and the piety of the royal couple, like a 
jewel in the midst of filth. 3 With Duke Albert, who was at 
the baths of Ueberkingen, Morone could only communicate 
by letter. 4 When the legate learned that the arrival of the 
Emperor at the Diet was not to be expected immediately, 
he delayed his journey ; finally he fixed his residence at 
Eckmuhl, three miles from Ratisbon. On June 9th he 
reached the scene of the Imperial assembly, and it was only 
with difficulty that he could find lodging in the city, which 

1 Morone s credentials are dated April 25, 1576, Nuntiatur- 
berichte, II., 28. Cf. -THEINER, II., 153 (to the Emperor), 154 
(to the Spanish envoys). For Morone s faculties see DOLLINGER- 
REUSCH, Geschichte der Moralstreitigkeiten, II., Nordlingen, 
1889, 244 seq. ; MERGENTHEIM, I., 2365^., cf. 234. Cf. SCHELL- 
HASS in the Quellen und Forschungen, XIII., 273 seqq. 

2 To Galli on May 25, 1576, Nuutiaturberichte, II., 38 seq. 

3 To Galli, Eckmuhl, June 6, ibid., 45. 

4 MORITZ, 258 seq. 


was almost entirely Protestant, and which shunned him and 
his companions as though they had been stricken with the 
plague. 1 

While they were still waiting for the coming of the Emperor, 
the Protestant councillors, and especially the representatives 
of Hesse and the Palatinate tried to arrive at a common 
course of action on behalf of the Protestant party. A general 
meeting of all the representatives of the innovators, however, 
could not be held because of the attitude of reserve adopted 
by the envoys of Saxony. The envoys of the Palatinate 
therefore drew up a memorial which met with the approval 
of the rest of the Protestants ; this especially insisted upon 
a demand which dated from before the religious peace, and 
was to the effect that those who adhered to the Confession 
of Augsburg should not be forced by the Catholic authorities 
to leave the country. 2 

Morone at once became the spiritual centre of the Catholic 
party. The legate had come filled with grave anxieties ; 
he thought that by reason of the absence of the princes he 
would be obliged to treat with the councillors, though the 
greater number of these were not free from heresy. In his 
opinion the Protestants were filled with the most joyful 
expectations by reason of the necessities of the Emperor 
and the weakness of the prelates, " who have as much unity 
as an untied besom, and wish to enjoy life, no matter what 
may become of the world : many of them are not even firm 
in the faith." 3 

Morone s first duty therefore was to win the confidence 
of the Catholics and give them new courage. On the occasion 
of the first visit of courtesy paid to him by the councillors, 
he was able, as Delfino wrote, 4 to charm them by his courtesy, 
while he sought thereafter in every way to be well informed 
as to conditions in Germany. " If my health permits me," 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, II., 45. 

2 LEHMANN, 129 seqq. Cf. MORITZ, 198 seq. 

3 To Galli on May 25, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 38. 

4 On June 20, 1576, in THEINER, II., 528. 


he wrote, 1 " to assist more generally at their banquets, as 
I have begun to do, it will be easier for me to win them over ; 
I will do all I can." The Cardinal also made a deep impression 
by his knowledge of conditions in Germany. As the coun 
cillors of Bavaria wrote, he knew how to talk about public 
affairs, and of the beginnings and spread of Lutheranism, 
as though he had been present " at all the Diets and at all 
that had occurred." 2 The representatives of the Electors 
of Treves and Mayence, and of several other bishops, promised 
him that they would take no action concerning the religious 
question without his knowledge. 3 With the Emperor 
Maximilian II., too, Morone was in much favour. On the 
occasion of the legate s first visit, the sick Emperor was 
unable to go to meet him, but had himself carried to the top 
of the stairs, welcomed him with expressions of great joy, 
and gave his hand to all the Cardinal s suite. In the Emperor s 
private room Morone was placed upon a seat almost equal 
to that of Maximilian, and went on to speak of his desire of 
serving him, of the Polish question and the Turkish war, 
and of religion, with so much skill that Maximilian showed 
the greatest satisfaction. 4 With regard to the religious 
position the Emperor remarked that it was difficult to describe 
the ill-will felt by the Protestant princes in Germany towards 
the Catholics. A great part of the blame for this, he said, 
naturally fell upon the prelates, who only thought of the 
temporal dominion which they had acquired by means of 
their spiritual position, who neglected their principal duty, 
the care of souls, and gave the worst possible example to 
the rest of the clergy. 5 When he took his leave, Maximilian 
again accompanied the legate to the stairs. Delfino, who 
was present at the audience, wrote to Rome : "if there is 
a man who is able to do any good in Germany, it is Morone 

1 On June 19, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 56. 

2 MORTTZ, 249, n. 5. 

8 Nuntiaturberichte, II., 56. 

4 THEINER, loc. cit. For the negotiations with the Emperor 
cf. Morone to Galli on June 19, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 50-6. 

5 Ibid., 55- 

VOL. xx. 17 


and no one else : not only the Emperor, but the whole court, 
is full of his praises." 1 

The presence of Morone in the German Empire was also 
to the advantage of the whole work of Catholic reform in 
Germany. By the wish of the authorities in Rome all the 
promoters of German Catholic reform went to meet him ; 
Delfino, Portia, Ninguarda, Elgard and Canisius gave him 
oral and written reports, and took counsel with him. 2 The 
Protestants naturally were not all pleased to see at Ratisbon 
this " lank and lean man " with his " white beard " and the 
unaccustomed " scarlet mantle and zuchetto," who in spite 
of his " advanced age " 3 could still cross the Alps ; but in 
their acts and methods of expression they fully recognized 
his great ability. 4 

The speech with which Maximilian II. opened the Diet 
on June 25th contained not a word about the religious 
question, 5 but a written memorial from the councillors of 
the Electors, which had been accepted by all the Protestants, 
and only to some extent moderated by the councillors of 
Saxony, at once demanded before anything else the con 
firmation of the declaration of Ferdinand, 6 and although 
it was once again made clear that " several of the princes 
had never had any previous knowledge " of this much 
discussed document, 7 and although the councillors of Saxony 
affirmed in the presence of their Elector that the declaration 

1 Delfino in THEINER, II., 528. For the negotiations with regard 
to the Polish question, the League against the Turks, Flanders 
and religion, see Morone to Galli on June 19, 1576, Nuntiatur- 
berichte, II., 50-6. 

2 MORITZ, 272. Ninguarda composed at the Diet his Informatio 
concerning conditions in Germany ; see SCHELLHASS, Akten, I., 
47-108, 204-37. 

3 MORITZ, 271. 

4 " A crafty, experienced head most qualified for that kind of 
business." Frederick of the Palatinate, in KLUCKHOHN, II., 960. 

* MORITZ, 280 seqq., cf. 279, 
6 Ibid., 281-7. 


could not apply to the affairs of Fulda and Eichsfeld, 1 the 
demand nevertheless stirred up a veritable storm. The 
Catholics declared that they would go away rather than permit 
any religious discussion ! 2 First must come the discussion 
of the religious question or there will be no tax for the 
Turkish war ! threatened the Protestants. 3 When Saxony had 
associated itself with this threat, a further petition was 
submitted, which was also principally in favour of the 
confirmation of the declaration of Ferdinand. 4 " God grant 
that this discussion may be calmed " wrote the envoy of 
Austria, " for otherwise we shall see a very strange Diet." 5 
The Catholics had all the less thought of giving way in 
that they possessed at that time an energetic leader in that 
curious personality Salentin of Isenburg. Although he was 
Archbishop and Elector of Cologne, Salentin wore a secular 
dress, with a feather in his hat and a dagger in his belt, and 
abused priests with all his might. When Morone crossed 
the Alps, Salentin was on his way to Rome, in order to obtain 
permission from the Pope to resign his diocese and then get 
married. The two travellers met at Sterzing, where Morone 
used his influence to persuade the other to give up his journey 
to Rome and attend the Diet. 6 But at Ratisbon Salentin 
entirely avoided any meeting with Morone. In spite of 
everything he was quite firm in the Catholic faith, 7 and it 
was under his influence that a decision was arrived at, at a 
meeting of the Catholics, that " rather than give up a syllable 
of the ancient, Catholic and true faith, and above all of the 
religious peace, they would give all that they possessed, body, 
property and blood." 8 A memorial to this effect was solemnly 
sent to the Emperor. 9 Morone too presented to him a 

1 Ibid., 282, n. 4, 288 n. 

2 Ibid., 293 seq. 

3 Ibid., 300-7. 

4 Ibid., 308 seq., 313. 

5 Ibid., 302. 

Nuntiaturberichte, I., 15 ; II., 36. 

7 MORITZ, 311. 

8 Ibid., 314. 

9 Ibid. 


memorial against the declaration, encouraged the Catholic 
councillors, and set them upon the way which in the end 
actually brought them out of their difficulties. From what 
had already happened, it could indeed be gathered that the 
Elector of Saxony " upon whom all the other princes had 
fixed their eyes " was not at heart prepared to fight very 
zealously for the declaration. By means of the Duke of 
Bavaria, who was just at that time paying a visit to Augustus 
of Saxony, an attempt was to be made to induce him to give 
way, and as William, the son of the Duke of Bavaria, was at 
Ratisbon, a bridge between the Cardinal and Dresden was 
already prepared. 1 

In the meantime the hopes of Morone continued to fade. 2 
After a further declaration on the part of the Protestant 
princes, he was informed by the Emperor that it would be 
very difficult to put off the discussion of the declaration to 
a future Diet. The legate was already reconciling himself 
to the idea that it would be confirmed at Ratisbon, 3 when 
news came from Duke Albert that the Elector of Saxony 
would not insist strongly upon the declaration. It was for 
this reason, in order not to associate himself with his co 
religionists among the supporters of the declaration, and so 
as not to "be troublesome " to the Emperor, that he had 
not come to Ratisbon, and in the meantime had instructed 
his councillors not to neglect the other business on account 
of the declaration. If he " holds firm and does not give way 
easily," Albert wrote encouragingly to the Emperor, " even 
those who protest " would leave things as they are ; but 
if on the other hand he yields a finger to them, they would 
at once insist upon his whole hand. 4 Augustus wrote to 
his representatives at Ratisbon that they must not under 
any pretext allow themselves to be led into uttering threats 

1 Ibid., 315 seq. 

2 " Di Sassonia non si puo spera bene alcuno, perch e la moglie 
da lui amatissima e troppo vehemente nel Lutherismo." Morone 
to Galli on July 26, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 98. 

3 Ibid., 96 seq. 

4 MORITZ, 323-7. 


of refusing help against the Turks. If it were a question 
of destroying the religious peace, he asked " should the States 
for that reason fail to come to the assistance of his Imperial 
Majesty against the Turks, and allow it to come about that 
they were swallowed up one after the other, until in the end 
they all perished together ? " It would be a strange form 
of resistance to say : " I do not wish to assist the supreme 
authority ; I wish to let the Empire go to pieces, and myself 
be devoured by the Turks, in order that this or that may be 
done." 1 Naturally, however, Augustus avoided leaning too 
definitely to either side, and his instructions to his councillors 
at Ratisbon were certainly expressed very vaguely. 2 

In spite of the promise of the Elector of Saxony, Morone 
remained in a constant state of dread because of the instability 
of Maximilian, 3 and the Catholics felt it necessary to seek 
for powerful supporters with the vacillating Emperor. They 
had indirect recourse to the Archduke Ferdinand of the Tyrol 
through the Spanish ambassador, who was a zealous Catholic, 4 
and King Philip. 5 Albert V. s news concerning the views 
of the Elector of Saxony had hardly reached Ratisbon, when 
at once, on the following day, Ferdinand and the Archbishop 
of Salzburg repaired to the Emperor, and Ferdinand in 
particular appealed very strongly to his conscience. 6 On 
August i3th, Albert V. of Bavaria, who had been begged to 
come by Morone, presented himself before Maximilian, and 
received from the Emperor the express assurance that the 
demands of the Protestants would not be granted at any cost. 7 

1 MORITZ, 353. 

2 Ibid., 348-55. 

8 To Galli on August 9, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 115. 
* MORITZ, 273 Cf. the envoy s reports in BIBL in the Archiv 
fur osterr. Gesch., CVI. (1918), 416 seqq. 
6 Nuntiaturberichte, II., 116. 

6 MORITZ, 345 seqq., 347. 

7 Ibid., 357. The duke, through his chancellor Elsenheimer, 
had previously sounded the emperor. Maximilian had already 
expressed to the chancellor his opinion that the Protestants 
behaved towards the members of the old faith like the wolf in 


He repeated the same assurance more fully when, at a banquet 
which Johann Jakob of Salzburg gave to the princes on August 
1 5th, the Archbishop of Mayence complained to the Emperor 
and again declared that the Catholics would return home 
without having settled anything rather than give their 
approval to the smallest concession. The Emperor added 
that the Catholics had more reason to complain of the 
Protestants than the latter had of them. 1 

In this way at last, on August 25th, Maximilian declared 
his intention of confirming the religious peace of Augsburg ; 
to change it would be impossible without the consent of both 
parties ; it was not necessary to unite the declaration to 
the decrees of the Diet nor to refer it to the supreme tribunal. 2 

Neither of the two parties was satisfied by the Imperial 
reply. The Catholics felt injured because the vice-chancellor 
Weber sent them the resolution with an exhortation to 
preserve the peace, and thus seemed to imply that the 
disturbers of the peace were to be looked for among the 
Catholics. They therefore drew up a protest enumerating 
a series of usurpations on the part of the Protestants. 3 The 
Protestants showed themselves even less satisfied. Some 
of the Imperial councillors, who were indeed quite indifferent 
about religion, but feared disturbances in the Empire if the 
innovators were not taken into consideration, urged them 
to take further steps. 4 In accordance with the ideas of 
these " court Christians " and especially their leader, Lazarus 
Schwendi, who demanded general religious liberty for Catholics 
and Protestants alike, 5 a new Protestant petition was drawn 
up on September gth ; in this, the declaration of Ferdinand, 

the fable which blamed the sheep for polluting the water ; "in 
the same way the Catholics must always be in the wrong according 
to these people " ; what they did themselves they accused their 
opponents of doing. Ibid., 356, n. 4. 
*Ibid., 358- 

2 Ibid., 366. LEHMANN, 140 seq. 

3 MORITZ, 383. 
Ibid., 368. 

5 Ibid., 360 seqq. 


which had hitherto been so zealously demanded, became 
quite a secondary matter. 1 The Elector of Saxony also 
remarked that he doubted whether the Protestant states would 
be willing to tolerate papistical subjects in their territories. 2 
This petition could not have much effect because it was 
signed by only a part of the Protestant states. At the party 
discussions it became increasingly difficult to conceal their 
want of unity ; the Palatinate and Brandenburg insisted 
that the religious concessions should be made a condition 
of the subsidy against the Turks, but on the other hand the 
Elector of Saxony forbade his representatives to adopt an 
attitude which seemed to him to savour too much of holding 
a pistol at men s heads. Hesse tried to compromise by 
making no mention of any such condition to the Emperor, 
but the Saxons had already decided not to insist any further 
as far as he was concerned. 3 

In spite of the split in the party some of the princes did 
not cease even now to talk bombastically. 4 But the Land 
grave William of Hesse, who more than the others loved to 
talk in this way about religion, had to put up with being told 
by the Elector Augustus that William himself knew quite 
well that by the declaration of Ferdinand and the outcry 
for independence " something very different from religion 
was understood and sought for." 5 

From July 28th to the beginning of September the dis 
cussions of the subsidy against the Turks were suspended. 
When they were once more renewed, the religious concessions 
no longer made their appearance, as they had previously 
done, as a condition of the subsidy. At the meeting of the 
Electors the Palatinate and Brandenburg united on behalf 
of the condition, but later on only the Palatinate took this 
stand ; 6 when the assembly of the Electors and that of the 

1 Autonomia, 99 (b). 

3 MORITZ, 375. 

3 Ibid., 368-73. 

4 Ibid., 379, 381. 

5 Ibid., 377- 
Ibid., 395, 396. 


princes met, only Hesse and Woltenbiittel clung to it. 1 The 
representatives of Hesse wrote that everyone was walking 
warily and that no one wished to be called ungrateful. 2 The 
offers made for the subsidy against the Turks at first were 
so small that the F^mperor expressed his indignation ; 3 after 
protracted negotiations they were granted with comparative 
liberality. 4 In the end, however, after Maximilian II. had 
died at Ratisbon on October i2th, 1576, the sums agreed 
upon were only paid very slowly to his successor. 5 

On the very day, September 29th, on which the final decision 
concerning the subsidy against the Turks had reached the 
hands of Maximilian, the Protestant States once more 
assembled to take counsel concerning the reply which the 
Emperor had sent a few days before to their petition of 
September gth. 6 One point in the Imperial reply was 
especially displeasing to the Protestants ; this stated that 
the declaration of Ferdinand, in spite of its derogative 
formula, was in contradiction to the religious peace. A reply 
to the Imperial decree was prepared, but the Emperor, who 
was now seriously ill, can hardly have seen it. 

When Maximilian received the Protestant demand of 
September gth, he asked the Catholics to agree to its being 
referred to the next Diet. This would have been the best 
possible way of making the dispute everlasting, and for this 
reason the Catholics would not agree. 7 By their success 
at the Diet, the confidence of the Catholics in themselves 
had much increased, as well as their trust in Rome as the 
result of the action of Morone. 

Minucci attributes the happy issue of the Diet to the efforts 
of the Archduke of the Tyrol and the Duke of Bavaria with 

z lbid. 

8 Ibid., 330. 
4 Ibid., 394-8. 

6 MORITZ, 452 seqq. F or Maximilian s death, ibid., 433 seqq.\ 
JANS~SEN-PASTOR, IV., 15 " 16 495 seq. ; BIBL, loc. cit., 352 seq. 

6 MORITZ, 401 seq. 

7 Ibid., 399 seq. 


the Emperor, and no less to the zeal and the " incomparable 
prudence " of the legate, Cardinal Morone. 1 The latter 
as well as the Pope expressed their great gratitude to the 
Duke of Bavaria. 2 

The change of government after the death of Maximilian II. 
at first seemed to open out to the Catholics the prospect of 
far-reaching consequences. The accession to the throne 
of Rudolph II. filled the Protestants with anxiety, 3 since 
the new Emperor, in contrast to his father Maximilian, was 
animated by strict Catholic sentiments. A short time after 
he had assumed the reins of government he removed the 
Protestant servants from his court, and refused to the 
Protestant states of Upper Austria the confirmation of the 
religious concessions made by his predecessor. 4 Rudolph 
chose his confessors from among the Jesuits, and a Jesuit 
was his court preacher. 5 At the first audience which the 
Papal nuncio Delfino had with Rudolph, the Emperor gave 
him such satisfactory assurances of his attachment to the 
Holy See and the Church, that the highest hopes were built 
in Rome from the change in the Imperial throne. 6 Although 
these were not fulfilled, and though the diplomatic relations 
of the new sovereign with the court of Rome were not without 
their difficulties, 7 nevertheless the attitude of Rudolph 

1 Report of October 6, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, II., 185. 
2 ARETiN, Maximilian, I., 216. 

3 See JANSSEN-PASTOR, IV., 15 16 497. 

4 See the reports of the nuncio G. Delfino, dat. November 19 
and 21, 1576, in THEINER, II., 532. 

6 See SACCHINUS, 1576, n. 86; 1578, n. 80; 1579, n. 122; 
1580, n. 166. 

6 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., xxxiv-xxxv. 

7 Rudolph II. s obedientia mission, though announced 
immediately after his election, did not arrive in Rome until 
1 8 months later (April 27, 1577) ; and even then it arrived without 
decree of election and oath of the king. In spite of this, however, 
Gregory XIII., on July ist, gave his solemn confirmation and 
supplied all defects. But the Bull of Confirmation was not 
accepted either by the imperial envoys or by Rudolph II. to 
whom Gregory had sent it by the nuncio (see SCHMID, in the 


towards religious questions was much more satisfactory 
than that of his predecessor. This was clearly shown in 
his filling the principal offices at the court and in the Imperial 
government with men who were manifestly Catholics, as 
well as by Rudolph s efforts to win back his subjects to the 
Catholic Church. It was naturally another question whether 
Rudolph possessed the necessary strength and tenacity to 
accomplish this difficult task. 

The Emperor Rudolph and his brother, the Archduke 
Ernest, to whom the administration of Austria was entrusted, 
were to some extent driven to interfere by the excesses of 
the Protestant pastors, who roused the animosity of their 
hearers to such an extent that the latter " every time they 
came away from a sermon were ready to tear to pieces with 
bloody hands the Papists as idolators and slaves of the 
devil." 1 Nevertheless the government ventured upon its 
first steps only with diffidence, 2 and it was only when the 
Emperor and his brother realized the weakness of the 
Protestants of Austria, the result of their internal dissensions, 
that they interfered with greater resoluteness, encouraged 
and supported by Duke Albert and the Papal nuncio. In 
June 1578 the carrying on of Protestant worship was forbidden 
in Vienna. 3 This step taken by the Ernperor in defence 
of his sovereign authority filled the Catholics with the greatest 

Hist.-Jahrbuch, VI., 186 seqq.). John Tonner * wrote to Rudolph 
from Rome on June 26, 1577, saying that Galli was the " anctor 
and contriver of all these difficulties ; and the Pope a great 
canonist who desired to have everything rigidissime iuxta literam. 
I said to certain Cardinals quite bluntly : distinguamus tempora 
et concordabimus scripturas, et quod tempora praesentia non 
ferunt istum rigorem et obstinationem. Herberstein Archives 
(Eggenberg) at Graz. Cf. H. von ZWIEDINECK-SUDENHORST, in 
the Archiv fiir osterr. Gesch. LVIII. (1879), 175 seqq. 

1 See JANSSEN-PASTOR, IV., 15 " 16 500. 

2 For what follows cf. BIBL S exhaustive work : Die Einfiihrung 
der kathol. Gegenre formation in Niederosterreich durch Kaiser 
Rudolph II., 1576-80, Innsbruck, 1900. 

3 See BIBL, loc. cit., 88 seq. 


joy. " Praise be to God " wrote the Imperial councillor, 
Doctor Georg Eder, to Duke Albert, " that we have seen 
such a day." 1 On July I3th, 1578, Gregory XIII. wrote 
a brief in which he congratulated Rudolph II. on the action 
he had taken. 2 Two years later the struggle with the 
Protestant states was settled in the sense that the quarrel 
some nobles and barons were obliged to act merely on the 

While the internal weakness and complete want of unity 
of the Protestant states was becoming more and more evident, 
there arose a highly-gifted champion 3 of Catholic restoration 
in the person of the son of a Viennese baker, Melchior Klesl, 
who had been brought back to the Catholic Church by the 
Jesuit, Scherer. 4 In 1579 the Emperor appointed him 
provost of the cathedral of St. Stephen, and chancellor of 
the University of Vienna. Two years later Klesl became 
vicar-general of the Bishop of Passau in Lower Austria. 
At his suggestion the Emperor in 1581 renewed the ordinance 
of Ferdinand I. by which no one could be admitted as a 
professor at the University of Vienna, nor have the right 
to promotion, who had not made the profession of the 
Catholic faith according to the formula prescribed by Pius IV. 5 

Things were in this favourable condition when Bonhomini, 
in December, 1581, began his nunciature at the court of the 
Emperor.* 5 This indefatigable man, who had taken Charles 

1 See ibid., 91. 

2 THEINER, II., 347. 

8 See BIBL, loc. cit., v. 

4 In addition to the four-volume work of HAMMER-PURGSTALL, 
cf. (for particulars of Klesl) KERSCHBAUMER S monograph (Vienna, 
1865) which, though exhaustive and based upon the Roman 
archives, does not solve all problems. 

5 See KINK, Geschichte der Universitat Wien, I., Vienna, 1854 
319 seq. 

6 See EHSES-MEISTER, I., xxx ; HANSEN, I., 300 seqq. His 
*instruction of September 30, 1581, in the Cod. Barb., p. 203, 
Vatican Library. Minutes in Var. polit., 179, Papal Secret 


Borromeo as his model, 1 proved himself once again in his 
new office the zealous supporter of reform and Catholic 
restoration, not only in the Empire, but also in Austria and 
Hungary. From the first Bonhomini s activities were on 
similar lines to those adopted by him in Catholic Switzerland, 
in the fortunes of which, 2 no less than in the religious interests 
of his own diocese of Vercelli, 3 he took a constant and active 
part, though only from a distance ; in his new sphere of 
action too, which was so much wider, his first endeavour 
was to raise the moral state of the clergy, and for this purpose, 
no less than for that of fighting against the religious innova 
tions, to establish new houses for the Jesuits, first of all at 
Pressburg, 4 and then at Linz and Krems. 5 It seemed to 
him that one of the principal difficulties was the scarcity 
of priests. 6 

Bonhomini was very pleased with his reception by the 
Emperor. Among other things he obtained from Rudolph 
the handing over of the heretic, Massilara, who went by the 
name of Paleologus. 7 As far as Austria was concerned, 
Bonhomini thought that, in consequence of the good will 
of Rudolph and of some of the Catholic councillors, matters 
would develope favourably everywhere. 8 Higher interests, 

1 See Bonhomini s *letter to John Anthony Guernerius (Canonic- 
Bergomati) dat. Posonii, IV., Cal. Ian., 1582, Min. Epist., 1582-4, 
n. 98, Jesuit Library at Exaeten. 

2 Numerous *documents bearing on this, ibid. 

3 Cf. the beautiful "letter to the Chapter of Vercelli dat. 
Viennae, XIX., Cal. Ian., 1581, Min. Epist., loc. cit. 

4 See the "letter to the rector of the Jesuit College at Vienna 
dat. Posonii, Prid. Id. Febr., 1582, Min. Epist., loc. cit. 

5 See the "letter to the Archduke Maximilian dat. Viennae, 
VIII., Cal. April, 1582, ibid. 

6 See the "letter to Victor August Fugger Kirchbergensis 
parochiae rector dat. Viennae, XIII., Cal., April, 1582, ibid. 

7 See EHSES-MEISTER, I., xxx. For Paleologus cf. Vol. XVI. 
of this work, p. 319 ; XIX., 303 seq. ; Nuntiaturberichte, II., 411, 
414, 419, 448. 

8 "Letter to the Bishop of Passau, Urban von Trennbach, dat. 
Viennae, XI., Cal., April, 1582, Min. Epist., loc. cit. 


however, suddenly tore the nuncio away from his new sphere 
for a time, for the Pope sent him orders to assist at the 
Emperor s first Diet, which Rudolph had convoked at 
Augsburg for April 22nd, 1582. This assembly not only 
attracted the attention of the whole of Germany, but it was 
also fully realized in Rome how important it was, and how 
advantageous it would be to be properly represented during 
the discussions. 

That the presence of a nuncio, even though the latter 
possessed all the zeal of a Bonhomini, would not suffice, 
was very evident, and it was realized that a legate a later e 
would have to defend the rights of the Church, and prevent 
any further concessions being made to the Protestants. As 
candidates for this office, the names of Cardinals Delfino 
and Madruzzo were put forward as the most suitable, 1 and 
next those of Commendone, Cesi and Maffei. 2 The most 
prominent candidate from the first was Lodovico Madruzzo, 3 
who, as Prince-Bishop of Trent, was also a prince of the 
Empire, and was, as Cardinal Protector, in close relations 
with Germany, besides being possessed of a detailed knowledge 
of the conditions of the Empire. It was upon this 
distinguished prince of the Church, who in 1578 had introduced 
the reform in accordance with the decrees of the Council of 
Trent into his diocese, 4 that the Pope s choice at length fell. 

At a consistory of March 3rd, 1582, Gregory XIII. announced 
to the Cardinals the appointment of Madruzzo, and they 
cordially approved of his choice. 5 The choice also met with 
general praise, but, as the ambassador of the Este remarked, 6 
not from Madruzzo himself. He was at that time in such 

1 *Report of Giulio Masetti, dat. Rome, February 8, 1582, 
State Archives, Modena. 

2 *Report of G. Masetti dat. Rome, February 9, 1582, ibid. 

3 * Report of G. Masetti dat. Rome, February 19, 1582, ibid. 

4 Cf. the *Vita of L. Madruzzo in the Cod. Massetti of the 
Municipal Library, Trent. 

5 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., 381. 

6 * Report of G. Masetti dat. Rome, March 7, 1582, State 
Archives, Modena. 


a bad state of health that the sessions of the German Con 
gregation had to be held at his house. 1 Nevertheless he 
resolved to obey the call of the supreme head of the Church. 
Fully realizing the importance of his mission, he made a 
study of the acta of the preceding Diets, and drew up a 
memorial concerning the subjects which it could be foreseen 
would be brought up for discussion at Augsburg. Such were 
the two great questions around which since 1575 the struggle 
between the Catholics and Protestants had especially turned ; 
the so-called " exemption " or the suppression of the reservatum 
ecclesiasticum, and the confirmation of the declaration of 
Ferdinand I. By settling these questions in accordance 
with their desires the Protestants intended, as Madruzzo 
pointed out in his memorial, to strike a death-blow at the 
existence of Catholicism in Germany. He therefore deduced 
the necessity for a close alliance between the Catholic states, 
and a revival of resistance to any further propagation of the 
new doctrines. 2 These two suggestions met with the fullest 
approval of the Pope and his Secretary of State, Galli. The 
latter made them the basis of the instructions which he drew 
up for the legate. It has been very rightly pointed out that 
this important document marks the great progress which 
the cause of the Catholic restoration had made in Rome 
during the last five years. It points to the fact that the 
time had come to abandon the defensive attitude which 
they had been obliged to adopt even at the time of the mission 
of Morone in 1576, and to aim at obtaining positive results 
against Protestantism by delivering a bold attack. 3 The 
ecclesiastical and secular princes who had remained loyal to 
Catholicism must, in close union, no longer wait, as they 
had hitherto done, for the Protestant demand to be set forth, 
but they must in writing put before the Diet the many 

1 *Reports of G. Masetti dat. Rome, March, 8, 9 and 10, 1582, 

2 Madruzzo s memorandum dat. March 15, 1582, see Nuntiatur- 
berichte, II., 382 seq., cf. Ixviii seq. 

3 See ibid., Ixx seq. The actual wording of the Instruction 
ibid., 390 seq., published for the first time by HANSEN. 


violations of right which, in defiance of the religious peace 
of Augsburg and . to the great harm of Catholicism, the 
Protestants had been guilty of in almost every part of Germany, 
and especially at Magdeburg, Halberstadt, Bremen and, quite 
recently, at Aix. " By this application of the old principle 
that attack is the best form of defence, Cardinal Galli hoped 
to take his adversaries by surprise, to put them on the 
defensive, and thus in any case prevent any further loss 
to the Catholic Church, and also with great probability even 
gain something." 1 If, in spite of this, he should not 
be successful in preventing the demands of the Protestants 
from being put forward and discussed, the legate was to 
make this dependent upon the restoration of the dioceses 
of which the Protestants had, contrary to all right, taken 
possession after the religious peace. 

Besides the plan for restoration, another for reform was added 
to Madruzzo s instructions. The Cardinal legate was to take 
advantage of the presence of so many bishops in order to 
urge them to repair the damage done and to remove the many 
abuses of which the Holy See had definite information from 
the nuncios Portia and Ninguarda. The Pope s representatives 
were severely to remind the bishops of Germany of their 
pastoral duties, and above all to urge them to make a visitation 
of their dioceses, to establish seminaries, and to effect the 
moral regeneration of their clergy. 

As the death of the Elector of Mayence and Chancellor 
of the Empire, Daniel Brendel, which took place on March 
22nd, 1582, delayed the Emperor s journey, Madruzzo and 
Bonhomini put off their arrival at Augsburg. The Cardinal 
remained at Trent, whence, still continuing his study of the 
acta of the preceding Diets, 2 he urged the Bishops of Salzburg, 
Treves and Bamberg to undertake the journey to Augsburg, 3 
and drew up a reply to the " book of concord " of the 
Protestants. 4 Bonhomini at first laboured at Vienna in 

1 Ibid., Ixxi. 

8 See ibid., 413 seq., 415, 420, 424. 

3 See ibid., 419, 421, 427. 

4 See ibid., 423, cf. 433, 596 seqq. 


the interests of the Catholics of Hungary. 1 In April he 
went to Bohemia, 2 where he urged the establishment of a 
Jesuit college at Pilsen. After he had celebrated the festival 
of Pentecost at Prague, he went to Munich in order to consult 
with the Duke of Bavaria about the defence of Catholic 
interests at the Diet. He had already announced his visit 
to William V. from Vienna, and had exhorted him to prepare 
his weapons in time, so as successfully to oppose any demand 
from the Protestants for the suppression of the reservatum 

On June I4th, 1582, there also arrived at Munich Cardinal 
Madruzzo who had left Trent on June ist, and had then 
stayed for a few days at Innsbruck with the Archduke 
Ferdinand. 3 What the Cardinal learned from the Archduke 
concerning the inexperience of the young Emperor, and the 
tepidity of the ecclesiastical princes, 4 was bound to cause him 
great anxiety. All the more pleasant, therefore, were the 
impressions which he formed at Munich. Once more the 
ducal court of Bavaria was shown to be the rallying point 
of Catholic interests in Germany. Duke William showed 
himself as full of zeal for the Church as though he had been 
a representative of the Holy See. 5 The Archdukes Ferdinand 
and Charles, too, who arrived at the same time, showed the 
most satisfactory dispositions. Madruzzo and Bonhomini 
went into the position at prolonged conferences, and settled 
with Duke W illiam their method of procedure at the coming 
Diet. Although the Duke of Bavaria did not conceal from 
himself the difficulties of keeping the Catholic party united, 
he agreed with Madruzzo in all essentials, especially with 
regard to taking the offensive. 6 At these conferences there 
also took part Germanico Malaspina, who had held the nuncia 
ture at the court of Graz since 1580, and had directed the 

1 EHSES-MEISTER, I., xxxi. 

2 SCHMIDL, Historia S.J. Prov. Bohemiae, II., 480. 

3 Nuntiaturberichte, II., 379, cf. 427, 432, 435. 

4 See ibid., 428 seq. 

5 See ibid., 432, 435. 

6 See ibid., Ixxiv. 


resistance to the Protestants there. 1 The importance attached 
in Rome to the Diet of Augsburg is shown by the fact that 
the Pope sent yet a fourth representative to Augsburg in 
the person of Feliciano Ninguarda. 2 

On June I7th the Cardinal legate Madruzzo arrived in 
Augsburg with a great retinue. 3 On the following day there 
also came Bonhomini and Malaspina, and the new Archbishop 
of Mayence, Wolfgang von Dalberg, who was not yet confirmed 
by the Pope, and of whom Madruzzo formed a very favourable 
impression. 4 The Cardinal, as well as the Archduke 
Ferdinand, Duke William and Bishop Julius of Wiirzburg, 
expressed the hope that the Elector Augustus of Saxony, 
the recognized leader of the Protestant states, would not 
insist too strongly on the " exemption." Madruzzo thought 
so well of the hopes for the Catholic cause, that he felt 
strengthened in his plan, already approved by the Holy 
See, of anticipating the possible attacks of the Protestant 
party by himself taking the offensive. 5 But at the very 
moment of the opening of the Diet an event occurred which 
upset this plan entirely. 

The Emperor made his entry into Augsburg on June 27th, 
with a splendid retinue, in which were to be seen the Archdukes 
Ferdinand and Charles, and Duke William of Bavaria. At 
his first audience Madruzzo urged the defence of the Church 
in forcible terms, and Rudolph, who treated the Pope s 
representative with great honour, replied that he for his 
part would not be found wanting. 6 In the Imperial 

1 Cf. REICHENBERGER, I., 431 seq. For the development of 
religious conditions in Inner Austria see JANSSEN-PASTOR, V., 15 " 16 
248 seq., where the more recent literature is made use of. The 
publication of the Graz Nuntiaturberichte is being prepared by 
Professor Tomek (Vienna). 

2 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., 374. 

8 See the list given in FLEISCHMANN, Deskription des Reichstages 
7,11 Augsburg, Augsburg, 1582, 107 seq. Cf. MAFFEI, II., 234. 

4 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., 437, 439. 

5 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., 441 seq. 

6 See ibid., 446 seq. Cf. MAFFEI, II., 237. 

VOL. xx. 


programme which was read on July 3rd, nothing but political 

questions were mentioned, especially the Turkish subsidy. 

The religious question on the other hand was, following the 

precedent set by Maximilian, passed over in complete silence. 

But it very soon came to the fore when the Margrave, Joachim 

Frederick of Brandenburg, the Protestant and married 

administrator of the archiepiscopal see of Magdeburg, 

although he had neither been confirmed by the Pope nor 

had received investiture from the Emperor, demanded for 

his representative, not only a place and a vote, but also, as 

supposed Primate of Germany, the presidency of the council 

of the princes. 1 Madruzzo had protested against so manifest 

a violation of the reservatum ecclesiasticum immediately before 

the opening of the Diet, through the Duke of Bavaria, and 

by an autograph memorial. 2 He was therefore extremely 

surprised when the hereditary marshal of the Empire, when 

he read the Imperial programme, accorded the first place, 

without rousing any objection, to the representative of the 

Archbishop of Magdeburg, and above George Agricola, Bishop 

of Seckau, the representative of Salzburg. To the protests 

made by Madruzzo the envoy of Salzburg excused himself 

by saying that there was an arrangement between Magdeburg 

and Salzburg to take this position at alternate sessions, and 

that moreover other Protestant princes had a place and a 

vote among the ecclesiastical princes without having received 

the Papal approbation. Further negotiations resulted in 

Madruzzo and Malaspina, who were supported by the Duke 

of Bavaria and the Elector of Mayence, being successful in 

winning over the envoy of Salzburg and in inducing him 

to make a protest, which was not only directed against the 

presidency which the representative of Magdeburg had 

usurped, but also called in question his right to sit and vote 

at the Diet. 3 Moreover, the Cardinal legate on July 6th 

1 Cf. LOSSEN, Der Magdeburger Sessionsstreit auf dem 
Augsburger Reichstag von 1582, in the proceedings of the historical 
class of the Munich Academy, XX. (1893), 623 seq. 

2 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., 452, 

3 See ibid., 455 seq. 


personally addressed severe remonstrances to the Emperor, 
pointing out the evil effects for the Catholic religion and the 
ecclesiastical princes which would follow if one who had 
neither the Imperial investiture nor the Papal approval, 
and who had never so far taken his seat, were to be admitted. 
Such an act would in fact grant to the dioceses the dangerous 
privilege of choice of religion. 1 

It was at once evident that the Emperor was afraid of 
a definite decision, from his fear of prejudicing the subsidy 
against the Turks which was being asked of the Diet. He 
was anxious to compromise the point at issue, by allowing 
the envoy of Magdeburg to be admitted as the representative 
of the chapter. Such an expedient, however, was rejected 
not only by Madruzzo and the Catholic princes, but also 
by the administrator himself. 2 It became clear in the course 
of the heated discussions which followed after July I2th 
that the threat of the Catholic princes that they would rather 
leave the Diet than grant the right to a seat and a vote to 
the representative of Magdeburg was seriously meant. It 
was evident, however, later on, that even the Catholics 
would be glad to arrive at a compromise. Madruzzo worked 
without ceasing to prevent any such weakness, and to keep 
the Catholics united in offering a firm resistance. He found 
a strong supporter in this in the Duke of Bavaria, whose 
brother Ernest, Bishop of Liege, Freising and Hildesheim, 
who arrived on July i5th, fully realized the hopes that had 
been built upon him. 

This was all the more valuable as by this time the two 
ecclesiastical Electors, Wolfgang von Dalberg of Mayence and 
Johann Schonenberg of Treves, in order to prevent the violent 
breaking up of the Diet, were inclined to a compromise, 
by which the envoy of Magdeburg might be allowed to take 
his seat at the Diet, at anyrate on this occasion, and without 
prejudice as to the future. An Imperial decree to this effect 
had already been drafted when the efforts of Madruzzo were 
successful in making the Catholic princes change their 

1 See ibid. 

2 See LOSSEN, II., 19. 


minds. 1 However, such aggravating changes were introduced 
into the said decree that the envoy of Magdeburg and his ad 
viser, the Elector of Saxony, could not feel satisfied with it. On 
July 26th an approval of the thus amended decree was given 
by the majority of the Catholic states. It was at once presented 
to the Emperor, who, after cancelling certain expressions 
in it, declared his acceptance of it, and sent the proposal to 
the Elector of Saxony and the administrator of Magdeburg. 
Both made a reply. 2 It was now a case of preventing the 
discussion of any further compromise, and in this too Madruzzo 
was successful. He pointed out to the new Emperor in a 
memorial the danger to the constitution of the Empire and 
the Catholic religion which the attempted innovation on 
the part of the representative of Magdeburg was bound to 
involve. Finally he reminded His Majesty in grave words 
that he must bear in mind his sworn undertaking to protect 
the Catholic religion and the Apostolic See. As Madruzzo 
afterwards learned, what he had said made so deep an 
impression upon Rudolph II. that at the discussion wifh 
his councillors he rejected any further talk of compromise, 
and, placing his hand upon his cap, exclaimed : "If this 
were my Imperial crown, I would rathei resign it than grant 
anything which would do harm to the Catholic religion." 3 
Despairing of any success the administrator of Magdeburg 
left the Diet on July 28th. " I am satisfied," the Cardinal 
legate wrote on the same day to Rome, " with the existing 
state of affairs, nor is what has been accomplished to be 
despised." 4 These words betray his regret that he had not 
been able to obtain even more, namely, the exclusion from 
the Diet of all those other bishops who had not been confirmed 
by the Pope. Yet Madruzzo had every reason to be satisfied, 
for it was undoubtedly " an important success for the party 
of the Catholic restoration that by their determined opposition 

1 See LOSSEN, Sessionsstreit, 648 seq. ; Nuntiaturberichte, II., 


2 See LOSSEN, loc. cit., 652 seq. 
8 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., 479. 
* Ibid. 


the pretended Primate of Germany, and what was more, 
the son of an Elector, had had to leave the Diet, with nothing 
more than the reservation of his rights, without the other 
Protestant princes having seriously accepted his claims, or 
made his cause their own." 1 

If, after the much appreciated 2 result of the dispute 
concerning the intrusion of the representative of Magdeburg, 
they hoped in Rome for further successes, disappointment 
was in store for them. The Protestants avenged the defeat 
which they had suffered by the most vigorous resistance 
to the Imperial request for help against the Turks, by violently 
taking the part of the council of the city of Aix, which had 
become Protestant, and in maintaining the assurance of 
the liberty of conscience which had been guaranteed to the 
innovators there in defiance of existing rights. The religious 
position in the ancient capital of the Empire was of extra 
ordinary importance, because its accessibility to the innovators 
was bound to influence the Low Countries and Cologne, 
and open an obvious breach in the defences of the territory 
of the Lower Rhine, which was still Catholic. Madruzzo 
at once fully realized the importance of this, but he did not 
meet with that support from most of the Catholic princes 
which he required if he was to attain complete success. 3 In 
the meantime the Protestants remained with the advantage 
over the question of Aix, though they did not succeed in 
obtaining anything more than an armistice. 4 

Madruzzo was very justly grieved that he had not been 
able to obtain more help for the Archduke Charles of Styria 
in his struggle with his Protestant states, yet it was entirely 
his doing when the Emperor rejected a delegation of the 
nobles of Styria when they came with their complaints. 5 

The Cardinal legate met with insurmountable difficulties 
with regard to a number of other tasks. Such were the 

1 LOSSEN, loc. cit., 655. 

2 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., xcii, n. 2. 

3 Ibid., Ixxxi seq. 

4 See RITTER, I., 587. 

6 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., Ixxxv seq. 


reinstatement of the Archbishop of Cambrai, the preparations 
for the new election at Munster, the settlement of the disputes 
between Fulda and Wiirzburg, and his interposition in the 
efforts being made to Protestantize the territories of Bamberg 
in Carinthia, by their vice-regent, John Frederick Hoffmann, 
whose activities were tolerated by Bishop Martin of Bamberg. 1 
If, in these as in other matters, the legate had to complain 
so much of the indifference of most of the ecclesiastical princes, 
he also had reason to lament the want of that good will on 
the part of Rudolph II., on which he had so much counted. 
The Imperial coronation of Rudolph II., which the Pope 
had suggested, and for which Gregory XIII. intended to go 
to Bologna, proposing also to share in the expense, was given 
up on account of the temporary strained relations with Poland, 
which made any journey abroad impossible ; the publication 
of the new calendar was also put off until the following year. 2 
Naturally nothing could be done to give effect to the anti- 
Turkish league, 3 which the Pope had so much at heart, in a 
Diet which, after long discussions, only granted forty "Roman 
months " in five years, and furthermore rejected the request 
to unite the new tax to those of 1576. 

Undoubtedly what made the most painful impression on 
Madruzzo was the fact that the bold plan for a systematic 
attack on the Protestantism of Germany had been shown 
to be quite impracticable, on account of the weakness, 
indecision and indifference of the greater number of the 
Catholic states. 

Immediately after the end of the controversy concerning 
the right to intervene of the representative of Magdeburg, 
Madruzzo had prepared a memorial in which were enumerated 
the complaints of the Catholics concerning the violation 
of the religious peace, and had communicated it to Duke 
William of Bavaria. 4 Cardinal Galli, to whom Madruzzo 

1 See ibid. Ixxxiii seq. ; supra, p. 191, n. 8 ; Bonhomim s 
"Instruction (supra, p. 267, n. 6), p. 206. 

2 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., Ixxxviii seq. 

a Cf. Vol. XIX. of this work, p. 370, n. i. 

4 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., Ixxxix, 443, 447, 494- 


sent this work, praised its accuracy and opportuneness. He 
only regretted that the controversy about the representation 
of Magdeburg had prevented its being presented immediately 
at the opening of the Diet, according to the original plan, 
because it would certainly have intimidated the Protestants. 
Since it was now clear that any form of consideration only 
rendered their enemies more bold and provocative, he 
hoped that the Catholic states would now come before 
the Diet with their protests. 1 Their co-operation was 
necessary as the Cardinal legate could not present it him 
self, since the Apostolic See had never recognized the 
religious peace. 2 

As just at that moment the Catholics were being provoked 
by offensive demonstrations against the Pope, 3 energetic 
action on their part was to be looked for. But instead of 
this the majority put up with these demonstrations patiently, 
like lambs, and did not dare to present the protest to the 
Diet. Their feebleness was so great that out of human 
respect there was not even any discussion. Madruzzo there 
fore found himself obliged to take the initiative. On August 
I5th, the Feast of the Assumption, he assembled the eccles 
iastical Electors and the other ecclesiastical states at his 
lodging in order to make a strong appeal to their conscience 
concerning the measures to be taken to preserve the Catholic 
Church in Germany. 4 

The Pope, so said the Cardinal legate, 5 had done all that 
lay in his power to defend the Catholic Church in Germany 
against the attacks of Protestantism. For this purpose he 
had sent many nuncios, had founded colleges and seminaries 
in Rome and Germany, and everywhere exerted his influence, 
and given his help and advice. Since the expected result 
had not been obtained, and the danger was steadily increasing, 
he now had to remind the ecclesiastical princes, who every 

1 Memorandum of August 4, 1582, ibid:, 489. 

2 Cf. Vol. XIV. of this work, p. 343. 

3 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., xc, 500, 521, 538. 

4 See the report of August 18, 1582, ibid., 508 seq. 

5 Text of the discourse ibid., 600. 


day had the sufferings of the Church before their eyes, of 
their duty. The legate was all the more ready to become 
the spokesman of the Pope, because he had, here in the Diet, 
more clearly realized the dangers and the abuses. 

In the first place Madruzzo bitterly complained that during 
the five and twenty years that had elapsed since the religious 
peace of Augsburg, nothing whatever had been done to avert 
the loss of such illustrious dioceses as Merseburg, Naumburg, 
Verden, Meissen and Magdeburg. There was now the danger 
of the further loss of the dioceses of Liibeck, Halberstadt, 
Minden, Osnabriick, Paderborn and Bremen. As the 
representatives of these dioceses, though they had not yet 
been approved by the Pope, had been allowed to take part 
in the Diet, the Catholic majority in the council of the Empire 
was endangered. But nothing was being done by the Catholic 
states to face this danger. An academic struggle against 
independence was of no use, if the followers of Luther and 
even of Calvin were given admission to the cathedral chapters 
without protest. More and more Protestant assessors were 
finding their way into the supreme tribunal, which was of 
such great importance in the settlement of religious questions, 
while the ecclesiastical princes themselves nominated persons 
under suspicion. The bishops neglected their spiritual 
supervision of the Catholics in the free cities, which every 
day fell more and more into the hands of the innovators. 

Notwithstanding this alarming state of affairs no one 
thought of remedying the abuses, or defending the common 
weal. The indifference and confusion of the Catholics stood 
out in strong contrast to the activity of their adversaries. 
In allusion to the matter of the vice-regent Hoffmann, against 
whom the Bishop of Bamberg refused to take any action, 
Madruzzo pointed to the grave abuse by which some of the 
bishops did not give to the Pope the obedience that they 
were bound to give. He also complained that the episcopal 
functions and ecclesiastical ceremonies were so neglected 
that the people had become accustomed to the lack of them. 
A stern warning to those present to turn their attention to 
the measures that must be taken, and an assurance that the 


Holy See would not fail in its support, brought the discourse 
to an end. 

Although the Duke of Bavaria warmly supported the 
forcible review given by Madruzzo, the ecclesiastical princes 
lost precious time in protracted discussions. " I still remain 
without any reply to my statements," wrote Madruzzo to 
Rome, " they discuss, and admit the necessity of finding a 
remedy, but the evil is so deep-rooted that any attempt to 
heal it sets the whole body in a terrible state of excitement. 
They all realize the losses that have been suffered, but they 
do not dare do more than grieve over them with useless 
sighs." 1 

After the Catholic states had presented their complaints 
against the Protestants on August 3Oth, 2 Madruzzo hoped 
for a similar step on the part of the ecclesiastical princes, 
but the latter at last, on September 3rd, gave him a reply 
to his discourse, which, together with a justification of them 
selves against the reproaches which he had made, although 
it was full of protests of devotion to the Pope and promises 
for the future, contained no word of any intention of bringing 
before the Diet the complaints of the Catholics, or their 
claim to the restitution of the confiscated Church property. 3 
In any case this would have been too late, for the ecclesiastical 
princes had put off their reply to the moment when everyone 
was preparing to leave the Diet. 

Madruzzo remained there for a few days after the closing 
of the Diet (September 2oth). 4 At his farewell audience 

1 See ibid., 526, cf. 524, 530, 532. 

2 See LEHMANN, I., 203 ; HABERLIN, XII., 331 seq. 

3 See BEZOLD, I., n. 399. 

4 Bonhomini remained four days longer and then returned to 
Vienna where he immediately resumed his reforming activities 
by continuing his visitation of Hungary and Slavonia (see EHSES- 
MEISTER, I., xxxi). G. Malaspina had already left Augsburg on 
September 16 in order to be in Graz in good time for the provincial 
Diet which the Archduke Charles had summoned for the end of 
the year. While there, he intended, as Madruzzo reported to 
Rome (Nuntiaturberichte, II., 535), to watch over the seed which 


with Rudolph II., on September 23rd, he obtained a verbal 
promise from the Emperor that in future he would grant 
no investiture before the bishop-elect had been confirmed 
by the Pope. On the other hand the Cardinal legate had not 
been able to prevent the bishops who had been present at 
Augsburg, who were not yet thus confirmed, from being 
allowed to sign the decrees of the Diet. 1 

If we look to the results of the Diet of Augsburg, we shall 
find that the foresight of Bonhomini was justified, when on 
June 28th he told Canisius that they might feel satisfied 
if the Church came out of it without further losses. 2 This 
much at any rate had been attained, though to a great extent 
only owing to the favourable circumstances, since, if the 
dangerous discussions about independence and the declaration 
of Ferdinand were avoided, this was entirely due to the 
Elector Augustus of Saxony, who, in spite of the pressure 
of the Count Palatine, would not hear of the treatment of 
such questions. 3 The by no means unimportant success 
in the dispute about the right to a seat of the representative 
of Magdeburg was entirely due to Madruzzo. 4 If, notwith 
standing his zealous efforts, the Cardinal legate did not obtain 
more, this was the fault of the Catholic states, whose timid 
behaviour Cardinal Galli described, on September I5th, 1582, 
in the severest terms. At the beginning of the Diet they 
would not anticipate the Protestants by asking for help 

he scattered with so much zeal and energy. How important it 
was that Malaspina should remain permanently in Graz was seen 
later on during his absence which was caused by affairs in Cologne 
(see MAFFEI, II., 372). With reference to Ninguarda cf. supra, 
p. 159 seq. 

1 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., xcii, 561. 

2 The passage in question taken from the letters contained in 
the *Min. Epist. of Bonhomini (Library at Exaeten) in the 
Nuntiaturberichte, II., 443, n. 3. Cf. also, in the same hand 
writing at Exaeteri, the *letter of Bonhomini to the Archbishop 
of Prague dat. Viennae, XII., Cal., April, 1582. 

3 See RITTER, I., 576 seq. 
* Cf. LOSSEN, II., 20. 


against their encroachments, for fear of irritating them ; 
when they were themselves attacked, they roused themselves 
for a moment, but in the end, when the attacks of their 
adversaries became more violent, they did not dare to open 
their mouths. Since all the zeal of the Pope and his legate 
had proved in vain, so Cardinal Galli concluded, the only 
thing to do was to pray to God that He would be pleased 
to receive His Church in Germany, weakened and sorely 
humbled though she was, into His good-will and favour. 1 

1 See Nuntiaturberichte, II., 547. 



OF the two nuncios sent beyond the Alps in May, 1573, 
Gropper found himself faced with a far more difficult task 
in the north of Germany than did Portia in the south. From 
the ecclesiastical point of view northern Germany was to 
a great extent a devastated area, or threatened to become 
so in the immediate future. All the dioceses to the east of 
the Elbe might be considered as lost to the Catholics ; the 
civil princes there had been able to place their younger sons 
in the episcopal sees, and they in their turn, under the cloak 
of Lutheranism, had converted their bishoprics into civil 
principalities. Thus Schleswig, Schwerin and Ratzeburg 
had passed into the hands of the Dukes of Holstein and 
Mecklenburg, Kammin into those of the Dukes of Pomerania, 
and Brandenburg, Havelburg and Lebus into those of the 
Margraves of Brandenburg. Further south, between the 
Elbe and the Weser, the same fate had befallen the dioceses 
of Merseburg, Naumburg and Meissen, which had become 
civil territories of the Elector of Saxony. 1 Further north 
the struggle for Halberstadt and Hildesheim was still being 
carried on, and the issue in the case of the latter seemed very 
doubtful. Things were better for the Catholics in Westphalia, 
where there was still much that might be saved for Catholicism 
at Osnabriick, and perhaps everything at Minister and 
Paderborn, if the Protestant candidates could be kept out 
of the episcopal sees ; the same might be said of Cologne. 
As well-informed witnesses testified, 2 the situation could 

1 Cf. the precis and literature on the subject in SCHMIDLIN, 
Kirchliche Zustande, III., 244 seq. 

2 See Minucci s memorandum of 1588 on the condition of the 
Church in Germany, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 751. 



only be saved if those princes who were genuinely and truly 
Catholic would follow the example of their Protestant fellow 
princes, and like them, endeavour to place their younger sons 
in the episcopal sees, since, surrounded as they were by 
Protestant princes, and sometimes hampered by difficulties 
in their own territories, the bishops in the north could only 
maintain their position when they were the sons of princes 
and found support in the respect due to their house. But 
in the case of the Catholic princely houses, things were much 
less favourable than in that of the Protestants, since, as 
Minucci pointed out in I588, 1 almost all the cathedral 
chapters of Germany were at least partly composed of 
Protestants, and were inclined to a dissolute life, a thing 
which, from their point of view, could be carried on more 
easily under a Lutheran bishop. It was true that in Upper 
Germany, which was still more or less Catholic, the Lutheran 
canons themselves wished for bishops of the old faith, because 
they had seen how in other places the right to free election 
by the chapter had disappeared together with the Catholic 
bishop, and with it all chance of being able to obtain lucrative 
offices for themselves and their families as the price of their 
votes. 2 This on the other hand was not the case in the whole 
of the neighbouring Lutheran territory in the north. More 
over the sons of the Catholic princes stood aloof, since the 
episcopal office implied their being bound to celibacy and 
their episcopal duties ; besides this they had to reckon, not 
only with the canons who elected them, like their Protestant 
colleagues, but also had to try to obtain the Papal confirmation; 
lastly, the Protestant princes did not shrink in any way from 
simony, but openly bought votes for ready money. " God 
grant that those canons who still wish to be Catholics, may 
be preserved from corruption." The only princes to whom 
the Catholics could look for protection for the threatened 
sees were, in Minucci s judgment, the Wittelsbachs of Bavaria, 
since the Duke of Cleves had only one son, while of the 
Hapsburgs, Andrew of Austria, the son of a woman of the 

1 Ibid., 750 seqq. 
8 Ibid., 752. 


middle classes, Philippine Welser, was not held in much 
esteem, and Cardinal Albert, the son of Maximilian II., who 
was more Spaniard than German. 1 

It was true that the adherents of the old faith placed all 
their hopes of success in the struggle in the north in Bavaria, 
and whatever was saved in Lower Germany was only preserved 
for them by the fact that Duke Ernest of Bavaria had been, 
one after another, placed in simultaneous possession of five 
bishoprics. 2 As was only natural, Gregory XIII. had only 
been induced to consent to this with great difficulty, in view 
of the opposition of the Council of Trent to such an accumula 
tion of benefices in the hands of one man, 2 but the necessity 
of the case over-rode his wishes. Although Duke Ernest 
was anything but a model Catholic bishop in his conduct, 
it was necessary by force of circumstances to support him, 
as the one hope of finding a way out of the difficulty ; in 
the north he governed with full authority a territory far 
larger than his native country, and for almost two centuries 
the episcopal sees of the whole of Germany were to a great 
extent in the hands of the princes of Bavaria. 

The first northern diocese which called for the help of 
Bavaria was Hildesheim, where the state of affairs was almost 

At the end of the XVth century the bishopric contained 
about 330 parishes, in addition to the cities of Hildesheim 
and Goslar. When Gregory XIII. ascended the throne there 
were still in the city of Hildesheim the actual provostship 
of the cathedral, as well as certain monasteries and families, 
together with the magistracy of Marienburg, in all, twenty-one 
villages with ten or twelve parishes. 4 Some parts of the 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, I., 751. 

2 " It may be said that the preservation of the Catholic Faith 
in the Lower Rhine and in Westphalia is a result of the close 
connection which bound together the interests of the House of 
Bavaria and Catholic ideals." RIEZLER, IV., 645. LOSSEN, II., 

3 RIEZLER, IV., 640, 647. 

4 K. GRUBE in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, CI. (1888), 481, 500. 


diocese lay within the territory of neighbouring princes ; 
of that district which the bishop held as a secular prince, 
the so-called Stift Hildesheim, the neighbouring princes took 
about two-thirds in the war of the principality of Hildesheim. 1 
Of the " little principality " which still remained to him, 
he had been obliged to pledge the greater part to the council 
of Hildesheim, or abandon it to the violent attacks of the 
Duke of Holstein. All these lost territories passed over to 
the new faith when their new masters did so. 2 The city 
itself accepted Lutheranism in 1542. 3 All the citizens were 
forbidden to go to the cathedral during the Catholic services. 4 
" I and my church are entirely destroyed, both in spiritual 
and temporal things," wrote the bishop, Valentine von 
Teteleben to Rome in 1545. 5 In 1551 Hildesheim had in 
Duke Frederick of Holstein a bishop " who never went to the 
church," to use the forcible words of Oldecop, " and who 
ate and drank like a yokel," and one moreover who supported 
Lutheranism with all his power, dying in 1556 as the result 
of his intemperance. 6 By the recommendation of the Emperor 
this Lutheran had obtained confirmation from Rome. 7 

After the death of Frederick, Duke Henry of Brunswick 
did not wish again to see the son of a powerful princely house 
in the episcopal see. To the great displeasure of the Lutherans 
the choice of Hildesheim then fell upon a noble of the diocese, 

1 BERTRAM, 35. 

2 GRUBE, loc. cit., 481-500. Change of religion in Grubenhagen, 
Gottingen, Kalenberg, Liineburg : BERTRAM, 88-93, in Wolfen- 
biittel, ibid., 93-9, 264. 

3 GRUBE, loc. cit., 486. BERTRAM, 99 seqq., 121. When, in 
1548, the town appealed to the Emperor for mercy, it declared 
that it had : " come into the business quite innocently ; for after 
the conquest of the principality of Wolfenbiittel we were three 
times called upon (to apostatize) and at last under compulsion 
and against our will, and thus we were innocently drawn into the 
quarrel." BERTRAM, 129. 

*lbid., 131. 

5 Ibid., 149. 

6 Ibid., 198, 201. 
Ibid., 182, 191. 


Burchard von Oberg, who was a strict Catholic of blameless 
life. 1 Oberg endeavoured cautiously to preserve the remains 
of the old faith in the principality and the villages, but he 
was only able to introduce Catholic parish priests in those 
places where he enjoyed civil authority. In the city of 
Hildesheim itself, he was powerless against the municipal 
council. 2 

In the cathedral, however, Catholic worship according 
to the ancient ritual was still maintained, and when Alexander 
Trivius, in the course of his journey through the north of 
Germany assisted at mass at Hildesheim in 1575, he was 
deeply moved ; what he had found nowhere, neither in 
Germany nor elsewhere, he found at Hildesheim, namely 
that the office in choir throughout the year was begun at 
midnight. 3 The state of the cathedral chapter, too, seemed 
not to be very bad, and Bishop Burchard declared that most 
of the canons were free from all blame. Naturally the 
Lutheran council thought otherwise. 4 

So long as Duke Henry the younger of Brunswick- Wolfen- 
biittel lived, the Catholic religion found in him a protector. 
But Henry was already an old man, and his son Julius was 
a confirmed Lutheran, so the idea of looking for a protector 
elsewhere was inevitable. Hermann von Horneburg, the 
trusted adviser of Bishop Burchard, went for that purpose 
to Munich in 1566 ; after his return, in the December of the 

1 Ibid., 248, 249. 

2 Ibid., 255, 257. 

3 To Galli on May 3, 1575, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 281. It was 
not until the year 1608 that the night office was postponed until 
four o clock in the morning. BERTRAM, 341. 

4 BERTRAM, 250 seq. At Hildesheim graduates in theology, 
canon or civil law and medicine were admitted as canons (Statute 
of February 26, 1387, in DOBNER, Urkundenbuch der Stadt 
Hildesheim, II., n. 649, cf. n. 722). By a statute of December i, 
I 575 graduates could only be admitted provided they had studied 
for four years at a University. This resulted in the exclusion of 
the burgesses (BERTRAM, 366). For the diocese it was rather an 
advantage to have a support in the Westphalian nobility. 


same year, the bishop formally petitioned for Duke Ernest 
as his co-adjutor. 1 In 1567, Horneburg, on the occasion 
of another visit to the capital of Bavaria, received the reply 
that he must first obtain the approval of the Pope, and was 
sent to Rome for that purpose. 2 Bishop Burchard, in a 
letter to his representative in Rome, explained the reasons 
for his request in urgent terms ; he would give his blood and 
his life in order to obtain security for the Church of Hildesheim, 
but the question of salvation or destruction depended upon 
the choice of a co-adjutor. 3 Pius V. feared to burden his 
conscience by granting a second diocese to the young adminis 
trator of Freising, and in January, 1568, he refused the request 
of Horneburg. Duke Albert was satisfied with this ; he said- 
that he had yielded to the repeated requests of the bishop, 
but left everything to the pleasure of the Pope. 4 

When Duke Henry died on January nth, 1568, it was at 
once obvious who was destined to be his successor. The 
Catholic vice-chancellor of Henry, Ludwig Halver, the 
confessor of the dead prince, had to seek a new sphere of 
activity in the service of Bavaria, and left the state as its 
last Catholic secular priest. Faced with the threatened 
danger, on November 3Oth, 1568, the bishop and twelve 
canons, the majority of the chapter, came to an agreement 
which assured the existence of what remained of the ancient 
Church in Hildesheim for centuries ; they bound themselves, 
by their dignity, honour and loyalty, not to accept, after 
the death of the present bishop, any other successor than 
the son of Duke Albert of Bavaria. 5 Albert V., when he 
was informed of this, contented himself with replying that 
he had no objection to the request for the co-adjutor being 
again put forward in Rome. 6 

In spite of this agreement, some of the canons of Lutheran 

1 LOSSEN, I., 128, 130. 

2 Ibid., 131. 

3 BERTRAM, 273. 

4 LOSSEN, I., 132 seq. 

5 Ibid. 

6 Ibid., 135. 

VOL. XX. 19 


leanings did not give up hopes of getting the diocese of 
Hildesheim into the hands of a bishop of their own way of 
thinking, namely, either the young son of Duke Julius, who 
had already been asked for for Halberstadt, or the Lutheran 
Bishop of Liibeck, Eberhard Holle. The opportunity of 
getting into touch with Brunswick came when Bishop 
Burchard renewed the lawsuit for the lost property of his 
principality, and Duke Julius proposed an arrangement by 
which the Dukes of Brunswick, Henry Julius of Wolfenbiittel, 
and Eric II. of Kalenberg were to retain everything in return 
for the cession of certain offices. The chancellor of Hildesheim 
was in favour of this compromise, and had won over the old 
and, as Horneburg insisted, childish bishop. In order to 
ensure this, those who favoured the arrangement would have 
been glad to have induced Duke Albert to pronounce in its 
favour. But the embassy which was sent to Munich in 1570 
was secretly anticipated by Horneburg. The Duke, he 
insisted, must at the conference take up his stand uncondition 
ally in favour of the administrator of Freising ; once he 
was in possession of Hildesheim Duke Ernest could obtain 
other dioceses, beginning with Halberstadt and Minden, and 
then proceed to restore the Catholic religion once more in 
the north. As a result of the reply which the envoys of the 
chapter took back from Munich, the whole arrangement fell 
to the ground, and with it the aims of Brunswick upon the 
diocese of Hildesheim. 1 

But very soon a further difficulty presented itself. Duke 
Ernest showed very little desire for so small a diocese as 
Hildesheim, while its inhabitants showed very little wish 
for him. The chancellor Eck said on one occasion that they 
would just as willingly see the Pasha of Buda as their bishop. 2 
Therefore Bishop Burchard became more and more inclined 
to entertain the aspirations of Duke Adolphus of Holstein 
on behalf of his younger son. Faced with the Lutheran 
Holstein the Catholics naturally had to increase their demands, 
but Adolphus promised everything that was asked, :< they 

1 LOSSEN, I., 134 seqq., 139. 
Ibid., 140, 141. 


might submit quite extraordinary conditions, and Duke 
Adolphus would offer to grant and accept them all." The 
negotiations were already well advanced when, on February 
23rd, 1573, Bishop Burchard died. 1 

Numerous claimants for the diocese at once made their 
appearance ; above all, Duke Julius did all that he could 
to obtain Hildesheim for his nine year old son. Recourse 
was had to all the neighbouring princes to obtain their influence 
with the canons, public prayers were ordered in all the churches, 
while a special embassy to Hildesheim was charged to give 
expression to the wishes of the duke. 2 Horneburg realized 
that the danger lay in delay. On the day of the bishop s 
death he had sent a messenger to Munich, but now he no 
longer waited for any decision to arrive. The envoys of the 
Duke of Brunswick were to arrive in the evening of March 
7th ; at ten o clock in the morning of March 7th the chapter 
assembled for the election, and an hour later proclaimed 
Duke Ernest of Bavaria as the new bishop. 3 

Albert V. had decided to accede to the request of the 
chapter, and therefore applied to Cardinal Truchsess in Rome 
to obtain the Pope s approval. He himself and his son, he 
wrote, looked for nothing from the election but annoyance 
and trouble, and if they had accepted it this had only been 
in order that the principality might not fall into Lutheran 
hands, and in course of time it could be handed over to a 
good bishop. In place of the Cardinal of Augsburg, who 
just at that moment suddenly died, the question of Hildesheim 
was taken up with the greatest zeal before the new Pope, 
Gregory XIII., by Cardinal Hosius and the Bavarian 
ambassador, Fabricius. On the very evening of the audience, 
April i8th, the Pope informed the Cardinal of Ermland that 
he gave his approval ; in October, 1573, Fabricus set out 
on his journey with the brief of nomination. 4 

1 Ibid., 140 seq. 

* Cf. BEKIRAM, 281 seq. ; LOSSEN, I., 141. 
3 Ibid., 141 seq. 

* Ibid., 143, 147-9. The briefs dealing with the nomination, 
to Ernest, the Chapter, &c. given in the Ntwtiaturberichle, III., 
158, n. 4. Cf. THEINER, I., 114, 116 seq. 


That a princely house which was strongly Cathob c should 
thus unexpectedly plant itself firmly in the midst of north 
Germany, in territory which had hitherto been unmistakably 
under the dominion of the new doctrines, excited unparalleled 
surprise everywhere. It was feared that the suit for the 
property belonging to the chapter of Hildesheim would be 
taken up again with renewed vigour, and that the Catholic 
religion would be restored to its former position. But the 
Protestant princes of Saxony, Brandenburg, Hesse, the 
Rhenish Palatinate and Wurtemberg, were willing enough 
to enrich themselves at the expense of the " Gospel," but 
not to make sacrifices, so they congratulated the Duke of 
Bavaria upon the election that had taken place, and did 
not raise a finger to annul it. 1 Duke Julius was extremely 
annoyed at the shipwreck of his plans, but at last decided 
not to "go grey-haired before his time " on this account. 2 
It was different with Adolphus of Holstein, who sought in 
every way at least to get his son recognized as co-adjutor 
and successor of Duke Ernest. But in spite of all the promises 
made by Holstein, this " co-ad jutorship " in the episcopal 
administration of Hildesheim was looked upon as " the 
perpetual ruin and destruction " of the diocese. 3 

Duke Ernest, a man of sympathetic character, who knew 
how to make himself quickly loved everywhere, but who 
was not free from moral faults during the years of his youthful 
passions, was not yet twenty years old when he was elected 
Bishop of Hildesheim, and had often hesitated as to whether 
he ought to remain in the ecclesiastical state. 4 So that he 
might persevere therein many would have been glad to see 
him go for a time to Rome. He himself had importuned 
the nuncio Portia, during his stay at Freising, to facilitate 
his going to Rome. 5 At the Curia it was desired that he 
should take with him his cousin, the son of the Duke of Cleves, 

1 LOSSEN, I., 144 seq. 

2 Ibid., 146. 

3 Ibid. ; BERTRAM, 297 seq. 

* Nuntiaturberichte, III., 88, 141, 179. 

6 Portia to Galli on October 21, 1573, ibid., 189. 


who was intended for the bishopric of Miinster ;* Albert V. 
had it in mind to give him as an additional companion the 
young Duke of Holstein. 2 In spite of all the difficulties 
and opposition the Bavarian councillor and ambassador 
of Albert V. in Rome succeeded in bringing it about that 
Ernest actually visited Rome in March, 1574, though without 
the wished-for companions. 3 There the young prince 
remained until the end of 1575, strictly watched over by 
his tutors, which had the effect of making him neglect 
the struggle against his passionate nature, and all his 
good intentions until he could become master of his own 
freedom. 4 

Ernest only remained at Hildesheim from October 3Oth, 
1580, until June 3rd in the following year, 5 and even this 
short stay was broken by a long journey to Liege, 6 of which 
diocese he also found himself called upon to take charge. 
Nevertheless his period of government was fortunate for 
Hildesheim. When, in 1575, Alexander Trivius made a visita 
tion of the diocese of Hildesheim by command of the Pope, 
he was able, in spite of the absence of the bishop, to see that 
the mere election of the powerful Bavarian prince had made 
a great impression on the Protestants ; the haughtiness with 
which they had tried to tyrannize over the priests had to a 
great extent disappeared, and if the bishop had only been 
present he might without much trouble have introduced 
the necessary reforms among the clergy, and brought back 

1 Portia to Galli on February 17, 1574, ibid., 340. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid., 384. 

4 LOSSEN, I., 334-58. For the flight of the young duke from 
Rome and his return see K. SCHELLHASS in the Quellen und 
Forschungen, X. (1907), 325-64. 

6 BERTRAM, 290 seq. 

8 From January 6 to February IT, 1581, ibid., 290. For the 
journey to Liege, cf. ROB. TURNERI, Sermo panegyricus de 
triumpho, quo Bavariae dux Ernestus . . . fuit inauguratus 
episcopus Leodius, in his Panegyrici sermones duo, Ingolstadii, 
1583, 91-187. 


the laity to better ways. 1 Trivius tried especially to stir up 
the clergy to a more careful fulfilment of their duties : thus 
he brought pressure to bear upon the canons of St. John, 
who did not satisfy their obligations as to the choir, because 
their church was in ruins, yet still received the revenues, to 
make them fulfil this duty in some other church. 2 By the 
wish of the Papal legate, even after his departure the episcopal 
administration continued to address remonstrances to the 
clergy of the diocese. 3 

An episcopal visitation followed the Papal one in 1608; by 
the authority of the Pope this was held jointly by the represen 
tatives of Bishop Ernest and the Elector of Mayence, the 
metropolitan of Hildesheim. 4 The ecclesiastical tribunal, 
the so-called " omciality," again came into existence during 
the first years of the government of the new bishop, and was 
followed in 1586 by the establishment of the consistory or 
ecclesiastical council. 5 All that was possible was done for 
the restoration of the ancient religion under Duke Ernest. 
Catholic parish priests were gradually introduced in the 
territory of which the bishop was also secular prince. 6 In 
1573 a former student of the German College, Henry Winichius 
(died 1612), whom Trivius found generally praised, began 
to preach in the cathedral. 7 By slow degrees the Jesuits, 
too, arrived, and in 1601 their house was converted into a 
college which held its own in spite of all opposition. 8 

Only two years after Duke Ernest had first been thought 
of as the future Bishop of Hildesheim, in 1567, he was also, 

1 Trivius to Galli on May 3, 1575, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 281. 

2 Ibid., 282. Line 20 should read: "otiose comeduntur 
(instead of commendentur] peccata populi " (according to OSEE, 
IV., 8). 

3 BERTRAM 335. 

4 Ibid. 339-44- 
6 Ibid., 336. 

6 Ibid., 398-431. 

7 Ibid., 345. SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 281. 

8 BERTRAM, 349, 356 seqq. For Winich cf. SCHREIBER, II., 
299 seqq. 


though only fifteen years old, intended for three other 
episcopal sees, those of Minden, Halberstadt and Magdeburg. 1 
In the case of the latter the Catholics had almost immediately 
to give up all hopes ; the administrator there, Joachim 
Frederick of Brandenburg in 1570 gave the first example of 
open contempt for the reservatum ecclesiasticum by marry 
ing and still retaining his diocese. The cathedral chapter 
consented to his marriage, 2 and, at anyrate after 1574, 
demanded marriage or at least espousals as a condition for 
the admission of new canons. 3 " If God does not work 
a miracle," wrote the nuncio at Vienna, Zaccaria Delfino, in 
!573> " Magdeburg and Halberstadt, as well as Naumburg, 
Merseburg and Meissen, are irrevocably lost." 4 

In the case of Halberstadt at anyrate, all hopes had not 
as yet been given up in Rome. Lutheranism had been intro 
duced into the city, but its adherents had behaved with great 

Elgard, 5 who visited Halberstadt in 1575, found in the 
parish church no traces of the usual iconoclastic destruction. 
The chapter to which the city was subject, was looked upon 
as above reproach ; at least half were still Catholics, 6 and 
the other half only Protestants in the sense that they received 
communion under both kinds. The offices were celebrated 
in the old way ; in the Church of Our Lady, ladies of the 

1 LOSSEN, I., 137 seq. 

*Ibid., 138. 

3 Trivius to Galli on September 16, 1574, in SCHWARZ, Cropper, 


4 Ibid., Ixxxii. 

5 Report of June 18, 1575, in THEINER, II., 45. " Nobis 
totique clero et omnibus monachis monialibusque licet secundum 
leges Sanctitatis vestrae et Sedis Romanae vivere, missas celebrare, 
divinis cultibus vacare." The chapter to the Pope on October 
26, 1574, ibid., I., 230. For the convents of nuns see Romische 
Quartalschrift, XIII., 50 seqq. 

6 Portia writes on June 26, 1574, that it had been reported to 
him that there was only one single Protestant. Nuntiaturberichte, 
IV., 86. 


best families assisted at mass even on week days, and on 
Sundays many of the faithful heard mass in the cathedral 
and heard Catholic sermons. 

Nor 88 years Halberstadt had been under the same bishop 
as Magdeburg, when, in 1566, at the election of the new 
Protestant administrator of Magdeburg the canons of 
Halberstadt had severed the connexion. It seemed to Julius, 
at that time Duke of Brunswick- Wolf enbiittel, that the 
time had come to get possession of Halberstadt, and he 
proposed his little son of two years old to the chapter as 
the future bishop. Julius was himself a zealous Lutheran, 
but the government was for the moment in the hands of his 
grandfather, Henry the younger, who was a sincere Catholic ; 
Julius promised to give his heir a Catholic education, and 
guaranteed to the chapter that he would not press the matter 
any further if Rome refused to accept his request on behalf 
of the two years old child. The chapter was therefore of 
opinion that they might agree. But Pius V. did not let 
himself be deceived, and ordered the canons under pain of 
excommunication and forfeiture of their right of election to 
have nothing to do with the request. 1 

Nevertheless, the canons did not dare for two years to 
proceed to a new election. When Pius V. died, the duke 
tried harder than ever to obtain the Papal approval for his 
son. Through the dean of St. Martin at Minden, Georg 
Gogreff, he tried to win over the nuncio Gropper to his side, 2 
and obtained from the Emperor Maximilian II. a letter of 
recommendation to Gregory XIII., 3 as well as to Cardinals 
Delfino and Madruzzo ; 4 the youthful candidate himself 
addressed an autograph letter to the Pope, 5 and the chapter 
of Halberstadt again interested himself on his behalf. 6 On 

1 Portia to Galli on June 26, 1574, ibid., 86. Elgard, loc. cit.,^. 

2 Gropper to Galli on August 15, 1574, in THEINER, I., 216. 

3 Memorandum of April 29, 1574, ibid., 227 seq. 

4 Gropper, loc. cit. 

6 Portia to Galli on December 24, 1574, Nuntiaturbevichte, IV., 
325. Cf. THEINER, I., 231. 

6 On June 7, 1574, in THEINER, I., 228. 


August I5th Cropper sent to Rome these petitions from the 
duke and the chapter, together with the letters of recom 
mendation and a report of his own. 1 

But the German Congregation decided on November icjth 
not to give its consent. 2 A short refusal was sent to the 
Emperor, 3 and letters to the chapter and the Archbishop 
of Mayence, 4 ordering an immediate election. The frightened 
canons declared their readiness to obey, 5 but informed the 
duke of the brief. Julius entertained the representatives of 
the chapter very courteously for two days, and then summoned 
his little son and had him examined in the little catechism. 
The clever boy, who was that Henry Julius who later on 
made a name in literature as a dramatic poet, answered 
everything, and his father deemed that he had thus given 
proofs of his fitness for the episcopal office ; he said that 
he would write again to Rome, and that in the meantime 
a new election was not to be held. 6 Then the canons began 
to fear for their lives if they opposed the headstrong duke, 7 
and in their fear addressed a new petition to Rome. 8 

They said that it was very easy for the Pope to send them 
orders, but very hard for the chapter to carry them out. 
Moderation was necessary in Halberstadt, and it was by its 

1 Ibid., 212-9. 

2 SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 101. Amongst other things it 
was said that Henry Julius was an only son, and therefore the 
Duke of Brunswick would certainly not make a cleric of him. 
But on July i, 1568, a second son, Philip Sigmund, was born, 
and on April 23, 1573, the duke had a third, Joachim Charles. 
Together with a fourth son and an unmarried daughter they were 
all provided with church property. COHN, Table, 86. 

3 Of November 26, 1574, THEINER, I., 233. 

4 On July 30, 1574, ibid., 229. 

5 Portia to Galli on September u, and Galli s reply of October 
2, 1574, Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 204, 230. 

6 Portia on October 16, 1574, Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 246. 

7 For the duke s cruelty see Elgard on June 18, 1575, in THEINER, 
II., 44. He was also hated on other grounds. Nuntiaturberichte, 
IV., 422 ; V., 14. 

8 On November 26, 1574, in THEINER, I., 230-3. 


use that the chapter had been able to carry on Catholic worship 
since 1517 ; the intervention of the Emperor on behalf of 
Henry Julius, and his own great qualities were a sufficient 
guarantee of his suitability. 

The canons, however, secretly informed the Pope through 
the Duke of Bavaria that the boy s tutor was a Lutheran 
and the catechism in which he had been examined was the 
small catechism of Luther. The Pope rejected their third 
request for approval for the young Brunswick prince and in 
a further brief ordered the immediate election of a bishop 
under pain of forfeiture of their right of election. Hermann 
von Horneburg informed the Duke of Bavaria and the nuncio 
Portia of all these secret affairs, and gave them to understand 
that the election of Halberstadt would also fall upon Duke 
Ernest. 1 The chapter did not dare to speak openly, and 
when Duke Julius sent his councillor Gogreff to Cropper to 
complain bitterly of the brief of July 3oth, the canons 
supported his complaints by means of a representative. 2 

This double dealing of the canons had the consequence 
that Rome could not immediately send the order for the 
election of the bishop, for they wished there first to know 
whether the canons would really, at the Pope s orders, proceed 
at once to the election of Duke Ernest, and whether the 
latter s father was prepared, even with armed force, to defend 
the castles and the inhabitants of the territory of Halberstadt 
against Julius. 3 When Portia had at length been satisfied 
as to this by the Duke of Bavaria and Horneburg, the desired 
brief, 4 which ordered the new election in imperious terms, 
was granted on May 7th, 1575. 

Albert V. at once advised Portia not to send the brief for 
the moment ; but when he had received satisfactory assurances 
from Horneburg concerning the consent of the chapter of 

J Portia on October 16, 1574, Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 246 seq. 
z Ibid., 362, n. Gropper to Galli on November u, 1574, i n 
SCHWARZ, Gropper, 217. 

3 Portia on February 19, 1575, Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 421 seq. 

4 In THEINER, II., 33 ; cf. Nuntiaturberichte, V., 14. 


Halberstadt, it was dispatched in September, 1575. l But 
this soon proved to be a mistake. Horneburg had been 
quite right in saying that the chapter was well disposed 
towards a new election, but Julius was all the less ready to 
accept it. He forced the chapter- to make a protest against 
the brief, 3 and the chapter allowed itself to be forced to do so, 
thinking that it had sufficiently expressed its true sentiments 
by supporting Henry Julius own petition with such weak 
arguments. 4 Not much stronger were the reasons which 
were expressed in an appendix to their letter ; 5 the only thing 
worthy of notice in it was the assurance that the grandfather 
and the father of the candidate, as well as himself, had 
demanded a Catholic education. 6 A canon of Halberstadt 
took the documents in person to Rome. 

The Curia now found itself seriously embarrassed. It 
was impossible to wage war with such persons as the canons of 
Halberstadt. Duke Albert could only intervene in the matter 
when the episcopal dignity of his son was at stake. But if 
the chapter had not the courage to ask openly for Duke Ernest 
as bishop, the latter could only have any right to the bishopric 
if the Pope, without paying any attention to the chapter, 
conferred it upon Ernest out of the plenitude of his own power, 
and such an appointment had difficulties of its own, because 
the canons could not be relied on. At first it was intended in 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, IV., 19, 167. 

2 Albert V. on May 23, 1576, ibid., 465. 

3 Memorandum of October 6, 1575, in THEINER, II., 33 seqq. 

4 Amongst the arguments brought forward to prove that the 
tender years of the postulant was no obstacle, they pointed out 
that Jeremias and John the Baptist had been sanctified before 
birth and that, at the miraculous multiplication of the bread, the 
Saviour had received the seven loaves from a boy 1 Moreover, 
with God nothing is impossible ; for Saul and Saint Augustine 
both started badly but finished well ; while just the opposite 
took place in the case of Judas the traitor and Julian the Apostate. 
Henry Julius wanted to become a bishop ; God, who gave the 
desire will also grant the power to accomplish. 

5 THEINER, II., 34-6. 
8 Ibid., 36. 


Rome to reject the appeal of the chapter, and a brief to that 
effect was already drafted. 1 But they soon began to ask 
themselves whether it would not be better to accept the son 
of the Duke of Brunswick as bishop, provided his Catholic 
education could be ensured. Duke Julius and the chapter 
itself, so the latter were informed in a Papal brief, 2 had 
frequently offered that the young Henry Julius should be 
sent to Rome or to a Catholic university. 3 The Pope decided 
that he must come to the Eternal City, and the chapter was 
to inform him whether the young duke would set out immedi 
ately. During the time of the absence of the future bishop 
the Pope wished one of the chapter to act as administrator 
of the diocese. 

At the same time the question whether it would not 
be possible to place Duke Ernest in Halberstadt by 
the direct appointment of the Pope continued to be 
discussed. Horneburg secretly sought to learn the views 
of the chapter of Halberstadt, and found it, as before, in 
favour o f the son of the Duke of Bavaria. 4 As Duke Albert 
wrote to Portia, 5 if the larger and better part of the chapter 
desired the postulation of the Dukes of Brunswick to be 
rejected, the direct appointment of Duke Ernest by the Pope 
would not meet with any difficulty. 

The Emperor Maximilian II. made an unexpected end 
of all these plans. Julius of Brunswick was only taking 
all this trouble to obtain the Pope s approval, because, accord 
ing to the prevailing laws, that was a necessary condition 
for the conferring of civil power in the diocese. At the 
instance of Brunswick, the Emperor, without paying any 
attention to the Papal approbation, now secretly conferred 
the so-called " regalia " on the son of the duke for two years. 6 
In this way the fate of Halberstadt was decided, and it ceased 

1 Printed ibid., 175. 

2 Of March 10, 1576, ibid., 176. 

3 Cf. on this subject Nuntiaturberichte, V., 363. 

4 Portia on August 17, 1575, Nuntiaturbeyichte, V., 511. 

5 On May 23, 1576, ibid., 465-70. 

6 Portia, loc. cit., 510 seq. 


to be a Catholic diocese. Duke Albert V. told Portia at 
the Diet of Ratisbon there was now no longer any need to 
take counsel upon the subject Morone endeavoured to 
persuade the duke that he might give a favourable turn to 
the matter by bringing his influence to bear upon the Emperor, 1 
but Albert knew the Emperor too well to indulge in any further 
hopes, and refused to make any move in the matter. 

In 1578 Rudolph II. renewed this civil investiture to the 
young Duke of Brunswick for another two years ; in all 
probability he did so with the condition of his seeking for 
the Papal confirmation. Duke Julius entered upon further 
negotiations with the chapter, and, to the horror of the 
Protestants, had the tonsure and minor orders conferred 
upon the bishop elect. About ten days later his enthronement 
in the cathedral of Halberstadt took place with purely 
Catholic ceremonial. 2 To this was joined a further concession 
on the part of the chapter. When, on May 5th, 1584, the 
bishop elect was espoused to a daughter of the Elector of 
Saxony, the chapter gave its consent, Henry Julius being 
made to promise that nothing should be changed in the 
existing religious conditions of the diocese, and that his heirs 
should have no right to the principality. 3 

Although Duke Julius, in spite of the fact that his father 
was a Catholic, became a zealous supporter of Protestantism, 
his cousin, Duke Eric II. of Brunswick-Kalenberg, although 
he had been brought up by a Protestant mother, had in 1546 
returned to the faith of his father and his ancestors, and had 
then endeavoured to restore it in his dominions by means 
of a general visitation of the churches and the expulsion of 
the pastors who resisted the Interim. The only thing wanting 
was a supply of suitable priests ; the Diet made use of his 
constant need of money to wring from him in 1553 and 1555 
the free exercise of religion and the recall of the evangelical 
pastors. Eric II. moreover, was but rarely in his principality, 

1 Ibid. 

2 LOSSEN, II., 561. 

3 Ibid., 564 seq. THEINER, III., 526 seqq. 


and in 1553 he appointed his Protestant mother as 
regent, and she laboured for the destruction of the old 
religion. 1 

The hopes of the Catholics again rose when, in 1576, Eric II. 
espoused the Catholic Duchess Dorothea of Lorraine. Even 
when this marriage was only talked of, the convert, Rudolph 
Clenck, who came from Bremen, and was afterwards professor 
of theology at Ingolstadt, 2 called the attention of the nuncio 
Portia to it, as a favourable circumstance for the Catholic 
cause. He said that he had learned from letters from his 
own country that people there were wearied of the constant 
religious changes ; he himself was prepared to give up his 
own good position in order to devote himself henceforth 
to the restoration of the Catholic faith in the north. 3 In a 
conference at Constance Portia tried to bring influence to 
bear on the duke, as well as on his bride and his mother. 4 
Eric seemed well-disposed, spoke of founding a Jesuit 
college, and accepted the offer made by Clenck, who was 
set free by Duke Albert V. from his duties in Bavaria. 5 But 
Clenck died in 1578, and his efforts as well as those of his 
companions were of no avail to Brunswick, as the duke, who 
ought to have supported him, remained absent from his 

1 K. GRUBER in the Hist.-polit. Bldttern, CI. (1888), 494-6. 

2 For particulars of him L. PFLEGER, ibid., CXXXII. (1903), 
45 seqq., go seqq. ; for his activities in the Brunswick affairs 
K. SCHELLHASS in the Quellen und Forschungen, XVI. (1914), 
91 to 142 ; Nuntiaturberichte, V., xcvi-ci ; for his proposed 
mission to Russia, PIERLING, Rome et Moscou, Paris, 1883, 
101 seqq., 153 seq. ; SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., XIII. (1910), 296 seqq., 
306 seqq., 332 seqq. 

3 Portia on March 20, 1576, Nuntiaturberichte, V., 376. 

4 Portia on October 20 and 21, 1575, ibid., 225 seqq., 228 seqq. 
Cf. supra, p. 130. 

5 Nuntiaturberichte, V., 378. Clenck to Portia on February 26, 
1576, ibid., 384 seq. Another Hamburg convert living in Rome, 
Joachim Delius, offered his services to the duke for the Counter- 
Reformation in Brunswick. Galli to Eric II. on July 19, 1577, 
in SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., XVI., 113, n. i. 


territory until 1581. l Later on the news of the apostasy of 
the Archbishop of Cologne did the greatest harm to the 
attempts to restore Catholicism. 2 At the request of Duke 
William Gregory XIII. addressed a brief to Eric, advising 3 
him to return to Brunswick, but the duke answered the 
nuncio Campegio, who handed him the Pope s letter at 
Venice, that it was out of the question to bring back his 
principality to Catholicism, and that to live there, entirely 
surrounded by heretics, could only be injurious to his own 
soul. 4 Eric II. died in 1584 without lawful heirs, and his 
principality passed to Duke Julius ; in 1588 there were no 
longer any Catholic priests there. 5 

Besides Eric there was another member of the House of 
Brunswick who was among the first converts of the princely 
houses of Germany. Otto Henry, the eldest son of the reigning 
Duke of Brunswick-Harburg, made up his mind to return 
to the old faith during a stay at the court of the Archduke 
Ferdinand of Tyrol. 6 Otto Henry was quite right in saying 
in his reply 7 to a letter of congratulation from the Pope, 8 
that he had to make great sacrifices for his faith ; he had to 
renounce his inheritance and go about the world as an 

1 Al negotio, per cui (Clenchio) e passato nel ducato Bruns- 
vicense, non s e dato principle per 1 absenza del duca Erico, che 
si truova in Loreno con la moglie." Portia on July 30, 1577. 
Portia and Clenck were in constant correspondence. Ibid., 132, 
146, 159, 176, 197- 

2 Gregory XIII. to Eric on July 18, 1583, THEINER, III., 413. 
8 On April 12, 1581, in SCHELLHASS, loc. cit., XVI., 140, cf. 

114 seq. 

4 Campegio to Galli on May 20, 1581, in SCHELLHASS in the 
Ouellen und Forschungen, XVI., 141 seq., cf. 115. Some letters 
of recommendation for Eric to the King of Spain, of July 18, 1583, 
and September 7, 1584, in THEINER, III., 413, 532. 

5 GRUBE in the Hist.-polit. Blatter, CI., 496. PFLEGER, ibid., 
CXXX11., 98 seq. Letter of condolence to Eric s widow Dorothea, 
of December 21, 1584, in THEINER, III., 532. 

6 J. HIRN in the Hist. Jahrbuoh, V. (1884), 217-25. 

7 Of July 27, 1581, in THEINER, III., 262 seq, 
Of April 28, 1581, ibid., 262, 


official ; his memory was erased from the annals of his 

Besides Hildesheim and Halberstadt, the dioceses of 
Miinster, Paderborn and Osnabriick were for a time in danger 
of being lost to the Catholic religion. The bishopric of 
Miinster 1 had been on the point of being converted into a 
secular principality during the reign of the Prince-Bishop 
Francis of Waldeck (1532-1553), who was at the same time 
Bishop of Minden and Osnabriick. The break up of the 
Schmalkaldic League put an end to these attempts, and 
compelled the bishop to intervene as the supporter of the 
religious reform, 2 which, however, for the moment made but 
little progress. Things only began to improve under the 
third successor of Francis of Waldeck, Johann von Hoya 

Von Hoya was a man of culture, and a learned jurist, who 
had previously laboured as a councillor, and then as president 
of the supreme tribunal of Spires. 3 To him was due a change 
in the administration of civil 4 and ecclesiastical justice, 5 
corresponding to the period of his government of Miinster, 
and under him began a reform of moral and religious conditions 
owing to the initiative of the zealous Gottfried von Raesfeld, 6 
who was appointed dean of the cathedral in 1569. 

Pius V. had recommended to the bishops of Germany, 
as a means for the restoration of religion, the visitation of 
their dioceses, so that the moral irregularities of the clergy 

1 LOSSEN, Der Kolnische Krieg., I. : Vorgeschichte, 1565-81, 
Gotha, 1882. L. KELLER, Die Gegenreformation in Westfalen 
und am Niederrhein, I., Leipzig, 1881. AUG. HUSING, Der 
Kampf um die katholische Religion im Bistum Miinster, 1535-85, 
Miinster, 1883. 

2 SCHWARZ, Akten, ix-xvi. 

3 For his beginnings W. E. SCHWARZ in the Zeitschrift filr 
vaterlandische Geschichte und Altertumskunde Westfalens, LXIX. 
(1911), 18-21. 

4 RICH. LUDICKE, ibid., LIX. (1901), 1-168. 

5 W. E. SCHWARZ, Die Reform des bischoflichen Offizialats in 
Miinster durch Joh. v. Hoya (1573), ibid., LXXIV. (1916), 1-228. 

6 Ibid., 80. 


might no longer afford a breeding ground and excuse for 
error. 1 Johann von Hoya acted upon this advice of the Pope 
in the years 1571-1573. 2 

The visitation showed that there was no scarcity of priests 
in the diocese, though there was a want of educated ecclesiastics 
who were fitted to oppose the spread of Protestant doctrines. 
Anti-Catholic views about Purgatory, prayers for the dead, 
the invocation of the saints, and other matters had secretly 
made their way, leading to a neglect of masses for the dead, 
the observance of feast days and fasts, and of Extreme Unction. 
In eleven parishes communion was given under both kinds, 
and sometimes under one ; in nineteen it was always given 
under both kinds, which led to consecration outside mass, 
for the purpose of giving communion to the sick, and this 
was sometimes done from anti-Catholic motives. As far as 
the moral state of the clergy was concerned concubinage was 
inevitably very common, though many were not guilty of 
this. 3 Protestant views and leanings were often to be found 
among the aristocracy, but only rarely among the middle- 
classes. The few remaining Anabaptists were not of any 
importance. 4 Among the religious Orders the Brothers and 
Sisters of the Common Life stood out especially, 5 but in 
most cases the dry records of the visitation do not afford a 
clear account of the state of the monasteries. 6 

1 Brief of June 13, 1566, in LADERCHI, 1566, n. 252. KELLER, 
359 seq. Cf. CANISII Epist., V., 156. 

2 SCHWARZ, Akten (Miinsterer Geschichtsqudlen. VII.), 1-300. 

3 Ibid., cv-cxviii. " In general the protocols created an 
impression that it would not have been so very difficult to have 
brought about a changed condition of affairs by means of energetic 
decrees such as Johann von Hoya had in mind. The early death 
of the bishop and the events which followed did immeasurable 
harm to the cause of moral reform." Ibid., cxvii. 

4 Ibid., cxix seqq. 

5 Ibid., cxxxiii, cxlviii seq. 

6 A comparison of the accounts given in the acts of visitation 
with the complaints of the visitor Boucherat show this to be 
especially the case in regard to the Cistercian Houses in Westphalia. 
Ibid., cxxx. 

VOL. XX, 20 


Peter Canisius, after a visit he paid to Johann von Hoya, 
who was at that time Bishop of Osnabriick, had said that 
no one on earth seemed to be exposed to such great dangers 
and difficulties as the bishops of Westphalia, and of Germany 
in general. If the Pope were not careful, at their death the 
sectarians would fall upon the dioceses and appropriate them. 
It was therefore advisable that the bishops should during 
their lifetime choose co-adjutors, so that the sectarians might 
have no chance of interfering in the election of a new bishop. 1 
Johann von Hoya followed this advice. At first, while he 
was Bishop of Osnabriick, he was still rather indifferent about 
reform, 2 but when, in 1567, persuaded by Commendone and 
Canisius, he had received priest s orders and episcopal consecra 
tion, he began to display much zeal. 3 But his health, partly by 
his own fault, became steadily worse, 4 and the prospect of 
his death filled the Catholics with fear, since Hoya held the 
three dioceses of Osnabriick, Minister and Paderborn, and 
Duke Henry of Lauenburg, his bitter and powerful rival, who 
was his relative by marriage and was already Archbishop 
of Bremen, was planning to build up a large and permanent 
civil duchy by destroying the other dioceses in the north. 

In order to defend itself from the shrewd and powerful 
Lauenburg, Minister too was driven to seek the support 
of a distinguished Catholic princely family. It was therefore 
of the greatest importance for the dioceses of Westphalia 
when Duke William IV. of Jiilich-Cleves-Mark, who ruled 
over the largest principality in the north-east of Germany, 
became a Catholic by the advice of the friend of his youth, 
Werner von Gymnich. Until 1566, William, whether 
deliberately or no, had favoured the new doctrines in his 
territory, but in that same year he issued three edicts which 
were quite in accordance with the spirit of the Catholic 

1 To Francis Borgia on January 27, 1566, CANISII Epist., V., 169, 

2 LOSSEN, I., 224 seq. 

3 CANISII Epist., V., 581. Pius V. s permission for the bishop 
to print the Roman Catechism, in KELLER, 386, cf. 390. 

4 About his illness, SCHWARZ in the Zeitschrift fur vaterldndische 
Geschichte, &c,, LXVIII. (1910), 50. 


restoration, and after 1570 he showed every sign of his 
intention of preserving and restoring Catholicism. His 
sons, Charles Frederick and John William, were educated 
by Werner von Gymnich in strict accordance with the old 
faith, but his two elder daughters were too rooted in Lutheran- 
ism for much hopes of their conversion to be entertained. 1 
A great part in the consolidation of the Catholic religion 
among the people of Cleves was played by the Jesuits. 2 

Now that Duke William had thus once more become " a 
prince who was eminently Catholic and peaceful," 3 Johann 
von Hoya was very glad when in 1571 it was proposed to 
him by the court of Cleves that he should accept John William, 
William IV. s second son, as his co-adjutor. He at once 
agreed. 4 By the advice of Gottfried von Raesfeld, the dean 
of the cathedral of Minister, who was a fervent and influential 
Catholic, 5 the cathedral chapter expressed its readiness to 
enter into further negotiations, provided that the Pope agreed 
to the proposal of Cleves. 6 A carefully drawn up capitulation 7 
safeguarded the rights of the diocese and of the Catholics. 
The duke and Johann von Hoya, who had been furnished 
with many letters of recommendation, -especially by the 
Emperor, 8 King Philip II., 9 and the Duke of Alba, 10 

1 KELLER, 5 seqq., 27, 36. JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. 15 16 226 seqq. 

2 JANSSEN-PASTOR, V., 15 16 > 227 seq. 

3 Conference at Ahaus from November 5 to 7, 1571, KELLER, 
159 seq. 

*Ibid., 156, 158. 

5 The Cleves envoy Henry von der Recke had received, on 
June 13, 1571, a special instruction concerning negotiations with 
Raesfield. Ibid., 157. 

6 Conference from November 9 to 12, 1571, ibid., 160 seq. 

7 Of November n, 1571, in SCHWARZ, Cropper, 1-3. Cf. 
SCHWARZ in the Zeitschrift fur vaterldndische Geschichte, LXVI1I. 
(1910), 19-24. 

8 To Pius V. and, on June 20, 1572, to Gregory XIII., KELLER, 
171, 178 seq. Cf. the Instruction of the imperial envoys in Rome 
dat. June 28, 1572, in SCHWARZ, Cropper, 6. 

9 To Pius V. and to his Roman envoys, both dated February 24, 
1572, KELLER, 169 seq. 

10 Of January 10, 1572, ibid., 164 seq. 


presented to the Pope a request for his approval of their 
plan. 1 

But in the meantime the court of Cleves had once again 
given grave reason to doubt the sincerity of its Catholic 
sentiments. The hereditary prince, while on a visit to Vienna, 
received communion under both kinds, while his sister was 
chosen as the bride of the Duke of Prussia, Frederick Albert, 
and William IV. himself decided to preside in person at the 
betrothal of his son-in-law in the east. The future Duchess 
of Prussia expressed herself in a purely Protestant manner 
in a letter to William of Orange which was intercepted by 
the Duke of Alba. These things had forced the duke to 
send one embassy after another to Alba, so that he might 
not, in spite of everything, lose the powerful support of 
Spain. 2 In Rome at first they could not quite bring them 
selves to believe in a marriage between the princess of Cleves 
and a Lutheran, 3 but such occurrences could only confirm 
the Pope in his resolve to make his own conditions before he 
gave his consent to the duke. Besides William IV., the 
hereditary prince, Charles Frederick, must sign the election 
capitulation of Minister, and guarantee its being carried out, 
as well as the Catholic education of his brother, and must 
see to this being done in Rome itself. In the meantime 
negotiations concerning these conditions were carried on 
through the nuncio at Vienna and the Emperor ; 4 the duke 
was instructed in a brief to treat verbally 5 with the nuncio 
Caspar Gropper. 

1 On October 15, 1572, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 10, n ; cf. 
KELLER, 338. For numerous other letters of recommendation 
cf. SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 3, 6; KELLER, 168 seq., 188, 389 seq., 392. 

2 Instructions for the envoy Masius of December n, 1571 ; 
April 22, 1572 ; January 28, 1573, in KELLER, 161, 174, 189. 
Masius reports of 1571 ; March 29, 1572 ; January 2, 1573, ibid., 
1 66, 172, 187. 

3 SCHWARZ, Gropper, xlviii, and in the Zeitschrift fur vatev 
Idndische Geschichte, LXVIII., 28. 

4 KELLER, 192, 194. SCHWARZ, Gropper, xix, n. 3. 

5 Of May 3, 1573, in KELLER, 193. 


In the autumn of 1573 the nuncio Cropper arrived on the 
Lower Rhine, after paying a visit to the Bishop of Miinster 
at Ahaus, 1 and at Cologne, at the beginning of December, 
he arranged a conference with a representative of the council 
of Cleves, 2 and after that, when the duke had returned from 
Konigsberg, he laid his views before him at Diisseldorf in 
the middle of July, 1574. 3 As had been the case with the 
preliminary written negotiations, so now only one of the 
demands of Rome met with any difficulties ; against the 
journey to Rome of the young prince the councillors urged 
his delicate state of health, and above all the opposition of 
the nobles. These objections seemed so well founded to 
the nuncio that he allowed himself to be led into acting on 
his own responsibility, and even during the discussions at 
Cologne he suggested that the tutors and professors of John 
William should make the Tridentine profession of faith, and 
should promise on oath that the pupil entrusted to them 
should receive a Catholic education in the sense of the Council 
of Trent, deeming that the Pope would be satisfied with 
this. 4 

The nuncio s task was naturally not limited to the choice 
of a coadjutor. With regard to the burning question of the 
duke s religious attitude, Gropper was warned in his instruc 
tions 5 to point out to him that only a small part of the officials 
in his state were Catholics, and that there were many 
infringements upon the spiritual jurisdiction of the bishops. 
If Catholics were appointed as officials, it would be easy, in 
view of the general opinions of the people, to restore the 
old religion completely, especially with the help of canonical 

1 Gropper to Galli on October 20, 1573, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 
422 seq. 

2 Brief summary of the proceedings from December 2 to 4, 

1573, in KELLER, 189-201. 

3 Brief summary of the proceedings from January 13 to 16, 

1574, ibid., 204, 205. The duke s reply of January 16, ibid,, 

4 Ibid., 199. 

6 Of July 19, 1573, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 43-56. 


visitations. 1 The nunico was to do all he could to induce 
the prince himself to make the Tridentine profession of faith, 
and to obtain the Pope s absolution for his past life, because 
it was undeniable that he had formerly given great scandal 
to the Church by tolerating communion under both kinds, 
the Lutheran chant of the psalms, the use of flesh meat on 
forbidden days, and the suppression of the mass. 2 The duke 
must also no longer allow his Lutheran sister publicly to 
favour the innovators, and must bring his influence to bear 
on the education of the princesses ; rather should he entrust 
his daughters education to zealous Catholic women, or place 
them in some good convent, or at the court of a Catholic 
princess. Lastly the university of Duisburg and the schools 
of Diisseldorf should be visited from Cologne. 3 

The nuncio did not dare to present all these demands to 
the duke s councillors at the same time. At the conferences 
at the beginning of December, he began by giving proofs 
of the neglect of the duke s government in dealing with the 
innovators, by quoting recent cases, which he had partly 
seen for himself. At Biiderich he had seen with his own eyes 
the work of the destroyers of images and altars ; yet there 
were scarcely 100 persons concerned : was it possible that 
they could not be forced to obey ? At Werdohl complaints 
had been made to him that, entirely at the will of the officials, 
an apostate monk had been allowed to come and preach, 
against the orders of the duke. At Wesel the city supported 
Protestantism in defiance of the orders of the sovereign. 
Such things were not calculated to make the Pope decide in 
favour of the requests of the duke. In the diocese of Minister 
he had been informed that they intended to have recourse to 
extraordinary steps against Cleves if the spread of false 
doctrines were not checked. 4 

On the following day the councillors promised to remove 
these abuses, and it is a fact that the Elector Frederick of 

1 Ibid., 49. 

2 Ibid., 49 seq. 

3 Ibid., 50. 

4 KELLER, 198 seq. 


the Palatinate complained to the Landgrave of Hesse in the 
following year that the papistical mass had been restored 
at Biiderich and Orsoy, where the Protestant religion had 
been established for fifteen years. 1 

After further discussions, it seemed well to the nuncio 
in the afternoon to inform the councillors in confidence of 
the whole of his instructions. They naturally were of opinion 
that too much was being asked of the duke, when the eccles 
iastical princes themselves employed Protestant officials. 
On the other hand they agreed to a larger number of Catholic 
professors being employed in the schools of Duisburg and 
Diisseldorf. 2 

Cropper now found himself in an embarrassing position, 
He felt that he ought not to present himself before the duke, 
who was unwell, and had only recently turned to Catholicism, 
with too harsh demands, and when he found himself in his 
presence he remained entirely silent about the communion 
under both kinds which William IV. was even then receiving ; 
of the demands concerning the duke and his family he only 
mentioned the wish that his daughters should receive their 
education at a Catholic court, or with Queen Maria Maddalena, 
the Emperor s sister. 3 He made his worst mistake when he 
imprudently said, in the presence of the councillors, that the 
communion under both kinds need not constitute a matter 
for disagreement, and that he would rather ask for a dispensa 
tion from the Pope. 4 The councillors immediately took the 
nuncio at his word : " Since His Holiness so kindly offers 
a dispensation " they also asked for the concession of the 
chalice for the rest of the duke s subjects. 5 It did not help 
Cropper when later on he spoke of the dispensation " which 
he might perhaps be able to obtain " for the family of the 
duke and a small part of the court. 6 In the duke s final reply 

1 Ibid., 214. 

2 Ibid., 200 seq. 

3 Ibid., 204 seq. 

4 Ibid., 201. 

5 Ibid., 203. 

8 Ibid., 206. SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 98. 


the chalice was demanded for all his subjects, 1 and the nuncio 
had the unpleasant task of exculpating himself as far as he 
could for this suggestion in his report to Rome. 2 For the 
rest he pointed out strongly how much had been already 
obtained in the fact that so autocratic a prince had given his 
solemn assurance that he would maintain the Catholic religion 
and stamp out heresy energetically. This was much more 
than they could have dared to expect at first. As a result 
the churches of Diisseldorf, which had been deserted, were 
now once more open, and the duke himself assisted at mass 
there. What was still wanting might be looked for in the 
future. 3 

On December 22nd, 1573, Gropper had informed Rome 
of the grave illness of the Bishop of Minister. 4 Three months 
later the condition of Johann von Hoya had become so much 
worse that Conrad von Westerholt and the syndic Schade 
went from Minister to Gropper and the Duke of Cleves, to 
take counsel as to what was to be done. A little more than 
a week later Johann von Hoya was dead, and a new struggle 
was to begin between the Catholics and the Protestants 
for the possession of the three bishoprics of Miirister, Paderborn 
and Osnabriick. 5 

In Rome everything possible had been done to prevent 
further losses. Credential letters were sent to the chapters 
of the three vacant dioceses, 6 and to the Electors of Mayence 
and Cologne, 7 as well as warnings to Gropper to exercise 
the greatest vigilance and care. Osnabriick was in the 
meantime in the hands of Duke Henry of Saxony-Lauenburg, 
who was already in possession of the archbishopric of Bremen ; 

1 KELLER, 208. 

2 To Galli on January 20, 1574, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 101. 

3 Ibid., 102. 

4 THEINER, I., 99. 

5 SCHWARZ, Gropper, liv. 

6 Of February 5, 1574, in THEINER, I., 233 seq. 

7 Of February 5, 1574, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 102 seq. Gropper 
speaks to the duke about briefs to Mayence and Treves, 
ibid., 130. 


an election capitulation must secure the diocese for Catholic 
ism. 1 Paderborn took refuge under the powerful protection 
of Salentin of Iscnburg, the Elector of Cologne, whom it 
asked for as its administrator. 2 More anxious was the position 
of the diocese of Minister. As the brothers of Duke Julius 
of Brunswick had, during the course of military raids into 
the territory of Minister and Paderborn, promised to undertake 
their charge as coadjutors, Duke Julius, who was also making 
efforts to obtain possession of the dioceses of Hildesheim 
and Halberstadt, now maintained that after the deaths of his 
brothers their rights had passed to himself. In the meantime, 
so as to obtain protection from Brunswick, the cathedral 
chapter had resolved to ask for the son of the Duke of Cleves 
as coadjutor. 3 By Galli s orders, Cropper was instructed 
to inform Cleves that Rome was favourably disposed to the 
wishes of the duke, but that means must be found of ensuring 
that the diocese did not suffer any loss during the minority 
of John William. An experienced administrator must there 
fore be chosen ; if possible he should be taken from the 
cathedral chapter of Minister ; otherwise they might ask 
the Archbishop of Cologne, or some other person pleasing 
to the duke. Perhaps it might be well to follow the example 
of Freising and separate the civil and ecclesiastical administra 
tions. Nevertheless Cropper must insist upon John William 
going to Rome, while everything would be done to care for 
the health of the prince. 4 

As Cropper had suggested to the duke and the chapter, 5 
he went himself to Minister for the election, and there, on 
April 28th, 1574, the canons assembled in chapter and after 
an hour announced the acceptance of the postulation of the 

1 Ibid., 163. LOSSEN, I., 257. 

2 On April 21, 1574, i n SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 136. 

3 Cropper on December 22, 1573, in THEINER, I., 99. 

* Galli to Cropper on February 6 and April 3, 1574, in SCHWARZ, 
loc. cit., 119 seq., 131 seq. 

6 To the duke on April 8, 1574, ibid., 135. Cf. KELLER, 212. 


son of the Duke of Cleves. 1 Conrad von Westerholt was 
unanimously chosen as civil " vicar " of the diocese, and 
at once made the profession of faith in the hands of the nuncio. 
Greater difficulty was experienced in finding a representative 
for the spiritual interests of the bishop-elect. With the 
consent of the chapter Gropper himself asked his colleague 
Elgard to undertake it, but the latter sought to escape the 
proposed honour. 2 

The nuncio profited by his presence in Minister to urge 
strongly upon the chapter on April 23rd, the principal questions 
of reform ; he insisted upon the necessity of a canonical 
visitation, and the establishment of a seminary, which had 
best be entrusted to the Jesuits. The chapter declared 
themselves ready to do so. If the canonical visitation of 
the whole diocese had not yet produced its full results, this 
was due to the death of the bishop ; they were willing to have 
Elgard as their spiritual head. The establishment of a 
seminary was beset for the moment with difficulties, but the 
dean and chapter were well-disposed towards it and considered 
it both useful and necessary. 3 

Thus the existence of the diocese of Minister seemed to 
be once more assured, and a fresh support for the Catholic 
religion seemed to have been found in the princely house 
of the Lower Rhine. The duke again confirmed in his own 
name and that of his eldest son all that had been agreed upon 
in the negotiations concerning the coadjutorship and the 
petition, and promised on his honour as a prince, and con 
firmed it by oath, that he and his successors would observe 
it in perpetuity ; he would also as far as he could see to it 

1 Report of the Cleves councillors to the duke dat. April 24, 
1574, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 136. Gropper to Galli on June 10, 
1574, ibid., 151. 

2 Gropper, loc. cit., 152 seq. 

3 Cropper s memorial to the Chapter in KELLER, 390-2 ; the 
chapter s reply of May 21, 1574, ibid., 394-7. For the date of 
both documents cf. SCHWARZ, in the Zeitschrift fur vaterldndische 
Geschichte, LXVIIL, 65, 68. 


that the Emperor approved and confirmed all that had been 
done. 1 

The education of the future bishop semed to be in good 
hands ; his tutor, master and chaplain freely and willingly 
made the profession of faith, and promised to watch over 
the orthodoxy of his household. The young prince himself 
went frequently and almost daily to church with his suite, 
assisted at mass, listened attentively to the sermons, and 
studied diligently. 2 It was true that the approval of the 
postulation had not yet come from Rome, but in deference 
to the renewed protests of the duke the demand that John 
William should receive his education in Rome had been 
abandoned. The German Congregation wished to define 
some of the points in the capitulation more exactly. 3 The 
negotiations as to this dragged on, especially as the duke 
had once more gone upon a journey, this time for the betrothal 
of his second daughter, also to a Pretestant, the Count Palatine 
of Neuburg. It did not seem, however, that the wishes of 
the German Congregation need offer a serious objection, 
especially as the duke, as well as the chapter of Minister 4 
after his return, 5 did not think that any further guarantee 
was called for. Thus on the whole the hopes of the Catholics 
might be considered as well founded. 

But suddenly all these fair prospects fell to the ground. 
On February Qth, 1575, the eldest son of the Duke of Jiilich- 
Cleves died in Rome. 6 John William thus became the 
hereditary prince, and it was taken as a matter of course 
that he would succeed his father as civil prince and resign 
the bishopric. 

Thus the struggle for Munster broke out afresh, and this 
time lasted for ten whole years. It was clear how much was 
at stake. If the most important diocese of Westphalia, 

1 Gropper, loc. cit., 153 seq. 

2 Gropper to Galli on June 10, 1574, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 154. 
8 Protocol of August 12, 1574, in SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 95. 
4 In KELLER, 402. 

Gropper to Galli on December 13, 1574, i n THEINER, I., 222. 
6 Cf. Vol. XIX. of this work, p. 202. 


which hitherto, like a barrier, had separated the Lutherans 
of the north of Germany from the Gueux of Holland, fell 
into Protestant hands, Osnabriick, Paderborn and Hildesheim 
could hardly be saved from the same fate ; the Catholic duchy 
of Julich-Cleves could scarcely be maintained for long, and 
in any case the duke would find himself with a dangerous 
neighbour, like the Spaniards in Flanders. Under these 
circumstances the eyes of the Catholics again turned to Duke 
Ernest of Bavaria as their saviour. The Spanish governor 
wrote at once from the Low Countries in this sense to Conrad 
von Westerholt, 1 as well as to Duke Albert V. himself. 2 
Immediately after the death of the hereditary prince of 
Cleves, the Duke of Bavaria sent his envoy, Jakob Tandorf, 3 
to obtain information as to the position of affairs. The Duke 
of Cleves at once gave his consent to the Bavarian candida 
ture, 4 and an envoy from Cleves, Henry von Recke, laid 
the matter before the chapter of Minister. 5 

It was natural that covetous eyes should at once be turned 
upon the bishopric of Minister from all quarters. 6 But only 
one of these candidates, Duke Henry of Saxony-Lauenburg, 
was any serious danger to Duke Ernest. 7 

Henry s father, the Protestant duke, Francis I., who was 
related through his wife and sister with the kings of 
Sweden and Denmark, and with the principal princely houses 
of northern Germany, 8 was deeply involved in debt, 
and therefore sought in 1564 to provide for his two sons, 
Henry and Frederick, by means of canonries at Cologne ; 
Henry acted in every v/ay there as a Catholic ; he attended 
the lectures at the Catholic university, kept the vigils, 

1 LOSSEN, I., 323. 

2 On March 25, 1575, in KELLER, 405. 

3 His instructions of March ist and 4th, 1575, ibid., 403 seq. 

4 To Duke Albert V. on April 9, 1575, ibid., 405. 
6 Ibid., 405. 

6 Ibid., 406, 411 seq., 417, 420. 

7 For particulars of him SCHWARZ, Gropper, Iviii seqq. ; LOSSEN, 
1., 240 ; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, XI., 506 seq. 

8 CoHN, Table, 58. 


confessed and communicated under one kind, assisted 
diligently at mass and at the office in choir, even during 
the years when he did not as yet receive any revenues from 
his benefice, took part in the processions even during the 
bad weather, and acted as sub-deacon at high mass. 1 Never 
theless they did not feel full confidence in him in Rome ; 
and when his great uncle, Duke George of Brunswick, the 
Archbishop of Bremen, died, and the chapter chose the 
great-nephew in 1567 as his successor, the new ruler of the 
archdiocese of Bremen was not able, in spite of the warm 
recommendation of the Emperor, to obtain the Papal 
confirmation. 2 

Duke Francis I. nevertheless sought to provide for his 
son by means of another ecclesiastical principality, and when 
the succession to the sees of Johann von Hoya came under 
ever increasing discussion, Francis turned his eyes to 
Osnabriick in 1572. Johann von Hoya was not opposed 
to the suggestion, but advised him before anything else to 
obtain the approval of the Pope, without which Henry could 
not obtain " either this or any other diocese." 3 

During the years that followed the Lauenburger acted 
upon this advice. He first thought of going himself to Rome, 
but, as he wrote to Otto Truchsess, 4 the attacks ot the Gueux 
prevented his doing so. So he had recourse to the nuncio 
Cropper, and by means of his councillor, Schrader, had the 
formal canonical inquiry into his life and capabilities carried 
out and sent to Rome. The evidence, 5 as well as Gropper s 
to Rome, 6 were altogether favourable and the German 

1 The inquiry concerning Henry of November-December, 1573, 
in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 82, 83. Henry was made Subdeacon between 
the Diets at Spires of 1570 and 1572. Henry to Otto Truchsess 
on December 9, 1572, ibid., 16. 

2 Maximilian II. to Pius V. on January 10, 1568, and the Pope s 
reply of February 10, in LADERCHI, 1568, n. 97. 

3 SCHWARZ, Gropper, Ix. 

4 December 9, 1572, SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 14. 

5 Ibid., 80-5. 

6 Of January 20, 1574, ibid., 113 seq. 


Congregation expressed itself in favour of Henry s being 
approved, 1 provided the informative process were sent in 
due form. 2 

Henry was kept fully informed of all that was happening, 
and when the chapter of Osnabriick genuinely asked for him 
as the successor of the dead Johann von Hoya, on condition 
of his having the Papal approval, he resolved to remove the 
last obstacle to his confirmation by making the Tridentine 
profession of faith in the presence of Christopher Bicker 
Abbot of Hersfeld, 3 at the end of which was to be found 
the promise that he himself, and, as far as it rested with him, 
his subjects, would maintain the Catholic faith until death. 
He sent the documents to Rome, and presented a copy to 
the nuncio Cropper. The latter noticed first that the formula 
of the profession of faith had not been inserted verbally, 
and when he was afterwards given a document written in 
Henry s own hand, signed and sealed by him, which contained 
the Tridentine formula, he discovered at the end a clause 
stating that the whole only held good " subject to the other 
oaths and promises made by the petitioner." 4 The duke s 
envoy tried to justify this clause, saying that his master 
had been obliged at Bremen to promise to observe the religious 
peace. But Gropper declared that with such clauses added 
the document had hardly any value ; the German Con 
gregation in Rome came to the same conclusion, 5 and Cardinal 

1 On March 2, in SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 85. 

2 On June 22, 1574. For the precautions taken to secure the 
Catholic character of the foundation see LOSSEN, I., 257 seq. 

3 Bicker on June 22, 1574, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 164-7. For 
the personal character of the abbot cf. A. Trivius to Galli on 
March 30, 1575, in THEINER, II., 472 : The abbot is " persona 
assai grave et buon cattolico," the prior is " di buonissima vita." 

4 Gropper to Galli on August 15, 1574, in THEINER, I., 217 seq. 

5 On September 7, 1574, i n SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 97. 
The clause can only refer to the promise at the end of the Tridentine 
Confession of Faith. The dogmas contained in the confession 
had therefore been unconditionally accepted by Henry. Cf. 
Henry s letter to Morone of August 20, 1576, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 


Madruzzo wrote to the duke to the same effect. 1 The German 
Congregation sent Cropper a warning 2 that the profession of 
faith, even though it were to be made in the full form, was 
no longer sufficient, if the elect was not beyond reproach 
both in doctrine and in morals ; the nuncio must therefore 
keep his eyes open as to this. 

Cropper understood quite well what was hinted at by this 
remark. Henry s former zeal for religion had disappeared, 
and he had commenced a love affair with Anna Broich, a 
pupil of his former landlord at Cologne, had taken her to his 
estates at Bremen, and had finally been formally betrothed 
to her before a Lutheran pastor ; in the document 3 which the 
pastor drew up for this purpose, it is stated that Henry had 
told him as his pastor and confessor, that not having the 
gift of continence he had therefore decided on matrimony. 
By so doing, Henry, who, being a sub-deacon, could not 
according to Catholic ideas contract matrimony, had disclosed 
his defection from the faith, though naturally he took care 
not to say anything in public to that effect, and even occasion 
ally so expressed himself as to display his great reverence 
for the Apostolic See. 4 

Even before he went as far as this it had become very 
unlikely that Henry of Bremen would submit to the demands 

358 : " Finalis itaque clausula iuramenti . . . cum haberet, nos 
subditis nostris aliam religionem nullam permittere debere et 
velle, quam quae iuramenti forma comprehenderetur, existimavi- 
mus ... si illam tarn absolute . . . poneremus et ederemus 
nobis inde maxima pericula oboriri et violatae fidei scandala . . . 
excitari posse. . . . Ad utrumque igitur evitandum . . . apposui- 
mus clausulas, &c." 

1 SCHWARZ, Cropper, 212. Discontent at Bremen caused by 
the making of the Confession of Faith ; ibid., 169. 

2 On November 25, 1574, SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 101. 

3 Of October 25, 1575, LOSSEN, I., 376. 

4 " che sarebbe sempre osservantissimo della Sede Apostolica, 
supplicando che Nostro Signore non volesse dar orecchia 
a maligni." Henry to Trivius ; see the latter s report to Galli 
of April 4, 1575, in THEINER, II., 474. 


of the Pope. Alexander Trivius, who had a personal interview 
with him at the beginning of April, 1575, received from Henry 
a reply to his remonstrances to the effect that he wondered 
that the Papal approval had not been sent, when he for his 
part had done all that was required. 1 Nevertheless the 
German Congregation 2 did not think it advisable to reply 
any further to Henry ; it would be better to try and bring 
pressure to bear upon the Emperor not to confer investiture 
with the civil power any more in the dioceses before the Papal 
approval had been given, as Maximilian II. had immediately 
put Henry in possession of the civil power in defiance of 
existing laws. On May nth, 1575, Henry took possession 
of the diocese of Osnabriick as reigning prince. 3 

For a long time past the Duke of Lauenburg had been aiming 
at obtaining yet a third bishopric, the important one of 
Miinster. Thus Ernest of Bavaria had a dangerous com 
petitor, as Henry was well endowed with good qualities and 
had been especially successful as regent, 4 and, moreover, 
had behind him that powerful party which was striving to 
open a breach in the observance of the so-called reservatum 
ecclesiasticum, so that it was actually very badly observed. 
Henry seemed to be the very man to make it an accomplished 
fact. 5 

A powerful ally of the Duke of Lauenburg was also to be 
found in Salentin of Isenburg, the Archbishop of Cologne. 
He was thinking of resigning, and wished to have Duke 
Ernest as his successor, who would in that case have to 
abandon the diocese of Miinster and leave it to Henry. 6 

1 Trivius to Galli on April 4, 1575, ibid., 472. 

2 On April 26, 1575, in SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 109. 

3 SCHWARZ, Gropper, Ixiii. LOSSEN, I., 259. 

4 Ibid., 381. Trivius in THEINER, II., 474. Moreover, Henry 
was also an energetic persecutor of witches : "In the diocese, 
in the year 1583 alone, 163 persons, of whom 121 were women, 
were put to death in the town of Osnabriick." KRAUSE, in the 
Allgemeinc Deutsche Biographie, XI., 507. 

5 LOSSEN, I., 303 seqq., 306. KELLER, 404. 

6 LOSSEN, I., 289 seqq. 

Mt)NSTER. 321 

Duke Ernest, however, was not without his supporters. 
The head of the chapter of Minister was on his side, the dean, 
Gottfried von Raesfeld, " who combined a great capacity 
for public affairs, gre^t knowledge, and much firmness of 
character with strong Catholic opinions." 1 The loyal 
friendship of the Duke of Cleves was also of the very greatest 
importance to Ernest. As a new election could not take 
place until John William had resigned his rights to Miinster, 
it was in the power of William IV. to prevent any election 
which was not acceptable to him. 

Albert V. therefore tried to obtain at last for John William 
the Papal approval which he had not yet received. 2 But 
when the two envoys of Cleves and Bavaria, Hammerstein 
and Fabricius, explained their plans for Miinster in the 
presence of the Pope, Gregory XIII. listened to them with so 
threatening a look that Fabricius feared they would receive 
a downright refusal, and was relieved when at last the Pope 
referred the matter to a commission of Cardinals. 3 The Pope 
would have preferred to have seen Andrew of Austria, the 
son of the Archduke Ferdinand, as Bishop of Miinster. 4 When 

1 According to SCHWARZ, Akten, xxxix. For Raesfeld see 
H. DEGERING in the festival publication : Aus dem geistigen 
Leben und Schaffen in Westfalen, Miinster, 1906, 137 to 250 ; 
DUHR, I., 144 seq. 

2 William to Hammerstein on June 2, 1575, in KELLER, 410. 
Albert V. to William on June 16, ibid., 411. 

3 Fabricius to Albert V. on July 16, 1575, ibid., 414 ; cf. LOSSEN, 
I., 281 seq. 

4 Ferdinand s request for Andrew dat. July 9, 1575, in THEINER, 
II., 66. On July n Spore no suggested that Ernest, if he obtained 
Miinster, might renounce Freising in favour of Andrew (Nuntia- 
turberichte, V., 147, n. 3). The Pope wished Ferdinand to come 
to an understanding with Albert (ibid., 157, n. 4). The Archduke 
opened negotiations with William V. on the subject (KELLER, 
411 seq.}. On September 19, Gregory XIII. desired the Duke 
of Bavaria to use his influence in support of Andrew, should Ernest 
have no prospects of success (LossEN, I., 328 ; KELLER, 418). 
Cf. Gregory to Ferdinand on September 19, 1575, in THEINER, II., 

VOL. XX. 21 


Duke Ernest returned to Munich after a stay in Rome of a 
year and a half, he took with him a brief 1 to the chapter of 
Minister, in which nothing more was asked of the future 
bishop than that he should be a zealous Catholic, of irreproach 
able morals, and the son of a Catholic father. A brief to 
Gropper declared that this description was intended to apply 
equally to Ernest and Andrew. 2 

When these briefs were dispatched from Rome, they were 
in ignorance of the events which had in the meantime taken 
place at Minister. At first it seemed as though the canons 
were in favour of Bavaria, so that the election of Duke Ernest 
was expected at the coming chapter on St. Martin s day, in 
1575. 3 But when this chapter was held at Dulmen it was 
seen that the secret efforts of Henry of Bremen to win them 
over 4 had had their effect. Only ten or eleven votes of the 
canons were given for the Wittelsbach prince, while the 
seventeen junior canons gave theirs for the Duke of Lauenburg. 
So as not to be forced to a decision the older canons left the 
chapter-room 5 and wrote to Rome 6 to ask which of the two 
rivals the Pope preferred. 

Rome replied on January 28th, 1576, and when a report 
from the Duke of. Cleves on the events at Diilmen arrived 
on February 3rd, 7 another brief followed on the same day. 
But both the Papal letters were delayed for a long time on the 
way, and in the meantime the deadlock in the chapter of 
Minister became so embittered as to seem beyond repair. 
The older canons pledged themselves to remain firm for 

1 Of December 17, 1575, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 334 seq. 
*Ibid. t 334- 

3 LOSSEN, I., 284 seq. Cf. Gropper on May 7, 1575, in THEINER, 
II., 38. For the Chapter meetings at Horstmar and Liidinghausen 
see LOSSEN, I., 280, 283 ; KELLER, 415 seq. 

4 LOSSEN, I., 308. KELLER, 413. 

5 LOSSEN, I., 330. 

6 On November 22, 1575, in THEINER, IT., 30. 

7 Of January 12, 1576, in THEINER, II., 160 seq. Requesens 
had also written to Rome on the subject on January i. KELLER, 


Ernest, and as soon as the other party heard of this they too 
united in drawing up a signed and sealed document in favour 
of Henry of Bremen. 1 It was partly Cropper s fault that 
things had been allowed to go so far. As early as May I4th, 
1575, Cardinal Galli had made it clear to him that the Duke 
of Lauenburg had no chance of receiving the Papal approval, 2 
but the nuncio had failed to make this sufficiently clear, with 
the result that the party of Henry had strengthened its 

It was only after the disunion in the chapter had taken 
place that the first of the Pope s replies reached the hands of 
Cropper on March loth, 1576, the second coming on February 
4th. 3 The younger canons were warned in this to unite 
with the older ones ; only the son of a Catholic father could 
hope to receive the Papal approval. John William, however, 
would not renounce his postulation until he had received the 
Pope s consent to his doing so, whereupon the postulation was 
indirectly recognized as valid. 4 A covering letter to Cropper 5 
mentions both the candidates for Minister, Ernest and Andrew, 
by name, and that of Ernest in the first place. 

But when Cropper presented this brief on March i8th it 
was obvious that he was too late. It was true that all the 
canons protested their obedience to the Pope, and declared 
that they only wished for a Catholic bishop, but it was main 
tained in the discussions at the chapter that the Duke of 
Lauenburg was also a Catholic, and that they could not 
understand why the son of a Protestant could not be a good 
Catholic. Even though the brief expressly excluded the 
son of a non-Catholic from election, the party of the younger 
canons nevertheless were successful in obtaining an appeal 
to the Pope in the name of the chapter, asking him to declare 

1 Cropper to Galli on March 28, 1576, in SCHWARZ, Cropper, 443. 

2 Ibid., 286. 

3 Cropper loc. cit. in accordance with which LOSSEN (I., 375) 
must be corrected. 

4 The simultaneous answer to the Duke of Jiilich was in the 
same sense. See THEINER, II., 161 ; KELLER, 427. 

5 In SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 337. 


whether he approved the Duke of Bremen or the Duke of 
Bavaria. 1 The reply from Rome naturally once again 
excluded Lauenburg 2 

A short time after his return to Cologne Cropper received 
through Tandorf, the envoy of Bavaria, a belated brief, 
that of January 28th, 1576. Unlike that of February 4th, 
which had already been presented, in this one Henry of 
Bremen was expressly excluded by name. Therefore the 
nuncio set out a second time for Minister. After a conference 
on April 5th, the party of the younger canons declared that 
they could not for the moment arrive at a definite decision 
because all the canons were not present. 3 At the chapter 
held in Easter week, with the promise of which the canons 
had comforted the nuncio, Gropper, in spite of three days 
efforts, was still unable on this his third visit, to obtain any 
decision. 4 

Gropper left Miinster with the impression that the party 
of the younger canons adhered thus tenaciously to Henry 
because of their reliance on Salentin of Isenburg. Salentin, 
they thought, when he went to Munich and Rome, would 
be able to arrange everything in favour of his friend, Henry. 5 
Henry, too, developed great activity in favour of his candida 
ture. An embassy declared in his name to the chapter that 
he would maintain the diocese in the " ancient Catholic 
and Roman religion." 6 He sent a second embassy to Duke 
Albert V., and wrote 7 to William IV., 8 as well as to the Pope, 

1 Protocol of the negotiations in KELLER, 430 seq. Cropper s 
report of March 28, 1576, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 443 seqq. Cf. 
LOSSEN, I., 375 seqq. 

2 Of June 2, 1576, ibid., 405. 

3 KELLER, 431. 

4 LOSSEN, I., 386. KELLER, 440. A Brief of March 17, 1576 
(THEINER, II., 163 ; KELLER, 429) was not delivered. 

5 LOSSEN, I., 387. 

6 Ibid., 380 seq. The envoys Instruction of March 22, 1576, 
in KELLER, 432. 

7 Instruction of April 17, 1576, ibid., 437. 

8 Ibid., 432-5. 


when he assured him of his deep respect. 1 Rome answered 
that he must prove his words by his deeds. 2 

It was clear to both parties that the hope of salvation 
for the friends of Bavaria, as well as the impregnable barrier 
for the opposing party lay in the decree of postulation in 
the hands of the Duke of Cleves. It was round this decree 
that all the efforts of both parties turned in the time that 
followed. The nuncio Cropper wished the Pope to confirm 
it in full form. 3 But this suggestion met with difficulties 
in Rome. Might not the young John William yet wish to 
transform Miinster into a civil principality ? And could they, 
above all, put their reliance unconditionally in the court of 
Cleves ? John William was about to make his first communion, 
and his father wished him to receive it under both kinds. 
Albert V. was begged by Rome to be on his guard against 
such double-dealing. 4 Elgard was sent to the Lower Rhine 
expressly to bring pressure to bear upon the duke ; he was 
not, however, able to obtain anything more than further 
delay. 5 That the duke should gradually lose interest in the 
approval of the postulation was quite to the liking of the 

All the more urgently, therefore, did the adversaries of 
Bavaria try to get the decree of postulation from the hands 
of their enemies, and all they did in the time that followed 
seems to have been influenced by this idea. All of a sudden 
the party of the younger canons manifested an extraordinary 
friendship for Bavaria in chapter. Their leader, the civil 
vicar, Conrad von Westerholt, expressed himself in private 
conversations as envoy to Cleves in favour of the candidature 
of Duke Ernest ; if we trust him, he said, everything will be 

1 On April i, 1576, in THEINER, II., 163 seq. 

2 On June 2, 1576, ibid., 169. 

3 LOSSEN, I., 387. 

4 Brief of March 10, 1576, in THEINER, II., 170. 

5 Elgard to Galli on May 29, 1576, ibid., 170 seq. Cf. LOSSEN, 
Zur Geschichte des Laienkelches am Hofe des Herzogs Wilhelm 
von Jiilich-Cleve, 1570-9, in the Zeitschrift des Bergischen 
Geschichtsvereins, XIX, 


done in accordance with the wishes of Duke William. 6 At a 
meeting of the chapter on July 25th he declared that he 
would no longer be opposed to Ernest, so long as he did not 
wish to introduce the Inquisition into Minister, and if they 
were satisfied concerning the lawsuit of the chapter against 
Schenking, the majordomo of Ernest. Albert V. gave 
satisfactory assurances on both these points. 2 

At the meeting of the chapter on November I3th it seemed 
that they would at last come to a decision. The dean of 
the chapter proposed a capitulation with Bavaria, and no 
opposition was raised ; they were in agreement that the 
earlier arrangement of 1575 should form the basis of the 
capitulation, and all the twenty-three canons present declared 
amid solemn applause that now all difficulties were removed. 3 
On February 5th, 1577, tne capitulation was definitely decided 
upon by representatives of the chapter, together with von 
der Recke and three envoys of Bavaria, and accepted by 
the whole chapter on the following day. Westerholt then 
declared that in spite of the agreement their choice must 
remain free, and von der Recke promised that the document 
of the postulation of John William, which had hitherto been 
the palladium of the party of Bavaria, 4 should be given back. 
The Bavarians now looked upon the election as safe, and the 
only thing that might cast a cloud over their hopes was the 
fact that that old intriguer, Lorenz Schrader, the trusted 
confidant of Lauenburg, had put in an appearance at Minister. 

A short time before the day appointed for the election, 
February 23rd, the envoys of Cleves asked for an express 
promise that after the surrender of the decree of postulation, 
the election of the administrator of Freising would really 
take place. This request excited the indignation of the party 

1 LOSSEN, I., 441 seq. 

2 Letter to William IV. of October 5, 1576, in KELLER, 449-52. 
In the copy that William sent to the following meeting of the 
Chapter of November 13, he omitted a sentence on his own 
responsibility. Ibid., 453. 

3 LOSSEN, I., 447 seq. 

4 Ibid., 453 seq. 

MONSTER. 3 2 7 

of the younger canons, and it was only on the morning of the 
election that a decision was come to. It was decided that a 
capitulation must precede any new postulation ; now that 
the capitulation with Duke Ernest had been made, there 
must be a new postulation when the other decree of nomination 
had hardly been surrendered. The envoys of Cleves handed 
over such a document, and in the name of John William 
two priests of Miinster, who had been charged to do so, resigned 
the bishopric and the principality. 

After the mass of the Holy Ghost and a solemn admonition 
from the dean of the chapter, Gottfried von Raesfeld, three 
canons who had been appointed to collect the votes went with 
certain witnesses to the upper hall of the chapter in order 
first to give their own votes. This duty fell first of all to the 
provost, Goswin von Raesfeld, and he nominated Ernest of 
Bavaria as the future bishop. The next to vote was the 
vicar, Westerholt, and he, contrary to all expectation and 
to all his promises, named Henry of Bremen. Irritated at 
his duplicity, the other two fell upon the vicar, since, if the 
leader of the younger canons supported Henry, there was 
no doubt as to what was to be expected from his followers. 
How could he dare, they expostulated, contrary to the written 
decision of the chapter, to demand one with whom the capitula 
tion had not been made ? Westerholt replied that he and 
others had also sent a capitulation to Henry, and the latter 
had accepted it. As proof he produced from his pocket a 
letter from Henry, but was not able to read it, for the others 
in their indignation ran and informed the other canons of 
what had taken place. 1 Moreover, it was not true that the 
Duke of Lauenburg had accepted the capitulation. 2 

It was now clear what the presence of Schrader in Minister 
meant, for he had brought with him at the critical moment 
the letter from his master, 3 and in less than eight days had 
twice made a journey of at least twenty-five miles. He and 

1 LOSSEN, I., 457. 

2 Ibid., 604. He signed it later, but only after he had com 
pletely changed it by unsightly alterations (ibid., 607 seq.), 

3 LOSSEN, I., 457-9. 


Conrad von Westerholt had contrived a deadly blow at the 
party of Bavaria by extracting from them the decree of 

Westerholt 1 found himself after this in the very centre 
of the struggle which now began all over again. It was he 
who delivered the more severe blows at Bavaria, while the 
friends of the latter directed all their efforts to his defeat. 

First of all the party of Cleves asked for the decree of 
postulation back, but this was not a serviceable weapon, 
as its validity was in question. In this state of uncertainty 
only Rome could accomplish anything. The party of the 
older canons therefore had recourse to Rome, 2 for a Papal 
confirmation of the prohibition by .which the dean had placed 
the withdrawal of the postulation under the penalty of 
excommunication. The Dukes of Cleves 3 and Bavaria 4 
also sent reports and demanded that proceedings should be 
taken against Westerholt and his followers. A special envoy, 
Johann von Raesfeld, a former student of the German College, 
was successful in Rome in getting it declared that the resigna 
tion of John William was null, and in having the leaders of 
the anti-Bavarian party summoned to Rome. 5 

There, however, it was thought that there were no grounds 
for juridical proceedings. 6 It was decided to leave the matter 
in the hands of the nuncio ; if possible he was to bring about 
the nomination of Duke Ernest, or at anyrate maintain the 
postulation of John William. 7 

The nuncio who was given this task was no longer what 

1 SCHWARZ gives particulars of him in the Zeitschrift fur 
vaterldndische Geschichte, LXIX. (1911), 60 seq. 

2 On April 23, 1577, i n THEINER, II., 292 seq. 

3 On March 13 and May 10, 1577, ibid., 287 seqq., 289 seqq. 

4 On March 24 and May 31, 1577, ibid., 290, 293. 
6 LOSSEN, I., 492 seq. 

6 Fabricius to Albert V. on April 20, 1577, i n KELLER, 470. 

7 Briefs of April 16 to Duke William, in THEINER, II., 292, 
KELLER, 468 seq. ; to the Chapter, in THEINER, II., 291 ; to 
John William, in KELLER, 469 ; credentials to the heads of the 
Chapter, dat. April 13, in THEINER, II., 292. 


he had been. Caspar Cropper had created a bad impression 
in Rome by the irregularity and prolixity of his reports ; 
once when the Secretary of State had casually reproved him 
at a moment when the interruption of his reports was not 
due to him but to the posts, the angry man had not written 
any more for eight months. 1 Morone therefore proposed 
on June 6th, 1576, to send Bartolomeo Portia to Lower 
Germany- in the place of Cropper ; a man of weight was 
needed there, and Portia was so shrewd and experienced in 
public affairs, so capable and in such high esteem among the 
princes that much might be expected of him. 2 At the begin 
ning of January, 1577, Portia received at Ingolstadt orders 
to go to Cologne, which he reached on March 4th. 3 Cropper 
never returned to Rome, and he seems to have become 
unbalanced in mind ; he sat in his room, which he rarely 
left, with his hair and beard untrimmed, a misanthrope and 
an enigma to those about him. 4 

In the meantime the state of affairs had again become 
disturbed, so that even Portia could not do much for Minister. 
The courts of Diisseldorf and Munich were at that time pressing 
for the promotion of Duke Ernest to the archbishopric of 
Cologne, and did not wish to make their position more difficult 
by interfering in the disputes at Minister ; thus until the 
winter of 1577 the time passed in an exchange of polemic 
writings between the two parties, 5 but otherwise the question 
of Minister made no progress. Portia too kept in the 
background, as the Duke of Lauenburg had a vote at the 
election to Cologne. At last, however, he decided to 
take one important step. At an interview with Duke William 
at Dinslaken he had not allowed himself to be led into confirm 
ing the postulation of John William, but a short time 

1 SCHWARZ, Cropper, cii. 

2 Nuntiaturberichte, II., 77. 

3 Ibid., I., 8. 

4 SCHWARZ, loc. cit., civ. LOSSEN, I., 472, n. i. "Instruction 
for Annibale di Capua of December 7, 1576, Var. polit., 129, 
p. 178 (Papal Secret Archives). 

5 LOSSEN, I., 494, 592. 


afterwards, in a conversation at Hamm, Gottfried von 
Raesfeld, the dean of the chapter, explained to him that he 
and his party were losing ground every day, because of the 
uncertainty whether the postulation of the hereditary prince 
was still valid ; relying on the words of the Elector of Cologne, 
the true headquarters of the party opposed to Bavaria, their 
adversaries were spreading the report that no decision was 
to be looked for from Rome, and that Duke Ernest would 
have to give up Minister in order to obtain Cologne. There 
was also reason to fear some act of violence to secure the 
appointment of the Duke of Bremen, while Munster in the 
meantime stood in need of John William, as its only possible 
protector. 1 Many of Westerholt s followers only adhered 
to Henry for this reason, because they wished to smooth 
the way for the canons of Bremen, who had actually made 
the promise to contract matrimony. 2 

As the result of what Raesfeld said Portia caused two 
briefs concerning the reinstatement of his son to be sent to 
the father of John William, and these were made known in 
Munster. The city, as well as the party of the younger canons, 
reserved their reply. 3 

Towards the end of the year the Bavarian party met with 
a decisive defeat at Cologne ; Gebhard Truchsess was 
appointed archbishop. With this the prospects of Ernest 
of Bavaria took a bad turn, and not only on the Rhine. The 
party of Westerholt celebrated Gebhard s victory as their 
own. Henry of Lauenburg, after the resignation of Salentin, 
his successor at Paderborn, had to fix all his hopes on the 
fourth bishopric of north Germany. Westerholt s arrogance 
passed beyond all bounds, and he vented his wrath upon his 
adversaries in a violent accusation, 4 which he presented to 
the local Diet in the name of his party. 

This violent attack naturally evoked an equally bitter 

1 Nuntiaturberichte, I., no seq., 115 seq. 

2 Ibid., 114 seq. 

3 LOSSEN, I., 511. 

4 In KELLER, 476 seq. ; LOSSEN, I., 594. 


defence. In conferences 1 held by von der Recke with the 
dean and the provost of the chapter, it was decided to suggest 
that the vicar should be summoned to Rome, some of the 
expressions he had used in his accusation affording sufficient 
grounds for this. Von der Recke moreover came back to his 
previous suggestion 2 of nominating John William as adminis 
trator of the principality, which would naturally put an end 
to Westerholt s vicariate, and incidentally to his power. 
The Pope could dispense the rule that the administrator 
must be a priest, and this dispensation could be asked for 
by the Duke of Bavaria, because enough confidence was not 
felt in the Duke of Cleves in Rome on account of his 
continually repeated requests for communion under both 
kinds, at least for the hereditary prince. 3 

But before everything else Duke William tried to get rid 
of Westerholt by means of a formal dismissal. But the 
inquiry of January 28th, 1578, which was intended to put an 
end to the divisions in the chapter, referred him to the regional 
Diet, 4 and there the matter of Westerholt was not raised 
at all. The supporters of Bavaria, however, had accom 
plished something ; they brought pressure to bear in Rome 
before the Diet, to have a summons against Westerholt given 
to them, to use as a weapon, and the efforts of the Bavarian 
ambassador actually succeeded in obtaining such a document 

1 At Schermbeck on January 21, 1578, in KELLER, 478. 

2 To Paul Langer, Cleves, 1577, December 18, ibid., 477. 

3 Portia to Galli on June i, 1577, Nuntialurberichte, I., 112 seq, 
Duke William to Gregory XIII. on January 28, 1578, in THEINER, 
II., 368. Gregory was thinking of sending Canisius to the duke 
to negotiate about Westerholt and the question of the chalice 
(Gregory to William on April 5, 1578, ibid., 368 seq. ; cf. SCHWARZ, 
Zehn Gutachten, 128 seq.). On March 21, 1579, Gregory con 
gratulated the young duke on his having communicated under 
one kind (THEINER, III., (20). On January 6, 1578, Portia 
reported that in many places within the territory of Cleves the 
chalice was still administered to the people. Nuntiaturberichte, I., 

4 LOSSEN, I., 595 SCq. 


in two forms, one more severe, 1 and one less so. 2 On May 
9th the summons against Westerholt was made known, and 
because of his daily increasing arrogance, in its severest 
form ; he for his part had summoned Duke William before 
the supreme tribunal of Spires for insulting him ! 3 

Westerholt was not in any hurry to obey the command 
of the Pope. A troop of cavalry and infantry, which had 
been enrolled in Lower Germany for service in Flanders, 
harassed the principality at that time for fifteen days ; 
Westerholt wrote to Rome that under these circumstances 
it was impossible for him to leave his post. When, however, 
he failed to pay any attention even later on, the Dukes of 
Jiilich and Bavaria 4 renewed their complaints, and thus, in 
December, 1578, the German Congregation arrived at the 
decision of depriving him, on account of his disobedience, 
of his benefice and office, by the hands of the auditor-general 
of the Roman Camera, and excluding him from the chapter. 
On March 3oth the decree to this effect reached the hands 
of the Duke of Jiilich, 5 who published it in Minister during 
Easter week. 

Westerholt had no intention of submitting. At Paderborn 
he had an interview with Henry of Bremen, and on April 
29th, appealed " to the Pope better informed." On May 
4th he presented himself at the cathedral accompanied by 
armed men, and took his place in the choir. 6 Shielding 
himself behind the rights of the chapter, which had docu 
mentary confirmation, he tried to prove to the governor 
that he was bound to protect him. Thereupon forty or 
fifty of the nobles of the city presented themselves 

1 Of April 5, 1578, in THEINER, II., 369. 

2 KELLER, 478, n. 2. 

3 LOSSEN, I., 597 seq. 

* On October 8, 1578, ibid., 601. Albert V. to William on 
December 26, 1578, in KELLER, 480. Fabricius to Albert on 
January 24, 1579, ibid., 482. 

5 LOSSEN, I., 609. KELLER, 481. Cf. German Congregation, 
March 8, 1578, in SCHWARZ, Zehn Gutachten, 129, 

6 LOSSEN, I., 651, 


to demand of the governor and the chapter a general Diet. 1 
The latter was held entirely in accordance with the wishes 
of Westerholt. It made a great impression when weighty 
embassies from Henry of Bremen, the Union of Utrecht and 
Gebhard Truchsess made their appearance, 2 and a letter in 
favour of Westerholt was read 3 in which the King of Denmark, 
Frederick II., recommended him warmly to the citizens of 
Minister on the ground that the cities of the diocese " have 
no little commerce and livelihood in our realm and territories," 
and that they should therefore pay heed to the wishes of 
their neighbour in the north. Feeling ran all the more. high 
" in that many gave it to be understood that sooner than 
have the Duke of Bavaria for their lord, they would see their 
houses burned over them, and their heads cut off." 4 As the 
result of the final meeting of the Diet a request was sent to 
the Pope, 5 that he would inquire into the case of Westerholt 
again, and either absolve or pardon him. On receipt of the 
Pope s reply there was to be another Diet, and no further 
postulation was to be made before he was reinstated. 

On hearing of this decision Duke Albert broke out into a 
rage : if Westerholt and Schrader, so he wrote, could be 
quietly suppressed and hanged to a tree, it would be a good 
thing. 6 The dean became " very much frightened " ; if 
there were no improvement within three months, he intended 
to resign his office. 7 Albert V. dissuaded him from this, 8 
as the Catholic religion was at stake. 

1 Ibid., 651-4. The dean of the cathedral did not dare to 
publish four papal briefs of March 7, 15 79, which deposed 
Westerholt and appointed Raesfeld in his place as governor 
(KELLER, 483, 484, n. i). One of the briefs, dated March 14, 
in THEINER, III., 17. 

2 LOSSEN, I., 656-9. 

3 Of June 27, 1579, in KELLER, 486. 

4 LOSSEN, I., 659. 

6 Of August 5, 1579, in THEINER, III., 17. Westerholt s 
written defence addressed to the knights and nobles on July 31, 
ibid., 1 8. 

LOSSEN, I., 622. 

7 Document written by Langer on Aug. 3, 1579, in KELLER, 488. 

8 On August 1 6, 1579, ibid. 


The occurrences at the Diet decided the Pope to intervene 
seriously. Westerholt was excommunicated and deposed. 1 
A brief of September 2oth 2 appointed John William adminis 
trator of the civil affairs of the diocese of Minister for three 
years ; Henry of Bremen must not be asked for, and Ernest 
was accepted in Rome. 3 Westerholt s appeal " to the Pope 
better informed " had already been rejected. 

Like the Pope, the Emperor also intervened. At the 
request of Albert V. 4 he appointed the archbishops of 
Mayence and Treves, and the marshal of the court, Henry 
Otto von Schwarzenberg, as commissaries, who were to 
reconcile the two parties and bring about the nomination 
of a suitable bishop. 

To all appearances a decision now seemed to be imminent, 
but in reality fresh complications were beginning. The 
Emperor, who had been called to their assistance by the 
adversaries of Westerholt, himself became his protector, 
and hampered the Pope s intervention ; the party of 
Westerholt had become an Imperial party. 

A short time before the young Archduke Matthias had 
been led into a great act of imprudence. At the invitation 
of the southern provinces of the Low Countries, he had gone 
there as viceroy against the wishes of Spain. He thought 
to escape from the unhappy position in which he found himself 
if he could get himself installed in the principality of Miinster 
in the place of Duke Ernest. 

The plan had already been put forward that both Ernest 
and Henry should renounce their candidature to Miinster, 
and a third party chosen. 5 The idea of making this 
third party the Archduke Matthias had formed itself 
in the cunning mind of Henry of Bremen, who wished to 
profit by the difficulties of the Austrian states in order to 

1 On August 26, LOSSEN, I., 670. 

2 In KELLER, 489 seq. 

3 Briefs of August 15, 1579, to the Chapter, to the Emperor 
and to Duke William, in THEINER, III., 19 seq., 20. 

4 LOSSEN, I., 663. Cf. Albert in KELLER, 488 seq. 
6 LOSSEN, I., 600 seqq. 


obtain an honourable way out of the intricate labyrinth 
of the affairs of Minister. 1 In virtue of the agreements 
between Germany and Rome, the Duke of Lauenburg could 
not receive the Imperial investiture of the principality, with 
out first obtaining the Papal approbation. In spite of this 
Maximilian II. and Rudolph II. had granted him the investiture 
of Osnabriick and Paderborn, but only for two years and 
with the condition, which was certainly not taken seriously, 
of his asking for the Papal approbation. 2 The thought of 
setting himself free from this state, by renouncing his 
candidature at Minister, and presenting an Austrian archduke 
in his stead, had taken shape in his mind ; in return 
he wanted the Emperor to grant him the permanent investiture 
of his three dioceses. He first thought of the Archduke 
Maximilian, the brother of the Emperor Rudolph. In view 
of the embarrassments in which the Archduke Matthias 
found himself, Maximilian accepted, not for himself, but for 
Matthias. 3 Henry of Bremen agreed, but thought of profiting 
from the position on behalf of his friend Westerholt, so he 
made it a condition that the latter, who was already suspended, 
but who had not been removed, should again return to the 
undisturbed possession of his benefice. 4 At the beginning of 
October his envoy, von der Recke, once more presented the 
request that Westerholt s removal should be annulled. 5 

But Rudolph had not the courage to make an enemy of 
the powerful Duke of Bavaria by openly accepting this 
suggestion. Instead, on September i8th, he authorized 
the formation of an Imperial commission which was to settle 

1 LOSSEN in the Munchener Sitzungsberichte, Phil. KL, 1890, 
II., 85-108. 

2 Ibid., go. A letter of May 28, 1579, from Henry to the Flanders 
nuncio Castagna to whom he sends his councillor Schrader, in 
THEINER, III., 20 seq. Shortly before the death of Maximilian II., 
Henry had asked for an extension of time with regard to Osna 
briick. SCHWARZ, Gropper, 355 seq. 

3 LOSSEN, he. cit., 88-92 

4 Henry to Maximilian II., on May 25, 1579, ibid., 92 seq. 

5 Ibid., 95. 


the dispute about Munster according to the wishes of Albert. 
His zeal for this commission was naturally not very great. 
He very soon adopted the suggestion of Lauenburg of using 
the commission as a means of attempting the choice of a 
third candidate, to the exclusion of both the existing ones, 
and of recommending the archduke in this capacity. 1 Steps 
to attain this end were set on foot. 2 Henry of Bremen 
received as a reward for his advice investiture for life of 
Osnabriick and Paderborn, naturally once again with the 
condition, this time quite illusory, of his seeking once more 
for the Papal approbation. 3 Unfortunately for the Bavarian 
party at Munster, its most powerful supporter, Duke Albert V., 
died about this time, on October 24th, 1579 Rudolph and 
Matthias were thus freed from an adversary whom they could 
not afford to disregard. 

Under these circumstances it was impossible to guess how 
the Emperor would act with regard to the treatment of 
Westerholt and in the granting of investiture to the adminis 
trator The party of the vicar became more bold. When 
Duke William gave notice to the nobles of the removal and 
banishment of Westerholt, 4 the Imperial officials only informed 
him of it privately, 5 but did not allow it to be made public. 
At the Diet at the beginning of January, 1580, the notice of 
his condemnation made very little impression ; it was 
resolved to await the Imperial commission. Immediately 
after the Diet, the lelatives of Westerholt bitterly complained 
of his suspension to the Emperor and to the Elector of Saxony, 
who had gone to Rudolph to obtain his support. The councillor 
of Lauenburg, von der Recke, conveyed these complaints 
to Dresden and Prague, together with a letter from his master, 
asking the Emperor to act quickly, as the dean of the chapter, 
Raesfeld, had expressed his disapproval of the election of 

1 Ibid., 97. 

2 Ibid., 98. LOSSEN, Kolnische Krieg, I., 679. 

3 LOSSEN in the Mun,hener Sitzungsberichte, loo. cit., 98. 

4 On November 21, 1579, in KELLER, 491. 

5 On December 20, ibid. 


an archduke as Bishop of Minister. 1 The first effect of these 
attempts was shown in the fact that the Imperial commission 
was altered in a sense quite hostile to Bavaria, and instead 
of the Elector of Treves, the enemy of Bavaria on the Rhine, 
Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg, was appointed. 2 At the 
recommendation of the Elector of Saxony, 3 Rudolph II. asked 
Rome for the annulment of the suspension of Westerholt, 
saying that otherwise he would do so himself. 4 The envoys 
of the Dukes of Jiilich and Bavaria were coldly received by 
Rudolph, when they asked him not to take up the defence of 
Westerholt against the Pope . 5 The Emperor had already quite 
definitely refused his consent to the administration of John 
William, on the pretext that the Papal appointment to such 
offices was quite contrary to the German concordats. 6 

Henry of Bremen had recommended the Emperor to act 
swiftly, but his adversaries too resolved by swift action to 
find a way out of the tangle which was ever becoming more 
complicated. Encouraged by hearing from the governor 
of Flanders, Alessandro Farnese, that the Archduke Matthias 
would not be pleasing as a bishop, either to himself or to 
the king, Duke William took a decisive step ; on February 
8th he presented to the chapter by a notary, the decision 
of Rome against Westerholt. The dean and his supporters 
declared their acceptance of this, and the office of the expelled 
man was at once conferred on another 7 

The expulsion of Westerholt had another important result ; 

1 LOSSEN, Sitzungsberichte, 99 seq. 

2 Ibid., 101. 

3 Of January 20, 1580, ibid., 102. 

1 At least von der Becke says so in a letter of March 20, 1580 
ibid., 103. 

5 von der Becke, loc. cit., 103 seq. 

6 To Duke William on December 26, 1579, in KELLER, 491. 
That Westerholt s citation to Rome was also contrary to the 
Concordat was maintained by the Archbishop of Mayence, Von 
der Becke, loc. cit., 103. 

7 LOSSEN, Kolnische Krieg, I., 680. Cf. Farnese on January 7, 
1580, in KELLER, 493. 

VOL. XX. 22 


of the canons who had declared themselves for Henry of 
Bremen or Ernest of Bavaria in 1575, there were now, in 
the two parties, only eleven with the right to vote, so that 
the parties were equal. Gottfried von Raesfeld resolved 
to make use of this fact for a sudden stroke. Of the canons 
who had recently been admitted, only six had a right to vote, 
and it was possible that some of these might be won over 
to the party of Bavaria, and thus obtain a majority. 1 The 
candidature of Duke Ernest was then secretly put forward, 
and everything seemed ready for taking their adversaries by 
surprise. On April gth, quite unexpectedly, a chapter was 
summoned at which the election was to take place. 

But the plan did not succeed. According to the statutes 
of the chapter, a new postulation could not be proclaimed 
before April 26th, and this gave the anti-Bavarian party 
time to take steps to prevent it. 2 Henry of Bremen had 
already several times urged the Imperial commission to take 
action, and he now came in haste from Bremen to his house 
at Iburg, in the territory of Osnabriick, five miles from 
Minister. He summoned his advisers thither, and there 
Westerholt and his followers pledged themselves to vote for 
an Austrian archduke. An envoy from Henry went to John 
of Nassau at Arnheim, to ask for his intervention. 3 After 
Lauenburg had announced his presence to the city council, 
he entered Miinster on April 24th with their permission, 
and was received by them at the head of an imposing cavalcade 
of 142 horsemen. On the following day Egeling, the chancellor 
of Bremen, read before the authorities and the city council 
a letter from the Emperor which demanded that they should 
resist the postulation which had been decided upon. 4 

In the meantime there had arrived plenipotentiaries from 
the Archbishop of Cologne, and the Imperial commissary, 
Winneburg. Even more disturbing was the fact that, on 

1 LOSSEN, loc. cit., 68 1. Schmale to von der Becke on March n, 
1580, in KELLER, 493. 

2 LOSSEN, loc. cit., 688. 

3 Ibid. ; Miinchener Sitzungsberichte, loc. cit., 106. 

4 LOSSEN, Kolnische Krieg, I., 689 seq. KELLER, 494 seq. 


the eve of the election, John of Nassau had come secretly 
into the city under a false name. 

On the following day, April 26th, the Imperial commissaries 
appeared before the chapter and read a letter from the 
supreme ruler of the Empire in which the Papal decree 
concerning the administration of John William was brusquely 
rejected. Under threats of the Imperial displeasure they 
were told not to proceed to a new election until unity had 
been restored in the chapter. 1 

The day before, in spite of the coming of Duke Henry, 
the party of the senior canons had stood firm ; now the 
chapter asked for time for reflection, in order that they might 
take into consideration the exceptional circumstances which 
John of Nassau had made known to the council and the 
authorities. 2 Early that morning John had informed the 
council of the citizens and the authorities, that the soldiers 
of the Low Countries near Deventer would not hear of the 
election of the Bavarian prince, and that it was known from 
letters that had been intercepted that he intended to make 
Miinster a war base. By command of the federated provinces 
John offered the authorities of Miinster and Duke Henry 
military assistance ; for the moment he had restrained the 
ardour of the army, but nevertheless a body of troops had 
already advanced to the Rhine. 3 

When this news was spread among the people the defeat 
of Duke Ernest was already assured. The brazen falsehood 
that the soldiery of the Low Countries were actually within 
the territory of the diocese caused everyone to take up arms ; 
the gates were shut, the sentries were increased, and cannon 
were set up in the market-place. There must be no new 
election, it was said ; neither Bremen nor Bavaria ! As was 
declared on the same day to the chapter and the government, 
it would be preferable either to elect a third party, or else 
to adhere to the one already postulated ! 

1 LOSSEN, loc. cit., 690. Cf. KELLER, 496. 

2 Ibid., 498 seq. 

3 LOSSEN, Kolnische Krieg, I., 691. Report of John of Nassau 
to William of Orange on May 9, 1580, in KELLER, 504 seq. 


This last demand had set free the followers of Raesfeld. 
They came to an agreement with the envoys of the Duke of 
Cleves to hand over the administration as far as possible 
to the young Duke John William, but a postulation would be 
clearly impossible. 1 An invitation to Duke William to come 
himself to the city, together with the hereditary prince, or 
at anyrate to the frontier of Schermbeck, was dispatched 
on the same evening. 2 Henry of Bremen and John of Nassau 
left the city in haste, but the disturbances continued 

After Duke William IV. and the hereditary prince made 
their solemn entry into Minister with 300 cavalry on the 
evening of May 7th, and had been ceremoniously received 
by the citizens, an agreement was arrived at on May loth. 
The canons of the Bavarian party, although they were in a 
majority, gave up the idea of a new election, while the other 
party, in return, agreed that the young Duke John William 
should undertake the government, under the already existing 
council. 3 On September 2oth the hereditary prince again 
came to Minister to take up his new office, 4 and on the 3oth 
asked for the confirmation of the Pope. 5 

Thus the struggle for the possession of Minister was settled 
for the time being, and the Archduke Matthias had lost the 
day. The Emperor soon bowed to what he could no longer 
avoid ; at first he had thoughts of appointing another 
commission, 6 but at the end of October gave his assent to 
the way matters had turned out. 7 

After the coming of the two Dukes of Julich, Westerholt 

1 LOSSEN, loo. cit., 692. 

2 Ibid. ; KELLER, 497. 

3 LOSSEN, loc. cit., 695-7. 

4 Ibid., 702. 

5 THEINER, III., 125. 

6 Letter of May 30, 1580, to the Elector of Cologne, to the 
cathedral chapter, to the Government and to the knights 
and nobles of Munster ; see DIEKAMP in the Zeitschrift 
fur vaterldndische Geschichte, XL1I. (1884), 169 seq. ; LOSSEN, 
Sitzungsberichte, 108. 

7 LOSSEN, Kolnische Krieg, I., 702. 


remained quietly in his own house. When John William 
was proclaimed as head of the government, his task was 
finished ; he saw that he was no longer needed in Miinster, 
and took the most prudent course by going to Rome, whither 
he had been summoned. They were not accustomed there 
to such obedience from the obstinate Germans, and Westerholt 
met with so kind a reception that they even began to fear 
in Miinster that he would be restored to his former position, 
and begin his old intrigues over again. 1 At last the process 
against him was begun, but no sentence was pronounced, 
and he remained for several years in Rome. 2 In 1584 he 
appeared once more at Paderborn ; the Pope, who had first 
tried to provide him with the provostship of the cathedral 
of Liege, now sought to give him that of Halberstadt. 3 When 
at last, in the following year, Miinster had a bishop, the latter 
had to undertake, in deference to the insistence of the chapter, 
that Westerholt should henceforward be kept at least three 
days journey away from the diocese. 4 

Duke Ernest could find consolation for this fresh defeat 

1 Ibid., 698-702. Cf. John William and Duke William to the 
Pope on September 30 and November 30, 1580, in THEINER, III., 
125, 126 seq. The Chapter had disposed of Westerholt s benefice 
on its own authority, in spite of the fact that the conferring of it 
belonged to the Pope. Rome maintained its rights (LossEN, 
loc. cit., I., 680 seq. ; II., 544 seq., 549 seq.}. The briefs of 
November 18, 1581, to the Chapter and Administrator in THEINER, 
III., 246 ; KELLER, 509 seq. 

2 THEINER, II., 547, 550 seq. 

3 For the Provostship of Liege see document, dat. November 9, 
1580, in DIEKAMP, loc. cit., 170 ; for Halberstadt see Westerholt 
to Galli, Paderborn, November 15, 1584, in THEINER, III., 524 seq. 
In Rome they now believed in Westerholt s change of mind and 
recommended him to the dukes of Cleves and Bavaria (ibid., 
523 seq.} ; on November 15, 1584, William V. expressed his 
doubts on the subject (ibid., 524), so also Bonhomini on October 
30, 1584 (EHSES-MEISTER, I., 6) ; Recommendation of Westerholt 
to Bonhomini on August 25 and October 6, 1584, ibid., i seq. Cf. 
LOSSEN, II., 567. 

4 LOSSEN, II., 597. 


at Minister in the fact that in 1581 he received the bishopric of 
Liege. 1 His obtaining of this new diocese naturally seemed to 
close to him the way to Westphalia. In Rome they were not 
inclined to give him another diocese, and, as was learned 
in the summer of 1581, they would have preferred an Austrian 
archduke, while at Minister they could not wish for a bishop 
who was bound by his election capitulation to live permanently 
at Liege. 2 

Cardinal Madruzzo, at the Diet of Augsburg in 1582, 
undertook to settle the affair of Miinster finally ; he was 
authorized to inform Duke Ernest that Rome would never 
give him confirmation at Miinster, as the presence of the 
bishop was as necessary there as it was at Liege. 3 

But after a conversation with the Emperor, with Duke 
Ernest, and the envoys of Miinster and Cleves, Madruzzo 
had to write to Rome at the beginning of August, that Duke 
Ernest was the only possible bishop for Miinster, and that the 
old duke would never allow the hereditary prince to resign 
the diocese except in favour of Ernest. 4 Moreover it would 
be very difficult to find anyone else suitable for the West- 
phalian diocese. The Emperor did not again raise the 
candidature of one of his brothers at the Diet of Augsburg. 5 
Duke Frederick of Saxony-Lauenburg, the brother of Henry 
of Bremen, was, it is true, behaving at that time as a good 
Catholic, 6 but the sad experience they .had had of Henry 
of Lauenburg, and again, more recently, of Gebhard 
Truchsess, suggested caution. The church of Miinster, 
Madruzzo wrote from the Diet, is in so dangerous a position, 
that it seems fitting to vote for Duke Ernest, about whose 
Catholic sentiments they could at anyrate feel safe. 7 Moreover, 
they did not feel quite satisfied, either in Rome or Munich, 

1 Ibid., 711-54. 

2 Ibid., 545 seq. 

3 Ibid., 546. 

4 LOSSEN, II., 548. 

5 Ibid. 

6 Ibid. 

7 Ibid., 549. 


as to the religious steadfastness of the court of Cleves, nor 
was the danger quite obviated of John William retaining the 
civil principality in the end. But if the princes of Bavaria 
were successful in their two plans, of betrothing the future 
Duke of Julich to a fervent Catholic princess, Jacobea of 
Baden, who had been brought up at the court of Munich, 
and of installing their relative Ernest at Minister, in that 
case John William would find a strong personal support 
in his wife, for his political power in the powerful diocese of 
Minister, and for his Catholicism in the union of the vast 
territories of Liege, Jiilich-Cleves, and Minister. 1 Thus the 
very state of affairs obliged Rome to show favour to the 
ambitions of Bavaria in north-west Germany. 2 

If the marriage of John William with Jacobea 3 took place, 
he would naturally have to resign the administration of the 
diocese of Minister. But the old Duke of Cleves would not 
hear of such a marriage ; he feared that if his son turned his 
attention so far to the east, he would neglect his invalid father. 
The Duchess Anna of Bavaria, in order to overcome his morbid 
antipathy to the betrothal of John William, planned an 
embassy to the old duke from the three heads of Christendom, 
the Pope, the Emperor and the King of Spain. 4 But Gregory 
XIII., in spite of the request of the Duke of Bavaria, 5 could 
not throw his influence into the balance unless he had the 
assurance that John William would first resign the administra 
tion of the diocese of Minister ; it was only in the middle of 
March, 1584, that he promised to interest himself in getting 
him to nominate Duke Ernest as his representative. 6 In 
a letter of March i8th, 1584, he communicated his decision 

1 Cf. the Instruction to the envoys of Ernest of Bavaria dated 
April 1 6, 1584, in KELLER, 519. 

2 LossEN, II., 548. 

"LossEN on the subject in the Munchener Sitzungsberichte 
Hist. Kl. 1895, Munich, 1896, 33-64. 

* Ibid., 48. 

5 Of October 28, 1583, in THEINER, III., 410. 

6 LOSSEN, loc. cit., 55. 


to Ernest of Bavaria and the two Dukes of Jiilich ; 7 at the 
same time, however, he wrote to Munich, to William V., 2 
that if Ernest were chosen for Miinster, he could only obtain 
the Papal approbation on condition of his resigning Hildesheim 
and Freising. The latter was then to pass to one of the 
younger sons of the Duke of Bavaria. After these 
preliminaries the embassy at length discharged its task on 
May 5th, and on the following day the father gave permission 
for the betrothal of his son. 3 

In the meantime things were turning out more favourably 
for Duke Ernest, and he was successful in winning over 
three of the canons to his side. 4 In spite of this he did not 
dare to attempt his election at the next chapter of St. Martin, 
as he was already Elector of Cologne and involved in the war 
of Cologne against Gebhard Truchsess, and the canons were 
afraid of drawing their own country into the war by electing 
him. 5 His representatives therefore proposed that the 
administrator should, until the end of the war, and thus 
even after his marriage, continue to keep his hold upon the 
diocese, with the title of protector or defender, the chapter 
retaining the government. 6 But the distrust of the court 
of Cleves which was felt in Rome and Munich was too strong 
for their agreement to this. Duke William of Bavaria thought 
that there was a cunning scheme on the part of the Protestant 
councillors, who wished to convert the bishopric into a civil 
principality. His brother Ernest ought rather to resign 
Miinster, and he wrote to the Pope to the effect that he should 
invite the chapter to make the desired election of another 
bishop. 7 A brief of December 8th, 1584, actually put this 
suggestion into effect, but at the end made it clear that Duke 
Ernest was designated by Rome as the suitable person. At 

1 The three briefs printed in THEINER, III., 522 seqq. 

2 Ibid., 521 seq. 

3 LOSSEN, loc. cit., 57 seqq. 

4 In the summer of 1584, LOSSEN, Kolnische Krieg, II., 570, 

5 Ibid., 572. 

6 Ibid., 573 seq. 

7 Ibid., 574 seq. 


the beginning of January, 1585, the nuncio Bonhomini received 
orders to go in person to Minister to prevent John William 
from continuing to hold the diocese after his marriage. 1 The 
administrator himself was quite opposed to the new plan. 2 
For various reasons the marriage of John William was 
postponed until Pentecost, 1585. Friends and enemies 
alike were thus able to continue the struggle concerning 
the much discussed election. The Elector Ernest again 
did his utmost to secure partisans among the canons. 3 On 
the other hand, Gebhard Truchsess from his place of refuge 
in Holland, and the States General of the Low Countries, 
addressed threatening letters to the chapter to deter them 
from the election of Ernest, the Elector of Cologne, and the 
friend of Spain. 4 It was very disastrous to the prospects 
of the election when Ernest, under financial pressure, left 
the Lower Rhine to take refuge at Freising. 5 Moreover a 
fresh candidate for the episcopal see of Munster presented 
himself, who was by no means negligible, in the person of 
the brother of Henry of Bremen, Duke Frederick of Saxony- 
Lauenburg, bishop-auxiliary of Cologne. Frederick had won 
the hearts of many priests by his moderation and his modest 
behaviour ; 6 it was probable that the party of his brother 
would be likely to give their votes to him, and besides this, 
Salentin of Isenburg had adopted his cause, and sent a request 
to Duke Ernest that he would give up all thoughts of Munster 
in favour of his protege", and had moreover won over the 
nuncio Bonhomini to his side. The latter, however, was 
very quickly dissuaded from this course by Frederick s bitter 
adversary, Duke William of Bavaria, so that he went to 
Munster to work on behalf of Ernest. 7 


2 Ibid., 586. 

3 Ibid., 576, 585. 

4 Ibid., 577. 

5 Ibid., 577 scq. 

6 Cardinal Madruzzo to Galli on August 4, 1582, Nuntiatur- 
berichte, II., 495, 

Kolni^che Krieg, II., 587-91. 


Frederick had already been to Miinster as well as to his 
brother at Bremen. 1 But the old and formidable enemy 
of the Prince of Bavaria was no longer able to help him. 
On April I4th, 1585, Henry of Lauenburg had fallen with his 
horse upon the pavement, 2 and about three weeks later, at 
the moment when the envoys of Cologne and Jiilich were 
arranging at Miinster for the resignation of John William, 
and for a fresh electoral meeting of the chapter, he died. 
The question which had caused so much discussion hitherto 
could no longer offer any great difficulties. John William 
gave back his decree of postulation without remark, and 
on May i8th a unanimous request was made for Duke Ernest 
as bishop, and the fourth diocese of the north of Germany 
was placed under his care. 3 When, in the following year, 
Gottfried von Raesfeld died, he could close his eyes with the 
knowledge that he had saved Westphalia for the Church. 

In addition to Miinster, Westphalia included the dioceses 
of Paderborn, Osnabriick and Minden. The Protestants 
had gained much ground in all of them. Paderborn and 
Osnabriick had been united with Miinster in the hands of 
Johann von Hoya, but if, in his somewhat optimistic judgment, 
the Catholic restoration had made great progress in Miinster, 
in the case of the other two dioceses the nuncio Gropper had 
to comfort himself with hopes for the future, when he paid 
his visit to them. 4 The immediate future proved itself very 
far from encouraging for the Catholics, for after the resignation 
of Salentin of Isenburg, Osnabriick fell into the hands of the 
Archbishop of Bremen in 1574 and Paderborn in 1577. 

The new bishop was only admitted at Osnabriick after he 
had promised that no change should be made in religion ; 
the city adhered firmly to the Confession of Augsburg, but 
the Catholics and Protestants lived together in undisturbed 
peace, and contracted marriage with each other. Of the 

1 Ibid., 590. 

2 Ibid., 591 seqq. 

3 Ibid., 595 seqq. 

4 Gropper to Galli on October 20, 1573, in SCHWARZ, Gropper, 
422 seq. 


convents in the city, only that of the Dominicans continued 
Catholic worship, that of the Augustinians had fallen into 
ruin thirty years before, as had that of the Franciscans ; 
the seven convents of nuns in the diocese remained true 
to the old faith. The Osnabriick cities of Wiedenbriick and 
Quakenbriick still had a Catholic chapter and Catholic 
worship, 1 while the canons of Osnabriick itself were for the 
most part Catholics, and at the election of Henry of Lauenburg 
had tried to safeguard the Catholic character of the diocese 
by means of an election capitulation. 2 

At Paderborn the Catholics still retained the cathedral, 
and Johann von Hoya took steps to drive out a Protestant 
preacher. 3 In 1580 the chapter invited a Jesuit to act as 
preacher in the cathedral, and soon afterwards several of his 
colleagues joined him. After 1583 they taught in the school 
in secular dress, and a few weeks after the death of Gregory 
XIII. undertook the whole of the teaching. But the citizens 
were so much opposed to the old faith that several times the 
Jesuits thought of leaving Paderborn. 4 Soon after the death 
of Gregory, Theodore von Fiirstenberg was appointed bishop, 
and it was to him that the church of Paderborn owed its 
revival. Six months before, the Pope had exhorted the 
canons to persevere, 5 and at the same time expressed his 
sorrow that, wtih the consent of Henry of Bremen, Protestant 
pastors had taken the places of Catholic parish priests in the 

The other dioceses, which were already either entirely, 
or to a great extent, lost, were not neglected in Rome. When 

1 Cf. the inquiry on Henry of Bremen of March 15, 1575, in 
SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 266 seq. 

2 LOSSEN, I., 257. 

3 SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 422. 

4 DUHR, I., 136 seqq. W. RICHTER, Geschichte der Paderb. 
Jesuiten, I., Paderborn, 1892, 181. 

5 On December 21, 1584, in THEINER, III., 531. Gregory XIII. 
had already written, on June 4, 1583, to Rudolf II. and to the 
canons of Paderborn protesting against the attempts of Henry 
completely to protestantise the foundation (ibid. 411 seqq.}. 


Elgard was ordered by the Pope to visit Central Germany 
in 1575, he was told in his instructions, 1 that, according to 
the reports of Gropper, there was very little hope for the 
dioceses of Naumburg, Merseburg, Meissen, Magdeburg and 
Halberstadt, but as the Pope did not wish to be rightly blamed 
in the future for neglect or indifference, he wished to attempt 
the impossible so that he might fulfil his pastoral duty. Elgard 
must therefore go in disguise and try and obtain information 
on the spot. He went to Halberstadt, and at Magdeburg 
got a sacristan to open the cathedral for him, and questioned 
him, as an inquiring traveller, about the state of affairs in 
that city. The dean, and many of the clergy, he learned, 
were married, and the Protestant administrator distributed 
the benefices after the manner of a civil fief. At the same 
time a kind of mass was celebrated, and the office in choir 
was continued in a restricted form. In the cathedral great 
choir-stalls had been erected for the canons and their wives, 
which would have been over magnificent for a king or an 
emperor. 2 Elgard reported an important fact from 
Halberstadt, namely that two priests, in company with a 
Roman agent, were carrying on a disgraceful trade in German 
benefices, and were doing more harm to the Church than 
the Pope could ever repair whatever he did. 3 

In consequence of the information which he had received, 
Elgard deemed it superfluous to visit Naumburg, Merseburg, 
and Meissen. In those three dioceses, he reported, there 
were still seven canonries in the hands of four Catholics, and 
there were still some good Catholics there. The Bishop of 
Meissen, who was still alive, had apostatized. Elgard was 
of opinion that even in that diocese it was not necessary to 

1 Of January 22, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 241. 

2 Elgard on April 21, 1575, in TH&INER, II., 45. 

3 Ibid. Even the Provost of the Magdeburg Chapter, who was 
living in Freiburg, said to Portia : " che in Roma vi sono persone 
infette d heresia, le quali per altro non dimorano che impertrar 
canonicati a nobili heretici di quelle parti, che per ci6 li stipendiano 
grossamente." Portia on November 13, 1575, Nuntiaturberichte, 
V., 268, cf. 271, 323. 


give up all hope, but his plan could only be carried out with 
the help of a Catholic Emperor, who was both resolute and 
energetic. 1 

Elgard did not mention the fact that in one part of the 
diocese of Meissen, in spite of everything, the adherents of 
the old religion had held their own, which was due to the 
efforts of the provost of the cathedral of Bautzen, Johann 
Leisentrit von Juliusberg. The latter was the son of a crafts 
man of Olmiitz, who had been dean of Bautzen since 1559 ; 
he himself described the condition of the Catholics in Lausitz 
in a petition to Gregory XIII. 2 The Bishop of Meissen, he 
relates, had been forced by the Elector of Saxony to give up 
his residential city of Stolpen in exchange for compensation ; 
the Elector had at once assumed the episcopal power, and in 
that capacity had sent his visitors, and everywhere destroyed 
the Catholic religion. 3 In order to punish this usurpation 
Ferdinand I. arranged that the spiritual power in Lausitz 
should be entrusted to a Catholic priest, namely to the dean, 
Leisentrit. 4 Maximilian II. and Rudolph II. 5 had given the 

1 To Galli on May 27, 1575, THEINER, II., 39-41. The Provost 
of the Chapter at Magdeburg also thought that Magdeburg might 
be saved by the employment of means similar to those suggested 
by Elgard (Nuntiaturbcrichte, V. t 266 seq.}. Cf. the memorandum 
of Cardinal L. Madruzzo for the Diet of 1576, ibid., II., 17 seq. 
In a letter to Paul V., of December 27, 1607, Bishop Julius of 
Wiirzburg is still recommending similar methods to be employed 
in the case of Magdeburg. Archiv fiir Unterfranhen, VII., 3 
(1843), 140. 

2 Of July i, 1579, and September 19, 1581, in THEINEU, III., 
45 seqq., 265 seqq. For what follows see ED. MACHATSCHEK, 
Geschichte der Bischofe des Hochstiftes Meissen, Dresden, 1884, 
762 seqq. Concerning Leisentrit as an author cf. KERKER in the 
Freib. Kirchenlex., VII., 2 1703 ; K. S. MEISTER, Das katholische 
deutsche Kirchenlied, L, Freiburg, 1862, 53. 

3 MACHATSCHEK, loc. cit., 764, 773 seqq., 806. 

4 With the approval of the nuncio Melchior Biglia (ibid., 790). 
As early as June 28 and July 24, 1560, Leisentrit had been 
nominated commissary-general by the bishop who afterwards 
apostatized (ibid., 787 seq.}. 

5 Ibid., 808, 820. 


Imperial approval to this arrangement. Maximilian further 
ordered that at the death of Leisentrit a successor should be 
appointed. The nuncio, Melchior Biglia, gave the Papal 
approval to this. 1 In spite of this Leisentrit had to write 
to the Pope in 1579 that for the last twenty-one years hardly 
a week had gone by in which he had not had to defend himself 
against the interference of Saxony. He therefore asked 
Gregory XIII. to decree by brief its entire separation from 
the former diocese of Meissen, and to subject Lausitz directly 
to the Holy See, recommending its care to the Archbishop of 
Prague. Even to-day, in the XXth century, there are still 
about 41,000 Catholics in Lausitz, which stands like a solitary 
island in the midst of a submerged world. 

The state of affairs in the northern districts of Germany 
which had already passed over to Protestantism did not 
seem so hopeless at the beginning of the pontificate of Gregory 
XIII. as they were in the ancient dioceses of the east ; to 
these Alexander Trivius was sent to obtain information at 
the same time as Elgard. He went first to Minden, where 
the chapter, though in sore financial straits, was still Catholic, 
though the citizens were strongly opposed to the old faith. 
It is now three years, wrote Trivius, 2 since the citizens, with 
arms in their hands, and with threats of death, demanded 
religious freedom from the chapter. For three days the canons 
were kept shut up, and after their liberation by the bishop s 
father they went voluntarily into exile, invoking the assistance 
of the Emperor and of Lower Saxony. In 1573 an arrange 
ment was come to at Liibeck ; worship was restored at the 
cathedral and in the monastery of St. Simeon, but was not 
to be attended by any citizen of Minden, while ecclesiastical 
burial was refused to children who attended the cathedral 
school. In the monastery of St. Simeon divine worship 
was still carried on carefully, and the abbot promised to obey 
the ad vice of the Papal envoy, and observe the enclosure better. 

1 On May 24, 1576, ibid., 797. A decree of Gregory XIII., 
dated December 20, 1577, confirmed the passing of the episcopal 
authority to Leisentrit (ibid., 812). 

2 On March 21, 1575, in THEINER, II., 470-2. 


In 1567 Count Hermann von Schauenburg, to whom 
Gregory XIII. gave the Papal approbation at the advice 
of Salentin of Isenburg, was appointed Bishop of Minden. 1 
Before his election Hermann had a good reputation, but 
later on fell into every kind of vice, and was especially 
addicted to drunkenness. Trivius could only obtain one 
public audience with him, but could not accomplish anything. 2 
In 1582 Herman sold his diocese to Duke Julius of Brunswick, 3 
to whom a year earlier the chapter had pledged itself to ask 
for the duke s son, Henry Julius, as bishop. As he had 
promised, the bishop-elect asked for the Papal confirmation, 
but this was refused. Nor could he obtain the Imperial 
investiture, and at the Diet of Augsburg in 1582 the duke 
was given to understand finally that the Emperor had promised 
the Papal legate no longer to confer investiture before the 
Papal approbation had been obtained. In 1583 Henry 
Julius introduced the Confession of Augsburg into Minden, 
contrary to the promise he had made, and when in 1585 he 
resigned in consequence of his marriage, Catholicism there 
had disappeared. 4 

Trivius remained at Minden for more than a week and 
had an interview with Duke Henry of Lauenburg at the 
monastery of Lilienthal. The conversation, which could only 
take place in the presence of the dean, was without result. 5 
If he had been able to talk to him privately, Trivius thought, 
he might have been able to accomplish something, for, in 
the general opinion, he was not ill-disposed. 6 The nuns of 
Lilienthal who feared lest he should introduce the Confession 
of Augsburg into their convent, had received satisfactory 
assurances from him at his first visit. 7 He was not a drunkard 
and had a taste for learning, and that meant a good deal in 

1 LOSSEN, I., 137, 363. 

2 Trivius to Galli on March 27, 1575, in SCHWA RZ, Cropper, 270. 

3 LOSSEN, II., 263. Nuntiaturberi^hte, I., 375. 

4 LOSSEN, II., 562. WURM in the Freib. Kirchenlex., VIII. 2 , 1536. 

5 Trivius on April 4, 1575, in THEINER, II., 473 seq. 

6 Trivius on April 4, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 275. 

7 THEINER, II., 474. 


those northern districts. 1 In the city of Bremen Trivius 
learned that there was only one Catholic, the dean of the 
metropolitan chapter. Lutherans and Calvinists fought 
bitterly with each other in the city, and the Lutheran council 
was driven out and replaced by Calvinists ; the Lutherans 
now no longer possessed more than one church. 2 On his 
journey Trivius stayed at several convents. To his surprise 
he found Catholic worship in its integrity among the nuns 
of Zeven ; 3 the same was the case with the Cistercian nuns 
at Lilienthal, though the enclosure was not observed so exactly 
as at Zeven. 4 The abbot of the Benedictine abbey of 
Hartzfeldt, upon which Zeven was dependent, seemed to 
be a good Catholic, for which reason the monastery had been 
burned down three times, and he himself several times threat 
ened with death ; the prior of the abbey lived a life of great 
austerity, and every night he rang the bell at eleven for the 
office in choir, and remained in the church until four ; on 
Fridays he took no food at all, and on other days only ate 
a little once in the day. 5 

As the presence of a Papal envoy had become known 
Trivius only dared to go to Lubeck in secret. There the 
Abbot of Liineburg, Eberhard Holle, had been appointed 
bishop in 1561, and had been recognized by Pius IV. In 
1566 Holle was also elected Bishop of Verden, but this 
time his envoy came back from Rome without the Papal 
approbation, 6 for which reason Holle at once introduced 
Lutheranism. At Verden the mass was solemnly abolished 
and Holle had all the bishops of the city represented in the 
cathedral in episcopal vestments, with himself at the end 
in the dress of a prince. 7 He gave the dean of the chapter 

1 THEINER, II., 474. 

2 Trivius, Lilienthal, March 30, 1575, ibid., 473. 

3 Trivius on March 27, 1575, in SCHWARZ, Cropper, 270. 

4 THEINER, II., 473. 

5 Ibid., 472. 

6 SCHWARZ, loc. cit. For Lubeck cf. E. ILLIGENS, Geschichte 
der Liibecker Kirche (1896), 150 seqq., 157 seq. 

1 Trivius on April 4, 1575, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit., 276. 


of Liibeck, whom he had summoned before him, a slap in the 
face, because he had dared to speak to him on one occasion 
about the duties of a bishop. 1 Trivius thought it best not to 
present himself before Holle at all. 2 The chapter of Liibeck 
was still Catholic, and agreed to his request that the profession 
of faith of the Council of Trent should be a necessary condition 
to admission among the canons. Naturally, however, the 
vicars and chaplains only dared to say mass in secret and in 
their own houses. When it was learned that a foreigner had 
received the sacraments at Liibeck according to the Catholic 
rite, the pastors made such an outcry that there was almost 
a riot. Besides the chapter, there was still in Liibeck only 
one Catholic woman, the wife of a Protestant tailor, who 
remained steadfast despite all pressure. Trivius had already 
made her acquaintance in 1561, when he had visited the city 
with Commendone. 3 

As far as Verden was concerned the Papal envoy was advised 
that the Pope had better urge the chapter by a brief to hold 
a new election, and that even if the Imperial approbation were 
not granted at the same time, Holle would be to some extent 
restrained. 4 The brief was sent, but had no effect. 5 Holle 
only received the Imperial approbation for six months. 6 

Things were even worse at Hamburg, and the Portuguese 
agent there had to come to Liibeck to receive the sacraments. 7 

1 Trivius on April 18, 1575 (in cypher), ibid,, 279. 

2 Ibid. 

8 Trivius on April 18, 1575, in THEINER, II., 474 seq. The 
nomination of Adrian Merode, formerly of the German College, 
to be Provost of the Lubeck Chapter met with many difficulties 
which caused Gregory XIII. to address himself both to Rudolf II. 
and to the Lubeck Chapter on June 25, 1583 (THEINER, III., 412, 
and THEINER, Schweden, Urkunden, 312). A Brief of April 21, 
1582, requests Rudolf II. to remind the Chapter of Lubeck of 
their duty of electing a Catholic successor to the late heretical 
bishop (THEINER, III., 318). 

4 SCHWARZ, IOC. Clt., 279. 

6 LOSSEN, I., 364 seq. 

6 THEINER, III., 318, 411. 

7 Ibid., II., 475. 

VOL. XX. 23 



IN the case of Jakob von Eltz, the Archbishop of Treves 
(1567-1581), Caspar Gropper had received different instruc 
tions from those which in most cases had been given him with 
regard to the other bishops of his nunciature. These only 
instructed him to praise the archbishop and exhort him to 
persevere in the way he was going ; to tolerate no heretics 
in his diocese, and still less entrust any office to their hands. 1 

On visiting Coblenz, Gropper found that Jakob von Eltz 
was, in his life, his habits, his dress and in every act, a true 
bishop. 2 A few years later 3 the nuncio Castagna spoke in 
high terms of praise of his virtue and his attachment to the 
Holy See. The nuncios Gropper and Portia also spoke loudly 
in praise of Wimpfeling, the chancellor of Treves. 4 

The first attempt to establish a Protestant community in 
the territory of the ecclesiastical Electors had taken place at 
Treves in 1559, 5 but there the triumphal advance of the new 
doctrines had for the first time met with a resolute resistance, 
which decided its fate in that city. 6 When Portia visited the 

1 SCHWARZ, 100. Clt. 59. 

2 Gropper on October 8, 1573, ibid. 418 seq., cf. 126, 159. 

8 On October 23, 1579, Nuntiatwberichte, II., 350, cf. 341. 
For J. von Eltz see MARX, Geschichte des Erzstiftes Trier, I., 
388 seqq. 

4 Gropper on June 10, 1574, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit. 158 ; Portia 
on February 18, 1577, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 53, 117 

5 RITTER, I., 220 seq. 

6 MARX, loc. cit. 379. JANSSEN-PASTOR, IV. 15 16 , 121 seqq. 
HERZOG S Real Enzyklopadie, XIV. 3 , 361. NEY, Die Reforma 
tion in Trier, 1559, uncl ihre Unterdriickung, Halle, 1906-07. 



city of Treves he found the people very pious, and saw no 
traces of any adherence to the sects, while the Jesuits had a 
fine college with about 1000 pupils. In the suburbs the 
Benedictines had three monasteries, and the Carthusians one ; 
all were filled with religious, for the most part pupils of the 
Jesuits, who observed their rule carefully. 1 The little 
Protestantism that there was outside Treves, in the civil 
territory of the Elector, could not stand against the strong 
measures of Jakob and his successors. 2 In spite of all this 
there was an abundance of matter for reform. 

Immediately after his appointment, Jakob von Eltz had 
made the profession of faith ; 3 he had the decrees of Trent 
printed and distributed them to the prelates on the occasion 
of his consecration. 4 He then began to make regular 
visitations of his diocese, which he promised the nuncio 
Gropper in 1573 to continue in the future. 5 Many ordinances 
followed on the instruction of the common people and the 
improvement of the clergy, and in 1573 he provided for 
uniformity of divine worship by means of a ritual. 6 Portia 
urged the archbishop to found a seminary, to endow with 
revenues the Jesuit college established at Treves in 1560, 
and only to confer benefices after previous examination ; and 
in spite of the many difficulties in the way he insisted upon the 
visitations and the diocesan synod. 7 The archbishop often 
sought the advice of the Jesuits about these matters, who 

1 Portia on March 2, 1577, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 58. For 
particulars of the Jesuit College at Treves cf. (in addition to 
DUHR) F. HULLEN in the Festschrift des Friedrich-Wilhelm- 
Gymnasiums zu Trier (1913), 70 seq. 

1 SCHMIDLIN, III., 133, note. For the re-catholicising of 
Neumagen see HANSEN, Rheinische Akten, 550. 

3 The inquiry concerning him published by ST. EHSES in Pastor 
bonus, XII. (1899 seq.}, 226 seqq. HANSEN, loc. tit. 550. 

4 Ibid. 570. 

6 SCHWARZ, Gropper, 418. 

6 F. HULLEN in Pastor bonus, XIV. (1901 seq.}, 105 seqq., 159 

7 To Galli on March 2, 1577, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 59. 


found the prelate " all on fire rather than warm " with zeal 
for the nuncio s suggestions. 1 

But a grave difficulty stood in the way of the archbishop s 
good intentions ; from the commencement of his reign he had 
been engaged in disputes with the city of Treves, and until 
a settlement was arrived at in 1580, he had been absent from 
the capital of his diocese. 2 The cathedral chapter, too, was 
scattered all over the diocese, so that the canons had become 
accustomed to wear secular dress and live in secular surround 
ings ; moreover, none of them were priests. 3 The absence 
of the bishop and the canons from the centre of the diocese 
resulted in the cathedral remaining unreformed, and other 
churches finding an excuse in their local conditions. A 
provincial synod was out of the question, because it would 
have been useless to try and get the suffragan bishops of Metz, 
Toul and Verdun to undertake a journey to Coblenz ; a 
diocesan synod was almost equally difficult. 4 Elgard and 
Portia proposed that in the meantime the canons should meet 
together in a collegiate church of the diocese, either at Coblenz 
or at Pfalzel. 5 Some small measure of success was attained 
in this respect, but on the other hand, as far as the sacerdotal 
ordination of the canons was concerned, the bishop had to be 
content with promises. 6 He provided the Jesuit college at 
Treves with revenues, and established another at Coblenz. 7 

The state of affairs in Luxemburg, where the Spanish 

1 Portia on June 6, 1577, ibid. 117. 

2 Portia s account of the dispute see Nimtiaturberichte, I., 55. 

3 Elgard. s memorandum of 1576, in SCHWARZ, loc. cit. 354. 
Portia on February 18, 1577, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 50. 

4 Portia loc. cit. 52. 

6 Elgard loc. cit. 354. Portia on February 18, 1577, Nuntia 
turberichte, 1., 50. 

6 Portia on February 23, 1578, ibid. 245. Cf. SCHMIDLIN, 
III., 132. 

7 DUHR, I., 95 seqq., 100 seqq. Documents concerning the 
foundation of the college at Coblenz in Pastor bonus, V. (1893), 
253, 587 seq. Cf. DOMINICUS in the Koblenzer Gymnasialprogramm, 
1862 ; WORBS, Geschichte des Gymnasiums zu Koblenz (1882). 
For the preparatory work which prepared the way for the Jesuits 


government would not allow an episcopal visitation without 
the state placet, caused Archbishop Jakob grave vexation. 
Elgard advised the archbishop not to stand too closely to his 
strict rights, because the simple folk of Luxemburg would 
feel the consequences. 

The Abbey of Priim was also saved to the Catholic faith 
by means of Archbishop Jakob. Priim, Stavelot and Malmedy 
had as their common abbot Count Christopher von 
Manderscheid-Keil, who was inclined to the new doctrines, 
allowed monastic discipline to relax, and tried to hand over 
his abbacies to his relatives. Jakob von Eltz obtained a 
Papal bull, by which, after the death of the abbot, Priim was 
to be incorporated in the archdiocese of Treves. On August 
28th, 1576, Christopher von Manderscheid died, whereupon 
the archbishop appeared at Priim and effected the union of 
the abbey with the archbishopric. Stavelot and Malmedy 
passed to Liege. 1 

The successor of Jakob in 1581 was Johann von 
Schonenburg, 2 who carried on the work of his predecessor. 
He interested himself especially in the religious education 
of the young, and for this purpose published in 1589 a special 
" catechism of the Electorate of Treves." In a number of 
edicts the archbishop insisted again and again on the reform 
decrees of Trent. 3 The seminary of Treves was founded by 
him, 4 and almost at the same time a second one was established 
at Coblenz. 5 

in their restoration of the Catholic faith on the Rhine cf. J. 
HASHAGEN, in the Monatsheften fiir rheinische Kirchengeschichte, 
XV. (1921), 3 seqq., 23 seqq. 

1 Cf. MARX, II., 1271 seqq. ; LOSSEN, I., 719 seqq. ; SCHWARZ, 
loc. cit. 77, 109, 126, 159, 314 ; Nuntiaturberichte, I., 82. 

2 *Letter of Rudolf II. to the cardinals dated November 16, 
1581, with a request that they should use their influence to 
obtain papal confirmation and a remission of taxation (Papal 
Secret Archives). 

3 OTTERBEIN in Pastor bonus, VI. (1894), 369 seqq., 423 seqq. ; 
J. SCHNEIDER, ibid. 516 seqq. 

4 B. J. ENDRES, Das Bantusseminar zu Trier, I., Treves, 1890, 
52 ; for the year of foundation, ibid. II., 10, note. 

6 Ibid. I., 52. 


In the very year, 1559, when the first attacks of the 
Protestants at Treves were defeated, they also met with a 
reverse at Aix. 1 The first Protestants there were Calvinist 
fugitives from the Low Countries ; gradually, however, the 
innovators developed into a strong party, and even one of 
the burgomasters, Adam von Zevel, professed the Confession 
of Augsburg. The spread of the new doctrines was made 
easier by the fact that there were only four parishes at Aix. 2 
The Protestants soon sought to obtain a church and the right 
to preach in public, and they obtained the support of the 
Diet of Augsburg of 1559 in favour of their demands. But 
the intervention of the Duke of Julich, Philip II., and the 
Emperor brought about a declaration on the part of the civic 
council that they would not agree to any change in the matter 
of religion. A decision of the council on March 7th, 1560, 
restricted the office of councillor and all public offices to 
Catholics ; Adam von Zevel left the city 3 as did some of the 
foreign immigrants. 

But a lasting peace was not yet restored by this triumph 
of the Catholics. Especially after 1567 thousands of Calvinist 
fugitives from the Low Countries flooded western Germany, 
and besides Wesel and Cologne, Aix became one of the head 
quarters of the widely extended system which included many 
Calvinist communities from Emden to Heidelberg, as well as 
numerous centres of implacable hatred of the Catholics. 4 
In the ecclesiastical enactments of these communities there 
were not wanting expressions which seemed to breathe the 
spirit of purity of conscience, and complete detachment from 
all earthly things ; 5 but in the struggle for equality of rights 

1 For the Aix-la-Chapelle disputes cf. RITTER, I., 221, 555 seq., 
563 seq., 577, 583, 585 ; JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. ( 15 " 16 ), 18 seqq. ; 
PENNINGS in the Zeitschrift des Aachener Geschichtsvereins, V. 
( I 95), 36 seqq. ; CLASSEN, ibid. VI. (1906), 297 ; J. HANSEN, 
ibid. X. (1910), 222 seqq. ; JOH. MULLER in the Westdeutsche 
Zeitschrift, XIV. (1895), 257 seqq. 

* PETRUS A BEECK, Aquisgranum (1670), 228. 

" RITTER, I., 221 seqq. 

4 Ibid. 555. 

I&irf. 557- 


with the Catholics which, especially after 1574, was set on 
foot by the Protestant parties at Aix, the erstwhile iconoclasts 
did not disdain to import from the Low Countries on to 
German soil the methods of popular violence. The preaching 
of the Jesuits seemed to bring about a change in favour of 
the Catholics after 1578, l but in spite of this the Protestants 
were able in 1581 to take up arms to prevent the intention 
of the Imperial commissaries to intervene in favour of the 
Catholics. The Emperor s representatives had to retire in 
disgrace, and many Catholics left the city. 

The struggle lasted beyond the time of the pontificate of 
Gregory XIII. ; after I582 2 the question of Aix became one 
of the principal grievances and subjects of dispute at the 
Diets. The Protestants of Aix had recourse to arms on many 
occasions, twice the city was placed under ban, until in 1614 
General Spinola captured Aix, drove out the Protestant 
preachers, and restored peace in the ancient Imperial city. 

An even worse fate than anything that had occurred at Aix 
threatened the ancient faith when the Elector of Cologne 
leaned towards Protestantism. If the most important of the 
Rhenish dioceses were to pass into the hands of the Protestants, 
the Catholics would be threatened with the loss, not only of 
Cologne, but of the whole of the Rhenish provinces, the 
reservatum ecclesiasticum would be destroyed, and the way 
thrown open to further defections. Even politically such a 
change would have had immense consequences. Calvinism 
would have been in possession of a united territory in the Low 
Countries and on the Rhine, and Spanish dominion in Flanders 
would have been threatened on both sides. By the defection 
of the Archbishop of Cologne the innovators would obtain a 
majority of the votes in the college of the Prince-Electors, 
and the plans of the Calvinist party of the Palatinate for 
setting aside the Hapsburgs and upsetting the f whole 
constitution of the Empire would no longer be a mere dream, 
Germany would have been broken up into a number of small 

1 DUHR, I., 413 seqq. Cf. Annalen fur den Niederrhein, XVII^ 
30 seqq. 

1 Cf. supra p. 277. 


states, the Catholic restoration would have come to an end 
in the Empire, and the Thirty Years War would have broken 
out ten years before it did. 

In common with the greater number of the other dioceses 
of Germany after the period of the Middle Ages Cologne 
suffered from the evil that the greater number of the canonries 
were only accessible to the aristocracy. These canons of 
noble or princely birth caused their duty of choir to be carried 
out by beneficiaries, and themselves lived, like their secular 
colleagues, in the enjoyment of their great revenues. It is 
easy to understand how such men sought, in the appointment 
of the bishop, anything but his ecclesiastical spirit and his 
attachment to the old faith. The consequence was that the 
episcopal see was filled by men of worldly ideas, who had gone 
astray, not only in morals, but even in faith. 

Even at the end of the pontificate of Paul III. Hermann 
von Wied, the Archbishop of Cologne, forgetful of his oath, 
had tried to lead his subjects into Protestantism. But he 
had paid for his attempt with the loss of his office. 1 Eighteen 
years later, the archbishop of that time, the Prince-Elector 
Frederick von Wied, was stirred up to make a similar attempt 
by the Protestant Counts of the Wetterau, and to begin by 
allowing the admission of Protestant canons, and the 
suppression of the obligations that stood in the way. If, in 
spite of his half Protestant sentiments, Frederick did not 
follow out the plan of his colleagues, this was probably because 
he was, among other things, afraid of incurring the fate of his 
relative. In the meantime the influence of the Catholic 
restoration was making itself felt even at Cologne. Pius V., 
like the majority of the chapter of Cologne, wished Frederick 
to make the Tridentine profession of faith. As he would 
not hear of this, in 1567 he had to resign. 2 Therefore, when the 
see of Cologne was then filled by Count Salentin of Isenburg, 
the chapter of Cologne demanded of him in his election 
capitulation the sworn assurance that if the Pope asked him 

1 Cf. Vol. XII. pp. 105, 205, 325 of this work. 

2 RITTER, I., 290, 473. Cf. Vol. XVIII. p. 250 of this work. 


to swear to the Tridentine profession of faith, he would not 

Salentin of Isenburg was a man of Catholic sentiments, 
but as the last of his dynasty he looked upon the archbishopric 
of Cologne merely as a temporary office, and therefore evaded 
the receiving of sacred orders, and refused to pay the tax 
for confirmation or to make the Tridentine profession of faith. 
Pius V. refused him confirmation, and even thought of 
depriving him. 1 Thus, like many of his colleagues, Salentin 
remained archbishop-elect. After Gregory XIII. had become 
Pope, Salentin applied once more to Rome. He met with a 
kindly reception, and after he had made the Tridentine 
profession of faith, Gregory XIII., on December Qth, 1573, 
granted him the Papal approbation and at the same time 
condoned all the fees. 2 In view of these favourable circum 
stance it was taken for granted in Rome that Salentin would 
keep the promise he had made, of helping Prince Ernest of 
Bavaria to succeed him ; 3 for here as elsewhere the Curia saw 
in the elevation of Duke Ernest the best means of ensuring 
the safety of the diocese. Salentin, who in 1574 was 
successful in also obtaining his appointment as Bishop of 
Paderborn, looked before everything else to his own advantage, 
and took up a middle position between the strictly Catholic 
Duke of Bavaria and the Protestant Counts of the Wetterau, 
who, in spite of the reservatum ecclesiasticum, had attempted 
to introduce their sons into the chapter of Cologne. The 
Prince-Elector, who was highly gifted intellectually, and was 
a splendid administrator, devoted his attention almost 
entirely to civil affairs, while he always had in view his 
resignation and marriage. Consequently Protestants were 
able to obtain admission even to the chapter of Cologne. 
They were obliged, it is true, to conform exteriorly, if they 
did not wish to forfeit their benefices in virtue of the 
prescriptions of the reservatum ecclesiasticum. The Protestant 

1 See SCHWARZ, Brief e, I., 143 seq., 164 seq. 
8 See SCHWARZ, Gropper, xliii. seq., 75 seq. 

3 See LOSSEN in the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, XXX., 


nobles, especially those of the Wetterau, aimed at the abolition 
of these prescriptions, and were urging " freedom of religion." 
The very natural anxiety with which all the representatives 
of the Catholic restoration, and above all the Pope, were 
watching Cologne, increased when, at the end of 1576, the 
immediate resignation of Salentin became certain. The 
nuncio, Bartolomeo Portia, who had been devoting his energies 
to southern Germany during the past three years, was given 
orders to go to the Rhenish metropolis to work in the interests 
of the Catholic restoration and for the election of Duke Ernest. 1 

Portia, who, according to Torquato Tasso, was the most 
prudent of all the nuncios, was not wanting in zeal for the 
candidate who was also favoured by Philip II., and who 
already possessed the dioceses of Hildesheim and Freising. 
But he found himself opposed by the united resistance of the 
chapter of Cologne, into whose hands Salentin had unreservedly 
placed his resignation in September, 1577. 

The most bitter adversaries of the candidature of Bavaria 
were at first the three canons who were at heart Protestants, 
Duke Henry of Saxony-Lauenburg, Baron Johann von 
Winnenberg, the powerful Count Adolphus von Solms, 
and also the gifted Count Adolphus von Neuenahr and 
John of Nassau, the brother of William of Orange. These 
found strong allies in their colleagues of the chapter, who did 
not wish for the scion of a powerful princely house as arch 
bishop, in whom, on account of their worldly conduct, there 
would be reason to fear they would find a pastor who was 
inclined to the Catholic restoration, who would put into force 
the laws of ecclesiastical reform. 

Adolphus von Solms saw clearly that it was out of the 
question for the moment to put forward a Protestant candidate, 
and he therefore worked for the election of the thirty-year-old 
Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg. On December 5th, 1577, 
the election took place, and in spite of all the efforts of the 
Pope s representative, Ernest of Bavaria was defeated ; he 
received ten votes and his rival Gebhard twelve. 2 

1 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., xliii., 8. 

8 Cf. ibid. xlv. seq. ; RITTER, I., 566 seq. 


Like Portia, the Secretary of State, Cardinal Galli, consoled 
himself for the failure of the candidature of Bavaria, because 
no one felt any doubts of the Catholic sentiments of Gebhard. 1 
It was well known that, even if the bishop-elect was not free 
from all error, he had, as the nephew of the distinguished 
Otto of Augsburg, received a Catholic education, and it was 
hoped that he would prove amenable to good influences. 
Even though the former relations of Gebhard with the 
Protestant canons and the Counts of the Wetterau continued, 
his exterior behaviour was such as to satisfy ecclesiastical 
opinion. The bishop-elect was ordained priest in March, 1578, 
in April he made the Tridentine profession of faith, he showed 
favour to the Jesuits, and warned the council of Cologne in 
October to restrain the Calvinists, who were behaving more 
and more boldly in the city. 2 

As Bavaria attacked the validity of the election of Gebhard, 
his approbation by Rome was delayed. 3 In March, 1578, 
Gregory XIII. had referred the matter to a special commission 
of Cardinals, and later on the German Congregation and the 
Rota were consulted on the subject. All agreed that the 
objections raised by Bavaria were without foundation. 
Nevertheless, in July, 1579, the nuncio Castagna, who was in 
Cologne on account of the Diet for the pacification of the Low 
Countries, was ordered to hold an inquiry into the life- and 
morals of Gebhard. 

The testimony of the witnesses, as well as Castagna s own 
observation with regard to the integrity of his faith, were 
entirely favourable to Gebhard, while the reports as to his 
spiritual training and his capabilities were full of his praises. 4 

1 Cf. LOSSEN, I., 611 ; Nuntiaturberichte, I., 204 seq., 215. 

* See LOSSEN, I., 618, II., 32 ; Nuntiaturberichte, I., xlviii. 
seq. Gebhard s attitude was bound to give the impression in 
Rome that he was a good Catholic ; see the *report of the Mantuan 
envoy of December 28, 1578 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

8 Cf LOSSEN, I., 613 seq., 629 seq. 

4 Cf Nuntiaturberichte, I , xlvii , 249 seq , 258 seq., 269 seq., 
274, 281 seq. and evidence drawn from the Cologne Municipal 
Archives, XX., 39 seq. 


With regard to his moral conduct, Castagna was not content 
with the merely general testimony of the witnesses, but 
insisted upon exact details. Gebhard, he wrote from Cologne 
to Cardinal Galli on July 3ist, 1579, is, it is true, much given to 
feasting, and sometimes to drink, but this, looked at in the 
light of the evil habits of the place, is rather a virtue than a 
vice, and serves to win him many good friends. Since, 
however, Bacchus is generally accompanied by Venus, the 
nuncio had made inquiries in this matter as well, which, 
however, had not so far resulted in anything but to show 
that Gebhard was either innocent in this respect, or at any 
rate had been able to avoid giving any scandal. The suspicion 
that the bishop-elect was not a sincere Catholic was definitely 
rejected by Castagna on the strength of the reports which 
many ecclesiastics, both secular and religious, had given him ; 
Gebhard was proud of the reputation for being a good Catholic 
which had been won by his family, and especially by his uncle, 
Cardinal Otto of Augsburg. If the Elector made friends 
irrespective of their faith, this was due both to the custom 
of the country and especially in his own case to his opposition 
to the houses of Bavaria and Cleves. 1 

Gebhards entirely Catholic attitude during the pacification 
conference at Cologne also served to enhance his good repute. 2 

Since all those who were questioned in Rome were also in 
agreement in this matter, there was no reason for postponing 
the confirmation of Gebhard s election, and Gregory XIII. 
granted this on March 2gth, 1580. 3 

It is best to leave the question open whether the entirely 
Catholic exterior behaviour of the new Archbishop of Cologne, 
was accompanied by any interior change. If there were any 
such change, it was certainly of very short duration. Gebhard 
had scarcely found himself in safe possession of his office 

1 See Nuntiatuvberichte I., 278 seq. 

2 Cf. MAFFEI, II., 245 ; Nuntiaturberichte, I., 288 seq. 

3 See LOSSEN, I., 621 seq., 673 ; Nuntiaturberichte, I., 290. 
RITTER says (I., 568) : " In Rome there was no inclination to 
call forth a far-reaching conflict by refusing the confirmation 
on the grounds of mere apprehensions." 


owing to the Papal approbation when he gave himself up 
openly to a life of luxury and immorality. Pregnant with 
consequences were his amorous relations with the beautiful 
Countess Agnes von Mansfeld, a worldly Protestant lady with 
a benefice at Gerresheim near Diisseldorf. 1 His illicit relations 
with her had gone on for some time when, in the autumn of 
1581, the countess brothers wrung from the Elector with 
threats the promise to save the honour of their sister by 
marriage. 2 As Gebhard had received priest s orders he could 
not contract marriage except with a Papal dispensation, which 
he could only have obtained with the greatest difficulty ; in 
any case he would have had to resign his bishopric. This was 
by no means in accordance with the wishes of his Protestant 
friends, prominent among whom were Count Adolphus von 
Neuenahr, Adolphus von Solms and John of Nassau. They 
wished to profit by the impure passion of Gebhard in order 
to extort " liberty " from him, namely the suppression of the 
reservatum ecclesiasticum, which prevented the intrusion of 
Protestants into dioceses that were still Catholic. So they 
suggested to Gebhard that the resignation of his diocese was 
by no means necessary, if he embraced the new religion, and 
that even before the religious peace of 1555 other bishops had 
become Protestants and had married, and yet had retained 
the government of their dioceses. 

It was not without a long interior struggle that Gebhard 
resolved to break with the religion of his fathers, but at last 
in May 1582 his passion won the victory over the voice of 
conscience. 3 At first it was only a few friends, among them 
the Count von Solms, who were let into the secret of the 
intention of the Archbishop of Cologne to apostatize from the 
Church and secularize himself, but gradually the number who 

1 Agnes von Mansfeld was not a nun, as is often asserted even 
to-day, but merely the possessor of a benefice. 

2 See LOSSEN, II., 36. 

3 See ibid. 41 seq. The first thoughts of apostasy from the 
Church began to appear at the beginning of 1580 ; see BEZOLD, 
Briefe, II., n. i, note 5. Cf. KLEINSORGEN, Tagebuch von G. 
Truchsess, Munster, 1780, 128. 


knew of it increased. On August 6th, 1582, Gebhard, who 
had left the Rhineland, which was but ill-disposed to his plans, 
and gone to Westphalia, sent from Arensberg a long memorial 
and a letter to the Protestant Duke Henry of Saxony- 
Lauenburg, the married Archbishop of Bremen and Bishop 
of Osnabriick and Paderborn. 

In these autograph documents he states how reading and 
reflection had led him to realize the errors of the Papacy, in 
which he had been born and educated, and how his 
" conscience " urged him to unite himself in marriage to a 
lady of noble family. His intention of renouncing in that 
case the archbishopric of Cologne had met with resistance 
from his friends and relations, who had pointed out that God 
permitted marriage even to ecclesiastics, and that his resigna 
tion would inflict great injury upon the adherents of the true 
religion in the Empire. But he could only carry out this plan 
" which was so pleasing to God " if he knew what help he 
could count upon. 1 

Gebhard then tried to win over to his cause the young 
Protestant nobles of Westphalia, with whom he gave himself 
up to dissolute feasting. Exteriorly he still behaved as a 
sincere Catholic ; he assisted regularly at mass, began the 
negotiations for the foundation of a Jesuit school at Werl, 
and solemnly asserted in the presence of Catholics that it was 
a calumny of his enemies to say that he intended to change 
his religion and marry ; he would rather give his life than 
separate himself from the Catholic Church. 2 

There were, however, too many people in the secret of 
Gebhard J s plans for them to remain hidden. The Pope 
received the first news of the suspicious behaviour of the 
Archbishop of Cologne from Innsbruck, in a letter from Cardinal 
Madruzzo, who had gone to the Diet of Augsburg. But 
everyone was once more deceived by the fact that the 

1 See v. BEZOLD, Brief e des Pfalzgrafen Johann Casimir I., 
511 seq. 

2 Cf. M. AB ISSELT, De bello Coloniensi, Coloniae, 1584 ; 
KLEINSORGEN, loc. cit. 292. 


councillors sent by Gebhard to the Diet behaved absolutely 
as good Catholics. 

Nevertheless the rumours that Gebhard intended to marry, 
and that in spite of this he intended to retain his archdiocese, 
could not be kept quiet. They seemed to find confirmation 
in the news which the agent of Bavaria, Johann Barvitius, 
sent from Cologne, that, obviously with the concurrence of 
Gebhard, Count Neuenahr had had Protestant worship 
publicly celebrated outside the city of Mechtern on July 8th. 1 

To the noble and upright character of Gregory XIII. it 
was very difficult to place any belief in the first reports of 
the infidelity of Gebhard, all the more so as there were not 
wanting reports on the other side, which stated that the 
envious adversaries of the archbishop had already on previous 
occasions thrown suspicion upon his good faith without any 
grounds. In order to clear up the matter, Madruzzo was 
ordered to find out how much truth there was in the rumours 
by sending trusted envoys to Cologne. 2 The necessary steps 
could be taken after the return of the legate. The disputes 
of Madruzzo with the government at Innsbruck delayed his 
return to Rome until November 2Qth, 1582, but by that time 
such definite news had been received that it was no longer 
possible to doubt Gebhard s intention of apostatizing from the 
Church. 3 

It was clearly understood in Rome, as well as by Catholics 
in general, what great interests were at stake in Cologne. 
The common opinion was that the preservation or destruction 
of the Catholic religion depended upon the issue, as well as 
the existence of the Roman-German Empire, which was so 
closely bound up with it. 4 In proportion to the gravity of 
the danger did Rome act resolutely, surely and promptly. 

1 Memorandum of June 6, 1582 ; see Nuntiaturberichte, I., 
li. ; LOSSEN, II., 44 seq. 

2 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., lii. 

3 See LOSSEN, II., 75. 

4 Cf. the characteristic remarks of M. Minucci and Cesare dell 
Arena in their letters to Cardinal Galli, Nuntiaturberichte, I., 
375, 489, 495. 


This was of all the greater importance in that the invalid 
Emperor Rudolph, out of fear of serious complications, as 
the Archduke Ferdinand wrote, at first " was inclined to turn 
a blind eye, and not bell the cat." 1 After the arrival of 
Madruzzo at the beginning of December a number of steps 
were immediately taken by the Roman Curia to meet the 

The comprehensive nature of these steps may be seen from 
the fact that no less than five Papal envoys were engaged 
upon them, and not only the Emperor and the Catholic 
princes of Germany, but also the King of Spain, were asked 
to help. In order to leave no means untried, Gregory XIII. 
addressed to Gebhard on December lyth, a last warning, 
gentle and paternal in tone, reminding him of his previous 
solemn oaths, the Catholic sentiments of his predecessors and 
ancestors, especially of Cardinal Otto of Augsburg, and 
recalling to his mind the kindness with which the Pope had 
removed the obstacles to his confirmation. At the same time, 
the Archbishop of Treves and Mayence, the chapter and 
council of Cologne, the Archduke Ferdinand and the Bishop 
of Strasbourg, were asked to use their influence with Gebhard. 2 

The duty of conveying these letters and explaining them 
was, by the advice of the German Congregation, entrusted 
to the secretary of Cardinal Madruzzo, Minutio Minucci, a 
young Venetian, who was accounted one of those best 
acquainted with the state of affairs in Germany. Among 
the duties laid upon Minucci was that of obtaining reliable 
information on the spot as to the state of affairs, and in the 
event of Gebhard s refusing to abandon his project, of 
informing Francesco Bonhomini, the nuncio at the Imperial 
court, of the fact, so that, under the protection of an Imperial 
commissary, he might go to Cologne to conduct the process 
against the rebel archbishop. Minucci was moreover to urge 
the cathedral chapter of Cologne to take energetic action and 

1 Cf. UNKEL in the Historisches Jahrbuch, XII., 513 seq. 

2 See THEJNER, III., 320 seq. ; Nuntiaturberichte, I., 333, 
note i. 


to promise it the strong support of the Pope. 1 Briefs had 
been sent to Bonhomini on December I4th giving him the 
necessary faculties to take action against Gebhard. A week 
later the nuncio received a whole number of Papal letters 
concerning the question of Cologne which were to be sent to 
the Emperor, the Electors of Treves and Mayence, and the 
Dukes of Bavaria and Cleves. 2 At the same time pressing 
exhortations were sent to the nuncio Taverna at Madrid to 
bring his influence to bear on Philip to spur on the Emperor 
on the one hand to resist the action of Gebhard, and on the 
other to authorize his governor on the Low Countries, Alessan- 
dro Farnese, to intervene, even, if necessary, by force of arms. 3 
While, even before the mission of Minucci, the possibility 
of the removal of the Archbishop of Cologne, who was so 
forgetful of his duty, had been taken into consideration in 
Rome, at the same time, attention was directed to the choice 
of the person who could succeed him. It was only possible 
to think of a man who would be able, by reason of his 
connexions, to offer a strong resistance and bring powerful 
forces to bear, if he was to have any chance of fighting 
successfully against Gebhard. It seemed that such conditions 
were fulfilled in the fullest measure in the person of Ernest 
of Bavaria, whose brother William had in the meantime 
succeded to the duchy. Ernest was, moreover, the friend 

1 See ibid, liii., 332 seq. As late as December 17, 1582, Gregory 
XIII. had written to the Bishop of Strasburg : *" Disseminata 
iam diu sunt sermones pessimi de archiepiscopo Coloniensi, non 
possumus diutius tacere aut dissimulare . . . ; rogamus quantum 
possumus, ut de archiepiscopo ipsius vita et consiliis, quantum 
quidem extrinsecus apparere potest nos certiores facere velis." 

(Departmental Archives, Strasburg G. 172). At the beginning 
of the brief the bishop is praised for his attitude at the Diet 
of Augsburg which had been reported by Madruzzo. On January 
12, 1583,* the Pope commended the two Papal Legates to the 
Bishop of Strasbourg and urged him to energetic action against 
Gebhard. Ibid. 

2 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 337 seq., 341. Cf. THEINER, III., 
323. ARETIN, Maximilian I., 257. 

3 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 334 seq., 341 seq. 

VOL. XX, 24 


of the King of Spain and the Duke of Jiilich, and as the 
possessor of the dioceses of Hildesheim and Liege, and of the 
Imperial abbeys of Stavelot and Malmedy, held a secure 
position in Lower Germany. It was, however, an embar 
rassing fact that the concession of another diocese was 
contrary to the reform decrees of Trent, even more so as Ernest 
was one of those ecclesiastics who were sons of princes, and 
who in a certain sense enjoyed the good things of this world 
in a way that was not suitable for ecclesiastics. But the 
emergency made it necessary to pass over such considerations. 
It also weighed a good deal in the balance that Ernest, as a 
member of the cathedral chapter of Cologne, was eligible, 
and had in 1577 received almost half the votes. 1 

But in the meantime a fresh candidature was put forward, 
as the Archduke Ferdinand had suggested that his son, 
Cardinal Andrew of Austria, should be sent as legate to 
Cologne, with the further purpose of getting him appointed 
to that see. It was at once realized in Rome that by 
consenting to Ferdinand s plans they would gravely offend 
Bavaria, and, moreover, serve no purpose, as the chapter of 
Cologne would certainly not accept the son of a mother who 
was a commoner, as had been Philippine Welser. Andrew, 
moreover, was too insignificant a personality. But on the 
other hand they did not wish to forfeit the help of the archduke, 
nor that of the Emperor. Gregory XIII. therefore fell in 
with the wishes of Ferdinand to the extent of appointing, at 
the consistory of December 3ist, 1582, Cardinal Andrew 
together with Cardinal Madruzzo as legates to Cologne, with 
the duty of opening the process against Gebhard Truchsess, 
of pronouncing his supension, and preparing the way for a new 
election. 2 The designs of Bavaria were cleverly countered 

1 See ibid, liii.-liv. ; RITTER, I., 596 seq. 

2 See HIRN, II., 179 seq. ; Nuntiaturberichte, I., Ivi. seq., 348 ; 
LOSSEN, II., 154 seq. According to LOSSEN (loc. cit.} the co 
operation of Madruzzo was intended merely as a means of 
obviating suspicion of a too great desire to fall in with the wishes 
of Ferdinand. It was never seriously intended to send Madruzzo ; 
and, in fact, he remained in Rome. 


by this mission, while the Cardinal was given as colleagues 
and advisers the two experienced nuncios from the Imperial 
court and that of Graz, Francesco Bonhomini and Germanico 
Malaspina, as well as the auditor of the Rota, Francesco 
Orano, for the actual management of the process. The latter 
left Rome for Innsbruck on January 5th, 1583, with the bull 
of appointment and the instructions for Cardinal Andrew, 
and thence, in accordance with the wishes of the Curia, he 
went to Freising to overcome the fears of Duke Ernest of a 
fresh defeat, and to urge him to hasten his journey to the 
Rhine, which he was hesitating to make, by telling him of 
the Pope s wishes. 1 

In the meantime at Cologne, which Minucci had reached on 
January 2oth, 1583, as the first of the Pope s envoys, the 
catastrophe had already occurred. At Christmas, Gebhard 
Truchsess had made a singular present to his Catholic subjects 
by announcing that the almighty and merciful God had set 
him free from the shadows of the Papacy, and brought him 
to the knowledge of His holy word, that he thought he could 
remain in his vocation and his office with a clear conscience, 
and that he intended to give freedom to the exercise of the 
new religion. On January i6th, however, a public declaration 
in reply came from the city of Bonn, which belonged to the 
diocese of which Gebhard had obtained possession with the 
help of John Nassau. It would appear that Gebhard did not 
altogether realize the dangers of his undertaking, for his 
energies were principally directed to holding festive banquets 
which generally ended in grave drunkenness. The climax 
of this mad behaviour, and at the same time the final proof 
of Gebhard s transition to Protestantism was afforded by his 
marriage to Agnes von Mansfeld, which took place on February 
2nd. The wiser among the Protestant friends of the infatuated 
archbishop were frightened at his inconsiderate behaviour. 

The Catholics took up the challenge with all the greater 
confidence .- The central point of the resistance to the 

1 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 352 seq., 358; LOSSEN, II., 161 
seq. Cf. also UNKEL in the Hist. Jahrbuch, XII., 517. 

2 See RITTER, I., 590, 596; LOSSEN, II., 165 seq. ; JANSSEN- 
PASTOR, V. 15 16 , 33 seq. 


changes made by Gebhard was the city of Cologne, where 
Minucci was safeguarding Catholic interests with great 
prudence. Besides the city, the chapter of Cologne, with the 
exception of a few canons, united with courage and resolution 
in favour of the old faith, above all the auxiliary bishop, Duke 
Frederick of Saxony-Lauenburg, the brother of Henry of 
Bremen, whom Gebhard had converted from being a half- 
Protestant and his devoted friend, into a determined Catholic 
and his bitter enemy, by first leading him to expect his 
resignation of the archdiocese, and then completely 
disillusioning him. At the Diet which was assembled at 
Cologne by the chapter, the States, the counts, the barons and 
the Rhenish city declared themselves against Gebhard, 1 while 
the latter proved himself more and more an incapable and weak 
person. The Spanish troops had hardly made their appearance 
near Aix, when he felt that he would be no safer at Bonn, 
and immediately after his marriage he retired to the territory 
of the archdiocese in Westphalia, where, as an illustration 
of what he meant by religious liberty, he began a violent 
persecution of the Catholics, and a savage outburst of 
iconoclasm. 2 

It is characteristic of Gregory XIII. that, as a strict jurist 
and a cautious politician, in spite of the provocative behaviour 
of Gebhard, he did not wish to take any precipitate action. 
The zealous nuncio Bonhomini, at the news of the public 
apostasy of the Archbishop of Cologne, had as early as January 
i5th, 1583, suggested to Cardinal Galli from Vienna that the 
introduction of a formal process was no longer necessary, as 
the Pope could, without further ado, pronounce the deposition 
of a notorious heretic. This view was also shared by the 
members of the German Congregation and by the six 

1 See LOSSEN, II., 01 seq., 104 seq. 

2 Fuller particulars in JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. 15 16 , 35 seq. 
In a *letter to the Cardinals dated February 22, 1583, the Prince 
of Waldburg deplored the apostasy of his brother and gave assur 
ances of his own fidelity to the faith. Vatic. 6416, p. 93, Vatican 


Cardinals charged to deal with the question. 3 In spite of 
this Gregory XIII. , as a prudent jurist, felt scruples, nor did 
he wish to offend Cardinal Andrew by thus depriving him of 
his office. As, however, owing to the plots of the Count 
Palatine, John Casimir, the journey of the Cardinal legate 
to Cologne was hindered, delay seemed dangerous. On 
receiving news of this Gregory acted promptly and resolutely. 
Late in the evening of March 2ist, 1583, he summoned a secret 
consistory for the following day, at which he pronounced the 
deposition of Gebhard. 2 

The bull of deposition, signed by the Pope and all the 
Cardinals, dated April ist, 1583 (new calendar), began with 
the fact that Gebhard Truchsess, ignoring all the warnings 
of the Pope, had associated himself with heretics, so as to be 
able to retain the archdiocese of Cologne, in spite of his 
marriage. It then goes on to mention the fact that the 
marriage had been publicly celebrated before an heretical 
minister, the occupation by violence of the city of Bonn and 
of other places in the diocese in opposition to the chapter, 
and the outrages that had resulted. Since these facts were 
notorious, the Pope had once more had laid before him the 
information which he had charged the Cardinal legate Andrew 
to obtain, and accordingly the aforementioned Gebhard 
Truchsess, although he had by his own action forfeited all his 
rights, is now declared to be deprived of all his dignities, 
benefices and offices, with the advice and consent of the 
Cardinals, and with the certain knowledge and full authority 
which supplies for any defect of law, as a public heretic and 
perjurer, a rebel and excommunicate, and a corrupt member 
cut off from the body of the Catholic Church. The cathedral 

1 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 387, 435 seq., 441 seq. 

2 See the Acta consist, ibid. 473. Cf. UNKEL in the Hist. 
Jahrbuch, XII., 520 seq. Special prayers for Germany had 
already been ordered. Alaleone *reports on February n, 1583 : 
" Pontifex descendit pedester ad s. Petrum orationis causa 
propter iubilaeum plenarium ad extirpandam haeresim, augendam 
fidem catholicam in Germania et unionem principum." Diarium, 
p. 10 (b), Cod. Barb., Vatican Library. 


chapter is then requested to nominate a new bishop as soon as 
possible. 1 

Together with this bull were sent the first money subsidies 
from the Pope to Cologne, 2 where Malaspina had been since 
March 28th, and Bonhomini since April 2Oth. Among the 
faculties sent to Bonhomini on April 4th was an authority in 
the case of extreme necessity, and after a period of three 
months, to nominate a new archbishop himself even without 
the chapter. 3 The use of this measure, provided for by the 
canon law, was not, however, necessary. Under the direction 
of Bonhomini, who from the first was the man really trusted 
by the Curia, the Pope s representatives made preparations 
for the new election ; they specially made it their object to 
exclude the Protestant canons from that act, and their efforts 
at length met with the desired result. They were also 
successful in removing the other difficulties. After Ernest 
had got rid of his competitors by money payments, on June 
2nd (May 23rd), his nomination as Archbishop of Cologne 
took place by a unanimous vote. 4 So as to cut at the root 
of the evil, Bonhomini, who in this matter as well acted as the 
courageous pioneer of the Catholic restoration, stood firm in 
his intention of excluding the Protestant canons from the 
cathedral chapter, and issued a decree that none could be 
admitted to the chapter who had not made the Tridentine 
profession of faith. At the same time the nuncio occupied 
himself with the moral reform of the clergy of Cologne. 5 

1 The Bull is printed inaccurately in ISSELT, 227 seq. ; a more 
reliable version in LEONHARTI WARAMUNDI TURINGI admonitio 
in anathematismum, quo Gregorius XIII. Gebh. Truchsessium 
damnavit, Lugd. Bat., 1583. Cf. LOSSEN, II., 235, 251 seq. ; 
BEZOLD, II., n. 171. 

* See ibid. n. 126. 

3 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 482. 

4 See UNKEL in the Hist. Jahrbuch, XII., 525 seq. ; EHSES- 
MEISTER, Nuntiaturberichte, I., xxxc. ; LOSSEN, II., 258-298. 

5 Cf. Nuntiaturberichte, I., 578, 584, 596, 599, 617 ; THEINER, 
III., 398 ; UNKEL in the Hist. Jahrbuch, XII., 531 seq. ; EHSES- 
MEISTER, Nuntiaturberichte, I., xxxvi. ; LOSSEN, II., 315 seq., 
320 seq. 


The great triumph won at Cologne, which also served as 
an example and warniiig to the other bishops 1 whose faith 
was in the balance, could not, however, be said to be complete, 
in that Ernest for his part was not above reproach. Having 
become a priest against his will, as was the case with most 
of the secular princes of his time, his conduct was by no means 
moral. The Jesuits rightly lamented the tragic fate of the 
Church of Germany, in that under such dangerous circum 
stances it had not been possible to find a worthy head for holy 
Cologne. 2 But in any case Ernest gave the certainty that 
when Gebhard appealed to arms, the war of Cologne could only 
end in one way, and that Duke William V. of Bavaria would 
throw the whole weight of his influence into his brother s 

In acting as he had done Gebhard had placed his chief 
hopes in foreign help, but he was soon disillusioned ; the 
insurgents of Holland could give him no help, as the Spaniards 
had the upper hand there at the moment, France was held 
back from intervention by her internal dissensions, while 
even among his new co-religionists in Germany the decided 
and harmonious unity which he had looked for was wanting. 
Decisive in this respect was the attitude of the Elector Augustus 
of Saxony, to whom the thought of the Empire, and the 
maintenance of the religious peace of Augsburg, which only 
allowed the apostasy of an ecclesiastical prince at the cost 
of the loss of his dignities and rights, seemed of greater 
importance than the further advance of Protestantism. 
Moreover, Augustus feared lest Gebhard should join the 
Calvinists. 3 Thus it was only the house of the Palatinate, 
and especially the Count Palatine, John Casimir, the Counts 

1 At that time, in Rome itself, suspicions were entertained 
of the Archbishop of Mayence, Wolfgang von Dalberg, see 
Nuntiaturberichte, I., 516, 520, 626 seq. For Wolfgang cf. A. L. 
BEIT, Kirche und Kirchenwesen in Mainz, 25 seq. 

* See JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. 15 16 , 38. 

3 See RIEZLER, IV., 643. Cf. JANSSEN-PASTOR, loc. cit., 
41 seq. 


of the Wetterau, and a few cities that joined Gebhard, and this 
support was all the more insufficient, as the Pope energetically 
brought the whole weight of his authority, and all his shrewd 
political ability to bear in winning over the Emperor, and 
cleverly uniting the policy of the house of Bavaria with 
Catholic interests. 1 

The bloody struggle for the archdiocese of Cologne which 
Gebhard had begun dragged on at first for several months 
without definite result, as both the friends of the apostate 
archbishop and his Catholic adversaries lacked what was all 
important, sufficient money. But even in this respect the 
superiority of the Catholics soon showed itself. Of the 
ecclesiastical princes of Germany only the excellent Bishop 
Julius of Wiirzburg gave a large subsidy, 2 but all the more 

1 Cf. HANSEN (Nuntiaturberichte, I., Ixiv.) who, as the best 
authority on the subject, says : " Available documents have 
proved, without any possibility of doubt, that the success of 
the Catholic restoration in Cologne must be ascribed, in the first 
place, to the initiative of the Papal government and not, as was 
previously supposed, to Duke William of Bavaria, brother of 
the new archbishop. From the very beginning, the Curia tackled 
the disorders at Cologne with great decision and firmness, and 
allowed no obstacles to deflect it from its chosen course of action. 
To this skilful leadership must be attributed the success against 
an undertaking which, though formidable in itself, was neverthe 
less, set on foot by an incompetent personality and was badly 
prepared and worse supported. From the moment when 
Gebhard s apostacy became an accomplished fact, the Papal 
government refused to have any further dealings with him ; 
and the same determination was shown in the extreme measures 
adopted towards the Cathedral Chapter when Bonhomini was given 
full power to appoint an archbishop should the election fail to 
produce a suitable person. It was the Curia that induced Duke 
Ernest, against his will, to go to Cologne and press his candidature ; 
and the Curia it was that persuaded him to remain there despite 
the fact that, despairing of success, he frequently desired to 
leave. Again it was the Curia that knew so well how to bend 
to its will the weak and vacillating Imperial policy." 

2 Cf. LOSSEN, II., 511 seq. 


generous were the Pope and the Duke of Bavaria, who took 
upon their own shoulders the principal burden of the 

Gregory XIII. did not content himself with supporting 
the cause of Ernest everywhere with briefs of recommendation, 
but in spite of his own financial straits gave as much money 
as he could. As early as March 1583 he sent to Vienna to 
the Emperor, who wished at first to take the part of Gebhard, 
a gift of 100,000 florins, which at once had its effect. 1 To 
Duke William of Bavaria the Papal Camera had sent by the 
autumn, through the bank of the Welser, 90,000 florins. 
Other sums followed. 2 No less important was the fact that 
Gregory XIII., ignoring the fact that Rudolph II. was not 
pleased with the introduction of foreign troops into the 
territory of the Empire, showed great activity in Madrid to 
induce the King of Spain to send prompt and effective assist 
ance to the army of Bavaria by means of his governor in the 
Low Countries, Alessandro Farnese. The Pope pointed out 
that not only the Catholic religion, but also the House of 
Austria was gravely threatened. 3 As Spain only corresponded 
insufficiently to this request, in September Filippo Sega, 
Bishop of Piacenza, was sent to Madrid on a special mission. 
Sega, however, was not able to obtain any financial assistance 
from Philip, although he was able to cause definite orders to 
be sent to Alessandro Farnese to support the Archbishop of 
Cologne in every way. 4 William V. of Bavaria displayed 
great zeal, and in spite of his own debts expended large sums. 
By the end of November, these sums amounted to 200,000 
florins. 5 It was due above all to the troops raised by him, 

1 See ibid. 311, 384. 

2 See THEINER, III., 402, 489 seq., 496, 499 ; Nuntiaturberichle, 
I., Ixv., 697 ; RITTER, I., 608 ; LOSSEN, II., 456. Cf. the "report 
of the Mantuan envoy of September 24, 1583, Gonzaga Archives, 

3 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 657 seq., 674, 681, 685 seq. ; T$RNE, 

4 See Nuntiaturberichle, L, 697, 702 seq., 711, 713. 
6 See RIEZLER, IV., 642. 


and commanded by Duke Ferdinand of Bavaria, that Ernest 
remained Archbishop of Cologne, and that Gebhard had to 
take refuge in the Low Countries. 1 

1 For the details the reader is referred to the magnificent and 
exhaustive description in the second volume of Lossen s work, 
Der Kolnische Krieg, where copious use is made of published and 
unpublished material. In his preface, the author boasts of his 
impartiality, and although this self-praise may be more or less 
well-deserved on the whole, there are certain passages which 
show quite clearly that he belonged to the party of the so-called 
Old Catholics. Lessen cannot mention the Jesuits without a 
taunt, and (on page 315) Bonhomini is taken to task for being 
a zealot because he declared certain notoriously heretical canons 
to have forfeited their benefices. It is a complete travesty of 
the truth to suggest, as Lessen does (p. 686), that the Catholics, 
the Pope and the Duke of Bavaria were responsible for the 
outbreak of the religious war which caused so much suffering 
to the population of the Rhine land and Westphalia. These 
were not the guilty parties, for they merely resisted strenuously 
when unjust attacks were made on their rights and their religion. 
The real culprit was Gebhard who, in defiance to all the laws 
of the land, desired to keep a wife and an archbishopric at the 
same time. Impartial Protestants such as, for example, B. K. 
Hagen (Deutsche Geschichte, IV., 410), do not hesitate to speak 
of the " rather unsavoury " motives which induced Gebhard 
to embrace Protestantism, to break his vows and to attempt 
the overthrow of the civil constitution. This national side to the 
question is completely ignored by Lossen. When Gebhard 
spoke, not only of resisting the " tyranny " of the Pope, but 
also of " preserving German liberty " (*Letter to Frankfurt 
a/M of July 2, 1583, Municipal Archives, Frankfurt a/M.), he 
understood, by that, the introduction of complete independence 
for each separate State. In his review of Lossen s book, Stieve 
rightly emphasises the fact that it was thanks to the victory 
of the Catholic party that " the territorial politics of the German 
States, which for centuries had tended towards the destruction 
of the Empire, did not, at that time, split the Empire into a 
series of independent states ; but that the valuable bond of 
national unity was maintained." (Allgemeine Zeitung, 1898, 
Supplement No. 43). 


With the victory won by Gregory XIII. in union with the 
Duke of Bavaria, the greatest danger which had threatened 
Catholicism since 1555 was overcome. A victory on the part 
of Gebhard, on the other hand, with all its incalculable 
consequences, would have resulted not only in the triumph 
and absolute mastery of Protestantism in Germany, but would 
also have brought about a very difficult state of affairs for 
the Church in the neighbouring Low Countries and France. 
Like the north of Europe the whole of the west of Europe 
would also have gradually passed over to Protestantism. 
With profound shrewdness Henry of Navarre realized this 
when, fortunately for the Catholic cause, he vainly pointed 
out to the Lutheran princes of Germany that they must put 
an end to their divisions and theii isolation from their 
co-religionists in other countries, and unite in a general 
Protestant alliance against the Papacy and the House of 
Hapsburg, in which case the triumph of Protestantism would 
have been assured. The case of Gebhard was more important 
than anything else that had happened in Christendom for 
centuries " ; " nothing else " he told John Casimir, "is of 
greater importance for the destruction of the Papacy." 1 To 
Queen Elizabeth of England, too, Navarre recommended in 
March, 1585, 2 " the holy cause of Gebhard, which was of so 
great importance to the whole of Christendom," but without 
result, as the Queen of England, as a believer in practical 
politics, was only guided by the interests of her own kingdom. 
When he implored her to help him, Gebhard, " abandoned 
by all," had to put up with hearing from the lips of the " virgin 
queen " that by his marriage " he had made it clear that he 
was not guided by the spirit of faith, but rather by his carnal 
desires of earthly enjoyments." 3 

It is easy to understand that the joy of the Catholic party 
was great at the victorious result of the historically important 

1 See JANSSEN-PASTOR, V. 15 16 , 45 seq. for the particular 


8 See BERTHOLD in Raumers Historisches Taschenbuch, N. F. I., 
Leipzig, 1840, 70 seq. 


struggle for the archbishopric of Cologne, 1 which was to a 
certain extent the decisive struggle between Catholicism and 
Protestantism in Germany. 2 But they did not fail to realize 
how much still remained to be done to give internal effect to 
the victory they had won. If the Catholic restoration was to 
endure in the archdiocese of Cologne, Catholic reform must 
be enforced there. Not only was an improvement in the 
religious conditions of the vast diocese absolutely necessary, 
but no less necessary was the supervision and guidance of the 
new archbishop, whose election had not been brought about 
by merit, but by his power to defend by force the maintenance 
of religion in the archdiocese. 3 It was realized too that it 
would only be by obtaining better information than had been 
the case hitherto, that a similar danger could promptly be 
avoided in the future. Events in the Low Countries too had 
made it clear that it was very desirable to have a permanent 
representative of the Holy See in Lower Germany. The 
logical result of these considerations was the necessity ol 
establishing a special and permanent nunciature at 

The great Archbishop of Treves, Johann von Schonenberg, 
had given the first impulse to this at the beginning of 
1583 in a conversation with Minucci, and he had pointed 

1 According to LOSSEN (II., 646 seq.}. The importance of the 
conflict is reflected in the popular literature of the time ; cf. 
SOLTAN, Hist. Volkslieder, Leipzig, 1836, 437 seq. ; SUGENHEIM, 
Jesuiten, I., 68 ; Zeitschrift des bergischen Geschichtsvereins, 
XII., 75 seq. ; Picks Monatsschrift, I., 365 seq. See also the 
German *satirical poem with the superscription : " Honores 
mutant mores, sed raro in meliores," in fasc. 9953 of the Municipal 
Archives, Frankfurt a/M. A Latin lampoon beginning : " O 
Truchsess trux es, dux es, mala lux, mala nux es," in the Lucerne 

2 " Possession of the Rhine countries turned the scale in the 
war between Protestants and Catholics in Germany," says 
PLATZHOFF, Die Stellung der Rheinlande in der deutschen 
Geschichte, Bonn, 1921, 9. 

3 See UNKEL in the Hist. Jahrbuch, XII., 721 seq. 


to Bonhomini 1 as the man best suited to the purpose ; Minucci 
welcomed the suggestion and supported it with great zeal. 
Malaspina wrote a special memorial in favour of a new 
diplomatic representation of the Holy See on the Lower Rhine, 
and proposed Minucci for the purpose, Bonhomini also 
pronouncing in his favour. The latter advised that Minucci 
should be left for the present at Cologne, even though at first 
he was not given the title of nuncio. Later on he withdrew 
the objections he felt to giving him that title. On June 23rd, 
1583, he asked Charles Borromeo for his support of a new 
nunciature on the Lower Rhine, saying that he was convinced 
that all the other nuncios together who were at that time 
working on behalf of the Holy See could not effect so much 
good as one at Cologne alone. Bonhomini, however, was no 
longer thinking of Minucci for the purpose at that time, but 
of Francesco Bossi, the friend of Borromeo, and Bishop of 
Novara. 2 

With its customary unwillingness to act hastily, the Holy 
See adopted at first a waiting attitude towards these 
suggestions, and it was only after repeated requests from 
Bonhomini that a decision was arrived at ; on December 2ist, 

1583, Cardinal Galli, the Secretary of State, wrote to him 
that the decision to send a nuncio to Cologne had been come 
to, and that the appointment would be made before Easter, 


Nevertheless there was still a delay in carrying the decision 
into effect, because of the difficulty found in the choice of 
the man to be appointed. Objections and difficulties were 
raised against all the candidates hitherto suggested, among 
whom was Feliciano Ninguarda. 4 In the end, in October, 

1584, contrary to all expectations and to his own wishes, 

1 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 362 ; UNKEL in the Hist. Jahrbuch, 

XII., 723- 

2 See ibid. 725. Malaspina s memorandum in THEINER, III., 
404 seq. 

3 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 732. 

4 Cf. UNKEL, loc. cit. 729 seq. ; Nuntiaturbetichte, I., 733 seq. ; 
EHSES-MEISTER, I., xxxix. 


Bonhomini was appointed nuncio at Cologne. Malaspina, 
the nuncio at Graz, who was to succeed him in Prague, received 
orders to convey to him his instructions, which were dated 
October 27th. His credentials had already been sent on 
October 2oth. A brief of January igth, 1585, determined 
the faculties of Bonhomini as well as the limits of his nuncia 
ture, which was to include the ecclesiastical provinces of 
Cologne, Mayence and Treves, the dioceses of Basle, Strasbourg, 
Osnabriick, Paderborn and Liege, the territory of the Duke 
of Julich-Cleves, and Spanish Flanders. 1 

When Bonhomini realized that the Pope had made up his 
mind, he withdrew his objections. He paid another visit 
to his beloved diocese of Vercelli, and set out for Germany 
from thence. On March 26th, 1585, he reached Treves, 
where he at once began upon the labours of his new office, 
which Cardinal Galli declared to be the most honourable and 
important that had been conferred for many years. 2 The 
choice of the Pope can only be described as excellent, for 
Bonhomini was in every way the very man to cope with the 
many and great exigencies which the new office laid upon 
the man who held it, both as a truly pastoral and episcopal 
work, and with regard to the reorganization of affairs in the 

The establishment of the nunciature at Cologne was one 

1 See HARTZHEIM, Concilia, VIII., 498 seq. ; UNKEL, loc. cit. 
731, 733, 736 ; THEINER, III., 500 ; Nuntiaturberichte, I., 735 ; 
EHSES-MEISTER, I., xliv. seq., 4. 

2 See Nuntiaturberichte, I., 734 ; EHSES-MEISTER, I., xl. 
Bonhomini arrived in Cologne on April 9, the day before Gregory 
XIII. s death. The motives for the establishment of the Cologne 
nunciature were later rewritten in the instruction for the nuncio 
Montorio of July 31, 1621, where it is stated that the occupant 
of the post is, above all, to watch " sopra le piu illustri e gran 
chiese della Germania e principalmente sopra li tre Elettorati 
accioche non s introduchino ne capitoli cattolici heretici, non 
s eleggano prelati non cattolici e non zelanti " see LAMMER, 
Zur Kirchengeschichte, 129. Cf. PACCA, Mem. storiche sul di 
lui soggiorno in Germania, 235 seq. 


of the last and one of the most important measures of Gregory 
XIII. A short time before Bonhomini reached Cologne that 
pontificate which had witnessed the beginning of a new era 
for the Church in Germany came to an end. During the 
pontificate of Gregory great things had been accomplished 
in the north ; the dioceses of Hildesheim, Cologne and, for 
the most part, of Minister, had been saved to Catholicism ; 
at Fulda, Wiirzburg and Eichsfeld the ecclesiastical revival 
had made great progress, and the Catholic restoration was in 
preparation in Austria as well as Bavaria. It had been in a 
special way due to the Pope that things had developed as 
they had. 1 It was due to the nuncios whom he sent that the 
Church of Germany was inspired with new life ; the colleges 
which Gregory had founded shared the merit of having laid 
the foundations upon which the new religious life could be 
built up. In Rome men of great influence had long resisted 
the conviction that it was no longer by the disciplinary 
measures of the middle ages that the new doctrines in the 
countries which had apostatized could be destroyed, but that 
salvation could only come from the instruction given by a 
clergy trained for the purpose from the beginning. In the 
time of Gregory XIII. the great protector and founder of 
the colleges, these ideas had won the day. 

The Catholic reformation of the XVIth century must be 
specially connected with three great names ; it was Ignatius 
of Loyola who traced the fundamental ideas, and drew out 
the plan for the revival of the Church ; in connexion with him, 
and on the basis of the Council ol Trent, Charles Borromeo 
became the legislator of the new ecclesiastical discipline, 
and in union with Borromeo, Pius V. reformed Rome and the 

1 A *brief of March 15, 1582, which calls upon Bishop Johann 
of Strasbourg to work harmoniously with Cardinal Madruzzo 
at the Diet, rightly says : " Perspectum esse fraternitati tuae 
facile arbitramur nostrum perpetuum studium rerum Germani- 
carum. Nihil est, quod tantopere cupiamus quam nobilissimam 
illam provinciam omni munere coelesti cumulatissimam esse, 
idque assidue Deum precamur." (Departmental Archives, 
Strasbourg, G. 172). 


Papal court. Gregory XITI. was able to gather in the harvest 
which these illustrious predecessors had sowed. Ignatius 
had provided hundreds of unassuming teachers who, with the 
sweat of their brow, laboured for the young on the benches 
of the schools, Borromeo and Pius had trained prelates who 
could be employed as nuncios. Under Gregory XIII. the 
right way for the Church of Germany had been taken ; to 
what this way might have led, if external circumstances, and 
especially the desire for conquest on the part of the neighbour 
ing states, had not changed vast territories of Germany into 
a shapeless mass of ruins, can hardly be imagined. Once 
again it had been proved what a treasure the Church possesses 
in the calumniated Papacy, the living and vigorous source 
from which she is for ever drawing new strength. 


AFTER France, even in the time of Francis I., had entered 
into close relations with Turkey, the peace which first Venice, 
and then Spain had, to the great grief of Gregory XIII. , 
concluded with the hereditary enemy of Christendom, implied 
the abandonment by the Latin nations of their ancient and 
historical mission in the east. It was therefore natural that 
henceforward the attention and the hopes of the Pope should 
have been turned to that state in the east of Europe which, 
especially on account of the increasing weakness of Germany, 1 
seemed both on account of its position and its own interests, 
to be destined to oppose a barrier by land to the advance of 
the Turks. This was the great kingdom of Poland, which 
hitherto, by reason of its internal dissensions, had been unable 
to make use of its power outside its own borders, and had 
adopted a policy of neutrality towards Turkey. A change of 
policy seemed possible when the throne fell vacant at the death 
of Sigismund Augustus, the last of the Jagellons, which took 
place on July 7th, 1572. 

The election of the King of Poland thus became a matter 
of great importance, not only for the war against Turkey, 
but also for the progress of the Catholic restoration in Poland, 
and in the eastern countries of Europe. Gregory XIII., 
to whom Cardinal Hosius described the state of affairs in 
Poland, recognized this so clearly that he ordered public 
prayers for the happy issue of the election. 2 

Many candidates, including Protestants, offered themselves 

1 In the November of 1574, Maximilian II. prolonged his 
peace with the Porte ; see HAMMER, HI., 609 seq, 
8 See Hosn Op. II., 332 ; EICHHORN, II., 427. 
VOL. XX. 385 25 


for the vacant throne. At first Sigismund Wasa, the son of 
John III., King of Sweden and Catherine Jagellon, Duke 
Frederick Albert of Prussia, the Czar Ivan IV., the Archduke 
Ernest of Austria, came forward, and then Duke Henry of 
Anjou, the Voivode of Transylvania, Stephen Bathory, Anna, 
the sister of Sigismund Augustus, and lastly the King of 
Sweden himself. 1 Of the above named the Archduke Ernest 
of Austria seemed to the Pope the most desirable, both for 
the war against the Turks and for the protection of Catholic 
interests. The Cardinal legate, Commendone, even before 
the death of Sigismund Augustus, had received express orders 
to work for the candidature of the Hapsburg prince. 2 After 
the death of the king the Polish bishops were urged in a special 
brief to use their influence in union and agreement with the 
legate for the election of a good Catholic ruler. 

Cardinal Commendone was not wanting in zeal. He strove 
at first, with great labour and skill, to unite the Catholics 
of Poland, and to prevent a union of the Protestants. He was 
successful in averting the danger of the election of a Protestant 
king, but his efforts on behalf of Duke Ernest met with no 
success, on account of the extravagant policy of the irresolute 
and badly advised Emperor. 3 

The Porte worked against the candidature of Austria, but 
much more against that of Russia, seeing in the Czar an 
adversary who might become very dangerous. In the 
impossibility of elevating a trusted partisan to the throne 

1 See BIAUDET, Le St. -Siege, I., 204 seq. 

2 P. DE CENIVAL, 118 seq. 

3 Cf. GRATIANUS, Vita Commendoni, IV., 2 ; PILINSKI, Das 
polnische Interregnum von 1572-73 und die polnische Konigswahl 
Heinrichs von Valois, Heidelberg, 1861 ; REIMANN in the Hist. 
Zeitschrift, XI., 69 seq. ; DE NOAILLES, Henri de Valois et la 
Pologne en 1572, 3 vols, Paris, 1867, 2nd edition, 1878, SCHIEMANN, 
Russland, Polen und Livland, II., 344 seq. ; BIAUDET, Le St.- 
Siege, I., 212 seq., 217 seq. ; P. DE CENIVAL, 119 seq., 127 seq. 
The arbitrary conduct of the nuncio Vincenzo Portico, who 
supported the candidature of Princess Anna, sister of Sigismund 
Augustus, led to his recall ; cf. BIAUDET, he, cit. 229 seq. 


of Poland, Turkey at length declared in favour of Henry of 
Anjou, whose election, as the result of the unceasing and 
unscrupulous efforts of French diplomacy, was announced on 
May i6th, 1573. 

The absence of any hope of the election of the Archduke 
Ernest forced Gregory XIII. to fall in with the French 
candidature. Although he did this comparatively soon 
the change was very distasteful to him. 1 But no other course 
lay open to him, as this at anyrate prevented a Protestant 
becoming King of Poland. 2 The religious future of that 
country seemed to be all the more seriously threatened as 
the Protestants, before the election of the king and under 
the leadership of Firley, the grand marshal of the crown, 
had formed a confederation at Warsaw which promised full 
equality of rights to all who differed in faith (excluding only 
the non-Christian sects, such as the Antitrinitarians and the 
Anabaptists), and granting supreme authority over their 
subjects even in religious questions to the noble land-owners. 
This agreement violated Catholic interests, in that it placed 
Protestant and Catholic worship on an equal footing, even 
though the latter had not ceased to be the state religion, and 
prevented any attempt to recover stolen ecclesiastical 
property. 3 The bishops, with the single exception of the 
Bishop of Cracow, refused to recognize the federation, and in 

1 Gregory XIII. made, as BIAUDET says (loc. cit. 236), " bonne 
mine a mauvais jeu." From this attitude, Maximilian concluded 
that Commendone had not sufficiently supported the Archduke 
Ernest ; see P. TIEPOLO, 227 and Venez. Depeschen, III., 524, 
note 6. For the attitude of Commendone and the difficult 
situation in which he was placed see NOAILLES, II. (2), 256 seq. ; 
P. DE CENIVAL, 157 seq. He was made responsible for every 
thing that took place, not only at the imperial court (see Nuntia- 
turberichte edited by SCHELLHASS, III., 52), but also in the Curia 
(cf. the *Relatione di Serguidi of 1581, State Archives at Florence). 
In reality it was Galli s " politique trop ondoyante et pleine de 
trop d intentions " that was to blame ; see P. DE CENIVAL, 175. 

2 Cf. P. DE CENIVAL, 135 seq. 
8 See BERGA, Skarga, 180 seq. 


this they were encouraged by Cardinal Commendone. In 
his speech before the Diet of Warsaw the Cardinal had opposed 
the attempt to make the various religions live in peace together 
by citing the action of Samson, when he tied together the 
foxes tails, set fire to them and thus burned the harvests of 
the Philistines. 1 

Even though the Protestants were unsuccessful in getting 
their confederation generally accepted, they nevertheless 
succeeded in persuading Jean de Montluc, the leader of the 
French embassy, to swear to it. When the primate Uchanski 
learned of this he made a protest and declared the oath null. 2 
King Henry accepted the protest, but was forced by Firley 
to take an oath in which the dissentients saw a confirmation 
of the liberties that had been promised to them. 3 As the new 
nuncio, Vincenzo Laureo, Bishop of Hondo vi, 4 who went 
first to Paris and afterwards to Warsaw, resolutely defended 
the rights of the Catholics, 5 Henry would have found himself 
involved in a serious conflict if the death of his brother 
Charles IX., which occurred on May 3oth, 1574, after only four 
months reign, had not unexpectedly obliged him to return 
to France. 

The Catholics were supremely humiliated, though the 
Protestants rejoiced, at the departure of the king, which was 
almost a flight ; 6 the latter hoped that one of themselves 

1 REIMANN in the Hist. Zeitschnft, XI., 108. 

See EICHHORN, II., 435. Cf. Hist. Zeitschrift, XL, 126 seq. 

3 Cf. LUDTKE in the Freib. Kirchenlex. (III. 2 , 1859 seq., 
where the special Polish literature is utilized. 

4 Cf. Vita V. Laurei card. Montisregalis Ruggerio Tritonio 
auctore, Bononiae, 1599. 

5 Cj. MAFFEI, 1., in seq. ; EICHHORN, II., 484 seq., 488 seq. ; 
REIMANN in the Hist. Zeitschrift, XII., 380 seq., whose article, 
as HERGENROTHER rightly remarks (III. [1880], 435) needs a 
great deal of sifting. Since then have appeared Laureo s reports 
in WIERZBOWSKI, V. Laureo nonce apost. en Pologne 1574-78, 
Warsaw, 1887, unfortunately in a very defective edition ; cf. 
KORZENIOWSKI in the Cracow periodical Przeglad polski, 1888 
May number. 

6 See BERGA, Skarga, 188. 


would now obtain the throne. The Papal nuncio Laureo 
at once developed a strenuous activity and succeeded in 
preventing the summoning of a national council. He would 
have been glad to save Poland from the bitter controversies 
of a new election, but the Diet of Warsaw resolved to give 
the king until May I2th in the following year as the last date 
for his return, and if he should not do so to declare that he 
had forfeited the crown. 1 

Almost the same candidates as in 1572 found themselves 
opposed to each other in the renewed fight for election. The 
Emperor himself came forward on behalf of Austria, and 
with him his son Ernest and the Archduke Ferdinand of the 
Tyrol. 2 Gregory XIII. again favoured the candidature of 
Austria, 2 as the union of Austria and Poland held out the best 
hopes for the war against Turkey. Bathory on the other hand 
was dependent on the Turks, and thus seemed to promise 
very little security for the Catholic Church, as his religious 
opinions were spoken of as doubtful. 4 In December, 1575, a 
two-fold election took place ; the primate Uchanski, Arch 
bishop of Gnesen, on the I2th proclaimed in the name of the 
senatorial party the Emperor Maximilian as King of Poland, 
while two days later the Schlachta elected Stephen Bathory, 

1 See MAFFEI, I., 125 seq.; WIERZBOWSKI, V. Laureo; N. 
BAIN in the English. Historical Review, 1889, 645 seq. Cf. also 
SZADECZKY, Bathory 1st van Lengyel kiralylya valasztasa. 1571- 
1576, Budapest, 1887. 

* In addition to the works of Wierzbowski and Szadeczky 
referred to in the preceding note, see also NOAILLES (2), 475 
seq. See also HIRN, II., 243 seq. ; Nuntiaturberichte, V., 231 
seq., 274, note ; WIERBOWSKI, two Candidatures for the Polish 
Throne : William von Rosenberg and Archduke Ferdinand 
of Tyrol, Warsaw, 1889 (in Russian). Cf. also HtiPPE, De 
Poloniae post Henricum interregno 1575-76, Vratislaviae, 

8 See BORATYNSKI, Caligarii Epist. xli. 

4 See Vol. XIX. of this work, Appendix No. 28, the *Memorie 
of Cardinal Galli, (Boncompagni Archives at Rome). 


on the condition of his marrying Anna Jagellon, the sister 
of Sigismund Augustus. 1 

In spite of his sympathy for the candidature of Austria, 
Gregory XIII., out of consideration for France, had been 
obliged to maintain an attitude of reserve. 2 His nuncio, 
however, had worked strenuously for Maximilian. After 
the two-fold election he urged the Emperor to take action, 
but quite in vain. On account of the hesitation and inertness 
of Maximilian his supporters decreased while those of Bathory 
increased in number. At the end of April the latter made 
his solemn entry into Cracow, where, after the celebration 
of his marriage with the Princess Anna, he was crowned on 
May ist, 1576, as King of Poland, by Stanislaus Karn- 
kowski, Bishop of Leslau. On July 5th, he announced 
his election to the Pope in a humble letter. He asked for 
his protection and announced the sending of envoys for the 
obedientia. 3 Thus the attitude of the Holy See towards the 
Polish question was substantially altered. Rome had to take 
into account what had actually been done, for otherwise 
the most serious disadvantages for religion in that country 
would have ensued. 4 Gregory XIII. , however, had the 
greatest consideration for the Emperor, and at first refused 
to give any reply to the envoys of Bathory, 5 but caused the 

1 See WIERBOWSKI, Laureo, 281-316 ; SZADECZKY, loo. cit. 
198 seq. The report of the election arrived in Rome by special 
messenger on Thursday (according to a *report of Giulio Masetti, 
dat. February 8, 1576). On the following Monday the messenger 
had audience of the Pope. (State Archives, Modena). 

2 See *Sporeno s reports dated Rome, January 2 and February 
24, 1575 (Government Archives, Innsbruck). Cf. HIRN, II., 84. 

3 See THEINER, II., 206 seq. On June 10 Laureo was instructed 
by Bathory to await the Pope s reply outside the kingdom ; 
see SZADECZKY, 417. Laureo went to Breslau to await events ; 
see WIERBOWSKI, Laureo, p. iv. 

4 See Galli s letter to Morone of July 21, 1576, in the Nuntia- 
turberichte, II., 93. 

* Bathory had also applied to Hosius for help ; see THEINER, 
II., 208. 


attitude which was to be adopted towards the claimants to 
the Polish crown to be discussed once more by a congregation 
of Cardinals. 1 Their decision was made substantially easier 
by the favourable reports received of Bathory s religious 
sentiments, and by the news of the death of the Emperor 
which reached Rome at the end of October. 2 Gregory XIII. 
now no longer delayed in recognizing Bathory as King of 
Poland, and in accrediting Vincenzo Laureo as nuncio at his 
court, by a brief of November 6th, 1576. 3 

The ten years of the reign of Stephen Bathory, perhaps 
the greatest of the kings of Poland, 4 were to be of 
decisive importance for the religious future of the Polish 

Perhaps in no nation of Europe had the apostasy from 
Rome led to such great confusion of faith as in Poland. 
Besides the Lutherans, Calvinists and Greek schismatics 
who had been numerous there for a long time past, the 
country contained a varied assortment of every kind of sect ; 
Zwinglians, Bohemian Brothers, Neo-Arians, Anabaptists, 

x The Congregation was established on October 12, 1576; see 
SANTORI, Diario consist. XXV., 119. Cf. *Giulio Masetti s 
report of October 13, 1576 (State Archives, Modena). See also 
MAFFEI, I., 230. For Bathory s ambassador Zamoiski see 
HEINICKE in the Programm des Hohensteiner Gymnasiums, 1853, 
and Nuntiaturberichte, II., 148, 153, 168. 

2 On October 26, 1576, Gregory XIII. imparted the news to 
the cardinals, see *Acta consist. (Consistorial Archives of the 
Vatican). Cf. Nuntiaturberichte, II., 172. 

3 See THEINER, II., 209 seq. In SZADECZKY, 429 seq., the brief 
is given with the wrong date, " August 6," owing to a mistake 
in the copy from which it was reproduced. 

* According to LISKE in his review (Hist. Zeitschrift, LXI., 
375) of ZAKRZEWISKI S St. Batory, Cracow, 1887. This magnifi 
cent work first drew attention to the importance of Bathory. 
KRASINSKI also says (Geschichte der Reformation in Polen, 
181) that Bathory s reign was " one of the most glorious epochs 
in the history of Poland." NOAILLES (II. 2 , 484), calls Bathory 
one of the best and greatest of Poland s kings. 


Antitrinitarians, and finally Socinians. 1 As some of these 
sects called in question the fundamental doctrines of Christian 
ity, so there were not wanting in addition true free-thinkers, 
who denied all doctrine, and others who adopted a convenient 
indifferentism. 2 The easily moved and inflammable char 
acter of the Poles on the one hand, and the many foreigners, 
Germans as well as Italians, on the other, who had settled 
all over the country, for the most part as merchants, had led 
to the spread of the most varied and often most radical ideas. 3 

The principal support of Protestantism was the aristocracy, 
and especially the Schlachta, or lesser country gentry, who 
often forced their serfs by fines to attend the sermons of the 
innovators. In addition to material considerations a decisive 
influence was exercised over the Polish magnates by their 
spirit of independence. " Our state is free," said the nobles ; 
" if the king has no power to give us orders, much less have 
the Pope and the bishops." 4 

A free hand had been given to the Protestants of Poland 
by the confederation of Warsaw. The Catholics, however, 
under the leadership of Archbishop Uchanski of Gnesen, had 
protested against this agreement as illegal ; even the one 

1 Cf. BUKOWSKI, Dzieje Reformacye w Polsce, II., 366 ; 
TRECHSEL, Die protest. Antitrinitarier vor F. Socinus, 2 vols., 
Heidelberg, 1839, 1844; Freib. Kirchenlex. (2), I., 975 seq., 
XL, 465 seq. ; FOCK, Der Socinianismus, Kiel, 1847 ; LUCKFIEL 
in the Zeitschyift der Hist. Ges. fur die Prov. Posen, 1892-93 ; 
Real-Enzykl. fur protest. TheoL, XVIII. 3 , 459 seq. ; MORAWSKI, 
Arianie polscy, Lemberg, 1906 ; ZIVIER, I., 740 seq., 764 seq. t 
770. A monograph on Lelio and Fausto Sozzini is expected 
from the pen of the Sienese scholar Ant. Mazzei. 

2 For the Polish deists and freethinkers see MERCZYNY in 
Przeglad Historyczny, XII., Warsaw, 1911, 3 seq. and VON DUNIN- 
BORKOWSKI in the Stimmen aus Maria-Lach, LXXXV., 165 
seq. For the Czech Neo-Arianism see also BRUCKNER, 
Roznowiercy polscy (Polish sectaries), 239 seqq. 

3 See SPANNOCCHI, Relatione, 244 seq. For the Italians see 
Bolognetti s report in THEINER, III., 727 seq. 

* See SPANNOCCHI, Relatione, 243. 


bishop who had at first recognized it, Krasinski of Cracow, 
joined in this protest, 1 but B&thory had to promise to maintain 
the confederation of Warsaw. With scrupulous conscientious 
ness, he kept to this promise during the whole ten years of his 
reign ; 2 but in other respects, as a deeply convinced Catholic, 3 
he, with his wife Anna and his chancellor Zamoiski, did 
everything in his power to further the interests of the Catholics. 
The Babel-like confusion in religious matters which prevailed 
in Poland, filled him and all who had the good of the kingdom 
at heart, with the greatest anxiety. As Hosius rightly said 
in one of his letters, he fully realized that from the time when 
Poland had abandoned the Catholic faith, her political faith 
had also disappeared, and that the kingdom could only be 
at peace when once again it had one faith. 4 But in the 
circumstances Bathory saw no other way out than rigorously 
to maintain the confederation of Warsaw. Nevertheless the 
Protestants did not succeed in obtaining anything more than 
a passive toleration. How anxious Bathory was to restore 
the Catholic Church was shown in the first year of his reign 
by his ordering the restitution of all the churches under the 
royal patronage which had been stolen by the Protestants. 
He made a conscientious use of his right of patronage by 
informing himself of the merits of the candidates. 5 This action 
of the king substantially facilitated the work of Catholic 
restoration, the principal promoters of which were, besides 
Cardinal Hosius, the Jesuits Skarga and Possevino, and thx 
Papal nuncios. 5 

Laureo and the Archbishop of Gnesen, Uchanski, had acted 
as presidents of the provincial synod held at Petrikau in 
May, 1577. This assembly not only repudiated the confedera 
tion of the dissentients at Warsaw, but unanimously accepted 
the decrees of the Council of Trent, and issued further special 

1 See ibid. 249. 

* See BERGA, Skarga, 190 ; BoRATYtfsKi, Caligarii Epist., xlv. 

3 BORAX YtfsKi, Batory, 243. 

4 HOSII Op. II., 404 seq. EICHHORN, II., 496. 
See BERGA, Skarga, 190-1. 

Cf. WIERBOWSKI, Laureo, v. seq. 


decrees for the reform of the clergy ; the acta were sent to 
Rome for confirmation. 1 This was an event of great 
importance for the carrying into effect of the Catholic reform. 
An attempt made against the Catholic clergy by the dissentients 
in the year following the Diet of Warsaw was fortunately 
frustrated by the action of Bathory. 2 

Although Hosius, who from Rome took an active part 
in the fortunes of Poland, could have wished for greater 
resoluteness on the part of the king in certain matters, the 
Holy See could on the whole feel very satisfied at his attitude. 
The King of Poland, it was felt in August, 1577, at the Curia, 
showed more and more clearly his Catholic sentiments. 3 
Laureo too, who at first did not trust Stephen, changed his 
opinions. 4 His last reports were so encouraging, 5 that the 
new nuncio whom Gregory XIII. appointed in April, 1578, 
in the person of Giovanni Andrea Caligari, 6 was charged to 
express to the king the Pope s gratitude. 7 

The King of Poland made an unequivocal profession of his 
Catholic sentiments when he sent Paul Uchanski to Rome 

1 See WIERBOWSKI, loc. cit. 546 seqq., 561 seqq. ; MAFFEI, I., 
283 seq. ; EICHHORN, II., 506 seq., 510 ; THEINER, II., 394 ; 
Archiv fur Kirchenrecht, XXII. (1869), 89 seq. ; ZIVIER, I., 756; 
ULANOWSKI in the Archiwum Kom-Prawniczej , I. (1895), 496- 
506; BERGA, Skarga, 191. 

2 See EICHHORN, II., 511 ; THEINER, II., 394 seq. For the 
mitigations granted by the synod in view of special Polish con 
ditions see BORATYNSKI, Caligarii Epist. Iv. 

8 See *Odescalchi s report dated Rome, August 3, 1577 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). Cf. also St. Szant6s letter to Bathory dat. 
Rome, December 8, 1577, in the Fontes rer. Transilv., I., 62 seq. 

4 Cf. BORATYNSKI, loc. cit. xliv. 

6 See WIERBOWSKI, Laureo, 685. 

6 See the Brief of April 5, 1578, in THEINER, II., 394. The 
instruction for Caligari dated April 23, 1578, first printed in the 
Scelta di curiosita letl., 198, Bologna, 1883, 76 seq. The reports 
of Caligari s nunciature can be seen, beautifully edited, in 
BORATYNSKI ; I. A. Caligarii Epist. et Acta (Mon. Pol. Vatic. 
IV.), Cracoviae, 1915. 

7 See the Instruction of April 23, 1578, loc. cit. 5 seq. 


in 1578 to make his public obedientia to the Pope. Gregory 
XIII., in his reply to this act of homage, on April nth, 1579, 
expressed his joy at the zeal which Bathory was showing for 
the Catholic religion. The king gave a further proof of 
this by appointing a permanent ambassador in Rom 3 . 
This important office had been destined for Paul Uchanski, 
but he lost it because, attracted by the beauties of Italy and 
its marvels, he made the journey to Rome too slowly. The 
Bishop of Plock, Peter Dunin Wolski, was appointed in his 
stead. 1 

The good relations between Bathory and the Holy See were 
strengthened by the fact that the king supported, as far as 
he could, the efforts of Gregory for a radical reform and 
restoration. The Curia learned with satisfaction that he 
only conferred the benefices in his gift upon good priests, 
who made the Tridentine profession of faith, and observed 
the duty of residence. The civil authorities as well in many 
cases complied with the Pope s wish to place tried Catholics 
in the more important civil offices. Bathory supported in 
every way the reform of the regular and secular clergy, which 
had been laid upon Caligari as his special duty ; as he travelled 
about he often personally inquired into the state of the parishes, 
and the king soon found others to imitate him. Many of the 
higher officials publicly displayed their zeal for the Catholic 
faith. 2 The University of Cracow also showed its loyalty 
to the Pope when its governing body ordered in 1578 that no 
one should receive academic degrees who had not made the 
Tridentine profession of faith. 3 

It was of yet greater importance that Bathory gave effectual 
help to the Jesuits, not only by assisting them financially, 

1 See MAFFEI, II., 42 ; Relacye Nuncyuszdw Apostolskich, I., 
302 seq. ; THEINER, III., 60 seq. For the " Obedientia " see 
BORATYNSKI, loc. cit. 157 seq., 764 seq., and also *Odescalchi s 
report of April n, 1579 (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

a See MAFFEI, I., 339 seq., II., 139 seq., 185 seq. ; THEINER, 
III., 63 seq. ; SPANNOCCI, Relatione, 274 seq. 

3 See THEINER, III., 66. 


but also in other ways. 1 In so doing he was complying with 
the special wishes of the Pope, who saw in the support of the 
Jesuits the best means for the restoration of religion in Poland. 2 

The nuncio Commendone arid Hosius had already interested 
themselves in the introduction of the Jesuits into Poland, 
being convinced that the clergy were not sufficiently equipped 
for dealing with the religious innovations, and that the 
necessary reform of religious conditions could not be looked 
for without help from outside. 3 Hosius put his wishes into 
effect by summoning the Jesuits to Braunsberg at the end of 
1564, where at the beginning of the following year they opened 
a college, and soon extended their activities to Poland as well. 
The first Jesuit house on Polish soil was opened at Pultusk 
in 1566, which was followed by colleges at Wilna and Posen 
in the years 1570-1571. 4 

Besides the revival and development of Catholic life, the 
Jesuits at first looked upon the struggle against Protestantism 
as their principal task, bat they soon also turned their 
attention to the conversion of the adherents of the Greek 
schism. 5 Their method of procedure was similar to that 
which they had adopted in other countries. They resisted 

1 Cf. BoRATYrisKi, loo. cit. 80 seq., 255 seq., 470 seq. As early 
as June, 1577, Bathory had written to the Jesuits saying that he 
would support them " re potius quam verbis " ; see ROSTOWSKI, 

2 See *Odescalchi s report dated Rome, December 6, 1578 
(Gonzaga Archives, Mantua), and *Avviso di Roma of February 
21, 1579, Urb. 1047, p. 57 (Vatican Library). 

3 See BERGA, Skarga, 164. 

4 For the spread of the Jesuits in Poland cf. SACCHINUS, IV., 
i, II., 42, III., 102, IV., 64 seq., 76 seq., V., 77, VII., 83 seq., 
121 ; EICHHORN, I., 179, II., 181, 473 ; ZALESKI, I., 171, 177, 
185, 242 seq., 252 seq. Ibid. 235 seq. for Bathory s earlier 
relations with the Jesuits. For the foundation of the college in 
Posen see Zeitschrift der Hist. Ges. fiir die Prov. Posen, IV., 71 
seq., 123 seq. For the college at Braunsberg cf. DUHR, I., 179 
seq., 307 seq. and Zeitschrift des westpreussischen Gesch.-Vereins, 
1899, i seq. 

5 Cf. LIKOWSKI, Union von Brest, 66. 


the spread oi the new doctrines by constant preaching and 
by learned writings ; by their excellent teaching they 
won the respect and confidence of parents, and by 
their exemplary conduct and sincere piety gave edifica 
tion to both clergy and people. In some places they 
attained results bordering on the miraculous, especially 
when it is remembered that most oi the tathers were 
not Poles ; at Gootyn all the inhabitants returned to the 
Church. The consequence was that the p?stors attacked 
and even threatened the new religious, and often the disciples 
of St. Ignatius were called upon to show their readiness to 
suffer severely for their faith. The Jesuits did not mix them 
selves up in political questions, and during both the 
interregnums observed a complete neutrality. The authorities 
of the Order had prudently taken the circumstances into 
account at the time of the election of Anjou by severing the 
connexion with Vienna and setting up a separate Polish 
province. 1 

Wilna, the capital of Lithuania, was the most important 
centre of the Jesuits in the Kingdom of Poland. Bthory 
himself urged the conversion of the existing college there 
into a university, 2 and Gregory XIII. carried out this design 
on October 29th, 1579. 3 When B&thory had taken the city 
of Polozk from the Russians he hastened to establish a house 
of the Jesuits there (1580). 4 The new colleges of the Order 
at Lublin and Kalisch also owed much to the generosity of 
the king. Gregory XIII. favoured these establishments of 
the Jesuits in every way, and repeatedly made them con- 

1 Cf. BERGA, Skarga, 165, 188, 191. BRUCKNER also, in 
Ullstein s Weltgeschichte (period 1650 to 1815) describes the 
Polish Jesuits who opposed protestantism as " men filled with 
devotion and self-sacrifice, full of strength and will and strength 
of faith ; men of burning eloquence, theological learning and 
ascetical life." 

* See THEINER, III., 66. 

See Bull. Rom., VIII., 560 seq. Cf. ZALESKI, I., i, 252 seq. 
and BIELINSKI, Uniw. Wilna, Krak6w, 1899-1900. 

4 See ZALESKI, I., i, 260 ; IV., i, 181 seq. 


siderable gifts. 1 The great activity which they displayed 
was of ever increasing importance for the religious future 
of Poland. 2 

As in other places, so in Poland the Jesuits devoted 
themselves by preference to education and teaching. When 
the king died they were in charge of two universities, those 
of Wilna and Braunsberg, eight high schools, and one 
preparatory school. In order to provide professors for these 
establishments they had at first to make use of fathers 
belonging to other nations ; side by side with Germans were 
to be seen Italians, and in some places fathers from Spain, 
Portugal and England. As the Poles specially esteemed 
foreign professors, this was of great advantage to the Jesuits. 3 
The painstaking and intelligent care which they devoted to 
the work of education explains the great results obtained 
by the Jesuits, to whom many who differed from them in 
faith entrusted their sons. Even more than in Germany 
it was the sons of the greatest families of Poland who attended 
the educational establishments so admirably conducted by 
the Jesuits. In 1581 the college at Pultusk contained 400 
pupils, almost all of whom belonged to noble families. 4 The 
Order also undertook the education of the lower classes ; 

1 See Scelta di curios, lett., 198, Bologna, 1883, 88 seq. ; Zeitschr. 
der His. Ges.fiir die Prov. Posen, IV. (1888), 73 ; REICHENBERGER, 
I., 9 ; BORATYNSKI, Caligarii Epist. 241 seq. 

2 Cf. LJUBOWITSCH, History of the Jesuits in the Lithuanian- 
Russian Countries, Warsaw, 1888 (Russian), and, by the same 
author, The Beginnings of the Catholic Reaction and the 
Decline of the Reformation, Warsaw, 1890 (Russian) ; also 
ZALESKI S great work ; Jesuici w Polsce, especially I., i, 363 
se( l > 375 sec l- > IV., i, 44 seq., 59 seq., 66 seq., 109 seq., 116 seq., 
187 seq. An abbreviated edition, in one volume, appeared at 
Cracow in 1908. See also ARGENTUS, Ad Sigismundum III., 
Ingolst., 1616 ; POLLARD, The Jesuits in Poland, Oxford, 1892, 
26 seqq. ; SCHMURLO, Russia and Italy I., Petersburg, 1908, 
123 (Russian). 

3 See ZALESKI, I., i, 376 seq. 
* See MAFFEI, II., 186. 


thus free Ruthenian elementary schools were opened at Wilna 
and Pultusk in order to draw the Ruthenian children from the 
schismatic schools ; there were others at Braunsberg for the 
children of the German workmen. 1 

The Jesuits were equally indefatigable in the care of souls. 
Especially did they encourage, by their striking and practical 
sermons, those who had remained faithful to the Church, 
and won back to it many Calvinists and Lutherans who had 
left it. They also devoted their care to the schismatic 
Ruthenians, and Fathers Herbest and Nahai are specially 
mentioned as the apostles of the territory inhabited by them. 2 
The success of the Jesuits in converting the Protestant wives 
of the chancellor Zamoiski and the Voivodes of Podolia caused 
the greatest amazement. There were also numerous con 
versions among the lower classes, especially among the 
schismatic Ruthenians. During Lent, 1579, the king himself 
witnessed the reception into the Church at Wilna of eighty- 
two Protestants and forty Greek schismatics. Similar 
conversions continued in the following year, as is shown by 
the reports of the nuncio Caligari. Skarga received into the 
Church no less than 134 Protestants and schismatics, and 
about 100 Bernardines at Wilna. 3 

How energetically the Jesuits devoted themselves to the 
religious instruction of the people was shown not only by 
their sermons, but also by the lectures which they delivered 
to the educated classes in the larger cities, two or three times 
a week, for the explanation of the more important passages 
of Scripture ; in the smaller cities there were corresponding 
lectures on the catechism. The fathers gave a practical turn 
to the confraternities, bearing in mind the conditions of the 
time, by exhorting the members to the practice of good works 
and especially to the veneration of the Blessed Sacrament. 
In this way, moreover, they at the same time refuted the 
doctrines of the innovators. This was also done by their 

1 See ZALESKI, 1., i, 377. 

2 Ibid. 387. 

3 See BORATYNSKI, Caligarii Epist., liv, 472, 533, 540, 623, 
654, 775 seq., cf 781 seq., 823, 829, 836 seq. 


great literary activity and by their taking part in the public 
religious disputations then in vogue, the most celebrated of 
which were those held in the seventh decade of the century 
at Wilna and Posen, and in the eighth at Lublin. 1 

The king, whose confessor, Father Martin Laterna, was 
court preacher, as was also for a long time the provost of 
Cracow, Stanislaus Sokolowski, continued to favour the Jesuits 
in every way, but the magnates too, among whom were many 
Protestants, valued the fathers for their instructions and their 
educational abilities. 

The representatives of Protestantism were unable to 
accomplish much in the face of all this. If became more and 
more evident what feeble roots the new doctrines had taken, 
in spite of their wide dissemination in Poland and Lithuania. 
The little resistance offered by Polish Protestantism was 
the result, not only of its want of depth, but also of the great 
want of union among those who professed it. 2 The Lutherans 
were violently opposed to the Calvinists and the Bohemian 
Brethren, while all three were at one in persecuting the 
Socinians and the Antitrinitarians to the death. By excluding 
the latter sects from the confederation of Warsaw, the Protest 
ants undermined the convention on which their existence 
was based. It was not surprising that there was a steady 
increase in the number of those who, wearied of the bitter 
controversies, became disgusted with Protestantism and 
withdrew from it, or returned once more to the ancient Church, 
whose clear and coherent doctrinal system the Jesuit preachers 
set forth so impressively. People of all classes flocked to 
their sermons, partly out of curiosity and partly led by an 
undefined desire, including thousands into whose minds the 
Protestant preachers had instilled the most extraordinary 
ideas of the Catholic faith. 3 

The great change which was taking place in an ever 

1 ZALESKI, 1., i, 378 seqq. 

2 Cf. ALTMANN, Ober den Verfall der Reformation in Polen, 
Erfurt, 1861, 4 seq. ; MALIANIAK, Andreas Fricius Modrevius, 
Vienna, 1913, 34. 

8 SPANNOCCHI, Relatione, 316. 


increasing degree may be clearly seen from the reports of 
the Jesuits. " I have seen," relates one who had worked at 
Cracow, " the greatest diversity of hearers : Lutherans, 
Zwinglians, Calvinists and Anabaptists, who had all come to 
hear a Jesuit preach. The number of those who wish to 
embrace the faith is so great, that I cannot count them." 
To this report, belonging to the first days of the sermons, 
others can be added, from which it may be gathered that the 
crowds of persons "who are starved in spirit " increased in an 
extraordinary way ; the fathers had to remain in the church 
from three in the morning until seven in the evening. 1 

The names of the modest priests who laboured in this way 
are only recorded in the annals of their own Order. But one 
still lives on in the heart of every Polish Catholic with un- 
diminished freshness ; this was Peter Skarga. What Canisius 
was for threatened Germany, Skarga was for his own people. 2 

Peter Skarga, who was born in 1536 at Grojec in Masovia, 
had shown his wonderful oratorical powers in 1564 as theologian 
at Lemburg. In 1569 he entered the Jesuit noviciate of 

1 See the report of July 17, 1579, in LJUBOWITSCH, Zur Gesch. 
der Jesuiten, Document i, and SCHIEMANN, II., 370. 

2 Cf. the valuable monograph by RYCHCICKI (pseudonym for 
Count Maurice Dzieduszycki) : Piotr Skarga i jego wiek (Peter 
Skarga and his times), Cracow, 1850, 2nd edition, 1868-69, 2 
vols., and BERGA, P. Skarga, Paris, 1916. See also GRABOWSKI, 
P. Skarga na tlo katholickiej literatury religijnej w Polsce wieku, 
XVI. 1 53 6 1 612 (P. Skarga in the Catholic religious literature 
in Poland in the iGth Century), Cracow, 1913 ; DE BACKER- 
SOMMERVOGEL, VII., 1264 seq. \ ROSENTRETER in the Freib. 
Kirchenle*,., XI. \ 386 seqq. ; PH. SCHMIDT in the Katholik, 
IV., ii (1913), 3 8 seq. ; KUMMERFELD in the Munich " Hochland " 
XI., i, 486 seq. Cf. the special articles and literature referred 
to in the Mitteil. des Osterr. Inst., 1915, 766, and in the Zeitschr. 
fitr Kirchengesch., XXXIX., 185. Berga s monograph is one 
of the best works on Polish history in the i6th century. No 
other work gives such a lucid description of the conditions of the 
Catholic Church from the time when the new doctrines first 
began to make their influence felt ; and no other work gives 
a clearer presentation of those new doctrines themselves. 

VOL. XX. 26 


S. Andrea in Quirinale in Rome where, six months before, 
his fellow-countryman, Stanislaus Kostka, had given back his 
pure soul to God, 1 In 1571 Skarga was sent to Poland by 
his General, Francis Borgia. There he laboured first at Pultusk 
and after 1573 at Wilna, and in the following year he became 
vice-rector of the college there, 

Skarga found the Catholics in a considerable minority in 
Lithuania ; they were almost lost in comparison with the 
great numbers of the Calvinists, Antitrinitarians and Greek 
schismatics. Thenceforward all his energies and powers were 
directed to winning over the latter by instructing them in the 
Catholic faith ; " We have no need," he said, " to go and be 
missionaries in India ; the Lithuanians and the peoples of the 
north are our Indies." 2 With his extraordinary oratorical 
powers, his words were very efficacious, especially his pathetic 
perorations. 3 He knew how to bring out with appropriate 
imagery the marvellous unity of the Church : she was the 
one secure vessel which took men to heaven : " therefore," 
he said, " do not leap into a new and untried boat, where 
there is no capable helmsman, and where there is danger of 
disputes, disunion and shipwreck." 

Like Canisius, Skaga was averse to any kind of violence. 
" The heretics," he said, " are not to be won over by force 
of arms, but by the example of virtue and by love. It is true 
that the dissentients of our Poland, which was Catholic for 
centuries, must be overcome, but not with the dagger and the 
sword, but by a virtuous life, by learning, by sermons and 
friendly treatment." When a Calvinist had actually mal 
treated Skarga, and threatened him with death, and was to 

1 On August 15, 1568. The saint was only eighteen years old 
at the time of his death, and every year hundreds of pilgrims 
flock to his tomb. His biographies are collected in the Freib. 
Kirchenlex., XI. 2 , 729. For particulars of Saint Stanislaus 
Kostka s cell, now converted into a chapel with a statue of the 
Saint by Le Gros in the noviciate house at S. Andrea r.l Quirinale, 
see SEB. BRUNNER, Italien, II., 99. 

2 See BERGA, Skarga, 184-5. 

3 Cf. ibid. 268-373. 


be punished by having his hand cut off, Skarga intervened 
efficaciously on his behalf, pointing out that the unhappy man 
had acted under the influence of drunkenness. This 
magnanimity won for the Jesuits general esteem, and soon 
led to plentiful results. Many, among them the four sons 
of Prince Nicholas Radziwill, found their way back once 
more to the Church. 1 

Skarga was not only a fascinating preacher, but also a 
writer of distinction. He wrote, both in Latin and in Polish, 
a long series of works which are still held in esteem in Poland. 2 
In 1576 he published an eloquent defence of the Holy Eucharist 
against the Calvinists, and in the following year there appeared 
his great work on the unity of the Church, which later on 
was of decisive importance for the reunion of the Ruthenian 
schismatics. To these was added in 1579 a Lives of the Saints 
written in Polish, which was spread in many editions, 
throughout the country. 3 

Skarga was held in high esteem, not only by the Papal 
nuncios, 4 but also by Bathory. During his long stay at Wilna, 
from March to June, 1579, the king often conversed with the 
indefatigable father who, in 1580, was placed as rector at 
the head of the Jesuit college founded by Bathory at Polozk 
in White Russia. After the conquest of Livonia, Bathory 
made use of the Jesuits Martin Laterna and Skarga for the 
restoration of the Catholic Church which he at once 
inaugurated in the conquered territory. 5 At Riga, where 
the Catholic worship which had been suppressed was again 

1 C/. ROSTOWSKI, 54 ; BERGA, Skarga, 187. Radziwill s 
eldest son, Nicholas Christopher, founded a colony of Jesuits 
at Nieswiez in 1584 ; see ZALESKI, IV., i, 426 seq. Stanislaus 
Radziwill also displayed great zeal for the Catholic Cause ; see 
MAFFFI, II., 185 seq. Cf. RAESS, Konvertiten, II., 571 seq. 

1 See ST. VON SMOLKA, Die Reussische Welt, Vienna, 1916, 
-255, who calls Skarga the Polish Bossuet. 

8 Cf. BERGA S brilliant critical analysis of these works in Skarga 
192 seq., 195 seq., 200 seq. 

4 Cf. THEINER, Mon. Pol., II., 736. 

5 Cf. THEINER, III., 336 seq. ; BERGA, Skarga, 200, 202 seq. 


introduced, he gave Skarga the convent and church of St. 
James in order that he might establish there a college of the 
Society of Jesus, which, however, could take no root in the 
wholly Protestant city. 1 Bathory chose as regent of Livonia 
George Radziwill, whom Skarga had brought back to the 
Church, and who was elected Bishop of Wilna in 1579. The 
difficult work of Catholic restoration in Livonia, which had 
become almost entirely a prey to Lutheranism, and in which 
the Jesuit Antonio Posse vino 2 also took part, was consolidated 
by the formation of a separate diocese with its see in the city 
of Wenderi, which was erected by Gregory XIII. in 1582 
at the request of Bathory. 3 

In 1584 Skarga was chosen by his superiors as head of the 
Jesuit house of St. Barbara in the ancient coronation city of 
Cracow. 4 A better place could hardly have been found for 
his apostolic zeal, for Calvinist and Antitrinitarian doctrines 
had become widespread among the nobility of Cracow, while 
the greater number of the citizens, consisting of German 
immigrants, were Lutherans. 

Here too Skarga, labouring indefatigably, both in the 
confessional and the pulpit, won many Protestants to the 
Church. He especially devoted his care to the sick, the poor 
and the prisoners. Himself sprung from the people, he 
fearlessly stood up for the rights of the weak against the 
aristocracy, in whose preponderant power he saw a grave 

1 Cf. Bull. Rom., VIII., 444 seq. ; BERGA, Skarga, 204. 

2 Cf. THEINER, III., 340 and BORATYNSKI, Caligarii Epist., 
841 seq. Posse vino composed a memorandum, intended for 
Gregory XIII., which dealt with the means to be adopted for 
restoring the Catholic Faith : Livoniae commentarius Gregorio 
XIII. scriptus. Ace. eiusdem litt. ad episcopum Vendensem etc., 
ed. Napierski, Rigae, 1852. Cf. CIAMPI, I., 260 seq. ; 
WINKELMANN, Bibl. hist. Livoniae, 134. 

3 See THEINER, III., 340 seq., 439 seq. 

4 See Historic! diarii domus profess. S. J. ad S. Barbaram 
Cracoviae 1579 ad 1597 (Script, rer. Pol., VII.), Cracoviae, 1881, 
63. Posse vino had given the first impulse to the settlement of 
the Jesuits in Cracow ; see WIERZBOWSKI, Laureo, 714. 


danger for his country. 1 In order to succour the need of 
the shamefaced poor he set up at Cracow the " Confraternity 
of Mercy." By means of a system of pledges, after the manner 
of the Monti di Pieta in Italy, which advanced small sums 
without interest, he saved many of the working classes, and 
by his " Union of St. Nicholas," on the model of the institute 
of Cardinal Turrecremata in Rome, for the rescue of girls 
without dowries, he became the saviour of endangered 
innocence. The " Confraternity of St. Lazarus " which he 
established, undertook the care of the sick and homeless poor. 
Based as they were upon the foundations of religion, the 
greater number of Skarga s social institutes have continued 
their existence down to the present day. 2 

Of the greatest importance for the improvement of the 
religious state of Poland was the fact that a number of the 
bishops turned their attention with great energy to the work 
of reform. After the departure of Cardinal Hosius for Rome, 
Martin Cromer, following in his footsteps, laboured at Ermland, 
while in 1574 Peter Kostka, who became the reformer of his 
diocese, was appointed Bishop of Kulm. 3 Kamieniec 
received an excellent bishop in 1577, in the eloquent Martin 
Bialobrzeski, 4 Wilna in 1579, in George Radziwill, 5 Lemberg 
in 1582, in John Demetrius Solikowski, 6 and Chelm in Adam 
Pilchowski, 7 who devoted all their energies to the carrying 
out of the decrees of Trent, to the moral transformation of 
clergy and people, and to inspiring them with a true spirit 

1 Cf. PACZKOWSKI in the Zeitschrift fur osteurop. Gesch., II., 
541 seq. 

2 See Historici diarii, 66 seq., 85 ; PH. SCHMIDT, loc. cit. 40 ; 
SOMMERVOGEL, VII., 1273 ; BERGA, Skarga, 207 seq., 209 seq. 

3 Cf. EICHHORN, M. Cromer, Braunsberg, 1868 ; Freib. 
Kirchenlex., III.*, 1197 seq., 1226. 

4 Cf. LUDTKE in the Freib. Kirchenlex., II. 2 , 581 seq. 

6 See MAFFEI, II., 185. Cf. the praise that Bolognetti gives to 
the Bishop of Wilna in his report of December 30, 1583, in the 
Scelta di curios, lett., 198 (1883), 153 seq. 

6 Cf. THEINER, III., 343 ; SPANNOCCHI, 342. 

7 See THEINER, III., 344. 


of religion. The progress of the movement towards Catholic 
restoration was much advanced when, in April, 1581, the 
distinguished Bishop of Leslau, Stanislaus Karnkowski, 
who was greatly esteemed 1 by Gregory XIII., took possession 
of the primatial see in succession to the weak Uchanski. 
It was he who established a seminary at Gnesen, and 
another at Kalisch, which he placed under the direction of 
the Jesuits. Karnkowski exercised a great influence for 
good by holding many synods, and by the publication of 
religious works. His countrymen also owed to him a Polish 
translation of the Sacred Scriptures, which he caused to be 
made by the Jesuit, James Wujek. 2 

The nuncio Caligari was also filled with great zeal for the 
renewal of religious life in Poland, but the great expectations 
which were entertained at his arrival were not altogether 
fulfilled. There is no doubt that during his nunciature 
Caligari loyally sought to promote Catholic interests wherever 
he could, to carry out the reform decrees of Trent, especially 
for the reform of the regular clergy, and everywhere to resist 
the many abuses which in various forms were closely connected 
with the state of affairs in Poland. In so doing he met with 
sympathy and support from King Stephen, and ready assist 
ance from the Jesuits. But very often the nuncio was lacking 
in the necessary prudence. His extraordinary zeal often 
led him into forming a false opinion of the people he had to 
deal with. Himself of a naturally quick temperament, he 
was too ready to believe in rumours, and allowed himself 
to be swayed by the feelings of the moment, which were 
inevitably false. Austere and stern by nature, Caligari, and 

1 Cf. the Brief of March 15, 1581, in BORATY^SKI, Caligarii 
Epist. 585 seq. 

2 See THEINER, III., 344 seq. , LIKOWSKI in the Freib. 
Kirchenlex., V. 2 , 762; Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, XXXIX. 
185. The Catholic restoration in the diocese of Leslau, begun by 
Karnkowski, was continued by his successor, Hieronymus 
Rozdrazewski since 1582 ; see KUJOT, Visitationes archidia- 
conatus Posnaniae H. Rozrazewski Wladislav. episcopo facate, 
Thorn, 1897-99. 


this was especially fatal, was unable to get upon good terms 
with the Polish episcopate. His shortcomings and mistakes 
did not escape the notice of the Cardinal Secretary of State, 
Galli, and he repeatedly advised the nuncio to act with greater 
caution. 1 In spite of this the recall of Caligari did not take 
place until April ist, 15-81. 2 His successor was Alberto 
Bolognetti,. 3 who familiarized himself with his new sphere 
of action extraordinarily quickly, although many of the 
conditions were quite new to him. It was especially important 
that Bolognetti, immediately after he had entered upon his 
nunciature, entered upon close relations with the mbre 
influential bishops. First of all he had a quite secret interview 
with Karnkowski, the distinguished primate of Gnesen, at 
the castle of Lowicz. The two men agreed upon a common 
course of action and formed a lasting friendship. 4 As well 
as Karnkowski, Bolognetti was able to count upon the Bishops 
of Cracow, Wilna, Lemberg, Ermland and Kulm. But in 
the case of many of the other bishops there were sixteen 

1 C/. BoRATYrisKi, Caligarn Epist., liii. seq., lvi.-lx., Ixiii.-lxv. 
a See ibid, xxxii., Ixv., 599 seq., 642 seq., 645 seq., 709 seq. 

3 The *Correspondence of Bolognetti in the Papal Secret 
Archives, from which THEINER published a few documents 
(Ann. III.), was thoroughly investigated by the Cracow Academy 
together with relevant documents in the library of the Nonantola 
Abbey at Modena and in the codex of the Capitular library at 
Toledo; see Script, rer. Pol., XII., 69 seq. ; Anz. der Krakauer 
Akademie, 1894, 32 and BORATYI&SKI in the Abhandlungen der 
phil.-hist. Kl. der Krakauer Akad., 2nd Series, vol. 24 (1907), 
53 seq. Dr. C. Hanke intends publishing them. O. SPANNOCCHI S 
Relatione delle cose di Polonia has been utilized by RANKE 
(Papste (8), II., 241 seq., III., 80* seq.), by F. CALORI CESIS in 
the rare publication, II card. A. Bolognetti e la sua mmziatura 
di Polonia, Bologna, 1863, and by C, MORAWSKI (Andrzej Patrycy 
Nidecki, Krakow, 1892). It has been published in its entirety 
by KORZENIOWSKI, Anal. Romana, 233-57. Some extracts from 
the * Instruction for Bolognetti (Cod. Barb., Vatican Library) 
in CIAMPI, I., 245 seq. Reports from him in the Scelta di curios, 
lett., 198 (1883), 116 seq., 126 seqq., 137 set]., 153 seq., 179 seq. 

4 See SPANNOCCHI, Relatione, 323. 


dioceses in Poland altogether the nuncio found, to his sorrow, 
nothing but inertness and want of firmness. 1 He nevertheless 
tried in every way to inspire these prelates with new zeal, 
to exhort them to common action and a vigorous defence 
of Catholic interests at the Diet, and to the reform of 
their clergy. He especially recommended to them a 
careful visitation of their dioceses, the observance of 
their duty of residence, the wearing of ecclesiastical dress, 
and greater care for divine worship. Frequently Bolognetti 
himself took in hand the reform of the clergy, in doing which 
he knew very well how to make use of severity or gentleness 
according to circumstances. When, at his first visit to 
Warsaw, he observed that the Holy Viaticum was taken to 
the sick without any ceremony, and that no one in the streets 
knelt before the Eucharistic God, he at once had this altered. 
With the help of Queen Anna he founded a Confraternity of 
the Blessed Sacrament on the Roman model, the members 
of which were to accompany the Blessed Sacrament with 
canopy and lighted torches. 2 

Bolognetti preached by his own example that Catholic reform 
which he sought to promote everywhere. The fasts, which 
were especially strict in Poland, were nowhere so carefully 
observed as in the house of the nuncio. When Bolognetti 
was at Warsaw, he always took part with all his household, 
even in the most severe weather, at the Forty Hours Prayer, 
and at the High Mass on every Sunday and feast day. He 
strictly insisted that those about him should lead exemplary 
lives ; he would receive no presents, and granted all favours 
gratuitously. 3 

The nuncio was in no less close relations with the royal 
court than with the higher clergy. When Bathory was in 
the field, he kept up a close correspondence with him, and 
at other times as far as possible he kept by the side of the 
king. As the latter was very often travelling about, Bolognetti 
was always ready to go with him. He shrank from no trouble 

1 See ibid. 267, 271. 

2 Ibid. 304 seq., 309, 311 seq., 327 seq. 

3 Ibid. 279, 312. 


in order thus to follow the court. As an Italian, and a man 
of very indifferent health, he suffered a great deal from the 
unaccustomed food, from his wretched lodgings in small 
rooms, overheated and filled with steam, and from the trials 
of the northern climate ; but though the cold was intense 
during the long winter, and the heat overpowering during 
the three months of summer, he accompanied the king every 
where throughout the kingdom, from Cracow to Warsaw, 
and from Wilna to Lublin. 1 

Bolognetti attached a special value to thus being in close 
touch with the king, because in Poland, of all the ambassadors, 
only the nuncio had the right to speak to the sovereign without 
the presence of a senator. Bolognetti made good use of this 
privilege ; whenever Catholic interests were at stake, he 
personally brought them to the notice of the king. He 
eloquently pointed out the necessity for the restoration of 
the tithes, the exclusion of all Protestants from the court, 
and the prohibition of Protestant worship in the cities 
dependent upon the king, as the Protestant nobles would not 
allow Catholic worship in their own territories. If Bolognetti 
was not able to obtain definite success in all these matters, 
he did not allow himself to be discouraged, as the king always 
did what he could, very often carried out his suggestions 
completely, and in other cases did so partially. For example, 
B&thory could not completely exclude all Protestants from 
his court, but for the future he took no suspect persons into 
his service, while those who still held any office or dignity 
were made sensible of the loss of his favour. The English 
merchants had asked to be allowed the free exercise of their 
religion ; the negotiations as to this, which were already far 
advanced, were broken off in consequence of the protests 
made by Bolognetti to the king. 2 

How well able Bolognetti was to manage the king was seen 

1 Ibid. 329 seq. 

2 Ibid. 293 seq., 295, 296 ; cf. 255 for the question of tithes 
which occupied Bolognetti up till 1585. See also R. LUDWIG, 
Quae Bolognettus card. Papae nuncius apost. in Polonia ab a. 
1582 usque ad a. 1585 perfecerit, Vratislaviae, 1864. 


in the controversy which occurred over the nomination of a 
quite unworthy man to the diocese of Premysl, to whom 
the Pope had had to refuse confirmation. After the con 
troversy had been ended by the death of the candidate, 
Bolognetti obtained from the king the promise to choose 
for the bishoprics in future only priests of tried Catholic 
sentiments. In fact, during the whole of the nunciature of 
Bolognetti no important appointment was made after this 
without his advice being first sought. 1 This fact alone 
afforded a safe basis for the carrying out of the reform decrees 
of Trent, to which Bolognetti attached such importance. 
He also tried indefatigably to win back the churches which 
had been withdrawn from Catholic worship, to see that 
districts that were in danger were provided with pastors, 
and to strengthen in their faith others, such as Masovia, 
which had as far as possible been kept free from the religious 
innovations. 2 He took a conspicuous part in the difficult 
work of Catholic restoration in Livonia. 3 

In his efforts to restore the Papal authority, Bolognetti 
had the great happiness of seeing the king, at his request, 
order the introduction of the Gregorian calendar throughout 
the kingdom. How tenaciously the nuncio defended the 
interests of the Church was shown by the fight which he 
carried on for many years for the removal of the apostate 
Nicholas Pac, Bishop of Kiew. Although the latter had 
many powerful supporters, Bolognetti did not rest until he 
had resigned his bishopric, and a worthy pastor had been 
appointed in his place. 4 

1 See SPANNOCCHI, 298 seq. 

2 SPANNOCCHI, 290 seq., 316. 

3 Ibid. 319 seq. Cf. MAFFEI, II., 186 ; SPANNOCCHI, 327; 
THEINER, III., 439 seq. ; R. LUDWIG, loc. cit. 21 seq. , 
TURGENEVIUS, Monum., I., 396 seq. (The visitation journey 
of 1584 shows the attachment of the common people to the 
old Church). For the remnant of Catholicism which had main 
tained itself in Livonia, cf. SERAPHIM, I., 208 seq. 

* See SPANNOCCHI, 282, 301 seq. The movement against the 
new calendar was easily suppressed in Dorpat, though in Riga 
serious disturbances took place in 1585 ; see KRASINSKI, 186. 


It is not surprising that Bolognetti everywhere favoured 
the Jesuits as " the principal defenders of Catholic truth." 
It was he who suggested to the king the foundation of a house 
of the Order at Cracow. 1 It is clear from the important 
correspondence of Bolognetti, and from the reports of his 
secretary, Orazio Spannocchi, how important a part was 
played by this representative of the Pope in the renewal 
of religion in Poland. They also bring out clearly how great 
were the difficulties which had to be overcome in Poland ; 
despite the unwearied efforts of part of the episcopate and 
the Jesuits, supported by the king, there yet remained a very 
great deal to be done, before Poland could once again become 
a Catholic country. 

Bolognetti had made all the preparations for an extensive 
visitation, in which he was to be accompanied by his friend, 
Bishop Radziwill of Wilna, a man of like sentiments with 
himself, when the news came that the Pope had, on December 
I3th, 1583, rewarded both these distinguished prelates by 
conferring on them the purple. 2 In the following year there 
followed another cardinalitial appointment which was a 
signal mark of honour for Poland ; the young nephew of the 
king, Andrew Bathory, was summoned to the Sacred College 
on July 4th, 1584.3 

Andrew Bathory had been carefully educated, at the advice 
of his uncle, by the Jesuits at Pultask, and as he had shown 
an inclination for the ecclesiastical life, had been sent to 
Rome. He was there charged to make the obedientia in the 
name of the King of Poland for the province of Livonia, which 
had recently been conquered. This ceremony took place on 
December 5th, 1583. When the new Cardinal left Rome 

1 See SPANNOCCHI, 313. 

8 Ibid. 317; CIACONIUS, IV., 95-99. Bolognetti died, at the 
early age of 47, on May 9, 1585, at Villach while on his return 
journey to Rome ; see CALORI CESIS, loc. cit., 5. 

3 See *Odescalchi s report dat. Rome, July 7, 1584. In a 
"memorandum of Juli 14, 1584, Odescalchi praises the new 
Cardinal as a cultured and distinguished man. (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). Cf. CIACONIUS, IV., 105 seq. ; KOLBERG, 14 seq. 


on July 26th, 1584, he had to go to Transylvania in order to 
safeguard Catholic interests on account of the tender years 
of his nephew, Sigismund B&thory, who had been appointed 
Voivode of that territory in 1581. l 

In Transylvania, which had become the arena of the most 
various Protestant sects, the Catholics, who had been 
despoiled of their Church property, found themselves in a 
difficult position. The most striking feature was the great 
want of priests. In order to provide these, the King of 
Poland had decided in 1579, together with his brother, 
Christopher, who had been elected Voivode in 1576, to summon 
the Jesuits, who made foundations at Klausenburg and 
Weissenburg. As they had had to do in the missions beyond 
the seas, the fathers, who often had to begin from the very 
foundations in this country which from the religious point 
of view was entirely neglected, were indefatigable in their 
care of souls and in giving instruction. 2 On account of the 
divisions among the innovators it was not difficult for them 
to win back many of them to the ancient Church. 3 But the 

1 See THEINER, III., 444 seq. ; KOLBERG, 3 seq., 14, 20, 

2 See A. VERESS excellent publication : Epistolae et Acta 
lesuitarum Transilvaniae temporibus principum Bathory (Fontes 
rerum transilvaniae, I. and II.), Vol. I. : 1571-83, II. : 1575-88, 
Budapest, 1911, 1913. See also Vol. III. of the Fontes : A. 
Possevini Transilvania (1584), ed. A. VERESS, Budapest, 1913. 
Cf. TACCHI VENTURI, in the Civ. catt., 1912, IV., 477 seq. ; 1914, 
III., 73 seq. The publication of these documents refutes the 
assertion made, without any evidence to support it, by TEUTSCH 
who says : " The principles taught by the Jesuits were bound to 
cause the destruction of all society and the killing of all morality " 
(Geschichte der Siebenbiirgener Sachsen fur das sachsische Volk, 
II., 2 , Leipzig, 1874, 30). Abuse of the Jesuits (historically 
quite useless) is also contained in the article by HOCHSMANN : 
Zur Geschichte der Gegenreformation in Ungarn und Sieben- 
biirgen, in the Archiv fuv siebenburg, Landeskunde, N. F. XXVI., 
Hermannstadt, 1895, 522 seq. 

3 Cf. the *letter of Stephanus Arator Pannoniae to Sirleto 
dat. Claudiopoli September 21, 1581, in which it says : " Et 
sane (Deo nostros conatus promovente) labor noster in hoc 


hostility they met with increased in consequence. During 
the discussion in the Diet concerning the recognition of 
Christopher s son as his successor, in May, 1581, the States 
decreed that the Jesuits must be restricted to the above- 
mentioned cities, and that Catholic preachers in general 
were only to be sent to places where the majority of the 
inhabitants were Catholics. 

In spite of these limitations, the Jesuits were able to 
accomplish a far-reaching work, as Bathory, who after the 
death of his brother held the government of Transylvania 
in his hands during the minority of his son Sigismund, 
befriended them. With his support and that of the Pope, 
Antonio Possevino, who in 1583 visited Transylvania and 
Hungary, founded, in connexion with the college there, an 
educational establishment at Klausenburg, which soon 
numbered 250 pupils, and attained so great a reputation 
that even many Protestant parents sent their sons there. 1 
In addition to the work of this " Papal and royal seminary," 
the Jesuits of Transylvania, who were repeatedly assisted 
by Gregory XIII., 2 devoted themselves to the pastoral care 

regno non fuit prorsus inutilis, nam hoc biennio amplius 400 
ex hereticis diversarum sectarum Ecclesiae catholicae sunt 
reconciliati." Vatic. 6180, p. 64 (Vatican Library). 

1 See VERESS, Fontes rer. Transilv., I., 253 seq., II., 87 seq., 
III., 145 ; cf. THEINER, III., 446 seq. For Szant6 see FRAKN6i, 
Egy magyar jezsuita a XVI. szazadban. Szant6 Istvan elese 
(A Hungarian Jesuit in the i6th century. Life of St. Arator), 
Budapest, 1887. Possevino s relations with Hungary were 
exhaustively dealt with by FRAKN6i ; Possevino nagyvaradi 
latogatasa 1583 ban (Possevino s visit to Grosswardein 1583), 
Nagyvarad, 1901, and in the valuable study ; Egy Jezsuita- 
Diplomata hazankban (a Jesuit diplomatist in our fatherland), 
Budapest 1902. Suggestions of Possevino in 1584 with regard 
to Hungary in the Fontes rer. Transilv., III., 209. See also 
FRAKN6I, Magyarorszag egyhazi es politikai osszekottetesei 
a romai szentszekkel (Ecclesiastical and political relations of 
Hungary to the Holy See), III., Budapest, 1903, 167 seq. 

2 See VERESS, Fontes, I., 211 seq., 297 seq., 303 seq. 


of the Catholics besides combatting the innovators. At 
Klausenburg their activities were especially directed against 
the " Arians " (Unitarians), who did not have their children 
baptized, and in other parts of the great principality against 
the Calvinists. 

In all this it was a great advantage to the Jesuits that they 
had many superiors who were distinguished for their learning 
and apostolic activity, such as the rector of Klausenburg, 
Ferrante Capece, 1 and at Weissenburg, the tutor of the young 
Sigismund Bathory, Peter John Leleszi, who displayed an 
incomparable zeal. One of the best of these, the Hungarian, 
Stephen Szanto (Arator), worked at Grosswardein, where 
his blameless life convinced many of the innovators of the 
falsity of their ideas of Catholic priests. Szanto also engaged 
in disputations for several weeks with the Calvinists, who 
were unable to reply to him. The Jesuits also laboured with 
great success among the Magyars of Eastern Transylvania, 
and on the borders of Turkey at Lugos and Karansebes. 
The fame of their qualities as priests as well as of their learning 
steadily increased. At the request of Bathory, in the autumn 
of 1585, their educational establishment of Klausenburg was 
transformed into a kind of university. 2 

The great services of Bathory for the spread of the Catholic 
faith as well as for the furtherance of the Catholic restoration 
were eulogized by Charies Borromeo himself in many of his 
letters. 3 The Pope gave them a solemn recognition by sending 
him the blessed hat and sword in 1579. 4 The king was always 
forming new projects for the consolidation of the Catholic 
restoration in his kingdom. Thus he took much trouble to 

1 For F. Capece, who died in 1586 while ministering to the 
plague-stricken, cf. TACCHI VENTURI, Opere stor. cli M. Ricci, 
II., 398 seq. and VOLPE, Antonio Capece martire nel Giappone, 
Napoli, 1912, 12 seq. 

z See VERESS, Fontes, II., vi. 

3 See Scelta di curios, lett., 198 (1883), 83 seq., 93, 99 seq. 

4 See THEINER, III., 74 ; BORATYNSKI, Caligarii Epist., 340, 
364, 435. The sheath of the sword is now in the Czartoryski 
Museum at Cracow. 


secure as court preacher Robert Bellarmine, 1 who had already 
made himself a great name by his theological lectures at the 
Roman College, as well as for the foundation in the Eternal 
City of a Polish College, already suggested as necessary by 
Caligari, which, like the Germanicum itself, was to be a training 
ground for learned and virtuous priests. 2 The same purpose 
was served by the pontifical seminaries established at 
Braunsberg and Olmiitz by the Jesuit Possevino, to which 
Gregory XIII. gave a charter in 1578. In these the youth, 
not only of Livonia, Lithania, Pomerania, Prussia, Hungary 
and Russia, but also of Sweden, Gothland, Norway and 
Denmark " were to be trained as chosen labourers in the 
great vineyard of the Lord, and for the restoration of the 
ancient faith and piety." 3 Braunsberg, the only large city 
which had remained loyal to the Catholic faith, seemed to be 
especially well adapted to such an establishment, since, 
situated as it was in the neighbourhood of the flourishing 
commercial cities of Dantzig and Konigsberg, it was in constant 
and easy communication with the neighbouring Sweden, 
which was not very different in climate and manner of life ; 
there, too, many distinguished families from Scandinavia 
and Finland had settled, whose sons could be led by the 
foundation of a house there, to attend the school of Braunsberg, 
and thus be led together with their neighbours to the knowledge 
of Catholic doctrines. Just as the Jesuits of Wilna extended 
their activities to .Samogitia, and those of Riga and Dorpat 

1 See BORATYNSKI, loc. cit. 54. 

2 See SPANNOCCHI, Relations, 294 ; MAFFEI, I., 340. For the 
Polish national church of S. Stanislao dei Polacchi, founded 
in Rome by Cardinal Hosius in 1575, together with the adjoining 
hospice (cf. TH. TRETERUS, Theatrum virtutum St. card. Hosii, 
Braunsbergae, 1879, 103 seq.) see (in addition to KOLBERG, 
Beitrage zur Gesch. des Kard. A. Bathory, Braunsberg, 1910, 
25) BORATYISTSKI in the Anz. der Krakauer Akad., 1911. The 
church, which contains several Polish monuments, belonged to 
the Russian Government up to 1917 ; it has now been handed 
back to the newly-formed Polish State. 

3 See THEINER, Schweden, I., 529 seq., II., 153 seq. 


throughout Livonia, so did those of Braunsberg seek to 
develop their work in Prussia, Denmark and Sweden. 1 

1 See THEINER, Schweden, I., 533 seq., II., 322 seq. ; HIPLER, 
Literaturgesch. des Bistums Ermland (Mon. hist. Warm. IV.), 
Braunsberg, 1873, 166 seq. ; EHRENBERG, Ostpreussen, xvii. ; 
BENRATH in the Zeitschrift des Westpreuss. Gesch.-Vereins, XL. 
(1899) ; ZALESKI, I., 1,9 seq., 387 ; L. DAAE in the Hist. Tidskrift, 
III., Kristiania, 1895, 306 seq. 


THE training of missionaries for Protestant Sweden was 
connected with the hope which had come into being in the 
time of Gregory XIII., that that kingdom too might be won 
back to Catholicism. This hope was based upon the attitude 
of John III., who had come to the throne in 1568. John, 
who, after the death of his father, Gustavus Wasa, had 
succeeded to the Duchy of Finland, had married in 1562 
Catherine Jagellon, the sister of Sigismund Augustus of 
Poland. In her marriage contract she had been guaranteed 
the free exercise of her religion, and she was allowed to take 
two Catholic priests with her to her court. 1 This Catholic 
princess, who had thus come into a Protestant kingdom, 
acted as a faithful wife in the midst of the misfortunes that 
befell her husband. 

The hopes of attaining to the throne of Poland which were 
opened out to John by his marriage, were opposed by his 
half-brother, King Eric XIV., with increasing bitterness. 
The consequence was that the two brothers soon found 
themselves violently opposed to each other. John, who 
had been condemned to death by the Swedish States for high 
treason, was forced to surrender on August i3th, 1563, alter 
two months siege. Eric shut him up in the castle of 
Gripsholm on the lonely lake of Malar. He tried in vain to 
separate his wife from John, but the Polish princess preferred 
to share the imprisonment of her husband. When he was 
at last set free in 1567, even then John s life was not safe, 

1 See BIAUDET, Le St. Siege, I., 93 seq., who shows that 
Catherine s two court chaplains were not Jesuits in disguise as 
has often been asserted. 


417 27 


for the hereditary madness of the House of Wasa again showed 
itself in Eric in 1568. When the king married the woman 
who had hitherto been his mistress, the daughter of a corporal, 
John and his younger brother Charles put themselves at the 
head of the malcontent nobles. Eric was forced to abdicate, 
and was imprisoned in the same castle of Gripsholm, where 
his brother had once been confined. 

On account of his hopes of the throne of Poland, and his 
marriage to a zealous Catholic, John III. could not take up a 
strong anti-Catholic attitude, as his predecessors had done. 
He was also averse to any such thing because, during the 
four years of his imprisonment, he had discovered from his 
wife and from his reading of theological books, that the 
Catholic religion was not the mixture of superstition and 
error which his tutors had made it out to be. Such a realiza 
tion, however, was very far from implying his return to the 
ancient Church, all the more so as the theological knowledge 
which John had acquired was by no means profound. 1 

Political considerations and material interests had exercised 
a decisive influence in the separation of Sweden from the 
ancient Church. 2 It was the same considerations which 
now led to a rapprochement between John III. and Rome. 
A first attempt in this direction in the time of Pius V. had 

1 This has often been exaggerated ; see, in contradiction to 
this BIAUDET, I., no seq., 433. Cf. also GEIJER, II., 215. 
RANKE S view (Papste, II., 8 54), that John III. busied himself 
privately with ecclesiastical problems is quite false. The king 
was first and foremost a politician ; in religious questions he was 
only half educated and therefore obstinate. 

2 " Gustaf ler Vasa, le grand-pere du heros de la guerre de 
Trente ans, avait impose a la Suede la reforme pour des raisons 
essentiellement politiques et economiques. Roi de par revolution 
populaire, aspirant a 1 autocratie hereditaire, il voulut ecraser le 
clerge catholique qui, par sa forte organisation hierarchique et 
son ascendant sur les masses, genait ses ambitions dynastiques. 
Maitre d un pays ruine il vit dans le pillage des biens de 1 figlise 
1 unique moyen de faire face aux necessites du moment et d aflfermir 
sa propre position." BIAUDET, I., ii. 


failed. 1 When Sigismund Augustus died in 1572 the succession 
to the throne of Poland, as well as the complicated question 
of the immense inheritance of Catherine, John s wife she 
was the niece of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and of Isabella of 
Aragon 2 which consisted of possessions in Naples, became 
matters of burning interest. With regard to both these 
matters, the attitude of the Holy See was of the greatest 
importance. In order to open negotiations, Paolo Ferrari, 
a servant of Queen Catherine, was sent to Rome in November, 
1572. He carried letters from Catherine to Gregory XIII. 
and Cardinal Hosius, asking for a Papal absolution for having 
received communion under both kinds, and at the same time 
asking that it might be allowed for the future to herself and 
the members of the court. The letter to Hosius concluded 
by asking for prayers that John might turn to the ancient 
Church, from which he was not far removed. 3 Gregory 
granted the absolution asked for, in a brief of March 8th, 
I 573> 4 but refused the request for the chalice through Hosius. 5 
These letters had already been dispatched when the nuncio 
in Poland reported that the Swedish ambassador, Andrew 
Lorichs, had asked for his mediation in the same matter. 
Almost at once Commendone wrote that at the electoral 
Diet of Poland the Swedish ambassador had held out hopes 
to the nuncio Vincenzo Portico that, if the Holy See should 
support the election of John III. as King of Poland, he would 
return to the Catholic Church. Naturally, neither the Pope 
nor the Secretary of State, Tolomeo Galli, allowed themselves 

l Sce Vol. XVIII. of this work, p. 311, n. 2. 

2 BIAUDET deals very thoroughly with the question of the 
inheritance of Bona Sforza (I., 512 seq.). 

3 See BIAUDET, I., 186 seq., Notes et Documents, 27. 

4 See THEINER, I., 163. 

5 See Hosn Opera, II., 337. C/. BIAUDET, I., 191, for the 
postscript, added by Hosius on his own authority, in which he 
holds out hopes of a dispensation with regard to the chalice. 
In a *report to Philip II., dated December 14, 1574, Zuniga says 
of Hosius : " es facil de creer estas cosas." Coll. Favre, VIII., 5 
(Library at Geneva). 


to be influenced by this clumsy attempt to change their policy 
in the matter of the election of the King of Poland, but they 
considered themselves justified in inferring, from these Swedish 
attempts at a rapprochement, that a favourable moment had 
arrived for entering into closer relations with John III. 
Gregory XIII. therefore proposed the mission of the Polish 
Jesuit, Stanislaus Warszewicki, to Sweden, though in the 
end he had to abandon the plan because Warszewicki s presence 
was necessary in Poland. 1 

In November, 1573, Paolo Ferrari again appeared in Rome, 
In order to facilitate the gradual return of Sweden to the 
Church he proposed to the Pope that he should allow com 
munion under both kinds. Gregory XIII. replied, with all 
possible courtesy, but with great firmness as far as the matter 
was concerned, that King John must first, by sending an 
embassy for the obedientia, make it clear that he seriously 
intended what he said, and that only then could his request 
be dealt with. Ferrari had in the meantime presented to 
the Curia by means of an agent the plan of supporting Spain 
against the insurgents in the Netherlands with a Swedish 
fleet. This led to the mission of the Jesuit, Stanislaus 
Warszewicki, to Sweden, who presented himself there as 
the envoy of the Princess Anna of Poland. Although the 
actual purpose of this mission, as well as the conversations 
which the Jesuit had with the king, came to nothing, yet, 
thanks to the reports of Warszewicki, Rome was for the first 
time put in possession of definite information as to the state 
of affairs in Sweden. There could now be no doubt that 
John s attempts at bringing about a rapprochement had 
no other ground than the fact that he wanted the Pope s 
support in the matter of his election as King of Poland, and 
in that of his wife s inheritance. It was, however, learned 
that the attachment to the ancient faith was not altogether 
extinct in Sweden, and that Queen Catherine was prepared 

1 See BIAUDET, I., 193 seq. ; cf. EHRENBERG, Ostpreussen, 52. 
For Lorichs see ODBERG S monograph : Om Anders Lorichs, 
Skara, 1893. 


to give her support to Catholic missionaries. 1 The first to 
be sent to Sweden were a secular priest named Florenz Feyt, 
and the Norwegian Lauritz Nilsson (Laurentius Norvegus), 
who had embraced the faith at Louvain in 1563, and after 
wards joined the Jesuits. By command of the king both 
of them had to conceal the fact that they were Catholic priests, 
so that they might labour more effectively. 2 Nilsson founded 
a school at Stockholm, and won over a number of Swedish 
youths, who were destined to receive their further education 
at the German College in Rome. 3 

Out of consideration for the Protestant clergy, King John 
did not dare to proceed openly, but tried to attain his purpose 
by indirect means. For this purpose he caused his secretary 
Peter Fecht to draw up a new liturgy, the so-called Red Book, 

1 See BIAUDET, I., 277 seq., 281 seq., 292 seq., 332 ; KARTTUNEN, 
Possevino, 82 seq. ; THEINER, Schweden, I., 432 seq., II., 270 seq., 
323 ; GEIJER, It., 220 seq. The attachment of the people to the 
old Church is shown, both in Sweden and in Finland, by their 
observance of the fasts, prayers for the dead and veneration of 
the Mother of God. All this is brought out in Possevino s report 
of the year 1587 : Seconda relazione delle cose pertinenti alia 
cognizione dello stato presente del regno di Suetia. This report, 
intended for Gregory XIII., was published by C. BULLO (II 
viaggio di M. Piero Querini e le relazioni della republica Veneta 
colla Suezia, Venezia, 1881, 73 seq.), though, as THOMAS points out 
(Sitzungsberichte der Munch. Akad., Phil.-hist., Kl., 1882, I., 3, 
358), in a defective form. Both Thomas and Bullo overlooked 
the fact that P. FERRATO had already brought out a good edition 
of the " Relatio " in 1876 : Relazione sul regno di Suezia da 
A. Possevino, Firenze, 1876 ; and that a Latin version, deviating 
very little from the original, already existed in THEINER, Ann. II., 
278 seq. Cf. also Hist. Tidskrift, I., ex seq. 

2 See KARTTUNEN, 85 seq. For Lauritz Nilsson (Laurentius 
Norvegus) generally called Klosterlasse in Sweden cf. 
KARTTUNEN, 91 seq., and A. BRANDRUD, Klosterlasse, Kristiania, 
1895 ; REGER, Jesuiterpateren Laurits Nielssen, saakaldt Kloster 
lasse, Kristiania, 1896. Biaudet, who unfortunately died 
prematurely, was preparing a monograph on L. Nilsson. 

3 Cf. STEINHUBER, I. 2 , 353 seq. ; BRAUNSBERGER, Canisius, 255. 


which was based upon the Roman Missal. 1 This new ordinal, 
which appeared in print in 1577, at first met with the opposition 
of the Protestant clergy, but John III. secured its acceptance 
on February i6th, 1577. 2 

The ambitious king, who had failed for the second time 
to secure the crown of Poland in 1575, at last realized that 
he would have to do something more definite if he was to 
obtain the support of the Pope. When he at length decided, 
in the autumn of 1576, to restore the relations between the 
royal house of Sweden and the Holy See, which had been 
broken off since the time of Gustavus Wasa, by sending an 
official embassy, he kept his intention absolutely secret. 
General Pontius de la Gardie, to whom this mission was 
entrusted, was entirely devoted to him. The question of the 
inheritance of the royal family, which de la Gardie was to 
discuss with the Emperor, could not give rise to any suspicion. 
His companion, the royal secretary Peter Fecht, the author 
of the Red Book, was given the instructions in all that touched 
upon the religious question ; Fecht was to obtain not only 
the sending of Jesuit missionaries to Sweden, but was also 
to ask the Pope for important concessions : communion under 
both kinds, the marriage of priests, and the mass in the 
vernacular. 3 How completely secret the real purpose of 
the embassy was kept is shown by the fact that Lauritz 
Nilsson himself knew nothing about it. Nothing was said, 
moreover, of the fact that de la Gardie was once more to 
propose to the King of Spain that a Swedish auxiliary fleet 
should be sent a.gainst the Netherland insurgents. 4 

1 Liturgia Suecanae Ecclesiae catholicae et orthodoxae conformis, 
Stockolmiae, 1576. Cf. THEINER, Schweden, I., 412 seq. ; II., 
267 seq. Annales, II., 217 seq. ; QUENSEL, Bidrag till svenska 
liturgiens historia, Upsala, 1898 ; KARTTUNEN, 88 seq., 90 seq. 
The copy of the Red Book that John III. sent to the Pope by 
Posse vino is still in the Vatican Library. 

2 Cf. BIAUDET, II., 359 seq. 

3 Cf. (in addition to THEINER, Schweden, I., 449 seq., Annales 
II., 218 seq.}. HILDEBRAND, 260 seq., KARTTUNEN, 95 seq., 98 seq., 
and especially BIAUDET, II., xiii seq. 

4 See ibid., xv, 218 seq., 239. 


The envoys embarked at Stockholm on October 1576, 
nth, but were very soon shipwrecked near the island 
of Bornholm. Fecht was drowned, so that de la Gardie 
had to continue his journey alone. After a long stay 
at the Imperial court, he at last reached Rome on 
April 24th, 1577. By May loth the Pope was able to 
inform the consistory that the envoy of the King of 
Sweden had made the obedientia in his master s name, 
and had given him his promise to introduce the Catholic 
faith into his kingdom, for which purpose he had asked for 
missionaries. In order to avoid any disturbance, the making 
of the obedientia had not taken place in consistory, with the 
customary ceremonies, but in the private apartments of the 
Pope, though in the presence of several Cardinals. 1 

Thus it seemed that the first step towards the reunion of 
Sweden to the Church had been taken. There was general 
rejoicing in Rome. 2 Although Gregory XIII. was not blind 
to the private interests which had prompted the action of 
John III., it would seem that at first he had no doubts as 
to the sincerity of the king, nor of the trustworthiness of 
his envoys. The letters of credence for de la Gardie, dated 
August i8th, 1576, and drawn up in the most respectful form, 
left nothing to be desired, while a private letter from Queen 
Catherine to the Pope contained the request that he would 
receive the embassy favourably. 3 

At Pentecost, May 26th, 1577, the General of the Jesuits, 
Everard Mercurian, and his private secretary, Antonio 
Possevino, had gone to the Villa Mondragone, near Frascati, 
for an audience with the Pope. Gregory XIII. had chosen 
that day with a definite purpose. He was fully convinced 
of the good prospects of an effective mission to Sweden. He 

1 See the Acta consist, in BIAUDET, II., 342 seq. ; cf. ibid., 
344 seq., 352 seq. still more reports. *Odescalchi s memorandum 
dat. Rome, May 18, 1577, brings out the fact that the Obedientia 
was made only in the name of the king and not of the kingdom 
(infetto quasi tutto). (Gonzaga Archives, Mantua). 

2 See St. Rescius report in BIAUDET, II., 381. 

3 See ibid., So seq., 82 seq. 


would very willingly have set out for that country himself, 
but as that was impossible, Posse vino was called upon to 
accept this important mission. With it was combined the 
political mission of bringing about an alliance with Spain. 
Possevino at first hesitated to mix himself up in political 
matters, but Gregory XIII. pointed out to him how closely 
this was connected with the interests of religion, and how 
important it was to the King of Spain, who was also sending 
a special envoy to Sweden at the same time, in the person 
of Francisco de Eraso. 1 

Antonio Possevino, who was equally distinguished as a 
preacher, missionary and teacher, as well as being a scholar, 
writer and diplomatist, was born at Mantua in 1534, and went 
to Rome at the age of seventeen. The incomparable educa 
tional opportunities of the Eternal City had all the greater 
effect in the case of the talented youth in that he had the 
good fortune to find himself amid surroundings that were 
both spiritually and socially of a high order. Possevino 
was secretary to Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga and the tutor 
of his nephews. He won the love and esteem of the Cardinal 
to such a degree that a splendid future seemed to be assured 
to him. But he gave all this up by entering the Society of 
Jesus in 1559. His superiors sent him in the following year 
to Savoy, where he laboured against the Waldenses. For 
ten years (1562-1572) he laboured with great success in France 
under very difficult conditions, and in 1573 the new General, 
Mercurian, appointed him his private secretary. As 
Possevino had hitherto worked successfully as a missioner, 
so in his new position he acquired a profound grasp of the 
religious conditions of the various nations. It would not 
have been possible to have found a man better fitted for the 
difficult task that lay before him in Sweden, for, in addition 
to his vast learning, Possevino was a man of big ideas, 
unwearied application, great missionary zeal, dexterity 
and versatility, and besides all this was firm in his 

1 Cf. *Sommario delle commissioni date da Gregorio XIII. al 
P. Possevino (Boncompagni Archives, Rome). 


principles and indefatigable in carrying out his plans and 
projects. 1 

After Pontius de la Gardie had made his obedientia, he 
at once went to Naples on account of the question of the 
inheritance of the Queen of Sweden, being furnished on May 
2ist, 1577, with a letter of recommendation to the viceroy 
by Gregory XIII. But a month later Cardinal Galli had 
to complain to the nuncio at Naples of the misuse of this 
letter of recommendation by the unscrupulous general. 2 
In July, 1577, Hosius wrote to Queen Catherine that the view 
was gaining ground in Rome that the obedientia made by de 
la Gardie had only been a trick to win the support of the 
Holy See in the Naples question. 3 Such a suspicion made 
Gregory XIII. all the more insistent upon the mission of 
Possevino, as the latter s diplomatic ability seemed to be 
required to cope with the difficulties of the situation. 

At the beginning of September, 1577, de la Gardie returned 
from Naples. The customary credentials were prepared for 
him and Possevino by the Papal Chancery, 4 after which they 
both set out upon their journey. 5 Possevino was accompanied 
by two of his fellow-religious, the Irishman, William Good, 
and the Frenchman, Jean Fornier. As John III. made a 

1 A. GOTTLOB aptly remarks (Lit. Rundschau, 1891, 116) that 
Possevino was the " right type of Jesuit in the time of Gregory 
XIII." Cf. D ORIGNY, La vie du P. A. Possevin, Paris, 1712 
(Italian, Venezia, 1759), and the monograph by KARTTUNEN, 
Lausanne, 1908. For Possevino s prolific literary activity see 
SOMMERVOGEL, VI., 1061 seq. ; HURTER, I., 181 seq. Cf. also 
FELL, Padagogische Schriften Posse vinos, Freiburg, 1901, and 
SCHLESINGER, Jesuitenportraits, Regensburg, s.a. 89-103. 

8 See BIAUDET, II., 358, 362, 412 seq. 

3 See ibid., 441 seq. 

4 See KARTTUNEN, 119 ; BIAUDET, II., 97 seq. Special faculties 
granted by Gregory XIII. to the Jesuit missioners in Sweden, 
Norway and adjacent countries on September 5, 1577, ibid. 

6 E. Malvezzi was nominated " envoy of the king of Sweden " 
in Rome, but he died in August, 1578. His epitaph in S. Maria 
in Via Lata in FORCELLA, VIII., 393. 


great point of avoiding any disturbance and of concealing 
the true purpose of the mission, they wore secular dress, as 
had been done by the earlier missionaries sent to Sweden 
by the Pope ; at Prague Possevino was given the task by 
the widowed Empress of informing the King of Sweden of 
the death of her husband. 1 

After a wearisome journey Possevino reached Stockholm 
on December iQth, 1577. There he found that Lauritz 
Nilsson, who had been labouring there since April, 1576, 
and who in his optimism looked upon the bringing back of 
Sweden to the Catholic Church as an easy task, had, in his 
unthinking enthusiasm, fallen in with the peace projects 
of John III., and had strengthened the king in his illusion 
that he would be able to obtain the consent of the Holy See 
to them. The diplomatic skill of Possevino was soon able 
to obviate the difficulties of the position which had thus been 
created. 2 His principal efforts were directed to persuading 
the king of the truth of the Catholic doctrine. With marvel 
lous patience, he replied to all his difficulties. Great was his 
joy when, after months of discussions, which often lasted for 
three or four hours, 3 at the beginning of May, 1578, John 
declared himself ready to accept the Tridentine profession 
of faith. This consent was soon followed by the act, and 
this in its turn by a general confession. Before absolving 

1 For Posse vino s mission see his report to Gregory XIII. in 
THEINER, Schweden, II., 257 seqq., where will also be found other 
relevant documents. Cf. also KONECZNY, Jan III. Waza i missya 
Possewina, Krakow, 1901 ; KARTTUNEN, 119 seq., 127 seq. See 
also BIAUDET, II., 451, n. 

2 See THEINER, Schweden, I., 460 seq., 465 seq. ; II., 33 
seq. ; KARTTUNEN, 119 seq., 126 seq. ; BIAUDET, II., xxi seq., 

3 Possevino expressly says so in his " Prima Relazione sulle 
cose di Suezia mandata a Gregorio XIII." (THEINER, Schweden, I., 
257), and he adds that during the five months that he was there, 
hardly a day passed without his having an interview with the 
king. It was therefore not " a couple of interviews " as RANKE. 
says (Papste, II. 8 , 55)- 


him Possevino once more asked the king if he was willing 
to submit himself to the Pope s judgment in the matter of 
communion under one kind, to which John replied in the 
affirmative. After his absolution the king seemed much 
easier in his mind, because his conscience had been heavily 
burdened, since he had, on the strength of a decree of the 
council of state (which had been signed by the Lutheran 
bishops), removed his brother by poison on February 26th, 
1577. l Possevino made use of the favourable moment ; he 
earnestly implored God, in whose hands are the hearts of 
kings, to be pleased to complete the work that had been 
begun. John embraced him with the words : " like you, 
I embrace for ever the holy Roman Catholic Church." On 
the following day Possevino said mass in the king s apartments 
and gave him communion. All this was done in the deepest 
secrecy, and in the presence of only a few intimate friends 
in the castle of Stockholm. 2 Further steps for bringing back 
the kingdom to the ancient Church had to be postponed 
until after the decision of the Holy See as to the concessions 
that had been asked for. 

Possevino s return was rendered necessary not only by these 
negotiations but also by the fact that his being a Catholic 
priest had become known in Stockholm, and had caused 
great annoyance to the Protestant clergy. He prudently 
did not wait for the king to order his departure, but anticipated 
the order by declaring his readiness to undertake the advocacy 
of John s political interests in the matter of the alliance with 
Spain, and in that of the queen s inheritance. He left the 
kingdom on May 2Oth, 1578, as the ambassador of Sweden, 
and took with him a number of young Swedes and Finlanders, 

1 Cf. GEIJER, II., 198. 

2 See THEINER, Schweden, I., 471 seq., 485 seq. : " A. Possevini 
responsiones ad nobilissimi et regii viri septentrionalis interroga- 
tiones qui de salutis aeternae comparandae ratione ac de vera 

, ecclesia cupiebat instrui," in his Bibliotheca selecta, Romae, 1593, 
I., 6, p. 438 seq., and also in Possevini Moscovia, Coloniae, 
1568, 316 seq. Cf. WERNER, Gesch. der polem. Literatur, IV., 


who were to be trained as missionaries in Catholic institutions. 1 
In addition to the spreading of sound Catholic books, as 
well as a Swedish translation of the catechism of Canisius, 
Posse vino rightly considered, as the most important means 
of restoring the ancient Church, the training of good native 
priests, who should unite to their knowledge of their own 
language a thorough training in theology and enthusiasm 
for the ideals of a pure sacerdotal life. 2 Little by little such 
missionaries could attempt the recovery of the ground that 
had been lost. From Braunsberg Posse vino suggested to 
Gregory XIII. a plan of establishing there a Papal seminary 
for the training of priests for the northern countries, 3 especially 
for Sweden and Finland, which were so important on account 
of their proximity to Russia. 4 This plan was carried into 
effect in the same 3/ear. A similar Papal college was founded 
by Possevino at Olmutz. There, in 1579, was received the 
Protestant minister Olaf Sondergelteus, who had entered 
the Church, and was given by Possevino the task of 
translating the catechism into Finnish and compiling a 
Finnish grammar ; another student of the college at Olmutz, 
Petrus Cuprimontanus, was to compile a Swedish grammar. 

1 See Possevino s report in THEINER, Schweden, II., 271 seq., 
and John s memorandum in THEINER, Annales, II., 408 seq. ; 
KARTTUNEN, 130 seq. ; STEINHUBER, I. 2 , 354. Laureo sent, by 
Possevino, two Ruthenian youths and one Russian to be educated 
at Rome ; see WIERBOWSKI, 713. 

2 Cf. PIERLING, La Russie, II., 210. 

3 Cf. Vol. XIX. of this work, p. 245. 

4 " Qui guardagnera in Finlandia la conversione deH anime 
aprira una grande porta alia Moscovia e per6 meno di quel paese 
perch e sieno in Roma instituiti," says Possevino on page 36 of the 
Relazione quoted supra, p. 421, n. i. For the Finnish Jesuit 
alumni see LEINBERG, Om finske studerende i jesuitcollegier, in 
Hist. Arkisto, XL, Helsingfors, 1891, 156 seq., and BIAUDET, 
ibid., XIX. (1905), 178 seq. The undated *suggestion, which 
undoubtedly came from Possevino, to found seminaries for 
" Suecia e Finlandia," in Miscell., Arm. n, t. 94, p. 213 seq. (Papal 
Secret Archives). 


Thus to the Jesuits belongs the glory of having prepared the 
first grammars in both those languages. 1 

On his journey Possevino was at pains to promote the 
political interests of the King of Sweden both at Prague 
and at Warsaw. 2 When he reached Rome on September 27th, 
1578, detailed discussions of the concessions asked for by 
John III. had already taken place. 

A special commission, to which belonged, besides Cardinals 
Morone, Farnese, Savelli, Galli, Hosius, Montalto, Madruzzo 
and Sirleto, the Franciscan, Cesare Montalcino, and the 
Jesuit, Francisco Toledo, had come to the conclusion that, 
of the twelve concessions asked for, five could not be granted, 
because the example would be too dangerous for the other 
nations, and the Church could not attain to any real life in 
Sweden under such conditions. Thus the commission 
rejected the mass in the vernacular, communion under both 
kinds, the marriage of priests, the suppression of prayers 
for the dead and of holy water ; on the other hand it recom 
mended the granting of the other seven requests ; among 
these was the renunciation of confiscated ecclesiastical 
property. 3 When Possevino returned from Naples, where, 
though without success, he had been dealing with the question 
of the royal inheritance, the commission sought his advice. 
On the basis of the memorial which he drew up, it devoted 
its attention to the future organization of ecclesiastical 

1 Cf. THEINER, Schweden, II., 318 ; SCHYBERGSON, Geschichte 
Finnlands, I., 141 seq. for details of the attempts at a Catholic 
Restoration in Finland, and KARTTUNEN, Gregoire XII T., 

p. 96- 

2 See KARTTUNEN, Possevino, 136 seq., Gregoire, XIII., p. 29. 

3 Cf. THEINER, Schweden, I., 503 seq. ; II., 107 seq., 109 seq. ; 
WERNER, Gesch. der polem. Literatur, IV., 332 seq. The 
deliberations of the commission are reported by Odescalchi in 
his ""memorandum dated Rome, July 29, 1578, in which he also 
relates that the Queen of Sweden had half converted her husband 
and that, on account of the concessions, Possevino was being 
sent to Rome " in habita secolare con spada e cappa." (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). 


discipline which was to be in force in Sweden when that 
country again became Catholic. 1 

A brief of December ist, 1578, confirmed Possevino in his 
office of Papal nuncio, and gave him wide faculties as vicar- 
apostolic for the whole of Scandinavia and the neighbouring 
northern countries of Denmark, Moscovia, Lithuania, Russia, 
Hungary, Pomerania and Saxony. Gregory also ordered 
a general jubilee for the success of the new mission. 2 

In the spring of 1579 Possevino set out for the second time 
for Sweden. Gregory XIII. gave him two Tyrolese who 
had been educated at the German College. 3 After he had 
worked to further the interests of John III. at the courts of 
the Emperor and the King of Poland, and to bring about an 
alliance between Sweden and Rudolph II. and Philip II., 4 
he reached Stockholm on August 7th, 1579, this time dressed 
in the habit of his Order. His experiences there of the 
hesitation and vacillation of the king were very disappointing. 
There could be no doubt that the attitude of John III., who 
was now strongly insisting upon the Pope s consent to the 
demands which he had but recently been willing to abandon, 
was principally determined by the political situation. When 
the Papal-Spanish expedition to Ireland proved a failure, 
Possevino fell out of favour with the king, but when the news 
arrived of the conquest of Portugal by Philip II. he received 
a cordial invitation to the court ! 5 

It was impossible to bring John III. to the point of making 
a definite decision in ecclesiastical matters ; he adhered 
firmly to his own system of religion, which as far as he was 
concerned was expressed in his new liturgy. Himself a mere 
opportunist, he was incapable of understanding the firm 

1 See THEINER, Schweden, I., 517 seq. 

2 See ZACHARIAS, Iter litt. per Italiam, Venetiis, 1762, 294 seq. ; 
THEINER, Schweden, II., 44 seq., 48 seq. 

3 Cf. STEINHUBER, I. 2 , 357. 

4 Cf. BEZOLD in the Abhandlungen der Munch. Akademie, 
XVII., 362 seq. 

5 See KARTTUNEN, Possevino, 150 seq., 155 seq. ; cf. Possevino s 
report in THEINER, Schweden, II., 236 seq. 


stand of the Holy See, whose religious policy was based upon 
unchangeable principles. Under these circumstances 
Posse vino was unable to attain the true end of his mission. 
On August loth, 1580, he left Stockholm with fifteen Swedish 
youths who were to be trained as missionaries in the seminaries 
of Braunsberg and Olmutz. Henceforward he devoted his 
special attention to these establishments, which were making 
reassuring progress. His experience of the hesitation of 
John III. had confirmed him in his conviction that 
the conversion of Sweden would never be brought about 
by means of the king, but only by means of long pre 
paratory labours on the part of native priests, trained 
in the Papal seminaries. 1 A similar view was shared by the 
authorities in Rome. Gregory did all that lay in his power, 
and was of opinion that money could not be laid out to a 
more useful purpose. 2 This indeed proved to be the case, 
for though some of the students of those establishments 
did not fulfil the hopes that had been placed in them, others 
proved themselves worthy to the degree of not even shrinking 
from martyrdom. 3 

When he left the capital of Sweden Possevino could feel 
satisfaction in the fact that the king at anyrate had taken 
under his protection the house of the Jesuits, which had been 
threatened by a popular tumult. 4 The venerable and 

1 See KARTTUNEN, loc. cit., 149 seq. ; cf. ZALEWSKI, I., i, 439 seq. 

2 See THEINER, II., 324. On February 18, 1581, Cesare Strozzi 
reported from Rome : *In casa del s. card. Farnese si e fatta 
questa settimana una congregatione sopra le cose del regno di 
Suetia con 1 intervento delli sig. card 11 Madruzzo et Como et del 
Padre Possevino et pare che non sia stato altro che erigere collegii 
csve si habbino a mantenere giovani che poi habbino a insegnare, 
in quel regno buona dottrina cattolica. (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). These deliberations resulted in the Bulls of March, 
1581, quoted by KARTTUNEN (Possevino, 176). 

3 As for example John Jussoila and Petrus Erici. Cf. for both 
these, Hist. Arkisto, XL, 196 seq., XIX., 192 seq., 219. 

4 See KARTTUNEN, Possevino, 159. P. St. Warszewicki 
remained in Stockholm in place of L. Norvegus who departed with 
Possevino ; see ibid., 161 seq. 


ancient house of the Brigettines at Wadstena on the Lake 
of Wetter, whose rule had been reformed by Posse vino, was 
also placed upon a firm footing ; the two Catholic priests 
who had been sent there as confessors received full faculties 
for the absolution of those who wished to return to the Church. 1 
The hopes of the Catholics rested principally upon the queen 
and the heir to the throne, Sigismund, in whose household 
two disciples of the college of Braunsberg, Lawrence Magnus, 
a nephew of the dead Bishop of Upsala, and the Finlander, 
John Jussoila, were installed as court chaplains, 2 Sigismund, 
whose firmness in the Catholic faith Possevino counted as 
the principal result of his second mission, 3 did not in the 
event disappoint the hopes that were placed in him. 4 John III., 
on the other hand, made it more and more evident that his 
rapprochement with Rome had been the outcome of political 
motives. As Possevino was well aware of this he continued 
to promote the political interests of the king in every possible 
way, especially in the matter of the inheritance of Catherine. 
If he met with no success, the fault was not his. It was a 
severe blow to King John when his ally of Poland made peace 

1 See THEINER, II., 156 seq. 

2 See ibid., 327; STEINHUBER, I. 2 , 355. The faculties, dated 
Prague, May 22, 1584, given to John Jussoila by Possevino in 
Hist. Arkisto, XIX., 218-9 : " Auctoritate, qua in regnis Septen- 
trionalibus, ubi catholici episcopi non sunt, a S.D.N.P.M. 
Gregorio XIII. fungimur, facultatem tibi damus in iisdem regnis 
sacramenta rite et catholico more administrandi (exceptis 
sacramentis confirmationis et ordinum sacrorum) itemque 
absolvendi in quocunque casu, etiam in casibus reservatis in 
bulla Coena Domini, in foro conscientiae tantum ac cum, 
quocunque dispensandi in omnibus casibus irregularitatis (exceptis 
provenientibus ex bigamia et homicidio voluntario) deinde in 
quocunque loco cum altari portatili celebrandi . . . praeterea 
et libros prohibitos et haereticos legendi ad eum finem tantum 
modo ut haereses confutentur et s. fides catholica defendatur." 

3 See his *Sommario in the Boncompagni Archives, Rome. 
Cf. ibid, the *Memorie of Cardinal Galli. See also Am. der Krak. 
Akademie, 1891, 139 seq. 

4 See THEINER, II., 3, 22 seq. 


with Russia in 1583. This was equally disastrous for the 
Catholic cause in Sweden, for the more the political advantages 
which John looked for from his union with Rome failed of 
their fulfilment, the more did his zeal for the Catholic religion 
grow cool. 1 

The hopes of the reunion of Sweden to the Church were 
further reduced by the death of Queen Catherine in 1583. 
In her the Catholics lost their great support. In her will 
this noble princess left a legacy of 10,000 thalers to the seminary 
of Braunsberg, for the maintenance there of five Swedish boys. 2 
How greatly attached Possevino was to this institution is 
shown by the fact that he wrote its history and kept a detailed 
register of its pupils. 3 He took a share in the alteration of 
its statutes in 1584, when it was decided that the youths who 
were received there must give a promise that they would 
proceed to receive priest s orders. 4 

A great change for the worse in Catholic hopes in Sweden 
took place when, on February I5th, 1585, John III. married 
Gunnila Bielke, who was sixteen years of age and a zealous 
Lutheran. It even became difficult for the heir to the throne, 
Sigismund, to remain faithful to the Catholic Church. 5 

At the very moment when the tendency of the King of 
Sweden, prompted as it was by material considerations, 
towards a reunion of his kingdom with the ancient Church 
had come to nothing, it seemed as though a compensation 

1 GEIJER has already pointed this out (II., 226). BERLIERE says, 
very justly, in his review of Biaudet s brilliant work : " Le 
rapprochement de la Suede avec le St. -Siege fut une oeuvre de 
politique comme celle qui avait detache cette nation de 1 unite 
catholique." (Rev. Benedict. XXIV., 435). 

2 See THEINER, Schweden, II., 327. 

3 See ibid., 324 seq., 327 seq. 
* See DUHR, I., 309. 

6 See THEINER, II., 3, 23; cf. GEIJER, II., 226, 241. The 
events connected with the execution of A. Lorich (for whom 
Gregory XIII. interceded with John III. on February 2, 1585) also 
contributed to alienate the king from the Catholic cause ; see 
Hist. Zeitschr., LXXVIII., 312 seq. 

VOL. XX. 28 


might be found in another undertaking, the result of which 
would be of incalculable importance. Even in the times of 
the greatest difficulty the Popes had not lost sight of barbarous 
and schismatic Russia, for which country a brighter future 
could only be opened out when her opposition to the Catholic 
Church and the culture of the west had been overcome. 

Ever since 1561 the Holy See had endeavoured to persuade 
the Czar Ivan IV. to send delegates to the Council of Trent 
and to join the alliance against the Turks. Underlying these 
efforts there was always the thought of a religious reunion 
on the basis of the Council of Florence. But neither the 
envoys of Pius IV. nor of Pius V. had been able to reach 
Moscow on account of the opposition of Sigismund Augustus, 
the King of Poland. 

An attempt made by Gregory XIII. in 1576 to enter into 
relations with the Czar came to nothing because of the gener 
ally unfavourable political conditions. 1 The efforts made 
by Gregory three years later to put an end to the bloody war 
between Russia and Poland, and to win over the two Slav 
kingdoms to the crusade against the Turks, met with no better 
success. The King of Poland, Stephen Bathory, would not 
hear of a compromise, as his arms were victorious, 2 and in the 
time that followed he harassed the Czar to such an extent 
that the latter found himself compelled to make peace with 
Poland. As mediator for that purpose the schismatic 
sovereign of Russia called upon the moral power of the supreme 
head of the hated Catholic and Roman Church. 3 

1 See (in addition to PIERLING, St.-Siege, I., 408 seq.} SCHELLHASS 
in the Quellen und Forschungen des Preuss, Institute, XIII., 274 seq. 

2 See PIERLING, loc. cit., 419 seq. ; cf. Rev. des quest, hist., LXI. 
(1882), 224 seq., and BORATYNSKI, St. Batory i plan Ligi, Section i. 

3 See PIERLING, A. Possevini Missio Moscovitica ex annuis litt. 
Soc. lesu excerpta, Paris, 1882 ; Un nonce du Pape en Moscovie, 
Paris, 1884 ; Le St.-Siege, la Pologne et Moscou, 1582-7, Paris, 
1885 ; Bathory et Possevino, Paris, 1887 ; La Russie et le 
St.-Siege, II., 2 seq. Cf. also LERPIGNY, Un arbitrage Pontifical 
au XVI e siecle, Paris, 1886 ; KARTTUNEN, Possevino, 163 seq. ; 
LICHATSCHEW in the Bul1.t. de la Comm. archeographiqiie de 
St. Peter sbourg, 1903. 


During the last week of February, 1581, there came to the 
Eternal City three men, whose strange oriental dress caused 
the greatest excitement. The amazement of the Curia was 
very great when it was learned that they had been sent by 
Ivan IV., the Grand Prince of Moscow, a schismatic and noted 
for his pride, from which place no messenger had presented 
himself in the capital of Christendom for half a century. 
At that time, in the days of Clement VII., apartments had 
been given to the envoy of Russia in the Vatican. This was 
not done on the present occasion. In the first place 
consideration had to be shown for the friendly sovereign of 
Poland, and this time it was not a case of a plenipotentiary, 
but only of the bearer of a letter from the Grand Prince. 
Therefore a middle course was adopted. When the envoys 
entered Rome on February 24th, 1581, the Colonna palace, 
the residence of Giacomo Boncompagni, was placed at their 
disposal. Bathory s representative at the Curia was able 
to arrange that they were not given any public audience, 
although they were the bearers of credential letters from 
the Emperor Rudolph II. ; all they obtained was a private 
audience on February 26th. Besides Ivan Thomas Schewerigin, 
who was to deliver the Czar s letter, there were present only 
his interpreter, William Popler, together with Francesco 
Pallavicini and Giacomo Boncompagni. 1 

Schewerigin, a handsome and striking man, 2 appeared in a 
mantle of red scarlet cloth, with a silk dress of the same colour, 
long boots of skin and a tall hat of sable. The letter which 
he brought was written in the Russian tongue. Gregory, 

1 See MUCANTIUS, Diarium, in THEINER, Annales, III., 284 ; 
*Avviso di Roma of February 25, 1581, Urb. 1049, p. 87, Vatican 
Library ; *Bernerio s report dated Rome, March 4, 1581, State 
Archives at Vienna ; *Odescalchi s memorandum dated Rome, 
February 25 and March 4, 1581, Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. 
Cf. also MONTAIGNE, II., 6. SCHIEMANN S statement (II., 383) 
that the Pope received Schewerigin "in full consistory" is altogether 

*E huomo di nobilissimo aspetto et di bellissima presenza, 
wrote Odescalchi on February 25, 1581, loc. cit. 


therefore was only able, when he informed the Cardinals 
of the embassy in secret consistory on the following day, 
to say that thanks must be rendered to God for such a mission. 1 

There can be no doubt that the appearance of an envoy 
from the mysterious east at once raised hopes in the mind of 
Gregory XIII., not only for the furtherance of the war against 
the Turks, but also of the reunion of the Russian church with 
the Holy See, which had been vainly attempted by many 
of his predecessors. The translation of the letter 2 showed 
that Ivan was acting with true Asiatic cunning. He promised, 
if he were granted the friendship of the Pope and the other 
Christian princes to throw open his country to the trade of 
western Europe. He therefore begged Gregory XIII. to 
induce the King of Poland, that " vassal of the Turks," to 
lay aside his arms. This disposition manifested by the 
Grand Prince to ally himself with the Pope and the Christian 
princes after the restoration of peace, coincided with the 
Pope s favourite project. For that end Ivan asked that a 
representative of the Holy See might be sent to Moscow. 

Although the request for mediation was honourable, and 
the hope held out of his support in the struggle against Islam 
was encouraging, the complete silence in which Ivan passed 
over the religious differences which existed between Rome 
and Moscow was very strange. The Curia did not, however, 
indulge in any exaggerated hopes ; " the style of the letter," 
wrote Cardinal Galli to the nuncio in Poland, "is in some 
ways convincing. But all who know as we do, that this does 
not come from the good dispositions^ Ivan, but from the 
salutary defeat which King Stephen has inflicted upon him, 
will be all the less inclined to look for good results from this 
mission, in that in the letter there is not a word about religious 
matters." 3 

However difficult it was to check Bathory in his victorious 

1 See *Acta consist. (Consistorial Archives of the Vatican). 

2 See PAMIATNIKI, diplom. Snochenij, I., 6 seq. ; PIERLING, 
La Russie, II., 19 seq. 

3 See CIAMPI, I , 237 seq 


progress, Gregory felt that he ought not to let slip the oppor 
tunity of once more entering into closer relations with Russia. 
This view was shared by Cardinals Farnese, Madruzzo, Galli, 
and Commendone, to whom he showed the letter for their 
advice j 1 they approved of the decision which the Pope 
announced on March 6th, in secret consistory, to send an 
envoy to Russia as soon as possible, to treat, not only of the 
matter of the peace, but also of the reunion of the Czar s 
kingdom with the Church. 2 Out of consideration for Poland, 
and because Schewcrigin had no high standing, this duty was 
entrusted to a simple religious, Antonio Possevino, who had 
acquired a special knowledge of the state of northern and 
eastern Europe in the course of his previous missions. 3 Great 
things were hoped of his zeal, his learning and his eloquence. 
It was also an advantage that he enjoyed the favour of 

The departure of Possevino, who was to travel with 
Schewerigin, was delayed for a while, as Gregory XIII. wished 
the envoy of the Grand Prince of Russia to assist at the 
impressive ceremonies of Holy Week. 4 Schewerigin, who 
attended in great state, behaved with absolute respect at his 
visits to the churches. He especially admired the new 
buildings of St. Peter s, the ceremonies of Holy Week, and 

1 SeeMAFFEi, II., 183 seq. On March 4, 1581, *Sporeno reported 
that the four Cardinals were still in consultation. (Government 
Archives at Innsbruck). 

2 See Acta consist. (Consistorial Archives of the Vatican). 

3 Odescalchi, on March n, 1581, *reports the sending uf 
Possevino and takes occasion to bestow great praise on the zealous 
religious for his past activity, especially in Sweden (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). On the same day, *Bernerio also reports the 
mission (State Archives, Vienna). On March 4, Galli had con 
sidered it as probable; see KARTTUNEN, Possevino, 173, n. i. 
Here (on page 174) the author rightly observes that PIERLING 
trusted too much to Possevino s " Annales," for in them 
Possevino speaks only too often like a boastful old man. 

4 See "Odescalchi s memorandum of March 25, 1581 (Gonzaga 
Archives, Mantua). Cf. the *Avviso di Roma of March 22, 1581, 
Urb. 1049, p. 138 (Vatican Library). 


the piety displayed by the Roman people ; the fine discipline 
of the Swiss Guard also excited his admiration. 1 Possevino 
utilized the time before his departure by studying the works 
of Herberstein and Giovio on the strange country to which 
he was going. Gregory XIII. and Commendone placed all 
the documents in the Papal archives bearing on the subject 
at his disposal. 2 

In addition to letters to the courts of Russia, Poland 
and Sweden, 3 Possevino was given secret instructions, 
in accordance with which he was first to go to Venice to 
negotiate a commercial treaty between the republic and 
Russia, and then to bring about peace between Ivan and 
Bathory. Once this had been arranged, he was to press for the 
alliance against Turkey, to which the commercial treaty with 
Venice was to open the way, 4 and this, if possible, was to have 
its basis and guarantee of stability in the reunion of Russia 
with the Catholic Church. 5 

Possevino was given as his companions four of his fellow- 
religious, two of whom spoke the Slav language, as well as 
two interpreters. 3 As Schewerigin had, by Ivan s command, 
brought to the Pope a gift of precious furs, Gregory in return 
sent valuable gifts to the Grand Prince. Schewerigin himself 
received rich presents, so that he left the Eternal City on 
March 27th, 1581, together with Possevino, in a state of high 

1 See *Avviso di Roma of March 4, 8 and n, 1581, Urb. 
1049, pp. 101, 103, 109 (Vatican Library), and Avvisi-Caetani, 

2 Cf. TURGENEVIUS, Suppl. ad Hist. Russiae monumenta, 
Petropoli, 1848, 20 seq. ; PIERLING, La Russie, II., 25. 

3 See the text in Possevino s Moscovia, 57 seq., and in THEINER, 
Schweden, II., 63 seq. Cf. Relacye Nuncyuszow Apost., I., 343 seq. 
KARTTUNEN, Possevino, 175, n. 3. 

4 Cardinal Galli lays stress on these " arriere-pensees " in his 
*Memorie (Boncompagni Archives, Rome). 

5 See TURGENEVIUS, Hist. Russiae monumenta, Petropoli, 1841, 
299 seq. Cf. CIAMPI, I., 241 seq. ; PIERLING, La Russie, II., 
26 seq. 

6 See KARTTUNEN, Possevino, 176. 


satisfaction. 1 The journey was made by way of Austria, 
with a stay at Venice. In Venice Possevino discussed a 
league against the Turks, but the government maintained 
an evasive attitude. From Villach he paid a visit to the 
Archduke Charles at Graz, in the interests of a marriage 
between the Hapsburgs and the royal house of Sweden. He 
joined Schewerigin once more at Prague. There, as the Pope 
had given him several thousand scudi for the seminary training 
of missionary priests for the north of Europe, he founded a 
Papal seminary, which was very soon in a flourishing con 
dition. 2 His visit to the Emperor was without result. He 
then set out by way of Breslau for Poland, while Schewerigin 
continued his journey to Moscow through Liibeck. 3 

Bathory had viewed the coming of Possevino with 
considerable distrust. But the Jesuit was able by his 
shrewdness to overcome the prejudices of the king and win 
his confidence. It was of great advantage to the success 
of his undertaking that, as things stood, mediation was 
always desired in Poland. 4 

At the beginning of August, 1581, Possevino set foot on 
Russian soil, that is to say in a world which to a native of 
western Europe was as unknown as it was strange. Passing 
through Smolensk, on August loth, he reached Stariza on 
the Volga, where Ivan had his court. Two days later he 
presented the Pope s letter and gifts to the Grand Prince. 
The letter was written with consummate diplomatic skill. 5 
In it, Gregory recalled the relations between his predecessors 
and Russia, gave expression to his joy at the hostile feelings 
of the Grand Prince for the Turks, and declared himself all 
the more ready to intervene with Bathory in the cause of 

1 See "Odescalchi s report of April i, 1581 (Gonzaga Archives, 
Mantua). Cf. Avvisi-Caetani, in. 

2 See the *Sommario delle commissioni date da Gregorio XIII. 
al P. Possevino (Boncompagni Archives, Rome). 

3 See PIERLING, II., 45 seq. ; KARTTUNEN, 176 seq. 

4 Cf. PIERLING II., 53 seq., 57 seq. 

6 Printed in Possevino s Moscovia, 58. KARTTUNEN (Possevino, 
171) describes it as a diplomatic masterpiece. 


peace, in that the arms of Russia as well as Poland could 
then be turned against Islam. Since, as Posse vino would be 
able to explain more clearly, political union without a religious 
one was impossible, the Pope begged Ivan to study the 
deliberations of the Council of Florence, which he sent to him, 
in which the Greeks had recognized the Roman primacy, 
to present them to his theologians, and then send another 
embassy to Rome. The gifts consisted of a precious crucifix 
in rock crystal and lapiz lazuli, containing a relic of the True 
Cross, a copy of Michelangelo s Pieta in ivory, a rosary 
adorned with precious stones, and a copy of the decrees of 
the Council of Florence written in Greek. 1 

During his stay of nearly four weeks at the Russian court 
Posse vino had six audiences with the Grand Prince, which 
were for the most part very short. All the longer were his 
negotiations with the Boyars. In the latter Posse vino first 
of all maintained the necessity of an understanding, not only 
with Poland, but also with Sweden, as well as the formation 
of a general league against the Turks, which could only rest 
on a solid foundation if the same faith united all those who 
composed it. He pointed out that the Pope was not asking 
the Russians to make any sacrifice of their liturgy. With 
regard to the commercial treaty with Venice he pointed out 
that the Venetian caravans were always accompanied by two 
priests, and that it was therefore only right that these should 
be given free access to Russia, and be allowed to build a church 
for foreigners. 2 

The replies of the Russians showed that in diplomatic skill 
they were quite the equals of Possevino. They rejected the 
inclusion of Sweden in the peace negotiations, though they 
made the concession that the envoy of John III. should be 
given a hearing. The Venetians might be allowed to bring 
Catholic priests to Russia if the same concession was made 

1 See *Avviso di Roma of March 25, 1581, Urb. 1049, p. 141, 
Vatican Library. Cf. PIERLING, II., 85. 

2 See PIERLING, Bathory, 115 seq. ; La Russie, II., 86 seq. ; 
LERPIGNY, Arbitrage, 153 seq. Cf. THEINER, Annales, III., 353 
seq., where, for 1582, read 1581, 


to the Russians in the case of Venice ; it was quite out of the 
question to allow the building of a Catholic Church in the 
dominions of the Grand Prince. The negotiations concerning 
any religious reunion must depend upon the conclusion of 
peace with Poland. For the latter, Ivan laid down hard 
conditions : above all he demanded the cession of Narva, 
which would give him access to the Baltic. 

On receiving this reply Possevino went on September i2th 
to Bathory, whose position, on account of the stubborn 
resistance of the Russians, had changed greatly for the worse. 
He was therefore very ready for peace negotiations. 1 

The successes which the Swedes had in the meantime 
met with, made it clear to Ivan as well that an understanding 
with Poland was very desirable. Beginning on December 
I3th, 1581, the matter was discussed, with the mediation of 
Possevino, at the border village of Kiwerowa Horka, in the 
neighboroughood of Jam Zapolki, on the road to Novgorod. 
It was the depth of winter. In a small cabin, containing 
but one room, and with but primitive means of heating, the 
disciple of Loyola took up his abode, and, as Papal legate, 
was accepted by both parties as arbitrator. After unspeakable 
difficulties, he was at last successful, on January i5th, 1582, 
in arranging the terms of an armistice for ten years between 
Russia and Poland. 2 

After this Possevino repaired to Moscow, where he was 
received in audience by Ivan on February i6th, 1582. Although 

1 See PIERLING, La Russie, II., 90 seq., 97 seq. 

2 Cf. Possevino, Moscovia, 82 seqq. The complaint that the 
armistice unduly favoured Russia is not justified ; cf. Hist.-polit. 
Blatter, CXXVI., 357. See Relacye Nuncyuszdw Apost., I., 
421 seq., 429 seq. ; LERPIGNY, 231 seq. ; PIERLING, La Russie II., 
113 seq., 129 seq., 132 seq. KARTTUNEN (Possevino, 192 seq.) 
draws attention to the fact that political conditions also played 
an important part in the conclusion of peace ; but, at the same 
time, he remarks, quite rightly : " Batory aussi bien quTwan 
etaient beaucoup trop orgueilleux pour ceder 1 un a 1 autre. Si le 
jesuite ne s etait pas trouve la, la lutte aurait continue probable- 
ment jusqu a la defaite complete de 1 un ou de 1 autre." 


he obtained but little from the Czar in the matter of an 
exchange of prisoners, he was able to count with all the greater 
confidence on success in the matter of the anti-Turkish league, 
as, although Ivan had been obliged to give up Livonia, he 
had rendered important service to the exhausted Grand Prince 
by obtaining the ten years armistice. 1 But Ivan, now that 
he had obtained peace, had not the least intention of fulfilling 
his promises. Amid empty subterfuges he insisted that the 
Pope must first win over the states of Europe to such an 
alliance, and then treat of the matter at Moscow ; he was, 
however, prepared to send a fresh envoy to Rome, who was 
to make the journey with Posse vino. The passport for the 
Catholic priests of the Venetians was issued, and with regard 
to the sending of some young Russians to be educated in 
Rome in the ancient Greek faith he gave a promise without 
any binding force. 2 

On February 2ist, 1582, the reunion of Russia with the 
Church was debated. 3 This memorable discussion, which took 
place in the Kremlin, did not have the results which were 
desired and perhaps expected by Posse vino. Ivan, who 
prided himself a great deal on his theological learning, replied 
to Posse vino s appeal to the primacy of Peter and his successors 
by remarking that some of the later successors of the Prince 
of the Apostles had shown themselves unworthy of that 
position by their evil lives. Posse vino replied that they must 
not blindly believe all the accusations that were made against 
the Popes, and that in any case, the same thing applied to 
the Popes as to the Grand Princes, namely that there were 

1 According to LAVISSE-RAMBAUD (V., 752). 

2 See PIERLING, La Russie, II., 160 seq. ; UBERSBERGER, 
Russlands Orientpolitik, I., n. 

3 In addition to Posse vino s report in his Moscovia (31 seq.}, 
there is also a Russian one which agrees, more or less, with that 
of the Jesuit ; see SCHEIMANN, II., 393, n. i. Against Possevino 
and Pierling, WALISZEWSKI is at pains to show (Iwan le Terrible, 
Paris, 1904, 461), that the conference had not been arranged in 
advance, and that, on this occasion, the Czar was only accom 
panied by his ordinary entourage. 


good and bad ones, but that their right and prerogatives 
were always the same, no matter who filled the office . Carried 
away by rage, the Grand Prince exclaimed that the Pope 
was not a shepherd but a wolf. 1 To this insult Possevino 
replied with bold candour that it was a wonder that Ivan 
had sought the mediation of a wolf. Being thus driven 
into a corner, the Grand Prince gave a loud cry and grasped 
his sceptre which was tipped with iron, and with which he 
had a few months before killed his own son, and lifted it to 
strike at Possevino. 2 The latter, however, remained quite 
calm, whereupon Ivan again cooled down. They continued 
the discussion for a long time. Ivan reviled the Pope because 
in his pride he had himself carried in a chair and made men 
kiss the cross that was embroidered upon his shoe ; he tried 
to make a laughing stock of Possevino by asking him why 
he shaved, since it was considered an outrage to cut off one s 
hair and beard in Russia. Possevino answered these attacks 
calmly and to the point, but Ivan clung firmly to his contention 
that the Pope allowed himself to be worshipped as God. 
The antipathy for the Catholic Church felt by the Russian 
Grand Prince, and the prejudices against the latins which he 
had inherited from the Greeks, were fanned by the English 
merchants, who represented Rome as Babylon and the Pope 
as Antichrist, because it was the policy of the shrewd envoys 
of Queen Elizabeth to obtain a monopoly of the trade of 
Russia by parading the Protestant flag. 3 

1 Possevino did not dare to print this outburst in his Moscovia, 
though it is contained in his original manuscript ; see TURGENE- 
vius, Suppl. ad Hist. Russiae Monumenta, 104. 

2 BRUCKNER says (Geschichte Russlands, I., ^05) : " Possevino 
might easily have fallen a victim to his own zeal for conversion. 
It was a deed of daring to expose himself to the unbridled passion 
and brutality of a tyrannical opponent." According to LAVISSE- 
RAMBAUD (V., 752) : " Iwan IV. se montra de mauvaise foi dans 
le discussion, pedant, insolent." 

3 Cf. BRUCKNER, I., 405 ; PIERLING, La Russie, II., 166, 190 seq. 
For Possevino s written defence against the English attacks on 
the Pope see WERNER, Gesch. der polem. Literatur, III., 353 seq. 


Two days later Possevino was again invited to appear before 
the Grand Prince, who apologized for the expressions he had 
used against the Pope, and even asked for a memorial setting 
forth the doctrinal differences between the two churches. 
Nevertheless the schismatic sovereign had no serious thought 
of coming to any agreement. On the first Sunday in Lent, 
March 4th, a first attempt was made to induce Possevino to 
take part in the Russian worship, but in vain. Ivan, who 
wished to maintain his relations with the Pope, which were 
so useful to him politically, tried to persuade him up to the 
last moment ; the courageous Jesuit was courteously received 
in a farewell audience, 1 and in company with a Russian envoy, 
named John Molvianinow, set out on March I4th, 1582, for 
Riga, where he discussed with Bathory the best means for 
the restoration of the Catholic religion in Livonia, which had 
been secured by the peace ; he then set out on his return 
journey to Rome. 2 During his stay in Moscow, as was also 
done in the case of all the foreign diplomatists, he had been 
so closely watched over by a supposed guard of honour that 
he could not even go for a short walk, and thus had been 
unable to get into touch with anyone. 3 

On his way back to Rome, at the end of June, 1582, 
Possevino discussed with the Emperor his controversy with 
Bathory, and got Rudolph II. to accept the Pope as arbitrator. 4 
For the Anglo-Russian relations see also SCHIEMANN, II., 395 seq. ; 
G. TOLSTOY, England and Russia, 1553-93, St. Petersburg, 
1875 ; American Hist. Review, XIX. (1914), 525 seq. The 
question of kissing the foot was dealt with at the time by the 
Spanish theologian Jos. Stephanus (see HURTER, I., 186) in his 
work : " De adoratione pedum Rom. Pontif." which was not 
printed at Venice until 1578. It also appeared " Coloniae, 1580 " 
and " Romae, 1588." 

1 See POSSEVINO, Moscovia, 36 seq. 

2 See PIERLING, II., 177 seq. 

3 See PIERLING, Bathory et Possevino, 146. 

4 The dispute was about the towns of Szatmar and Nemety and 
still occupied the attention of the nuncio Malaspina ; see 
REICHENBERGER, I., xix seq. Cf. also VERESS, Berzwiczy Marton, 
Budapest, 1911, 158 seq. 


In Venice Possevino made it clear that there was nothing 
to be hoped from either Russia or Poland for the war against 
the Turks, and he accordingly made proposals of another 
kind for the defence of Christendom. 1 

On September I4th, 1582, amid the roar of the cannon of 
St. Angelo, and a great concourse of the people, the Russian 
mission made its entry into Rome. 2 There it still remained 
under the care of Possevino, to whom the rude behaviour 
and the barbarous habits of Molvianinow caused no little 
embarrassment. 3 

On September i6th their reception by the Pope, who was 
attended by fourteen Cardinals, took place in the Palace 
of S. Marco, in the Sala del Mappamundi. Here too Molviani 
now behaved in a boorish fashion. When his secretary failed 
to hand him the letter of the Grand Prince quickly enough, 4 
so that he might deliver it to the Pope, he struck him ! 5 No 
negotiations took place ; as the envoy had no powers there 
could be no more than an exchange of ideas and gifts. 

On October i6th, Molvianinow set out again with 
Possevino. 6 He carried for Ivan a letter from the Pope, 
in which Gregory XIII. expressed his satisfaction at the 
relations that had been opened through Possevino and 

1 See PIERLING, Bathory et Possevino, 168-93. 

2 See *Odescalchi s report dated Rome, September 15, 1582, 
Gonzaga Archives, Mantua. Cf. both the *Avvisi di Roma of 
September 15, 1582, Urb. 1050, pp. 332, 336, Vatican Library. 
See also the *Avviso di Roma of September 17, 1582, in the State 
Archives, Naples, C. Fames. 6. 

3 See PIERLING, loc. cit., 145, 215 ; cf. La Russie, II., 192 seq. 

4 Printed in POSSEVINO, Moscovia, 112. 

5 See MUCANTIUS, Diarium, in THEINER, III., 349 seq. ; PRIULI 
in MUTINELLI, I., 135 ; Lettres de P. de Foix, 601 ; *Donato s 
report of September 22, 1 582, State Archives, Venice ; *Odescalchi s 
memorandum of September 22, 1582, Gonzaga Archives, Mantua ; 
*Avviso di Roma of September 22, 1582, Urb. 1050, p. 344, 
Vatican Library. Cf. DENGEL, Palazzo di Venezia, 109. 

6 See *Avvisi di Roma of September 29, October 3 and 16, 
1582, Urb. 1050, pp. 360, 368, 380, Vatican Library; PRIULI in 
MUTINELLI, I., 137 seq. Cf. PIERLING, La Russie, II., 204 seq. 


Molvianinow between Russia and Rome, and welcomed as a 
matter for particular satisfaction the fact that Ivan in an 
earlier letter to Bathory had recognized the preservation ol 
the true faith in the Roman Church. He hoped that the 
Grand Prince would continue to hold this view. The Pope 
promised to further the league against the Turks, and informed 
Ivan that he might make use of Possevino for the future as a 
trustworthy mediator. The letter, which was furnished 
with a seal of gold, concluded with an expression of the Pope s 
pleasure at the free passage which had been granted to the 
merchants and their priests, and with an acknowledgment 
of the gifts of the Grand Prince. 1 This brought to an end 
the relations of the Holy See with Ivan, who died on March 
i8th, 1584.2 

The restoration of peace between Poland and Russia was 
certainly to the advantage of the kingdom of Bathory, and 
specially advantageous for Livonia, which he acquired by it. 3 
But the immediate results obtained by Possevino ended there ; 
with regard to the principal matter, the reunion of Russia 
with the Church, his mission had been a failure, as had been 
his earlier attempts in Sweden. Nevertheless he did not 
altogether despair of success. In his memorials to the Pope, 

1 The document has often been printed : in POSSEVINO, 
Moscovia, 114, in Relacye Nuncyuszdw Apost., I., 448 seq., in 
TURGENEVIUS, Hist. Russiae Monumenta, I., 393 seq., and in 
THEINER, III., 351 seq. The original with the attached Golden 
Bu]l is preserved in the archives of the Imperial House at Moscow ; 
cf. BUHLER, Reproduct. d anciens cachets Russes, I., Moscow, 
1880, p.v., where, however, for 1552, read 1582. In return for 
his presents, Ivan received a picture of Our Saviour. 

2 For Gregory XIII. s attitude towards Ivan s successor, see 
TURGENEVIUS, II., 3 seq. ; PIERLING, La Russie, II., 252 seq. ; 
cf. ibid., 271 for the Papal order, inspired by the General of the 
Jesuits, in accordance with which Possevino had to leave the 
Polish court, owing to the rivalry between Rudolph II. and Bathory 
which necessitated strict neutrality on the part of the Jesuit Order. 

8 Cf. ZAKRZEWSKI, Stosunki Stolicy Apost. z Iwanem Groznym, 
Krakow, 1872, and ARNDT in the Stimmen aus Maria-Lack, XXXI ,. 
240 seq., 503. 


which contain so much information of the highest importance 
as to the state of affairs in Russia, which was almost entirely 
unknown in the west , he recommends the training of special 
missionaries who should make themselves thoroughly 
acquainted with the language, and gradually impart to 
the neglected and ignorant people a true idea of western 
civilization and of the Catholic Church. 1 The introduction 
of any true missionary work on such lines proved to be 
impossible, yet the missions of Possevino had important 
indirect consequences which were realized in 1593 with the 
accession to the throne of Sigismund III., and in 1595, with 
the union of the schismatic Ruthcnian Church to that of 
Rome. 2 In putting an end to the Ruthenian schism, an 
event of the greatest importance for eastern Europe, 
Posse vino s fellow Jesuit, Skarga, as well as Gregory XIII. 
himself, had already played an energetic and important part. 3 

1 Cf. both Possevino s Commentarii which are printed in his 
Moscovia, i seq., and 12 seq., and WERNER, Gesch. der polem. 
Literatur, III., 341 seq. 

2 See KARTTUNEN, Possevino, 205 seq. ; cf. PELESS, Zur 
Geschichte der Union der ruthen. Kirche mit Rom, I., Vienna, 
1878, 507 seq. ; PIERLING, II., 219-27. See also Anz. der Krak. 
Akademie, 1891, 137 seq. 

3 Cf. supra, p. 402, and THEINER, III., 340, 433 seq. For the 
union of Polish Ruthenians brought about by Bolognetti and the 
Jesuits see MAFFEI, II., 350 seq. 


As he had done in the case of the various countries of Europe, 
Gregory XIII. also displayed so great an activity for the 
consolidation and spread of the Church in the Far and Near 
East, in Asia, Africa, and the New World, that he has rightly 
been called the Pope of the Missions. 1 Here too he found his 
best and most indefatigable helpers in the Society of Jesus. 
Like their founder, who at first had wished to devote his 
labours to the infidel as a missionary, the young followers of 
Loyola devoted themselves in a special way to carrying the 
Gospel to the peoples who were lost in the darkness of 
paganism. In this task Gregory XIII. supported and helped 
them in every possible way. 2 The unwearied labours of 
Francis Xavier, all on fire with zeal for the salvation of souls, 
had made it clear that the work for the conversion of Asia 
must be directed not only to the effeminate and visionary 
Hindoos and Malays, but rather to the Japanese and Chinese. 3 
During the period that followed the Japanese islands offered 
to the Jesuits a field of labour that held out high hopes of 
success. 4 

1 See KARTTUNEN, Gregoire XIII., 94 scq. Cf. GUIDO FERREKJ, 
*Vita Gregorii XIII., c. 4 (Papal Secret Archives). 

2 Cf. the countless dispensations and privileges enumerated 
in the Synopsis : 64, 67, 68, 70, 78, 82, seq., 84, 86, 94, 95, 96, 
97, 99-ioi, 108, 117 seq., 129, 132, 136, 138-9, 140. 

3 See Vol. XIII of this work, p. 315 seqq 

4 See L. DELPLACE, Le Catholicisme au Japon. Fra^ois 
Xavier at ses premiers successeurs, 1540-93, I., Bruxelles, 1909, 
77 seq. and HANS HAAS, Geschichte des Christentums in Japan, 
II. : Fortschritte des Christentums unter dem Superiorat des 
P. Cosmo de Torres, Tokio, 1904. Cf. M. STEICHEN, the Christian 

44 8 


When Francis Xavier left Japan in 1551, only a few hundreds 
of the natives, and those of the lowest class, had been won over 
to the religion of the Cross. Caspar Vilela, who returned to 
India in 1571, worn out by his long missionary labours, 
estimated the number of Christians at 30,000^ Among the 
new converts there was one of the sixty Daimios, and not a 
few of the most highly educated and learned men of the 
country. There were also isolated Christians in those places 
where the missionaries had not yet penetrated ; such were 
to be found, in the opinion of Ludovico Froes in 1566, in 
almost all the sixty-three .principalities into which Japan 
was at that time divided. 2 In the midst of the corruption of 
the representatives of Buddhism and Shintoism, the Japanese 
felt themselves more and more attracted in those difficult 
times to the missionaries, in whom they still saw the spirit 
of Francis Xavier. Compared to the comfortable life and the 
selfishness of the pagan priests, the generosity and the self- 
sacrificing care for the sick shown by the missionaries formed 
a contrast which made a deep impression. 3 

The zeal of the new converts corresponded to the heroic 
courage arid spirit of sacrifice of the missionaries. 4 They 
come on Sundays, wrote Baldassare Gago in 1559, 5 from a 
distance of two and three leagues, to the instructions for 
catechumens at Funai ; those who live further off arrive the 
evening before and spend the night at the hospital. On 
solemn feasts the church is too small for the number of the 
faithful, but their devotion and the tears with which they 
receive the holy sacraments make the missionaries blush. 

Daymios : A century of religious and political history in Japan 
(1549-1650), Yokohama, 1903. For a criticism of MURDOCH S 
History of Japan, Kobe, 1903, cf. THURSTON in The Month, 
1905, I., 291 seq., 388 seq. 

1 DELPLACE, I., 172. 

8 Ibid. 149. 

3 Cf. the opinion of the Japanese G. MITSUKURI in the Hist. 
Zeitschr., LXXXVII., 194 seq. 

4 See HAAS, II., 332-71. 

5 DELPLACE, I., 91. 

VOL. xx. 29 


Every Wednesday and Friday during Lent, after a seimon on 
the Passion of Christ, they take the discipline before the 
crucifix. Everywhere there is set up a system of works of 
charity for the poor, and the care of the sick ; meals in common, 
especially on the feast of the Visitation of Our Lady, help 
to foster the love and mutual good-will of the Christians. 
The steadfastness and constancy of the converts were no 
less great than their zeal. When the Daimio of Hirado 
persecuted the Christians in 1560, many went into exile 
and forfeited all their property. 1 When he was asked how 
far his love for Jesus Christ ought to extend, a boy of eleven 
replied : "as long as I am a Christian, even though I were 
to be cut into small pieces " ; 2 such replies are frequently 
recorded, even though at the utmost there were only isolated 
cases of true martyrdom. 3 

The joy experienced by the converts in feeling themselves 
to be members of a great universal Church, and children of 
the Vicar of Christ, was shown by the eagerness with which 
they asked the Pope for blessed Agnus Dei, or copies of the 
Sudarium. Some of them, wrote Lodovico Froes, pass eight 
days in prayer in order to merit the happiness of possessing 
such things. Some of the Agnus Dei had to be broken into 
1530 pieces, in order to satisfy the devotion of all the claimants. 
Every day boat loads of men and women arrived asking to 
share in these treasures. 4 

The results of the labours of the missions, when compared 
with the difficulties they were faced with, are all the more 
remarkable. At first the missionaries were only quite a 
small number. Until the end of 1563, there were never 
more than nine priests in the country ; in the following year 
they were increased by seven priests and eight lay-brothers, 
of whom four were Japanese ; in 1570 two more priests were 
added. 5 

1 DELPLACE, I., 96. 

2 HAAS, II., 342. 

3 DELPLACE, I., 94, 173. 

4 (I. P. MAFFEI), Rerum a Societate lesu in Oriente gestarum 
volumen, Coloniae, 1574, 351, 369. 

5 DELPLACE, I., 98. HAAS, II., 274. 


What was accomplished by this little band was the result 
of an inexhaustible perseverance, which never allowed itself 
to be discouraged, even when after years of work there were 
no visible results, and one of the frequent wars, or a change 
in the government, or the whim of a ruler seemed to have 
swept away all that had been won. From Kagoschima, 
where the work of the missions had been begun, the prohibition 
of the sovereign kept the missionaries away for a long time, 
and the Christian community to a great extent became 
demoralized. 1 A church was established amid great perils 
at Hakata, but almost entirely fell into ruins, because it 
was impossible to send any missionary there. 2 At Jamagutschi 
the progress that was made at first was considerable ; the 
governor of the city himself, Naito Takaharu, with two of 
his sons, two learned priests, who obtained Christian priests 
from Meaco, received baptism. But in 1556 the Daimio 
Joschinaga was driven out, and his successor Mori Motonari 
forbade the preaching of the Gospel, and for about twenty yeais 
the Christians there were without priests. 3 

The conditions were most favourable for the missionaries 
in the kingdom of Bungo. 4 The Daimio there, Otomo 
Joschischiga, had asked the viceroy of India for missionaries, 
and went so far in his courtesy towards them as to ask them 
once a year to dine with him. But as he did not himself 
embrace Christianity they were unable to win over the 
magnates of the district. For thirty years, a missionary 
wrote in 1580, we have undergone great labours and dangers, 
and the result has been that from time to time we convert a 
hunchback, a cripple, or a leper. A young Portuguese 
merchant, Luiz Almeida, who soon afterwards entered the 
Society of Jesus, had built out of his own means a hospital 
for deserted children, and another for lepers, where those 

1 HAAS, II., 192 seqq. 

2 Ibid. 94 seqq. 

3 DELPLACE, I., 79 seq. E. SATOW, Vicissitudes of the Church 
at Yamaguchi from 1550 to 1586, in Transactions of the Asiatic 
Society of Japan, VII., Yokohama, 1879, 131-56. 

4 HAAS, II., 72-111. DELPLACE, I., 83-96. 


who were suffering from venereal disease also found a refuge. 
Many came out as Christians from these hospitals, and their 
charitable work thus met with its reward, but this did not 
prevent Christianity from being looked upon, on account of 
its connexion with these hospitals, as the religion of the poor 
and neglected, to which those of high rank ought not to 
belong. In spite of this by 1556 there were about two 
thousand Christians in Bungo. 

There were about the same number in 1561 in the Island 
of Hirado, where the fickle Daimio, Matsuura Takanobu, 
was at one time favourable and at another opposed to the 
new religion, in each case in accordance with the political 
considerations of the moment. There the Jesuits found a 
supporter in Koteda, the powerful vassal of Takanobu, and 
the islands of Tukaschima and Ikitsu which were subject to 
him soon became almost entirely Christian. 1 

The preference which the Portuguese showed for the port 
of Hirado, suggested to Sumitada, the ruler of Omura, to the 
south, the idea of attracting Portuguese merchants to his 
state by offering great advantages to their merchants and 
missionaries. He offered them his port of Jokoseura, which 
they accepted. After several visits of courtesy, Sumitada 
began to take his relations with the missionaries more seriously; 
he began to wear a cross of gold in public, and went to visit 
the Jesuits at night, in order to discuss questions of religion 
with them, and at last openly embraced Christianity, and 
when, at the outbreak of the next war he went, in accordance 
with the Japanese custom, to visit the temple of the god of 
war, it was only in order to strike the idol with his sword. 
After this the Jesuits met with brilliant success at Omura. 
Soon, however, an insurrection of twelve of his vassals against 
the Daimio threatened once more to imperil the whole position. 
Sumitada found himself in great straits, but refused to purchase 
the submission of his vassals by abandoning his religion as 
they demanded ; he was saved by the intervention of his 
father, who was still a pagan. 2 

1 HAAS, II., 2f 7 seqq. 

2 Ibid. 229 seqq. 


The example of Sumitada decided his brother, the Daimio 
Joschisada of Arima to call in the Jesuits as well, to his 
beautiful port and city of Kotschinotsu. But here the cause 
of the Cross was again defeated and the missionaries driven 
out for a time. After their return almost the whole city 
embraced Christianity. In the Islands of Goto, whither the 
Daimio Takaaki summoned the Jesuits in 1566, he had his 
son baptized by the name of Louis. 1 In the Island of 
Amakusa even more seemed to have been obtained. The 
Daimio himself embraced Christianity, but very soon again 
apostatized, when he found that the commercial advantages 
which he had looked for from his conversion were not realized. 2 

All this progress, however, could not have any decisive 
effect, because these were all places of the second rank. The 
religious centre of the country was the capital, Meaco (Kioto), 
with its Holy Mountain of Hije, which was peopled by hundreds 
of monasteries of the bonzes. It was necessary for Christianity 
to get a footing there, if the whole of Japan was to be won. 
Such a thing, however, was only possible by slow degrees and 
with great difficulty. 3 Cosmo de Torres, the head of the 
mission, had sent thither in 1559 h* 8 two best fellow-workers, 
Caspar Vilela and the Japanese, Lawrence. Cross in hand, 
Vilela began to preach in the public streets, and aroused 
wonder even in the most exalted quarters. The Shogun 
himself (majordomo) summoned him twice to his presence 
and gave him a safe conduct. He soon aroused the hatred 
of the powerful bonzes, when he had converted about a 
hundred persons, including fifteen of the bonzes themselves. 
The position grew steadily worse, so that in August 1561 the 
missionary had no other course open to him but to leave the 
city, which, even apart from this, soon became the scene of 
military disturbances. Going back in the autumn of 1562 
Vilela had once more to leave about Easter, 1563, and from 
1565 to 1569 during the political disturbances which preceded 

1 Ibid. 258 seqq. 

2 Ibid. 262 seqq. 

3 DELPLACE, I., 100 seqq. HAAS, II., 113 seqq. 


the union of Japan, any permanent residence in the capital 
was impossible for the missionaries. 

Driven out from Meaco itself, Vilela continued to work 
indeiatigably in the surrounding district, and gradually 
obtained some results. Lodovico Froes, who was Vilela s 
fellow labourer from 1565, and later on his successor, pointed 
to this as a definite proof that everything could be won by 
persistence. " Despised," he says, " hated, stoned, persecuted 
in every way, treated as unworthy of any consideration, 
Vilela has never ceased to do all he could for the spread of 
the faith. To-day he is venerated and loved by two of the 
greatest dignitaries, and by the king himself, the supreme 
head of all Japan, who willingly converses with him. Great 
lords have become Christians, and he has built seven churches 
in a district covering from twelve to fifteen leagues. In spite 
of his weariness and weakness, he does not cease to labour, 
as though he were still in good health." 1 For six years 
Vilela had seen no European, and for three years he had been 
unable to say mass, because owing to the depredations of 
bandits it had been impossible to convey vestments to Meaco. 2 

In 1577 there were about 1500 Christians in the capital. 3 
In the surrounding district the progress had been greater 
and more rapid. For example, at the fortress of Imori 
500 Japanese asked for baptism within a short period, 
after an important official there, the secretary of the first 
minister of Meaco, had become a Christian. The reasons 
for his conversion are characteristic of the existing state of 
affairs in Japan. The bonzes of Meaco had demanded of 
the minister of justice the expulsion of Vilela, but the minister 
replied that it would first be necessary to examine Vilela s 
doctrine. The two bonzes who were entrusted with this 
examination both declared themselves in favour of Christianity 
and asked for baptism. This unexpected conversion led to 
that of the secretary and through his means to many others. 4 

1 DELPLACE, I., 113. 

2 DELPLACE, I., 106, 116. 

3 Ibid. 172. 

4 Ibid, no. 


Vilela made an even more interesting conversion in that 
of Takajama Hida-no-kami, governor of the fortress of 
Takatsuki, who was baptized under the name of Darius. 
Together with two other important nobles, he had invited 
Vilela and Lawrence to his house on the pretext of asking for 
instruction, but his real intention had been to cut off both 
their heads, if they, who spoke so much of the unreasonableness 
of the Japanese religion, should themselves say anything 
unreasonable. The result of the interview was that the 
governor himself, and his two guests, embraced Christianity. 1 
Of the two brothers of Darius, one, Francis Moriaku, com 
mandant of Sawa, was also a zealous Christian, arid the other, 
Wada (Vatandono), fell in battle before his conversion had 
been completed, but his favourable dispositions towards 
Christianity were even more important than those of his two 
brothers. For when the Shogun and the whole of the Wada 
family perished in an insurrection in 1565, he saved the 
Shogun s brother Gakkei, the heir to the Shogunate, by 
giving him shelter in his own castle. When Oda Nobunaga, 
the prince of Owari, took up arms on behalf of Gakkei, for 
the conquest of Meaco, and assumed the supreme power, 
Wada became all powerful with the new sovereign, and 
used his influence on behalf of the Christians. At his 
recommendation, the Jesuit Lodovico Froes was enabled 
to obtain a personal interview with Nobunaga, and received 
from him a document permitting the missionaries to live 
in Meaco, and setting them free from various disabilities. 2 

A new era in Japan, both in its political history and in that 
of Christianity, began with the accession to the throne of 
Nobunaga. Whereas that powerful sovereign acted un 
hesitatingly against the Buddhist priests, who had joined 
forces with his enemies against him, he showed the Jesuits 
so much favour that it was rumoured that he had secretly 
embraced Christianity. Although the ambitious monarch 
had no thought of any such thing, he nevertheless remained 
very friendly towards the Christian mission. Thus the hopes 

. 135. 
8 HAAS, II., 159 seqq. 


of Francis Xavier were at length to be realized. Father 
Organtino Gnecchi erected a church at Meaco, to the building 
of which the converts of the capital and the neighbourhood 
contributed. In memory of the day on which Francis 
Xavier first set foot on Japanese soil, he dedicated the church,