Back to search results

Charles Stuart, Prince of Wales, and Pope Gregory XV 'Letters (1623)'

British Library, Harley MS 4931, f. 12r


Left margin: Pag. 1162. Pope Gregory the 15th, having writt to the Prince of Wales a Letter dated Apr. 20. 1623. the w[hi]ch the Nuncio of his Holines in Spaine, presented to him, being accompanied {by} the Italian Lords, y[a]t y[e]n w[e]r[e] in the Court. And the Prince {of} Wales ha-ving received [th]e Letter, sent this following {Replaie}, w[hi]ch was shortly after published.

Thrice Holy Father, I received the dispatch from yo[u]r Holiness, w[i]th greate content, & in y[a]t respect, w[hi]ch [th]e Piety, & Care, wherew[i]th yo[u]r Holines writes, doth require. It was an unspeakable pleasure to me to reade the generous exploits of the Kings my Predecessours, in whose memory posterity hath not given those Eulogies of ho-nour, as were due to them. I do believe y[a]t yo[u]r Holines hath sett their examples before my eyes, y[a]t I might imitate y[e]m in all my Actions; For in truth they haue oft exposed their estates, & liues for the exaltation of y[a]t Holy Seate. And the courage wherewith they haue assaulted the enemies of the Cross of Iesus Christ, hath not beene lesse y[a]n [th]e care, & thought w[hi]ch I haue, had to [th]e end y[a]t [th]e peace, & intelligence, w[hi]ch hath hitherto beene wanting in Christendome, might be bound w[i]th a true, & strong concord. For as the com[m]on enemy of the peace watcheth allwaiees to put hatred, & dissention among Christian Princes, so I belieue, y[a]t the glory of God requires y[a]t we shold endeavour to unite y[e]m. And I do not esteme it a greater honour to be descended from so greate Princes, y[a]n to imitate y[e]m in the zeale of their Piety. In w[hi]ch it helps me very much to haue knowne [th]e minde of o[u]r thrice honoured Lord & Father, & the holy intentions of his Catholique Ma[jes]ty, to giue an happy concurrence to so laudable a designe; for it grieues him extremly to see the greate evills y[a]t grow from the division of Christian Princes, w[hi]ch [th]e wisdome of yo[u]r Holines foresaw, w[hi]ch you iudged the marriage, w[hi]ch you pleased to designe be-tweene the Infanta of Spaine, & My Selfe, to be necessary to procure so greate a good. For t’is very cetaine, y[a]t I shall never be so extremely affectio-nate to any thing in the world, as to endeavour alliance w[i]th a Prince, y[a]t hath the same appr[e]hensions of the true Religion with my selfe. Therefore I entreate yo[u]r Holines to belieue, That I haue beene allwaies very farre fro[m] encouraging Novelties; or to be a part of any faction against the Catholick, Apostolick, Roman Religion; But on the contrary, I haue sought all occasions to take away the suspicion y[a]t might rest upon me; And y[a]t I will imploy my selfe for the time to come, to haue but one Religion, & one Faith, seing y[a]t we all belieue in one Iesus Christ. Having resolved to spare my selfe in nothing y[a]t I haue in the world, & to suffer all manner of discom[m]odities, even to the hazarding of my estate, & Life, for a thing so pleasing to God. It rests only y[a]t I thank yo[u]r Holines, y[a]t you haue beene pleased to afford me this leaue; & I pray god to giue you a blessed health, & his glory, after so much paines w[hi]ch yo[u]r Holines takes in his Church.

Charles Stewart./.


No introduction.


British Library, Harley MS 4931, f. 12r,

Languages: English

Creation date: 1623


Other Witnesses

Seventeenth Century Print Exemplars

No bibliography

Modern Print Exemplars

No bibliography

Selected Criticism

No bibliography

Keywords (Text Type)

  • letter

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • Catholicism
  • Reformation
  • diplomacy
  • Papacy
  • irenicism
  • Spanish Match

Transcribed by:

Howard Barlow (Research Assistant)