Oxford's Italian Journey

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Oxford left Paris for Strasbourg about 15 March 1575.

In Strasbourg Ralph Hopton detached himself from Philip Sidney's entourage, and joined Oxford's.

Oxford left Strasbourg for Venice on 26 April, deliberately avoiding Milan; presumably he entered Italy by way of the Brenner Pass.

Oxford was in Venice by May (Richard Shelley letter).

William Lewin left Paris for Venice about 14 June, tracing Oxford's footsteps; Lewin had got only as far as Strasbourg by 20 July, where he learned that Oxford was in Venice with Ralph Hopton.

On 23 September Clemente Paretti reported that Oxford had just returned from Genoa; furthermore, that Oxford had earlier hurt his knee in a Venetian galley (i.e., a gondola?). Reports were abroad that two noble gentlemen from Polonia had been killed in Padua, and that the blame was being laid on Gentiluomini Inglesi; these reports, however, were not to be credited.

The following day, 24 September, Oxford himself reported to Burghley that he had just returned to Venice, where he was experiencing a fever which had hindered his travel. He wrote of Italy, "I am glad I haue sene it," which implies that he had travelled more or less extensively over the summer. He had sent one of his servants back to England - could this have been William Lewin? Moreover, one Luke Atslow, who had been his servant, had gone over to the Roman church.

On 6 October Pasquino Spinola congratulated Burghley on Oxford's safe return to Venice from Milan.

On 27 November Oxford wrote Burghley from Padua.

On 11 December Spinola reported to Burghley that Oxford was resolved to see "the rest of Italy" and meant to leave Venice the next day (12 December) for Florence.

On 3 January 1576 Oxford wrote Burghley from Siena. He referred to Lewin as one who should make a view into his lands. (Was Lewin the bearer of this letter? or had Lewin left earlier?)

On 23 March Benedetto Spinola informed Burghley that he had received a letter from his brother (Pasquino) at Venice, dated 26 February, reporting that Oxford would travel home by way of Lyons, and would set out from Venice after Carnival. Orazio Cogno reported that Oxford's party left Venice on the Monday before Lent, that is, on 5 March.

On 21 March Valentine Dale wrote from Paris that Oxford had arrived there.

On 31 March Francis Peyto wrote Burghley from Milan stating that Oxford had passed by that way.

Conclusion:

Oxford first arrived in Venice in May 1575, made it the base of his operations, and interrupted his stay on at least three different occasions:

1) between May and 23 September, when he visited Genoa and Milan (also Palermo, Sicily?)

Oxford was back in Venice on 23 September.

2) on 27 November, when he visited Padua

Oxford was in back Venice on 11 December.

3) between 12 December and 26 February 1576, when he visited Florence and Siena (he was in the latter city on 3 January).

Oxford was back in Venice by 26 February and remained until 6 March.

4) Oxford left Venice for Paris on March, travelling via Milan and Lyon.

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