While the Venetian exiles ‘slumbered’ and longed for change, those who had remained in England were experiencing years of intense drama: a catholic Queen, the return of Cardinal Pole, reconciliation to the papacy, and then fierce persecution.2 Anglo-Italian ties, far from dissolving in the reign of Mary Tudor, were revivified, but in a radically changed form. Italian reformers like Ochino, Vermigli and Tremellio may have been bundled into boats bound for mainland Europe, but other Italian ghosts were less easily dealt with. The Nicodemite Francesco Spiera, safely dead in Padua, came into his own in Marian England because his story was so painfully relevant to the persecution.3 Meanwhile, Spiera’s chronicler, Pier Paolo Vergerio, continued to pour anti-Nicodemite propaganda into an England where many found themselves tempted to be ‘Nicodemites’. 4

Also, Cardinal Reginald Pole, who had left England for Italy as a result of Henry VIII’s policies, was summoned to reverse them in 1553. Pole’s past as an ‘Italian’ reformer was not forgotten; his critics, led by Vergerio, made sure of that, calling him a Nicodemite and a traitor. Thus, the kaleidoscope was shaken; in Queen Mary’s reign we are dealing with different patterns, but strong connections, between England and Italian reform.