Cecil Papers: January 1585

Pages 89-91

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 3, 1583-1589. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1889.

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January 1585

136. Charles Paget to the Queen of Scots.
1584/5, Jan. 4/14 Has talked with the Spanish Ambassador of the proceedings of the King of Scotland. He marvelled at the King's taking the supremacy of the Church, at his refusing conference with Catholics, and treating with the Queen of England, from which he argued his resolution to remain a Protestant. I replied that the first declared his great dislike of the Ministers, and desire to abridge them of their authority; the supremacy being in his own hands, he might the easier dispose it to the person to whom it was due, than when it was at the disposition of so many. For the second, he was not to be blamed, considering the dangerous state he stood in, not having any about him of his own nation that was to be trusted, or of sufficient learning to talk with him, unless some Jesuit or priest, who, if discovered had conference with him, were enough to procure some traitorous act against his person. His treating with the Queen of England was to win time, and stop her malice. Should she now invade him, his own subjects being so disloyal and no foreign aid assured to him, it would be his ruin. If there might be any course tendered unto him from the Pope and the King of Spain, he would take hold of it heartily. His coldness in making an Association with your Majesty was due to the negligence of others. The Ambassador marvelled he did nut send to the Pope : was it comely his Holiness or the King of Spain should send to him ? I answered, that, in respect they were both greater Princes, it were not; but because he had ever been brought up in the religion ho now professeth, and never had (being young) experience how to direct himself in these cases, it were not uncomely for both to use all the practices and means they could to win him to be a Catholic. “Well,” quoth he, “he must be a Catholic, afore there will be any good done. Nor the Pope nor the King of Spain will enter into any action afore they be assured thereof.” From this you may fully collect that there is not that expectation to be had of the matter your Majesty wotteth of this spring coming. New devices every day to breed delays. The monstrous oath of association is to entrap your Majesty, and cut off your whole line. The Earl of Leicester supposeth you to be privy to the setting forth of the book against him. Give me leave to remember unto you my conceit. He thinketh there were no way so sure to escape as to clothe yourself in man's apparel, and to have one woman so clothed to attend you. I have procured one Alban Doleman, a priest, to go from this town within 6 days to England. He has entire and familiar friendship with Henry St. John, of Hockering in Norfolk. The best of the family is a Catholic in heart, notwithstanding he yieldeth to the time. Doleman has lived in England fifteen years is of comely personage, and when attired like a gentleman of good calling as commonly, one would esteem him a Justice of the Peace. He will call himself Allison. I have given him sixty crowns towards his charges into England. I ask pardon for any rashness.
Mr. Charles Arundel swore he would go into England, because he could not get the money he had lent to your Majesty. I devised with Morgan that he should say he had got the money of your officers, and so, as parcel of your debt paid by your officers, he hath with much ado taken the thousand crowns, which I have disbursed with much difficulty. Rather than he should have gone into England, I would have sold my garments off my back, &c.—From Paris, 14 January.
Copy. 5 pp. [Murdin, pp. 435–39. In extenso. The original cipher (with decipher) is in State Papers (Mary, Queen of Scots), Vol. XV., Nos. 6 and 7.]
137. Roger Aston to Thomas Fowler.
[1585], Jan. 24. Touching a letter he has received from “my lord Enbyter,” the contents of which he discusses, &c.—Edinburgh, January 24.
2 pp.
138. Arguments against Popery.
1584/5, Jan. 30. Major Proposition.—The practice of Popish tyranny is, when any clergyman, by any pretended authority (above the common authority equally given by the word of God to all lawful ministers of the church), will take upon himself to make any interpretation of the Scriptures, according to the private opinion of himself and Some others, to bind or to loose men's consciences, or thereupon will urge his poor brethren of the ministry to subscribe to his said interpretation, and, for refusing to subscribe, doth bar the refusers from preaching the Word of God.
Minor Proposition.—The Archbishop of Canterbury, and other Bishops by and under him, have practised this pretended authority aforesaid of supreme power to interpret the Scriptures, and to urge subscription thereunto as aforesaid.
Conclusion.—Therefore the Archbishop of Canterbury hath practised Popish tyranny, to the endangering of her Majesty's safety.
1 p.
139. Thomas Morgan to the Queen of Scots.
1585, Jan. 31./Feb. 10. Gives the heads of a secret conference with Robert Bruce, whom he advised to offer his service to her Majesty in most humble manner, and to receive her advice and directions as to his proceedings, and to arrange for some direct means of intelligence between himself and her Majesty.
Ferniherst is made Warden of the Middle Marches towards England, of whose service he hopes her Majesty may always dispose, and therefore remains ready to serve and pleasure him all he may in his affairs in these parts. He says that the state he has is “chargeable,” and would, therefore, fain have some support and continuation of his pension of the King of Spain, and would enterprise, being comforted, all he may for her Majesty's service.
Mons. d'Entragues hath been here these days past, and he has visited him, the more readily because he perceives that de l'Aubespine and he are great friends. D'Entragues has promised him that he will work de l'Aubespine for her Majesty's service, whereof he will be mindful as in duty bound.
They expect here within a few days the Earl of Derby, who comes accompanied by 250 followers. This King is determined to treat him well, having already given order to prepare his lodging, and to allow him 2,000 francs by the day towards the expenses of himself and of his company.
The Ambassadors of Flanders have been in this country these three weeks, but could have no audience until Derby was arrived with ample instructions from her of Engrand, who travaileth so earnestly to embark the King, as she did his brother in the affairs of the Low Countries. For this purpose chiefly, Derby and the Ambassadors of the States come hither at present, though the coming of Derby is covered with the Order of the Garter, but these practises are easily discovered, and the King of Spain doth provide therefor.
Sir Francis Englefield wrote to him lately, to ask how her Majesty's intelligence with Mendoza was continued since his coming to this charge, and asking him to put him and Mendoza into correspondence together.
Considered it no part of his duty to reveal to Sir Francis Englefield with whom her Majesty's intelligence was continued or discontinued, unless she first gave him licence to do so, and therefore Sir Francis is likely to have no answer from him upon that point, yet will endeavour to put him and Mendoza in communication.
The Bishop of Ross labours for means to make his voyage into Scotland, whereof the Pope alloweth well, but giveth no support as yet. The Nuncio here advised him to write to one Doctor Lewes, who is in a special good place about the Pope, and has frequent access to his Holiness, to intercede for him. Suggests that if her Majesty took occasion to thank Lewes for his favour towards Ross, it would be a great encouragement to him to serve her Majesty and all hers.
Charles Arundel has sounded the English Ambassador to accept a pension, and to be content to join himself to serve the Catholic Church and to honour her Majesty. After long debating between them, the Ambassador concluded that he would serve her of England during her life, and in the meanwhile would do no evil offices between her Majesty and the other, but rather by all labour study to preserve amity between them.
The Lady St. John, being sister to the Duchess of Feria, has reminded the Bishop of Ross to deal with the latter by letters, to practice with her friends in England to serve and honour her Majesty, and he and the Bishop have jointly written to the Duchess to that effect. Will not forget to solicit the Lady Morley, who is newly arrived, to deal with her brother the Earl of Derby to respect and honour her Majesty, and to acknowledge her favours towards his house, and particularly towards her in her banishment.—Paris, 10 February.
[Murdin, pp. 459–63. In extenso.]