Cecil Papers: February 1585

Pages 91-96

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


February 1585

140. Charles Paget to the Queen of Scots.
1584/5, Feb. 4/14. The revolution which has taken place in the estate of Her Majesty, of her son, and of himself, since the intelligence between her Majesty and her friends has been broken, is very great. Her Majesty's keeper is changed, and she more straightly kept than heretofore, the Government of the State of Scotland altered, and such as her son made most account of removed, the Lord Paget, Morgan, Throgmorton and himself denounced as traitors, and their livings and goods seized into the Queen's hands, and them driven to seek relief of foreign princes, who are not so fervent in the consideration of their estates in particular as might be wished.
But God disposeth everything for the best, and especially for the benefit of their souls, and will in the end, he doubts not, recompense her Majesty for the crosses she has endured for his sake, and all others who according to their callings have endured for him. Meanwhile none is to be discouraged by what loss soever happen, but both by speech and personal apparence is still to do what lieth in him for the advancement of God's cause and of her Majesty's service and comfort.
With regard to the state of Scotland, so far as he can learn and judge upon what is passed there, he finds that, the matter being well managed, that which the Queen of England had thought to have wrought to the ruin of her Majesty and of her son, may prove to her own destruction and their advancement. For her Majesty's son is in mind less at the Queen of England's disposition than he was before, and such as be near about him and of greatest force in the country are of the same mind, and may be drawn not only to be at her Majesty's devotion, but also to be ministers to do what service they can for the advancement of her liberty. Is put in better hope of this, because the Lord Claud Hamilton is restored to all his dignities, and to her son's favour, who has besides sent a special letter for his return, with a postscript in his own hand. Lord Claud shewed him her son's letter, and begged him to assure her Majesty of his faithful and dutiful mind towards her, and of his desire to do her service. This he verily believes he will accomplish, because he finds him a very honourable and sufficient nobleman, and is the more fortified in that opinion, because, since his coming here, Lord Claud hath truly learned God and the Catholic religion, and so professetb himself. He also doubteth not but that he will be able in a short time to draw his brother to be of that opinion, and to make a straight league between himself, the Earls of Huntley and Morton, and divers others, and that her Maiesty's son will be contented therewith, which being so, it cannot be but that the Earls of Angus and Mar with that faction will be suppressed, according to their ancient demerits of undutiful behaviour. The Lord Claud has also prayed him to be a humble intercessor to her Majesty to pardon the faults of his brother the Lord of Arbroath towards her, on the understanding that he should run dutiful courses for the time to come, and to write so much to him the Lord Claud, in order that he may shew it to his said brother, upon which he verily hopes to assure him in any course her Majesty shall command him unto.
For his part, advises her Majesty not only to observe this course, but also to write a very gracious letter to the Lord Claud, and to put some money into his hands to be employed in her Majesty's service, knowing right well that without money there will be no good done in Scotland. To this end her Majesty is to call on the Spanish Ambassador for the 12,000 ducats promised for the advancement of her affairs, which is not yet paid. The latter is greatly affected to do her Majesty service, and very desirous to have an answer to his last letter to her, and to be directed what she would have him to do touching the affairs of Scotland. Assures her Majesty that there is nothing so sure and so honourable as an association between her Majesty and her son, which will moreover stir princes to relieve her estate. That then all travail and persuasion should be used that her son may be made Catholic, and secretly to announce the same to his Holiness and the Catholic King, and so shall he be assured to have all the help and aid they can give him. Otherwise, they say, to comfort him, being a Protestant, were against the law of God and their own safety, and in the end could not but prove to her Majesty's danger.
When the Duke of Guise giveth his despatch to the Lord Claud, will be able to judge in what sort the latter departeth contented. He hath divers times said to him, [Paget,] that no cross of fortune or ill treatment whatsoever should make him forget his duty to her Majesty, but hath often complained to him that, notwithstanding the fair promises made to him for the provision of his honourable treatment here, if he would leave England, never to this hour hath he had one penny yielded him. Imputes no fault therein, however, to the Duke of Guise, who is not in a state to yield so much as his affection would afford.
Expresses his regret that the intelligence between her Majesty, her son, and her servants is closed up, which shall be repaired with all possible speed. Her Majesty's services would be better performed if her most faithful servant Morgan were at liberty, to procure which he has been as careful as if it were for himself, but does not find that forwardness which could be wished in others, who ought most to respect him. Doubts lest some ill willers of Morgan have complained to the Duke of Guise against him. Begs her Majesty to make good her recommendation of Morgan to the Duke, and to her Ambassador, and to desire them to maintain the credit of such as she has given credit to, notwithstanding any attempts that may be made to deface them. For himself, however, has no cause to write thus, for he finds the Duke well enough disposed towards him. Suspects Lord Glasgow much in these things, considering how the Lord Seton, God pardon his soul, told him and Morgan that he sought to discredit them both to the Duke of Guise.
Lord Paget has willed him to present his most humble and dutiful service to her Majesty, being safely arrived at Madrid, where he will employ himself by all possible means to do her service, and to advance the common cause with the King of Spain.
Lord Claud has just come from the Duke of Guise, from whom he states he received very courteous entertainment bywords, but not otherwise, and has since taken his leave of the King of France and of the Queen Mother, by whom special charge was given him to speak to her Majesty's son, to acknowledge his duty towards her, and to accord to the association her Majesty desires. For his own part, never met with nobleman whose nature he liked better than the Lord Claud's, and verily thinks that he will prove a notable instrument to do great good.
If her Majesty has occasion to write to the King of Spain, or to his Ambassador here, prays her to take occasion to write in favour of the payment of the pensions of the Lord Paget and himself, otherwise he fears they will never be paid, such is the dulness of Princes' liberality here.—February 14.
5 ¼ pp. [Murdin, pp. 463–467. In extenso]
141. Robert Bruce, of Bemie, to the Queen of Scots.
1584/5, Feb. 7. For four years and a half past, on his first deposing of the charge which he had exercised before in her Majesty's service under her Ambassador, has assayed by many ways and at divers times to signify to her Highness his bounden devotion, and to pray her humbly to approve the same, but hitherto, either through want of intelligence, or he cannot tell through what affection of the said Ambassador, has not understood anything of her Majesty's inclination towards him, which he nevertheless trusts always to be favourable.
Begs now to notify to her Majesty by Mr. Morgan, that, after long and manifold persuasion and promises made unto him by some of the chiefest of the Jesuits in the name of the said Ambassador, and at his own instance, he is returned to this town from Pont à Mousson in Lorrain, to be employed in such weighty affairs and enterprises as were in deliberation this last year, and especially to travail, by means of the Duke of Guise his letters, that the King her Majesty's son should declare himself secretly to his friends to be of the Catholic religion, if he bear it any affection, or to hear such as may give him true and sufficient information thereof, if he be of the contrary opinion. But it is to be feared that heresy hath cast such deep roots in his Highnesses heart, that, without some extraordinary help of God, it shall pass all industry of man to pull out the same. For which cause, and because he has stayed near four months in this town at his own expenses without hope of reimbursment, he purposes going into Scotland by the first commodity. Craves of her Majesty, as a recompense of his travels and fidelity in her service, some testimony of the same, favourably recommending him to the King her son, so that he may enjoy the benefit of his country and of his small commodities, and have the better means to serve God and her Majesty.—Paris, 7 February.
[Murdin, pp. 458/459. In extenso.]
142. Lord John Hamilton to the Queen.
1584/5, Feb. 7. “Lest the sinister information of sum that hes evir, ondir the pretence of frendschip, socht to draw me from treu religioun, and from my sinceir Affectioun to zour hienes, suld in my absens work sic effectis as long ago thay haif imaginit for my ruin, I have takin the boldness to writ and subscryve withe my hand that quhilk in hart theis mony zers I have thocht, and of lait be spech hais delyverit to zour Matie, quhilk is : that, withe out respect of ony, I am and sal be zour Matis faithful Servand to my lyvis end, assuring zour hienes that no kynd of fortoun, advers or prosperous, sal dryve me thair fra, how so evir sum decetful personis seik to sklander me, quhilk thay do for no other caus bot to put me out of zour Matis favour, becaus they could not persuade me to partissipat withe thame in thair malicious cours. And besydis this, I promis faythfully to zour hienes that I sal not intreit, negotiat, or accept conditionis from Scotland, be thay nevir so greitly to my advantage, bot be Zour Matis knawledge, houping assuretly that it sal pleis zour Matie consider deiply of my distres, bothe for that the injurie done to me tuichis zour Matie in honour, as also becaus I have left al otheris, and renderit myself obedient to zour Matis plesour. How maters gois in Scotland I can not sertifie zour Matie, til I heir of my servand, quhome I have send thidder. Sua, eftir I have maist humblie Kissit zour hienes handis, I pray God, Madame, to preserve zour Matie in lang lyf and gud health.—From Widdrington, the vii of Februari, 1584.”
Endorsed :—“A vowe of Service.”
Holograph. 1½ pp.
143. Thomas Morgan to the Queen of Scots.
1585, Feb. 15/25. About three months past, Fontenay sent a coffer to this country, in a secret place in the bottom of which he hid certain letters written by the King her Majesty's son to her, and to the Duke of Guise, Monsieur de Mayne and the Bishop of Rosse. The said coffer was addressed to Du Ruisseau, but never opened by him until now, which is the reason why her Majesty's letters have been so long by the way.
On Saturday the Earl of Derby arrived here, and is lodged in l'Hostel nigh the Louvre, which was magnificently furnished for him. He was conducted from St. Denis by Monsieur de Montpensier.
Yesterday, the said Earl, accompanied by the Ambassador Legier for England, had audience, which was but short, when he delivered two several letters to the King. The Order of the Garter is to be presented to the King on Thursday next, but it is not decided whether the same shall be done in the Louvre or in the church, because of the difficulty the heretics make to come to the Catholic church. The best sort murmur not a little to find the King so disposed to entertain amity with heretics of all parts, and to offend the King of Spain, whom he hath cause to honour, but these things will not long be borne with, but must needs bring forth strange mutation in this realm. On the question where the said Garter should be presented, thought well to intimate secretly into the heads of the Cardinals and good prelates of the church the sentence of excommunication denounced by Pius Quintus against her of England, which is yet in force and was never revoked, and to allege that the said Cardinals and prelates might not assist with their presence any ceremony, which is put to favour the excommunicate, by favour of the Queen of England, and for the maintenance thereof has delivered amongst them a true copy of the said sentence. This day the matter was discussed at the table of the Cardinal of Bourbon, at which many prelates were present, and the Cardinal declared that he thought not with his presence to assist and honour the negociations of the Queen of England.
A league has been concluded between his Holiness, the Emperor, the King of Spain, and the Princes and States Catholic, for the suppression of heresy, and this King has been moved by his Holiness to join the league, but has taken time to deliberate. If the King dissent from this holy union, his Holiness is like to trouble this realm, and perhaps to dispose of the same “in predam” rather than suffer the same to stand to support heresy.—Paris, 25 February.
2 pp. [Murdin, p. 467. In extenso.]
144. Archibald Douglas to the Queen.
[1584/5], Feb. 16. As he may not come himself, asks to whom he may communicate, for the Queen's use, the contents of the letter lately received from the Master of Gray, which testifies his devotion to the Queen as well as to his own Sovereign. The King of Scots approved the negotiation, and assembled his whole Council, “wherein was concluded that the Association desired by his mother should not be granted nor spoken of hereafter, and that Nau should not be permitted to come [into Scotland].” Means and reasons for improving the amity between the two countries; the Queen to send some secret personage with a present of horses, and to take order for relieving debts justly contracted in Scotland, &c. If the Master of Gray were frustrate of his expectations at Elizabeth's hands, he would hasten to carry his Sovereign into some other course, and, all peril removed, make offer of him to whoever would give most. He is like to have the assistance of the King's mother, “who has already by her letters certified to her man Fontenay in Scotland, and to divers others there, willing them to advertise him that the Master of Gray had made promise to the Queen of England that he would kill the Earl of Arran, and, failing thereof, that one Roger Ashton, an Englishman in the King's service, would poison him.”—16 February.
Endorsed :—“Douglas to the Queen of England.”
145. Thomas Levington to the Queen of Scots.
1584/5, Feb. 23. Fontenay being upon his return to France by her command, it is needful that her Majesty have some man of good office here at Court, to build upon the foundations laid by Fontenay. To this effect the writer would wish Arran were remembered by the Queen in good terms. Thinks he and the young courtier might easily be divided, if the Queen have found her honour and way interested by him in his voyage to those parts. Dares not write upon the common rehearsal, but suspends his judgment, not doubting but her Majesty's Secretary, who lay at London for the time, knew particularly of his proceedings.—23 February 1584.
P.S.—Seton sheweth the death of his father, his faithful service to this Queen, and, for a pledge and last witness of his fidelity, did wholly dedicate this Seton his son unto her.
Copy. ¾ p.