Edward VI: December 1550

Pages 63-65

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Edward VI 1547-1553. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1861.

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December 1550

Dec. 4.
264. Sir John Masone to the Council. He received their letter of the 30th ult. at Chartres, which the King having just left, he could not see the Constable until his Majesty's arrival here on the 28th. Reports at much length the conversation between them as to maintaining amity between the two nations. "The Scots bear a fell rout in this Court and be much made of all estates;" much flattering talk he has from them, but thinks that some do speak as they think, and do bear stronger will to the English than they do to the French. In one point they all agree, that the English shall not, by their will, have one foot more of ground in Scotland than they had before the war, unless they have the whole, "which some say by their false faith they do wish they had." Is very anxious about Ireland, which he has "every day in his dish;" the noblemen there, with the majority of the people, being ready to give themselves to a new master. Paris, who is again sent to Ireland with replies to the letters of McWilliam and others, has told his "friends that he doubteth not to see the French King shortly to bear the crown of Ireland," and that he hopes "to bring jolly news" when he returns at the end of Lent. This brag he hears every day. The ships which are being built were commenced during the late wars by private persons, who offered them to the King at a certain price, and now finding that they have been overshot in the bargain, are imploring the King to allow them a farther supply, as they have expended the amount and the ships are not half finished. Meanwhile the work goes very slowly on. There is a dispute in Piedmont between the Emperor and the French King, similar to that between the latter and the English in regard to Sandingfeld. Proclamations have been issued to restrain freedom of speech touching the French King and the Council. "They were wont in their farces to spare no man; but now they are bridled for that point." Desires that the like restriction were in England. The Duke of Nemours is to be married to Messire Robert de la Marche's daughter, niece to the Duchess of Valentinois, and Louis Monsieur to Madame de Touteville [d'Estouteville]. These marriages are to let the Emperor understand that they "are here as busy in that kind as he." The King of Bohemia is supposed to have gone by sea, and a great part of his train through France by land. Sends a book supposed to be written or abetted by some Scot, the lewdness of the device whereof he will declare to the Constable out of hand, and do his best to discover the author. Thanks them for permitting him to return. Sends a proclamation received from the Constable relating to shipping. [Eleven pages. Copy in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book.]
Dec. 4.
265. Sir John Masone to Sir William Cecil. Thanks him for assisting in obtaining his recall. Has written also to thank the Duke of Somerset and the Earl of Warwick, at whose good agreement he rejoices. There is much talk of the dissensions in England. Offers his opinion on the mistaken policy of a proclamation in England touching the price of cheese and butter. Desires the interference of the Council on behalf of Mr. Warner, who has been very ill handled at Winchester. As he has not heard who is to be his successor, has sent the names of some whom he considers fit. [Two pages. The greater portion printed by Tytler, Vol. i., p. 340.]
Dec. 12.
266. King Edward VI. to Christian King of Denmark. Refers to the mission of Albert Knoppert, mentioned in the previous letter of 18th November. Some of the English merchants complain that the dues exacted at Elsinore from all ships of whatever tonnage, which prior to 1548 never exceeded a Henrician noble, of the value of ten shillings, have been raised to one pound on every hundred of the value of the freight, both going and coming. Requests that the ancient customs may be restored, or reason for this modern innovation be given by letter from his Majesty. Signed by his Majesty. [Latin. Broadside.]
Duplicate, signed by the Council, viz.: Somerset, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rich Lord Chancellor, Warwick, and Bedford. [Latin. Broadside.]
Copy of the preceding in modern writing.
Another copy.
Dec. 17.
267. The Council to Sir John Masone. Mention their conference with the French Ambassador on the preceding Sunday, when he made various trifling objections to the Commission for settling depredations. Complain of the conduct of the French Commissioners for the boundaries in advancing groundless claims, and desire him to request an audience of the French King for the purpose of remonstrance. [Five pages. Copy in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book.]
Eod. die. Draft of the preceding. [Ten pages.]
Dec. 17. 268. Sir Richard Morysine to Cecil. Complimentary and apologetic for the "toys" which he had introduced in his letters. In future will do on more gravity, and keep mirth where he has more need of it. [Three pages. Printed by Tytler, Vol. i., p. 344.]
Dec. 29.
269. "These are the news sent by Courtpenynk from Hamburg." Giving an account of the military operations in Saxony, the sortie of the besieged in Magdeburg, and their defeat and capture of the Duke of Mecklenburg. The French Ambassadors are still in Denmark, but the object of their mission has not transpired. [Two pages. Copy, apparently by Dymock.]
Dec. 30.
270. Sir John Masone to the Council. Had received their letter of the 17th on Christmas eve, and on St. Stephen's day had audience of the French King. Details this conference, and a subsequent one with the Constable on the same points of remonstrance; at both of which amity was strongly professed and entreaty made for friendship between the English and the Scots. Erskine arrived this day with the conclusion of peace between the Emperor and the Scots. Warlike preparations both by sea and land are great, and the completion of the ships formerly mentioned is hastened. Lately at Court war against the English had been strongly urged, on the ground of their internal dissensions, want of supplies, &c. The galleys for re-conveyance of the Queen Dowager of Scots are still at Rouen. The Earl of Huntly is lodged at Court, and much called to secret conferences; he has been twice or thrice with Masone making profession of friendship to the English, explaining his escape, and his desire to have a safe conduct to return by land. The French King leaves soon after Twelfthtide for Tours, and is reported thereafter to go to Guienne. The Landgrave had nearly escaped from Mechlin; if he had "there would have been shortly a jolly revel in Allmaigne." The Rhinegrave and his brother are reconciled. Chastillon, after long absence, has returned to Court, bringing with him 30 or 40 captains, and above 100 great horses. Among other marriages "muttered," is that of the Dauphin with the Queen of Scots. "Wavering Dr. Smythe," (fn. 1) who is presently reading at Paris, begs permission to return; his leaving England "was, he sayeth, for lack of living, being less ashamed to beg here than at home." States his own financial difficulties; he has exhausted his credit in England, sold all his own plate, "and shall shortly be driven for very extremity to do the like with the King's." "If the realm be in that poverty that the King's ministers of honour, who were wont to be served with the first, cannot be paid six months after the day, God help!" [Fourteen pages. Copy in Sir J. Masone's LetterBook.]
Dec. 30.
271. Sir Richard Morysine to Cecil. (fn. 2) In consequence of a post from Rouen to Flanders having been robbed of his packets last week, he essays cipher, which if Cecil be as weary with finding as he is of hiding what he writes, he will henceforth be plainer. Is weary both of writing, and that he can by none of his letters get his diets to come a day sooner than they should. Others might better shift than he can. If he is not helped soon, he shall borrow no more where he borrowed last. [Two pages. Partly in cipher, undeciphered.]
(Date torn off.) 272. John III., King of Portugal, to King Edward VI. Requiring justice to be done to John Barrilerius, merchant of Oporto, whose vessel, while at anchor in an Irish haven, had been attacked by three British ships commanded by Thomasinus of Calais and Frumantius Colli, and robbed of all its cargo and 8,000 pieces of gold. [Latin. Broadside.]


  • 1. Richard Smith, formerly Regius professor of divinity at Oxford. See Strype's Eccl. Memorials, II. i. 61. 8vo. edition.
  • 2. Although Cecil was not knighted until 11th October 1551, Morysine invariably from this date addresses him as "Sir W. Cecil."