Edward VI: February 1551

Pages 69-77

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

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February 1551

Feb. 3.
287. Sir Richard Morysine to Cecil. Has now in all received three letters from him; as glad of these as sorry that any sent from him should come short. Was in his last letter, as by this is sure Cecil perceives, wonderfully cumbered for lack of money. At home he had not many that ever he durst open his lips to borrow of them any money; and here he would fain be taken for no beggar, not that he passes so much to be one, as that, being so counted, he shall be less able to do good service. The rest of his calling be able to lash and lay on, and he, poor soul, must oft lose his night's rest, for that he cannot day it as others do. Thanks him for his friendship and services. If he had heard of his money before, his warm letter, which he sent last of all, had frozen itself to nothing. "Let my lady, your wife, take heed she writes no Greek, for if she do, Joannes Sturmius is like to see it Mr. Ascham hath already done her errand to him, and, I do believe, you and she shall shortly see their letters in print. I will not, for all my saying, do more than shall stand well with both your pleasures; and yet, lest she chide me for some others' quarrel, it were my best to say I would show her letters to strangers; so I know she would be afraid to chide me. But, what she will, she can write to few that will give her more thanks for a curst letter than I. And yet, let her take heed, for I can, as you may see by my last, speak apace when I am angry." His wife sends her commendations to Cecil and his lady, wishing that when the former is at Court without her the latter were here. Is glad Mr. Pickering goeth into France, and hopes he shall easily maintain amity at the Court there. Ωσπερ μεν η ειρηνη τοις ανθρωποις τ'αγαθα παντα τικτει ουτω δε πολλα τα λυπαρα, και κακα εκ του πολεμου γινεται. He means as he writes, and wishes they might for three years war with nobody. [Three pages.]
Feb. 7.
288. Francis Peyto to the Earl of Warwick. Hears nothing farther of the General Council proclaimed at Rome. Some doubt expressed as to its proceeding, as many things may fall before Mayday to let the same. Favours have been offered to him of late, as, with the occasion of their so granting, the inclosure will show; to these his reply is deferred, because they be from Rome removed. It is such as may both well excuse the not accepting, and also still maintain him in his credit. The Pope gives himself good time in feasts and triumphs which have been made this carnival. He is liberal of his pardons, for in this city be many of his jubilees. He is known altogether to be imperial, and only favourer of that faction. He rather attendeth to enrich his own, than of Cardinals to augment the number; for hitherto there is but one that hath the hat, where many more were hoped. The Genoese are deceived in their vain hope, for at present Don Diego is there, and doth eftsoons return the labourers to the fortress, with whom it is there now matter of state that will with words gainsay the same. So is the liberty there enlarged! Spaniards keep them under awe, whose number daily increaseth in the country thereabouts, but in the city not yet received. On the 25th ult. Don Garcia, son to the Viceroy of Naples, and brother to the Duchess here, passed in post this way to Augsburg. He seeks from the Emperor the reversion of Prince Doria's room upon the seas. Hitherto he has only had charge of the Neapolitan galleys, with which he has so well behaved, especially in the late taking of Africa, that he is thought likely to obtain his object; and the rather because of his brother-in-law, the Duke, a man of whose help oftimes the Emperor is served, and maketh good stay in his affairs in Italy. He is also a Prince of wise and notable government, as by his proceedings daily is declared. It is thought that the Bishop of Rome and the Duke here will shortly raise some men to send to the service of the Emperor in Hungary, where he has recently gained from the Turk a strong fortress, with the death of many that were therein.
P.S. Has just received from Rome a letter of 31st January, copy of which he annexes to the inclosure. Is uncertain what may be the foundation of these conjectures, but will prove if he may learn the same. [One page and a half.] Incloses,
288. I. Copy letter from Rome of 17th January. Advises him to prevent Henry Stafford, who, at coming home, is likely to do him small pleasure, with a wise letter to some of his friends. He may thank his Lord's Grace and his uncle, who has of late spoken to the former in his behalf, and obtained a promise of effectual recommendation of him to any Prince of Italy, where he thinks he may best be entertained, and like a gentleman, in case he would willingly forsake all that he has in England, and return to Christ's laws. Writer will communicate his mind more at length in next letter; meanwhile, let him consider which he should prefer of these four, the Duke of Florence, Duke of Urbino, Duke or Cardinal of Mantua, or Don Diego, all of whom are his Lord's entire friends. Were the writer to choose, he would select Urbino, for the quietness of that state, before the rest; he has a singular friend in good estimation both with the Duke and Duchess there to further Peyto in that behalf; but let him do as his heart likes best.
288. II. Letter of 31st January. Of his Lord of Sarum, and the writer's love and affection towards him, he needs never to doubt, for he shall find them always ready to his advancement. By a former letter he might perceive in what state Mr. Thomas Stafford, his Lord's nephew, stands with his Grace, whom writer takes to be of such grace and qualities that perchance the time may come that both he and Peyto may be glad, not only to serve him, but that he ever came into these parts. He is not a little affectionate to Peyto upon his uncle's report and that of the writer; so that Peyto, being little older than he, may be hereafter better able to serve him than the writer, whose good years be almost past. No man living knows what he may come to. Conjectures more things than may be thought on, and therefore writes this as a warning, that when the time comes, Peyto may say the writer prophesied this long before. Let him in the meanwhile proceed diligently in obtaining virtue, and serve God faithfully, and put not all his confidence and trust in a little plot of land he has at home, which every hour may be taken from him. Has been absent from Rome with his Lord's Grace for 15 days, for which reason he did not write last week. [One page.]
Feb. 7.
289. Sir John Masone to the Council. Had received by Francisco their letter of the 29th January, on Monday, the 2d curt., at 7 p.m. Next morning requested audience, which was deferred for two days on account of the great pastimes invited. Gives an account of the King's and courtiers' tilting, the processions and masks, to which the Ambassadors were invited, and had places prepared for them; and of the grand banquet made by the Cardinal of Lorraine, at which the King himself was steward of the feast and the Constable clerk of the kitchen, "to which also were bade the Ambassadors, to see but not to feed." He "never saw a more goodly or a richer sight. A man would have thought that all the jewels in Christendom had been assembled together, so gorgeously were the dames beset with great numbers of them, both their heads and bodies." On Friday had audience of the King after dinner. Details at much length their conversation, and a subsequent one with the Constable, in both of which the most positive assurances of friendship and disclaimer of any hostile intentions were given. The general belief is, that the preparations are designed against the Emperor, whose Ambassador "standeth in such doubt, as he hath already sent away his wife." Divers bands have been sent lately to Piedmont and some into Burgundy; and the Emperor, on the other side, makes himself strong in both places. The preparations made of soldiers are most in Gascoigne and Burgundy. The Swiss are, by all means, entertained, and so are all such states of Italy as these men make any account of. The strife between the Bishop of Rome and the King for the archbishopric of Marseilles is ended, and the Bishop for this time hath his mind. The harangue against the English made at Court was by the prothonotary Monluc, in presence of the King, the Queen of Scots, the Cardinal of Lorraine, and Mons. de Guise, assembled to discuss the pacification of matters in Scotland. "It should seem he brast out therewith ex abundantia cordis, and of his cankered malice towards us." Had brought the matter of the lewd book before the Council; states what occurred on the occasion. Has discovered that the author is Peter Hogue, "who hath long served in all practices between the subjects and the Prince against whom this King hath meant hostility. He was first Secretary to Rincon, and sithen to Poulin, and lastly he was joined with Monluc in Scotland and Ireland, and was at the commotion time in habit dissembled in England. But, finally being sent to the Emperer's countries to make some stir there, he is taken, and lieth by the feet in Riplemonde, like to have that that he hath long sithen deserved." This Peter wrote the book, but as far as he can learn it was published by the said malicious Monluc, who is now in Gascony, and to whom they have promised shortly to speak withal. Concerning the service of his religion, he has ever since his coming to the Court, used on the holidays, for the most part, the communion, and some time in the working days the common prayers, which he causes to be done in the open place where he dines and sups, and at such an hour as the end thereof, for the most part, meets with the beginning of his dinner, and hitherto never found any man fault therewith, and yet have a good number at Sunday times come to the God-speed of it, as well Frenchmen as Scots. Is informed that certain rovers have gone from these quarters to lie about the coast of Devonshire and Cornwall, among which, besides Scots and French, are many Englishmen. The blind Scot, that nameth himself Archbishop of Armachan [Armagh], passed by this Court five or six days ago, and was very much made of; he has gone in post to Rome, being appointed to be one of the doers in the Council. Captain Poulin is restored to liberty. Chastillon is now in great credit. His heart is made to bleed by hearing the base sort of the Court, both Scots and French, who are glad to hear anything to the disadvantage of the English doctrine, talk of the buying and selling of offices in England, the decaying of grammar schools and the Universities, with many other enormities, which they show one to another, printed in English books, and set forth by English preachers. Rolfe has come in his old age to be a student in Orleans. The Portuguese Ambassador, having a suit in England for certain plate and other things spoiled upon the sea, has requested him to write to their Lordships for favourable justice. He is a right honest man, therefore it were a good deed if he might be restored to some part of what he has lost. Desires to know what answer he shall give to the Earl of Huntly, who often sends to him touching his passport. [Eleven pages.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir John Masone's Letter-Book. [Eleven pages and a half.]
Feb. 16.
290. The Council to Sir John Masone. Acquaint him with the proceedings at their conferences with Mons. de Lansac on the subjects of his mission, viz., the settling of differences between them and the Scots as to boundaries, the ransom of prisoners, free traffic on sea and land between the English and Scots, &c. The main propositions had been agreed to, and what remained are to be arranged by Masone and Sir William Pickering, who is shortly to be sent to France on a special mission. The Bishop of Winchester was yesterday deprived of his bishopric, "and in his disobedience and obstinate refusing of the King's Majesty's mercy and favour, showed not only a wilful pride, but also a cankered heart of an evil subject." [Six pages. Draft.]
Eod. die. Contemporary copy of the preceding. [Six pages.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir John Masone's Letter-Book, with copy of the articles delivered by Mons. de Lansac, and extract from a treaty between Edward IV. and James III. of Scotland, referred to in the letter, and which are not in the drafts. [Nine pages.]
Feb. 17.
291. Same to same. Sir William Pickering has departed with a joint commission for Masone and himself, as mentioned in their former letter; think that as Masone has more readiness in the French tongue, that he should take upon him the handling of the arguments contained in the instructions sent in their last. On the same day that Lansac had received his answer, news arrived from the Captain of Berwick and Sir Robert Bowes that the Governor was at Edinburgh with all the French troops in Scotland and the complement of five or six Scottish ships, for the purpose, as was reported, of going to the borders to punish certain thieves in Liddesdale, but in reality, as the Captain of Berwick was informed, to make a sudden attack upon that town. Of this they had apprized Lansac and the French Ambassador, who were immediately to despatch a messenger to Scotland to prevent hostilities. [Three pages and a half. Draft.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir John Masone's Letter-Book. [Two pages and a half.]
Feb. 18.
292. Instructions from the King and Council to Sir John Masone and Sir William Pickering, sent to the French King for the purpose of settling the mission of Mons. Lansac by an amicable arrangement of all the differences between England and Scotland. [Eighteen pages. Draft.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir John Masone's Letter-Book. [Eight pages.]
Feb. 19.
293. John Dymock to Cecil. Magdeburg is besieged by Duke Maurice, and within these 20 days the inhabitants have given him two or three hot skirmishes, and have taken the Earl of Anholt with 30 or 40 gentlemen prisoners. The citizens of Magdeburg are victualled for two years and are not minded to yield, unless that they may remain by their privileges and their religion. Duke Maurice's soldiers begin to murmur for want of pay. The King of Denmark has sent his Ambassador to the Emperor, and so have the six Wendish cities, to see if they can obtain peace for Magdeburg and Bremen, and if they cannot, then they will help them to the uttermost of their power. It is true that the Earl of Heydek and the company of the Earl of Mansfeldt, of which Walderdon was general, did disperse themselves, and of them Duke Maurice had five ensigns, and the rest do gather again in the land of Lunenburg. The two young Earls of Mansfeldt, with the Earl of Heydek, are now at Hamburg. All these news are confirmed by Courtpenynck's letter of the 5th curt. Sends the picture of the Prince of Denmark, which can be made more perfectly by Mr. William, the King's Majesty's painter. [One page.] Annexed,
293. I. "Intelligence from Cortpenny and others." Loose notes and opinions. [Latin. Four pages.]
Feb. 22. 294. The Council to Sir Richard Morysine. Thank him for his frequent letters. If they do not write to him as often as he could desire, he must think nevertheless that his labours are well liked. In his last letter he mentioned that he would speak to Mr. D'Arras for licence to have Collen cleves, lint, and certain lasts of powder, according to a minute which they had sent to him, although the terms of the same be strange and unknown as they must be to him who have not haunted the wars, neither is a master of ordnance, as his predecessor was. The Collen cleve is a staff commonly bought at the city of Cologne, whereof the lance or staff is made that a man of arms runneth withal; and if he yet doubts, then be they that the Latin men call hastœ purœ. He has judged right enough upon the lint. He may choose whether he will sue by the name of a last or of a rental. The Bishop of Winchester is deprived of his bishopric by ordinary judgment, in which process he has had as much liberty and help as the law could anywise give him. He had counsellors both on the ecclesiastical law and that of the realm, and, because they should not make any pretext of fear, they were required to give the Bishop what counsel they could for his just defence, and to speak themselves what they could by their learning. Notwithstanding this, the Bishop's fault was such, by his long continued contumacy, as no text could justly defend him; and to augment his own fault, in the very process of his defence he misused himself so much as if his crime to which he answered had not been sufficient to have taken his bishopric away. His lewd behaviour and disobedience in excusing of disobedience would not permit him to remain a Bishop at liberty which could not be an obedient subject at a bar. He railed upon his judges, sought to defame the whole estate of the realm, and in the whole showed himself a subject utterly given to disquiet. Of late the Emperor's Ambassador has moved them that the Lady Mary might freely retain the ancient religion in such sort as her father left it in this realm, according to a promise made to the Emperor, until the King should be of more years. They denied such promise had been made, except to this extent, that the King was content to bear with her infirmity that she should for a season hear the mass in her closet or privy chamber only, whereat there should be present no more than they of her chamber, and no time appointed, but left to the King's pleasure. Such permission the Lord Treasurer and Lord Paget had made relation of to the Ambassador's predecessor at Bridewell. Although they positively assured the Ambassador that no such promise was ever made, yet these their answers he would nowise admit, but as he is a man much unbroken and rude, he still pressed them with the promise, and would not receive their flat denial. Therefore they bore with him so far as to agree that he should have a resolute answer in three days; and as he had alleged the promise was made to the Emperor himself by some of the envoys, the Lord Treasurer, Lord Paget, Sir William Petre, and Sir Philip Hoby went to him and showed that such had been made neither in the realm nor out of it; showing him also by divers reasons why such a reason could not be made, considering the example too perilous in any commonwealth to grant a subject licence to violate a law, and too dangerous for a Christian Prince to grant a liberty that one of his subjects should use a religion against the conscience of the Prince. In the end he still beat upon the promise without any other proof than his own affirmance. Wherefore they demanded from him what answer he had touching the privilege of Mr. Chamberlain in Flanders to use the manner of their church; and they now, as he says he has yet no answer, inform Morysine of these particulars for his guidance. [Five pages. Draft.]
Feb. 23.
295. Sir John Masone to the Council. Three or four days since was informed by a wise man and of practice, whom the French King uses often in his secret affairs in Germany, that notwithstanding all their fair words and specious appearance, the King and Court are bent upon war with England, and assuredly will if the Turk comes into Hungary. That this is prompted by Mons. de Guise and his house, in so much as it is already half concluded to send away the Queen of Scots with all convenient speed, and with her 300 or 400 men of arms, and 10,000 foot. His informant is much affected to the English religion, and having a great desire to go to England to see Bucer, may probably accompany Masone on his return, when their Lordships may learn more. Endeavouring subsequently to ascertain what ground there was for such assertions, had learned that lately the King was highly irritated by a letter from Lord Maxwell complaining of the refusal of his safe conduct; which feeling has been fomented by the Queen of Scots and her house, who bear in this Court the whole swing. "The Scottish Queen desireth as much our subversion, if it lay in her power, as she desireth the preservation of herself, whose service in Scotland is so highly taken here, as she is in this Court made a goddess. Mons. de Guise and M. d'Aumale, and the Cardinal of Lorraine, partly at her egging, and partly upon an ambitious desire to make their house great, be no hindrance of her malicious desire." The Constable, he thinks, would be content things proceeded otherwise. Recommends vigilance; Fistula dulce canit volucrem dum decipit auceps. "The credit of the house of Guise in this Court passeth all others. For albeit the Constable hath the outward adminstration of all things, being for that service such a man as hard it were to find the like, yet have they as much credit as he with whom he is constrained to sail, and many times to take that course that he liketh never a whit." Francisco has arrived with their Lordships' letter announcing their intention to send Pickering: as it may be sometime before they can have speech with the King, who is abroad hunting, and will not be within eight miles of the town for five or six days, sends back Francisco, who will inform them of the precarious state of his health, which compels him for the most part to keep his bed. In case it shall please God in the mean season either to call for him, or to continue him in this weakness, their Lordships shall not do amiss to give Pickering commission to do the errand alone, wherein peradventure he will otherwise be scrupulous. The malapert glory of the Bishop of Winchester that was is in no place better known than in this Court. This day a great many Scottish gentlemen were despatched with commission to take shipping in Flanders. [Six pages. Indorsed by Cecil.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir John Masone's Letter-Book. [Six pages and a half.]
Feb. 24.
296. Sir Richard Morysine to Cecil. What should he look for Cecil's long letters, when the shortest be so comfortable to him? It is his comfort that all his doings do not displease. His trust is his time weareth fast away, and that some good chance or other will send him home. If ever he comes home again, and may do anything with those that do send him abroad, he thinks he can say so much for poor men tarrying at home, that he shall be the last that shall be sent with any great Court to shame himself. His continual fear to lack, or rather his own continual lacks, must needs grieve him, and yet do they not half as much as that he is forced still to weary the Lords with his beggarly complaints. He thinks they would reckon him worthy some help, if they knew how his things waste away. He could write of his beggary till to-morrow, and find matter plenty. If he goes to anything else, now the Lords' letters are done and he almost tired, Cecil sees œgri hominis somnia how they hang together. Makes suit that some clerk of the Council might write but this much to men that serve abroad, "your letters written such or such a day are received," &c. If Cecil were in this case, he would think it as necessary as anything can be. Unquietness beareth such a rule in men's heads, while they may doubt whether things come as they be sent or no, that he shall do nothing wisely that feeleth that trouble, if he be no wiser than the writer is. Cecil sees he is troubled, therefore will no longer trouble Cecil. [Two pages.]
Feb. 25. 297. List of despatches sent this day to Sir John Masone and Sir William Pickering, viz.:—
1. Credentials for Sir William Pickering as Ambassador.
2. Instructions for Sir William Pickering.
3. Letter of revocation of Sir John Masone.
4. Letters from the Council to Sir John Masone.
5. Letters to Sir William Pickering to send Thomas Dannett.
[Half a page. Indorsed by Cecil.]
Feb. 25.
298. Letter from King Edward VI. to Sir John Masone. Revoking his appointment as Ambassador, and notifying that of Sir William Pickering as his successor in office. [One page. Copy in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book.]
Feb. 26.
299. Sir John Masone to the Council. The secret agent bearing their letter of 28th January arrived on the 24th curt. "He took not so much leisure in his journey hitherward, as he seemed desirous to make haste to return again." Being afraid of his personal safety, he next evening brought as his substitute Lord Grange [Kirkaldy], who has promised to communicate to Masone all that he can learn, and tells him that the departing of the Queen of Scots, and the men of war had been talked of, but would not likely take place this year. In future correspondence Lord Grange will be named Coraxe. Hears nothing of Sir William Pickering's arrival. [One page; noted by Masone to have been written in cipher. Copy in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book.]
Feb. 27.
300. The Council to Sir John Masone and Sir William Pickering. Express his Majesty's and their own commendation of his services and regret for his illness, but request that, if he possibly can, he will remain and assist Sir W. Pickering at the commencement of his embassy, and thereafter return to England. Whereas they had intended Sir W. Pickering to return with answer, now desire him to send Mr. Dannet sufficiently instructed of their whole proceedings; and touching the offence taken at the refusal of Lord Maxwell's safe conduct, direct them to explain that the frequent passage of Scots and French through England is cumbrous and hurtful, and that twice as many of the French King's servants as of his Majesty's, pass through the realm. [Two pages. Draft. Two rough drafts annexed.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir John Masone's Letter-Book.