Elizabeth: May 1560, 16-20

Pages 59-69

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 3, 1560-1561. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1865.

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May 1560, 16-20

May 16. 99. Gresham to Count Mansfelt.
Announces the reception of Hans Kecke by the Queen in England, and asks credit for his own factor, Richard Clough, the bearer of this letter to the Count.—Antwerp, 16 May 1560.
Copy. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Lat. Pp. 2.
May 17. 100. The Scottish Lords to Norfolk.
Have received his letters from Berwick of the 14th inst., bearing in effect that divers Scotch vessels have haunted the narrow seas, and under colour of their commission have taken not only French but Flemish and Portuguese ships, whereby the English traffic is hindered and the Queen's honour touched. They are much grieved thereby, and will grant no such commissions for the future. They never granted commissions to trouble Flemings, Spaniards, or Portuguese, and think that the offenders should be punished with some show of justice, the execution whereof they refer to his pleasure.—Camp before Leith, 17 May 1560. Signed: James Hamilton, Huntly, Arch. Argyll, Glencairn, James Stewart.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
May 17. 101. Grey and Others to Norfolk.
1. Upon the receipt of the Duke's letters sent by Mr. Leek (whereby they perceived that Chaperon was addressed hither with him) they let him stay at Musselburgh until they had consulted with the Lords of Scotland as to the delivery of his letters. Being brought to Holyrood House to the Duke and the Lords they determined that he should not see the Queen. They forward the copy of the memorial and commission brought by him. They have returned Lord Erskine's man to his master, who seems nothing offended with his stay, protesting that he knew nothing that letters were sent with him in cipher, but that before he went hence, mistrusting the matter, he had desired the Lords to open and peruse his letters. They perceive by Norfolk's last letter of the 15th, the Queen's earnest mind to relieve their wants of men and munitions; in the mean season they trust to keep the enemy from victuals, and will endeavour to annoy him by all the ways they can.— Camp before Leith, 17 May 1560. Signed: Grey, Scrope, Sadler, Croftes, Leek.
2. P.S.—Yesterday the Admiral took eleven French mariners, who having been taken about March 20 in the Frith, had been licensed by letters from the Lords of the Congregation to pass into France; and who, taking Dunbar in their way, stole a boat to transport themselves into France, but were encountered by the Admiral. There are daily small skirmishes.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
May 17. 102. Maitland to Norfolk.
By inspection of the writer's letter to Cecil the Duke may consider the Lords' determination anent the coming of Chaperon; but if it shall seem otherwise good to the Duke they will follow his pleasure and direction.—Camp before Leith, 17 May 1560. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
May 17. 103. Maitland to Cecil.
1. On the 15th inst. Captain Chaperon came hither, sent by the Duke of Norfolk, having divers packets directed to the Queen Dowager and the French. It was remitted to the Council by Lord Grey whether either he or his letters should come to her presence. They thought that the letters should be first considered, whether there was any hindrance to the cause in them. When disclosed they only found divers letters from the King, the Cardinal, and the Duke of Guise to the Dowager, MM. d'Oysel, de la Brosse and Martigues, and the Bishops of Amiens and Valence, containing nothing but ample credit to the bearer; there is also a memoir in cipher and a commission under the King's seal, whereof he encloses a copy, that after it has been deciphered Cecil may judge whether it is meet that the same should come into their hands. The Council here are minded to intercept all intelligence whereby the French may receive any comfort. It appears by a letter from the Chevalier de Sevre that Chaperon's coming was only for a crafty conveyance of intelligence, for he writes to credit him anent the manner of his passage and take order that he may quickly return, and have means to repair hither again. Until answer come from Cecil he shall be well entreated, and yet so looked after that the Dowager shall have none of his news. Remits all to the Queen's pleasure, whom they will in all things obey.—The camp before Leith, 17 May 1560. Signed.
2. P. S.—The commission only promises the Scots pardon for their offences if they will acknowledge their King and Queen; but the Scottish Lords mean to receive no pardon, as none have offended against their duty, but what they do is for the preservation of their Queen's interests as good subjects.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
May 17, 19, 21. 104. The Dowager of Scotland to [D'Oysel].
1. Has notice that besides the mine which the English make at the citadel, they are making another at St. Anthony, more secret and known to few of the Scots, which one who has been in it tells her is already nearly the length of a "bute," commencing from the trench. They have twentyseven men working in it, and five on guard. They are driving it straight for the flanker, and by Monday or Tuesday they will be beyond the curtain. More than twelve days since she told him that they thought of mining St. Anthony, the little bulwark near the mill, and the citadel; and later by the spy of Captain Sarlabois, which she does not know whether he has received. Her leg is better, the heat has gone; she has been her own doctor and surgeon.
2. She informed him by the spy that Croftes was gone to Berwick; she has since learnt that it was Howard. Their cavalry has gone, and there has arrived within the last eight days in two bodies, about 700 men from Berwick.
3. Yesterday the Prior, Ruthven, the Master of Maxwell, and Lethington came twice, with whom she entered into communication, hoping thereby to open a means of communicating with the person addressed; but was unable, for they wished her, before speaking with him, to agree to send all the French out of Scotland according to the offer of the Bishop of Valence, and which caused them to do nothing. Bothwell has asked leave to go to France; she has sent an ample despatch by him, and another by Wilson, a kinsman of the Bishop of Dumblane, who has just returned from France.— Edinburgh Castle, 17 May.
4. They must not expect succour before July; if in the meanwhile he is in danger and can find means to warn her, she will again try to negociate. This afternoon, the man who has seen the mines has told her that there is water in the mine at St. Anthony; but that in that by the citadel they find the earth hard and firm. They have commenced mining at the last trench, advancing towards the citadel, and have gone ten or twelve paces; the beginning is with masonry, the remainder not; and the ground is so compact that the mine is like a vault; hence they have great hope.
5. On Wednesday a gentleman coming from France through England was taken, who is in the Duke's hands and with whom she has not yet means of speaking, but he appears to be Captain Chaperon. The report is that he brings some pardons and commissions under the Great Seal to M. de Valence. Her people seek every occasion to quarrel with her. She has had no means of despatching this until the present day, the 19 May, at which time she hears that the enemy have very much advanced the mine, and they count to finish it by Wednesday. They say that they know they are countermined, but that theirs is so deep that they pass under the countermine. They find the fort of Peleric [Pelham] strong, and it is said that they have another mine going towards the mill bulwark. Five fleet of victuallers have entered into the island on the coast of Fife.
6. She has heard to-day (the 21st) that the enemy have reached the water's edge, and want to pass under the palisade of the French to make a sortie within. In the commencement they had only three men abreast at work, but now they have twenty in the said mine. It were good to dig well on this side the water in order to meet them.
Endd.: The Queen Dowager of Scotland's letter deciphered. Fr. Pp. 4.
May 18. 105. The Queen to Gresham.
Perceives by his letter of the 12th to Cecil that the payment of the mart is prorogued till August, with the interest of 50s. in the 100l.; and as James Shetz has so travailed on her behalf Gresham is to give him 400 or 500 crowns, and assure him of her desire for amity between her country and the Low Countries. Since the bruit that the French should have aid out of Flanders against her, she has been tempted to direct the negociations of her merchants to other countries, and thereunto provoked with no small privileges and immunities, and offers of aid with money and men. The house of England has never assisted France against Burgundy, but both in the Emperor Charles and King Philip's time has joined in war against France and spent much treasure, and in the last war, entered into at Philip's request, lost Calais, whilst at the same time he would not break with the Scots who made war on England. It were therefore a strange thing if Flanders made war against Scotland and England at the request of France.
Draft, with seal, in Cecil's hol., written on the outer sheet of a letter add. to Cecil. Endd.: M. from the Queen to Sir T. G. Pp. 2.
May 18. 106. Gresham's Instructions to Michael van der Over.
1. On arriving at Wesel he shall pack the merchandise and send it to Hamburg. On his road he shall buy powder to the extent of 100,000 weight of coarse and 60,000 weight of fine powder, to be delivered in Hamburg with all possible speed.
2. On his arrival at Hamburg he shall hire four ships well armed and equipped, and embark therein the arms and provisions to the extent of 2,000l. or 3,000l. in each ship, and shall advertise the despatch by letter to Count Christopher Prewen, care of Nicholas de Noaille. The merchandise to be marked with Christopher Prewen's mark. He shall write his letters to Gresham in French. He shall show this letter to John Brickenden at Hamburg or elsewhere; he was at Groningen the 27th of April. Signed.
Copy. Endd. by Gresham: The copy of Michael van Dorover's information sent to Handborow 18 April 1560. French. Pp. 2.
May 18.
Haynes, p. 311.
107. Norfolk to Cecil. (fn. 1)
He is much beholden to him for his letter of the 13th of this present, for that ill tongues or malicious letters cannot make him judge any further fault in him than he deserves. Hopes by this time he is more fully instructed of the truth than he was by Mr. Kennynghall's report. He has this day written to Grey comforting him all he can, "who in my opinion is no way to be blamed; except it be for that he hath not his wits, and memory fails him." As long as the writer continues in the Queen's service there shall be no quarrel made to any one for him, whatever occasion be given. He has also written to the Lords of the Congregation of the Queen's forwardness for revenge for this last mishap, and of the great power she minds to relieve them with, besides money and all kinds of munitions, of which there shall be no lack. He has written of his going in as Cecil required.— Berwick, 18 May. Signed.
Orig. Autog. Add. by Railton. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
108. John Sheres to Cecil.
Wrote two weeks past of divers consults made at Rome, concerning the Queen and England, and of the Abbot of St. Salute's appointment for England; now he writes that the said Abbot is disappointed and another shall be sent in his stead, who shall be accompanied by a gentleman for France, and another for King Philip. The principal points of their message shall be to dissuade the Queen from aiding the Scots, and to turn her dominions to the obedience of the Church of Rome. In case she does not yield, the Pope's commissary shall have authority to proceed further with the censures or curses of the Church and denounce her a rebel to the same; likewise forthwith these two gentlemen for France and Spain, shall threaten her with war and the temporal sword.—Venice, 18 May 1560. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
May 19. 109. Montague and Chamberlain to the Queen. (fn. 2)
1. On the 13th inst., on receipt of her letters sent by Francis the post by way of France, they repaired to a place eight leagues from this town where the King was, and signified to him at good length the contents thereof. For the first he said, that though M. de Glassion had declared no further of his commission but in counselling her to retire her army, he believed that very soon after this post's departure, by whom Glassion and the Bishop of Aquila had signified their proceedings with her, they had received order to go forwards in travailing for the composition of the matters between her and the French. And so with this general kind of answer he told them that as he had begun and taken care of the Queen and her realm, so would he not leave off, but prosecute with all good office that he could unto the full according of these matters. And whereas by M. de Glassion he gave her to understand that he would lend his vassals to the French for the suppression of the rebels in Scotland; he did this for her better surety and satisfaction, rather than for the French; because he was assured they should but help to bring the Scots to obedience, and excuse the French from carrying thither any other power more dangerous to the Queen. If anything of offence should be otherwise offered towards her by the French, his meaning was that his said vassals should join her side against the French and they might see, he said, that he had not omitted to do as much as was requisite, both in sending Glassion to the Queen and Garcilaso to the French King, and he hoped within a few days to hear of the speeding of the latter. Also, he had set M. Chantonet, his Ambassador in France, to travail with the French King to bring him to a good accord, and had good hope thereof.
2. The writers replied that the Scots were not rebels, neither had they in such sort attempted anything against their Queen or her husband; but being chief members of their country and taking themselves to be bound to the defence thereof for their Queen's behalf, being young and remaining by occasion of marriage in foreign parts, believing her not so well to understand her own case, and though she did, that yet in such case they as counsellors of the realm might both signify to her what were meet for the preservation of her person, declaring to His Majesty what might happen either by God disposing of her before her husband, or after. So they prayed him not to hearken to the French sayings and informations wherewith they sought to abuse him, this case being rather a private enterprise for the house of Guise, sought for their only advancement, under pretext of their niece. And to have the Scots in due obedience, they offered that the Queen of England would promise that in case any in all Scotland should refuse the same, she would assist the French King and his wife to the redress thereof, so as there was no need that he should aid the French to bring the Scots rather to an utter subjection than obedience. Wherefore they besought him to consider well what might follow both to the prejudice of the Queen and her realm and his own dominions adjoining, counting the case common. They thus having repeated all the particularities of the Queen's letter, the King prayed them to take patience for a little, and by the Duke of Alva they should understand his answer.
3. Within a while after the Duke brought the King's answer, which was not much different from what he himself had said; saving that, entering deeper into the particular points, he said that among all the King's other good offices the lending of his vassals for the subduing of the rebel Scots ought to be best taken, for that it was the only means without breach of league on the King's part, to keep the French from putting more power into Scotland; and that such of the King's vassals as should be lent to the French King should be conducted by captains sworn to the King, and they of the whole troop besides. Mary, they should always be at the French King's charge, and by their oath be charged to intermeddle no further than to bring the Scots to obedience; and in case the French and Scots should make any attempt against the Queen of England, that they should join in her defence against the French. To this the writers said as before, excusing the Scots of rebellion, and that when they should in such sort be brought to obedience, or rather subjection, the French would be strong enough (for all the King of Spain's vassals) to prosecute their malicious intents against England.
4. Here the Duke said that it was inhuman for a Prince to intermeddle between any other Prince and his subjects, and that it was a strange manner of counsellers to advise their Prince with drawn swords, so as he said no colour there was to excuse their rebellion. And if they alleged that they were subjects to the French King, who at the treaty of the marriage had accepted the same, therefore in equity they were bound to the observation of the same.
5. All this would not satisfy the Duke, but he said, "I tell you from the King that he will lend his vassals to the French King for the purpose before, and our ships are a rigging in Flanders; but all shall be at the French cost, and with conditions expressed." Here they asked the Duke whether this were the King's determination, and whether they should so understand it. "Yea," quoth he, "if the case so fall out." They said better and more convenient means were to be found without any charge or trouble to the King, or cause of misliking of the Queen; and so began to tell him that if the Scots offered due submission to the French King and their Queen, the Queen, their mistress, would give her word and promise to the King, whereby he might assure the French King that the Scots should forthwith acknowledge their submission without further compulsion, and if any should refuse the same, the Queen would assist the French King and his wife.
6. Still the Duke said, What hold shall the French have of this promise? and here began to talk of hostages that she had of the French for the matter of Calais, as though he would have wished the like on her part for this purpose; but he uttered no such thing in plain terms. He let not to say that for all the agreement for Calais the Queen was beholden to the King, adding how much he had stood her in stead in the time of her sister and since. They answered that she in honour would never violate her promise, nor leave un performed that which she should require him to promise for her; and for all the rest they said she would ever well acknowledge.
7. Here the Duke entered into particular talk further than they had heard before of him or any other here. "The Queen" quoth he, "needed not to have stood in these terms, if she would have hearkened and believed what was at many and sundry times told her of the Queen my mistress's Ministers, who gave her always warning that she should look to herself and her estate, which was not, nor is, without peril." And so began to say that the King wished and counselled her to marry, for the establishment of succession to the realm. "Yea," quoth he, "the King wished and counselled the Queen to beware of innovations and alteration of her estate from that she found it, either in religion or otherwise, to the misliking of the world, and always," quoth he, "the King hath advised and counselled the Queen as his good sister, taking a greater care of her and her realm than of his own things. Yea," quoth he, "how long was it ere the Queen sent any Ambassador to the King?" with much more matter, which they answered according to their instructions. With this knot he seemed to leave off and hearken to their answer. "If the Queen were married," quoth he, "all these things had not come in question." They answered according to the Queen's letters, that the King's Ministers had had like talk with her in general words, but never in particular, and that she would have been glad to have understood the same, and as willingly would have followed his advice before all other in the world. They answered the other points as before, but pressing him to impart some particulars more of the peril towards the realm; he answered they had been as often and as particularly declared by the King's Ministers as he is able to speak. They asked, if this peril seemed so great and so long known to the King, how his friendship had appeared in leaving the Queen unwarned thereof by his letters; adding that the Queen's letters of November were not answered till Glassion came in April, and then his declaration was far from the Queen's expectation. "I have not spoken as I have," quoth he, "as though we had intelligence with your subjects, or otherwise known particular peril, but you must think we speak of experience, and do know the forces of your realm, and how slenderly the Isle of Wight, Dover, and other places are furnished for defence; so that 8,000 men," quoth he, "at this day were able to put England to much trouble, and more a great deal than we would think." Touching the long delay of answer to her letters, he said he was not privy as not being at that time with the King.
8. Thus after two great hours' talk seeming to be willing to end, the writers gave him great thanks that he had so frankly uttered the King's great favour, and his own good will towards the Queen. He said he used other manner of words to them than he did or minded to do with the Ministers of France; "but to you, "quoth he," I speak as plain as I think; to the end by knowledge of your estate you may foresee the same, of the which we have no less care than of our own." The delaying of advertising the King of the English proceeding against the French he much misliked, and said that all the Queen imparted to the Bishop of Aquila he wrote as talk past with her, but never requiring on her behalf the King's advice in anything. Whereunto they replied as much as they could. Finally, he said that within three or four days it could not be but Garcilaso's advertisements of his proceedings with the French King should arrive; and between this and then he bade them think what other means might be devised, and the King and he would also consider the matter, and so would let them know his resolution for Francesco's despatch towards the Queen. They said that if the King would confer with him upon the articles received from Throckmorton, which they had delivered him, he would find them reasonable; which he said he did not so allow, but would not tell them wherefore. The Duke in his talk made them understand a proverb of the country. "If the enemy be in the water to the girdlestede, lend him thy hand to help him out; if he be in to the shoulders, set hold on him and keep him down." He meant, if the Queen were able to drive the French out of Scotland, in avoiding peril to herself, to do it without asking further counsel or aid. Touching her arms and title the Duke said he much misliked; he seemed to say that without great offence the Scottish Queen might be suffered to carry them with difference; and also he talked as though the French would look to have some reasonable garrison of their own nation in Scotland. Thus the Queen may perceive how many mislikings the King of Spain and his have had with her proceedings.
9. As touching the bestowing of herself, it appears that the world lies in expectation thereof, noting how much depends thereon, whereof they have been driven to hear many other wise men's judgments in this Court, who are of opinion that as the same would have excused her of these troubles in hand, so were it the only means to avoid them at this time and henceforth.
10. This day, the 19th May, the King sent Courtville, his secretary for the French tongue, to tell them that he had advertisement that the French King had condescended to composition, and written to the King of Spain to appoint umpires on his side to decide the questions between the Queen and him; whereupon he said he wrote to the Duchess of Parma to appoint the same from thence. Forasmuch as Garcilaso has not advertised since his arrival with the French King, and that this courier may serve their turn for this time, they keep Francisco until fresh matter fall out.—Toledo, 9 May 1560.
Copy. Endd. Pp. 10.
May 19.
Haynes, p. 312.
110. Norfolk to the Lords of the Council. (fn. 3)
1. He received this morning the Queen's and their letters of the 15th inst. The Queen's letter consists of divers things; first, the number of men that is required for accomplishing this enterprise; secondly, his going either for a time, or longer, as to him seems best; thirdly, to do what he could for contenting Grey, for fear he should take his coming in to turn to his dishonour; and lastly, she wishes him to advertise her how these great numbers, levied within his lieutenancy, have been disposed.
2. For answer to the first; his opinion is that when the 3,000 men arrive from the south parts, and the 3,000 are levied in his lieutenancy, they, with those left at the camp, would not amount to so many men, or very few more, than entered with Grey at his going in. What with death, hurts, sickness, passports, and deceiving of the Queen, there is less now by 5,000 men than the Queen paid for at the army's going out of Berwick. "The pilling and polling of the Queen will let no true muster to be made. They say it is not the fashion to be mustered all in a day, and by that means, one helpeth to deceive the Queen and their country one day, and another the other day." He begs of them to consider the weight of this cause, and how near it would touch the realm, if there should chance another repulse, the time of year being so far advanced. It is all one charge whether the Queen have a little army lie long in the field in danger, or a great one lie but awhile in safety; which is the way to bring this enterprise to a good pass. The French have taken too good a heart now to be frightened by bruits. The only way to abash them now is by power.
3. To the second, for his going into Scotland; whatsoever the Queen commands he will do; she would not let him go he is sure, but with a sufficient number of men and all things necessary, and to be accompanied with wise council; the choice of which he leaves to their judgment. As the Queen leaves it to his discretion, either to tarry there or return, he would rather be torn with wild horses than return after he has shown his face, leaving his countrymen there to live and die under his charge, according to his small power.
4. As for comforting Grey, he has done so, and will continue, as by copy of his letters may appear.
5. For the number of men levied in his lieutenancy, he will send by the next packet, how, when, and upon what consideration they have been levied.—Berwick, 19 May 1560. Signed.
Orig., in Railton's hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary Pp. 3.
May 19.
Haynes, p. 313.
111. Norfolk to Cecil. (fn. 4)
Sends herewith a letter directed to him from Grey, and two from the Laird of Lethington, one to himself and the other to Cecil, with certain copies of Chaperon's commission and instructions. Peradventure Cecil would think he has not done his part in fulfilling the Queen's passport, when he shall see him [Chaperon] stayed and his packet from the French King to the Dowager broken up, which the Duke for his part does not allow, for in all cases he would have Princes' things more reverenced. States the message which he sent to Grey by Leeke, under whose safe conduct he sent Chaperon to Leith. First, the Duke showed him how Chaperon came under the Queen's protection; therefore if the Lords of the Congregation would so agree, that he might deliver his letters and commission unto the Dowager; but if they suspected the person, then that they would suffer some of the Dowager's folks to receive the packets without speaking to the messenger. If these offers were not liked, then the Duke required that Chaperon might be sent to him as he went in, thinking the Queen by those means to be sufficiently discharged in honour, without any hurt by his going in.—Berwick, 19 May 1560. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. by Railton. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
May 19. 112. Receipt of John Verburch.
John Verburch, merchant of Amsterdam, acknowledges the receipt of 50 livres 13 sous four deniers Flemish, from Anthony le Rouge and Nicholas Canderoste, merchants of Dieppe, for certain ribands sold to them.—19 May 1560. Signed.
Orig. Fr. P. 1.
May 20. 113. Treaty of Cateau Cambresis.
Oath of Claude Count de Maure, one of the hostages sent into England by Francis II., King of France, to the effect that he will observe all that is required from the French hostages demanded by the treaty of 2 April 1559.—Greenwich, 20 May 1560. Signed.
Orig., upon vellum. Endd. by Cecil. Lat.
[May 20.] 114. The Queen's Debts in Flanders.
A note of bonds sent home with Mr. Anthony Stringer due in May, July, and August; total 759,344 florins.
P. 1.


  • 1. Another copy occurs in the Duke's letter-book at Hatfield House.
  • 2. The original letter exists in B.M. Vesp., C. vii. 210.
  • 3. Another copy of this letter occurs in the Duke's letter-book at Hatfield House.
  • 4. Another copy of this letter occurs in the Duke's letter-book at Hatfield House.