Elizabeth: April 1561, 1-10

Pages 47-57

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 4, 1561-1562. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1866.

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April 1561, 1-10

April. 83. The Queen to Grey and Forster.
Commission to Lord Grey and Sir John Forster to treat with the Commissioners of Scotland for the ransom of prisoners taken on the Borders.
Corrected draft. Endd.: April 1561. Pp. 3.
April. 84. The Earl of Bedford to Throckmorton.
1. Since the writer's last letter sent by the Lord James, he has travailed with the Council to procure Throckmorton's revocation; amongst others the Lord Chamberlain has shown himself friendly. Their resolution was that before the Queen's pleasure herein was known, no answer could be made. Trusts soon to be able to write to him, whereunto he can trust either to settle himself there or to return. Received this day a letter from Lady Throckmorton, who seems to have small comfort in her suit. The Lord Robert says that Throckmorton has of late written letters greatly in favour of the marriage with the King of [Sweden] . . . . "if it so be, it is more than I hear of gladly . . . . he saith also that you wrote him . . . . . ry faint."
2. M. De Sault made no such assurance of amity as was looked for at his hands . . . . this day he took leave. The King of Sweden's Ambassador is well received. Minds to retire into the country, as he is weary of the Court. When he is there he will sing, Tu non fui per, me Gierometta. Heartily thanks him for his great gentleness shown him.—London . . . April. Signed.
Orig. Very much mutilated. Add. Pp. 3.
[April 1.] 85. Lord Grey to Cecil.
Has received a request from Lord Ruthven to license him to convey some geldings out of England, which he would furnish himself with to match with the Earl of Bothwell and others, who are not his friends and work him displeasure, and that before Leith he lost most of his horses. Has answered that it is not in his power to grant him licence, and further as by his letter here inclosed may appear. Desires to know the Queen's pleasure herein, being many times pressed with such requests from the nobility of Scotland.—Berwick, 1 March 1560. (fn. 1) Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary: 1 March 1561. Pp. 2.
April 2. 86. The Queen to the King of Navarre.
Thanks for the good offices made on his part by M. De Sault, Gentleman of the Chamber, and also for his desire to continue the friendship between her and the King of France.
Corrected draft. Endd. by Cecil's secretary: 2 April 1561. Fr. Pp. 2.
April 4. 87. Cecil to Throckmorton.
1. Yesternight came H. Middlemore with Throckmorton's letters, which the Queen and Lords have read. Finds a disposition in the Queen for his return, but without resolution. Means not to leave the matter so raw, but that either one way or the other may be known. Shall not fail to know within a few days. If Lady Throckmorton come with Mr. Carew, he would know his opinion why Mr. Carew might not be meet to be in his place, having such a good secretary as he has. The Queen will not make Mr. Knollys able.
2. The King of Sweden's Chancellor, Goldenstern, is very welcome to the Queen. "I see presently no small declination from the former dealing; at the least I find in Her Majesty by divers speeches a determination not to marry with any her subjects; but yet what he will know God knoweth, to Whom I most heartily pray to have her in His protection."
3. "By this time my Lord James is with you, of whom I bestowed all the courtesy I could. If he shall find difficulty to return, and thereon certainty of peril to himself, let him in anywise avoid thence."
4. Sends a packet requiring speed. Knows not what the Queen will determine touching the precedence betwixt him and the Spanish Ambassador; but would not have it come in question this day. This gentleman has been well lodged, nigh hand defrayed, well accompanied, and in the end has as good a reward as Cecil could obtain, a pair of pots, basin, ewer, three bowls, and one salt, amounting to 347 ozs., valued at 132l. 18s. Thanks him for the book of perspective; and prays him to let Somer send him such edicts and proclamations as pass there. The Ambassador has been very earnest to have the impost of wines taken away, but "surdis canit." Cecil objected their taxes, and disorders in Gascony, prohibiting wines to be bought but with ready money; they offer amendment, which he sought not, but rather would wish none bought or very little.—Westminster, 4 April 1561. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. Pp. 3.
April 4. 88. Mundt to Cecil.
1. His last letters were from Strasburg, dated 18 March, and were accompanied by one from the Secretary of Hesse. He then set out for the fair at Frankfort, on account of a recent report that Duke Henry of Brunswick was enlisting men at arms to serve against England, of which, however, he can learn nothing certain. Lately an Envoy of the Pope was there, who in conjunction with a commissary of the Emperor is endeavouring to persuade the chief cities of the empire to join in the Council called at Trent. The Envoy will proceed to Strasburg after Easter, and has been to Nuremburg. The cities unanimously reply that they will agree to such a Council as has been demanded in many of the Imperial Diets, and in the late Conferences at Augsburg. The Emperor has written to each of the cities, requiring them to treat the Envoy courteously. It is confidently reported that all the Electors will assemble at Frankfort on Jubilate Sunday. (fn. 2) Cannot certainly learn the cause hereof. Many think that the Electors have been urged by the Emperor to appoint a successor, as he feels himself weak and in bad health; they infer this from the fact that several Electors have been summoned by the Bishop of Mayence, who is the Chancellor of the Empire. It is also reported that the Emperor is soliciting a marriage between his son Ferdinand and the Queen of Scotland, which every one having the good of England at heart would prefer to that between her and the Infante of Spain.
2. The Chancellor of the Duke of Deuxponts, who succeeded Ottto Henry in the duchy of Neuburg, lately wrote a long letter to Mundt about the singular goodwill of his master towards England and the Queen. He thought the Duke would be willing to serve her for a moderate pension, and that Mundt would do well if he would write this to the Queen. The Prince is wise and pious, but more fit for discussing legal questions than fighting. He lives at Neuburg, near Augsburg, in Upper Bavaria. He is married to the Landgrave's daughter, by whom he has had many children.
3. Most horrid lies have been written from the French Court, Brussels, and Lorraine, by certain important, but most impudent personages to the German Princes, concerning the Queen and her Master of the Horse. It would be well that these evil reports should be removed from the mind of the Elector Palatine, as the writer knows that most scandalous letters have been sent to him from Lower Germany. Some theologians and preachers chosen by the Princes are assembled at Erfurt to deliberate on the reply to be given to the Emperor and Pope about the Council. The Jesuits wax bold throughout Germany. At Cologne, Mayence, and Augsburg, they preach in the churches.—Frankfort, 4 April 1561. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Lat. Pp. 4.
April 4. 89. Thomas Jenyson to Cecil.
1. On the 24th March the Governor and he took the musters on the sudden, the state whereof, together with the charge grown due last quarter, he has collected in a book, wherein it may appear how the captains well keep their numbers. If Cecil knew the misery there is amongst them for want of pay, his gentle heart would lament. The poor men (having small credit) are so out of hose, shoes, etc., that to get ready money for the same they take up victuals of the victuallers at extreme price and sell the same in the market for half it stands them in. They devised at the same time that Bird should call all the men in the works, which he accomplished until he came to the masons' lodge among the English hardhewers, who refused to come together from their banks, which he [Bird] perceiving, said that he would checs their wages, and so did; whereupon came one with his mallet in his hand as though he would smite therewith, and said that if he checked him he would break his brow, or if he checked any of them, and so handled him amongst them that he was glad to avoid. Jenyson then went thither himself, but they stoutly stood to what they had done and did not regard him as an officer; whereupon he desired assistance of the Governor, who assigned the Provost Marshal and certain gentlemen of the crews to go with him. He committed three of the principals to ward, whereupon all the rest were in a mutiny, and stood with him that they would not come any more to his call, nor obey any such new custom; so that if he had not been well accompanied he had not been void of danger. Lord Grey so punished the chief offenders that now they are very quiet, confessing their folly. Is forced to make a calendar of all, both in the garrison and the works, by letters of their surnames to try for the double pays, whereby he shall not in that way be deceived, unless they change their names.
2. The Governor declared to him that some had made information that by enlarging his lodging he [Grey] had consumed the Queen's provision, to the stay of her works; he advertises therein. The repairs were almost finished at the coming hither of the writer, but they would not amount to any great sum, as there was no new stuff spent, more than to make four new windows, a chimney of spars, a partition or two, a pair of stairs, and two shores for shoring up the old lodging, which otherwise would have lain on the earth ere this. The rooms enlarged were only a dining chamber and a lodging chamber of fourteen feet wide, and yet his room is so strait that he has no spare lodging for his friends or for his twelve servants.
3. A ship arrived with provisions about a fortnight ago, which is but a small supply. Will have all furniture prepared to serve the present need till more come. It were very requisite that 200 masons or hewers of hewn stone with labourers to serve them were here, as there is at present 2,000,000 (fn. 3) feet of hewn stone, and the hardhewers daily work 400 or 500 feet besides. The soldiers are marvellous willing to work on the gin works and ramparts by task, and that better cheap than any others; 1,000 of them would despatch more work than 3,000 day men. Has made provision of coals by means of Mr. Bertram Anderson to serve till mid August for 14s. instead of 16s. the chalder, whereby he has saved the Queen above his year's entertainment.—Berwick, 4 April 1561. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 4.
April 5. 90. Shers to Cecil.
1. Few things worth notice this week. On Wednesday last the Cardinals appointed by the Pope for the Council left Rome for Trent, and not on Monday as first announced. The new Ambassador of France at Rome has made such strange requests to the Pope concerning this Council, that he is at his wits' end what may be best answered touching the same.
2. The Cardinal of Naples will lose his office of the Auditoriato, worth 35,000 crowns, and must restore certain jewels for 15,000 crowns, and plate of silver and gold for as much more. For his other faults he must pay in ready money 75,000 crowns, when he will be delivered and allowed to keep his hat, and other livings, which will amount to 17,000 crowns a year. The Cardinals Farnese, Ferrara, and Vitelli promise for the payment of the same. The Cardinal of Pisa is shut up more strait, and is likely to be after the other Caraffas. Monte is also in danger, but not so much, for his life is promised.
3. The advices from Sienna, that King Philip would needs have it again, seem now to quail. The conversation of the coming of the Turk's army increases more and more daily.— Venice, 5th April 1561. Signed.
Orig. Hol., with seal. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
Attached is a bill against Shers for portage of his letters from Venice to London, from 6 Nov. 1559 to 26 Oct. 1560, amounting to 5l. 15s. 3d., the discharge of which is signed by Giusto Schorer.
Orig. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Ital. Pp. 2.
April 5. 91. The Queen's Debts in Flanders.
Statement of money paid to various merchants in March and April 1561, amounting to 3,634l. 5s. 2d. sterling, which make 4,210l. 0s. 3d. Flemish.—Signed by Gresham.
Orig. Endd. Pp. 2.
April 7. 92. Chamberlain to the Queen.
1. Has attended to understand her pleasure upon such discourses as he has made her by his sundry letters of Dec. 23, January 7, and February 11, of what passed with the King, as also to hear from Throckmorton what conclusion he has at last obtained of this new estate in France upon the last accord made with them, whereof the writer had promised to make the King a partaker. Has heard from neither the one nor the other.
2. The Turk makes great speed for the Mediterranean with a great army, and the King of Spain prepares for the safeguard of his forts in those parts. Order is taken for the augmentation of 100 galleys more than the ordinary of Spain, whereof the spiritualities have granted forty to be made, rigged, and maintained at their cost. The rest may be furnished by the commanderies within the realm and otherwise with time. The Pope claims to have the disposing of these forty galleys, whereupon the King has sent to him Don John D'Ayala to treat with him that they may be joined with the rest of the galleys of Spain, and serve for the defence of that realm only. He goes to treat also with the Pope about the pre-eminence of the place hitherto enjoyed by the French King, which this King now claims in respect of having greater dominions than any other King of Spain heretofore. The King requires the loan of the Pope's galleys for the increase of his army against the Turk this summer; and among the rest, to hasten the General Council.
3. The Pope means to send to her the Abbot Martinego, upon such message as the Abbot of St. Salute was coming withal last summer. Has yet no certainty of the King removing anywhere. As he shall understand of the Turk's force, so will he direct his progress to Monçon in Arragon. He is in good health and content to take his part of the quietness this time offers were it not for the Turk. There is a bruit that the Moors have already assailed the King's forts of Oran and La Goulette, and succour is already sent from hence. Prays for his revocation, being fallen again into the hands of the physicians.—Toledo, 7 April 1561. Signed.
4. P. S.—The greatest estates of the nobility and the Bishops are called to be here by 3rd of May next, to choose personages to go to the General Council; he thinks there must be some other matter.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
April 7. 93. Chamberlain to Cecil.
1. Has not written to the Queen this last month for want of worthy matter. This state remains undisturbed, save by the Turk. Necessity compels him to be importunate for his revoke, for he has never been out of the physician's hands since he came hither, and is driven to fear his end with the heats of summer coming on.— Toledo, 7 April 1561. Signed.
2. P. S.—Desires a commission to take up such English ships on this coast as may be meet for his transportation home. In this last Parliament was made a general prohibition for any man to lade from hence the commodities of the country or other merchandise, saving in ships of the naturals of the country, whereupon ten or eleven English ships newly arrived at Bilboa are forbidden to lade, as always they have been wont to do; for which cause some of the merchants have come to him to seek remedy. Hereupon he moved the King, trusting that he would understand the matter as the Emperor, his father, did, who, making the like act, specially excepted the nation of England. The King has retired for this holy week to a monastery five leagues hence, and returns within four days after Easter.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
[April 7.] 94. Council of Trent.
A list of Prelates and others who are about to go to the Council from Spain, with their designations. Appended is a note to the effect that Don Luis De Zuniga y Avellanda, a Knight of Sanctiago, is going as Ambassador to Rome.
Copy. Span. Endd. Pp. 3.
April 7. 95. The Council in the North to Cecil.
William Strickland, a justice of the peace in the East Riding of Yorkshire, sent hither to the Council this morning a Scottish, gentleman, who with three others of his nation arrived on Easter Day at Bridlington in a cock boat from certain ships of France, to the number of five, which rode before Bridlington. He says that he and the rest of his company were of the band of the Scottish men-at-arms who of long time served in France under the Earl of Arran, and that the whole band having been within this month discharged, they repair to their country through England in sundry companies. As they have no passport the writers have staid them, giving them courteous entertainment. Desire to know how they shall use them, as their commission does not extend or enterprise them to make any passport.—York, 7 April 1561. Signed: H. Rutland, Thomas Wharton, Henry Gates, Christopher Escoste, Thomas Eynns.
Orig., with seal. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
[April 8.] 96. Complaints of the Portuguese Ambassador.
1. Many Portuguese ships having been seized by the English, who have gone so far as to sell the crews to the Moors, the King of Portugal desires that these proceedings may be stopped.
2. Whereas certain of the Queen's subjects trade to Myne, Oran, Manigette, and other Moorish provinces, the right of trading to which belongs to the Portuguese, and has never been infringed by any Prince of Christendom; his master desires that the Queen will forbid them for the future from doing so.
3. Desires that certain Scots, who under pretence of letters of marque plunder his subjects, may be forbidden to bring their prizes into English ports.
Copy. Endd. by Cecil. (fn. 4) Lat. Pp. 3.
[April 8.] 97. Requests of the Ambassador of Portugal.
He asks for the following concessions upon the part of the English.
1. That proclamation be made that none of the English should molest the subjects of the King of Portugal on the sea or in their harbours.
2. That the English be prohibited from trading to any of the regions conquered by the King of Portugal (fn. 5) on pain of death and confiscation of goods.
3. That the Scots should not be allowed to plunder the Portuguese vessels near the English coasts.
4. That these three articles be contained in letters patent under the Great Seal, and be published in all the ports.
5. That a copy of the said letters patent, signed by two notaries public, may have the same force as the letters themselves.
Copy. Endd. Lat. Pp. 2.
April 8. 98. Reply to the Portuguese Ambassador. (fn. 6)
1. In answer to the first Article of this complaint, if any of her subjects can be proved guilty of the crimes laid to their charge, they shall be punished. The Queen has at great expense equipped vessels against the pirates, whilst no other Princes have done the same, but rather abetted them by allowing them to enter their ports.
2. To the second Article, the Queen does not acknowledge the King of Portugal's right to forbid the subjects of another Prince from trading where they like, and she will take care that her subjects are not worse treated in the King of Portugal's dominions than his shall be in hers.
3. To the third Article, as the Scots are not esteemed as pirates in their own country, she cannot exclude them from her harbours without breaking the amity now existing. She will, however, forbid, under heavy penalties, any of her subjects from assisting them in their depredations on the Portuguese.
Copy. Endd. by Cecil: The copy of this was delivered to the Lords of the Council 8 April 1561. Lat. Pp. 4.
[April 8.] 99. Translation of the above into English.
rig. Draft. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 4.
[April 8.] 100. Another translation into English of the above.
Orig. Draft, partly in Cecil's hol. Endd. Pp. 4.
[April 8.] 101. Fair copy of the above.
Corrected and endd. by Cecil. Pp. 4.
April 8. 102. French Hostages.
Oath of Claud De la Tremoille, Comte De Benon, Baron De Noirmoustier, one of the hostages sent into England by Charles, King of France, to the effect that he will observe the articles of the treaty of 2 April 1559.—Westminster, 8 April 1561.
Orig., on vellum. Endd. by Cecil. Lat.
April 9. 103. Throckmorton to Cecil.
1. Has received his letters of the 28th and 30th March by the Lord James; of whose arrival, and going towards Rheims, Throckmorton has presently written the Queen. Doubts not but that Cecil will consider what cause he has to mistrust the doings of the Duke of Châtellerault and his son, wherein Captain Forbes' slender usage of himself at his passing through England has done no great good to persuade well of them. Thinks it proceeds rather of folly than practice or malice of the Duke's part. Thinks that the Duke is of both readier to incline this way, being thereunto urged by the Papists. As for the other, Cecil understands his case by Alexander Clerk, (now at his passing through,) "and whereunto he must be driven to save all upright."
2. As to Forbes's packet which he lost and recovered again in England, saving for the shame to him to lose it, he [Forbes] cared not whether the same had been seen, for he has uttered to the writer the whole contents thereof, and also his instructions, which were to the King of Navarre and the Constable, whom he requests (and thereto instructed Forbes) to advise him how he may have the Queen of Scotland in marriage.
3. Lord James, understanding his message, is not a little offended that Forbes never discovered it to him until they came to Boulogne, which if he had known in England he would never have suffered him to pass therewith. Whereby it appears that Lord James was nothing privy to it, whereof he beseeches the Queen to be persuaded.
4. Cannot certainly learn what answer the Portingales have had, but it seems not very good, as the Ambassador sent to him and fain would know what the French meant by arming to sea. As far as he can learn, they rig forth ten ships, some for the voyages that the Portuguese fear, and some for other purposes. Sends certain letters of Lord James, and asks that they may be forwarded according to their directions.—Paris, 9 April 1561. Signed.
5. P. S.—Whatsoever ingratitude or strange dealing is done by the Duke of Châtellerault, the writer thinks that the Queen and Council should wink at it until time work some effect to serve the Queen's purpose; for betwixt the two factions in Scotland it will be hard to tell what the event shall be, and which shall be meetest for the Queen to lean to. (fn. 7)
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
April 10. 104. Lord Grey to Cecil.
Perceives that Thomas Carlisle's wife is at London, and by process that she lately caused to be served and by other means procures many incumbrances to disquiet her honest neighbours in this country. Thinks that she and her husband will exclaim also upon him for the matter of the fishing in controversy betwixt them, wherein he has already (according to Cecil's request in his letter of March 18) restored the use of the water to such men as have occupied the fishing heretofore for Carlisle, to answer the commodity thereof to whomsoever the law shall order. Trusts that no credit will be given in his absence to malicious slanders which may redound to the prejudice of his true title and claim. Seeing that he refers himself to law, and does nothing upon greediness or hatred, he trusts that neither their exclaims or their friends will move Cecil or the Lords of the Council to hear any wrong opinion of the writer.—Berwick, 10 April 1561. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. On the back: At Berwick, 10 April, at one, afternoon. Pp. 2.


  • 1. So in the original, but plainly an error.
  • 2. The third Sunday after Easter.
  • 3. So the letter, but the figures are apparently erroneous. The letter from Johnson to Cecil of April 24 (No. 142) speaks of 30,000.
  • 4. At the back of this document Cecil has written the following names: My Lord Admiral, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Peter, Mr. Mason, Mr. Wotton, Mr. Hadden.
  • 5. Seilicet, Minæ, Mingetæ, et Brasiliæ, marg. note in the original.
  • 6. One half of the second leaf (blank) has been torn off.
  • 7. The whole of this P.S. is in Throckmorton's hand.