78. Relation of a letter from Bishop Quadra to the King.
The Queen had sent for him and told him that seeing the injuries.
she had received from the French she must defend herself, and as it
was important that the king of Spain should know of this as soon
as possible, and she could not safely send a courier by way of France,
she begged the Bishop to remit the news to His Majesty pending
the despatch of the ambassadors she intended to send.
Her reasons were that the king of France had assumed her style
and arms and had 8,000 soldiers in Scotland, besides which he was
sending 40 ships with munitions, and the Rhiengraf and Rocandolph
were raisins : regiments to invade England.
Cecil brought the Queen's letter to the Bishop for your Majesty,
and said they had news that 300 French had placed themselves in
the fort of Eyemouth and had re-fortified it in violation of treaties,
and thus they have begun the offensive. The Queen had ordered her
forces at Berwick to turn them out at once.
The French had promised the king of Denmark te settle his
dispute with the duchess of Lorraine in his favour if he would let
their Germans embark from his port.
Cecil said they would be face to face in five days, and if they, the
English, lose a battle the French will come right on to London.
The Queen desired that your Majesty should be informed, as it
was of so great importance to you, and begged for advice.
The real object of the Queen is to set all her neighbours by the
ears and then take advantage of it for her own ends.
The Queen revived the subject of the Archduke, and said she
believed he was in the country. The Bishop referred her to Count
Cecil also wanted to talk about the marriage, but the Bishop
would not discuss it as they will follow it up if they are in earnest,
and we do not wish to be deceived a second time if it is only a feint.
Some of the Council confess that the Queen must accept this
marriage, but your Majesty, must undertake to protect the Archduke
and the country.
Understands that the Queen's ambassadors are going to your
Majesty to propose marriage with the Prince (Carlos). That Drury
of the Queen's chamber and his brother had been arrested on
suspicion of being implicated in the plot against Lord Robert.
He had spoken to the French ambassador who greatly belittled
the Queen's armaments and said if she wanted war she should have
plenty of it.—London, 13th December 1559.
79. Bishop Quadra to the Duke of Alba.
You will see by my letters to His Majesty that what we have
feared so long has at last come to pass. It is the Queen's act, and I
pray God that Christendom may not again be set aflame by these
corrupt and evil appetites. I think the preparations that were to be
made should be made at once, as delay is dangerous, and in the meanwhile
I will bear myself as your Excellency ordered me months ago
at Chateau Cambresi towards those members of the Council I
mentioned to the Count de Feria. I am deeply anxious, and considering
the difficulties in which I am, so prejudicial as they are to
the successful conduct of negotiations, I am at a loss to know how I
shall carry so great a business through, as His Majesty has left me
here without money, without any letters from him, and without
orders for over four months. I am out of health and to do things at
haphazard is to make success impossible. I know your Excellency
hears plenty of such language as this, but I cannot help begging
that at least I may have news of His Majesty's health.—London,
13th December 1559.
80. Bishop Quadra to the Count De Feria.
This Irishman told me to-day that certain people of their religion
in conversation with the Queen lately mentioned the great numbers
of Flemings and Dutchmen with the families and households who
were flocking into this country from the States on account of
religion, when she answered that they were all welcome, and that
she at least would never fail them. She said, moreover, that when
the Spaniards who now govern the States were all gone back to
roast in their sweltering Indies or their burning Spain she well knew
that her religion would flourish there as she had some of the
principal men on her side.
She no doubt thinks to upset all the world by this means, and
indeed she is trying the game already in France, and her friends are
boasting of the progress of the gospel there.
I write this because you are no doubt the Spaniard to whom she
referred. She will be glad enough to hear that you have gone.—
London, 18th December 1559.
81. The Bishop of Aquila to the Count De Feria.
By what I write to Madame (the duchess of Parma) your Lordship
will see what a pretty business it is to have to treat with this
woman, who I think must have a hundred thousand devils in her
body, notwithstanding that she is for ever telling me that she yearns
to be a nun and to pass her time in a cell praying. I have heard great
things of a sort that cannot be written about and you will understand
what they must be by that. Count Helfenstein should depart
at once and the matter decided one way or the other as things have
reached a point that will not allow us to avoid jumping the ditch
for fear of falling in. I do not hesitate to inform you that I am told
by a certain person that if it be necessary to send troops from
Flanders to this country there is no place so easily invaded as Lynn,
in the county of Norfolk, which has a port and shore whence a force
can be very easily thrown two miles in rear of the town in a strong
position. I am told this by an experienced soldier who knows the
country well and who fears the French may get in, having the coast
of Holland at hand whence they can easily run over on a single
tack. From this place to Bristol they say there is a perfect line of
rivers and mountains dividing the land from the Cornish promontory
to Lynn, the best part of the country.
It appears still possible that Mr. Sidney may go as ambassador to
Spain. He tells me that if it be only to go thither, arrange this
marriage and return, he would go with pleasure, but he does not
want to go and stay there and take his wife without whom he will
not go. He has become reconciled with Mr. Robert, with whom he
had recently been on very bad terms. I imagine Robert wishes to
make much of your Lordship through him as he is persuaded he
could not do so well through me, knowing that I am anything but
pleased with his dissimulation.
They tell me the Queen is displeased that some of them are greatly
caressing a nephew of Cardinal Pole, uncle of her brother (sic) and
she suspects all of those who surround him and particularly Lord
Hastings ; but let her take what care she may, she cannot prevent
the river overflowing its banks one of these days, and, on my faith, I
think that her own co-religionists may bring this about before the
Catholics, For the love of God I pray your Lordship not to forget
affairs here, for I see what good opportunities are presenting
themselves for remedying the evil.—London, 27th December 1559.