Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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Simancas, B.M. MS. Add. 26,056a.
147. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess Of Parma.
M. de la Morette just arrived from Scotland. He says the Queen is determined to marry very highly and does not dissemble about the Prince (Don Carlos). When he asked her what the heretics would think of such a match, she said they would like it and even though on religious grounds they might be sorry, yet so many other things were dependent upon it that so long as she did not leave the country they would not object or at least until she had children whom she could leave as her successors, and then she could go where she liked. He says Lord James and the principal people in the country are of the same opinion. There are an infinite number of Catholics there with the earl of Huntly at their head, who think in the same way. This Earl says the Queen has only to give the word and he will have mass celebrated all over the kingdom in spite of the heretics. Morette says that the queen of Scots professes to be on excellent terms with this Queen who she says will declare her her successor. The queen of Scots has written to the Pope saying she will rather die than abandon her religion, and she is going to write to me to open up an understanding with me.—London, 3rd January 1562.
148. Bishop Quadra to the King.
I was desirous of knowing if it were true that the earl of Bedford had told Morette last year in France that this Queen would be pleased to send representatives to the Concilio, and the earl himself assures me that it is so, and that he said it by the Queen's instructions He says that when on his return here that they would not receive the Abbé Martinengo he absented himself from the Council for shame on the day the answer was given.—London, 10th January 1562.
149. The Same to the Same.
Since I wrote to your Majesty on the 10th instant Montignac, an equerry of the Queen, has arrived from Scotland and gone to France with instructions to seek the Cardinal Lorraine and his brothers before going to court. He recounts how the duke of Chatellerault and his son the earl of Arran having been summoned to clear themselves of the suspicion that they had plotted to seize the queen (of Scots) and carry her to Dumbarton Castle, had both appeared and denied the accusation, but not in such a way as to put the Queen off her guard nor have they delivered the castle of Dumbarton. Whilst they were in Edinburgh on this business they agreed one night to kill the earl of Bothwell an enemy of Arran and councillor of the Queen. For this purpose a relative of the earl of Arran armed 300 men to lie in wait for Bothwell who had gone to sup away from home, but he having heard of their intention, at once returned before supper and sent to excuse himself to the Queen and to complain of the insult which his enemies had prepared for him. He on his part, also began to collect forces so that there were some 700 or 800 men armed ready for the fray. On Bothwell's side came Lord James the Queen's brother and all the train of the Marquis d'Elbœuf, but by the efforts of the townspeople the tumult was avoided. The following day the Queen sent orders to the earl of Arran for him to come and speak to her attended by two follower only. He came and excused himself by saying that the affair had been got up by a young relative of his without either he or his father knowing anything of it. This excuse was admitted and the kinsman who was the cause of it banished from the court, but the earl and his father remain to carry out the restitution of the abbeys they and others have usurped and the delivery of Dumbarton castle, which will not, so far as I can judge here, be effected so easily, as I think that this duke of Chatellérault and his band are encouraged and aided by the Queen of England. She knows that nothing would suit her so well as that the queen of Scots should marry someone who would not give rise to suspicion here, and the French desire the same in order that they may keep the kingdom in their own hands. I therefore think the queen of Scots will have trouble if some way out of the difficulty be not found in time. This Morette tells me that when he was there some of the Queen's councillors spoke to him about the marriage of our lord the Prince (fn. 1) and assured him that there was not a man, catholic or heretic, in the kingdom, apart from the earl of Arran, who did not desire it ardently. Even the Queen herself was thinking of it, and hoping for it and therefore gave no ear to the talk of the marriage with the duke of Ferrara about which Morette had gone thither as much as about the Concilio. Although he has not told me this in so many words I am able to say so with all certainty. When Morette understood that the queen of Scots would not marry the duke of Ferrara and seeing that the French name and influence were supreme in the country, he asked me whether I thought negotiations for the marriage of the duke of Ferrara with the princess of Portugal would be entertained in your Majesty's court, as he knew there was nothing the cardinal of Ferrara desired so much as by this means to enter into the service and favour of your Majesty. He says that perhaps the duke his master may send him (Morette) to your Majesty's court on this and other business. I excused myself from discussing these marriages saying I knew nothing of them, which was true ; but I could not refuse to listen to him or fail to write what I heard to your Majesty.
Respecting the Concilio, which Morette came hither to arrange he does not seem to despair, but he has established in my presence that the earl of Bedford told him last year in France that if the Pope invited this Queen she would send representatives to the Concilio which Bedford asserts he said by the Queen's instructions. He (Bedford) also says that he spoke to her this week about it, reminding her of what she had caused him to say when he was in France, to which she only replied that things were changed since then.
Morette will therefore leave here in two days, pleased to be able to prove that his statement to the Pope which moved his Holiness to send the Abbé Martinengo was not vain talk or without foundation.
Dr. Rastell, (fn. 2) one of the judges at Westminster, has secretly gone to Flanders, which has caused great sensation here. The cause of his going, although it is publicly said to be on account of religion, I am told by some of his friends is to avoid signing an opinion which seven or eight lawyers are to give on the succession to the crown, declaring as it is suspected that there is no certain heir. All this is to exclude the Scotch Queen and Lady Margaret and declare that the selection of a King devolves upon the nation itself. They think by this means or else by obtaining a renunciation or by setting up a will to make a King heretic enough for them out of one of these youngsters. I do not know whether it be true that Rastell has fled for this reason, but I am quite sure of the truth of what I say about their intention to make this declaration and that it is a scheme of Cecil and his friends as he himself has told me several times. The plan of getting these lawyers to sign the opinion is to make sure of them at a time when they will not dare to say what they think so as not to appear attached to the cause of the queen of Scotland, Lady Margaret, or the Catholic religion.
Notwithstanding Lady Margaret's message recently to the Queen that she wished to visit her, to which a very civil answer was sent, they have arrested a servant of her husband, and have commenced proceedings against them (Lady Margaret and her husband). I think this must be in order to make sure of my lady's son one way or another, as they certainly have reason to fear him seeing the large number of adherents the youth has in this country.—London, 17th January 1562.
150. The Same to the Same.
My last letters were written on the 10th and 17th instant, and since then Lord Robert has intimated to me and has caused others to tell me, that he is desirous that your Majesty should write to the Queen in his favour, and persuading her to marry him. He would like this boon to be obtained for him without writing himself to your Majesty, as he fears the answer might make conditions with regard to religion which were out of his power. He has let out in the course of the negotiations that the French are making him great offers, although he desired that I should not be told so. He recently sent word that, if I would write to your Majesty he would send the letter by a special messenger, as it was important for him to have the answer before Easter. I have replied, professing great desire for his advancement and offering to speak to the Queen for him if he liked, assuring her that your Majesty would be glad of this marriage, as you wished to see her wedded and had a good opinion of him. I said I did not need fresh letters from your Majesty to do this, as I had already ascertained your Majesty's wishes, and conveyed them to the Queen on other occasions. The principal thing was to persuade the Queen. No doubt existed as to your Majesty's goodwill. He was neither satisfied nor offended at this answer, and as I had an opportunity afterwards of speaking to the Queen on the matter, I asked her what was the meaning of Lord Robert's request after they had both been so convinced of your Majesty's goodwill towards the marriage. She said she was as free from any engagement to marry as the day she was born, notwithstanding what the world might think or say, but that she had quite made up her mind to marry nobody whom she had not seen or known, and consequently she might be obliged to marry in England, in which case she thought she could find no person more fitting than Lord Robert. She would be glad that all friendly princes should write in his favour, and particularly your Majesty, who might take advantage of what the world was saying about the marriage, and write advising her thereto, so that if she should feel disposed to it, people might not say that she had married to satisfy her own desires, but rather by the advice of her princely friends and relatives. This, she said, was what Robert wanted—as for her she asked for nothing—but she did not see that your Majesty risked anything by doing as Robert requested, even though the marriage did not take place. At last, seeing that I did not promise what was asked, she said there was no necessity for it, only for appearance sake, and in any case the marriage could be effected when she decided, without your Majesty's letter, although, to speak plainly, if it were to take place without your Majesty's favour, Lord Robert would have little cause to feel obliged or bound to your Majesty. I answered in a joking way telling her not to dilly-dally any longer, but to satisfy Lord Robert at once, as she knew how glad your Majesty would be, and so with these generalities I passed over the question of the letter. The reason I had for answering in this way was, that it seemed to me there were two points involved. First, to show pleasure at the marriage as is usual between friends, and this I have always done, so that they cannot take offence at any fault in this respect ; and the second is to let them understand that connected with the marriage there are certain public and private interests of your Majesty, and to offer to the Queen and Robert expressly your favour and assistance in consideration thereof. I have been careful in managing this, as dexterously as possible, following your Majesty's orders to the effect that, unless they first propose the restoration of religion, I am to show them no favour ; and above all, consent to no public appearance of it, so as not to discourage the Catholics. I know that the letter they want is for nothing else, but to go to the Catholics with it in their hands, and persuade them and others who are dissatisfied with the present state of things, that they have secured your Majesty's countenance, and that you have ceased to insist upon the restoration of religion and are content to keep friendly with them in any case. I have thought best therefore not to undertake to obtain the letter for them, because I should be obliged to convey the answer to them which, if it were unfavourable, would offend and undeceive them. If, however, they should press me to write in a way that I could only refuse by offending them openly, I think it will be better even to give them a letter than my active intercession, which might furnish them with the excuse I think they seek, for finding fault with me. Your Majesty will decide for the best, but I cannot refrain from saying, that if your Majesty does not think of employing other than ordinary means to remedy religion and the affairs of this pernicious Government, there is no reason to avoid giving the letter the Queen desires. Although it may not serve to attach her to us or cause her to amend things to any extent, it may yet keep up this pretended friendship and take from her the causes of complaint for which she is seeking. If your Majesty should have the idea that by our temporizing and avoiding any declaration in favour of the Queen the Catholics may be encouraged, with other adversaries, to make a movement which might give an opportunity for your Majesty to get your hand in here to help them, I can assure your Majesty that this is not to be hoped for. I am quite certain, and they have plainly told me, that they will never move without being sure of the help and succour of your Majesty ; because in the first place they would not know what plan or object they should follow, and in the second place, because they have not enough strength to do anything of the sort without the certainty of ruin, and especially when the Queen is secured with her alliances with France and Scotland. This suspension or neutrality in affairs here not only harms your Majesty's interests by keeping the Queen suspicious and discontented and injures religion, but, if I am to tell the truth, which is my obligation to your Majesty, these Catholics have lost all hope, and complain bitterly that through their placing all their confidence in your Majesty and trusting you entirely, they have failed to avail themselves of the friendship of the French, which in the life of King Francis was offered to them every moment, and with which they could have remedied religious grievances, although with some danger to the temporal state. They are so aggrieved at this that no generalities are sufficient to console them.
I have mentioned several times this alliance with the French, and I will now say, for the further information of your Majesty, what has taken place. Lord Robert sent a secretary of his named Mowbray to France some months ago with letters and messages to Vendôme and his brother and to the Admiral. (fn. 3) He was instructed not to be seen by Throgmorton, whom they did not wish to employ in the business for decency's sake, as he was the Queen's minister and no favourite of Lord Robert's. The Secretary was not so secret that Throgmorton did not hear of it, and he wrote to the Council and others, complaining that Lord Robert should send another person to treat of public matters in France whilst he was ambassador. The affair made so much noise that I heard of it and advised your Majesty. Lord Robert fearing, as was the case, that I had suspected what was going on, came to excuse himself as best he could. I received his excuses, pretending to make light of it and to believe what he told me, but the truth is they have come to terms, and although they only yet mention Vendôme and Robert in the league, it is because they are awaiting the settlement of greater questions which the Queen is trying to arrange. Amongst others the reconciliation of Vendôme and the Guises, which is being negotiated through the Queen of Scotland. They (the Guises) are being offered all they want, and the Queen goes to the length of saying, that if Vendôme affronts them she will take their part. This is only to prevent them from appealing to the protection of your Majesty. I do not know what is to be done in this matter or others, which she is planning with such diligence.
The usual good understanding exists between this Queen and the queen of Scotland, but the latter has not yet ratified the treaty of peace recently concluded, and the folks here have not dared to press her, but have rather given her the hope of succeeding to this throne in order to get her to marry to their liking. It is said lately that Lady Margaret wants to marry her son to the queen of Scotland, which has given rise to much suspicion here, and the Earl her husband has been arrested with three or four of his servants and others. Lady Margaret is expected here daily with her son, and I think the Queen wishes to take this opportunity of getting Parliament to declare that there is no certain heir to the crown, and giving her the power of nominating whom she pleases to succeed her. This would have the effect, they tell her, of making her more respected in and out of the country, and would ensure her living more securely ; but Cecil's scheme, and he rules all, is only to exclude the Queen of Scotland and Lady Margaret who are Catholics, and keep the kingdom in the hands of heretics. They also think of declaring incapable of reigning these other women who descend from the Queen Mary of France, second sister of King Henry, who was married to the Duke Charles Brandon (Suffolk), on the ground that the Duke had two wives living at the same time, and that the King's sister was not his legitimate wife.
They keep sending more ships from here, ostensibly for trade, round Cape de Verd, and the French are doing the same. A French captain called Martin de la Place, who arrived here from those parts two or three months ago, has recently been to inform the Council about the navigation there. I sent to have his ship examined, as I wrote to your Majesty, suspecting that it was one of those which had stolen your Majesty's property on its way from the Indies, but nothing was found, and he said he knew nothing of your Majesty's vessel. He has told a different tale since, however, and recounts the whole occurrence, as an eyewitness, in detail. I am sure this man got his share, and has sent it all to the Admiral, by whose orders he came to give the Council the information they required. His ship with others, English and French, are leaving again under convoy, but I do not see that they take any merchandise except a few samples. On the contrary they are fitted out like men-of-war and well found.
Captain Randolph, who is one of those to whom your Majesty ordered pensions to be given here, has left in a ship for Cadiz to take certain baths. He is dissatisfied and well-informed of things here. He is an honest man well affected to the service of your Majesty.— London, 31 Jan. 1562.