Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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Brussels Archives, B. M. MS., Add. 28,173a.
173. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess Of Parma.
The interview between this Queen and the queen of Scotland has been arranged for the middle of the month, at Nottingham, a place a hundred miles from here on the York road, and one hundred and fifty from Scotland. The indecision of the Queen in this matter proceeded from the uncertainty as to how affairs in France would turn out. It was her design to make use of the rebel faction if their cause was successful and, if otherwise, to make friends with the Guises by means of the Queen-Mother, and with this object to come to terms with the queen of Scotland. This was the purpose of Sidney's going. The reason that now decides her is the news that peace will be made with the Prince of Condé ; and Lethington goes to Scotland to-day or to-morrow with the news for the purpose of getting his mistress to set out on her journey. He is accompanied by a French gentleman named De Croc, (fn. 1) who came hither six days ago to forward this affair. What is to be done at the interview ostensibly is to ratify the peace which is to be done by the Scotch Queen on some assurance being previously given to her that if this Queen die without issue she shall be accepted as heiress to the crown. I am informed, howover, that it is unquestionable that there are some other and greater designs underlying this, namely, that as the queen of France fears the marriage of the queen of Scotland with our Prince (Carlos) as much as the queen of England does, they think that jointly they can hinder it. The queen of France thinks that a good plan to effect this would be to marry the queen of Scots to the son of Lady Margaret, and I believe Lord James is of the same opinion. This brother of the Queen is all powerful now and, in consequence of his enmity to the duke of Chatelherault and his sons, would be glad to hand over the country to the earl of Lennox, who is the foe of Chatelherault and his rival for the succession. I do not know how this Queen will take such a marriage, as she is displeased with Lady Margaret, but such is the fear she feels of our lord the Prince that she may well consent to it to ensure herself against him. As regards religion she thinks that the lad (Darnley) may in time be persuaded to become a heretic, which is quite possible, and she will not lack means to ensure herself against the queen of Scots and Lady Margaret during her lifetime. I cannot help thinking there is a closer understanding between them (Mary and Margaret) than I had hitherto been informed on the subject of this marriage, to judge from the last words of a note I received from her (Margaret), of which I enclose copy. Robert is also urging the matter forward, as he thinks that the interview may result in bringing his own marriage to a point, and I understand Lethington has given him a promise of aid on his mistress' behalf. I think well to inform your Highness of these intrigues that you may consider how far they affect the King's interests. The French ambassador will accompany the Queen, and I am told that he has sent for all the treaties in force between France and England and Scotland in order to provide against any injury being done to his masters' interests (especially as regards Calais) in the arrangements now to be made by these two queens, the queen of Scotland being bound to help and support the French in any dispute that may arise about the restitution of Calais. If we could be sure that this interview was only for the purpose of a reconciliation between the two Queens and the arrangement of the marriage we could all rejoice, but your Highness knows what neighbours are, and I see such ill will and obstinacy in this Queen and her Councillors and, even in the Scotch Queen so much pertinacity regarding religion, that I cannot persuade myself that they may not design something against the King's interests. I have wished to learn whether it is the Queen's desire that I should accompany her on this journey, but for the last five or six days she is, or pretends to be, ill, and I am anxious to know what I had better do in either case. I therefore send this courier (a man of my own), and beg your Highness to send the answer by him. I do not think of staying behind, however uncomfortable the journey may be to me, because I think that something must be in the wind. Count Francisco de Waldeck (Valde que), cousin of the duke of Cleves, has arrived here. It is said he comes to offer to serve the Queen with a regiment of infantry and a thousand horse which he has ready, and to ask for payment of a pension they owe him for the last 10 years. My own belief is that he has been summoned for the purpose of frightening the Catholics with the talk of foreign troops to keep them down, or perhaps even because these folks (the Protestants) are really alarmed and wish to have German help at hand if they should need it, although I believe that the former supposition is the correct one.
I understand that of the 10 or 12 ships that are being fitted out five or six will be sent to Humber Water (un berguater), a port near York. If this be the case it proves that they have some suspicion and wish to be prepared against any disturbance in that province, which is entirely catholic.
Molembays, a gentleman from Hainhault who is here, informed me lately that the earl of Bedford summoned him the other day and made him many fine promises, and said the Queen wished him to enter her service. Carrying on the conversation further the Earl asked him about the gentlemen there were in the States and what each one possessed, and at last wished to know which of them belonged to the new religion. As Molembays did not answer to his, Bedford's, satisfaction the friendship and promises soon ceased.
Arms are being sent from here to the heretics in Rouen and Dieppe, a shipload having gone this week, and I am informed by a trustworthy person that money has been sent by way of Rouen to the people of Orleans. The French ambassador complains of these things, but does it so blandly that it is easy to see that they are not altogether displeasing to certain people over there.—London, 4th July 1562.
The note enclosed (from Lady Margaret).
The whole cause of the Queen's anger with my lord and with (his wife), and the sole reason of their imprisonment and trouble, is the queen of Scotland's business. The basis of all charges against them is that they have tried to promote a marriage between the queen of Scotland and their son, and are attached to the said Queen, which of itself is considered a great crime here, and that my Lord and his wife have dared to send a simple recommendation to the said Queen, she being, as the members of the Council said, an enemy of her Majesty. They would have it that my Lord and his wife had confessed to the charge about the marriage, but they never put forward such a thing and never confessed it. I therefore request you to convey these facts to the queen of Scotland in order that she may be the more confident in them (Lennox and Lady Margaret), and may be able to reply in accordance on the various points.
Brussels Archives. B. M. French M.S., Add. 28,173a.
174. The Duchess of Parma to Bishop Quadra.
We send you enclosed our letter of credence for the queen of England, and in virtue thereof you will tell her that although we had not hitherto heard that she was making more warlike preparations than were necessary for her own defence in the present troublous times, we are advised from France that those who have risen against the most Christian King boast of their close understanding with the Queen, and go so far as to say that they expect great help from her. It therefore appears to us that her duty is as a good neighbour, knowing the affection and friendship the King (Philip) bears to her, to give you an assurance to the contrary. We do not believe there is any truth in it, as preparations of importance cannot be made without the knowledge of the neighbours, and we only take this course because we believe that this rumour, even though only current in France, will be displeasing to her, it being a bad precedent to all princes for rebels to rise against their lords, and particularly when the people think that neighbouring rulers will help them instead of each monarch keeping his own subjects in due obedience. Seeing the danger incurred by all princes it is rather the duty of each to give assistance to the other instead of favouring or appearing to favour the rebels. You will beg her to take this advice in good part and act accordingly, as we have a right to expect from her prudence, and that she will not only refrain from meddling in the troubles in France, but will use all possible efforts to contradict the rumour referred to, and thus avoid any future cause of disagreement that may disturb the public peace between her and the most Christian King, and injure her neighbours. You will duly inform us of her answer for the information of the King (Philip) that he may know of the efforts we are making to avoid troubles, and at the same time learn the answer the Queen may have given you. We have no doubt that the King, being desirous of saving his brother-in-law from the troubles that menace him during his minority, will be glad to hear that the king of France has nothing to fear from that side, and the rebels not receiving any outside assistance may soon be reduced to obedience.—Brussels, (?) July 1562.
Brussels Archives, B. M. M.S. Add. 28,173a.
175. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess of Parma.
I received to-day your Highness' letter of 28th ultimo, and learn the decision with regard to the matter of my servant, which is doubtless the most wise and expedient under the circumstances, but I cannot refrain from saying nevertheless that it is the certainty of the Queen and her advisers about matters in Flanders that in my opinion causes many difficulties, and the boldness with which these people deal with Flemish affairs and others, and it is not to be wondered at that I must suffer personally like other people. To remedy this with modesty and silence is hopeless, as such a course will only make these people act worse until God himself sends a remedy. Lethington, the queen of Scotland's secretary, who came here to negotiate an interview between his mistress and this Queen, left on his return four days ago, taking with him a very full passport for his Queen and all who might accompany her, in addition to certain clauses agreed upon by him on behalf of his mistress and the Lord Chamberlain and Cecil on behalf of this Queen, setting forth fully the conditions of the interview. These clauses are to be ratified by the queen of Scotland before she sets out, and Knollys, the Vice Chamberlain, left here for Scotland on Monday to witness the ratification. The last news, however, of the breaking of the peace in France may cause a change in the arrangements for the interview, which is quite possible, since in my opinion the idea of the interview itself arose from the success of the Guises and the defeat of the Orleans people, as I wrote by my servant who left here on the 4th instant. Lethington and others tell me that if French affairs do not settle down these people here and the Scots will come to an agreement with the Germans, which will be a difficult thing as far as their opinions are concerned, and much more difficult still in the matter of expense.
I understand that a papal Nuncio is to go to Scotland, probably the Abbé of St. Salut, who I hear is bound for those parts (Flanders). Out of the five ships, I wrote to your Highness lately, they were going to send to Humber Water, two have already left, which they say are taking victuals for the Queen's service, and the other three they say are being armed to go against the pirates, the truth being that all the five are really going to guard against tumults in the province (Yorkshire). It is true there are 10 or 12 pirate ships which now boldly call themselves pirates, which they never did before, but they really are not so, and I am told that there are 200 gentlemen in these vessels, the whole thing being clearly a deception. They are also sending Strangways, who formerly was a pirate, with some of his companions to an island on the west coast of Ireland, where the Biscay men carry on their fishing. His Majesty orders me to give to this Queen an account of his reasons for helping the king of France, which I will shortly do, although she yesterday expressed her sorrow thereat, and stated the causes of the war very differently from what his Majesty commands me to say.
The Flemish heretics here publish bad news from the States, and amongst other things say that troops are being raised secretly in Antwerp for the prince of Condé. Although this seems an absurdity I think well to write it to your Highness, and will advise further anything I hear.—London, 11th July 1562.
176. Bishop Quadra to Cardinal de Granvelle.
I am sure my not receiving any letter from your Lordship for some time arises from no lack of goodwill towards me, but from the storms they say have raged there lately, and of which there are plenty of news here perhaps more than is desirable. I am sorry the weather is so bad that even in port "sint timenda naufragia" and am not so much surprised at what is done as at that which is not done, things being as they are. Your Lordship will see by my letters to Madame the state of affairs here and I will not repeat them or my requests to his Majesty to take steps with regard to them. I am very glad that notwithstanding all their search and scrutiny against me and all my servants' statements they will never find that I have written any falsehood or indeed anything more than I have said to the Queen herself and her friends. They will see, on the contrary, that I, in my letters, have not put things so plainly even as I am in the habit of putting them to her personally, and it is clear from this that the pumping of my servant was really only to discover some excuse for complaining but withal the worst thing they can say is that I should not have written as I did unless his Majesty had not intended to interfere in the affairs of this country, with which, as the Queen told me on Sunday, he has nothing to do. She also said that when this sordid knave (Borghese) went to take leave of your Lordship on his leaving for England you told him to tell me that matters here would soon be settled, and they seize upon this to prove that we all have secret understandings and plots against them. These suspicions, however, are of long standing, but as they saw the Queen sometimes heard me willingly, they agreed to assault me in the open and embroil me with her, as they have. As I say, I am satisfied that I have done fairly well the duties his Majesty confided to me, and as I have a clear conscience and have for some time past been asking his Majesty to relieve me, without success nothing better can be hoped for, seeing the suspicion with which I am regarded. Where there are religious differences no human prudence or persuasion will suffice, and consequently I am as well satisfied as if affairs had turned out well, and whatever may be his Majesty's decision I shall be content.—London, 11th July 1562.
Brussels. Archives. B. M. M.S. Add. 28,173a.
177. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess of Parma.
The news of the breaking out of hostilities between the King of France and the rebels arrived here on Monday by Francisco sent by ambassador Throgmorton. The Queen has changed her mind about the voyage and interview with the queen of Scotland and in place of the Vice-Chamberlain (Knollys) who I wrote was already on the way to Scotland for the ratification of the conditions of the interview, she has sent Henry Sidney to present her excuses to the queen of Scotland and say she cannot meet her at present. All the absent Councillors have been summoned and are to be here to-day to decide what is to be done. The general idea is that they will arm the ships they have ready and send troops to Normandy, whither Admiral Chatillon they say is to go and, with the aid of Englishmen to whom he will promise places, hold the province and carry on the war from there. I believe this and that some German nobles will support the adventure although in a half-hearted way. They also say the prince of Condé will throw himself into Lyons where he will receive aid from the Germans and Swiss, that Grammont will go to Barry in Nivernais and that D'Andelot with 4,000 men will defend Orleans. We shall soon learn what decision these people arrive at and I will let your Highness know. The French ambassador received a courier on Tuesday the 14th, with orders to him from the queen of France to inform this Queen of what was passing. He tells me that included in the forces that the Christian King has with which to punish the rebels they speak of 10,000 infantry and 3,000 horse sent by our King. He (the ambassador) expressed his sorrow that the Guises should be the cause of foreign troops entering into France. I thought of telling the Queen what his Majesty had ordered me to say about these auxiliaries in his letter of the 9th ultimo, but seeing what your Highness writes I will not mention the matter unless the Queen gives me an opportunity.
The ambassador tells me that this Queen offers that if the Guises will place the differences with the Orleans in her hands and those of the queen of France she will try to arrange them, which is a sure indication of the good understanding that exists between the two Queens, and confirms what I wrote to France about the isle of Sione and the interview with the Scotch Queen in which there is doubtless more evil than appears at first sight. The ambassador has sent off a courier post haste with this offer, and I should like to advise M. de Chantonnay in time and hope that this will be possible from there (Brussels) if I send this courier to your Highness at once. In the meanwhile I think of seeing the Queen on some pretext, and trying my best to tranquillise her, however impossible that may be in view of the impression made upon her feelings by the things her councillors tell her, especially since they obtained my servants evidence. They have not a real here although they have credit in Antwerp. The feeling of the country is very much divided, and although all obey, yet there is much disaffection, and the Queen knows how little she can depend upon the people. I believe if she determines to join these French rebels it will be more for the purpose of avoiding isolation than from any wish to help them.
They are sending two ships with munitions to Ireland, and as soon as the courier from France arrived here the earl of Sussex was sent off thither to resume his government of the island and reconcile John O'Neil even though it be by force. I am sure matters there will soon be disturbed, and that Sussex's going will precipitate the trouble, as he is very unpopular.—London, 17th July 1562.