Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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|1563. 10 Jan.||
202. Bishop Quadra to the King.
I wrote your Majesty the news here on the 4th instant, and since then the Queen's Council, under the pretext that a man who had fired a harquebuss at one of the servants of the Vidame de Chartres had sought refuge in my house, have brought to a head what they have long been hankering to do, namely, to try to turn me out of the kingdom by ill-treatment or, at all events, to disarm me from opposing them during this Parliament. The dispute in question was between two foreigners (both the assailant and the man attacked being Italians). The servant of the Vidame was not wounded, and it is manifestly clear that I did not want the malefactor in my house, but, on the contrary, the very moment he entered by one door I had him turned out by another, and in the end he did not escape, but was captured and sent to prison.
During the four years I have been here no criminal of any sort whatever has eatered my house, nor have I had the slightest dispute with the officers of justice, but, notwithstanding all these facts, they have seized upon this pretext for turning me out of this house. They sent to demand the surrender of the malefactor, and when they were informed that he was not in the house, and had not been allowed to take refuge in it, they again sent the marshal to tell me it was the Queen's will that I should give up the keys of all the house doors,—both those leading to the street and those to the river and the garden,—to the custodian in order that he might render an account of all those who went in and out. This custodian is an Englishman and a very great heretic. For three years past he has been in this house with no other duty than to spy out those who came to see me for the purpose of accusing them, and I have put up with it all during this long time, although at great inconvenience to myself, so as to avoid having disputes with them on a matter of this description. When, however, the marshal made his demand I answered him that for 30 years the ambassadors here had been allowed to reside in the royal houses, nearly all those sent by the late Emperor and your Majesty having done so, and they had invariably been accustomed to hold the keys of the houses wherein they lived. I said it was not right that an innovation should be made in my case after my four years' residence here, especially on so slight a pretext as this matter, in which I was not at all to blame, and, considering that this is the first case of the sort that has happened since I have been here, it cannot be said that my house is habitually a refuge for criminals. I would, however, go and give the Queen an account of the affair, which I endeavoured to do.
Notwithstanding all this, on the following day, which was Twelfth-day, at the hour when certain people were coming hither to hear Mass, some locksmiths were sent, without any respect or consideration, to change the locks and keys on the doors and hand the new keys to the custodian. I again sent, requesting an audience of the Queen, but she replied that she was very busy, and I was to say what I wanted to say to the Council, and consequently I had an interview with them on the 7th instant. I told them what had occurred in my house, and that it was of such a character as to touch my honour and your Majesty's dignity, since the desire of the Queen to imprison me in my own house made the latter seem much more like a jail than a residence, and I requested them either to restore the keys to me, as I had always had them, or else to find me another suitable lodging where I could go about my business freely, and without guards over me, as nobody entered my house or discussed matters therein which were not to the interest of the Queen. They consulted what answer they would give me, and replied through Cecil, in a very long discourse, the substance of which was that the Queen did not desire that I should remain longer in her house, and that she would provide me with another such as could be obtained. The reasons why they took the house from me, besides the fact of the criminal having taken refuge there, were many and important. First, because conspiracies had been hatched there against the Queen's interest, of which I was the prime mover and fomenter, as had been proved by the persons who had been themselves concerned in them, giving me to understand, with much circumlocution, that they referred to Arthur Pole. In addition to this, all the papists in London came by water here to Mass, and at night it was the resort of all the bad, discontented and disaffected men in the kingdom. That what John O'Neil was doing in Ireland was entirely by my persuasion, and that I was the mainstay and foundation of all the attacks made against the Queen under the pretext of liberty in matters of religion. Cecil ran on so in this way that he went so far as to say that if the Queen had not prevented it, which she had only done by dint of much trouble, the populace would have committed violence towards me, and not a man of my household would have been left alive. I answered him that so far as regarded the malefactor this was the first time in this country that such a thing had happened to me, and that I had done everything that was possible for me to do in the matter, not consenting to the man's remaining a single moment in the house, and, very far from resisting in any way the entrance of the Queen's officers into the house I had offered to allow them to search the premises if they wished. With regard to the conspiracy which they say they can so clearly prove I told them that I had not the slightest idea, and could not imagine to what they alluded, but I could assure them that nothing to the Queen's detriment had ever been planned in my house, and no person in the world could truthfully say that such had been done. Anything to the contrary that they might have heard was an invention and a lie.
With regard to certain persons attending Mass, I did not know of or believe that anybody came but your Majesty's vassals and people who bad a perfect right to come, and, whoever were the persons who were in the habit of visiting my house, they were honest people and he had no right to speak of them in the terms he had used. Finally, with regard to his vapourings about the people of London being indignant against me, and that if it had not been for the Queen and the respect owing to her house they would have attacked me, I assured him that whatever he said of this sort would not frighten me, as I was a servant of your Majesty and an affectionate adherent of the Queen, and I did not care for mobs or Councils. I said it was not I that went about plotting revolts in other people's countries, although the ambassadors and emissaries of other princes, who were well known, did so, but that your Majesty was not in the habit of doing your business in that way. As for the question of religion, I did not make it a cloak for other affairs as he said, but treated it in a way that was becoming in me and my position, conforming with the rules of the Universal Church to which I belong, as does your Majesty and the rest of the christian princes. We came to words, somewhat at this point, in the course of which some of those present showed themselves more violent and angry than others. Cecil repeated several times that I might do my worst, but that the Queen would take such steps that she would fear nobody, and other impertinences of that sort. I was not at all disconcerted or annoyed at anything they said, because, although their manner of saying it was enough to make me or anyone else angry, I saw that it was nothing but a puff of wind. With regard to Arthur Pole's conspiracy your Majesty knows that from the first day I said it was an empty business and that I had refused to lend an car to his foolishness, and this is the simple truth. Nevertheless, I cannot but confess that I think these people here are carrying their nonsense very far, and are in a fair way to lose their heads altogether. They have thought well to begin by turning me out of this house which they had decided upon long ago, as I can prove, and to offer me this incivility on the eve of the meeting of Parliament both to dishearten the Catholics who come hither from all parts of the kingdom and to encourage the heretics and also because they feared that this house which from its being a thoroughfare offers great facilities for the secret admittance of many different persons, might be used by me to arrange some plot against them of which they go in great fear, and with ample reason. Besides this, the heretics are so perfectly furious to see that I keep these Catholics together with some amount of unity that they cannot bear it and the Chancellor said the other day that whilst I was here the Queen need not expect to establish her authority and religion in the country. As regards what Cecil says about the indignation of the people against me and the possibility of some violence being shown me in my house, this is quite true, because since the commencement of the present war in France and the demonstrations made against the heretics in Paris the preachers here in every sermon incite the people to behead the papists, and Cecil himself and his gang never say anything else. It they dared I believe they would behead every Catholic in the country, but the godly ones are many and would sell their lives dearly if it were to come to this. I say nothing of London, for it certainly it is the worst place in the kingdom and, although I am not afraid, yet I must state, out of consideration for your Majesty's service, that if they give me a residence within the city it is extremely probable that, however reserved my people may be, some scandal may happen any day which may result in serious consequences. I shall try to get a residence more likely to free me from these inconveniences, but as it is for them to find me a place, I must put up with what they give me and bear what they do to me until I receive letters from your Majesty giving orders as to what is to be done in the matter. They told me finally that it must be understood that if I did anything outside of my functions as ambassador the Queen would take steps in accordance with what the laws of the land provided, and by these laws I should be judged, and if they had refrained from putting this into execution at once it was only out of the respect they wished to show to your Majesty. All this was said with the greatest violence and excitement imaginable, and although I did not fail to reply to them as they deserved, thank God I kept myself quite free from heat or anger, because I knew that what Cecil aimed at was to make me lose my temper so as to incense the Queen the more. The affair is already public talk, and those well affected to your Majesty's interests and others arc much scandalised thereat, as it is held to be almost a declaration of enmity, and many persons have sent to condole with me who are grieved to see things at this pass and your Majesty so far off.
They tell me about Ireland that John O'Neil is quite in earnest in his dispute with the carl of Sussex and is determined not to obey the English, and these folks here think that this arises from my having advised him to this effect. The truth is that I always refused to speak to him, and it will never be found that I have advised or exhorted him in any matter of this sort. Troops are being raised to send against him and I cannot believe that he is acting without some sort of support somewhere.
I have just learnt that the Queen wrote yesterday to her Ambassador at Madrid ordering him to inform your Majesty of all that had passed with me here and to beg your Majesty to recall me. Their good conscience carries them so far that they have instructed the Ambassador to say that the firing the harquebuss at the Vidame of Chartres' man was by my connivance. I cannot express regret that your Majesty should be requested to do as I want, but I am quite astounded to see the obstinacy with which they persist in ordering such nonsense to be reported, and imputing to me treasons and homicide. A friend of mine amongst them sends me a letter, of which I enclose copy, by which will be seen how virtuously and truly things are discussed in this Council. I think of sending my secretary this week to Madrid that he may, as an eye-witness, report what has passed.
He will also be able to explain the state of things here.
Enclosure : Latin.
The Lords of the Council wrote very bitterly to Challoner yesterday respecting the recent communications between your Lordship and them. It seems that they have instructed Challoner to strongly represent to his Catholic Majesty your Lordship's perversity (as they call it) and to demand your recall. Many of them gossip of the recent violence committed in your house as if your Lordship yourself had perpetrated it, all this being with the sole object of discrediting and humiliating your Lordship. Pray burn this note.—London, 10th January 1563.
203. A True Statement of the Conference held by the
Reverend Father Don Alvaro De La Quadra,
Ambassador of the Most Serene Catholic King, &c.,
with the Lords and other Members of the Council of
the Most Serene Queen of England, and the Reply
given by the said Lords to the Ambassador respecting
the Matters proposed by him on the 7th January 1563. (fn. 1)
First the afore-mentioned Ambassador said that he came to make known certain things which had recently happened to him, in consequence of which he felt somewhat aggrieved. He desired to know whether their Lordships were cognisant of these things being done or consented thereto, and related the occurrences as follows :—
Yesterday there came to the house where the Ambassador lodges, which he confesses belongs to her Majesty, some servants of Her Majesty's household accompanied by the keeper of the said house and put new locks on the principal doors, after which they handed the keys to the said keeper. On being asked by what authority they did this they replied, by order of Her Majesty's Council of State, and the said Ambassador therefore desires to know whether this act was done by order of their Lordships or not. They answered that they had ordered a new lock to be put on the back door leading to the river and no other, and they had also ordered the said keeper to see that this door was locked every night, but to hold himself in readiness with all diligence, whenever the door was locked, to open it if required by the said Ambassador or his servants, exactly in the same way as the other keepers or porters of Her Majesty are ordered to do in her own palace : that there was ample reason for this order supplied by the Ambassador himself, and that it was done with no intention of offending either him or his people.
The Ambassador having heard thus much said also that the said keeper had come into the kitchen of the house and threatened the servants that he would take away the water from the conduit that serves it, and as these things seemed to the Ambassador rather strange, he had reflected that perhaps they arose from a disastrous accident that had occurred in the said house two days since, which he confessed had caused him considerable sorrow, and he desired to relate to the lords of the Council how it had happened.
On Monday night last, he the said Ambassador, was in his chamber with the French ambassador passing the time in play, when he heard a great noise at the door of the said chamber, and on going out to see what it was, he found a young lad, the servant of another young man named Alfonso Bolognes, who is a guitar player at court, calling out for help and that they were murdering him, and other words of great alarm. The Ambassador told him to calm himself and say what had happened, and he related that he had come to the door of the house with an Italian captain named Mazines who had followed him into the house and wanted to take him. Seeing therefore that the disturbance was between an Italian and the said youth, and desirous that the noise should cease, as the French ambassador was in the chamber, the Ambassador ordered his majordomo to investigate the matter and quiet the parties. But the youth was not content with this and kept appealing to the Ambassador to save him, and whilst this was going on the majordomo told him the particulars of the affair as follows. That this Italian youth had shot a pistol-harquebuss at the other Italian at the door of the house and had missed him, whereupon he had been pursued into the interior of the house by the Italian and others. The ambassador being anxious to get rid of him told the majordomo to take him and turn him out of the house. This was immediately done. This, said the Ambassador, was the way he understood the matter at the time, but since then, by the light of better information, he had learnt that the youth had acted so badly after he entered his house that he had had no desire to excuse him or speak in his favour in any way, which indeed he had never done in any similar case. After this the Marshal of the court, with a gentleman named Cobham, went to the Ambassador from the Queen and required him to surrender the malefactor, and the Ambassador told them that he had already gone, as the majordomo informed him, in a boat from the water-gate. After this the Marshal and Cobham came back from the court bringing with them the keeper of the house, and requested the Ambassador in the Queen's name to deliver to the keeper the keys of the door which leads to the river. It did not appear right to the Ambassador that this should be done, considering that ever since he had lived there for a period of three years the keys had remained in his possession and considering also that he was the king of Spain's ambassador and had enjoyed the house by favour of the Queen. He also said that since he had lived there no person could allege that either he or his had misused the house in any way unless indeed one matter might be objected, namely, last summer, when a quarrel took place between the soldiers of Captain Saulea and certain others who were in company with some of the ambassador's servants during which one of the soldiers was wounded, and the Ambassador ordered his wounds to be dressed. He therefore requested the said lords of the Council to allow him the enjoyment of the said house under the same conditions as heretofore, because if the keeper of the house (of whom he desired to say no harm) was to hold the keys of that door it would appear as if he, the ambassador, were a prisoner. If however he could not have the house as freely as hitherto he begged that for the rest of the time he had to remain here he at least might have another house fit for his rank, seeing that truly, but for popular opinion, this bouse was not suitable for his purpose, he being weakly and ailing, as it is so damp and close to the water.
Having thus finished the heads of his proposition he concluded by requesting a reply, which was already prepared, as the whole business had been previously considered, so that one of the members in the name of them all gave the answer almost in the following form :—
Sir Ambassador. These gentlemen have heard your complaints of certain alleged inconveniences and your demand for redress thereof, and have directed me to give you their reply, which, as it will be necessary in it to touch on many matters that will not be agreeable to you, I beg you will accept as the answer of all, as in fact it is. Your Lordship complains of certain innovations made in the locks placed on the doors of your house, and of the orders given that the keys should be delivered to the keeper, and also of the latter having threatened to take away the water from the kitchen, and your Lordship thinks that these matters may be caused by the daring act committed by the Italian who took refuge in your house, and whose crime your Lordship has described in such a way as to diminish as much as possible its enormity. Your Lordship certainly was partly right in saying that this atrocious offence was the cause, but first be good enough to hear the order of the affair from beginning to end, which will be fully proved by witnesses and will not be denied by the offender himself, and your Lordship will not deny in reason that we were fully justified in doing what we did and even more. This said bad man who escaped through your house is an Italian named Andreas, who, it is true, was for some time a servant of Alfonso, as you said, but had been dismissed for more than a month from his house for certain swindling and pilferings. This Andreas is a man who has been banished from his own country, as is public and notorious all over Italy, for two murders similar to that which he attempted on this occasion. It is known, as he himself confesses it, that this Andreas after his dismissal by his master usually went to your house for his meat and drink, and, on the day when he committed this crime, he sallied from your house after dining there and sat at the street door and walked before it from one o'clock in the day until five in the afternoon, when he discharged the pistol at the Italian captain who passed him on the highway to the palace. The Captain is not only a servant of the Queen and her pensioner, but also, as the homicide himself confesses, a man who never gave him any cause of offence. This Andreas, as has been said, seated at the door of your house secretly and suddenly fired his pistol without saying a word, and, from the fact of the captain having continued walking, the motion of his body saved his life, as the bullet, missing his body, passed between his side and his left arm piercing his cape and doublet, which were burnt by reason of the nearness of the firearm. The bullet glanced to the other side of the street into a shop and came very near to killing another man—an honest English-man—grazing his shoulder, and thus by the grace of God the lives of both were spared. As soon as the murderer had fired his pistol, not knowing whether he had killed the Captain or not, he leaped up and fled with all the haste he could into your great hall, whither the Captain with his drawn sword in his hand, with many neighbours from the street and the keeper of your house followed him as far as the door of the hall, which, however, was shut against them. The officers of justice then arrived, and on summoning the offender, a great crowd of your servants sallied out armed with halberds, partisans and naked swords, and denied that any such person had entered the house. The Italian captain who was the only person armed, he having his drawn sword, wanted to force his way through them to seek his assailant but the officers of justice and the neighbours, who had no weapons of any kind, prevented him from doing so in order to save his life and made him turn back. When your servants saw this they, with their halberds and partisans, pursued them all to the outer gate into the street, which gate they defended at the point of their weapons, refusing to allow the murderer to be brought out. Thereupon the neighbours and the officers of justice came to the court protesting loudly by way of complaint against the aforesaid injury and demanding justice in the arrest of the offender. They also petitioned her Majesty that your Lordship might be lodged elsewhere as they had several times been disturbed by similar kinds of quarrels amongst your people and others that resorted there. There were others amongst the neighbours who said that they knew the man who had fired the pistol, as they had seen him frequenting the house constantly for some time past, and had noticed him at the street door all that afternoon, and witnessed him in the act of firing the pistol and entering the house, and even mentioned his name. This is a description of the crime, and, although similar things have been seen in other countries, such as Italy and elsewhere, yet in this realm of England the like has never been heard of before and, please God, will never be thought of again ; especially as the crime was committed openly by daylight and the criminal had the audacity to enter the very house of the Sovereign in the occupation of an Ambassador, knowing that it was a privileged place and would protect such a base murderer, as he was in his own conscience and in the eye of God. This dispute having been represented to certain lords of the Council and reached the ears of her Majesty it was decided to send for the malefactor, and this was the first message mentioned by your Lordship as being delivered by the Marshal and Cobham to whom you declined to deliver the murderer. The lords were informed, on the return of the messengers, both by their statement and your Lordship's reply, that the delinquent had been with you in your own chamber after he had committed the crime, and that your steward had conveyed the man out by the back door leading to the river notwithstanding the Marshal's demand, and moreover that two boatmen had awaited him for two or three hours outside your water-gate. This they thought was behaviour on your Lordship's part very unbecoming in an ambassador and an extremely unjust proceeding to take place in the Queen's own house, so near as it is to the royal palace, and for the behoof of so heinous and notorious a malefactor. For this reason the Marshal and Cobham were sent a second time taking with them the custodian of the said house to request that the keys of the back door by which the criminal had escaped should be delivered to the said custodian, who had orders to attend diligently on your Lordship or your people at any hour he might be required to let you in or out, exactly in the same way that the Queen's porters do here in the palace for the lords of the Council, and this message was the first matter upon which a complaint could be founded. The second (upon which your Lordship enlarged first in order although it was in fact subsequent to the acts already related) refers to the alleged visit of the Queen's officers to put new locks to the doors, the keys of which were to be delivered to the custodian of the house ; and we will now state the matter as it took place, premising that your Lordship was prudent in complaining of this first as otherwise you would have heard of it from us, considering that not two hours since we received a very grievous petition from the custodian of the said house, who dares not leave his abode for fear of your servants. It is quite true that the officers were sent to put a new lock on the back door only that leads to the water, as your Lordship refused to deliver the key to the custodian in order that he might keep the door locked at night. They however had no orders to put a lock on any other door, as we have already said, and we do not think it can be proved that they did so. The truth is that the workmen complained that your majordomo and servants were ready to fight with them when they went to put the lock on, and they say they went in fear for their lives. It is also a fact that this very day at eleven o'clock your servants entered the abode of the said custodian (keeper) with weapons in their hands and threatened him in such a way that he dared not oppose them for fear for his life. With regard to your Lordship's complaint about the threat of the custodian (keeper) that he would cut off the water outside the kitchen, the following are the facts. Yesterday afternoon your servants used the conduit in your kitchen in such a way that as this conduit is on a lower level than that outside the hall they deprived the latter of water, and by shutting the doors of the hall prevented the custodian (keeper) and the neighbours, who were in the habit of getting water from the upper conduit and the river, from getting at the said conduit or passing by the hall to the banks of the river as they were accustomed, and from this no doubt arose the words of the custodian which your Lordship calls threats. Since your Lordship has thought fit to enlarge upon your assertion that during the period you have occupied the said house nothing has ever been done that could give any sort of offence, we deeply regret that this unfortunate accident has given occasion for us to enter into an account of certain other matters, which out of reverence and consideration for the office your Lordship bears as Ambassador of the Catholic King, the good brother of her Majesty the Queen, have hitherto been passed over in silence and consigned to oblivion.
It is a notorious fact that by the back door leading to the water there has been for a long time past public access to your house given to a great number of persons, subjects of her Majesty the Queen both citizens of London and elsewhere, who come every Sunday and feast day to hear your Mass, which has been a means of keeping them obstinate in their disobedience and disregard for the laws of this realm. In order that these persons might not be recognised when they resorted to your house on such days the doors of the hall towards the street are closed and the custodian himself detained outside. Besides this (which is a matter of no small moment for your Lordship to answer) it can be proved that certain traitors, who a short time ago conspired against the Queen, her throne and this realm, resorting to your house by means of this back door, have been encouraged by you, and by your advice, as they confess, have entered into their treason. To speak plainly, it is believed that, under cover of religion your Lordship is the cause of a large number of her Majesty's subjects being disposed to sedition and disobedience who otherwise would have been good and loyal. If your Lordship has not already been informed that this is the generally accepted opinion of the majority of her Majesty's loyal subjects of all ranks, it is only for lack of someone to give you a true account of the bad light in which your proceedings are regarded, and certainly but for the respect owing to her Majesty your Lordship would have been informed of it before this.
Your Lordship has referred to an affray which took place in the month of August before the door of your house between three English soldiers and certain others who you say were only in company with some of your servants. This matter also, out of respect for you, was passed over at the time although a large number of her Majesty's servants were greatly discontented, and particularly the neighbours who live near your house, to see the poor men so manifestly ill-treated and wounded almost to death without any punishment being dealt out to the offenders. To prove that the affray was caused by your own servants purposely we can show you letters written in Spanish by one of your people, either your secretary or some person of equal position, speaking in approbation of the affair and glorifying over its successful issue whilst boasting that the murmurs about it are pacified with some flagons of wine and saying other opprobrious words abusing this country. To bring my address to an end, with a reply to your demand, her Majesty the Queen, understanding that her house has been dilapidated and damaged since you have lived there both as regards the lead, glass, iron, doors, boards and others fixtures, intends to repair it properly, as it is so important a residence and so near the royal palace. She has therefore instructed her officers to inspect it, which they have done, and found the said house marvellously damaged, although without imputing it to your Lordship but to your household, and we have therefore decided to provide you with another house suitable and adequate to your rank.
To conclude, these gentlemen expressly desire me to say that they can perfectly well make a distinction between your acts as ambassador, in which your duty is to uphold the amity between our lord the King and our lady the Queen, and your partial acts which only tend to the diminution and injury of that amity. With regard to the first it is our intention to treat you with all honour and respect due to such a minister, and to use every effort to maintain the present friendship between the sovereigns, however much your Lordship (perchance) may be disposed to hinder it. In your other important acts, which do not regard the service of our lord the King, you must not expect to have privilege as ambassador, although in the present affair of this murderer we have shown you more favour than any of the gentlemen sitting at this table would receive if they were accused of being accessories of crime by resisting the course of justice and aiding the criminal to escape.
Here the Councillor, who acted as spokesman, paused, but some of the others wished the Ambassador to be told what the Queen had also been informed of the conferences and intelligence that had taken place between the Ambassador and a certain Irish lord called Shan O'Neil, who is a rebel against the Queen, and, although the Ambassador denies that Shan O'Neil has ever been in his house, which however the lords could easily disprove, yet he could not deny that he had frequently conversed with a captain (chaplain?) of Shan O'Neil, who is also known to the lords as a traitor, and by his means the Ambassador had given to Shan O'Neil bad advice to persevere in his evil andrebellious purpose.
When they had finished the Ambassador said that as many of these matters were of great importance he requested leave to reply in part in his defence and spoke as follows :
First, putting aside the novelty of the said crime which had hitherto never been seen or heard of in the country, and also refraining from speaking of the Italian who attempted the crime, he wished to reply for himself on certain points, and called God to witness whether it was true that he had ever committed anything against the Queen or the tranquillity of her kingdom unless it were in matters of religion in which not only was he contrary to their opinion, but it seemed to him good and praiseworthy that he should be so. In this matter, even, he had done nothing except what the King approved of. As certain things had been imputed to him he said he desired to reply to the most important, which not only touched him but also his lord the King, as everything he had done had been by the orders of his Majesty, and he was sure would be accepted by him. When they accused him of being an evil minister in giving advice to those who were conspiring against the Queen, he said that this seemed to him to a certain extent a reproach against his master the King. He was at once answered that this line of argument might be dispensed with as there was no one there who spoke or thought of his Majesty otherwise than with all due respect and honour and the faults laid to the Ambassador's charge were his own acts, for which the Queen was sure the King her good brother would be much offended with him when he knew of them, as she was determined to inform him seeing that in past times no ambassador had ever performed such bad offices in the kingdom. To this the Ambassador replied that this was no fault of his, but rather of the times which made him and his proceedings appear bad. This he repeated twice over, and was told that the fault was certainly his own, and not that of the times, because in years past, when the Emperor Charles V. and King Henry VIII., both of glorious memory, reigned together for a long period, and between whom, both on religious and other matters, not a little difference existed ; and again in the time of the said Emperor and King Edward VI., when there was as much division in religion as now the Emperor's ambassadors here always fulfilled their duty in a different manner and without interfering in other affairs, in religion or indeed in anything but what belonged strictly to their dealings with the Kings and lords of this country. They therefore incurred no blame or general scandal of this sort, but were esteemed, beloved and respected. The Ambassador said he marvelled greatly to know why he was accused, and as for showing favour to conspirators he was at a loss even to conjecture the persons to whom they referred. He was told that the traitors were imprisoned and had freely confessed such things of him, and as they knew they deserved death on account thereof it was against nature to suppose they would confess to the said things if they were not true. This would be made manifest some day as the traitors were arrested and put in prison, where they now are, just as they were ready to carry their evil designs into effect. The Ambassador replied that, even if this was so he could not guess to whom they referred, and whatever they might have confessed about him he protested before God that he was not culpable in any such business, but he ought rather to be thanked and made much of by the lords if all his acts in similar affairs could be made known. The conference then closed amicably, and they promised to give him another lodging fitting to his rank. —London, 7th January 1563.
204. Copy of the Instructions given by Bishop Quadra to one
of his servants to advise Madame De Parma and Cardinal
De Granvelle of what had passed in consequence of an
Italian having fled into his house after having discharged
a harquebuss at another Italian ; in order that instructions
may be sent to him.
You will first speak with the Cardinal and follow his instructions as to your interview with Madame. You will tell him the trouble these people have given me about this harquebuss shot, which excuse they have seized upon to do what they had long intended, and I am certain they will not stop until they have secured me, as they have even now put me under lock and key. I am uncertain up to what point I am bound to bear patiently with them, and to learn this and obtain the instructions of her Highness and the Cardinal I send you thither. I do not wish to suffer too much, and thus bring indignity or dishonour to our master the King.
You will relate how Burghes has arrived here, and that his coming is doubtless to testify to something against me, which appears to me to be injurious and even dangerous. You will also say that I do not see what sort of service I can do here, being on such bad terms with them as I am and they so dissatisfied and suspicious of me, and therefore, if her Highness thinks well, I am not disinclined to opine that in case they carry their discourtesy further they might be met with a show of asking for my passports to leave, which would perchance make them think a little more modestly, and if not, then their intention would be made clear and they would have to show their hand as to what they are depending upon. You will explain that I do not say this out of fear or to make a disturbance, and will do what her Highness and the Cardinal order pending the arrival of his Majesty's instructions, but you will point out that, in my opinion, it would put them into a fine fright if I were to ask for my passports at once, which might and ought well be done considering their discourteous words to me and the threats of violence from the people and their keeping me confined in this house without giving me a free residence. I suffer this because if I were to go out and anything were to befall me such as they threaten, they would be absolved. Explain how the affair of the harquebuss shot was discovered and how, notwithstanding everything, they still persist in saying that I knew something about it and it is wasting time to try to convince them to the contrary, as the hatred to me arises from religious affairs in which they think I stand in their light, In the other affairs of which they accuse me, namely about Arthur Pole and John O'Neil's war in Ireland, you will say that her Highness and the Cardinal know well how great a falsehood it is, as I have expressly rejected the proposals both have made to me.
You will also say that I hear the Queen is determined not to withdraw her troops from Havre de Grace, but is, as I understand, about to fortify Dieppe. This attitude arises from the great promises made by the Vidame de Chartres and other individuals, and they believe that the population of Normandy and all France will flock to them with men and assistance, and they will thus be able to carry on the war. If peace is not made with the Admiral in France, or some way found of satisfying this Queen about Calais, I am sure that these people here will continue the war. Notwithstanding all this they are only fitting out 1,500 men and eight ships. You will say that they are still requesting that the Constable should come hither and the other gentlemen who were captured in the battle. (fn. 2)
205. Copy of the Statement made by Bishop Quadra's servant
to Madame de Parma.
Respecting the harquebuss shot discharged at Captain Masino, an Italian pensioner of the Queen, the affair happened as follows. A young Italian who came sometimes to the Ambassador's house to Mass was in the street before the door and fired his harquebuss at the Captain, who was passing by. Upon this, and having missed his aim, he fled into the Ambassador's house, crying out in fear of the said Captain, who pursued him sword in hand, "Save my life for the love of God ; they are going to kill me!" He reached the chamber of the Ambassador, where his Lordship was with the French ambassador and the provost of Paris, and on the Ambassador asking what was the matter, he said, "Captain Masino beat me the other day, and I have just fired my harquebuss at him." The Ambassador ordered that if he had sallied from the house to do this evil deed he was to be retained a prisoner, and if not he must begone at once. His Lordship being assured that he had not sallied from the house to do the deed he was at once turned out by the river-door. On the same evening, the ambassador of France and the provost of Paris still being there, the marshal of the Court and many of the Queen's halberdiers came by command of her Majesty and the Council to demand from the Ambassador the youth who had fired the shot. His Lordship replied that on his word of honour no such man was in his house, and related how the affair had happened, and how the youth had gone. He said if they did not believe him they were at liberty to search the house wherever they pleased, which they declined to do and departed. Soon after they returned to say that the Queen and Council desired that her porter should keep the key of the gate by which the youth had escaped, to which request the Ambassador replied that her Majesty could do as she pleased, but that he prayed her not to treat him worse than his predecessors had been treated. On the following day the said youth was arrested at Gravesend and brought to London, and on being examined he confessed that the provost of Paris (fn. 3) had caused him to do the deed, and the mayor of London was then at once instructed to apprehend the said Provost, and he went in person at ten o'clock at night to the abode of the said Provost and took him to prison. Notwithstanding this they do not refrain from saying that the Ambassador connived at this crime, which is clearly a malignant slander, as he had never seen or spoken to the Captain, whose very name even he had never heard. On the morning of Twelfth day, whilst Mass was being said, many persons being in the house, they had the aforementioned door closed and the key given to the said porter, and four neighbouring men were set to watch who went in and out of the Ambassador's house, by which actions and many others of which her Highness is cognisant may be seen the hatred which they bear to the said Ambassador. He desires to know from her Highness how he should act respecting the pirates, and her opinion respecting asking for his passports, and also how he is to behave in the face of the outrages offered to him.
206. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess Of Parma.
By my letter to his Majesty your Highness will learn the progress of events here and the way I am being treated. Although this may appear a small matter to those who are far away, it is serious enough for us who are here, for since I have been in this embassy I have never had such treatment extended to me as now. I am trying to get them to give me a lodging where I shall be free from these tricks of theirs, but they want to keep me under watch and ward, as they have me here on the excuse that the house belongs to the Queen. It is a great outrage to me for them to have the doors of my house shut from ten o'clock in the morning until one o'clock afternoon, which are the hours of Mass, in the belief that many English people resorted thereto. I do not think they will stop short of securing my person, as their suspicions of me are beyond conception, and their insolence equally great. Notwithstanding this it is my opinion that their present offences are less harmful than they will become by-and-bye however our affairs may turn out.
I trust his Majesty will have all this considered and steps taken. If I had your Highness's permission I think the best way to bring them to their senses would be to make a show of recalling me, as they are not all so imprudent and passionate as Cecil. It should also be considered how inconvenient it would be if anything should happen to me here which his Majesty might have to avenge.—London, 10th January 1563.
207. Bishop Quadra to Cardinal De Granvelle.
By your Lordship's letter of 27th ultimo I see that you had received mine of the 20th, and I am anxiously awaiting news of the arrival of my letters of 27th ultimo and 4th instant, and also to know whether the present despatch passes safely, for, judging by the way these people are slandering and insulting me it would not be at all surprising if they were to seize it. If it reaches your Lordship's hands you will see from what I write to His Majesty how determined they are to get rid of the burden that I am to them here, particularly now that Parliament is sitting ; and, really, if things continue in this present suspicious course, upon my word I believe they will lay hands on me. I am sending a special messenger with another letter to your Lordship, in order to learn what her Highness and your Lordship think I should do in case these people attempt to play me some worse trick, and also to inform you what has happened about that (spy?). I am quite sure I am as innocent of the shameful things these people lay to my charge as if I were on the other side of the world, but nevertheless I am perfectly well aware what their object is, and I fancy it will impel them to do what they have no right to do. It will matter nothing to them that there is no colourable pretext ; what they are determined to do is to insure themselves. It is no good making concessions to them as there is no end to their suspicion, and they will think I am deceiving them. I will bear it all as it comes. I am only sorry for the trouble it gives to His Majesty. God knows it is not my fault. Pray send my servant back quickly, and do not forget that I am indebted to your Lordship for my first introduction to His Majesty's service. I beseech you not to let me be ruined by false witnesses.— 10th January 1563.
B. M. MS., Simancas, Add. 26,056.
208. Bishop Quadra to his servant in Brussels.
On Tuesday last Parliament was opened, and the burden of the sermons, both in St. Paul's and in the presence of the Queen at Westminster, was principally to persuade them to "kill the caged wolves," by which they meant the Bishops, and really it looks as if they would do something of the sort.—14th January 1563.
209. Bishop Quadra to Cardinal De Granvelle.
I am so harassed about that treacherous servant of mine that really I do not know what to do. He is going about the streets saying things of me such I should be sorry to say of him or of one worse than he. I should despair if I did not know that it was a stumbling-block put in my way by those who wish to ruin me. I confess that I am losing patience. They tell me he is having a placard printed in Latin, English, French, Flemish, Italian, and Spanish, saying the choicest things about me. The other day I learnt that a young man who was in the habit of being in my house had brought from Brussels a valise full of papers, which this servant of mine had left in charge of his host there. I made the young man give me the valise and took the papers in it, which belonged to me, and were all letters but one which was a copy of a papal brief, and I testified before a notary what I had done. I had all the letters and papers read before four respectable witnesses, who could certify that there was absolutely nothing in any of them prejudicial to the Queen, or, indeed, anything at all of importance ; nothing about money. When the poor young man was on his way to your Lordship with the dogs I sent you last week this scoundrel had the impudence to have him arrested and take from him certain letters of mine he had in his possession, and claims from him 2,000 ducats, which he says his papers were worth. All these things are temptations to lead me astray. I cannot get audience of the Queen.— 23rd January 1563.
210. Bishop Quadra to the King.
On the 11th instant I wrote to your Majesty giving an account of matters here, and the way in which I was being treated, and I said I intended to send a special messenger to inform your Majesty what had occurred in the case of the malefactor who had fled for asylum into my house, and in whose crime they said I was concerned, because he was allowed to leave by the water-gate. By God's will the man was captured at Gravesend, and, under torture, he confessed that the provost of Paris, who is one of the hostages of the king of France here, had given him money to kill a certain Florentine who came hither in the train of the Vidame de Chartres, a great heretic called Captain Masino, who was at feud with the Provost. (fn. 4) They arrested the Provost and others, and the fact has been proved that neither I nor the French ambassador, who was also inculpated, knew anything of it. The Ambassador was visiting me on the day in question, accompanied by the Provost, and the youth fled to where he knew the Provost was, in the idea that he would help him. As soon as the latter saw that I ordered the youth to be turned out of the house he also left surreptitiously with the object of trying to save the man by other means. I have not considered it necessary to send a special messenger to inform your Majesty, as I had intended, and I fancy they are very sorry that the matter has been cleared up, so that they cannot now exaggerate it and pile it on to the other offences they have been seeking against me. In Arthur Pole's business I have offered the Queen that in her presence, or the presence of anyone she likes to appoint, I will make Pole's brother-in-law contradict all that he has alleged against me ; and if I do not I am content to be condemned on his testimony alone. I have also begged of her not to have him killed until the truth in this matter has been made manifest, as I have never in my life seen or spoken to this Arthur Pole except once, which was as soon as I arrived here. He has never written or sent me any message or had any sort of dealing whatever with me, great or small. A brother-in-law of his, called Fortescue, who was steward to Cardinal Pole, has been here two or three times to dine with me, but never alone or secretly. I had not seen him here for more than a year until he came one day last July, and asked me whether I could put him in the way of getting a Flemish ship to go over in, as he and his brother-in-law, Arthur, and three or four other young gentlemen had determined to leave the country, not being able to tolerate the violence used towards them in matters of religion. I perceived that it was a hair-brained business, and of scant importance, and at once made up my mind to have nothing to do with it, so I told him that as your Majesty was a friend of the Queen you would not approve of my mixing myself up in an attempt on the part of anyone to leave the country in disgrace with her, and that there were plenty of Flemish vessels that would take them over for payment. He said he did not want money or anything else as they were well provided, but only desired to be recommended by me, and asked me for a letter for the duchess of Parma. I told him to have some consideration for my position, as if he were taken with a letter of mine on him very wrong conclusions would be drawn, and I took my leave of him without acceding to either of his requests. I have never seen him or anyone from him since, but I know that he afterwards entered into negotiations with the French ambassador to go and serve under the duke of Guise as a connexion of the queen of Scotland. Although Arthur is married to the sister of the earl of Northumberland, and is very friendly with Lord Loughborough and others, I always looked upon the scheme as an empty one, except that, with matters in such a state as they are here, even a small opportunity might give rise to trouble in the country, and I therefore thought well that the duchess of Parma should be at once informed of the character of the business in case these young gentlemen should seek an interview with her ; and I wrote to your Majesty subsequently to the same effect. I do not know now whether this Fortescue has been seduced by promises, or any other means, to allege things against me, and if so what they can possibly be, as I positively assert that the truth is exactly as I have set forth, and that no other word or thought of an agreement existed between us. I have been endeavouring to find out what was being done with these men, and a few days since I learnt from a person who had seen them that they had confessed to having had negotiations with the French ambassador, but said nothing about me. Since then Cecil has thought proper to weave this web and involve me in its meshes. I have had a great deal to say to the Queen about it, but it is no good shutting my eyes to the fact that they have made up their minds that it will benefit them to publish things of this sort during the sitting of Parliament, and in sight of the whole nation. This conclusion of theirs was at the bottom of a very long harangue which Cecil delivered in the House of Lords the other day, giving an account of the needs and anxieties of the Queen, and blaming your Majesty for the whole of them, saying that you were ungrateful for the friendship and alliance of this country from which you had received so many services and yet had left it without support in the matter of the recovery of Calais. He said that in all the troubles in which this country had been involved for the last four years your Majesty had invariably sided against it and in favour of the Queen's enemies, and that recently you have given so much assistance to the Guises that the only thing lacking is for your Majesty to be called the master of France, because the queen of Scotland feels already so sure of being queen of England, that she is sometimes even called so by those of her household. All this was to arouse the indignation of the hearers, and your Majesty was blamed for everything.
Before Cecil delivered this harangue he asked them all to promise and give him their word that they would keep it secret, but nevertheless I contrived to hear of it, although they treat me so that no man dares to speak or deal with me. They keep my river-door shut and guards at the other door. The custodian (casero) and the neighbours have been ordered to keep a strict account of all those who go in and out of the house, and they have hitherto neglected to find me another lodging excepting one extremely wretched and incommodious in the midst of the most troublesome neighbours and greatest heretics in the place. Under these circumstances I have said no more about moving, as I saw I should be worse off in everything, and I am therefore still here, if not a prisoner at least well guarded. So great is Cecil's suspicion and dislike of me that he has signified to these Protestant Bishops that if they cannot do all they would like in religious matters it is entirely owing to me, and this has moved them to write against me, I am given to understand that what has happened in this matter is that the heretics having proposed a penal Act against the papists who refused to accept the new religion, and the lords having to vote upon the question, the earl of Northumberland said that he thought the Act was neither just nor desirable and that the heretics should be satisfied to enjoy the bishoprics and benefits of the others without wishing to cut off their heads as well. He said when they had beheaded the clergy they would claim to do the same to the lay nobles, and he was moved by his conscience to say that he was of opinion that so rigorous an Act should not be passed, in which opinion he had no doubt all or a majority of his fellow lords would join. It seems unlikely that he would have spoken in this way without being assured of support from many others, and I know from several that they are very determined about it. I have done all I can on my part, and I find things are better than I thought. They have asked for supplies to be voted the excuse being the cost the Scotch wars and of that being now carried on in Normany. One of the borough members got up and said that both of the wars could have been dispensed with which gave Cecil the opportunity of delivering his harangue afterwards to the lords. It was proposed also that the successor to the throne should be declared before the supplies were voted ; but on this there is much difference of opinion. I do not see how this can be done without great disturbance, because many must be aggrieved at the decision as the claimants are many. In addition to this consideration the Queen understands that it is of all things that which will suit her least for her own authority and security, as a declared successor will soon lose dread of her and will carry with him many sympathies, and I am therefore of opinion that the matter will end, as I have said before, by her being granted the right of leaving the succession by will. After this has been done they will the more easily come round to the idea of the Queen's nominating the successor, since it is clear that a present declaration of succession would give rise to many objections. For the last three days the Council have been very busy deciding about the war with France, as Secretary Somers has come back without any resolution on the points he had gone to solicit, which were that the proclamation of war with the English made in Paris on the 11th should be revoked. This I believe has been refused on the ground that no such proclamation was made, and that if the queen of England wished for peace she could have it although she had given reasons for a contrary course to be pursued. 1 believe the Queen would be very glad never to have launched herself into the enterprise. She will not grieve much over the loss of prestige which will follow her withdrawal from Havre de Grace, but she is annoyed that religious affairs remain exactly the reverse of what she wants them, and the duke of Guise so able and ready to help his niece the queen of Scotland to prosecute her claim to this kingdom. I do not know yet how they will decide. They are sending 2,000 men to Havre de Grace, but I think if the King's forces were successful against the Admiral these people here would grow fainthearted and come to terms with France, although the queen of France desires it no less. In the meanwhile I learn that they have despatched two men to Germany with many letters asking the aid of the Princes in this religious war. The bearers of these letters are one a Frenchman, a follower of the Vidame de Chartres, and the other a German who goes backwards and forwards to Germany with despatches. I have sent a spy after him to advise in Brussels what they are carrying with them. I do not know whether Madame will have considered it advisable to arrest them. I think as soon as they decide here to prosecute the war they will publish a fresh document against the duke of Guise telling wonderful things about him and, amongst others, that he aims at making himself king of France under colour of religion. They tell me for certain that the document is all ready, and 1 hear in the same way that they are planning a very injurious action against me. They no doubt would like to prove that I am the cause of all the offences and incivilities which have been offered to your Majesty here and, if this were with the object of stopping such insults for the future, I would forgive them, but whilst the men who have caused them rule here they will get worse.—London, 27th January 1563.