Simancas: January 1568

Pages 1-3

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 2, 1568-1579. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


January 1568

1568. 3 Jan. 1. Guzman de Silva to the King.
The duke of Alba sent me copies of the three letters dated 14th and 15th October, forwarded by your Majesty by way of Italy. They arrived here on the 30th ultimo, and the next day I told the Queen of the happy delivery of our lady the Queen, whereat she showed as much delight as must have been felt everywhere at the news, and thanked your Majesty warmly for your care and thoughtfulness in informing her of it ; as also of the reasons which have prevented you from going to Flanders until the spring, which reasons, she thought, were very sufficient ones. She said she longed for the time of your Majesty's voyage in the hope that she might see you, although she did not think you would recognise her as she has changed so much and become so thin.
I thanked her from your Majesty for forbidding Hawkins and the rest of those who are going to Guinea from proceeding to your Majesty's Indies, and assured her with all possible emphasis how much importance you attached to this proof of her regard, in order to fix her the more firmly. She made me great promises about it, and said she would cut off Hawkins' head if he exceeded by one tittle the orders that had been given to him and would punish his associates as well. I am trying to get her to make a show in this matter, as I consider it of great importance, and, if these people are not taken in hand in real earnest, they may do much damage by showing the way to the Indies and opening up this business, and also by their religious action in those parts, the dangers arising from which may well be imagined.
I am advised by a Portuguese, who came hither five days ago from the island of Madeira, that Hawkins' fleet had arrived at the Canaries, and that the ship they call the "Mignon" with three others took in all the victuals they required at Gomera, whilst the Jesus of Ubique (Lubeck) and two sloops did the same at Teneriffe, and they had all continued their voyage on the 12th November.
I have not yet been able to discover the nature of the decision sent by the Queen to the Earl of Sussex about the marriage, but I have learnt from Cecil that the letter was written to him by Cecil himself in his own hand, and as soon as the Queen had signed it he folded and sealed it in her presence, so that no one knows the contents but the Queen and himself, as I was told and informed your Majesty when the despatch was sent off. Some of the Council had asked the bearer what the despatch contained, and he told them he did not know, which was quite true. I am assured that the duke of Norfolk has given valuable assistance in the matter, and I fancy the secretary is not displeased with the despatch sent.
I can only hear of one matter they are discussing now, the question of Ireland, and whether they shall send troops against the Scots, who, as I have written, had gone over to the island. There is some difficulty about it, as they have very little money and less desire to spend it. I am told they will decide to-day. Nothing fresh from Scotland beyond what I wrote on the 29th.
They say the earl of Leicester will leave after Twelfth day, with the Queen's permission to stay at home until the end of March, but these things are generally changed.—London, 3rd January 1568.
10 Jan. 2. Guzman de Silva to the King.
Last night I received, by way of Flanders, your Majesty's despatches of 14th and 15th October, and those brought by sea, duplicates of which I had already received and acknowledged. This Queen has been ill for four or five days, but is now well and affairs here are quiet. I hear the same from Scotland, and that the parliament, which was being held there, is now finished with the result of its approving of the imprisonment of the Queen, in consequence of her having been cognizant of the murder of her husband, and confirming the acts of the earl of Murray. Ireland is still under discussion here, but no decision has been arrived at. I am told that the Viceroy has resigned, displeased with their treatment of him after his services there, and that the Queen has appointed the Vice-Chamberlain as his successor. His name is Knollys and he was there about a year and a half ago, investigating the affairs which had arisen in the time of Sussex's viceroyalty.
I have heard nothing about the Archduke's suit.—London, 10th January 1568.
24 Jan. 3. The Same to the Same.
The Queen is well and things here quiet, although in suspense, awaiting the outcome of events in France. It appears that the earl of Leicester's leave of absence from court is suspended, the principal reason of his going, I am told, being to meet the duke of Norfolk on the way. They make an appearance of friendship, but have to be on their guard, as there is no love lost between them. The second collection of the taxes, granted by parliament to the Queen, has begun. The amount is 400,000 ducats, and it is to be collected in six weeks. They want the money, as they have none left, and I believe they will only employ it in their own private needs. The Queen seems very determined about this, so I do not think the rebels will get much help from her. In the college called the Arches opposite St. Paul's are established the principal lawyers in civil and canonical law, who are judges and advocates of most of the cases in the metropolitan see of Canterbury and other ecclesiastical jurisdictions. They have therefore to check many of the vexatious things which are done to the Catholics, and the Archbishop, in order to annoy them, is attempting to exact from them the oath recognising the Queen as head of the church of the realm. It is not plain how it will end, but they are certainly putting them to much trouble. It was to have been done to-day, but it has been postponed.—London, 24th January 1568.