Simancas: November 1570

Pages 284-286

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

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November 1570

2 Nov. 224. The King to Guerau de Spes.
Your three last letters of 11th, 19th, and 25th September were received together on the 28th October, enclosing the statement given to you about Ireland by Selliger, and the memorandum d rawn up by Bayou as to his proposals. Both of these are of such importance that I am pleased you sent them, with the information on other subjects which you gave in your letters. As you have no doubt written the same to the duke of Alba, in accordance with your instructions, he will give you due orders which you will follow on all points. After I have myself considered maturely the question of Ireland, and Bayon's proposal, I will send you advice as to what you are to do. In the meanwhile you will continue to report everything that happens, and especially about the queen of Scotland. You will let her know how much I desire her release, and to see the Catholics tranquil in mind and body, as their noble ends and Christian fortitude deserve. In all your proceedings with them, as regards action, you will closely follow the Duke's orders, as the matter is one that must be very carefully handled, or we may do them more harm than good. Steps must be taken in this with a leaden foot.—The Escorial, 2nd November 1570.
14 Nov. 225. Document headed "Translation of the Edict of the Queen of England against those who harbour Rebellious Persons and Seditious Libels, dated at Hampton Court, 14th November 1570."
Her Majesty the Queen, considering that Almighty God has hitherto kept her realm in general peace, and her subjects in constant obedience to her, notwithstanding many secret solicitations of certain fugitives and rebels, now dwelling beyond the sea, by means of their seditious messages and false rumours sent hither with the object of provoking others to participate in their malicious treasons, cannot do otherwise than first dutifully give thanks and praise to God, and at the same time express her acknowledgment of the loyalty of her subjects, and their firmness in the preservation of the common peace. She gives warning especially to the more simple sort, of her dear subjects, not on any account to be lead astray by the false inventions of the said fugitives and rebels, or their adherents, either hidden here or living across the seas, who may try to seduce the good lieges to disobedience, both by word of mouth, and by books and writings, with the object of breaking the common peace and gaining help for their treason and rebellion. Her Majesty, therefore, earnestly orders all her good subjects to beware of this, and to employ all their diligence in arresting such persuaders to disobedience and violiation of the Jaws, and more especially those who bring within the realm any book or books, or similar pestiferous devices against the laws and government of the realm, or in any manner prejudicial to the royal state. If any person be found willingly aiding or abetting any other person in these malicious enterprises, or receiving, keeping, or remaining silent with regard to, any such seditious books, writings, or printed or written bulls, and who do not immediately discover any such persons and procure their arrest, or at once cause such writings to be presented to the officers of justice, as by public decree has recently been ordered, her Majesty makes known that all persons so offending after this notice will be arrested and punished as the abettors of I he principal traitors who are the authors of the same. This being so clear the present decree will be carried out without any excuse being permitted on thegroimd of simplicity and ignorance by those who are accused. —Hampton Court, 14th November 1570.
28 Nov. 226. Guerau De Spes to the King.
In my previous letters I have reported that commissioners were expected from Scotland to negotiate respecting the queen of Scotland's affairs. A great heretic called Abbot Farnera (fn. 1) has accordingly arrived to say that only two are coming that are friends of that Queen, but they will not consent to the delivery of the Prince, as neither party is in favour of it. When they arrive I will report progress to your Majesty.
The French ambassador continues his audiences with the object of frightening the queen of England into the idea that his master will not forsake the cause of the queen of Scotland, but little has come of it hitherto.
Cardinal Chatillon has returned hither and is staying at Leicester's house. His return must either be to intervene in these negotiations or else because he fears fresh disturbances in Fiance. The pirate Schonvall recently seized six rich Dutch smacks bound for Rouen, and is hunying forward the sale of his booty in the Isle of Wight. I have complained to the Council, who have been here lately, and they have ordered the captain of the island to take possession of the vessels, and punish (as they say) the pirates. But it has all been done so tardily that I expect the property will be dispersed, and I have sent a servant of mine to see how the governor of the island carries out his orders.
Under pretext of these affairs Cecil has sent several people to me, evidently with the sole object of discovering why your Majesty had not replied to the three letters which they say the Queen had written to you, and also to learn whether I had power to treat for the re-opening of trade if the Queen desired to commence negotiations with me. I am assured of the great need that these people are in of the trade with your Majesty's dominions, and that, if it be interrupted much longer, most of the merchants in London will fail, particularly now that the duke of Muscovy has punished the English traders in his country for befriending a rebel subject of his and detains all their merchandise ; and that in Hamburg the rising of the Elbe has greatly damaged the cloths they have there. So far as regards the goods they need from Flanders, they are well supplied by the multitude of boats which come from there, and by the great quantities of merchandise which arrive from the States through Calais. They also get a sufficient quantity of goods from Andalucia which the pirates steal and bring hither. If this source of supply could be stopped it would be desirable, and orders might be given to the effect that, if certain places there suffer very much injury from the cessation of trade, certain Englishmen might be authorised to carrv thither what was much needed on condition that they carried back such perishable merchandise as was ready. This they would do willingly as they are in such great need of goods from there, and to dispose of their own merchandise.
The Queen has ordered the sons of the earl of Derby to appear, on a religious accusation, without imputing any suspicion of rebellion against them ; she also has ordered the enclosed proclamation to be published.
José Lotini, a ship-captain, a brave lad fit for anything, was in the service of this queen in Ireland ; but as they did not pay him, he went over to Flanders, leaving his horses behind him, which will give him an excuse to return thither to fetch them. He is well known to Thomas Stukeley. He told me that in the island there was a Fleming, a good cosmographer, although a Protestant, who had drawn up plans of most parts of the country, and if it were necessary he would take him over to Flanders. I have referred Lotini to the duke of Alba, as he is very suitable to serve in those parts, although I have not told him what my intention was.
Seven ships are ready here for the voyage to the Indies, and I have sent an order for them to dismantle. I obtained a stop from the Admiralty Court by order of the Council, but I am afraid some of the ships will go.—London, 28th November.


  • 1. Probably Pitcairn, Abbot of Dunfermline, who was one of the Regent's Commissioners.