Simancas: May 1571

Pages 306-317

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

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May 1571

9 May. 251. Guerau De Spes to the King.
As I reported in previous letters, the pirates increase in number daily and a large party of them are off Dover and, although I had the bastard of Brederode detained, it is all of little use. The Queen's guns and stores have been put on board, and great numbers of Englishmen are embarked, although I do not fail to communicate with Lord Burleigh about it. He pretends to be ignorant of what is going on. The ships from Rochelle and Denmark are expected.
The only thing settled in Parliament has been to vote the subsidy, but they are not agreed as to the measures for the purpose of oppressing Catholics, in consequence of the Puritans and new Protestants having brought in the bill of which I enclose copy, and this has raised dissensions amongst them. In order that this may not produce an ill-effect outside, the Council has become milder for the present. It has not been decided yet to sell the property of absent Englishmen.
Couriers are running backwards and forwards furiously between England and France, and the Queen is fixed in the idea that the duke of Anjou must, when he lives in this country, conform to the laws with regard to religion. No doubt this is intended to delay the business, as the Queen can conclude it whenever she thinks desirable.
In consequence of the capture of the bishop of Ross' servant and the discovery of his cipher letters, they have put him to the torture, although lightly as yet. (fn. 1) He is in the Tower, and the suspicions they have thus conceived have caused them to dismiss nearly all the queen of Scotland's servants, and she is strictly guarded, although, even in her guard, she has some good friends.—London, 9th May 1571.
252. Copy of the Opinion of the Duke Of Feria and Prior Don Antonio respecting English Affairs.
The two points submitted to your Majesty by Cobham were as follows : First, to impress upon your Majesty the close friendship which for so many years had united the two Royal houses, and the second (without complaining of it), was that a servant of the ambassador Don Guerau, sent by him to the duke of Alba, on arriving in Flanders, caused the seizure of the English vessel in which he had crossed over, and that, from that time forward, he gave orders in every place whereat he arrived, that all other ships and goods belonging to Englishmen in the States should be seized, the object of this representation being to support their (the English) contention that reprisals were first begun on the part of your Majesty's officers, and Cobham referred, for all other points, to the letter of which he was the bearer. It is our opinion that a reply should be given to him in accordance with the discussion which took place in the Council, treating the matter on a broad and general footing and referring it to the duke of Alba, through whom his Majesty had, from the first, negotiated these affairs, both in consequence of his being well-informed as to his Majesty's wishes, and being, so to speak, on the spot. We think this is the verbal reply which ought to be given to Cobham, and we are of opinion that the letter to the Queen, which is to be given to him, should not mention the matter of the duke of Alba.
As regards giving him a chain, it appears to us that, affairs being in their present condition and Cobham having come on the errand he has, with the suspicions expressed in the Queen's letters, on no account should a chain be given to him.
We are of opinion that Stukeley should not be despatched until this man has gone, as it will not be advisable to arouse the distrust of the Queen nor to discourage the Catholic party. After Cobham has gone it will be well to despatch Stukeley and send him away satisfied.
We also think that Don Francés should be instructed to look at the hand of the Irish, Archbishop who is in Paris, to discover the understandings he has both here and there.
The coming and going of a Scotsman called Patrick in Madrid should be closely watched. He was with the Archbishop, but is said now to be going about with Cobham and sometimes goes to Zayas' house. The Catholics say that both he and his master are spies.
Note in original.—Copies of all these despatches to be sent to the Duke (of Alba) and Don Guerau.
Against each paragraph of the aforegoing is a note in the handwriting of the King, which notes are respectively as follows :
1. I have had this matter of England referred to the duke of Feria and the Prior for discussion, and Gracian has here set down their opinion, whereto I will add what occurs to me. With regard to this first article, I approve of what they say. Have a letter prepared at once in this sense and sent to me to sign, so that when it is handed to Cobham a verbal reply may be given to him in conformity with the above, and we may get rid of him and not allow ourselves to enter into any pro and con with the man or to detain him.
2. There is some confusion here about the chain ; there is something to be said on both sides. Let it be again discussed by the Cardinal and Velasco, and let me know their opinion.
3. I agree that Stukeley should not be despatched or a reply given to him until Cobham has gone, but whether we send him away satisfied or otherwise, will depend upon whether he is willing to come to reason or not.
4. No harm can be done by sending Don Francés these instructions, so let it be done.
5. I quite approve also of this being done, and efforts must be made to find out what there is in it.
Note.—It will be very advisable to send them copies and let them know Cobham's errand and our reply. When this is done get rid of this Cobham as soon as possible, as he is doing no good here.
10 May. 253. The Duke Of Feria to Zayas.
Very magnificent Sir. I have not replied to yours of the 3rd because I awaited his Majesty's commands, and also because I wished to wait until Cobham was gone, but the opinion of myself and the Prior is sent by the hand of Gracian, and to this I refer you. I understand that our object is to keep friendly with England because it is not, at present, possible to undertake the subjection of that country and Ireland. We were lords of it once and left it. This friendship will be very difficult to maintain if the sovereign be not a Catholic, and our hold upon the Netherlands will consequently be slighter. The Queen has felt our weakness, and so assails us with inventions and fears that she will marry in France. She will no more marry Anjou than she will marry me. She has neither youth nor health to have children, or to live long. She is hated by all the nobles and her subjects in consequence of her persecution of the Catholics and her refusal to allow them to leave the country ; but withal, she has been unable to destroy them, for the Catholic party is sounder than ever, as she well knows. It is out of the question to believe that the French and English will ever be friends, as they have a natural dislike for one another, and besides this, their sovereigns have such mutual claims as to make it impossible that they could trust each other. The English have never had, nor have their princes, any cause for enmity with us but, on the contrary, many reasons to desire our friendship, which they have always found sincere, and the trade with his Majesty's dominions profitable. The French have not a friend in the whole country, whilst we have the Catholic party, which includes the majority of respectable people. If we lose this support and the opportunity of helping them, it will be another grave offence to God, besides those already committed ; for it is in consequence of the affair not having been managed with the due circumspection that the country is in the hands of heretics. We have thus completely failed, so far since it is clear that, if the Queen had means to offend us more, she would do so ; although seeing the way in which her tricks are succeeding there is no need for her to seek any other way of troubling us. If Cobham is not dealt with in a dignified way as recommended, I am afraid that what is done to avoid war will only bring it into our own house, and we shall find suddenly some day that we have lost the Catholics, and that they too are in arms against us. I am certain that, as soon as the Queen understands that the Catholics depend upon our king, she will not dare to break with us. There is no other way out of it than this : for the last two years we have trodden the path of feebleness, let us now try the other road. I am in a position to speak more freely of this than of any other affairs, because I have had much to do with Englishmen and am well acquainted with the Queen and her ministers, their mode of proceeding, and the extent of their power, and I cannot see why we should needlessly make water in the ford in this way. The Irish Archbishop has begun his tricks now in Paris, and I send you enclosed a letter he has written to a man named Salazar who is married to an Englishwoman in Madrid. Keep it for me. The morning I arrived Cobham came to visit me in the Queen's name with an extremely loving message. He was with me for some time, but I could get nothing of importance out of him, excepting recommendations to me of the case of the merchants and their goods, and complaints of the reception given to Stukeley, which has made them smart, and I do not wonder. I answered him as had been agreed upon in the Council, in case he should approach any of us separately, saying that I was not speaking as a minister but as a good Englishman and friend. The discourse only confirmed me in my opinion, and I am convinced also that this is no time to discourage the Catholic party and, at this juncture if we are not on the alert we may put ourselves into a hole from which we cannot get out. Tell the gentlemen there that I beseech them to weigh this matter maturely, for it is not one that can be contemned or passed over lightly. We are having here the most lovely weather in the world, although his Majesty passes his day, or or nearly all of it, as in Madrid. Aranjuez, 10th May 1571.
254. Document headed : Statement of the errand of Henry Cobham, Gentleman of the Queen of England, and the reply he bears with him (without date).
His Majesty gave Henry Cobham audience on his arrival in Madrid, on the last day of April, having ordered his gentleman of the Chamber, Don Diego de Acuña, to provide him with horses and servants, and he (Acuña) himself went to accompany Cobham from his lodging to the palace. On his arrival there, his Majesty graciously received him, and Cobham handed him a letter which he brought from his mistress and, in her name, submitted two points to his Majesty. The first was to remind him of the old friendship that had for so long existed between the House of Burgundy and the Crown of England and to express the Queen's desire to maintain it. The second was (without complaining) to say that a servant that the Ambassador Don Guerau de Spes had sent to the duke of Alba, on his arrival in Flanders, had caused the seizure of the ship in which he had passed over and gave notice at each place at which he arrived that they were to seize the other ships and property belonging to English subjects in the States. All this was to prove what they falsely try to assert, namely, that the reprisals were commenced by his Majesty's officers. After this Cobham was silent and referred to his mistress' letter on all other points.
His Majesty replied in general terms that he had never had any wish other than to preserve the friendship and brotherhood with the Queen, and although what had passed was known, he would have an answer given to him for his prompt despatch, and this ended the first audience.
Some days having passed without Cobham submitting any further points, it was thought well that Secretary Zayas should take the opportunity of visiting him, in acknowledgment of the letter he had brought from Don Guerau to him, with the intention of discovering whether he had anything else to bring forward, besides what he had said to his Majesty. On this question being put to him, he said : Yes, he had very important matters, which he would submit to his Majesty when the first points had been answered and his Majesty would grant him an audience. Zayas told him that it would be best, and time would be saved, if he would put into writing what he had to say, as the King was at Aranjuez with the Queen, busy in despatching his nephews the Princes, and the statement should be forwarded to his Majesty, who would then, at once, reply to it. But Cobham would not be persuaded to do this, and entrenched himself behind the answer that when his Majesty had answered his first points, as he had promised, he would proceed to the others.
His Majesty having been informed of this, and understanding that all of Cobham's points were simply to gain time and delay a settlement, in order never to reach the stage of actual restitution, whilst at the same time giving rise in England to the idea that he was entrusted with great affairs, and that the final settlement of the business must be deferred until his return, determined to cut the knot and get rid of the man. He therefore sent Zayas to tell him in the King's name that, as regarded his point concerning the maintenance of the ancient friendship between the two Royal houses, the Queen might rest assured that, whilst she performed her part, as Cobham had said, there would be no shortcoming on the side of his Majesty, in order to carry on the same good feeling and neighbourship between them with all the sincerity and straightforwardness, which his Majesty had always displayed. Desiring, as he did, that all questions that might lead to an opposite result should be ended, he would be glad if the negotiations for the restitution of goods and money so long detained in England could be settled with reasonable brevity, in accordance with the arrangement discussed with the duke of Alba by special commission from his Majesty. This was the true and plain way to come to the point, and he (Cobham) was to tell his mistress so, and take her a letter which his Majesty would write in reply to her's, which letter Zayas took to hand to him. When Cobham heard what the decision was, he replied to Zayas, asking him to keep the letter from his Majesty, and he would put in writing what he had to say. Accordingly, in two days, he sent his Majesty a brief letter, enclosing a memorandum of which copy is enclosed. When his Majesty had read it, being still convinced that Cobham's errand was with the already mentioned object, and to give an excuse for wasting time in fruitless discussion, he decided not to enter into any sort of detail, but to reply to the Queen as seemed most fitting to his dignity and position, setting forth the real points at issue and urging a settlement of the open questions on both sides, as has been done in the terms of the copy of his Majesty's reply herewith.
Zayas having taken this decision to Cobham and delivered his Majesty's letter, together with the passport, he again repeated in substance the previous declaration of the King's desire to remain on friendly terms with the Queen, and said that he had nothing to say respecting the points contained in his letter, as they were practically the same as those in the Queen's letter, which was fully replied to in his Majesty's answer.
Cobham answered that, since this was his Majesty's wish, he was satisfied, and would go and kiss his hand and take leave, if he would graciously allow him to do so. Zayas, having been instructed what he was to say in such case, told him that, whenever he chose to go to the Escorial, the King would be happy to see him. On the 8th June he went, and his Majesty having graciously heard him, took leave of him with some general expressions, with which Cobham appeared to be pleased. He stayed and dined that day with the duke of Feria, and had a long conversation with him, in which the whole of the matters were discussed. It is important that this conversation should be conveyed to you, and therefore a memorandum of it is enclosed, as well as one of Cobham's first discussion with the Duke, His Majesty was much pleased with both conversations, as they embodied his wishes.
27 May. 255. Guerau De Spes to the King.
Since the arrival of Thomas Fiesco (fn. 2) here respecting the matter of restitution, nothing fresh has been done, excepting that he has spoken with some of the Councillors, who have referred him to the English commissioners as to the points which they say are still open. He will treat with them for the future, and I will continue to report to your Majesty what may be arranged.
A secretary of the Council came to me from the Queen yesterday to ask me whether I knew anything of the arrival of Henry Cobham at your Majesty's Court. I told him what Secretary Zayas had written to me. It appears that they are very sanguine respecting the despatch which Cobham is to bring from your Majesty.
The secretary also informed me, from the Queen, that she had been moved to close all the ports of this country for 12 days past, even to couriers and persons bearing her own passport, for reasons connected with the interests of her realm, and that I was not to conceive any suspicion in consequence thereof, as the ports were now open again and letters might be sent. I think the step was taken because of the imprisonment of the bishop of Ross, and to prevent any letters or papers of his leaving the country. They have been searching for such papers everywhere in the houses of his friends and himself, but have hitherto found nothing of importance, nor can they make out the letters they have seized, as they have yet to be deciphered. (fn. 3)
Your Majesty will have learnt that I addressed this Council from the duke of Alba, in order to attempt to procure the release of Dr. Storey. I now hear that they took him to-day to be tried at Westminster, and they have condemned him to death in the usual way. I will say no more about it, as I have no fresh instructions to do so.
A French ship, loaded with munitions, has arrived in Scotland to aid the faithful there. This has caused great sorrow here, and these people are trying to succour their party.
The Council has sent certain interrogatories to be administered to the queen of Scotland.
I suspect that the closing of the ports here was done partly to prevent news of the intentions of the pirates being taken abroad. They have now left Dover, to do what injury they can in Flanders.
I had written thus far when I decided to convey to the Council the enclosed remonstrance. Cecil replied that an answer should be sent after the Queen and Council had been consulted, as had been done previously, but he was much surprised that the Duke and I should intercede for an Englishman.—London, 27th May 1571.
256. Statement of the last conversation which the Duke of Feria had with Henry Cobham at the Escorial, Friday, 8th June 1571. Drawn up by the Duke himself with his Secretary.
On the 8th of June, Henry Cobham arrived at the Escorial to take leave of his Majesty. He went straight to the duke of Feria's residence, and the latter at once conducted him to the King. Cobham said he greatly wished that they would tell him, or give him in writing, the answer that his Majesty was sending to the Queen, as it was customary to do this in England with those who came from foreign princes. The Duke replied that his verbal message had been answered verbally, and that the Queen's letter was being replied to by a letter from his Majesty, and he had never seen any other way of doing it than this, as it did not seem fitting that the King should discuss matters with him which he himself had not verbally broached in the Queen's name, and which she, in her letter, had not said were to be discussed with him. He was silent at this, but afterwards said that he should be very pleased if he was the bearer of the King's decision to recall Don Guerau de Spes. The Duke replied that he thought it better that he should not mention the matter to the King, as the Queen had not touched upon it in her letter ; but the reasons given for complaining against Don Guerau were neither just nor true, as he and the duke of Alba were charged with having been the first to adopt reprisals, which was notoriously false, as he (Cobham) and all the world knew. If the King admitted this cause of complaint it would be blaming the wrong person. He, the duke of Feria, knew well that the ambassador had not written a word on the matter to the King, although he did not recollect exactly what the duke of Alba had written. To prove, however, to the Queen what a good servant of hers he was, and how true an Englishman, he, the duke of Feria, would undertake to forward this matter and to try to carry out the Queen's wishes, but that on no account was he, Cobham, to speak about it to the King. This he promised, and they then arrived in his Majesty's presence, when Cobham kissed hands and took his leave without saying anything about business. He afterwards returned to the Duke's lodgings to dinner, and again pressed for the recall of Don Guerau, without saying anything of the appointment of a successor. He also said that he should like to bear a plainer answer about trade, and made some show of grief that no answer had been given to him that he could grasp. The Duke told him that if he liked, they two, as a couple of good Englishmen, might settle the whole business. He replied that he would very gladly do so, and said that he had powers from his mistress for that purpose. The Duke said that they could commence the discussion of the matter at once, and as he, the Duke, had taken upon himself the risk of breaking the ice, Cobham should now begin, He opened the matter by again desiring to blame us for making the first reprisals, to which the Duke replied in accordance with the facts, and after having debated the matter for some time, said that, as that was not a point of any importance as regards the settlement desired, it might be placed on one side and the other points dealt with. Cobham was satisfied with this, and we then entered on the subject of the restitution. Cobham at once unhesitatingly said that he would promise that restitution should be made, and the Duke then replied that, if this was done, he would promise that trade should be reopened as before ; but that, if restitution did not come first, it was impossible to prevent the arising of consequences which might again disturb trade in future. He (Cobham) asked through whom could negotiations be carried on upon the subject, as the Queen was vexed with Don Guerau and, on no account, would she treat with him ; wherein, he said, she was quite right, as it was a question of honour. The Duke pretended not to understand the last allusion, but said the King had referred the matter to the duke of Alba, both on account of his personal merits and because he had always been attached to the Queen. Cobham replied that the Queen was not very well satisfied with the Duke, because when he arrived as governor in the States he did not send to salute her. The duke of Feria replied to this showing him how light a matter it was, Cobham insisted that the Queen should be treated with all gentleness and courtesy, and this, he said, had not been done. He said that at the conclusion of these affairs it would be well to send a person to ratify old alliances and treaties, although these last words were said under his breath. The Duke replied that he was astounded to hear him say that the Queen had not been treated with due respect and courtesy, for, although she had taken the King's money and the ships and property of his subjects, whom she had imprisoned ; although she had allowed her country to become the common shelter of all the rebels and enemies against the King and as many pirates as chose to call themselves so, whose object was to injure the King's dominions ; and notwithstanding the King's letter to her begging for a remedy to these evils, and the despatch of Chapin Viteli and others for the same purpose, the Queen had never replied except in the vaguest possible way. If the King had not been the most prudent and considerate prince, he would have turned upon her, but the King saw that he had no interest in quarrelling as he had no claim to her country, and no need for it, although if he had had, it was once in his own hands, during which time he did nothing but save lives, restore properties, countermand banishments, return offices and dignities to Englishmen who for their offiences had been deprived of them, and out of his own means help and sustain them. If the Queen herself would recall that time to mind, she would recollect that she herself had no small share in these benefits, and she well knew that the duke of Feria was a witness thereof. The Queen on her side, had no claim to the King's dominions, and the friendship between the crowns was so ancient and the connexion between their respective subjects so desirable, that the King was loath to make any movement on the provocation given him, but considered it as the ill-advised actions of a lady, whose eyes he trusted would be open some day or another to the knowledge that the affairs of her realm were not so stable as they might be, and that she had not so many friends abroad, apart from the King. The French and English knew each other and the sovereigns of the two countries had mutual claims which would for ever prevent them from being good friends, besides which the nations themselves were naturally antagonistic, and had done and received injuries so recently that it is too much to hope that they would soon be condoned. The Emperor cannot be expected to think otherwise than he does of the country after having been tricked in the way he was about the Archduke's marriage. The Duke said they knew already what the Pope's feelings were, and the German princes would come and help her if she had plenty of money with which to pay them, but not otherwise, whilst he well knew that, unless they had discovered some new gold and silver mines in England since he was there, the Queen's purse was none too heavy that she should undertake the expenditure incurred by a sovereign who quarrelled with his neighbours. He, the Duke, said he spoke with so much plainness and freedom about these matters, because he was truly sorry to see the English going so far astray, and carrying on negotiations which they thought were deceiving others, whilst they themselves were really the persons deceived. Cobham replied to this that it was true that things were said in England which were related differently here, and that the Queen had been much angered about Stukeley. The Duke said that he had told him that that matter was simply absurd, and that when the King was going to open such a ball as that it would not be with a partner like Stukeley. He, Cobham, replied that a very small spark would set a kingdom in a blaze, and that Stukeley was a turbulent man with considerable connexions, and the Duke could not deny that he had asked the King for ten thousand men, and Julian (Romero) and other captains. The Duke answered that those ideas came from an Irish Archbishop who had come hither, and was, out of charity, at first entertained by the King, but who afterwards began with his lies and inventions and was sent away. Cobham was silent at this, and again turned to the matter of sending some person, as was customary between princes who wished to agree. The Duke replied that it was not necessary in this case as there was neither territories to restore nor claims to reconcile, but only money and goods belonging to merchants, and that a deputy or two, appointed by the merchants themselves, could agree upon the matter, although it would be well that after this restitution had been made, the reopening of trade and other matters he had mentioned, should be dealt with by a gentleman to be sent by the King, the Queen on her side sending another hither, which two gentlemen might remain respectively as ambassadors, and Don Guerau recalled at the Queen's desire. The Duke said that he, Cobham, should endeavour to arrange that the person who might come hither should be one that would be likely to please the King, and he, the Duke, would undertake in the same way that a fitting person should be sent to England. After thinking a little, Cobham said that the man who was sent should not embroil the question of religion ; but the Duke would not let him proceed for fear he should blurt out some impertinence, and told him that the man who went would have to live like all other ambassadors, who had hitherto gone thither, and the man who came here would do like his predecessors, and not cause scandal as John Man did by his imprudence after he, the Duke, had warned him not to mix himself up in religious matters. He was told that he would only be permitted to act as his predecessors had done, but took no notice of this, and ran his head against a brick wall. The Duke asked him, Cobham, to recollect that we never made any innovations or alteration in our religion, and did not ask them to do so. What we were yesterday we are to-day, as we have been the last ten, twenty, and a hundred years past, and should for ever be. He pointed out to him the calamities and misfortunes they, the English, had suffered since they had began to make these changes, which could not be justified by any law, human or divine.
Not another word was said ; Cobham dined, slept, and afterwards returned to the Duke's. He was then with the Duke and Duchess for a long time, very downcast and without saying a word about affairs, indeed, appeared designedly silent for long periods together. At last he rose to take his leave, and the Duke, having to go up to the monastery (fn. 4) to see the King, mounted on horseback and accompanied him along the country for a time, trying to return to the colloquy, but always without success. Cobham asked about the conclusion of the league, about the special concessions which the Pope had granted to the King, about the kingdom of Granada, and the revenue which the King derived therefrom. He was astounded at the great sum of money which the Duke told him could be obtained from all sources, and said that he had pondered much upon the fact that, whilst Don Juan was the general of the league, his lieutenant should be Marco Antonio Colonna, a subject of the King. He asked what Spaniards had gone to Italy, to which the Duke replied that those who had been engaged in the war at Granada, about twenty thousand men, had gone. He asked when the duke of Medina was going to Flanders, and if the duke of Alba was over eighty years of age. The Duke replied that Medina would go shortly, and that the duke of Alba was not eighty but about fifty-five although looked much older than his years. (fn. 5)
257. Fragment Of Letter without date. To Guerau De Spes (probably from Zayas).
The letter which Cobham takes for you is written plainly (i.e. not in cipher) so that if he should open it, as it is piously to be expected that he will, he shall find nothing offensive. He is very artful, but he has been easily seen through, and it is clear that the principal reason of his coming has been to delay the business as much as possible. He would therefore like to enter into interminable pros and cons, and shows no desire to return, although he professed to have. His Majesty would have liked to get rid of him at once but, as I say in the open letter, the reason why he has not been sent away earlier is that we have been busy with the departure of the princes. We now send him off with a few general words about his Majesty's wish to preserve friendship, and referring in all other matters to the letter he takes for his mistress, which is a long one, justifying ourselves on all points, and with so much regard for the dignity of our master that I think you will be pleased with it. A copy shall be sent to you at once by way of Flanders by a special courier, together with a copy of the Queen's letter to his Majesty, and a minute relation of all that has passed with Cobham from his arrival until his departure on Monday the 11th of June. He went on hired mules as far as Burgos, as he was unwell, but will take post when he finds himself fit for it, which I have well provided for in his passport. I have thought well to advise you of this by him, in case he should arrive before our post and you should have a general report of what has happened pending the arrival of the aforementioned detailed statement. If he should mention in London that he was not given a lodging and received no chain or other present, he will simply say what is true, because, the question having been well considered, it was not thought advisable to give him either, as he neither came for peace nor war, in which cases it is usual to give presents to envoys. He came under false pretences with hidden threats, as you will see when you receive the copy of the Queen's letter, and it would have appeared weakness on our part to do anything of the sort for him, as it would have looked as if we were afraid. I think it well to let your Lordship know this and refer you on principal points to the despatch which will leave shortly. The present letters are being entrusted to Cobham to show confidence in him. We have heard that Count Ludovic and the bastard of Brederode were ready to sail with more than sixty ships and six thousand harquebussiers, besides artillery, for the purpose of doing something wonderful in our Indies.


  • 1. This was Charles Baily, whose capture opened up the whole conspiracy, and led eventually to the execution of the duke of Norfolk.
  • 2. There is in the British Museum (Cotton, Vespasian, C. xiii.) a small anonymous document in Spanish, which may be the original rough diary, from 10th to 30th May, of this man during his visit to England on this occasion. The manuscript is outside the scope of the present Calendar, but is worth attention, as are the many documents in Latin, French, and English, relating to the protracted negotiations for the mutual restoration of the property seized and for the re-opening of trade between England and Spain, which will be found in the British Museum, Cotton, Galba, iii., iv., v., and vi. ; Cotton, Vespasian, C. vii., C. xiii., &c. All the more important Spanish manuscripts in the above-mentioned volumes (of the dates covered by this Calendar) will be found in the present volume.
  • 3. The cipher was subsequently discovered hidden under the roof-tiles of the duke of Norfolk's house, besides which Charles Bailey, the bearer of the letters, divulged under torture the heads of their contents. See State Trials (Duke of Norfolk).
  • 4. The palace of the Escorial is, and always has been, called the royal Monastery of San Lorenzo.
  • 5. He was 63 at the time.