Simancas: June 1568

Pages 40-46

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

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June 1568

5 June. 30. The Same to the Same,
The Queen informed me yesterday that she had ordered her ambassador to be recalled, as it was not desirable to have a person to represent her near your Majesty who was distasteful to you, although she greatly wished that your Majesty would hear him in his exculpation, as, by his own account to her, he had not transgressed, and it gave her pain that an ambassador of hers should be, as it were, banished from your Court and presence, on account of the talk it would give rise to. I reminded her I had previously asked that a' fitting person should be sent at once, and said the welcome and good reception your Majesty would give him would prove to all with what affection you regarded her, and always had done. I said I was glad to hear of her resolve to recall the ambassador, and knew your Majesty also would be pleased, particularly as her readiness to do so proved her goodwill towards you. She still wished to blame the Duke de Feria in the business, as she did when I discussed it with her before, and I did my best to reassure her. I have not heard of a new man being appointed, nor did I mention it, except to remind her, as I have said, in order to avoid... (fn. 1) entering afresh into discussion now the matter is settled.
When I left the Queen, and bad dispatched some private business with Cecil, I told him what the Queen had said about recalling the ambassador. He confirmed it, and said that he had received letters from the ambassador saying that two secretaries had been to convey to him your Majesty's orders for him to leave the court ; one of them, Gabriel de Zayas, (fn. 2) and another, whose name he did not know. He wrote, saying that he had never exceeded what the duke of Feria had told him, namely, that, as to religion, he personally could do as he pleased, so long as he did not set a bad example. He had not departed from this course, and had not forbidden his people to go to mass. He said that the person your Majesty was going to send to the Queen to inform her of the reasons for your action had not left yet, and he did not know whether he would go. —London, 5th June 1568.
12 June. 31. The Same to the Same.
The servant of the Queen's ambassador (in Spain), who came hither on his business, started on his return on the 6th instant, and no doubt took the letters of recall, as I wrote on the 5th by way of Flanders. I am informed that he carried also for your Majesty a statement of the proposals made by the Portuguese ambassador on the King's behalf, and of the answer they gave, which is, in substance, the same as I have already advised. It is to be supposed that their reason for communicating with your Majesty on this subject is that they would like to come to some agreement, notwithstanding their show of contempt for the Portuguese.
M. de Montmorin, one of the gentlemen of the king of France who came, as I have reported, to visit the Queen and recommend to her the affairs of the queen of Scots, had audience on the 7th, but they have not yet given him an answer. I understand he asked for leave to go and see her (the queen of Scots).
Fleming and Herries have also had audience on behalf of the queen of Scots. These are the men that, the Queen told me, are here secretly, and whom she had not decided whether she would receive or not. They begged for help to restore their Queen, and permission for Fleming to go to France. No answer has been given to them either.
Fleming sent me two letters, one from his Queen to the duke of Alba, and the other from himself to me, copy of which I enclose with my answer, and another short note from him. Herries who, as I say, also came for the queen of Scotland, seeing that both he and Fleming were kept as prisoners and without liberty to walk and talk as they liked, owing to the English guard told off to accompany them, spoke to the Council about it, and said that he was surprised that such a course should have been taken with him, whilst the person sent hither by the Regent was free to go where he pleased, and especially as he (Herries) was one of those who advised his Queen to come to England, and not to France, whither she could have gone. He requested that they would give him a prompt answer, and let him go, as he could not suffer the long delay usual here, nor would the nature of the business permit it, and he wished to learn whether the Queen, as she had always said, was willing to help his Queen. When the Chancellor asked him how or when the Queen had bound herself to do so, he replied, in a letter written with her own hand and by a jewel she recently sent to his Queen as a token by the hand of Throgmorton when he went thither, and he, Herries, had no doubt the Queen would fulfil her promise ; but, if she did not, he would go and beg aid from the King of France, the Emperor, your Majesty, and even the Pope.
The earl of Bedford, who is the most zealous of them, at once exclaimed, "the Pope!" "Yes," said Herries, "and even the "grand Turk and the Sophi, seeing the need my Queen is in." The Council met today to consider the answer they would give him. They have ordered the queen of Scots to be brought to a castle in the county of Staffordshire, called Tutbury, which I am told is a mean place of small importance. They want to serve her and her household in English fashion, and will provide necessary food for them, although the number of officers and followers to be allotted to her has not yet been fixed.—London, 12th June 1568.
19 June. 32. Guzman de Silva to the King.
The Queen has informed me that she has ordered her ambassador to return. I told her that I thought she had acted wisely in doing so, and that, so far as I could learn, if he had been a minister of any other sovereign but herself, so much consideration and forbearance would not have been shown him. He had been provided with another house in a place that he himself had chosen, as well as retaining in his possession his house in Madrid. The Queen asked me whether he was a prisoner, to which I replied no, that, on the contrary, he was very well treated. She does not seem aggrieved except that your Majesty would not hear him in his defence, but even this grievance is now mitigated, and she is calm. She is also tranquillised about the League, (fn. 3) and, on this subject, I took the opportunity of again reassuring her, and greatly praised, on your Majesty's behalf, the answer she gave to Count Egmont and the Palatine, whereat she was extremely pleased. She told me that her ambassador had written to her that Dr. Illescas' book had been reprinted, but with worse expressions than at first. I repeated to her what your Majesty had ordered to be written to me on the subject, and the diligence of Cardinal Pacheco in calling in the books and having them amended, where she was referred to, in such a way as to prove conclusively to her the love and interest your Majesty felt in all that concerned her, and especially where her reputation was touched. She has made much of this business, and will greatly esteem all that is done in the matter for her.— London, 19th June 1568.
24 June. 33. The Same to the Same.
The Queen has sent a decided answer to Herries and Fleming, and has refused to give leave to the latter to go to France respecting the Scotch Queen's affairs. Her answer is that she has ordered their Queen to approach nearer to her, and has sent word to the (Scotch) government to send representatives to the same place, whither she herself will also send persons to treat with both parties. If she is assured that their Queen was not an accomplice in the murder of her husband, she will help her, and if she was privy to it, she will try to reconcile her to the government. Everything seems to be tending to what I have previously written was the intention in this business.—London, 24th June 1568.
26 June. 34. The Same to the Same.
The Queen has replied to Herries and Fleming, who, as I have written, came on behalf of the queen of Scots, flatly refusing Fleming his passport to go to France, and saying that, as to her seeing their Queen, she had ordered the latter to approach nearer here, and had written to the Regent and government asking them to send persons to discuss matters, which persons will meet in the same place as the queen of Scots. She (Elizabeth) will thereupon appoint representatives who will treat with both parties, and if she is advised that their Queen was not culpable in the murder of her husband, she will help with all her forces to restore her to her former dignity ; and, if the contrary should be the case, she will try to reconcile them in the best way possible. These folks are a good deal embarrassed in this matter, and fear that a French force may be sent to Dumbarton, which would cause them some anxiety.
In spite of the threats made to the sect called the Puritans, to prevent their meeting together, I am informed that recently as many as 400 of them met near here, and, although a list of their names was taken, only six of them were arrested, in order to avoid scandal and also because they have their influential abettors.
The Queen has sent an ambassador to the Muscovite, a brother of that Randolph who was killed in Ireland. This Randolph is as great a heretic as his brother was a Catholic. He is going with a good equipment which it is suspected is paid for by the company of adventurers they call the Muscovy company. They say the principal reason of his going is that the agent of the company there, an Englishman who is married in the country, refuses to come home and render accounts. No doubt other matters will be settled respecting facilities and security for trade, and, considering that the Muscovite is an enemy of the Holy See, some think that an alliance will be negotiated, or, at all events, that attempts will be made to win over his sect if possible. Two English merchants go with the embassy, who will proceed to Persia in order to see how best a trade can be opened up and established with that country. The company is giving them the whole of the expenses of their voyage, on their declaration of the amount, and 3,000 crowns each for their trouble. It is asserted that a great quantity of spices could be brought from those parts if the business could be established.
Since writing the aforegoing, Herries and Fleming have sent to convey to me the answer they had received from the Queen (which is the same as that which I have already written) and to ask me for my opinion. I replied that their Queen should show full confidence in this Queen, and should act, at present, in such a way as to give to the latter no reasonable excuse for not helping her and treating her well. She should be very careful, I said, to avoid all suspicion that she had any pretentions to the crown during this Queen's life ; and, as regards satisfying her respecting her husband's death, their Queen should say that she herself desired to do so, loving her as she did as her sister and friend, but by other means than by judicial action and question and answer with her own subjects, which would be a derogation of her dignity and unfitting to her rank.
I wrote recently that, amongst others who had been arrested for religion were two women, one of whom was called lady Cave (?), and the other the wife of a rich merchant. They were accused of having mass celebrated in their houses. One of them had been arrested previously for the same offence, and, although the punishment is now doubled, she has been pardoned by the Queen and the other has had to find surety.
The lawyers of the college of Arches who had refused to take the oath recognizing the Queen's supremacy, in all her dominions in ecclesiastical and spiritual affairs as well as temporal, were further pressed, and, although they were somewhat obstinate, means were found to persuade them, the oath being slightly disguised in the form enclosed. They set forth the various reasons which they thought justified them in conscientiously taking the oath. Some of the Catholics, however, have refrained.
Herries and Fleming have pressed me to write to their Queen and assure me that it will be a great consolation to her in her troubles. I have accordingly done so and enclose copy of my letter.—London, 26th June 1568.
27 June. 35. The King to Guzman De Silva.
On the 7th instant Roche the courier returned with your letters of 11th, 14th, 16th, 21st, and 22nd ultimo. Before proceeding to answer them I wish to inform you that, bearing in mind what you recently wrote respecting your desire to leave England, I have appointed you my ambassador in Venice, and Don Guerau de Spes, the bearer of this, to be your successor in your present post. I write to this effect to the Queen by him, for her due information, and you may take leave of her and come hither forthwith, in order to arrange your affairs, which we are informed you require to do, and receive personally your instructions and information as to how you are to bear yourself with the French ambassador respecting precedence, which is the principal question now at issue in Venice, and about which it is needful that you should thoroughly understand my will. I leave to your own discretion whether you should come by land or sea. ... (fn. 4) Before leaving, you will thoroughly inform Don Guerau of the state of public and private affairs, and point out to him the persons whom he may trust, as well as all other matters in that country and court, in order that he may be able to write to me fully. You will see his instructions and make what remarks upon them you consider will help him in his task. You will accompany him every time he has to speak to the Queen whilst you are there, taking your leave of her amiably so as to keep her pleased and contented for the due maintenance of our friendship, and to enable Don Guerau the more advantageously and easily to fulfil his mission with benefit to me and my subjects.
The aforegoing, together with Don Guerau's instructions, and the verbal expressions of my wishes, which I have ordered him to convey to you, will nearly suffice to answer the various points in your letters, which, notwithstanding their length, may be treated briefly here. First, we are glad that the Queen has come to the decision to withdraw her ambassador, in accordance with our request, and to send another in his place who will be more acceptable to us. We were in some anxiety until we heard how she had taken the demonstration made against this John Man, who, as you say, stretched matters to the extent of writing to the Queen that I had denied him audience 19 times. It is well that you should know that I never appointed an audience with him, nor did he ever come by my orders to the palace, although it is true that he sent to ask for audience, and I put him off as I was unwell at the time, and especially as I had already resolved that I would not see him or allow him to enter my presence for the reasons I have already stated. If he came to the palace it was without my orders and only to negotiate with Ruy Gomez, as the latter subsequently told me. It will be well for you to explain this to the Queen that she may see there has been no shortcoming on this point, and say that I will always extend to the new ambassador she may send the kind reception and treatment demanded by our friendship and brotherhood, on the sole condition that he acts properly, or, in other words, that he does not transgress the limits of his position. I beg she will therefore send expressly a man who will avoid similar occurrences which, without any fault of hers, might disturb our friendship. I am so anxious to maintain this unbroken that I am grieved to see this matter of the league still being spoken of, being, as it is, so far from the truth that such a thing has never crossed my thoughts, and I am very desirous that you should inform the Queen fully on this point before you leave, and banish from her mind the suspicions she expressed to you of the duke of Feria in the matter of John Man. By the statement taken by Don Guerau it will be seen perfectly clearly that the man's only enemies have been his own faults and excesses, and I trust that she will look upon the Duke in another light and favour the relatives of the Duchess, which to me will be a source of great contentment, as it has been to hear of the measures adopted by her respecting the Flemish freebooters who have taken refuge in her dominions. You will thank her for this on my behalf, urging her to have her orders rigorously carried out, and reminding Don Guerau to follow the matter up in the way you will point out to him, and in accordance with the orders he will have received from the duke of Alba.
It was well done to write to me in detail the position of the affairs entrusted to the ambassador of my nephew the king of Portugal, as I informed the King of it at once, which I thought necessary to do. I have no answer from him yet, but I shall be glad that you and Don Guerau continue the help and favour you have hitherto extended to the ambassador, as if the business were my own. I instruct Don Guerau to the same effect, as you will see, and have also set forth the terms in which he is to satisfy the Queen in the matter of those words contained in the "Pontifical History," which certainly have annoyed me, as will be seen by the order given to withdraw the books and eliminate all that appears objectionable.
This Englefield who is here is such a worthy gentleman, so modest and so good a christian, that I am quite sorry for the severity with which the Queen treats him, aud I should be glad, when you take your leave of her, if you would again mention the matter to her, and try to obtain from her the favour he asks, which is so reasonable, as you are aware. You will press her so that you may bring with you some good news for him, whereat I shall be pleased ; but if you cannot manage it, you will inform Don Guerau of the condition in which you leave the affair, so that he may follow it up as opportunity offers. (fn. 5) —Madrid (?), 27th June 1568.


  • 1. There is a word erased here, and in the margin of the letter there is a note in the King's handwriting which perhaps refers to it, as follows : "There seems to be a word missing here. Look if it is in the cypher. I thought the same thing occurred yesterday in part of the letter from Don Frances, but I forgot to mention it. Look that up as well. I do not know whether it was something about those three men respecting whom he wrote to you, and said that he was also writing to me on the same subject, although I do not recollect that he did so. Look well into it so that we may know what it means, for I did not understand it yesterday."
  • 2. Note in the handwriting of Secretary Zayas : "It is true that Gaitan was with me, but he did nothing but accompany me."
  • 3. The Catholic league against England and the Protestants. See Vol. I., 646.
  • 4. There are several words erased here, and in the margin in the King's handwriting is the following note :—"I do not erase this because I do not intend to do it when opportunity offers, but because there is no reason to tell him so here."
  • 5. In the King's handwriting : "It will be well to put the same in the instructions to Don Guerau so that he may keep the matter in view when opportunity offers." This was a petition of Sir Francis Englefield, who had been a member of Philip and Mary's council, to be allowed to enjoy the revenue of his estates during his exile. The petition was refused and Sir Francis subsequently went to reside in the Netherlands with the duke of Alba.