Simancas: July 1568

Pages 46-63

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

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July 1568

3 July. 36. Guzman De Silva to the King.
I have informed your Majesty of the return hither on the 26th ultimo of M. de Montmorin, and the news he brought of the queen of Scotland. On the day after his arrival here he had audience of this Queen, in the course of which he told her about the letters from the earl of Murray's people, which had fallen into the hands of the Queen, and both he (Montmorin) and the ambassador asked her to see the queen of Scots and aid her restoration to the throne. They tell me they gave this Queen to understand that if she did not do this their King could not avoid assisting her (the queen of Scots) in her need. The Queen gave a fair spoken reply, but they thought it was merely words. On the same day Herries and Fleming went to the Queen to take her the original letters of Murray's agent, and good deal was said at the interview. She subsequently referred .them to Secretary Cecil, and ordered the agent to be examined before them, but he made no statements of importance. No doubt he had been advised beforehand what answers to give.
On the 29th I went to speak with the Queen, ostensibly on private business, but really to hear about the queen of Scotland, and what she (Elizabeth) thought of doing with her after hearing Montmorin and the two Scotsmen. I waited for her to start the subject, which she did, remarking that the business was somewhat perplexing her, as, on the one hand, it was only right that the Queen should be treated well, and, on the other, that she should be taken care of. I answered that, if what the Queen sought was help for her restoration to the throne, and she (Elizabeth) was not willing to help her, I begged she would undeceive her, and let her go over to France, and if she was not willing to allow that, at least she should let her go to Scotland again and take her chance. She said, as regarded giving her help towards a restoration by force, not only were there difficulties in the way of this, but the result of such an attempt would be uncertain, and she therefore thought it would be better to negotiate some terms. These, she said, must be hard, because Murray and his gang would never be safe if the Queen returned as a ruler, even though she pardoned them now, as she could easily find an excuse afterwards to be revenged on them. On the other hand, the Queen could not return without any position, so that she thought the best course to adopt was for her to return with the title of Queen, but that the government should be carried on in the name of her son, as it is now, without giving her power to change it, or to do anything without the orders of the Government and Council. She said that, in order to discuss this, she had sent (as she had already told me) to Murray, asking him to despatch representatives with whom she might treat. She was still of the same mind about it as she had been from the first, and would not, on any account, allow the Queen to go to France ; and as for sending her back to Scotland alone after she had placed herself under her protection, that would be a great dishonour for her (Elizabeth) and her country. Seeing also the pretensions she had to the English crown, it would be dangerous, she said, to allow her to be free in this country, as she might take opportunities of satisfying people about past events and gain them over. She (Elizabeth) had therefore, as she had already told me, determined to bring her to some place in the interior of England, both that she might be safer from her enemies, and also in order that, if she attempted to escape clandestinely to Scotland, her flight should be made longer and more difficult ; as between Carlisle and Scotland there was only one small river, which could easily be crossed. I asked her why, then, she did not bring her away at once ? to which she replied that the Queen would not leave Carlisle, and had sent to tell her (Elizabeth) that she would only do so under compulsion, by which she understood a direct and peremptory order from her. She (Elizabeth) said she did not want to affront her by treating the matter in this way, and she was sorry for her to remain where she was, for the reasons she had said ; which reasons, as I understand from Fleming, are the very ones which make the queen of Scotland unwilling to leave, although she says it is because she wishes to be near where she may know quickly what is passing in her country, and keep in close touch with her friends. I told the Queen that, as this was a matter of so much importance, I thought she ought to keep her friends informed of her acts and intentions with regard to it, and that she should so manage it that, whilst looking to her own interests, she should satisfy the other powers. She said that she had already done so with every one but your Majesty, but, as you had refused to receive her ambassador, she had not ordered him to communicate it to you. She asked me, however, to write to your Majesty what her intentions were, and again repeated to me her assurance that she would not allow her (the Queen of Scots) to return to Scotland. She said that not even her enemies would wish that to be done, or to allow her to be again endangered in Scotland after she had placed herself in her (Elizabeth's) power. She (Elizabeth) is anxious about it, as well she may be, for the queen of Scots has certainly many friends, and they will increase in number hourly, as the accusations of complicity in the murder of her husband are being forgotten, and her marriage with Bothwell is now being attributed to compulsion and fear. This view is being spread, and friends easily persuade themselves of the truth of what they wish to believe, especially in this island. It therefore behoves this Queen, especially, to prevent the queen of Scots from marrying in France, to look out for her own interests by settling the business with all speed, and getting the queen of Scots back again in her own country without giving the French a pretext for going thither. The Hamiltons, who support the Queen, are very strong, as this Queen (Elizabeth) confesses ; and it would certainly suit her (Mary) best to go back, because, being free and in the exercise of her authority, she would be in a better position to negotiate. I am persuaded that these folks here will do everything in their power to delay and procrastinate, to see what time will bring forth.
Fleming has been constantly coming and sending to convey, apparently confidentially, to me, news of his mistress' affairs. I have shown him great goodwill, and have, in general terms, assured him of your Majesty's sincere affection for his Queen, as I am letting the Catholics, her friends, also understand. With the queen of England I am proceeding in such a way that, whilst doing the queen of Scots no harm, I persuade her that my main desire is that she shall succeed in her management of so important a business, cautiously pointing out to her the need for discretion in a matter which deeply concerns her neighbours. She tells me that some of her people are asking her how she finds me disposed in this business ; since she seems so secret with me some of them think that I am trying to forward the queen of Scots' interests, whilst others think I am in favour of those of this Queen and her country. I said that I had been glad to know her wishes and silently serve her, as I always did, to which she replied that she was quite satisfied of my good will, although I believe that some of her friends are doing their best to make her suspicious of me.
The numbers of those who belong to the Puritan religion, as they call it, are going on increasing. As I understand, they are strict Calvinists, and are called purists or reformados because they will not allow ceremonies, nor anything but what is contained in the letter of the Gospel as they call it, although they probably do not believe it. They therefore avoid the churches where others congregate, and do not allow their ministers to wear any distinguishing garb. A few of them are arrested as I have written, but no harm is done to them, and, rather than try to escape imprisonment, they offer themselves for it.
So far as can be seen, most of the heretics in this country are of the Calvinist sect, although really they are all so mixed up with their various opinions that they do not understand each other, or know for certain how they stand, which of itself would suffice to convince them of their error if they were not so blinded. There are some suspicions that certain of the Queen's councillors tried to bring her over to these new views, and to weld all these sects into one, believing that, in such case, there would be no dissensions, and that, if all were of one faith, they could maintain themselves better, and they would try to get people in other places where divers sects existed to do the same. I saw how injurious this would be if it were done, and took a good opportunity of saying to the Queen how distrustful she and other princes ought to be of these libertine heretics (for this is their right name), as liberty and freedom from all subservience is the real aim of the wretches. I told her it was reported that amongst some of those who surrounded her there was a talk of persuading her to abandon the Augustinian creed, which is that which she professes to follow, and adopt this other one, and I begged her not to allow herself to be deceived and misled. She replied that there was no one near her who would dare to suggest anything of the sort to her ; I might be sure of that. I said very likely no one would openly venture to do it, as she, with her intelligence, would understand what would be the resuit ; but they might artfully try to persuade her by working upon her fears and representing that their numbers were large, in order to prevail upon her to assist them for her own preservation, instead of which, I said, it would be to her ruin. She told me that, in the last few days, fifty Anabaptists and other evil sectarians had been expelled, and no doubt they tell her this, but I have heard nothing of it and do not believe it, nor is it to be expected that there can be concord amongst so many diverse and extraordinary opinions. They will doubtless try to attain it, but the devil is no friend to concord and will only help them for his own ends. The book of the names of the persons who gave alms for those in Louvain, which was in the possession of that good man named Wilson, now in prison, has not been forgotten. The names of all the donors were not contained in it, and those that were there were disguised ; but they threatened Wilson with torture, and he has declared the names of some of the subscribers, under the belief that no harm could be done to them for giving charity. They have commenced proceedings against some of them, and have arrested a gentleman of wealth and wisdom named Copley, who was formerly a heretic, but who, for the last five years, has been a good Catholic and a person of great virtue. They have also summoned Roper, who married Thomas More's daughter Margaret, a person of high position, and it is not yet known what will be done with him.
A book has been printed here and has been sold publicly for the last three days (and has even been fixed in certain public places in this city), a quarto nearly two inches thick, called "Declaracion evidente de diversas y subtiles astucias de la Sancta Inquisicion de Espana." It was written in Latin by Reginaldo Gonzales Montano, and has been recently translated into English, but the translator's name is not given. I have only been able to see the prologue, which speaks very shamelessly of the Pope.
The night before last there arrived here a gentleman named Douglas, who was concerned in the escape of the queen of Scots, and who was said to be her favourite. He is going to France, and has been advised to separate himself from her, in consequence of the favour with which she was said to regard him. He is accompanied by a young secretary of the Queen, who passed as his servant, and from whom I have received a letter from his mistress, copy of which I enclose with my reply to a former letter of hers, of which also I send your Majesty a copy. The message he brings me from his Queen is the same as that which I wrote had been conveyed to me by Montmorin and Fleming. I have replied to the same effect as I did to them, showing sympathy and general good will, and did my best to encourage her without any pledge. I enclose copies of the letters sent by the queen of Scots to this Queen, and the substance of those which were taken from the courier despatched by the Regent's servant, who, I am told, is called John Hood.
The duke of Norfolk denies that he said to Tyrwhitt what the latter alleges, and Cecil and Throgmorton do the same. The Duke's word may well be believed, as he is a worthy gentleman, only that he is an Englishman, and the best of them are not to be trusted overmuch.—London, 3 July 1568.
10 July. 37. Guzman De Silva to the King,
The Queen arrived in this city on the 6th in good health and continued her progress which, as I have said, will only be in the neighbourhood, as she is careful to keep near at hand when troubles and disturbances exist in adjacent countries. She came by the river as far as Reading, and thence through the country in a carriage, open on all sides, that she might be seen by the people, who flocked all along the roads as far as the duke of Norfolk's houses where she alighted. She was received everywhere with great acclamations and signs of joy, as is customary in this country ; whereat she was extremely pleased and told me so giving me to understand how beloved she was by her subjects and how highly she esteemed this, together with the fact they were peaceful and contented whilst her neighbours on all sides are in such trouble. She attributed it all to God's miraculous goodness. She ordered her carriage to be taken sometimes where the crowd seemed thickest and stood up and thanked the people. Amongst others there approached her a presentable looking man who exclaimed, "Vivat Regina. Honi soit qui mal y pense" ; whereupon she said to me, "This good man is a clergyman of the old religion." I replied that I was very glad he should show so openly the good will and affection with which the Catholics had always served their sovereigns, and that she might be sure their fidelity was advantageous to her, in order to check the disobedient people in the country. For this reason, I had several times advised her not to allow them to be molested and maltreated. She said she had in this followed my advice and would still do so, and said one of the things she had prayed to God for when she came to the throne was that He would give her grace to govern with clemency, and without bloodshed, keeping her hands stainless. This gave rise to a remark from her about the justice which has been done in the States of Flanders, but not such as to indicate that she thought it so hard as when she spoke of it before ; indeed, my observations to her on the subject seem to have convinced her that it was necessary. The earl of Leicester also mentioned the subject to me the same day, and what seems to aggrieve them most is that the persons executed were not heard in their defence, on which point I undeceived Leicester and Sussex. The latter said he had been much distressed at this action of the duke of Alba, for your Majesty's own sake, and he would rather have walked to Rome and back, or further still, than that this execution should have taken place. I showed him how mistaken he was in thinking that the Counts had been condemned unheard, and said they had been clearly convicted of high treason by judges of great ability, and their own countrymen. (fn. 1) He replied that, notwithstanding this, some consideration should have been paid to Egmont's services and character. I said, if he had rendered good service it had been richly rewarded, as was well known, and for that very reason, and the high position and esteem in which your Majesty had placed him, he should have been all the more careful to prove his gratitude and fidelity. The punishment for his not having done so had been most righteously awarded, to the deep pain of those whose duty it was to punish him. Sussex said that I spoke rather as your Majesty's minister than as a man, and would yet think very differently. I replied that he was in error, and that the offences of these men and the others had been notorious, and those who had so far been fortunate enough to escape might pray that they should not be caught, for, certainly, if they were, they would share the same fate.
The duke of Norfolk awaited the Queen at his house, where she was received. He told me subsequently that, in consequence of his many occupations, he had not been able to go and see me, with other compliments of the same sort, but said nothing whatever about Egmont and Horn. Two days ago there arrived here a gentleman of the queen of Scotland who had come away since her arrival at the place where Fleming is. He brought me a letter written by her, copy of which I enclose. He says she remains in good health, and with a stout heart to face her troubles. She is not displeased with those who guard her, excepting with Vice Chamberlain Knollys, who is always mentioning religious matters to her. The rest treat her kindly. The earl of Murray with his confederates are in Edinburgh.
They say the Viceroy of Ireland will be despatched to-morrow. He has been hurried off lately, but I have not yet heard what extraordinary need there is for this.
I wrote in my last letter that the Council had summoned some of the people whose names were entered in the book written by Wilson (who is now in prison), as having contributed charity to the Catholics at Louvain. Copley has been sent to prison, and Roper was told to return on the 2nd instant. When he again appeared they postponed the hearing until the 8th, and then referred him to the Chancellor and Cecil, who told him that he had confessed to sending money to the Queen's enemies in Louvain, whereat they were much surprised. He replied that it was quite true that he had sent them some money in charity, but that he did not look upon them as enemies of the Queen, but as her natural subjects who were in need. They said they understood that he had sent large sums in charity to those living abroad, but they had not heard that he had done anything for the many poor who were here. He replied that he was not obliged to render an account of the charities he gave, which he considered ought to be secret ; but, since they had opened the question, they had better make inquiries of the poor students that he maintained at Lincoln's Inn and other colleges, and they would then find out whether he only sent charity to those in Louvain. They said then, that, as he was so great a friend to the poor, perhaps he would give them, (i.e, the Chancellor and Cecil) some charity for certain poor people they knew. He told them he would willingly give them 10l. or 20l., in the belief that they would distribute it well. They would only take 10l., and with this dismissed him. I understand that this good man gives a thousand crowns a year in charity to the Catholics who are in prison and at Louvain. Roper was the husband of Margaret, the daughter of Thomas More, and his children are strong Catholics. Copley has also been released and left prison yesterday. They have suspended proceedings against the others.— London, 10th July 1568.
14 July.
B.M. Cotton, Galba, C. III., Original.
38. Guzman De Silva to Queen Elizabeth.
I spoke to your Majesty on the 11th instant to the effect that, for a long time past, it was stated that many rebels from the Low countries, subjects of my King, who had taken refuge here from those parts by the help of your Majesty's subjects, were returning thither with arms, in order to disturb the peace of the States ; disembarking in places where they thought they might safely rob, and that they had killed some poor people who were unsuspectingly working in the fields, and also some priests who were performing their offices, as well as committing many other cruel murders which I refrain from dwelling upon. As these rebels have been received here as in an asylum from the punishment they deserved, I begged humbly that your Majesty would prevent them from returning in this guise to injure the States. When your Majesty had graciously heard me, you promised that a remedy should be provided and that all care should be taken to prevent the continuance of the evil. I depended upon this promise being carried out, but I afterwards heard that nothing whatever had been done in the matter, and, consequently, addressed your Majesty several times on the subject, and also appealed to Sir William Cecil, your secretary, to have the fitting orders sent out. The latter replied that the orders had been promptly despatched and were being put into execution at Sandwich, and I thereupon thanked your Majesty for the orders that had been sent, under the impression that they were official. I have since heard that this was not the case, and that they were only private intimations to the officers of the ports, and I consequently sent to inquire whether they were being carried out. I found that they were not, and that many persons with arms were still being allowed to leave, which is not ordinarily the case in this country. Many of these rebels are now making ready in London, Norwich, Sandwich, Southampton, and other places. I therefore again begged your Majesty humbly to take measures to prevent the evil, in conformity with the old friendship and alliance between the countries, and I handed to your Majesty the substance of certain clauses of the treaty between the late Emperor and your Majesty's father, King Henry, in order that you might see what were the obligations on both sides in similar cases. I also stated that, to provide for the despatch and payment of these men, subscriptions were being opened in England, also entirely against the treaty, and again begged your Majesty to prevent the passage of these armed persons. I have received no answer whatever to all these representations, and as nothing has been done as a consequence of my verbal protests, I again address your Majesty in writing, and beg you to be pleased to give public official orders that may be effectually enforced. If the matter is delayed or passed over and these people are allowed to go, together and armed, accompanied by your own subjects (as they certainly will be), for the purpose of injuring the States, it is evident that this will be carrying on open war under the cloak of friendship, and as such I shall consider it, giving due notice to my master the King and the duke of Alba, that they may take such steps as may be desirable to obtain redress. I beg your Majesty to be pleased to reply promptly, as I shall look upon silence as a refusal of my request. In order that your Majesty may understand the reasons why promptness is so necessary in this business, I may say that, in addition to the subscriptions I have already mentioned as being made in the French and Flemish churches here, I am informed that a subsidy is being raised from the clergy of this country in aid of the rebels who are invading my King's dominions, as well as contributions from laymen of position, who, for their honour's sake, I will not name ; being sure that if I did so they would incur your Majesty's displeasure for the love and friendship you owe to the King my master. I should be sorry for this, but I cannot refrain from speaking very plainly as is my duty.—London, 14th July 1568.
Signed. D. Guzman de Silva.
17 July. 39. Guzman De Silva to the King.
The Queen left here on the 12th instant to continue her progress. The day previously I had received notice that the Flemish rebels, in pursuance of their intention to return to Flanders for the purpose of disturbance, were purchasing arms and urging each other to take part in the expeditions. I had also learnt that the proclamations issued by the Queen prohibiting the departure from the ports of any armed persons were being disregarded, and I thought well to speak to the Queen and tell her clearly what was passing. I did this, and said that it was two months since I told her that the rebels were taking refuge here, and that, at that time, I had not wished to say anything about the way in which they were received and sheltered, thinking best to leave to her as a friend to consider what was most fitting for her to do. I said that, although the number of those who came was large, yet, knowing your Majesty's clemency and your great desire that these poor people should be convinced of their error and return to their loyalty, I had not desired to say a word against them, but only to inform her of their offences, which were notorious and which, being rebellion and disorder, would have justly deserved prosecution and punishment, in accordance with alliances and treaties between the countries. Seeing, however, that they were not satisfied with past excesses and with being let alone, but that their insolence had arrived at such a point that some of them were returning to the States to rob and kill faithful subjects there whom they found unprepared, and afterwards to take refuge again in this country, whence again they would sally out to do the like, I had asked her to be good enough to take measures to prevent their leaving the ports with arms, so that they could not commit similar offences in future. I had said they ought to be told that they would be harshly punished if they committed such crimes, as it was not reasonable that such invasions as these should be allowed to leave a friendly country, and, in addition to its being wrong, it might bring forth other evils. She had replied at the time that the evil was worthy of a remedy, and she would take care that I was satisfied. When I had again mentioned the matter to her, for the purpose of agreeing what the remedy should be, she had told me that she had already taken the necessary steps, and she sent Cecil to me to say that the orders were being carried out at Sandwich. Notwithstanding all this, seeing that no public order was given, I had taken measures to discover whether the guards in the ports were carrying out their instructions, and I had understood that the contrary was the case, whereat I was much surprised, particularly as many rebels and even Englishmen had already left, and many more were arming furiously to do the same. This was done with so much impudence that the only thing wanting appeared to be the drum beat. I had, therefore, considered it necessary to again request her to find a remedy, not that there was anything to fear from such a rabble as this, but in view of other eventualities, especially as it was now known that they were helped with means in this country. The Queen said that she had sent the orders as she had told me, which would be confirmed by Lord Cobham, who was entrusted with the carrying out of the orders, and whom she said she would summon that he might give an account of it in my presence. She said that as for allowing them to come over and remain here, this she did out of pity and as they said that they came for conscience's sake, and she did not know how she could prevent them from returning if they liked. I said, "Let them return as peaceful citizens, without arms or turbulence, separate and not in bands, so that they could do no harm, and then, of course, there would be no objection ; but they should not be allowed to go over in warlike guise and with the intention of disturbing, and especially being paid, as they were, as soldiers." I said that the so-called churches of French and Flemings had contributed largely, the former 700l. and the latter 800l., with the help of other persons She replied that, as regards the money which was given to them, she could not prevent that or forbid them from returning to their own country ; to which I again insisted that if they went separate and without arms there was no need for it, but that in the way they were going it was illegal and ought to be prevented, as otherwise it would be tantamount to England making war upon the States of Flanders ; and so it would be considered by anyone who thought upon the subject. In order, I said, that she might have in her mind the obligations she was under with regard to the States and your Majesty, I begged her to read certain clauses of the Treaty of Alliance of 1542, which I gave her in writing. She read them, saying that she quite recollected their purport. I said I hoped she would recollect also to act up to it, and wished to leave her the paper, in order that she might not lose sight of it ; she replied that she would not forget it, and put the paper in her bosom. I send a copy of it herewith, but I did not include Clause 7 of the treaty, by which she is bound, on 40 days' notice, to provide as many captains and soldiers as could be paid with 700 French crowns a day, which clause I only mentioned verbally in order that she might not think that this aid was being asked for.
I have written previously that some persons have come hither from Embden, and it was said that some sort of treaty was being arranged to send them a certain number of cloths every year. I have since learnt that their principal object was to say that if Ludovic's business was settled they feared the Duke might send his army against them. The Queen confirmed this to me, and said that she wished to tell me that these people had come on behalf of the count of Embden to inform her of their fears, and the Count had begged her to write and intercede for them with your Majesty, as perhaps by an untrue report that they had helped Ludovie, (fn. 2) your Majesty might be incensed against them, or might take this opportunity of invading their country in revenge for their having received cloths when the importation was prohibited in the States. She was assured that, although some of the people of the country were with Ludovic, they were men who went of their own accord and without the Count's order, as others of them are with your Majesty's forces. Her Council, therefore, was of opinion that she should write to your Majesty on the subject, since the Count had not helped Ludovic, or done anything to offend your Majesty. She thought better, however, to let me know before she wrote, so that I might report to your Majesty the causes that had moved her to do so. I replied that I had no information as to whether your Majesty was advised of this, nor did I believe that the duke of Alba would go forward in it, unless the rebels took refuge there, in which case it would be necessary to follow them up and put an end to them at once. I said I thought that they had conceived this suspicion, either because they knew they were in fault, or because I had said to people here, who had told me that Ludovic was being helped in Embden, that they had better look out what they were doing, as those lands were under the sway of your Majesty in your capacity of perpetual Vicar-General of all Friesland, and you could punish them as such. This may have aroused some suspicion, but your Majesty was not accustomed to be angry without just cause, and, if they had not offended, they had nothing to fear.
I asked her whether she had come to any decision about the queen of Scotland's affairs, to which she replied that she had not, as she could not understand it, since the Queen was so determined in her refusal not to leave Carlisle. She could not decide until she had had an interview with her, and her subjects had been heard against her. It was difficult to deal with these things where she is now, as it was so far off, and she did not consider that in honour she could allow her to return to Scotland in such peril as she would be, since she had taken refuge in this country ; she would not let her go to France either, as she had very distinctly told her, and for this she had many reasons ; amongst others, that the whole time she (the queen of Scots) was in France there was not an hour's peace between this country and that. She said the queen of Scotland wrote her one thing, and Lord Herries, in her name, said quite differently, pressing her constantly either to let her go to France or to return to Scotland, on the promise that she would give security before she left that no foreigners of whom this Queen could be suspicious, should go to Scotland, which undertaking would be further guaranteed by the signature of the king of France and your Majesty. I replied, as I had on former occasions, that this was a matter of high importance to be treated with great consideration, and she ought, above all, to inform friendly princes what she did. I always say the same thing when I speak of this matter to her, in order to sound her as to her intentions, so that if it should please your Majesty afterwards to take any action in the matter you may be well informed thereupon. She told me she had ordered a statement to be drawn up to be sent to your Majesty and the king of France. The next day when she left, I accompanied her to hear whether she would say anything to me about the Flemish rebels returning, but she did not, and I was loth to again broach the subject until I saw what she had ordered. She told me that she would not give me the written statement she had spoken about touching Scotch affairs for four or five days, as she was expecting a reply from the Queen, but, in the meanwhile, I might write to your Majesty what she had said about them. The way in which these people negotiate may be clearly seen by what passed when the queen of Scotland came to England. She (the queen of England) sent a gentleman named Middleton to try to persuade both the Regent and the Queen's party to lay down arms and see whether a reconciliation could not be effected, but before this gentleman arrived, Cecil wrote to the man at Berwick to send a messenger with all speed to the Regent, giving him notice of the message that Middleton was bearing, and telling him to immediately put into execution what he had to do. This he did by destroying the house of Herries and those of two other friends of the Queen. They have their signs and countersigns, and whilst they publicly write and do one thing, they secretly order another ; and, as this Scotchman says, the queen of England uses towards his mistress fair words and foul deeds. I believe that she will treat her as I said from the first, namely, keep her in an honourable prison, the one object of these people being so to manage Scotch affairs as to keep that country friendly with them, in the belief that, whilst the two kingdoms are in accord, they have nothing to fear, and they think this could not be the case whilst the Queen remained free, because of religion and other reasons.
Seeing that between the 11th, when I spoke to the Queen, and the 14th, no steps had been taken, and that the rebels were hurrying their departure, the time meanwhile being wasted in the ordinary way here, I thought well to write a letter to the Queen at Havering, especially as I was informed that a subsidy was being secretly collected of so much in the pound on all ecclesiastical salaries throughout the various dioceses for the purpose of helping the prince of Orange and Ludovic. I wrote instead of going myself, in the hope of getting a written answer, but they replied verbally in conformity with the enclosed copy. On the same day that I sent my letter off, I wrote another letter to the Treasurer, more to see what he would say than because I thought he would remedy anything ; saying that, as he knew what the Queen had ordered about armed Flemish rebels leaving England, it was his duty, in the absence of the Queen, to see that redress was granted, and I was advised that many such men were still going over, and the Queen's orders disregarded. He replied verbally that he also had reports that these people were leaving, but he had no instruction from the Queen to act ; if he had had, he would have prevented their departure, and said that I should personally press the Queen in order that she should instruct him, as he did not know of anyone at Court who could be entrusted with the matter.
The earl of Sussex and Sidney, viceroy of Ireland, have now made friends and have dined together. Sidney retains Ireland and Wales, and Sussex has been made President of York, in place of the Archbishop, who has died. I said that they had released Copley with a fine of 50l. and Roper of 40l. They have also liberated another northern gentleman, but afterwards summoned Roper again before the Chancellor and Cecil, who showed him a document containing three heads which they said he had to sign. First he had to confess that he had broken the law by sending charity to those who were on the side of the Queen's enemies ; second, he had to promise that he would in future obey the ecclesiastical laws now existing in this country and those that may be enacted ; thirdly, he had to undertake not to give any more charity to those who were abroad for religion's sake, or those who, for a similar reason, were in prison. He said that he must consider carefully what he had to put his hand to, and asked for time. He consulted the duke of Norfolk and complained of what they asked. The Duke told him that he thought he could not avoid doing, partially, what the Council ordered him, nor could he get him excused, but if he would meet the demand in some moderate way, such as his conscience would allow, he, the Duke, would help him. He thought that he might say, with regard to the first head, that he had sent money to Englishmen beyond the sea who the Council declare are in league with the Queen's enemies, and he, Roper, did not wish to contradict them, but would submit to their authority. To the second head he might say that he would always be obedient to the legitimate laws of the realm ; and to the third point, that he would give no charity to those outside the country, and would conform in future to the law. He did this and they released him.
They have also released Wilson, who is the clergyman upon whom they found the book with the list of subscribers to the Louvain people. I have advised your Majesty what passed with the Queen relative to the imprisonment and ill-treatment of the archbishop of Armagh. When I spoke to her about it again, and asked her whether she had inquired into it, as she had promised, and asked her to do me the favour of being merciful to him, taking off his chains and letting him have some books and the visits of his friends, she replied that she had inquired and would be glad to please me, but this man had been a traitor and a rebel, and letters had been found upon him from John O'Neil, which she herself now had. I replied that I had heard very differently, but ended by saying that if he had been a rebel I had no wish to help such people. Some of these good men think that it is only necessary for me to speak to the Queen for everything to be settled, but they are much mistaken, as the greatest of care has to be used in these matters to avoid doing them more harm than good.
This morning, seeing that they had not sent me a copy of the proclamation which was to be issued respecting the going of the rebels to Flanders, I wrote to secretary Cecil pressing him to have it published, as they were about to leave, and would have done so ere this if the wind had not been against them. Many have gone already to the place of embarkation. Cecil sent me the proclamation this evening with a letter of his, copies of both of which I send enclosed, and the man who brought it said that he had called in at the printers on his way to tell them to print the proclamation with all speed so that it might be sent out. I told him I wished it had been sent out to-day as the people were already departing, and it would be of little use after they were gone. It would look, indeed, more like a compliment than a remedy. I do not know whether it will be done even to-morrow, as it is Sunday, although if this wind lasts they cannot leave before it is published. It has been long delayed, which makes me doubt their sincerity.— London, 17th July 1568.
18 July. 40. The King to Guzman De Silva.
I only write to you to say that John Man, having received an order from the Queen to return, and a letter for me in answer to that which I had written, he asked Zayas if he could hand the same to me and take his leave. On this request being conveyed to me at the Escorial, where I was then, I ordered him to go to Barajas and deliver the letter, and say what he wished from the Queen. I promised, if there was anything in which I could please her, I would do it most willingly without his seeing me, as upon that point I did not consider it desirable to alter my determination, which had been arrived at after very mature deliberation. John Man, when he heard this, delivered the Queen's letter to Zayas, and told him that he had no particular instructions, only that he wished I would hear him in his justification. Since, however, this could not be, he would depart when he had received my reply and the passport for his safe journey. This was sent to his satisfaction, and he went on his road from Barajas without returning here, Zayas having told him to take this course. As it is desirable that you should see what the Queen wrote to me and my reply by John Man, I send you copies that you and Don Guerau may discuss the contents, and, if the subject is introduced or John Man should have told the story differently, you may know what to say. As I shall be very pleased for the successor of this man to be a Catholic, I enjoin you and Don Guerau very strictly to see whether you cannot dexterously lead the Queen into this road. You will keep in touch with the duke of Alba about it.—Madrid, 18th July 1568.
19 July. 41. Guzman De Silva to the King.
I have detained until to-day the enclosed despatch for your Majesty, in order to send advice of the issue of the proclamation. I sent to the man who came to get it printed, urging him to press the matter forward, and he replied that it had first to be published at the Court before it was issued in London or elsewhere. This is no doubt in order to give time for the people who are ready to get away. It is the ordinary proceeding, saying one thing and doing another.
I am informed that the contribution which was being collected from some of the councillors and others has been postponed, because every one of the members was saying what amount Cecil would have to pay, and he refused to give any more than ten pounds, whereupon all the rest of them were very angry, and the thing was suspended as they all thought he would give much more. Almost at the same time as this happened, my letter to the Queen telling her about the contribution arrived, greatly to their astonishment that the affair should have got wind before it was executed. It seems it has now been dropped. The French ambassador was suspicious that these heretics were going over to join and help some (French) heretics who had got into Valery, but news came yesterday that the Christian King was beseiging them and had opened his batteries upon them.
I have been informed that on the 17th a letter from the Prince of Condé arrived for Nicholas Throgmorton, in cipher, the substance of which was to beg him to say to the Queen that she had no doubt been informed that the conditions of the peace were not being kept in France, whereat he, Condé, felt injured and aggrieved, although he did not blame the King but his bad counsellors. He was therefore obliged to take up arms, and would do so on the 21st instant, when he would have 12,000 men, Count Rochefort having already 3,000, and he hoped with God's help to punish the King's advisers in such a way that not one of them should remain in France. He pledged his word to this, promising never to lay down the task except at its completion or his death.
I am informed also that secretary Cecil has instructed a gentleman, who is to go from Berwick to the Regent of Scotland, to say to him in the name of this Council that he must moderate the severity with which he is treating the queen of Scotland's friends, as he will stir them up otherwise to a fiercer feeling against him and his Government. He is recommended to commence his rule by fair methods and to gain popularity by choosing conciliatory officers, as he will by this means tranquillise the country more quickly. They have here already gained over Lord Maxwell otherwise Lord Herries, who promises to be on the Regent's side if he will associate him in the Government, together with some of his friends, as he is not satisfied with the Government of the Queen and will not consent to her rule. The Secretary (Cecil) advises the Regent on his own behalf to follow this course, as everyone wishes him to remain the head of affairs, and if he does not adopt the advice sent him he will not have so many friends here as otherwise he would have. It is Throgmorton who has won over Herries.
Since writing the above I sent to the Lord Treasurer a copy of the proclamation saying that, as it was already printed and ordered by the Queen, he should send instructions to the Customs houses to prevent any person passing in violation of it. He replied that it was very badly drawn up and clearly showed the animus of those who had the matter in hand, particularly in the delay that had taken place in the publication. He would, however, do what he could although he had no orders from the Queen about it.—London, 19th July 1568.
24 July. 42. Guzman De Silva to the King.
The proclamation issued by this Queen against those who were passing or wished to pass over to Flanders with arms in their possession in order to disturb that country, was printed on the 18th instant, but was not published until the morning of the 22nd. Some people think that it was delayed on purpose to give the people time to get away before it was issued, and I am quite of that opinion, as it is the usual mode of proceeding here in similar matters, and especially in any affair at all touching religion ; their usual desire being to convince all those who are treading the path of heresy of their attachment and support. This is doubtless to encourage and affirm the various leagues and understandings they have with each other ; and everything tending in the slightest degree to oppose this is managed as dilatorily as if they were carrying it to the stake. In this matter I have had to break through my habitual patience and to make them understand that, after signing a decree, it was necessary to publish it, as otherwise it looked much more like a compliment than a remedy. But they are hard folk to force and will go their own pace. I spurred them somewhat when the Council sent me a copy of the proclamation by Wilson, who was ambassador in Portugal and is much attached to the earl of Leicester, by saying that I was greatly surprised that the Earl, such a distinguished person as he was and so grateful and attached to your Majesty for your favour to him, should not try to get the Queen to do what she ought for your Majesty, and that, seeing how things were going, I was beginning to reflect upon what some people were telling me, to the effect that he, Leicester, listened to these heretics and admitted them to his acquaintance, which I could not believe of him. I thought well, however, to let him know by his intimate friend, as in such cases as this even suspicion should be avoided, and that neighbouring princes should always be conciliated where the interests of his own Queen were not jeopardised. Wilson went with this to the Earl and returned with very many thanks and excuses, giving me an autograph letter from him, copy of which I enclose. I replied that if I had not been persuaded of his kindness, I should not have sent him the message, as it was unnecessary to take any such course with an enemy with whom one has to dissemble and bide one's time. I answered his letter by word of mouth, saying that I was quite certain that what he said was true (his expressions being extremely complimentary) from what was known of my attachment to him. But although he wrote that he hoped I should not be credulous, except in his favour, I might well have answered him by referring in terms more plain than are generally used in this country to what, it is certain, he has been negotiating. I believe what he says about his having had little to do with Count Ludovic, but I do not think he is so free from the prince of Orange, about whom he says nothing, nor from French affairs either, about which he replies, although I said nothing except my general reference to neighbouring princes.
The ecclesiastical subsidy is being collected apace and, no doubt, the lay subsidy is also proceeding, only more secretly. There are people who hint that the Queen will keep the ecclesiastical subsidy for herself.
The Queen of Scotland is to be brought to Lord Scrope's house, sixty miles this side of Carlisle, and it is even said they will bring her to Farnham (?).
The French ambassador told me very secretly yesterday that she was not a Catholic, as he had been assured by Fleming, who said that neither he (the French ambassador) nor I ought to be deceived about it. But this Fleming himself is a heretic although he pretends to be a Catholic to me, and probably the Queen is deceiving him or else he thinks the French ambassador is a heretic and wishes to please him, as he does me. This is the present way of dealing, and one ought to believe nothing ; which is one of the greatest perils of heresy.—London, 24th July 1568.
31 July. 43. Guzman De Silva to the King.
Don Guerau de Spes who had arrived in Antwerp has forwarded to me your Majesty's letter of the 28th ultimo. As he had not found the Duke there, he being occupied in Friesland, he writes that he should be detained for some time, having to communicate with the Duke respecting matters in those States, and the questions with this country as regards commerce. There will be little to discuss however upon this point, as things are now settled and it would be better not to disturb them.
John Man will, no doubt, have left Spain ere this, and I will carry out your Majesty's instructions in endeavouring to satisfy the Queen entirely on the point, particularly to banish her suspicions of the duke of Feria, which, I have already told her, are entirely without reason. I have said that it was most foreign to his nature to show bad feeling, especially towards an English minister, he having always been so friendly to Englishmen. I will return to this subject when I speak to the Queen from your Majesty in favour of the Duchess' relatives. (fn. 3)
The Portuguese business is pending until the arrival of the King's reply, but, in the meanwhile, everything possible shall be done that these people may be brought to understand the best course to take. I will show the ambassador what your Majesty says, and the instructions which Don Guerau brings. I have already on other occasions assured him to the same effect, and he ought to be well pleased.
The Queen has been so hard in Francis Englefield's affair that I have been quite surprised. Everything has been done that was possible, and if the matter is not decided by the time that I leave, Don Guerau can take a favourable opportunity of trying to persuade the Queen to a better decision than hitherto.
The publication of the Queen's edict, prohibiting armed men from going over to Flanders, has somewhat cooled these rebels and others who were ready to embark. I believe, however, that their discouragement has also been caused by the events of Friesland and St. Valery, and the knowledge that all parts are well prepared for them. They are not going over now in bodies, or in a way that violates the proclamation, but still they can find means to go over, as they do. I pressed for this edict, but it was mainly in order that these people should not openly appear so indifferent, rather than because I thought it would be a real remedy. As I have written on other occasions, the public ordinances here are not always executed, but are counteracted by private understanding, as I have frankly told these people. I have assured them that I am having the ports well watched to see that they are carrying out the orders, and I am told that they are now showing more vigilance.
The contribution of the twentieth part of the ecclesiastical revenues for the succour of Ludovic is being carried forward on the old basis. I am also advised that the aid subscribed by private persons is proceeding, and I have been recently told that the Queen, herself, is giving a considerable sum, although I cannot obtain any certain information upon this last point. The Councillors and others are constantly showing their bias and ill-feeling towards us. Notwithstanding their attempts to dissemble, it is clear that they wish nothing so much as our adversity in Flanders and elsewhere, and I told the Queen that I was sure they wish to bring her round to the belief that she could never trust your Majesty ; that being their great object, in the fear that, at one time or another, she might change the religion. I have not done anything more about these subscriptions and impertinences since writing to the Queen on the 14th instant, as I await further instructions from the duke of Alba.
I do not know what decision the Queen will arrive at about the queen of Scotland. I have received two letters from the latter, copies of which I enclose with a letter which she sends me for your Majesty. I expect that the affair will be delayed as she herself fears, in order to see whether the Scots can agree amongst themselves. Although the queen of Scotland writes asking that her letter should be sent post, I have thought it sufficient to send it by the ordinary, as her affairs are proceeding so slowly, and it is as well that time should help your Majesty's deliberations as to what is best to be done.
There has been a Frenchman named Dumbal (?) secretly here lately from the French Huguenots. He treats through Throgmorton, and I have been able to get a note which he wrote to him in French, which I have had copied and send herewith in order that his dealings may be seen. I think I can get Throgmorton's answer to it and the other particulars of their dealings through a certain channel.—London, 31st July 1568.


  • 1. Counts Egmont and Horn.
  • 2. Ludwig of Nassau, the brother of the prince of Orange, who was still in arms against the duke of Alba.
  • 3. The duke of Feria who had accompanied Philip to England, and was subsequently Spanish ambassador here, had married the daughter of Sir William Dormer of Ethrope.