Simancas: November 1568

Pages 82-83

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

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November 1568

1 Nov. 59. The King to the Duke Of Alba.
Since we were in England you will, no doubt, recollect the bearer, Francis Englefield, who was a member of our Council at that time and enjoyed the full confidence of Queen Mary, my wife, and, consequently, mine. He is a good Catholic, much attached to his late mistress and to me, and, as he refused to change his religion or obey the summons of the present Queen, she has sequestrated his property and patrimonial estates, which my intercession with her has been powerless to get her to restore, or even to grant him the revenues of, although Guzman de Silva and Guerau de Spes have frequently begged her to do so in my name. He now wishes to occupy himself in affairs of my service, and I have decided therefore to send him to reside near you, as I think his prudence and good connections will be useful in the States. In order that he may be able to maintain himself comfortably, I have assigned him 1,000 twenty-plack florins (fn. 1) a year, as you will see by the separate warrant he bears. I beg, therefore, that you will have this sum paid punctually, and cherish this good gentleman as his quality and good parts deserve, treating him well in consideration of his wish to serve me, as I know he will do in all things in which you may employ him. I shall he pleased at all the honour and favour you may bestow upon him, so that his countrymen may see the high account in which we hold good Catholics, and thus be encouraged to persevere in the true religion.—Madrid, 1st November 1568.
6 Nov. 60. Guerau De Spes to the King.
A French pirate has arrived here who styles himself vice-admiral of France. His name is Chateau Portut, and he has seven ships of war, having also plundered 11 vessels, 10 of which belong to obedient subjects of the French King and one to a Zealand subject of your Majesty. He has discharged his booty and is selling it on shore. The Zealander escaped at Portsmouth and demands justice from the authorities of the place and the arrest of the pirates. They refused unless they had the Queen's orders, whereupon the Zealander came to me and I sent him to Cecil. The latter came and said that it was a matter that must be brought before the Queen and Council ; and, as he would express no opinion, and seeing that the merchandize was being sold and taken away, I sent the man with one of my servants to Hampton Court, writing to the Queen by them an account of the matter. They were told to return to-day for the answer which they are now awaiting.
The Queen's four ships and one of Winter's, with another loaded with stores, are at the mouth of the river, and for the last three days all sorts of heavy artillery with large quantities of ammunition have been taken to them. Ten more ships are ready at Portsmouth, which, together with those commanded by the pirate, will make up a good fleet. It is understood that this Queen is to be offered by the Admiral's party a place on this side of Rochelle, which will be delivered to Winter. The Queen is borrowing money, and has even pledged a jewel in order to get together over 40,000 ducats. She has been able to get very little in Antwerp and has sent to Frankfort. She has made the duke of Norfolk and the earl of Sussex, who were in York, return hither, and has summoned Arundel, although he excused himself by saying that he was unwell. She wishes them all to be present when a decision is arrived at about Scotland. I have received a letter of credence from the queen of Scotland for the bishop of Ross, who promises to come and see me. It appears as if the time was approaching when this country may be made to return to the Catholic Church, the Queen being in such straits and short of money. I have already informed your Majesty of the offer made by Viscount Montague's brother-in-law on condition that they may hope for protection from your Majesty. He still presses it, and I await your Majesty's orders.—London, 6th November 1568.
29 Nov. 61. Guerau De Spes to the King.
On the 27th I informed your Majesty of the arrival here of a courier named Antonio de Cordoba, and that he had gone to the Court with a servant of mine for his passport, but as the French ambassador was there, it was signed very late by the Queen, and I have detained the man until to-day after my audience.
The Queen is willing to give a passport for the money that came in these ships to go overland, or will, at the option of the factor of the Genoese, lend one of her ships to convoy the vessels. She has appointed secretary Bernard Hampton to treat with me on all that concerns this business, in consequence of Cecil being much occupied. This is all the better as Hampton is a friend of mine. I give information about it to the duke of Alba, and the agent of the merchants reports to his principals in Antwerp. The instructions received from there shall be followed. I have given the Queen a long account of all that has happened in Flanders, upon which, in some respects, she was badly informed, not having had news that all is going so favourably as it is.—London, 29th November 1568.


  • 1. Worth about 15d. each.