Simancas: July 1582

Pages 382-394

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 3, 1580-1586. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1896.

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July 1582

4 July.
B. M. MSS. Add. 28,702.
274. Memorandum from Cardinal de Granvelle to the King on English Affairs.
The letters from Don Bernardino are many and important, but there is nothing to write about them except that what he says concerning the queen of England's aims is very likely to be true. He says her only object is to enjoy her crown quietly during her life, immersed in her pleasures, quite oblivious of what may happen after her time. This causes her to adopt her policy of embarrassing His Majesty with her lies, whilst she feeds and countenances the rebellion by favouring Alençon, but she is only helping him halfheartedly, as she does not wish to add to the power of the French, which she knows well might be troublesome to her in her own lifetime.
The most important point is the queen of Scotland's letter to Don Bernardino, dwelling at length and with much good sense on the enterprise. She must have some very intelligent person near her who writes her letters, and it is impossible to lay down with greater clearness the lines upon which the affair should be conducted the support that will be necessary, and the kind of forces required.
The great fear is that, as the business has passed through so many hands, it may get wind before it can be carried out, which would cause the utter ruin of the Scots and English Catholics without any hope of resuscitation.
The forces requested of his Majesty are moderate, and Germans could easily be supplied, but I should prefer their being Italians as I have said before. The reason she gives for desiring Germans is that they adapt themselves better than Spaniards to Scotsmen, and that their way of life is more similar, but Germans will not all be so fit for the task, and there might be an arrangement to send half of one nation and half of another, say 2,000 of each. Four thousand men are more than they ask for, but not sufficient to frighten them, and it is quite possible that they ask for no more in order that the foreigners may not get the upper hand. This is not what his Majesty wants, nor do I approve of it, but that we should loyally help the king of Scotland and his mother to maintain their rights, and, by promoting armed disturbance, keep the queen of England and the French busy at small cost to ourselves in comparison with what she would have to spend, and so enable us to settle our own affairs better. If it had no other result than this it should suffice, but very much more so when we consider that it may also lead to the re-establishment of the Catholic religion in those parts. It is evident that, when we strike there, the Irish Catholics will pluck up courage and go forward against the queen of England, and it is very advantageous that the matter should be taken in hand by the duke of Guise, as it will ensure us from French obstruction. Since we cannot hope to hold the island for ourselves, M. de Guise will not try to hand it over to the king of France, to the detriment of his near kinswoman the queen of Scotland. As the king (of Spain) has for so many years favoured the queen of Scotland, it is only reasonable to suppose that she and her son will not quickly forget the help he gave her in the days of her adversity, and this will at all events prevent them from being entirely against us, even if they be not wholly with us. If things turn out well with them, then we may look for readiness on their part to renew the old alliances of Spain and the Netherlands respectively with England.
The pensions recommended by the queen of Scotland to be given might be so granted, on condition that they do not exceed the sum of 12,000 ducats a year, which I think would be money well spent. They should be given on the condition mentioned by the Queen, namely, that they may be taken away from those who fall off in their efforts to serve us. This sum will make a great stir in Scotland, as, although supplies are plentiful, money is scarce. The Germans and Italians might be sent, as Don Bernardino says, in the month of October, when a part of the army is dismissed, so that both from Flanders and from Spain they might easily be sent at that time. We shall have to learn the disposition of his Holiness, and to what extent he will help—his aid, if possible, being in money. Considering how important the matter is, and how nearly it concerns the Pope, I do not think it is too much to expect him to give 100,000 ducats to make up the sum the queen of Scotland requests. This will have a great effect, but I would not say anything to him yet about the plans respecting England, so as not to come down upon him too heavily at once, as we may hope that, as soon as Scotland is in arms, and the Queen can guide it in her way, as she says, England of its own accord may rise to shake off the tyranny that oppresses it. By this means we may obtain the greater part of the advantage we desire without further cost to his Majesty, whilst the queen of England, in order to extricate herself from her difficulties, may be glad to come to terms with his Majesty, in the first place, to be allowed to enjoy her throne for the rest of her life ; and, secondly, to permit liberty of worship to the English Catholics, or at least to lighten the yoke that weighs so heavily upon them at the hands of the ministers.
I have spoken with Englefield and find that Persons has fully communicated to him the whole of his errand, as also had the queen of Scotland, from whom a letter came for him to-day, which will be delivered at once. It is double as heavy a packet as the previous ones. He, Englefield, says that Persons' companion, who came with him on his journey, knows nothing whatever about the business, and he is very sorry it is passing through so many hands, fearing, as we do, that its discovery would mean the slaughter of the Catholics that remain. He says they are very numerous and of great influence, as well as a large number of the people being Catholics, but as they have no public offices, no strong places, and no arms, they dare not show head as they would do if they saw the queen of England hard pressed and some favourable turn of events in Scotland. It is very desirable that His Holiness should be urged to say what his wishes are and what he will give. This will probably be learnt from the Jesuit (?) (fn. 1) who is to solicit his aid, and it is better that the pressure should come from that quarter than from us, in order that His Holiness may not try to saddle us with the whole affair, which he might do if the pressure came from us. It is better that he should appeal to us for help.
Englefield also says that he is very distrustful of the bishop of Glasgow, the ambassador of the queen of Scotland in France, with whom he was formerly friendly. He sees now, however, that his only aim is to retain his position in France at the cost of the Queen, without taking any care of her business. Englefield has therefore ceased to correspond with him, and he would be sorry that he (the Bishop) should be made privy to this business, which he thinks he would immediately divulge to the French.
Either the business should not be undertaken at all, or it should be carried through energetically, and all preparations and precautions adopted for the enterprise to be executed at the stated time, in which case God may help us for our good intention, and enable a part of our fleet now leaving Portugal to be available for this enterprise.—Madrid, 4th July 1582.
11 July. 275. Bernardino de Mendoza to the King.
As I wrote some time ago, Humphrey Gilbert was fitting out ships to gain a footing in Florida, and in order to make this not only prejudicial to your Majesty's interests, but injurious to the Catholics here, whilst benefiting the heretics, Walsingham indirectly approached two Catholic gentlemen, whose estate had been ruined, and intimated to them that, if they would help Humphrey Gilbert in the voyage their lives and liberties might be saved, and the Queen, in consideration of the service, might be asked to allow them to settle there (Florida) in the enjoyment of freedom of conscience and of their property in England, for which purpose they might avail themselves of the intercession of Philip Sidney. As they were desirous of living as Catholics, without endangering their lives, they thought the proposal was a good one, and they gave an account of it to other Catholics, who also approved of it, and offered to aid the enterprise with money. Petitions were presented to the Queen upon the subject, and she has granted them a patent under the Great Seal of England to colonize Florida on the banks of the river Norumbeage where they are to be allowed to live as their conscience dictates, and to enjoy such revenues as they may possess in England. This privilege is not confined to those who leave here for the purpose of colonization, but is extended to all Englishmen away from England, even to those who may have been declared rebels, and whom the Queen now restores to her grace and favour, embracing them once more as loyal subjects. (fn. 2) The only object of this is to weaken and destroy them by any means, since they have now discovered that persecution, imprisonment, and the shedding of martyrs' blood only increase the number of Catholics ; and if the proposed measure be adopted the seminaries abroad cannot be maintained, nor would it be possible for the priests who come hither to continue their propaganda, if there were no persons here to shelter and support them. By this means what little sound blood be left in this diseased body would be drained. I gave notice to the Catholics, through the priests who go amongst them, what was the real object of the Queen and Council in extending this favour to them, and also that the country in question belonged to your Majesty and was defended by fortresses, so that directly they landed they would be slaughtered as Jean Ribaut was. (fn. 3) In addition to this, I say, that their consciences will be touched, as they will be acting against the interests of His Holiness, who should be informed of the matter through Dr. Allen, so that they, the Catholics, might learn whether they could properly undertake the voyage.
This action of mine has caused some of them to withdraw whilst others, out of indifference, persist in their intention, believing that it is not really against your Majesty, because in the map the country is called "New France," which, they say, proves that it was discovered by Frenchmen, and that since Cortés fitted out ships on the coast to go and conquer countries for the Catholic church, they could do the same. I have also written about it to the Abbot Briceño in Rome, as well as to Dr. Allen, pointing out how important it is that they should make every effort to prevent the enterprise in the interest of the conversion of England.
An alderman of London, and one Winter, are fitting out in this river two ships, one of 240 tons and the other small, to go on a plundering expedition to the coast of Brazil, whither they are to carry some merchandise. The company of merchants trading with Spain went to tell the Council that, besides the ships that had gone to the Moluccas, these two vessels were being armed, and that they, the merchants, could not continue safely to carry on their business if this was to be allowed. They were told that these ships were going with merchandise to Brazil, where they might freely trade. The merchants also took to the Council a copy of the proclamation, which had been posted by Don Antonio in Antwerp, saying that ships could not go to Portugal without taking passports from his factors, and paying so much for dues, otherwise the ships and cargoes would be seised as derelict. They asked the Council whether they might safely send their ships without paying these dues, and they were told that letters should be given to them for Don Antonio, telling him to order that no English ships should be molested at sea by him. They were told to send a vessel with this dispatch to Rochelle. They replied that they did not believe that Don Antonio was there, but with the fleet, whereupon the Council retorted that there would be no difficulty in finding him, and perhaps he might shortly be here. I have heard this also from other sources, and that a man from Don Antonio has recently arrived here, under the pretext of asking the Queen for ships, but really to say that he was coming here secretly. I hear from a man who was at Rochelle twelve days ago, that Don Antonio had there 40 tolerable ships, not very well found, amongst which there were a few large ones and fifteen or twenty small, with four or five thousand men, short of money and other things.
The largest ship which Don Antonio took from here had been burnt, with 32 tons of powder, in which the fire first occurred. It appears that a Portuguese boy thought to frighten some soldiers, who were fetching some powder, by igniting a little, but the whole exploded and 150 Englishmen and Portuguese in the ship were drowned. It is reported from Antwerp that some Spanish merchants there have begun to pay the dues imposed by Don Antonio.
A gentleman from Alençon has arrived here. (fn. 4) I have not learnt his errand, but in view of the surrender of Oudenarde, on Thursday the 5th, at four in the afternoon, it may be suspected that he is here to ask for money, because they write from Antwerp that Count Mansfeldt, who had raised 1,500 horse, and was at Cambrai, was pressing for payment of their wages. The Queen is much grieved that Alençon was unable to relieve Oudenarde, and has not yet consented to send him anything. Her councillors continue to tell her that, until she learns the disposition of his brother the King, it will be best for her to hold her hand and send him no money.
Baron Gaspar Schomberg writes me from Paris that as soon as he arrived there he learnt of the negotiations being promoted by this Queen to marry the daughter of the king of Sweden to Alençon, with which he intended to acquaint the Palatine Lasqui and other friends in Poland by a special messenger, as it was a matter of the highest importance to that country. As at the time he wrote this he had not received my letters, I doubt not that when he gets them he will proceed in the matter even more vigorously than before.
Two days since there arrived here from Muscovy two merchant ships, which had been despatched before the eleven armed ships. They come back flying from pursuit with all their outward cargo on board, as when they were anchored at Baraphus (Hammerfest?), their factors in Muscovy sent them word not to proceed any further, but return to England at once, as the king of Denmark was sending thither eleven ships and three armed galleys, and had also four ships of 500 tons at St. Nicholas River. On receipt of this advice the English ships discovered the eleven ships and three galleys, which they say have eight bronze pieces on each side, and which began to chase them. The English cut their cables and fled without being able even to weigh their anchors. They fear that the eleven ships they have sent will he lost if they enter the river of St. Nicholas, or encounter the Danish fleet.—London, 11th July 1582.
25 July. 276. Bernardino de Mendoza to the King.
As the ministers in Scotland continue, as I have written, to speak disrespectfully of the duke of Lennox, the King has ordered the principal (fn. 5) of them to preach no more, and has silenced the others by ordering them not to mention in their sermons the duke of Lennox or any other great personage. A number of ministers, accompanied by a crowd of people, having come to address the King, he ordered them, on pain of death, to leave Edinburgh within an hour, and also indicated by name seventy rich and well-known people who were also to leave the town, and not to approach within ten miles of the Court. On the 7th of June the duke of Lennox, in the name of the King, ordered a gentleman called Lindsay (fn. 6) not to appear at Court, and said that he and his accomplices would very shortly be recompensed as they deserved for the plots they were carrying on. The queen of England thus finding that her action through the ministers had not succeeded in discrediting Lennox with the King and the people, has now adopted another method. This is to get him excommunicated, which means that, if a member is cast out from their diabolical congregation, he is incapacitated from occupying any public post. To facilitate this they have seized the opportunity of excommunicating the man whom Lennox had chosen for bishop of Glasgow, (fn. 7) saying that their religion does not allow a man to call himself a bishop, this being, they say, pure papistry, and that the bishops should only be called superintendents, in accordance with the creed of Geneva. The Queen is also plotting with the earl of Angus, to whom she has granted a pension of 4,000 crowns a year, to exercise his influence with his friends for the dismissal from the Government and expulsion of Lennox from the kingdom, as soon as he is excommunicated, if they cannot succeed in killing him. Angus assures her that he will do it, but only on one condition, namely, that she will pledge herself under the Great Seal of England to give 4,000 crowns to all the earls who take up arms, and 2,000 each to the barons. This she has granted verbally, but has not yet sealed anything, and Angus is therefore making great efforts to induce his friends to rise against Lennox, plain evidence of this being seen in Scotland, as I am advised by one of the priests who was there and has gone to Rouen, in order to forward my letters from there and send hither those he receives, as they cannot now pass by the border. Father William Holt has returned from France, and is now alone in Scotland. He writes me a letter, dated the 12th, containing the above news, and the duke of Lennox also writes to me in reply to my two letters to him. I have answered, encouraging him in his good purpose, and greatly approving of his determination to remain there, whilst I give him hopes that things may very shortly be arranged as he desires. I ask the queen of Scotland again to press him on the point (i.e. to stay in Scotland). I also send her Lennox's letter and inform her of this Queen's intention, that she may report it to Scotland. I am informed that the proceedings of these people (the English) have made the ministers and heretics in Scotland so bitter and insolent that it is to be feared that they may take up arms and carry into effect one of their many plans, such as that of murdering Seton and Lennox. For this reason he (Lennox) never leaves his room excepting he be surrounded by friends, so that if any shot is fired at him it will wound somebody else first. William Holt is therefore afraid that if Lennox be obliged to delay an open declaration of his policy, both of them will be forced to leave Scotland, taking with them the person of the King, from which I dissuade them.
The Queen of Scotland has written firmly to this Queen, and repeated verbally through the French ambassador that if she will not at once give her permission to send a person to conclude the association of her son with her in her rights, she will consider that she has received her answer, and will arrange for the duke of Guise to do it. The Queen was displeased at this, and replied only through Walsingham to the ambassador, to the effect that she will not decide one way or the other. The king of Scotland has written a letter in his own hand to his mother, (fn. 8) which came into the hands of this Queen, as it was a reply to one that his mother had sent him at the instance of the Queen, expressing surprise that he had refused to receive her ambassador. He excuses himself in very good terms by explaining about the Parliament, showing himself a very obedient son, and it has all the more piqued this Queen to see the accord that exists between the two.
Whilst writing this, I learn that they have given the earl of Angus 3,000l. in cash to carry out their Scotch plans.—London, 25th July 1582.
277. Bernardino de Mendoza to the King.
I wrote on the 11th that Alençon had sent a gentleman to ask the Queen for money. He again presses the request by letter, saying that he is in such extremities that if she does not give him some money he should be obliged to abandon the war and leave the States, and pending the receipt of her reply he intended to leave Antwerp. Leicester, Hatton, and Walsingham fearing, in view of these letters, that Alençon might run hither from Flushing, and drive them into a corner by his presence as he did before, pressed the Queen to send him 30,000l. 20,000l. were at once furnished, and the rest has been ordered to be got ready. Cecil, however, was opposed to this, and, after he had discussed the matter with the Queen, she ordered the 20,000l. to be kept back. I understand that the Treasurer said that she should consider very deeply before allowing herself to be deprived of the money she had, since she had in her Treasury, or as they call it here "the Chequer," not more than 80,000l. At the end of September a half of the Parliamentary grant would be received amounting to 70,000l., and in addition to this the 400,000l. in gold, which she knew of, was deposited under three keys, of which she had one, whilst he, Cecil, and Sir Walter Mildmay held the others. Cecil told her that in his opinion the money in the Chequer and the subsidy should be converted into bullion and ingots of gold and silver, which would prevent them from spending it, and would produce a profit when it was needful to coin it. Notwithstanding this the others are worrying her to send the 30,000l., and the Queen is still undecided.
The king of France had hitherto delayed sending a reply to the clauses proposed on behalf of the Queen for the marriage, but he has now agreed to concede everything that the Queen requests as soon as she decides to marry. This, after so much delay, has caused her some suspicion. She consequently verbally told the French ambassador that, although the King was willing to agree to defray the cost of the war if she married, the business was so weighty that she wished the King to bind himself in writing with his own hand, that this crown should not be called upon to contribute to any expenditure, overt or covert, which might be incurred either in the Netherlands or elsewhere in case of a rupture with your Majesty, as she wished to be perfectly clear upon this point to enable her the better finally to resolve. This shows that it is nothing but make-believe.
My second correspondent reports that the ambassador Cobham has written to the Queen saying that no minister ever set foot in England who had done greater harm than I, or who gave more minute information of matters here to your Majesty and the Pope He says that the reason why the king of France agreed to so extraordinary a condition as to pledge himself to break with your Majesty, whilst relieving her of all expense caused thereby, was in consequence of the arrival secretly of a Nuncio from the Pope to press him to agree with your Majesty and the rest of the Catholic princes, as this was the only means by which he might tranquillise his kingdom and punish the Huguenots and heretics, whilst preventing his brother from helping the Netherlands rebels. To this the king of France had replied that, if it were possible for his brother to retire with honour, and he was assured that he would not be moved by the Huguenots to stir up civil war in France and assume almost royal power, to the great danger of his (the King's) Crown and the interests of the true religion, he would do all that might tend to the aggrandisement of the Catholic Church and the maintenance of the princes who belonged to it, and, at the same time, would seek means to bring his brother to it, although he was sure that force would be of no use for the purpose. For this reason, he said, he had granted everything that the Queen had requested, in order that his brother's eyes might be opened, and he might understand plainly that she was the person who avoided the marriage. This is confirmed by a letter which Alençon writes to Sussex in the same tone as before, lamenting the irresolution and tardiness of his brother, who, he says, is jealous of his greatness. He is full of complaints in this letter, particularly of the Queen, who, he says, is the origin and deviser of his ruin. He concludes by saying that, if he decides to alter his course and restore the injury which was befalling him by reason of the vain hopes of the marriage, the Queen would have no reason to complain of anyone but herself, as she had abandoned him so shamefully without considering the guerdon which the risks and dangers he had personally run deserved at her hands. This is in a letter of two sheets of paper, speaking very plainly, and saying that he is in such a position now that, if the Queen do not resolve in his favour, he will have to do so himself by embracing some of the offers made to him.
I understand that, when the Queen heard this letter read, she tried to make a show of tenderness, although she is as far from the idea of marriage as ever, whereas it would appear that Alençon, although he knows that the Queen is trying to marry him to the daughter of the king of Sweden, is not entirely undeceived even yet about his marriage with the Queen. In consequence of the Queen and some of her Councillors having represented to him how very greatly the match, and he personally would profit, if he would consent to restore Simier to favour and send him hither, Alençon has written to Simier saying that if he will come to him he will embrace him and restore him to his former position. Simier has written to the Queen and Sussex, asking them to advise him as to whether he should accept the proposal, which they have advised him to do. I doubt not that this negotiation will have been aided by the king of France, who, as I wrote long ago, had won over Simier, (fn. 9) and had covertly sent him hither at the time that Alençon was here. It cannot fail to be advantageous for the king of France, in any case, to have him here for the purpose of his sending news of what is going on so long as his brother is dealing with the Queen.
The prince of Bearn has written to Alençon saying that the duke of Savoy (fn. 10) continues to besiege Geneva, in defence of which he says that 30,000 Huguenots would take up arms, and he asks him to inform the king of France of this. They have held a great Council here on the matter, the Queen being present, when the Treasurer said that the plan was a piece of Spanish sagacity, because the fact of the Duke's pressing Geneva would oblige the Huguenots of France to take arms, and this would bridle the king of France, and prevent him, however much he might wish, from breaking with your Majesty in the Netherlands, or assisting his brother effectively, whilst his own house was in flames.
Custodio Leiton has arrived here with letters from Don Antonio to the same effect as before, begging for money, men, and ships, and representing the advantages which will accrue to this Queen if she will help him as he requests. She has replied as on former occasions, and Custodio Leiton says he will go to Antwerp, and from there proceed on a mission to the king of Denmark from Don Antonio.
A ship has arrived here from Terceira, which left there on the 15th ultimo. They confirm that Landereau had returned to Terceira much disorganised, and with the loss of some ships. The people of the island are on bad terms with the foreign soldiers.
I have continued, pending your Majesty's reply, to entertain my second confidant (fn. 11) with hopes and fair words. The Queen has again pressed him to make ready to go to the German Diet, and it has been necessary for me to pledge him, as your Majesty commands me to do in case of need. I have therefore given him 500 crowns, promising him a pension of 1,000 crowns a year, and have induced him in this way to continue in your Majesty's service, and not to go to the Diet. If your Majesty should have no minister here you will be free to discontinue the payment without the loss of any great sum. He has esteemed the favour very highly, and assures me that, not only he himself, but all his house, hope in God to be able to render service to your Majesty. His parts and behaviour are such, that I doubt not great results will be attained by his co-operation. My first confidant (fn. 12) has been almost dumb with me for some months past, and has told me nothing of importance, in consequence of Leicester's having set the Queen against him, and he therefore avoids business.
The ships which I mentioned in my former letters that the Catholics were fitting out here, have now been reduced to two ; which will be taken by Humphrey Gilbert for the purpose of reconnoitring the best place to land next year. These two vessels are already in Southampton water, and are only waiting a fair wind to sail.—London, 25th July 1582.
29 July.
278. The Queen of Scotland to Bernardino de Mendoza.
On the 12th instant I received your letters of 26th ultimo and 1st instant with those from my ambassador in France and Englefield. I have also received the replies to my letters sent by you to Scotland on the 19th April, for which I thank you warmly. You will oblige me by keeping open the means of communication with Scotland which you have established, because although as you have pointed out it is dangerous to employ it too frequently owing to the sort of people who have to be employed, it will be necessary to use it sometimes, when those whom I employ there may have been despatched and need may occur for writing. Whilst employing your own persons you may also make use of mine, as we can hardly have too many means of communication now that the irons are becoming hot and the blows stronger. I do not know how to express my thanks to you for all your good offices and affection towards me and my affairs, especially for the promotion of the enterprise. To the Catholic King and all other Christian princes, if necessary, I will always acknowledge that the principal merit and praise in these negotiations belong to you, as you have been hitherto the principal promoter of them. I must beg you freely to continue the good work you have commenced, without taking any notice of what took place recently in France, of which I can assure you I had no knowledge whatever until I received my ambassador's letters with your last packet, and less still of any details of the negotiations of Creighton and Persons, the first advice I received being from you after their return from France. I can assure you that the taking of Juan Bautista de Tassis into council was not done at my instance. I gave no instructions to my ambassador to do this ; but I understand that my cousin M. de Guise having determined to accept the control of the enterprise (as he assures me himself), and being in doubt about writing to the Catholic King respecting it, thought better to make the offer verbally through Tassis, there being no other person there whom he could address. By the enclosed letter to my ambassador, which I pray you to forward, I order him to proceed no further with Tassis, as that which had already been done was not in accordance with my wishes. As regards my cousin, M. de Guise, he remained but ill pleased with his first conference with him (Tassis), and I do not believe that he will address himself to him again, unless he be obliged to do so, as Tassis plainly said that he was opposed to the Catholic King's trusting so many of his forces to the command of a foreigner, notwithstanding that it was pointed out to him that the colonels of the army could be appointed by (the Spaniards) and my cousin thought that his objection was a slight upon him. There are, as you have pointed out, many inconveniences in carrying out this enterprise from France, and I wish it to be conducted entirely by you, sure as I am of your faith and prudence, which have caused me to go so far in the matter with you, and my confidence has been justified by the successful way in which you have conducted it so far.
I must therefore beg you earnestly to continue, so that you may secure for yourself the honour of God and man, if the enterprise be successfully carried through as you give me hopes that it will be. The principal thing is the prolongation of your stay in England, but if that be impossible, then in France. The duke of Lennox has promised me to remain in Scotland until the decision of the Catholic King is known. If the decision be contrary to your recommendations he (Lennox) has resolved to withdraw to France, as he says he cannot remain in Scotland with safety. If matters are long drawn out it will be necessary to encourage and entertain him, as you think fit, always with the best hopes you can give him, and also with the money and pensions, about which I have written. You may judge from the recent change, which was so simply brought about in Scotland, how advantageous it would be for a good army to have arrived at a propitious time like this, everything being so well prepared. My son even might be persuaded to welcome it, now that he has discovered the wickedness of those blackguards of ministers, and has no desire to be drawn into trouble by them, both on account of our own subjects and matters here (i.e. in England).
I send you enclosed copy of the letter he recently wrote to me and to the queen of England on the point about which I sent to him at Easter last, respecting my intention of sending someone to visit him. God keep him in his good intention and dutifulness towards me, although I hear that some of these councillors are sore displeased thereat, and when they heard of it, tried to persuade their mistress that my son had only written her the letter as a sort of compliment and in terms of the greatest coldness. In view of the hopes I entertain of our enterprise I have resolved not to enter into any sort of agreement with this Queen, and I have taken the opportunity afforded to me by the long delays and postponements they have raised to my projected mission, to avoid doing so. I will not on any account pledge myself to her on the conditions she demands of me in this place, in order to hold myself free to provide for my son as events may require, without being bound by any promises or obligations towards her.
I have fully considered your statement of the great tasks your master already has on hand, in addition to the new trouble these people are hatching for him so industriously with the king of Navarre ; but I am of opinion that our enterprise will be instrumental in frustrating a good part of these plans, or at least those of them that originate with people here, as indeed they nearly all do. So that, when I bear in mind the old age of His Holiness, who may be succeeded by another Pope of quite different views ; the age of my good brother your King, whose affairs will never be in better condition than during his lifetime ; my own continual indisposition and the prospect of leaving behind me a son infected with heresy ; the lack of men in Scotland if the duke of Lennox abandons the Government ; the possibility of the duke of Guise changing his mind ; and the constant attempts made to weaken the Catholic party here, as has been done in Scotland, so that as time passes they may be less and less able to rise ; I am extremely afraid that if we let this opportunity pass of re-establishing religion in the island, in the face of all the above-mentioned circumstances, we cannot hope to recover such a chance. The king of France being so great a lover of repose, and his brother in close intelligence with the heretics, are also points in our favour which we should lose if the crown should fall to the king of Navarre, which, however, God forbid! I therefore beg you more earnestly than ever not to leave hold of the good work, but to promote the execution of it with all possible diligence. In the meanwhile, in order to have things here in good train, I beg that the King (of Spain) my good brother will promptly provide for the payment of the sum of 15,000 or 20,000 crowns to provision the strong places in Scotland in case of need, and also that he will make presents to the Scots gentlemen, so that they may be kept faithful to him and to me. I shall anxiously await his reply on all these points, and I beg you in the meanwhile to speak plainly with me, so that I may know how I am to proceed before I go any further.—29th July 1582.


  • 1. Father William Creighton is probably referred to, but the word is indistinct.
  • 2. The whole of the documents relating to this project will be found printed in full in the Addenda of the Calendar of State Papers, Colonial, 1574-1674.
  • 3. See Vol. I. of the present Calendar.
  • 4. The letter he brought, dated 8th July, is printed in the Hatfield Papers, Part 2.
  • 5. John Dury, minister at Edinburgh, for an account of whose inhibition and expulsion see Robertson, and Calderwood's "Assemblies." Two extremely interesting letters from Castelnau to the king of France, dated respectively 6th and 26th July, give full particulars of Scotch affairs from the French point of view. The King is urged to prevent the expulsion or assassination of Lennox by means of the queen of England's intrigues, or the prince of Scotland will fall entirely into the power of Elizabeth.
  • 6. Probably David Lindsay, afterwards bishop of Ross.
  • 7. This was Robert Montgomery, minister of Stirling, "a man vain, fickle, and presumptuous," who had made what Spotswood calls a vile bargain with Lennox to accept the archbishopric of Glasgow on the death of archbishop Boyd, the revenues of the See to be made over to Lennox. For particulars of the proceedings against him and his excommunication by the General Assembly consult Dr. McCrie's life of Andrew Melville.
  • 8. A copy of this interesting letter, dated Stirling, 10th June, was sent by Castelnau to the King of France, and is printed (from the D'Esneval Archives) by M. Chèruel in his "Marie Stuart et Catharine de Médici."
  • 9. Castelnau writes to the king of France the day after the date of this letter, saying that, as the King had ordered him to entertain Simier in his house, he expected to be reimbursed the expense he was incurring. He complains that Simier and Alençon's men in London have cost him 25,000 crowns, and he has not been able to get a penny of the money he has lent them. His means, he says, are now exhausted.
  • 10. Charles Emmanuel I., son of the famous Emmanuel Philibert.
  • 11. Lord Henry Howard.
  • 12. Sir James Crofts.