Cecil Papers
January 1572

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Institute of Historical Research

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1888

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'Cecil Papers: January 1572', Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House, Volume 2: 1572-1582. (1888), pp. 1-10. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=109808 Date accessed: 23 September 2014.


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January 1572

1. James Hamilton of Bothwelhaugh to his brother David.
1571/2, Jan. 2.I have written at length with my brother the provost to you, who, with God's grace, will come hastily in Scotland with my Lord Fleming, who was in readiness if Mr. James Kyrkcaldy had not come. He is stayed a long while in hope of good news, the which I cannot write. I come of Paris the 26th day of December, and came to Brussels in Flanders to see if I might have any credit there, for in France in good faith I had none, so I was constrained to come. I pray you fail not to shew the lords my hard entertainment; it had been but a little word in a bill to the Queen's Majesty for me, for so long as my Lord of St. Andrews was alive I lacked nothing, but since I never had of nobody with a s[hilling]. I have been hardly handled this while. Commend me to my wife and all friends.—Brussels, 2 January 1572.
P.S.—I have sent you hence, with my brother the provost, all my long guns and all my pistols, which I pray you keep them, for you never saw such. I have sent you a corslet of the proof, very trim; if you need anything advertise me.
[A modern endorsement runs :—“This relates to the attempt to get possession of the King at Stirling in Sept. 1571, and the revenge of the death of the Archbishop of St. Andrews”].
Holograph. ½ p.
2. Anon. [Edmund Mather] to Lord Burghley.
1571/2, Jan. 4.My Lord, of late I have upon discontent entered into conspiracy with some others to slay your Lordship. And the time appointed, a man with a perfect hand, attended you three several times in your garden to have slain your Lordship. The which not falling out, and continuing in the former mischief, the height of your study window is taken towards the garden, minding, if they miss these means, to slay you with a shot upon the terrace, or else in coming late from the Court with a pistolet. And being touched with some remorse of so bloody a deed, in discharge of my conscience before God, I warn your Lordship of their evil and desperate meanings, and would farther declare the whole meaning, if I should not be noted of infidelity, being so near and dear unto me as they are. For the thanks I deserve, 1 shall, I doubt not, but receive them hereafter at your hands at more convenient time, when these storms are past; but lastly, I require your Lordship in God's name to have care of your safety.
Endorsed by Burghley :—“4 January 1571.—A letter brought by the post of London.”
[This letter is referred to in Mather's answer to Interrogatory 13, 30 Jan. 1571/2, Murdin, p. 209.]
pp.
3. “Examination of William Barker by Thomas Wylson this 11 of January 1571, upon these articles following.”
1571/2, Jan. 11.Barker says that there were letters written, not only from the Pope's Nuncio, but also from the Pope himself, as he remembers, to the Scottish Queen, in favour of Ridolphi, which letters were written “in summer was twelvemonth.” He did first know Ridolphi to be a practiser, when the Bishop of Ross, Ridolphi, and he, did deal first for the army to be made beyond the seas by Ridolphi, to foreign princes, as namely the Pope, the Duke of Alva, and the King of Spain; which was about the beginning of Lent last, at what time this examinate did first deal, albeit the matter was talked of long before, by the Bishop of Ross, to this examinate, that such a thing was to be done. And further he says, that he does not know that Ridolphi had to deal in anything for the Pope, but only for this matter of the Scottish Queen. This examinate gave information to the Duke, as things came to his knowledge, but how often he cannot well tell; but well he is assured that he has made the Duke privy to these matters three or four times at the least. Touching “the double of the letter 40,” which John Cuthbert deciphered, and willed him to deliver to the Duke of Norfolk, this examinate says its contents were to his remembrance, that “he had delivered his message to the Duke of Alva, and that the Duke did like well of it, and that he had turned him to receive answer of a Secretary of his; with the which the Duke of Norfolk shewed himself to be angry, and liked not well of the letter, and said that he spake of matter there, that he knew not of, and that was namely, touching the port.”
2 pp.
Duplicate of the first six of the foregoing articles.
1 p.
4. “Kenelm Berney's Confession to the Earl of Leicester and Lord Burghley, upon the talk, conspiracies, and other matters, had from time to time with Edmund Mather, 13 January 1571.” (From Burghley's endorsement.)
1571/2, Jan. 13.The items of this long confession include a device to get the Duke of Norfolk out of the Tower by means of a bridge of canvas; the particulars of the setting up of two papers concerning the Duke, the one at the scaffold on Tower Hill, and the other at the gate going out of Cheapside to St. Paul's; and the details of a plan to assassinate Lord Burghley.
9 pp. [Murdin, pp. 194–200. In extenso.]
5. The Duke of Norfolk.
1571/2, Jan. 15.Rough notes in Cecil's hand, with reference to the arrangements for the Duke of Norfolk's trial. On the back of the document are the following memoranda also by Cecil :—
“ijc men to take the Court being from London.
“ii sheets of paper set up on new year's eve to all the nobility for the duke.
“that there was but one way to help the Duke.
“that the Lord Burley was the cause of his trouble, and his chief enemy. And so was the Lord Keeper and Sir R. Sadler the Duke's enemies.
“that Madder devised how to have the Lord Burley killed at Charing Cross with a harquebuss: a horse fleeing over the water into Surrey.
“that the Duke might be rescued with certain pistols going to arraignment.
“that Madder trusted certainly to see the Queen of Scots Queen of England.
“that the Duke was a coward in that he did not raise force in Norfolk and join with the Lords of the North and so the state should have been changed.”
Endorsed by Cecil :—15 Jan. 1571.
pp.
6. Kenelm Berney to the Lords of the Council.
1571/2, Jan. 15.Since his first confession has recalled other matters. Challenge being made of combat against any that would say the Duke was a traitor, promised Mather to meet any who took it up if assured that he would not be hanged if he discovered his name. To that Mather replied: “we will crave two of my Lord Burghley's sons for pawnes for us which should be sent to the Duke of Alva, or Lord Westmoreland, that if we did miscarry here they might die the same death.” Among much Italian talk between Mather and Hearle they once brake cut in English. Hearle said “How might a letter come to the Duke's hands?” “Marry,” said Mather, “the finest way is to write upon Holland cloth, and to line his hose with the same and send it unto him by his Italian tailor, who not long since bare him a new pair, to which tailor he called to strike [? stitch] up his hose, saying 'It is said, I hear say, that I shall not live to wear these hose out, but I trust yeas or else I shall have worse luck then I look for.' 'If he live,' Mather said, 'and God spare my life, I mean to be his Secretary'” Four days before their apprehension Mather and Hearle would have him ride, as he guessed, into Surrey to view the place that should hide him that did murder Burghley, &c.
Endorsed :—“15 June, 1571.”
2 pp. [Murdin, p. 200. In extenso.]
7. The Duke of Norfolk.
1571/2, Jan. 16.Some rough notes in Cecil's hand, with reference to the Duke of Norfolk's trail :—
“1. The lieutenant's men—x.
“and Mr. Carew's men—
“2. of the warders, iiij.
“3. of the ordinary Guard, xx.
“4. the porter.
“5. The prisoner with the lieutenant and Sir Peter Carew.
“6. Mr. Skipwith.
“7. ordinary Guard xx.
“8. warders—xx.
“9. lieutenant's men—xxxiiij.
and Mr. Carew's—
“10. of the “hamletts”—lx. These lx. to bring him to the water; and lxxj. to attend on him at his return.
“To tarry in the Tower in the absence of the lieutenant.
“The marshal of Berwick to keep the keys of the gates and to have the order of the Tower.
“Mr. Pelham to take charge of the officers of the ordnance, and such as the lieutenant hath ordered to be there behind him.
“Mr. Edm. Hall to keep the keys of the prisons.
“order by the mayor to see the streets kept clear from company.”
Endorsed by Cecil :—16 Jan. 1571.
1 p.
8. Dr. Nicholas Sanders to the Countess of Northumberland.
1571/2, Jan. 17.Gives particulars of money transactions. Has as yet a day and perhaps a half to remain here, after that, he trusts to go forward. If her ladyship has any letters to be drawn in Latin, to the Pope, or the King, recommends Mr. Fenn, who is wise, learned, courageous, and eloquent. She knows his opinion of Dr. Knott for Italian and French, sobriety and wisdom. If it fortune that Mr. Fenn and he do both join, she will have about her the flower of Louvain. Leaves with Sir John Nevill a picture on a table for her ladyship's acceptance. Sends a short letter to my lord, which she may read, and likewise one to Lethington which Lord Seton must have. Regrets that he cannot take leave of Lord Dacre, whom he saw not since his return.—Louvain, 17 Jan. 1572.
The signature is crossed out.
3 pp.
9. Rogers's Report.
1571/2, Jan. 20.Containing evidence against Mather, whose connexion with Sir Nicholas Throckmorton is referred to.
Endorsed by Burghley :—“20 Januar. 1571. Contra Madder.”
1 p. [Murdin, p. 201. In extenso.]
10. The Duke of Norfolk to the Queen.
1571/2, Jan. 21.Prays her Majesty's forgiveness for his manifold offences, that he may leave this vale of misery with the lighter heart and quieter conscience. Desires that Lord Burghley should act as guardian to his “poor orphans.” “Written by the woeful hand of a dead man, your Majesty's most unworthy subject, and yet your Majesty's, in my humble prayer, until the last breath. Thomas Howard.”—21 January 1571.
Endorsed by Burghley :—Tho. Howard, late Duke of Norfolk, from the Tower, to the Queen's Majesty; presented by H. Skipwith, 22 January.”
2 pp. [Murdin, p. 166. In extenso.]
11. De Monceaux [Lyggyns] to Master Barker.
[1571/2, Jan.] 21.Has sent to him and others three or four times, and has no advertisement of the receipt of his letters; the first he sent by La Motte's man, the second by Cripps, Sir Henry Norris' man, the third by another of La Motte's men, and now the fourth by Captain Mure [Muir] a Scotsman. It hath pleased the Queen of Scots late to bestow a liberal gift on the writer, whereof he heretofore advertised the Duke of Norfolk, but not of half the value of it, for she hath since that, commanded the same to be augmented almost treble, to be delivered in a chain and silks. Thinks it proceeded of the report some one had made of his state and “bare going,” which hath been but very base. Howbeit, for divers respects, if he had had ten thousand crowns in his purse, he would not much have altered his garments. By this means, has been forced to disburse more than ordinary to their servants who brought it Had also relieved the want of some passers by to Flanders, whose necessities were great, and they scrupulous to shew it to others. Dares not avow it; but will not hate them that love us. Tells him (Barker) in counsel, that he has been cozened of 40 crowns; the thing that he most gloried in in his youth, was, that he had always escaped such hands, yet now in his old days he is made an ass. Desires Barker to remind Cripps—who knows the party—of the matter, and also to speak to Havers, to send him 100 crowns by some trusty messenger. Needs not let the “Legiste” [noted, in margin of the decipher, by Burghley, “D. of Norf.”] know of the sending of this money. It is thought that the Queen's entry shall be upon twelfth-day next following. As men believe here, M. de Anjou's marriage to the Queen of England is like shortly to take effect, if there be no impediment in that country. He hath agreed thereto, albeit, as some say, greatly against his will. Requests information touching this marriage, and how it is liked in England, for here they are persuaded, that it hath and doth rest only upon Monsieur's liking. Hears of a number of dukes, earls, and barons to be created, and would fain have the certainty of this. Desires his commendations to Mr. Bannister.—Paris, the 21 of [month undeciphered.]
In cipher. 1 p.
The decipher of the preceding, noted at top “Lyggyns to Barker. R. Bag.”
1 p.
12. Sir Edward Rousse to Lord Burghley.
1571/2, Jan. 22.Details the proceedings on the attainder of the late Duke of Norfolk in the last year of Henry VIII., whereby his lands became vested in the Crown. Some of these lands were sold, but on the accession of Queen Mary, the said Duke was enlarged, and presently turned the patentees out of their lands. The patentees, thereupon, obtained an exemplification of the Act of Attainder to prove the attainder good. The writer therefore argues that this Duke could not receive the revenues of the lands, neither was he right in blood; and that both his grandfather and himself had hitherto intruded, as also spoiled and oppressed many of the Queen's subjects. Beseeches Burghley not to suffer him to be brought to ruin through the cruel oppression of the Duke and his adherents.—Dunwich, 22 January.
Endorsed by Burghley :—“22 Jan. 1571. Sir Edm. Rowss—D. Norfolk.”
2 pp. [Murdin, p. 167. In extenso.]
13. The Duke of Norfolk to the Queen.
1571/2, Jan. 23.Expresses his comfort at hearing of the Queen's intended goodness towards his poor unfortunate “brates,” and that she has christened them with such an adopted father as Lord Burghley. If, whilst he was a man in law, the Queen had commanded his accusers to have been brought to his face, there might perchance have bolted out somewhat amongst them, whereby she might have known that which now is undiscovered. Now, it is too late for him to come face to face; the one being a shameless Scot, and the other an “Italianated” Englishman. Trusts, therefore, that her Majesty will not command him to that, which cannot do her any service and may heap more infamy on him.—23 January 1571. “Written by the hand of your Highness' sorowful dead servant and subject, Tho. Howard.”
Endorsed by Burghley :—“Tho. Howard, late D. of Norfolk.”
3 pp. [Murdin, pp. 168–170. In extenso.]
14. The Countess of Northumberland to the Earl of Northumberland.
1571/2, Jan. 27.His servant, having recovered, was willing to repair to his Lordship, and she also, very desirous to hear of his state, was willing to dispatch him. Trusts that his Lordship will not impute any blame to her, if his business has not come to pass so soon as he wished and herself greatly desired. Delay has arisen from the greatness of the sum demanded, and from the want of sufficient assurance (as his friends think). They yet stay for better evidence of performance. If it had been 1,000 marks or under £1,000, she would not have doubted to have prepared that sum upon her credit and to have dispatched it upon the bare word of the Laird [Lochleven]. But that other sum she cannot reach, with all her labour, without further assurance, owing to the scruples of his friends, who allege they have been so often deceived upon trust before. Sees therefore no other remedy but either his procuring them such better assurance from the Laird [Lochleven] as may content them, or else that he will take such a sum as she shall be able to provide upon her credit, and a bond with sureties for the payment of the rest. And yet the Earl must always remain, when that is done, under his credit, for that by his friendship, and none others', that she can perceive, must the Earl be guarded and brought to the place of safety he shall desire. Thinks there is none other so able to serve him in that behalf, or who would more justly perform it, than the Laird [Lochleven], if he would take it in hand. Refers the Earl for further declaration to the bearer, whom she commends.—Mechlin, 27 Jan. 1572.
Seal. 1½ pp. [Murdin, pp. 187, 188. In extenso.]
15. The Countess of Northumberland to Lord Lochleven.
[1571/2], Jan. 27.Not having heard from him in reply to her former letter, thought meet again to renew her request. Her Lord's friends have hardly been brought to give ear to the sum demanded [i.e., for the ransom of the Earl of Northumberland], yet she has so wrought it with them that the same is ready to be disbursed upon the assurance of his liberation. The delay has arisen from their being unwilling to adventure so much on the bare word of his Lordship, who is unknown to them, and from their consequent desire for further assurance in the matter. Would do all she could in the world to procure her husband's liberty: and as it lies not in her power to persuade his friends not to receive his Lordship's word but as that of a stranger, and therefore they are scrupulous about hazarding their money without some sure ground (as they may think), for she cannot rule them in this case, seeing the money is given of their benevolence, so his Lordship, who is to take the commodity thereof, may well no longer defer giving them the required additional evidence. Beseeches him no longer to delay, but so to open himself unto them, that, they being satisfied, a friendly end may be made in this matter. Prays his Lordship to consider her request, what hindrance this long delay hath been, as well to him as to her lord, and begs that she may receive his speedy answer. Beseeches his Lordship to give credit to the bearer in that he hath to say further in this matter.—Mechlin, 27 Jan.
[Postscript.]—If the sum demanded had been such as might have been expected for one in her Lord's case and condition, she would not have doubted to have despatched it, upon the assurance of his Lordship's bare word and her own credit, without the great and manifold trouble she has been put to to get it. For seeing the same is so great, she is forced to seek for the making up of it to their hands that otherwise than by good assurance cannot be contented to disburse their money. And whenever the matter is concluded, yet is her Lord no nearer his safety, being a stranger in those parts, but rather in greater hazard than now while he remains under his Lordship's guard, if he be not by his good help furthered to the place of safety where he would be at, or may account himself assured. Trusts therefore that his Lordship will not leave him until he is placed out of danger, and committed to that fortune that himself shall choose. Speaks highly of his honourable treatment of her Lord.
3 pp. [Murdin, pp. 186, 187. In extenso.]
Contemporary copy of preceding.
16. The Countess of Northumberland to the Earl of Northumberland.
1571/2, Jan. 28.Notifies that the ten thousand crowns required for his ransom have been obtained, and furnishes opinions how he should best pass the seas. Thinks that John Swinburne would be a good man to accompany him, or possibly Edward Dacre. Dr. Sanders and Sir John Nevill both departed towards Rome; the former sent for by Cardinal Hasius, his late book being so well liked, that he is like to come to great authority. Requires the Earl's advice how to fill their places. Sanders had nominated Dr. Knott, a civilian, a man of great gravity, and well languaged; Mr. Fenne, Master of Arts and priest, very eloquent and witty; or Dr. Alen, the most singular man, in her opinion, next to Sanders, on this side the seas. Suggests how the Earl's children might be transported hither. Sends another letter which he may shew to the Laird [of Lochleven] with reference to the exorbitancy of the ransom. As for affairs here, thinks, that either England and Spain must join together, and patch up an old league, or otherwise they will burst forth to open wars. Lord Seton is detained here by the Duke [Alva]. As for France, it is as much divided as England is. The Duke of Guise has been here secretly with their Duke two months past, and it is thought that that House doth link with Spain altogether.—28th of January.
Signed :—“You know by whom.”
Copy, with notes and parts underlined by Burghley.
Endorsed by the same :—“28 Jan. 1571.—Countess of North, to her husband.”
10½ pp. [Murdin, pp. 188–193. In extenso.]
17. Mather's Statement.
1571/2, Jan. 28.Detailing his conversations with the Spanish Ambassador, and the ominous remarks of the latter with reference to Lord Burghley.—Undated.
Signed.
Endorsed by Burghley :—“28 Jan. 1571.”
4 pp. [Murdin, p. 202. In extenso.]
18. Interrogatories to Kenelm Berney.
1571/2, Jan. 29.Concerning his speech with Edmund Mather touching the killing of the Queen.—29 January 1571.
¾ p. [Murdin, p. 203. In extenso.]
19. The Answer of Kenelm Berney to Interrogatories ministered unto him, 29 January 1571.
1571/2, Jan. 29.For answer what speeches Edmund Mather used unto him touching the killing of the Queen, he not only wished the same, but said, that if she were not killed, or made away, there was no way but death with the Duke; and what pity were it, said he, that so noble a man as he should die now in so vile a woman her days, that desireth nothing but to feed her own lewd fantasy, and to cut off such of her nobility, as were not perfumed, and court like, to please her delicate eye, and place such as were for her turn, meaning dancers, and meaning Lord Leicester and Mr. Hatton, whom he said had more recourse unto her Majesty in her privy chamber than reason would suffer, if she were so virtuous and well inclined, as some “noiseth” her. The time of these matters moved by Mather, was this Christmas; and it grew only by occasion of the Duke's arraignment, and of the desire he had to do him good, either by killing the Queen, if the short time would have suffered it, or else by rescuing him from the guard, when he should come to Westminster to be arraigned, or at his execution. Thinks that Mather was procured by some of his (Berney) own friends to attempt this motion to him, for he protests that there is not one more enemy to the Queen and State, that he knows, than Richard Southwell, his bastard cousin. Dares untertake he is so sotted, that to have the mass up, he would spend all he hath; for not long since he was determined to steal over the seas to Mr. Copley his brother-in-law. Doubts whether he were altogether clear of Throgmorton's rebellion.—29 February (sic) 1571.
Signed.
5 pp. [Murdin, pp. 203–206. In extenso].
20. Edmund Mather to the Queen.
[1571/2, Jan. 29.]Prays forgiveness for his great enormities. Confesses his dealings with the Spanish Ambassador, and that he had conspired with Herle and Berney against her Majesty's person. Wholly remits his cause to the Queen's mercy.—Undated.
2 pp. [Murdin, p. 207. In extenso.]
21. Edmund Mather's Examination.
1571/2, Jan. 29.Being examined by Thomas Wilson, Master of the Requests, and Thomas Wilbraham, Attorney of the Wards, he said, that about Christmas last, Berney offered to join with him in killing Burghley; they tarried together at Mr. Copodale's house in St. John's Street, where Berney said, that no good could be done for the Duke of Norfolk, except it were by taking away the Queen, to which the examinate assented.—29 January 1571.
Signed.
pp. [Murdin, p. 206. In extenso.]
22. Examination of Edmund Mather (30 Jan. 1571).
1571/2, Jan. 30.Examinate, amongst other things, said to Berney, that he that should execute the device to kill the Queen, should be sure to be cut in pieces on the place where it should be done. To which Berney answered, he would be loath to do it, except he might escape with his life, “for a quick dog was better than a dead lion.” The person that he wished should have usurped the Crown, was the Queen of Scots. His conference for the surprising of the Court was chiefly with Herle. Gives the effect of the writing touching the Duke of Norfolk, set up on New Year's Eve, which was written by Berney and qualified and interlined by the examinate. The threatening letter to Lord Burghley (see 4 Jan. 1571/2) was written by this examinate, but he only did it to appal him for the time. He made four or five verses in Latin touching divers of the Council which he shewed to Herle; but he never used Juvenal's verses, Aude aliquid, etc., and Herle first told the examinate that Jenny had written that in a brooch of gold. Berney broke with him owing to some device for the delivery of the Duke by means of the Earl of Surrey's son.
Each page signed by Mather.
pp. [Murdin, pp. 208–210. In extenso.]
23. The Countess of Northumberland to the Earl of Morton.
1571/2, Jan. 31.Has thought good to despatch this bearer, to hasten the signification of his lordship's good pleasure, and the Laird's, in such matter as the bearer shall declare. Beseeches the Earl to receive him into his protection, and that he may be permitted to have access to her husband.—Mechlin, this last of January 1572.
Signed.
Seal. 1 p. [Murdin, p. 193. In extenso.]
24. The Countess of Northumberland to the Earl of Northumberland.
[1571/2,] Jan. 31.Sends enclosed the copy of the Laird's letter, which she has committed to the bearer, William Slingesby, to bring, because James Swynho was not in the way nor ready. For occurrents we have, that the Ambassador of Spain is departed from England in displeasure and arrived in these parts. In France are, presently, treating with that State, a legate from Rome, to join that King in league with the Pope, Emperor, King of Spain, and Venetians, against the Turks and Protestants; and, from England, Sir Thomas Smythe is there to conclude a league with that King to join with the Protestants, and is in point of his despatch, so as, it is thought, before Lent the conclusion will fall out one way or the other. If the French join with England, then, is it said, that the Earl of Sussex passeth into Scotland with an army to overthrow the Queen's subjects. Therefore, his lordship should grow speedily to a conclusion, for here seemeth great appearance of trouble to fall out, what way soever be taken amongst the Princes, and wishes he were at liberty and out of that land before these troubles come. The news of England be so uncertain that she commits them to this bearer's report, and surely she may well think that she has no friends left there at all, so far is she from understanding from every one of them. Thinks Sir T. Smythe will stay Lord Fleming's number of men if he can. Has delivered the bearer, towards his charges, twelve crowns; others she has none, but prays God to send him a speedy end of his long troubles—This last of January.
Signed :—“You know from whom.”
Endorsed by Burghley :—Ultimo Jan. 1571. The Countess of Northumberland with a copy of her letter to the Laird of Loughlevyn.
pp.
Enclosure:
Anne, Countess of Northumberland to the Laird of Loughleven.
James Swynho being absent and the wind serving presently for the ships to pass away, I could not omit this opportunity of sending, both because I desire to understand of the safe arrival of my lord's other servants that came before, and that I much covet to know your resolute determination in my lord's couse, that I may grow unto a final end with speed with your lordship for the same. Commends the bearer to his protection, and desires that he will give credit unto him in such matter as he has to treat with him, as by the other letter she has partly signified at large.—Mechlin, this last of January 1572.
Signed.
Seal. 1 p.