108. The Same to the Same.
On Thursday last we received your Highness's letter of 27th May
and those of His Majesty and Messieurs Chantonnay and Garcia
Lasso with enclosures. We have for the present nothing further
to reply to these beyond what we wrote in our letters of 23rd and
27th ultimo, which will have informed your Highness of the state
of affairs here and the uselessness of my (de Glajon's) continued stay
since the conference is to take place about two hundred miles from
here, and the parties expect to be able to come to terms without our
presence or intervention as we have written on several occasions.
We have also expressed our own opinion to your Highness that they
will not agree at all as we do not believe the Queen will ever
consent to a rupture of her alliance with the Scots, nor would the
latter allow it, and we think that this point alone is sufficient to
render the conference abortive.
We are anxious, for our own part, to assure your Highness that
in all our conferences on the subject we have tried as diplomatically
as possible to bring about a just and honourable understanding, and
have offered both the Queen and the French with this end our
presence and mediation. We see, however, that neither of the
parties desires to avail itself of our good offices, and we have
consequently agreed to preserve His Majesty's (the king of Spain's)
dignity by henceforward simply persuading and expressing the
King's great desire that an understanding should be effected on the
best terms possible and trying to reconcile both parties. As they
will not admit us to the conference we can give no information to
your Highness except that contained in our former letters.
M. de Randau and the bishop of Valence left for Newcastle on
Wednesday last and Dr. Wotton and Secretary Cecil will follow
them next Thursday, Cecil having had himself bled before starting
in consequence of a sudden return of fever. We do not know
whether this was a device to delay the meeting in order in the
meanwhile to take Leith by famine, as the rumour is that the
besieged are suffering greatly from want of provisions, and the
Queen told me (Bishop Quadra) two days ago that "they were
keeping their Lent."
It would seem by this that the copies of letters given by Cardinal
Lorraine and the duke de Guise to Messieurs Chantonnay and
Garcia Lasso saying that the besieged are well victualled to the end
of August are a fabrication. We have made every effort to discover
whether anyone had left Leith who could have written such letters,
but have been unable to find that any person had gone out of the
place since the departure of the bishop of Valence from Scotland
and the assault on the town.
We send a short reply to the letters of Messieurs Chantonnay
and Garcia Lasso referring them to the present letter of which your
Highness may be pleased to send them copies.
We have thought well to retain here for a few days the courier
who brought your Highness's letters in order to be able if necessary
to advise your Highness what we hear of the negotiations between
the French and English representatives.—London, 3rd June 1560.
Signed : Alvaro della Quadra. Philippe de Stavèles.
B. M. MS.,
109. Bishop Quadra to the Bishop Of Arras.
The Commissioners have left for Scotland. The French are the
bishops of Valence and Amiens, Randau, La Brosse and D'Oysel ; and
the English, Cecil and Wotton from here, and Henry Percy, (fn. 1) Peter
Carew and Sadler appointed there. I expect they will do no more
than hitherto, as the Queen expects to reduce Leith by hunger, and the
French are not in earnest, but hope to arrange with the rebels, and then
try their designs on this country. I expect the French will succeed
in their plans before Leith is taken by hunger as they (the French)
say it is provisioned till August, but this is all a trick of the Ambassador's
as was that letter they showed to Chantonnay and Garcilasso
in France as no one has left the place who could bring the news.
Cecil has been sent to encourage the rebels and hinder the French
attempts at an arrangement with them.
When I spoke to the Queen last, she did not seem so offended
with us as she had been, and to help this feeling I mixed my
scolding with as many complimentary and friendly words as I could.
I see that her plan is that, in case her visions succeed and she
manages to embroil us with the French and so establish her power,
she shall not be more beholden to us than she is now, whilst if she
fail she shall not be quite alienated from us. The Catholics are being
persecuted more than ever, and when I begged the Queen to cease
this, and pointed out how cruel and impious it was, she said she
knew they (the Catholics) wanted to rise against her, and she could
show me proofs of it. She said those who looked the meekest and
most sanctimonious were the worst. I want to keep in her present
good humour, as neither our threats have frightened nor our
persuasions softened her towards us, but still I managed, without
exasperating her, to repeat to her all her errors, and pointed out
the danger into which her fancies were hurrying her. I said her
plans looked very easy, and she was always ready to blame some
of her councillors if they failed. She yielded so far as to try to
justify herself to me on the principal points, namely, the war and
marriage. She talked all manner of nonsense, as usual, and although
she tried to treat things seriously, I only ridiculed everything she
said, and told her I knew she did not believe what she was saying,
and I was fully informed that her real object was to make herself
monarch of all Britain by marrying the earl of Arran. After a long
discussion on this subject and the war, we spoke of the news from
Italy, that the Pope was sending hither the abbé de Saint Salut, at
which she seemed surprised and somewhat alarmed, and thought he
was after no good. I said the Pope only sent to admonish and
advise her like a loving father for her good, and no doubt had been
moved thereto by hearing from the King (Philip) that he was
always in hope that a woman of her talent would embrace the
universal Catholic faith. I said if the King had failed to protect
her at Rome, any declaration the Pope might have made against her
would have done her much harm. (Repeats a long homily he gave
her on her duty towards her subjects in the matter of religion.) If
the Pope is really going to send an envoy hither, I wish it were
anyone rather than this abbé, who is a staunch Frenchman and is
considered tricky here. He is unpopular, as he was a servant of
Cardinal Pole, and they ought to send a learned modest man,
without ostentation or show and without much preliminary talk.
Your Lordship might advise Vargas of this without saying that I
had written it, as I am not inclined to be bail in Rome for what
I write here of this Queen's conversation. If your Lordship thinks
well, also this letter might be sent to His Majesty, as I cannot write
to Spain by this post—London, 3rd June 1560.
110. Bishop Quadea And De Glajon to the Duchess Of
Strange news is current here of the rout of our army against
Tripoli, and Seurre has told us that for the last twelve days the
fact has been known in the court of France, and that only twentyfive
of our galleys have escaped. This pains us greatly, and
especially as nothing has been written to us about it.—London,
13th June 1560.
Signed : Alvaro della Quadra. Philippe de Stavèles.
111. The Same to the Same.
The day after writing to your Highness on the 13th instant we
received your Highness's despatch of the 3rd, with extracts of letters
written to Monsignor D'Arras by Secretary Courteville respecting
his action with the French and English ambassadors about our
negotiations. We thank your Highness for this, and will make
use of the extracts when opportunity offers. We told your Highness
in our last that a courier had arrived here from Cornwall with the
news that a great number of French ships of war were on that coast,
and we have since learnt that this was the new army that was on
its way to reinforce the others.
The Queen sent to say yesterday that she had received letters on
the previous day from Cecil saying that the sittings of the conference
had commenced (although she could not tell us in what place) with
so much amity that she hoped very shortly that a successful result
would be attained, and at all events that nothing should be wanting
on her side to effect an agreement. She said she would not fail to
let us know when she had any news of the issue, and asked us to
inform His Majesty and your Highness. We humbly thanked her,
and assured her that both the King and your Highness would
receive the news of a settlement with pleasure.
She also sent word that she had heard from the duke of Norfolk
that there was a report in the camp and on the frontiers that the
queen regent of Scotland, mother of the queen of France, was dead,
but she (Elizabeth) has made no reference yet to the packet of
letters received from her ministers in Spain. We enclose copy of the
protest which, as we have written to your Highness, was presented
in April last by Ambassador Seurre to the Queen, and the Queen's
reply thereto lately printed here.—London, 17th June 1560.
Signed : Alvaro della Quadra. Philippe de Stavèles.
112. Bishop Quadra to the King.
Duke Adolph of Holstein sent some days ago to M. de Glajon and
me to say that he wished to have some conversation with us before
he left, and he asked us to be his guests at Greenwich where he was
staying with the Queen. I went alone as M. de Glajon was unwell.
What he had to say was that having recently received a letter from
your Majesty conveying to him the intelligence of your marriage and
good health, and begging him at the same time to help in the
preservation and defence of your Majesty's states in the Netherlands,
he thought well to inform me that, as to the first, he humbly saluted
your Majesty for deigning to inform him of your marriage and
health. With regard to the second he will ever be ready to serve
your Majesty in Flanders or elsewhere your Majesty may command,
as he has written to you and I might convey the same to the duchess
of Parma. I send the Duke's letter enclosed in this. He appears
not very well satisfied with the Queen about the marriage, and even
respecting other affairs, although he tries hard to hide it. As M. de
Glajon and I have written at length to Madame and the bishop of
Arras 1 do not refer to other matters here.—London, 26th June 1560.
Endorsed in the handwriting of Philip II., "The letter of Duke
Adolph of Holstein has been sent to Phinzing."
112. Bishop Quadra And De Glajon to the Duchess Of Parma.
By our letters of 17th instant your Highness will have learnt that
according to the Queen the peace conference was in a good way. We
have since received your Highness' letters with the copies enclosed
by which we have been fully informed of the proposal to his
Majesty made by the Bishop of Limoges, (fn. 2) and his Majesty's reply to
the three points contained therein and our action shall be governed in
accordance. We have also learnt what had passed between your
Highness and M. de la Forest, (fn. 3) and the cause of the coming hither
of the Abbé de Saint Salut and the reasons for detaining him in
Flanders. We also thank your Highness for the news of the success
of our army at Gelves, which doubly rejoices us as the news spread
broadcast here was very different and greatly against his Majesty's
interests. We will publish the truth everywhere, and when it is
known we hope those who have been glad will be ashamed of
Your Highness will be pleased to hear that the Queen and Council
have informed us that by letters from the deputies written on the
29th instant from Edinburgh they learn that the differences between
the Queen and the king of France were in fair way for settlement,
and there was not now much left to conclude, and she therefore had
great hope that very shortly all would be arranged in good peace
and concord. She also hoped the same would be effected by the
Scots and would not fail to send us news as she received it. In
confirmation of this we have heard from the secretary of ambassador
Seurre that the French representatives have sent a gentleman to
their King who bore letters of credence for de Seurre. The latter
however had only told him, the secretary, that the gentleman had
said as he was leaving that on his return from France (which he
expected would be within a week) all would be easily arranged.
The Queen also said the same thing to me (Bishop Quadra) when
I was recently with her on private business, and added that all the
points on her side was arranged except only that referring to the
repayment of the expenses she had incurred, for which she demanded
500,000 crowns and the restitution of Calais, although I do not think
she will stand out about that. With regard to the rest the French
will agree to demolish Leith and withdraw their troops from Scotland,
sending them back to France in ships that she (the Queen) would
grant them by public edict. They will consent to annul and cancel
all letters and charters in which the style of king of England may
have been usurped and abolish the use of the arms of England
quartered with those of France for ever henceforward.
By this your Highness will see how little reason there was for the
bishop of Limoges in Spain to beg his Majesty for the succour
promised to his master and the use of sending another gentleman
to this Queen to negotiate, which would probably only throw matters
back again and irritate the Queen more than ever, as she would
believe he came to declare war rather that anything else, and if
the peace is concluded, as is hoped, your Highness may consider
whether the coming of this new envoy would be either fitting or
With regard to the peace itself it is probable that the French,
seeing the impossibility of relieving Leith, which is hard pressed for
victuals, will accept such terms as they can get. We are daily
expecting letters from Scotland from a certain person we have sent
thither and we hope to learn from them the truth about the peace
negotiations which we will duly convey to your Highness.
Regarding the coming of the Abbé de Saint Salut I, (Bishop Quadra)
have been recently informed by the abbot of Westminster, now
a prisoner in the Tower, that his coming is at the solicitation of a
certain Englishman named Englefield, now in Rome, who was a
member of the Council of the late Queen Mary, and of the late
ambassador of that Queen in Rome who have laid before his Holiness
the state of religious affairs here and attribute the present changes
rather to certain ministers now in favour with the Queen than
to the Queen herself. In my opinion the coming of the Abbé
will please many people and displease those of the contrary faith.
If we are asked the cause of the delay in the Nuncio's coming we
will dissemble as your Highness directs. If his Majesty had not
been fully informed of my (de Glajon's) proceedings, and had
himself not deigned to exculpate me from the complaint made
by the bishop of Limoges that I was lukewarm, I could bring
ample evidence and proof to the contrary, but since his Majesty
is satisfied with me I will for the present pass the matter over ; but
I cannot refrain from saying that the reason why the French desired
so much warmth and vehemence on our part was not by any means
that their affairs should thereby be forwarded (for we had done
everything possible and even more than was necessary) as may be
judged from the fact that they always tried to negotiate apart from
us and exclude us from their conferences, but only for the purpose of
injuring our King's interests by irritating the Queen against him. We
quite clearly saw this and the malice that prompted it, and we have
thought best to conduct our negotiations in a moderate way that,
whilst doing everything that his Majesty and your Highness ordered,
could not offend the Queen. We recall that we said to Seurre in the
presence of the bishop of Valence and M. de Randau that he was
acting wrongly in conducting his negotiations with the Queen in an
underhand way and with soft words whilst we were to importune
and press her unceasingly. He excused himself at the time, and said
he could not do otherwise as he must dissemble with her. I
(de Glajon) cannot see therefore what reason he has to complain
of me as it is quite notorious here that the haste and failure of
the assault on Little Leith proceeded from the pressure we brought
to bear upon the Queen, and we can assure your Highness that if
the affair had been for his Majesty himself de Glajon could have done
no more than he did.
M. Florent, (fn. 4) whom we have often mentioned in former letters,
returned here this week, and we greatly suspect that he comes to
negotiate something not dealt with by the peace deputies. He was
ill on the road for a long time, nearly a month, and not being quite
recovered he was carried from Paris to Boulogne in a litter. We are
informed that he had audience of the Queen yesterday, and we fear
he is trying to negotiate something to his Majesty's (the king of
Spain's) disadvantage. We will use all diligence in finding out.
With regard to the affair of the Dortrecht men I (Bishop Quadra.)
have after great difficulty obtained their release, and even the
restitution of their ships without cost, and there now only remains to
claim the payment of interest and expenses of their keep and others
incurred in the prosecution of the claim. It has been impossible to
press for this yet as the judges of the Cinque Ports against whom
the claim must be made (for having given letters of reprisal wrongly
and without cause) only meet thrice a year. The next term is on
St. James' Day and the men have therefore left, but will send and
claim these expenses when the time comes. I will help them all
I can, but it will be a long and difficult affair to recover the claim,
and if I were consulted by the Dortrecht men I should advise them
to be satisfied with getting back the principal and avoid further
expense.—London, 28th June 1560.
Signed. Alvaro della Quadra. Philippe de Stavèles.