Simancas
May 1562

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Institute of Historical Research

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Author

Martin A. S. Hume (editor)

Year published

1892

Pages

236-237

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'Simancas: May 1562', Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892), pp. 236-237. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=86740 Date accessed: 18 September 2014.


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May 1562

5 May.
Brussels Archives, B. M. MS., Add. 28173a.
161. The Same to the Same.
On the 30th ultimo I wrote to your Highness giving advice of the arrival of the Count de Roussy here from France and the departure of Henry Sidney thither on behalf of this Queen. I thought it was of some importance that your Highness should have timely news of what was going on and, as by waiting for the ordinary post the letters would not reach you for at least 12 days, I despatched a Flemish courier, who is one of the regular men and a trustworthy person, with the idea that, seeing the fine weather we were having, he would arrive in three days. He left London on Wednesday after midnight, and went to Gravesend by water. Leaving his inu next morning he was accompanied by four horsemen in the dress of gentlemen, and these, with two others who had preceded them on foot, stopped him two miles from Gravesend and kept him in a house all Thursday until Friday morning. They signified to him that they were after some money and jewels they said I was sending to Flanders, but really this was only to gain time for my letters to be sent to London and back again, which was done, and in fact the letters were brought to the palace here where they were opened and copies of them taken. The highwaymen were envoys of Secretary Cecil sent for the purpose of stopping the courier and were not common thieves. I could swear that this is the case although, as for proving it by evidence, that I cannot do, but I am certain of it. I do not know whether the courier will have dared to recount this insult in Flanders, or if your Highness has heard of it, but I have thought proper to inform your Highness of it and enclose copy of the letter written by the courier to me. If the man is still in Flanders he can inform your Highness of full particulars and the names of those who attacked him, which he knows. I do not propose to mention the matter to the Queen until I have your Highness' orders, as to what I am to say. I cannot however refrain from saying that for some time past I have been treated as if I were the representative of some prince at open enmity with this Queen. I wrote to your Highness also by the ordinary Antwerp courier, and I am not without apprehension that the same thing may happen to these letters as to the others. Armament is still progressing here and all the munitions and heavy guns are being sent to Rye (à la Rya.) I understand the Queen is determined to use all her efforts (if the French rebels do not desert her) to prevent the Guises from remaining at the head of affairs in France, fearing that by their aid the queen of Scotland may make a better match than will be good for matters in this country. They also think that this armament may encourage the uneasy feeling in the States on the occasion of the choice of the new Bishops which is so much talked about here that it would seem as if it were true.—London, 5th May 1562.
24 May. 162. The Same to the Same.
The courier whom they stopped the other day came back last week. I have examined him and send copy of his testimony which confirms what I had heard before his arrival. I spoke to the Queen about it as your Highness ordered, and she pretended she had heard nothing of it before, but said if the person who had done it could be discovered she would have him punished.
She added however that if she suspected anything was being written from here against her interests she would, in such case, not hesitate to stop the posts and examine what concerned her. I told her I did not think it would be right as it could not be done without open offence and enmity. She said it was offence and enmity to act to her injury in her own kingdom, and I thought necessary to take this opportunity to inform her of the many slights to which I am subjected here and the absence of excuse for such behaviour, as I had never acted in the way she spoke of. In answer to this she said she had also complained of certain slights from me. These are all malicious inventions of those who would like to see me begone from here, and would be much worse if Lord Robert, who has certainly always stood by me, were not on my side.
Notwithstanding all these complaints she appeared to be satisfied and tried to reassure me with pleasant words. God grant that her acts may be in accord therewith, for it is high time she undeceived herself and set about pacifying the country which is truly very excited and in a dangerous state for her. She talked at length about the Concilio and sought to convince me that she desired the harmony of Christianity and a settlement of religious matters. She said she had intended to send representatives to the Concilio. When they come to the point, however, I see no signs of any intention of doing any such thing and I think she is only temporizing. I will follow the usual course, which is to tell her what is best for her conscience and her peace, and assure her that the King does not intend to reject her friendship on account of religious differences as some people wish her to believe.—London, 24th May 1562.