1. Guzman de Silva to the King.
The duke of Alba sent me copies of the three letters dated 14th
and 15th October, forwarded by your Majesty by way of Italy.
They arrived here on the 30th ultimo, and the next day I told the
Queen of the happy delivery of our lady the Queen, whereat she
showed as much delight as must have been felt everywhere at the
news, and thanked your Majesty warmly for your care and
thoughtfulness in informing her of it ; as also of the reasons
which have prevented you from going to Flanders until the spring,
which reasons, she thought, were very sufficient ones. She said
she longed for the time of your Majesty's voyage in the hope that
she might see you, although she did not think you would recognise
her as she has changed so much and become so thin.
I thanked her from your Majesty for forbidding Hawkins and
the rest of those who are going to Guinea from proceeding to your
Majesty's Indies, and assured her with all possible emphasis how
much importance you attached to this proof of her regard, in order
to fix her the more firmly. She made me great promises about it,
and said she would cut off Hawkins' head if he exceeded by one
tittle the orders that had been given to him and would punish his
associates as well. I am trying to get her to make a show in this
matter, as I consider it of great importance, and, if these people are
not taken in hand in real earnest, they may do much damage by
showing the way to the Indies and opening up this business, and
also by their religious action in those parts, the dangers arising
from which may well be imagined.
I am advised by a Portuguese, who came hither five days ago
from the island of Madeira, that Hawkins' fleet had arrived at the
Canaries, and that the ship they call the "Mignon" with three
others took in all the victuals they required at Gomera, whilst the
Jesus of Ubique (Lubeck) and two sloops did the same at Teneriffe,
and they had all continued their voyage on the 12th November.
I have not yet been able to discover the nature of the decision
sent by the Queen to the Earl of Sussex about the marriage, but I
have learnt from Cecil that the letter was written to him by Cecil
himself in his own hand, and as soon as the Queen had signed it
he folded and sealed it in her presence, so that no one knows the
contents but the Queen and himself, as I was told and informed
your Majesty when the despatch was sent off. Some of the Council
had asked the bearer what the despatch contained, and he told
them he did not know, which was quite true. I am assured that
the duke of Norfolk has given valuable assistance in the matter,
and I fancy the secretary is not displeased with the despatch sent.
I can only hear of one matter they are discussing now, the
question of Ireland, and whether they shall send troops against the
Scots, who, as I have written, had gone over to the island. There
is some difficulty about it, as they have very little money and less
desire to spend it. I am told they will decide to-day. Nothing
fresh from Scotland beyond what I wrote on the 29th.
They say the earl of Leicester will leave after Twelfth day, with
the Queen's permission to stay at home until the end of March, but
these things are generally changed.—London, 3rd January 1568.
2. Guzman de Silva to the King.
Last night I received, by way of Flanders, your Majesty's
despatches of 14th and 15th October, and those brought by sea,
duplicates of which I had already received and acknowledged. This
Queen has been ill for four or five days, but is now well and affairs
here are quiet. I hear the same from Scotland, and that the
parliament, which was being held there, is now finished with the
result of its approving of the imprisonment of the Queen, in consequence
of her having been cognizant of the murder of her husband,
and confirming the acts of the earl of Murray. Ireland is still
under discussion here, but no decision has been arrived at. I am told
that the Viceroy has resigned, displeased with their treatment of
him after his services there, and that the Queen has appointed the
Vice-Chamberlain as his successor. His name is Knollys and he
was there about a year and a half ago, investigating the affairs
which had arisen in the time of Sussex's viceroyalty.
I have heard nothing about the Archduke's suit.—London, 10th
3. The Same to the Same.
The Queen is well and things here quiet, although in suspense,
awaiting the outcome of events in France. It appears that the earl
of Leicester's leave of absence from court is suspended, the principal
reason of his going, I am told, being to meet the duke of Norfolk
on the way. They make an appearance of friendship, but have to
be on their guard, as there is no love lost between them. The
second collection of the taxes, granted by parliament to the Queen,
has begun. The amount is 400,000 ducats, and it is to be collected
in six weeks. They want the money, as they have none left, and
I believe they will only employ it in their own private needs. The
Queen seems very determined about this, so I do not think the
rebels will get much help from her. In the college called the
Arches opposite St. Paul's are established the principal lawyers in
civil and canonical law, who are judges and advocates of most of
the cases in the metropolitan see of Canterbury and other ecclesiastical
jurisdictions. They have therefore to check many of the
vexatious things which are done to the Catholics, and the Archbishop,
in order to annoy them, is attempting to exact from them the
oath recognising the Queen as head of the church of the realm. It
is not plain how it will end, but they are certainly putting them to
much trouble. It was to have been done to-day, but it has been
postponed.—London, 24th January 1568.