59. The King to the Duke Of Alba.
Since we were in England you will, no doubt, recollect the bearer,
Francis Englefield, who was a member of our Council at that time
and enjoyed the full confidence of Queen Mary, my wife, and,
consequently, mine. He is a good Catholic, much attached to his
late mistress and to me, and, as he refused to change his religion
or obey the summons of the present Queen, she has sequestrated
his property and patrimonial estates, which my intercession with
her has been powerless to get her to restore, or even to grant him
the revenues of, although Guzman de Silva and Guerau de Spes
have frequently begged her to do so in my name. He now wishes
to occupy himself in affairs of my service, and I have decided
therefore to send him to reside near you, as I think his prudence
and good connections will be useful in the States. In order that
he may be able to maintain himself comfortably, I have assigned
him 1,000 twenty-plack florins (fn. 1) a year, as you will see by the
separate warrant he bears. I beg, therefore, that you will have
this sum paid punctually, and cherish this good gentleman as his
quality and good parts deserve, treating him well in consideration
of his wish to serve me, as I know he will do in all things in which
you may employ him. I shall he pleased at all the honour and favour
you may bestow upon him, so that his countrymen may see the high
account in which we hold good Catholics, and thus be encouraged to
persevere in the true religion.—Madrid, 1st November 1568.
60. Guerau De Spes to the King.
A French pirate has arrived here who styles himself vice-admiral
of France. His name is Chateau Portut, and he has seven ships
of war, having also plundered 11 vessels, 10 of which belong to
obedient subjects of the French King and one to a Zealand subject
of your Majesty. He has discharged his booty and is selling it on
shore. The Zealander escaped at Portsmouth and demands justice
from the authorities of the place and the arrest of the pirates.
They refused unless they had the Queen's orders, whereupon the
Zealander came to me and I sent him to Cecil. The latter came
and said that it was a matter that must be brought before the
Queen and Council ; and, as he would express no opinion, and
seeing that the merchandize was being sold and taken away, I
sent the man with one of my servants to Hampton Court, writing
to the Queen by them an account of the matter. They were told
to return to-day for the answer which they are now awaiting.
The Queen's four ships and one of Winter's, with another loaded
with stores, are at the mouth of the river, and for the last three
days all sorts of heavy artillery with large quantities of ammunition
have been taken to them. Ten more ships are ready at
Portsmouth, which, together with those commanded by the pirate,
will make up a good fleet. It is understood that this Queen is to
be offered by the Admiral's party a place on this side of Rochelle,
which will be delivered to Winter. The Queen is borrowing money,
and has even pledged a jewel in order to get together over 40,000
ducats. She has been able to get very little in Antwerp and has sent
to Frankfort. She has made the duke of Norfolk and the earl of
Sussex, who were in York, return hither, and has summoned Arundel,
although he excused himself by saying that he was unwell. She
wishes them all to be present when a decision is arrived at about
Scotland. I have received a letter of credence from the queen of
Scotland for the bishop of Ross, who promises to come and see me.
It appears as if the time was approaching when this country may
be made to return to the Catholic Church, the Queen being in such
straits and short of money. I have already informed your Majesty
of the offer made by Viscount Montague's brother-in-law on condition
that they may hope for protection from your Majesty. He
still presses it, and I await your Majesty's orders.—London, 6th
61. Guerau De Spes to the King.
On the 27th I informed your Majesty of the arrival here of a
courier named Antonio de Cordoba, and that he had gone to the
Court with a servant of mine for his passport, but as the French
ambassador was there, it was signed very late by the Queen, and
I have detained the man until to-day after my audience.
The Queen is willing to give a passport for the money that came
in these ships to go overland, or will, at the option of the factor of
the Genoese, lend one of her ships to convoy the vessels. She has
appointed secretary Bernard Hampton to treat with me on all that
concerns this business, in consequence of Cecil being much occupied.
This is all the better as Hampton is a friend of mine. I give
information about it to the duke of Alba, and the agent of the
merchants reports to his principals in Antwerp. The instructions
received from there shall be followed. I have given the Queen a
long account of all that has happened in Flanders, upon which, in
some respects, she was badly informed, not having had news that
all is going so favourably as it is.—London, 29th November 1568.