172. Guerau de Spes to the King.
On the 4th instant I received your Majesty's letter of the 18th
November, written in answer to mine up to the 21st of September.
Shortly afterwards your Majesty will have received many of my
letters reporting the imprisonment of the duke of Norfolk, and the
unfavourable issue of affairs, resulting in much injury to many
persons. His great friends, the Catholic earls of Northumberland
and Westmoreland, had been conspicuous in encouraging him not
to return to Court, but to take up arms, and, as the Queen already
bore them no great good will, they were summoned on many occasions
to appear before her. They excused themselves and delayed in
various ways, and, in the meanwhile, raised the Catholics with the
help of their friends, intending to restore the Catholic religion and
reform the Government. The Queen lost no time in ordering their
arrest, and Westmoreland, being surrounded in a castle by the
royal officers, Northumberland went with a larger force to relieve
him. Thereupon all the people of the northern province began to
rise, and they published their intention by the proclamation which
I sent your Majesty, thinking by this means to raise the other
Catholics, many of whom had already pledged their words. No
movement, however, was made to aid them, and less still when
their second proclamation was published announcing their intention
to free the duke of Norfolk and the other imprisoned lords. The
Queen mustered her army promptly, and, on their approach,
although Westmoreland wished to fight, the other earl and many
gentlemen, seeing their troops were few and badly armed, and that
they were without artillery, decided to take refuge in Scotland.
Northumberland went to the house of Lord Hume, and the other to
that of the earl of Argyle. It is thought that, as these noblemen
are powerful and friendly to the earls, they will not deliver them up
to the Queen, who is pressing the Regent with great urgency to
capture them, and hand them over, offering him, it is said, in return,
his sister the Queen. The Regent, by order of this Queen, came to
the border of Scotland with three thousand men and six hundred
horse, to forward matters, but as he is a Scotsman, they are not
without fear of him, and have reinforced the castle of Berwick and
other border fortresses. The Catholics are somewhat ashamed that
their enterprises should have turned out so vain. The earl of
Warwick is ordered to return, and Sussex remains there in
If the duke of Norfolk had been kept informed, or these earls
could have stood firmly, it would have gone badly with the Queen,
as the people of Norfolk and Suffolk were preparing to rise and
come in force to London to liberate the Duke, having made an
uncle of his their captain, though against his will. But the conspiracy
was revealed by two of them, and many there are now being
arrested. If they had been able to join with the northern people
they might have succeeded. All these enterprises are lost by bad
guidance, and although they are undertaken with impetus, they
are not carried through with constancy.
Irish affairs have been going badly for the Queen this summer.
The brothers of the earl of Ormond, a son of John O'Neil, and
many others, had disturbed the greater part of the island and
taken many places which were under the Queen's rule. The pretended
cause of the rising was the bad government of the country,
in which they include the question of religion. On the arrival of
the earl of Ormond there, who had been sent by this Queen, his
brothers decided to submit to the Viceroy on certain conditions,
and one of them remained a prisoner, with the expectation of a
prompt release. As soon as he obtained more freedom the other
Catholic brother went forth again with his followers and is now
raising his friends in revolt. Thomas Stukeley, of whom I have
written to your Majesty, had sent word to me that he wished to
serve your Majesty, and would be a party to delivering the island
to you, but he was arrested with many others by the Viceroy on
suspicion, and was subsequently liberated. He served in the
German wars under the Emperor, and, I believe, under your Majesty
afterwards. He is a Catholic of high position in the island, and
sent a Venetian merchant resident there to me in order to arrange,
through a nephew of his, to whom he gave a cipher, to learn
whether your Majesty would accept his services in such an enterprise.
This is also pressed upon me by letters from the archbishop
of Armagh in prison, who knows nothing of Stukeley. He considers
it a very easy thing, but as the duke of Alba prudently gave
me orders to leave all such negotiations for the present, I have
not proceeded further in it, and as the arrival of the earl of
Ormond caused a suspension of the disturbances, there has been
nothing fresh to report upon the subject. The said Earl is expected
here, it is said, to complain of the Viceroy. The Catholics are very
numerous there, and heresy is weak except in Dublin and the
They have returned the queen of Scotland to Tutbury under the
guard of the earl of Shrewsbury, and some Englishmen say that
the duke of Anjou wanted to marry her, which your Majesty
knows better than anyone might be inconvenient.
The French ambassador has promised to favour the earls of the
north, and tells me that the King will shortly send a special ambassador
to demand the release of the queen of Scotland, and who
will then proceed to Scotland to try to arrange favourable terms
for her with the Regent.
A French ship recently arrived at Colchester, and her crew have
been arrested on the charge that they were sounding the port and
reconnoitring the coast by order of the king of France and the
duke of Alba. It was said by a sailor in joke, but the greater part
of the crew have been brought to London for it.
The queen of Scotland has written me a letter asking me to try
to carry into effect your Majesty's instructions to me of the 12th
of January last year, and deliver to the queen of England the letter
which your Majesty wrote regarding her release. I replied that I
would willingly do it when I could.
John Killigrew has been twice to Germany since I have been
here. His principal negotiations are with the elector Count
Palatine, although he has seen all of the other electors. He is
accompanied by Dr. Christopher Mundt, an Englishman resident in
Germany, of whom I wrote to your Majesty on the 24th August.
He is a medical man, and lives in Strasburg. Out of the money
obtained for the goods in Hamburg, the portion which the Queen
desired for the purpose of aiding the Duke de Deuxponts to enter
France was paid there. It is understood that Killigrew's last
return was in consequence of an offer made by the Duke Hans
Casimir that, if this Queen would give him a large sum of
money paid in cash down, he would enter France, which offer
they decided here to accept; but when Killigrew was ready to
go, he was ordered to remain, in consequence of the rising of the
A Secretary of the Council informs me that they have engaged in
Germany 6,000 foot and 10,000 (?) horse in case they should be
required here. The Secretary says that this league of Princes is, up
to the present, only defensive, and there is no talk in the Council
of openly offending the Netherlands States, but only to harass them
with the pirates. It was certainly very extraordinary for the
Queen, after she had promised so decidedly not to allow M. De
Dupin to leave, to subsequently give him liberty to do so with
full warlike equipment for land and sea, with the apparent intention
of fortifying himself in the isle of Texel, or in the gulf of
Embden, as he attempted to do. The said Secretary also assures
me that there is no agreement with their friends in Germany to
invade your Majesty's dominions.
They have given the post of Controller to James Crofts, a very
honourable Welsh gentlemen, who received a pension from your
Majesty, and is believed to be a Catholic. He will be a member of
the Council in virtue of his office. He sends to say that in whatever
thing he can honestly serve your Majesty he will do so.
They have chosen him for the office because he understands more
than the others of warlike affairs, and because the earl of Pembroke
urged it greatly, not much to Cecil's satisfaction.
The bishop of Ross has just sent me copy of a letter from the queen
(of Scotland) advising him that the earl of Westmoreland had
arrived at her castle of Dumbarton, in Scotland, where he will
be safe, and that the earl of Northumberland is a prisoner of the
Regent on parole, but will not be given up to this Queen.
She also says that the earl of Huntingdon has informed her
that, if she will marry the earl of Leicester, arrangements shall
be made for her release, to which she has replied that she will
not have anything to say about her marriage with anyone until
she is free.
She affirms that Huntingdon assures her that this Queen has
offers from many people in the Netherlands to the effect that, if she
will send 10,000 men, they will all rise and murder the Spaniards.
It may be brag and yet be true.
The Corsairs have left this coast, taking with them the Venetian
ship. They have also captured three Easterling sloops on their
voyage from Flanders to Spain.
The negotiations being carried on by Thomas Fiesco and the
parties interested, as regards the rescue of the merchandize here
that remains, which is a very small portion, have not yet resulted
in any decision, and the same may be said with regard to the
money and the attempt to settle some form of carrying on trade ;
but as it is a matter of great profit to the English, I think they
will come to some agreement, at all events partially.—London,
9th January 1570.
173. Guerau De Spes to the King.
Since my long letter of the 9th, news has arrived that the pirates
have captured another Venetian ship called the "Vergi," of a
thousand tons burden, which left here with a cargo of kerseys
worth a hundred thousand crowns, as well as much lead, tin, or
pewter, and I have taken this opportunity of reporting it to your
Majesty by a ship leaving for St. Jean de Luz. It is feared that
they will capture the other two Venetian vessels, which are valuable
and ready to sail, although they are trying to get an escort of two
of the Queen's ships for them.
Nothing more is known of the Earls and gentlemen who escaped
to Scotland. Leicester has received 15 days leave to go to his
estates, and it is suspected that he wishes to make some arrangement
with the queen of Scotland, who is there. I believe I shall
know what is done and will immediately report to your Majesty.
A secretary of the Count Palatine has arrived here, and has had
secret audience of the Queen, it is believed for the purpose of
seeking aid for the Duke Hans Casimir to enter France, but they
have not yet decided to give it him. Count Charles Mansfeldt,
brother of Volrad is here, and presumes to say that as soon as the
western sea is navigable he will go home that way, and will, with
the prince of Orange, again enter France to aid Admiral Chatillon.
It seems, however, that they are not vapouring against the States
of Flanders, but only against the Christian King.
According to the duke of Alba's orders I am dissembling about
the rescue of the merchandise, and Cecil and Leicester are both
favourably inclined by reason of the presents they hope to get for
it, although the English merchants somewhat hinder the matter by
their complaints that the cloths siezed in Antwerp have been sold
and delivered by order of the duke of Alba.—London, 14th January
174. Guerau de Spes to the King.
I wrote at length in previous letters, and am now hourly awaiting
the return of the courier sent on the 9th, bringing me the duke of
Alba's instructions. Diego Pardo, one of the merchants here who
are dealing for the ransom of the merchandise, leaves with this
letter to consult with the Duke on certain difficulties that have
arisen in the exchange or ransom, in consequence of their having
heard here that the cloths belonging to the English have been sold
or consigned to certain merchants in Antwerp. Pardo will return
when he learns what truth there is in this, and obtains the Duke's
As the Queen is about to leave for Hampton Court, and Leicester
has not returned from his journey, there is little to add in this
The Queen has sent urging the Regent to make great efforts
to capture the earl of Westmoreland and the other gentlemen who
escaped with him, offering very good rewards for them. It is
understood that all the Scotch nobles are determined that Northumberland
shall not be delivered, and that the rest of the fugitives
shall not be pursued.
Henry, the brother of the earl of Northumberland, who, with
the son of Secretary Cecil, married two sisters, daughters of Lord
Latimer, has been strongly opposed to his brother in this business.
He has come to Court and has been very well received. He begs
the favour of being allowed to take charge of the two sons of his
brother, which has been granted, and it is believed that he will be
The bishop of Ross informs me that most of the principal
Catholics in this country have sent him word not to desist from
his first intention, for that as soon as they learn that they will
have the help of foreign princes, and a good arrangement is made
for help to reach them, they will all rise in a day and persevere
until this country is again Catholic, and the succession is assured
to the queen of Scotland.
The Bishop also tells me that the Catholics here wish that his
Holiness would publish a Bull in some place whence its purport
would reach here, absolving them from the oath of allegiance they
have taken to this Queen, as she is not a Catholic and calls herself
head of this Church. This, they think, would be desirable, and would add
prestige to their claims.
It would have the same effect in Ireland, where, I am informed
by the archbishop of Armagh, the English entered by virtue of a
grant given by a Pope to Henry II. of England, and that the
conditions of this grant instead of being fulfilled are entirely
The queen of England, although she will not declare a successor,
is bringing up with much more state than formerly the two
children of Hertford and Catharine. Cecil even proposed lately to
call the eldest the duke of Somerset, which has not yet been
The earl of Huntingdon is greatly damaged by having no
children, and but little following, whilst Lady Margaret, who
deserves every good thing, has less still. Lord Strange is another
claimant for the succession. He is the heir to the earl of Derby, and
his claim is founded on that of his wife, from whom he is separated,
although he has children. He is therefore a Protestant against the
wish of his father and brothers, and is a man of small personal
The nephews of Cardinal Pole are thought very little of, and the
rest of the people turn their eyes to the queen of Scotland,
although the heretics fear from her a change of religion, which
makes many of them her opponents, or at least very lakewarm
A captain has arrived from Ireland, bringing news that the
Viceroy had subjugated all that part of the island towards the
south, and had sentenced to death three or four gentlemen, many
more being kept prisoners, although they were persons of small
account. He requests more troops and money to go against the
west and south, which are both in revolt. The brother of the
earl of Ormond is still in prison, and the other brother is with
I advised your Majesty of the arrival here of a secretary of the
Palatine in search of money. The Queen would only give him
30,000 crowns, which he thinks very little, although many of the
Council advocate his having more, and even the Vidame de
Chartres, who is here, produced recent letters from the Palatine,
asking him to solicit a large sum of money, as he could not hope to
enter France with a small amount.
A servant of the duchess of Vendôme arrived here two days ago,
it is thought on the same errand.
It is true that the capture of the two Venetian ships may be of
great advantage to the Protestants, the vessels having already
arrived in Rochelle. The Venetian consul here has a letter from
this Queen to the duchess of Vendôme, pressing her very urgently
to get these ships returned, but I expect it is all double dealing.
Great fear is entertained for the other three ships. The pirates
carried into Rochelle with the two Venetians four Easterling sloops.
The Council have not yet given any reply to Thomas Fiesco
about the re-opening of trade, nor is there much hope that they
will give a favourable one.
Two ships have arrived from Cape Arguim in the kingdom of
Fez, loaded with sugar, and the King of the country writes to the
Queen that he had arranged the dispute that he had with some
English merchants, and had assured them of safety for their
dealings. English ships will, therefore, shortly sail thither. They
usually carry large quantities of arms in exchange for merchandise.—
London, 18th January 1570.
175. The King to Guerau de Spes.
Your various letters have been received by which, and by Chapin
Viteli's letter to the Duke, I have been informed of the progress of
events and negotiations up to the 6th of December last. As I am
sending my will and determination on all points to the Duke, it will
not be necessary for me to give you any particulars here, excepting
to enjoin you to scrupulously follow the Duke's instructions. It
will hardly be necessary to urge upon you to give us the most
detailed account of what happens as often as possible, as you already
do so to our satisfaction.
A letter from the bishop of Ross accompanies yours of 4th
November. I was glad to learn that the queen of Scotland was
firm and in good heart. The answer to the letter is not sent as it
could not go in cipher, but you may tell him, if he be still there, to
assure the Queen that I desire, and will try, to secure her release
and happiness as much as if she were my own sister, as she will
already have been assured from the duke of Alba and yourself.—
Talavera, 22nd January 1570.
176. Guerau de Spes to the King.
M. de Monluc sent by the King of France, as the ambassador had
already told me, arrived here to-day. He comes to beg the Queen
not to favour the French rebels as he did not help the English ones ;
and also to request the release of the queen of Scotland. I am to
see the two ambassadors to-morrow, and I will report to your
Majesty what I hear. With the same object the bishop of Ross
has seen me with a letter of credence from his mistress to ask me
to write to your Majesty begging you to send a gentleman to this
Queen to intercede for the queen of Scotland, since I had no
authority to explain yet your Majesty's wishes nor to give a letter
on the subject. He also requested troops from your Majesty to
deprive the Regent of the Government, in which the king of France
would help. In answer to both of these requests I told him that there
would be difficulties in the way, seeing the present state of affairs,
but that I would write. It certainly appears a most desirable thing
to depose the Regent, but it would be better that it should be done
by native enemies, and the Bishop thinks there are good means of
effecting it. Your Majesty will order what is best for your
The Council is determined not to let the queen of Scotland go for
any exchange, and I do not believe they will do so at the intercession
of anybody. They offer money to the Regent for the earl of
Northumberland, and the former, finding the nobles of the province
opposed to the delivery of him, is taking measures to capture him
by force, by means of some armed ships which will approach the
castle. Westmoreland and the others are free.
Cardinal Chatillon went to Hampton Court two days ago. He is
very pressing that the Queen should give a sum of money to Hans
Casimir and the prince of Orange to enter France, but she, on the
plea that she is short of money, does not yet offer more than fifty
It is said here that Orange went to Heidelburg to forward this
project, and thence went post to negotiate on the subject with duke
August. On the other hand, there are hopes that an agreement may
be come to in France, of which their ambassador is very
They have commenced the sale in Rochelle of the Venetian
property, so I suppose the letter from this Queen to the duchess of
Vendome asking for the return of the ships, arrived there too late.
The third ship escaped the Corsairs, thanks to its cannon.—London,
23rd January 1570.
177. Guerau de Spes to the King.
On the 23rd instant, Hamilton, a kinsman of the duke of Chatelherault,
who is a prisoner in Scotland, knowing that the Regent was
leaving Edinburgh with one hundred and fifty horse and that he
had to go through a narrow pass, stationed himself in a house
convenient for the purpose and fired upon him with a harquebuss,
loaded with several balls, and wounded him in the stomach. It
was at first thought that the wound might not be mortal, but
according to the news this Queen has received, the Regent has since
died. Hamilton escaped by a back door of the house, where he had
horses in waiting. This Queen was much grieved, and yesterday
broke forth in great exclamations, saying that this would be the
beginning of her ruin. She has sent a gentleman thither to
endeavour to get the Protestants and other enemies of the queen of
Scotland to select persons of their own faction as governors, and
offers to provide a sum of money, if it be necessary, for them to
defend themselves. Westmoreland, Markinfield and other Englishmen
to the number of 600 horse are free in Scotland, only Northumberland
having been taken, in consequence of his having returned
to fetch his wife who had entered Scotland after him. He is now
in the castle of Lochleven, as I have already written.
As this news is of the greatest importance, and may turn out for the
good of Christendom, knowing that I should not be able to obtain
a passport as soon as I wished, I send this despatch by a boat to the
duke of Alba, that he may give me instructions.
They have sentenced a hundred and fifty persons to death in the
north, but none of them persons of any account ; they are pursuing
Leonard Dacre who is a powerful person there, although he did not
take up arms against the Queen. He is guarded by a troop of
horse, and it is believed will pass over the border. There are
means by which the queen of Scotland may be released, and her
wish has always been to take refuge in your Majesty's dominions.
If Scotland is not pacified with this last event, I expect she will
persevere in that intention which it appears might be fertile of
good results for your Majesty's interests.
This Queen has offered Hans Casimir and the prince of Orange
fifty thousand crowns for troops with which to enter France, and
the Council is trying to devise means to get her to give more without
prejudicing herself. Cardinal Chatillon himself has been round the
French Protestant churches lately to ask for aid, and has received
promises of so much from each. I also understand that certain
Flemings allege that large sums for the purpose will be secretly
sent from Flanders. The Cardinal took with him when he went on
his errand, a letter, which he said was from the prince of Orange
himself, assuring the return of what they now gave, as well as their
former contributions as soon as he had received two payments in
the Netherlands. I am trying to discover who are those in Flanders
that will give such help as they say.
The Cardinal is well guarded here, the Corsairs being sixteen sail
strong and well equipped, divided into two equal squadrons, one
on one side and one on the other. Orders have been given here
that no goods, excepting those which were usually shipped thither
before these detentions should be despatched now through any of the
They have also ordered by letter to the Flemish and other foreign
churches that no bills of exchange shall be given for your Majesty's
dominions. The merchants are told to have the cargo ready for
Hamburg during next month, so that they are in full preparation,
and seeing the lack of zeal to prevent them, they will doubtless sail
this year as they say.
The going of Leicester to his country was with the object of
fortifying a place of his called Kenilworth, for which purpose he has
taken with him a certain Julio Spinelli an Italian who was recently
in the castle of Antwerp. Leicester told him that he greatly feared
civil wars in this country.
A week ago there entered into this river six Breton ships loaded
with oil, coming from Andalucia. They arrived very opportunely,
and, by interesting the commissioners, they have obtained license to
sell. I am told that similar cargoes have arrived at Bristol.—
London, 30th January 1570.