186. Guerau De Spes to the King.
As I have informed your Majesty, the army of this Queen now
amounts to 5,000 infantry and 1,500 horse, without counting the
garrisons in the castles. The army is now at Newcastle, and all
the stores have been sent thither by sea. The earl of Sussex has
dismissed some cavalry in which he had no confidence, and he has
consulted the Queen with regard to certain difficulties concerning
his proposed entry into Scotland. One of these is that the arrival
of the French envoy here had excited somewhat the friends of the
Queen (of Scotland), and he therefore thought it would be dangerous
to enter with so small a force, and to take a very much larger one
he would need great stores of provision. He also says that he had
received news, although not through the English ambassador, that
four French vessels with infantry and stores had arrived at
Orders have been sent to him from here to raise the troops he
thought necessary, and to ascertain the truth of the news about
the French troops, as, in case of its being true, it would have great
influence on the decision to enter Scotland. It appears that the
earl of Sussex has some hope that they will deliver the earl of
Northumberland to him. He writes that Westmoreland had
wounded himself in the hand carelessly with a pistol.
The excitement and annoyance caused to the gentlemen of the
country by Privy Seal's letters of demand are remarkable, but still,
most of them find the money, and it is thought that more than
four hundred thousand crowns will be collected, notwithstanding
that less than a year ago sixty thousand pounds were obtained.
The nobles are also dissatisfied, and the people, for other reasons,
are the same, as they will prove on the first opportunity. But
Cecil goes his way, and it is even feared that he will have Lord
Montague arrested. The latter has been advised of this by some
of the members of the Council.
The departure of the Hamburg fleet is being pushed forward.
Cardinal Chatillon complained that the 50,000 crowns had not
yet been paid in Germany, and the Queen said, "If there be no
peace in France I will give that and much more, so that want of
money shall not stand in the way of the cause ; but if an agreement
is come to, I shall have need of my money."
I have been informed that the Council was discussing the
selection from amongst the corsairs' ships of some to go out and
meet the fleet from the Indies, (fn. 1) and although no decision has been
come to, it is possible that Captain Sores may do this on his own
account, as he is not now in the Channel, although some of his
followers are, and bring prizes every day into the Isle of Wight.
They took another cargo of salt from the sloops which came into
Falmouth. (fn. 1)
I have reported the arrival here of Bartolomé Bayon, a Portuguese, (fn. 2)
who has been made much of by the merchants and some
of the Councillors, as no one could have come more apt for their
designs. They invite him to return with a good number of ships
to Guinea, and some of the Council have communicated with him
about the project which was discussed here before, to occupy and
colonize one or two ports in the kingdom of Magallanes, in order to
have in their hands the commerce of the southern sea, and that of
Guinea and the coast of Africa, as well as getting as near as they
wish to Peru. It is a matter of much importance, and as this
Portuguese is friendly with a doctor who comes to my house, I
have consented to see him, and now recognize that he is a good
cosmographer with regard to those parts. He is a man of good
judgment, who might either do good or evil, and I do not think it
would be bad to attach him to your Majesty's service, unless there
be some reason to the contrary of which I am ignorant. If nothing
else was done by this it would take him away from here, which
would be something gained. He is in debt and asks for aid to carry
negroes to the Indies, as your Majesty may see by the copy of his
letter to me enclosed, some portions of which letter, however, might
have been expressed more moderately. Your Majesty will order
me what is fitting to do. I also send copy of a proclamation of
this Queen respecting the present war against Scotland, in English
and French.—London, 19th April 1570.
187. Guerau De Spes to the King.
In my previous letters I have reported the arrival of a French
ambassador in Scotland who is called M. de Seurres, a knight of
the order of St. John, who was formerly ambassador here. By
means of promises of companies-of-horse, pensions, and the order of
St. Michael, he has won over many of those who were opposed to
the queen of Scotland, so that, by common consent, the earl of
Westmoreland and other English of the same party were welcomed
in Edinburgh, and the English ambassador was obliged to return
at once, he having been placed in safety at Berwick by the earl of
Morton, or otherwise they would have captured or killed him.
Discussions are now going on in Edinburgh with regard to the
Government, and it is believed that in future it will be carried on
in the name of the Queen. In the meanwhile the earl of Sussex
penetrated a few miles into Scotland to see whether adherents
would join him, but as he saw no one, he retired to Berwick, and
awaits instructions from here. The members of the Council here
are much confused to see how badly their undertaking has
The considerations which occur in connection with this is that
the queen of Scotland might be liberated by the French, and upon
her marriage subsequently would very greatly depend the evil or
good of the Catholic faith, the security of the Netherlands, and the
trade of the Indies. Your Majesty will consider and give such
orders as may be best for your service.
The duke of Norfolk has all the Tower for a prison, and four of
his servants have access to him, so that, with little difficulty, he
could be liberated. If he wishes to raise the country it would be
in his power to do it, seeing the discontent alike of nobles and
people, both on account of the forced loans and for other reasons.
I have pointed out to Cecil, Leicester, and the Controller, in
accordance with the Duke's orders, how bad it appeared for them
persistently to welcome here the piratical rebels against your
Majesty, and allow them to sally forth from these ports and return
hither with their plunder. I will report their reply duly to your
Majesty. They have letters from the English ambassador in
France saying that the hopes of peace have now disappeared,
whereat these people are very glad.
Postscript.—I have received a letter from the queen of Scotland,
copy of which I enclose. I will reply in general terms as your
Majesty orders. All the printed copies of the proclamation
respecting the troops for Scotland have been taken from the
bookseller by Cecil's orders. The Hamburg fleet is going down
the river.—London, 25th April 1570.