188. Guerau De Spes to the King.
I learn by a letter from the duke of Alba, dated 3rd instant,
that he had just received a packet from your Majesty for me,
which he could not trust to the courier who brought his own
letters. I have therefore nothing to answer, and limit myself to
giving an account of what is happening here. The Council is
puzzled by the duke of Alba's answer to the English commissioners,
to the effect that when the demands of your Majesty's
subjects here were entirely satisfied, the English there should be
met in the same way, and that if they would not do this they
should declare what property is detained here in order to see
whether it is an equivalent exchange for what is detained on the
other side. The Council thought that, by making this small
restitution and receiving in exchange property of larger amount,
they would not be called upon to restore any more. I will advise
your Majesty what is decided.
Cardinal Chatillon is still keeping this Queen in play. He
assures her that no agreement will be made in France, in which
case they will have to hand him 250,000 ducats in Hamburg from
the proceeds of the goods now being sent. Seventy-two sail have
gone, although with hopes of but small profit, so that, even
without this drain of money, the English would not have been too
The Portuguese trade will be very welcome to them, and I am
hindering the business in accordance with the Duke's instructions.
This Queen's party is still the stronger in Scotland, thanks to
her army which is in Berwick. They have taken some castles,
and it is believed will enter Edinburgh to join their friends there,
although the duke of Chatelherault, who is now at liberty, will be
able to help the queen of Scotland greatly.
His Holiness truly seems to offer succour like a good shepherd.
Roberto Ridolti tells me he has already a commission to pay
twelve thousand crowns, and, if these English Earls behave properly,
his Holiness will give a hundred thousand crowns. Although not
a breath of either this or the Bull is whispered here yet, they are
speaking more mildly of the duke of Norfolk's release. They do
not, however, seem to hit upon a plan for making sure of him, and
yet they fear some great disturbance if they keep him as he is.
It is known that there are two thousand soldiers ready in France
to go to Scotland, if the troubles in Scotland give them a chance
of doing so.
Ireland is quiet, although I am told that a bishop from there and
an abbot were recently in Calais on their way from Rome, and,
according to what they told a Catholic of my acquaintance, they
were the bearers of the Bull from his Holiness against the Queen,
although they did not speak very clearly about it. If this be
published, it will cause great excitement both here and in Ireland.
In the meanwhile the Catholics are much oppressed, and the
heretics here cannot hide their disappointment at the good news
from Granada.—London, 13th May 1570.