246. Guerau De Spes to the King.
The treaty for the marriage of the duke of Anjou and the Queen
is going forward, and, two days since, Guido Cavalcanti came from
Paris with letters from the Queen-mother and certain clauses of
agreement. He came very secretly, his intention being to confer
alone with Lord Burleigh and Heneage, a favourite of the Queen,
but he was recognised at Dover. It appears they offer that the
Duke shall conform to the laws of this country as regards religion,
that he shall be called King but not be crowned, and that he shall
have an allowance equal to that which he would receive in France. (fn. 1)
I therefore think that this marriage will be effected, and, if it be,
many evils will result, particularly as they are setting about the
persecution of Catholics in this parliament. As the treaty is
addressed to Lord Burleigh without any mention being made of
Leicester, it has all the greater likelihood of being carried through
promptly, as Burleigh will only think of his own advantage. The
real remedy is that with which Roberto Ridolfi is charged. This
Queen peremptorily orders the Scotch ambassadors to return to the
side of their Queen. I judge that the object of this is that they,
through their friends, should not hinder this marriage, or perhaps
it is intended to adopt something in this Parliament opposed to
their mistress' interests, although Cecil told the bishop of Ross that
if the duke of Anjou comes here he, Cecil, will be able to get a
suitable husband for their mistress. I have just received a letter
from the duke of Alba, and after consultation with M. de Zweveghem,
I will take steps to carry out my instruction, although I believe
that these people will try to delay the matter.
The pirates have taken thirty ships near the islet of Texel and
eighteen of them are now at Dover, whilst the pirates are seeking
seamen and soldiers in the neighbourhood with the utmost assurance.
M. de Lumbres with his five ships is in Plymouth. I am sending
notice of all this to the Council.
The English announce that the castle of Dumbarton has been
captured, which news is believed to be false and invented for the
purpose of animating the Protestants in this parliament. The
earl of Morton has returned to Scotland.
Parliament has just issued a bill that any person assuming
any right to the crown of England without the permission of the
Queen shall lose any claim that he has thereto. As some people
think that this is directed against the queen of Scotland they
are in some fear about passing it.—London, 10th April 1571.
247. Guerau De Spes to the King.
I have on several occasions reported how warmly the negotiations
for the marriage of the duke of Anjou with the Queen are being
pushed forward. There is but little difference of opinion about the
conditions, and conferences are being held incessantly. I believe
the marriage will de effected, notwithstanding the ancient enmity
between the two nations. They are persuaded to agree to this
marriage by the idea that they will establish their religion in
France as well as here, and will gain some protection against your
Majesty, whom they know they have offended, and at the same
time will escape the restitution of the property seized, or only
restore it on their own terms. Although the matter has not yet
been mentioned in parliament and has only been discussed by some
of the councillors, they are as arrogant about it as if it were an
accomplished fact and had turned out all to their advantage,
Yesterday and the day before, Leicester and Burleigh, as English
commissioners, gave M. de Zweveghem most obstinate replies to his
proposals, refused to confirm what had been agreed upon in Flanders,
and would not give way to any just representations, but on the
contrary, added new notes and emendations of the most unjust
description, a copy of which is sent to the duke of Alba. M. de
Zweveghem thinks that his stay here is now of little advantage to
These people are much encouraged by the news that the earl of
Lennox has by negotiation taken the castle of Dumbarton, a place
of great importance, which news is now confirmed by the Earl
himself. The pirates also are muliplying greatly and constantly
bring in rich prizes here whilst direly afflicting your Majesty's
subjects, and these people are getting all the advantage. Brederode's
twenty-two sail are at Dover, whilst he is quietly selling their
plunder and obtaining crews and stores. It is announced that they
will leave a few ships there to guard the Channel and take all the
other vessels which have not been ransomed and leave for Rochelle to
join Count Ludovic, where they will also meet M. de Lumbres
with his four ships which left here on the 7th. All this fleet
together will then assail ships from Spain on all sides, and will
attack the Indian fleet and harry the coast of Galicia, where they
expect to do most damage. Your Majesty may be certain that the
people here have every desire to do the utmost damage and injury
they are able to your Majesty's dominions, and they will never
abandon this course until they are frightened out of it by the
punishment which they so richly deserve.
The bishop of Ross dismissed the other two commissioners but
remains here himself, still supplicating the Queen and Council. He
will have enough to do in getting them to dissemble with him much
longer as they have taken a servant of his coming from Flanders
with many printed books in defence of the claims of his mistress to
the crown of England and they will make much of this. (fn. 2)
They have not yet settled anything in Parliament about the
subsidy, nor as regards Catholics and absentees, although I expect all
will be decided soon and not very differently from the Queen's
Fleming who commanded the fortress of Dumbarton has retired
to Lisleburg, but the archbishop of St. Andrews who was captured
there was beheaded by Lennox for having been concerned in the
Guido Cavalcanti is still at Cecil's house with a secretary of
his, apparently a Frenchman. They will await a reply to a courier
who left two days since carrying with him a favourable decision
from here.—London, 15th April 1571.
248. The King to Guerau De Spes.
All your letters have been received to those of 16th March.
It was well to send us particulars as we are most anxious to learn
the progress of events there, and particularly regarding the queen
of Scotland and the Catholics that follow her. You also did well
in trying to obtain a copy of the instructions given to the gentlemen
sent by the Queen to the Pope and myself, in order to induce us to
endeavour to procure her release. We desire it so sincerely that,
if we had been able to obtain it, there would have been little need
to send and ask for our aid. If, however, the gentleman arrives
here he will find as welcome a reception as the importance of his
I note that the Commissioners sent by the duke of Alba had
been promised audience for the 18th of March, and as I am sure
you will, ere this, have written the result to me, I have nothing
more to say about it for the moment, excepting that I await the
decision with impatience.
What you write about the pilot Bayon has been no news to us
here as we always judged that his proposals made to you were
simply an artful trick. In view of what you wrote about his
being in league with Dr. Nuñez I wrote ordering the detention if
possible of the ship that was in Ayamonte, and have also given fit
instructions respecting Thomas Wyatt's (?) ship which came with
cloth to St. Jean de Luz. I will advise you what happens
respecting this as no answers have yet come.
You answered well to the remarks respecting Ireland and
Stukeley made to you by Cecil and the other councillors, as it was
simply the truth, and I do not therefore suppose that they will
have persisted in the idea of sending Henry Cobham here. If he
should come, it will be well for you to let me know beforehand
what his errand is, and you will continue to advise me minutely of
everything with the same diligence as heretofore.
With regard to your salary and the memorandum sent of your
extraordinary expenses, they shall be looked into and reply sent in
Note in the King's handwriting in original :—"Until these
expenses are considered, and it is seen whether they are correct, it
will be well not to say that they will be provided for."—The
Escorial, 17th April 1571.
249. Zayas to Guerau De Spes.
You will already have learnt of the reception and treatment here
of Thomas Stukeley and the intention entertained of helping him
quietly and without showing ourselves, in order that he might
encourage the Catholics of Ireland. It turned out, however, afterwards
that his talent, intelligence, and weight were insufficient for
the purpose in hand, and for this reason, and in order not to stir up
feeling prematurely, an honest excuse was found to divert him, and
he left for Bivero, having dismissed the people who came from
Ireland with him and dismantled his ship, which was only of eighty
tons ; which ship he left there. He returned hither intending
to go on to Italy and, although when he was first here, he received
a money allowance from the King, in the belief that he would only
stay a short time, when he returned nothing whatever was given to
him in the way of lodging or otherwise. For cheapness, he went to
live at Rozas (fn. 3) where he still remains, waiting for the Princes to
leave, so that he may accompany them in search of adventure. He
says himself, that he is going to the Pope. I thought well to let
you know this, particularly as when Cobham arrives here it will
be palpable to him that the cause for his coming was a slight one.
His Majesty is very anxious for Ridolfi to arrive, as judging from
what you say in your letters, he brings with him matters of
importance.—Madrid, 23rd April 1571.
250. Guerau De Spes to the King.
In former letters I have represented to your Majesty how little
these people can be trusted to agree to a restitution. All the
points which were believed to have been settled in Flanders are
being disputed and freshly opened up, and they are now pressing
for the Duke to declare, within a week, if he will pay for the cloths
which he ordered to be sold, at the same rate as they would have
been sold at otherwise, and if not, the Queen will proceed to
the sale here of all the goods detained. This she will do in order
that the earl of Leicester may make a profit by it, and the Queen
herself said so yesterday to M. de Zweveghem very firmly, and even
with a sort of joke about the pirates ; remarking that, as they did
not speak English, it was no business of hers to correct them, and
gave Zweveghem no chance of replying or carrying on the conversation.
This courier is therefore being sent to the duke of Alba.
reporting to him also that Count Ludovic is expected hourly here
with the armed ships from Rochelle, in order that they may all
join together to do some great injury, although these ships that are
now at Dover could be taken with the greatest of ease, which will
not be the case later on, as they are rapidly being supplied with
artillery, munitions, and men. The pirates have been so cruel that
it is confidently stated that they threw overboard the crews of the
cutter and the Biscay ship which they recently captured. I will
find out the truth, having sent a man to Dover for the purpose.
Parliament is going forward rapidly, having already voted the
subsidy, which will amount to 140,000l., and they are now drawing
up some very strict statutes against the Catholics, such as no nation
in the world has ever heard of before.
The negotiations for the release of the queen of Scotland are
entirely broken off, and the French have abandoned her. A packet
of letters from Randolph, postmaster-general here, sent to the earl
of Morton, has been captured and in them hopes were expressed
that she would not live very long. Lisleburg is still held in her
The partisans of the marriage of the duke of Anjou and the
Queen say that Leicester will marry the queen of Scotland.
I advised your Majesty of the arrival of Guido Cavalcanti. His
departure was extremely secret and he was guarded closely to
prevent anyone from speaking to him, even the French ambassador,
so that the Queen's decision should not leak out. It is believed
that this marriage will now be carried through, seeing the inclination
of the Duke and his mother for him to entirely adopt the Anglican
religion ; and the Queen's closest friends think that Cavalcanti
bears a favourable resolution.
The Queen-mother promises to come hither with her son, and the
wedding, they say, is to take place at Canterbury, but no fixed
allowance is to be granted to the Duke, that question being left to
the Queen's discretion. It is thought here that either Marshal
Montmorenci or M. D'Anville will come here. The queen of Scotland
and the duke of Norfolk are anxiously awaiting the resolution
of the despatch of Ridolfi.
I have had Bartolomé Bayon arrested here through certain
creditors of his, and he will not be able to go to the Indies now,
even though he be released, as the season is too far advanced. I
will try to stop him for any future season, and also his going to
Rochelle, which he intends to do in default of any other voyage.—
London, 27th April 1571.