565. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I wrote to your Majesty on the 31st ultimo, and on the 23rd
M. de Rochetaillé (Rocatallada) left here carrying fresh terms about
the marriage ; the principal points of which are understood to be
in conformity with my letter of the 18th of February, although
some people say that they have added a provision to the effect that,
if the Queen dies, Alençon is to bear the title of duke of Lancaster
These councillors met Rochetaillé (Rocatallada), as he was
leaving the next day, but they detained him three days longer,
continually in council with him day and night. They sent the
secretaries out of the room, which is a very unusual thing, and is
only done when matters of the greatest importance are discussed in
secret. The result of these meetings and of Rochetaillés departure
has been that the Queen is now arranging the persons who have to
go and meet Alençon, and the ships which have to escort him,
whilst many of the great people here, including the councillors, are
having new clothes and other things made for the occasion, (fn. 1) as
they believe that the matter is as good as settled if the French
accept the terms, which they consider very reasonable.
With respect to giving hostages for the coming of Alençon, it is
proposed that the earls of Surrey and Oxford and Lord Windsor
should be chosen, because, although they are only youths, their
houses are very ancient and of high rank.
The Queen has had two letters from Alençon in his own hand,
delivered to her by Simier, and I am assured that she replied in the
same way without showing her letters to the councillors and
particularly not to Leicester, who the French are informed is
acting falsely in the business, and who, with Sussex, is their
principal opponent. Although I wrote to your Majesty on the
27th of January what he told me, I find him lately very cool. He
publicly talks of the advantage it would be to the Queen to effect
this marriage, however, and the Queen has favoured him by telling
the Frenchmen to treat of the matter with him. Lord Burleigh is
not so much opposed to it as formerly, but I cannot discover
whether Sussex and Burleigh have changed their minds, because
they think that they may thus bring about the fall of Leicester,
and avenge themselves upon him for old grievances, and for having
advanced to the office of Chancellor, which Sussex wants, an enemy
of Sussex and Burleigh. Their reason may, however, be perhaps
the hope that if Frenchmen should come hither the country may
rise, in which case, it is believed, Sussex would take a great
By my former letters I have fully advised all that was occurring,
and I have nothing more to say excepting that the matter of the
seizures is now being treated lukewarmly, and I am afraid nothing
will be done.
Great efforts were being secretly made by Orange with the
corporation and guilds of Antwerp, to obtain the entry of that
town in the league of Utrecht.—London, 8th April 1579.
|566. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
As the Portuguese ambassador, who is at last tearing himself
away from this country to reside in France, tells me that he is
sending a courier to Madrid as soon as he arrives at Calais, I take
the opportunity of enclosing this despatch in the packet he is
The present that the Queen gave him was 1,200 English
crowns worth of silver-gilt plate and a jewel worth 300 for his
At his last audience with her she gave him a ring from her own
finger, no doubt as a keepsake, for she is very clever at such little
witcheries as these, when she thinks she can gain a point by them
and disarm those with whom she is dealing. I fancy she has fully
succeeded in this with the ambassador, who has said nothing about
Everybody here is full of the marriage and the coming of
Alençon, and the English speak of it more openly than hitherto.
Many people who were wont to smile at it now see that appearances
are all in favour of its taking place and believe it. To divert the
Queen from it, certain persons told her that, in the office of the late
Chancellor, of whom the Queen thought very highly as a councillor,
there had been discovered some papers sent to him two years ago
from France, at the time that the matter was under discussion before,
saying that the object of the coming of the French to England
would only be the ruin of the country, the death of the Queen, and
the consequent release of the Queen of Scotland, whose cause they
were promoting. She said the papers could not be very important
as they had not mentioned them to her for so long, and with that,
dropped the subject.
I am feeling more keenly every day the loss of the man I wrote
about, as, in addition to his knowledge of Walsingham's affairs,
which was absolutely trustworthy, he heard many things that went
on in the Queen's chamber through a lady, with whom it is now
almost impossible for me to communicate, so that I have to lose
much time in finding out what goes on, and have, so to speak, to go
about begging for intelligence
An Englishman who went with Casimir returned hither yesterday
in great haste. The reason of his coming is not known, but, all
booted and spurred as he was, they made him enter the Council
Chamber, where he remained for a long time. They say that the
States were to hurriedly meet at Antwerp, and also that Maestricht
was being battered with 23 cannons.
Alençon has intimated to M. de la Noue and Pruneaux that they
are to make ready to come hither. They have themselves written
this news to Simier and the ambassador.
If Hans has not left when this arrives, pray send him to me.
The Scotch Parliament has met at Stirling, but it appears they
could do nothing as they were not agreed. It is said that the
Parliament may be prolonged and may sit at Edinburgh. It is
understood that this Parliament here will also be prorogued.—
London, 8th April 1579.
567. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
From various letters received from you, the last of which is
dated the 5th ultimo, I learn particulars of events there, which it
was fitting that I should know. You have done well in advising
me and will continue to do so, keeping the Queen friendly, in the
way you have been doing, in order to divert her thoughts from
connection with Flanders. This is not only demanded by our old
friendship, but also, if she will only see it, because the only fruit
she will get from it will be to have spent her money upon my rebel
subjects and such like mean fellows. With this end in view you
will direct all your conversations with her whenever an opportunity
I have always looked upon the idea of a marriage between the
Queen and Alençon (fn. 2) as a mere invention, and this is evident from
the present position of the affair, as he is already perfectly reconciled
with his brother. But still the steps you took in the matter were
appropriate, and you will continue, whenever necessary, to hinder
For reasons which have occurred here, I have not ordered the
provision of the money and jewels which you said might be given
to the Queen's ministers to bring them to look with favourable
eyes upon my affairs. As things may now have changed, it will
be well for you to again consider what might be done for each one,
according to their disposition and influence, and you will send me a
memorandum about it, in order that I may decide what to do in the
With regard to the alum and what has been done here and in
Italy about it, I may say that very little more will be sent, but you
will still keep your eyes on Horatio Pallavicini, advising me of
anything that may happen.
The marine chart was received, and was so good that your
diligence in obtaining it is approved of. With it came the pieces
of ore, of which an assay has been made and they have been found
of little value. Still, it was well to send them, and if anything
else should occur in the matter, which it may be necessary that
you should know, you shall be informed.
I think that little result will now be attained by the negotiations
about the seizures, but nevertheless, in accordance with
your information, a letter from me to the Queen in your credence
will be enclosed, so that you may use it if you think advisable.
Zayas tells me that you wrote to him lately that it was probable
that Antonio de Guaras would shortly be released, but I have
thought well to write to the Queen the enclosed letter in his
favour, so that you may address her on the subject on my behalf
in accordance with the state of the business, in the hope that the
affair may be speedily settled, of which we should be glad.
The Scotch Ambassador resident in France has informed Juan
de Vargas that it would be advisable for me to send some message
to the Catholic party, but as from day to day things change there,
and it is no good to do anything without some hope of a profitable
result, I wish you to consider the matter, and advise me about
it, since it is not a business which can be decided upon at the mere
request of the said ambassador, who is naturally influenced by his
It may be greatly suspected that at this time the Portuguese
will try to increase their friendship with the English, and it is
desirable for you to keep your eyes open, and learn everything
that is done in this matter, informing me of it by every
For this purpose I believe Antonio de Fogaza will be useful if he
is acting straightforwardly, and I should be pleased for you to
inquire, as if of your own accord, the grounds he has for requesting
the reward, about which he has written to my confessor and to
Zayas, and advise me what you learn, and your own opinion upon
the matter.—Madrid, 11th April 1579.
568. Bernardino De Mendoza to Zayas.
Since my last of the 8th instant, Antonio Guaras's business has
been settled in the following way. The Council has ordered him
to pay his debts before he leaves the Tower, whereupon he shall be
released. I understand that they will first take him before some
of the councillors, and I have sent to ask him to have more
patience than he had with the Keeper. Although the matter is in
this state, I cannot believe that it is at an end until I see him
across the sea, considering that this brother of his has already
caused so much delay by his absurdities. I am not the only
person who says so, for Gombal himself confesses that Guaras told
him he should have been free months ago if he had not come, and
at much less cost than now. Notwithstanding all this, I can
assure you that Gombal is going on more furiously than ever, and
may well cause still more delay, which God forbid, and I hope
Guaras's wife will pass a better Easter than she did a Christmas,
with the news I sent her of what Leicester said.
An Englishman has arrived here by sea to tell the Queen that
his Majesty had ordered the stopping of all ships on the Biscay
and western coasts, and that Dr. Sanders and a brother of the earl
of Desmond, James Fitzmaurice, Irishmen, were fitting out ships. (fn. 3)
This has aroused some suspicion, because she has seized a letter written
by some of the principal people in Ireland to James Fitzmaurice,
telling him how glad they will be for him to come, and assuring
him that he will find a welcome there. The letter is not signed,
and Walsingham sent it to Captain Sir John Malbey, who is under
orders to go to Ireland to hasten his departure.
She has also news that Sweden and Denmark are sturdily
preparing their sea forces.
M. de Simier is invited on Thursday to attend the ceremony
of the washing of feet, which the Queen performs. She summons
him nearly every day, and goes for two or three hours together to
see the works on some tennis courts she is having built, under the
pretext that they are for Alençon.—London, 12th April 1579.
569. Bernardino De Mendoza to Zayas.
I wrote on the 12th informing you of the position of Antonio
Guaras's affair, namely that he had to pay his debts before he was
liberated. With all this talk about his brother's wealth they are
disinterring so many old claims, and even pressing him to pay the
bishop of Aquila's debts, that I am afraid some time will be spent
in the investigation of them.
Alençon's secretary, who had returned to treat of his master's
affair, has had a great squabble with Simier and the Ambassador.
He told them he should leave, whereupon Simier replied that if he
remained, since they were not discussing the matter of the marriage
properly, he (Simier) should go. He keeps vapouring about leaving
in less than two days, but he still remains.
The heretics they call Puritans have been more open lately than
they formerly were, and this Easter one of them, preaching before
the Lord Mayor and Magistrates of London, spoke so violently to
the effect that the Queen could not be the head of the Church and
that the Bishops were not doing their duty, that they had to seize
him at once to avoid the scandal.
The discord between the London merchants and the Easterlings
resident here, regarding the privileges of the latter, is still unsettled,
but it is proposed that the Easterlings should continue to enjoy
their privileges for six months, on condition of their giving security,
and if, during that time the English are not granted similar privileges,
they, the Easterlings, shall pay like any other strangers the
dues upon the goods they may have sent. The Easterlings have
not yet accepted the proposal.
News comes from Antwerp that Maestricht has been assaulted,
and although our people received some loss and did not succeed in
entering, there was little hope of the place holding out. (fn. 4) —London,
27th April 1579.
|570. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The Queen's ambassador in France writes to her that secret orders
have been given there to arm thirty ships, and the Council here
have therefore resolved that seven of her ships shall put to sea,
although the order has not yet been published, nor have they begun
to make ready more than two, which they say are to go out to clear
the channel of corsairs. The arming of these (French) ships is causing
fears about Scotland, and they have recently discussed the bringing
of that Queen (Mary) to the Tower of London. If this should be done
it would be a proof that they have fallen out with the French,
although the Queen in her behaviour to Simier, has not shown any
signs of it, excepting once, on the 21st, when she was so rude to
him that it was noticed by everyone. It is said that a new condition
has been demanded on the part of Alençon. It was arranged that
the style should be Francis and Elizabeth, King and Queen of
England, and that in the question of dower, the law of England
should be followed, but he now wishes to be crowned with her on
their marriage, which, it is generally believed, the English will not
agree to. This has given rise to the idea that the French wish to
raise differences, and together, with the arming so many ships, is
another reason for their alarm, which is added to by this news
about your Majesty having stopped all ships on the Biscay and
western coasts, and the coming to Spain by sea of the infantry
from Naples. They are also disturbed by the intelligence that
certain Irishmen are preparing in Biscay and that 1,500 Scots
Highlanders have gone over to Ireland. The only steps they have
taken hitherto have been to send thither some captains who have
experience of the country.
Parliament has been prorogued in Scotland in consequence, it is
said, of dissensions, respecting which this Queen ordered her ambassador
to come hither and give her an account. He has not done
this in consequence of the prorogation, nor has Morton lost his
power, although they are disagreed. Parliament here is deferred
until the 25th of May.—London, 27th April 1579.