K. 1565. 96.
161. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Julio assures me that nothing further has been done in the
preparation of warlike armaments in England beyond those
mentioned in my general letter. They write to him that they
consider your Majesty's willingness to listen to the negotiations of
the commissioners arises rather from a desire to gain time than
with any intention of coming to terms.
The Nuncio is saying here that he is assured that your Majesty
would undertake the English enterprise before the spring, only
that it is not possible for you to decide the mode of execution of
or the place to be assailed.
The Venetian ambassador here has recently made a long speech
to the English ambassador, pointing out to him that his mistress
was sustaining the war in this country, thus giving your Majesty
time to make preparations for attacking her, which you would do
when she least expected it. It was therefore for the Queen to
accede to the wishes of the king of France, and join with him to
check your Majesty's power, which was so dangerous to all
other monarchs.—Paris, 4th November 1587.
Postcript—Barlemont has just arrived here, having been expelled
from England, as I feared he would be.
Note.—Philip has added a marginal note saying he believes this to
be the man who came from Portugal. Barlemont, however, was the
Frenchman whom Mendoza had got appointed to a position in the
French ambassador's household, for the purpose of his sending news
K. 1565. 97.
162. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King. Advices from
Since my last report on English affairs I have received intelligence
under date of 22nd ultimo from London, that the Queen had
ordered that no ships of over 80 tons burden should be allowed to
leave the country until further orders, but they are to remain in
the ports where they now are. There is nothing fresh in the matter
of armaments ; nor has the Queen made any provision beyond
keeping in readiness the 30 ships I have mentioned. There is no
sign of arming ships in Holland or Zeeland.—Paris, 4th November
K. 1448. 146.
163. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Thanks for your diligence in sending news from England.
Send me reports frequently, and make much of Julio who is acting
so well towards you. Keep Montesinos, and as to the others you
employ to obtain information, you may use your discretion as to
dispensing with some of them, as you suggest, although it is always
better to have as many in hand as possible, unknown to each other,
so that the news may be confirmed.
You acted quite rightly with Friar Diego Carlos. If he returns
to the subject with as little appearance of sincerity as before, treat
him in the same way. Has he gone to England?—San Lorenzo,
4th November 1587.
K. 1565. 99.
164. Extract of Letter from the Duke Of Parma to Bernardino
With regard to Bruce, I have taken note of the copy of his
letter which you send me. As he has given an account of the
matter to his King, who is so contaminated by the sect and the
English faction, and the season is so advanced, whilst the hopes
which were entertained when the resolution was adopted have
disappeared, it will be best to carry the matter no further at
present, although I had arranged all my preparations for it here.
You will, however, maintain the sympathy and attachment shown by
the Catholic lords, in the hope that if occasion should arise they
will give effect to their devotion. For this purpose it will be well
for the 10,000 crowns to be retained there in the hands of Bruce,
to whom you may write, requesting him to continue his good
offices and understandings to this end, and asking him to keep you
well informed as to his movements and negotiations.
K. 1565. 100.
165. Document headed—"Copy of the Letter from Robert Bruce
dated at Lisleburgh in Scotland, 6th November 1587."
Captain Thomas Forster has been pressing very urgently to
obtain letters, and to be specially employed in those parts, but he
has not conducted himself properly in the business which was
entrusted to him, as you will learn by another long discourse. Still
it was not thought advisable to refuse him, and cool his desire to
act properly and do his duty, and consequently a letter and credit
have been given to him as if we had full trust in him. The Catholic
lords, however, are of opinion that he should not be sent hither
again or employed in these affairs, on account of his rashness, and
other reasons, apart from his incapacity, although he should be
entertained and kept in hopes of being sent back when opportunity
shall arise, which may be deferred from time to time. In the
meanwhile, without his knowledge, those who will be despatched
from here may be sent back hither, or any other persons whom you
may consider fit. If this course does not recommend itself to you,
you can pretend that you have no further interest in Scotland or its
friendship, which you can say costs too much and produces too little ;
or you may blame our fickle resolution, or adopt any other pretext
which may seem good to you. You will shortly receive by another
channel a full account of the state of affairs here.—Lisleburgh
(Edinburgh), 6th November 1587.
K. 1565. 101.
166. Sampson's Advices from London, 8th and 13th November
Pressure is being brought to bear upon Don Antonio from France
to use his influence with the Queen to persuade the prince of Bearn
to submit to the king of France, and become a Catholic. She is to
be urged to consent to and promote this, as there is yet time for the
King to receive him with open arms, to the confusion of those of the
League. She is to be also shown how little profit has been gained
by the expense she has incurred with the reiters and her other aids
to the war ; and to be told that as the principal cities in France
had joined the Catholic princes, it was impossible for the King to
avoid embracing the same cause or he would have been utterly
ruined. It is therefore evident that he is forced to temporise with
and aid the Catholics, although against his will. If the Queen had
helped Don Antonio with forces to go to Portugal, as she has often
been recommended to do by France, the King would certainly have
openly supported him in order to avenge himself upon those who
have fomented war in his (the king of France's) dominions.
Don Antonio is much pleased, and Diego Botello affirms that the
Queen will make him a grant to pay his debts. It is understood that
he has some negotiation afoot with M. de Lansac the younger, and
he is sending Antonio de Brito to Rouen about it. Lansac has left
Bordeaux with ships of the fleet, as an escort for the wine flotilla
coming from that place.
K. 1565. 104.
167. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The news I send from England is not very fresh, and I have now
only to add that I have intelligence from there, dated 24th ultimo,
confirming the detention in the ports of all ships of over 80 tons
They had also ordered a muster to be called of all the ordinary
cavalry and infantry forces in the country, who were to hold themselves
in readiness for further orders.
They report the arrival in England from Holland of over 600
Englishmen of those whom the earl of Leicester had dismissed, or
who, rather, were turned out by the towns. They themselves say
that no more English remained there except in Brille and Utrecht.
There is nothing new about naval armaments beyond what I have
already advised, and there are no tidings of the king of Denmark's
10 ships, in consequence of westerly winds having blown continually
for a month past, (fn. 1) which is contrary for them.—Paris, 14th November
K. 1448. 149.
168. Secretary Idiaquez to Bernardino De Mendoza.
I have not had time yet to speak to his Majesty about the queen
of Scotland's servants, and although I think he will be willing to
pay an allowance to Mr. Curle I should be glad if you will let me
know how much you think it would be well to give him. I will
then lay it before his Majesty.—The Pardo, 15th November 1587.
K. 1565. 111.
169. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Since I sealed the enclosed, Julius has received letters from England,
dated 11th instant, saying that in consequence of the Queen's
having been informed that your Majesty had ordered your fleet
to be detained, she had instructed to sail with all diligence eight of
her largest ships and 22 merchantmen which were being held in
readiness. She had also summoned the earl of Leicester, and was
about to change her viceroy in Ireland.
News has arrived also from England of the defeat of the Flushing
fleet, which was guarding the entrance to the Sluys, by your
Majesty's ships from Dunkirk and Nieuport, 500 of the rebels being
slain (an account of the action is given), and great sorrow is felt
in England at this. The news comes from England, so it is safe to
assume that the result was worse for the rebels than is reported.—
Paris, 18th November 1587.
K. 1565. 107.
170. Document headed—"Advices from London of 16th and
22nd November 1587 (N.S.)." Translated from English to
The Lord Admiral has been ordered to put to sea on the
12th December, and all merchant ships on the coast have been
embargoed for the Queen's service. They have decided to engage
at sea the Armada from Spain, in order to prevent, if possible, the
Spaniards from setting foot ashore. Our fleet, however, is in very
poor order, and anything but strong, as musters are being called
everywhere but nothing being got ready. The people have never
been so alarmed before, nor so little prepared to defend themselves
as they are now. The Queen has been scolding the Lord Treasurer
greatly for the last few days, for having neglected to disburse money
for the reparation and management of the fleet.
Lord Buckhurst, who is in disgrace with the Queen, has retired to
his house, and has now written a letter to the Queen, couched in
somewhat rough terms, and trying to defend himself, whilst accusing
many of the councillors of want of sincerity in their actions. He
does not fail to warn the Queen to take care, as all the monarchs in
Christendom are leagued against her and were even now ready to
invade her realm. The Queen was extremely angry at this. (fn. 2)
Walsingham is in his house, attending to nothing else but his
bloody plots, and he is keeping Throgmorton's brother in these
proceedings as he well knows that he will help. This Throgmorton
has much communication with the household of Chateauneuf, and I
am very anxious for instructions as to how our friends should act,
and what course we should adopt.
Although, as I say, all merchant ships have been embargoed, it is
not known how many will be put to sea besides the 14 Queen's
ships already appointed and the 16 merchantmen which are now
being fitted out. It is certain that preparations they are making
both on sea and on land are very meagre and inferior.
Throgmorton has been pressed by Walsingham to go to France
for the purpose of coming to some understanding with Dr. Gifford,
but I have not been able to discover what the object is. All the
Catholics will be confined again, for fear that they should give help
to the enemy, and every man is saying to his neighbour that the
king of Spain is coming against us, and this is the very time for
him, as we are so ill prepared. A strange malady is prevalent
here, which has already caused the death of many great people.
Although the doctors try their best they are unable to discover
whence it comes or how to cure it.
For the provisioning of the fleet they intend to raise they have
ordered 8,000 bullocks to be slaughtered, and have called a muster
of all the mariners in the kingdom, who they say amount in all
to 9,000. They assert that the 14 Queen's ships that are ready will
carry 6,000 men, and the 16 merchantmen 5,000 men. This is all
that has been arranged hitherto, besides embargoing all the
merchantships as I have mentioned, which have been warned to hold
themselves in readiness when they may be required.
The earl (sic) of Hunsdon is at Berwick, and has sent for 2,000
cavalry to guard the border, as they say that the Scot is arming
and has 13,000 men in the field.
On the 8th of this month (by our style) the Lord Chancellor
made a speech in the Star Chamber, setting forth that the king of
Spain and the Pope had resolutely decided to invade England, and
for that purpose had a most potent armada at sea. He therefore
urged and admonished everyone to keep his eyes open and be on the
alert, inferring that the sons of David were with them, and the holy
scripture on their side ; with other persuasions and remonstrances
of the same sort, all pronounced with much severity.
Since my last I have heard from a good source that a servant of
Courcelles, who is resident in the court of Scotland for the king of
France, has come to England, bringing certain papers which he took
from Courcelles, from which they have learnt many secrets that
were being planned between the Scot and the Spaniard with regard
to the conquest of England. These papers were at once sent to the
Queen, who has given Courcelles' servant a crown sterling a day as
a reward. This has again given rise to the rumour that they will
fit out 150 sail, great and small, and will call together the 9,000
mariners from all the country. I can assure you, however, that all
this cannot be done in a short time, and they have not yet even
been able to complete the fitting out of 10 of the Queen's ships
which it is said are to be taken out by the Lord Admiral. It seems
as if they were still uncertain as to the direction in which they will
send their forces, but they are most in fear on the side of Ireland,
Scotland, and the West Country. Although they now expect the
invasion beyond all doubt, they do not believe it will take place
until the spring. They have abstained from making other preparations
at present in consequence of some intelligence they have in
In Wales the captains and soldiers for the defence of the port of
Milford have been appointed, although no munitions have yet been
sent thither. They are afraid to collect a large body of troops in
any one part, for fear of a revolt.
171. Summary of Letters from Count De Olivares from
2nd October to 22nd November 1587.
2nd October.—His Holiness sent for him to see the deciphering
of a letter from the Nuncio in France, giving an account of a conversation
he had had with the Scots ambassador. The substance of
it was to show the jealousy conceived by the ambassador at Allen's
elevation, and that he said that our King wanted to deprive the
king of Scotland of his rights to the crown of England, and displayed
suspicion of the Spanish Armada.
The Nuncio also reports that the king of France said that he
could not take any part in the English enterprise until he had
pacified his own affairs.
The Count says that he thanked the Pope through Rusticucci for
having had the paper shown to him, and told Rusticucci that the
Nuncio might be answered as if the reason given by the king of
France for not taking part in the enterprise was believed in ; that
Allen's promotion had been granted because the enterprise was being
deferred, and it was advisable to let the Catholics have someone
who could console and encourage them, and that he (the Nuncio)
should try to induce the Scots ambassador to urge his King to
favour religious matters, and tell him that the Pope would then
take care of his own people.
Cardinal Mondovi had complained that Don Bernardino de
Mendoza had told the Venetian ambassador in France that Cardinal
(Mondovi) was a vassal of his Majesty, and yet he was trying to
persuade the Pope to believe in the conversion of the king of
Scotland. The Count had replied that he did not believe it, but had
reported the matter to Don Bernardino.
Mondovi had on this occasion let out that, notwithstanding his
promise, he had persevered in the attempt to convert the King (of
Scotland) at the instance of the Pope.
His Holiness was in fear that nothing could now be done and
was sorry for having elevated Allen.
5th October.—The Pope told him (the Count) that the answer
had been sent to the Nuncio as he (the Count) had recommended.
His Holiness made much of the fact that if the king of France
were to complain of the enterprise being undertaken without him,
he would have a very good answer by pointing out that he had
been invited to take part and had refused.
The Pope said that he had foreseen the murmurs to which Allen's
elevation would give rise. The Count replied, showing how beneficial
it had been, and said the person who was crying out about it was
the English ambassador. The day that Allen was promoted was a
fatal one for his mistress, for the Sluys was captured at the same time
16th October.—The Count had received two letters from Don
Bernardino by a courier of the duke of Guise, who had come in
advance of the secretary of the ambassador of France. He told the
Pope he was coming from the King (of France) to ask him for some
troops, but he really only wanted money. The Pope was glad to
172. Count de Olivares to the King.
As the Pope was noticing the long delay in the arrival of the
reply from your Majesty about the English affair, and as I saw the
necessity of satisfying him in some way, I told him that I did not
look upon it as a bad sign, because if your Majesty had no intention
of undertaking the affair you would have sent an answer. I said
that, although your Majesty did not write, the preparations for war
were not ceasing, and it was not at all likely that these preparations
were intended for any other purpose. It was certain, moreover, that
your Majesty would not delay more than was necessary, seeing the
great cost you are at ; and that however unsafe it may be to
navigate at this time, it would be more dangerous and inconvenient
to defer the enterprise for another year. I said that if the Spanish
Armada has not to go very far up the Channel before it anchors,
there is no great danger in the navigation of the high seas from
Lisbon, (fn. 3) besides the hope that God will help it, as it is in His
service.—Rome, 30th November, 1587.
K. 1565. 114.
173. Advices from London (from Antonio De Vega) of
23rd November 1587, new style.
There is nothing fresh here, except that they are continuing
their preparations, fortifying the ports, and supplying them with
men and ammunition. All the Queen's ships have been made ready,
and the rest of the vessels on the coast have been embargoed. Of
these they are fitting out 33 to put to sea, nine of them being
Queen's ships and the rest merchantmen. It is not known yet who
will command them, but it is believed it will be Drake and that they
will sail soon. On the 17th instant the Queen was in a tremendous
rage with Walsingham, the Treasurer, and the Controller, upon whom
she heaped a thousand insults ; saying that it was through them
that she was induced to negotiate for peace with the duke of Parma,
who had drawn her on with fair words, so that whilst she was
listening to them she might cease her preparations and so be caught
unawares. She told the Treasurer that he was old and doting, to
which he replied that he knew he was old, and would gladly, therefore,
retire to a church where he might pray for her. She could
not complain, he said, of his having badly advised her, for he had
urged her on no account to continue to interfere in the Netherlands
war, or to openly support the duke of Vendome, whom they called
the king of Navarre ; but she had insisted in both courses. When
he saw she was determined, he had counselled her that if she
intervened she ought to do so with a large sum of money. This
she refused to do, and thought words would suffice, and matters in
consequence had reached such a stage that the States were dissatisfied,
and the king of Navarre in risk of having to repent of what he had
done ; whilst she was hated both by the king of Spain and the king
of France, and even by the States themselves. All this, she said,
arose simply from the delay in the arrival of the reply they expected
from the duke of Parma respecting the going of the commissioners.
This had quite cooled, but on the 19th instant a servant of the
Controller, named Morris, arrived here with the duke of Parma's
answer, and a letter from him, in which he says that the day on
which the commissioners land on the other side the truce shall
commence, and they are now better pleased. I think it will be well
for you to advise the Duke to continue to keep them in hand,
which is desirable for many reasons. They said here that, in the
face of the reply sent, the commissioners would be appointed, but
they waited for the reply of Dr. Herbert, Master of Requests, who
had been sent to the States to prove to them that the Queen would
only undertake peace negotiations with their consent, and for their
benefit. He was accompanied by the agent of the States here, who
went to persuade them.
On Wednesday the 18th, Christopher Hatton, who serves as Lord
Chancellor, summoned the whole of the nobility and commons who
had come to Westminster to plead their causes, and, in the name of
the Queen, enjoined them all to return home and defend their wives
and children, as well as their fatherland, for the Queen was now
certain that the Pope and the kings of Spain and France were in
league to ruin her, because of her religion, and as for the king of
Scotland, although he was neither fish nor flesh himself, she was not
sure whether he belonged to the league, but she was fully convinced
by letters that she had taken that he was against her. She therefore
enjoined those present who had offices in their counties to go thither
and muster men on foot and horse, the lists of whom should be sent
to the Queen before the 18th December. She hoped that as God
had given so great a victory to the duke of Vendome over the duke
of Joyeuse (fn. 4) (which victory she greatly praised), He would also
vouchsafe her a victory by their help. During the present law
term no causes should be carried on against them in their absence.
Hatton mentioned the king of France several times in the course of
It is certain that the king of Scotland has entered the field, but
his object was to go against certain rioters who were robbing. They
(the English) are, however, daily becoming more alarmed of his doing
harm if he has the chance, and it is said secretly that if the Spanish
Armada comes he will welcome it. Lord Hunsdon was unable to do
his business in Berwick, and writes that Scotland is not to be
The States are more at issue with these people than ever, as they
all refuse to obey the earl of Leicester. The latter was at Flushing
on the 12th instant, ready to embark, when it was seen that he
had with him certain deputies from Holland, whereupon he was
detained until a reply came from the Queen to their demands.
They have beheaded at Leyden an Italian colonel named Cosmo,
who was in the service of the States, and with him a Flemish
captain and a minister, for having secretly plotted for the people
to surrender the town to the English. (fn. 5) They have chosen the son
of the prince of Orange as their governor, and he is so styled in
books they are printing. They say they will not allow the queen of
England to make peace to their prejudice ; and when they can do
no more they will make peace for themselves. They have garrisons
only in Flushing, Brille, Bergen, and Ostend.
Botello arrived here on the 10th. He was sent off by the Earl
with fair words and great promises, but it is all empty air and he
will get no fleet. The Earl got rid of him by telling him to get the
Queen to write a letter from here to the States and to him, and he
should then have the ships he wanted. The Earl at the same time
wrote secretly to the Queen saying that they were not asking for
these ships for any serious object, besides which no ships could well
be spared from the country at this juncture. The Earl also wrote
to the merchant, (fn. 6) saying that he would faithfully fulfil his promise ;
but he is the worst enemy that they (Don Antonio's party?) have
on account of the merchant's telling him many things that Don
Antonio says about him. Don Antonio was angry with the merchant
and rapped out certain words which made him resolve on no account
to see him again. He was for three months without seeing him.
He (Lopez) was sent to him (Don Antonio), but begged the Queen
to excuse him from going, giving her the reasons. Persuaded by
me, however, he at last ended the feud, as he has better means than
others of learning everything. He is still very cool with him (Don
Antonio), but I promise you I was not at all desirous, in the
interests of his Majesty's service, that he should so deliberately break
with him. I am trying so far as words can do to keep him (Lopez)
pledged to us, but if the resolution is to be longer delayed, I pray
you to write to me saying that his Majesty will be willing to accept
his services, and so relieve me personally of the responsibility of the
promise made to him. Do not name him, however, but call him the
merchant. Don Antonio has dismissed 17 of the persons he had
with him, amongst them a servant of Diego Botello, called Bastian
Figueroa. I have some suspicion that he is secretly sending him to
Portugal as he went before. It will be well to keep on the alert for
him, (fn. 7) as he must go first to Paris. I write direct to his Majesty at
Lisbon about Leitao whom Don Antonio sent ostensibly to France
for his health, but who has really gone to Barbary, and if he finds
the King there not well disposed he is to go to Constantinople.
Through all the kingdom (England) people are ordered to-day to
retire to their homes, and the ports are closed.
Gives an account of the negotiations between Don Antonio and
the Huguenots for the latter, with Vendome's consent, to furnish the
Portuguese Pretender with a contingent of 4,000 men.
K. 1565. 116.
174. Sampson's Advices from England.
Don Antonio has spoken to the Queen, urging how necessary it
was for her that peace should be made in France. The Queen
replied that she knew it, but she would take no steps in the matter
unless the King (of France) requested her to do so. Don Antonio
said that in a matter of such importance she ought to move at once,
and not to stand upon a point like this.
Diego Botello got plenty of fair words from the rebels in Holland,
but as the carrying of them into effect depended upon the Queen
he has returned without doing anything.
Antonio De Brito has gone to France to deal with young Lansac
with regard to the great offers of armaments he has made to Don
Antonio. The latter wishes to send Botello to France to negotiate
for a peace there, but he cannot do so for want of money. He
would like to go to France himself, but it will not be possible for
him to escape the watchful vigilance of the Queen. The latter has
given him 400 crowns, and has promised him more, as that sum was
only to pay a debt for which he was being pressed.
The Lord Admiral left here on the 22nd for Margate o set sail
with 40 or 50 of the Queen's ships to cruise along the Engish coast,
and perhaps as far as Cape Finisterre. (fn. 8)
K. 1448. 151.
175.The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Some of your letters of 24th and 26th ultimo were answered on
the 14th instant, and the present will reply to those which were not
deciphered in time.
I have been much touched by the letters relating to the queen of
Scotland, although her end was so holy that consolation is found in
that fact. With regard to her injunctions, I will take care of her
servants and the rest of those whom she commends to me, and I will
try to justify her confidence in me with respect to the prayers to be
offered for her, and the foundation of a memorial to her ; although
our main trust should be in God and her saintly end, that she is now
more able to aid than to need help.
For the payment of the 6,000 crowns which she declared she
owed, 3,000 to Charles Paget, 2,000 to Charles Arundell, and 1,000
to the person to be indicated by the archbishop of Glasgow, I have
ordered the sum to be sent to you in a credit at once. It will go
either in this letter or its duplicate, and you will pay the debts as
soon as it arrives. You will console the two ladies, Curle and
Kennedy, and tell them they may be assured of my care for them,
as they served faithfully to the last one who so well deserved their
devotion. You will try to dissuade them from going to their own
country, where they could not be comfortable, as they must be good
Catholics, as befits the servants of such a mistress, and you will
arrange for them to stay in Paris or in some place in my Netherlands.
You may promise that if they live in either of these places I will
provide for their maintenance, but not otherwise. (fn. 9)
You will advise me as to the sum which you think should be paid
to them yearly, and how it should be divided. You will also let me
know whether they purpose staying in Paris or going to the Netherlands ;
and as in the meanwhile, and pending the receipt of my
decision, they will need something, you may furnish them with what
you consider sufficient, taking it from the 8,000 crowns sent to you
the other day.
As it turned out that Gilbert Curle, the secretary, had behaved
well, he also should be given the allowance you think necessary,
in accordance with his quality but without excess, and you will
ascertain whether he will go to Flanders, or if his staying in Paris
as a foreigner will be of any service to you. Let me know your
opinion upon this.
You may also proceed in the same way with the apothecary,
Gorion ; telling him to rest tranquil, and that there is no need for
him to come hither to me, as he well fulfilled his commission by
delivering the letter and rings to you. If he and the secretary need
any little present assistance, apart from their allowance, you will
provide them with it out of the said money, and on advice being
received from you of what you have done, remittances shall be sent
to balance this account.
You will keep the ring that Gorion handed to you for me until a
safe opportunity offers for forwarding it, so as not to risk it by the
As regards the archbishop of Glasgow, who is recommended by
the Queen, I think what was done for him lately through you will
suffice, and the bishop of Ross shall be taken care of, as you may
The Queen also mentions Muzio (the duke of Guise), and you
know what is being done in that respect. The rest of the Englishmen
she names are already receiving pensions through you ; the
only name which seems new to me is that of Ralph Ligons, who is
spoken of. You will see what is to be done for him, if he is not
already receiving anything ; and with this all her injunctions will
In the Queen's letter to you about my affairs she mentions that
she was writing to the Pope to the same effect. It will be well for
you to ascertain from Gorion whether the letter was written to his
Holiness, because, in such case, doubtless Gorion would have conveyed
it as he did yours, and will be able to tell you how he
forwarded it, although it may well be that the Queen was unable to
carry out her intention of writing it. (fn. 10)
The original letter which she wrote to you last year, informing
you of the will she had made, you will keep with great care,
together with the last letter, in which she again refers to it. You
will endeavour for these two women to be kept within reach and
well affected, so that, if necessary, they may make a statement of
what they know in confirmation of this, Miss Curle testifying to
the message her mistress gave her for you, and the other saying
what she may have heard. If the other two (i.e., Gorion and
Secretary Curle) have any inkling of it, as they well may have,
they also may be treated in the same way, particularly the secretary,
as you say he alone had to do with the correspondence with my
ministers, and he consequently may have more information than
the others about the will. For all reasons, therefore, and to be able
to help them better, it will be well for them to be in some place
where they cannot be corrupted. You will manage it all with your
usual discretion, and advise what you consider best.
From what Bruce writes to you there seems but little now to be
hoped for from his mission, or of the conversion of the King, who is so
completely ruled by the English faction. Bruce seems to be acting
well, and you and the duke of Parma, between you, will see how
you can best guide the matter into a more favourable position. You
may be helped to this end, perhaps, by the arrival (in Scotland) of
the earl of Morton, to whom we gave here 1,000 crowns for his
journey to Lisbon, and 4,000 more for his voyage to his own
country, where he was to hold himself in readiness until he received
advices from me. You will shortly have there (in Paris) Colonel
William Semple, another of my Scottish servants, whom you, no
doubt, know, and who is going thither with my consent to employ
himself in these matters. He seems a zealous man, although,
doubtless, a thorough Scot, and you will consequently govern
yourself towards him with the caution you always display, and will
advise me of everything.—The Pardo, 27th November 1587.
K. 1565. 117.
176. Robert Heighinton to the King.
He has taken upon himself the task of proving that his Majesty
(Philip) is the legitimate heir to the crown of England, in order
that the truth may be made known, and those who speak in a
contrary sense refuted.
By the persuasion of Don Bernardino de Mendoza he has written
a treatise showing the whole genealogy of the descendants of both
the York and Lancaster families, which he has taken the liberty of
dedicating to his Majesty, whom he recognises as the true heir of
the House of Lancaster, and the only Catholic Prince descended
therefrom. He hopes to see his Majesty in happy possession of his
realm, that heresy may be extirpated therefrom, and by the pious
efforts of his Majesty the Catholic faith restored. He prays him
humbly to strive to this righteous end, and to deign to accept and
reward his services.—Paris, 27th November 1587.
K. 1565. 120.
177. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I send your Majesty herewith a book which has been written at
my instance by an Englishman, and which I have had turned into
Latin. It proves evidently that if your Majesty is the rightful heir
of Portugal, which is indisputably the case, you must also be
the legitimate successor to the English crown, and should be its
possessor, preceding even the king of Scotland, apart from his
disqualification for heresy. I have pointed this out to your Majesty
in former letters, and this book proves it beyond doubt from the
chronicles themselves, and the histories of England which are cited
in the margin. When need may arise, and your Majesty thinks fit,
it might be printed in all languages, as it is written learnedly and
seriously. The book was composed with the utmost secrecy, and no
one knows of it but Charles Arundell and myself. The author is an
English gentleman who was formerly secretary to the earl of
Northumberland (who rose with the duke of Norfolk), and since
then he has been a fugitive for religion's sake. He is a person of
understanding, very well versed in English affairs, and it was from
his statements that Cardinal Allen furnished the duke of Parma
with the information respecting the whole of the English ports
whilst I was in England. The Duke, a few months ago, granted
him (Heighinton) an allowance of 20 (Flemish) crowns a month,
equal to about 13 French crowns, but he has not received it, being
absent from that country. Knowing his good parts and attachment,
and how useful he may be in England, I venture to pray your
Majesty humbly to show him some favour in the form of a present
grant in aid. I shall look upon any such favour as a special and
personal boon to myself for the reasons I have stated. (fn. 11) —Paris,
28th November 1587.
K. 1565. 121.
178. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I have intelligence from England, dated the 12th instant, saying
that on receipt of the news that your Majesty had ordered your
fleet to be detained, the Queen had sent the Admiral to visit her
ships, and tell them they could now put to sea. Walsingham
had told Sir William Fitzwilliams, who has been reappointed
governor of Ireland, that the Queen had been cheated in the
maintenance of her ships, as the Admiral had reported that out
of the whole 30 only 12 were at present sea worthy, the rest being
so worm-eaten and rotten that at least a month would be needed
to repair some of them, and others would take two or three months.
Drake was showing no signs of an intention of putting to sea
at once with the 30 ships the Queen had ordered to be furnished
The sale of the spice ship (cargo?) from India, captured by Drake,
was concluded for 50,000l. for the Queen and 6,000l. for the
Admiral. The Council was negotiating with the same merchants,
who bought it for the latter, in consideration of this 50,000l., to
undertake to fit out 30 ships, providing men, stores, and other
things necessary to send Drake to sea next spring. The merchants
had not yet decided whether they would accept the offer or not.
The 600 soldiers who have come from Holland, and others who
are arriving from there daily, are so poor and dissatisfied that the
Queen, out of fear that they might raise sedition, has ordered that
not more than 20 of them together may enter any village.
On the coast opposite Flanders, and in the West Country, they
were keeping watch night and day, and the Queen has ordered a
night watch to be kept in every village in the land, which has never
been done in the winter time.
There was nothing fresh from Scotland, nor have any ships
arrived in France from there.
I hear from England that the earl of Leicester is expected with
the first favourable wind. I do my very best to keep your Majesty
frequently informed on English affairs, but as the coming of news
from there depends upon the weather, I cannot send as promptly or
as regularly as I could wish.—Paris, 28th November 1587.