528. Purser Pedro De Igueldo to Bernardino De Mendoza.
In my last letter I advised the arrival in the roads here of the
galleass ("Zuñiga"), and said she would enter the harbour the next
day. On the last day of April she attempted to do so, in charge of
the sworn pilots of the town ; but they handled her so badly that
they got her aground. Every effort was made to get her off. Her
guns and stores were put into lighters alongside, but withal the
general opinion was that she had made her last voyage. By the aid
of 50 men from the town she was made fast, so that she should not
capsize at low water. She was thus kept straight and undamaged
till next tide, which was 11 o'clock at night, when to the surprise of
everyone we got her off. I can only account for all these tribulations
by supposing that God is pleased to send them to us as a punishment
for our sins.
Everything on board the galleass was then put ashore to lighten
her sufficiently to repair her, some biscuits, etc., being thrown overboard,
as they were damaged by sea water. Fresh masts have been
bought, and everything else is being provided. The sailors mutinied
yesterday, as I was giving them the usual dole. They said they
would not receive it unless it were increased, as the days were
longer, and they could not exist on it as they had done before.
I was in trouble and risk with them, but I persuaded them to take
what I offered, on promising them that I would send a person to
you about it. They will not do a thing on board the galleass,
unless they are paid extra, and I feel sure they will desert when we
are about to sail. The worst of it is, they will not declare themselves
until the ship is outside, and it is too late to seek them.—
Havre de Grâce, 3rd May 1589.
Note.—The above letter is sent to the King in an autograph letter
dated 8th May from Mendoza, who says that the galleass was as
fortunate in getting off on this occasion as in escaping from the
tempest off Ushant. Captain Duarte Nunez has been sent by
Igueldo with a list of the things needed on the galleass (which list
is also in the same packet as above, K. 1569), and especially to
represent the difficulty about sailors and soldiers to go in the
galleass to Spain, the Channel being so full of English ships.
Frenchmen are not to be trusted, and it is useless to give money
to the Spaniards there (in Havre de Grâce) to go on the voyage.
They will take the money but they will not go, whatever they may
promise. Begs for instructions.
529. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I have news from London of 22nd ultimo, saying that it was still
uncertain whether Drake had sailed with his fleet from Plymouth.
He was known to be somewhat short of victuals and money. A
Scotsman, who embarked at Rye on the 26th, says he was told there
that the fleet was still in Plymouth ; and although the duke of
Mayenne asserts that he has intercepted a letter announcing that
Drake and Don Antonio had sailed on the 22nd with 18,000 men,
I do not think that likely, as at that very time the terrible storm in
which the galleass was caught was blowing up Channel. (fn. 1)
I hear from Rouen, under date of 5th instant, that a Fleming has
arrived in that town, who declares that he saw Drake sail from
Plymouth on the last day of April, but he does not say how many
ships he took. But I cannot obtain further confirmation of this ;
and even if my letters did not meet with so many stumblingblocks
on the roads as they do, it would be impossible for me to inform
your Majesty of the departure of the fleet from Plymouth before
the ships themselves appeared in Spanish waters.
Chateauneuf, the French ambassador, has passed through Calais
on his way hither, the Queen having given him leave on the arrival
of Stafford in England.
The earl of Arundel had been condemned in public tribunal to be
beheaded, and it is understood that he will soon be executed. This
gives rise to the idea that the rest of the Catholic personages in
prison would also be condemned.—Paris, 8th May 1589.
530. Bernardino De Mendoza to Martin De Idiaquez.
Encloses a petition from Dr. Nicholas Wendon, which he begs
Idiaquez to forward to the best of his ability. Dr. Wendon has no
other means of sustenance except the pension granted by his Majesty.
This and the writer's affection for Dr. Wendon, who is so zealous in
his Majesty's service, lead him to urge his case with so much warmth.
—Paris, 8th May 1589.
531. Advices from Exeter, sent by David (Manuel De
As soon as I arrived here I sent a courier to Plymouth, and wrote
to a friend, asking him to inform me about the Portuguese, who I
heard had arrived there. He sent word to say that they were
Alvaro de Pavia from Italy, and Francisco Diaz de Carballo,
Francisco Ruiz, and Matteus Estebes, who had come from Barbary
with the money which had been sent by the Moor, and is now in
London, as well as the powder which the Moor had contributed. I
do not know the quantity, but will ascertain as soon as I reach
Four ships are being fitted out here to be sent to the Moluccas,
with 300 soldiers, and they will sail in two months.
Seven or eight vessels are also being loaded with biscuits and
other victuals to be sent to Portugal.
Before the personage (Don Antonio) left here, a Portuguese
gentleman came and invited him to the country (Portugal), where
all were ready to receive him. I am told that he brought some
money. I will ascertain all these points and report. My Plymouth
friend also writes that the personage left instructions there that all
(the Portuguese) who might arrive there were to follow him without
delay. I do not know what I shall do myself, but in any case I shall
endeavour my utmost to stay and go on to London, in compliance
with your Lordship's instructions.
Alvaro de Pavia has been to Venice, Ferrara, and Salonica, to get
money from the Jews for Don Antonio. F. Diaz de Carballo was
captain of a small vessel that accompanied Don Antonio's son to
Barbary, and Estebes is a sailor of Cascaes, who was brought a
prisoner to England and joined Don Antonio.
532. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Letter of 1st April, and the important enclosures it contained, to
hand, after considerable delay. We note the information about the
English fleet, etc., and will endeavour to be well prepared. But in
future pray send your news flying. You will understand that
in the present state of affairs this is of the utmost importance,
especially with English reports, which you must endeavour to obtain
with great diligence. Send all your despatches by various routes, so
that if one be lost other copies will reach us. (fn. 2)
David acted excellently in coming over from England to give you
the news you send, which is very important. Thank him from me,
and make use of him to obtain similar information as frequently as
possible. When you think that he should return send him back to
England.—San Lorenzo, 11th May 1589.
533. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
In another despatch I reply to your letters. I wish to say in this
only that the English fleet arrived at Corunna on the 4th instant, in
the morning, and began landing men on a retired spot away from
the entrance to the port and Fort San Antonio, which defends the
ships in harbour. They, no doubt, thought that it would go ill with
them if they attempted to enter by the usual passage. The marquis
of Cerralbo opposed them the same afternoon with the troops he
had, and it is stated inflicted some damage upon them. It is known
that reinforcements entered the city the same night, and that the
inhabitants of the neighbourhood were hastening to send further
aid. Although, therefore, no courier has arrived with further news,
it is considered certain that if the enemy persevered in his attempts
he will have come off badly. If further intelligence arrives before
this letter leaves it shall be enclosed.
Major Avendaño replies to the accusation that he disobeyed your
orders (i.e., in refusing to take charge of the men of his regiment on
the galleass "Zuñiga"), that he received no instructions from you.
Please advise me. He shall not be sentenced until I hear from you.
—San Lorenzo, 12th May 1589.
534. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I have news from England, dated 23rd ultimo, from the confidant
left there by Antonio de Vega. He confirms his previous information
that Drake was in Plymouth, short of victuals and money.
I have also advices from a person who left London on the 1st instant
(N.S.), that on that date there was no intelligence there of Drake's
fleet having sailed. The earl of Essex, who is now a great favourite
of the Queen, had fled from the Court ; some people say in consequence
of his mother, who is the widow of the earl of Leicester, having
married one of her servants, and others because of a quarrel with
Raleigh, the Queen's late favourite. The Queen was greatly grieved
at the loss of Essex, and it was said that she had ordered the fleet
not to sail, in order to prevent her favourite from going in it. (fn. 3)
This is considered by some to be a stratagem arranged between the
Queen and Essex in order to give an excuse for detaining the
fleet until the result of the duke of Mayenne's arrival at Tours
I have no further confirmation of the news I sent your Majesty
from Rouen, that a person had arrived there who had seen the fleet
sail from Plymouth. This makes me doubt the truth of the
information. I will send special advice through Lyons as soon as
I learn anything certain.—Paris, 14th May 1589.
535. Advices from London.
Since last report of 29th ultimo, I learn that Drake and the fleet
sailed from Plymouth on Friday, 28th ultimo. There are about
200 sail, large and small, with 16,000 soldiers at least, and 6,000
sailors ; but the fleet is only victualled for a very short time, for
they write that even in Plymouth the ships were short of food and
money, and the Queen had to provide 30,000l. for the purpose of
supplying them. If they do not get some victuals in Spain or
Portugal, they will not be able to stay out long. There is no news
yet of their having arrived there (in Spain), though it is being
anxiously looked for here. If the wind has served them they will
have run for Santander, in order to burn the ships ; and as it was
known before the fleet left Plymouth that the Portuguese design
had been discovered, it is probable that they will change that part
of the plan, and go to the Azores to attempt to take them, and
to intercept the Indian flotillas, which is the real object of the
Some envoys from the States of Holland are expected here, but it
is considered certain that the Queen will give them no men, and
very little money. As soon as they arrive Lord Buckhurst is
already appointed to go over and put the States in the best order he
can, to prevent the people from surrendering, as the submissions
already made have caused much sorrow here.
The Queen is now in London, but will start in a week to pass the
summer in a house 10 miles from here called "Nonsuch." Every
day prizes are brought in by the armed privateers, and recently
the despatch caravel from New Spain, with much cochineal and
money, they say to the value of 150,000 crowns, two sugar ships,
and a ship from St. Lucar to Puerto Rico, with the new governor,
were brought in ; the crews, however, being sent to Spain according
to the conditions.
536. Advices from David (from Plymouth).
When I arrived at Plymouth I found certain Portuguese who had
come from Barbary ready to embark. As they were going on
board I pretended to be ill, and let them proceed on their way,
whilst I stayed behind. During the short time I had to speak to
them I learnt that the Moor had not given a real nor an ounce of
powder to help the personage (Don Antonio). He said he would
give nothing until he learnt from his ambassador that the personage
had authority from the Queen to go to Portugal. As soon as that
message came he would provide powder, money, and men. They
tell me that the son of the personage was well treated, but that no
confidence was placed in the Moor's promises. On the 13th there
arrived here from London Baltasar Gonsalvez, who had gone as
pilot to Barbary, and he confirms this. He says that the Moor
would not even give enough to pay for the voyage of the two ships
that went to Barbary.
For these Portuguese to come from London hither Duarte Perrin
(Edward Perrin) had to pawn some clothes, and Perrin will certainly
retire from London in order to avoid arrest for payment of the
I know for certain that there are not victuals on the fleet for
more than two months, and that not more than 400 soldiers came
from Flanders, and very poor fellows too.
The ships promised by the States had not arrived, and if they
(the English) had not fallen in with 70 flyboats off Dover, on their
way to Brouage for cargoes of salt, they could not have embarked
all their men. Not more than 200 horses are going altogether.
They are expecting intelligence hourly, and everyone is in great
doubt, in consequence of the shortness of the provisions. Forty
pataches are now being made ready in London and here (Plymouth)
to carry further stores. They will be ready during May, and if
good news comes they will sail. I feigned illness, and so escaped
going (with the fleet). I shall only await the arrival here of the
first news, and shall then go to London, where, so long as God
favours me, I will advise your Lordship of everything needful.
Cumberland and Cavendish are making ready to go on the
voyages I have already mentioned. Four ships are being fitted out
here also for the Moluccas. They are all expected to be ready to
sail in June.—Plymouth, 18th May 1589.
537. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Having consideration for the qualities possessed by Richard
Burley, an English gentleman—an exile from his country for the
Catholic cause—who has served me on my fleet with an allowance of
20 crowns a month, and in order that he may continue to serve me
more efficiently in France, as you may direct, I have decided to
increase his allowance to 30 crowns a month, which you will pay
him punctually until further orders from me.—San Lorenzo,
21st May 1589.
538. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
The Englishman, Richard Burley, has proposed to me that he will
obtain, and bring from England to Spain, artillery, powder, balls,
ships, sailors, and pilots—Catholics — and other things we need.
He also offers to report what occurs in England, through you. We
have therefore considered it advisable to send him to you, that you
may consider what he has to say, and arrange to take advantage of
his proposals. With regard to the merchants who will bring the
goods, you will promise that they shall be absolutely secure for the
payment for them ; and when the seamen and pilots are to come
you will assist them on their way hither, and encourage them in the
hope that they shall be well rewarded for their services. You will
thus, and in every other way possible, do your best to turn to good
account the proposals of Richard Burley, and employ him as you
think most desirable for my service. — San Lorenzo, 21st May
Note.—In the King's hand :—"I do not think I have been told
about this. It would be very good, but it will be needful to be sure
they are all Catholics, and trustworthy, and that the affair is not
a trap. Write to Don Bernardino to look well at their hands, and
to take care not to be tricked." A letter was accordingly written
and enclosed with the above, containing the substance of the King's
note, and ending with the following passage :—"Robert Persons
says that it would be a good thing to let Burley be accompanied
by Thomas Fitzherbert, who is resident in France, and whose
whereabouts you will know. Although Persons is satisfied with
Burley to deal with Englishmen, he considers the other man
(Fitzherbert) to be more experienced and able to negotiate with
the French, as he speaks the language, etc."
Burley had been one of the unattached salaried officers on the
Armada. I consider probable that Thomas Fitzherbert was the new
intermediary between Mendoza and Sir Edward Stafford, after the
death of Charles Arundell. M. Forneron, who, perhaps, has not
followed the correspondence quite so closely as I have been obliged
to do, fails to identify "Julio" as Stafford, and canvasses the
possibility of Gratley, Burley, or some other person being the man.
Although Mendoza purposely introduces mystification in his references
to "Julio" and the "new confidant" I have no doubt
whatever that they both stood for Stafford, and I believe that the
intermediary after Charles Arundel may have been Thomas
539. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I have a letter from Tours in which the writer says that on the
16th he dined with one of Don Antonio's Portuguese, who had come
from Rochelle with two other men, to complain to the prince of
Bearn of the captains of five Flemish hulks, which had been bound
to Spain with passports from the duke of Parma, and had been
captured by the English, taken into Plymouth, 600 Englishmen put
on board, and forced to sail with Drake's fleet. The shipmasters,
in order not to risk their cargoes, had separated from the fleet, and
had entered Rochelle ; and this Portuguese had come to ask Bearn
to punish them for deserting. (fn. 4) He said with the wind they had
there was no doubt Drake's ships would be in Portugal by the 10th.
The two Rochelle men who came with the Portuguese affirmed in
his absence that what he said was quite true with regard to the
five Flemish ships in Rochelle, with the 600 men on board, for they
had seen them. They did not say what day they had sailed from
Plymouth, but it must have been the 30th of April, as I had been
informed from Rouen. This is quite consistent with Chateauneuf's
statement. He left London on the 2nd May, and says that it was
then uncertain whether the fleet had sailed or not. It takes four
days to get news from Plymouth to London. The fact of their
having embarked English troops on these hulks seems to prove that
they were short of victuals, and wanted to feed the men on the
stores carried in the hulks.—Paris, 22nd May 1589.
540. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I have given to the archbishop of Glasgow your Majesty's gracious
message, and he is very grateful that your Majesty should recollect
him in his great need.
As your Majesty considers it desirable that the position of Scots
ambassador should be filled by a person entirely devoted to your
Majesty's interest, and desires that the Archbishop should continue
ambassador, he will do so.—Paris, 22nd May 1589.
541. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
The letters you advise have not been received. Triplicate your
despatches in future. It is of such importance that we should have
constant news that you are not to limit your correspondence to
ordinary carriers, but send letters by different routes, so that some
will be sure to arrive.
The English fleet came to Corunna on the 4th instant, landed
troops, and laid siege to the place. Those within defended themselves
stoutly, and all our Galicia men were arming to relieve the
city. You will see by this how important it is that you should
advise me as to whether any preparations are being made by the
English to revictual their fleet. You will be the better able to learn
this now as the ports are doubtless open again since the fleet sailed.
We have no news of the galleass, and in view of the weather we
fear she may have had to put back again to Havre de Grâce, or
some other French port. In this case she will have been well
received and provided—by your efforts—until the weather allowed
her to sail in safety.—San Lorenzo, 1589.
542. Duchess of Savoy (the Infanta Catharine) to the King.
Strongly recommends to the King's attention Prior John Arnold,
an Englishman who goes to Spain on matters of importance.—
Turin, 26th May 1589.
|543. The Carthusian Prior, John Arnold, to the King.
Although it was necessary in the interests of our order that the
Chapter General held this year in France should send someone to
crave the aid of your Majesty, I myself should not have come but
for a business of great importance in your Majesty's service. The
bishop of Cassano in Calabria, desirous of serving your Majesty
to the utmost in your attempt to recover the lost kingdoms of
England and Scotland, sent about two years ago, at his own cost, to
Scotland a Scotsman, the bishop of Dunblane, a monk of the
Carthusian Order, to gain over the King or some of the nobles to aid
the Spanish Armada. By the persuasions of the Bishop and of other
Catholics, and through fear of the Armada, the King was for a time
induced to consent, if his life were spared and a proper maintenance
secured to him, to deliver himself into your Majesty's hands and
admit the Armada into his realm. On the evil fate of the Armada
being known, his Chancellor, who is maintained by English tyranny,
and is a pestilent heretic most fatal to his country, dissuaded him,
and induced him rather to ally himself with the murderess of his
sainted mother. Notwithstanding this, the Bishop sends me to your
Majesty in his name, to say that if you wish to have the King in
your power he will deliver him to you, although against the King's
own will and that of all his people. But, in order to bring this
about, the first thing to do is to kill the Chancellor, who is so bound
up with the English woman (Elizabeth) and is so powerful in Scotland.
The Bishop promises to have this done (although he is a priest) as he
has his Holiness' authority for it.
The Bishop also promises to hand over to your Majesty the three
strongest and best fortresses in Scotland, near the English border
and on the sea shore, the most distant from Berwick not being
more than three leagues. They may be fortified in such a way
by 300 labourers in a few hours, that, with a garrison of 300
soldiers, they will be impregnable. These matters will not cost
your Majesty more than six or seven thousand ducats, and by any
other means than the Bishop the same end could not be attained
with a million. One of these fortresses is held by one of the noblest
of the Scottish Barons, a brother of the Bishop himself, and the other
two are held by near relatives. This Bishop is of very high lineage,
very learned and pious, so that your Majesty may rely upon
him implicitly. He was originally bishop of Dunblane in
Scotland, but fled from his diocese and country for the faith, when
his Holiness made him bishop of Vaison in France. But the good
father, tired of bishoprics, relinquished his new see to a nephew of
his, took the habit of our order, and now lives in the Grand
Chartreuse. In making these offers of service to your Majesty, he
asks for nothing for himself, but only desires to bring our country
to the Catholic faith again. He is sick to death of the follies of the
world. But his brother the Baron, and his other noble relatives,
expect when their promises are fulfilled to be liberally rewarded by
your Majesty. In the meantime they only ask your Majesty to
forward and promote your bishop of Cassano (who first sent the
bishop of Dunblane to Scotland), and that you will not rest content
until they have made him a Cardinal, in which position he will be
the more powerful to serve your Majesty. There is no man in or
out of England of English birth so worthy, learned, virtuous, and
dexterous in managing matters of importance, as he is. Since he
was exiled for his faith 28 years ago he has always been employed
in the ruling of dioceses and provinces. If your Majesty will raise
him to that dignity you will lose nothing, and gain much, because
the revenues of his see will maintain him, and he will have much
greater power to forward your Majesty's interests.
If your Majesty decides to accept the offer it will be necessary
for you to write to his Holiness, asking him to send orders to the
bishop of Dunblane and his nephew, the bishop of Vaison in France,
to follow in all things the instructions of your Majesty, as without
this order they are not allowed to leave their present residences.
It will then be necessary to send the bishop of Dunblane to
live in Flanders, giving him enough to live upon there until the
promises made are fulfilled, and he should be given six or seven
thousand ducats to carry the matter through. The bishop of
Dunblane himself with his said nephew must be the instruments
to effect the business, and if necessary I too will accompany
them to Scotland to bear witness to the nobles of your Majesty's
promises. The Carthusians were the first in England to shed their
blood in the struggle against the monster heresy, and now again
offer themselves, their lives, and labour, to put an end to the
monster. These are the matters of importance which have been
entrusted to me by the duke of Savoy, his wife, the bishop of
Dunblane, and the very reverend General of our Order. If they
commend themselves to your Majesty I shall be filled with joy ; if
not, I shall sorely grieve at my laborious journey hither, even if I
carry away with me ten thousand ducats.
Note.—Another letter from the same to the same accompanies the
above, but it refers exclusively to the affairs of the Carthusian
Order. With it also is a letter from Philip's confessor, Fray
Francisco, to the King to the following effect.
"As this matter requires consideration, and some difficulties
may offer themselves, as indeed they have occurred to me, this
good English friar says that he will give a full account of all he
can recollect, but as he has forgotten some things we can both of us
write to the Carthusian bishop the difficulties which occur to us ; in
order that he may explain them, and I may give an account to your
Majesty. In the meanwhile your Majesty might give us permission
to settle his other matters, as he wishes to get away soon in order to
avoid bad weather at sea."
544. Advices from David (from Plymouth).
A patache arrived here from Drake on the 24th instant, bringing
news that the English fleet had arrived at Corunna five days after
sailing from this coast. They had encountered great resistance, but
had overcome the Spaniards and had killed many. The ships that
were in port had been captured, and the galleon "St. Miño" had
been burnt, as well as three leagues of country inland ; great
quantities of provisions had been sacked, and many arms captured.
Not more than 500 Englishmen had been killed or wounded, but
three of the principal officers and some gentlemen had fallen.
The army was at Corunna for 14 days, and on the same day that
the patache left the fleet again set sail, the rumour being
that it was going thence to Santander to burn the Spanish fleet
The report also states that the earl of Essex had not yet (fn. 5) arrived
and that 26 flyboats full of men were missing, and no idea existed
as to whither they can have gone.
On the 26th we learnt that six boats full of men were at Rochelle,
and two of the flyboats had already arrived here.
On the 28th three flyboats arrived in these ports, one loaded with
horses and two with men, but these are said to have been driven
from Corunna in a storm. God knows what is true! Yesterday, the
30th, there arrived here a Galician three-masted schooner loaded
with wine, which had been captured by the English and left
Corunna eight days ago, She brings news that the English fleet
had already gone to Bayona.
The store ships left here five or six days ago. There were
20 of them, besides those which they say were to go from
They say that there is no order for the Armada to return yet,
so I intend to go to London, and there, with the favour of God, to do
Captain Morgan came in the patache to take the news to the
Queen, and posted to London at once. He is expected back again
here hourly.—Plymouth, 31st May 1589.