The year 1553, much more than those comprised in the foregoing volumes of this Calendar, has attracted the attention of historians. Northumberland's plot, Edward VI's death, the Lady Jane's brief reign, Mary's accession and the preliminary negotiations of the Spanish match have tempted students to submit the archives of Europe to a persistent search for papers that might throw light on these events. Gachard, in the appendix to Vol. IV of his Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, and Weiss in Vol. IV of his Documents Inédits (Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal de Granvelle) have printed portions of the Imperial state papers, but both these publications are incomplete and unsatisfactory. Gachard printed his papers for 1553 from eighteenth-century transcripts, preserved in the Brussels archives, of the original despatches now in the Staatsarchiv. at Vienna, and the readings are often careless, whilst Weiss drew all his material from the Granvelle MSS. in the Municipal Library at Besançon, a very valuable collection, but one that suffered so much from neglect during the seventeenth century that many of the documents survive in a mutilated condition. In fact Vienna is much richer for this period than either Brussels or Besançon, for in many cases, even when Besançon owns the Emperor's original signed instructions, damp and ruthless binding have reduced the paper to fragments, whilst the minute remains intact at Vienna, which also owns practically all the originals of the ambassador's despatches. Another important source is Simancas, for there is preserved Prince Philip's correspondence with his father, and it has hardly been utilised at all for 1553; since Fernández Navarrete, in his Documentos Inéditos, begins with the following year. In brief, although the
twelve-month has been the object of much research, well over half the papers calendared here have never been printed before.
January, 1553, saw Charles V returning to Brussels after raising the siege of Metz, and at Brussels he remained throughout the year, save for short journeys to other towns in the Low Countries. His sister, Maria, Queen Dowager of Hungary and Regent of the Low Countries, was also in Brussels, and the fact that Charles V, his sister and the Bishop of Arras (Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle), the Emperor's chief minister, were together explains why this volume is poorer than Vols. IX and X by the absence of the correspondence exchanged between them when the Emperor was in Germany.
Jehan Scheyfve, whom we find as Imperial ambassador in London, had been in England since the spring of 1550, when he was sent over to re-place François Van der Delft. His long stay is not to be taken as an indication of exceptional ability, for he was by no means a remarkable diplomat and his despatches become shorter and more meagre in interest as time goes on; he was kept at his post because England under Northumberland afforded no opportunities for a better man. Scheyfve himself felt this and repeatedly requested to be recalled up to the very moment when Edward VI's death provided an opening for the making of a great reputation. Rather ironically, therefore, when he was removed to make place for another, the Emperor merely deferred to his earnest desire to return home. Simon Renard, the most active member of the mission, on which he was accompanied by MM. de Courrières and de Thoulouse, that arrived in London on the day the King died, had already been ambassador in France, where he won the golden opinions of the Queen Dowager and the Bishop of Arras, his countryman. His conduct of the marriage negotiations in England justified the hopes of his patrons, and his despatches are full of interest, showing a penetration
into English affairs and a knowledge of individuals surprising in a man who had but a short experience of English life and no acquaintance with the language. His untiring application and restless energy soon made him a master of all the questions he had to deal with, and when the time came for the mission to withdraw, leaving one of its members as resident ambassador, there was no hesitation at Brussels as to who was best fitted for the post.
Italian affairs, owing to the suspension of the Council of Trent, achieved in the Imperial interest in 1552, and the withdrawal of the Pope, Julius III, from a forward policy after his disastrous experiences in connexion with the Parma campaign, were calmer during the period now under our notice than they had been for some time previously. The attention of the Emperor and the King of France, of the Roman Court and consequently of the lesser princes of Europe was centred on the rapid course of events that began in England at the moment when Edward VI's life was known to be menaced. This volume therefore contains far fewer papers relating to Italy than did those devoted to the years during which Paul III and Julius III kept the Christian world in an uproar by their efforts to escape reformation.
* * * *
The passing of the First Act of Uniformity, in 1549, was the prelude to a time of distress for the Lady Mary. Her position in a country where it had become illegal to hear mass was painful to herself and embarrassing to her brother's advisers, whose connivance at her private retention of a priest down to the very end of Edward VI's reign shows that they had no desire to try conclusions with her provided she would refrain from the public and ostentatious celebration of Catholic rites. The carefully planned attempt to take her out of England that was defeated by her own trusted servant, Sir Robert Rochester,
in July, 1550, (fn. 1) was judged too dangerous to be repeated; and it may well be that the Emperor himself came to recognise how much there was to be said for Rochester's argument that as long as Mary's person was not threatened it was better for her to stay rather than, by flight, compromise her chances of coming to the throne in the event of her brothers death, which horoscopes and prophecies announced to be not far off. The action of the Council, under Northumberland's supremacy and with the authorisation supplied by Parliament through the First Act of Uniformity, at least told Mary the worst she had to fear, and after a public dismissal of her chaplains (fn. 2) had been tacitly accepted as sufficient, the release of her servants, Rochester, Inglefield and Walgrave, who had been imprisoned for refusing to coerce their mistress in matters of religion, amounted to the calling of a truce which remained unbroken while Edward lived. Northumberland was too well aware of the difficulties with which his personal unpopularity and English dislike of his policy of subserviency to France surrounded him to care to risk provoking revolt at home, to say nothing of an Imperial intervention, by using the full rigour of the law against a Princess who was beloved of the people and had the sympathy of many among the nobility. His attempt to destroy the Duke of Somerset, successful as it was, had so nearly involved his own ruin that he was in no humour to proceed openly against an enemy in whose defence he might well fear to see all England rise; and he consequently adopted a course presenting fewer obstacles at the outset, though in reality it brought him no nearer to surmounting the barrier raised by the nation's will between him and the fulfilment of his ambitions.
When, early in February, 1553, the Lady Mary came to London on one of her rare visits to Court, Scheyfve, the Imperial ambassador, reported that she was more
honourably received and entertained with greater magnificence than ever before during Edward VI's reign (pp. 8–10). She saw the King in his bed-chamber, to which he was confined by a chill which he had recently caught. Scheyfve, in the course of a conversation held with her during her stay in London, mentioned a report then current to the effect that Alfonso, eldest son of the Duke of Ferrara, had approached the Privy Council with a demand for her hand, which had been favourably received, but Mary asserted that she had heard nothing of the matter; she had small desire to marry and in any event would not bind herself without the Emperor's approval. It may be remarked that Scheyfve never possessed Mary's confidence to the extent to which it was accorded to his predecessor, Van der Delft. He had been left in ignorance of her attempt to escape at the beginning of his stay in London, and apparently never found out more about it than was repeated in the circles in which he moved. His despatches to the Emperor in the first six months of 1553 are perfunctory in tone on all subjects, and no exception need be made for their allusions to the Lady Mary, for the ambassador's one thought was to obtain his recall (pp. 20, 38) and turn his back for ever on all things English. Even he, however, could not help hearing what was being said round about him, and the air of London was full of whispered hints of Northumberland's efforts to strengthen his position against a time of stress to come. The Earl of Westmoreland, a Neville, was sworn of the Privy Council, and the Earl of Arundel, head of one of the most illustrious of English houses, was readmitted to that body (p. 13). On the other hand it was said that the Earl of Pembroke, perhaps the most influential man in the Council after Northumberland, bore the Duke no good will and might show it on occasion, “though the times were not ripe yet” (p. 13). The first session of Parliament, during which a licensing bill became law (p. 32), saw a sharp passage between Northumberland and Cranmer in
connexion with the proposed reform of the canon law which the bishops had prepared, but which was dropped after a violent speech from the Duke (p. 33). In foreign affairs there was little activity; and though ambassadors were sent to the King of France and the Emperor with the ostensible object of bringing to a stop by mediation the war that had been in progress since September, 1551, Scheyfve believed that the English were glad to see the two great powers exhaust one another, hoping that their weakness might mean strength and commercial prosperity to England (p. 12).
Such is the complexion worn by affairs while Edward VI's illness slowly dragged on, and the bright weather failed to bring the expected relief. Northumberland, as all indications contribute to show, was taken by surprise by the King's fatal malady: he had no plan ready to deal with the situation that would be caused by a sudden vacancy of the throne. Mary was the next heir, as all England knew, and if Mary succeeded the Duke's day would be over, for Catherine of Aragon's daughter would certainly not keep the head of the forward Protestant party in power, whilst Northumberland could not expect the country to swallow another change of religion on his part within four years of the manæuvre by which he had duped the Catholic lords into serving his purpose as instruments for undermining the Protector's position. By the end of April, however, there was no doubt that the King was doomed, and Northumberland's scheme for losing nothing by the change was already outlined. Henry VIII's will had appointed to succeed, in the event of Edward VI dying without heirs (1) the Lady Mary, (2) the Lady Elizabeth, and (3) the heirs of his younger sister, Mary, by her marriage to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Of this marriage were born two daughters, the elder of whom, Frances, was the wife of Henry Grey, recently created Duke of Suffolk. No heirs male were born to this couple, but three daughters,
and the eldest, Lady Jane Grey, it was whom Northumberland selected. On April 28th Scheyfve reported her approaching marriage to Lord Guilford Dudley, and the ceremony took place on Whit Sunday, May 21st, while a few days later Northumberland's desire to make association with himself alluring to Pembroke came out in the marriage of Lady Catherine Grey to Pembroke's eldest son, Lord Herbert of Cardiff. Other significant actions were the Duke's efforts to collect large sums of money (p. 35) and to set his own men in command in London and the provinces (pp. 37, 44), his constant and intimate conferences with the French ambassadors, whom Scheyfve suspected of offering him help on behalf of the King of France in depriving Mary of her rights, and his attempts, too gross to deceive, to persuade Mary that he was her devoted servant (p. 37).
Scheyfve was convinced that Northumberland had “formed some mighty plot against the Princess” (p. 50), and the marriage of Lord Guilford Dudley and Lady Jane Grey gave a broad hint as to the nature of the plot (p. 55); also, he realised that if the King's will excluded the Ladies Mary and Elizabeth, it might well be urged that the Queen of Scotland's title remained the next best. He was too little versed in English constitutional affairs, however, to understand the enormity of the proceedings by which Lady Jane was appointed to succeed and the Judges, Privy Councillors, Peers and others were induced to sign the instrument; his correspondence may be searched in vain for any fresh information on that phase of the crisis. He, like every other reasonably well-informed man in London at the time, knew that Northumberland was dealing treasonably, but his failure to interpret the true character of the Duke's difficulties is shown by his acceptance of the rumour according to which he had poisoned the King (pp. 49, 53). In reality Edward VI was a ruler so much to Northumberland's taste that another child, of equal youth and, it was doubtless hoped, of like
ingenuousness, must be selected to replace him. The precise extent of his guilt, however, was of no great importance to Mary or the Emperor; what mattered was that he manifestly intended to upset the succession as devised by Henry VIII, and the few hopeful features in the situation were the Duke's personal unpopularity, the devotion to Mary of many powerful men and their confidence in the Emperor (pp. 52–53). It occurred to Scheyfve that the presence of a special Imperial envoy in London might do something to put heart into the opposition that seemed to be gathering against the Duke, and, very late in the day, he made the suggestion in despatches to his master and the Bishop of Arras (pp. 66, 68); but the Emperor had already felt the imminence of danger and decided how to meet it.
Charles V's instructions to his ambassadors, MM. de Courrières, de Thoulouse and Simon Renard, are dated June 23rd, and contain an excellent statement of his views on the English question. His object was to help the Lady Mary, and his difficulty to do so without allowing her enemies to turn against her all the anger and indignation which a suspicion of foreign interference would be certain to arouse. He never contemplated trying to send an armed force in her support, for he. knew that such a step might enable Northumberland to obtain from public opinion a sanction for the landing of French troops that would otherwise be withheld. Unless he could send a very large force it was better to send none at all, and his war with France left him few troops to spare (p. 81). The ambassadors, therefore, if they found on their arrival that the King had died or was too ill to receive them, were to seek out the Duke of Northumberland, to whom they carried a letter (p. 59) from their master, and dispell the fears he might have entertained as to the advice the Emperor would give to Mary for her guidance when Queen. They were to assure the Duke that their master thought she ought to marry an Englishman
whose experience of affairs would permit him to govern in the country's best interests, and only desired to warn him against the French who, in spite of all their protestations, aimed at nothing but universal domination. Now as the only men in England who had had any recent experience of affairs were Northumberland's own partisans it would have been impossible to invent a formula better calculated to satisfy the Duke; and the ambassadors were also to urge Mary not to hesitate to promise that she would effect no changes in the government or in religious matters, and pardon all offences that might have been committed by her brother's ministers. Afterwards, the English aspirants to her hand might be played off one against the other and set at variance, while with the help of time, religion and other things might gently be influenced “in the right direction.” Unfortunately, Mary was not destined to escape so lightly from the troubles that beset her, and, as the Emperor foresaw might very probably happen, circumstances changed so rapidly that his ambassadors were unable to make use of their instructions and were obliged to have recourse to “the guidance of their own prudence and discretion.”
The first despatch from London signed by the four ambassadors is dated July 7th, the day after the three special envoys' arrival. On the morning of the 7th, they heard, though unofficially, of the King's death, and nonetheless sent to Court to ask for audience, whereupon the Council replied that they would ascertain his Majesty's pleasure and appoint such time as his condition might allow. In the meantime Scheyfve explained to them the condition of affairs; how Northumberland, though hated, held all the resources of the country in his hands and was decided to go to any lengths, even to calling in the French, rather than abandon his projects, though he himself realised the dangers attendant upon such a policy. It was reported that he had troops in readiness to seize the Lady Mary, and as “the actual possession
of power was a matter of great importance, especially among barbarians like the English” (p. 74), the ambassadors were greatly alarmed on learning that she had determined to issue letters proclaiming herself Queen as soon as the King's death should be announced. They immediately sent off a messenger to inform her of their arrival and beg her to be careful, examining the drawbacks before she took an irretrievable step. If she could count on support in the country, let her partisans speak out for her, for then, without compromising herself, she might see whether the requisite assistance was forthcoming.
This lame advice, which Mary utterly disregarded, was all the ambassadors felt able to give, and during the next few days they could only wait for the Council to take some step, as the King's death was not reported to them and their demands for audience were being put off on the ground of his illness. On the 10th they were visited on behalf of the Council by Petre and Cecil, who informed them of the King's death and expressed a hope that friendly relations would be kept up between England and the Low Countries, without saying a word about the succession, thus making it impossible for the ambassadors, in reply, to do more than beg the Council to take the Lady Mary under their protection. Petre and Cecil then retired, leaving Renard and his colleagues in great perplexity as to what they should do if “the new King” wished to grant them audience (p. 79), a phrase that shows them to have been unaware of certain obstacles that stood between Guilford Dudley and the use of the royal style; and their anxiety doubtless grew when, at four o'clock of the same afternoon, Queen Jane made her state entry into the Tower of London. The Emperor, who received on the 11th their despatch of the 7th, at once wrote instructing them to do their utmost to get into touch with Northumberland and try to persuade him that he would be no loser if Mary came to the throne, but these directions reached London on the 14th, when
they were no longer of the slightest utility. The ambassadors, however, were not long to be left in uncertainty, for on the 12th Lord Cobham and Sir John Mason came to their lodgings and gave them speech as plain as they could hope to hear. The late King, they said, had appointed the Lady Jane to be his heir, and the Lady Mary wished to oppose this settlement. The Council had sent a gentleman to inform the Emperor, and Courrières, Thoulouse, and Renard were to consider their embassy to have come to an end, and clearly understand that no attempt on their part to hold communication with the Lady Mary could be tolerated. This message, disconcerting as it seemed, gave Renard the opportunity he was waiting for, and his reply shows the clearness of thought, presence of mind and boldness that made him the most successful diplomat of his brief day. He began his speech by saying that he deeply regretted that the Council had not given him and his colleagues audience before lending an ear to French proposals, for had they done so he would have informed them that the Emperor had in his possession proof (fn. 3) of the malignant designs of the French, who were seeking to gain a foothold in England in order to obtain the crown for the Queen of Scotland and her betrothed, the Dauphin. As the Emperor had not known that the King's life was in danger he had given them no instructions to speak about the Lady Mary's rights, and the ambassadors had neither communicated with her nor sent her any message, but when he heard that she had been proclaimed a bastard he would certainly conclude that certain persons had been led by their private interests to serve French intrigues. As the Council considered their embassy to be at an end, they would ask for an escort and depart.
When Cobham and Mason heard this speech they hastily asserted that they had been mistaken in what they had said about the expiration of the ambassadors' commission,
and “knew not what to answer, but sat staring at one another “(p. 86). On taking leave they begged Renard and the others not to go yet, for they wished to report their favourable, praiseworthy words to the Council. But though Renard was pleased with the effect of his harangue, and especially with the manner in which a repetition of it was received the following day by the Council represented by the Earls of Bedford, Arundel, Shrewsbury and Pembroke, Lord Cobham, Mason and Petre, he was still sceptical as to Mary's chances of success against Northumberland in the field, and apprehensive of what might happen to him and his colleagues if they were caught corresponding with her, as their instructions bade them to do. Carefully weighing all considerations, therefore, Renard decided that he, Courrières and Thoulouse had better go home to Flanders, leaving Scheyfve behind to receive any communications the Council might decide to make to his Imperial Majesty's ambassadors (pp. 87, 89). In view of the threatening expressions used by Cobham and Mason, Renard also begged the Emperor to keep a close watch on the English ambassadors at his Court. On the 16th, news from the eastern counties pointed to a better chance of success for the Lady Mary than had seemed possible a few days before, and there were hints to tell of growing opposition to Northumberland in the Council itself. Also, when Cobham and Mason came to transmit the Council's reply to the declarations made by Renard in the audience of the 13th they spoke most courteously, said that the ambassadors should go or stay as they desired, and uttered not a word about Queen Jane or the Lady Mary (p. 93). Thus the position was more hopeful, but Renard still thought it better to depart and travel by very short stages to Dover, taking six days to accomplish the journey, in which time a decisive action between Mary's and Northumberland's forces might be expected.
The 19th of July found the ambassadors still in London, writing a despatch containing still better tidings than
those of the 16th, when they suddenly received the visit of the Earl of Shrewsbury and Sir John Mason, come to inform them that the Council were about to proclaim Mary Queen of England, news which they believed would be agreeable to the Emperor; and two hours afterwards the proclamation was made and received with wild rejoicing. An Italian resident in London wrote (p. 108) that what with the bonfires, the thundrous shouting and pealing of bells London was like an eruption of Mount Etna, and Sir John York, Northumberland's intimate friend and financial adviser, (fn. 4) nearly escaped lynching in Leadenhall Street (p. 108). The attitude of the people of London, who had uttered not a cheer for Queen Jane, dispelled a few lingering doubts instilled into the ambassador's minds by a warning, conveyed by an old woman, to beware of the Council's duplicity, and on the 22nd their despatch told the Emperor that Mary was Queen of England “without difficulty, doubt or hindrance.” How this miracle had come to pass they, indeed, did not know, for they attributed it to a variety of reasons; but such a day of golden promise for Imperialist politics dawned in England with Mary's triumph that the Emperor and his ministers felt more inclined to think of the future than to dwell upon the past. On July 29th the Emperor had received his ambassador's despatches of the 22nd and 24th telling him that Northumberland and all his party were prisoners, and on the very next day he wrote to Prince Philip, his son, then at Valladolid, asking him whether, if the negotiations for his marriage with the Infanta Maria of Portugal had not gone too far, he would care to wed the new Queen of England (pp. 126–127). “The advantages of this course,” wrote the Emperor, “are so obvious that it is unnecessary to go into them.” The war with France made correspondence with Spain a lengthy matter, but on August 22nd Philip replied that, as an obedient son, he asked for nothing better than to
act as his father wished (pp. 177–178), and on September 11th (p. 230) his dutiful answer reached the Court at Brussels.
* * * *
Among the papers printed in this volume some of the most interesting are those that explain why a match between Philip and Mary was so highly desirable, and show that the hope of uniting England to the other dominions to be inherited by Philip was not the only, nor, indeed, the first motive that caused the Emperor to adopt a plan that seemed well-nigh hopeless at the outset, so violent was the opposition it encountered in England. War between France and the Emperor had broken out in 1551 over the question of Parma, but was soon afterwards transferred to the North, where the seizure of the Three Bishoprics and the invasion of Luxemburg made plain the King of France's intention to aim a great blow at the Low Countries, the position of which rapidly became precarious. The opening campaigns told so heavily on them that the Regent, in her letters to the Emperor, complained of the intolerable burthen of debt she had been forced to shoulder, (fn. 5) and as relief could only come from Spain the treasure fleet's passage through the Channel was an occasion of painful anxiety lest misfortune should overtake it from the French. (fn. 6) The inhabitants of the Low Countries wanted peace, and were beginning to tire of paying the bills for never-ending wars entailed by quarrels that often had nothing whatever to do with them or their interests, and in which success was likely to be as disastrous as failure. Not a few of them had been heard to say that, as it seemed France must in the end win, they might as well give in at once, before utter ruin befell them (p. 25). In brief, the Spanish connection bade fair to become unpopular; early in April the Emperor wrote to Philip (pp. 23–30) explaining to him that, come
what might, he must arrive in Flanders, bringing a large sum of money with him for the sake of his prestige, by September, 1553, for otherwise there was no blinking the fact that the Low Countries would run grave danger of being lost. Such a warning from his father was sufficiently impressive, but Philip received others still more alarming, of which the letter addressed to him from Seville by Francisco Duarte, a Spaniard recently landed from Brussels, may be taken as a typical example. Duarte (pp. 221–227) had received from Nicolas Nicolai, a member of the Emperor's Council, and Count de Beveren, Admiral of the Low Countries, instructions by word of mouth to communicate to Philip certain matters which it was considered unsafe to commit to writing. The Emperor's health was such that the physicians did not believe he would survive another winter in a northern climate, and he had been tortured by the gout and kindred ailments until “his kindness of manner and usual amiability disappeared to make way for deep melancholy.” He abhorred all business and refused to listen to any of his ministers except his Spanish secretary, Francisco de Eraso, who only dared to approach him about the gravest matters connected with the war. Ambassadors were kept waiting many days for audience, and allowed to remain in the Emperor's presence no longer than it would take to recite a credo. It became so difficult to have access to his person that he was reported to have died, whereat many shameless persons spoke of a change of sovereigns, some saying they wished to transfer their allegiance to the King of France, others preferring Maximilian, King of Bohemia, eldest son of the King of the Romans, who was vaunted as superior in every way to Philip, being an accomplished linguist, a liberal, affable prince and a masterly statesman. It was well-known that Maximilian had plotted with the German princes to prevent Philip from achieving the Imperial dignity, and he was credited with the intention of securing the Low Countries on the Emperor's
death. Philip's coming was most necessary to deal with a situation to which the Emperor, entirely absorbed night and day in taking his clocks to pieces, putting them together again and making them all keep the same time, no longer gave due attention.
Eraso, also, who according to Duarte's account stood nearer to the Emperor than anyone else at this time, was unsparing of his warnings to Philip to come at once, bringing plenty of money, in view of the dangerous state of affairs in Flanders. “Your Highness would never believe,” he wrote, “what is going on here and the doings of these folk” (pp. 435–437). It is clear, therefore, that the Emperor and his ministers all had excellent reasons for fearing the worst unless Philip in person took matters firmly in hand. Two years before, when counsel was held on the general outlook for the Low Countries in view of a long war with France, the prevailing opinion was that no really satisfactory solution could be achieved unless an important English sea-port could be seized and used to protect Spanish and Flemish shipping in the Channel. If Charles V had been able to find the money he would have sent an expeditionary force to England at that time. (fn. 7) And now, in the summer of 1553, there suddenly appeared a possibility of being able to use not an English port merely, but all England, in the mighty effort that must be made against France if the Low Countries were to be preserved for Philip. No wonder that so promising an opportunity should arouse the Emperor from his lethargy, and even greatly improve his health; now, indeed, he had something to live for. Instead of pondering the task, success in which appeared less and less likely as time went on, of keeping Spain and the Low Countries together against France, he might now form entirely new plans for the future of his house; if Philip and Mary had an heir, that heir should succeed to England and the Burgundian patrimony, leaving to Philip's first-born,
Don Carlos, the Spains and the Spanish dominions in Italy. Thus France would be hemmed in on every side by a close family alliance, and French shipping driven from the Mediterranean, the Channel and the North Sea; whilst the disadvantages entailed by the possession of widely-scattered states, disadvantages against which Charles had struggled too long not to appreciate their gravity, would be removed from the path of his happy successors. The summer of 1552 was perhaps the darkest moment in the Emperor's career, and a bad winter followed, but never since his election to the Imperial dignity had such a vista unfolded itself before his eyes as that revealed when Mary mounted the throne of England.
It is not improbable that the Bishop of Arras gave Renard a hint, before the special envoys left Brussels, about keeping the possibility of a match between Philip and Mary in view in case Mary became Queen, for the tone of Renard's first private letter to Arras (p. 153) suggests a previous understanding. However, there was no need for hurry, as it was not yet known in Brussels whether or no Philip had definitely engaged himself to the Infanta Maria of Portugal, and there were other points that had to be cleared up before there could be any question of a proposal of marriage, the first and most important being the Queen's own inclinations. In the meantime there was no lack of work, for Mary, whose prudence the Emperor does not seem to have overrated, had to be warned against excess of zeal, taught how to keep her Council from interfering unduly in her affairs and advised on a multitude of questions, while the greatest care had to be taken to keep other suitors for her hand at a safe distance. The Imperial ambassadors first had audience of the new Queen at her house of New Hall on July 29th, and on the same afternoon Renard, who from the very first undertook to represent his colleagues when business unsuited for the Privy Councillors' ears was to be transacted, went to her privately and imparted the Emperor's advice
(pp. 130–133). She was to avoid undue haste in remedying religious matters, behave like a good Englishwoman, leave all personal considerations on one side, and remember that now she was no longer a private individual but a ruler with a duty towards her people: wherefore she must marry. If she desired the Emperor's counsel on that question he would be glad to give it. For the moment Mary was more concerned about her brother's funeral, which had not yet been celebrated, than about any other consideration: she attempted to persuade Renard that it would be safe to have it conducted according to the rites of the Roman Church, and on his withholding assent told him to think it over and speak to her again. As for marriage, she understood that she must now conquer her personal dislike of the idea, and meant to follow the Emperor's advice. She only begged him to remember that she was 37, and not urge her to come to a final decision “before having seen the person and heard him speak.” In all this there was nothing that had to be kept from Renard's colleagues, and they all collaborated in a memoir (p. 134) in which Mary was advised to go very gently where religion was concerned and keep a large guard for her personal security. On the day of her state entry into London, however, Renard had a talk with William, Lord Paget, recently readmitted to the Council after having suffered much from Northumberland, in the course of which Paget let fall that a match between Philip and Mary would be the finest in the world: a remark that Renard privately reported to Arras. This letter is the first report sent by Renard to Brussels without his colleagues' knowledge, and for the next two months and a half the preliminary negotiations for the marriage were carried on with all possible secrecy, though the other ambassadors' presence in London must have made matters difficult for Renard, who did not omit to point out that it greatly inconvenienced him, especially as Scheyfve was already showing jealousy (p. 214).
The Emperor was doubtless not sorry, before making any definite proposal to Mary, to allow a few weeks to pass, during which he might observe the course of events in England and judge whether his cousin would be able to surmount the many obstacles and avoid the carefully-laid snares that awaited her. Indeed, it was hard to say whether she ran greater danger from her enemies, the remains of Northumberland's party and the French, who were anxious to profit by civil disturbances in England, or her friends, led by Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, and the gentlemen of her household, Rochester, Inglefield and Walgrave. Gardiner emerged from the Tower, having learnt and forgotten nothing, to become Lord Chancellor, and before Mary had entered London picked a quarrel with Lord Pembroke about certain revenues that had once belonged to the see of Winchester (p. 120); whilst her own gentlemen came prepared to be fully recompensed for the long years of adversity they had spent in her service. She also had to consider what attitude she was to adopt towards the Privy Councillors who, though they proclaimed her in Northumberland's absence, had long been his associates. The facility with which they turned against him and Mary's own memory of the varied attitudes they had adopted at different times in her father's and brother's reigns forbade her to place entire confidence in them, but as they alone knew how England had been governed during the last few years their assistance was indispensable to the new Queen, whose early supporters soon began to complain that conspirators were rewarded whilst those who had rendered loyal service were cast off (p. 172). Lord Paget, who had been less intimately connected with Northumberland's party than any other of the men to whom Mary might look for help, rapidly came to the front, but his presence at the Council-board irritated Gardiner, and the lack of unison among the members became a source of alarm to Renard (p. 189). The Queen
herself was harassed almost beyond endurance by responsibility to which she was unaccustomed, and her desire to be just to all led her to appoint too many Privy Councillors, so that that body became unwieldy and she was obliged to have all important business transacted by six of its members: Gardiner, the Earl of Arundel, the Bishop of Norwich (Thomas Thirlby), Paget, Rochester and Sir William Petre (p. 343).
Elements of discord were soon to be swelled by two new personalities, both of them destined to play an important part during the reign: Reginald Pole and Edward Courtenay. Pole, a Cardinal of the Roman church, though not yet in priest's orders, passed for an Imperialist, largely, it may be supposed, because he sympathised with the Emperor's persistent efforts to force reform on the papacy, and had nearly been elected pope, thanks to the support of the Imperialist members of the Sacred College, in the conclave of 1549–1550. His connexion with the royal house of England made him certain of Mary's favour, to which he had further claim on account of the cruel death of his mother, Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, under whose care she had grown to womanhood. A tenderness for the families of Henry VIII's victims bound Mary to Courtenay also, a youth who had spent the fifteen years that had passed since the execution of his father, Henry, Marquis of Exeter, in the Tower. Hardly had Mary been proclaimed when Courtenay was released, and the people of London immediately began to say that he would marry the Queen, as he was the only man of the blood royal in England (p. 114). This match was ardently desired by Gardiner, who had obtained an ascendency over Courtenay during their captivity, and a party, including Rochester, Inglefield and Walgrave, was soon grouped in his support (pp. 192, 206–207). The fact that Pole was only in minor orders gave rise to speculations as to whether he also might not seek to marry Mary, but the Cardinal's attitude quickly dispelled all
fears on that score, though his coming to England was nonetheless dreaded for other reasons (pp. 160–162).
Renard's immediate object, then, was to find out whether Mary would favour the idea of a match with Philip, while taking care not to say so much that she would be disappointed if things turned out otherwise. He was tactfully to ascertain, by allusions to Courtenay, the nature of the Queen's feelings for him, though taking care not to show any hostility, as Arras foresaw (p. 165) that if she took it into her head to marry him nothing would stop her, and she would afterwards bear Renard a grudge for his disparaging remarks. Foreign aspirants were to be kept at a distance by the Emperor, who soon let it be known that he alone meant to decide when, how and by whom proposals for his cousin's hand should be made. On August 14th he wrote to the ambassadors in London that the King of the Romans' Chamberlain, Martin de Guzman, had arrived at Brussels on his way to London, and had requested the Emperor's favour in promoting a match between his master's younger son, the Archduke Ferdinand, and Mary (pp. 163–164). The Emperor had explained to him that it would be dangerous to say anything about a foreign alliance for the present, and he had advised the Queen to follow her ministers' counsel in the choice of a husband—a hint not to meddle that was also meant for the ears of Courrières, Thoulouse and Scheyfve. On the same day Arras wrote to Renard that “it would be impossible to find her a husband less advantageous for the Low Countries,” and the Queen was to be warned against Guzman, the reason of this absolute veto being that with the Archduke Ferdinand on the English throne the Austrian branch of the house of Habsburg would be in a favourable position for seizing the Burgundian inheritance. From the outset Mary's demeanour convinced Renard that she was too proud to marry her subject, and would welcome overtures from the Emperor for an alliance with Philip, but at the same
time he warned Arras that great skill and not a little liberality would be necessary in order to induce the Council to give their consent (p. 166). Renard talked so often about almost insuperable difficulties to be overcome (pp. 211, 263) that it is hard to acquit him of a desire to magnify the success he expected to achieve, and he certainly did not dislike the notion of being regarded by the English nobility as a distributor of Imperial pensions. A main preoccupation with him was to have his colleagues recalled so that he might remain alone to reap the glory of triumph in the negotiations; on August 20th he wrote privately to tell the Queen Dowager that Gardiner had somewhat abruptly asked Courrières when he and the other Imperial envoys were going home, and even in despatches signed by all four he insisted on the excitement provoked in England by the visit of any foreigner distinguished enough to be entrusted with a proposal of marriage (p. 201), the astonishment expressed by Gardiner and other Privy Councillors because the Emperor had not yet approached the Queen on the subject (p. 206), and the campaign that was being carried on in Courtenay's favour (p. 206). Certain words uttered by Mary to Scheyfve's secretary seemed to convey a hint that she herself would have preferred the Emperor to any other bridegroom the world could offer, and Charles, who understood his cousin's sentiments, took care to instruct Renard to preface his remarks to her by an assurance that had it not been for his broken health he would have offered her his own person (p. 246).
In the course of a private audience at Richmond (pp. 212–214) Renard explained that the Emperor's delay was doubtless owing to the difficulty of finding a middleaged prince for her, and ran over a list of the youthful scions of the royal houses of Europe, saying that if she considered 27 too old he could think of no one who would answer. At this Mary said straight out that it was a pity Prince Philip was already married to the Portuguese
Infanta, and, heedless of Renard's observation that he did not think the marriage was concluded, went on to remark that he had many kingdoms and certainly would not care to come to live in England. This gave Renard an opening, which he did not dare to take because, as he wrote soon afterwards to Arras, it was quite definitely asserted in England that the Portuguese match had been agreed to by both parties and could not be broken off (p. 227). Moreover, Scheyfve was positive that the English did not at all favour Philip, but, if a foreigner had to be accepted, would consider the King of the Romans (a widower). Spaniards were hated in England, and there was much talk about the strained relations between the King of Bohemia and Philip, who was not expected to be able to hold the Low Countries after his father's death. On September 13th, however, Arras wrote to Renard informing him that Philip's favourable answer (p. 177) had come. This answer, the original minute for which, in Philip's own hand, exists at Simancas, reveals the inaccuracy of a frequently repeated statement to the effect that a previous engagement with the Portuguese Infanta was broken off to enable Philip to offer his hand to Mary. On the contrary, when the Emperor's letter reached Philip, he was about to break off the negotiations because the King of Portugal was too niggardly over his half-sister's dowry, though in order not to do anything that might betray the change in his plans he decided to keep negotiations open by answering the Portuguese that he had hoped they would be more liberal, but would refer the matter to his father.
On September 14th, the Emperor wrote to recall Courrières, Thoulouse, and Scheyfve. The first two were useless in London, and Scheyfve, by being over-ready to listen to talk about English dislike of Spaniards, might become dangerous; so Renard was to remain alone, and a few days later he received copious instructions dated September 20th, (pp. 243–248) as to how he was to proceed. Taking it
for granted that Mary, who knew the English well, would not entertain the idea of a foreign match unless she considered it feasible, Charles ordered Renard to suggest, privately, one with Prince Philip, begging the Queen to tell him frankly and in the strictest confidence whether she believed the English might be made to consent and, above all, whether the proposal would be agreeable to her personally. If she insisted on consulting certain of her Councillors before giving an answer, Renard was to beg her to inform him whose advice she desired and how much she wished to tell them. On receiving his appointment to reside alone as Imperial ambassador in London Renard wrote to the Emperor, the Queen Dowager and the Bishop of Arras (pp. 248–250) begging to be allowed to return to Flanders for three or four weeks to set his house in order; his letter to Arras shows that he was ill-pleased with his salary, and thought he could do no good in England unless the Emperor would enable him to keep up befitting state and give entertainments like those offered by the French ambassador. His discontent was swelled by the Queen's gracious commands that Courrières, Thoulouse and Scheyfve should not depart at once but stay for her coronation, fixed for October 1st—an order that they interpreted as an invitation to tarry as long as they liked, on the strength of which they allowed nearly the whole month to go by before they relieved Renard of their presence. The Emperor's instructions, however, convinced him that this was no time to ask for leave, and he was fain to accept his salary of nine florins a day together with his pay as Lieutenant of the bailiwick of Amont in the Franche-Comté and a subsidy of 600 crowns Flemish (p. 272). So, resolved to make the best of it, he set to work on the arduous task that lay before him.
At this juncture Renard was satisfied that no difficulties were to be anticipated from the Queen, and therefore thought it best to begin by finding out exactly what was
to be looked for from the Council. In order to do this it was indispensable to be in touch with some member of that body. Now William, Lord Paget, as former volumes of this Calendar abundantly testify, had specialised in Imperial affairs and, anxious as he was to recoup heavy losses suffered under Northumberland, might confidently be expected to welcome an opportunity for regilding his tarnished, if not ancient, coat of arms. Renard, then, approached this statesman, and imparted to him the Emperor's desire to render any service it might be in his power to perform in connexion with the Queen's marriage (pp. 265–271). His Majesty had no private design or intent in the matter; no other wish, in fact, than to prove his friendship for the Queen and her realm, wherefore he had ordered his ambassador to find out from Paget what the Council desired him to do. After making sure that the Emperor had really designated him by name, Paget proceeded to explain the views of his colleagues. There were several among them who did not approve of the one possible English aspirant (Courtenay), and were inclined to favour a foreign match, and in this connexion three names had been mentioned: Philip, Don Luis of Portugal and Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. The Emperor might rest assured that the Queen, whose only object in matrimony was her country's good, would not pledge her word without consulting him, but the fact must be faced that there were drawbacks inseparable from an alliance with a member of his house. The most serious was the attitude adopted by the French ambassador (Antoine de Noailles), who was already seeking to foment and organise opposition on the ground that a match with Prince Philip would drag England into a dynastic quarrel that seemed destined never to be settled. The ambassador made a great point of the difficulties that would beset Philip in the Low Countries because of the misunderstanding between him and Maximilian, King of Bohemia, and dwelt on his unpopularity in Germany
and Italy, asserting that, with Philip on the throne, the Spaniards would come and lord it in England. Paget himself greatly desired to know whether there were any truth in the rumours of discord between the Austrian and Spanish branches of the house of Habsburg. Renard assured him that they were entirely groundless and, together with the rest of the ambassador's arguments, to be taken as an indication of French rage and apprehension at the prospect of being baulked in the execution of the designs they had formed against England. Having allowed a night to intervene for reflection, Paget then told Renard that the best plan would be to inform the Emperor of the Queen's favourable disposition, and to suggest that he should write letters to her and her principal ministers, a list of whose names he handed over, urging her to marry, though without mentioning persons. Thus a good beginning might be made, and when the time came for discussing who the bridegroom should be, the Emperor's intentions might quietly be communicated to Paget, who would employ himself in forwarding them.
It is to be noted that in the course of this long conversation neither Paget nor Renard made any allusion to what both were perfectly well aware of: namely, that the Emperor meant Mary to choose Philip. Nevertheless, their conference is the whole of the lengthy marriage negotiations in epitome, for the drawbacks put by Paget into the French ambassador's mouth guided the Emperor and his advisers when the time came for drawing up the treaty, the exceedingly favourable tenour of which is partly attributable to Paget's persistent warnings. When Renard's despatch containing an account of the interview reached Brussels, the Emperor at once decided to write to Mary and her Councillors specified in Paget's list, adding half-a-dozen more letters with the addresses left blank in case of need (p. 284), and ordered Renard to present them, as he supposed that Courrières, Thoulouse and Scheyfve had already departed. Fearing that Renard
might have gone rather further than was wise with Paget, however, he ordered him to do no more until he had reported to the Queen and heard from her own lips that she trusted Paget sufficiently to allow him to play the part he had sketched out for himself in the negotiations. If she approved, well and good, and Paget's new importance might be useful in counter-balancing the weight of Gardiner's influence in favour of Courtenay.
Before these instructions had reached Renard, he had obtained a private audience of Mary, on October 7th, and made a proposal according to his master's letters of September 20th, the Queen's reception of which showed that the Council's hostility to an Imperialist candidate had made no little impression on her—or rather that the far from favourable accounts of Philip's character of which her advisers had been unsparing had given her pause in her determination to follow the Emperor's advice in the choice of a husband (pp. 288–293). In answer to Renard's supplication that she would tell him confidentially of her own desires, she steadfastly maintained that she could not make up her mind without consulting some of her councillors, which she would be able to do as soon as the letters addressed to her and them by the Emperor had arrived. More, for the moment, she would not say. Renard's despatch relating this audience reached the Emperor on October 15th, and its tone prompted Charles and Arras, who for some reason suspected Mary of a secret weakness for Courtenay, to send a hasty note (p. 294), written without the knowledge of the Queen Dowager or the Council of State, telling Renard to ply the Queen with the arguments and persuasions contained in former letters until he found out whether she would or would not accept. If her attitude pointed to failure for that project and betrayed any inclination towards Courtenay, Renard was to write the news to Arras with all possible haste and tell no one alive else. He must also be careful to say nothing that might injure Courtenay's chances, for if
the Prince were rejected “there was perhaps no one for whom the Emperor would care to do as much.” In other words, if Mary were not for Philip, the Emperor would support the English aspirant rather than allow any foreign prince whomsoever, ally and relative though he might be, to seize the unrivalled opportunities England would afford for acquiring the Low Countries. Besides the Archduke Ferdinand, most dangerous of all since Maximilian himself, fortunately, was already married, Don Luis of Portugal had to be taken into consideration, and he seemed to have chances of success, for he was an old candidate for Mary's hand, (fn. 8) was suited to her in point of age, unprejudiced in English eyes by the possession, of states of his own, and did not look a foreigner (p. 269). An ambassador had been sent from Portugal to press his suit, and, though he had not ventured to brave the Emperor by going straight to England, was importuning his Majesty for leave to proceed onwards from Brussels, which it would soon become difficult to withhold without revealing the fact, still carefully kept secret, that steps were being taken on Philip's behalf.
The Emperor's letters to the Queen and her ministers arrived in London on October 15th, but Renard was unable to present them because of his colleagues' protracted sojourn, which the Queen, probably in order to gain a few more days for reflection, again prolonged by commanding them to a farewell banquet (p. 298). The interval she spent in painful heart-searchings as to which course duty dictated, whilst Renard and Paget exercised their ingenuity in devising arguments to appeal to her. The ambassador sent her a list of the disadvantages that might be urged against the Spanish match and a series of replies to dispose of them, culminating in a triumphant demonstration that Courtenay would be the worst choice of all (pp. 300–302)—a feat of rhetoric from which he would have abstained if he had known what the Bishop of Arras
was writing to him at Brussels. Paget, an older and suppler diplomat, at once hit upon the phrase that Mary's mind was seeking, a phrase that worked like a charm on her troubled conscience: he advised her (p. 295) “not to look at it merely as a marriage, but as a solemn alliance which might be made to be of the greatest advantage to her kingdom and subjects.”
When Renard next entered her presence he found her less distressed than on the former occasion, and desirous to know what conditions the Emperor would offer if she agreed to his proposal (pp. 295–298). The ambassador bade her be at rest as to conditions, for though his Majesty had so far made no mention of them she knew his integrity and benevolence well enough to be able to leave the matter in his hands, for as soon as he had been assured of her intentions he would doubtless pronounce himself in a manner wholly satisfactory to all concerned. Next, Mary expressed a desire to see Philip, and Renard said he would write to the Emperor on the subject, though he felt doubtful whether it would be suitable for the Prince to come to England unless it were for the consummation of the marriage. However, fortified by the reasons formulated for her by Paget and Renard, the Queen now looked forward with less anxiety to the day on which the Emperor's letters should have to be presented and her decision made. That day may well have seemed slow in coming to Renard, especially as both Courrières and Scheyfve, who did not in the least understand the hints conveyed by the Emperor's messages to the effect that he was anxious to have them back in Flanders as soon as possible in order to hear a verbal account of their mission, lingered on in London and behaved with small discretion, seeking to communicate secretly with Mary and offering to carry confidential messages from her to the Emperor (pp. 297,309). Moreover, a number of influential persons were moving heaven and earth for Courtenay, the trouble with whose cause was that he had too many friends, moved by too many motives;
for though Gardiner and his party supported him no less ardently than did the French and Venetian ambassadors, Gardiner well knew how much harm he might do himself by working with such associates, and refrained from collaboration with them. Even the light-headed Courtenay himself, indeed, realised that the less his French friends pleaded his cause the better for him, and it was a thoroughly English company, formed of the Chancellor, the Controller, Walgrave, Inglefield and Southwell, that ventured to urge the Queen to accept the last sprig of the White Rose. Their arguments baffled Mary, who summoned Renard and confessed that, when they took the line that the country would never put up with a Spaniard whose own subjects disliked him, she had no answer ready except her phrase about the kingdom's welfare, and she feared they might come back again in a few days (pp. 312–313). Renard, mindful this time of Arras' warning not to speak against Courtenay until Mary had given her word to marry Philip, told her that she might well put off answering Gardiner and his friends until he presented the Emperor's letters, as his colleagues' departure would soon enable him to do. His knowledge of Mary's pride happily inspired him to add that he marvelled to see her “so deferent to her Council as to allow them to command her feelings” and assured her that her own personal inclinations ought alone to be taken into account; so might she be pleased to tell him frankly whether she would have Courtenay or the Prince. At this Mary disclaimed any liking for Courtenay, but said she had not yet made up her mind, and would greatly desire to see the conditions the Emperor meant to propose before giving her final word.
This conversation was at once reported to Brussels, but before a reply arrived Scheyfve had taken himself off on October 27th, and on the same day Renard, in audience, presented the Emperor's letter urging the Queen to consider matrimony. Mary, who had already seen a
legible copy, was able to read Charles' writing, and, while the four Councillors present remained out of ear-shot, whispered to Renard that after beseeching God to guide her “she felt she could no longer keep back the word that expressed her will, for she believed she would agree to the Emperor's proposal” (p. 320). Renard knew her inflexible uprightness too well to doubt that this amounted to a solemn promise, and rightly took it that nothing remained but to obtain the assent of the Council, a task to which he immediately applied himself. After a formal conference with Gardiner and his colleagues, in which nothing of moment occurred, he went to the Controller, Sir Robert Rochester, and presented the Emperor's letter, assuring him that his Majesty would remember any trouble he might take in connexion with the matter. The Controller expressed his gratitude and willingness to perform good offices, and proceeded to warn Renard in covert terms against Paget, thereby causing the ambassador to surmise that once the Council were convinced of the Queen's irrevocable decision against Courtenay they would fall over one another in their anxiety not to let slip the profit that would attend the successful negotiation of the other match (p. 322). He somewhat undervalued the forces ranged against him, as events were soon to show and he himself realised when Gardiner had to be approached, for the prelate, understanding that he only had a few days in which to act, met Renard's requests for audience with excuses, and set about preparing to play his last card in the most effective manner possible.
In the meantime, on October 29th, Mary gave Renard her solemn promise, before the Holy Sacrament, to wed Philip (p. 328), and soon after the ambassador left her presence sent him a note (p. 330), saying that nothing should ever cause her to break it except the knowledge that a contract of marriage had existed between Philip and the daughter of Portugal, a declaration doubtless
less painful to make in writing than by word of mouth. It was fortunately in Renard's power to set her mind at rest by a truthful assurance. The next point to be considered was how the formal proposal had better be made, a difficult question as long as the Lord Chancellor succeeded in withholding from Renard an answer to the Emperor's offer of assistance. Mary, Paget and the ambassador soon became aware of the line of defence chosen by Courtenay's supporters, who had decided (p. 333) to get a deputation of Parliament to beg the Queen not to marry a foreigner on the ground that the people of England would not stand it, and thus to create a new factor that would have to be considered in shaping a reply to the Emperor's suggestion, which plan it was resolved that Renard should defeat by importuning Gardiner for audience until he met with a downright refusal, whereupon the Queen would be able to demand an explanation from her Chancellor (p. 334). As for the proposal, it must of course be made by a special embassy comprising one or two Knights of the Golden Fleece, but the Emperor must first be sure that the Council would be guided by the Queen's wishes. Paget, who adroitly made use of the estrangement between Mary and her Chancellor to get the management of affairs into his hands, increased in importance with the difficulties which his advice alone could enable his mistress to circumvent, and dictated what was to be done. The Emperor had intimated a desire that the Privy Council should draw up the articles, but Paget said it would be better for them to proceed from Brussels, because the Chancellor's hostility was such that he would never tire of organising obstruction to prevent them from being framed in England (p. 336), whilst if they came in unexpectedly favourable terms from abroad most of his arguments would be robbed of their force. In pursuance of Paget's plan of campaign, Renard continued to besiege Gardiner, and succeeded in obtaining a private interview at break of day on
November 5th, in which he said that, as ten days had gone by and no answer had been given to the communication he had made on the Emperor's behalf, he feared it had not pleased the Council. Then, on Gardiner's assuring him that the speech about marriage had been exceedingly welcome, he remarked that his Majesty would be glad to lend his assistance as soon as the Queen had made known whether she would favour an English or a foreign aspirant, and had instructed him to ask Gardiner confidentially whether he had any knowledge of her intentions. The Chancellor, in no mood for finessing, replied that he would never presume to advise his mistress, whose own inclinations ought first to be considered, unless she commanded him to do so, though in that case he would assure her that she had better choose an Englishman. The English hated foreigners; if the Queen were to marry Prince Philip there was no saying what might not happen—and having thus broken the ice the Bishop poured out his entire list of objections to the Spanish match, Renard rebutting them one by one and driving home his points with the phrase, skilfully caught up from his opponent's lips, about the prime importance of the Queen's own wishes, which, as he pointed out, would be disregarded if she were to be married according to her subjects' fancy. His excellent reasoning had no more effect on Gardiner's prejudice than to extract an admission that much might be said on both sides, and the Chancellor repaired to Court, where another blow awaited him, for the Queen no sooner heard that he had been talking about the marriage question with Renard than she told him “so that he might think it over” of her final decision, arrived at after many tears, never to marry at all rather than accept an Englishman (p. 343).
Immediately after the Chancellor had withdrawn, Mary sent for Paget and Renard to decide upon the next step, in view of the fact that a deputation from Parliament was importuning her for audience with the intention of
speaking in Courtenay's favour. The conclusion adopted was that Renard, in the presence of the six principal Councillors, should demand a reply to the Emperor's letter, and ask the Queen whether she would listen to a demand for her hand on behalf of Prince Philip; whereupon the Queen, after a conference pro forma with her ministers, should give a favourable answer. Gardiner, on learning that Renard had applied for audience, summoned him again at a very early hour, asked if he had instructions to make any proposal, and on Renard's reply in the affirmative, requested him to refrain until the bill on religion then before Parliament became law (p. 347). When the Queen heard of this new subterfuge she bade the ambassador, through Paget, demand audience at once of the Earl of Arundel, her Great Master of the Household. This was done, and on November 8th the plan for associating the Council with Mary's willingness to listen to Philip's suit was successfully carried out, a great move forward in the negotiations. Gardiner apparently had nothing more to say, and the Queen, who believed him to be sincerely won over to the idea of the Spanish match (p. 357), was taken somewhat by surprise when, a week later, a forlorn hope was led in Courtenay's favour by the Speaker of the House of Commons, with a number of peers spiritual and temporal and members of the Lower House at his back (pp. 363). The Speaker's discourse against a foreign marriage—he did not venture to mention Courtenay by name—was so evidently learnt in Gardiner's school that Mary lost her temper and, breaking through the usage according to which the Chancellor should have answered for her, rated the spokesman for his presumption in a style worthy of her father. Shortly afterwards she also took Gardiner to task for having inspired him to thrust Courtenay upon her and, when he confessed in tears to a fondness for Courtenay since they had been in prison together, asked whether that was a good reason why she should
marry the youth—a rejoinder that ended Gardiner's open opposition to an alliance with Philip (p. 372).
The Council's assent might now be held to have been obtained, and the second of Renard's objects achieved with such success that the arrival of an envoy from the King of the Romans charged with a proposal on behalf of the Archduke Ferdinand (pp. 318, 357–358) caused no anxiety to the ambassador, who wrote the minute for Mary's reply with his own hand (p. 360). The Emperor, for all his extreme caution, realised that there was no more need for dissembling, and wrote letters to the royal family of Portugal and his own ambassador in that country explaining why it had not been possible to press Don Luis' suit, as the Queen of England, on the advice of her most trusty councillors, had selected Philip and would accept no other foreign prince (pp. 374–378). At the same time Lorenzo Pirez, the Portuguese ambassador, who had been detained at Brussels for a month, was allowed to proceed to England on the understanding that he was to visit the Queen and return again to Portugal without saying anything about marriage; though Renard was warned to keep an eye on him and be prepared to put a stop to any undesirable activity (p. 380).
The next point to be considered was the negotiation of the marriage articles, which the Emperor's determination not to enter into any dispute with the Privy Council greatly facilitated. Here again Paget's assistance proved invaluable, for he was perfectly familiar with the points on which his colleagues were prepared to make trouble. The Emperor had intended to send the articles over with the special embassy that was to make the proposal for Mary's hand, but, as in the question whether they had better be drawn up in England or in Brussels, Paget did not agree, and Paget's opinion once more prevailed: the articles should be sent over before the ambassador started and presented to the Council so that their favourable tenour might make a good impression on the English.
Moreover, in order to make assurance doubly sure, Paget and Renard held a sort of rehearsal of the conference, in which the English statesman played the suspicious Privy Councillor, raising every objection likely to be formulated by the most hostile critic (pp. 381–382), and these objections, which mainly bore on the Emperor's right to dispose of the succession to the Low Countries and the guarantees to be exacted from Philip that he and his Spaniards would not interfere in the government of England, were duly sent to Brussels to guide the hand of him whose task it was to draft the articles. Paget, indeed, contrived to make himself so useful that his influence promised to outweigh Gardiner's in the Queen's counsels, but he appears to have been preoccupied by one consideration: what if the Queen died without heirs? In that case the Lady Elizabeth would in all probability come to the throne, and the Lady Elizabeth, with her Protestant tendencies, might recognise no obligation towards the artisan of the Spanish match. Would it not be possible to place her also in his debt, without appearing to support her in a manner that could give umbrage to the Queen? Elizabeth's position was a delicate one at this juncture, for though many signs show that Mary was anxious to be fair to, and even favour her, one was a daughter of Catherine of Aragon and the other of Anne Boleyn, and any dissembling in the younger woman was certain to be taken by the elder as indicative of the play of deplorable inherited tendencies. Now Elizabeth who was closely watched by Renard's spies, could only escape mistrust by a thorough-going abdication of all her own views, political and religious, and as she was unwilling to make this sacrifice not much time passed before she was suspected of intriguing with the French (p. 263) on grounds that seemed to the Emperor worth investigating in search of matter solid enough to warrant throwing her into the Tower (p. 281), and also of insincerity in her conversion to the old religion (p. 240). Mary, therefore,
was perhaps not reluctantly convinced of her sister's faithlessness, and both she and Renard regarded her as a dangerous woman, who might perhaps marry Courtenay, place herself at the head of popular discontent and make a bold bid for the crown (pp. 195, 228). Courtenay, however, was cherishing hopes of a far more brilliant match and is said (p. 307) to have spoken slightingly of her, whilst as time wore on it became clear that though Gardiner and the English Catholics would like to see him marry the Queen, they had no desire whatever to mate him with the heretical Elizabeth. On the other hand Henry VIII's will, which Mary's supporters had invoked too often to disregard, appointed his younger daughter second heiress.
Here it was that Paget saw his opportunity. By insisting on the irrevocable sanction given to Elizabeth's claim by Parliament and her father's testament (pp. 334–335), he sought to convince the Queen that it would be safer, and greatly contribute to her own popularity, to ask Parliament to confirm it on condition that she married Courtenay; for thus the pair would be conciliated and deprived of means of plotting. It also occurred to him that the matter might be dealt with in the marriage treaty, his aid in the negotiation of which was so much appreciated by the Queen and Renard as to lend great weight to any suggestion he might advance. If he succeeded in bringing about this match in the face of Courtenay's own party, and winning her recognition as next heiress for Elizabeth, he alone of all the Privy Council would possess an imperishable claim to the gratitude of the couple who would one day mount the throne if the Spanish match were not blessed with issue. At about the time when Mary intimated to Renard her willingness to wed Philip, Paget dropped hints to the ambassador that it might be wise to make the Queen popular with the nation by marrying Elizabeth to Courtenay (pp. 323, 334–335), and when advice was being sent to help the Emperor
in drawing up the marriage articles he brought the proposal forward in terms so pressing that the Queen, who liked it not at all, sent for Renard to put it to him. Renard half-suspected Paget of interested motives, but was too well aware of his knowledge of the state of opinion in England not to fear he might be sincere in asserting that if the Queen tried to induce Parliament to repeal the Act on which Elizabeth's right rested, Parliament would refuse—a risk which Mary's position was not strong enough to warrant her taking (p. 395). The Queen, in spite of her mistrust, did not venture to pronounce herself absolutely at once; and just before Elizabeth left London for the country, early in December, Paget and Arundel waited upon her and spoke in a strain of which Paget's own account of the interview to Renard (p. 418), perhaps does not give an entirely accurate notion. Be that as it may, one of Elizabeth's first acts when arrived at her house was to write begging the Queen to send her copes, chasubles, chalices, crosses, patens and other furniture for her chapel (p. 440). In the meantime, however, the Emperor's opinion, which had been asked through Renard, was uttered in an unfavourable sense, and determined the Queen to set her face resolutely against the project, whereupon Paget, who knew how to yield in time, expressed himself as even more hostile to it than his mistress could be (p. 472). Thus Elizabeth and Courtenay were left out of the marriage articles.
No time was lost in Brussels in making a draft of the treaty on the lines indicated by Paget, and on December 3rd Renard was able to present it to the Queen and her Council. The Emperor's covering letter (pp. 387–392) furnished the ambassador with all the necessary explanations, and instructed him to remember that the main object, which must never to be lost sight of, was that England and the Low Countries should “be paired off together, in order to afford one another mutual aid against their enemies.” If there were issue of the marriage,
Don Carlos was thus to lose the Burgundian inheritance. If not, Philip's connection with England was entirely to cease on Mary's death. All possible precautions were taken to dispell fears of foreign meddling in English affairs, and the Emperor offered to make Philip give a separate assurance, not to be incorporated in the treaty in order to avoid wounding national susceptibilities, that he would retain in his service, while in England, no Spaniards whose presence should be found objectionable. As for the dower, the sum suggested was an annual revenue of 60,000 livres de gros (about 8,000l. sterling), though a hope was held out that it might be increased if the Queen were dissatisfied. The Emperor's intention was certainly to draft the articles in such a form that no reasonable objection could be made, but, as experience taught him that “the English considered prudence in negotiation to consist in raising as many objections as they could think of,” he anticipated that each Councillor would excogitate a few by way of proving his zeal in his mistress' service. It was an agreeable surprise, therefore, when the articles returned after having been passed with only three harmless amendments (pp. 415, 435–436), which the Emperor accepted without demur. Their arrival was the signal for the departure of a brilliant special mission, composed of Counts d'Egmont and de Lalaing, MM. de Courriêres and Philip Nigri, Chancellor of the Order of the Golden Fleece, who had been in readiness for over a fortnight, and were expected to arrive in England by the end of December. The Emperor's instructions (pp. 428–431) bade them first conclude the treaty in virtue of the commission delivered to them, and then wait for a power, which Prince Philip had been told to send, enabling them to act as his proxies and pass the marriage per verba de præsenti, a dispensation for which, on account of the degree of consanguinity existing between the parties, was being solicited at Rome. Mary, on her side, was to send an embassy to perform the same ceremony in Spain, and as soon as these formalities had
been accomplished Philip should take ship for England. This was going a little too fast to please the Council, who insisted on the use by the proxies of a formula per verba de futuro, leaving the final rites to be celebrated in presence of both parties, on which occasion Philip should swear, in the sight of the people, to observe the treaty (p. 424). The Emperor acceded once more to the English demands, and straightway wrote to his son to send a second commission, empowering the ambassadors to bind him per verba de futuro, as well as the other, which efforts should, nonetheless, be made to have used. Had it been necessary to consult opinion in Spain and the Low Countries, which fortunately for the Emperor's plans it was not, it might have been found that opposition was no less strong there than in England. Eraso wrote to Philip complaining that no Spaniards were being sent on the special mission (p. 384), the Spaniards themselves were murmuring loudly against the alliance on the ground that it amounted to disinheriting Don Carlos (p. 409), and among the Flemings not a few “seemed to think the world would come to an end” (p. 434). In the last days of the year the ambassadors landed at Dover and set out on their way to London.
* * * *
If the Emperor's object in dealing with England was political: to supply Philip with a ground of vantage from which he might make sure of the Low Countries and defy France, Mary viewed her marriage in another light. There is no good reason for doubting her wholehearted devotion to her realm and desire to govern it for the best, but she was an ardent Catholic, in whose eyes worldly success could not offer compensation for the terrible fact that her people, by no fault of their own for the most part, were living and dying in mortal sin. Her unlimited faith in the Emperor prevented her from seeing that his zeal for religion waited on other considerations, his influence
alone prevented her from plunging into a reckless career back to Rome that might have lost her her crown in six months, and she welcomed the Spanish match chiefly because it promised to moor England, after years of drifting in the cross-currents of unfaithfulness, to the abiding rock of Roman Christianity. From the very first the Emperor understood that she was only to be held back by warnings, not of any risk she herself might run, for she knew no personal fear, but of the dangers with which undue haste would menace the cause of England's reduction to the fold. When he instructed his ambassadors, before Edward VI's death, to urge her to give any promise of noninterference in religious affairs that might be required by the Privy Council, he was careful to gild the pill by hinting at a mental reservation calculated to quiet her conscience (p. 65). As it turned out, however, Mary's conscience was not so easily to be satisfied, and her attitude on the question of her brother's funeral foreshadowed graver difficulties to come, a menace particularly trying to Charles' patience because, though he could not say so to his cousin, he knew that there was scant hope of making England swallow both a return to Catholicism and the Spanish match at once. His ascendancy over Mary might be trusted to prevent her from courting disaster provided she could be kept deaf to the persuasions of her English Catholic advisers in whom, as the Emperor at once recognised (p. 110), the great danger lay. Of these the most influential was Gardiner, whose high-handed behaviour (pp. 120, 169) alarmed the ambassadors; but however violent a Catholic, Gardiner had followed Henry VIII against Rome, and would not be likely to enjoy the Queen's entire confidence. Far more to be dreaded was Cardinal Pole, who had preferred exile and the loss of all he held dear to complicity in disobedience to Christ's vicar on earth; the one English churchman of the day whom no one could accuse of time-serving—a defect with which Mary had little patience. Indeed, if bitter experience
forbade her to trust her ministers, Pole only loomed the larger on her horizon, and for him, according to Renard, “she had more regard—than for all her Council put together” (p. 314); also he was particlarly dangerous in that, whilst Gardiner would perhaps have been satisfied with restoring the mass and making the appropriators of the last reign disgorge the ecclesiastical property confiscated since Henry VIII's death, the Cardinal stood for immediate reconciliation with Rome and the surrender of the abbey-lands.
The Emperor, who gave minutest attention to English affairs when once his cousin's accession had afforded him an opportunity of profitable intervention, appears to have lost no time in instructing his ministers in Italy to keep a close watch on the doings of the Roman Court, for on August 10th we find Francisco de Vargas, Imperial ambassador at Venice, addressing a letter to Pole (p. 160). He had just heard, wrote Vargas, that the Pope had received news of Mary's triumph and, on August 5th, had appointed Pole Legate to England, ordering him to lose not an hour in flying to help the Queen in her holy task. Greatly as he rejoiced to hear these tidings, Vargas continued, his duty bade him urge Pole to do nothing without the Emperor's approval, for the question required delicate handling. If God were to move the English to call the Cardinal, that would be the very best beginning possible, but if not, the Pope must consult his Majesty, “the totum continens and paranymph of the Queen and her realm,” before acting. A week later, a reply came to show that the counsel had been taken in good part, for Pole declared himself the Emperor's devoted servant and professed his intention of being guided entirely by the Imperial advice. His chief anxiety was lest the Pope should insist on his proceeding, as Vargas thought was the case, since his Holiness had sent Pole 2,000 crowns for the journey and appointed Richard Pate, Bishop designate of Worcester, nuncio in England (pp. 174–175). Pole's own letter to
the Emperor, written on August 21st (p. 176), is couched in very flattering language, but betrays a desire to carry out his commission, or at least to go to Brussels and explain his views on the subject.
Reports from England showed that there was much to be said against allowing the Legate to approach. In the first place, Gardiner and Tunstall had agreed that, for fear he might wish to marry the Queen himself (p. 207), he should be provided to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury. In the second, Mary confided to the ambassadors that she had been addressing secret instances to the Pope with the object of inducing him to remit the ecclesiastical censures and excommunications pronounced against the realm, which display of zeal had caused Legate Dandino to send a gentleman to find out whether Pole might not come at once (pp. 217–218). Renard put a stop to any such projects that might be budding in the Queen's mind by a plain statement of enormous risks to be incurred, and bade her write at once to the Pope explaining that the papal authority was “odious, not in England only, but in several parts of Europe,” and that he must forbear unless he wished to wreck all. Moreover, the communications between England and Rome had leaked out, first becoming known to a few people at home, and later to all the world through an atrocious piece of indiscretion committed at Rome by Dandino's envoy (p. 306). The Emperor's authority, firmly exercised by Renard, sufficed to convince Mary that she must be satisfied with restoring mass (p. 279) and not attempt to introduce the Pope's authority or solve the question of ecclesiastical property without the collaboration of Parliament, which could not be obtained for the present. But, in spite of messages to the same effect despatched by Charles to Pole (p. 232), it proved well-nigh impossible to make the Pope understand why, since Mary herself was favourably disposed, the whole affair should not immediately be settled in a manner highly satisfactory to both sides. In brief Julius III,
impatient of the restraint imposed on him, and by no means convinced of the Emperor's disinterestedness in wishing to retard the prodigal kingdom's return, bethought him of a subterfuge by which Pole might prosecute his journey northwards. For some time past he had caressed a project for making peace between France and the Empire, which the belligerents' attitude could not be said to have encouraged, though Imperialist successes at Hesdin and elsewhere in July inspired him to try again by means of legates to be sent to both Courts (p. 162). After a period of characteristic shuffling in successive consistories, he decided that Pole should go to promote the cause of peace (p. 257), an errand to which the Emperor could not well object, and though Pole delayed his departure on the strength of news from Brussels and England, he received, about the middle of September, the Pope's orders to set forth. Pole himself, it seems, had breathed Roman air too long not to have adopted the Roman standpoint, and began to weaken in his former decision to be guided by Charles, writing to Mary of his desire to come as near as possible—say as far as Liége (p. 279), from which place his brother, Geoffrey Pole; had just made an excursion to London, where Courtenay threatened to kill him (pp. 241–242).
Under these auspices the Legate left Rome, at precisely the time when the marriage negotiations were at their most delicate stage and it seemed doubtful whether Mary would agree to the Spanish match. He could not have chosen a moment less welcome to the Emperor, who, when Legate Dandino tactfully mentioned that the opportunity for re-establishing the papal authority in England seemed excellent, replied in terms exclusive of further discussion that there could be no question of any such thing for the present (p. 287). But when Charles learnt that the commission to treat of peace was being used as a pretext to cover Pole's approach he dispensed with all diplomatic formalities, sent Don Juan de Mendoza to meet Pole and
tell him to go no further, and instructed his ambassador at Rome, Don Juan Manrique de Lara, to tell the Pope that he must not meddle in English affairs (pp. 302–303). Pole, whose frequent letters to Mary announced that he would soon be at Brussels and urged her to allow his envoys to come and deliver verbal messages (pp. 314, 316), reached Dillingen, in Bavaria, about October 23rd, and was met there by Don Juan de Mendoza. Very unwillingly he obeyed the Emperor's orders, his protests against which (p. 326) had small chance of being heard, as he soon learnt through a letter written to him by Cardinal Cristoforo del Monte (p. 325) to say that the Pope had decided to leave the conduct of the English matters in the Emperor's hands, another from Mary, sent at the Emperor's bidding and telling him that his presence in England would be harmful, and a curt note from Charles himself (p. 346). When once Pole's mind was made up, a concourse of opinion in the spiritual and temporal heads of Christendom failed to shake him, though but a short time before he had filled his letters with the Emperor's praises (p. 314), and he now made no secret of his disgust at being detained in Bavaria (pp. 345, 357), complaining so bitterly that Renard suspected him of wishing to come to England in order to champion Courtenay's cause. The Queen's word, however, had now been given, and Renard, satisfied that she would not break it, thought it might be wise to allow Pole to visit Brussels, where he would be able to do no more harm than at Dillingen (p. 396). The Emperor was reluctant, for whilst Mary begged that permission might be granted, the Cardinal's own letters (pp. 366, 422) showed that he would be satisfied with nothing less than proceeding speedily to England, his admonitions to the Queen (p. 419) revealed a conviction that the Divine favour would be withdrawn from her unless she immediately set about placing her realm's unconditional submission at the Pontiff's feet, a measure to which Renard knew the Council would never consent if it were to mean the
restitution of the abbey-lands (p. 329), and the anxiety for his coming displayed by both the French King and the English heretics (pp. 412, 413) was in itself enough to feed suspicion. Still the Cardinal's grievances had been voiced until all Christendom rang with them, and the Emperor may well have considered the scandal he had created at Dillingen so bad that nothing he could do at Brussels would be worse, so when early in December Fray Pedro de Soto came and implored him to relent, Charles held out hopes that the long-withheld permission to come as far as the Imperial Court might soon be granted (p. 437).
Renard, commenting on Pole's inordinate desire to go to England, said (p. 425): “The sight of one's native land is sweet and delectable, but if he heard what I see with my eyes he would not hasten on his journey,” and there was no lack of signs to show that a large portion of Mary's subjects did not intend to be forced back into the Roman fold without a desperate effort to escape. The symptom most disquieting to the Emperor and his advisers was the rapidity with which public opinion on religious questions appeared to change. They were prepared to face an unsatisfactory state of affairs at the beginning of the reign, and to put up with English stiffneekedness; it was no surprise to find the heretics agitating and plotting against the Queen, especially as England was infested with foreign refugees who feared that if she remained on the throne they would have to set out again on their travels (pp. 166, 169, 173, 179). Northumberland's recantation and confession on the scaffold produced an unexpected effect, for the disarray provoked among the Protestants looked like disintegration when compared with the orderly and persistent return to Catholic usage carried out in the London churches and many country towns, and the ambassadors believed that if the foreign preachers could be turned out all would go well (pp. 198–199). Renard's opinion is perhaps not of great value on this question, but it may be worth noting that he and
his colleagues attached enormous importance to the influence of reformers from abroad in fomenting and maintaining English Protestantism, which they did not consider strong enough to stand by the force of its native elements alone. They never ceased urging the Privy Council to take measures against all refugees, and found Gardiner supplied with an excellent device for frightening them out of the kingdom: Gardiner would summon a preacher to appear at his house, and the preacher, expecting to be sent to the Tower if he obeyed, would hastily leave for the continent (p. 217). A large number departed, but many remained and it was hoped that Parliament would arm the executive with the means to proceed against them.
The session of Parliament, elections for which were held in September, was the occasion of much anxiety to the Queen. It had been fixed to open on October 5th, after the coronation festivities, but about a fortnight before that solemnity took place Gardiner and his supporters in the Council tried to persuade their mistress that it would be better, in order to sound the state of opinion in the country, to hold Parliament first (pp. 238–239). Renard, who foresaw that the object of this move was none other than to force the Queen to take cognisance of the Council's wishes before the crown had been placed on her head, warned her not to consent. Mary's conscientious scruples about the use of the title of Supreme Head of the Church and the creation of bishops to fill vacancies caused by the deprivation of all the Protestant prelates against whom any means of proceeding could be devised also tormented her (p. 239); but Renard contrived to overcome them, and gave her assistance in obviating the difficulties presented by the coronation oath to such good purpose that though not a professed theologian, he conceived no mean opinion of his abilities in that direction (p. 298). Mary had entertained hopes that her first Parliament would prove docile enough to allow of a
satisfactory settlement of the entire religious question (pp. 216–218), but the outlook for the session appeared far less favourable to Renard, who wrote that the return of Sir Philip Hoby and Sir Richard Morison, heretics both, who had been Edward VI's ambassadors with the Emperor, together with the letter in which Thomas Cranmer protested against false statements about his having offered to say mass in the Queen's presence, made prospects of success less bright than they had been at the beginning of the reign (p. 240). A few days after the opening he reported that “Parliament was not going well,” for the English “would rather get themselves massacred than let go” of the abbey-lands (p. 305). It was to be feared that the French might be able to turn discontent to account if the Queen persisted in trying to right religious affairs at one stroke (p. 307). The divorce between Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was annulled and the treason laws repealed, but as for measures sanctioning a return to Rome, Mary waited in vain and Parliament reached a standstill, wasting time in debating “articles that might well puzzle a General Council,” whilst outside the House a disputation between doctors of the old and new religions organised by Gardiner degenerated into unseemly wrangling (pp. 322–323). In these circumstances Mary informed Renard that Parliament was willing to repeal all the Acts on religion passed during the last reign if she would consent to say nothing about the Pope or his authority (p. 308). Renard and Dr. Thirlby, Bishop of Norwich, who had been called over from his embassy at Brussels to help in the session, agreed that it would be well to be content with this qualified success until a more favourable season, whilst Gardiner differed, and Mary's conscience made delay exceedingly painful, but the Emperor's influence, seconded by Paget, prevailed (pp. 310, 349), and the Houses rose without any serious trouble taking place (p. 419).
* * * *
The approval by a large majority of a return to Henry VIII's settlement, however satisfactory in itself, was no earnest of a desire on England's part to go further on the road to Rome. On the last day of the session a dog, with tonsured crown, a rope round its neck and a scandalous writing attached was flung through a window of the presence chamber (p. 418), an act that spoke volumes, and as the year drew to a close Renard's gloomy accounts of the situation suggested that neither Parliament's compliance nor the Council's passing of the marriage articles disposed of the difficulties attending the realisation of the two projects dearest to Mary and the Emperor. Indeed the danger had become graver in that it was everywhere and nowhere, hinted at in the attitude of many prominent men and no longer to be met by any direct or overt means. Renard, who certainly desired the Spanish match to take place, as its successful conclusion would mean honour and profit to himself, saw the outlook so black that he sought protection against the blame that would overwhelm him if disaster befell. “If the alliance is a great one, it is also dangerous for his Highness's person,” he wrote, “and if there is any revolt it will turn out very profitable to the French because of the great difficulty there would be in rescuing his Highness” (p. 431). The King of France was preparing to send over a great mission under Marshal St. André to foment and guide disaffection, which was making its appearance among several of Mary's erstwhile supporters, indignant at their reception when the deputation from Parliament begged her not to marry a foreigner. Gardiner and Rochester were still faithful, but both had a sore grievance, for their championing of Courtenay had offered Paget an opportunity, which he seized, of gaining the Queen's confidence. In knowledge of affairs, adroitness and tact Paget was as good a minister as his mistress could have hoped to find, but he was of more than doubtful orthodoxy and so bitterly hated by the English Catholics, who after all had solid claims
to her gratitude and might boast of having proved their devotion in trying times, that she was forced to consider whether the alienation of her old friends were not too high a price to be paid for his collaboration (pp. 444–445). The Lady Elizabeth had been treated in a manner that showed the Queen's mistrust, and became a potential menace of increasing magnitude as disappointment at the fruits of the first months of the reign swelled the number of malcontents, in whose hands Courtenay, also, was now a weapon destined to turn out most dangerous to those who tried to use it.
There was no community of ideas between Mary and any one of the parties with whose help she might have governed; her own highest conception of her country's good was shared by no one except Cardinal Pole, of whom her chosen guide and spiritual father, the Emperor, instructed her to beware. From the moment she proclaimed herself Queen onwards a series of disappointments awaited her, and her few successes only pointed the way towards problems ever more difficult of solution. Her one hope lay in Philip's coming. With a Catholic prince beside her on the throne, she trusted, all would be well. His mind would deal with matters “not of the profession of ladies,” and she might be blessed with an heir to lead England on in the right path. Thus, her duty accomplished, she might die in peace. Conscience, not inclination, impelled her to wed.