Edward VI: March 1551, 1-15

Pages 77-81

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Edward VI 1547-1553. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1861.

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March 1551, 1-15

March. 7.
301. Sir John Masone and Sir William Pickering to the Council. Sir William Pickering arrived at Blois on the 26th ult., the King then being absent at the hunting, 22 English miles from that place. They had audience of him at Vendôme, on the afternoon of Wednesday the 3d inst. Report at great length the particulars of their conference, at which the King seemed willing to accede to the propositions of Pickering, and said that he had caused the Queen of Scots to repair to the Court from her house at Chateaudun, would speak with her that day, and as shortly as might be would give such a resolute answer as he doubted not would well content Pickering. Next morning the Constable sent to inform them that the King was going a hunting that day, and on the following to Chateau Renauld, there to remain till Sunday; wherefore recommended them to return to Blois, whither the King would come on Monday or Tuesday at the farthest, when they should have their answer. As soon as that is known, Pickering will return to England, for five or six days at the utmost, on most urgent private business, travelling by post; in the meantime send this by Francisco to apprize them how far matters have proceeded. [Eight pages.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir John Masone's Letter-Book. [Eight pages.]
March 7.
302. Sir John Masone to Cecil. Is so feeble that he finds it a pain even to dictate to an amanuensis, but nevertheless, be he never so weak, he must bestow a few lines on the acknowledgment of Cecil's great friendship in procuring him his revocation so readily. "Master Pickering, with weeping eyes, hath so earnestly declared the necessity of his return into England, as I have adventured for him that that few would do for their friends, which is my life. And the rather have I done it, for that he hath laid his honesty to pledge to be here again within three weeks, which time I intend to pass in some village with mine ass, which I am enjoined to suck in mine old days. If the nurse's milk, as physicians say, do much to the nature of the child, you shall see me grow to a witty man." Trusts he shall have his friendship as much in the speedy sending back of Sir William Pickering. [One page.]
March 17.
303. Henry II., King of France, to King Edward VI. Acknowledging receipt of his letter by Sir William Pickering, and his concession of such points as had been urged by Lansac; for the completing of what remains will shortly despatch a gentleman who will pass through England to Scotland. [Countersigned by Bochetel. One page. French.]
March 17.
304. Sir John Masone to Cecil. Requests that there may be no delays in the business of Sir William Pickering, who has promised to return within 18 or 20 days. "These men sithen this last commission seem much altered in disposition towards us, and in all men's opinions we are like this year as the last to be friends. If they mean otherwise, they be devils and no men." The Master of Erskine, whom he takes to be a very honest man, and given to peace and unity, will, with M. de Lansac, within two days be in England. [One page.]
March 18.
305. Same to the Council. The French King, having been detained longer than he intended, did not return till late on Wednesday last. On Saturday Pickering and he dined with M. de Guise and the Constable, and thereafter had audience of the King, at which time they expected to have had answer; but that was deferred till this Tuesday, when the King sent M. de Lansac to Pickering with a fair chain of 700 crowns, very little lacking. Lansac mentioned that the French Ambassador in Scotland, the Master of Erskine, and himself were appointed to act as Commissioners on the affairs of the frontiers; but the fourth, who it is supposed will be a bishop, had not been determined upon. Lansac is to be despatched on Thursday, and is to visit the King of England and the Council on his way. The Constable and Masone have had much conversation on affairs in general, in the course of which the former desired that these visitations between the two Princes might be often, and that now and then the King of England would send to visit this King with some commodity of the realm, either with dogs, bows, or arrows, &c., and his master again would do the like with horse, harness, and other the commodities of this realm. Such, he said, had been the old manner of entertaining of friendship. The Constable afterwards alluded to their having suppressed the late lewd book entitled La response du peuple Anglois, and wished that the English would contend with them in signs of amity. He then said that their Lordships, in denying him a safe conduct, which at the first bruit had not been most pleasantly taken, had done Lord Maxwell a better turn than they were aware of, for he was in Scotland in three days, and in case he had passed by England it would have cost him much more. The Constable farther complained of the tardiness of justice in England, instancing the case of a robbery of a French merchant at Dover; also complained that M. de Lansac's servant had been robbed on this side of Calais during his recent journey, notwithstanding he had a passport. M. d'Estrees, the Master of the Ordnance, has lately been to Brest for the purpose of shipping certain ordnance and munition under the charge of a Scottish gentleman. These are said to be for Scotland, but Masone is much afraid that they are intended for Ireland. The Scots begin to mislike very much their coming hither; and in case they were at home again, he thinks a great many of the best of them would hardly be allured out. The building of the forts in Scotland is also distasteful to them, as they fancy that these are meant more for the keeping short of them than for the safety of the country. Since her coming hither, the Queen has well provided for herself and her friends, having obtained 50,000 francs per ann. for the maintenance of her estate, and 50,000 more to bestow as she shall see cause. The intended disarmament of the galleys has been stayed, it is supposed, on account of some design against Parma. Some of Chastillon's captains have been sent to Provence to have 24 ensigns of soldiers in readiness to march at an hour's notice. Some think there is to be a sudden exploit upon Lorraine, whence Mons. de Vaudemont has lately arrived. Mr. Dudley had informed him that two of the English garrison of Berwick who had long and secret conference with the Vidame while at Edinburgh, are presently in France; having heard no more from him, presumes that Mr. Dudley has communicated with their Lordships thereon. The King goes to Brittany shortly after Easter. Hopes that Pickering will arrive ere then. [Six pages.] Incloses,
305. I. Complaint by Jean Turquois, servant of M. de Lansac, that he had been robbed of 41 crowns of the sun near Calais, notwithstanding he had exhibited his passport. [In French. Half a page.]
305. II. Letter by John Watson to Masone, as to the suppressing of the book complained of; "and as that matter is well appeased, so the preachers of Paris this Lent speak their pleasure of us, and, forgetting all honesty, call us heretics and count us with the Lutherans by name; and Dr. Smyth's good furtherance lacks not thereunto in his letters." [Half a page. Both indorsed by Masone.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book, without the inclosures. [Seven pages.]
March 20.
306. Sir John Masone to the Council. Requesting a safe conduct for the Archbishop of Glasgow and his retinue, desiring to go to and return from Scotland through England. [Half a page.]
March 21.
307. Henry II., King of France, to King Edward VI. Re-credentials of the Sieur de Lansac, sent to England on the matters contained in the letter brought by Sir William Pickering [Countersigned by Bochetel. One page. French.]
March 23.
308. Sir Richard Morysine to Cecil. Perceives by Mr. Hales that his ciphering now doth as much cumber Cecil as his lying too open at the first gave occasion for warning him to play closer. Sees that in vitium ducit culpœ fuga si caret arte, and will from henceforth mean to hit the mean. Were Cecil in his place, believes that he would send few of those things open-faced that are now covered with cipher. Mr. Hales says he is too merry. He must answer and say they be morosiores quam quibus morem gerere vel queat vel velit, that cannot allow him more mirth than he at any times hitherto has used. Mr. Hales writes that he has spoken to Cecil to help that the Lords may license him to have his diets in leather. "If you think I could be content to put you in silk, see that you help to clad me in leather." It is a mean spur to service to be always wanting; but he dares not touch this string, it maketh him all day after out of temper. [Three pages.]
March 23.
309. Sir John Masone to the Council. Although the Master of Erskine and M. de Lansac were to have left last Thursday, they had been detained until this present Tuesday, "the occasion whereof is the far lying of the Chancellor from the Court, without whom, albeit he be removed from the seal, they conclude no great matter here; so much do they esteem a wise and a faithful servant, notwithstanding some displeasure taken with him upon a private matter. The Master of Erskine seems to be of a plainer sort than many are of that country, and to mean very much the sincere reconciliation of the two nations together. M. de Lansac has everywhere made honourable report of their Lordships' courteous handling of him. M. d'Estrees has returned, but the vessel mentioned in his letter of the 18th has been stayed. The Rhinegrave has returned from Denmark to a house of his wife in Gascony, albeit he was in sundry places by the way narrowly laid for. The Turk prepares 200 galleys for the recovery of Africa, to the great fear of all the coast of Italy, Sicily, and the islands in the Mediterranean. Much practice of late to make Parma hold of the French King in like manner as the state of Mirandola, and M. de Thermes, under pretence of going to Rome as Ambassador, has been some time there for that purpose, to the concluding whereof M. St. Pierre has very lately been despatched hence in post. The Bishop of Rome winks at this, and thereby has provoked the choler of the Emperor, who cannot but must much storm thereat, since it will give the French King a hold to do great harm in Italy when he pleases. There has been a great skirmish between Don Fernando and Signor Octavio touching the question of the frontiers of Parma and Piacenza, wherein many men are miscarried; and news have been received that Signor Octavio has beaten down all the Emperor's arms and crosses, and planted in their places the arms of France. Recommends the case of the French merchant at Dover, as one very evident, even by the deposi tions of the inhabitants of Dover, and demanding speedy justice. Begs them to hasten the return of Pickering. [Three pages. Partly in cipher, deciphered.]
Eod. die. Copy of the preceding in Sir J. Masone's Letter-Book. [Three pages.]