Mary: November 1556

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1861.

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'Mary: November 1556', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 273-278. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Mary: November 1556", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 273-278. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "Mary: November 1556", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 273-278. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

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November 1556

Nov. 8.
554. Dr. Wotton to Secretaries Sir William Petre and Sir John Bourne. The Court has left Fontainebleau, and the King goes abroad to hunt and pastime, and will keep his feast of the Order at Bois de Vincennes by Paris. As the King of Navarre, who has been long looked for and has never been at the Court since he took that title, is to be here shortly, it is thought the French King will return to Paris before Michaelmas to meet him, because he comes with a great train. It is reported here by the bankers, that Duke Octavio Farnese has submitted to King Philip, and for better assurance of the conditions between them, sends his son to continue with the King his uncle; which news cannot be very pleasant to this Court. Also it is said that one of the sons of the King of the Romans is to be married to the elder of the two unmarried daughters of the Duke of Ferrara: this seems rather strange considering the terms on which the Duke stands with the French King, and it had been much spoken of here that she should be married to the Duke of Nemours. Hears that a servant of Dudley, and another Englishman of that company, two tall men both, having robbed and shamefully murdered a French merchant by Rouen, were lately set upon wheels for it; "which is a most painful kind of death, as though they might not have died as easily at Tyburn." This act shows what great plenty of money is stirring among them and their companions. [One page.]
Nov. 9. 555. The Council to Dr. Wotton. His letter of the 29th ult. has been received, and his proceedings are approved by her Majesty, whose pleasure is that her Commissioners shall remain and meet those of the French King on the 18th, provided they keep the engagement, and trusts that the question of the Sacrette may be then debated and ended. Since receipt of his letter, the French Agent having had audience, stated that he was instructed to require the said Sacrette from her Majesty, and to request the meeting of the Border Commission should be deferred till spring, without alluding to what had already been said to Wotton on these points. With reference to the former her Majesty had maintained her ground and her knowledge of the support and countenance given to the Killigrews by the French King, who would find that they who could be traitors to their own Sovereign, in the end would show themselves the same to others that trusted them; and as to the latter, that having been advised by Wotton of the appointment for the 18th, it could not but seem strange he should now move this to her. The owner of the house wherein the French Agent was lodged, hearing that the Bishop of Acqs had arrived and the Agent was on the point of departure, had demanded his rent; but the Agent answered him in round terms that it was the custom of England that Ambassadors should be lodged free, and therefore willed him to require the rent from her Majesty, who he thought would see the same discharged, for he would pay him none. The owner accordingly applied to the Council, requesting that as he could not have the rent by fair means, he might be at liberty to arrest the Agent for it. Had sent to the Agent to explain that while the Queen had houses of her own she was content to lodge the Ambassadors free; but now, these being otherwise bestowed for public uses, and her Majesty having scarce houses to serve her own and the King's turn, they thought it no reason that either she should forbear her own necessary houses to lodge him, or pay for his lodging in any other place. If she had had the commodity to show him the like graciosity as to others of his sort heretofore, she would willingly have done so; but having no means thereto, he must be content to be used as Ambassadors both are in all other realms and have been also in this, till now of late years. What the Agent will do they know not yet; but if he still refuses to pay the man his rent, they cannot in a place of justice let the party to do what he may by order of law for the recovery of his money. Inform him of these particulars, as in case any of the Agent's staff should be arrested, and he, according as he has done in other things, should make the worst thereof, Wotton may be able to declare the very truth of the circumstances. [Draft. Ten pages.]
Nov 12.
556. Dr. Wotton to Queen Mary. Having this day received a letter from one of her Majesty's subjects at Rouen, to the effect that if he would send a servant thither he should be informed of matters of great importance, had immediately dispatched his Secretary with orders, that if he found the matter weighty, he should ride straight thence in post to her Majesty with it. And in the evening a letter from a gentleman, named Christopher Chudleigh, mentions that certain conspiracies are being wrought against Calais, Guisnes, and Hampnes, which the King and Constable are made to believe are only victualled for 20 days, and that Dudley and the rebels have promised to deliver Calais to the King: that men of war are mustered at Rouen to take Calais, and that Testu, the Constable's Secretary, had arrived at Rouen, which was thought very strange, as it was also thought of the gifts which Dudley and his fellows have had from the French King. Has dispatched another in diligence with this letter to Calais, partly to warn them again to take good heed, and also that her Majesty may be advertised of it, as it seems of importance and should with all speed be looked to. [Cipher deciphered. Two pages.]
Nov. 15.
557. Same to same. The bearer his servant has matter of importance to declare. Trusts her Majesty will provide for the danger likely to ensue from it as its weight requires, and hereafter have such trust of the French King's fair words as experience shows they deserve to have. James Chillester and Richard Vincent, who had fled the realm, have been with him confessing their offence and humbly suing for pardon, which he trusts may be granted. Incloses a letter to the Council and one to himself from them (missing). On the 14th received the Council's letter of the 9th, which for lack of passage was somewhat longer a coming, and immediately certified the Constable that the English Commissioners would remain at Calais till the arrival of those on the French part at the day appointed. Sends the letter mentioned in his despatch of the 12th (missing), and the Constable's reply now delivered. [Partly in cipher, deciphered. Two pages.] Inclosing,
557. I. The Constable Montmorency to Dr. Wotton. St. Germain-en-Laye, 15th November 1556. The Commissioners have set out four or five days ago. [French. Half a page.]
Nov. 17.
558. Dr. Wotton to Queen Mary. Trusts that his packet of the 12th has been received. On the 15th dispatched his Secretary merely with credentials, but lest he should have been stayed now, writes what the said Secretary was instructed to report touching Dudley's designs on Guisnes and other places. Dudley has told the French King that there are only 300 men in Guisnes, which would require 2,000 for its defence, and that it has only provisions for six weeks. The drum has gone at Rouen to gather men of war who are sent to Abbeville. The King, besides rewards to the rest, has given Dudley 2,000 crowns and a letter to a rich gentlewoman in Dudley's favour to marry with her. The King and the Constable are to be in Normandy very shortly, and all this is with a view to surprise or besiege her Majesty's towns there. All is confirmatory of the former reports. Various ships laden with armour and ordnance have gone to Rouen, and 18 ensigns of foot and 1,000 horse will be speedily at Abbeville. One of her Majesty's subjects has recently been asked by a gentleman of the King's chamber whether Dudley's brother was not Captain of Hampnes? and being answered in the affirmative, "Why then," quoth the Frenchman, "he may do the French King's pleasure," which words the said subject suspects very much. Hears that 8,000 or 10,000 men of war are being gathered in the Boulognois. Has much fear, unless her Majesty has provided or shall provide suddenly for this danger. Yesterday the Duke of Guise took leave for Piedmont, accompanied by his two brothers, the Duke of Aumale, the Marquis d'Elbœuf, the Duke of Nemours, and others: they shall find there all ready 9,000 Swiss, 500 men-at-arms, a good number of light horse, and 20 ensigns of French infantry, besides those previously there. The Duke of Ferrara's Ambassador is expected in a day or two, and it is thought will bring an answer from his master for the French King's purpose. Is much afraid that henceforth his letters will not be suffered to pass. [Cipher, deciphered. Four pages.]
Nov. 30.
559. Same to same. Trusts that his Secretary and letters have arrived. Had hoped to have received further information from one William Lant, who had been in communication with his Secretary, but not having heard from or seen him, incloses a letter (missing) from Hugh Offley, a merchant who had introduced Lant and the Secretary to each other, in reply to one from Wotton making inquiries regarding him. On the 27th had brought to him the inclosed letter (missing), written by Thomas Stafford to the Constable, whereby her Majesty may perceive the man's godly mind and purpose. The person from whom he had the letter says that Stafford names himself to be a lord, and bears strangers in hand that if her Majesty were dead he were next heir to the crown of England. Also that Dudley still continues his practices upon Calais, and has secret intelligence with some of the merchants there who like nothing the fashion of religion now used in England. Dudley and his people prepare to go to sea, and had asked Wotton's informant to accompany them, but as he refused he was not made privy to their intent, which, however, he supposes is to keep the narrow seas whilst the French shall execute their enterprise on Calais and Guisnes by land, in order to stop the passage and prevent the transmission of provisions and aid. Whether this be true or not, her Majesty by sending some merchants to Normandy and Brittany may soon ascertain. In addition to other commissions, hears that the King has sent for captains of the marine to set them a work, and amongst other captains retained, Tutty, who served before with 50 light English horse, has now his commission renewed for the 100. Crayer, too, is sent for, and three Scottish captains have commission each for 100 Scottish horse, and is said other four Scottish captains have a like commission. The Marquis De las Naves and Don Luis Davila were here and went to the Court; but prior to seeing the King and Queen spent an hour and a half in the Constable's chamber. Thinks from this long interview that they had commission to talk of some greater matter than they seemed to come for, but whereof knows not. Kirkandry [Kirkaldy] offers to serve her Majesty for the like pension he had formerly in England, wherever she pleases; and whether in England, the Low Countries, or here, says he shall have good intelligence of the affairs of Scotland and of France by his intimacy with those of both nations. He affirms that what is above written as to the sending of horsemen from Scotland is true; and although Cockburn, one of the said captains, who goes now in diligence by England into Scotland to make his band, says he is appointed to have it here by the end of January, Kirkandry thinks they cannot be so soon made, not by a month or more, and that their number is rather greater than what has been stated; also he says that the King trusts to find means that the Bishops and clergy of Scotland shall pray for them, under the colour that this war is the Pope's and not the French King's. Tutty reckons to have his band out of England, for of those who are here few are able to arm and horse themselves, and those who call themselves gentlemen will not serve under him. Further, in case Crayer has his band again, as it is thought he shall, then will he to fetch his men from England unless her Majesty secretly takes some order for the let of it. Claver, another English captain, lies in prison at Amiens for a spy; a worthy reward for his long service. Crayer, who has married a rich widow, has come to the Court and his commission is being written out; he goes to Picardy, whither the Admiral is said to have gone, and the Council have done nothing this last fortnight but dispatched captains both of the marine and army. Duke D'Aumale did not go with his brother, but followed him a day or two after in post. The Prince of Ferrara has not yet gone. Some say the Duke of Guise goes to Marseilles, and thence by sea to Rome; others say to Naples. The fever has left the Dauphin, but he comes not yet abroad. The Queen of Scots seems to be meetly well amended, and is expected soon at Court. M. de Bonnivet, a worthy gentleman and well-esteemed, colonel of the infantry in Piedmont, died yesterday; it is said he will be succeeded by the Vidame of Chartres. Oliver Wrothe, brother to Sir Thomas Wrothe, desires to obtain their Majesties' favour to return home, although he says he might have a good marriage here and also be retained in service at a far better living than he looks for at home. Sends herewith a letter from Wrothe to him. It was of him that the gentleman of the King's chamber inquired whether Lord Dudley was brother to Dudley. Wrothe would fain be out of this country, having her Majesty's favour; as would many more, including Henry Killigrew, who still continues his suit. Hears that Marshal St. André goes to Picardy, and that the report of the Duke of Guise taking ship at Marseilles for Rome is incorrect; but he will go fair and softly to Lyons, where the Prince of Ferrara and the Duke D'Aumale will join him, in order to go to Piedmont. It is said they will set upon Parma, and that their numbers are 26,000 foot and 4,000 horse. [Cipher, deciphered. Seven pages.] Incloses,
559. I. Wrothe to Wotton. Paris, 22d November 1556. Having by ignorance frequented the company of some in England who afterwards were committed to prison, and being a poor young man and fearful of getting into trouble, had fled hither, where he has lived quietly, saving sometimes he has been in company with such here as be offenders. Begs their Majesties' pardon and permission to return to his native country. [One page.]
Nov. 30.
560. Dr. Wotton to Sir William Petre. The French King has caused to be sent to Picardy divers files called limes sourdes, which will very easily and noiselessly cut through any great chains, also instruments to sap and break walls, and a bridge to cast over a ditch although it be very large. An Italian miner, who promises to do great things, has likewise been sent thither. Thus, late and cold as it is, they evidently intend to do somewhat, and if these things be able to do such feats as it is pretended they can do, sees not what defence will serve against them, but only great strength of men. The person who brought Thomas Stafford's letter to Wotton is the same of whom Petre inquired in his last whether he kept company with the rebels; had not named him in his letter to the Queen, as every one in like case fears to be named among the whole Council lest by some of them it might be spoken abroad, whereby their lives would be in peril here. The Secretary of the French Ambassador desires to be recommended to Petre, excusing himself for not taking leave of him for fear of suspicion, but says he is quite at his command. [Cipher, deciphered. Two pages.]