Mary: December 1557

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

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'Mary: December 1557', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 346-354. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/mary/pp346-354 [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "Mary: December 1557", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 346-354. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/mary/pp346-354.

. "Mary: December 1557", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 346-354. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/mary/pp346-354.

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December 1557

Dec. 1.
Rome.
688. Same to same. Since his letter of the 27th ult. accounts have been received of the death of the Queen of Poland, which took place in the duchy of Bari, in the realm of Naples, whereof she was Duchess by inheritance, and whither she had returned about Easter last year. Notwithstanding besides her son, the King, she has left two daughters in Poland, she has by her last will appointed King Philip heir to her whole duchy of Bari, which is estimated at 150,000 ducats per annum. She left in Venice above a million of gold that she had conveyed out of Poland; before leaving which country she lent to the Duke of Alva 500,000 crowns for carrying on the wars in Naples. To the steward of her household she has given as many towns and castles as draws to 30,000 crowns per annum, and made him a Count. The entire residue she has left to his Majesty. The Pope at present sends a gentleman in post to his Majesty to assay to get for some of his this duchy of Bari, which is said to be the chiefest thing next the crown in all the realm of Naples. Had again on the 28th ult. made most humble suit for audience to his Holiness, but his answers to those who move him of it are such that they stand rebuked and dare not speak anymore; so perceives that the Pope will not gladly speak with him. On the night of the 29th another post arrived from Chetwood, relating, as far as he can perceive, to the suit with Tyrrell. This post come to his Majesty's postmaster here unknown to Carne. He brought letters from the King to Cardinal Pacheco which he delivered next morning. In the afternoon the post came to him and delivered two letters from private individuals in favour of Chetwood's suit here. Had asked whether he brought any letters for him from her Majesty or the Council, and whether she or they had been advertised of his coming, to both of which questions he received a reply in the negative. This he thought somewhat strange. Yesterday sent to Cardinal Pacheco desiring to speak with him, but found he had gone to confer with the Pope upon the letters which he had received from his Majesty. This morning went to him, and declared to him, because he is Vice-protector here for Cardinal Pole, the repeated suits which he had made for audience and the strangeness used therein by the Pope without occasion given either by her Majesty or any of her people. Pacheco informed him that the reason why the Pope would not gladly speak with him is that he fears to be addressed on the subject of Cardinal Pole's legation, wherein he can make no answer that would satisfy her Majesty. Told Pacheco that the Pope had said to him that Cardinal Caraffa could better settle that matter with his Majesty than his Holiness could here, and he would commit it to him; and therefore, having advertised her Majesty of this, his Holiness needed not to fear that he should be troubled therewith, unless upon further command from her, and that he trusted Caraffa would provide for this point of the legation in such sort as all parties should be contented. Farther said, why he desired to have audience was that he understood the Pope had received some ill informations from England, from some one unknown, which had caused him to change his resolution of committing Chetwood's suit to Caraffa; which informations must necessarily touch her Majesty or her Council else his Holiness would not act as he did. Therefore requested Pacheco to ascertain what information the Pope had received, and as near as possible from whom; this he promised to do when he finds opportunity. Pacheco then showed him the letter which he had received from his Majesty by the post (designated by the King as her Majesty's, likely being so informed) desiring him among other matters to commend her Majesty's causes to the Pope as occasion required. He also showed him that yesterday when declaring this his Majesty's pleasure, his Holiness complained that her Majesty had caused all the letters conveyed by his messenger to England to be taken from him, though they were afterwards restored; and said that if any man in Christendom had done this, save her Majesty, he would have made him know that he had not done well therein. Informed Pacheco that he had never heard of such a thing, wherefore thinks that this must have formed part of the informations received by the Pope on the 12th ult. Pacheco had thought this post was one of her Majesty's, and was much surprised when Carne told him that he had come hither unknown to her or the Council. [Five pages.]
Dec. 1.
Guisnes.
689. Lord Grey to Queen Mary. Presumes her Majesty has been informed by William Drury of the journey which he made to Rinpan, Rety, and Arbrytayn [Ardingham], which were kept by the French, and how he purposed to make another to a church called Busshing, strongly fortified by the enemy and much annoying to this frontier. Last Monday at 9 p.m., accompanied by Aucher the Marshal of Calais, Alexander Captain of Newnham Bridge, Sir Henry Palmer, his son and his cousin Lewis Dyves, with such horse and foot as could be conveniently spared, he proceeded to Busshing. As both the weather and the ways served well for the purpose he took with him two cannons and a sacre, and reached Busshing before day-break; when after surrounding it with 200 foot and harquebusiers, he sent an officer to summon it to surrender. To this the Captain there,—a man of good estimation, sent thither on the preceding day with 12 men by Senarpont, the Captain of Boulogne,— replied that he was not minded to surrender it, but would keep it with the men which he had (about 40 in number) even to the death, with many words of bravery. Whereupon he oaused the gunners to bring down the artillery to plant, and then shot off immediately ten or twelve times, but for all this they would not yield. At length after the cannon had made an indifferent breach, the defenders made signs to parley and would gladly have rendered; but deeming it not meet to abuse her Majesty's service, and having Sir Henry Palmer and some others of his men hurt, he refused to receive them. So according to the laws of arms they put as many to the sword as could be gotten at the entry of the breach, and all the rest were blown up with the steeple at the razing thereof, and so all slain. The steeple, which was made very strong and rampered within, wholly separated in effect from the body of the church, could not have been won in anywise without the cannon. At the assault two of his men were slain out of hand, and seven more are hurt, among whom is Sir Henry Palmer, shot through the arm near the shoulder. Palmer, as he always has done, served very well and is worthy of praise; and if her Majesty would be pleased to let him know that his service appears acceptable to her, is well assured that it would do him more good and be a greater comfort to him than any kind of surgery, physic, or worldly treasure. Trusts he shall recover well, although his hurt is somewhat dangerous. Last night returned safely with all their artillery and carriage. Requests his poor service may be accepted in good part, and will not cease to annoy the enemy as occasion shall here at any time best require. [Two pages.]
Dec. 2.
Brussels.
690. Ruy Gomez de Silva, Conde de Mela, to Queen Mary. His Majesty writes to her in recommendation of Barbara Fringer, widow of Lucas Fringer, an old servant of the Queen, left by her husband in much poverty and without means of supporting herself or her son Redrigo. Begs her to have pity upon the widow and orphan. [Spanish. One page.]
Dec. 3.
Rome.
691. Sir Edward Carne to same. All his efforts to obtain an audience of the Pope since the 12th ult. having proved unavailing, he has given a memorial to Cardinal Pacheco, Vice-protector of England, to move his Holiness thereabouts. What shall follow from it he cannot tell, for as yet he has received no answer. Hears from a credible source that the Pope's appetite decays otherwise than it was wont, whereupon men do suspect the great age that he has; but as far as Carne can learn, he is strong enough. [One page.]
Dec. 11.
Rome.
692. Same to same. Although since his letter of the 4th, letters have this week come from Venice, Naples, and other parts of Italy, he hears no news, but all is quiet. On the 9th the Abbot of St. Salutis, lately in Cardinal Pole's service in England, came to visit him, and amongst other things mentioned that a friend of his in Venice, Gaspar Petigliano, a Piedmontese, informed him that Roger de Tassis, the King's post-master in Venice, assured him that there came to his hands divers letters sent from England to the Pope by a great Bishop of England against Cardinal Pole, and that therefore De Tassis stayed the said letters. These, he said, he would have inclosed in others to the Cardinal, had he not been afraid that it would come to the Pope's knowledge that he had intercepted them. This was more than four months ago. The Abbot did not know the Bishop's name, but mentioned the circumstance that Carne might apprize her Majesty of it. Although it cannot be thought that any Bishop of her Majesty's realm would attempt any such against his Grace, especially where there is no cause why any ill information should be given against him; yet doubts lest some of those malicious heretics should counterfeit letters in some Bishop's name to his Holiness to put variance between them and incense the Pope against the Cardinal. If it seems good to her, her Majesty may have something tried to obtain from De Tassis what became of the letters referred to, as thereby she may see in whose name they were sent. The last letters brought by Chetwood's post to the Pope were from Father Peto, for Wilson, who delivered them to his Holiness, confessed it to Carne's secretary, and that the gentlewoman who is in variance betwixt Tyrrell and Chetwood is nigh of kindred to Father Peto, who wrote at her desire to his Holiness to stay the cause here. Also that when his Holiness had read the letters he gave charge to those who were about him that none of them should open that he had received any such letters. Cannot learn that Peto wrote anything against the Cardinal. Notwithstanding Cardinal Pacheco has thrice applied to the Pope for audience to Carne, nothing has come of it, and he is tossed between his Holiness and the Cardinal of Naples to no pur pose, for Chetwood's solicitor makes the latter believe that if he could speak with the Pope he would move him to remove Chetwood's suit to some judge in England, for the stay whereof here the said Cardinal was made by them; although that could not have prevented his Holiness from remitting it, if Father Peto's letters had not come. [Three pages.]
Dec. 17.
Rome.
693. Sir Edward Carne to Queen Mary. Since his letter of the 11th relative to the staying of letters by De Tassis, nothing has occurred; but he is credibly informed that his Holiness has sent for Father Peto to come hither. The Pope has recently made a decree that no Cardinal or other, upon pain of excommunication to be made ipso facto, shall open anything done in Consistory or in the Congregation of the Inquisition, without it be published by his Holiness' command. [One page.]
Dec. 22.
Burgos.
694. The Cardinal of Burgos to same. Complimentary letter. Sends Pier Antonio Pecci to pay his respects to her Majesty. [Spanish. One page.]
Copy of the preceding. [One page.]
Dec. 22.
Guisnes.
695. Lord Grey to Queen Mary. This day received news out of Flanders from Mons. Benincourt, touching certain preparations of the French, which he thinks it his duty to inclose (missing) with all diligence, in order that her Majesty may consider what should be done to resist the malice of the enemy. For although the French are not very like to do what they pretend, it is well to be prepared. Has not yet heard from any of his exposts that such purpose is in hand as these news import. Desires to know whether, if any attempt should be made on this town or piece, the former should be abandoned upon likelihood of a greater damage, or else continued and kept as well as it may be with the small number of men appointed. Will obey her Majesty's direction, but she is aware that if a large force of the enemy approach the town is sufficiently furnished neither with men nor victuals. Therefore in bounden duty, and for his own discharge, must declare their wants. A mass of provisions must always be here. His men and he do not idle here, but on every occasion annoy the enemy. Four days ago he sent out some of his men, who on their return, under the very walls of Ardres and within danger of the harquebuse, brought thence 40 head of cattle and two prisoners without any loss; and to-day having gone nearly as far as Boulogne they brought back 30 head of cattle and four prisoners, and had night not been so nigh the booty would have been much better. [Two pages. Indorsed by Petre.]
Dec. 24.
Greenwich.
696. Queen Mary to Lord Wentworth. Having by former letters commanded the cassing of certain bands in Guisnes, Cawsey, and elsewhere, which for want of money to discharge the men and other respects was for a time stayed, is now contented that for the safeguard of the country and marches, and the annoyance of the enemy, the same shall be kept and entertained until orders to the contrary. [Minute. Broadside.]
Dec. 26.
Calais.
697. Lord Wentworth to Queen Mary. Is informed that Senarpont has returned to Boulogne; that in two days a thousand foot shall arrive there with the horse of Villebon and two others, and that the Duke of Guise is at Compeigne for the better advancement of the intended enterprise, which common rumour assigns to be only for the victualling of Ardres. For this purpose 40 sails are already freighted on the Somme with victuals and stores for Boulogne, whence they shall be conveyed to Ardres; and for the better and more sure passage of these vessels, five great ships of war very well appointed presently lie in St. John's Road near Boulogne. Although it is voiced that this great preparation is for Ardres, he rather stands in doubt it should be a train towards some of her Majesty's pieces, and to that intent it may be these five large ships are appointed to let the passage to this town. In consequence of this intelligence, by advice of the Council, has set all the pieces in good order, and stands on guard as much as possible. Suggests that her Majesty should cause some of her ships to lie in that trade which may both intercept their victuallers and otherwise annoy the enemy, besides serve as a sure guard in the passage between this and Dover, which otherwise it is very like these five ships will much impeach. Had written thus far when he received the inclosed intelligence. The intelligence was at Abbeville on the 23d, and saw what he has therein written, which increases the opinion that this enterprise is solely intended against these pieces. [One page and a half. Indorsed by Petre.] Incloses,
697. I. "Intelligence given the 26th of December 1557, at 10 o'clock in the morning." Saw at Abbeville on the 23d about 3 p.m. a great number of carts laden with powder, shot, and other munitions, and saw arrive certain horses to draw ordnance. These were next day to go to Nampont and Pont a Colure, which are five leagues from Montreuil and as many from Hesdin. Saw 500 or 600 horse, swart ritters, go to Abbeville, and were lodged between St. Ricars [Riquiers] and Abbeville. The artillery were to set forward on the 24th and be that night between Abbeville and Rue. On Wednesday and Thursday were paid the Germans, Swiss, and 1,000 ensigns of French at Abbeville, who were to go with the artillery. They carry from Abbeville 20 pieces of small ordnance and 30 battering and field pieces, and more are ready at Montreuil. There are a number of ladders and planks and other utensils with the artillery. Many ships are laden at Abbeville with corn, wine, bacon, &c., all said to be for Ardres. [One page.]
Dec. 27.
Calais.
698. Lord Wentworth, Lord Grey, and the Council at Calais to Queen Mary. On receipt of the intelligence sent to her Majesty yesterday, Lord Wentworth had sent to Lord Grey for the purpose of conferring with him on the state of affairs. Send herewith the result of the general consultation. [One page.] Inclosing,
698. I. Consultation made the 27th December 1557. 1. Should the enemy attack Guisnes, resolve to abandon the town and defend the turnpike. There is a great want of provisions and men of service in case anything should happen to Lord Grey.
698. II. Hampnes is sufficiently provided with men; no victuals save the Captain's store; men of service needed there also.
698. III. Newnham Bridge entirely without victuals other than the Captain's own provision; propose to withdraw the bands from the Causeway thither, as they will be sufficient for its defence unless the enemy get between the town and the bridge.
698. IV. Rysbank in like want of victuals; a band of the low country under Captain to be appointed there.
698. V. Calais unvictualled and suffering from scarcity. Impossible to be defended of the enemy, now a great force attempt the country. Deem it advisable to draw all the troops within strengths and defend to the uttermost, although their entire power is insufficient therefor. [Three pages. Printed by Lord Hardwicke. State Papers, Vol. i., p. 104.]
Dec. 29. 699. Queen Mary to the Lord Deputy and Council at Calais. Acknowledges their letter of the 27th, with their opinions touching the pieces. Directs the town of Guisnes and the turnpike to be defended, abandoning the weaker part only when absolutely necessary, Lord Grey using his discretion therein. Has ordered Lygons and Higham, two soldiers of good knowledge and service, to repair thither, also the Earl of Rutland to assist Lord Grey in his charge. Doubts not that they will exercise great consideration in removing any of the bands at the Causeway or in the low country; and for the better surety of Ruisbank, besides the soldiers extraordinary that they have therein, they may appoint thither against all need of service such as are without the gates there, with the mariners according to the order heretofore prescribed in like cases. Order shall be taken forthwith for assuring the passage between Dover and Calais, and provisions sent across. May change the foot that serve at the Causeway into horse as occasion may require, appointing William Drury to the command in such event. The Earl of Rutland shall be a member of Council during his abode there. [Minute, autograph of Petre. Seven pages.]
Dec. 29.
Calais.
700. Lord Wentworth to Queen Mary. Is informed that the enemy's power is already planted before New Hesdin, where the French King is shortly looked for. At Ardres they grind continually their whole mass of corn and forthwith bake it, with the intent, as far as he can conjecture, to furnish with it this army before New Hesdin. [Half a page. Indorsed by Petre.]
Dec. 31.
Greenwich.
701. Queen Mary to the Lord Deputy and Council at Calais. Understanding by their letters that the enemy's power is planted before Hesdin, and therefore such enterprise as was suspected towards the pieces or marshes not to be looked for; forbears to send the Earl of Rutland until further occasion may seem to require his services. Nevertheless Ferdinando Lygons and Thomas Higham, with 40 or 50 soldiers, proceed forthwith. On their arrival directs that the men shall be immediately brought into wages, and have conduct money according to the accustomed rules. Lygons and Higham have received each 20l. towards his charges; and if continued, order shall be taken for such allowance to be made unto them as shall be convenient. [Minute. Indorsed by Petre. One page and a half.]
Dec. 31.
Guisnes.
702. Lord Grey to Queen Mary. Yesterday some of his horsemen near Boulogne took a prisoner, who declares that the same day there arrived at Ambleteuse 30 or 40 vessels, two of which with tops were laden with ordnance and munition, and the others with hurdles, ladders, and similar warlike habiliments. Understands their pretence is either towards St. Omer, Guisnes, or Ruisbank, but thinks verily it is towards some of the pieces here, both by reason of the great grinding of corn and preparation of victuals at Ardres and by their bringing munition by the sea. Hears also by his experts that ten or twelve thousand landsknechts and Swiss have come to Boulogne, and that a great number of horse and foot yesterday encamped in the Valley of Licques. Requests more men as soon as possible. If the French attack Guisnes he will keep the town as long as possible, and if obliged to abandon it, as there will be such annoyance for the filling of the ditch, he must needs set fire to the whole town without more help. Has written of these news to M. de Benincourt that he may inform his Majesty thereof. [One page and a quarter.]
Dec. 31.
Guisnes.
703. Same to same. Since writing the preceding letter the French advanced towards Guisnes, and he had some sharp skirmishing with them, during which Plunket, captain of his light horse, was hurt with a harquebuse, although trusts he will recover, but perceiving an ambush retired. When the French saw that they could not train him into the ambush, they formed and marched back to Ardres, not having from the English the value of a penny in corn, cattle, or any other thing. In two or three days their intention will appear. Having her Majesty's licence to go to England, returns thanks for the same, but will first see what becomes of the French power and how the frontier under his charge may be left in good stay. Urges the sending of more men. [Two pages and a half. Mutilated.]
704. Notes of agenda, autograph of Gresham. To make the bonds of the Queen and the City as quickly as may be. To bargain with the merchants for 26,000l. to be paid by him in Antwerp at sight of their bills at the rate of 21s. 6d., and not more, if possible. To remember to entertain Lionel Ducket and John Gresham, and make them sure for the Queen's service. To take a direct order for the accomplishment of the passports of the King for armour remaining in his hands, viz., 7,000 corslets, 7,000 corriers, 7,000 pikes, 2,000 dags, and 200 barrels of gunpowder. The person addressed and the rest of the Council are to remember that when Nicholas de Nallie moves them for a ship of wood taken into Falmouth to see it restored, for Gresham knows it to be his own property. Has taken up more of him for the Queen. Will send with the merchants his servant, John Elliot, who has been chosen by the whole company, and will give them intelligence of all their devices while they are here. [One page. Autograph of Gresham. Indorsed "Thomas Gresham, provision of armour."]
705. "Relatione di Spagna del Cavalliere Michiele Soriano Ambasciatore al Re Filippo." [Italian. One hundred and fifty-four pages.]