Mary: February 1554

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

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'Mary: February 1554', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 55-64. British History Online [accessed 23 June 2024].

. "Mary: February 1554", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 55-64. British History Online, accessed June 23, 2024,

. "Mary: February 1554", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 55-64. British History Online. Web. 23 June 2024,

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February 1554

Feb. 3.
St. Omer.
144. Thomas Stukeley to Queen Mary. In his former letter had mentioned in what state of favour and service he stood with the Emperor by means of the Duke of Savoy. Incloses copy of a letter from the French King to his Ambassador Resident in England; another copy of which he has sent to the Duke of Savoy, who will assuredly communicate it to the Emperor and Queen of Hungary. Offers the services of himself and his whole band to her Majesty, and recommends to her the bearer, a gentleman of his troop, of much honesty, wit, and experience. [One page.] Incloses,
144. I. Copy letter from the French King to his Ambassador, Fontainebleau, 26th January 1553–4. Fears that the marriage of the Queen of England with the King of Spain will cause the English to make war with them this spring. Shall be glad if it is true that the Governor of Cornwall designs an enterprise against the said King, as he is desirous of making another. Requests him to watch and ascertain the number of vessels intended for the escort of the King, and at what time Count Egmont is to go to him. [French. One page.]
Feb. 5.
145. The Bishop of Norwich to Secretary Sir William Petre. Had written to him on the 2d inst. Sends letters out of Italy. Good news come slowly from thence: hears daily of that he would not hear. When counsel fails, he shall fall to prayer. Those here are very careful for Petre, and if they knew that he would use their aid, they have within four days ordered to set at the seaside, at Gravelines or at Calais, where he shall think the transportation best, 4,000 Germans, and three ensigns of horse, and have also 14 great ships that will shortly be on the sea. Of this he had written to the Council on the 2d, and now repeats it. God send him such letters as Petre would write with a good will, and God send the Queen the upper hand of all her enemies and rebels. [One page.]
Feb. 6.
146. Thomas Gresham to the Council. Received their letters of the 28th Jan., on the 2d inst. giving an account of the satisfactory state of the realm with the exception of Kent, which he has not letted to publish, for there were reports here that the commons of Cornwall, Cheshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Kent were up. They desire him to send home money by long seas and Harwich, but there are no ships lading for Harwich at present here, and none leaving for London for six days, except he hires a ship purposely, which will cost him 20l. or 30l. at least; and as his commission does not extend to send more than 1,000l. in every ship, the charges will not be quitted. If expedition be needed, begs them to enlarge his commission. Sir John Masone came here on the 2d, and advised him not to send any money along seas on account of the reports about Suffolk and the presence of some French ships of war off the Land's end. Masone will carry 10,000l.; he hopes all in gold. Has given him the five pieces of bullion from Sir William Dansell, and received from him the passport for 10,000 marks' weight of bullion, and the 1,000 demi-lances; the passport of the gunpowder and Collen cleves staves are not yet come to hand. Has received 36 barrels of powder this day, part of the complement lent to the Regent, and shipped them in an English crayce [craier], master Thos. Spache of Rye, under this mark [symbol], the rest shall be delivered as it is made. Has seen the party who has the 2,000 or 3,000 collen staves, and who asks a month's respite of delivery; intends to go through with him, for no one here has any but he. Has made the merchants, parties to the loan of the 100,000 ducats to be received in Spain, answer according to the Queen's commission, so that there is nothing to be done except the Council will receive it there. As to the 100,000l. to be taken up at interest, over and above the money taken up by Mr. Dawntesey, he can find no such store as yet; for since his last bargain he has had no offers, the rumours having made the merchants averse to dealing and lowered the exchange. The net weight of the 36 barrels of powder is 5,281 lbs. Gives a schedule of the coin delivered this day to Sir John Masone; also the weights of the six blocks of silver given to him.
P.S.—Payment of the 50,000 florins taken up of Michael Deodati has been stayed by reason of the news brought by Count Egmont to the effect that Sir Thomas Wyat is on Blackheath with 20,000 footmen intending to attack London. Masone has consented to stay five or six days until better news arrive. Thus the Queen and the City, and all the nation, are clean out of credit here, and no money is to be had as long as the State remains so. [Indorsed by Petre. Four pages.]
Feb. 9.
147. Cosmo Duke of Florence to Queen Mary. Congratulates her Majesty on her intended marriage with the Prince of Spain, mentions his attachment to the Emperor, and his own conduct in reference to the affairs of Sienna and the French. [Latin. Three pages.]
Feb. 12. 148. "Extrait des Registres de la Court des Aydes en Normandie." Specifying the duties exigible from various articles of commerce, and declaring the established rights of the English merchants. [French. On vellum. Eleven pages.]
Feb. 12.
149. Dr. Wotton to Queen Mary. Knowing that Sir Peter Carew was here, and a report current alleged that a great milord was come to require aid against her Majesty, he had audience of the King and of the Constable on the 10th regarding it. His Majesty declared that he had never heard of him, and would espouse the cause of no one against the Queen, with whom he desired to maintain strict amity. The bearer is one of his servants named William Ward, whom he sent to search at Paris and Rouen for the plate and those who committed the robbery at Lady Knyvett's. Notwithstanding the fair words given him by the French, yet that which he wrote of them in his letter of the 8th inst. is true, wherefore he mistrusts them more. Carew left on the 9th inst. in post for Rouen, there to tarry to see how things shall pass in England. Has just heard that the King received news from Boulogne yester day, that Lord Cobham had lost about 500 of his men in a skirmish with the Kentish insurgents; and that the Duke of Norfolk thereafter went against them with a great company, who forsook him, and slew 500 Spaniards who were come in their company. These news the King has sent in haste to the Bishop of Rome, the Seigniory of Venice and others in Italy, as making much for their purpose. Hears the Duke of Florence has determined to make war against the Siennese and has an army ready, which men think he would not do, but that the Bishop of Rome did consent to it, and were a counsel with him in it. The King of Portugal's son is dead; but the Princess his wife, the Emperor's daughter, was within 20 days thereof delivered of a son, which much recomforted all that country. Duke Octavio Farnese and the Count di Pitigliano return home, and the Count di Mirandola follows shortly thereafter. [Five pages. Partly in cipher, deciphered. Printed by Tytler, except the parts in cipher, Vol. ii., p. 286.]
Feb. 15.
150. Thomas Gresham to the Council. In his letter of the 12th inst. sent them a letter from the Emperor for his Ambassador. On the 14th inst. his servant Sprytewell brought news of the victory over the rebels, which was no small comfort to the Queen's subjects here and to this country; and immediately upon the news the English merchants with great joy caused wine and fire to be drunk and made in the streets, with a great peal of guns to be shot, and also gave to the poor of this town a hundred crowns. Beseeches the Lord there may be no more rebellions, for, as he has written, there has been such an alteration of the Queen's credit that glad was that man who might be quit of them. Deodati this day begins to pay the 50,000 florins; will wait to take up more until it be offered him. Intends to return home, with permission, on receipt of the 50,000 florins, and to bring the remainder. Sends money by the bearer, Sprytewell, and begs them to dispatch his servants as they come. Is desirous of coming home to declare his account, and to confer about the 300,000 ducats to be received in Spain, which, in his opinion, is not to be refused. Certified them in his last of the receipt of 60 barrels of gunpowder; it was but 50, now laden, but the ships are stayed by the great ice that is here. On the arrival of the good news, the exchange rose from 20s. 6d. to 22s.; trusts it may rise to 23s. [One page and a quarter.]
Feb. 16.
La Costa.
151. Angelo Mariano to Queen Mary. Expresses his delight at her succession and offers in writing those congratulations which he is prevented from making in person. Prays that the pension granted to him by her father, and confirmed by her late brother and the Council, may be paid to him. [Italian. One page. Indorsed (by Petre) erroneously, "14 February."]
Feb. 16.
La Costa.
152. Same to Lord Courtenay [Earl of Devonshire]. Has long wished to congratulate him upon his honours: does so by writing as he is unable to wait upon him. Requests he will recommend him for some employment, and that the provision allowed him by the liberality of the Crown may be paid to his agent. [Italian. One page. Indorsed by Petre.]
Feb. 16.
153. Lord Grey to Queen Mary. In this late troublesome season the doubt of the French has been such that he has made preparations to defend this piece by all possible means. Yet their want of men, provisions, money, and munitions is such that if any attempt had been made the lack would have brought much inconvenience. Has intelligence by his espials that the French do not surcease of their warlike preparations; and although there is report that abstinence of war between the Princes is likely to be concluded, he hears that Marshal St. André arrays himself hither with a great power towards these frontiers, wherefore it may be conjectured that the French have some meaning against these marches. The Duke of Vendôme is appointed into Navarre, and it is thought that the arrival of the Vidame with power in Scotland is with the intention of invading the Northern borders. It is also said that the French prepare to arrive in the West country. Beseeches that order may be given for the better furniture of their wants above expressed, otherwise great danger may arise. Has appointed a meet person to wait upon the Council to declare the proportions of of such wants. [One page.]
Feb. 17.
154. The Marquis Pallavicino Rangone to same. Communicates the death of his father Count Ludovico; the announcement of which had been delayed in consequence of his own absence at Rome at the time of the event. The bearer will explain certain private matters with which he will not weary her. [Italian. One page. Indorsed by Petre.]
Feb. 18.
155. Peter Vannes to same. Has advertised the Council from time to time of the notable occurrences. His last letters were of the 10th inst. Since then letters have arrived from the French Court, it is said, to their Ambassador at Venice, dated on the 1st inst., mentioning letters from England of the 24th and 26th January to the French King. The contents, which her Majesty will perceive by the inclosed copy, are not only declared openly in Venice but spread abroad over all Italy, and are such that the hearing and rehearsal of them will abhor any honest man's heart. Has answered that he thinks them all or most part untrue, and rather an invention of those who wish them to be true. Has for a long time been so acquainted with the gentlemen of Kent, great and small, and seen their proceedings so honourable, just, faithful, witty, and discreet, that he cannot think they would in any way be unfaithful to her Majesty. Trusts that what is amiss will be appeased. These stirrings proceed from a few wicked persons, enemies to quietness and peace. If any evil information have moved the gentlemen of Kent it is to be trusted that the knowledge of the truth will bring them to obedience. If any of them were in these parts and heard what is written out of France and reported by others who intend by furthering sedition in the realm to advance their own purposes, think verily that all the gentlemen great and small, men, women, and children, would be most aggrieved with such slanderous and uncomely reports. Trusts that this little commotion (if any such be, as God forbid !) will be the occasion of greater love to her Majesty and a more steadfast union for the conservation of the whole State and their own wealth. Hopes soon to receive news of the quietness of the realm. Reckons it very vanity to suppose that the French or any other strangers should, as appears by these letters, have any special knowledge of the town and castle of Rye, and of the sea-coast thereabouts, of Dover, Rochester, Rochester Bridge, "the place where the King's ships do lie," or any other castles or bulwarks upon the river side, or any other place of that country. [Two pages and a half. Indorsed by Petre.] Inclosing,
155. I. Copy of the French King's letter referred to. His Majesty has been advised by letters of 24th January, that the risings in England against the Queen were so manifest and such licentious speech was current of her marriage that, foreseeing that the people would arm, she had ordered the assembling of her forces. This, however, had not quelled the commotion; as appeared by the rising, two days ago, in Kent, of more than 6,000 foot and 500 horse, who got possession of the City of Rochester and its bridge, of some fortresses in the county, and among others that of Rye, the chief one, as all know. On the 26th the insurgents went to Dover, where they found the nobility and people so well disposed to them that the next day they expected to become masters of the Castle. All the ships in the river at Rochester were in their power and they had taken the artillery and the munitions. It was held certain that all England would rise in like manner at the same time, all preferring to die in battle rather than to become subject to a foreign Prince. It is most certain that the whole people are embittered against the marriage. The Queen, thinking to pacify the risings by soft words, had sent a herald to the rebels to tell them she would pardon them if they would lay down their arms, and that she would do nothing in the marriage to prejudice the liberties of England. They replied that what they did was for the public good and to prevent the crown ever passing to foreigners, contrary to their ancient liberties and privileges and the intention of her predecessors. They would not lay down their arms unless she would give up the marriage and unite herself to a nobleman of her own nation, giving the Bishop of Winchester and Lord Paget (the great supporters of the marriage) as hostages to them in security for its renunciation. Because Lord Courtenay whom they had decided to make King had for some time left the party of the Queen, they had got in his place some one else, who was to marry the Princess Elizabeth; so that in a few days a terrible tragedy must be enacted. While the bearer of this news to the King was in the street he heard that the Welsh had risen and got possession of the fortresses, about the same in number as those of Kent. Further that the authors of these enterprises have such intelligence with those of London that they expect in a few days to put all the country under arms, and things are so thoroughly prepared that it will be difficult for the Queen to remedy it or to prevent their success. [Italian. Two pages.]
Feb. 21.
156. Thomas Gresham to the Council. Sends a schedule of the sums transmitted by his servant Wm. Bendlowes on the 18th inst. Has since received their letters of the 17th. Has had from Deodati in part payment 25,000 florins, the rest he will receive this week. The Collen cleve staves they wished to buy have not yet arrived by reason of the great frost; they shall not escape his hand if they be clean and without pins. Sends an account of the treasure transmitted with this by his servant De Tomazo. Hopes to send the rest when his men return. Intends when he has dispatched it to repair home in order to declare his account for his discharge, having to account for 300,000l., as he shall not be in quiet till it be done; whereby he will be able to do better service here or wherever the Queen shall appoint him. [One page and a quarter.]
Feb. 22.
157. The Council to Dr. Wotton. In their former letter had communicated the proceedings of Wyat and the other traitors till the time of their apprehension. Since then, the Duke of Suffolk, Lord John his brother, two of the Knyvetts, two Mantells, Cuthbert Vaughan, Rudstone, Isley, and others have been tried and condemned to death. Lord Thomas Grey, Croft, and others are in the Tower, and Gawen Carew, Gibbs, and Sir Edward Rogers are coming from the West country, to abide the order of the law. The Earl of Devon, being vehemently suspected of being privy to the conspiracy, is also committed to the Tower. The Queen intends to keep Easter at Windsor, and immediately thereafter to repair to Oxford, where she means to hold a parliament and keep term. Five or six days since the French Ambassador was with her Majesty, and returned his master's thanks for such regard being had to the amity between them in the late treaty of the marriage. He also complained of the stay of certain letters of his that of late were taken by the rebels and came afterwards into the hands of the Council, which he desired might be restored to him; on which point the Queen referred him to them. The Chancellor informed him that these letters had been taken while the rebels were at Rochester, and on their subsequently coming into the hands of the Council, had been delivered to him for custody; but on Wyat and the others sudden coming into Southwark, he had been fain to leave his house and repair to the Court, and in the haste of removal, these letters, together with other writings of his own, were left behind, and during their occupation of Southwark had been so spoiled and disordered by the rebels that the most part of them were lacking; nevertheless diligent search should be made for them. Although at the time the Ambassador seemed satisfied, yet two days ago he sent his secretary to them to say that he had received letters from the King his master, desiring him to require the delivery of those letters, which his Majesty had been informed they had not only intercepted, but given to the Emperor's Ambassador to be deciphered. This they had denied, for that they took the King to be her Majesty's friend, and besides, if they would, they could not decipher his letters. Restitution of a vessel alleged to have been taken and spoiled at Margate was also required; and the Lord Admiral assured him that the matter should be examined. Although her Majesty neither has given nor intends to give occasion of breath to the French King or others, yet as these quarrels and other arguments give occasion to suspicion, she has given orders throughout the realm for a sufficient number of foot and horse to be ready at an hour's warning, and her navy to be ready to sail for defence of the narrow seas whenever required. (fn. 1) This information he shall use as he sees occasion, and if any talk is made of these preparations he may state that they are chiefly made for the stay of the kingdom against internal enemies. Since writing the above, have been informed that the French have spoiled near Brest certain English merchant vessels, and one of these, the Julian of London, coming from Spain laden with Cordovan skins, silks, and other rich merchandise, was so sifted that nothing was left in her but a few articles of no value. The other ships are one from Boston and another from Waterford. Desire him to speak to the Constable concerning this. [Draft. Corrected by Petre. Nine pages.]
Feb. 22.
158. Queen Mary to Dr. Wotton. Desires him to watch the proceedings of Peter Carew and the other rebels in France, and what aid they may receive there, as her Majesty has been lately informed that Carew had come to Rouen and hired sundry English mariners with their vessels and boats, as was thought with the connivance of the French King, whose denial of his knowledge of Carew being in France induces a suspicion that there is some secret practice between them. [Draft. Three pages.]
Feb. 23.
159. Dr. Wotton to Secretary Sir William Petre. Although the Council make mention of a letter from her Majesty to the French King, he has not received such in his packet; but he has declared the instructions to his Majesty by virtue of his general commission. Finds no clause in the treaty relating to the delivery of such offenders as these: has only a copy made by himself from one belonging to Pickering or Chaloner, and therefore requests that a true and whole copy of it may be sent to him. Understanding how valiantly he has fought in the last battle, thinks that her Majesty should deprive Mr. Dymoke of his office and appoint Petre to be her champion. Implores him, for God's sake, now at this great need, to help to do some good, if it be possible, for those of his near kinsmen who have so heinously offended that he is ashamed to labour for them. Yet trusts, though their faults be so great, they are not all alike; and that of some may be better hope of amendment than of others, if it might please her Majesty to show any mercy to them at present. Wonders much however Lord John could be brought to consent to such an abominable act. William Cromer is but young, and probably induced thereto either by his father-in-law Rudstone, whom he credits too much in all things, or by Wyat, whose daughter he supposes it was his intention to marry. Trusts in God his nephew Thomas shall not be found faulty of this conspiracy: if he be, is as far deceived in him as ever he was in man; and what a grief his loss should be to him, Petre may consider. Again, his poor sister Guildford, who was a good marriage to Sir Gawen Carew, in what a miserable case she is like to be in! The like, his niece Rudstone and all her children. This commodity, lo! and pleasure brings age and long life to him! For God's sake, let Petre prove whether he can do some good therein, in part, if not in all. What shall he say more? Tœdet animam suam vitœ suœ! Sends on this matter a letter to the Lord Chancellor, desiring his help. Requests Petre to read it, and if he approves, to seal and let it be delivered: if not, let it be withheld. [Two pages.]
Feb. 24.
160. Peter Vannes to the Bishop of Norwich, Ambassador at the Court of the Emperor. Two days before the receipt of his letter of the 3d inst. arrived letters of the 1st from the French Court touching the commotions in Cornwall and Kent, so couched, places appointed, castles, havens, the Queen's navy, towns taken, ordnance set on land, intelligence with London, preparations and propositions so made, and all things by the rebels so reviewed, that in a few days all England should be revolted against her Majesty. Was not a little aggrieved that the French and other strangers should have, as it seemed by their letters and reports, as much knowledge of the havens, castles, situation, and importance of the sea-coast of Kent,— "being so nigh strange neighbours qui aliquando fieri possunt inimici,"—as the inhabitants of those parts. Trusts that good heed will be taken thereunto, "for the world is such now-a-days that men labour to be more skilful and have more knowledge in others men's matters than in their own." His Lordship's letter was as welcome as meat and drink to him, and necessary for the confusion of these untrue tales, so falsely and asseverantly published here. Perceived by it and that of his friend Mr. Bartholomew Compagni from London on the 30th ult., how the authors of that commotion were few in number and without the followers they had expected, the Queen's port and castles in safety, the East and Weald of Kent wholly for her, London well provided and in good order, all the rest of England quiet, and preparations made sufficient to put down more than a few rebels the most of whom knew not for what they assembled. By this declaration of the truth honest and wise men were satisfied, though divers still preferred their own fantasies. His Lordship's letters of the 13th inst. were immeasurably glad and joyful to him, as declaring the final success of the Queen and her victory over the rebels. The wisdom and faithful diligence of her Councillors are here generally praised. Repaired with the advertisements to the Seignory and declared the particulars of the said letter. Uno omnes ore, congratulated with the Queen so goodly a fortune. Incloses advertisements of the proceedings of Corsica and Sienna, which he has not translated, being let by a great cough and murre, and also that he reckons his Lordship must be skilful in their vulgar tongue if he have so hotly continued as he began the understanding of the same. Prays him to send it at his first opportunity to the Queen and Council, and the other inclosure to Compagni. [Three pages. Indorsed by Petre.] Intelligence inclosed,
160. I. The affairs of Sienna are in the same state: that is, the French and Florentines wait for reinforcements and provisions, and prepare for offence and defence. The Duke of Florence writes that the inhabitants are badly supplied with provisions for the support of the siege a long time, and that the bad feeling between the citizens and the French soldiers increased daily, so that there is good hope of the success of the enterprise. Those within, on the contrary, write that they have provisions for a year, that they are united, and do not fear whatever may happen. A Spanish ship ordered from Naples to his assistance had arrived at Leghorn, a port of the Duke, and the others were near. From Lombardy the Austrian and Italian infantry were shortly expected. Ascanio della Cornia had reached the camp with his troops. The bombardment of a keep of the Porta Camolia had commenced, and the Marquis di Marignano, the General, was using all diligence in the enterprise, and Pietro Strozzi within vigorously preparing for the defence. Depredations daily take place. Letters of the 14th inst. from Corsica mention that Giordano Orsino, the chief of the garrison of St. Fiorenzo had come to a parley with the Genoese camp with a view to surrending, not being able to hold out for want of provisions; but had asked larger conditions than they intended to grant. The French say that their fleet, after having suffered a storm had reached St. Bonifazio, from which, though far distant from St. Fiorenzo, they hoped to succour it; but the Genoese say they have surrounded it so by land and sea, that they have no fear they can. The result will soon be known. [Italian. One page.]
Feb. 24.
161. Peter Vannes to the Council. His last letters to the Queen were of the 18th inst., touching the commotion of Kent, which had been so sharply declared by letters from France that it was thought to be true, rather than merely probable, notwithstanding that by letters of the 29th ult. from Compagni at London and others of the 3d inst. from the Bishop of Norwich at Brussels, he was at length advertised of the small forces of the rebels, of the untruth of the assertions in other letters, of the great provision made by the Queen, which was sufficient to defeat a far greater number than they were, and of the quiet of London and the rest of England. Yet in spite of all this, the first falsehoods were so rooted in many hearts that truth could have no place; but the letters of the Bishop of Norwich of the 13th inst., touching the discomfiture of the rebels, have instilled the truth. The wisdom and courage of the Queen are highly commended, as well as the faithfulness of her subjects, and the valour of her captains. If Lords Pembroke, Clinton, and the other captains could hear how loudly they are commended here they would think their loyalty sufficiently rewarded. Went this morning to the Seignory to communicate and ampliate the news. On his entry the Duke and the Seignory embraced and lovingly congratulated him, declaring to him, in conformity with his news, letters of their Ambassador from England. To counteract the effect of the first naughty and false news, has sent the particulars of the victory to Rome, to Milan, to the Duke of Ferrara, the Duke of Florence, the Duke of Mantua, and the Duke of Urbino. As yet the matters of Sienna proceed after one sort. Recapitulates the details in the inclosure in his letter to the Bishop of Norwich of the 24th inst. [Four pages.]


  • 1. This, on margin, noted to be written in cipher.