Mary: May 1554

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

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'Mary: May 1554', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861), pp. 81-89. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

. "Mary: May 1554", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861) 81-89. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

. "Mary: May 1554", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Mary 1553-1558, (London, 1861). 81-89. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,

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May 1554

May 3.
200. The Bishop of Norwich and Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. On the 1st inst. the Bishop of Norwich, after presenting Masone to the Emperor, took his leave; and on the following day did the like to the two Queens, the Duchess of Lorraine and the Duke of Savoy, to whom Masone delivered her Majesty's letters and commendations. They found the Emperor in very good state of body, and he was very glad to hear that her Majesty was well. The earnest declaration of his good affection towards England, and other matters, the Bishop will report to her Majesty as speedily as he can. It was his intention to have left to-day, but the Queen of Hungary having signified her desire to talk with him before his departure, thinks he will be sent for either to-day or tomorrow; so that on Saturday, or Sunday at the farthest, he trusts to begin his journey. M. de Couriéres and the Alcalde left this for England on Wednesday. The Duke of Savoy designs to proceed thither in 15 or 16 days, and begs that her Majesty may be pleased to take order with the Lord Deputy of Calais for his sure passage. He is, as her Majesty knows, a nobleman, and after the Emperor and the Queen, the first personage of the Court, who assuredly bears a right good heart towards her. He is a bait so desired of the French, as he would gladly be out of doubt of them. Have recommended to the Emperor the cause of the Count Thadre, and have received a gentle answer. Marquis Albert has after much dissimulation so much opened himself that the Emperor utterly takes him for French. The number of ensigns which he had levied in the East countries are so scattered by the Duke of Brunswick, as he shall hardly for this summer make the like assembly. He now rests in a castle of the Rhinegrave between Triers and Mentz, so beaten out of his own as he is driven to seek lodging among his friends. [One page and a half.]
May 5.
201. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. The Bishop of Norwich has departed, having, left behind him great contentation of his dealing at this Court. His wisdom and soberness during the time of his embassy have impressed the highest estate and the Queen with such good opinion of him as his discreet and honest demeanour has deserved. He will inform her Majesty of all occurrents, and of their conversations with Cardinal Pole. There is not a better English heart within the realm than the Cardinal's, and if things were as he wishes, her Majesty would govern in a blessed estate. He always praises ripe, temperate, and modest proceedings. Wishes to God the whole realm knew him as the Bishop of Norwich and Masone do, and had that opinion of him as in effect all states of Christendom have. [One page and a quarter. Printed by Tytler, Vol. ii., p. 387.]
May 9.
202. Dr. Wotton to Sir William Petre. In case his letters should be intercepted, as is very probable, sends a new cipher for approval; if it is not liked, he will continue to use the present one. Fears he shall be detained here till there be war. As long as Noailles and his wife remain in England, he will be no worse off than he was when in France formerly; but if they come away or escape, he fears it will be a great deal worse with him. As for Noailles' brother, he is here of no estimation, but even as Wotton's self is at home. [Partly in cipher, deciphered. One page.]
May 12.
203. Sir John Masone to Queen Mary. For ought he can see or learn there is no likelihood of peace to be had this year between the two Princes; and Cardinal Pole, who on the Pope's behalf has long travailed therein, concurs in this desparation. Such, too, is the general opinion, which is confirmed by the preparations on both sides. The Emperor raises in Germany 60 ensigns of foot and 4,000 horse; of these 40 ensigns are to be employed in his defence against attempts made by the French this way, 20 ensigns go to Italy, and 6,000 Spaniards come hither in the Prince's army. The French King, in addition to his present force, which is not small, assembles 9,000 Swiss; of these 6,000 to be employed on this side, and 3,000 to be sent to Piedmont. What enterprise he intends on these quarters is unknown, but it is conjectured some attempts will be made on Liege and Luxemburg, which the Emperor presently fortifies. Others suppose he will attack some of her Majesty's pieces on this side of the sea, for the furniture whereof doubts not she will have such foresight as appertains. Experience teaches what trust is to be had to that nation whom neither respect of worldly honour nor the fear of God can hold from the trapping of any piece that may serve to their purpose, belong the same to friend or foe. It is not more that 20 days since they made a narrow miss of surprising Civita Vecchia, a fortress belonging to the Pope at the mouth of the Tiber. So are all men indifferent unto them from whom they may catch anything that may serve their turns. It is thought that there are not two pieces in Christendom so much desired by the French King as Calais and Guisnes. Urges the necessity of immediately providing for their defence, the more because of the absence of her Majesty's navy. The French King has lately compelled the citizens of Metz to swear allegiance to him and his successors; such as refuse to do so are ordered by a day to avoid, and he burdens those who remain with the continual entertainment of 2,000 foot, besides immediate provision of victual for one whole year, and order is taken for the bringing in of all their harness and weapons. Moreover, a citadel is in hand to be made in all haste at their charges. The Turk's army comes forward to the number of 70 sail. God send them ill luck, and him worse, that boasting himself upon the name of Most Christian is the stirrer and caller of them to the evident danger of Christendom! The Prior of Capua, being reconciled, has returned to the French King with three gallies. There was for some time a report that Dole, a town of great strength in Burgundy belonging to the Emperor, had been surprised by the French, but in the end it appears that fetch took no place. Marquis Albert is still at the Rhinegrave's, destitute both of men and money; the Bishops with the help of the league continue to persecute him, besieging at the same time the only two towns which he has left. Both the King of Poland and the Duke of Pomerania, being offended with his inconstancy and unquiet nature, have shrunk from him; so it is to be trusted that the French King will have but a poor servant of him. Sends a letter from the Duke of Savoy in reply to the one from her Majesty conveyed by Masone; the sudden departure of the Bishop of Norwich was the occasion that he sent it not sooner. [Two pages.]
May 12.
204. George Everett to the Council. Sends two packets from the Earl of Bedford by the bearer, servant to Lord Dudley. Although the chance of the Ambassador had been to land at the Groyne [Coruña] in Gallicia, the rudest country of all Spain, yet his entertainment and reception was as much as if the Emperor had been there, and the people had pained themselves to do all the pleasure and service they could devise. There is no want of victuals or any thing that can be procured for money; and the Queen's ships are weekly refreshed with fresh meat, bread, and wine abundantly. After his Lordship had kept the feast of St. George very solemnly, which was of the country much esteemed, he and all his retinue left for the Court, but when at Betanzos received a letter from the Prince desiring him to remain there till he should join him. The Prince departed on Friday last to his grandmother, and thence will he meet with his sister who is admitted for Governor, and shortly after will be at Coruña, where both his fleets of Andalusia and Biscay have already arrived, to the number of 100 sail, which are very well furnished and appointed with mariners and soldiers for the safe-conduct of the Prince to England. Within eight days after his arrival there, the Lord Admiral with all his navy will return home, as he is informed by the Marquis de las Navas, at present here, who is to pass to England with four good ships to carry to her Majesty certain jewels sent to her by the Prince. The Marquis also showed him that most part of the nobility of this realm would have come into England; but the Prince would not suffer them, saying that he goes not into Germany but amongst his friends: whereby it may be inferred that he will be attended by few others save his ordinary household and guard. Has travelled from Logrono hither above 100 leagues, the worst ways in all Spain, yet has he found the highways as much mended as is possible, new crosses and pillars set up at the ways leading to every town, and in all way post-horses ready, and taxed what they should have from post to post. In all the way has been very well intreated, and has found much gentleness, especially of the bishops and prelates. Great preparations had been made in all the principal towns for the reception of the Ambassadors, especially at Burgos and Bilbao, where much cost had been expended, and by the English merchants residing at the latter town, and such merchants of these places as do occupy with England. All Spain rejoices at the marriage; hopes the people of England may bear the same good will to the Prince, as they of Spain do to her Majesty. [Two pages.]
May 13.
205. Thomas Gresham to Sir William Petre. Came to Antwerp on the 12th inst. On his arrival Mr. Bartholomew Compagni came and asked him if he had commission to receive the money of the bargain made with Petre and the other Lords. Replied he had not, either for the receipt of money or for communication with him in the matter. Bartholomew declared he would in a manner throw for the payment of the 10,000l. on 31st May, allowing himself the 2,500l. due to him. The Whitsuntide holidays next will be a stay to him that he cannot return so soon, and her Majesty may be informed of this. [One page.]
May 14.
206. Lord Wentworth to Queen Mary. Has received her Majesty's letter of the 10th touching the repair of the Duke of Savoy to England, and will do his best for the Duke's entertainment; but, as some French vessels well manned are watching the passage between this and Dover, cannot ensure his safe passage, there not being ships here worth setting forth to rencounter them if need should require. Suggests that some ships should be sent across to waft him over in more surety. [One page.]
May 17.
207. Edward Lord Dudley to the Council. The Marquis of Navas being appointed to go to England, Dudley had, by advice of Count Egmont, offered to conduct him to her Majesty. This offer had been taken in very good part, and they are now here waiting for the wind. The Marquis is the bearer of jewels to her Majesty from the Prince, whose Majordomo he is; he is an ancient gentleman, about the year of fifty or better, bearing himself very honourably. Has been as well used of him as with any nobleman in all his life, even as he has been with all the rest since the date of his first letter here inclosed of the 24th ult. (missing). On Sunday the 29th ult. the Marquis of Villaine made a great dinner, and at Dudley's departing gave him a fair genet, well trimmed and appointed. On the following Tuesday the Duke of Alberquerque made a dinner, and as heartily entertained the Earl of Worcester and the rest of the English gentlemen in as much as he could devise. This evening, after supper, took his leave of the Prince, who did most nobly use him, giving him more thanks than he is worthy of, saying that, although he had not spoken much with him since his coming because of much occupation and his knowledge that Dudley could not speak Spanish, yet on his arriving in England he should speak with him and do him all the good. This was spoken in Latin, and though Dudley speaks that tongue but rudely, he returned suitably his thanks. The Prince willed him to make his commendations to her Majesty, and said that at the end of May he would be at Logrono, where he would embark. After his departure the King sent to him by Count Horne a chain, weighing, as he thinks, 160 pounds (sic.) Requests to be informed whether he shall bring the Marquis to the residence of the Emperor's Ambassador, or some other house appointed for him. [One page and a half.] Incloses,
207. I. A remembrance given to him by the Count or Earl of Horne, captain of all the Prince's guard, who is appointed to attend upon his Highness and remain with him in England. The remembrance was autograph of the Count and written in Latin, because the names are hard to be written in English. It declares the coming of diverse great men, who at this time bring their wives with them, and desire to have houses appointed for them accordingly. These are,
The Duke of Alva, Majordomo to the Emperor. (The Duke of Alva with his wife requireth a house alone.)
Don Gautier Lopes (Economus pro principe), and his wife.
Don Diego Azevedo (etiam economus), and wife.
Don John à Benavedes (of the bed chamber), and wife.
Don John D'Acuna (of the bed chamber), and wife.
Count Horne.
Don Sunbernon.
Beseeches their Lordships to have these in remembrance, lest they who have treated him so courteously should think he has ungratefully forgot their wishes. As it will be hard to find several houses to place them all accordingly, believes that Bridewell were a good place to join all together (the Duke of Alva excepted) and that they would be contented so to be. [One page.]
May 19.
208. Dr. Wotton to Sir William Petre. Here it is thought that the Prince cannot be in England till the 8th or 10th of next month, because his sister, the Princess Dowager of Portugal, returns to Spain as Regent during his absence. The Prince, it is supposed, will go to meet her before he leaves for England; so, by the conjecture of her journey, the time of his embarkation at La Croigne [Logrono] is presumed. Begs to know her Majesty's pleasure as to the men concerning whom he has written. [One page.]
May 25.
209. Sir John Masone to the Council. Sends letters from her Majesty's Ambassador at Venice. The Duke of Florence progresses very well in his enterprise against Sienna, and unless the French King very shortly sends an army on the field, the town shall be driven to great extremity, having already lost the commodity of three of their gates, and the fourth standing them in no great stead. The Pope has commanded through all his dominions that no victual may there be provided or suffered to pass that way for the succour of Sienna. Heard to-day that this order is given indifferently for the Imperialists and the French. The Marquis has lately taken a small fort within a quarter of a mile from Vignano [Vignone] of which great account is made here. The Emperor hastens the assembling of his Germans, and the opinion of this Court is that the French enterprise shall be towards Liege; yet the great victualling of Ardres so much beyond its necessity, makes many think that some attempt is meant that way, and either upon some of the English pieces or upon Gravelines, which equally affects England. The occasion of Gresham's stay here longer than he looked for, will be explained by his own letter. [One page and a half.]
May 26.
210. Thomas Gresham to the Council. Left Antwerp on the 22d inst. on his way homewards, and came by Brussels to know if the Emperor and the Regent had any service for him in Spain. By advice of her Majesty's Ambassador, repaired for answer to the Bishop of Arras, who used him very gently, inquiring if he had sufficient passport for the sack of his treasure out of Spain; on replying that he did not know to the contrary, for the Queen and the Council had taken order with the Emperor's Ambassador for it, the Bishop answered that the Ambassador had written to the Emperor, but that his Majesty was not yet resolved, adding that if he went into Spain without the Emperor's passport he would not be suffered to transport any money out of that country. The Bishop also advised him to go to the Regent and inquire if she had any service for him to the Queen, and to move her to ask the Emperor for his passport, as it might be concluded that by the time he arrived in Spain the Prince would be gone. The matter being moved to the Regent, she consented to do so, and inquired for what sum the passport should be made out. On being informed she commanded him to put his request in writing and then asked him to stay until the Emperor's secretary in the Spanish tongue, Mons. de Erasse, arrived at Antwerp. Returned hither, and attends upon him, and will follow him to Brussels until he has obtained the passport. Sends back all the Queen's bonds, they being dated 4th May, and those of the city 3d May, which they say here are of small effect. The merchants will have the Queen's bonds dated the 2d. Is bound before a notary to re-deliver the bonds within 15 days, as will appear by a copy of the bond inclosed. By his bond got all the first bills of exchange into his hands, and sent them in post through France with the Queen's letters to the Lord Privy Seal, by his servant Thomas Downe to his factor Edmund Hoggan. Had not written concerning this to the Council, expecting to make declaration of it himself, which he cannot do now, as he has to wait for the passport. Jasper Schetz and his brothers desire to have their bond made in three separate deeds for sums which he specifies, in the name of "Jasper Schetz and brethren." The reason is, that since Schetz bargained with him for her Majesty, he has been obliged to lend the Emperor 200,000 florins, and so, to keep his promise with the Queen, has had to take up 54,720 florins of others, who will have their bonds made separately in his name; the third bond for 65,060 florins is their own. These he is also bound to deliver within 15 days. Has been offered, by Mr Bartholomew Compagni, 15 and 16 per cent. to deliver the Queen's and City's bonds, which touches her Majesty's credit, as his commission extends only to 13 per cent.; this causes money to be dear here. In consequence, has had to make a new composition with Schetz to receive 3,000l. and 6,000l. in the payments due the 25th July next, and the staplers in the town agree to stand to the times at 12 per cent. interest. Has 130 barrels of gunpowder and 600 Collen cleve staves ready for shipping; the bargain of powder is a very good one, for here is no quantity to be had for money. [Four pages. Indorsed by Petre.] Inclosing,
210. I. Notarial instrument by which Gresham testifies to having entered into a contract with Anthony Fugger and nephews, Gaspar Schetz and brothers, John de Matansa, John Lopez de Gallo, Anthony Spinola, and Octavian Lommelin, merchants of different nations resident in Antwerp, by which contract the said merchants have promised to deliver their letters of change, to make payment of certain sums in Spain to the agents of the Queen of England, and the said Gresham to deliver to the said merchants bonds in acknowledgment of the payment. Antwerp, May 17. [French. Four pages.]
May 29. 211. The Council to Dr. Wotton. The French Ambassador had audience of her Majesty to-day, to pay his respects to her before she goes to Richmond, as to-morrow she intends to do; and on part of his master to complain that some of her subjects of Guernsey had assisted the Imperialists in seizing certain pieces of ordnance belonging to him, and which are, as is alleged, still kept in that island. Her Majesty, being somewhat ill at ease, remitted him for this and other matters to the Council, saying, that whatever was proved to be wrong should be amended; and in reply to the Ambassador's profession of reciprocal justice, twitted him with his master's conduct in the matter of the fugitives, concerning which her Majesty said she would not have used a semblable part towards the French King for the gain of three realms, and therewith departed. The Ambassador, being somewhat warmed with those words, on leaving the presence found fault with the Lord Chancellor, because while speaking to him upon some trifling matter, it fortuned the latter to look upon a book which by chance was lying open on a window of the gallery as they passed; and that with such terms as seemed very strange and never known to have been used by any Ambassador to any person in the position of the Chancellor; whom also in his heat he charged with having mocked him because of a barge which the Chancellor had once of his gentleness promised, and was ready to have given to him. The fashion of his talk was such, that the Chancellor was forced to tell him in plain words that it was not the part of Ambassadors to use such language, whereon some warm expressions passed on both sides. In this warm talk the Ambassador found great fault, because a secretary of the Emperor's Ambassador was present in one end of the gallery where the Queen gave him audience; and yet the secretary came there for matters of his own, and heard nothing of the conversation. He was told that his own secretary used to come 20 times into the Council Chambers against the other's once, and yet had they borne with him, so that he had no cause to be offended. Shall inquire into the matter of the ordnance. [Draft. Three pages.]
May 29. 212. Queen Mary to Dr. Wotton. His letters of the 9th and 19th have been received. Randall is forgiven, he is to remain abroad until he thoroughly learns whereunto the end of the rebels' enterprises tends, and if Stanton by any act proves himself willing to redress his late fault, he also shall be pardoned. Informs him that about 10 days ago M. de Courierés and another gentleman sent in embassy from the Emperor to her Majesty, and passing between Dover and Calais in two English bottoms, were not only chased into Dover by some French ships of war, from whom they escaped very narrowly, but had their horses and part of their stuff, which were in one of these two English vessels, taken from them, and carried ship and all into France, the crew as well as the ship being English. The Lord Chancellor (as of himself) had sent to the French Ambassador complaining thereof, and showing that when compared with his former conversation with her Majesty the matter gave cause of suspicion; so much the rather as it had been first moved by the Ambassador himself that neither the Imperialists nor the French, should during these wars meddle with the English passage between Dover and Calais, or search any vessels passing to and fro, which order hitherto having been observed, and now being broken by the French, was especially to be misliked. The Ambassador had replied that he did not marvel at the matter, since the like had been used by the Flemings towards the French, and as for the taking of the vessel, he was well assured that no displeasure or hurt was intended thereby to the Englishmen, but only for the horses and baggage contained in it, and which being landed in France, he knew well both ship and crew should be returned safely again. And thereon he renewed all the old complaints for breaking of the frigate, &c. Had shifted from the French King to the Constable the assertion that because of the non-ratification of the treaties, the former was in nowise bound to observe them than as the English, by their friendly using of him and his, should give him cause. It is unnecessary to repeat so often her Majesty's determination to observe the treaty although not formally ratified, for, as she takes it, between Princes of honour, and such as fear God and esteem his promise, it is the word and not the wax or writing that binds them. Her whole efforts, before and since entering upon this alliance with the Prince of Spain, has been to bring about an honourable peace between the Emperor and the French King, whose concord should, in her opinion, not a little serve for the furtherance of Christ's Catholic religion, and the universal commodity and surety of Christendom. The King's conduct towards the rebels is altogether at variance with his profession of friendship. Means not to provoke quarrels, but if assailed, shall not fail to take such steps as are befitting for her surety and honour, doubting not but by the help of Almighty God she shall be well enough able to defend herself, her country, and subjects, and meet with any injury that shall be any ways offered to her. Although the offence of Peter Carew is great, yet being naturally inclined to mercy, he shall be forgiven, should he be sincere in repenting his fault and, earnestly desiring to serve her Majesty, confess and open the circumstances thereof to Wotton. [Draft. Corrected by Petre. Sixteen pages.]