Elizabeth: March 1559, 1-10

Pages 152-170

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 1, 1558-1559. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1863.

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March 1559, 1-10

March 1.
R. O.
367. Gresham's Purchases in Flanders.
(i) "A note of such provisions as be already bought:"
Namely, 20,000 weight of cornpowder; 30,000 weight of serpentine powder; 20,000 weight of saltpetre; 500 corslets; 300 "corriers"; 3,000 hand guns; 300 daggs; 10,000 matches; 4,000 Collin cleaves; and 5,000 bowstaves.
(ii.) "A note of such provisions as remain unbought for the accomplishment of the Queen's warrant."
Namely, 28,000 (48) (fn. 1) weight of cornpowder; 42,000 (72) weight of serpentine powder; 30,000 (50) weight of sulphur; 500 (1,000) corslets; 500 (1,000) "couriers;" 1,300 (1,600) daggs; 5,000 (10,000) bowstaves.
These he has ordered, therefore requires two warrants, one for his discharge, and another because he has passed the Queen's price. Also to obtain the King of Spain's passport for the 200 barrels of saltpetre. There is owing in April and May next to the merchants of Antwerp 72,000l.
Orig. with marginal notes, and endd. by Cecil. Pp. 3.
March 1.
R. O.
368. Another copy of the same, with the omission of the concluding passages, also with Cecil's notes, different from the last.
Orig. Pp. 2.
March 1.
R. O.
369. Gresham to Cecil.
The Queen has no other ways and help to pay the debts owing in April and May next and to keep up the exchange "but to use her merchant adventurers." They will stand very stout in the matter by reason of this new custom and also for the 20,000l. that she owes them, yet "of force she must use her merchants, as the like proof was made in King Edward's time."
1. The English merchants have at least 50,000 or 60,000 cloths and kerseys ready to be shipped.
2. When these are all shipped then to make a stay of the fleet, that none shall depart till the Queen's pleasure be known.
3. The customer shall make a perfect book of all commodities shipped, and the names of the shippers.
4. He [Cecil] shall send for my Lord Mayor, Sir Rowland Hill, Sir William Garrat, Sir William Chester, Mr. Alderman Markhame and others named, and move them that the Queen requires them to pay in Flanders 20s. sterling upon every cloth now shipped, and she will buy them here again at double usance.
5. All their goods being in the Queen's power, she will bring them to bargain so as to qualify the price of the exchange as she shall think meetest.
6. He must not come lower than 22s. Flemish for every pound sterling, but trusts it will be 22s. 6d.
7. If he can bring them to 22s. it will raise the exchange to an honest price. The exchange in King Edward's time when he [Gresham] began this practice was but 16s. "Did I not raise it to 23s. ? and paid his whole debts after 20s. and 22s., whereby wool fell in price from 26s. 8d. to 16s., and cloths from 60l. a pack to 40l. and 36l. a pack, with all other our commodities, and foreigners, whereby a number of clothiers gave over the making of cloths and kerseys. Wherein there was touched no man but the merchant for to serve the Princes' turn, which appeared to the face of the world that they were great losers; but to the contrary in the end, when things were brought to perfection, they were great gainers thereby."
8. He [Cecil] must remember specially that the merchants pay in valued money (or permission money), the Queen being bound to pay it in valued money, otherwise it may cost her three or four per cent. This should not be moved to the merchants until such time as Cecil has bargained and agreed upon the exchange.
9. Desires to have the Queen's instructions for the taking up of the rest of her debts and also several warrants here specified.—1 March, 1588. Signed: Thomas Gresham, mercer.
Orig. Hol. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 4.
March 1.
R. O. Fœd. xv. 503.
370. Treaty of Cateau Cambresis.
Commission of Francis and Mary, King and Queen of Scotland, appointing Charles Cardinal of Lorraine, Anne de Montmorency, Jacques d'Albon, Sr. de Saint André, Jehan de Morvillier Bishop of Orleans, and Claude de l'Aubespine, Sr. de Haulterive, their Commissioners to treat with those of the Queen of England.—Villiers Coste Retz, 1 March 1558. Signed: Francys, Marie,—Le Parchemynier.
Orig. On vellum, with seal. Endd. by Cecil. Fr.
March 1.
B. M. Cal. B. ix. 203.
371. Abstract of the above.
March 1.
R. O.
372. Melancthon to the Queen.
Government should be chiefly directed to advance the proper worship of God, and prosperity of the Church. Wishes her a holy and a happy marriage. Exhorts her to assist the Church, which is like the wounded traveller, and advises her at once to establish its doctrine and rites in a definite form, lest afterwards dissensions should arise. This will be easier for her to do in England, where the government is monarchical, than elsewhere; and her example may even avail with other nations. It is desirable that this form of doctrine should be expressed without ambiguity in those points which are chiefly in dispute, and that they should be supported by clear testimonies, for which purposes he wishes that there might be a synod for the settling all doubtful questions.
March 1. The Reverend William Barlow will be the bearer of this letter, whom he commends as being a learned man, one who rightly worships God, and loves ecclesiastical concord.—Cal. Mart. 1559. Signed: Philippus Melancthon.
Add., with seal. Endd. Orig. Hol. Lat. Pp. 4.
March 2.
R. O.
373. The English Commissioners at Cateau Cambresis to the Queen.
On 25th Feb. they received her instructions dated 19th Feb., and on that self day asked to talk with the Spanish Commissioners thereupon. The next day was appointed, although the Duke d'Alva was sick and kept his bed, the Prince of Orange was gone to Mons in Hainault, eleven leagues hence, with the Duchesss of Lorraine, who has obtained leave of the French King that the Duke, her son, might go with her to kiss the King of Spain's hand, who for that purpose had come from Brussels to Mons. They met in the Duke's chamber, he keeping his bed, and having with him Ruy Gomez and the Bishop of Arras.
1. The Spanish Commissioners said they did not wonder that the Queen found the peremptoriness of the French very strange, but their fashion and arrogancy was such in all their doings.
2. Before they would answer the matter proposed by the English Commissioners, there were many previous considerations, they said, to be weighed; as, with what force would she make war? with what force should the King do the same? with what force would the enemy defend himself? Until these were known no one could say anything in this matter. War, if made at all, should be made with such forces as to invade the enemy at home and to give him the overthrow if it came to a battle, so that he shall be glad to redeliver Calais. If the Queen would besiege Calais with a meet power, their master would so occupy the enemy as he should not let her of her purpose. To these questions the English Commissioners remarked that the Queen had not only war with the French but also with the Scots, which was much more chargeable, yea, and much more dangerous. "Yea, marry (quoth Ruy Gomez), for ye have a better defence betwixt France and you than betwixt Scotland and you." He further said that the war with the Scots was more dangerous. The Spanish Commissioners decided that war would be to little or none effect unless it were earnestly maintained, and the enemy on both sides with main armies set upon and invaded.
3. In reply to the third head, the Spaniards admitted that the loss of Calais had been hurtful to them, since by it the enemy could enter into their country. They had travailed with the French for the recovery of it more earnestly than they had for any matter of the King's. The French had sought crafty means with them to dissever them from the Queen's amity, and fain would have the Spanish Commissioners to "go through" with them without the English. The King would never make treaty but sans honte, as he termed it. They could see no other way but one of these two, either treaty of peace or continuance of war. The Spanish Commissioners in conclusion thought "it good that the French be answered that the Queen hath made answer plainly that she will agree to no peace without restitution of Calais." "Think you so, (quoth we) will they not then be gone straight?" "Yea," (quoth they) "we think it necessary so to be done, and thereby to try the uttermost with them, and to prove what they will do, even till they be ready to put the foot in the stirrup." "We fear, (quoth we) there might be some danger of breaking off by that means." "No danger at all, (quoth they) for if you have none other overture to be made to them, nor further instructions concerning their overtures made unto you, then is there no remedy but to break off for all, unless they will redeliver Calais." The Spanish; Commissioners were then requested to submit, as of their own minds, to the French the division of that which has been lost in the territory of Calais, as the same was declared in her instructions. To this they answered that they were willing to propose this as from themselves to the French, but as by this way the French were required to redeliver Calais it would probably be rejected. They asked, therefore, if the English had any further instructions?
4. The English Commissioners then declared their instructions as to the retention of Calais by the French for certain years (reserving, however, the very last degrees of their instructions), providing always that the peace were also thoroughly concluded with Scotland, with the express covenant that Aymouth should be rased. The Spaniards promised to travail the best they could with the French. The French had said that they had commission from Scotland to treat with the English. Ruy Gomez said that this last overture for the redelivery of Calais after certain years was not to be every whit misliked, for by this means the Queen would remain in peace for certain years, which is a thing much to be esteemed and wished for of princes at their first advancement to the crown.
5. "In this long talk the King's Commissioners told us that when they talked with the French of the restitution of Calais, or payment of our debts, or any such like thing, the French did use to answer them,—Put the case that Calais were to be redelivered, and that we did owe such debts to the crown of England, to whom shall we redeliver Calais? To whom shall we pay the debts? Is not the Queen of Scots true Queen of England? Shall we deliver Calais and those debts to another, and thereby prejudice the right of the Queen of Scots and of the Dauphin her husband? Whereunto I, the Lord Chamberlain, said, Let them redeliver Calais, and pay the debts and arrearages, with the pensions to the crown of England, and when the Queen of Scots hath obtained the same, then shall she have Calais and all the rest." This has often been brought forward, "and the French call still to have these matters put to arbiters, before they intend to set forth the Queen of Scots' right. The Bishop of Arras, in this come munication, also said, We think that you understand that the French labour at Rome to the Pope for the disabling of Your Highness to the crown and entitling of the Queen of Scots thereunto."
6. The English Commissioners having considered among themselves the question of the French as to whom Calais were be redelivered but to the Queen of Scots as true Queen of England, "stand in doubt whether they mean that thereby they would bring in question your title to the Crown and have it discussed before arbiters; which if they mean (as we suspect that thereby they do mean) we think it were good you did well consider whether it shall be meet to put anything to the judgment of arbiters, whereby the matter might be called to examination before them. For though we doubt never a whit that nothing could reasonably be said to the contrary, yet for because that we never heard that kings have used to put their titles to be examined by arbiters, therefore we doubt (and rather think no than yea) whether you would think it meet to have any arbiters to take upon them the knowledge thereof. And yet, whether the title of Calais, or whether the right to the debts, arrearages, or pensions be put to arbiters by either of these means, it seemeth the French may find means to bring in question before arbiters whether you have right to the crown or the Queen of Scots. It may please you to cause this point to be considered to, and to signify your pleasure hither. If the matter of Calais has been put to the Parliament and nobility of the realm they desire to be certified thereof."
7. The Constable (who went to the King his master, lying at Villier Coste Rez, two or three days after they despatched John Sommer with their long letter) returned here to-day, as has also the Duchess of Lorraine.
8. Hearing that the matter of the supremacy is to be determined again to appertain to the crown, asks if they shall make any comprehension in these treaties of the see of Rome, or of the dominions of the same, and after what sort that shall be done.
9. As for arbiters to be appointed, it is not likely that any good could come hereof. What arbiters would dare to pronounce anything against the French King, the Dauphin, and the Queen of Scots?
10. The Spanish Commissioners have this afternoon met with the French, who said that their master was fully resolved rather to hazard his Crown than to redeliver Calais. They also wished the Spaniards to "go through with them," since the English would come to no terms. This they refused, unless the Queen were first satisfied. After having sit still almost an hour, having nothing further to say one to another, the conference broke up. They are to meet the Spanish Commissioners to-morrow morning at 10 o'clock.—Casteau en Cambresis, 2nd March 1558.—Signed: W. Howard, Thomas Ely, N. Wotton.
Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 13.
March 2.
374. Lord W. Howard to the Queen.
Beseeches her not to impute folly to him that he is so bold to write to her thus privately. Thanks her for the goodness showed to his poor wife since his departing from the Court. Is in doubt of what may happen to him in this service, viz., the indignation of the Prince and the shame of the world, and sees great likelihood of the coming of the one or the other, as thus;—if the French should depart suddenly hence, leaving her in war, her displeasure might arise and yet they not able to do more than they have done. And if they be forced to conclude a peace, doubts her subjects will not take it that they are so forced. Wherefore wishes that the matter might be moved in Parliament, and that they might hear from her ere all these things are here fully concluded.
Has heard here that Sir Robert Stafford has returned into England and is daily at the Court. At this he much marvels: "but this, I know, living hath he none in England and in France good entertainment. And if he be sent to practise anything with Your Highness touching the peace, or seemeth to come of himself to declare any privy thing, mine opinion is that it is evil trusting to a traitor. I can make him no better."
"Now will I declare to Your Highness how your marriage is here both wished and prophesied of. The Constable, talking one day with me in the church, did marvellously set forth Your Highness's virtues and personage, and what good will the King his master bare unto you, wishing that if his master's wife were dead, Your Majesty were his wife. But he said that cannot be, both for the life of his mistress and that Your Highness, as he heard, should be married in Almain or in Italy. "By the Lord" said I, "it is a great marvel to me how you have that intelligence," for I think there was never any such motion made to Your Highness; and as far as I could ever perceive, Your Majesty had such haste to marry that who should first be a suitor to Your Highness, he might peradventure take but small pleasure in your answer. "But," quoth I, "if the King your master doth bear Her Highness the goodwill you speak of, he would not stand with her so much against both right and reason. "But," quoth I, "let the Queen see the deeds; then may she the better believe the words." "Then he was weary of that talk, and bade me farewell for that time.'
"Another day the Duchess of Lorraine with the Countess of Aronborge, with the Prince of Orange rid a hunting, and desired me to go with them. And by the way both the ladies, among other talk, wished Your Highness to be the wife of the King of Spain. "Why," quoth I, "what should my mistress do with a husband that should be ever from her, or seldom with her? Is that the way," said I, "to get that thing which we desire most, that is, children? I think not." Then they laughing said, "The other Queen was too old, and not to be very well liked." "Well," quoth I, "you have said very well; but for my part she shall never be moved of any. But whomsoever she will take we will have him and serve him to the death, and the better if he make much of her; and so left off."
The Duke of Lorraine's wife, daughter to the French King, is looked for here every day. The Duchess of Lorraine has brought from Mons in Hainault her two daughters to meet the Duke's wife. This evening arrived here the master of the horse of the King of Spain, Don Anthony de Toledo. Hopes she will reign long in honour and heart's ease.— Chateau in Cambresis, 2nd March 1558. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 4.
March 3.
R. O.
375. The Earl of Northumberland to the Queen.
Since the meeting of the Earl Bothwell and himself, the Laird of Lethington has sent letters to his [the writer's] brother and Sir James Croftes, which he sends enclosed.
By advice of his said brother and Croftes (who were here yesterday) has done according to the request of the said Laird of Lethington "anempst," his safe conduct for his passage through England, and also about the writings that should pass betwixt Earl Bothwell and the writer for a further abstinence of two months. Looks for the said Laird of Lethington's coming hither sooner than was spoken of at their meeting, and will inform her when he arrives.
On Friday last at 3 p.m. sixteen sail arrived at the Holy Island, most of them victuallers, looked for a long time; and within half an hour after twenty four sails passed by them northwards into Scotland, which he was told were the fleet sent out of Scotland to Bordeaux for wines, &c., and which on account of the contrary winds were forced to return again. —Warkwork, 3rd March 1558. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. Pp. 2.
March 4.
R. O.
376. Mary, Queen Dowager of Scotland, to the Queen.
Credence for William Maitland of Lethington, younger, Secretary for this realm to her son and daughter, the King and Queen Dauphins, whom she sends to Elizabeth on matters tending to the quietness, wealth, and commodity of both the realms.—Edinburgh, 4 March 1558. Signed: Your good sister and allaya, Marie R.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil: 4 Martii 1559. Broadside.
March 4.
R. O. 171 B.
377. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
March 4.
B. M. Calig. B. ix. 203.
378. Abstract of the preceding document.
March 4.
R. O.
379. Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk, to Cecil.
"The hand within the letter seemed to be my lady, your wife's, the superscription Sir Wm. Cecil's, but howsoever it were it is all one." Would to God all our whole nation were likewise one in Jesus Christ, nay, if there be but eleven about Her Majesty's person that savor one thing in Him, she is happy and the whole realm. But alack, the report is otherwise, which is an intolerable heaviness to such as love God and her. He [Cecil] and such as should rather be spurrers, hold her of her own good inclination, running most back, among which he is specially named. Wherefore, for the love she [the writer] bears him, she cannot forbear to write it, even if it ill please him to hear a simple woman's mind.
Undoubtedly the greatest wisdom is not to be too wise; which of all others he should by experience chiefliest know. For if there was anything whereby that good Duke, his old master, deserved and felt the heavy stroke of God, what is there else whereof men may accuse him but only that when God had placed him to set forth His glory (which yet of himself he was always ready to do) but being still plucked by the sleeve of worldly friends, for this worldly respect or that, in fine gave over his hot zeal to set forth God's true religion as he had most nobly begun, and turning him to follow such worldlings' devices. "You can, as well as I, tell what came of it." The Duke lost all that he sought to keep, with his head to boot; and his counsellors slipped their collars, turned their coats, and have served since to play their parts in many other matters. But "beware in time" is good; for though God wink at them, He sleepeth not, and will undoubtedly at length pay such turncoats home.
"Wherefore I am forced to say with the Prophet Elie, 'How long halt ye between two opinions?' If the mass be good, tarry not to follow it, nor take from it no part of that honour which the last Queen in her notable stoutness brought it to and left it in, wherein she deserved immortal praise, seeing she was so persuaded that it was good. But if you be not so persuaded, alas, who should move the Queen to honour it with her presence, or any of her councillors. Well, it is so reported here that Her Majesty tarried but the Gospel, and so departed. I pray God that no part of the report were true, for in conscience there is few of you that can excuse yourselves, but that you know there is no part of it good after that sort as they use it. For the very Gospel there read is unprofitable, or rather an occasion of falling to the multitudes, which, hearing it and not understanding it, taketh it rather for some holy charm than other thing. Saints' faces may in Lent be covered, and it were good they were always so; but where Christ is, He is bare faced; and especially where He hath openly preached at noondays, should not here be brought in again hooded. To build surely is first to lay the sure cornered stone. To-day, not to-morrow. There is no exception by man's law that may serve against God's. There is no fear of innovation in restoring old good, and repealing the new evil; but it is to be feared men have so long worn the Gospel slopewise that they will not gladly have it again straight to their legs. Christ's plain coat without seam is fairer to the clear eyed than all the jaggs of Germany. This I say, for that it is also said here that certain "Duchers" should commend to us the Confession of Augsburg, as they did to the Poles, where it was answered by a wise councillor, neither Augsburg nor Rome was their rully [rule] but Christ, who has left His Gospel behind Him, a rully [rule] sufficient and only to be followed."
Has thus written after her old manner, which she hopes he will take as thankfully and friendly as she means it; though she will say to him as her father Latimer was wont to say to her, "I will be bold to write to you another time as I hear and what I think; and if not, I shall hold my peace and pray God amend it." Prays that Cecil will only seek Him as His elect and chosen vessel ought to do.—"From our house of Crossane in Semoytte, the 4 of March, so far yours as you are God's, K. Suffolk."
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil: 1 April 1559, Duch. of Suffolk. Pp. 3.
March 5.
R. O.
380. The Queen to the Emperor Ferdinand.
Has received his letters of [blank] February last, brought to her by his Legate and Councillor, George, Count Hellfensteyn. Thanks him for his friendship, which she perceives is no less warm than it was towards her sister Mary, who was more nearly related to him than she is.—Westminster, 5 March, 1558.
Draft. Endd. by Cecil. Lat. Pp. 2.
March 5.
R. O.
381. Another copy of the same.
Modern transcript.
March 5.
B. M. Sloane, 4134. 76.
382. Another copy of the same.
Forbes' transcript.
March 5.
R. O.
383. Instructions for Gresham.
"Instructions given 5 (fn. 2) March, 1558, to Thomas Gresham, Esq., whom we presently send to the town of Antwerp as our agent for the doing of certain our affairs."
1. Whereas by a former commission he has taken up certain sums of money, from sundry merchants within that town, at such interest as was agreed upon between him and the said merchants, and for which the creditors have not only bonds under the great seal of England but also of the city of London, he shall use all the means he can to put over the payment of the moiety of every debt due by her, betwixt this and the 1st of June, for six months, and assuring the merchants payment of the other moiety at their several days as agreed upon.
2. That as to the money he was compelled to expend, on cornpowder, serpentine powder, and saltpetre, over and above the price stated by the commission, he shall repay himself the same from such money as from time to time shall come into his hands; and these he shall send into England with all convenient speed. He shall, at his coming over, repair to the King of Spain and deliver unto him the Count de Feria's letters and solicit his passport for 200 barrels of saltpetre.
Draft. Endd. by Cecil: 5 Martii, 1558. Pp. 2.
March 5.
R. O.
384. Another draft of the same, corrected by Cecil.
Endd.: 5 Martii, 1558. Pp. 3.
March 5.
B. M. Galba, C. 1. 2.
385. Abstract of the above instructions.
March 6.
R. O.
386. Cuthbert Vaughan to Cecil.
His armourer and the menders of mail belonging to his band are dead, and in this town and country are none to be had. Asks him to grant a commission to the writer's servant, Wm. Dounton, to take two armourers, two mail menders, and one mattress maker, with their tools, for this town is now again destitute of bedding, which is the chiefest cause of decay of the soldiers. Will once again supply the want of bedding for his own band. Asks him to write to Mr. Crofte, or Mr. Treasurer, to make allowance thereof here; also to make allowance for the coats of the fifty-three men sent down, out of the 200l. which he received for that purpose.
Will he be a mean to the Queen for his [the writer's] restitution in blood? His case stands upon the thread of one child's life for 100l. in the right of his wife, which if it should fall, she cannot enjoy during his life. Is an evil courtier, as is seen by his game, and would be loth to be hanging on every man's sleeve.—Berwick, 6 March, 1558. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add., with seal. Endd. Pp. 3.
March 6.
B.M. Harl. 353. 155.
387. Proceedings of Privy Council.
Westminster, 6 March 1558.—Present: the Lord Great Seal, the Earl of Bedford; the Lord Admiral; Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain; Mr. Cave, Mr. Mason.
A letter of thanks to the Mayor and Aldermen of Bristol for staying of a Spanish priest called Francesco Del Gado, and for such examinations as they sent up touching the said priest's unseemly talk of the Queen's Highness. For punish ment whereof the Mayor is required to keep him still in prison till he can be contented to be sorry and acknowledge his fault, in which case he shall be suffered to depart; and otherwise remaining stubborn and without repentance, the same to be signified hither, and to receive further order.
March 6.
R. O. 27 VI. 39.
388. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
March 6.
R. O. 27 V. 91.
389. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
March 7.
R. O.
390. The Queen to the English Commissioners at Cateau Cambresis.
Has received their letters of the 2nd inst., whereby she perceives how far they have proceeded with the Commissioners of the King of Spain, but as yet nothing with the French. "And for our mind to parle of your said letters, wherein you make mention of matters opened to you by the Spaniards, touching our title, such as we can like anyways to hear of," she sees no difference of their proceedings at this present from those which were in her sister's time, having then the King of Spain to her husband. In that time they had the propounding of the whole, both for England and France, and now nothing is done on the part of the English, nor received from the French, but by the Spaniards. This was the objection the French made for refusal of the treaty there, as the Lord Chamberlain well knows, wherewith she caused them to be answered that although the King of Spain and she were in assured friendship, and so mean to be, yet she did not so depend upon him, but that the Commissioners should show themselves to have authority and disposition to treat with the said French in any point of parle, and without the counsel of the Spaniards.
Thinks it very strange that they could forbear with such a matter opened unto them either of Spaniard or French, or that they would attempt to write to her thereof, and to seek to know her pleasure in such a matter, which they ought neither to hear of, nor to reason, no, not once to show themselves patient that any such thing should be opened to them by any manner of person. (fn. 3)
She sends Sir Thomas Mason (who has been privy here to all her counsels and deliberations) to impart to them her meaning in this matter, which has occupied no small tract of time. He is to be joined with them in all cases touching this peace.
Fair copy, with corrections and additions by Cecil, and endd. by him: 7 Martii 1558. Copia literarum non missarum. Pp. 3.
March 7.
R. O.
391. The Queen to the English Commissioners at Cateau Cambresis.
Has received their letters of 2nd March. Cannot forbear to let them know what great cause she has to mislike certain matters which touch her estate too nigh, which have not only been heard of them with too much patience upon report of the Spaniards, but also so weighed with them [the English] as that they desired to know her pleasure therein.
"Whatsoever our adversaries, or whatsoever our friends' ministers, be pleased to use speech hereof, we cannot well take it that our servants and subjects shall either suffer others thus to speak without due reprehension or misliking, or should make doubt of it, and adventure by letters to require our pleasure in it, which might have been performed by any of you, that neither we may nor ever will permit any over whom we have rule, or may have, to make doubt, question, or treaty of this matter. Ye must content yourselves to hear thus much, for true it is we like not the matter as it is handled."
Has thought it necessary to send the bearer, Sir John Mason, who shall be associated with them and have like authority.
Draft, in Cecil's hol. Endd.: 7 March 1558. Copia litterarum Dominæ Reginæ. Pp. 3.
March 7.
R. O.
392. The Lords of the Council to the English Commissioners at Cateau Cambresis.
The Queen has showed them the letter of the Commissioners of 2nd March. Some things have passed on the part of the Spanish Commissioners which touch so much her honour and surety as (to be plain) the writers, for their natural bound duty towards her, can neither patiently hear such manner of speeches of the Spaniards, nor be without great doubt what to think of them. "They say, the French ask them, to whom they should redeliver Calais? To whom they shall pay the debts? Is not, say they (which we must in that quarrel defy), the Queen of Scots true Queen of England? And so further say they, the French call still to have these matters put to arbiters. Upon this report of the Spaniards, it seemeth, by your letters, ye stand in doubt whether the French mean to bring in question the Queen's title to the crown; and therefore ye think it were good that Her Highness should well consider whether it shall be meet to put anything to the judgment of arbiters, whereby that matter might be called to examination. And in this peril ye desire to have Her Highness' pleasure signified to you with as much speed as may be."
They are truly sorry to see the Queen thus spoken of, and think the matter neither worth hearing nor answer, except it be by some answer to declare their indignation to hear of any such thing. If it be true that the French have thus said to the Spaniards as they report, the English Commissioners have too long forborne that the French do not understand directly how much it is to be contemned. The words touch the Queen so much as to make a treaty nothing agreeable to the commissions, nor convenient for them to hear of. If the Spaniards use these devices to make the English Commissioners hang more upon them than in good order of friendship were convenient, they may think they have won a more sovereignty over us than shall be either honourable or profitable. It seems strange that no mention of this scruple is made in the articles of offers made by the French and delivered by the English to the Spaniards, but now in the end it is brought forth by the Spaniards as a thing that the English doubt whether the French will have it discussed by arbiters. The writers marvel that in all the proceedings from the beginning, the English have had treaty with the French only once or twice, and that the offers of the French have come by the Spaniards. This was not inconvenient in the time of the late Queen, "yet now it is not so meet, nor percase so profitable, as otherwise might have been if ye had treated oftener with the French apart."
"My Lords, although we have always allowed to come to peace, yea, and that with very hard conditions, yet to have such a treaty as this might be, wherein the Queen's title should be put to arbiters, we neither can, nor must, nor ever will, like or allow." (fn. 4)
Though they write plainly what they like and what they mislike, yet, (saving in the matter of the Queen's title,) they refer the Commissioners to the previous instructions. They have authority to conclude a peace with the French and with the Scots also, which thing is thought to be necessary, yet to make a peace wherein the Queen's title should be put in question is so far out of square that the writers assure the Commissioners that all who have any English blood in their bodies were better to stand to their own defence and adventure both bodies, goods, and lands.
The Commissioners having written to know the Queen's pleasure for the comprehension of the See Apostolic, "the same may be passed over in silence."
Reference to the Parliament respecting Calais is to be only in the very extremity betwixt them and the French. Are sorry that the Commissioners, writing on the 2nd inst. did not detain the messenger until the morning of the 3rd, when they would understand the King of Spain's Commissioners.
Draft, corrected by Cecil. Endd.: 7 Martii 1558, literæ dominorum consiliariorum; for the peace with France and Scotland. Pp. 4.
March 7.
R. O. 171 B.
393. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
March 7.
R. O.
394. The Queen's Instructions to Sir J. Mason.
"The minute of the instructions given to Sir John Mason, sent to Casteau in Cambresis."
1. He shall repair to the Commissioners at Casteau in Cambresis.
2. He shall deliver her letters and those of her Privy Council, which show the principal cause of his coming to arise upon matter written by them touching a doubt they seem to have, and an answer they require of her in a matter too much derogatory to her dignity and right to be anywise treated upon; and therein show them how much both she and her Council mislike not only the opening thereof, as it was by the Spaniards, but chiefly the motion made now by them, her Ambassadors, to have any answer from hence thereunto, in such a matter as that is. And in that behalf he shall say that she cannot tell how to interpret their meaning; first, to suffer such words with patience, and next to make a doubt of it themselves. And for this purpose he shall show them how much she mislikes their misdoings.
3. The Ambassadors are to continue their entertainment of amity with the King of Spain, but yet not so to yield to his Commissioners as though there should be no treaty betwixt themselves and the French, but with the privity of the Spaniards. They may, therefore, (as on the other part the French treat with the Spaniards,) treat apart with the French out of the presence of the Spaniards, as the French and Spaniards treat together out of the presence of her Commissioners.
4. He shall declare that her resolute meaning is, either to have a peace there concluded with Scotland, or a good assurance thereof.
5. He shall declare unto the Spanish Commissioners that he is sent expressly to the English Commissioners with resolution of all doubts that might arise, and shall enlarge upon her constant determination to remain in perfect amity with the King.
6. As to one article in the former instructions, in which she desired that the French should be stayed until she should have imparted the forgoing of Calais to her Parliament, yet if her Commissioners be driven to extremity, he shall say that she cannot think the French will depart from their own offers, which have come to her hands from France, yet for answer to all events, he shall follow her former instructions in that behalf.
7. He shall not forbear any occasion to speak with the Constable to the furtherance of this peace; telling him that he [Mason] was privy to 1 that had passed thence to the Queen. If the Constable shall find lack that the English Commissioners have been too much addicted to the Spaniards, Mason shall excuse them, and impute it to the French that they have opened their mouths and meaning to the Spaniards in her matters, and thereby forced the English to receive the same at the Spaniards. Her meaning from the beginning has been that her ministers should not refuse to treat with the French apart.
Draft in Cecil's hol. Endd.: 7 Martii, 1558. Pp. 4.
March 7.
R. O.
395. The Earl of Northumberland to the Lords of the Council.
The Council at York having required him to send up the certificates of the mustering of Northumberland by the last day of February, the commissioners appointed by him for that purpose could not do so by that day, by reason of the wars and other business, but sends them now. In order to refute a report that has been spread about the misgoverning of Northumberland, has required his brother Harry, who is privy of the whole state of the East Marches, his brother-in-law, Francis Slingesbie, the Earl's Deputy Warden of the Middle Marches, and keeper of Tynedale, knowing in like manner their state, and also Christopher Rokebie, keeper of Harbottell and Ridesdale, to make them fully understand the state of the whole country. If he has omitted any duty, he is worthy of punishment, but if his services have been well employed, then let them be punished that have been so ready to spread abroad such untrue tales. Wishes that the Queen would send some man of credit down to see what state the country is in.
P.S.—Reminds them, through the bearer, Christopher Rokebie, of his suits for the tithes of Tynemouth, and a place called the Holme.—Warkworth, 7 March 1558. Signed.
Orig., with armorial seal. Add. Endd. Pp. 2.
March 7.
396. Cuthbert Vaughan to Cecil.
Has spent his greatest time in the wars, in which he has lost his best arm, but has not been relieved by any gift of land, fee-farm, or lease, &c.
Moved him at his departing from him, for a parsonage in Kent, very commodious to the maintenance of his poor house there, of the yearly value of 21l. 10s., and has now found out another small thing of 10l. by year of the Queen's, lying in Yorkshire, "likwise very commodious for my provision of beffes and muttones" during his service there, and being promised favour in obtaining the lease that is out thereof, of twenty-one years yet to come, asks him to move the Queen to bestow these on him.
The parsonage of Lymmynge, valet per ann. 21l. 10s.
Dykesmershe in Yorkshire, valet per ann. 10l.
P.S.—Prays Cecil to stay Sir Ambrose Cave for making any further assurance of the said Dykesmersh.—Berwick, 7 March 1558. Signed.
Orig. Hol. (? Add., with seal. Endd. Pp. 3.
March 9.
R. O.
397. Gustavus, King of Sweden, to the Queen.
Hopes that the intercourse which had existed between his realm and England during the reign of Edward VI. will now be resumed, as he has heard of her accession and coronation. Rejoices at the intelligence, and prays that her rule may promote the propagation of God's Word, which will tend much to the advantage, not only of the eternal but also the temporal interests of England.—Dat. Wastenis, 9 March 1559. Signed: Gostavus.
Orig. Add. Endd. Broadside. Lat.
March 9.
R. O. 171 B.
398. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
March 9.
R. O.
399. Sir J. Croftes to the Queen.
Has received from the Earl of Northumberland a double of her letters of 1 March, answering his of 24 February. Before this time doubts not she has had knowledge of the coming of the Scottish Secretary by Mr. Percy, (for it was thought meet that either he or the writer should declare the whole proceeding to her or the Privy Council,) yet signifies some parts of the proceedings as follows:—
At a meeting which Sir Harry Percy and he had with the Secretary and Sarlabos, notwithstanding that Kirkaldy, who is now in company with the Secretary, had before motioned that by an abstinence a beginning might be made for a treaty of peace, yet at the meeting they begun to speak of ransoms of prisoners. Kirkaldy, when he came, renewed the matter; whereupon the Secretary said that peace should be moved by those that first began the war. Croftes answered that the Queen was not party to the matter, otherwise than finding the realm in war she was forced to maintain the quarrel. The Secretary said he knew the Queen Dowager was of good mind to labour for peace, whereupon it was thought reasonable for an introduction that an abstinence should be taken and some gentleman sent from the Dowager to the Queen. The Scots refused the licence of my Lord of Northumberland for this gentleman which should go, saying that a messenger on so weighty a matter should pass only by a licence from the Prince, at which point the English stood long, and stuck only upon this manner of licence. Hereupon he [the writer] spake with the Secretary apart, and said that he put the whole nation in peril by standing upon ceremonies, for he must consider that the princes that are desirous, by marriage or otherwise, to knit amity with the Queen, lose no time, and she might join in amity with some prince contrary to the faction of Scotland. Kirkaldy asked whether the Earl would promise upon his honour that the licence which he would give should be sufficient for him, and was answered by Croftes that whatever his Lordship would grant he would undertake upon his honour should be good assurance. They then declared the same to the Frenchman, who, with Kirkaldy, concluded to repair to Edinburgh to procure commission from the Dowager to the Earl Bothwell, and them to meet with the Earl of Northumberland, Sir H. Percy, and the writer, at which meeting (as she has been informed) they differed as to the time of the abstinence. But before their departing the Secretary called him aside and asked him whether he thought it possible that a communication of peace might be betwixt the Queen and the French King, the wars standing between the King of Spain and the French King? Answered that the league between the Queen and the King of Spain was not so straight as that between France and Scotland, and therefore something might be harkened unto such as with honour might tend to the weal of the realm.
Since the meeting between the Earls of Northumberland and Bothwell the time of abstinence offered by the former is accepted, and the Secretary on his journey towards the Queen. Rode in his company to the Earl of Northumberland's house, and by the way he desired to hear that his journey might not be frustrate, and said that he would make large offers and speak frankly, and if the offers which he would make should not be thought reasonable, he would travail to bring her wishes to pass. He was inquisitive of her marriage, and spake of a bruit amongst the common people in Scotland of a claim the Scottish Queen should have to the crown of England, "which (said he,) never entered into any wise man's head, for it was not possible by such claim to prevail otherwise than by conquest."—Berwick, 9 March 1558. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. Pp. 5.
March 9.
B. M. Harl. 353. 155 b.
400. Proceedings of Privy Council.
Westminster, 9 March 1558.—Present: the Lord Great Great Seal, the Earl of Bedford; Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, Mr. Secretary; Mr. Cave.
A letter to John Abington, Esq., surveyor of the victuals at Berwick, signifying unto him, that, to the end the Queen's Highness may be the better answered of such money as shall be due by the labourers and workmen of the fortifications there for their victuals, her pleasure is he should appoint certain particular victuallers under him, not only to take upon them the care of the charge of the victualling of the said labourers from time to time, but to be present also themselves at every pay and to defalcate so much of their wages as shall be due by them for the said victuals so received at their hands.
March 9.
R. O. 27 VI. 40.
401. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
March 9.
R. O. 27 V. 91.
402. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
[March 9.]
R. O.
403. Fortifications at Berwick.
"Warrant for money paid to Sir Wm. Ingleby by Sir Richard Lee."
To cancel two warrants dated severally 26 Jan. and 3 Feb. to Sir Richard Lee for 735l. 10s. for the conduct money of 1,400 men, employed on the fortifications of Berwick, this sum, as well as 2,600l. having been received (by two warrants dated 9 March,) by Sir W. Ingleby, Treasurer of Berwick, who is now accountable for the whole—Westm. [blank] 1 Eliz.
Corrected draft. Pp. 4.
March 10.
R. O.
404. Truce between Sir J. Croftes and M. D'Oysell.
At a communication between Thomas Earl of Northumberland, Lord Warden of the East and Middle Marches, and James Earl Bothwell, Lieutenant of the Marches of Scotland, it having been thought good that a cessation of arms for two months next following the 6th of March instant, should be agreed upon, (to which the Lord Docelle, General of the French King in Scotland, had become a party,) hereby Sir James Croftes, captain of the town and castle of Berwick, promises that he will observe the said abstinence.—Berwick, 10 March 1558.
Corrected draft. Endd. Pp. 2.


  • 1. These figures occur in the margin in Cecil's handwriting.
  • 2. Originally, March 2.
  • 3. The whole of this paragraph, in Cecil's hand, is an addition to the draft, and has afterwards been cancelled.
  • 4. The whole of this clause is a marginal addition by Cecil.