Elizabeth: December 1558, 1-10

Pages 16-24

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

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December 1558, 1-10

Dec. 1.
R. O.
54. The English Commissioners to the Queen.
On Sunday, 27 Nov., hearing that the French Commissioners have begun to truss and would remove, they went to the King's Commissioners to inquire what that matter meant; who said that the day before the French and they had agreed upon all controversies, as well for Corsica and Tuscany as for all others. The King's Commissioners said that now rested the matters of England, which must be agreed upon likewise. "Why," quoth the French, "the Queen is dead, so that now you need not to stick for that matter." "We know no such thing," quoth the King's Commissioners. "Yes," quoth the French, "the King, our master, hath certain knowledge of it by letters from a physician of the Queen's." "Then," quoth the Commissioners, "hath he more knowledge thereof than we have, for we neither know it nor believe it," adding that even if the Queen were dead yet is the treaty not expired. "Why, what do you mean?" quoth the French, "are you the Englishmen's slaves?" "Yea, of truth," quoth the King's Commissioners, "in this point we are, and they our masters, and so in the like point are they our slaves and we their masters; for we are so straitly bound to each other that we can make no peace nor truce without them, nor they without us." "Why," quoth the French, "you may conclude with us and comprehend them in your treaty, and so have ye done ere this at other times." "Nay," quoth the Commissioners, "that may we not do, but they must first be agreed thoroughly with you ere we may conclude with you. And in case any treaty have been made by them, or by us, wherein the other was only comprised, that hath not been done since the ecclarissement of our treaty made." "Why," quoth the French, "the King, our master, will not redeliver Calais. What if they would persist in demanding Calais, and would not agree without restitution of it?" "Marry," quoth the King's Commissioners, "we do not know wherein they will finally persist, but if you do not satisfy them therein, then can we conclude no treaty with you, and so have we ever said unto you." "Marry," quoth the French, "the Englishmen have no commission to talk with us, their Queen being dead, and therefore we can do nothing with them," adding, "Let the truces be made for four or five months by the Englishmen's consents, so that the truces shall comprehend them and us too." But the King's Commissioners (considering that they required that, to the intent that thereby the French might send ambassadors into England, who would not fail to travail all their power to set some great trouble in the realm) answered that that could not be, for that the English Commissioners had no authority to consent to such terms. The French having proposed truces for two months, both parties agreed to write to the Kings their masters to know whether the suspension of arms should be prolonged till the 24 or 25 Jan. next, and in case they do, then will they break up here and everybody return home. And of this resolution they look for an answer by the 29 inst.
On the last of November the King's Commissioners drew a form of the writing whereupon their prorogation of the meeting should be grounded, of which a copy is enclosed.
The French would not agree that any mention of the affairs of England should be made therein, and rather than grant this point would depart and break off the whole communication. The King's Commissioners consulted those of the Queen, who, apprehending much inconvenience if the whole communication were broken off without prorogation, consented that the causes of the prorogation should be mentioned in general words, which opinion the King's Commissioners liked well. "And truly we must confess that by all that we hitherto can perceive, the King's Commissioners have used themselves honourably and according to their promise in our matters, having even from the beginning affirmed and protested that they would conclude nothing but Your Majesty be first satisfied." The difficulty made by the French to agree to the writing drawn up by the King's Commissioners was intended to create the belief in England that they have not such regard to the Queen's affairs as they had promised and ought to have. The King's answer to the letter of the English Commissioners (of which a copy was sent of late into England by Mr. Copley) has been forwarded by the Earl of Arundel, but they enclose a second copy. They recommend that the Queen should thank the King that he has showed himself so constant in his mind to conclude nothing but by the agreement and satisfaction of the Queen.
They have received from Lord Grey, by a servant of Mons. de Cormery, brother to the Comte de la Rochfoucault, certain letters directed to his wife and to a servant of his, which they forward to the Queen. He had also written to them "to be mean for his delivery."—Cercamp, 1 Dec. 1558. Signed: Tho. Ely; N. Wotton.
Orig. Endd. Add. Pp. 6.
Dec. 1.
R. O.
55. Copy of the above.
Endd. by Cecil: Sent by Francisco Thomas. Pp. 4.
Dec. 1.
B.M. Harl. 169. 5 b.
56. Proceedings of Privy Council.
Tower of London, 1 Dec. 1558.—Present: the Earls of Bedford and Pembroke; the Lord Admiral; the Lord Chamberlain; the Controller, Vice-Chamberlain, and Secretary; Mr. Peetre, Mr. Cave, and Mr. Sackeville.
A letter to the customers, &c. of the port of London to permit certain merchants of the Stilleyard to land 425 tuns of wine and certain rosin, woad, and salt, and to repair forthwith hither, at which their coming they shall further understand the Queen's pleasure herein.
A letter to Sir Edward Carne at Rome, requiring him that, forasmuch as he was heretofore placed there as a public person by reason of his ambassade, he should therefore forbear to use his authority in soliciting or procuring of anything in the matter of matrimony depending between Mr. Chetwood and Mr. Tyrrille.
Dec. 1.
R. O. 27 V. 14.
57. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
Dec. 1.
R. O.
58. George Ackworth to Cardinal Pole.
Had been originally designed by his father for a commercial life, but after having studied Latin for three years was permitted to go to Cambridge. His mother wished him to adopt the profession of the common law. Gives a sketch of his course of studies there, and subsequently at Louvain, Paris, and in Italy, and has now spent three years on the continent; refers to the revival of classical studies by Sadoletus, Naugerius, Manutius, and others. Refuses, by reason of his poverty, some ecclesiastical preferment, and refers the Cardinal for further particulars to Petit, the steward of his Eminence's benefices. (Agrorum vectigalium censorem sive mensorem.)—Padua, cal. Dec.
Orig. Lat. hol. Add. Pp. 8.
[Dec. 1.]
B.M. Julius, F. vi. 161. Strype's Annals, i. App. 4. Tierney's Dodd, ii. App. ccxxx.
59. Alteration of Religion.
"A device for the alteration of religion, 1 Eliz.," which shall be attempted at the next Parliament.
1. What dangers may ensue upon the alteration?
The Bishop of Rome, all that he may, will be incensed; he will excommunicate the Queen, interdict the realm, and give it a prey to all the princes that will enter upon it, and invite them thereto by all manner of means.
The French King will be encouraged more to the war, and make his people more ready to fight against us, not only as enemies but as heretics. Scotland will have some cause of boldness, and by that way the French King will soon covet to attempt to invade us. Ireland also will be very difficultly stayed in their obedience, by reason of the clergy that is so addicted to Rome. Many people of our own will be very much discontented.
2. What remedy for these matters?
For France, to practise a peace; or if it be offered, not to refuse it. If controversy of religion be there among them to help to kindle it. Rome is less to be doubted, from whom nothing is to be feared but evil will, cursing and practising. Scotland will follow France for peace; but there may be parties to help their divisions, and especially to augment the hope of them who incline them to good religion. For certainty to fortify Berwick and to employ divers lances and horsemen for the safety of the frontiers, and some expenses of money in Ireland. (fn. 1)
3. This consultation shall be referred to certain learned men; their plat or book shall be referred to the Queen, and so put into the parliament house.
Certain suggestions for the carrying out of the plan then follow.
Copy. Pp. 5.
Dec. 1.
MS. of Lord Grey of Ruthen. Burnet, ii. Collect. 327.
60. Another copy of the above, (somewhat differing from the text given by Strype, explanatory of it in some places and more correct in others).
Dec. 3.
B. M. Harl. 169. 6.
61. Proceedings of the Privy Council.
Tower of London, 3 Dec. 1558.—Present: the Archbishop of York, the Marquis of Winchester, the Earls of Bedford and Pembroke; the Lord Admiral, the Lord Chamberlain, the Controller, Vice-Chamberlain and Secretary; Mr. Peetre, Mr. Cave, Mr. Sackeville.
Order for the staying of the matter in controversy between Adam Wintroppe, of London, and John Combes, a Frenchman, in which matter the Chief Justice of the King's Bench did of late make out an attachment against the Judge of the Admiralty, upon pretence that he had intermeddled in his jurisdiction. The said Wintroppe, being this day brought before the Lords, was commanded not further to proceed in the matter between Combes and him.
A letter to the customers, &c., of Hampton in favour of Mark Anthony Erizo, merchant of Venice, that having bought certain wools of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports of his own growing in Sheppy, and brought certificates with them from the customers of London in that behalf, they are required, in case the said Erizo's allegation be true, to suffer that the said wools do pass by virtue of a licence granted by King Edward VI. unto the said Lord Warden for the same.
Dec. 3.
R. O. 27 V. 15.
62. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
Dec. 3.
63. De Vendôme to the Earl of Pembroke.
The kindness which he has received while in England from the Earl and others will always be remembered by him and all the nation. Is pleased to find himself in the neighbourhood of the Earl.
This letter is sent by Missere Guido Cavalcanty. Thanks him for his good intentions and offices in promoting a peace between the two realms, in which he asks him to persevere. The matter demands diligence and secresy. Cavalcanti is well informed and will give further particulars. Desires that this letter be communicated to the Earl of Bedford (to whom he does not write, not being acquainted with him) and to the Secretary Cecil, with whom, as he hears from the bearer, the matter originates. His chief friend in England is the Marquis of Northampton, to whom he desires to be remembered.—Calais, 3 Dec. (Jan.) 1558. (fn. 2) Signed: De Vendôme.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil: Vidam de Chartres to my Lord of Pembroke. Fr. Pp. 3.
Dec. 4.
B. M. Harl. 169. 7.
64. Proceedings of Privy Council.
Tower of London, 4 Dec. 1558.—Present: the Marquis of Winchester, the Earls of Bedford and Pembroke; Lord Admiral, Lord Chamberlain; Controller, Vice-Chamberlain, Secretary; Mr. Peetre, Mr. Cave, Mr. Sackeville.
A letter to the Queen's attorney to draw a Privy Seal for the discharge of a recognizance wherein Wm. Small and John Hyckeson stand bound for the re-delivery of certain clothes to Hans Poppe.
A letter to the customers of London to levy and get into their hands the sum of 2142l. 7s. 4d. due to the Queen by Germayne Cyall, Alexander Bonvise, Augustine de Sexto and John Heath, for the imprest of certain wines and other French wares.
A letter to John Carre of Heton, gentleman, to repair hither with all diligence, for that the Queen means to use his service in such sort as shall be declared to him at his coming.
Dec. 4.
R. O. 27 V. 18.
65. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
[Dec. 5.]
B.M. Sloane, 4734. 134 Knox, 1. 312.
66. Reformation in Scotland.
The nobility and commonalty of Scotland having complained to the Queen Regent that their consciences are burdened with unprofitable ceremonies, that they are compelled to adhere to idolatry, and that they are most unjustly oppressed by the usurped authority of them that take upon them the office ecclesiastical, considering that the troubles of the time do not suffer such reformation as they require, protest and require as follows,—
1. That it may be lawful for them to use themselves in matters of religion and conscience as they must answer to God, until such time as their adversaries prove themselves the true ministers of God's church.
2. That neither they nor their adherents in the true faith shall incur any danger in life or lands, nor political pains, for not observing such Acts as have been passed in favour of their adversaries, nor yet for violating such rites as man, without God's commandment or word, has commanded.
3. That if any tumult or uproar shall arise for diversity of religion, and if abuses be violently reformed, the crime be not imputed to them.
4. That their requests, proceeding from conscience, tend to the reformation of abuses in religion only.
Dec. 5.
B.M. Sloane, 4737. 87 b.
67. Another copy of the above.
Dec. 6.
68. [Randolph] (fn. 3) to Throgmorton.
Duty binds him to leave nothing unreported. Of England's estate and God's late works there, purposes to write no more.
Praises God for that "infinite mercy that He hath poured upon us, the joy whereof amongst us is such that we desire that it may be everlasting." Had written on 26 Nov. touching the opinion that some have that the Emperor will now in his old days incline his mind to Christ's true religion, with a note of such things as should be propounded at the Diet of Augusta, where he would gladly have been if other things had corresponded to his desire. It is constantly reported that the Vaivoda of Hungary and his mother are both slain; he was under the Turk's protection. There was also communication of marriage between him and the French King's eldest daughter. William, the Landgrave's eldest son, is gone into Denmark to marry the King's daughter; he is counted nothing inferior to the nobility of any of the young Princes of Germany. The contention between the Lutherans and Suinglians nothing diminishes. Calvin is recovered. Martyr is busy in printing his "Inconstantinus." (fn. 4) Our countrymen have no will longer to make their abode here. "The Genevians repent their haste; they blew their triumph before their victory."
The Venetians stand in dread of the Turk's enterprises next summer, and prepare themselves for the worst, which causes many to retire in time, as one Mr. Warde, a countryman of ours, repairing to Rome for more surety, within three days after his arrival ended his life. Mr. Peter also, that was in France, and many others intend the same journey, though he thinks not to follow Mr. Warde. "I cannot but let you know for the worthy commendation of the man of whom I write, that one Mr. Noel, that was with me in France, and after instructor to Mr. Harrington's sons, both there and in Padua, professeth there the mathematicals openly, well entertained to his great honour." Touching the news of France, for all the great number as well of soldiers or other that daily pass this way, they are not able to report any certainty of the Princes' doings or determination, either for peace, truce, or wars; saving that such captains as are discharged have promised by their honour to be with the French King within three months. The captains (never better paid) had given to each of them a piece of gold like a tablet, valued at ten crowns, with the King's image and title "Henricus," &c. on one side, and "Donec totum," &c. with a Crescent on the other. They make here their exchange, which makes gold marvellous dear. On their first departure from the camp they made suit to the Lords of this town to have liberty for 8,000 horsemen to have wintered in their dominions, paying for what they took; their request was denied and they constrained to take another way, the whole country preparing themselves to have withstood them if they had come. Such as come are no great number, nor any make any long abode. It was suspected to be the device of a nobleman that is among them, that would have been revenged of the Bishop of Argentyne, who has driven him out of his possessions long since. In all places where they come they take little pity of the priests. As many as pass through the Palsgrave's country are forced to pay and make restitution of any injury that they do in his dominions. By the earnest suit of the Palsgrave, Langrave, and Duke of Saxony, the citizens of Metz have obtained liberty of the French King to have the Gospel preached there in one place, the number of Protestants being so great. There were also delivered by the same suit a preacher and divers others that were in prison for God's truth.
It is greatly doubted here in what place of favour the Vidame is since he failed in his attempt against S. Omers. His friend in these parts heard not of late from him, "which gave him occasion within these six days to write unto him." William Lant (who was in F[rance] and here not long since under the name of W. Goodricke,) is recovered of his illness and returned into England, along with a reputed Frenchman, that came from Paris to him (who, however, speaks better English than French) and is reported to be a jeweller. Asks him to accept this letter for the last until he may see him. Immediately after the return of him of whom he has written, they mean to take their journey homeward, or otherwise to do as he shall advise them.—Strasburg, 6 Dec. 1558.
P.S.—Has not lately seen, but many times heard from Mr. Harrie, who leads his life most in the Palsgrave's court. Would be happy if he might receive a letter at Antwerp, where they will be in the course of a month. There will be with him Sir T. Wr[othe] Sir Anto. C[ook], and he wots not who more besides himself. Signed: Virtus pro divitiis.
Orig. Hol. Add. Pp. 4.
Dec. 7.
R. O.
69. The Queen's Debts in Flanders.
Memorandum of "a warrant to the Exchequer for the cancelling of an obligation of 2,000 marks wherein Thomas Gresham stands bounden for the payment of 3,610 ducats, being the remain of 300,750 ducats."—Strond Place, 7 Dec.
Endd.: M. to the Exchequer for Thos. Gresham, 7 Dec. at Strond.
Dec. 8.
B.M. Harl. 169. 7 b.
70. Proceedings of Privy Council.
Strond House, 8 Dec. 1558.—Present: the Earls of Shrewsbury, Derby, Bedford, and Pembroke; the Lord Admiral; the Lord Chamberlain, the Vice-Chamberlain, and Secretary; Mr. Cave, Mr. Peetre, Mr. Masone.
A letter to Sir John Mason, Treasurer of the Chamber, to deliver 40l. to Sir Hen. Percy by way of the Queen's reward in respect of his charges for posting hither and homeward again into the north about her affairs.
A letter to the Lord Evers, that the Queen, having been moved for his allowance of 20s. per diem, is well pleased that he shall have the same by way of her relief towards his entertainment of 100 horsemen serving there under him, and not as captain of Berwick. And touching his request to come up and leave his charge for the time with Mr. Bowes, the marshal there, he is required to forbear that matter until a more convenient time hereafter.
Dec. 8.
R.O. 27 V. 20.
71. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
Dec. 9.
B.M. Harl. 169. 8 b.
72. Proceedings of Privy Council.
Strond House, 9 Dec. 1558.—Present: the Archbishop of York, the Earls of Shrewsbury, Derby, Bedford, and Pembroke, the Admiral, the Chamberlain, the Controller, ViceChamberlain, Secretary, Mr. Cave, Mr. Peetre, Mr. Mason, Mr. Sackeville.
A letter to the Earl of Northumberland to see the bands diligently furnished, signifying also that 100 hackbutters are appointed to be sent to the frontiers from the Lord Dacres. His care is required in the mustering of the bands having espial in Scotland, keeping of fords and watches. Declaration of the addition of 3d. per diem, &c., according to the minute in the council chest.
A letter to Sir Ralph Graye, Knt., signifying that the Queen is well pleased, in consideration of his losses upon the borders and his good forwardness in service, to grant that he shall continue with the entertainment of 100 men during pleasure, with an augmentation by way of reward for the said number, wherein he is required to answer her expectation in service, otherwise she will not fail to place another in that charge.
A letter to the Lord Dacres, that as there remain 200 hackbutters upon the West Marches, 100 of them shall be placed upon the East and Middle Marches; therefore, he is willed to send them thither when the Earl of Northumberland shall send for them.
Dec. 9.
R.O. 27 V. 22.
73. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.


  • 1. The paper then discusses under five heads the objections of those persons in England who would oppose these alterations.
  • 2. Apparently by an error for 3 Jan. 1559. See the Earl of Pembroke's letter of 11 Jan. 1559.
  • 3. See Randolph to Lord Clynton, 18 Nov. 1558.
  • 4. So plainly, but erroneously, in the letter. The title of the work written by Peter Martyr, under the assumed name of M. A. Constantinus, is as follows:— "Defensio Doctrinæ veteris et Apostolicæ de Sacrosancto Eucharistiæ Sacramento, D. Petri Martyris Vermilii, Florentini, Divinarum Literarum in Schola Tigurina Professoris, in quatuor distincta partes, adversus Stephani Gardineri, quondam Wintoniensis Episcopi, librum, quem ille primum quidem sub hujusmodi titulo edidit; Confutatio cavillationum quibus Sacrosanctum Eucharistiæ sacramentum ab impiis Capernaitis impeti solet, authore M. Anton. Constantino, &c., deinde vero commentitio hoc nomine expuncto, proprioque suo ipsius nomine apposito ac expresso, evulgavit."