Elizabeth: January 1559, 6-10

Pages 73-88

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

January 1559, 6-10

Jan. 6.
R. O.
206. The Bishop of Ely and Dr. Wotton to the Queen.
They send the form or minute of two treaties, one between her and the French King, and the other between her and the King and Queen of Scots (if they will consent to the same), drawn up by them from her instructions and the precedents of former treaties, for the approval of the Lords of the Council.
They especially demand the consideration of the articles following.
In the treaty with France, the 2nd and 3rd articles are conformable to the old treaties; and unless by them it might be understood that she could not give aid against the French to the King of Spain, according to the league betwixt her and him, the articles will do well. In case the said league which she has with the King be expressly reserved and excepted in this treaty, these two articles cannot be so taken but that aid could be given by her according to the league. They demand that these two articles be considered.
It is to be considered whether the words of the 5th article are suited to conserve and maintain the new customs and impositions lately set up in England.
Since commonly in all former treaties with France there has been an article forbidding any such custom or impost to be taken or paid, which had not been paid 50 years before the beginning of the last wars, they inquire whether they shall break off with the French if they do not agree to this treaty unless that article be renewed and comprised in this.
The 6th article (although used of late betwixt us and France) has been badly observed by the French; they inquire whether they shall require that article to pass or not.
They beg that the 7th article be well considered, whether it be sufficiently and fully penned for the restitution of Calais. Also whether France, if she agree to redeliver that town, should not also redeliver the artillery that was at Calais, Ruysbank, Newnam Bridge, Hammes, Guisnes, &c. What if the French, agreeing to the restitution of the places, would not redeliver the artillery ?
As for the 8th article, they can express no limits at all, but ask her to cause them to be expressed.
As for the 9th and 10th articles, the French call all debts, arrearages, and pensions in question. If they persist herein, what shall the writers say or do ? If they will take no part of the same in recompence for the restitution of Calais, what is her pleasure ?
As regards the 11th article, if the French refuse to agree to the promise of payment of the pensions for some time to come, which were granted in lieu of her right to the title and crown of France, how shall the writers act, as a renunciation of that payment might seem a renunciation also of her right to the crown of France ?
Touching the 14th article, if hostages are to be given by the French, how many does she require, and who shall they be ?
For the 15th and 16th articles, they ask that she will fix the place and day, and when they shall be received and set at liberty again; and in case the French should require hostages from her, they desire to be instructed who they shall be, the places and times when they shall be delivered, how long to continue, and when and where set at liberty.
They ask whether the 17th and 18th articles shall be put in or left out.
As for the 19th, no precedent ever existed for any such comprehension. In case it be inserted, then they had need to know the names of all the other isles which should be comprehended, she being in possession of Alderney by expulsion of the French thence, and of the other islands. Believe that the French will never agree that these islands be expressly named and reserved in this treaty.
In the 20th article, if the French, over and besides the treaty made with Scotland, will now comprehend the Scots also in this treaty, then will the writers travail the best they can to have the article sent them for that purpose, to be adjoined to the said comprehension of the Scots.
If in the 21st article the French refuse it to be inserted, or demand a copy or sight of her treaty with the King of Spain, what course shall they adopt? They think it would not be amiss to see by what words the King of Spain reserves his treaty with her, in his league with the French, and that they should use the like words in reserving her treaty with him, in her league with France; so that if the French do not like this reservation they shall first fall out with the King's Commissioners before they disagree with them. Thus far concerning the minute of the treaty with France.
Treaty with Scotland. They ask that the minute of the treaty with Scotland may be considered by the Council, in order that they may know how far they shall go in every article, as well of the same as of the treaty with France. They fear that disagreeing in any point for the treaty with Scotland, the French will break off for the whole.
The 12th and 22nd articles with the Scots they find in some former treaties, but as they have not the treaty of Edward IV. or the article of reformation mentioned in the said articles, they inquire whether they shall be added or not, and beg her Council's consideration thereupon.
Intelligence. They have had an interview with the Duke of Alva, who told them the day appointed for the meeting of the Commissioners was the 25th inst., that the place was not yet appointed, but it would be appointed by the King in a day or two. Sent again two days afterwards and were told that it was not yet determined, but that as it should be about Cambray they might take their way towards that place. It is time that her Chief Commissioner begin to set forth that he may be here in time.—Bruxelles, 6 Jan. 1558.
P.S.—This letter was written and should have been sent away on 6th inst., but because the Dean of Canterbury trusted to have had audience of the King here on the 7th inst. they have stayed it for one day or two. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 6.
Jan. 6.
R. O.
207. The Bishop of Ely and Dr. Wotton to Cecil.
Doubting whether the Commissioners at their next meeting will tarry long together, (the matters between the King here and the French being already agreed upon,) and therefore if any doubts arise, whether they will have any time to send into England again, they therefore send two forms of treaties, drawn out in articles, trusting that the same will be diligently considered and they [the writers] clearly resolved thereupon.
It much imports that Lord Arundel, or some other like great estate, be sent hither to end these weighty matters. These cardinals, constables, and marshals would think it some derogation to their honour to be mated with the writers only.
The new commissions sent them to treat with the French and Scottish Commissioners are written in Chancery hand (not well known to the Frenchmen), rased in many places, and sealed with the old seal of Philip and Mary. In this country, or any other out of England, if there was a covenant or agreement put in writing betwixt two poor men, of the value but of 40d., if the writing were so rased the parties would not receive them nor think them sufficient. The first commission of the writers to treat with the French was written in a fair Roman hand. Fresh new commissions, at least for the French, written in Roman hand, and sealed with the Queen's seal, if she have any, should be sent.
Ask for a speedy answer, the next day of meeting being the 25th inst.—Bruxelles, 6 Jan. 1558.
Signed and Add. Pp. 2.
Jan. 6.
R. O.
208. Treaty with France.
"A form or minute of a treaty to be made with France."
1. That a firm peace be established between Henry II., King of France, and Elizabeth, Queen of England.
2. That neither of them shall invade, or permit to be invaded, the realm of the other.
3. That neither shall assist any prince or people who invades the realm of the other.
4. That if this treaty be violated by the subject of either power, the treaty shall still remain intact between the two chief contracting parties.
5. That there shall be free intercourse between the subjects of the two realms.
6. That armed vessels upon going to sea shall give security to the admiral of the opposite country for the honesty of their proceedings.
7. That Calais, Ruysbank, Merke, Eye, Hammes, Sandgate, and Guisnes, with their artillery, shall be restored within six weeks to the Queen.
8. (Here shall be introduced the article about the boundaries.)
9. That the debts specified in the treaties of 1525 and 1527 shall be paid by the King of France to the Queen.
10. That the debt of Francis I. to the Crown of England, of date of 29 Jan. 1529 (of 512,022 crowns of the sun) shall be cancelled by the Queen.
11. That the King shall pay the Queen two certain annual pensions for ever, one of 50,000 crowns of gold, the other of 15,000 crowns of gold.
12 and 13. That the arrears of these pensions shall be paid according to a scale here laid down.
14, 15, 16. Concerning the hostages.
17. That no rebels shall be harboured by either party, if fugitives from the justice of the other.
18. That no letters of reprisals, marque, or countermarque be issued.
19. Concerning Alderney and the islands.
20. That the treaty include, on the Queen's part, the See of Rome, the Emperor Ferdinand, Philip, King of Spain, the King of Denmark, the Duke of Venice, the Hanse Merchants, the Dukes of Lorraine, Savoy, Florence, and Parma.
21. That this treaty shall not invalidate the Queen's treaty with King Philip.
22. That King Henry shall confirm this treaty by his oath and seal.
Endd.: A minute of the treaty with France, 1558. Lat. Pp. 10.
Jan. 6.
R. O.
209. The Earl of Northumberland to the Privy Council.
In his letter of the penult. of December had certified the gathering of the Scots "aminding" to invade England. On Wednesday, last at 2 o'clock after midnight, received letters from his brother, the Lieutenant, that he would be in Glendale that same morning, whereupon he, with six score and odd of his servants, and a few of his tenants, repaired to Wooller, where he was by daybreak. All the garrison had gone with his brother to Heaton, saving the footmen, whom he durst not remove from Norham and Wark, as French bands were gathered in the march, with the intention that when the Lieutenant (with the 800 Scotch foot bands and so many horsemen) should enter into Glendale, at that moment the French should burn Norham.
The Scotch foray brake and raised fire at Fenton, whereupon he endeavoured "to cut between the foray and the staill." The Scotch espying them fired two stacks, and departed to their bushment with great speed. The writer's brother with the garrisons on the other side, being before the Scotch foray in their return, thought to have likewise cut between them and their bushment, but the Scotch, for relief of their foray, put forth "a flying staill," whom the writer's brother encountered and chased; but in so doing was brought in danger of their bushment, which by reason of their footmen, put back him and his company and had them in chase, in the which he escaped very hardly, and was not relieved till the writer came near to Ford, where he relieved them and rescued many of the prisoners. The Scotch, however, had taken between fifty and sixty prisoners, amongst whom was Robyn Carr (brother to Thomas Carr), sore hurt; whilst they have 16, amongst whom is Sandie Mackdouell.
Jan. 6. On account of the great force of the enemy's garrisons, and the disfurniture of the frontiers, a supply of footmen is required to be sent to him. The enemy rather increase than diminish their force to the frontiers. "Except the thing be speedily repaired, so as one force be to countervail the other, ye shall in short time have the borders utterly destroyed." Were it not for the help that they have by intelligence of the movements of the Scots, they would have done much more mischief. Requests that convenient supply of footmen be prepared and sent with all speed.
Has received the Queen's writ of summons to attend the Parliament, and will repair up accordingly as soon as he shall have punished some offenders of Tynedale, which he intends to do on Monday night, having appointed a session at Hexham for that purpose.—Alnwick, 6 Jan. 1558. Signed.
Orig. Add. Pp. 3.
Jan. 7.
B.M. Harl. 169. 22 b.
210. Proceedings of Privy Council.
Westminster, 7 Jan. 1558.—Present: the Lord Great Seal, the Marquis of Northampton, the Lord Steward; the Earls of Bedford and Pembroke; the Lord Admiral, the Lord Chamberlain; Mr. Comptroller, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Cave, Mr. Peeter, Mr. Mason, Mr. Sackville.
A letter to the Bishop of Durham to put the force of the bishoprick in such readiness as they may upon any sudden warning be ready to serve under Sir George Conyers, &c. according to the minute remaining in the Council chest.
A letter to the Earl of Northumberland, in answer to his of the 29th and last of December, and touching the musterbook of garrisons under his charge sent up with his said letters; for answer whereunto it is signified unto him that as the Lords do very well like his diligence and secresy in taking of the musters upon the frontiers, so can it not be but much misliked that there are such lacks of the numbers, for the meeting herewith the secret and sudden musters were heretofore appointed. And where he writes that the garrisons of the enemy are increased, it is written unto him that the Lords think that if the numbers under his charge and the garrisons of Berwick were reduced into one number, the same would far exceed the power of the enemy; and considering that the enemy's forces are for the most part placed in forts, and that they will not leave the same in danger to come to the frontiers, yet nevertheless his request is allowed to have some further relief, wherein order shall be taken if the time were not so sudden as by his letter it seems. In the meantime the Lord Evers is written unto to help his Lordship in times of necessity only with some horsemen out of Berwick in the day time, so as they may return to Berwick before night for the guarding of that piece, for it is thought the enemy will attempt nothing before the next light night, which shall be the [blank] of this month. The former order to the Bishop of Durham is also signified unto him, and this thought sufficient for the time, and his Lordship is desired to stand upon his guard, &c.
A letter to the Lord Evers for the purpose aforesaid.
Jan. 7.
R.O. 27 V. 59.
211. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
Jan. 7.
Dutch Church, London M.S. L., Gerdes Scrin. iii. 674.
212. Peter Martyr to Utenhovius.
Rejoices at the progress of religion in Poland. Has written to à Lasco on the affairs of England; who, as well as Utenhovius, will rejoice at the intelligence. Sends them also a portion of his book against Gardiner, De re Eucharistica, and hopes he will arrange with the booksellers that copies may be had at the next fair at Frankfort. Requests him to let à Lasco know that the people in Scotland have now obtained the Gospel; they have public preaching and the due administration of the Sacraments. These they have not obtained by the public law, or by the Queen's consent, but the people have taken them. On the first of September last, when, according to custom, the chief idol of Edinburgh (viz., that of Saint Giles), was being carried through the city, accompanied by the Queen and some of the nobility, the people rose, dispersed the procession, and threw the idol into the public cloaca. The Queen and nobles took refuge in the castle. The people have written to the King of France that they wish to enjoy pure religion, and will be quiet if they obtain it; if not, they will join the English.
King Philip, apprehensive of an outbreak, has promulgated an edict at Valladolid, to the effect that no man shall be put to death by the Inquisition on account of his religion; and it is expected that the same thing will speedily be done in Flanders. Thus a door is opened for the Gospel. He does not enlarge on the facts that the brethren daily increase in France, and that the Duke of Brunswick, who lately succeeded his father, has embraced the Gospel. Hopes the Poles will follow these examples.—Zurich, 7 Jan. 1559.
Jan. 8.
R. O. Forbes, i. 12
213. The Queen to the King of France. (fn. 1)
Has received his letters by the present bearer, Guido Cavalcante. In them he had expressed a disposition towards peace, for which she thanks him and finds in herself the like disposition towards him. Whereas he said that he intended to have sent some notable personage to her to express the continuation of his affection, and would have done so had not the Vidame sent to him [the King] this bearer, Guido [Cavalcante] by whom he [the Vidame] had sought to understand what was her inclination to peace,—she thanks him for so doing.
Perceives by his letters that now he had offered the choice of four places within his country, "wherein the same treaty may be secretly had." She would prefer, however, either that he should return by this present bearer in writing some certain particularities and special points whereupon this matter might be entreated; or else refer the discussion hereof to some of his Commissioners for the treaty already begun at Cercamp. Should he adopt the latter course, still she would be glad to understand from him some kind of particularities of his meaning.
Draft in Cecil's hol., and corrected and endd. by him: 8 Jan. 1558.
Jan. 8.
B.M. Sloane, 4134. 100.
214. Another copy of the above.
Forbes' transcript.
Jan. 8.
R. O. 171 B. ii 3.
215. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.
Jan. 8.
R. O. Forbes, 1. 14.
216. Instructions for Cavalcanti.
The Queen, having understood from Sir Guido Cavalcante that which he had to report to her from the French King, wills that he shall return into France with the following charge:—
1. He shall inform the French King that he has delivered his letters and charge, and thereupon shall declare the full correspondence of her assured affection towards him.
2. The causes why she returns him and not any other to treat hereof, as was moved by the French King, are these. First, the principal thing is secresy, which could not thus be observed, for no persons of honour and trust could he sent hence but they should be easily missed, especially as the Spanish ministers and their dependants are so nigh the Court. Also the passing and repassing to and fro could not be kept secret, considering in all haven towns the English have such intercourse with the Flemings that silence thereupon seems impossible.
Therefore two other ways are offered: either that this matter be broken into parts and particularities, which shall be returned in writing by this bearer, whereby speed and secresy shall be used; or else, whereas an assembly between the Queen's Commissioners and the French King's was held at Cercamp, and the same not yet determined, that either these, or some one sent in their place, may have secretly in charge, besides the open treaty, to pass to the conclusion of this peace in such secret points as may be offered for it.
And if the King shall prefer this, yet it is necessary that the bearer shall procure some particularities of his good meaning. And if these means are not approved by the King the bearer shall inquire of him some other, by which secresy may be regarded, and time saved.
If he shall allege that the English began the war and that he suffered the losses, he [Cavalcante] may well say that King Philip began it, and only by the means of his wife drew this nation into it, against the disposition of the people [and without consent of the Council], (fn. 2) and she and her people are unto this day unwilling parties thereto; but that, being left in war, until God shall otherwise order, both she and her people must follow the condition of the time. And for their loss: it is plain England has no gain, for neither has it prisoners, or towns, or spoil, but on the contrary all these things are in the possession of the French; so, comparing the condition of France and England, the complaint ought and must arise only on the part of England; for England has all the loss and France none at all.
Draft, in Cecil's hol. Endd.: First instructions for France, Cavalcante, for the Queen, Jan. 1558. (On the back occurs the following memorandum: Nicholas Asheton, for the deanery of Chester.) Pp. 4.
Jan. 8.
B. M. Cal. E. V. 48.
217. Another copy of the above instructions.
Much injured by fire.
Jan. 8.
B. M. Sloane, 4134. 102.
218. Another copy of the above instructions.
Forbes' transcript.
[Jan. 8.]
219. Instructions for Cavalcanti.
Another set of instructions, similar to the last, but in contracted form.
Draft in Cecil's hol. Endd. by him: Cavalcanti's first instructions. Pp. 4.
Jan. 9.
R. O.
220. Dr. Wotton to the Queen.
On Thursday 5 Jan. he received her letter of 31 Dec., along with other letters to the King Catholic. Having sent to the Court on the 6th for access, found that the King had appointed to hunt on the Saturday, [7 Jan.] so it was Sunday [8 Jan.] in the afternoon before he had an audience.
When he had delivered his letters and declared his instructions the King thanked the Queen for her good intentions, and that she was determined for her part to persist and continue in that amity, as he perceived partly by his own ministers, partly by Lord Cobham, and partly by the message now done unto him. He thanked her also for her determination, for any overture of peace or offer the French could make to her, not to do anything that might prejudice by any means the amity betwixt them two. As he had in the treaty of Cercamp ever used himself as the amity betwixt him and England required, so would he continue in all things a perpetual, allied, and faithful brother unto her. The writer noticed, however, that his answer did in a manner consist in general terms, and as it were in words of office; and suggested therefore that the King, for the better conservation of that amity, should write to the Queen respecting the ratification or renewal of the treaties already existing. He answered that he misliked not the motion, that he would think on it, and would not fail to write his mind to the Conte de Feria therein, which thinks he will do. This is the effect of the communication then had with the King, concerning her instructions.
Then he asked the King where the next meeting of the Commissioners should be, that he might certify her thereof; and he in return inquired, "Why, doth the Queen intend to send thither?" "I know none other, sir, (quoth I) but that she doth, for I have not heard the contrary." "Marry," quoth the King, " the French require to be at Cambray, but it is not thought meet for good considerations it should be there." But the King said he thought it meet that it should be at a town thereby called Casteau en Cambresis, and that the Duchess of Lorrain had certified the French Commissioners of that place, and the King thought they would accept it, seeing it is neuter. Said to the King that he had been there with the Emperor, his father, when he returned from the taking of Saint Desyer, and that, besides a good number of the Emperor's army, there were then lodged there the late Duke of Orleans, the Admiral Hennebault of France, and divers other great men. So he thought that town would serve well for that purpose. The King said it had been somewhat burnt since, but that he thought it not much worse than it was at the time spoken of. So there is like to be the next assembly for the peace.—Brussels, 9 Jan. 1558. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 4.
Jan. 9.
B.M. Galba, C. 1. 4. Forbes, 1. 15.
221. Wotton to Cecil.
Has received Cecil's letter of the last of December. Wishes to God he were able to satisfy him on the matters he writes of, which are so weighty that they pass the capacity of his simple wit,—always simple, but now by age and travel so decayed as to be not only simple but most simple. Nevertheless will say somewhat as to the points he has touched on in his letter.
1. For that Cecil says that no man has been sent expressly from this King to the Queen, but that only the Count Feria has resorted to her, and that without commission, it seems strange to him, for by this time some one should have been sent to her with commission, and indeed he thought that a bishop, he trows of Aquila, had been sent purposely. But seeing by his letter this is not the case, makes him muse what it should mean. Therefore, unless the meaning be that the King of Spain wrote a letter to them, the Lords of Arundel and Ely, and himself [Wotton] (which Lord Arundel carried over at his departure from Arras) to which he looks for an answer from England, until he have that answer he thinks that having declared his mind concerning the amity to Lord Cobham, that should suffice. Indeed it seems the King looks either for that answer, or some other matter to be opened to him from her. For when Lord Cobham had his audience with him, as they returned homeward the Bishop of Arras, talking with Lord Cobham, asked whether he had no other matter to open to the King than he had done, as his Lordship afterwards declared, whereby it should seem that further matter was looked for.
2. As for sending hither some great person for the confirming or renewing the treaties between the Queen and the King, considers it very requisite, and would to God it were well done and passed. The Queen should take occasion to declare to Count Feria that if the King his master thought it good to confirm or renew the said treaties, she would not refuse; in this case supposes there is no courtesy to be made who shall speak first.
3. As to the proceedings of men here what answers the Commissioners here have had of the King, they have from time to time written home; what answer Lord Cobham has had he has partly written and partly will declare at his return home. Besides that, the King here well considers that if he agrees without them, they [the English] would not long be able to resist the French and Scots and others that the French would set in their tops, whereof might ensue that the French would be lords of England and of Scotland too; and what would then ensue a blind man can see. Thinks therefore that the King will make no peace without satisfaction of the English.
4. But again some reasons induce men to suspect the contrary. It is commonly thought in this Court there will be a peace concluded, seeing that the King and the French are agreed in all points. Also all the noblemen of Spain here are desirous of peace that they may return home, partly for the great charges they are at here, partly to be with their wives and friends and to see to their own business, and the King gives ear to them. The Low Countries, though weary of the war, would prefer it to continue rather than to have a peace without restitution of Calais. The King would fain be rid once of the Duke of Savoy, who has long hindered a good peace, and the French offer him now somewhat largely, though indeed not so much as at first sight it seems; for though he shall have Savoy, Bresse, and Piedmont restored, yet the French retain certain strong places in Piedmont, as also all the marquisate of Saluzes, whereby, whenever the French see occasion, they may easily recover all Piedmont ere any of his friends shall be able to succour him, he being unable of himself to resist the French. Moreover, the said Duke marrying Margaret, the French King's sister, is not likely to have issue by her; wherefore on his death France will either claim it again or it will descend to the Duke de Nemours, cousin-german to the Duke of Savoy, and brought up all his life in France. These offers therefore for Savoy are not so beneficial to the Duke, nor so honourable to the King, who must suffer the French to have an entry to Italy at their pleasure; yet it would not be easy to make the French grant any more, and because they are anxious to be rid of the Duke of Savoy, they seem desirous of embracing the peace now offered.
5. Besides, in the letter which the King wrote to the Lords Arundel and Ely and to Wotton (and which Lord Arundel carried over with him) although in all his previous communications he had said that he would conclude nothing with France unless England were first satisfied,—yet in this he restrains that promise to certain conditions, viz. that the English would make better war against the enemy than they did last year. If by this clause he means to put the Queen to such expenses of war as she cannot sustain, all the other fair words serve but little. These considerations and lack of money (which is commune malum) make some think that the King might be moved to peace although the English were not in every point satisfied.
6. To judge anything in these dark matters passes his capacity. Thinks it advisable, however, that the Queen, to have some certainty, should see if the King will renew the old leagues: in debating whereof will also fall out what he should look to her to do for the continuance of these wars. Of this may come some good and no harm.
7. Peace with France is to be wished for; how to come by it is doubtful; that is to say, a peace indeed, not a piece of paper containing only words of a treaty of peace. Has already written what Lords Arundel and Ely and himself think of it, and himself somewhat privately to Mr. Boxhale; but cannot be easily persuaded that there can be a true peace with France. The causes are, the ancient immortal hatred they bear to the English, the spite and indignation of the many victories which we have had of them in their country; their insatiable ambition, whereby they have oppressed their neighbours, and never cease so to do but when they are not able; their desire to be revenged on us; the pretence they now make of the Scottish Queen's feigned title to the crown of England; their ability to invade England on the side of Scotland; the helps they shall have thereto of the Scots and perhaps of other nations; the most dangerous divisions in religion among ourselves, (which either make Christ a liar or else go nigh to subvert the realm); the poor state the crown of England is in for lack of money, which they understand; the lack of good soldiers, captains, and all kind of munitions; the nakedness of the country, there being no place fortified to sustain a siege; the great commodity they look to have if they may subdue England; for having England, Scotland, and Ireland, they would look to be monarchs of almost all Europe. These considerations make him fear they mean no true peace.
8. Although they require to talk of peace, remembers that so did the wolf to the shepherd when he wanted his dog from him, which made all the debate betwixt them. Having heard, read, and experimented the craft of the French, suspects their offers to be like those of the wolf; and as Cecil wrote, "Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes." While peace continues with Spain it will not be so easy for the French to obtain their purpose on England; if they dissever it from Spain, then will they sing Io Pæan. The first lesson he learnt in the grammar school was
"Fistula dulce canit volucrem dum decipit auceps."
Will Cecil see some experience of the truth thereof? In Henry VI.'s time the French piped so sweetly in Philip of Burgundy's ear that he forsook England and agreed with France. England soon lost all she had in France, and the promises made to Duke Philip became promises and nothing else. There is in remembrance another example. When Henry VIII. was before Boulogne, the French (the cunningest in casting bones betwixt friends that he ever read of) sent a frere secretly to the Emperor with gay offers of peace, and in the mean time they sent Cardinal Bellay (as crafty a child as any in all the College of Cardinals) to King Henry, who took him for his very assured friend; but he piped so sweetly in the King's ear, that, (as he has heard it credibly reported,) that King thought himself assured of a good peace, and upon that hope (as the Bishop of Arras, M. de Courieres, and Chapuis have testified,) the King made answer to d'Arras, sent from the Emperor, that the Emperor might make his peace as he could with the French, and he would do the same. Whereupon, as soon as d'Arras reported this to the Emperor, he made peace with the French, and the English remained in war. This is so fresh in remembrance, that many of the Council recollect it well.
9. The French offer this peace not only to dissever us from these men (tho' this is their chief intent), but also under colour of peace that they may send ambassadors into England, who shall work there secretly much displeasure to the Queen and realm, by sowing divisions and corrupting her subjects, as they have done in Queen Mary's time, whereby they might much trouble the realm whenever they saw occasion to break with us again.
10. Thinks no one can fail to suspect the French offers, though they are at first hearing sweet and pleasant, considering that the house of Guise's greatness and authority depends chiefly upon this marriage with Scotland. Therefore, whatever they shall say, sing, or pipe, their intent is to increase the power of their niece the Queen of Scots and of her posterity, which will be the chief staff and pillar that the house of Guise will have to trust to. And for this what could they wish for more than that England might be brought under France by the Queen of Scots' feigned title to the crown of England? Thinks that any one who can believe otherwise of the house of Guise is very far deceived; for as men go a great way back that they may leap the further, so fears that though the French should use any such renunciation (which would have been without effect, as the Scottish Queen is under years) it should be done to leap further, and so to come the better to their purpose. If a treaty of divers articles be made and among them such a renunciation, if one article be broken, all the rest, the renunciation too, is void; and the French though they ever break first, yet ever affirm that the other have broken first, and so are all treaties frustrated that are made with them. In the treaty of Bretigny and in that of 1527 the English renounced their title to the crown of France, and yet, the French breaking all, the English have always been obliged to reassume again their renounced title. These considerations make him suspect them now.
11. Is still of opinion that the Queen should have the treaty with the King confirmed as soon as may be, and so to treat of a peace with France that no suspicion or jealousy may cause the King here to forsake England.
12. As to the kind of peace which might be honourable for the Queen, what the Lords of Arundel and Ely and himself thought respecting Calais they have written home heretofore. If the French obstinately intend to retain Calais, then he cannot believe they intend to keep peace any while. If they would redeliver Calais, thinks all debts and arrears should be remitted, yea, and some money given besides, rather than fail. Marry, because the pensions are appointed in place of the title to the crown of France, some reservation should be made thereof, lest by renouncing them expresse or tacite, it might seem the Queen renounced the crown of France. Or if by passing over the matter in silence, she should not seem to renounce her said title thereby, then best to make no mention of the pensions, for they will not agree to the payment of them, and even if they did promise they would not keep it.
13. As for copies of treaties, forasmuch as he was not sent thither for the peace, he brought no copies of any treaties with him; Mr. Boxhale sent them some, from which they have drawn out forms of treaties which they now send to the Queen. But my Lord of Ely has a book of copies of treaties, among which is a league between King Henry VIII. and the Emperor, with the "esclercissement" [explanation] of the same, and he himself was Commissioner, both at making the treaty and the explanation, so that he best understands it of any man else. Thinks, therefore, that when this treaty shall be ratified, he [the Bishop] should be one of the Commissioners. And also if they meet again with the French for the matter of peace by Cambrai, that he be there, knowing best what has already passed; nor should he be revoked until these matters be ended. Knows not what other treaties are requisite to be seen for the ratification of a treaty with the King here, unless that of Cambrai, which will be seen in the said explanation, and therefore must be sent. My Lord of Ely is much troubled that he [Wotton] had an errand to do unto the King without him. Trusts by this time he is weary of his long babbling about nothing, by which he has little satisfied his expectation.
14. This journey has much weakened him; he is even done and not able to sustain labour, especially in winter. No wonder, for in four months he will enter his climacteric year, which the physicians say is the most dangerous of a man's life; thinks they should except the year he dies in, if it be not in that climacteric year. It is time there were ciphers among them, and such as are copious, having for every letter many letters, and a good number of nihils, with many names and many words also; for the common sort will be deciphered.
15. It is said in this Court that the French begin to make men in Germany to send into Scotland; they who say so do not reckon to have any war with France this year. Also much strange talk of an insurrection said to have taken place in London during these past holidays. As for the news of the Lord Gray of Wilton returning home with overtures of peace, it was noised in this Court before he received the letters, everybody having spies abroad except the English. Has mused somewhat because the King, when Wotton asked him where the assembly for peace should be, asked again if the Queen intended to send thither, as though he did not know, or at least believe, that Ely and he remain there, and have new commissions sent; therefore, doubts sometimes whether the King is not persuaded that the Queen will treat of her matters apart, and not jointly with him. Who can tell whether this suspicion were not the reason why he sent no Commissioners to the Queen all this while? Remembers that here it was reported (whereat they seemed to rejoice) that Lord William Haward (now Lord Chamberlain) was coming to the King, and afterward came news that he was stayed; which might give the King here some occasion and matter to muse upon, and to suspect he knows not what, as he knows not the cause of that stay.
With hearty recommendations to Lady Cecil.—Brussels, 9th January 1558. Signed and Add.
Orig. Hol. Pp. 12.
Jan. 9.
B.M. Sloane, 4134, 104.
222. Another copy of the above.
Forbes' transcript.
Jan. 10.
223. The Queen to the King of France.
French translation of the letter dated 8th Jan., with a few verbal corrections and the omission of the postscript.— Lond., 10th Jan. 1558.
Draft. Endd. by Cecil: 1558. Copia primarum litterarum reginæ ad regem Galliæ. Fr. Pp. 6.
Jan. 10.
B.M. Harl. 169. 23 b.
224. Proceedings of Privy Council.
Westminster, 10 Jan. 1558.—Present: the Marquis of Northampton, the Lord Steward, the Earls of Bedford and Pembroke; the Lord Chamberlain, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Mason, Mr. Peeter.
A letter to the Earl of Northumberland, that whereas Thomas Clark, who took the Lord Gray of Scotland, has declared to the Lords that his Lordship has removed him from the charge he had in the north, and that presently Captains Swynnowe and Etherington are departed this life; his Lordship is prayed either to restore him to his old charge or to place him in some charge that the said Swynnow or Etherington had, if he shall think so good.
A letter of thanks to Leonard Dacres for his late good exploit upon the Scotch, and he is required to give thanks to Captain Tutty and the rest that served with him; and as the Lords do very like his forwardness, so would they have wished he had forborne the annoying of them and stand only upon his own guard, considering they will seek to revenge it. And as touching his coming to the term, the Lords will speak with his father and signify their opinions thereupon unto him.
Jan. 10.
R.O. 27 V. 61.
225. Another copy of the above.
Modern transcript.


  • 1. A few lines on a leaf affixed to this letter, to the effect that the word of a prince is of more weight than the oath of a subject, have apparently no connexion with it.
  • 2. In the draft these words are underlined, and N.B. placed in the margin.