Elizabeth: December 1559, 6-10

Pages 164-179

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 2, 1559-1560. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1865.

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

December 1559, 6-10

Dec. 6.
R. O.
385. Challoner (fn. 1) to Cecil. (fn. 2)
1. Upon receipt of the Queen's packet of letters with Cecil's enclosed, of 24th ult., he wrote upon the sudden a con- fused letter to him of 1st inst., until more opportunity should serve for the rest. He had no leisure at that instant to take longer advice what he wrote.
2. On Saturday, Sunday, and most part of Monday (fn. 3) last M. d'Arras was busied about the despatch of letters by post for Spain and Almain, (which gave the occasion of the writer's longer deferrement through his excuses), but on Monday afternoon he had conference with him. And grounding his talk upon the desire he had to visit him, and further to learn of the King, his master's, good news, whereof the Queen, his mistress, would be glad to understand. To Challoner's preamble he made answer with like phrase.
3. Entering further into talk, "Sir," (quoth Challoner) "I pray you take it well if I demand of you a question for my own satisfaction. 1. How the stir in Scotland proceeds between the French and the Scots. I am sure ye miss not of advertisement, and I for my part also have had some letters sent unto me from my friends in England and elsewhere. But considering how of late from Almaine I received a letter of advice that soldiers there were pressed for the service of the French King, and also another letter from an English gentleman (fn. 4) in France, my near friend, who there attained knowledge that the French King now reigning, then Dauphin, when by his father's lifetime a secretary of the Constable's brought (fn. 5) hither an instrument of confirmation of the last treaty of the peace ratified by the said Dauphin, he in his style named himself, Roi d'Ecosse, d'Angleterre, et d'Irlande, Dauphin, etc. Which thing, (fn. 6) in case it so were, (as none can better to my supposal tell than you,) I desire you, Sir, not to think much that I ask you the question; for already as a man absent from my country, and consequently the more curious, I learn daily what small good talent the French do bear unto us." (fn. 7)
Dec. 6.
Challoner's conference with the Bishop of Arras.
4. "M. l'Ambassadeur (quoth he), to this your demand ye must give me leave to demand of you again, whether ye ask me this as Ambassador by commission, or else as of yourself? and whether ye ask me as a counsellor, or else as the Bishop of Arras privately? My demand (quoth I) is not of commission, nor yet as Ambassador; but as one in particular (fn. 8) desirous at your hands, a personage of such knowledge and experience in the world, by way of private conference to discover this manner of the French proceedings, as well to let you know what I by sundry advices do learn and conceive thereof, as also to require of you in familiar talk whether ye also interpret of their doings and meanings as I do?" And so according to that part of his [Cecil's] letter where he declared and aggravated the French proceedings, (fn. 9) their ambitious title, their preparatives, etc., the writer also, mutatis mutandis, summarily repeated the self things unto the Bishop, with the like conclusion; and so expected what he would say.
5. So pausing awhile, at last he answered, that meddling now less with affairs than in the last Emperor's time he did, (fn. 10) he not so well remembered for this present whether in the aforesaid confirmation any such style was used as he [Challoner] had alleged; (fn. 11) "nevertheless, (quoth he), it is possible enough, like as in that behalf none can better 'esclarishe' and satisfy your demand than my Lord Howard, the Bishop of Ely, and the Dean of Canterbury, then your commissioners, etc., who being present at the moving of the last treaty both at Serqhan and Cambresie, heard with their own ears what challenge the French side made in the Scottish Queen's behalf, and what the said French also replied to those of our side. (fn. 12) When we (quoth he) alleged our old leagues and confederacies with the Kings of England and their successors, they replied that the King, my master, was not bound to the Queen, your mistress, as successor of the Crown, but rather to the Scottish Queen, whose right (quoth they) was next in succession. (fn. 13) So what then passed I need not now (quoth he) repeat, but refer me to that, that they your commissioners know therein; and what styles or titles Princes like to give themselves, we not so much regard if it touch not our own case, but rather refer the considerance to whom it appertaineth."
Dec. 6.
Challoner's conference with the Bishop of Arras.
6. "Now touching the French preparations, assure you (quoth he) I also for my part have had sundry advices thereof, both from my brother in France and out of Almaine (fn. 14) as indeed for my own satisfaction, desirous to understand (fn. 15) out of sundry parts, I entertain of myne own purse some such abroad as weekly write me news. So no longer since than this morning I received yonder letter (and pointed to a letter upon his desk) out of Almaine, with advice that the Rhingrave's under colonels and lieutenants about Strasburg at this present levied landsknechts meant for Scotland out of hand, unless perchance (quoth he) the late overthrow of the Scots (the whole circumstance whereof he could tell without my telling) be not cause that the French King, taking his band of soldiers already (fn. 16) there planted, sufficient to keep play with the Scotch until the spring time, do not put over their imprest (fn. 17) until the further season of the year. And then (quoth he) like as it is not my part to divine what the French will further enterprise, so the Queen, your mistress, hath to consider her own case; yet one thing I must tell you touching the late money. I ween a 4,000 crowns surprised by the French, which was sent in relief (fn. 18) of the Scottish rebels, that whatsoever excuse is made how the Queen, your mistress, knew not thereof, and that it was a portion sent only by M. de Cecile, her secretary, ye cannot make the French believe so, (for how can they think a Cecile hath so much spare money ?) but rather they persuade themselves their rebels are covertly thereto induced and maintained by your Queen; who thereby, if any vigour of the last treaty knitted peace, hath unknit the same again. And thus ye know (quoth M. d'Arras) as much as I know herein."
7. "Now to that part of your tale where ye moved me to consider well whereunto the sequel of the French enterprise against your country might tend to the danger of ours, I confess, quoth he, it is true that ye say. But, first, somewhat to speak of the King, my master; it is well evident to the Queen, your mistress, what hearty and sincere affection he hath heretofore borne towards her, yea even to the offer of himself to her in marriage if she had accepted it, and the standing between her and the danger of her life when it was; so albeit he hath not also wanted whiles he was nearer here, at hand, with all friendliness to admonish and give her counsel for the best; namely, at one time sending Don Juan de Ayala unto her to protest (fn. 19) that she should better regard the state of her things for the perils thereof impending. And albeit perchance he yet would do the semblable if he were not so far off, and knoweth not freshly as much as we, his ministers here, your neighbours do, yet I assure you, M. l'Ambassadeur, quoth he, the King would be right sorry that any adventure sinisterly should chance unto her things, seeing, as ye say, the vicinity should put us in remembrance of our own case. But when the King, having discharged the office of a neighbour and a friend, shall see his premonition not esteemed, what resteth else unto him than to provide some other ways to his things as well as he can? One thing assure yourself, that for your quarrel the King will not break with France, after so good a peace knit. Marry, if ye will not provide and look to yourselves, the King must be driven to look to his own indemnity, et pourvoier à ses affaires, (fn. 20) by all the best means he can. (This clause somewhat altered I remember he repeated two or three times in sundry parts of his tale, whereby I conceived he meant that if the French pushed one way they would push another by some antagonist, I wot near who)."
8. "But is it not strange, quoth he, that ye believe the world knoweth not nor seeth not your weakness? I demand what present store either of expert captains or good men of war ye have? What treasure? (fn. 21) What other furniture for defence? Is there one fortress or hold in all England that is able one day to endure the breath of a cannon? Your men I confess are hardy and valiant; but what discipline have they had this many years? (fn. 22) Namely, where the art of war is now come to that issue that men be fain to learn of new well nigh at every two years' end. But admit ye had discipline, what should it avail in division, where one draweth one way, another another? Suppose you we know not that all your land draweth not by one line? The most part of the provinces removed from London are not of the Queen's religion. (fn. 23) Is there not of your nobles, trow ye, that repine at her proceedings? For we are not ignorant, quoth he, how of late a certain of them conspired, misliking the too much favour borne to some one, (fn. 24) and other things to be redressed," (fn. 25) —(of this matter, if any such were, save at the hands of M. d'Arras, I never heard)—so as were ye never so well appointed (quoth he) as your weakness otherwise is well known, yet where division reigneth, each will kill and betray others to the ruin of the whole. Moreover, what, trow ye, doth the world note in that dallied entertainment of the Duke of Finland? of the Emperor's son? and others, with such dilatories? I would to God, the Queen, your mistress, would well perpend these things, as they be of moment, and none should be more glad and desirous of her good success and of all you Englishmen than we, your neighbours and ancient friends. And thus, quoth he, privately, as your private friend, to satisfy your desire, I have frankly opened to you what I learn, what I think, and what I fear; for the rest, not taking upon me to divine at the sequel, because it pertaineth not unto me, and make me not so privy of God's counsel. (fn. 26) Mary, ye whom it principally toucheth have cause upon these large demonstrations and menaces of those which bear you small good will, to provide as appertaineth."
9. This long discourse lasted he weens half an hour, with vehement and grave sort of speech, which as near as he [Challoner] could, he has here touched verbally. The bent of his mind smally giving any hold for the writer to enter (fn. 27) further, he took his leave.
10. Thus Cecil may understand what M. d'Arras discoursed upon our matters, which is not he alone, but all the pack of these men as farforth, as since his first coming hither Challoner can by any means attain unto, (fn. 28) and as in almost all his letters somewhat more or less he has plainly written. He remembers that in one of his letters, now two months ago, he bade Cecil prepare against the next spring, as if already he had the cartel of defiance. Assures him he had it not out of his fingers' ends, but with diligent search, and not without his poor purse's cost. (fn. 29) He may well think advisers (alias spies) look to be well feed.
Challoner's conference with the Count de Feria. 11. The writer, seeing M. d'Arras thus openly "disgrossed" unto him his stomach, he thought fit to prove something more by visiting the Count de Feria, from whom and from the Countess (now better amended) he had word that whensoever he came he should be heartily welcome. And sure he was the Count would not much stand upon respects with him to utter frankly what he thought, because indeed the love of his wife and the affection he yet bears to England (which he ceases not singularly to commend), (fn. 30) move him the more to hearken to the state of our things.
12. At his coming, (whether of purpose that he should report how much the Count made of his wife and young son, which sure is as much as may be, for never man could be fonder than he is over both, or that it should appear by his entertainment that he was welcome,) he found the Count's house and family in a princely order. After having declared the Queen's message of congratulation to himself and the Countess, the Count made him dine with him. Dinner ended, seeing it was something late, he would not suffer Challoner to depart (having aforehand, which the latter knew not of, prepared a lodging for him within his house), and had made his "malles" be sent for, notwithstanding his modest excuses. There he remained, and that night had a sumptuous banquet made him, with much other demonstration of honour and friendly entertainment. He specially noted that whiles they were dining and that afternoon there were brought to him above twenty (fn. 31) letters in four or five several packets, from Italy, from Almaine, from Spain, from France, and therein one letter from the French King himself, whose "firm" he showed Challoner. Hears reported that a world of letters day by day come to his hands, and that he despatches back again, for here he lies not idle, being singularly put in credit and esteemed of the King. (fn. 32)
13. When Challoner took his leave of the Count, retiring him apart, "Signor Ambassador, quoth he, make my hearty commendations with like thanks unto the Queen, for this remembrance of me her friend and wellwiller. And like as heretofore she herself knoweth what good mind I have always borne towards her and the realm of England, so at this present, where I see I can do her none other stead, yet for the perils even at hand, (fn. 33) (and assure you I speak not without great cause), I shall require you to advertise her from me of a certain proverb we have in the Spanish tongue, El Gallo, etc. Which in English is as much to say as, The cock so long may scrape in the dunghill till at last he discovereth the knife to cut his own throat. I mean by this, quoth he, not now religion nor other like perilous attempts, but your wilful provoking of the wars with France, to whom by supporting of Arran and their rebels and sending of them money, ye have given so just a colour and excuse to the world to break with you, as otherwise ye might well know they looked but for an opportunity."
14. The writer began to reply and purge that money matter and the rest, according to Cecil's letter; but the Count, shaking his head and smiling, said, "M. l'Ambassadeur, ye shall not need to pain yourself in excuse of a thing which we here know the whole state of as well as you. What meaneth your Queen ? Is this a meet time picked forth to exasperate the Frenchmen? She rather had need by all good means to put off war. (fn. 34) Doth she not know her own weakness and the rawness of her affairs ? (fn. 35) Are Arran's or Throckmorton's persuasions worth such an adventure ?" And here he laid on load withall, and more than M. d'Arras said, tending to this end, that he misliked our doings and despaired of the sequel, (fn. 36) whereby occasion should be given to other Princes to fall out for our garments."
15. "Consider, sir, what a stranger, not having respect to any fear, might frankly talk of our affairs, according to the French suggestions and of some of our rank reporters at home, and think I was served with a versicle of each sort; viz., religion, disunion, disfurniture, miscontentment, of the old sort for the change, of the new for want of liberality, the grudge of our nobles and gentlemen to see some one (fn. 37) in such special favour, the little regard the Queen had to marriage, (fn. 38) with much more in that point than becometh this letter. In each of which objections I endeavoured myself to answer at good length. So as indeed he seemed rather, to admit the office I did as duty became me, than otherwise to be satisfied with my reasons. Concluding that he spake so much of good zeal, and wished his fear were vain, or that we had the force of ourself to wrestle with the Frenchmen; For (quoth he) what other foreign aid do ye hope upon? The King, my master, (fn. 39) hath lately matched with France, hath gotten a young lady, and (as I understand) well favoured and able to win a young man's heart. Trow ye she will not help to advance her brother's quarrel? and judge you what a loved wife may work with a loving husband. But (quoth he) ye were best to be in rest as long as ye can, or else go another ways to work. Indeed (as ye say) we also understand the Scottish Queen is not like to have any children; that esteem we our benefit and avail as well as yours. Be ye sure we think and forecaste upon this geare as well as you, for if ye regard not the case, we must not let it so to pass."
16. He thus reports his conferences with these two principal Councillors, written as faithfully as he could note or bear away. He is not ignorant what moment it were to add or diminish aught of the sense. The Queen may understand a great part of these men's humours and inclinations, and consequently what answer King Philip (if she sends to him) is likely to return, perhaps to like effect but with fewer or milder words. (fn. 40)
17. If he might say what he esteems thereof, he must say that if we have wars with France, these men will either covertly collude with them, or (doing least hurt) will give us the looking on, esteeming little the peril or expenses of others while they at rest may reimburse their own purses; and (as he plainly takes it) have a plat in their heads of another supply, in case the French this ways should come to any fordeal. (fn. 41) Both by the first and the second such bones were cast forth as if already they rested upon some one, he cannot divine who. (fn. 42)
18. Hopes the Queen will accept his great good-will, and that Cecil will remember his suits in former letters expressed, for without some means of relief he cannot sustain these great charges. He assures him that rewards here are another manner of thing than is made account upon.—Brussels, 6 Dec. 1559. Signed.
19. P. S.—The States here have rejected the demanded gabelle upon the salt, yet have agreed to the aid or contribution expressed in the paper here enclosed, amounting to above 1,000,000 of French crowns. What he wrote by the Bishop of Aquila's short repair hither, has been by his servant confirmed to the writer, who prays Cecil "to have an eye to the matter for my sake here remaining, for he is fledge if his master condescends to his request." (fn. 43)
Orig., with armorial seal. Add. Endd. Pp. 14.
Dec. 6.
R. O.
386. Original draft of the above, with many alterations.
Endd.: M. to Mr. Secretary, 6 Dec. 1559, sent by Ro. Farneham. Pp. 34.
Dec. 6.
MS. Hatfield House. Haynes, p. 212.
Challoner to Cecil.
387. 1. Assures him that these folks are "broad mowthed" where he spoke of one too much in favour, as they esteem. He can guess whom they named, if not he will inform him further in his next. Conceives it a most false slander, yet "a Princess cannot be too wary what countenance of familiar demonstration she maketh, more to one than another." He judges no man's service in the realm worthy the entertaining with such a tale of obloquy, or occasion of speech to such men, as of evil will are ready to find faults. This delay of ripe time for marriage, besides the loss of the realm (for without posterity of the Queen what hope is left them ?), ministers matter for these lewd tongues to descant upon, and breeds contempt. Wishes for one hour's talk with him. Trusts his good nature, or he would not write thus.
2. Let him consider how he deals now in the Emperor's matter, much depends on it. Here they hang in expectation, as men desirous it should go forward, but yet they have small hope. In the writer's opinion (to be said to Cecil only) the affinity is great and honourable; the amity necessary to stop and cool many enterprises. They need not fear his greatness should over rule them. "He is not a Philip, but better for us than a Philip."
3. Let the time work for Scotland as God will, for sure the French shall never enjoy them long. When the English are stronger and more ready, they may proceed with that, which yet is unripe. The time itself will work when their great neighbours fall out next. Wishes England would settle things begun, and that we should arm and fortify our frontiers, with the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth where needs, and at Dover Castle out of hand.
Dec. 6.
R.O. Sadler, 1. 626. No. CLXVI.
388. Sadler and Croftes to the Earl of Arran and the Lord James.
1. Have received their letters of 30 Nov., and sent the others to the Court. Send them 2,000l. by the bearer, Alex. Whitlaw, for the advancement of their common cause, desiring them specially to use their policy to keep the castle of Edinburgh out of the hands of the French, and particularly to advertise and earnestly persuade Lord Erskine to keep it out of the hands of the Queen Dowager and the French, if he be a true Scottish man; who, if they gained this, would have all the country on this side of the Frith. Let him lack no assistance of money, men, and victuals. They advise them to use all the good ways they can to win over the Earls of Huntly, Marshall, and Morton, and others who have not shown themselves open enemies. The writers marvel much that they refuse to join, as all must see that the French desire to make a plain conquest of Scotland. This may be seen by their seeking the castle of Edinburgh, having Dunbar already. The whole nation will be brought into perpetual servitude, which, if the nobility would join, might easily be prevented. And if, by sitting still, these noblemen desire to please the French, this is the way to destroy themselves; for the French will never trust one of that nation. They may assure themselves of the aid of England now and at all times.
2. Hearing that the Scotch nobles have conceived some suspicion of Lord Ruthven, the writers advise that over much trust be not committed to him, and yet that they try to win him over. Wish their Lordships as good success as their hearts can desire.—6 Dec. 1559.
Copy in Raylton's hol. Endd. by Cecil: 6 Dec. 1559, Sir R. Sadler, Sir J. Croftes, to the Lords in Scotland. Pp. 3.
Dec. 6.
MS. Burton-Constable.
389. Another copy of the above.
Dec. 9.
390. Sadler and Croftes to Cecil.
Have had advertisement even now that this night past 300 Frenchmen came to Aymouth, and that this day 500 more will be there, intending to fortify there. Although they know not the matter of assured truth, yet it is of such importance that they advertise so much as is come to their knowledge. If true, would be glad to know the Queen's pleasure therein.—Berwick, 9 Dec. 1559.
Orig. Sadler's hol., with seal. Add. by Raylton. Endd. Pp. 2.
Dec. 9.
MS. Burton-Constable. Sadler, 1. 628. No. CLXVII.
391. Lethington to Sadler and Croftes.
1. By appointment of the Queen and Council has directed this bearer, Robert Mailville, to them, to understand the minds of the Lords on some points whereof she is in doubt, and the writer is not specially intrusted. He prays them to use speed, and further him with horse and guide, when he shall reach Berwick. In so doing they will further the cause, and do the Lords a pleasure.—London, 9 Dec. 1559. Signed.
2. P. S.—He is named in the passport David Heiburne, to disguise the matter.
Orig., with seal. Add.
Dec. 10.
B. M. Harl. 289. 68.
392. Questions by the English Privy Council on the Invasion of Scotland, with Answers. (fn. 44)
1. Question. What probable reasons are there to demonstrate the French purposes towards the conquest of Scotland?
Answer. For what other purpose could thirteen ensigns of footmen and 100 horsemen be retained in Scotland during peace, when the French King has disbanded all his garrisons in Piedmont, and elsewhere? The French have seized and fortified the chief port of Scotland, which is able to make Edinburgh desert and the whole country adjacent. He speaks not of the oppression of the poor, by the French soldiers, for the last twelve months, they having for that time received no money; nor of their keeping the Great Seal and Comptrollership of the whole realm; nor of the Queen having given the abbeys of Kelso and Melrose to the Cardinal of Guise; nor of the fact that divers bishoprics, abbeys, and priories have been vacant these three or four years, to whom Scotchmen have been nominated and have obtained Supplicators to the Pope for their promotion, yet has never one in time obtained provision; and this by the labour of the French, to have them to themselves.
2. Question. What contracts have been made, and to whom, by the French, but that the French Queen may govern in Scotland by the French, and fortify their holds, as well in peace as in war?
Answer. In the Parliament held at the abbey beside Haddington, A.D. 15 . . (fn. 45) the marriage of Mary with the Dauphin of France was first [discussed], when it was promised by M. d'Essé, the King's lieutenant, that Scotland should enjoy its laws and liberties without alteration, and an Act of Parliament was passed thereupon, which was confirmed A.D. 1558, and also by Letters Patent, as well before as after the marriage, and in the Parliament of Edinburgh held in Dec. 1558. The Duke of Châtellerault has such like Letters Patent, containing the same promises particularly made to him as second person of the realm, and heir apparent to the Crown.
3. Question. How many of the nobility of Scotland have declared themselves openly against the French? what be their names; their offices; their places of habitation?
Answer. The Duke of Châtellerault, in Clydesdale; the Earl of Argyll, Great Master and Chief Justice of Scotland, in Argyll; the Earl of Glencarne, in Cunningham; the Earl of Monteith, in Monteith; the Earl of Rothes, Sheriff of Fife, in Fife; the Earl of Eglington, bailly of Cunningham, in Cunningham; Lord James, in Fife; Lord Robert, in Lothian; the Archbishop of Athens, brother to the Earl of Huntly, in Stratherne; the Lord Ruthven, Sheriff of Perth, in Stratherne; the Lords Boyd and Ochiltree, in Kyle; Lord Livingston, in Stirlingshire; the Master of Maxwell, Warden of the West Marches and Steward of Annandale and Kircudbright, upon the West Marches; the Master of Lindsay, in Fife; the young Sheriff of Ayr, in Kyle; the Abbots of Culros and S. Colm's Inch, in Fife; the Abbot of Kilwinning, coadjutor and futurus successor to the Archbishop of S. Andrews, in Cunningham; the Abbots of Cupar in Angus, Lindoris, in Fife, and Newbottle, in Lothian; these have continually fortified themselves with their men. All these are Lords of Parliament. All the Barons, almost all the gentlemen, burghs, and commons of Fife, the Mearns, Kyle, and Cunningham, a great part of Angus, Stratherne, Cunningham, Stirlingshire, Clydesdale, Lothian, and Teviotdale
4. Question. How many have declared themselves openly with the French?
Answer. The Archbishops of S. Andrews and Glasgow, the Bishop of Dunkeld, the Earl Bothwell, and Lord Seaton.
5. Question. How many be neutral?
Answer. All, except those already named, are neutral; but all who profess the same religion "with us" are favourable. Of the Lords of Parliament, "this has declared themselves favourable in religion;" the Earls Marshall, Morton, Sutherland, and Crawford; Lords Forbes, Ogilvy, Erskine, Glammis, Fleming, Hume, and Lord John of Coldingham, and the greater part of the Barons and landed men through the whole realm. They have good cause to think well of Huntly, by his great amity with the Duke, the marriage of Lord Gordon, his son, with the Duke's daughter, the evil opinion France has ever had of him, the rigour used against him by [torn]. The others descry the ruin of the commonwealth by the French.
6. Question. What number can the Duke and Council make up for the field?
Answer. Is not able for the present to give resolute answer; probably as many as they brought before; and upon twenty days' warning they will pass 3,000 horsemen. In Scotland almost every man "is armed in our manner, with jack and steel bonnet, at the least."
7. Question. What numbers can they bring to the borders of England, if succours of England should join with them?
Answer. Thinks they can [bring] a great part of their horsemen through Lothian, nor can the enemy stop them, having in a manner no horsemen. They will be ready within twenty days of being warned.
8. Question. What provision of victual can they make in Mershe and Lothian to a power marching from Berwick to Edinburgh?
Answer. Thinks they shall lack no victuals, as there is great store of victuals there and the Lords are masters of the fields. At the siege of Haddington the writer heard the French say that the camp was as well furnished as in the town of Paris.
9. Question. What ships can they make to the sea for war? What havens have they?
Answer. Cannot make great account of any number of ships. Upon their own adventure some who dwell in Leith, Dundee, and Montrose will serve for that purpose. All the havens between Aberdeen and Stirling will be friends, as Montrose, Dundee, S. Andrews, Crail, Anstruther, Pittenweem, Kirkaldy, and Bruntisland. In Fife, is assured that victuals are in great store, whereof the English may make account as of their own.
10. Question. What provision can they make of cattle to draw great ordnance, as four or five cannons, and of necessaries for scaling the forts?
Answer. It were good that cattle were provided where the ordnance is, yet thinks the oxen may be provided of their friends in Lothian. Knows not what is necessary for assaulting of forts, "seeing I make no profession to be a good warrior, but I know there is at Dalkeith, Newbottle, and thereabouts, within six miles and less to Leith, wood enough to make ladders, gabions, and all such things, and sufficient store of broom within two or three miles for such uses as it can serve for."
11. Question. How may the borderers be reduced to the service of the realm?
Answer. A great part of Teviotdale is so already, and the joining of England "with us" will make the whole borders do the like, especially if Lord Hume and the Earl of Morton join, for the dwellers of the Mershe will follow the one or the other.
12. Question. What assurance shall be made to England by hostages that Scotland shall persist in keeping out the French, if England should aid them to expel the French?
Answer. "This article is too weighty for me to answer unto, not being specially instructed therein; but I would hear your honours' demand in it, and will be glad to reason with your honours anent the same, not doubting but as the nobility of Scotland mean truly, so they will not refuse to make reasonable security for performance of the thing they will promise."
13. Question. What hope of the aid of Edinburgh Castle? May any ordnance be had thence to the battery of Leith?
Answer. Can give no resolute answer thereto; but believes assuredly it will be friendly. Does not promise ordnance for the battery of Leith, but is not desperate of it.
14. Question. What power has the Queen Dowager of French and Scots, what victual and ships?
Answer. At his departing from Scotland her whole power exceeded not 3,000 men, she had only two little pinnaces, not sixty ton apiece, which by storm of weather were driven out of the Firth six days before his departure, and the bruit was that they were both perished. The other particulars are not to be answered by him, but from Scotland.
Orig. in Maitland's hol. Slightly torn. Dated by Cecil: 10 Dec. 1559. Pp. 4.
Dec. 10.
R. O.
393. Sadler and Croftes to Cecil.
1. Yesterday advertised him of the arrival of certain Frenchmen at Aymouth, the bruit being so hot that they thought verily it had been true. Nevertheless, they understand now for truth that there is no such thing, the bruit having arisen thus.
2. Upon Thursday and Friday last there passed by here fifteen or sixteen (fn. 46) sails, French and Scottish, with not past 300 soldiers, the rest being victuallers. When they came against Coldingham, being near the shore, forty or fifty of the captains and soldiers landed to the Lord John, Commendator of Coldingham, one of the late King of Scots' base sons, where they refreshed themselves awhile and went a shipboard again, and so are gone to Leith. Ask to be advertised what they may safely do in such a case, if it be indeed attempted.— Berwick, 10 Dec. 1559. Signed.
3. P.S.—Understand that the site of the late monastery of Brinkburn is sold to one Warcop. If the woods thereof (worth 1,000 marks) pass in the bargain, the Queen shall receive great incommodity, she having no other woods in all this country where any timber may be had, either for the reparation of her castle of Harbottle, standing near the said woods, or elsewhere in these parts. The purchase should be stayed, or at the least the woods should be reserved to the Queen.
4. At the closing hereof were advertised that six ensigns more of the Frenchmen are upon the seas coming towards Scotland.
Orig. Sadler's hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 3.
Dec. 10.
MS. Burton-Constable. Sadler, 1. 629. No. CLXVIII.
394. Sadler to Sir Walter Carre.
Yesternight after their meeting, thirty Scotchmen came into England and brake up the house of this bearer, Anthony Frenche, hurt him and his wife, and stole thirty kine and oxen, which is a notable robbery, and committed within the time of assurance granted on both parts at their last meeting. —10 Dec. 1559.
Dec. 10.
R. O. Sadler, 1. 630. No. CLXIX.
395. Alex. Whitlaw to Sadler and Croftes.
1. The night after his departing he arrived safely, and finding the Lords at Cowpar in convention with the Barons and gentlemen of Fife, he imparted the things they [Sadler and Croftes] declared to him, and they have written to the Council at Glasgow to know how soon the gentlemen in the west can assemble. The gentlemen here are very willing to be in the field. The "suspended Regent" is nothing amended of her disease. Word has been sent to the castle, but no answer returned, yet they look for friendship on that part. The Duke and the Lords in the west are gone to take Lord Semple's house. Scottish ships being at Rochelle and Bordeaux for wine, commandment came from Court to stay them; but the mariners, finding the masters had been taken on land, brought away the ships. Have taken one of the Dowager's ships with wine. The Lords are to pass to Angus to convene the gentlemen.—S. Andrews Castle, 10 Dec. Signed.
2. P. S.—After (fn. 47) the Lords had gone to Dundee, Lord Erskine's letter came, saying he will do what becomes an honest man, and not part with the castle but by order of Parliament. He has promised to send a secret man within four days to commune about the directions that he [Whitlaw] had from them [Sadler and Croftes]. "Thus much upon my departure to Dundee after the Lords."
3. Some (fn. 48) victuallers are come in of Frenchmen, and powder, bullets, and munition. They say two ensigns of men are come, but he cannot affirm this true. Munitions and victuals have come. The ships are seven.—St. Andrews, 10 Dec. 1559. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil: 10 Dec. 1559. Pp. 3.
Dec. 10.
MS. Burton-Constable.
396. Another copy of the preceding, with a paragraph not found in the copy in the Rolls Office.
Dec. 10.
R. O.
397. Melville to Croftes.
1. Advertises him of such news as he has understood since his coming into Scotland. The Frenchmen in Leith use such cruelty on all men indifferently, that all Scotchmen absent themselves from the town, as well favourers of the Congregation as others, and by their rigorous using of the country are like to drive their special favourers from them. Lord Seton, perceiving the little credit that he has at their hands, has withdrawn from the Court, and will be content to live at home. Lord Bothwell has shown himself favourable to the Laird of Haltown, who being comprehended by him, will not deliver him to the French, although they have sought him earnestly. Lord Huntly and the northland Lords are sent for by the Queen, and will not come at this present. As concerning "my Lo. quham I spak to yow of," he has not been at the Queen since her coming from Leith but once, and is presently beyond Forth; "and I believe that fra time this gentleman that I am with have spoken with him, he shall not come where the Queen may be his master."
2. Has been so well treated by Croftes and so well conveyed on his journey by his servants, that he confesses himself bound to do him all pleasure possible, and asks him to thank his fellows for the pains they have taken with him at this time.
3. The gentleman that he is presently with has him recommended. Croftes may credit him as much as any man in Scotland, and he may do much good with many that are neutral.
Orig. Hol. (?) Add. Endd. by Cecil: 10 Dec. 1559, Melvyn's letter to Mr. Croftes. Pp. 3.


  • 1. Challoner's draft of this letter is also preserved (see No. 386), and it furnishes the variations and additions which are given in the following notes.
  • 2. The Duchess of Parma to King Philip.
    Dec. 7.
    MS. Paris, Angl. Reg. xxi. Teulet, 1. 462.
    1. Forwards copies of letters which she has received from the Bishop of Aquila, by which the King will perceive the course adopted by the Queen of England, which apparently tends to the destruction of herself and her kingdom. The French are already inclined to make some attempt in that direction, in consequence of the claim of their Queen to the English crown; but the proceedings of Elizabeth, by affording help to the Scottish rebels, are likely to complicate matters yet more gravely. If the French gain a footing in England the interests of the Low Countries will be seriously endangered. Holding possession of both sides of the channel, they will check the commerce not only of Spain but of the Indies. The occupation of England by the French is as much to be resisted as that of Brussels, the loss of the one is equivalent to the loss of the other.
    2. Such being the case, Philip should declare his determinations as well to the French as the English; to the former, that he will not support their pretensions; to the latter, by adopting such a form of diplomatic communication as will show the Queen that she has misunderstood his former gentle remonstrances. She presumes upon his support and favour, which she has employed against the Catholic religion. And as his Ambassador writes that she is about shortly to despatch some Ambassador to Spain, it would be well to settle the course to be adopted before his arrival. Assuredly, unless she is made to understand her real position, there is room to fear that she will involve herself in yet greater peril; but if she and her Council can be alarmed, she may possibly determine to place herself under his protection, to depart from her errors, to conduct her affairs more to the satisfaction of the Catholics, and (perhaps) marry otherwise than at present appears probable.
    3. This is the more gentle way; but the writer cannot conceal from the King that the Queen and her Council are not to be trusted. Then, there is the offer made to him by the Irish (of which he has been sufficiently instructed by the Ambassador), the affection of the Catholics—still a very influential party— towards him [Philip], and the service which he should be doing God were he to restore religion to that kingdom; all these are important considerations. When he has given them his careful deliberation she will be glad to hear his final decision. . . . . .—Brussels, 7 Dec. 1559. Fr.
  • 3. Originally, in the draft,—this day; then altered to yesterday; and lastly, Monday last.
  • 4. Originally, in the draft,—the Queen.
  • 5. Brought to the King Catholick.—Draft, originally.
  • 6. Which thing the said gentleman my friend required for his satisfaction should.—Draft.
  • 7. 1. The draft then proceeds thus: "and would the gladlier, for mine own satisfaction and for the good opinion I conceived of your good-will borne towards England, understand some part of your opinion, what you conclude of these French preparations. 4. "Monsieur l'Ambassadeur," quoth he, "in that you note me for a man well given and affected towards your country, you do not mistake in any deal; for I would be glad in me it lay any ways with effect to show myself such an one, having now withdrawn myself from the great press of such business as during the Emperor's time were put upon me, as being as willing also (if with the King, my master's, favour so I might) to retire now from the rest and live—."
  • 8. As an Englishman.—Draft.
  • 9. Encroachments.—Draft.
  • 10. The draft originally stood thus: "that having since the surrendery of the late Emperor to the King his son, not so much meddled with affairs as before, and willing less to meddle than he did if the King his master would so give him leave, he did not well call now to remembrance."
  • 11. Did suppose.—Draft.
  • 12. The Burgonyon side.—Draft.
  • 13. The Scottish Queen being the next in succession of blood.—Draft.
  • 14. England and Almaine.—Draft.
  • 15. To satisfy mine own curiosity to hear.—Draft.
  • 16. Band of soldiers in Scotland already planted.—Draft.
  • 17. Prest.—Draft.
  • 18. Aid.—Draft.
  • 19. To protest, in sign of the good-will he bare her, that.—Draft.
  • 20. Et purvoier à ses affaires, an interlineation in the draft.
  • 21. "Namely, when war, alas! is now come to that issue that men are ready to learn of new well nigh every two years' end." A cancelled interlineation in the draft.
  • 22. "Ye be scant your fathers' children."—Draft.
  • 23. "Towards the north, and those further removed from London, are not of the new opinion."
  • 24. A passage in the draft is here cancelled so effectually as to be illegible.
  • 25. "This, sir, ye must write redressed." Cancelled addition.
  • 26. The draft here adds: "Mary, I shew you what the wiser sort of men esteem."
  • 27. "Hope of assistance."—Draft.
  • 28. "In effect, at my first coming to this Court, the Count de Feria opened his fancy after a like sort, as partly in my former letters to the Queen I touched." Cancelled in the draft.
  • 29. "Who ever saw an Ambassador allowed no spial money? Consider what M. d'Arras saith of his entertainment of advisers upon his own purse. I have heard say it cost Cardinal Pole for such manner of folks to write to him from all parts above 3,000 ducats a year. And to say truth, without sure and manifold advertisement, a Prince is disarmed [or destitute] of the remedy in time against a mischief [or secret practices.]"—Cancelled in draft.
  • 30. "And prefer before other countries."—Cancelled in the draft.
  • 31. Originally forty, then altered to thirty, and ultimately to twenty.
  • 32. "But is put in such credit as nothing here passeth without his advice, being singularly esteemed of and beloved of His Majesty."—Draft.
  • 33. "I see impending."—Draft.
  • 34. "And either sit still, if the time so suffered."
  • 35. "What, think you the King, my master, having so lately entered amity with the French King, will more prefer the Queen."
  • 36. "Of the long success (the ruin, as he termed it) at hand."
  • 37. "My Lord Robert."
  • 38. "The dallying in a thing not meet, with much more in that point that I think not meet to commit to a letter."
  • 39. "My master is a good husband."
  • 40. "The sending to King Philip, as by these men's tales it is like he also hath the like impression in his head, is to hear again the like answer at his hand, perchance in milder words but in like meaning."
  • 41. "So touching the sending to King Philip, consider whether you think not to hear him confirm his minister's words, perchance in milder terms but in like meaning."
  • 42. "Should prevail."
  • 43. This concluding clause does not occur in the draft.
  • 44. The answers to these questions were drawn up by Maitland of Lethington.
  • 45. July 7, 1548, see Acta Parl. Scotiæ, 11. 481.
  • 46. These numbers are inserted by a different hand in spaces previously left blank.
  • 47. Written with a different ink.
  • 48. This concluding paragraph does not occur in the copy in the Bolls.