Elizabeth: April 1560, 26-30

Pages 587-608

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

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April 1560, 26-30

April 26.
R. O. Haynes, p. 298.
1075. Norfolk to Cecil. (fn. 1)
1. It appears by Cecil's last letter that he knew not of the proceedings at the skirmish, "Monday was a seven night." It was Thursday night before he had advertisements from Grey of the affair, who all that time had fourteen of his [Norfolk's] messengers with him, of whom he would not allow one to come with the news. He has sent to him to have it amended, "but whether memory serves not, or good will, I cannot tell, but his advertisements be rather slower than faster." The Duke, seeing no request will serve, sends thither a man of his own, Strange, whereby he will be able to advertise with more speed and certainty.
2. The Duke's opinion concerning the state of Leith, is that of itself it is no ways strong, nor yet will they find in it half the 4,000 that have been by these fearful men so often named; and yet a great many of their best captains are slain or hurt. He must needs write plainly, "there be two in the field, the one so far to seek, the other so desperate as nothing proceeds." Grey shows himself forward enough, but all is not in him that has been thought. The writer would rather lie in prison than come such a journey again, where another shall have the doing, and he the burthen. If they would once go in hand Cecil should hear good news within three days after.
3. Sends him a private letter of Croftes addressed to him [Norfolk] and his answer, by the which Cecil shall be assured whence all this desperation and treaty comes. The only way for Cecil to further this matter, is by forbidding of the treaty and commanding the battery with the assault. "The mariners offer, if they might have the spoil, they would enter it or die therefor." There is no defence to the water side ward, but bords with sand cast against it; and no other part of the town much stronger, except it be towards the north-west part, where they have made a citadel, which would serve them to small purpose, when they have lost the nether part of the town. The Scots were charged that they had not their full numbers divers times by Grey and Croftes; they stood in the trial that they missed not one man, and to prove their word they required that their men might be called twice a day and answer to their names. The message his cousin Howard was commanded to do was not true. Trusts this letter shall satisfy Cecil to have good hope of success, if the treaty were left and that he has done his duty.
4. P. S.—Sends copies of his letters to Grey hastening him forward. Would have written more if his quinsey in his cheek had suffered him. (fn. 2) Is fain to have his letter copied.—Berwick, 26 April 1560. Signed.
Orig., in Railton's hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
April 26.
R. O.
1076. Maitland to Cecil.
1. The writer's last letter gave Cecil to understand the Bishop of Valence's propositions on the first day of his audience. It now remains for him to understand what occasions moved the Scots to take arms.
2. On the morning of the 22nd (fn. 3) inst. they declared unto him that the misbehaviour of the French Ministers, the numbers of French soldiers kept, and the report of more brought in time of peace, and the fortification of Leith without the advice of the nobility, were so prejudicial to their liberty, that seeing by humble suit to the Queen Dowager redress could not be obtained, they could do no less than assay the remedy by force. Finding their own strength herein was not sufficient, they implored the aid of Queen Elizabeth, as well for the interests of their Sovereign Lady as for their own surety.
3. Having debated with the Bishop largely hereon, he answered that all the Frenchmen should depart, reserving a convenient number for the guard of Leith, Dunbar, Inchkeith, and Blackness. On their insisting that the fortifications of Leith must be demolished, he plainly said that he had no commission to raze any fortress; whereupon it was replied that they took him to be authorized with full commission to pacify all these troubles; but that if he had not authority to cast down that fortification which was one of the chief grievances, there was no cause why they should lose more time, and therefore he might depart; and that he must not find it strange that liberty was refused him to practise any more with the Queen Dowager, whereby their cause might be hurt.
4. Maitland and Lord James went to his lodging to desire a sight of his commission; but he would show them nothing, saying that the Dowager had received his letters of credit and instructions, whereby she had full power to come to any end she should think good.
5. On the 23rd the Bishop wrote to Lord Grey a long discourse of his proceedings, but far different from what he had indeed spoken, and also desired to speak with his Lordship. Being heard anew he somewhat qualified his former sayings; and offered that if he might understand from the Regent that Leith was fortified without the advice of the nobility, he would entreat with her that it might be demolished, and that he would go about to obtain any reasonable requests. They declared that they chiefly stood upon the removing of the French and the demolishing of the new fortifications at Leith and Dunbar; and though there could be no reason why Inchkeith or any other fortress should be committed to French soldiers, yet if the King and Queen would needs have some places in the hands of the French, they would yield that Dunbar, Inchkeith, and Blackness should be guarded by no greater number than 100 French soldiers.
6. On the 24th he showed them divers considerations why the Dowager could not think it reasonable that Leith should be rendered; the Prince's assurance for the subjects' obedience, the King's honour, which would be touched, who would rather seem to have been compelled by force, besides that La Brose, D'Oysel, and Martigues would think their honour touched; wherefore she desired that she might have their advice. This request was partly refused him, as it is not convenient that the besieged should have comfort of their friends without, or that those without have intelligence of those within.
7. On the 25th he desired that some of the Dowager's party might confer in his company with some of the Congregation. There came with him Lord Erskine, the Laird of Findlater, and Mr. John Spens; the Lords appointed the Lord James, the Earl of Glencairn, and the Master of Maxwell, in company with Maitland, Sadler, and Croftes. Most part of the communication was spent in assurances of obedience. In the end it was concluded that the Dowager should put in writing what she would agree to anent the demolition of the fortifications and the removal of the French, and what security she would demand for their obedience; wherein they promised to do whatever might of reason be required.
8. This day the Regent's articles were presented, whereof he encloses a copy. The writer and those with him affirmed that they were so obscure that by them they could conceive no certainty; whereupon the Bishop replied that the Regent would end nothing without the advice of those in Leith, and would in no wise agree to demolish the new fortifications of Dunbar, and that they should not condescend upon any special number that should remain.
9. Albeit in the first article the Congregation had matter enough to stick at, where it is required that they should obey the Dowager, or any other that should have commission, which disjunctive would include French governors, yet for that some may think it not plausible in the ears of other Princes for them to press to prescribe to their Sovereigns the order of regiment, they passed that article with silence, the rather because that they perceived in other articles sufficient to dissolve the treaty with a better reputation. Coming to the next article, touching the league with England, they answered, that it was plain no accord was meant, as such an impossible condition was propounded, the performance whereof stood not with them. "For although we would grant to it, as we nowise meant to do, it is notorious we may not without the Queen's consent." They consented, however, that it should be referred to the consideration of the Estates of the realm, "and if they find it prejudicial to the liberty and commonweath, or our duty, we shall in that case do all we may, or ought of reason." The Bishop could not digest the league and they would yield no further; and so the treaty was broken up on both parts.
10. Hopes that the Queen will not be willing to dissolve the league. If the Bishop is not more conformable, he shall be quickly sent home. The Earl of Huntly is come, and others begin to draw nigh.—Camp before Leith, 26 April 1560. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 7.
April 26.
R. O.
1077. Intelligence from Antwerp.
1. Companies of German cavalry, in the service of France are distributed in various places on the borders of Luxembourg, and are reported to be those who served under Cassimir, son of the Palatine.
2. Is now informed by a trustworthy person that the Germans are those who served the King of France under the Duke John William of Saxony, who sent to offer his services to this Duke of Alva. The Duke thanked him much, and replied that if necessary he would accept the offer. If this be true the Duke has no reason to doubt them; it appears that they are only waiting for the pay remaining due to them from the King of France. This account does not appear very probable, and this halting so near these countries must portend something.
3. It is certainly reported that the cavalry of Cassimir marched home by way of Lorraine, which statement is doubtful, and inquiry shall be made.
4. Yesterday some merchants from Frankfort and Cologne arrived, none of whom are aware of the formation of any army in those parts. There has been an insurrection of certain vagabonds about Liège and Mastricht; some companies of Spanish infantry and cavalry went to attack them, but the former escaped by flight. The report that troops are being assembled in many parts of Germany appears on investigation to have no foundation.
5. The Count of Arensberg has arrived in Brussels, and has left his cavalry on this side of Cambray. To-day four companies of these Germans have been sent to Bois le Duc to replace the Spaniards sent thence to Mastricht. Two other companies of the said Germans will to-morrow be placed as a permanent guard of the castle, to garrison which the Signor Chiapino Vitelli has arrived.
6. The Duke was occupied in making all the necessary provisions, and showed no fear for the supply of money, so that in the end the others shall have more words than deeds, as usual.
Orig. Endd. by Cecil: 26 April 1560. Advices from Antwerp. Ital. Pp. 3.
April 27.
R. O. Haynes, p. 299.
1078. Norfolk to Cecil. (fn. 4)
Sends herewith a letter sent to him from Grey, whereby Cecil will understand that the French as yet gain nothing. By the taking and overthrow of the Dunbar men their letters will pass now with more safety. The writer hopes they shall quickly make an end of Leith and be ready to go in hand with Dunbar; which would not be long in doing if this abusing, dissembling treaty were shaken off. One thing Cecil may be sure of; "they will never conclude to none before the Queen will release her pledges and covenants taken betwixt the Scots and her, and when it shall be brought to that pass, the Queen shall have a fair catch in recompence of her great charges." If it were not easy to win Leith then it were good treating, but if it be as Grey writes there is no way so sure as the sword. Has sent thither Sir Richard Lee, who shall prick them forward to make an end. It is a shame to lie so long at a sand wall. Dares not send the treasure by land, it being in such cumbersome money that it could only be carried in carts, for which the country serves not; and also that the borderers even now of late are appointed to be ready at an hour's warning. He cannot judge their meaning, except it were with the succour of Dunbar to have set upon the convoy; thinking it to have been the best aid they could have showed to them in Leith "to have distressed the treasure." Sends Valentine Browne this night by sea with a wafter, the Elizabeth of Hull. "For God's sake whensoever you send us more money let it be sent in gold, or else in new silver. This was in pence, two-pence, and old testones."—Berwick, 27 April 1560. Signed.
Orig., in Railton's hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
April 27.
R. O.
1079. Proclamation of the Duke of Châtellerault and Earl of Glencairn.
The army of the English being now divided and Leith being besieged in sundry parts more than it was at the beginning, a greater number of men is consequently required. In respect whereof the writers have made general proclamation, both in burgh and land, that all manner of men should be with them in camp on May 2, with eight days' provision. They desire the person to whom the letter is addressed to come with what force he can make, as he would avoid the pains of the said proclamation, which will be rigorously executed.—The fields before Leith, 27 April 1560. Signed: James, Glencairn.
Orig. P. 1.
April 27.
R. O.
1080. Capt . . . . . to Cecil [?]
His Highness received D. graciously and was thankful for what was brought, and wished D. to go with him. D should know that his Highness will leave a faithful servant behind him, who will manage his affairs, and who has in charge certain matters to be communicated to D., who should visit the said servant, where he will find a person waiting to carry D.'s letter to his master, and who will present letters of credit from his master, which, however, shall contain nothing more than that he has left his master's service. After this the "Dominus" may treat with him in safety. "D. salutant omnes virgines D. D. Christina, secretarius." All is well. The debts are paid by the Queen's permission with a safe conduct. His Highness desires that his letters should be burnt. The writer thinks that D. should write to inform him how he has concluded with His Highness.
Orig. in a German hand [?] Endd. by Cecil: 27 Aprilis, 1560. Clars. cap. D. Cecil ad Cornel. Lat. Pp. 2.
April 28.
R. O.
1081. The Lords of the Congregation to Queen Elizabeth. (fn. 5)
Having had sufficient knowledge of the French dealings they showed themselves unwilling to enter into treaty with them, yet when they were informed of her pleasure with respect to the Bishop of Valence, they have been content to hear him at large, notwithstanding they found so little security in the Queen Dowager's offers and also in any thing that he was able to assure them of, that they were forced to end with him all communication, upon such just occasions as will at more length appear in Lethington's letter to Cecil. They assure her of their service as long as their lives endure.—From the camp fornent Leith, 28 April 1560. Signed: (fn. 6) James [Hamilton,] (fn. 7) James Hamilton, Huntly, Argyle, Alex. Glencairn, John of Menteith, James Stewart, Rothes, Patrick Ruthven, R. Boyd, Ogilvye, Ochiltre, John Maxwell.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
April 28.
R. O.
1082. Throckmorton to the Queen.
1. Has received her letter dated [19th] on the 23rd inst, by Francisco, whereby he perceived the proceedings of M. de Glassion and the Bishop of Aquila, for the accord of the matters between her and the French, together with her answers.
2. The Spanish Ambassador in France used sembable talk to him a few days past, adding that M. de Glassion had further charge to tell the Queen that the King of Spain well understood that through the finances and necessary provisions of war being scant, that if her realm were in sundry places assailed by a puissant enemy she could not easily resist; and also to dissuade her from the war. To which Throckmorton replied, that if the case of England was such as his master misconceived it to be, it was no reason to dissuade a wise Prince from necessary defence in so imminent a danger, and he marvelled that he should so easily conform himself to aid his most ancient enemy against his ancient and best friend. The Ambassador answered that all was intended for the surety of the Queen and her realm; to which he replied that she was yet too strong for her enemy in Scotland, and that this offer tended to make the enemy stronger than herself. The Ambassador said that the Queen was the cause of this, by saying that she would have the Scots obedient to their Sovereign, and that the King sought to satisfy both the Guises, and the Queen's desire in that behalf; and that it had been better for her to go plainly to work, both in that and in her marriage, for how can she have amity with Scotland, if the Scots are reduced to their obedience? and their Sovereign would have none of it.
3. On the 23rd the Count and Countess of Feria came to Amboise, whither the King and Queen repaired to meet them; they were accompanied by two or three captains of estimation: Sir Richard Shelley and Mr. Harvy came with them, who go into Spain. The Count is lodged at the Court. Throckmorton being desirous to decipher his friendship for the Queen, and to cause the French to suspect King Philip, being unable to go to him on account of sickness, sent Jones and Somers to meet them by the way and make his excuses, supposing that somewhat should be guessed by his countenance towards them. He seemed to take them courteously, and having ridden a quarter of a mile called Jones to him and asked him the news from Scotland. He was told that the Queen's army was before Leith, and that if the French did not depart by the 6th a battery would be made. He marvelled that the Queen should enter on such an enterprise and what she had to do in Scotland. He was told that the King of Spain knew the reason she had to provide for her security. "This is not the way, (quoth he), will she take upon herself to meddle with other Princes' rebels? and the French being driven out, will she maintain the Scots in their religion?" It was said, that the French being driven out the Queen would lay down all fear. "This will not (quoth he) be endured, and let her not be deceived, for ere long she shall see more. What doth she think? We know well enough what her forces are; and here began to say that she had no friends, no Council, no finances, no noblemen of conduct, no captains, no soldiers, and no reputation in the world; and that nobody loved her here." It was answered that she had all these, and more force than some thought. He said, "your best force is by sea, and you are better there than upon land; we know you as well as you know yourselves:" that without money the Queen could get none to serve her, and that she could not come by as much as 10,000l., at Antwerp, and that her enterprise was naught. It was said that she trusted that the King of Spain would not break his friendship with her without cause, and that he knew what hindrance the realm had suffered by entering war for his sake by the loss of Calais. "You may (quoth he) tell another this tale than me; the King lost it not, for if you had done as you should it had been yours." There was a fault, it was said, but yet for his cause the war was entered and in the same Calais lost. "It is not well done (quoth he) to charge my master with all, and you have gained by him. What? mary (quoth he) religion and a good friend to England as he will be, and she hath been told by divers how my master misliked her doings, and lastly, by De Glassion; but seeing she will not be advised she must be ordered; and as for your realm, doubt you not but there will be means found to govern it better, and such councillors will be put there as shall better look to the realm, and though there be trouble there by a few it cannot long continue, and there be not many in England who like the Queen's doings." It was said that the King of Spain was a Prince of honour, and would not thus use the Queen; he was put in remembrance of the old league between England and Burgundy, and that these men here [the Guises] sought a great while to dissever the same, and if now they would themselves give the French that advantage he might judge what danger was like to follow. He knew what injuries the French had done the Queen, and what they minded to prosecute against the realm, and it was told him that though the French were out of Italy, yet that they were in the same case they were before they meddled with all and a great deal better, and if they might be suffered to grow to some good case again, that all the charges which they spent at Naples, Sienna, succours for the Turk, Piedmont being employed nearer home, would serve them in one journey to overrun the Low Countries, and afterwards they should have more means to annoy England. "Here he said that I said well, but as for the French they would have an eye to them, and they were rich and strong in the Low Countries, and they would have a care of England, and would not suffer the French to rest there." It was said that if they rested in Scotland they would have to do there, and the King shall not be able to expulse them having such a footing so near England, but it was not doubted but that the Queen and her friends should be strong enough for the French, and that heretofore a King of England had kept seven or eight years war without help of strangers, and had gained in France and Scotland, not doubting but that the Queen should be able to defend her realm herself. He confessed that there had been great Kings in England, and what they had done for the Kings in Spain; "but what, will the Queen join with the Scots and defend another Prince's rebels! It is not well, and it will not be well taken, and the King will not suffer it, and yet will not see England oppressed by the French, but I would not say this to a Frenchman," quoth he.
4. Herewithal came the Count Rhinegrave and II Signor Giordan Ursino to meet him, whereby the conversation was broken, and shortly after came the Prince of Mantua, who conducted him to the Court, where there met no man with him till he came to the head of a stair going to his chamber. Somers talked to Harvy, and by all that could be gathered from his talk he thought that the King of Spain would be loath that the Queen should be too strong and joined in friendship with the Scots as to have them her assured friends, supposing it should be some abating of his greatness to have the Queen, whom he thought to advise and order, to be equal with him again.
5. On the 24th Shelley and Harvy came to his lodgings, and prayed him to inform the Queen that though they had come over for the satisfying of their conscience, still they were her most faithful and obedient subjects and would apply themselves to her service.
6. Count Feria's chaplain, one Craiford, brought up at Oxford, declared much the same; and Mistress Clarentius also sent to him, and one Mr. Butler, a gentlemen of the said Count, was with Throckmorton to do his duty.
7. On the 25th when Count Feria departed he sent a gentleman to Throckmorton to offer his services, for which he thanked him and offered the same to him, and asked him to help to preserve the ancient amity betwixt the Queen and his master. In order to understand whether after his being at Court the Count was anything altered, he sent Mr. Somers to him, to whom he spoke as he did to Jones, and declared flatly that the very ground of offence was religion. In this and other talks he notes in the Count great arrogance and less discretion.
8. Conferring the proceedings of the Spanish Ambassador here with the conversations of the Count de Feria, it appears to Throckmorton that the King of Spain either bears little affection towards the Queen, or else to satisfy the French is contented to use means to make her afraid. Nevertheless she need not fear, as he has told the Spanish Ambassador that matters are not so out with the French, but that there is hope by marriage with France to make all things up and be at one with the Guises; and as for the French they cannot be ready with their ships till July. In the meantime, if she brings to pass her matters now in hand in Scotland, there is no doubt to be had of them, and he thinks as for Spain they will look before they leap. Would not persuade her to over much security, but wishes her not to be afraid of great words, which he thinks they would not use if they had force. Leith, as the French say, has but three weeks victual in it. The ports on this side being stayed, he fears that he shall have no further means of sending over. Wherefore, and on account of his charges and sickness, he begs her to revoke him.
9. On the 26th Cavalcanti, conversing with the Cardinal of Lorraine upon the proclamations, and the killing of three of their subjects on ship board near Dover roads, the Cardinal in great choler said that the Queen must be taught to know herself though she smarted for it; and that the house of Guise would be revenged whatsoever it cost them, imputing the matter of the ships to her. They presently send the Grand Prior to Marseilles to bring about the galleys, but they cannot be ready these six weeks or two months, whilst their force by sea at home will not be ready till the end of July, as appears by the intercepted letter of the Guises. The Cardinal despairs of the King of Spain's assistance. The 4,000 Spaniards in Zealand. Receipt of sundry letters. (fn. 8) Has sent a copy of the proclamation against the house of Guise to the Constable and another to the King of Navarre, and made most of the Ambassadors participant to the same.
10. There has lately been printed and spread abroad an invective against the Guises, charging them with the intention of ascribing to themselves the duchy of Anjou and county of Provence, alleging the oath which it is said the Duke of Guise has taken of all that have been put in any charge since the late King's death, without mentioning the King's name or authority, and also that they employ the King's finance to serve their own purposes; declaring also that the meaning of the Duke of Guise's journey lastly to Naples was to make himself King there and his brother the Cardinal Pope.
11. Garcilazo de la Vega is coming hither to do the same office that M. de Glassion does in England. He is credibly informed that the Cardinal of Lorraine has said that Calais and the Queen's claim thereto is lost, and albeit she has the hostages, some means shall be used to steal them away, or at least to gain as much as shall serve to countervail; and if they lose Scotland they have good hopes to have places where to land their men in England; and that it appears by the Queen's proclamation that she has intelligence with their [subjects] here. The Queen Mother goes it is said to Spain.
12. On the 25th of this present the French Queen made very great lamentations, and wept bitterly, and, as it is reported, said that her uncles had undone her, and caused her to lose her realm. The Cardinal of Lorraine has sworn by his priesthood that (whatsoever come of it) there shall want nothing that may be by any means done to annoy the Queen for revenge of that injury with which his house is touched; but if such things as are reported brewing take place, she will have no cause to fear their brag.
13. On the 26th Nicholas, the French courier arrived, sent from M. de Sevre, who departed from London on the 22nd; he reports that Lord Grey and his son are hurt, and Sir Henry Percy slain, and that the Earl Bothwell and Lord Seton have given Lord Grey that overthrow in a skirmish, and that Leith was never besieged; they make hereupon great triumph at the Court. The wise men of all nations here consider that the Queen having begun to confirm the state of England can so perfect the same that when the French King, her assured enemy, and the King of Spain, her doubtful friend, shall be ready to annoy her, she shall with other friends be able to stand by them in security and assurance. Her greatest defence being the sea, and having no sure means of landing to annoy the French, in order to keep them from landing in England she should continue her navy strong, and encourage her nobility, gentlemen, and others to apply themselves to that service. There be come seven ensigns of foot from Metz and eleven from Piedmont to be sent towards Scotland.
14. He advertised her on the 20th by Tremaine, that on the 18th inst. the French King and Queen accompanied with the Dukes of Lorraine, Guise, and Nevers, and six Knights of the Order, with a small troop of gentlemen entered Tours, which was very mean; having the English arms not only on the gate, but also on an ensign carried before them through the town. The Count Rokendolph is altogether the French doer in Germany, and has commission to levy men for the French King to be secretly conveyed to the sea coast and sent towards Scotland. Has lately written to Lord Arundel, the Lord Keeper, and Cecil to be humble suitors to her to pardon two poor brethren named William and Austen Hayward; he himself begs for their pardon upon his knees, not excusing their offence, but seeing them handsome men and able to do service, and ready to satisfy the party upon whom they with others did make the robbery, with more than they took from him. He is the more touched with pity because they utterly refuse to serve out of their country.— Amboise, 28 April 1560. Signed.
Orig. Portions in cipher, deciphered. Endd. Pp. 12.
April 28.
1083. Another copy of the above. Signed.
Orig. Portions in cipher. Endd.; A duplicate of the letter sent by Francisco de Thomaso, 28 April 1560. Pp. 12.
April 28.
R. O.
1084. Throckmorton to the Queen.
Requests that Cecil may decipher this himself. Repeats a portion of the information given in his letter of the 25th to the Queen. The Bishop of Aquila is the French King's pensioner. Has been informed by De Favori that they have hired an Italian to poison her. A duplicate of this was sent by Franciso de Thomaso, 28 April 1560.
Orig. The greater part in cipher. P. 1.
April 28.
R. O. Haynes, p. 300.
1085. Norfolk and Leek to Cecil. (fn. 9)
Sends herewith a letter from the Laird of Lethington addressed to Cecil, and certain Articles propounded by the Dowager to the Lords of the Congregation, by which he may gather what the French shoot at. The writer judges that they would make the Queen lose all her charges, and in the end go forward with their devices when time shall serve them. What have they lost if they get Dumbarton for Leith? And why may not they, when they are best able, having under their conduction the whole havens of Scotland, bring in greater numbers of men than ever they had yet? If the writer should speak like an Englishman, he had rather they had Leith. If it fall out so, the Queen shall rather augment her Berwick charge than diminish it. He writes the more earnestly, for he is loath that hereafter it should be said, "And if we had thought so much, we would better have looked unto it." He cannot find (the likelihood of winning the town being so good as Grey writes) that there is any sure way but by the winning of Leith.—Berwick, 28 April 1560. Signed: Tho. Norfolk, Fr. Leek.
Orig., in Railton's hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 2.
April 28.
R. O.
1086. Maitland to Cecil.
Perceives by Cecil's letter sent to Killigrew that he [Cecil] thinks Maitland "too swear" in writing; yet if all his letters come to hand, Cecil has no occasion to be offended in that behalf. Informed him in his letter of the 26th how their communication with the Bishop of Valence was broken up. They are now in good forwardness anent the siege, and hopes within ten days to have some good success. At the exploit at Dunbar by Sir Henry Percy, Lord Ruthven, and Kirkaldy of Grange, at least fifty were taken and killed; and two captains (one of horse and one of foot) were taken. Yesterday a number of French were defeated in the very ditches of the town and all cut in pieces. Although the Scotch force is not very great, yet is it more than he looked for to continue. Is assured that the people never bore so good affection to any nation as they now do to the English. Has received as yet no answer from him concerning the Lord of St. John's coming. Refers him to Killigrew's report for more ample information, who will vouch for the writer's diligence to do the Queen service.— The camp before Leith, 28 April 1560. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
April 28.
R. O.
1087. Randolph to Norfolk.
1. Reports what he has seen and heard. The Bishop of Valence has confessed to the writer that he has received great humanity, and that he found himself no ways grieved but that he came too late to work any good in so weighty a matter; this he uttered with such affection as is easy to make any man believe the same. Of what passed between the Dowager and the Lords, the Duke has had the true report by the letters of Lord Grey and Lethington. The Bishop seemed in his talk this day with the writer that the Lords had somewhat more reason to do as they did than he would utter unto them in the time of their conference. Lord Erskine has also reported to Lord James that he stood marvellously against the Queen for her resolute purpose rather to see all the men in Leith perish than that she would depart from her authority. Has taken the copy of her demands to Sadler; they are much beyond reason. The Lords consider how much it stands them now stoutly to defend their lands, lives, and goods, and have said that they are better contented to give any adventure than ever again to enter with her in communication. Besides the number they have with them, which is counted near 2,000 (although the twenty-five days of their assembly are expired,) and 300 of the town of Edinburgh (which Sir James and Sir Ralph saw yesterday,) all in jacks, their weapons harquebusses, pikes, and two handed swords, yet have the Lords set forth the enclosed proclamation.
2. The writer's daily travail and experience amongst them for six months should make him better able to judge of their manners than those of less time. Has found in as many as ever he travailed with in this cause such conscience that yet never one of them revolted that ever promised his faith and had adjoined himself. Whatsoever may come to the Duke's ears of non-performance of their promises, either for number of men or otherwise, the writer would that he could hear what they could say for themselves, which he thinks he would find reasonable enough for men of their wealth and experience, lying always upon their own charges.
3. Lord Huntly was this day present with the most part of the Lords, who moved him to adjoin himself and subscribe unto their bond. He found many delays and would fain have shifted himself until he had discharged himself unto the Dowager; he was notwithstanding at last content secretly to do it in the sight only of Lord Ruthven, the Laird of Lethington, and Randolph, requesting them to keep it secret for two or three days. He talked long with Randolph of what he intended to do for the furtherance of the cause and the Queen of England's service. Earl Morton has once more sent to Lord James to come and speak with him, who having been twice deceived is loath further to have to do with him. Some others are also looked for, and many more if Leith be won. Begs that this letter may be sent to Cecil.—The camp, 28 April 1560. Signed.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 4.
April 28.
R. O.
1088. Grey to Norfolk.
Yesternight he caused the pioneers to entrench nearer the town; and lest they might be molested by the French, who were outside the town in a trench which they had digged, he ordered that Captains Somerset and Markham with some of Sir Jervis Clifton's band should approach the town in a covert manner and seek to cut off such French as were planted in the said trench. They finding 200 of them charged them and drove them into the ditches of the town and slew and hurt a great number of them, the certainty of which cannot be known because of the darkness of the night. The English sustained no loss save Captain Markham and three others hurt. At the same instant Captain Vaughan out of his fort was doing with the French, and the Admiral by sea very hotly. Being thus occupied on sundry parts, Mr. Pelham and his band sped so lustily that they have now ground entrenched within nine score of the town walls. The opinion of their slackness is offered wrongfully, since there is no day and scarcely any night on which they lose not some of their blood, and decrease the enemy's force. Mr. Pelham for his care and "good Mr. Randall," Sir Jervis Clifton, and Captain Somerset, for their stout and valiant endeavour, have deserved commendation to the Queen, wherein the Master of the Ordnance should not be forgotten. Finds such debility and want in limmer horses that they are forced to use not only their carriage horses in the artillery but also their own hands. Trusts he will consider the want of soldiers, as the time approaches wherein they must trust only to hands and manhood; they have no hope to get any Scots for love or money. Have planted already eight pieces of their battery and occupy them very well.—The camp before Leith, 28 April 1560. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 3.
April 28.
R. O.
1089. The Lords of the Congregation to Mary Queen of Scots.
Have received her letters of credit by the Bishop of Valence, and understand by his report her good inclination towards them. Have declared to him that they mean no other than the duty of loving natural subjects, and that the occasion of their taking arms was no less for the preservation of her interest than for the liberty of the whole realm. They have been unable to obtain redress from the King's Ministers here, who have fortified the sea ports and maintained numbers of men of war to the decay and desolation of the whole realm. On the Bishop's coming they looked for a better accord, and offered to do whatsoever subjects could do for a good pacification, so as that her interest and the liberty of the realm might remain untouched; but they found the conditions proposed partly unreasonable and not meet to be granted, and partly impossible to be fulfilled. Therefore the communication is broken off, to their great regret. Albeit they mean to prosecute this quarrel for preservation of her interests and her realm in the estate of a kingdom, yet, whatsoever report their enemies may make of them to the contrary, they mean nothing but to continue her most faithful and obedient subjects.—From the camp before Leith, 28 April 1560.
Copy, in a Scottish hand. Endd. by Cecil's secretary: Copy of a letter from the Lords of Scotland, Protestants, to the Queen, their Sovereign. Pp. 2.
April 29.
R. O.
1090. Montague and Chamberlain to the Queen.
1. . . . Hereupon (fn. 10) the said Ambassador came to Chamberlain's lodgings and told him that he had been with Lord Mon- tague; and falling out of one common matter into another told him of the departing of the Count de Helfenstein and his suit fully ended and broken, and that he would understand more matter which he has imparted to Lord Montague. He repaired forthwith to his Lordship (who had sent for him), whom he found perplexed, and who prayed him to understand well the Ambassador's discourse. Being both in great anxiety they resolved that ere they advertised, Sir Thomas should go to the Ambassador on the morrow and see if he could pick out of him some particularities of his former discourse. He could get none other from him but a rehearsal of his talk with Lord Montague, affirming the same to be most true; saving that after, long persuasion, having said that some had procured others to do such wickedness as he had rehearsed, he burst out and said that some English body had offered to destroy the Queen and Lord Robert, taking that he said to colour the mischief. He was unable to get other from the Ambassador, who said that he had uttered enough for the Queen to have a care of herself, and wished her to be the King of Spain's friend, who only was able to stand her in stead, and said not as Ambassador of the Emperor but as Baron de Polvil, for the good will he bore her. Besides he had given her warning how the peril might be avoided, and more he would not declare. He also said that there was a talk of marrying Don Carlos to the French King's other sister, and so to divide Scotland and England between them.
2. The writers have thought it their duty with all expedition to advertise the Queen of this, devising the shortest and most expedient means to be this way, besides that by sea they intend to do the like for all events. They have made means with one Sayas, chief doer about the Secretary Gonzales Perez, feigning that having overseen their commission they thought to have omitted some part thereof in not sending an express messenger with the King's answer to their legation; and fearing on the one side that it might be imputed unto them for great negligence. Besides, that having not heard from the Queen since their departing, whereof they are most desirous, knowing her at their departure to be in some peril, and that she expected most earnestly to hear from the King of Spain, and though they had by his good means sent some letters, yet they desired at their own cost to send an express messenger that might bring news again, which he very willingly offered to help them to, and for his more safe passage to put the letters in the King's packet to his Ambassadors. Thus they trust that she will either by sea or by land have warning of her enemies.
3. Being requested by the King to stay the messenger till his return, when he would also write, they took occasion to visit the Emperor's Ambassador, whom they found in the same terms as before, adding that in a few days they would perceive that his former talk was true, and that the King of Spain (to put the Queen out of jealousy) would be at the charge to send his Spaniards in Flanders to Scotland, to be sure that the French King should be no stronger to annoy her, and yet should bring the rebel Protestants to their ancient obedience of the See of Rome, and due subjection to their Prince.—Toledo, 29 April 1560. Signed.
Orig., in Chamberlain's hol. Portions in cipher, deciphered. Endd. Pp. 4.
April 29.
R. O. Haynes, p. 301.
1091. Norfolk to Cecil. (fn. 11)
He may see by Lord Grey's letters that now things go forward, and the past slackness has not been for lack of the often calling of the writer. If things had been handled with that celerity before, as they have been since the 14th inst., Leith had not been now to win. Cecil knows the nature of Grey; the writer will feed it with some gentle letters in the meantime till Cecil can procure from the Queen some letter of thanks to him; it would do no harm if there were some private letters to the like effect. Since Grey writes he can get no Scots in wages, for love nor money, the Duke will write to Lethington, from whom, when he has heard, he will advertise Cecil of the certainty thereof. He has stayed giving authority for besieging Edinburgh Castle according to Cecil's letters; he has also sent letters to Winter with such advertisements as he thinks necessary. Asks Cecil to send speedy word for his discharge's sake, whether, should King Philip land any men in Scotland, they shall use him as an enemy or not. The matter is of great importance, and as yet he knows not the Queen's pleasure therein. For their approach unto Leith refers him to Grey's letters.—Berwick, 29 April 1560. Signed.
Orig., in Railton's hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 2.
April 29.
R. O.
1092. Randolph to Cecil.
1. Leaves many things to be said by the bearer, Mr. Killigrew. Will discharge his promise made to the Earl of Huntly, who desires to be recommended to Cecil, as one who favours this cause to the uttermost of his power. Half the words that came out of his mouth were able to persuade an unexperimented man to speak further in his behalf than Randolph dares be bold to write. Leaves it to Cecil to judge of him as of a man not unknown unto him, and the writer himself will always measure his thoughts as the Earl shall deserve to be spoken of. With much difficulty and great persuasion he has subscribed with the rest of the Lords to join with them in this action. Whatsoever he can invent for the furtherance of this cause he has promised to do with solemn protestation and many words. He trusts to adjoin many to the cause, and says that none shall lie by where he takes part. He has this day subscribed the bond between England and Scotland. He says that there was never thing that he liked better. There came down with him this day to the camp the Lord Hume and the Laird of Cessford, who this day intend to adjoin themselves. Has sent to Cecil a copy of the Lords' letter to the French Queen from as many as she wrote unto; to the same effect have they written to the King.—From the camp before Leith, 29 April 1560. Signed.
2. P. S.—It is determined to send the Lord of St. John as Ambassador to the Queen, wherein the Lords desire Cecil's advice. The Earl of Arran desires to be excused, as his travail is without cease. He hopes in Cecil's friendship. He oft lamented what may happen unto Cecil if this cause should wrack, whereof what hope the writer has he dares not tell most. But he has the greater number on his part, who think they will shortly have the town.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
[April] 29.
R. O.
1093. The Queen Dowager to MM. d'Oysel and de la Brosse.
1. Received yesterday a letter from her brothers, a copy of which she sends. Believes they were so occupied on that side that they knew not where they were. The letter was written three days after the departure of the Bishop of Valence. He went his way yesterday, and the party brake up upon the article of the league with England, for that they could not revoke their hostages. They would have put the matter to the Parliament. They have gone so far in the matter that they cannot go out of it, whereof she can very well make her profit, and will not fail to publish it.
2. She wrote to them yesterday at good length by a gentleman of M. de Seton, to whom she thought to deliver their letters, which are but of their private affairs. "There are none for you, M. de la Brosse." She asks them to send her word whether he [the gentleman] has entered Leith with her letters, as he should have come back to fetch his packets, and he has not been seen since.
3. She is advertised on all parts, and M. de Valence told her that her men desire but the least occasion to catch this place (fn. 12) in their hands. She has victualled it the best she can, and caused labourers to work in the places most necessary, and a flank to be made on the side of the gate De l'Esperon, whereof the Scots would have gathered matter of pique. "My health is better than it was wont to be, but I am still lame, and have a leg that assuageth not from swelling. If any lay his finger upon it, it goeth in as into butter. You know there are but three days for the dropsy in this country."—Edinburgh, 29 [April] 9 p.m.
4. P.S. (fn. 13) —There have been slain this last night fifteen English in the trenches. The bruit is that there are many dead in Leith. Prays him to send her how the matter stands. She understands from one that has been this night among them and heard them talk, that they are not well where they are, and that they speak of another place on St. Nicholas side, and that their pioneers are of that opinion. They look for 3,000 or 4,000 men within eight days, and mind not to give the assault till they be arrived. Is very sorry to see the great inconvenience of the fire in Leith, and fears for their munitions.
Orig. Wholly in cipher, deciphered. Endd. by Randolph: Letters in cipher, taken going to Leith. Fr. Pp. 2.
[April 29.]
R. O.
1094. Decipher and translation into English of the above.
The date in Throckmorton's cipher, deciphered. Pp. 3.
[April 29.]
R. O.
1095. [. . . . .] to D'Oysel.
The bearer has been all the preceding night trying to get into Leith from the Newhaven side, which he could not do, and says that the enemy have made a trench on that side which cannot be seen from hence. He goes back to try to get in by another way. Dares not hazard their letters by him, which a gentleman of the house of Seton has left here. M. de Valence left the day before yesterday; he told the writer that he feared that a condition to negociate nothing to the prejudice of the Queen of England, which was in his safe conduct, would cause him to be kept prisoner, as he had in the presence of the English insisted on the revocation of the league made with the said Queen; nevertheless he will do what he can to advertise the King.
Orig. Entirely in cipher. Fr. P. 1.
[April 29.]
R. O.
1096. Decipher of the above.
Modern transcript. Fr. P. 1.
[April 29.]
R. O.
1097. English translation of the preceding, described as,—"A private man's letter to D'Oysel in Leith, from some secretary of Scotland."
Copy. Heading in Throckmorton's cipher, deciphered. Pp. 2.
April 30.
R. O.
1098. Sir Henry Percy to Cecil.
Did not receive Cecil's letter of the 14th till the 23rd. It gave him no small comfort, and he will not faint in his doings for any frownings here. As to the exploit at Dunbar whatsoever any man writes, Percy will not find fault with it. No man was privy to it except Kirkaldy, of Grange, and the writer; as for Scots there were not twenty of the field. Lord Ruthven was there by chance, wherefore let not Grange lose his well doings. There were taken Captains Hayes and Perrot, and forty-six French footmen taken or slain, and twelve horsemen. They of Dunbar troubled such as passed between the camp and England. The Laird of Grange and he made twelve of their soldiers to pass by Dunbar at 9 in the morning, whilst they themselves lay in a secret place by Dunbar the night before; so that when the twelve men passed in the morning, Captain Hayes with a dozen horsemen issued out after them and Captain Perrot with fifty foot to relieve him. The English fled and the French pursued, so when they were a mile and a half from Dunbar, Sir Henry with 300 horsemen (with the Laird of Grange's chiefest) cut betwixt them and the town, and at the first charge overthrew the footmen, and drove the horsemen into a house called Innerwick, whereupon they alighted, and with their harquebusiers on horseback and such harquebusses as they hadtaken from the French footmen they besieged the house and won it. Desires to be excused from advertising their occurrents, except those that happen under his own charge, and to know if his two several letters to Lady Cecil came to hand. Also not to be burdened with Tynemouth, as he has kept it almost twelve months at his own charges, which is too sore a burden for a younger brother's ability. Requests to be remembered to Lady Cecil.—From the camp, 30 April 1560. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
April 30.
R. O.
1099. Grey, Sadler, and Croftes to Norfolk.
1. Have received his letters of the 29th. If he had had the like commission as now he has to assay Edinburgh Castle it had been well achieved long ere this. As the Duke thinks it meet to be attempted so as not to be a hindrance to the siege of Leith, they are now in such forwardness in the same that they cannot attempt any other enterprise until it is ended. They now have their trenches so near that the harquebussiers on both sides shoot level one to another, and this night the English intend to plant a battery, which would have been done last night if there had not been great rain, which filled the trenches with water, making the ground like a marsh. He trusts that after planting the battery this night they will in two or three days he ready for the assault. Therefore they think it not meet to meddle with Edinburgh Castle, or Inchkeith, till this be accomplished.
2. The Bishop of Valence remains at Haddington and dares not go to Berwick for lack of conduct, and therefore they have given order that the garrison men who came last should attend on him. Would be glad to know with what commission M. Chaperon comes; if it be to make a new treaty, they hope he will come too late. Unless the Queen will abolish the late contract with the Scots and make free the pledges, they see not that the Dowager will enter into any communication except perforce.—At the camp, last of April 1560. Signed: William Grey, R. Sadler, James Crofte.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 3.
April 30.
R. O.
1100. Grey to Norfolk.
1. This present Tuesday night about supper time, a very terrible fire arose amongst the houses on the south-west part of Leith, and continues yet burning marvellous vehemently which they help by shot as much as may be to increase. They judge that it has burnt already the third part of the town. Some think that the English shot, lighting in some fiery place, has dispersed the fire, and set some house on burning; others credit that it was of purpose fired by the French, meaning to abandon the town altogether.
2. P. S.—"Yet it burns, yet, yet."—Camp before Leith, last of April. Signed.
Orig. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 2.
April 30.
R. O.
1101. Copy of above.
Very imperfect, and much injured by damp. P. 1.
April 30.
R. O.
1102. Gresham to Cecil.
1. With his letter of the 28th inst. the writer sent to his factor a packet from Lord to Lady Montague. Sir T. Chamberlain having written to Gresham that there were letters of great importance to the Queen's affairs in that packet, he makes relation thereof, having forgotten to do so in his last. On the 29th there was a proclamation that whereas money was appointed to be cried down to a lower value on the last of April, it is now permitted to be current as it was till Christmas next. The Regent is to be in this town on the 2nd of May for money matters, and for the despatch of the 4,400 Spaniards for Spain, which he does not believe. He mistrusts that when they have them on the seas they will land them in Scotland; they must be returned by fair means or otherwise. Inclosed is a letter from Richard Payne out of Zealand, by which Cecil will perceive that fourteen Spaniards are sent down to see that the seven ships are in readiness for the rest of the soldiers.
2. Trusts that Cecil is through with the merchants for the 25,000l., as the exchange passes in Lombard Street, which he would were paid whatever happens, for the advancing of the Queen's honour and credit, which would here be wonderfully taken, considering she is at war with the French King and in doubt of the King of Spain; and thereby she will be a gainer all manner of ways, for she will not only discharge so much of her debt, but also be a gainer by the exchange, it being at London 23s. 4d. He urges Cecil to press this upon her. In consideration of this, Gresham has requested Mr. Deputy John Fitzwilliam to signify to the company that the Queen would have this bargain accomplished as the exchange goes in London, to be rebated out of the 60,000l. which they owe her; in the end he thought the matter reasonable "and that as to-morrow a would command all the company to make their repair to Barroughe," and propose it in open court. Gresham told him that the money should be paid by the 20th or 25th of May.
April 30. 3. His "friend who hath the chain" told him to-day that the 4,400 soldiers should be shipped for Spain, saying it is a marvellous secret kept to few of them if it be meant otherwise. The Prince of Orange on the 27th comes to Amsterdam for money, which he fears will not be granted. The party Gresham sent into Holland has since his last advertisement been to Edam, Monikendam, Horn, and Enkhuizen; there are but six ships in all these havens, and they are scarce 200 tons apiece without ordnance, so that all the ships in Holland, Zealand, and hereabouts are of no importance, and not once able to "breathe" upon the Queen's ships. Some men here have given forth that the Queen has stayed her army at Leith until she has answer from King Philip, which is here much lamented of all her friends.—Antwerp, 30 April 1560. Signed.
4. P. S.—Has written into Spain for silk hose for Cecil and his wife. There arrived on the 29th letters from Germany; he trusts by the next post thence to inform him how the Princes of Germany take this offer of King Philip. It is thought here that they will all be suddenly in arms, for they say plainly that this is the practice of the Pope, the French King, and King Philip, first to subdue England and them next, for religion's sake, which they say they will not suffer. There is shipped the 1,000 pieces of "velvets" he wrote of in his last, in the ships of Matthew Goes, Bartholomew Cornelis, and two other ships. His cloak shall not be so soon done, but it shall be sent him. Desires him to speak to Mr. Bloomfield that things may be received with secresy. This present instant received letters from his servant John Gerbrige from Toledo, of the 16th inst., which he encloses; also his letters from Seville, advertising the arrival at Cadiz of eight ships from the Indies laden with 4,000,000 of gold and silver, and that King Philip has for his part 1,000,000; likewise they look for four more laden with gold and silver. They think the King will begin to pay his debts, which is but a small matter to what he owes upon this Bourse.
Orig. Hol., with seal. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp.4.


  • 1. Another copy occurs in the Duke's letter-book at Hatfield House.
  • 2. This last sentence does not occur in the copy at Hatfield House.
  • 3. In this and in several other instances in this letter, the dates are added in another ink.
  • 4. Another copy is found in the Duke's letter-book at Hatfield House.
  • 5. Bond of the Lords of the Congregation.
    1560. April 27.
    Burnet's, Ref.
    App. iii. 287.
    Knox, 11. 61.
    Calderw. 1. 584.
    Keith. 1. 273.
    They promise to set forward the Reformation of Religion, according to God's Word, and to procure that the true preaching of God's Word may have free passage within Scotland, with due administration of the sacraments, and all things depending upon the said Word. And they will concur and join with the English army, sent for their deliverance, to expulse the Frenchmen from this realm, who are there for the maintenance of the Queen Dowager, under pretence of authority, to the danger of the realm, so that in the end they may, under the obedience of the King and Queen, be only ruled by the laws and customs of the country, and men of the land. None of them shall have any privy communication with their adversaries in the cause, but by advice of at least five of the rest; and he that is enemy to the causes aforesaid shall be enemy to them all, and they will fortify the authority of the Council in all things tending to the furtherance of the said cause. If any controversy shall arise, for whatsoever cause, that is past, present, or to come, betwixt any of them, they shall submit themselves and their questions to the decision of the Council, or to arbitrators to be named by them, providing always that this be not prejudicial to the ordinary jurisdiction of judges, but that men may pursue their actions by order of law, civil or criminal, if they please.—Edinburgh, 27 April 1560.
  • 6. These signatures do not occur in Burnet's copy from the original at Hamilton.
  • 7. Added to the Duke's signature by a different hand, but contemporaneous.
  • 8. Throckmorton here repeats the information already given upon these subjects in his letter to Cecil of April 25, see No. 1066.
  • 9. Another copy of this letter occurs in the Duke's letter-book at Hatfield House.
  • 10. The previous portion of this letter is lost.
  • 11. Another copy occurs in the Duke's letter-book at Hatfield House.
  • 12. The Queen Dowager was at this time in Edinburgh Castle.
  • 13. This P.S. must have been written upon Tuesday, April 30.