Simancas: November 1559

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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, 'Simancas: November 1559', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) pp. 109-117. British History Online [accessed 25 May 2024].

. "Simancas: November 1559", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) 109-117. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024,

. "Simancas: November 1559", Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892). 109-117. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024,

November 1559

5 Nov. 71. Count De Feria to the Bishop of Aquila.
I write in great haste to catch the post, and have received three letters from you since 14th instant. Yours of 30th ultimo just handed to me.
I await reply from Spain by Juan Gallego about your affairs before again pestering the King. His Majesty is teaching us that way of proceeding in spite of us. I am still of opinion that the Archduke should not come, but my opinion is now of small importance as his father will not let him come. If Duke Adolph goes thither the Queen will have no cause to find fault either as to his good looks or his heresy. We expect Count Helfenstein hourly and shall see what news he brings. I am urging what you write to the Duchess (of Parma) and M. d'Arras about Ireland, which I think you also ought to convey to the King, so that it may not be our fault if so important an opportunity is missed. Madame will answer as she thinks best about the horses and arms, but the King ordered me to tell her not to grant any, and I have not spoken of the matter since. I should not object to a horse or two being given, but really I am of opinion that the time making presents is over. It has never been of any use whilst the other mode of proceeding has. I see you are now acting the bland and loving with that Medea. The Countess is still sadly ailiug, but the boy is well. I cannot exaggerate my anxiety about the license for the Countess' grandmother (fn. 1) and Clarencis, (fn. 2) and I entreat you not to let the short time to Christmas slip by without sending it as the good old ladies are very anxious, as is my wife. In your letter you say nothing about Clarencis' license which I desire as much as the other, and more as she has entire care of the child and is wonderfully attentive. Pray take the matter in hand.—Malines, 5th November 1559.
9 Nov. 72. The Same to the Same.
I wrote by last post and have since received letters from Spain, but none from the King who holds these States in so small account that he cares not whether they be lost or not. He left Valladolid on the 9th October, and the Cortes and Councils were to sit in Toledo on the 12th of this month. The duke of Infantazgo (fn. 3) and Cardinal de Burgos (fn. 4) who came to receive the Queen were to be on the French frontier on the same day and to convey her to Guadalajara where the Princess of Portugal was to entertain her, and the King was to go thither and marry her, and thence to Toledo for the festivities. You will see by copies enclosed what has happened in the autos of the Inquisition in Valladolid and Seville. The Archbishop (fn. 5) was a prisoner in a house (fn. 6) with two pages and Friar Antonio (fn. 7) to serve him. He had answered the archbishop of Seville (fn. 8) and they were engaged in considering the replies. They put Friar Juan in the prison of the Inquisition when he arrived from here. We shall have full news by Juan Gallego. The Princess of Salerno has died suddenly in Valladolid. I am very anxious about Lady Dormer's license which we have requested. As Christmas is drawing near I have decided to send a person specially, and I ask you kindly to have the license given to him as soon as possible as it is most important to me, more so than you would think. To tell you the truth the want of it may cost me over 20,000 ducats which this good old lady wishes to give to her grand-daughter, and her son will prevent it if he can. Neither I nor my wife want to lose what is our own, and you know how ready those Councillors over there are to do a bad turn of this sort. They are letting the time go on until Christmas is past, and if by that time the license is not despatched they will declare all of Lady Dormer's property forfeit. Even if she wished she could not go as she has been, and is, very ill. Olavarria is going over for this, and I do not send a more distinguished ambassador, because we place all our hopes in you and he will do his writing with his tongue only. Much as we desire this license we wish for that of Mistress Clarencis no less and that knave Cecil, in order to lay his hands on her goods, will certainly try some roguish trick, so both the Countess who sends her regards to you, and I, beg you with all our hearts to carry this matter with a high hand and send us these licenses. I expect the French will be in such a hurry to open the ball there that we shall have to dance whether we want or not. I hope to God it may be so. The English ambassador in France told our ambassador there that it would be better for England if war broke out at once with the French, rather than wait until they (the French) were stronger in Scotland, as it was evident that war would break out as soon as they were.
We know nothing of what the Emperor says nor has Helfcnstein arrived : we do not know even whether he has left his house. The Countess still in poor health and I have the Antwerp physician here who I hope to God will cure her. The boy very bunny. I believe Monsignor d'Arras will send you copy of news from Rome. If he does cot I will do so in future. The dispensation for my brother to marry my neice was granted whereat, I am glad. (fn. 9) Only think if they were to make Pacheco pope how he would gobble, (fn. 10) —Malines, 9th November 1559.
12 Nov.
Simancas, B.M. M.S., Add. 26,056a.
73. Bishop Quadra to the Duke of Alva.
He is struggling with the terrible fancies of the Queen, of which the very heretics are ashamed.
Surprised at the steadfastness of the Catholics. Disturbances were expected as they were really driven to desperation. Begs for money to pay pensions and salaries, as not a man dares to raise his voice in the service of the King, and he is making enemies rather than friends as he cannot pay his way.—Loudon, 12th November 1559.
13 Nov. 74. Bishop Quadra to the King.
The matter of the Queen's marriage being in the position explained to your Majesty in recent letters, a position which gave hopes of its being brought about, I received certain news which forced me to try to get a definite declaration from the Queen, whatever the result might be, rather than the Archduke should be deceived when he arrived here. What moved me to ascertain her wishes was that I noticed Lord Robert was slackening in our business and favouring the Swedish match, and that he had had words with his sister because she was carrying the affair further than he desired, but principally because I had heard from a certain person who is accustomed to give me veracious news that Lord Robert has sent to poison his wife. Certainly all the Queen has done with us and with the Swede, and will do with the rest in the matter of her marriage, is only keeping Lord Robert's enemies and the country engaged with words until this wicked deed of killing his wife is consummated. The same person told me some extraordinary things about this intimacy, which I would never have believed, only that now I find Lord Robert's enemies in the Council making no secret of their evil opinion of it, so that in view of all these things, and as Lady Sidney instead of coming to me as usual with encouragement was alarmed, I thought I ought not to delay longer in ascertaining the Queen's intentions. I therefore took every opportunity of letting her know in the best way I could that it would be better for her to be more open with us than hitherto, as we believed the Archduke might be already on the road, and that as she in that case was satisfied that her reasonable conditions had been complied with, we on our part ought now to receive some assurance in the matter. At first she began, as usual, with words full of hope, but seeing that these did not satisfy me, she drew back saying that she did not think of marrying, although she might alter her mind when she had seen the Archduke. I said that this intention did not justify her in giving leave for the Archduke to come and see her, and she answered that what she intended was only to see and know him now, for when she might feel inclined to marry. I told her that that was the time to see him, as I did not expect she would marry in such haste when she did make up her mind as to lack time to inform the Princes who had to be consulted. She answered that she wanted to act paradoxically in the matter, and to get married before anyone in the world knew of it ; whereupon I said, seeing it was useless to dispute any more, that if she thought of doing it in that way there was no need that your Majesty's servants should trouble her any more about it. She did not like me to be undeceived already, as she well knows the danger which may arise, and told me that she would think over what had better be done. I asked her that communications on the matter should be made to the Emperor's ambassador in my presence. The next day they summoned us, and when we three were together I saw she still wished to justify herself, so I determined to tell her what I had hitherto withheld, namely, what Lady Sidney and her brother and Treasurer Parry had told us, without mentioning their names. I said that although no one would believe that so wise and prudent a Princess would bring the Archduke over only to reject him, yet we should not have dared to write to the Emperor as we had if some of the principal persons of her Court had not assured us that she would marry him when he came, and these persons had informed us that they took this step by her orders, as she had refrained from telling us herself from modesty ; and we therefore wished for a more definite declaration from her than hitherto, now that in all probability the Archduke was on his way. I thought this would have excited her greatly, as was to be expected if it were not true, or at least if it were true that she would have put on some appearance of indignation. But this was not the case, for without even asking who the persons referred to were, she answered that some one had done this with good intentions, but without any commission from her. We were rather aggrieved at this, as we saw the trick had not been played by her alone, and we ended by agreeing that we would advise the Emperor of what I have said, in order that he should decide whether to send his son on these conditions or not. She was very sorry to have to declare herself on this matter. The Emperor's ambassador is despatching a courier with this news, and he has been so scandalized at it all that he wanted to write a very bad account to his master ; but I have prevented it, and I believe what he will write will not shut the door to the Emperor's wish if any better feature in the affair should appear. I am obliged to complain of somebody in this matter, and have complained of Lady Sidney only, although in good truth she is no more to blame than I am, as I have said privately. If your Majesty pleases to write about it to the Queen, and the conversation should turn that way in the meanwhile, I will tell the Emperor's ambassador what, in my opinion, should be done. Paget came to me the other day and said that, so far as he understood, the Queen was not entirely unfavourable, although she was still resolved not to marry until she had seen her future husband. The opinion of both the Council and herself was that no improvement in the present state of things here could be expected except through this marriage, and they were all favourable to it, but that I did well to get an assurance from the Queen, and put an end to her indecision. This is all that has happened, and I hope your Majesty will not consider my action ill-timed or injudicious, as, so long as the Queen's own words were confirmed by the assurance of her friends, I thought I could not be wrong if I followed their advice, but when I found Lady Sidney was doubtful and complained of the Queen and her brother (Lord Robert), I thought best to put an end to uncertainty. I also bore in mind that if the Emperor is not resolved to send his son, this step of mine will be apposite, whereas if he thinks of sending him it will still be well that he should know how things stand here before he starts. In case he should have already set out, in which event I do not know how it would look for him to turn back again, I will describe the position here in order that your Majesty may have the question considered from this point of view and decide accordingly.
As I knew that the duke of Norfolk was the chief of Lord Robert's enemies, who are all the principal people in the kingdom, and that he had said that if Lord Robert did not abandon his present pretensions and presumption he would not die in his bed, I got the Ambassador to write to him, Norfolk, and also wrote myself, and we sent a gentleman interpreter of ours to him with Lord Sidney (sic), who is a kinsman of Robert's, and a great adherent of the Duke, with instructions to give him an account of all that had happened in this business, and the point to which we had brought it, in order that we might obtain his countenance and advice. He replied very graciously, and sent word that he should rejoice greatly if the affair could be brought about and was of opinion that the Archduke should come publicly and ostentatiously, in which case he (Norfolk) would stake his right arm that he would give us the votes of all the biggest and best in the land. He himself would come here to be present at the reception of the Archduke, to whom he wished to speak before he entered London, and asked us to endeavour to get him appointed by the Queen to go to meet him. I think this hatred of Lord Robert will continue, as the Duke and the rest of them cannot put up with his being King. I am of opinion if the Archduke comes and makes the acquaintance and obtains the goodwill of these people, even if this marriage—of which I have now no hope except by force—should fall through, and any disaster were to befall the Queen, such as may be feared from her bad government, the Archduke might be summoned to marry Lady Catherine to whom the kingdom falls if this woman dies. If the Archduke sees her (Catherine) he should so bear himself that she should understand this design, which in my opinion may be beneficial and even necessary.
The ambassador Throgmorton came from France two days ago very busy, and they are making much of him, so that we should think he comes on various affairs of state, but the real reason for his journey is to hurry the sending of arms to the Isle of Wight, and to urge forward the fitting out of the fleet. The Queen has taken Count Mansfelt and another Colonel who is in Denmark into her service, and I understand she thinks of providing herself in this way with the troops she requires. If she finds herself very much pressed she will rather marry the son of the king of Sweden, who is a heretic and offers her many millions, than the Archduke. The kinsman of the Swedish King has left to fetch the King's son whom the Queen says she wishes to see before making up her mind, and they have told them the same as they told us. I have just heard that Lady Sidney is discouraged about the Queen, and she sends to say to me that even though she be in the Tower she will not cease to proclaim what is going on, and that her worst enemy is her brother.
I also understand that these people are trying very hard to satisfy the king of France and avoid a rupture. I think he will be satisfied if this marriage is not effected at present, Your Majesty understands better than I the dangers which threaten England from the French and the evils which may befall your Majesty by dissensions here. With regard to Ireland I have done what your Majesty has ordered through the bishop of Arras, but as the answer came late I understand they have sent to your Majesty direct. The man they have here has told me twice that they must have recourse to the French if your Majesty does not protect them. I have tried to keep this man satisfied and shall no doubt hear from him what is done here in the business, which information I will convey to the duchess of Parma.
Postscript : The son of the king of Sweden went to-day to visit the Queen, and being tired of waiting in an antechamber he went away to his house without saying a word to anybody. I think he is undeceived now after scattering large sums of money amongst these people and showing himself off to the Queen.—Endorsed 13th November 1559.
18 Nov. 75. Bishop Quadra to the King.
On the 13th instant I informed your Majesty what had passed with the Queen in the matter of getting her to declare herself about the marriage, and the undecided answer she gave us and how I had shown myself aggrieved against Lady Sidney although I know that, far from being to blame, she is glad I should take this step, as she says she will make known to the Queen and everybody what has occurred if she is asked. I have since learnt that the coming of the ambassador Throgmorton has resulted after much altercation in the Queen and Council deciding to give overt help to the Scots in casting out the French and to deliver the country to the earl of Arran, and although this is not entirely public yet, I understand that it is decided, and Throgmorton told the duke of Norfolk so some days ago. The question of the Queen's marriage is still pepding, as she shows the same indecision in marrying the earl of Arran as with the rest, but she and they confess that if he gets the kingdom the match is the most desirable for the union of the island and the consequent advantages. Some believe, and I amongst them from what I see going on in her house, that she is not in earnest, but only wants to amuse the crowd with the hope of the match in order to save the life of Lord Robert, who is very vigilant and suspicious, as he has again been warned that there is a plot to kill him, which I quite believe, for not a man in the realm can suffer the idea of his being king. The Queen has simultaneously taken another step of great importance towards carrying out her designs, namely, in commencing this war, as she thinks your Majesty and the French will probably take up arms, which is exactly what these people want and have been expecting for a year, and, as I understand, have tried to bring about by telling the French ambassador that your Majesty was again in treaty for the Queen's hand and meant to abandon their King's sister, who they thought would never enter Spain. That now being beyond doubt they have adopted the other course of commencing war with the object I have mentioned and are sure when your Majesty sees them in a fix that you must help them. They thus venture to put themselves into manifest peril, beginning war without forces with the sole object of setting their neighbours by the ears and extricating themselves from the extremity in which they are. They think they will then be able to do as they like both as regards religion and their marriages and appetites as well as in the other things they usually do when their neighbours have need of them. I do not know how to act, and in order not to err I adopt the plan of staying at home and signifying displeasure both about the war and the marriage. The duke of Norfolk came here yesterday, who tells me he has begun to oppose the war openly and to urge the match with the Archduke on the ground that since the end aimed at, namely, the defence of the country, can by attained much more easily by this means there is no reason to go to war I encouraged him and gave him to understand that his view was in conformity with your Majesty's wishes and those of all who have at heart the interests of the Queen and the countiy. I do not know how this business will end, but I have thought best to inform your Majesty and the duchess of Parma at once of what has happened, and that they are publicly sending arms to Scotland. The captains who were here have gone thither and considerable numbers of troops, and it is said also that the Queen's ships are ready.
Lady Sidney's husband came yesterday to tell me that the Queen was sending two ambassadors, one to your Majesty and the other to the Emperor. He, Sidney, is to go to the Emperor. He wished to make me believe that he still thought the match with the Archduke would be brought about. My own opinion is that the Queen is only sending these ambassadors out of compliment, and to counteract the reports she thinks we have sent to your Majesty, and the Emperor and in futherance of her design of arousing the suspicions of the French that the match will yet be concluded, which they certainly fear very much. The sending of these ambassadors is very opportune for her to show that the negotiations are still on foot and near conclusion and Throgmorton says that he will shortly return to France, probably to brag and threaten about the marriage in view of the despatch of the ambassadors of which I will give notice to Monsignor de Chantonnay. I do not wish to omit saying that if the Archduke has left Vienna, I should see no objection to his taking a turn in this country if this would not injure us with the French by arousing their suspicion that the business was settled. I am moved to this by seeing the inclination towards his name shown by the majority of the people and the ruin which, as I think daily threatens the Queen. She would be succeeded by Lady Catherine, who would be very much more desirable than this one, as I have already written.
On separate sheet attached to the foregoing :
Since writing the above letter I have heard that the French have captured a sum of money that the Queen was sending to the Scots in a letter from Cecil. This is the first open rupture. The Queen has summoned the duke of Norfolk to make him general of the frontier. I do not know whether they will thus cause him to slacken in the other affair, or whether he may think he can do more in the position than without it. I understand that after he had spoken to several of the Council about the Archduke's match, Throgmorton came and asked him what conditions were offered by the Emperor to the Queen for the conclusion of the affair, and the Duke sent word to me. I answered that when the Queen had made up her mind we would then treat of terms, which, however, in peace or war, would be very advantageous to the Queen, although we did not know them in detail as the Queen had never allowed the matter to proceed so far. I believe Throgmorton wants to be able to tell something to the French that shall not arouse their suspicion.— London, 18th November 1559.
— Nov. 76. Count de Feria to the Bishop of Aquila.
The license to hand, many thanks. The Queen has no right to complain of my wife for having spoken about her for really she has been most reticent and has never said a word. I believe I am the culprit for saying what I know to be true, and the Queen will repent of having behaved as she has to me before a year is over. I do not understand why the Queen should complain after treating the Countess as discourteously as she has, and by God I will say as much to her ambassador, who came yesterday and sent word to me that he bad instructions from his mistress to visit the Duchess, but that as he heard she was not well he would do so another day.
License has been given to Granado to take out four horses. He tried hard for six, but I thought even four too many, and if it had not been that you wrote recommending it, he would not have got them, as the King, who knew what Granado had come for, sent to me at Ghent to tell Madame not to give him a license for any. I am glad the Queen has undeceived us in time, although I never believed her, for now the Emperor will not let his son come until after all is settled, and I think he is right. Even though the negotiations may be renewed your Lordship should not again treat on this point as you will hear from Count Helfenstein's instructions. The French game is to stop this marriage. I believe it must end in war. I go to Spain as soon as my wife is fit.—Without date.
27 Nov.
Simancas, B.M., M.S., Add. 26,056a.
77. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess of Parma.
The duke of Norfolk spoke out so plainly to Lord Robert the other day that they separated abruptly, and Robert told him he was neither a good Englishman nor a loyal subject who advised the Queen to marry a foreigner. Things are very strained between them, and the Duke has gone home in dudgeon and refused the command in chief on the frontier.
The war is unpopular and the Archduke's marriage desired.— London, 27th November 1559.


  • 1. Lady Dormer.
  • 2. The lady referred to is no doubt Mistress Susan Clarentius (or Lady Clarentius) who had been a favourite attendant on Queen Mary, and was present at the Queen's death and the embalming of the body. Lady Clarentius would appear to have entered the Spanish Ambassador's household soon after the death of her mistress, and accompanied the Countess to Flanders and subsequently to Spain. Gresham, who was in Flanders at the time, greatly interested himself in obtaining these licenses for the two ladies to remain out of England. See several letters of similar date from him to Cecil on the subject.— Calendar of State papers, Foreign Series.
  • 3. Inigo Lopez de Mendoza fourth duke of Infantado the first of the Castilian nobles.
  • 4. The duke of Infantado's brother.
  • 5. Bartolomé de Carranza, archbishop of Toledo, primate of Spain.
  • 6. In the house of Pedro Gonzales at Valladolid just bought by the Holy Office.
  • 7. Antonio Sanchez, a lay-brother servant of the Archbishop.
  • 8. Fernando de Valdez, archbishop of Seville, Grand Inquisitor.
  • 9. A dispensation had already been granted to the Count himself to marry this young lady with her great dowry, and when all was arranged for the wedding the Ambassador fell violently in love with Miss Dormer, whom he married secretly, although circumstances shortly made it necessary to avow the marriage.
  • 10. Contemple V. S. si Pacheco saliese Papa lo que paparia, an untranslatable play upon words.