Simancas: December 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: December 1559', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) pp. 117-120. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Simancas: December 1559", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) 117-120. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Simancas: December 1559", Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892). 117-120. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

December 1559

13 Dec.
Simancas, B.M., M.S., Add. 26,056a.
78. Relation of a letter from Bishop Quadra to the King.
The Queen had sent for him and told him that seeing the injuries. she had received from the French she must defend herself, and as it was important that the king of Spain should know of this as soon as possible, and she could not safely send a courier by way of France, she begged the Bishop to remit the news to His Majesty pending the despatch of the ambassadors she intended to send.
Her reasons were that the king of France had assumed her style and arms and had 8,000 soldiers in Scotland, besides which he was sending 40 ships with munitions, and the Rhiengraf and Rocandolph were raisins : regiments to invade England.
Cecil brought the Queen's letter to the Bishop for your Majesty, and said they had news that 300 French had placed themselves in the fort of Eyemouth and had re-fortified it in violation of treaties, and thus they have begun the offensive. The Queen had ordered her forces at Berwick to turn them out at once.
The French had promised the king of Denmark te settle his dispute with the duchess of Lorraine in his favour if he would let their Germans embark from his port.
Cecil said they would be face to face in five days, and if they, the English, lose a battle the French will come right on to London.
The Queen desired that your Majesty should be informed, as it was of so great importance to you, and begged for advice.
The real object of the Queen is to set all her neighbours by the ears and then take advantage of it for her own ends.
The Queen revived the subject of the Archduke, and said she believed he was in the country. The Bishop referred her to Count Helfenstein.
Cecil also wanted to talk about the marriage, but the Bishop would not discuss it as they will follow it up if they are in earnest, and we do not wish to be deceived a second time if it is only a feint. Some of the Council confess that the Queen must accept this marriage, but your Majesty, must undertake to protect the Archduke and the country.
Understands that the Queen's ambassadors are going to your Majesty to propose marriage with the Prince (Carlos). That Drury of the Queen's chamber and his brother had been arrested on suspicion of being implicated in the plot against Lord Robert.
He had spoken to the French ambassador who greatly belittled the Queen's armaments and said if she wanted war she should have plenty of it.—London, 13th December 1559.
79. Bishop Quadra to the Duke of Alba.
You will see by my letters to His Majesty that what we have feared so long has at last come to pass. It is the Queen's act, and I pray God that Christendom may not again be set aflame by these corrupt and evil appetites. I think the preparations that were to be made should be made at once, as delay is dangerous, and in the meanwhile I will bear myself as your Excellency ordered me months ago at Chateau Cambresi towards those members of the Council I mentioned to the Count de Feria. I am deeply anxious, and considering the difficulties in which I am, so prejudicial as they are to the successful conduct of negotiations, I am at a loss to know how I shall carry so great a business through, as His Majesty has left me here without money, without any letters from him, and without orders for over four months. I am out of health and to do things at haphazard is to make success impossible. I know your Excellency hears plenty of such language as this, but I cannot help begging that at least I may have news of His Majesty's health.—London, 13th December 1559.
18 Dec.
Simancas, B.M., M.S., Add. 26,056a.
80. Bishop Quadra to the Count De Feria.
This Irishman told me to-day that certain people of their religion in conversation with the Queen lately mentioned the great numbers of Flemings and Dutchmen with the families and households who were flocking into this country from the States on account of religion, when she answered that they were all welcome, and that she at least would never fail them. She said, moreover, that when the Spaniards who now govern the States were all gone back to roast in their sweltering Indies or their burning Spain she well knew that her religion would flourish there as she had some of the principal men on her side.
She no doubt thinks to upset all the world by this means, and indeed she is trying the game already in France, and her friends are boasting of the progress of the gospel there.
I write this because you are no doubt the Spaniard to whom she referred. She will be glad enough to hear that you have gone.— London, 18th December 1559.
27 Dec. 81. The Bishop of Aquila to the Count De Feria.
By what I write to Madame (the duchess of Parma) your Lordship will see what a pretty business it is to have to treat with this woman, who I think must have a hundred thousand devils in her body, notwithstanding that she is for ever telling me that she yearns to be a nun and to pass her time in a cell praying. I have heard great things of a sort that cannot be written about and you will understand what they must be by that. Count Helfenstein should depart at once and the matter decided one way or the other as things have reached a point that will not allow us to avoid jumping the ditch for fear of falling in. I do not hesitate to inform you that I am told by a certain person that if it be necessary to send troops from Flanders to this country there is no place so easily invaded as Lynn, in the county of Norfolk, which has a port and shore whence a force can be very easily thrown two miles in rear of the town in a strong position. I am told this by an experienced soldier who knows the country well and who fears the French may get in, having the coast of Holland at hand whence they can easily run over on a single tack. From this place to Bristol they say there is a perfect line of rivers and mountains dividing the land from the Cornish promontory to Lynn, the best part of the country.
It appears still possible that Mr. Sidney may go as ambassador to Spain. He tells me that if it be only to go thither, arrange this marriage and return, he would go with pleasure, but he does not want to go and stay there and take his wife without whom he will not go. He has become reconciled with Mr. Robert, with whom he had recently been on very bad terms. I imagine Robert wishes to make much of your Lordship through him as he is persuaded he could not do so well through me, knowing that I am anything but pleased with his dissimulation.
They tell me the Queen is displeased that some of them are greatly caressing a nephew of Cardinal Pole, uncle of her brother (sic) and she suspects all of those who surround him and particularly Lord Hastings ; but let her take what care she may, she cannot prevent the river overflowing its banks one of these days, and, on my faith, I think that her own co-religionists may bring this about before the Catholics, For the love of God I pray your Lordship not to forget affairs here, for I see what good opportunities are presenting themselves for remedying the evil.—London, 27th December 1559.


  • 1. Christina, daughter of Christian II. of Denmark, married in 1534 to Francis Sforza, duke of Milan, and secondly in 1541, to the first duke of Lorraine, who died 1545. She died 1590.