Simancas: January 1560

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: January 1560', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) pp. 120-122. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

January 1560

1560. 21 Jan.
Simancas, B.M., M.S., Add. 26,056a.
82. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess of Parma.
Ambassador Throgmorton leaves for France to-morrow, but his going abates not a jot of the preparations for the war in Scotland or the raising of troops to send to the duke of Norfolk who is awaiting them at Newcastle. I think Throgmorton's journey is the outcome of the visit of La Motte to France who, as I have already written, was sent by the French Ambassador here. God grant that it may be successful.
I hear the French are doing much damage to the rebel places in Scotland, and it is said have broken Stirling bridge, which will be a great hindrance to the communication of the rebel forces if the news be true. It is reported that the loss of the Marquis d'Elbœuf's ships has been very great, and enormous quantities of wreckage have been cast upon the coast of Norfolk. It is said that some of their vessels stationed in Scotland have been taken by the enemy. One of the Queen's ships there was also lost at the same time and others much injured. The French general of infantry sought safety in one of the ports, and the French say that a number of cavalry will shortly be sent, and the Marquis himself may come back if they will let him pass, which might be of importance seeing the illness of the Queen Regent who is very bad.
The duke of Norfolk has not so many troops as I wrote last week to His Majesty, but they say that by the middle of February he will have all his forces together, including 1,000 horse, which he already has, most of which have been contributed by gentlemen who were taxed for them according to their incomes and bear the cost of them until they arrive at the place of muster.
There are great complaints about this.
The Duke (Norfolk) has written to me expressing great desire that the Archduke's matter should be carried through, and I have replied showing how small is the hope of success.
Duke Adolph of Holstein has accepted an income from this Queen as he has from our King, and they say he will shortly be here, not quite without hope that the Queen will marry him although he comes ostensibly as her mercenary soldier. No doubt advantage will be taken of this to stop the French from shipping troops in Denmark for Scotland. The marriage of the Queen with the earl of Arran is more talked about than ever, no doubt because the Archduke's suit is looked upon as at an end. Your Highness knows how much hope I have left on the subject, although in a discussion I had with the Queen lately, speaking of the alliance between the French and Scots, she said she thought it would not succeed for two reasons : first, that no one would dare now to offend the earl of Arran, who is so near the throne as the Queen is ill ; and secondly, because every man in the country hoped to join the two crowns by means of the earl's marriage, which would be impossible if the Scots turned their backs on him. It is reported that your Highness is fitting out some ships in Holland and that others are being armed in Spain, which causes a good deal of anxiety here. The purpose of Viscount Montague's embassy is, I understand, to propose a renewal of the alliance between this Queen and our King, which Cecil tells me will be much more advantageous to the King than formerly, as the English have nothing to lose now on the continent, and his Majesty would only be called upon to defend them against invasion of the island which they consider an almost impossible contingency.
Although I know that Throgmorton's visit to France is more at the request of the French than the wish of the Queen, it inspires me with a good deal of alarm as I know how close is the understanding between these people and the French heretics which Throgmorton has brought about. He sent one of his servants on ahead six days ago, pretending that he was one of Preyner's servants. The French are fully aware of the bad turn he played them in getting the earl of Arran away, and all through this Scotch business, and I consider him a man ready to do any wickedness. The French no doubt know this, but are willing to seize at any excuse for delay to give them time to send their cavalry and the rest, and they also think the Queen may thus be gradually weaned from the idea of turning them out of Scotland. In this they are much mistaken, as preparations were never so actively made here as they are now, and I am told that money has been sent to the Scotch rebels, which is a great thing for this Queen to do, as she is not inclined to waste her money. I am told by a merchant who knows that 10,000 crowns have been sent. Your Highness may be sure that if this wickedness here is carried forward the new religion will be a means of destroying all the neighbouring states, and no one will be safe.—London, 21st January 1560.
27 Jan. 83. Bishop Quadra to the King.
The ambassadors that the Queen is sending to your Majesty came yesterday, and treasurer Parry with them, and asked me on their mistress' behalf to write to your Majesty recommending them, as I have done, and they will deliver my letters to your Majesty.
The Viscount (fn. 1) sent me a note to-day complaining that they have never allowed him to come to my house except in company with those who came, and he added that if he were not forced he would never undertake so troublesome and unjust an embassy as that which he bears, but that as he is accredited to your Majesty, on whom the hope of the country rests, be endures it all with patience, his only sorrow being that he is accompanied by a man whose sole office is to spy upon him. I think he will take it well if your Majesty will hear him sometimes privately, and I believe this can only tend to your Majesty's advantage. All the favour your Majesty can show him is well deserved by a man who has acted as he has done, which is undoubtedly the most honourably of any man of his quality in our time. I know your Majesty will for this reason extend all consideration to him, and there is no need for me to remind your Majesty of it ; but I have not liked to disappoint him by failing to give him this letter, which will go safely as he bears it himself. I also send letters from Paget who makes great professions of service to your Majesty. I hope to receive your Majesty's instructions as to what is to be done with him and others.
The Queen's army is to be in Scotland within a fortnight, respecting which and other matters I write by way of Flanders.— London, 27th January 1560.
Simancas, B.M., M.S., Add. 26,056a.
84. Bishop Quadra to the Count de Feria.
Everything here is in an incredible state. Every one sad and discontented with what is going on.
The bishops of Winchester and Durham dead, and many others also, but all were as steadfast as saints.
Many masses still said in London.
Cecil is the heart of the business and determined to carry it through until they are ruined, as they will be. The Queen calls Lady Catharine her daughter, although the feeling between them can hardly be that of mother and child, but the Queen has thought best to put her in her chamber and makes much of her in order to keep her quiet. She even talks about formally adopting her. On the other hand Cecil tells me that neither she nor any other woman will succeed in order to exclude also the Countess of Lennox, whose son if he were taken to France might disagree with their stomachs. They signify that Hastings (fn. 2) would succeed. He loves Robert as he loves the devil, although he is his brother-in-law and walks in his shadow. The duke of Norfolk has arrived. In fact, things are in such a muddle that they can only be written about confusedly.— London, January 1560.


  • 1. Montague.
  • 2. Henry Hastings Baron Hastings son of Francis 2nd earl of Huntingdon by Catharine Pole. He succeeded to his father's earldom in 1561. He married Lady Catharine Dudley.