Simancas: June 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: June 1560', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) pp. 157-163. British History Online [accessed 29 May 2024].

. "Simancas: June 1560", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) 157-163. British History Online, accessed May 29, 2024,

. "Simancas: June 1560", Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892). 157-163. British History Online. Web. 29 May 2024,

June 1560

3 June.
Brussels Archives, B. M. French M.S., Add. 28,173.
108. The Same to the Same.
On Thursday last we received your Highness's letter of 27th May and those of His Majesty and Messieurs Chantonnay and Garcia Lasso with enclosures. We have for the present nothing further to reply to these beyond what we wrote in our letters of 23rd and 27th ultimo, which will have informed your Highness of the state of affairs here and the uselessness of my (de Glajon's) continued stay since the conference is to take place about two hundred miles from here, and the parties expect to be able to come to terms without our presence or intervention as we have written on several occasions. We have also expressed our own opinion to your Highness that they will not agree at all as we do not believe the Queen will ever consent to a rupture of her alliance with the Scots, nor would the latter allow it, and we think that this point alone is sufficient to render the conference abortive.
We are anxious, for our own part, to assure your Highness that in all our conferences on the subject we have tried as diplomatically as possible to bring about a just and honourable understanding, and have offered both the Queen and the French with this end our presence and mediation. We see, however, that neither of the parties desires to avail itself of our good offices, and we have consequently agreed to preserve His Majesty's (the king of Spain's) dignity by henceforward simply persuading and expressing the King's great desire that an understanding should be effected on the best terms possible and trying to reconcile both parties. As they will not admit us to the conference we can give no information to your Highness except that contained in our former letters.
M. de Randau and the bishop of Valence left for Newcastle on Wednesday last and Dr. Wotton and Secretary Cecil will follow them next Thursday, Cecil having had himself bled before starting in consequence of a sudden return of fever. We do not know whether this was a device to delay the meeting in order in the meanwhile to take Leith by famine, as the rumour is that the besieged are suffering greatly from want of provisions, and the Queen told me (Bishop Quadra) two days ago that "they were keeping their Lent."
It would seem by this that the copies of letters given by Cardinal Lorraine and the duke de Guise to Messieurs Chantonnay and Garcia Lasso saying that the besieged are well victualled to the end of August are a fabrication. We have made every effort to discover whether anyone had left Leith who could have written such letters, but have been unable to find that any person had gone out of the place since the departure of the bishop of Valence from Scotland and the assault on the town.
We send a short reply to the letters of Messieurs Chantonnay and Garcia Lasso referring them to the present letter of which your Highness may be pleased to send them copies.
We have thought well to retain here for a few days the courier who brought your Highness's letters in order to be able if necessary to advise your Highness what we hear of the negotiations between the French and English representatives.—London, 3rd June 1560.
Signed : Alvaro della Quadra. Philippe de Stavèles.
3 June.
Simancas, B. M. MS., Add., 26,056.
109. Bishop Quadra to the Bishop Of Arras.
The Commissioners have left for Scotland. The French are the bishops of Valence and Amiens, Randau, La Brosse and D'Oysel ; and the English, Cecil and Wotton from here, and Henry Percy, (fn. 1) Peter Carew and Sadler appointed there. I expect they will do no more than hitherto, as the Queen expects to reduce Leith by hunger, and the French are not in earnest, but hope to arrange with the rebels, and then try their designs on this country. I expect the French will succeed in their plans before Leith is taken by hunger as they (the French) say it is provisioned till August, but this is all a trick of the Ambassador's as was that letter they showed to Chantonnay and Garcilasso in France as no one has left the place who could bring the news. Cecil has been sent to encourage the rebels and hinder the French attempts at an arrangement with them.
When I spoke to the Queen last, she did not seem so offended with us as she had been, and to help this feeling I mixed my scolding with as many complimentary and friendly words as I could. I see that her plan is that, in case her visions succeed and she manages to embroil us with the French and so establish her power, she shall not be more beholden to us than she is now, whilst if she fail she shall not be quite alienated from us. The Catholics are being persecuted more than ever, and when I begged the Queen to cease this, and pointed out how cruel and impious it was, she said she knew they (the Catholics) wanted to rise against her, and she could show me proofs of it. She said those who looked the meekest and most sanctimonious were the worst. I want to keep in her present good humour, as neither our threats have frightened nor our persuasions softened her towards us, but still I managed, without exasperating her, to repeat to her all her errors, and pointed out the danger into which her fancies were hurrying her. I said her plans looked very easy, and she was always ready to blame some of her councillors if they failed. She yielded so far as to try to justify herself to me on the principal points, namely, the war and marriage. She talked all manner of nonsense, as usual, and although she tried to treat things seriously, I only ridiculed everything she said, and told her I knew she did not believe what she was saying, and I was fully informed that her real object was to make herself monarch of all Britain by marrying the earl of Arran. After a long discussion on this subject and the war, we spoke of the news from Italy, that the Pope was sending hither the abbé de Saint Salut, at which she seemed surprised and somewhat alarmed, and thought he was after no good. I said the Pope only sent to admonish and advise her like a loving father for her good, and no doubt had been moved thereto by hearing from the King (Philip) that he was always in hope that a woman of her talent would embrace the universal Catholic faith. I said if the King had failed to protect her at Rome, any declaration the Pope might have made against her would have done her much harm. (Repeats a long homily he gave her on her duty towards her subjects in the matter of religion.) If the Pope is really going to send an envoy hither, I wish it were anyone rather than this abbé, who is a staunch Frenchman and is considered tricky here. He is unpopular, as he was a servant of Cardinal Pole, and they ought to send a learned modest man, without ostentation or show and without much preliminary talk. Your Lordship might advise Vargas of this without saying that I had written it, as I am not inclined to be bail in Rome for what I write here of this Queen's conversation. If your Lordship thinks well, also this letter might be sent to His Majesty, as I cannot write to Spain by this post—London, 3rd June 1560.
13 June.
Brussels Archives, B.M. French M.S., Add. 28,173.
110. Bishop Quadea And De Glajon to the Duchess Of Parma.
Strange news is current here of the rout of our army against Tripoli, and Seurre has told us that for the last twelve days the fact has been known in the court of France, and that only twentyfive of our galleys have escaped. This pains us greatly, and especially as nothing has been written to us about it.—London, 13th June 1560.
Signed : Alvaro della Quadra. Philippe de Stavèles.
17 June.
Brussels Archives, B.M. French M.S., Add. 28,173.
111. The Same to the Same.
The day after writing to your Highness on the 13th instant we received your Highness's despatch of the 3rd, with extracts of letters written to Monsignor D'Arras by Secretary Courteville respecting his action with the French and English ambassadors about our negotiations. We thank your Highness for this, and will make use of the extracts when opportunity offers. We told your Highness in our last that a courier had arrived here from Cornwall with the news that a great number of French ships of war were on that coast, and we have since learnt that this was the new army that was on its way to reinforce the others.
The Queen sent to say yesterday that she had received letters on the previous day from Cecil saying that the sittings of the conference had commenced (although she could not tell us in what place) with so much amity that she hoped very shortly that a successful result would be attained, and at all events that nothing should be wanting on her side to effect an agreement. She said she would not fail to let us know when she had any news of the issue, and asked us to inform His Majesty and your Highness. We humbly thanked her, and assured her that both the King and your Highness would receive the news of a settlement with pleasure.
She also sent word that she had heard from the duke of Norfolk that there was a report in the camp and on the frontiers that the queen regent of Scotland, mother of the queen of France, was dead, but she (Elizabeth) has made no reference yet to the packet of letters received from her ministers in Spain. We enclose copy of the protest which, as we have written to your Highness, was presented in April last by Ambassador Seurre to the Queen, and the Queen's reply thereto lately printed here.—London, 17th June 1560.
Signed : Alvaro della Quadra. Philippe de Stavèles.
27 June 112. Bishop Quadra to the King.
Duke Adolph of Holstein sent some days ago to M. de Glajon and me to say that he wished to have some conversation with us before he left, and he asked us to be his guests at Greenwich where he was staying with the Queen. I went alone as M. de Glajon was unwell. What he had to say was that having recently received a letter from your Majesty conveying to him the intelligence of your marriage and good health, and begging him at the same time to help in the preservation and defence of your Majesty's states in the Netherlands, he thought well to inform me that, as to the first, he humbly saluted your Majesty for deigning to inform him of your marriage and health. With regard to the second he will ever be ready to serve your Majesty in Flanders or elsewhere your Majesty may command, as he has written to you and I might convey the same to the duchess of Parma. I send the Duke's letter enclosed in this. He appears not very well satisfied with the Queen about the marriage, and even respecting other affairs, although he tries hard to hide it. As M. de Glajon and I have written at length to Madame and the bishop of Arras 1 do not refer to other matters here.—London, 26th June 1560.
Endorsed in the handwriting of Philip II., "The letter of Duke Adolph of Holstein has been sent to Phinzing."
28 June.
Brussels Archives B.M. French M.S., Add. 28,173.
112. Bishop Quadra And De Glajon to the Duchess Of Parma.
By our letters of 17th instant your Highness will have learnt that according to the Queen the peace conference was in a good way. We have since received your Highness' letters with the copies enclosed by which we have been fully informed of the proposal to his Majesty made by the Bishop of Limoges, (fn. 2) and his Majesty's reply to the three points contained therein and our action shall be governed in accordance. We have also learnt what had passed between your Highness and M. de la Forest, (fn. 3) and the cause of the coming hither of the Abbé de Saint Salut and the reasons for detaining him in Flanders. We also thank your Highness for the news of the success of our army at Gelves, which doubly rejoices us as the news spread broadcast here was very different and greatly against his Majesty's interests. We will publish the truth everywhere, and when it is known we hope those who have been glad will be ashamed of themselves.
Your Highness will be pleased to hear that the Queen and Council have informed us that by letters from the deputies written on the 29th instant from Edinburgh they learn that the differences between the Queen and the king of France were in fair way for settlement, and there was not now much left to conclude, and she therefore had great hope that very shortly all would be arranged in good peace and concord. She also hoped the same would be effected by the Scots and would not fail to send us news as she received it. In confirmation of this we have heard from the secretary of ambassador Seurre that the French representatives have sent a gentleman to their King who bore letters of credence for de Seurre. The latter however had only told him, the secretary, that the gentleman had said as he was leaving that on his return from France (which he expected would be within a week) all would be easily arranged. The Queen also said the same thing to me (Bishop Quadra) when I was recently with her on private business, and added that all the points on her side was arranged except only that referring to the repayment of the expenses she had incurred, for which she demanded 500,000 crowns and the restitution of Calais, although I do not think she will stand out about that. With regard to the rest the French will agree to demolish Leith and withdraw their troops from Scotland, sending them back to France in ships that she (the Queen) would grant them by public edict. They will consent to annul and cancel all letters and charters in which the style of king of England may have been usurped and abolish the use of the arms of England quartered with those of France for ever henceforward.
By this your Highness will see how little reason there was for the bishop of Limoges in Spain to beg his Majesty for the succour promised to his master and the use of sending another gentleman to this Queen to negotiate, which would probably only throw matters back again and irritate the Queen more than ever, as she would believe he came to declare war rather that anything else, and if the peace is concluded, as is hoped, your Highness may consider whether the coming of this new envoy would be either fitting or necessary.
With regard to the peace itself it is probable that the French, seeing the impossibility of relieving Leith, which is hard pressed for victuals, will accept such terms as they can get. We are daily expecting letters from Scotland from a certain person we have sent thither and we hope to learn from them the truth about the peace negotiations which we will duly convey to your Highness.
Regarding the coming of the Abbé de Saint Salut I, (Bishop Quadra) have been recently informed by the abbot of Westminster, now a prisoner in the Tower, that his coming is at the solicitation of a certain Englishman named Englefield, now in Rome, who was a member of the Council of the late Queen Mary, and of the late ambassador of that Queen in Rome who have laid before his Holiness the state of religious affairs here and attribute the present changes rather to certain ministers now in favour with the Queen than to the Queen herself. In my opinion the coming of the Abbé will please many people and displease those of the contrary faith. If we are asked the cause of the delay in the Nuncio's coming we will dissemble as your Highness directs. If his Majesty had not been fully informed of my (de Glajon's) proceedings, and had himself not deigned to exculpate me from the complaint made by the bishop of Limoges that I was lukewarm, I could bring ample evidence and proof to the contrary, but since his Majesty is satisfied with me I will for the present pass the matter over ; but I cannot refrain from saying that the reason why the French desired so much warmth and vehemence on our part was not by any means that their affairs should thereby be forwarded (for we had done everything possible and even more than was necessary) as may be judged from the fact that they always tried to negotiate apart from us and exclude us from their conferences, but only for the purpose of injuring our King's interests by irritating the Queen against him. We quite clearly saw this and the malice that prompted it, and we have thought best to conduct our negotiations in a moderate way that, whilst doing everything that his Majesty and your Highness ordered, could not offend the Queen. We recall that we said to Seurre in the presence of the bishop of Valence and M. de Randau that he was acting wrongly in conducting his negotiations with the Queen in an underhand way and with soft words whilst we were to importune and press her unceasingly. He excused himself at the time, and said he could not do otherwise as he must dissemble with her. I (de Glajon) cannot see therefore what reason he has to complain of me as it is quite notorious here that the haste and failure of the assault on Little Leith proceeded from the pressure we brought to bear upon the Queen, and we can assure your Highness that if the affair had been for his Majesty himself de Glajon could have done no more than he did.
M. Florent, (fn. 4) whom we have often mentioned in former letters, returned here this week, and we greatly suspect that he comes to negotiate something not dealt with by the peace deputies. He was ill on the road for a long time, nearly a month, and not being quite recovered he was carried from Paris to Boulogne in a litter. We are informed that he had audience of the Queen yesterday, and we fear he is trying to negotiate something to his Majesty's (the king of Spain's) disadvantage. We will use all diligence in finding out.
With regard to the affair of the Dortrecht men I (Bishop Quadra.) have after great difficulty obtained their release, and even the restitution of their ships without cost, and there now only remains to claim the payment of interest and expenses of their keep and others incurred in the prosecution of the claim. It has been impossible to press for this yet as the judges of the Cinque Ports against whom the claim must be made (for having given letters of reprisal wrongly and without cause) only meet thrice a year. The next term is on St. James' Day and the men have therefore left, but will send and claim these expenses when the time comes. I will help them all I can, but it will be a long and difficult affair to recover the claim, and if I were consulted by the Dortrecht men I should advise them to be satisfied with getting back the principal and avoid further expense.—London, 28th June 1560.
Signed. Alvaro della Quadra. Philippe de Stavèles.


  • 1. Henry Percy, brother of the earl of Northumberland, who commanded the English cavalry in Scotland.
  • 2. Sebastien de L'Aubespine bishop of Limoges, French ambassador at the court of Philip II.
  • 3. Bochetel de la Forest, the French ambassador in Flanders for several years. He was subsequently accredited to England (July 1566) and frequent mention is made of him in the later letters in the present series.
  • 4. He is called Florencio Ayaceto in a letter from Quadra to the King dated 4th August 1560 in the present volume.