Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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193. Bishop Quadra to the King.
On the 25th instant I wrote your Majesty what had passed here, and I have to advise that since then the Queen, seeing the success of the king of France and the loss of Rouen, has withdrawn all her troops to Havre de Grace and left Dieppe unprotected in the assurance that the King's forces would come against those two places, and knowing that Dieppe could neither be fortified nor held, they determined to abandon it. Some people thought they would do the same with Havre de Grace, but although on Sunday the 1st instant the Council was wrangling over it for many hours, there was no help for it but, at last, to agree to hold it, and to send 2,000 more men to the earl of Warwick, who is already asking for help. Secretary Cecil to whom is commonly laid the blame of this enterprise pretended to be ill and would not attend the Council, but let the others decide the matter without him. Notwithstanding this, however, they did all he wished, and more. They ordered that all the French ships in Havre de Grace should be brought to this country, some say to take over troops, others to have in their hands a sufficient recompense, if things go badly with them in Havre de Grace, to repay them for the artillery and arms they have there, which are good and abundant. The ships they have sent for are said to be large and small, nearly 200 sail, and some of them have already begun to arrive, amongst others a fine galleon of the king of France. The earl of Warwick also asked for some cavalry, but there is no way of getting that from here, and even if they wished to bring it from elsewhere and the road were open they could not pay for it. I cannot see, therefore, how the Queen can avoid coming to terms, especially as I know she desires it, as I have written previously. The sending of Throgmorton to Orleans was only to forward this object with the consent of the prince of Condé and Chatillon.
About two months since there arrived here a Biscayner named Luis Hernialde, a native of St. Sebastian, who came to my house as soon as he arrived, and told me that he had come from Peru in the last fleet which reached Spain in August last, and that he was on his way to Flanders to invest a certain sum of money in merchandise. He left in my house for safety some gold to the value of a little over 1,000 ducats, which gold he withdrew a few days ago and sold in order to send the amount to Flanders. Some days passed and I thought the man was gone, when he wrote me a very long letter from his inn, of which I enclose copy. I looked upon the contents as nonsense, and imagined that his real intention was to serve this Queen, and take part in the voyage to Guinea for which they are again fitting out four ships, and to divert him from this I answered softly and promised to do what I could for him. He sent in reply to this another letter, of which I enclose a copy, and went immediately to Hampton Court to offer himself to the Queen, to remain in her service, turn heretic, and embark in these ships. It seems the answer they gave him there was not to his liking, and it had such an effect upon him that, either in pretence or in earnest, he is wandering about the streets crazy, and has wounded and maltreated I do not know how many Englishmen. He was arrested for this, and the officials of London took from him all his money. I have tried to reclaim him, but nobody can do anything for him, as his one idea is that I am trying to have him arrested and sent to Spain to be tried for many fearful crimes of which he accuses himself. I have not refrained from giving your Majesty an account of this in order that you may be pleased to command what is to be done with the man, because if he is not mad he cannot fail to be a very pernicious person, and, however it may be, this small sum of money that he had would appear to belong to your Majesty, if your Majesty may please to order it to be recovered.
The Queen has summoned the nobles of the kingdom it is thought to consider the succession to the Crown, in favour of the earl of Huntingdon. Your Majesty knows who he is and whether it is desirable to let these designs be carried further, and may deign to send orders what steps are to be taken in such case on your Majesty's behalf.
Many believe the king of Sweden is still thinking of this marriage. If he listens to all they say here there will be no lack of people to advise him to come. London, 8th November 1562.
194. The Same to the Same.
The Catholics here have several times requested me to inform them whether it is lawful or not for them to be present at the heretic sermons and services in the churches, upon which point there is difference of opinion amongst English theologians. I have always avoided giving a decided answer to this question in order not to condemn those who are in the habit of attending church or to encourage those who are constant in doing what they ought not to do. Recently several of them gave me a document which they begged I would send to the prelates who are gathered in the Concilio and obtain their opinion on the point. I thought best to send the document to the Ambassador Vargas, who could bring it to the notice of His Holiness and let me know what answer I could give to these good men, some of whom also desired earnestly for the relief of the consciences of many some means of giving absolution to those who have incurred ecclesiastical censure in consequence of these heresies, as, at present, nobody has power to absolve, and people, many of whom would be glad of absolution, are chary of venturing for fear of being discovered. The Ambassador Vargas has answered me that having, by order of the Pope, considered the matter with some of the Inquisitors they have come to the conclusion that it is not lawful for anyone to take part in these aforementioned acts, and as regards the absolution requested, that authority be sent to me for this with power to delegate to others whom I may think fit. His Holiness has done this by a brief, of which I enclose copy, as also of the opinion of the Inquisitors in order that your Majesty may be pleased to command what I am to do in the matter, as it occurs to me that if the Queen were to hear that I was exerting the Pope's authority on her subjects she might complain to your Majesty, as indeed I am sure she would. She would very probably hear of it because if they were to arrest one of these men he would immediately tell all. On the other hand the office is so good, so holy, so convenient and so necessary, that I cannot but think that your Majesty will consider that it ought to be performed ; but, of course, with all the caution which the circumstances of the case demand. I am of opinion that no commission should be given in writing, and that those to whom I delegate my powers should not see the Commission that I have, but only be told by me verbally that his Holiness has given the necessary authority to absolve from these cases without telling them how or by what means. These persons also should be few and safe and possessing my entire confidence, so that although the benefit may be enjoyed only by a limited number they will be persons of quality who will greatly rejoice thereat and according to the times the power would be extended.
I have thought well to give an account of this to your Majesty in full, as without authority from you I do not consider I ought to presume to act in a matter of this character, although it is true that I should be very glad indeed to do so even at a greater trouble and personal danger to myself, but for considerations of your Majesty's service.—London, 8th November 1562.
195. The Same to the Same.
I wrote to your Majesty on the 8th, and since then (on the 10th) the French Ambassador had audience of the Council and protested against the breaking of the peace. The protest was handed to them in writing and I send copy herewith. They answered him softly to the effect that they had written to the king of France in a way that they hoped would satisfy him and would have a good effect. The Ambassador says that this reply does not please him as he still sees they are preparing to send troops to Havre de Grace, which is quite true for the pioneers left Cornwall last week, and 2,000 men will go from here next week, besides which they are fitting out 12 ships with frantic haste. I also understand that they are to send 200 horse, which will be like those from here generally are, but notwithstanding all these preparations and the Ambassador's apparent dissatisfaction I am of opinion that an agreement is being warmly negotiated by the Ambassador Smith in concurrence with the Orleans by means of Throgmorton, and that the proceedings of this Queen are arranged for the purpose of making it appear necessary for a peace to be accepted on terms unfavourable and injurious to the cause of religion. I may be deceived in thinking so much evil, but I cannot manage to get over my suspicion as I see many signs that lead me to think as I do, not the least of them being that there is less tendency than ever to seek a good understanding with your Majesty, and if they were not in accord with those who rule France they would very soon come to me with their customary blandishments, whereas I notice that they treat your Majesty's affairs much worse and less respectfully than French affairs, and the injuries and insults offered to the business of the private subjects of your Majesty are insufferable. In addition to this I observe that they are harsher than ever in religious affairs, and more determined to do nothing good. I conversed with Cecil on these matters some days since and found him worse than usual so that, having regard to all this, I am of opinion that some pernicious agreement is brewing by which religion in France will not be benefited and will be ruined altogether here. If the Catholics here see any weakness on the part of France they will entirely lose hope of being succoured and will give in to force, whereas even if such agreement be not effected this country will be able to make sure of the Guises and the queen of Scotland and render these Catholics hopeless of assistance by means of them. This might easily be brought about by a coalition between the king of France and this Queen against the queen of Scotland in case the latter should marry a prince displeasing to both of them. As I have already pointed out the queens of France and England are in very close agreement, and my suspicions are stronger than ever.
The Chancellor has this week given orders for Parliament to be summoned on the 6th January, and before the orders were sent a large number of the nobles were here already. This was cleverly contrived in order to obviate the possibility of their holding meetings together or making private agreements before coming hither. They keep them well watched here, but the Queen may perhaps be mistaken after all, and the calling of them together beforeband like this may enable some of them to come to an understanding the more easily. The points to be discussed in this Parliament are three : first, the marriage of the Queen with Lord Robert ; next, the provision of money ; and lastly, the observance of their religion under pain of death. In the last Parliament they enacted that the first infraction of the statute then passed should be punishable by fine, the second by imprisonment, and the third by death ; and this is the reason that these bishops and other imprisoned catholics have not yet been condemned to be executed. Now, however, they will arrange so that this may be done if God be not pleased to frustrate the agreement which I say is now contemplated. In support of my opinion I will point out that the four principal matters now being discussed between the French and English are as follows : First, the marriage of the queen of Scotland, which both the queens of France and England fear may be effected with a powerful prince, strong enough to occupy this country ; secondly, the power and dignity of the Catholic nobles who rule the king of France, which power the queens of France and England respectively, each for her own reason, hate and fear infinitely ; thirdly, the religious question ; and fourthly, the restitution of Calais. On the first two points there is no doubt at all that the two Queens are in accord. With regard to the third I do not know whether the Queen-Mother lacks the will to allow everyone liberty of conscience, as they call it, but I think the firmuess of the people here, and even of the Orleans party, is not altogether without some sort of assurance that their attitude is looked upon with approval by some of the King's ministers. On the question of the restitution of Calais I am quite sure that they are not in harmony, and that neither of them is in earnest, because this Queen thinks that if the Government fall into the hands of the Orleans party they will hand over Calais to her, as they have promised, whereas in France neither heretics nor catholics ever think or intend for a moment to restore it. If they can find some ground of agreement on this fourth point your Majesty may be sure they will do so on the question of religion. They (the French) will allege that it is impossible to avoid making concessions and modifications, seeing the multitude of heretics there are in France, and the trouble the English give them, and the fear they are in from the Germans and other reasons of the same sort, whilst by relaxing somewhat on the religious question the two Queens make themselves sure on the two first points I have mentioned, which are the most pressing and important. If this scheme is not upset by managing that the people here should have their share of troubles and suspicions, as their neighbours have, your Majesty may rest assured that religion will never be amended, and is in greater danger than ever, not only in France but in these northern regions, where it still exists. I could prove all this discourse by trustworthy facts and arguments, but I have already said so much about it that I fear to appear indiscreet. I am, however, fain to confess that I am zealous, as I should be, on the question of religion, and withal I see God's service and that of your Majesty so closely linked that I cannot refrain from thus repeating the same thing in every letter even at the risk I have named, and the more now as I see that Parliament is to settle this matter for good or for evil. It is said this week here, and confirmed, that the earl of Huntly (Outley) in Scotland had determined to seize the queen of Scots and turn out Lurd James and the other heretics that govern. The plan, however, was discovered and he (Huntly) was arrested, and as they led him with his hands bound he fell from his horse and died of the fall. One of his sons and other Scotch catholics are still in prison. This has been announced in the Queen's chapel, but is not known through any other channel. They say, also, that John O'Neil is armed and in the field against the earl of Sussex, to whom he sent word that he would rather be his free enemy than his subject friend. I am informed that a petition, which was presented to your Majesty on my behalf, praying that I might be paid about 4,000 ducats, the revenues for a year of the Archbishopric of Capua, which the duke of Alba granted to me when I was at Trent, has been refused on the ground that the revenues were restored to Cardinal Salmoneta who owns the Archbishopric. If I knew how to pay the debts I have incurred here, entirely for your Majesty's service and with no benefit to myself, I would not be importunate but would do now as I have done before, namely, sell and strip myself of my own property, but, as God is my witness, I have now nothing more to sacrifice or any means of succour, but that which comes from the gracious favour of your Majesty. What troubles me most is that I owe 6,000 ducats here to good Englishmen. I beseech your Majesty to order this to be considered, and that, even though my services may be of little value, yet the will and intention are good. The payment I crave is justly owing to me, as it was granted by one who had full power to grant it. The revenues were legally and properly confiscated, and, if afterwards it was thought desirable to restore them, I ought not to be the loser, especially as by the treaty of peace your Majesty was not bound to restore personal property, and if you had been much more would have to be restored than this. If it was necessary to reward the Cardinal for his disservice, it surely is not just to despoil me who have faithfully done my duty.
I have incurred these debts in matters so necessary and vital to the service of God and your Majesty that it would have been a violation of my duty not to have incurred them, and to this must be added that I have to maintain the title of bishop and of ambassador of your Majesty, and my extraordinary expenses during the last four years have been very large. It is therefore excusable if I have had to spend more than your Majesty has sent me for maintenance, as I have done so in the full belief that I should be paid what I thought was owing to me. I am forced to trouble your Majesty with this account to the extent even of importunity, in order that you may know the state I am in, and command me to be helped, because, although I only aspire to serve, I do not wish to die in debt if I can help it. The man Luis Hernialde, about whom I wrote last week, went mad in such good earnest at last that he took the dagger of a man who was with him here in my house and gave himself a stab in the belly of which he died. As the officers of the city would not have him in the prison, but contented themselves with taking his property away, I had him brought to my house to be taken care of, and here he ended as I have said. His delusion was that he was to be sent to Spain to be tried.—London, 15th November 1562.
196. The Same to the Same.
I wrote to your Majesty last week. Since then the French ambassador has been summoned by the Council. They gave him a reply to the protest he had presented and of which I sent your Majesty a translation. If there is time I will enclose copy of this reply for your Majesty's information. The substance is that they are obstinate in the course they have commenced, but nevertheless I know that the ambassador has an autograph letter from the Queen-Mother to this Queen, and that the agreement is being discussed, the only real difficulty being, as I have said, the question of Calais. The other points are easy, and, if the prince of Condé's affairs turn out badly, I expect they will agree about Calais. This Queen would be content to leave Havre de Grace on being assured of the Guises and the queen of Scotland, and the religious question being settled by the observance of the Edict of January. In the meanwhile she (Elizabeth) is showing a determination to stand firm, and is sending 2,000 more men to Havre de Grace.
The Ambassador Smith writes great praises of Cardinal de Ferrara, and says he has broached the subject of a friendly settlement to him, at which the Queen appears to be not very well pleased as she does not wish any interference in her affairs on the part of the Pope's ministers. There is a rumour here also that the Queen is going to send an ambassador of high rank to your Majesty. This is an artful move to arouse the suspicion of the French and keep the Catholics here in suspense.
The Count de Montgomeri (fn. 1) has arrived here from Havre de Grace, summoned by the Queen in consequence of her suspicion of him through his wife and children having been arrested at Rouen. They tell him they will send in him charge of fresh troops to France, but I doubt if they let him go back so soon. If they do they will not keep him in Havre de Grace or trust him with anything important. Parliament opens after Twelfth Day without fail. Some of these gentlemen are holding meetings on the excuse of dining together, as is the custom here, and I understand they are discussing the succession to the throne. All the most moderate of them incline to the son of Lady Margaret, those of the contrary opinion to the Earl of Huntingdon, but they say that the Queen is fixed in the idea of their not naming anyone, and that she should have power to bequeath the succession. I do not know how they will decide, but I fancy they will never agree without some being dissatisfied. She is, as usual, coy about the marriage, but notwithstanding this the hopes of Lord Robert are higher than ever, and the duke of Norfolk is, to all appearance, helping him sincerely. There seems a close intimacy between them since their reconciliation. I have approached several of the nobles in best ways I could devise to recommend to them in the name of your Majesty the interests of religion, and begging them not to consent to so great a crime as the death of the bishops who are imprisoned in the Tower. Some have sent me favourable replies, but some of them have sent word that the remedy lay with your Majesty, who can and ought to use it, and that they for their part will do their duty when your Majesty orders, whatever it may be. I think they are all of this opinion although they dare not say so.
The man who killed himself the other day had 1,500 ducats to receive in Seville, of which I herewith enclose the warrant. The 1,200 ducats he had here have been confiscated in consequence of his having committed suicide, and although I tried to excuse the crime on the ground of his madness, I have not yet succeeded. The fact is he never allowed himself to be taken care of, although he came to himself at intervals and killed himself voluntarily, so that, really, there is no doubt his property can be confiscated for this, besides the other crimes he committed. So far as the money here is concerned there is no help for it, as Cecil lays claim to it and the Queen's Almoner. Some 250 dollars of it which are owing to your Majesty I might perhaps get from Cecil, although it will be best not ask him for them, as he is difficult to approach on matters concerning private people, and it is well to please him in something, even though it be so small a matter as this.— 22nd November 1562.
197. The Same to the Same.
Four or five days since Moffatt went to visit Lord Robert who told him to return when he was alone, which he did. When they were closeted together Lord Robert asked him how long it was since he had seen me, and one thing leading to another, he told him how sorry he was for the scandal which that servant of mine had caused. He said that at first they had given some credit to what he said, but that the Queen and Council were quite persuaded now that the fellow was a sordid knave who had told them many falsehoods, and he (Robert) therefore hoped that I would forget the affront and be as friendly with him as I used to be. He told Moffat to convey this to me with many courteous words of compliment, but forbade him expressly to mention the matter to anyone else. When I heard this I sent to reciprocate his courtesy and compliments I am quite sure that this proceeds from the Queen, but I am equally sure that there is nothing sincere about it. Moffat tells me that when he returned with my answer, and assured him that I offered him my best services, Lord Robert said that he did not know whether I would keep my promises, as he thought I was a great partizan of the Pope's interests, and, if it were not for that, there was no person from whom the Queen would receive greater pleasure. From this may well be inferred how little improvement is likely to take place in affairs.—London, 29th November 1562.
198. The Same to the Same.
The other day a meeting of gentlemen was held at the earl of Arundel's, where amongst others there attended the duke of Norfolk and his uncle the Lord Chamberlain. The question of the succession was discussed, and I understand they favoured Lady Catharine, who is supported by the Duke, perhaps with the idea that one of his little daughters may in time be married to Lady Catharine's son. The meeting lasted until two in the morning, and when the news of it came to the Queen's ears they say she wept with rage, and sent for the Earl and upbraided him greatly about it. I understand he told her that if she wanted to govern the country by passion he could assure her that the nobles would not allow her to do so. He referred to Huntingdon's affair, which he does not approve of as it is supported by Lord Robert.
She said she did not approve of it either.
Since then the carl of Lennox has been liberated by the favour of the earl of Pembroke and Lord Robert, who are much against Lady Catharine.
I think that the liberation of Lennox has two objects, first, to hinder Lady Catharine by providing a competitor, and secondly, to give a little satisfaction to the catholics who are desperate at Lady Margaret's misery, and place all their hopes in the queen of Scots and the husband she may choose. By giving them some small hope that the succession may fall to Lady Margaret and her son they may cool somewhat towards the queen of Sects. All this is convenient for the Queen, who wants to have the power to declare her own successor when she likes. I am not quite sure of my information. —London, 30th November 1562.