Simancas: June 1563

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 1563', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) pp. 331-341. British History Online [accessed 25 May 2024].

. "Simancas: June 1563", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) 331-341. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024,

. "Simancas: June 1563", Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892). 331-341. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024,

June 1563

15 June. 230. The King to Bishop Quadra.
Your letters of 7th, 20th, and 27th February, 18th March, and 10th and 17th May to hand and will be answered here, where answers are necessary.
I note contents and also what you have written to the Duchess of Parma, my sister, and to Cardinal Granvelle, and I have been greatly pleased to see the continual care you take to make yourself acquainted with what is going on and to advise me thereof. I thank you for this good service and need not enjoin you to continue it as you well know how important it is to us that we should be kept constantly and minutely informed of affairs there in order to be able to take such steps as may be necessary for my interests and the welfare of my dominions.
I have noted the long discussion you had with Lethington, and what he said to you respecting the marriage of the queen of Scotland, his mistress, with the Prince, my son, and also of the manner in which you answered him and bore yourself towards him. I highly approve of your conduct in the matter, which was marked with great prudence, and seeing that the bringing-about of this marriage may perhaps be the beginning of a reformation in religious matters in England, I have decided to entertain the negotiation. You will see that it is carried on in the same way that it has been commenced, if you consider that safe and secret, telling them to inform you of all the engagements and understandings they have in England and you, knowing how valuable such knowledge may be to me, will carefully advise me of everything together with your own opinion upon it. You will inform me step by step of all that happens in the matter, but without settling anything, except to find out the particulars referred to above, until I send you word what I desire shall be done. You may, however, assure them that my intentions are such as I mention in this letter, but you must urge them, above all, to use the greatest secrecy in the business, and all negotiations connected with it ; as all the benefit to be derived from the affair depends absolutely upon nothing being heard of it until it is an accomplished fact. If it becomes known that such negotiations are being carried on, and that I am concerned in them, the French will be greatly alarmed, and will strenuously endeavour by some means or another to frustrate them. Even if they cannot do that they will try their hardest to counteract any profitable result that might arise, understanding that it will be entirely to their detriment. As for that queen of England and her heretics, they are so deeply interested that you may easily judge what they would do if they heard of it, and therefore, as I say, it is absolutely necessary that you should keep secret and urge secrecy on the persons with whom you treat so that they may make the Queen their mistress also capable of it. The Emperor, depending upon the representations made to him by Cardinal Lorraine, looks upon the match with the Archduke Charles as certain. I send you attached an account of Cardinal Lorraine's information to the Emperor. The latter does not know the feeling of the Queen and her ministers about it as you have been able to inform me, but if I saw any appearance of the Archduke's match being carried through, and of the possibility of getting from it the same advantages as at present appear derivable from the marriage with my son, I would embrace and promote it to the full extent of my power in preference to the latter, for the affection I bear to the Emperor my uncle and his sons.
What has moved me to take this business up and not to wait until the Emperor has been undeceived about it, has been the information you send me respecting the objections entertained by the Queen and her ministers to the match with the Archduke, and the small benefit they think they will derive from it ; but, above all, your advice that they were about to enter into negotiations for the marriage of their Queen with the king of France. I well bear in mind the trouble and anxiety I underwent from King Francis when he was married to this Queen, and I am sure that if he had lived we could not have avoided plunging into war are this on the ground of my protection of the queen of England, whose country he would have invaded as he intended to do. To be at war on account of other people's affairs is a state of things which, you will agree with me, is to be avoided and is not at all to my liking, but in this case, seeing whom I should be obliging it would be doubly disagreeable. With regard to the adherents the Scots will have in England and the increasing of their number if necessary, you will not interfere in any way further than you have done hitherto, but let them do it themselves and gain what friends and sympathy they can for their opinions amongst the Catholics and those upon whom they depend. I say this because if anything should be discovered, they should be the persons to be blamed and no one in connection with us.
I note your remarks concerning the hope that the Catholics and good men in England place in me, and I certainly desire their welfare and amelioration with all my heart. You may assure them thus much, and encourage and console them through your usual channels, but do not for the world show yourself in the matter, as you know what the result might be.
I am much grieved at the Edict that the Queen has got out of the Parliament against those who will not acknowledge her as supreme head of the Anglican church for the danger in which it places the Bishops and other Catholics, and I note how they had already begun with the bishop of London and others. I am glad to see the representations which the Emperor ordered you to make in their favour, although I fear it will be of small avail, but it displays his great goodness and Christian feeling.
I have also thought well to write to the Queen about it to support you, as you will see by the enclosed copy. You will make use of it in the manner most likely to produce good effect as in the humour of those people—changing as it does from hour to hour, I depend upon you who understand it well.
I note what has happened about the flight of Storey, and as your chaplain aided him to escape you have done well in deciding to send him to Flanders in consequence of the inconvenience that might result from his statements if they were to take and interrogate him. I do not think he would do anything in this matter to render him deserving of punishment.
You did very well in advising me of the vessels that were bound for Florida, and the offer of Captain Stukeley who went in command of them. Let me know anything else that happens, or you may discover as Stukeley promised to speak with you before his departure. I have also noted the affair, which you relate twice, of their having apprehended certain Spaniards and other subjects of mine who went to Mass at your house, and that they refuse to let them hear Mass or live according to their religion. I am very sorry for this, and it is a matter deserving much consideration and redress. In order to make such representations about it as are advisable, I write to the Duchess of Parma to have the treaties examined which we have in force with England, and in view thereof to have the question duly discussed in order to see to what extent I can go and what steps should be taken. To forward the matter more effectually it would be well for you to write and advise her what you think desirable, and set forth the causes and reasons there are why our subjects should be permitted to attend Mass and live according to their faith as they did when the treaties were signed. According as they decide in Flanders we shall know how we are to act in the matter and the redress or retaliation which should be taken by us.
(Gives an account of the defence and relief of Oran.)
With regard to yourself personally I well know the trouble you have to go through there, and should be glad to see you out of it, but you will not fail to see how overwhelmed with injury my affairs would be if you were removed elsewhere, and especially in the light of what is contained in this letter. I shall, therefore, be glad if you will not distress yourself, but go on working as you are doing seeing that you are serving God as well as me. I will take care not to forget you. When the English gentleman arrives here I will order him to be attended to. The money due in Naples shall be ordered to be sent hither for the purpose you mention.—Madrid, 15th June 1563.
15 June
B. M. Latin MS. Simancas, Add. 26,056.
231. Philip II. to Queen Elizabeth.
Letter of credence in favour of Bishop Quadra begging her favour for the imprisoned Bishops and other Catholics.—Madrid, 15th June 1563.
16 June
B. M. MS. Simancas, Add. 26,056a.
232. Duke Of Alba to Bishop Quadra.
Although his Majesty's letter will inform you of the extremely secret negotiations that are in progress about the Scotch marriage, I think well to repeat the intelligence here to you as it is of so great importance. The whole affair depends upon its being kept absolutely secret until it is settled, and having this well in view you will most urgently enjoin those people to whom you have to communicate it, that it must be kept absolutely to themselves, and they are to trust nobody on any account whatever. You will minutely advise us of the progress of events for his Majesty's guidance.—16th June 1563.
19 June 233. Bishop Quadra to the King
I recently wrote to your Majesty how Thomas Stukeley had left here on a voyage of discovery to a certain land called here Florida, and that on several occasions he had given me to understand that he wished to speak with me, and even declared that he was dissatisfied with the Queen and desired to serve your Majesty. He recently came and spoke with me just as he was sailing, and told me he was leaving the country discontentedly and almost desperately. He had embarked in the six ships all that remained of his property, more with the intention of going to serve your Majesty than with the idea of any profit he could gain in the discovery on which he was bound. He therefore desired that I would convey to your Majesty the desire and resources he had to serve your Majesty in these six well-found ships. I told him I could do as he asked me, but would be glad to know in what way he thought he could serve your Majesty. He answered in any way he was ordered, and when I saw that he was not to be drawn out any further I took leave of him, thanking him for his good intentions. When he was bidding me good-bye he again pressed me to let your Majesty know how attached he was to your service, and was anxious that this should be done expeditiously in case he should arrive at any port in Spain or other dominions of your Majesty, as he was desirous of being known as an adherent of your Majesty and treated as such. I answered him that there was no reason to doubt that this would be done considering the friendship that existed between the English and your Majesty's subjects, always on condition that this expedition was not bound to any place enclosed by your Majesty's boundaries. He said that where he was going no one had ever been except some few Frenchmen a short time ago and, as I wished to know more exactly where the country was, he told me it was three days' journey from Cuba. I then pointed out to him that this could not be without injury to your Majesty's interests, as the place fell within your boundaries. This he would not understand, and I did not care to waste time over it as I saw he was ready to sail and his visit to me was nothing but cunning, thinking in this way to ensure himself from molestation on his voyage. He bears the royal standard which the Queen has presented him with although the ships do not belong to her, nor to him either except two ; for the others are chartered from private persons. They are fitted out and armed perfectly, and my own opinion is that Stukeley is bent rather on committing some great robbery than discovering new lands. I cannot say that he is instructed to do so, but I can only believe that his voyage is in consequence of the determination (advised by me in recent letters) of the admiral of France in conjunction with the people who govern here to harass your Majesty's shipping and conquer on the ocean where they aim at being the strongest, and of course take steps to make themselves so. I think of speaking to the Queen about it, although I know full well what answer she will give me, the same as often before both in speech and writing. I am of opinion that the best thing to be done would be to attack these ships in force and punish them if it could be effected and, if not, to take up with this Stukeley and make some use of him, since he offers himself and will do what he says. He is quite ruined here and without estate, and has always professed to be a servitor of your Majesty. Whatever the object be—good or gain—to let English and French establish themselves in places so close to your Majesty's provinces and boundaries, certainly appears to me to be a thing likely to cause injury in the long run. Stukeley sailed yesterday from the port of London with three of his vessels, and the other three await him at Plymouth, but he may probably be unable to get away from the coast finally for some time as several other French ships which he is to convoy have not had time to get ready.
Secretary D'Allouy left last week. I hear that Lord Robert had a great deal of talk with him trying to persuade him to a friendship with the Queen and an alliance between the two countries, his principal bait being that your Majesty was trying to get this Queen to join you against the French and other assertions to the same effect. I do not altogether believe D'Allouy, but certainly both he and the Ambassador have not been backward in repeating this to me to see what I should say. After Secretary D'Allouy had gone La Haye, who was sent, as I have said, by the prince of Condé, remained here some three or four days longer. The object of his coming was to persuade the Queen to withdrawn her troops from Havre de Grace, for her conscience sake, as otherwise, she would greatly injure the cause of religion and interfere with the spread of the gospel by the continuance of the war and against which the prince of Condé, the Admiral and all the sects protested. This La Haye is a master of requests to the King of France who has been here during the whole of this war as representative of the prince of Condé and is one of the greatest, heretics and most obstinate men on the religious question in the Kingdom. The Queen for the purpose of satisfying the Prince has sent back with him a messenger of her own, a Kentish gentleman named Danett (fn. 1), as great a heretic as La Haye and formerly a companion of Wyatt and Throgmorton and by his ability it is hoped some arrangement may be arrived at. This week Sir Hugh Paulet arrived from Havre de Grace, he being one of the principal governors there. The news is that all the English are dying of pestilence, and it appears as if the people here were less hopeful of defending the place than they were before Paulet arrived here. I cannot believe they will persist in holding it although they state publicly their intention of raising a great army to go to its relief and have despatched a large number of letters to the governors in the provinces (of one of which I enclose a copy) ordering them respectively to raise bodies of men to the aggregate number, it is said, of 20,000. The dissensions of these people do no harm to your Majesty's interests, as it may be looked upon as certain that when they do agree it will be for the purpose of jointly planning something against them.
I understand that in Scotland they have arrested the archbishop of St. Andrews for having caused Mass to be publicly celebrated in his diocese. The Queen (of Scotland) to satisfy the Protestants on her Council (who are the whole of them) has been constrained to allow his apprehension notwithstanding that the said Bishop is a bastard brother of the duke of Chatelherault. Lethington is not without suspicion that Cardinal Lorraine has had a hand in bringing about these innovations there with the talk about the marriage of his niece, the Queen, with the Archduke.
Lady Margaret is now in the palace apparently in high favour and entertains some hope, as I believe, that the Queen of Scotland will marry her son with the queen of England's consent. The match with the Archduke grows every day more unpopular, especially now it is understood that your Majesty is not intervening in it.
Three of the French hostages here, believing that during the continuance of war their stay was not necessary, agreed to escape, but they captured them at Gravesend and Jean Ribault with them. (fn. 2) The other hostage being so devoted to the new religion preferred to remain here rather than go in company with the others.—They have been lodged in the Tower.—London, 19th June 1563.
26 June. 234. The Same to the Same.
I wrote on the 19th instant saying that one of the hostages here from the king of France had refused to fly with the other three ; but this was a mistake, as all four of them were taken together at Gravesend in a Flemish ship in which they had taken passage. It has been discovered that they took the step by orders of the Ambassador here at the command of their King. They are confined in the Tower of London, and are not allowed to communicate with anyone. The Ambassador says that by the terms of the treaty of Chateau Cambresi and in accordance with the protest made here in the King's name some months ago, the said hostages were quite justified in returning home the best way they could, and that it was not a breach of faith for them to do so.
They are busy here getting troops ready to send to Havre de Grace in place of those that fall by pestilence. Not a day passes without 40 or more deaths. They are also trying to raise forces for the purpose of assaulting some place on the coast, and so diverting the King's troops and passing the summer in safety. I am informed that the intention is to send this army to Calais as being the place most distant from the King's forces and the army that will be before Havre de Grace, and also because they think that, having Flanders at their back, they will have less to guard against and an unlimited supply of provisions. They even assert that they will be joined there also by as many troops—horse and foot—as they require. I do not know whether they are mistaken in this or if indeed they do not publish it to arouse the suspicion of the French ; but I know that they are declaring such to be case, and that the French ambassador has sent word of it to the King, not without apprehension that there may be some secret understanding between your Majesty and the Queen, and that men and supplies may mysteriously find their way from Flanders without orders from your Majesty. I am informed also that with a view of justifying this enterprise they are thinking of sending ambassadors to your Majesty and to the duchess of Parma. They intended to have sent Henry Sidney to your Majesty but he has declined, and they have appointed Viscount Montague. Pickering will go to the Emperor as before, and they are to send Thomas Chamberlain to the Duchess. I think Chamberlain will go, even if the Calais enterprise is deferred, and that the other two embassies will only be talked about at present to keep the French uneasy. The idea of these embassies is to sustain the Queen in the appearance of a continuance of the war until they see what is going to be done about Havre de Grace, and whether a French force is coming against it, as certainly if they press her she will lose the town which is not in a condition for defence, even if the Queen had any desire to defend it, which she has not, but rather to come to an agreement of some sort, good or bad. I understand that, to make her stand firm, her Councillors have assured her that in any case the settlement cannot be otherwise than honourable to her, even if, at last, she accepts the conditions now offered by the king of France, providing that she concludes it at the intercession of the Protestant princes. They would much rather, however, that your Majesty should take upon yourself the restitution of Calais and promise it to the Queen, or else your assistance in men and money in case the French refuse to restore it at the end of the eight years. They have abandoned this design because they see that before they can expect to be courted by your Majesty they must court you, and they have accordingly fallen back on the Protestant princes, who, they know, will not fail to intervene at the request of the prince of Condé. This is Cecil's plan, as he is always working to alienate the Queen from union with the Catholic monarchs, and to bind her to the cause and interests of the Protestants, so that by means of these temporal interests in which they concur their divergences on religious affairs may be settled. This is the idea which inspires everything he does.
Lethington left here on the 20th instant. I spoke a considerable time with him as he was starting, and he said that the queen of England had commanded him to tell his mistress that she had heard of negotiations having been commenced for her marriage with our lord the Prince, or with the Archduke Charles, and she openly told her and protested that if she married either of them or any member of the House of Austria, she could not avoid being her enemy, and she consequently charged her to consider well what step she took in such matter. At the same time, if she married a person to the Queen's satisfaction, she would not fail to be a good friend and sister to her and make her her heir, instead of being as she otherwise would be, her mortal enemy. Lethington had told the same story to the ambassador of France, adding also that this Queen objected to the marriage of the queen of Scotland with the French King. I asked Lethington whom he thought the Queen wished her to marry, and he said he imagined it was some private gentleman, and as a last resort, she would agree to the king of Denmark or another Protestant Prince, or even with the duke of Ferrara, or a person of similar position in France. I also asked him if he thought his mistress would consent to do as the Queen wished, to which he answered that he feared not, although if she desired to please her subjects and succeed in her affairs she ought to do so. He again repeated that he did not know how they could put up with the Archduke Charles in Scotland as he is so poor, and they had no money to help him. In short it seemed to me, unless he is a very good actor, that he (Lethington) was going back confirmed in his determination to persuade his mistress to marry a husband chosen for her by this Queen, or at least one that was not objectionable to her, since on this condition he says, she has promised her the succession. I am quite sure they will not keep this promise any better than have the previous promises they have made. Many people think that if the queen of Scotland does marry a person unacceptable to this Queen, the latter will declare as her successor the son of Lady Margaret, whom she now keeps in the palace and shows such favour to as to make this appear probable. I am also informed, and believe it, that if the queen of Scotland does not marry our lord the Prince, even though she take the Archduke, many of her people will incline rather to Lady Margaret's son than to the Archduke, because if they cannot come into the hands of your Majesty they would rather have an Englishman than a poor foreigner.
I understand that in the Scotch Parliament it was decided that the Queen should marry whom she thought best, and a letter has arrived here saying that they had specially mentioned the Archduke ; which, however, Lethington did not tell me. The archbishop of St. Andrews had been arrested by order of the Queen, and at the same time certain gentlemen who attempted to take arms against him, because he caused Mass to be said publicly in an abbey of his. Lethington told me this had been done on the advice of the Archbishop himself, with the declaration that the step was not taken to condemn the cause of religion, but for the preservation of the Queen's peace. I begged Lethington to try and modify the action taken in religious affairs there, and to forward matters by means of harmony ; to take a lesson from France where he had seen the fruits of these innovations. He promised me a great deal, but I do not know how much he will fulfil, as he is a man who knows well how to dissemble. He went back thoroughly acquainted with the adherents of his Queen in this country, and she will shortly be visited by an English gentleman on their behalf, and on behalf of many Catholic nobles. I do not know how his visit will turn out if Lethington is not acting straightforwardly, as the gentleman has made all his communications through him and has trusted him implicitly.
Stukeley took leave of the Queen yesterday. He was to be accompanied by Jean Ribault and three other French pilots, who went on the same voyage last year sent by Admiral Chatillon. Ribault had promised to deliver to Stukeley a fort which he had built in that land and left garrisoned by 30 men. It appears, however, that Ribault repented of his promise to hand over to the English what French ships and money had gained, and determined to escape with the French hostages and was captured with them. The three pilots are still going, but Stukeley has put them in chains. Ribault is still a prisoner and they threaten to hang him. They say the Queen had given him 300 ducats of income and a house in return for the service he was to render in this discovery, and it is true that she offered him this, but he says that he had not accepted it.
There arrived here from Genoa a few days since a man who calls himself Den Francisco Lapata, and says he is an Andalusian. He is accompanied by his wife who belongs to Zaragoza. He is a great heretic and therefore lives in the house of the preacher Casiodoro, who has recently married again. I understand the man comes to reside here and revise with Casiodoro and others a bible which he is translating into vulgar Castilian. He is a man of 50, short and thin. He says he was for some time in the household of the prince of Condé.
Vice-Chamberlain Knollys who went to Havre de Grace last week returned yesterday, and I am told he brings bad news from there. He tells of the many difficulties and privations suffered by those inside, especially from the bad water and other causes. As the pestilence is consuming them, I think they will soon lose the place if they are pressed.
Ten of the Queen's ships are ready to sail, and demonstrations of activity are being made on all sides. The object, perhaps, may be to send troops to Calais or elsewhere in France, but I believe that it is nothing but bravado to get better terms.—London, 26th June, 1563.
26 June
Simancas, B. M. MS., Add. 26,056a.
235. Bishop Quadra to the Emperor.
Lethington, who has been here for some days trying to arrange the dispute between the Queen and the French, but ineffectually, has now gone. I found him very lukewarm about the marriage of his mistress with the Archduke Charles, and thinking of higher things for her. One day he frankly told me that a person of rank in France had told him that if his Queen could only wait a couple of years she could no doubt marry the King. He admitted the truth of all I said in favour of the Archduke, but complained that his Highhness was not rich enough to support the necessary state, and the Scots could not help him as the Queen had hardly enough for herself. In conclusion he suggested that my King should undertake the maintenance of his Highness, and give them an assurance that he would carry out the English enterprise.
I put him off with delays and hints, as I had nothing decided to say to him, but on his last day here I spoke with him and found him somewhat cool after our former conferences. He said the queen of England was very suspicious for fear that his mistress should marry a person she, the queen of England, did not like, and she had told him to say that if she married into the house of Austria she could not help looking upon her as an enemy, and the same if she married the king of France.
She told him also, especially, that on no account would she consent to her marrying a son of your Majesty, but that if she liked to choose the king of Denmark or the duke of Ferrara, or any other Protestant prince, or any French gentleman, she would not only consent but would declare her the successor to the crown of England. I think Lethington, who is strongly in favour of the new religion, is gone with the intention of stopping this marriage (with the Archduke), although I understand it has been approved in the Scotch Parliament.
It is to be feared that the ambition the queen of Scots has to be declared the heiress of England, may make her condescend to a marriage with a person of lower rank than the Archduke, and one less advantageous to religion, and I have therefore sent an English gentleman, on behalf of other noblemen and gentlemen to Scotland, to offer the Queen the service and assistance of the Catholics in case she will marry the Archduke, and to the satisfaction to the King my master. This will be no deception, for the affection to my King in this country is very great. The bad thing is that Lethington knows of this man's going, and if he is playing false he may do him some harm. Your Majesty's fear that my advocacy of this business may be unfavourable is unfounded as nothing is more likely to forward it. The only thing they will insist upon in Scotland is that the Archduke shall have enough money to keep himself without looking to them, and also that he is strong enough to establish his right to this Crown.—London, 26th June 1563.


  • 1. Danett was concerned in Wyatt's rebellion and was imprisoned in the Tower from the 24th February to the 24th March 1553.
  • 2. The hostages at this time were Mouy, Palaiseau, La Ferté, and Nautouillet provost of Paris, and their conduct had been so obnoxious during their residence here that at the ratification of peace after the surrender of Havre the Queen refused for a long time to let them go. See Michael Castelnau de la Mauvissière ; Memoires.