Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.
B. M. MS., Simancas, Add. 26,056a.
251. Guzman De Silva to the King.
Contents of a letter from Luis Roman, dated London, 27th May 1561.
The bones of the late Bishop Quadra are certainly neglected in a way that his good services did not deserve, and his dignity and reputation are scoffed at more than they should be.
Cardinal de Granvelle wrote to me, Roman, a fortnight after the Bishop's death that I was to dismiss and pay all the servants except 12, who were to remain with the body. For this purpose he sent me a credit for 1,000 crowns that were needed, and ordered me to have the body secretly conveyed to Antwerp to the care of Geronimo Curiel, who had instructions what to do with it. I answered his Eminence that I had done as he directed as regarded the servants, but we all thought that it would be impossible to get the body out of the country without the knowledge of the creditors who were on the look out, and would arrest the body until they were paid. To avoid so great an indignity to one of His Majesty's principal ministers I thought well to advise his Eminence before acting, in order that I might not be blamed afterwards. His Eminence then ordered that nothing should be done until His Majesty's instructions were received, and he believed your Lordship (i.e., Guzman de Silva) would bring them with you, but in the meanwhile provided means for the maintenance of 10 persons who remained in the service. This will have to be continued until these servants are paid and dismissed, as the last credit of 300 crowns is already exhausted. I have informed Senor Gonzalo Perez (fn. 1) many times of these difficulties and needs, and have urged him to remind His Majesty of them, so that, if possible, the body of the Bishop might be got away before your Lordship came, or, at least, that your Lordship should bring orders as to what should be done. I have kept the people here at bay with this hope, and now that your Lordship is coming without any orders about it I have no doubt the creditors will become extremely troublesome to you, especially the working people.
This Easter I went to visit the Bishop's body, and the servants at a country house about 15 miles from here where his Lordship died, and when I was about to depart certain villagers to whom were owing about 150 crowns came and violently insisted upon being paid the debt that had been incurred at the time that the two Italians (brothers) had charge of the house. I pacified them by saying that your Lordship would shortly arrive, and I believed they would then be paid at once. I think well to enter into all this detail to your Lordship, in order that you may write warmly to Spain about the affair, which will cause some speedy step to be taken. Diego Perez (fn. 2) writes that His Majesty had ordered provision to be made, but that Eraso (fn. 3) had not despatched the order. Two out of the four French hostages here have gone to Dover on the way to France. A brother of M. de Brissac, who is waiting to ratify the peace, has brought with him the 120,000 ducats they have to pay the Queen. From this side will go Lord Hunsdon, the Queen's kinsman, who will also take the garter for the French king. Respecting the placing of the arms of the king of France in Windsor Castle where the shields of the knights are always set up there has been some discord in the Council. They decided to remove the insignias of the duke of Savoy, which were under those of the Emperor, and place them below those of his Catholic Majesty, and put the king of France's arms in the position occupied formerly by those of the duke of Savoy.
I enclose the news from Germany which I received opportunely as they were spreading the news here that the Emperor was dead, but since I announced that the news was false no more has been said about it. It was said positively lately that the Queen would go to the North this summer, and would there see the Queen of Scots, but they now assert that she will not leave the neighbourhood of London, and that in September, when the city will be clean and free from pestilence, she will return hither.
Separate fragment with the aforegoing letter :
There are various opinions. Some say that she is pregnant and is going away to lie in, others that she is to meet the Queen of Scots to arrange for her to marry the son of Lady Margaret Lennox. If she cannot manage this they say she will persuade the Queen of Scots to consent to a postponement of the Parliament summoned for the 6th October, and will entertain her with fair words about the succession. If the Queen go to the North (unless it be for one of these reasons) it is most likely because they suspect that Bishop Quadra had already arranged for the marriage of the Queen of Scots as was publicly stated here.
252. Memorandum of the servants of Bishop Quadra (now in
heaven) who may stay in the house until his Majesty makes
provision for the payment of the Bishop's debts.
Juan Florian, chaplain ; in order that the servants may not be deprived of their daily Mass. The said friar Juan Florian has served six months since the absence of Mathias Rodarte without any fixed wages. He is a learned and virtuous person, a Florentine.
Luis Roman ; has served as secretary in charge of affairs ad interim. Has served 11 months at 12 crowns a month, and has received nothing.
Pascual Rubio, chamberlain ; was servant of the Bishop's parents and the Bishop for over 40 years. He lent the Ambassador in his pressing need 120 crowns and came at his own cost from Naples to England. He was in charge of all the linen and clothes.
Carlos del Gesso, served as page six years, and 12 as gentleman and steward. He says he has received nothing but some clothes, and has had no fixed wage, but the Bishop had always meant to favour him and had been good to him.
Aejandro del Gesso, equerry and groom-of-the-chambers for nine years without fixed wage, and has received nothing. Was treated like his brother Carlos.
Alonso de Quintanilla : came with Secretary Diego Perez. Served as gentleman for 15 months and has received nothing. Has no fixed salary.
Pedro Martinez, porter, has served for the conveyance of important despatches to the Duchess and Cardinal de Granvelle as he is a trustworthy person and would still be useful. Entered service 3rd April 1560, at the rate of 15 reals a month. Deducting what he has received he is still a creditor for 22 crowns and 4 shillings.
Juana, the Bishop's washerwoman. Has served one year at the rate of 15 reals a month, but has received nothing. There is owing to her 2l. 18s. for cloth and other things she has provided.
A storekeeper and general servant. Two servants for those who remain.
Memorandum of the persons who are to be dismissed at once, and what is owing to each as well as what is necessary for Diego Perez on his voyage to Spain and for Pedro Martinez to return to England, together with provision for two months for those who remain in the house until money arrives from Spain, and what is needful for carrying the Bishop's body to Flanders.
Mathias Rodarte, chaplain. Served four years at the rate of three crowns a month, as per the steward's book, of which there are now owing for balance of salary 86 crowns, and he has performed service that deserves reward from his Majesty.
|Bernabé de Mata served as gentleman for 15 months at 100 crowns a year, and there is owing to him a balance of||36||0|
|Pedro, barber. Has served in the chamber three years, and has received nothing. If anything is to be given him it might be referred to the person who pays the rest. He was dressed by the Bishop and had no fixed wage, say||20||0|
|Six pages who have served well for various periods and might be rewarded in accordance with their respective deserts. This might also be left to the person who is to pay the rest. One with another they might be given six crowns each to bring them to Flanders rather than they should stay and be ruined here||36||0|
|Jacques Namures, cook. Has served from 22nd September, and there is owing a balance of||13||4|
|Mr. Juan, buyer. Has served since 3rd June 1560, and there is owing to him a balance of||76||4|
|Jussue, butler. Served from 13th September 1561 at one crown a month, owing to him||13||0|
|Gemes, pantryman. Has served 40 months with various wages, owing to him||43||0|
|Bartolomé Bresano, cantineer. Served 30 months at a crown a month, owing to him. (Now dead leaving a daughter in London)||21||0|
|Jorge, a Fleming. Has served as pantryman since 21st June 1561, at 15 reals a month, owing to him||28||0|
|Francisco. Has served as lacquey for 14 months at one crown a month, owing to him||10||0|
|Juan. Has served 7½ months at the same rate, owing to him||7||3|
|Isabel, the servants' washerwoman. Has served since 9th December 1560, owing to her at one crown a month||29||4|
|Nicholas, an Irishman, groom. Has served 14½ months at 12 reals, owing to him||6||0|
|Dionisio, an Irishman a groom. Has served eight months, owing to him||8||0|
253. Guzman De Silva to the King.
As I wrote to your Majesty, I arrived in London on the 18th instant, and on the following day, Monday 19th, the Queen sent a gentleman of her chamber to visit me and congratulate me on my arrival in this country with many compliments and courtesies. Lord Robert had previously sent and made me a similar visit which I returned by one of my people on the Tuesday thanking him for having borne me in mind. I asked through him an audience of the Queen which he obtained at once and fixed the 22nd for it to take place. I left London for Richmond where the court now is and disembarked near the palace, finding awaiting me on the riverbank Dudley, a relative of Lord Robert, who was in the French service, and a brother-in-law of Throgmorton who accompanied me to the palace and conducted me to the council Chamber. Presently there came to me on behalf of the Queen Lord Darnley, the son of Lady Margaret Lennox, who led me to the door of the presence chamber, where I was met by the Lord Chamberlain who entered with me and accompanied me to the Queen. She was standing in the chamber listening to a keyed instrument that was being played, and as soon as she saw me took three or four steps towards me and embraced me. Addressing me in the Italian language she said she did not know in what tongue to speak to me, and I answered her in Latin, with a brief discourse, a copy of which I send to Gonzalo Perez, (fn. 1) as it is written in that language. I then handed her your Majesty's letter, which she took and gave to Cecil to open. When it was opened he handed it back to her, and she read it and answered me in Latin with elegance, facility and case ; appearing to be very glad of my coming and saying how much she had desired it both for the sake of having news of your Majesty and to have a minister of your Majesty near her, as there were some friendly countries trying to make her believe that your Majesty would never again have a representative here, and she was glad that they had turned out false prophets. She said I should be treated and considered in accord with the deep interest which, for many reasons, she took in your Majesty's affairs. After asking after your Majesty's health she took me aside and asked me very minutely about the Prince—his health and disposition, and afterwards about the Princess, (fn. 4) saying how much she should like to see her, and how well so young a widow and a maiden would get on together, and what a pleasant life they could lead. She (the Queen) being the elder would be the husband, and her Highness the wife. She dwelt upon this for a time, talking now in Italian, which she speaks well, and, as if by the way, asked me about the Queen, and then turned the conversation to your Majesty, and how you had seen her when she was sorrowful, distressed, and ill-treated, imprisoned, and afflicted, and how she had grown greatly since then, and even gave me to understand that she had greatly changed in her appearance since that time. After she had said a great deal about this and other things of a similar sort, I gave her the letters from the duchess of Parma and conveyed her Highness' good wishes to her, to which she replied graciously, and then touched somewhat upon the affairs of the States, and even referred to the matter of the ill-treatment of the sailors at Gibraltar. I only told her that I did not give any answer to that as I wished to spend all the time in the pleasure of hearing of the friendship and affection which she entertained towards your Majesty ; and on another day I would give her a full account of everything so that she should see that not only did your Majesty show kindness and brotherhood towards her but that your subjects, seeing this, showed the same by their deeds which was more than could be said of some of her subjects. She answered that when I liked and as often as I liked she would hear me with pleasure, and we could then deal with this matter. She urged me very much to use my best offices with your Majesty, and assure you of her good will, as she had been given to understand that this had not always been done by other ministers, and this might perhaps have caused your Majesty some annoyance without any fault of hers or any caused on her part ; as she had given and would give none. With this she embraced me again and retired to her apartment telling me to talk to the lords who were there. They approached me as soon as she had retired, and Lord Robert, the earl of Pembroke, the admiral, the marquis of Northampton, the Lord Chamberlain, and secretary Cecil came separately and embraced me, congratulating me on my arrival and expressing their pleasure. They asked after your Majesty and I replied by assuring them of the favour you desired to extend to them and your affection for this country and the principal people in it. I then took my leave, the Lord Chamberlain remaining with me to conduct me to the door of the antechamber, and thence Lady Margaret's son and the brother-in-law of Throgmorton with a gentleman of the household of the Queen accompanied me to the landing-place.
A great friend of Lord Robert has been to visit me on his behalf, and has informed me of the great enmity that exists between Cecil and Lord Robert even before this book about the succession was published, but now very much more, as he believes Cecil to be the author of the book, and the Queen is extremely angry about it, although she signifies that there are so many accomplices in the offence that they must overlook it and has begun to slacken in the matter. (fn. 5) This person has asked me from Robert with great secrecy to take an opportunity in speaking to the Queen (or to make such opportunity) to urge her not to fail in adopting strong measures in this business as if Cecil were out of the way the affairs of your Majesty would be more favourably dealt with and religious questions as well, because this Cecil and his friends are those who persecute the Catholics and dislike your Majesty, whereas the other man is looked upon as faithful and the rest of the Catholics so consider him and have adopted him as their weapon. If the Queen would disgrace Cecil it would be a great good to them, and this man tried to persuade me to make use of Robert. I answered him that I intended to avail myself of him in all things, and I was quite sure your Majesty would be pleased that I should do so. With regard to this particular business, also, I would be glad to do as Robert desired. I shall act with caution in the matter and see how I had better proceed, although I have advice reaching me from all sides, and particularly from Catholics, that this punishment should be pressed upon the Queen.
On the 25th June the French Ambassador had an audience of the Queen, and requested her to give an answer to the proposal that had been made concerning trade with France. The Queen referred him to the Lord Chamberlain, Mason, and Secretary Cecil before whom the Ambassador went, and after spending a long time in demands and answers, they resolved to concede to the French permission to bring to this country in their own ships woad and wines up to the 6th of October next, when Parliament meets, but they have refused to grant this by a general decree, and will announce it only by separate letters to the various ports.
With regard to Flanders they have not yet conceded anything to them, and are keeping the Ambassador in suspense by saying that they will reply in a few days as they wish to consult the lord treasurer.—London, 27th June 1564.