Simancas: July 1564

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: July 1564', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) pp. 366-370. British History Online [accessed 27 May 2024].

. "Simancas: July 1564", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) 366-370. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024,

. "Simancas: July 1564", Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892). 366-370. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024,

July 1564

2 July 254. The Same to the Same.
Although I have not been able to transact any business with the Queen for the reasons I explain to the duchess of Parma, and consequently have little to say to your Majesty, yet I think well to communicate what happened here on the night of St. Peter's eve. A large number of armed people went about the parishes perambulating the principal streets until the morning with lights and much merriment. They say it is 12 years since this feast was held. The Queen came secretly from Richmond to see it, and dined in the earl of Pembroke's house.
The French Ambassador has been to visit me full of compliments and offers of service on the part of the Christian Queen, which I reciprocated. He professes to be a great Catholic and wears a clerical habit, although I have already written to your Majesty the information I had received about him. He hears Mass sometimes, but his household does not.London, 2nd July 1564.
2 July
B. M. MS., Simancas, Add. 26,056a.
255. The Same to the Same.
Robert is in high favour and makes great offers and promises. His friend (see letter of 27th June 1564, ante,) advised me to do business and ask for audience as much through him as possible, which, however, I do not think it will be prudent to do.
This person also assured me that Robert still looks to marry the Queen, and thinks that the religious question will be settled thereby. Robert, he says, has an understanding with the Pope on the matter, and a person at Rome to represent him. This he told me in strict secrecy, and greatly praises Robert's good intentions with regard to the marriage and about religion, but with equivocal assurances as to what measures would be adopted. As this is so important a matter, it would be well to have me advised as to how I am to act in it, as up to the present I had not heard a word of these suggestions. I fancy the French must have offered Robert all their help, as is their wont, and made use of him for their own ends, as I understand that his father was much attached to the French.London, 2nd July 1564.
10 July
B. M. MS., Simancas, Add. 26,056a.
256. The Same to the Same.
When I arrived at the house where the Queen was they showed me into a room until Her Majesty knew of my arrival. She was walking in the garden with her ladies and sent the Lord Chamberlain for me to go to her. She raised me with a great show of pleasure, and said that her ardent wish to see me had caused her to give me this trouble, and that I was to forget that the Queen was there and look upon her as a private lady, the preparations not being hers but those of a friend and subject, although the house was well prepared and her nobles were round her. I answered that wherever monarchs were there was their regal state, as I perceived in this case. We then went up into a very large gallery, where she took me aside for nearly an hour, all her talk being about your Majesty, and on several occasions during the conversation she recalled events that had occurred when she had first come to the throne, telling them so minutely that I will not tire your Majesty by repeating them. She was so taken up with it that I think she was sorry when supper was announced. Speaking of France, she said that she had received a letter written in Lyons, from the Queen, brought by her (the French) Ambassador that morning, who had arrived at dinner time, and had had to wait. This was, I think, to satisfy me that she had not asked him to dinner. We then went to supper, which was served with great ceremony, as is usual here, and every attention and honour were shown to me. She ordered her musicians to play the Battle of Pavia, which she assured me was the music she enjoyed most. After supper she stayed talking to me for some time, and as it was already late I thought it was time to leave her. I was about to take my leave when she told me not to go yet, as she wished me to see a comedy that was to be acted. She said she would go into her chamber for a short time, and in the meanwhile Lord Robert was to entertain me.
Robert made me great offers of service, saying how bound he was to your Majesty, both on account of the favours you had done him and because you had been his Sovereign. I thanked him as well as I could.
The Queen came out to the hall, which was lit with many torches, where the comedy was represented. I should not have understood much of it if the Queen had not interpreted, as she told me she would do. They generally deal with marriage in the comedies, and she turned to me and asked again about your Majesty, and whether the Prince (Don Carlos) had grown. I told her he had, and after thinking awhile she said, "Well, everyone disdains me ; I understand he is to be married to the queen of Scots." I said, "Do not believe "it your Majesty. His Highness has been so ill with constant fever and other maladies of late years that it has been impossible to think of his marriage, but now that he is well again people talk of these matters without knowledge. It is no new thing for great princes to be the subjects of gossip." "So true is that," said the Queen, "that they said in London the other day that the King, my brother, was sending an Ambassador to treat of the marriage of the Prince with me :"
The comedy ended, and then there was a masque of certain gentlemen who entered dressed in black and white, which the Queen told me were her colours, and after dancing awhile one of them approached and handed the Queen a sonnet in English, praising her. She told me what it said, and I expressed my pleasure at it. This ended the feast, and the Queen entered a gallery where there was a very long table with every sort and kind of preserves and candied fruits that can be imagined, according to the English custom. It must have been two in the morning, and the Queen had to return to Westminster by water, although it was very windy. She sent me back to my lodgings accompanied by the same gentleman as had brought me, as I had come by land.London, 10th July 1564.
22 July. 257. The Same to the Same.
The state of things here is as I have written to your Majesty. No change of importance. The Queen has come to Westminster from Greenwich, and they say she will soon visit some of the places in the neighbourhood, but she will not go far away. It is a custom they have here at this time of the year. She tells me she is only going for the hunting and to visit the houses of some of her subjects.
The business of the States of Flanders has gone no further, although I am given to understand they desire to settle the matter, as it is so important to them and to everybody. The reason for delay is that the Queen has to appoint the persons who are to treat, and although they gave me advice that they had been nominated, and I conveyed the intelligence to your Majesty, I have heard nothing officially about it. They proceed very slowly as they think the business is so important to them, and I can only go at the same pace. It may be that the dispute between the earls of Arundel and Pembroke, which I mentioned in my last and which has been discussed by them, has caused them to defer other matters until that is settled.
It is affirmed that during the Queen's absence, the Lord Treasurer, the carl of Pembroke, Petre, Wotton and Mason will remain here in Council.
With regard to the office of Master of the Household (Lord Steward), some say that the earl of Arundel will return to it, and others that the Queen has offered it to the earl of Pembroke who has refused it, and that she will give it to the marquis of Northampton. Things here are going on in such a way that nothing can be assured from one hour to another, the changes are so continual. It is most painful to those who wish to report the truth.
They still say that the Chancellor will be deprived of his office, and that it will be given to Brum (fn. 1) a wise and Catholic man ; others say to Sackville, a relative of the Queen and a member of her Protestant Council, and that his appointment will shortly be announced. If this is so, it is a sign that Cecil's business is not prospering, as the Chancellor is his brother-in-law, and people think that it is all of a piece.
Postscript :
On the 18th instant there arrived here an Italian gentleman with four horses from the court of France. I sent to visit the Ambassador as soon as I learnt of his arrival to hear something about it. He sent to say that the gentleman was on his way to Scotland to visit the Queen and inform her that peace had been concluded between the King and this Queen, and to give an account of the present condition of things in France. He said that the King had ordered him on his way to visit this Queen, and he would depart on the 20th in the morning, but would come to visit me that afternoon, which he did, and I asked for news from his court, but he answered that he had been absent from it for some time, as he had gone round to visit Cardinal Lorraine.
The Ambassador has had several audiences of the Queen, and as he has no ordinary business at present pending, I suspect he may be seeing her on Scotch affairs, because, as I have already advised, this Queen is most anxious to marry the queen of Scotland to some person who will not put this realm in danger, she being not only the rightful successor of this Queen, but really the person entitled to the crown as they affirm here. The Frenchman, for very good and easily understood reasons of his own, is anxious that no powerful neighbour should get a footing there.
The Catholics who are supposed to understand affairs here, think that it will be impossible to subdue the non-Catholics by any means whilst commerce is in its present condition. They are sure they could not live without the trade they have with Flanders, and they (the Catholics) wish to see things settled in other than peaceful fashion. Those who understand the matter do not desire any fair means to be adopted, and in order not to discourage them when a peaceful settlement is arrived at, as I hope it will be, I have had to tell them that the steps to be taken against the Chancellor and Cecil and the other leaders of heresy in the matter of the book about the succession have not been pushed forward, because the Queen dares not turn them out or take strong measures, unless she has peace and an understanding with your Majesty and with the Catholics through you. I say it is necessary to encourage the Queen in the idea that she is free to turn these people out, which she would not venture to do if she thought she had anything to fear from your Majesty, but would cling fast to them and the Protestants. All people think that the only remedy for the religious trouble is to get these people turned out of power, as they are the mainstay of the heretics, Lord Robert having the Catholics all on his side, and I tell them they must take these things into consideration when they are seeking a remedy, and that plenty of opportunities will offer themselves if needed, to raise war or stop trade later on. The Catholics are much disturbed and as they have no other idea than this they will not abandon it until they see some clear way of gaining their point. Certainly, from what I hear, they are very numerous if they dared to show or had a leader.London, July 22, 1564.
31 July. 258. Guzman de Silva to the King.
By my letters of the 22nd instant your Majesty will have learnt that the Queen had come from Greenwich to Westminster, and on the 24th I had audience of her and begged her to order measures to be adopted in the ports to prevent the sailing of armed ships in this time of peace, to inquire what voyage is going to be undertaken by Captain John Hawkins of Plymouth, and to make him give security that he would not plunder your Majesty's subjects. She replied graciously on all points, and I will try to have her promises carried into effect. I have already advised your Majesty that this Captain is said to be going to Guinea and will sail very shortly with a ship of 800 tons burden. He will take 24 pieces of artillery large and small, mostly of bronze but some of iron and 140 men. Three other ships of medium size and two brigantines accompany him (fn. 2). They have begun to consider the affairs concerning the States of Flanders and the redress of the injuries and robberies committed on your Majesty's subjects, as the duchess of Parma will inform your Majesty, I having written to her fully on the subject, giving an account of all that has been done up to to-day, when I am departing for Hatfield, where the Queen is.
She is going round to several hunting places during five or six weeks. The Catholics are delighted with what is being done in France, and I am told that their party in religion is daily growing in the country, as many people who belonged to the other side are coming back again tired of the misdeeds and wickedness of these bad men. It is a great consolation in this evil state to see the eagerness of the godly for an amendment.
They are dissatisfied at the reception given in France to Hunsdon, who took the garter to the King. He returns very pleased, however, with Don Frances de Alava and has thanked me warmly for his good offices with the King and Queen. With regard to the matter of prisoners made on both sides during the war it was decided that it shall be reserved for discussion by the Ambassadors. It has been considered here during the last day or two, but I do not know what has been arranged.London, 31st July 1564.


  • 1. Anthony Browne, justice of the Common Pleas.
  • 2. In the margin in the King's handwritingAdvise the Council of the Indies of this and also of that which is contained in some other letters on the same subject.