Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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259. The King to Guzman de Silva.
With regard to the negotiations opened by the Irish Catholics you will cut them short gently as they are not desirable. They have tried the same thing before with the same result. You must be very wary and cautious in these matters as they may set people on to propose such negotiations to see how you will take them.
I note what you say about the book that has been published on the succession and how annoyed the Queen was at it and not without suspicion that Cecil had something to do with it. I also see what Lord Robert said and am pleased thereat. I will tell you my will on this point, namely, that I am much dissatisfied with Cecil (as he is such a heretic (fn. 1) ), and if you give such encouragement to Robert as will enable him to put his foot on Cecil and turn him out of office I shall be very glad, but you must do it with such tact and delicacy that if it fail none shall know that you had a hand in it.
(As to the Queen of Scots, I understand that Cardinal Lorraine has offered this marriage to the Emperor for the Archduke Charles, and for this and other sufficient reasons the proposal to marry the said Queen to my son Carlos must now be considered at an end.)*— Madrid, 6th August 1564.
260. The King to Guzman de Silva.
Having written the letter which accompanies this I received yours of 2nd and 10th July, and copies of those you had sent to Madame and to Geronimo de Curiel and the town of Antwerp. The various points that need reply will be dealt with in this, beginning with an expression of pleasure at the information you give us, and particularly at the kindness shown to you by the Queen, and her gracious reception of you. As you are so careful to keep her in her feelings of friendship towards us it will not be necessary to press this upon you anew, and we need only say that we entirely approve of what you said to her on the point during your interview with her on the 7th ultimo respecting the safety of the seas, and the restitution of the goods plundered as, if she fulfils what she promised you, the cause of complaint which we and our subjects have against her will disappear. As a result of the pressure you will have brought to bear they will no doubt have adopted the resolution which you hoped to obtain from them and you will, in such case, advise us of the fact if you have not already done so, because if this resolution should not be in accordance with my interests and the welfare of my subjects and such as is due to my friendship with the Queen, we shall have to consider the most suitable steps to take in the matter. With regard to the information you send relative to the trade with the Flemings in wool, cloths, and other merchandise to and from both countries, although I am glad to receive it yet I have nothing to reply on the subject, as my sister who is so well acquainted with it will have instructed you how to proceed, and you will carry into effect the orders you may receive from her,
We approve of the answer you gave to a friend of Lord Robert as regards the asking of an audience through him and not through Cecil, as whilst the latter has the management of affairs, it was not prudent to change the mode of proceeding until he can be turned out altogether. If this can well be done it will certainly be the most desirable in all respects. You will act in the matter as you see best. In the matter upon which you consult us respecting the way you are to deal with Lord Robert about his suit to marry the Queen. In case he assures you that if he succeeds he will reduce the kingdom to our true ancient Catholic religion and obedience to the Pope, you may promise him that we will readily help and favour him, and with this aim and object you will keep as cordial and friendly with him as you can, although at the same time you must discover from him if he has any other engagements to support him and where and from whom he expects to obtain help besides from me. You will advise me of his reply. It will not be needful to repeat to you how necessary it will be to handle the matter with tact and adroitness, as your own prudence will show you this better than I can tell you. With respect to the English gentleman who had been in Rome, and the interviews my ambassador advised you he had had with the Pope, I suspect the same as you do. If you learn anything more let me know as we have heard no more of him here.
It was well to send us particulars of the form in which the oath was taken establishing peace between the Queen and the French, and as we greatly desire to see the contents of the treaty they have concluded you will be certain to obtain and send us a copy as early as possible. Your diligence in learning and writing us the revenues of the kingdom both ordinary and extraordinary as well as the expenditure and debts of the Queen has been much appreciated, and we shall always be equally glad to receive advice of the state of the finances, and when they are making fresh contracts for money with the names of the persons they are making them with, the terms and other conditions. You will also advise the Duchess of the same, as it is very important to my interests that we should know this.
You will give my best thanks in the most fitting words that occur to you to the Treasurer of the kingdom both for the desire he displays to favour my affairs and for what he did with the Flemish sailor to whom you say he restored the money that had been taken from him. I have also been extremely glad to hear that they have acted so well about the body of St. Eugene for the reasons which you mention. Don Frances de Alava had already written and told me. If any other action on my part should be necessary for bringing it, I will order it to be taken most willingly.
I much approve of the care you took to discover the names of the ships that were to go to Guinea and advise the same to the factor of my nephew the king of Portugual residing in Antwerp. I have ordered a copy of your information to be given to the King's ambassador that he may send it to the King and the necessary measures be taken. I shall be glad if you will give me notice of what you are able to learn of the objects in view and progress made with these ships, and at the same time that you will cleverly do your best, as adroitly as possible, to hinder the voyage being undertaken. If you cannot prevent it I shall be glad to know what steps you have taken with that object.
As regards the cipher they stole in France from Don Frances de Alava's servant, as soon as my sister heard of it she sent me a private cipher informing me that she had sent you and Don Frances several copies which was a very good precaution to take, although directly I received news of the robbery I ordered the general cipher to be changed in accordance with a copy thereof which I enclose with this. You may write in this cipher to me or to the Ministers whose names are written upon it as also to Cardinals de Granvelle and Pacheco, to whom copies have been sent. Advise receipt of it as it will not be used in writing to you until we know it has come to hand. It may be well to mention that my annoyance about the matter has been duly manifested.—Madrid, 6th August 1564.
261. Guzman de Silva to the King.
The proceedings ordered by the Queen with the object of redressing the robberies committed on your Majesty's subjects by her pirates, and other injuries inflicted by reason of money owing etc., are still continuing. The Commissioner usually comes to discuss the matter with me, and, although I feel the remedy will not be a complete one for all, yet it appears they are doing their best. The fault is not entirely on the part of the judges, although there has been much remissness, but is largely due to false witnesses, of whom there must be a great number in this country, and notwithstanding this, the judges do not consider the evidence strong enough for them to condemn their own countrymen, and are probably not sorry for it. There has been and is, therefore, a great deal of difficulty in these matters ; but everything possible shall be done for reparation of past wrong.
With regard to the future I have pressed the Queen and her Council for some measure of security, since, if the sea is not free, there will be for ever complaints and troubles. I have even warned her that your Majesty is being asked for license by your subjects to allow them to arm if some remedy is not found, but that your Majesty has not been pleased to grant it seeing the evil that might happen if both were armed. If, however, some means of amendment is not soon provided by her the great importunity of your subjects and your Majesty's commiseration for their wrongs may move you to grant such license. Accordingly on the 4th instant an edict was published ordering armed ships to return to their ports within a short time and forbidding them to leave without license and surety that they will do no harm, under very heavy penalties. Well ordered, if it be carried out as I will endeavour that it shall be. The Queen, so far as her words go, shows great rectitude in matters appertaining to justice. I have asked them, as they have an ample supply, to send some ships out under trustworthy men to clear the seas of these thieves, but I do not know whether they will do it. As I have written to your Majesty, the Queen is to visit several places in the neighbourhood and will not return until, the end of September, but she will not go far, and is already at the most distant point of her journey, a town called Cambridge, where there is a University. They are celebrating there some literary ceremonies and representations which have greatly pleased her. One of the learned men has to defend the following two propositions, namely : "Evangelium maiorem authoritatem habet quam ecelesia" and "Magistratus secularis authoritatem habet etiam in rebus eclesiasticis." She will not stay there long and will hunt as she comes back. I understand that pressure is brought upon the Queen to persuade her to marry as her suitors display their affection for her with sufficient perseverance. She told me that she would not do it ; others think she will.
I have talked to Lord Robert on this subject and, he thinks that if the Queen were to make up her mind he would have a good chance judging by the favour she shows him, but he fears she will not decide I have advised the Duchess of Parma of what passed with him, and your Majesty will receive the information from her.
They announce that Parliament will open in the beginning of October, although many think the Queen wishes to defer it. The Queen of Scotland, on the contrary, will try to prevent any delay in the belief that if the question of the succession is brought on she will be declared the heiress, as it is affirmed that her claim is so clearly legal, and she has a strong party and many friends in this country.
They say for certain that the Queen on no account desires the declaration of a successor, and tells those who speak to her about it that she does not want anyone to whom her subjects could go secretly and offer their devotion as they came to her when she was a prisoner.
I am keeping the Duchess minutely informed in the business of the Flanders States, and as I have to follow her orders, I go into many small details necessary to be observed in the procedure and intentions of these people. I will advise your Majesty when any favourable resolution is arrived at.—London, 7th August 1564.
262. The Same to the Same.
The Queen has been at Cambridge where there were some dramatic representations by the students, and the gathering where the propositions mentioned in my letter of 7th instant were discussed, and she has now departed to finish her journey, which has been shortened, and she will arrive some days before the time arranged. They say that the cause of this is, that the places she was to stay at are unhealthy, and she is much in fear of falling ill, which I do not wonder at if they tell her the prophecies that are current about her short life. Everybody is talking of them.
Much is thought here of the Scotch affairs, owing to the chance of the succession and the many friends the queen of Scotland has here, and for this reason license was given to Lady Margaret to go thither with her husband. They afterwards asked leave to take with them a son of theirs, who is an amiable youth, but the Queen was angry at this and revoked the license she had given them. She has, however, now given leave for the husband alone to go, and he is already on the road with his license, if they do not take it away again. I know it has cost him a good deal of money to get it.
The Italian gentleman who, I wrote, had gone to visit the queen of Scotland on behalf of the king and queen of France, arrived here on his return two days since. He leaves the Queen well. I do not know whether he will visit this Queen, nor have I been able to find anything important about his journey.
The ring about which I wrote to your Majesty, which this Queen told me had been sent to her by the king of France, the Ambassador assures me was not sent by the King but by the Queen, and was not a gift, but a special thing in connection with the peace, as, besides the 120,000 ducats the French were to pay, a jewel of value was promised for the Queen, and this ring was it.
The Ambassador has also sworn to me that what they told me in the Council about France offering a "staple" for cloths is not true. He says what happened was, that on the Queen asking him if cloths would be admitted in France, he answered that by reason of the peace the ports were open to anything that might be carried thither from this country, but that he had not said another word to them and the French did not want their cloths. The Frenchman says one thing and the Englishman another.—London, 12th August 1564.
B. M. M.S., Simancas. Add. 26,056.
263.Guzman de Silva to the Duchess of Parma.
When the Queen was at Cambridge they represented comedies and held scientific disputations, and an argument on religion, in which the man who defended Catholicism was attacked by those who presided, in order to avoid having to give him the prize. The Queen made a speech praising the acts and exercises, and they wished to give her another representation which she refused, in order to be no longer delayed. Those who were so anxious for her to hear it, followed her to her first stopping-place, and so importuned her that at last she consented.
The actors came in dressed as some of the imprisoned Bishops. First came the bishop of London carrying a lamb in his hands as if he were eating it as he walked along, and then others with different devices, one being in the figure of a dog with the Host in his mouth. They write that the Queen was so angry that she at once entered her chamber using strong language, and the men who held the torches, it being night, left them in the dark, and so ended the thoughtless and scandalous representation.—London, 19th August 1564.
264. Guzman de Silva to the King.
On the 27th instant I received two letters from your Majesty dated 6th. As regards the redress to your Majesty's subjects for robberies committed upon them by Englishmen, I have done and will do everything in my power both with the Queen and with the persons appointed to settle the matter. This has indeed already been commenced, as I have informed your Majesty, although in consequence of the vacations in this country the person entrusted with this business will not meet or hear cases until Michaelmas, and business already before them is postponed. Annoyed at the loss occasioned by this delay I have got the cases referred to a Dr. Dale, who in my presence is to dispose of them as appears to me to be just. Security has already been given for the execution of the decisions, and this course will be pursued for the present. When the other Ministers come back, if the Queen and Council keep their promise to me, the judgment will be carried out. No delay shall take place on my part, as they require me to be present when the cases are disposed of. I am apprehensive that the remedy will not be so complete as I could have wished as the cases are numerous, and there is a great deal of false testmony, so much so that the judges themselves cannot always get at the truth even though they were desirous of doing justice impartially. The worst feature of these particular matters is that most of the people that are called pirates are simply rogues without means who spend what they steal and after they are condemned at a cost of much trouble and money have not the wherewithal to pay. The people who have been plundered would much rather see their property back again than the thieves hanged, although this is rarely done, and as justice and restitution are hard to get, the parties grow weary and either put up with their loss or come to some arrangement with the robbers. When the Queen returns I will take vigorous steps to get them to recover as much as possible of past robberies and to put into effect the decree published by the Queen ordering the armed ships to return into port and do no more damage, a translation of which decree I sent your Majesty. If it is carried out it will have great effect in clearing the seas of the rogues, but the best remedy would be for the Queen to send out some of her ships to capture them, as I am told was done on former occasions, and as I have now asked her to do. I have satisfied her about the ships that were arrested at Gibraltar, news of the despatch of which arrived here previously. I myself heard it first from two gentlemen of the chamber, one of whom owns one of the ships that were arrested. I will do the same in Ipuzcua's affair if I am spoken to about it.
I will try to obtain copy of the treaty of peace between this Queen and the French, and if I succeed, will send it to your Majesty. I will take care to advise all I can learn about the finances, and the state of the revenues as well as the loans and advances they may obtain with terms and names of the lenders.
If they approach me respecting the Concilio I will reply exactly as your Majesty orders and will advise any necessary intelligence to Rome to Cardinal Pacheco as the Ambassador is not to reside there.
In the king of Portugal's affair I will proceed as your Majesty wishes.
I will thank the Treasurer for his help and good intentions.— London, 28th August 1564.