Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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265. The Same to the Same.
The person who, as I wrote to your Majesty in mine of the 24th ultimo, took my letters to the Court for the Queen, Lord Robert and Cecil has returned. They answered in a statement which read together with what Cecil wrote to me, will be understood. I will try to have it carried out. The Queen returns on the 12th and there will then be greater facility for negotiating, as at present they think of nothing but hunting and the members of the Councils are at their homes.
They have postponed the meeting of Parliament until the 30th of April next in order to avoid dealing with the succession, as they fear that the declaration of an heir might cause trouble by reason of the differences in the country or on religious grounds.
A savage chief called Lonogh, and many others, have risen in Ireland and are giving these people a great deal of trouble although they are temporizing with the Grand O'Neil, as they call him here, by treating of his marriage with the sister of the earl of Sussex, with whom they say he is in love. The Queen has issued the enclosed proclamation against the rebels.
On the 27th the Queen received letters from Berwick on the Scotch frontier expressing fears that trouble may arise there. They have ordered 3,000 men to be raised in the bishopric of Durham to be ready if needed to concentrate and enter Berwick or elsewhere. Instructions are sent to keep a sharp look out on affairs in Scotland as, although the two Queens correspond and keep each other in play until one or the other of them shows her hand, they both go in fear and will give but short grace.
I understand that the dispute between Lord Robert and Cecil still goes on although they recently went together to a castle called Arruich (Harwich?) and stayed there four days. I have not been able to find out what they did there.
I wrote to your Majesty that Lord Robert had told me that they had appointed to the Council a certain Throgmorton who was in France. He is considered a man of intelligence, but turbulent, and is a friend of Robert, whom he supports against Cecil. A friend of Cecil now tells me that he is certain this Throgmorton will not enter the Council, and he signifies that Cecil has prevented it. I do not know how it will be, but he has not yet been admitted though the Queen told the (French) Ambassador when she was at his house the other day, the same as Robert had told me.
They tell me that Robert is now attending to affairs carefully, which is different from what he used to do. The Queen is still annoyed about this book concerning the succession, written, as I have mentioned, by the Chancellor.
I wrote to your Majesty that an Ambassador from Duke William of Saxony to this Queen had arrived here and left again dissatisfied. I learn that his coming was to discuss religious matters and offer his services to the Queen in accordance with a certain treaty he has with her.
The lieutenant of the Tower of London (fn. 1) has died somewhat suddenly, they say of a purge, and the Queen has appointed to the office a certain Sir Francis Jobson, an uncle of Lord Robert.
I have tried to find out all I could about the finances and the state of the Queen's treasury. She owes to private people in this country lent on her bills 240,000 crowns and in Flanders 200,000 to Belzares and Esquets with whom she ordinarily does business. They tell me that the larger part of this money has been lent to her by the Germans at an interest of 14 per cent., some at 15, and some at 13, according to the value of money when the advance was made. The city of London and certain private merchants guarantee the payment for her.
I wrote to your Majesty from Brussels respecting the necessity for the success of pending negotiations that the body of Bishop Quadra and the members of his household who have remained in charge of it should leave this country creditably, and in the hourly expectation of instructions on the subject, I took no steps until the arrival of the courier who I expected would have brought me your Majesty's orders on the whole matter. I saw by a paragraph of the letter of your Majesty to the duchess of Parma that you had ordered the subject to be considered, and I beg to repeat my urgent request to your Majesty that you will be pleased to conclude the affair as soon as possible, as the sum already spent since his death would have been sufficient to pay a large part and silence the gossip that is current about it.—London 4th September 1564.
Postscript in cipher :—
With respect to the question of the Catholics here I will handle it with all the tact and method that your Majesty enjoins, without excess, as that is the course most desirable for them, and especially for those who are in prison. I have been told by some of their friends that they are in great danger for this winter, and that it would be very advantageous to have here a letter from your Majesty to the Queen in case it should be determined to treat them rigorously like that which Bishop Quadra had and which was burnt with other papers when he died. It would be well to have another similar letter from the Emperor, which could be used if events made it necessary. If they let them (the prisoners) alone it will be best to keep quiet and dissemble until a good opportunity presents itself ; but if they are pressed the letter would be very efficacious as the Queen may well understand from it that your Majesty desires to help them but not against her. These good folks are so confiding in your Majesty that even if it were not God's own business, as it is, they would still deserve all help and favour, especially if it be true, as I am assured by trustworthy persons, that these Catholics are ready to sacrifice their lives for the faith if there should arise any need or occasion for it. They are many, as your Majesty has been informed, and the business being so important, very many pledges have to be exacted before anything can be stirred up. For this reason I make no statement with regard to it until I have fuller particulars of what these people can and will do for me.
With regard to Cecil I have done and will do all that is desirable with Lord Robert, as your Majesty will see by my previous letters referring to a paragraph which the duchess of Parma wrote to me about Lord Robert. Respecting his marriage I will proceed as your Majesty wishes and will endeavour to discover if he has any support elsewhere as I suspect and have indicated in my former letters.
I have heard no more about the gentleman who had been to Rome. I will advise what I learn.
I am very vigilant about Scotch affairs as the character of the business demands, and have in view the necessity of satisfying the Queen with the arrangement she has made about the Archduke if the negotiations are taken up again or of withdrawing without giving her cause for offence if the French match is taken in hand, or your Majesty should be pleased to return to the subject of his Highness the Prince. If the French match has no other objection than that of the succession the Queen claims to this crown that is a very great one considering the powerful party the queen of Scots has here. I will keep Cardinal de Granvelle well informed on this as on all other points as directed.
I have already advised that the gentleman sent by the queen of France to visit the queen of Scotland had returned here. He has not yet left again. It is true he has not been well, but I have not been able to discover anything about his journey except that he had been to visit that Queen. Luis de Paz took the letters I wrote to Cecil, to the Queen and to Robert as I have an understanding with a person with whom he can talk and who only trusts him. These are so suspicious and reserved since the Bishop's secretary played him that wicked trick that it is impossible to deal with them except by the intermediation of certain persons. My principal object in sending him was to discover the state of the Flanders business, although I did not show any indication of my anxiety or did he bear any but verbal instructions so that they should not think he wanted to know officially. I have been informed that the business is going on slowly.
A day or two ago this Queen wrote an autograph letter filling a sheet of paper to the queen of Scotland who showed it to a person who usually does her business and told him she was going to answer it herself. He saw the letter but she would not let him read it. They keep up this intimacy between themselves and yet on the other hand the distrust exists which I mentioned in a former letter.
Margaret Lennox, one of the pretenders to this crown and a strong Catholic, has sent word to me that I may be sure that the Queen's marriage with Lord Robert will not take place. She says he is undeceived and has told her so himself. I should not be at all surprised if it did take place or did not so constantly are things changing. In case anything fatal should happen to this Queen I will prepare and send to your Majesty a statement of the rights of the various claimants and the support they would be likely to gain if occasion arose.—London, 4th September 1564.
266. The Same to the Same.
This Queen arrived here in the night of the 13th, and I had audience of her on the 17th. She displayed great regret and sorrow at the illness of our lady the Queen and for your Majesty's grief about it. She assured me that her Ambassador had written to her on the 2nd, saying that her Majesty was free of the fever. I hope to God this may be true. I answered her fittingly in view of her apparent interest and the good news she gave me, and we talked for a long time on the subject, I assuring her how fond your Majesty was of her, and how you had ordered me to serve her and advise your Majesty constantly of her health. With regard to remedying the acts of the pirates who still infest the seas, she has decided to send out a force for the purpose, and has already appointed those who are to take part in it, as she promised me. I made a representation to her again on the subject, pointing out the urgent necessity of doing this, and I will continue to press the point until the expedition leaves. One of those who are going, named Appleyard, who is married to the sister of Lord Robert's former wife, tells me they will start in 13 or 14 days. The Queen shows great determination to punish these thieves again, and is much annoyed at the continual damage they are said to be inflicting.
She has appointed Councillors Petre, Mason, and Cecil to deal with the Flanders business.
I am told by the Queen that she is sending a messenger of compliment and condolence to the new Emperor. The honours will be paid here, and St. Paul's is being prepared for the ceremony. The Queen said she had received the news late, and this was the reason she had not sent to visit the Emperor before, but she was sure her messenger would be as welcome as the earlier ones.
I wrote lately that I was informed this Queen's debt in Flanders amounted to 240,000 crowns. The person who informed me (although he is in a position to know) made a mistake, and has now sent to say that the sum is 370,000 crowns. He obtained fresher information as new obligations have been entered into deferring the payment until February next, and they are arranging with everyone to pay the interest on the principal and also on the interest due. By this means the names of the lenders will be known. Those I have learnt hitherto are Juan Ranzabi, Henrico Ranzabi his son, Pedro Bandala, and Cristobal Prun, Flemings.— London, 18th September 1564.
Attached to the aforegoing letter is the following document:—
Don Francés de Alava advises me that affairs in France are threatening, and that the Admiral and Andalot have raised troops and are seeking support outside France. He feels sure they are beginning in this conntry, but I have discovered no more than I have already written.
With regard to the ambassador of Duke William of Saxony, the affairs of this country are not in a condition to allow of their venturing, and their efforts are to quiet things down as much as possible instead of raising fresh questions. They cannot afford it.
The Queen expressed much anxiety that the affairs of the Netherlands should be arranged. She said she desired it because some of the neighbours would be glad to see these differences continue. She even went so far as to tell me plainly that these neighbours were the French for the sake of the business it brought them and other reasons. Don Francés, however, writes me that the queen of France is most anxious that affairs there should be settled. I believe rather what the Queen tells me.
I am assured that the person whom this Queen is sending to visit the Emperor is instructed to re-open the negotiations about her marriage with the Archduke Charles, and Lord Robert himself proposed it in the Council. I had no opportunity of speaking to Robert about it as there were so many people, although I wished to do so as I had received advice the night before of what was intended to be done. I told him I wished for a chance of communicating with him at leisure, and he said he would come to my lodging so as to have more freedom. What they tell me of this may be true, and they may have some aim in again raising the question, but I feel sure that if they do bring it on again it will not be with the intention of carrying it into effect, but probably only to temporise with the Scotch Queen whom she (Elizabeth) wishes to see married beneath her or not at all. I will keep a close look out on this business.
This Queen is paying as much as 8,000 crowns a year in Scotland for pensions and allowances to some of the principal people to keep them favourable to her, and to obtain advice of what is passing. They therefore dissemble, although they tell me most of them are Catholics who receive this money. The fear of disturbances there of which I wrote has not been manifested since, although I am told that 40 pieces of bronze artillery have been sent thither from France on the assertion that they are in payment of a debt owing to the Queen of Scotland in that country.
I have just received information that this Queen gives to one of her subjects 1,000 broad angels every year, he having bound himself to raise 10,000 men when she requires them.
B. M. MS., Simancas Add. 26,056a.
267. Guzman de Silva to the Duchess of Parma.
As your Highness knows the marchioness of Northampton (fn. 2) is a great favourite of the Queen, and I am gaining the goodwill of her intimates, so as to gain more influence over her mistress. She is a person of great understanding, and is so much esteemed by the Queen that some little friction exists between her and Robert. I understand, however, that she bears herself towards him in a way that together with other things that can be better imagined than described make me doubt sometimes whether Robert's position is so irregular as many think. It is nothing for princes to hear evil, even without giving any cause for it.
Before the Queen came back I went to visit the Marchioness of Northampton, and when I was taking my leave she said she had something important to say to me which she must defer to another day, and in consequence of the return here of the Queen I did not go again for six or seven days, when on the 15th instant I sent to ask after the Marchioness' indisposition, and to ask her if I could visit her that afternoon. She sent to say that she should be delighted, and I went by water to Westminster, where she lives, and there found the Queen, who had gone over from St. James' to dine with her almost alone and was there when I had sent word, as I afterwards found out. They played me this trick between them and kept the secret until I was in the Queen's presence, and then laughed greatly at it. I was there until almost night, the Marchioness on her couch and the Queen near her. What passed were mostly tales told by the Queen and ordinary conversation, into which she was constantly slipping some slight allusions to marriage. I told her she was wrong to keep the world in suspense and ought to decide. She laughed and said she had something to say to me about our business, and on her return at nightfall to St. James' through the park she went on foot, although she had a carriage waiting and took me part of the way with her. On the way she said that a fool who was about there had advised her never to marry a German, as they were bad men. She spoke about nothing else and made me turn back, so that I might return by water, as I had come.
I learn on good authority that Lord Robert has no chance, and the talk is now all about the Archduke. The Queen has even said something about visiting the Emperor.—23rd September 1564.