Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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298. The Same to the Same.
The French Ambassador has been to see Lethington. I sent word to him that I wished to go to his house, but thought better to give him notice first, as these people are so suspicious, and I did not wish to prejudice his negotiations. At the same time I communicated to him some news of small importance that he might trust me the more and let me know what was going on. The next day he came to my house and told me that the Queen had not yet made up her mind and that after deciding to send Throgmorton and he was actually on his way she had called him back on his (the Ambassador) saying that it would be better that he should see him first and come to an understanding, since he (the Ambassador) would thus be able the better to explain the matter to his King and get his support in the matter in hand. He said also that any difficulty which presented itself in their conversation he would take note of and clear it up later, and asked that Cecil and Throgmorton should both be summoned to confer with him. This was done, and it was arranged that they and certain members of the Council should discuss with him Lethington's demands and the Queen's intentions. The Scotch Queen contends that she can marry Lord Darnley with this Queen's approval, as he is an Englishman, as she required that her husband should be if she was to be declared successor to the crown. She claims that even if Parliament is not at present invited to declare the successor the Council can do so, and Parliament may confirm it. The Queen says she is willing to declare her the successor if she marries to her satisfaction. Lethington thinks that it would be best for his Queen's interests that the successor should not yet be declared, but that the matter should be stirred up in order that the idea may spread in the country that it is being arranged, and he is quietly directing his efforts to this end. I told Lethington that as one of the persons the Queen had signified to his mistress to choose from had been Lord Darnley I did not see what she had to complain of, and asked him why she had not pointed out exactly what she wished his mistress to do. He said she had declared that her wish was that the Queen of Scotland should marry Leicester. I warned him that Throgmorton was going to Scotland to endeavour to prevent the marriage with Darnley from taking place by means of certain persons in Scotland. I said this in order to see whether it alarmed him and to learn from him whether the wedding had taken place. He answered that he had nothing to fear in that respect, and he was certain nothing could be done now to prevent the match, which further confirms me in my opinion that it has taken place. Lethington asked me if I knew on what errand the Emperor's envoy was coming. I told him to bring back the insignias of the Garter which his father had worn. I did not know, I said, whether he would discuss a marriage with the Queen, but it certainly seems to me an opportunity that should not be missed if the matter has to be decided at all. The French business is being pushed on, but it is all smoke. With this he went.
I thought well to take the opportunity of Leicester's accident to visit him in order to hear, if I could, something of these affairs. I sent word to him that I was coming, and my messenger had to wait awhile as the Queen was with the Earl before dinner. When I went, later, I found Lethington there with him and very soon afterwards Cecil and Throgmorton came up. The three stood aside together and left me and Leicester alone. I said to him very secretly, "I am so attached to you that, now I am with you I cannot refrain from saying that you are losing time over your business, and you will be sorry for having done so. At all events you can never complain that I have not advised you to the best of my power and urged your suit with the Queen, as she has told you, and, although my love for you has been partly my motive still more has my action been prompted by the knowledge that my King's affection for you also was great and that you were bound to him by ties which cannot be overstated." He thereupon made his usual submissive protestations of his obligation to serve your Majesty, at too great a length for me to repeat, and returned to the subject, saying, The Queen will never decide to marry me, as she has made up her mind to wed some great Prince, or at all events no subject of her own, but there is no one abroad for her to marry except your Prince or the Archduke." I did not reply about the Prince, but said, "I understand there was some discussion about the Archduke formerly, when his father was alive, and that no settlement was arrived at. I know nothing myself upon the point, but I am sorry to see the Queen's time slipping away and you letting it go. It grieves me because of my great affection for you." And then I commenced again to press upon him my private interest in the matter. At last he said, "I understand that if you were to speak to the Queen about me now you would find the circumstances more favourable than formerly, because the delay in accepting my advances was, as I believe, principally caused by the Queen having been told that the Queen of Scotland was going to marry a powerful Prince, and this alarmed her, whereas now that this marriage with Lord Darnley has taken place, my business will be more easily arranged. I have not hitherto cared to press her upon the point, although the members of her Council have done so." I said, "Do you think then that this marriage of Darnley's has taken place?" "Yes, I do," he said, "and it is so reported, I believe truly, although this secretary denies it. I think therefore that it is a good juncture for my business." "Well, leave it to me," I said. I thought well to approach the matter and have the road thus prepared before the Emperor's envoy arrived, so that if he does not tell me what he is arranging I can still find out and proceed in the business, as I wrote to your Majesty on the 28th instant, pending further instructions.
Lord Robert asked me what income the Archduke had, and I told him I did not know. "How I wish his Majesty were in Flanders," he said. "Do you know anything of his coming?" I answered that I had heard no news and received no letters. I asked him whether it was certain that Throgmorton was going to Scotland. He said it was so ordered.
I have already written to your Majesty that I was told that someone was treating afresh with this Queen respecting her marriage with the Archduke. I received advice yesterday that there is no doubt of such being the case, and that the discussion had been commenced from this side after the Emperor's death. They sent for this purpose an English pensioner of the Emperor's ostensibly to beg that his place might be continued to his son, and gave him orders to address himself to the gentleman, (fn. 1) who came here to negotiate about the Archduke : When the man brought his message back they wrote in the pensioner's name. Those who have had the matter in hand for the Queen are Leicester, Cecil, and Throgmorton. The opinion of the man they sent is that they have gone so far in the matter that they will have no excuse if it falls through. Throgmorton even told the man yesterday to come to my house and make friends with the envoy who is now coming from the Emperor, and let them know if he broaches the matter, so that they may see how best to commence operations, the Queen not wishing to make the first advance. At present the Archduke does not request the control of the government or the management of affairs, leaving that until he is married, when he can do so with greater effect. I have always been suspicious of this negotiation since they tried it on me, and as I told them I could not interfere in it as it had already been dealt with and failed, they no doubt took the course I have mentioned and avoided me. I expect also that they took this course because they suspected that I should not negotiate without some firm assurance that the affair would be carried through, as I gave them to understand. This they will not give, and I have very grave doubt as to whether the negotiation is a serious one at all or simply a diversion. Lord Robert is more confident now, and the last time he saw me he said that he could not contemplate the Queen's marriage with anyone else but himself without great repugnance.
Throgmorton left for Scotland to-day to try and stop the marriage, but I understand he is too late. Lethington leaves to-morrow.— London, 5th May 1565.
299. The Same to the Same.
I informed your Majesty that Throgmorton left here on the 5th instant with the intention of hindering Lord Darnley's marriage. He took a letter from this Queen to the queen of Scotland, asking her to marry the earl of Leicester, and promising her that she will at once declare her the successor to the crown. He also bears a letter signed by the members of the Council affirming the same. The earl of Arundel, however, did not sign it, as, when it was carried to him for the purpose at Nonsuch, three leagues from here, he said he had nothing to do with signing letters since he ceased to belong to the Council, when he was dismissed from his post of Lord Steward.
On the 6th instant the Emperor's envoy arrived. He intends to learn the Queen's intentions about marriage with the Archduke as Chantonnay wrote to me. As far as I can see he bears a good will to the business. I have told him to be wary not to discuss the matter until they commenced, as they are anxious for it and will find a way to approach it, and if not there is no reason to negotiate except with a favourable opportunity. He knows all about the new negotiations which were opened in the way I wrote to your Majesty in my last letter, although he has not spoken out entirely on this head. I told him these people expected the same envoy who had come here before to treat of the business. He said the reason he had not come was because he was the servant of the Archduke, and it did not seem right that he should come on this business. He was not pleased with the idea of the marriage with the queen of Scotland, as one negotiation would spoil the other.
Lethington, the Secretary of the queen of Scotland, left here this morning at ten o'clock as I am informed. The man who went from here to Germany to treat of the Archduke's affair, whose name is Roger L'Estrange, has been here twice to-day with the Emperor's Ambassador, who has not yet told me anything that has passed with him.
Four days since there arrived in this city a Spaniard (a native of Granada I am told) accompanied by his wife and family. He embarked in Cadiz having escaped from the prison of the Inquisition at Granada, by which he had been condemned to six years in the galleys for bigamy. He says that after he had served four years of his sentence, the galleys of Don Juan de Mendoza in which he was were lost, and he started on a pilgrimage to Monserrat in gratitude for his escape from the wreck. Thence he went to Granada where they arrested him again and condemned him to four years more in the galleys. He broke out of prison and took all the property he could get, and the first of the two wives, who accompanied him, and with her came to England. I have spoken to him, and he seems never to have had anything to do with heresy, the cause of his flight being simply to escape the galleys. He came to my house and still remains there, and I have enjoined him not to associate with or enter the house of any of the Spanish heretics here, and to try to give a good account of himself in this respect. He has promised to do as I tell him. His name is Moreno : he was formerly a merchant in Granada and, he assures me, a well-known person of whom details are known in the Holy Office.
I will try to discover the way he escaped and embarked, and how he obtained his property again, and will advise.—London, 7th May 1565.