Simancas: July 1565

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 1565', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) pp. 442-458. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Simancas: July 1565", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) 442-458. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "Simancas: July 1565", Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892). 442-458. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

July 1565

2 July. 305. Guzman De Silva to the King.
The Scotch Ambassador was with the Queen on the 26th June to take leave of her and came to see me on the 27th, in the morning. He told me he had found the Queen somewhat mollified, but he did not know whether it was a feint. She said that his Queen had deeply offended her, who looked upon her as a sister and loved her more than a daughter, by deciding to marry without even letting her know, and, above all, with one of her subjects, and must give her some satisfaction for it. He asked her what satisfaction his Queen could give her, to which she replied that his mistress was so prudent and clever that it was not necessary to tell her what she should do. She for her part was determined that steps should be taken to bring back both the earl of Lennox and his son to this country, and if this was not effected they should be proceeded against as rebels, and a request presented to the Scotch Queen that they should be surrendered in accordance with a clause of the treaties existing between them. The Ambassador told me that he had talked with Cecil about it, who informed him that the two principal points to which the Queen attached importance for the prevention of excitement and disturbance were first that religious matters should not be interfered with, and secondly that there should be no tampering with disaffection in this country. This Ambassador asked me whether his Queen ought to marry publicly at once or keep the matter in suspense as hitherto. I answered that there was no objection to suspending it for a short time until they heard from their Ambassador in France what had been communicated to him by your Majesty's orders on the subject, and this could not be very long delayed. In the meanwhile they should temporise as much as possible with these people here and quiet them, and not to be precipitate, as I had told him before. He approved of this advice and assured me it should be followed, and that they would not exceed your Majesty's orders by one jot. He left on the 28th ultimo.
On the 25th ultimo, I wrote to your Majesty that the French Ambassador here had proposed the marriage of his King with this Queen to the Council, and that they had replied that the disparity of ages put it out of the question, whereupon he had suggested the marriage of the Queen with Lord Robert. I went to visit the Ambassador in company with the Commissioners who are here from the States of Flanders and upon whom he had previously called. I took him aside and said, "I have already told you that I have orders from the King my master to exert my utmost efforts to forward all that concerns the welfare of Christianity. I have been informed that there is some private understanding established between these protectants and Condé. Look to it, for it is important. It is quite true that I have received such advice, and that the negotiations are in the hands of Leicester, but I did not care to tell him that part of it, but only the general fact, as I am not very sure of it, and did not wish to pledge myself to names.
I conveyed the news to him with my usual great professions of affection for him, and so drew him out until he told me the whole history of the business about the proposed marriage of his King with this Queen and the negotiations for that of Leicester with the queen of Scots, respecting which I have already written, although my information was mainly founded on conjecture. He told me that this Queen had said so many things and thrown out so many hints about the marriage of his King that she had caused him to write to the Queen-Mother on the subject, and the negotiations had thereupon commenced. (fn. 1) He had recently addressed the Council, asking them to point out the objections, if there were any, that stood in the way of the project, as he desired to satisfy them on all points. The only objection they had raised was that of the age of the King, but they charged him with treating with Leicester, which he swore stoutly was not true, and that a secretary of this Queen (fn. 2) had asked in France for a delay of four months for a decision to be given which had been refused and he (the Ambassador) had been ordered to request an answer at once. It seems therefore that he is still pressing the Queen. He said it was true that through him the Queen and Leicester had begged the King and Queen-Mother to intercede with the queen of Scotland in favour of a marriage between her and Leicester, and that they had sent an agreeable answer to the request. This, he said, had now been upset by the action of the queen of Scotland, although he knew for certain that Cardinal Lorraine had promised the Earl to marry him to his niece—not saying that he would try, but that he would do it—and that the Earl would on the same day become a King and his nephew. The Ambassador told me that the reason he had remained here was only this business about the marriage of his King, and that he would now leave here very soon and go to your Majesty's court as Ambassador or else to Rome, but that he would much prefer going to your Majesty on account of our lady the Queen. At first he was not at all pleased with the marriage of the queen of Scotland, and spoke strongly against it, saying that she had made a mistake. He has now, however, turned completely round, and assures me that she has done very rightly and that if this Queen attacks her his King could not refrain from helping her for the sake of old friendship.
As I have informed your Majesty I told the Emperor's man here that it was your Majesty's pleasure that I should help in the Archduke's business, and as we were accompanying the Queen to Greenwich he asked whether he should tell her Majesty this. I told him I thought he had better not until it became necessary, and if he had to do it he should use words that she would understand, but not such as she could repeat with any certainty to anyone else. He went with this intention, and although I do not know what he said to the Queen, but the Queen's answer was to the effect, as he tells me, that she had heard that your Majesty would he glad of the marriage by reason of the close relationship and friendship which united you to these princes. He has asked me to see the Queen and give her to understand that your Majesty will be gratified at the match, as he thinks, or is told that it is advisable that this should be done.
I am told that when the earl of Sussex (who takes the side of the Archduke in this business when the duke of Norfolk is absent) speaks to the Queen about it she tells him that Lord Robert presses her so that he does not leave her a moment's peace, and when Lord Robert addresses her she says the same thing of the earl of Sussex, and that she is never free from him. When the reply which is expected comes from the Emperor we shall see what success awaits the affair, which it seems the French ambassador is trying his best to hinder, although he has lost hope of the match with his master. Lady Margaret has been advised by secret and suitable means in the Tower of your Majesty's interest in her affairs.
At this point I am advised that there is an intention to send couriers to all the counties ordering the governing men to meet and discuss the grave peril in which the country is, and even the person of the Queen, by reason of the dissension which exists with regard to the state of the kingdom. These persons are to endeavour to ascertain in each county the opinions held, and send a statement thereof to the Council, and they are likewise ordered that, inasmuch as some doubt exists as to the succession to the throne, they are especially to endeavour to discover what people think on the subject. The letters have not been sent although the step is agreed upon and the drafts made. These people are evidently somewhat uneasy.
The man who is married to Catherine is the earl of Hertford and not the earl of Huntingdon. The latter is married to a sister of Leicester's, and they are again saying that he is amongst those who claim the succession, although the claim is not considered to have much weight.
About three days since a post arrived from Southampton for the merchants of the company trading with Guinea bringing news that there had entered that port an English ship loaded with woad from the Azores, and having on board some letters saying that the ship "Miñona," which I advised as lost had arrived at the island (Azores) with nearly all the crew dead and without victuals. It was intended to refit her there for the voyage hither.
There has arrived at this court a servant of the king of Sweden bringing to the Queen from his master some sables as well as some for the earl of Leicester and the Admiral. When the negotiations were on foot for the marriage of that King with the Queen there was some idea of his sister coming here, and it was said she would marry Leicester. She is now married to the marquis of Baden, but they say on condition that he should bring her here to see this Queen, and they are now at Embden waiting for ships to be sent from here to bring them over. It is suspected that she is coming to try again to bring about the marriage of her brother with the Queen. She will have no lack of husbands.
I learn from the Dutchmen that the king of Sweden has 36 ships in very good order in the Sound near Copenhagen, and has ordered that no damage shall be done to subjects of your Majesty who may pass that way, only that they are to pay the impost which has usually been collected by the king of Denmark. More than 500 vessels have passed through those seas from Holland during the last three weeks, and they were expecting 10 men-of-war which were to join the 36 ships already there. This fleet had attacked the "Admiral," which was the largest and best of the king of Denmark's navy, and killed 300 men in her. The ship had got away, but it is not known whether she was lost or not.
There has been a quarrel between some of the Queen's servants and certain Dutchmen. Someone told the Queen that the earl of Sussex had aided the Irish, whereat she was very angry. The earl was much annoyed at this, and approaching to where Leicester was standing with a group of gentlemen, he said, "I hear that someone has told the Queen that I have been helping the Irish against her own people. This is too bad, and whoever said so lied, as I can prove." Leicester made no reply and took no notice whatever of it, but there were plenty of people to tell him he ought to have taken the matter up, as the words appeared to be addressed to him. Leicester, therefore, the next day said to the other earl that he had used certain words in his presence, of which at the time he (Leicester) had taken no notice as he had had nothing to do with the matter spoken of, but should be glad to know if the words were directed to him. Sussex said he looked upon him as his friend, and his words were only intended for the persons who had said this to the Queen, and to them he repeated them. And so the matter ended, and they remained on their former terms. (fn. 3)
The duke of Florence has written to the Queen advising her of his intended marriage with the sister of the Emperor, and asking permission to export some ponies from here.—London, 2nd July 1565.
3 July. 306. The Same to the Same.
I have informed your Majesty that the French Ambassador is still pressing for a decided reply to the offer of his King to marry this Queen, and Cecil told me to-day that he had replied to the Ambassador that the Council was of opinion that the match offered many and great difficulties, and amongst them the age of the King. (fn. 4) He said if the ages were reversed he thought the business could have been carried through, but as it was he thought not. For this reason and others therefore the business could not be discussed until the lords and principal people in the realm had been consulted. The Ambassador said he was glad to have this decision as it was disagreeable for him to strive so in the business.—London, 3rd July 1565.
9 July. 307. The Same to the Same.
The Queen is still at Greenwich, as I have written to your Majesty. They tell me she will come hither on her way to Richmond within seven or eight days and will be present at the marriage of the son of her Vice-Chamberlain, who is called Knollys, with the daughter of Ambrose Cave, of the Council. She is rich and an only child, and before marriage belonged to the order of St. John. The Queen will be at Richmond 12 or 15 days, and thence will make a progress as usual, visiting the houses of some of her subjects without going very far off.
I have advised that a sister of the king of Sweden had sent to this Queen to ask her to send her a vessel to bring her over from Embden on a visit to this country. They have sent her two well fitted ships, one large and the other small. Some people still think she is coming to treat of a marriage between her brother and the Queen.
The ship called the "Mifiona" which I wrote to your Majesty had arrived disabled at the Azores, came here on the 5th instant. They say she brings 20,000 crowns in gold and a quantity of malachite and ivory. The description of Florida, which I wrote to your Majesty had been brought to me to copy, although it is not quite finished, is enclosed herewith, exactly taken from the original. The Emperor's reply to his Ambassador here about the Archduke is most anxiously awaited by us from day to day. There arrived here three days ago a courier from the Ambassador that this Queen has in Scotland, but I do not know what news he brings, other than a rumour that there was some religious disturbance in that country, and that Lord James, the Queen's brother, had left the place where she was. I am told that all this is without foundation, and that things are as usual ; but there is a good deal of gossip to the contrary.
Lady Margaret is still confined in the Tower, well guarded, but I have means of learning how she is, and of conveying words of encouragement to her. Her son Charles is in the keeping of the archbishop of York. The Emperor's Ambassador is pressing me very much to give the queen to understand that your Majesty will be glad for her marriage with the Archduke to take place. It will have to be done.
The earl of Leicester came to dine with me to-day, and the members of the Council, Sidney, Cecil, Throgmorton, and others, in order to take me to a house which they had prepared in a wood here. The Emperor's Ambassador went with them, but I stayed behind to despatch this post. The earl of Leicester asked me whether it could be true that your Majesty favoured the Archduke's suit as he had heard. I answered that I had requested audience of the Queen, and when it took place I should be glad if he would be in the palace, as I wished to speak with him, and there was no opportunity of discussing this matter with him then. I intend, whilst taking the suitable steps in the Archduke's business, to keep Leicester in play, as I have done. I am still suspicious that the Archduke's match will not come off, and that this other man may get the prize, although if he do I doubt whether either of them will be able to maintain themselves in the country, as they are so unpopular, and it would be the greatest help they could give to the Scotch Queen. Things are in such a condition here that they do not understand each other, and yet others must understand them, a difficult task, seeing how they change.—London, 9th July 1565.
13 July. 308. The Same to the Same.
As I have written to your Majesty, I had requested an audience of the Queen and advised Lord Robert when he heard that it was fixed that he should be at the palace at the time appointed, as I had something to communicate to him. My object was to pay some sort of compliment to him and his affairs and to assure him of your Majesty's continued interest in them, so that the plan I have already sketched out of keeping him in play might be fulfilled in case the Archduke's suit should not succeed. My audience was for eleven o'clock and he was not in the palace, for which I was anything but sorry, as I could throw the blame upon his own carelessness or forgetfulness and not on any failure or lack of desire on our part to favour him, and he could thus never have cause to be otherwise than grateful to your Majesty.
As soon as I reached the Queen she asked after your Majesty's health, and after I had given her such news as I had and saluted her in your Majesty's name, I told her that your Majesty having heard of the visit here of the Emperor's envoy, and that he had instructions, if a good opportunity presented itself, to treat of her marriage with the Archduke, your Majesty was glad thereat, and although your Majesty had no advice of it from the Emperor himself you had instructed me out of love for the Archduke, that if negotiations were undertaken I was to assist the envoy to the best of my ability. Your Majesty was moved to this course by your desire to strengthen and increase the ties of brotherhood that bound her to you, and also by the great affection you bore to the Archduke, and I myself had greatly rejoiced at this, because it corresponded with the remarks I had made to her as to the close attachment of your Majesty to the Emperor and his brothers, and your anxiety that their affairs should prosper as your own. Whoever told her to the contrary was dealing dishonestly with her, as she knew from letters she had received from your Majesty. She replied that she was sure what I said was true, and the Emperor's Ambassador had told her that your Majesty had written me to that effect, but she was glad to hear it again from my own lips. She understood that your Majesty had no person of nearer kin than the Archduke, for whom your Majesty could wish for this match, and asked me whether I thought, the coming of the Archduke was assured. I answered that all I knew about it was that the Ambassador expected the Emperor's decision, but that nothing certain could be known until the return of the person who had been sent to obtain it. We spoke of the Archduke's person, his age, his good parts, and she evidently felt pleasure in dwelling upon the subject. I told her she had kept the secret well from me about the negotiations that had been going on with the French for her marriage with the King, and I was glad to learn that she had come to a decision and ended the discussion in a way which I thought was most favourable for her interests. She said she was well aware that the king of France was a powerful Prince, with whom it would suit her excellently to marry if their ages had not been so different that people might say she had married her grandson ; so that there was an end of it. But what has the Turk's Ambassador been doing in France, and what news was there from Malta ? I replied, "Up to the present good news ; and as for the Turk in France, I have not heard that he has done or will try to do anything at all." I had heard, however, that another (Ambassador) had arrived from Dragut, (fn. 5) who claimed 15,000 crowns the French King owed him from the time his fleet had gone out with the prince of Salerno, and as the French were so polite, they would be sure to pay him, seeing that they who were pledged to hand Calais over to her in a given time, had gone to the expense of making a citadel of it, so that they might give it to her in better condition. She expressed sorrow that all the Princes should leave your Majesty alone with the Turk, and, as she had previously done, condemned the reception of a Turkish Ambassador in France at such a time.
I wrote to your Majesty that after arresting Thomas Cobham they had tried to get him off by means of twelve men who are appointed to decide criminal cases, and although these men acquitted him on certain charges, the judge of the Admiralty, seeing that they were biassed or perhaps bribed, did not submit the whole case to them, but only certain counts, and when they had absolved the prisoner he was taken back to prison again. The Queen having learnt what had taken placeand I took care that she was well informed on, the subjectordered her Council to summon the twelve men who had judged the case, and had them charged with a false judgment. They asked for time to answer the charge, and after they had made their excuses they were condemned by public vote to fines of 20l. each, amounting in all to about 9,600 reals, or six months' imprisonment, and were put in the pillory with papers stuck on them like a cuirass. This has had a good effect here, and I praised the Queen for it, whereupon she seemed gratified. I am quite sure that justice will be done in the remainder of Cobham's case, as the Queen has given the strictest orders, and has begun by making this example. Every effort shall be used to make these pirates see that they will be punished for their misdeeds.
Stukeley is now here, and his case will be proceeded with. It is an important one, as he broke one of your Majesty's ports and took therefrom two ships. It is true they were French, but one contained Portuguese property, and it is not alleged that he injured any of your Majesty's subjects on this occasion. Rather to the contrary, indeed, and he wished to save himself by alleging that he was innocent of any crime in simply taking the enemy's ships out of a port without touching anything else. He says the same thing to me, and that if his act is either disrespectful or criminal he will leave the punishment to me. I have seen a letter from the queen of Scotland which I have had copied, and send translation enclosed. I am told that the marriage with Darnley took place on the 21st instant. Lady Margaret tells me that the French Ambassador makes her many offers of service on behalf of his master, and makes similar offers to the queen of Scotland. I tell her to thank him and beware.—London, 13th July 1565.
16 July. 309. The Same to the Same
As I have written to your Majesty, as soon as the Ambassador sent his despatch to the Emperor the duke of Norfolk went away to his country house with the intention of returning when the reply arrived. As, however, the Duke was not sure that the Queen would summon him, and if he came up for this business alone it would look suspicious that he was more desirous of bringing about the Archduke's match than was compatible with the due impartiality of a Councillor in his Monarch's affairs, it was decided to send a messenger to Brussels, so that when the gentleman with the Emperor's answer arrived there news might be sent hither immediately before he came himself, and the Duke could then come back to London before the arrival of the answer was known. I accordingly found here this morning from Brussels a letter informing me of the arrival there of the Emperor's gentleman, and the Ambassador immediately sent word to the Duke, whose presence will be very advantageous, more on account of his rank and standing than any particular influence he has in affairs. The Ambassador tells me that the gentleman who is on his way hither writes to him that he is very satisfied and that he brings good news, but the Ambassador thinks he cannot know what is contained in his despatches. He says Charles has gone to his estates to consider this match and settle his affairs so that he may be prepared. I do not know whether the Ambassador has any further particulars. I said to him, "I believe the answer will be to accept the Queen's kindness, and give her to understand that efforts will be made to satisfy her on all points, but that, as your Majesty's name is introduced in the draft agreement, it is necessary that you should be consulted before a definite reply can be given." The Ambassador also thought this would be the reply. He seems to be pleased, but unfortunately the courier who came from Brussels was not warned to keep back any other letters he might bring, and consequently his arrival has become known, and it will be necessary to tell the Queen this afternoon that the gentleman is expected hourly. There will be an opportunity for doing so this afternoon as the Queen is to go to Durham Place to honour with her presence the wedding (which I have already mentioned) of the son of the Vice-Chamberlain with the daughter of Ambrose Cave, which takes place to-day, the rejoicings being celebrated in that house, and the Ambassador and I being invited.
Thomas Cobham was put on his trial, and on his being asked the usual question in criminal procedure here as to whether he wished to be judged by the laws of the realm, he answered No, and persisted therein. He was found guilty and sentenced to be taken back to the Tower, stripped entirely naked, his head shaved, and the soles of his feet beaten, and then, with his arms and legs stretched, his back resting on a sharp stone, a piece of artillery is to be placed on his stomach too heavy for him to bear but not heavy enough to kill him outright. In this torment he is to be fed on three grains weight of barley and the filthiest water in the prison until he die. His relatives are making great efforts to procure a postponement of the execution of the sentence.
Francis Yaxley, who was secretary of the signet when your Majesty was here, and who was imprisoned in the time of the bishop of Aquila, is going to Flanders and thence to Scotland. He is a person well acquainted with affairs here, and will be able to give the queen of Scotland a great deal of information. They tell me he is a devoted servant of your Majesty, and I believe it as he is a good Catholic.—London, l6th July 1565.
23 July 310. The Same to the Same.
On the 16th I wrote to your Majesty that the Queen was going that same evening to the supper and rejoicings that were to be given at Durham Place to celebrate the marriage of a son of the Vice-Chamberlain, to which wedding the Emperor's Ambassador and I were asked. As we were on the point of going to the palace to accompany the Queen thither Ambrose Cave, the father of the bride, who had invited me, came to ask me to be kind enough to stay at home and not go to his feast because he having invited the French Ambassador to dine with him in the expectation that after dinner he would return home the Ambassador had learnt that the Queen was coming later to sup, and that an entertainment was to take place and insisted upon staying to see it. Cave was anxious that no question of precedence should arise between its in which the Emperor's Ambassador also might be involved. I told him that I had not asked to be invited to his house, but he had begged me to come, and I had accepted out of respect for him. Everyone knew I was going, and I should certainly not stay at home for the sake of the French Ambassador. On the contrary, I should rather insist upon going on his very account, because he had heard I was going, and for that reason wanted to stay. Cave replied, "Well, what will you do? He is already there, and he assures me that the question of precedence has been decided in Rome and Venice." I said, "I do not care what he says, but I know well what I have to do and what is owing to the greatness of the King my master who in temporal affairs has and recognises, no superior on earth. If, therefore, it were as he says, no judgment or decision can be allowed to prejudice my King and, above all, amongst his true friends. No such declaration has been made in Venice, but even if it had been it would not signify much as a precedent for this Queen to follow, unless indeed she was willing to recognise the Venetians as her superiors and cease to acknowledge ray master as her friend and brother. If this is the line the Ambassador has taken up he must be made to drop it." "Well," said Cave "that being the case the Queen will not come to my house and great injury will be done to me. If you go I do not know how you will get rid of him unless you take him up in your arms and throw him out of window, which the Queen will be glad enough to have done, even in her presence, out of affection for her brother." I left him witli this and took no more notice of him, as I thought he was taking the Frenchman's part. I went to the Emperor's Ambassador and asked him to come at once so that we might reach the palace before the Queen left. I told him what had passed and we went together and waited some little while in the privy garden by which the Queen would have to pass, as there would certainly be a good deal of tittle-tattle amongst them about it and about what was best to be done. Presently the Queen called us and after being a short time together with her she took me aside and told me that she had not known that the French Ambassador was at Cave's house or had been invited to dine there, and had only just learnt that it was so. She was very sorry to hear it, and that the Ambassador would not go away, and she desired to make some arrangement to avoid discord between two great princes on so small a matter as this. She asked me what I thought she should do, as she would be very sorry if she had to refrain from honouring these people of hers who were giving the feast. I told her the best way would be for her to go as arranged and leave it to me, because the matter had been already settled between the French Ambassador and me ; and then I went on to repeat what Cave had told me, and said that, saving her Majesty, I would not fail to do my duty even in her presence, and was certain that by reason of the friendship she cherished to your Majesty she would not wish me to do otherwise. As soon as I had said this she answered angrily, "What! Cave said that, did he? That is the way he is trying to manage the business. I will soon settle it." With that she called Cecil and had some conversation with him and afterwards with Throgmorton, who thereupon went out. Soon after that she started, having previously learnt that the French Ambassador had gone away, although I heard nothing of it and no more was said to me on the subject. The Queen stayed through the entertainment and the Emperor's Ambassador and I supped with her in company with the bride and some of the principal ladies and the gentlemen who came with the Emperor's Ambassador. After supper there was a ball, a tourney, and two masques, the feast ending at half-past one. I am surprised that the French Ambassador should attempt such a thing as this as we had both agreed to avoid all occasions of the sort, there being no need to contest the question here. These proud Frenchmen lose their heads sometimes and one has to be for ever on the watch for them. I had a long conversation with the Queen on the matter, which I treated, however, with moderation, and I understand, as she has told me before, that if this is provoked to an open rupture, and she is obliged to declare herself on one side or the other, she will decide in favour of your Majesty. The gentleman from the Emperor arrived on the 17th, and the Ambassador tells me that the reply he brings is that the Emperor will send commissioners to arrange the conditions, but as he did not see if the Archduke himself came how the affair could be avoided in any case, he preferred that the Queen should send some persons in whom she had confidence to see him, and then, if she were satisfied, the match could be effected, and, if to the contrary, it could be dropped. With regard to the question of religion he (the Archduke) is not to compel anyone to give up the faith he professes, and he himself is to retain his own. Touching the sum which is required from him as a dowry, the Emperor wishes to know what form it is to take, whether a settlement or a marriage gift, and if in the case of the Queen's death the sum is to be returned or not. On the article respecting the alliance contracted with your Majesty and the Emperor by reason of the marriage, the Emperor says that the Archduke being his beloved brother he will do what may be required on this head, and is sure your Majesty will do be same, and will write to the Queen to that effect.
The Emperor wishes to know the amount of the charges alluded to in the article which speaks of the Archduke's household expenses being borne by himself and not by the nation. All other clauses are agreed to.
The Emperor desires to know what title is to be borne by the Archduke and what part he is to take in public affairs, whether he is to be called King, governing jointly with the Queen and signing with her or not, and also in the event of the Queen's death without an heir what is to become of him, as his position would be very unfortuuate in such case if some understanding were not made beforehand. The Emperor and the Archduke do not write to the Queen, much to the regret of the Ambassador, who thinks they have treated her rather curtly. The reason, no doubt, is that she had not answered their letters, but the Ambassador thinks that these little points might be overlooked with a woman. He confesses that he brought a letter from the Archduke when he came, which I suspected and told your Majesty at the time. As soon as the gentleman arrived the Ambassador sent to advise Sussex of him coming, to tell him the answer he brought, and he afterwards went to the Earl's house alone. Cecil met him there and the three conferred together as to what they should communicate to the Queen in view of the Emperor's answer. They did not like the reply on the religious clause as they thought it offered great difficulties. If the Queen was to attend one service and the Archduke another, they said, many dissensions and scandals would arise between the subjects. They also stuck at the clause about the Archduke's expenses, thinking that the Emperor wants to burden them with them. They say also that this clause will cause those who oppose the match to go about saying the Archduke is so poor that he cannot pay the expenditure fitting and necessary for the state which he will have to keep up, and they would object to this being provided out of the national taxes. With regard to the Emperor's remarks showing that he wishes the Archduke to be called King and to govern jointly with Queen, Cecil thinks this would be difficult. As bearing upon this I have shown the Ambassador the contract that was made with your Majesty, and I do not think Cecil is right. With regard, however, to the request that in case of the Queen's death without an heir, that the Archduke should remain here with a footing in the country, that is a thing they cannot concede, and will never agree to. For these various reasons they thought it would be better not to show the Emperor's letter to the Queen, but only to tell her a few generalities in order not to anger her, beginning by saying that the Emperor will be willing for the Archduke to come, so that if he pleases her he can remain, and if not he can return, but the Emperor wishes first to send commissioners to settle the terms and conditions to be ready in case she is satisfied with the Archduke personally, and the Emperor moreover begs for certain bases to be laid down upon which the details of the agreement might be founded, in explanation of the articles sent him, and for the guidance of the Commissioners I have told Lord Robert that I had written to your Majesty that the Queen had assured me she wished to marry, and was resolved not to wed one of her own subjects, and that I had understood stood also from him that he had abandoned all hope of his marriage with the Queen, and seeing that an Ambassador had come from the Emperor with instructions to renew the negotiations for a marriage with the Archduke, your Majesty had ordered me to say that, it being the Queen's determination to marry out of her own country, I was to assist in bringing the Archduke's suit to a successful conclusion to the best of my abilities. If, however, the Archduke's business fell through and the Queen changed her mind, I was to give all the help I could to him (Lord Robert) to enable him to attain his object. In the meanwhile I was to urge upon him the necessity for secrecy until the time arrived for putting my promises into effect and to place before him emphatically how much your Majesty had always desired to promote him, and the obligation he was under to your Majesty for it. He replied to this with all due courtesy and gratitude, saying that your Majesty had always shown him favour and kindness which he fully acknowledged, and that this new proof of it had greatly consoled and encouraged him. He seems lately to be rather more alone than usual, and the Queen appears to display a certain coolness towards him. She has begun to smile on a gentleman of her chamber named Heneage, which has attracted a good deal of attention. He is married to a servant of the Queen, and is a young man of pleasant wit and hearing and a good courtier as the Queen herself has told me. Many people think, however, that it is all make-believe and simply devised to avoid jealousy, as this young man has been a great intimate of Lord Robert's, and although the change in the aspect of the things here might infer a change in the Queen's feelings I do not believe that any such has taken place as regards Leicester, only that fear of Scotland forces the Queen to make friends with those who can help her.
On the 16th instant I wrote to your Majesty the sentence that had been pronounced on Thomas Cobham, and the efforts being made by his brothers and kinsmen to obtain his pardon. The principal amongst them, Lord Cobham, has taken no part in these efforts as he considers his brother's crime a disgraceful one, and especially, as I am informed, because committed against your Majesty's subjects, but his wife, who is a mistress of the robes to the Queen, and the other brothers came secretly to beg of me, for her sake, since all their relatives on both sides were affectionate servants of your Majesty, to ask the Queen to suspend the execution of the sentence for some time until they had written to beg your Majesty's intercession to prevent this disgrace to their house and kin. She asked me not to tell the Queen that she had addressed this petition to me, as her Majesty would be very angry with her. I answered in the best way I could, expressing all affection for her house, her husband and kin on your Majesty's behalf, but showed her the reasons that prevented me from doing as she asked me, and she thus understood that it was impossible. She begged me, in case the Queen herself should suspend the execution, to write to your Majesty asking pardon for Cobham at the same time as they sent, which I promised I would do out of respect for the affection which I understood they all bore to your Majesty and your desire to favour them. The earl of Sussex spoke to me the same day to the same effect, saying that Cobham, was a near kinsman of his own and of many of the highest people in the land who were attached to your Majesty, and on this account he urged me and even advised me as a friend to render all the good offices I could to get your Majesty to add this new obligation to what they owed you. I gave him the same answer as I gave to Lady Cobham.
I will accordingly write to satisfy them when the time arrives although this is a bad man and a great heretic as I am assured, but I do not think they will carry out the sentence ; they have not done so up to now. Lady Margaret also has sent to intercede with me for him in order that his family who are her adherents may be confirmed in their friendship. Her imprisonment has been somewhat moderated and her son, who is in this country, and who I wrote, was detained in the keeping of the archbishop of York, is released.
Great importance is attached here to what is passing in Malta, and the Queen has ordered a general prayer for victory. On the 18th, Mistress Ashley, the Queen's governess died. Her Majesty went to see her the day before, and I am told she is greatly grieved, "and what a heretic she was." (fn. 6)
The day before yesterday there arrived here a brother of the Scotch ambassador in Paris (fn. 7) by whom I received a letter from Don Frances de'Alava. He left Bayonne on the 1st instant and came by way of the place where the Cardinal de Lorraine is. I am told he brought letters from the king of France to his ambassador here for this Queen asking her to liberate Lady Margaret. Whilst I am writing this I have received advice that Lady Margaret's imprisonment which I had just written had been moderated, is now again been made houriy more severe. The changes here are constant.
A Frenchman has arrived from the Count Palatine. He had audience of the Queen the day before yesterday, and I am told, was with her for over two hours. In some quarters I hear that the French are still trying to open negotiations in Flanders, but it is probably nothing fresh. The French ambassador here has a Fleming from Ghent in his house, a clever man in literature, but a heretic, in whom he takes great pleasure. He came to visit the Commissioners who are here from the States to examine certain documents, as your Majesty knows. Amongst them there is a councillor of Flanders who is also a native of Ghent, a lawyer, an excellent and learned man whom this heretic tried to tempt, intimating that the States would be much better subject to the king of France than to your Majesty, and that in such case he and others like him would have good places in Parliament and elsewhere. The Commissioner quarrelled with him at once and told him what he thought of him, although not publicly. I should have preferred him to dissemble cautiously with him and obtain some information. The father of this Olhenonio has fled from the States to Cleves for heresy, and this man says he is going thither within two months' time. His movements will be noted. The Emperor's ambassador went to see the Queen and was with her for a long time and showed her what the Emperor had written in the form mentioned by me earlier in this letter, as he was advised to do. He tells me the Queen thanked him warmly for the Emperor's reply about the coming of the Archduke, but the question of arranging beforehand all the points of the treaty presented many difficulties as the agreement would be made public at once, and she was not sure whether they would be mutually satisfied personally, and if not it would be difficult to abandon the affair after it had gone so far. He auswered that it could be kept very secret, to which the Queen replied that it would be hard to do this as so many people had to sign the agreement in this country. She also said it seemed very difficult to her for a husband and wife to live in the same house but practise different religions, to which he answered that he could say no more about that than what the Emperor had written, and trust in God that all would be arranged for the best. The Queen decided at last that as the business was so important she would consult the Council and give an answer later.
I went to Richmond with the Commissioners from the States of Flanders who went thither to take leave of the Queen on their departure. After they had done so and kissed her hand—which she gave very liberally—the Queen took me aside and said she had been much grieved by the death of the lady I have mentioned who brought her up, and then said she was much obliged to the Emperor for desiring to honour her by sending his brother. I said she had reason to be, and I had no doubt that she would fittingly reciprocate his good will. We had some conversation about this and she professed gratitude to me for interest I took in her affairs. After answering her in suitable terms I said I hoped to God I should see her some day in the position I wished. She seized upon this at once and said, "You never speak out clearly to me, you have something in your breast that you will not tell me." I told her I could not speak more clearly than I had done as to your Majesty's good will to the Archduke, and my own wishes could be only those of your Majesty. She said she still had some suspicion, but that I might be sure that neither the Emperor nor the Archduke should ever know it from her. I answered that I had no more to say than I had already said, and she replied that she knew my thoughts, although I would not declare them, and laughed very much. She is very strange. I took my leave although I saw she did not want to stop the conversation. They tell me that the Frenchman I mentioned as coming from the Count Palatine is here to try to hinder the marriage of the Archduke, and that he told the Queen that the Archduke is a greater Catholic than his father, and advised her to be on her guard. Two days since the Queen secretly accepted the count of Embden as a pensioner of hers, and will pay him 2,000 suncrowns a year. The earl of Leicester tells me he has news from Scotland that there had been some disturbance there about the marriage, but nothing much.—London, 23rd July 1565.
28 July. 311. The Same to the Same.
I wrote to your Majesty on the 24th instant that the Emperor's Ambassador had seen the Queen about the Archduke's match, and that she had replied that she must communicate with her Council on the proposals made, and also that I had spoken to her about the same subject.
When I returned from my visit I learnt on the 24th, the next day, that the French Ambassador had been with the Queen after I had left and went hunting with her the day after.
The (Emperor's) Ambassador sent to ask for an audience for to-morrow, and he was answered that the Queen was busy for that day, but they have just sent to say that she will receive him. I am told they will give him an answer and that they will pass over the clause relating to religion and even on the point of his (the Archduke) being called King, as nothing certain is fixed. The earl of Leicester told me that this Ambassador would return shortly and other persons have told me the same, but there is no certainty in anything here and the Ambassador himself knows nothing about it. We shall hear to-morrow. A gentleman from the queen of Scotland who arrived here this morning has just handed me a letter from her enclosing two letters which I send herewith for your Majesty and our lady the Queen, and which she begs me to forward with all despatch and to endeavour to obtain such an answer as the necessity of the case requires. They are to beg your Majesty's aid and favour against this queen of England who has raised her subjects against her to constrain and force her to forsake the Catholic religion and adopt the new one. She signifies that, if she receives no aid, her subjects supported by this Queen will reduce her to great straits and trouble and that it is a matter of evil precedent for subjects to wish to dictate to their superiors. She says she has heard what I told her Ambassador on your Majesty's behalf and -places all her confidence therein expressing the greatest gratitude and referring me to the bearer of the letter for further information. He tells me that Lord James the Queen's brother, thinking that when she is married he will not have so large a share in the management of affairs as hitherto has joined the duke of Chatelherault, who is the enemy of the earl of Lennox, and the earl of Argyll and that they have sent the Queen certain conditions amongst which are two ; first, that no Mass shall be performed in the kingdom and the Queen herself shall not hear it ; and the second that all the ecclesiastical benefices shall be given to heretical ministers, and they threaten that if she does not accept and fulfil these conditions they will compel her to do so. This gentleman says the Queen will be married to-morrow, and that any trouble or harm that may happen to her from her subjects will be in consequence of the action of this Queen as there are otherwise a good ten Catholics for every heretic in that country. He also begs me from his mistress to try to get Lady Margaret released.
Whilst I am writing this I learn that this Queen has an understanding with the Admiral of France and her other allies about these Scotch affairs. She is sending to Germany an Englishman who has been there before. I will discover what for.—London, 28th July 1565.
29 July. 312. The Same to the Same.
I wrote to your Majesty that I had heard the French Ambassador had had an audience of this Queen, and had spoken to her officially on the subject of the queen of Scotland's affairs in accordance with private instructions he had. It is true that he did so, and urged her from his master to be reconciled to this marriage (with Darnley), handing her a letter from the King, of which I enclose copy. He also spoke to her respecting Margaret's imprisonment, and begged that she might be released and that her son should not be proceeded against as was intended. The Queen replied, giving him an account of the reasons she had to be aggrieved against the queen of Scotland and Margaret. She was, however, expecting a person who was to be sent by the queen of Scotland, and when he arrived an answer on the whole matter would be given.
The Count Palatine's man, so far as I can learn, came to satisfy the Queen that the Count had not changed his religion as he heard the Queen had been told by the duke of Wurtemburg, and to assure her of this fact he sent her two books, one of which is called a Confession of faith," and the other a "Catechism," which he presented to her together with a letter from the Count saying in the last paragraph that he has been informed that she is going to marry, and he thinks she does wisely in doing so as it is high time she did. He says if there is anyone in his part of the country who would please her, he will be pleased to negotiate in the matter. They tell me that she replied thanking him for his advice, but not another word.
The Emperor's Ambassador arrives from Richmond to-night, whither he went this morning as I wrote yesterday that he meant to do. The Queen and he had a long conversation about the Archduke's affairs, and she began to raise difficulties about the first clause touching religion. She passed on to the other clauses, but he says, came back again to the same question of religion. The end of it was that he was to discuss the matter with the Council, and he has returned ill-pleased. I think he has reason to be, as on this religious point they are all against him here, they themselves having invented it.
The French Ambassador has received letters from the queen of Scotland for his King, advising him the same as she writes to me about this Queen's action. He has sent a courier with them to-day. —London, 29th July 1565.


  • 1. The idea of marrying Charles IX. to Elizabeth would really appear to have originated two years before the date of the letter in a conversation between the Prince of Condé and Sir Thomas Smith, the English Ambassador in France, in April 1563 (Calendar of State Papers, Foreign, for that year.) Paul de Foix was not instructed by the Queen-Mother to negotiate the marriage in England until early in February 1565, and his first interview with Elizabeth on the subject would appear to have been on the 14th of that month. (Depeches de Paul de Foix. Bibliotheque Nationale, No. 15888.)
  • 2. Secretary Somers, who had been sent to France to be present at the interviews between the Queen Mother of France and her daughter Elizabeth of Valois, third wife of Philip II. at Bayonne.
  • 3. For another account of this quarrel see Calendar of State Papers, Venetian, vol. vii., p. 382.
  • 4. In de Foix's account of his interview with the Council on the subject of the marriage (see Depêches de Paul de Foix, Bibliotheqne Nationale) he expresses his surprise that no objection was raised to it on any ground but that of disparity of age.
  • 5. Dragut Reiz the Corsair, who had been the lieutenant of Barbarossa, and who for many years had despatched his pirate fleets from his strongholds in Tripoli and on the Barbary coast to prey upon the commerce of the Mediterranean. He was killed at the siege of St. Elmo at about the date of this letter.
  • 6. In the King's handwriting :—"There is a cipher here. I do not know if it is anything important."
  • 7. James Beaton, bishop of Glasgow.