Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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323. Guzman de Silva to the King.
On the 24th ultimo I wrote your Majesty that the Queen's Council had met on that day with those who had been absent and were specially summoned, and that they had commenced the consideration of the subjects they had in hand, the resolution in regard to which, however, I had not been able to learn except that, on leaving, the Treasurer had been told by Cecil and the Admiral to have money provided for the ships. This was true, but I have since heard that it was only to pay the expenses incurred in fitting out those which were sent out to clear the seas of pirates and thieves. What passed in the Council from the 24th, when they commenced the consideration of Scotch affairs, until the 26th, when they arrived at a decision, was that the members of the Council who were previously here addressed a long discourse to the new comers through Cecil, in which were set forth the complaints which this Queen has against the queen of Scotland, and the insult she had offered her by marrying without consulting her, after having promised she would not do so, and above all with a subject of this Queen. He enumerated other things which the said Queen had done against the realm, and stated his view of the claims made by her to the crown ; that she had asked the Pope's aid, and that steps must be taken to provide against any eventuality. He told the Council also that Yaxley, (fn. 1) who I wrote to your Majesty went by way of Flanders to Scotland, had gone on behalf of the king and queen of Scotland on a mission to your Majesty. Notwithstanding that, the Queen had been told by persons of authority not to trust to the French. The decision was that this Queen will send a person of position to discuss with the queen of Scotland the whole question at issue, and if an arrangement can be made in accordance with reason and justice,an attempt is to be made to settle with the rebels and pacify the whole country. In the meanwhile money will be raised and all warlike preparations will be pushed forward with diligence in order to be ready for war if an arrangement cannot be arrived at and the whole question peacefully settled. The Queen and the Councillors who were already here were of a different opinion, and were in favour of extending help to the rebels and breaking friendship at once, but the other course has been adopted on the representation of some of the newly-arrived Councillors that it would appear very bad to all the world to help the Scottish rebels as they had helped the French rebels, which they had done without gaining anything but the trouble. The Queen desired three or four days to consider the appointment of persons who were to carry out the decision and other points, and on the 27th the French Ambassador was with her and he tells me he discusses these matters with her in a very different spirit from what they were treated in the Council. He gave me an account of the reason why he had gone to the palace, which was to relate to the Queen the answer sent him by the queen of Scotland by one of her gentlemen, who went to France and passed through here on the 26th, to a letter he had written to her respecting the person this Queen was going to send to her in company with the king of France's gentleman, as related in my former letters. She said in her reply that she would be very glad for the king of France to consider the differences which existed between her and the queen of England, and would willingly agree to anything reasonable, but as regarded her own rebellious subjects she had no desire for the interference of this Queen in her affairs, as she (the queen of Scotland) wished to punish them, as it was her duty to do. The Ambassador told this Queen that although he had no instructions to say so, he was informed that she was making preparations to commence war against the queen of Scotland, and as in the treaties of friendship between his King and her the queen of Scotland was included, he begged her to have the clauses examined so that nothing should be done in contravention of them. The Queen answered him that she should do nothing against the treaties, and it was rather the queen of Scotland who had violated them. What the Ambassador tells me appears contrary to his proposals to the Council, but softer than his previous statements to me on the matter, to the effect that he had plainly told the Queen that the King his master could not avoid helping the queen of Scotland if he saw her in need. But neither Frenchmen nor their statements can be trusted in anything, for they only think of their own aims. This Ambassador has told me some things that have turned out true, perhaps because I make a show of being very confidential with him, and take care to tell him on all occasions things that can be told without inconvenience, giving him to understand always that your Majesty has ordered me to do so.
The person who informed me that the aid of France was proposed to the Council in this business is trustworthy and credible. It may be that the offer was made to incline them towards an arrangement, or it possibly may not be true that the French themselves made it. At this juncture, however, it is quite likely that they may have offered their help on certain conditions in order that the Queen might be prevented from deciding to marry the Archduke, seeing that she is pressed principally at present in matters upon which the French have their eyes fixed, and they are especially anxious to prevent the marriage taking place. The envoy from the queen of Scotland, who, as I have said, arrived here on the 26th, belongs to her Council. He has gone on to France, but did not see me or bring me any letter, but brought one for the French Ambassador written by the Queen in answer to that which he had written her. The Ambassador asked for a passport for him, but they kept him under arrest for a day, as he sent to inform me, in reprisal for the imprisonment of Tamworth, who was the Englishman they detained in Scotland because he would not have a passport signed by the King. The reason they gave, however, for detaining this Scot was that, according to the treaties in force between the two countries, no person is allowed to pass from England to Scotland or from Scotland to England without bearing a private letter from one Queen to the other. This in fact is so, but it is not customary to enfore it, but to write to the Governors of the frontier provinces, as this gentleman says they did in his case. He left yesterday morning and sent me word that his King and Queen had all the troops they needed, and would very shortly entirely scatter the rebels. He also said it was true that Yaxley and a Scotsman had left for Spain to see your Majesty, and that the bishop of (Glasgow?) goes to Rome.
It is said here that this Queen has sent 300 harquebussiers to the rebels, and that they had gone by way of Berwick. This gentleman now sends to tell me that they have not entered, and could not enter even if there were more of them, as a good guard was kept to prevent their passage. The French Ambassador told me for certain yesterday afternoon, that they had passed over, but the Scot is most likely to know, as he comes from there.
They tell me that this Queen is sending an Ambassador to reside in your Majesty's Court, as they say the man who is there is not treated as he used to be, and is not allowed to perform his devotions according to the custom here.
The Queen still shows favour to Lord Robert in public, but many people say that he no longer occupies the place he used to, and the show of favour is to conceal the change. Heneage, whom I have mentioned, keeps his position, and as I have fulfilled my obligations towards Leicester as regards his marriage, and he has not again mentioned the subject to me, I dissemble. I have shown him on your Majesty's behalf, and in as cordial terms as I could, that you sympathised with him, until we see how the Archduke's affair will end, and time will show what is best to be done afterwards. If things prosper with him my negligence can be blamed for not making more effort in his favour, which it would not be expedient to do, as his enemies and rivals, who are many, are also mostly Catholics attached to your Majesty's interest, and some of the principal people in the country, and also as the Archduke's business is pending in its present condition and an answer expected.
John Hawkins is a captain who, I wrote to your Majesty, went to Guinea a little over a year ago, and arrived at Plymouth on the 25th ultimo. Having made his voyage to Guinea and taken slaves there, he sailed to the island of Santo Domingo, where they say by leave of the Governor he traded with the Spaniards, and brings over 50,000 ducats in gold and some pearls, hides, and sugar, as the payment for his slaves. On his return he touched at Florida, where he found some Frenchmen who bought a vessel of him and 20 barrels of flour to return to France. These Frenchmen were the rest of those who had gone there, as 70 of them who had gone to Cuba and Jamaica in search of provisions were all caught and hanged in Jamaica, so that not a single Frenchman remained in Florida. If Hawkins tells the truth about having permission from the Governor to trade freely in those islands, it would cause considerable inconvenience, unless measures be taken to prevent it in future, because the greed of these people is such that they might arrange to always undertake similar voyages, and besides usurping the trade of those who traffic under your Majesty's license, I do not believe that a ship would be safe if they were strong enough to take it. I will try to get information on this point and advise your Majesty.
Yesterday the son of the king of Sweden's sister was christened in the Palace Chapel, the Queen being godmother, and the archbishop of Canterbury and the duke of Norfolk godfathers. The ceremony was very grand, as your Majesty will see by an account which is enclosed herewith.—London, 1st October 1565.
324. The Same to the Same.
The day before yesterday I received a despatch from the duchess of Parma, with a letter from her to the Queen, respecting the prevention of the robberies at sea, which she continually treats with the greatest diligence, vigilance, and care, as the case demands. As I understand, the Queen desires to remedy the evil, but the Ministers do not always carry out orders, especially when they have a share in the spoil. It is necessary to keep them up to the mark, as I am doing.
Certain measures have been ordered now which, if they are carried out faithfully, will do much good, but in my opinion a complete remedy cannot be expected, seeing the greed of these people, their extravagant expenditure, and their bad system of government, which is the outcome of their want of conscientiousness.
I had audience yesterday, and found the marquis of Baden in the presence chamber. He came to speak to me, and said before all those present that he was deeply bound to serve your Majesty, in whose employment he had already been, and from whom he had received much grace and favour, which he could never fail to acknowledge. I thanked him on your Majesty's behalf, and, after having conferred with the Queen on the matter I have mentioned, as I write more in detail to the Duchess, I satisfied her on her Highness' behalf as to the statement she had heard about our having arranged to send arms and ammunition to Scotland. She seemed quite satisfied, and said she had not believed it, and only told me out of her regard for me. I said the reason why suspicion had been cast upon me was because the queen of Scotland was a Catholic, but that was no reason why I should cease to serve her (the queen of England), as from her great intelligence, and from words I had often heard, I understood she did not differ in that respect much from the queen of Scotland, although for certain reasons she did not show it so much. She did not deny it, but said some words of acquiescence. I should, however, like to be more sure of it, as would the Catholics in this country.
She called the earl of Leicester, showing him favour as usual, and asked me, "Do you know this gentleman?" I answered that it was so long since I saw him that I might well have forgotten him. "What !" said the Queen, "is he so presumptious that he fails to wait upon you every day?" We were talking thus for a time until the hour arrived for visiting the king of Sweden's sister, and the Queen asked me whether I would go. I answered that I would attend her. She went by water, and for a time only she and I were together in the cabin of her barge, until at length she called Heneage and spoke to him secretly and very closely, and afterwards told me that she was telling him he must learn German. This was to lead me to infer that she was saying something to him about the Archduke. I had told her that the Emperor's late Ambassador here arrived at Vienna on the 11th ultimo, but she did not seem very eager to discuss the matter. She approached the Swedish princess with great professions of affection and embraces, and I then went up to speak to her. They remained standing for a time until a stool had been brought for me, and continued with small-talk and professions of attachment to each other, and the Swede paid me some compliments, saying how great was the obligation of herself and her husband towards your Majesty for the grace and favour you had shown him. This with much modesty and fair words, and with so gracious a manner that her high breeding is very apparent.
As the Queen was leaving I received advice from the duchess of Parma of the retreat of the Turkish fleet from Malta, and the Queen, this lady, and the rest of those present, appeared to rejoice greatly thereat. Thanks be to God, to Whom all is due, for this great and universal boon. Your Majesty should give infinite thanks to Him for having chosen you to be the means, as you have been and will be, to defend the faithful and promote the Catholic faith.
Although the Queen went by water on her visit, she returned by road in a coach with her Mistress of the Robes. She said we are three of us in this coach, and some people would make us out to be four, meaning by that that the Mistress of the Robes was pregnant. I answered that her people were right in wishing it were so, upon which she said, "And you ; whom do you wish it was by?" I replied that I was so anxious to please her that I would not venture to determine until she let me know her own wishes. As I have said, the Mistress of the Robes was with her, who has favoured the suit of the Archduke, and by their side was the equerry, who is a creature of Lord Robert. The latter, as he recently told me, must have lost all hope. There is so much change here that it is quite bewildering, and the Queen's question must have had some aim.
Scotch affairs remain in the condition previously advised. I am again assured, in the most positive way, that no help will be given to the Scotch rebels by this Queen, and this being so, they will not be able to disturb that Queen much. Nothing has been done yet in the matter of appointing persons to treat with the Scotch Queen, as had been arranged here by this Queen. The question is to be again discussed to-day, as all the time has been taken up lately in arranging the despatch of the Viceroy to Ireland, as John O'Neil is troubling them, and, besides the castles already mentioned, he has taken another fort belonging to the Queen. They thought here he would raze it to the ground, but he has not done so, but on the contrary has manned it with troops, which has caused considerable dissatisfaction here.
I have been unable to learn anything fresh about Hawkins' voyage, except that he traded in Jamaica and Tierra Firme, with license of the Governors, which seems incredible to me. The truth cannot be concealed, as steps are being taken in various quarters to discover the real facts.
Stukeley, respecting whom your Majesty has been informed, has had an interview with me, and says he had an understanding with Bishop Quadra when he left here on his voyage to Florida, and that certain steps were taken at the time to advise your Majesty. He again gave me to understand the ardent desire he had to serve your Majesty, and he assured me the aim and object that these people had in sending the expedition was to build a fort there, so that if the land was rich and fertile they might have their foot in it to trade, and in the contrary case, to have a centre of operations to rob the other ships that go that way. The Spaniards here tell me that this man is a Catholic, and has always shown great desire to serve your Majesty. He is being detained here for certain goods taken from a Portuguese in a French vessel, which he brought out from Bayona in Galicia. So far as violating the port is concerned to capture an enemy's ship, that is not thought much of here in accordance with their laws. He says Sidney is very anxious to take him to Ireland in consequence of his great friendship with John O'Neil, by means of which he thinks for certain that, in case your Majesty were so pleased, he could effect something in that island. I did not reply to this, and he then asked me to think it over, as he wished to be of service to your Majesty, and had discussed the matter previously with Bishop Quadra. With regard to Florida, I quite believe that the French have been as anxious to obtain a footing there as these people, more for the purpose of being on the track of ships from New Spain and Peru than for any other reason, but what is expedient to be done is to get the trade away from them by every possible means in those parts, and to let no one pass without license from your Majesty under heavy penalties. This is easier said than done in so great a sea, but they say that if a good watch were kept at the island of Dominica much could be effected, as it is in the passage.—London, 8th October 1565.
325. The Same to the Same.
The French Ambassador yesterday received letters from his King, but the courier must have loitered, as they are dated the 27th ultimo. He also has others of the same date from Scotland from the gentleman who, as I wrote, went thither.
The Ambassador tells me that the Queen (of Scotland) received him (the envoy) with great pleasure, but would listen to no talk of agreement with the rebels, as she is determined to punish them, and has ordered her forces to be mustered for the first of this month. He says he writes no further particulars, except about that Queen's complaints of the queen of England. The Ambassador was with this Queen yesterday complaining of robberies committed by the pirates on Frenchmen. I do not know what effect his complaints and mine will have, but it is to be supposed that something will come of them according to promise.
He also tells me that he understood, both from what she had said and from other quarters, that she did not intend to aid the Scottish rebels, and he had written to his King to that effect. He asked her if he could convey the intelligence positively, as he was sure his master would rejoice thereat, and she had answered him that she would not help them unless her own interests were touched, and if she did so it would be openly. Whenever she speaks of this she leaves the door open and avoids pledging herself. She told the Ambassador that the Scottish Queen had sent Yaxley to your Majesty, and said that it was no doubt for the purpose of alarming her. He tells me that he assured the Queen on his King's behalf that if the Scottish Queen should attempt to enter England he will not help her, but only in the case of the English entering Scotland.
I am informed that the Scottish rebels having heard that this Queen was determined not to help them as they had expected at first, the earl of Murray wrote to the queen of Scotland, saying that he was not and never had been her enemy or a rebel to the Crown, and would not be so, but that he could not recognise Lord Darnley as King. As soon as the Queen saw the letter and knew where the Earl was she not only despatched the troops she thought necessary to crush him, but also sent him a letter saying that his words showed plainly that he was a bastard, a rebel, and a traitor to the Crown, and he would soon know that she held him as such. When the Queen's troops came up with him they attacked and killed six or seven hundred of his men and the rest fled, he himself retiring to a place called Carlisle, on the frontier of this country. It is not yet known what became of the rest of them.
I have received this news from two persons who are worthy of all credit, although the Queen told the French Ambassador yesterday that she knew nothing of it. They keep it very close here. Those who have charge of the finances met this morning in the Chancellor's house, and orders were given that the household and other officers of the Queen are not to be paid, which gives rise to the suspicion that troops are to be raised, but there is nothing certain, and cannot be in such a changeable state of things as this. They tell me that one of the reasons why this Queen is displeased with Yaxley's visit to your Majesty, is that she understands he has in his possession an original will of her brother Edward, in which she is declared a bastard.
The 300 harquebussiers who, as I wrote, had been sent from Berwick to Annan, although they did not pass, will, it is declared, go and join the rebels. The question was raised in the Council how it was that, although no resolution had been adopted to help the rebels, these men were sent out of Berwick for the purpose without authority. I am told that Cecil says he knows not by whose orders it was done, as he has done nothing in the matter and, nor, so far as he knows, has any other member of the Council. They throw the blame on the earl of Bedford, who is at Berwick, and Throgmorton. The work appears and now they seek the author.
Since writing the above I am told that the encounter between the troops of the king and queen of Scotland and the rebels happened in the following way. The earl of Bothwell, Admiral of the Kingdom, who was with 2,000 horse, learning that the rebels were marching towards Carlisle in order to have the English at their backs, attacked and routed them, capturing some and killing others, whose names are given in the enclosed statement. The truth will soon be known.—London, 13th October 1565.
|16 Oct. simancas, B. M. MS., Add. 26,056a.||
326. The King to Cardinal Pacheco.
Answers his letter of 2nd September. Has already sent instructions to Guzman de Silva to help the queen of Scots with money secretly, and recommends the Pope to do the same. But as secrecy will not long be possible, he wishes the whole of the help to appear to come from his Holiness, whether the aid be in the form of money or paid troops. Also advises the Pope to send to the queen of Scots, as he, Philip, has done, counselling moderation and urging her to be most careful not to let the queen of England think that anything is being hatched against her during her life.—16th October 1565.
327. The King to Guzman De Silva.
In our letter of 25th September we advised receipt of all your letters up to that of the 3rd of that month, which is the latest we have received. In this letter all the points contained in them that require answer shall be dealt with, and, beginning with what is of most importance, which is the question of the aid which the queen of Scotland sends to beg of us, we have read her autograph letter which you sent us and that which she wrote to the Queen, my wife, and have considered the message conveyed to you by her gentleman. Seeing the just causes and reasons why I should help the said Queen in the trouble which surrounds her, she being so good a Catholic, and so defenceless, and appearing to lean so much upon me, and as she needs my help principally to preserve in her kingdom our Catholic faith, I have resolved to aid and favour her with this end very willingly. I answer to this effect in the autograph letter which is enclosed in this, but I thought well not to write at length therein in case the letter was intercepted, and give full directions to you, which I do below in order that you may convey the same to the queen of Scotland. You will therefore, in remitting my said letter to the Queen by the best and most secret means you can adopt, inform her that I have been greatly pleased to learn of her marriage with Lord Darnley, and cannot help praising her for having effected it as the duke of Alba fully conveyed to her Ambassador by my orders at Bayonne, as this has always appeared to me the match most suitable for her. That I have been sorry to learn from her letter and your advices that her vassals have begun to treat her with disrespect, and if they persevere in this conduct I shall be very willing and glad to help her, and will do so effectively as soon as the Queen advises me that her said vassals continue their insolence to an extent that may oblige her to appeal to arms. It will, however, be best for all parties that this aid should be given secretly and in the form of money, in order that any other princes who may be inclined to help the rebels may not be moved to do so to a greater extent by the knowledge that the Queen has our support. That in case the queen of England should commence open war with her on the question of religion there is also a very good way in which I can help her (the queen of Scotland) more effectually by doing so under cover of the assistance which will be given to her by the Pope, as he has communicated to me, informing me also of what the queen of Scotland had written him and asking my opinion as to what answer he should send. He showed very good will to help her, and I accordingly answered him, praising this intention in order to confirm him in it, and told him that I would join with his Holiness in defraying the cost, so that the aid to be sent in his name might be the more imposing. This understanding will continue as long as we may consider conducive to the interests of the queen of Scotland, who may rest in the assurance that we shall strive by every means in our power to forward them in deference to her virtue and Christian character, and we shall be glad if you will convey this to her for her encouragement.
As regards English affairs, you will convey to the queen of Scotland my very urgent request that she will proceed with great moderation, endeavouring always to retain the support of the party she has in England, and that I will do my best to assist her there with such adherents as I may have, but she must try at the same time not to irritate the queen of England, or press her to an extent that may make her strike. You will tell her also that on no account in the world do I consider the present an opportune time for driving her to a declaration of a successor, but that she should keep the discussion up briskly without making her come to a final resolution until more ground has been gained, and I have placed myself in a position to help her (the queen of Scotland) more easily than I can at present. As I so sincerely desire her happiness and welfare, I beseech her earnestly not to take any decisive step in this direction without first advising and consulting me, and I will always give her my counsel so willingly and affectionately, that we hope the action we may adopt will be successful, and will redound to the service of God through her instrumentality.
In order that she (the queen of Scotland) may recognise by acts my willingness to serve her, I have ordered to be sent to you herewith the credit you will find enclosed for 20,000 crowns. (fn. 2) So that you may with all fitting secrecy and adroitness afford her such succour against the rebels as circumstances may render needful, without telling her the particulars of the amount sent to you, but only that you have our orders to aid her. You will understand that it is impossible to give you more specific or clearer orders from here than this, and much must be left to you, so that as you perceive the need arise for help to be extended to the Queen, you may continue to succour her, but the utmost secrecy and dissimulation must be used to avoid any knowledge of it getting abroad. You must advise us at once of the state of affairs there, as it is necessary for me to know so that I may help to direct them into the course most advantageous to her, and you had better ask the Queen to adopt such measures as will enable you to obtain rapid and trustworthy news to transmit to me, that I may send you the instructions that may be necessary. You will also advise her that whatever action she may take in England, the Queen (Elizabeth) must on no account imagine that there is any idea of claiming anything whilst she lives, as it would greatly scandalise her and give her a great and, to a certain extent, a just cause to proceed against her. Secrecy in this matter being of the greatest importance, you will take note that you are to give particulars to nobody, but are to state in general terms that I have ordered you to reply that I am sorry for the trouble in which the queen of Scotland finds herself, and wherever I can help her fairly without offending my friends I will do so. You must keep close to this, and not go beyond it on any account whatever.
We have been much grieved at the imprisonment and ill-treatment of Lady Margaret and the reason for it, and I shall therefore be glad if you will encourage her and tell her what is best to be done on all occasions as you have hitherto, and you will try to keep on good terms of understanding with her, but always in such a way as to give no cause for the Queen to take offence.
You did well to aid the gentleman sent by my brother the Emperor to treat of the marriage of Archduke Charles with the Queen in conformity with our instructions, but the matter is now quite at an end, as I am informed by the Emperor that he is undeceived and withdraws altogether from the business. You will therefore say no more about it unless he write you to the contrary, which I do not think he will.
As the king of Sweden's sister about whom you write will now have arrived to discuss the proposed marriage between her brother and the Queen, you will let me know the result of the negotiations, although no doubt they will end like all the rest, and, as you say, after all she will either not marry or else marry Robert, to whom she has always been so much attached. You did well in writing fully about the quarrel he had had with Heneage, because the whole affair and its sequel clearly show that the Queen is in love with Robert, and for this reason, and in case at last she may take him for her husband, it will be very expedient to keep him in hand, and maintain him in the friendliness he has always shown to us. You will therefore try as you have hitherto done to effect this with the adroitness and suavity which characterise you.
We note what you say of the offer which you had heard the French Ambassador had made from his master to that Queen— that if she married to his satisfaction he would help her with money and 30,000 men for the conquest of Scotland. It was well to advise us of this, although we have no doubt that the Queen will place as much dependence upon the fulfilment of this promise as of others made from the same quarter. Still, if anything more occurs in this matter you will let us know.
You will also advise us (if you have not already done so) of the decision adopted relative to the meeting of Parliament fixed for the 4th instant. If the sitting takes place you will endeavour to learn what is discussed concerning our affairs and about Scotland, and inform us fully.
What you answered the Chancellor and Cecil on the subject of the reply given by our representatives at Bruges to those of the Queen has our approval. You will always give an account of these matters to Madam my sister and proceed as she may order you.
We have read what you wrote to the Queen and Cecil and the memorandum you sent them respecting the redress of the damage and robberies committed on our subjects at sea, and the punishment of the pirates, together with the provision to be made for the future, and we fully approve of this and your previous action in the matter. As they have given you so fair an answer you will keep them up to it, pressing them until you see that some good effect is produced and a remedy is provided, as may be expected from my brotherhood and friendship with the Queen, as it is neither fair nor reasonable that whilst we are on our present good terms her subjects should behave so badly and rob and maltreat mine. You will represent this to her, and urge the point until in effect some adequate measures are taken to redress the past and prevent future robberies, as she cannot fail to see that it is against her own dignity for her Ministers and subjects so to fail in this fear and respect as to behave as they do and, whilst on this subject we may say that we approve of the answer you gave to the Mistress of the Robes who asked you to intercede for Cobham.
We note what you say about the ship of 80 tons that had sailed for Guinea and respecting Captain Hawkins's proceedings in Florida after he had settled with the French who were there. It was well to advise us of this, and we shall be glad to hear everything else you may learn respecting that province and the rest of these affairs.
As regards Malta, we are sure you will have already heard of our good fortune, and how the Turk fled shamefully with great damage from the Spaniards and Italians led by Don Garcia de Toledo to the succour of the Master and the relief of that monastery and island. I have nevertheless ordered a copy of the letter from the Master to Don Garcia to be sent to you in order that you may see it and convey its contents to the Queen if you think fit, as, from what you say of her conversation on the subject, we think she will be glad to know the details (fn. 3) —Wood of Segovia, 20th October 1565.
328. Guzman De Silva to the King.
On the 20th I received your Majesty's letter of the 25th ultimo, which with other matters the Duchess had despatched by a courier on the 13th. He was delayed on the voyage, as the passage from Calais is not always easy, as your Majesty is aware.
On the same day I had audience of the Queen, to whom (after saluting on your Majesty's behalf) I related what your Majesty had ordered to be written to me respecting the interviews between our lady the Queen and her mother and brothers, and the rejoicings and happiness they experienced. I said that her Majesty had returned safely and well without doing anything else, although certain proposals for alliances and marriages were made to her, but they were not entertained or listened to on your Majesty's behalf, as I had said before the interview took place. After she had thanked me warmly and displayed great pleasure at the detailed account your Majesty had been pleased to give her, she said that although she was sure, and always had been, that nothing more would take place at the interviews than what I had said, still she was glad to hear my fresh assurance because she had been told to the contrary, especially with regard to the marriage, which had surprised her, as she understood he was older than she was, without saying to whom she referred, she herself had refused for that very reason, and she thought she would do the same. I had no doubt she wished to indicate the princess of Portugal, but as she said she would take this good opportunity of so kind an attention on your Majesty's part to write to you herself, I did not care to take particular notice, so as not to put her on her guard in what she may write, and there will be no difficulty on some other occasion in returning adroitlyto the subject. I will attend the marriage of the Princess as directed, with the greatest gratitude for the honour.
On the 14th instant Cecilia, the king of Sweden's sister, went to the ceremony which is called here the purification, and the child was confirmed. There were great rejoicings, and on the previous night she and her husband had sent to invite me to dine, which I did, and stayed to supper as well, because the Queen was coming. The Queen said many gracious words of praise of your Majesty for the succour which only you had sent to Malta, and said she had ordered processions and thanksgivings for the victory to be given all over the country, at one of which, to take place here, she intended to be present. Cecilia said she hoped to be fortunate enough on her return to Flanders to find your Majesty there and to pay her respects to you. She said she could desire nothing more in the world than to see your Majesty and humbly offer her good wishes, which was all she could do for so great a monarch, and if it were not considered a presumption she would write the same to your Majesty. I thanked her to the best of my ability, telling her that I apprehended from your Majesty's esteem for such persons that you would would receive her letter with much pleasure, and assured her that it would be welcomed with such graciousness and gentleness as would prove that these qualities were born in your Majesty together with your grandeur.
With regard to Scotland, I will endeavour to advise with the necessary care, seeing the suspicions which exist here, the receipt of the letters and other points in accordance with your Majesty's orders. I wrote to your Majesty on the 13th that the queen of Scotland had had an engagement with the rebels, and captured and killed some of them. This was not true, although I received the news from two persons, both of whom I considered trustworthy, as they are members of this Queen's Council and do not bear any ill will to the other Queen. Since then a steward of the queen of Scotland, a Frenchman, has passed here on his way to France, and he assures me it is not true, although on the 8th instant the Queen with over 8,000 horse had gone out in search of the earl of Murray and the duke of Chatelherault, who had not more than 1,100. It was thought they would not await her, and I have subsequently been advised that the Duke had retired to Carlisle, where the earl of Bedford is with 2,000 infantry and 400 horse. I have tried to gain more particulars of the story that Stukeley had begun to tell me about Florida, and of which I advised your Majesty. He tells me that Ribaut, a French captain, being here in the year' 63, the Queen summoned him (Stukeley) and told him that this Ribaut assured her that Florida was a very rich and important country, and since he had ships and means he could undertake the voyage thither, although she would not help him with money, or in any other way for the present, so that if your Majesty should complain she should be able to swear that the voyage had not been made by her orders. He was to have half of all he gained, which would be a very large sum, because even, if the land were less rich than was said, it was still in the track of ships from New Spain and Peru and elsewhere, which surely he could take. He says he thereupon communicated with the bishop of Aquila, being a loyal servitor of your Majesty, aud informed him of all that had passed, and they had agreed together that he should make his preparations for the voyage to prevent any other person from being ordered to undertake it, but when the ships were ready he was to bore some holes in them secretly, so that they might make water and gradually get rid of the men who were to ship on board of them, and so delay the enterprise until your Majesty were advised, with the determination of serving your Majesty with the said ships if you were pleased to accept him. He says the Bishop informed your Majesty of this, as he himself also did by means of a servant of the Bishop called Alejandro, but that he has never received an answer, although he is still willing to do as he says. They tell me he is a serviceable man and a Catholic, as he says he is. I have listened to him and thanked him for his goodwill.
He also spoke to me respecting Irish affairs concerning John O'Neil, to which I only replied by thanking him for his goodwill and closed the conversation. He said that even though at present I might not consider it a matter to be discussed, in a year's time or a little longer I should be glad to consider it. I made no reply, as your Majesty has ordered me not to enter into this question.
As regards the pirates the Queen has not only sent out ships to take them, but has issued very good regulations which were much needed, and if they are carried out, as they appear likely to be, will be of great benefit. They are published and ordered to be observed, and I will continue to do my utmost to have them enforced. These people have hanged many of the pirates, and have now taken the one who did most damage at sea, a certain Wilson, who has recently been commmitting robberies in the mouth of the Thames and elsewhere. They are bringing him and his sailors hither, as the Queen had promised me, in order that they may declare their crimes and accomplices in the offences respecting which I am making claims for restitution. The Queen's Captain who captured this pirate has also come here to give an account of his action in the matter, as the earl of Bedford, when the Captain arrived at Berwick, ordered him to take his ships to a certain port in Scotland and embark the earl of Murray's wife and her household and bring them to England, whereupon the Captain said that he would do his duty and at once went in pursuit of the pirate and took him. He told the members of the Council that he did so because he had the Queen's orders what to do, and the earl of Bedford only gave him a verbal order saying that he had news that the queen of Scotland had sent to have the Countess arrested.
I have just been informed that the rebels, who I advised had gone to Carlisle, had arrived on their way hither at a place on the south(sic) coast called Newcastle, and had come thence to within 20 miles of this city.
Hawkins, who is the Captain, I advised your Majesty had recently arrived from the Indies, conversed with me the day before yesterday at the palace and said that he had been on a long voyage of which he was very tired, and had traded in various parts of the Indies with your Majesty's subjects, but with permission of the Governors, from whom he brings certificates to show that he has fulfilled the orders given to him by this Queen prior to his departure. I said that I should be glad for my own satisfaction and his to see the certificates, and he said he would show them to me. I asked him if it were true that all the Frenchmen who were in Florida had left, and he said they had, and that he had sold them a ship and victuals for their return, as I have already advised. He says the land is not worth much, and that the natives are savage and warlike.
I have not thought well to take any steps or make any representation about this voyage until I was well informed of the particulars. I am promised a detailed statement of the voyage—where he went and what he did, and, if possible, will enclose it herewith. The orders he received, however, according to the secret report of one of those who accompanied him, was to arrange with the natives and force them to trade with him, and that they out of fear, as he was well armed, agreed to trade, although they could easily have resisted him. The truth will be learnt. Whilst writing this I learn that the earl of Murray arrived here by post this evening and will have audience to-morrow, I do not know whether of the Queen or Council, as I am told the Queen wishes to show her displeasure at his coming because, amongst other things he brings no passport from the earl of Bedford her commander on the frontier. It is all make-believe however for he arrives at night and is received next morning.— London, 22nd October 1565.
329. The King to Guzman De Silva.
After the accompanying letter was written to go by the courier leaving for Flanders a servant of the king of Scotland, an Englishman named Francis Yaxley, arrived here who was in the service of queen Mary my wife now in glory. He brought us letters from the king and queen of Scotland accrediting him and spoke at great length in virtue thereof. We repeat below what he said and the answers we ordered to be given on each point. The first thing was to inform us in very fair words of the great hope and confidence they reposed in me, desiring to govern themselves by my direction and to do nothing whatever without my consent and pleasure, and for this reason they wished to inform me of the state of need in which they were and assure us generally of their zealous desire to establish and reform their kingdom under the Christian religion and join other Christian princes with that end. Not having sufficient forces of their own they begged me to aid them as a Christian monarch, and to induce me to do so, set forth the danger in which the sovereigns of Scotland were by reason of the heretics, stimulated and favoured by Englishmen and English money, so that the said sovereigns might easily be conveyed by the rebels out of the country and the State left unprotected unless I in whom, after God, they put their trust did not aid them with money and troops. If I would consent to do this it would not only be the way to destroy the rebels but would confirm the King and Queen in their hope of succeeding to the English throne, and would banish their fear that the heretics with their innovations and artfulness would oust them, the real heirs, and elect some heretic of their own faction. They promised that if they obtained the succession to the crown by our means they would renew more closely the league and alliance between England and our house against all Christendom and leave all their other friends.
They also begged us to be pleased to write affectionate letters to the queen of England with two very necessary objects ; first the release of Lady Margaret, and secondly that the said Queen should desist from helping the Scottish rebels either publicly or privately.
Yaxley also added, as if of his own accord, that if we thought fit to send a person to arrange a more perfect understanding he knew his sovereigns would be very glad.
He begged in the name of his sovereigns that we would counsel them how they should proceed in all things, and as I was so far off that I should nominate some person to whom they could address themselves for such advice without so much delay. With regard to the first point about the straits in which they were, we ordered him to reply that we greatly grieved thereat and were sure that God, whose cause they were defending, would not abandon them, and I for my part would very willingly help them now and hereafter to that end. He was informed of the resolution which had been adopted and which is conveyed to you in the other letter, except that it was not considered advisable to send the 20,000 crowns through you and in the form of a credit, as it would be a lengthy way and difficult to preserve the necessary secrecy, and it has therefore been decided to order Alonso del Canto to receive these 20,000 crowns in Antwerp without anybody knowing what they are for and pay them over to this Francis Yaxley, the king's servant, at some place outside Antwerp whence he can send or take them to Scotland. It will be well for you, if you have any facility for doing it, to advise the queen of Scotland on receipt of this letter of the aid we are sending her and of the other points dealt with in the preceding letter, so that she may instruct Yaxley what to do with the money and how he can best forward it with safety.
The answer to the queen of Scotland's letter will be sent by Yaxley and will not be enclosed herewith as advised. With regard to the second point respecting the release of Lady Margaret, and that we should write to the Queen respecting it as well as to ask her not to help the Scottish rebels, we have excused ourselves from writing such letter, saying that it would do harm rather than good to the business in hand for us to take any such step in our own name and particularly at the present time, but when an opportunity for doing so arrived we would not miss it and would send instructions to you. You will accordingly take any favourable opportunity that occurs as you did when the Queen spoke to you about Scotch affairs and deal with the matter in the same way as then, as it is not expedient to make any other form of representation at present. With regard to the suggestion about a closer treaty of friendship, I said it was not yet time for that and as they could confide in me by the earnest I gave them in sending the succour I also could trust them, as such good and Christian monarchs would not fail to fulfil their obligations and promises. In reply to their last request that I would advise them as to what they should do and how they should proceed, we have ordered to be repeated to them exactly what we have written to you in the other letter, namely, that for the present they should confine themselves to punishing the rebels and pacifying the kingdom. When they have done this and smoothed things down they could look further ahead than at present, and in the meanwhile they could consult either you or Don Frances de Alava or both on their affairs, who would communicate with us and would receive our answer with all speed although both of you were well informed of our general opinions. As it will be impossible to give valuable advice unless we are fully informed of the state of their affairs, they should be careful to inform you and Don Frances very minutely of condition of their business.
This was the answer, in substance, which was given to Yaxley, and I write an autograph letter to the Queen and a letter by another hand to the King counselling and encouraging them to persevere in their good purpose, and assuring them that we shall not fail them. You can if you have an opportunity convey the same assurance to them in a way that may not be discovered, as you know the inconvenience that might ensue from its being known and especially at the present juncture. At the same time as this gentleman arrived from the king and queen of Scotland your letters of 27th September came to hand bringing us similar news, although not so fresh as his as he left there on the 26th ultimo. I was glad to read your advices and thank you for your diligence, but have nothing to add to what I have already written except that I approve of your reply to the queen (of England) respecting the suspicion she felt of you, the Duchess, my sister, and Cardinal de Granvelle, and also of the way you introduced the subject of Lady Margaret and the help the Queen was giving to the Scottish rebels, which was extremely opportune. You will continue in the same style whenever you see a chance, taking care however, not to arouse the suspicion or jealousy of the Queen.
You did well to advice me of the arrival of the king of Sweden's sister, and you will inform me of anything else that happens in this particular.
I note your efforts with the Queen and Council in the matter of the punishment of the corsairs, and seeing the number of them afloat and the great damage they do your efforts are very needful. Do not slacken your vigilance until you obtain effective remedy keeping the Duchess well advised of what is done. As you are directed above to give no information to anyone respecting the Scotch business, and our resolution thereupon, I have thought well that you should know what I write to the Duchess about it in a letter taken by Yaxley, of which copy is enclosed. He (Yaxley) leaves here by post to-morrow, and goes direct to Brussels both to receive the money from Alonso del Canto, and in order that Madame may provide him with a safe passage as I write her to do. It will also be well for you to convey all this to the king and queen of Scotland, so that they may see the goodwill with which I embrace their affairs and keep steadfast in their righteous determination. There will be no reason for you to dwell upon the matter with my sister beyond what I write to her, and on no account is it to be mentioned to anyone else as it is most important that the secret should be kept.—Wood of Segovia, 24th October 1565.