Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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340. The King to Guzman De Silva.
The letters you wrote from Brussels, 24th and 28th November, 26th December, and 7th and 14th of January, duly received ; and I am glad of the full particulars you give me in them, and the advice contained in some of them, which I am sure proceeded from your zeal in my service. I am taking steps to arrange the questions of religion, justice, and finance, which are the three principal matters at issue in the States. With regard to English affairs, or Scotch, there is little to say until receipt of later letters from you, written after your arrival, which we desire greatly to receive.
I have now to advise you that I had heard that a considerable number of French pirates had left to occupy the province of Florida, which was discovered and taken possession of in the name of this country, and is a place whence navigation to the Indies may be greatly disturbed if desired, and our commerce much injured, I gave notice to the king of France, and was assured several times that these Frenchmen had not gone, and that no subjects of his would ever go by his orders to any dominions of ours. We thereupon sent Pedro Melendez de Avilés with ships and troops to turn the pirates out, which he did, as you will see by detailed statement sent to you. You may tell this to the Queen, and whomsoever else you like, without, however, giving a copy of the statement to anyone. From certain papers found in Florida, and from the confession of some of the pirates who were taken alive it would appear that the Admiral of France (fn. 1) really despatched the expedition, and by his orders the Frenchmen there had occupied the place and fortified themselves, with the intention of proceeding further, and occupying other ports belonging to us, to the prejudice of our subjects. We have sent to complain to the Queen-mother and the King, and to tell them that I had punished the pirates as they deserved for having endeavoured to disturb public peace, and interrupt our good friendship, and for the same reason, as the admiral had been the originator of this attempt against us, we urged them strongly to deal out exemplary punishment for his boldness, as the case required, and as I would do to any subject of mine, whatever his position might be. Don Frances de Alava is to urge upon their Christian Majesties very strongly the punishment of the Admiral, and if they act as I request, they will do what is best for them, as it is well known that this Admiral is the poison of the realm, and the inventor and promoter of everything evil in it. We shall see what they will say to it in France, and I will let you know how they answer me.— Endorsed, 2nd March 1566.
341. Guzman De Silva to the King.
Some time since, the queen of Scotland expressed her dissatisfaction at the English Ambassador there, who is called Randal (Randolph). Before Rambouillet left Scotland, it became known that this Randolph had sent 3,000 crowns to the rebels before they left the kingdom, and on this occasion Randolph was summoned before the Council of Scotland and examined. He said it was true that he had sent the money, and was ordered to leave the Court as he had exceeded his office in doing such a thing. He replied, refusing to leave the Court until he had first given his Queen an account of the matter. He was told that an answer should be given to him next day with regard to this. The queen of Scotland wrote to Rambouillet, who was already on the road, informing him of the business that he might communicate to this Queen the order that had been given to her Ambassador, and wrote at the same time to the Queen, asking her to give audience to a gentleman whom she had sent to treat with her on other matters. This Queen was angry at what had happened without previous information having been given her, and told Rambouillet that as the queen of Scotland had sent her Ambassador from the Court, she refused to receive the gentleman from Scotland until she knew more about it. Secretary Cecil told me this, and said that this Queen is writing to-day to the Emperor by Christopher Mundt, who formerly had charge of some of her affairs in Germany. He says also that she would send in a day or two the man who is to treat of the Archduke's marriage. They think this marriage depends entirely upon the coming of the Archduke hither, as the Queen told Cecil, in private conversation, that if the Archduke came it was not probable that she would refuse so great a Prince, and so they are sure that the marriage will take place if the Archduke comes. Cecil tells me that so great and constant are the attempts of the French to hinder this marriage, and perturb the peace and friendship between your Majesty and this country, that they leave no stone unturned with that object. They are gaining over Lord Robert with gifts and favours, and even are doing the same with Throgmorton. It is true that Cecil is not friendly with them, but I think he tells me the truth with regard to it, and I have no doubt they are at the bottom of the removal of the insignia of the Garter at Windsor.—London, 2nd March 1566.
342. The Same to the Same.
Although, as I have written to your Majesty, the Queen appointed a gentleman named Sackville some time ago as Ambassador to the Emperor to take her reply to the latter respecting the Archduke's marriage, he has not yet gone, and I have not heard even that he has been despatched.
Nothing has been done in the matters of the king and queen of Scotland, and Lady Margaret still remains in prison.
From what I hear, this Queen would like the king of Scotland and his father to write to her, asking for Lady Margaret's release. I know that Rambouillet advised them to do so, and that they refused, but the queen of Scotland has done so, and a Scotchman named Melvin (fn. 2) is here to negotiate on the matter. He is a Protestant and came hither when the rebels first rose, to represent them here ; but I believe, the queen of Scotland has entrusted this matter to him, as she thinks he will be the most acceptable person, although they will not trust him in other things.
The Queen is still at Greenwich. I have not seen her since she left here, as she has been unwell ; but although she is better now, she is so thin that a doctor who has seen her tells me that her bones may be counted, and that a stone is forming in her kidneys. He thinks she is going into a consumption, although doctors sometimes make mistakes, especially with young people. Since the earl of Leicester came back they say the Queen does not treat him with so much favour as formerly. She has begun to favour the earl of Ormond, an Irishman, of good disposition, some 30 years of age. They tell me that Lord Robert is much annoyed thereat This Ormond is a great friend of Heneage, and they have been favourable in the Archduke's business. Things change so, however, here, that nothing is certain from one hour to the other.
This Queen has paid part of the money which she owed in Flanders, and has given new bills for the rest, including interest due in August next—not more than 100,000 ducats.—London, 11th March 1566.
343. The Same to the Same.
The earl of Leicester has left here to visit a sister of his, the wife of the earl of Huntingdon, who is ill, although, from what I hear, I believe his departure is owing to his annoyance that the Queen should favour those whom I mentioned in my last letter. He thinks that his absence may bring the Queen to her senses, and even may cause her to take steps regarding her marriage with him ; although Leicester thinks that if she forgets to call him back, and treats him like she treats everything, he will retire to his house for a short time, and thus will not lose his place.
If it be true that the Earl is going away offended, and it is not all a trick to deceive people, who wish that the queen should marry, and to prevent them from blaming him for the delay, we shall soon learn, but the general opinion is that he is really offended. I fear myself that there is some artfulness in it. Those who are opposed to him, and are friendly to the Archduke, are more confident. They surround the Queen, and as they think that she has unduly delayed her reply to the Emperor, Secretary Cecil and the earl of Sussex both asked me to speak to the Queen urging her to despatch her reply. This I did, and said that I was surprised that she had not done so, as she told me it should be sent shortly. She answered, that considering the delay of the Emperor in writing to her, she did not think she had delayed the reply unreasonably. It was necessary to consider the answer deeply, and the words were difficult to choose, by which she meant that ingenuity and reflection were necessary. She said, however, that she would answer in two or three days, and would send a gentleman of good parts, a relative of her own, with her reply ; not as her Ambassador, but on this business alone.
It would appear from this that she does not wish to write to the Emperor and pledge herself in her own hand, and the Emperor will err if he thinks that words spoken in he† name will bind her in any respect, as she is a person who never holds to what is said on her behalf. The duchess of Parma has good experience of this, as, before I arrived in Flanders the Queen had sent her a person, duly accredited to offer her certain conditions respecting trade between England and the States. (fn. 3) Subsequently, because the Queen thought that what this man had said to the Duchess for her, was not advisable, she repudiated him and said he had no instructions to treat. I will advise M. de Chantonnay to inform the Emperor of this in order that he may know that your Majesty orders your Ministers to assist in his affairs and those of his brothers as if they were your own.
I should not be sorry if it were true that Lord Robert was out of favour with the Queen, 'because, although he feigns friendship with me, I think he is much attached to the French. This has been clearly seen, as I am informed that he and the earl of Pembroke were those who were consulted respecting the removal of the insignia of your Majesty at Windsor, and the substitution for them of those of the king of France, and that what these two men agreed upon was countersigned by Cecil and the Queen, so that these two earls were mixed up with the Secretary in the business. It was done so secretly, that no other member of the Council heard of it until afterwards. On the contrary, when the Order was first given to the king of France, they were consulted, and were of opinion that the change should not be made, but the French must have pressed the matter secretly, so hard as to gain their end, giving to the Queen presents and gifts to persuade her to it, as if she were a child.
The French Ambassador assured me that over 500,000 crowns have been distributed in these things. This he told me whilst discussing other matters, and it is to be supposed that the rest of them will have had their share, as Pembroke is considered greedy (as indeed there are few here who are not), and Leicester is needy. This business has been done the exact reverse of what Cecil promised me. He said that in any question of precedence the Queen would not decide, but if she were obliged to do so, it would be in favour of your Majesty. The Queen also told me that she, being a woman, did not wish to be the judge of a matter concerning two great princes. As I have written to your Majesty I am dissembling, as it is difficult to remedy anything that is done, and unadvisable to make any demonstration, unless I can get the thing changed. I therefore await your Majesty's orders. I gave your Majesty's reply to Cecilia, the sister of the king of Sweden, with such assurances as I thought fitting. She showed great joy and pleasure that your Majesty should have so graciously written to her, and replied with consideration, humility and gratitude, as was due at the favour your Majesty had shown her. She said that she would advise her brother of it so that if occasion ever offered he might show his gratitude to your Majesty. She is leaving. The Queen has treated her stingily after having written many letters to her inviting her to come which Cecilia said she would show me. This was at the time that they said the King her brother was in treaty to marry a daughter of the duchess of Lorraine, and after her arrival the Queen urged her to persuade her brother to come hither. It is therefore clear that she wished to treat of marriage with him again, so that the Archduke was not the only one. The Queen would like everyone to be in love with her, but I doubt whether she will ever be in love with anyone, enough to marry him.
Cecilia requested the Queen on behalf of her brother, that she would help him with two ships against Denmark, and permit him to send hither a quantity of gold and silver every year to be coined and laid out in goods in this country for Sweden, paying no more duty than that paid by English merchants here. To the first request the Queen replied that her friendship and alliance to the king of Denmark would not allow her to do it, and to the second she said that the loss which would be caused to her own kingdom and subjects would be so great that she must refuse.
When I was with the Queen, she told me she wished to despatch a gentleman who was here from the queen of Scotland, and this gave me an opportunity of trying to persuade her, as I have done on former occasions, to make peace with the king and queen of Scotland ; letting her understand that I do this for her own sake. She replied that she desired nothing more, and would come to an agreement willingly, they on their part doing what was right, which she thought would be brought about by the disagreements between them. I told her that it was best she should do so, and no counsellor, who had her interest at heart, would tell her otherwise, Cecil came out with me, and I told him what I had said to the Queen, advising him of it as her zealous minister, desiring the good of the country. He thanked me, and said that he was, and always had been of the same opinion.
Two days after, Melvin came to me (the man who came to treat of Lady Margaret's affairs) and told me that, although he knew that his Queen was sure I should help in her affairs, he had not brought any letter from her, nor had he come to visit me, as the English were so suspicious. As, however, he was now leaving, he did not wish to go without seeing me, and asked me whether I had any message for his Sovereigns. I replied to him in general words. As I wrote to your Majesty, he was only sent hither for the one purpose, and as he brought no letter from the Queen I was very cautious with him, he being also a heretic. This Melvin told me that Secretary Cecil had asked him if he had visited me, to which he answered that he had not, as his Sovereigns had not ordered him to do so, and he had no acquaintance with me personally. Cecil had told him not to leave without seeing me, as he assured him that no person in this country or elsewhere had done so much with this Queen to incline her to peace and a good understanding in his business as I had. He said he also desired that matters should be arranged, and advised Melvin to take my advice. He desired that the dissensions between the two Queens should be referred to me, as he believed that they might easily be settled by this means.
I answered him that what the secretary had told him was true, and that I had always urged peace as was my duty. I thought that his Sovereigns should accept such terms as would satisfy this Queen without sacrificing their own dignity. Where there are no arrogant pretensions but a pleasant mode of procedure, a settlement is easily arrived at. I told him the reasons why I thought his Sovereign should consent, so that if he came to me out of artfulness and to repeat to Cecil what I said, this Queen would see that I was proceeding uprightly in the business, and if the contrary were the case, that he might tell his Sovereigns what was best for them.
He thought it was best that I should write to his Sovereigns on this point, and I have done so, urging them also as I had told him, that they should agree between themselves, as the Queen had told me that dissensions existed between them.
I understand the principal cause of their disagreement was an Italian secretary of the Queen's to whom she allowed more share in affairs than the King liked, and if what Melvin told me Secretary Cecil had informed him be true, the Queen has received news from Scotland that the Secretary has been murdered by order of the King, and Lord James has returned to Scotland. Melvin has no letter or advice of this, and although he has written five times he has received no reply, and thinks his letters have been seized.
I have received from other quarters news of the departure of James, carl of Murray, and that he had gone back on a letter and assurance from the King, without the Queen's knowledge. Murray sent hither a secretary of his, bringing advice to the Queen of his departure, thanking her for the good reception he had met with in this country.
If this be true, it would seem as if the dissensions between the husband and wife had gone very far, which would be a grave inconvenience for their affairs, and if the murder of the secretary be true, it will prove that these dissensions were not, as some said, merely feigned for reasons of their own.
The queen of Scotland insisted on the English Ambassador leaving the country, and he remains in Berwick, if he has not started to come hither. The Queen made a great show of anger, but I am informed that both she and her Council think that the Ambassador has not acted well, and that the queen of Scotland had sufficient reason for sending him away.
I have heard from Toledo that the prelates in Synod there have posted edicts against the clergy, not resident in their benefices. Amongst others I have been notified as being absent from a canonry I possess in the cathedral and a private benefice in the city. I never thought of this, as neither benefice has a cure of souls or any duties attached to it. Even, however, if they had, considering that I am employed by your Majesty in public duties, I consider that is a sufficient reason for my absence, and the prelates might well excuse it, particularly considering the nature of the benefices. I pray your Majesty to order them to be written to, and told officially that I am employed in duties beneficial to God and the State ; indeed, they might well credit me with the revenues of the canonry, which I lose by absence, rather than deprive me. I prefer to serve your Majesty rather than importune you with my private affairs, but as I have already through absence lost my office in the cathedral, which has been given to the treasurer Don Garcia Manrique, and the administration of Cardinal Tavera's Hospital, which has granted to Don Pedro Manrique, beside losing an active benefice in the city, it would be too much for me to lose this canonry as well.
The earl of Arundel left here on the 16th for his voyage to Italy. As he is one of the principal persons of the realm there have been many opinions with regard to his departure. The general opinion is, however, that as he is a Catholic, he wished to be out of the country to enjoy greater liberty.
A steward of his went to visit Bonner, bishop of London, in his prison on the 12th, whereat these people are suspicious, as they think the Bishop may have discussed religious matters with him. On the same day they removed the Bishop to a close prison, where he can see no one, and the governor of his former prison has been arrested because he allowed the Bishop to see so many visitors, The principal reason, however, is probably because they suspect he is a Catholic.
Secretary Cecil came at once from Greenwich to examine the earl of Arundel's servant, and to learn what had passed with the Bishop. They afterwards appointed persons to examine the Bishop himself, but they have been unable to find confirmation of what they sought, their desire being to discover if there had been anything touching the Earl, and to take that opportunity of detaining him. Since writing the above I have learned that the warrant given by the Queen for the removal for the insignia of your Majesty, was signed by the duke of Norfolk, to whom it was presented when he came here, besides the two earls.—London, 18th March 1566.
344. The Same to the Same.
The murder of the queen of Scotland's Piedmontese secretary David is now considered certain, as also that of Black, her confessor. The Queen has received a letter saying they were killed at night, the secretary close to her chamber, and by order of the King, which proves that differences really existed between the King and Queen. The earl of Murray and the other rebels who I said were in Newcastle have returned to Scotland by order and on the assurance of the King. Nothing is known of the Queen, nor has any letter been received from her or the King, the only advice being that received by this Queen and some private information from Berwick. They say that the King had promised Murray and the rest of them to return their estates which had been confiscated, and that he would allow religion to remain as it was before the Queen returned from France. If this be true it will be a great injury to religion both in Scotland and England.
They say this Queen exhibits great sorrow at what has happened, and shows a desire to assist the queen of Scotland. She says she has sent a courier to her with two letters, one a public one and the other private, offering her aid. God grant that this may be so. Lady Margaret only knows what this Queen has told her, but she is in great trouble at the news.
The day before yesterday the earl of Sussex told me that he had taken a favourable opportunity of broaching the subject of the Archduke's marriage to the Queen, and tried to persuade her to marry him. He repeated to me the arguments he had used, and said the Queen had replied that she would certainly marry, and marry an equal. I told him that the Emperor had been informed of the intended despatch of the envoy from the Queen to him, and that he expected him. Sussex asked me to write to Cecil in order that the latter might speak to the Queen, as she is deferring her reply from day to day.
Five days since Captain Hawkins came to know if I had any reply from your Majesty respecting his offers of service. He said that besides the four ships already mentioned he could get another vessel belonging to the Queen, who he thought would willingly give it to him for the purpose. He said also that he would take very good picked soldiers. I answered him that I had received no reply, but I expected one shortly. I am keeping him in hand, because I understand that there are many people urging him to make another voyage like the last. He is so skilful in these voyages that he assures me he has 10 or 12 servants who understand the navigation of those parts as well as he does himself. These people are so greedy that if great care be not taken they may do us much harm, particularly if they join with the French out there, for I do not know which are the worst. I cannot understand what the French Ambassador is negotiating with the Queen ; he has been with her twice in the last 12 days. After the first interview he sent his secretary to France, and four days after, on his second interview, he despatched his steward thither ; both of these messengers are heretics. He has adopted this method of negotiating, as no doubt neither he nor the Queen care to trust couriers. They did the same when they were discussing the marriage of the King with this Queen. To return to the Windsor business, I cannot believe that the Queen would consent to the change being made, unless she had some new or closer friendship with the French. I have not been able to discover anything about it in spite of all my efforts, and I am anxious. The French Ambassador told me that he sent his secretary to France on private business, and the steward to take information about Scotch affairs. I believe exactly the contrary of what he says.
Five days ago they brought from Berwick a Scotchman who had been examined by the governor, to find out whether he carried letters. He said he did not, and was on his way to France, but they found some afterwards in his doublet which have been sent to the Queen, and he is a prisoner in the Tower ; it is not known to whom the letters were addressed.
After writing this, as the courier was leaving, a man has arrived from Scotland, who says it is true that the secretary was killed by being stabbed to death in a gallery adjoining the Queen's chamber, but that the confessor died the same night from natural causes. The Queen calmed those who were excited at the death of the Secretary and afterwards spoke to the King, and showed him how badly he was acting. They say that the cause of this murder was that the secretary had a greater share in Government affairs than the King liked. The earl of Murray had entered the day following the death of the secretary, and the King and Queen with six horses had gone together to Dunbar, a strong castle between Edinburgh and Berwick, where they remain.
The earl of Bedford has written to a great friend of his not to trust to what is happening in Scotland, as the only object of the King and Queen is to restore the Mass.
The Scotchman I have mentioned as having been sent from Berwick and lodged in the Tower has been examined to-day by the Council. He carried no letters from anybody. He says he is a servant of the queen of Scotland They asked him why he did not carry a passport, and he said that his mistress's passport was sufficient and he could pass freely. They asked him many other questions, and he told them that he had no secrets to divulge, but if he had they should rather cut him to pieces than he would say anything concerning the Queen. They only found on him a paper with certain names, such as that of Lord James, and other Scotchmen, and Englefield, (fn. 4) who is in Louvain.
I am told that the gentleman who has arrived from Scotland says that the rumour is current there that your Majesty and the Pope are helping the King and Queen.—London, 23rd March 1566.
345. The King to Guzman De Silva.
Recommends the case of Sebastian Alvarez, a Portuguese living in Port St. Mary, who has had his ship taken from him by an Englishman named Petrie. Instructs him to press for restitution.— Madrid, 24th March 1566.
346. Guzman De Silva to the King.
Your Majesty was pleased at the instance of the Queen to release the Englishmen who were imprisoned for their attack against the French ship at Gibraltar, and their disrespect to the authorities of that city. The Queen has instructed me to beg your Majesty to order their ships which have been detained to be released, as the owners of them were not present at the time of the offence, and Her Majesty pities the loss they have sustained. I humbly beg your Majesty to grant this request for the reasons stated, and because the petitioners are Englishmen, whose affairs your Majesty regards as if they were those of your own subjects.—London, 28th March 1566.
347. The Same to the Same.
Your Majesty's letter the 2nd instant was received here on the 27th, with the statement as to the successful issue of Pero Melendez do Aviles' voyage to Florida. Thanks be to God, whose aid I pray may always cause your Majesty's affairs to prosper, since they all tend to His service.
On the 28th, I went to Greenwich, and after having saluted the Queen from your Majesty, told her of this voyage, and what had taken place previously with the King and Queen of France whose subjects had occupied Florida although it had already been taken possession of in your Majesty's name. I told her also the reply given by the French King, and that papers had been discovered, proving that the Admiral of France was the originator of the expedition, as also the instructions given by your Majesty to Don Frances do Alava, as to the communications to be addressed to the King and Queen of France.
The Queen seemed greatly pleased at the success of the voyage and asked me to thank your Majesty warmly for having informed her of it, as she was always pleased to receive good news from your Majesty. She marvelled greatly, however, that I should say that Florida had been discovered and taken possession of by your Majesty's subjects as she always understood that it had first been discovered by Captain Ribaut, who had come hither with the news of his discovery. She had indeed intended to send and conquer it. I told her it was notorious that it had been discovered as I said, and there was no room for doubt upon the subject.
She answered that if that were the case, she asked your Majesty's pardon for having thought of conquering it, and as regards the Admiral, she understood the French very well, but did not care to discuss their affairs, or to answer for them, as they were quite old enough to answer for themselves. I understood, however, from her words, that she disapproved of the Admiral's acts after the King and Queen had promised that their subjects should not go to your Majesty's dominions.
After leaving the Queen, I spoke with Cecil, and he said that he blamed the Admiral greatly, and the King of France ought to punish him severely. He said your Majesty should proclaim your rights with regard to Florida, that they might be known everywhere. I told him, as I had told the Queen, that the case was notorious, and that the French could not fail to have had full knowledge of it. After speaking to the Queen about Florida, she said she had received letters from Germany informing her of the troops your Majesty was raising there, and the preparations you were making to resist the Turks, and she had no doubt that they would be successful. She hoped as successful as in the Florida affair. In further conversation, she said the gentleman she was going to send to the Emperor had asked leave to delay his departure as his father (fn. 5) on the point of death, which is true.
I took the opportunity of saying to the Queen that I heard Scotch affairs were not going on well. She answered me that this was true, and that so many things had happened that it would take her three hours to tell me. She said that the Queen was in great trouble, and she (Elizabeth) had sent a gentleman to her to offer aid, notwithstanding what has passed between them, which was of little moment, and that the queen of Scotland had now sent an envoy with a very humble letter to her, and she was determined to help her.
I answered her that it was a fit office for a great monarch and it was wise for their own preservation against bad subjects to help each other. I thought well not to prolong this conversation in order not to arouse her suspicion. I have had no news yet, of the arrival of this envoy from Scotland, which, if his coming be true I am surprised at. I am also astonished that no news has arrived of events, excepting through this Queen and her Ministers.
They say the queen of Scotland has returned from Dunbar, and is now in Edinburgh. The earl of Murray has seen her and asked her pardon. The Queen received him well, and said she would pardon him if he would swear to oppose those who had taken part in the second conspiracy, which is that for the murder of the Secretary. The Earl replied that he would swear always to serve her loyally, but he could not undertake to oppose those the Queen mentioned, as his conscience would not allow him to do it. And so the matter remains.
Amongst those who were concerned in the death of the Secretary was Lethington, who was the Queen's secretary before her marriage, and had charge of all affairs. He was in the Queen's confidence, and communicated to me about this marriage. Another of the conspirators was the former holder of the Great Seal there, which had been handed over to the secretary David. It seems therefore that jealousy may have been at the bottom of it. The earl of Morton and the lord of Ruthven and his son and Lethington have fled to Berwick, and others to Carlisle.
The arrangement between the king of Scotland and the earl of Murray and other rebels who were in Newcastle was that they would help him in Parliament to be crowned King Consort, and he would let them enjoy their religion and would return them their estates.
I wrote to your Majesty that the earl of Leicester had left. The Queen wrote calling him back, but he pleaded private business She then sent a gentleman of her chamber, an adherent of Leicester to summon him, whereupon he wrote by one of his servants to the Queen begging for 15 days' leave, which the Queen refused, and ordered him to return at once. He is expected to-night, or to-morrow. The Irish earl of Ormond still rises in the favour of the Queen.
Captain Hawkins comes to ask me if I have any reply to his offers of service. I am told that certain persons wish to send with great secrecy two ships to the Indies, with merchandise, and to return with skins ; but they are not quite decided. I am promised timely advice. There is great need to be on the alert everywhere to prevent these people from trading, or else to do them all possible harm, and so discourage them from going, because, beside the inadvisability of allowing them to trade, religion will suffer greatly. —London, 6th April.