Simancas: July 1566

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 1566', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) pp. 564-569. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Simancas: July 1566", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892) 564-569. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Simancas: July 1566", Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, (London, 1892). 564-569. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

July 1566

6 July. 367. The Same to the Same.
In my former letters I wrote to your Majesty about the dispute between Leicester and Sussex, and that the Queen had reconciled them. Leicester and Ormond have now made friends, and although there have been no open differences of deed or word between them it was understood that their feelings were such that a distubance might occur at any time. It now appears by outward demonstration that they are friends, but the causes of enmity still exist, as Leicester does not want a rival, and Ormond does not cease to aspire to be one. The Queen favours them both. The earl of Sussex is a man of courage and intelligence, and could not avoid obeying the Queen, but the source of dispute continues, added to present annoyance.
On the 1st of this month a sister*of Sussex was married, and the French Ambassador was asked to dinner, I being asked to supper, as the Queen was invited. There was a masquerade, and a long ball, after which they entered in new disguises for a foot tournament, in which there were four challengers and thirty-two adventurers. The principal of the challengers was Ormond. The sratement of the cause of the tourney and the conditions were read first in Spanish and afterwards in English. The Queen told me that she hnd ordered this so that I might understand them. The tourney lasted till day- break, and I was with her the whole time. I had heard that she knew that the Scotsmen had been with me, and in order to bring on the subject I told her that the queen of Scotland had written to me asking me to advise your Majesty of her confinement, as the distance being so far she did not send a special messenger. She did not answer me, nor did she speak a word on this matter, although there were plenty of opportunities during our long conversations which I tried to lead thereto. She greatly praised the talent and good parts of Ormond, but she still shows great affection for Lord Robert. They both arrived together to speak to her apart, and others came from time to time as she called them. She is a great chatterer, and the people, even the aristocracy are offended at her manner of going on, but everything is put up with. Secretary Cecil told ine that the Queen has brought great pressure to bear upon Sussex, to reconcile him with Leicester, and he could not avoid obeying her, but he understood that Sussex was the offended party, and had suffered all for the sake of his affection for your Majesty. He said that others suffered for the same reason, and although there was not time to continue this conversation to see fully what he meant, I think he referred to the efforts they were making for the Archduke against Leicester, which are the origin of all the enmity.
It is to be remarked that the Queen greatly favours the earl of Leicester's party, whilst her near relatives whom she esteems are on the other side, and I think it must be all a trick to retaiu them both, as she thinks that Lord Robert's people will be kept by her favours, and the others because they do not wish for any other Sovereign but her, their relative ; and so matters are maintained, but I think with little satisfaction to either one side or the other.
The earl of Northumberland has gone home. He sent a Catbolic gentleman to tell me that he did not dare to come and see me to avoid suspicion, but that I might be sure that lie desires nothing so much as to serve your Majesty with life and estate. He says he showed the queen of Scotland's letter to this Queen, because Melvin who had delivered it was not a Catbolic, and he feared that lie might mention the matter to some other Protestants, and it might reach the ears of the Queen, but that he loved and desired to serve the queen of Scotland. I thanked him for his good will, and expressed in your Majesty's name full confidence in his attachment. General pleasure I am told is felt in this country that a son has been bgin to the queen of Scotland. I asked Secretary Cecil if he was going to assist at the baptism, as the queen of Scotland had asked. He said he should excuse himself from making the journey, as ihete were so many suspicions on both sides. This Queen has again refused to give Melvin permission to visit Lady Margaret, whom they keep closer than before. The Queen tells Melvin that her liberation is in the hands of his mistress, but no doubt it will be on conditions difficult to accept.
The Queen has shown so much favour to Leicester in his dispute with Sussex, that I am told he is again pressing his suit very warmly, with the intention if the Queen refuses—and he thinks the Archduke's business is progressing—that he may be the one to negotiate it.
They tell me at this point that the Queen has received private news that your Majesty is secretly going to Flanders, but I cannot learn whence the news comes. Everything here is full of suspicions and inventions. Yesterday they arrested two gentlemen, because they thought they were carrying on some intelligence with the queen of Scotland. One of them is a person of trust.—London, 6th July 1566.
15 July. 368. The Same to the Same.
On the 8th inst. the Queen left here on her progress. I was with her a long time before she left. Most of the time was passed in her expressions of affectionate attachment to your Majesty and her desire to prove it. She asked me to write to your Majesty in her name to this effect, and I answered that I thought it was well I should do so, assuring her at the same time how warmly your Majesty reciprocated her friendship, and told her that in the present juncture, the preservation of the old friendship was not only advisable, but necessary.
She spoke of events in Flanders, and the scandal of the heretic preaching, which had commenced in Antwerp and elsewhere. She said it was a great insolence and evil. I replied that this was true, but that I understood that the whole affair was in the hands of people of small account, and would soon fail. She said she had no doubt of it, but still it was necessary to look to the remedy. I told her your Majesty would take the necessary steps, although the force might not be so large as some people thought necessary, as your Majesty had great confidence in your subjects in the States, and wished to oppose the Turk, which was a matter of greater interest to Christianity. If, however, the affairs in Flanders continue, and your Majesty only employed ordinary forces against the Turk, and took Flanders in hand in earnest, the matter would soon be at an end, especially now that your Majesty is so strong. The connexion between these people and the Flemings is so close by reason of religion, trade, and neighbourship, that for every blow struck in Flanders, two are heard here.
The Queen seems to be anxious, as she often tells me she is surprised at the inclination shown in these times by subjects towards liberty and license. I answered her that this is the beginning, middle, and end of the inventors of new religions, who care neither for God nor law, and that Kings should combine together to punish insolence and disobedience, as the matter concerns them all so closely.
On the day the Queen left, she received a courier from the gentleman she sent to Scotland. Melvin found her less suspicious of his Queen, and she gave him permission to speak with Lady Margaret, but in the presence of the keeper of the Tower and others.
I wrote in my last that two gentlemen had been arrested on suspicion that they had some intelligence with the queen of Scotland. They have examined the principal of them who denies the charge, and has answered satisfactorily. I expect they will be liberated.
I say nothing of Flemish affairs, of which your Majesty will receive a statement from the duchess of Parma.—London, 15th July 1566.
20 July. 369. The Same to the Same.
The gentleman this Queen sent to Scotland, respecting her suspicions that the queen of Scotland's party here were carrying on some intrigue here and in Ireland, returned three days ago. The queen of Scotland wrote by him to Melvin who represents her here, that this gentlemen, who is called Killigrew, is quite satisfied on the subject, and could tranquillize the Queen with regard to it, as Melvin tells me. The latter says that his Queen orders him to assure me how deeply she feels the great obligation she is under to your Majesty, who was the only one to help her in her trouble. She will acknowledge this all her life, and will not deviate in the least from what your Majesty directs she should do in her affairs, as she has no confidence in anyone else. She said also, that the opinions I have given were very good and expedient, both as regards her affairs here and in Scotland, and she would endeavour to delay the solution as much as possible. Although in effect the French Ambassador here professed attachment to Cardinal Lorraine, she ordered Melvin to be careful of him, and follow the advice I had given. Both as regards him and her man in France, and the other Frenchmen that come from the king of France, she was advised to be cautious, unless they brought proper letters from Cardinal Lorraine.
Mavissier arrived here yesterday on his way to Scotland to congratulate the Queen on her safe delivery. He and the Ambassador left yesterday to see the Queen on her progress, and I am constantly advising Melvin to watch their negotiations closely, because whenever they pass from France to Scotland, they enter into long conversations with this Queen, and I feel certain that they communicate with her with regard to Scotch affairs. It is true that the French do not wish the two Queens to come to a complete rupture, but for their own ends they will try to keep them apart, so that both may be in need, and it was necessary, I said, for him to hear what they were doing. He said he thought so too, and was taking steps with that object. He felt sure he should hear from certain persons who professed friendship, and he would advise me as his Queen was certain that the queen of France would never be favourable to her. The Council in France had discussed the suspicion that your Majesty was helping the Scotch Queen, and it was resolved that if you aided her publicly, they would not act to the contrary, but she has no confidence in their help, for even what is owing to her there, for her dower and pin-money, she cannot get although she needs it.
Melvin left here to see the Queen yesterday, with the idea of taking leave to return to Scotland, as the time approaches for Parliament to meet, for the purpose it is said, of dealing with the succession. Nothing however, will be done in this matter, as it is only an excuse for them to try and get supplies voted, as is usual when they meet. Melvin asked me to tell him if I thought when Parliament met it would be well for his Queen to send someone hither. I said yes, it was advisable, and in the interim he should keep alive the talk about the succession, so that this Queen might know that if she called Parliament together, efforts would be made to bring the matter on, and in that case it is possible this Queen would again delay summoning Parliament, and this would suit his mistress, as it would leave this Queen short of money and unable to move.
The king and queen of Scotland are now good friends, as are the nobility, and the people are contented with the birth of a prince. The earls of Murray and Argyll have returned to the Council, and the Queen and the infant are well. A courier from Thomas Danet, leaving Vienna on the 5th inst., has been sent on to the Queen, and it is currently stated that Danet is coming back. It is not known yet what is the news.
The troops for Ireland will be mustered and depart on the 25th inst. Randolph goes with them, and he sends word that he will not go without visiting me.—London, 20th July 1566.
27 July. 370. The Same to the Same.
The Queen continues on her progress. She is going to Secretary Cecil's house, and thence to the Admiral's. She will then return to the earl of Leicester's on the 19th proximo, where great preparations are made to entertain her. Thence she will come to Oxford at her leisure, so as not to arrive here till after the heat, as they say, although it is so cool here that she need not go anywhere else to seek coolness. I have not yet heard what was contained in Danet's despatch.
I wrote to your Majesty that Melvin had told me that the queen of Scotland had written him that Killigrew had gone back to England quite satisfied. I have received the same advice from Killigrew himself, and that this Queen seems pleased and tranquillized. Things between them will now quiet down, which will be best for them both.
Captain Randolph came to see me the day before yesterday, on his departure for Ireland. He goes very discontentedly, and against his will, and is to embark in Bristol at the end of this month, the troops and munitions being already there. They are to go in four ships, and three pinnaces. He is to touch first at Carlingford, where he will leave stores and arms for 200 horse and 200 foot to be raised there ; and will thence go on to Carrickfergus, another port further on, where his troops and the rest of the stores will be landed, that being the place which has to be provided for. The ships will return, the pinnaces being for victualling and other service. After he has got his troops in order he will join the Viceroy, and they will, together, besiege the two castles which John O'Neil has taken from O'Donnel, this being the first object of his enterprise. I told Randolph that as the Queen was sending so few troops, and the time was so advanced the object would appear to be rather to delay matters in Ireland than to carry on acampaign. He tells me that the Queen wishes for decisive action. At any rate, O'Neil has besides his usual people, 250 harquebussiers and 150 archers, all Scotchmen, and I can well believe that the harquebusses will be of some importance against these people, who fear them, because they do not generally employ them.
The French Ambassador who I wrote had gone with Mavissier to the Queen, did not get so far, (fn. 1) and Mavissier was a very short time with her, and then went to Scotland.—London, 27th July 1566.


  • 1. Although Bochetel de la Forest himself did not reach the Queen, his nephew and secretary Vulcob did so, and had long and important interviews with Leicester and the Queen at Stamford. The physical qualities of Charles IX. appear to have been discussed freely, and the Queen's physician assured Vulcob that if she married Charles IX. she would have ten children at least. La Forest in his minute report of the interviews to the Queen-Mother (Biblioteque Nationale, Clarimbault) begs her to send him instructions to proceed in the negotiations for the marriage by Castelnau de la Mauvissière on his return, but Catharine de Medici had too long an experience of Elizabeth's methods to allow her son to be used as a decoy a second time, and whilst instructing the Ambassador to inform her of all approaches made on the subject expresses her own belief that nothing will come of the matter.