Simancas: September 1566

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'Simancas: September 1566', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567, ed. Martin A S Hume( London, 1892), British History Online [accessed 19 July 2024].

'Simancas: September 1566', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Edited by Martin A S Hume( London, 1892), British History Online, accessed July 19, 2024,

"Simancas: September 1566". Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Ed. Martin A S Hume(London, 1892), , British History Online. Web. 19 July 2024.

September 1566

6th Sept. 380. The Same to the Same.
The Queen came to Oxford on the last day of the month, as I wrote to your Majesty. I thanked her for her kindness in sending me news of the Queen's confinement, and told her what your Majesty had ordered me to say upon the subject. She thanked me and showed great pleasure that your Majesty had ordered her to be advised, with the many kind words she knows so well how to employ. She said how important the maintenance of your Majesty's succession was to your old friends and allies, and I pointed out to to her how much more reason she had to be pleased than others, seeing the friendship that had so long existed between the countries, and she then began to speak very angrily about the rioters in the Netherlands, saying that they deserved a heavy punishment, as their cause had neither reason, virtue nor religion, the only aim being liberty against God and Princes. I pushed this matter as far as I could, showing her by examples how important it was that all Princes should try to remedy such insolence, and should join together for the punishment of these common enemies. She thought the same as I did, and explained to me as she had done on previous occasions, her action with regard to France when she occupied Havre de Grace. She said her only intention was to recover Calais which her friends thought would not be given up at the time agreed upon, and she thought also that the duke of Guise had some bad intention against France, and her action was not in any way to injure the King. She said that if the leaders of the Netherlands come to her for help or countenance she would answer then in a way that should make them understand how she held your Majesty's interests, and she cursed subjects who did not recognise the mercy that God had shown them in sending them a Prince of so much clemency and humanity as your Majesty. Her words and action, and those of her counsellors are good, and they all condemn the disorder which has arisen in Flanders, marvelling greatly that something more has not been done in Antwerp and elsewhere. When I said to the earl of Leicester, that now that the prince of Orange was there, he being a person of such eminence and so faithful to your Majesty, I hoped that matters would be remedied, he told me that he considered the prince of Orange was faithful as I said. I thank them for their expressions of good will, and desire to serve your Majesty, and try to maintain them in their good disposition. The Queen has not said anything to me yet about the Archduke's affair, nor has Danet returned home until the Queen arrives in London, where the matter will be discussed. I am told that the Queen is displeased with Danet for not bringing a written reply signed by the Emperor, instead of a verbal one. He answers that as he only took a letter of credence the only reply the Emperor would, make was in a similar form, and he could not force the Emperor to do otherwise.
I am told now that Leicester is endeavouring to get this Parliament to deal with the succession, so that by this means the Archdukes business may be upset, and the Queen not pressed about the marriage. and he may then treat of his own affair more at his leisure.
It is feared that there is trouble in Ireland, and that the Queen will spend large sums of money this winter which will avail but little for the future. As I have written, this Queen suspects that the queen of Scotland is in treaty with O'Neil, and I have been trying to discover if there is any foundation for it. The earl of Sussex tells me there is, because when he was governor of Ireland, he seized letters which proved it. The viceroy of Ireland has proclaimed O'Neil a traitor by public edict on the ground that he is in treaty with foreign Princes.
This Queen has been received in the University as Princes generally are where they are welcome, that is to say, with applause and rejoicing. Four speeches at separate places were delivered to her on her entrance, three in Latin and one in Greek, all praising her virtues and learning, and expressing joy at her visit. Every day since she has been here she has attended public lectures in various sciences, and at night has gone to see comedies and tragedies in Latin and English. Yesterday was the last day of the exercises, and the Queen gave thanks in Latin, in well chosen words. In the various lectures, disputations, and comedies only ordinary matters have been treated, and nothing has been said about religion, except on the last occasion, when the subject was theology. The man they call the bishop of Salisbury praised the Queen in a few words for having maintained in her realm the truth of the gespel, and by his showing the Queen may be sure, and everyone satisfied that this country possesses the faith that is best for it.
This afternoon at four o'clock the Queen left here, and will arrive to-morrow at Lord Windsor's house. The earl of Leicester has requested leave to visit the earl of Pembroke, who lives 40 miles from here, and is a great friend of his, but he will return in five days.—Oxford, 6th September 1566.
14 Sept. 381. The Same to the Same.
The ceremonies and exercises at Oxford were so long and continuous that there was no time to speak to the Queen of anything else, nor did I wish to endeavour to do so, unless she commenced as I wished her to think that I had taken the journey only to accompany her. I did not even have time to speak to Secretary Cecil about matters for some time, and then what I heard from him in substance was that the Queen was annoyed at the Archduke's reply as she thought he was asking a great deal, which showed that he was not very anxious to conclude the business, and those who were against it (by which I understood he meant Lord Robert and his friends, although he did not name them) encouraged the Queen in this belief and urged her since nothing had been done in the marriage, to deal with the question of the succession in order, amongst other things, to show the queen of Scotland that they were willing to forward her interests. This is far from the truth, as they have no intention of serving her, nor Katharine nor anyone else, but only to delay and upset the Archduke's suit. To effect this they may suggest that the kingdom should elect its own sovereign if the Queen were to die, and thus there would be no reason to press the Queen in this Parliament, either about the marriage or the succession. All this is directed towards hindering the Archduke, and benefiting Leicester's claims, and he (Cecil) asked me to take an opportunity to press the Queen to consider the matter well and give a favourable answer to the Emperor. He thought that nothing would have so much influence with the Queen as a letter from your Majesty. I answered, after thanking him, that the Queen should not wonder at the tone of the Archduke's answer, considering that he had been pressed to abandon his religion, a thing which ought not to be proposed to the lowest man in the world for the sake of interest, and if proposed should not be accepted. The Archduke seeing such pretensions as these, and hearing from several quarters that the Queen did not wish to marry at all, acted wisely in making demands on his side, as it would not be prudent for him to risk a loss without some chance of gain. Cecil assured me that he was certain the Queen wished to marry, and it was more necessary for her to do so than she herself knew. I was right, he said, in my remark that people announced that the Queen did not wish to marry, but they did it only to delay the business and discourage the Emperor. With regard to the principal point of religion, the Archduke ought not to be asked to change his faith, and he said that Thomas Danet had been delighted with the Archduke's manner and appearance, and the Queen was quite satisfied now in that respect.
I asked him why Danet had gone home so soon. He said it was in consequence of his being unwell, but as I have written to your Majesty, this was not the reason, but because the Queen was angry with him for not bringing a written and signed answer. I told Cecil that as to your Majesty writing to the Queen I thought that unnecessary, as she had letters from your Majesty to the same effect when the matter was in hand before, and I had spoken to her on the subject several times.
On the same day I chatted with the Queen on the road for almost a couple of leagues, and after having related many things which had happened when your Majesty was here, and when her marriage with you was proposed (which is a thing she does not forget) she spoke about the Emperor and the Archduke, although very lightly and when we were already near Lord Windsor's house where she was to stay. I therefore did not think it a good time to prolong the subject and did not reintroduce it until the next day, when she began again to complain of the Archduke for having asked for new conditions, and unjust ones, as she thought, as they seemed to infer that he held her of small account. I answered that she had no reason for thinking that, considering that so many great Princes had sought her, and how notorious were her merits and grandeur, she ought not therefore to think that the Archduke who was so anxious to marry her, would ask anything against her dignity, but only such things as were proper under the circumstances. He also thought no doubt that if all his conditions were not granted, that such as were reasonable might be agreed to. She said that she believed this because the Emperor in conversation with Danet had answered these words— "Iniquum petit est cequum ferat :" but affairs of this sort ought not to be spun out, and if the match were not to be carried through she must make up her mind to do her best for her country and subjects. I think she would like the Archduke to have been more gallant and affectionate, and have hurried his coming hither. When I told her how much more powerful honour and duty were to virtuous Princes than desiro, and said that the Archduke having the war on hand could not well leave the Emperor, she said that this was the cause of his delay in coming, as she had been informed. I told her I was surprised that so many demands had been made in regard to religion, as it was not a matter which could be adopted or abandoned at will, but must be treated according to the understanding, and from what I gathered from her, there was not so much difference between them that all these difficulties need arise. She said that it was the Emperor, and not she who had imposed conditions in this respect.
Cecil seems to desire this business so greatly that he does not speak about the religious point, but this may be deceit, as his wife is of a contrary opinion, and thinks that great trouble may be caused to the peace of the country through it. She has great influence with her husband, and no doubt discusses the matter with him, but she appears a much more furious heretic than he is. Until the Queen comes hither, I understand nothing will be decided.
It is believed for certain that Parliament will meet although some people still doubt it. They think that if the Queen does not marry or proclaim a successor, they will not vote her any supplies. The marriage question is as I have described it, and the matter of the succession will not be settled. The Queen will never consent to it, as she understands very well that it will not be to her advantage. The heretics are furiously in favour of Catharine although somewhat divided, some wishing, for the earl of Huntingdon, who is the man to suit them best. They are powerful in Parliament, as there was a great ado here a year and a half ago in order that all those who were elected for shires and boroughs to vote in the Commons should be heretics, and what with them and the new bishops they should thus have a majority especially as the nobles are divided, and they can settle the succession on a heretic if the Queen wishes it. As I have said, however, she will not allow it, and when she herself spoke to me on the matter, and said it would be necessary to discuss it if the marriage were not effected, I replied that this was a good business to talk about but a bad one to do. She said I was right. The Queen came to Windsor on the 9th inst and I asked leave to come to London. After she had said much, as she always does with regard to her love for your Majesty, and desire to please you she asked me to beg your Majesty not to forget her. I keep her in a good humour, as it is necessary for the present, and I think it would be well that your Majesty should say a few words to her Ambassador, thanking the Queen for her love and friendship.
By letters of the 27th ultimo news comes from Ireland, that the Queen's troops are on John O'Neil's borders, and had entered his territory of which O'Neil being advised he posted himself in a wood and killed a hundred men, fifteen of them being people of rank in the country and both forces had then retired to their quarters. Captain William Pierce, who is in a castle belonging to the Queen in the North of Ireland, called Knockfergus, sallied out and overran O'Neil's lands on that side, and took four hundred head of cattle. They write that O'Neil has one thousand one hundred good horse, and seven or eight thousand infantry, of whom six hundred are harquebussiers. Thirteen days ago, Captain Randolph and his thousand Englishmen, sailed from Bristol and will now have arrived in Ireland. They say that O'Neil will be able to do much damage to the English this winter, as his people are used to the country and more accustomed to the cold and hardship than the Queen's troops.
Scotland is tranquil. The earl of Murray is with the Queen, and assisting in the Government. Secretary Lethington is said to remain there, and has not asked the Queen's pardon as the rest of the conspirators have done, affirming that he had committed no fault, and will not ask or beg for pardon, but that if he is to blame, he wishes to be punished. The King and Queen are now good friends, but not with the same love and kindness as before the murder of Secretary David.
Foix, who was French Ambassador here, and was appointed to go to Rome, will not go there, the present Ambassador tells me, as the Pope's Nuncio in France has told the King, that his Holiness will not receive him.
The duke of Norfolk arrived last night by post, and sent his secretary to see me this morning to say that as the Duke had to see the Queen at once he had not come to visit me, but would do so on his return to ask after your Majesty's health. I understand he comes to help in the Archduke's business as the has hitherto done. He wishes to show the country that he desires the Queen to marry in a way fitting to her rank, and he therefore has great influence and many friends, being the most powerful person in the realm. They have news here that your Majesty is going to Flanders, and the good and the bad people look forward to this, but with very different emotions. I am still told that a rising here is expected, as I wrote to your Majesty on the 23rd. I have not appeared curious in the matter, as great caution is needed with these people.
Gresham, the Queen's factor who went to Antwerp, as I told your Majesty he was to do, has written that he has got the money, and will shortly return.—London, 14th September 1566.
21 Sept. 382. The Same to the Same.
The Queen is at Richmond, and will come here in six or seven days. The Council has been summoned there, for the purpose, it is said, of arranging what is to be done in Parliament, and that when the question of succession is raised for various opinions to be expressed in order that nothing may be concluded, whereupon the Queen seeing the difficulty and difference of opinion, shall ask that power shall be given her to appoint whom she likes, and when she pleases, for her own ends. It will not be a bad arrangement for her if she can carry it through, but it is very difficult, and they will probably not agree to it easily. The earl of Northumberland has excused himself from coming to Parliament, as have other Catholics, to the Queen's pleasure. It does not seem a wise thing to do, if they have any object they wish to carry.
The troops taken to Ireland by Randolph, have arrived, but they say that O'Neil is too strong for them to do much harm, and a larger number will have to be sent if they wish to press him.
Scotch affairs appear to be quiet, and the Queen has gone to visit some places in the country, leaving her child to the care of the Countesses of Murray and Argyll, one of whom is her sister, and the other her sister-in-law. This is a sign that she has more confidence in the two Earls than hitherto.—London, 21st September 1566.
28 Sept. 383. The Same to the Same.
This Queen's Ambassador has written that your Majesty's voyage to Flanders is certain, and says that he, himself, is preparing for the journey. I hear the same by letter of the 6th instant, from the grand commander of Castille, and from other quarters. This news has given as much joy and encouragement to good men here, as it has caused sorrow and fear to those who are otherwise and from this may be judged the joy which the Catholics and faithful subjects of your Majesty in those States feel at your coming, as your Majesty will learn from the duchess of Parma, who is in the midst of the trouble. They are in such a state, that every day's delay seems years to them, and the more the voyage is deferred, the more difficult will the remedy be. The heretics are making great efforts to show that your Majesty will not make the voyage for the purpose of weakening them, the Catholics, and making them despair. But they will deceive themselves, and with the help of God and the necessary rapidity with which your Majesty will take your measures, they will be frustrated.
The Queen arrived here yesterday evening. Parliament, they say, will be deferred for some days, but still will be summoned.
As I am closing this, nothing new is known from Ireland or Scotland. This Queen has not appointed the person who is to go to the prince of Scotland's christening, although a silver font is finished to be sent for the ceremony. I hear from France that the Christian King will send Count Segny. If he is a Catholic, as I suppose, and this Queen sends the earl of Bedford, there will not be much agreement between them as regards religion. At this point I am informed that Scotland is so tranquil, that the earl of Murray goes to Mass with the Queen, which is good news if true. I hear it from a good source.—London, 28th September 1566.