Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1, 1558-1567. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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|1567. 5 Jan.||
400. The Same to the Same.
The Queen went to Parliament on the 2nd instant, and although many thought that she would prorogue it she dissolved it altogether, as I am told that she is dissatisfied with the representatives of the people who form it, and wishes in another Parliament to have different men. It is true that they have pressed her very hard about the succession and in the matter of religion and other things, but as she got her way at last she is pleased, although annoyed at some of the members. She again complained to me yesterday that she was left alone and grieved thereat, magnifying to me the peril in which she had been, and the pertinacity and disrespect of many towards her. She reprehended the members in a speech she made to them at the dissolution.
Seven days ago there arrived here by post the secretary of M. de Foix, who was French ambassador here. He announced that he had come on business for his master and told me so. He is a heretic, and I was told that he had no doubt come to negotiate here on behalf of the prince de Condé and the admiral and their colleagues respecting events in France, and short of palpable proofs all indications point this way. I know he brought a letter from Throgmorton, who during the rebellion in France was the negotiator between this Queen and the heretics. I have not been able to find out anything positive, although I have sounded Cecil by saying that it was believed this man had come to throw obstacles in the way of the Archduke's match by again raising the idea of the marriage of this King and this Queen, as the French had done before through the same man, and I told Cecil that as he knew the only intention was to delay and obstruct the Archduke's suit, he should be on the alert, and not allow the Queen to be deceived with such talk as this.
He answered that he believed this to be the real cause of his coming, or at least to discover the state in which the business was in order to be forewarned. He said he would tell me what he could discover, and that the man had brought a letter to him from Foix and told him the same as he had me. When Cecil asked him what where the exact affairs he had come about in order that he might help him in regard to them, he gave him no particulars, which made him think that my information was correct, especially that all previous negotiations in favour of Lord Robert had been carried on through Foix and this secretary, and he doubted not that the French would do, as they had done before, their best to hinder the Archduke's marriage in favour of which he (Cecil) had done, and would do all he could, seeing how important it was to the Queen and country. He said if the marriage was not carried into effect things would be in such a condition that trouble and inconvenience could not fail to result, and he was determined that if the affair fell through he would ask the Queen's leave to retire, as he feared many complications. This secretary told him that as a despatch had to be sent by his King to the Ambassador here, Foix had managed that he might bring it, in order that he might undertake his own business without cost. The secretary had not asked audience, nor had he spoken to the Queen ... It is certain that the object of his journey was not to come to the Ambassador, as is proved by the answer of the latter to me when I asked him what the secretary had come about, as I had been advised that he had come hither to raise a discussion on behalf of Condé and the admiral for the furtherance of certain things which might be to the common danger. The Ambassador said that he had heard no particulars, but that he knew that the man had seen Throgmorton, and one Killigrew, who were the two men that carried on communications with Foix. He, the Ambassador, had refused to have anything to do with them as they were great heretics, but that they, after the secretary's arrival, had tried to draw him, the Ambassador, into a discussion by saying that it was not right that they should allow these good Flemings to be maltreated, and he gathered from this that they had been discussing something of this nature with the secretary. He told me this in great secrecy, and assured me that the despatch which the man had brought to him was of no importance, and the fact of his having come post with it was suspicious in itself. He had answered Throgmorton and Killigrew that they might be sure the King and his master, although not bound as your Majesty was, would certainly not have anything to do with a similar disobedient business, and if any help had been given to it by the secretary he, the Ambassador, would write to his King that I had thought it suspicious and would not fail to write to Don Francés, as indeed I have done. I believe that we shall soon learn what has happened in this matter. The king of Portugal's Ambassador in France has written to me that the king of France had published certain orders against those who had gone on an expedition to the island of Madeira, (fn. 1) and asked me to address this Queen to whom he also writes, begging her in case any of these French ships should enter her ports that she should detain them until the case had been decided. I spoke to the Queen about it, and she said she would order measures to be adopted for the purpose, both because it was an affair of the king of Portugal's and also because I told her that the expedition had on its way robbed two valuable Flemish sloops. Speaking on the matter with Cecil I showed him the king of France's order, and he said that I might be sure that the voyage had not been undertaken without his consent, although the French might as usual publish to the contrary. He was led to this belief because when this fleet was being fitted out they had feared here it was to invade Jersey and Guernsey, and they had made much costly preparation against it, and speaking to the French Ambassador here with regard to the object of this expedition, he had told him on his word of honour that nothing was being prepared against this country, as he knew very well what the ships were intended for. And now they will make all manner of apologies to Portugal.
The duke of Norfolk has retired to his house, but returns shortly. The Queen has not yet spoken to the earl of Sussex respecting his departure to Germany, and although Parliament is now ended she did not say anything to me about it the last time I was with her, although we were speaking of the Emperor. As the Duke is away and the secretary is unwell, those who sympathise with the Archduke's suit are not pressing the matter forward until these two are with the Queen again. The Queen had been told that the secretary was at the bottom of the obstinacy of the people's representatives in the matter of the succession, and the other day in Council the Queen made a remark to him about it, whereupon he, in the presence of the members, told her that she had done him the greatest favour and kindness he could receive from her in speaking upon the subject before those present, as he was glad of the opportunity of exonerating himself from such an offence as had been imputed to him. He gave a satisfactory answer, and said that if he was not satisfied only to exonerate himself he could, if he pleased, cast the accusation upon those who peradventure had impugned him, but that he confined himself to clearing his own character.
After the members of the Council had gone he remained alone with the Queen, who told him she was delighted that he had answered as he had done before the Council, because one or more of them had been his calumniators, and now she was satisfied.
They tell me Leicester is again returning to the Queen's good graces, which I believe is true.—London, 6th January 1567.
401. The Same to the Same.
I have not been able yet to discover what the secretary of the late French Ambassador has been negotiating, although every possible effort has been made to do so. I know that Throgmorton four days ago was with the Queen for an hour and a half. I will advise your Majesty of all that can be learned, although these heretics are very crafty in what they do. The earl of Sussex has not yet been despatched, nor is it believed that he will go until the return of the duke of Norfolk, which will be soon. The Archduke's adherents are afraid to push the matter until the Duke is here, and the other party think that any delay makes for them.
The Queen went into the country yesterday, and on the 14th will go hunting to a place seven or eight miles from here called Croydon, where she will remain four days. From there she will go to Nonsuch, where they say she will stay a week, and thence will go to the house of her factor Gresham, whence after a visit of four days she will again return hither. The weather is not favourable for the country pastimes as it is very wet.
I am told that some of the French ships that went to Madeira have returned to Normandy and Bordeaux. If this be the case, we shall soon see what action the king of France takes. I do not think it will amount to much as they have returned so readily. This Queen has ordered the detention of any of them that may come hither, and the orders are now being sent to the various ports. The Catholics here are very glad at what has been done by orders of the duchess of Parma by Norcherme (fn. 2) near Lanoy in scattering the rising of rebels there and at the affair of Tournai, and the heretics are equally chagrined as they have their eyes closely fixed on events in the States. The affair certainly has been most successful and important.—London, 11th January 1567.
402. The Same to the Same.
The Queen left on the 17th inst., and the day previous I was with her. She said that she had ordered the earl of Sussex to be in readiness to go to the Emperor, and that she would send a Baron with him, but she had not decided who it should be.
The Earl tells me the same but does not know the Queen's object in sending another person with him. If the object be that both should negotiate the marriage, he hopes it will not be one of the opponents to it, and for this reason he has refrained from pressing the matter until the coming of the Duke, who arrived on the 16th.
The Queen discussed with me the rebel disturbances in Flanders, and as usual expatiated on the insolence and disrespect they, the rebels, show, and said that the Ambassador of France had told her that your Majesty was coming with a great army as if to signify that she had better be on her guard, and she had replied that she was very glad that your Majesty should come, not only with he force he said, but with three times as much to castigate such bad subjects, and that she was very pleased that English merchants in Antwerp reported that the rebels now understood that they might fear her punishment as much as that of your Majesty. I answered that the godly had always thought this of her, but that these rebels were wicked and not only said that they had the aid of many Princes, with the object of causing alarm, but they positively announced that they had her help, which I knew to be untrue, seeing the horror with which they inspired her, and whenever I had been assured by her of her want of sympathy for them, I had always sent a full account of her expressions to your Majesty. She said that she could not answer for other princes, but for herself she could say, that if any of her Council were to dare to advise her to such a wicked course, she would hang him as a traitor. It had cost her dearly enough she said what she had done in France against her own opinion and inclination, during the civil war there, when she had been made to spend much money, and had been placed in great trouble. Her obligations towards that country however were very different from those towards your Majesty's and she was sure, as she had often told me, that this disturbance in Flanders was not owing to religion, but was simply rebellion, and that if kings did not take such measures as I had often pointed out to prevent these risings, they would all find themselves in difficulties and dangers. She said in France preparations were being made with troops of which she did not disapprove, as it was right for them to be ready for the passage of your Majesty, seeing that the ordinary suspicions between great princes were only reasonable, as the ambition to dominate has been seen so often that precautions are necessary. The Queen still indicates, although not clearly, that overtures have been made on behalf of the Flemings, but although I have carefully tried to find out the particulars from her, I have not been able to do so.
Count Oliver de Arcos has been waiting for some time for the person who was to go to the Emperor in order to bear him company, but he could not wait longer and has gone. He told me that the earl of Leicester had said that he might go as the Queen would not send so quickly, and when he took leave of the Queen she told him to the contrary. Much had been said to him afresh about the Archduke's suit, and the Queen had assured him that she was determined to accept it, and had ordered the earl of Sussex to be ready to take the Garter to the Emperor, but that he, Arcos, might go on ahead and excuse her to the Emperor for not sending before ; the reason being that the Emperor was busy with the Turk and she also was occupied. She writes a letter of credence for him to the Emperor to deal in the matter of the Archduke. All the aristocracy apparently desire the match, except Margaret and her party, which is small. There is however, much difference between them, as those who have influence in affairs, such as Cecil and his friends, although not openly against it, are nevertheless suspicious with regard to religious liberty. The others do not care for this, but are openly anxious for the marriage to take place, so that although they agree in the main, they differ in the manner.
The party of the earl of Leicester are making great efforts on all hands to upset the business, pointing out to the Queen the objections to it, both as to religion, and as relates to the Archduke personally, of whom they say all the harm they can think of. The French help by saying, as the Queen assures me, that if this marriage takes place she will have to spend large sums of money both on the Archduke himself, and his maintenance and the subsidies she will have to make to the Emperor against the Turk. They say the Emperor is poor and the relationship would bring her no profit, but much expense and trouble. If it were not for so many obstructors and the Queen's usual dislike to the idea of marriage there seems to be a probability that they would agree at least to the Archduke's coming as a Catholic, and with such fitting moderation as would not offend their religious scruples. Until I see this point settled I do believe anything decided will be done.
M. de Morette, who is going to Scotland for the duke of Savoy, tells me that this Queen, amongst other things, had told him how much she disapproved of the action of the Flemish rebels, and how great a punishment they deserved, as their real object was not religion, but only rebellion, as had been seen elsewhere. He also told me certain things that had passed with the queen of France about your Majesty's coming to Flanders, and your passage through the states of the Duke his master. I have not written this in detail, as no doubt Don Francés de Alava has done so, but will only say that both Morette and the French Ambassador have confirmed the displeasure and chagrin of the French heretics at your Majesty's coming, and they are strenuously trying to alarm the King and Queen at what your Majesty may do, being so well armed, so powerful and so near to them. The Ambassador advises me secretly, that I ought to write to your Majesty, informing your Majesty of it, in order that you may mollify the king and queen of France, and show them that they have nothing to fear, and that your Majesty might signify to them that you will be glad whilst in Flanders, to have some principal Catholic personage of the country attached to you with whom you might confidentially communicate what was being done, and so tranquillize them and free them from the inventions of the heretics.
He also told me that the Chancellor (fn. 3) was in such a bad way, that he would not last three months, and he feared that the Queen would give the place to Foix the late Ambassador here who pretended to be a Catholic but was not one, and might do great injury to the Catholic cause if he were in such a position. He said this that I might advise Don Francés de Alava to be on the alert ; and I also write to the Grand Commander of Castille, to warn the Pope to let his Nuncio act in the matter if he thinks fit, the office of Chancellor in that kingdom being of so much importance, as has been proved by the harm the present man has done. This Foix might do still more, as he has influential relatives, and might undertake sinister negotiations, as he is so much attached to the house of Vendome.
The heretics here have news that by way of Bayonne, heretical books by the ton are being introduced into Spain, and that preachers in the guise of monks are entering without being noticed, to mislead people in Navarre. I have no doubt they will be looked after, but all diligence is needful there, and in the places where foreign merchants pass to and fro. I have heard from an English Catholic that in some places beyond Burgos on the road to Vitoria some of the inn-keepers were apparently not Catholics and spoke with much freedom and license about religion. This Queen has a correspondent in Germany called Dr. Mundt, of whom I have spoken to your Majesty in other letters. He has written to Cecil that he understands the German Princes have offered their services to your Majesty in Flanders, and that he is sure that there as elsewhere, those who belong to what they call the new religion will suffer by your Majesty's coming, and he would much like to have a Henry VIII. or a John Frederick duke of Saxony to remedy such a state of affairs. All he says points to some aid being given to these rebels, at whose distress I understand they are beginning to grieve, but I think it will produce but little effect here.
Gresham, the Queen's factor, has obtained what money he could from the merchants here, although it has not been much. I have been anxious to know what they wanted it for, and I am told now that it is to be sent to Ireland in part, and the rest for ordinary expenditure, and nothing else. Some of this money was sent to Ireland four days ago, but not so much as was expected, as they now understand that John O'Neil has no supporters elsewhere as they feared.
The displeasure of the queen of Scotland with her husband is carried so far, that she was approached by some who wanted to induce her to allow a plot to be formed against him which she refused, but she nevertheless shows him no affection. They tell me even that she has tried to take away some of his servitors, and for some time past finds him no money for his ordinary expenditure. This is very unfortunate for both of them, although it cannot be denied that the King has given grounds for it by what he has done. They ought to come to terms, as if they do not look out for themselves they are in a bad way.—London, 18th January 1567.
403. The Same to the Same.
The Queen arrived at this house of Nonsuch on the 21st instant, and I came the same day, hearing that they had to treat of the despatch of the earl of Sussex to the Emperor, and other matters, and I desired to be present to learn what was being done, because as the States of Flanders are in the trouble they are, I am anxious about everything which may pass respecting them. I received yesterday letters from your Majesty, of 31st December, and after the Queen had supped, I went to her chamber, and repeated to her all your Majesty ordered respecting your voyage to Flanders, and the cause thereof, and of your coming in force in order the better to remedy the evil, but that your Majesty would use all fitting clemency that a prince should employ to subjects that beg and merit it, and deal out just punishment to those who did not. The Queen replied, 'showing great joy at your Majesty's coming, and at your being well armed, which she thought most opportune in all respects. I let her know that her remarks to me on events in the States had greatly influenced your Majesty to come in this way, whereupon she repeated all her offers of friendship and countenance and told me what had passed between her and the French Ambassador with regard to the coming of your Majesty as I wrote in mine of the 18th instant. She said that this good news of your Majesty's coming had arrived happily at the very moment when her musicians had prepared a great feast for her, and she took this as a good omen, and after the feast, returned to her chamber with her ladies and others, and danced till after midnight. I thanked her from your Majesty for having ordered Hawkins and the others who were going to the Indies to be stopped, and I also thanked Secretary Cecil for what he had done in the matter. He replied that the Queen had given the orders most willingly, although the Council was divided as I have written.
All necessary care shall be taken, as your Majesty commands, in the matter of other ships which they may attempt to fit out to trade in those countries, as it is necessary to stop these voyages at the beginning. The queen of Scotland has been written to as your Majesty commands, with regard to what she wrote to me, respecting the step said to have been taken by her husband, in writing to your Majesty about her religion. It seemed to me an incredible thing, and that it could only have been as it was, the wickedness of the people who wanted to see them separated to the detriment of both of them.
Great is the disgust displayed by the French Ambassador here at your Majesty's coming, but only to persons who are in his confidence. for to me he expresses exactly the reverse ; but this is the French way.
Since I arrived here I have learned that the admiral of France was thinking of coming to this court to carry on his pretty intrigues. I remarked this to the Queen, last night, and took the opportunity of hinting to her that his coming might stir up difficulties of importance, and evil consequence, and she ought to be very much on the alert as he was a turbulent man, and an enemy to peace and public welfare. She said she might well tell me that for some time past, the French had been discussing with her the restitution of Calais, but that she understood it was more for their private ends than for her good, and she did not therefore think fit to go into the matter with these particular men, although the time for handing over the fortress was approaching, and she intended to do her duty with regard to it, as is fitting between neighbouring princes, and conducting the business by all fair means as far as she could, or until another course were necessary. I told her this was a matter of great importance to her, and as your Majesty so greatly desired her prosperity and dignity, and would, God willing, be soon in the neighbourhood, she could then communicate on this matter and others with all confidence in your love and friendship.
On the third day after the Queen's arrival here, her Council came together with the duke of Norfolk and the earl of Pembroke, with the intention of pressing the Queen to send off the earl of Sussex to the Emperor, with the principal object of negotiating marriage with the Archduke. They are sure the Queen will send him off while she is here, and all of them are agreed on this point, as she herself assures me she is, which I believe. The Duke, nevertheless, asks me to urge the Queen to decide promptly, as they are sure that she is now well disposed. Although they are confident the Queen will despatch the earl from here, he told me last night that he would leave after Shrovetide which is not quite so soon as they think. I am doing my best in this matter as I believe, seeing the fickleness of the Queen, and for other reasons that the time is opportune. Some days ago, the earl of Leicester not being in very high favour with the Queen just now, I was walking out of her chamber, when she called me back, and said she should be glad if I would show some love and friendship to Lord Robert as I used to do, so that his own affection for me should not be slighted. I answered that it was from no want of good will or affection on my part that I had stood a little aloof from him lately, but entirely out of consideration for her. We shall soon learn the issue of the Archduke's business, and I believe that if the Queen does not adopt some favourable course with regard to it, it will cause great displeasure to the Duke and his party.
The Duke has told the Queen that he has arranged to marry the widow of Lord Dacre of the North, which was, as I wrote your Majesty, being secretly negotiated.
After he had spoken to the Queen about it, the Duke at once came to inform me, repeating that he and all his house desired to serve your Majesty, and I verily believe that his will is good, he being a good and honest gentleman. When I said to the Queen that she had not told me anything about the Duke's marriage she said she had known nothing about it herself until that moment.
The letter which your Majesty was pleased to write to the Queen in the matter of Francis Englefield (fn. 4) shall be delivered in good time, and the efforts your Majesty desires shall be employed worthily for him, and other Catholics in this country, all of whom love your Majesty, and trust you alone after God.—London, 25th January 1567.
404. The Same to the Same.
Since writing the enclosed the Queen has decided to send the earl of Sussex after the first week in Lent, as I learn from her Secretary Cecil and the earl himself. The order of his despatch is to be arranged by the duke, Cecil and Petre. I have not been able to learn what decision they have come to regarding religion, the Queen herself not having communicated it yet to the Council, but whilst discussing the matter, she said that she would order the earl of Sussex what he was to do on the point. Cecil gives me great hope of the Queen's goodwill in this, and all of them think she is very well inclined to the match. If we have not already seen the difficulties in the way, it would seem that the matter would be carried through, but until it is concluded there can be no certainty. The Queen left Nonsuch to-day for another house seven miles off. She will soon return to London.—London, 27th January 1567.