Simancas: December 1569

Pages 213-224

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 2, 1568-1579. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


December 1569

1 Dec. 160. Guerau de Spes to the Duke of Alba.
I have not been able yet to get a passport for a courier to your Excellency, so that the Marquis and I have thought well to send Rafael Barberino, in whom he has confidence. He will only take a line of credence and can give a verbal report to your Excellency of all that has happened since the 20th ultimo, when the last courier left.
The people in the north are strong and have 12,000 infantry and 3,000 horse together. They intended to go towards Tutbury to release the queen of Scotland, but as they hear she has been conveyed to Coventry they have stopped with the intention of giving battle to the Queen's forces, for which purpose the northern people will gather 30,000 men.
No movement has been made by any of their confederates, as they are scattered, but they are consulting as to means for a rising.
The Queen has appointed as her general the earl of Warwick, brother of Leicester, and they say they intend to raise 15,000 men and 5,000 horse, although few horses can be got.
This city contributes, by its wards, a thousand men of a mean sort, who will leave in two days to join the general muster in the county of Leicester. Great efforts are being made on behalf of the Queen to borrow money from all the merchants, particularly foreigners. They ask Spinola for 5,000l., Velutelli for 3,000l., and Donato for the same. All of them will have to lend something, on the security of the city and of Thomas Gresham, who says that he can raise five and twenty thousand pounds in this way.
The French ambassador has been here to say that if I could help these people (i.e., the Catholics) in their just cause he would be a faithful comrade to me on his King's behalf without jealousy or suspicion. I excused myself by saying that I had no orders from his Majesty on the subject.
The Marquis thinks that, if these people in the north were to march straight here there would be nothing to withstand them, seeing the confusion of the Court, whilst their other friends would have greater chance than at present of moving. I will do nothing without orders from your Excellency.
The earl of Leicester sent Velutelli to tell the Marquis that the Queen and Council considered his stay here very suspicious, and that he ought to leave without further delay. The Marquis sent a reply by his nephew, Juan Bautista de Monte, giving as his reason for staying that he had to await a reply from your Excellency. She seemed to be tranquillised by this, but when we asked for a passport for Barberino, the Council sent Henry Cobham to tell the Marquis to leave the island immediately, to which the Marquis gave the same reply. At last with a bad grace they have consented to await the arrival of the courier. They have said nothing to me yet.
Not a word is said now about sending anyone to Spain. It was nothing but a fiction from the first, and the Council only wishes to see the Marquis gone in order that no one shall stand in the way of the Queen's purpose. She is now so completely in accord with them for the defence of their sect that she seems to have lost sight of the danger of ruin, both for her and them. I expect, as soon as the Marquis has gone, they will give me but little chance of taking part in any affairs.
Lord Montague and the earl of Southampton have sent to ask me for advice as to whether they should take up arms or go over to your Excellency.
I told them I could not advise them until I had due instructions to do so. I said my letters had been seized because there were rumours about them lately, and I therefore did not know what they ought to do.—London, 1st December 1569.
3 Dec. 161. Guerau de Spes to the King.
By the duplicates enclosed, your Majesty will see all that is happening, both in the unfavourable way in which they have dismissed the Marquis Chapin Viteli as also in the matter of the Catholic rising in the north. I enclose a copy of their (i.e., the Catholic) proclamation, and of that of the Queen. The Catholics in Wales and the west have not yet followed the example of those of the north, although it is said they are about to do so. I received letters to-day from the duke of Alba dated the 23rd ulto., and although he did not know at the time what had happened here, he must have learned a few hours afterwards, and in view of the present opportunity and the small hopes of restitution he will provide what he thinks most desirable in your Majesty's interests, and will decide whether the Marquis should stay here or leave.
The thousand men from this city are beginning to leave, and the muster in the county of Leicester will gradually be got together. The Catholics appear to be waiting in their own country, where they have fortified themselves on the banks of the Trent, to be attacked by the troops from here. In the meanwhile they will see what their friends do and what aid can be sent them.
The Queen is making some preparations in Windsor, and has ordered some infantry to go there. They say that they are going to convey the queen of Scotland to Kenilworth, a fortress belonging to the earl of Leicester. They have again sent the earl of Huntingdon and Viscount Hereford to guard her with the earl of Shrewsbury.
The ambassador who was said to be sent to your Majesty in two days is quite forgotten at Court, and there are no signs of softening in regard to the restitution.
These French and English pirates who infest the ports, since they plundered the four sloops full of grain belonging to your Majesty's Flemish subjects, have captured another ship, which, I believe, came from Spain loaded with alum and spices. They have her now in the Downs, but will not allow a man on board of her to go ashore. They are selling the booty in the river. M. de Dupin is ravaging the coast of Friesland. Six or seven private ships have left for the coast of Guinea, and thence will go to the islands as Hawkins did. They are neither large nor well armed. I have sent this letter by St. Jean de Luz in hopes that your Majesty may receive it, as they would not allow another courier to go by way of France. Henceforward I shall only be able to send with great difficulty. Our Lord send redress for all this. It seems now there will be the best chance of it since the apostacy of Henry VIII.—London, 3rd December 1569.
6 Dec. 162. Guerau de Spes to the Duke of Alba.
I have had great difficulty in sending information to your Excellency of occurrences here. They have sent back the courier who was going to Calais for me and the French ambassador, although he bore a passport. A copy of the despatch sent by him is enclosed, which, with this letter, your Excellency may be pleased to send to his Majesty in order that the bearer Rafael Barberino should have fewer papers to carry, according to his passport. The Marquis, who has every confidence in him, has had him informed of the contents of the letters in case his packets should be taken away from him. He can therefore inform your Excellency of the people in the north, and assure you of the goodwill of the rest of the Catholics and the opportunity which now presents itself to serve God and his Majesty. He will say how desirable it is that they should be helped, and, if the people in the north have not already sent to your Excellency, how beneficial it will be if you would send them some person experienced in warfare. The port of Hartlepool is in their favour, and others nearer Scotland.—London, 6th December 1569.
11 Dec. 163. The Duke of Alba to the King.
On the 1st and 23rd ultimo I gave your Majesty an account of the state of affairs in England, and send enclosed a duplicate of my letter of 18th. Since then I have received the letters from Chapin, in Italian and French, of which I now send copies with my despatches in French. From the first hour that the Queen made these seizures the unwillingness of herself and her councillors to consent to a restitution has been evident. The tendency to oppose your Majesty's interests had been clearly shown, even before then, by her reception into her country of the bandits from these States, allowing the French and English pirates to enter her ports and sell the plunder taken from your Majesty's subjects, and by the extraordinary pretensions and claims put forward to D'Assonleville and now to Chapin, she having gone so far as to throw doubt upon your Majesty's own signature. Having in view the result of Chapin's last interview with her, I have decided, after consultation with the councillors here, to instruct him to take leave, in the form your Majesty will see by the enclosed copy of my letter to him. I will then have your Majesty fully informed by him of what has passed and of such intelligence as I can gain of the Queen's intentions, together with my opinion and that of the Council on the whole matter, in order that your Majesty may the better decide whether to break or dissemble. The Queen, being a greedy woman, thinks that the property and money she holds will place her in a strong position and enable her to extort her own terms, demanding conditions so extravagant that your Majesty's dignity (or even that of an inferior sovereign to the Queen) would not admit of their being accepted. This shows a design to drag the matter out, as she says she is going to send a person to treat with your Majesty, and that the discussion must be commenced from the old questions pending from the conference of Bruges which, as your Majesty will see by the enclosed despatch in French, are nearly all in favour of the States, unless they (the English) intend to bring forward the capitulation forced by King Henry on to Don Philip in the year 1506, when the latter put into an English port by reason of stress of weather. (fn. 1) I send enclosed a copy of this treaty which is called here the "bad treaty," as its observance would mean the total ruin of these States.
If the Queen sends a man, I think your Majesty should on no account allow old differences to be opened up ; as you will see more fully by the French despatch, I having rejected all attempts to re-open them in accordance with your Majesty's instructions. Whilst the question is pending it would be well for the ports and navigation to be open to your Majesty's subjects, and I have written to Chapin directing him to use his efforts to attain this by any means he thinks best, without its appearing to be done by my orders. Your Majesty's present urgent need is better known to you than to anyone, and here the pressure is very great. The past wars, the moving about of the people, the cessation of trade for the last year, the suspense of affairs in anticipation of the general amnesty, the absence of many men and the retirement from business of others, owing to the general want of confidence ; all these facts convince me that a rupture with England would be very inappropriate at present, but, if the English force it upon us, we cannot avoid it. In view of the evil intentions of the Queen and the demonstration they have made on several occasions of their intention to sell the property still in existence (which, in fact, consists of wools and other things for which there is no demand there, all the rest having been sold and consumed), I have given permission, accompanied by an instruction as to their method of proceeding, to the merchants to go and make the best arrangements they can to obtain their goods, without its being known that they do so by my leave. This particularly refers to the wools, which are much wanted in these States for manufacturing. I have aLo told the persons interested in the money that they are to make arrangements for the shortest periods they can for its repayment. When this is done and navigation is reopened, your Majesty will be in a better position to await a favourable opportunity to avenge the slights put upon you by the Queen. If, however, she will not even agree to this, her hostility will be openly shown and your Majesty will by no means be able to avoid seeking redress, because if she refuses to open her ports even for refuge, it will be quite impossible for things to remain as they are. The idea of a fleet coming and going between the States and Spain with merchandise would be feasible enough for two or three voyages, especially going from here, as they would start with a favourable wind that would allow them to stand off from the island and, if it failed, they could return hither ; but it would be different on the return voyage from Spain, the voyage being a long one they might be driven into an English port as an alternative to being wrecked.—Brussels, 11th December 1569.
164. The Duke of Alba to the King.
Since writing the enclosed I have had letters from Don Guerau of 1st and 6th, together with a letter from Chapin in French, all of which I send to your Majesty. The letters were brought by a gentleman of Chapin's, who verbally confirms the contents of the letters, that the rising in the north of England is increasing. I have answered the queen of Scotland's servant as your Majesty will see by the despatch in French enclosed, and although I expect the business will all end in smoke, I have thought best to send the present courier in great haste, going and returning, so that your Majesty may know what is going on and send me instructions, as, without knowing your wishes, I will not act, even though your Majesty refers the decision to me. I therefore beg your Majesty to let me know speedily what I am to do.—Brussels, 11th December 1569.
16 Dec. 165. The King to the Duke of Alba.
English affairs are going in a way that will make it necessary, after all, to bring that Queen to do by force what she refuses to reason. Her duty is so clear that no doubt God causes her to ignore it in order that, by these means, His holy religion may be restored in that country, and the Catholics and good Christians thus be rescued from the oppression in which they live, In case her obstinacy and hardness of heart may continue, therefore, you will take into your consideration the best direction to be given to this. We think here that the best course will be to encourage with money and secret favour the Catholics of the north, and to help those in Ireland to take up arms against the heretics and deliver the crown to the Queen of Scotland, to whom it belongs by succession. This course, it is presumed, would be very agreeable to the Pope and all Christendom, and would encounter no opposition from anyone. This is only mentioned now in order that you may know what is passing in our minds here, and that, with your great prudence and a full consideration of the state of affairs in general, you may ponder what is best to be done. What you say is very true, that we are beginning to lose reputation by deferring so long to provide a remedy for the great grievance done by this woman to my subjects, friends, and allies.—Madrid, 16th December 1569.
18 Dec. 166. Guerau de Spes to the King.
Although despatches sent by sea usually arrive late, yet sometimes they meet with fair weather. I therefore write on every occasion.
The earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland tarry in their own country in the north, preferring to await there the arrival of the Queen's troops under the earl of Warwick and the Admiral. They keep the port of Hartlepool. Their Catholic friends, from all of whom they hold signed pledges, have made no movement yet. It is true that they are much disturbed, and it seems that, if they can count upon some foreign aid, they, too, will rise.
Lord Montague, and his son-in-law, the earl of Southampton, had embarked for Flanders, but contrary winds drove them back and they had to land. An order thereupon arrived from the Queen and they did not refuse to go to Court in order to clear themselves, which Montague having done, he received the governorship of the county of Sussex, but he was able to send George Hamberton, a kinsman of the duchess of Feria, to the duke of Alba to assure him of his good intentions and of the sympathy of many nobles and others here.
The troops collected by this Queen amount to some 7,000 men and 2,000 horses, miserable fellows, and the contingent from this city, 2,000 men, has nearly all returned, slashing and cudgelling Captain Leighton, one of the leaders, who has come back to Court badly wounded to complain of his own soldiers. He was the man that was sent to receive the Marquis Chapin Viteli at Dover.
On the 9th instant, the duke of Alba's despatch of the 3rd was received, and in accordance with his orders, measures will be taken for the interested parties themselves to arrange with the Queen as best they can about the money and goods detained. She has been approached also by the Marquis to know what course will be pursued towards your Majesty's ships, and those of your subjects, with regard to trade in her ports. She promised a reply on the point, and the Marquis is staying for it, although, seeing the composition of the Council, it is not expected to be a good one.
Nothing is said about the ambassador who was to be sent to your Majesty. The Councillors think only of afflicting the Catholics, who are being taken to prison in great troops, where they are made to take part in the heretical suppers, to the great sorrow of beholders. The French and English pirates have taken the Venetian ship "Justiniana" on her way from Spain, which, with her cargo, is valued at 130,000 crowns. The pirates hoisted the Queen's standard and pretended to be her officers. The Italian mercliants here have begged for the restoration of the vessel, but, up to the present, they get nothing but fair words.
The count of Mansfeldt has arrived here, brother of Count Volrad, who is in France. He comes from there on his way to Germany, and has been well received. He is accompanied by M. de Lumbres, a native of Artois, one of the Flemish exiles, who comes nominally as an ambassador from the duchess of Vendome. They request more money to bring further German aid into France.
The Marquis and I sent a man to the duke of Alba lately to represent to him the opportunity now presented here for serving God and your Majesty, and we await his reply. They are very anxious here for the success of the Moriscos, and of any other sect, so that it be not Catholic.—London, 18th December 1569.
19 Dec. 167. Chapin Viteli to the Duke of Alba.
I had decided to despatch the present courier with an account of what passed at the audience granted to me by the Queen on Thursday last, but as on the following day Her Majesty requested that I should again see her on the 18th, yesterday, I thought best to detain the bearer until to-day, in order to give your Excellency a full and later report. When I arrived at the Court I was received by the Lord Keeper, Chancellor, the marquis of Northampton, the earl of Leicester, and Secretary Cecil on behalf of the Queen. They, having seated themselves on one side, and we on the other, the Secretary began briefly to sum up in artfully chosen words what had passed in my last discussion with the Queen, and concluded by signifying that he had her orders to ascertain more clearly what my intentions were before I again had audience of Her Majesty. When I understood the course he wished to take I decided to state in detail what my intentions were, and told him that, when I was taking leave of the Queen, in my last audience, I spoke, amongst other things, of the Corsairs and their robberies, as I thought on my return home, I might be asked what was going to be done in the matter for the future. I had, therefore, out of curiosity and of my own motion, broached the subject, and the Queen had listened to me and admitted that it was a reasonable thing that navigation, which had so long been interrupted, should be reinstated into its former condition, signifying her intention to reinstate it, if the King would do the same for her subjects. The Queen having entered upon the subject of the security to be given to her subjects I almost casualty, and in the way of conversation suggested means by which this might be done, and Her Majesty decided to take a few days to consider the matter, after which she promised to let me know her decision. As she had yesterday requested me to come there, I had nothing to say or do but to present myself before the Queen, and hear what her decision was, in order that, on my return home, I might know what to say if I were asked about the matter.
After the Secretary had communicated my answer in English to the other councillors, he said that the Queen was determined to accept no assurance but that which came direct from the King, and that the welfare of her subjects absolutely forbade her to be content with any other. He said that a power necessary for the purpose and for the settlement of old pending questions as well, might be obtained by way of France in a month, and repeated that the Queen desired nothing more than that some such arrangement might be come to, and her friendship with the King perpetuated. I replied emphatically setting forth the fulness of the powers granted to me by your Excellency, and pointed out how great had been the injury to subjects caused by the cessation of commerce for so many months and assured him (Cecil) that a new general power could not arrive from Spain in less than two months, and even after that, some months must necessarily pass before all the old pending questions could be settled. Notwithstanding this and many other reasons which I adduced, the Councillors remained firm in their decision that no arrangement could be made until a new general power arrived from Spain when, they said, the Queen would be glad to give all possible satisfaction. They said, moreover, that if the goods and merchandise detained were deteriorated, or any were missing, it was entirely the fault. of the resident ambassador, who had always refused to allow anything to be done, and they protested that, in case any further deterioration should occur, the Queen and Council would be free from blame, by which I conclude that Thomas Fiesco's business is ended.
The councillors thereupon went to give an account of the conference to the Queen, who shortly afterwards summoned me to her presence and repeated briefly the substance of the previous conversation. I then asked for her decision, which she prefaced by a declaration of the reasons that had moved her to send her Councillors to me before she gave me audience ; saying that, as her answer was to be a negative one, she thought it had better come from the mouths of others than from her own. She expressed great sorrow that I should have such insufficient powers, as it would have been a great consolation for her to have settled the matter with me, but the only thing to be done was to await the arrival of more ample powers from Spain. I took the opportunity of replying on various points, and, amongst others, on the sufficiency of my powers, which I said were founded on letters written by her to the King, as I said she would see by the copies of the letters themselves which I thus forced her to read in open audience. I saw, however, that she was only dwelling on subsiduary points, and it was a, waste of time to proceed any further, and therefore, to avoid any loss of dignity, dexterously brought her back again to the nerve of the business, getting her to pioinise publicly that when the general power arrived from Spain, she would re-instate navigation before she began the discussion of other matters.
When I took leave, she again repeated the answer clearly, and, in accordance with your Excellency's instruction, I, as if of my own accord, gave her some hints which I do not think she will forget very easily. I said that as, on my departure, no one else would be here to represent the King she should be good enough to receive the ordinary ambassador, and that, even if she thought she had reason to be offended with him, she ought not to be so ready to listen to his detractors, but should at least hear him in his own justification. She replied that she was determined not to receive him on his own account or on the matter of the merchants, but if he brought letters from the King, she would not fail to listen to him. This brought the audience to a close, and I have tried to strictly follow your Excellency's instructions in my proceedings. M. Junglo will also give an account.
I am now leaving this Colebrook Tower and shall arrive in London to-morrow morning. I shall then start on my return, in order to give your Excellency a verbal account of my mission. A Queen's ship will escort me across.—Colebrook, 19th December 1569.
20 Dec.
168. Queen Elizabeth to Philip II.
Your Serenity's letter of 20th July by the Marquis de Cetona (Chapin Viteli) came to hand in October, and we learn by it that our letter of January last, with the statement of what had passed between us and the duke of Alba, had been received by you. Your Serenity writes that you are much surprised that, notwithstanding your always having shown yourself so good a brother to us, I should have allowed myself to be persuaded by my ministers to take a course so much opposed to our reciprocal friendship. You say you are even more astonished that, against the custom of friendly princes which we have always scrupulously observed, we should have refused to receive the person sent to us by the duke of Alba, under the pretext that we would only treat with one who brought a letter from your Serenity, and that, moreover, we had excluded from our presence the ordinary ambassador from your Serenity. To this letter I wish to reply that there is nothing in the world we have desired more than to preserve our friendship in every way, both personally with you and with your subjects. This having been always my firm desire and intention, such was the inconsiderate inhumanity, or rather temerity, of your ambassador here and the cruel vexation that the duke of Alba, without any just cause, inflicted on our subjects in the Netherlands, and so great the injuries done to them in the other dominions of your Serenity, that we feel sure, knowing your natural goodness and justice, if you had well understood the whole business, as you might have done by our statement of January last, and by the account of the discussion between our councillors and the duke of Alba, that you would not only have absolved us from doing anything against our friendship, but would have praised our constancy in maintaining it, after having been provoked by so many injuries, although we refrained from exercising any cruelty towards your subjects. We should certainly have been much pleased if you had sent a man more fitting for the maintenance of peace and amity than the ambassador who has succeeded Diego Guzman de Silva, who was always a good minister desirous of preserving harmony between us, which was proved by the calm and quiet which reigned whilst he was here. When the illustrious Marquis de Cetona arrived, sent by the duke of Alba in virtue of powers conceded by your Serenity, we were in hope that you would have recognised our causes of complaint and that the Marquis would have brought full and ample powers to settle all questions and put an end to our differences, which would have been the means of restoring our old friendship and the reciprocal commerce carried on by our subjects. With this hope, strengthened by the good accounts we had received of the Marquis' prudence and high standing, we admitted him willingly to our presence, but the result was a disappointment to us, as we believe it was to him. We instructed certain of our principal councillors to verify his powers and discuss the business, and they found that the only power he brought from your Serenity was to demand a certain sum of money and certain merchandise which were being detained in our realm ; the reason of the detention being, first to protect the property from being plundered by certain foreigners, and secondly for other good and sufficient reasons. Our councillors represented this fact to the Marquis and pointed out to him how limited his powers were, asking him whether he understood that they went beyond the demand for such monies and merchandise, seeing that I had made so many grave complaints and claims, and demanded redress on behalf of my subjects, whereupon he replied frequently (in accord with the two persons who were associated with him by the duke of Alba) that he had no other power and did not understand that his mission extended beyond treating of the detention of the money and goods. Seeing, therefore, that the hope we had entertained from his coming was frustrated, and being grieved that more care and foresight had not been employed in drawing up the power sent to the duke of Alba and transferred by him to the Marquis, contrary to custom, we have been forced to defer the agreement upon the point, as there are many complaints outstanding on the part of ourselves and our subjects which could not be resolved, owing to the insufficiency of the Marquis' powers. We requested the Marquis to advise the duke of Alba of this as soon as possible in the hope that he would endeavour to obtain fresh powers in more ample form. We gave this reply in the middle of last November, less than a week after we first saw the Marquis, and it appears that he sent a messenger to the duke of Alba, as, in the middle of December, he told us that the Duke had replied that, at the present time, a more ample power could not be sent ; whereupon the Marquis requested leave to return home, which we gave him. When he was leaving, he spoke to us privately as to whether we would give licence for all ships belonging to your Serenity to enter and leave our ports without hindrance. We would very willingly give this licence if we could be convinced by your Serenity's powers that the same course would be pursued towards us in your dominions. But, as we learnt that the Marquis had no power to assure us on this point we told him to despatch a courier to your Serenity (which courier could be back again here in about thirty days, by way of France) in order that he might bring him full powers from you, not only to settle the arrangement about the ships, but all other questions and grievances between us. We think well also to say in writing what we have said to him verbally, namely, that he appears to be a person of so much talent, nobleness, and prudence, to judge by the manner in which he commenced the discussion of the affair, that we have every hope that, if sufficient powers are granted him, he will soon settle the differences now existing between us and our subjects on both sides ; which I greatly desire, as I see how advantageous it will be to us and to our subjects welfare. Although you have been told differently, we can assure you that none of our ministers have endeavoured to dissuade us from this course, but that they, on the contrary, are as anxious to do right as any minister of your own can be, however intimate he may be with you personally. But we are extending this letter to an unusual length and beg you to excuse us for this, as we, having no ambassador near you, are desirous of declaring the matter clearly to you which can only be done in detail.—Windsor Castle, 20th December 1569.
20 Dec. 169. Guerau de Spes to the King.
The day before yesterday the Marquis Chapin Viteli had his last audience without any successful result, either as regards the former proposals or as to the security of the ships, which he dealt with on present occasion. All points were left open until your Majesty should send another fuller power, or the Queen should write to your Majesty as she bad promised to do in previous audiences. She said that, when the full power came from your Majesty, the first point she would deal with would be regarding this security of the ships, and it appears that Cecil indicated, as the Marquis understood, that the Queen would send to the Marquis the letter for your Majesty, in answer to the one brought by him from you. The Marquis comes to-day to my house, and will leave at once, as it is important that he should inform the Duke of the hopes of these people, of the malignity of the councillors, of the particulars of the present movements, and of what may be looked forward to for the future. The Queen said that before I could negotiate with her she would await a letter from your Majesty to that effect, as she had said before.—London, 20th December 1569.
24 Dec. 170. Guerau de Spes to the King.
Since writing on the 20th instant, through the duke of Alba, I have received to-day letters from him of the 13th, setting forth certain reasons to induce the Queen to restore what has been taken, and to prove to her how unreasonable it is to request a general treaty ; but as she has given already a definite reply upon this point, the Marquis and I await the Duke's reply to our last letters.
The rising in the north is growing, and Lord Hunsdon, who went to York, has returned, as the whole country is up as far south as Doncaster. This Queen has sent the Admiral to Lincoln, and Ralph Sadler of the Council goes with him to offer pardon to the people who have risen.
The Queen is making ready some infantry, and is equipping three ships, as well as having given orders for the fitting out of seven more. It is feared that Wales will also rise, but the roads are so strictly guarded that trustworthy news of what is happening is difficult to get.
The gentleman that the queen of Scotland is sending to the duke of Alba has left in the disguise of a servant to an Englishman.
Killigrew, who was prepared to leave for Germany, and had already many letters of credit, has been ordered to stay. I send this by way of France so that your Majesty may receive news by various roads.—London, 24th December 1569.
26 Dec. 171. The King to Guerau de Spes.
On the 21st ultimo, your letters of 27th and 30th September, 8th, 14th, and 24th October, and 11th instant were received together. By them I see, and also by Chapin Viteli's letter to the Duke, what had passed with the Queen and her ministers, and as it is clear that their object has only been to gain time by vain generalities, and to avoid coming to the point, I have no more at present to say on the subject, excepting that I am sure that you will have done what you could towards the settlement of these questions. You will in all things, and at all times, follow the instructions of the duke of Alba, as you have been told before.
I am much annoyed at the imprisonment of the duke of Norfolk, the earls of Arundel and Pembroke, and Lord Lumley, because as there are several of them and they will certainly be closely pressed, they will be sure to reveal the object which they had in view as to the marriage of the Queen of Scotland, and the whole business will fail, and even probably, their own safety be endangered. As to the offer made to you by the other earls, their friends, to set them at liberty, and release the queen of Scotland, restoring what has been stolen and re-establishing the Catholic religion in the country ; however good their intention may be, we doubt their daring to undertake the enterprise, or that they can succeed in it if they do. It was, therefore, well for you not to open out with them or make them any promises, but to refer them to the Duke, who will have thoroughly examined the matter and sent a fit reply. You will proceed in future in the same way, as this is a matter that requires great consideration and foresight, particularly as you have to deal with Englishmen, who are naturally suspicious, and especially at such a time as this.
Antonio Fogaza has arrived in Portugal, and has commenced negotiations with Don Fernando Carrilo, my ambassador, on the matter entrusted to him by the Catholics of the north, but he has not yet openly declared himself yet as to their objects. If these turn out to be well founded and with any hopes of success, I will not fail to help them as much as I can, and in due time information will be given to you as to my decision.
I have decided to go to Cordoba, to hold a Cortes of Castile, and also to push on matters in the kingdom of Granada, so as to end, as promptly as possible, the rising of the Moriscos. I have never yet been in that province, which is another reason for my going.
You will watch closely the doings of John Killigrew, as it is important to know the result of his journeys to Germany. You will advise me and the Duke of the same with your wonted care and diligence.
News has arrived in Seville of Hawkins having passed Cape St. Vincent with twenty-two vessels, although there is no certainty about it. It will be well for you to discover what truth there is in this, and in all similar cases to advise me so that redress may be provided.—Madrid, 26th December 1569.


  • 1. This refers to Philip the Handsome, who in January 1506 was on his way from Flanders to Spain with his wife Dona Juana (Crazy Jane), and was driven by tempest into an English port. He had an interview with Henry VII., who extorted from him the treaty in question.