Simancas: February 1572

Pages 374-375

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

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February 1572

8 Feb. 307. Guerau De Spes to the King.
I believe that the men sent by the Duke of Alba to your Majesty at the beginning of January were robbed near Chatelherault of four despatches, some for your Majesty, two of which I gave to them here and two which Secretary Aguilon writes me that he gave them. Your Majesty will, therefore, not have fully understood the insolence of the queen of England and the Council in sending me away without allowing me to await your Majesty's orders and insisting upon my sailing in bad weather, besides detaining my steward, to whom Lord Burleigh is putting a thousand strange questions. Little will be got out of him, however, although they may put him to the torture and trouble him, seeing how disturbed and arrogant they are. In the meanwhile, I believe they will have sold the merchandise, as the month they allowed for the owners to come and buy it, is running out.— Brussels, 8th February 1572.
18 Feb. 308. Guerau De Spes to the King.
My departure from England had been decided upon by the Council for a long time to my knowledge, although I did not think they would have expelled me until their league with France was more assured. In order to conclude this league without any hindrance from me and to prevent their machinations and plots being so easily understood, and also to enable them to condemn the duke of Norfolk without misgiving, they hurried me in this violent way to leave the country, without allowing me to await your Majesty's permission. Before doing this, Burleigh supplied himself with declarations to inculpate me if at any time it was necessary to be friendly again. He had been getting these together for a long time past and retained my steward against all international rights.
In all the conferences that I had with the Council or with Secretary Tremaine, and even when they spoke to Zweveghem, these English were for ever bringing up the question of John Man's treatment in Spain.—Brussels, 18th February 1572.
24 Feb. 309. The King to Guerau De Spes.
Having received all the letters you wrote to me in December and that from Canterbury on the 7th of January, as well as letters from the duke of Alba, informing me of your arrival in Bruges, I was glad to hear that, since the Queen decided to treat you as she did, you should have got safely out of the country. There is nothing to say about things that are already past, but, as regards to your staying in Flanders or coming hither, you will follow the Duke's instructions as I will write to him what I desire. He will also provide you with money on account of your salary which will run until you arrive here at the same rate as you were paid in England. As to all English affairs, and particularly as regards Hawkins and Fitzwilliams, I refer you also to the Duke.—Madrid, 24th February 1572.
310. The King to the Duke of Medina-Celi.
I learn from the duke of Alba that he had sent advising you not to put into an English port, and, as the sea is so uncertain and the weather so bad that his letter may not have reached you, I think well to repeat the advice to you, and to tell you the reasons why those people (the English) are not to be trusted. In order that no minister of mine might be near the Queen to witness her bad proceedings about religion and government and to watch her opposition to my interests, she invented some colourable pretext for expelling from her realm my ambassador Don Guerau de Spes, who is already at Bruges, although they still kept in prison his steward, on I know not what suspicion in connection with the restitution of the embargoed goods, so that the Duke considered negotiations now quite broken off. Besides this, they have just seized three more ships belonging to subjects of mine, and there are many indications that the negotiations for a league with the French were proceeding ; all of which proves that there is little desire to be friendly with us. By certain steps the Duke has recently taken we shall soon learn all there is to be known, and I will advise you, as soon as I receive his news, what is best to be done. I have said enough to put you on your guard not to trust the English nor touch in their country. I am writing to the same effect to my officers on the coast and elsewhere, in order that ships leaving for Flanders may be warned.—Madrid, 24th February 1572.