Simancas: January 1574

Pages 472-474

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

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January 1574

1574. 7 Jan. B. M.
Add. 26,056b. Transcript.
389. Document headed "Substance of letters from Antonio De Guaras of 12th, 15th, 25th, 31st January 1574."
The Baron D'Aubigni had come to visit the Queen from the Grand Commander (Requesens) and had been better received than ever an envoy was before. A lord and seven or eight great gentlemen had gone out to meet him, who had housed him well and accompanied him to the palace, in the great hall of which the Queen awaited him surrounded by her nobles. She received him very kindly and seemed pleased at his visit. The more to honour him they took him to the Queen's privy chamber when he took his leave, and the Queen, having been informed by him that some of her subjects wished to go and serve his Majesty on sea and on land, she said they could not go as she had promised Orange that she would send no force against him, and she wished rather to be an intercessor to bring Orange with his territory of Zealand and Holland to submit to his Majesty, as Burleigh had several times told Guaras.
Many Englishmen are anxious to serve the King, and they would do so if they were allowed, although it is believed few will do so against the Queen's will. It is thought, indeed, that she has ordered her Vice-Admirals to prevent any victuals, stores, or men from going over for the King's service.
On the other hand, it is said that by her express order and permission, men, victuals, and munitions are going in great numbers to Zealand for the help of Orange. Guaras knew that Captain Chester was going to Flushing in 10 days with 600 soldiers, and 300 had already gone, and he spoke to Lord Burleigh about it to urge him to have the Queen's promise to the Baron fulfilled. He promised him that it should be done if possible, and that they would do their best to stop the men, but Guaras could see that their desire was to get possession of Middleburg. Guaras is told that they will go over separately and secretly to the number of 1,500, with the intention of enriching themselves with the spoils of Middleburg. He had also heard that some English soldiers were being shipped from Newcastle for Holland as well as a number of Scotsmen, so that help is going secretly from all parts.
The gentleman ... had told him that he heard the Queen would not give overt or private permission to send the fleet which had been promised, but that certain portions of it would be sent to the points on the coast of Flanders which were assigned to her, before any money was paid, so that she would always hold good security for value. She had sent a gentleman to the Grand Commander about this and about the soldiers who had been recalled from Holland. These soldiers had been reviewed before the palace in London, and had now been sent to Scotland. Some of the officers of this force had offered to enter his Majesty's service in Flanders.
He had heard that the Flemish rebels in England were raising a subscription of 100,000 crowns as well as 30,000l. to help Orange to increase his force.
He had been informed that there were about the Downs and Dover seven or eight ships of the Flemish fleet which had captured six Breton ships on their way from Spain to Flanders.
He had heard that the bishop of Ross had been carried a prisoner to Calais where he had been landed. His mistress was as closely guarded as usual.
Twenty gentlemen and a great lady had been brought prisoners from Norfolk on suspicion of an intention of rising. A sloop was openly leaving for Zealand with 30 pieces of artillery and 80 soldiers, and a cargo of powder, beer, and salt meat ; 70 more guns were ready for shipment. If they could be captured it would be good.
The rebels are resisting the Queen's forces in Ireland, and Guaras is informed that their numbers increase daily. A gentleman who has been Viceroy of the Province offers to bring it into subjection with 10,000 English troops. The Council is discussing the offer.— London, January 1574.