Simancas: November 1679

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. All rights reserved.


'Simancas: November 1679', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 2, 1568-1579, ed. Martin A S Hume( London, 1894), British History Online [accessed 19 July 2024].

'Simancas: November 1679', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 2, 1568-1579. Edited by Martin A S Hume( London, 1894), British History Online, accessed July 19, 2024,

"Simancas: November 1679". Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 2, 1568-1579. Ed. Martin A S Hume(London, 1894), , British History Online. Web. 19 July 2024.

November 1679

11 Nov. 608. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
After having closed the accompanying letter, I was informed that on the 9th instant, after having heard of the arrival of Captain Breton with a despatch from Alençon to Simier ; on the occasion of Simier entering her private chamber, the Queen said that he must excuse her for detaining him so long, and as soon as she had finished one other matter, she would give him leave to depart. He was with her for many hours, and afterwards despatched the same Captain. The Queen summoned the principal councillors to her chamber on the 10th, and told them that she had determined to marry and that they need say nothing more to her about it, but should at once discuss what was necessary for carrying it out. If this is put into execution it may be undoubtedly looked upon as a divine provision to reduce this country to the Catholic religion, and punish it by means of an intestine war, to judge by present indications, for having separated therefrom.— London, 11th November 1579.
28 Nov. 609. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
These people change so constantly in whatever they take in hand, that it is difficult to send your Majesty any definite information, because, although they may do a thing with all deliberation, they alter it in a moment. On the 12th at nightfall they sent a courier here to prorogue Parliament, which had been summoned for the 24th, and two hours afterwards came another with orders to write the letters of summons for them to meet, after which, at midnight, fresh orders arrived that it should stand over until the 20th of January. The Queen sent an order to Stafford at Dover, who, as I wrote on the 11th, (fn. 1) was going to Alençon, for him to return. After she had said to her councillors what I reported in my last, she ordered each one individually to give her his opinion in writing. When Simier heard this he told her that, the business being in its present state, he thought it was not fitting that such a course should be taken. She asked him who told him so, and he replied that it was Cecil, whereupon she retorted very angrily, "surely it is possible for my councillors to keep a secret ; I will see to this." She then entered another room without saying anything more. She afterwards told the Council to write a letter from all the members, urging Alençon to expedite his coming, whereupon they replied that it was not for them but for her to do that, and they also told her that it was befitting her dignity that some one of greater standing and authority than Simier should come to settle the capitulations. As soon as Simier heard this he booted and spurred and went to take leave of the Queen. She pacified him by means of great caresses, and retained him until the 29th, when he left, and Stafford accompanied him. They are agreed as to the terms, which I have frequently written to your Majesty, and have now conceded to Alençon the right for all Frenchmen and servants who are with him to attend his chapel freely, without specifying any number. The former demand was that a number was to be fixed. If the agreement was ratified in France, some personage will come with the signed confirmation of the king of France and his brother, whereupon another personage will leave here to arrange for his coming. This is so much desired by the Queen that some people think that all this delay is unnecessary, but the object of her councillors in thus drawing it out is to divert the Queen, if possible, from it, in view of the hatred towards the marriage shown by the people at large, and if they cannot succeed in this, at least to mitigate the discontent of the people and prevent a rising.
She gave jewels and pearls to Simier valued at eight thousand crowns, and to the councillor who was with him five hundred crowns worth of silver plate, the other gentlemen having chains worth two hundred. Many of her pensioners went with him, and Lords Howard and Seymour were to accompany him to France, whilst six gentlemen were to go with him as far as Montreuil. The two Lords will have to await their return with the ships. This is greatly surprising the English as such extraordinary ceremony as this has never been performed with any ambassador.
This Queen has received another letter from the Turk by way of France, which, in addition to many other offers, promises a favourable reception of Englishmen who come to his country, either by land or sea ; both on account of his desire for her friendship as for that of the king of France, with whom he requests her to be as friendly as she can. He says that, by reason of his friendship to the king of France, he will be pleased to hear of her marriage with his brother, from which it may be seen that the French have made it their business to write to him about it. The Turks are also desirous of friendship with the English on account of the tin which has been sent thither for the last few years, and which is of the greatest value to them, as they cannot cast their guns without it, whilst the English make a tremendous profit on the article, by means of which alone they maintain the trade with the Levant. Five ships are ready to sail thither now, and I am told that, in one of them, they are sending nearly twenty thousand crowns worth of bar tin, without counting what the rest of them take. As this sending tin to the infidel is against the apostolic communion, and your Majesty has ordered that no such voyage shall be allowed to pass the Messina light, to the prejudice of God and Christianity, I advise the viceroy of Sicily of the sailing of these ships as I understand that they will touch at Palermo, where the tin can be confiscated.
The earl of Desmond has risen in Ireland for the third time and, although the Queen had not hitherto declared him a rebel, she has done so now, moved, as I am told, by the fear that the earl of Kildare may do the same. Letters have been given to her written by Dr. Sanders to the Irish Barons who have risen, urging them not to lose heart, but to continue what they have begun, as most of the nobles of England and Scotland will help them, as well as foreign princes. She has appointed various men to go to Ireland as Viceroys, but they have refused, as they think that this rising is more serious than the previous one.
The Parliament of Scotland was discussing the giving of the title of earl of Lennox to M. d'Aubigny, (fn. 2) and have postponed until next Parliament the appointment of an heir to the Crown.—London, 28th November 1579.


  • 1. This letter is missing.
  • 2. This was the celebrated Esmé Stuart who thenceforward exercised so strong an influence over the young King, and was subsequently created duke of Lennox. He was the son of a brother of the earl of Lennox (the Regent) and consequently a first cousin of Darnley.