Simancas: February 1585

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 3, 1580-1586. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1896.

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'Simancas: February 1585', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 3, 1580-1586, ed. Martin A S Hume( London, 1896), British History Online [accessed 19 July 2024].

'Simancas: February 1585', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 3, 1580-1586. Edited by Martin A S Hume( London, 1896), British History Online, accessed July 19, 2024,

"Simancas: February 1585". Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 3, 1580-1586. Ed. Martin A S Hume(London, 1896), , British History Online. Web. 19 July 2024.

February 1585

1585. 7 Feb.
Paris Archives, K. 1563. 32.
386. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The earl of Derby, as I wrote to your Majesty, is coming to bring the garter to this King. He has disembarked at Boulogne with a great following of English nobles, and is to be lodged, and apparently splendidly entertained, by the King. It is already asserted that Joyeuse will go back to England with them to thank the Queen for the garter and confirm the treaties, if any really be made, and he has begun to make preparations for the journey.
I am informed by letters of 23rd ultimo from England that the earl of Clinton (Lincoln), the lord Admiral, is dead, and that the earl of Leicester was trying very hard to get the office. The Parliament there had ended, and the Queen had ordered therein that 30 or 40 priests who were imprisoned in the gaols and the Tower of London should be banished, under sentence of being immediately hanged without further formalities if they ever return to the country again.
Mr. Grey, (fn. 1) the king of Scotland's ambassador, had returned to Scotland, his proceedings having given but little satisfaction to the English Catholics and the adherents of the queen of Scotland there. The Queen's secretary (fn. 2) also had returned to his mistress. I am informed that he had no understanding with Mr. Grey.
Letters from Scotland, dated 6th ultimo, bring news that all was quiet there, although Lord Seton had been harshly received by the King publicly, in consequence of his having openly professed Catholicism here, whilst in private he (the King) had approved of his conduct, and had shortly afterwards gone to his house to visit him as he was ill of dropsy, his death even having been announced here, but the King's visit had confirmed his hopes of recovery.
Ascanio Cifarini (fn. 3) has written to me from Dover, saying that he had come thither from London, having taken his departure without having spoken to the Queen. He had taken ship for Dunkirk, but the vessels from Flushing had chased him, and he had to return to Dover, whither I hear he went across to Boulogne with a servant of M. de la Mauvissiere.—Paris, 7th February 1585.
Feb. 22.
Paris Archives. K. 1563. 39.
387. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Notwithstanding what I wrote about the English Parliament having been dissolved and the members sent home, I have letters from there dated 8th instant, saying that it had only been prorogued as it had not yet voted the subsidy, although at the opening of Parliament it had been proposed to vote 150,000 (pounds?).
The departure of the Scots ambassador had given rise to the rumour that the king of Scotland was coming to York, and that the Queen would go thither to meet him, but the thing does not seem likely.
The Catholic priests had embarked on the river Thames before the Tower, and although they were treated as traitors, the Queen gave them a vessel and food for the voyage, and license for each one to take away with him 16 crowns for his expenses. There is already news that they have arrived in France, but, according to the list sent, Father Creighton does not seem to be amongst them. They doubtless want to retain him on the ground that he was sent to Scotland on State affairs. (fn. 4) They tell me that Walsingham had an English Catholic from Rome in his house as secretary. I suspect that it is a certain Solomon Ender (?) who is considered by many Catholic countrymen of his own to be a double spy, by reason of the facility with which he goes to England, although he is favoured by Cardinal Sabelo (fn. 5) and enjoys a pension from his Holiness. I have sent a report of this to Rome and have mentioned it to the Nuncio here.
The Queen has knighted Raleigh her favourite, and has given him a ship of her own, of 180 tons burden with five pieces of artillery on each side, and two half-culverins in the bows. Raleigh had also bought two Dutch fly-boats of 120 tons to carry stores, and two other boats of 40 tons ; in addition to which he was having built four pinnaces of 20 to 30 tons, so that, altogether, Raleigh would fit out no fewer than 16 vessels, in which he intended to carry 400 men. The Queen has assured him that if he do not sail himself she will defray all the costs of the preparations, (fn. 6) and she has given the same assurance to Drake, and had granted a patent for the voyage, the conditions being that she was to find 20,000l. for the fitting out of the ships, 24 large vessels and 20 pinnaces, which were being made ready in London and the west-country and elsewhere, but more slowly than Raleigh's fleet, which will be ready to sail at the beginning of next month for Norembega ; and Drake would ship 2,000 men with the intention of encountering your Majesty's fleets before they could meet at Havana. If he do not succeed in this he will land at Nombre de Dios, and is confident of making the voyage from England in 40 days. If the king of France takes the Flemish rebels under his protection it is also thought that some of the English merchant ships now being fitted out for Newfoundland might be taken directly to meet your Majesty's fleets, wherever they might find them. (fn. 7) The Queen had likewise ordered her ships which were without masts to be made ready.
The English ambassador in Constantinople reports that the Turk was sending an embassy to the Queen. The Queen had sent a great spy called Herll to Embden, to discover what negotiations were being carried on by one of the Counts with your Majesty. The earl of Derby is coming from the queen of England to bring the garter to this King. He has arrived at St. Denis, where he has been ordered to stay, the duke of Montpensier being sent to meet him with a great train of all the gentlemen of the Court. He is to be entertained with balls and banquets, and there is much talk here of the festivities that are to be held in his honour. (fn. 8) —Paris, 22nd February 1585.


  • 1. The Master of Gray.
  • 2. Nau.
  • 3. This man had been sent by the duke of Parma to the Queen. Stafford writing to Walsingham, 8th December 1584 (Hatfield MSS., Hist MSS. Com., Part 3, page 75), calls him "a very bad man," and advises that he should be captured on his way across and taken to France. He accuses him of being the instrument for corrupting St. Soulène and persuading him to abstain from fighting during Strozzi's naval action against the Spaniards at St. Michael's in favour of Don Antonio, and thus causing the overthrow of Strozzi and the French force. Parma's instructions to Ciffarini will be found in the B.M. Add MSS. 28,173B.
  • 4. Creighton had been captured at sea on his way to Scotland in the previous September, shortly after Throgmorton's execution. He had made some very compromising admissions on the rack and was kept a State prisoner in the Tower for long afterwards.
  • 5. Cardinal Giacome Savcllo was a prelate of Roman birth who had been proposed for the papacy when Sixtus V. was elected. He was chief inquisitor at Rome and his terrible severity and haughtiness had caused him to be greatly feared and disliked, and Cardinal Montalto (Felice Peretti) was therefore preferred to him.
  • 6. Ralph Lane, one of the Queen's equerries who was employed in Ireland, was given leave to undertake the voyage for Raleigh. See Colonial Calendar, Addenda, 1574—1674.
  • 7. Hakluyt writes to Walsingham from Paris, 7th April :— "The rumour of Sir Walter Rawley's fleet, and especially the preparation of Sir Francis Drake, doth so much vex the Spaniard and his factors, as nothing can be more, and therefore he could wish that although Sir Francis Drake's journey be stayed, yet the rumour of his setting forth might be continued."—Colonial Calendar.
  • 8. Thomas Morgan writes from Paris to the queen of Scots, 10th February, that Derby was bringing a train of 250 followers, and that the king of France was to give him 2,000 francs a day towards his expenses.—Hatfield Papers, Part 3.