Simancas: April 1586

Pages 573-574

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

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April 1586

28 April.
Paris Archives, K. 1564. 73.
432. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
(Acknowledges letters of 17th and 28th February, 6th and 30th March, and 1st April.)
I can well believe the difficulty you will find in obtaining trustworthy reports from England, and that you will have used every effort in this respect as you say ; but it is a matter of such great importance at present that reports should be obtained, that I must again enjoin you expressly not to be satisfied with the news you may be able to glean from the French Embassy in England (although that is a good way too), but by every other channel to seek information, sending men specially by the intervention of Muzio (i.e. the duke of Guise) and through the Scots ambassador, if you are intimate with him, as I think you are. They will be sure to have men whom they can trust, and some pretext for sending them, without even the men who go knowing that they are being sent at your instance. The most important thing of all is, that you should ascertain and report about naval armaments, in what ports, and to what extent, preparations are being made ; if at the expense of the Queen, or on account of the merchants or Companies ; the length of time for which victuals are provided ; what men are being shipped on board, these being concrete points from which we can deduce the intentions they have in view. Be also very particular in reporting whether any of Drake's ships have arrived in England with intelligence of what had taken place at Santo Domingo ; and whether they were sending him aid, as I am informed from Lisbon (copy of which report I now enclose). You will pay great attention to this point, as you will see its importance ; and I shall also be glad to hear what effect is produced there by the sailing of the fleet, which you will have heard is to be taken out by the marquis of Santa Cruz. You will make every effort to discover whether the offers made by the Queen-mother to Don Antonio, in case a general peace is concluded, are merely compliments, or with a desire to wean him away from England back to France again, or whether there is anything serious behind it. Try to find out also whether the Queen-mother and the queen of England might not come to some understanding on this point, in the afore-mentioned case of a peace being made.
If Antony Pointz comes hither he shall be received in accordance with your advice, although it is quite possible that he may have used all these subterfuges in order to have a better pretext for coming, and learning what is going on here. We shall write to the prince of Parma ; but it will be well for you also to advise him, so that he may be on the watch and see Pointz's hand.—The Pardo, 28th April 1586.
Note.—In compliance with constantly repeated requests for money from Mendoza, a credit was sent with the above letter for 12,000 crowns, accompanied by a note in Idiaquez's hand, telling him to send 4,000 crowns of this amount to the queen of Scotland, "on account of the 12,000 granted her years ago, which in future shall be paid to her, as has been promised to Englefield who has pressed the matter for her. He says you may safely send the money by the man who collects her revenue in France."