Simancas: July 1587

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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'Simancas: July 1587', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603, (London, 1899) pp. 118-131. British History Online [accessed 21 April 2024]

July 1587

1 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1564. 259.
118. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The 14 ships which I said the queen of England had decided to send in aid of Drake (four of her own and 10 being fitted out by merchants in the West Country, of 80 to 100 tons each vessel) I am advised by Julius from London, under date of 16th ultimo, had not then sailed. The four Queen's ships had come to the mouth of the Thames, and could not leave there before the 20th, although the weather was favourable. The Queen had no certainty as to when the other ships in the West Country would be ready, but it was expected they would be so at the end of the month ; so that, notwithstanding the fine weather, they have been longer than was thought probable.
The Queen's ship "Golden Lion" has arrived in London. She was one of the best of those taken out by Drake, but came back as she was making much water and it was feared she would sink. (fn. 1) The captain (i.e. Borough) was a man whom the English consider a great sailor, but as he could not agree with Drake, whose opinion he opposed in many things, Drake tried to get him dismissed from his ship ; but the seamen would not allow it, and he brought the ship back to England, where directly he arrived the Queen did him the favour of casting him into prison. Drake has sent to ask for some victuals, and although he has provided himself with wine and biscuit he may be short of all else.
They write from Rouen that many ships are being fitted out for the succour of Drake, but they do not give the number, or the ports they are in, so I do not consider the news serious. I hear from Julius (fn. 2) and others that up to the 16th instant only the 14 ships I have mentioned were being prepared.
The Queen had decided to send Lord Grey to Holland, but when news came that the duke of Parma had set down before the Sluys and Ostend she had changed her mind and had ordered the earl of Leicester to make ready to go ; but it was not known what troops he would take.
Don Antonio was in London.—Paris, 1st July 1587.
1 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1564. 262.
119. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The duke of Parma has captured two forts from the Sluys people and was attacking them with great fury on the 28th ultimo.
Sampson is with me as I write this, very late at night, and there is no time now to enclose in this the contents of the reports he has from England dated 18th ultimo ; but they say that Don Antonio is being more caressed by the queen of England than ever. The succour she was sending to Drake, of four of her own ships and 10 merchantmen, was being got ready and the ships were to meet on the coast of Cornwall. (fn. 3) Sampson says they are warmly embracing here (i.e., in Paris) the coming of Don Antonio, and are considering where will be a place of safety for him. Sampson humbly salutes your Majesty and prays for favour as he is in great need and living is very dear here. (fn. 4) —Paris, 1st July 1587.
3 July.
Estado, 949.
120. Count De Olivares to the King.
Three days since there arrived here the Scottish friar who I wrote on the 30th ultimo was expected. He is a certain William Creighton who was here when I came from Spain.
As soon as he arrived Melino went to him, and afterwards reported to me that he had brought news given by the archbishop of Glasgow and Don Bernardino, that the gentleman, (fn. 5) who a year ago came on behalf of the Scottish Catholics, and whom your Majesty referred to the prince of Parma, with whom he has been ever since, had been sent back at Whitsuntide with an answer from your Majesty, offering 6,000 infantry for the end of August or beginning of September, and the pay for as many more to be raised in Scotland for six months for the help of the King, on condition that he declared himself a Catholic, as he really was. The infantry was to be supplied from Flanders, they (the Scots) sending the vessels to bring them over, and in order to make all due provision the Prince of Parma had drawn on Don Bernardino de Mendoza for 10,000 crowns. To divert the suspicion of the queen of England, the Prince had commanded the troops to be shipped from some port in France. Creighton was instructed to convey this intelligence to the Pope, to Cardinal Mondovi, to Sanzio, and to no other person.
As I saw that this news, joined to other things, would confirm the belief here that your Majesty had finally embraced the English enterprise, and would strengthen the hope entertained of converting the king of Scotland, by persuading the Pope that your Majesty also entertained it, (fn. 6) I am endeavouring through Allen and Mondovi (who, in addition to their zeal for religion, continue in the best disposition about the succession) to have this man persuaded not to impart this news to anyone. We are greatly aided in this by the fact that Creighton himself has heard so much from various quarters of the Pope's lack of secrecy, and has almost been converted to the advisability of keeping silence. What I fear most is the arrival of letters from the archbishop of Glasgow written in the belief that this Jesuit had conveyed the news to his Holiness. I will report what happens.—Rome, 3rd July 1587.
6 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1448. 124.
121. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Praise Muzio for his firmness with the Queen-Mother. Stop the public talk about my support to the Guises. It is most inconvenient.
It is indeed a strange invention of those (French) ministers to say that I was approaching the king of France with suggestions that he should turn against England. I have no doubt that your hint that they should be asked to produce the original letters will have proved where the truth lay. I always thought that L'Onglé's hints to the Nuncio and other persons here, to the effect that his master (the king of France) was desirous of joining with me against England, were for the purpose of feeling the ground, and the persons he thus tried to deceive, have now been informed of what had been said in Paris.
You must do your best to preserve the new friend, with whom you are now on such good terms, but your communications must be kept extremely secret, because if this means should fail us we shall lose a most valuable source of information, and there are doubtless people there who watch you closely.
I shall be glad to have news of Bruce when you receive any. I think that the Earl of Morton, who has come hither, would have been better advised if he had remained at home, as I fear that his absence may militate against the business. He asserts that he left the country by the King's wish, although not banished or forced ; becaused he was assailed on all sides by his rivals of the English faction. He has licence for five years and has left his wife and children in the enjoyment of his estates. He has only recently arrived here, and it is possible that after we have heard what he has to say, he may be instructed to return to Scotland immediately, as he may be of service there but cannot be so elsewhere.—Madrid, 6th July 1587.
6 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1448. 125.
122. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
I am very anxious to know if the 14 ships which you say were being fitted out in England to reinforce Drake have sailed, and whether only the six have arrived, or more ; also, what has become of the 10 vessels which you report were lying in the Thames ready for sea. The constant repetition of these instructions to you in all the letters, to pay particular attention to these armaments, does not arise from any lack of care in the matter on your part, but because it is of such vast importance that we should have early information of their movements, in order that they may be frustrated ; and we are constrained, therefore, to keep the point before you. By the account we recently sent you of what happened in Cadiz you will see how the matter has been exaggerated in England. I hope in my next to be able to inform you that the marquis of Santa-Cruz has sailed.—Madrid, 6th July 1587.
6 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1448. 127.
123. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Does not think there is much in Friar Diego Carlos' negotiation for the submission of Don Antonio. If the latter likes to surrender without conditions, well and good. In such case he might be re-granted the title and revenues of the Priory of Ocrato, and might live simply and decently in Malta.—Madrid, 6th July 1587.
6 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1448. 128.
124. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
You did well in preventing Muzio from committing such an evil act towards the Catholic Scottish earls, who trusted him, as to denounce them to their King. I much fear that the coming of the earl of Morton hither will render Bruce's plans impossible ; and as it is of the highest importance to know what has been done in Scotland, in order that the earl of Morton may be instructed accordingly ; you will make great efforts to send me news at once, so that I may get it, if possible, before he leaves Spain and returns home, which at present seems the best course, as he can be of no use elsewhere.
Your other point, as to which of the two offers made to the new friend he should accept, requires some consideration ; but in the present aspect of affairs it appears that he would be of the greatest service in the Council when he returns home, although it would, perhaps, be advisable that he should retain his present post as long as possible, as, whilst he is there, he can give information as to what is going on both in England and France with greater speed and facility than he could elsewhere. Besides which some suspicion may exist that their wish to remove him from there, by tempting offers, may be with the intention of playing a trick upon him. At all events it is quite certain that L'Onglé (fn. 7) here knows that he often meets you at night, and he is more likely to have learnt it from the other side than from here. You must, however, keep this fact to yourself, so that you may arrange your communications with him (Stafford) with the utmost secrecy, and at the same time to induce him, for his own safety's sake, to stay in his present position as long as he can. You can instance the accusations they brought against his brother in England, (fn. 8) and other things in support of this ; but do not hint to him that his communication with you has been discovered by anyone who may use the knowledge to his prejudice, for fear that he may take alarm and forsake the good path he has hitherto trodden for a different one. If he must change his place, persuade him to enter the Council, but if he cannot do that, let him not refuse the other post (i.e., the viceroyalty of Ireland), and urge him, wherever he may be, to continue his good services, which shall he adequately rewarded. Keep his friendship in any case, and get as much information as you can from him and others, reporting all things to me.—Madrid, 6th July 1587.
10 July.
Estado, 949.
125. Count De Olivares to Juan De Idiaquez.
As Allen and Melino found this William Creighton to be of the same opinion as his countrymen in Paris, namely, that the king of Scotland may be converted, and that the conversion of England by the Pope should be effected, so as to secure the succession to the king of Scotland, it has been thought best not to undeceive them for the present, in order to prevent any attempt on their part to raise trouble. They (Allen and Melino) are, therefore, temporising with them, knowing as they do how much better for the English will be your Majesty's rule than that of the king of Scots, even if the religious danger did not exist. They are, as if of their own motion, writing books to be spread in England enforcing this view, when God ordains the hour (which, in view of Creighton's news, they think cannot new be far distant) for the whole enterprise to be undertaken. I asked Melino for a summary of the arguments they intended to use in the book, and he gave me the document which I now enclose. The principal arguments set forth are, in effect, those which I submitted to the Pope in February 1586, and are re-stated in my remarks to Clause 3, with the Pope's reply. (See Volume III., of this Calendar.)
They assure me that Creighton is keeping silent about the offer made by your Majesty to the Scotch Catholics, and Allen and Melino have done excellent service in arranging this. They are both fittingly zealous in his Majesty's interests, knowing how important it is to them that they should be so.
The enclosed sonnet has come out here ; they say it came from Paris. I have no further news, only that the Pope dined the day before yesterday in a very pretty vineyard belonging to Cardinal de Medici here, but he rather damped the favour by ordering his dinner to be brought and cooked by the officers of his own household, and not allowing the Cardinal to see him alone for a single moment.
A gentleman of the House of Ursino recently died, leaving, in default of heirs, two villages to Paul Jordan ; and Cardinal de Medici had taken possession of them, as he rules all his affairs. I have just learnt that the Apostolic Chamber has now seized them ; and, above all, that the Pope gave the order for doing so in Medici's own vineyard the day he dined there. What people to live with !— Rome, 10th July 1587.
12 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 32.
126. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
My news from England is dated the 1st instant, reporting the embarkation of the earl of Leicester that evening for Holland with 4,000 or 5,000 Englishmen, who had been pressed for the service. This infantry had already been embarked. The Queen had made Leicester Lord Steward, and had given his post of Master of the Horse to the earl of Essex, the eldest son (sic) of Leicester. The Earl was accompanied by Lord North and Lord Ulevi. (fn. 9) An Englishman had got out of the Sluys by swimming, with letters from the commander, who promised the Queen to hold the place for two months.
The four ships which were ready to go and reinforce Drake had endeavoured to leave the Thames on the 29th ultimo, but the wind drove them back, and up to the 10th instant news from the coast of Normandy reports that the weather has been such as to prevent them from getting into the Channel, as furious westerly gales have been blowing. Ships have arrived on the coast from Lisbon, having left the latter place the 18th, 20th, and 22nd, and they report that they sighted no vessels on the voyage.
Nicholas Ousley, an Englishman, living in Malaga, sends advices to the Queen, and on Walsingham's receiving certain letters from him, he said he was one of the cleverest men he knew, and the Queen was much indebted to him for his regular and trustworthy information. (fn. 10)
Some news letters, in English, have been sent to me from Rome, which letters had been received, addressed to an English gentleman who had died here. The Count de Olivares had seen them, and thought they ought to be sent to your Majesty. I knew of these letters when they arrived here at the end of May. They were written by one of Walsingham's officers, who is the son of a Spanish Friar who fled many years ago from St. Isidro, at Seville, with a nun of Utrera, to whom he is married. The son is a much worse heretic than the father, and when he wrote the letters he had them dated March, to deceive the Englishman who wrote them. He wished to pledge the English gentleman here by this civility, in order that he might send him some news. I mention this matter to your Majesty that you may understand that, although those reports have some appearance of probability, they are really hatched by Walsingham's knavery.—Paris, 12th July 1587.
16 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 24.
127. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I have kept back my letters since the 10th, as I was expecting a courier to arrive (from England). He came on the 15th. The Queen refuses the offer made from here to take one of your Majesty's frontier towns, as she thinks it will not suit her to provide money for Frenchmen to take a place which they will keep and not surrender to her. The English ambassador is instructed to see this King and point out to him the danger he will incur if he comes to terms with the duke of Guise. The ambassador has orders to prevent a settlement by all means, but no details are entered into.
After this despatch had been written, Fenner arrived in London on the 8th (fn. 11) with the news which I sent in my last about England, and which are confirmed by Julius, namely, that Drake was coming to London to ask the Queen's permission to return at once and encounter the Indian flotillas, which he had been informed were bringing fourteen millions, which is an indication that he has fallen in with the despatch-caravel. The Queen had decided to order him to return instantly with the seven ships he had brought, and the 14 which were ready for sea, together with two merchantmen, which were ordered to put to sea as soon as the weather served. Drake was boasting that he had all along had exactly the weather he wanted.
Julius (who is very sharp) tells me that Drake's return was being kept very secret, and requests me to inform your Majesty of it instantly, so that if the news arrive in time the marquis de Santa Cruz may sail for England, when he would infallibly encounter Drake. Although Drake's booty was very valuable, the Queen would not profit by it, as it has to be distributed amongst the sailors (fn. 12) and this would set all the mariners in England agog to go out and plunder. For this reason, he (Stafford) says it is important that I should advise your Majesty at once, so that the armaments might be pushed forward and the queen of England attacked, which would end it all. He will send me what further news he obtains. I send this by special courier.—Paris, 16th July 1587.
16 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 25.
128. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Since I wrote the enclosed letter about England, a courier has arrived here who left London on the 9th instant. The letters he brings report that Fenner arrived in London on the 8th, advising the arrival of Drake at Plymouth on the 6th, with four of the Queen's ships and three merchantmen, he having left the rest of his vessels on the coast of Spain. He brought with him four ships, said to have come from Calicut, loaded with spices and precious stones of the value of about a million ; and seven ships which had come from the coast of Brazil. He (Fenner) reported that Drake was coming to London to salute the Queen. As it is unusual for four ships to come from India together, it is probable that Drake will have encountered the "San Lorenzo" which wintered at Mozambique, and having captured that, and other ships from St. Thomé, he said that the whole four were from Calicut. As soon as I learn anything fresh I will report to your Majesty. As I am closing this I hear from Rouen that news comes from England that Drake also captured the despatch-caravel from the flotilla from New Spain.—Paris, 16th July 1587.
26 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1565.26.
129. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Referring to the interviews with Friar Diego Carlos, respecting Don Antonio's alleged desire to submit, the writer and Sampson have opened some correspondence between the friar and the pretender. The tenour is obscure, but seems to confirm the sincerity of the approaches. This view is further confirmed by the friar's petition for pardon, and to be allowed to end his days in a monastery in Spain. Sends with the general letters a communication from Antonio de Vega and the advices of Richard Mirth dated 30th June. "They are copied from a letter of his, as I wrote to him the great risk to which letters from there to Spain were exposed and that he had better send his news to me and I would have it ciphered and forwarded to your Majesty."—Paris, 26th July 1587.
28 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1448. 136.
130. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
An account of what Drake did in Cadiz was recently sent to you, and also what we had heard of his subsequent movements. For a long while since we have been unable to obtain further news of him, until now that we hear he has captured, near Terceira, a ship from Mozambique which had remained to winter there last year. (fn. 13) He also took part of the cargo of another ship from the Indies bound for Portugal. The prize is valuable, but not nearly so valuable as will be made out there. The marquis of Santa Cruz sailed from Lisbon on the 11th instant with from 35 to 40 sail, very well found, carrying 6,000 foot soldiers, a half of whom are old soldiers, and 3,000 very brave seamen, all first-rate men. At the same time the Andalucian portion of the fleet sailed for Lisbon, consisting of 80 sail, amongst which are four galleasses. The Marquis is going to ensure the safety of the Indian flotillas and sweep the corsairs from the seas ; and if God should allow him to encounter Drake, I trust he will give him what he deserves. I tell you all this in order that you may know the truth of what occurs.—Madrid, 28th July 1587.
2 Aug.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 62.
131. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The Portuguese friar, Diego Carlos, has been desperately ill and almost starving ; since the monasteries here do not give as much as a cup of water to foreign friars without payment. He has received orders from Don Antonio to return to England at once, as it is rumoured that he is negotiating for a settlement with the King (Philip), and Don Antonio fears this may injure him. When the friar recovered he saw the writer and said he had excused himself from returning on the ground of ill health. He assures Mendoza that he is acting with Don Antonio's authority, and the latter has only written as he has done to deceive spies. He demands similar terms for Don Antonio as were accorded to the duchess of Braganza and the prince of Parma when they renounced the succession in Philip's favour. Mendoza ridicules the idea, and says that Don Antonio must submit first. A long discussion ensued on the conditions that in such case should be allowed to the pretender, his family, and adherents. The friar concludes by promising to write to Don Antonio, saying that Mendoza was authorised by the King to negotiate in the matter. He (the friar) will never return to England, ill or well. The Queen-Mother, in conversation with Sampson, was delighted at the capture of the Indian ship by Drake, and said it showed how powerless your Majesty was, as Drake in so short a time had sacked a Spanish port, entered Lisbon harbour, (fn. 14) and if Don Antonio had gone with him the city would have risen for him.— Paris, 5th August 1587.
28 July ; and 12, 15, and 22 August.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 34.
132. Document headed "The new Confidant's Advices from England.—28 July 1587."
In consequence of certain despatches which the Queen had recently received from France, she had sent orders to Drake on no account to come to London, but to remain where he is and make ready with all haste to put to sea shortly with the 16 ships she had ordered, the 14 which were ready before he arrived, and two more which have since been added. It is suspected that the Queen had private intelligence of something from her ambassador in France, which made her change her mind. Although Lord Admiral Howard, Lord Hunsdon, Cobham, and Walsingham, are of opinion that Drake should return at once with the ships he had ready, so as not to miss the opportunity of capturing the Indian flotillas, the Treasurer points out what a risk they are running if these ships were lost, as might be feared, since the marquis de Santa Cruz would certainly meet them at sea now that so much time had passed. The question was referred to the Queen, the Treasurer saying it was a matter she must herself decide, like that of the beheading of the queen of Scotland. The advantages, and otherwise, of sending the ships out having been represented to her, she decided ; and there is now no sign of Drake's returning or sailing with a fleet. The Queen has since sent him permission to come to London, and has ordered her ambassador in France to use the utmost efforts to discover the number of ships and men of the Spanish fleet, and when it can put to sea.
Advices of 12th August (O.S.?).
No decision has yet been adopted with regard to Drake's putting to sea or otherwise, and there are no appearances of his being able to sail at short notice, although Drake is bragging publicly about having no other wish than that the Queen should give him leave to go with the ships that are ready, as he is confident that with them he could take the Indian flotillas or fight the marquis of Santa Cruz. He does not mean this, and has no stomach for the voyage, because in discussing the matter with the Council he says that it is late now to meet the flotillas off the Azores, and that the marquis of Santa Cruz has had plenty of time given him to collect his fleet ; but still, he says, he will go if the Queen orders him.
Out of the 19 ships left by Drake on the Spanish coast, eight arrived in different ports in England on one day, having been scattered by a tempest. They bring but few men back with them as most have died on board of the plague.
On the arrival of news of the surrender of the Sluys (fn. 15), and seeing how heavily the war is resting upon them (the English) Walsingham, when leaving the Council, being asked what news he had, replied that he had none of any good, for the Queen would only follow her own will, which would bring about her ruin and that of all her Councillors. He said that although they had that day submitted to her a proposal by which she might be entirely assured with regard to Scotland she would not adopt it, but she would see her mistake by and by. As the king of Scotland is in the hands of the English faction it may be suspected that the proposal they submitted was to kill him.
Advices of 15th and 22nd August (O.S.?).
Letters from Lisbon, dated 25th ultimo report the sailing of the marquis of Santa Cruz and the Andalucian fleet with nearly 13,000 soldiers, and this news gives them here (in London) anything but happy dreams.
The earl of Essex, who is a very handsome youth, Master of the Horse to the Queen, and much favoured by her, has quarrelled with Raleigh the other favourite, and during the dispute Essex boxed Raleigh's ears. It is understood that the cause of the quarrel was something about the Queen, and she has reconciled them, ordering that on no account is anything more to be said about the matter.
One of Raleigh's captains, who was cruising in a pinnace to plunder, sighted more than 60 sail off the point of Cornwall, coming from the direction of Spain. He went ashore instantly, and, taking post, arrived at Court at midnight on the 16th, reporting to Walsingham that he had sighted the Spanish fleet making for England. Walsingham at once took the news to the Queen, who immediately summoned all the Councillors and held a Council on the spot, whilst she was in bed. They resolved that the Admiral should go directly to London and embargo all the ships in the river, whilst the Queen's 14 ships should go out into the Channel, the news being kept very secret. The alarm of the Queen and Councillors, however, was so great that they could not prevent the intelligence from leaking out. Within three days they learnt that the ships the man had seen were a flotilla of 60 hulks belonging to Hamburg and elsewhere which were coming from Lisbon.
The Queen has decided that Drake shall not go, but that his ships shall be held in readiness for eventualities, and to counteract the intentions displayed by the Spanish fleet. The English ambassador in France is therefore ordered to use the greatest efforts to discover what the intentions are. Captain Frobisher will leave in four days and will be off Dunkirk with seven ships on the 26th, in order to prevent the armed ships from Dunkirk from capturing English vessels on their way to Embden, Holland, and Zeeland. Drake has gone to Plymouth by the Queen's orders, to bring to the Thames the ship he captured coming from Calicut. They only value the spices she brings in some 300,000 crowns now ; and it is understood that the sailors have pillaged a great portion of what she brought since she has been at Plymouth.
30 July.
Estado, 949.
133. Count De Olivares to the King.
I send your Majesty the warrant for the million, signed by the Pope. All other points of the English business are going on well ; as he wished, when he signed the warrants, that a capitulation should be drawn up between himself and me, Carrafa asked that some others should be associated with him in the settlement of its terms, and the Pope nominated Santa Severina and Rusticucci, whilst I appointed Deça to help me, as I did not wish to undertake so important a business unaided. (fn. 16)
As the affair may now be considered almost settled I need not go into all the pro and con that has occupied us for so many days, and will only set forth so much as may be necessary for future guidance. I must begin, however, by expressing my great surprise that hitherto the Pope has positively kept the whole proceedings perfectly secret. One of the clauses was with regard to the new King; and they tried to stipulate that he should be chosen by common accord, but it was in the end left to your Majesty, and the clause was so worded that your Majesty might appoint the Prince or the Infanta. (fn. 17) There is no doubt on this point, and the Cardinal (Deça) is of the same opinion, although there was apparently a desire to lead up to the Pope's recommending one of his nephews or the Infanta. I let it pass, as the general wording embraces the whole thing, and because it was most likely to secure secrecy in the meanwhile, but if your Majesty thinks well, the course I suggested in my despatch of 16th instant can be taken to lead the Pope to make the desired proposal to your Majesty of his own accord ; or any other means may be adopted that your Majesty thinks fit.
The matter of the investiture was so wrapped up that he passed it over without cavil or difficulty.
The Pope was pleased with the proceedings, and his suspicions were not aroused by the said clause, which may be brought to induce the Pope to give the investiture to your Majesty, on condition of your at once substituting another in your place, and this would be important.
No mention at all was made of the king of Scotland during the whole of the proceedings, nor is anything said of his marriage with a niece of the Pope. I have placed spies to gain information on this point in case of need.
On the matter of the restitution of church property I was yielding, as I thought your Majesty would be.
The Pope was under the impession that, in accordance with the arrangement, your Majesty could receive the million on the arrival of the Armada in England, and that as soon as you received it you would go to Flanders. Your Majesty will see how hard he has tried to ensure this, and I could do no more than I have done, seeing his greed for money, although I must do him the justice to say that on the present occasion he has suppressed it more than anyone could have believed possible.
The Pope would not allow to be set forth in this document the mode in which payment was to be made if the enterprise were (not?) undertaken this year, on the ground of its omission making the document clearer ; and it was not possible to press him much on the subject, for fear of making him suspect that the enterprise would not be carried out this year, in which case he might delay granting the warrants and other papers. It is true that I have given him no pledge as to time, but he must think it will be this year. The lack was supplied by Carrafa's warrant enclosed, which provides in the above-mentioned case that things shall remain on the same footing as before.
It was also impossible to get Pinelli's warrant extended to the month of December, as he (the Pope) said that he did not wish the money to remain long in the possession of anyone, and that if the affair was not carried through by the end of November it would not be done this year, and if in the meanwhile it was seen that the enterprise would take place in December he could extend the warrant. The key of the mystery is his desire to make a noise by sending this million into the castle at Christmastide if the enterprise is not carried through by then.
I do not send the original warrants, which will be wanted here, for fear of their being seized on the road, and the original of the agreement is kept back for the same reason. I have an idea of sending it all enclosed in one packet (without saying what it is) by one of your Majesty's officers here.
They made an attempt to stipulate for paying the money in Lisbon, on the ground that warrants had been offered for that place, but I understood a loss would be incurred by this, and they consented to Rome.
I have again talked with Pinelli as to what he can do in the matter of discounting, after seeing the form of assignment which the Pope gives him. He tells me that, as regards the first 500,000 crowns, as he is bound to pay it this year, he thinks it will not be necessary to discount it ; but the last 500,000 he will pay in advance at the rate of 200,000 crowns a month, or more if possible, in accordance with his promise. He also offers to arrange advantageously, on account of your Majesty, for the remittances you may wish to make to various places ; and for this service, and for the discount, he trusts to your Majesty's liberality for his remuneration.
Your Majesty will please consider what should be done in your interest, but this man makes much of the profit your Majesty will reap by adopting the course he recommends. For my own part, I am ashamed to say that, although I am your Majesty's accountant-general, I understand so little about it. He says that if money be needed in other places, besides those mentioned the other day, he will seek means to provide it on his being given timely advice of the various places where the money is to be provided.
In the matter of the grants (fn. 18) the same wording as before was adopted, and I thought your Majesty would consider it best to have it specified before the document was adopted in the consistory. I have already written how cautious the Pope is about this.
As regards keeping the French in suspense and hopeful, his Holiness promises to do this, as he is requested in the document, and I will keep it in his mind.
They did not mention the furnishing of Italian troops and the point was passed over smoothly. (fn. 19)
It has been impossible to press, as I should have liked, the matter of Allen's hat, in order not to embarrass the rest. His Holiness shows a disposition to grant it, but he dwells upon his not having been informed of any particular time for the carrying out of the enterprise ; and that I have received no instructions from your Majesty, for Allen to go, or do anything. If I had orders from your Majesty, or the prince of Parma, for Allen to perform any task, I would take the opportunity of pressing his Holiness about it, but, in default of this, I am trying to devise some other means for shortening the delay.
I gave Allen your Majesty's letter. He is deeply grateful for it, and for your Majesty's new favour and offices with the Pope on his behalf. He and Melino are extremely well disposed in your interest. His reply is enclosed.—Rome, 30th July 1587.
30 July.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 35.
134. Sampson's Advices from England.
When Don Antonio was on his way from the Court, which is at present at the Treasurer's house, he met, on Wednesday the 29th, Drake, who was going thither with the Lord Treasurer, the Admiral, and the Lord Chamberlain. Drake was very obsequious to Don Antonio, and said that as soon as he had seen the Queen he would go to London and speak with him. On the 30th Don Antonio went to Walsingham's house, seven or eight miles up the river, and there seems to be some great business between them. Don Antonio has not written, probably in consequence of these visits, and of his expecting some decision that he may be able to send to his people here, whom he ordered to hold themselves in readiness. They report also that a fleet of vessels was being prepared for Drake, but the number of men and vessels is not stated. They affirm that 300,000 crowns in cash was found on board the vessel from India, and it is said that when the captain took leave of the ship he remarked that she carried money enough to take Don Antonio to Portugal. There was great rejoicing at the arrival of this ship, and they had hopes of getting others like her.
M. de la Chatre, governor of Dieppe, writes to the Abbé Guadagna that he has a letter from Don Antonio, saying that he has 16 ships ready for an enterprise, and begs la Chatre to come to him with 700 French harquebussiers to share the honour and profit of it. La Chatre excused himself on account of events in France, but said that if matters were settled here he would not fail to join him.
Sampson. 15th August.
On the 13th Don Antonio was attacked with a colic, from which he was in danger for some hours. He is now free from it, but as short of money as usual. He is anxious that it should not be thought that the approaches made to the king of France and his mother with respect to his coming thither (to France) were made by his orders, and he has written to his people instructing them to say that they acted on their own responsibility.
Sampson. 22nd August.
Don Antonio has been very ill and still complains. Don Antonio has not received anything from the plunder of the ship from India, and has no hope of doing so.
They report that during the week in which the letter was written, 150 sail, large and small, were sighted off the English coast ; and everybody seemed much alarmed and confused, but that the Queen had shown a stouter heart than any of them.
Don Antonio complains of want of money, but is in hope that they will help him with an extra grant. So says his treasurer.


  • 1. The King has added a marginal note here which is apparently intended to be jocular, but it is not very clear, at least to me : it runs "Perhaps it was like the case of the tree they talk about which had feeling." The King probably meant this for a hint that the ship was leaking out of fear for the danger she was in if she accompanied Drake to Cadiz, or else that the wood itself had become sentient at the evil deed that was being dene.
  • 2. Julius or Julio appears to be a new cipher name for Sir Edward Stafford, who had hitherto been referred to as "the new friend" or "the new confidant." An attempt at mystification is made by representing him as writing from London, but this is not continuously kept up.
  • 3. Marginal note in the King's hand : "I do not know whether, if these ships succeed in joining Drake, he will not be superior in strength to the Marquis (of Santa Cruz). If the weather serves for the latter to put to sea he might meet them, which would not be bad. If the courier for Portugal has not left, it will be well to send these advices in case the Marquis should be there."
  • 4. Sampson was Don Antonio's agent, Escobar, in Paris, secretly in the pay of Spain. He received constant news from the Portuguese refugees in London.
  • 5. Robert Bruce of Bemie.
  • 6. It is curious that this was the second occasion in which the meddling of the over zealous Jesuits, and particularly Creighton, had been largely instrumental in frustrating Philip's plans in Scotland. The publicity given by them to the plot of 1582 had caused Philip to abandon it, and there is no doubt that the coldness exhibited henceforward towards Bruce's negotiations was partly caused by the fact that, thanks to Guise and the Jesuits, the details were common property, and the exclusive and secret management of the affair by Philip became impossible. (See Volume III. of this Calendar— Introduction.)
  • 7. L'Onglé was the French ambassador in Spain.
  • 8. William Stafford, who had himself divulged a pretended plot with one Moody and the Frenchman Destrappes to kill the Queen.
  • 9. Peregrine Bertie Lord Willoughby d'Ereshy.
  • 10. After the Armada, against which he served as a volunteer in the "Revenge," Lord Admiral Howard wrote of him (Lansdowne MS, LIX., Ellis's original Letters) to Burleigh .—"It hath pleased her Highness, in respect of his good services heretofore in Spain, in sending very good intelligence thence, and now since in our late fight against the Spanish fleet, to grant unto him a lease of the parsonage of St. Helen's in London." —He then proceeds to request Burleigh should prevent any lease of the parsonage being granted which should prevent the reward of one who hath so well deserved in adventuring his life so many ways in her Majesty's service.
  • 11. In the King's hand : "I do not know who this is. If you know, tell me." The person in question was Captain Thomas Fenner.
  • 12. In the King's hand : "I think he means to refer to the Indian flotilla. I hope it cannot be true with regard to the other." It will be seen by the following letter that the King's fears were confirmed, and that Drake's booty from Spain was very valuable.
  • 13. This was the great Galleon San Felipe.
  • 14. This was hardly true, as he had not passed Cintra.
  • 15. On the retirement of Leicester with his 4,000 men from Blankenburg, the further defence of the Sluys became hopeless, and the surrender was arranged on the 9th August (N.S.). In recognition of the gallantry of the defence, and in order to obtain the town before the defenders learnt of the great preparations in England for their relief, Parma conceded unusually favourable terms. The garrison marched out with all their arms and baggage, ensigns flying, drums beating, and firelocks lit, in all the pomp of victorious war ; and Alexander gave to Gronvelt, the governor, a flattering testimonial to the queen of England that he had defended the town worthily to the very last. Nine hundred soldiers marched out, beside the 400 sick and wounded that were carried to the Flushing fleet in boats.
  • 16. Santorio de Santa Severina had been one of the candidates for the papacy ; and in his memoirs he attributes his defeat to his refusal to promise to make one of his colleagues, Altemps, governor of Rome. He, like Rusticucci, was bound neither to the Spanish nor French interest. Deça, on the contrary, was a Spanish subject.
  • 17. Either the prince of Asturias, afterwards Philip III., or the Infanta, Isabel Clara Eugenia, the King's eldest daughter.
  • 18. Grants of subsidies to be levied on the ecclesiastical revenues in Spanish dominions.
  • 19. One of the Pope's conditions was that if the Italian troops were to be employed in the expedition he should be authorised to provide them in lieu of a portion of his money subsidy. This, of course, did not suit Philip.