Simancas: November 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: November 1587', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603, (London, 1899) pp. 159-172. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

November 1587

4 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 96.
161. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Julio assures me that nothing further has been done in the preparation of warlike armaments in England beyond those mentioned in my general letter. They write to him that they consider your Majesty's willingness to listen to the negotiations of the commissioners arises rather from a desire to gain time than with any intention of coming to terms.
The Nuncio is saying here that he is assured that your Majesty would undertake the English enterprise before the spring, only that it is not possible for you to decide the mode of execution of or the place to be assailed.
The Venetian ambassador here has recently made a long speech to the English ambassador, pointing out to him that his mistress was sustaining the war in this country, thus giving your Majesty time to make preparations for attacking her, which you would do when she least expected it. It was therefore for the Queen to accede to the wishes of the king of France, and join with him to check your Majesty's power, which was so dangerous to all other monarchs.—Paris, 4th November 1587.
Postcript—Barlemont has just arrived here, having been expelled from England, as I feared he would be.
Note.—Philip has added a marginal note saying he believes this to be the man who came from Portugal. Barlemont, however, was the Frenchman whom Mendoza had got appointed to a position in the French ambassador's household, for the purpose of his sending news from England.
4 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 97.
162. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King. Advices from England.
Since my last report on English affairs I have received intelligence under date of 22nd ultimo from London, that the Queen had ordered that no ships of over 80 tons burden should be allowed to leave the country until further orders, but they are to remain in the ports where they now are. There is nothing fresh in the matter of armaments ; nor has the Queen made any provision beyond keeping in readiness the 30 ships I have mentioned. There is no sign of arming ships in Holland or Zeeland.—Paris, 4th November 1587.
4 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1448. 146.
163. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Thanks for your diligence in sending news from England. Send me reports frequently, and make much of Julio who is acting so well towards you. Keep Montesinos, and as to the others you employ to obtain information, you may use your discretion as to dispensing with some of them, as you suggest, although it is always better to have as many in hand as possible, unknown to each other, so that the news may be confirmed.
You acted quite rightly with Friar Diego Carlos. If he returns to the subject with as little appearance of sincerity as before, treat him in the same way. Has he gone to England?—San Lorenzo, 4th November 1587.
6 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 99.
164. Extract of Letter from the Duke Of Parma to Bernardino De Mendoza.
With regard to Bruce, I have taken note of the copy of his letter which you send me. As he has given an account of the matter to his King, who is so contaminated by the sect and the English faction, and the season is so advanced, whilst the hopes which were entertained when the resolution was adopted have disappeared, it will be best to carry the matter no further at present, although I had arranged all my preparations for it here. You will, however, maintain the sympathy and attachment shown by the Catholic lords, in the hope that if occasion should arise they will give effect to their devotion. For this purpose it will be well for the 10,000 crowns to be retained there in the hands of Bruce, to whom you may write, requesting him to continue his good offices and understandings to this end, and asking him to keep you well informed as to his movements and negotiations.
6 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 100. French.
165. Document headed—"Copy of the Letter from Robert Bruce dated at Lisleburgh in Scotland, 6th November 1587."
Captain Thomas Forster has been pressing very urgently to obtain letters, and to be specially employed in those parts, but he has not conducted himself properly in the business which was entrusted to him, as you will learn by another long discourse. Still it was not thought advisable to refuse him, and cool his desire to act properly and do his duty, and consequently a letter and credit have been given to him as if we had full trust in him. The Catholic lords, however, are of opinion that he should not be sent hither again or employed in these affairs, on account of his rashness, and other reasons, apart from his incapacity, although he should be entertained and kept in hopes of being sent back when opportunity shall arise, which may be deferred from time to time. In the meanwhile, without his knowledge, those who will be despatched from here may be sent back hither, or any other persons whom you may consider fit. If this course does not recommend itself to you, you can pretend that you have no further interest in Scotland or its friendship, which you can say costs too much and produces too little ; or you may blame our fickle resolution, or adopt any other pretext which may seem good to you. You will shortly receive by another channel a full account of the state of affairs here.—Lisleburgh (Edinburgh), 6th November 1587.
8-13 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 101.
166. Sampson's Advices from London, 8th and 13th November 1587.
Pressure is being brought to bear upon Don Antonio from France to use his influence with the Queen to persuade the prince of Bearn to submit to the king of France, and become a Catholic. She is to be urged to consent to and promote this, as there is yet time for the King to receive him with open arms, to the confusion of those of the League. She is to be also shown how little profit has been gained by the expense she has incurred with the reiters and her other aids to the war ; and to be told that as the principal cities in France had joined the Catholic princes, it was impossible for the King to avoid embracing the same cause or he would have been utterly ruined. It is therefore evident that he is forced to temporise with and aid the Catholics, although against his will. If the Queen had helped Don Antonio with forces to go to Portugal, as she has often been recommended to do by France, the King would certainly have openly supported him in order to avenge himself upon those who have fomented war in his (the king of France's) dominions.
Don Antonio is much pleased, and Diego Botello affirms that the Queen will make him a grant to pay his debts. It is understood that he has some negotiation afoot with M. de Lansac the younger, and he is sending Antonio de Brito to Rouen about it. Lansac has left Bordeaux with ships of the fleet, as an escort for the wine flotilla coming from that place.
14 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 104.
167. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The news I send from England is not very fresh, and I have now only to add that I have intelligence from there, dated 24th ultimo, confirming the detention in the ports of all ships of over 80 tons burden.
They had also ordered a muster to be called of all the ordinary cavalry and infantry forces in the country, who were to hold themselves in readiness for further orders.
They report the arrival in England from Holland of over 600 Englishmen of those whom the earl of Leicester had dismissed, or who, rather, were turned out by the towns. They themselves say that no more English remained there except in Brille and Utrecht.
There is nothing new about naval armaments beyond what I have already advised, and there are no tidings of the king of Denmark's 10 ships, in consequence of westerly winds having blown continually for a month past, (fn. 1) which is contrary for them.—Paris, 14th November 1587.
15 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1448. 149.
168. Secretary Idiaquez to Bernardino De Mendoza.
I have not had time yet to speak to his Majesty about the queen of Scotland's servants, and although I think he will be willing to pay an allowance to Mr. Curle I should be glad if you will let me know how much you think it would be well to give him. I will then lay it before his Majesty.—The Pardo, 15th November 1587.
18 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 111.
169. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Since I sealed the enclosed, Julius has received letters from England, dated 11th instant, saying that in consequence of the Queen's having been informed that your Majesty had ordered your fleet to be detained, she had instructed to sail with all diligence eight of her largest ships and 22 merchantmen which were being held in readiness. She had also summoned the earl of Leicester, and was about to change her viceroy in Ireland.
News has arrived also from England of the defeat of the Flushing fleet, which was guarding the entrance to the Sluys, by your Majesty's ships from Dunkirk and Nieuport, 500 of the rebels being slain (an account of the action is given), and great sorrow is felt in England at this. The news comes from England, so it is safe to assume that the result was worse for the rebels than is reported.— Paris, 18th November 1587.
16 to
22 Nov. Paris Archives, K. 1565. 107.
170. Document headed—"Advices from London of 16th and 22nd November 1587 (N.S.)." Translated from English to Spanish.
The Lord Admiral has been ordered to put to sea on the 12th December, and all merchant ships on the coast have been embargoed for the Queen's service. They have decided to engage at sea the Armada from Spain, in order to prevent, if possible, the Spaniards from setting foot ashore. Our fleet, however, is in very poor order, and anything but strong, as musters are being called everywhere but nothing being got ready. The people have never been so alarmed before, nor so little prepared to defend themselves as they are now. The Queen has been scolding the Lord Treasurer greatly for the last few days, for having neglected to disburse money for the reparation and management of the fleet.
Lord Buckhurst, who is in disgrace with the Queen, has retired to his house, and has now written a letter to the Queen, couched in somewhat rough terms, and trying to defend himself, whilst accusing many of the councillors of want of sincerity in their actions. He does not fail to warn the Queen to take care, as all the monarchs in Christendom are leagued against her and were even now ready to invade her realm. The Queen was extremely angry at this. (fn. 2)
Walsingham is in his house, attending to nothing else but his bloody plots, and he is keeping Throgmorton's brother in these proceedings as he well knows that he will help. This Throgmorton has much communication with the household of Chateauneuf, and I am very anxious for instructions as to how our friends should act, and what course we should adopt.
Although, as I say, all merchant ships have been embargoed, it is not known how many will be put to sea besides the 14 Queen's ships already appointed and the 16 merchantmen which are now being fitted out. It is certain that preparations they are making both on sea and on land are very meagre and inferior.
Throgmorton has been pressed by Walsingham to go to France for the purpose of coming to some understanding with Dr. Gifford, but I have not been able to discover what the object is. All the Catholics will be confined again, for fear that they should give help to the enemy, and every man is saying to his neighbour that the king of Spain is coming against us, and this is the very time for him, as we are so ill prepared. A strange malady is prevalent here, which has already caused the death of many great people. Although the doctors try their best they are unable to discover whence it comes or how to cure it.
For the provisioning of the fleet they intend to raise they have ordered 8,000 bullocks to be slaughtered, and have called a muster of all the mariners in the kingdom, who they say amount in all to 9,000. They assert that the 14 Queen's ships that are ready will carry 6,000 men, and the 16 merchantmen 5,000 men. This is all that has been arranged hitherto, besides embargoing all the merchantships as I have mentioned, which have been warned to hold themselves in readiness when they may be required.
The earl (sic) of Hunsdon is at Berwick, and has sent for 2,000 cavalry to guard the border, as they say that the Scot is arming and has 13,000 men in the field.
On the 8th of this month (by our style) the Lord Chancellor made a speech in the Star Chamber, setting forth that the king of Spain and the Pope had resolutely decided to invade England, and for that purpose had a most potent armada at sea. He therefore urged and admonished everyone to keep his eyes open and be on the alert, inferring that the sons of David were with them, and the holy scripture on their side ; with other persuasions and remonstrances of the same sort, all pronounced with much severity.
Since my last I have heard from a good source that a servant of Courcelles, who is resident in the court of Scotland for the king of France, has come to England, bringing certain papers which he took from Courcelles, from which they have learnt many secrets that were being planned between the Scot and the Spaniard with regard to the conquest of England. These papers were at once sent to the Queen, who has given Courcelles' servant a crown sterling a day as a reward. This has again given rise to the rumour that they will fit out 150 sail, great and small, and will call together the 9,000 mariners from all the country. I can assure you, however, that all this cannot be done in a short time, and they have not yet even been able to complete the fitting out of 10 of the Queen's ships which it is said are to be taken out by the Lord Admiral. It seems as if they were still uncertain as to the direction in which they will send their forces, but they are most in fear on the side of Ireland, Scotland, and the West Country. Although they now expect the invasion beyond all doubt, they do not believe it will take place until the spring. They have abstained from making other preparations at present in consequence of some intelligence they have in France.
In Wales the captains and soldiers for the defence of the port of Milford have been appointed, although no munitions have yet been sent thither. They are afraid to collect a large body of troops in any one part, for fear of a revolt.
Oct. to
Nov. Estado, 949.
171. Summary of Letters from Count De Olivares from 2nd October to 22nd November 1587.
2nd October.—His Holiness sent for him to see the deciphering of a letter from the Nuncio in France, giving an account of a conversation he had had with the Scots ambassador. The substance of it was to show the jealousy conceived by the ambassador at Allen's elevation, and that he said that our King wanted to deprive the king of Scotland of his rights to the crown of England, and displayed suspicion of the Spanish Armada.
The Nuncio also reports that the king of France said that he could not take any part in the English enterprise until he had pacified his own affairs.
The Count says that he thanked the Pope through Rusticucci for having had the paper shown to him, and told Rusticucci that the Nuncio might be answered as if the reason given by the king of France for not taking part in the enterprise was believed in ; that Allen's promotion had been granted because the enterprise was being deferred, and it was advisable to let the Catholics have someone who could console and encourage them, and that he (the Nuncio) should try to induce the Scots ambassador to urge his King to favour religious matters, and tell him that the Pope would then take care of his own people.
Cardinal Mondovi had complained that Don Bernardino de Mendoza had told the Venetian ambassador in France that Cardinal (Mondovi) was a vassal of his Majesty, and yet he was trying to persuade the Pope to believe in the conversion of the king of Scotland. The Count had replied that he did not believe it, but had reported the matter to Don Bernardino.
Mondovi had on this occasion let out that, notwithstanding his promise, he had persevered in the attempt to convert the King (of Scotland) at the instance of the Pope.
His Holiness was in fear that nothing could now be done and was sorry for having elevated Allen.
5th October.—The Pope told him (the Count) that the answer had been sent to the Nuncio as he (the Count) had recommended.
His Holiness made much of the fact that if the king of France were to complain of the enterprise being undertaken without him, he would have a very good answer by pointing out that he had been invited to take part and had refused.
The Pope said that he had foreseen the murmurs to which Allen's elevation would give rise. The Count replied, showing how beneficial it had been, and said the person who was crying out about it was the English ambassador. The day that Allen was promoted was a fatal one for his mistress, for the Sluys was captured at the same time
16th October.—The Count had received two letters from Don Bernardino by a courier of the duke of Guise, who had come in advance of the secretary of the ambassador of France. He told the Pope he was coming from the King (of France) to ask him for some troops, but he really only wanted money. The Pope was glad to know this.
30 Nov.
Estade, 949.
172. Count de Olivares to the King.
As the Pope was noticing the long delay in the arrival of the reply from your Majesty about the English affair, and as I saw the necessity of satisfying him in some way, I told him that I did not look upon it as a bad sign, because if your Majesty had no intention of undertaking the affair you would have sent an answer. I said that, although your Majesty did not write, the preparations for war were not ceasing, and it was not at all likely that these preparations were intended for any other purpose. It was certain, moreover, that your Majesty would not delay more than was necessary, seeing the great cost you are at ; and that however unsafe it may be to navigate at this time, it would be more dangerous and inconvenient to defer the enterprise for another year. I said that if the Spanish Armada has not to go very far up the Channel before it anchors, there is no great danger in the navigation of the high seas from Lisbon, (fn. 3) besides the hope that God will help it, as it is in His service.—Rome, 30th November, 1587.
23 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 114.
173. Advices from London (from Antonio De Vega) of 23rd November 1587, new style.
There is nothing fresh here, except that they are continuing their preparations, fortifying the ports, and supplying them with men and ammunition. All the Queen's ships have been made ready, and the rest of the vessels on the coast have been embargoed. Of these they are fitting out 33 to put to sea, nine of them being Queen's ships and the rest merchantmen. It is not known yet who will command them, but it is believed it will be Drake and that they will sail soon. On the 17th instant the Queen was in a tremendous rage with Walsingham, the Treasurer, and the Controller, upon whom she heaped a thousand insults ; saying that it was through them that she was induced to negotiate for peace with the duke of Parma, who had drawn her on with fair words, so that whilst she was listening to them she might cease her preparations and so be caught unawares. She told the Treasurer that he was old and doting, to which he replied that he knew he was old, and would gladly, therefore, retire to a church where he might pray for her. She could not complain, he said, of his having badly advised her, for he had urged her on no account to continue to interfere in the Netherlands war, or to openly support the duke of Vendome, whom they called the king of Navarre ; but she had insisted in both courses. When he saw she was determined, he had counselled her that if she intervened she ought to do so with a large sum of money. This she refused to do, and thought words would suffice, and matters in consequence had reached such a stage that the States were dissatisfied, and the king of Navarre in risk of having to repent of what he had done ; whilst she was hated both by the king of Spain and the king of France, and even by the States themselves. All this, she said, arose simply from the delay in the arrival of the reply they expected from the duke of Parma respecting the going of the commissioners. This had quite cooled, but on the 19th instant a servant of the Controller, named Morris, arrived here with the duke of Parma's answer, and a letter from him, in which he says that the day on which the commissioners land on the other side the truce shall commence, and they are now better pleased. I think it will be well for you to advise the Duke to continue to keep them in hand, which is desirable for many reasons. They said here that, in the face of the reply sent, the commissioners would be appointed, but they waited for the reply of Dr. Herbert, Master of Requests, who had been sent to the States to prove to them that the Queen would only undertake peace negotiations with their consent, and for their benefit. He was accompanied by the agent of the States here, who went to persuade them.
On Wednesday the 18th, Christopher Hatton, who serves as Lord Chancellor, summoned the whole of the nobility and commons who had come to Westminster to plead their causes, and, in the name of the Queen, enjoined them all to return home and defend their wives and children, as well as their fatherland, for the Queen was now certain that the Pope and the kings of Spain and France were in league to ruin her, because of her religion, and as for the king of Scotland, although he was neither fish nor flesh himself, she was not sure whether he belonged to the league, but she was fully convinced by letters that she had taken that he was against her. She therefore enjoined those present who had offices in their counties to go thither and muster men on foot and horse, the lists of whom should be sent to the Queen before the 18th December. She hoped that as God had given so great a victory to the duke of Vendome over the duke of Joyeuse (fn. 4) (which victory she greatly praised), He would also vouchsafe her a victory by their help. During the present law term no causes should be carried on against them in their absence. Hatton mentioned the king of France several times in the course of this speech.
It is certain that the king of Scotland has entered the field, but his object was to go against certain rioters who were robbing. They (the English) are, however, daily becoming more alarmed of his doing harm if he has the chance, and it is said secretly that if the Spanish Armada comes he will welcome it. Lord Hunsdon was unable to do his business in Berwick, and writes that Scotland is not to be trusted.
The States are more at issue with these people than ever, as they all refuse to obey the earl of Leicester. The latter was at Flushing on the 12th instant, ready to embark, when it was seen that he had with him certain deputies from Holland, whereupon he was detained until a reply came from the Queen to their demands. They have beheaded at Leyden an Italian colonel named Cosmo, who was in the service of the States, and with him a Flemish captain and a minister, for having secretly plotted for the people to surrender the town to the English. (fn. 5) They have chosen the son of the prince of Orange as their governor, and he is so styled in books they are printing. They say they will not allow the queen of England to make peace to their prejudice ; and when they can do no more they will make peace for themselves. They have garrisons only in Flushing, Brille, Bergen, and Ostend.
Botello arrived here on the 10th. He was sent off by the Earl with fair words and great promises, but it is all empty air and he will get no fleet. The Earl got rid of him by telling him to get the Queen to write a letter from here to the States and to him, and he should then have the ships he wanted. The Earl at the same time wrote secretly to the Queen saying that they were not asking for these ships for any serious object, besides which no ships could well be spared from the country at this juncture. The Earl also wrote to the merchant, (fn. 6) saying that he would faithfully fulfil his promise ; but he is the worst enemy that they (Don Antonio's party?) have on account of the merchant's telling him many things that Don Antonio says about him. Don Antonio was angry with the merchant and rapped out certain words which made him resolve on no account to see him again. He was for three months without seeing him. He (Lopez) was sent to him (Don Antonio), but begged the Queen to excuse him from going, giving her the reasons. Persuaded by me, however, he at last ended the feud, as he has better means than others of learning everything. He is still very cool with him (Don Antonio), but I promise you I was not at all desirous, in the interests of his Majesty's service, that he should so deliberately break with him. I am trying so far as words can do to keep him (Lopez) pledged to us, but if the resolution is to be longer delayed, I pray you to write to me saying that his Majesty will be willing to accept his services, and so relieve me personally of the responsibility of the promise made to him. Do not name him, however, but call him the merchant. Don Antonio has dismissed 17 of the persons he had with him, amongst them a servant of Diego Botello, called Bastian Figueroa. I have some suspicion that he is secretly sending him to Portugal as he went before. It will be well to keep on the alert for him, (fn. 7) as he must go first to Paris. I write direct to his Majesty at Lisbon about Leitao whom Don Antonio sent ostensibly to France for his health, but who has really gone to Barbary, and if he finds the King there not well disposed he is to go to Constantinople. Through all the kingdom (England) people are ordered to-day to retire to their homes, and the ports are closed.
Gives an account of the negotiations between Don Antonio and the Huguenots for the latter, with Vendome's consent, to furnish the Portuguese Pretender with a contingent of 4,000 men.
25 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 116.
174. Sampson's Advices from England.
Don Antonio has spoken to the Queen, urging how necessary it was for her that peace should be made in France. The Queen replied that she knew it, but she would take no steps in the matter unless the King (of France) requested her to do so. Don Antonio said that in a matter of such importance she ought to move at once, and not to stand upon a point like this.
Diego Botello got plenty of fair words from the rebels in Holland, but as the carrying of them into effect depended upon the Queen he has returned without doing anything.
Antonio De Brito has gone to France to deal with young Lansac with regard to the great offers of armaments he has made to Don Antonio. The latter wishes to send Botello to France to negotiate for a peace there, but he cannot do so for want of money. He would like to go to France himself, but it will not be possible for him to escape the watchful vigilance of the Queen. The latter has given him 400 crowns, and has promised him more, as that sum was only to pay a debt for which he was being pressed.
The Lord Admiral left here on the 22nd for Margate o set sail with 40 or 50 of the Queen's ships to cruise along the Engish coast, and perhaps as far as Cape Finisterre. (fn. 8)
27 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1448. 151.
175.The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Some of your letters of 24th and 26th ultimo were answered on the 14th instant, and the present will reply to those which were not deciphered in time.
I have been much touched by the letters relating to the queen of Scotland, although her end was so holy that consolation is found in that fact. With regard to her injunctions, I will take care of her servants and the rest of those whom she commends to me, and I will try to justify her confidence in me with respect to the prayers to be offered for her, and the foundation of a memorial to her ; although our main trust should be in God and her saintly end, that she is now more able to aid than to need help.
For the payment of the 6,000 crowns which she declared she owed, 3,000 to Charles Paget, 2,000 to Charles Arundell, and 1,000 to the person to be indicated by the archbishop of Glasgow, I have ordered the sum to be sent to you in a credit at once. It will go either in this letter or its duplicate, and you will pay the debts as soon as it arrives. You will console the two ladies, Curle and Kennedy, and tell them they may be assured of my care for them, as they served faithfully to the last one who so well deserved their devotion. You will try to dissuade them from going to their own country, where they could not be comfortable, as they must be good Catholics, as befits the servants of such a mistress, and you will arrange for them to stay in Paris or in some place in my Netherlands. You may promise that if they live in either of these places I will provide for their maintenance, but not otherwise. (fn. 9)
You will advise me as to the sum which you think should be paid to them yearly, and how it should be divided. You will also let me know whether they purpose staying in Paris or going to the Netherlands ; and as in the meanwhile, and pending the receipt of my decision, they will need something, you may furnish them with what you consider sufficient, taking it from the 8,000 crowns sent to you the other day.
As it turned out that Gilbert Curle, the secretary, had behaved well, he also should be given the allowance you think necessary, in accordance with his quality but without excess, and you will ascertain whether he will go to Flanders, or if his staying in Paris as a foreigner will be of any service to you. Let me know your opinion upon this.
You may also proceed in the same way with the apothecary, Gorion ; telling him to rest tranquil, and that there is no need for him to come hither to me, as he well fulfilled his commission by delivering the letter and rings to you. If he and the secretary need any little present assistance, apart from their allowance, you will provide them with it out of the said money, and on advice being received from you of what you have done, remittances shall be sent to balance this account.
You will keep the ring that Gorion handed to you for me until a safe opportunity offers for forwarding it, so as not to risk it by the ordinary road.
As regards the archbishop of Glasgow, who is recommended by the Queen, I think what was done for him lately through you will suffice, and the bishop of Ross shall be taken care of, as you may tell him.
The Queen also mentions Muzio (the duke of Guise), and you know what is being done in that respect. The rest of the Englishmen she names are already receiving pensions through you ; the only name which seems new to me is that of Ralph Ligons, who is spoken of. You will see what is to be done for him, if he is not already receiving anything ; and with this all her injunctions will be fulfilled.
In the Queen's letter to you about my affairs she mentions that she was writing to the Pope to the same effect. It will be well for you to ascertain from Gorion whether the letter was written to his Holiness, because, in such case, doubtless Gorion would have conveyed it as he did yours, and will be able to tell you how he forwarded it, although it may well be that the Queen was unable to carry out her intention of writing it. (fn. 10)
The original letter which she wrote to you last year, informing you of the will she had made, you will keep with great care, together with the last letter, in which she again refers to it. You will endeavour for these two women to be kept within reach and well affected, so that, if necessary, they may make a statement of what they know in confirmation of this, Miss Curle testifying to the message her mistress gave her for you, and the other saying what she may have heard. If the other two (i.e., Gorion and Secretary Curle) have any inkling of it, as they well may have, they also may be treated in the same way, particularly the secretary, as you say he alone had to do with the correspondence with my ministers, and he consequently may have more information than the others about the will. For all reasons, therefore, and to be able to help them better, it will be well for them to be in some place where they cannot be corrupted. You will manage it all with your usual discretion, and advise what you consider best.
From what Bruce writes to you there seems but little now to be hoped for from his mission, or of the conversion of the King, who is so completely ruled by the English faction. Bruce seems to be acting well, and you and the duke of Parma, between you, will see how you can best guide the matter into a more favourable position. You may be helped to this end, perhaps, by the arrival (in Scotland) of the earl of Morton, to whom we gave here 1,000 crowns for his journey to Lisbon, and 4,000 more for his voyage to his own country, where he was to hold himself in readiness until he received advices from me. You will shortly have there (in Paris) Colonel William Semple, another of my Scottish servants, whom you, no doubt, know, and who is going thither with my consent to employ himself in these matters. He seems a zealous man, although, doubtless, a thorough Scot, and you will consequently govern yourself towards him with the caution you always display, and will advise me of everything.—The Pardo, 27th November 1587.
27 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 117. Latin.
176. Robert Heighinton to the King.
He has taken upon himself the task of proving that his Majesty (Philip) is the legitimate heir to the crown of England, in order that the truth may be made known, and those who speak in a contrary sense refuted.
By the persuasion of Don Bernardino de Mendoza he has written a treatise showing the whole genealogy of the descendants of both the York and Lancaster families, which he has taken the liberty of dedicating to his Majesty, whom he recognises as the true heir of the House of Lancaster, and the only Catholic Prince descended therefrom. He hopes to see his Majesty in happy possession of his realm, that heresy may be extirpated therefrom, and by the pious efforts of his Majesty the Catholic faith restored. He prays him humbly to strive to this righteous end, and to deign to accept and reward his services.—Paris, 27th November 1587.
28 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 120.
177. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I send your Majesty herewith a book which has been written at my instance by an Englishman, and which I have had turned into Latin. It proves evidently that if your Majesty is the rightful heir of Portugal, which is indisputably the case, you must also be the legitimate successor to the English crown, and should be its possessor, preceding even the king of Scotland, apart from his disqualification for heresy. I have pointed this out to your Majesty in former letters, and this book proves it beyond doubt from the chronicles themselves, and the histories of England which are cited in the margin. When need may arise, and your Majesty thinks fit, it might be printed in all languages, as it is written learnedly and seriously. The book was composed with the utmost secrecy, and no one knows of it but Charles Arundell and myself. The author is an English gentleman who was formerly secretary to the earl of Northumberland (who rose with the duke of Norfolk), and since then he has been a fugitive for religion's sake. He is a person of understanding, very well versed in English affairs, and it was from his statements that Cardinal Allen furnished the duke of Parma with the information respecting the whole of the English ports whilst I was in England. The Duke, a few months ago, granted him (Heighinton) an allowance of 20 (Flemish) crowns a month, equal to about 13 French crowns, but he has not received it, being absent from that country. Knowing his good parts and attachment, and how useful he may be in England, I venture to pray your Majesty humbly to show him some favour in the form of a present grant in aid. I shall look upon any such favour as a special and personal boon to myself for the reasons I have stated. (fn. 11) —Paris, 28th November 1587.
28 Nov.
Paris Archives, K. 1565. 121.
178. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I have intelligence from England, dated the 12th instant, saying that on receipt of the news that your Majesty had ordered your fleet to be detained, the Queen had sent the Admiral to visit her ships, and tell them they could now put to sea. Walsingham had told Sir William Fitzwilliams, who has been reappointed governor of Ireland, that the Queen had been cheated in the maintenance of her ships, as the Admiral had reported that out of the whole 30 only 12 were at present sea worthy, the rest being so worm-eaten and rotten that at least a month would be needed to repair some of them, and others would take two or three months. Drake was showing no signs of an intention of putting to sea at once with the 30 ships the Queen had ordered to be furnished him.
The sale of the spice ship (cargo?) from India, captured by Drake, was concluded for 50,000l. for the Queen and 6,000l. for the Admiral. The Council was negotiating with the same merchants, who bought it for the latter, in consideration of this 50,000l., to undertake to fit out 30 ships, providing men, stores, and other things necessary to send Drake to sea next spring. The merchants had not yet decided whether they would accept the offer or not.
The 600 soldiers who have come from Holland, and others who are arriving from there daily, are so poor and dissatisfied that the Queen, out of fear that they might raise sedition, has ordered that not more than 20 of them together may enter any village.
On the coast opposite Flanders, and in the West Country, they were keeping watch night and day, and the Queen has ordered a night watch to be kept in every village in the land, which has never been done in the winter time.
There was nothing fresh from Scotland, nor have any ships arrived in France from there.
I hear from England that the earl of Leicester is expected with the first favourable wind. I do my very best to keep your Majesty frequently informed on English affairs, but as the coming of news from there depends upon the weather, I cannot send as promptly or as regularly as I could wish.—Paris, 28th November 1587.


  • 1. The King underlines this statement about the wind and draws attention to it by a marginal note.
  • 2. A letter from Buckhurst to Burleigh (23rd September) will be found in Hatfield Papers, Part 8, in which he seeks to palliate the terms of this letter to the Queen, and deeply deplores her Majesty's displeasure thereat.
  • 3. In the King's hand—"Some of the Lisbon people will be of different opinion."
  • 4. The battle of Coutras, fought 20th October.
  • 5. This was Leicester's treacherous plot to seize Leyden. Leicester, whose position in the States had become more and more unpleasant since the loss of the Sluys, was at once recalled. See his fervent letter of thanks on the occasion to the Queen, Hatfield Papers, Part 3, p. 297. The persons sentenced for the plot were Cosmo de Pescarengis, Jacques Valmaer, and Nicholas de Maulde, the burgher being pardoned by Maurice.
  • 6. In a letter from Mendoza to the King, dated 14th November 1587 (Paris Archives, 1565) he explains that the "merchant," mentioned by Vega, is really Dr. Lopez.
  • 7. The King in a marginal note calls special attention to this.
  • 8. In the letter to the King, enclosing these advices (4th December), Mendoza says with regard to this information : "The statement about the Admiral's having gone to put to sea with 50 ships is like those which Don Antonio's men are always fond of making, and I do not believe it to be true ; both in consequence of what the new confidant tells me, and because my advices of the 25th from London, which are fresher than "Sampson's, say that the Queen was making preparations to arm, having embargoed all "the ships in the country, and that 15 vessels would shortly sail to cruise upon the coast, "the Admiral having gone personally to superintend the fitting out of some of the "Queen's ships and get them ready for sea." Mendoza was right, the news was not true. Howard remained on board the "White Bear" at Queenborough, superintending the preparation of the Queen's fleet, until he shipped on the "Ark Raleigh" in February 1588.
  • 9. Miss Curle lived for many years with her brother Gilbert at Antwerp, where she died on the 29th May 1620, aged 60 years, and was buried at the church of St. Andrés.
  • 10. This letter from the Queen to Sixtus V., dated 23rd November 1586, is published by Labanoff, VI., p. 447.
  • 11. It will be seen by the preceding letter that the author of the book in question was Robert Heighintor.