Simancas: October 1589

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: October 1589', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603, (London, 1899) pp. 559-560. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]

October 1589

10 Oct.
Paris Archives, K. 1569.
564. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I will obey your Majesty's orders and stay here since it is in your Majesty's service ; although in so doing I consume my life and what little is left to me of the most precious thing in life, my sight, for I can just distinguish light from darkness. Tobias, saintly though he was, replied to the angel's salutation "Gaudium tibi sit semper ; Qual gaudium mihi erit, qui in tenebris sedeo et lumen celi non video"? (fn. 1) —Paris, 10th October 1589.
565. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
David said nothing to me about the subject of your Majesty's despatch of the 8th (ultimo), nor did he mention it in the memorial. The Antonio de Goda of whom the Spanish soldiers spoke, I knew well when I was in England. He is the son of a Portuguese and an Englishwoman, born in England, and consequently an Anglicised Portuguese. He is married and established in England, and is not rich, for his only means of living was to undertake commissions for merchants, and the recovery of plundered merchandise ; indeed when I was there he had not standing or credit enough to be trusted with a sparrow's nest. I cannot think that he can have risen since then to an extent that would warrant his being placed in a position of importance or in one of the principal fortresses ; especially just now, when the English are so jealous of the defence of Plymouth. He may be able to arrange for the escape of a few prisoners, or to give some information, as he is always mixed up with the pirates. This may cause those whose escape he managed to think that he was a person of importance. I will write to England and ascertain what position he occupies, but I can only obtain very infrequent news from there, because no letters come now to Normandy, and those that go to Calais do not reach Paris, except by an extraordinary chance. In all the towns, and even villages, now they have taken to capturing and burning all letters that do not come open. All letters, therefore, to be safe must come through Flanders.
Since writing the above I have received advices from London of 26th ultimo, saying that the Queen had ordered the troops in Plymouth to come to London. They assert that there are 6,000 men, but really they do not reach 4,000. It is not known whether the intention is to send them to the Netherlands, or to reinforce Bearn, which is more likely, as five of the Queen's great ships have left the Thames and sailed down the Channel ; which looks as if they were to take the troops to Dieppe.
The princess of Denmark has arrived in Scotland to marry the King.—Paris, 10th October 1589.
30 Oct.
Paris Archives, K. 1449.
566. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
I wrote on the 14th July that Marco Antonio Messia, who had come from England to treat for the release, by exchange, of the Spanish prisoners there, had been instructed to return to you for instructions in the matter. It appears that just as he was about to set out on his journey he died in Madrid. In order that the release of the prisoners should not be delayed I am sending Juan Baptista Gudiel, whom you will probably know, as he came hither in company with Messia about the same affair. You will instruct him as you were requested to do the other man, and you will use every effort through him to have the prisoners set at liberty, as they are suffering captivity in my service.—San Lorenzo. 30th October 1589.


  • 1. Since his quarrel and separation from Henry III., in January 1589, Mendoza had ceaselessly urged the King and Idiaquez to allow him to retire. He was ill as well as blind, and determined not to be drawn into personal communication with anyone who was not strongly on the side of the League. He appears, moreover, to have been on not very cordial terms with Philip's military representative attached to the army of the League, Commander Moreo.