Simancas: May 1595

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: May 1595', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603, (London, 1899) pp. 615-616. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

May 1595

1595 (?). May (?)
Estado, 839.
631. The Scottish Catholic Nobles to the King.
Sire, the Scot nobles who, with their blood, have fulfilled all that in their name was promised to your Majesty by the priest John Cecil, and not alone by their firm profession of the Catholic faith, but also by their devotion to your Majesty's service, have risked their lives, estates, goods, and reputation ; and have risen in arms against the united forces of England and Scotland, gaining the glorious victory they did in October, (fn. 1) but over the English troops sent from Ireland, and the Scottish troops paid by the English Queen ; on which occasion they captured the King's standard, and his commission ordering the expulsion of all the papists, seminarists, jesuits, and other confederates of Spain :—They humbly pray your Majesty to send them promptly the aid promised to them in your Majesty's name by Sergeant Porres and John Cecil. In full dependence upon your Majesty's promise, the said nobles have placed themselves in the dangerous position already described, refusing all offers of agreement made to them on behalf of the queen of England, to the effect that they should have full protection and liberty for their faith in their own territories, if they would undertake not to treat with Spain.
It is now about two years ago since your Majesty sent Sergeant Porres and gave them hopes of succour, and Baron Balgarys has been here for the last seven months, pleading for them. They have now dispatched Baron Ladyland and John Cecil, as the last messengers they will be able to send on this business.
Your Majesty is already sufficiently informed of the need for sending aid promptly to these gentlemen, and how greatly such aid would serve the cause of God and your Majesty. In all other things they submit themselves to your Majesty's orders, and only supplicate your Majesty, if possible, to fulfil your royal word. If this be impossible, they pray for a reply and dismissal.
God grant, etc.
John Cecil.
Balthasar De Balgarys. (fn. 2)
1595 (?) May ?
Estado, 839.
632. The Scottish Catholic Nobles to the King.
Sire, in the month of June last year his Holiness sent to Scotland Juan de Sapires with instructions to offer the King a subsidy of 4,000 ducats a month to avenge the death of his mother, or otherwise another subsidy of 1,000 a month if he would agree to let the Catholics live in peace according to their own conscience. These offers having been refused by the King, the Catholics depending upon the promises made to them in your Majesty's name, of sufficient aid, promptly took up arms, and are still in force, for the purpose of avenging themselves upon England, and defending the Catholic faith. They now humbly beg, therefore, since they placed themselves in this position in reliance on your Majesty's word, that your Majesty will be pleased to let them know promptly what you can do for them. They also pray for your Majesty to favour them with the Pontiff, and ask him to join your Majesty in the matter of sending them succour, by extending to the Catholics on similar conditions the subsidy he offered to the King. They have every hope (if your Majesty will decide quickly) so to arrange matters that not only will they ensure peace and freedom of conscience, and revenge upon our common enemies, but also that the tranquillity of your Majesty's dominions, and the welfare of Christendom will follow their success. Everything, however, depends upon promptness, which we commend to your Majesty as the life and soul of our pretensions, our estates, and reputations.
John Cecil.
Balthasar De Balgarys.


  • 1. This was the famous battle of Glenlivat or Balrinues, in which young Argyll, with his 8,000 highlanders, was defeated by Huntly and Errol, with 1,500 lowlanders. The stirring ballad of the Battle of Balrinnes gives a minute account of the engagement.
  • 2. His name, of course, was Walter Lindsay, and he was the eldest son of the earl of Crawford. I do not find that he signs himself Balthasar de Balgarys elsewhere than in this letter and the following one.