Simancas: June 1596

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: June 1596', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603, (London, 1899) pp. 623-633. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]

June 1596

6 June.
Estado, 839.
642. Cornelius Bishop Of Killaloe (Laon), to Juan De Idiaquez.
Reports arrival of Henry O'Ryan, with the two Spanish captains who were sent to Ireland. Refers to the information there obtained by them, and says that the chiefs have written to him (the bishop), to join his prayers to theirs that his Majesty will send them the aid they beg for, and if that cannot be sent this year, that he will send 1,000 men at once to enable them to keep the war alive until the army comes. They pray for the Cardinal Archduke Albert for their prince. Begs for a letter to the Spanish ambassador in Rome, to induce the Pope to translate him from Laon and to send him to Ireland with the fleet.—Lisbon, 6th June 1596.
7 June. Estado, 839. 643. Count Portalegre to Juan De Idiaquez.
The captains who went to Ireland arrived here (Lisbon) yesterday, having left Ireland on the 24th May. Near this port, at 10 o'clock at night, they were met by an English ship, which, not knowing they were a war ship, sent two boats to board them. They attacked the ship, which was larger than theirs, and the fight lasted a long time. We had only 14 men, and they discharged the pieces twice. They killed three of our men, amongst them the captain, a fine young sailor, an Aragonese, named Julio de las Cuevas. Our ship got away and entered port in the morning. The Englishmen in the two boats could not get back to their ship again ; and having nothing to eat, surrendered to some fishermen in the evening. They say that they left London two months ago, and at that time the Queen had 100 ships in the fleet. They do not know the destination of the fleet or anything else of consequence. (fn. 1)
The captains bring a reply from the four lords to whom his Majesty wrote, and they also wrote to me. They have been joined by another chief called the marquis of Connaught, who has taken possession of nearly all that province. The substance of what happened is that they all met in Donegal, after some difficulty, as it was distant for some of them, and although they are in accord, they are not so entirely so as to make it easy to bring them thither.
They were delighted with his Majesty's message and proposals ; although two of them had already carried their negotiations for an arrangement so far as to have given hostages, and had consented to conditional terms, which would be difficult to carry out. The reply the chiefs send is to the effect that they place themselves and their forces, &c. at his Majesty's disposal to join the forces he will send. They ask for arms for 10,000 footmen, and 200 mounted harquebussiers. If the fleet cannot go this summer, they want 1,000 soldiers and the 200 harquebussiers, for whom they will find horses. They will keep the war alive with these, until his Majesty sends a fleet with six or seven thousand, when they will conquer the island for him, and completely turn out the English. They say they are sincere Catholics, admit no heretics amongst them, and will die to shake off the yoke of heresy.
The fleet should anchor in Limerick, as the marquis of Cannaught can help greatly there. The rest of them promise to keep the enemy engaged, so that the fleet shall not meet with resistance. There are no modern forts, and little ordnance ; but the Queen has 6,000 or 7,000 foreign soldiers, having no confidence in the natives, who will all come over to us, these lords assert, as soon as they see a foreign force in their favour.
If no aid be sent this year, the visit of the captains, they say, will have done them much harm, and for this reason they decided that Captain Medinilla should not stay there. I think they were wise in this ; because if they are so hard pressed as to be obliged to come to terms, they can say that they dismissed the captains without any encouragement. The people seemed to the captains very fond of fighting, and very apt for it. They can raise and place in the field as many men as may be wanted, and they offer 40,000 for the English enterprise. They have against them John Norris, who commands. The forces that are sent must take victuals until they get command of the plains. This is all I can say at present. I should have sent one of the captains with the despatches to-day, but the other would have been jealous at his going alone, as he wants to do. I shall manage somehow to patch it up. I am more anxious about the news from Scotland, which is of quite recent date. I send with it the letter of the man who brought the news to Colonel Semple.—Lisbon, 7th June 1596.
11 June.
Estado, 839.
644. Count Portalegre to Juan De Idiaquez.
By the special courier I despatched on the 7th instant, you will have received the account of what the captains had said and done in Ireland. Cisneros got a knock on the leg which prevents him from travelling, but he had concealed it from me, so as not to arouse my distrust.
I now enclose the despatches they brought, which are doubtless for the purpose of accrediting them. Even if this be so, I do not think there is anything more to be got from the captains beyond what they have told me, nor from the ensigns who left Ireland before them, leaving some of their number behind. I hope to God they have all arrived safe, for it would be very unfortunate for the enemy to take any of those ships. I opened Cisneros' letter to you, to see how he wrote respecting the marquis of Connaught's letter, a piece of trifling, arising out of the jealousy between Cisneros and Medinilla, as I am told by the ensigns. To tell the truth, I think they might well have avoided such conduct.
Medinilla began it by refusing to accompany the marquis of Connaught and Cisneros by land to summon the chiefs to the meeting, although Cisneros and the ensigns were of opinion that they ought to be summoned, and it was so laid down in the instructions. Cisneros got them together, and did very well, but he made a mistake afterwards in refusing to bring an Irish priest named Bernard (O'Donnell), who has been in Spain and is a servant of the marquis of Connaught. I cannot understand why he objected to bring him, as he was requested to do so by all of them, and particularly as the Marquis is so important a person and got the rest of them together. If he was influenced by the idea that the priest might cut him out in the subsequent negotiations here, he was the more to blame. I am vexed at this, as it may cause annoyance there, but the bishop of Laon (Killaloe?) sends me word that it is of no importance. Perhaps the priest will come in the ship that remained there. The letter from the Marquis to which Cisneros refers was brought to me secretly by Medinilla. Cisneros only suspected who had shown it to me. The rest of this mission was well executed.
Cisneros is a man who may be entrusted with any business. The other is a brave soldier but with less theory.
I also send the answers they gave to certain points in their instructions (see page 621), although they are better set forth in my letter of the 7th instant. The statement of the pilot also goes herewith, which clearly shows the difficulty and false information about that navigation. Please consider all these Irish papers, and if the main aid cannot be sent them this year in consequence of the English fleet, nor even the 1,000 men they request, see promptly what answer his Majesty wishes sent to their letters, as their negotiations for an agreement depend entirely upon that.
The ensigns Andrés Leal, Marcos Sanchez, both good soldiers, and Antonio Zangroniz, a very smart, promising lad, all did very well, and you might put them in the list of captains. They deserve it.— Lisbon, 11th May (June) 1596. (fn. 2)
S.D. (June?) Estado, 839. 645. Relation brought from Ireland by the Ensigns Domingo Jimenez and Cristobal Montero.
The Irish request arms for 10,000 infantry, corselets, pikes, morions, harquebusses or muskets, powder, balls, &c., and 1,000 men at once.
The earl of Tyrone and O'Donnell are as one, and the rest respect them.
The chiefs are all truly united, their principal reason for the war being their dislike of heretics, none of whom are admitted in their company.
These chiefs on occasion can raise 3,000 men, horse and foot.
They take with them on the march butter, and milk for drink.
This with herbs, and a little oat bread suffices for them.
Their lands will not admit the passage of artillery, as it is very marshy.
There are rivers which are crossed with great trouble, as there are no bridges or boats. We have reason to know this, as we travelled 37 leagues with these chiefs. There is not a tree nor a bit of timber in the north, with which to make bridges.
They have not enough victuals for themselves.
There are many water and bandmills, with material for as many as may be required.
The ports are splendid, Killibeg, Tellin (Teelin), Sligo, and others would accommodate a large fleet.
The harbours in the hands of the Qeeen are :—
Drogheda, an old walled city.
Dublin, the residence of the Viceroy, where the arms, &c., are kept.
Wexford, an old-fashioned port.
Rosse, an old walled town.
Waterford, with a tower and some guns.
Dungarvan, an ancient castle and port, with some English.
Youghal, an ancient walled town.
Cork, an old walled port.
Limerick, with a good harbour, castle, and ancient walls.
Galway, an ancient walled seaport.
These are all the harbours held by the English.
If his Majesty sends a force, 1,000 lances, and 300 horse harquebussiers will be required. Mounts for the latter will be found here.
They say they have pioneers, but picks, hatchets, spades, &c., and instructors must be sent.
The Irish serve the Queen if forced, but they do not like it.
The Irish in the part held by the Queen will certainly join us.
The Viceroy is William Russell, and the General, John Norris.
Earl of Tyrone can put 600 footmen and 500 horse in the field.
O'Donnell, Rory his brother, O'Dogherty (and two minor chiefs whose names's are unintelligible) can raise 1,000 foot and 150 horse.
Cormack, brother of the Earl, can bring 200 foot and 30 horse.
Maguire 300 foot and 80 horse.
Ardh Magee, brother of the earl, 30 foot and 20 horse.
O'Rourke, 500 foot and 30 horse.
Macwilliam Burke and his sub-chiefs, 1,000 foot and 60 horse.
—Magee, 200 foot.
—Magee, 500 foot.
Macarty, 200 foot.
O'Cahan (O'Kane), 50 foot and 30 horse.
Maginnis, 200 foot.
Macartan, 50 foot.
Jan Mackay (Maque), 100 foot.
Niel Mackay (Maque), 50 foot.
On Mackay, 50 foot.
A total of 5,900 foot and 1,080 horse. The men are now spread about their estates, and have darts, bows, and arrows, shields, like ours, and like Hungarian-bucklers. They have no muskets, and few harquebusses. Their food is butter and milk, but even this is not to be bought, as such is not their custom ; and if people go from one part of the country to another, they receive butter and milk for their sustenance from the natives of the country they go to.
The people are all Catholics, and they show signs of being able to handle weapons well. They seem well-disposed people. It is impossible to travel on the land, as you sink up to the knee, but it is all land that may be cultivated. In the 40 leagues we have travelled, we have not seen a single tree. It is, therefore, impossible to transport artillery. The ports we have seen are Carlingford, which is an excellent harbour, Sligo which is also good, Donegal, not so good, and Limerick, the best of all.
Note.—The above report, evidently written by one of the ensigns, is excessively illiterate, and in some places unintelligible, the names as usual, being disfigured almost beyond recognition.
11 June. Estado, 839. 646. Count Portalegre to the King.
As your Majesty orders me to send Juan de Fonseca, I am sending him, in the belief that your Majesty wishes to ask him some other questions besides those contained in his declaration, sent in another letter, with fresher news from Plymouth and Scotland, the latter being dated the 31st ultimo.
We are now at the 10th June, and it is getting late in the season, considering how early the English came in the year '89, and I do not see much signs of apprehension of what I am anxious about, more anxious than ever I was in my life about anything. Because, notwithstanding the reasons of state and prudence, which persuade others that it is impossible that that fleet (i.e., the English) should come to the coast of Spain, I have convinced myself that it is extremely probable that it may come to prevent the final union of your Majesty's fleet, by cruising about the route and burning whatever it may find unprotected between Viana and Lisbon. As to this bar (i.e., of Lisbon) they could act according to the intelligence they received of the city and ships, and of the flotillas which are expected from all parts, and even if your Majesty's fleet succeed in gathering, they might embarrass it greatly, and this might perhaps satisfy them for this summer. It would all be frustrated if that which your Majesty promised should be provided could arrive here. But before it can be got together, the cause for alarm will have passed. Your Majesty will have learnt from Flanders the grounds of these rumours.—Lisbon, 11th June 1596.
S.D. Estado, 839. 647. Reasons for the establishment of a special Board in Flanders to advise the Governor on English affairs ; and the principal matters to be dealt with by the Board.
(The document enters at great length into the advisability of establishing such a Board as that proposed. The arguments may be summarised as follows.)
It is absolutely necessary, seeing the injury the English are doing to Spain, that active measures should be undertaken. Such measures can only be successful if guided by competent expert knowledge, and constant prompt intelligence of events. Many English nobles are willing to enter into understandings as to the future, if they saw some authorised body, in whom they had confidence, with whom to treat.
English officers holding fortresses in Holland, &c., are in the same case, and would treat if they had such a Board to treat with.
The Board would be powerful to unite factions in England, and would more especially to take steps to obtain a general agreement as to the succession in favour of the Infanta. The Englishmen who were against this view, and are said to be introducing disunion and working against Spain, both in Rome and Flanders, are Charles Paget, William Gifford, William Tresham, in Flanders, and Hugh Griffith, Thomas Hesketh, Nicholas Fitzherbert, and others in Rome.
The Board would report to the King and Governor as to the merits, &c. of the English in Flanders and elsewhere, so that they might be treated according to their deserts. It could also find employment for them.
The Board would be constantly active in devising means for disturbing and distressing the enemy.
It is suggested that the Board should be appointed by the governor of Flanders, two or three members to be Spanish and the rest English. The president to be chosen by the members. The following are proposed as fit persons for membership of the Board. Colonel Stanley, Hugo Owen, Gabriel Treherne, and Doctors Thomas Worthington, and William Pierse. In important matters William Holt, Jesuit, might assist.
Note.—The above memorandum is not in Father Persons' handwriting, but from the following document he would appear to have been very active in advocating the formation of the Board.
648. Father Robert Persons to Martin De Idiaquez.
Memorandum headed "Principal points to facilitate the English enterprise.
Considering the importance and difficulty of the business, and that everything depends upon the hands of God, it would be very advantageous if, in imitation of the Holy Kings of old, his Majesty were to make some vow to our Lord, such as to promise Him if He gave his Majesty the victory, to restore to the Church of England the liberty and privileges it possessed at the time that king Henry separated from the Apostolic See, and especially that his Majesty would do his best to make some restitution or arrangement with regard to the ecclesiasical property which was taken from the church. This might be done in a moderate way, as is pointed out in a memorial which was written with regard to the reformation of England, which book Don Juan de Idiaquez has seen. It was there proposed that only the ancient value of the revenues should be restored, which would not reach a quarter of their present value, but would still be a reasonable arrangement. The most Godly men of the country with whom I have discussed the matter, agree that in this way alone will God be appeased and bless the undertaking. They think, indeed, that the former neglect to remedy this sacrilege was the reason that religion so soon collapsed in England, and that it would have stood firmer if a good arrangement had been made in the time of Queen Mary. If it became known that his Majesty had made some such vow as this, many good people would join us and conceive certain hopes of success on this account alone.
2. In order to diminish the suspicion which our opponents arouse as to the intention of his Majesty, namely, that he wishes to seize the country for himself, they write to us from England that it is very advisable that a declaration should at once be made by his Majesty on this point, because, although the fervent Catholics, looking to religion alone, will be willing to submit themselves absolutely to his Majesty, a much larger and more powerful majority do not wish the crown of England to be joined to that of Spain. In order to please these, and disarm the other Christian princes, who fear the same thing, it would greatly facilitate the enterprise if his Majesty were to allow his views to be known on this point, in the way he may consider most convenient. One very good way would be for a little tract to be written by some reputable Englishman, who might set forth that for the general welfare it would be advantageous that all should agree to accept the Infanta of Spain. The tract might assume, as a generally accepted fact, that his Majesty does not, and never has, claimed the crown for himself. Amongst the persons who might write such a tract is Sir Francis Englefield, who would be a very fit person for it, if his Majesty likes the idea. As it will be short, the tract might at once to be translated into other tongues, and particularly into Latin, for his Holiness, who is the principal person whose agreement is necessary after his Majesty.
3. That his Majesty should take every opportunity in England itself and neighbouring countries, to weaken our enemies, and strengthen and increase the number of our friends. For this purpose it would be well to support the Catholic nobles and gentlemen of Scotland, for the Queen is more alarmed at 1,000 men in Scotland than at 10,000 elsewhere. It will cost very little to support those Scotsmen, and they will take islands and forts, to the Queen's prejudice. The same thing may be said of the frish savages, who should be encouraged by some trifling help, in the form of money and arms (as they have plenty of men), and thus the Queen might be kept uneasy. The Scots, however, can trouble her most, as the Irish are across the sea and are less strong.
4. What would disturb and trouble her most of all, however, is that the English exiles in Flanders should make constant raids, summer and winter, with those little vessels they have in England. This could be done with little or no expenditure, except the cost of the ships themselves which are now rotting there, as the expenses would be covered by the prizes taken. This was proved 10 or 12 years ago, when the two brothers Cary maintained themselves for a long time and greatly injured the Queen, until the Flemish port authorities, jealous of the prizes they took, interfered with them.
5. One of the great advantages of such raids by Englishmen on England, (in addition to distressing the Queen, harrying the land, capturing ships, arresting gentlemen in their own houses, and hampering trade), would be that they would bring together a large number of good hardy sailors and soldiers, who would serve his Majesty in those seas. As they would know that if they were caught, there would be no pardon for them, they would be very desperate. Another advantage would be that those who came from England would be employed in this way, and they would therefore not all have to look to his Majesty for maintenance, as they do now. But to begin this business, the Board of which we have spoken in Flanders should be appointed. There should also be some Englishmen in his Majesty's confidence there, to keep his Majesty informed of what goes on. Thus much for weakening our enemies.
6. To strengthen and increase our friends, the best means would be to unite them, and take away the reasons for division, by the above-mentioned declaration of his Majesty's intentions with regard to the succession of the English crown. Another means would be to take away from the Flemish court, or employ them elsewhere, two or three persons who have Scottish leanings, and who cause disunion amongst our friends there. A third means would be that his Majesty should treat with some amount of confidence his adherents and friends. This would encourage others. The nobles and gentry of England, who hold places and fortresses in Flanders, Holland, and Zeeland, might be approached. They seeing the Queen old and childless, would soon think of arranging matters with his Majesty, if things looked propitious, and if they could do so without losing reputation, and were secretly sure of the fulfilment of the promises made to them. For this, and a thousand other reasons, it would be well to convene the already mentioned Board in Flanders, and that some worthy gentleman, especially Colonel Stanley, should be treated well, as he being so noble, and having surrendered everything in the world to his Majesty, is very highly esteemed amongst them.
7. Another way of strengthening our friends is that in any fleet his Majesty sends to England, Ireland, and Scotland there should go some high English ecclesiastic (such as Dr. Stapleton, or some other in Flanders) with authority, both from the Pope and his Majesty, to settle matters, and assure the English of his Majesty's intentions, in opposition of the countless lies of our enemies. It is necessary for a person of repute and authority of English nationality to be there to persuade and reassure.
8. If, moreover, the Catholics do not see such a prelate come in his Majesty's fleet, they will be confirmed in their suspicion that the heretics have been telling the truth in saying that his Majesty wanted to conquer the country ; and will doubt the Pope's intention, as to absolving them from their oath of allegiance to the Queen. This will cause doubt and division amongst our friends. It is a most important point and must not be lost sight of, as on such an occasion very many influential people will be guided in their course by priests in England who will accompany this personage. To such people it will necessary to write many letters ; and declarations will have to be printed. For this purpose it will be necessary to carry a printing press in the fleet, such as was prepared in Flanders for the year '88.
9. The excommunication of the Queen should be renewed by the Pope, and there should some such public printed pronouncement as was to be made by Cardinal Allen in '88, of which, although it was never published, I have a copy here, and it can be reprinted. It is also of the greatest importance that the first proclamation of the general when he lands should be deeply considered here before it is finally decided upon. It should be put into various languages, especially in Spanish and English, and should clearly state his Majesty's intention, upon which the success of the war largely depends, for by sheer force, it is very doubtful if it will succeed.
10. If there is any difficulty in making Dr. Stapleton a cardinal, for fear of the noise such an appointment might make, the Pope could give him the title of one of the great English sees, such as Durham or Ely, which could be done by secret brief, and he might be made Nuncio Legate at the same time, as Gregory XIII. made Dr. Allen in '83, when I went to Rome to urge it, and it was intended to make a movement through Scotland. The brief at that time remained in the hands of J. B. Tassis, the King's ambassador in Paris, and was never used. In the same way a dozen briefs might be got secretly from his Holiness for any gentlemen of Ireland, England, or Scotland, to confirm and assure them, the names being left in blank. I got more than 20 such briefs from Pope Gregory, and doubtless they would greatly influence some great persons in favour of the enterprise. Some private affectionate letters from his Majesty also should be provided. Such letters from princes to private individuals are always very efficacious.
11. If one or two other doctors in Flanders could be joined to Dr. Thomas Stapleton it would be well. They should be energetic, respected, and influential Englishmen, such as Dr. Thomas Worthington and Dr. John Pierse. They might be granted two of the minor English bishopries, such as Chester and Carlisle. This is in the case of the fleet going at once to England, so that as soon as it arrived in Cala's they could be ready to join it, and cross with it. But if the fleet is to go to Ireland, it might be better to give the title of archbishop of Dublin to another grave English priest, who lives at Rome, and is a relative of Cardinal Allen. He lived in Ireland many years and has many gentlemen relatives and acquaintances there, and in Lancashire, his native province. This priest is called Richard Haydone, and is well known to the ambassador in Rome as being a firm adherent of his Majesty.
12. If matters be arranged in this way to conciliate people, I trust in God that, in case his Majesty undertakes something promptly to recover his prestige, either by way of Ireland or Scotland first, or to England direct, which must be the main object, all will go well. I write this on the understanding that something should be done quickly to recover prestige, because otherwise, with the common talk there and in all northern Europe, of the weakness of Spain, and the rich plunder captured by the English (i.e., in Cadiz), 20 ships will be fitted out for every one before, and they will come hither like flies.
13. With regard to commencing with England or Ireland, there is much to be said on both sides, but the decision must turn upon feasibility. If England is impossible, then a beginning should be made in Ireland to recover reputation, and to have a point d'appui from which to attack England next year, rather than doing nothing. I am aware that if his Majesty attacks Ireland, many (ships) will arm against him this winter to be ready for spring ; but they will do so in any case, and it is better for him to gain something than nothing, besides which, in the meanwhile many things may happen in England, much negotiation may be carried on, and much diversion effected in Flanders and Scotland. Above all, matters should be so arranged, if possible, as to send the force to England in September, as was proposed in a memorial to his Majesty. It is undoubted that this would be the best course, and it is understood that this year England could be won with a quarter of the force which would be necessary next year, when the enemy would be fully prepared.
14. In any case, whether we begin this year in Ireland or in England, it will be very advantageous that the earls in Flanders should return to Scotland, and that the Catholics in Scotland, who are awaiting his Majesty's decision, should receive some help in money to raise troops. If we begin with England, it will be a great diversion to force the Queen to keep her army on the Scottish border, more than 100 leagues from London. If we commence with Ireland, it will also be very useful to have the Scots in arms, as they would help each other.
15. If no troops can be sent with the earls from Flanders, I am told that it would suffice to send them to their own houses, with some captains and two paymasters ; one with the earl of Huntly in the north, and the other with the earl of Angus in the west, to pay 1,500 or 2,000 men in each place for eight months or a year. There should be sent some confidential persons with the paymasters, to see that no money was used except to pay soldiers in the way usual there. This alone will enable them to put Scotland in turmoil, and the king of Scots, himself, might be persuaded that it was all in his interest, so that he would fulfil, without so much fear of the queen of England, what his representative has promised in his name. Consider (if this course be adopted) whether it would not be better for his (James VI.'s) agent to return by way of Flanders rather than direct to Scotland.
16. Finally, the great point which ought to be considered first is to obtain very good information from England of everything that is being done or said by the enemy. For some years the prince of Parma obtained excellent intelligence, as did Don Juan of Austria before him, but recently, partly from neglect and partly for want of money, things in this respect have fallen off. An attempt may now be made to amend matters, as Father Henry Garnet, provincial of the Jesuits, writes that trustworthy men may be obtained in London, who will get their information at the fountain head in the Council, and they themselves will provide correspondents in the principal ports, who will keep advising as to the warlike preparations. Chateau Martin is maintained in St. Jean de Luz as a spy by the Queen, who pays him 100 ducats a month, and one per cent. on all English merchandise entering there. (fn. 3) This is only that he may advise the preparations in Spain, besides which the enemy has in every port in Spain as many spies as there are Dutch, Scotch, Breton, or Irish merchants. It is no wonder she is better informed than we are. This, however, may be remedied, and is a matter which will appertain to the Board in Flanders. To set the matter going and establish communications, Hugo Owen, and Richard Versteghen, are very fitting persons, if money be given to them for it.
17. It would be well for some fitting person also to go to England to treat with those earls who twice sent their agent Stevello to Flanders last winter, and to see what foundation there was for the new offer about Flushing. Matters should not be allowed to drag in this way, but information should be conveyed from time to time to the Cardinal Archduke, and to his Majesty, by the Board, as to the progress being made in them.
649. Father Robert Persons to Martin De Idiaquez.
As you promised to keep in hand the matters I proposed in the papers given to you last Sunday, I beg you will continue to remind those gentlemen (i.e., the Council) of the following points, so as to get some decision about them at once, which is most important in his Majesty's interest :—
1. The declaration about the succession to the crown. 2. The formation of the Board in Flanders on English affairs, as everything else depends upon that. 3. The going of the Scottish earls to cause a diversion. 4. The briefs for Stapleton and the others. If they be not obtained in time they are of no use afterwards. Forgive my importunity, but I see the danger of delay.


  • 1. Captain Cisneros' account of this engagement, which took place off the rock of Cintra, is given in a letter written by him direct to Don Juan de Idiaquez, on the 10th June, but as it does not differ in any material respect from the above it is not reproduced here.
  • 2. The original is dated, in error, 11th May, but the context clearly shows that 11th June was the correct date.
  • 3. This was the case, but Chateau Martin had died early in the year 1596.