Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.
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Paris Archives, K. 1,460.
669. Archduke Albert to the King. (fn. 1)
We learn from England that the Queen is desirous of peace, and that much discussion is taking place there on the question for and against. Although the majority of the people are in favour of peace they will not venture to enter upon negotiations, for fear of a refusal from your Majesty, and because of the doubt of the news the French have sent them as to the powers granted by your Majesty for the negotiation of peace. For this reason they will not make any move, but will give us to understand that they wish the first approaches to be made on our side, in which case they would reciprocate. Having regard to this, and as I am naturally desirous of the general peace and tranquillity, especially that of Spain and these States, I have considered whether it would not be advisable, after I have taken possession of the States, on behalf of the Infanta, to send an envoy to the queen of England on some complimentary mission, in the names of the Infanta and myself. The ostensible pretext might be the renunciation of your Majesty's sovereignty of these States, in favour of the Infanta, which might give rise to the idea that the continuation of the state of war between these States and England would really be the declaration of a fresh war. Such a mission as that which I suggest, might open the door for them (the English) to ask for peace, without your Majesty's dignity being in any way called into question, and the effect desired might be attained without any proposals for peace coming from your Majesty. I think this could hardly fail to give satisfaction to your Majesty, as it is evident from what your Majesty has written to me on several occasions, that your Majesty's own inclinations are in favour of some peaceful arrangement. By the help of God, too, the same course might possibly open up a way for a settlement with the rebels. I have thought well to lay this before your Majesty, but will do nothing until I receive a reply. I would beg, however, that the reply should be sent as quickly as possible, as otherwise it will be too late, my departure now being so near.—Brussels, 12th August 1598.
Note.—It will be recollected that peace had been signed at Vervins between Spain and Henry IV., and that Philip II. was now dying, as his son-in-law doubtless knew. The documents concerning the English participation in negotiations for peace with Spain at this time and in 1600 will be found in the Cotton MSS. Vesp. CVIII.
|Draft, day and month left blank. Latin. Estado, 839.
670. Philip II. to O'Neil and O'Donnell.
Heartily congratulates them on their constancy and steadfastness in defending the Catholic faith, and on the victory they have gained. (fn. 2) —Madrid, 1598.