Simancas: August 1600

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Simancas: August 1600', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603, (London, 1899) pp. 667-668. British History Online [accessed 5 March 2024]

August 1600

Estado, 840.
689. Advices from Scotland given by the Earl Of Bothwell.
The King (of Scotland) has sent to Rome, Patrick Stewart, a Catholic, and brother to the earl of Athol, to confirm the promise given, in his name, to his Holiness by the bishop of Vaison, (fn. 1) and to ask for the money promised by his Holiness.
The King has also sent Baron Burleigh to Holland, to ratify the alliance which has hitherto existed between them, and to strengthen it by making it for the future offensive and defensive. They (the States) have agreed to this, and undertake to recognise him (James) as king of England on the Queen's death. Burleigh is commissioned to obtain 20,000 cuirasses and as many muskets there to take to Scotland. This baron Burleigh is so faithful a servant of mine that it will be easy to induce him to bring all these arms here, and not send them to Scotland, if they have not already gone. A courier should at once be sent to him with a letter from me, in the form I will submit to your Lordship, if you will allow me. Patrick Stewart is instructed to lay before the Pope the great preparations the King is making to begin the war, as soon as the money is received.
In consequence of great disputes between the queen of England and the king of Denmark, which may well lead to hostilities, the king of Scotland has sent Peter Young, of his privy council, to Denmark to offer the King to declare war upon the queen of England in his favour, if necessary, on condition that the king of Denmark will help him to become king of England.
The Council of State, reporting on the above advices, recommend that Bothwell's offer about the arms be accepted. They remind the King that this man, Bothwell, is in great want in consequence of his not having been paid the 2,000 ducats ordered some time ago. He has already taken leave of the President of Orders, and is leaving in depair. This would have an extremely bad effect in discouraging Catholics, both in England and Ireland, and the Council strongly recommends that he should not be allowed to go away in such a condition. They think he should at once be paid the 2,000 ducats he has already spent, and 4,000 more for his present needs. (fn. 2)
13 August.
Estado, 840.
690. Report of the Council Of State to Philip III. on letter of 14th April, from O'Neil.
In accordance with your Majesty's orders the Council has considered the above letter, of which the following is the substance :—
He thanks your Majesty for allowing his son to come hither. He presses that no Irish ships should be admitted into Spain without a license from himself and the archbishop of Dublin. He begs that Maurice Geraldine should be sent with the succour from your Majesty. Although he is a claimant to the earldom of Desmond, and might be supposed to be at issue with the present holder of the title, he, O'Neil, thinks that no dispute will arise. The Council is of opinion that a kindly reply should be sent, praising him highly for his bravery and steadfastness, and saying how glad your Majesty was for his son to come. He should be told that Don Martin de la Cerda will give him an account of what has been done with his son.
It would be advisable, in order to please O'Neil, to accede to his request about the passports. Advices will have to be sent to all the ports. All ships from Ireland not bringing these passports to be confiscated to your Majesty.
Geraldine should be released but not allowed to leave, and when the expedition is ready it can be decided what course shall be pursued with him. (fn. 3)


  • 1. William, Bishop of Vaison, in France, nephew of Chisholm the Carthusian Bishop of Dunblane, of whom mention is frequently made in this Calendar. Calderwood calls the Bishop of Vaison, Drummond. The letter carried to Rome by Patrick Stewart was divulged to Elizabeth by the Master of Gray, who was in Italy at the time serving as a spy for the English. She was extremely indignant at James' tergiversation, and dispatched Bowes to Scotland to reproach him for conduct unworthy of a Protestant. James solemnly assured Bowes that the letter was a forgery and the whole story an invention of his enemies. It was asserted some years afterwards, with a show of truth, that James had signed the letter in ignorance of its contents. The blame was thrown upon Elphinstone, his secretary, who was found gailty of treason but pardoned.
  • 2. The earl of Bothwell writes, apparently about the same time as the above document was penned, petitioning the King "for some post conformable with his rank, or failing that, a pensioned knighthood of Santiago, in order that he may be in a position to serve his Majesty more effectually."
  • 3. Maurice Fitzgerald, the direct heir of Desmond. He had got into some trouble in a riot at Lisbon and was under arrest. John, the second son of Sir Thomas Fitzgerald, had recently been proclaimed earl.