Spain: September 1550

Pages 167-181

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 10, 1550-1552. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

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September 1550

Sept. 1. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 17. Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor.
My Lord Willoughby de Eresby, a young man, is nominated Deputy-Governor of Calais, and my Lord Cobham is now of the Council.
My Lord Erskine (fn. 1), a Scotsman coming from France who left here recently met the Council, with the French ambassador, before leaving, and remained with them about two hours. It is said that he went to discuss about certain other castles and small border fortresses besides those that have been pulled down and dismantled by both parties, according to the treaties.
The secretary of the French ambassador let fall the information that Scottish affairs are transacted by the said ambassador.
The Bishop (sic) of St. Andrews, brother of the Earl of Huntly was found at Dover wearing his ecclesiastical habit, and was put under arrest. He was on his way from Rome, where he had journeyed to receive confirmation of his bishopric, had passed through France, and was on his way to Scotland. They say there is an ancient custom between the English and the Scots, that the subjects of neither country may set foot within the other without a passport and licence to do so, and this was the cause why he was arrested. Others say it was done because he was brother to Huntly, who found means to escape without paying his ransom during the last war. (fn. 2)
The Council have visited the Bishop of Winchester in the Tower twice during the last fortnight. It is said that they are doing their utmost to induce him to alter his opinions, and have not spared their threats. On the 19th of this month the Bishop was taken to Court and brought before the Council. They say à Lasco was present, and they could obtain nothing from him. It is feared he may have to suffer before long. Some opine that they will not condemn him without a resolution of the Parliament while the King is still a minor, because he is a member of the Council and of the Order. Parliament is to assemble next Michaelmas.
It is reported that my Lords Derby and Shrewsbury have a quarrel with Warwick and Paget over the boundaries of their counties and the extent of their jurisdiction. Lord Derby was summoned to appear at Court, but refused to go before the assembling of Parliament. It is feared that some disorder may follow on his appearance at that season, because the said Lords Derby and Shrewsbury are powerful lords, of ancient lineage, faith and religion, and beloved by the people. Report has it that they intend to propose to the next Parliament that the will of the late King shall be strictly observed on all points, as regards religion and in all other respects, until the present King comes of age, and that they will uphold these proposals, together with my Lord of Arundel. The Bishop of Winchester is held to concur entirely as far at least as religion is concerned. He addressed certain writings to the King bearing on this point, and they say the King was displeased about it: but his resentment must have been inspired by the Council, who maintain that his Majesty would be thus (for the present) robbed of all power. The Bishop went as far as to write to the King because he was ordered by the Council to make his excuses and explanations to the King. The above is supposed to be the principal reason why he was let out of the Tower the other day.
The King left this town on the 23rd for Windsor, where he is to stay until Michaelmas. The Council is to meet there without interruption, although it is usual to take holidays at this season, and the Council desired to do so. This decision has given rise to various surmises.
During the last three or four days some five hundred English foot, recalled from Boulogne and Scotland, have been reviewed here. It is not known where they are to be sent, but it is supposed that they will go to the North and West to prevent a fresh rising of the peasants. Some say they will be sent to Ireland. On the 22nd of this month two galleys and five or six war-ships, well equipped, left this town; and it is said that four or five more are being sent out. They are supposed to convey the two hundred thousand crowns from France; but I have not heard anything of the departure of the hostages. Others say they were fitted out to keep their coasts and harbours free from pirates and safe from any assault. M. d'Eecke's arrival (fn. 3) seems to have roused their suspicions.
By all accounts and probabilities, it seems that the Council have some important business on hand. I have been told as much on good authority. There are no means of finding out the exact nature of it; but judging by appearances, it might well be directed against the said Lords Derby and Shrewsbury and to remove all obstacles these lords might set in the Council's way in the matter of religion, and of the peasants' grievances. Perhaps the Council used the quarrel as to boundaries as a means to provoke and test them and discover those who might help them and take their part. Their object in examining the Bishop (of Winchester) and their efforts to win him over, were perhaps inspired by the same motives.
They say that Paget tried hard to get the Chancellorship, but did not succeed.
Somebody brought the news to the Council a short while ago, that five or six English vessels had been captured and sent to Spain in virtue of certain signed orders; but Spaniards have contradicted the information, and explained that two or three vessels only were under arrest, “because the merchants and sailors had committed a breach of one of the Emperor's placards.”
They (the Council) have despatched Mr. Morison to reside as their ambassador at his Majesty's (fn. 4) court. He is to leave shortly. They say he is a great heretic.
A placard was published here recently forbidding the exportation of sundry goods and victuals, under penalty of confiscation and criminal prosecution.
The ambassador resident at the Court of the Queen Dowager (of Hungary) sent certain placards of your Majesty's, concerning heresies, to the Council. They were examined in full Council and in no wise approved. They pronounced them to be inspired by the Spanish Inquisition, and to surpass it. They are having them translated and circulated among the people.
London, 1 September, 1550.
Cipher. French.
Sept. 1. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor. (fn. 5)
Sire: Your Majesty will learn my negotiations with the King and the Constable on public and private matters by the copy of my letters to your Majesty's Council of State for the Low Countries, enclosed herewith. The subjects dealt with, the progress of affairs, and the points still pending are described therein. I will forbear from enlarging further now on the matter. It is still more unnecessary for me to do so, as I have added a copy of the decisions concerning naval reforms and of the applications of the same ordinances. I have sent these also to the said Council of State.
I will begin with the English in making my statement of current events. They are suspicious and afraid that your Majesty may declare war against them. They found their fears on your Majesty's displeasure that they should have made peace with the Scots, without consulting you or communicating the conditions. They have neglected the conditions of the treaty between your Majesty and the late King, whereas your Majesty has carried them out faithfully. Your Majesty's subjects have suffered insults, damage and loss at the hands of the Scots, through your adherence to the terms of the treaty. In the second place, they fear your Majesty may find their religious innovations even more scandalous than those that have taken place in Germany; and in the third place they fear that your Majesty may have been still more incensed by their reception of Bucer and Brother Bernardin, (fn. 6) whom your Majesty thrust out. Fourth, they believe your Majesty to have arrived at an understanding with the Pope, and to have agreed to lend the aid of secular force to his Holiness to compel them to reestablish the authority of the Apostolic See in England, restore the country to obedience, and force them to pay the enormous arrears of the long-established pension to the Holy See formerly granted in return for the Pope's assistance against King Philip or King Louis. These arrears would, according to them, defray the cost of the supposed campaign. Their fears are added to because of the obduracy of the English people who still persevere in the observance of the ancient religion, and do not willingly accept the new. They suspect that your Majesty and the Pope have a hand in it, through some intelligence in England.
Their fifth reason for being afraid that your Majesty will declare war is the rumoured establishment of the Inquisition in Flanders, which they suppose to have been intended to drive them out of the country and deprive them of its trade, in the certain knowledge that they will never submit.
Acting on these suspicions, they have tried to make themselves safe by making proposals, through third persons, for the alliance and marriage of their King and the eldest daughter of France. Guidotti (fn. 7) presented to the Queen a portrait of the King of England, recently brought over by a courier. The Queen made a return for the gift by sending Mme. Péronne, governess of the princesses, to the said Guidotti, with a portrait of her eldest daughter, drawn to the life by a young lady named Elizabeth, who is in the Queen's service. Following upon these overtures, the conditions of the marriage are being discussed, and also the means of joining France and England in close confederation. The merchants who used to trade at Antwerp are considering transferring themselves to Rouen, if the King will grant them the liberties and exemptions demanded. They affirm that the Inquisition is driving them away, and assert that the same cause is making the Portuguese, Easterlings and Germans who are there now seek the means of withdrawing themselves to Rouen also. Some of the English Councillors, especially those who supported the treaty with France, incline to the marriage; others are against it. They set forth the harm that may follow if they forego or neglect your Majesty's friendship. The frequent negotiations going on now between the French and the English ambassador suggest that the marriage will take place; others affirm that the King will do nothing while the peace with your Majesty endures, and he will not in any event marry his eldest daughter to a schismatic King under excommunication. He foresees that his Holiness will not allow it, and is still less likely to grant a dispensation so that it may be (lawfully) done. He will keep the matter in suspense as long as possible, holding out hopes to the English, so that if war were to break out, he could get something out of them.
I have gathered from M. de Châtillon, M. de la Chapelle and several others, that the King of England is described as a goodly youth, well-favoured, strong, well educated in letters and manly exercises, and virtuous withal, to induce the King of France to lean to the marriage. The English are recalling their ambassador at your Majesty's Court, because they hold him in suspicion, owing to a declaration he is supposed to have been heard to make, when the peace with France was about to be negotiated; he swore that if Boulogne were surrendered, he would never set foot in England again. His words have been reported to the Council to confirm the English in their suspicions, and turn them against your Majesty. The French are doing their best to influence them against your Majesty, and invent a quantity of threats that you are supposed to have uttered against them.
The young Queen of Scots is ill with a fever and diarrhœa, and in danger of death. The King and Queen are greatly distressed about it. . . . (Doubtful accounts of the Pope's disposition as regards the Council; his creation of Cardinals. Strozzi's private affairs, etc. . . .)
Poissy, 1 September, 1550.
Signed. Cipher. French.
Sept. 2. Brussels, L.A. 47. Jehan Scheyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: I beg to remind your Majesty that I have already requested you to allow me to return, and as I am still uncertain of your Majesty's intentions I now make so bold as to write again, imploring you to grant me my request, especially as the time for which I was sent has already expired. If your Majesty should come to another decision (which I trust will not be the case), I beg you to make provision for my salary, remembering the extraordinary expenses I shall be obliged to meet before I am settled. And truly, Madam, I have already had enough experience of the dearness of everything here to know that I shall be unable to live in a manner befitting the ambassador of the Emperor and your Majesty on ten florins (a day) and my wages as a privy-councillor, unless I add money of my own, which the state of my fortune will not permit, as I remonstrated to your Majesty before leaving your Court. I hope that your Majesty does not contemplate leaving me here, though I submit to your prudent decision.
London, 2 September, 1550.
Holograph. French.
Sept. 4. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 18. The Emperor to Jehan Scheyfve.
We have received your letters of the 26th of July and 3rd of last month. The Queen of Hungary has replied to you from time to time on the various points of your letters dealing with matters concerning our countries and subjects, declared her intentions to you and told you what was to be done. We will deal merely with the question of the Princess Mary, our cousin, and the information she gave your secretary when you sent him to visit her, and especially the conversations she had on several occasions with the Chancellor, and her fear that sooner or later she may be forbidden to have mass celebrated. If any such attempt were to be made this Michaelmas, on the assembling of Parliament, or if on the same occasion they were to endeavour to put pressure on her in matters of religion, you will go incontinently to the Council. You will declare that you have special orders from us to request them to leave the said Lady Mary, our cousin, in full liberty to practise and observe her religion, on the same terms as those her father approved, until the King her brother is old enough to give his orders on the subject. We request them to grant this permission unconditionally; and you will persist in your request at all costs. Give them plainly to understand that if they decide otherwise we will not take it in good part, or suffer it to be done. You will inform us as soon as possible of the answer you receive, and what faith we can place in its being carried out.
He whom you describe as being about to come here as resident ambassador has not arrived yet. You had better ascertain whether he has left England, what manner of man he may be, and of what quality. Find out if they have changed their minds after all and revoked the appointment.
Augsburg, 4 September, 1550.
Minute. French.
Sept. 6. Brussels, L.A. 47. The Council of State to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: We are sending to your Majesty a packet of letters from the Emperor's ambassador in England, which we have opened and read. We will examine the points contained in them, and reply as shall seem proper. Not wishing to delay the letters further, we will inform your Majesty of our deliberations at an early opportunity.
At the same time, we received letters from his Majesty's ambassador in France, of which we are not sending a copy to your Majesty, because he informs us that he has sent you a duplicate. We will examine these letters at leisure, reply, and report to your Majesty.
We have heard the Chancellor of the Order's (Philip Nigri's) report on the illegal exactions the English are inflicting upon the merchants from these countries; and it has been decided that President St. Mauris and the said Chancellor shall communicate with the English ambassador here resident, who has declared that he is competent to deal with the matter, as he was among the commissioners who met at Bourbourg, where similar questions were discussed. He says he will be able to answer all grievances, and that the English Council will be glad to show our merchants, in our ambassador's presence, documents in proof of the antiquity of the dues now imposed. When this communication has been held, and we have heard his replies and proposals, we will decide what is to be done next, and whether it will be necessary to hold another communication, or adopt some better method. And we will keep your Majesty well posted of what happens. . . .
(Two short paragraphs on local affairs.)
Brussels, 6 September, 1550.
Original. French. Countersigned Despleghem.
Sept. 8. Simancas, E. 807. Edward VI. to Prince Philip.
Most high and excellent prince, our very dear and well-beloved cousin: We are about to sent our dear and faithful councillor, Mr. Richard Morison, knight, and gentleman of our privy-chamber, to our good brother the Emperor your father, in place of our ambassador now resident at his court. We have ordered and given him express charge to visit you on our behalf, present our loving commendations to you, declare to you that he is leaving us in the enjoyment of good health, and assure you of the true and whole-hearted love we bear you. We beg you, very dear and well-beloved cousin, to add faith to all he shall say to you on our behalf, as you would to ourself. We will write no more now, except to commend ourself heartily to you. We pray our Maker to keep you, most high and excellent prince, in His holy care and protection.
Oatlands, 8 September, 1550.
Signed original. French.
Sept. 8. Brussels, E.A. 4051. A patent of Mary, Queen Dowager of Scots, and the Earl of Arran, commissioning Sir T. Erskine (fn. 8) to conclude a truce or peace with the Emperor, the Queen Dowager of Hungary, or their delegates.
Edinburgh, 8 September, 1550.
Copy. Latin.
Sept. 10. Brussels, E.A. 127 bis. The Council of State to the Margrave of Antwerp.
Some eight days ago we received letters from the Emperor's ambassador resident with the King of England, informing us that certain sea-faring men of Flushing in Zeeland had been beaten, wounded and outrageously treated in certain harbours of England by the people of the country, without any cause or reason. These men had complained to the ambassador, requesting him to apply to the English Council for redress. The Council had replied that English sailors had been beaten and wounded without cause on the river below Antwerp, towards La Craue (fn. 9) or in that direction, by Antwerp men, so there was no particular reason why anything should be done; and the ambassador had been unable to obtain any other answer. As we desire to learn exactly what happened at Antwerp, we request and, on her Majesty's behalf, command you expressly to make inquiries from the conservator or court-master of the English at Antwerp as to what injury has been inflicted on English sailors on the river by Antwerp men; why, when, how and by whom, together with the attendant circumstances. And if he wishes to lodge a complaint, you shall carefully examine the merits of the case, and punish or award damages as you shall find justice demands. You will report to us as soon as possible, in order that we may inform the Emperor's ambassador in England, and put him in a position to claim similar treatment there.
Brussels, 10 September, 1550.
Copy. French.
Sept. 12. Simancas, E. 645. Prince Philip to Don Juan Hurtado de Mendoza. (fn. 10)
You replied to a letter of mine concerning Titian's coming, that he would leave as soon as the dog-days were over, and the August rains had fallen. I have been expecting to hear from you that he had left; but as you have written nothing about it, I am afraid there may be some further delays. I should be very glad if he came as soon as possible. So I charge you and pray you that if he has not left already when you receive this, you shall hasten his departure by telling him how great a service he will do me and how much pleasure I shall receive by his coming, both being all the greater according to his promptness. You will render me great service by procuring his coming, so that it may really take effect, and sending me information as to the date of his departure, and the probable date of his arrival here.
Augsburg, 12 September, 1550.
Copy. Spanish.
Sept. 16. Brussels, L.A. 47. The Council of State to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: We are enclosing with this letter one from the ambassador in England, in which he begs to be recalled, or to have his salary raised if he is to remain there longer. His secretary who brought the letter wished to stay here until an answer should come from your Majesty; but we told him he was to return to his master, who might need his services. We said we would inform your Majesty, but we thought the ambassador might remain at his post until news came from your Majesty, who will be pleased to signify your pleasure as regards his salary.
The French ambassador here resident has told us that, when the French galleys sent to Scotland were near port, such a gale started blowing that one of them was driven out to sea, and that the gale had gone on so long that no one knew what had become of the galley. He requested us to write to M. van Buren and to the Flemish and Dutch harbours to find out whether anything had been seen of it, for it was the best of the fleet. Some of the others had also been damaged by the storm. We have written as he asked us; and no news of the Queen Dowager of Scots' departure have reached us as yet. . . .(The remainder of the letter is concerned with appointments to the command of frontier garrisons.)
Brussels, 16 September, 1550.
Original. French. Countersigned Despleghem.
Sept. 17. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 29. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
The English are still involved in difficulties with the Scots over some place not included in the treaty of peace which the Scots claim, and are determined to get. The English wished it to be neutral, but the Scots refused. On the other hand there is some trouble between England and France over the boundaries between the Boulonnais and Calais. Commissioners were sent to the spot to settle the differences, but have had to leave without arriving at any satisfactory settlement. There is trouble brewing over the Irish refugees in Scotland, Robertus Cecus, Cotor (?) (fn. 11) and several more who stir up trouble against the King of England with the object of handing Ireland over to the French King, who encourages and protects them. . . .
Pontoise, 17 September, 1550.
Signed. Cipher. French.
Sept. 20. Simancas, E. 645. The Emperor to the King and Queen of Bohemia.
(Extract from a letter dealing with Spanish administrative affairs.)
The English ambassador here resident gave us the memorials enclosed herewith, (fn. 12) and besought us to command that the (English) ships embargoed and detained in certain ports on the coast of Biscay might be released, and their captains and crews set at liberty. He also requested that the embargoed goods might be restored, and also that certain articles of the statute regulating English trade in those parts might be altered. These articles, he said, were very hard on English merchants; for they prohibited the taking of money out of Spain, and imposed certain rules concerning account books, (fn. 13) and others of recent introduction. You will have this matter looked into, and see that justice be done, so that the merchants may have no reasonable cause for complaint, nor excuse for bringing their grievances before us here.
Augsburg, 20 September, 1550.
Holograph. Spanish.
Sept. 24. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 17. Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor.
Sire: I have received your Majesty's letters dated the 4th and the 20th of this month. I can add nothing new concerning the affairs of the Lady Mary, Princess of England. There have been no further developments and no fresh pressure has been put upon her. I will wait on events and act according to your Majesty's orders contained in the said letters.
He who was appointed to reside at your Majesty's Court as ambassador left here five or six days ago. He is a learned and lettered man, and well thought of for his proficiency in the new theology; as I wrote to your Majesty. He was once a gentleman of the privy-chamber to the late King, but was deprived of his place because, as some say, though I own it seems strange, he had presumed too far in certain writings to find fault with our Holy Father the Pope. He was knighted on receiving this new appointment.
I am sending to your Majesty the duplicate of the letters I have written to my Lords of the Council of State for the Low Countries, giving an account of current events.
London, 24 September, 1550.
Postscript.—It is asserted that the greater number of the vessels that were in the Thames, and therefore ready to sail, are being kept back; and most of the troops that were put on them have been dismissed.
A paper saying that Boulogne was given up so that the new sects might he encouraged, and that those who did the deed shall suffer for it, was found nailed on doors in London the other day.
It is reported that the English claimed recently a certain fortress on a height near Berwick towards Scotland, but the Scots offered resistance. They are now attacking the fortress in the said town of Berwick where there are about three hundred soldiers.
The English are trying to get possession of a zone of country between Berwick and the sea. The King's governor in the North, my Lord Vaulx (sic) (fn. 14) and certain Scottish commissioners have met from time to time near Berwick to discuss sundry questions, this being one of them.
It is rumoured that the Emperor and the Scots have agreed upon a truce. The English appear to be rather put out about it.
The Queen of Scotland was off Dover on the 17th of September with six galleys and two or three small vessels. She waited until certain Scottish nobles who had passed through England could embark too. On the 19th she was driven into the port of Rye by a storm. An English gentleman carried her request to the King to grant her a passport that she might be allowed to land. Those of the Council who were then at court, namely my Lord of Somerset, the Lord High Treasurer, (fn. 15) the Marquis of Northampton and the Lord Privy Seal (fn. 16) were not pleased at the news. They deliberated some time, and then sent back the said gentleman to the Queen with a passport. I have not heard that she received any other hospitality or welcome from the King. She landed at Rye and spent two or three hours there. On the 22nd she sailed for France, where they say she is at present. It is reported that a great concourse of the French nobility were waiting for her at Le Havre to escort her to Rouen.
The six galleys carried about a thousand soldiers back to Scotland, to reinforce the various garrisons. They say that all the Scottish fortresses are in the hands of the French, and that the King of France is master of the country. Some assert that this state of affairs will endure as long as the Scots please and no longer.
Signed. French. The first sentence and postscript in cipher.
Sept. 24 (?). Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 17. Jehan Scheyfve to the Council of State. (fn. 17)
My Lords: I have received the letters of August 25th and 26th from the Queen. In answer to those of the 25th, there are no means of arriving at a discussion here on the seizure of goods referred to therein. On the contrary, it is said now that they will sell the goods further away, say in France, so that there shall be no means of producing evidence against them.
You refer to the complaints made by subjects of his Majesty who cannot obtain redress for certain seizures of goods committed to their prejudice over four years ago, and you mention the various applications made by the late ambassador, Van der Delft, to whom it was replied that the cases must come before the Admiralty Court. This was done, and it was found that little justice could be hoped for, especially during the late ambassador's life.
My Lords, since my coming here, I have declared on several occasions to the Lords of the Council that our subjects are treated with scant justice in the said Admiralty Court. Good amity, I said, demanded that their rights should be respected, as we in our country respected those of the English. I took the opportunity whenever it presented itself to push the applications for redress, and I insisted on the present unsatisfactory state of affairs and the wrongs inflicted on my fellow-countrymen, against the treaties of alliance and Commercial Convention. They have given me no satisfactory answer up to the present, except that they proposed to remedy matters. But nothing has been done. As I did not let the affair drop and refused to content myself with this, they complained that my manners were too violent and said I would do well to soften the tone of my remonstrances.
The bailiff of Flushing who had sundry cases before the said Admiralty Court, after many delays, obtained verdicts in his favour. But he cannot get the verdicts put into effect, although his man has been suing for the past two years. He has often applied to me to remonstrate with the Council on the matter. I have done so, protesting that it was a most unreasonable thing that the judgments rendered should remain inoperative. Alter insisting on this point again and again, I was told once more that they would remedy matters. They then found means to give some appointment on one of the King's galleys to one of his best witnesses, although he was summoned to appear in the case. They refused to accept as evidence the goods themselves. The bailiff (of Flushing)'s man asked me several times to bear him out to his Majesty in certain protests he wished to make on the ground that he was denied justice.
I will give you another instance, my Lords, of the usual practice of the Admiralty Court, and of their real intentions towards the subjects of his Majesty. It has special reference to the seizure of two Dutch vessels mentioned in my former letters. It so happened that one of the masters found his own vessel here in the Thames, and applied to the judge of the Admiralty Court for a warrant of recovery. But the judge refused to issue it on the pretext that no guarantor was named in the application; and refused to specify what sort of person, and of what quality, he would accept as guarantor. Even if the master were to succeed in rescuing his property he could reap no real advantage because the judge follows his own inclinations in the acceptance of guarantors, and his choice usually falls upon people of inadequate means or upon officers in the King's service. If he were to complain of the judge he would be drawn into a worse quandary. Moreover the judge declared in so many words that even if the seaman produced his witnesses no credence would be given to them, or to any of the men who were on board his vessel either. The alleged facts concerning the robbery cannot well be proved, except by the evidence which the crew of the vessel can give. Such evidence is generally accepted as legal proof and taken to be sufficient for the purpose.
I see no hope that his Majesty's subjects will receive better treatment now than under my late predecessor; on the contrary, worse may be expected.
It is commonly reported that some of the Council have their own ships and servants out at sea, and take a share in the spoils. The Admiral (fn. 18) and my Lord Willoughby, Deputy-Governor of Calais, are merely instruments in the hands of my Lord Warwick. The said Deputy-Governor sends money to the various ports for the purchase of prizes.
I understand, my Lords, that his Majesty's ambassador and the Council formerly discussed the said grievances and complaints. It was proposed that witnesses should be allowed to give evidence when the case rested on actual facts admitting possibility of proof, as in most of the cases now under discussion. Their testimony was to be examined and sifted by the said ambassador and Council, and the sentence was to be given by the Admiralty Court. They brought forward the objection that the Council had more than enough work to do concerning the country's affairs generally, and the duty of sifting evidence ought to fall to some member or secretary who should be ordered to make a report, to be discussed as stated above. They declared that in this way several cases could be disposed of at one sitting and they hoped that neither the ambassador nor the Council would be troubled too often, as differences could be promptly settled and would more rarely occur.
My Lords, I have collected all the information I could get respecting the actual position of the English and Scots. Ambassador Chamberlain affirmed and maintained that no treaty of peace existed between them. He acknowledged that by common consent they had agreed to abstain from fighting, and declared that nothing more was implied except that neither should invade the other's territory. Ho adduced as proof that the Scots were not allowed, without safe-conducts, to trade or make contracts with England. As a result of diligent enquiries I found that in the general opinion, and especially among merchants who habitually traded with Scotland, the peace was considered to be lastingly and positively effected. There is now free intercourse between the two peoples, and trade is resumed on the same footing and with the same facilities that were habitual before in time of peace. Scotsmen come in great numbers to trade and hold intercourse with the English at Berwick, Newcastle and King's Lynn, and bring their own goods for sale with them. The English do the same in Scotland. I cannot believe that everyone of them carries a safe-conduct; and even if they were provided with one, nothing would be proved, as there may be some accepted custom in favour of their doing so, or possibly prudence may counsel them to protect themselves against any eventuality, especially as the peace was very recently arranged.
Moreover, the treaty between France and England contains these words “perpetual peace.” The inclusion of Scotland must be inferred, as it is not expressly denied in the account of the articles of peace published here at the time of signing, and posted up since at the foot of the placard concerning the pirates.
Subject to correction, I am of opinion, my Lords, that the peace cannot be described as abstention from hostilities, especially as no duration of time is specified; or at any rate the abstention is merged in a peace. Perhaps the English do not feel quite safe with the French and Scots and prefer to leave a loophole of escape in case war were to break out again.
In reply to the inquiry made of me, if I knew whether the Queen of Scotland and the Scottish Estates had ratified the said treaty, and whether their ratification were accepted by the English, I have heard from a safe source that the Queen Dowager, the Regent, and other great lords of the country ratified the peace under the great seal of Scotland; but I have heard no mention of any other Estates. Some of the lords objected to it, but were persuaded by the Regent who proved to them that the treaty was advantageous to the country. The people in general were none too well-pleased. The English accepted the ratification at once. This was when my Lord (i.e. the Master of) Erskine, a Scotsman, came here. Even before the ratification and acceptance the English did their utmost to encourage intercourse with Scotland.
My Lord the Vidame, talking recently with a friend of his, said that a good, firm peace had been established between England and Scotland, and that the Scottish Queen and the country had ratified it. He added, however, that there were certain difficulties over three or four minor points of no great importance, but he did not specify or name them.
They say that certain castles and places were demolished recently in consequence of a special provision to that effect contained in the treaty.
I have done my utmost to obtain a copy of the treaty, but I have found it impossible to get one. They conceal their documents carefully, and this one particularly, because I hear it is not greatly to their advantage. One may get it all the more easily from the French. I hear it is very long and contains several articles. I have been given hopes of obtaining it within a month, by some means or other. I shall not fail to do my duty.


  • 1. The Master of Erskine, also referred to as Sir Thomas.
  • 2. The Earl of Huntly was to have gone to Scotland to stir up partisans for the English, leaving his wife and children as hostages. He waited for them at the Border and escaped with them into Scotland. The Archbishop of St. Andrews at this time was not Huntly's brother, however, but a Hamilton, brother of Regent Arran. See Vol. IX, p. 345.
  • 3. D'Eecke never landed, according to official accounts, but sailed in English waters in pursuit of Scottish pirates.
  • 4. Sic, though the letter is addressed to the Emperor.
  • 5. A translation into Spanish exists in Paris, Archives Nationales, K. 1489.
  • 6. Bernardino Ochino.
  • 7. A Florentine merchant, who was employed by the English to make the first overtures for the peace of 1560. He is referred to as “Le Vidoto,” or “Guidot.”
  • 8. Thomas, Master of Erskine.
  • 9. I have not identified this place. Craue is sometimes used to mean “port” or “landing-place.” (Lat. gradus.)
  • 10. Imperial ambassador at Venice.
  • 11. Robertus Cecus would appear to be Robert Waucop, also known as Venantius, the blind, intriguing bishop, mentioned in the Irish Calendar as trying to stir up trouble at Derry in March, 1550. Cotor may perhaps be a slip for O'Conor.
  • 12. I have not been able to find the memorials referred to.
  • 13. English merchants in Spain had been ordered to keep their ledgers in Spanish (see p. 72).
  • 14. Thomas, Lord Vaux of Harrowden, the poet, held no office after 1536. This must be a slip on Scheyfve's part. He probably means Sir Robert Bowes, who was employed in negotiations with the Scots at about this time.
  • 15. The Earl of Wiltshire.
  • 16. The Earl of Bedford.
  • 17. The present document is a contemporary copy, unsigned, and date “the 24th,” no month being given. It presents certain peculiarities of spelling that do not belong to Scheyfve, and denote the Flemish origin of the scribe. The contents lead me to date it September 24th. The direct accusations against the Council are written in cipher.
  • 18. Lord Clinton had been Admiral since May 1st, 1550.