Spain: October 1550

Pages 181-184

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

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October 1550

Oct. 4. Brussels. E.A. 127 bis. The Council of State to Simon Renard.
As we hear the Queen Dowager of Scots has arrived at the King of France's Court, and with her the Scots ambassadors commissioned to come here to conclude a truce or peace, and as the safe-conduct her Majesty sent you for them from Turnhout has expired, we have, at the French ambassador's request, at once renewed the said safe-conduct for six weeks. It is in the same terms as before, and we are sending it to you now, so that you may hand it over to the ambassadors and avoid further delay.
Brussels, 4 October, 1550.
Copy. French.
Oct. 5. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 29. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: The King's entry into Rouen took place on the first of this month. The ceremony was a rich and imposing one, and went off in an orderly manner. The townspeople made a good show; some were on horseback, and three ensigns of foot-soldiers equipped at their expense were present and took part in it. The clergy came first, then the burgesses, followed by the judges and the admiralty. The Rouen bailiffs and their officers, the tax collectors for the province, the officials of the parliament, the three ensigns of foot, the first in green, the second in red, the third in black and white, followed in succession. Then came some twenty or thirty Spaniards leading a chariot upon which rode the effigy of Fame keeping Death in bonds. Four elephants, carrying the fireworks, a castle and a ship upon the backs of the second pair, were surrounded by people holding laurel-boughs in sign of victory.
There followed a chariot on which a King and a Goddess were seen bearing the crown on high, with two sons and two daughters seated at their feet, to represent the King's family, his own person, and the Queen. A young boy, sumptuously attired, went after, who represented the Dauphin. Upon another triumphal chariot there was an effigy of the Church, which was presented to the King and recommended to him. The last triumph were the forts of Boulogne; and with it the spoils taken from the English, ammunition and similar things, as a sign and symbol of the conquest of Boulogne. A guard of honour formed by the children of the town, each carrying an arrow in his hand, and richly dressed in embroideries, followed after, some on foot, and some on horseback, to the number of forty, all richly caparisoned, producing a beautiful and rich effect. A hundred gentlemen then marched past, with their suites; four knights of the Order (of St. Michael), the ambassadors and bishops, the Swiss guard, the cardinals, my Lord the Constable carrying the great sword, and the Master of the Horse preceding the King's person. After him followed the princes and knights, and last came the captain and provost of the guard. The townspeople set up a scaffolding for the King and one opposite him for the ambassadors, whence the whole procession could be seen as it filed past. The ceremony was opened by a sham combat illustrating the manner of fighting in Brazil. Two ships, one of which was burnt, fought on the Seine near the bridge. There was a river-triumph with whales and sea-monsters, and a chariot representing Neptune on which stood a triton. Three men jumped down from the bridge just under the cross into the water, and were supposed to be swallowed up by the whale; but this part of the show did not come off according to expectations. Guns were fired from the galleys and ships on the opposite side of the bridge, and twelve guns drawn up in the harbour were also let off.
A portal was erected over the middle of the bridge, representing the desert; and upon it stood a hydra vanquished by Hercules, who was intended for the King. A figure of Saturn was set up by the last gate on the bridge, symbolising the golden age restored by the peace with England. In the town itself there was set up a figure of an invincible Hercules Gallicus, with three crescents as his attributes, intended to represent the King. On another scaffolding Justice and her foundation, Faith, were shown one above the other. The last show was devoted to the late King's reputation; he was depicted as immortal for having restored letters and saved them from barbarism; and the present King was admonished to follow his example and protect men of learning. On one side could be seen the recumbent figure of the late Cardinal of Lorraine. The King was escorted to the Cathedral in the order described above. Dressed as a King and seated on a wolf-skin, he rode a powerful Spanish horse, and likewise all the princes, my Lords of Longueville, Guise, Aumale, Enghien, Louis (fn. 1) and the Grand Prior. (fn. 2)
On the following day the Queen's entry took place with the same equipage she had in Paris. She was dressed in white, and so were all her ladies. The same shows were repeated in her honour, except the triumph of Boulogue, as it was feared it might irritate the English. As it was, the ambassador was heard to say, when he saw it, that if it had cost them nothing they might have had a triumph with good reason. In place of the effigy of Justice there was a burning salamander, followed by two children carrying a coiled snake. I have not been able to interpret the symbol.
As I hear the account of the pageant is to be printed, I will write no more details, fearing your Majesty may find them tedious. . .
Rouen, 5 October, 1550.
Signed. French.
Oct. 22. Vienna, Imp. Arch. B. 77. The Queen Dowager to the Bishop of Arras.
I have spoken about the French and English members of the Order, of which his Imperial Majesty would fain be rid, to MM. de Reuil and de Praet, as the Chancellor of the Order is not here at present. These gentlemen would like to have more members present before giving an opinion on such a point. In the meantime, as a private opinion, they do not consider the present a good time to get rid of the French and English members; nor do they consider there is sufficient ground in the Rhinegrave's case, as the same has been overlooked in other rebels to his Majesty. As for England, it seems unwise to irritate them further at present; and it appears to me better to dissemble in such little things rather than in those of more importance. However, when MM. de Lalaing and Van Hoochstraten, and perhaps another member come hither, I will have the affair discussed.
(The letter proceeds with considerations on the Diet. The Queen hopes to hear that Philip is trying to be more affable, and making some effort to learn French.)
Brussels, 22 October, 1550.
Minute. French.
Oct. 31. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 17. Jehan Scheyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: During your Majesty's absence, I received letters from my Lords of the Emperor's Council of State on the 20th and 23rd of September, enclosing copies of the accounts of certain communications with the English ambassador.
In the first place, concerning the sugar and cloth mentioned therein, I will abide by what I wrote to your Majesty on the 31st of August, and will act according to the letters referred to above. I am expecting to hear what answer my Lords of the (English) Council may have sent to their ambassador after the communication held on the 11th of September. As to the writing which they claim to have given to the late ambassador, Van der Delft, concerning the sugar and other goods in their hands, the merchants have never heard any such writing mentioned. Nor do I find any trace of it among the documents left behind by the said ambassador.
As to the ancient Admiralty law in virtue of which the presence of the enemy's property renders the vessel carrying it liable to confiscation, I will do my best to ascertain, Madam, following my Lords' recommendation, how the English intend to interpret this law judicially. I fear they may continue in their present practice of tergiversation and delay, without coming to any conclusion whatever. If they are pushed into a corner they always find a loophole of escape.
It is contrary to the truth to maintain that, if the acts and records of the Admiralty Court were examined, it would be found that two cases only concerning his Majesty's subjects were now pending, namely, the two Dutchmen's. I fail to understand how they can dare to assert it; for it is notorious that more than twenty or thirty have been brought to that Court since the year '45, over and above those awaiting judgment from the Council or some commission, whose number is uncertain, and quite apart from the other cases that have not yet begun to be heard.
As to the two Dutch vessels, I am waiting for the documents and certificates that the two masters, who left some time ago, were to forward to me. Then they will no longer be able to prevent the prompt return of the vessels to their owners, especially considering the nature of the case, as I have already explained sufficiently in my former letters, and declared openly in my communication on the 15th of September. We are face to face with a plain instance of spoliation and robbery: their duty would be to use their authority and inflict exemplary punishment on the pirates, their accomplices, and the habitual receivers of stolen property, instead of drawing his Majesty's subjects into complicated and dilatory actions. There lies the plain course of justice, and thereby they might prove their sincerity in claiming to desire the friendship and good neighbourliness (of the Emperor) according to the treaties. They are merely countenancing the pirates, and encouraging them and their friends and abettors, by insisting that all cases of this nature shall be brought before the Admiralty Court. The private negotiations of the ambassadors and ministers of his Majesty have always turned on this important point; the Council have always maintained the contrary, and striven to support their contention, namely, that they have always acted as in duty bound, though one out of many cases may perhaps, they say, have escaped their attention. I hear that the French King's ambassador is making opposition on the same point, and will not permit on any terms whatever that his master's subjects be sent before the said Admiralty Court.
Madam: I enclose a placard and prohibition published recently with regard to various goods and merchandise.
London, 31 October, 1550.
Signed. Cipher. French.


  • 1. Doubtless the Knight of St. Michael elsewhere referred to as le Chevalier Louis.
  • 2. Presumably the Grand Prior of Rhodes, at this time a younger brother (René?) of M. de Guise.