Spain: March 1551, 1-5

Pages 225-237

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

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March 1551, 1–5

March 1. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor.
Sire: On the 24th of last month my Lords the Treasurer (Wiltshire) and Paget, accompanied by Secretary Petre, came to see me and reminded me, Paget acting as spokesman, of what the Bishop of Ely and Dr. Petre had represented to me the other day about the request, made by Ambassador Chamberlain to the Queen (Dowager of Hungary), to be allowed to practise the English religion in Flanders just as I used the Flemish religion here, and also of their statement that it would be unsuitable that I should be allowed to retain the mass unless a corresponding latitude were permitted to their ambassador. They asked me if I had not yet received a reply on this matter from your Majesty. I replied, in the first place, that the Bishop of Ely and Dr. Petre had not made such full exposure of their instructions, but had only represented to me that it seemed reasonable, since I used the mass and the old religion, that the same tolerance should be extended in the case of Chamberlain, requesting me, in consequence, to try to find means of getting this privilege granted to him in Flanders; and they had said no more at the time. Moreover, Sire, I repeated to them the substance of what I had said on the former occasion, as my letters set forth, which the said secretary admitted to be accurate. I then remarked that all that had happened was that the Council had had the matter exposed to me, and asked me to inform your Majesty of it; and the fact that your Majesty was rather far away doubtless explained why I had as yet received no answer. Nevertheless, as it pleased my Lords, I would again inform your Majesty of their wishes.
London, 1 March, 1551.
Signed. Cipher. French.
March 1. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Jehan Soheyfve to the Emperor.
The Bishop of Winchester has been deprived, by sentence of the judges appointed to try him, of his bishopric and all his benefices, the punishment to be inflicted, upon his person or otherwise, being left to the King and Council. He has appealed against this judgment to the King, whom some affirm to be of age, while others deny it. Notwithstanding the appeal, he was conducted by the King's guard to the Tower, where he is being very harshly treated; so much so, indeed, that no one is allowed access to him. Before sentence was given against him, he entered into great debate and strife with the Bishops of Canterbury and London concerning religion, and particularly the holy sacrament and the eucharist, and eventually proclaimed them to be veritable heretics, challenging them to a public disputation, in which he would prove openly that they were such. When he saw that he was unable to profit anything, he presented a great writing to his judges, which amounted to the confession by which he wished to abide in life and death. They say that the bishop acquitted himself so well in his defence that he reaped great honour and won over the hearts of many, even among his enemies. It seems that he is more highly esteemed than before, which is not thought to be to his advantage, especially as he called the bishops and judges heretics, and consequently rejected and rebuked the laws and statutes of the realm; for on that account they charged him with the crime of treason, for which accusation it seems they will manage to find still more stuff.
It is said that they will soon proceed against the other bishops, who hold to the old religion, and these also will be unable to escape deprivation. The temporalities will serve to keep up 500 or 600 horse; and it seems that each Councillor will furnish 40 or 50, which will make up the forces they intend to raise.
Parliament has again been prorogued, this time till next Michaelmas, with the pretext that there is a mighty press of business cropping up in the kingdom; and the Commons are ill-satisfied about it.
The Vidame left for France early in February, and was accompanied by several young English lords and gentlemen, who are to remain in France; and it is said that Lord Warwick's son will soon follow. It is said that the Vidame has done such good service here and played his part so well that the King, his master, has rewarded him with the tolls of Dieppe for life.
At the same time there arrived here in haste a certain gentleman called M. de Lansac, Chancellor of Bordeaux; and the day after his arrival the French ambassador took him to the Council, where they remained in conference about an hour, and the day after they were received by the King. The gentleman was very honourably received, and much caressed by the King and his Council. Various accounts are given of his business. Some say that he represented to the Council that the King, his master, supposed them to be informed of the peace recently concluded between your Majesty and the Queen of Scots, which peace the said King had recommended and confirmed in such fashion that he hoped the Scots would now enjoy repose and remain free of wars. Also that the King intended to betroth his son the Dauphin to the Queen of Scots, on which account he could but do as much as in him lay in the Scots' favour. As there was still some difference between Scotland and England concerning certain lands near Berwick, which notoriously belonged to the Scots, he desired and requested, for the sake of keeping up friendly relations, that the English would allow the Scots to enjoy what was theirs by right and ancient custom, particularly as he had behaved in a similar manner about the borders near Guines and Calais.
It is being repeated here that the King of France has found means in Scotland of inducing a certain Irish earl (fn. 1) to rise up against the English; and that there are bishops in Ireland who criticise the new religion, asserting that it unsettles and stirs up the people, and renders them disobedient. They say the King is trying to invite the Scots to make war on England in order that he may the more easily invade Ireland, and that the Pope has transferred to him all the rights claimed by the Church and Apostolic See to the kingdom of Ireland, with which pretext the French will start another war against England. Others say that the mines of that country invite and tempt the King of France, though they are not highly thought of. The result is that the English are beginning to set things in better order and bestir themselves more than before. They are raising 400 or 500 foot here, to be sent, as report has it, to Ireland under charge of Lord Cobham, and they are giving out that these troops are intended to guard the Germans who are going to work in the mines, which seems unlikely, as they are still here and no one knows whether they are going or not. Some say that the French will make as if to go to Ireland, and really fall upon the Isle of Wight, which is of great importance to the English. A great deal of ammunition, and particularly artillery, has recently been taken out of the Tower of London, part of which is being sent to Ireland and part to the Isle of Wight, whilst the rest will serve to equip several ships and vessels which will be sent, well-found, to cruise off the English coast; and eight or ten of them are ready to put out.
And though several people believe that M. de Lansac's mission was as above, and for that reason the English are making their preparations against a French attack, others maintain that the King of France, out of fear of your Majesty's greatness, which is also preoccupying the English, wishes to renew and strengthen the last treaty concluded between England and France. Therefore, M. de Lansac would seem to have proposed the marriage of the King of England to the daughter of France as a means of binding the countries together in a closer alliance; and there is good authority for believing that such has been his mission, and that the prime movers in the matter were my Lord of Warwick and the French ambassador here resident; but the Council were not agreed, my Lord of Somerset especially refusing his consent. It is said that the King of France ceases not to remind the English of your Majesty's greatness, and all the more insistently as he knows that they are not in favour with your Majesty on account of their religion, which might incline them towards a closer alliance with him. Indeed, this seems likely, because Lansac is too important a person to have been sent with such despatch on nothing more than a matter of boundary disputes, which could as well or better be handled by the ambassador resident; and still more suspicious is the fact that the rumour that Lansac's commission had to do with the boundaries originated with certain gentlemen of Lansac's and the ambassador's households. Hence the people who are of this opinion consider that the English preparations for war may easily be a mere blind, or at most dictated by an unwillingness to trust altogether to the French.
After Lansac had been twice in conference with the Council, he took his leave on February 16th, and returned speedily to France. His present amounted to 300 angels. (fn. 2) Trustworthy report says that this gentleman has taken back no verbal message, but simply a letter, the substance of which is that the King of England will soon send someone to France to announce his intentions regarding the proposals voiced by Lansac. For this purpose, and in order to correspond in every way, the King and Council immediately afterwards despatched an English gentleman called Mr. Pickering, who not long ago was chosen to reside as ambassador in France, and departed on the 19th of last month. It is said he will be back before long, and that he certainly did carry the decision and reply given by the King and Council to Lansac's proposals; but this decision is being kept so secret that no one can get any trustworthy account of it. As far as one can make out and surmise, however, it seems that the reply is not definite, and that the English will temporise in order to see the upshot of your Majesty's policy in Germany, and gain more insight into the King of France's real intentions. In the meantime they will prick up their ears and put all things in order to avoid being surprised. It is not at all likely that the English will abandon their alliance with your Majesty and your dominions, and that for several reasons, especially as the alliance is so ancient and the realm of England needs your Majesty's dominions; and besides, the English well know how little their old enemies the French are to be trusted. Nevertheless, there is no lack of people who fear that the King of France may succeed in turning them aside and blinding them on the score of religion, about which they care a great deal, particularly as they greatly fear the French, knowing that the present would be a bad hour for them to fight. Moreover, they say that, if they had not already had some intelligence with the French, or at any rate if something had not been in prospect between them, they would be making far greater preparations and setting about it in quite a different manner, as they did on a past occasion when the French were not getting together as large a force as now. It seems very strange that they should not have provided themselves with, or at least bespoken, foreign soldiers and captains, even those that are their own pensioners; some try to pass this off by saying that they are short of money, and that their custom is to be tardy and leave all until the last moment, as their only object is defence, or that their idea is that the French preparations, about which so much is being said in connection with Ireland, are really aimed against his Imperial Majesty. If the King of France has any such intention for the future, he might possibly use his forces now gathered together against England in order to improve the opportunity, especially if the English declined a closer alliance. In this way he would keep the English busy, though his real object were quite different, and would be able to excuse himself towards the Emperor.
The French ambassador still negotiates a good deal with my Lords of the Council, and goes to my Lord of Warwick's, though not so often as before. The ambassador may wish to give them some hope about the boundaries question, and also bring in the affairs of the Scots who are still under arrest here. But it is believed that the principal negotiation regards a closer alliance and the secret conferences between the ambassadors and Warwick.
Certain persons are of opinion that, if there is no war with France, the English will turn their arms against some of the great lords in the North and other parts, who are still of the old religion, like my Lords of Derby, Shrewsbury and others.
As for the league of princes, of which news came some days ago, nothing more is being said about it.
On February 16th a certain Scots herald-of-arms, coming from France, arrived here and, the day after his arrival, went to the Council. They say that he came to request the release of some Scots ships here under arrest, or demand a passport for the Queen Dowager of Scotland, who, as some say, crossed over to France a few days ago accompanied by a great number of ships. It appears, however, that the story has been dropped that was repeated here not long ago, according to which the King of France had sent other ships to Scotland with a number of foot-soldiers, ammunition, provisions and 50,000 crowns.
They say that the Estates of Scotland have made an agreement with the King of France, their protector, that it was passed under the Great Seal, and sent to France a short time past.
Some assert that the English Council have sent for Courtpennick and Wallerthum, telling them to bring a certain number of horse and foot to be used at various places in England; but it is said that Courtpennick excused himself by some Hamburg men, and said he would send Wallerthum, his lieutenant.
A report states that the King of France is trying to arrange a marriage between the Lady Margaret, daughter of France, and the eldest son of the King of Denmark.
My Lord of Warwick has been trying his utmost to marry his daughter to the Duke of Suffolk, (fn. 3) and my Lord of Somerset has also been endeavouring to obtain the Duke for his. The Duke's widowed mother, however, has refused both matches on the ground that her son is too young, only fifteen or sixteen years old, and in order to avoid his being worked upon she has managed to obtain the King's and Council's leave to take him away from Court for a time.
A few days ago the Venetian ambassador (fn. 4) left London, as he had been created Patriarch of Aquileia. He had resided here two years, and is travelling back by way of Flanders. His successor is expected here after Easter. Before his departure the King sent to the ambassador and all his house the gift and privilege of bearing the Rose of England in their arms.
Bucer died on the 27th of February; and his fellows greatly lament his death.
Duplicate in cipher. French.
March 1. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Jehan scheyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: A few days ago the Princess of England sent me word that the Council intended to take the mass away from her, and not allow her to continue in the observance of the old religion, as she had done up to the present, but rather try to drag and press her into the new faith, chastising her chaplains and ministers, as might be seen from certain letters they had sent to her Grace. This was in direct contravention of the promise made to the Emperor that she might use and abide in the observance of the old religion, as the late King her father (whom God absolve!) had left it at his death, at least until the new King, his son, should reach a riper and more advanced age, as I informed your Majesty.
Since then, Madam, the Princess sent again to say that, notwithstanding her letters in reply, the Council had not ceased from troubling her with threats. Now, in order to lend lustre to the affair, they had sent her fresh letters in the King's own hand, by which they made it clear enough that the King and Council flatly repudiated the said promise. She felt exceedingly troubled and distressed about this, especially on account of her brother the King's letters, which were very bitter and strange, for he said that he was quite decided to cause his ordinances and statutes to be strictly observed by the whole kingdom without exception of persons, and to inflict exemplary punishment upon all transgressors, as your Majesty may see by the duplicate (fn. 5) here enclosed. Therefore the Princess begged me, in her fear that they might take further steps, to present myself before the Council and represent to them, by the Emperor's express commands, all that happened concerning the said promise in my late predecessor's time, of which she had given me a fairly full account. Considering, Madam, that your Majesty has been pleased to command me to do all I could and intervene to protect the Princess in case the Council should attempt to deprive her of the mass and force her to accept the new religion, and that his Majesty's (the Emperor's) commands on this subject had been express, and moreover, that it seems the Council really intend to molest her, and their fancies are becoming daily more exaggerated, so that they now are bringing the King and his authority into the matter and talking of punishment, I repaired to the Council. In the first place I laid before them that the Lady Mary, Princess of England, had informed me that it seemed as if the King and my Lords of the Council intended to make some difficulty about the promise formerly made to the Emperor and the said Princess touching her observance of the old religion. In obedience to his Majesty's express commands, I reminded them of what had happened on this score in my late predecessor's day, and of the assurance given to his Imperial Majesty that the Princess and all her household might freely use and observe the ancient religion as the late King her father had left it at the time of his death. I consequently requested them that, in accordance with the promise, the King and Council would permit the Princess to continue in the old religion, as far as she personally was concerned, as well as her household and priests, in the same manner as she had done up to the present, without troubling her or forcing her against her conscience, at least until the King, her brother, should reach riper years; for she had always behaved as a humble and dutiful sister towards him.
When they had attentively listened to the above, Madam, my Lord Warwick replied that as the matter was one of great importance, they must first communicate with the King, their master, having done which they would give me such reply as the King and his Council might think fitting. I replied that they could not ignore that the promise had been made as I had said, and as my communication contained no new element, but rather a point that had already been decided by the King and his Council, it seemed to me that the matter required no further delay or deliberation. At this, Lord Warwick suddenly asked me whether the promise had been made to me personally, that I was so sure of it.
I took up this remark, Madam, and told them, as I had already declared, that the Emperor believed them to be sufficiently informed of what had happened during my late predecessor's stay here. However, if it pleased them, I would state what my predecessor had declared to me about it before his departure, which was that his Imperial Majesty might be assured that the Princess should be allowed to live, freely and without interference, with all her household, in the old religion, and that she should never be molested on that account, for the assurance of the King and Council to that effect had been given. My predecessor, it was true, had told me that when the first steps were taken to obtain it on his Majesty's part, the King and my Lords of his Council had made some difficulty and had been unwilling to give their consent. However, taking into consideration the good and sincere friendship existing between the sovereigns, and that the Princess was so near a relative of your Majesty, they had desired to gratify your Majesty and show their respect for the said lady in her quality of sister to the King, second person in the realm, and daughter of the late King, who had brought her up in the old religion, by agreeing and consenting that, for her conscience's sake, the Princess should continue in her religion at least until the King, her brother, reached riper years. Lord Warwick, and afterwards the Marquis of Northampton intervened here, saying it would never be found that the promise had been given as I said, for it had been personal, and the Princess had been expressly mentioned in this sense, that she and a maid of honour or two might retire into a private chamber to hear mass; but it had been a mere permission subject to the King's and Council's good pleasure, for at that time they had hoped God would impart His grace to, and better inspire, the said lady. The Marquis put in that this matter had nothing to do with the treaties, alliance and amity between their Majesties, and Warwick went on to say that the King was now older, for three years had passed since the promise in question had been given. I assured them once more, Madam, that my predecessor had declared to me, and his Majesty always had believed, and still at present understood, that the promise had been made generally and without any restriction, as I had already stated. His Majesty, I added, had always reposed entire confidence in the King and my Lords of his Council, that they would allow the promise to achieve its effect, and refrain from troubling the Princess. Though nothing was said about it in the treaties, I believed the good and sincere friendship existing between their Majesties had had something to do with the respect shown to the Princess; and as for the time that had elapsed since the promise was made, it amounted to less than two years, and, with all due regard, the King had not yet reached the age meant by the Emperor and my Lords of the Council when the promise was given.
My Lord Paget then took up the dispute, and told me that the laws and statutes of the realm were general, commanding the obedience of all subjects without any exception whatsoever; and though the lady was sister to the King, their master, she still remained a subject and unexempt from the King's ordinances, and as she was his sister, she ought to try and take pains to observe these laws and statutes most scrupulously in order to give a good example. He then went on to ask me whether, even supposing such a promise to have been given, it was not permissible and licit for the King and his Council to avoid and forestall all trouble that might arise by issuing such orders and statutes as seemed required for the greater good and tranquillity of the realm, and enjoining their exact observance upon everyone, of whatever estate or degree.
Seeing that they were pushing the argument forwards, I said that the statutes and ordinances on religion might well be general, and for that very reason his Majesty had requested that the Princess might be exempt from them. In this the Emperor's wishes had been respected, out of regard, also, for the fact that the said lady was the King's sister, and herein lay the sense of this gratification and prerogative, that it showed that the Emperor had no intention of seeking to prevent the King and his Council from making such ordinances and statutes as might seem fitting for the good of the country. His Majesty deeply regretted the existence of any disorder or trouble, because of the singular affection he had always borne the King and his realm, as he had clearly demonstrated in the past. He failed to see, however, in what way the promise and liberty enjoyed by the Princess could cause any trouble, and the lady herself, as in duty and natural feeling bound, was also most distressed about it, for as she had never furnished any cause of disturbance, I felt sure there was not the slightest chance of her doing so in the future, as she had ever been a very humble and obedient sister to the King, and a sincere supplicant to Heaven for his and his country's success and prosperity. As, in the past, no sign of unrest had been apparent, I trusted in God that the future might also be free from it, though it seemed from the objections that had on certain occasions been made to the Princess, that there was now some anxiety. In any case, if my Lords now had some legitimate argument or particular reason beyond those that had existed in the past, why the promise should be altered, I would be very glad to inform the Emperor, my master, of it. Paget answered that it was not their habit to publish and divulge the secrets of the realm. I rejoined that I was not attempting to pry into them, but as they now based their argument on trouble that might result from this matter, it seemed to me that they ought to explain it to me for the sake of satisfying his Majesty.
So we proceeded from one point to another, until Paget said to me that it would first have to be known whether the said promise had been given to the Emperor in person, or to his ambassador, and who had given it. I replied, Madam, that I had already made an ample declaration on this matter, and that what was negotiated and passed by ministers, especially by such as represented the Prince's person, ought to be sufficient. It was true that my predecessor was dead, but his work remained and was still in being. They retorted that as much faith and credit ought to be conceded to them as to a dead man. I perceived, Madam, that they intended to make use of this demise, and added that, when need should arise, the Emperor might also give evidence of the time when his Majesty conferred with the King's ministers who went over to him, besides which, if the assurance had not been granted, they might possibly not have allowed the said lady to retain the mass and the old religion until the present day, which made the promise appear reasonable enough.
This over, they tried to confirm what they had already maintained, and give detailed proofs of it, by telling me, through my Lords the Chancellor (fn. 6) and Paget, that they had formerly been sent to my predecessor by express order of the King and Council, to make known to him the Council's reply and decision on the suit brought by his Majesty, but that the reply had been restricted as they had said above. I observed that I had nothing to say about that, but it might be that, after having first given a general promise, they might have returned to my predecessor to request, on the Council's behalf, that the Emperor might be satisfied that the Princess should hear mass in private, accompanied by one or two of her ladies. But as that was in contradiction with the first promise, my predecessor had been unwilling to accept it, knowing as he did that his Majesty would not take such innovation in good part, and had asked them to desist from their request, as they had done up to the present. So much was this the case, that the Emperor and the Princess had possibly never known what had then been put forward and requested by the said Lords. They replied, Madam, that his Majesty and the Princess were well enough informed of it by subsequent disputes. So, seeing I could get nothing out of them, I requested them to give me a final reply, in order that I might inform the Emperor of it. They then repeated what they had said at first, saying that the importance of the matter and their duty obliged them to confer with the King, their master, so they requested me to wait two or three days, after which they would send some members of the Council to me with their reply. I answered that, as it so pleased my Lords, I would await the said reply, adding that they need not trouble themselves, but if they would allow me, I would come to them again. This they were unwilling to permit, so I awaited their coming.
Four days after this meeting, Madam, my Lords the Treasurer and Paget, accompanied by Secretary Petre and Mr. (Sir Philip) Hoby, came to see me. Paget, as spokesman, exposed to me that the Council, without consulting the King's Majesty, had conferred together on what I had laid before them the other day (here he repeated fairly faithfully the substance of my remonstrance), but no one among them recollected that the promise in question had been given in such general terms as I maintained; on the contrary, they recollected that it had been restricted, as they had declared to me at our last meeting. They confessed, indeed, that his Majesty had demanded a general assurance and a grant of letters patent that might afterwards bear witness to the grant of such a promise, but they had never consented to general terms, let alone granting any letters, which showed that the promise had not been made in the manner I maintained. They added that I had said the other day, that if need arose the Emperor would be able to give proof of the promise by recalling it to the King's ministers who had been with his Imperial Majesty. These could be none others than my Lord Warden (Sir Thomas Cheyne), Mr Hoby and the present speaker, but these gentlemen had no recollection of having said anything to his Majesty, as far as the promise was concerned, except that the King and his Council would treat the Princess with the respect and favour due to a King's sister in the matter of religion, without going any farther, for they had had no instructions to do more from the King, their master, or his Council. They ended their discourse by asking me whether I had been expressly ordered to speak to them as I had done by his Majesty, or if it was only by the said lady's request.
I took up all these points, Madam, and as for the first, to avoid repetitions, I replied much as I had at our first meeting, insisting that the promise had been general, and that his Imperial Majesty had always so understood, and did still understand it. Concerning the letters patent, it might well be that the Emperor had caused his ambassador to ask for them, but the Council's reply had been that they were unnecessary because the King and his Council had already consented and given their word, which ought to be enough to assure his Majesty. As for what their ministers had declared to his Majesty, I told them exactly what I had said before, pointing out again that, though they wished to repudiate the promise on the grounds of my late predecessor's death, as it seemed they were now doing, they ought at least to give some credit to his work, for, as they knew, he was the Emperor's minister and ambassador, and for my part I had already assured them of what he had said to me on the subject before his departure. Moreover, I omitted not to repeat that, if it were called for, his Imperial Majesty might bear witness to what had passed on the occasion when the said ministers had been at his Court, and had spoken before him in general terms. As for the last point, I said I had already told them at our former meeting that the Princess had made some statement to me to the effect that the Council appeared to be about to make difficulty about the promise given to the Emperor; but I let them know clearly that I had made the remonstrance in obedience to the Emperor's express commands, and now did so once more. His Majesty, I said, had always had perfect confidence that the King and his Council would not depart in any way from the promise; and I begged them to consider the matter, and to allow the Princess to continue in the old religion, without troubling her or putting her at strife with her conscience, at least until the King her brother should come of age.
They replied, Madam, Paget acting spokesman, that the Emperor would consider it most strange, he who was lord and prince of so many realms and countries, if he could not issue such laws and ordinances as might seem to him for their good, for his subjects' repose, and the discharge of his own conscience. His Majesty, Paget continued, did issue such laws, and in like manner had the King of England legislated in his country, where every one, without exception, was obliged to conform and submit, to the end of avoiding all trouble that might attend transgression or inobservance. Moreover, it was unfitting that so much diversity in religion should exist in one country; and though the King was young in feeling and knowledge, he already wished to understand and take a share in the State affairs of his kingdom.
I replied, Madam, that the Emperor would be very happy to hear that the King and his Council were taking such pains to insure the safety and tranquillity of the realm, for his Majesty had always borne the liveliest affection to the King and his country. I repeated the substance of what I had said at our earlier meeting, and that his Majesty would never seek to prevent the King from making such statutes as might seem required for the welfare of the kingdom. As for their assertions to the effect that trouble might be caused by the prerogative and liberty enjoyed by the Princess, his Majesty and the lady herself would be greatly distressed by the thought that any dispute or disorder should arise from it; and I expatiated on this point much as I had done in the other negotiation. When they made fresh mention of trouble that might follow, I once more begged them to be pleased to explain what it might be, in order that I might make a report to his Majesty, who perhaps would take it into consideration. They refused again to do this; and as they had spoken of the unseemliness of tolerating several religions in one kingdom, I told them that it seemed very strange to look so close into one house, for the privilege enjoyed by the Princess could not be noticed by the generality of their subjects, especially as she had so moderately exercised it in the past. When they spoke openly about the King's knowledge and wisdom, saying that he already wished to intervene in State matters, I replied that I had heard much about their Lord's discretion and judgement, and of the promise he gave that these qualities would yet become stronger; but I supposed that his Majesty still left the principal guidance and greater burden of public affairs of State to my Lords of his Council.
Finally, Madam, in spite of all that has gone before, they stuck to it that the promise had been personal, intended to assist the Princess' feeble-mindedness (pour secourir a son imbecillité), and given, subject to the King's and his Council's good pleasure, in the hope that God might soon enlighten and inspire her. Seeing it to be thus, I said I would inform his Majesty. And this, Madam, was the upshot of our two conferences. I immediately sent word to the Princess, so that she might guide her steps accordingly; and at the same time I told her to make excuses and insist on the promise if any attempt were made, notwithstanding my remonstrances, to trouble her or take the mass away, which I could hardly believe would be done. Further, I counselled her to continue in the observance of the old religion and never depart from it, even though my Lords should remain dissatisfied and wish to go as far as to force and compel her to accept the new faith, as I had already fully declared to her by your Majesty's orders, and now recalled once more to her mind.
The Princess had made up her mind, some days ago, to go to Court to visit the King, her brother, as she has been accustomed to do, and, anxious not to fall short of her duty, nor to incur any sinister suspicion that the Council might be led to nourish, she sent one of her gentlemen to the King to-day, to inform him of her arrival, which may take place within eight days. Nevertheless, the Councillors' present attitude makes the Princess fear that they may try to detain her at Court and drag or force her to embrace the new religion, a thing so entirely repugnant to her conscience that she feels beyond measure and more than ever troubled and agitated. For this reason she has most earnestly requested me to write a line to the Emperor and your Majesty, in order that the Emperor may be pleased to do her a great favour and kindness, if it be possible, and your Majesties consider it expedient, and read such a lecture to the King and Council that they may let her continue in the old religion, and refrain from troubling her or destroying her repose of conscience, at least until the King come of age. She believes that such an open protest would give them pause, and did she not certainly know in what a perilous position she now found herself, she would never have thought of going so far as to cause your Majesties so much trouble. She has received so many benefits of your Majesties' benign and singular grace, that she remains forever bound to you, and she trusts that, through you, God may not abandon her in so divine and holy a cause, recommending herself in all humility to your Majesties, whose poor supplicant and humble servant she remains.
I am joining with these, Madam, two letters (fn. 7) from the Princess, one to the Emperor, and the other to your Majesty, and with them a copy of the letter (fn. 8) she wrote to the King, her brother, in reply to his.
London, 1 March, 1551.
Duplicate. French.
March 2. Vienna, Imp. Arch. F. 30. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Master Pickering has arrived from England with a certain gentleman named Denny. They have been assigned to go to Vendôme, where the King will be to receive them. Their mission refers partly to the Scottish question, as I can assure your Majesty, having seen letters that prove it to be true. It seems to me that both sides are looking for peace. It was reported at Court during the last few days that the Rhinegrave (fn. 9) had been arrested in Germany; but the news do not seem to have been confirmed, because if they were true I am assured that the King would have me arrested, as I have been warned. . .
Blois, 2 March, 1551.
Signed. Cipher. French.


  • 1. Apparently Con Bacagh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone. See Calendar, Ireland, Volume for 1509–73, p. 106,
  • 2. 150l.
  • 3. Elder son of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk; he and his only brother died soon afterwards, and the dukedom was revived in favour of Henry Grey, Marquis of Dorset, who had married their half-sister, Frances Brandon.
  • 4. This was Daniel Barbaro. He had, in December, 1550, been appointed coadjutor to the Patriarch of Aquileia.
  • 5. The letter referred to is that from the King of January 28th, printed above.
  • 6. This is probably a slip. The Treasurer, not the Chancellor, had accompanied Paget on the occasion alluded to.
  • 7. There are no enclosures with the original of this letter. The letters from Mary to the Emperor and Queen Dowager are probably those of February 22, 1551, printed in this volume, q.v.
  • 8. Probably the one given above, dated end of January or early February.
  • 9. This is Otto Henry, who succeeded his uncle, Frederick II, as Elector Palatine in 1556. His prowess in the French service, in Scotland and elsewhere, is recorded in the preceding volume of this Calendar.