Spain: April 1552

Pages 497-508

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

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April 1552

April 1. Brussels, L.A. 58. The Queen Dowager to Edward VI.
I have heard from Mr. Chamberlain, your ambassador resident in my Court, and from the contents of your letters to me, his desire to proceed to England for some time on private business, so it were with my consent. I replied to him that as it was your will that he should go, I could but approve, and that he might stay, not for the six weeks of which he had spoken to me only, but as long as you should wish to keep him. On his return hither he shall be right welcome, as all shall be who come to me on your behalf. They shall be shown all possible favour, as the amity between you and my Lord the Emperor demands.
Brussels, 1 April, 1552.
Minute. French.
1552. April 6. Brussels, L.A. 60. The Queen Dowager to Destourmel.
The enclosed petition has been presented to us on behalf of Richard Bryant and Thomas Cook, English merchants. As you will see, they claim that you have caused your servants to sell 416 rolls of copper-wire worth over 350 crowsns in gold, that were taken on board their ship by your vessel, and that this was done before it had been decided whether the prize was lawful or not. As we granted them permission to remove their goods under caution, we expressly command you to inform us of the truth about this copper-wire, and why you did not return it under caution, as had been decreed. And of this you shall not fail.
Brussels, 6 April, 1552.
Minute. French.
April 7. Brussels, E.A. 65. The Emperor to the Queen Dowager.
This letter will serve as a reply to several of yours I received some days ago, and have not had time to answer before because of the daily press of affairs. First, as for the request made by the Estates of Brabant to receive assistance from the Empire, in accordance with the confederation concluded in 1548, I take it you wrote a letter about it rather for the salve of satisfying the Estates than because you imagined such a thing possible at the present season; for the enemies' movements are not directed against the Low Countries alone, but against the Empire and its states in general, to say nothing of the fact that the French are egging on the Turk in Hungary. Thus it is clear that no aid is to be expected from the Empire for the time being. . . .
About finances, you will already have heard Fugger's reply to the message you sent with Treasurer Longin's man. Since then I have written to Fugger with my own hand; and he immediately set out to come hither, in spite of the fact that the enemy was within sight of the town. He arrived yesterday, and I negotiated with him at once. Nonetheless, and though he has been approached again, it has been impossible to get anything out of him; for he says he really has no ready money. Instead of supplying us himself, he offers us his credit to enable us to obtain as much as 400,000 ducats. He says that the talk about his collecting money originated at the time when I was leaving Augsburg, and made an exchange with him for 50,000 crowsns. This will show you in what straits we are for money over here; and in Italy it is much worse. You may imagine how much freedom of choice I have left. As for giving leave to take a million in cash out of Spain, the sum is so large that nothing could induce me to consent, nor would it be feasible in Spain, especially as I have promised to have a large sum taken out by the galleys that are presently to sail by the Mediterranean, which sum is destined to pay interest on the exchanges made in Italy, and to pay the troops. However, the arguments you invoke induce me to consent, as I am writing to the Prince, my son, by Don Juan Manrique who is being sent to Spain, that he shall allow 300,000 or 400,000 ducats in gold or otherwise to be taken to Flanders. I have instructed him to make the necessary arrangements, and take precautions at the seaports to avoid frauds and abuses that might lead to the exportation of a larger sum, and also to make sure that the money really goes to the Low Countries, for which alone the permission has been granted. In order to make it clear that this permission has been granted for my service, and not for any private parties' benefit, you will do well to select one or two trustworthy persons and send them with letters to my son to conduct the money to the Low Countries, and make them deposit a caution to render an account of the sum to you or your deputies- (Private affairs of the Duke of Holstein etc.)
For the rest, you are aware of the good services rendered by my Councillor and Master of Requests in ordinary, Simon Renard, while residing as our ambassador in France. During that time he had no recompense from us, nor did he receive any gift from the King of France at his departure, because of the outbreak of war, though it is usual to make some present to ambassadors. Taking this, and his further daily services, into consideration, I have made him a gift of 3,000 crowsns, of which 1,000 are to be paid in Spain, 1,000 in the Low Countries, and 1,000 in Burgundy (i.e. the Franche-Comté). I have written in this sense to the Prince, my son, and also to my receiver-general in Burgundy. And I beg you to make arrangements to enable him to receive the 1,000 crowsns assigned to him in the Low Countries as soon as possible.
Innsbruck, 7 April, 1552.
Duplicate. French.
April (?) 8. Brussels, L.A. 50. Destourmel to Count De Reuil.
I am here doing the duties of a marshal, and have arranged for quarters for seventeen companies of foot and 1,500 to 2,000 horse, and also prepared your lodging. The captain of an English fort came to me with letters of credence from the Deputy Governor of Calais to tell me that about ten hours ago M. de Senarpont sent to demand of the Deputy Governor passage for part of the King of France's army to enter Flanders by Newnham Bridge or thereabouts. The Deputy Governor answered that he would not allow it on any account, to which was retorted that the French would pass by force. The Deputy Governor therefore wished to inform me that I might warn the Queen Dowager or you, as I am doing. In truth, if this is the way the French are going to behave, they are making strange demands. I know not what to think. I have talked with the defenders of Toumehern, who are anxious to fight. Truth to say, my Lord, I do not venture to assert as positively that our enemies are approaching as it has been asserted to me, but I will know before the evening meal. I have told you all my news.
Landrecies, the 8th, at five in the afternoon, in haste.
P.S.—If the French try to pass through English land to Bourbourg or Gravelines they will be making too sure, as the English say, for the English have men to stop them. I am not mentioning it because I think it easy, but because the matter is of gravity.
French. Signed.
April 9. Simancas, 8 G. 47. The Ambassadors At Trent to the Emperor.
We received your Majesty's letter of March 29th, and noted all your Majesty said in it regarding the suspension of the Council. It appeared to us that the best way to encompass it would be to approach the Legate and presidents with a demand that they should give the Protestant theologians now in this place a hearing. We knew this to be a sensitive subject with them, because of their fear that giving the Protestants a hearing might lead to their being forced to take some steps in the matter of reformation; and also because they well knew they would have to bear the blame for further developments if they refused to do something that had the approval of all the prelates. We therefore chose to adopt this plan; but as the Legate was very ill at the time, according to the accounts given by his physicians and servants, we were prevented from doing anything for some days. At length, seeing that the Legate did not recover, though he was said to be slightly better, we sent to ask him to commission the presidents to negotiate with us, as he was prevented by illness and our business might not suffer delay. We expressed this in urgent terms, and the Legate instructed the presidents to confer with us. We at once suggested to them that the Protestants ought to be heard, giving various reasons but saying nothing about reform, in order not to let them see our device and also because if a hearing were to be given to the Protestants, reform would of necessity come up for discussion. When we had produced all our arguments, they replied that it was quite right the Protestants should be heard if they would submit to the Council, but failing that they were not of opinion that they ought to be heard. We replied that that point had been discussed days ago, when we first asked that they should be heard. It had then been decided between us and the Legate, with your Majesty's approval, that that point was not to be raised because it might entail a violation of promises made at past Diets, and afford the Protestants an opportunity of raising a fresh difficulty and entering upon fresh disputes. Therefore, as the presidents knew, the ambassadors from Württemberg and Saxony had been heard without any questions as to submission being asked. And we set that point aside and pressed them once more to grant the Protestants a hearing, requesting them to summon the congregation to decide how and under what conditions it was to be done. After much talk with which the presidents endeavoured to defend their opinions, they decided to refer the matter to the Legate, for their commission was merely to hear me, Don Francisco de Toledo, who negotiated with them on that occasion. At the same time, they swore that they knew nothing beyond what had been said in the streets about any agreement we might have made touching the matter of submission at the time when the ambassadors from Saxony and Württemberg were heard; and therefore, even had they had ample commission to treat with us, they would have been unable to reply on that point, without consulting the Legate and hearing from him exactly to what he had given his consent. In conclusion, they said they would report to the Legate and give us a speedy answer.
Going on to speak with them of the Council, I touched on what had been done in the cause of reform and what remained and ought to be done. I depicted the great offence that had been given by the manner in which that and other matters had been conducted, and they expressed infinite sympathy with my views, admitting me to be right in all I said and excusing themselves on the grounds that they could do nothing, as they were admitted to no share whatever in the decisions adopted.
After this we spent three or four days reminding the presidents that they were to give us an answer, whilst they put us off, saying that the Legate was so seriously ill that his medical advisers absolutely forbade him to be spoken to Seeing their attitude, and pressed by the Protestants who said they must have their audience at once or depart, we decided to speak to the presidents again; and M. de Poitiers and I (Don Francisco) did so, complaining greatly of the delay and requesting them urgently to arrange that audience should be given to the Protestants. We told them how importunately the Protestants were suing, and how much they resented the delay. They disculpated themselves by saying that they had been unable to obtain audience of the Legate, for not one of his servants had been willing to undertake to inform him that they wished to speak with him. Raising their hands to Heaven they assured us that they could do no more, for they were unable to give us any answer without having consulted the Legate. We replied that their excuses seemed insufficient, for they had the same power as the Legate, had been named in the Bull in the same manner, without any difference whatsoever, and could, if he were prevented, act in the Council's affairs without him; and his Holiness had doubtless sent three persons in order that two might act if the third were unable to do so. They rejoined that it was true they were mentioned as equal in the Bull; but their power was not held individually, but collectively, so two of them could do nothing without the third. We answered that in that case the proceedings of the January session had been invalid, as one of them, Verona, had been absent because of an indisposition. This they met by asserting that he had been present at the session in which the matters had been decreed, though not at the discussions; and we asserted that in the same way the Legate might be present at the session at which the definition of the matters to be disputed with the Protestants should take place, and that they might very well be given audience in his absence. They then found themselves in a tight place; and the upshot of much talk was that they claimed the Legate was their chief, without whom they could do nothing. They were also unable to speak with him, and saw no way out of the difficulty unless we could persuade the Legate to give them speech. We were unable to get anything more out of them, and as the Protestants were pressing more and more urgently for an audience we decided to tell them privately how hard we were working to obtain it for them and what had passed between us and the Legate, in order that they might see it was not our fault, and that we were doing our best to satisfy them. They displayed great contentment and pleasure at this.
At this juncture the Protestants received fresh news of trouble in Germany and spoke with great earnestness to Count de Montfort. Unrest in Germany, they said, had caused the Electors and most of the Germans (for in the meantime Constance and Strassburg had left in spite of our efforts) to depart from the Council. Now that so many had gone, their instructions no longer permitted them to appear before the Council or defend their opinions, so their presence was no longer necessary and they had better go home. They therefore requested Count de Montfort to arrange that all your Majesty's ambassadors should give them leave to go. Later they spoke to all three of us in the same strain, and we thought it well to ask to have what they were saying in writing, so that if the question were ever to arise in future there might be no misunderstanding as to the true cause of their departure, and nobody might be able to say they had gone merely because they had not been heard. They did give us this writing, and a copy is being sent to your Majesty, and we managed to delay them a few days more, thinking it would be well to approach the Legate and presidents again about their audience, and bring pressure to bear with the argument that the Protestants desired to go, keeping the new reason given by the Protestants quiet, and throwsing all the blame on to the Legate and presidents. We therefore summoned the promoter of the Council, a servant of the Legate, and urged him to tell his master on our behalf that, if his health prevented him from negotiating, he ought to commission the presidents to do so, and give the Protestants their hearing, which they must have or we could keep them back no longer. The man went and came on this errand, and ended by saying he could not speak to the Legate, and there was not a man in the house who dared do so. While thus engaged, and continually pressing the presidents, we omitted not to inform all the prelates of what was going on, so that they might know all the Legate and presidents were doing to prevent audience being given to the Protestants. The prelates then selected four of their number who, in the name of all, should remonstrate with the presidents and represent how greatly scandalised they were to see audience refused to the Protestants, and no congregation summoned to discuss their affairs. No more reply was vouchsafed to them than had been to us; and the next step was that the Protestants asked us again for leave to go for the reasons already given, claiming that their safe-conduct stated that their departure might not be forbidden. After that, as we saw it was no longer possible to keep back the Protestants, and as all the blame had been shouldered by the Legate and presidents, we told the Protestants we could not give them leave to go, but that we did not forbid them to do so; so they might do as they pleased. At which they took leave of us, showing great satisfaction with our behaviour towards thorn, and departed yesterday afternoon, just after receiving our reply.
The Cardinal of Fano passed by here while the above events were taking place, and told me, Don Francisco de Toledo, what had passed between him, your Majesty and M. d'Arras, his account of which agreed with that contained in your Majesty's letter. He suggested that the wisest course in the present circumstances would be to suspend the Council after effectuating a good reformation. I told him that when the Legate had made a proposal to that effect we, your Majesty's ambassadors, would examine it and give our reply; and Fano stopped here two days to arrange the matter with the Legate. The Legate, however, refused to speak with or see him on the ground of his indisposition, which from that moment entered a phase in which the patient could speak with no one. So Fano departed without accomplishing anything.
Now that things have come to this pass, whither We thought it well to let them proceed in order that it might be made clear that the Protestants' departure was caused by the Legate and presidents, which is a sufficient motive for suspension we considered it would be wise to arrange confidentially that some prelate of the Legate's and presidents' intimate circle should tell them of his own accord that we would not oppose it. Thus we might see whether they could be induced to suggest it. If this fails and they decide to try to cause the Council to dissolve, as it is in a fair way to do at present, now that the Germans have gone and the Italians are going, six bishops and two generals having departed already, we still have a good way of achieving the suspension. We would privately arrange that the Spanish and Italian bishops, servants of your Majesty, who remained here should meet together and demand suspension on the ground that the Protestants had departed unheard, and that nothing more of any value could be done in the Council. And this is the plan we shaft follow unless your Majesty sends us other instructions. We would already have set about it had it not been that the Legate has shut himself up and we can do nothing without him, for we only waste time with the presidents. All our attention is fixed on this point, and we are awaiting our opportunity, though they tell us that as soon as the Legate is well enough he will depart without attending to any more business. We do not regard this as likely, but we will always be watchful to conduct the affair in such a manner that the suspension shall appear to have been caused by his Holiness' ministers.
After the above was written the Cardinal of Trent arrived here, and told several prelates that your Majesty had decided the Council must be suspended. As no other course was open, your Majesty had ordered him to lay in no more provisions and dismiss the guard, wherefore leave to depart was to be given to the prelates. But though this is what we have heard, and the Cardinal of Trent has said so to me, Don Francisco de Toledo, we shall proceed as above without relenting until we obtain the suspension, unless fresh orders arrive from your Majesty.
Trent, 9 April, 1552.
Copy. Spanish.
1552. April 14. Brussels, E.A. 101. Jehan Scheyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: I have received from M. de Courrières your Majesty's letter of March 24th, in which you command me to give him all possible assistance in his charge. I shall do my best, Madam, and as for the writing inclosed in the letter, containing several complaints uttered by Mr. Hoby and other matters, I will follow the instructions set forth in the same letter.
I have negotiated with the commissioners deputed by the Council on the exactions complained of by his Imperial Majesty's subjects, as your Majesty will have learnt from my letter of March 28th.
London, 14 April, 1552.
Holograph. French.
April 14. Brussels, E.A. 101. M. De Courrières to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: I arrived here on the evening of the 12th instant, and the next morning the ambassador and I sent to the Duke of Northumberland to inform him of my arrival and demand audience. He replied that I was very welcome, and informed us that the King had recently had the measles, (fn. 1) and was not yet quite recovered, so he feared audience might not be given for five or six days. However, he would inform the King and Council, and apprise me of their pleasure. I am still awaiting his message, fearing I may not obtain audience until the coming feast or after. As soon as I have it I will inform your Majesty of my success and of other occurrences over here, of which I have heard nothing as yet, because the ambassador tells me he has written them to your Majesty.
London, 14 April, 1552.
P.S.— After the above was written, the Council sent Mr. Hoby to tell me that the King was not quite recovered from the small-pox, and as he still bore some marks on his face, he did not wish to show himself to strangers. Hoby therefore saw little chance of my obtaining audience for ten days. He begged me to be patient, but said that if my charge was urgent I might come to the Council to declare it and discuss it with them, until I should be able to make a more ample declaration to the King, when restored to health. I replied that if it pleased the Council I would wait three or four days more to see whether the King would then be well enough to permit me to present my duty to him. Hoby undertook to transmit this message to the Council.
Signed. French.
April 15. Simancas, E. 89. Duke Eric of Brunswick-Lüneburg (fn. 2) to the Emperor.
I had greatly desired to comply with your Majesty's will and put off my coming to this country at the time when the Serene Prince (Philip) came hither; but it was not in my power to do so because of the suspicions and fears I entertained, and still entertain, of my brother-in-law Duke Maurice (of Saxony), of the Duchess, my wife, and of the foremost men of my state. The object of these persons has always been to draw me over to their false and perverse views on religion; and as they see that I persevere in the true and holy knowledge in which our Lord, out of His benign clemency, placed and has kept me, they have hardened their hearts against me, and I could not live amongst them without great risk of either losing my life or endangering my soul. As I am but human and frail, I might become infected by their conversation, for which reason, and because of the love I have always borne the Serene Prince, I ventured to come to Spain without your Majesty's leave. After having kissed his Highness' hands on arrival, I gave him a detailed account of my affairs and the reasons of my coming, begging him to write to your Majesty about it in my favour. His Highness did so with his own hand; but no reply has come as yet, and I am in retirement in this town of San Sebastian, for I am unable to follow his Highness' court for lack of means to reside in it in a manner befitting my rank. I have consequently decided to send a private courier to your Majesty with my letter and one from his Highness, that your Majesty may reply by him to my former petition. I most humbly supplicate your Majesty to remember my fidelity and services and those of my ancestors, and my own devotion to your Majesty's cause, and take over the government of my lands and state. I, for the above and other reasons, cannot live in them nor maintain them, and would beg your Majesty to give me compensation according to my rank in Spain, Italy, or wherever you may be pleased to send me. I repeat my humble supplications, and adjure your Majesty not to order me to my ruin; for my desire and aim have always been to serve your Majesty.
San Sebastian, 15 April, 1552.
Holograph. Spanish.
April 15. Simancas, E. 89. Duke Eric of Brunswick-Lüneburg to the Emperor.
Your Majesty will remember that, when I was at Maestricht, I sent you word that I was holding Antonio Corvino, (fn. 3) one of the chief preachers of the evil sect of Luther, a prisoner in my state, begging your Majesty to command what was to be done with him. Your Majesty replied that he was not to be released until further orders; and he has remained in prison ever since. For many days past my relatives who follow the bad sect, and those of Corvino, have not ceased importuning me, to the point of making my life a burden, to let him go. Therefore I most humbly implore your Majesty to let me know what I am to do about it; and I should be most grateful for a reply.
San Sebastian, 15 April, 1552.
Holograph, Spanish,
(From a third letter, dated Toro, 31 May, 1552, also signed El Duque Erico de Brasuic y Luneburg, and written in his own hand in Spanish, it appears that the Emperor replied to the writer's petition by ordering him back to Germany.)
April 17. Simancas, S.G. 47. The Ambassadors at Trent to the Emperor.
Since our last letter to your Majesty of the 9th instant, the Legate has persisted in remaining ill and shut up in his house, so that in the meantime no member of this synod has spoken with him, for he has declined all interviews on the ground of his illness. We have therefore been unable to take any steps to bring about the suspension of the Council by means of the prelates, as we had decided to do, for the presidents affirm they have no power to conclude any terms, and nothing serious can be done with them. Therefore all we can do is to wait until we can speak with the Legate to start the negotiation. Meanwhile the Legate has had letters from Rome. Though we have been unable to learn all the details, we have scented a project the presidents are putting forward to enable his Holiness, with the pretext of the present condition of public affairs, rather to finish the Council anyhow than to suspend it. His Holiness imagines the present to be a favourable time for doing so, and that he would thus be freed from all claims, whilst if the Council were to be suspended he fears he would always be running the danger of having to convoke it again. Though it is said orders to this effect have been received by the Legate from his Holiness, we do not believe they will venture to take any action without consulting your Majesty. Were they to make an attempt to do so we would go for them (acudilles) with reform, as your Majesty had ordered us. If this does not happen, and the Legate allows himself to be spoken to, we will try to manage the suspension in the way we have described to you.
We are sending your Majesty a copy of a letter, recently presented to us, from a servant of the Duke of Pomerania, the bearer of which departed without awaiting a reply. It seems to us suitable that a reply be sent to the Duke, without entering into a detailed discussion of the points contained in his letter, but merely informing him of all we did to obtain a hearing for the ambassadors from Saxony and Württemberg, how audience was freely granted them and promised for their theologians, who were to be allowed to speak at will, though all this had been fruitless. This would serve to show him that our behaviour could furnish him with no excuse for not sending his theologians to the Council. Still, we preferred not to do so before ascertaining you Majesty's pleasure.
We were also in some doubt as to whether you would approve of making the Duke of Pomerania's letter, the writing left by the men of Württemberg, the Saxons' departure, and the fact that all the Germans have now left the Council, into an argument for demanding suspension, in case we are unable to obtain the same result otherwise. All are agreed that suspension has become necessary for the above reasons, and also because at present none but the Spaniards and those Italians who are vassals of your Majesty remain here, with not more than five or six of the Pope's; in all a number insufficient to treat of the grave matters in question. Another argument m favour of suspension is that the departure of all the missing prelates, Italians and Germans, except for the Electors, was owing to the facts that the Protestants, though present, were denied a hearing, and that his Holiness' ministers obstructed all action, though we constantly urged them to proceed with the work of the Council. We trust your Majesty will signify your pleasure to us.
Trent, 17 April, 1552.
Copy. French.
April 27. Brussels, E.A. 101. Mathieu Strick to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: After finishing my business at Rippelmond, I returned to this town to endeavour to fulfil your Majesty's commands contained in your letter of the 24th instant. On returning to my house from the boat, I found one Martin, a servant of Spanish merchants, whom I had lately met in Scotland suing before the Great Council there for restitution of a ship, laden with figs and raisins belonging to his masters, that had been taken since the conclusion of the treaty at Binche by a Scots pirate called John Damdly (sic). This Martin told me he had arrived from Scotland just before Easter, and that before leaving he had heard for a fact that the King of France, through his lieutenant in Scotland, M. d'Oisel, had demanded of the Earl of Arran and the Scottish Estates the concession of three points. The first was that four strong places, the castles of Edinburgh, Dumbarton, Peebles and Hamilton, should be placed in his hands. The second, that the prelates and clergy should furnish money for the upkeep of 10,000 men for three years, an ancient privilege which they had been in the custom of granting the King. The third, that nobles and commons should at once make war on the Emperor. The Regent and Estates, however, had refused their consent, and had decided to send David Paniter, Bishop of Ross, to the King of France to present their excuses; and the Bishop was to have left immediately after Easter. To my question as to what the state of opinion in Scotland might be, Martin replied that he thought the common people were more inclined towards peace than war; but as for the nobles, he really could not say.
If I hear anything, during my stay here, that may be of interest, it shall at once be reported to your Majesty, whom I beg to command me always.
Antwerp, 27 April, 1552.
French. Signed.
April 28. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 19. Summary of M. de Courrières' Letter.
He writes that the King of England, who was convalescent and very cheerful, gave him audience, receiving him honourably and with the most favourable countenance possible, and displaying pleasure at his arrival. Especially when he heard the charge contained in M. de Courrieres' instructions, his Majesty said he thanked the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) most heartily for her goodwill towards the ancient alliance between the two countries, and declared that, for his part, he would entirely reciprocate, and would never fail to meet every obligation arising from the treaties made by his predecessors with the Emperor. He added that he had commanded his Council to examine the treaties, in order that they might be ruled by their provisions.
M. de Courrières also writes that the King, after speaking many gracious words, asked how the Emperor was. Courrieres replied that his Majesty—God be thanked!—was very well, and that he hoped he might be still better in the coming season. At this the King smiled.
It seems to M. de Courrières that, if his Imperial Majesty cared to write some pleasant letter to the King, in the tone of those the Queen sent him, in favour of the preservation of friendly relations between the two countries, it would be most opportune, and would afford the King great pleasure. His Majesty displayed some surprise that M. de Courrières should have brought no letter to him from the Imperial Majesty, nor any message, and said that he was always a great lover of truth.
He also writes that it is firmly believed in England that the King of France has gathered together a great fleet at Brest in Brittany, which some say consists of 150 or 200 well-found ships. There is a persistent report that this fleet is intended to attack the fleet that is expected from Spain; though others affirm that it is to set out on a long voyage, for the King of France has had earthworks throwsn up all along his coast. Some still say the fleet in question is going to attempt some exploit in Zeeland, because several of the ships have on board spades, axes, barrowss, and other tools required for making trenches and throwsing up a temporary fort. It is also said that a French galley has been seen in the Straits between Dover and Calais.
There is no likelihood that the English are fitting out any more ships beyond those recently mentioned by M. de Courrières. As there was some rumour, he sent men to the place where the English ships he, where there were no signs of activity. The man who was despatched to the West Country has not yet returned.
My Lord Paget was degraded from the Order of the Garter last St. George's day.
Contemporary abstract. French. Cipher.


  • 1. Below, in the P.S. to this letter, the King's complaint is referred to as small-pox (petites veroles), though here it is ummistakably measles (rougeoles). Edward suffered from both at this time. See his Journal, April 2nd: “I fell sike of the mesels and the small-pokkes.”
  • 2. This person, who signs himself Duque Erico de Brasuic y Luneburg, is more generally known as Duke Eric II. of Brunswick-Calenberg.
  • 3. Corvinus, or Raebener, was a Lutheran reformer who had been in prison since 1549, and died from the effects of confinement in 1553.