Spain: December 1552, 16-31

Pages 607-618

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

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December 1552, 16–31

Dec. 17. Simancas, E. 1204. Fernando Gonzaga to the Emperor.
I well know how displeasing to your Majesty, to whom the honour of God and the preservation of His church are so dear, is that cursed Lutheran sect: and I have been watchful and diligent to prevent it from taking root in this state. I have proceeded against every one who has professed it publicly or privately and dealt out exemplary punishment whenever any hint to justify it has reached me; and I have been able to stamp out the curse within the dominion. During the last few months, while I was absent in Piedmont, I was informed by the Senate that the Inquisitor at Cremona had revealed to the Podesta that he was in possession of evidence that certain gentlemen of that town were infected by the (spiritual) disease: and soon after I heard from the same Senate that the most reverend Cardinal Delegates on matters of heresy from his Holiness had demanded the capture of three of the marked gentlemen from the Podesta. I ordered that they should be seized at once, and that two more, whose names were mentioned by the Inquisitors, should also be apprehended. I gave orders that they should be taken to the Castle of that city, in order to strike more terror into the rest; and I recommended the Senate to proceed against them with the utmost rigour. But, Cremona being a frontier town of no small importance and the prisoners no mean personages, the matter seemed to me to deserve the utmost care and consideration, and I therefore ordered that the Podesta of Cremona should be present at all the proceedings with the Inquisitor, not as judge, but to represent the interests of your Majesty. This, as it happened, did not turn out entirely to the satisfaction of the Inquisitor, because the Senate perceived he had committed several considerable blunders, both in collecting the evidence, and in his subsequent procedure, and having reported the matter to me according to the orders I had issued, they thought fit to recommend the Inquisitor to come to Milan with his original documents, so as to enable me to inquire into the case and instruct him where it was needful. He did not care to do this: on the contrary, it is supposed that he solicited the letters from the most reverend Cardinals named above, of which the copy, together with the answer from the Senate, I enclose to your Majesty, who will understand from these documents how badly the Inquisitors proceed in their work, either out of malice or ignorance; and to what object the most reverend Cardinals' letters tend. In my opinion their aim is to prevent your Majesty's ministers here from witnessing the actions of the Inquisitors, who would then be left free to persecute your Majesty's subjects as they pleased. Such a course might easily turn into a source of disorder and favour the disturbance of the peace, much against your Majesty's interests, especially just now. I wished to inform your Majesty at once, so that you might send such orders as seemed opportune, and that you might be fully enlightened on the circumstances in the event of his Holiness or the most reverend Cardinals writing to you. I may add that it has always been customary to refer such cases to the Senate which, although possessing no judicial authority in the matter, can control the actions of the Inquisitor, perceive his real object, and watch that no injustice be committed by the prosecution.
The practice is in conformity with canon law, which provides that such cases be controlled and conducted by competent persons; and the former princes of this state no doubt substituted the authority of the Senate to that of individuals. The practice was continued after the state passed into the hands of your Majesty, and up to the present time. In my opinion the same rules should be observed by the Inquisitors in the future as well; the custom is a good and holy one, beneficial to the state, and also adopted by the other Italian princes in their various dominions, with the approval of his Holiness. However, I remit the matter to the infallible wisdom of your Majesty.
Alessandria, 17 December, 1552.
Signed. Italian.
Dec. 23. Brussels, E.A. 105. The Queen Dowager to the Queen Dowager of Scotland.
I have heard from your letters of November 15th, and from the declaration made to me by your pannetier ordinaire, Giovanni Francesco di Busso, in conformity with the said letters, your complaint that, as you say, a Frenchman carrying letters and papers belonging to you was robbed between Calais and Boulogne, together with your demand that restitution of the letters and amends for the outrage be made, as our treaty with Scotland demands. I must tell you that it is true some fellows in the Emperor's pay took certain papers from a Frenchman some time ago at a place two leagues inside the French frontier. These fellows opened the letters, and, seeing that they came from the King of France's ministers, sent them to me, most of them already open. I therefore had them examined, and it was found that they were from the said ministers and other of his Imperial Majesty's enemies, and were also addressed to his enemies. The bearer, moreover, was employed in the King of France's artillery. The persons who examined them found in M. d'Oisel's letters frequent references to letters of yours, and as these last were opened, they showed by several remarks that you were doing little to observe the true and sincere friendship to which you were bound if you desired to benefit by the treaty. In fact, in order to display your devotion to his Majesty's enemies, you expressed joy over the destruction and servitude of your own house.
I have consulted the Emperor and examined the treaty with Scotland, and find that not only is your demand unreasonable, but that his Majesty has grave cause for dissatisfaction with the sentiments voiced in your letters. As our fellows in no way offended against the said treaty, there can be no question of restitution or amends. Even had there been any infringement of the treaty (which there has not), its text provides how and by whom a demand ought to be made: and as the person sent by you to me has no power from him who, during the minority of the Queen, your daughter, is Regent of Scotland, I find I am under no further obligation. However, if the demand is made in the proper manner, I will deal with it in a way that shall give every cause for satisfaction, and show how anxious I am to entertain friendly relations with all my neighbours, and especially with the kingdom of Scotland. And I should sincerely regret it if anything done there tended to diminish the amity and alliance with us that was recently so happily renewed.
Brussels, 23 December, 1552.
Duplicate. French.
Dec. 25. Simancas, E. 647. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
Your letters have informed us of the state of our finances in Spain and your distress caused by lack of money and the knowledge of our wants: for you know that we are spending very large sums here and that little can be done to help us in Spain because all the ordinary sources of revenue, services, grand-masterships, pasture-lands, Crusade-Bull and subsidies are exhausted down to the end of 1554 and for part of 1555, whilst we remain without funds for current expenses in Spain for this and the coming years, together with other difficulties of which you make mention.
We did everything that was in our power to avoid this present war, and put up with serious loss for the sake of the welfare of Christendom, moved as we were by the hope of sparing our subjects and states, but the King of France and the German rebels forced our hand, and made it impossible for us to think of stopping hostilities until we should see how this business of Metz would end. You will have seen from Don Juan de Figueroa's despatch that the 500,000 ducats were insufficient to pay wages then and since, so that we have been forced to take up a further sum at exchange in Flanders, assigning payment in Spain, as you will have heard from Queen Maria, our sister, to whom I (sic) have sent a special power for the purpose, and from a private letter I wrote to you on the 11th instant. We beg you most affectionately to see to it that the merchants obtain that to which they have a right in virtue of the agreement, for which purpose the gold and silver from Peru must serve. You will also despatch the necessary orders so that the 625,000 ducats mentioned in another letter, a copy of which is enclosed, shall be allowed to be taken out of the country. Beyond this you will send us as large a sum as possible in ready money with Don Juan de Figueroa, or if that is impossible arrange that we may have it at exchange, to face our present expenses. As soon as we can we intend to disband the army now in service, so that no more than the forces that are absolutely necessary shall remain. There is nothing in this world that gives us greater pain than to overburthen our Spanish kingdoms; and one of our main objects is to establish our policy on a basis firm enough to enable us to afford them some relief.
The Camp before Metz, 25 December, 1552.
Decipherment. Spanish.
Dec. 25. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Jehan Scheyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: As I wrote to your Majesty in my last letters, I went to see my lords of the Council and declared by your Majesty's orders that Ambassador Chamberlain had recently requested that a certain amount of gunpowder confiscated over there might be returned, or the value of it, and that he maintained that the said gunpowder belonged to his master. Your Majesty replied to him that you had been informed that a certain Mr. John de Mocq (i.e. Dimock), agent of the King of England, had committed frauds and abuses of various kinds when he was at Antwerp to get powder out of the country. He made an arrangement with a certain Giselbert Claessus, citizen and merchant of Amsterdam, and induced him to affirm that the powder belonged to him: to pass it through the customs in his name, and falsely to pledge himself not to send the powder out of the country. When this was done, and the powder was shipped to Amsterdam, the said Mr. Dimock succeeded in bribing a third person to conspire to cancel the guarantee: this he did by means of a certain Cornille Frederixen, citizen and merchant of Amsterdam, who pretended to purchase the powder from the above-mentioned Giselbert. The evidence of purchase was collected, and sent to the officer at Antwerp for the purpose above-mentioned. The rumour soon spread that the man, Cornille, had purchased a large quantity of gunpowder; but as he was a man of little substance, and indeed a poor man, the matter roused astonishment and suspicion. The bailiff or officer at Amsterdam had wind of the case. He called Giselbert and Cornille to him, who at first declared the transaction to be perfectly above-board and real, and maintained it on oath. The officer ordered further investigations to be made, especially because the war which broke out soon afterwards between the Emperor and the King of France was already talked about and expected. In consequence of what he heard, the officer sent again for Giselbert and Cornille, examined them and confronted them, and found their evidence vacillating and contradictory. Finally, they confessed the plain truth, admitted the fraud and circumventions committed by the said Dimock and themselves, and were arrested and taken prisoners on a criminal charge. Dimock was indicted and the gunpowder confiscated, as your Majesty informed the ambassador (Chamberlain), giving him every detail. Certain documents and proofs were put into his hands to bear out the case. Notwithstanding this, the ambassador repeated his solicitations to obtain restitution of the said powder, and repeated in effect his former statement that the powder could not be confiscated, being the property of the King of England. Your Majesty ordered the same answer as before to be made to him, which is set forth above; and affirmed that there was no ground for the annulment or withdrawal of the sentence, which was executed after mature deliberation, and the powder sold and scattered. It was a case of obviating the commission of frauds and abuses which were daily attempted against his Majesty's ordinances, who considered the matter as a breach of the law: and as Dimock was the chief author and instrument of the fraud, the King might purchase more powder and recover his loss from Dimock and the merchants whose frauds and conspiracy resulted in the confiscation of the powder. If the King demanded that justice should be done to him over there, your Majesty would deal out proper and prompt punishment. I was ordered by your Majesty to declare the matter in detail so that the King and Council should ascertain the merits of the case and how the matter was conducted, and realise that the ambassador had urged his demands without good cause or reason, and still continued to do so.
They listened attentively to all I had to say, and no one seemed able to make any rejoinder, although the matter was important and a great number were present, except Secretary Cecil, who is the Duke of Northumberland's man, his master being absent owing to his illness. He spoke for the Council, and declared that their ambassador had not sent them a written account of the matter, and therefore they had not seen documentary evidence proving the alleged conduct of the said Dimock. They would send for him, hear what he had to say, and give me my reply afterwards. Nevertheless they would observe that by the treaties between the two sovereigns, subjects were enabled to procure all kinds of munitions of war from oversea. I replied that there was no need to examine Dimock, who once out of the country would possibly be reluctant to confess his misdeeds, and I assured them that they were such as I had described them: and that, moreover, he had loaded forty or fifty barrels of sulphur, and other munitions of war at the same time, which were in effect transported over here. Concerning the treaties, I observed that they (the English) did not permit any munitions of war to be taken out of the country although they were at peace, and that his Majesty's subjects complained constantly that the published prohibitions extended to the exportation of almost every kind of marketable goods, so that it was impossible to trade here: and this constituted a direct breach of the Commercial Convention. I would take the opportunity to point out to them that your Majesty had been pleased to make a concession in their favour, allowing them to export 200 barrels of gunpowder notwithstanding the present conditions, and had also met their wishes and assisted the country with other commodities. They expressed their gratitude to your Majesty for the said gratification, and in particular for the 200 barrels of gunpowder, feigning themselves ignorant of the rest. I specially mentioned to them, therefore, the permission granted to export salt-fish and pitch, both having great importance for them. They professed to know nothing of it, and asked me to give them a written account. I replied that they would certainly hear of it from their ambassador.
On the same occasion, Madam, I reminded them that I had sent my secretary to them several times on the matter of two vessels from Antwerp which they had arrested as they were about to set sail. It appeared that the arrest took place because information was given to the customs officers and to my Lords of the Council that if the vessels were searched they would be found to contain goods whose exportation constituted an important breach of the edicts and statutes of the kingdom. The visiting officers and others who were not under oath, had boldly proceeded to unload the whole cargo of the said vessels, and having found nothing that could be brought within the prohibition, they tried to save their face and excuse their conduct by reviving an ancient statute in virtue of which unbleached cloth exceeding four pounds sterling in value was forbidden to be exported. The pieces of cloth found on board the vessels were submitted to examination and certain English merchants, called in by the visiting officers to oblige them, estimated ten or twelve pieces among them as exceeding the value of four pounds. My secretary saw the Council immediately, and my lords told him that they had ordered all the cloth to be returned to the merchants, and the vessels to proceed on their way. I received an identical report from the visiting officers; but notwithstanding this, either they or others re-examined the cloth at their own offices without calling in expert advice from English merchants or others, and detained a large quantity of cloth in virtue of the ancient statute referred to above. This was passing strange, as no one had ever heard of the said statute before. If such an excuse were admitted now, the plea of an ancient statute might be put forward again whenever a new abuse was to be palliated. The subjects of his Majesty had always traded in that kind of cloth, which was a common and ordinary sort, and English merchants had likewise traded in it, and to a great extent on their very last voyage.
Of course some artisans might turn out cloth of better quality than others; and even supposing the said statute to have been promulgated and observed once, and to refer especially to the subjects of his Majesty, yet times were changed, and the current value of money was altered, and both facts should be taken into consideration. Cloth now estimated at five or six pounds sterling would have once been valued at four pounds or little over, and would not fall under the ban of the said statute, which, rightly interpreted, should apply rather to the quality than the price of the cloth. The packers and customs officers had always passed the quality in question and accepted the export duty from the very merchants who were now attacked. If the statute were put in vigour now and the exportation of cloth of that quality were forbidden it would amount to suppressing trade altogether, as almost all cloth exported exceeded the value of four pounds the piece, at present prices. I remonstrated with them on the great loss and damage suffered by the merchants through the arrest, and told them that the vessels had sailed empty. I knew for certain that the English merchants had planned the trick, to be able to make a higher profit on their own cloth over there; and I observed that the King reaped a larger profit from the exportation of cloth by your Majesty's subjects than by his own, as they were not privileged. Commerce and trade would cease between the two countries if the subjects of your Majesty could no longer import from England, I said: and I mentioned here the ordinances against the exportation of other goods and merchandise, including even lead, which were recently published. They replied that they had no detailed information on the subject of my remonstrances, and that they would put the matter right. I replied that it was meet that the matter should be put right at once, as the subjects of your Majesty, who had purchased the cloth not suspecting that any obstacle would be set in their way, would otherwise suffer great injustice, and that in any case the cloth would reach its destination much too late.
I sent my man a few days later, Madam, to enquire of my Lords of the Council what resolve they had come to. They replied that they granted that the embargo should be raised on payment of a guarantee, and that the owners might take the goods whenever they pleased. My man then asked how our subjects stood with regard to other cloth they had purchased and which was not among the pieces embargoed. They replied that they had not yet decided on that point, and would declare to him that there existed two different statutes prohibiting the exportation of unbleached cloth, or unfinished cloth, which might not be put on a vessel whatever its value might be. The statute mentioned bleached and faced cloths over four pounds sterling in value, which were also forbidden to be exported. The foreign merchants had certainly acted against the statute: but the Council was graciously pleased to permit them to export the cloth that had been embargoed on payment of the guarantee. As to any cloth they might have bought since, or might buy hereafter, the Council would consider what was to be done. I communicated the reply to the merchants, who declared it to be a very strange one indeed, and that its only object could be to take the cloth trade altogether away from them, unless something could be done to stop its effects. They urged me very strongly to see the Council about it, and I did so, Madam. I repeated to them summarily what I had said before, and declared that the recent innovations would certainly destroy the cloth trade as far as the subjects of our country were concerned. Two statutes were now produced in place of one, neither of which had ever been remembered before, or were ever in use. The reason for requiring a fee from our merchants seemed insufficiently explained, especially as the Council had not yet arrived at a decision on the chief point, namely, the right of transportation; and the whole business seemed an invention of their merchants, put forward to the end already described. I requested them to grant permission to our merchants to transport the cloth they had purchased in ignorance of the two statutes they had since brought forward, without exacting the payment of a guarantee. They replied that the statutes would be found to exist as they had described them; that they had always been observed, and that a special favour was graciously granted to your Majesty's subjects in allowing them to pay a sum and export their cloth. For the rest, the statutes and laws of the kingdom should be consulted and the decision made known later, with due consideration for the Commercial Convention and amity. As they persisted in affirming the authority of the two statutes, I requested that for the greater satisfaction of my fellow-subjects they would give me a duplicate copy, as they claimed that a breach had been committed: and I assured them that since I had been in England no observation or complaint had been made to me, though goods of the nature they described had been allowed to be taken out of the country, as they could see for themselves by examining the records. I remonstrated with them on the sum they demanded as a guarantee, which would be a harsh imposition on the merchants besides being most difficult to recover: and I said that their manner of proceeding would inspire the merchants with mistrust. But they stood firm in what they had said, Madam, and merely added that if the merchants would send in a written list of the cloth they had bought besides, they would grant leave to take it out of the country for the same sum. They said they would send me copies of the two statutes, but they have not done so yet. The merchants, however, appear to be against paying the guarantee owing to the considerations set forth above, and because of the consequences it might entail. They are firmly convinced that the object of the Council is to cut them off from the possibility of exporting and trading in cloth, and they believe that as the Stillyard merchants have lost their privileges, the London merchants are seeking to monopolise the cloth trade, and that they have an understanding with Antwerp that no cloth shall be transported across before Easter. They have allowed the King a loan of one pound sterling on each piece of cloth they export, and they have received his support in exchange. Some say the King is seeking means to forbid cloth being exported except by special licence.
I afterwards declared to them, Madam, that at the end of November last, two vessels with a cargo of wool and various other goods, forming part of the Biscayan fleet, had been driven by storms and separated from it, and eventually found themselves opposite a certain port in Cornwall. They hoped to enter it; but an English vessel came out and fell upon one of them, while a Breton vessel attacked the other, and with help from the English vessel, captured it. Both vessels were taken into the Scilly Isles where the captain of the English vessel, whose name is Strangways, and the owner, Miles Grey, English gentlemen, both resident at the place mentioned above, transferred the masters and crews of both Biscayan vessels to the Breton boat; and without being allowed to set foot on land, the Biscayans were taken off to France together with one of their vessels. The other was openly unloaded at the place called Scilly in sight of every one. The thing was outrageous, and set a most dangerous example. It constituted an open breach of the treaties of amity and intercourse, and was in flagrant contradiction with the assurance given by the King's Majesty and their Lordships the other day, that, if the fleet or part of it were driven to seek shelter within the kingdom, it should be welcomed and treated as an English fleet would be.
I requested them in the name of their own assurances, to order that the vessels and goods thereon should be promptly returned and damages paid for the whole value of both, especially as it was due to the assistance lent by the Englishman that the second Biscayan vessel was taken. I demanded that exemplary punishment should be dealt out to the robbers, in conformity with the letter of the treaties and the spirit of true amity. They replied that they had heard a few days before that the said Strangways and Miles Grey had taken to piracy and had captured a vessel belonging to their own subjects. A special messenger was despatched to the officer in the Scilly Isles with orders to apprehend them, and they would incontinently send fresh orders for securing the vessel and goods claimed by me. I replied that the two gentlemen in question had turned pirates since their capture of the (Biscayan) vessel; and whether they were pirates or not, it was the duty of the above-mentioned officer to arrest the captain (i.e. Strangways) and his ship, embargo the two Biscayan vessels, and take an inventory of the property found upon them, for the benefit of his Imperial Majesty's subjects, in conformity with the treaties. The said officer, having failed to do this, was himself responsible, and bound to return the vessel and property, or make good the value, plus expenses and damages, particularly as English subjects were forbidden to buy stolen goods. They told me that they would send the strictest and (to us) most favourable orders possible to the said officer, and others: that an officer of the King should go down with the master mariner (who was in London) to seize the goods wherever they might be found, if this were not yet done, and spare no pains to ensure the recovery of the said vessel and goods, and all appurtenances. The master mariner has already departed with the officer to effect what is said above.
On the same occasion, Madam, I declared to the Council that I had heard how a certain Thomas Luchtmaekere, master of a large vessel with a crew of two or three hundred men, had robbed certain subjects of the Emperor towards Norfolk, as it was believed, and sold his prizes in England. This man was now at Dover, where his ship was undergoing repairs. I desired to give them the information, as the offence was a breach of the treaties; and I had heard rumours of other pirates on the prowl as well, and therefore requested them to take such measures as were needful. They replied that they had heard nothing about it, but that they would enquire into the matter and provide as the circumstances required. I hear, Madam, that the said Luchtmaekere describes his vessel as a Scottish vessel, and holds letters of marque from the Queen of Scots against the Portuguese. On other occasions he describes himself as a servant of the King of France.
Duplicate endorsed “for the Emperor” French. Cipher.
Dec. 28. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Advices sent by Jehan Scheyfve. (fn. 1)
The deputies from France, together with Secretary Villandry have left, and were escorted by an English war-ship. The King gave a present of fifteen hundred crowns to the three commissioners, and as far as their negotiation is concerned, it seems that most of the goods seized by the French and on which judgment was pending have been returned to the English subjects. The matter left over for subsequent discussion refers to that part of the spoils which is not to be given back as yet; hence full restitution cannot be said to have taken place. As to the seizures by the French respecting which sentence was given in France and acceptance of it refused by the English, whereupon the French King offered to nominate fresh judges to be designated by the English themselves, it appears that the Council wished to know first whether the judges would interpret French law, or apply the capitulations and treaties, and who should execute the sentence, as some of the captains and others who took the spoils could not be apprehended.
The commissioners are to report to the French King in such a way that the English King may eventually get satisfaction. It is believed that means will be found to come to an understanding, and that in certain cases full restitution may be made, especially as several of the English merchants can prove their ownership of the goods they claim. The sentences given in France would not have to be reversed, reputation on both sides would not suffer, and in the meantime both are gaining time. Others opine that the English will get nothing beyond what they have already and will have to content themselves with being safer in future. The French will forego their claims on prizes taken by the English.
I have heard rumours here of a league between the Pope, the Dukes of Ferrara and Urbino, Duke Octavio (Farnese) and the King of France against the Emperor. The Seignory of Venice would take a share underhand, they say, so that by next summer the whole of Italy would be in a turmoil. I have heard too that there is fresh sedition in Germany.
Cipher. French.
Dec. 29. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. Edward Vi to the Emperor.
As the ancient amity and good understanding between the two houses prompts us to desire certain information as to your honourable enterprises and good success in them, which we trust is as great as you yourself could wish, we are now sending to you our faithful and well-beloved Councillor Mr. Andrew Dudley, Knight of our Order (fn. 2), and one of the four chief gentlemen of our Bedchamber. We have instructed him to visit you, and lay before you certain considerations suggested to us by our good will towards you and general desire for the welfare of Christendom. We hope you will take them in good part, and accord our Councillor the same faith and confidence you would show ourself.
Greenwich, 29 December, 1552.
Signed. French.
Dec. 30. Brussels. E.A. 62. The Queen Dowager to the Emperor.
By my last letters and the instructions I gave to M. de Noircarmes I have replied as best I could to your Majesty's questions presented to me by him, so in this I will only touch on the question of money, which is sorely troubling me because I do not know how to raise the amount as quickly as I am only too well aware is required. I am now sending to your Majesty such sums as I have been able to obtain, the gold by the post and the silver in waggons; and I will continue to do the same with all I receive. I know it is inconvenient to you not to receive it all together, especially now that you are breaking camp: but on my honour, my Lord, I cannot do more than I am doing. I am amazed myself at the quantity I have got, after my pockets have been cleaned out so often: and had it not been for the fleets I could never have done as well. Wherefore, my Lord, it is necessary to make haste and fetch money from Spain: and might I do so without importunity, I would say that the coming of my Lord, your son (i.e. Prince Philip), ought also to be hastened: for my humble opinion is that the longer he stays the greater loss he will suffer in reputation, whatever plans your Majesty may form. My zeal for your Majesty's service and his render me bold, and the journey from Spain promises to be so long, that I fear greater delay may cause much harm. I have a sloop ready in England to take a messenger, if your Majesty is pleased to send one to Spain: and it would be well not to miss this fair wind.
Moreover, my Lord, I have asked M. de Noircarmes to tell you how glad I was to learn your decision to come hither, and how deeply grieved to hear other things he told me. Nonetheless, I trust in God that He will preserve and sustain your Majesty, as for His service, the welfare of Christendom and of all your states it is required: and with Him on our side I hold all that has befallen us in small esteem, knowing it to be easily remediable. M. de Noircarmes will tell your Majesty the rest, so I will importune you no more with this letter, but will only pray God with all my heart to grant you health and a long life, humbly begging to be recommended to your good graces.
Brussels, 30 December, 1552.
P.S. of 31 December.
This letter has remained here until to-day because of the arrival of the treasurer (Longin) and Boisot from Antwerp. Your Majesty will see what they have accomplished from other letters, and that there is no help for it but we must negotiate with the Genoese. May your Majesty therefore be pleased to send powers to your ambassador, and have them drawn up in such a way that there shall be no difficulty about their acceptation, for until they arrive I can raise no more money here, and I know of no other means of finding the sum you mention. I also beg you to have Fugger's contract sent off, and also the letters. I implore you to see to this, for Fugger is harder to deal with because of the delay; and he and Schetz, and their credit, are my only resource for obtaining money. My other letters will give your Majesty our news from Spain, how the merchants fear the Prince may not pay out the money for the 600,000 ducats I took up on exchange, though I entirely trust to your Majesty's assurance. I supplicate you to remedy any difficulty that may be made, and write to your son to that effect; for were there to be a failure to pay it would mean the utter ruin of your affairs here and in Spain, and I, my Lord, would be at my wits' end.
Duplicate. French.
Dec. 30. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 19. Jehan Schbyfve to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: I received your Majesty's letters of the 13th on the 23rd of this month, ordering me to remonstrate with the King and my Lords of the Council concerning certain robberies committed by an Englishman on two vessels of the Biscayan fleet. I had done so already, as your Majesty will learn from my letters of the 25th of this month. I should certainly have communicated with the Duke of Northumberland on the case had he not been indisposed. He is better at present than he has been, but is obliged to observe a diet.
Madam: I have now heard that the King of England is about to dispatch two personages in haste, one to the Emperor, the other to the King of France, with charge, as it is supposed, to declare to both sovereigns the King, their master's, great desire and good will to encompass their reconciliation. Sir Andrew Dudley, brother of the Duke of Northumberland, recently created a Knight of the Order, is to be sent to the Emperor. He is to communicate his charge to your Majesty on the way. The other is Mr. Sidney, (fn. 3) the Duke's son-in-law, a gentleman of the King's privy-chamber.
Duplicate. French. The second paragraph in cipher.


  • 1. Wrongly catalogued September 27th.
  • 2. Sir Andrew Dudley was elected Knight of the Garter on April 24th, 1552.
  • 3. Sir Henry Sidney, who had married Mary, Northumberland's eldest daughter, in March, 1551.