Spain: July 1553, 21-31

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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, 'Spain: July 1553, 21-31', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 109-127. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "Spain: July 1553, 21-31", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) 109-127. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

. "Spain: July 1553, 21-31", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916). 109-127. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

July 1553, 21–31

July 22. Beaançon, Collection Granvelle, 73. The Emperor to his Ambassadors in England.
Yesterday evening we received your letters of the 19th instant, and learned from them not only what the Earl of Shrewsbury and Mason told you on the Council's behalf of their decision to overthrow her who claimed to be Queen of England, and to proclaim our cousin, the Princess, as Queen, excusing themselves for what had occurred on the ground that three or four had forced the rest of the Council, but also that the proclamation had taken place both in London and in the Tower with the customary solemnities, to the great satisfaction and delight of the people. Moreover, you tell us that the Duke of Northumberland is not being greatly supported, and that you have heard of warships that have declared for our cousin. Now that the solemn publication has been made, and aroused such great enthusiasm among the people, in spite of the warning given you by the old woman, we hope that all will go well, that the peace of the kingdom will not be troubled, and that our cousin will be able to take up the reins of government. Still, we praise your prudence in informing her of what you have heard (i.e. the old woman's warning) in order that she may judge whether or no it is worth considering, and act accordingly. These news are the best we could have had from England, and we render thanks to God for having guided all things so well, showing manifest favour to whom He pleases. We wish to make their reception the occasion of sending you the enclosed letter, (fn. 1) which we have written to our cousin in the tone you will see from the copy, and which we desire you to take to her at once, wherever she may be. You will ask her for audience, present the letter together with our most cordial and sincere recommendations, and offer her our congratulations on her happy accession to the throne, telling her how great was our joy on hearing of it. Moreover you will exhort her, although we are sure it is not necessary, to recognise the grace that God has granted her by showing gratitude to all those who stood by her, and to endeavour to discharge the obligations under which God has placed her by doing her utmost to give peace and tranquillity to her kingdom, and making it her chief care to content her subjects of all classes in every reasonable manner. You will promise her all friendship and neighbourly affection on our behalf, and assure her that over and above the loving care we have always had for England, even as if it had been our own country, we shall now be bound by the ties of blood and our personal affection for her to be doubly solicitous for her kingdom's welfare in every possible respect, and shall be doubly scrupulous in our discharge of the duties imposed by amity and alliance, for her sake. You will offer her your services in your capacity as our ambassadors in whatsoever task she chooses to command you, and will promise to transmit to us any messages she cares to send. All the foregoing you will say to her in public audience, but in private, if she gives you an opportunity to speak to her when the state of public affairs shall allow her to do so without arousing suspicion, you may give her a more detailed account of the reasons that moved us to send you to England, and explain to her that you were instructed to proceed very gradually in your negotiation, with the object of rendering her some assistance, and that we were hastily making preparations, under colour of protecting the fisheries, to come to her relief, for we dared make no demonstration, not knowing how strong she might be and fearing that if we made haste to use force her adversaries might seize her person and take our intervention as an excuse to put her to death, in order to leave us no reason for lending her further assistance. You will inform her of the declaration that we recently instructed you to utter, to prevent her adversaries from availing themselves of French help and to persuade them to leave the settlement of the dispute (i.e. as to the succession), in case she had proved the weaker, to the authority of Parliament. We feel sure that you will have made no mention of this last point because you will have understood that, once the proclamation was made in her favour, there was no reason for so doing. You will also say to her that, as God has been pleased to dispose all things in so excellent a manner, we advise her to take very great care, at the outset, not to be led by her zeal to be too hasty in reforming matters that may not seem to be proceeding in a right manner, but to show herself to be accommodating. Let her conform with the decisions of Parliament, while abstaining personally from any action contrary to religion or to her conscience, and hear mass apart in her chamber without making any demonstration. Let her dissemble for the present, not seek to order matters in a manner different from that now observed in England, and avoid being too much persuaded by private advisers in this beginning, but wait until she is able to summon Parliament, endeavouring to win the goodwill of the members who shall compose it, in order to take such measures, with the participation of Parliament, as the state of the country shall allow. Thus gradually she may bring about a better condition of things, and not only must her chief care be for the kingdom's welfare, but she must manage to make all her people understand that that is her only object. Let her be in all things what she ought to be: a good Englishwoman, and avoid giving the impression that she desires to act on her own authority, letting it be seen that she wishes to have the assistance and consent of the foremost men of the land and, as far as it shall appear requisite, of Parliament itself. You will also point out to her that it will be necessary, in order to be supported in the labour of governing and assisted in matters that are not of ladies' capacity, that she soon contract matrimony with the person who shall appear to her most fit from the above point of view. If she is pleased to inform us before she comes to a decision, we shall not fail to give her our opinion with all affectionate sincerity, and to help and favour her in the forming of her choice. She may rely upon us whenever she may desire to consult us, for beyond the obligations conferred by our kinship, we bear her greater affection than does anyone else in this world. And you will request her to send us her news from time to time through you, and assure her that we will reciprocate, and that she shall ever find us her sincere friend.
You will inform her of the exploit performed by our army at Hesdin, which place has finally surrendered to us, for those within were no longer able to hold out against the works put up by our men, especially after they had suffered heavy losses from our artillery in a false attack the day before the surrender. Among the wounded was Duke Orazio Farnese, (fn. 2) and all the men of quality in the town are prisoners, among others MM. de Hesdin, Count de Villars, Marquis de Nelle (fn. 3) and Viscount de Martigues. It is said here that the Duke of Northumberland has been taken, but as your letters make no mention of this we desire you to let us know the truth, and to send us details of all occurrences from time to time, as we asked you to do in our last. It is very important that you should do so at this particular juncture.
Brussels, 22 July, 1553.
French. Signed, Charles; countersigned, Bave. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV. Original minute at Vienna (E. 21).
July 22. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: Since our last letters to your Majesty, the Lady Mary has been so well proclaimed and published Queen of England that she is now true and lawful sovereign without difficulty, doubt or hindrance. In order that your Majesty may know all that has occurred in detail, and what has moved us to assert (the Lady Mary's triumph) in so absolute a manner, may it please you to know that on the same day the proclamation was made the Council sent the Earl of Arundel and my Lord Paget to Queen Mary to give her the news, inform her of their deliberations, ask her pardon for the offence committed in the reception of the Lady Jane of Suffolk, and perform the ceremonies usually gone through in England when pardon has to be demanded for so heavy a crime, which are said to consist in the guilty party appearing on his knees with a dagger turned towards his stomach in recognition of his offence and submission to the penalty deserved.
On the same day the Council sent letters to the Mayor and officers of Cambridge, commanding them to proclaim the Queen, and wrote a private communication to the Duke of Northumberland, informing him of the decision they had arrived at and of their reasons for changing their minds, and praying him to conform his conduct with theirs and obey for the country's good and his own. And although the Duke, wherever he had passed, had caused my Lady and the lords who supported her to be declared traitors to the Crown, and had burnt two villages belonging to the said lords, yet when he had seen and considered the Council's letters he summoned the Earl of Huntingdon, the Admiral, my Lord Grey and others of his chief followers, and declared to them loudly that all he had done up to that time had been enacted with the authority, consent and knowledge of the Council, in proof of which he had documents sealed with the Great Seal of England. However, as the Council had changed their minds, he did not wish to differ from or combat their decisions, supposing that they had been moved by good reasons and considerations; so for his part he intended to follow their advice and conform, and he begged the lords, who had been called together, to do the same. This they decided to do, and the Duke in person then stood by the herald who made the proclamation, crying out three times in a loud voice that my Lady Mary was Queen of England. This was a marvellous spectacle, for the Duke had his arms in his hands, and must have been mindful of the past, the remorseful memory of which might well have been enough to throw him into despair and cause him to plunge England into a tumult. This over, the Duke sent off the Earl of Warwick and Mr. (i.e. Sir Henry) Sidney, his son-in-law. It is supposed, though not certainly known, that he despatched them to the Queen.
The next day the Mayor of Cambridge received letters from the Queen commanding him to arrest the Duke and guard him well, in obedience to which the Mayor went to the Duke and informed him of his orders. The Duke replied that he was born subject to the law, and desired to obey the law; and from that moment he was a prisoner. It is believed that he will soon be brought hither to the Tower, where he has sacrificed his victims and practised his tyrannical immolations.
On his arrest his troops departed and abandoned him, and nothing more remains to be done but to proceed to the Queen's reception and coronation; for now the Duke is a captive his party is powerless and the hatred borne him by the people has become so manifest that he is only referred to as a traitor to the Crown. Fear has caused his own servants to tear his badge from their arms, in order not to be known as his men; and he is thus denied and abandoned.
In the meantime more has been learned about his intrigues with the French, and it is strongly suspected that he had agreed with the King of France to hand him over Calais, Guines and Ireland, in exchange for which he was to be assisted and recognised, he or his son, as King of England. It is certain that Andrew (fn. 4) Dudley left for France to demand the promised assistance, as we informed your Majesty by our letters, and carried several jewels and rich rings from the Crown treasure to be offered as presents in France. But the Council made such haste that they recalled Dudley, so his commission was not carried out, nor the jewels distributed. News were received to the effect that in accordance with letters from the French ambassador here some ships were being made ready at Dieppe and Boulogne to carry help to the Duke. As he now accuses the Council of having had a hand in everything that was done, it is supposed that we shall hear of great villainy and misdeeds.
The Duchess of Northumberland, Guilford, her son, and the Lady Jane of Suffolk are detained in the Tower as prisoners, and receive sour treatment, somewhat different from that meted out to them during their eight days' reign. Guilford tried to induce his wife to cede her right to the Crown to him, so that he might not only be consort and administrator (administrateur), but king in person, intending to have himself confirmed as such by Parliament. But she refused to do so, and gave him the title of Duke of Clarence, which is reserved for the younger son of the king. He already had himself addressed as “Your Grace” and “Your Excellency,” sat at the head of the Council board, and was served alone. At present the Tower jailor serves him at table, and stands in the stead of his captain of the guard.
We have been assured that when the Duke of Suffolk heard that the Council had decided to confirm Queen Mary in her right, he went to the Lady Jane, who was at supper, and tore down the canopy, saying no more than that it was not for her to use it, for her position permitted her not to do so. When the Lady Jane heard of the Council's determination, she replied that she would give it (i.e. the royal dignity) up as gladly as she had accepted it; she knew that the right belonged to Queen Mary, and the part she had played had been prepared for her without her knowledge. Her father, the Duke, went to the Lord High Treasurer and said to him that as they had been friends in the past, they must remain so in the future, and he hoped the Treasurer would play the part of a friend and obtain the Queen's pardon to save him and his family. The Treasurer answered that he was in the same position as the other, and no surer of his safety; though if he could he would certainly help him.
Yesterday, Courtenay, who was thrown into prison fifteen years ago, was released; and there is much talk here to the effect that he will be married to the Queen as he is of the blood royal. During his captivity he applied himself to all virtuous and praiseworthy studies, so he is very proficient, and is also familiar with various instruments of music. Thus his prison and confinement have not been grievous to him, but have been converted into liberty by his studiousness and taste for letters and science. There is in him a civility which must be deemed natural rather than acquired by the habit of society; and his bodily graces are in proportion to those of his mind. Several people say that the Queen has long since been married to a prisoner (qu'il y a longtemps que ladite Royne seroit mariée à ung captif et prisonnier); we repeat this to your Majesty in order to render you as accurate an account as possible of the present state of opinion here, though we know that there is no truth in the saying.
The Bishop of Winchester had his liberty offered to him; but he did not wish to leave the Tower except by the Queen's authority. In the meantime the Council have conferred with him on affairs, and are adopting his advice.
The Duke of Norfolk, father (fn. 5) of the Deputy Governor of Calais, is not yet out of the Tower, and is awaiting the Queen; but every one who desires to speak with him is allowed to do so.
The Bishop of London, (fn. 6) in a public sermon preached last Sunday, said several lying and infamous things about the Queen in order to rouse up the people. But fearing that this sermon may be remembered against him, he has departed with three or four servants.
It was feared in this place that the Duke's troops, on their return, might cause some disturbance; but the mayor and magistrates have taken measures to avoid this, for they have seized the weapons that were in private hands, reinforced the guard, and are keeping the passages closed.
The Tower is under the command of my Lord Warden and the Lieutenant in the Queen's name.
The Earl of Pembroke had 200 or 300 horse ready to move against the Duke of Northumberland if he had shown himself disobedient and obstinate.
The man whom we sent to the Queen is not back yet, and we are waiting for her to order us to go to her, and to know what offices your Majesty desires us to perform and how we shall hereafter conduct ourselves.
The Lady Elizabeth has written to the Queen to congratulate her on her accession, and to beg her to let her know in what dress she desires to see her when she goes to salute her: whether her garb shall be mourning or not. The Lady Elizabeth will then make further declarations to the Queen by word of mouth.
A good man and true told us yesterday that the Council had heard that your Majesty had in your possession certain letters which had been sent from England to France and intercepted by your Majesty's men, by means of which letters you had been most amply informed of the intrigues carried on by the Duke and Council with the French. On hearing this we remembered that, at the audience given us by the Council, we sought to put in a word calculated to check French intrigues by saying that your Majesty had in your hands letters that had been addressed to France, and also knew from other sources that there had been intrigues. It seemed to us best to mention this matter, in order that, were more to be said about it, your Majesty might know why we had represented it thus (i.e. why we had invented the story of intercepted letters). We are of opinion that the Council have talked about the seizure of letters, and it is openly said here that your Majesty's authority greatly contributed to cause the Council to change their mind. We also believe that no harm was done by the point touching the Queen of Scotland's claim, which we laid before them and which they, as we think, had not considered.
We will not dwell on the joy of the people here, for your Majesty will have heard of it by our last letters. It would be impossible to imagine greater rejoicings than those indulged in because of the proclamation of Queen Mary. For two whole days the bells, which it had been decided to convert into artillery, were rung; and there have been bonfires, public banquets in the streets, and distributions of money. Thus God has turned to nought the will of men and the designs of the French, whose deceitful practices have been converted into smoke. Their desires will not be fulfilled, nor those of the Germans and Italians—by which we mean those who are hostile to your Majesty; for you will be stronger in those countries than before, and your own dominions will also gain. Opinion here is alive to the fact that the French have put themselves in a suspicious position; and we shall see whether the French will appear to put up with this last change, or openly show their discontent. We will inform your Majesty of what we hear.
Sire, the couriers complain that they are unable to obtain enough horses on the road to travel fast; so may it please your Majesty to command that they be provided.
When the above was finished, we received the letters your Majesty was pleased to write to us on the 20th instant. As the dispute over the succession is at an end, it seemed to us that the negotiation we were commanded to undertake by the said letters had ceased to be necessary. Besides, the Council has been suspended until the Queen's arrival and state entry, which we do not know when she will be able to effectuate, because our messenger has not yet returned. When he does come back we will send your Majesty full reports; and in the meantime we will discreetly make known the good news contained in your letters.
London, 22 July, 1553.
Signed by all four ambassadors. Cipher. French. A small fragment, from a copy at Besançon, (Collection Oranvelle, 73), printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
July 24. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: Our last letters will have informed your Majesty how God has favoured the preferment of the Lady Mary to the Crown of England, and how her rivals are diminished, confounded and brought within the reach of the law. Your Majesty may now learn further good news; for my Lady has been proclaimed Queen throughout the kingdom, received and honoured as such without any contradiction or hindrance. The Marquis of Northampton, my Lord Grey, the Admiral, the Earl of Huntingdon, two sons of the Duke of Northumberland, the Bishop of London, and some hundred or six score of the principal supporters of the Duke, who had gone towards the Queen to implore her forgiveness, are prisoners. The Duke is expected to reach London to-day; and it is believed that if he is brought in by daylight the people will not give him leisure to enter his prison at the Tower, but will massacre him, as his crimes deserve.
The mayor and magistrates of this town wrote to her Majesty, begging a general pardon for all those who had supported the Duke. She has delayed to grant it until her arrival in London, which is to take place next Saturday, as we have been told by the messenger whom we had sent to her, and who has now returned.
We have heard that Andrew (i.e. Henry, see p. 113) Dudley was arrested at Calais, and that he was carrying to France rings, church ornaments, ready money and other things to the value of upwards of 100,000 crowns. But as this piece of news does not proceed from a certain source, we are unable to affirm that it is exact.
They tell us that the French are going to conceal their feelings as to the Lady Mary's accession, (fn. 7) and that they have already begun to take steps to induce the Queen to renew and confirm those treaties and conventions formerly existing between the two countries. They clearly see that they would gain nothing by adopting any other attitude for the present.
Sire, my Lady has asked our opinion as to the funeral of the late King of England, and has informed us of her intention to have it performed with the prayers and ceremonies observed by those who practice the old religion. We have therefore sent off this bearer to inform your Majesty of the reply we have addressed to her in writing, a copy of which (fn. 8) is enclosed. Her mind appears to be almost made up, so if your Majesty thinks she had better not put her intentions into execution, you might write to her on the subject, or order us to inform her of your opinion; for we hear from several sources that if she inaugurates her reign in this fashion she will render herself odious and suspect. May it also please your Majesty to order us what course we are to follow in negotiating with the Queen.
We are sending to your Majesty the genealogical tree which you wished to see. It will show your Majesty that, if the Ladies Mary and Elizabeth had been debarred, the Queen of Scotland had a better claim than the Lady Jane or her mother, and might have invoked legitimate reasons in support of her right.
We have been told that the will said to have been made by the late King of England was only signed by the Council after his death, and because of the persuasions of the Duke (of Northumberland). It seems that Thomas Grey, brother of the Duke of Suffolk, said it seemed strange to him that the Lady Jane, and not her mother, had been chosen, and that the Duke of Northumberland thus showed that the object of his ambition was to place the crown on the head of his son, husband to the Lady Jane.
London, 24 July, 1553.
Signed by all four ambassadors. Cipher. French.
July 24. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. Varia, 5. The Ambassadors in England to Mary I.
Madam: On Anthoine Garay's return we heard the three points your Majesty commanded him to declare to us. First, that your Majesty would not disband your forces nor trust the people with whom you now have to do. Second, that you would let us know where you desired us to go to meet your Majesty. Third and most important, that your Majesty intended to have the late King Edward buried according to the ancient ceremonies and prayers for the dead usual among those who practice the old and true religion. Your Majesty had in view your own conscience and the late King's good name, but you desired to learn our opinion. This is the point to which we are now replying, for the two others are already settled, and we shall not move until we receive further orders from your Majesty. As for your forces, we believe that as the Duke of Northumberland and his principal supporters have been arrested and are in your Majesty's power, you would be able to enter London with safety and establish your government though your forces were less numerous, especially as the people appear to us to be devoted to you, and your enemies and rivals have no troops in readiness and are unable to plot against you to any effect. Nevertheless, we believe that your Majesty ought to take all possible precautions, as you are among people so inconstant and easily led astray. We have carefully examined the third point before attempting to reply to it, and it seems to us to deserve very minute consideration, dealing as it does with a matter so important and thorny as religion. Your Majesty's conscience scruples to allow any worldly consideration to cause you to deflect from the path of religion and the true service of God. This state of mind, Madam, is most holy, and one in which it is necessary to persevere to the end for salvation's sake. Yet it seems to us that your Majesty ought to consider the religious state of the country, the difficulties and strife caused by the heretics. Error has found its way not into this country alone, but into Germany, France, Switzerland, and indeed the greater part of Europe has been contaminated. His Imperial Majesty has laboured by means of a General Council, by the use of force, by means of the Interim and by all other means in his power to reduce things once more to their proper condition and set religion its boundaries. But up to the present he has not succeeded, owing partly to the obstinacy of the Lutherans, partly to the reluctance of the heads of the Church and prelates to allow the necessary reforms to take place, lest they lose some parcel of their authority and worldly riches, and partly to the wickedness of the French, who have sought to run counter to all his Majesty's projects, start fighting afresh, involve all Christendom in strife, and even bring in the Turk. Your Majesty may consider that there are many kinds of Lutherans. Some are for liberty pure and simple, like the common people who know nothing of religion or doctrine, partly because of their simplicity, and partly because these things have never been properly explained to them. Others are Lutherans out of stiff-neckedness and obstinacy; others because they wish to keep the Church property of which they have got possession; others because they trust to an interpretation of the Scriptures, so evil that they are unable to agree about it among themselves, but are always at variance; and others for fear of the edicts and ordinances published in this realm on the subject. This misbelief has been growing and progressing for a long time, and has become difficult to be corrected because many have been educated in it from youth up. Your Majesty is not unaware that a multitude of foreigners, Frenchmen, Flemings, Germans and others have taken refuge in this kingdom, and that most of them had been banished and hounded out by Christian princes and Christian justice. To all this must be added the efforts recently made by these folk to debar your Majesty from the Crown, to which you have a lawful and hereditary right, the deceit committed over the King's will, their choice of the Lady Jane of Suffolk, and the fact that they caused it to be published abroad in writing that if your Majesty came to the throne you would wish to alter religion to the hurt of their consciences, marry a foreigner, change the government and ancient laws of the kingdom and introduce new customs and administration. One must also not forget that most of them are not yet too much devoted to your Majesty, and that they are factious, some being French, others Imperialist partisans. French intrigues probably went far, though, thank God, they ended in smoke; and there are many people who would ask no better than to be able to excite the people, and divert the affection they know the people to bear to your Majesty, in order to lay obstacles in your path, breed disturbances in the land and throw all things once more into confusion.
Your Majesty will know that his Imperial Majesty ordered us to endeavour to efface the Council's suspicions by assuring them, as assure them we did, that they were wholly mistaken in believing his Majesty to desire a foreign marriage for you, or to wish you to make any innovations, for his Majesty thought it better to leave such questions to the discretion of Parliament, and had always desired the peace and tranquillity of the kingdom. Now if your Majesty were to set about ordering religion by means of the late King's funeral, you would furnish the Council with an opportunity for saying that his Majesty's words had been disproved by events.
It has also occurred to us that the ceremonies observed at funerals touch religion less nearly than others, and therefore are less objectionable to conscience. Moreover, the King died professing the new religion, so the ceremonies used at his burial must be judged superfluous. (fn. 9) When the time comes to deal with religion it will be possible to choose another opportunity, and Parliament might legislate on the subject, guided by theologians, prelates, churchmen and other persons of quality appointed by your Majesty. But to wish to hurry this difficult matter might easily retard a happy solution of the problem instead of advancing it. We will make no mention of several other considerations for the present, but will declare them to your Majesty when it shall please you to summon us. In fine we cannot advise your Majesty to put your plan into prompt execution, and all the less because the Duke of Northumberland and his adherents are still alive. Unless your Majesty's mind is definitely made up, we are of opinion that it would be better to delay the funeral for a time, though we submit entirely to the decision of your better judgment.
Duplicate. Cipher. French.
Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays—Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
July 27. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: Since our last letters nothing has happened deserving an immediate report, but as your Majesty desires to have detailed accounts of all occurrences we wish not to omit to tell you that on the day of St. James (i.e. July 25th) the Duke of Northumberland and three of his sons; the Earl (i.e. Viscount) Hastings, son of the Earl of Huntingdon; the late King Edward's captain of the guard (fn. 10); the Duke's chaplain (fn. 11); (Sir Thomas) Palmer and several others were brought into this place and imprisoned in the Tower. Before them rode four ensigns (guidons) leading a force of cavalry, archers and men-at-arms, all mounted and equipped in the English fashion, as we are able to bear witness, having see it with our own eyes. Armed men were posted all along the streets to prevent the people, greatly excited as they were, from falling upon the Duke, who was made to take off his scarlet cloak at the city gate. From the moment he entered the city, his cap was always in his hand, by which it may be supposed he wished to move the people and his friends to pity, but notwithstanding his courtesy the people cried out upon him at several points calling him a traitor to the Crown. A dreadful sight it was, and a strange mutation, for those who, a few days before, had seen the Duke enter London Tower with great pomp and magnificence when the Lady Jane went there to take possession, and now saw him led like a criminal and dubbed traitor, and escorted by the Earl of Arundel and my Lord Grey, whose heads he wished to have cut off less than a year since. Though on his way to the Tower the Duke preserved a calm countenance (tint bonne myne), when he reached his prison they say his only care was to have nobles to judge him, as is the custom in England, and that his remorse and evil conscience were astonishing. His younger son wept when he was near the Tower.
On the next day the Marquis of Northampton, with another of the Duke's sons, the Bishop of London and several other gentlemen were brought into the Tower in the same manner. So now the Duke, his wife and five sons, his principal followers and the Lady Jane are all prisoners together, and the Tower has been placed by the Queen under the command of an old captain called Darcy. (fn. 12)
The Queen has pardoned the Admiral and my Lord Grey, and has shown the Earl of Arundel favour in giving into his custody the Earl (i.e. Viscount) Hastings. In this beginning Arundel and Paget are carrying on the government, until the Queen reaches London, where she is expected to arrive next week, though on what day is as yet uncertain, for she is now engaged in disposing her army, a part of which she has disbanded, keeping three or four thousand men to guard her on her way to London. To these may be added some seven or eight hundred horse levied by a lord (fn. 13) of the West, in the quarter called Cornwall, for her service, and who passed through this place yesterday on their way to meet her Majesty.
The Bishop of Winchester has sent word to the Marquis of Northampton's wife to quit the lodging given to the Marquis by the late King, which she has done. He has also intimated to the Earl of Pembroke that he is to give him back certain revenues that proceed from the cathedral church of Winchester; but we have not heard what reply he has had, and several persons consider this unwise, and too hasty, for the matter is a ticklish (chastilleux) one, especially where church property is concerned. Several preachers, certain Scotsmen in particular, have preached scandalous things of late to rouse up the people, going so far as to say that men should see Antichrist come again to life, and popery in the land.
We have received the letters your Majesty was pleased to write to us on the 22nd instant, in accordance with which we will depart to-morrow and proceed to her Majesty at Beaulieu (i.e. New Hall), 28 miles from this place. She is to be there the same day, and we will perform the offices as commanded by your Majesty, and will send you ample information as to her replies, together with what messages she shall entrust to us.
London, 27 July, 1553.
Signed by all four ambassadors. French.
July 27. Simancas, E. 1321. Francisco de Vargas to Prince Philip.
I wrote to you Highness on the 17th, and you may see further news from the copy of my letters to his Majesty. The King of England died on the 7th (fn. 14) instant, of poison administered to him, as it is believed, by the Earl of Warwick, his Protector, who had grown into a tyrant. Having the King in his power, he caused him to make a will, setting aside the Princess Mary on religious grounds, saying she was a papist, and also debarring Catherine, the second daughter, asserting her to be a bastard because her father, Henry VIII, married her mother, Anne, during the lifetime of Queen Catherine, mother of the Princess. Thus he made the King reverse his father's will, and appoint as his successor his (i.e. Northumberland's) daughter-in-law, the wife of his third son, who is the eldest daughter of Jane, sister of the said Henry VIII, and daughter of Henry VII. Before the King died, the Council were brought into his presence and, not daring to do otherwise, swore allegiance to her who had been appointed by will to succeed. Immediately after the King's death, he (i.e. Northumberland) fetched her out as Queen, and made her take possession of the Tower of London and go through the usual ceremonies; for the Earl (i.e. Northumberland) had all the troops in his hands, and had obtained the support of many other persons to carry out his designs. Seeing this, the Princess Mary departed from London in the direction of her principality, accompanied, according to information received here by the Seignory, by 6,000 men; and others write that the people have proclaimed her Queen, and that the Earl's (i.e. Northumberland's) faction is fighting against the popular will. Those who write from France talk after their usual fashion; and as the Earl (i.e. Northumberland) is asking for help from the King of France, he would naturally make out his enterprise to be going well; and he says that he has sent after the Princess and will take her. If the people are as steadfast in the Princess' cause as they are favourable to her at heart, there is no doubt that she will prevail, especially as she enjoys his (Imperial) Majesty's favour. Much good would be the result, and religion would be restored in England. God grant her success, for the matter is of great importance! I will inform your Highness of any further news I may hear. It is considered a marvel that the Earl (i.e. Northumberland) did not seize the Lady Mary or have her put to death, for it would have been very easy for him to do so, as she was in London, in the King's palace. It is believed that the Council would not consent, and that the Earl (i.e. Northumberland) did not dare to harm her for fear of causing an outburst fatal to his designs.
Venice, 27 July, 1553.
Signed. Spanish.
July 29. Besançon, Collection Granvelle, 73. The Emperor to his Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of the 22nd and 24th instant, and seen the copy of the reply you sent to the message of our good sister and cousin, the Queen of England. We must first of all thank God that her affairs are progressing so well on her accession to the throne, and that the prime movers of the plot aimed against her have fallen into her hands.
Although these men and all their supporters have gravely offended, yet we desire you to take an early opportunity of exhorting our cousin, on our behalf, to begin her reign by punishing the most guilty and those who may give further trouble, but to be merciful to the rest as far as she is able to do so without endangering her position, showing herself to be magnanimous in this and all other matters. For God's sake let her moderate the lust of vengeance that probably burns in her supporters who have received injuries from the other party! These persons will be likely to exhort her to be very severe, which might give the people cause for unrest and discontent, and throw all who are in any way to blame, and whose consciences are not at rest, into despair. Our cousin's great prudence will tell her that the results might be most regrettable.
You did very well to advise the Queen not to have the late King's obsequies celebrated as she intended. She may leave the matter alone with a quiet conscience, because, as you wrote to her, the King died after having professed to his very end the erroneous opinions in which he had been brought up; and therefore one must scruple to have him buried with the rites of our ancient religion. And you did well to use that argument in your letters to the Queen.
As for the re-establishment of religion in England, you may tell the Queen that we greatly praise her zeal and desire to do her duty in that respect and to show her gratitude to God for the success He has given her, but that we cannot refrain from pointing out to her the difficulties that are certain to beset her path at the beginning. It is to be feared that her principal supporters, many of whom are reported to be among the erring, might declare against her, and she would probably have to encounter the opposition of most of the Council and the people, though they are now favourable to her; for especially in London and its neighbourhood the preaching of false doctrine has seduced them. As we are ignorant of her intentions, and do not know whether she is strong enough to put them into execution, nor whether she means to undertake the task on her own account or consult Parliament on the matter in order to enjoy the support of its authority, we are unable to give her any definite advice. But she will do well to impart her plans to those men whom she is best able to trust, who are familiar with public affairs in England and know how much the country will stand at this juncture. If, after she has heard their opinion, she will tell us what she intends to do, we, who bear her an affection and love that is more than paternal, will let her know our own view.
We would also like to know what she means to do with regard to the convocation of Parliament, which many persons think ought to be her first step in order to have her title confirmed, gain the goodwill of the members, and make it clear that she wishes to govern the country as her forbears governed it, leaving Parliament in the exercise of its customary authority. She had better examine the advisability of this measure with the help of Englishmen, and decide whether it will be well to summon all the Estates to Parliament, and not merely certain private members (députez particuliers), which practice we hear was lately introduced by the Duke of Northumberland, in order the more easily to obtain what he wanted. It is to be hoped that if she summons members from the North Country and Cornwall, as these districts have remained more steadfast in religion and have shown her, personally, great affection, she will find in them support to enable her to do as she pleases.
Brussels, 29 July, 1553.
Signed, Charles; countersigned, Bave. French. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV. In Vienna (E. 21) is the original minute, together with an alternative minute, rejected by the Emperor, in which the danger of over-haste in restoring religion is stated in still plainer, in fact almost brutal terms.
July 29. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E.20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: While we were on our way to meet the Queen of England at this place, whither we were going to congratulate her on her accession, and perform the offices ordered in your Majesty's letters, the Queen sent a special messenger to beg us to make haste and press on to our destination this same day. Although the hour was late and the way long, we were urged on by our desire to execute your Majesty's pressing commands, and arrived here between ten o'clock and midnight. We found the Earl of Arundel, my Lord Paget, the Privy Seal and the greater part of her Majesty's Council. After we had saluted her and kissed her hands, we did not go into any details about our letters of credence from your Majesty, because we thought we had better utter our declaration concerning them in the presence of the Council, so as to avoid making them suspicious; and we hope to have an opportunity of doing so to-morrow, thereby showing the goodwill and sincere affection your Majesty bears this kingdom. The Queen then told us that she had sent to hurry us on because of the receipt of letters from the Deputy Governor of Calais (i.e. Lord William Howard), brother of the Duke of Norfolk, by which he informed the Queen that he had arrested Henry Dudley, cousin of the Duke of Northumberland, who was on his way back from France with letters from the King for the Lady Jane of Suffolk, whom he styled Queen of England, and letters from the Constable to the Deputy Governor, the substance of which your Majesty may see from the copy (fn. 15) enclosed. It is not yet known what the other letters may contain, because Dudley had not been examined or questioned, and had only been arrested two days. The Queen intends to have him brought over to England in order to hear the rest. However, the Constable's letters are very definite; the Queen tells us she received letters two days ago from her ambassadors in France in which nothing was said about this matter; and she fears further developments before Dudley is examined. Moreover, she has heard that the Constable was really at Amiens on the date on which his letter was written, that he was raising troops, and that under colour of protecting French territory that might be attacked by your Majesty's army, the force was really being levied for another purpose. The Queen is as yet inexperienced in the conduct of public affairs in England; she has found no money for current expenses; she hears that the towns of Calais, Guines and Hames are unprovided, and that the soldiers are dissatisfied because they have not been paid for some time past; and she suspects that the Duke of Northumberland may have intrigued with the soldiers or their officers, especially as he recalled my Lord Grey, captain of Guines. For many a long year Calais has been considered to be the key of France, so her Majesty desires us to inform your Majesty of the above, in order that if the plot goes further, she may have the benefit of your Majesty's help and advice. She thinks this may not be very difficult, as your Majesty's camp is not far distant from the said places; and she will talk over the measures she will be able to take with us to-morrow. We are, nevertheless, sending off the present bearer in haste with these news, without awaiting her Majesty's more definite decisions, for the matter seems to us to be pressing, and to afford your Majesty an opportunity of showing that your close relation with the Queen redoubles your desire to be of service to England. As soon as we have heard more, we will report to your Majesty, and we trust you will forestall any possible action on the part of the French, thereby proving the truth of the words you have commanded us to utter before the Queen, and above all prevent Calais and Guines from falling into French hands. Dudley is the same man whom we reported to have been arrested before he was able to gain France, but the fact that he now has letters of the King of France on him shows that the report was false, and that he has been in France, though we have no confirmation that he took rings, jewels or money to that country.
We have written to the Prince of Piedmont, giving him the above news, in order that he may watch the Constable's movements and be warned of his plans. And we thought it best for your Majesty's service to send him a copy of the Constable's letter.
The Duchess of Northumberland has been let out of prison sooner than was expected, and set out to meet the Queen to move her to compassion towards her children; but when she had arrived at a spot five miles from this place, the Queen ordered her to return to London, and refused to give her audience. We passed her on our way hither.
Beaulieu (New Hall), 29 July, 1553.
Signed by all four ambassadors. Cipher. French.
July 29. Brussels, L.A. 64. The Ambassadors in England to the Prince of Piedmont.
We believe your Excellency to have been informed of our mission, of the death of the late King Edward, and of the plot devised by the Duke of Northumberland to place on the throne the daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, called Jane, wife of Northumberland's son, Guilford. The Lady Mary, now Queen, opposed this settlement and has been proclaimed true and lawful Queen. The Duke of Northumberland, his five sons and principal supporters are in prison, and his forces disbanded and scattered. This, as your Excellency well knows, is a great advantage for his Imperial Majesty's dominions, which will certainly benefit by the close relationship that binds his Majesty to the Queen. Her Majesty has now shown us letters from the Constable of France to the Deputy Governor of Calais, and informed us that the Duke of Northumberland had been intriguing for help with the King of France, wherefore she fears that the French army may march on Calais and Guines, and that there may be some secret understanding, of the exact nature of which she is as yet unaware, because Henry Dudley, who was carrying letters of credence to the said Jane of Suffolk, calling her Queen of England, has not yet been examined. She desired us to write to his Majesty, and we have done so; but as this matter is of importance to his Majesty's dominions as well as to England, and your Excellency had better be informed of it, we are also reporting it to you and sending you a copy of the Constable's letters. Your Excellency may make such use as you shall see fit of these news, which may help you to understand the plans formed by the French. We believe that the failure and fall of Northumberland, and other events not yet heard of by the King of France when he wrote the said letters of credence, may well be enough to dissuade him from putting the plan into execution, especially as his Imperial Majesty's camp is so near; but we are letting your Excellency know in order to leave nothing to chance, for the discharge of our duty towards his Majesty, and out of our desire to fulfil our private obligations towards your Excellency.
New Hall, 29 July, 1553.
Copy. French.
July 29. Simancas, E. 99. Don Diego de Carvajal to Prince Philip.
Don Diego informs Prince Philip that two Englishmen, well known in the province of Guipúzcoa, have just arrived from England with the news that Edward VI died on July 6th, and that the kingdom is being governed by the Princess Mary and the Duke of Suffolk. There follow news of the fighting round Hesdin, and of French preparations for carrying on the war.
Fuenterrabía, 29 July, 1553.
Holograph. Spanish.
July 30. Simancas, E. 807. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
My son: I have received a letter from you by Don Diego de Acevedo; the one you wrote to me since, on your departure from Madrid, I received three days ago; and some time before that the Portuguese courier, Del Bosque, brought another. They all gave me great pleasure, and I rejoiced to hear that you were well and removing to Valladolid for the reasons you mentioned. I am now awaiting your reply on the affairs about which I have written to you, and especially your decision about coming hither; for you will already have seen what can be done in the way of money supplies, on which all depends. Until I hear from yon there is nothing more to say about that or your marriage, especially as I am waiting to see what news Ruy Gomez (fn. 16) brings back from Portugal. Still, as you yourself say, I believe they (i.e. the Portuguese) will make shift to create further delays, judging by the reply they gave the Queen's (fn. 17) secretary, and their usual way of conducting affairs.
On the death of the King of England, Our Lord guided events in such fashion that, though our cousin was confronted by many difficulties, she has now had allegiance sworn to her as rightful Queen, and the Duke of Northumberland, who was ruling the country, is a prisoner. These occurrences have given me great pleasure, for I am glad to see our cousin in the place that is hers by right, and I hope that her prudence will enable her to restore religious matters. At the present moment nothing happier could have taken place from the point of view of these dominions and their relations with France. Although I believe that the English will do all in their power to prevent our cousin from wedding a foreigner, her discretion and tact (buena manera) may render it possible, directly or indirectly, to propose once more a match which was talked of many years ago, and which several considerations might recommend to her as a wise choice. (fn. 18) I am sure that if the English made up their minds to accept a foreigner, they would more readily support me than any other, for they have always shown a liking for me. But I assure you that the hope of winning many other and more important states would not avail to move me from my intentions, which are in the opposite direction. As it is well to consider all things, it has occurred to me that if they were to make a proposal to me we might delay in such a manner as to suggest to their minds the possibility of approaching you. The advantages of this course are so obvious that it is unnecessary to go into them, and we need only consider that negotiations have already been opened with the Infanta Doña Maria (of Portugal). You write to me that more delays are to be looked for, but as I do not know what reply Ruy Gomez will have brought, or how far the negotiations have gone, I am only mentioning the above possibility to you in order that you may consider it and let me know your opinion, according to which the course of action that most recommends itself to you may be followed. And you will keep the matter a close secret.
I am well, God be praised! I shall soon send off Don Diego (de Acevedo), and in the meantime the courier, whom you intended to despatch on arriving at Valladolid, may come and enable me to reach a decision on the affairs included in the letters he brings, and on others that I have as yet been unable to deal with. I am sending you a copy of a letter written to me by the Queen about the Queen, my sister's, (fn. 19) confession; you will try to put into execution the suggestions contained in my reply, and inform me of the result, about which I am anxious. It is said here that Don Antonio de Mendoza is dead; if it is true you will see to filling his post and send me a list of suitable persons, with your opinion. I have commanded Don Francisco (fn. 20) to return to Spain, and he will start with Don Diego.
Brussels, 30 July, 1553.
Decipherment or copy. Spanish.
July 31. Brussels, L.A. 64. The Queen Dowager to the Prince of Piedmont.
In reply to a letter from the Prince of Piedmont, asking whether he shall send some one to congratulate the Queen of England (Mary) on her accession, the Queen Dowager replies that she will ask the Emperor, and communicate his decision to the Prince.
Minute. French.


  • 1. I have failed to find this letter.
  • 2. Orazio Farnese had already died of his wounds when these words were written.
  • 3. Rabutin, in his account of the taking of Hesdin (printed by Michaud end Poujoulat, Vol VII), speaks of Count de Villars, but makes no mention of de Nelle.
  • 4. The Dudley who sued for help in France was certainly Sir Henry, Northumberland's distant cousin, for he was arrested at Calais on his way back (Council Book, 1552–1554, p. 315; and the Imperial ambassador's letter of July 29th). But the ambassadors also thought, at one time, that Sir Andrew, Northumberland's brother, had gone, taking some of the Crown jewels with him. The rumour may have originated in a casket of jewels, his own property, which Sir Andrew had entrusted to Mr. Sturton, Keeper of the Palace at Westminster (Council Book, p. 310). At his trial, Sir Andrew asked that these jewels might be given to his family; see the ambassadors to the Emperor, August 27th.
  • 5. Thomas, third Duke of Norfolk, was an elder brother of Lord William Howard, Deputy Governor of Calais.
  • 6. Nicholas Ridley.
  • 7. As soon as the Council had proclaimed Mary, Noailles began to write praises of her to his master, saying that he knew that Henry II would rather see her Queen than Jane. See the Mémoires, II, 91.
  • 8. See the following paper.
  • 9. As the King died outside the communion of the churoh his soul, from the Catholic standpoint, was irrevocably damned, and prayers would be of no assistance to him.
  • 10. Sir John Gates.
  • 11. Dr. Sandys, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge.
  • 12. This is a mistake, Lord Darcy of Chiche was told to keep his house and lost his office. Sir John Bridges was appointed Lieutenant of the Tower at about this time, (Council Book, 1552–1554
  • 13. Sir Peter Carew.
  • 14. This letter is a marvel of inaccuracy. From the date given as that of Edward's death, each piece of Vargas' information is wrong. See pp. 72–75, sqq
  • 15. This copy is in the same bundle. The Constable, whose letter to Lord William Howard is dated from Amiens, on July 24th, says that his master, the King of France, has heard that there is dissension in England, and, anxious as he is to protect England from the designs of scheming foreigners, the King has commanded him to offer his help to Lord William to keep such foreigners out of Calais, or England itself.
  • 16. Ruy Gomez de Silva, the favourite of Philip II. Of Portuguese origin, he married Doña Ana de Mendoza, daughter of the Duke of Francavilla, and became Count of Mélito, Prince of Eboli and Duke of Pastrana.
  • 17. i.e. Eleanor, Queen Dowager of France, whose first husband was Emmanuel I, King of Portugal. She was the mother of Philip's proposed bride.
  • 18. The Emperor had agreed to marry Mary, by a treaty passed in 1522.
  • 19. Philip's reply to this letter, dated August 22nd (q.v.), makes it appear probable that “my” is a slip for “your” and that Philip's sister Maria is meant. Her husband, Maximilian of Bohemia, was of far from irreproachable orthodoxy.
  • 20. Philip's letter of August 22nd (q.v.) shows that the person here referred to is Don Francisco de Mendoza.