Spain: August 1553, 6-10

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

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'Spain: August 1553, 6-10', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 150-162. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

August 1553, 6–10

Aug. 6. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: The Queen of England made her entry into this city of London on the 3rd of this month, and took possession of her kingdom. She was escorted by the nobility in great numbers; over a thousand men-at-arms, mounted and on foot, followed her train in their accoutrements of war, besides her body-guard. We took part in the ceremony as your Majesty's ambassadors; the Venetian ambassador was there too; but not the ambassador of the King of France. The Earl of Arundel carried the sword of state. The Earls of Pembroke and Shrewsbury, and the Treasurer, Lord St. John by name (fn. 1), went to beg the Queen's pardon on the day before the entry. She reproached them for having been adverse to her, and for having plotted and committed divers things against her that were neither honourable nor just, and offences against righteousness and God's law. She would not grant them her pardon at once, but yielded so far to their importunities that she allowed them to kiss her hands. Such is her kindness and humanity; she is magnanimous indeed, and inclined to mercy and clemency. The two earls and the Treasurer were present at the entry; and the Earl of Pembroke's countenance expressed sadness and visible regret. We have been informed that Chamberlain, (fn. 2) before he was arrested at his house, used to see him very often. The Queen has decided to admit the Earl of Pembroke and the said Lord Treasurer to her Council, so as to learn from them the secrets of state, to sweep away evil influences in this the beginning of her reign and win them over to her side as good vassals and subjects. The joy of the people is hardly credible, Sire, and the public demonstrations made at the entry have never had their equal in this kingdom. The Queen's demeanour, her gracious modesty, more divine than human, did but enhance them; the benign words of her reply to the people must turn their inclinations towards the path of willing sacrifice. Her look, her manner, her gestures, her countenance were such that in no event could they have been improved. She was dressed in violet velvet, her skirts and sleeves embroidered in gold; her face is more than middling-fair; her equipage was regal. She was followed by my Lady Elizabeth, her sister, whom she has welcomed with great warmth, even to kissing all her ladies. The Lady Elizabeth came to Court with a goodly company of mounted men, and well-accoutred. Her estate has been increased since the Queen's accession. We will forbear from describing the sounds of bells, so long disused, the thunder of the artillery from the castle, and other incidents which your Majesty can easily guess. We will add that a scaffolding was erected at the town gate, where about one hundred poor little children were placed, all dressed in blue, with red caps upon their heads. They were given to the Queen to nourish and care for them, the eldest not being over twelve or fourteen. One of them addressed a prayer to her Majesty that she might take them under her care, such, they say, being the custom in England at the royal entries. Sire, the Queen accomplished two regal acts: she was proclaimed, and took possession; the third, remaining, is the coronation, which will take place as soon as the necessary preparations can be made.
Sire: the French ambassador requested to be granted an audience, and proffered his request insistently. We saw the letters written by him and by the Constable, and examined with more leisure their plottings and understanding with the Duke of Northumberland, taking cognisance of the resentment they feel that Jane of Suffolk has been overthrown. We inferred that he was suing for an audience without being furnished with fresh letters from the King of France, and without renewal of his charge as ambassador, and that his object was to excuse himself from appearing at the entry so as to give proof to those who were partisans of France that the King did not approve the Queen's accession, and was still willing to carry on his intrigues, in the deceitful and false manner usual in the French.
We advised her Majesty to ask him if he had letters from the King, his master. She did so. The ambassador appeared to be astonished, but had to confess that he had none, nor had his charge been renewed; but he was expecting from day to day news of the arrival of two personages who would provide for every contingency, these two personages being M. de Gyé and the Bishop of Orleans. The ambassador was accompanied by M. d'Oisel, the King of France's lieutenant in Scotland. He entered into considerations respecting the continuance of good amity and friendly relations. The Queen replied that it was her wish to reciprocate. The ambassador replied that he had had some doubts because of her relationship to your Majesty; but that the King would be pleased to learn her intentions. On the 4th the ambassador sent his secretary to the Queen to ask for audience and to take his excuses for not having been present at the entry; saying he had received a packet from the King and had set about deciphering it so as to hasten the time of his audience. However, he was seen observing the entry from a window; and deceptions of the kind are not much use, especially as his temper is well known. He thought to please the partisans of the King, but the King's service will be little advanced by the device- We will inform your Majesty of what he may have advanced or negotiated at the audience if we are able to find out.
On the day of the entry the Bishop of Winchester, the Duke of Norfolk, Courtenay and the late Protector Somerset's wife presented themselves before the Queen to ask for her pardon and their full liberty. She replied that they had done nothing for which they should sue for mercy, and she was sorry that they should have suffered and been detained so long. She gave her full consent to their liberation.
The accusations against the Duke are being made out with all possible diligence, and inquiries are being conducted into the nature of the late King Edward's illness. It is found that his big toes dropped off, and that he was poisoned.
The Queen is sending my Lord Warden (fn. 3) to your Majesty, to visit you and discharge the mission entrusted to him. She desires us to forward Sue enclosed packet to your Majesty, so that it may reach you before his arrival, as she did not wish to trust everything to the said gentleman, although he professes and has always professed to be a devoted Imperialist. Her Majesty is recalling Sir Philip Hoby and Sir Richard Morison, and confirming the Bishop of Norwich (Thirlby) in his post. She is recalling Pickering (fn. 4) from France, and ordering that St Leger shall continue to reside there.
London, 6 August, 1553.
Signed by the four ambassadors. Cipher. French.
Aug. 7. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. Mary I to the Emperor. (fn. 5)
My Lord: I have heard of the mission on which you sent your ambassadors hither, the good offices which they performed during the opposition and troubles that were suscitated against me to deprive me of the succession to the Crown, and the good memory you had of my necessities, both in equipping men-of-war to come to my assistance, and in your negotiations with the ambassadors of my late brother Edward, to whom may God give His peace. I have heard of your Majesty's satisfaction at my accession to the Crown, and your ambassadors expressed your congratulations and transmitted to me your exhortations and counsels to guide me in my conduct and in the administration of this kingdom, and professions of love and goodwill towards me and the kingdom, of which I have received a testimony both by the written letters and by the declaration of the charge they contained, especially as by so doing your Majesty has forestalled me in the duty which it pertained to me to accomplish first. I thank your Majesty most humbly, and beg you to hold me excused, and not impute my delay to ingratitude or forgetfulness, but rather to the great troubles, changes and disorders I have had to meet at the beginning of the reign to which God has been pleased to call me; these being such as you will have heard from your ambassadors, and so great that I cannot describe them now. May it please your Majesty to continue in your goodwill towards me, and I will correspond in every way which it may please your Majesty to command, thus fulfilling my duty as your good and obedient cousin. I hope to despatch my Lord Warden to your Majesty to-day, to present my excuses, repeat my humble recommendations to you verbally, visit your Majesty on my behalf, learn news of your good health, and offer to continue in good neighbourliness with your kingdoms and states, recommending to you my affairs and kingdom, as your Majesty is willing to take this much trouble; and finally to declare to your Majesty that which he is charged to say, recommending me very humbly to your Majesty's good grace.
I pray the Creator to give to your Majesty the entire fulfilment of your most noble and virtuous desires.
The Tower of London, 7 August, 1553.
French. Holograph. Signed.
Aug. 7. Besançon, C.G. 73. Simon Renard to the Bishop of Arras.
My Lord: I have up to the present been unable to communicate with the Queen, which I had intended to do on receiving his Majesty's letters of the 29th (July), as my colleagues had deputed me for that purpose. However, it has been impossible because the gates of the Tower of London, where she is lodged, are so closely guarded that it is impossible to pass unrecognised. She sent word to ask me whether I could not disguise myself with the help of a cloak; but it seemed to me better and safer to wait until she goes to Richmond, and in the meantime she will dispatch business and will then have more freedom. I had meant to broach marriage and the pardon she has granted Courtenay, which I would have traced to his Majesty's letters in which he advises her to be clement. I would also have spoken about the public rumour according to which she is going to marry Courtenay, in order to find out whether she is inclined to an English match, which does not seem to me likely, because she does not trust this nation and knows it to be variable, inconstant and treacherous. Also Courtenay is too young and of too indifferent fortune, and I have observed that she is great-hearted, proud and magnanimous. If she married an Englishman, and had children, her posterity would not have as much renown as if her husband were a foreign prince capable of assisting and protecting her. And as it is generally believed over here that my lord, our Prince, is married to the Portuguese princess, and that Ruy Gomez went to Portugal on that errand, I had decided to lead the conversation towards the Prince and tell her that I had informed him of her accession, which would be good news in his ears and in all Spain's, then mention that he is not yet married and that the rumour spread in England by Spanish merchants is false, and, as if of myself, try to put her into a marrying humour. If this could be done, she would succeed better than anyone else in persuading her Council and inducing them to make a proposal. However, my Lord, as you will have an opportunity of advising me before I have an opportunity of speaking with her, I will not hurry, but will wait to hear from you.
Paget talked with me the day of the Queen's entry, and after various remarks said that it would be the finest match in the world, but that the time had not yet come to speak of it. I replied in such a way as not to make him suppose it had been thought of on our side.
The next time I meet him I will open the same conversation in order to find out from him why he mentioned the match to me. As far as I understand the situation here, together with (fn. 6) . . . the Bishop of Winchester, Paget and the Queen's Controller, (fn. 7) I shall easily be able to induce the rest to consent to a foreign marriage. . . .
The end of the letter is missing. Holograph. French. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
Aug. 8. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. Mary I to the Emperor.
Most high, noble and mighty Prince: We have heard from your ambassadors your great pleasure and satisfaction that by God's goodness and design we have come to the enjoyment of our rights; and we cannot thank you lovingly and cordially enough for this manifestation of your particular and perfect friendship for us. We have thought well to declare to you that the desire nearest to our hearts is to reciprocate your amity and continue and foster it by all the means we shall be able to devise. We are sending Sir Thomas Cheyne, Knight of the Order, Treasurer of our Household, and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, to express our thanks more fully for the good offices of friendship you have done for us; and we have charged him to relate to you in detail the happy issue which it has pleased God to give to our affairs, and to make certain declarations to you on our behalf. We beseech you affectionately to give him faith as you would to our own person.
London, 8 August, 1553.
French. Signed.
Aug. 8. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. Mary I to the Emperor.
We have determined to recall to us our faithful and well-beloved Councillors, Master Hoby, Knight, Master of our Artillery, and Master Morison, Knight, to employ them in some service about our person. It has seemed well to us to confer the charge of ambassador resident at your Court on our very faithful and well-beloved Councillor, the Bishop of Norwich; and we beseech you, most high and mighty prince, our very dear and well-beloved good brother and cousin, to receive him as such, and during the period of his mission to hear with benignity whatever he may have to say and declare on our behalf, giving him credence as you would to our own person.
London, 8 August, 1553.
French. Signed.
Aug. 8. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: On the 5th of this month the Queen of England gave us audience in the presence of certain members of her Council, and we declared to her your Majesty's intention to lend her aid if the French were to try to carry out the designs they had formed concerning Guines and Calais, and were, by the display of force, to call forth the need for assistance. The Queen was very happy to hear of your Majesty's goodwill, whereby her Councillors and her kingdom might know that she was a confederate of your Majesty, and the kingdom would receive aid. She enjoined upon us to thank your Majesty most affectionately for the goodwill and memory that you had manifested by your deeds, and as the Lord Warden was about to be despatched to your Majesty he would express more fully, on the part of the Queen and her kingdom, their thanks and desire to continue in good amity and mutual intelligence. It was not possible to refer to the points contained in your Majesty's letters of the 29th of last month, because of (the presence of) her Councillors; so the matter was put off to the first occasion that might present itself, especially as there is no need for haste, for she is more merciful than she need be towards those who are now in prison. It is greatly to be feared that the impunity bestowed by her clemency may turn to her own hurt and give occasion for evil-doing. Indeed, it seems to be necessary rather to encourage her to have justice done than to temper the rigour of punishment; for fearing that the Duke of Northumberland might fall a prey to despair in his prison, she thought that a priest should be sent to comfort him: so far removed is she from thoughts of vengeance.
The obsequies of the late King Edward will be carried out as the Council shall decide. The Queen will not be present, but will have a plain office sung at the castle (i.e. the Tower), beginning to-day at vespers. This is done with the consent and approval of the Council, and mass is to be said henceforth every day in the chapel of the castle, and in such places as she may find herself in, though no proclamation is to be made concerning the liberty to hear mass, and the remedy of religious matters, by means of the Parliament or otherwise, is to wait for the sanction of time. The Bishop of Winchester will officiate, as we have been informed. The body is to be buried to-morrow. The difficulty foreseen in your Majesty's letters, that would attend any undue haste on her part in matters of religion, has been by mature consideration examined and disposed of, with the object of avoiding the said difficulties and dangers and so encompass eventually a better and more complete reform.
As to the last point mentioned in your Majesty's letters, namely, the assembling of Parliament, it cannot take place as soon as your Majesty would wish, but must wait until the coronation is over, and justice has been meted out to the prisoners. We understand that the coronation cannot take place before five or six weeks from now. Nevertheless we will take the first opportunity to declare to the Queen the contents of the said letters.
The French ambassador had audience of the Queen on the 6th of this month. He presented his letters of credence which were only four lines long and simply accredited him for his charge, which consisted of two points. The first was a complaint against the Deputy-Governor of Calais, (fn. 8) and certain letters which he had written in reply to others received by him from the Constable. The ambassador expressed the King's surprise that the Deputy-Governor should have shown so much arrogance, and said he was unable to suppose or believe that he had so conducted himself with the Queen's knowledge and consent; wishing to cover in this manner the insidiousness and fraud contained in the Constable's letters, and get his intentions interpreted in a good sense. The second was a request for English vessels to convoy and escort the Bishop of Orleans and M. de Gyé, who are being sent on an embassy to visit the Queen, safely across to England. The Queen referred the ambassador to the Council for his answer; and we have not yet heard what manner of answer he was given. There is a rumour to the effect that the Queen of Scots will have herself proclaimed Queen of England, claiming a right to the Crown in virtue of the published exclusion of Queen Mary and the Lady Elizabeth. Such a publication could not be made unless it were to be supported by an armed intervention, and knowing the condition of affairs in France we hold the rumour to be unfounded. It might, however, become fresh ground in the future for a war between Scotland and England. The proceedings against the Duke of Northumberland and his accomplices, now prisoners, are being pursued with diligence. He was confronted with them and examined, and he has confessed generally most of the indictments against him. He has not yet declared who was the author and instigator of his practices.
The Queen will leave this place on Wednesday or Thursday, after the burial of the late King Edward's body, and will go to Richmond, about eight or ten miles away.
London, 8 August, 1553.
P.S.—Sire, the packet has been delayed by waiting for the Queen's letters. We have seen the body of the late King carried to his grave with small ceremony. The Bishop of Winchester said Mass in the chapel of the castle (i.e. the Tower). There is a good deal of murmuring about this, even among the Queen's body-guard.
French. Cipher. Signed by the four ambassadors.
Aug. 8. Simancas, E. 1321. The Queen's Pronouncement on Religion.
Her Grace, considering the great troubles and dangers that were brought forth in the past by the diversity of opinions and questioning about religion within the kingdom, and having learnt moreover that since her accession to the throne contentions have sprung up afresh owing to certain rumours and false reports circulated by wicked persons disposed to evil doing, has determined to make her resolve known to her faithful subjects, as follows:
First, her Majesty, being now in possession of her Imperial crown and estate pertaining to it, cannot forsake that faith that the whole world knows her to have followed and practised since her birth; she desires rather, by God's grace, to preserve it until the day of her death; and she desires greatly that her subjects may come to embrace the same faith quietly and with charity, whereby she shall receive great happiness. She makes known to her beloved subjects that out of her goodness and clemency she does not desire to compel anyone to do so for the present, or until by common consent a new determination shall be come to; but she forbids all and sundry of her loving subjects, of every age and condition, under the penalty of the law to stir up tumult or sedition among her people, on the pretext of upholding certain laws of the kingdom made according to the fantasies of men; but rather commands them to live quietly until fresh ordinances be made, because her Majesty desires, and strictly orders and commands, that all shall live in peace and Christian charity. Words of recent introduction, bandied as insults, such as “papist,” “heretic” and so forth, shall be dropped; and all men, by possessing their souls in the fear of God, and by a rightous life and holy deeds, shall truly show their desire to glorify God and His Word, as they profess in their reasonings and disputations to desire it. By these practices, and by honouring God, men shall live without fear and the tranquillity of the kingdom shall be maintained, whence her Grace shall derive great joy and contentment. But if any were to presume to hold conventicles in public or in private, and sow dissension among the people, her Majesty makes it known that she would do her duty in reforming their ways and punishing those who should be guilty of going against her laws.
Moreover, as we see that false rumours and reports are nourished and maintained by certain evilly-disposed persons who take upon themselves, without sufficient authority, to preach and interpret the word of God according to their own mind, in churches and elsewhere, publicly and privately, and by representations, by false printed books of recent composition, in rhymes, ballads and other foolish and unreasonable ways attack the ministers of God and the articles of the Christian religion which they have recently brought into controversy, which books, rhymes and treatises are given out by the printers and booksellers with evil zeal to sell them and make their profit, or rather with greed of unjust gain; her Majesty commands and strictly charges every one of her subjects, of whatever age and condition, that no one shall henceforth, under pretext of sermons or lessons, either in church, publicly or privately, interpret the Scriptures, or teach anything pertaining to religion, except it be in the schools of the university. Neither shall they print any book, treatise, dialogue, rhyme, ballad, comedy or argument except by special, written command of her Majesty, under pain of her displeasure.
Her Majesty strictly commands all and sundry that no one among her subjects shall presume by his own act to punish or rise against those who may go against the law, or against any who may have taken part by word or deed in the past rebellion made by the Duke of Northumberland and his accomplices; neither shall they take their goods nor offend them in their persons by violence or imprisonment or similar acts; but they shall refer them to her Majesty or her officers, so that they may be punished according to the law. Her Majesty does not wish to discourage any man from denouncing or giving information concerning those who may be guilty of the above-named offences against her own person or the members of her Privy Council, so that they may be punished as the law ordains.
Her Majesty enjoins upon all her subjects the observance of the said commands, and decrees that they shall everywhere bend to her will without reserve (convertendosi alla sua voluntà senza dubbio), and thus avoid her displeasure and the rigour of her wrath, giving her no cause for sorrow; being determined to leave no deed unpunished that may be committed rebelliously against the law, so that there may follow no troubles or disorders, but the laws be carried out to the letter.
Her Majesty hopes that her loving subjects will conduct themselves befittingly; and, in fine, she commands and strictly enjoins upon her mayors, sheriffs, justices, bailiffs, constables and other officers and public administrators to use all diligence in the observance and execution of her will and commands, and to see to it that they who shall wilfully break them be sent to the nearest public prison and kept there until notice be given to her Majesty or her Privy Council of their names and the fault imputed to them, together with their replies on examination; after which they shall receive their punishment according to the law, as an example to the rest.
Richmond, 8 August, 1553.
Italian. Copy or abstract. Endorsed: Lo que la reina de Inglaterra pronunció en lo de la religión.
Aug. 9. Besançon, Collection Granvelle, 73. The Emperor to his Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of the 2nd of the present month; and we fully approve that which you have negotiated with the Queen of England both in the public audience and in the private one which you, the Lieutenant of Amont, (fn. 9) had in the name of you all. We do not doubt that your mission was well received by all present at the public audience, as you write: for the counsels we gave to the Queen were founded on the advantage of the kingdom and her subjects. We also approve what you, the Lieutenant of Amont, gave in writing to the Queen at your private audience. We feel sure that you spoke to her in accordance with the instructions sent to you in our two letters, and that concerning the funeral of the late King you endeavoured particularly to overcome her scruples of conscience; for, the King having died professing the opinions which he had publicly held, the funeral obsequies must be a matter for scrupulous consideration.
With regard to the prisoners, the sooner their case can be heard, and their guilty practices discovered, concerning the King's illness and their other intrigues, as you say in your note, as well as the rest, the better. We trust that you will let us know everything that comes to your knowledge in any way.
As to the Queen's marriage, although by the contents of your letters referring to what passed in private with her, and especially by the interpretation she gave to that which we said here and wrote to you on her not taking a husband outside the realm, namely, that it was said to meet the exigencies of the times, it may seem that she rather inclines to a foreign alliance; yet she has not said overtly what she believes the kingdom would accept, and would at the same time be most agreeable to herself. We must know this before we can give her advice; and you must therefore try to find it out from her by the means that seem to you most suitable and convenient.
As to what the ambassadors here may have written to the Queen concerning their conversations with the Bishop of Arras, you may declare to the Queen that the Bishop did no more than repeat in detail that which we said to them at the last audience we gave them, which was word for word what was written to you, without any additions. Perhaps Morison or Hoby tried to draw something from it that would serve some private end and design of their own.
We think the measures taken for the safety of Guines very good; especially because the people of England will be made to understand in this way the real end of the malicious proposals of the French and what the Constable had in mind when he made offers so liberally to the Deputy-Governor of Calais.
As to the packet that was seized, notwithstanding the greatest efforts, it has not yet been possible to decipher the letters, and no key to a cipher has been found at Hesdin or Thérouanne that would correspond to that used in the letters.
You have done very well to inform us of the journeys that the Bishop of Orleans and M. de Gyé are about to undertake to go to England, and M. d'Oisel to return to France. We have made enquiries to find out if some of them might not be adroitly surprised during the voyage; and it has seemed best to watch for them (tenir sur eulx) on the sea rather than, on land, so as not to do anything near the limits of England (i.e. the English territory near Calais) that might offend the English.
Brussels, 9 August, 1553.
French. Cipher, Signed, Charles. Countersigned, Bave. Printed by Weiss, in his Documents Inédits, Vol IV.
Aug. 10. Simancas, E. 1321. Francisco de Vargas to Cardinal Pole. (fn. 10)
This business of England is of so much consequence, spiritually and temporally, that the greatest care must be taken to commit no' error in the means adopted for the attainment of the desired end. As a Christian man, and as the minister of him whose servant I am, I have been thinking about it, and of what I should do if I were to set my own hand to it. But as it is entrusted to better hands than mine, I content myself with praying for success to God, Whose cause it is; and if anything should occur that your Lordship and I could discuss together, I would treat of it with the greatest zeal and desire to serve your Lordship in all things and particularly in this. I say this because I have been informed by the despatches I received yesterday from Rome, dated the 5th of the month, that his Holiness had received certain information on that day from his nuncio at the French Court that Queen Mary had been acknowledged and sworn Queen (of England). On receipt of the letters his Holiness called the Cardinals together and imparted the news to them; he then named your Lordship his legate to that kingdom', ordering you to depart at once without delaying a single hour, and go and help the Queen with all your power (saying that it was great) to reduce the kingdom to the obedience of the Church: all of which I can but praise, proceeding as it does from the holy intentions of him who is our common father and the shepherd of us all. However, if the truth must be spoken, I fear he has exceeded in his zeal; and I am sure that haste so great can do no good, and might do harm. This affair requires most delicate handling; and first of all the Queen herself should be firmly established before the religious question is brought forward; because if the second point is raised before the first foundation has had time to be firmly settled, both will fall together to the ground; for all the world knows the real condition of affairs in that kingdom. I am of opinion that the precept of Galen for the application of corporal remedies should here be interpreted in a spiritual sense: quod est prius in intentione est posterius in executione.
Moreover, his Majesty (the Emperor) has been the chosen instrument of God m all that has happened in this connexion, and should continue so to be in the future. He knows best, with his great zeal and prudence, what road the negotiations should follow, and when they should be undertaken; and with God's grace, he will prove to be the totum continens of the Queen and her realm. In consideration of which I am of opinion that far from being assisted, he would be greatly hindered if anything were done without first consulting him and directing it according to his intention and with his authority; without which nothing can be usefully undertaken in this affair. On the contrary, much harm might be done, the inhabitants of the kingdom kindled to wrath, and all that has so far been accomplished undone; for not only over there but here also there are plenty of people who would rejoice in that event. I need not explain myself further, as your reverend Lordship will understand me well.
As your devoted servant, and desiring as I do, for your own good, that you should obtain all the results I hope for, I would not wish to see matters conducted or anything undertaken without first consulting his Majesty and obtaining his opinion and approval. I know his Holiness must be obeyed; but he should first be made aware of everything and have it all explained to him, as he is so great a friend of his Majesty and so zealous and prudent. An endeavour must be made to set this matter on the right road and leave no occasion for talk to those who could do harm, or do no good.
If his Majesty thought that it would be right to go at once, one might feel at rest and go at once; if he said one ought to wait, that would be the safest thing to do. If God were to move the English to call your Lordship to them, that would be the best way of all, and one that would lead to an assured result. I believe his Majesty will do his best to attain that end; do not doubt it, for as he desired to confer upon your Lordship the highest dignity in the world (fn. 11) and declared himself so plainly in your favour, so will he always honour you and make your affairs his own. Finally, the undertaking cannot be assured until his Holiness and his Majesty (who is the paranymph here) meet and decide what shall be done; and I hope this may come to pass, as they are so united in mind.
I have thought well to write all this rather in fulfilment of my duty and my private desire than with the idea of saying anything new to your Lordship, whose prudence and Christian zeal will carry you forward. But it may serve as a record or note; and if I can serve your Lordship in any way, pray command me, as you know how willingly I would do it, besides the obligations which bind all of us, his Majesty's ministers, to your Lordship.
Venice, 10 August, 1553.
Spanish, Copy.


  • 1. William Paulet, who had been Baron St. John, then Earl of Wiltshire, and finally, in 1551, Marquis of Winchester.
  • 2. Apparently the Marquis of Northampton, who had been holding the office of Lord Great Chamberlain, is meant here.
  • 3. Sir Thomas Cheyne had on other occasions been sent on diplomatic missions to the Emperor. See Volumes IX and X of this Calender.
  • 4. Sir William Pickering, an adherent of Northumberland. See Vol. X.
  • 5. This letter is wrongly marked, in a modern handwriting, copy. There is no doubt whatever that the letter was written entirely by Mary's own hand. Several holograph letters of hers are in existence, besides a great number of signatures. Her writing is bold and very clear, and varies with her mood. The letter she wrote to the Emperor directly after her marriage with Philip is the firmest and most regularly written; the one she wrote to entreat the Emperor to leave Philip with her, shortly before his second departure, is written in a shaky, irregular hand, but still unmistakably the same. Besides, the Emperor himself refers to this letter as “written by the hand of Queen” in his letter to the ambassadors, dated August 14th, q.v.
  • 6. A rent in the paper.
  • 7. i.e. Sir Robert Rochester.
  • 8. Lord William Howard, who had replied sharply to the Constable's offers of aid. Noailles' irritation against him was doubtless partly due to the fact that Lord William caused one of the ambassador's despatches to be seized (Mémoires, II, 107).
  • 9. i.e. Simon Renard.
  • 10. Reginald Pole. He was a great-nephew of Edward IV and Richard III, his mother, Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, being a daughter of George, Duke of Clarence. Both his mother and his elder brother, Henry. Lord Montague had been executed, and Pole had lived for many years in Italy.
  • 11. The Emperor endeavoured to have Pole elected Pope in the conclave of 1549–1650. See Vols. IX and X of this Calendar.