Spain: August 1553, 11-20

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, 11-20', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 162-176. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

August 1553, 11–20

Aug. 11–13. Simancas, E. 1321. Francisco db Vargas to Prince Philip.
His Holiness had decided to revoke the legates he sent to treat of peace; and as he was about to do so he heard of the taking of Hesdin and other (Imperialist) successes, and the news from England, which are certainly the work of God. He decided to confirm the legates, and on the 5th of the month he named Cardinal Pole his legate to England. I shall not repeat myself here, as your Highness will see what I have written on the subject to his Majesty; but it was an ill-considered and yet excusable thing to do, and probably inspired by people who had evil inclinations and persuaded his Holiness to do it. In the end, however, neither this nor anything else shall be done unless it seems suitable to his Majesty. Cardinal Pole is such a prudent and Christian man and so good a servant of his Majesty's that he will not fail in intention or in deed; and I feel quite sure of this . . .
Venice, 11 August, 1553.
P.S.—After my letters were written I received others from his Majesty of the 2nd of the month . . . The news from England are quite certain, and Queen Mary holds the rebels and tyrants who had risen against her prisoners in the Tower of London. They are: the Duke of Northumberland and his sons, and more than eighty of his followers. Your Highness will learn all about it and how it happened from the account sent to me by Secretary Vargas . . .
Venice, 13 August, 1553.
Spanish. Cipher. Signed.
Aug. 12. Sixnancas, E. 506. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
As regards your marriage, I have seen what you wrote by Don Diego de Acevedo and the copy of Luis Sarmiento's letters, as well as the papers carried by Hieronimo Paz, a copy of which you sent together with the answer he gave to the King of Portugal. There is no doubt that they (the Portuguese) are trying to delay the matter, as you say; and as it was to have been settled before your coming hither, you did well to send Ruy Gomez with the orders which you describe as having been given to him, concerning the form and manner to be observed to try and induce them to declare themselves. Their answer was certainly more restricted than Sebastian de Morales gave us to understand here that it would be, that is to say, that it, the dowry of the Infanta (i.e., Maria of Portugal) might be increased beyond the extent of her own property. I suppose that Ruy Gomez has returned, and you will have learned their intentions from him, and sent an account of them on to us, together with your decision with regard to your journey hither; so I will say nothing more except that I should rejoice if you did not delay, because all my projects here are conditional on your coming, and have made it necessary for me to put off the Diet. In the meanwhile we will go on with the army we have in the field and do what we can as opportunity offers.
Brussels, 12 August, 1553.
Spanish. Cipher. Signed.
Aug. 14. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 21. The Emperor to his Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of the 6th and 8th of the present month, together with those you sent to us, written by the hand of the Queen, our good sister and cousin, which gave us very great satisfaction. We will defer our answer until the arrival of my Lord Warden, of whom we have no news so far. Meantime, we desire you to know the pleasure we have had in hearing of the Queen's entry; and we deem it a service wholly agreeable to us that you should take care to inform us so fully of events over there. We desire you to continue so to do, and especially inform us of what you have been able to learn of the Council's reply to the French ambassador. Send us every detail that comes to your knowledge of the depositions made by the Duke of Northumberland, especially on the death of the King and on the intrigues, correspondence and intelligence between him and France or other countries; and in a general way everything you can find out of the details of his trial, about the mission entrusted to the French gentleman who was sent over to him, (fn. 1) and what direction things appear to be taking over there in this new reign, the satisfaction of the people with their Queen, and especially how they took the funeral of the King and the saying of mass which, as you wrote in your last letters, was resented by some of the Queen's guard.
We are sending this courier expressly to forewarn you that the King of the Romans, my good brother, has sent his Great Chamberlain, Baron Martin de Guzmán, hither to request us on his master's behalf to further a marriage between his son the Archduke Ferdinand, our nephew, and the Queen. We have answered him that it would not be suitable to propose to her at present that she should enter into a foreign alliance, as we had done our best to dispel the suspicion, raised to her hurt, in this the beginning of her reign, that she entertained such a plan; and we had referred the question of her marriage to the choice and advice her Council might urge upon her. We refrained from further discussion on the subject with the said Guzmán, as the marriage seemed to us an unsuitable one for various reasons. Guzmán is about to go and visit the Queen, with a charge from the King not to go beyond our definite orders; which are merely to visit the Queen and congratulate her on her accession to the Crown. We are giving him letters to you, and desire to warn you so that you may, without giving him or anyone else a hint of what we are about to say to you, carefully discover if he goes beyond his charge. Were you to find out that he had exceeded it and had attempted to put forward proposals concerning the said marriage, you shall let the Queen know with suitable dexterity that he is not empowered to do so and that it is not suitable that she should enter into any negotiation with him on the subject.
However, after our express declaration that we do not wish him in any way to exceed his charge, which is merely to visit and congratulate the Queen, we hope that Guzmán will not go beyond it. We again recommend complete secrecy in all this.
Brussels, 14 August, 1553.
French. Minute.
Aug. 14. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Bishop of Abbas to Simon Renard.
I have received your private letters of the 7th instant. His Majesty also read them himself, and has ordered me to tell you that their cóntents seem very satisfactory. He especially approves of the means you excogitated for making your conversation (with the Queen) turn towards the subject of marriage, and what was being said about Courtenay, and also for dispelling any delusion she might be harbouring about the marriage of our Prince with the daughter (fn. 2) of the Queen (Dowager) of France, under colour of telling her that you have informed the Prince of what has happened in England and her accession: a matter which will be to his entire satisfaction. And in order to do what is fitting on this side, the Emperor is writing to our Prince, telling him for courtesy's sake to send some one on purpose to congratulate the Queen on her accession, and informing him of this negotiation in order to ascertain his wishes, as he is of a suitable age, and a widower with children. In a matter of such importance it is necessary to ask his opinion and find out his own inclinations; and the Emperor is also writing to him to make the mission more or less imposing (qu'il face ladicte visitation ou plus grasse ou plus maigre) according as he feels inclined to press his suit or not. And in talking about this matter of a foreign match with the Queen of England you must be careful, if she mentions the Emperor, to bring forward the other (i.e. Prince Philip) as being a more suitable match, but do so in a manner that shall not allow her to imagine you have been prompted to speak by anyone else, in order that she may not suffer a disappointment if things turn in another direction. Negotiations may have gone too far with Portugal, though I do not think so, for those folk are slow enough in concluding something they desire, and much slower when they are not anxious to come to an agreement, as, for several reasons, I think is the case with the Queen (Dowager) of France's daughter. Or perhaps the Prince's fancy may be engaged in another quarter. I make no doubt that if, for the reasons mentioned in your letters, the Queen of England hopes for a foreign marriage, she will cause a word to be said to you by some one in her confidence, such as her Controller or Paget, who is a match for you; for he spoke to you as he did to find out your opinion. As he is so sharp, you must watch yourself more when you talk with him, and try your best to make him talk himself.
As for Courtenay, you might say, to put the Queen on her guard about the remarks you mention, and to see what she will say, that he is being talked about. But be careful not to say too much, especially before she has shown her own inclinations; for if she took it into her head (to marry him) nothing would stop her, if she is like other women, and she would always bear you a grudge for your remarks. But you might touch on the greater advantages that would be offered by a foreign marriage, without insisting on the person on whom her choice might fall.
You will see that the Emperor has written to all of you about the journey Martin de Guzman is going to undertake on behalf of the King (of the Romans). But his Majesty has commanded me to write to you separately that, if you hear that he is making so bold as to propose a marriage, for which purpose he was sent, you shall privately tell the Queen that such a match would be in no wise suitable. His Majesty believes that it would be impossible to find her a husband less advantageous for the Low Countries (fn. 3); and you know the reason of this opinion. So you must behave with prudence and say nothing about it unless you see it is necessary to do so, lest a worse thing befall.
Brussels, 14 August, 1653.
Signed. French. Partly cipher. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
Aug. 15. Besançon, C.G. 73. Simon Renard to the Bishop of Arras.
My Lord: Our letters written to the Emperor will inform you of our negotiations with the Queen of England, and of her answers to each point, especially the last and most important, which was gone into in your private letter to me. I will therefore not dwell on them, as the letters will pass through your hands. Only in connexion with the last point I will assure you that when I mentioned marriage she began to laugh, not once but several times, giving me a look that plainly said how agreeable the subject was to her, which made it clear to me that she had no wish to wed an Englishman, but rather a foreigner; besides which she repeated our declarations to the Council, interpreting them as advice to give the matter careful attention in due course. I have also observed that she is proud and inclined to talk about her exalted station; and, indeed, there is no match for her in England unless it be the Marquis of Exeter, called Courtenay, who is of the blood royal and the last sprig of the White Rose. As far as I can judge, she wishes his Majesty to suggest some one, believing he will name a person agreeable to her; and I am in hopes that if his Majesty were inclined to propose our Prince it would be the most welcome news that could be given to her. As soon as an opportunity offers I will not fail to open this negotiation with all the dexterity, fidelity and discretion for which his Majesty and you give me credit; and from time to time I will send you private reports, addressed not to his Majesty but to you, in order to avoid betraying to anyone what you desire to be kept secret. It must be remembered, my Lord, that it will be difficult to bring the Council and country to consent unless the leading men are won over with offers, money, promises and the like; for I have scented out that the French, the partisans and Lutherans are doing their utmost to discover means of robbing the Queen of her subjects' affection and brewing discord in the realm. The only remedies are the marriage and (the establishment of) religion; but, hardest of all to realise, the marriage, for the English are naturally hostile to foreigners.
Minute in Renard's hand. French. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
Aug. 16. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 21. The Emperor to his Ambassadors in England.
The King of the Romans, our good brother, is sending his Great Chamberlain, Martin de Guzmán, to England to visit the Queen, our good sister and cousin, and congratulate her upon her accession to the Crown; and we would nor let him go without giving him this letter to you, to charge you to receive him and give him assistance and favour in every way possible to you for the discharge of his mission. We will consider the service as great as if it were rendered to further our own affairs.
The Lord Warden has not arrived yet, but we are expecting him, in accordance with information given to us by the English ambassadors resident here, to-day or to-morrow; and we anticipate his arrival with greater pleasure, as he is to bring us news of the Queen.
Brussels, 16 August, 1553.
French. Minute.
Aug. 16. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: As the Queen was to go to Richmond, we sent a messenger to her Controller last Saturday, to ask for a private audience for one of us, to take leave of her, learn the time she was to be absent, and if she desired to command us anything for her service, and with the excuse of other similar courtesies and inventions, negotiate the contents of your Majesty's last two letters of the 29th of July and 9th of the present month; and learn by these means the state of affairs in this kingdom, both public and private, in order to inform your Majesty. We also desired to let the Queer know what we had heard from various sources. We had no reason to ask for a formal audience, as the points mentioned in your Majesty's letters did not require prompt attention, as we pointed out at greater length in our last letters. The Queen thought we wanted a public audience to negotiate matters of State and assigned us to come at one o'clock after noon. We repaired to Court punctually, but found she had more business than she had expected to transact with her Council and, as she feared to lose the tide by delaying, we saluted her, and received an appointment for the next day at Richmond, whither we went. We perceived that the Members of the Council believed the audience to have been asked for State affairs, and we decided to declare three points in public: the first, that we had demanded audience to offer our humble services to her Majesty as your Majesty had commanded us, if she chose to give us any orders; to enquire if she would remain long at Richmond, and if she desired us to come again to learn her intentions. The second point, to communicate to her and to her Council the letters addressed to us by the Prince of Piedmont and the lieutenant of the Captain of Gravelines, who warned us that the French were carrying on intrigues at Guines, and that they had made plans to seize the town on the first of this month, the local feast-day, with the help of certain traitors with whom they were in communication. The Prince of Piedmont had enjoined upon us to present his humble recommendations to her Grace; and knowing the affection and goodwill of his Imperial Majesty to the Queen and the kingdom, if need arose and the French turned their forces towards the English pale—which seemed difficult to believe as they were hard pressed elsewhere—he would follow them up so closely that they would find no leisure to execute their designs. The orders and provisions issued by the Queen when she heard of the French plots rendered it still less likely that they would do any harm. The third point was put forward by Ambassador Scheyfve and concerned the seizure and detention of certain goods by officers and subjects of this kingdom, the goods being the property of sundry Spanish subjects resident at Bruges.
The Queen replied that she thanked your Majesty and my Lord the Prince for the goodwill you bore to her and to her kingdom, which confirmed and strengthened the ancient amity and good neighbourliness, adding that she hoped the French might alter their minds; and as to the claim of the Spanish merchants, the detainers of the property should be written to and justice done.
Soon after this the Queen gave private audience to the Lieutenant of Amont. He has related to us that he declared to the Queen that your Majesty had the good progress and establishment of her reign so much at heart that in every letter you professed it and repeated to us what seemed to you best suited to bring all things to the condition which you hoped for. In particular your Majesty, being aware of the great numbers of prisoners who were accused of having risen and taken up arms against her with the intent to betray the kingdom, although well knowing how greatly they deserved exemplary punishment, yet could not forbear to exhort her to clemency, and to punish the most guilty but spare the multitude who were seduced by the authors and inventors of the plot; tempering the desire for vengeance of some, who haply remembered injuries received. Although your Majesty had recommended us to make this exhortation, yet it had not seemed necessary to us to do so, who knew her great goodness and natural clemency, which had been displayed already towards several in her Council and out of it; and I (fn. 4) referred particularly to the Marquis of Northampton, who was generally held to be one of the guiltiest after the Duke of Northumberland. I added that your Majesty made mention of the said prisoners in your last letters and approved that their trial should take place as soon as possible, to establish the Queen more firmly and put down the troubles that might be increased by their prolonged detention. The Queen replied that your Majesty perhaps wished her to pardon the Duke and spare his life; and she declared that she had not pardoned anybody yet, nor the Marquis of Northampton in particular. As to Jane of Suffolk, whom they had tried to make Queen, she could not be induced to consent that she should die; all the more because it had been found that there could be no marriage between her and Guilford, the son of the Duke, as she was previously betrothed by a binding promise that entailed marriage to a servitor (fn. 5) of the Bishop of Winchester. Moreover, three days before they went to fetch her from Sion House to take her to the Tower and make her entry into the town as usurping Queen, she knew nothing of it, nor was she ever a party nor did she ever give her consent to the Duke's intrigues and plots. Her conscience, she said, would not permit her to have her put to death; and as to the other prisoners, their trials were being prepared with promptitude, and she had left commissioners in London to examine them.
The Lieutenant of Amont replied that he did not think it was your Majesty's intention that she should forgive the Duke, nor others who were his closest adherents; that the exhortation was merely intended to forestall the evil impression that might be made if no moderation were displayed, especially in the case of the numerous followers. Your Majesty had not entered into particulars concerning the said Jane or others. The example of Theodosius was given her, who caused Maximus and Victor, his son, to be put to death notwithstanding his tender age, because Maximus had arbitrarily attributed to himself the title of Emperor with the intention of transmitting it to his son. History relates that the son was put to death because of the scandal and danger that might have followed. It might be feared that the marriage to the Bishop of Winchester's servitor had been put forward hypocritically in order to save her life; and even were she married to an inferior, yet the title she had borne, though in itself insufficiently proved, yet had had some semblance of foundation, and thus might be revived again to trouble the succession to the Crown. Power and tyranny had sometimes more force, especially in affairs of State, than right or justice. We had discussed several considerations and obstacles in this matter, and also the presence at Court of the Lady Elizabeth, who might, out of ambition, or being persuaded thereto, conceive some dangerous design and put it to excution, by means which it would be difficult to prevent, as she was clever and sly. We had also considered the reply which, as we were told, had been given by the Duke at his examination: namely, when he was asked if he had promoted the marriage of his son to the said Jane, and why he had done so, he replied that the marriage had been pushed forward by the Earl of Pembroke, whose son married Lady Jane's younger sister, Catherine of Suffolk. The said Pembroke had schemed with Northumberland to bring about the troubles, amply described heretofore to your Majesty, and was of the Duke's party; his daughter-in-law was called to the succession by the late King Edward's will; and nevertheless he was made councillor to the Queen.
The fear that he might plot against her person made us point out these difficulties to her, so that she might guard against them in that way which seemed best to her. The Queen replied that she was about to send the Lady Elizabeth away, as the same considerations had occurred to her; and before setting the Lady Jane at liberty she would take the greatest possible care for the future. It was declared to the Queen, moreover, that the people murmured very much because mass was being said publicly in her palace; and great scandal occurred, and outrages against religion were committed lately on the person of a priest who dared to say mass in a chapel here m London; some took the chalice, others the vestments; the ornaments on the altar were broken in pieces, and two or three hundred people assembled and made such riot that the mayor had been obliged to go in person to quell the tumult. He succeeded, and saved the person of the priest by taking him into custody. It was difficult to remedy the state of religion without the (sanction of) Parliament, particularly because of the number of foreigners, Frenchmen, Germans and Flemings, exiled and thrust out of their own countries for heresy and other crimes, who fearing that if religion were restored they would be compelled to leave the country, would do nothing except seek opportunities for troubling the Queen's reign. Some of her own guard cursed and slandered the Bishop of Winchester, accusing him as the cause of the celebration of the mass. The Queen said that on the same day she had received letters from certain of her officers she had left in London; and she knew that the people had assembled in Saint Paul's during a sermon delivered by a learned man, and made a tumult and attempted to outrage him, because he said in his sermon that the Bishop of London, (fn. 6) who was present, had been unjustly detained in prison for the past four years, because of a sermon he had preached from the same pulpit in the Church of St. Paul. Certain ill-conditioned people immediately raised a cry of “papist,” and prevented him from continuing his sermon. One man even unsheathed his sword or dagger and threw it at him to kill him. He would have done so, too, had it not been for the interposition of some of the congregation. Were it not that the mayor had arrived to lend assistance, and that Lord Courtenay and his mother, who were present, succeeded in quieting the uproar, it looked as if a public tumult might have followed; and some were heard to say soon afterwards in public, that if it was intended to change their religion, it would be better to set free the Duke of Northumberland. She had given the letters referred to to her Council. On the day she left London she sent for the mayor and officers of the law of that city, who are called aldermen, to the Tower, and recommended to their care the administration of justice, the police, and the maintenance of the peace among her subjects. She had so far found no better expedient than to leave each one free as to the religion he would follow; if some desired to abide by the settlement of the late King Henry, her father, let them do so; if some held to the old, and others to the new, they should not be interfered with or constrained to follow any other course until the coming Parliament should decide by law. Her Council had approved these dispositions; and she had taken their advice in following the dictates of her conscience, and had had mass sung in her Court, as she intended to do in the future, without wishing to compel anyone to assist who did not feel inclined to do so. She had given them (the mayor and aldermen) a writing to act and provide accordingly, and let it be known in the proper quarter, without making any solemn proclamation. The mayor and aldermen had approved the determination, and replied that they would keep her commands. Her Council had made no sign as yet of any resolve concerning the letters. She had also remonstrated with the men of the law on the insolence of certain preachers who, forsaking the word of God and the testimony of His Gospels, used scandalous and seditious propositions against religion and her person. They should elect moderate and temperate preachers, who would preach suitable sermons; otherwise she would put the matter in order, this being a point of great importance, one which they should carefully watch for the good of the public, and to avoid riots and pernicious plots. She foresaw great inconveniences, and that it would be difficult for her to re-establish religion; although her conscience pricked and goaded her so that she greatly wished she could find means to do it. It was her dearest desire, and her first duty, and she asked for our advice; which could be brought to her in writing by Ambassador Scheyfve's secretary, who was to go and fetch certain letters she wished to write to the Queen (Dowager) of France.
When the Lieutenant of Amont heard the news of what had happened in London since our departure, he replied to the Queen that we had expressed our views on religion in the letters and note we delivered to her together with the advice your Majesty gave her. Nothing better could be added; but, nevertheless, we would consult together on the recent events and, having found out how the thing had come about, would give her our advice. The Lieutenant repeated the difficulties that arise because the greater part of her Council, especially its head, the Earl of Arundel, follow the new religion. As they find themselves accused of treason by the Duke of Northumberland, they may possibly desire and even encourage fresh troubles, to put the Queen's affairs in confusion, and frighten her into forgetting the past and renouncing greater authority. He spoke of the Parliament, and said it would be well for her Majesty to convoke and assemble it so that the laws necessary to the entire establishment of her reign might be passed; and particularly recommended her to hasten the coronation. She must consider carefully whether Parliament should be a general one, or if notables and private individuals chosen to represent Parliament should be called together, according to the usage introduced by the Duke of Northumberland. She replied that she had a memorial of the preparations necessary for her coronation, and that it should take place as soon as possible, after which Parliament should immediately be held.
The Lieutenant then brought the conversation round to the subject of marriage, about which he had already spoken to her at Beaulieu; and said that the affairs of the kingdom were of such a nature that she would find it difficult to conduct them. alone; and this consideration had moved your Majesty to mention marriage to her. We had informed your Majesty of her answer; but time had not permitted us to exhaust the subject then; and it would be difficult for your Majesty to advise her without hearing what the Council thought the kingdom might require, and what would be most agreeable to her. It was necessary to clear up these points; after which he had no doubt your Majesty would give her your sincere and fatherly advice.
The Queen replied that she considered it would be necessary for her to marry for the good of the country, though it was contrary to her own inclination. She thanked your Majesty warmly for the good offices you were still willing to perform; and she thought you might with greater propriety ask the Council their intentions in the matter than she, as it did not behove a lady to be the first to make overtures of marriage; or else give her advice as to how she could best open the matter to her Council. The Lieutenant of Amont replied that it would be far easier for the Queen to ascertain in private the opinions of the various Councillors and so avoid arousing suspicion, rather than that your Majesty should do so through your ambassadors. We would advise your Majesty of her answer. He clearly implied by his conversation that no suitable match for her could be found within the kingdom, and that she had better take a foreign husband, with the certitude that he who would be proposed to her would be a Catholic, that she should have an opportunity of seeing him and conversing with him, and also that he would not be too young a man.
Sire: from the above account your Majesty may easily infer the condition of affairs in the kingdom, and especially in matters of religion. We have not yet arrived at any conclusion as to the advice we might give her (the Queen) beyond that we gave her before; so we will not enlarge on the point, but are sending the information to your Majesty by the first opportunity. It is clear that the French and the Duke's adherents will not cease fostering this tumult and will encourage a revolt if possible, to trouble the Queen's affairs; and we hope she may adopt a twofold remedy: first, that she will not persist in pushing matters of religion forward and will wait for the assembling of Parliament; secondly, that justice will be dealt out to the Duke of Northumberland, as we hear is to be done before the end of this week.' When he and his accomplices have once been punished, the plottings will cease. With this object, for the greater safety of her person, and to guard against those who would wish to support and countenance the Duke with the pretext of religion, her Majesty is arming 700 or 800 horse and two hundred foot. We have discussed another remedy: to expel from the kingdom all those who took refuge hither after being proscribed or convicted of some crime, and vagabonds and others with no fixed domicile. Besides the religious question, we understand that there is a great deal of discontent almost openly shown, because the Queen admitted so readily to her Council those who conspired against her life, her liberty, her right and her Crown; people ask themselves how she can trust them, considering their inconstancy and evil disposition. Discontent is rife, especially among those who stood by the Queen in the days of her adversity and trouble, who feel that they have not been rewarded as they deserve, for the conspirators have been raised in authority, while they are cast off and neglected after having rendered loyal service. My Lord Derby in particular, one of the chief men in the kingdom, who brought fifteen to twenty thousand men to support the Queen, complained of this to Ambas ador Scheyfve and told him in confidence that the Queen might get into trouble in that way; not that he desired anything for himself, as he could live honourably as a private gentleman without holding office, which he did not covet, but because a great number of people had spoken to him about it, who might easily change sides if they perceived that they received no notice while their enemies and antagonists were raised into positions where they could harm and prejudice those who took the Queen's side. The ambassador replied with the same reserve, wishing to edify and quiet him, that he believed the Queen, being a very wise princess and endowed with prudence, to be suiting her actions to the times in various respects; but she would not forget later on to accord recognition to those who had assisted her and proved their devotion in the hour of adversity, so that he and others would eventually have cause to congratulate themselves; and when opportunity offered he would mention the matter in the proper quarter.
Henry Dudley (fn. 7) has been questioned; and we learn from a safe source that he confessed without torture a circumstantial and likely tale concerning his mission to France and the message he brought from the King of France to Jane of Suffolk. He said that when the Duke sent him over to France he did not think he would be in need of prompt assistance from the French, as he took no account of the Queen or of the forces she might be able to call together to support her, but relied on the Council and the aldermen of the city of London. He sent a messenger to the King of France to make sure of help in case your Majesty were to take up the quarrel. The King told him to assure the Duke that he would send his army and fleet and come himself in person to help the Duke; and that he would even forego his campaign against your Majesty. Henry Dudley believes that if he had been called upon to do so he would have kept his promise. While he was conversing with the King the news of the fall of Hesdin arrived; and the King, laying his hand upon his stomach, said that he would take revenge for the way in which his people had been treated.
We have since been told that Wotton has written to the same effect and also that the King said to him that he was informed that a marriage was being negotiated between the Queen and the Prince of Piedmont.
A report has been current here that the French had intrigues in the castle, (fn. 8) and designs upon the State of Florence, which were brought to light; that the Turk's fleet was in French ports; that the King of France had taken the field with a strong army, that he was strong in Piedmont, and had taken two or three places during the last two months. Others say that Legate Dandino is pressing your Majesty to make peace. Every one talks of affairs of State here, according to his private inclinations.
M. d'Oisel left for France as soon as the Queen's entry was over. The Bishop of Orleans and M. de Gyé have crossed the Straits, and arrived yesterday evening at Canterbury, on their way to Court at Richmond to present the congratulations and good offices we described in our former letters.
During the last few days those French and Flemish preachers who interspersed seditious words in their sermons have been forbidden to preach. Yesterday a defamatory leaflet was scattered about the streets of the town; we send a copy herewith which we have had hurriedly translated. (fn. 9)
London, 16 august, 1553.
French. Mostly cipher. Signed by the four ambassadors.
Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
A Paper enclosed in the above letter.
Noblemen and gentlemen favouring the word of God, take counsel together and join with all your power and your following! Withdraw yourselves from our virtuous Lady, Queen Mary, because Rochester, Walgrave, Inglefield, Weston and Hastings, (fn. 10) hardened and detestable papists all, follow the opinions of the said Queen. Fear not, and God will prosper and help our holy design and intent; be assured that they have no great strength now, except two archpapists, Derby and Stourton (fn. 11); Arundel might be mentioned as the third, with the renegades (Sir Edmund) Peckham and (Sir William) Drury, chamberlain, (fn. 12) who have no great power. As to the other personages in the country, of whatever condition they may be, they will assuredly prove tractable and conform to our belief, as we have seen by experience during the last seven years. But Winchester, the great devil, must be exorcised and exterminated with his disciples named above, before he can poison the people and wax strong in his religion. Draw near to the Gospels, and your guerdon shall be the crown of glory!
Aug. 17. Simancas, E. 1321. Francisco de Vargas to the Emperor.
In my former despatch I informed your Majesty that his Holiness had named Cardinal Pole his Legate in England, and what I had thought fit to write to him. He has replied to me to-day, sending some one to me on purpose to thank me for my good offices, which he appreciates; and to assure me that he fully agrees, and that his opinion is the same as mine. He desires and thinks it necessary that affairs follow the direction I indicated, and that nothing be done without advice and permission from your Majesty. He sets forth at length the various reasons why your Majesty should be the chief guide in this affair, and nothing could be well done without you; he professes himself to be the devoted servant of your Majesty and declares he sent twice to your Majesty to lay before you what he considered just in the matter, and the difficulties that might follow from over-haste. He says he sent messages to your Majesty through Legate Dandino, but would like to speak more openly and plainly. He adds much else, of the kind that might be expected from so religious and prudent a personage and one so devoted to your Majesty. I understand that the Cardinal is anxious about this business, considering how much is at stake, and fearing that the means to achieve it may fail him. He fears that it might redound to his own discredit; and I presume, though I have not been told so expressly, that he wishes your Majesty, though without giving a hint that the Cardinal spoke of it or showed it to be in his mind, would take some step in the matter if his Holiness were to persevere in his intention and not wait for a more suitable time. This appears to be the case, as he sent recently two thousand crowns to the Cardinal for his journey, and at the same time named the Bishop of Bigornia (fn. 13) as his nuncio, who, though a very good man and known as such, might prove odious in that capacity, as he was deprived and another (fn. 14) now occupies his see. His successor might make common cause with others who are in the same predicament; and this may easily be predicted if the affair is rushed through in a hurry and without consideration, at a time when the kingdom is not yet quieted and pacified, as it should be for the success of what is about to be undertaken. His Holiness may perhaps have ordered it to be done under the influence of evilly-disposed and inconsiderate people, and I have thought well to inform your Majesty.
Venice, 17 august, 1553.
Spanish. Cipher. Signed.
Aug. 20. Brussels, L.A. 64. Simon Renard to the Queen Dowager.
The captain of the Queen's guard has written to M. de Courrières to ask him to write to your Majesty requesting permission to take out of the Low Countries 300 halberds for the Queen's service. Knowing your Majesty's friendship for the Queen, and in consideration of the fact that it is not a question of weapons that it might cause prejudice to grant, we could not refuse to ask your Majesty most humbly to concede the permission asked for, and recommend to you the bearer of these, named in the said captain's letters (fn. 15) enclosed herewith, who has charge to purchase the said halberds and bring them back; and we trust the captain will have cause to know that we have fulfilled his request.
We will not write at length giving an account of the occurrences here since our last letters to the Emperor, as there are only two points deserving mention: one, that last Friday the Duke of Northumberland, his son the Earl of Warwick, and the Marquis of Northampton were condemned to death at Westminster, and also, on the following day, in the same place, Sir Andrew Dudley, brother of the said Duke, the two Gates (Sir John and Sir Henry), brothers, the one Captain of the Guard to the late King Edward, the other a Gentleman of his Bedchamber. The sentences are to be executed on Monday or Tuesday next, it is said.
The other point is that the popular commotions because of religion, which were feared here, are very much quieted since ten or twelve of the leaders have been taken prisoners and all private assemblies have been forbidden under pain of death.
During the last few days the Bishop of Winchester asked M. de Courrières when we were going back. He put the question rather abruptly; and this has made us consider whether he and others of the Council might not entertain some suspicion about our stay, because he and his colleagues may wonder and make any inferences they fancy about our number and the duration of our stay here without our having treated private or State affairs.
Madam, the money which it pleased you to command should be advanced to us for our journey is spent; and may you be pleased to provide, considering the great expenses, ordinary and extraordinary, which we have incurred and must continue to incur.
London, 20 august, 1653.
French. Holograph.


  • 1. Claude de L'Aubespine.
  • 2. i.e. the Infanta Maria of Portugal.
  • 3. If the Archduke Ferdinand married Mary, he would be in a very favourable position for seizing the Low Countries and holding them against Philip.
  • 4. At this point Simon Renard speaks.
  • 5. There appears to have been no ground whatsoever for this rumour.
  • 6. Edmund Bonner, who had been deprived in 1650, when his see was given to Nicholas Ridley. The preacher on this occasion was Dr. Bourne.
  • 7. Sir Henry Dudley had been at the French Court negotiating for his kinsman the Duke of Northumberland.
  • 8. The Fortezza da Basso, near the Cascine, built by Alessandro de' Medici in 1535.
  • 9. See the next paper.
  • 10. Sir Robert Rochester had been Mary's controller before Edward's death, and, with Edward Walgrave and Francis Inglefield, also in her service, was committed to the Tower by the Council in 1551. Dr. Weston became Dean of Windsor, and Sir Edward Hastings, a brother of the Earl of Huntingdon, had risen for Mary in Buckinghamshire.
  • 11. Lord Stourton.
  • 12. Sir William Drury had risen for Mary, but he was not Lord Chamberlain.
  • 13. This person was Richard Pate, Bishop designate of Worcester (Wigorna). He had been ambassador with the Emperor from 1533 to 1536, and was provided to Worcester in 1541 by the Pope (Paul III). Failing to obtain possession of the temporalities, he lived in Italy, and attended the Council of Trent in 1547 and 1549. He returned to England under Mary, and obtained possession of the temporalities of his bishopric.
  • 14. i.e. John Hooper.
  • 15. These letters have not been found.