Spain: August 1553, 21-25

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, 21-25', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, ed. Royall Tyler( London, 1916), British History Online [accessed 18 July 2024].

'Spain: August 1553, 21-25', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553. Edited by Royall Tyler( London, 1916), British History Online, accessed July 18, 2024,

"Spain: August 1553, 21-25". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553. Ed. Royall Tyler(London, 1916), , British History Online. Web. 18 July 2024.

August 1553, 21–25

Aug. 21. Simancas, E. 506. Cardinal Pole to the Emperor.
Sacred, Imperial Majesty: It has pleased the Divine Mercy, after the many and serious afflictions suffered for many years past by the kingdom of England through its wicked and impious rulers, to give it comfort with the bestowal of that Sovereign to whom the Crown rightfully belonged, and on whom, for her goodness, all worthy men wished it to devolve. The wise counsels and prudent directions of your Majesty were the means by which this was achieved; and it seems to me that after God, to Whom all praise and honour are due, all Englishmen owe special and unending gratitude to your Majesty, and must pray the Divine Goodness to make use of the same instrument that It was pleased to employ in its happy incipience, for the accomplishment of that which is yet lacking in the perfecting of the holy undertaking.
Among the things that yet remain to be done, nothing can be of greater importance than the return of the kingdom to its obedience to the Apostolic See. Therefore, although I believe that your Majesty, because of your great piety, does not stand in need of encouragement, but will, according to the opportunity afforded by time and place, be ever ready to further the said object; yet as we have received this proof of God's bountiful mercy, that He has given a ruler to the kingdom suited above all others to perfect the holy undertaking with your Majesty's help, and as the Pope's Holiness has been pleased to make me his Legate and Legate of the Apostolic See, to negotiate with the Queen and other princes or private personages as the occasion may demand, I am convinced that I cannot too soon open the matter to you. Your Majesty's pre-eminence over all other princes, besides other considerations too manifest for me to enumerate them again now, designate you to promote and favour the cause. Your Majesty, both recently and of old, has won signal victories, but none, in my opinion, to compare with this, none more likely to yield great and immediate results to the honour of God and your Majesty, with infinite advantage for the Church and the kingdom (of England).
It has pleased God in His goodness, after the many injuries received from the perverse government of English affairs, now to comfort your Majesty at least as far as the temporal government of the country is concerned. It behoves you in your goodness to do your best that those who have suffered most shall be the first to participate in the comfort granted to you; and foremost among them stands the Apostolic See, which lost its authority in the kingdom for having upheld the rights of your Majesty's own blood. It is true that, considering events in the past, and the conflicting temper of the people, it may seem not an easy undertaking to recuperate it now; nevertheless, we may believe, trusting in the blessed hand that has guided these beginnings of good government and restored happiness to the kingdom, that it may accomplish this too, without which the joy we have received would briefly vanish.
Even as the Legates of the Apostolic See were formerly thrust out of the kingdom because they upheld the cause of those who were your Majesty's kinswomen, so I hope that God, now in giving you your reward, will grant you the honour of being the means by which the road into the kingdom will be opened for them (the Pope's Legates), for the good of the kingdom and the rejoicing of the entire Christian community, which will take heart from this example to hope that other mercies will follow in other kingdoms and provinces. I am moved by this firm hope to write to you, in the expectation that your Majesty's victorious hand may clear the way for me to introduce into the kingdom of England the spiritual authority, even as God's hand has cleared the way for your temporal authority in the person of the Most Serene Queen Mary, your cousin. I will expose to your Majesty, when it shall please God that I may find myself in your presence, the reasons that, humanly speaking, move me to hope for the good and prompt conclusion of this affair; and I hope it may be soon. Meanwhile I offer my heartfelt congratulations to you for this miraculous victory, and kiss your hands with all due reverence, praying to the Lord that He may deign long to preserve you for the good and universal comfort of Christianity.
Monastero di Maguzzano, (fn. 1) 21 august, 1553.
Italian, Signed. An abstract, from a minute or copy dated Auust 20th, is printed in the Venetian Calendar.
Aug. 22. Simancas, E. 807. Prince Philip to the Emperor.
I have received your Majesty's letter of the 30th of last month, brought by the Portuguese courier, and am very glad to know that your Majesty is well, and that the war is promising to be successful. I trust in God that He will continue to give your Majesty good health, as is most needful, and that He will grant you the victory over your enemies. I am now sending to your Majesty Don Iñigo de Mendoza, son of Don Antonio de Mendoza, and will therefore only write in this letter about the English marriage, so that if things turn out as your Majesty anticipates no delay may be caused by having to wait for news of our negotiations with Portugal. I will first of all kiss your Majesty's hands for what you say to me, for I very well see the advantages that might accrue from the successful conclusion of this affair. Your letter arrived at just the right moment, for I had decided to break off the Portuguese business in view of the reply brought back by Ruy Gomez to the effect that the King could not possibly give his sister more than the 400,000 ducats of her dowry (and from that sum would have to be deducted the 80,000 ducats still owing to my sister for her dowry and also the two large properties your Majesty gave her in these kingdoms; and the Infanta would bring about 45,000 ducats in jewels, silver and gold, the rest to be paid within one year; and I calculated that we might be sure of obtaining that sum fairly soon by the means that were suggested). (fn. 2) But when I read your Majesty's letter I thought I had better keep the negotiation alive by answering that, as the King could do no more for his sister, and as your Majesty had been led by what the King had said to the Most Christian Queen (fn. 3) to believe that he would be more liberal, I thought I had better inform you—as you will hear at greater length from Don Iñigo de Mendoza.
All I have left to say about the English affair is that I am rejoiced to hear that my aunt has come to the throne in that kingdom, as well out of natural feeling as because of the advantages mentioned by your Majesty where France and the Low Countries are concerned. It is certain that if she suggested a match between herself and your Majesty, and your Majesty were disposed, it would be the very best thing possible. But as your Majesty feels as you say about the question, and if you wish to arrange the match for me, you know that I am so obedient a son that I have no will other than yours, especially in a matter of such high import. Therefore I think best to leave it all to your Majesty, to dispose as shall seem most fitting. I have noted what the Queen of Portugal (fn. 4) : wrote to your Majesty about the Queen, my sister's, confession, (fn. 5) and also your reply; and I have written to her telling her to do as she pleases, and informing her of the letter I have received from your Majesty for the King. As soon as I know of her decision I will report to your Majesty; and if the object could be achieved it would be worth any effort.
I am sending with Don Iñigo the list of persons for the Peru appointment, together with my opinion. It is well that Don Francisco de Mendoza should come with Don Diego de Acevedo on the errand your Majesty wrote about by Castrate.
I am well, and my son the Infante (fn. 6) also, thanks be to God! My sister, (fn. 7) the princess, is with child.
Minute in Philip's hand. Spanish.
Aug. 23. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 21. The Emperor to his Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of the 16th of the present month, and read therein the tenor of your recent negotiations, both in the public audience and in the private one granted by the Queen of England, our good sister and cousin, to the Lieutenant of Amont in the name of you all. We approve everything that passed on both occasions; and we consider it a service most agreeable to us that you should inform us so particularly on every point. We do not doubt that in your written answer setting forth the advice you would give her on the question of troubles occasioned by religion, which she asked you for, you have been guided by your knowledge of our intentions as we expressed them in our preceding letters to you. Perhaps affairs will mend, as she is willing not to push matters forward without the sanction of Parliament, nor to compel anyone to follow one religion rather than another, and has expressly declared these to be her intentions. But it will be necessary for her to have a watchful eye on those who wish to rouse the people to revolt by predications, published leaflets or otherwise; certainly the leaflet you sent us a copy of (fn. 8) is a scandalous and unavowable production, deserving particular notice, and which should be severely visited upon the author, were it possible to discover who he is. It is clear that the foreign refugees will oppose her (the Queen) as much as any other class of people, in their fear of a change of religion, and that if they were thrust out of the kingdom they would not find elsewhere so convenient and comfortable a place of refuge. It would seem best therefore to be rid of them as soon as possible, without bringing religion into the question, as your letters prove that it is also opined in England. Let it (the ban) be pronounced against all the foreign refugees who were compelled to leave their native country for an offence against their laws, whatever the nature of it may have been. It would be best if this could be done by the Parliament, which might be brought to do it because of the general hatred of foreigners; especially as the Queen is resolved to have the coronation so soon, and to convoke Parliament immediately afterwards. It is certainly of the greatest moment to her that she delay not, nor neglect anything to consolidate her position, and make sure of everything that might militate against her safe establishment.
For this reason we approve the diligence with which the trial of the Duke of Northumberland and his accomplices has been expedited; and let the guilty be done away with. You may declare to the Queen that we do not intend to exhort her to clemency, though, as you said to her, it is well that she should display some towards the lesser conspirators, nor try to persuade her to extend it to the heads of the two plots that sought to deprive her of her right to the Crown and to bring about her brother, the late King's, death; both counts being of such magnitude that she is equally obliged to punish those who are indictable under either. You will do well to warn her that it seems to us that justice should be done swiftly and all at once, so that having given the example and spread the dread of punishment, the others whom she wishes to pardon may find respite and not be driven by fear to other intrigues and to foment tumults and riots, giving encouragement to French designs. In the name of God, let her not deceive herself with the delusion of clemency, nor neglect to make all things sure, by means of the just punishment she has ready to hand, of those who most likely could and would trouble the condition of the realm! As to Jane of Suffolk, if for the reasons she gave you, or for others, she does not wish to inflict the pain of death upon her, let her at least consider whether it would not be well to keep her in some safe place where she could be watched and guarded so that there should be no fear of her attempting to trouble the kingdom.
As to the resentment felt by some who adhered to her (the Queen) and gave her their support in claiming her rights, because she has retained in her Council those who opposed or plotted against her, you will do well to find a favourable opportunity to tell her what my Lord Derby said to you, Ambassador Scheyfve, and exhort her to bear in mind those who placed themselves in danger to accomplish their duties towards her. But as to setting the others on one side, it is impossible for her to do so, in our opinion, as some among them are much better informed of the condition of the kingdom, and they will be useful to her for the future. She must exercise her prudence to satisfy both sides according to their deserts as she shall think fit, as she must content and satisfy them all. If you have an opportunity of speaking to her without her taking it in bad part, you might give her to understand that people are said to murmur because some of her ladies take advantage of their position to obtain certain concessions for their own private interest and profit; and it would be well to take care because when once such things have begun, although they seem unimportant at first, they are apt to increase with time, and the remedy becomes more difficult.
As to the Queen's marriage, as we know by your letters that her inclinations are for a foreign alliance, it would perhaps be better to forego this point for the present, as they (the English) are resenting her actions with regard to religion. If we were to pursue the matter now, evil-minded people might take advantage of it to maintain that the Duke of Northumberland's objections were well-founded. Perhaps it might not be unwise to put off speaking about it until after Parliament has been held, as it is likely that the people of the country will make some mention of it, were it only to prove to her that they desire her to have heirs. They will probably urge her to decide to marry soon, because of her age, and for the safety and tranquillity of the kingdom; then the Council will discuss the subject with her and give her their opinion, as the case requires. The Queen need not hesitate to ask our advice then; and this seems to us better than that we should advance first, as the English are so jealous and touchy, and would probably suppose at once that we had some end in view. If the Queen thinks the contrary and that without further delay the proposal should be made to the Council by us, we do not think it should take any other form except to represent to them that it is highly suitable that they should have a King to assist their Queen, without entering into any particulars, and to ask them to persuade the Queen to marry, and give her their advice as to the alliance that seems most suitable to them, keeping in consideration the Queen's personal inclinations and the safety and tranquillity of the kingdom. The Queen's conditions are difficult to satisfy, especially in the case of a foreign husband; particularly with respect to the age (of the bridegroom) and still more to the desire she expressed to see the personage. As you know, this could hardly be accomplished in the case of someone whom she would wish to elect; as no prince of equal rank to hers would undertake the adventure of going to England with the possibility of being refused. This is the reason why not only princes, but noblemen and private gentlemen too, marry without the contracting parties seeing one another. We write this to you, and everything else contained in these letters, so that you may make use of it if and when you deem it advisable. But it is necessary that you shall make the Queen clearly understand that not merely in the matter of her marriage but in all else besides, we desire to give her all the contentment in our power.
You have not yet given us any information as to the particulars confessed by the Duke of Northumberland and the others, nor what has been proved against them; and only what you have heard from private persons, not from the Queen, as to Dudley's admissions. It is needful that we ascertain the truth, the better to advise the Queen in any contingency, and because it is important to us to discover the extent of the intelligence between the English and French; therefore, even if the Queen does not of herself give you information on the present condition of her kingdom, you will do well to find out as much as possible from her personally, by questioning her with all suitable moderation.
We gave audience to my Lord Warden the day before yesterday. He presented himself before us accompanied by the Bishop of Norwich, Hoby and Morison. He delivered his letters of credence from the Queen, and then related to us what was plotted against her, and how a good number of the Councillors and even the Duke of Northumberland's own followers, and in particular the army equipped by him, as well as several lords and noblemen, had, with money and men, gone over to join the Queen. He thanked us on her behalf for the affection we had always shown her, and recommended to us the keeping of the friendship we had always entertained for the kingdom. We reciprocated with gracious words, expressed our joy at her assumption to the throne, as a just and due event, and at the favour and aid miraculously granted to her from Above. We bore witness to the great friendship we had always felt for her, and excused ourselves for not having been able to help her personally, or work for her safety. We extolled the qualities of the English who would not suffer so great a crime to be committed, and had boldly, without fear of danger, joined the Queen. We felt an increase of affection for the English because of their conduct, besides the favour and amity we naturally felt for them; and we offered our assistance and goodwill to the Queen, assuring her that we would be as careful of her interests and those of her kingdom as if they concerned us personally, and more; and she might always reckon upon our favour and assistance. The Lord Warden reciprocated our professions of goodwill in the same terms, and afterwards presented the Bishop of Norwich as ambassador resident accredited to our Court by letters from the Queen. We gave him a favourable reception, and offered to second and assist him, Hoby and Morison then took their leave of us, being recalled by their mistress; and each of them separately requested us particularly to recommend them to the said lady, and bear witness that they had faithfully discharged their duty. As the Lord Warden drew near to us at this juncture, we declared at once to him that the two above-mentioned gentlemen had fulfilled their several missions as ambassadors, punctually and faithfully according to their charge, and we begged to recommend them to him. If they ask you to do the same, you may perform the same offices, in our name, with the Queen.
When this was over, the Lord Warden took his leave of us, saying that his charge was ended, and he did not wish to trouble us by asking for another audience; he would therefore finish his mission at once. We offered to speak with him often again if he wished it; but he abided by his first proposal, and we gave him leave to depart as soon as we should have found time to answer the letters he had brought to us. We have written to you in detail on all the above matters so that being well-informed you may conduct yourselves accordingly.
As to the warning you give us of the intrigues that were reported to you concerning the castle of Florence, we have heard nothing of it up to now, though we have received news quite recently. The Duke has had a certain Florentine, de Rocq, (fn. 9) taken prisoner, who had some intelligence and intrigues on hand against the person of the Duke and his state. Also certain intercepted letters from the King of France to Paulin (fn. 10) and Dragut Reis proved that the King solicited the Turkish fleet to assault the coast of Tuscany and that he hoped to obtain in this way that which he desired. His ministers were forced to come to terms about Siena, refusing the truce proposed by the Pope. Up to the present the said (Turkish) fleet is keeping the road to Africa and the islands, and has done no great damage as yet; on the contrary, damage was done to them (the Turks) wherever they landed. It was reported that their intention was to assail Savona; but we hope that Don Fernando Gonzaga will make the necessary provision to frustrate their designs. He is already in the field and is marching against the King of France's army under the leadership of M. de Brissac. (fn. 11) You may use this information to counteract the disguised accounts the French might give over there.
Brussels, 23 august, 1553.
French, Minute.
Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Aug. 23. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
I do not know whether this will serve as a reply to your letters of the 14th, which his Majesty has seen; but it has been impossible for him, up to the present, to come to a decision, without which I do not wish to proceed any further. You will see what is being written in the letters addressed to all of you, and that is the best one can do; for my opinion is that it would be unwise to go further until we hear news from Spain about the Prince's sentiments and how far he has gone with regard to the other match; otherwise we might compromise ourselves further than he would like. You have done very well so far; and until his Majesty sends you more instructions you had better temporise, though you may always endeavour to sway Queen Mary's inclinations in the direction of a marriage with the Prince, while being exceedingly careful not to allow her to suspect that you have been prompted by anyone else to do so.
Morison is going home. You know he is one of the most obstinate heretics in the world, and was a dependent of the Duke of Northumberland, of whose wife he was a relative by marriage. He is a great preacher and persuader, and bold enough to have preached to the Emperor himself, as you have heard; so I fear he may spoil all in England. Consider whether it might not be well to warn the Queen, so that if it were judged prudent he might be stopped at Calais, at least until the Duke is executed, and a close watch might be kept on him afterwards, in order to seize him if he makes any move. The Emperor has given him, at his urgent instance, letters of recommendation, very cold, as you will see; and even so he did it unwillingly because of Morison's character. Of course it was only pro forma, as you may declare if necessary.
Brussels, 23 august, 1553.
Signed. French. Partly cipher. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.


  • 1. Maguzzano is on Lake Garda.
  • 2. The words enclosed in brackets are crossed out in the original.
  • 3. Eleanor of austria, sister of the Emperor and widow of Emmanuel I of Portugal and Francis I of France.
  • 4. Catherine, sister of the Emperor and wife of John III of Portugal.
  • 5. See note to the Emperor's letter to Philip of July 30th. p. 127.
  • 6. Don Carlos.
  • 7. Doña Juana, wife of John, Prince of Portugal.
  • 8. p. 173.
  • 9. Rocca is not a Tuscan name; but there was a Tiberio della Rocca, often referred to in the despatches as Rocq, in the French service in 1648 and 1649, who sold information to the Imperial ambassador. See Vol. IX of this Calendar, pp. 260, 466, 500.
  • 10. Paulin, Baron de la Garde, a French naval commander.
  • 11. Charles de Cossé, Comte de Brissac, soldier and diplomatist, sometime French ambassador to the Emperor.