Spain: September 1553, 1-5

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

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, 'Spain: September 1553, 1-5', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 197-211. British History Online [accessed 23 May 2024].

. "Spain: September 1553, 1-5", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) 197-211. British History Online, accessed May 23, 2024,

. "Spain: September 1553, 1-5", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916). 197-211. British History Online. Web. 23 May 2024,

September 1553, 1–5

Sept. 1. Simancas, E. 807. Prince Philip to the Ambassadors in England.
We received the letter you wrote to us on the 20th of last July, and we consider you have rendered us a service in displaying so much care to send us detailed information verbally through a special messenger concerning the events relating to the illness and death of the late King of England (whom may the Lord receive in His glory!), also the subsequent happenings in the matter of the succession to the throne, and the constant interference and intrigues of the French, well in accordance with their character, nature and condition. We have also heard that the Princess Mary, our very dear and well-beloved aunt, was acclaimed and received as Queen with outward signs of unanimous love; and although we had heard part of the news through different channels, yet the reports were not so certain and complete as those you wrote. We perceive that your arrival in England proved very opportune; this is made known by the industry and skill you have shown in executing the orders that the Emperor, my Lord, gave you, as jealous keepers of his interests; and such was his Majesty's opinion of you all when he appointed you to transact affairs of the quality and importance of these. We must add that we are greatly pleased and very joyful to hear of the said Princess's accession to a title which justly and rightly belongs to her. May God grant her the enjoyment of it for many years to come! We thank you for the diligence you have used in sending us full information, requesting you at the same time to continue to do so henceforward, and send us news of anything that may occur, both in matters concerning your mission, and other things that may come to your ears over there. I make the same request to him who shall remain in England as resident ambassador.
We thank you also for the news you gave us of his Majesty's good health, and the success of his affairs. God grant that they may so continue, and we charge you to give us good news whenever you have any to give, because of the joy they cause us.
The person you sent with your letter is returning to you with these our letters; he was paid for both journeys, as you will learn from him. I am in good health, and my son the Infante, God be praised, is also well.
Valladolid, 1 September, 1553.
Spanish. Minute.
Sept. 1. Simancas, E. 807. Prince Philip to the Ambassadors in England. (fn. 1)
We replied, as you have seen, through the person who brought them hither, to your letters informing us of the death of the King of England and of the accession to the throne of her Serene Highness the Princess Mary, our aunt. We described to you our pleasure and satisfaction, which it was reasonable we should feel, on hearing that the said Princess was received as Queen with such demonstrations of love and unanimity. We have thought well to send Don Iñigo de Mendoza to signify these our sentiments to her, and visit her on our behalf, so that he may also bring back news of her good health. You will hear from him such news as you may desire to have; we will therefore add nothing now, except to charge you to send us information through him of all that may happen over there, (fn. 2) and which it is suitable that I should know; and you will thereby please me greatly.
Minute. Spanish.
Sept. 4. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: The cause of religion, which we have written about amply on several occasions, and especially in our last letters to your Majesty, is making very good progress in the kingdom. The mass and other offices are being recited in public in this city of London and elsewhere, even at Canterbury; and the Archbishop, who was held to be as obstinate a Sacramentarian as any of them we could name, and has married two wives, (fn. 3) has offered to say mass in the Queen's presence. We receive news every day that at Windsor, Kingston, Worcester, at the Universities, and in various other parts of the kingdom, mass is being said again without any scandal or opposition that one can hear of or discover. The Lord Chancellor, the Bishop of Winchester, has told us that without any reformation, compulsion or commandment, affairs are following the right course to the greater glory of God and His holy service. The foreign Lutherans are gradually being sent away; in particular we have been told that two French preachers have fled the country; a Lasco (fn. 4) is prepared to take his leave of the Queen if she will grant him access to her person; Huten Hoone, (fn. 5) one of the chief preachers, may be converted and induced to make a retraction, being already well advanced towards it. The foreign preachers are leaving the country, and private individuals of foreign birth are making ready to go, having had wind of the news that they were about to be thrust out; and they have begun already to get rid of their furniture. A certain Spaniard who was living in Paris came here about six weeks ago; the King of France has ordered his ambassadors to request that he may be delivered into their hands, on the ground that he is guilty of committing several disorders and scattering false doctrine in the kingdom of France, and especially at the Court. He is said to be a violent Sacramentarian; but he has made good his escape. We have been informed that the foreign refugees mostly take the direction of Flushing, Zeeland and Holland on their way to Germany, Denmark and Northern Germany (Oostland). As we are making mention of foreigners, we will go on to say that, as M. Martin de Guzmán desired to go and take his leave of the Queen and enquire if she had written to his master, the King of the Romans, we sent word to the Queen that we proposed to accompany him to Court, and that we had also received letters for her from your Majesty and the Queen of Hungary. On the preceding day to that assigned to us, Lord Paget came to see us at our house to ask us, on the part of the Lord Chancellor, to put off our going to Court until the last day of the month of August, otherwise the Lord Chancellor would be compelled to put off the business of the Stillyard merchants which was to have been discussed on that day. We granted his request; but we were astonished to learn that the Queen had summoned her Council to be present when the said Guzmán was to take his leave and she was to receive your Majesty's letters from us. We bethought ourselves of some sort of negotiation to put forward, and agreed to found it upon the point concerning foreigners, which your Majesty mentioned in your last letters. In this way the Council could have no reason for thinking that we asked for an audience without business to negotiate, and would not be strengthened in the suspicions they might choose to entertain concerning our protracted stay in the country; as we shall explain later to your Majesty.
On the day of the audience it was declared that your Majesty had heard that a great number of your subjects under sentence for the commission of various crimes habitually fled from your territories and took refuge in the kingdom of England. You had been informed that they carried on mischievous intercourse both by letters and by word of mouth through third persons with their relatives, friends and acquaintances in their native land; you had learned of the insolence attributed to them in this kingdom, which went so far as to foment sedition, scandal and commotions. Both countries suffered harm and damage from these people, who were for the most part contemptible individuals. The treaties of peace declared that such should not be tolerated or receive encouragement or favour from the friendly sovereign; public affairs suffered from this condition of things, because the impunity enjoyed by the guilty was an encouragement given to commit crimes; the number of refugees was increased owing to the safety and liberty they enjoyed. We declared that your Majesty, taking moreover into consideration the fact that certain members of the Council had affirmed to M. de Courrières that it was only too true that the foreign refugees were a source of scandal and a bad example in the country, and that some remedy against them would be resorted to were it not for the fear that your Majesty or other neighbouring princes might take it in bad part, had now commanded us to declare to the Queen and her Council that you would never disapprove anything that tended to the maintenance of good order and administration of justice in the kingdom, and especially in the matter referred to. Your Majesty was rather inclined to advise the expulsion and banishment of the foreigners from the kingdom than to deprecate it, were they your own subjects or the subjects of others, being aware of the advantages and tranquillity both countries would derive from being purged of criminals, felons, vagabonds and misdirected persons who followed no craft or trade except to sow errors and heresies, and carried on dangerous machinations and intrigues. When the Queen heard the above declaration, she turned immediately to consult her Council, saying to us that she was engaged in considering the appropriate remedy and how to apply it, and would do so all the more readily since she had learned your Majesty's desires in the matter. The result of the negotiation has been that the refugees will be ordered to leave the country. M. de Guzmán then took leave of the Queen. The letters from your Majesty were presented to her, but she did not read them at once; she said she would need time to read them, as she was not familiar with your Majesty's handwriting.
We perceive by the evidence of our own experience and by the messages she sends that she places herself so much under the authority of her Council that she does not grant any except public audiences to the ambassadors for fear of her Council. It is important that your Majesty may know the extent to which she stands in fear of her Council and the reason of it. The same evening, when the letters were presented to her, she sent them to us to read, with a message saying that she was exceedingly troubled (le plus troubleé du monde), as she did not know how she could avoid showing the letters to her Council, and they contained two clauses that would give rise to suspicion in the minds of the Councillors: one where it was mentioned that she had written to your Majesty with her own hand; the other, where your Majesty said that the Queen had heard from, your ambassadors the reason of their coming hither, and that your Majesty would have done more for her had it not been for fear that it might turn to her disadvantage rather than to her good. We examined the letters, which could not give rise to suspicions unless founded on guesses and false suppositions, so we sent word to her through Ambassador Scheyfve's secretary that she was assuming an attitude of very great deference indeed towards her Council if she placed all the private letters she received in their hands; the letters were quite fit for communication and entirely to be approved; her Council could not judge them otherwise than as evidence of your Majesty's amity and desire to support the kingdom and continue in friendly intercourse, unless they were minded to spurn the friendship and turn their affections elsewhere, and knew her to be aware of it. We were astonished to find that she had summoned her Council from their business in London to be present when the letters were presented to her, considering that the Kings, her predecessors, granted private audiences to ambassadors whenever they thought fit to do so, and then informed the Council of as much as they chose. Her Councillors were so many, and had proved themselves to be so inconstant and variable that it would be dangerous to make them share in all the negotiations concerning important matters where secrecy and fidelity were essential. The Queen sent back a message to us that she had summoned her Council to be present chiefly because she feared that Don Diego de Mendoza and Acevedo might desire to mention the question of marriage to her on your Majesty's behalf; and that if she had been warned beforehand that the above-mentioned gentleman had received no commission to negotiate, as she afterwards learned, the Council would not have been sent for. This gave us clearly to understand that the Council's suspicions all turn upon this point of the Queen's marriage; and it is easy enough to understand, as there are no grounds at present for any other business of State or private affairs except the marriage: there is no question of upsetting the existing treaties, of any (military) undertaking, or of commercial difficulties; and matters of religion are conducted by the Council. The marriage, therefore, is the point on which all suspicions turn, which are not kept secret either, as among the people, and quite publicly, too, nothing else is discussed. It was given out that M. de Guzmán had been sent hither to negotiate a marriage with the King of the Romans, or my Lord the Archduke (fn. 6); it was said that Cardinal Pole was coming for the said marriage, and had got as far as Trent; that Don Diego (de Mendoza) and Acevedo were being sent to treat of a marriage with his Highness (Prince Philip). Courtenay was spoken of as being the candidate preferred by the English. The French published the news that your Majesty favoured the Prince of Piedmont; and by making use of this rumour we elicited the information that the Bishop of Winchester supported Courtenay, in order that, if the marriage were to take place, he might continue to govern. He neither desires the Cardinal to be preferred to Courtenay, nor that he should come hither at all; because in either case the Bishop of Winchester's authority and credit may be dimmed and diminished. He controls Courtenay entirely, and has complete command of him. We have been informed that Courtenay believes us to be opposed to his designs, and we had proof of this in the expression of his countenance and his general behaviour towards us at the last audience. It appears that the purport of the French ambassador's credentials was connected with, and founded upon, the said marriage. It is certain that the French have printed every sort of thing they could think of to deflect those who govern the country, both those in Courtenay's confidence and others, from consenting to a foreign match; the reason being that they can foresee that no suitable match could be found except among princes devoted to your Majesty. All their negotiations and intrigues turn upon that point at present. They well know that if the Queen marries according to your Majesty's desires the kingdom of France will have good cause to fear, and perhaps its fears may even prove to be justified. The Councillors believe us three recently-sent ambassadors to be tarrying for the same cause, and in truth, as no matter for negotiation is forthcoming at present which the ambassador in ordinary cannot well treat, or is not chiefly concerned with private interests; and as on the other hand it is not likely that all four of us are kept here without some special reason, and all the ambassadors sent from various quarters on visits of congratulation returned home at once, these considerations, together with others derived therefrom, seem to justify the suspicions we have referred to. The Bishop of Winchester showed signs of it when he asked M. de Courrières when we were likely to return home. Lord Paget asked us the same question at the last audience, and inquired particularly if we had letters from your Majesty to the Queen. Besides this, Sire, we are not visited or entertained by the Council or the nobility; the French ambassadors have been more courted and visited than we. The Queen sent us a message that the Bishop of Winchester and other members of the Council have urged her to marry, without entering into further particulars. This may mean that they wish to know her inclination and whither her choice is tending. The Bishop of Winchester being bent on securing Courtenay's success, there are serious difficulties in the way of negotiating a foreign match or of establishing any communication with the Queen, except in writing or through a secretary. Writing is dangerous, and the Queen sends no (written) answers; the secretary is as liable to be suspected as we are. We desire to make clear to your Majesty the exact position as we have set it forth above, and assure you that the presence of the four of us here together is commented in the above-mentioned way, so that you may command what seems best to you for your service and for the better conduct of our mission. This difficulty prompted us to send a written document (fn. 7) to the Queen concerning certain matters which your Majesty will see by the copy we are enclosing, in order to find out how she would meet the various points. We have also added to the document the full report, written by the secretary at our bidding, of his interview with her.
We have been informed that M. de Guzmán had brought the Archduke's portrait with him. We have not heard that he ever presented it, as indeed it was not suitable he should, having no commission to treat of a marriage. He said, nevertheless, that he hoped the Queen would receive other letters from the King of the Romans, his master. The account given to him, as it was also given before to us, by a certain Spanish pensioner of the late King Edward, named Don Michiel (i.e. Miguel), happened to coincide suitably with the exigencies of the present. He declared that in an assembly of Englishmen, where the conversation turned on the necessity of the Queen's marriage, he had been so bold as to say that the Archduke would be a suitable match for her; but the English were very angry with him, and ill-pleased because he had mentioned a foreign marriage. M. de Guzmán was rather more discreet and shy after this. He was not pleased with the present he was given of a chain worth two hundred crowns, not because of the value of it, but because of the difference that was made between him and the French ambassadors. They left last Wednesday, and were given a present of eighteen hundred ducats. Before leaving, the Bishop of Orleans visited the Queen on behalf of the young Queen of Scots.
The Stillyard merchants have had audience of the Queen. Their spokesman, a subject and pensioner of the Duke of Gleves, who was sent to France on a mission by the said Duke, spoke in favour of the maintenance and confirmation of their privileges and of the revocation of the sentence pronounced against them. We are informed that they will obtain what they are asking, and that some of the Councillors have given their opinion in their favour, hoping for a recompense.
We have not been able to find out more about the trial of the Duke of Northumberland, and the answers he gave, than we have written already to your Majesty. The Queen sent us word that he made no confession as to the French intrigues or as to the charge of poisoning. The marriage of his son Guilford was promoted by the Marquis of Northampton, the Earl of Pembroke, the Duke of Suffolk and others; and it appears that it was thought best not to inquire too closely into what had happened, so as to make no discoveries that might prejudice those who assisted in the trial and the rendering of the sentences. We are informed that the execution of the sentences passed on the rest of the prisoners was delayed in the hope of obtaining a pardon; and that the Marchioness of Exeter, mother of Courtenay; Dame Clarentius (Clarence) and the said Marquis (of Northampton's) first wife have sued for his pardon. They have told the Queen, in order to move her to pity, that he never ceases weeping. We hear also that several of the prisoners are no longer narrowly watched, but permitted to walk about the castle (i.e. the Tower). We have been told that the Duke of Northumberland's sons will not be executed; and that the Queen has bestowed an income of 4,000 crowns on the Duchess of Northumberland, a furnished house and a pension of 300 crowns, besides (the enjoyment of) her own private possessions. (fn. 8) We have also heard that the Queen, following the advice of four Councillors given her in the absence of the rest, dismissed and disbanded the 2,000 horse she had about her person for her guard, on the pretext that their cost was very high; she was persuaded she no longer needed them, as she was safe on her throne. We do not consider the step a wise one, at least until she is crowned and Parliament assembled, for reasons that your Majesty may well understand.
Captain Cabot has declared to us that your Majesty wrote to Ambassador Scheyfve to ask leave for him to go to your Majesty on a certain errand related to your service. He requested us to do so now, as Scheyfve had not spoken in his favour so far; and he informed us that the matter at stake was a very important one, and concerned a secret which your Majesty was very anxious to possess, and if he were to fall ill or any untoward event were to happen the secret would never be heard. Ambassador Scheyfve, who was present, said he must remind Cabot of the steps he had already taken on his behalf: that your Majesty had written to obtain leave for him, but the letters were addressed to the late King Edward and his Council, and Scheyfve received them on the very day of the King's death. The troubled state of the kingdom had not given him another opportunity to repeat the request, as he had informed the Bishop of Arras. This business, which Scheyfve had spoken to us about some time ago, was at first deferred because the Queen was but recently set upon her throne and the Council was not yet formed; we also took into account the great difficulties that were experienced heretofore in obtaining leave, which was in effect denied him. The said captain is a pensioner of the Crown, and in receipt of a salary; he has been employed on several occasions upon the equipping of certain vessels for the discovery of new land, which have not returned yet. The people in London set a great value on the captain's services, and believe him to be possessed of secrets concerning English navigation. We forbore from renewing the request to obtain leave for him, either of our own accord or by virtue of the old credentials addressed to the late King, because it might have brought suspicion and ill-will upon the Queen. We replied to Cabot that your Majesty had as yet sent us no orders; and that we would inform you of what had occurred so that your desires might be ascertained.
We hear that a fortnight ago the Spanish fleet was off Cape St. Vincent, where it went into port because two or three vessels were leaking; it will reach Flanders soon, and is carrying about 1,200,000 ducats; some 500,000 for your Majesty; 300,000 or 400,000 sent by Schetz; 200,000 by the Fuggers; and a hundred thousand belonging to private individuals.
The Queen has sent us word that my Lord Chamberlain, (fn. 9) who is detained in his house during the Queen's pleasure, has introduced arquebuses and weapons into his house by night; which gives rise to the suspicion that he and others may have rebellious intrigues in hand. We have received information from a good source that Courtenay is said to have asserted to a personage in the Council that we were here to treat of the marriage of the Queen with the Prince of Spain, but that no such marriage would take place.
A Report made by Ambassador Scheyfve's Secretary.
The Secretary was sent by us (fn. 10) to the Queen, and declared to her on our behalf what is said above. (fn. 11) She replied as follows: First, as to your Majesty's letter, that she would only show it to the Bishop of Winchester, declaring to him at the same time that the letter clearly showed the affection your Majesty had for her, and your desire to see her affairs prosper, and the kingdom in a good condition. She would meet the suspicions that the first clause in your Majesty's letter might awaken in the Bishop's mind by declaring that she had written to your Majesty with her own hand at the very beginning of her reign, before her Council was formed. She said she was determined to free herself from the imposed obligation of summoning her Council to her side whenever she gave a public audience; she would follow the same course as her predecessors and let Councillors remain at a distance until the business had been proposed to her, when she would call upon them to approach and give their opinions as the case required. She went on to say that she wished us to know that the point of her marriage was not to be brought forward by us at a similar (public) audience, because she could not feel sure of being able to keep an even countenance, and the nature of the communication made to her might be conjectured and perceived (by those present). She would have desired all four of us to repair to her in secret, by a certain way she described to the secretary, so that the Council should have no grounds for becoming suspicious, and hold a communication with her on the subject of her marriage. But as it was to be feared that the four of us might not succeed in coming unobserved, it might be more expedient to have two of us only, namely Ambassador Scheyfve and the Lieutenant of Amont. She wished us to go as soon as possible, because she was about to leave Richmond, and repair to another smaller house of hers near by. Written communications were never as easy or clear as verbal intercourse, besides which it was both troublesome to her, and dangerous to write. She explained that a certain conversation she had held with the Bishop of Winchester on the day M. de Guzmán took his leave, and the next day as well, moved her to advance so much as to make the above request to us, and she said that your Majesty should know of it. The Bishop expressed his own astonishment, and that of several lords of the realm, that your Majesty had not proposed a match for her, considering the great affection your Majesty had always felt and professed to feel for the Queen and the close tie of kinship between you; particularly, he said, taking her age into consideration, and that one day's delay counted for her as much as one year might for another. Her marriage would be a great boon to the kingdom, a relief to her, and would mean much more still if she could leave an heir to succeed her. She replied that she was well aware of your Majesty's sincere affection for her, because she had received proof of it, which obliged her eternally. She had ever considered you as her second spiritual father, and still held you as such; and she would not agree to any match without the knowledge, advice and consent of your Majesty. She added, moreover, that even if her late father were still alive and desired her to marry, she would not give her consent without your Majesty's knowledge, as she had once declared and would declare again. The secretary observed in reply that haply the Bishop had entered into this conversation in order to find out from her if we had made any proposals or put forward any match on your Majesty's behalf.
The Queen, continuing her conversation, declared to the secretary that on the same occasion the Bishop told her that when he went as ambassador from the late King Henry to your Majesty, about twelve years ago, he was discoursing on one occasion with your Majesty on the kindred you possessed in this country and their affection for you, and your Majesty declared to him the great and sincere affection and love you bore to the Queen, then Princess of England; and said that were it not for your constant indispositions, the great stress of business that pressed you on all sides, and if your affairs could have permitted it, your Majesty could not have chosen a better match than the Queen, or one that would have pleased you better. She said no more than this, and concealed whatever answer she might have made to the Bishop. He (on that occasion) had proceeded to expatiate on the virtues, qualities and merits of Courtenay, on the ground that he was of the blood royal, nearest to the throne, well-conditioned in every respect, and thoroughly beloved by the people; that he had suffered a long and unjust imprisonment; and he added as much more as he considered likely to recommend him to her, without entering, however, into any proposals concerning her marriage. The Queen was well aware, nevertheless, whither his designs tended, and replied it was early days yet to pass a judgment on his virtues and merits, as he was very young and but recently possessed of his liberty. We would all be able to judge him by his actions; and she knew quite well whither the Bishop was tending, and he had more in his mind than he had said to her, but he deceived himself greatly on that point.
They (i.e. the Queen and the Bishop of Winchester) then changed the conversation and came to speak of Cardinal Pole, whom Winchester himself and the Bishop of Durham had already settled and agreed to create Archbishop of Canterbury, thus diverting him from a marriage that might have been contemplated between him and the Queen; he declared that the Cardinal had taken two or three orders of the Church which could not be annulled in any way; and he let the Queen know of it, so that she might turn from the Cardinal and the match with Courtenay might be advanced.
The Queen requested us to write to your Majesty and beseech you most humbly on her part to be pleased to write a letter to her, or at least to certain of her Councillors proposing the question of her marriage in general terms, so that the Bishop of Winchester and two or three others of the Council, who had spoken generally to the Queen on the subject, might be diverted from their opinion; while we, in the meantime, should carry on secret negotiations with her. However, she remitted everything to the enlightened discretion of your Majesty.
The King of France is equipping and arming several vessels on the coast of Normandy, and especially at Le Havre.
London, 4 September, 1553.
French. Mostly cipher. Signed by the four ambassadors.
Sept. 5. Simancas, E. 505. Simon Renard to Prince Philip.
My Lord: Your Highness will no doubt have heard from the letters we sent you by special messenger on the 20th of July last, how the Lady Mary, your Highness's cousin, was proclaimed Queen of England notwithstanding the opposition and hindrances set up by the Duke of Northumberland and his partisans, supported by the French. We will now inform you, so that you may learn the good results that followed upon the said proclamation, that the Queen has summoned and formed a Council composed of sundry worthy and notable personages, for the most part Catholics and above suspicion, or rather, we should say, entirely trustworthy, who understand the affairs of the kingdom. She caused the Duke of Northumberland, his five sons, Jane of Suffolk, his daughter-in-law, wife of one of his younger sons named Guilford, to be cast into prison; and also the Duchess of Northumberland, the Duke of Suffolk, the Marquis of Northampton, the Earl of Huntingdon, the Bishop of London, a Lutheran, the captain of the late King Edward's guard, and his brother, a Gentleman of his Bedchamber (fn. 12); Andrew Dudley and Henry Dudley, brother and cousin respectively of the said Duke, Palmer, and several others of the Duke's party. These persons were accused of the crimes of lèse-majestie, rebellion, treason, conspiracy and forgery, for having taken up arms against Queen Mary, for having by false representations procured the drawing up of the late King Edward's will, for having poisoned him, and for having carried on certain intrigues with the French, contrary to the good of the kingdom and the country's freedom. Their trial was so speedily put through that, on the 18th of the present (fn. 13) month, the said Duke, the Marquis of Northampton and the Earl of Warwick, eldest son of the Duke, were condemned to death; and on the next day Andrew Dudley, brother of the Duke, the captain of the guard, his brother, and Palmer were also sentenced to the last penalty by the judgment of their peers and of the ordinary men of the law, with all the imposing ceremony usually observed in this country when a capital crime is imputed to noblemen or personages invested with dignities.
The prisoners confessed all the crimes imputed to them, except the poisoning; nor could they deny having taken up arms against the Queen, as it was a notorious fact, and they had even had heavy artillery transported, with which to attack her troops. With regard to the intrigues with France, they were confessed by Henry Dudley, cousin to the said Duke, who was sent to the King of France when the said Jane was proclaimed Queen, to inform him of the event, and of the exclusion of the Lady Mary; the confession was proved to be true, but the intrigues had no result. Henry Dudley was sent to remind the King of a promise he had given the Duke to succour him with money and men if it were necessary and he became hard pressed to establish and maintain the said Jane and deprive the Lady Mary of the enjoyment of her just claims and rights. The said Henry was caught and arrested at Guinea on his way back and taken to this place. He was found to be carrying a letter from the King of France addressed the said Jane with the title of Queen of England, congratulating her on her accession to the throne, and accrediting the said Dudley to her for the answer to her message. When Dudley was questioned on the subject, he confessed that the King of France told him that he would employ his forces by land and by sea, and would sooner forsake his present enterprise against the Emperor in the field than break his promise to the Duke, even to offering his own person in her service. The Duke had made sure of the King in case his Majesty decided to espouse the quarrel of Queen Mary. It was also discovered that the Duke had promised to hand over to the French Calais, Guines and Hames, the English possessions on the mainland, and Ireland. While Henry Dudley was negotiating with the King, the Constable of France wrote letters to the Deputy-Governor of Calais to try and persuade him to let him into Calais with an armed force on the pretence of assisting the said Duke; the town of Calais being usually called the key to the kingdom of England, and greatly coveted by the French to ensure the protection of Picardy and the Boulonnais. In confirmation of the credentials given already to the said Henry Dudley, the King of France despatched the Bishop of Orleans and M. de Gyé, Knight of his Order, (fn. 14) to cross over to this country and under pretext of assuming the protection of the said Jane and her throne, bring their intrigues with the Duke to a head. But the ambassadors received the news that Queen Mary had been acknowledged and proclaimed Queen, that the outlook of affairs had altered entirely in the kingdom, and their intrigues had come to naught, the Duke and his party were weak, the people desired Queen Mary, those in whom the Duke put his chief trust were forsaking him, and God would not permit evil deeds against the rights of Queen Mary to be consummated; and they went no further than Amiens, but waited there with the Constable, who had arrived thus far with the intent of making ready the forces of the King of France, in expectation of news confirming the proclamation (of Jane), after which he was to march forward. The French, well knowing that they had no more hopes of being able to upset and oppose Queen Mary's rights to the throne and that they could not stay the ambassadors' journey without giving evident proof of their displeasure, determined to dissimulate their resentment at the publication of their intrigues, and alter the credentials of the said ambassadors, who in effect came over here to visit Queen Mary and offer the customary compliments and congratulations, which necessity exacted from them, as they could not make war on England for the present at any rate, their hands being full enough with the war with his Majesty. Moreover, their intrigues with the Turk have ceased for this year, and those they carried on with Duke Maurice (of Saxony) and his brother (fn. 15) have come to naught because of Maurice's death, and left them with nothing to hope from Germany, while his Majesty's affairs are making good progress. The said ambassadors are here now; nor have they yet had an audience of the Queen. (fn. 16)
While these events followed their course, the Queen made her entry into this, the principal town and capital of England, with great pomp, accompanied by the nobility and vassals of the Crown, by the men-at-arms, and the principal ladies of the realm, and took possession of the Tower and Castle, where the treasure, jewels, ornaments, munitions and riches of the kingdom are kept, while the people and all the subjects of the Crown generally exhibited the greatest joy one can possibly imagine, far greater than I can describe in writing. On the cross-roads of the town and wherever the Queen was to pass, inscriptions were set up saying: Vox populi, vox Dei.
After the entry had taken place the late King Edward's body was buried in the Church of Westminster. There was some discussion concerning the ceremonies that should be observed on that occasion, whether the Queen should be present or not, whether mass, which had been forbidden for the last seven years, should be said, or whether it should not; and the Queen had scruples of conscience on the subject, because the late King Henry, her father, mentioned especially in his will the funeral ceremonies to be observed, and she considered that the same should be held for her brother.
The funeral was conducted eventually in the manner prescribed by the religion of the country, in which he had died, for several reasons which were carefully gone into. The Queen, however, caused mass to be said at the Castle by the Bishop of Winchester, who had been kept five years in prison in the cause of religion, and was set free by the Queen at her entry, together with Courtenay, the Duke of Norfolk, and he who was once Bishop of London. Mass is being said even now at Court, though no one is compelled to assist. Following the example (of the Court), the singing of mass has been re-instituted in London; it is said usually in Latin, as well as the other offices, matins and vespers; and little by little religion will be reformed. The foreign refugees are doing their best, it is true, to incite the people to sedition by means of secret machinations; but the Queen has a strong hand, some who were mixed up in conspiracies have been taken prisoners, and the other plotters have no means to work out their intent. They are about to be banished from the country as they foster and nourish disaffection and errors.
The Queen and her Council are attending to questions of the internal government of the country, and at the present moment they are engaged on the coinage, which was adulterated and debased. She is establishing herself firmly upon the throne; her coronation is fixed for the first of October, and the assembling of Parliament for the fifth. The chief consideration now is whom the said Lady shall marry; so that her husband may perform the offices which do not properly belong to woman's estate (la profession des dames). I am aware that his Majesty is writing at length on the subject to your Highness; I will not repeat what there is to say, or enlarge upon it; but merely add that the King of the Romans has sent Martin de Guzmán to put forward a marriage between the Queen and the Archduke, but his Majesty has not thought it suitable to propose a foreign match for the present, for several considerations which your Highness will readily understand.
The sentence passed upon the Duke of Northumberland was executed on the 22nd of this month. (fn. 17) He repented, confessed, and received the holy sacrament before his death, and performed the duty of a good Christian, owning that since he began to follow the new religion all his actions had been evil and unfortunate. He repeated it several times in the Tower and on the scaffold, where his head was cut off in the presence of over fifty thousand people. His declaration will help greatly to promote the affairs of religion.
The French camp is at Amiens, along the river Somme, over which they have built one or two bridges. The King, who knows his army not to be strong enough to hazard a battle, is still at Compiègne. His Majesty (the Emperor's) camp is at Miraumont, three or four leagues (fn. 18) away from the French. I will refer your Highness to what you shall hear from Don Diego de Acevedo, your maistre d'hostel, and beseech you most humbly to give credence to that which shall be declared to you.
London, 5 September, 1553.
French. Holograph.


  • 1. Sent by Don Iñigo de Mendoza.
  • 2. The last words of this minute were added by Philip's own hand.
  • 3. Cranmer's second wife, a niece of Osiander, whom he married in Germany in 1532, just before he became Archbishop of Canterbury, was still living at this time.
  • 4. i.e. John à Lasco, the Polish reformer, who had resided for several years in England. See Vol. X of this Calendar.
  • 5. Apparently Dr. Horne, Dean of Durham, who was summoned to appear before the Council on September 15th, and again, “eftsones, upon his allegiaunce” on October 6th, 1553. See Acta of the Privy Council, 1562–1554, pp. 349, 355, Dr. Horne became Bishop of Winchester in 1559.
  • 6. i.e. the Archduke Ferdinand, younger son of the King of the Romans.
  • 7. This is in all probability the paper entirely written in Simon Renard's hand, printed on p. 194.
  • 8. The Council Books show no sign of any such liberalities; on the oontrary every entry where the name of Northumberland appears, records appropriation of property by the Crown.
  • 9. The Marquis of Northampton was Lord Great Chamberlain at the time of Edward VI's death; but it appears that Thomas, Lord Darcy of Chiche, who was Lord Chamberlain of the Household, is here referred to. He had been ordered to keep his house by the Council on July 30th.
  • 10. The four ambassadors.
  • 11. See p. 201.
  • 12. i.e. Sir John and Sir Henry Gates.
  • 13. Present must here be a slip for past. Northampton's trial took place on August 18th.
  • 14. i.e. the Order of St. Michael.
  • 15. i.e. Duke Augustus of Saxony.
  • 16. It is difficult to explain why Renard asserts that the French ambassadors had not had audience, for in fact they had, and Philip might easily have heard the truth from another source.
  • 17. Northumberland was executed on August 23rd.
  • 18. Miraumont ia some 25 miles from Amiens, in the direction of Arras.