Spain: September 1553, 16-20

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, 16-20', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 238-250. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "Spain: September 1553, 16-20", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) 238-250. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

. "Spain: September 1553, 16-20", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916). 238-250. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

September 1553, 16–20

Sept. 19. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: It is not without good cause that we have repeated to your Majesty in our former letters that the kingdom of England is subject to changes, and its inhabitants capricious seekers after novelty; each day brings forth fresh proof and new instances of it. In particular, since our last letters to your Majesty were written, the Queen has sent us word through Scheyfve's secretary that certain Councillors now opine it would be better to hold the Parliament before the coronation, the. better to establish and confirm the reign; to discover the intentions of the estates in general and the tendencies of individuals; to discover if there be opposition; to annul the declaration of bastardy made by the Parliament during the life-time of the late King Henry in the year 1535, and declare the late King Edward's testament null and void. We were informed also that there was a good deal of plotting going on against the Queen in this town of London; arquebuses, arrows and other weapons were being collected in various houses, giving cause to fear that during the ceremony of the coronation, as the Queen must proceed to Westminster through the streets of the town for a distance of an English mile or more, some attempt might be made against her person. The Council were now of opinion that Parliament should be held before the coronation to avoid the likelihood of trouble; the Queen was distressed to hear of this alteration, and the Council could not agree as a whole with the opinion of Paget and others that the coronation should take place and the established order be followed. She asked our advice on the matter.
Although, Sire, the Councillors who emitted the opinion set forth above might have had some foundation of which we were ignorant, yet, after weighing and considering the knowledge and information we possessed, we remained of the opinion that the coronation should take place on the day arranged, without entering into discussions of the validity or non-validity of the said acts and testament. That can be done after the coronation has been performed. In the meantime a strict inquiry should be made concerning the houses where weapons were being collected, and the necessary steps taken to stop it. A certain number of soldiers should be raised to guard and preserve the Queen's person, because it is certain that there are Lutherans and rebels who long to disturb the Queen and her government.
As far as we can make out the intention of those who counselled the changes was other than it appeared to be, namely, to cast doubts upon and put in question the Queen's right to the throne; to render her more dependent on Council and Parliament than she should be; bridle her so that she cannot marry a foreigner, and bring about her marriage to Courtenay according to the Bishop of Winchester's design; prevent the establishment of religion and, generally, put their intrigues into execution.
The Bishop of Winchester adopted the proposal because of his private ends; the other Councillors, who belonged to the new religion, for other considerations. When the Queen received our advice and that of several others, she decided that the coronation should precede Parliament, the usual order be followed, and that a good number of soldiers should be raised for her safety. It cannot be found that Parliament ever preceded the coronation, except once, for a different reason from that now put forward.
As to the advice she asked us to give her on her scruples in creating new bishops, we gave her to understand that by nominating personages of mature years and qualified by sufficient knowledge and high morality to fill the vacant sees and do their duty as good shepherds, as it were provisionally, subject to their confirmation and institution by him to whom the right belonged, she might well set her scruples at rest, because their nomination was necessary for the forthcoming Parliament, and all the more because the nominations might be secretly confirmed by his Holiness. She would not, in that case, consent to the schism, but on the contrary accomplish good work in the cause of religion and the authority of the holy apostolic see. We also sent her word that she would be able to obtain a dispensation and power from the Pope to make the nominations and provisions until the schism could be ended and the reunion and reduction accomplished.
In order to do away entirely with her scruples, we declared that she might protest before her Chancellor that the provision was made out of necessity and not in contravention of the authority of the Church, but for the good of religion, because it was necessary that those she nominated should assist at the Parliament and support the cause of religion. She approved of the suggestion, but said she wished the Lieutenant of Amont and Scheyfve to be present when the protestation took place.
The Queen asked our advice upon another matter. Fearing that some attempt might be made to impose upon her a new oath in form and substance, other than that usually taken at the coronation by kings and queens, and especially that certain words or a statement concerning the new religion might be introduced, she asked us to tell her what she should do. We replied that it behoved her first to see the proposed alterations; and that if any mention were made of the new religion she should not on any account take the oath, which would be contrary to her assurances proclaimed by public edicts, that she wished to live and die in the observance of the old religion; and propter regnum humanum it was not meet abnegare Christum et sponsam suam ecclesiam; more especially abnegare eum per quem reges regnant. Were she to accept it she would bind her own hands, and could not promote the welfare of religion hereafter. She must follow the old and accustomed form of oath. She told us afterwards that she had seen the old form of oath wherein no mention was made of the new religion, but it was said that she should observe the laws of England; and in order to remove every uncertainty she would have the words just and licit laws added. The mutability and instability of affairs in England is not merely illustrated by what we have just said, but by the condition of religion, a reformation being more uncertain and difficult to achieve now than at the beginning (of the reign). Hoby's and Morrison's coming seems to have contributed to this, as we believe. A week ago the Bishop of Canterbury wrote a letter addressed to the people of England, that has come into as many hands as if it had been printed because of the great number of copies that have been disseminated, in which he said that those who spread the rumour that he had offered to celebrate mass in the Queen's presence, or reported it to her (fn. 1) were perverters of the truth; and that he maintained, (fn. 2) together with three or four preachers, whom he named therein, that the new religion, which he followed and had been observed in the kingdom for the last six years, was better than that observed for the last eight hundred or a thousand years. He declared that if mass was said at Canterbury it was not with his consent, but by force. He referred to the sacrifice of the mass in shameless terms; and the rest of the letter tended to stir up the people and give cause for scandal and revolt. He was summoned before the Council because of it, and constituted a prisoner in the Tower. (fn. 3) Others of his kind were sent there too. We hear that in several places there have been and still are held assemblies where religion is strangely spoken of.
Last Sunday the Lady Elizabeth did not go to mass, and the Queen has sent us word that she has half-turned already from the good road upon which she had begun to travel. Several intrigues are being hatched in her name, with her knowledge and encouragement, so that nothing is now certain, Sire, in this kingdom, either with respect to religion or the Queen's reign.
Many consider that the Queen should proceed against the rebel prisoners with prompt and exemplary justice. Her authority has suffered from the pecuniary compositions for offences, and people have come to judge her actions so freely that they go so far as to laugh at them. The Queen, we hear, has therefore decided to take a different course as to the prisoners, and to order the four sons of the Duke of Northumberland, and Jane of Suffolk, to be tried and sentenced to receive capital punishment for the crimes they have committed. The Lord Chamberlain (fn. 4) is to be put in prison in the Tower, and stricter measures adopted against the rebels. It might have been more proper to do this before; still the application of justice will serve to maintain and confirm the Queen's authority, which cannot be done here without a display of force.
A personage of this place, adviser (conducteur) of Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth, came to see us at our lodgings to communicate the writing whereof we send a copy with this letter, (fn. 5) and find out if we were of opinion that the coronation should precede the assembling of Parliament or follow it, as if with the intention to discover whether we had discussed the matter with the Queen. He said that several of the Council held the latter view, that the Parliament should be held before the coronation, so that the position of the Queen might be strengthened. Several people were already saying, he averred, that she wished to run counter to the laws of England and the statutes of Parliament; that troubles might be feared for the Queen, and he believed it would be best that Parliament should come first. We replied that our charge did not extend to giving advice on matters not pertinent to our office and mission; but in our opinion the author of the writing submitted to us overlooked the testament of the late King Henry VIII, who decided the contrary; the said will had been approved and registered by consent of Parliament and the Council, as we had heard, and therefore we thought that the summoning of Parliament ought to be announced and the coronation take place. The country seemed to us to be fully furnished with people qualified to decide, according to all appearances.
The publication of such leaflets, intended to bring about the Parliament before the coronation, is no doubt made with the object of traversing the Queen's affairs, and is not exempt of danger and suspicion. We hear from a good source that the Queen's Councillors are divided among themselves and cannot agree, and that they take sides violently.
Cardinal Pole's brother, (fn. 6) who was at Liége, has arrived here in his stead. When Courtenay heard of it he determined to kill him, because he said he was the cause of his father's (the Marquis of Exeter's) death, and of the Cardinal's mother's, (fn. 7) and he charged him with the crime. The Queen and her Council, being warned of it, had the brother of the Cardinal lodged in the house of a certain gentleman and guarded, to avoid his being killed.
The said Courtenay is beginning to give himself airs of importance, and he is courted and followed about by the whole Court; we have been told that some fall on their knee when speaking to him, as they do to the Queen, as if the marriage were a settled thing. In order to play his part thoroughly and prove to the Queen that he is of the old religion, when any gentleman or servant demands to be taken into his service, he asks them whether they belong to the old religion. He calls the Bishop of Winchester his father, and Dame Clarentius (Clarence) his mother. It was reported that he desired to travel in Italy and visit the country, but it has come to nothing. The Queen sent us word that he was beloved by the people and that he would not leave the kingdom.
Sire, we have asked to have access to the Queen and her Council to negotiate the contents of your Majesty's letters of the 14th of the present month; and the audience has been put off until next Thursday because of certain impediments of the Council.
London, 19 September, 1553.
French. Original in Simon Reward's handwriting; signed by the four ambassadors.
Printed from a transcript at Brussels by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Sept. 19. Brussels, L.A. 65. The Ambassadors in England to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: At our next audience of the Queen of England we will let her know the important recommendation which (paper torn: two or three words missing,) from your Majesty at his (sa) departure, and which will bear witness to his (ses) actions past and present, as we briefly hear from the Emperor's letters, so that she may trust or mistrust accordingly. (fn. 8) This shall serve as an answer to your Majesty's letters of the 29th of last month.
As to your Majesty's letters of the 12th of this month, we have sought information about the port of Bristol, and found that it is a port where one may arrive directly from Spain, about one hundred miles distant from this place, on the coast opposite Ireland. If the money is sent thither from Spain it would be an easy matter to have it carted to this place (London), but difficult to get it across to the Low Countries without a pass-port such as the Council usually grants. We have not thought fit to speak to the Queen about it until we know whether your Majesty decides to send the money to Bristol; in which case she shall know of it and be asked to find means whereby the money may be despatched without examination. It will be necessary that your Majesty order the vessels to be escorted by armed ships, from Dunkirk or elsewhere, for greater safety.
London, 19 September, 1553.
French. Original in Simon Reward's handwriting; signed by the four ambassadors.
Sept. 20. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 21. The Emperor to the Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of the 14th of the present month, and learned from them the exploit performed by Adrian Crole against the French, how he seized the island of Sark, and by what means. We do not know the character of the island, nor the service it might or might not be to us for the advantage of our own country or to the detriment of our enemies, especially as it has no port, as you say. Before coming to any resolve about keeping it we desire to have the opinion of our Admiral and others who know how the island lies, and the convenience it might afford. Meantime, so that we may have leisure to come to a decision, after the opinions shall have been heard, you may treat with the said Adrian to keep a good watch over the island for himself, making use of the conveniences offered him by the English officials. You may continue to give him assistance to the extent of 40 or 50 crowns beyond the 30 you have given him already, and we will see to it that you shall hear our final resolve in a short time. We desire you to ascertain the Queen's and Council's intention, for the island matters more to them than to us, by what one can infer from your letters, especially because the French might give them some trouble from it. Let them consider whether their treaties would permit them to take it over from us, and make themselves safe in this way against any attempts of the French from that quarter. You may go on to speak indirectly of the fact that they would not have to undertake the conquest of the island themselves. You will inform us with diligence of what you may learn on this subject.
We have also seen from your letters the reply given by the Queen to the instances of her courtiers in favour of the marriage with Courtenay. She has taken time to reflect, excusing herself on the ground that she is occupied with her other affairs; and therefore we will wait until MM. de Courrières, de Thoulouse, and Scheyfve return hither, before deciding what advice to give her on the subject, and until we hear their report and the information they can give us concerning English affairs.
The chrism asked for by the Queen was sent by the last courier, and we suppose you will have received it before this letter arrives.
Valenciennes, 20 September, 1553.
French. Minute.
Sept. 20. Besançon. C.G. 73. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
We remind you of the purport of the instructions given to you and to MM. de Courrières and de Thoulouse before you were sent by us to England, concerning the marriage of the then Princess Mary, now Queen, our good sister and cousin. We charged you to declare expressly to the Duke of Northumberland and the Councillors of the late King (Edward) and others, if you considered it necessary to do so, that it was not our intention to persuade the Queen, if she came to the throne, to marry a foreigner, but rather to debate with them whether there were not somebody in the kingdom who might be considered a more suitable match. We were certainly persuaded at the time that such a marriage would suit her best, especially considering the fact that her enemies principally founded their opposition to her on two points: the one religion, the other her marriage, as it was proved by their proclamation in favour of Jane of Suffolk, whose object was to exclude the Queen from the throne. Matters were in such a condition at the time that, humanly speaking, there was no hope of the success since shown by the Queen's affairs, as it has pleased God miraculously to dispose them.
Since then she has come to the throne through Divine Bounty, and her enemies have been delivered into her hands; she has punished some as an example to the rest, and according to the last letters written by you and your colleagues, her reign is being established more and more firmly every day, the people of England show their increasing favour, as your letters say, because of the lessening of the burdens imposed upon them; and the affairs of religion are taking a better direction. We have therefore been led to consider carefully her words to you, spoken immediately after her arrival in London, when the Duke of Northumberland and the other rebels were already in her hands: that she supposed our instructions concerning her marriage had been intended to meet the exigencies of the time. We see by your letters that she purposely discouraged Courtenay's suit in conversation with the Bishop of Winchester, although Courtenay seemed the most likely match for her, being of the royal blood; Cardinal Pole, on the other hand, has expressly declared that he has no desire of marrying; besides which we think that having followed the ecclesiastical calling so long, and become accustomed to the tenor of life pertaining to it, besides having taken deacon's orders, he would not be suitable. We presume, therefore, that the said lady, considering her quality and ancestry, would rather marry some one of her own rank than take as a husband one of her own subjects.
We have so high an opinion of her prudence, for her magnanimity and constancy in the past, as well as for the way in which she has conducted her affairs, in spite of many obstacles, with success and discretion, retaining not the affection of the people merely, but also of certain among. the chief men of the kingdom who adhered to her and took her part to raise her to the throne and defend her rights, that we believe she would not entertain the idea (of a foreign marriage) were it not that she knows the humour of the English well, having been brought up among them, and believes some means may be found to make them accept a foreign marriage. Certainly if, with her people's approval, or, in the event that the Queen decided upon it, without bringing a commotion about, it could be arranged, we judge it to be the plan most suitable to the present condition of her affairs. If Courtenay, or any other Englishman, were chosen, besides the fact that Courtenay cannot yet be safely reckoned with, his character being as yet unknown because of his long detention, there is cause to fear that he might attempt to claim greater authority than would be suitable were he to arrive at the royal dignity; for honours and dignities beyond the expectations of men often change their nature and render them insolent. Besides, he would have no power to defend her himself against any who might attempt to rebel against them both; yet it is reasonable to consider that many envious men there must be. Moreover, no well-founded reliance can be placed on Courtenay in the matter of religion and his firm adherence to it, as rumour has it he was half seduced in prison. Yet the question of the re-establishment of religion in the kingdom, for the discharge of her conscience and in sign of gratitude for the great favours granted to her by God, is the chief aim of the Queen. Were she to marry a powerful foreign prince, a catholic, she might look for assistance from him and add it to her own resources in all the events enumerated above, and in the case of any rebellion among her subjects.
We have considered the case, as above, and the assurance, so often repeated in your letters to us, of the Queen's great affection for us, her trust in us, her desire to follow our counsels, and that we might propose a match to her, as she wished to receive letters from us, couched in general terms, wherewith to consult her Councillors upon the matter. We have resolved to command you to speak to her apart, with a different pretext, as it will be easier for you to do now, arousing less suspicion than when your colleagues were with you, and you were more numerous, and find out in confidence her intentions and will concerning those proposals you shall make to her on our behalf.
You will go over the recital of past events as they are set forth above, to remind her of them and let her know that, because of the great love and affection we bear her, we have weighed rather the advantages that may accrue to her than any desires we might privately have entertained. The proposals we made before, at the beginning of her reign, and what was then said concerning her marriage with a foreigner, were even as we have declared above, and she has herself very well understood it; we refrained from mentioning the marriage with a foreigner in order not to prejudice her accession to the throne, which was then our greatest desire, and to see her firmly established upon it. We have heard from your letters that her greatness of heart is drawing her to desire a foreign alliance; that notwithstanding any resolves she might have made in the past not to marry, it has now become necessary that she should do so for the good of her kingdom, there being no more fortunate event that might befall it, than that she should leave children to succeed her. We also take our stand on the consideration that she would not incline to a foreign marriage did she not perceive the possibility of success, by using those means which she would herself consider most appropriate. We ourself, who esteem her and her virtue and goodness even more now than ever before, were we of a suitable age and disposition, and could it redound to the advantage of her affairs, would prefer no other alliance in the world to hers, as you may assure her, nor could any other give us so much satisfaction. But our health and age are such that we should consider ourselves to be doing but little for her in offering her our person; nor do we see that we could in any way further her interests; you know our determination, formed long ago, to remain in our present state; and even had we formed no such resolve, our indispositions would compel us to form it now. But we could not propose to her anyone more dear to us than our own son, the Prince, whose alliance would be much better suited to her, both because she could hope more surely to have children, and for other reasons. We desire that the proposal may be made to her, if she thinks it (the marriage) can be accomplished; and we wish to hear from her first in confidence whether such is her opinion. If she approves of it, may she explain and declare by what means it could be brought to a successful issue. Let it be well understood that if it were found that it might threaten her safety, although it is our foremost desire, we would not wish her in any way to undertake it, because of the affection we bear her. We clearly foresee that several objections and difficulties will be made over this negotiation; yet, if she approves of it, perhaps means may be found to carry it through. In the first place, she may be arrested by our son's age, considering him to be young; on the other hand Courtenay, whom her Councillors would wish to propose to her, as we understand by your letters, is not any older, nay rather younger we believe, our son being now in his twenty-seventh year, as she probably knows; besides which he has been married once, and long remained a widower, having a son now eight years old, all considerations that weigh with his years. You may represent to her the good that would come to the kingdom of England if God were pleased to grant her a son, as we must hope He will; because these our countries, so situated that the kingdom of England may receive great advantage from them, might remain united for ever under the same rule and governed by the same Prince, which would be the real means of keeping the French in check and making them hear reason. Moreover, by this union, one might hope that the Kings of England might recover their possessions in Guyenne, unjustly detained by their present owners, through the assistance that could be looked for from the crown of Spain and the kingdoms (fn. 9) joined to it, and even perhaps, recover the kingdom of France itself.
One of the principal objections that might be made to the marriage would spring from the fear the English would most probably have that if our son were to marry the Queen, foreigners, whom the English more than any other nation abhor, would interfere with the government. This might be met by giving an assurance that the affairs of the kingdom should be conducted by the Queen, and by her Councillors, Englishmen, without permitting that anyone else, whoever he might be, should have any part in them, or hold any office. Our son would find it easy to go to her often, either from Spain or the Low Countries, the sea-passage being a short and convenient one in either case, and made safe by this alliance, as the French could be prevented from keeping any vessels at all in these seas to hinder him. They might soon be compelled to abandon the footing they have acquired in Scotland, and she might reduce that country entirely to the obedience of the kingdom of England.
If difficulties were to be raised by the Councillors because of their own private interests, as having more at stake, one might perhaps find better means to win them over by making those through whom the negotiation were to be carried on safe in the principal offices of the kingdom, offering them besides sums of money or increased income, privileges and prerogatives; or using adroitly their apprehension that other Councillors, their opponents, might gain an advantage over them; or again by making a pretence of inclining rather to another match in the kingdom which might be contrary to their individual interests, so as to make them more readily approve of the alliance with our son, who has no reason whatever to wish them ill.
We have desired to set all this down for you so that you may communicate it plainly and in confidence to the Queen and learn equally clearly and confidentially her intentions, and ascertain her opinion on the matter. You will ask her on our behalf to set aside the ceremony and concealments which are practised by strangers when dealing with matters of this nature, because our friendship is of such quality that she may plainly declare her intention, and what she considers can be accomplished, besides her opinion concerning the means to be employed. As soon as we hear from you what she says, steps will be taken towards the Councillors and others, so that this affair may be decorously conducted, as is suitable in all that concerns her. Whereas she may answer you that she desires to communicate with her Council before taking a final resolve, you may say to her that in our opinion she has no reason to communicate with her Council in order to decide upon one point, without knowing which we would not care to let matters proceed any further: that is to say, her own will, and whether she inclines to the match. You will insist that she must give you a plain answer as to her own inclination; because if she judged it to be unsuitable or unacceptable, there would be no reason, as she will easily understand herself, to make any declarations to anybody; but also, if she judged the match to be a suitable one, and agreeable to her, and if the difficulties to be met merely concerned the means whereby it might be brought about, and she felt unable to come to a resolution by herself without consulting with some of her Councillors, you may ask her to trust you so far as to declare to you whom she would like to consult, and how much she would like to tell them, and in what way, and tell her that you would then, as her most humble servant, desirous of setting her affairs on a good road and proving the affection we bear her, give her your opinion on everything and assist her in directing the negotiation towards a succesful end. It would be necessary then that you should do so, and in such a way as to avoid any danger of prejudicing the undertaking by too much haste or lack of tactful speech.
The Queen will understand from what has been said the high esteem in which we hold her, as she most certainly deserves it in every respect; and you will excuse us for not having had the matter mentioned to her before this day. The reasons have been that we first wished to know how the marriage negotiations between our son and the Princess of Portugal stood, which were already begun before the late King Edward's death, and learn his intentions as to this one. You may certify to her that nothing was accomplished, that the negotiations did not come to anything, and that we are sure of our son's wishes. We also desired to see what progress the Queen's affairs would make, her establishment on the throne, and what results would follow. We have seen the condition of her affairs at present and learned from your letters the small inclination we may conjecture her to have for a marriage with any one of her subjects; therefore we have resolved to make the aforesaid proposal to her. It is our wish, nevertheless, rather to withdraw it altogether than to place her affairs in any hazard, because we have the consideration that we have already expressed for her interests. If it were to seem to her that the marriage would not be practicable for any reason, however greatly she might desire it, you will ask her to declare it to you in confidence so that you may inform us; and tell you what other alliance would be agreeable to her which might be brought to a successful issue; so that we may justify her confidence in us and prove the singular love and affection we bear her by causing her to be given our sincere advice, which she must always believe to be inspired by a desire for her own good and founded on the consideration of her advantage, which shall always come before everything else in our mind.
Valenciennes, 20 September, 1553.
French. Signed, Charles, countersigned, Bave. Printed by Weiss, Decuments Inédits, Vol. IV. The original minute exists in Vienna, (Imp. Arch. E. 21).
Sept. 20. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Your Majesty's letters of the 14th of this month make known to me your intention that I shall remain here as ambassador in ordinary at the Queen of England's Court when MM. de Courrières, de Thoulouse, and Scheyfve return. I cannot help beseeching your Majesty most humbly to grant me leave to come back for twenty or thirty days. Not, indeed, that I wish to excuse myself from the service; neither the honour conferred upon me by your Majesty and my duty and obligation to render my humble services to you, nor my desire to persevere and give you satisfaction by all the means in my power would permit it. But I proffer my request because I was sent hither suddenly, suffering from ill-health, and did not provide myself with a secretary, servants, or furniture; I made no special provision, having understood at the time that the journey was to last a month or forty days. I have a wife and children at Brussels, and I did not set my private affairs in order before leaving; besides which I owe a good deal of money, having received no pay for sixteen months as your Majesty's Councillor, the payment of the stipend being assigned in Burgundy (i.e. the Franche-Comté), where the post of Treasurer has been vacant for a year. Moreover, Sire, I have no money here, and no means of getting any as I possess no credit or friends; and a thousand crowns would not suffice to set me and my household up, according to the manner of living usual in this country. Your Majesty's letters make no mention of pay, stipend, or any provision whatsoever. I could provide for myself if your Majesty would permit me to come over there. My desire is to fulfil your Majesty's commands with honour and repute; all private considerations are set aside when the question of your Majesty's service is before me. If your Majesty's intention is otherwise, then I beseech you most humbly to order that I may be provided with what is suitable, considering the great expenses one must bear, and my own poverty, besides the fact that my pay as ambassador (to France) has not all been sent to me yet from Spain. May your Majesty grant that the forager of the archers (fn. 10) may come hither for a few months as my secretary, as he understands the cipher already, until I can train a fresh one.
London, 20 September, 1653.
French. Holograph.
Sept. 20. Brussels, L.A. 65. Simon Renard to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: Your Majesty will see by the letters I am writing to- (fn. 11), the request I am making and the just reasons that move me thereto. I repeat the same prayer to your Majesty and beseech you most humbly to receive it and add the favourable apostil it stands in need of, so that I may have the means of carrying out the charge entrusted to me by the Emperor and your Majesty, with the repute, success and skill demanded of me. I cannot bear by myself the burden of the establishment, the numerous servants and great expenses required, for I am not provided with sufficient property or income, as your Majesty well knows. Your favour will double my devotion to the humble service of his and your Majesties, and that of your dominions.
We have not sent duplicates of our letters (fn. 12) to the Emperor for your Majesty, and we trust and intend that the originals may be shown to your Majesty. We may have been mistaken in this; and your Majesty may desire me in future to send you your own private copy in duplicate. I beseech your Majesty most humbly to inform me of your intentions, as I would not be guilty of a fault in this respect.
London, 20 September, 1553.
French. Holograph.
Sept. 20. Besançon, C.G. 73. Simon Renard to the Bishop of Arras.
My Lord: You will learn the object I am pursuing from the copy of my letters to the Emperor which I enclose herewith. I hope you may consider my requests so reasonable that you will not merely hasten the success of my affairs, but speak in my favour and add your prayers to mine. Otherwise I see no way for me to remain here except as a simple agent; and I greatly marvel at the tenor of the despatch, so bare, making no ordinary provision, no mention of money, of means, without any regard for what you said to me when I left, entirely unprovided with all that I needed, and above all lacking a secretary and servants. As you know, my poor wife and children are over there in my poor house, unconsidered, with no money or means of procuring any I beseech you, my Lord, to consider their needs; especially as I must leave my wife over there because I cannot bring my children here; or if she comes to me, I shall have to leave the children in some monastery that they may be brought up, as my wife would not be able to see to their education herself. I do not wish to oppose the Emperor's will or your determination for any private consideration, or because of the difficulty and risk attached to the charge, but I merely ask to be allowed to set my affairs in order. It is necessary that I should do so, as the current expenses are much higher here than in France, for dress, servants in large numbers, food, banquets, and outward show in other respects demanded for his Majesty's good repute. The five crowns a day, only worth nine florins here, cannot suffice me. I do not wish to conceal my state of poverty from you, but rather let you know the truth. If the Emperor does not allow me my salary as. Master of Requests besides the nine florins referred to, I shall not be able to fulfil this mission except by ruining myself, and I do not believe this to be your intention. I trust you will allow me to come to you and explain verbally what I have not set down here. I remit myself, nevertheless, to whatever orders you may send me, beseeching you at the same time, my Lord, to give me a proof of the affection you have always been pleased to show me.
French. Minute in Simon Renard's handwriting.


  • 1. See the letter from the four ambassadors to the Emperor of September 4th, 1553.
  • 2. Cranmer's letter, together with other papers illustrative of this part of his life, will be found in Strype's Memorials of Thomas Cranmer, Vol. II.
  • 3. Cranmer appeared before the Lords at Westminster on September 13th, and at the Star Chamber on the 14th, when after long and serious debating he was committed to the Tower. The Council Books make no mention of others at this date.
  • 4. This must be the Lord Chamberlain to Edward VI, Lord Darey of Chiche, to whom a letter was sent from the Council on July 30th, commanding him “to keipe hys howse and to have no conference with anye but with his onlye howaholde servants, and to dysperse the numbre of reteynors which is informede he haith nowe in forcyble maner assemblede.” The Marquis of Northampton had been Lord Great Chamberlain on Mary's accession.
  • 5. This copy has not been found.
  • 6. Sir Geoffrey Pole, whose disclosures brought about the execution of his eldest brother, Lord Montague, and of the Marquis of Exeter in 1538.
  • 7. Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, executed in 1541.
  • 8. This doubtless refers to Sir Richard Morison, who had been English ambassador with the Emperor, and had now been recalled. He was an ardent reformer, wherefore his influence in England was feared at Brussels.
  • 9. i.e. Aragon, Navarre, etc.
  • 10. This personage may perhaps be Etienne Quiclet, who had been Renard's secretary in France and was also with him in England. He was discovered, in 1555, to have been for years in the habit of selling Renard's ciphers and papers to the French; and Renard's blind confidence in Quiclet was the chief weapon used by the ambassador's enemies to ruin him. (Lucien Febvre, Philippe II el la Franche-Comté, pp. 149, sq.)
  • 11. A tear in the paper here suppresses two or three words, which are probably his Imperial Majesty.
  • 12. i.e. the four ambassadors' letters.