Spain: October 1553, 26-31

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

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'Spain: October 1553, 26-31', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 316-331. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

October 1553, 26–31

Oct. 27. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
This shall be in reply to what you wrote touching your conferences with the English Council about the island of Sark, on which subject the English ambassador here has also been spoken to. You will tell the Council that our affection for the Queen, our good sister and cousin, is such that we desire to do all in our power to oblige her, as she may see by our action in preventing Adrian Crole from abandoning the island until we should know from the Queen and her Council whether it could be of any use to them. Our end was to defeat the designs of the French, who must have been thinking of attacking England when they started fortifying it, for it is too far away from our dominions for them to be able to use it as a base against us. The Queen and her Council were of opinion that the fort ought to be demolished, but after considering the matter, we believe it would be impossible to do this without it costing much time and money, and exposing our men to grave danger. For as the work of demolition proceeded, an ever greater number of troops would be called for to protect the workmen; and France is so near (the island) that, with a fresh breeze, the French would be able to send as many men as they wished to attack it in four hours. Moreover, navigation is too risky at this time of year for us to be able to send troops from here without counting on assistance from the neighbouring English islands which, if it were given, would furnish the French with a grievance against England. We therefore do not see what we can do for the Queen in this matter, except to issue definite orders to Crole not to enter into any agreement with the French, and this we are doing in the letters we are now sending to him by you. The Queen had better confer with her Council as to the best course of action: whether to take possession of the island, which is no longer in French hands; or to pretend to turn Crole out by force under the pretext that his presence there is dangerous to the other islands, and then demolish the fort, or do whatever might seem opportune. Perhaps they will make less trouble about it (en feront moins de scrupule), now that, as you say in your letters, they have treated with Crole for the artillery he found on the island.
Your complaints of the outrages committed by the French in various English ports were well-timed; and we wish to learn what remedy has been devised. We trust you will not omit to insist upon the necessity for doing something.
As for the leave which has finally been granted to Cabot, it now looks as if he were going to start on his journey, as he has declared himself to be anxious to come. You will urge him to hurry.
Brussels, 27 October, 1553.
French. Signed, Charles; countersigned, Bave. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV. The original minute is at Vienna (Imp. Arch. E. 21).
Oct. 28. Besançon. C.G. 73. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
We are replying to your letter of the 23rd, which has informed us of the efforts made by the Bishop of Winchester, the Controller and others mentioned by you to persuade the Queen to consider Courtenay's suit and prevent her from thinking of a foreign match. Your last letters lead us to conjecture that the Bishop of Winchester planned the game and told each one what he was to say in order to make it as striking as possible; and the Queen chose her words very well to stop the Bishop, who may perhaps adopt the other view to guard against a reverse of fortune, now that he sees that he is unable to do anything for Courtenay. As the presence of your colleagues has not permitted you to make use of the letters sent to you on Paget's advice, of which the Queen also approved, we as yet have no knowledge of what hope there may be of successfully conducting the negotiation. We feel certain, however, that you will prove worthy of our confidence; and the Queen's attitude, taking as her main consideration the welfare of the realm and its protection against internal disturbances, and the designs which French action in Scotland show France to be harbouring, seems to us excellent. But as for what she said to you about wishing us to send her the marriage articles, you may explain to her that if she were to keep them secret they would be of no use, and to publish them before we were sure of her own wishes and of what was possible in the present condition of the country would involve too much discredit to the Prince, our son, were it for any reason to come to pass that the negotiation could not be concluded. It would be more suitable for the English to draw up the articles, in case they accept the match. You might assure the Queen that our love for her and desire for her kingdom's welfare would move us to raise no objections to the conditions mentioned in your letters of the 23rd. In that case the suspicions of possible drawbacks entertained by the English, and especially by the Council, ought to be dispelled once and for all. The Council would then understand that by means of this alliance they would be safer in their places and have more power than if any Englishman were to be accepted.
We were very glad to hear that Parliament was going on well; and what you say about the favour shown in it to Courtenay having been arranged by the Bishop of Winchester, with the object of getting him advanced to the throne, seems probable. We are of opinion that his activities are suspicious; and we will thank you to inform us of whatever you may discover in that connexion. There is for the present nothing to be said about the boastful words of the King of France on the subject of peace, except to hope that he may grow milder, recognize the need of peace in which he stands, and talk more softly. We particularly desire you to urge the Queen not to rebuff him if he makes any overtures to her, but to let us know at once what he has said, so that we may use that knowledge for the better guidance of our affairs.
Brussels, 28 October, 1553.
French. Signed, Charles; countersigned, Bave. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits Vol. IV. The original minute is in Vienna (Imp. Arch. E. 21).
Oct. 28. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. The King of the Romans to Mary I.
Madam, my good sister and cousin: On seeing the trustful letter you wrote to me by Martin de Guzman, I thought it well to write to you again in confidence, as our relationship and the affection I bear you bid me. I consider, Madam, that since the Lord has been pleased to set you in peaceful possession of the realm of England, and you have now, thanks to Him, been crowned, you ought to think of marriage, and marry you should, both in order to have heirs and to receive support and assistance in your task of government. There are two sorts of match that might be considered: your subjects might wish you to marry within the kingdom, and not a foreigner; in which case, knowing it to be for your and your realm's honour and profit, I would have nothing to say. And if you were to decide that it would be prudent, in order to obtain support, to wed some puissant foreign prince, I consider that the virtues and might of my nephew, the Prince of Spain, render him an excellent match for you; so if you and your kingdom were favourable to him I would wish him as well as if he were my own son, and would be very glad on account of my own kinship and affection for him. But, Madam, in case that were not to befall for certain reasons that might have to be considered, I wish not to omit to tell you that, if you should find my son, the Archduke Ferdinand, acceptable, I would be overjoyed to hear it, and I know that he has a great affection for your person and desires nothing so much as to hear such news, which would contribute to make me live happy all the days of my life. Madam, I have wished to inform you of my and my son's desires in confidence by letters written by my own hand, and not have recourse to great ceremonies and embassies without first knowing something of your own inclination. I assure you that my omission to send an embassy is owing to a fear of bringing you some harm, of which neither I nor my children would for any consideration wish to be the cause.
It has seemed to me to be prudent to make this proposal as secretly and confidentially as possible, for it is meet so to do between near relatives such as we are; and I beg you to take it in good part and forgive me if I have acted boldly, for God knows my intentions were good. If your reply tells me that you would not be offended by an embassy from me and my son, I shall take such steps in the matter as shall show the world that the initiative does not proceed from you, but from us, as proceed it ought. My son, Ferdinand, entered upon his twenty-fifth year on the 14th of June last, and I do not wish to say more of him, because I am his father, and you, Madam, may easily obtain information. The object of this letter, is to prove to you the goodwill that I and my son bear you, and our desire to conclude this alliance if it is to your taste and calculated to be advantageous to your realm, for neither I nor my son would intrude our personal wishes upon you, or desire to offer hindrance to the accomplishment of any match that you had chosen as honourable and profitable. Madam, I beg you not to hesitate in answering me freely what you wish me to do: whether we shall send to Calais, or tarry a little, or drop the matter altogether. As I have said, you and your kingdom's honour and advantage shall always be our chief care, as God knows, Who sees that I am writing to you the very truth (la vraye verité).
Vienna, 28 October, 1553.
French. Copy of a signed original. Headed, in Simon Reward's hand: Copy of the King of the Romans' letters, transcribed as follows, though there may be a mistake or two.
Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Oct. 28. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: The day that Scheyfve departed from this place, which was last Friday, (fn. 1) the Queen of England and her Council gave me audience and I presented your Majesty's letters to her, which as she had privily seen the copy she read with ease. Then, without waiting for me to declare my charge further, she said to me that she had wept over two hours that very day, praying God to inspire her in her decision on the subject raised in your Majesty's letter. She remembered so well what I had privately said to her that it was unnecessary that I should say more, and as she had chosen me as her second father confessor she felt she could no longer keep back the word that expressed her will, for she believed she would agree to the proposal made to her by your Majesty of a marriage with my Lord, our Prince; she trusted that your Majesty had acted for the reasons I had given, and she would hold me hostage for his Highness' virtues and qualities. She felt she could not do otherwise than follow your Majesty's good and trusty advice; she wished to speak with me apart to inform me of what she had said to Courtenay; she could not say any more without bursting into tears, but she would give me audience in her Council's presence. The only persons present were the Bishop of Winchester, the Earl of Arundel, Paget and Secretary Petre; (fn. 2) so she said to them that she had received letters from your Majesty persuading her to marry, and that it was enough for her to have heard your mind. She commanded them to hear what I had to say and consider it carefully. Before coming to the audience I had, on Paget's advice, privately given Winchester his letter to show him that your Majesty had a great regard for him and realised his importance. I also broached the subject, but the Queen sent for him and our conversation was cut short; and as soon as he entered the presence he told her that I had given him letters from your Majesty, and gave them to her to read. This turned out to be useful, because he imagined that I had letters for him only and decided to send for me to his house to tell him the rest. To return to the audience, Winchester took me to his room, whither he also called the Earl of Arundel, the Privy Seal, the Bishop of Norwich, Paget, Petre, and no others. In truth, Sire, I was perplexed as to what I should say to them, for the Queen had intimated her intentions to me and given me to understand that I was to speak to her Council as I thought best, whilst your Majesty had sent me no private instructions, but had referred me to the Queen. However, as I had no time to consult, I trust that your Majesty will forgive me for what you will recognise to be pardonable, and give me credit for my goodwill. I told the Council that your Majesty desired to neglect no means of proving your affection for the Queen and her country, and had resolved, after having considered the present favourable condition of affairs, the progress made by Parliament, the Queen's zeal in affairs of government, and what course it was advisable to adopt in the future, to instruct me to lay two points before them. First, I was to explain that your Majesty had not already caused anything to be said to the Queen about marriage because you had thought it not the moment to do so before she should be free of all the preoccupations caused by her coronation and first Parliament. Moreover, you had believed that the Council, in whose hands the whole government of the realm and of her person lay, would not fail, 3 they deserved to be called Councillors, to broach the matter to her in proper season. Secondly, your Majesty judged that if the Queen could leave posterity to succeed her it would be one of the most fortunate occurrences that could befall, and that even if, before coming to the throne, she had formed a resolve to remain single, it was now necessary that she should choose such a husband as should meet the country's requirements; so the sooner she could make up her mind the better, on condition the Council approved, but not otherwise, for the welfare of the kingdom should be her principal object. I trusted that they would take the message your Majesty had commanded me to deliver in good part, for you had been moved by your duty as a good prince, a good friend, a good relative, a good neighbour and a good ally, and had not ordered me to enter into further particulars. I believed that the Queen felt inclined to marry, and if the Council approved and would care to hear more from your Majesty you would not disappoint them.
The Council, after having deliberated at great length on my discourse, replied that your Majesty had never laid the Queen and her country under so great an obligation, and in the name of the Queen, her realm and themselves they most humbly thanked you for this holy, good, profitable and necessary reminder. Though some of their number had already thought of it, yet the matter was so important and personal to the Queen that they had not dared to make so bold as to mention it to her. Now that your Majesty had prepared the way for them they would report my words to the Queen and do their best to ascertain her wishes, after learning which they would communicate them to your Majesty and consult you on every aspect of the matter. And with this they repeated that they could not tell me how agreeable my message had been. I answered that whenever they desired your Majesty's advice on anything concerning the kingdom's or the Queen's welfare, you would give it as a true and fatherly friend ought.
This over, I thought it wise to go to the Controller (fn. 3) in his room. I presented your Majesty's letter to him, and told him what I had said and in whose presence. Your Majesty, I continued, aware of his high place in the Queen's favour and the loyalty which had caused him to risk his life and goods in her service, desired me to speak with him privately to ascertain, granted that the Queen consented to marry, his opinion as to what alliance would be best for her and the country. Your Majesty had this one consideration in mind and would never vary; and I intended to guide the negotiation by his (i.e. the Controller's) advice, whilst your Majesty would remember any trouble he might have taken in that connexion. I had been advised, Sire, to go to the Queen next, and to open the whole matter to her, but it seemed better to me not to go further until I had learnt his (i.e. the Controller's) mind, especially as it was known that he had pleaded for Courtenay. When he had read the letter he most humbly thanked your Majesty for the honour you had shown him in communicating so important a matter to him. And although this matter concerned the Queen, his mistress, yet he felt wonderfully obliged to your Majesty not only for having lent your approval through your ambassador, but also for having written letters on the subject yourself. He was quite ready to speak to me in confidence, but I must know that the Queen had some dangerous men in her Council, persons who felt no devotion to her but only feigned it because for the time being they could not do otherwise. He had seen what ill work they had tried to do in Parliament with regard to religious questions and the Queen's authority. I had better be careful to whom I spoke about this matter; and the Queen had councillors old as well as new, Inglefield and Walgrave among others. As for Walgrave, he was his (i.e. Rochester's) relative, so he would not sing his praises, yet he was a good man and true. He would come to me in two days and tell me the rest, and in the meantime I was to assure your Majesty that he would do his best to serve you. I only replied that I would take his advice, and that I had letters for Walgrave (fn. 4); whereat he told me not to deliver them until he had seen me again.
Your Majesty will thus learn that the marriage is so far advanced that nothing but the Council's opinion is lacking, as the Queen has given her word; and though she limited it to saying “believe” (croire), your Majesty well understands what that means. I believe that when she summons me to speak privately to her she will give me a plain affirmation. So may your Majesty be pleased to decide what shall be done next.
As for the Council, I see that they are well enough aware of the Queen's small liking for Courtenay, and are now working against each other in order not to let slip the honour and profit that will attend the successful negotiation of the other match. It will be hard to keep them satisfied, for if one acts the others will be jealous and may try to cause trouble in the country and jeopardise the Queen's position; wherefore I am endeavouring to keep in with some and confide in others. This problem is so difficult as to pass my capacity, and I humbly beg your Majesty to write me your wishes; for I so dread doing something that might not be acceptable to you that I fear this dread may cause me to omit necessary steps. And I once more implore your Majesty to forgive my shortcomings.
I take it that your Majesty will have arrived at a decision concerning the terms of the treaty that might be passed, as the Queen recently said she hoped you would; and I beg you to send me information on that subject.
As for news, Parliament has come to a standstill on religion, for it has done nothing for the last week but debate a number of articles that might well puzzle a General Council. Last Monday the bishops arranged a meeting between four schismatics and six doctors of the old religion; but their discussion was soon converted into scandalous wrangling, and when this came to the ears of the people and Parliament they were even more disgusted than before. There is much disapproval of the Chancellor's action in thus precipitately trying to right matters at a blow. Paget has told me in confidence that your Majesty had better delay Cardinal Pole's coming to Flanders on account both of Parliament and the match; for if he comes it is to be feared that Parliament will pass some unfortunate measure, and as for the match Pole might do harm as he is a relative of Courtenay. And besides saying this Paget has written it to me with great emphasis.
The Queen recently sent me the enclosed note, (fn. 5) to which I replied very definitely that she must not permit Throgmorton to come on account of Parliament and the papal authority which the English loathe more than ever. I did not say anything about the chance that he might try to do mischief where the match was concerned, and I do not know what she means to do.
Paget tells me that he has letters from a trustworthy source that tell him that the King of Bohemia wishes his Highness ill and is brewing trouble for him with all his might.
The Lady Elizabeth has left Court. Some say it would have been better to keep her here, because it is difficult to deprive her of the right to the throne with which the late King Henry, authorised by the power of Parliament to dispose of the succession by will, invested her, and if the Queen were to die to-day without issue there would be a dispute as to the next heir, though if the Lady Elizabeth were at Court she would not be able to plot as she may while absent. Others are of opinion that it is better, for the Queen's safety, to keep her out of the way; and that her visits and conversations may be spied upon.
It has been suggested to me that to marry Courtenay to Elizabeth would be a good thing for persuading the English to consent to the Spanish match, provided that Parliament would confirm the late King Henry's will as to Elizabeth's right to succeed to the Crown, only making it conditional on her becoming a Catholic. Others affirm that the match (between Elizabeth and Courtenay) had better not be concluded, because the pair might give the Queen trouble. Such are the opinions that are being uttered by the councillors and people of quality.
A good person of this country (ung bon personnaige de pardeça) has told me that three considerations ought to be brought to the Council's notice in order to render them favourable to a foreign match. First, if the Queen were to marry Courtenay and had no heirs he would try to make himself king, and the country would be plunged into strife because of the claim possessed by Elizabeth. Second, if the Queen had heirs he (Courtenay) would seize the reins of government during their minority, and not behave like a protector or administrator, but make himself absolute king. Third, he is proud, poor, obstinate, inexperienced and vindictive in the extreme, and if he succeeded in wedding the Queen he would dismiss and change all the Queens' councillors, servants and officers. The first two points seemed to me to be worth considering, but the third, though true enough, cannot be put to any use.
News, though not from a certain source, have arrived to the effect that Cardinal Pole has already passed Innsbruck.
News have come that the fort and harbour of Calvi (fn. 6) have been relieved, that the Turkish fleet has set sail for the Levant in bad temper with the French, and that Prince Doria is preparing to come to the island's assistance and turn out the French. The French are said to be making ready to build a fort near Hesdin. They had eight or ten ships between Calais and Dover, and thought to take my wife on her way over. (fn. 7) They came up within an arquebuse-shot, but God willed that the captain should outsail them, and come safely into Dover harbour.
Bernardino (fn. 8) has written me the enclosed letters (fn. 9) from Calais. He tells me of a Florentine spy, and is sending the letters to your Majesty in order that you may cause him to be asked to watch the spy, who is going to Flanders.
The Bishop of Winchester has confessed in full Parliament that he sued at Rome for a dissolution of the marriage of the late King Henry and the Lady Catherine, his first wife, saying that he did wrong in obedience to the King's orders out of a hope to please him.
I am sending to your Majesty a copy of Wotton's letters which I have not had time to have translated, because Scheyfve's secretary only gave them to me just as I was sending off this courier. I am also enclosing a copy of the recently passed Act of Parliament.
London, 28 October, 1553.
Partly cipher. French. Signed. Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Oct. 28. (fn. 10) Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. Varia 4. Mary I to Simon Renard.
Sir: I have learnt from my Lord Paget what has passed between you, and also that you are to meet to-morrow after dinner at his house. If you approve, I will send the present bearer thither to bring you to me about five of the clock, as Paget knows what is happening. I would like to speak to you in private before doing so in the Council's presence, but I will leave it to your great prudence and discretion to decide. Written this Saturday, about midnight.
Your good friend, Mary, Queen of England.
Holograph. French. Printed by Gachard, from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Oct. 28. Simancas, E. 879. Cardinal del Monte (fn. 11) to Cardinal Pole.
His Holiness is and has always been of opinion that three points should be considered in connection with your proceeding onward (to England). First, the honour and service of Our Blessed Lord; second, the spiritual assistance we can give to that most saintly queen (Mary); third, that from eagerness to help we may not come to give her hindrance in her private affairs and in those of religion. The decision on the third count was left entirely in the hands of your reverend lordship, who are well equipped with prudence, piety and charity. We hope and hold for certain that, when the Queen stands firmly established on the temporal side, the spiritual settlement will indubitably follow; but were she to attempt to settle the spiritual question before her temporal sway were made secure, both might be wrecked. The Emperor (l'invittissimo Imperatore) has informed his Holiness that he has sent word to your Reverence to remain where you are now, his Majesty being able to perceive clearly that blind precipitation might do much harm to this undertaking, whereas by temporising and proceeding circumspectly success might be safely encompassed. His Majesty does not consider that the peace is sufficient foundation for the legation, as every one is known to interpret it as being but a mask for the other purpose. His Majesty does not desire your lordship to draw nearer to him until he can see more light, and shrinks from being faced with the alternative either of allowing you to proceed on your way and risk losing all that has been attained hitherto in the kingdom (of England), or of detaining you without granting you audience, thereby giving occasion to malicious persons to speak ill of his Majesty as being opposed to peace, or indifferent to the reduction of the kingdom to the observance of the ancient religion. His Majesty feels quite blameless in the sight of God on both counts, and does not wish to bear the blame before the world. His Holiness is so well convinced of his Majesty's wisdom that he believes no mistake can be made by accepting and following his advice. He is equally convinced that great errors might be committed if the opposite course were adopted.
Rome, 28 October, 1553.
Copy. Italian. Printed by Ancel, Nonciatures de France, I, part I.
Oct. 29. Besançon, C.G. 73. The King of the Romans to Simon Renard.
We wrote to you on the 9th instant, and at the same time sent letters to our good sister and cousin, the Queen of England. We trust both have been received, and that, as we then requested, you will send us tidings, for we are hourly expecting news of you.
We have instructed the nephew of Licenciate Games, the present bearer, to present another of our letters to the Queen, and we desire that he may have your assistance in presenting it and obtaining a reply. We shall take any assistance you may render him as acceptable service to ourself.
Vienna, 29 October, 1553.
French. Signed.
Oct. 29. Simancas, E. 506. Cardinal Pole to the Emperor.
Pole protests against the orders to delay his journey towards England sent to him by Don Juan de Mendoza.
Dillingen, 29 October, 1553.
Holograph. Italian. Printed in the Venetian Calendar, from a minute dated October 28th.
Oct. 29. Simancas, E. 807. Simon Renard to Prince Philip.
My Lord: Since Don Diego de Acevedo was here the negotiations for the marriage between your Highness and the Queen of England have gone so fast that finally, on the 28th (fn. 12) instant, she has said to me the words your Highness will see from the enclosed copy of the letter (fn. 13) I have written to his Majesty. Consequently she has given me her binding word and promise to marry your Highness, and as this courier, coming from his Majesty's Court on his way to Spain, has arrived so opportunely, I have kept him back half-a-day in order to send your Highness an account of what has happened so far. May your Highness deign to approve of what I have done, for I assure you that you will find in the Queen such great virtues and prudence that this alliance will not be distasteful to you. The French, it is true, are doing their utmost to prevent the match, and so is the Venetian ambassador; but do as they will they have been beaten in these negotiations. It would be advisable for your Highness to practise speaking French or Latin for the reasons I have noted down, and because the Queen has given me to understand that she wishes the marriage to be consummated as soon as possible. I will not now touch on the present and future results of this alliance, only desiring that your Highness may always have the success of which your kingdoms and provinces stand in need. As soon as the articles have been drawn up I will send your Highness more news.
London, 29 October, 1553.
Holograph. French. A Spanish translation exists in the same bundle.
Oct. 30. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 21. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
Don Iñigo de Mendoza, sent expressly by the Prince, our son, to visit the Queen, our good sister and cousin, has arrived here. And as he knew not how affairs stood in England, nor whether it would be meet for him to proceed on his mission, and thought we would have more knowledge on the subject, he placed the decision in our hands. We have told him to go no further until we bid him to do so, fearing that his visit, if made in undue season, might cause trouble in England instead of merely fulfilling the duty imposed by kinship and affection. Therefore, although he passed through England and even London, he says he did his utmost to avoid recognition, and was unwilling to execute his commission without coming to us first. But we hear that he was seen by certain individuals (fn. 14) in London, and as the Queen will probably hear of his passing through that city we think you had better inform her plainly of the above and of the mission on which Don Iñigo was sent, telling her that we think it wiser to delay his visit until we see how the matter of which you have spoken to her proceeds, in order not to arouse untimely suspicions in the English. It is essential that she be told of the mission and its reason, so that she may not imagine that the Prince, our son, has been remiss in not sending to congratulate her on her accession, and giving her proof of the joy it gives him, who is her near and loving relative. The present bearer is being sent off for this one purpose. We are anxiously awaiting news of what you have negotiated since your colleagues' departure.
Brussels, 30 October, 1553.
Minute. French. Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Oct. 31. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Since the last audience of which my letters of the 28th instant made mention, I have been to the Earl of Arundel's house and presented your Majesty's letters to him. I also delivered my verbal instructions as I had done the day before to the Controller, and the Earl thanked your Majesty most humbly for communicating to him privately what he had already heard in the Queen's Council. He would perform such good offices, he said, as should give your Majesty proof of his devotion to the service of the Queen, his mistress, and of his high opinion of your Majesty's integrity and good faith in your dealings with her. And as he understood Latin better than he spoke it he would appeal to deeds which should stand in lieu of words. I also said to Secretary Petre, who was in the Earl's house, that I had letters for him to refresh his memory of what I had laid before the Council, and he told me he would act as a trusty servant and councillor might be expected to do. I went to see these men because they, the Bishop of Winchester and Paget, have the conduct of important affairs in their hands.
On Sunday (fn. 15) evening the Queen sent for me, and I went to her. In the room where she spoke to me was the Holy Sacrament, and she told me that since I had presented your Majesty's letters to her she had not slept, but had continually wept and prayed God to inspire her with an answer to the question of marriage that I had first raised at Beaulieu (i.e. New Hall). As the Holy Sacrament had been in her room, she had invoked it as her protector, guide and counsellor, and still prayed with all her heart that it would come to her help. She then knelt and said Veni, creator spiritus. There was no one else in the room except Mrs. Clarentius (Clarence) and myself, and we did the same. I do not know whether Clarentius knew the meaning of all this, though I think she did because of the affection (caresse) she shewed me. When the Queen stood up once more she told me that as your Majesty had chosen me to conduct this negotiation with her, so she had chosen me as her first father confessor, and your Majesty for the second. She had considered all things, thought over what I had said to her, and had also spoken with Arundel, Paget and Petre. She believed what I had told her of his Highness' qualities, and that your Majesty would ever show her kindness, observe the conditions that were to safeguard the welfare of the country, be a good father to her as you had been in the past and more, now that you would be doubly her father, and cause his Highness to be a good husband to her. She felt herself inspired by God, who had performed so many miracles in her favour, to give me her promise to marry his Highness there before the Holy Sacrament, and her mind, once made up, would never change, but she would love him perfectly and never give him cause to be jealous. She had pretended to be ill for the last two days, but her illness was really the travail that this decision had cost her. Sire, the joy this declaration gave me was such as your Majesty may imagine, and if she had invoked the Holy Ghost I had invoked the Trinity to inspire her with the desired answer. I told her that I would inform your Majesty, and would be unable to send you more agreeable tidings. Your attitude towards her would be as she wished, and as for his Highness' qualities and virtues, for which I had given my word, she should see his actions prove the truth of my assertions. I then informed her that I had approached the Earl of Arundel, the Controller and Petre, and she replied that the only person remaining to be spoken to was the Chancellor, about whom I was to speak openly to Paget. Arundel and Petre were of the same opinion. It now remained to decide what should be done with Courtenay; and some were of opinion that he had better be married to the Lady Elizabeth, as she was next in succession. She (the Queen) had received letters written by Pole at Innsbruck to Courtenay, and had opened them, but they only spoke of the legation to your Majesty and the King of France, and admonished Courtenay to be a faithful subject and show his gratitude for the benefits he had received of the Queen's humanity. I answered that I would speak to the Chancellor, and thought it would be well to conciliate the Controller and her other old servants, and give them some share in the negotiations. As for Courtenay, if he remained faithful, as he seemed to be at present, he would be deserving of regard, though a match between him and the Lady Elizabeth demanded careful consideration because of its possible consequences. As the Queen had good councillors about her, I trusted they would answer her sincerely on the subject. As for myself, I would inform your Majesty, and would think the matter over in order to give her my definite opinion.
Next, the Queen asked me how his Highness would be able to cross the sea at this season, and whether he would be willing to risk the uncertainties of the voyage; and she declared that she would leave herself in your Majesty's hands as to all the details. I replied that as God had been pleased to inspire her to choose this alliance, I trusted that he would command the winds, the sea and the weather to favour his Highness' passage; and as for the conditions, I was expecting their arrival and felt sure that your Majesty would make the public demand (i.e. for the Queen's hand) with all requisite ceremony. I am now waiting to speak to Winchester and Paget, to learn Winchester's views and consult Paget as to what shall now be done, and I will speedily inform your Majesty of the result. As I have no courier over here I am sending the present bearer, whom I beg you to have paid for his journey. Two couriers have come back to me without having been paid, I know not why, so may your Majesty be pleased to have their money given to them, for I am not always able to use merchants' couriers, and the present stage of the negotiations does not allow of it.
Sire, for my reward (allebriches) (fn. 16) for these good news I will only ask your Majesty favourably to accept my services and excuse my shortcomings.
The Queen has given me Cardinal Pole's letters to Courtenay and Wotton's letters of the 27th, which I have had translated. As for Courtenay's, they contain nothing more than what is said above. Wotton writes that an Italian called Thabot (fn. 17) a servant of the Cardinal, has arrived at the French Court, and has spoken openly of the Cardinal's mission to mediate between your Majesty and the King of France, saying that the Pope had made him legate a latere for that purpose, and that when his mission had been accomplished he was to proceed to England. The French, Wotton says, praise the Cardinal's prudence and virtue, but hold him in some suspicion because of the affection shown for him by the Imperialists during the last papal vacancy, though it is hoped he will accomplish more than the two others (fn. 18) who have come and gone. Wotton implores the Queen to let him know her pleasure as to what he is to do about receiving the Cardinal when he arrives in France.
He also writes that the French, on hearing that Don Fernando (Gonzaga) is raising troops, and that the Genoese, the Duke of Florence and Prince Doria are preparing for hostilities, have decided to send (the Prince of) Salerno, Strozzi and all the Italian captains to relieve the island of Corsica and hold it while two or three places are being fortified. They hope that if they are able to finish these fortifications they will manage to keep the island for ever. They are raising 400,000 francs at Lyons and 82,000 crowns at Venice.
The Turk's fleet (Wotton says) has gone back to the Levant, the Sophy's ambassador had audience of the Turk on the 20th of August, the Turk has departed for Aleppo with his eldest son, and the King of the Romans' ambassadors had audience of him on August 25th. The French are half-inclined to abandon the making of a fort near Hesdin, and the Grand Master of Rhodes (fn. 19) is dead, in whose place a Frenchman has been set, which dissatisfies the Spaniards and Italians. The secretary who brought the letters told a friend of mine that the French were mustering on the frontiers and had burned a few villages, that M. de Vendôme's son was dead, that the King was still at Villers-Cotterets, and that poverty, discontent among the people and the apprehension of ministers were very great in France, though the French had certain news from Germany that cheered them a little.
To-day there arrived in this place a gentleman who said he came from the Queen of Bohemia to visit his Highness on her part. I suspect he may be spying and trying to find out what is happening in Spain, with some evil object in view.
It is essential, Sire, to delay or prevent this coming of Cardinal Pole to England for the reasons mentioned in my last, and because the Queen has written to him in similar strain.
London, 31 October, 1553.
Holograph. Mostly cipher. French. A translation into Spanish, made for Prince Philip's use, exists at Simancas (E. 807).
Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Oct. 31. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. Varia 4. Mary I to Simon Renard.
Sir: I forgot to ask you one question the other night: that is to say, are you quite sure that there has never been any contract concerning marriage between the Prince and the daughter of Portugal, for there was much talk to that effect? I request you to write me the truth, on your faith and conscience, for there is nothing else in the world that could make me break the promise I made to you, so may God of His grace assist me! I also pray you to send me your advice as to how I shall broach this matter to the Council, for I have not yet begun to do so with any of them, but wish to speak to them before they speak to me.
Written in haste, this All Saints' Eve.
Your good friend, Mary, Queen of England.
Holograph. French. Printed by Griffet, Nouveaux Eclaircissements (Amsterdam, 1766).


  • 1. i.e. October 27.
  • 2. These persons were presumably out of ear-shot when the conversation just recorded took place between the Queen and Renard.
  • 3. i.e. Sir Robert Rochester.
  • 4. i.e. Renard would fill in with Walgrave's name one of the letters with the address left blank sent to him on October 10th, q.v.
  • 5. See the note dated October 25th.
  • 6. Calvi is a small port on the N.W. coast of Corsica.
  • 7. On October 17th Renard, whom Noailles always calls the Lieutenant of Mons, had asked the French ambassador for a safe-conduct for his wife, for whom he was sending to Flanders (Mémoires, II, 222).
  • 8. Perhaps Bernardino Ferrario, formerly Italian secretary to Sir John Mason and Sir Philip Hoby; see Vol. X of this Calendar, pp. 88, 153.
  • 9. No papers have been found enclosed in this letter.
  • 10. This note is undated, but was certainly written late in the night of Saturday, October 28th.
  • 11. Cardinal Cristoforo del Monte, a cousin of the then Pope, Julius III. Much of his correspondence with Pole is given in the Venetian Calendar. There was another del Monte cardinal at this time: the famous Innocenzo, a youth of seventeen whom the Pope had forced his brother, Balduino del Monte, to adopt in 1550. This person, nicknamed Il Prevostino, became Secretary of State to Julius III.
  • 12. Apparently a slip for 29th; for it was on Sunday, October 29th, that Mary gave Renard her word to marry Philip. See below.
  • 13. See Simon Renard to the Emperor, of October 31st.
  • 14. Don Ifiigo's presence did not escape Noailles, the French ambassador, see the Mémoires, Ed. Vertot, II, 232.
  • 15. Sunday, October 29th.
  • 16. Allebriches is a Gallicised form of the Spanish albricias.
  • 17. I have failed to identify this person. He is perhaps the same as one Labat, whom Noailles, on October 31st, reports to have been sent by Cardinal Pole to the King of France. (Mémoires, II, p. 233.)
  • 18. i.e. Cardinals Capo di Ferro and de Tournon.
  • 19. Jean de Homèdes, succeeded by Claude de la Sangle.