Spain: November 1553, 6-10

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

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, 'Spain: November 1553, 6-10', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 337-352. British History Online [accessed 25 May 2024].

. "Spain: November 1553, 6-10", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) 337-352. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024,

. "Spain: November 1553, 6-10", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916). 337-352. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024,

November 1553, 6–10

Nov. 6. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: I importuned the Chancellor until he gave me audience on Sunday last (fn. 1) at the break of day. I told him that ten days had passed since I had spoken, as he knew, to the Council, and as I had had no reply I knew not what to think nor to write to your Majesty, and feared that my message had not pleased them. He replied that I must excuse him because he had had so much to do with Parliament, religious and other affairs that he had not had time to breathe. My speech about marriage had been very agreeable to the Council, and the country would always remember it and feel deeply obliged, for the Queen had decided to marry solely for the hope of obtaining heirs and the welfare of the kingdom, and when I should speak to her on the subject she would tell me so. I then said that your Majesty had instructed me, in case I were informed that the Queen was inclined to marry, to speak in confidence to him, for you were aware of his exalted position, his integrity, loyalty and affection for your Majesty. If you were assured that the Queen desired to marry you would willingly lend your assistance whether her choice were to fall on an Englishman or a foreigner, for your only care was for the Queen's happiness and the good of the realm. If it were to be a foreigner, your Majesty would suggest a suitable match, and propose conditions that would contribute to the public welfare and the confirmation of a peaceable and friendly alliance. As all this depended upon the Queen's inclinations, which ought to be free, I begged him to tell me frankly if he had heard anything about them; for your Majesty intended to proceed with all due respect and deliberation, and he would thus do you a pleasure of which you would be mindful when occasion should offer. He replied that he had not yet gone so far in conversation with the Queen, nor would it be suitable to do so, for your Majesty was wholly in the right in holding that the Queen ought to make known her inclinations first of all, as she was the party chiefly concerned. He, personally, would speak to me freely and trustfully, and tell me that he had determined never to attempt to persuade the Queen to choose any given person, but only to advise her to ponder inwardly on whom her choice ought to fall. If it were to be an Englishman, he would do his best, as in duty bound, to aid her to achieve her wishes, if a foreigner, he would do the same; but if the Queen asked him whether it would be better to choose within or without the realm, he would always assure her that it would be better for the public good, for the security of her person and her subjects' tranquillity that she should choose a husband in England.
It would be very difficult, the Chancellor proceeded, to induce the people to consent to a foreigner, for the very name was odious to them and always had been. If the Queen were to marry his Highness, the people would never put up with the Spanish character, in which they would only be imitating your Majesty's own subjects, who could never learn to bear them in Flanders. Also, England would be marrying everlasting strife and danger from the French, for the King of France would never leave his Highness and the Low Countries in peace, and England would consequently be put to expense, whilst if his Highness' affairs went ill, it would fall into the hands of the French, who already had a road open into it by Scotland, were plotting to seize Ireland in order to do still more damage, and intriguing with the Scots, who were claiming the throne on the ground of relationship and the very Acts of the English Parliament. If the alliance with his Highness were to be arranged, it would be necessary to obtain a dispensation from the Pope because of the kinship, and this would have to be done not publicly but secretly, for otherwise the people would rise against the Pope's authority, which they rejected; and even if children were born of the marriage, its legitimacy would be attacked because the dispensation had not been public. Though your Majesty and the Prince might intend to adapt yourselves to English ways, the people would fear you meant to do otherwise, and for the people fearing and believing were the same. It was much more important to remedy religious affairs than to arrange a foreign match, and as it was clear that the King of France was encouraging heretics in this country on the ground of the danger of a foreign match, its results would be to redouble intrigues and give the ill-disposed an opportunity for proclaiming that his Highness would try to restore religion by force. While the late Duke of Northumberland lived the very fear of a foreign match was enough to cause several vassals to follow his faction and rise against the Queen's person and rights. Your Majesty ought to feel sure that the majority of Englishmen were Imperialists at heart, and ought not to ask more of them than their trusty goodwill. The results of marriage were not always those that had been planned. As for himself, he was no politician and felt less bound up with worldly affairs than was generally imagined; but while in prison he had thought a great deal about present conditions, your Majesty's difficulties, the troubles of Christendom, the proceedings of the French and Germans, and the events that had taken place in this kingdom, and had come to the paradoxical conclusion that your Majesty would do better to keep England's friendship without seeking any closer alliance. Also, it would be better for this country to remain friends with your Majesty rather than to possess the Low Countries, for the marriage would not suffice to provide a remedy for both your Majesty's affairs and religion. It was a dangerous matter to take a share in the marriage of princes, like Cromwell, who arranged the match between the late King Henry and the daughter of Cleves because he believed that Germany would ever afterwards assist this country for her sake; whereas the marriage only lasted one night and ruined Cromwell. Therefore he did not intend to take such a share in the present negotiation as might later bring blame upon him. Moreover, it must be remembered that as his Highness and his attendants would be unable to speak English there would be great confusion among a rough, fickle and proud people, who could neither understand nor make themselves understood in the requisite manner. Finally, he knew that there was no foreign alliance more promising than one with his Highness, and that your Majesty could not propose a better, so he had gone into these details with great frankness although I had not mentioned his Highness' name; and he did not know how his Highness would be able to guard his person in England. I must believe that there was no man in England more devoted than he to your Majesty's service, for he well knew your integrity, magnanimity and virtue, which had been proved by so many actions, and he thought he would be failing to act like an honest man if he did not respect your Majesty, love you for your great merits, and assure you of his desire to serve you.
I replied that as he had given a particular interpretation to my general remarks, I would say that his resolution to follow the Queen's inclinations was excellent, for she was the person most nearly concerned, and for this reason every one who had discussed the question of her marriage agreed that her choice ought to be free. Such was the custom of princes, and must certainly be that of princes and princesses of the Queen's exalted rank and lineage. Your Majesty would always hold this view. As for his intention to advise her to marry within the kingdom rather than abroad, because a new-comer would not be able to choose the best and most capable persons, I could only say that I thought attention ought to be given to the Queen's object in marrying, her honour, the benefits the realm and the Queen herself might look for, the maintenance in office of the Councillors, and whether the person of her choice would be acceptable to nobles and commons. It seemed to me that the arguments he used applied as well to an Englishman as to a foreigner as far as religion and the designs of the French were concerned. Merely as a private opinion, I took it that his remarks were based on drawbacks that could never crop up in his Highness' case, for the ancient and trusty friendship disposed of such fears, and your Majesty had never failed to keep your promises, for rather than permit anything to be done in violation of a treaty you had incurred risks and suffered in your rights. His first point concerned the people; but I believed that when the people were thoroughly informed of all the benefits that would be conferred by an alliance with his Highness—if such an alliance could be arranged—they would be glad and prefer it to one within the kingdom, recognising it to be such as the times required, for the Prince was of good birth, puissant, a good Catholic, and able to do more for the tranquillity of the people than anyone else. Besides, if he wished to marry the Queen according to the people's preferences as they might be represented to him, he would be abandoning the course he had traced out for himself, and I would not insist, as he well knew what the people were like. As for the Spanish character, I did not see that it was disreputable or would necessarily be disagreeable to the English. He had said that your Majesty's own subjects could not put up with it, but that was mere talk, though it was true that soldiers, whether of Spanish or other nationality, were never welcome among the people; and this might be remedied because his Highness would be served not by Spaniards only but by Flemings and Englishmen, and the Spaniards would behave with such modesty that they would adapt themselves to English ways and avoid all misunderstandings. Whereas he said that England would be marrying fear and danger from the French, I did not think that such a result was to be looked for, because it might be stipulated that, whatever war were to take place, the kingdom should not be bound beyond the obligations imposed by former treaties. He might remember that when a marriage was arranged between the late King of England and the eldest daughter of France it was agreed that England should not break its treaties and alliance with your Majesty and your dominions. Security rather than danger was to be looked for, because if the French, aided by revolts in Germany and the might of the Turk, were now unable to injure your Majesty or your Low Countries, they would be even less inclined to attempt it in the face of the alliance, for fear it might cause England to declare against them. He must be aware of the present condition of France and the want to which the King was reduced, since God had declared against him and thrown him far out in his calculations. If England was willing, as I hoped, to keep and renew its former treaties with your Majesty, the French would be unable to attack the Low Countries without forcing England to render the stipulated aid, and it would be difficult to defend the Low Countries without going to war with France. Thus England's fear of the French was in reality an argument that worked against him; for if they now had a road open into England, as he said, and were also plotting, that was enough tacitly to break the peace and to prove that your Majesty, and you alone, were to be looked to for assistance. All this constituted a further reason for seeking alliance with a puissant prince, able to defend English liberties.
The Queen of Scots, he asserted, laid claim to the Crown of England; but that also worked against his theory, for it ought to be an inducement to choose a husband who should be strong enough to protect the Queen and her heirs against the schemes which would probably be laid against her because of the fact that the Queen of Scots was married to the French Dauphin, (fn. 2) a matter of great consequence, He must know that if England and the Low Countries were united, and had the support of Spain, the French King would never be able to put his designs into effect. The dispensation to be obtained from the Pope was not a serious objection, for the French would not attack the legitimacy of the marriage on that ground, and a secret dispensation would do as well as a public one. He himself had already advised the Queen to obtain a secret dispensation for a matter of greater importance. Moreover, he knew that the kingdom held the Queen to possess the power of granting dispensations, as she had been given the title of Supreme Head of the Church; and I believed that if the French meant to attack England they would do it with the sword, and not with the lack of a dispensation as their weapon.
The country had no good reason for fearing that his Highness would attempt to alter its laws, for his Highness and his advisers well knew how important it was to adapt themselves to English ways, and how much trouble might otherwise ensue, and your Majesty would inviolably perform what you had promised. There was no fear at all when a treaty had been passed with a trusty, honourable and friendly Prince, whose fidelity had been proved to all Christendom.
He had said that religious affairs ought to be remedied first of all, and I would agree if it were possible to do so. I saw small likelihood of it, however, especially as he knew the French to be working against that cause and acting so wickedly as to support error for their own ends and purposes. His care ought therefore to be to protect the country against their lawless designs, and as he knew princes commonly sought foreign alliances for the sake of gaining strength and friends, whilst England had suffered much shame and disquiet because of the alliances contracted by the late King Henry with his own subjects. The Duke of Northumberland had tried every possible expedient to get the Crown into his own hands and make himself king, and, moreover, had remembered that there had been some question of marrying the Queen to a foreign prince before her father's death, realising that, as she had hopes of succeeding, if she had actually come to the throne it would not have been possible to dissolve any marriage she might have contracted with a foreigner before her accession.
If, as he asserted, the majority of Englishmen were at heart devoted to your Majesty, the alliance would increase their devotion and would also win (to England) the hearts of the subjects of the Low Countries. He had said that marriages did not always turn out as they were expected to do, but I looked for nothing but good from this alliance, if it came to pass, for I hoped it would provide heirs, the result most to be desired by the country, and that would silence all objections, and make for peace, amity, the tranquillity of subjects, the increase and security of the kingdom. His considerations did not seem to me to be probable, for he must realise how unlikely it was that the King of France would be able to do your Majesty much harm; and his paradox appeared to express no truth: the friendship and the possession of a country were two different things, but the lord held both a country's friendship and its obedience, and friendship might be given at will. It was vain to imagine that your Majesty looked for help in your own affairs from the alliance, because for years past you had managed without your neighbours' assistance, and though you might have demanded aid under the treaty when the French were near Valenciennes you did not do so, and yet the French enterprise failed. For reasons he might understand unaided, it was more likely that the alliance would further religious affairs than injure them. As for what he said about the danger of taking a share in royal match-making, that might be true if the marriage were undesirable or fruitless; and as for the languages he would have his Highness know, besides the fact that he knew Latin and French, I felt sure that he would rapidly learn the other. He had connected the above objections with his Highness' name, but I felt certain that your Majesty had so great a regard for the Queen that, if your health permitted, you would desire to marry her yourself, and failing yourself you were unable to propose anyone dearer to you or better suited to England than his Highness, always on condition that the Queen favoured him and the kingdom would accept him. As soon as you were assured of that, your Majesty would make a public proposal. I felt certain of the sincerity of his professions of affection for your Majesty, wherefore you had instructed me to approach him; and I begged him to assist me in obtaining a reply and audience of the Queen. He replied that it was true much might be said on both sides, though he personally could not do otherwise than stick to his opinion, because with the people fearing and believing were one and the same thing. Nevertheless, if he saw that the Queen wished to marry a foreigner he would not demur, but would render as good service as your Majesty could look for from any humble servant. And I thanked him, saying I would inform your Majesty.
As soon as the Chancellor reached Court, he told the Queen of the general remarks on marriage I had uttered to him, and his reply to the effect that the Queen's inclination ought to be the first consideration, and the one that should guide him; though he made no mention of all his arguments for rejecting a foreign match. The Queen, who was already instructed and had made up her mind, replied to the Chancellor that for the last week she had been sorely afflicted, had prayed God and cried out to be inspired. She could not bring herself to marry within the kingdom, rather than do which she would never marry at all, but remain in her present state all her life long; and as he was her chief and most trusty counsellor she would tell him of her decision, so that he might think it over. At that the Chancellor replied: “And what will the people say? How will they put up with a foreigner, who will promise things he will not keep once the marriage has been concluded?” The Queen replied that her mind was made up, and if he preferred the will of the people to her wishes, he was not acting towards her as he had always promised to act. For her own part, she believed it was the best course for the country. At that point the Earl of Arundel and the Privy Seal came in and put an end to the conversation.
Immediately after speaking with the Chancellor, the Queen sent for me by the inclosed note, (fn. 3) and told me in Paget's presence what she had replied to him. She then said that the members of Parliament were importuning her for audience to speak to her about marriage; she well knew that they were urged on by Courtenay and the Chancellor, but she would only give audience to the Speaker (proloquiteur). We then decided that before doing so she should give me audience, and I should demand a reply to the letter I had presented. She should reply, with many expressions of gratitude, that she had induced herself to marry for the public good, and found your Majesty's opinion similar to that of her Council. I should then say that your Majesty had ordered me to declare to her that your esteem for her and zeal for her kingdom's welfare were such that if your health permitted you would offer your own person, but that being impossible you would be unable to propose anyone dearer to yourself or more suitable than his Highness. If you heard that he would be acceptable to the Queen, you would cause a public proposal to be made, accompanied by conditions in which she and her Council could not fail to recognise your sincere affection for her and the country, and would observe all the usual ceremonies. But as her own wishes were the most important point, I should implore her to declare them to me, and pronounce myself certain that your Majesty would be ruled by them in every respect. We further decided that the Queen should answer, after conferring with her Council—which she has reduced (fn. 4) to six persons: the Chancellor, Arundel, the Bishop of Norwich, Paget, the Controller and Petre—that she could only thank your Majesty again most humbly for the honour you were doing her, and say she was ready to listen to so great and honourable a proposal, feeling sure that your Majesty would have a care for the kingdom's interests. Before giving me audience she will consult some of the Councillors in private, and though I fear your Majesty will not like to have so important a matter pushed on so rapidly, as the Queen and Paget decided to do so I was unwilling to make any objection for fear she might withdraw her promise, and the matter could not remain a secret in any case, as the Chancellor has gone so far. I did not choose to mention to the Queen all the difficulties that the Chancellor rehearsed to me for fear of alarming her; on the contrary I always remind her that she is a Queen and sovereign lady. I assure your Majesty that you may recognise Paget's hand in the success obtained. I try to avoid expense as much as possible. (Mrs.) Clarentius has made known her decree, and supports our cause to the utmost.
The Queen has sent me the little note, (fn. 5) herewith inclosed, of what the Chancellor said to her, as I have already stated, wherein the Chancellor displays his partisanship. I replied to the Queen that your Majesty would keep your promises most faithfully, as also would his Highness.
The great difficulty in connection with this match is at present to obtain the assent of the people. The Chancellor has made himself a buckler thereof, and I clearly see that Courtenay is counting greatly on it. It will be well that your Majesty have the persons who are to come to make the public proposal in readiness, for the Queen would rather it were to-day than to-morrow. Paget says it is most important not to let the winter pass, for otherwise something might intervene to alter the present favourable conditions. The Queen asks me to urge your Majesty to obtain the necessary dispensation, because of the blood-relationship, from the Pope.
I have informed the Queen of Don Iñigo de Mendoza's mission and passing through this place, and why he did not execute it. She took it in good part, and said that nothing your Majesty could do would displease her. Certainly, Sire, if he is not a linguist nor accustomed to affairs it was better that he should proceed on his way rather than go to Court, lest he should anger the people here. If he had spoken to me, and I had seen that he was capable, I might have arranged it, but as he went off without telling me I could do nothing. It had been known for over a month that he was coming on his Highness' behalf.
A friar has been here, who says he is a brother of the Count of Medina del Campo, (fn. 6) accompanied by Don Juan Henrique de Guzmán. They desired to kiss the Queen's hand and to present to her letters from Doña Ana de Aragon, together with her congratulations; but as the Queen was unwell and keeping her room I did all I could to dissuade them. However, they went to Court and Guzmán talked to Elizabeth and Courtenay; and the Queen tells me he wished to hand over his letters to the Lady Elizabeth, saying that he or the friar was a relative of the Queen. Your Majesty well knows how much good this sort of thing will do with the English, so I will only say that what Paget fears most is that the Spaniards will not adapt themselves to English ways, and will thrust themselves forward in questions of government and bear themselves arrogantly.
Parliament may be over in a fortnight, and the Upper House is to-day passing the Act that restores religion to the condition it was in when the late King Henry died. The Bishop of Norwich is soon to return to his post of ambassador with your Majesty; and before he goes the Queen will tell him what has happened with regard to the match.
Mason has written to the Queen, and I asked to see his letters in order to find out his leanings. As far as I understand him he is well-disposed, and devoted to the Imperial cause, as I have always known him to be. He has sent the articles passed between the King of France and the Turk, and they arrived at an opportune moment to be published here, for they cause the people to speak as ill of the French as they deserve. He says that Count d'Egmont has left and that the French, who are in force on the frontier, mean to attack Renty and make fortifications with the object of freeing their country of war, as they did at Landrecies. Also, that your Majesty is raising more troops to prevent them.
He, moreover, reports that Margrave Albrecht has raised money, it is supposed from John Frederick, and that he has some understanding with the King of Denmark and Duke Augustus, who are working with the men of Nuremberg and the Bishops of Bamberg and Würzburg.
Speaking of the King of Denmark, it is said that the Irish have appealed to him, and that he has promised the Protestants of that country to give them shelter in Denmark.
London, 6 November, 1553.
Signed. French. Mostly cipher. Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Nov. 6. Vienna, Imp. Arch. S. 4. Licenciate de Games to the King of the Romans.
Don Juan de Mendoza has already returned, after leaving Cardinal Pole, much against his will, at Dillingen. (fn. 7) It is said that the Cardinal has been entrusted with no less than three legations: one to carry a blessing to the Queen of England; one to negotiate for a peace here; and one to do the same in France. His Majesty, however, does not appear to me to be in favour of his going to England for the present, or of his coming hither to talk about peace; so I believe the Cardinal will return to Rome. . . .(Details of events at Court.)
Brussels, 6 November, 1553.
Spanish. Signed.
Nov. 7. Simancas, E. 1321. Francisco de Vargas to Prince Philip.
I have received letters of October 21st from his Majesty's Court. He was well—thanks be to God!—and had given audience to the Duke of Savoy and many others, among whom was the Genoese ambassador; and his Majesty offered the Republic his favour and help in winning back the island of Corsica. Don Juan de Mendoza was sent to Cardinal Pole to induce him not to proceed further, because in the present state of English affairs his going thither was too hasty and might cause much trouble, and it was not necessary that he should proceed on his errand to treat of peace, as it was not yet known what news Cardinal Dandino was taking to the Pope. The ambassador (fn. 8) in Rome informs me that he spoke to his Holiness in the same strain, asking him to command Cardinal Pole to return, or at any rate to remain where Don Juan de Mendoza fell in with him. The Pope replied that he approved, and would write (fn. 9) to the Cardinal to stop; and as Don Juan de Mendoza met him at Dillingen, there he stopped, as I heard by letters of October 26th. which also informed me that Don Juan had departed on the 23rd. The Doge, Cardinal and others were much put out about this, and right-thinking people considered it most prudent. I have no more to say, as I have already written twice or three times to his Majesty and your Highness what I foresaw, and I certainly do not think I was mistaken in that matter, or in my view of certain designs and intentions, which may God remedy! . . .
Venice, 7 November, 1553.
Spanish. Signed.
Nov. 8. Simancas, E. 505. The Emperor to Cardinal Pole.
We have received your letter of October 19th, and need only say in reply that you will have seen from the letter recently written to you by our cousin, the Queen of England, which was sent off from this place last Sunday, (fn. 10) that your going to that kingdom would not for the present be at all opportune because of certain reasons and considerations that were laid before you by Don Juan de Mendoza, and which you, with your great zeal and prudence, will doubtless have understood. We have also caused the same arguments to be rehearsed to his Holiness by our ambassador, and as you will see at length in the despatch that is being sent to you, his Holiness agrees with us. Therefore we do not need to charge you again to interrupt your journey, and wait until we have seen what direction English affairs are going to take; for you, better than anyone else, must realise how important it is that you should do so. Nevertheless, our affection and esteem for your person are such that we would have been very glad had this difficulty not arisen to prevent us from seeing you.
Brussels, 8 November, 1553.
Spanish. Minute.
Nov. 8. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Since I last wrote, the Chancellor sent word that he desired to speak to me before I demanded audience of the Queen and that I was to go to his house between six and seven of the morning on Tuesday (fn. 11) last. This I did, and he, without saying anything about his speech to the Queen or her reply, reported in my last letters, asked me if I had any instructions from your Majesty to specify a person or conditions. I answered that your Majesty had ordered me, when I should have heard that the Queen had decided to marry, to inform her and the Chancellor privately that your esteem for the Queen, your sense of her great affection for you, and your great affection for England would move you, if your age and health permitted, to desire a personal alliance with her. But as you could not do this because of your health, age and resolve never to remarry, you were unable to propose anyone dearer to you than your son, the Prince; and you would do so with conditions as reasonable as could be desired, which would dispose of the objections he had mentioned to me during our last conversation. As his Highness already had one son, the Infante of Spain, if the alliance proved feasible and God were pleased to grant it issue, his Highness would give his realms of Spain and Italy to one son, and the Low Countries to the other. His Highness would adapt himself to English ways and laws, leave the government to the Chancellor and other faithful Councillors who should be chosen, have English servants, and rule in a manner that, far from dissatisfying the people or anybody, would prove profitable to all. England would not be dragged into a war with France, for your Majesty and his Highness would promise nothing that they did not intend to keep. He knew your Majesty's integrity and good faith, and besides the foregoing every condition that seemed to him useful or honourable should be passed. The Chancellor replied that it was a great offer, a great match, an earnest of great affection, the conditions advantageous and not to be refused, and he was glad to hear these details, which he would report to the Queen. However, as he believed me to be a man of understanding and discretion, he wished to tell me that he thought it would be better not to go any further with this affair until it should be seen whether the Act on religion would pass in Parliament, in order not to multiply difficulties. He did not know what the merchants of England would say to it, except that it was intended to enrich foreigners by opening the gates of the country to them and impoverish its unfortunate inhabitants. When the privileges of the Stillyard (fn. 12) were confirmed and restored to their position before the decree of suppression, the English merchants had complained and displayed dissatisfaction. I made answer that if the Queen approved of delay I would not be able to disagree, but as nearly a fortnight had passed since I had presented your Majesty's letters to her, I wished to have her reply, lest your Majesty should accuse me of negligence. As for the objections that might be made by the merchants, I thought the alliance would mean riches and advantages for them rather than poverty, because navigation would be safer and trade freer. And I prayed him to see to it that I might obtain an answer from the Queen, at which he said that he would speak to her and let me know her wishes.
On leaving him I wrote to Paget what had passed between us. He told the Queen and informed her of the suspicion I was harbouring that the Chancellor was trying to put off the matter in order to advance Courtenay by the means of which I have informed your Majesty, and then wrote to me that the Queen was very angry with the Chancellor, and that if I would go to his house at four o'clock he would tell me the rest. I went, and heard that the Queen wished me to demand audience and carry out the plan reported in my last letter. The Chancellor had not yet spoken to her of our last conversation, but when he did so she would reply in such a manner as to make him understand her personal inclination; and as for religion, which he took as an excuse for putting off the match, it would be entirely finished and dealt with in two days, so I was to send to the Earl of Arundel and ask for audience. I answered that I would do so; and Paget then said that your Majesty might have some news of a general character imparted to Ambassador Mason, and M. d'Arras might display more familiarity, amiability and confidence; he had a reason for saying so, he added, and asked whether I had news from France, Italy or Germany. I told him I had no news beyond that the French had changed their minds and withdrawn from their undertaking against Renty because the bad weather had made it impossible for them to bring up their artillery, that Don Fernando was in Piedmont with a strong army, that the Turkish fleet had left Corsica, dissatisfied with the French, and that your Majesty's horse were taking their revenge in France and burning as the French had done near St. Paul. This is all I was able to tell him, as I had heard no more from abroad; and I beg your Majesty to consider whether it would not be well to have ambassadors informed of current events, so that they might be aided in the execution of their charge.
As soon as I reached my house I sent to the Earl of Arundel for audience; and he spoke to the Queen and gave it to me for to-day. I also sent to the Chancellor to ask whether he had spoken to the Queen about my answer and the audience I desired for that purpose. He replied that he would speak to her; and I thought it better to dissemble with the Chancellor, as he is a person of consequence, and I saw during our second interview that he had half changed his mind, for he favoured me with outward marks of affection and caresses. To-day, in audience, I spoke to the Queen, as I announced in my last letters, of which I will make no repetition. She, with a royal mien, becoming modesty, a timid countenance and trembling gestures, went to consult those present of her Council, who were the Chancellor, Arundel, the Bishop of Norwich, Paget and Petre, and then told me that she humbly thanked your Majesty for the honour you did her in being thus mindful of her. She had communicated the letters to her Council, and though she had never desired to marry she would allow herself to be persuaded by your Majesty and her Council for the greater good of God's service and her kingdom. I then declared to her the rest, in the presence of the above-mentioned Councillors, saying that your Majesty would send persons of authority to make a seemly proposal, together with conditions that she would find to be reasonable, and in this I followed point by point the speech I wrote in my last letters to your Majesty. The Queen then withdrew with her Council and conferred at great length on the reply she was to make, dissembling as if she had never heard the question mentioned before; and the Bishop of Norwich held a long discourse which I took to be favourable. Then, with a smiling face, she thanked your Majesty, saying that she had such confidence in you that she could not do otherwise than hear the proposal you wished to make to her, in doing which she would remember her coronation oath. And I replied that I would inform your Majesty, whose deeds would show your affection for her and her realm. Before the audience, the Chancellor brought me into the Council chamber, and told me that Parliament had this very day settled the religious question in the desired manner; for out of 350 voters, only 80 had gone against, and all the rest had agreed that religion should be reduced to its condition at the time of the late King Henry's death. For this purpose nine Acts passed under the late King Edward were repealed, and the 80 were not men of importance; so that mass, the sacrament, processions, confession and other ecclesiastical institutions have been approved and restored by Act of Parliament. The Chancellor gave me to understand that, as the religious difficulty had been disposed of, I might proceed with the match, as I did. The Chancellor and other councillors who were present are won over to the Queen's view, the Controller, Walgrave and Inglefield have held out hopes to me, and the Controller, particularly, has told me that he will render your Majesty service. All that remains is that your Majesty should send persons to do the rest and pass the treaty and conditions, and this had better be done as soon as possible. I believe the Queen greatly desires to see and speak to the Queen (Dowager) of Hungary, if it is convenient and suitable, for she has matchless confidence in and affection for her. I am mentioning this in order that your Majesty may reply to me, and I may know what to say if the Queen mentions it.
I took as a pretext for demanding audience the fact that the Council had sent one of the secretaries to inform me that the French, in Normandy, were fitting out several ships and raising 1,000 men in order to recover the island of Sark, and to ask me to warn the captain who seized it and command him to abandon it and demolish (the fort). I told the Queen that I had received definite news, a week ago last Monday, that the captain had abandoned the island after burning and wrecking all he could, throwing the big pieces of artillery into the sea, because he had been unable to get them on board his boats, and consequently their wishes had been fulfilled; but as the French were making such preparations I feared that they would fortify it again. The Council have sent me four soldiers who served the captain, and whom he did not pay, in order that I might give them their wages; and they wrapped up this detail in the other negotiation in order not to seem too anxious about it.
The Queen has sent me a letter that she has received from the Captain (fn. 13) of Guines, who says that the French have retired from their enterprise against Renty, and that an English captain called Creat (fn. 14) has offered to hand over Boulogne to him if he cares to strike a bargain.
He also says that the Rhinegrave wrote to him that he would gladly have come to England for the Queen's coronation if the Queen had taken his visit in good part.
Moreover, he says that Creat is a man of understanding, who has the confidence of M. de Senarpont, (fn. 15) has had much experience and would gladly enter the Queen's service; wherefore he would wish to know her will, in order to be able to answer the captain. The Queen asked my advice, and seeing that the enterprise was a great and difficult one I replied that I thought there was no reason for paying any attention unless the captain specified how it might be executed, but if the means suggested seemed adequate, and if her Council were of opinion that it might be attempted by your Majesty's troops, and the town were taken, I felt sure that your Majesty would gladly hand it over to the Queen afterwards. But as the matter was one that concerned England, I thought she would do well to communicate the letters to her Council.
Sire: all my efforts failed to prevent the Spanish friar, whom I have already mentioned in my letters, from importuning the Queen to grant him audience, and at an unusual hour. Many people have talked about this matter, and laughed on hearing that he is a friar. I will leave it to your Majesty to decide whether such behaviour may do good or harm to the matter in hand. The friar's servants say he is going to your Majesty to become your confessor.
Paget tells me that English merchants at Antwerp write saying that there have been quarrels between English and Spanish merchants in that town, and that they have fought on two occasions. He is amazed that your Majesty does not see to stopping all occurrences that may alienate the English, and has again said that the sooner you send to England to have the treaty concluded the better.
Sire: the French have sent an answer to the Council on two points: they agree that the Channel passage shall be neutral both for your Majesty's subjects and those of their King; and as for the vessel from Ostend, if it can be proved that it was taken in English waters, a reasonable settlement shall be arrived at. As for the first point, I will do as your Majesty shall command me. To follow up the second would be a long and unprofitable suit.
London, 8 November, 1553.
French. A few sentences in cipher. Signed, and the last paragraph in Simon Renard's hand.
Printed by Gachard, from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Nov. 8. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: I will not repeat the letters I am now sending to the Emperor, for as they are of great importance and are to be delivered to you I do not think it necessary to keep back the courier while a duplicate is being written. But your Majesty will understand, in addition to what is said in the article that makes mention of you, that the Queen of England has a singular desire to see your Majesty and to have this treaty of alliance passed by you, for she has for you a most trustful affection. As she fears it would not be suitable for you to take so much trouble and do her so great an honour, she speaks guardedly about it, and I am mentioning it in order that your Majesty may instruct me as to what I shall say if she makes further mention of the matter. I assure your Majesty that she is entirely devoted to his Highness, and it seems that she is beginning to understand what love is, for she is always overjoyed to hear his Highness spoken of.
London, 8 November, 1553.
Holograph. French.
Nov. 9. Brussels, L. A. 66. The Queen Dowager to Mary I.
Edward Norton, gentleman, has served my Lord, the Emperor, in the present wars against France for two years, and has borne himself so well that the commander under whom he fought bears witness to the manner in which he has done his duty in all sorts of warlike exploits. This has moved me to write to your Majesty in his favour, for he tells me he wishes to return to England, and I recommend him to you as a man who has behaved gallantly here and, as I believe, has never served any other princes than his Imperial Majesty, the late King, your father, as a page, and King Edward in his wars against Scotland. I pray you, therefore, to receive him into your favour.
Brussels, 9 November, 1553.
Minute. French.
Nov. 9. Brussels, L. A. 66. Memoir to the Bishop of Arras (?).
May your lordship be pleased to remember what this gentleman (fn. 16) said to the Queen's Majesty about the demise of the King of England, Edward, and the conspiracy against the Lady Mary when she became Queen, on which occasion I wrote for him, on behalf of the Queen (Dowager) of Hungary, letters to his wife to the same affect. You will also recollect that, since his coming hither, he has served honourably in the war, and that her Majesty (of England) has recognised in him a zealous servant. He now wishes to return to her service, although he left England with the ill-will of the then Council that favoured the Duke of Northumberland.
French. In the margin is written the following minute:—
The Queen Dowager to Mary I.
The gentleman who bears this letter, William Pelham, has served the Emperor in this war against the King of France in the Low Countries. He left your kingdom under the displeasure of your late brother's Council, and before your brother's death he came to me and spoke of the conspiracy that was then being woven to your disadvantage, declaring in detail all that was to be feared, as subsequent events have shown only too clearly, and offering to risk his person in any manner that might be of service to you. When God was pleased to confirm your right, he requested to be allowed to serve his Imperial Majesty in this war, and I acceded, giving him an honourable salary. He did his duty very well, and now, desiring to go home to set his affairs in order, he has asked me to give him a word in his favour to your Majesty, which I have not wished to refuse, as I am mindful of what passed between him and me before your accession, whereby he was proved to be your devoted servant. I pray you, Madam, as he wishes to return to your kingdom and serve you, to let him know that I have not failed to report his goodwill to you.
Brussels, 9 November, 1553.
Minute. French.


  • 1. i.e. November 5th.
  • 2. Mary Stuart was only betrothed to the Dauphin at this time. She was not married until April 24th, 1558; and the party that opposed the Guises had done their utmost, under Constable Montmorency's leadership, to prevent the match. The Bourbons were also hostile to it, and the King of Navarre is said to have whispered to the Venetian ambassador, at the wedding festivities: “tu vedi hoggi finito quello che molto pochi han finora creduto.” (Homier, Origines Politiques, II, p. 222.)
  • 3. I have not found the note here referred to.
  • 4. i.e. the Queen caused business of importance to be transacted by the six men here named, though all the other members of her bulky Privy Counoil remained officially members and attended the meetings.
  • 5. See Mary I to Renard, of November 5th.
  • 6. There was never a Count of Medina del Campo; Renard must have made a mistake. The friar may have been a relative of the Duke of Medina Sidonia, of the house of Guzmán, which was related to the royal house of Spain. The Doña Ana de Aragón here mentioned was Duchess of Medina Sidonia, and she had a son named Don Henrique de Guzmán, who may be the Don Juan Henrique referred to by Renard. There was another Doña Ana de Aragón at this period, a daughter of the Duke of Segorbe, married to Vespasiano Gonzaga, Duke of Sabionetta. The name of Aragón was, and is, borne by several families who derive their descent from younger or illegitimate sons of the royal house of Aragon. I am indebted for this information to Don Francisco Fernández de Bethencourt, the distinguished author of the Historia Genealógica de a Monarquía Española.
  • 7. Dillingen is a small town on the Danube, in Bavaria.
  • 8. Don Juan Manrique de Lara.
  • 9. See Cardinal del Monte to Cardinal Pole, of October 28th.
  • 10. i.e November 5th.
  • 11. i.e. November 7th
  • 12. See p. 315.
  • 13. i.e. Lord Grey de Wilton.
  • 14. This may be the same person as Captain Craer, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Privy Council in connection with Guines (August 29th, 1552).
  • 15. Monchi, Sieur de Senarpont, Governor of Boulogne.
  • 16. i.e. William Pelham, see the following paper. A William Pelham, probably not the same man, was taken prisoner in February, 1554. See the Acts of the Privy Council, 28th February, 1554.