Spain: November 1553, 21-25

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

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, 'Spain: November 1553, 21-25', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 374-387. British History Online [accessed 26 May 2024].

. "Spain: November 1553, 21-25", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) 374-387. British History Online, accessed May 26, 2024,

. "Spain: November 1553, 21-25", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916). 374-387. British History Online. Web. 26 May 2024,

November 1553, 21–25

Nov. 21. Brussels, E.A. 384. The Emperor to Mary I.
I could have desired that the gout had given me a truce and allowed me to write these letters to you with my own hand, in order to thank you most affectionately for your acceptance of the proposal made to you on my behalf by my ambassador resident with you, in accordance with that which I sent to him to accompany the last letter I wrote to you with my own hand to accredit him. I also thank you for the honour you do my son in consenting to this alliance, for your pains in communicating in a familiar and confidential manner on the subject with my ambassador, and the timely steps you have taken to win over your councillors. This shows me how well you requite the singular affection I have always borne you, and lays me under an obligation to do all in my power to favour you and your kingdom and assist you in its good governance. In order to continue the negotiation that has been opened with all due regard to your fair fame, I have called together several of my principal subjects of these countries to open the matter to them and choose among them certain persons whom I purpose to send to England to demand your hand. They shall soon depart, furnished with such conditions as I feel sure shall be judged good, honourable and reasonable, and shall give the English cause for satisfaction, who shall then be made aware that I desire to protect them against all the drawbacks which the enemies of this plan have urged to its disadvantage. And you may be assured that I shall scrupulously keep my word and endeavour to please you. Moreover, you shall see that, whereas in the past I have always had a father's affection for you, you will find me doubly a father if God is pleased to guide this negotiation to success. I beg you to excuse me for not writing this letter with my own hand, which is suffering from the gout so sorely that I am unable to use it. In my stead, I have prayed the Queen Dowager of Hungary, my good sister, to take the trouble to write it.
Brussels, 21 November, 1553.
French. Copy. Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Nov. 21 (?). (fn. 1) Simancas, E. 90. The Emperor to the Infante Don Luis of Portugal.
I have received your Highness' letter of July 24th, written in reply to one I sent by Don Hernando de Rojas, and also another dated August 31st. I was very glad to hear of your health and prosperity, and believe you will also be glad to know of mine, as well as the success Our Lord has been pleased to grant me this year in the country occupied by my army and in its encounters with the King of France.
We all have cause to thank God for having guided affairs in England to a better issue than had been thought possible, so great were the obstacles. Indeed, it seemed to be the work of His hand, which He wished to show the world for the sake of the Queen's Christian virtue. I did all I could, in a case in which it was necessary to proceed with great tact and moderation until she was crowned and firmly seated on her throne, to help and advise her with the goodwill and love I have such good reasons for bearing her. In connexion with what your Highness says about the marriage question, I have noted the considerations that moved you to write to me with your habitual prudence and discretion, and feel sure that your chief object is the zeal you profess for the service of Our Lord God, and the propagation of His holy faith. For this reason, and because of my constant affection for your Highness, I would wish to see you in a position your merits deserve; but as this negotiation has proceeded from the Queen's own desires, and she inclines towards the Prince, my son, for the reasons which Luis Sarmiento, to whom I refer you, will explain, I have been unable to neglect to undertake it. I believe that your Highness will be of the same opinion when you realise that, as the matter stood thus, any new proposal might have destroyed both chances, so variable are the English, the result of which would be serious harm in our private affairs and prejudice to the great cause you have at heart. I have no doubt that you will be satisfied if this negotiation, which has been carried on with all sincerity, results by God's help in a manner agreeable to one who greatly loves your Highness and will always be anxious to give you pleasure. I hope the delay in informing you will not have brought you inconvenience; but your Highness knows what happens in these cases, and how unsafe it is to speak before the event. And as this will serve as a reply to the rest of your letter, I need say no more than that this missive is in cipher so that it may go through France. I am in bed with great pain from the gout in my left side and some in the right; and there have been other accidents.
Minute, Spanish. Together with this minute is another for a letter in similar terms to the Queen of Portugal.
Nov. 21 (?). Simancas, E. 90. The Emperor to Luis Sarmiento de Mendoza.
Your letters of August 31st and September 18th told us of what the King and Queen, (fn. 2) my brother and sister, said to you of their intention to send someone to England to visit the Queen of that country, my cousin. And they also mentioned that there had formerly been a proposal to marry her to the Infante Don Luis, wherefore they wished to take the present opportunity to remind us of it with the reservations you recorded. In similar strain they, and especially the Infante Don Luis, have written directly to me, explaining that Don Luis' motive is his desire to serve Our Lord and help to apply that remedy which religion in England so sorely needs. Don Luis puts the matter into our hands and says he wishes to please us in everything, and his goodness and never-failing devotion lead us to believe him, for he lays the whole question before us in the manner we would look for from him. And as Ambassador Antonio de Saldaña (fn. 3) spoke to us about this question in virtue of letters of credence sent to him, we replied that he might perhaps remember the first time he mentioned it to us, just after the King of England's death, when we told him in what condition English affairs then were, and how the plots formed by those at the head of affairs to set up another ruler imperilled the Queen's accession to the throne. Since then there had been a hopeful change in her favour, but our only care had been to strengthen her position and see her sworn and in full and pacific possession; wherefore we had sent to warn her that the English were so suspicious that any proposal of that sort would be likely to do much harm. So when we heard that Lorenzo Pirez (fn. 4) was coming to undertake this negotiation with our knowledge and advice, we thought it best to await his arrival, by which time the Queen would be crowned, and we should better be able to choose a course of action, knowing more about the real state of affairs. Thus things were left until Lorenzo Pirez came, bringing us more letters. We gladly gave him audience, and he came to visit us on behalf of the King, Queen and Infante, and spoke about the matter in the same tone that we had already heard, saying that he had been instructed to go on to visit the Queen (of England) and asking us to consider what he was to do, as he had been commanded to be guided by us.
We replied that we had known he was coming, and as English affairs had been running more smoothly since the coronation, we had written to our ambassadors to give the Queen and her Council all possible assistance in determining what had better be done, taking into consideration her age and the advisability of her having heirs. They were to urge her to declare whether she preferred an Englishman or a foreigner, and mention names, in order to take further steps in conformity with her inclination and the interests of the kingdom. We had not yet had the reply upon which our answer to him must depend, and to attempt any steps before obtaining it might prejudice the Queen's position; but as we should certainly hear from England in a short time, he might wait. He feared that if he delayed longer his visit might be inopportune, and begged us to allow him to proceed on his journey; and we had him told that it would not be well for him to go at that moment, for as the main object of his mission was known it might cause some perturbation in England, besides which he would lose the chance of making the proposal, which at the present time would still be inopportune. He would thus have no excuse for staying in England, and we had too much regard for the Infante's good name to wish him (Pirez) to return again on the same errand, which would seem undignified unless there were some real prospect of success, and about that we could not possibly judge until we had heard the Queen's inclinations and the present state of opinion in England. His visit, we added, would always be welcome, and he would be able to explain the delay on the ground of the foregoing considerations, and his regard for the Queen's security. These words calmed Lorenzo Pirez, and induced him to adopt our view; and we immediately wrote to our ambassador in England instructing him to make haste in discovering the Queen's and Council's intention with regard to marriage, and execute the orders we had already sent him.
Since then we have received letters from him telling us that he has obeyed us, and that the Queen answered that, though she had formerly been of another opinion, now that God had been pleased to raise her to so exalted a position and she was obliged to care for her kingdom and supply it with a successor, she felt she could not remain single. Giving many prudent reasons, she then said that she would take a foreigner rather than an Englishman, on the condition that it should be the Prince, our son. Her principal care is the faith, and next the protection of her kingdom, and these objects require great power with which to meet every eventuality that may be feared from her neighbours, the French, not to speak of the intrigues they are carrying on against her in many quarters, and particularly in Scotland. She also would have very great difficulty in maintaining herself alone, for she has many powerful subjects whose private ambitions forbid her to trust them. These considerations, together with the fact that nothing could happen more likely to favour the end we have so long had in view, namely the service of religion, for whose sake we have incurred great labours and perils, and also to maintain and increase our realms and dominions, have induced us to proceed with this plan, now that we know the Queen's will and before any further trouble intervene in England. Thus we have been forced to proceed at once without previously consulting the King, Queen and Infante as we would have wished to do with all the sincerity of which they have given proof in their dealings with us. We have caused Lorenzo Pirez to be told all this, and feel sure that he will take it as it was meant, and understand our wish to improve so excellent an opportunity. We also believe that the affection the King, Queen and Infante bear us will cause them to rejoice in our son's success as much as if he were a child of theirs, and we certainly will requite them, as the bonds of kinship and love bid us to do.
As for the marriage of my niece, the Infanta Doña Maria, you know that we neglected other proposals that promised much, because of her great merits and qualities. The Most Christian Queen of France spoke to us on the subject soon after our return from Metz, and we were favourably inclined. The dowry and other points were discussed, the King seemed ready to take care of the Infanta's interests and not only offered to see to the payment of her dowry and patrimony but held out hopes that the sum might be increased, and Sebastian de Morães said the same when he came to arrange that the Infanta should not come hither (i.e. to the Low Countries) and to tell us of the King's great pleasure in this match. We therefore felt certain that there would be no difficulty nor delay, and wrote to our son to proceed with the negotiations. He sent off Ruy Gomez, who met with the reply you know of, which was later given to you as well in similar terms, but even more meagre with regard to the payment of what remained of the 400,000 cruzados, for they first said it should be made within a year, and then that it must depend on the season and the calls they had to meet. They well know that our own requirements are very great, because of various events and the continual expenses we have been put to in holding our own against the French, and though we had reason to look for assistance from the said sum, that assistance could not be given. We are certain that the goodwill formerly shown by the King and Queen is not at fault, if only they were able to execute what they offered; and as we have great affection for them, so we believe they will understand our seizing an opportunity which, with God's help, will result in great benefits, and realise that the Prince, when confronted by the above-mentioned difficulties, was forced to consult us and refrain from going further.
This is what has happened as regards this affair, about which we desire you to know everything. We have caused Lorenzo Pirez to be spoken to in a similar strain, and he is to write to the King and Queen by the special bearer. You will also present your letters of credence and speak to them as above, using agreeable and courteous words calculated to make them understand our reasons, which we believe will satisfy and persuade them of our desire always to please them. And you will tell the Infante how much we would have liked to favour him in this matter; we would gladly treat him as if he were our own son, for we desire and have often planned for his satisfaction and advancement, as we are aware of his laudable intentions. This decision, however, proceeds from the Queen herself, and to attempt to alter it might spoil both chances; and he will easily understand how much harm might be the result both in our private and public affairs. You will let us know by this courier how they take it, and as we fear that one of the duplicate ciphers we sent you may have been lost and fallen into French hands, we have written this letter and one to the Infante (fn. 5) in the cipher we use in correspondence with our son, whom we are instructing to decipher and send them on by the same courier, together with the cipher. You will also present it and explain why this has been done, offering to do the deciphering if necessary, though if not there is no reason for doing so. The letters for the King and Queen and Secretary Geronimo Pirez Garcia are going in the same way, and in each case you will present both copies and originals in cipher. You will also speak to the Infanta, my niece, with all due regard and discretion-(details of the writer's health).
Spanish. Minute.
Nov. 21. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
We have received yours of the 14th, 15th and 17th, and you give us great pleasure by writing such full accounts of what is happening over there, especially with regard to the marriage. We would gladly have written to the Queen with our own hand to thank her for her goodwill and expressions of confidence, but the gout has attacked us in the right hand and made it impossible for us to do so. However, as your last letters tell us that the Queen is in suspense and looking for an answer from us as to what you wrote, we are writing the enclosed letter (fn. 6) to her by the hand of the Queen (Dowager of Hungary), the tenor of which you will see from the copy. You will present it on our behalf, and speak such words as the occasion may demand.
Your letters have told us of the assault led by the members of Parliament on the marriage question, and the Queen's very pertinent answer. Our hopes are strengthened by the way you tell us the nobles took it, and by the declaration, made by those to whom she has recently shown benefits, to the effect that they will accept the person of her choice, especially as they are men of great station. As you know that the Chancellor is still prone to intrigue for Courtenay, you must be careful to prevent, and if possible to win him over. We still hope that when he sees how firm the Queen is, and that the numbers of those who take her side are increasing, he also may be converted, for he will realise that the Queen will not be pleased with his activities in this matter. We well realise the truth of what you say of the advisability of hastening on the negotiations, and we will do our utmost to avoid any delay in the execution of our own share in them.
You attitude towards Alonso de Games was quite right and according to the wishes you will have seen expressed in our letters, as also was the minute you drew up for the Queen's reply. You will continue in the same course where he is concerned, and keep a careful eye on his conduct and any negotiations he may undertake, in order to circumvent him and to inform us of what he is doing. You had better write general accounts of events in England to our brother, the King of the Romans, though without saying anything about the chief matter, in order to satisfy him and avoid making him suspicious.
The King of Portugal and the Infante Don Luis, his brother, have sent hither, as we suppose you have heard, Lorenzo Pirez to visit the Queen on their behalf, and to tell us that if we approve he is to propose a marriage between the Queen and the Infante Don Luis. We have kept him back a few days on the ground that his going to England, especially as it has been said that he was coming to make a marriage proposal, might prejudice the Queen's affairs, so it would be better to wait until we should see what happened in Parliament, and you ascertained the Queen's inclination and the views of her Council and the Estates as to marriage; whether it had better be an Englishman or a foreigner, together with some indication of the person. We told him that when we heard from you we would let him know what he was to do, as he had been referred to us for guidance, and whether he was to make his proposal or not, but that we did not think it suitable that he should do so until we knew the Queen's wishes and how much the country would put up with; for it would risk the Infante's reputation to do so unless we had some hope of success. Since your letters arrived he has been pressing to hear the news contained in them, and to know what he is to do, so we have been obliged to tell him plainly that most of the Queen's councillors seem not to like the notion of her marrying a foreigner, whilst others, and these her most trusty advisers, hold that she ought to do so in order to be assisted against all hostile movements that might be directed against her from abroad, either from France or from Scotland. They think that for this purpose the only choice would be the Prince, our son, because he would be able to help England by means of his dominions of Spain and the Low Countries, and that failing him it would be better for her to marry an Englishman in order to win over the support of those who are inclined to be factious. We have informed him that as far as we are aware of the Queen's own wishes, she seems to favour the opinion of her most trusty advisers, so that as the Infante Don Luis would be refused in any case, we have decided not to let slip this opportunity, which may result in great benefit to our domains and also set the Queen securely on her throne. As we are free as far as the marriage negotiations with Portugal are concerned, we have decided to try to arrange a marriage between the Queen and the Prince, our son, and we feel sure that they (i.e. the King of Portugal and Don Luis) have so much affection for him that they would rather he succeeded than another. On hearing this, the ambassador decided merely to go and visit the Queen without saying anything about marriage, and afterwards to take the shortest way back to Portugal. We have written this to you in detail so that if the ambassador goes over there, as we believe he soon will, and you fall into conversation with him, as might easily happen, your remarks may not be at variance with the above statements but cause him to believe that no foreign match would be agreed to were it not with our son. Thus, when he sees the Infante shut out, he will determine not to make his proposal, and we believe this is what will happen. Still, you must keep an eye on him so as to know what he does and find out if he tries to go farther, in which case you will take the necessary steps to stop him. In other respects you will do well to welcome and assist him, as we are saying in the letters of recommendation we are sending you by him.
As for Cardinal Pole, you have been informed that besides the letters sent to him from the Queen of England, he has had despatched to him a packet from the Pope, instructing him to accept our guidance. We shall see what he replies to our last letters, by which, we shall be able to judge whether or no he must be allowed to proceed further on his way. For the present it seems to us that, whatever befall, he is better where he is than nearer, because of the jealousy that his approach might cause in England, and also because it appears likely that he would try to run counter to the marriage negotiation.
Brussels, 21 November, 1553.
French. Signed, Charles, countersigned, Bave. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV. The original minute is in Vienna (Imp. Arch. E. 21).
Nov. 21. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: The Queen's Council opine that your Majesty ought to send the articles of the marriage treaty before the departure of the lords who are to be deputed come over to proceed to its solemn proposal and conclusion, and I am sending off this courier to inform your Majesty, so that you may decide as you think best. Their reason is that there might be some difficulty so serious that it could not be solved without more negotiation, and the Bishop of Norwich might be informed and, on his return, do what was necessary. Paget is of this opinion, and adds that as the treaty is expected to be honourable and beneficial, the people will be appeased and satisfied if they know of it before the arrival of the lords. And he tells me that when the treaty comes to be discussed, he is going to be the man who raises most difficulties, and he has specified to me those he intends to mention: namely, the condition of the Low Countries and the lands and lordships which the Empire claims as fiefs, and the extent of its jurisdiction over Brabant, Gelders, Zutphen, Utrecht, and Luxemburg; the partition between your Majesty and the King of the Romans, whether the King's heirs might not oppose it, and whether there are no local customs that might prevent it from taking effect; whether your Majesty has a right to specify (the share of) the second heirs (i.e. heirs by a second marriage) of his Highness; whether his Highness has not negotiated a marriage by proxy with the Infanta of Portugal, because it has been said over here that there was a promise of marriage. His Highness must not be allowed to appoint the captains of strong places; he must not alter the laws and customs of the land, take away jewels, munitions or artillery, or take his heirs, if heirs there be, out of the country. If the Queen dies without issue, his Highness shall have no claim to the Crown, and shall be able to dispose of no office or benefice. His Highness shall not allow the Spaniards to behave in an unbecoming manner, and shall be served by men of the Low Countries and Englishmen while he is in England. Paget says that this last is one of the principal things the English fear, and that in order to estrange the Queen, people have told her that his Highness is very voluptuous and has bastard sons and daughters. The Chancellor has impressed it upon Courtenay that Paget wishes him ill, (fn. 7) and causes it to be said that he favours foreigners. The plan Parliament tried to execute was laid by the Chancellor, the Master of the Horse (fn. 8) and Walgrave. Care had better be taken of Walgrave's brother, who has gone back to the service of the Queen (Dowager) of Hungary, for the said Walgrave is entirely for Courtenay. His Highness will be required to confirm the treaty by taking the Sacrament with the Queen on agreeing to it; and your Majesty must lose no time. Though I have mentioned most of these objections in former letters, I have thought it well to go over them again, so that your Majesty may decide as shall seem best to you.
Paget says that it would have been a good thing to have allowed the Portuguese ambassador, who is now detained in your Majesty's Court, to come hither, and to have caused the King of the Romans' letters to be presented before the Council, as there is no doubt as to the Queen's intentions.
I dined to-day at my Lord Privy Seal's with most of the Council and Courtenay, who behaved towards me in a way that showed his dislike, which is very violent, as I have been told by a friend of mine who heard it at the French ambassador's. As for the Chancellor, he drew me aside and told me that the French ambassador said in full Council that the subjects of the King, his master, had sunk a large number of ships belonging to your Majesty's subjects, doing damage to the amount of six or seven millions in gold or more. Also that when he had audience the other day he said that the King, his master, would like the Queen to mediate between him and your Majesty unless it were to mean that your Majesty would have everything to your own advantage, as you had had on other occasions. The Chancellor then asked me if I had heard anything from your Majesty about the marriage, and I rejoined that I had heard nothing about a sea-fight between the French and your Majesty's ships, but that the French frequently boasted about such events as their passions made them desire. As for peace, your Majesty would always be glad to agree to a fair and reasonable proposal, but as the French wished to drag into the discussion all past treaties, I did not see how it was possible to achieve any result with them. As for the marriage, your Majesty had summoned the principal lords of the Low Countries in order to confer with them on the manner of making a formal proposal, of which I expected to hear shortly, though as I understood there was much intriguing against it here I did not wish to go too fast. He might be sure, however, that your Majesty meant to act sincerely in this matter, and show by deeds the emptiness of the objections that had been raised. He replied that the Queen's wishes were the first consideration, and everything must depend upon them, for her will should be her country's and Council's; and I remarked that your Majesty was entirely persuaded of his prudence and loyalty, and that he would act as so great a minister ought towards his mistress. I have heard from another quarter that it would be well to stipulate in the marriage articles that if the Queen were to die without heirs his Highness should have no claim to the Crown, which should return to those who had, or might hereafter have, a right to it.
The Queen entirely agrees with what I said to her about the coming hither of the Queen (Dowager) of Hungary, and has sent to tell me that it would by no means be suitable for her to take the trouble, but that God will one day grant her the favour of seeing her.
I am enclosing a copy of a letter (fn. 9) which à Lasco had published here at the time of his departure.
London, 21 November, 1553.
Signed. French. The word Paget in cipher. Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Nov. 21. Simancas, E. 807. Francisco de Eraso to Prince Philip.
His Majesty has provided to the archbishopric of Salerno, Friar Hieronimo Seripando, who was General of the Order of Saint Augustin, and came hither to represent the kingdom of Naples. He is a good man, although they say he is more friendly with the Prince of Salerno and his wife (fn. 10) than necessary. He is to be given a pension of 200 ducats, and I believe his Majesty intends to give the same to the son of Antonio Doria, though nothing definite has been said yet. We have news that Don Alvaro de Bazán's galley has arrived at Seville with 450,000 pesos, and that the ships from Peru and New Spain were coming after with three and a half millions for his Majesty and private individuals. These are good news, as also that the three men of position who rose in Peru had been executed. As English affairs are in the state your Highness knows of, your Highness ought to see whether there might not be means of obtaining some of the private individuals' money, for it is thought over here that in any case your Highness will have to come hither if these states are to be kept. We are expecting more news from England in four days, and will then inform your Highness. Tidings have come of the death of the Marquis of Aguilar, (fn. 11) and his Majesty regrets it. I do not know whether he will write by this courier to your Highness to send him a note of the persons who might be appointed to this post, for a year ago he referred to you when there was some talk of removing him (Aguilar) from his charge. For the last three days his Majesty has not felt well, has had two chills and two attacks of fever, with some pain in the right side, though not very acute, weakness and loss of appetite. I will let your Highness know of further developments. The commissions of Don Juan Sarmiento de Mendoza and Don Hieronimo Manrique had expired, and his Majesty has ordered them to be renewed.
Since I wrote the above no courier has arrived from England. This is surprising because a Bishop (fn. 12) belonging to the Council, whom the ambassador was trying to win over in order to conduct the matter more expeditiously, was to have given his reply on the 2nd of this month, and as we have heard nothing of it we fear that there may have been some difficulty. If anything is heard your Highness shall be informed.
It appears that your Highness' portrait painted by Titian, the one in the blue coat with white wolf-skin, which is very good and like you, has been sent in secret to the Queen of England. I am sure it would please her greatly, even if she had not already declared her wishes. I do not yet know the persons who are to be sent, though I suspect them to be the Prince of Orange, Count Egmont, M. de Lalaing and the Chancellor (fn. 13) of the Order of the Golden Fleece. For our sins no Spaniard is going; I am very zealous for our nation's honour, but as long as the negotiation succeeds it does not matter by whom it is conducted. I am writing to Juan Vázquez (de Molina) to tell your Highness the news brought by a courier just arrived from England. I have been with his Majesty to-day, and he seems to me to be better from his attack of gout and the rest of his recent ailments. Your Highness will see everything that is being written to Portugal, and you will be pleased to send the letters on, and also send the reply and opinion demanded by his Majesty, for so much time has passed that a decision must be adopted. A letter from Genoa says that your Highness is sending eighteen galleys and some ships, in which are to go 5,000 or 6,000 foot that have returned from the Islands, to assist Corsica. If this is true I feel convinced that your object is more likely to be the Algerian matter, if there was anything in what that Friar said. We must all pray that in any case your Highness may conclude the enterprise in a manner conducive to the good of Christendom, and your own prosperity and reputation.
Decipherment. Spanish.
Nov. 21. Simancas, E. 506. Francisco de Eraso to Juan Vazquez de Molina.
You will see how well affairs are going in England, and to day another courier has come thence with news that although some persons are trying hard to change the Queen's purpose, adopting strange means and intriguing with the French and others, for everyone knows about the matter by now, it seems that they are not succeeding and that everything is proceeding as well as one could wish. I am confident that success is at hand, for we now have the most trusty councillors on our side. The Bishop, who is now Chancellor and raised so many objections on account of his desire that the Queen should marry her kinsman (i.e. Courtenay) who was so long in prison, was also in the same predicament in his company, and grew attached to him. For this reason he believed that if his Mend became King he would be able to rule him, but the Queen spoke to him in a manner that brought him to his senses, and she has begun to take affairs somewhat out of his hands and entrust them to others; so that is well. You will tell his Highness this, and see to it that this courier does not start for Portugal without taking the letter for Luis Sarmiento, (fn. 14) for the ambassadors are writing all that has been told them, and his Majesty's letter must arrive at the same time. (fn. 15) Let there be no delay.
Brussels, 21 November, 1553.
Decipherment. Spanish.
Nov. 24. Vienna, Imp. Arch. S. 4 Licenciate Games to the King of the Romans.
I wrote to your Majesty on the 19th by the ordinary courier, telling you what had happened with the Emperor, but I omitted to say that I had spoken to the Queen, giving her the letter written by your own hand the day after my audience of the Emperor, which was on the 15th. His Majesty had already shown her the copy and told her what had passed with me, and the Queen said to me that though his Majesty had resented the proceeding, your Majesty's letter was so sincere that there could be no question of blame. The Bishop of Arras also said this to me, and informed me that the Queen had said it to the Emperor. Afterwards, on the 21st, I received letters from my nephew, Alonso de Games, in which he informed me in detail of what he had done, as your Majesty will see from the originals (fn. 16) that I am enclosing. I read and showed them to the Queen in order to allay the suspicions that are being entertained here more than they ought to be; and first of all I informed Adrian of their arrival, saying that if his Majesty cared to see them I would be very glad of it. The Bishop of Arras told me the same day that George Speck, colonel of the infantry in Augsburg, had come hither by his Majesty's orders to reside in this Court in accordance with the reply sent to your Majesty when you wrote asking that he might go to serve you at Constance. But now he is here, it seems he does not wish to take service with his Majesty, saying that he has pledged himself to you, with whom he is more content, and that he cannot obey his Majesty's orders. The Bishop hinted that, as the Emperor is so suspicious and resentful at present, as I have said, he would now think this person was being taken away from him out of spite, since your Majesty has been told that he needed him. I replied that I knew nothing about it beyond what your Majesty had written and the reply you received from here, but that if the man chose according to his private preferences there was no reason for judging as he had said, and if your Majesty were informed you would furnish your excuses.
The novelty here is that this Court is full of news to the effect that the match between the Queen of England and the Prince of Spain has been concluded, and that the Prince will soon come by this sea (i.e. not by the Mediterranean route). This may be partly nonsense, but his Majesty has summoned all the foremost lords and gentlemen of these countries, most of whom are already here. It is said that they are to be told about the match, and to be asked for a great war-subsidy. Also, it is said that Queen Maria is going to Calais, and thence to proceed to visit the Queen of England. . . .
Brussels, 24 November, 1553.
Spanish. Signed.
Nov. 25. Brussels, E.A. 384. Paper headed: “A Proposal to be made by the Emperor to the principal lords and members of the Council of State.”
The Emperor (with submission) might declare to the lords that he had ever been solicitous for the welfare and tranquillity of these countries, and that they had witnessed his unceasing endeavours to render them secure. His Majesty had often considered how difficult it would be for them to hold out for a lengthy period against France and Germany unless they found support elsewhere, and the present war had made this quite clear. But now that God, in His divine bounty, had in a miraculous manner, as all knew, called to the throne of England his cousin, the Lady Mary, his Majesty had seen that it would be well for her on all accounts to marry, and had bethought him that the best way of making these countries safe would be to marry her to our Prince. The kingdom was very near, and if the marriage were blessed with children it would be possible to give them England and the Low Countries, leaving the Spanish dominions, the Italian states and the adjacent islands to the son of the first marriage. (fn. 17) This would protect both countries and drive the French from the Ocean, which would be the best possible means of encouraging commerce, the foundation of the Low Countries' prosperity, and hold the French perpetually in check. It had often been seen how much the French suffered from the results of a combination of his Majesty's and English forces, and if both countries were under one prince the advantages to be looked for would be still greater, for there would no longer be any of those reasons which all allied princes, however closely confederated, could not help having for seeking each one his own interests. (fn. 18) Even if there were no children, the marriage would serve, as long as it lasted, to enable the Low Countries to send through England to Spain for help as often as need might arise. It would bridle the French, and it might be possible not only to hold out against them, but also to use the alliance to make them see reason. His Majesty had waited to see the Queen firmly seated on the throne and crowned, and the course of events in Parliament, and in order not to make overtures without hope of success had instructed his ambassador in England to ascertain whether the Queen would consent, and the Council judged the plan to be feasible. And having heard from his ambassador that the Queen and certain of her Council did not reject the suggestion, but seemed to be favourably inclined, his Majesty had decided to enter into negotiations and hasten them on before the French, who were anxious to hinder them because of the benefit that would accrue therefrom to the Low Countries, had time to accomplish anything. In order to conduct the matter with the decorum due to the Queen's station, he had decided to send certain personages to demand her hand, and had been unwilling to do so without having first informed them, the foremost lords of these countries, and asked their advice. His Majesty was sure that they would examine the question with regard to their own security and the duty which bound them to consult the public welfare and the service of his Majesty and my Lord the Prince.
Brussels, 25 November, 1553.
French. Copy. Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.


  • 1. This and the following letter are undated, but must have been written on or about November 21st. See the Emperor to Renard, of the same date.
  • 2. John III of Portugal, and Catherine, his Queen, sister of the Emperor.
  • 3. Portuguese ambassador with the Emperor.
  • 4. This person's name is given in the Foreign Calendar as Lorenzo Piz de Tavora.
  • 5. See the preceding paper.
  • 6. See the Emperor to Mary, of November 21st.
  • 7. According to Noailles' despatches to the King of France, Courtenay was at this time plotting to have Paget and Arundel murdered, and fly the country. Mémoires, II, p. 259.)
  • 8. i.e. Sir Edward Hastings.
  • 9. I have not found this paper.
  • 10. Fernando di San Severino, fourth Prince of Salerno, an active partisan of the French policy in Italy. He had formerly, however, served the Emperor, whose great irritation against him is partly explained by the fact that Fernando di San Severino was also Duke of Villahermosa, one of the first titles of Aragon, which he had inherited from his mother, Doña Marina de Aragón. He was consequently descended from a bastard branch of the royal house of Aragon; and his wife was also of that kingdom: Doña Isabel de Villamarin y de Cardona. See F. Fernández de Bethencourt, Historic Genealógica, III, 435.
  • 11. The Marquis of Aguilar was Viceroy of Catalonia.
  • 12. The Bishop of Winchester.
  • 13. Philip Nigri.
  • 14. Imperial ambassador in, Portugal.
  • 15. The Portuguese ambassadors at the Emperor's Court were writing home the explanations furnished them by the Emperor why they were not to go to England to propose a marriage between the Queen and Don Luis of Portugal, wherefore the Imperial ambassador in Portugal must be informed of the matter at the same time.
  • 16. I have failed to find these letters.
  • 17. i.e. Don Carlos.
  • 18. i.e. England and the Low Countries would be united, and their interests would become identical.