Spain: December 1553, 1-10

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

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'Spain: December 1553, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, ed. Royall Tyler( London, 1916), British History Online [accessed 25 July 2024].

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"Spain: December 1553, 1-10". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553. Ed. Royall Tyler(London, 1916), , British History Online. Web. 25 July 2024.

December 1553, 1–10

Dec. —. Simancas, E. 90. A form of procuration, by which Prince Philip empowers Count d'Egmont, Count de Lalaing, M. de Courrières and Philip Nigri, Chancellor of the Order of the Golden Fleece, to contract in his name a marriage per verba de prœsenti with Mary, Queen of England, and to agree in his name to the articles of the treaty to be concluded on that occasion.
Minute. Latin.
Dec. 1. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. Mary I to the Emperor.
I would begin this letter by offering my excuses for not having written before and for having allowed another to forestall me, and would repeat in detail all my conferences with your Majesty's ambassador, were it not that your letters shew that he has omitted nothing, so I feel sure that he has explained all and freed me of the necessity. He assures me that he has sent you accounts of the progress of the marriage negotiations he has conducted with me, telling you of my reply and professions of goodwill and affection for the Prince, my good cousin; the reasons founded on my zeal for my kingdom's welfare, towards which I have the duty your Majesty is aware of, that moved me to give my consent; my belief in the Prince's excellent qualities, and confidence that your Majesty will ever remain my good lord and father, and will offer terms in accordance. He also avers that he has not forgotten to transmit to your Majesty my most humble and affectionate thanks for the honour you have done me by proposing so great an alliance, for your mindfulness of my kingdom and myself and constant care for all my interests and concerns. So this letter will only serve to reiterate my humble thanks for the great honour and your more than paternal solicitude, of which I shall be sensible all my life long. I assure you that you will find me steadfast in the word I gave your ambassador, pledging myself to marry the Prince, your son; and that the lords your Majesty is going to send to conclude the matter shall be most welcome here. I take it that before they come your Majesty will send the articles of the treaty, for the reasons that will have been submitted by your ambassador, and I have no doubt that they will inviolably be observed. I am very sorely grieved to hear of the attacks of gout from which you have suffered, but as nature, by God's will, renders us subject to such infirmities, your Majesty will suffer them with requisite patience. I most affectionately thank the Queen of Hungary, my good sister and cousin, for having taken the trouble to write for your Majesty and for sending me a portrait of his Highness which I was glad to receive because of my affection for the person represented, and because it came from the sender. I accept the condition on which it was sent, as declared to me by your ambassador who has been to me a servant, more dutiful and diligent than I could ever have hoped, rather than an ambassador. I pray the Creator to give me grace to requite your Majesty and the Queen, my good sister and cousin, for all your kindness to me, and also to give you health.
London, 1 December, 1553.
Holograph. French. Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Dec. 3. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: My letters to your Majesty of the 20th and 21st of the past month related that the Queen of England told me that she would consult with her Council as to the coming hither of the Queen (Dowager) of Hungary, and in that written on the 21st I informed your Majesty that the Council had pronounced for sending the articles before the coming of the lords who were to be sent to make the solemn proposal and conclude the treaty. I did not expressly state that such was the Queen's own opinion, because she only sent word to me that the Council had come to this resolution; and though I knew that she had approved of it and that it had been expressed on the occasion when the coming of the Queen of Hungary was discussed, I did not wish to say anything about it in my letters until I had spoken with the Queen. In mine of the 28th I went over the same ground, adding what the Queen had said to me and Paget's fear that a successful issue would not be reached without trouble; and on the 29th I reported the Queen's further remarks. Your Majesty will consequently realise that the Queen had a share in the formation of this resolution; and when the Council is mentioned in a similar connection, even though the decision be actually in accordance with the Council's opinion, it really expresses the Queen's intentions. So that I believe that when your Majesty has considered what I told you of the Lady Elizabeth's intrigues, the activities of the French, the state of mind of the people and nobility, the English character, the present position with regard to religion and other matters, you will be of opinion that it will be better to have the articles agreed to before the coming of the lords, rather than to have difficulties and disputes spring up once they are over here, or even some hostile movement that might not only jeopardise the Queen's affairs, but even place her Crown in danger and result in the discredit that you are anxious to avoid. The English think it was a mistake to have proclaimed that the lords were to come, the Antwerp merchants have written about it to several private individuals, and Mason has sent detailed accounts as I have seen from letters of his communicated to me by the Queen. He says that the Prince of Orange and M. de Hoochstraaten were chosen, and that the question was argued at great length with the result that your Majesty changed your mind and decided to send the lords named in your letters; he adds that MM. de Beveren and de Bossut are going to Spain, that the affairs of the Queen are being much discussed over there, and that he prays God that she may act for the best for herself and her kingdom, not saying plainly what he means, but hinting that she had better think it over carefully. On the other hand news have arrived here to the effect that the Spaniards are murmuring loudly against the alliance, saying that it amounts to disinheriting the Infante Don Carlos. They think here that it would have been better to have kept the mission a secret, because as so much progress has been made that ambassadors and procurators are being sent it looks as if there were no fear as to the issue, and that an assurance had already been given. And in order to counteract this impression, it was thought that I had better present the articles in a different form, leaving out the proem and conclusion, and putting at their head that they were the articles suggested for the marriage of his Highness and the Queen, containing the conditions that had seemed to your Majesty suitable, likely to strengthen a good and sincere alliance, if God were pleased to permit one to be arranged, and honourable and profitable to the kingdom. I have done this, and have been given a time when I may have audience of the Queen and Council. On the first of this month I received the articles and communicated them to the Queen at the usual hour. She read them from beginning to end and found them acceptable, but said that she knew her Council would better be able to judge, wherefore she asked for a copy, which she sent to them the following day. It has been decided that I shall present the original and particular articles of the two treaties together, for if they were presented separately they might give rise to suspicion. They arrived just at the right moment before the dissolution of Parliament, and will be able to be given to the principal lords, after the Council have accepted them, in order that it may be explained to the people how great advantages and benefits will accrue to the kingdom, which will keep the people quiet and keep them from rising at the call of the heretics and disaffected. As soon as the Council replies and the negotiation proceeds another step I will report to your Majesty, to whom I am sending a letter from the Queen in reply to yours. She told me there was a mention of the articles in it, because the letter was written before they arrived; and I was to excuse her to your Majesty for it.
I am sending this courier to inform you that the French ambassador is plotting openly against the alliance, and has spoken to several councillors and nobles to whom he has rehearsed all imaginable disadvantages that he says will attend it if it ever comes to pass: England will have to go to war with France, the country will evermore be subjected to the Spanish rule, the liberties of the land will be suppressed and the nobility impoverished; and he also criticises and decries his Highness' personal qualities. As I have already written to your Majesty, the German, Italian and other potentates are represented by him to dislike the match, and he brings forth endless other arguments for the purpose of dissuading the English. He has persecuted Paget to give him audience in private until, on December 1st, Paget went to his house, when the ambassador made a similar declaration and proposed to suborn him, (fn. 1) going so far as to say that he did not believe the Queen would wish to marry without asking the opinion of the nobility, and hinting that if she did so he knew what the answer would be, because of the intrigues Courtenay had been carrying on with most of them. Paget replied that neither the King of France nor his ambassador had any reason to fear that the Queen meant to do otherwise than continue in friendly relations and observe the treaties with France were it before or after her marriage. He found strange the ambassador's opinion that the nobility's advice ought to be taken as to the marriage, for such was not the way of princes: the King, his master, had not done so, neither had King Francis, his father, nor the Kings of England. It would not be reasonable that the Queen should bind herself to be guided by the prejudices of a few of her subjects. She knew very well that intrigues had been going on, and he would warn the ambassador in confidence, although he knew that he, personally, would never forget that the duty of a good ambassador was to promote peace and friendly feeling, that he was aware of the attempts of several Frenchmen to cause trouble, whose plots had been discovered, and who might have cause to regret; though as for the ambassador he believed him to be prudent and discreet enough not to take a share in any hostile intrigues. To this the ambassador made answer that for his part he would certainly never do anything to compromise friendly relations, and would avoid occasions of giving umbrage; if the heretics were plotting it was not with his approval. He heard it said publicly that there was a misunderstanding between the Queen and the Lady Elizabeth, but his only care was to do his best to keep up the amity existing between his master and the Queen; though he thought he could do his duty in no better way than by pointing out that an alliance with his Highness was not at all what England needed, whatever conditions might be agreed to by which the Low Countries would be annexed to the English Crown; for the King, his master, held that he had a right to the Low Countries, the Empire advanced certain pretensions and the King of the Romans also had his claims. Paget replied that he was not aware things had gone so far in that quarter; it was true that the King of the Romans, the King of Portugal and other princes had spoken of an alliance but nothing was known as to the Queen's choice, or at least the Council had not been informed of it. The ambassador then spoke, on the King of France's behalf, about setting up posting-houses on the road to Scotland in order that it might become easier to send packets thither, for at present there were no horses to be found for hire; and he prayed Paget to have this done. Paget rejoined that it would be difficult to induce the Queen to undertake fresh expenses for the benefit of the posts on the road to Scotland, where they would be of no use to her. Besides, he knew that if she made a similar request in France it would not be granted, so he did not consider it reasonable to accord the ambassador's. He was moved to speak in a downright manner because of the intrigues, and the fact that the ambassador had already asked for a general passport; and Paget said this quite plainly.
The Queen told me that Elizabeth had asked leave to depart for her house next Wednesday, and she asked my advice, not knowing whether to grant it or not. I replied that she would do well to consult her Council, telling them all she had discovered about the intrigues; but for my part I thought the moment chosen seemed suspect, as it would be at the rising of Parliament when the Acts were to be published. If there was going to be any trouble it would take place on that occasion, for one of the Acts concerned Elizabeth; and as it was known that the heretics were building upon her, it would be better to keep her here until it should be seen how the people would take the Acts; but the Queen would have to make up her mind to one of two courses: either to dissemble entirely with Elizabeth, or to shut her up in the Tower. She replied that she would confer with her Council, and told me that on St. Andrew's day (i.e. November 30th) someone in her Court cried out “Treason!” in a loud voice while she was on her way to vespers, in spite of which she entered the chapel, and when Elizabeth heard the cry she was so much perturbed that she could not compose her countenance, and to pass off her paleness made Dame Clarentius rub her stomach, saying that she was amazed that the Queen had not retired after such a warning, and that she was trembling for fear some outrage might be attempted against her person. The Queen added that an arquebuse was aimed at a clergyman who was celebrating mass in a village church, but that it missed fire; the people had refused to suffer mass to be said in several churches in Norfolk and Kent; elsewhere two priests had been killed on account of religion; and rebellion was beginning to show its head. I did not like to continue the conversation for fear of intimidating her, and only said that it would be wise to lose no time in seeing that all was well at the Admiralty and the sea-ports, and that she had better discuss the matter with her Council. That body, Sire, is so torn by faction that Paget tells me the Chancellor is taking no pains in state matters. The Earl of Arundel is dissembling out of fear that if the heretics and French succeed in setting Elizabeth on the throne he may suffer in his person or estate, and the Chancellor, when the intrigues of the heretics are discussed, says that they are kept alive by the French promises of favour, and that the marriage question is as dangerous as that of the heretics; so that although they are aware of the presence of danger they make no sign of guarding against it. The best expedient Paget could think of was to say publicly that the plots had been discovered, as he informed the French ambassador and intends openly to tell the Lady Elizabeth, and to let it be seen that something is being done to prevent them from succeeding. I asked why the man cried “Treason!” and was told that all that had been got out of him was that he wished to cast a slur on the Chancellor, who had put him in prison under the charge of having written a book against Queen Catherine, mother of the Queen, twenty-three years ago. However, the people who do not know these details have taken it to mean that treasonable practices have been discovered, as the man has been imprisoned.
I hear that persons have been sent out to travel about the country saying that England is to be governed by Spaniards and that the Queen is of Spanish blood. And the country-nobility and people are as hostile to the alliance as they are to the old religion.
A Portuguese courier has been waylaid between Boulogne and Calais. He was coming from Portugal with two bags of letters; and another also was robbed, who was going to Portugal. The French are holding the passages, and fitting out ships in Brittany, Normandy and at La Rochelle, as I informed your Majesty by my last letters.
News from Ireland say that the wild Irish are submitting and saying they wish to obey the Queen, in earnest of which they will give hostages.
I have approached Lord Derby and Lord Mountgarret (fn. 2) (Gueret), a foremost Irish noble; and they will work in favour of the alliance, for Derby hopes that he may be sent to Spain to pass the treaty, and Mountgarret that he may be received into his Highness' service. Indeed, Sire, he is a well-bred and accomplished gentlemen, brought up at Liége and in the Low Countries, and he has prayed me to beg of your Majesty a passport for two roan horses that he desires to buy in Flanders. I promised to do so, and as it is only for two horses, if your Majesty were pleased to grant his request it would lay him under an obligation; if two were too many, perhaps one might be allowed to pass, and I will leave it to your Majesty's judgment, only assuring you that he is a lord of position over here.
After writing the above I had audience of the Queen in presence of the Chancellor, the Earl of Arundel, the Bishop of Norwich, Paget, the Controller and Secretary Petre. I presented the articles with a seasonable discourse, and the Queen told me that she would have them examined by her Council and give me an answer as soon as possible. Beyond this she told me that Mason had written to her that Cardinal Pole was greatly dissatisfied with your Majesty for keeping him so long at Dillingen, and that the King of France, on hearing of the delay, said that the Cardinal should go to England whether your Majesty liked it or not. He also wrote that the Cardinal's secretary, when at Brussels, asked my Lord of Arras whether there were news from his master, and that M. d'Arras told him drily that he must have patience, (fn. 3) wherefore he had taken leave to return to his master and tell him that your Majesty did not wish him to go on towards England. Mason prayed the Queen to write to your Majesty to permit the Cardinal to proceed; and she herself feared that, as she had told his man, not long ago, that she did not believe your Majesty would make any difficulty about allowing him to come as far as Brussels, now the Cardinal was being stopped he would say that she had not acted as she had said she would. And she asked me to write to your Majesty to allow him to come to Brussels, and to assure you on her behalf that she would never take any other husband than his Highness, and that your Majesty must believe that she would rather die than break her word. I replied that the letters I had written to your Majesty had perhaps not arrived when M. d'Arras had spoken to the secretary, but that Mason's remarks ought not to disturb her, for I did not think that the King of France's zeal to re-establish the authority of the church was such that he would beg that the Cardinal might be allowed to come hither and execute his legatine commission. This matter concerns not only the Cardinal but his Holiness and the French practices, so may your Majesty be pleased to consider it; for Parliament will certainly be over to-morrow, and the Queen will keep her promise.
I am enclosing a request (fn. 4) sent to me by the Queen's Council, and beg your Majesty to intimate to me your pleasure concerning it.
The Portuguese ambassador is not here yet, but is on the way. I will obey your Majesty's instructions with regard to him.
I am told that the French are planning to attack Navarre in order to prevent his Highness from coming hither and keep your Majesty's forces occupied, and that they are fitting out all their ships in order to block the passage for his Highness.
London, 3 December, 1553.
French. Partly 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.
Dec. 3. Vienna, Imp, Arch. S. 4. Licenciate Games to the King of the Romans.
(Extract from a letter complaining of the great delays suffered on account of the Emperor's indisposition and unwillingness to give audiences. The Emperor is too weak to travel, and will be unable to go to the Diet, also his presence is necessary in Flanders.)
Moreover, as his Majesty has begun negotiating the English matter, which is being discussed publicly, and the French are doing their utmost to thwart it, it would be unsafe for him to absent himself until the alliance is an accomplished fact, and may God help us even then! There are consequently many reasons why his Majesty will be unable to go before the end of April or the beginning of May; but members of his Council and others say he might then undertake the journey if his son had arrived and the English matter were concluded. He might thus arrive in time for the end of the Diet, in which nothing is to be brought forward or discussed except things related to God's service and the welfare of the Holy Empire, for they say it is to be the last Diet his Majesty will hold, and that he will start from it on his way to Spain. God knows what will come of it, for the Emperor has also said, at table, that England is also on the way to Spain. I believe he will write something of all this to your Majesty, and I will take care to write all I learn.
In my last letter I told your Majesty that Count d'Egmont and the others were going by his Majesty's orders to England to conclude the marriage. There is no doubt of this, and they are believed to be going to start to-morrow or the day after. Count Egmont is to head the embassy, and several friends of his, gentlemen of the Emperor and the Queen Dowager, are to accompany him, though it is not yet known for certain how many or who they are to be. But they do things still better in France, whence they are sending Marshal de St. André, who is said to be taking with him one hundred gentlemen, among whom are several of the Order, with many jewels and presents to be distributed in England, by means of which they hope to upset the plans formed here; and it would not amaze me it they succeeded. I will watch developments carefully and send news. . .
Brussels, 3 December, 1553.
Spanish. Cipher. Signed.
Dec. 8. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: The Queen's Council sent for me yesterday between two and three o'clock for a second conference on the articles of marriage between his Highness and the Queen of England. I reached Court at the appointed hour, and learnt that the Council had summoned the foremost men of the realm and the entire body of councillors to hear of the proposal, learn the Queen's pleasure, understand the benefits the country would derive therefrom and your Majesty's openness and sincerity in dealing with them, and be informed of the advantageous conditions that were being put forward, so that they might express their opinion. While this consultation was taking place I was told that several of those gathered together had raised objections and obstacles with a view to preventing the negotiations from going farther, but that the more responsible among them considered the alliance and articles not only salutary, but necessary to the country's welfare. It was about five o'clock in the evening when the Chancellor, Arundel, the Bishop of Norwich, the Controller, Paget, Petre, the Lord Treasurer and an English lawyer came to make the communication for which they had summoned me. They excused the delay on the ground of the meeting that had just taken place, thanked your Majesty for the honour you did them and your solicitude and affection for the realm and its Queen, and said that they had submitted the articles to the Queen and considered them carefully, and were of opinion that your Majesty had wished to leave nothing in the text that the Queen or her Council could wish to alter or take out. Nevertheless, they had made modifications in three or four articles: In the first article your Majesty said that the Queen was bringing as dowry her kingdoms and dominions; but by English custom a kingdom might not be spoken of as a dowry. Also, in written law, it was not necessary that an heir should be said to be endowed with his kingdom; the clause might offend the ears of those who did not understand that its words did not imply some different meaning; and the word title, which was employed, might be taken to be used in the sense pro jure. Consequently, in order to conform to English usage, because it was not necessary (to adhere to the first wording of the article), and in order to satisfy the people of this country while preserving its tenor, the article had been drawn up in the form your Majesty will see in the copy. In the article beginning Porro, it was said that if only a female child were to be born of the marriage she should succeed to the patrimonial dominions on condition that she married with the consent of her brother, the Infante of Spain. Now, although such a condition might be disputed in written law, they had found it reasonable as a safeguard against the said dominions passing into undesirable hands in case the female heir wished to marry outside England and the Low Countries, and they had added to the article a clause, which your Majesty will see, and they did not think you would find it unreasonable, as it was expected that the alliance would result in everlasting brotherhood, amity, communion or even commixtion of the two countries. They had also added that the Queen was not to be taken out of the country except with her own consent. And they passed all the rest of the articles after hearing my explanation of the other objections raised by them, which I will not repeat because they are of small consequence. I had already informed Paget of what I would say as to most of them, and results show that he did excellent work. I made answer that I would examine the articles and give them a reply as soon as possible. And as I find that they have only changed the substance of the article Porro, their addition to which is reasonable and moderate, I told the Queen on leaving the Council that I would give them back the articles to-morrow and say that I trusted your Majesty would accept them and send the ambassadors as soon as possible in order to arrive at a conclusion and make the solemn proposal. I was warned that it would not have been wise to suspend negotiations while your Majesty was being consulted; for the entire Council and all the foremost men here now know what is happening, the Lord Mayor, aldermen, lawyers and officers of justice who were assembled in Parliament are being told to-day, and most of the lords are staying here for the arrival of the ambassadors. In order to avoid all misunderstanding, however, I referred to the final conclusion to be arrived at by the ambassadors, and the Chancellor also told me that if any unforeseen difficulty cropped up, it might then be settled by common consent in order to solidify the treaty, whilst I said to him that if your Majesty did not wish to accept the articles in the form they had given them, an opportunity would thus be afforded to discuss them again, for my reply must not be taken to bind your Majesty. It will be well, Sire, to send the power needed in order to pass the treaty on your behalf and to cause the lords ambassadors to depart as soon as possible, for the English have written to Calais to have them welcomed there and brought hither, in spite of which a convoy had better be sent from the Low Countries as well, for the French will be looking out for them. As soon as they reach this side the Queen will send to Spain the Earl of Derby, Sir Philip Hoby and two others who have not yet been chosen, or as many as your Majesty will have sent hither. You will be pleased to consider whether his Highness ought not to send the Queen some present to serve as a forerunner to the betrothal, beside the contract per verba de prœsenti; and the rest I will leave to your Majesty's prudent forethought.
Since writing my last letters, Sire, I have found out that the Chancellor, now that he has seen the articles, declares openly that the match is more advantageous than any other in all Christendom could be, and has performed very good offices with other personages, persuading them to see the matter in the same light. Be it that he is sincere, or that he has seen it to be impossible to struggle now that the Queen has given her word, he has shown much goodwill and his persuasions have been of effect. (fn. 5) He enjoys great consideration in this country where there are few men of his experience. The Bishop of Norwich has shown himself to be wholly devoted to your Majesty, and has worked hard in favour of the alliance.
After the conference the Chancellor, in presence of the other councillors, told me that the Queen was going to send the Bishop of Norwich back to your Majesty's Court in four day's time to resume an ambassador's duties. He was to be instructed to make a pious request to your Majesty, and ask for leave to export from the Low Countries 10,000 marks of silver for chalices, crosses and other ornaments to be placed in the despoiled churches; and the Queen and her Council, especially the prelates, trusted that your Majesty would consent, for you might be sure that the silver would not be put to a use hostile to you, or given to help the French. The Chancellor prayed me to transmit this petition to your Majesty and say that if the Council could do anything to accommodate the inhabitants of the Low Countries, your Majesty must know that so great a favour would not remain unacknowledged. I thought it well to mention this so that your Majesty might know of it beforehand and arrive at a decision.
The Council has expressed the opinion that a letter ought to be sent to Wotton to tell him about the alliance; and this for reasons which your Majesty will readily understand: so that he may report it to the King of France and temporise with him in a courtly manner. The Queen also wishes to send a gentleman to the King of the Romans on a like errand, but furnished with becoming remarks which she will choose out of the King's last letters and her reply, in order to behave with politeness and keep up friendly relations.
As for the dispensation, she trusts your Majesty to obtain it from the Pope.
The Portuguese ambassador, on his arrival at Greenwich, sent a servant to ask me to send someone to accompany him to Court and find lodgings for him. This I did, but he did not take the lodgings I found, and installed himself in the house of an Italian called Battista Cavalcanti, a French partisan; and when I sent to offer him my assistance and ask him to dinner, he replied that he was not going to stir from his house until he had spoken with the Queen. He has been granted audience for to-day after dinner, and the Queen has had him warned what reply she will make if he mentions marriage or goes further than he promised to your Majesty. I know he regrets that his commission is so limited, for he has said so quite openly to several friends of mine who have repeated his words to me.
Cardinal Pole has sent hither a servant (fn. 6) with letters in reply to those the Queen wrote in October, for he had not received the last she despatched to him. He appears to be dissatisfied with his stay at Dillingen from the tone of the instructions he gave to Soto (fn. 7) to speak to your Majesty in private, and he sends the Queen a long letter of instructions advising her how to bring the establishment of church-authority before Parliament. Moreover, he has sent two persons whom he describes as learned and who are now at Antwerp, and he desired that they should be allowed to make a public declaration and undertake to dispute and argue on the subject. He has sent a copy of the letter in Spanish your Majesty sent to him, a copy of the Pope's letter also sent to him by your Majesty, a copy of the King of France's letter, and a copy of his instructions to Soto. The Queen has finally decided to allow the two persons to come hither as secretly as possible, so that she may hear them and explain to them the present state of the kingdom, the dissolution of Parliament and the reasons that moved her to adjourn the Cardinal's coming.
I have enclosed in this letter copies (fn. 8) that will inform your Majesty of what is happening with regard to this matter; and the Queen insists that your Majesty ought to allow him to come as far as Brussels. She immediately realised that the French would do their best to persuade him to continue his journey, faster than would be profitable, in the hope of hindering the alliance; and it seems from an article in Soto's instructions that the Cardinal has understood that the marriage is being negotiated, and that he is being kept back on that account.
On the day Parliament rose, a dog with shaven crown, clipped ears and a rope round his neck was thrown into the presence chamber with a scandalous writing attached to it, signifying that the priests and bishops should be hanged. The Queen was displeased at this, and told Parliament that such acts might move her to a kind of justice further removed from clemency than she could wish.
The Lady Elizabeth has left for Auban, (fn. 9) a place thirty miles away on the road to Scotland. She very courteously took leave of the Queen, who also dissembled well and gave her sister a rich coif of sable. On the day of her departure I went to visit her and spoke seasonable words, calculated to counteract the effects of French intrigues, and I did so with the Queen's knowledge and approval. Nevertheless, care has been taken to have her every action observed, and it is suspected that the French ambassador's petition to have posting-houses on the road to Scotland may have had something to do with his desire to help Elizabeth. Two days before she left, Arundel and Paget spoke to her frankly, and said what they thought salutary for her to hear, namely that if she left the straight road and intrigued with the heretics and French she might have reason to regret it. She answered that as for religion she was not acting hypocritically but according to the dictates of her conscience; she would show it by her way of living, take priests with her, dismiss those of her servants who were suspect, and do all in her power to please the Queen. She attempted to clear herself of the suspicion of having lent an ear to the heretics and French, and addressed a petition to the Queen, asking her not to believe anyone who spread evil reports of her without doing her the honour to let her know and give her a chance of proving the false and malicious nature of such slanders, (fn. 10) that were only designed to harm her. I had much trouble is persuading the Queen to dissemble, for she still resents the injuries inflicted on Queen Catherine, her lady mother, by the machinations of Anne Boleyn, mother of Elizabeth, and recalls trouble and unpleasantness before and since her accession, unrest and disagreeable occurrences to which Elizabeth has given rise. There is no persuading her that Elizabeth will not bring about some great evil unless she is dealt with.
The Queen has spoken with Courtenay in presence of his mother and Paget, and he seems very happy except that he is less caressed than formerly.
L'Aubespine, as I am told, is soon coming hither on behalf of the Queen of France.
The French courier called the Protestant is soon coming over here; and as he is the man who always brings suspicious despatches and white-ink writing it has been arranged that he is to be relieved of his bag to see what he is carrying. And it is to be done in such a way that he shall not know there was an ambush.
It was proposed in Parliament that penalties ought to be instituted against those who do not assist at the sacrifice of the mass, and after long discussion it was decided to do no more for the present than to punish those who should disobey the laws and statutes of Parliament. When the people heard this they showed no sign of causing the disturbances that it was feared might attend the publication of the Acts, though there is a good deal of hostility, on account of which all officers of justice have been told to be watchful.
Everyone is saying that this alliance will probably make peace between your Majesty and the King of France.
M. d'Oisel is soon to pass through this country on his return journey to Scotland.
London, 8 December, 1553.
French. Signed. A few phrases in cipher.
Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Memoir written by Cardinal Pole for the benefit of Mary I, and enclosed in the foreging letter.
The true foundation of kingdoms lies in the favour of the Almighty, for He is the Lord of Hosts and gives or takes away sceptres according to His pleasure. The ruler whom God favours may say with all security “If Thou art with me, who can prevail against me?” What man can withstand His will? To turn away from God and provoke him to wrath is the source of manifest danger and ruin. His favours shall be earned by that prince and his subjects who live in piety and religion united to His bride, our holy mother the Church. This is but too clearly proved. The eastern empire was once most powerful and rich; but when schism and heresy entered it, and the people broke away from the Church, they fell into the hands of the Turk and were made slaves. The kingdom of Hungary, once most fortunate, is now steeped in misery, as we know, and for the same cause. The same is true of the kingdom of Bohemia and of nearly the whole of Germany, for since she rebelled against the Church and her head, and walked in the paths of heresy, she has suffered such harm and ruin, that unless she makes her peace with God and returns to the Church, she may before long meet her last doom. But there is no need to seek examples abroad; the kingdom of England forsook religion and the obedience of the Church, and lost her civil justice and every other good institution, and were it not that the Lord considered the piety and devotion of her to whom the crown was to devolve, the kingdom would have fallen into the hands of tyrants. If, therefore, we manifestly see that those kingdoms wherein schisms and heresies abound cannot have the favour and the help of the Lord, but find Him wrathful and inimical, and the hour of their destruction cannot tarry long, who can reasonably uphold that for so great and dangerous an evil a prompt remedy must not be sought, and the means whereby the wrath of the Lord may be turned aside, and His honour set before all other considerations, to show that our trust is in Him? If there were rebels in the kingdom threatening the Queen's throne, would any man be so dastardly as to say that other things should be preferred and the matter attended to later, after the rest? Would he not be showing himself possessed of little zeal for the Queen's honour, and deserving of punishment? How can those whom the Lord does not favour deliberate or discuss in Parliament or elsewhere any measure for the public good, if the Lord does not illumine them on the path they must elect? And how can they hope that He will show them favour if they will not first set aside their heresy and schisms and make their peace with Him? It is imprudent and sacrilegious to say that matters of religion must be cleverly handled, and left until the throne is safely established. Shall the throne be established without God's help? Shall God grant His help to schismatics and heretics, assembled in Parliament to reform the affairs of the kingdom, and repair the disorders and harm done by evil governors? The causes of all the evils that have taken place are no other than schisms and heresy; if they merely seek to mend other evils first, they will but leave the root of them untouched. I do not know if the Queen's councillors who urge her to set her kingdom's affairs in good order first, and then restore religion, believe the words of the Gospel, saying that God watches over and governs even the smallest things, and without Him no good can be accomplished. If the saying is true, He must set His hand to order the affairs of the kingdom, because otherwise that which may be accomplished shall not endure. Shall the Queen pray unto God that He may set up a kingdom of heretics and schismatics? Shall the Queen pray God to establish the reign of His enemies? Will she not hear the voice of her conscience saying to her: Had the Lord wished it so to be, He would have established the reign of Northumberland. But such a government was not pleasing is His sight, and His hand destroyed it without the act of any man, and gave the crown into the hands of a virgin, because she was religious, pious, beloved of the Lord, and had placed all her trust in him. No man who is not totally blind can fail to perceive that God accomplished this high miracle, greater than any other, to show the world, and above all the Queen, that the establishment of kingdoms is not founded upon mighty armies, or even upon human foresight, but that their strength lies in God; and those kingdoms stand firm whose people and rulers are united with the Lord. But those where the ruler and the people are rebels to the Almighty stand upon the very brink of ruin. God willed that no man should doubt this truth, when He allowed a virgin unarmed and bereft of help or human counsel to scatter an army, conquer and capture her enemies, despite their craft and power. Yet this Queen in whose favour He made so signal a demonstration of His power and love towards His faithful people, will allow herself to be persuaded that temporal considerations must be attended to first, and the affairs of religion, pertaining to the glory of the Lord, be deferred! O vain pursuit! For there can be no safe foundation without the help of God. She may seek in her piety and religion the cause of her elevation to the throne; but she may not be so forgetful and thankless towards the Lord as to place temporal matters before the honour due to Him. If she forget it, let her stand in fear of God's curses, Who said: he who neglects the service of the Lord shall be accursed. What greater neglect can there be, how can we more deeply offend the Lord than by setting aside the honour of God to attend to other things, leaving religion to the end,—words unworthy of any Christian?
Her Majesty must not allow herself to be intimidated by the counsellors possessed of little prudence, and haply insincere, who may aver that dealing with questions of religion will bring about danger of tumults. I doubt if these tumults could be fraught with greater danger than that which beset her Majesty when, abandoned by all and bereft of help, she was the quarry of an armed multitude. If the danger is not greater, then she need have no fear, because He Who delivered her from the one, will deliver her again. Even as the Lord did not merely free her from danger but raised her up to her exalted place, so in this new danger He will keep her safe and increase her state.
But the pretext of possible tumults is one put forth by insincere counsellors who, pursuing their own ends, would wish religious matters to be left without settlement, and so say that tumults may be feared. God has given the sceptre and the sword into her Majesty's hands for no other reason than that ribaldry and disobedience to the holy laws may be punished, and the seditious receive their meed. Why are Kings constituted to rule? Not that they may fail in the duties of their state for fear of offending ribald men, and offend God so that some heretic may receive no offence! The Lord willed that the Queen, forsaken and unarmed, should conquer him who had occupied the kingdom and was armed, in order that when she was made a Queen, and was armed in her turn, she might be afraid of a few among her own unarmed subjects! Why did God preserve her Majesty's faith unstained? So that when she became Queen she might stain her faith by neglecting to do her duty! Why did the Lord endow her Majesty with courage so great that in her girlhood neither filial reverence nor royal injunctions, nor any other authority could prevail upon her to prefer her own comfort and advantage or even her own life to religion and the honour of God? In order that being crowned Queen she might set many things before religion and tremble at shadows! Let not her Majesty be satisfied with saying: “My religion is sincere and spotless as it ever was.” When she was but a subject she had no other accounts to render except of her own actions, and it sufficed that she alone should honour God. Now that the kingdom is entrusted to her care, it is not enough that she should honour God; she must compel her subjects to do likewise, and punish the disobedient in virtue of the authority she has received from God. She must not permit knaves (discoli) to dare to oppose their own will to their Queen's just intentions, and she must use force to bring about what reason may fail to accomplish. Promptitude is necessary, and no time must be given for evil tendencies to gain in strength. Let her Majesty shut her ears to the counsels of self-seekers and listen to the advice of him whom she used to consult when she was a private person. Her courage will rise again, and she will know that even as the Lord delayed not in those things which redounded to her advantage and honour, striking the tyrant swiftly when he sought to occupy the throne, even so she must not brook delays where the honour of God is at stake but stifle heresy and schism, trusting in the Lord who will not permit tumults to arise to her harm.
Copy. Italian.
Cardinal Pole's instructions to Friar Pedro de Soto, enclosed in Simon Renard's letter to the Emperor, of December 8th.
Pole instructs Soto to lay before the Emperor various reasons for which his journey to England ought not to be deferred. Copy, Italian. Printed in the Foreign Calendar for 1553–1558.
Dec. 9. Vienna, Imp. Arch. S. 4. Licentiate Games to the King of the Romans.
Count d' Egmont has not yet left (for England), but has gone to Antwerp, and it is thought that he may go to Breda with the Queen (Dowager), who is going thither to-morrow for the baptism of the Prince of Orange's son. At the same ceremony the Elector of Cologne (fn. 11) and my Lady the Duchess of Cleves (fn. 12) were expected; I know not how it will turn out. It is true that there was some suspicion in the mind of the Most Christian Queen (fn. 13) that her Majesty intended to proceed thence to Calais. Your Majesty shall be advised of all that occurs.
The Portuguese ambassador, of whose departure for England I wrote to your Majesty, seems to have waited over ten days at the sea-port on account of bad weather and also because he was expecting a courier from Portugal with instructions from the King as to what he was to do. But the courier, who had taken ship in Biscay, was so tired of the sea-voyage that he insisted on being set ashore, even if it had to be in France, for he trusted to the privilege they all enjoy of passing unmolested through that country. However, immediately he landed in Brittany he was arrested, and relieved of all the letters he was carrying, which are said to have been numerous. And after remaining a few days in detention he was allowed to proceed, and accompanied as far as the frontier so that he should suffer no further mishap; but the letters, among which was a despatch from the Prince (of Spain) to the Emperor, stayed behind. . . .
Brussels, 9 December, 1553.
Signed. Spanish.
Dec. 10. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. Mary I to the Emperor.
We now have occasion to send back to his post as ambassador resident at your Court our most faithful Councillor, the Bishop of Norwich, as we informed you was our intention some time past when we called him over to us. And as we now desire to employ our most faithful Councillor, Mr. Mason, at present ambassador with you, in our service over here, we beg you, most high, excellent and mighty prince, not only to grant Mr. Mason leave to return to us, but also to accord the Bishop of Norwich favourable audience, and entire credit when he shall recite to you certain matters of state, and others of importance with which we have entrusted him, and shall hereafter instruct him to communicate to you.
London, 10 December, 1553.
Signed. French.
Dec. 10. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. Mary I to the Queen Dowager.
The present bearer, our most faithful Councillor, the Bishop of Norwich, is now returning to the Emperor's Court to fulfil the duties of our ambassador to our good brother and cousin, and to you. We therefore, knowing that you rejoice to hear our good news and the progress of our affairs, have instructed him to make to you ample report thereof, and we pray you to grant him favourable audience, and hear not only what he shall now say to you on our behalf, but that which we shall at other times instruct him to recite to you.
Brussels, 10 December, 1553.
Signed. French.


  • 1. Noailles asked the King of France to provide a large sum to buy Paget. See the Mémoires, II, p. 301.
  • 2. Apparently Richard Butler, Viscount Mountgarret (Irish Calendar).
  • 3. Marginal note, in Arras' hand: This is false, for I told him that we were waiting for the answer his master would send after seeing all the letters we had sent him. And the secretary is still here; at any rate I saw him in church yesterday.
  • 4. I have not found the paper here referred to.
  • 5. It is curious that Noailles should have believed Gardiner to have worked hard for the Spanish match from the very outset.
  • 6. Probably Pole's nephew, Thomas Stafford, who arrived in England late in November.
  • 7. Fray Pedro de Soto.
  • 8. See the two following letters.
  • 9. This would appear to be St. Albans. Elizabeth went to stay at her house of Ashridge Park, not far from that place.
  • 10. Noailles, in a despatch to his master, the King of France, says that Elizabeth would glad wed Courtenay and go with him to the West Country to try to head a rebellion, but that Courtenay has been intimidated. (Mémoires, II, 310.)
  • 11. i.e. Count Adolphus Schauenburg, Archbishop-Elector of Cologne.
  • 12. i.e. Mary, a daughter of Ferdinand, King of the Romans, and wife of William V, Duke of Cleves.
  • 13. i.e. Eleanor, widow of Francis I of France. She was a sister of the Emperor, and had first been married to Emmanuel I of Portugal.