Spain: December 1553, 11-15

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, 11-15', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) pp. 423-438. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

. "Spain: December 1553, 11-15", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) 423-438. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

. "Spain: December 1553, 11-15", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916). 423-438. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,

December 1553, 11–15

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.
Dec. 11. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: I went yesterday to the Chancellor, Paget and Petre to tell them that I had sent to your Majesty the articles of the marriage-treaty with their annotations and remarks, and that I trusted your Majesty would now send off the lords you had chosen to celebrate its solemn conclusion. Moreover, I communicated to them the form of procuration which his Highness might send in order that that which the Lords had concluded might be ratified with all due formalities.
They replied to me on behalf of the Council that the lords should be very welcome, and that the Queen had written to my Lord William (Howard), who had formerly been Deputy of Calais and was now Admiral of England, to receive them and prepare four men-of-war for their convoy, by doing which he should enter upon the exercise of his functions as Admiral. Nevertheless, in order to avoid all mishap, it would be well for your Majesty to send some other ships, because the French would probably be waiting for them. When they arrived at Dover, my Lord Warden would receive them and conduct them as far as my Lord Cobham's house, whence Cobham would bring them to London, where lodgings had been reserved for them in the house of the Treasurer of the Augmentations, (fn. 1) next to my own house in the place called Bridewell; and a door should be made between the two houses. For certain good reasons the Queen would then repair to Richmond, ten miles from this place, where the ambassadors should be lodged in the house of the late Duke of Somerset and negotiate and conclude the articles and betrothal per verba de futuro, for the English desired the marriage to be solemnised in the presence of both parties, and that his Highness should promise to observe the treaties in the sight of the people. Where the procuration spoke of a ceremony per verba de prœsenti the words might be changed, and there were sound arguments for so doing, as the Lutherans and others who were hostile to the alliance were beginning to show signs of unrest. They then asked me how soon the lords would be here. I said I believed your Majesty would supply a convoy, and that though the power was very ample it need not be used if they did not wish it, and would be limited in any way that might be thought proper. As for the desire that his Highness should ratify and promise to observe the treaties in public, I did not think your Majesty would make any difficulty about it; and the lords might be at Calais in eight or ten days.
After I had written the above, Paget summoned me to his house to give me back the power revised by the Council so that I might return it to your Majesty. He also told me that the Bishop of London was to go to Spain with the Privy Seal and Hoby, wherefore it would be well to write to have them welcomed at Laredo or Bilbao, as the English intended to receive your Majesty's envoys in an honourable manner. They would like to know how many men, horses and mules his Highness would be likely to bring, and where he would land. Plymouth was very distant and there would be difficulty in finding suitable lodgings and horses on the road thence to London, so if Southampton were considered suitable it would be very convenient, or otherwise his Highness might land at Bristol, a port between England and Ireland, though it was also far away. It was asked when he would be able to come, and Paget expressed the opinion that your Majesty would do well to suffer no delay, and not to wait for the spring unless foul weather prevented the crossing, for the consummation had better take place before more disquiet threatened to adjourn the successful issue of an undertaking that had begun so well. Let a thought be given to the number of English officers and servants who might be assigned to his Highness, for they would be faithful to him. Let his Highness draw as near as possible to the coast of Biscay, both in order to negotiate the ratification and to be able to embark without delay. It would be well to write to Spain to suggest to his Highness that he might send a gentleman or important personage over to the Queen with some present and to inform her of the time of his crossing. The Queen had decided to go to Windsor to receive his Highness, where she would prepare a hunt in the park, and there await him among tents and pavillions. Above all, your Majesty was desired to instruct his Highness to impress it upon his following that they must begin by behaving with moderation and decorum. I replied that I would send off the power, and inform your Majesty of Paget's words, so that you might take steps accordingly. As for his Highness' journey, I felt sure that your Majesty would hasten it on as much as possible, for the reasons he had mentioned; and it would be well to consult with the Queen as to the officers and servants to be attached to his Highness' person. This Paget promised to do. (fn. 2)
Cardinal Pole is pressing to be allowed to come hither either as Legate or as a private individual. The sight of one's native land is sweet and delectable, but if he heard what I see with my eyes he would not hasten on his journey. I may assure your Majesty that most of the Council have openly declared that they will never allow the Pope's authority to be set up again as it was before, without modifications, for they foresee it would mean that they would have to restore Church property. I have sent to your Majesty a copy of a discourse the Cardinal has sent to the Queen by a servant, and it will show you how little prudence is his to attempt the introduction of a measure that is so unpopular over here, and so difficult of handling at this early stage.
Several gentlemen and good people have warned me in confidence that your Majesty would do well to see to it that the Spaniards who are to come be as modest in demeanour as the pride and insolence of the English would have them, for otherwise these people will not be held back from inflicting upon them some irreparable outrage. The Spaniards are detested here because of the quarrel they had with the English at Antwerp, the manner in which your Majesty's own subjects complained of their arrogance, and what they did the other day at Douai, the dislike many English feel for the alliance, and especially the unfortunate stories repeated by several exiled and refugee Spaniards who reside over here. A plot aimed against the alliance has been discovered; it was woven by several councillors and nobles, among whom was the Earl of Derby, in spite of the fact that he had promised the Queen and me to do the opposite. This has caused the Queen to change her mind, and I believe that the Privy Seal and Hoby will go to Spain, not Derby. Paget tells me that some present ought to be sent to the Queen as a token, as I have already written, for it is necessary to try to conciliate the people, prevent them from too easily believing hostile reports, and persuade them that the marriage will bring them honour and prosperity. In truth, Sire, you will do well to provide for his Highness' safety and for means to protect him in the midst of this barbarous nation, for fear injury be offered to his person or some trouble arise to imperil the throne. All the French and Scottish intrigues are working on that line, and the English say plainly that men from the Low Countries will be welcome, but it will be hard to live with Spaniards.
The secretary who used to live with Boisdauphin when he was residing as French ambassador in London, has arrived here, it is said to pay his master's debts. But I know that he has gone off again after having spoken for seven or eight hours on end with the ambassador, and told him that the King of France is now at St. Germain, intends to send hither MM. d'Oisel, L'Aubespine and other personages, and is fitting out his best ships; so that before Easter arrives there shall be such a tumult in England as never was seen.
It has been said here that the Duke of Savoy is coming hither to wed the Lady Elizabeth, and the nobility have intimated that they would be glad to see this match concluded, and the right to the succession confirmed in her and the Duke in case the Queen were to die without issue. And Elizabeth has sent abroad a cousin on her mother's side called Millord Quarre (fn. 3) to visit the Duke, and he has brought back a report so favourable that it has made the Duke popular with the nobility and awakened feelings of love and hope in the Lady Elizabeth. I have been spoken to on the subject, but have said nothing for the reasons your Majesty may conjecture.
They say here that several ships that had set sail for Spain sank a few days ago off the Dutch coast, with a number of Spanish soldiers who were on board of them. Also that the French have returned to the island of Sark, and are fortifying it again.
The Portuguese ambassador had audience of the Queen, but said nothing about any alliance. He is soon to start for home by way of France, and I obeyed your Majesty's orders in my intercourse with him.
The news of the surprise of Vercelli (fn. 4) were published here in so many different manners that everyone believed the French were in possession of it until the tidings sent by Mason arrived. Strange things, little flattering to his reputation, are being repeated about Don Fernando (Gonzaga). He is said to be awaiting your Majesty's death to make himself Duke of Milan and openly display all the ill-will he bears to your service and his desire to ruin the Duke of Savoy. It is added that the French have carried off all the chattels left at his death by the late Duke of Savoy.
The French have certainly retaken the island of Sark and are fortifying it; and many think it will be difficult to prevent them from giving trouble from Scotland, by means of the heretics, the Lady Elizabeth or otherwise, for it is known that they are making great preparations.
The courier who is going to Spain has only just arrived. He was nearly caught by the French, who are narrowly watching the Channel.
London, 11 October, 1553.
French. Signed.
Dec. 11. Simancas, E. 807. Simon Renard to Prince Philip.
My last letters informed your Highness that the Queen of England had given me her word to marry you, and since then she has reiterated her promise and agreed to the articles that are now being sent to your Highness as a token of constancy. All that now remains is to have the treaty concluded, and the Emperor, desirous of doing so with the greatest solemnity, is sending hither Count d'Egmont, MM. de Lalaing and de Courrières, and Chancellor Nigri, who are to be here in ten days. Your Highness will be pleased to despatch a power in the form of a minute now being sent to you, leaving a blank space for the names of the lords and my own, that we may ratify in your name the treaty that shall have been concluded. Moreover, the Queen is going to send to your Highness the Bishop of London, the Earl of Bedford and Mr. Hoby, who will leave about the end of this month to go and obtain your personal ratification. Your Highness will see by the copy of my letters to the Emperor that great preparations are being made here for the reception of the lords, so you will do well to send to meet the English envoys and have them honourably entertained. And it is also essential that you send hither some notable personage, who must also be a linguist, to visit the Queen and give her some present, as I have said in my letters to his Majesty; and the sooner this is done the better. I believe his Majesty is writing to your Highness about the expediency of your coming hither without delay to consummate the marriage, so I will only remark that it will be well to do so as soon as possible, and refer your Highness to his Majesty's letters. I humbly beg you to take my service in good part.
The French are fitting out men-of-war on the coasts of Normandy and Brittany.
The French have robbed a courier come from Portugal, thinking he was carrying letters from your Highness.
London, 11 December, 1553.
Holograph. French. Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Dec. 11. Brussels, E.A. 133bis. Bave (fn. 5) to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: About midday yesterday there arrived letters from our ambassador in England, which I am sending to your Majesty to the number of three. You will see that the articles have been presented to the Council, that the Queen's goodwill continues, and certain other news from that quarter. His Imperial Majesty examined the letters late yesterday and M. de Praet only sent them to me this morning, so I was unable to send them to your Majesty earlier. His Majesty is of opinion that they had better not be answered until we hear from the ambassador what reply the Council has given him, for the letters are old, of the 3rd instant, and as the articles had already been presented then a reply cannot be long delayed.
My Lord of Arras has instructed me to present to your Majesty his excuses for not having written to you. He left early in the morning to go to stand godfather to (lever) M. de Gaesbeke's child, and will be back after dinner.
Brussels, 11 December, 1553.
P.S.—Madam: When I was about to close this, another courier arrived from England with letters from the ambassador, written on the 8th instant, reporting that the articles have been accepted by the whole Council, who have made no alterations except in one or two instances where they have introduced verbal changes that do not affect the substance. He urges that the lords now be sent over to conclude the treaty, and this evening, after his Imperial Majesty has read them, I will send the letters to your Majesty. But in the meantime I wished to send off this message in order to give you the news.
French. Signed.
Dec. 11. Brussels, E.A. 133bis. Gherard Veltwyck to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: I am sending to your Majesty letters from Lalaing and Bugnicourt, and it seems to me that some reply ought to be made to the passage in Lalaing's about his return, for from what Bave tells me the English matter seems to be going on well and the Council of the Queen of England have set about it with goodwill, communicating it to the Great Council (fn. 6) and foremost members of the Parliament. May God grant that this success be not too sudden, as what has been achieved must be attributed to God alone, but it is enough to make people suspicious to see an attempt to change the people's religion and bring about a foreign match succeed all at one blow! Count de Lalaing will have no more to do in Artois, as the enemy have retreated. Your Majesty will consider what is to be done with regard to Cambrai, but there is no necessity for coming to a decision this season, and we may still dissemble, especially as whatever resolution is adopted must proceed from the Emperor himself.
Brussels, 11 December, 1553.
Holograph. French.
Dec. 12. (fn. 7) Simancas, E. 807. The Emperor's instructions to his ambassadors.
Instructions to you, my cousins, knights of my Order, La moral, Count d'Egmont, Prince de Gavre; Charles, Count de Lalaing, Governor, Captain-General and Grand Bailiff of Hainault; and our very dear and faithful Jehan de Montmorency, Knight, Grand Bailiff of Alost; and Philip Nigri, Councillor, Master of Requests and Knight of our Order, destined to guide you in your negotiations on our behalf with the Queen of England, my good sister and cousin, and the members of her Council, to undertake which we are now despatching you.
You will travel with all speed and, arrived at Calais, will ascertain what arrangements have been made on behalf of the Queen for your passage and whether the ships we are now sending for the same purpose are there. You will also find out what the French are doing and whether they have no men-of-war near by, ready to fall on you, in order that you may cross safely over to England.
There arrived, you will first of all address yourselves to our ambassador resident in order to inform the Queen, through him, of your coming and have a day fixed on which you may be granted audience to visit her on our behalf, offer her our most cordial commendations, present our letters and negotiate that which has been entrusted to you. But before negotiating, you will communicate with our ambassador in order to possess yourself of all the facts and the present state of affairs, according to which you will devise the form and manner you shall observe in making the proposal on our behalf, and asking her hand in marriage for the Prince, our son. In doing this you will take your stand on the approval the Queen and her Council showed of this project when it was suggested to them, and dwell on our great happiness and belief that both her dominions and our own will greatly benefit by the alliance. After these preliminary offices, and when you have heard the Queen's reply you will offer to fulfil the instructions you have received and proceed to determine and conclude the articles according to the power which shall be delivered to you, which you may exhibit if necessary, and which may be inserted in the treaty together with the Queen's power to those she shall delegate to act in this matter.
And in order to give you fuller information as to the course you shall follow with regard to the passing of the marriage-treaty, beyond what you heard from us verbally, you will take copies of the articles we had drawn up, of the letters to explain them which we sent to our ambassador, of the letters he wrote to us on the 8th instant, and of our reply to them, which will supply you with the fullest instructions as to how the articles are to be passed. When once that has been done, and the papers have been executed in proper form, you will see that they be sent over here in order that we may despatch our ratification to the Queen in exchange for her own. You will take care that nothing be omitted that may contribute to the greater solemnity and binding character of the act.
We have written to the Prince, our son, to send you in all haste a power to enable you, once the treaty has been concluded, to act as his procurators and pass the marriage per verba de prœsenti with the Queen. As soon as you have received the power you will inform the Queen and beg her to appoint a time for this purpose, observing all the requisite solemnities and taking care that the words used be proper and binding. We are taking steps at Rome to obtain a dispensation in virtue of which the marriage, in spite of the degree of consanguinity existing between the parties, may canonically be celebrated, according to God's commandments and the ordinances of our holy mother Church; and we hope it may be given before the said power arrives. As soon as we hear that his Holiness has granted it we will let you know, for that will be sufficient, and it will be unnecessary to exhibit or mention it to anyone in England except the Queen and those to whom she wishes it to be made known.
You will see from our ambassador's letters that the Queen intends, as soon as the articles have been concluded, to send personages on her behalf towards our son to inform him of the successful issue of the negotiations, and you will see to it that these envoys take with them sufficient power to contract in her name a marriage per verba de prœsenti with our son, in the same manner, that you shall have contracted it with the Queen, so that the ceremony may be securely performed on both sides.
You are taking letters for the Bishop of Winchester, Lord Chancellor, Paget and others, as well as some with the names left blank, as you will see from the copies, and with regard to these letters you will be guided by our ambassador in performing such offices with the recipients as may seem calculated to gain their goodwill and contribute to the success of this undertaking.
We believe that, although our ambassador wrote that the Bishop of Winchester said to him that if there were need to make any change in the treaty for the sake of clearness it might be done, as we have fully granted all they asked for in the three articles of which you have heard, they will pass the whole without further difficulty. However, if they do raise any fresh point, you will act according to its nature, without making any objection if you understand that it is not in contradiction to our intentions as expressed in the papers you will have with you. But if the change desired is beyond your power to grant you will try to dissuade them with moderate and reasonable arguments, and if they still persist you will say that you are unable to agree to such alterations, but will refer the matter to us. And do so without either irritating them or consenting to anything that would alter the character of the treaty.
You will observe a similar attitude if they wish to introduce any innovations in the matter of the existing Commercial Conventions, though it seems likely that they will be willing to leave them and other former treaties alone, as they all are expressly reserved by the present agreement. But if necessary you may say that it will be better to approach these matters after the alliance has been consummated. Nevertheless you will take careful note of their proposals and report them to us, as you will also do with regard not merely to the matters pertaining to your charge but everything you learn while you are in England. And you will not leave that country until your negotiation is finished and we have sent you further orders.
We will trust the rest to your prudence and skill, and from time to time will send you further intimations of our pleasure in reply to your letters.
Brussels, — December, 1553.
Copy. French. A Spanish copy exists in the same bundle. Printed by Gachard from a copy at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV, but dated December 21st.
Dec. 12. Vienna, Imp. Aroh. E. 20. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Paget and the Queen herself have told me that if the Prince could come hither by Septuagesima she would ask the Pope for a dispensation to marry, even though it were in a season when marriages were forbidden, but her mind was quite made up not to do so during Lent. Great pains must be taken to get over this difficulty, and a dispensation must be procured from Rome, not only to remove the hindrance of consanguinity but also to enable the marriage to be celebrated in Lent; and in the meantime efforts shall be madehere to overcome the Queen's scruples.
I am warned by many persons that the English are so treacherous, inconstant, false, malicious and easily to be roused that little trust is to be placed in them. If the alliance is a great one, it is also dangerous for his Highness' person, and if there is any revolt it will turn out very profitable to the French because of the great difficulty there would be in rescuing his Highness. They tell me that those who endeavoured in Parliament to induce the Queen to marry an Englishman, who could be none other than Courtenay's party, are irritated by their failure, and that the Great Chamberlain, (fn. 8) the Master of the Horse, (fn. 9) the Earl of Derby, Walgrave, who is their leader, and several others who are members of the Council, are making as if to abandon the Queen's service. Paget is envied because the Queen listens to him. The Catholics and those who stood by the Queen during her troubles are being tempted to withdraw their allegiance because she is favouring heretics, pardoning and rewarding them, and doing nothing for the men who were faithful in her hour of need. Paget has been suspected of heresy because he ruled King Henry and influenced him in a heretical direction. The Queen is said often to act at the request of private individuals without consulting her Council. The King of France has decided to send Marshal de St. Andre or another to England to remonstrate with the Queen and her Council, stir up the heretics, incite the Catholics to unrest and perhaps to break altogether, though nothing is definitely known; and these are only rumours; but, worst of all, the French mean to make Elizabeth the instrument of some evil design. They say that your Majesty would do well to consider these points, for if several nobles and others have declared themselves pleased with the alliance, they have done so hypocritically. Among others, these are the considerations that the aforesaid persons think ought to be reported to his Highness, so that when he lands he may endeavour to win over the hostile to a happier frame of mind. They argue that if your Majesty or his Highness try to push the alliance through by force it will be a hazardous and difficult operation; if you attempt to win the confidence of the English it will also be perillous, and that whatever path is chosen the greatest forethought and prudence is called for. And as the persons who speak thus are men of position, and even the Controller, who formerly agreed with Walgrave, has said something of the sort to me, I thought it my duty to report their words to your Majesty, so that you might decide for the best.
I am assured that the French are raising troops to be sent to Scotland between now and Easter, rather in order to carry out their designs than because of any fear they have of attack from the English or your Majesty. And they tell me that, unless God remedy it, there will be great difficulty in keeping the people and Lutherans from open revolt. I have warned the principal members of the Council of this, so that they may take the requisite measures.
London, 12 December, 1553.
Cipher. French. Signed. At Simancas (E. 807), there exists an abstract in Spanish of this letter and Renard's to the Emperor, of December 17th, in which the situation in England is depicted in considerably less alarming words.
Printed by Gachard from a transcript at Brussels, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Dec. 12. Brussels, E.A. 133bis. The Bishop of Arras to the Queen Dowager.
Your Majesty will have seen from the letter Secretary Bave wrote you yesterday, while I had gone to stand godfather to M. de Gaesbeke's child, the good news that have come from England about the marriage, which you will now learn in detail from the letters and enclosures which I am sending to you. I was unable to do so sooner, because I had to wait for the Emperor to read and have them discussed, which was done to-day at nine in the morning at a meeting of the Council which I called at M. de Praet's house, because of his indisposition. Were present M. d'Egmont, the two Presidents, (fn. 10) Maitre Gherard (fn. 11), the Chancellor of the Order, (fn. 12) Señor Eraso, Bave and myself. Our object was to examine the changes made in the articles by the English, and we reported our opinion to the Emperor after dinner. He takes the same view as the Council, and indeed formed his opinion on reading the ambassador's letters, as he told M. d'Egmont at the time; but he wishes to ascertain yours before arriving at a definite decision.
The points, Madam, in which the English have made alterations, are three. The first and third appear to us, subject to your Majesty's correction, to be of no consequence. One of them is concerned with the title and the realm of England being treated as a dowry, and in its corrected form the article perfectly answers bur purpose; and the other stipulates that the Queen shall not be taken out of England unless by her consent, whereas we do not wish to force her will in this or in any other connexion.
There is more to be said about the second point. It seems that his Majesty's proposal to allow the female heir of this marriage, if there is no heir male, to hope to obtain the succession on condition that she marries with the consent of her brother, the Infante (Don Carlos), has moved the English to raise an objection and alter the article. They perhaps fear that if no match were found for the daughter on our side, it might be desired to marry her with France, which is what they most fear because of the Salic Law and their dread of being perpetually dominated by that country. They may also suspect that the Infante, in order not to lose the Low Countries, might withhold his consent. We have considered that even if the Infante wished to refuse to consent to a match in England or the Low Countries he would be unable legally to do so, because when this condition is inserted in marriage-contracts it is understood that consent may only be refused for some good reason such as lack of confidence, which could not be invoked against a match in England or the Low Countries: Moreover, some of us believe that as the law tends to favour liberty of choice in marriage, such a condition might in any case be overruled, and think that even if the English had made greater difficulties it would be better to accept them because of the benefits to be looked for from this match. Their demand seems also to spring from the same desire that moves us: namely that this country and England be united in order to keep France out of both, which result would certainly be achieved by the alliance. And if the female heir wished to marry outside of the two countries she would have to obtain the Infante's consent, just as his Majesty wished. It is therefore suggested, subject to your Majesty's correction, that the article in the form given to it by the English had better be accepted frankly and unconditionally; for a word more or less would not alter the intention which the English, with some reason, have formed, and a full agreement to their proposal will tend to win their goodwill;
Preparations are being made for sending off the ambassadors, and the private letters of instruction are being drawn up in order to waste no time while we are awaiting your Majesty's reply. Couriers were despatched yesterday to tell MM. de Lalaing and de Courrières to hold themselves in readiness to go and join their colleagues wherever they might be ordered to do so; and for their safe passage we are arranging with Scepperus so that he may bring up as many armed privateers as possible.
The confessor, Fray Pedro de Soto, has arrived here and has spoken with his Majesty in accordance with his instructions. His Majesty has explained matters to him, but will not give him his answer until your Majesty returns. He has decided, however, to allow the Cardinal to come as far as this place. When the Cardinal comes we shall hear what he has to say, and in the meantime we shall see what turn affairs take.
The Emperor consents to the (English) demand to export 10,000 marks (of silver); and the rest of the contents of the letter does not require special attention, for it consists mainly of news. As your Majesty is travelling, I will not trouble you further, but close this by most humbly recommending myself to your good grace.
Brussels, 12 December, 1553.
Signed. French.
Dec. 12. Simancas, E. 90. Francisco de Eraso to Prince Philip.
(Extract from a letter dealing with Italian and Portuguese affairs.)
I am confident that the English matter will soon be brought to a conclusion, because of the Queen's goodwill and also the common sense shown by the people. May God grant that it come to pass, for I know not what greater boon could be conferred on our bodies and souls, and we would be able to set our foot for ever more on the neck of the French! I am doing my best for these reasons and others that your Highness' prudence has suggested to make these people give their promises, make their offers and hurry on their preparations, and his Majesty is giving the matter the greatest care; although at the outset certain persons did not fail to state their scruples about the alliance, and it looks as if they think that if it does come to pass, and these states (i.e. the Low Countries and England) become one, the world will come to an end. Your Highness would never believe what is going on here and the doings of these folk. There are plenty of signs that if God were to call his Majesty in your absence there might be danger, and some say that they are preparing some such plan; but I would not go so far as to say that, and believe that the most they have in view is to keep your Highness in a difficult position for their own private ends. His Majesty has increased the Duke of Savoy's pension by 4,000 crowns, so that it now reaches 10,000, and has admitted him to the Council. The Duke is devoted to your Highness' service, and I have told him how much you have done in his favour with the Emperor. I am doing my best to perform good offices with these people, and all those who have conversed with your Highness never cease to praise your virtue and goodness, on which subject the Queen of England has made minute inquiries. Don Iñigo (de Mendoza) ought not to have passed through London, for fear of being recognised if he were to return, as his Majesty thinks; but a letter has been written to the ambassador to explain. . . .
Brussels, 12 December, 1553.
Copy or decipherment. Spanish.
Dec. 12. Simancas, E 807. Francisco de Eraso to Prince Philip.
The courier that was sent by the Portuguese ambassador, by whom his Majesty sent your Highness a long account of the state of English affairs and his reply to Lorenzo Pirez appears to have been stopped in France, so the letters he had with him will not reach Spain. And although another courier was sent with a duplicate and further news received down to the 7th instant, times seem so unpropitious that he also may perhaps have been delayed, and I have decided to write these few lines to tell your Highness that the marriage negotiation has been concluded after a meeting of the members of Parliament, all the councillors and other personages, who displayed great satisfaction. His Majesty is greatly pleased, as he has reason to be, and our ambassadors are soon to go over to pass the treaty, for although the English had something to say on two or three points, their demands are of no consequence and his Majesty is glad to grant them. The Queen is going to send to your Highness two or three persons of position with her power to celebrate the marriage per verba de prœsenti, and your Highness will send yours in accordance with the minute carried by the courier so that the same ceremony may take place in England. You will immediately issue orders that ships, provisions and men be made ready, decide whether you will take ship at Corunna or on the coast of Biscay, and above all see to it that a large sum of money be got together, now that so large an amount has arrived from the Indies. You will also take thought for the persons who are to accompany and serve you. As for the government, his Majesty leaves that matter to your choice, and the powers are being sent off with the names left blank, so that you may fill in that of the one of the two grandees, mentioned in this connection, whom you have chosen. His Majesty wishes to have your opinion before doing anything about the restrictions, as there is time for that. This letter is nothing but an indication to serve until you receive his Majesty's despatch; and may you be pleased to answer the questions regarding Church appointments, Milan, Naples and other matters on which he has consulted you, for he is only awaiting your opinion to settle them. I am now sure that his Majesty will go to Spain; God grant that I may see the day, and get out of this place! If your Highness wishes me to see to providing anything over here that might not easily be brought from Spain, or to find a large sum of money for you, I will do so. His Majesty is well; and I have no more to say.
Brussels, 12 December, 1953.
Copy or decipherment Spanish.
Dec. 15. Besancon. C.G. 73. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
We have received your letters of the 3rd, 8th and 11th instant, and have seen from them the present state of the marriage negotiations, for your constant care in advising us of which we thank you. We praise God that matters have so far gone well, and it is a source of contentment that the English have accepted our articles, which we caused to be drawn up with all possible regard for the welfare of England and the Low Countries. As for the alterations they have made in three places, we do not wish to enter into any discussion, and as we consider their suggestions reasonable we prefer to accept them without demur, as you may declare in the company of our other ambassadors on their arrival. We are hastening their departure, and believe they will be at Gravelines by the 22nd instant at the latest, whence they will journey on as fast as possible towards England. We are unable to send them sooner because of the company they are taking with them, and letters have been sent to the sea-board towns to send all the ships available to the Strait of Dover to guard their passage. They shall take with them our power, and instructions that shall first be communicated to you. We have already informed the Prince, our son, that he is to hold himself in readiness to start as soon as he hears that the treaty has been passed, and that he must choose to accompany him personages who shall do all in reason to please the English. Moreover, we have decided to send some gentlemen of this country in his suite, in order that they may hold agreeable intercourse over there. We approve of his taking one or other of the ports you mention in your letters, but as navigation, especially in winter, is an uncertain matter, we fear it may be difficult to fix on one in advance, and that time and tide may have to make the choice. We will not fail to tell our son to send a token and see to it that the Queen's envoys to Spain shall be received and welcomed on their arrival, and we shall send him the form of procuration as the English have corrected it, so that he may send a power drawn up accordingly beside the one we suppose he will send modelled on the other form, of which you have seen a copy. We would like the earlier one to be used and to have the marriage concluded per verba de prœsenti, as we have said in the ambassadors' instructions; and you will endeavour to bring this about, even though the ceremony had to be secret, in case it were feared it might cause some popular movement, for you will understand that it would not be well for our son to set out unless success were absolutely certain. As for their insistance on the oath to observe all that is contained in the treaty and also in the private promise, to be taken by our son in presence of the people, we desire him so to do in the most binding manner possible, or even to give a personal promise before the consummation of the marriage, but that ought not to stand in the way of passing the marriage per verba de prœsenti. We trust that as the foremost men have been induced to agree to the main point, they may manage to satisfy us in this respect as well: they will realise that it is a matter of great importance and that our demands are reasonable, for we feel sure you will be able to convince them of it.
As for the note Paget is to draw up of the persons he thinks the Prince, our son, ought to take into his service, you will get him to give it to you and send it to us, that we may immediately forward it to our son, together with our opinion. You will let us know what else Paget tells you about the measures that will have to be taken for our son's security, and endeavour to find out as much as possible about the state of opinion in England, and French and Protestant intrigues. You will now and then remind the Queen to have the Lady Elizabeth watched. For the moment we will say nothing about marrying her, for it is a matter that does not seem very pressing and that may be delayed for a time. If, as we hope, this alliance is accomplished, we shall then be better able to arrive at a satisfactory settlement of the other question.
As for Cardinal Pole, Fray Pedro de Soto has arrived here and has spoken to us as directed in the instructions of which you sent a copy. We shall perhaps adopt the Queen's opinion and allow the Cardinal to come as far as this place, where we shall be able to hear all he has to say, and in the meantime see how events move in England, so as to be able to decide with the Queen's participation what shall further be done where he is concerned.
We shall write to Rome and solicit for the dispensation, as we have said in the ambassadors' instructions.
If the Bishop of Norwich, when he comes hither, asks to be allowed to export ten thousand marks of silver to make chalices for the churches of England, as your letters say he will, we shall be glad to grant his petition, as we have also granted the Lord Warden's passport.
As for the French ambassador's request to obtain restitution of certain goods that he asserts to have been taken by subjects of ours in English ports, you may tell the Queen that we have sent the request to M. de Beveren in order that he may obtain information as to the facts of the case and give us his opinion. We do not mean to allow our subjects to behave otherwise than the French themselves have behaved with regard to prizes during this war, and if the French do not make bold to harm our subjects in English waters, we will see to it that our subjects act accordingly.
Brussels, 16 December, 1663.
Signed, Charles; countersigned, Bave. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV. A copy exists in Simancas (E. 807).
Dec, 15. Madrid, B.P. Col. Granvela. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
In reply to your letters, I praise God that the marriage negotiations are going on so well, and that the pains you have taken seem likely to be rewarded by success. All that remains is to continue as you have begun, as I am sure you will do; and have no fear but that you will be supported from over here, for you will be sure of it when you see the letters his Majesty is now writing you and the instructions to be taken by my Lords who are going to keep you company and are to set out, I hope, to-day or to-morrow. In order to supply you with means to meet the expenses you are obliged to incur in England, which I can well imagine will not be light, I have arranged, as you desired, that you shall be able to obtain the money that is owing to you in Burgundy (i.e. the Franehe-Comté). Moreover, it is only reasonable to expect the Princes to show some recognition of services as important as those you are rendering, and I shall be glad to be of such use as I may to enable you to achieve everything you desire, for you know I have always endeavoured to requite your friendship for me. In truth the manner in which you are discharging you duties renders you deserving of the greatest rewards, and believe me that for my part I shall do my best to see that you receive them. You may present my humble commendations to the Queen, and assure her that I greatly desire to serve her as well as my capacities will allow. I may tell you that I could not venture to have the Prince's portrait presented to her because it was not to my taste, and consequently I did not cause it to be finished.
You will do well to make careful inquiries into the manner in which the nobility and people of England take the decrees of Parliament, and whether these are enforced, and to send in reports on the subject. I am strongly of opinion that it is high time all fugitive foreigners were turned out, without specifying that this is done on account of religion, but merely in a general way. Besides ridding the country of those wretched folk, it would also deprive the French, and others who wish to throw the Queen's affairs into confusion and prevent the marriage, of valuable allies. In doing this, the Queen must really show a little severity, as she will better be able to do with foreigners than with her own subjects, for it (i.e. to show severity to the English) would be like beating one's dog in sight of the hare, as the saying goes.
I understand that his Majesty is greatly disposed to show Paget favour for his excellent offices, but he wishes the Prince to do so in order that he may gain popularity. And it seems to me that it would be well to have all the favours to be shown to Englishmen in England proceed from the same hand.
Secretary Bave will already have sent you the passport for the horses that you demanded, and another has been given to the ambassador here for some plate that my Lord Warden has had made over here, and also for 250 corselets needed, as he has informed us, for the garrisons of his ports. . .
We have on hand certain schemes for exhausting the French in Italy and elsewhere; God grant them the issue we desire! I beg you to find out as much as you can about affairs in that quarter, for as the English trade there you have better opportunities for so doing than most of us. Especially, obtain more minute information about the nature of the fleet which your last letters stated the French were fitting out in Brittany. . .
I have informed Ambassador Mason of the departure of our ambassadors and the rest of the affair, thanking him for his good offices and telling him that you have borne witness to them in your letters. He was greatly pleased, and protested that he would do everything in his power to help, for he knew that it (i.e. the marriage of Philip and Mary) would be a great boon to England. This is all I have to write for the moment; and indeed I have no time now to attend to other affairs.
Brussels, 15 December, 1553.
French. Minute.


  • 1. i.e. Sir John Williams.
  • 2. A copy of this letter, down to this point, was sent to Philip in Spain and exists, together with a translation into Spanish for Philip's use, in Simancas [E. 807].
  • 3. i.e. Henry Carey, a son of Anne Boleyn's sister, Mary.
  • 4. It was at Vercelli that Emmanuel-Philibert's father, Charles III, died on the night of the 17–18th August, 1563, and that Emmanuel-Philibert was proclaimed Duke of Savoy on the following day.
  • 5. Josse Bave, Secretary of State to the Emperor.
  • 6. This is doubtless a reference to the fact that Renard, when he went to the Council on December 7th, found that the entire Privy Council had assembled to hear a communication on the subject of the marriage. The Privy Council was so large and contained so many men whom the Queen could not entirely trust, that affairs were conducted by a few members: the Bishop of Winchester, the Earl of Arundel, the Bishop of Norwich, Sir Robert Rochester, Lord Paget, Sir William Petre and the Marquis of Winchester.
  • 7. This paper is undated, but Simon Renard's letter of December 8th, giving the news of the Council's acceptation of the articles, reached Brussels on the 11th, and these instructions were probably drawn up on the following day.
  • 8. John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, who was hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain, appears to be meant here. Very little is known about his share in public life at this period.
  • 9. i.e. Sir Edward Hastings.
  • 10. i.e. Jehan de St. Mauris and Viglius de Zwichem.
  • 11. i.e. Gherard Veltwyck.
  • 12. i.e. Philip Nigri.