Spain: June 1553, 16-30

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

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'Spain: June 1553, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916), pp. 56-69. British History Online [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "Spain: June 1553, 16-30", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916) 56-69. British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024,

. "Spain: June 1553, 16-30", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 11, 1553, (London, 1916). 56-69. British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024,

June 1553, 16–30

June 16. Brussels, L.A. 63. The Queen Dowager to the Bailiff of Flushing.
We are sending you a petition presented on behalf of Robert Reynolds, Thomas Palley and other merchants resident in London, who affìrm that they bought, in the town of Flushing, a certain quantity of cod and other salt fish to transport it to London. It seems that you prevented them from so doing because of the prohibition that has been published prohibiting such exportation, and they now request leave to take their goods out of the country. In consideration of the fact that there is little consumption in this country of the variety of salt fish known as stapelvisch, we have, at the English ambassador's urgent request, issued permission to the petitioners to export their stapelvisch to England for this one occasion. But as for the 100 lasts (fn. 1) of cod, the present scarcity of food-stuffs prevents ùs from allowing them to take it out. We are informing you of this, in order that you may permit the exportation of the stapelvisch on condition that the petitioners will pay the usual duty, and deposit a surety, as they have offered to do in their writing, to vouch for it that, within four months of exporting their goods, they will deposit in your hands a certificate to show that the fish has been sold and retailed in England and not elsewhere.
Brussels, 16 June, 1553.
French. Duplicate.
June 19. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor.
Sire: My Lady, the Princess of England, is in sore perplexity and greatly desires to write and present her duty to your Majesty; but she fears to do so at this time, and has urgently requested me to write in her name. She desires me to inform your Majesty of the King, her brother's, health and other matters connected with that question, and she hopes and confidently believes you will be pleased to advise her as to what conduct she shall observe, humbly begging you not to fail to do so. I thought it my duty, Sire, to comply with her wishes, and also to ask what I am to do if the King departs this life.
London, 19 June, 1553.
Signed. Cipher. French.
June 19. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor.
Sire: The King of England has sunk so rapidly since my last letter of the 15th, that the physicians no longer dare to answer for it that he will last one day more. His state is such that the King himself has given up hope, and says he feels so weak that he can resist no longer, and that he is done for (qu'il est faict de luy). The Council meet daily, and withdraw into a secluded chamber, from which the clerks and secretaries are shut out. There they remain closeted, and after having deliberated appear again in the accustomed place as if nothing had happened, assuring everybody that the King is better. The Councillors have sworn one by one to keep secret everything that happens in their meetings, though life were to depend upon it. I hear that certain of the Councillors, and some of the judges who have now and then been summoned to appear before them, are in favour of admitting the Princess to the Crown if she will agree to make no religious changes, leave the church and abbey lands with their actual possessors, allow the present ministers to remain in power, issue a free and general pardon to all and sundry who may have committed any offence, and swear a solemn oath to abide by her promises. Others are of opinion that on no account ought she to be allowed to succeed because of the danger that would menace the land, and the unrest and disturbances that would be sure to ensue, besides the fact that, according to them, she would not keep her promises. It may well be that the Duke of Northumberland is causing all these points to be so minutely examined in order to discover each man's inclinations and use his knowledge when the time comes, though in fact the course to be adoped had been decided when the other lords (i.e. those who were not members of the Council) were summoned to appear at Court.
Six of the King's best ships are lying ready for service in the Thames, together with four others that conveyed the French ambassador, without counting those at Harwich and Portsmouth, and all to guard the Channel in case the King were to die. The said ambassador has obtained permission and safe-conduct to transport a large quantity of corn to France; the people are greatly annoyed about this, and are talking loudly. The watch here in London was reinforced three days ago.
London, June 19, 1553.
Signed. French. Cipher.
June 22. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 21. The Emperor to Jehan Scheyfve.
In several of your letters you have told us of the repeated requests made by Captain Cabot that we would write to the King of England or his Council to grant him leave to come over to us, whereupon he would give us information of great value regarding the routes to the Indies and other matters. He has recently sent a similar message by the bearer of this letter, and we are therefore sending you a letter with which you may present yourself before the Council and make the above-mentioned demand on our behalf. This letter has been written with a view to its being shown to the Council, in order that they may realize that we really desire to see Cabot, and may be the more inclined to grant him permission to depart. You will do well to visit the Council as soon as possible, and do your utmost to induce them to consent. But if, after you have made every effort to obtain it, you see that permission is going to be refused, then you will speak to Cabot and ask him, on our behalf, to set down in writing that which he desires to tell us, or else confide it to the present bearer in order that he may report it to us. You will assure him that we shall greatly appreciate his compliance with this request, and shall remember him favourably. Let us know as soon as possible the results of your labours.
Brussels, 22 June, 1553.
Minute. French.
June 22. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 21. The Emperor to Jehan Scheyfve.
We desire to hold communication on matters concerning navigation with Captain Cabot, formerly pilot in our Spanish kingdoms, who has, with our leave and consent, spent several years in England. We therefore request and command you to present yourself as soon as possible before the King of England or his Council, as you shall think best, and most lovingly request them on our behalf to allow Captain Cabot to come hither to us for the above reasons, and that he may set out as soon as possible. And in thus doing you will render us great pleasure.
Brussels, 22 June, 1553.
Minute. French.
June 23. Besançon, Collection Grranvelle 73. The Emperor to Edward VI.
We have received news of your indisposition, which have grieved us as you, who are well aware of the love we bear you, will readily understand, and are now sending to visit you on our behalf our dear and well-beloved Councillors, Jehan de Montmoren-cy, Sieur de Courrières, (fn. 2) Jacques de Marnix, Sieur de Thoulouse, (fn. 3) knights, and Simon Renard, (fn. 4) our Master of Requests in ordinary. We would have done this sooner had it not been that your ambassadors assured us that you were greatly improved in health; but as we have heard no news from them for ten days past, and there is a rumour that you are still unwell, we thought it better no longer to defer sending to you. We keenly desire to hear good news of you before long from our ambassadors, whom we have instructed to tell you certain things on our behalf. We pray you to grant them audience and give credence to what they shall declare to you, and beg you to be certain that you shall now and always find us as affectionately disposed towards you as if you were our own son.
Brussels, 23 June, 1553.
Signed. French. Printed by Weiss in Documents Inédits, Vol. IV. Copy at Vienna (E.I.).
June 23. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Emperor to the Lady Mary.
I am at present sending my dear etc. Jehan de Montmorency, Sieur de Courrières, Jacques de Marnix, Sieur de Thoulouse, and Simon Renard to visit the King of England on my behalf, and have instructed them to visit you and assure you of the love and affection I have always borne you. I beg you will give them credence as you would to myself.
Brussels, 23 June, 1553.
Minute. French.
June 23. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Emperor to the Duke of Northumberland.
Although the ambassadors of the King of England resident with me assure me that ten days ago they had excellent news of their master's health, they have received no tidings since then and I hear on all sides that his state is worse than before. My sincere affection for the King causes me deeply to regret this, and I have thought it necessary to send my dear etc. Jehan de Montmorency, Sieur de Courrières, Jacques de Marnix, Sieur de Thoulouse, and Simon Renard to visit him on my behalf. I have instructed them to declare to you that which you shall hear from them, and I pray you to believe them and be certain that you shall always find me your good and true friend.
Brussels, 23 June, 1553.
Minute. French.
1553. June 23. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 21. A form of letter, identical with the last except that the Emperor speaks in the plural, of which a note states that four copies were to be made out headed: Very dear and well-beloved; four: Reverend father in God and very dear and well-beloved; and four: My cousin; all to be signed and the addresses left blank.
June 23. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 1. The Emperor to the Privy Council.
You are certainly aware of the affection we ever bore the late King of England, and the care we have always taken to answer the trust he reposed in us when he recommended to us the present King, which has moved us to treat him with particular consideration. We have now heard of his illness, to our great grief, and are sending Jehan de Montmorency, Sieur de Courrières, Jacques de Marnix, Sieur de Thoulouse, and Simon Renard, to visit him on our behalf, as we would have done earlier had it not been that the ambassadors resident with us gave us news of his recovery. But as over ten days have now gone by without their receiving any news, as they say, and we have heard of alarming tidings that have reached this country by letter, we have been unwilling to defer sending a mission to England. We have instructed the above-named gentlemen to declare to you certain things suggested to us by our affection for the realm of England, and we beg you to believe them, and to know that you shall always find our actions in harmony with our old friendship and affection for you.
Brussels, 23 June, 1553.
Minute. French.
June 23(?). Brussels, E.A. 133 bis. The Queen Dowager to the Lady Mary.
My Cousin: My Lord the Emperor has heard of the indisposition of the King of England, my good brother, and is now sending thither MM. de Courrières, de Thoulouse, and the Lieutenant of Amont (fn. 5) (i.e. Simon Renard). I do not wish to let this opportunity pass without writing a few words to you, besides what I have instructed them to say to you on my behalf. I will only beg you to believe them, and be certain that you shall always find me as cordially devoted to you as if I were your own sister.
Minute in Arras' hand. French.
June 23. Besançon, Collection Granvelle 73. The Emperor's instructions to MM. de Courrières, de Thoulouse, and Simon Renard.
You will proceed as rapidly as possible to Calais, availing yourself of the conveniences that will probably be afforded to you at the request of our ambassador resident in England, who has been informed of your departure. On your arrival in London you will meet M. Jehan Scheyfve, our ambassador resident, and communicate your charge to him. You will inform the Duke of Northumberland of your arrival, and endeavour to be admitted to the King's presence to visit him on our behalf. If you arrive in time to be admitted, you will present our letters to him, together with our cordial commendations, and say that we have been deeply grieved, on account of our great and almost paternal affection, to hear of his illness, and have sent you to visit him on our behalf, in order to have speedy tidings of his health, which we hope, as sincerely as if he were our own son, he may recover. You will explain that we have not sent you to visit him earlier because we heard from time to time from his ambassadors that he was well, but that the news recently heard here, coupled with the fact that the ambassadors have had none for ten days past, have caused us to entertain fears. We have also learnt that the King of France has sent Secretary de L'Aubespine to visit him under colour of his indisposition, and as our affection is not merely not less, but incomparably greater and more sincere than that entertained for him by any other prince, we are unwilling to allow the French to appear to be quicker with their sympathy, though we feel sure the King of England well knows that our affection is different in quality from any he may experience from that quarter, and that we stand in need of no example to teach us the offices of friendship. Nonetheless, for our own satisfaction and to make our affection and goodwill manifest to him, we have decided to send you to visit him and thank him for assuring us of his cordial affection through my Lord (i.e. (Sir Andrew) Dudley and his other ambassadors; though we were so sure of it that their offices were not necessary.
You will also thank him for his solicitude for the welfare of Christendom, which has prompted him to seek means of arriving at a general peace and of ending in a happy manner the war which the King of France has been waging against us. In this connexion you will repeat the remarks we made to his ambassadors to the effect that our actions have always borne witness to our sincere desire for the general good of Christendom, and that we have often put up with injuries in order to avoid a rupture. This war was most iniquitously forced upon us for no valid reason whatever, and we suppose the King to be sufficiently informed of how the French have behaved since the outbreak of hostilities, fetching in the Turk, Christendom's common enemy, to fight their battles, and inciting our own subjects to rise against us. Nevertheless we would willingly set aside all our private griefs in the general interest, and we are still disposed to listen to the King's exhortations and show a conciliatory front whenever the other side chooses to offer us suitable amends for the wrongs committed against us. Were such an overture to be made, our manner of answering it would be seen to be sincere. But if the other side will not submit to reason, we do not consider it wise to enter into negotiations, because it would not help the cause of peace, but would only enable the French to create fresh confusion and carry on the intrigues which are all the more easy for them to conduct, because we, for our part, always keep our promises in the most scrupulous manner. The experience the French have had of us has taught them what behaviour they may look for. We are confident that the King of England's ambassadors have not omitted to report our reply to them, but for the sake of clearness we have commanded you to state the above points briefly to him. If the King or any member of his Council, the Duke of Northumberland for instance, hears of the legate's negotiations here and takes umbrage or becomes jealous, you may simply say that the Pope sent the legate to us on the same matter, to attempt to bring about a peace, and also sent a legate on the same errand to France. As it is reasonable to expect the French to. be the first to propose amends and means of appeasing us, the legate in France has been trying to induce them to do so, but the French are as insolent as ever and insist on calling into question several matters that were settled by former treaties. Up to the present, nothing of a nature to lead us to consent to treat has been forthcoming from France, so the matter is still in suspense, and the legate is only waiting to see whether his colleague in France will meet with any success. He has reported the state of affairs to his Holiness in order to know how he is to act, and whether, as the other side is so unreasonable that there is small likelihood of our being able to treat, he may set out on his return journey to Rome.
You will give the King a detailed account of what has happened at Thérouanne, and tell him that, whereas the town was considered to be impregnable, it has pleased God to deliver it into our hands. Say also that we desire to give him a full account because we know that his love for us will make him glad to hear of the successes God has granted us.
You will undertake to inform us of everything that shall be said in answer to the above, in order to learn what we may have to reply. In this you will act as the English ambassadors here have acted, making shift to remain over there and send us minute information of all you find out. You will do your best to learn the true state of affairs, in order that we may determine what course we shall subsequently order you to follow.
If, before you are admitted to the King's presence, the Duke of Northumberland desires to hear your charge, either personally or through some man of his confidence, you will declare it to him as above without making any difficulty, and taking care to avoid awakening in him any suspicion, or giving food for any mistrust he may have conceived by himself, or had inculcated into him by the French.
All this in case you find the King, on your arrival, in a condition that renders it possible for you to accomplish your mission. If he is so unwell that you are not admitted to his presence, or if God has already called him, in that case you must deliberate among yourselves according to the turn events shall take, and decide on the wisest course to be adopted for the safety of our cousin, the Princess, and if it is possible, to assist her to succeed to the Crown. You will take such steps as you shall consider necessary to defeat the machinations of the French and keep them out of England, and endeavour to safeguard the friendly relations that it is important to preserve between that country and our dominions of the Low Countries and Spain. Commercial interests render this desirable; and your chief care will be to prevent the French from getting a footing in England or entering into a close understanding with the governors of that country, for our dominions and the peace of Christendom might otherwise suffer.
The nature of this undertaking makes it essential that you be guided by circumstances which may change rapidly, and renders it impossible for us to lay down any fixed course for you to follow. Therefore we must leave you to the guidance of your own prudence and discretion.
We will only make a few observations suggested to us by news we have received from England, our own forecasts of what is likely to happen there, and the opinions of several persons on the spot. If the King dies, they (i.e. the party in power) will endeavour to prevent our cousin from coming to the throne, partly because she is constant in our ancient faith, and partly because they fear we may favour and protect her as our near relative, and marry her to some stranger who might operate changes in the government, which is what the interested parties most dread. It is also possible that their ambition may lead them on to aim at the throne themselves, and it is to be feared that they may seek support, moved either by fear of us or by ambition, from the French, who are sure to be making magnificent offers at this present moment, and may perhaps really intend to send them the help they ask for with the object of getting a foothold in England, and then, when they are strong enough, overthrowing their allies. In the midst of such happenings, our cousin might run grave danger. She has been appointed to succeed (i.e. by her father's will), as, indeed, she has a clear right to do, in case the King, her brother, dies without issue. Those now in power may well fear popular opinion if, while she lives, they try to advance another to the Crown, especially as it seems there are still some folk left in England who have no taste for their new religion. Consequently those in power may seek safety by putting her out of the way, or perhaps by arresting her with the pretext that she has disobeyed the King's edict; for they may have persuaded themselves that if by hook or by crook they get rid of her, they will destroy all the hopes that may have been founded on her by the people. Considering the question in this light, we see no better course for the present than to reassure the English by dwelling on the affection we have always borne the King and his country, as they have recently had opportunities of seeing from the consideration we, moved by the recommendation addressed to us by the late King, have shown for his present Majesty during his minority. As often as he has asked it of us, we have given him our paternal advice, our one object being his welfare and that of his kingdom. In this our friendship has been seen to be different from the affection professed by the French, who have taken advantage of the King's minority to drive him out of his dominions and subject him to their tyranny.
Let the English be warned that the French will do all that in them lies to achieve this object, and let them remember that the French are England's ancient enemies; whilst from us they shall always experience favour and aid. You will state this clearly to the Duke of Northumberland and other members of the government, to whom, and to others as you shall see fit, you will recommend our cousin in the hope that they will show her all the respect that is due to her as rightful heir to the Crown, as the person appointed to succeed, and as our near relative. In order to efface the suspicions they may have conceived that we wish to marry her to a foreigner, and to keep alive the hope that one of their number may succeed in capturing the Crown, you will tell them that our solicitude for the good administration and government of the kingdom causes us to consider that she had better contract an alliance with some Englishman fitted for such an honour; for his knowledge of English affairs would enable him to govern in the country's interest. This statement is likely to free them of their fear of our intervention in this matter, and may induce them to treat our cousin with greater favour, as the most powerful among them will hope to obtain our help in their suit for her hand. And if they are reassured as to our intentions they may be less accessible to the schemes of the French, and cease to dread having a foreigner, loathed as all foreigners are by all Englishmen, for their King.
If God wills that our cousin succeed and be sworn Queen, then, little by little, she may get power into her hands, and means may be found to delay the choice of a husband, without giving offence, under cover of consulting us, as a near relative. In some such manner time may be gained and we may be able to set the various Englishmen who aspire to her hand at variance, and arrive at a better solution. Were it to become obvious, however, that unless she were married to an Englishman all our objects would be defeated, then it would be better to comply rather than to give offence, endanger our cousin's life, and plunge the country into further commotions.
If the King dies before you arrive in England and you find the passages closed, it is most important to inform the governors of England of our desire to support our cousin's marriage with the best-fitted Englishman, and you will manage to impart this information to those in authority at Calais, especially the men who are most in the Duke of Northumberland's confidence. Thus it will reach the ears of the Duke; and you will also declare that though your first charge was to visit the King on our behalf, we also instructed you to visit our cousin in case the King were to die.
If you are able to reach England, you will consider whether it is possible, before negotiating with the Council or visiting the King, and without arousing any suspicions, to contrive to visit our cousin. If you find it possible to do so, you will declare your charge to her in detail, explain that our object is none other than her welfare, and hear what she has to say on the matter. If it is possible, again, you will inform us of her views, sending a special messenger for that purpose, and you will await our reply before proceeding further. But this is only in case you feel sure that the delay will do no harm; for if there is no time to warn our cousin or consult us, then we leave it to you to proceed without doing so, and afterwards you may give her a full account of our instructions and of the considerations that moved you to act without communicating with her.
It is probable that the English will not admit our cousin to the succession unless they make sure of two points: first, that she will make no changes, either in the government or in religious matters; and second, that she will pardon all offences that may have been committed by those now in power. If she is asked to give a promise in this sense, she must make no difficulty about it, for she has no choice in the matter. She will, nevertheless, hold to her own religion as far as she, personally, is concerned, and will wait for an opportunity to begin to guide affairs in the right direction. This, if God grants her grace to succeed to the Crown, must be the object of her constant care.
You will render her all possible assistance in drawing up the engagements into which she may have to enter, and see that they are sufficient to pacify the Council, without binding our cousin more than can be helped. But it is very important to avoid awakening their suspicions on that score.
The rest we will leave to your discretion. You will do your best to win over men who may assist you in your task; and your principal objects will be to preserve our cousin's person from danger, assist her to obtain possession of the Crown, calm the fears the English may entertain of us, defeat French machinations, and further a good understanding between our dominions and the realm of England.
Brussels, 23 June, 1553.
French. Signed Charles, and countersigned Bave. Printed by Weiss in his Documents Inédits, Vol. IV. A copy, split into two parts, exists in Vienna (E. 20 and E. 21).
June 24. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor.
Sire: To-day I am sending a courier to your Majesty to report the illness of the King, who is so low that he cannot last three days. I will add that a certain orison or prayer has been printed and posted up in the city. This has caused great astonishment, because up to the present they have tried to hide the truth about the illness, and it is now thought that this has been done to ascertain the people's temper, and in order that the news of his death may not come quite unexpectedly. Opportunity has thus been afforded to the preachers to expatiate on the subject and pray for the King's recovery, always harping on the religious question with a view to make the people ill-disposed towards the Princess. The lords who were summoned to Court are arriving one by one, but nothing (fn. 6) has as yet been said to them. My Lord Dacre, Warden of the Scottish Boundary, (fn. 7) who had obtained leave to depart, has come back. Whereas five days ago it had been decided to hold a fresh Parliament shortly, and the letters to call it together were ready and signed, this plan was abandoned yesterday, and nothing is to come of it. Parliament was to be summoned because the Duke of Northumberland was in difficulties in the preparation of his designs to defeat the Princess and the people. It is certain that several great nobles, and some members of the Council, are opposed to Northumberland's scheme; and it seems they are making no secret of it. Some of them have spoken together to the effect that they could wish your Majesty would immediately send some important personage hither to visit the King, so that, were his Majesty to die, your envoy might approach the Council in a fitting manner, which would alarm Northumberland and put heart into the Princess's supporters. Thus your Majesty might win the affection of those who favour the Princess; and they make up three quarters of the nation. I hear that Northumberland and Suffolk, accompanied by only one servant, went to visit the French ambassador two nights ago, and were held up and made to give their names by the watch. When the news of the taking of Thérouanne arrived, Sire, the citizens showed such incredible joy, that had the victory been their own sovereign's their exultation could not have been greater. The merchants of this city, their excuses notwithstanding, have been pressed to lend the King a sum of 40,000 pounds to meet expenses and pay his debts abroad. This sum is to be refunded to them next October. Over and above this, the Duke of Northumberland has taken up from the merchants another sum, which they dared not refuse him.
Two couriers were recently sent to the English ambassadors now at your Majesty's Court and in that of the King of France. It seems those ambassadors are to sojourn two or three months longer, and put forward certain proposals for reconciling the two princes, but rather by asking questions and by means of conversation than otherwise. As for the audience they had of your Majesty they were satisfied, as I said in my last letters; but I have been able to obtain no further information concerning it.
London, 24 June, 1553.
Signed. French. Cipher.
June 24. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Jehan Scheypve to the Emperor.
I have this very instant been informed that the King of England's present condition is such that he cannot possibly live more than three days. It is firmly believed that he will die tomorrow, for he has not the strength to stir, and can hardly breathe. His body no longer performs its functions, his nails and hair are dropping off, and all his person is scabby. It seems that the Duke of Northumberland will have to encounter opposition even from certain members of the Council, to wit, the Treasurer, (fn. 8) the Lords Warden, (fn. 9) Privy Seal (fn. 10) and others, and it is hoped he will not be able to carry out his designs, for he certainly cannot do so without the consent of the other great lords of the realm. They say that the ten ships mentioned in my last letters are to set sail, and two galleys and some other vessels are being prepared, so it is thought that their total number, together with the ships from Portsmouth and Harwich, will reach twenty. The Admiral (fn. 11) is to command them, and (Sir) Henry Dudley, Northumberland's cousin, to be his lieutenant. Rumour says that they are to give chase to the pirate, Strangways; but their real object is to hold the Channel passages.
London, 24 June, 1553.
Signed. Cipher. French.
June 27. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E.20. Jehan Scheyfve to the Emperor.
Sire: On the 25th of this month, the King of England was so ill that every one was sure he must die; but since then there has been a change, at least so it appears, and no one knows what the hour may bring forth. Close watch is being kept here. In Cornwall, and also in Wales and the North Country, musters have been held of countrymen, who are to be in constant readiness. The King's warships are to set sail in seven or eight days, and seamen and soldiers, many of them pressed, have been fetched from various places, to serve on the ships. It had been decided not to summon Parliament; but it now seems that it is to meet next September, and that letters are to be sent out this very day, in order that they may have been despatched during the lifetime of the King, who has empowered someone to open Parliament and to confirm the Acts it passes. The object of all this is to cheat the Princess of her rights. Yesterday evening at nine o'clock, the Duke of Northumberland, accompanied by three servants only, went to visit the French ambassador. The Londoners have lent the King, for his pressing needs and to pay off debts he has abroad, a further sum of 50,000 pounds or more. They have done this out of fear, and are to be repaid in October. The people are angry about the levying of a two-fifteenth's tax and other matters, and say that the Duke's designs are obvious, and that God wishes to chastise the kingdom.
I hear, Sire, that the ambassadors now at your Court 'have fresh instructions to insist that your Majesty state your grievances and claims, as it seems the King of France has already done. Some assert this to be true, whilst others repeat the version contained in my letters of the 24th. Travellers newly come from France say that Paris is being fortified in all haste, and that France has been reduced by the present war and heavy taxation to deeper poverty than ever before, about which the people are beginning to complain.
London, 27 June, 1553.
Signed. French. Cipher.
1553. June 27. Vienna, Imp. Arch. E. 20. Jehan Scheyfvb to the Bishop OF Abbas.
This line shall serve to accompany my letter to the Emperor. I will only add that it seems to me urgent, subject to your reverend Lordship's correction, that the Emperor should, as soon as possible, send some important personage hither, as I said in my last letters. There are many reasons for this.
London, 27 June, 1553.
They say here that Hesdin is in the Imperialists' hands, and most of the English are rejoicing loudly about it.
Signed. French. Cipher.
June 28. Besançon, Collection Granvelle, 73. The Queen Dowager to Mm. de Courriébes and Simon Renard.
We have ordered M. de Thoulouse, before going to England, to go as far as the camp to hand over the muster-rolls and other papers connected with the mission with which he was entrusted there.
And as he will not be able to leave at once, because he will have to explain matters to the person who shall take over the rolls and papers, we are writing to you to continue your journey and execute your charge without waiting for M. de Thoulouse. You will be able to excuse his absence on the ground of a sudden press of business.
Brussels, 28 June, 1553.
Signed. French.
June 30. Simancas, E. 1321. Francisco de Vargas to the Emperor.
Titian is well and very glad to know your Majesty remembers him. He had already spoken to me about the picture of the Trinity, and I had urged him to complete it. He is working on it now, and says it will be finished sometime in September. I have seen it, and believe it will be worthy of him, like another picture he has quite completed for Queen Mary (i.e. the Queen Dowager of Hungary), which represents our Lord appearing to the Magdalen in the garden. He says the other picture is one of Our Lady, a companion to the Ecce Homo your Majesty already possesses, and that, as the measurements for it have not been sent to him, he has not painted it yet. As soon as he receives them he will begin it.
Venice, 30 June, 1553.
Copy or decipherment. Spanish.
June 30. Brussels, L.A. 63. Mm. de Courrières and Renard to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: We are pursuing our journey in obedience to the letter in which you were pleased to instruct us to do so without waiting for M. de Thoulouse, whose absence we will explain on the ground of the hinderances mentioned in your Majesty's letter, which we trust the King of England and his Council will take in good part. For the rest we will endeavour to execute the commission your Majesty has been pleased to command us to undertake. We think it will be easier (than we had feared); for the Deputy of Calais (fn. 12) has sent us a verbal message by Jehan Duboys, whom we despatched to ask if the Channel was safe, to the effect that the King is so much better that he is able to play with his gentlemen, eat, drink, and enjoy repose. As for the passage, he said he would answer for it; for though some French ships were seen off the English coast four days ago, they had departed out of fear of the Flemish ships, which were also at sea.
On our way we have sought to find out whether there is any likelihood of disturbances in England, any preparation for hostilities on land or sea. As far as we have been able to ascertain no preparations are being made except for a number of ships that are being fitted out under colour of guarding English waters. Others say it is being done for fear of the Easterlings, on account of the sentence given against the maintenance of their privileges. (fn. 13) Considering the time at which they began fitting out their ships, it seems probable that their reason for so doing had some connexion with the King's dangerous illness. Further confirmation comes from the fact that, during the King's illness, it was openly said that the English Council were taking steps that had long been recognised as necessary precautions in case the King were to die.
Madam: An Italian, who calls himself a Genoese, passed by with a courier from Artois on the Feast of St. Peter (i.e. June 29th), taking the Dunkirk road. He says he is a servant of certain Antwerp merchants whom he named to me, but his talk seemed contradictory, and we began to suspect him of being a spy sent by the French to carry on machinations in England. We thought we had better mention this, because it would be easy to find out the truth by means of the master of the post at Antwerp or some one else. Even if we are wrong on this occasion, we may chance on information that may prove useful another time.
Gravelines, 30 June, 1553.
Signed. French.


  • 1. The last is usually estimated at two tons.
  • 2. M. de Courrières had been sent on a diplomatic mission to England in 1552. See Spanish Calendar, Vol. X, pp. 472, 507, 513. According to the Abbé Vertot, he belonged to a branch of the French family of Montmorency, of which the Constable was the head. See Mémoires de MM. de Noailles, II, 49.
  • 3. Jacques de Marnix was the son of a Savoyard who established himself in the Franche-Comté and acquired the Seigneurie of Thoulouse, near Sellières, in the modern department of the Jura. See Lucien Febvre, Philippe II et la Franche Comté (Paris, Champion, 1912).
  • 4. Simon Renard was a protegé of the Bishop of Arras, and a Franc-Comtois like his patron. He had been ambassador in France from 1549 to 1551. For details concerning him, see Vol. X of this Calendar, and Philippe II et la Franche Comté, by Lucien Febvre (Paris, Champion, 1912).
  • 5. Renard's full title was lieutenant-general de bailliage d`Amont. The Franche-Comté was divided into three bailliages: Amont, Aval, and Dole; and that of Amont, of which the bailli at this period was François de la Baume, had two capitals: Gray and Vesoul. See Lucien Febvre, Philippe II et la Franchs Comtè.
  • 6. In reality Edward VI's will had been signed by the Privy Councillors, peers, archbishops, bishops, judges and other officers on June 21st. See Literary Remains of Edward VI, Ed. Nichols, 1857.
  • 7. Lord Daore was Warden of the West Marches.
  • 8. The Marquis of Winchester,
  • 9. Sir Thomas Cheyne, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
  • 10. John Russell, Earl of Bedford.
  • 11. Lord Clinton.
  • 12. i.e. Lord William Howard.
  • 13. For the question of the Hanseatio merchants' privileges, see Vol. X of this Calendar, pp. 652, 556, 591, 595.