Spain: February 1554, 16-20

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1949.

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'Spain: February 1554, 16-20', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) pp. 100-123. British History Online [accessed 5 March 2024]

February 1554, 16–20

Feb. 16. Simancas, E. 808. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
I wrote to you recently by two couriers, one of whom went by sea and the other by land, to explain what had been done in connexion with the English matter and send you the marriage treaty so that you might confirm it, as I have done myself. Since then a messenger has arrived by land with a letter from you of the 10th of last month, and I was very glad to hear of your and my grandson's health, and the care you had taken to hasten on the preparation of the fleet. Certain discontented individuals have caused some unrest in England under the pretext of not desiring a foreign prince, but the real reason was religion, and so, in order to avoid any occasion for trouble, our ambassadors left London with the knowledge and approval of the Queen and came hither to report to us. The powers you sent, though immediately forwarded, did not reach them in time because the passages were closed. When the disorder had attained dangerous proportions, God of His bounty was pleased to give the victory to the Queen and her men, who defeated and killed many of the guilty and captured their leaders. We believe justice will now have been done, according to her and the Council's determination. It certainly seems that this is the work of His hand, to Whom we must render infinite thanks; and it will permit the firmer establishment of the Queen's rule, for she will now govern more securely and be able to put a stop to the intrigues of the French and other authors of discord. These considerations, as well as her constancy and unshaken determination to carry out the alliance, in proof of which her words in public and private are worthy of her, move us to look upon ourselves as obliged to her, and we have decided to send Count d'Egmont back to England with the powers so that the marriage per verba de prœsenti may at once be celebrated in a manner leaving no room for apprehension. This in answer to your remarks that you thought you had better not leave Spain until it had been done. Count d'Egmont has orders to keep you posted on all happenings so that you may be fully informed, and I am sure the Queen will do the same, and send her ambassadors to Spain as had been agreed. Although the measures you have taken show that all speed has been made in preparing the fleet, I request you not to lose a moment, for it is of the utmost importance in order to make sure of the English affair, and also with regard to politics here, that you should come at once in spite of the qualifying considerations mentioned in a former letter, As for the port where you are to land, we shall send you word in a few days by both routes. A messenger with fresh letters from our ambassador in England is expected here, and when he comes we shall have a better idea of how things are progressing over there, and know what has been accomplished since the victory, which news will enable us to come to some decision. We wish to warn you once more that all we hear confirms our belief that the French are preparing to strike a great blow at sea; and though we suppose that their main object was to be able to help the English rebels if the rising had been successful, you will be able to obtain tidings from ships and will see to fitting out 14 vessels to aid the English or serve another purpose. We are allowing the Dutchmen to sail with their hoys in March, and as they are going to Spain they will also be useful in holding the Channel and intimidating the enemy. I am sending you a letter (fn. 1) written to me by Sebastian Cabot, in which you will see what the French were intending to do; so take the necessary steps to prevent them . . (Peruvian affairs.)
You know that among those nominated to receive the four Cardinal's hats the Pope has offered us is he who was Duke of Gandia. His Holiness would be sorry if he refused, and would like to make certain beforehand in order not to bring discredit on so lofty a dignity; wherefore you will find out from him whether, if the Pope desired to grant him this favour, he would accept it, and let me know at once, for his Holiness means to leave matters in suspense until then.
Brussels, 16 February, 1554.
Copy or decipherment. Spanish.
Printed by Fernández Navarrete in his Documentos Inéditos, Vol III.
Feb. 16. Simancas, E. 808. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
Another letter has been written to you about the money taken up from the Schetz and that assigned to them in Seville, as well as the exchange concluded here with the Genoese, about which they and the Queen, my sister, have been petitioning us. The first paragraph of my letter to you of November 8th explained the importance of your arranging for the payment in Spain of the 400,000 crowns taken up here at exchange for the German cavalry's wages, and a postscript of the 12th of the same month told you to suspend payment of what had already been assigned to each one of the merchants. But on hearing of the arrival of Don Alvaro de Bazan's galleon and that other ships from the Indies were expected with three million in gold, I wrote that though I supposed you would consider the means in view of the English matter of raising a certain sum, I thought you had better do so on what was coming for us, in spite of the fact that it had already been assigned, and on the shares of passengers and merchants who could afford it. Since then it has been decided what is to be done with regard to England and news have come of the arrival of three ships with a very large amount, and we wrote to you that, given our needs and the circumstances, you were to see to taking up from the rich merchants and passengers a good part of what they were bringing, so as to fetch hither a round million in gold, over and above the amount appointed for your own expenses and the 400,000 crowns to be paid out in Spain, so that we might have that sum here, only subtracting from it what was needed for England. We meant it to come from the passengers and merchants who were bringing money from the Indies; and I believe it might have been done and that you were informed in time, but that they managed to put you off by invoking letters patent which I think, though I do not exactly remember, were issued for one occasion only or might thus be limited. It does not surprise me that they did so, for they acted in the same way with me when I was in Spain, making great offers and raising plenty of difficulties. Also, the Schetz have been urging us to raise the embargo on the amount assigned to them out of the gold from the Indies on account of the exchange of 600,000 crowns, and petitioning for restitution of a further sum of 70,000 ducats taken up from Balthazar Schetz. Now, you only say that arrangements have been made for keeping back some 350,000 or 364,000 ducats and the repayment of 72,700 ducats advanced to them on what was coming with the fleet; and that is not at all what they said or had any right to say. So you will try to patch matters up as best you can by means of an arrangement; for the sum is needed here, and unless we get it it will be difficult to sustain the struggle, because these states have been exhausted by past wars and crushed by the burthen imposed by the present one. Endeavour to increase the amount they are to repay, in order to come hither with the round million, or at any rate the million minus what is needed for the fleet; and for this purpose sell what remains of the excise (alcabalas) and thirds and any pension (juro) that may be left, as you say there is nothing for it but to adopt such measures. Moreover, it would be a good thing if you were able to help yourself out by means of loans, as has been done on other occasions, and make sure that even if you cannot bring the entire sum with you the rest may soon follow. If you were obliged to part with all the Schetz are asking for, you would bring very little on your own showing, whilst at the present time it is of enormous importance that you should bring plenty. In order to remedy matters in France, Germany, Italy and these states, and bring about a satisfactory peace, it is essential that you should be known to be coming with plenty of money, well able to attack and, with God's help, enable us at last to put a stop to the grievous and ever-recurrent expenses which we are obliged to face because our states are far apart, our enemies many and strong by land and sea, and our resources diminished; whereas it would do incalculable harm were they to find out that you came empty-handed. So you might answer them that you would greatly like to do as they ask because of what I am writing separately and the Queen's requests, but that you prefer to send the sum back to them in the fleet; and once you are here I will devise means of offering them suitable terms.
(Apostil, in Philip's hand: We must see to answering them as his Majesty here commands.)
In this manner both objects may be achieved, and then we shall be able to consider all questions, for it is possible that in the meantime things may go so well that it will be unnecessary to distribute the money at once. In replying to the Queen you will adopt this suggestion, though without letting it be seen that you are doing so by my orders. As for the Fuggers, I will have a letter written commanding them to be satisfied with what has been done, and hold their agents excused.
As for the exchange of 400,000 crowns for Germany, before the arrival of your answer to what I wrote about it some arrangements had been made, and later, on the strength of the confidence expressed by members of the Council of Finance, others were concluded and shares alotted to the parties concerned, as Eraso will have informed you. Also, before we received your latest advices to the effect that it was impossible for the reasons you went into, the entire amount had been raised, wherefore I affectionately request you to see to its being carried out in the manner promised, for otherwise our credit would be entirely destroyed, and the merchants and their associates, with whom we dealt in all good faith, ruined.
With regard to the fairs, keeping down the rate of exchange, and taking measures to hold back money in the kingdom, these are very thorny matters. It is well, however, to discuss the best means of dealing with them, as also with the question of the banks.
A letter shall be written to the Pope about the Bull for the first-fruits, and he shall be requested to issue it with all despatch.
I wrote as I did about taking up money in the Spanish fairs because when it becomes tighter there prices go down and terms grow easier here, because the merchants count on losses in getting their money back here. This is one reason why the terms for Villalón are now only 62 gros or a trifle more, an extraordinary situation in view of the present abundance of money at Antwerp; though it is clear that the principal cause is an understanding among the merchants to keep up prices for exchanges made here on Spain, for imcomparably better terms are offered for Italy and Germany. However, now the exchanges have been arranged, it is no use talking about that.
Brussels, 16 February, 1554.
Decipherment. Spanish.
Printed in Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III, dated 21 February.
Feb. 16. Simancas, E. 808. Prince Philip to Simon Renard.
When the letter that is to accompany this had been written, we received yours of January 8th and 23rd, with copies of his Majesty's of December 24th, of the instructions and commissions issued to his ambassadors sent to conclude the negotiations, and of a letter from the Queen of England's ambassador in France to her Council. I (fn. 2) was very glad to see these papers and learn the condition of affairs over there, for though his Majesty wrote to us on January 19th we were happy to read your detailed account. You did very well to send us a gentleman to report by word of mouth, what he had seen and heard. We feel sure that the ambassadors' arrival and your assistance contributed to hasten the negotiation, since the articles have been finally concluded, as you tell us, and his Majesty's above-mentioned letter told us he had ratified them and sent them to us by a special courier who took the sea-route, so that I might do the same. This I will put into effect as soon as they arrive, and will return them in duplicate as his Majesty commands.
His Majesty's letters and your own inform me of the necessity of my prompt departure for England. In consideration of this, great efforts have been made to speed the fitting-out of the fleet and summon those who are to accompany me; but your letters of January 23rd point out reasons for still greater haste, for when I come and the marriage is consummated all the intrigues now carried on by the ill-disposed will cease, and silence will be imposed upon the rumours that continue to circulate, thereby causing the Queen much pain, while my journey is being delayed. The Queen has laid so great an obligation upon me by the affectionate spirit in which she has carried on the negotiations that, even if I personally were not deeply concerned in quelling all this unrest, I would gladly affront any peril in order to free her from anxiety and show my sense of duty towards her. I am consequently determined not to wait for any member of my suite, but to embark as soon as enough ships are ready to carry me, my household and servants, and start on a voyage on which I trust Our Lord will protect and give me good speed. As I said, I will not take more servants than absolutely necessary, as when I arrive I shall have to accept the services of natives in order to show them that I mean to trust myself to them and favour them as if I were an Englishman born; for if I place myself in their hands without a larger following than the one just mentioned they will see I have confidence in them. And my great reason for not taking a more numerous household is that, being few, my servants will the better be able to adapt themselves to English ways, which we must now consider our own. There shall be no failure to act, as I have said, nor any delay in my journey; though time certainly would have been lost had it been decided to wait for all the ships that were ordered and all the grandees commanded to accompany me. If you think it meet to report this to the Queen you may do so, telling her I believe it to be according to her wishes, which shall guide me in all things little and great, such are my obligations towards her.
We have written to you and are repeating in the other letter that we sent off the powers by three routes; made out de prœsenti and de futuro. Although we make sure his Majesty must have received one of them, we thought it well to send them also to you, so that if the others reach you not you may make use of whichever his Majesty commands. You will let me know, by the boat that is taking these letters, of their arrival. As for what you said in your reply to my letter of November 12th, I need make no remark, for on my arrival I, with God's help, shall make known the love and goodwill I bear to all those who showed affectionate loyalty during the negotiations.
I will soon send a person to visit the Queen on my behalf and present her with a jewel, as you think I ought. As I have said, I intend to make haste and depart, and indeed would have done so already had affairs permitted it, so I think the ambassadors from England, unless they have started before this reaches you, might stay at home, for at the present rate I shall be gone before they arrive here, and they will meet me on the road in a rough country where it would be impossible to welcome them as I would wish. So, though as they come from the Queen I would be glad to see them and hear her good news, they may as well not start unless the English have some objection.
I have no more to say except to thank you for the great pains you have taken, and ask you to go on writing until your letters fail to find me here. Thank his Majesty's ambassadors and commissioners on my behalf for their zeal in conducting this affair and assure them of my favour and goodwill. We are sure the impression they have created in England is quite different from what the French predicted, and my own suite will certainly do the same.
Draft with trifling corrections in Philip's hand. Spanish.
In the same bundle is a note, entirely in Philip's hand, instructing his secretary to draw up this minute, and mentioning the points to be dealt with. The note has been printed by Fernández Navarrete, Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
Feb. 16. Brussels, E.A. 108. M. de Vandeville to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: I received yesterday evening the letter it pleased your Majesty to write to me on the 13th, and in accordance with it the English have received the favourable treatment usually shown them here. As I had sent a man to Calais for English news, I detained this bearer until his return. He reports that things are going well in England, the rebel prisoners are soon to be punished and the people all seem ashamed of what has happened. Pierre Andrieu and a boy who served in the camp here have gone over, and I hope soon to hear from them. If I learn anything further, I will send another courier. It would be useful if the post passed by here. I know that M. de Senarpont often goes to Montreuil to see M. de Villebon, and I hear that Marshal de St. André is there, though I am not sure of it. However, it seems to me that they (i.e. the French) have something on hand, and I do not know what it is. An English soldier from Guines came to me two days ago and told me a story about a Frenchman who often lodges at his house and has a servant who carries a bag full of shoes or slippers, sewn into the soles of which there are letters; and these are taken to your court. The soldier asserts that he is sure of what he says, for the servant is a great friend of his and a relative of his wife, who is a sister of the Boulogne post-boy. He has promised to hand over the man and his bag to me, and to do the same when the mail-bag goes by for the French ambassador in England. At all events, I have given him fine promises and ten crowns to go on with. If he does anything worth mentioning I will not fail to inform your Majesty, whom I humbly beg to remember the petition I addressed to you.
Gravelines, 16 February, 1554.
Signed. French.
Feb. 17. Vienna, E. 22. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: As soon as I received the text of the order of arrest against the persons and property of English subjects at Antwerp given at the time of the recent disturbances in Kent, I communicated it to the Queen's Council, explaining why the step had been taken, that no harm had been done, that trade was now permitted and leave had been granted to export the gunpowder that the Queen had bought at Antwerp. They took this in very good part, and only said your Majesty ought to have been more severe in order to impress it upon the London merchants that you had the means of exercising reprisals both in Spain and the Low Countries if your subjects were cruelly used here.
Since I last wrote trials of rebels have increasingly proceeded. About 200 have been condemned, of whom 100 have been executed and the rest are being sent to Kent to be hanged in the villages where they rose in revolt. Here in London executions have taken place in twenty or thirty different places, and one sees nothing but gibbets and hanged men. Last Thursday ten gentlemen were sentenced, among them being Rudstone, his son-in-law, Brett, Culpepper, Cormer, the two Knyvetts and three more whose names I do not know. (fn. 3) To-day the Duke of Suffolk is to be condemned. My Lord Thomas (Grey) and Crofts have arrived here and ten or twelve more suspects, among whom the most important is (Sir Edward) Rogers, (fn. 4) formerly of King Edward's Bedchamber, are being looked for. In the meantime Wyatt cannot be executed until he has been confronted with the Lady Elizabeth, who is so unwell that she only travels two or three leagues a day, and has such a stricken conscience that she cannot stand on her feet and refuses meat or drink. It is taken for certain that she is with child. Courtenay has been examined; but he denies the charges brought against him, only confessing that his servant went to France, but affirming that he did so against his (Courtenay's) will. His mother (fn. 5) is away from Court. Thus the Queen's affairs are being set in order little by little, and things would go faster were she able to raise 100,000 crowns with which to fit out her ships, surround herself with troops and attend to other questions while waiting to be able to gather in her revenues. Confiscations, which will amount to over a million in gold, are going to be a great help to her.
The Chancellor and the most learned lawyers opine that she ought to summon a Parliament to meet a fortnight after Easter, in order to obtain a ratification of the marriage-treaty, satisfy the people and make the alliance quite secure. They anticipate no difficulties, for Courtenay is a prisoner, the Lady Elizabeth may soon be another, and there will be no party in all England hostile to the Queen, so that at the same time it will be possible to propose the abandonment of the title of Supreme Head of the Church, by way of making a beginning in the re-establishment of the Church's authority. Parliament would be called at Oxford, 60 miles from London, where it has been held on other occasions to punish the Londoners, deprive them of the profit they reap from the presence of the Court and the courts of law, and weaken them. The Queen has mentioned these questions to me. As for summoning Parliament, everyone knows it is necessary in order to conclude the alliance; but I believe the second point might prove a more fruitful source of trouble than the match itself, for neither gentle nor simple will hear a word about the Church's authority, so the Queen tells me she intends to put it off until another session. In the meantime she hopes his Highness will not fail to come to consummate the marriage. All the provinces are now willing, and there is no danger since the plot has been revealed, the authors chastised, and the Londoners will be duly kept in order. I replied that I trusted the Chancellor not at all, for if she had followed his advice she would be in a sorry plight; and I thought she ought to ponder this and talk it over with other of her Councillors.
A public proclamation has been made here ordering all foreigners who have taken refuge in England on account of crimes committed at home, to leave the country, as well as those who have been admitted to the citizenship of London since Henry VIII's death. This measure will serve to rid us of many heretics who cause revolts and conspiracies.
Wotton wrote to the Queen on the 12th instant that as soon as he knew of Carew's arrival at the French Court he demanded audience. Carew, he remonstrated, had fled from England as a rebel, a traitor and author of revolt, wherefore the King, if he wished to act in accordance with what he had said to Wotton about desiring to keep up friendly relations with the Queen, ought to refuse him access to his person and a refuge in France, and send him back to England as a prisoner, especially as he heard Carew was coming to ask for assistance on behalf of an English lord against the Queen, to permit which was the very opposite of friendly behaviour. He begged the King to take action in the matter, for otherwise he would allow himself to appear to be abetting a rebel. The King and the Constable made answer that they did not know who Carew was and had never seen him, and that the King of France wished to remain friends and at peace with the Queen. I know for certain that Carew did speak to the King and the Constable, and that the King caused him to depart to Rouen, where he now is. Wotton moreover adds that the King of France told him that Cardinal Farnese (fn. 6) said he had seen Courtenay, or one who resembled Courtenay, in Paris, but that he (the King) had not seen him. The Queen, Wotton remarks, may believe that the King of France bears her ill-will, and speaks hypocritically.
He also writes that as soon as news of the revolt reached France the King sent messengers to Rome and Venice as if he were announcing a good piece of news, for he knows through his ambassador in Rome that the Pope would be glad to receive such tidings, and does not desire to see his Highness succeed any more than the Venetians do.
Wotton's further news are that Carew went by the post to Rouen on the 9th instant; the Dukes Ottavio (fn. 7) and of Pitigliano were leaving Court to return to Parma with money; the Count of Mirandola was soon to follow; the Prince of Portugal was dead, and twenty days after his death the Princess, Doña Juana, gave birth to a son, which had somewhat consoled her grief; and that French report had it that Wyatt had defeated 500 Spaniards and 2000 Englishmen under the orders of the Duke of Norfolk.
The Deputy of Calais writes that the King of France gave Carew three ships and made him colonel of 1000 English troops in France to fight against the Queen; that the Vidame of Chartres was going with the fleet to Scotland; and that the King was forming his camp in Picardy to attack your Majesty.
It is probable, however, that when the French heard of our victory and the ruin of their plans they changed their minds. Their ambassador had audience yesterday with a brother (fn. 8) of his who is a prothonotary, sent hither by the King of France to help in the embassy, and talked to the Queen about confirming the treaties of peace, begging to be allowed to see the article in the marriage-treaty by which accords with the King of France are reserved and to be present on the occasion when his Highness should swear to observe it, thus sugaring the bold words he uttered at a recent audience. The Queen replied sharply, complaining of Carew and his suspicious activities, and said that if the King of France picked a quarrel it might not turn out to his advantage. She would abide by her word, and the ambassador was to tell his Master not to encourage her rebels while trying to deceive her with smooth words. The Council also spoke to him in the same strain, and repeated that no breach of an ambassador's privileges had been committed when his letters were seized.
The object of Carew and the conspirators was religion; and Courtenay had promised to follow the new religion when married to Elizabeth and set on the throne. Moreover, not one single Catholic joined in the plot.
The Queen is always asking me when his Highness is coming, whether the dispensation has arrived, whether the ratification has been sent, and if his Highness has despatched his power. I reply that I have no news on these points, but that the disturbances have probably caused your Majesty to delay in order not to furnish the rebels with more pretexts. May you be pleased to come to a decision with regard to this and command me what I shall now reply to her and her Council if they speak to me. As for the Queen, she considers herself married.
The Bishop of Norwich's brother-in-law came to request me to write to the Antwerp searchers to let pass three or four barrels of French wine which he wished to send to the Bishop. I told him I had no authority to do so, but would write to your Majesty. He would not take this answer, but said ill-humouredly that he would not send the wine. As I know him to be of the wrong sort I made no reply.
I am enclosing the order published against foreigners, amongst whom those who have been admitted to citizenship since King Henry's death are not included. This has greatly pleased the Londoners, and the measure will rid the realm of many heretics and evil men.
London, 17 February, 1554.
Signed. Cipher. French.
Printed by Fernández Navarrete, Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III, from a faulty Spanish translation at Simancas (E. 808), in which the last two paragraphs are missing.
Feb. 17. Simancas, E. 808. Francisco de Eraso to Prince Philip. (fn. 9)
I sent word by a courier who left this town on the 3rd instant of the arrival here of the one you sent off with your letters on January 11th. We were very glad to hear of your health and that speed was being made in business, as well in the Andulusian matter as in that of the goods to come from Laredo. Other letters will tell you how important it is to hurry, for there is great need of the goods here, especially as now things have calmed down in England, and God has given the Queen victory, the merchants will do excellent business. Our agent in London has shown more zeal than ever and borne himself so gallantly in the recent troubles that he really deserves great thanks from you if you have time to send him them. He has said and done things that deeply oblige us; but there will be no lack of opportunities of rewarding him . . . . .
(The writer goes into financial questions fully dealt with in the Emperor's letters to Philip of February 16th.)
Antwerp, 17 February, 1554.
Holograph. Spanish.
Feb. 17. Brussels, E.A. 108. M. de Vandbville to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: As your Majesty knows, I was ordered to hand over a packet to your ambassador. I sent Pierre Andrieu with it to make sure, and he has not only delivered the packet, but has brought back an answer from the ambassador. They write to me from England that my Lord Fitzwalter (Fealtre) is crossing to-day. I will treat him and others as your Majesty has commanded me. Pierre Andrieu will be able to give you news of England.
Yesterday evening at nine o'clock I was informed that the French were out on the foray, and were to be quartered that night at Licques, Audrehem and Fouquesolles. (fn. 10) It was said that they had come to revictual Ardres in wine and other necessaries; and strong walls and works are being set up there. I must not omit to tell your Majesty that a master mason, whom M. de Rœulx (fn. 11) used to employ in your service, has begun building us a bulwark here, on plans corrected by your Majesty, and has done it so badly that it was seen from all sides, though he is well-enough paid to do it properly. I beg you to have the matter looked into, as it is of importance.
Your Majesty will know how all my letters must end, namely by imploring you to rid me of all the French prisoners I am guarding here, and to allow me to accept whatever private individuals will give me (for ransom), which will enable me to subsist for the rest of my days in your service. I trust your Majesty will show me favour in this.
Gravelines, 17 February, 1554.
Signed. French.
Feb. 17. Simancas, E. 808. Juan Vasquez de Molina to Simon Renard. (fn. 12)
Your letters of January 8th and 23rd have come. I kiss your hand for one you wrote to me, and his Highness is very glad to receive full information of events in England. We are all very happy about the successful conclusion of the match; and what you tell his Highness of the advisability of his going shortly has moved him to adopt the decision you will see in his letter, so he is making preparations to start very soon. Those who are to accompany him will be moderate in their household and other expenses, though it will be necessary to forewarn them about this as all our countrymen, and especially those who frequent Court, are fond of spending and showing their worth, not only in display but also by honourable and virtuous bearing. Speaking not as a native of this country but because I know it to be true, I may assure you that those who reside in this court and follow his Highness are most praiseworthy for their excellent behaviour wherever they may be on his service, and even elsewhere; and in England, where they know they are to reside for a long time, they will act in a manner calculated to give the lie to certain persons who look for something different. You know this very well, and that I might say even more; so I will leave the matter to your discretion.
His Highness told me to write to you that he had seen the memoir written by the Queen's own hand in which she expressed the opinion that he would do well to bring his own physicians and cooks, and also heard what this gentleman had to say on the subject. You may assure the Queen that his Highness will do so. You will hiss her hand on my behalf and offer her my services, saying that I greatly regret that his Highness has ordered me to stay here, for I would have been very glad to go to England, principally in order to kiss her hand and be able to serve in her presence.
All the boats sent from here will await your replies, and you may write not only by them but whenever opportunity offers, for you know you can thereby give his Highness great pleasure, especially now that the negotiation is so far advanced that he would like to be there. If it were possible, he desires to go so much that he would depart at once and alone. I beg you to kiss the hands of the lords ambassadors for me.
Draft. Spanish. The words in italics are corrections in Philip's own hand.
Feb. 18. Brussels, R.A.P. 13. The Emperor to Mary I.
No one feels deeper grief than I when your affairs are not in a wholly satisfactory condition, and you may easily imagine the anxiety in which I was kept by the disorders recently stirred up by the wickedness of certain rebels among your subjects. But you may also be sure that now I have heard of the prompt help God sent you, and of your own brave and virtuous bearing, I feel the greatest delight (estaissiment) and satisfaction. I am now sending M. d'Egmont to visit and congratulate you on my behalf, and beg you to believe him in what he says to you as you would myself. The rest I will leave to him, thus avoiding a longer letter, and will only assure you of my never-changing goodwill, which you may always be confident of finding in me. I am still too much troubled with the gout to be able to write, so I have asked my good sister, the Queen, to pen this letter for me.
Brussels, 18 February, 1554.
Draft. French.
Feb. 18. Brussels, R.A.Prov. 13. The Emperor's Instructions to Count d'Egmont.
You will proceed to England as rapidly as possible, and travel in a safe and expeditious manner. On your arrival, you will communicate these instructions to the Lieutenant of Amont, our resident ambassador, who will inform you of the state of affairs in that kingdom. Having conferred together, you will inform the Queen of your arrival and demand audience.
You will present to her the letters of credence you are bearing, together with our most loving commendations, and tell her of the great pleasure with which we have heard that God has been pleased to give her the victory over the rebels. We have instructed you, you will say, to congratulate her on our behalf and assure her that no one in the world can have been happier to hear of her success than we were. When things were in a bad way we desired to help her, and set some of our vessels in readiness for that purpose; but we waited to hear from her in what manner she wished us to assist her, lest we should do something that, far from helping, might have caused her further trouble. We spoke of the matter to her ambassador and wrote to the Lieutenant of Amont, hoping to ascertain her wishes from one or the other, and we were very sorry that difficulty in crossing the sea prevented our letters to our ambassador from arriving as soon as we had wished.
We trust that, as God has been pleased to assist her to such good purpose that not only are the rebels vanquished, but their leaders are either dead or taken prisoners, her prudence may be great enough to enable her to take advantage of this opportunity afforded her by God and make it serve her purpose in establishing her rule, using due severity towards the guilty who have thoroughly deserved it. If the guilty have not yet been executed, therefore, you will persuade her to have them speedily punished, and take advantage of her victory to get rid of those who have shown themselves to be ill-disposed towards her and strike fear into the rest. By thus acting rapidly she may show clemency towards those who were led into error by their chiefs, for she will remove the fear and feeling of uncertainty that might drive them to further revolt.
Moreover, as she has received information from several sources to the effect that the Lady Elizabeth and Courtenay have not acted sincerely towards her, and as the intercepted letters of the French ambassador show that the conspirators were working for them, she would do well to seize their persons and overlook nothing in their conduct that might bring them within the reach of the law, provided that she is able to persuade her Council to agree. If they are found guilty, let them be punished and put out of the way. The Queen's recollection of these recent disorders may suggest steps to be taken to protect herself; and for God's sake let her realise that in affairs of such consequence, where her own person is being attacked, little proof ought to suffice to induce her to arrest individuals and, at any rate, put them in a safe place where they can do no harm !
If she fails to persuade her Council that there is enough evidence to proceed against Courtenay, which we can hardly believe, we are of opinion that it would be best to adopt the other plan, and cause him to come over here. It is true there might be some danger of his plotting through merchants or others, or he might one day escape to France, but we think that in any case he would be better out of England than in it. He has not had time to become very popular since he came out of prison, and many consider him insolent, so if he is removed from the people's sight they will probably bear it; and he will find it more difficult to intrigue from a distance than if he were on the spot. Nevertheless, if it were possible, we feel that the best course would be to have him shut up in the Tower or put out of the way by means of justice; and in God's name let the Queen have a care for the safety of her person and the maintenance of her authority, and let her adopt measures required by the character of her subjects of all classes to make herself feared by her Council and the country!
The wicked designs of the French ambassador have been clearly discovered, and you may tell the Queen that it would perhaps be well to send him immediately back to France, or to confine him to prevent him from plotting until his master recalls him. In either case she might have the King informed that, although she had had excellent reasons for proceeding with severity against an ambassador who had committed offences that robbed him of the privileges of his office, she was moved by her regard for the King to overlook his behaviour on his occasion, and do no more than send him home, or confine him until his recall, warning him that if he wished to send her another ambassador, he had better instruct him to adopt a different conduct, for she would no longer be able to allow his position to shield him, whoever he might be, if he acted in such a manner as to forfeit his prerogatives.
If it is true, as the Lieutenant has often written, that the Venetian ambassador has behaved badly, and especially if it can be proved that a Venetian ship, with the ambassador's knowledge and consent, furnished the rebels with artillery, you will let us know, and persuade the Queen in a moderate manner to have the ambassador and his people watched so that they may be unable to intrigue. Beyond this, let her show him favourable treatment, but write to the Doge and Seignory of Venice asking them to change their ambassador on the ground that he has been implicated, she supposes without their knowledge, in plots against her, whereby he failed in his duty as a public person. Such demonstrations as these will cause other ambassadors to proceed more carefully.
When you were over there with the other ambassadors, you heard that great naval preparations were being made on the French coast, and the Lieutenant of Amont's last letters say the same, so you will endeavour to follow our instructions and send persons under various pretexts to the French ports to see with their own eyes what is happening; for the French frequently cause such reports to be repeated, for the purpose of putting their enemies to expense, though there is little or no truth in them. We must remember that the season is not yet favourable to navigation, and that the check God has inflicted on the French in the Queen's favour does not render them more able to attack England than they were before, so we will have time to find out what they are doing—their utmost, probably—to prevent the coming of our son, before deciding to what extent we must augment our own sea-forces. In the meantime there shall be no delay in fitting out the fourteen vessels on which work was begun at the outset of the disturbances, and we will consider what more we may be able to do. The Dutch fleet for Spain is also being made ready, and might serve in case of need; and our son is continuing the preparations for his journey. Thus it will be difficult for the French to hold the sea, especially if they are deprived of the conveniences offered by English ports as they ought to be if they are seen making ready to attack that country; and in that case navigation would become very dangerous for them, with large forces in preparation on the other side.
And as the Queen's men have difficulty in fitting out her ships, and we have heard from you and others who have been there that the principal lack is of powder, munitions, rope, etc., the powder has already been dealt with, as Gresham has received permission from us to send some over. You may also tell the Queen that we will accommodate Gresham and give him leave to export other things of which they are in need in England, to as great an extent as the demands of this country will allow.
Before you departed, the Council made mention to you of the Queen's necessity and said that it would have been very convenient if we could have obliged her with 200,000 crowns. Things are now—thanks be to God !—in a different way, and the Queen will be able to collect her revenue or borrow money on it, so as we ourselves are embarrassed you will say nothing about the matter unless they speak to you, in which case you may say that as things are now going much better you thought there would be no need, though at the time of the disorders you heard that we were taking steps to raise money here. You will see what more they have to say, and get out of it by saying you will inform us. But if they do not raise the subject, it will be best not to say anything at all.
You will do well to draw her attention to the question why her revenues and moneys owing to her have not been collected more diligently; for it might be suspected that it was done on purpose in order to deprive her of the means of resisting the attack that was aimed at her. She will therefore apply such remedy as she sees may be required.
You will thank the Queen most affectionately, on our behalf, for her constancy and goodwill towards us and our son, and assure her of ours in return. You will deliver to her our ratification and explain that though we signed and swore to it some time ago in the presence of her ambassadors, and sent it off, it was delayed at Gravelines because of the difficulty in crossing over. You will find the packet in which the ratifications are enclosed in the possession of M. de Vandeville, captain of Gravelines, to whom we have written to hand it over to you, and you will take it with you and do with it according to these instructions. And you will tell the Queen that, as we have received the powers from the Prince, our son, to conclude the marriage per verba de prœsenti, we wished to send you off with them at once as you were one of those who went before, so that as soon as the ceremony has been performed according to her pleasure you may leave for Spain, and hasten our son's departure if he has not already started. You will remember that it is to be done in public and also privately, as the Queen thinks it is better to have it celebrated per verba de prœsenti as well, in accordance with the letters we wrote to you when you were in England, which you will find in the packet with the letter we then sent you for our son. You will be guided by them, you and the Lieutenant, and the letter you will take to our son when the marriage has been concluded. You will present to the Queen, on our behalf, the ring which you will find in the packet, accompanying it with fair and courtly words to convey to her that we are sending it as a token of the true and perfect love we bear her, and that we hold her to be our own daughter.
You must be very careful of one thing. When you speak to her in the presence of her Council to congratulate her on our behalf, offer her our favour and assistance according to your instructions and, armed with the powers, say that you are ready to conclude the marriage per verba de prœsenti or in whatever form may be judged suitable, be cautious not to give offence, and obtain the Queen's advice through our ambassador resident on this point. You will privately inform her that you have been instructed to act as she thinks best, and that as for our advice as to strengthening her authority, which she has already heard from our ambassador, and especially with regard to Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth, we meant that she should approach her Council on the subject as if of her own accord. Thus it will not look as if it proceeded from anyone else but the Queen and her Council, and they will not grow jealous nor imagine that we are already trying to get the reins of government into our own hands and dispensing with them; for they are so suspicious that they might otherwise be resentful, to the Queen's hurt. She must manage to have everything done either on their initiative or her own, and above all avoid allowing them to imagine that we are trying to drag them into the war with France. They will probably break with that country because they will be unable to put up with the inimical designs of the French, especially if they go on making trouble in Scotland, but it is much better that it should come from them rather than from us or our ministers, although we are glad to give her our advice in secret, as we look upon her as our own daughter.
Beyond what you will have to say to the Queen, you must visit on our behalf the principal lords of the Council who have stood by her in her hour of trouble. You will give them the letters you are taking; and thank them for their excellent services, which have greatly increased the obligation in which we and our son already stood on account of their affection and goodwill where the marriage was concerned. Assure them that we both will ever be mindful of it and that they may certainly look for expressions of our gratitude, speaking them fair and treating each one according to his position. You will obtain the Queen's advice as to what we wrote to you on the Lieutenant of Amont's suggestion, that recognitions of their services ought to be given to them by our son, each man receiving according to what he has done in the past and may be expected to do in the future; and it will be better to bind them by pensions rather than pay them lump-sums, which are often forgotten as time goes by, and would make them think that we intended to give them large amounts, which are difficult to be come by at present. For these reasons we consider that the rewards had better be given in pensions, which may be increased if occasion arises. We feel sure the Queen will have a thought for this matter, and be grateful towards those who have stood at her side, whilst punishment is dealt out to the rebels.
As for folk of lesser importance who have been useful and worked for the success of the negotiations, and others whom it may be well to win over, you are to take with you the sum of 5,000 crowns. You will have 3,000 handed over to you by M. de Vandeville, and the rest will be given to you here together with 200 crowns which the Lieutenant asked for for the spies. We are sure that he will be careful to distribute this money in a useful manner.
When the marriage has been passed and you have performed the offices enjoined upon you in these instructions, you will tell the Queen that you have been ordered to proceed to Spain towards our son, and make clear to her our great desire to see this alliance concluded. But if you see that she or her Council have any scruple or doubt about having the marriage consummated at present, or if the voyage were to be dangerous for our son, you will tell her that she may remember that, however great our wish to have the marriage accomplished, we have always given our first thought to the establishment of her reign and the safety of her person, so that you feel sure that everything else still occupies a secondary place in our mind, as our great affection for her demands. And you will not insist, but after having once declared our desire to have the consummation follow briefly you will undertake to inform us and await a reply. But if on the other hand she approves of your departure for Spain, we do not see how we could raise any further difficulty without throwing the Queen into despair. But as the security of our son's person is an important consideration you will gather exact information as to the state of affairs and report to him, so that we may be able to write to him whether he is to land in England or come hither. On your journey towards our son you will make all possible haste, and when you arrive you will give him a full account of affairs, do your best to render him assistance for his journey, and enlighten him as to how he and his company shall behave in order to please the English and avoid giving offence. This is a most important point, as we have already told you, and he must take care to choose tactful, moderate and courteous men, who shall be told to put up with anything from the English in order to win popularity. Not only shall each man live in suitable manner, but he must take care to keep his household disciplined, behaving like an alcalde and refraining from supporting its members if they are guilty; for trouble more often comes from presumptuous and insolent servants than from masters, and this kind of offence is the hardest for the English to bear. If the Queen sends ambassadors to Spain, as she probably will in order to have the marriage per verba de prœsenti concluded with our son, let them be cordially welcomed, though not in such a manner as to make them suspicious. Your presence in Spain will be very opportune to entertain and introduce them to our son and his court, so that not only may they be pleased with their reception, but have reason to speak on their return of the honourable treatment that was shown to them.
Brussels, 18 February, 1554.
Draft. French. Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas. Appendix to Vol. IV.
Feb. 18. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
We have received your letters of the 5th and 8th instant, together with the enclosed papers, and learnt details of the success God was pleased to bestow on the Queen by delivering into her hands the leaders of the rebellion who are still alive. Your behaviour in this matter has given us great satisfaction, and we have now decided to send back Count d'Egmont with the power granted by the Prince, our son, and the instructions that you will see, which are to serve for both of you. We will not write to you at length now, as the instructions deal with most of the points you mention and give you such answers as we are able to frame at this stage of the negotiations, and we feel sure that you will be careful to guide Count d'Egmont and lead matters in the direction indicated in our letters, supplemented by what you know of our intentions. We will only add that we wish you to leave nothing undone to obtain information on a point mentioned in your last letters: the promise made by the King of France to the Duke of Cleves, at his sister's request—she who was abandoned by the late King Henry—and by the intermediary of the Lady Elizabeth. Thus we may use the information acquired in deciding what we had better do, and we have no doubt that the Queen will realise how important it is to us, and afford you all the help you need to get to the bottom of it.
You must also find out more about the intrigues, mentioned in your said letters, that Cardinal Pole and Bonvisi are carrying on against us. So far we have discovered nothing, and since his arrival here the Cardinal has only spoken to us about finding means for opening peace-negotiations with France, which he says is the principal charge which the Pope has entrusted to him. Up to the present he has made no proposal that might serve as an overture, but you shall be informed of whatever he may do.
As for levying English troops, about which we wrote to you some time ago, we were only replying to a proposal of yours, but as things now wear a different face you may as well let it drop, and do no more about it for the present.
The news here are that the Duke of Florence, (fn. 13) pursuing a course indicated in negotiations held with him some months ago, attacked the state of Siena from four sides on the 24th of last month, with the result that a fort near the Camollia gate of Siena, which dominates most of the town and was built by the French in order to be secretly converted into a castle, was occupied by the troops led by the Marquis of Marignano. We do not yet know what else happened, except that the other attacking forces were going to join the Marquis and make a great assault on the town.
As for Corsica, the French were in great straits at San Florenzo and were beginning to parley, for since the arrival of 3000 Spaniards sent by our son and 100 from Lombardy, besides the four companies of Germans and four of Italians that were there already, they have been so closely beleaguered that, with God's help, we have good hope of obtaining the victory. M. de Termes (fn. 14) has already left the place, eight miles from San Florenzo, where he was, and withdrawn to quarters in the interior of the island that seem safer to him. It is true that as many as 34 galleys had left Marseilles to go to Corsica's relief, but when news last came they were being kept back at the Sainte-Marguerite Islands by an east wind. The French are still intriguing in Germany, and we are doing all we can to defeat and check them. You will do well to send us reports as often as possible of all you hear, and also of events in France, and let them be as accurate as possible, as you ought to be able to send men thither.
Brussels, 18 February, 1554.
Signed: Charles; countersigned: Bave. French. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
Feb. 18. Vienna, E. 23. The Emperor to the Earl of Pembroke.
My cousin: I am now sending to the Queen, my good sister and cousin, my cousin the Prince of Gavre, Count d'Egmont, and I have ordered him to thank you on my behalf for the goodwill you have shown me and the Prince, my son, as M. d'Egmont and my other ambassadors have informed me.
My obligations towards you have been increased by the valiant service you have rendered the Queen in the recent troubles stirred up by the malignity of a few rebels. I assure you that over and above the recognition of your worth which I am sure the Queen will have shown you, you will always find me and my son as grateful as if your services had been performed for our sake, and that we will find means to requite you, as M. d'Egmont, to whom we beg you to give credence, will tell you at greater length.
Brussels, 18 February, 1554.
Minute. French.
A note at the foot of this minute states that this letter was also to be addressed to Lord Clinton, the Earl of Huntingdon and the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (Sir Thomas Cheyne).
Feb. 18. Vienna, E. 23. The Emperor to the Earl of Derby.
This letter opens with a repetition of the first paragraph of the one addressed to the Earl of Pembroke, and continues: Our obligations towards you have been increased by your support of my son's suit. We assure you that we appreciate the value of your goodwill and will requite it to the best of our power, as you will hear at greater length from M. d'Egmont. We beg you to give him credence, and to continue to serve the Queen as in the past.
Brussels, 18 February, 1554.
French. Minute.
Feb. 18. Vienna, E. 23. The EmperoR to the Earl of Shrewsbury.
The same as the letter addressed to the Earl of Derby, except for the omission of the opening sentence.
Brussels, 18 February, 1554.
French. Minute.
Feb. 18. Vienna, E. 23. The Emperor to the Bishop of Winchester.
Very reverend father in God, our very dear and good friend: This letter is the same as the one addressed to Lord Pembroke, omitting the word valiantly.
Brussels, 18 February, 1554.
French. Minute.
A note states that this letter was also to be sent to the Earl of Arundel and Lord Paget.
Feb. 18. Vienna, E. 23. The Emperor to Sir Robert Rochester.
This letter opens with a repetition of the first paragraph of the one addressed to the Earl of Pembroke, and continues: M. d'Egmont is to assure you that you will find us both eager to recognise the merits we know you to possess, as you shall hear at greater length from him, whom we beg you to believe as you would ourself.
Brussels, 23 February, 1554.
French. Minute.
A note states that copies of this letter were to be addressed to Sir William Petre and the Bishop of Durham, and that twenty-two more copies were to be prepared and signed, and sent off with the addresses left blank:
Four beginning: My cousin; twelve beginning: Very dear and good friend; six beginning: Reverend father in God, our very dear and good friend.
Feb. 19. Simancas, E. 808. Simon Renard to Prince Philip.
My Lord: Since I last wrote to your Highness French plots have been discovered to show that Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth, by means of intermediaries called Peter Carew, Wyatt, Crofts and my Lord Thomas (Grey), conspired to throw the Queen of England into the Tower and put her to death, in order to seize the crown for themselves. The King of France had promised help in troops and money, and had already distributed some 10,000 to 12,000 crowns to private individuals. In the meantime 200 or 300 gentlemen, all of them heretics, were meeting together: the Duke of Suffolk and his two brothers, Cobham and his three sons, Pelham, Pickering, Carew and many more, and agreed to put their plans into execution in the spring. However, as God means to protect this good lady, the conspirators were forced to take up arms sooner than they had intended because Courtenay did not keep the secret and letters from the French ambassador, seized and enclosed herewith, (fn. 15) were deciphered and revealed part of the plot. Moreover, Courtenay had a servant of his in France, and six weeks ago he and one Valbic (Welby ?) were intriguing for the conspirators. To start with, Peter Carew made a violent effort to rouse the people on account of your Highness's marriage with the Queen, but as the people refused to rise, he had to fly to France, where trustworthy accounts tell he had a nocturnal conversation with the King—a sign of their malignity. His adherents were taken prisoners at Coventry (Compierre) where a similar attempt was made; and on the first day of Lent the rebels were defeated as your Highness will see by the copies of letters I wrote from time to time to the Emperor. Thus God performed a miracle. At present there is no other occupation than the cutting off of heads and inflicting exemplary punishments Jane of Suffolk, who made herself Queen, and her husband, have been executed; Courtenay is in the Tower; and this very day we expect the Lady Elizabeth to arrive here, who they say has lived loosely like her mother and is now with child. So when all these heads are off no one will be left in the realm able to resist the Queen, and throughout the country there is no sign of discontent, for on the contrary the gentry have met together in many places to swear fidelity to your Highness and the Queen and die in defense of the alliance. I thought it my duty to report this at once so that your Highness might consider it in coming to a decision. All your good servants think you might proceed to Flanders and form your household there before coming to England, for without counting the marriage your speedy journey to these parts is necessary in order to assist his Majesty in the press of business that becomes heavier each day. German affairs are especially menacing, there is much in Italy that needs a remedy, and future plans must be formed. In the meantime your Highness may carefully reflect on the English question. The rising caused us to refrain from effecting any marriage per verba de prœsenti or giving any binding obligation until we should see how it was all to end; but I cannot omit to assure you that the Queen, in the midst of great trials, displayed a fortitude incomparably greater than any history relates in analagous circumstances, and overcame her enemies moved by an affection for your Highness that could not possibly be more constant.
His Majesty is fitting out a great fleet, and it is hoped you are doing the same, for the French have been planning to send one to Scotland, and if they did so, leaving their Norman and Breton ports unprotected, they might be attacked in that quarter.
News have reached me that on January 26th the Marquis of Marignano captured one of the main gates of Siena and a fort guarded by two companies of Frenchmen whom he killed. He hoped to have the whole town in his hands in three days' time, for it was nearly conquered and Peter Strozzi (fn. 16) besieged in a small fort.
The death of the Prince of Portugal, brother (-in-law) to your Highness, has been reported here.
The powers sent by way of France have come, and the Pope has granted a dispensation.
The French, confident in the success of Courtenay's plot, have said no more about mediation.
Spanish translation from a lost French original.
Printed in Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
Feb. 19. Simancas, E. 808. The Same to the Same.
My Lord: When the Queen of England heard that I was despatching this courier to your Highness she ordered me to commend her most affectionately to you and inform you that she would have liked to have written to you in her own hand an account of the troubles caused in her realm by the neighbours (i.e. the French) and heretics and the victory granted her by God; but as she had not yet received letters from you it was not for a lady to begin, so she commanded me to send you her excuses and ask you to accept my letter instead. She asks you to be sure of her. constant goodwill and that you will find her anxious to please you in your every wish. The recent troubles will make your arrival here secure, and she herself will leave nothing undone in order to welcome you in all gladness and obedience. She finds the time long, and asks continually when you will come, thus displaying the singular affection and amity she feels for you.
I felt unable to refuse her this as I am in duty bound to render you and her my humble service, and I know that her news and commendations will be welcome to you. For a detailed account of events I will refer your Highness to the enclosed copies of letters; and as I am sending this bearer on purpose I beg you to order him to be paid.
London, 19 February, 1554.
Holograph. French.
Feb. 19. Brussels, S.H. 10 bis. Gaspard Schetz (fn. 17) to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: Although I believe your Majesty to be informed of occurrences in England, I am unwilling not to send you the news that have reached us this morning in a letter of the 15th instant. It relates that the Queen has caused the rebels to be punished: the Lady Jane and her husband, the Duke of Suffolk's son, have been decapitated; the White Rose (fn. 18) has been sent back to the Tower, where are also the Duke of Suffolk with two of his brothers and guilty lords to the number of 27. They write that, of the soldiers who abandoned the Duke of Norfolk on the field and joined the rebels, 40 have been hanged and 200 more condemned to the same penalty. They say that the said Duke has died in his own country. The Earl of Pembroke has been sent down to Kent with 300 light horse to discover who took part in the rebellion and execute justice. This, Madam, is the substance of what I have heard, together with a report that it is being said in England that my Lord our Prince is to come with 8,000 Spanish soldiers, about which the English are not best pleased.
They say the Queen is sending hither an ambassador, the Viscount Fitzwalter (Fewaters), who will be able to give your Majesty more trustworthy information.
Antwerp, 19 February, 1554.
Copy. French. Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Feb. 20. Brussels, R.A.P. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: All the Queen of England's Council is determined that Parliament shall be summoned on the fifteenth day after Easter, so that it may approve and ratify the marriage treaty between the Queen and his Highness. Letters are already being written in all haste to be sent into the provinces, because it is the custom, when Parliament is to meet, to send out the summons six weeks beforehand. The Chancellor still insists on bringing forward the question of the title of Supreme Head of the Church, against the advice of several members of the Council; I am not without suspicion that he is being influenced by Cardinal Pole to heap difficulty upon difficulty. I hope to obtain definite information on this point, and find out whether he is well or ill disposed.
The Cardinal has not written to the Queen, nor replied to the two letters she sent him, one of which found him on the way and the other at Brussels. In them she expressed a wish to know how she might, without scruple of conscience, provide to the vacant bishoprics, and whether the Cardinal had instructions to grant the necessary confirmation. This shows that he harbours some resentment because the Queen did not consult him about her marriage, especially as one of his principal followers, a theologian named William Peto, (fn. 19) wrote to her three days ago advising her not to marry but to live a single life, illustrating his letter with quotations from the Old and New Testaments and repeating ten or twelve times over that she would fall under the domination of her husband and, on account of her age, would only have children at the risk of her life. After this familiar sermon, he offered to come to England to tell her the rest.
The Venetian ambassador has had audience of the Queen and her Council to offer his excuses for the arms seized by the rebels on board the Venetian ship, as I said in my last letter. He affirmed that they only took ten swords, ten partisans and five or six harquebuses, that they took no artillery, and forced their way on board. The Admiral replied that the contrary was known to be true. The day before, Cabot had spoken to certain members of the Council about talk heard on the lips of the ambassador and his secretary, of a nature that clearly showed how ill disposed he was towards the Queen and his Highness. And there is reason to suspect that the plot was hatched in his house, especially where Courtenay was concerned, who did not dare to go openly to the French ambassador's.
It is definitely known that a courier carrying money for Wyatt passed through Dover. Several gentlemen are being condemned to death every day, but the executions do not take place.
I have received a letter from his Highness by this bearer, telling me that he has sent the powers to your Majesty; but I will not let it be known that I have heard from him.
London, 20 February, 1554.
Signed. Cipher. French.
Printed by Tytler, The Reigns of Edward VI and Mary, Vol. II.


  • 1. This letter, dated 15 November, 1553, is printed in the last volume of this Calendar.
  • 2. Philip writes now in the singular, now in the plural.
  • 3. See the list enclosed in Renard's letter to the Emperor, of 24 February, 1554.
  • 4. Sir Edward Rogers was committed to the Tower on February 24; he escaped with a fine, which was afterwards remitted (Acts of the Privy Council).
  • 5. The widow of Henry, Marquis of Exeter.
  • 6. Alessandro Farnese, a son of Pierluigi Farnese and grandson of Pope Paul III. He was a strong French partisan and had valuable benefices in France. See Vol. XI of this Calendar, p. 279 note.
  • 7. Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma, brother of the Cardinal. His possession of Parma was the occasion of the outbreak of war between France and the Emperor in 1551. See Vol. X of this Calendar.
  • 8. François de Noailles.
  • 9. This letter is signed Francisco de Madrid and addressed to Philippo del Pardo, Medina del Campo. The writing, however, is unmistakably Eraso's—the very worst of all sixteenth century hands—and both signature and address are in reality assumed names, while the text alludes in covert terms to the marriage negotiations (“business in England”) and the admirable services rendered during Wyatt's rebellion by Simon Renard (“our agent in London”). The letter was not written in cipher, and the possibility of its falling into French hands was contemplated.
  • 10. The hamlet of Fouxolles, about a mile and a half south of Audrehem, seems to be meant here.
  • 11. Adrien de Croy, Count de Rœulx, one of the Emperor's leading captains, died in 1553.
  • 12. This draft is neither signed nor endorsed, but the text shows who the correspondents were.
  • 13. Cosimo de Medici, afterwards first Grand Duke of Tuscany.
  • 14. Paul de Labarthe, Sieur de Termes.
  • 15. See p. 65.
  • 16. Piero Strozzi was acting as the King of France's lieutenant at Siena; see Lucien Romier, Les Origines Politiques des Guerres de Religion, Vol. I.
  • 17. Gaspard Schetz, Sieur de Grobbendonck, Treasurer-General of the Low Countries (Gachard).
  • 18. i.e. Courtenay, the last sprig of the White Rose, being a great-grandson of Edward IV.
  • 19. Peto had been provided by Paul III to the see of Salisbury in 1543, but failed to obtain possession. Paul IV made him a cardinal and legate in England.