Spain: March 1554, 1-10

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

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, 'Spain: March 1554, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) pp. 129-147. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Spain: March 1554, 1-10", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) 129-147. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "Spain: March 1554, 1-10", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949). 129-147. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

March 1554, 1–10

Early in March. (fn. 1) Simancas, E. 507. A Report on conferences held with Cardinal Pole at Brussels.
By his Majesty's orders I have again and again conferred with Cardinal Pole about the peace proposals he has to make. He laid stress on two points: that in order to start negotiations his Imperial Majesty would do well to offer to send delegates to some town in a neutral country where the King of France might also send his; or else that, as the French would not reply at all to the proposals made on his Majesty's behalf by Cardinal Imola through Capo di Ferro, his Majesty should somewhat moderate his conditions.
In order to satisfy Pole I have again and again explained to him with the fullest detail what happened when the other Legates were here on a peace-mission; for I hoped that when he had understood how the question stood then he might the better devise some useful means of taking it up again. I told him that to send delegates to a neutral country would not be a good opening, for they would have nothing to talk about, and if the provisions of former treaties were to be called into dispute, as the French desired, his Majesty had already made it clear that it would be useless to negotiate, since no treaty to be concluded would prove more binding than those that had gone before. The French had made no reply to his Majesty's proposals, so even if the delegates did meet they would have nothing to go upon. As for urging his Majesty to formulate other proposals, it would be most unsuitable, for he had been attacked in this war. His Holiness himself instructed Imola to say that the French ought to propose terms, and his Majesty, out of magnanimity, made what offers he did because the French were declaring that if he did not state his conditions, as they had already stated theirs, he would be responsible for the continuation of war and all the ills thereof. Consequently the next step rested with them, and there was no reason for pressing his Majesty, for he had pronounced himself to Cardinal Imola as clearly as could be desired, saying that in spite of the bitter hosility of the French he still continued to wish for peace and was ready to negotiate whenever a proper proposal should be made, forgetting his private grievances in his zeal for the general welfare, provided the tenor of the French proposal made it clear that they desired a real peace, and not a patched-up one, merely meant to be broken and to serve as a prelude to a still more violent attack. This reply given to Imola, I pointed out, clearly showed that it would be quite superfluous to approach his Majesty again, and as Pole had been told by Don Juan de Mendoza the King of France ought rather to be persuaded by his Holiness's intervention to adopt a more reasonable attitude.
At last, after endless conferences, Cardinal Pole made up his mind that, as his Holiness had left it to him to execute his commission as he should think best, he would go to France and see what was to be done there. At the last audience his Majesty gave him leave to depart and he means to set forth next week, unless in the meantime the Nuncio arrives with news of a nature to make him modify his decision.
March 1. Brussels, R.A.P. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: All haste is being made with the rebels' trials, and Wyatt has been confronted with Courtenay. In the presence of three witnesses, Wyatt maintained his deposition, asserting that Courtenay was a party to the plot, which had been brewed for his benefit, and that Courtenay was quite as much a traitor as he, if not more. This Courtenay denied.
Crofts, who at the outset would not own to the truth, has now written his deposition and plainly confessed that the French ambassador had an understanding with the heretics and rebels. I hope to obtain an abstract of this paper which I will send to your Majesty, and if it were printed and circulated at Antwerp it would bear witness to the probity of the French. Moreover, one William Thomas, formerly clerk to the Council, who was believed to have fled to France with Peter Carew, was taken prisoner and out of despair stuck a knife which he used for cutting bread into his stomach; but God willed that it should not reach his heart, and Thomas still lives and now deposes that he and two others had intended to kill the Queen. Pickering is at Dieppe with William Courtenay, a cousin of (Edward) Courtenay, who has written that if the Queen will pardon him he will reveal all the details of the plot and the French intrigues, and will serve in France as a spy under pretext of being a fugitive, rendering such service as to earn his pardon. The Queen, by her Council's advice, has granted it to him on this condition and not otherwise. William Pelham, who was said to have been killed in the fray, has been taken on the Scottish border, and is being brought back to London to suffer with the rest.
The Queen yesterday showed me letters from Wotton dated the 23rd ultimo from Melun, relating that the King of France, on the 22nd, gave him audience at Fontainebleau. Wotton told the King of the defeat of the rebels, demanded Peter Carew and uttered excuses for the interception of letters sent by the French ambassador in England; and indeed he had already sent the news, on hearing them from the Deputy of Calais, to the Constable, who was then four leagues from Paris on the road to Fontainebleau. The King replied that he was overjoyed to hear that the Queen's affairs were in a prosperous condition, for he had always detested rebels and conspirators because of the evil example they gave. When he had been informed of the troubles, he had looked for no other issue than that which had come to pass. As for the rumours current in England to the effect that he had promoted them by means of his ministers, they should not be found to be true, for they had been coined by the invention of his enemies, and he knew nothing more about the matter than that he had often heard it said the English would one day take up arms in order to throw off the Spanish tyranny, and he was not aware that there was any hostility towards the Queen, with whom he desired always to live on terms of amity and good neighbourliness. He did not know Carew, and all the English who came to his realm were welcome as friends and neutrals; but if Carew were a traitor he had not been aware of it, though now that he knew it he would catch him if he could and send him back to the Queen with every other refugee who sought refuge in France after committing such crimes. As for his ambassador's letters, he knew not if he were arrested or dead, for he had heard nothing from him for 20 days, though he considered the Queen and her Council had been well advised to keep the passages closed at a season of such hazard.
According to the letter, the regret caused by the news (from England) was too plainly marked on the faces of the King and his principal advisers to be hidden. Wotton next went to negotiate with the Constable, who was too melancholy to say much to him, but only asked the name of the Duke of Suffolk; who Peter Wyatt was; whether Cobham had been of the plot; and whether Courtenay had been arrested. When Wotton wrote to give the Constable the first batch of news, the Constable replied that letters of January 14th from Siena informed the King that Peter Strozzi had cut in pieces 500 of the Marquis of Marignano's men and retaken the gate and fortress of Camollia at Siena, where all the inhabitants were united in their determination to defend the city under Strozzi's command. But when Wotton made enquiries he heard that this report was untrue, and that unless Siena was relieved within the next few days its position would become dangerous, for the Duke of Florence was sending reinforcements to the Marquis of Marignano. A close friendship and understanding existed between the Pope and the Duke; an alliance was being arranged between one of the Duke's daughters and the Pope's bastard nephew, and your Majesty meant to allow the bastard to take the lordship of Siena and its district. The French were alarmed by these tidings, especially as they had heard that their ships and galleys sent to relieve Corsica had been scattered, and some of them lost, in a great storm within sight of Prince Doria's fleet, which they were just about to attack; though some said that the storm had arisen at a lucky moment, for the French ships would probably get the worst of it at Prince Dona's hands. So no good news had come from those parts, and events in England showed that the French would have to declare war if they meant to persist in their schemes; which Wotton was unable to believe. It seemed that the journey of the Vidame of Chartres to Scotland had been abandoned, and that M. de Gouborre would go in his stead. For the moment, French hopes were centred on intrigues in Germany and plans to stop his Highness on his way to England. In order to promote his designs in Germany, the King had sent off by the post four days before Rogendorff and Marillac, (fn. 2) formerly ambassador to your Majesty, in order to persuade Margrave Albrecht to take the King's side, to encourage any hostility towards your Majesty that might be found lurking among the princes, and to arrange for the ransom of the Duke of Aumale. All the ships in France were being armed in order to hinder his Highness's voyage, and between big and medium-sized ones there were already about 100 fitted out. The King had given a little vessel to two English refugees, called Killigrew, to go plundering; and the third brother was negotiating for Courtenay at Court, where he was a welcome guest.
An Englishman called Captain Crayer told Wotton that although the King of France treated him well, he would leave France and betake himself with his company to serve the Queen, if she would have him. Killigrew's special work, before the news of the victory came, was to persuade all the Englishmen in France to follow Carew in his undertaking; and not only did Killigrew play this part, but he was seconded by one who was secretary to the present Admiral when he was Deputy of Calais.
Wotton also writes that M. de Riom, who was taken prisoner at Hesdin, has arrived at Court with your Majesty's permission to arrange an exchange of prisoners, as some say, though others assert that he is to attempt to open negotiations for a peace or a truce. And this is the substance of Wotton's letters.
It is said here that the Venetians have made a loan to the King of France, and that afterwards the Seignory issued a statement denying it, which is their usual way of hiding their operations.
The heretics are proclaiming that the King has decided to change the religion in France, and adopt that followed by the English protestants. Their object is to abuse the people and induce them to favour the French.
Letters have been received here to the effect that your Majesty has discussed at length the means of making peace with Cardinal Pole, who is said soon to be going to the French Court to carry out his commission. If it is true that things are going as badly for the French as people say, it may be hoped that the King will be more favourably inclined to make peace than he would have been had the English plot been successful. Speaking of peace, Bernardi told Paget three days ago that the French desired nothing else, and that they had not enough money to fight in so many places at once.
It is said here that the men of Gelders have rebelled against your Majesty in favour of the Duke of Cleves.
The Italians write that Don Fernando Gonzaga is going to your Majesty's Court, that the Cardinal of Trent is governing Milan in his absence, and that the Spanish garrison at Asti had sacked the town because ten months' pay was owing to them.
The Londoners are trying to have the summons for a Parliament at Oxford withdrawn, so that it may meet here. And indeed many people consider that it will be difficult to hold it elsewhere than in London, for Oxford would be unable to house and feed so many people, especially as the Queen will be attended by a body of troops to guard her.
M. d'Egmont's horses arrived here to-day. It was known on the other side that he was crossing six days ago, and the French sent out four armed vessels to look for him. As it is so long since he took ship at Dunkirk and he has not yet arrived here, I fear some accident may have befallen him, or that the French have caught him. And if he goes to Spain the French will be on the watch for him, as they know of his mission.
The French have issued safe-conducts to several Spaniards, who have left your Majesty's service and have passed through Boulogne.
Jacques Granado is suing for a safe-conduct to go to Flanders, and it is supposed that he was of the plot and wishes to get out of the way, in the direction of France rather than elsewhere. This is no vain suspicion, for he is a great partisan of the Lady Elizabeth, a thorough heretic and has always spoken ill of your Majesty and your subjects, especially the Spaniards. If he went to the Low Countries there would be danger of his working for the French; and he has a brother who is even worse than he, as M. de Courrières will tell your Majesty.
London, 1 March, 1554.
Signed. Cipher. French.
March 4. Madrid, Col. Granvela The Bishop Of Arras to Francisco De Vargas. (fn. 3)
Your letters of the 17th ultimo arrived here the day before yesterday. I have for days been meaning to send an account of events in England to you and the other ministers, and you will have heard from Secretary Vargas what passed between me and the secretary of the Venetian ambassador here with regard to the Venetian ambassador in England.
The reason why you heard nothing in Venice about the troubles, in England was that the English dexterously stopped all private letters taken by the usual courier, and then let them go on again just at the right moment to allow them to arrive at the same time as the good news. Everything is going well now—thank God! Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth, in whose favour the plot was started, are in prison, and M. d'Egmont has arrived with the powers and instructions to conclude the marriage per verba de prœsenti. The preparations for his Highness s journey are far advanced in Castile. The French are rather gentler and more desirous of peace, and Cardinal Pole has set out to visit them, as you will have heard; so we shall soon see what happens there, in Germany and other quarters . . . .
(The writer protests that Don Fernando Gonzaga is quite wrong in believing that he has no confidence in him.)
Copy. Spanish.
March 5. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
Since the departure of M. d'Egmont I have received your letters of the 23rd and 26th of last month, and as I gather that lord has now arrived and you will have read the instructions which he is taking together with the powers, presents and money, I trust you will be satisfied. I assume that when you wrote your last letters urging that haste should be made you did not know how near he was, for the courier met him quite close to London.
For the most part, the letters you have written since then need no reply beyond an assurance that his Majesty is pleased with your diligence and exhorts you to continue, as I am sure you would have done of your own accord. His Majesty therefore has put off writing, and, to tell you the truth, an attempt was being made at Antwerp to raise a loan of 100,000 crowns for the Queen of England, which the Queen of Hungary also guaranteed; but as the merchants, influenced by Bonvisino, are not yet entirely satisfied about the terms, the sum has not yet been obtained, and this is the reason why a reply has been delayed, though you will say nothing until you are informed as to what has been arranged. In the meantime I wished to please you by sending off this courier to inform you of your letters' arrival and beg you to go on sending news, particularly of what is to be done about Courtenay and Elizabeth, whether Courtenay is back at court or not, what turn the Queen's affairs are taking, what news you hear from France, either through the people whom I suppose you have sent to see with their own eyes what is being done there, or others by means of whom you are able to learn anything, and what intrigues are being carried on and by whom, in order that we may be the better able to weigh the importance of what is told us in other quarters, and may take measures for countermining them.
You will also take pains to keep the Prince posted on the course of affairs in that quarter (France), for as he is soon to undertake the journey it is most important for him to be thoroughly well-informed.
You may assure the English that our fourteen men-of-war are ready to go to sea, manned and provisioned with all things necessary, at four days' notice whenever they may be called for. But in order that we may build upon their projects, you must be sure to enlighten us on the following points: Are the English really fitting out ships, and if so how many, of what size and for what purpose? Do they intend to keep their ships together, or divide them among the seaports, thus splitting up the fleet to cruise about and watch the coast? In that case, how many ships do they intend to tell off for that purpose, and when will they be ready? Do they profess to wish to join ours, and on what terms and under what condition will they do so? I pray you, when you answer these and other questions, to send your letters addressed to his Majesty.
Cardinal Pole had already gone when your last letter but one arrived, and I immediately sent a special messenger after him with those the Queen wrote to him. He sent back the courier with the reply (fn. 4) you will see enclosed in this; and I have since heard that the man whom he was to despatch to England has already betaken himself thither in secret.
I have had secretly communicated to me a letter written to him (Pole) by Cardinal Farnese, in which the writer, after giving a report of the troubles in England, including many events that are pure invention and never happened, urges him to go to England to assist the cause of religion and defend the liberties of his mother-country, offering him French help and sympathy (correspondance). I do not know what he will do where he is now going (France), but he told me before leaving that he hoped more easily to persuade the French to make peace now that affairs in England were calmer. All he did here was to try to persuade his Imperial Majesty to desire peace. It has been decided that, if the French propose terms reasonable enough to show that they really wish to conclude a true peace, and not a sham one with a sinister object in view, his Majesty will sacrifice the just resentment he feels against the King of France for private reasons to the common good.
I have noted what you say in your last letters about the remarks that passed between you and the Venetian ambassador, and read it out to his Majesty, who was already informed of what had happened, for I spoke to the secretary with his knowledge and approval, but not as roughly as the ambassador said to you. First, I thanked him for the congratulations he had uttered on behalf of the Seignory, adding that his Majesty and all of us felt certain that the Seignory and he would be very glad indeed to witness events favourable to the Queen, though I could not conceal that we had been sorry to see their ambassador in England, in spite of warnings, continue his evil offices and, against the orders received from his superiors and out of private passion, strive to oppose so righteous an undertaking as this marriage. And I trusted that he was acting thus in spite of the Seignory. These are the exact words that were uttered; and as for the ambassador over there I have nothing to say beyond the instructions his Majesty, on the strength of your letters, has given M. d'Egmont.
I am sending you the chrisms (unctions) that you asked for on behalf of the Queen, and pray you to hand them over to her with my most humble commendations.
We are daily receiving good and hopeful tidings from Genoa and Corsica; but although one French galley was lost, and three were so roughly handled by a storm that they had to be left in port, the others to the number of twenty-eight set out braving the weather to try to relieve the island of Corsica. However, I hope they will have arrived too late and that, though the bad weather has prevented news from reaching Genoa, the fort of San Florenzo will already have fallen, for the last news received showed that the event was to be expected.
We have people negociating everywhere in Germany, but nothing important enough to be given as news has yet been heard.
Don Fernando Gonzaga has written to the Emperor that he is coming, as his Majesty has given him permission, but he is delaying a little in order to prevent the French from advancing beyond two or three strong places they have near Velle-Fournière.
I will not trouble M. d'Egmont with my letters for the present, for I am sure he will find plenty to do over there, and I trust you will inform him of the contents of these. I pray you to present to him my humble and very affectionate commendations.
Brussels, 5 March, 1554.
Signed. French. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
March 7. Brussels, R.A.Prov. 13. The Emperor to Mary I.
Before the arrival of Lord Fitzwalter, I had already sent M. d'Egmont with the instructions you will by now know of. I make sure he will already have told you of my great joy on learning of the success God granted you by delivering into your hands the chiefs of the rebellion that had been stirred up against you. I continually thank Him for it, and trust that, as you write, what has happened may have the effect of strengthening your throne. You may be sure that my pleasure was redoubled by the detailed account given to me by Lord Fitzwalter, whom I have detained here a little in order that he might make the acquaintance of those who frequent my court, and thus forward the closer relations between our subjects which I desire to see established. He is now returning home, after behaving with great courtesy and virtue and ably executing the charge you gave him. He will tell you all the news I have had to send since the departure of M. d'Egmont, from whom I am very desirous of hearing how matters are shaping in England, for I am as zealous for your welfare as for my own. I am still too weak from the effects of my last attack of gout to be able to write this letter, which I have entrusted to the care of the Queen, my sister.
Brussels, 7 March, 1554.
Minute. French.
March 7. Vienna, E. 23. The Emperor to Count d'Egmont and Simon Renard.
We have kept back Lord Fitzwalter in order to let him make friends at our Court, and he is going off at present. We did what we considered necessary to win his and his company's goodwill and persuade them of the high esteem in which we hold all good servants of the Queen of England; and as far as we are able to judge they are going home satisfied. Fitzwalter's mission was only to visit us and give us an account of the rebellion and the remedy God sent against it; and you will see from the enclosed copy the letter we have written in reply to the one sent to me by the Queen.
As the last courier sent off by you, Lieutenant of Amont, met you, Count d'Egmont, so near London, you will have been able, before receiving this letter, to confer together on the instructions taken over by M. d'Egmont, and to negotiate on that basis with the Queen and her Council as far as the present state of affairs in England will permit. As you may readily understand, we greatly desire to hear from you. We suppose you have already written, but if not you are to do so as soon as possible, and you are also to keep in touch with the Prince, our son, so as to inform him from time to time of the progress of affairs. And especially after you, M. d'Egmont, have departed for Spain, you, Lieutenant of Amont, are to devise means, by sending small vessels or otherwise, to inform him of everything that happens; for he will have to rely on your reports in coming to a decision as to when he shall start on his voyage. Brussels, 7 March, 1554.
Minute. French.
March 8. Brussels, R.A.Prov. 13. Count d'Egmont and Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: M. d'Egmont arrived here in London on the second of this month, and the Queen of England sent to meet him Mr. Mason, who has been appointed ambassador during the absence of the Bishop of Norwich, Lord Mountgarret, and Lords Parret (fn. 5) and Howard, (fn. 6) who came up with him near the town and accompanied him to my house, where he has consented to dwell for the few days of his stay here. On the same day we carefully examined his instructions, and decided that I, Lieutenant of Amont, should go to the Queen and her Council to inform them of his arrival and the reason of his coming, so that he might, with their assent, proceed to execute his commission.
Five or six days ago I, Lieutenant of Amont, had already conferred with the Chancellor, Petre, Paget and the Controller on affairs of state, and had also spoken with the Queen, in order to find out whether they thought it meet to go on with the marriage negotiations, whether, if his Highness came over, his person would be safe, and what they desired should be done by your Majesty. Thus, in the Queen's presence and by her orders, I spoke plainly, saying that if present conditions were unfavourable and the Queen would be incurring any risk, they must remember that your Majesty's object had never been to cause her trouble; and in this case, if any misfortune were to befall the royal couple, it would bring endless trouble and disaster to both realms and to the entire Christian commonwealth. Now was the time to weigh this matter, and definitely decide either to delay, to drop it, or to proceed. Your Majesty's invariable custom was to act sincerely and frankly in all negotiations, and you especially desired to observe this rule with the Queen of England and her country for the sake of the relationship and amity existing between you and your country and her and hers. Therefore I prayed them to answer me without fear, and told them that M. d'Egmont had with him the ratifications of the treaty, a power from his Highness to ratify on his behalf, the necessary briefs of dispensation because of the degree of consanguinity between the parties, and a power to contract the alliance by betrothal and verba de prœsenti, which done he was to go to Spain and bring his Highness to England for the consummation of the marriage and to settle all the questions that were bound up with it.
On hearing this, the Queen and her Councillors said that they had already answered me on this matter. They saw no danger to justify any delay in celebrating so salutary and honourable a marriage. Thanks be to God, the heretics and rebels were in prison, the plot exposed, and exemplary punishment should soon be meted out. As for the future, the Queen would take care to keep the upper hand and preserve proper authority over her subjects. They had no doubt that his Highness would be able to cross safely to England provided he would take precautions against the French fleet that was being prepared to waylay him. M. d'Egmont was welcome, and they had sent the Earl of Pembroke and the Admiral to salute him on behalf of the Queen. As soon as he desired to have audience they would be glad to listen to him, and discuss the rest. I told them the sooner the better, and if they were free the next day we would come to Court at whatever hour was convenient. They chose three o'clock in the afternoon; and M. d'Egmont presented your Majesty's letters to the Queen in her Council's presence, gave her your affectionate greetings, congratulated her on her victory, and assured her of your Majesty's goodwill and constant desire to use your strength for her and her kingdom's benefit. He then showed her the ratifications and one of the powers to ratify on behalf of his Highness, begging her to cause the promised ratification to be given on her behalf by her procurators and councillors.
The Queen replied that she humbly thanked your Majesty for your great and more than paternal affection, and the honour you showed her. She prayed God to give her grace to deserve it; and as for the matter in hand, the alliance was so exalted and greatly to be desired for the good of her realm that she wished to perform the requisite ceremonies, and had instructed her Council to confer with us in order to bring the matter to the desired conclusion. Next, we withdrew into the Council-chamber, where I, Lieutenant of Amont, repeated what I had said to the Queen, and dwelt on the advisability of their reflecting that when his Highness came to England he would be committing himself into their hands, wherefore I requested them to explain to us their views on this point, which was most important as it concerned the great hopes that were founded on the match. This declaration was made to the whole Council, in order that if any of its members' intentions were other than good we might find out each man's point of view, and also because of our determination to be guided by the indications expressed in the instructions, one of the chief points in which was that neither private persons given as hostages nor the word of the English might be considered as sufficient guarantee unless effective protection were provided, as most of the English were faithless and lawless folk, uncertain in religion, shifty and inconstant, of a jealous nature, haters of strangers and of old detesters of all authority, even that of English princes.
The Chancellor explained all this to the Council, and answered that the Queen would speedily give her ratification, using courteous language and declaring that the Council were determined to prosecute the alliance to its consummation. As for the last point, they would talk it over together and give us a reply as soon as possible. On Sunday morning we had a private audience of the Queen, and communicated to her the advice contained in M. d'Egmont's instructions about the rebels now prisoners, especially Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth, and also the warning against the French and Venetian ambassadors, suggesting that she should inquire into the reason why her revenues had not been paid in, and make sure that they were not being maliciously held back. Your Majesty, we said, had confidence in her Council's wisdom and experience, but thought it well to hint to her to remember that she must not let slip the opportunity to inflict the merited chastisement that would purge the realm of malice and ingratitude—an opportunity that God had placed in her hands by delivering her out of the clutches of traitors, as she herself would realise now that she had had a nearer view of the difficulties that beset her. She was aware that unfaithfulness in religion was bound up with the heretics' one hope of setting Courtenay and Elizabeth on the throne. M. d'Egmont's instructions insisted on two points: one the safety of the Queen's person and affairs; and the other the marriage, in connexion with which the safety of his Highness's person was a matter of the gravest import, as she would readily grasp. It was meet, therefore, that she should take measures accordingly, for his Highness would be unable to seek protection from forces brought by him from Spain, and would have to look to her for it. So might she be pleased to remember that your Majesty's object was not to make trouble for her, but to assist her, so let her quite definitely make up her mind on this point before the marriage negotiations went any farther, for the success of the alliance depended upon it. And with this we handed over to her the power to bind per verba de prœsenti, together with the papal briefs.
The Queen, after the usual thanks, replied that she and her Council were very diligently seeking to get at the truth about Courtenay's and Elizabeth's intrigues. Courtenay was certainly accused by several other prisoners of having had a share in the plot; he had a cipher, carved on a guitar, to be used with Peter Carew; the whole enterprise had been started in his favour; he had intrigued with the King of France, and had been ready to depart for that country had Wyatt not dissuaded him; Carew had arranged a marriage between him and Elizabeth; he had heavy charges to answer and was guilty. However, the law as laid down by the English Parliament did not inflict the capital penalty on those who had consented to treason if they had committed no overt act, but only condemned them to imprisonment for life and confiscation of all their property, so the Council was endeavouring to find out some act committed by him in order to get him sentenced, and she would forward their labours, as Courtenay had had no regard for her life or crown.
As for Elizabeth, she was to be cross-questioned that day by the Chancellor, Arundel, Petre and Paget, and her fate should depend on her answers. The son (fn. 7) of the Lord Privy Seal, who was under arrest in his father's house, had owned to having received letters from Wyatt addressed to Elizabeth during the rebellion, and having delivered them; and the Queen said that Elizabeth's character was just what she had always believed it to be. As for the other prisoners, they should be sentenced and executed before she left London; and she would not cease to demand of the law to strike terror into all those who ventured to do evil. She expected soon to depart for Windsor, where she meant to keep Easter, and thence she would go to Oxford to hold a Parliament; but before going she would take measures to have London Tower well guarded. As for London, she had told the mayor and aldermen that she intended to protect the people from further trouble by leaving Lord Clinton as lieutenant-governor of the city and its neighbourhood within a radius of twenty miles, with troops and ample powers. They had accepted and consented to raise money to pay part of the troops. She had summoned her treasurers to pay the moneys due. She would not disband the forces necessary for her body-guard, but would do her utmost to set her affairs on a firm foundation, and follow your Majesty's advice.
As for the marriage, though she had already given her promise to the Lieutenant of Amont before the Holy Sacrement, she would do all that was necessary to make her word binding. She would do her utmost to ensure his Highness's safety, for she would rather never have been born than that any harm should befall him. With the help of God and her Council, she hoped to prepare a good welcome for him, as we should hear from her Council. And she spoke words so gracious and convincing that one would be wrong to demand any other proof of her affection for your Majesty and his Highness. We talked with her about the favours she might bestow on certain of her most faithful subjects who had influence to win over others, and said that your Majesty had instructed us to show some liberality where it might seem advisable, subject to her approval, in order to make friends for his Highness, and also to consider to whom some pension might be given, besides the offices in his Highness's service which, according to the terms of the marriage treaty, were to be filled by English men.
The Queen replied that your Majesty was doing her, her realm and her subjects more honour than they deserved, but your advice was good; and she would discuss the matter with the Council and find out who had better be chosen.
On Monday we went to the Chancellor, Arundel, the Controller, Pembroke, the Lord Privy Seal, Paget and the Admiral, delivered your Majesty's letters and spoke to them according to our instructions. M. d'Egmont especially talked with the Admiral, who is well worth winning over, begged him to accept a pension from his Highness and consent to enter his service, assuring him of his Highness's gratitude. The Admiral, having obtained the Queen's consent, accepted.
Paget conferred with the Queen on the above point, and sent us the enclosed note, (fn. 8) in which are given the names of the men who might have pensions, or receive chains (of gold). We did not definitely take Paget's advice, but thought it well to conciliate the others by talking over the matter with the Chancellor and the Controller, who have also given us a list of names in writing, with the sums appended, in accordance with which I, Lieutenant of Amont, have had 4,000 crowns melted down for chains, and the other 1,000 shall be distributed in money in the most effective manner possible. The Councillors replied to us so favourably that if their deeds turn out like their words we have no doubt that his Highness will be perfectly safe here.
On Sunday, the Chancellor, Arundel, the Admiral, Paget, Petre and the Controller visited us in our lodging and said they had thought over our remarks uttered the day before about the security of his Highness's person. They had all exchanged their views and desires, and considered that no difficulty at all attended his Highness's coming, for they intended to take measures which would make him as safe as if he were in his own country, as he ought to be for the good name of both parties. They were fitting out twenty ships that would be ready by the end of April; five were now ready and within four or five days there would be seven or eight. Those that were ready should convoy the Privy Seal, Mason and the other ambassadors to Spain, who were to go with M. d'Egmont to obtain a ratification of that which we had negotiated for his Highness, receive his promise per verba de prœsenti and conduct him to England. The Admiral, with the other ships, should go to Plymouth to meet his Highness, and the Queen would raise troops to accompany her to Southampton, if God were pleased to permit his Highness to land there. The affairs of the kingdom were going well, as God had miraculously revealed the designs of the wretched rebels. We spoke to some of the Council about the Parliament summoned to meet next month, and asked whether it would be suitable for his Highness to come before it ended, as the articles were to be passed in that session. They told us that there was no need for his Highness to delay his coming on account of Parliament, for it was not meeting to discuss the match, but to repeal the laws that might come into conflict with the articles of a treaty that was to the kingdom's advantage. Besides, trustworthy and Catholic men were going to be called to help Parliament not to make trouble; so there was no danger, especially as the chief among those who might have caused any were either in prison or had lost their heads. There was no reason for waiting for Parliament to rise.
On the following Tuesday at three o'clock in the afternoon, the Earl of Pembroke and the Admiral came to escort us to the Queen and her Council. In a room where the Holy Sacrament stood, the ratifications of the Queen and his Highness were delivered and the requisite oath pronounced; but first the Queen knelt down and called God to witness that she had not consented to marry out of any carnal affection or desire, nor for any motive whatsoever except her kingdom's honour and prosperity, and the repose and tranquillity of her subjects, and that her firm resolve was to keep the marriage and oath she had made to the Crown. This she said with such a grace that all those present had tears in their eyes. Then, before the Bishop of Winchester, the promises and form per verba de prœsenti were intelligibly pronounced by M. d'Egmont and the Queen; and though I, Lieutenant of Amont, was also named as a procurator, I considered that this act was of too solemn a nature for a man of my degree, and felt unwilling to participate in it. Thus the betrothal was contracted in due form, and we are sending the instrument and ratifications to your Majesty in order to avoid any risk that might attend M. d'Egmont's journey to Spain.
The Queen then knelt down once more, and called upon those present to pray with her that God might give her grace to accomplish the treaty to which she had sworn, and favour her marriage. Also, M. d'Egmont gave her the ring sent by your Majesty, which she showed to all the company; and indeed, Sire, it is a jewel worthy to be seen. He then took his leave, and asked the Queen whether she had any message to send to his Highness. She ordered him to commend her most lovingly to his good grace, and tell him that she would behave dutifully to him all her life long, that as his Highness had not yet written to her, she would delay writing to him until he had begun, and that the ambassadors she was sending would tell him the rest. As far as we could see, the ceremony seemed to meet the approval of those who assisted at it. And thus, Sire, the alliance is secured, all that remains is its consummation, and M. d'Egmont's mission has been accomplished.
We said nothing about the fourth article of the instructions, because we had already declared that Courtenay ought soon to be sentenced. If he did cross the sea, he would certainly go to France, where he might do mischief; and several people think it would be better to leave him in the Tower. Nonetheless, as his trial progresses I, Lieutenant of Amont, will not fail to act as your Majesty desires.
The Queen has written to have the French ambassador recalled, and would have sent a letter couched in similar terms to the Doge and Seignory of Venice, as your Majesty advised and as Chevalier Bernardi's communication warranted, were it not that the Venetian ambassador is departing of his own accord after Easter. The Chevalier declares that the ambassador had written accounts of the plot and lists of the conspirators' names over two months before the trouble began. This same Chevalier, on seeing that things were going better for the Queen than he had desired, got the Duchess of Northumberland to demand an audience for him of the Queen, to whom he said that when he passed through Trent the Cardinal of Trent charged him to commend him humbly to her Majesty and tell her that the match projected between her and his Highness was greatly to be desired because of his Highness's virtues and excellent qualities. He also warned her that the customs dues were not being properly collected, for over 10,000 crowns a year were being stolen, and offered to continue to serve her, begging her not to forget his pension. The Queen, however, is not disposed to continue to grant it to him, but intends to dismiss him with a chain of 500 or 1000 crowns.
The seventh article of the instructions speaks of your Majesty's desire to have trustworthy news of French naval activities. I, Lieutenant of Amont, have heard, as your Majesty will have seen from former letters, that the French fleet is of over 100 sail, small and large. This is true, and we have further confirmation of their intention to stop his Highness, for they are raising infantry in Normandy and Brittany and have already sent out twenty well-found ships from the ports of Dieppe and Brest. I am expecting at any moment the return of some spies whom I sent thither, and since their departure I have despatched two more in order to have all the information possible. However, your Majesty will be pleased to consider that the passage must be protected by a larger force, and this would seem to be easy if your Majesty would allow your subjects to arm ships, as the French have done, especially as the Queen has fitted out twenty vessels to go to meet his Highness; and this, if the French persist in their designs, will provide an opportunity for drawing England into the war with France. The Queen and her Council are still of opinion that, wind permitting, his Highness had better land at Southampton, in the Bishop of Winchester's country, where the people are Catholics; though if the weather forced him to put into Plymouth or Bristol, the Queen would take all the requisite measures.
We did not avail ourselves of the suggestions contained in the eighth and ninth articles of the instructions, for the reasons already given.
As for the above-mentioned pensions, it is true that the sums specified in the note are large; but it is of the greatest importance that his Highness be protected on his arrival here, and the names are those of leading men of whom much is to be hoped because of their authority, who did their duty during the recent troubles, who are influential members of the Council and might do great harm because of their position and the numbers of their retainers. Your Majesty will decide what is to be done. If pensions are to be offered to them, they may easily be suppressed later on, and the money may be raised by extraordinary taxation over here (pardeça). Besides, three or four of them are old deputies who have not long to live, and affairs in England are always changing. If your Majesty determines to grant them, it will be well to make a half-year's advance when the letters are delivered. The men mentioned in the note as worthy to receive the reward of a chain are all persons who would do good service in case of war and who have faithfully stood by the Queen, who approves of some liberality being shown to them. And your Majesty understands that his Highness, on arriving here, will have to present a few rings and other trifles to the Queen's ladies, and more substantial tokens to the three chief ones, named Clarentius, (fn. 9) Sturley and Russell, who have always stood firm for the match and are the Queen's most intimate confidents.
We have now, Sire, done our utmost to get to the bottom of affairs here, and we have scented no intrigues important enough to stop his Highness's coming, provided the Council remain loyal. We only hear that the heretics in London might create a disturbance in the Queen's absence, for they shot two arrows at two priests who had been confessing women in Dompton church. However, it is hoped that Clinton will keep them in order, and it is not yet absolutely certain that the Queen will leave London, because travelling is difficult in this the deadest time of year, and Oxford will hardly be able to take in all the people who will come to attend Parliament and the term (terme)—a phrase that means a session of the law-courts. And the most weighty reason of all for staying here is to rob the heretics of a further opportunity. From time to time I, Lieutenant of Amont, will make diligent inquiries into the state of opinion and report to your Majesty if there are any new intrigues. It will always be difficult, and indeed impossible, to trust the English, for they are naturally treacherous and history shows that they have always been the same; but if the Spaniards will be patient and moderate to begin with, we hope all will go well.
M. d'Egmont is leaving for Spain to-morrow, and the ambassadors are to follow him in four or five days and take ship together. The Queen has given him a diamond, a chain adorned with diamonds and turquoises and a medal enriched with stones. She also sent to me, Lieutenant of Amont, a set of plate, which I will not accept without your Majesty's permission. I have been informed by credible persons that one Duboys, (fn. 10) who was Scheyfve's secretary, says that I have taken several presents since I have been here. Now, I humbly beg your Majesty to have my head cut off if it is true that I or any of mine have accepted a farthing or any other gift, except some game and victuals, from any living man since I have been in England. And if it is found to be false, I beg your Majesty to give me satisfaction against Duboys, whose revelations touch your Majesty's minister and the mission you have been pleased to entrust to him. As my request is just and reasonable, I hope your Majesty will not refuse me. I understand that Duboys is still moved by the jealousy felt in certain quarters when your Majesty commanded me to stay here as ambassador; but you know whether I solicited a post, in occupying which I have been exposed to enough dangers to be immune from such attacks. In brief, Sire, all the reward I ever hope to have for my poor little services is that you will grant me the satisfaction which I humbly beg of you for God's sake.
Cardinal Pole has answered the Queen's letters and sent her a copy of his commission to create as many bishops as may be necessary to fill the vacant sees, which are twelve in number. He also charged his envoy to declare how highly he thought of the match and that God had decreed it for His service and the welfare of Christendom. Before he knew that it was decided, however, he showed no such opinions, and even now he did not pen them, but ordered his man to utter them by word of mouth.
A condemned prisoner called Bachan has sent word to the Queen that if she will pardon him he will reveal information of great moment. I hear he means to accuse my Lord Warden of treason; but as he has not yet been questioned I am not sure of it.
M. d'Egmont is to take a copy of this letter and of the ratifications to his Highness, to inform him of what has happened.
The value of all the gold and silver coins of your Majesty's mint is going to be determined officially, and I will send you a copy of the list as soon as it has been drawn up.
London, 8 March, 1554.
P.S. in Renard's hand: The Earl of Worcester, Lord Mountgarret, George Howard and a West-country lord have begged M. d'Egmont to ask leave for them to accompany him to Spain, and it has been deemed expedient to consent in order to win them over and bring them into touch with his Highness.
We hear that the French are gathering together masses of troops in Picardy in order to besiege Renty, and that they are greatly displeased because Italian affairs are not going to their satisfaction.
Partly cipher. French. Signed by both ambassadors.
Less than half of this letter is printed by Tytler The Reigns of Edward VI and Mary, Vol. II.
March 9. Brussels, R.A.Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: A spy coming from Normandy has arrived here to-day, and tells me that M. de Clères, captain of the King of France's fleet in Normandy and Brittany, is making haste to arm thirty big ships and set troops on board of them. Twenty are now ready, and it is being said that they are to go to Scotland, but the spy was certain that an attack on England was being planned, though he did not know what part, for Peter Carew and the refugees were persuading the King that the English would offer no resistance, as they would rather have the French than the Spaniards. If this plan were not carried out, the fleet would serve to stop his Highness. He also told me that the King had ordered M. de Clères to try to capture M. d'Egmont, and was displeased with his ambassador resident in England for not having let him know when your Majesty's lords ambassadors returned, so that he might have them met.
He further said that Captain Forsette had instructions to get all the galleys in the western ports ready by April 20th, that the King had an Englishman at Dover who took his ambassador's mail-bags to Boulogne and had smuggled six or seven English refugees over to France, and that the King's object in massing troops in Picardy was to prevent your Majesty from sending help to the Queen of England. In short, he spoke with so much confidence that as I have heard the same from other quarters I thought your Majesty ought to take some measures, and several people here think that if you were to display an intention of sending out a fleet against the French it would be an excellent move. I have sent after M. d'Egmont to warn him to be careful, for it would be better to despatch a courier to Spain rather than to run the risk of being caught if the passage does not seem to be safe.
My Lord Thomas (Grey), younger brother of the Duke of Suffolk, has this day been condemned to death; and Wyatt and others are to be sentenced to-morrow.
I am told that the French ambassador is about to depart—an evident sign that the King means to break with England.
Your Majesty will do well to send over here as maîre-d'hôtel someone of distinguished bearing, understanding and experience, to make the necessary preparations for his Highness's coming, become accustomed to English ways and, especially, get into touch with the officers here. Otherwise there is sure to be confusion.
Mason, who was to have gone to Spain, is ill of a fever and will be unable to attempt the journey with Privy Seal. In my opinion the reason is that he failed to obtain pardon for two rebels called Isley, (fn. 11) brothers of his wife, who have now been executed. I also hear that Privy Seal is greatly perturbed because his only son has been found to have been implicated with the Lady Elizabeth.
Three hundred children gathered together in a field, divided up into two bands and fought out the quarrel of the Queen against Wyatt. Several on both sides were wounded and most of them have been arrested and shut up in the Guildhall.
The Bishops of Canterbury, (fn. 12) Salisbury (fn. 13) and Worcester (fn. 14) have this day been conducted to Oxford, where they are to explain their reasons for stubbornness in religion, and to be burnt if they will not recant.
A London alderman at a city meeting has spoken with such eloquence and pursuasiveness of duty towards God, religion, the Queen and justice, that many erring ones have abandoned heresy and their mistaken ways.
London, 9 March, 1554.
Signed. French. Cipher except for the three last paragraphs, which are in Renard's hand.
March 9. Simancas, E. 103. Juan Vasquez de Molina to Francisco de Eraso.
On February 17th a courier was sent off by sea to carry to the ambassador in England the same powers that went to his Majesty, in case they had not arrived. By him we sent to his Majesty a letter about financial matters, which you will have seen, so there is nothing more to be said except that we are in the greatest anxiety because the treasury here is so depleted. Since then we have received the letter you wrote to his Highness and sent by Jacobo de Astigar, informing us of Schetz's complaints about his consignment and that his Majesty meant to send a special courier about it, who arrived here four days ago with letters dated February 16th. It was a good idea to send them by an Englishman, as less suspicious, and as his Highness intends to send him back in two or three days I am only sending a few lines by this Portuguese to tell you what I said above and that his Highness and the Infante are well. Great haste is being made with the fleet and provisions, and in fetching the money that has been minted at Seville, though some of it will have to go in bullion for lack of time. There shall be no delay on this side.
We were very anxious about England. Thank God, everything has turned out so well that His hand is clearly to be seen in it, and there is reason to hope that the kingdom will be all the quieter for it. The ambassador in England sent a messenger on the 19th of February who brought us the news; and as his Majesty had ordered Count d'Egmont to return with the powers, we suppose that his Highness's betrothal will by now have taken place. We are afraid that the courier sent off with his Majesty's ratification of the articles may have met with some mishap, as he left so long ago and has not yet arrived here; God forward him! We are very glad to hear that his Majesty is so much better, and trust that Our Lord will grant him perfect health. It seems to me that things are going well in Milan . . . (Peruvian affairs.)
Copy. Spanish.


  • 1. This paper is undated, but was written before Pole started for Paris, where he seems to have arrived about the middle of March.
  • 2. Charles de Marillac.
  • 3. Imperial Ambassador in Venice.
  • 4. No enclosure has been found with this letter.
  • 5. This would seem to be Sir John Parrat.
  • 6. This is doubtless Sir George Howard; see the postscript to this letter.
  • 7. Francis, Lord Russell, afterwards second Earl of Bedford.
  • 8. See the list printed under the date of 15 March.
  • 9. Dame Clarentius (Clarence, Clarencyeus), Mistress of the Robes to Mary.
  • 10. Jehan Duboys, see Vols. IX and X of this Calendar.
  • 11. Sir Henry Isley was one of the Kentish rebels.
  • 12. Thomas Cranmer. Strype, in his Memorials of Cranmer, prints an instrument of Cambridge University, dated 10 April, 1554, appointing seven theologians to go to Oxford to dispute with Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer.
  • 13. John Capon, who was licensed by the Queen, on account of his age, to remain absent from her coronation and first Parliament. [Acts of the Privy Council.]
  • 14. John Hooper, Bishop of Worcester and Gloucester, was deprived early in the reign and, on 1 September, 1553, committed to the Fleet. He was succeeded by Nicholas Heath. Hugh Latimer, however, also a former Bishop of Worcester, seems to be meant here.