Spain: March 1554, 11-20

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, 11-20', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) pp. 147-164. British History Online [accessed 21 May 2024].

. "Spain: March 1554, 11-20", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) 147-164. British History Online, accessed May 21, 2024,

. "Spain: March 1554, 11-20", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949). 147-164. British History Online. Web. 21 May 2024,

March 1554, 11–20

March 12. Simancas, E. 504. Birbiesca De Muñatones to Prince Philip.
His Majesty has ordered me to go to England, as your Highness has chosen me to take measures to secure peace and agreement between members of the different nations, and to see to other matters concerning your service. May it please God to give me grace to acquit myself to your Highness's satisfaction in this mission as in every other task you may command me to assume. We are hourly waiting to hear from Count d'Egmont that he has performed the ceremony of betrothal by virtue of the power conferred upon him, and I believe his Majesty means to send me off as soon as the news come. I will write from England to inform your Highness of my activities and everything else that seems to deserve mention. I have learnt that his Majesty, as a favour to your Highness, has appointed me to be a member of his Privy Council (consejo de la cámara) in place of the Regent, Figueroa (fn. 1); and I pray God to enlighten me so that I may be enabled to render service to his Majesty and your Highness in whatever you may command me to undertake, so may you be pleased to dispose of me in the manner that shall recommend itself to your Highness.
Brussels, 12 March, 1554.
Spanish. Holograph.
March 13. Simancas, E. 508. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
. . . . Bernardino de Tavora came hither, as you know, on behalf of the King and Queen of Portugal, told us of the death of the Prince of Portugal, the deliverance of my sister, and then went on to the subject of England, saying blandly that his master and mistress had been greatly satisfied with the reasons which Luis Sarmiento (fn. 2) had mentioned as having moved us to negotiate the alliance, and that there was nothing more to be said, as their only desire was that Our Lord might further it for His service and the universal welfare of Christendom. (fn. 3) If God chose you as His instrument in this matter, their joy was greater than it would have been over the selection of any other prince, because of the love they bore you; and in similar terms he referred to Don Luis, as Melo wrote he would. I answered that I felt sure of the truth of all he said, adding a few words about my affectionate regard for the Infante (Don Luis), and how glad I would have been to further his desires in this as in all other matters, had not the problem presented itself in the manner I had already described to him. He also spoke about the Infanta Doña Maria, expressing the dissatisfaction she had experienced, with some reason as the marriage negotiations had gone so far; and we made the requisite answer, without attempting to justify our action or going thoroughly into the failure to make up the dowry; for once things like these have happened the less said the better. Bernardino de Tavora is now going back to Portugal by land, and the Queen is sending Don Juan de Mendoza, who was formerly ambassador in Venice, to her daughter with instructions to explain what has occurred in such a manner as to render her inaccessible to certain arguments uttered by people over there, persuade her that the English matter and nothing else was the reason, keep her well-disposed and find out what her present wishes are, with a view to the future. I am also writing briefly to the Infanta, as you will see by a copy I am sending you, and you will judge what you had better add if you have not already written.
Decipherment. Spanish.
March 13. Simancas, E. 508. The Same to the Same.
Last night a courier arrived here from our ambassador in England with letters relating the conclusion of the betrothal per verba de prœsenti, a copy of which is being taken to you by Count d'Egmont, who had already left to sail for Spain with the ambassadors of the Queen. As you may imagine, I am exceedingly glad to know of the success of a negotiation of such import, which augurs so well for God's service, the welfare of Christendom and the preservation and increase of our states; but as you will be able to gather all the information you desire from Count d'Egmont, I have nothing more to say, except to charge you to be as quick as possible in coming, for you see how essential it is. By this same courier we are sending you a copy of a note, (fn. 4) drawn up with the approval of the Queen, giving the names of the men who are to receive pensions, together with the sums. It seems advisable that these pensions should be paid out from your household, so that the recipients may realise that they come from you, whom it behoves them to serve and follow. The sums are rather high to begin with, for in order to gain credit and goodwill it was inevitable; but the future will furnish us with means of moderating them. By reason of this increase of expenditure, you will have to come well-supplied with money, so as to pay them all a half-year's instalment in advance, for it seems this must be done, and you will see to it as soon as you reach England. As for the Chancellor, we had thought it might be possible to obtain a pension for him; but it seems that it would not be opportune to ask the Pope to gratify him in this manner at present or press for a dispensation at once on account of the religious question, because the statutes of the realm would constitute a danger for him were it to become known. Consequently we had better pay a pension to him as we do to the others, though with a stipulation that it is to cease if he receives one from another quarter. You will discuss the amount, as well as that of the one to be paid to Paget, who has insisted most strongly in this matter, with the Queen, who will be able to tell you what the merits of each man deserve.
Brussels, 13 March, 1551.
Decipherment. Spanish.
March 13. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Simon Renard to Prince Philip.
The Earl of Bedford and Lord Fitzwalter are being sent to your Highness by the Queen of England to obtain your personal ratification of the treaty and promise of marriage passed per verba de prœsenti, and especially to conduct your Highness to this realm and inform you of all that which it is necessary you should know. By the Queen's leave, the Earl of Worcester, Lord Mountgarret, Messrs. Howard, Kemp, Schelt, Dudley, Drury and several others are also going to Spain, so may your Highness be pleased to give orders that they receive suitable welcome, so as to attach them to you and cause them to report to their countrymen that they have been honourably entertained. Schelt is going as an interpreter, as he alone among them speaks Spanish. For the rest, I am awaiting his Majesty's decision as to the pensions about which I wrote to him, by means of which hearts might be won over, and your reception here be made certain, for the matter is beset with danger as the English are inconstant, false and variable, as we clearly saw in the recent rebellion. Several people are of opinion that it would be safer for your Highness to go to Flanders before coming hither, form your train there and not come to this country before next September, because the English temper boils hotter in summer than at other times. However, the Queen and her Council assure me that there is no danger, as those who might rise are either prisoners or have been executed; Courtenay and Elizabeth, who might head disaffection, have been arrested and are going to be put on their trial, so that they may be punished if found guilty; the Queen now has the upper hand; Parliament has been convoked for next April to settle all these matters and pass the articles of the marriage treaty; and if the nobles are conciliated by pensions and liberalities there will be no need to fear the people. Therefore no risk will attend your coming, for your Highness will be received in perfect safety. Only the Spaniards who follow you will have to put up with English ways, and show moderation, and it is trusted that your Highness, with your customary affability, will make much of (accarassera (fn. 5) ) the inhabitants of the country. However, this point is of such overwhelming importance that I should be unwilling to pronounce an opinion on it until I see the upshot of Courtenay's and Elizabeth's trial, and Parliament is over, especially as I know that the King of France is doing his best to try to stir up a fresh revolt among the heretics, for which purpose he is sparing neither money nor pains.
I have thought it right to bring these considerations to his Majesty's notice, and am awaiting his answer. However, if the Queen's Council remains united and loyal, there is no doubt that the chances are that all will be secure; but the trouble is that it is divided in opinion and contains a section that dislikes the match with your Highness and would prefer to see the Queen wedded to Courtenay.
London, 13 March, 1554.
Minute in Renard's hand. French.
Printed, with the omission of the last paragraph, by Tytler: The Reigns of Edward VI and Mary, Vol. II.
March 14. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: I have lately been turning over in my mind the state of affairs in this kingdom. Religion is unsettled, the Queen's own Councillors are at odds, the nobility and the people hate one another, and the English temper is fickle, treacherous and unfaithful, naturally hostile to strangers, prone to discord at home, now inflamed against the Spaniards by French incitement and also by the accounts of that race of which your Majesty's other subjects have been unsparing. On the other hand, it is most important that his Highness's person, on whom the hopes of so many kingdoms, countries and peoples repose, should be safeguarded, and it is so difficult to put any trust in the English that my charge and responsibility weigh greviously upon me, leaving my mind in sore perplexity as to what answer I shall make to your Majesty's letter of the 7th instant. It would certainly be dangerous to put off the marriage, for things have gone too far, and I cannot now ask your Majesty to reconsider the whole matter; but my duty impels me to submit to you that since God was pleased to grant the Queen her victory over the rebels, Courtenay's and the Lady Elizabeth's trials have been slackly conducted to the point of making me suspicious, for it really looks as if delays were being created in the hope that something may crop up to save them. This is not as the Queen would have it, but she is powerless because the Chancellor manages everything, and he has appointed Southwell (fn. 6) to guard and examine the prisoners in the Tower, a man who has been the prime mover of the plan to marry the Queen to Courtenay, and is one of the most ignorant, corrupt and violent Englishmen alive. And with him is Secretary Bourne, another of Courtenay's partisans; so every word of evidence against Courtenay comes to the Chancellor's ears, and he (i.e. Courtenay) was removed from his first place of imprisonment to another more comfortable one without any order from the Council.
The Chancellor, without consultation with more than one or two of the Councillors, decided that Parliament was to meet at Oxford, under the pretext that the Londoners would be impoverished by the absence of the Court, though he apparently never considered whether it would be wise or not. He promised the Queen that all the trials would be over eight days ago, fixed her departure for Windsor for the 12th, and insisted on her going, though only a third of the trials have been finished.
Morevoer, when the assembling of Parliament was first discussed, the Chancellor told the Queen that the only business to be transacted would be to pass the marriage articles and repeal such laws as might have to be repealed. Now, however, he has drafted seven or eight clauses, mainly concerning the jurisdiction of bishops and church authority, which many men believe are intended to anger the people.
In the course of the last few days he has caused to be published certain articles which are being sent to your Majesty, dealing very hotly with religious matters. Now, though zeal be a good thing, time and moderation are also to be recommended, especially at this season when the people are easily roused. If tact and discretion are not used, there is danger not only that the Queen's interests may be compromised, but even that the safety of her person may be menaced.
The Chancellor behaved so timorously in the recent troubles, that no one believes him capable of conducting all the affairs of state by himself; and if the Queen took her Council's advice and went to Windsor, she and her crown would be in grave peril.
Such is the resentment he harbours against certain of the principal Councillors, like Arundel and Paget, that the Queen has as yet shown no recognition of the services rendered by Pembroke and Clinton in the recent disorders.
There is no doubt that he has an understanding with Cardinal Pole, who knew about the rebellion before it broke out, and was aware that its object was to favour Courtenay, his kinsman; and it is certain that this was what Bonvisi was conferring about with the Chancellor and Walgrave, for his own reports of the matter sufficiently declare it, as I have already written.
Many people here are well aware of the Londoners' dissatisfaction about Parliament being held elsewhere, and the French and heretic intrigues to stir up hostility against the Queen, whose enemies are strong in the numbers of the populace and by reason of the money they are able to raise by private subscription among those who dislike the marriage. If the Queen were minded to set Courtenay free, they would try to make him king, either by a surprise attack on the Tower, by corruption or some other treasonable device. Discontent is rife among the relatives of the prisoners. There has been much talk about the disbanding of all the troops the Queen had about her, for she now has no forces at all except 500 men brought up by the Earl of Derby's son, (fn. 7) and it has been planned to dismiss even them. There are indications that more trouble is brewing in London, and if the Tower is lost London is lost. The people of this part of the country are still excited, and will become even more so if they lose their opportunity of making money (i.e. by the session of Parliament being held at Oxford). It is said that the Chancellor wishes to prorogue Parliament and act as he pleases where religion is concerned, a course more likely to be fruitful of disturbances than of advantage, for London would thereby be incensed against his Highness, whereas the one aim ought to be to conciliate the city in order that he may be well received. There is consequently no prospect of the Queen's interests being served by such a course, and representations have been made to her by several persons, in particular the Controller, who have also pointed out that Oxford offers no proper place for Parliament to be held and would be unable to lodge and feed such a throng. To such good effect have they spoken, that she has thought the matter over and decided not to leave London until Elizabeth's and Courtenay's affairs are settled and Parliament has been held, for she considers this to be the only safe plan; and the whole Council agrees except for the Chancellor, who still seeks to brazen it out by insisting that the Queen ought to go to Oxford on account of the three deposed bishops, whom he means to have burnt unless they will recant, a project that is considered likely to lead to much trouble; so in order that the Queen's prestige may be upheld, the mayor (fn. 8) and aldermen are to petition her to stay in London. Things appear, Sire, to be in a changeable and suspicious condition. Three days ago a servant of Courtenay was caught visiting in prison one Young (fn. 9) (Jonc), one of the leaders of the rebellion and a servant of the French ambassador, with the object of persuading him to keep the secret and not accuse Courtenay; Walgrave was deputed by the Chancellor to cross-examine him, and the next day the man was set at liberty, although the gaoler, who had heard his confession, demurred.
Beyond this, I am told that the Chancellor is doing all in his power to get Courtenay acquitted, and keep the procedure from the knowledge of Paget and Petre. It is true that one's suspicions will be proved to have been groundless if Courtenay's trial ends in his being sentenced, but nevertheless it is permitted to doubt, and I have spoken about this to the Queen, taking great care not to say anything that might alarm her, but only insisting on the importance of making sure of Courtenay and Elizabeth in order to pave the way for his Highness's coming.
I am credibly informed that the French have planned to try to seize the Isle of Wight near Southampton, where his Highness is to land, as soon as the English fleet has started out to meet him, and that they mean to attack from Scotland as well, in order to give the factions a chance to rise. And their intentions are clearly shown by the answer they gave Wotton on the first day of this month when he demanded that Peter Carew and other English fugitives should be handed over, and complained that the king had given to Carew the Sacre of Dieppe, which he was fitting out and arming with money given to him by the King's orders by the captain of Dieppe castle, in order to make war on the Queen's subjects and attack her realm. The Constable replied that the English had failed to hand over several French fugitives who had been demanded, had taken and opened the King's packet, refused passports to enable the King's packets to go to Scotland, forbidden all Englishmen to carry mail-bags for the King's ambassador, and grievously ill-treated his ministers; the King had not lent the Sacre to Carew, but to other Englishmen now in France for they were flocking every day to Brittany, Normandy and Picardy, and the Sacre was being armed not against the Queen, but against the enemies of the King, his master. The Frenchmen who are domiciled and possess civil rights (civilege) here, merchants and others, are leaving the country, which looks as if they had been warned of the French plan; and if it is put into execution, your Majesty may imagine what trouble there will be here, how the real feeling of the English will burst out, and whether it would be well for his Highness to be present. I take it your Majesty has already been informed by M. de Vandeville that fifty or sixty French light horse came up last Friday within a league of Calais, meaning to occupy the Ecluse passage near Gravelines and then to harry and burn the neighbourhood of Dunkirk; and Marshal de St. Andre was at Ardres and Fiennes with some thirty companies of foot and 2000 or more horse, on the look out for the chance to strike a blow. The Deputy of Calais, however, ordered the light horse to withdraw or else to enter the suburbs of Calais, for he could not permit them to hang about in the villages, and this they did, except for five or six of their number, who stayed behind with a refugee from the Low Countries who served as guide, meaning to surprise Ecluse at low tide. However, they were caught by M. de Vandeville's men, and this has irritated the French and made them more than ever hostile towards the Queen and her realm. I am noting down all these matters in order to make it clear that the French mean mischief and may succeed, wherefore may your Majesty be pleased to decide whether his Highness had better go first to Flanders and put off the consummation of the marriage until September, or come hither during the spring, a season when the English are usually of a rebellious temper, or trust what the Queen's Council said to us and M. d'Egmont and I wrote to your Majesty. In the latter case, the best course to be adopted is to present the pensions specified in the note we sent, show a certain liberality here and there in order to win over the Council and the nobility, and hold the sea firmly against all surprises from the French. I have written to his Highness a letter, a copy of which is inclosed, and will say no more until I have instructions from your Majesty; for this matter is important enough to demand mature deliberation.
Lord Fitzwalter has given so good an account of the welcome shown him by your Majesty that several people have been won over to the idea of the marriage.
I am sending to your Majesty the proclamation about money.
The Constable of France told Wotton at their last meeting that the Turk (fn. 10) was fitting out 100 galleys to make war on your Majesty next summer, that the King's galleys that were forced to take shelter at Elba captured two ships carrying 1,100 Spaniards from Naples to aid the Duke of Florence in his enterprise, and that Peter Strozzi had written that Siena, where he had troops enough to defend the town, contained provisions sufficient to hold out eighteen months.
Shelley, (fn. 11) who was sent to report the successful conclusion of the marriage negotiations to the King of the Romans, has reported to the Queen's Council that the King told him that, although no good understanding was said to exist between him and his children and your Majesty and his Highness, he would show the slanderers to be liars; for were there any truth in the story it would be wholly discreditable to him, who had received from you more favours than even the near relationship between you warranted. This report has been of use in showing up the falsity of certain rumours.
When I had nearly finished this letter, I heard that the heretics had put up a man and a woman in a house here in London to rouse the people by asserting that a voice was to be heard in a wall, and it was the voice of an angel. When they said to it, “God save Queen Mary!” it answered not; but when they said, “God save the Lady Elizabeth!” the voice replied, “So be it.” Then was asked another question, “What is the mass?” and the reply came, “Idolatry.” And this fraud had so much success that by eleven in the morning there were over 17,000 people collected round the house. The Council sent thither the Admiral, Paget and the captain of the Guard, and the man and woman have been arrested to give an account of the origin of this imposture. The general opinion is that it was arranged in order to benefit the prisoners, especially Elizabeth, who has been detained at Court, excite the people against the Queen, egg on the heretics and plunge the realm into fresh troubles, all of which corresponds with the news I receive every day.
London, 14 March, 1554.
Signed. Cipher.
Less than half of this letter is printed by Tytler, The Reigns of Edward VI and Mary, Vol. II.
March 14. Brussels, E.A. 108 M. de Vandeville to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: My constant desire to serve the Emperor and your Majesty causes me to seek new means every day. I am now sending you a writing concerning some miners who are at present in the French King's service at Amiens and pretend to be masters of their trade. Their own assertions are my only source of information about them, except for what I have been told by Pierre Andrieu and another man who is now here with me, and they say they know the miners, and formerly saw them in the (late) King of England's service. If you wish us to do anything about them, may you be pleased to let us have instructions in writing, and it seems they will not be as hard to deal with as their first demand might lead one to think . . . . . .
Gravelines, 14 March, 1554.
Signed. French.
March 15. Brussels, R.A.Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: The Queen sent for me yesterday at about seven in the evening, and told me that her Council had heard from the Captain of Guines and also from France that the French meant to make war on her by attacking Guines castle and the Isle of Wight. Her Council's opinion was that, as the alliance was so nearly concluded as to draw England very near to your Majesty's dominions, they had better confer with me on their affairs of state, not in my capacity of Imperial Ambassador, but as if I were one of the Queen's Council, wherefore they had deputed Paget and Petre to communicate the news to me. These two men were at once sent for by the Queen, and told me what the Captain of Guines had heard. Marshal de St. André was near Guines with a force of horse and foot, he had accumulated stores and munitions at Ardres, not merely in order to revictual that place but also with a view to operations in the field; he was awaiting twelve pieces of siege artillery to be sent to him from Amiens and had shown the most minute curiosity as to the condition of the fortifications of Guines. The inhabitants of the neighbouring French districts had been warned by their authorities to take themselves off with their cattle and moveable property, the French had issued orders all over their country that all English refugees were to be well-treated, allowed to live as they pleased and exempted from all taxation so as to attract as many as possible. Moreover, there were other indications to show that the King of France was very ill-disposed and his ministers were doing their best to keep intrigues alive and bring about commotions among the people. The aim of the imposture, related in my letters of yesterday, perpetrated by the woman who played the spirit, was not only to cause trouble in religious matters, but also to prepare opinion for a transfer of the crown to Elizabeth. The Queen was determined to defend herself, but was unable to raise money immediately on the confiscations and sources of revenue because no ready money was to be found in England. For all that, she intended to send men and supplies to Guines, and had written to the Captains of Guines and Calais to keep in touch with M. de Vandeville and the other captains of your Majesty's forts in those parts. Your Majesty might greatly assist her by promptly sending out men-of-war to protect the English coast while the Queen's ships were being made ready, for the Privy Seal was taking the five or six sail now equipped and manned to Spain; and might you also be pleased to place England in your debt by preventing the capture of Guines. Your Majesty well knew that the King of France's reason for making war on the Queen was simply to hinder his Highness from coming to England, but there was reason to hope that if the two fleets combined the French might be sorry they had ever embarked on their undertaking. It was desired that his Highness might come soon and set affairs in order, and the present circumstances might furnish him with an inducement to come with a strong escort of troops to serve a double purpose: his own security and the defence of the realm. Your Majesty was aware of the importance of Guines castle, and that it would not be well to let the French seize more territory in that region; and as the English were being attacked, they could not do otherwise than make common cause with your Majesty.
I replied that I had no doubt your Majesty would do all that could be expected of you, for you had already written to tell me that your ships were manned and equipped, and to find out from the Council when and where they should join the English fleet. Nevertheless, I would report their speech so that your Majesty might decide what further action was to be taken, and would also write to his Highness. It seemed to me, however, that the first thing to be done was to make sure of the Queen's safety by surrounding her with a stronger guard, put a stop to disorders here, punish the prisoners who were responsible for the recent rebellion, see to it that the Scottish border and the sea-ports were secure, be ready for any emergency, take thought how money might be obtained, look into the state of the finances and not fear to get into debt when the preservation of the kingdom was at stake. For my part, I was here as an ambassador, but I would obey all the Queen's commands, and my opinion was that the above-mentioned points deserved consideration. Your Majesty did not wish to have England drawn into the war with France, but no man could remain at peace longer than his neighbour would let him, so I thought it was well to let it be seen that defensive measures were being taken, to have the King plainly spoken to in order to find out his real intentions, and to come to a decision about dismissing his ambassador. From what I heard, there seemed to be too much hurry in religious matters, the result of which might be rather to delay than to promote a restoration unless time were allowed to intervene and caution were used. They might see instances of what I meant any day, and the main hope of the French was that the heretics would rebel and help them to set the Lady Elizabeth on the throne.
The two Councillors replied to the effect that Shrewsbury and Dacre (fn. 12) would do all that was necessary on the Scottish border. They themselves were busied in putting down disorder; they had proposed to throw Elizabeth into the Tower, though some of the Councillors still hesitated because her trial was not yet over, a matter that should at once be attended to; Wyatt was to be sentenced that very day; measures should be taken to protect the Queen; the Chancellor alone was to blame for haste in religion. Further, it was decided that we should meet to-day for a longer conference, and they added that one Vacan had disclosed that a captain of the boats called Winter had agreed with Courtenay to conduct M. d'Egmont and your Majesty's other ambassadors to a French port if they tried to return to Flanders in an English vessel; the Queen would not leave London, but Parliament should be held here in answer to the petition of the mayor and aldermen of London; they had high hopes that, with the help of God, your Majesty and his Highness, the King of France's iniquity might be punished; the Cardinal (Pole) was deeply displeased because Lord Fitzwalter had not visited him, and they feared his solicitude for his country was not as tender as it might be. And this is all that was said at our meeting.
Afterwards, the Queen came and begged me to write to urge your Majesty to remember her and her kingdom. She needed money, and was working hard to get some together; if she could find 100,000 crowns she would repay the sum as soon as possible. Gresham was being sent to Antwerp to attempt to obtain some powder. In short, she was greatly perplexed as to how she had better behave, and she wished his Highness were already here to take matters in hand. I told her I would write at once and report what she said to your Majesty.
Morison (fn. 13) and three others have asked for leave to withdraw to Germany, and I believe it is to be granted to them.
Your Majesty will be pleased to have Jacques Granado watched if he goes to Flanders, for he left here ill-pleased and full of strange words. He is entirely devoted to the Lady Elizabeth and the new religion.
London, 15 March, 1553.
Signed. French. Cipher except for the last paragraph which is in Renard's hand.
March 15. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: The enclosed petition (fn. 14) will inform your Majesty of the petitioner's wishes. I have been importuned by several people over here, and was therefore unable to refuse to write; so I recommend the matter to your Majesty's attention, in order that you may issue such orders as may be called for. I humbly beg your Majesty to forgive me for bothering you with such letters as these, but I cannot refuse on account of the match.
London, 15 March, 1554.
Signed. French.
March 15. Vienna, E. Varia. 5, A list of names of persons to whom gold chains and gifts have been given.
Mr. Rich, of the Queen's chamber 100 crowns.
Mr. George, his companion 100 ”
Two other gentlemen of the chamber 200 ”
A vice-chamberlain (fn. 15) 150 ”
(Sir Thomas) Cornwallis 150 ”
Mr. Anthony Brown 150 ”
Bridges, Captain of the Tower (fn. 16) 200 ”
His brother, who serves as his lientenant 150 ”
Nicholas Poynings, (fn. 17) also a lieutenant 150 ”
Holcroft (fn. 18) 150 ”
Palmer 100 ”
Thresham (fn. 19) 100 ”
Gage (fn. 20) 150 ”
Ponen 100 ”
Norton (fn. 21) 200 ”
Lord Ormonde 200 ”
Sir John Williams (fn. 22) 200 ”
Parrot 150 ”
Lytton 100 ”
William Tyrell (fn. 23) 150 ”
Longford 100 ”
Gerome Palmer 100 crowns.
Thomas Audley 150 ”
Worthington 150 ”
Robert Southwell (fn. 24) 150 ”
Adrian Poynings 150 ”
Edward Bray 150 ”
Mr. Clarke 100 ”
Mr. Penruddock 100 ”
Bellingham 100 ”
Thomas Routledge 100 ”
Malin 25 ”
Mr. Lucas 25 ”
Bernard Denpont and Thomas Raye 100 ”
The archers 200 ”
The heralds 100 ”
The court officers 100 ”
Two notaries who took over the instrument 100 ”
March 16. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
I am writing these few words to be taken by Don Juan de Mendoza, whom the Emperor and the Queen of France (fn. 25) are sending to Portugal to visit the King and Queen, and especially the Queen of France's daughter. I beg you to do me the pleasure of welcoming him and giving him any assistance he may need to facilitate his journey. At the same time I will tell you that your letters of the 8th have arrived, and given the Emperor the greatest imaginable pleasure, as it is natural they should, now that things are going so well over there. I believe he will soon answer you, and so will I reply to the one you sent me, but in the meantime I wish not to omit to tell you that I fear that these folk (fn. 26) will not be satisfied with what you say in reply to mine of the 5th, in which I asked for information about naval affairs in England, to aid us in forming our plans here. We want especially to know what the English mean to do with their fleet: whether they are going to keep it together or split it up among the sea-ports, or whether part of it is to cruise about the coast, and if so how strong it is to be, and on what terms they will be willing to work with our ships. You had better read over my letters and your answers, and then answer my questions point by point, so as to satisfy these people and enable them to come to a decision as to their own course of action.
Brussels, 16 March, 1554.
Signed. French.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
March 19. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
We have received your letters of the 8th and 9th instant: the first from our cousin, M. d'Egmont and you together, and the other from you. And as M. d'Egmont has already departed this reply is being addressed to you alone.
We have seen in your letters an account of your labours, undertaken in accordance with the instructions carried by M. d'Egmont, and you have so well and prudently managed the affair that we are entirely satisfied and consider your services most acceptable, It gave us great pleasure to see how the Queen and her Council acted, and their definite assurance that the arrival of the Prince, our son, in England will cause no trouble. Still, you will have to go on being as diligent as you have been in the past to discover everything that occurs, and you must redouble your vigilance now that the time of sailing is near, taking care to keep our son posted so that he may know when to embark, and report to him all the information you can gather as to French naval preparations. He must take these matters into consideration when he decides whether to make for Southampton, as he will if his fleet is superior to the French, or to land at Bristol, whither he might more safely sail with a smaller number of ships. However, in order to alarm the French and cause them to abandon hope of stopping our son at sea, we are hastening on the fitting out of sixty or four-score great Dutch hoys, which are going on a trading voyage to Andalusia. They are to make for Corunna, where our son is to take ship, so that if need be they may combine with the sixty or more vessels he is making ready; France is powerless to send out such a fleet.
As for our men-of-war that have been in readiness for some time past, we will keep them here until we hear that the English ships are ready, and how they will be willing to act with ours. So you will do well to reply in detail, point by point, to the questions we commanded the Bishop of Arras to put to you in writing a few days ago.
We have also received the ratifications and the instrument of the marriage per verba de prœsenti, and on careful examination it seems entirely satisfactory and such as we would have expected from the Queen. You will thank her on our behalf as often as you have a suitable opportunity, for the great affection she displays towards us and our son. You will praise her virtue and magnanimity, and (contratulate her) because with the help of God things have gone off so well that there is every hope of her position becoming stronger with each day that passes. Exhort her to be careful to protect herself and take precautions in time, and not wait until the plotters who are working against her gather force, but arrest all those who may be so engaged. Adjure her, as we have already written to you and laid down in the instructions, to let the guilty be speedily punished and proceed with Elizabeth and Courtenay as she shall think wisest for her own security, after which she may show the rest clemency if she considers it prudent to do so, thus reassuring the people, for the reasons we exposed in detail elsewhere. It seems to us that the Queen ought to think it over most carefully before she leaves London at this juncture, as London is the capital and most important place in the country. You will speak to her on the subject as you have occasion, or leave it alone if circumstances bid you, for if she were already on the point of departure and there were difficulty about changing plans again, it would not be well to trouble her further. Remember also, if the man who is in charge of Dover is really found out to have an understanding with the French, he had better be seized immediately.
You write that it would be well to send someone from over here to make all necessary preparations for our son's arrival. Knowing of M. de Courrières' long experience of England and his intimate acquaintance not merely with the English, but also with the Spaniards who are to accompany our son, which will be invaluable in assisting them to get on well together, we have decided soon to send him, so that he may proceed to the place where our son is likely to land, become familiar with the surroundings and thus be able to execute his charge. We are also sending our Alcalde, (fn. 27) who has served us so long out of Spain that he is accustomed to deal with foreigners, and will be better able to serve our son by stopping all disturbances than a freshly-arrived Spaniard would be.
As for pensions and presents, it seemed better to us that our son should distribute them himself and thus win affection. We have written to him to that effect so that he may come provided. In the meantime you will do well to furnish us with a detailed explanation of the notes you have sent about the pensions and presents, and also about those that the English desire our son to take into his service; for we do not understand the notes, and you ought to be able to send us explanations, as you have discussed the matter with the Queen and her Council.
We will cause Duboys to be examined as to the words you say he uttered about you, and when he has replied we will see to giving you satisfaction. You need have no scruples about accepting the present the Queen has offered to you.
Brussels, 19 March, 1554.
Signed: Charles; countersigned: Bave. French.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
March 19. Madrid, B.P. Col. Granvela. Don Juan Hurtado de Mendoza to the Bishop of Arras.
I assisted at the ceremony on Palm Sunday and the blessing of the branches at Canterbury, where the concourse of people was as great as it would have been at Brussels, and a suffragan bishop celebrated mass in the proper manner. I arrived in London to-day, March 19th, at noon, but did not find the Marquis of Berghes here, for he and the rest have left to take ship, though 1 hope to catch some of them up as I am setting out to-morrow, God willing. The ambassador has entertained me well, and he understands the art; but although he did not say so openly I saw he was hoping for some readier recognition of his services. My way is to speak out frankly, as you shall see whenever opportunity offers. Don Francés de Alava left this place just as I was arriving, or shortly before. The Queen not only knew of my arrival, but had been aware of my journey and that I was a friend of Don Diego, whom she seems to like; and whether for that reason or for another, or because I was the last of the travellers to Spain to leave London, the long and the short of it is that she wished to speak with me. I thought I had better not attempt to make any excuse, so I repaired with the ambassador to her apartment where she came out to receive me accompanied only by two women and one man who opened the door. Thus, without any other witnesses, I was admitted to kiss her hand, and told her that I had set out in such a hurry to catch the fleet before it sailed that I had had no hope of seeing her, and the Queen of France, who was sending me to condole with the King and Queen of Portugal on the death of the Prince of Portugal, had also supposed I would be unable to do so; but that if her Majesty had any orders to give me, I would execute them as her vassal and servant and Don Diego's nephew. She told me humbly to kiss the hands of the Prince of Spain, and to remember her to Don Diego; and she wished me God speed, saying that it was a good time to go to Spain. “A better time to come from Spain to England,” said I, at which her Majesty laughed till she spluttered.
I know not whether my mistress, the Queen, will be much pleased with this visit, but it was an accident and quite excusable as I had not intended to pay it. I am writing to you about it first, so that if necessary and you have an opening you may plead for me.
There are all sorts of symptons in this country: of religion and obedience and the opposite. No lack of disaffection: it rises and falls like the tide. It was indispensable to throw the Lady Elizabeth into prison, and it is considered that she will have to be executed, as while she lives it will be very difficult to make the Prince's entry here safe, or accomplish anything of promise. Above all, he must bring no soldiers, and only such courtiers as are prepared to be meek and long-suffering (redomados y sufridos). He had better send those he brings on to his Majesty, and let his Majesty send hither those now at his court—and let him not think of sending Alonso de Ulloa's horse.
London, 19 March, 1554.
P.S. I kiss Doña Maria de Acuña's and Señor Vargas's hands.
Holograph. Spanish.
March 19. Simancas, E. 809. A deposition, made before a notary, about a case of piracy.
On March 19th, 1554, in the first year of Mary, Queen of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith and Supreme Head of the English and Irish Church, William Henry Ratcliffe, seaman, of the county of Middlesex, aged about 38, recently master of the ship Bonaventure, of London; Robert Gregory of Dartmouth in the county of Devon, seaman, aged about 25, recently boatswain of the same ship; George Turner, of the county of Lancashire, seaman, aged about 30; John Sparchford, of London, seaman, aged about 22, presented themselves before Thomas Atkinson, notary public, of Lombard Street, St. Mary Woolnoth, and made the following declaration under oath. On the 28th of October of the foregoing year, at about eleven of the clock, the ship Bonaventure was fallen upon by a vessel from the port of Castro in Spain and a pinnace from Laredo, off the Island of Groix, near the coast of Brittany. The ship and all the goods on board were seized, several members of the crew tortured in order to make them disclose where their money was, others killed, and the rest taken to Laredo, where they spent several months in prison on a diet of bread and water. On behalf of John Locond. owner of the said ship, and on their own, they demand redress.
London, 19 March, 1554.
Latin. Signed by the notary and witnessed.
March 20. Simancas, E. 881. Don Juan Manrique de Lara to the Emperor.
Sire: Hernando de Vega arrived here on Saturday, the 16th instant. On the following Sunday, his Holiness felt better and began to get up, but as he did not wish us to come to kiss his foot that same day, we went on Monday. We found him dressed and sitting up in bed, very thin and with his legs dreadfully wasted away, but apparently very cheerful, for he gave us a lively welcome. Hernando de Vega saluted him on your Majesty's behalf, and his Holiness was greatly pleased to hear of your health, a theme on which we had a good deal to say, for it is very necessary that everyone should realise that your Majesty is well and able to give attention to affairs, especially Italian affairs; so Hernando de Vega's discourse was opportune. His Holiness asked about the Prince's coming, which he greatly desires. We told him what there was to tell, adding that even were it not for English affairs his Highness would still come, because your Majesty wished him to be known to the world, and to obtain for him the general recognition which his great merits deserved. In this, we said, you were following his Holiness's advice; and he was delighted to hear it, holding forth to the effect that his Highness ought now to work and allow your Majesty to rest, though benefiting always by your guidance, for such was the counsel he urged upon me two years ago, as I wrote to your Majesty when I went to Piedmont, and he was overjoyed to see that you were following it. He spoke of the esteem and respect he had always felt for your Majesty, and said that, if by shedding his own blood he could help in the English matter, he would gladly do so. Hernando de Vega thanked him for his kind words, and for the instructions to favour the English match issued to Cardinal Pole as soon as he knew that it was being negotiated; and Hernando de Vega found plenty to say in this connexion, pointing out that your Majesty deserved support because French intrigues were working entirely against religion and the interests of the Holy See, while your object was exactly the opposite. When he attempted to go on and deliver the rest of his instructions, however, his Holiness told him to keep it for Wednesday, when he would be feeling stronger and better able to consider what you wished to have placed before him. And we complied with his desire.
From what his Holiness sent a messenger to say to me, the prorogation of the Parma truce seems to have been concluded. I will send a copy of the instrument by the next courier, for it is Holy Week and the official who issues these documents is not to be found to-day.
Rome, 20 March, 1554.
Holograph. Spanish.


  • 1. Don Juan de Figueroa.
  • 2. Luis Sarmiento de Mendoza, Imperial ambassador in Portugal.
  • 3. Great pains had to be taken to explain, without wounding the feelings of the Portuguese royal family, how it came about that Mary and her Council had decided that she must wed Prince Philip; for besides the negotiations that had been going on for a between Philip and the Infanta Maria, there had also been a project to ally Mary with the Infanta Luis. See Vols. IX and XI of this Calendar.
  • 4. This paper has not been found.
  • 5. Tytler spells this word aicarassera, and adds: “so in the original. I have considered it an error for agacera.”
  • 6. Sir Richard Southwell, Master of the Ordnance.
  • 7. Henry, Lord Strange.
  • 8. Sir Thomas White, Lord Mayor of London.
  • 9. Presumably John Younge, an order for whose arrest was issued on February 28.
  • 10. Suleyman the Magnificent.
  • 11. Sir Richard Shelley.
  • 12. Thomas, Lord Dacre.
  • 13. Sir Richard Morison, or Morysine, Ambassador to the Emperor under Edward VI.
  • 14. This petition has not been found.
  • 15. Presumably Sir Henry Jerningham.
  • 16. Sir John Bridges, Lieutenant of the Tower. His brother was Thomas Bridges, who acted as his assistant.
  • 17. This would seem to be the person referred to as Poinz on p. 120, who was set in charge of the Lady Elizabeth.
  • 18. A Sir Thomas Holcroft had been Receiver of the Duchy of Lancaster in 1552 [Acts of the Privy Council.]
  • 19. Perhaps Sir Thomas Thresham.
  • 20. Sir John Gage was Constable of the Tower.
  • 21. Perhaps Richard Norton, Captain of Berwick.
  • 22. Sir John Williams was Treasurer of the Augmentations.
  • 23. William Tyrell received a temporary appointment to be Vice-Admiral on July 25, 1553.
  • 24. Robert Southwell was Sheriff of Kent.
  • 25. Eleanor, sister of the Emperor, widow of Emmanuel I of Portugal and Francis of France. Her daughter, the Infanta Maria of Portugal, had been proposed as a bride for Prince Philip, and the negotiations for a marriage were in progress when Edward VI's death left Mary Tudor a more advantageous match.
  • 26. The Flemish Admiralty.
  • 27. i.e. Briviesca de Muñatones.