Spain: April 1554, 1-5

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Spain: April 1554, 1-5', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) pp. 181-206. British History Online [accessed 5 March 2024]

April 1554, 1–5

April 1. Simancas, E. 508. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
I am answering the letter written by your own hand and another in cipher that arrived here on the 17th ultimo, and intend to send this by sea with a courier despatched by the Portuguese ambassador, for I believe he will arrive in Spain sooner than another, who is also going by sea. I hope you have let me know how your preparations are proceeding by the man who, as Juan Vásquez wrote to Eraso, set out by land on the 13th or 14th of March, and wish you had sent me some fresh news by the one who sailed from Portugal on the 11th. I am still waiting for a letter. What I now have to say is that I have seen copies of two of your letters to the ambassador in England, in the second of which you said you were determined to set out on your journey without waiting for all the fleet to be got together, which would take so much time that June would pass by before you got away. It is true that that would be too great a delay, for we must be brief now that the betrothal per verba de prœsenti, as you will have heard from Count d'Egmont, has been celebrated. So I trust you will be able to sail by the end of this month and, if the weather is fair, arrive in England in May. You need only bring as many ships as are strictly necessary, for no more men than those of your household need embark. You did well to inform the ambassador of this, so that he might tell the Queen; and it seems to me that your personal attendants whom you recently sent to the seaboard will be enough. It is known in England that (the French) have no fleet ready, and will only be able to send out a few privateers, and as you requisitioned so many ships in Spain, it will be supposed that you mean to bring them all with you. The English will have twenty sail ready by the 10th of this month, and fourteen other well-armed ships from here will join them, so that all will wait together for your arrival, to safeguard which is the great point. Moreover, seventy odd good hoys which are to leave Flanders for Andalusia will be given leave to sail at about the time when, according to what you write, you will be coming, so that they may hold the Channel and make the French think twice before attacking you, even if they send out a fleet between now and then. Thus there seems to be no danger threatening your person, nor any reason why you should not adhere to your plans.
As to where you are to land, the ambassador in England has recently expressed some doubts, and seems to think you had better come first to Flanders on account of a split he believes to exist in the Council and other reasons which you will have seen from the copies of his letters. I suppose there must be something in what he says, but up to the present at any rate we have seen no signs of popular risings or hostile movements among the nobles. We have very carefully considered this important point, and though no one can ever be sure of what the future may bring forth, especially in a foreign country where the wills of the various parties clash, we trust in God, in Whose hands we have left the conduct of this matter, and in the precautions for your safety which we are sure the Queen will take, and have come to the conclusion that you must on no account fail to land in England, at the port mentioned in our letters sent by Count d'Egmont, putting your confidence in the English, as you said to the ambassador, for sooner or later do it you must, and without taking an armed force with you. Were you to delay, passing by the English coast and coming hither first, you would suffer a loss of reputation, as the betrothal has already taken place, inflict on the Queen, who is anxiously awaiting you, a disappointment which she has not deserved, dash the hopes of the party that supports her, and cause other disadvantages, not the least among which would be to give the ill-disposed, the ever-busy French and all the other factions time to devise means to place obstacles in your path. I am sure you will see to it that those who come with you behave with such discretion as to give rise to no hostile feeling, but I feel I must again call your attention to the great importance of this, and urge you to issue orders that no troops or officers land in England. As for what you write about reasons for not having the English ambassadors proceed to Spain, we do not think anything had better be said about it, even in the conditional form you suggest. The Queen has pledged her word, so her subjects wish you to do the same before landing. However, I take it they will by now have reached you without let or hindrance, and that you will have taken the proposed measures as to the government of the Spanish kingdoms. What you say about the great prelates, the Infante and the Councils seems to me very prudent. I also agree with your choice of the Princess (of Portugal), my daughter, so I am sending you the powers signed and suppose you will already have sent for her to come from Portugal. Above all, let me urge you to see to it that the counsellors who are to surround her be dispassionate men of character and authority. Lay down rules for their guidance in case of conflicts, and try to limit the sphere of each one as far as it is possible without hindering them in the exercise of their offices. The instructions and restrictions may be drawn up on the model of those issued for the Queen of Bohemia; but, as the Princess is of a more active disposition and even under the Queen of Bohemia there was a great deal of disorder, be sure to insist upon it that she and her advisers be moderate in all things, and forbear from those new interpretations of their instructions of which they have sometimes been known to be lavish. You will consider whether it would be well to appoint some woman of position and exemplary character to be near her, and I will leave the choice of the person to you. Let her household be of reasonable size, for I have heard that 40,000 ducats a year would be necessary in order to keep up the state she lived in in Portugal, and that is altogether too much. The servants she is to keep must be honourable men, and you are clearly to specify the number of ladies she may have, so that they may not always be importuning her to accept more.
I will write to Rome to have the Pope petitioned to grant the title of patriarch to the president of the Royal Council; and I. approve of your reasons for suggesting it.
The Spanish galleys must be in Italian waters by now, as they were ready to start. You did well to cause them to be there in good time, for we have had further confirmation of the news that the Turk is fitting out as many as 70, perhaps because the damage inflicted on his fleet by the Sophy and the loss of the eleven sent by the King of France have moved him to change his mind. Don Bernardino (de Mendoza) had better cross over in the remaining galley, and you will order him to do so when you sail. As for the question of the command, you ask me to send an appointment that he (i.e. Don Bernardino) may show the captains in case Prince Doria (fn. 1) were to die and the galleys did not behave as they should, together with instructions in view of that event; but we have very carefully considered the matter, and come to the conclusion that this question had much better not be dealt with at present. Pay no attention to our secret plans, for were you to do so you might do a great deal of harm, as the Prince and others harbour the projects you know of, for you would merely be making them suspicious and rendering difficult the action we intend to take later. As soon as news of (Prince Doria's) death reach us we will take the requisite measures without delay, and within eight or ten days our orders, issued with all due regard for the safety of our states and interests, will be on the way. You are to keep this also a secret.
I have noted what you write about the sums Eraso wrote to you had been taken up at exchange or were to be taken up to a total of 400,000 crowns, and as most of these operations were concluded under such securities as were available before I gave orders that a million out of the money from the Indies should be brought hither, there was nothing for it but to assign the payments to be made in Spain. The sums raised were used to pay the German troops and Spanish infantry, our household expenses to the end of June and a small debt still owing on the last six months of last year. Although I am very sorry about the difficulties that now beset you on account of the sum you have got to bring with you, the bankers with whom we dealt, who are numerous and not great capitalists, are clamouring so loudly that I must again pray you to leave particular instructions to the Council of Finance that at anyrate 60,000 ducats be paid to Hieronimo de Salamanca and Hernando de Bernuy and 40,000 to Francisco de Aresti and Alonso Sanchez at the fair of Villalón as was agreed with them. Also, the fleet must if possible bring a further sum of 100,000 crowns, and if not it must soon afterwards be paid hither on exchange, so that we may repay a loan of 40,000 crowns and another 60,000 advanced by other bankers who demanded securities which we are obliged to free. These 200,000 crowns must be raised in the manner you suggest, on services, bulls, subsidies and maestrazgos (the lands of the military orders), though it will be a long business and one which the bankers here will endeavour to make as lengthy as possible. The other 200,000 crowns will have to be borrowed at reasonable interest from the bankers who have most available capital until we are able to make a better arrangement. As for John Jacob Fugger and John Welser, the agreements concluded with them cover so long periods that there seems to be no urgent hurry, and the understanding arrived at with Fugger's agent here will also help, namely that they will not press for the 100,000 ducats, the payment of which was suspended, on condition that they are allowed to export (from Spain) the sum conceded to them at Villach. You will leave orders that I be informed how this is carried out. You are to assure the members of the Council of Finance that we are well aware of the arduousness of their labours in combining all these details; we will be mindful of it and reward them as occasion shall offer. As for what you are to bring with you, I need only say that I approve of your intention to comply with the wishes of the merchants and passengers by bringing most of the money coined in the pieces you mention; and the rest may come in bullion to be minted over here.
The Portuguese ambassador here resident spoke to me on behalf of his master about what had happened to the Sharife, whom Turks and the King of Vélez joining forces turned out of Fez, seizing that city and kingdom. We asked the ambassador for a report on these events, and he gave us one relating that there had been much dispute as to who should be King, for the natives wanted the King of Vélez and the Turks one of their own men. The King of Vélez ultimately stayed in possession, though recognising the suzerainty of the Turk. There was reason to fear that the Turk would seize the sea-ports and even the Peñon (of Vélez), as he was said to have an understanding with the commander of that place. The ambassador was eloquent of reasons why we ought to take the matter in hand and not allow the Turk to take root in those parts, as if we were young and enterprising enough for such adventures. He held forth on the importance of doing so from the point of view of Spain's security, trying to persuade me that I was the sovereign most nearly affected, as they all do when they are in trouble. He requested me to send galleys, at any rate, to patrol the Straits and, with the Portuguese ships, see to it that the Turk did no harm to the shipping and had no opportunity of landing. I am inclined to think he was exaggerating a little, but I gave him a soft answer, saying I was very sorry to hear of the occurrence, but as I had heard nothing about it from you I could not come to a decision until I had received a report, which I would at once ask you to send. So you will have the matter looked into at once, in order that we may consult on it as soon as you arrive in England.
Don Fernando Gonzaga has left Milan, and Ambassador Figueroa (fn. 2) has already arrived there and is going to take his place. From what both of them have written to me about a sum of 100,000 ducats taken up on the security of the services in Naples, 80,000 are spent already and a further sum of 50,000 is necessary to pay the troops, some of which have already mutinied, and others are going to follow suit. Affairs in that state are in a condition that causes us grave anxiety—much worse, in fact, than all our other dominions put together. Things have reached a point at which we no longer know where to turn for help, and I feel obliged to write and urge you to do your utmost to devise some means, before your departure, of facing this present difficulty. You are to report about it to me.
Brussels, 1 April, 1554.
Decipherment. Spanish.
April 1. Simancas, E. 508. The Emperor to the Duke of Alva. (fn. 3)
I have received your letter of February 17th, and feel sure you are sincere in the joy you express about the conclusion of the English negotiation. So great were the difficulties attending it, that God would seem to have guided it with His own hand, and I trust it will prove a factor of weight in our endeavours to serve Him and guard and increase our dominions. As for the journey of the Prince, my son, a letter he has written to me with his own hand leads me to believe he will sail soon, for he had decided not to wait for the fleet to be wholly made up, so as to gain time. Ships are to be sent from here to wait off Land's End and guard the Channel, and the letter I am sending by this courier to my son will tell you of the amply sufficient precautions that are being taken for his safety. As for your own coming in his company and service, I thank you for the goodwill you show and have ever displayed; and I appreciate it all the more because this enterprise is of great importance and one in which you will be able to be of much assistance. I beg you to do your best to reap favourable opinions in England by insisting on it that the courtiers live in decent and peaceable manner, calculated to avoid all unpleasantness that might lead to trouble, and particularly by strictly forbidding any of the troops or officers to land. Far from resenting what you write of your own affairs, I only regret that you should be embarrassed, whilst I myself am so sorely beset that I am unable to do anything to relieve you. However, as the Prince told you what I intended to do for you every year, I need only say that when you come hither we will try our best to meet your wishes, and you already know how greatly I desire to reward you as your merits deserve.
Brussels, 1 April, 1554.
P.S. Duke, for the love of God see to it that my son behaves in the right manner; for otherwise I tell you I would rather never have taken the matter in hand at all.
Decipherment. Spanish.
April 1. Simancas, E. 508. The Emperor to Francisco de Vargas.
. . . . The Bishop of Arras has twice complained on our behalf to the Venetian ambassador here resident, because the Seignory's ambassador in England combined with the French to try to hinder our negotiations in view of the alliance and treaty of amity, by speaking ill of the Prince, our son, and of the Spanish nation. The Bishop observed that the ambassador was quite unjustified in adopting a course so foreign to that which we had a right to expect from a representative of the Venetian Republic. Your reply to the Seignory on the same question was framed with your usual prudence, and greatly pleased us; so we have no more to say except to ask you to assert, whenever the matter is mentioned, that we have not the slightest doubt of the Seignory's friendly intentions, but are persuaded that the ambassador was swayed by his own private passion. On the contrary, we are quite sure that the Seignory will always act as befits a party to the friendly alliance that now binds and shall ever bind us . . . . .
Brussels, 1 April, 1554.
Decipherment. Spanish.
April 1. Simancas, E. 1322. The Same to the Same.
. . . Your action with a view to preventing the Cardinal of England (i.e. Pole) from coming hither was at that time very wisely undertaken, for you will by now know that our own efforts were directed to the same end . . . .
If Titian finishes the pictures within the time he mentioned to you, he will do better than we had feared his state of health would allow; so you will serve us by trying to hold him to it . . . .
Brussels, 1 April, 1554.
Signed: Yo el Rey. Spanish.
April 2. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Emperor to Simon Renard.
We have received your letters of the 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd of last month, and greatly praise the pains you have taken fully to report to us on the state of affairs in England. We quite realise that you only question the wisdom of the coming of the Prince, our son, because you have all a good subject's anxiety that no harm befall his person. However, things have gone too far for us to be able to adopt any other attitude than one expressive of a desire to bring the matter to a conclusion; the Queen, moved by her affection for us and our son, is shown in your letters greatly to wish to see the marriage an accomplished fact; though there certainly is a possibility of danger, this would always be present, at whatever time our son might go to consummate the marriage; as so many preparations have been made for his arrival, an abrupt change in his plans would diminish his prestige, encourage his enemies, dash the spirits of his friends, and inflict a grievous disappointment on the Queen, whilst were he to come straight to Flanders, coasting along the English shore for hundreds of miles, the impression created would be even worse, as you may readily imagine; the intrigues carefully fostered during the last five or six months by the French have been stamped out by the Queen's victory, whereas between now and September they would be aided in their endeavours to start new ones by the considerations enumerated above. Consequently, unless something crops up to give certain evidence of graver disorders, we are decided that our son shall come; but as we fear that your letters and the copies of those written to us may have moved some of his zealous Spanish servants to raise difficulties about his coming, we have written by several different routes telling him not to allow himself to be deterred by the said letters. And you will do well to inform the Queen, without mentioning that there has ever been any question of delaying his journey, of the active preparations for his departure that are being carried on in Spain, holding out hopes, which we also share, that he will soon be with her, God aiding. If we can persuade the English that he is shortly to arrive, it may do good by causing the disaffected to fear they will not have time enough to organise more opposition. The Queen and her faithful supporters will be heartened, though you may urge them to take all possible precautions for the royal couple's security.
We see that the failure to execute a number of prisoners and then quickly to pardon the rest has complicated the Queen's difficulties, as you say in your last letter. And you seem to be justified in saying that some suspicion attaches to the Chancellor for having gone so slackly about it. However, we do not think it would be wise for us to say anything that he could possibly resent, though if he does not in the future act in strict accordance with the Queen's will she might perhaps speak to him as she did when she wished to make him give up his cherished plan for marrying her to Courtenay. But this is so very delicate a matter in the present somewhat uncertain state of affairs that we, from a distance, feel quite unable to give her any definite advice, especially as if she did decide to speak to the Chancellor she would have to be careful to seize a plausible opportunity. As the Queen has decided to reduce the numbers of her Council and intends to proceed in the discreet manner described in your letters, in order to remove the other lords from Court without giving umbrage, making shift also to reconcile the Chancellor with the Earl of Arundel and Paget, the success she meets with in that direction will show her how she may best deal with further problems. Whatever happens, any exorbitant zeal the Chancellor may show in religious matters must be moderated, for the ground already gained had better be consolidated before attempting further progress. The marriage articles alone may be brought up at the next session of Parliament, for as they have already been agreed to no one will be likely to oppose them, though if any religious measures were introduced, those who are ill-disposed to the match and yet dare not openly combat it might take the religious question as a pretext to work up enmity among the heretic population; so you will enjoin moderation on the Queen. When you are conferring with her on important questions, be sure to do so in such a manner that the Council may never suspect you of encroaching on their privileges or grow jealous of you, though of course you will readily comply when they want your assistance, making it quite clear that you would never thrust yourself forward unless at their invitation. Let it seem that you are rather doing them a favour than seeking to take a hand in the government, for they must not suspect you of a desire to usurp their functions.
Whatever comes to pass in England, you are to be careful to keep us well informed, for certain changes might make it necessary for us to modify our own plans.
The Bishop of Norwich, English ambassador, has by order of the Queen and Council, spoken of the apparent likelihood that the King of France intends to attack the Isle of Wight and the West Country, assisted by Carew, and also Guines. The French desire to make war is the more clearly shown because their ambassador, the Bishop's report of whose words agreed with yours, has been bringing up old disputed points; and the Queen and Council wish to know whether, if England is attacked by France, we will grant them the aid stipulated in the treaties. They would like our ships to be in readiness to combine with the English fleet, reconnoitre the coast and make for a point where they would best be able to prevent any interference with our son's journey and also foil French plans for attacking England from the sea. Moreover, they assure us that the Queen has ordered all her ministers to keep in close touch with ours and inform them of all they may learn of French designs against our dominions, and they hope we will show a like confidence. Such a declaration on our part, the ambassador added of his own accord, would encourage the Council to keep a firm front towards the French and look for assistance to us, from whom the English had always received support. He was told in reply that it was obvious that the French, England's old and natural enemies, would always seek to harm the English; but if they could possibly avoid going to war we considered they would be wise to keep out of it and apply all their attention to settling affairs at home. We caused this answer to be given in order that the English might not possibly imagine that we had arranged this alliance in order to drag them into war with France, for such was the argument used by the late Duke of Northumberland to further his own aims. Even without any instigation from us, they will hardly be able to avoid declaring war, especially as the King of France is taking up so provocative an attitude; wherefore we caused the Bishop to be told, in addition to the above, that if the English were to be attacked, they must defend themselves stoutly, for they need have no doubt but that we would fulfill every obligation imposed by the treaty, and over and above that would do everything in our power to further the cause of the Queen and her kingdom, whose interests were as dear to us as those of our own dominions. Our ministers, we added, would be as careful to inform the Queen's of all it might behove them to know as they could be in our own service. Further, we informed him that in reply to the request transmitted by you, our fourteen men-of-war had been fitted out and manned in order to proceed to Dover on the 10th or 12th of this month and there meet the twenty or more English ships. In command of them should go M. de Wacken, (fn. 4) as Vice-Admiral, and the English might communicate with him on all questions concerning mutual plans. M. de Beveren, (fn. 5) the Admiral, was unable to go as he was busy with certain matters in Holland and Zeeland.
M. d'Eecke (fn. 6) sent out some spies to visit the French ports, and they have come back saying that no fleet of importance is being fitted out. We would like to hear what the men you were to have sent thither have to say; but it seems to us that unless the French do more than they have done so far, not only will they be unable to interfere with the Prince, but when he arrives in England with a fleet stronger than the French, and is there joined by the Queen's ships and our fourteen, the ill-disposed element in England will lose heart, seeing that there is no chance of help from the French, faithful subjects will be reassured, and the French will be unable to make trouble for England by creating a diversion in Scotland.
You will have seen from our son's letters that be will probably come over shortly, so we do not think it wise to defer M. de Courrières's departure. As he has so often visited England on missions we are unwilling to send him off without the title of ambassador, and he will be able to assist you in the despatch of business. Our son's desire is that he may serve as middleman to promote a good understanding between the Spanish and English officials, and that the Alcalde may have plenty of time to ascertain from the Queen and Council to what extent he had better have jurisdiction over those who come in the Prince's following. There is no reason why the word “Alcalde” should be odious in English ears, for his one object is to favour them and punish any Spanish or other foreign courtiers in our son's train who may behave without due moderation, and by no sort of means to interfere with the English. Both convoys will go with the instructions which you will see, so we recommend and order you to aid and abet them to the best of your ability.
You will have heard our decision with regard to the pensions which you thought ought to be presented at once, and our reasons for arriving at it, namely that they should come from our son's own hand on his arrival in order that he may enjoy the results of the gratitude felt by the recipients. There is no reason why they should resent a delay which, with God's help, will be of only a few days' duration. As the Chancellor has mentioned the matter to you, you may as if of your own accord tell him and others, in order to encourage them in their goodwill, that it is quite decided to grant the pensions, which will actually be distributed by our son on his arrival. It is probable that the prospect of receiving these gratifications at his hands will make them keenly look forward to his coming.
You may tell the Queen that our emissaries are busy in Antwerp trying to raise the 100,000 crowns about which she spoke to you; but we are unable to give a more definite answer until we see what terms the bankers will agree to.
As you write that the English are easily affected by news, we are sending you the following, which you may repeat as occasion offers. Margrave Albrecht is not playing into the hands of the French King by any means as readily as the French say, for there is a wide gap between his demands and the King's offers. The Margrave, in fact, has sent hither one of his secretaries to negotiate with us, though we do not yet know what will come of his mission. The French have lost prestige in Italy because of the loss of St. Florent (fn. 7) and their galleys, and the close beleaguerment of Siena. And there are reasons for hoping that they will not obtain from the Turk anything like what they demand.
Cardinal Pole has been a long time in France, but we have as yet heard nothing of his activities there. However, we doubt not that he will soon say something, as the Nuncio resident there is pressing him to speak in order that he may report to his Holiness on the result of Poles negotiations.
Brussels, 2 April, 1554.
P.S. When this letter was finished and was ready to be signed, we received yours of March 27th. But as in it you refer us to what you will write as soon as you have conferred with the Council, we see no reason for delaying the departure of this letter.
French. Mostly Cipher. Signed, Charles; countersigned, Bave.
Printed by Weiss in his Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
The original minute is at Brussels (R.A. Prov. 13).
April 2. Brussels. R.A Prov. 13. The Emperor's Instructions to M. de Courrières for his mission to England.
You will first seek out the Lieutenant of Amont, our ambassador resident, declare to him the reason for which you are sent and communicate your instructions. Next, you will present yourself before the Queen, offer her our hearty commendations and tell her that we hear that the Prince, our son, is making such haste with his preparations that we hope he may soon arrive in these parts. His maistres d'hostel and other officers have small knowledge of persons, or even of manners and customs in England, wherefore there might be some confusion on his arrival, and it might be wise to comply with our son's request and send someone from here who knows the English and their ways, and also the manners of the persons who are coming with our son. We considered that such a man might come to an understanding with the English, and have therefore sent you to assist our ambassador and particularly to visit the ports where our son is likely to land and find out what commodities are to be looked for, not there only, but in other places between the coast and London. And you are subsequently to return to London and confer with those who shall be deputed by the Queen on the measures to be taken for the landing, the engaging of lodgings, preparation of provisions in the places that lie on the way, food, horses and all other things necessary. In the meantime you will take care to become more intimately acquainted with the Queen's maistres d'hostel and other domestic officers and servants, so that, when our son arrives with his, you may inform each one of what he is to do and act as a middleman.
In practice this general task will take the form of an infinity of details, new ones coming up every day, and as it would be difficult to give you minute instructions with regard to them we will leave the rest to your discretion, and urge you to consult our ambassador resident as to all difficulties, and inform the Queen and her Council whenever it is necessary. You will agree and cause our son's household officers to agree to whatever the Queen decides upon, in order to please the English, and you will request our son, on our behalf, to use his authority in the same cause. You will also give him detailed information of all matters that appear to you to be of importance in connexion with the good understanding to be established between the two nations.
And as such great assemblies can never be so perfectly arranged that there be no disorder, we are also sending with you Licenciate Briviesca, Alcalde of our Court, with the instructions you will see, so that he may confer in good time with those deputed by the Queen as to the jurisdiction he will have to be invested with in order to deal with any difficulties that may crop up, and impose punishments for any excesses that may be committed by those who are to accompany our son. And our only desire is that he may exercise his powers in accordance with the judgment of the Queen and her Council, with no other end whatever in view except to promote a good understanding and friendly relations.
Brussels, 2 April, 1554.
Minute. French. Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
April 2. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. The Emperor's Instructions to Briviesca de Muñatones (fn. 8).
As God has been pleased to conduct the negotiations for an alliance between the Queen of England, our good sister and cousin, and the Prince, our son, so far towards success that the articles have been drawn up, passed and ratified on both sides, and the marriage contracted per verba de prœsenti, we desire that the consummation may ensue as shortly as possible so that we may enjoy the fruits that are expected. We have therefore urged our son to hasten on his journey, and his desire to see the Queen has moved him to ask our leave to do so, and things are so far advanced as to enable us to hope that, with God's help, he may soon arrive in England. We are anxious to avoid all disorder, that civil and criminal justice may take its course with regard to those who are to accompany our son, and that the scandal and uproar that might otherwise ensure may be obviated; and we are aware of the knowledge you have, by long experience, acquired in dealing with persons of other countries than Spain. Therefore, in order to guard against all regrettable incidents that might be caused by men lacking your experience, however zealous in the discharge of their duties, we have resolved to send you to England to have charge of civil and criminal jurisdiction in our son's Court. We are sending you thither before our son's arrival so that you may have time to make all your preparations, and know exactly what you will have to do when our son comes; and on your arrival with M. de Courrières you will communicate your instructions to him and the Lieutenant of Amont, our ambassador resident, and take counsel as to how you shall apprise the Queen of your mission and its object. You will beg her to depute a member of her Council to confer with you on the task to be entrusted to you, so that when you have heard from him within what limits he considers your jurisdiction ought to be exercised, you may be careful not to exceed them. Let your guiding maxim be to agree to whatever the Queen and her Council may decide upon, for our one object is to further good understanding between the two nations, and avoid, as far as possible, all disorder.
And you will ask for a special declaration on the following articles:
It will be necessary to draw up certain reasonable and suitable statutes in order to protect and encourage friendly intercourse between the two nations, forbidding them to insult one another or mock at each other's manners and customs. And these statutes and rules must be enforced with great rigour, especially at the outset.
Those who have offended, especially against the other nation, must be punished with due penalties, without remission, for it is greatly in the public interest that this be done, and satisfaction will thereby be given to the aggrieved. And in order that the Queen and her Council may realise how anxious we are that all delinquents on his Highness's side may be punished, and may not succeed by means of any subterfuge in escaping the penalties imposed on them, you will declare to them that the judges deputed by the Queen, and those of the places where the Court shall reside, may arrest all delinquents. And so that no resistance may be offered, this shall be proclaimed by a crier in his Highness's Court, on condition that the prisoners, when they have been arrested, shall be handed over for trial to the Alcalde of the Prince's Court. If any difficulty is made about this in England, we are disposed to grant that a judge appointed by the Queen or her Council shall sit with the Alcalde and determine all differences. It also seems suitable and indeed necessary to the upkeep of friendly relations that the Alcalde may sit at an appointed time, in the town-hall or elsewhere where justice is usually administered, so that all men may know of it; and that by common accord a person may be appointed to sit with the Alcalde and hear all cases, civil or criminal, that may be brought by either nation. The judges' knowledge of both nations will enable them to collaborate in the more perfect administration of justice and endeavour to bring about a good understanding.
Likewise, it would seem advisable that the Queen or her Council should appoint some person to proceed to the port where the Prince is to land, assist the Alcalde in dealing with any cases that may arise, and follow his Highness to the same end on the road.
And as we hear that the Prince is bringing with him certain theologians who might, out of lack of experience and knowledge of the present state of affairs, give offence in England by their words or deeds, and as the Prince is to stay there some length of time, it would be well for the Queen or her Council to name theologians who should not only have doctrine and learning, but also practical experience, to confer in a moderate, suitable and inoffensive manner with the aforesaid.
Many points of similar nature may solicit your attention, and may be multiplied as time goes on, so you will need all your dexterity and experience in handling them; and you will avail yourself of M. de Courrières' and the resident ambassador's assistance, for we have ordered them to do all in their power to be of use to you. They know the English and their ways, and will be able to help you in your task. Above all, you must take great care to show that you desire to favour the English, and display severity towards our son's followers, especially in unimportant matters where little danger would be involved and much might be done to persuade the English that we mean to support them. You will take an opportunity to explain this to our son, so that his conduct may be in accordance with yours and none of his people may act in any way contrary to the decisions of the Queen and her Council.
Brussels, 2 April, 1554.
Minute. French. A draft in Spanish, different in wording but to the same effect, exists in Vienna(E.V. 5).
Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
April 2. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
You will see what the Emperor is writing to you. He delayed so long in replying to your letters because he was loath to come to a decision on so grave a matter without thoroughly examining it and obtaining the advice of the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) who had gone to Binche to keep Easter and stayed there longer than she had meant to on account of an indisposition. But as soon as she returned the question was debated and decided. The Emperor's letters will tell you of the answer his Majesty commanded me to make to the Bishop of Norwich, and answer most of the points raised in yours of the 23rd and 24th of March; and I assure you that his Majesty has up to the present been very much pleased with the services you have rendered, by continuing to perform which you will further increase his obligations to you. As you write, it would be an excellent piece of work to reconcile the Chancellor with Paget and the other Councillors, so try your best to bring this about and induce them to transact the Queen's business in peace and good fellowship. You will behave with great discretion, as his Majesty indicates in his letters, and you well know how to comply with his wishes, in order to prevent the English from growing jealous of your share in affairs there, for you know them to be sensitive. Do not omit to take such action as you think may be required in the Queen's service, to make safe the Prince's coming and to prepare the way for what we hope will ensue, but hold your conferences with the Queen in private, and be careful not to irritate her. Let any measures that are to be introduced, as was suggested in M. d'Egmont's instructions, be proposed by the Queen to her Council, so as to appear to come from her; and contrive not to display more sympathy for one party than for the other, so as to avoid making enemies who might the more easily plot against you because it is always easy to work up feeling against a foreigner, and you have been in England long enough to know what instincts are uppermost in the English. You must be very vigilant and report every discovery you make, for if there were to be grave warnings of trouble ahead his Majesty might change his mind as to the Prince's coming, though I believe it would have to be something very serious indeed to make him waver, such are his love for the Queen, his appreciation of her attitude throughout the negotiation, and his recognition of the obligation to stand by her under which she has placed him and the Prince. Be that as it may, you will report all you hear, so that his Majesty and his Highness may make their choice. I have no doubt that as soon as you received his Highness's letters you took steps, if it was possible to do so in a seemly manner, to prevent the Queen's ambassadors from leaving for Spain; but I fear it was too late. His Highness's reason for not wishing them to come was that the Spanish coast is in many parts barren, and as there is no telling where they will land it is impossible to make sure of their having a suitable welcome.
His Majesty feared that your letters to his Highness and the copies of others to his Majesty might have the result of cooling his ardour for the journey, and particularly that certain persons might be moved by their private interests to advise him to delay. He therefore sent off messengers by several different routes to instruct his Highness not to allow himself to be persuaded to tarry unless something unexpected were to occur.
In view of the prospect of his Highness's speedy arrival, his Majesty thought it prudent, for the reasons set out in his letters to you, to send over M. de Courrières and the Alcalde with instructions so discreet in tone that they cannot give offence in England. M. de Courrières was unwilling to undertake the mission without the title of ambassador, saying that as he had been so often to England with that style, it would mean a great loss of prestige for him unless he were to enjoy it or a higher one; and his Majesty admitted his request. You know him, and must try to get on with him as best you can, doing your best to please him; for he is a popular nobleman and if he took it into his head to do you a bad turn he would find plenty of people here ready to help him; and I tell you this as a friend. He was taking Duboys with him but I summoned Duboys to be examined and will contrive to prevent him from going over to England, where he might cause you annoyance. I heard him in the presence of a secretary who noted down his deposition. He sticks to it that he will produce persons from whom he heard that you secured a pardon for the Marquis of Northampton and accepted a present from him, and that several members of the Council expressed disapproval of your behaviour. Moved by zeal for his master's service, he says, he spoke of the matter to Scheyfve, the Chancellor of the Order and others, but he did not invent the story himself, but only repeated what he had heard from persons in a position to know. He is amazed that you should complain of him, when so many others say the same, but says you hate him because by order of your colleagues he inserted a piece of news in a dispatch, at the time of the first embassy, and because he discovered the trend of your negotiations. I am trying to keep the matter from going any farther until I hear from you, for fear he may create a great tumult; but I thought it better to inform you of the tenor of Duboys' deposition. I had expected a negative reply from him rather than what he uttered. It is true that tongues wag very freely nowadays, and people talk for little reason, or indeed for none at all.
You will see what is being said about the 100,000 crowns. Speak to the Queen in a manner calculated not to rob her of all hope, but also be careful not to make her too confident; for to tell you the truth the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) has informed me that she sees very little likelihood of being able to raise the sum. So you must be tactful.
I feel anxious when I see the good Queen of England surrounded by factious servants. She must take great care to guard her person and lend authority to her commands by backing them up with troops, who must be loyal and devoted, especially those to whose keeping she entrusts her own person. You must do your best to persuade her to be careful about this.
I heartily thank you for the rings blessed by the Queen. I distributed them as soon as they came, and hope they will prove more efficacious than those blessed by some of her predecessors. The Emperor was very glad to have those you sent to him, and I believe he has also distributed them, for good things are all the better when their beneficent effects are widely spread. I send you my affectionate regards.
Brussels, 2 April, 1554.
P.S. I also thank you very warmly for the welcome you gave for my sake to Don Fadrique Henriquez and Don Juan de Mendoza, both of whom were delighted with their reception. True it is that as you suspected Don Fadrique is disappointed because he was not admitted to kiss the Queen's hand; but that will pass over. Gentlemen from that particular country are fond of such little ceremonies because they bring them before the public eye.
Holograph. French.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, un.
April 3. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. The Queen Dowager to Simon Renard.
The Bishop of Norwich has again petitioned us for restitution of some gun-powder confiscated two years ago at Amsterdam because an Englishman named Mr. John Dimmock (fn. 9) had tried to export it to England without leave. This was directly against his Majesty's ordinances and placards, and Dimmock had gone so far in his fraudulent devices as to try to smuggle the powder past his Majesty's excise officers, as we caused Mr. (i.e. Sir Thomas) Chamberlain, then the late King Edward's ambassador here, to be told when he sued for restitution of the powder on the ground that Dimmock had been instructed to buy it by the King, his master. Since then we instructed President de St. Mauris to confer with Chamberlain on the matter, and he showed him documents proving Dimmock's malversation, which we hoped would be enough to cause Chamberlain to desist from further steps. However, as he still persisted, we decided to instruct our ambassador in England to explain in detail to the Council what had happened, but when he did so no one seemed to know anything about the question; so nothing more was done down to the present. Well remembering this, we several times deferred answering the Bishop until we had collected all the documents (fn. 10) illustrative of the affair, on examining which once more we decided to show them to the Bishop in order to prove Dimmock's misdemeanour, taking the same ground as previously, as set forth in the letters written by the President to our ambassador, copies of which are being sent to you together with the ambassador's account of his negotiations, for your own guidance.
The Bishop replied that he knew nothing about the earlier negotiations, but was merely obeying orders from the Queen and Council in requesting that the powder should be restored. His mistress needed it sorely for her men-of-war and other purposes; and it ought to be remembered that what had occurred took place under the late King. The affairs of princes were not usually conducted in so narrow a spirit, and if any minister had been guilty of malpractices it was not right that the Queen should be made to pay for it.
He was told in reply that the facts of the case were such as had been reported to him, and that at the time his Majesty had met the late King's wishes by letting him have a large quantity of powder, in spite of the fact that he was then at war with France. It was not to be supposed that the Council approved of Dimmock's fraudulent behaviour, for in the late King's day they had ceased making any representations in the matter when the true nature of the affair had been explained to them. The confiscated powder had been distributed and used, as his Majesty's placards stated, so what had been done could not be undone. It was desired to put an end to the frauds and abuses that were of daily occurrence, and it certainly was unsuitable that a Prince's minister should render himself guilty of fraud, perjury, defying the placards and evading the payment of excise-dues. Therefore the late King would have done better to proceed against Dimmock, the chief author of the fraud, and make him and the merchants who had also been guilty responsible for the powder, as their misdeeds had caused the confiscation to take place. However, whenever the matter should be broached, we were prepared to furnish the fullest justification of our action. Moreover, Dimmock had already succeeded (before being caught) in shipping thirty or forty tons of munitions of war out of the country, and made sure the rest would follow without any difficulty.
We consider the precedent to be of great importance, for if once the line were taken that the ministers of princes could never be called to book, all sorts of prohibited articles might freely be smuggled out of the country; and we do not suppose that such doings would be put up with anywhere. We have therefore informed you of the foregoing; and if they speak to you on the subject in England you may tell them all about Dimmock and be clear enough to make sure they cease their attempts to get their way, as we trust they will do when they have heard the real facts. Your main point is to be that Dimmock was actually guilty of malpractices, and you may skilfully play on the consideration that it all happened under the late King. In order that you may have full information on the subject in hand, we are sending you all the papers relative to it, and you may use and exhibit them as you think fit.
Brussels, 3 April, 1554.
Minute. French.
April 3. (fn. 11) Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Since the departure of my secretary I have worked unceasingly to make the Queen of England understand how necessary it is that she should take steps to make his Highness's entry into England safe, remedy the lack of unison among her councillors, dissemble for a time with those whom she suspects, strive to win over those who might do her harm, reward those who stood by her in the recent rebellion, avoid supporting the private grievances of persons who might lead her into fresh danger and fail to support her, remember that her Council must be reformed in such a way that its numbers may be reduced, have the trials and executions of criminals, especially Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth, concluded before his Highness arrives, and see to it that nothing is proposed in the next Parliament that may stir up revolt among the people or the nobility. I explained to her in detail all the dangers that might attend neglect of these matters, and that the good beginning of the alliance would mean nothing unless the consummation were to follow; but asserted that it would be possible to achieve all things in time, especially the re-establishment of ecclesiastical authority and the punishment of the heretics. In reply, the Queen assured me that her anxiety for his Highness's safety prevented her from sleeping or taking any rest; her councillors had no sooner returned from their houses than they gave her their promises; she had spoken to the Chancellor, Arundel, Paget, Petre and the Controller separately and together, and had adjured them to be reconciled and take over the conduct of affairs, requiring of them to set diligently to work and finish the trials of the prisoners, decide what was to be laid before Parliament and take precautions for the safe coming of his Highness who, as I said, was so soon to arrive. She had told them to consult with me on the memoir I drew up on that subject; she would reward Pembroke with 6000l. if she could find the money; her councillors had promised to serve her loyally, and that they would rather die than allow any harm to be done to his Highness; they were to make the necessary preparations and speak to me about my memoir, and they had prayed her to have no fear about the state of her affairs; the Chancellor had spoken to her in private like an honest man, Arundel had assured her of his goodwill and Paget and Petre the same, so she must believe them or never trust anybody; and they would give me audience on Saturday. On that day I went to them and spoke of his Highness's preparations for his journey, which might soon take place, and requested them (first) to do what seemed to them necessary to insure his safety and provide for his orderly reception, as well as (second) to decide where he should land, where he should meet the Queen, and where the marriage should be consummated.
Third, that price-lists of food for men and horses should be drawn up.
Fourth, that the value of Spanish and Italian crowns and Portuguese ducats should be determined.
Fifth, that commissioners should be posted in the villages where the train was to stop, and arrange all things.
Sixth, that an English marshal should be appointed to assist his Highness's marshal in preventing any insults from being given, and that the English should be forbidden to push up against foreigners (de non rencontrer les estrangiers de coustel ou boucher) as they are accustomed to do.
Seventh, that they should name to me the officers and servants who were to be appointed to serve his Highness, so that they might begin their preparations, and that they might already be sworn and made known to me by the time of the arrival of the maistre-d'hostel whom your Majesty was to send.
The Councillors replied that they would take such precautions against his Highness's coming that they believed he would be as safe as if he were in Spain, and I need have no fear. They meant to post 300 horse at different places within a radius of twenty miles from Court to guard against any rising; good order should be kept in London, and Lord Clinton was to be deputed to see to it in the provinces.
The second point: they told me that his Highness must land at Southampton, and part of his baggage at Portsmouth, for Southampton was a fine, pleasant town where his Highness might rest a day or two, and the people round about were peaceful and Catholics. Thence his Highness would go to Waltham, (fn. 12) a castle seven miles from Southampton, and the next day his Highness and the Queen would meet at Winchester, seven leagues from Waltham, where the marriage would be consummated. The Queen would go from London to Richmond, from Richmond to Guildford and Farnham, and from Farnham to Winchester; and when the marriage had been consummated his Highness and the Queen would return together to London, and subsequently decide where they desired to spend the summer.
The third point: they would see to the framing of a reasonable tariff, but fodder would be dear.
Fourth: the circulation of Spanish and Italian crowns and Portuguese ducats should be authorised, and an equitable value assigned to them.
Fifth: skilful and experienced commissioners should be appointed to conduct the train.
Sixth: a marshal should be deputed to act in concert with his Highness's marshal, and be empowered to imprison all persons who committed misdemeanours within reach of the household, that is within twenty leagues of the Court, and have them dealt with in the ordinary course of justice.
Seventh: next Tuesday the servants and officers who were to serve were to be summoned to Court to take the necessary oath before the Great Master and the Chamberlain, and I was to be present. Moreover, they had decided to choose from among the Queen's archers one hundred of the most skilled in languages and trustworthy to serve as a guard for his Highness and be posted here and there to watch the houses of the lords who were to come. They should be with his Highness's ordinary guard, which would thus get to know the people and manners of the country. This could not be done sooner because Parliament began on Monday. They asserted that your Majesty and his Highness should be satisfied with their behaviour, and they gave me the enclosed list (fn. 13) of officers' names. The Chancellor, especially, told me that he was taking as great pains to render his Highness's landing secure as if his own life depended upon it, and that he would do his best to bring the matter to the desired conclusion. The French ambassador spoke to him last Friday, and said that Wotton had informed the King of France of the negotiation he entered upon recently with the Queen's Council and reported the reply that was given to what he and M. d'Oisel had been instructed to say. He (the French ambassador) was aware from the tone of the King's letters that he was angry with him, as if he had been guilty of ill offices and had acted contrary to the King's intentions, who was and had always been a devotee of peace and desirous of keeping up friendly relations with England. He had letters from the King addressed to the Queen in which his intentions were asserted; and as for Peter Carew, he did not mean to hide or take him into his kingdom, for he was aware of his misdeeds. The rumour that was going the rounds to the effect that the King was causing ships to be fitted out in order to prevent his Highness from crossing over to England to consummate the marriage was false, and he meant to justify his actions by demonstrating that they were the very opposite of what the people said, for he was an honourable and virtuous prince. The ambassador then went on to speak of his seized packet, and said he remembered sending by it a copy of a letter written to the Queen by the Lady Elizabeth, which had fallen into his hands by chance and had not been given to him by the said lady. He swore and blasphemed, using all the oaths in existence, in his assertions of Elizabeth's innocence, and ended by demanding audience of the Queen. I clearly saw, I replied, that the object of all this was to disculpate Elizabeth and that the talk of peace did not deserve to be taken seriously. On the contrary, he (Gardiner) had better demand Carew's extradition and stick to the point. The French ambassador was only talking smoothly in order to cozen him and conceal further intrigues that I believed the French were carrying on with the heretics and partisans of Elizabeth, for whose trial he (Gardiner) had better make preparations, because while she remained at large she would keep the Queen and himself in continual servitude and fear. This point was the true crux of the religious difficulty, and one could not help being amazed that the prisoners' trials had been so long delayed. He answered that as long as Elizabeth lived he had no hope of seeing the kingdom in peace. He had replied to the French ambassador as he had thought prudent, well understanding that he wanted audience in order to clear Elizabeth. As for himself, if everyone worked as hard as he, things would go better; and he trusted his Highness would remedy them. He would not cease to devise every means by which his Highness's person might be protected in this kingdom, for once the marriage had been consummated there would be no danger, and the ill-disposed would change their minds.
I have also spoken twice to Paget and left him in a frame of mind that makes it quite certain that we may look for good and loyal service from him. He confessed that he and other councillors were irritated against the Chancellor, but that they would all die rather than entertain a thought prejudicial to the Queen's service. And events have proved the truth of what he says, for more business has been dispatched since the Queen has reformed her Council than in the previous two months. Paget explained to me his position as regards religion, and admitted that one of the English bishops had formerly led him into error on the question of Transsubstantiation, but he had seen his mistake and long ago renounced it. He recognises that the only way to set the affairs of the kingdom in order is to re-establish religion, which he thinks will be a difficult task if gone about in the way recommended by the Chancellor, who would like to use blood and fire. If Paget had not lent a hand, my fears as to his Highness's coming would not yet have been dispelled. I did not omit to speak about the same matter to the Earl of Arundel, who assured me of his goodwill towards his Highness, and that the persons whom the Queen had nominated (as members of his household) were all Catholics. He and the Council are making incredible preparations all over the country for his Highness's coming. Thus, Sire, the Council has been reformed and has met, and affairs are in good order in that quarter.
New commissioners have been deputed to examine the prisoners, and Paget has promised me to hasten on their work. I believe that this week will see the execution of Wyatt, who greatly scandalised the Queen at the Easter communion service by taking communion with the other prisoners without having confessed. This took place through the carelessness of the Lieutenant of the Tower; and Wyatt also uttered strange words about religion and the sacraments. As for Courtenay, there is enough against him to punish him, but the laws of England do not provide penalties applicable to Elizabeth, because those with whom she plotted are fugitives. Nevertheless the Queen tells me that fresh proof is coming up against her every day, and there were several witnesses to assert that she had gathered together stores and weapons in order to rise with the rest and fortify a house in the country whither she had been sending her provisions. After Paget had talked at great length with Elizabeth, he told me that if sufficient evidence to put her to death were not discovered he saw no better means of keeping her quiet than to marry her to a foreigner; and if a match with the Prince of Piedmont could be arranged, Parliament and the Council would readily consent that the succession should go to them in case the Queen had no children. As far as he could see, there was no possibility of attacking the claim she has through Parliament; and if that match were to take place the nobility and people would agree to his Highness's marriage without any difficulty. Moreover, no conceivable alliance would be of greater assistance to the Duke for the recovery of his states, for this kingdom would gladly do all it could to help him. I thought it better not to reply to this point, but went on to ask his opinion regarding Courtenay, who, as Paget thinks, ought not to be let out of prison yet, even if it is found impossible to condemn him to death. So, Sire, progress is also being made with the prisoners.
As for Parliament, it was opened yesterday. The Queen was carried thither in state, and the speech from the throne (proposition) was read by the Chancellor who, according to the report of those present, spoke to good purpose on the subject of marriage, saying that the Queen was not at all bound to say anything about it to her subjects, but such was her love for her kingdom and desire for its tranquillity that she desired to communicate the articles to them. These were quite the opposite of what the conspirators had asserted, for whereas they had said that his Highness wished to conquer the kingdom, in reality the kingdom was conquering your Majesty, his Highness and your realms and dominions. He therefore trusted that now they had heard them they would not offer opposition, but on the contrary render their humble thanks to the Queen for her affection and show their gratitude by deeds. It was quite clear that the reason of the recent plot and rebellion was not the marriage, but religion, and he held forth on this point and spoke sharply about the sacrament. Next Thursday the bills that are to come up will be considered: first: the confirmation of the marriage treaty, with a derogatory clause concerning the government which by English law ought to fall into the hands of his Highness, and providing that whatever his Highness may do against the treaty shall be null and void, except by the consent of Parliament, whilst the Queen's acts shall be as valid as if she were unmarried. Second: all those who speak ill or plot against his Highness shall incur the penalties of rebellion, just as if they had plotted against the Queen herself.
Third: the Queen's title of supreme head of the Church is to be suppressed.
Fourth: the rebels are to be declared to have forfeited (their rights) and incurred the penalty of rebellion, which is the form usually employed here for the confiscation of property; and these are the main points that Parliament has to deal with. Some of the most learned in the law thought it would be well to declare whether his Highness should be named first, whether he should sign first, and whether he should be required to sign all documents; but it was answered that it was reasonable that his Highness should be named first and should sign first, though there would be less difficulty about signing. The said lawyers made answer that the Lady Isabella of Aragon, (fn. 14) of good memory, signed alone after she was married.
I have it from a sure source that there will be more opposition on the score of religion than on that of the marriage, which will not be fought openly except by a few heretics. Three men have been mentioned to me who might dissent: my Lord Westmoreland, (fn. 15) who fives in the North, my Lord Borgain (fn. 16) and my Lord Tallebot, (fn. 17) who have excused their absence from Parliament on the ground of ill health. The sessions will reveal the members' dispositions within five or six days, and the Queen has told me that Parliament may be over in ten or twelve days from now. She is doing her best to win over good and bad alike, and before the mass of the Holy Ghost, which it is the custom to sing in Westminster church before Parliament meets, she saw Pembroke who was back from the country and had come to make his Easter communion, and she caressed him in front of everyone, and said good day to his wife. She hopes that all will go well. This is all I can write about Parliament for the moment. Certainly, Sire, if the pensions had already been distributed before his Highness's coming it would have been a means of making the English do as one liked, for they are a nation that has to be kept friendly by means of gifts and liberalities, as I have stated in my letters. Your Majesty is aware of the importance of the match, and how advisable it is to neglect no means of ensuring its accomplishment. The Council are making the preparations mentioned above, but for still greater security several people think that the Biscay and Flemish fleets ought not to withdraw to a distance, but might cruise the English coast between Dover, the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth in order that, if any trouble arose, the ships and troops on board of them might be used. It would also perhaps be well to mingle a number of soldiers, dressed in the lords' liveries, among the servants who are to accompany his Highness and the lords, for they might be useful in case of need. Supposing that as many as 3000 men are to come in the train, two thousand of them might know how to handle arms, being chosen among soldiers instead of pages and lackeys, and they might render good service against people who cannot gather together without its becoming known, thus affording us enough time to defend ourselves in a fort or gain the ships. As it is known that your Majesty and the King of France are at war, and the passage is being watched, his Highness and his suite may well be supplied with arms, and arquebuses and morions may also be hidden in the chests, besides which the Queen's houses are very well supplied with weapons of all sorts. Your Majesty will also consider whether it would not be well to send a body of troops up to the frontier near Dunkirk in order to intimidate the ill-disposed and be ready in case he (the Prince) were being defended in a house (castle) or port. It has also been observed that it would be wise to have the Isle of Wight reconnoitred so as to be able to seize it in case of trouble, though not otherwise, or else the Island of Queenborough (Sheppey) which lies at the mouth of the river towards Margate. If we calculate that the ships will be manned by 6000, and that his Highness will have about 2000 men able to help: one thousand horse and a thousand arquebusiers and pikemen, together with the Queen's partisans and the help sent by your Majesty, there will be enough not only to resist a sudden attack, but to overcome the conspirators. And your Majesty will remember that it will be necessary to increase his Highness's guard to the number of one hundred archers and hallebardiers. I trust in God that there will be no disturbance, but in order not to be taken by surprise I thought it better to speak a word to your Majesty on the subject, and I submit to the decisions you may be pleased to come to. I take it that your Majesty remembers that the French are sparing neither pains nor money in their efforts to stop the voyage. But everyone says that once the marriage is consummated all danger will be over, unless they set some desperate men to shoot at his Highness.
Speaking of the French, their ambassador had audience of the Queen last Sunday, and presented letters of credence from the King, his master, repeating what he had said to the Chancellor and complaining of Wotton for making a bad report of him to the King. He finally said that he would prefer to retire as he was not welcome, and the Queen replied drily that she had much more reason to complain of the King's ministers than they could have to complain of hers. Up to the present she had not wished to declare what she knew, and she was waiting to see some of the results of the protestations of friendship that the ambassador had always uttered, in connexion with Peter Carew and other refugees. For her part, she would keep her word unless he forced her to do otherwise. From what I hear it seems that the ambassador is asking to be recalled.
Crayer, (fn. 18) a servant of the Duke of Cleves, had audience the same day, and broached no matter except to congratulate the Queen on her victory and marriage with his Highness on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Cleves. He thanked the Queen for her favourable treatment of the Duke's sister, and asked leave to go and console her for the loss she has sustained by the death of her brother-in-law and sister John Frederick of Saxony and his wife. He obtained leave, and said he would not be away more than six or eight days. I am endeavouring to find out whether he has any other business on hand.
The same day an agent of the King of Poland had audience in connexion with the private claims of certain merchants, subjects of that King.
The Admiral of England is resolved to be at Dover on the appointed day, and he hopes to find your Majesty's Admiral there. He has instructions from the Council to aid your Majesty's men if they are attacked by the French, for it is believed that your Majesty's troops will not assail the French unless obliged to do so in order not to plunge England into a war, and as the main object is the protection of his Highness.
Six French captains, of those who went to Scotland before the rebellion have passed through this place, and I hear that the others are soon returning on their way to France. Two explanations are offered.
One, that the French intrigues with English rebels have failed; the other that the Scots are divided and disgusted with the French. I assure your Majesty that the Regent of Scotland is daily gathering strength against the Queen Dowager, and is resolved not to allow the French to get the upper hand in the kingdom. Paget has told me that the Dowager, feeling her own weakness, has written to the Earl of Lennox, who married the Lady Margaret, daughter of that sister of King Henry (VIII) who married in Scotland and had the said Margaret by her second husband, (fn. 19) and who (the Earl of Lennox) was driven out of and deprived of his lands by the French, that if he wishes to return to Scotland she will have his property restored to him and show him treatment befitting his rank, thus hoping to gain him over to the party hostile to the Regent, as he is an important personage and has some chance of succeeding to the Scottish crown. Now, this letter has been carefully considered, and it has been decided that he is to draw near to the Scottish border and reply that, if they will treat him better there than in the past, he will very willingly return to his country on account of his natural affection for it and because he does not find himself welcome in England. This he will say in order to have a grievance, and if he is encouraged he will cross over to Scotland and secretly enter into communication with the Regent against the Dowager, with a view not only to driving her from the country, but to making himself King if possible and throwing Scottish affairs into confusion. If he is able to do this, the Queen will help him with money to the best of her ability, but it would be advisable for her to try to raise some. Paget added that, if she could find bankers to furnish her with some 200,000 or 300,000 crowns in Spain, not only would her position be assured against any attempts at rebellion, but she would be able to follow up the said intrigue, and would make ready to aid your Majesty and his Highness against the French, though she does not wish to ask her people for money until after the consummation of the marriage. He begged me to write and ask your Majesty about this, assuring you that no money that was ever raised would have been so well spent, and that it would be used as much to your advantage as to the Queen's. Indeed, Sire, the Queen's need is such that if she found herself in circumstances where money was essential she would be in grave danger. May it please you to come to a decision, so that I may give a reply.
M. d'Egmont sailed on Easter day, and I have not heard that he has met with any obstacle on his journey.
The Queen's ambassadors are at Plymouth waiting for a good wind. They missed one because their ships were not ready. It is important that M. d'Egmont should arrive there (in Spain) first in order to report on the state of affairs here and make preparations for receiving the ambassadors; and meantime Parliament will be finished.
It is desired over here that the Duke of Albuquerque (fn. 20) should come with his Highness, for he is known and left a reputation for generosity behind him; but may it please your Majesty to consider whether the Spanish lords had better bring their wives, and write to Spain on the subject.
It is not too early to send a maistre d'hotel to begin the preparations. He ought to be active and well adapted to the occasion and the country, and also know how to get on with Spaniards. Your Majesty might also think over sending M. de Courrières and the Alcalde (Briviesca) as you said in your last letters, in which case let the Alcalde call himself a marshal and not bring anyone who carries a halbert. Or if your Majesty thinks it better to await the conclusion of Parliament, that will not be long.
The Bishop of Norwich has written that the President of the Privy Council told him that I would render an account over here of a suit that had been brought against Dansell, (fn. 21) brother-in-law of Jaques Granado, on account of some confiscated powder, but I have heard nothing about it, and am quite unable to explain the matter to these people.
Mason has proved that he was dissembling when he spoke about the marriage, for he pretended to be ill in order to avoid going to Spain with the Privy Seal, and I know for certain that he has used strange expressions. Paget himself has told me that Mason tried to dissuade him, but as the marriage negotiations were the work of Paget's hand, Mason gave it up. I remember having said something about it to your Majesty. When he returns it will be well to treat him accordingly, especially as he is resentful over the execution of his brothers-in-law. (fn. 22) Indeed he is ill-disposed both on the marriage and the religious question.
From the foregoing may your Majesty be pleased to gather the state of affairs here, and come to a final decision as to his Highness's arrival in this kingdom, which the English assert will be quite safe. In truth, Sire, if those who accompany his Highness are modest, and the Council go on as they have begun, as I trust they will, I see no reason why his Highness should defer his departure. And if there is any disturbance it will always be possible to send a warning and act accordingly. I do not mean that I can guarantee the secret thoughts of the English, or make myself reponsible for the trustworthiness of their assurances, for that would be too rash. All I can do is to report what is found out here, repeat the Queen's and Council's assurances and write to your Majesty what happens and may happen. And I trust, Sire, that you will take my labours and desire to serve in good part.
To-day they have begun administering the oath to the officers who are to serve his Highness. The Earl of Arundel, the Controller, the Vice-Chamberlain and I were present. To-morrow the rest will take the oath, and I will then send a list of the names, together with details of the reasons that moved the Queen and Council to choose them.
Brussels, 3 April, 1554.
French. Signed. Cipher.
Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
April 5. Vienna, E. 1. Mary I to the Emperor.
We have occasion to employ in our service here the Reverend Father in God, our dear and well-beloved Councillor, the Bishop of Norwich, now residing with you as our ambassador, and have instructed him to obtain your leave to return hither. We wish however, to replace him by a person worthy of the post and agreeable to you, in order that he may keep up cordial relations between the two countries and also inform us from time to time of your news. We have consequently appointed our dear and well-beloved Councillor, Mr. John Mason, Knight, whom we are now sending to reside at your court as ambassador in place of the Bishop of Norwich. We pray you to accept him for the love of us, as you have done in the past, and accord him prompt and favourable audience whenever he may desire it, believing him in what he says as you would ourself.
St. James' Palace, near Westminster, 5 April, 1554.
Signed. French.


  • 1. Andrea Doria, the Genoese who commanded the Emperor's fleets in the Mediterranean.
  • 2. Don Gómez Suárez do Figueroa, formerly Imperial ambassador at Genoa.
  • 3. Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva.
  • 4. Adolphe de Bourgogne-Wacken, Sieur de la Capelle, Vice-Admiral of Flanders.
  • 5. Maximilien de Bourgogne, Count de Beveren, Admiral of Flanders.
  • 6. Cornille Scepperus, Sieur d'Eecke, a sea-captain in the Emperor's service.
  • 7. St. Florent (San Florenzo) is a small port on the north coast of Corsica.
  • 8. This person is described in 1546–1547, as Jacques de Bierbiesca et Maniortones, licencié és lois, conseiller. grand prévot de la cour, que Von nomme alcalde en espagnol (Gachard).
  • 9. Formerly the King's agent at Antwerp.
  • 10. See Vol. X of this Calender, pp. 555, 610, 611.
  • 11. This letter, closed on April 3rd, was evidently written over several days.
  • 12. Bishop's Waltham.
  • 13. This list has not been found.
  • 14. Isabella of Castile, wife of Ferdinand of Aragon, is evidently meant here.
  • 15. Henry Neville, fifth Earl of Westmoreland.
  • 16. Gachard interprets this as Anthony Broune, later first Viscount Montague, but he was a staunch Catholio and supporter of Mary. Lord Abergavenny is probably meant.
  • 17. Lord Talbot, eldest son of the Earl of Shrewsbury.
  • 18. Perhaps Dr. Hermann Crœser, or Cruser, who was in England as the Duke of Cleve'e agent in 1551. See Vol. X of this Calendar, p. 282.
  • 19. The Earl of Angus.
  • 20. Beltrán de la Cueva, Duke of Albuquerque.
  • 21. William Dansell, or Damosell, formerly Court Master of the English merchants of Antwerp. The person concerned in the powder case, however, was not Dansell, but John Dimmock, see p. 195.
  • 22. Mason's wife was Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Thomas Isley, of Sundridge, Kent, who was a cousin of Jane Guilford, wife of John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland; and the Isleys, her brothers, had lost their heads for participation in Wyatt's rebellion.