Spain: January 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: January 1554, 11-20', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) pp. 20-36. British History Online [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Spain: January 1554, 11-20", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) 20-36. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024,

. "Spain: January 1554, 11-20", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949). 20-36. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024,

January 1554, 11–21

Jan. 11. Simancas. E. 881. Don Juan Manrique de Lara to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter, in the first paragraph of which the writer urges the Emperor to use his influence to obtain a cardinal's hat for the Archbishop of Otranto.)
I sent off the dispensation, which his Holiness certainly granted most willingly; and he also consented to grant another on the two points mentioned by your Majesty, in the terms you will see by the translation of the brief he is sending to the Queen (of England), who will make use of it as opportunity shall offer. Haste must be avoided in this affair on account of the danger that would attend its divulgation, which would do great harm even here, for your Majesty may be sure that to get authority given to a schismatic was no light matter. His Holiness, however, is favourably inclined, and his great love moved him to grant it. Your Majesty must answer by showing him affection and reassuring him, for the French and their adherents do nothing but hint that you have some reason for being displeased with him; and they alarm him. He ought to be reassured.
His Holiness is sending to your Majesty as nuncio the Archbishop of Conza, who was Master of the Sacred Palace. I have no need to say how good a man he is, because it will be seen over there, but I must observe that his learning and virtue are unrivalled and that his Holiness has the highest opinion of him. His excellent intentions have come out clearly in the affairs with which he has been entrusted, and his qualities and straightforward manner of negotiating caused his Holiness to choose him as nuncio to your Majesty, whose transparent sincerity deserves to have to deal with so ingenuous a representative. His Holiness is hastening on his departure, for he wishes him to arrive soon after the Cardinal of England (Pole), with whose virtues and fame the world is filled. His renown is very great indeed, and your Majesty will find that he deserves all the regard you may show him. His Holiness has ordered Cardinal Morone, whom he has consulted on this English question more than any one else, to write to Pole to treat English affairs according to your Majesty's dictates, and to proceed to England when your Majesty and the Queen see fit, for he judges that your Majesty's and the Queen's interests are at one with the service of God in this matter.
He is also instructing him to speak clearly and openly to your Majesty about peace, and to urge the common claims of Christendom with all due regard for your Majesty's and the Prince's interests and honour. He has ordered him to proceed to France and to attempt to persuade the King to give back all that he is wrongfully holding in various quarters, for it appears to his Holiness right that he should do so.
And if your Majesty thinks it advisable that he (Pole) should try to negotiate a peace or truce by means of the Queen of England, he shall receive instructions to that effect, for it seems opportune that the King should realise that unless he makes peace and consents to give back what he has taken he will have England against him.
These are the points that his Holiness has commanded Cardinal Morone to write to Cardinal Pole on his behalf. As I have said, his Holiness has communicated constantly with Cardinal Morone on these affairs, and with good reason, for he has a very high opinion of him. I do not wish to appear partial, for I really am the reverse and esteem every man according to the deserts of his attitude towards your Majesty; but I may remark that there are few who serve you as whole-heartedly as he, for in the creation of cardinals and in all that has happened with regard to England I have found him so devoted to you that in truth he was using his influence with his Holiness even when I was unaware of it; and that was the origin of all that has since been achieved.
It will be well that your Majesty speak with Cardinal Pole, and I am sure you will be glad to have supported him so firmly in the last conclave, for apart from his learning he is a man of most exemplary life, very discreet and worthy that your Majesty should hold intercourse with him.
Rome, 11 January, 1554.
Spanish. Decipherment.
Jan. 12. Vienna, E. 22. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: We were invited to dine at the house of my lord (the Bishop) of Winchester, Chancellor of the Kingdom, on the 8th of this month, with the entire Council of the Queen, and a large number of earls, lords, and other distinguished personages. We were most honourably welcomed and entertained. After dinner we withdrew apart with the Lord Chancellor and the Council to conclude the negotiation concerning the Articles of the alliance between my Lord the Prince and the Queen. A fair copy of the Articles, in the form in which we intended they should be passed, was sent to them the day before. The Articles were accepted, with certain additions of no importance at all, by us all, and it was agreed that they should be transcribed on parchment, with the insertion of the powers on both sides, so that they might be signed, sealed and delivered. This was done to-day, by the grace of God, after we had solved (in accordance, as we hope, with your Majesty's intentions), certain small objections offered by them, in good form and with all the requisite safeguards. We are despatching the documents by the bearer, so that it may please your Majesty to append your ratification and return it to us, in order that the Queen's may also be obtained. The Council informed us that they did not advise her to sign before His Highness had done so, for custom prescribes that the husband shall speak first, not the wife. This appears to us to be entirely seemly and reasonable, in consideration of the fact that it is specially set forth in the conclusion of the articles that your Majesty shall give your solemn promise as Emperor and prince, for you and your successors, to observe and keep the treaty without any exception whatsoever. They asked us whether their ambassador resident at your Majesty's Court might be present when the oath was taken. We replied in the affirmative, as we, on your Majesty's and his Highness's behalf, should also be present when the Queen swore and gave her ratification.
Sire, although the wind has been favourable for the arrival of news from Spain during the last few days, yet none have come so far, though it is more than necessary that the power to contract the alliance per verba de prœsenti be in our hands, to enable us to fulfil our mission; otherwise the Act would be nul at law.
We find the Council greatly addicted to the service of your Majesty and his Highness. They well deserve recognition, especially those who have negotiated with us. They have proved as conciliating and accommodating as possible, and we deem it our duty to inform your Majesty of it, so that you may also be made aware of the temper of the people over here.
We can achieve nothing more here until the power comes. Your Majesty will be pleased to command us what we are to do, especially as the Councillors asked us when we expected to leave. It must also be borne in mind that the first article of the treaty sets forth that the marriage per verba de prœsenti shall be contracted here by his Highness in person. Your Majesty will please signify your determination to us; we are very numerous, over four hundred persons.
London, 12 January, 1554.
French. Signed by the four envoys and the ambassador resident.
Printed from a transcript at Brussels, by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Jan. 13. Vienna, E. 22. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Your Majesty will learn from the letters written in common with the other ambassadors, that the articles and treaty of marriage between his Highness and the Queen of England were signed, sealed and delivered on the 12th of this month. Your Majesty's ratification, and that of Ms Highness are now wanting, besides the Queen's; who has been advised not to sign before his Highness for the reasons and considerations your Majesty may easily surmise. The commission of the envoys is now at an end, Sire, as far as it concerns the question of the marriage, and all that remains is the promise and betrothal, for which the said envoys have no special power from his Highness. The Queen told me that if the envoys would content themselves with a promise from her, she would give it in any terms that might be asked for. May it please your Majesty, when considering this, to remember the Queen's constancy, her devotion to your Majesty, the bearing of the treaty, the manner in which the prolonged stay of so large a company, without any justification whatever, may be interpreted; and how important it is that his Highness's coming be hastened, as the Queen is resolved not to marry in Lent. I can certify to your Majesty that if his Highness could come before Lent the conclusion of this alliance would pass off more quietly and safely than any event that has taken place in the kingdom since the Queen came to the throne; and time is of value. The people have been greatly pleased by the visit of the envoys, because they and the nobility who frequented them have found them courteous and sociable. M. d'Egmont has done his best as your Majesty will have heard from other testimonies. The nobility is for the greater part satisfied; the Council is agreed, and the Controller (fn. 1) told me that as he had done his best to smooth the way for the event, and to ensure the accomplishment of the marriage without disturbances, he hoped matters would proceed quietly; he was at work every day, to win over as many as possible among the commoners as well as the nobility.
True it is that certain heretics fear the restoration of religion and still murmur, desiring that the succession to the Crown be assured to the Lady Elizabeth or Courtenay (who now belongs to the new religion, as I have been told), in the hope that by such means the new religion may live. The French, too, are persevering in their practices. I hope the Queen will see to all that, if she will follow the course that has been indicated to her, which consists in dealing exemplary justice to all heretics and those who break the laws made by Parliament; in making an open show of arming, as the French, her neighbours, are also arming, and their intrigues have been discovered. Let her collect together a goodly number of captains and men both mounted and on foot and set her ships in good order, making an outward show of her desire to use her forces to make her people secure from the French, thus upholding justice with might.
The Council is beginning to approve of this advice. They have sent two pinnaces and an armed vessel towards Normandy to discover what sort of fleet the French are arming, and they have also sent spies to ascertain the truth about the (projected) enterprise. The Council sent word to me that I was to write and ask leave of your Majesty that they might take (out of Flanders) a thousand sets of armour for light cavalry and soldiers, for their use; and that your Majesty might order the gunpowder you borrowed some time ago from the late King Henry to be returned to them. The preparations afoot might well serve to diminish and damage the French. If your Majesty approves, I will persuade them to persevere, and will do whatever your Majesty may be pleased to command. You will consider how important it is that the Council be encouraged by liberalities and acknowledgements to continue so well-disposed, and increase their devotion in the future.
M. d'Oisel has arrived here. He had an audience of the Queen at which he did not negotiate anything except to exhort the Queen to keep peace and friendship with France. He carried two letters of credence, undated; one from the King of France, the other from the young Queen of Scots. The Queen replied that if the King gave her no provocation, she would maintain friendly relations and observe the treaties of peace.
The Council received letters from Wotton (fn. 2) yesterday in which he wrote that he had had conversations with the King and the Constable (fn. 3) on the question of peace between your Majesty and the said King. They both argued several points respecting your Majesty, declaring you to be in the wrong against the King; after which the King said that he would condescend to make peace and abate his just claims on various points, out of regard for the Queen rather than from any fear or necessity on his part, provided your Majesty did not take your stand on the articles that were submitted to him, which he found to be exorbitant. The Constable told Wotton that the Queen might further the cause of peace by ascertaining the rival claims from both sides, in order to reconcile them, and he was of opinion that a truce might be concluded to facilitate this course, during which the difficulties in question might be solved; and he bid Wotton write accordingly to the Queen, requesting her to set her hand to the undertaking. These are the contents of the letters as far as they regard the peace. It is expedient that your Majesty take some resolve so that I may answer accordingly when the Queen and her Council speak to me about it, as I know they will.
He (Wotton) also writes that the King moreover suspects that some negotiation for the conquest of Scotland may be afoot with the English. Besides any information he may have received from his ambassadors, his suspicions seem to be fed by the knowledge that the Scots are disgusted with him and his ministers. It is believed that endeavours have been made to induce the Regent of Scotland (Arran) to oppose the marriage (of Mary Queen of Scots) with the Dauphin, and the penetration of Scotland by the French. It is quite true that there is not much good intelligence in that quarter.
The King of France has named the said d'Oisel his Lieutenant-General in Scotland. This is likely to increase the irritation of the Scots, especially as he is taking Captain Sarajoce and a few more Gascon captains with him, and intends to send them to Dunbar and other fortified places in Scotland.
The Spaniard who gave me the advices I sent in my last letters to your Majesty came to see me at my house and told me that if it pleased your Majesty he would take away from the service of France the fifty Spaniards who are there at present, in the neighbourhood of Fiennes. He could accomplish this in a few days. He requested me to send the writing inclosed herewith (fn. 4) to sue for his pardon, so that he might return to your Majesty's service. I have made enquiries about him, and have heard that he is married at Rouen; he crossed with M. d'Oisel; he was a partner of Sancho de Herrera, who died in France two months ago, and was sent hither to spy and intrigue. He would be glad to find means to get to Flanders. I say this particularly because he sent word to me that he was put to great expense here, and that he had no means to support himself, and asked me to give him letters of passage to go to Flanders. I refused; and if he leaves London it would be well to watch for him in the Spanish camp, as your Majesty has his name on the document referred to, besides which he is well known to the soldiers.
The French ambassador (fn. 5) has privately asked whether M. d'Egmont is to go to Spain and when his Highness is expected; and he has made these inquiries of the Chancellor and the Lord Privy Seal. (fn. 6)
There has been a rumour that the King of France has seized all the English ships at Dieppe and Rouen, but it has not been confirmed so far, as I hear from the Chancellor. If it proves true, the move is a form of reprisal because certain Englishmen have taken a few small fishing-boats belonging to two Frenchmen.
It continues to be said everywhere in England that certain German princes, Duke Augustus (fn. 7) in particular, are taking arms against your Majesty, and that the Italian potentates are planning an alliance with the King of France against his Highness.
Sire, may it please your Majesty to order that money be sent to me to provide for ordinary expenses, if your Majesty desires me to remain here some time longer. The money your Majesty commanded to be sent to me at the end of last month has all been spent. May you be pleased to consider that I cannot carry on negotiations nor make use of spies without supplementary funds, and give whatever orders may seem best for your service. I have already spent over fifty crowns of my own money in journeys and other items.
London, 13 January, 1554.
French. Signed. Printed, from a transcript at Brussels, by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Jan. 13. Vienna, E. 22. Simon Renard to the Queen Dowager.
Madam: The Queen of England's Controller has written to me to obtain a passport to take out of the Low Countries one load of (illegible) for the provisioning of the Queen's household. I have not been able to refuse to do so, for the considerations your Majesty may easily understand, so may your Majesty be pleased to decide in the matter.
The English merchants named in the enclosed petition (fn. 8) have requested to be given letters of recommendation to your Majesty and my Lord the Admiral, (fn. 9) to obtain restitution of goods unjustly taken from them, as they aver, by certain subjects of the Emperor. My Lords the ambassadors, hearing of this, were of opinion that the request should be transmitted to your Majesty, to be dealt with according to your pleasure. I am therefore sending the petition and memoir referred to.
Madam, I will make no repetition of that which I am writing to the Emperor, as your Majesty will see my original letters, but I beg you most humbly to consider how necessary it is that his Highness shall come here speedily to consummate the marriage, and how greatly prejudicial to this affair delay might prove to be. The Queen entertains the hope that on the coming of his Highness your Majesty may approach her frontiers, and that it will be possible for her to see your Majesty.
London, 13 January, 1554.
French. Holograph.
P.S. Madam, as my money was exhausted at the end of December I most humbly beseech you to command that more may be sent to me if it please you that I make a longer sojourn here.
Jan. 14. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Bishop of Arras to the Ambassadors in England.
My Lords: The Emperor and the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) will deliberate on the reply they decide to send to the letters received from you, as soon as an answer which is expected daily and may now arrive at any moment, is received here. Meanwhile their Majesties have commanded me to tell you that your letters written in common on the 27th of December (1553) and 7th of the present month, and those written privately by you, Lieutenant of Amont, on December 29th (1553) and 9th of the present month have been received; and to let you know at once that no objection whatever has been found here to the alterations made to the articles in England, as shown in the copy you have sent, as the changes in question do not in any way alter the substance of the said articles. We trust therefore that the articles will soon be accepted and passed, according to the hope expressed by you, Lieutenant (of Amont) in your letters.
As to the power from my Lord our Prince, required by the people over there, so much haste has been made by sea and by land to hasten its arrival, and, as you know, so many days have now passed since the last courier despatched by way of England reached Spain, that it is quite possible you may have received news of it by the time this letter reaches you if his Highness accedes to the request. Without it, we do not see how you could proceed to the completion of the marriage per verba de prœsenti; and this must be done, either in public, which would be best, or in private, as the Queen of England has offered, provided the suggestion comes from her. She might entertain some scruple about the dispensation, no news of which have come as yet; but although the actual Bulls have not arrived, I am sure they will soon be here, as a courier was sent expressly some time ago to our ambassador in Rome with orders to go and come with the greatest possible speed, and bring back information on the arrangements decided upon by his Holiness for the despatch of the Bulls. When once the information is in our hands there can be no reason why the Queen should scruple to proceed, even though the Bulls did not arrive at the same time; they being but the mere testimony of the granting of the dispensation. The ambassador at Rome (fn. 10) has also been commanded to send off the Bulls by another courier immediately they are ready. Until the marriage per verba de prœsenti has taken place it is not meet that you, my Lord d'Egmont, leave for Spain. His Majesty's letters addressed to that country are being prepared now, and will be sent to you at the first opportunity so that as soon as the marriage per verba de prœsenti has been celebrated, you may start to go to his Highness, and hasten his coming as much as possible. In the meantime you may provide yourself with all the requisite procurations, so that your crossing may take place at the earliest moment.
As his Majesty has written to you. Lieutenant of Amont, that in order to win over some of those who murmur and make mischief it may he necessary to distribute some small sums of money to induce them to speak and act favourably, it is requisite that such sums be fixed and distributed by you, my Lord, according to your discretion. We are providing for 3000 crowns to be sent to you, to be devoted to the purpose. Whereas in your letters to his Majesty you mentioned that it would be well to begin making presents to those who have taken a principal share in these negotiations, his Majesty desires that you hold communication together on the charge you have received in this respect, namely to make certain presents not merely to the Admiral, whom you mention in your letters, but to the rest as well, and decide how much shall be given to each, according to his station and the services rendered, as far as you know, for the good conduct and success of this business. Consider those, too, who must be satisfied, though they may have done nothing to deserve a reward, in order to prevent them doing harm and causing difficulties. As soon as you can send particulars amplifying your general reference to the suitability of receiving certain persons into the service (of his Highness); and advise us also as to who among those mentioned by you as being suitable, would prove most agreeable to the Queen, and would help to direct the turn of affairs in England to our advantage.
Brussels. 14 January, 1554.
French. Minute. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV
Jan. 14. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
I have two letters of yours to which I owe an answer; one of the 20th of last month, the other of the 8th of this month, both written in cipher, and (one) enclosing a note which I have sent to be joined to the letters written in common (fn. 11) as the contents should be known by all those who take a share in affairs concerning England. His Majesty will decide what reply is to be made to the letters and on the subject of the note. I will refer you to the letter I am writing to you all jointly for the main question contained in yours, because the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) is absent in the country, and the Emperor is suffering from gout in the thumb of his right hand, and will now reply, briefly for lack of time, to certain special points of your letters to me. In the first place I give thanks to God that your labours, and mine, and those of others who have had a hand in this negotiation of the marriage have borne good fruit, and matters now stand as they do; beseeching Him to guide the undertaking to its full completion, as we desire, and to grant that it may redound to His service, and also that the Christian Commonwealth, the realms, counties and estates of his Majesty may receive from it those benefits for which it is legitimate to hope. You have certainly conducted yourself very prudently throughout, to your master's contentment, which is one of the greatest satisfactions I could possibly receive. You may feel certain of my cordial affection, which I will prove to you whenever opportunity offers, and the professions you so liberally make in your letters give me welcome assurance that your own feelings correspond to mine. You may rely and call upon me without hesitation, spurning any evil suggestions to the contrary.
With reference to the gentlemen who have been sent to England, you will do well to be guided by circumstances, and as you are acquainted with the character and temper of each one, display your accustomed prudence and dexterity in your relations with them for the short time they are to be there. I may add that as far as I can see, when this affair is once concluded, they are not likely to tarry long. True it is as the Chancellor of the Order (Nigri) declares, and I also opine, the marriage per verba de prœsenti can not validly be contracted before the power from my Lord the Prince arrives, and we have news that the dispensation is granted, as you will see from the letters I have written to you all.
As to Chevalier Bernardi, I wrote to you at length the tale I have heard about him, and you will do well to carry out your intention, set forth in your letters, to watch his actions. The result will show if you have sufficient grounds on which to challenge my Lord Paget's good opinion of him. This marriage must give rise to much jealousy, and it may be surmised that detractors, enemies of the greatness of his Majesty, will do their worst. But if they perceive that we retort, fear will induce them to proceed more circumspectly. Certain representations have been made here to the Venetian ambassador, (fn. 12) and not out of season, in the terms I wrote to you in detail. You were not mentioned, and as you will see he has turned his conjectures on to Games, though I certainly did not mention his name. I see by your letters that the excuse given to you by the (Venetian) ambassador (fn. 13) is a very meagre one. The Venetian ambassador resident at this Court has made no sign of it to me, though I always converse with him very familiarly, and frequently meet him, as is owing to a man of his quality and the representative of so great a Republic. If he happens to speak to me on the subject I shall not fail to let you know what he says. I recommend myself affectionately to your kind remembrance.
Brussels, 14 January, 1554.
French. Signed. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV, but wrongly dated 1555.
Jan. 18. Vienna, E. 22. The Ambassadors in England to the Emperor.
Sire: We have heard by letters from the Bishop of Arras, written on the 14th of this month, that the Pope's dispensation for the marriage of his Highness, our Prince, and the Queen of these realms has been despatched and will soon arrive in this place. We cannot make use of it until the power from his Highness, which we are daily expecting, reaches us, enabling us to bring our negotiation to a happy close, when at last we shall feel safe from the danger represented by the Frenchmen's crafty and reprehensible intrigues, about which your Majesty has heard full details by private letters from me, the Lieutenant of Amont. We have examined and weighed the importance of the matter, and it seems to us such that unless your Majesty takes prompt steps to remedy it, and the same is done here, irreparable damage and harm may ensue. We beseech you to consider and bring your enlightened judgment to bear on this critical situation. We have urgently exhorted the Queen to deal with it in good time, so that no evil may follow, and we trust she will do her best, and order her Council to do their duty. If his Highness were to send the power and hasten his coming, all the intrigues referred to could be easily prevented and even stamped out completely. Until he comes the French, seconded by ill-disposed people and certain heretics, will not cease engineering obstacles, as their custom is. When the 3000 crowns announced in the letters referred to as being about to be sent to us, have come, we will consider distributing them to the best purpose among those who can do more harm than good, so as to win them over. As for the other personages and Councillors who have had dealings with us, and deserve to receive liberal recognition of the good offices done in the negotiation of this alliance, we are sending their names to your Majesty in a separate note. We consider it our duty to inform your Majesty that they would think nothing of a small present, but disdain it, as they are all great personages, rich men who enjoy great credit with the Queen, nobility and people of the realm. It would be better to make no gifts at all rather than alienate, by an inconsiderable offering, the sincere affection for your Majesty and his Highness which they have so far displayed.
London, 18 January, 1554.
French. Signed by the five ambassadors. Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV, from a signed duplicate at Besançon, Collection Granvelle, 73.
Jan. 18. Vienna. E. 22. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Since I last wrote the Queen has communicated to me Wotton's letters, from which I have made the enclosed extract. (fn. 14) Your Majesty will learn from it the entire substance of the negotiation between Wotton and the Constable of France. The Council of England have made no sign of it to me, because as I hear they see but small likelihood that your Majesty may be induced to accept a truce and suspension of arms of so suspicious a nature, were it only because of the final article of the letters, and the King of France's intention to keep the places occupied by him on both sides of the mountains (i.e. the Alps) since the outbreak of hostilities. Moreover, as every day that passes brings to light fresh intrigues by which the French are endeavouring to rouse the people, and awaken troubles and rebellion in this kingdom, they (the Council) are of opinion that during the truce the French might with greater ease and vigour succour and help the said rebels and conspirators according to the promises made to them. Information has been received that they (the French) are getting ready their fleet on the coasts of Normandy and Brittany with that object, and that they are about to send several captains over here to lead, guide and counsel the people when they have risen as they are soon expected to do. The French seem determined to break with the English and do their very worst against them, and seize an advantage over them, because they judge that if his Highness comes to England and remains here, it will in no case be possible for England to remain at peace with France. The Council is so penetrated with the danger, that they summoned Peter Carew (Caro), who was plotting in the West Country to induce the people to rise; but Peter Carew did not come, giving as his excuse that he had no horses. They sent again, and he declared himself openly a rebel, thereby plainly showing the evil intentions in his mind. Courtenay and his followers are afraid he may reveal their secret if he comes; but the Council have issued orders to the officers to seize him bodily and take him prisoner to the Tower of London. During the last few days six or seven nobles and commoners have been arrested. The Queen, in order to ascertain the real feelings of each one, has ordered a publication of her marriage to his Highness to be made to all the gentlemen, officers, servants and ministers of her household, and requested their obedience and fidelity to his Highness. In sign of which they all raised their hand. The same has been done by the mayor, magistrates, aldermen, and men of the law of the City of London, who did not openly show any opposition. The Florentine, Genoese and Venetian merchants, as well as several merchants of London have murmured, declaring that it would mean their ruin. It is proposed to do the same all over the country, adding reasons and persuasions to make the marriage acceptable. It is known that several foreign heretics have visited numerous houses, declaring that the preachers spoke the truth when they announced that the kingdom would fall into foreign hands and the Gospel and Religion would be altered.
Anthony Bonvisi has published that the Pope has declared himself in favour of the French and will not grant the dispensation for the marriage asked for by your Majesty; and that there are gentlemen at your Majesty's Court who certify there was a promise of marriage exchanged with the Infanta of Portugal. As I know him to be entirely devoted to Courtenay and Cardinal Pole, whose servants lodge in his house when they come over here, and as he has openly declared that he does not wish the alliance with his Highness to take place, alleging sundry considerations to justify his opinion, I have surmised that the news he publishes may come from the Cardinal, who may have undertaken evil offices with his Holiness concerning the dispensation, either to delay, or grant it conditionally, or question the possibility of granting it; for I cannot believe he could refuse it, the relationship being in the third degree. Moreover the Pope would thus discover himself too openly, and might open the way to that reformation which is judged to be necessary to the complete re-establishment of religion.
The Queen's Council have sent me the enclosed memorandum (fn. 15) about which I wrote to your Majesty in my last letters.
The French took seven vessels belonging to your Majesty's subjects, last Sunday, some in the mouth of the Thames and some about twenty-four miles out at sea. They were freighted with merchandise, and four came from Ostend, one from Flushing, one from Bruges and one from Nieuport. I lodged a complaint with the Council to obtain compensation. and it was admitted that two vessels from Dieppe, one from Fécamp and one from Boulogne had taken the prizes within the jurisdiction of England. It will be expedient that your Majesty consider what had best be done to guard the coast with a defensive force, otherwise your subjects will greatly suffer. The French are preparing for hostilities against England.
An English vessel arrived here yesterday from Bilbao. The pilot states that a great fleet is being armed, and 107 vessels are ready for his Highness's passage, Don Diego de Acevedo being at Bilbao. We have had no private advice on the matter.
Chevalier Bernardi informed Paget two days ago that the Venetian Secretary (i.e. the Secretary of the Venetian Embassy) had told him that 10,000 men would meet their death before Carew came to London. He warned him that the Venetian ambassador was plotting by every means in his power with the French ambassador to incite the people to revolt. Nevertheless I requested Paget not to place much faith in him, because of the reasons given in the Bishop of Arras's last letters.
It has been ascertained that Spinola, (fn. 16) who claims a pension of 500 crowns from the Queen, is carrying on intrigues over here on behalf of the King of France, and one of the Lords of the Council has said as much to the Secretary of the French ambassador.
Berteville (fn. 17) and other English captains are awaiting an answer to what I wrote to your Majesty in my last letters.
I have received confirmation of the fact that Stukeley has been in the French service since he left England, and that he was with the French when Yvoir was taken. I think I have identified the writing of the person who wrote the petition he presented to your Majesty, and I believe that it was a Frenchman who wrote it. If it pleases your Majesty to cause him to present another petition, one could compare the two, and arrive at a better knowledge of the truth.
The Venetian ambassador paid a visit to my Lords of Egmont and Lalaing, and asked inquisitively whether M. d'Egmont was soon to depart for Spain, if his Highness would come before long; if the Queen had signed the articles, and whether the Duke of Suffolk (fn. 18) and the Earl of Derby (fn. 19) had signed also. I can assure your Majesty that they (the Venetians) are even worse than the French.
Sire, I am credibly informed that the King of France has a design to send soldiers to this kingdom to assist the rebels, and that he will do so in a short time, so that the country may be roused to revolt, the marriage prevented, and Courtenay raised to the throne by means of a marriage with the Lady Elizabeth. I hold this information from a source which precludes any doubt as to its accuracy. It will be expedient, therefore, to consider the means that may seem best to your Majesty for the Queen's assistance by land and sea, prevention being the best (remedy).
The French plan consists in seizing this opportunity to take the war out of their own country; the Germans meanwhile are to attack your Majesty in Friesland or the Duchy of Luxemburg, and the Duke of Vendðme, with eight thousand or ten thousand Frenchmen will do his worst in the direction of Biscay and Navarre. I have received advice that he is raising men-at-arms in Gascony.
The people of La Rochelle and Bordeaux have armed four great vessels and are coasting near Biscay. The people here are wondering why your Majesty is not getting a fleet ready, and is not giving leave to your subjects to arm as you are well informed of the King of France's preparations in the ports of Normandy and Brittany, and of the presence on the seas of a certain number of vessels some of which took the ships referred to above, while they all command the English coast.
It is certain that the King is collecting together a large number of convicts for his galleys.
Besides taking all their plate from his subjects, the King has asked for a loan from each town in his kingdom, and has put back a tax on each steeple, amounting to twenty francs. He has determined to collect all the money he can for the continuation of war, because he is being persuaded that your Majesty is seriously ill and cannot live, long.
I dare not speak as openly as might seem necessary to the Queen and her Council about all I have set forth above, because the marriage per verba de prœsenti has not yet taken place, and because of the objections which the Chancellor raised when we first discused the project of the alliance. But I have informed Paget of everything, and the Admiral (fn. 20) has gone to arm the fleet. I mentioned to Paget the names of all those who have an understanding with the King (of France). The worst symptoms I see are the dissensions and partialities within the Council, where Courtenay has friends, and the unstable and deceitful nature of the English. Paget has strongly urged me to find out if it would not be possible for his Highness to come here soon, as he thinks he could set matters right and do all that is necessary and suitable. As he says himself, the French know there is no money in the kingdom, the heretics are discontented, many catholics even do not desire the marriage, and many of the English are French partisans. The Queen, being a woman, cannot penetrate their knavish tricks nor weigh matters of state; and he beseeches your Majesty very humbly to consider what is set forth above, and provide in time.
M. d'Oisel who passed through to Scotland was taking with him five or six French captains, besides six more who went through before, to get an army together in Scotland. They had charge to get all the ships in Scotland ready to join the king's and carry out his plans. A French spy has discovered this, and it confirms other information we had already received.
After my letter was written Paget came to see me in my house to inform me that Carew had assembled eight or ten gentlemen in the town of Exeter and called together a great number of people to find out if they would sign and acknowledge a certain letter he had written to the Queen of England, wherein he declared that they did not in any way intend that his Highness should disembark in the West Country with Spaniards, because, as he said, the Spaniards would wish to do as they pleased, and violate their daughters, which they ought not to suffer, but had better choose death. Thus the revolt and commotion referred to was begun. The people would have no part in the sending of the letters which, nevertheless, were despatched.
When I communicated the said letter to your Majesty's ambassadors, they were of opinion that I should send them to you, and declare everything plainly to the Queen. I have done so; and while I was on my way I met a Gentleman Usher who was coming to summon me as she desired to speak to me. When she heard that I had been informed about Carew's actions, she had me shown certain letters from Carew, signed by him and by seven other gentlemen of the West Country, addressed to the Queen's Council, in which he excused himself for having assembled the people at Exeter, on the plea that he had not known her intentions as to the marriage, and that they (i.e. Carew and his friends) had been induced to believe that the Spaniards were coming in arms to England to oppress the people. They besought the Council to take their excuses in good part. Now, it has been ascertained that they had done their utmost to rouse the people; but the people believing their real object to be an attack on religion, refused to be subverted. The Queen informed me that she had issued a warrant to seize Carew, and was about to send captains and lieutenants in every direction through the country to raise men-at-arms and do all that was requisite to prevent the people from rising, prosecute the rebels, and let the French know that she was not unprepared either by land or sea, as her ships should be armed and every possible demonstration made. I have encouraged her as much as I could, so that surprises may be avoided. I also informed her of that which we had agreed upon together; (i.e. the Envoys and the ambassador) but she told me she had entire confidence that your Majesty would do what seemed best. She then spoke to me of his Highness's coming, and repeated again that unless he arrived here before Lent she would not marry until after Easter. I replied that all haste should be made, but that it was difficult for him to arrive before Lent; and I trusted your Majesty would take into account the information set forth above, and would do all that was requisite, considering that the French enterprise was adverse to your Majesty and the Queen. I will wait for further instructions from your Majesty. While writing these letters I received a packet from his Highness dated November 12th. The courier was delayed 40 days at the port of Plaisance. (fn. 21) I have no news of the other three who passed this way. His Highness's letters confer upon me full power to promise whatever is necessary for the marriage, but as they are in cipher, I do not see how I can use them. I will inform the Queen, however, the better to confirm her in her resolve.
London, 18 January, 1554.
French. Signed, Cipher. Printed from a transcript at Brussels, by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Jan. 18. Vienna, E. 22. The Ambassadors in England to the Queen Dowager of Hungary.
Madam: We have received letters from the Bishop of Arras, written during your absence, and while the Emperor's Majesty was prevented from writing, in answer to certain points concerning our mission here. It has advanced well, thanks be to God, as your Majesty may have perceived by the authentic treaties recently despatched to his Majesty. A still better end might be reached if his Highness, our Prince, would send us a power to contract marriage per verba de prœsenti with this Queen, and would hasten his coming. Because of the tarrying and delays, the French have opportunities to follow their usual custom, and trouble this country and its people. The intelligence they have with certain malcontents, and the followers of the new religion over here, give them the means (to do mischief), as your Majesty will see by more full and ample information in the Lieutenant of Amont's letters. May it please your Majesty to consider them carefully, and use your influence so that his Imperial Majesty may promptly devise means whereby the designs of the French may be frustrated and a suitable remedy found. Otherwise, some great misfortune may be feared in this quarter, which God forbid!
London, 18 January, 1554.
French. Signed by the five ambassadors. Printed, from a transcript at Brussels, by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Jan. 19. Simancas, E. 1322. Francisco de Vargas (fn. 22) to Prince Philip.
The last news I have had from Court were dated the 28th of last month. They tell me that his Majesty—thanks be to God!—is suffering less from his gout and beginning to get up, and that he is so happy to hear of your Highness's speedy preparations that he talks of nothing else. News had come of the welcome given to the ambassadors in England, which they say is unbelievable. His Majesty sent them off with plenty of money and jewels to be distributed, one hundred ducats a day to each for his keep, and ten thousand for gaming. He was also sending a big present to the Queen. A fine great fleet was being fitted out in England to go to meet your Highness, and the country was as happy as could be about the marriage. There were no war news because the weather had been so heavy . . . .
Venice, 19 January, 1554.
Signed. Spanish.


  • 1. Sir Robert Rochester.
  • 2. Dr. Nicholas Wotton, English ambassador in France.
  • 3. Anno de Montmoroncy, Constable of France.
  • 4. The writing referred to has not been found.
  • 5. Antoine de Noailles.
  • 6. John Russell, Earl of Bedford.
  • 7. Augustus, Duke of Saxony, brother and successor of the lately-deceased Maurice.
  • 8. This paper has not been found.
  • 9. Maximilien de Bourgogne, Count de Beveren, Admiral of Flanders.
  • 10. .
  • 11. i.e. by tho four envoys then in England, and the ambassadors.
  • 12. Marcantonio Damula, Venetian ambassador at the Emperor's court.
  • 13. Giacomo Soranzo, Venetian ambassador in England.
  • 14. See note to Renard's letter to Prince Philip, of 23 January.
  • 15. This memorandum has not been found.
  • 16. There are several mentions of rewards given to Captain Spinola in the Council Book, 1550–1552.
  • 17. Sir John Bertevillo or Barteville, a French gentleman. See Vol. IX of this Calendar, and the Council Book, 1550–1552
  • 18. Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, father of the Lady Jane.
  • 19. Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby.
  • 20. Lord William Howard, Lord Admiral of England.
  • 21. This must be a secretary's mistake, for there is no port of this name in Spain.
  • 22. Imperial ambassador in Venire.