Spain: April 1554, 6-10

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

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, 'Spain: April 1554, 6-10', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) pp. 206-215. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "Spain: April 1554, 6-10", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) 206-215. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

. "Spain: April 1554, 6-10", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949). 206-215. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

April 1554, 6–10

April 6. Brussels, E.A. 74. Count d'Egmont to the Emperor.
Sire: May your Majesty be pleased to remember that, in obedience to your orders, I waited ten days at Plymouth for a favourable wind to go to Spain, and then the ambassadors of the Queen of England joined me, accompanied by several other English lords and gentlemen. I had determined to cross over with them, but a good wind sprang up and looked like lasting, and as the ambassadors' ships had not yet come and no one knew when they were to be expected, I took the liberty of setting sail in my Dunkirk vessel in company with another boat that had come from Spain with a courier, a well-found Flemish boat, and three English merchantmen who were making for Biscay. We had good weather to within sixty leagues of Spain, when the wind veered round and it came on to blow so hard that we were forced to run back to a point ten leagues from the English coast, where we were becalmed. Then an off-shore wind started blowing, with a thick fog, and we sailed some forty leagues in the direction of Spain, but the wind went round to the south and we had to put back to England. The fog was so thick that of the six sail that set out, only two got together to Falmouth. As soon as it pleases God to send me good enough weather, your Majesty may be sure I shall lose no time in sailing, for I am grieved at not having been able to execute your orders with more despatch. I hear the English ships are not yet ready; if they had been I would have been glad to sail with them, for we are assured the sea is full of Frenchmen, though all the time I was out we only saw fifteen sail coming back from Newfoundland and four other vessels that did not come within two leagues of us. I have made so free as to write this letter, Sire, to offer my excuses for not having yet reached Spain; but though my life depended upon it I could not do more.
Falmouth, 6 April, 1554.
Holograph. French.
April 7. Simancas, E. 508. The Emperor to Don Juan Manrique de Lara.
All your letters down to the one dated—(blank) have been received, but as most of the points raised in them have been answered in other letters and in the one carried by Hernando de Vega, we only propose now to deal with those about which we had deferred adopting a decision because of our ill-health and other occupations.
We are well pleased with your zeal in sending us information and in keeping up cordial relations with his Holiness, and we thank you for it.
As for your efforts to induce the Pope to make the French observe the terms of the written agreement about Siena, and his reply that he did not think the French ministers would have any objection to leaving that republic in the enjoyment of its ancient liberties, we have seen that the very opposite is the truth. There is nothing more to be said, except that you know we must take from the Pope not what we would like but what we can get, for by putting pressure on him we would only exasperate and make him impossible to be dealt with at all.
It is important to prevent the French from getting a firm foothold in Siena, and we agree with you about the suitability of binding the Duke of Florence to our service by giving him all due satisfaction, so we have decided to support him in his undertaking with 4,000 foot and 300 horse, with their wages paid for as long a time as the campaign shall last. There shall be no remissness in giving them their pay, and when all is over the Duke shall be allowed to keep certain of the Sienese lands which he has conquered until we fulfill our promise by giving him a gratification in proportion to the cost of the undertaking and its fruits. Siena, however, will remain at our disposal, as he himself asked that it should. If the French, on the other hand, tried to relieve Siena, or if our undertaking were unsuccessful and they tried to invade the Duke's state, our ministers would assist him. For his own satisfaction, we are sending him the letters which we have written to Milan and Naples to the above effect, so we have no doubt he is pleased. You will endeavour to keep his ardour alive and favour his undertaking by such means as you may, for we look upon it as our own.
You were quite right to speak to Don Fernando Gonzaga about your fears lest, if the French did not act in accordance with the agreement about Siena, our troops might leave Orbetello. And it was well to warn Don Fernando and Don Francisco de Toledo to take all due precautions for the security of that fortress. All we need say is what we wrote before: if the French keep their word and let Siena alone, our troops will evacuate Orbetello.
We do not think you were justified in speaking to us about giving the Genoese further help to win back Corsica, for we are already supporting half the expenses and lending them our galleys.
We have carefully considered your suggestion of a league between Genoa and Florence under the leadership of our son, the Prince, but it seems that, in view of his Holiness's character, we would be likely to create rather than remove difficulties by founding it now that there is no call for it. It is true that were the initiative to come from Italy, and we were appealed to as a leading potentate, we might listen; but even then it would have to depend on many things, and we would have to instruct you to seize some promising opportunity for sounding his Holiness on the subject by means of some trustworthy and influential cardinal. The Pope would be entering the combination at a time when the world in general has formed an unfavourable opinion of his weakness in the matter of the Turkish fleet, for he is blamed for putting up with its presence and even having permitted fresh provisions to be supplied to it from the States of the Church. If this were plainly set before him, he might be induced to appeal to the princes to unite in the defense of Italy and wipe out the stain of having allowed the Infidel to ravage Christian lands year after year and depart unscathed. Were the appeal to come from that quarter we might embark on the undertaking with better chances of success.
What your letters say of his Holiness's disposition and the favour he has lately shown the French made us so indignant that we thought of instructing you to protest and tell him plainly that we had the gravest reasons for complaining of his proceedings, his remissness in public affairs and indifference towards our interests. However, our custom has always been to speak with respect and moderation (fn. 1) to Popes, whose goodwill we need on account of concessions and other favours we are frequently obliged to demand in Spain. Moreover, his present Holiness's character is such that the more deferently he is approached the better the result from the point of view of our interests, whereas asperity drives him to despair. We know him well enough to realise that he is incapable of refraining from trafficking with the French, putting up with their insolence, whilst judging by letters received from the Duke of Florence and Don Francisco de Toledo he is not at all well disposed towards us. So on the whole we think you had better not speak to him as above for the present, as it would only make him angry; but you may use your judgement in choosing a favourable opportunity for mildly observing to him that our obedience to the Apostolic See and particular goodwill and affection towards his Holiness's person and interests are not undeserving that he should henceforward take a little more care than in the past to requite us by furthering our most legitimate wishes, and to do so in a manner patent to the world in general. The tenor of your speech may be that of the remarks we reported to you as having been uttered here to the Cardinal of Imola.
Our letters will have informed you of what happened in connexion with the legates who have come hither to try to promote peace negotiations, so as for what you have heard of French willingness to treat and his Holiness's words on a peace or a long truce (in which case it would be hard to restore Hesdin and Thérouanne, as both places have been dismantled and destroyed) and your remarks on the good that might come of the legates' residence here, we need only thank you for your care in reporting all that is said in Rome and urge you to continue. But you may take it as a guiding principle that the French, however much in earnest they may pretend to be, have not the slightest intention of treating for peace or a truce through the Pope or his ministers. Thus his legates' presence will not be sorely missed when the time for peace-negotiations arrives. We will keep you posted on the progress of affairs; as yet we have no news of what the Cardinal of England (i.e. Pole) has done in France.
We appreciate the weight of your remarks to the effect that it would be in our interest to bring back Duke Ottavio (fn. 2) to our service, and that Don Fernando Gonzaga is not the person most likely to succeed. We may therefore inform you that we have instructed Don Francisco de Toledo to attempt it; and if any one speaks to you on the subject in a promising manner, do not rebuff him but undertake to refer the proposal to me, promising to do your best. We truly desire to succeed in this.
As for what you say about the advisability of empowering someone in Italy to transact certain business without consulting us, no doubt it would be highly advantageous, were there anyone to whom so important a mission might be entrusted.
It is as yet by no means certain that the Duke of Urbino (fn. 3) is out of the Pope's service, so we need only observe that though his state is of importance from the point of view of Naples and of Siena, on the other hand he is personally valueless and sets such a high price on himself that he would certainly prove more trouble than he is worth. So there is no reason for approaching him, though were he to break with the Pope you would be careful to watch him, speaking to him as if of your own accord in such a manner as to encourage him, and report to us the conditions on which he would serve us, together with your own opinion.
The demands of the Prior of Capua are such that there would be little to be gained by engaging his services. However, we have ordered that he be allowed access to the funds of his priory.
As for the instances to be made to his Holiness for the promotion of the six cardinals he has offered to allow us to name, we refer you to instructions taken by Hernando de Vega. We will be obliged to you not to desist until the Archbishop of Otranto, in particular, receives his hat.
Your reasons were good for not speaking to the Pope on behalf of the Prince, our son, in favour of giving a cardinal's hat to the Marquis of Pescara, whilst allowing the Marchioness, his mother, to utter such petitions as she pleased. But when the right time comes you will try to further her suit, for the more friends we have in the College the better for God's service and ours.
The Bishop of Padua has reported to us that the French and the Farnese are working to prevent him from getting his hat. He acts like a faithful supporter of our cause, as you have always represented him to be, so the more his enemies strive to injure him, the more zealous you will be to back him up, for we well know why he is being opposed.
We have seen what you write about the Pope's ill health, the prospects of a vacancy in the See brought into view by his age and disorderly manner of living, your opinion to the effect that we ought not to try publicly to exclude any candidate, that the Cardinal of Mantua (fn. 4) would make a good head of a party, and that we ought then to write a letter to the College. Although the attitude adopted by our enemies seems to lay upon us the duty of trying to influence the election, it is a very delicate matter for a conscientious prince, and our experience has shown us how little it avails to help anyone, and what ingratitude the successful candidate invariably displays towards his greatest benefactor. We would greatly prefer to have nothing to do with the matter. We approve of your suggestion not to exclude anyone, but such further orders as you may expect are merely, in case an election takes place, to endeavour to bring about the choice of a pope who will serve the interests of the Church and religion, and prevent that of a bad man. You will let us knows, however, if you have anything of importance to suggest, report on the progress of his Holiness's malady, and keep us posted as to any changes in the general outlook that may take place . . . .
Brussels, 7 April, 1554.
Draft. Spanish. Passages in cipher.
April 7. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: To-day the Queen of England sent for me and showed me two letters (fn. 5) she had received from Ambassador Wotton, written from Paris on the first of this month. In them he gives an account of his negotiations with the Constable of France on the 28th of last month, which were but a repetition of what the French ambassador said over here, and I reported in two of my letters, about the Queen's complaints of the French ambassador's insolence, d'Oisel's intrigues, excuses for the seized letters, the extradition of Peter Carew and his fugitive companions and the Queen's desire to keep up peaceable and neighbourly relations. The Constable replied that he himself had brought up the ambassador, who had lived a long time with his eldest son, and had been chosen for the post because he was a peace-loving and honourable man. Could his letters be seen, they would prove how well he had behaved, and how unfounded were the complaints uttered against him. Indeed he (the ambassador) had good reason to complain of having been suspected, spied upon, maltreated and excluded from the society of the English, amongst whom he was not even able to find servants, as they had all been forbidden to serve him. He could not believe that d'Oisel had so far forgotten himself as to plot contrary to the King's wishes, and without having any orders or commission, nor that he was so simple as to endanger life and honour when passing through a foreign kingdom with his wife. If a few prisoners had borne witness against him, they were no more to be believed than anyone would be who might bear witness against Wotton. Not one packet only had been stopped, but two or three were relieved of their letters together with the couriers' pay; and such actions were little suited to the Councillors' professions of their desire to keep up friendly relations. The King had sent to Brittany and Normandy to have Carew and his companions arrested if they were to be found; and the Constable also called in the French ambassador's servant, who had arrived two or three days before, and spoke as plausibly as his master. The Constable concluded his remarks by making excuses and saying that the peace must be kept, and that the King had no other desire, and was not so ill-advised as to declare war on the Queen of England while he had so powerful an adversary as your Majesty. And he added that the King of France had heard that a third of the kingdom was again conspiring against the Queen, because they did not wish to let the Spaniards in.
He also writes that Cardinal Pole stayed at St. Denis until Thursday after Easter, when Cardinal de Châtillon (fn. 6) went to accompany him to Fontainebleau, where he was received with great solemnity. Half-a-league from Fontainebleau MM. d'Enghien, (fn. 7) and de Nemours, (fn. 8) the Grand Prieur (fn. 9) and one whom they call the young Duke of Bavaria, followed by many lords and gentlemen, went out to meet him. At the entry of the great court the Dauphin (fn. 10) and the Duke of Lorraine (fn. 11) received him standing, and the Dauphin gave him his hand. In the lower court, where the fountain is, the King, the Constable, M. de Guise and other great personages were waiting for him, and the King desired him to walk on his right hand, which the Cardinal was unwilling to do. When he had saluted the King, the Queen and the ladies, Cardinal de Châtillon led him to one of the court-chambers which has been assigned to him for his lodging. The same evening the Constable came to see Cardinal Pole and stayed over two hours talking with him, and the following Saturday he also had audience of the King in connexion with his mission, although he had already discussed it with the Constable. A nephew of the Cardinal, called Stafford, (fn. 12) accompanied by two cousins of the same name, went to see him and uttered seditious words about the Queen and his Highness's marriage, saying that all good Englishmen ought to take up arms to prevent the Spaniards from entering the country; but the Cardinal was greatly scandalised and sent his nephew away, forbidding him his house. Afterwards he sent word to him to withdraw from Court, and that he and all those who acted against the Queen's pleasure were his enemies; and he also warned Wotton to be on his guard and take such precautions as he might think prudent.
At the end of his letters Wotton says that the Turk is reported to be sending sixty galleys to help the King defend Corsica, and that the Prior of Capua is believed to have made it up with the King, whom he is coming to serve with five galleys. The postmasters have been forbidden to supply horses to Flemings, Burgundians, Spaniards or Englishmen who are posting through France, except by order of the King; and this is the substance of the letters.
As for the Constable's assertion that two or three of the French ambassador's packets had been taken, we hear that the Chancellor has obtained possession of and deciphered them, though he has kept them to himself. It is thought they may contain something against Courtenay, and the Queen is to find out.
As for the Constable's saying that a third of the kingdom is conspiring against the match, a plot started by the heretic element among the people is beginning to be discovered. A few days ago eight or ten heretics met together in Essex and did not wish to allow the Earl of Oxford (fn. 13) to proceed to Parliament. They had barred the road, and said that they did not desire him to appear at Parliament, but wished him to become their leader: eight of them were arrested, and the Earl came to Parliament. A letter has been scattered about the streets, as seditious as possible and in favour of the Lady Elizabeth, and yet another, in which nothing was written but the words: “Stand firm and gather together, and we will keep the Prince of Spain from entering the kingdom.” The Admiral spoke angrily to the Queen's Great Chamberlain, (fn. 14) who has charge of Elizabeth, and told him that she would cut off enough heads yet to make him and others repent. The heretics are doing all they can to second French designs, make the people take up arms and rise once more. The Queen has told me that her Council are attending to the matter and raising troops; but the trouble is that she has no money, and cannot induce her Council to bring the prisoners to justice. And Wyatt is not executed yet. As I understand it, they are deferring the trials in order that when his Highness comes all may benefit by a general pardon. The English character is so inconstant that one can only make sure of them by using force.
Parliament only began yesterday, for on Thursday there was such a high wind that her Majesty was unwilling to take boat. I believe nothing has been decided yet, and indeed there has been no time to do anything.
M. d'Egmont, after having been seven days at sea and having arrived off the cost of Biscay, has been driven back by a contrary wind to Falmouth, where he arrived with the ship called le Chien of Dunkirk, and a sloop (zabra). The only Frenchmen he saw were three boats going to Newfoundland to fish for cod. M. d'Egmont has written to me that he has sent word to the Queen's ambassadors who are at Plymouth, so that they may meet when the wind permits.
Stafford's two cousins, whom I have just mentioned, had been chosen by the Admiral to be Captains of two of the Queen's ships before their flight abroad. But when that happened, Henry Dudley and several other suspect captains were dismissed. The Admiral is to start with his ships for Dover next Monday.
Chevalier Bernardi has asked the Queen's leave to withdraw, and asks to have his pension confirmed to him and to be rewarded on account of certain ships which he says he lost in King (Edward VI's) service. I believe the Queen will give him his pension and grant him leave, as she has been advised so to do by certain persons who favour the Chevalier.
An English gentleman called Brasberry arrived here a few days ago. He has served in France, and left that country when he heard of the disorders that were taking place here, in order to warn the Queen of England about the intrigues Peter Carew and his men were conducting in France. He has begged me to write in his favour to your Majesty and the Queen of Hungary, so that he may be admitted into your service this season. But as I do not know him, and fear that he may be sent to spy or plot, I will leave your Majesty to decide, though he is said to be a brave man and enured to war.
Wotton writes that no one knows where Peter Carew is, unless in Brittany or at sea.
Not much confidence is felt in the Deputies of Calais and Guines, (fn. 15) who are heretics.
Morison and several other heretics have asked for leave to quit the country, and it has been granted to them; but I know not whether Morison will avail himself of it, for fear of losing his property. I have heard that Hoby (fn. 16) is also going, under the pretext of visiting the baths in Italy or at Aix-la-Chapelle. It is believed that these men have prepared some new revolt, and are now getting out of the way until they see what happens, and I have openly told the Queen that unless she and her Council take the necessary measures in time to keep the people in order, her life and crown will be in great danger. For it seems likely that the leaders will not wish to fail as Wyatt did, and that they will be heartened by the absence of the gentlemen who are going away with the ambassadors and the Admiral.
The archers have sworn in my presence to be faithful to his Highness. And they ought to get their clothes before his Highness comes, so as to wear the same uniform as those he is to bring with him.
I am enclosing a note (fn. 17) of the officers appointed to serve him. Incredible preparations are being made at Southampton and Winchester for his arrival, and several people are spending vast sums in raiment and liveries.
As soon as Parliament has reached a decision on the marriage question I will send again to your Majesty to inform you of what has been concluded: whether there was any opposition, or they went about it with a good grace.
I hear that the courier whom I sent off to apprise his Highness of the Queen's victory arrived at Burgos on the 7th of last month, and that may have caused some delay in his Highnesses journey, as he has not heard an account of affairs from M. d'Egmont. I am awaiting your Majesty's decision on the point I recently laid before you in order to be guided by it.
London, 7 April, 1554.
French. Signed. Cipher.
Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
April 9. Simancas, E. 508. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
My son: By all you hope to achieve by means of this match, I beg you to act in conformity with the instructions I sent you by Count d'Egmont; for otherwise I would rather never have tried to bring it about. They now tell me that married women are going to accompany their husbands in your suite. I believe even soldiers would be more likely to get on well with the English, so think whether it is meet to allow these women to follow you until things are more settled in that quarter.
This letter (fn. 18) was sent off by way of France, but I am now despatching a duplicate. Since it was written, another report has come from the ambassador in England, and though I suppose you will have received a copy of it, I thought it well to tell you briefly that he says the kingdom is quite pacified and the Council's opinion is that you may land without risk and that you had better come at once in order to leave no time for the intrigues that are still alive to produce any results. We quite agree, and are astonished that no letter has come from you since one dated March 9th, though a Portuguese who left Burgos on March 18th or 19th and came hither by land reported that you were already on the road to La Coruña. I take it you will have hastened on your journey on the arrival of Count d'Egmont, who I suppose has already landed in Spain, as so much time has passed since he is known to have sailed. There are no more news of the Queen's ambassadors who were to have gone to Spain.
Brussels, 9 April, 1554.
Draft. Spanish.


  • 1. See, for instance, Vol. IX of this Calendar, pp. 53–57.
  • 2. Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma, husband of the Emperor's legitimised daughter, Margaret.
  • 3. Guidobaldo, Duke of Urbino.
  • 4. Ercole Gonzaga.
  • 5. See Tytler, II, 352–364.
  • 6. Odet de Coligny, Cardinal de Châtillon, brother of Gaspard de Coligny.
  • 7. Jean de Bourbon, Duke of Enghien.
  • 8. Jacques de Savoie, Duke of Nemours.
  • 9. François, Chevalier de Guise.
  • 10. François, later King as François II.
  • 11. Charles II, Duke of Lorraine.
  • 12. Thomas Stafford, son of Henry, Lord Stafford, and Pole's sister Ursula.
  • 13. John de Vere, sixteenth Earl of Oxford.
  • 14. Sir John Gage, Lord Chamberlain and Constable of the Tower, is meant here.
  • 15. Thomas, Lord Wentworth, and William, Lord Grey de Wilton.
  • 16. Sir Philip Hoby, formerly ambassador to the Emperor.
  • 17. This note has not been found.
  • 18. The letter referred to is that of 1 April, a duplicate of which was sent off with the present letter.