Spain: April 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: April 1554, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949), pp. 215-220. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Spain: April 1554, 11-20", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) 215-220. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

. "Spain: April 1554, 11-20", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949). 215-220. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

April 1554, 11–20

April 11. Brussels, L.A. 70. The Queen Dowager to Count de Beveren.
Your letter of the 9th instant, which was also signed by MM. d'Eecke and de Wacken, referred to the requests of Baron de Bernstein and Justus Walter to be accommodated on board ships going to Portugal and Biscay. The only difficulty I find is that Bernstein, in a letter to d'Eecke, said he wished to visit England on his way to Portugal, and that would cause our merchant fleet to go too much out of its way. Now, Bernstein has been sent by the King of the Romans, so I mentioned this difficulty to the King's ambassador here, whose opinion is that our fleet ought by no means to change its course on account of Bernstein's request, but that if he wishes to sail by it he might well be given accommodation befitting his rank. So as soon as you receive this letter, you will tell Bernstein that you have been ordered to make him as comfortable as possible, and instruct Wacken to treat him with great consideration if he wishes to sail with the fleet, but that if his project is to visit England our ships can be of no use to him. If he were to tarry behind with one vessel for that purpose, both the ship and his person would court grave risks. You will explain this to him in the most courteous manner possible, and see to it that as soon as the fleet is ready and the wind serves, nothing be allowed to delay it.
Brussels, 11 April, 1554.
Draft. French.
April 12. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: To-day the Act of Parliament, by which the treaty of marriage between his Highness and the Queen of England was confirmed, was passed by all the members present, without any opposition or difficulty, as your Majesty will see by the copy of the Act, which I shall send off by the next messenger. I have not yet been able to obtain one because the thing was only done this morning between ten and eleven, much to the disappointment of the heretics and French, who hoped there would be violent dissent. And as I had the opportunity of this messenger, who is going to Antwerp, I thought it well not to delay sending your Majesty these news, which will show that the way is ready for his Highness's coming. And as I have already understood your Majesty's pleasure as to his coming, I have sent a man on purpose, in accordance with your Majesty's orders, to implore his Highness to hurry, and I make it so clear that all the doubts I mentioned to you have been disposed of, that I do not believe he will delay further on account of my letters. The enclosed note (fn. 1) will show your Majesty that there has lately been more discord, which I did my best to calm. It was caused by the Chancellor's desire to bring up in Parliament an article concerning religion and the Pope's authority, establishing a form of Inquisition against the heretics, setting up again the power of the bishops and dealing with the Pope's authority, which Paget considers to be dangerous at present, and thinks ought to be put off until another Parliament in order not to alienate the people and nobility and arouse more revolt. I know not what will happen, but in accordance with your Majesty's commands I have spoken on the subject, with the Queen.
As for the news received by M. d'Eecke about French naval preparations, it is quite certain that they fitted out and allowed private individuals to fit out a number of ships to back up the rebellion of the late Wyatt, who had his head cut off yesterday, and to support French intrigues in England. But when they saw that their hopes were dashed by the victory of the codfish and mackerels (moulues et marcquereaux), they kept back their big vessels from Normandy and Brittany, though hardly three days ago ten of them were thrown by a strong wind on to the dunes near Dover. Most of them are at Brest in' Brittany, and it is thought they will not accomplish much, as it is known that the English Admiral is going to join your Majesty's fleet. The Admiral left this place on Monday, so his Highness will be accompanied by 150 sail. But it is certain that until the news of Wyatt's defeat arrived, the French were keeping their boats in readiness for the aforesaid purpose.
Killigrew, Williams, Courtenay (fn. 2) and two others are at sea with three boats, and have taken a Middleburg ship, which is said to be the Chien, of Dunkirk.
A Scottish bishop called David, (fn. 3) who was formerly in Flanders to negotiate the treaty of peace, passed through this place on his way to France, whither he is being sent by the Regent of Scotland.
It is said here that Peter Strozzi sallied forth against the Marquis of Marignano's men, that he put ten companies to flight and took three well-known prisoners.
Your Majesty commands me as to how I am to treat M. de Courrières and the Alcalde, and (tells me that) M. de Courrières is to have the status of an ambassador. I will not fail humbly to obey your orders, but, Sire, as Courrières is ambassador, there ought to be an active and diligent maistre d'hostel to see to all things necessary for his Highness's coming and prepare the Spaniards at the outset to avoid all confusion and disorder that might otherwise ensue, as it is not to be M. de Courrières' business to attend to it. As for the Alcalde, I have already written what I have heard on the subject; and it will be difficult to get the English to consent that a jurisdiction going so far as to impose corporal punishment be applied to foreigners unless according to English law, which is an ancient and tried instrument for dealing with criminal matters.
London, 12 April, 1554.
French. Signed. Cipher.
Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
April 13. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Mary I to the Emperor.
It seems to me in no way suitable that I who am twice over your Majesty's daughter, by affection and relationship should write you ceremonious letters on sending you Mason, in place of the Bishop of Norwich, whom I have recalled for reasons which you will have heard from your ambassador resident with me, nor that Mason should be given the style of ambassador. However, as my Council are of opinion that it is better to do so for the time being, I have adopted their decision, which is not mine, and I do not wish to omit to let your Majesty know that I desire nothing but to act in recognition of the obligations I have towards you. And although Mason will be able to give you more ample information of the state of my affairs, I wish to tell you that the Parliament I have assembled is making good progress, and that I hope this beginning presages a happy ending, as your ambassador will have informed you. I will refer you to him, recommending myself most humbly to your Majesty, and thanking you in all humility for the excellent jewel you were pleased to send me by M. d'Egmont.
Your very humble, good daughter, Mary.
London, 13 April, 1554.
Holograph. French.
Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
April 15. Brussels, E.A. 108. Adrien de Noyelles to the Queen Dowager.
. . . . As for a band of twenty English pioneers which an English captain called Hynde said he had, until he was taken into Captain Stukeley's company, (fn. 4)I have neither seen nor been able to gather that he really has them, or that they have ever served anywhere. It is true that I know Hynde for a brave and serviceable man, who since his band broke up has been on this frontier with the pay of five men by M. de Bugnicourt's orders. There is also another very serviceable Englishman, called Richard Jennin (Jennings), who has been having fifteen crowns a month, a salary assigned to him by the late M. de Rœulx. By your Majesty's orders, and after making sure of their merits, I have now incorporated Hynde and Jennings in Stukeley's band with the pay above-mentioned.
15 April, 1554.
Holograph. French.
April 17. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire; The Queen of England sent me yesterday the enclosed letter, (fn. 5) which she wrote with her own hand, so that I might send it to Brussels before Mason arrives there. He is leaving to-day. The Queen also sent me the Act of Parliament written in Latin to be sent to your Majesty, and I am now despatching it. Thus you will see that Parliament has approved the marriage treaty, together with the limitation it has imposed, which is of small importance.
I have heard that the English ambassadors took ship last Wednesday at Plymouth, and as the fair wind is still blowing they are probably in Spain unless they have been stopped. Thus his Highness's departure will be hastened on. The English are already calling him King of England, though it is said that he is only to be called so after the consummation of the marriage.
The Queen's Council has suggested that that lady shall leave on the road to Winchester immediately after the Feast of St. George (23 April), and that between now and then a final decision shall be arrived at as to the prisoners, especially Elizabeth and Courtenay. There is not sufficient evidence to condemn Elizabeth, because those who plotted with her have fled the country, and this leaves the Queen in perplexity whether to leave her in the Tower, for it would not be wise to set her at liberty so soon, and it would be neither honourable, safe nor reasonable to let her follow the Court. Some think it would be well to send her to a castle in the North, where the people are good Christians and lovers of peace. Others do not approve; and the question of the day is: what shall be done with her? Some people have said that the best thing would be to marry her to a foreigner, naming Don Luis of Portugal or the Duke of Savoy, (fn. 6) but I have made no answer, no more than I did to Paget when he spoke to me of the Duke of Savoy.
Parliament will be over in a week, and will then be prorogued until the winter. All that is being waited for is a letter that Cardinal Pole is to write to Parliament, asking whether they will allow him to enter the kingdom as a private person, and not as a legate, because he has once been condemned by Parliament. The session will then be closed.
No news of the Cardinal's negotiations have reached this place, except that the French cause it to be said that the King of France does not wish to make peace because his forces are unimpaired and strong, and he is looking for help from the Turk.
Since then it has been said here that the Turk is dead, and that the Janissaries (gemissaires) have elected the son of Mustapha to be Emperor of Constantinople.
A man named Hales (Als), (fn. 7) a judge, thrust a knife into his stomach, saying that he preferred to kill himself rather than suffer the penalties that it is intended to introduce against the heretics. An Englishman who committed an execrable offence against the Sacrament has been punished. It is greatly feared that the month of May may witness some fresh tumult in favour of the Lady Elizabeth and the new religion.
To-day seven rebellious gentlemen were condemned to death, but there is no hope of getting them executed because the Councillors are so partial.
London, 17 April, 1554.
Signed. French. Cipher.
Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
April 17. Brussels, L.A. 70. The Queen Dowager to the Customs Officers in Zeeland.
Henry Faillavilt, English merchant, has informed us that, not having been informed of the placards and ordinances published here, he some time ago bought in England and set on board a ship to carry them hither, seventy bales of flour. On arriving here, they were confiscated by you in accordance with the placards, and Faillavilt now pleads his ignorance and begs us to order his property to be restored to him. After some hesitation, we have now decided to yield to the petitions of the English ambassador here and of his Majesty's ambassador resident in England and grant his request. He is however to pay the fees owing to the officer and the person who denounced him, if denounced he was, and he must pay the duty which is charged to all those who obtain from his Majesty safe-conducts to import goods. We therefore order you to deliver to Henry Faillavilt his property or the money proceeding from the sale thereof.
Brussels, 17 April, 1554.
Minute. French.
In the same bundle are Faillavilt's petition, and a minute for a letter from the Queen Dowager to Simon Renard, dated 18 April, announcing that she has granted it.
April 19 (?) (fn. 8) Brussels, R. A. Prov. 13. Lord Paget to Simon Renard.
Sir: Knowing you to be wholly devoted to the Queen's Majesty and her crown, I cannot refrain from troubling you with the cares that I am enduring for her Majesty's and my country's sake. Here you have the person you know of coming to me this afternoon, and saying abruptly that as the Lady Elizabeth's affairs were not going as we had hoped, a bill for disinheriting her ought to be brought before Parliament. I replied that, for several reasons, I would not consent.
For the love of God, Sir, persuade the Queen to dissolve Parliament at once and send off to the provinces the men who have been appointed to govern them. The weather is beginning to be warm, and men's tempers will wax warm too; and I see that this man's private leanings will cause him to bring forward proposals that will heat the people altogether too much, for he proceeds without considering the present times, his Highness's coming or the danger ahead. You know that when this Parliament was first talked about, we agreed with her Majesty's approval that only two bills should be introduced: one on the marriage, and the other confirming every man in his possession (i.e. of Church property) and authorising her Majesty to act according to her own pleasure in the matter of her title and style. By God, Sir, I am at my wits' ends, and unable to do more than to pray God to send us his Highness as soon as may be, for then I am sure that things will go well, but in the meantime they will go as you see they are going. Diligently urge him to come, and you will be doing the greatest service that ever was rendered to the Emperor, the Prince, the Queen and their dominions, as Our Lord knows, Whom I pray to grant you His grace.
Holograph. French.


  • 1. This note has not been found.
  • 2. A cousin of Edward Courtenay.
  • 3. Probably David Paniter, Bishop of Ross. See Vol. X of this Calendar, pp. 337, 340.
  • 4. The passages in italics are underlined in the original.
  • 5. See Mary I to the Emperor, April 13, 1554.
  • 6. Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy.
  • 7. Sir James Hales, a Justice of the Common Pleas, the one man who refused to sign Edward VI's will instituting the Lady Jane his successor.
  • 8. This letter is undated, but Renard, in his to the Emperor of April 22, says it was delivered to him during an audience he had of the Queen; and this audience must have taken place between April 17, the date of Renard's last letter to the Emperor, and April 22.