Spain: May 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: May 1554, 11-20', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) pp. 244-256. British History Online [accessed 5 March 2024]

May 1554, 11–20

May 11. Simancas, E. 103. Prince Philip to the Emperor.
I have written by all the couriers who left here up to February 17th, and on March 30th I sent a letter in my own hand by an Englishman whom your Majesty sent hither by land, replying to certain points in your letters of February 16th and 18th. The man must have reached you by now, so in this letter I will answer one from you dated March 21st, which I received by a messenger who came to Balthasar Schetz. I will also deal with financial matters; but first I will kiss your Majesty's hand for giving me full news of your health, the matter for which I care most; so may Our Lord grant you enjoyment of the best. Your Majesty says that my letters are few; but that must be because the couriers have failed to reach you, for I am always careful to write by each one that leaves here, either by sea or by land; as your Majesty will have seen. I am astonished at the failure to arrive of the man whom your Majesty sent with the articles from England so that I might ratify them, though perhaps they may come with Count d'Egmont or the Queen's ambassadors, who must be here soon. As you tell me these ambassadors are sailing for Corunna, I have ordered Gutierre López, who was awaiting them at Laredo, to come back, and have issued instructions that I am to be informed by special courier as soon as they reach Corunna, so that I may decide what shall be done with them, and also that fresh provisions be taken on board the ships that brought them. Meanwhile the ambassadors are to be lodged and entertained; and in order to save time I have begun to send most of my household on before me, so that all may be ready by the time I reach Corunna, where I believe the fleet will soon be, together with everything that is to go on board; such haste have I made.
The troops that are to accompany me in the fleet will not land in England, as your Majesty instructs me not to let them; and from what you write it seems better so.
It seemed to me that it was time to send someone to visit the Queen, so I have decided that my majordomo, the Marquis de Las Navas, whom your Majesty knows, shall carry to her a letter in my own hand and a jewel which seems to me to fit the occasion. He is going with the bearer of this letter, and will inform your Majesty of the welcome he met with. I am glad you have sent M. de Courrières and the Alcalde to arrange about my apartment and other things, so that when, if it so please God, I arrive in England, there may be no confusion.
Weather permitting, your Majesty's orders as to the route I am to take shall be obeyed; and as soon as I sail from Corunna I shall send out boats to warn the ambassador to inform the Queen of my departure, and to bring me news of the state of affairs in England. Your Majesty did well to instruct him to send me tidings about this and also indications as to where I shall land, as soon as my fleet is in sight. . . .
I have seen the letter (fn. 1) Sebastian Cabot wrote from London to your Majesty about navigation in the Indies and French plans, and orders have been given to the Council of that department to discuss it and write their opinion to your Majesty. . . . .
Valladolid, 11 May, (fn. 2) 1654.
Minute. Spanish.
May 11. Simancas, E. 103. The Same to the Same.
Since writing the letter that is to accompany this one, I have received your Majesty's of March 13th, with duplicates of former letters down to one dated March 4th. The other replies to most of the points you mention, and especially the financial question, so this one shall deal with the rest, as also with the letters of May 1st brought by a Portuguese courier who arrived to-day. My first care, however, shall be to thank Our Lord for having fulfilled my dearest wish by granting you good health. May He continue so to do! Blessed be His name, I am well, and so is the Infante, my son.
Within two days of the arrival of your above-mentioned letter. Count d'Egmont reached me with others from your Majesty. He landed at Santander, and with him Count Horn and the Earl of Worcester, an Englishman. He gave me a full account of all that had occurred in England up to his departure, and that the betrothal per verba de prœsenti has been performed; as your Majesty's letters state. I readily believe that your Majesty is glad of this, for the matter is one of great importance for the service of Our Lord, the welfare of the Christian republic and the protection and increase of your states; wherefore I also feel a reasonable happiness thereat, and offer your Majesty my thanks. The Queen's ambassadors have also reached Corunna, and I have sent to visit them and tell them that as I am leaving so soon and the road is so long, I hope they will spare themselves the trouble of departing from that place, but wait for me there or at Santiago. I have ordered the purveyor to the fleet to furnish them with everything they may need, and the Bishop of Lugo, who was at Corunna, to entertain them until the arrival of the Marquis de Sarria, whom I have told to go and keep them company against my coming. The betrothal shall take place when and in such manner as the ambassadors will. It is true that your Majesty's letters and the ambassador's (i.e. Renard's) accounts of evil dispositions prevalent in England caused me some anxiety; but I will follow your most prudent advice as to the place where I am to land. I am getting rid of various pieces of business, so that as soon as I have seen the Princess, my sister, I may set out on my road, as I say in the other letter. Almost everything is ready now, and my servants are soon to set out, for though as I wrote I have hastened to the best of my ability, it has not yet been possible to make all the necessary preparations for the journey. I believe that both fleets will be ready at the same time, so that I shall be able to take both with me; though I wrote to your Majesty that I intended to set out in whichever was ready first.
In your letter of March 13th, your Majesty speaks of pensions to be distributed from my household to the persons whose names were given in a list drawn up with the advice of the Queen of England. When, if it so please God, I arrive in that kingdom, I will execute your orders by proceeding in this matter as the Queen advises. I am first asking Count d'Egmont for information on the qualities of and services rendered by each one of them, though the ambassador, Simon Renard, has given me good reports of several. . . . . . .
After the above had been written, I received the duplicates of your letters of April 1st and 3rd, with a postscript of the 9th. Your Majesty's good health leaves me no further wishes; so God be praised for it! I am very happy to learn that the ambassador in England has written that things are calm there; so there is no need to question the wisdom of my landing in that country, although for the reasons you gave me I was already determined to proceed thither. The other contents of your letter call for no comment. . . .
Valladolid, 11 May, 1564.
Minute, Spanish.
May 11. Simancas, E. 808. Prince Philip to the Count of Mélito. (fn. 3)
You must be aware that, by the death of Edward, King of England, our dear and well-beloved aunt has succeeded to that kingdom. His Majesty has now arranged a marriage between her and me, for he considers it most necessary for the protection and increase of his states, the general peace of Christendom, and chiefly because to be united with England will contribute to the tranquillity of his other kingdoms. The Queen's ambassadors have come to ask us to put the marriage into effect with the greatest despatch possible, which we have decided to do; and preparations are diligently being made for our departure. We wish to inform you of this because we believe it will give you pleasure. Before sailing, we will let you know what measures have been taken for carrying on the government of these kingdoms while his Majesty and I are absent, a period we shall make as short as possible.
Valladolid, 11 May, 1554.
P.S. After the above had been written, letters came from his Majesty telling us that our betrothal to the Queen had already been celebrated; and now Count d'Egmont has arrived here to give us fuller details. His Majesty also informs us that he has decided to leave the regency of these realms during his and my absence in the hands of my dear and well-beloved sister, the Princess of Portugal, for he considers her the person best equipped for the task and most acceptable to his subjects. I therefore command you to obey and serve her as you would our own person.
Holograph. Spanish.
May 11. Besançon, Coll. Granvelle, T. 73. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
I have heard that the French have seized a vessel belonging to Marcantonio Caraffa, who, on his way to the Canary Islands, put in to Forlont (Falmouth?) for a short time. The French seized the said vessel in the harbour, neither the castle nor the town making any opposition. Caraffa has sustained great damage and loss. He is a friend of mine, whom I would desire to oblige in this matter. He is about to depart for England, and I am writing to ask you with all affection to assist him in this matter and give him the support he stands in need of when he applies to the Queen and Council, so that he may succeed in recovering the vessel with all hands, as she was stolen out of an English port where every vessel should be considered in safety, especially such as may belong to his Imperial Majesty's subjects.
It is all the more important that the vessel be recovered, because of the arms and ammunition it was carrying, which were intended for the safety and defence of the said Canary Islands. I assure you that any service you may render Caraffa in this matter I shall reckon as done to myself.
Brussels, 11 May, 1554.
This matter concerns the service of his Majesty for the provisioning of the Canaries. If you succeed by your good offices in getting the ship back from the French, you will be doing good work.
French. Signed. Postscript in the writer's own hand.
May 12. (fn. 4) Simancas, E. 808. Prince Philip to Simon Renard.
On February 16th we wrote to you the long letter you will have received by now; and since then we have had your two letters of February 19th, as well as copies of those you wrote to his Majesty about the rebellion that took place and how it ended. You did very well to send us this information, for though his Majesty caused full accounts to be supplied to us, we were very glad to hear it from you also, especially as things have quieted down since; for we feel sure that, as you say, the realm is now as peaceful as one could wish. True it is that when news of the rebellion began to arrive here, I was most anxious and grieved for the Queen's sake; but we must thank Our Lord for having brought about the consummation which we desired, and I am obliged to you for the assistance you rendered the Queen and the exertions that showed you to be a zealous minister in his Majesty's and our service. His Majesty has now informed us that the betrothal per verba de prœsenti has taken place, and Count d'Egmont and the Queen's ambassadors will soon be here, according to the accounts of certain members of their suites who have already arrived; so the Queen must be quite free from an anxiety which I shall feel until I reach England. I fail not to hasten on the formation of the fleet with which I am to sail, but the ships were scattered in so many different quarters that there was no avoiding much delay in getting them together at Corunna, where I am to embark. My own desire would have been to set out to be married though only accompanied by my own household, but that would have diminished my prestige, especially as such great preparations had already been started, let alone the necessity, which you touch on, of going well prepared (i.e. in view of French attacks). I am sending everything and everybody on before me to Corunna, so that no time may be lost when I arrive there, and you may tell the Queen so on my behalf. You will always send me good news of her and her health; for you know how much pleasure it gives me to receive them.
As for the other matters mentioned in your despatch, I need make no comment except that I appreciate the service you render by reporting all you hear, and urge you to continue so to do until your letters would no longer find me here in Spain. I will keep you posted on my movements. The courier you sent has been paid, according to your request.
I am now sending the Marquis de Las Navas, who will give you this letter, with a missive in my own hand and a jewel for the Queen, whom he is to visit on my behalf and inform of my desire to be in England. I refer you to him for anything you may wish to know, and shall be glad to hear from you of his arrival. His Majesty tells me he has sent M. de Courrières and Alcalde Briviesca to England to prepare my apartments and other matters, as you will have heard, so you will inform me of their arrival and activities.
P.S. When the above had been written, there came yours of March 24th and a copy of a despatch you had recently sent to his Majesty. Next, arrived Count d'Egmont, also had landed at Santander with Count Horn and the Earl of Worcester. He informed me of all that had occurred in England previous to his sailing, and though his account and your letters would seem to indicate that there was still some disaffection, his Majesty has since written to tell us that you say the realm is tranquil, and I feel sure this must be true, and that the English have by now been disabused of their erroneous belief that my intention was ever otherwise than to give them all reasonable cause for contentment.
Three or four days after these counts' arrival, we had letters from the Queen's ambassadors informing us of their landing at Corunna. We were very glad of it, and sent his Majesty's courier to visit them and tell them that as we were soon starting and the way was long, we hoped they would not give themselves the trouble of proceeding further, but await us there. I have issued orders for their entertainment pending the arrival of the Marquis de Sarria, whom I have sent to keep them company until my arrival, which, if it please God, will not be long, as everything must by now be ready at Corunna. My servants are setting out daily to repair thither, as you will hear from the Marquis de Las Navas, whom I am sending to visit the Queen and make known to her my desire to be in England. From him you will hear of my health and anything else you may wish to know, so I will refer you to him. You have rendered us good service in sending the detailed accounts contained in your letters, and you will continue so to do.
Draft with a correction in Philip's hand. Spanish.
May 12 (fn. 5) Simancas, E. 807. Prince Philip to a Member of the Privy Council.
Philippus Rex. (fn. 6)
We have instructed the Marquis de Las Navas, our master of the household, to deliver this letter to you and speak to you of certain matters on our behalf. You will learn from him that we heard with the greatest pleasure of the assistance you rendered to the Most Serene and Mighty Princess, Mary, Queen of England and France, when her affairs were in difficulties, and to us in the course of the negotiations for a marriage between her and us. For these services we must thank you, urging you to give credence to the Marquis, and to continue as you have begun. As occasion shall offer, you shall find in him who now writes to you a grateful and beneficent prince.
Minute. Latin.
Another Form.
Philippus Rex.
From the letters of the Imperial ambassador and from the report of many persons, we have heard that you, with singular steadfastness, zeal and prudence, counselled and defended the Most Serene and Mighty Princess, Mary, Queen of England and France, when she was beset by rebellion and uproar. Not less do we appreciate this, than the efforts of which we learn you were unsparing in furthering the negotiations for our marriage to the said Most Serene Queen, for which we consider ourself to be greatly beholden to you. We have therefore instructed the Marquis de Las Navas, our master of the household, to speak to you; we beg you to give him credence, and to expect as a reward for your faithful service to find in us a benign and munificent prince.
Minute. Latin.
May 12. Brussels, L.A. 68. William Gray's petition to the Emperor.
The petitioner, William Gray, merchant, of Beverley, having bought at Amsterdam and taken on board his ship to export them to Hull or Newcastle, 18 lasts of harpoix and 3 lasts of pitch, was, on the denunciation of a man-of-war from Enkhuisen, stopped by the Texel customs officials, under the pretext that the exportation of these goods was forbidden by placard. The petitioner pleads ignorance of this prohibition, asserts that he had believed all commerce between England and the Low Countries to be authorised by the commercial convention of 1445, which was confirmed in 1520, and therefore implores the Emperor to instruct the officials to release his ship and cargo, giving his word to sell and distribute the cargo in England and not elsewhere.
Apostil, in the writing of Viglius de Zwichem, President of the Emperor's Council of State: His Majesty consents to remit to the petitioner, for this one occasion, the penalty incurred by his violation of the placard; but the petitioner must pay the fees due to the official.
Brussels, 12 May, 1554.
May 13. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: Paget, moved by a bad conscience, presented himself before the Queen on the way from mass, and begged her pardon for his efforts during the last session to prevent the passage of the bill providing for the punishment of heretics, and the proposal to make it a treasonable offence to take up arms against his Highness. As for the first point, Lord Rich (fn. 7) had persuaded him that what was aimed at was the expropriation of those who held Church property. In the second matter, he had acted out of ignorance and inadvertency; but in future he meant to serve her truly and loyally. The Queen, after remonstrating with him on his conduct, pardoned him, admonishing him to do better hereafter.
Now, when the Chancellor and his followers heard this, they conceived a suspicion that Paget, Arundel, Pembroke, Cobham and other heretic peers were weaving a plot against the Queen, and that Paget's behaviour had been intended as a blind. This was discovered by a gentleman, a friend of the Chancellor, whom Paget forcibly detained for two days in his house, cross-questioning him as if he had been the Chancellor's spy in order to discover whether the Chancellor intended to injure him. By doing this, Paget rendered himself guilty of felony by English law, for he set up a private prison and abused his office of Privy Councillor. Moreover, he showed that he mistrusted the Chancellor and had plotted against him with the heretics; with the result that the Chancellor believes the heretics mean to seize him, throw him into the Tower, and impose their will on the Queen, as was done in England in the reign of King Edward. In order to forestall them, the Queen is being urged to imprison Paget, and twelve men have undertaken to protect her if she will consent, and order Arundel and Pembroke to be arrested as well. The Queen has taken counsel with the Chancellor, the High Treasurer and the Controller. They reviewed the state of affairs here, the King of France's plans to attack England and his Highness on his way hither, and the risks the Queen would run by provoking the heretics to take up arms against her, in which case the French would have a better opportunity for carrying out their designs and for restoring the Lady Elizabeth's affairs, because the Admiral might feel at one with them on this point and turn the fleet against the Queen. They measured the evil that might follow and, remembering that there was nothing more definite to go on than mere suspicions, decided to dissemble with Arundel, Paget and the other members of that party, whose actions will be more closely watched than heretofore. The Queen will keep up forces enough to be able to hold out, if attacked, until reinforcements arrive; no gentleman shall be allowed to bring more than two servants to court; the Earl of Sussex shall be sent to Sussex, the Earl of Huntingdon to his country, the Earl of Shrewsbury to the north, the Earl of Derby to his country; and all the others who may be of the plot shall be despatched hither and thither under pretext of some mission or other; for when they are together they find it easier to intrigue and plot. Elizabeth shall be sent to a castle in the north, called Pomfret, and kept there. The Admiral, with your Majesty's ships, shall not leave the Channel, but stay to guard the coasts of England against French attacks; for the French have really shipped six companies of Gascons at Rouen with the purpose of falling on the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. The passage between Calais and Dover is to be guarded by seven big ships and three pinnaces, to be left at Dover by the Admiral; the prisoners are to be either executed or pardoned; and the Queen shall not leave London until she has news of his Highness's coming.
As for Courtenay, I have always observed that the Chancellor and his party wished to save him; for although it had been decided that he was to be condemned, the Queen has been prevailed upon to change her mind, and he is to be kept in the Tower: an error which I expect to lead to further trouble. Nothing over here is really settled; and if the news I receive day by day are accurate, there are dangerous intrigues going on amongst the lords, and I have perceived indications that this is the case from my conversations with one or another of them, as I have explained to the Queen and the Chancellor. It seems to me that there is a prospect of serious trouble, unless God remedy it.
I sorely fear there may be some understanding with the French, for the French ambassador had an audience of the Queen four days ago at which he blustered more than ever, complaining that your Majesty's ships and those under the orders of the English Admiral had taken a French fishing-smack. Indeed, he went so far as to say that the King did not consider himself bound by any treaty with England, and no longer held the old treaties as valid because they had not been renewed, and held forth in a tone that so clearly heralded a rupture that the Queen was obliged to tell him that she was not at all surprised by his words, for they agreed well with French actions, and the King's one aim was clearly to make trouble for her, though the upshot might be not at all to his liking; and she recited a detailed list of grievances. The Chancellor, in order to get more out of the ambassador, requested him in the Queen's name to hand over a written statement of what he had said, or a copy of the passage of the King's letters in which he said that the old treaties were no longer in force; but the ambassador replied that he had no instructions to do so, and indeed had no letters from the King, but only from the Constable. Upon this, the Chancellor told him plainly that the point as to whether the King of France really meant the treaties to become void must be cleared up, for England would adopt measures accordingly. The ambassador promised to satisfy him, and spoke more softly at the end than at the beginning; but he did utter the words reported above, from which it seems likely that the King has some undertaking in hand.
I have a spy just back from France, who tells me that the plan to fall upon Calais is being put into execution. The French have brought up boats on carts to make pontoons and cross over the rivers and swamps on one side of Calais. The King of France has given pensions of 100, 200, 300 and 500 crowns to English refugee gentlemen, with instructions to levy troops for his service, which forces are to meet together at Compiègne. Several Englishmen, such as Pickering and Danet, (fn. 8) have gone to Italy, and two or three of them are inclined to present their submission to the Queen, because they are dissatisfied with the inequality of their pensions and offices. The King has fourteen big armed ships in Normandy, and ten sloops at Boulogne, whilst a large number of sailors are gathered together at Dieppe, and it is said that if the English expedition fails the fleet will sail for the Canary Isles. The Constable, who is to proceed to Compiègne, is at present forming the King's camp at St. Germain, and my man saw seventeen cannons taken out of Paris to be carried to Compiègne. France is overjoyed by the news that Margrave Albrecht has come to terms with the King. The King is said to be sending Swiss troops to Italy, the former Prince of Salerno (fn. 9) is raising men at Sermonetta, Duke Ottavio is showing signs of beginning again, and the King has been making the greatest efforts to lure the Venetians into the war. The people of France are incensed at the failure to make peace, but those who govern are deferring the day as long as they can because the German princes are said to be entering into a pact with the King. I have sent this spy back, because his information seems trustworthy.
M. de Soatre, M. de la Capelle's brother-in-law, has come to me on the errand mentioned in his letters. I met his wishes by means of a credit of 1000 crowns which Luis de Paz placed at my disposal in case of need, and have obtained an order enabling him (de Soatre) to buy all sorts of victuals and commodities in this realm. I told him I would inform your Majesty of this, and transmit your further orders to him as soon as they arrived. M. de Soatre came at exactly the right time to supply me with a report showing that the French ambassador's complaint was wholly unfounded.
Jacques Granado has been thrown into prison, because when Cornwallis was sent to Calais to find out who was intriguing with the French in view of an attack on the town, Granado fled towards France but was chased for three leagues and caught at last under a bed. On his way to and from Brussels he spent over thirty days at Calais, which looks as if he were about suspicious business there, and there is also the fact that he resents not being employed by the Queen, and has quarrelled with the Earl of Arundel and the Master of the Horse.
Folk here are amazed at the lack of news from Spain; for everything is ready at Winchester.
Mason writes that the Duke of Savoy is preparing to come over to England on his Highness's arrival; and Clinton has been told off to go to meet him as soon as he lands at Calais.
Cardinal Pole has sent his chamberlain to tell the Queen that there is little hope of peace and that your Majesty wishes him to return to Rome, whilst he would rather go to Louvain and await there the consummation of the marriage.
M. de Courrières has written to me from Dover the enclosed letter, from which your Majesty will see that he had a narrow escape and that he and the Alcalde have lost their horses.
The Earl of Arundel tells me that the armour and swords mentioned in a note to be sent to your Majesty, were seized at Antwerp under pretext that arms and armour were mentioned as not to be exported in your Majesty's placard. He begs me to implore your Majesty to order their release, and has signed the note. I felt unable to refuse him, but your Majesty will decide for the best.
A book has been printed here in praise of the peers who voted against penalties for heretics.
Your Majesty's orders conveyed by your letters of the 4th instant shall be obeyed. Your Majesty makes no allusion to what I said in my last despatch about the measures to be taken in order to insure his Highness's security on landing, but you will certainly consider the importance of guarding against the dangers created by English inconstancy.
London, 13 May, 1554.
Mostly cipher. Signed. French.
About half this despatch is printed by Tytler, The Reigns of Edward VI and Mary, Vol. II.
May 14. Brussels, L.A. 68. The Queen Dowager to M. De La Capelle.
In view of certain well founded considerations we command you that incontinently upon the receipt of these our letters, you shall take steps to make sufficient provision of victuals to last another month after the expiration of the period of two months which we understand will be completed on June 3rd next.
As you find yourself near to the kingdom of England, where food-stuffs are plentiful and cheap, you may buy all you require there, if the provisions you have by you are not sufficient to last the third month. You have written to us and we have also been informed from other sources, that you are sufficiently well provided for the present. You shall on no account part company with the Queen of England's warships, not for any consideration in the world, without our express orders and commands. On your return we will repay you or your representative for expenses incurred in the purchase of victuals for the 3rd month, reckoned on the same basis as the cost for the first of the two months you have received already. We have sent (a duplicate of) these instructions to the Emperor's ambassador in England.
Brussels, 14 May, 1554.
Minute. French.
May 14. Brussels, R.A. Prov. 13. The Queen Dowager to Simon Renard.
We are writing to M. de Wacken, Vice-Admiral and general-in-chief of the Emperor's men-of-war, who is at present at sea, so that he may provide himself with the victuals needed by his fleet for a period of one month beyond the two months foreseen already. You will find duplicate copies of the letters to M. de Wacken enclosed herewith, together with the originals which you will remit to him, when he becomes acquainted with the contents. You will also render assistance and grant favour to whomsoever he may appoint to revictual the said fleet in the kingdom of England.
Brussels, 14 May, 1554.
Minute. French.
May 15. Simancas, E. 103. Prince Philip to the Emperor.
I left Valladolid to see the Princess, my sister, intending to set out for Corunna from the place where I should fall in with her. After I had sent off a courier with replies to all your Majesty's letters, I received yours of April 30th which was brought overland by a servant of my sister, the Queen of Bohemia. (fn. 10) It gave me great pleasure to hear that your Majesty was better; and as Our Lord has been pleased to grant you this improvement, I trust in Him that it may continue as excellent as I myself desire and the general welfare demands it should be. I was very glad to hear that things in England were quite tranquil, and that I had been proclaimed and sworn to as king. These news had already reached me in a letter from the Queen, brought by her servant, Antonio de Guaras, who also brought me a despatch from Ambassador Simon Renard. God be praised for it; and I trust that accomplishment of all your Majesty's desires may thus be granted to you. I calculate that, God willing, I shall be at Corunna by the end of this month or a few days later. News came that the ships from Andalusia got as far as Cape Finisterre, but were driven back by head winds and were believed to have run into a Portuguese port called Leixoes. However, the weather had been so good since that their arrival was hourly expected. The Biscayan ships were in a port near Corunna, and according to the latest advices they must all have arrived by now. . . . .
(M. d'Albret (fn. 11) has sent a memoir making an offer which is not specified here.)
El Pardo, 15 May, 1554.
Minute. Spanish.
May —. (fn. 12) Simancas, E. 808. Prince Philip to Simon Renard.
The letters carried by my master of the household, the Marquis de Las Navas, together with the verbal messages he is to deliver to you, will tell you why I am sending him. Antonio de Guaras will inform you that I have left Valladolid to go to meet the Princess, my sister, who is coming from Portugal to take over the regency of these kingdoms; and that I shall then set out for Corunna, where, if it so please God, I expect to be by the end of this month. Letters received show that the whole fleet is now gathered together, and if I have a fair wind I shall not delay to set sail. The Marquis is carrying the marriage articles with my ratification, in conformity with the instructions sent to me by his Majesty. You will put them to such uses as his Majesty may command, and report to me.
Minute with elaborate corrections in Philip's hand. Spanish.
Printed by Fernández Navarrete, in Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
May 16. Simancan, E. 103. Juan Vasquez De Molina to Francisco De Eraso.
The Marquis de Las Navas is going to England to visit the Queen and present to her a jewel—the great diamond, which his Majesty gave to the Empress (fn. 13) of happy memory, set in a rose. With him is a courier carrying despatches for his Majesty, who is to go on with them from England; but we thought it well to send a copy of the most important part of them overland by Iacopo de Astigar. The Englishman whom you sent, and we sent back again with an answer on March 31st, must have been waylaid as so much time has passed without news of him; but he was only carrying an autograph letter from his Highness and one from me, a duplicate of which I am sending by sea. As that letter is a long one, and the one addressed to his Majesty answers all the points raised and gives all our news, I may refrain from repeating it again, and am only writing this line so that the courier may not go without a letter from me.
His Highness left this place on the Friday before Whit-Sunday to go to meet the Princess, his sister, and then to proceed to Corunna. He will have an opportunity of visiting the forests of Segovia, El Pardo and Aranjuéz and the building in progress at Toledo, for Luis Sarmiento and Luis Vanegas have written that he will have time to do so because her Highness has had more fevers and been bled afresh, so that she will have been unable to start before the 16th instant. May God grant her health, for she is causing his Highness to lose much time, though it may be made up if the post will travel faster. The household left here yesterday, and at this rate his Highness will not come up with it before Villafranca or thereabouts. The Queen's ambassadors who are waiting at Corunna will be put out at the delay; but his Highness has not been wasting time, only the Biscayan fleet alone has reached Corunna so far, for the one from Andalusia was driven back from Finisterre to Portugal where it remained for some time waiting for a wind, though if the weather has been good lately it ought to be at Corunna with the rest by now. I am setting out on the 20th, in order to be there, God willing, when his Highness arrives, and I will send you more news then, for his Highness has decided that I am to stay here. All your letters have been received up to one dated April 30th, which was brought hither by a servant of the Queen of Bohemia; and his Highness was overjoyed to hear of his Majesty's health and the state of affairs over there.
Valladolid, 16 May, 1554.
Minute. Spanish.


  • 1. See Vol. XI of this Calendar, p. 361.
  • 2. This letter must have been written some time before May 11th, but was closed, and therefore dated, on that day. See the following paper.
  • 3. Ruy Gómez de Silva, Count of Mélito, a favourite of Prince Philip. He afterwards became Prince of Eboli and Duke of Pastrana.
  • 4. The first part of this letter was written some time before May 12th, on which date the postscript was added and the letter closed.
  • 5. These two drafts are undated, but were clearly drawn up at the time when de Las Navas was about to proceed to England.
  • 6. Philip had just heard that allegiance had been sworn to him as King in England, and evidently thought it incumbent upon him to adopt the royal style. Renard refused to allow these letters to be delivered; see his letter to the Emperor of 9 July, 1554.
  • 7. Richard, Lord Rich, Lord Chancellor of England, 1547–1551.
  • 8. A Leonard Daunet was transferred from the Fleet to the Tower on February 24, 1554. [Acts of the Privy Council.]
  • 9. Fernando di San Severino, Prince of Salerno, a Neapolitan, exile.
  • 10. The Emperor's daughter Maria, wife of Maximilian, King of Bohemia.
  • 11. Henri d'Albret, titular King of Navarre, father of Jeanne d'Albret.
  • 12. This minute is undated, but must have been written at the same time and place as the foregoing letter, i.e. El Pardo, 15 May.
  • 13. Isabella of Portugal, the Emperor's wife and Philip's mother,