Spain: January 1554, 21-25

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, 21-25', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949), pp. 36-50. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

. "Spain: January 1554, 21-25", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) 36-50. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

. "Spain: January 1554, 21-25", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949). 36-50. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

January 1554, 21–25

Jan. 21. Simancas. E. 808. The Emperor to Prince Philip.
Since the departure of the courier who left on November 8th, the reply to whose despatch arrived here some days ago, two couriers who have gone by sea, and three by land, have taken your letters in which I have given you full accounts of the progress of the English negotiations, and Eraso has sent others, which I expect you have also seen. I may now add that our ambassadors, on their arrival in England, have been well received by the Queen, her Councillors and ministers, who displayed great satisfaction at their coming. When they came to negotiate the articles of marriage that we had already sent, the articles were seen to be so just and reasonable that the capitulation was at once agreed to, and has been sent to me signed, so that I may ratify it, as I now have done. And as they wish you to do the same I am sending couriers by both routes with all despatch, so as soon as they reach you, you will ratify it in accordance with the minute that has been prepared, and return it at once together with the two powers, copies of which are enclosed; one for the contraction of marriage per verba de prœsenti, and the other de futuro. It seems they still insist on the second, for they wish you to give your approval to the capitulation and swear to observe it and the laws of the realm at the time when, with Our Lord's blessing, you are married. The Queen, however, assures us that in secret it shall be done according to your desire, and we trust her word. All that remains is to beg you once more to do your utmost to come quickly, for on that success in this matter depends. I believe that you will have taken measures for the fitting out of the fleet and the supply of men and provisions, and given orders that those who are to accompany you shall be ready and set out in the direction of the port where you are to embark, to avoid waste of time. News have arrived here from various quarters that the French intend to make every effort to stop you, knowing as they do that to succeed in doing so would greatly remedy their state. There is little reason for anxiety, for as you will have heard from Biscay, Guipuzcoa and Navarre their forces are not considerable, but you will take measures for your own safety and to ensure the rapid voyage of the fleet. The Queen is soon going to send the two or three persons of whom we wrote to you, and I believe you will already have arranged to have them welcomed at the sea-port and conducted to the place where you are with all due marks of distinction and favour. Up to the present I have had no news of the preparations you have made since the arrival of the Portuguese courier who returned by land. We have been told of his reaching Spain, and others have gone since with more ample reports on the progress of the negotiations, so you will now write to us fully on the subject, thus giving us great pleasure. I have suffered heavily these days from the gout all over my body and particularly in the knees, of which I feared to lose the use if the attack had lasted much longer; but—thank God!—I am better now, and hope to be able to get up in two or three days. I am beginning to attend to business, which I have lately been quite unable to do.
Brussels, 21 January, 1554.
Signed: Yo el rey; countersigned: Eraso. Spanish.
Printed by Fernández Navarrete, Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
Jan. 21. Simancas, E. 808. The Same to the Same.
My other letter will tell you the state of the English negotiation, and although I had at first decided that Count d'Egmont should go to you after the marriage had been contracted, now that the capitulation has been agreed to on satisfactory terms and the English insist on wishing to make use of the power to promise per verba de futuro which you are to send, it seems to me that he had better go with the ambassadors who are being despatched by the Queen, in order that he may tell you of all that has happened and supply you with any information you may desire. You will give him credence, confirm and ratify the capitulation in accordance with the minute, and send it back as soon as possible. And I beg you to come as quickly as you can, for as I have written to you several times already it is most important that you should do so. Send me frequent news of what is happening. I have been very ill with the gout these days, but I am up now and much better, thanks be to God!
Brussels, 21 January, 1554.
In Eraso's hand. Signed: Yo el rey. Spanish.
Apostilled, in Philip's hand: Let the ratification of the capitulation be drawn up for me to sign it, so that it may go off with the Marquis de las Navas, who will be come up with by a courier carrying all the despatches for his Majesty and England. A duplicate of those for his Majesty will also go by land.
Jan. 21. Simancas, E. 808. Count d'Egmont to Prince Philip.
My letters of the 8th will have informed your Highness of the then condition of affairs, but we have since passed and concluded the entire treaty, and all that remains is that your Highness should come and ratify it in person. We are hourly expecting your Highness's power, and as soon as it has arrived we shall conclude the betrothal per verba de prœsenti, although the Queen has had her marriage with your Highness announced to the gentlemen, officers and servants of her Court, commanding them to obey you as they would herself. The same has been done to the mayor, sheriff, aldermen and lawyers of this town, and they appear to be content. I hope your Highness has already drawn near to the sea-coast so as to be able to take ship, as the Emperor said in his letters. You ought to come without delay, not only on account of this marriage, but because of other affairs of state concerning the defence and protection of your vassals and dominions, and in order to check the designs of your enemies who are striving to prevent your coming, which they dread more than anything in the world. I will refer your Highness for the rest to the letters from the ambassador in ordinary and to the bearer whom I am sending. I beg your Highness to believe him, and assure you that were it not that I am waiting for the power and must stay for the promise, I would be the messenger myself. I will start immediately after the power has arrived, and will now make an end.
London, 21 January, 1554.
Signed. French. Printed by Fernández Navarrete, Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
Jan. 23. Vienna, E. 22. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
Sire: The Queen and her Council have reflected on the attitude of the French, the designs their dislike of her marriage may have caused them to form, and the object of their warlike preparations. They have taken into consideration French untrustworthiness, the daily reports received of their intrigues in this country, and the incident provoked in the West by Carew and his followers, whereupon the Queen has resolved to raise foot and horse and send lieutenants and captains into all the counties with full powers: the Earl of Pembroke (fn. 1) to the West and Cornwall, the Earl of Shrewsbury (fn. 2) to his county and the Earl of Derby to others. She also means to keep up 7000 or 8000 men to surround her own person in an emergency and keep the people dutiful by a display of force. This will be an excellent thing for her own security, for the protection of good folk, to prepare and make sure his Highness's entry, and also to baulk the designs of the French, forestall their plots, and follow their own example by being in readiness for them. At sea, the Admiral has been instructed to fit out fourteen or fifteen of the best ships. The Queen and her Council trust that your Majesty, on your side, will do the same by land and at sea, which would do much to check the French and ward off their assaults, and also to protect shipping and his Highness's journey. Moreover it would show the English people that you were taking measures for the protection of the Queen, who will take care to let it be widely known, for she is of opinion, as I recently wrote to her: quod communis res agitur; and if they faithfully carry out these orders I am greatly mistaken if it should prove impossible to use these forces against the French if there is any money in hand. Several persons devoted to your Majesty's service opine that it would be well if your Majesty or his Highness gave five or six pensions to the leading men here to incline them to gratitude. Some benefice ought to be given to the Chancellor and liberality shown to the others mentioned in the note sent to your Majesty, in which the Earl of Shrewsbury's name was omitted, as well as my Lord Warden's (fn. 3) and those of two others whom I do not know. It has been proposed to send Courtenay to your Majesty with the excuse of accompanying the Bishop of Norwich (fn. 4) when he receives your Majesty's oath to keep the treaty. Surer information about his intrigues with the French and heretics might thus be secured; for it is supposed that if he really is plotting he will refuse to go, and if he accepts and your Majesty gives him an honourable reception he may forget his resentment caused by the marriage. During his absence we shall see whether the people are devoted to him, and what is said about him. If he refuses the commission, as his claim involves the Crown and would make him violate all laws, the Queen is resolved to throw him into the Tower. Beyond this, the Chancellor is to speak to him as if of his own accord with the object of inducing him to remain a good vassal and subject and dissuading him from lending an ear to those who desire to launch him into enterprises that might cost him his life, thus showing him that good is good and evil is evil. The Queen is suspicious of him because he keeps away from Court and haunts the bad company of ruffians and heretics, and especially because his mother has withdrawn from the intimacy to which the Queen had admitted her, and no longer speaks to her about her son or any other topic.
In order to dissemble with the Lady Elizabeth, the Queen has sent her letters of credence to announce her marriage, and she hears that since the Lady Elizabeth has been in the country she has gone on hearing mass and outwardly observing the statutes of Parliament. I think my lords, your Majesty's ambassadors, might send a gentleman to visit her on their behalf, for I believe it would contribute to the desired effect.
Eight days ago the foreign preachers were ordered to depart from this realm under the last penalty.
The Queen, on learning that I had letters from his Highness, sent for me to tell her their contents. Her joy was incredible on learning that his Highness was glad to ally himself with her and had been pleased to empower me to negotiate the conditions. She said that as he had begun, I was to send him her affectionate commendations in the first letter I wrote to him. and assure him that she would fulfill towards him all the duties which ladies were bound to discharge where their husbands were concerned. She especially said I was to tell him to bring his own physicians and trustworthy cooks.
She also told me that a private individual of ill repute had been imprisoned for calling her a bastard and saying that all your Majesty's ministers sent in connection with the marriage ought to be killed, and remarked that if it were true she would have him summarily dealt with.
A list has been given to me of eleven gentlemen whom your Majesty might take into your service if you wished to make use of a number of English troops next summer. And Paget tells me that if you desired to take over those who are in France they would be willing, for the French anger them about the marriage and treat them with suspicion.
I have heard to-day that some vessels from Flushing have taken the ships recently seized from your Majesty's subjects by the French, and also the Frenchmen's own, but I have no confirmation of the report.
There is a rumour here to the effect that certain folk in the West wish to prevent Spanish couriers or other Spaniards from passing through their country or landing on their coast. I have no certain information as to this, but I have told the Queen about it in order that a remedy may be provided.
The Chancellor has offered me a gentleman who might be sent to Spain through France if your Majesty approved. A safe-conduct would be demanded for him, and if the French refused the Queen would not allow any one to pass through this country on the way to Scotland. Your Majesty will consider this suggestion and, if you approve, will send ciphered letters and money, whereupon I will at once send him off.
I have had confirmation of the report that the Regent of Scotland, having heard that the King of France is going to send a lieutenant-general in his name to that country, is dissatisfied with the King, and that it will be difficult to pacify him. It is also believed that the people will not put up with it.
The heretics have been circulating a story that King Edward is not dead and will soon appear again. Some of the people who repeated it have been taken in order to discover its source.
The Queen has received no letters from Wotton since the last of which I sent an extract, but the Council have spoken to me about the truce proposed by the Constable. There is less talk of peace, and people coming from France speak of nothing but great preparations for carrying on the war.
As for Stukeley, about whom your Majesty wrote to me, I have heard definitely that he is a useful man and that the suspicions harboured against him of having an understanding with the French were false, for he had been instructed to act as he did in order to spy upon them.
To-day the Chancellor talked to me at length in his house about Courtenay. He told him that he was keeping suspicious company and that it was said he meant to forget his duty towards the Queen. If he did so he should rue it, so he must not believe the French or other partisans, but be guided by the rules of honour and prudence. He also told him that the Queen desired him to go on an honourable mission to your Majesty, so that he might make your acquaintance (pour la cognoistre). Courtenay answered that although several people had attempted to influence him where religion and the marriage were concerned he had never paid any attention to them, for his mind was made up to live and die in the Queen's service. He had been spoken to about a marriage with the Lady Elizabeth, but he would rather go back to the Tower than ally himself to her. As for the mission, he would willingly accept it and regard it as a greater favour than all the other benefits the Queen had conferred upon him, wherefore he would prepare to start. The Queen was greatly pleased at this and asked me to inform your Majesty and recommend Courtenay to you, and I replied that I was sure you would treat him with all possible consideration. She then told me that the Chancellor had said it would be an excellent thing, for the reasons I have already mentioned to your Majesty, if a match could be found for him abroad, and in that case she would do all she could for him, if your Majesty were of the same opinion. I thought it well to inform you of this at once and warn you of his journey, the object of which is to receive your Majesty's oath in confirmation of the treaty, so may you be pleased to have him welcomed, for I assure your Majesty that your ambassadors have been made much of over here.
The Chancellor has told me that Cod permits heretic plots to be discovered every day, and he says that He willed the conclusion of the marriage in order that religion might be restored. He is sure that the French are intriguing with the heretics, the Lady Elizabeth and certain private individuals here, and that they are trying to win over the King of Denmark (fn. 5) by holding out the prospect of marrying his son (fn. 6) to the Lady Elizabeth and thus handing over the kingdom to him. It is said that the King of Denmark finds the project to his taste, and that the real object of these French and heretic designs is to confound religion. The Queen will do her utmost to defeat them and hopes that your Majesty will also help. As for what happened in the West, those who signed the letters with Carew now excuse themselves, saying that Carew had told them that his Highness was going to land at Plymouth with a great multitude of Spaniards, that the people were dissatisfied and the Queen ought to hear of it. Believing him to speak the truth, they had signed the letters, but on hearing the Queen's pleasure concerning the marriage they had all decided to obey her orders and accused Peter Carew of stirring up the incident. Two of them had already come up to London to acquit themselves, and Carew would be a prisoner before many days had passed. That very morning one Predies (fn. 7) had come to reveal to him part of the French enterprise, and in the afternoon he was to come again and tell him the rest. The French ambassador had demanded audience of the Queen, and she intended to tell him that if her master or his ministers continued their present practices they might have cause to repent; and a man from the West had been apprehended for declaring at Exeter that Courtenay had escaped from Court and was coming to the West to take up arms against the Queen. The Chancellor also told me that he had informed Courtenay that he would find Cardinal Pole at Brussels, and asked him if he would not like to conduct him to England; to which Courtenay replied “Yes, and defend him against all heretics.” I then gave the Chancellor several pieces of information in connexion with the same matter, particularly concerning the (plan to) surprise the Tower, the intrigues of Wemier (fn. 8) Captain of the same, and of ten or twelve heretics; and I did so with the object of encouraging him to watchfulness, for it seems that Cod is miraculously revealing the doings of our adversaries. May it please your Majesty to take such measures as may recommend themselves to you to prevent plots or counteract them. The upshot of my conference with the Chancellor was that it would be safest to have Elizabeth thrown into prison, as these matters are now certainly known. I will do all I can to obtain that result; and the Chancellor said to me that if his Highness were here he would see to it.
The Bishop of Mondoñedo has landed at Plymouth, and we expect him to bring letters from his Highness.
London, 23 January, 1554.
Signed. Cipher. French. Printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV.
Jan. 23. Simancas, E. 808. Simon Renard to Prince Philip.
On the 18th instant I received the letters your Highness was pleased to write to me on November 12th last, which were forty days in coming. I have replied with three despatches which will have told your Highness of the state of the negotiations for your marriage with the Queen of England and the conclusion of the articles passed solemnly by the Prince of Egmont, Count de Lalaing, Sieur de Courrières, the Chancellor of the Order of the Golden Fleece and myself, commissioners, procurators and ambassadors sent for this purpose, with the Chancellor of England, the Earl of Arundel, Lord Paget, the Controller of the Queen's Household and Secretary Petre, procurators of the Queen. We are daily awaiting his Majesty's ratification, and all that now remains is that your Highness should send your power for the ratification to be made on your behalf in confirmation of the promise of marriage contracted by the Queen per verba de prœsenti. The English, however, think that your Highness ought to come in person and consummate the marriage as soon as possible, as I have already written in several of my letters. The main reasons are the age of the Queen: 37 years, and that it will be safer to come before Spring because things are quieter then than in the Summer, when popular risings are more apt to take place. Also it would be well if, before the King of France could get together his fleets, this most advantageous alliance might be concluded and used to support his Majesty's dominions and subjects against the attacks that are reported to be in preparation in Germany, where they are taking into account his Majesty's failing health and constant debility. Your Highness will also be able to take other necessary measures, in view of which it is most essential to have a supply of money on hand, for the King of France is seizing all the uncoined bullion in his kingdom, levying a new contribution of twenty francs on each church, and taking as much as he can get from the towns in order to be able to carry on the war this year, in hopes of his Majesty's death.
Moreover, he is trying to cause revolts by favouring Courtenay, who aimed at marrying the Queen, with men and money and turning him into a leader of the people; and he is fitting out all the ships in the Breton and Norman ports and La Rochelle with the object of stopping your Highness on your way. You may well imagine how great is his anxiety about the conclusion of the marriage, and the Venetians also are very jealous and envious, although the French have been pretending to want to make peace, as your Highness may see from the enclosed copy (fn. 9) of the letters sent by the Queen's ambassador in France, and have also talked about it here. But as the nobility and principal gentlemen are pleased and most of the people pacified, there are only a few heretics left who fear to see religion restored; and in order to keep them within bounds and prevent them from conspiring the Queen has sent many lieutenants and captains into different parts of the country to raise foot and horse and make secure your Highness's coming. You must try to bring people who will put up with English roughness and make friends with them. Come with all things in readiness, and let your Highness's attendant lords be civil, and you will have no more dutiful state than this. And it is needful . . . . . (four pages of this letter are missing at this point).
. . . . the Queen about a proposal for marrying her to the Archduke, but she always preferred your Highness.
The Queen has had her marriage announced in Council to all her officers and ministers and has charged them to obey your Highness as they would obey her, and all those present raised their hands in sign of agreement. The same has been done by the governor (i.e. Lord Mayor) of this town of London, the judges and magistrates, all of whom showed satisfaction, and is also to be done all over the country in order to see whether there will be any opposition.
The French are sending many captains to Scotland for three purposes: one for defence; the second in order to be able to make an expedition from there if the English were to rise; and the third to throw them into the strong places, because the Governor (i.e. the Regent) set up there by the King of France is very indignant because the King wished to take his office away from him and has named a lieutenant-general called the King's lieutenant. Thus Scotch affairs are in a confused condition.
Although your Highness instructed me to win over as many people as possible with presents and promises, I have only bound you to reward Lord Paget, a Knight of the Order and a Councillor, who deserves particular recognition. Your Highness will also do well to make presents to the Councillors, the principal gentlemen and the ladies of the Court, thus ransoming their hearts and obliging them to remain faithful; but I remit this point to your Highness's prudence.
Above all, you must realise that the French are, as I have said, arming in Brittany and Normandy in order to stop you if they can. They also mean to take the field as soon as possible and profit by what they judge to be slowness in his Majesty; and I may confidently assure you that great difficulties are preparing for his Majesty in Germany, to remedy all which matters your Highness's coming is necessary.
M. de Vendôme (fn. 10) is raising troops in Gascony and Guyenne with the object of attacking Navarre as soon as your Highness has left Spain.
London, 23 January, 1554.
Contemporary Spanish translation of a lost French original.
Jan. 24. Vienna, E. 23. The Emperor to his Ambassadors in England.
We have received your letters of the 9th and 12th instant, and have been very glad to hear of the accomplishment of your journey, the welcome shown to you and the facilities afforded in all the places belonging to the Queen of England, our good sister and cousin, through which you passed, where she saw to it that you should be well received, protected and entertained. So now, after presenting to her our most affectionate commendations, you will thank her on our behalf.
Your letters have also told us of your success in your task and the moderate and straightforward behaviour of the English, and we have now finally seen the treaties, passed and signed, that you have sent us. We entirely approve of your action in making no difficulty about admitting the alteration, desired by them, of a few words in the drafts we had given you of the marriage treaty and the private promise, especially as they do not affect the substance. In order to do our share, we have solemnly sworn in the presence of the Queen's ambassadors to observe the treaties, and have granted the ratifications, which we are now sending to you that you may present them to the Queen and her Council. Moreover we are despatching in haste a copy of the treaties to our son in Spain, begging him to send his ratification without delay so that we may obtain the Queen's. And we are doing our utmost to cause him to be prompt about sending his power to contract per verba de prœsenti in accordance with the draft sent to him by different routes, which we feel certain he must have received by now; and you may perhaps have had it back from him, as the weather has been favourable. We are also urging him to hasten his own departure, although we are unable to make sure of the time of his arrival until we have had a reply from him.
In order that, as soon as the power comes, you may proceed to contract the marriage in spite of the degree of affinity, we are sending you the brief despatched by his Holiness, which you may show the Queen in private in order not to arouse the scruples of the English. Tell her also that for greater security the bulls are also being despatched, though the brief alone suffices to make her conscience clear, as you may point out to her if she raises any difficulty, for it disposes of any that she might put forward. Also, in order to calm any apprehensions she might have about her union with our son, caused by assertions that English priests and especially bishops might not lawfully administer the sacraments because they had been instituted by secular and non-ecclesiastic persons, we have written to Rome to obtain a dispensation to permit one of the aforesaid clergymen, all difficulties notwithstanding, to celebrate the marriage per verba de prœsenti, lawfully and by his Holiness's authority, and also, when the marriage comes to be consummated, give the usual benediction. We have as yet had no reply, but in order to avoid delay we have considered that Bishop Tunstall, (fn. 11) who is one of the old ones instituted at the time when the authority of the holy apostolic see was observed in England, might take a share in the ceremony when you act as procurators. When our son comes to consummate the marriage he may bring a prelate with him to perform the office, and we are sending him word to do so.
Both in your common and private letters you have told us that the persons whom the Queen wishes to send to Spain to visit our son are ready to depart, and that it seems to you that you, my cousin, Count d'Egmont, might take this opportunity of going with them. We would have liked to have you delay until the marriage had been contracted per verba de prœsenti, and can hardly believe that the Queen means to send off her ambassadors until then, but as you by this time know the men who are to undertake this journey on the Queen's behalf, it seems to us well that if they do go you should start with them in order to give my son a detailed account of all that has happened, beg and assist him to hasten on his way, and help to give a welcome to the ambassadors, introduce them to a nearer acquaintance with the Spaniards and dispose them to harbour the friendly feelings which each nation ought henceforward to entertain for the other, so that when they return they may make a favourable report to the rest. But in that case you would have, before going, to make sure of the promise per verba de prœsenti that the Queen has offered to give, so as to be able to take the news for our son's assurance. If the ambassadors do not go until the marriage per verba de prœsenti has been contracted, so much the better, and in that case we shall hear that you have assisted at it.
You say in your letters that the great company you have with you might cause annoyance in England, and that as they have asked when you are going it may be conjectured that, now the treaty has been passed and the ceremony of the solemn asking for the Queen's hand in marriage has been accomplished, they would not be sorry to be rid of so large a mission. Wherefore we are of opinion that you, my cousin, Count Lalaing, who know that your presence is necessary on the frontier, and you also, Chancellor of the Order, had better take leave of the Queen as soon as you can with all decorum, and return hither, taking measures for your safety on the journey. If the Queen's ambassadors depart before the marriage is contracted per verba de prœsenti you, my cousin, Count d'Egmont, will take care to accompany them, as above. And then you, M. de Courrières and Lieutenant of Amont, will remain there as ambassadors in ordinary, so that when the power arrives you two, in accordance with its terms, may take part on our son's behalf in the contracting of the marriage per verba de prœsenti. But if the ambassadors of the Queen delay their departure until after the marriage per verba de prœsenti has been contracted, as you, my cousin, Count d'Egmont, are not to go before then, you may in that case stand with the Lieutenant d'Amont for my son at the ceremony per verba de prœsenti; and you, M. de Courrières, may come back with MM. de Lalaing and the Chancellor of the Order.
We are waiting for your opinion as to the presents that are to be given, as you will have seen in a recent letter from the Bishop of Arras, and in the meantime we are sending you the 3.000 crowns mentioned in that letter, so that you may distribute them as you think best in accordance with our earlier letters. We are exceedingly well pleased with your manner of discharging your duties, and we are sure that your conversation and courteous manners have done much to win the goodwill of the English, in which we consider you to have rendered us a valuable service.
As for what the King of France and the Constable have said to Ambassador Wotton about peace, the proposals for making the present occasion serve as an opening for negotiations, and the words to the same effect uttered by the French ambassador resident in England to Lord Paget, you will do well to reply on our behalf that we always have desired and do still desire the peace and union of Christendom. For the sake of avoiding war we have often put up with much from the French, and they broke with us on the last occasion of their own choice without any reason whatsoever. But in spite of all the evil we have received at their hands we have never refused to enter into negotiations for peace provided reasonable conditions were proposed, and we believe that if those we suggested last September at the request of the Cardinal of Imola (fn. 12) are dispassionately examined they will be found to be perfectly just. The King of France, however, has never made any reply at all, nor said what he would demand on making peace. But as we are still disposed to consent to enter into negotiations if the terms are reasonable, you may assure the Queen of the fact so that she may repeat it to whom she pleases, and we are more prone to consent because she is taking a share in the matter, though it would first be necessary to hear what the French have to say, not only about a peace but also about a truce, for the conditions they mention will help us to form an idea of their real intentions and calculate whether their proposals are likely to contribute to the welfare of Christendom. And you, Lieutenant of Amont, would do well to find out from Paget whether the French ambassador has said any more to him about the matches mentioned as possible in his letters. According to the reply and what you may subsequently hear about the Frenchmen's intentions you will now and then send us information to assist us in coming to a decision on this question.
Brussels, 24 January, 1554.
P.S. As for the Spaniard (blank) who offers his services, he shall be watched if he comes with his infantry and seized if possible, and Colonel Luis Quixada has been instructed to see to it. As he is dangerous, according to what you, Lieutenant of Amont, say in your letters, he had better not be trusted at all, so let the Lieutenant get as much out of him as he can and then get rid of him without either encouraging him or quite dashing his hopes. To speak frankly, however, we are not inclined to promise him anything as he is a man to beware of and has not offered to do us any service that merits a reward.
The sum of 200 crowns is being sent to you, Lieutenant of Amont, to pay for people who might be useful in procuring news from France and other quarters, and also your salary down to the end of the month.
We are causing it to be ascertained how much powder we have in hand, in order to be able to reply on that matter. And at the same time an answer shall be given as to the word from Spain.
The merchants' petition that the Lieutenant recently sent has been forwarded to M. de Beveren in order to obtain his opinion, and when he has given it you shall be told what you are to say to the merchants.
For various good reasons it was impossible to grant the postmaster of London the passport he wanted, in lieu of which we had him given a chain worth 200 crowns for the good news he brought.
In order to proceed in a manner worthy of so important a negotiation we are of opinion that, as soon as the marriage per verba de prœsenti has been contracted, and before you take leave of the Queen, you shall on our behalf present her with a ring or jewel of price. We are consequently sending you one adorned with a large and valuable diamond which you are to give her from us in witness of the fact that, beyond our old friendship and our respect for her position, we now consider her as our own daughter in virtue of this new alliance, begging her to accept it with the goodwill which moves us to offer it.
As for the gifts that ought to be made to those who have had a share in the negotiations and to win over certain important persons, we caused the Bishop of Arras to write to you on the subject and refresh your memory of what our former letters said, and we have now seen your answer. We would have been glad to have a more detailed opinion, because you have come into contact with those persons and are better able to judge of the amounts with which they would be satisfied. We are embarrased by the vagueness of your reply, especially as you name a large number of people and tell us no more than that we must not give too little because it would be held in slight esteem in England. We are unable to make out what they would consider enough. We have thought of an expedient to enable you to give us the detailed information you desire, of which we believe you may well make use as we ourself were in the habit of doing when, on passing through England we distributed some notable sum among the ministers and servants of the late King Henry. It was to ask his advice, and get him to tell us frankly how much we ought to give. As the intimacy between us and the Queen is much greater and our countries are to become one you may without constraint put this question to her, and she will be better able than anyone else to tell you who has done well or ill, the importance of each man, those whom it is most desirable to win over, and the sums with which they may reasonably be satisfied. You may make this request to the Queen on our behalf, saying that there are some among them who might be won over through her by giving them benefices or offices which they desired, and that you desire to obtain her advice in drawing up a list in which the persons are to be specified together with the sums that ought to content them.
You, Lieutenant of Amont, have written in your letters, and the joint despatches contain further references to the same matter, about the designs and intrigues that are going on in England to the hurt of the common weal, and the Queen hopes that we shall be able to give her assistance in view of this. We are now examining this question in order to see what measures we can take over here, and we shall reply to you on the subject. But in the meantime it seems to us that the best thing would be to discover the intrigues and prevent them at the outset before they swell to such an extent that greater forces would be necessary to cope with them. If the heads are found out, let them be seized and thrown into the Tower whoever they may be, provided the state of public opinion allows of such a measure. Let the Queen's clemency be accompanied by a little severity to serve as a bridle, for we believe that when the leaders fall these conspiracies disappear of their own accord. However, all this must be conducted by the Council, and all you find out on the subject ought at once to be reported to the Queen and her Council, especially such information as may appear to be trustworthy, in order that unfounded rumours may not alarm or dishearten the Queen, or cause her to despair of being able to deal with the situation. As soon as we have come to the conclusion referred to, as to what we shall be able to do to checkmate French designs, we will inform you so that those who stay in England may communicate our decision to the Queen and her Council. But M. de Lalaing and the Chancellor of the Order need not remain longer in England on that account, nor M. de Courrières either unless M. d'Egmont were to go to Spain with the ambassadors sent thither by the Queen before our son's power came and the marriage per verba de prœsenti were contracted, as we have said above. The said gentlemen may return hither and inform us of the condition of affairs in England, and you, Lieutenant of Amont, will be careful to send us reports from time to time, as it is very necessary, for many reasons, that you should do.
Brussels, 24 January, 1554.
Minute. French. Printed, from a transcript at Brussels, by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV; and a fragment, from a mutilated copy at Besançon, printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
Jan. 24. Besançon, C.G. 73. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
I have no letter from you more recent than the one of the 13th, brought by the postmaster of London together with the articles of marriage, and I say this because I do not know whether you wrote to me by the last courier, and because if you did you had better know that the letter reached me not, but for no other reason.
You will see what his Majesty is writing to all of you, and it seemed better to do so rather than to write to you alone, in order to give them pleasure while they are there. As all that I might say to you is contained therein I will only refer to that letter, and will say no more about the peace or truce that the French have proposed beyond what was recently written to you on that subject.
A vase, like the one I recently sent to the Queen, is being made for the ointments, and as soon as it is ready I will not fail to send it to you in order that you may present it to her with my most humble commendations, for I am very happy to have any opportunity of offering her my humble services.
The Queen did not think fit to give the postmaster the passport he wanted to export several barrels of French wine, because of the precedent, but she had him given a chain worth 200 crowns.
For the moment we have no news of importance except that Margrave Albrecht's commissioners say he will be satisfied with the reply his Majesty has given him, asserting that he has no understanding with France to his Majesty's prejudice and that his agents in that country have been mainly busied in negotiating the ransom of the Duke of Aumale.
As for Corsica, the outlook is excellent, and those who have escaped from San Florenzo say that if the French galleys do not bring relief in a fortnight the place will not be able to hold out because of lack of provisions; but storms have so roughly handled the French galleys during the last few days that they will have difficulty in leaving Marseilles within the next two months. If in the meantime the Spanish galleys that have been sent for arrive, together with the 3000 Spanish troops despatched by my lord and Prince, I trust that French affairs there and in Italy may go ill. To tell the truth, they have defeated some of our people in Piedmont, who were stationed at Velle-Fournières. This has been attributed to the imprudence of their leader, Don Alvaro de Sande; but war always brings these ups and downs, especially when troops are not as well led as they ought to be.
Brussels, 24 January, 1554.
Signed. French.
The first four paragraphs printed by Gachard, Voyages des Souverains des Pays-Bas, Appendix to Vol. IV. The last two paragraphs printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.


  • 1. William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.
  • 2. Francis Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury.
  • 3. Sir Thomas Cheyne, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
  • 4. Thomas Thirlby, Bishop of Norwich, English ambassador at Brussols.
  • 5. Christian III.
  • 6. Frederick, afterwards King as Frederick II.
  • 7. A Richard Pridie was committed for trial for coining on April 21, 1553. (Acts of the Privy Council, 1552–1554, p. 259.)
  • 8. Sir Edward Warner, Lieutenant of the Tower, was destituted from his charge on July 28, 1553. (Acts of the Privy Council, 1552–1554, p. 422.)
  • 9. In the same bundle is a French translation of Wotton's letter, an abstract of which is printed in the Foreign Calender for 1553–1558, under the date of 9 January, 1553.
  • 10. Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vondome, husband of Jeanne d'Albret and father of Henri IV.
  • 11. Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham.
  • 12. Girolamo Dandino, Cardinal Bishop of Imola. for a long time nuncio at Brussols.