Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1949.
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'Spain: February 1554, 6-10', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 12, 1554, (London, 1949) pp. 82-93. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/spain/vol12/pp82-93 [accessed 5 March 2024]
February 1554, 6–10
|Feb. 7. Vienna, E. 23.
|The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard.
|A few days after the London master of the posts brought hither the treaties passed in due form, the Emperor ratified and signed them in presence of the Bishop of Norwich, English ambassador, and of Mason. The next day, the master of the posts was sent off again with the ratification and a very rich ring to be used at the ceremony per verba de prœsenti and offered as a gift from his Majesty to the Queen of England, as well as an answer to your letters, containing all the information it was then judged necessary to send to you. Immediately afterwards, I sent off Maréchal, the courier, with the 3,000 crowns mentioned in his Majesty's letter: 200 to be spent on spies and the rest for wages down to the end of the present month. But when the master of the posts arrived at Calais, he heard of the rising in Kent, and sent me a special messenger to say that in view of the importance of his errand he did not dare to go on. His Majesty instructed me to tell him not to stir without orders, or if his own affairs made it necessary for him to go, he was to leave his mail-bag with Maréchal, who should go back to Gravelines until further notice. Ten days later I sent off more letters by another courrier, called Rousseau, with instructions to go by sea without passing through Calais, and I also gave him duplicates of the letters taken by the master of the posts. And last Thursday, when your letters giving an account of the progress of the rebellion arrived, his Majesty sent back the same courier with his answer and two powers to contract the marriage per verba de prœsenti sent by his Highness from Spain. We have since heard that the master of the posts went off leaving his mail-bag with M. de Vandeville at Gravelines, as he had been told to do, and that our ambassadors had arrived at Flushing, so his Majesty has ordered me to send off at once by two routes to tell the courier with the powers to stop if he is still on this side of the sea. And as we do not know whether Rousseau will have got safely across or not, nor whether you will have received the letters he was taking or even those carried by M. de St. Martin, who was to have left for England the very day on which we heard that the ambassadors had arrived at Flushing, we fear you may be anxious about the lack of news from here, and his Majesty has ordered me to write to you and send you duplicates of all the other letters; so I am sending the packet to M. de Vandeville, asking him to forward it to you safely, as he said he would be able to do.
|You will do well to send news by the same courier or by another, and inform us from time to time, indeed as often as possible, of what is happening over there, as you know his Majesty desires you to do. And your couriers had better travel by sea and leave the Calais road until things calm down, for fear of having your letters seized. His Majesty particularly commands me to tell you that if the courier with the powers reached England before the messengers I sent came up with him, you are not, in view of the present disorders, to say anything about them or make use of them to proceed with the marriage formalities, until his Majesty has been further informed of the state of affairs in England and has had time to send you fresh instructions. This is all I have to tell you for the moment. I will only add that his Majesty is very well, and anxiously awaiting your letters, as is the Queen also; wherefore I will once more beg you to contrive means to send frequent reports.
|Brussels, 7 February, 1554.
|Enclosed in the above minute is a note in Arras's hand, beginning: mon compere, ending: votre bon compere et bon amy levesque d'Arras, and instructing the recipient to add to Renard's letter express instructions not to make use of the powers from Spain, if they have reached him.
|Feb. 7 (?) (fn. 1) Besançon, C.G. 73.
|Simon Renard to the Emperor.
|. . . it is believed that to-morrow Wyatt will be a prisoner in the Queen's hands, and that the tumult will have calmed down.
|I have advised the Queen to send at once and have Elizabeth arrested, for I fear she may withdraw.
|Terms had been made with a boatman, but the wind has been so unfavourable that the said M. de St. Martin went by the Thames as far as my Lord Warden's.
|Fragment of a copy. French.
|Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV; under the date of February 8 (?).
|Feb. 8. Simancas, E. 808.
|Prince Philip to Simon Renard.
|On the 7th of last month we wrote in reply to your last letters, as you have seen or will now see from the enclosed duplicate. Since then we have received others from his Majesty, dated December 16th and 23rd. By the first he gave us the news contained in yours of the 11th of the same month: the successful progress of the negotiations for my marriage to the Queen; and he sent a minute of the power that we were to grant so that the ambassadors and you might contract the marriage for me per verba de prœsenti, together with another that you had sent for a contract de futuro. I granted them both and sent them off by special courier so that his Majesty might use the one that best suited the circumstances. In his letter of the 24th, his Majesty tells us all that you had written to him in yours of the 12th and 17th of the same month: the conflicting tendencies visible in the Council and elsewhere, caused by the intrigues of the French; and he informs us that he replied that in the existing circumstances it seemed advisable that you should urge the Queen and Council to endeavour by all means to put an end to these French plots, either by using severe measures, or by gifts and promises, according to the importance of the persons concerned and general conditions. This, if you remember, is exactly what I wrote to you in November, for I thought it would be a good way of winning over those whose opinions were not commendable. His Majesty also remarked that the sea-ports ought to be made secure for the reasons you mentioned, that all things ought to be made ready for my coming, and that I ought to make haste with my preparations so that as soon as news came that the marriage had been contracted I might start for the coast. In accordance with these instructions I have ordered all speed to be used so that no time may be wasted, and have sent my majordomo, Gutierre López de Padilla to the coast of Biscay and the Cuatro Villas (fn. 2) to await the ambassadors the Queen is to send, welcome and hospitably entertain them. We desire to inform you of this so that you may know that we are suffering no delays. We feel sure that things will be quieter by now in England, in spite of what is referred to above, for the Queen's firmness of purpose shows her to be animated by the same constancy that directs my own actions, and we believe that her ministers will act as these momentous circumstances require of them. Nonetheless, we charge you especially to send us detailed information by the boats we have despatched to you, and advise us of every point you think we ought to hear about: the arrival of his Majesty's ambassadors, their fulfilment of their mission, and the date of the departure of those the Queen of England is to send hither, for we are only waiting for their arrival and the news that the marriage has been performed to set out on our road. And you are not to omit, as his Majesty has already ordered you and I have also written, to make timely offers to those whose attitude is doubtful or unfavourable to the marriage, though we feel sure that you will already have given this matter due attention. See to it that the sea-ports are reinforced, as also the Scottish border, all obstacles removed, and negotiations for the marriage of Elizabeth suspended, for the reasons his Majesty wrote to you. As for the Spaniards, you will try to induce the English to entertain a different opinion of them; and God willing they shall soon see them and learn that they were mistaken.
|You write that the Queen would wish to know the number of people that are to come with us. We are unable to give it exactly, but our household and court will contain about 3000 persons, not counting the men who are going to guard the fleet, for they will be 6000 over and above the sailors. But they are not to land, but to go on in the ships, so those who are to land may be calculated at about 3000 persons and 1500 horses, mules and beasts of burthen, which are to be brought to serve us and our household. If this number were to be added to, we would inform you in time.
|Valladolid, 8 February, 1554.
|Minute or copy. Spanish. Printed by Fernández Navarrete, Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
|Feb. 8. Vienna, E. 22.
|Simon Renard to the Emperor.
|Sire: As all the passages have been closed I have been unable to send off my despatches or to furnish your Majesty with frequent news of events, wherefore I am now adding duplicates of some former letters. Since I wrote them the Queen received tidings, on Candlemas day (i.e. February 2nd), that the Earl of Huntingdon had captured the Duke of Suffolk and my Lord John, his brother. The Duke was found in a hollow tree and John buried under some hay; and the Duke was discovered by a dog. This is a wondrous good beginning, and points to success for the Queen's affairs.
|On the same day the Council ordered the imprisonment of Cobham, as an abettor of treason, the elder Granado (fn. 3), Flores and many others. On Saturday, Wyatt came with his troops and camped on the other side of London Bridge, at a place called Southwark, where he remained three days. But when he learned that the Lord Warden and Lord Abergavenny were pursuing him and, together with Lords Pembroke and Clinton, intended to cut off his retreat, seize his provisions and beleaguer him from three sides, he broke camp on Tuesday last and made for Kingston in order to gain the bridge near Hampton Court. Seeing the ferry-boats lying unguarded in the river, he got all his men across during the night and approached this town, coming up to within six miles of Westminster and St. James, which so frightened the Council that they went to the Queen between two and three o'clock of the morning to urge her to get up and fly by boat. She, without losing her presence of mind for an instant, sent for me. Now, the day before, the Chancellor had spoken much about Courtenay's evil doings and advised the Queen to go to Windsor, whereupon she had commanded me to tell her whether I thought it would be wise to withdraw. I told her that unless she wished to lose her kingdom she by no means ought to do so while any force or expedient remained to be tried. If London rose the Tower would be lost, the heretics would throw religious affairs into confusion and kill the priests, Elizabeth would be proclaimed Queen, irremediable harm would be the result, and I could not advise her to depart without more urgent cause. So at the said hour of the morning when I appeared before her I repeated the same opinion, and she repeated it to her Council, several members of which, and especially the Chancellor, were greatly perturbed and urged her to depart, whilst others opposed the notion. At last she summoned up her courage and decided not to go if Lords Pembroke and Clinton did their duty, to whom she at once sent off a messenger, and they replied imploring her not to move and assuring her that God would give her the victory. So with all speed all her forces of horse and foot were gathered together, trenches were dug, artillery put in position, infantry above 1000 strong drawn up, and three good squadrons of cavalry formed to wait for Wyatt. He, not thinking the Queen's forces to be so strong, and expecting the conspirators and heretics to rise like desperate men in his support, started on a disorderly march towards St. James' and reached town with 400 men. The Queen's cavalry routed the other rebels, taking 400 or 500 prisoners and wounding as many again. Wyatt was captured at the city gate, all his captains killed or taken, Cobham's two sons prisoners, Pelham dead, Harper a prisoner; and thus was Our Lord pleased to give the Queen the victory with a loss of only two men and three wounded; an evident miracle. Lords Pembroke, Clinton, Fitzwalter (fn. 4), Mountgarret (fn. 5), Warmonbrin (Ormonde) (fn. 6) and the nobility in general acquitted themselves gallantly. Courtenay and the Earl of Worcester (fn. 7) showed no sign of fighting and distinguished themselves on this their first field by running off to Court crying that all was lost and the rebels were winning the day, a singular performance that seems to confirm what the French ambassador said about the enterprise having been undertaken on his (i.e. Courtenay's) behalf. Moreover, he talked in a vain, foolish and dangerous tone to the Earl of Lennox (fn. 8) (Lynock), saying that he was as good a man as Pembroke and did not mean to obey him, and complaining of being suspected when he went to Cornwall, though he was a good man and true in his allegiance to the Queen, who had told him that he was not doing his duty as he ought and had promised. For all that he clearly shows what he has in his mind, and the Queen is angered and intends to consult with the Council as to what shall be done with him and Elizabeth, who is fortifying herself in her house, where she is lying ill. There are news that she now uses in a week the same quantity of victuals that used to last her a month.
|The same day the Queen received a report of the capture of my Lord Thomas, second brother of the Duke of Suffolk, and also that Crofts (fn. 9) had been taken.
|The Duke of Suffolk has written out with his own hand and signed his confession, in which he owns that irritation at his arrest, the small esteem in which the Council held him, his alarm when Warner was arrested, and the conversation of Carew and Crofts, who had plotted, together with many others, to set the Lady Elizabeth on the throne, moved him to leave the Queen's party and join the rebels. His brother, Thomas, he says, specially strove to persuade him, and also tried to win over Pembroke, who refused to listen. And he implores mercy, not justice. Thomas, who is a prisoner, has also written begging the Queen to have pity, but she is resolved to let justice have its course, as her clemency has already been abused, and allow their heads to be cut off.
|If her commands were executed last Tuesday, Jane of Suffolk (fn. 10) and her husband were to have lost their heads on that day, but I am not certain that the deed has yet been done.
|Immediately after the battle was won the Earl of Pembroke and all the lords and gentlemen came to announce the good news to the Queen, who thanked them in terms so appropriate that they all fell to weeping. She dwelt on the gratuitous wrong Wyatt had done in conspiring against her crown and realm under the pretext of her marriage, which she had decided upon for her kingdom's good, as they, most of whom had advised her to do so, well knew. Then, in Courtenay's presence, she gave Pembroke a diamond as a token of her gratitude and promise to remember his services, whereat all cried “long live the Queen!” and swore to live and die her servants. After this Wyatt was taken off to prison and the Queen desired to see him from one of her windows. To-day his trial is being held, so that he may be executed as soon as possible.
|The Queen wishes to send Fitzwalter to take the good news to your Majesty and offer excuses for the ambassador's hurried departure.
|Processions are being held to-day in all the churches of this town.
|The Council approves of reporting to the King of France his ambassador's doings here, so that he may send a new one.
|The Queen sent for me at seven o'clock of the evening, the day the victory was won, to tell me that Shrewsbury had written to her that her vassals of Wales and the North were very happy about the marriage. The Earl of Derby, she said, had offered to protect the Prince as often as she might order him, and she had spoken to the point with Pembroke about the marriage. I then told her I thought she ought to come to a decision about arresting Courtenay and Elizabeth, the speedy and vigorous chastisement of the traitors, matters of state where France was concerned, the measures necessary for insuring the quiet of her kingdom and subjects and the safety of her own person. I thought she ought not to forget that force would be needed to prevent the ill-disposed from rising against her, and believed, with submission, that it would be better for the present to say nothing about the marriage that had been arranged. She, however, would not consent to dissemble, but meant to work, with God's help, to bring about its consummation.
|Wyatt had waylaid a courier coming from Flanders, on whom were found ciphered letters from the Doge of Venice (fn. 11) to the Venetian ambassador.
|I am sending to your Majesty the French cipher and the intercepted ciphered letter.
|A Venetian ship came up the river to London, and the captain gave five or six pieces of artillery to Wyatt. It is believed that he did so at the encouragement of the Venetian ambassador, though my source of information is not sure enough to allow me to affirm this to your Majesty.
|London, 8 February, 1554.
|Signed. Cipher. French.
|Less than half this despatch, from a fragment at Besançon (C.G. 73), is printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
|A somewhat careless translation into Spanish, omitting the last three paragraphs, exists at Simancas (E. 808), and is printed in Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
|Feb. 8. Vienna, E. 22.
|Simon Renard to the Emperor.
|Sire: To-day, in the absence of your Majesty's lords ambassadors, I have received the letters you were pleased to write to them on the last day of last month; and this present dispatch will partly serve as an answer to the questions contained m the first paragraph as to the intrigues which have now been discovered. Most of the conspirators are prisoners, and it only remains to come to a decision as to the arrest of Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth. That would be the way to deal with them, now that God has permitted the conspiracies to come to light sooner than their authors had intended, and the Queen has had the victory. All this will serve for future guidance, especially where the designs of the French are concerned, for those folk are fitting out all the ships they can lay their hands on, in such numbers that the fourteen your Majesty writes that you are having manned will be insufficient to oppose them, for the English ships are not ready and lack munitions, rigging and other indispensable things. May your Majesty be pleased to take all these facts into consideration in making up your mind. I assure you that there never was seen a more steadfast lady than the Queen, nor one more devoted to you. As his Highness is still not prepared for his crossing, you will decide whether it would not be better and safer for him to go to Flanders and transform his household before proceeding hither, or how the marriage had best be consummated; for the victory God has given the Queen is the best guarantee possibly to be desired for his safe coming. However, I expect to see the King of France make war on England from Scotland or France because he does not wish the Queen well, desires to prevent the marriage, knows it to be necessary in order to take the war out of France, because he has promised the Duke of Cleves (fn. 12), at the Lady Elizabeth's request, thus to revenge himself for Henry VIII's repudiation of his sister, and in order to give the German princes an opportunity of turning their forces against your Majesty's dominions. The great preparations he is making by sea and by land show that he is following his usual policy of trying to cross your Majesty's projects.
|Your Majesty writes that your finances are low, but as you know little can be done without money, except in the way of baulking the enemy's designs by means of intrigues and expedients, you will also recognise that unless the Queen obtains money she will be unable to withstand the attacks that are being aimed at her. It is true that if she could get possession of the sums owing to her she would have 400,000 or 500,000 crowns in hand, without counting the extraordinary impositions, which come to as much again. But money is so tight (reserré) here that none is to be found (fn. 13).
|As for raising troops in England, in view of what has just happened your Majesty will realise that it will be unnecessary to do so as far as keeping order here is concerned, unless they were to be needed for another purpose.
|Courtenay's departure was suspended on account of the troubles, and because it was heard that your Majesty had ratified the treaty. If the Queen decided to throw him into prison his journey might be further suspended for other reasons than those mentioned in your letters, in which case my Lord Fitzwalter (Fealtre) will carry the good news to you. Above all, may your Majesty be pleased to have watch kept on Cardinal Pole and on Bonvisi, who left this place with M. de Lalaing to return to Flanders, for they are plotting to prevent the consummation of the marriage with his Highness with the object of wedding the Queen to Courtenay; and they have an understanding with Walgrave (fn. 14).
|When Cardinal Pole heard of recent events he realised that it was not a propitious moment for executing his legatine commission.
|The French are saying no more about peace or truces, which looks as if they hoped for better things this year than last, though I trust that their designs in this country will be as completely frustrated as those they are forming in Germany, of which they have tried to make use in urging on the Turk to attack your Majesty.
|I will choose an opportunity for demanding a safe conduct for an English gentleman to be sent to Spain by way of France, so that your Majesty may be able to make use of it when necessary.
|The news given by the postmaster and referred to at the close of your Majesty's letters were partly true, but there were never 3000 armed men in camp, for most of them were unarmed rabble, wherefore they did not fight.
|May it please your Majesty to write to me what I shall do with his Highness's powers if they come, and what attitude I am to adopt as to the marriage; for the Queen is and will remain steadfast, and asks me every day whether I have news from your Majesty or his Highness.
|The lords ambassadors departed so hurriedly that they omitted to pay their servants here. May you be pleased to see to that and to providing money for the couriers and spies.
|London, 8 February, 1554.
|Signed. Cipher. French.
|Feb. 9. Simancas, E. 103.
|Prince Philip to the Emperor.
|A few days ago I received your Majesty's letter of December 24th, together with a duplicate of the one of November 30th with a postscript of December 16th, to which I had already replied, as you will have seen. Since then an Englishman, who arrived here three days ago, brought me one of January 19th, and I thought I had better write again, as it seems my letters will go safely with him. I kiss your hand for your care in keeping me informed of the events that ought to be brought to my notice, and especially of your own health, about which I have been very anxious since receiving the letters of December 29th that spoke of an illness. Our Lord be thanked for having given the improvement of which you write, and I hope He will grant the health I wish you!
|I wrote briefly, as your Majesty will have seen, by the repostero mayor of the King of Portugal, who was sent by his master to announce to you the death of the Prince, his son, and the birth of a male child (fn. 15) to the Princess, my sister. But as he was m a hurry I had no time to answer your letter of December 24th, in which you told me of French plots in England to put a stop to the negotiations for my marriage. I read Ambassador Simon Renard's report, and it is no new thing for the French to behave thus, especially as this affair probably displeases them. Greatly to the point, I thought, were your instructions to the ambassador to urge the English to neglect no means of defeating them, either by showing severity or by gifts, to make sure of the fortresses and delay the matter of Elizabeth's marriage. As things quieted down after your Majesty's ambassadors' arrival, however, and you tell me the treaty has been concluded, we need not be alarmed, and I am rejoiced to hear that all went off so well and with demonstrations of affection, as I always believed would be the case, since our object is God's service. It seems to me wise to send me the treaty, confirmed and ratified by your Majesty, by the sea-route, so that I may do the same. As soon as the courier arrives I will attend to the matter as you command me, and the instrument shall be returned in duplicate by boats (zabras) so that no time may be lost.
|All possible haste is being made in preparing the fleet for my passage. The ships considered necessary have been embargoed and sent to Corunna, where the fleet is to be formed and I shall embark, as it is a convenient port for all that is to be sent from Andalusia and other parts, and a good starting-point for a voyage to England, as your Majesty knows. There will be no lack of vessels here, so none need come from Flanders. Great pains have been and are being taken to get food and provisions together, but heavy rains throughout these kingdoms have made the transport of bread-stuffs and other articles very difficult. The weather now seems to be improving, and no time shall be lost. As soon as I hear that the marriage has been contracted by your ambassadors, and those the Queen is to send have come hither and performed the same ceremony, I will start for Corunna and take ship according to your orders. And those who are to go with me shall be warned to be quick with their preparations and set out. I will continue to advise your Majesty of the progress made.
|Troops have been raised for the fleet, which it is estimated will be of 60 sail, and counting 100 men per ship, more or less, the company will come to 6,000. According to the news of the enemy received, suitable provision will be made for more troops and vessels, and the same applies to the frontiers which, in pursuance of your Majesty's wishes, shall be rendered secure. Although I sent, by land and sea, duplicates of my power to enable the ambassadors to act for me in the marriage ceremony, I thought it well to send a triplicate with this letter, as the Englishman promises to travel in safety; but I do not doubt that one of the others has arrived.
|I sent Gutierre López, my majordomo, to the coast of Biscay and the Cuatro Villas to welcome the ambassadors despatched by the Queen of England. As he does not know where they are going to land, he will be waiting in some convenient spot whence he may hurry to the port where they arrive, and the officers have been instructed to warn him. He took with him an alcalde, officers and other servants to lodge and look after them, together with some gentlemen of my household and ten horse-guards as an escort. In due time I will also send a person to England with a jewel, as your Majesty considers it suitable.
|The next time a courier goes by the sea-route I will write to Simon Renard about the number of people who are to go in my company and service. According to present calculations they will come to about 3,000 persons belonging to my court, without counting troops and seamen, together with horses, mules and other beasts of burthen to the number of 1,500.
|As for the other points contained in your Majesty's letters, I will refer you to the one written in my own hand. I am well, thanks be to God! and so is my son, the Infante. The Princess, my sister, is also in good health, as I hear. Since her confinement I have sent Don Antonio de Toledo, my master of the horse, to visit her, and on his return I will let your Majesty know the news he brings.
|Feb. 10. Vienna, E. 23.
|The Emperor to Simon Renard.
|We suppose you will have received some of the letters or duplicates we have sent to you, and that you realise how much the disorders in England have grieved us and how greatly we desire news. We are therefore confident that you will do your utmost to let us know what is happening. We take it that you will already have asked the Queen and her Council what service we might render her without exposing her to any risks, and that you will not fail to enlighten us on all the points mentioned in our letters. Our present letter is to inform you of the return of MM. d'Egmont, de Lalaing, de Courrières and the Chancellor of our Order, since whose departure things will have moved for better or for worse; and our belief in the Queen's and her Council's valour and wisdom and the aid she will have had from God, Who knows that her intentions are good, leads us to be in good hope.
|We wish to inform you, so that you may report to the Queen, that we heard that the English merchants resident at Antwerp were selling off their property and secretly preparing to leave the country, whereupon we considered it expedient for her service to have them and their goods arrested in order to be able to deal with them according to the behaviour of the London people and merchants towards her. This has been done with all possible despatch, and in a manner calculated to irritate them as little as possible, as you will see from the instructions sent to the Antwerp merchants, a copy (fn. 16) of which is being enclosed. You may show it to the Queen, and tell her, moreover, that in answer to the remonstances uttered on the merchants' behalf by her ambassador, we have permitted those among them who were willing to give surety that they would not leave this country to continue freely to deal and trade, in order that they might suffer no unnecessary loss on account of the arrest. And we have authorised Gresham, (fn. 17) the Queen's agent at Antwerp, to send off the powder belonging to the Queen in spite of the arrest, (fn. 18) though we took care to warn him to make sure the powder did not fall into the rebels' hands to be used against the Queen, for our object was to help her to overcome the revolt. All possible steps are being taken to hasten on the outfitting of the ships which we mean to place at her Majesty's disposal if she has need of them.
|Brussels, 10 February, 1554.