Spain: July 1554, 26-31

Pages 1-13

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1954.

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July 1554, 26–31

1. M. de Courrieres and Simon Renard (fn. 1) to the Emperor
Winchester, 26 July Sire: His Highness landed last Friday at Southampton, where he was received by the High Treasurer of England, and before he set foot on shore the Earl of Arundel, accompanied by the Queen's Master of the Horse and a councillor named Wharton, (fn. 2) presented to him the Order of the Garter, which he accepted in accordance with the permission granted him by your Majesty. He then sent Count d'Egmont to inform the Queen of his arrival, visit her, tell her of his health and assure her of his affection. On Saturday, the Chancellor came to his Highness and brought him a diamond as a token (en signe de tock) from the Queen, after the custom of the country. The same day, the Earl of Arundel returned to the Queen, carrying to her from his Highness another token in the shape of a diamond, but considerably smaller than the first one. His Highness also sent the Lieutenant of Amont (Simon Renard) to the Queen and her Council to find out what had been arranged for the ceremony, when he was to leave Southampton for Winchester, how the marriage was to take place, how long they were to stay at Winchester, to take measures for landing the goods and people on the ships, the supply of horses and carts and many other details. It was decided that his Highness should proceed to Winchester on the Monday and that the marriage should take place on the following Wednesday, St. James' day, after the manner observed in royal weddings in England, publicly and without any change in the ceremony. The Court is to stay at Winchester until Tuesday next; in the meantime as many horses and vehicles as may be needed are to be provided, and the road to be followed in moving hence is by Basingstoke, Reading and Windsor, where five or six days are to be spent; and from Windsor to London, where arrangements for the future shall be made.
The wedding was celebrated on St. James' day with the greatest solemnity, and those who assisted at it, gentle and simple, all expressed the liveliest satisfaction. We had forewarned his Highness that this was a democratic country (ce royaulme est populaire), and it was well to favour the people and thereby keep the ambition and inconstancy of the nobility within bounds; and we feel unable to describe in words the graciousness of his bearing towards one and all. The same day, the Council came to own his Highness as king, and asked him what order he meant to have observed in the government of the realm, justice and administration, offering to serve him faithfully. His Highness thanked them for the goodwill they displayed, praised their zeal in public affairs, urged them to continue in the same way, and assured them that he had come to help them to the best of his ability, but not to introduce changes. As for what was to be done in the future, they must consult the Queen, and he would do his best to assist in the execution of whatever projects might be adopted.
The sword is carried before his Highness. The Queen has sent to him, by the Earl of Pembroke, a very richly wrought poignard, studded with gems, and two robes, one of them as rich and beautiful as could be imagined.
About noon of the same day (i.e. July 25th), Carvajal, captain of his Highness's fleet, arrived here and declared that all the fleet had now come up except a few hoys driven out of their course by a storm. His Highness was overjoyed at these tidings, for he will now be able to send on the troops and money to your Majesty. We believe he will do so before he leaves this place, and he has ordered M. de Wacken (fn. 3) to escort the fleet.
The gift of the Kingdom of Naples and renunciation in his Highness's favour came very opportunely, for the English lords were greatly pleased about it.
For the rest, Sire, as our mission is now accomplished, we are awaiting your Majesty's good pleasure for our recall, so that we may come and render an account of our activities. (fn. 4)
Signed by both. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.22
2. Ruy Gomez de Silva (fn. 5) to Francisco de Eraso (fn. 6)
Winchester, 27 July I have already written to you about his Highness's arrival in England, but I do not wish to fail to send another line or two to assure you that our marriage has gone off admirably, and that so far we appear to be welcome. True it is that we are beginning to hear something of the ill-will and discord that are rife among the lords and councillors here. We had heard accounts of it before coming hither, but now we are here every man hopes to put his wishes into effect and leaves no stone unturned in his pursuit of means to do so. Indeed, they do not go about it cautiously, for some of them have tried to make use of me; and when I hear their accounts of certain events in the past I see that they are all bent on heaping the blame on each other's shoulders.
There is another very troublesome question. Before his Highness arrived here, they had a household ready for him with all the officials high and low, a master of the horse and a chamberlain, gentlemen of the chamber and so forth and so on, and a guard of one hundred archers; and they intend that his Highness shall pay for all this without any part of the expense being met by the Queen. I fear there was some inadvertency here on the ambassador's part and our own, for the officials who have been appointed by the Queen and her Council are already in attendance on the King and Queen, and if one of our number tries to do anything they take it ill and will not allow it. His Highness intends to set this matter to rights by ordering the two households (i.e. the Spanish and English) to be combined, and to serve him together; but as for the cost there is no use in wasting time on regretting it, for it would only make matters worse if we made difficulties about the arrangements concluded by the Queen and Council; so the money must be found, and his Highness means to do it.
Still, I think it was a mistake not to tell them at the beginning that the Prince was bringing his own officials, and even if the constitution of an English household was inevitable, it might have been delayed until after his arrival. However, I trust all will go well; for the English seem pleased with us, and we are all doing our best to satisfy them.
The Queen is a very good creature (muy buena cosa), though rather older than we had been told. But his Highness is so tactful and attentive to her that I am sure they will be very happy; and Our Lord will see to the rest, as He has done so far wherever this affair was concerned.
Let me know whether you want your money entrusted to some one here or in London. I did not like to risk sending it with the money that is going to his Majesty, for I thought that now it is out of danger of the deep it would be as well not to expose it once more to the same risks. His Highness is well and very much pleased with his Majesty's gift of Naples. Don Rodrigo is in a hurry to start, so I will say no more. (fn. 7)
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
3. Philip to the Queen Dowager (fn. 8)
Winchester 29 July I have intimated to Don Alonso Pajón that he is to conduct the Spanish troops I am sending to his Majesty, and also the money, as you will see from the letter I am writing to him. I have ordered him that wherever he lands he shall immediately send a courier to inform you, so your Highness will see to it that as soon as the announcement arrives commissaries shall depart to guide the troops on their way and supply them with provisions, in order to avoid any lawlessness for which insufficient rations might afford a pretext. I have ordered Don Alonso to enforce strict discipline and see to it that they do no damage, and I am sure he will do so, and not exceed the instructions given to him by your Highness.
Signed: El Rey. Spanish.
Brussels, E.A.109.
4. Cardinal Pole to the Emperor
brussels, 29 July I have heard privately that your son the King was received in the Kingdom of England with great and universal satisfaction and content, and that the marriage was happily consummated. I rejoice heartily thereat, and consider it my duty to share my joy with your Majesty, while entertaining the firm hope that the union of two such catholic and pious sovereigns may, by the Grace of God, bring about the establishment of holy religion and all good to the kingdom, to the honour and glory of Our Heavenly Master and greater comfort and quiet of England and Christendom.
I congratulate your Majesty, who has succeeded in stemming and thrusting back the assault of your adversaries, and liberated these your States from their vexatious presence. May it please the goodness of God to make an end of the many and great calamities fallen on Christendom in the manner most befitting His glory and most favourable to your Majesty's desires.
Signed original. Italian.
Simancas, E.507.
5. Simon Renard to the Emperor
Winchester, 29 July Sire: I think it my duty to write and inform your Majesty, beyond what was said in the letter signed by M. de Courrières and myself, that at the beginning it will be very difficult to make the Spaniards get on well with the Englishmen. There is the obstacle of language; and then, as I have often explained in my letters, the English hate strangers and have never seen so many of them together at once. Several Spaniards have already been robbed while landing or on their way hither; and they are given bad and insufficient lodgings. The religious outlook makes the heretics worse than ever, and the French never rest from their intrigues. The French ambassador's secretary was recently coming home from Court about ten of an evening, when he fell into a ditch and would have been drowned but for the help of one of Paget's servants, who chanced to be at hand; and I suspect that he had been talking with Paget, as he was accompanied by one of his servants. It has not yet been decided what is to be done with the Lady Elizabeth: whether she shall be set at liberty or not. Now, if she goes free there will be danger of her plotting, whilst otherwise there will be great dissatisfaction among the Admiral (fn. 9) and her kindred, Arundel (fn. 10) who wants her hand for his son, and other lords, Courtenay (fn. 11) : for example. The split in the Council is such that there is no hope of ever effecting a reconciliation; and all these various factors combine to render prospects dubious.
The Spanish lords are losing their temper and talking of returning to Spain. The English officials-cannot agree; and although attempts are being made to remedy matters it will not be so easy to do so, and the slightest altercation might be enough to bring about a very dangerous situation, especially in this season when it is still hot. For all these reasons, it has been suggested that his Highness might profitably go to pay a visit to your Majesty. Ample excuses might be found in his filial anxiety to pay his duty to you, show his love for his subjects of the Low Countries by defending them in person, take part of the weight of business off your Majesty's shoulders, reveal himself to the enemy, encourage the army and cow the foe. Taking it for granted that the Queen and her Council would consent to this plan, it is thought that it would be well for his Highness to take abroad with him some 500 light horse and 2,000 foot, for thus some suspicious characters might easily be got out of the way and kept busy until October; and to show the French that the English are taking a hand in the war might be profitable at the present moment. Before leaving, his Highness might by means of pensions and liberality make the English wish to see him again; and return next winter, hold Parliament, deal with the Council and set affairs generally in proper order. In any case, his Highness will be well advised to caress the people so as to have their support if the nobility becomes troublesome, for the people have always been at odds with the nobility, and the nobility cannot accomplish anything without the people. However, there are several knotty points to be considered; for instance: will the Queen and Council consent; had he better go before being crowned and Parliament meets again, before he has had an opportunity of putting matters to rights and making himself known; by so doing might he not endanger the Queen's position and run a risk of not being admitted on his return? In spite of all these considerations, several persons are of opinion that he ought not to lose so good an opportunity of going over to Flanders, and I am laying the whole question before your Majesty in order that you may arrive at a decision.
One remark I cannot omit, which is that his Highness personally has produced the most agreeable impression on the English, unless they are most hypocritically hiding their real thoughts. Also the royal couple are bound together by such deep love that the marriage may be expected to be a perfect union.
Captain Matson, who has been in Spain with Count d'Egmont, is now going abroad and has begged me to commend him to your Majesty and ask you to excuse his absence for a season. I did not like to refuse, for he has always shown himself devoted to your service.
I am still waiting, Sire, to hear that your Majesty is pleased to recall me; for my mission here is over
P.S. in Renard's band:
I have got possession of a letter from Cardinal de Guise to one Nicolas Voisin, mattre d'bôtel to Cardinal Pole. I am enclosing a copy, (fn. 12) for it seems to me to imply that Voisin is sending information from here to France.
Signed: Partly cipher. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.22.
The original minute, in Renard's hand, is at Besançon (C. G. 73), and is printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV, but wrongly dated “end of August.”
6. M. d' Eecke to the Queen Dowager
Brussels, 29 July Madam: A letter from M. de Beveren,t dated the 27th instant, tells me that he has been informed by some Middelburg merchants that the Spanish troops who have come with the Prince are soon to land on the Island of Walcheren. M. de Beveren desires to know whether this is true, so that he may have boats and other things ready for their landing, as he wrote to your Majesty on the 10th instant.
May your Majesty be pleased to inform him if the troops are to land on that island or elsewhere, so that they may be supplied with provisions and all things necessary.
Holograph. French.
Brussels, L.A.69.
7. Winchester, 29 July
Ruy Gómez de Silva to Francisco de Eraso I wrote to you at some length by Don Rodrigo Manrique, telling you what had happened down to his departure; and now I have just received a despatch from you enclosing a letter for the King. I gave it to him, and he ordered me to write to you that he was so busy with letters to go with the fleet to Spain and the measures for sending the troops on to his Majesty, and especially as he was himself writing to his Majesty, that he was not answering you, though he thanked you for the account you gave him of the progress of affairs in the Emperor's camp.
His Highness and all of us are disgusted that the French should be bragging so loud just at a time when we are in this kingdom, which one has to be as circumspect in leaving as one was in entering it. Things here are in no condition to be left, for each day that passes reveals difficulties which we must not run away from. The English display great satisfaction with the King, but watch his every gesture none the less narrowly for that. There is much discord in the Council and I hear they are divided into two parties, a state of affairs which I believe would do much harm were it allowed to go on. His Highness is considering how to reconcile and make them friends, and intends to go about it by granting the pensions allotted by his Majesty and giving jewels to the wives of the great lords who have been here, some of whose sons he will take into his service.
I wrote to you in my other letter that household officials, high and low, were waiting already appointed at Southampton, and would not let us serve his Highness, whence much confusion. Everything was done as they wished, and they are beginning to understand it now themselves, so they have become more gracious, and I believe his Highnesses tact will end by giving them complete satisfaction. Certainly, they all appear to be delighted about the match and anxious to please us; so if things go on at this rate we shall all be the best of friends. There are some great thieves among them, and they rob in broad daylight, having the advantage over us Spaniards that we steal by stealth and they by force.
The Queen is very happy with the King, and the King with her; and he strives to give her every possible proof of it in order to omit no part of his duty.
His Majesty's gift of the kingdom of Naples was most opportune, and the English greatly appreciated it. It was opportune, because the more favours the English are able to look forward to, the better they are pleased. On my word of honour, interest is a powerful motive in all countries, but nowhere as powerful as it is here, where nothing is well done unless it brings money, a commodity of which we have so little that, if the English find out how hard up we are, I doubt whether we shall escape with our lives. At any rate, we shall have to go without honour, for they will abuse us like pickpockets.
The Princess of Portugal (fn. 13) sent the Queen a fine present of dresses and coifs, and the Queen has not yet finished looking at them and rejoicing over them. I believe that if she dressed in our fashions she would not look so old and flabby.
To speak frankly with you, it will take a great God to drink this cup (mucho dios es menester para tragar este caliz). I have made every preparation for doing my share; and the best of it is that the King fully realises that the marriage was concluded for no fleshly consideration, but in order to remedy the disorders of this Kingdom and preserve the Low Countries. . . . . .
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
8. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard
The Camp near Doucby, 30 July The present bearer handed me your letters of the 19th instant. M. de Souatre, whom M. de Wacken sent off as soon as his Royal Majesty dropped anchor in port, as well as one of Count d'Aiguemont's (Egmont's) gentlemen and Captain Mario, had already brought his Imperial Majesty tidings of the King's arrival in England, but your own advices were nonetheless welcome, and your man received one hundred crowns as largesse (allebrisses).
In your letter to his Majesty, you made mention of a despatch written by you and your colleague which was to have been enclosed. However, when the packet was opened at Gosselries, in the Imperial presence, the despatch was not there, so you presumably forgot to put it in, as you must have had a great many people to attend to at the time. I kept the courier back two or three days in the hope that you had sent off the despatch after him, but I take it you have been so busy informing the King of all he ought to know that you have been unable to concern yourself with despatches. Still, if you have not done so already, you had better write and inform his Majesty of what is happening in England.
His Majesty had long intended to send M. de Humbermont over to visit the King, his son; but for several days past we have been seeking the enemy, and as there seemed to be likelihood of a battle it would have been unfair to M. de Humbermont to send him off just then, and you will explain this. In order that you should know what has occurred here and be able to close the mouths of those whose evil inclinations may lead them to spread false news, I am inclosing a note which I pray you to communicate to the King, as I suppose you did with the last letters I wrote to you, for I referred to them in my letter to him.
I have no doubt that, as you say, you spoke to his Royal Majesty in a strain befitting the friendship which unites us. You may be sure that I will always do likewise, no matter what any one may tell you to the contrary; and your past experience of me ought to convince you of my sincerity.
Holograph. French.
Besançon, C.G.73.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inidits, Vol. IV.
9. Philip to the Emperor
Winchester, 31 July Alonso de Portillo has brought me your Majesty's letter of the 26th instant, and though it is no easy matter to ensure the safe transport of the 100,000 crowns in gold which your Majesty orders to have handed over to him, you write of the need of money as so pressing that we are taking the necessary measures to send them off. The money is to be escorted by land by a force of archers, the Admiral of this realm has been ordered to convey it across the Dover Straits in seven ships which I understand are now guarding the passage, and instructions have been sent to the Admiral of Flanders' lieutenant to bring up five or six of the ships of which he is in command to hold the Channel in case there are not enough English men-of-war there. The accountant, Agustin de Zarate, has been commanded to hand over the 100,000 crowns in gold to Portillo; so I am obeying your Majesty's orders with the greatest care, though I shall be very anxious until I hear that the money has safely arrived. Preparations are being actively carried on to send the rest by sea, and I trust in Our Lord that it will soon reach its destination.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
10. Valenciennes, 31 July
The Queen Dowager to M. de Vandeville I have received your letter of the 26th instant about Captain Pierre Andrieu (fn. 14) and the 300 Englishmen he has got together, and am now writing to tell you that, in order to please him and attach him to our service we will grant him the pay he demands. We therefore command you immediately to hold a muster of his men, find out exactly on what date each one of them joined, and have them suitably equipped. When the muster has been held, you will order them to march off to camp.
Minute. French.
Brussels, L.A.69.
11. A letter relating Philip's voyage to England and marriage
Madrid, — July Our Prince took ship at Corunna in the afternoon of Thursday, 12 July, 1554, and on board his ship went Count Feria, (fn. 15) Ruy Gómez de Silva, Don Antonio de Toledo, Don Diego de Córdova, Count Olivares, (fn. 16) Gutierre López de Padilla, Don Pedro de Córdova, Don Lupercio de Quiñones, first almoner, Gonzalo Pérez, secretary; together with the Flemings Count Egmont, Marquis de Berghes, Count Horn, captain of the archers, Bernstein (Perttestain) a Bohemian lord, and Don Alvaro de Bazan (fn. 17) who was in command of the ship.
The Admiral of Castile (fn. 18) led the way, his Highness followed with the main body of the fleet and Don Luis de Carvajal closed the rear; some 125 sail in all. The Duke and Duchess of Alva with many gentlemen sailed in another ship, and on board of others went the Duke of Medinaceli, (fn. 19) the Marquis of Pescara, (fn. 20) the Marquis of Aguilar, (fn. 21) Count Chinchón, Cesar Gonzaga, Count Fuensalida, (fn. 22) the Marquis del Valle, (fn. 23) Count Castelar, (fn. 24) Count Landriano, the Bishop of Cuenca, (fn. 25) Don Juan de Acuña, Don Juan Benavides, Ambassadors Don Francisco de Castilla and Menchaca. Other ships carried his Highness's household, horses, artillery and seamen. This night was spent on board.
On Friday, after dinner, his Highness and the whole fleet set sail at 4 o'clock and had a high wind and heavy sea all night and the following day until dinner time, when it grew somewhat calmer. On Sunday it was fine with a good wind and late on Monday Ushant (Ugeti) and the French coast came into view. On Wednesday morning the English shore was sighted: a calm sea and a strong current. On Thursday the Needles were passed and the fleet ran in between Southampton and the Isle of Wight to the sound of mighty salutes from the castles on shore.
The English and Flemish fleets, some forty well-found ships, sailed put of the harbour. His Highness slept on board, and received the English Admiral and his suite, the Flemish Admiral and Alcalde Briviesca.
On Friday morning, the Emperor's ambassadors arrived with the Marquis of Las Navas, Don Juan de Figueroa and several English lords; and when his Highness had finished dinner he and those who came on board his ship stepped into the Admiral's boat and were rowed three leagues to Southampton where many English lords and household officials sent by the Queen were awaiting him, among them a steward, a master of the horse, and a master of the household. Before he set foot on shore he had the Order of the Garter presented to him, and his Highness, dressed in velvet, rode to church on a horse that was standing ready for him, harnessed with crimson velvet embroidered with gold. At the town-gate the mayor was waiting to hand over the keys. From church his Highness repaired to his quarters, which were richly adorned, and supped quietly. That same afternoon the lords and gentlemen began landing from the fleet.
On Saturday he went to mass at a little church opposite the palace, and many English lords came to kiss his hand. Count Egmont went on to visit the Queen, who was staying at a country house two leagues away; and she sent to his Highness a diamond ring and the Bishop of Winchester, her Chancellor.
On Sunday, Ruy Gómez went to visit the Queen and returned, and many English lords arrived with their suites. All these days it rained, without ceasing so much as an hour. The fleet went to Persala (Portsmouth?) and started landing servants and baggage but no horses, for it was supposed that his Highness would proceed to Flanders immediately after his marriage. The reason of this belief was that news had arrived of the King of France's incursion and taking of Marienbourg, thanks to the captain's treachery; also that he besieged Doullens and attacked it twice, finally taking it in spite of the 2,000 men inside, but he was obliged to destroy the fortifications which had suffered so much from artillery fire as to be incapable of defence. Later, news of the enemy's retreat arrived, and the horses were set on shore so that the fleet might sail on to Flanders with the 4,000 foot that were on board. The same day his Highness rose late, received the councillors and the Queen's household officials, and rode to mass at the principal church accompanied by his English master of the horse, who as soon as his Highness's horses from the fleet had landed, took them off to be seen to in his own stables: not a bad attempt at making sure of them for himself later on.
His Highness dined in public, attended by his English officials and served after their fashion. The Duke of Alva did hand him the napkin, but did not act as master of the household nor carry his staff of office. In the afternoon the Queen sent six hacks, and his Highness supped in public as before. Doña Maria de Mendoza was right in saying that we were never going to be in attendance again, for we are all hanging about with nothing to do and might well go and serve his Majesty in this war rather than stay here where we have to pay five and twenty times the proper price for everything.
Ruy Gómez, when he took a ring to the Queen—as the custom is here—was handsomely received.
When the Admiral of Castile appeared with his fleet he was not allowed to enter port until orders arrived from the Council. The Duchess and the other ladies (fn. 26) came ashore and stayed at Southampton.
On Monday it rained violently all day. His Highness started for Winchester escorted by a guard of one hundred Englishmen wearing his livery, for of his own guard who came with him and were ready to come ashore none did actually land except the Duke of Medinaceli, the Duke of Alva, Ruy Gómez, Count Feria, the Marquis of Aguilar and a few more, some ten or fifteen in all. His Highness wore an embroidered suit and rode one of the Queen's horses. Four of her pages followed him, and his English master of the horse led his horse by the rein. He went straight to the cathedral, a fine building where there was such a crowd that they all were in danger of stifling, and then proceeded on foot to his quarters, not to the Queen's. He supped quietly with a small company and then went to visit the Queen.
The Queen, surrounded by three or four old councillors and her ladies in waiting, came out to the door of her chamber. The Prince kissed her, for such is the English custom, and hand in hand they sat down and remained for a time in pleasant conversation. He then rose and kissed the other ladies present, and his attendants kissed the Queen's hand. She was dressed in black velvet covered with stones and buttons and adorned with brocade in front. Her headdress was after the English fashion.
That day almost all the gentlemen stayed with the Admiral at Southampton.
On Tuesday, 24 July, his Highness rose very late and the Queen sent to him her tailor with two suits, one of rich brocade adorned with gold thread, pearls and diamond buttons, the other of crimson brocade. He heard mass, put on a coat of purple brocade with silver fringes and a friese cloak with similar trimmings, white breeches and doublet, and dined quietly. In the afternoon he went to speak with the Queen in public, and she met him in a great low hall accompanied by her ladies, not beautiful but very numerous, all dressed in purple velvet with their sleeves lined with brocade. Before them went four maces and the sword, carried by a nobleman. She met him in the middle of the hall; they kissed and walked through two or three rooms, and then stood talking for a long time. His Highness talked with the ladies according to his custom, while we all kissed the Queen's hands in Spanish fashion. I say “all”, though we were not above a dozen. The Prince and the Queen talked pleasantly for some time, and then he went to hear vespers in the cathedral, and she in her chapel.
The ambassadors of the King of the Romans, (fn. 27) Don Pedro Laso, and of the King of Bohemia, (fn. 28) Don Hernando de Gamboa, went with a great following to present their duty to his Highness. Don Antonio de Toledo and Don Juan de Benavides introduced them, and they received a courteous welcome, for the King took off his bonnet and bade them put on theirs. Don Pedro Laso had with him two counts, eight noteworthy gentlemen and a numerous suite.
That night, his Highness supped in private, and later went to the Queen's palace, accompanied by the Admiral, his son and son-in-law, and Count Olivares, who had not yet seen the Queen. When the Prince and Queen were seated, Figueroa presented to them an instrument by which his Majesty gave to the Prince the kingdom of Naples. Upon this, all present kissed his Highness's hands in recognition of his regal dignity, and his Highness returned to his house.
On Wednesday, the feast of St. James, the King went forth with a brave following of grandees and gentlemen of his court, so magnificently attired that neither his Majesty's nor his Highness's court ever saw the like, such was the display of rich garments and chains, each one finer than the last. So past deficiencies were amply made up for. He entered the church, mounted a raised platform and proceeded to a chapel where he awaited the Queen, who came to him accompanied by her grandees, whom they call the Council, with her sword and mace-bearers going on before, and the King was preceded by similar officers, Englishmen all. In the same chapel, on the platform, was a raised dais covered with hangings of purple, and there stood five bishops with their copes and mitres, among them the Bishop of Winchester, (fn. 29) a most christian and catholic man, who is Lord Chancellor of the realm and bishop of this see.
The King and Queen came forward, and the Bishop said in his own English tongue that the King had ratified the marriage articles in Spain, and he held up the articles without reading them. His Majesty, he added, had given to the King his Kingdom of Naples, and he went on to speak what he considered the people ought to hear. Then he read the service in Latin and celebrated the marriage. They then proceeded to the choir, where there was also a platform in front of the high altar; the bishop spoke to the couple as it is also the custom in Spain, the King and Queen retired each to their places and high mass began, the Bishop officiating with two other bishops as deacon and sub-deacon, all wearing mitres, and two more in rich vestments served them. In front of the King's and Queen's places were altars where low masses were said, and at the offertory the royal couple returned to the platform where the Bishop was standing and offered candles and crowns, after which they went back to their places, the King accompanying the Queen to hers. Then, when the priest turned round to give his blessing, they once more appeared on the platform, and when all these ceremonies were over the Bishop finished mass. The King went up to the altar to receive the kiss of peace, which the Bishop gave him on his cheek, after the English custom, and then went to kiss the Queen, to whom he bowed low. All the while, for an hour, she remained with her eyes fixed on the sacrament. She is a saintly woman.
The King and Queen once more in their places and the blessing given, the kings of arms proclaimed his Highness King of England, and to the sound of great rejoicing from the people, the blare of trumpets and other music they walked back under a canopy to the Queen's palace, where a table was laid out in a great hall, with other tables in the lower part of the hall.
The King, Queen and Bishop dined most sumptuously together to the strains of music, at another table sat the ambassadors, and grandees, at another over seventy Spanish and English gentlemen, as many again at another, and at yet another the ladies. All these tables were admirably served, in perfect order and silence.
After dinner they all proceeded to another hall where the ladies danced their dances, and the King with the Queen after the German fashion. Don Pedro Laso, the ambassador, led the dance. When this was over the King retired to his chamber and the Queen to hers, where they supped in private, each in his own chamber.
Afterwards the Bishop of Winchester blessed the bed, and they remained alone. What happened that night only they know. If they give us a son our joy will be complete.
The King had on the cloak sent to him by the Queen, who was dressed in a robe; both wore great quantities of jewellery.
The Queen's house is richly adorned with brocades and tapestries woven with gold thread. At table there are always two English lords in attendance, one behind the Queen and the other behind the King, holding up sheathed swords. Those who served were Englishmen all except Don Iñigo de Mendoza, son of the Duke of Infant ado, who bore the cup, and four of his Highness's gentlemen who helped to serve. None of the Prince's own officers have had a chance to serve or use their wands of office, nor is it expected that they will do so in future, neither the controller nor anyone else; so we might just as well be sent away, as we are nothing but vagabonds here.
All that happened on Thursday was that the King rose at seven and then stayed in his chamber until eleven, when he heard mass in his private chapel, and then dined by himself in public. It is not the custom that the Queen should be seen on this day, so she remained in her chamber with her ladies married and single, very well dressed after their fashion, some of them wearing embroideries and gussets, which have finally made their appearance here. The women are tall and slender, their clothes are good and they dress their hair like Frenchwomen, though if they would only imitate unmarried Spanish ladies in this respect they would look much better. Few of them are beautiful, though some are better than others. There are ladies who stay in the chamber, and others who remain outside in the ante-room, dancing or talking with whomever cares to keep them company, and every day is the same as far as this is concerned.
Some of the Englishmen were well dressed on this occasion, and also several Spaniards. The Duchess of Alva came this day from Southampton, arriving here very late, and went straight to her house. The bishop has lodged the friars in a college where they will be safe; and I expect they are sorry they ever came hither. His Highness confessed, and his confessor and Friar Alonso de Castro attended mass at the cathedral. Everyone stared at them; there are no people on earth like the English for gossiping.
On Friday, his Highness began to despatch business connected with the fleet and Flemish matters. The Queen did not appear; the King heard high mass in his chapel, and dined in private. Friar Bartolome de Miranda said mass in the cathedral—a novelty for these folk, some of whom rejoiced while others were sorrowful. We have hopes that the Queen's piety, goodness and constant prayers will succeed in restoring this kingdom to the place it held in Christendom as an obedient daughter of the Catholic Church.
We went to the castle of this town to see the Round Table which belonged to King Arthur. They say he is under a spell. The names of his twelve knights are written where they used to sit round the table.
There are plenty of robbers on the roads here, and they have attacked several persons, among them a servant of Don Juan Pacheco, the Marquis of Villena's son, from whom they stole 400 crowns and all the gold and silver objects he had with him. Not a trace has been found of all this property nor of four chests belonging to his Highness's household, though the Queen's Council do take certain precautions. The wise thing to do here is to imitate the English and go home early.
On Saturday, the King heard mass in his. chapel, the Queen assisting in the upper gallery. In the afternoon the Duchess of Alva went to the palace, escorted by all the lords and gentlemen of the court. Her hair was beautifully dressed, and she wore a black velvet gown adorned with lace and black silk embroidery. The Queen awaited her in the antechamber, dressed in black damask with a stomacher of black velvet embroidered with gold. She was standing when the Duchess entered, and advanced nearly to the door, where the Duchess sank to her knees and begged the Queen to give her her hand to kiss. The Queen bent down almost equally low, embraced her, refused to give her her hand but lifted her to her feet and kissed her on the lips, as Queens of England do to great ladies of their own blood, but to none other. So she took the Duchess by the hand, asking news of her journey and how she had fared at sea, expressing great pleasure at seeing her; and, leading her to a dais on which there stood a high chair, the Queen sat on a cushion asking the Duchess to be seated in the chair. The Duchess implored the Queen to take the chair, the Queen refused, and so two stools covered with velvet brocade were brought, on one of which the Queen sat, asking the Duchess to accept the other, but the Duchess bowed low and sat upon the floor after the English custom, whereupon the Queen left her stool and sat down beside her guest on a cushion, refusing to get up, but the Duchess insisted until the Queen sat once more on her stool; but then the Queen commanded the Duchess to take the other one, which she finally did.
There they stayed talking for a long time, the Marquis of Las Navas acting as interpreter, for the Queen does not speak Castilian, though she understands it. They spoke of the heat and other things, and the Queen asked the Duchess if she would go into her chamber and rest, as she was obliged to receive some ambassadors. When the Duchess answered that she would stay with her ladies the Queen would not allow her to do so, and thus they waited for the ambassadors' coming, but as the ambassadors delayed the Queen sat down again with the Duchess and conversed for a time, after which the Duchess took her leave and returned to her lodging, a long distance to come and go on foot. The Queen ordered her to be accompanied by two countesses and the old ambassador who went to Corunna. The Queen certainly took great pleasure in her society, and will do so more and more, both in hers and in that of the other Spanish ladies who have come hither; and she is so good that we may well thank God for giving us such a bountiful princess to be our Queen. God save her! He has already preserved her through such trials that we may say she remained the one hope and refuge of the Faith in this realm; but now that the Faith is gaining ground day by day, divine worship, established as it was before, will grow ever firmer in its hold on the country with such good catholics on the throne.
News from Flanders say that the French have taken Binche and rased Queen Maria's house to the ground. Fortunately all moveables had been placed in safety or the enemy would have carried them off. The French King is now retreating with the Emperor only three leagues behind him in pursuit, doing his best to make him turn and fight. So our troops and money will arrive just at the right juncture.
This day the King of the Romans' ambassador presented his letters to the Queen, with a diamond jewel worth 32,000 crowns and a very large pearl. The King of Bohemia's ambassador also presented his letters, and Luis Vanegas one from the Princess of Portugal.
On Sunday, July 29, mass was said in the palace as it had been the day before. The King and Queen dined in public, and with them the Earls of Pembroke (fn. 30) 'and Arundel, the greatest men of the realm at present, though their incomes are not more than 25,000 ducats, the Bishop of Winchester and the Lord High Treasurer. After dinner they tarried awhile, and then each sought his own chamber.
A messenger from Flanders brought news that the Emperor was within three leagues of the camp of the French King, who was retreating homewards, why, no one knew. Margrave Albrecht (fn. 31) has been defeated by the League and escaped with only eight horse, which it is believed will greatly contribute to the quiet of Germany.
The ladies spend their afternoons and nights dancing, and well they may with so many young English and Spanish gentlemen to entertain.
On Monday nothing out of the ordinary occurred. There was mass, and the King dined in public, which the Queen only does on certain days. English officials were in attendance, as usual. His Highness despatched business all day and supped in private.
On Tuesday, July 31, the King and Queen set out after dinner to proceed to a country-house belonging to the Lord High Treasurer, about fifteen miles hence. The King only took with him his own servants, all the rest remaining at Winchester and Southampton with the guards until they are sent for to London. The Admiral stayed behind, for he is to return to Spain with part of the fleet while the other part goes on to Flanders with the money and troops, escorted by Don Alonso Pajon, a Valencian, and Don Luis de Carvajal with their ships, for the purpose of guarding the fleet as Don Antonio Bazán and his galeasses used to guard the fleet coming from the Indies.
All the English gentlemen who are not employed at Court have gone home to their houses, and will appear again when the King enters London. The ambassadors are going at once to London. I will write again when there is more to tell.
Madrid, B. N. X 197.
Printed by Gayangos, Viaje de Felipe Segundo a Inglaterra.


  • 1. The Emperor's ambassadors in England. Renard had been resident ambassador in London since July 1553. See Volumes XI and XII of this Calendar.
  • 2. Sir Thomas Wharton.
  • 3. Adolphe de Bourgogne-Wacken, Sieur de la Capelle, Vice-Admiral of Flanders. See Volume XII of this Calendar.
  • 4. Printed, from a minute at Besançon (C.G. 73), by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
  • 5. Count of Mélito, Philip's favourite.
  • 6. The Emperor's principal Spanish secretary, then residing at Brussels. Eraso, Señor de Mohernando (†1570), was a trusted counsellor of Charles V and Philip II.
  • 7. Printed by Fernández Navarrete, Documentos Ineditos, Vol. III.
  • 8. Maria, sister of the Emperor, Queen Dowager of Hungary and Regent of the Low Countries.
  • 9. Lord William Howard.
  • 10. Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel.
  • 11. Edward Courtenay, Earl of Devonshire.
  • 12. This copy has not been found.
  • 13. Maximilien de Bourgogne, Count de Beveren, Admiral of the Low Countries.
  • 14. Doña Juana, a daughter of the Emperor, who was Princess Dowager of Portugal and Regent of Spain.
  • 15. See Volume XII of this Calendar, pp. 105,110, 155, 265, 315.
  • 16. Gómez Suarez de Figueroa.
  • 17. Don Enrique de Olivares.
  • 18. First Marquis of Santa Cruz.
  • 19. Don Fernando Enriquez, Duke of Medina de Rioseco.
  • 20. Don Juan de La Cerda.
  • 21. Don Francisco Dávalos de Aquino.
  • 22. Don Luis Fernández Manrique.
  • 23. Don Pedro de Ayala.
  • 24. Don Martin Cortés.
  • 25. Don Fernando Arias de Saavedra.
  • 26. Don Pedro de Castro.
  • 27. Cf. Volume XII of this Calendar, p. 214.
  • 28. Ferdinand, brother of the Emperor.
  • 29. Maximilian, son of the King of the Romans.
  • 30. Stephen Gardiner, Lord Chancellor.
  • 31. William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.
  • 32. Albrecht-Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Culmbach.