Spain: April 1555

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

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'Spain: April 1555', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, ed. Royall Tyler( London, 1954), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

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"Spain: April 1555". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Ed. Royall Tyler(London, 1954), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.

April 1555

165. Simon Renard to the Emperor
London, 4 April Sire: The officers of the law who have been investigating the criminal charges about which I have already written to your Majesty, have announced that the persons who had been arrested for conspiracy and sedition do not appear to have been as guilty as had been supposed, and that it seems rather to have been a question of rumours that they put into circulation (albeit maliciously) in order to inspire fear, than of the will or power to put anything into execution. Thus the proceedings have cooled off, or as some say have been hushed up. Some people think that as Courtenay was involved and the conspiracy had been started in his name, the Chancellor and his friends have stopped the inquiry. Others affirm that several lords have had a share in it and that the law officers are partial to them. Yet another opinion is that the matter is made little of in order not to alarm the Queen, who is approaching her confinement. However all this may be, one of the accused has confirmed what I recently wrote to your Majesty. There would not be so much smoke without fire. I know that the French have taken great pains to find out whether any of the prisoners have said that the conspiracy had been plotted by them. Anything further I can discover will be reported to your Majesty.
Since the Abbot of San Saluto returned, the French have sent the Queen a reply about the peace question (as I believe your Majesty has been informed) through Ambassador Wotton, and not by any special message or their ambassador in England. The reason for this: whether they are no longer so keen to make peace now that they have taken Casale and say they are confident about Siena, or on some other grounds, your Majesty will be better able than I to discern. The terms of their reply are significant, as is also what the King of France said to the Papal Nuncio, to the effect that nothing further could be done about peace negotiations before the 25th of this month.
Two days after Wotton's letters came, the younger Robertet, financial secretary to the King of France and son of the late secretary Robertet, arrived in this place by post with letters of credence to the Queen, Cardinal Pole and the Chancellor to thank them for their exertions for peace: a rather suspicious and inopportune errand, as I believe the Cardinal will have written to your Majesty. His real reason for coming is a different one. He has brought money to finance French intrigues here, or something of that sort. Some think that his object is to confuse the Queen's mind and put her to sleep in order that proceedings against the conspirators may not be pushed. Others believe that this peace-talk is meant to cover some move against the King. During these last days the French Ambassador's secretary has also been in France, and the Ambassador is constantly sending over couriers, which he formerly was not in the habit of doing. As the French have countless spies in Flanders and in this country, it may be in order to gather information from them. Anyway, care had better be taken, and I have warned the Legate, who has spoken to the Queen and was to mention the matter to the King, so that if the French are up to some further mischief under pretext of peace-talks, they may be stopped.
The King and Queen are leaving today for Hampton Court.
Signed. French.
Vienna, E.22.
Printed by Weiss, Vol. IV, from an undated copy at Besançon, “end March, 1555”.
166. A note (fn. 1) addressed to Philip (Extract)
Brussels, 6 April I arrived here yesterday morning and at once spoke to Queen Maria (of Hungary) about what had recently happened with Don Fernando . . . . .
I also mentioned the matter concerning Cardinal Pole, because I had been instructed to do so, in order to consider whether he had better go to Rome. The opinion here is that it would indeed be a good solution, as a favourable opportunity occurs to get him away from England without its appearing that he is being sent in connexion with English affairs, now that he has successfully carried out his legatine commission. Thus your Majesty may proceed in this sense, unless you think it preferable to keep him where he is. I spoke to his Majesty on this point, and he will write about it.
Unsigned. Fragment. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
167. Philip to the Emperor
Hampton Court, 8 April News have arrived here of the Pope's death, and I am sure that your Majesty will have sent appropriate instructions to Don Juan Manrique. However, I am writing in answer to the letter Don Juan sent, merely in order that your Majesty may know my opinion, in case anything occurs to your Majesty that ought to be done by me, and also in order to avoid whatever your Majesty thinks should be avoided. I believe your Majesty will have written to the Cardinal of Augsburg (fn. 2) and to Morone, (fn. 3) who are at the Diet, instructing them to hasten to Rome. Still I thought I had better remind you of this.
I have spoken to Cardinal Pole, to find out whether he would be prepared to go to Rome for the Papal election. He replied that he would only represent one vote there, and that if the Cardinals wished to elect him, it would do no harm for him to be absent from the Conclave. As he was Legate, he could not go without being summoned by the College of Cardinals, and his presence was needed here in religious matters.
I wrote by the last post to the Cardinal of Sigüenza (fn. 4) what your Majesty and I had decided about the Duke of Alva. Now, seeing that the Cardinal may be useful in Rome, and that in that kingdom (Naples) there is need of a soldier, I have instructed Don Bernardino de Mendoza to proceed there. The Duke had thought of sending him out as his representative in Naples this summer, while he himself is in Lombardy and Piedmont, the Cardinal remaining until the Duke's arrival. I beg your Majesty to remember the Duke's services.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
168. Philip to Don Juan Manrique de Lara
Hampton Court, 8 April
The night before last I received your letter of March 23, and together with it his Majesty (the Emperor) sent me a copy of one you wrote to him on the same day. Thus I saw the desperate state the Pope was in on the 22nd and the faint hope that remained for his life. Although the courier said that he had heard in Mantua that the Pope was dead, we are not certain that this is true, as we have heard nothing further from you on this subject. The matter is of such importance that, although his Majesty will have answered already, I wish to tell you what occurs to me in connexion with the points you raise, for your guidance. I am sending his Majesty a copy of my letter to you, so that he may be informed and add any further instructions to you which he may think called for.
First, we wish to thank you for your news and for having set out for Rome at once in order to take the requisite action. We are sure that you, with your skill, prudence and despatch, will make sure that the election turns out to the advantage of his Majesty and Christendom in general, which is the chief object in view, as well as that of our own affairs. We think you are wise to neglect nothing that may contribute to success. As for the lack of money, I have given instructions that Eraso and Domingo de Orbea, who are in Antwerp, shall send you immediately a letter of credit for 20,000 crowns, so that you may use them for your present requirements. You will be supplied with anything more you require. If you need money before the credit arrives, borrow it and refer the matter to Eraso or my treasurer, who will take the necessary action.
We regard it as necessary, as you yourself say, that a Cardinal in your confidence be instructed to marshal the votes and use them when the right time comes, acting in this and other matters in the way you note. We think that Cardinal Santa Fiora (fn. 5) will be the right man for this task. I am recommending you to him, making much of him as you advise. You will give him my letter and make use of him with a view to attaining our aim, telling him that we have complete confidence in him and wish everything to pass through his hands. You will also take such advantage as you can of the good offices of the Cardinals of Mantua (fn. 6) and Trent, (fn. 7) and assure them of our confidence.
As for our opinion as to which Cardinals had better be supported, we think that the best would be those who were mentioned to you at the last Papal election, or rather those of them who are still alive: i.e. Cardinal Pole, Cardinal Carpi, (fn. 8) the Cardinal of Santiago, (fn. 9) Cardinal Morone; and in addition Cardinal Santa Fiora occurs to us on account of his personal qualities, although you say that there is no question of his being elected. If any other of the imperialist Cardinals had a chance, you would support that one who seemed to be best fitted for this dignity. All this had better not be known publicly, but remain a secret between you and the said Cardinal who is to handle the votes and conduct the negotiations.
Those who are to be debarred are the French Cardinals and those belonging to their faction. You are particularly to consider that the Theatine Cardinal (fn. 10) would be entirely unsuitable. But as you justly observe it is preferable that it should not be known before-hand whom we are supporting or rejecting, until the moment comes when you and the Cardinal decide to act.
I agree with all your remarks on this subject, and am writing to the College of Cardinals a letter, a copy of which goes to you. I am also writing to the Imperialist Cardinals and to others recommending you. In addition, I am sending twenty blank letters signed by me so that you may fill them in in such manner as you think suitable, both for Cardinals and for laymen. Put them to the best possible use.
Do your best to hold the Imperialist Cardinals together, so that there may be no split in their ranks with the drawbacks that would arise therefrom. We have no doubt that you would do this in any case, as his Majesty's object and our own is merely to secure the election of a good Pope, which Christendom needs, given the condition in which affairs now stand.
I am writing to the Cardinal of Sigüenza to proceed to the election, telling him to leave Don Bernardino de Mendoza to represent him until the Duke of Alva arrives. I am instructing Don Bernardino de Mendoza to go at once to Naples. If the Cardinal arrives in time you will talk all this over with him, as he is devoted to our service.
I entirely approve of the letter you wrote to the College of Cardinals and the assurances you gave them. I wrote the day before yesterday to Marcantonio Colonna, Camillo Colonna and Archbishop Colonna by Pompeo Tuttavilla. However, I am following up with further letters to them, which I am writing today, as well as others to Giuliano Cesarino, Giulio Orsini, Giambattista Valmontone, Signor Balduino, Ascanio della Corgna, Vincenzo de Nobili. I am writing to the Cardinal of Sigüenza to pay to the last two mentioned that which is due to them in the kingdom of Naples. You will hand my letters to them and will do everything that seems meet to carry out your instructions.
I am writing separately to Cardinal Santa Fiora about Paolo Giordano Orsini. You will deliver this letter and will see to it that funds be provided for this purpose from Naples, for we have agreed to support him and wish to show him every favour. The last courier brought news that the French in Rome had sent out forty captains to recruit soldiers in the states of the Church. We have no doubt that if they are proceeding in this matter, you will have taken the necessary steps with the Holy College to put a stop to it, at such a time as this, intimating that you suspect that even if the original purpose was another one, these soldiers would now be used to disturb the election. If you have not already acted in this sense, it would be well to do so now, telling the Cardinals that if the French go on you would be unable to forbear from bringing in part of his Majesty's army from the kingdom of Naples in order to make sure that no one prevents the Sacred College from carrying out the election as the Holy Ghost inspires.
P.S. (Decipher.) As Cardinal Santa Croce (fn. 11) is said to be manæuvring to be elected, we think it wise, although we are no friend of inventions, to send you this holograph letter of ours, so that if you see that his election cannot be prevented or that things are going in favour of others whom it would not be possible to congratulate, so that Santa Croce might be elected without owing us any debt of gratitude, you may make use of this letter at the right moment. We clearly see that we are setting you a hard task, for there will be a risk of missing the opportune moment or of making the gesture at the wrong time, but we have confidence in your judgment, and therefore will leave it to you. You will remember that as Santa Croce is a vassal of the Duke of Florence, anything that is done where he is concerned must not be against the Duke's will, for we are very anxious not to cause him any disturbance. However, we feel certain that you will already have ascertained his wishes in this matter, so as not to undertake anything that he might dislike. Anyway, as no public position is to be taken up against any candidate, as you rightly remark, it will be possible to make use of our invention, though please God it may not be necessary. As I am now writing without having had time to consult the Emperor, I submit to whatever he may instruct you to do. If common sense prevailed in this duel, it would seem that Cardinal Santa Croce, even if he does consider himself wronged by the Emperor, ought to lay all passion aside and be friends with me, as his Majesty and I ask from Popes no other friendship than that they should do their duty and try to put an end to the wars and conflagrations caused in Italy by the King of France and the Turk.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
169. Enclosed in this letter is a copy of the one Philip wrote in his own hand to be shown to Cardinal Santa Croce in the event of the latter's election (fn. 12)
Hampton Court, — April As my desire where the papal election is concerned is that it should turn out favourably for the good governance of the Church and the peace of Christendom, and as I believe that Cardinal Santa Croce, if Our Lord were to be pleased to have him elected, will fulfill his duty with due regard for all that is at stake, I do not wish to listen to those who tell me that he will be more influenced by the grievance he is said to have against the Emperor than by his own virtue and good nature. You will therefore tell him on my behalf that I wish to regard him as my father, feeling sure that he will serve God and behave towards me as my confidence in him merits. You will consequently come to his support at the proper time with the Emperor's votes and my own, and endeavour to secure his election. I have no doubt that if this is kept secret until the time for action comes, it can be successfully carried out.
I am leaving the date to be filled in by Don Juan as he may find opportune.
170. A memorandum to the Emperor about the Papal election
11 April The letter written by the King (Philip) to Don Juan Manrique about .this affair seems to be in agreement with what was decided here with Abbot Brizeño, so that nothing further is necessary except to refer to the King's letter and praise him for his good counsel. The only difference is that your Majesty left it to Don Juan Manrique to decide whether he should put the management of the Conclave into the hands of Mantua or those of Santa Fiora, whereas the King comes out decidedly for Santa Fiora. As this will be done, no more need be said.
Further, whereas your Majesty did not wish to mention any candidate who would be acceptable to you by name, the King does name the four surviving Cardinals of those who had been mentioned at the last Conclave: i.e. Pole, Carpi, Santiago and Morone. There is no more to be said about this, as your Majesty in writing to Don Juan referred him to the instructions he would receive from England. Nothing need be added about Cardinal Pole's coming here or Sigüenza's going to Rome and Don Bernardino de Mendoza's taking his place in Naples, as the King only mentions these points for our information.
There remains the letter written by the King in his own hand to be shown to Cardinal Santa Croce. Considering what has been written to Don Juan and the possibility that he may be elected Pope, it seems that it can do no harm to place this invention in Don Juan's hands, leaving it to him to use it, as he will be looking on at the game, difficult and dangerous as it is, in case he sees that Santa Croce's election cannot be prevented, so that he may make such use of it as may seem best without spoiling the negotiation. Don Juan had better be warned in no case to attempt to do it by sending a note, which might be dangerous, but to entrust it to some one of our Cardinals who may arrive after the Conclave has been shut up, such as Sigüenza (fn. 13) or Burgos, (fn. 14)
Simancas, E.809.
171. Francisco de Eraso (?) to Juan Vázquez de Molina (?) (fn. 15)
Closed on 12 April The day before I left England I sent you a letter by a courier who was going over-land, telling you what I had seen there. Since then, I arrived at Brussels last Tuesday, which made 19 (days on this journey). I did nothing there but tell his Majesty briefly about affairs. Then I came here (to Antwerp) to try to raise some money. I can find none at all, because neither here nor there am I offered so much as good words, and unless the exchange of 150,000 ducats materialises soon I do not know what we are to do. The Spanish cavalry and infantry have three month's pay owing to them, and here in Flanders they are unwilling to give us any credit to negotiate with. I am afraid that something serious may befall and upset the peace negotiations which I hope are soon going to begin, as when I passed by Dover the French Ambassador's brother was taking ship there, carrying a commission from the Queen of England, after consultation between the Queen, his Majesty and the King (Philip) for sending commissioners. But I am afraid, as things are going so well for the French, that they are only doing this in order to justify themselves in the eyes of the world, or that they will be very stiff in negotiation, especially as I know how hard up we are for money everywhere. May God remedy our affairs! The loss of the 150,000 from Castile comes at a very bad moment. There is nothing for current requirements or to meet maturities with Fugger and Schetz. You will see what success I meet with; but I believe that over there you understand that I cannot do anything. The King of England is not of this opinion, but thinks we must raise some money, even if it costs us an eye. And right he is, for I see in what straits he finds himself. The only hope is that the money being borrowed from private individuals may arrive very quickly, and as the fleets of Don Alvaro and Don Luis have not sailed, one of them might be used for this purpose. If not, private vessels must be found. I beg you to do your utmost in the matter concerning Hernando López de Campo and Ierónimo de Salamanca, about which his Majesty is writing, for otherwise they and their families will be ruined, and they do not deserve it. On the contrary, they merit the greatest favour; and the truest kindness you and the other gentlemen can do me is to give your attention to it. I settled the Duke of Sessa's affair before I left, and told his agent to inform him. For the rest, I leave everything to you. Please have this messenger paid 50 ducats and let my brother know that I, my wife and children are well, and that I think that his Majesty will shortly take a decision in the matter of the Church benefits. I will do all I can to be of service to you. I hope things will go well with you. I was glad to hear that Don Fernando had arrived. I kiss the hands of Doña Luisa and thank her for her kindness.
I am sending this with a Portuguese courier. I refer you to his Majesty's letter, and once more emphasise the cruel lack of money here, which indeed cannot be exaggerated. We are driven to a thousand cheap and unworthy expedients in order to avoid greater disasters. If the Spanish troops were to mutiny they would abandon the fort and loot the neighbourhood; and if it were attempted to stop them God knows how far they might not go, and how delighted the King of France would be, especially now that there is a question of peace negotiations. I was not in favour of accepting Fugger's offer, because he gives little and promises much. But his Majesty and Queen Maria want it in order to avoid greater evil. So I can only obey them. The King of England is in great difficulties; he and his servants have not enough to eat, and he has sent hither Don Diego de Orbea with powers to him and to me to try to raise some money on the grant of 600,000 ducats which is to be made available. We are working on this, and so far I see no certain result. I will do all I can, but relief can only come from Spain by giving effect to what we have been writing about in connection with the exchanges. If over there you think these things are too laborious, as I know you do, I see no way out of it but that the Emperor and the King should themselves go to Spain. After all, they must go on eating. Don Fernando Gonzaga is leaving tomorrow or the next day for home. He is getting 4,000 ducats a year to be paid by vassals of the kingdom of Naples, and 6,000 as an entertainment allowance, a benefice for his second son worth 1,000 or 2,000 ducats and a lump sum of 20,000 ducats as a gratification, and his elder son a very reasonable pension while he resides at the King's Court. He is to be repaid all he has spent for the war and declared innocent of all the charges that have been brought against him on the chief count, if he goes home, and if he wanted to remain here they would have made him head of the Council of State, with lodgings in the Palace and right of access to the King wherever he might be and no doors locked. He was offered the title of Captain General when accompanying the King in regions where this charge was not already occupied. But he swept all this aside, insisting on the post of Lord Chamberlain (Mayordomo Mayor) saying that nothing else was compatible with his honour and that he must not be inferior to anyone. As this could not be done, he has kissed his Majesty's hands and continues on his way. To tell you the truth, I should be sorry to see him go just at this time, because he is an experienced soldier.
The Duke of Savoy is in a great hurry to go off to his states. After consultation between the Emperor and the King (Philip), I had orders to propose to him that he should marry the Duchess of Lorraine (fn. 16) and take over the government of Flanders, which Queen Maria on no account wishes to keep. I have talked to him about it, and he has asked for time for reflexion. May God dispose for the best, for very important charges are now open! If you knew what had happened about the Duke of Alva, you would be astonished. But these are not news to send via France. One may piously believe that he has obtained what he wants, that is not to leave a single post unoccupied. He is so loathed that even with this sauce no one will have him. His Majesty has been unwell, but now is much better, God be thanked! The King and Queen of England are well, at Hampton Court. Things are not going well in Germany. We are so detested that it would be better for us to go home. As soon as I return to Brussels from this place I think his Majesty will start attending to business. Please see that 50 ducats are given to this courier. I once more beg you to remember the affairs of Hernando López de Campo and Ierónimo de Salamanca, for I am embounden to them, and I would not like to see them and myself in embarrassment and dishonour. Antonio de Eguino is in Brussels. His Majesty has not heard him, nor will he until I am there.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, F.510.
172. Montesa (fn. 17) to the Bishop of Arras
Rome, 12 April The day before yesterday I wrote you a letter which will go by this same courier. Last night, I went to kiss the Pope's foot. He told me that his intention was towards the public welfare and that he pursued no private ends, which were always prejudicial to the common good. He desired his relatives to live in the modest station to which God had called them, and he would only follow the precepts of the holy fathers in helping them to subsist without falling into shameful poverty. He would not help them to change their estate, for the property of the Church must not be spent without the greatest care and consideration.
He wished to reform the Apostolic See and not to deform it, as some of his predecessors had done, and this was a heavy burden of responsibility which God had laid upon him. He begged his Majesty and the King and Queen of England to help him and always to make known your opinion to him, for he knew by experience that their Majesties were inspired in their actions by pious zeal.
The place in which God had set him obliged him to desire peace in Christendom and work for it. He was going to write to the Emperor and to the King of France about this, as well as to Cardinal Pole, and he meant to avail himself of the good offices of the King and Queen of England to prevail with the Emperor, if the King of France were not disposed to yield on every point on which the Emperor was right, not to be too obdurate, but to give way here and there in order to avoid further misery and slaughter. As the Emperor had greater experience and the higher standing, it was incumbent upon him to do some violence to his own will.
If we here saw any good way of promoting the peace talks, we were to let him know.
He begged his Majesty and those of us who are to take part in negotiations with him to be moderate in putting forward demands. As his object was to reform the Church and not deform it, he would be very circumspect in what he granted. This might seem strange, but he must be forgiven for the sake of the aim he was pursuing.
If ever I were to hear anything I did not like about his actions, or that he was appearing to take the side of the French, he asked me not to write to his Majesty about it, but to speak to him direct first of all, and he would dispell my misgivings. For the vulgar often believed the opposite of the truth. I replied that he would always find that their Majesties would respond, as they were such catholic and pious princes, as his Holiness and the whole world had seen. The Emperor would not prove unreasonable in any question raised by the Pope, as experience would show, for he had always detested war between Christians, and had only waged it when he had been provoked and pulled in by the hair of his head. So if he saw any possible way towards peace he would not refuse to enter it, provided the peace were to be true and lasting.
I would comply with his request not to report to the Emperor about anything I might hear without first referring to him and learning his intentions. Moreover, I would never lie to him, for I imitated my master, who hated lies more than any man in the world, and my own nature was to be sincere and truthful, as his Holiness knew. He replied that indeed this was true, and that he had always loved me for the plainness and sincerity that he had recognised in me. The Pope is a prudent and thoughtful man, and of virtuous and modest life. His entire Court is afraid of the line he is going to take, so unlike that of his predecessors. There has been much licence and dissolute living. Certainly, he is a man who is likely to give a great example and leave a good memory behind him, unless he shows some particular passion, which he says he has never had and never will have. May God grant him grace in his task! The Church badly needs such a shepherd. I wanted to tell you all this, in order that you might know what is going on and form your own opinion.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, L.882.
173. “From the Imperial Court on 14 April, from the Ambassador in England”
14 April The Emperor has suffered from the gout because of the cold and damp, but at present he is quite well and indeed improving every day.
His Majesty has appointed to act as peace-commissioners: M. de Lalaing, Governor of Hainaut, M. de Bugnicourt, (fn. 18) Governor of Artois, the Bishop of Arras, the President of his Council, Viglius, and the President of Malines. (fn. 19) They are going to Gravelines to discuss with those sent by the King of France to Ardres: the Constable and the Cardinal of Lorraine, and it is believed that others will be added in order to make up the same number as those sent by the Emperor. The English Cardinal and the Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor of England, will be present as mediators, and are on their way to Calais in the name of the Queen. May God inspire them as the public welfare requires!
The King and the Queen of England went to Hampton Court for Easter. It was not yet known whether they would go on to Windsor or return to London.
The two gentlemen who were arrested for plotting are still in prison, and there is no further talk about them. It appears that there was little ground for suspicion where they are concerned, though to start with the matter had been exaggerated and made to appear a horrible affair.
The German Princes seemed to be displeased about Cardinal Morone's visit; therefore the Emperor has authorised his brother, the King of the Romans, to arrange for the Cardinal to return at once.
The Duke of Alva was expected. His baggage and most of his household had already crossed over to Calais.
The Ambassadors from Cremona, Novara and Lodi were captured by a French corsaire in the Straits, but their baggage and money are believed to have been saved. They may be set free as being subjects not of the Emperor but of the King, and travelling on board an English ship.
Copy. Italian.
Simancas, L.1322.
174. The Emperor to Philip
Brussels, 15 April We have seen your letter of the 8th of this month, with a copy of the one you wrote to Don Juan Manrique about the Pontifical election.
It all seemed to us quite right, and mainly in accordance with the conclusions arrived at here, as you will have seen in full by the despatch sent you lately. We are also writing to Don Juan to proceed along those lines, for as to asking Cardinal Santa Fiora to assemble the votes, we do not think he will yet have made up his mind between that Cardinal and Mantua, since he referred the matter to us. By now, things are far advanced.
It is a matter of great scruple to mention persons suitable for this dignity, and we have never wished to interfere in this in the past. No more need be said, except that we make sure you have examined this question with all due care. We trust in Our Lord, whose cause it is, to guide this election for the best, for such is our chief consideration.
As Cardinal Pole shows little inclination to go to Rome, and his presence in England is desirable, you did well not to press him. Nothing need be said about your instructions to Sigüenza to proceed to Rome and to send Don Bernardino de Mendoza to Naples in his stead, except that as he (Sigüenza) is to leave Naples, no better occasion could be found. He and his affairs deserve great consideration. We would be glad to hear your opinion on this.
The credit asked for by Don Juan is entirely necessary. As soon as the letter arrived for Antwerp we gave instructions that the matter should be handled urgently. We have not yet heard whether anything has been done.
We are sending you with this courier a report on the letters written to us recently by Don Juan de Vega, so that you may be informed of what is happening in that quarter, and let us know what reply you think had better be made.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.1322.
175. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Eraso (?) (fn. 20)
15 April I have received letters from you of 6 and 7 April, and with them there came one for the King. Since, we have received the arrangement made by the merchants in the matter regarding the Indies. The King is still waiting for a messenger whom you write his Majesty is going to send with his decision about the persons to be entrusted with the peace negotiations. Therefore, he is not writing about this now, but only wished to send the letter which is being carried with this one, fearing that when the Duke of Alva arrives over there he may start talking after his fashion to favour his own affairs at the expense of his neighbours.
You are to know that the Duke, after having thrown himself at the King's feet, as I told you, in order to secure these appointments, now that he has obtained them asserts that he is being made to take them, complaining in every quarter that he is not being treated according to his deserts. In all this, he uses his accustomed skilful arguments in order to draw the water to his own mill. I do not wish to say more about this than may suit the King, who wishes you to be informed and warn his Majesty to leave some loop-hole permitting the Duke to be relieved of these appointments. As for the Duke's interests, the King says he has got away with more than there was any good reason to give him.
Moreover, the King says that the Duke may intimate that affairs in England are not being handled with all due care. As for this, the King remarks that he has not wished to conclude certain business before having got the Duke out of this country, because he, his friends and his wife have permitted themselves to say that once the Duke had left everything would go to ruin, he having been the mainstay in all these matters and the King not being equally vigilant. As they have been talking like this here in the King's Court it is quite possible they will do the same when they reach the Emperor's, and if everything that had to be accomplished had been terminated before the Duke left, he would have been able to attribute all the merit to himself. Therefore, the King decided to wait until the Duke was out of the way, although the Duke greatly insisted, again and again. This is what the King wishes me to write to you, begging you to take particular care to keep him informed of what happens. The Duke told me that he intends to give his Majesty a good talking to, complaining of the scanty favour that is shown to him. I do not know whether the favour is scanty; but the other day we reckoned up that he has obtained about 40,000 ducats in salaries, benefits and grants.
Now that the Duke has spoken to me about the appointments to Naples and Milan, as I have written to you, and has assured me that he is eternally obliged to me for them, I am afraid that when he sees his Majesty, he may not treat me as tenderly as he is accustomed to do when he speaks with you. Therefore I implore you to do what you can to protect me, for I certainly am afraid of him. He is a dead shot. May God be pleased to enlighten him and permit him to know his own failings! I should be well pleased in that case, for whenever I have been of use to him or to others, I have been moved by my concern for the King's service rather than by any other consideration.
I thank you for what you say about my going to the peace conference. I am not sufficiently experienced to be of use in this connexion, and I will see what I had better do in case it falls to me to be present.
As for what you say about the Marquess of Sarriá, (fn. 21) i.e. that it would be a good thing to have him come; he has his house in Rome and it would be a great expense for him. Although it seems that it would be undesirable that he should be in Rome while Don Juan is there, the King says that even if he were to be there (at the time, of the Conclave) he is to leave everything to Don Juan. Thus there ought to be no trouble, especially as I am sure that he will not arrive in time.
The King told me to write to you to try to arrange that his Majesty should let the Marquess take this journey. As the King is also writing to his Majesty and to yourself about this matter, I will only add that any kindness you can show him will be well employed, for he certainly is a good man.
The King is also writing to you about Don Juan de Figueroa. As you have to act as everybody's father in this affair, I will only say in manus tuas, Domine.
The Duke asked for an allowance, and the King ordered Gonzalo Pérez to tell him that he would be given 15,000 crowns in a lump sum, but as he did not seem to be satisfied with this, the amount was increased to 20,000. He affected to be disgusted with this offer. When he excused himself with the King for not accepting it, he spoke very nicely but managed to put his oar in by saying that the favour he was not obtaining now would await another occasion when it would be easier for the King to grant it. Thus we may be sure that he will return to this matter in his own good time.
About the idea discussed over there of getting Cardinal Pole to go to Rome, I do not think it will be done. The Cardinal has been at death's door, and also would not wish to leave the work he has on hand here, for seven papacies. You may believe that he is a good man, without faults as far as one can judge from outside. I think that the reason why it was not desired over there that he should remain here, was because they did not want him to be present at the peace negotiations, fearing lest he favour the French. As for that, I dare swear that he is neither French or Spanish, but an upright Christian and that he will do no harm.
I do not know what to think about what you write concerning Don Alonso Pimentel's words and actions, except to pray that the election may turn out well. In the matter of appointing captains, the Duke and he shut themselves up together and settled it. Afterwards, we were not told the names mentioned in the list. If this affair were in my hands, I would see to it that Señor Luis Quijada is informed. Please disculpate me on this point, for I am not to blame.
I am very glad you have found money to pay the infantry. We have kept secret here what the Cardinal of Sigüenza did about Siena. Secrecy is necessary in order that we should not have still more trouble. The Duke has not been able to take leave of us yet. He is leaving tomorrow, Tuesday.
I will write you another letter about the King's decision concerning the merchants who want to trade with the Indies. So far, I have answered your letter of 6 April and some points of that of the 7th. As there is no more to tell you, I will close for the present.
P.S. When some men were taking communion in London, a ruffian came up and asked the priest what he was giving them. The priest replied that it was the very God. The man then said: “No, it is not. It is a God that you make with your hands”. He then drew a short sword and gave the priest one or two stabs with it. They say that the priest will die, if he is not already dead. There was a great commotion about this, but the aggressor was arrested and will be punished as his crime deserves. I kiss Señora Doña Mariana's hands.
Draft or copy in Ruy Gómez's hand. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
176. Mary to the Emperor
Westminster 17 April Our dear and well beloved cousin the Marquess of Sarriá is going to your Majesty's Court at present on his way to Rome. The affection that our cousin has shown towards us hitherto on several occasions, and the kind welcome he gave to our ambassadors who were in Spain, make us wish not to allow him to depart from here without writing you a word about him, to tell you how satisfied we are with him. Therefore we beg your Majesty most affectionately to hold him in favour for our sake, by which you will give us great pleasure, as The Creator knows.
Signed. French.
Vienna, E.1.
177. The Emperor to Philip
Brussels, 21 April My son, you will have heard by the letters I have sent you in Castilian of the decision I have arrived at as to the persons to be sent from here to negotiate peace, and that I leave it to you to nominate a Spaniard who may also take part in them, as you think is suitable. I intend to send those going from here without great pomp or ceremony, because it does not seem that such would be opportune. But I hear from persons coming from France that they intend there to send a great company, and that the Constable is taking with him, besides his immediate attendants, twelve or thirteen knights of the French Order. And it may be expected that the Cardinal of Lorraine who is of another faction will not fail to come with a large following. Moreover, they are moving up troops, horse and foot, which is hardly appropriate to negotiations. As one can have little confidence in them, one wonders whether they may not seize the opportunity offered by these negotiations to attempt some raid on our frontier posts, to see whether they cannot take them by surprise. Or they may make use of these numbers of troops for some other purpose. Therefore, we are taking precautions on this side. It would seem to me suitable that the Queen, my good daughter, should signify to the French that she does not regard with approval this mustering of troops near the place where negotiations are to be held, for their presence can only lead to confusion. She might add that they may remember that when negotiations took place in the shelters at Fiton the numbers attending on both sides were limited. Indeed, to the best of my recollection it was agreed that not more than 50 horse and as many lackeys should be present on each side, and often they were not even as many as that. Beside the confusion resulting from large numbers, the talk that goes on outside of the negotiations, while the leaders are engaged in them, often gives rise to resentment and does more harm than good. It will also be necessary to give a thought in England to the best means for protecting those who are to negotiate, and that on both sides they should have sufficient powers to grant safe-conducts in the names of their masters, for the use of the other side, and this is necessary not only for the duration of the conference, but for some time afterwards, so that if no successful conclusion is reached, both sides may depart in security.
I am sending those whom I have chosen from here at the end of this month. But they will not start until you have informed us of the day on which they are to arrive at Gravelines, and that the Frenchmen are to be at Ardres, according to what you hear from France.
Draft. French.
Vienna, Sp.H.C.I.
178. Simon Renard to the Emperor
Twickenham, (Tuegnen) 21 April Sire: Nothing further has happened these last days in the proceedings prisoners about which I have written to your Majesty, except that a certain Miotis (possibly Miritis?) has been examined, as he was suspected of having been involved in the plot, has always been a partisan of France and an obstinate heretic. He has not confessed anything that supplies proof of what had been suspected.
Courtenay was set at liberty during Holy Week. He had offered to go and serve your Majesty wherever the Queen and King might send him and to marry anyone they might be pleased to designate. Whether this submission on his part constitutes sufficient guarantee for the future, your Majesty may consider. Several of the Chancellor's adversaries have stated that he managed Courtenay's release, in agreement with the Controller, Inglefield and Petre, so as to be able to promote him to the crown in case the Queen were to die, which God forbid! Others say Legate Pole insisted upon its being done. Yet others are of opinion that he was set free at the wrong moment, for as he is light-headed and ambitious he might easily lend an ear to some further temptations. When the matter was proposed to the Council (although it had already been decided by the Queen and King) the Admiral moved that it would also be fit to release the other less guilty prisoners, meaning by that the Lady Elizabeth, for otherwise it would be unjust (to release Courtenay). It was then decided to bring Elizabeth here to Court in a few days, before the Queen's confinement takes place. Thus both she and Courtenay are going to be reinstated or forgiven, and the Queen will remain in the same uncertainty and fear. It has been proposed that Courtenay might be married to the widow of the last Duke of Suffolk, (fn. 22) who comes next to the daughter of Scotland in line of succession to the crown. If this is done, it will make Elizabeth very jealous, and would give rise to much dissention in the kingdom if the Queen died without issue. But I hear that Courtenay would rather leave the country than marry her.
The Queen has withdrawn, and no one enters her apartments except the women who serve her and who have the same duties as the court officials. This is an ancient custom in England whenever a princess is about to be confined: to remain in retirement forty days before and forty days after. However, it is believed that she will be delivered before the ninth day of next month. She would have liked to go to Windsor, but as that place is far from London, it was thought preferable that she should stay at Hampton Court. Troops will be at hand in case they are needed.
The people of England behaved in a very obedient manner during the Easter days. An incredible number of them took the holy sacrament. One single reprobate stabbed a priest twice with a sword in a church, when the priest was giving communion. The man was arrested on the spot and exemplary justice will be carried out on him.
Before it was known who was being appointed to go to the peace conference, Robertet made a show of being dissatisfied, and said that it looked as if the intention were to make fun of his master, the King of France. But when he heard of the nomination of the personages who are going from Flanders, and the two to be named by the King, who are the Duke of Medinaceli and Count Feria, he was content.
I am told that the Constable of France is sending foot and horse forward in Picardy but that he is advising the King of France to make peace and is very much in favour of it himself. Also, that the Cardinal of Lorraine will be at Guines and will not go to the Conclave for the papal election.
A friend who is on terms with the French Ambassador tells me that if your Majesty will agree to the Duchy of Milan being given to the Duke of Orleans, as was agreed by the Treaty of Crépy, in consideration of some marriage that might be arranged, the King (Philip) keeping this state until the marriage has been consummated, France keeping Casale, Turin, Montcalier and Montmélian in the meantime, it would be a very good beginning for the conclusion of peace. The French say that when the last treaty was concluded their rights to the said duchy were expressly reserved. They will be willing to give up Toul and Verdun, but Metz cost them a great deal of money and they would not give it up without being refunded. They mean to settle the difference over Navarre. M. de Vendôme, (fn. 23) son-in-law of the late M. d'Albret, would not show as much patience as his father-in-law. I use this word “patience” as it was used by my friend to me. He assured me that the French are preparing to take some Flemish town by surprise but said that he had been unable to find out what town they were aiming at. He is very positive that such a plan exists, and asked me to warn your Majesty to take precautions on the frontier.
Cardinal Pole has been very ill of a continuous fever, but he is better now and is preparing to leave for Guines. His legatine powers lapse with the death of the Pope, unless he continues to exercise them as being a member of the College of Cardinals. I hear that he has some misgivings about taking a share in the peace negotiations, because he says that whenever the Bishop of Arras has spoken or written about this matter, he has always reported to the Queen without mentioning the Legate. As I hear from a confidant of mine, the Cardinal's mind is still not at rest about this. The Chancellor is preparing to go to Guines on the Queen's behalf.
The Earl of Derby, who is in charge of the Duchy of Lancaster near the Scottish border, has written that the Scotch show warlike preparations, and asks to have artillery and munitions sent to him in order to be able to resist in case they cross the river; but it is believed that he talks like this in order to prevent English troops from being sent abroad in your Majesty's service.
The son of the Earl of Arundel who was believed to be trying to marry Elizabeth, which caused much talk, has now married Lord Rich's daughter.
Holograph. French.
Vienna, E.22.
179. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Eraso (Extract)
Hampton Court, 25 April Courtenay is being sent to reside at his Majesty's Court, both in order to get him out of here and to be able to bring Elizabeth to the palace. For the time being, Courtenay is not being told to go farther afield, so that he may not appear to be distrusted. The only thing that seems necessary is that he should leave England. Once he is in Brussels, he may be sent wherever seems suitable. This opinion was shared by everyone here, because they say that any other course would have caused scandal.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
180. The Emperor to the King of the Romans (Extract)
Brussels, 28 April I do not yet know what the new Pope, he who was Cardinal of Santa Croce, will be like, or how much help you will obtain from him in religious affairs. Many say he is a good man, and that since the death of Pope Paul III he has behaved well, observing a neutral attitude and refraining from meddling in the affairs of princes. From what I hear, the Cardinals who are devoted to me elected him for this reason: they feared that if they did not do so, the Cardinal of Ferrara would certainly have been elected the next day; and he would have been the worst choice in the entire college. I am sending Don Juan de Mendoza to congratulate him on his election and do obeisance on my behalf, in order to neglect no part of my duty where he is concerned. I wish to inform you of this, and to suggest that you should do the same in order to gain his good-will.
You will have heard that the French caused their ambassador's brother in England to move the Queen of England to take the initiative with a view to a meeting of ministers to discuss peace-terms; and that she in fact did this. Having learnt that the Constable, the Cardinal of Lorraine, Chancellor Olivier and others were coming on the French side, I decided to send the Duke of Medinaceli, the Bishop of Arras, Count Lalaing, M. de Bugnicourt and the presidents of the Privy Council and the Great Council. I am informed that the meeting will begin on 10 or 11 May. Although things are still in too crude a state for any great success to be expected, this negotiation may prove to be the right way. I will not fail to do what I can to safeguard your interests, and if you have any particular point you wish to make, you will do well to let your ambassador know in time.
Signed. French.
Brussels, D.H.10.
Printed by Lanz, Vol. III.
181. The Emperor to Philip
Brussels, 28 April My son, your letters to Eraso, which he has reported to me, have informed us that you have considered the person whom it would be best to send from England to the peace conference, and that you think that the Duke of Medinaceli (fn. 24) would be the most suitable among those who are now over there; also, that he would leave soon and come here first, leaving afterwards with the commissioners whom I am sending to negotiate peace, as if by my instructions and not by your orders. This seems well to me. Let the Duke start at once and come here, and inform me of your opinion on this matter. I will do the same.
There is nothing to be said about the other persons to be sent from England, besides Cardinal Pole, except that they had better be the most suitable that can be found. Also no remarks about Cardinal Pole's remaining, or about the place where the conference is to be held, the French Ambassador having been informed in order that he may tell his master.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
182. Don Juan Manrique de Lara to the Emperor
Rome 30 April Ever since Pope Marcellus was elected he has had a catarre, an old ailment of his, which has greatly increased, and today he had so violent an attack that the physicians have no hope that he will live out to-morrow. I thought I had better inform your Majesty at once of his condition, and that I will carry out your Majesty's instructions in the subsequent proceedings, as the King (Philip) has written me to do. I could wish to be in better health than I am at present, being troubled by tertian fevers, which I hope in God may not prevent me from doing my duty. By this same courier, I am informing the Duke of Florence, Don Francisco de Toledo, and the Cardinals of Mantua and Trent. I am also sending dispatches to King Philip, Cardinal Doria (fn. 25) and the Cardinal of Sigüenza, so that precautions may be taken on the borders of the States of the Church, and that the Cardinal may make haste to come hither if the Pope dies. I have also written to Don Bernardino de Mendoza to go to Naples, so that the Cardinal of Sigüenza may find it easier to come here. I have written to the Cardinal of Palermo. I will inform your Majesty of everything that happens.
P.S. in Don Juan Manrique's own hand. This is to tell your Majesty that the Pope is dead, for at the time of my writing he has not four hours to live. The Duke of Ferrara is here and will not go away for any money. It would be a good thing to send me a letter of credit so that I may carry out the instructions received from King Philip and your Majesty.
Signed. Spanish.
Simancas, E.882.


  • 1. This note appears to have been written to Philip by a Spanish official resident at the Emperor's Court (possibly Eraso) on return from a visit to England.
  • 2. Otto Truchess von Waldburg, Bishop of Augsburg, Cardinal.
  • 3. Giovanni Morone, Bishop of Modena, Cardinal.
  • 4. Pedro Pacheco, Bishop of Sigüenza.
  • 5. Guido Ascanio Sforza di Santa Fiora, Bishop of Parma, Cardinal.
  • 6. Ercole Gonzaga, brother of Don Fernando Gonzaga.
  • 7. Cristoforo Madruzzo, Bishop of Trent.
  • 8. Pio Rodolfo Carpi, Bishop of Faenza and Giragenti, Cardinal.
  • 9. Juan Alvarez de Toledo, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela.
  • 10. Cardinal Carafa, formerly Bishop of Chieti (Theate), was in fact elected Pope, taking the name Paul IV. on 23 May 1555, after the three weeks, reign of Marcellus II (9–30 April, 1555).
  • 11. Marcello Cervini, Bishop of Nicastro, Cardinal, elected Pope as Marcellus II (p. 69).
  • 12. Cardinal Santa Croce was elected Pope as Marcellus 11 on 9 April 1555. He died on the last day of the same month and the next Conclave resulted on 23 May, in the election of Paul IV (Carafa).
  • 13. Pedro Pacheco, Bishop of Sigiienza.
  • 14.
  • 15. This paper bears no address or signature. However, it seems likely to be from Eraso to Juan Vázquez. It deals with financial affairs, on which these two officials frequently corresponded. Also, the writer sends a message to mi señora Doña Luisa,, which same message occurs in letters signed by Eraso and addressed to Juan Váquez.
  • 16. Christina of Denmark, Dowager Duchess of Lorraine.
  • 17. This would seem to be the Secretary Fernando Montesa, a letter from whom, addressed to Philip and dated Rome, 24 August 1554, is reproduced on p. 36 of this volume. Montesa was apparently Secretary to Don Juan Manrique de Lara, Imperial Ambassador in Rome.
  • 18. Ponce de Lalaing, Sieur de Bugnicourt.
  • 19. Laurent de Briarde, President of Malines.
  • 20. This paper bears no address, but its context makes it likely that Ruy Gómez was writing to Eraso.
  • 21. Don Fernando Ruiz de Castro, Marquess of Sarriá, became ambassador in Rome in July 1555, on Don Juan Manrique's departure.
  • 22. Frances, mother of Lady Jane Grey and widow of Henry Grey, Duke of Suffolk, daughter of Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk by the Lady Mary (daughter of Henry VII).
  • 23. Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendóme.
  • 24. Don Juan de La Cerda, Duke of Medinaceli, had arrived in England with Philip in July, 1554 (See Spanish Clandar, Vol. XII, p. 317).
  • 25. Girolamo Doria, Cardinal.