Spain: May 1555, 1-10

Pages 168-170

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

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May 1555, 1–10

183. Don Juan Manrique de Lara to the Emperor
Rome, 1 May At four o'clock last night I sent your Majesty a courier with news of the Pope's condition, and another to the Cardinal of Sigüenza so that he might move troops forward to the frontiers. Besides the fact that this is always done when the Apostolic See is vacant, the Dukes of Ferrara and Urbino are here, and their presence makes it doubly necessary.
I have also told Don Bernardino to proceed to Naples, so that the Cardinal (of Sigüenza) may be free to come here.
I sent the news to the Cardinals of Palermo (fn. 1) and Trent, (fn. 2) Mantua, (fn. 3) Mendoza, (fn. 4) and Doria, and warned the Duke of Florence to be watchful in his territories near the Church's frontier. I am sending this dispatch to tell you that the Sovereign Pontiff has expired. I am once more asking the Cardinals to hurry.
Since the first courier left, the French Cardinals have met in the house of the Cardinal of Ferrara, and with them some Italian Cardinals, such as Urbino. The French Ambassador was also there, and the Dukes of Ferrara and Urbino. They held a great council and decided to send a gentleman by the name of Monluc off to the King of France. I could not find out the object of this errand, but to judge by past events it may be surmised that they wish to consider making use of their forces, in case they think there is a favourable opportunity for so doing. I think that if the Duke of Urbino (fn. 5) comes out on their side, he may do a great deal of harm, as he is Captain General of the Church. Therefore, I am sending more warnings that the troops in the kingdom of Naples may be held in readiness, as your Majesty ordered. I have also written to the Duke of Florence to have his army ready in the event of the French wishing to bring pressure to bear on the Conclave. Your Majesty will decide for the best and send me appropriate instructions, and in the meantime I will carry on as I did when the Apostolic See was vacant after the death of Pope Julius, making use of the letters and signed pages left in blank which I have here, and more of which I think your Majesty will do well to send me, for it may well happen that they will turn out very useful. If your Majesty were pleased to send me some money in case it is needed, you would doubtless take timely steps to do so.
P.S. The Pope died three hours after midnight.
Signed. Spanish.
Simancas, E.882.
184. Simon Renard to the Emperor
Twickenham, 6 May Sire: Courtenay is going to Italy by leave of the King and Queen, and desires to kiss your Majesty's hands on the way. Thus, one of the embarrassments that we have been apprehending is out of the way. The other, i.e. the Lady Elizabeth, is not settled, and Elizabeth is here at Court. The Chancellor, the Earls of Shrewsbury and Arundel, and Petre, talked to her to induce her to go to Flanders. But it seems to me that the King considers that it would be better to keep her here until after the Queen's confinement; and there may be something in this, as the confinement is so near. However, the Queen's Council think that it would be safer to have her out of the country, either before or after. If Elizabeth stays in this kingdom, the country and the Queen will always have trouble.
A few days ago there was a rumour that the Queen had given birth to a child, whereupon the people of London and several other places held great rejoicings, with bonfires, true evidence of joy. It is said that the same thing happened when the late King Edward was born.
The Admiral is making ready to carry to your Majesty news of the Queen's deliverance.
The French Ambassador's secretary returned yesterday from France, bringing news of the commissioners appointed by the King of France. They are Marillac, Morvilliers and L'Aubépine, together with the Cardinal of Lorraine (fn. 6) and the Constable of France. As I hear from several of my friends, the papal election, the surrender of Siena, the poverty of the French people, the way things are going here in England and the difficulty of raising money encourage and almost constrain the French to make peace. Their only hope lies in the plots going on in Germany, which they are following with lively interest. It is said that the King of Bohemia is taking part in them, although in a secret and underhand manner; and it is even asserted that the old Duke of Brunswick is by way of reaching an agreement with the Duke of Saxony and the Landgrave, the plan being that the Germans should attack your Majesty in the Low Countries on one side, and the French on the other. The French know very well that the Diet of Augsburg is not going well.
The Earl of Arundel has been appointed instead of Lord Pembroke to go over with the Chancellor. Pembroke is being brought to Court, for he is a person in whose hands the King and Queen can leave the management of the troops, were need to arise.
Sire: About three years ago I begged your Majesty to give me the post of receiver of the town of Vesoul, where I was born, for one of my brothers. This post is worth forty crowns, and I thought your Majesty might give it to me in consideration of my services, and also those of my father-in-law, who formerly held it and who wished my brother to have it. Now that the appointment of a new Treasurer General has been made, and no decision has yet been reached about the Vesoul post, I humbly beg your Majesty to grant it to me, and to consider that the relevant duties will be performed by a substitute out of the revenues of the bailiwick of Amont. Thus your Majesty will increase the obligation which I am under to continue humbly to serve you.
Signed. French.
Vienna, E.12.
185. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Eraso (Extract)
Hampton Court, 6 May There has been a change as regards the Englishmen going to the peace conference. Instead of Pembroke, Arundel is to go, and Pembroke is to come here both to prevent him from quarrelling with the Chancellor and to keep him here because of local affairs.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
186. The Same to the Same (Extract)
Hampton Court, 8 May Your letter of 6 May written from Antwerp reached me this morning and told me about the false news that had arrived there of the Queen's deliverance. I am writing to Spain with a messenger who is going over-land, excusing you for sending the tidings and explaining how it happened. As I have already said, the same false news were circulating here in London.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.


  • 1. Pietro Tagliavia, Archbishop of Palermo.
  • 2. Cristoforo Madruzzo, Bishop of Trent.
  • 3. Ercole Gonzaga, brother of Fernando Gonzaga.
  • 4. Farncisco de Mendoza, Cardinal.
  • 5. Guidobaldo della Rovere, Duke of Urbino.
  • 6. Charles de Marillac was Archibishop of Vienne; Jean de Morvilliers, Bishop of Orleans; the Cardinal of Lorraine, Charles de Guise, Archbishop of Rheims.