Spain: July 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: July 1555', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, ed. Royall Tyler( London, 1954), British History Online [accessed 21 July 2024].

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"Spain: July 1555". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Ed. Royall Tyler(London, 1954), , British History Online. Web. 21 July 2024.

July 1555

218. The Queen Dowager of Hungary to Simon Renard
Brussels, 6 July Having been informed that a certain person had offered to go to France and report on happenings there, which he says he would be able to do by way of England, we have given him a letter dated 5 July to you, so that you may assist him, and send on to us whatever he may report. It is useful to be able to compare the reports of one agent with those of another, but as these are usually dangerous folk and apt to be up to strange devices when they offer to render service, you will have an eye on this man, with a view to finding out whether he is not a double agent, in which case appropriate steps will have to be taken.
Signed. French.
Besançon, C.G.73.
219. The Princess Dowager of Portugal, Regent of Spain, to the Emperor (Extract)
6 July Before I received your Majesty's last letter, dated 6 June, news had arrived here of the deliverance of the Queen of England, my sister, as I wrote your Majesty on 16 June. Although these news were not true, I trust in the Lord that the upshot will be as we desire in the general interest. . . .
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, H.108.
220. Simon Renard to the Emperor
Twickenham, 10 July Sire: Since I last wrote, the French Ambassador and his brother have audience of the Queen in presence of several members of her Council. They thanked the Queen for her good offices and those of her commissioners with a view to settling the differences between your Majesty and the King of France. They tried to explain the failure of the Conference on the ground that your Majesty, your commissioners and the English delegation had always insisted on the King of France's giving up what he held, while your Majesty was not to give up anything. They asserted that the King of France had been despoiled first, alluding to the Duchy of Milan and Navarre. They claimed that on any fair comparison it would always be found that the King of France was devoted to the welfare and peace of Christendom. However, it was not necessary to talk about a rupture. The Queen might still excogitate some suitable means, and that which had not been done now might be done this year or next. The King of France would always gratefully remember the trouble the Queen had taken in the interests of peace, and would be glad to reciprocate when occasion might offer. The Queen replied that her intention had always been to see your Majesty and the King of France at peace, in order to put a stop to the affliction and scandal which strife between them brought about in Christendom, both to public and private individuals. Her efforts in this matter had been sincere. She was sorry that nothing had been accomplished because of the attitude of the King of France, for your Majesty had proved how devoted you were to peace by agreeing to the proposals put forward by her commissioners and the Pope's Legate. She knew very well how everything had happened. She did not consider that the French commissioners should have left the meeting without replying to the proposals that had been made or putting forward some alternative. It was very difficult to reach an agreement if one side was unwilling. As for what they said about its being possible to negotiate peace next year, she did not know whether she would always be disposed to do what she had done this time. She felt she had an obligation towards your Majesty and the King, her lord and husband, because you had shown willingness to give up part of your rights for the sake of the public good rather than reject the English proposals. For the rest, she was disposed to leave it to the will of God. The French Ambassador and his brother found this reply a sour one and said that the Queen had perhaps received one-sided information, favourable to your Majesty and unfavourable to the King of France's commissioners. The points at issue were too important to be disposed of at one stroke. The meeting had not been fruitless, but had served to prepare an understanding later. The Queen would always be able to play the same role, and if the commissioners made equitable proposals, their master would certainly not reject them. At this the Lord Admiral of England, who was present, remarked that the French were claiming things that your Majesty had held for a long time, and this put an end to the conversation. The French were so far from finding out what the Queen might have in mind, that they afterwards went to Cardinal Pole and had a long talk with him, trying to persuade him to continue his efforts with a view to making peace, but without stating that they had any instructions to this effect from the King, their master. They only dealt in generalities, always coming back to their demand that your Majesty should give up Navarre, on which condition the King of France would make restitution of Piedmont. They said that if the Duke of Savoy, as a third party, sent envoys to France, they believed the King of France would negotiate some acceptable compensation. As for a marriage between the Duke of Savoy and the Lady Margaret, sister of the King of France, it could not be done, because the lady in question was not minded to marry. But the King of France would hold out good terms if it were a question of the daughter of the Duke of Ferrara. In this affair, there were the principals, and then the third parties. There were your Majesty and the King of France; and then the Duke of Savoy, the Duchess Dowager of Lorraine, the Duke her son, the Duke of Mantua, the Genevois, Duke Ottavio, the territory of Siena, and M. de Vendome as husband of the daughter and heiress of M. d'Albret. The way to proceed would be to take the issues between the principals first, and then to submit the questions concerning the third parties to arbitration. If one set of questions were referred to the Council, the rest might also be; and they said this as if implying that if Navarre were referred to the Council, the King of France would be more inclined to make peace. The Legate replied that the more they spoke of Navarre, the more difficult they were making an agreement, and the more they tried to exclude the third parties from the main agreement, the worse they showed their case to be, proving how little disposed they were to make the restitution which reason and justice counselled. It was entirely unreasonable to separate subordinate questions, in which third parties are interested, from the chief questions. He saw no likelihood that your Majesty would agree to a truce or to discuss one set of questions but not the rest. He personally had carried out his commission. He believed that peace was as necessary to the King of France as to your Majesty. They must not think it strange that the Queen had answered them as she did, for it was notorious that it was not your Majesty's fault if no agreement had been reached. She never would have thought that, as she had been asked to take a hand in this matter, she would be treated with so little deference. She had been a Christian and Catholic princess all her life, and she had felt the inroads of the Turk in Christendom as if it had been in her own kingdom, having deep compassion for the victims of this war. It must not be wondered at if she had not taken in good part the French commissioners' leaving without having concluded peace. The opportunity had been one that ought not to have been refused. If he, the Legate, thought he could contribute to success, he would try once again to beg the Queen, and to persuade your Majesty and the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) to agree to further negotiations. The French Ambassador and his brother replied that they had not been instructed to go so far. What they had said had been of their own accord in order to show that they were devoted to peace, as all good men should be. The following day, when they left the Legate's house where they spent the night after their audience of the Queen, they requested the Abbot of San Saluto to go to London, when he had time, to discuss the question further, because the Abbot has influence with the Legate, who trusts him entirely. I do not know whether he will have gone to London, for I warned him that it looked as if the Frenchmen wanted to get information out of him rather than to start negotiating again. Having heard the above account of what had happened, I believed that the French Ambassador's brother had not had instructions to go as far as he did. The Abbot then told me that he had it from a good source that the French had only been out to obtain a truce for a few months or years. He would have abstained from saying anything had not the affairs of the Duke of Savoy been involved, but he had told the French flatly that the Duke would never do anything without your Majesty's knowledge and consent.
Since the audience, the Legate has reported the above conversations to the Queen and King. Yesterday, the Chancellor, the Admiral and Paget spent four or five hours with the Legate in order, as I have heard, to draft articles and proposals to be sent to the King of France, subject to your Majesty's approval, in order to ascertain his intentions. They argued that since Porto Ercole was taken Italian affairs had been going better, and that the Pope shows a disposition to remain neutral and live like a Pope (as the proverb runs). The Duke of Ferrara will not easily come out into the open. French designs in Germany cannot be carried out unless much money is spent there. The marriage feast of the son of the late Duke John Frederick passed off without any conclusion having been reached. The water of the moat having turned blood-red had made an impression on them, if the story is true. England might turn against France, your Majesty was more powerful financially than they, and many more such arguments came up. It was also mentioned that the plans for a Turkish landing in Tuscany would have to be changed, and that this might make the French readier to consider peace proposals. As I was not present, I cannot say what more may have happened. Your Majesty may hear further details from some other source.
I am informed that the Frenchmen are calling up all their reserves and summoning their legionaries, but also that they are sending horse to Italy. I have letters saying that there are more words than deeds this side of the mountains, however. I also hear that the French are fitting out some ships, for what reason is not known, unless it be a voyage to the Moluccas.
The King of Denmark's fleet having set sail recently preoccupies the English, who think it may be going against this country or your Majesty's dominions. Some say that the King of France wishes to wed the daughter of Scotland to the eldest son of the King of Denmark, as he sees that Scotland costs him much and profits him little, and that his ministers do not get on well with the Scots. But it is also rumoured that his object is to punish the Norwegian rebels who refuse to obey his son, to whom he has given the Kingdom of Norway, or to undertake something in Sweden. A few days ago the Privy Council was discussing some letters to be written to the Deputy of Calais and his officers, who had put a man in prison for saying that there were many heretics at Calais and that religion was not observed there. There was much discussion about this. Sixteen councillors signed the letters, which it was decided to send off, by a majority vote, but the Earl of Arundel and Paget refused to sign them, trying to excuse the Deputy and officers on the ground that they heard that the man in question was already out of prison. All this confirms that the old split in the Council still exists; and indeed it is something new that councillors should be so audacious as to oppose a decision once it has been taken. Moreover, the Council learned that a number of gentlemen had gathered together in London and were holding meetings here, contrary to the English custom according to which no one stays in London in summer who is able to go away, because of the heat and the prevalent illnesses. All these gentlemen are heretics and most of them have been rebels, some being relatives and partisans of the Lady Elizabeth. They have been ordered to go away each one to his own house, which they have done regretfully, complaining loudly at Court that they were honest men and no traitors. The councillors' reply was that it was not enough that they should not be traitors; they must clear themselves of all suspicion of plotting. Some made as if to take this hint, whilst others did not. Most of them have evil intentions, as I have written to your Majesty.
The double spy who, as I wrote to your Majesty, was to be sent to Gravelines, has been thrown into the Tower of London and examined on a list of questions which I gave to the Alcalde. I believe he will be examined and put to torture about some other letters of which M. de Bugnicourt has obtained possession and which confirm that there was an attempt to help the Constable of France's son to escape, as I believe your Majesty will already have been informed. I have been told that the Margrave Albert is on his way to Piccardy with four hundred German horse.
At the memorial ceremony which the Queen ordered to be held for the late Queen of Spain, your Majesty's mother, the Admiral of England showed openly that he was resentful because, as he said, the King was not showing him as much favour as he had been wont to do. The Admiral implied that the reason was that he had made the gendemen who had visited the Lady Elizabeth kiss her hands. He showed as much to M. de Horn, to whom he talked at length on the subject at table, during banquets that were held in London, at which the ambassadors assisted. He also invited the French Ambassador to supper and made much of him, contrary to the attitude that had formerly been adopted in London. This was carefully noted and interpreted in the sense it deserved. Three or four days before the Admiral had had some words with Paget.
Signed. French.
Vienna, E.22.
Printed by Weiss, Vol. IV.
221. Simon Renard to the Queen Dowager of Hungary
10 July Madam: This is in reply to your Majesty's letter of 22 June about the arrest of Thomas Woodman, an Englishman, and the two ships which he states the officers of the Admiralty seized in English ports, together with the pilots and crew who were on board those ships at the time when they were driven by a storm into port. Having sought information on the subject from the Lord Admiral and others who are aware of what happened, I have been told that Woodman is a servant of the Earl of Pembroke, and that on the strength of the Earl's recommendation he obtained letters from the King (Philip) to M. de Beveren, his Majesty's Admiral in the Low Countries in order to be taken into his service and harry the French at sea. I was also told that the Admiral engaged Woodman on your Majesty's orders, subject to certain conditions which were specified: i.e. that he would make a sufficient deposit as caution that he would not prey upon the friends, allies and confederates of his Majesty. However, without complying with these conditions and in spite of the fact that he had been forbidden to put out to sea or to make use of his commission without making the said deposit, under pain of being declared a pirate and forfeiting his commission, he managed to fit out three ships and set sail, without obtaining the permission of the Queen (of England) or the Admiral. His first exploit was to seize, within English waters, a French vessel from Dieppe, fitted out as a man-of-war. He also captured a hulk laden with wine and goods belonging to the Scotch, and sold most of the wine in this kingdom, although the Admiral of England took 30 barrels which he had seized when the vessel was being unloaded. The Admiral also told me that Woodman forged the letters thanks to which he revictualled his ship, and counterfeited the King's and Queen's seals. The Admiral also maintains that Woodman broke the public peace by seizing a French ship in English territorial waters, at a time when England and France were not at war. Further, that Woodman had no right to put out to sea without the Admiral's knowledge. The Queen would not be able to protect him because of the precedent. On account of Woodman's misdeeds, the Admiral had his property seized, and if he could gain possession of his person he would punish him as he deserved, together with those who had served him. I know that the Admiral has approached the Council on this subject. When Woodman heard that he had committed an offence by seizing these ships, he caused me to be approached with the request that I would receive caution for him, and found the necessary money rather on the strength of his captures than of his own substance. I was unwilling to accept this caution without instructions from M. de Beveren, to whom I wrote a summary of the above facts, asking for his instructions in the matter. Since then a London merchant named Barnaby and two others have made a deposit with M. de Beveren, and I have obtained legal confirmation of this in order to be able to use it here if necessary. This was not altogether easy to arrange, given that the capture of the wine was illegal and that the two ships had been seized by the Admiral of England. It must be considered that the French have begun proceedings before the Admiral in order to recover the ship in question, and that the Privy Council took it in bad part that Woodman should have put out to sea on the strength of the commission above referred to, especially as he has acted abusively. The Admiral is irritated about the whole affair, because he does not wish it to appear that the English are being solicited to break with the French, until some decision on the point of policy has been reached. Now, the Admiral of England Will shortly be going over to the Low Countries to carry the news of the Queen of England's deliverance, and it seems that your Majesty might settle the Woodman affair viva voce. It would then be well to consider cancelling his commission rather than court the danger of his seizing some of the ships laden with valuable goods coming from Spain, Portugal or other subjects, friends and confederates of the Emperor's. Woodman is poor and friendless. However, I have been unwilling to take any action, because if the Admiral's charges against him are true, as he maintains, Woodman deserves punishment rather than excuse or favour. If your Majesty desires me to adopt another attitude, I will do my best to serve you. I should add that the persons who stood security for Woodman were afraid to appear when they were summoned, apparently wishing to see what would be done about the Scottish ship. Also, that Woodman's wife has begged me not to take further steps until the Earl of Pembroke has had time to speak to the Admiral and try to reach a settlement.
Your Majesty's last letters, of 6 July, concern the person who offered to go to France and send information from there. I will proceed as your Majesty directs as long as I remain in England, and will report from time to time on the matter. If the man is a double spy, I trust I may find it out within a few days.
Draft in Renard's hand. French.
Besançon, C.G.74.
222. The Emperor to Philip.
Brussels 16 July Your letter of the 10th inst. has been received and has informed us of what passed between Prothonotary de Noailles, brother of the French Ambassador resident in England, and the Queen, the Legate and the Chancellor of England concerning peace, together with your own prudent comments on the subject. In order that you may know what occurs to us, we will observe that you will do well to realise that the object pursued by the French was to shake the English in the conviction they rightly hold that the French were to blame for the breakdown of the negotiations. The French are certainly afraid lest the English come out on our side. Peace would be a very good thing for us, and indeed necessary as you know considering the state of our affairs. It would be highly desirable to discover some means of achieving it. However, if it is impossible to do so, we must take all precautions to prevent the English from changing their minds on the subject, and to keep them convinced that we, on our side, greatly desire the general welfare, and show them more clearly with each day that passes that the French are not behaving loyally in these matters, and that they were aiming merely at breaking with us again when a favourable opportunity occurred, meaning to throw everything into confusion again and by no means to bring about a general peace.
We cannot be certain whether, when the French set out to convince the English, they may not really have some intention of starting negotiations again. It is possible that they may no longer be as sure of some of their neighbours as they were when the last negotiations were taking place. Therefore, two objects ought to be kept in view: one, to make the English see that our object is and always has been peace and that the French alone prevented it from coming about; and the other, that if the French were to reveal any point capable of supplying a basis for negotiation, we should not reject it, but rather embrace the opportunity with as much skill and in as forthcoming a manner as possible.
In this connection, it must be admitted that from what you tell us of the Frenchmen's remarks, these seem to have been couched in very general terms and devised to disculpate themselves and win the goodwill of the English, discovering at the same time whether any further move is coming from that quarter, and not to constitute evidence of a real intention to negotiate. The French may say that they wish to await the Queen's answer, but after having thought the matter over, we do not see that she can do otherwise than to maintain that she has recognised our desire for peace, provided any reasonable and adequate proposal is made. You may once more assure the Queen that such is indeed our will, and emphasise the same in speaking to her ministers, as is evidenced by the fact that we at once showed willingness to accept the proposals put forward by the intermediaries, and indeed went so far as to make suggestions for a settlement regarding Thérouanne and Hesdin, offering the County of Charolais and the rasing of the fortifications of some of the places that they are occupying in that quarter. But the French were unwilling to discuss on this basis, or to make any other proposal, and the Queen was at a loss to put forward any other suggestion. However, wishing to leave no possibility unexplored while the will to peace subsisted on both sides, she hoped that the King of France, leaving generalities aside, might produce something concrete. She might add that she was unable to hit upon anything better than what had already been mentioned. We are moved to say this by our knowledge of the French, who are never satisfied with any proposal that is made to them, and always insist on the other side taking the initiative, in the hope of snatching some advantage. Thus we do not think it would serve any good purpose to try to bring about a marriage between the Duke of Savoy and the daughter of the (late) King of France. During the recent negotiations the French stated over and over again that they would not reinstate the Duke for the sake of the King's sister or even for that of his daughter. Moreover, they might make a show of considering this match merely in order to gain time, claiming that restitution of the Duke's possessions should not take place until after the marriage had been consummated. If they secured this, they would be obtaining what they want by indirect means, which is to remain in possession of everything they now occupy, with the hope of carrying their designs still further thanks to that advantage. But if the French were to suggest the match of their own accord, it would be advisable to examine the terms on which they might put it forward, for the consideration set out above.
If, when the Queen has given them their answer, the French were to make some proposal or show their hand in some way, they might be urged first of all to ascertain the will of their King, so that this important negotiation may not remain hanging in the air without any secure foundation. However, if they do make some suggestion, saying that they have relevant instructions, as you say the Prothonotary has letters of credence, although he has not shown any writing signed by his master, we do not think that you should fail to give them a hearing, particularly if they make any proposal that seems at all reasonable. The Queen might then say that she wishes to communicate with us on the matter in order to learn our intentions, and we might see whether it is possible to thread the negotiation once more. This is all we have in mind at present in answer to your letter about the statements made by the French.
Copy of Minute. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
223. The Bishop of Arras to Philip (Extract)
Brussels, 18 July The Diet is dragging. The Protestants stick stubbornly to whatever seems likely to appeal to those who share their errors. His Majesty is now trying to avoid commitments, for he knows that no progress can be made in such negotiations without his being there to win people over and judge of opportunities. He is leaving everything to the King of the Romans as it is, and has done so since the Diet began, for he does not wish to experience again anything like what happened at Passau. (fn. 1)
As for peace, your Majesty will see what the Emperor is writing to you. We are also sending you a copy of some instructions which we have obtained, issued by the King of France and the Constable. You will see from them whether the French came prepared for everything. We are also sending a copy of reports sent from Burgundy by M. de St. Mauris, on what he has been able to learn of happenings in France.
Lottini, secretary of Cardinal Santa Fiora, has made some statements here as if of his own accord. He says that the Farnese do not dare to start negotiations to return to your Majesties' favour, without informing the French, lest the French should find out and break with them, in which case they would be without protection and obliged to agree to whatever your Majesties might desire. In the course of conversations between him and the Cardinal, his master, the Cardinal had observed that what often made most impression on Italians was being treated with disdain. Now, Cardinal Farnese had had to put up with many signs of contempt both from the Cardinal of Ferrara and from other French ministers in Italy, and was often at his wits' end. Cardinal Santa Fiora therefore believed that if he were to speak to Cardinal Farnese as a relative, and if he knew how far your Majesties were willing to go to make it worth the Farneses' while, he might be able to bring about a reconciliation. Cardinal Santa Fiora showed a great desire to serve you, as your Majesty knows, but it may be doubted whether it would be wise to trust him so much, especially in a matter concerning his relatives. It should also be remembered that this task of bringing about a reconciliation with the Farnese was first entrusted to the Duke of Alva, and then to the Duke of Florence, Don Francisco de Toledo being expected to take part in it, and that these persons might resent it if the matter were now placed in other hands. Moreover, Lottini did not go farther than to speak as above, without asking for a reply, and with that he took his departure. Therefore we have time to consider what had better be done. It has occurred to us here that it might perhaps be well to inform the Ambassador in Rome of what has happened and of what his Majesty had considered doing, so that he may consult with the Duke of Alva and Don Francisco de Toledo, and take some opportunity of talking to Cardinal Farnese, without mentioning the matter at present to Cardinal Santa Fiora, beyond saying that his Majesty is grateful to him for his efforts to gain friends in Italy, especially among his own relatives. He might add, if he sees that Cardinal Farnese's wounded feelings afford an opening, that he would be glad to have a talk with him, as he (the Ambassador) is informed of his Majesty's intentions. In the meantime, we will see whether the Pope undertakes anything in favour of the Farnese, as he shows them so much goodwill. I beg your Majesty to let me know soon whether you have other views, so that we may conform thereto.
The Prince of Monaco (fn. 2) is complaining bitterly here through his agents because he is not being paid in Sicily. The reason for this is that there is great shortage of money in that kingdom, as your Majesty knows. The Prince would like to have his galleys sent elsewhere; but I do not see where it could be, or what can be done in this connexion, unless your Majesty were prepared to do what has often been suggested and increase the number of the galleys. If means could be found to remedy affairs in Sicily it would be a great thing, but it seems to me that things are in a bad way there. In the meantime, I am trying to nurse the Prince along with good words, but these are not the same as pay, and he does not accept them as such.
As for Siena, I have begged his Majesty to come to a decision on the points submitted by you. He then read me what you had written to him. As Eraso will report to you, it has been decided to wait to see how the Duke of Florence takes the ratification and what he proposes by way of satisfying your Majesty's wishes, which are to provide for the security of your states and of the Duke's own. His Majesty thinks that it will then be possible to proceed on a firm basis. If your Majesty is pleased to have the Vicar's powers which have been sent you examined, you will see that they cover most of the points you have mentioned, and in a very satisfactory way, reciting that the Emperor Henry IV had given this power to the Sienese, and subject to what conditions. It then explains why his Majesty now withdraws these powers, desiring to see them better governed than they have been in the past. It then mentions the trouble that has been taken to find a suitable person, and the choice of your Majesty, together with the reasons that recommend it. It is then emphasised that the aim is the welfare of the Republic and to give you authority to appoint a person to administer in your name and to determine the form of government, receive revenue and employ it as the interests of the Republic may seem to require, without being obliged to render accounts to anyone provided that the dues are paid to the Empire. The only thing lacking is the power to partition the State, and to say the truth, this would be very difficult to justify, especially in the present state of affairs, unless the Sienese were to agree to it themselves. This might perhaps be arranged, judging by what the Duke of Florence says. In his Majesty's remarks, I have deleted everything that might appear to imply a pardon, and the same has been done in Don Francisco's commission, but it is true that the Duke of Florence's ratification might appear to go against the rights enjoyed by the Vicar. Still, it may be said that neither the capitulation nor the ratification can deprive your Majesty of your rights as Vicar, as these are of general application, saving only the rights of third parties, which is a point which may be of use to us in connexion with anything the Sienese or the Duke of Florence may attempt. Your Majesty may be sure I will do my utmost to serve you in this matter. As for the control which your Majesty would like to have vested in the Duke of Alva, where Sienese affairs are concerned, his Majesty has thought the question over again and again, and has now come to the decision which I am writing to Eraso. Accordingly, instructions will be sent immediately to the Duke of Alva and Don Francisco de Toledo, who are at Siena, and the result should be in practice exactly what your Majesty desires. It seems to his Majesty that in this way you will be freer, assuming that affairs in Siena settle down, to take any decision you may think required in the circumstances.
Draft or Copy. Spanish.
Besançon, C.G.73.
Printed by Weiss, Vol. IV.
224. Mary to the Emperor
Hampton Court, 23 July We have instructed our trusty and well-beloved Councillor, Mr. John Mason, our Ambassador resident at your Court, to make certain statements to your Majesty concerning subjects of ours who are merchants trading in your Low Countries. We affectionately beg your Majesty to give him audience and also to deal with the matter he has in hand as the close friendship and treaty of intercourse between us require, as we on our side are determined to do whenever opportunity arises where your subjects are concerned.
Signed. Countersigned: Yetsweirt. French.
Vienna, E.1.
225. Mary to the Queen Dowager of Hungary
Hampton Court, 23 July We have instructed our trusty and well-beloved Councillor, Mr. John Mason, our Ambassador resident over there, to make to the Emperor and to you certain declarations concerning subjects of ours who trade in the Low Countries. We beg you very affectionately, our dear sister, to give credence to our ambassador and also to treat his suit in a manner consonant with our close friendship and the treaty of intercourse.
Signed. French.
Vienna, E.1.
226. Simon Renard to the King of the Romans
July (fn. 3) Sire: Since my last letters to the Emperor, copies of which I enclose herewith, Legate Pole and the English commissioners have questioned the King of France's Ambassador and the Ambassador's brother to try to find out whether they had powers to conclude peace from their master, and also to discover whether there was anything suspicious about the frequent visits paid to England by the Ambassador's brother, and particularly whether the King of France was really animated by a desire for peace. The Ambassador and his brother replied that they had no express instructions to conclude peace, but merely to find out from the commissioners what more could be done than had been mentioned at the recent meeting, in order that they might report to their master. They asserted however that their King did desire peace and would be glad if it could be arranged. They had sent a special courier to learn his pleasure, and as soon as the man was back they would make known what instructions they had received.
Nevertheless, they approached the commissioners in private, by means of third persons, in order to see whether a truce or suspension of arms might not be arranged. The commissioners then decided to send to the King of France some articles which seemed to them capable of satisfying both sides, in order to find out what the parties really wanted, and to proceed accordingly or cease their efforts. It is clear that the Pope is not trying as hard as he might. He has not written to the Legate since he sent him confirmation of his legatine powers. This is what has happened about peace. If I can obtain the said articles, I will at once send them to your Majesty.
Eraso has left for court, sent by the King of England, to settle affairs with the Emperor, and particularly when the King and his father are to meet, as the Queen's deliverance is delayed and it is doubted whether she is really with child, although outward signs are good and she asserts that she is indeed pregnant. The questions to be decided are: is the Emperor to go to Spain, or shall the King go? (fn. 4) What state council shall be set up? Who shall be appointed to it? What decision is the Emperor to take about the authority to be given to the King in the Low Countries? What is to be done next year, in peace or war? What policy is to be followed in this country? What general line is the Emperor to take? In order to hasten on a decision, Señor Ruy Gómez, who is now Count of Mélito and his father-in-law has become a Duke, (fn. 5) has left with Eraso, and is expected to return with further directions. I fear that much time is being lost with all this.
Biscayan shipping is being held at Antwerp for the journey (i.e. the Emperor's journey to Spain). Carvajal is expected, and is supposed to be bringing 500,000 crowns in order to make the passage sure either for the Emperor or the King. As soon as a decision has been reached, I will not fail to inform your Majesty.
Draft or Copy. French.
Besançon, C.G.7.
Printed by Weiss, Vol. IV.
227. On a writing by Cardinal Pole about the Peace Treaty
July (?) (fn. 6) I have noted two chief points which I wish to discuss in the Cardinal England's discourse about the peace negotiations which you sent me, for the question is a grave one. The first is that his Paternity (sic) most plainly says that the Turks are one and the same thing as we who embrace the pure doctrine of the Gospel. The second is that we have so multiplied that by now the power of the Emperor and the King of France together cannot suffice to suppress us. As for the first point, I say that if the Emperor, the King and other princes think ill of our doctrine, it is because the papal legates and especially their confessors do nothing but slander us and inflame the minds of the mighty to take up arms and come and cut us into pieces. Mr. Reginald Pole, with all the great profession he makes of sincerity and virtue, is not ashamed to tell about us such abominable lies as that we are like the Turks. Is it possible that Priuli (fn. 7) is of this opinion, since some say that it was he who dictated this discourse to Pole? Is it possible that some upright man will not one day ask both of them face to face: Are you not the two who, in Rome, in Viterbo, in Venice, in Trent (since these are the places where you have been most active) so warmly prevailed upon all who were willing to listen to you to keep it secret that on the question of justification, among others, the adversaries of Rome were in the right, and that in fact we are justified by the sole merit of Jesus Christ vouchsafed to us by faith, to which justification nothing can be added by our works? Are you not the same men who once believed this and taught it? Oh miserable wretches, who have either abandoned an opinion which was right and godly, or if you still believe it in the secret of your hearts, now go about not only pretending the opposite, which would be bad enough, but also speaking ill of it and saying that those who believe as you once believed are Turks! If the Cardinal were to reply that, if it is true that in a speech he made some years ago in the presence of the Emperor, in Latin, that Turkish seed had been sown in Germany and that the Protestant Princes were worse than Turks, in this recent discourse it will not be found that he has said it, I will retort that the meaning is there, although he may not have used the same words. Look at the fifth letter where he says that strife between the Emperor and the King of France has worked out to the advantage and honour of the infidel and the unfaithful! And in order to make his meaning clear he adds that as a result of this strife the Turk has been able to seize the two chief bulwarks of Christendom, one of which is in the sea, namely Rhodes, and the other on land, that is to say Belgrade. Then, coming to what he calls infidels and unfaithful, he says he means those who have turned religious discussion into schism and heresy. Thus he persists in calling us Turks, schismatics and heretics. But read further in this discourse, and you will see that he invites these two princes to conclude peace in order that they may turn their forces against the infidel and the unfaithful, meaning the Turks and the Protestants. See how he puts us on the same footing, holding us to be one and the same thing! And consider whether there is any intention of holding a free and sincere Council, gospels in hand, in order to compose the differences of the Church, when they thus talk of using armies against us and shedding our blood, if they can, thus regaining the honours and earthly goods in the possession of which we have disturbed them by preaching the word of God! But it is of enormous value for us to possess such proof that the papacy and its legates are bent on promoting peace, not for any other reason than that they wish to turn the arms of these princes against us. We hope to make good use of this warning. We thank God for having given us this proof so clearly by the mouths of our adversaries, who although they think themselves very wise and very learned, are not in fact what they imagine themselves to be. See how impudent they are! The Emperor and the King of France, knowing the minds, the intelligence and the strength of the Princes, on the one side, and on the other side those of the adversaries of the papacy, recently set out to try to make peace, and the papacy urged them to persevere in this task, as it certainly would not have done if it had thought peace would be contrary to its own interests. What the Cardinal really means is that the Pope desires peace in order that there may be an agreement to destroy the Lutherans. he important point is that the Cardinal did not content himself with urging Charles and Henry to make peace, but tried to inflame their minds against us by causing this learned discourse of his to be printed in the city of Padua. Was that not worthy of a wise man? If anyone says that the discourse was printed without the Cardinal's knowledge, I would answer that anyone who knows the rule set up at Padua by the Venetians may be perfectly sure that the printers cannot allow themselves any pleasantries, or print anything that has not previously been examined by the bishops and other magistrates. Also, there is the fact that the suffragan in Padua is now Bishop Gerardo Busdrago, with his mask of Argolis, a place that lies somewhere in Turkey, who would never have given licence to Grazioso Percacino to print this discourse in Padua if he had not been more than certain that the Cardinal had agreed to the publication. We know very well the consideration that these carrion priests have one for the other.
But let us take up another point. What do you say, Mr. Reginald Pole? You say that your adversaries have become so numerous and have spread so wide that the forces of the two greatest princes in the world no longer suffice to suppress them. You are entirely right, and we regard this as a most important confession from you, although you do not yet know how great our strength is. But tell me, my Lord Cardinal, if you consider that the might of these two great princes, together with that of the Pope, is unable to tear the gospel from our hands, how can you attempt to convince them to undertake, once they have made peace, so difficult and indeed impossible an enterprise? Does it not occur to you in your own mind that they will have said to themselves that if the Pope's adversaries have grown so numerous and have spread to so many cities and provinces that you do not believe it possible to put them down, it is strange that you should attempt to involve them in a war that would be both laborious and extremely dangerous? But I have something still more important to ask you, Oh Cardinal of England! Our numbers have grown so great and so widespread in spite of your might, and it has not availed to hold so many meetings and conferences and councils in Germany to negotiate and intrigue so busily and devise so many interims, and gather together so many armies and shed so much blood, to burn and destroy cities and provinces in Italy and France, to set so many inquisitors at work, so many rogues and butchers, who have done nothing but hunt men down, throw them into prison, torture them, despoil them, exile them, send them to the galleys, burn them and, what is still worse, make thousands of men renounce Christ and the truth. Now, where do you suppose the increase of our number and the spread of our doctrine come from? If you were not blinded by God, you would perceive what it is that all your might and all your cruelty fail to conquer in us, and that constantly gains ground against your tyranny and fortifies the Kingdom of God. Wherefore cease to fight against God, and recognise that it is He who moves our tongues and pens to accuse your matchless audacity and impiousness, with which for many years past you have been defrauding the people of the joys of the divine doctrine of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, giving them instead so many products of your human inventions, superstitions, idolatries and abominations. Come to your senses, bow down in humility, believe in the power of God and set His Gospel free! Embrace it with us! Cease to slaughter His children! Otherwise, I on His behalf warn you that not only will you be tortured in the everlasting fires of Hell, but also that this mortal life, which you so love and which has given you such delights, will be unto you a measure of shame and misery, pressed down and flowing over. As for you, my Lord Cardinal, I tell you to cease persecuting the truth, certainly known and recognised as such. And if you so greatly desire to reign and dominate, go back to the plans which we know you have had in mind, and in the event of the death of Queen Mary of England without issue, which will happen, cast aside the abomination of your red hat, marry her sister Elizabeth (if she, who is pious, is willing to do so after the way you have persecuted Christ) make yourself King of England and immediately re-establish the Gospel there. In this way you shall have a holy and legitimate reign, agreeable to God, whereas the papacy to which you aspire is manifest tyranny, set up by the Devil in order to overthrow and destroy the Kingdom of Christ.
Copy. Italian.
Vienna, E.V. 5
228. Mary to the Emperor
July or August (fn. 7) My Lord and good father, I have learnt by what the King, my Lord and good husband, has told me and also by the letter which you were pleased to send me that for a long time past the state of your affairs has demanded that your Majesty and he should meet in order to be able to confer together and reach the appropriate decisions. However, you have been pleased to put off the moment of separating him from me until now, for which I very humbly thank your Majesty. I assure you, Sire, that there is nothing in this world that I set so much store by as the King's presence. But as I have more concern for your Majesties' welfare than for my own desires, I submit to what you regard as necessary. I firmly hope that the King's absence will be brief, for I assure your Majesty that quite apart from my own feelings, his presence in this kingdom has done much good and is of great importance for the good governance of this country. For the rest, I am content with whatever may be your Majesty's pleasure.
Holograph. English.
Vienna, E.1.


  • 1. i.e. in May, 1552, when the Emperor made a forced retreat to Carinthia in order to avoid capture by the Protestant princes.
  • 2. Honoré I. Grimaldi.
  • 3. This paper is not dated, but must have been written about July, 1555.
  • 4. There was no serious question of Philip's going to Spain at this time. The King of the Romans does not appear to have been kept informed of the Emperor's plans.
  • 5. See note to p. 133. According to Weiss (Vol. IV, p. 450) Ruy Gómez de Silva's father-in-law (Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza) was created Duke of Franqueville (Francavilla).
  • 6. This paper is undated but was apparendy written not long after the peace negotiations of May-June 1555, by an Italian protestant.
  • 7. Priuli was Pole's secretary and friend (Pastor).