Spain: September 1555

Pages 249-252

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

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September 1555

243. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Francisco de Eraso
4 September You will see by this note in the King's hand that it was impossible to reduce the number of Englishmen mentioned in the enclosed list; but these are to return shortly. If presents are to be made, it seems that the earls and the Deputy of Calais might receive them, although even if the others were included it would not come to very much: less than 1,000 crowns would cover the lot, and if it were not desired to give them anything, they would eventually have to receive something at the King's expense. The two earls who are taking their sons with them will be put up (at Calais) by the Deputy and the Treasurer in their houses. They may lodge together, as they are friends. I would be in favour of giving them their meals in the palace, because during the few days that they are to remain they will in any case come morning and evening to wait upon the King. This is how it seems to me. You will do as may be best.
P.S. You are to know that as it was said that the ships could not leave the river of London, I arranged with the people here to have six ships that were lying here (fn. 1) fitted out, and came on with them Tuesday morning to Dover in case the King should wish to cross the Channel in them, together with the five or six ships he had. The same day, almost all those the King was waiting for arrived, and so we crossed over to-day with a good . . . (paper torn).
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.809.
244. Walleram Hangouart to Jehan Carette, President of the Emperor's Chamber of Accounts at Lille (Extract)
Brussels, 9 September There is nothing new here. The King of England arrived yesterday between five and six o'clock, in very good spirits, honouring all the ladies he met, holding his hat in his hand almost all the time. The Duke of Savoy accompanied him, on his left. The Queen (Dowager of Hungary) did not go to meet him, for the Emperor would not have her do so. As far as I can see, it seems to me that the Emperor did not desire that the Queen should speak with the King before he himself had done so. I am not sure that there may not be some jealousy here. If I were with you, I could tell you a thing or two. Several great English lords came with him, and each one was put up by some great master of this country, but since then, all that has been changed. Now, the Earls of Pembroke and Arundel are lodging with the widow Sart who married an Englishman, the Admiral of England with her daughter, and the Earl of Huntingdon with Prothonotary Crisin. On the 16th of this month the obsequies of the late Queen of Spain are to begin. Mass will be sung by the Bishop of Cambrai.
Holograph. French.
Lille, L. M.53.
245. The Emperor to Don Luis Sarmiento de Mendoza (fn. 2) (Extract)
Brussels, 14 September I am sure that the King and Queen (of Portugal) and their kingdom will be very happy about England's reconciliation (with the Pope). Indeed it is an important occurrence. Further progress is being made and decisions are being carried out. Everything is quiet. The King, my son, arrived here four days ago, in good health, God be praised! The Queen was well also, although there is no longer any hope of her being with child. We are now beginning to work on the questions which had been put off until our meeting, and we shall speedily reach a decision on everything that has to be done . . . . .
Minute or Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.90
246. Walleram Hangouart to Jehan Carette, President of the Emperor's Chamber of Accounts at Lille (Extract)
Brussels, 19 September Nothing new here. Yesterday, the funeral ceremonies (fn. 3) were finished. To-morrow, the Queen (Dowager of Hungary) is feasting the King of England at La Vure (Tervueren) with the lords accompanying him. They say it will be a rich banquet. The Duke of Alva (fn. 4) has not met with much success in Lombardy. The Pope (fn. 5) is raising troops, apparently against us, under the pretext that our people have seized two French galleys on Imperial territory. I hear that the King of England has written him a sharp letter. I do not know how this will end. It seems the Emperor will not leave for Spain this year; I have had wind of this.
Holograph. French.
Isle, L.M.53.
247. The Emperor to the Princess Dowager of Portugal, Regent of Spain (fn. 6) (Extract)
Brussels, 23 September I continue in good health, God be thanked! The Queen of England's deliverance is being so much delayed that it makes us doubt; for now they are trying to tell us that she became pregnant many days later than (was assumed on) the first count. Well, we must accept God's will, whatever it may be.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, F.510.
248. Walleram Hangouart to Jehan Carette, President of the Emperor's Chamber of Accounts at Lille (Extract)
Brussels, 24 September . . . . . I have written to you that it did not look as if the Emperor would start for Spain this year, on the strength of certain conjectures which I made at the time. But to-day, the Queen Dowager of France has caused her majordomo to tell all her officers that they are to be ready to follow his Majesty to Spain with the Queen of Hungary and herself. Similar instructions have been issued in the Emperor's residence. This makes it certain that his Majesty will set out this year. There is great surprise in the households of the two Queens and of the Emperor. I wished to inform you of this at once. M. de Praet has been seriously ill of a sort of apoplexy, but he has got the better of it for the present. The Englishmen (fn. 7) left to-day. The Pope continues to be full of ill will. I pray God to rid him of these ideas.
Holograph. French.
Lille, L.M.53.
249. Licentiate Gamiz (fn. 8) to the King of the Romans (Extract)
Brussels, 29 September As there is no hope of fruit from the English marriage, discussions are going on everywhere about the consort to be given to Elizabeth, who is and will continue to be lawful heir unless the King and Queen have issue. Now, the great lords of England who might have aimed at marrying their sons to Elizabeth, with an eye to the crown, have been afraid of what might happen to them and their sons, whom they have hastened to marry off in the country, as for instance the Earl of Arundel and two other great nobles have done, believing that thus they were making their sons' heads safe. Thus there seems to be no one open to suspicion at present, unless there be something extraordinary in the offing, which may indeed be the case, given the importance of the issue. Courtenay, who is here (i.e. in Brussels), has no heart for the undertaking, nor does it appear that Elizabeth would accept him, for she has big ideas.
In view of all this, people's eyes in England and at this Court turn towards one of three points. It is recognised that the best solution in the interest of your Majesties and these countries would unquestionably be a match with Prince (i.e. Archduke) Ferdinand. (fn. 9) If he were to give up whatever he might be entitled to as your son, he might go to England never to leave that country, which is what the English desire.
Some persons, moved by their private interests, say that as Elizabeth is only 22, she might wait 5 or 6 years for Don Carlos (born 1545) to grow up and then marry him; for in that case the present King and Queen would reign undisturbed, whether they stayed in the country or left it.
The third solution discussed concerns the Duke of Savoy, (fn. 10) whose father was a great Prince and who is now in reduced circumstances, as everyone knows. It is argued that the Emperor could do him no greater favour than to marry him to Elizabeth. This is the line taken by those who believe that sufficient offers are being made to him by the French to lure him away from here (i.e. from the Emperor).
I am aware that this matter will be settled between the principals. However, as your Majesty may dispassionately consider, the first solution mentioned would be far the best for Christendom, the authority of the House of Austria and the welfare of England itself; so much so that no one can reasonably think otherwise. The Don Carlos idea, besides other drawbacks, would be open to the dangers that attend delay, for it takes far less time (than 5 or 6 years) for changes and revolutions to happen. The Duke of Savoy solution would not be the right one, either, for it would mean war, which is what the English most dread; they realise how vulnerable they are from Scotland, as the French have long since known. I have often asked myself whether it would not be well for your Majesty to raise the matter. But I know from experience that your doing so would not avail if any other plan were being harboured here (at the Emperor's court). Indeed, I suspect that if you were to raise it, the result might be exactly the opposite. So it seems best and safest to leave it to God, to do as He will. No doubt, if your Majesty could come here in person and confer with the Emperor and his son, the first solution would gain acceptance, as it is so just and reasonable. I am appalled that the Emperor should not have consulted you about this, or about the affairs of the Duchess of Lorraine. (fn. 11) This is a further argument against raising it. . . . .
Signed. Spanish.
Vienna, Sp.5.


  • 1. i.e. presumably Calais.
  • 2. The Emperor's Ambassador in Portugal.
  • 3. i.e. for Queen Joan of Spain, the Emperor's mother, see Spanish Calendar, Vol. XII, pp. 57 and note, 262 and note; and above, p. 244.
  • 4. Fernando Alvarez dc Toledo, Duke of Alva.
  • 5. Giampietro Carafa (or Caraffa), Pope (23 May 1555–18 August 1559) as Paul IV.
  • 6. The Emperor's daughter Joan (Juana).
  • 7. i.e. those who had accompanied Philip on his journey to Flanders.
  • 8. Or Games, the King of the Romans' Ambassador with the Emperor.
  • 9. Younger son of the King of the Romans. Gamiz had attempted to negotiate a match between him and Mary I, immediately after her accession, see Vol. XI of this Calendar, pp. 163–164 et al.
  • 10. Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy.
  • 11. Christina of Denmark, Duchess Dowager of Lorraine, a daughter of the Emperor's late sister, Isabella.