Spain: May 1557

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

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'Spain: May 1557', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, ed. Royall Tyler( London, 1954), British History Online [accessed 24 July 2024].

'Spain: May 1557', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Edited by Royall Tyler( London, 1954), British History Online, accessed July 24, 2024,

"Spain: May 1557". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Ed. Royall Tyler(London, 1954), , British History Online. Web. 24 July 2024.

May 1557

300. Philip to the Bishop of Arras (Extracts)
London 4 May I received your letter of 20 April some days ago, and am now answering it.
Things are shaping well here; but they were in such a state that it has taken all this time, (fn. 1) and will take more, to set them in order and make sure that the English will declare war without great delay. I trust there will be no weakening now in their determination, as the French make it clear what they intend to do, as witness the Stafford affair. (fn. 2) I have no news from Spain, and am worried about this; but I am in daily hopes of hearing. I trust the finance officers in the Low Countries are doing all they can to bridge over the interval, and I charge you to exhort them so to proceed, as my cousin (fn. 3) will also tell them. . . .
His Holiness made some nice candles (buenas candelicas) when he withdrew Cardinal Pole's legatine commission. . . . . (fn. 4)
Signed. Spanish.
Besançon, C.G.5
Printed by Weiss, Vol. V.
301. Philip to the Archbishop of Toledo and others (fn. 5)
London, 7 May You will have heard from several sources how the present Pope is behaving towards the Emperor and myself, and the great unreason and injustice he has shown us, who are such obedient sons of the Church. His Majesty has often risked his own person and his dominions for the good of Christendom, and with the help of God has led back this kingdom (England) to obedience to the Holy See. But the Pope, joining forces with the King of France and others, and with the help of the Turk, wishes to occupy our Kingdom of Naples, an undertaking for which he has long been preparing both in secret and publicly, concluding leagues and confederations and assembling large numbers of troops in order to invade us. He has deprived the members of the House of Colonna of property they own near the frontiers of Naples, and has fortified places there in order to take the offensive. As he himself is from Naples and has many relatives there, he formerly proposed to Pope Paul III to attempt its conquest, although he made a great mistake in so doing, for most of the Neapolitans are faithful to us.
He has shown himself to be our enemy, in both words and deeds, and if he were to proceed with his evil plans unhindered the worst might be expected. In the bull he issued on Holy Thursday, he introduced some words aimed at the Emperor and myself, although we were not mentioned by name, and in the prayer which is pronounced on Good Friday for all states, christian and heathen, and especially for his Imperial Majesty, he on this occasion omitted to mention the Emperor, and he did the same on Holy Saturday at the ceremony of the blessing of the candles: a very evil action and a detestable example. It is to be expected that everything he will do will be wrong, as you will see in greater detail in the protest we have caused to be drawn up and the appeal we are uttering in the Emperor's name and my own, and on behalf of all our realms, in Brussels. The service of God and the interests of religion demand that nothing coming from Rome or elsewhere at the Pope's bidding should be observed here, wherefore we are warning you to this effect in order that you may know how to behave as our service and authority demand.
Simancas, E.127.
302. The Bishop of Arras to Philip II (Extract)
Brussels, 21 May Don Bernardino de Mendoza has sent me your Majesty's letter of May 4 from which I see that you had received mine. I kiss your hands and feet for the favour you show me, and for not being displeased with me for writing as I did.
I thank God that things are taking the right course in England. I realise that it demanded time, and that more time still will be required to settle everything in such a way that the declaration may not be made before the English are ready. Subject to correction, it would be highly desirable that they should throw out the French Ambassador and the other Frenchmen who are there, once for all; for these Frenchmen's intrigues are pestilential and pernicious, whether your Majesty is present or absent.
I grieved to hear that your Majesty had no news from Spain. What is being awaited from there is more important than I have words to say. You have gone so far in this undertaking that, were it not to materialise soon enough to bear its fruit, your Majesty's reputation would be so exposed that I should wish to live no longer. If the troops were assembled and there were lack of money to pay them for the first months, you may be sure that the result would be to plunge these States and even your own person into grave danger, for you would be faced by those troops as enemies, and by the French and even the English, as well. I beg your Majesty's forgiveness if, moved by my zeal for your service, I go somewhat farther than I should, by saying so much. I am writing to Don Bernardino, also. You may be sure that I am doing my utmost to encourage the finance officers. I am working with them, and we are doing our very best. But I really see things in such a state that I am appalled when I think of it. I will neglect nothing, you may be sure, and will continue to devote all my care to this matter. . . . .
Draft. Spanish.
Besançon, C.G.5.
Printed by Weiss, Vol. V.
303. Philip to Francisco de Vargas (Extract)
London, 26 May The Abbot of San Saluto (fn. 6) is not in Cardinal Pole's service, and has nothing to do with him now. You will see whether there may not be some means of having him thrown out of Venice, for I am sure he is doing no good there.
About Titian, I will answer by the first courier. I have already written asking him to remember me. You will tell him so, and assure him that I am minded to show him favour.
Signed. Spanish.
Simancas, E.1323.
304. A document headed: Don Bernardino de Mendoza's regiment (Extract)
May (?) The Lady Elizabeth has been declared by Parliament heiress to the crown of England. The Queen is childless, and agrees that the Lady Elizabeth should marry the Duke of Savoy. If this marriage takes place and is consummated, and the Duke has a son or daughter by Elizabeth, he is to be obliged to hand over to the King the castles of Nice and Villefranche as security that, in case the Duke of Savoy or one of his children succeeds to the throne of England, the county of Nice and the port and town of Villefranche, with their dependencies, shall belong to the King, without his giving anything in exchange. Pending the Duke's obtaining possession of the Kingdom of England as heir to the said Elizabeth, or one of his children succeeding there, the Duke and his children are to enjoy the income of the county of Nice and Villefranche, but the castles are to remain in the hands of the King, who may put in them whatever troops he pleases. In case the Duke were to die childless, the commanders and governors of the said castles, at present in charge there or to be appointed from now on, promise, in the event of the Duke's death, to hand over to his Majesty the said castles in order that he may freely dispose of them and of the county of Nice, the port and territory of Villefranche, together with their dependencies, as belonging to him.
Besançon, C.G.5.
305. Don Bernardino de Mendoza to the Duke of Savoy (Extract)
London, 6 June War is to be declared here to-morrow, and the King of Arms (fn. 7) who went from here will challenge the King of France on behalf of the Queen and this kingdom to-day. Your Highness will have seen from the letter which his Majesty wrote to you to-day that the French are planning another raid. Your Highness will take whatever steps may be necessary. There is no decision yet in the matter that interests you, and I have nothing certain to report about it. . . . .
Holograph, Spanish.
Turin, Inghilterra, I.


  • 1. Philip had arrived in England on 18 March.
  • 2. Thomas Stafford's attempt at Scarborough (see preceding paper).
  • 3. Probably Don Bernardino de Mendoza; see the Bishop of Arras' letter to Philip, of 21 May.
  • 4. This seems to be a reference to the Pope's omission of the Emperor's name from the prayers uttered at the ceremony of the blessing of the candles, on Holy Saturday (see p. 292).
  • 5. 203 copies of this letter are preserved in this bundle, all signed by Philip and counter-signed by Eraso, addressed to bishops, monasteries, universities and prominent nobles. 28 more, also signed, have the addresses left in blank, to be filled in as required. See Philip to Medinaceli, 29 August, 1557.
  • 6. See above, p. 134.
  • 7. William Flower, Norroy King of Arms (see p. 294).