Spain: September 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: September 1557', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954) pp. 318-320. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]

September 1557

341. Juan de Galarza to Francisco de Ledesma, Secretary to Philip
St. Quentin, 11 September Earlier letters will have told you what happened in the fighting at St. Quentin when the Constable of France came with his army to relieve the place, how he was taken prisoner and the rest. From the letters that went by a courier yesterday, you will have heard how St. Quentin was taken by storm on 27 August, and the Admiral made prisoner, as well as the taking of the castle of Le Châtelet. For all this, we need only refer you to the letters and to what the courier will tell you by word of mouth. He came here by his Majesty's orders to obtain a sloop from Don Luis to go to Spain, as Don Luis had set sail from Spain on 27 August with his fleet and that of Pero Menéndez and the English ships to harry the French shipping and to make the passage safe for Señor Ruy Gómez, who is being anxiously awaited here. There was no sloop to be had. Don Fadrique de Carvajal remained here ill. It was agreed that the courier should go to Plymouth and sail from there direct to Spain. We believe that the fleet will be in those waters. If the courier falls in with Don Luis he may obtain a sloop from him. If not he will have to hire one, and it will have to be paid for in Spain. We have authorized him to hire one on credit, as there is shortage of money here. We beg you to see to it that the boat he hires is paid for.
The tin you ordered has already arrived at Laredo. We are now sending off two dozen shirts which Juan de Torres found in London and says are what you want. These things will be sent from Laredo by Pero Gil del Hoyo. I do not know whether the person from whom I ordered the mantles and handkerchiefs has sent them off from Flanders. If not, it shall be seen to. I hope they were not sent in one of those ships of the Spanish fleet which were lost: I mean those of Orchinjega and Beurco, in which four pieces of his Majesty's artillery went down.
Holograph. Spanish
Simancas, K.1490.
342. Don Luis de Carvajal to Philip
Off the Isle of Wight, 22 September I wrote to your Majesty from Portsmouth that the crews of the ships from Spain were in such bad shape that I did not dare to proceed beyond the Isle of Wight. Since then I have had the stores examined, and they are not sufficient to allow us to wait for your Majesty's orders. So many men have fallen sick since we put out to sea that great dangers might ensue from delay. As the weather continues fine, I am daring to go on to Dover in order to send the sailors who are not well enough to continue ashore in the St. Vincent barges in which the horses came. The other ships cannot well enter the harbour of Dover. The barges will afterwards return to the Isle of Wight pending receipt of your Majesty's orders. The rest of the people will go on to Dunkirk, where Don Diego de Acevedo has ordered them to proceed with Don Bernardino de Ayala. He will wait for those who remain in the ships which are able to cast anchor and those which can enter the port of Dover in case of a storm.
I have had no further instructions as to what to do with the money. It would be dangerous to keep it at sea pending the arrival of instructions, for some unfortunate accident might take place at any moment. I therefore thought it well to proceed as I did when I landed the money I brought from Spain. If this is not in accordance with your Majesty's instructions, in this case, it is at any rate what seems to me best in the circumstances.
I have often begged your Majesty to remedy the distress of these sailors. They have twelve months' pay owing to them, without having received a penny. Many have died, and those who are still alive will not last long unless your Majesty does something for them. I have supported them pending the arrival of this money, but if your Majesty does not allow part of it to be used to pay them, I am certain that it will be impossible henceforward to recruit crews for your ships. I do not even think that these people can be held together much longer: they will desert or mutiny. I beg your Majesty to give us 25,000 or 30,000 ducats which are badly needed to pay these men, to put the ships in order and for what is owing to the purveyor of the English fleet for supplies already furnished and for those that are now necessary. In order that your Majesty may be fully informed of the dire necessity for all these things, I am sending Captain Juan de Iñoriza to beg you to take speedy action.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.514.
343. Philip to Don Diego de Acevedo
Ham, 24 September Don Diego de Acevedo, my Majordomo and Treasurer General of the Crown of Aragon, I answered a letter from you yesterday. To-day, I have received one dated 17 September; and the Count of Mélito has informed me of the essence of what you write. As for what is to be done with the fleet, and how the troops and money are to be landed, I have nothing to add to the instructions I sent yesterday. I am writing to Don Luis de Carvajal that he is to consult with you and Don Diego de Mendoza, or that one of you two who happens to be present, and try to put the troops and money ashore at Dover as soon as possible. That is the best way to proceed, for it would be very difficult to send them by land. I am grateful to you for the care you have taken in all these matters. As you will have seen by what I wrote to you yesterday, steps have been taken to supply the sailors with breeches, coats and arms. You will come hither as soon as you can. As for the merchandise and goods that were lost at sea, they will be replaced. 1 am writing to Regent Figueroa to make the necessary arrangements with the Vice-Admiral, whose business he says it is. He is also to speak to the Queen on my behalf, so that she may show you favour in this matter and in all others. You will see to it that no wrong is done to the owners, who are to be paid punctually. The money that was lost is also to be replaced. We shall consider whether it is to be exported under licence or taken from the assignations from Spain. Long before the fleet left Spain, all this had been contemplated. I am writing to Regent Figueroa that he is to try to deal with any difficulty that may arise and endeavour to satisfy you and Don Diego de Mendoza. Until we know what the position is, it is not necessary to take a decision. You acted wisely where Don Francisco's coming is concerned.
Draft. Spanish.
Simancas, E.517.
344. Don Diego Hurtado de Mendoza to Philip
Calais, 30 September Your Majesty's letter was given to me by Cristobal Vazquez when I landed at Calais from Dover. Arrangements will immediately be made to send off the money at dawn to-morrow, under safe escort. The fleet is in peril off the Dunes. Purveyor Pedro Verdugo will remain in charge of finding provisions at Southampton, distributing them, supplying Don Luis's fleet and clearing the accounts with the masters both for the pay and rations. He will render accounts for this; necessary orders were issued at Portsmouth. I took the action your Majesty instructed me to take with regard to the money, and when I arrived here I found that Don Luis had made complete arrangements, so that nothing remains for me to do but to hasten the despatch of the 150,000 ducats.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.514.