Spain: May 1558

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 1558', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954), pp. 378-393. British History Online [accessed 20 June 2024].

. "Spain: May 1558", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954) 378-393. British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024,

. "Spain: May 1558", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954). 378-393. British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024,

May 1558

425. Count Feria to Philip
Greenwich, 1 May I wrote to your Majesty on 22 April in answer to your letters of the 16th. Since then, the Queen has been looking forward to the arrival of the courier announced in your letter. She is somewhat better than she was a few days ago, but she sleeps badly, is weak and suffers from melancholy; and her indisposition results in business being handled more slowly than need be.
To-day, I was able to bring Privy Seal and Admiral together to discuss the undertaking I wrote about to your Majesty and they had proposed, and also to press them to proceed with land armaments. Recently, Privy Seal (fn. 1) has behaved very differently from what he used to do, and I have always found the Admiral full of good will. They consider it would be possible to set up a land-force, and that the Calais undertaking would not be as difficult as other people think. What they say about this matter is in agreement with what Count Julian told us one day in Council just after the place was lost, if I remember right. They say they could get together as many as 12,000 English and German foot, and 3,000 horse, 2,000 of these being German and 1,000 English, and also 2,000 English sappers. They say that if your Majesty is not in favour of the Calais undertaking, the force might be used for another purpose. I have not talked to them so much about the purpose as about the general principle of arming. They are quite right that it is a waste of time to negotiate these matters with more than four or five persons, these being well informed on the subject. Besides the two just named there are Jerningham and the Master of the Rolls, (fn. 2) he who was formerly Solicitor, and also the Comptroller, although he always makes difficulties about everything. The first three named seem to me the best for this purpose among those in favour with the Queen. I see nothing for it but that you should write to the Queen yourself telling her that after careful consideration you think she had better raise these troops and start the undertaking with the money provided by the grant, for when the English see that your Majesties are determined to avenge the insult of Calais, you believe they will help. No prince ever begins a war with all the money he is going to need to finish it. You might also say that the grant is not to be paid out at once but is to be entrusted to a person who will use it to good purpose. Paget thinks Baker would be the right man for this, and the Queen would agree. Your Majesty should also write to the Queen that the five men mentioned above are to handle this affair, and nobody else. Paget, Clinton, Figueroa and I have talked this over and agreed that it would be the best course. Two days ago, Paget thought the man to command the force should be Rutland. To-day, he thinks it had better be Clinton, and that the Vice-Admiral could command the fleet. If the accounts I have had of the latter are true he must be a good man. Your Majesty will signify your pleasure.
The fleet is already in order, and expenses are running to no purpose. If your Majesty does not see fit to write to the Queen as above suggested, it would be necessary to take some decision about the fleet. The two galleys I wrote about to your Majesty do not seem likely to do any good. I only hope I may be wrong.
The Comptroller came to me to-day on behalf of the Council, asking me to write to your Majesty for leave to the English merchants to sell their last year's clip of wool anywhere they like in the Low Countries, without having any particular place assigned to them, for this one occasion, so that they may recoup themselves for their losses at Calais. Your Majesty will consider this point, for I am afraid there may be some intrigue on the part of the Marquess of Berghes, although this time the English will insist very much on your Majesty's granting leave.
An ambassador of the King of Sweden (fn. 3) came here recently. He appears to be a learned man. Several days passed without his having audience of the Queen or even demanding it. His mission appears to consist of two parts: one about commercial affairs between England and Sweden, and the other to negotiate a match between the Lady Elizabeth and the King of Sweden's son, for which purpose he brought a letter from the young man accrediting him to the Lady. Before he had been received by the Queen, he went to present his letter to the Lady Elizabeth. The Queen is writing to you on the subject; and as I have heard from her all I know about it I need say no more. She fancies herself very much where this matter is concerned. She was angry with me the other day when she knew that I was sending a servant of mine to Antwerp on my own business, thinking that I meant to write to your Majesty before she had done so about this matrimonial affair. She spoke to me very severely. When this ambassador first arrived, the Queen was greatly distressed, thinking that your Majesty would blame her because the match proposed a year ago (fn. 4) had not come off. Now that the Lady Elizabeth has answered that she does not wish to marry, the Queen has calmed down; but she takes a most passionate interest in the affair. She now realises that her pregnancy has come to nothing, and seems afraid your Majesty will urge her to take a decision (about marrying off Elizabeth). Figueroa and I think your Majesty ought to do this, grasping the occasion supplied by this ambassador and the pregnancy matter, but it must not be raised at the same time as the military affair, for that might spoil everything. I do not think the Queen will wish to prevent Elizabeth from succeeding, in case God grants no issue to your Majesties.
They are of opinion here that the Germans whom Pickering is to bring are delaying very long. I beg your Majesty to see to it that they hurry, and that speed may be made in other matters, for the year is far advanced and little time remains.
Holograph. Many passages in cipher. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
426. “Decisions arrived at in Council (fn. 5) and submitted to his Majesty”
Brussels, 5 May As to what the Bishop of Arras writes about negotiating with the Landgraf (fn. 6) and the sons of Hans Friedrich, (fn. 7) it is well to send some one on this errand. The Bishop of Arras is to choose the person and prepare instructions for him.
As for Vendôme, Polweiler had better attend to the matter as if of his own accord, as the Bishop of Arras himself writes.
Polweiler will also see to the Germans who are to serve in England.
As for trade between England and the Hanseatic Towns, it seems well that his Majesty should write to the Privy Council in the same strain as previously, to send a statement of conditions to which his Majesty might agree if negotiations take place, explaining how important it is that England should remain on good terms with those Towns, as in the past.
The Privy Council should also be asked to send their opinion on the four points put forward by the King of Sweden concerning trade with England. But these proposals appear very harsh, and suggest that something different is being meant. The Privy Council's opinion should be sought about this.
It appears that his Majesty might grant the request of the English merchants who wish to import 1,000 sacks of wool to Dunkirk, Bruges or Antwerp, and indeed that they might be allowed to do so to other places, subject to the opinion of the Duke of Savoy and Viglius.
His Majesty will write in the sense indicated by the Count (Feria) about the Calais undertaking.
As for marrying off the Lady Elizabeth, it seems wise not to mix up one affair with the other. His Majesty is therefore only writing about the Calais undertaking, urging that this affair be handled only by the five Councillors mentioned by the Count as trustworthy, so that secrecy be observed.
Besides this, his Majesty will write to the Queen pointing out how unsuitably the ambassador behaved when he went to speak to the Lady Elizabeth without the Queen's knowledge, and commending Elizabeth for having informed the Queen of his visit and submitting entirely to her will in this matter, as she is in duty bound.
Remind his Majesty about supplies for Porto Ercole. . . . . .
Simancas, E.516.
427. The Cardinal of Sigüenza to the Princess Dowager of Portugal, Regent of Spain (Extracts)
Rome, 6 May After I had written the letter that accompanies this one, Don Francesco d'Este spoke to his Holiness and tried his utmost, but obtained nothing. He left to-day, highly discontented, as they say. His Holiness has not yet made up his mind whether to accept or refuse his Majesty's offer. My belief is that he will not reach a decision until he knows what the Turkish fleet is going to do. I know not how his Majesty will take this.
The day before yesterday, a courier from the Duke of Alva passed through Rome on his way to Naples. They write that the Duke is not coming to Italy, that his Majesty has appointed the Duke of Sessa to Milan and the Duke of Alcalá (fn. 8) to Naples. Pending his arrival it seems that Don Juan Manrique will go to Naples. The fact that the Duke of Alva is not returning to Italy causes a great deal of talk here.
Martin de Guzmán is expected here every day. He is coming to make obeisance to the Pope on behalf of the King of the Romans, the new Emperor. I have occasionally spoken with his Holiness about this matter, and it seems to me that he dislikes the King of the Romans' election. He says the Emperor could not abdicate; and that if he did abdicate, he could only hand the Imperial dignity back to the Pope. The reason why he feels so strongly about this, as he said to me, is that he regards Maximilian as a Lutheran. I believe this matter will give rise to trouble. I will report further to your Highness about it.
Holograph. Passages in Cipher. Spanish.
Simancas, E.883.
428. Philip to the English Privy Council
Brussels, 7 May We have two letters from you: one of 7 April and the other of 1 May. We cannot reply as fully as we could wish at the present moment, but will do so as soon as possible. Gresham has been given letters enabling him to export what is needful to England, and there will be no delay in having it conveyed to you.
Given that the safe-conducts are objectionable to England, as you state, we have issued instructions that no more are to be issued.
About the four points submitted by the King of Sweden's ambassador concerning trade between his country and England, it seems to us they are harsh and unacceptable, unless modified. We charge you to keep us informed of what happens in this matter, in order that we may open our mind to you on the subject.
An immediate decision cannot be taken about the wool staple in these countries, but pending consideration of the place to be chosen for this purpose, we are willing that the merchants should be allowed to export the 1,000 sacks to Antwerp, Bruges or Dunkirk, subject to payment of the usual duties, and to this being done with the Queen's approval.
You are aware of the advisability of maintaining friendly relations between England and the Hanseatic Towns. But as we do not know what negotiations may be taking place, and are still awaiting your reply to our letters on the subject, we charge you to inform us fully before taking any decision on the matter.
Copy. Latin,
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
429. Philip to Count Feria
Brussels, 7 May I am answering your letter in my own hand, as you will see. It only remains to reply about the Privy Council's request in favour of the English merchants who wish to import 1,000 sacks of wool of last year's clip which remain on their hands. My Council has proposed three places: Antwerp, Bruges and Dunkirk. I have considered the matter, and do not think it can do any harm to grant this request, for this one occasion, provided the usual duties are paid. I am writing to the Privy Council to this effect, as you will see by the enclosed copy (missing) of my letter. You will remember, as I have asked officials here to do, that Dunkirk belongs to de Vendoma (sic) and not to me, wherefore it would be desirable that the market should be set up not there, but in some town that belongs to the crown of these countries. You are to remember this if the matter comes up for discussion.
You will also see that I am writing to the Privy Council about the four points raised by the Swedish ambassador on behalf of his King concerning trade between England and Sweden. As the terms he proposes are harsh and impracticable, you will try to get them to temporise, keeping me informed of anything they may intend to do so that I may signify my pleasure to them.
You know about the complaints made by the Hanseatic Towns to the effect that their privileges have not been observed in England for some years past, and that they have asked for our help in hope of obtaining redress. I have written several times to the Queen about this and also to the Council. I did so recently when they had heard in England that the Hanseatic Towns were fitting out a fleet, and the Privy Council had written to me to ask the Towns to desist, and to make some concessions to them in order that they might comply. I answered the Privy Council that I could not act on such vague information, and must ask them to let me know in detail, and clearly, what concessions they had in mind. Many days have passed since I wrote, but they have not yet answered me; for what reason I know not. I am therefore writing to them again on the subject, as you will see from the enclosed letter. (fn. 9) It is in the Queen's interest and my own that the Towns should be given reasonable satisfaction, and also that they should owe us any favour they may obtain. You will urge the Privy Council to answer us promptly and in detail. If ambassadors from the Towns have gone to negotiate in England, you will see to it that no decision is reached without my having been informed and sent a reply. If necessary, you will speak to the Queen about this.
What you wrote to me about the regiment of 3,000 Germans and Bochotz (fn. 10) was unnecessary, because an arrangement had already been made with Wallerthum, who will make all possible haste to raise the troops and take them to England.
Signed: Yo el Rey; cornier-signed: Gonzalo Pérez. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
430. Philip to Antonio de Guaras
Brussels, 11 May I have ordered 1,000 sappers to be recruited in England for service in this campaign. A muster will have to be held of them, and they will have to receive pay, for which purposes Francisco de Lejalde has been sent with a credit of 8,000 florins. I charge you to be present at the muster and to release to Francisco de Lejalde, in the name of Francisco de Gurrúchaga, paymaster of our artillery, the sums necessary for the first month's pay, so that the matter may be dealt with by one person. You will consult with Count Feria on all details. When the muster has been held, you will send the rolls and lists of the said sappers to Francisco de Eraso, noting at the foot of each list the date on which the pay was received and the relevant date, for future reference.
Together with this, you are being supplied with a copy of the oath which these sappers are to swear, in the same terms as on former occasions.
Signed for the King by Francisco de Eraso. Spanish.
Enclosed in the above: “Oath to be taken by the English sappers”
They swear to serve the King loyally and to obey the orders of the General and the Master of Artillery, and their captain, and never to refuse to do anything they are ordered to do in the execution of their duty, under penalty of punishment as an example for others.
That when the artillery is on the march, they will go ahead and behind with the ammunition, following the instructions of the artillery-master, his lieutenant or their captains, and will hold the bridges and passages where need may arise. They will make bridges, fill moats, level ground and passages and never abandon them alive or dead until the artillery entrusted to them has been conveyed to safety. They will be ready at any hour of night or day to obey their captain's orders in groups of 10, 20, 50 or 100, more or less, wherever their chiefs may command them to serve, under penalty of such punishment as the General may consider appropriate. When they have completed their work and returned to their quarters, they will not abandon them without leave from their captains, and will never abandon their flag. In order that they may have no need to go out to forage, his Majesty has issued instructions that their rations be brought to them to their quarters.
When his Majesty's army draws near a town, castle or fort of the enemy, they shall be ready to serve wherever their officers may order them to dig trenches, make gabions and drag up the guns through the trenches, by night or day, and pull them out again whenever necessary.
They shall be obliged to wear uniform when they are serving, never taking it off or putting on other clothes. They will never abandon their service or take up any other. They will keep the tools which his Majesty is having distributed to them, without losing or selling any of these; and if they do lose any they shall be obliged to pay for them. To take up any other service will be a mortal offence.
These sappers shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the General of Artillery, and may be punished by his provost if they commit misdeeds.
Simancas, E.811.
431. Philip to Count Feria
Brussels, 14 May I have answered all your letters, as you will have seen. Since then, Don Juan de Ayala has arrived here, and I have heard from him what you sent him to tell me. I am answering you, as you will see. In this letter I will only say that having thought over the matter of the English fleet, which you say is ready, I think that in order to reach a decision it would be very useful to discuss the matter with Admiral Clinton, because of his experience in naval affairs and his knowledge of the coasts of France. As it does not seem that this need cause any great delay, I am writing to the Admiral to come here at once. I am sending you the letter, and charge you to have it delivered to him, if he is not in London at present, and urge him to come over here immediately. The Queen's and my service demands that a decision in this matter should be reached as soon as possible in order that the expenses caused by this fleet may not be fruitless. You will also speak to the Queen in the same strain.
I am writing to Regent Figueroa to take leave of the Queen as soon as possible and go to Dover to wait for the ships in which the Archbishop of Toledo (fn. 11) is to travel to Spain, letting me know what day he can be there in order that the ships may sail at the appropriate time. You will urge him to comply with these instructions, for it would be very undesirable that he should not proceed to Spain with all despatch to carry out the mission I have entrusted to him. As for the gunners the English want for their fleet, I have given instructions that as many as possible are to be found in Holland. Geoffrey Bahan is to see to this.
Signed: Yo el Rey; counter-signed: Gonzalo Pérez. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
432. Philip to Lord Clinton
Brussels, 14 May We have learned from news from England and particularly from Count Feria's letters that the fleet has now been fitted out. We consider that this opportunity for using it against our enemies ought not to be missed and we wish to confer with you on this matter. We therefore charge you to come hither as soon as you can in order that we may avail ourselves of your prudent advice.
Copy. Latin.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
433. Francisco de Gurrúchaga to Francisco de Lejalde
Brussels, 14 May His Majesty is having 1,000 sappers recruited in England, to pay whom you are being sent a letter of credit which will go with this letter. His Majesty wishes the accounting of all expenditure in this war for artillery and auxiliary troops to remain in one hand, and has selected me for this purpose. I am therefore obliged to beg you to take the greatest care that everything spent on pay and clothing for these sappers shall be accounted for in proper form and a record of it kept in my name, in order that the commissioner who holds the muster of these troops may utilise the record in consultation with the captains or colonel and also the merchant who is to supply the clothes. I trust you will not take it amiss that I should go into these details with you, who perhaps understand such matters better than I do. . . . . . .
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
434. The English Privy Council to Philip
St. James' 17 May We have recently received letters from your Majesty desiring us to inform you what we considered ought to be done with the ambassadors of the Hanseatic Towns and what reply given to the Swedish ambassador, and to take no steps in these questions without informing your Majesty, which indeed had been our intention before receiving your letters.
We consider that the Swedish Ambassador should be answered that their subjects and merchants who come here will be humanely treated, as those of other nations are with whom your Majesties entertain friendly relations and commerce.
With regard to the Hanseatic Towns, their magistrates and citizens forbade English merchants to trade with them last year, and by their own free will broke off the relations of amity and commerce which had formerly existed between them and this kingdom. Now it seems opportune to conclude a new treaty with these Towns, for it is certainly desirable to preserve the ancient relations of friendship that existed with them, provided that the English subjects of your Majesties obtain reciprocity. We mean that merchandise exported from those Towns may be imported into England on condition that the customary dues, which natives of this kingdom have to pay, should be met. It is not possible, without wronging our own merchants and all our citizens, to admit the Towns' claims to the privileges which they possessed before the Queen, moved thereto by circumstances and changing times, introduced new duties on all imports. Making due allowance for this, we consider that the ancient amity should be restored between us. This is the opinion which we have already made known to your Majesty, but have not yet signified to the Towns' representatives.
The dues that have been established on all sorts of merchandise by certain Councillors who have been entrusted with this task, amount to £40 or £50 per mille, to be paid into her Majesty's fisc. There is nothing more to add to the last letters we wrote to your Majesty.
Copy. Latin.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. 1.
435. Count Feria to Philip
London, 18 May I have received your Majesty's letters of 7 and 14 May, brought by Francisco and Gamboa, who arrived here on 9 and 16 May, as well as instructions in the matter of the sappers. The Queen has taken patiently your Majesty's decision not to come for the present. Indeed, it was clear to every one that it would not have been reasonable to expect you to come at this time. However, her Majesty had given orders that the fleet should be ready at Dunkirk and Dover, and lodgings prepared between the coast and London. She is suffering from her usual ailments. Yesterday, she decided to come to St. James' Palace. She came by land to Lambeth, in one of the heaviest rain storms ever seen.
Immediately after Francisco's arrival, I spoke to her Majesty in the Cardinal's presence about the land armaments, as your Majesty had instructed me, and as I have already written. It had been agreed that we should await your Majesty's decision as to coming hither, as the messenger bringing it was expected at any moment, and that if you did not come, the Admiral who had gone to Dover two days previously, and Jerningham, who was in Kent, should be sent to your Majesty to discuss the. matter. The Queen did not appear as keen as I had expected. The members of the Council and the Cardinal always prevail upon her. She said to me three or four times that it would be a good thing for Clinton to report to you and explain what he thought might be done. I did not express agreement about this, for it was clear to me that the intention is to spoil the whole affair and take it out of my hands, because these people think I am pressing them hard, and that they will get better terms from your Majesty. Then, Gamboa arrived bringing your instructions to the Admiral to go to Brussels. It was marvellous to see how pleased they were about this. Everything came to a standstill. Once Clinton is away, it will be a waste of time to try and negotiate anything with the Council. Although the Admiral is a double-dealer and principally concerned with his own interests, he has more authority than anyone else in these particular affairs, and feels more obligation towards your Majesty. A messenger was sent to him yesterday with your letter and another from the Queen instructing him to hasten to Brussels. As you have sent for him, I am of opinion that he ought to be given a very good reception, and to be reminded of the favour and honour your Majesty has shown him, and of the great prejudice caused to you and all Christendom by the Council's bungling over Calais. Your Majesty had warned them that things were not as they should be there, but they not only lost Calais and Guines in a very ugly way, but at a time when all your other possessions are helping you with all their might to carry on this war, they have behaved in the shabbiest possible manner, and failed to supply a land force, although they should have been the first to do so. What I think would be particularly advisable is that they should see you show some anger. The Admiral had better not realise that your Majesty is in any doubt as to what is to be done with the fleet, but only that you wish to hear his opinion, after which you will make known your instructions. You will realise that everything he and the rest of these people say must be carefully checked. I have had great trouble about this, for they do nothing but lie and fail to keep their promises.
The Admiral will have taken steps for recruiting the sappers, and written to persons of his choice to act as officers to command them. He was dissatisfied with those who went over last year and had offered to do marvels, and the Master of the Household with him. But before those to whom the Admiral had written had replied, the Admiral left this place, and the Master of the Household does not know who they are. This is the way everything happens here. As soon as Gamboa arrived, a messenger was sent to the Admiral asking him for full particulars, and as soon as his reply is received I will endeavour to send these sappers off. The man who was looking for the miners sent me one of his officers yesterday complaining that he was not being given what he had asked for, and demanding smiths and carpenters. His request was immediately granted.
I understand that the English are now sorry they sent for the 3,000 Germans whom Wallerthum is to bring over, because their intention is to remain on the defensive, and they are not afraid of attacks from Scotland. They have said nothing to me about this, but I know it is true. In connection with the Vandoma affair your Majesty wrote to me about, I have explained to them that Dunkirk does not belong to you where the wool-trade is concerned. They had heard about the Vandoma affair, but do not take it seriously. If they do not wish to bring over the 3,000 Germans, your Majesty will consider whether they had not better be asked to do so, and also speak to Clinton about land armaments. I have no great confidence in what the fleet will do besides holding the sea.
I informed your Majesty by Don Juan de Ayala that ambassadors had come from the Hanseatic Towns to request that their privileges be confirmed and observed. I had spoken to the Queen about this many times before they arrived, and also to the Council. I have done so again since then, and have arranged that the matter shall be handled by the whole Council together, because I fear certain of them have personal interests at stake. Some time ago, when they were afraid that the League was getting up a fleet, they were ready to do anything, but now it seems to me they have grown slack again, and do nothing but make the Queen indignant on the subject. I will do my best to have this matter closely seen to, and to avoid still more enemies being stirred up against us. Before they make any reply, they will consult your Majesty, and you will make known your opinion to them, as you understand the affair better than anyone else.
They tell me that with this courier they are sending a report to your Majesty, with the reply they think of making to the Swedish Ambassador. I have entertained all these ambassadors, and have told them, as your Majesty ordered me to do, that I would assist them in their negotiations. I showed more amiability to those of the Hanseatic Towns, because I think what they are asking for is just. What the Swede is trying to do will come to nothing.
I have already written to your Majesty that I did not see the Lady Elizabeth when she was here. As my principal support in negotiating the matters I was sent here for was the Queen's goodwill, I thought I had better avoid upsetting her, especially as your Majesty had not given me any special instructions. I afterwards sent to excuse myself by the Admiral's wife, who was brought up with her and is devoted to her, telling her that since she left town a courier arrived from your Majesty instructing me to visit her on your behalf. I also told Paget to present my excuses, but I do not believe he did so. Indeed, the Admiral's wife tells me that he asked the Lady Elizabeth whether I had been to see her, and that when she said I had not, he expressed great surprise and said nothing further. Figueroa and I do not think that things ought to be left there, but that it would be well that I should go and see her before I leave the country; she lives twenty miles from here. As your Majesty is fully informed, you will send me instructions. If I am to see her, you must write about it to the Queen.
I greatly regret that Figueroa should be going away without reporting to your Majesty on English affairs, which are certainly not as they should be where your Majesty's service is concerned. Every day that passes sees a turn for the worse. I am not at all satisfied with the Cardinal. When I arrive over there I will tell what I know.
Antonio de Guaras has been given your Majesty's orders about the sappers, and has taken the matter in hand. I believe he will do it very well. Francisco de Lejalde has received orders about the money.
Figueroa is leaving London on Monday for Dover, although it would have been more convenient for him to go to Portsmouth or the Isle of Wight. If the fleet arrives here in heavy weather, it will not be able to put in at Dover.
Holograph. Several passages in cipher. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
436. Philip to the English Privy Council
Brussels, 22 May We have received your letters dated 7 May and brought hither by your merchants, and judge that what you request is reasonable and necessary. We therefore consent, and have ordered letters to be sent to Middleburg in order that all proper facilities may be granted to your merchants to import the specified number of sacks of wool, subject to payment of the customary dues. However, we have been approached by the people of Bruges with a request that we issue instructions that this trade may be carried on there, to the advantage of that town and Flanders. We therefore request you to give preference to Bruges, as far as possible.
You did well to report to us about the burning of Langton and the capture, killing and rout of the Scottish raiders.
Copy. Latin.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
437.“A note for Francisco de Lejalde”
London, 22 May Juan Estrond, captain of the 100 English miners, is to be given 200 crowns of 6s. 2d. sterling to the crown, out of the letter of credit of 8,000 florins which was sent you from Flanders to pay the 1,000 sappers to be raised in England. This payment is to be made as an advance on the first pay they are to receive in Flanders. You will obtain the captain's receipt for it and whatever else you may require for your own discharge.
Signed: Don Gómez (i.e. Count Feria). Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
438. The Bishop of Arras to Count Feria (Extract)
Antwerp, 26 may Lord Clinton, the Admiral, has been with his Majesty in Brussels, and was to have left yesterday. He says he has 7,000 men on board his ships, and his Majesty has charged him, as you know, to prevent the French from going to Scotland, their intention being to invade England from that side, and also to keep an eye on the islands of Jersey and Guernsey, and the English coast. If he is certain the French are disarming, but not otherwise, he is to try to reduce expenses. He is to do his utmost to have all his ships and his 14,000 men ready sometime in June. As one month is already over, out of the three which the English originally spoke of, and pay for half the men and their upkeep has been running, the Queen and Council are to be asked to agree that the three months during which the fleet is to be kept up are to run from the beginning of June and until the end of September (sic). In the meantime, his Majesty will form his army, which he hopes will take the field before the time mentioned. He will send Clinton instructions as to what he is to do when he goes to sea.
The English have not yet decided to attempt anything on land. It is already late in the year, and his Majesty does not wish to force them to do anything they are reluctant to undertake. Therefore, they are not to be pressed on this point. But as they are doing nothing on land, they might make an effort at sea, as the Admiral himself confesses. All that is expected of them is to descend on one part after another of the French coast, land some 5,000 or 6,000 men and burn and destroy as much as they can. This would be a useful diversion. They will not be able to fortify any place on the French coast, as they have no port in which their vessels might lie, and they cannot go in close enough to shore to land their artillery on the beach.
If his Majesty's army were able to make its way to the coast, the English fleet might be of the greatest use in revictualling it. But his Majesty cannot make up his mind on a plan of campaign until his army is formed and he sees what the enemy is about by that time, and what they will have done between now and then. In any case it will be very helpful to have the support of the English and of the 20 ships to be supplied by these countries, over and above those commanded by Don Luis de Carvajal, thanks to which we shall be lords of the sea for a time.
His Majesty impressed it upon the Admiral that he was to make sure of Scotland and other parts whence the French might attack England, and be careful lest another misfortune befall them as it did at Calais, when they were unwilling to believe the warnings given them, make necessary preparations, or even accept the proferred aid, with the result that the English suffered a notable disgrace and lost a fortress of great importance which had been conquered by the valour of their forbears. Thus the King of France, who had been greatly downcast by the victory his Majesty won over him, had been able to raise his head again through the fault of the English, because of the success he won at Calais. The Admiral freely confessed the fault his countrymen had been guilty of, and said that those who rendered such ill service on that occasion will never be able to explain their behaviour in so easily giving up such a valuable place. However, it seems to me that if this man is the keenest of the Englishmen, the rest must indeed be slack.
Draft or Copy. Spanish.
Madrid, B.P. Col. Granvela.
439.Philip to the English Privy Council
Brussels, 27 May We are answering briefly two points of your letter of 17 May. In the first place, we decidedly approve of the reply you gave the Swedish Ambassador, which is entirely in accordance with our own opinion.
As for the conditions on which trade may be continued with the Hanseatic cities, we consider that you are proceeding wisely, as you will hear more fully from Count Feria. We exhort you, when you have examined the matter to your satisfaction, to resume amity with those cities, which will be very advantageous for England and agreeable to us.
As for the fleet, which is now ready, we refer you to Lord Clinton, with whom we have discussed it, and to Count Feria.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
440.Philip to Count Feria.
Brussels, 27 May I have received your letter of the 18th inst., and seen your comments on my talk with the Admiral, both about the loss of Calais and the rest.
I have thought the matter over carefully since then, and considering the scanty goodwill the English show about raising an army, it seems to me that it would be fruitless to press them, and that if one did, nothing important would be obtained. On the contrary, it might be actually harmful. Any force they raised might be so poor that the enemy would have no difficulty in defeating it, thus obliging me to go to their assistance, which might seriously interfere with my other plans, and thus greatly profit the enemy. I think that for these and other reasons it would be preferable merely to urge them to provide for their own frontiers towards Scotland and Ireland, and concentrate on their fleet, without asking them to do anything else. Besides all other considerations, there is the fact that the season is so far advanced that it would be too late for them to raise any appreciable force for this summer, and any efforts they made in that direction would probably detract from the efficiency of their navy.
I spoke to the Admiral in this strain, underlining the necessity of seeing to the frontiers towards Scotland and Ireland, lest something happen there like what occurred at Calais. I reminded him of the carelessness the members of the Council had shown where Calais was concerned, and that even after I had warned them they were so slack in the matter that the fortress was lost, with the result that the King of France raised his head again and took new heart. I made it clear that all this was their fault, in order to induce them to be more careful in the future. The Admiral understands this and will repeat it to the Council. You will speak to them to the same purpose. It is no use insisting any more on their raising an army.
Wallerthum has written to me that he will very soon have the 3,000 Germans ready. I have therefore written to Pickering to come here for the necessary instructions.
He will be given a commissioner who will pay these troops, and we will settle the matter in the best interests of the English.
I have seen what you have written to me about plans for the fleet, and have also asked the Admiral's opinion. He gave me a detailed account of the state of his ships and the men he is going to have on board, and told me that unless combined operations with a land force can be undertaken, he will not be able to do more than provide for the security of England and the adjacent islands, and carry out raids on the French coast, landing some 5,000 men to burn and loot.
He added that if I were to advance to the French coast with my army, he would be able to revictual us, but that he needed three weeks more in order to put the fleet in shape to go to sea. Now, the English had calculated on its remaining at sea three months, more than half of which time has already passed. After having reflected on what he said, I told the Admiral that I was glad to have a detailed account of the fleet, but that the time it was to serve seemed to me very short, for it would be over just when the fleet would be able to render me the greatest assistance, and harm the enemy.
Thus I thought it necessary to take measures to keep it at sea for three whole months from the time it set sail, which we would like to have fixed for the end of June or the beginning of July and to run until the end of September. We charged him to speak to the Queen and the Council to this effect, so that the fleet might be ready for the time we had mentioned, by which I would have completed my plans for the land campaign and be able to send instructions to the Admiral. He told me he would be very glad to serve me in this connexion; and thus he departed. You will do what you can to obtain a decision in this sense, explaining to the Queen how important it is for England and all our affairs. You will also speak to the Council, and will tell the Admiral how pleased I was with him and how much confidence I have in his desire to serve me. As soon as I know what the English are going to do about this I will proceed with my own plans. I approve of your intention not to leave England without visiting the Lady Elizabeth. I am writing to the Queen that I have instructed you to do so, and that she is to speak to you in the same sense. Thus I hope that the Queen will take it well.
The Council have written to me how they intend to answer the Swedish Ambassador.
Their reply seems to me satisfactory, except that I should like to have them add that they were not pleased with his going to make a proposal to the Lady Elizabeth without the Queen's knowledge, and that in future neither he nor anyone else on his master's behalf should come to negotiate such matters without informing the Queen in advance, for if they did, the Queen would greatly resent it and could not fail to show her resentment in some appropriate manner.
As for the Hanseatic Towns, I am glad you acted as you have done, in order to keep them well disposed towards us. The Council have also written to me about this matter, as you will see from the enclosed copy of their letter. (fn. 12) What they are writing to the Hanseatic Towns is somewhat dry, but I am raising no objection, not because I think the Towns will be pleased with it, but in order that it may serve as a twister(torcedor) to induce the Towns to ask me to act as intermediary, when you tell them that they may do so. You may assure them that they will find me disposed to see that they are well treated. You will also tell the Council that if the Towns did not proceed with their plans for fitting out a fleet this year, it was because of my efforts to persuade them to desist, but if they now were refused what they consider to be their rights, they might be driven to despair and start again next winter with their naval preparations, wherefore it would be wise carefully to examine their requests and, what concessions can be made to them, giving me a full and distinct account of it all in order that I may devise means for keeping them peacefully disposed. You may assure the Council that I will not make up my mind on the subject or make any concession without having first conferred with them. In speaking with them, you will try to get them to understand that my object is the good of their country, in whose interest it is to remain on good terms with the Hanseatic Towns. You will keep me informed about this.
Draft or Copy Spanish.
Simancas, E.810.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
441. Philip to Count Feria
27 May I received your letter of 23 May (fn. 13) the day before yesterday and am answering now, as you rightly remark that it is important to do so speedily. I intend to send off Don Alonso de Córdova, within 2 or 3 days, and will write again by him.
I commend you for the way you have handled the question of Wallerthum's German regiment, inducing the Council to agree to my taking them over, especially as it does not seem that the King of France is sending reinforcements to Scotland. If these troops were needed in England, my army is near enough to enable relief to be sent to them. We have reason to suspect that the enemy intends to attack Gravelines, and I would therefore like to keep these Germans in my service. You may tell this to the Queen and Council, and say that I will pay them from now on. As for what is owing to them for the past, you will try to get the English to take that on, pointing out that I am taking the troops off their hands at a time when they did not know what to do with them, and relieving them of the expense of repatriating them. You will put this as tactfully as possible, so that they may not insist on the matter.
It seems to us that they are asking for a very large quantity of arms from the Low Countries. Still, we are willing to grant the export licences, and you may tell the Queen so. But you will also say to her on my behalf that it will be advisable to be watchful about the distribution of these arms. No more than are required should be handed out, the rest being kept in a safe place at the Queen's disposal, lest they be used for some wrong purpose.
I have seen that my instructions are being awaited for the fleet to take sail, and I am glad to hear that Clinton is to join it. He had better be with the fleet than in London. You will explain this to the Queen, so that she may order him to go to the fleet at once and put the plans we discussed here into execution. We need say no more about these plans than that he is to make for the French coast, which he knows well, and harry the enemy there, causing them to reinforce their garrison along the sea-board. This will serve as a diversion while we move our army forward. Clinton will be given instructions from time to time. I am sending him a letter now to this effect, as you will see by the enclosed copy (missing). You will deliver this letter to him or have it forwarded, and request the Queen to write to him to the same effect, letting me know whether she has done this.
I have seen what you say about the ambassadors of the Hanseatic Towns, (fn. 14) and also what the Privy Council writes. I am answering them, referring them to you. You will tell them that I am as much concerned for the welfare of England as for my own hereditary dominions, and that I should therefore be very glad to see friendly relations and commerce maintained between England and those Towns. They may answer the ambassadors in this strain; and if the ambassadors are not satisfied, we are willing to act as a go-between, listen to the arguments and try to find some means which will not be disadvantageous to England or alienate the Towns. They may trust us in this matter and be sure that we will not give anything away without their approval. You will try to get them to agree to this. If, on the other hand, you see that the ambassadors of the Towns are dissatisfied, you may tell them to apply to me, for I will endeavour to see to it that they are treated fairly. Thus you may keep the negotiation from being broken off; and we will see what can be done.
You remark that we have often been requested by the English to break with Scotland. This has not been done so far, because the matter presents certain difficulties. One of the greatest of these is that no harm can be done to the Scots from here, because they have nothing to lose and the cargoes of their ships are worth nothing, whilst the inhabitants of these countries would lose much by a break, especially by the loss of fishing rights, which are of the greatest advantage to them. In spite of all this, it seems to us that the English are to some extent justified in putting forward this request, as they broke with France and do not wish to see the enemy use the Scottish ports in order to do them harm, as they say is happening now. I have insisted on this matter here until the representatives of these countries have agreed to break with Scotland. But before doing so they wish to negotiate with the English, for they remember earlier occasions when the Low Countries had declared war on Scotland out of friendship for England, and the English shortly afterwards reached an agreement with the Scots, leaving the Low Countries out of the peace, greatly to the prejudice of the latter. This is why it has been decided that Councillor d'Assonleville, who was recently in Scotland, shall return to England to negotiate with the Queen and Council and make sure that once the Low Countries have declared war on Scotland, the English will not make peace with the Scots without the Low Countries being included, as has happened in the past. Thus, as soon as d'Assonleville has returned from Holland, where he has gone on some business of mine, he will start for England. I wish to inform you of this in order that you may do what you can to assist him. Even if the English were unwilling to promise what the Low Countries ask, and we regard as entirely reasonable, I have succeeded in persuading the Low Countries to break with Scotland without making any condition. You will not mention this to the English, but endeavour to get them to agree to what they are being asked. You will inform Don Alonso de Cordova, when he reaches England, in order that he may behave accordingly.
I was glad to hear that you had gone to see the Lady Elizabeth. When you come, you will report what happened between her and you.
We thank you for the pains you took to get the sappers off. We have sent instructions that they are to proceed to Gravelines, where they are needed to work on the fortifications of that place, which will keep them busy until we get our army together.
Draft or Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.,
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. IV.
442. Philip to Cardinal Pole
Antwerp, 28 May You gave us great pleasure by your letter of the 19th inst., telling us how bravely the Queen had taken my putting off my journey to England. You have set my mind at rest in a matter that had given me great anxiety. I had greatly desired to go, and it would have given the Queen and myself much happiness had I been able to do so. You may be sure that if it had been possible to free myself from my responsibilities here I would have done so gladly, but my reasons for staying are imperative from the point of view of my honour and reputation. Thus all my efforts to get away have been vain, as Count Feria will have explained to you, and you with your great prudence will have been able to realise. I thank you for keeping the Queen company and the devotion you show in her service, and affectionately beg you so to continue, to cheer her loneliness, for thus you are doing us the greatest pleasure.
I have received a letter from the Privy Council informing me of the reply they had given the Swedish Ambassador. I thought it suitable, and that your own considerations on this subject were wise and denoted a Christian spirit, wherefore I was greatly pleased with them. For the rest, I will refer you to Count Feria.
Draft. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
443. A list (memoria) of the Cities (ciudades) of the Teutonic Hanse (fn. 15)
May (?) Lübeck, or Wendish, Third (Lübisch oder Wendisch driededeel) Cologne, Westphalian (Cólnisch Westphalisch) Saxon authority (Sachsische overheidische)
Cologne Braunschweig
Osnabrück Göttingen
Lübeck Soest Hildesheim
Bremen Minden Goslar
Rostock Herford Emden
Stralsund Paderborn Hannover
Wismar Lemgo Hamelin
Thorn Dortmund Northeim
Elbing Münster
Danzig Nymwegen
Königsberg Deventer
Braunsberg Zutphen
Riga Zwolle
Dörpte Hardewijk
Reval Groningen
Stettin Wesel
Buxtehude Staveren
Stargard Roermond
Gollnow Campen
Hamburg Bolsward
Limburg Lippe
Greifswald Stendal
Colberg Hamm
Uelzen Unna
Kulm Emmerich
Simancas, E.811.


  • 1. Lord Paget.
  • 2. Sir William Cordell .(since Nov. 1557).
  • 3. Gustavus Vasa(† 1560). His eldest son, Eric (afterwards King as Eric XIV) later sued for the hand of Elizabeth.
  • 4. i.e. with the Duke of Savoy, see pp. 270, 285.
  • 5. Philip's Council of State in the Low Countries.
  • 6. Landgraf Philip of Hesse.
  • 7. Johann Friedrich, Duke of Saxony, who had been taken prisoner by the Emperor at Mühlberg, 1547.
  • 8. Don Perafán de Ribera, Duke of Alcala. He was Viceroy of Naples for twelve years. In that capacity, he resisted pressure from the Pope and King Philip to introduce the Inquisition into the Kingdom of Naples.
  • 9. See the following paper.
  • 10. Gothart de Bochotz, Seigneur de Grenenbrock and de Hermondt.
  • 11. Bartolorné Carranza, who had been in England since July, 1554, and had succeeded Juan Siliceo as Archbishop of Toledo in 1557. Shortly after his return to Spain, Carranza was proceeded against for heresy by the Inquisition. He spent 17 years in confinement, and was released only shordy before his death.
  • 12. See the Privy Council's letter, dated 17 May, 1558.
  • 13. This letter has not been found.
  • 14. See list in the following paper.
  • 15. The title of this list is in Spanish and the copy of it here reproduced must have been made by a Spaniard. He garbled many of the names of the cities, lending them a Spanish look. The headings of the three columns are in Low German (Platdeutsch). The list was found in the bundle (E.811) containing Philip' correspondence with Feria, and appears to give the names of the Towns on behalf of which the Hanseatic embassy then in England was negotiating. See pp. 374, 375, 382, 385, 386, 390, 392.These Towns are 62 in number. R. Daenell, in his Die Blutezeit der deutschen Hanse, says that the number of members of the League at any given time cannot be exactly determined. Some resigned; others joined; and there were varying degress of membership. He thinks they never exceeded 72.