Spain: September 1554

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 1554', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954) pp. 39-55. British History Online [accessed 20 May 2024].

. "Spain: September 1554", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954) 39-55. British History Online, accessed May 20, 2024,

. "Spain: September 1554", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954). 39-55. British History Online. Web. 20 May 2024,

September 1554

49. The Emperor's Instructions to Francisco de Eraso (Extracts)
Béthune, 1 September Although since the King of England, my son, landed in that country I have sent an envoy to visit him, you will do so again on my behalf. You will tell him once more how glad I have been to hear from persons who have come hither from England a detailed account of his attitude towards the English, whom he caresses and treats in a manner well-calculated to assist him in quieting down public opinion there. Moreover, he may thus gain credit and reputation here and in Germany, and this should at present be his chief object, as it is most necessary for the general welfare of Christendom and our own interests. He knows that we are obliged to keep up the struggle in many different quarters at once, and our states are situated far from one another and exposed to the attacks of our enemies, who are always plotting and planning to do us harm both openly and in secret. When M. de Courrières arrives here, I shall hear from him what is going on in England, as he wrote to me by Cajao (Cajiar?), and then I shall be in a position to instruct him how to meet each difficulty, and I am quite aware they must be many and troublesome at this early stage, and greatly aggravated by the split in the Council—though this last factor might possibly be turned to account and skillfully made to serve our purpose. With the Queen's help, I trust in God that all will be well.
A point of the greatest importance is religion, and the King has written to me that he considers it would be very difficult to achieve anything unless those who hold Church property are allowed to keep it. You will therefore tell him that I approve of his sending an envoy or writing to the Pope to explain this and induce him to yield on this point for the sake of obtaining the result which his Holiness's duty binds him to set before all other considerations, namely that of reclaiming for the Church all those erring souls. Success in this would not only be a great achievement in England, but would make a deep impression on all countries that have fallen into error. My ambassador resident over there will have shown the King the commission brought by Cardinal Pole and the message sent to me with him by his Holiness, so he will be in possession of all the facts and able to judge and act for himself.
I was very glad to hear from Cajao and other persons how much joy the Londoners displayed on seeing the King, and I trust the rest of the realm will show similar sentiments. So may all the evil inventions spread abroad by the French and the untruths they told the English ambassador in France combine to discredit them and open the eyes of the English to their real worth. I quite approved of the reply given to the French ambassador, and the line adopted where he is concerned.
Above all, you will tell him (King Philip) that I can never thank God enough that he is happy with the Queen. Indeed he has every reason to be so, and let public and private report make it known. Even if he had no other reasons than her godliness and goodness, the favours she has received from Our Lord and her steadfast determination to marry him, these are enough; and when she gave herself to him she also put her distracted kingdom under his protection. So I beg him to continue as he has begun and never tire; for nothing could give me greater relief than to know that they are happy together.
Next, you will say that the message I recently sent to him by the Duke of Alva and passages in various of my letters will have given him some notion of the project I have formed and would already have put into execution, had it not been for the press of business which I was obliged to attend to in his absence, as had I not done so the upshot might have been great misfortune. Matters in Italy and here have been in a serious condition, but Our Lord has been pleased to remedy them, so that part of the losses in territory and reputation have been made good. My aim has always been to leave the King his inheritance on so sound a footing that he may be able to increase it, as my experience of his ability leads me to believe he will do, for I am well pleased with the proficiency in affairs he has shown and will continue to show in still greater measure as the control of policy passes into his hands. Now that he is so near, I will remind him that for some years past I have intended to retire from active life, and was only waiting for him to grow older and acquire a fuller knowledge of state-craft. My motives are inclination and grievous ill-health, the ravages of which prevent me from doing my duty to the satisfaction of my conscience by my subjects and vassals, and would soon end by making me a positive burden and hindrance. So I have now made up my mind to go and live the few concluding days of my life, with God's favour and help, in His service, untroubled by cares of government; and had hoped to do so this year, as soon as the King came hither. For this reason, as he knows, I gave orders that the apartments in the monastary of Yuste should be made ready, and this has become so widely known in Spain, here in my court and in his that I am obliged to deny the rumour until such time as I am able to carry out my plan. The war obliged me, however, ill though I was, to take the field, and I would like to go forth again now and try to gain some success in order to please the people here, but though there were signs of trouble when affairs were going badly, everything has calmed down now and it seems that my presence is unnecessary, for report has it that the King of France is not with his army, which is being split up, the Switeers having been disbanded and the rest sent to various posts along the frontiers. I also felt symptoms that my health would not hold out, but I have moved hither, sending my army on in the right-hand direction towards the French frontier, which seems to offer better chances for action and will not take me too far away to be consulted fairly promptly on important points that may crop up.
You will tell the King what I hope to do if all goes well, and that when my army has taken up winter quarters and I have dismissed the troops that are not to be retained I will repair to whatever town seems most convenient as a meeting-place, where I shall greatly look forward to seeing him. There we will discuss and settle certain matters, for there are some slight difficulties in connexion with the crowns of Aragon and Naples, as I wrote a few days ago, and the government of Castile and other important points must be gone into. You will inform him that the other day at Namur, in case anything were to happen, I gave a general writing in Latin, herewith (fn. 1) enclosed, as well as the will I sent him, making a donation to him of my states and dominions, to be governed and held by him as his own property, and to be operative from the day on which it was issued. But I think that without in any way invalidating that instrument, it will be well to issue others for each state separately, all in due form, to enable him to take possession; partly in order to do things in the consecrated manner, and partly because since the other instrument was signed I have taken various measures, calculated to obviate various possibilities, which had better be made binding and permanent.
I had thought of leaving for Spain sometime this very month of September, or at any rate in October, when the campaign will be over; but there are so many things to be attended to before leaving these Low Countries, harrassed and impoverished as they have been by the burdens imposed by the war, that I think the King had better take over the reins of government in my presence and let me introduce him into the management of affairs, so I fear I must delay longer. I do not, however, intend to miss the January winds, which, God willing, will carry me and my escorting fleet to Spain. Tell him I implore him to gain time by setting betimes about the tasks that solicit him in England, and let me know when he will be able to come hither. If circumstances permit and he is not obliged to hurry back we might travel on together and spend a few days pleasantly with the Queen of England at some convenient place, where I would give them my blessing and leave them to continue my journey to Spain. I wished to inform you very fully of my intentions, and confidently believe you will give a faithful account of them to the King, so that he may promptly decide what had better be done. I must not omit to tell you that I am very sure it will be impossible to prevail upon the Queen Dowager of Hungary to continue to fill her part here after I have gone and he is here, and you will tell him verbally why, and explain how much circumspection is necessary in governing these states. . . . . . (Peru, the post of Admiral of Castile, etc.)
As for the negotiations with Henri d'Albret, tell the King to be very careful and make sure what his proposals amount to, but always keep him friendly and avoid a rupture; though we have heard nothing at all that could lead us to hope for Vendôme's participation—the only interesting feature in the whole thing. You will also tell him what has happened in the way of peace proposals. . . . . . .(Spanish ecclesiastical affairs.)
When the King has come to a decision as to the above points, which you will urge him to do speedily, you may hasten back and take up your work again here, for there are certain to be a number of merchants' cases awaiting you; and you will inform the King and Queen of my health, and bring me good news of theirs.
Signed: Yo el Rey. Spanish.
Simancas, P.R.7.
50. The Queen Dowager to the Duke of Savoy
Béthume, 1 September Some English gentlemen who recently paid their respects to the Emperor and me at St. Omer, namely Francis and Henry Browne, brothers of the King of England's Master of the Horse, (fn. 2) and Ambrose Digby, a gentleman of the King's household, are now returning to his Majesty's camp to enter his service. I am therefore writing you a word of recommendation for them, and pray you to see that they are favourably treated as befits their quality. They have said nothing to me about the salary they wish to have, but if they speak to you on the subject, I beg you to let me know and mention your own views as to what would be suitable. If they do not mention it you need not do so either, but merely show them all the favour they merit.
Minute. French.
Brussels, L.A.70.
51. The Emperor to the Deputy of Calais (fn. 3)
Béthune, 2 September I am now sending my secretary, Francisco de Eraso, to the King of England, my son, on a mission connected with matters of state. I beg you to furnish him with vessels and everything else he may stand in need of for his journey, and take care that he crosses over safely, adopting such precautions as may be dictated by the news you receive from France; and in this you will do me great pleasure.
Minute. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.23.
52. The Emperor to Simon Renard
Béthune, 2 September We have received your letters of August 23rd (i.e. 24th?) and assure you that you are doing good service by continuing to let us know the news and what you make of the general situation in England. We are sure you will already have done your best to inform the King, our son, and those he has about him of the condition of affairs as you see it; but they have not been there long enough to be able to find their way unaided, and for the time being you can serve us better there than elsewhere, so we desire you to continue some time yet. We will not fail to grant your request to be recalled as soon as we see that your presence in England is no longer required.
We were very glad to hear that our son's entry into London went off so well, and that, as your letter says, he found favour with the townsmen; for thus those who had maliciously blackened him will be branded liars.
As for the audience he granted to the French ambassador, we have heard nothing about it except what was reported by M. de la Chaux, who told us that when the ambassador applied for audience, our son replied that while matters stood as they did between us and the ambassador's master he could not grant it as our son, but as King of England, a country that had treaties and confederations with France, he would very gladly do so. The audience then took place in presence of the Privy Council, but the ambassador seemed perturbed and at a loss for words, and the drift of his harangue was that he had no commission or letters from his King, but thought his office made it incumbent upon him to join the other ambassadors in offering his congratulations on the marriage; and this he did in cold phrases. He desired to know, moreover, whether in spite of the state of affairs between us and his master, our son meant to observe the treaties between France and England. After consulting with the Council, our son caused the Chancellor to reply that he would observe the treaties as long as the French did the same, and gave him no provocation to do otherwise.
The Councillors have requested our son for leave to export a further sum of 100,000 ducats, over and above the amount for which permission has already been given; and we do not know whether they were acting of their own accord or prompted by the Queen. Our son replied that as he was now out of Spain and his sister had been appointed by us to govern that country, the application ought to be made to us or to her. However, wishing to please the English, we have granted the permission, and are sending it by Eraso, the present bearer. But we are writing to tell you to endeavour, with your usual dexterity, to make the English understand that they must not make any more such demands on us in the future. You will explain to them that by granting these permissions we greatly embarrass our Spanish kingdoms, and indeed the drawbacks involved are such that we have determined to put a stop to them at whatever cost, so we are incurring very heavy losses in order to buy out the parties to whom permissions had been granted, with the one object of putting a stop to the practice. And we have decided to issue no more, either for the Low Countries or anywhere else, even if we lose heavily thereby. We trust that when they have grasped this they will refrain from further requests, since your account will have shown them that we have the best reasons for refusing.
MM. d'Egmont, Humbercourt and de La Chaux have brought us autograph letters from the Queen, but as they were written in reply to ours we will not trouble her with an answer, and you may tell her so if you think fit. Never omit to assure her, whenever a good opening presents itself, of our affection and goodwill, and our confidence that her feelings for us are equally sincere.
Minute. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.23.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inidits, Vol. IV, but dated 1 September.
53. Philip to the Princess Regent of Spain (Extract)
Hampton Court, 2 September By the messenger sent over land by the agent of the Queen, my dear and well-beloved wife, I received your letter in cipher, dated August 3rd, as well as another in your own hand and one from the Emperor, dated June 29th, a duplicate of which I had already seen at sea. I felt satisfaction on hearing that you and the Infante, my son, were well; and I pray Our Lord that you may so continue. The last letters from his Majesty tell me that he is well, praise be to Him, and so am I, and the Queen also. I can well imagine that you were anxious until you heard that I had reached England and how I had been received here, but you will now have learned all the details of our marriage by the letters I wrote to you, so there is no need to dwell on the subject. Since then we have visited London, where I was received with universal signs of love and joy, and after spending six or seven days there we came hither to pass the rest of the summer. You will have been freed of the grief you felt on reading what his Majesty said in his letter of June 29th about the condition of affairs in the Low Countries, for Our Lord has remedied it in such a manner that the enemy has been unable to win any further success, and there is now no need for my presence in Flanders. All that remains to be said is that the King of France bombarded Renty for a few days and proclaimed his intention of storming it, but his Majesty came up with his army and, after some skirmishes that resulted in losses on both sides, the King retreated with his army to Montreuil by night and in a manner calculated to diminish his prestige. His Majesty's army was in quarters near Renty, and his Imperial person at St. Omer, waiting to see what the enemy intended to do before determining his own course. I have heard no news for ten days now, and am anxiously waiting to hear what has happened since. . . . . (The battle between Peter Strozzi's and the Marquis of Marignano's forces)
Decipher. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
54. Philip to Juan Vazquez de Molina
Hampton Court, 2 September The contents of this letter do not differ from those of Philip's to the Princess Regent of Spain, of the same date.
Decipher. Spanish.
Simancas, E.103.
55. The Bishop of Arras to the Emperor
Arras, 3 September Sire: The more I think over what your Majesty was pleased to tell me of your conference with Eraso, the more troubled I am; for I know that Eraso's cunning is far beyond anything your Majesty can imagine. Not that it does not seem to me to be most fair and reasonable to reward the faithful services of a minister; but I fear that when he speaks of the ambassador's great deserts, and then mentions the rest in the general terms your Majesty yourself used, Eraso is trying to include me among the rest. Now, if your Majesty is pleased to remember what happened, you will recollect that I, before anyone else had thought of it, wrote to the ambassador to start negotiations (for the marriage of Philip and Mary), and showed him what road he was to follow. By your Majesty's commands, I rebutted all the arguments aimed against the project, drafted all the letters and instructions sent to those who were conducting the negotiations, with the assistance of President Viglius only; and when the ambassador's letters showed him to be puzzled and desirous of dropping the whole matter, I encouraged and put him back into the right path.
Your Majesty, however, was never willing to read over those lengthy despatches, but only consented to sign them, wherefore you do not know how much trouble I had and how hard I worked to help the ambassador, for many a bad night it cost me; and it would grieve me sorely, after having rendered such services, to be slandered by Eraso for that very reason. What makes it especially hard to bear is that my motive was entirely different from what your Majesty was led to believe by the words I spoke to Strella, whom I only desired to instruct how to carry out, with secrecy and success, the mission you had entrusted to him; whereas you tell me you had the impression that I wished people to take me for the man who manages everything. I swear to your Majesty, I have been desiring to retire any time these last six years, and I often requested the late M. de Granvelle, in his life time, to be allowed to do so and serve God by caring for my bishopric. Thus your Majesty may know what my ambition is; and the reason why I have forced myself to go on serving you is that I saw you beset with difficulties, and was too full of zeal for your cause to leave you, for your most humble, embounden and loving servant would rather have risked a thousand deaths than have turned away from you at such a time.
And now that your Majesty has resolved to retire, I mean to stay with you to the last, and then to beg you that, as my ailments are graver than my looks betray and I am unable to work as I have worked in the past, I may withdraw to my bishopric; for I have been bishop for a long time and have resided there very little, as you know. When I am there, my life and goods shall remain at your Majesty's and our Prince's disposal, and any service I may be able to render will be my greatest happiness. But it would be a heavy grief to me if, having lost all hope of recompense and in an obscure position, I had to bear the additional burden, most obnoxious of all, of knowing that his Royal Majesty (i.e. Philip) entertained some suspicion that I had traversed his marriage, I who make bold to say that, after your Majesty, I was one of its principal promoters. So I very humbly implore your Majesty to grant me this favour, which I shall esteem as of the greatest magnitude, that you will by such means as you may consider suitable inform the King that I am not to be included among the rest. For I have a dread that otherwise Eraso will contrive, when he goes to England, so to turn the phrase as to use it to my hurt.
A draft or copy, in the Bishop of Arras's hand. French.
Besançon, C.G.73.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inidits, Vol. IV.
56. Simon Renard to the Emperor
Tuygnan (Twickenbam?) 3 September Sire: As soon as the entry into London was over, the English lords, Councillors and the rest took leave of the Queen in the accustomed manner after a progresss and went home to rest. The only ones who stayed behind were the Earl of Arundel, the Privy Seal, Admiral, Chancellor, High Treasurer, Bishop of Ely, Controller, Chamberlain and Vice-Chamberlain. When Paget took leave of the Queen, he confessed the error of his ways and promised to amend them, and never again to displease her, especially in matters of religion.
The King distributed pensions to the Councillors when they departed, to the value of 15,000 ducats or more. Certain persons thought he ought to show some liberality to those who presented him with the Garter and other gifts, to those who waited so long for him at sea and to a few of the Queen's ladies and others who were present at the marriage solemnities; but I do not know what he has decided to do about it. People are waiting to see how he will form his household and what offices he will give to the English. A rumour went the rounds to the effect that he did not- mean to employ any of them, upon which several left Court; and very few Englishmen are to be seen in his Highness's apartments, though I believe this situation is going to be dealt with in two or three days, as indeed it is time it should be.
The King has begun transacting business with the Council in order to make himself familiar with the English affair of which the Council have given him cognisance, for thus he may acquire authority and use it on occasion. The Duke of Alva, Ruy Gómez, Marquis de Las Navas, Gutierre López and other members of his household, with Councillor Briviesca, are endeavouring in concert with the Privy Council to settle the lodging problem, a thorny matter because here in England it is not the custom that the lords should live at Court, where there are only two kitchens: the King's and the servants'. As a. rule, in England, even the greatest nobles only occupy three rooms; but it has been decided that they (i.e. Philip's Spanish attendants) shall be lodged either in the King's houses or else out of town, in the country, in order to protect them from the rapacity of the people.
The Earl of Arundel put a stop to the serving of certain dishes which some English servants were in the habit of eating in the Queen's kitchen, and this has been put down to the Spaniards with the object of making them unpopular. Also, a few days ago, it came to light that the French had put false Spanish coin into circulation here, thereby hoping to cause a tumult; and they certainly never rest from devising evil. I hear that when the French ambassador had audience of the King he spoke of his own accord and said nothing about any letters from the King of France, whence I gather that his only motive was to find out how the King meant to treat him, for he probably expected to be sent home; and I have no doubt he acted on the advice of certain members of the Privy Council. As long as he remains here we may be sure there will be machinations against the King's person or interests, for with money in hand he will always find tools, even if only among the heretics who hate the match, and the partisans of Elizabeth. I warned the King that it would be very difficult to decide how she was to be dealt with, and handed him, before he left London, a full memoir containing everything I thought he ought to know.
Cardinal Pole presses for an answer whether or no he is to be received here as legate, and writes that he wants a definite reply so that he may either go back to Rome or proceed on his journey. Of course one must take it for granted that zeal for religion alone moves him, but still doubts assail me. Affairs are not settled here yet, and the King has only been a few days in the realm. The Spaniards are hated, as I have seen in the past and expect to see in the future. There was trouble at the last session of Parliament, and disagreeable incidents are of daily occurrence. Only ten days ago the heretics tried to burn a church in Suffolk with the entire congregation that was hearing mass inside. Moreover, foreign affairs are also to be considered; it is war-time, and the Cardinal's mission will stir up ill-feeling with the Switzers and Germans. These points and many others I noted down in my memoir; and the truth is that I do not see how it can be done. The object in view is God's service; but if an attempt is made and then has to be abandoned the result might be danger to the position and persons of the King and Queen; and if Cardinal Pole mingled human with divine activities, he might not only try to let Courtenay out but support him and thus give the malcontents a great opportunity. The Chancellor is very hot, and wants to settle the matter at once. He addressed a memoir to the Queen, advising her to consult with the Council in order to find out how they would take it and whether the Cardinal might not speedily come and make known his commission. When the King passed on this memoir to me, I wrote another with the object of proving that it would be better to avoid any appearance that the Cardinal had come over on the King's invitation, and pointed out the difficulties involved. I also explained the matter to the Duke of Alva and Ruy Gómez, who were both of opinion that it would be preferable to set things here on a firmer footing and gain popularity for the King before saying anything about the Cardinal's journey. Delays might be created by insisting on consulting your Majesty; and thus the Chancellor's ardour might be kept within bounds, at least until the warm weather is over.
On examining the brief sent hither by the Cardinal and intended to dispense those who hold Church property, I have noticed that it is not drawn up in a suitable manner. The Pope expects submission to the Church to come first, and means afterwards to attend to the dispensations, considering each case separately, on its own merits, and also the nature of the Church property that has been taken possession of. He intends to grant the dispensation to those for whom the King and Queen intercede, though with a restrictive clause binding them to consult the Pope on cases that may appear to be of importance. Another feature of this document is that the King is mentioned as such in it, though it was dated last June when the marriage had not yet been consummated. It is my duty to inform your Majesty that the Catholics hold more Church property than do the heretics, and unless they obtain a general dispensation to satisfy them that their titles will never be contested they will not allow the Cardinal to execute his commission; and he certainly will not be able to do so until the question has been submitted to Parliament, former Acts of which have vested the title of Supreme Head of the Church in the Crown, the right of which to deal with all religious questions consequently stands firm. So if the Cardinal is to come here at all, his powers had better be clear and comprehensive. The Holy See's contention is naturally that if it grants a dispensation for Church property before obeisance is offered, it will seem as if that same obeisance is being bought, and an evil and scandalous precedent would be created; but the loftier aims of religion ought to be considered in preference to a mere question of Church property, especially in this realm where the abbeys have all been destroyed and overthrown by the King's authority. However, this point is a difficult one, as your Majesty will readily appreciate; so I will leave it to your riper judgment.
The old Duke of Norfolk is dead, and is succeeded by the Earl of Surrey, a sonin-law of the Earl of Arundel.
Ippolito Marino, (fn. 4) who is detained in prison by Duke Ottavio, has written to me by one of his servants to ask me once more to vouch for the good service he rendered to your Majesty while I was in France, as a reward for which he implores you to take a thought for his liberty. Your Majesty, however, will remember the capture of the Franciscan friar on his way to Genoa, so I will say no more. I could not refuse to add a line about Ippolito to my letter, but I will leave the matter to your Majesty.
Brancacio (fn. 5) landed at Calais and pretended to start for Gravelines, but escaped to Boulogne.
Signed French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.22.
57. Philip to the Princess Regent of Spain
Hampton Court, 12 September You are aware that before sailing from Corunna I granted, at the request of the Queen, my dear and beloved wife, permission to enable 200,000 ducats to be exported from Spain and conveyed to England; and since then the Emperor, desiring to please the Queen, has issued leave for a further sum of 100,000 ducats. She now tells me that she has ordered three ships to go to Seville for the money, and that, for greater security, she is giving instructions that it be taken on board packed with other objects. We desire that her emissaries may execute their commission without meeting with any obstacles, but rather with all the assistance they may stand in need of, wherefore we beg you to see to it. You will take all necessary precautions in order to prevent them from exporting a larger sum than 300,000 ducats, but also grant them every facility for taking the money on board without its becoming known. I am writing to the same effect to the Seville officials.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.104.
58. Juan Vázquez de Molina to Philip
Valladolid, 13 September The Admiral, (fn. 6) immediately he had arrived here, spoke to the Princess (Regent) and told her of your Highness's journey, the celebration of your, marriage, the state of affairs in England and the evil treatment meted out to your servants over and above the refusal to allow them to fulfil their duties about your person. He made known to her, in fact, that your Majesty was dissatisfied, and even hinted that you felt oppressed and that means ought to be devised for getting you out of England and setting you at liberty. His plan was to make ready a fleet under the pretext of sending reinforcements to the Emperor, which fleet might touch at an English port, where your Majesty, come with the excuse of seeing it, might go on board and either make for Flanders or else remain on board until you had come to a satisfactory agreement with the English, by which they should undertake to arrange matters so as to permit you to live there as befits their King and Sovereign Lord. Your Majesty, the Admiral thought, ought to be informed of this and your pleasure ascertained by sending to visit you some entirely trustworthy person to whom you might speak in confidence. He wished to propose this scheme to the Council, and did so, setting forth his reasons. When asked whether your Majesty had instructed him to speak as he had done, he said, no, but that Ruy Gómez had described the state of affairs to him, and that if called upon he would willingly go and serve you in this matter.
Now, neither your Majesty's letters nor those written by other persons from England seem to confirm that you are in such straits, but the fact that so important a person as the Admiral said so greatly upset us all. He was told that the question should be considered, and was thanked for his information and offer. Since his departure we have talked it over, and have come to the conclusion that the Admiral's words, though prompted by his loving zeal, are not enough to go upon, wherefore we will wait to see whether your Majesty or the Emperor say anything about it before taking any steps to prepare a fleet for so delicate an errand. We agreed, however, that her Highness might well send a gentleman to visit your Majesty and the Queen with letters of credence addressed to you, and tell you how anxious the Admiral had made us all, so as to ascertain the truth and your own pleasure, and if necessary go on to consult the Emperor on the subject. Don Hernando de Rojas has been chosen as a suitable person for this mission, and he is to start within the next ten days. I thought it well to inform your Majesty of this, and assure you that her Highness and all of us are greatly perturbed, and that this kingdom's love for you is such that I am sure the people here would if necessary sell their very children and all their property, and sacrifice their own lives for your freedom.
Minute. Spanish.
Simancas, E.104.
59. Philip to the Princess Regent of Spain
18 September A Portuguese gentleman who left here on the 4th instant, saying he meant to go via France, took with him my reply to yours of August 3rd, in which I gave you what news I had. I am sending a duplicate with this packet, when you receive which you will let me know. The Emperor, thanks be to God, continues to be in good health. When the King of France withdrew from before Renty, the Emperor intended to proceed in person to camp and make a great effort to crush the enemy and show the Low Countries and his other dominions that he was not behindhand in acting in a manner worthy of his reputation; but news came that the King had gone home and begun to disband his army, sending his troops to garrison the frontier stations that seemed most exposed to attacks from his Majesty, and dismissing the Switzers. His Majesty therefore considered where he might most profitably strike during the short time that remained for campaigning this season. For several reasons he would have liked to have besieged some place the capture of which would have harmed the French; but it was finally decided to build a fortress on an admirably situated spot about two leagues beyond Hesdin in the direction of Doullens, for it seemed more prudent for the time being than to extend his Majesty's frontier and take up a position that would threaten the enemy and prevent him from attacking in that region. The work has already been begun, and is being pushed on so rapidly that the place will soon be in a state of defence.
The Turkish fleet, as you will have heard, has gone back to Valona. It is said that another raid on the coasts of Naples and Sicily is contemplated; but we are informed that the fleet has taken the course usually adopted when it is returning to the Levant, and is not expected to attack again this year.
The Queen and I are well, thanks be to God! For some days past I have been busying myself with affairs here, and have made a good beginning. I trust in Him that matters will settle down in the manner we are all striving to bring about.
Decipher. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
60. Simon Renard to the Emperor
London, 18 September Sire: As it is your Majesty's pleasure that I should remain here for a time, I will say no more, though I am as good as useless because of frequent attacks of my malady. My desire is to serve your Majesty to the best of my ability all my life long; but had you been pleased to hear my motives I believe you would have changed your mind and granted my request to be relieved of this charge. I have sought to do my duty by constantly supplying all the information I possessed to the King, the Duke of Alva and Ruy Gómez, both verbally and in writing, setting forth all I knew that might contribute to his personal security and the prosperity of his affairs, which will certainly not suffer from lack of a thorough-going explanation of the situation. Nevertheless, since the King left this place matters have so changed for the worse that even here in England the people have never been known to be so licentious in word and deed, so eager to outrage foreigners. Nor has it ever seemed more likely that the people would make common cause with the nobility. No attention is paid to the law; the Queen and her Council are neither respected, obeyed nor feared; and each man speaks his mind unashamed.
The nobility have gone off to the country, entirely disposed to take up arms as they know the people are harbouring evil intentions. When I ask the reasons of all this, I am told that the people say the King will not be served by Englishmen although this point was settled by the articles, and it amounts to the beginning of a rupture of the treaties, for Browne has already been turned out of his post. They assert that the King is sending for 10,000 Germans and 10,000 Spaniards to land in this country; that it is intended to set up the monastaries again, especially the one that used to be at Greenwich, for the sermon preached at Court on the Nativity of Our Lady by de Castro, the Franciscan friar, made no secret of it; and the Bishop of Rome is going to command in religious matters. The foreigners, they complain, are making Englishmen feel strangers in their own homes, and have taken to managing everything since they landed. The people have derived no profit from their coming, and over two thousand artisans have entered London, in defiance of the city's privileges, since the King arrived. They proclaim loudly that they see they are going to be enslaved, for the Queen is a Spanish woman at heart and thinks nothing of Englishmen, but only of Spaniards and bishops. Her idea, they say, is to have the King crowned by force and deprive the Lady Elizabeth of her right, making the operation of the law subject to her own will. Seven citizens of London are unrightfully being kept in prison for destruction (i.e. of images?). The split in the Council, in their eyes, is caused by the fact that the Chancellor is trying to subject the realm and the lords are standing up for freedom.
The people sound the praises of the King of France, harp on the openhandedness and affability of the French and contrast the mission (fn. 7) of MM. d'Annebault, Marshal de St. André, Vidame of Chartres, Admiral de Châtillon and others with the present state of affairs. And so they work themselves up into a violent hatred of foreigners and especially of Spaniards, though the Spaniards are as peaceable and quiet as could be hoped. At the slightest alarm, all the townsmen come forth arms in hand and fall upon them without stopping to enquire where the blame lies, and are forever looking for opportunities to annoy them. Only three days ago, a servant of the Privy Seal, called Close, tried to beat two Spaniards in the street at three o'clock in the afternoon, but seeing that he was not getting the best of it he pulled out a pistol from under his cloak, aimed it at one of them and then, when he was seven or eight houses off, fired it into the air to show what a brave man he was; a very bad precedent; and the English, when they go on a journey, are already beginning to take harquebuses with them. The London townsfolk flatly refuse to lodge Spaniards, which creates great trouble. The heretics who left the country last year are rapidly returning. There is not much intercourse between Englishmen and Spaniards, nor do the Spaniards seek out the English; and Fitzwalter said the other day to one of the King's household that far from being able to learn to speak Spanish he would soon be forgetting what little he learned on his journey, because the two nations were being kept apart, by which he meant that the Spaniards did not seek English society. These are all trifling matters, and some of them untrue; but these insular and barbarous people are ready to seize upon the flimsiest pretexts for a disturbance. Indeed, Sire, many of my friends have warned me that unless God remedies it or the coming winter cools their heads there will probably be an outburst, for there is too much disaffection abroad. It seemed to me that it would be well to send away the artisans who follow the Court without having any post in it, for no one has a right to follow a trade here unless he is a denizen. I take it your Majesty realises that as long as the French and Venetian ambassadors remain here we must expect them to perform evil offices. And there are countless Italians here, as violent partisans as the French themselves, who go about talking as evilly as they know how in merchant circles. The worst of it is that the Council does nothing to correct these abuses because its members are at variance and the Chancellor is slow and timorous. I thought it right to tell your Majesty of this, in order that you might understand the movements that are constantly taking place here.
As for the French ambassador's audience of the King, several persons think that as an opportunity for bringing about his recall was being sought it would have been better to have ordered the Chancellor to ask him whether he had letters or instructions from his master, and whether the audience he was asking for was to be a private one or not. Thus, when it had been found out that he had no instructions, he might have been sent on to the Queen and Council; for no ambassador has ever taken it upon himself here to demand a private audience of a new king to discuss matters of state without orders from his master, and it was nothing but a fancy of his own, as he showed clearly enough by his words and looks. Had he been so handled it could have done no harm, but might have contributed to the desired end. However, as it was thought fit to comply with his demand, some other means of getting rid of him will have to be found.
I have spoken to the High Treasurer in accordance with your Majesty's letter of the Ist instant, and have mentioned the leave to export the 100,000 ducats in terms that will prevent him from making any such demands in the future.
The King has granted the pensions specified in the enclosed list, (fn. 8) and I hear he has shown some liberality to other persons, but as I do not know to whom nor how nor why, I cannot enlighten your Majesty on the subject.
I wrote so fully about Cardinal Pole in my last letter that I have nothing more to add except that opinion is in such a state in this country that it will be well to handle this matter with great precaution. I hear that some people think that Parliament might as well not be convoked at once in order to avoid expenditure; but I am of the opposite opinion, and believe that it ought to meet immediately after All Saints, so that it may be over before spring, indeed in January if possible. If the lords do not attend, and send their proxies as they are in the habit of doing, there will be less discussion and dispute. But if it is put off until the end of the winter it will not rise without giving trouble. Your Majesty is aware how advisable it is to transact important business in this country in the winter and not in summer; and the coronation too had better take place before spring, if the English will allow it, which is by no means certain as they will say they have a crowned Queen already. If the Queen were to be with child, however, there would be an end to dispute.
The Queen spoke with the Earls of Pembroke and Arundel before Pembroke went away, in order to disabuse them of the lies they had been told. They seemed satisfied, but there is a bitterness between Arundel and the Chancellor that will never disappear until one or the other has been discredited.
Paget went away professing himself to be delighted (extremement tres content) and proclaiming that he would mend his ways. Events may soon show whether he was sincere or not.
One of the Queen's physicians has told me that she is very probably with child; and if it is true everything will calm down and go smoothly here. As soon as I know for certain I will inform your Majesty, and I have already caused a rumour to be started for the purpose of keeping the malcontents within bounds.
The Queen will soon have to make an annual payment on account of a loan, and has asked the London merchants to advance her the money, as they often have to kings of England. She was met with, a flat refusal, which the merchants would not have ventured upon in the past, especially under the late Duke of Northumberland.
The above-mentioned servant of the Lord Privy Seal has just been killed near Hampton Court by some Spaniards whom he had attacked.
I hear that the King will be here by the end of the month, and that there will be rejoicing and tournaments on that occasion.
Signed. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.22.
61. Count Giovan Tommaso Langosco di Stroppiana (fn. 9) to the Bishop of Arras
Kingston-on-Thames, 19 September I received yesterday the letter you deigned to write to me on the 6th of this month together with my lord the Duke's packet, and I kiss your hand and offer infinite thanks to you for the good news you give me of my said lord. May God lend him opportunity to render good service to his Majesty and give satisfaction to his friends, first among whom your Reverend Lordship may be reckoned, who will always feel glad of any brave deed of my master's and give him good means to accomplish it. I will send you news from this country in exchange for yours, in the belief that your Reverend Lordship will rejoice proportionately as they appear to the advantage of this King and kingdom, as indeed they will. The Queen is with child. I have personal reason to believe it, as I have noticed her feeling sick (or seen her being sick: pel haverla vista stomacata), besides which her doctor has given me positive assurance, saying that if it were not true all the signs described by physicians would prove to be fallacious. I can therefore give the news as certain. The Queen was saved and preserved through many great dangers and raised to the throne almost by a miracle, and for the peace and good of the kingdom it was ardently to be hoped that she might bear children to establish and make safe the success of the undertaking to which she has set her hand, namely, the restoration of the catholic religion and faith. It had fallen very low during the previous reign; but now by her authority it waxes greater day by day, so great indeed that I could never have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes, and I have marvelled much, as at something miraculous. The Bishop of London has published a certain book, a catechism I believe, concerning the manner in which he intends and expects the people of his diocese to live and observe the precepts of the Church in the spirit of reverence due to the Sacraments, the manner of keeping ecclesiastical rites and prescriptions. He compels his diocesans to attend divine service, follow certain processions, and perform many other duties, with the intention of re-establishing the offices of the Church as they were celebrated before King Henry cut himself off from the Church. Many have murmured a good deal, and there were almost signs of a beginning of sedition. It was taken in hand in good time and dealt with by the arrest of many and the punishment of some. We may consider that religious affairs are going so well that it seems as if Our Lord had set His own Hand, and a strong Hand too, to help; and His work is manifest in ways that are wonderful.
The affairs of the King and kingdom are going well too, foreigners are not treated as badly as has been said. The Spaniards, in truth, are not generally liked, but the hatred against them is dying down gradually, and matters are smoothing out little by little. Things have never been in reality as bad as they were painted to me when I first arrived here. The worst ill-treatment is directed against purses and I bear my share of it For the rest all honour and consideration are shown to us.
The King hears and despatches almost all state affairs, as it befits his dignity and authority that he should. He already has the same authority as his predecessors on the throne of England. He is as clement, humane and affable towards these English as if he had been born and bred among them. They are beginning to show him affection and devotion too, and I am of opinion that the question of the coronation is beginning to be considered. I have been well received by the King and Queen and by the chief courtiers. The King expressed the greatest possible goodwill towards the Duke, my lord. One could hope for nothing more, and he declared himself very well pleased and satisfied with his military deeds, to the discomfiture of those who have tried to slander him. His Majesty's exhibition of love and goodwill towards the Duke has greatly comforted me, and given me hope that honours and advantages may accrue to him in the future, in spite of ill-disposed persons.
I daresay your Reverend Lordship is tired by my gossipy letter, which I hope you will take in good part, as it is inspired by my excessive desire to serve you. If you wish me to send you information on the course of events here, though I doubt not you have means of being fully informed, I shall not fail to give you frequent and detailed accounts.
Holograph. Italian.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv E.V.5.
62. The Queen Dowager to the Duke of Savoy
Arras 23 September Thomas Matheson, an English gentleman, has caused the enclosed Petition (fn. 10) to be presented to me, with the object of being paid certain moneys he has disbursed and also his salary for the military service specified in the petition. Before dealing with this matter, I desire to know what arrangement you made with him, so I beg you to let me know the exact facts, when I am in possession of which I will do all that is required. I may as well tell you at once that I mean to make him a present on account of the recommendation of the King and Queen of England.
Minute. French.
Brussels, L.A.70.
63. Cardinal Pole to Philip
The Monastery of Dillinghem near Brussels, 24 September A year has I began to knock at the door of this royal house, and none has opened unto me. King, if you ask, as those are wont to do who hear a knock at the door: who is there? I will reply, it is I, who, rather than consent that this house should be closed to her who now possesses it with you, preferred banishment and twenty years of exile. And if I speak thus, is it not a sufficient claim to be permitted to return home and to approach you? Moreover, I do not seek admission or ask a favour as a private person, but in the name of the Vicar on earth of the Most High, Peter's successor, indeed I may say Peter himself, whose power once greatly flourished in that kingdom, but was most unjustly thrown out after it had refused to allow her, who now rules, to be deprived of her right. He has long since caused me to knock and yet the door that is open to all men remains closed to him. Did those within hear neither my knock nor my voice? Assuredly they did hear, with no less wonder for the Church's divine power and mercy than Mary felt when, as it is related in the Acts of the Apostles, the servant Rhoda announced to her that Peter, whom Herod had thrown into prison and meant to put to death and for whom the Church was diligently praying, was free and standing knocking at the door. Even as she and those who were with her were greatly astonished, so much wonder is now felt by all who are aware that the defenders of Peter's authority in that kingdom were under a Herodian rule imprisoned and most cruelly slain, whilst the very names of Peter's successors were removed from those books that contained prayers for their safety and welfare, the object of which course was utterly to efface from the minds of men all memory of the power handed over by Christ to Peter. How then should it be considered less than a marvellous sign of the divine mercy, that Peter has now as it were once more been freed from Herod's prison, and stands knocking at the door whence all these wicked edicts issued forth? This is the greatest wonder, but no less marvellous is it that the royal house should now belong to Mary.
But why has she delayed so long to open her door? It is written of the servant of that other Mary that when she heard Peter's voice she was almost beside herself with joy and thought not of opening until she had run to tell Mary and the others who were with her, who at first doubted but, as soon as Peter began again to knock, opened unto him, nor feared to take him into the house, though with Herod alive and upon the throne they had the gravest cause for alarm. Now, what shall I say of Mary, the Queen? Is it joy or fear that keeps her from opening when she has heard Peter's voice and well knows that he is standing before her house knocking at the door, and has beheld the marvellous power of God, who led forth Peter not by means of an angel as on that other occasion but with his own hand, after having first thrown down the iron gate that barred his road to the royal house. I know that she rejoices, but I also know that she fears; for did she not, she would not so long have delayed to open. For in truth, if she rejoices at Peter's liberation and grasps the wonderful nature of the occurrence, what prevents her from joyfully running, giving due thanks to God, and letting him in, especially now that Herod is dead and she has come into possession of his realm? Perchance Divine Providence, which destined you, beloved son of Peter, to be her husband, permitted her to be affected by fear while you were on your way in order that so illustrious and salutary an action might be performed by both of you together. Certainly I myself formerly explained the fearfulness of Queen Mary, your wife, as I wrote to her, and for that very reason I now write to you, her husband, most pious prince, and in the name of Peter, Christ's vicar, demand of you to shake off from her all cause for fear. And you have a most urgent reason for freeing her of anxiety, if you will remember and point out to her how unworthy it is that whereas she took you, her fleshly husband, in spite of many causes for alarm which she alone overcame, she should now, married though she is to so powerful a prince, fear to unbar the way to the spouse of her soul and leave me standing with Peter at the gate—that Peter who has so often and so wonderfully shown himself to be her guardian. Do not think, King, that I, either alone or accompanied by Peter, have sought your house because of any reason that might explain why I stay so long knocking. For if I have come alone, I once departed alone, seeking and demanding that which is open to everyone, for the door was shut on me alone. And if Peter has come with me, he also once departed taking me with him, after I had shaken the dust of the place from my feet, as God commands us to do when we approach a house in His name and are turned away. But if I, who am pursuing no interested object, still persevere, and if Peter ceases not to knock, we are both kept here by Christ Himself, in order that the way may be opened for Him, the spouse of both your souls. For I shall not fear to assert that Christ is with me on this mission which I am carrying out for His Vicar, since I well know that I am on no errand of my own, or of yours, but am with all my might and soul seeking you.
But you, Catholic Prince, whom Divine Providence and Bounty has now endowed with the illustrious title of Defender of the Faith which by the apostolic authority of Peter adorns the Kings of England, take counsel with yourself. Is it meet that, whilst the ambassadors of all princes have access to you and may congratulate you on the assumption of that title, the successor of Peter, who has expressly sent his legate to bring to you on your throne, the peace and grace of the King of Kings, should alone be turned away? And if there is any reason to fear the results of admitting him, is there not much graver reason to fear giving offence to Christ, since his legate, who ought to be heard first of all, waits so long outside whilst all the rest who came long after him are let in without delay, heard and honourably dismissed? Am I beginning to complain? I complain indeed, but with the object of not giving your Majesty that cause for complaint against me which I certainly would be giving you were I not to write to you about the danger that attends this delay in admitting the legate sent by Christ's vicar: a danger that threatens you and your realm and about which I have often warned the Queen. This duty towards you is imposed upon me by the post I am occupying, and I shall consider that I have fulfilled it if in this letter I show you how great a peril menaces him to whom it may with truth be said “thou hast taken away Christ”. But indeed he does take away Christ, who does not at once admit the legate sent by His Vicar to demand the obedience due to the Church, that is to Christ Himself. And you are delaying, Prince, as if whereas your kingly office ought to bid you to make ready the way for divine obedience in this realm of yours, you busied yourself with other matters which ought to yield the first place to that which should be as it were the foundation stone of all your building. For if you attempt to build on any other foundation I will predict to you, King, in Christ's own words: “the rain will fall, the waters will flow, the winds will blow and rush in upon that house; and it will fall, and great will be the ruin thereof”. But you fear to begin at once to build on the rock, or if you do not, others who advise you fear, wherefore you delay to admit him whom Christ's Vicar has sent to you, though according neither to your will, nor to the Queen's. Even if some tempest were to arise, which I fail to believe, it would still not be well on that score to defer laying your foundations on a spot where though the winds and waters rush in upon it, Almighty God will not permit the house to be overthrown, for it will be founded upon the rock. And if you lay the foundations of your rule elsewhere, you may be sure that you are building upon sand, and when the winds roar, as they are wont to do frequently and with violence in these regions, it will collapse from within. And the certain proof of this is that as soon as divine obedience to the Church, as it were the foundation-stone, was removed from this place, there straightway began discord, tumult and sedition, like winds which destroyed many houses, and undermined all human and divine law, as well as the excellent, old-established order of the state which had long flourished in England; and if it is your purpose to restore that order, as God has called you to do and your duty plainly bids you, you must not begin otherwise than by building on the rock which rests in its right place. Is it not thus that a beginning must be made? Do you fear that when once that rock is in its place again, there will once more be danger of the ruin which set in immediately it was removed, and has daily grown greater down to the present time, and indeed can never be repaired unless the rock is restored? Evils arising from the wickedness and inconstancy of men are less to be feared than the judgment of God that is wont to overtake those who throw off obedience to His Church; and the truth of this is shown by events in every quarter where that obedience has been disowned, but nowhere more clearly than in this realm. Wherefore, Prince, if you wish to ward off the Divine Wrath from your own head and from your realm, if you wish to reign in quiet and happiness, your first act ought to be to admit him who comes with messages of peace from God and His Vicar.
I will write no more, most pious Prince, and this letter might already seem too long, were it not that my zeal to accomplish the mission entrusted to me compelled me to be prolix. For the rest, I pray God that if in the mystery of His Divine Providence He sees that my coming cannot bring to you, to the Queen, your wife, and to your realm all honour and profit, He may not withhold these blessings from you, but may send another able to confer them upon you. I shall be abundantly satisfied if your honour and welfare are attained, through whomsoever it may be done, and I shall never cease to pray Him that, as He has by so many signs shown that you have been called to save the realm, all things necessary to the fulfilment of your task may be added unto you, and that He may ever keep you in His grace.
Holograph. Latin.
Besançon, C.G.74.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.


  • 1. This paper has not been found.
  • 2. i.e. Anthony Browne, Lord Montague.
  • 3. Thomas, Lord Wentworth.
  • 4. See Vol. IX of this Calendar, pp. 348, 421, 427.
  • 5. See Vol. XII of this Calendar, pp. 301–303, 306, 310.
  • 6. Don Fernando Enriquez, Admiral of Castile.
  • 7. See Vol. X of thig Calendar, pp. 292 sqq.
  • 8. No list has been found with this letter, but see those printed in Volume XII of this Calendar, pp. 315, 316.
  • 9. The Duke of Savoy's ambassador with the Emperor, at the time of writing on a special mission to England. Letters from Stroppiana to his master, written between 1546 and 1559, and preserved in the Royal Archives, Turin, are summarised, and many of them reproduced in the original Italian, with a French translation, by Count G. Greppi in Compte Rendu de la Commission Royale d'Histoire, II Série, Tome XII, II Bulletin, pp. 117–270 (Bruxelles, 1859). Greppi, however, mentions none of those calendared here, which, having been addressed to the Bishop of Arras, are preserved at Vienna. Indeed, Greppi's collection contains no letters written by Stroppiana while on his special mission to England.
  • 10. This petition has not been found.