BHO

Spain: July 1558

Pages 402-405

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

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Citation:

July 1558

456. Philip to Count Feria
Brussels, 1 July You will have seen a letter I wrote to you recently, asking you to make the Admiral hurry to go to sea with the English fleet and harm the enemy as much as he can along the French coast. Since then, news have come that the fleet I ordered to be assembled in Zealand is now ready and only waiting for good weather to put out to sea. I have sent instructions to its Admiral, M. de Wacken, (fn. 1) to do his best to be on good terms with the Admiral of England. I think it will be well for them to confer together before undertaking any action against the enemy. I have therefore written to Wacken telling him to take the first opportunity that offers to meet the English Admiral, discuss the whole position with him in detail and proceed in agreement with him. I hope they will get on well together. I am sending Wacken a letter of recommendation to the English Admiral, but it would also be well that you should speak to the Queen and ask her to write similar instructions to Clinton, so that he may do his best to meet Wacken and proceed in agreement with him. Thus the two fleets should act together in good understanding and achieve better results than if they proceeded separately. You will inform us of what the Queen does about it.
Signed: Yo el Rey. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
457. Count Feria to Philip
London, 5 July On the 2nd of this month a courier arrived here whom your Majesty had sent off on 29 June. Four days previously we had news here of the loss of Thionville, and some of these Privy Councillors were very much pleased about it. Gresham wrote the news from Antwerp, sending a special messenger to catch up with the ordinary courier and take ship with him. Since then, people here have been saying that Gravelines and Dunkirk had also been lost. I failed to find out where this rumour originated, but this afternoon it reached the Queen from three of her ships which had been at Antwerp waiting for Don Alonso de Cordova. When they were lying in the harbour at Dunkirk, the French came up with eight pieces of artillery and took the place, although these Englishmen were unable to say how the thing had happened, but only that they had seen the French come up, and that afterwards they saw French flags floating over the town. These news were given to her Majesty in such a form that she summoned me to Durham Place, and told me that she wished to send off this messenger at once to your Majesty to find out what had really happened. I told her that Dunkirk was not a strong place and had not been well guarded, adding that it would be preferable to hold the courier until to-morrow in order that we might report on what the Ambassadors of the Hanseatic Towns had answered to the last statement made to them, as well as other matters. Her Majesty would not do this, but grew angry with me. She says that the merchants of this kingdom will no longer dare to send their wool to Bruges, now that they have heard these news. I know very well who put her Majesty up to this, and has done many other things prejudicial to your Majesty's service. I will give the name when I reach Brussels. You cannot imagine how these tidings were being discussed here, and what a state this kingdom has fallen into.
The last courier who arrived from the Low Countries told me that Don Luis de Carvajal had started out to throw himself into Gravelines. Also that when he took ship at Dunkirk, the French were at L'Ecluse, which we have heard here from other sources. When I heard this I discussed with the Queen a proposal to send the Admiral at once with all the ships he has at Portsmouth and Dover. At that, the English began to say that the French had taken Alderney, which is towards Normandy, and that it would be preferable that the Admiral should sail in that direction, rather than elsewhere, because Alderney was important. I did not dare to contradict them, for to tell your Majesty the truth, I am afraid that if four French ships were to land men in England, there would be a revolution here.
It hurt the Councillors very much to lose the money they gave to the Germans. I told them that it was worth your Majesty's while, even if they received only three days' pay. The Aufgeld given to them is lost in any case, and they had served 12 days of the month for which they had been paid. Also that as they were now being dismissed, it would be necessary to give them at least half-pay, and that the English must remember the drawbacks they were avoiding by not bringing over this regiment at a moment when the French were not in force in Scotland and when English troops could be raised who would not have to be given any Aufgeld, or any such pay as the Germans would have to receive on dismissal. The fact remains that the Germans acquired weapons against Gresham's credit to a total of £2,000, and as this money has not been paid out, the English now want your Majesty to pay. I told them that you would issue instructions accordingly, because it seems to be reasonable, and to act otherwise would cause great dissatisfaction here, as much so as if the sum at stake were a larger one. Nothing had been written to me from the Low Countries about these £2,000, and I had heard nothing about the matter until the English spoke to me on the subject. In the letter addressed to me, your Majesty tells me to dissemble in this German affair. In your letter to the Privy Council, you say that I will explain it all, and I was therefore obliged to enter into discussion on the matter.
The Swedish Ambassador was satisfied with the answer he received from the Council, and said that he wished to report to his master and wait here for an answer. When the Queen reproved him in presence of the Councillors and Petre for having made a proposal to the Lady Elizabeth without her knowledge, he put up a feeble defence, but then repeated his request. Her Majesty answered that she did not intend to proceed further in this matter. I believe she intends to write to your Majesty about what happened between her and the ambassador. Within three or four days, a reply will be sent to you about the other matters that are now before the Council.
Draft or Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. 1.
458. Philip to the Captains of the English Sappers
Brussels, 11 July Thomas Arden and Godeneys, our captains in command of the English sappers who are to serve in the present campaign: our service requires that you stay in Flanders with your two companies under Count Egmont, our Captain General of light horse, and carry out all orders that he may give you. Captains Brooke and David Dodeham are to go with their men to St. Quentin.
Robert Brooke and David Dodeham, our captains of the English sappers who are to serve us in the present gampaign: on receipt of this letter you will depart with your two companies to St. Quentin, to work on the fortifications there. Cristobal de Gamboa is being instructed to go with you to serve as your guide. The two other companies are to remain with Count Egmont.
Copy. Signed: Yo el Rey; counter-signed: Eraso. Spanish.
Simancas, E.517.
459. Philip to Count Feria
Brussels, 14 July There is little to be said in reply to your letter of 5 July, which itself was in answer to our letter to you. The explanations you gave to the Queen and others about what happened at Thionville and Dunkirk were quite right. The situation in those quarters is now what you will see from a report (missing) which is now being forwarded to you. I hope that with God's help matters will soon improve, and you may say as much to the Queen and others in England, in order that they may take heart and do what they can to harm the French. You will let me know what the English fleet is doing, whether they have recovered the island of Alderney and whatever else there may be to report. You will tell me all about this, in person, for by now Don Alonso de Córdova should have arrived, and you will be able to come hither.
You replied correctly to the proposal put up by the Council about paying expenses in connection with Wallerthum's regiment and the £2,000 spent on arms. I have sent for Pickering, and as soon as he has come I will give you a definitive reply.
I was glad to learn what the Queen answered the Swedish Ambassador. You will inform me whether he has left or still insists on waiting for fresh instructions from his master, as he said he wished to do.
The Ambassador of the King of Portugal, my nephew, has informed me that last year one of the King's ships, called La Raposa, coming from Arguim, was seized by the French and taken to the port of Havre Neuf. When a complaint was made to the King of France about this seizure, and the resident Portuguese representative demanded release of the ship, the French consented. But when the ship left the port of Havre Neuf to return to Portugal, it appears that four English vessels fell upon her and took her off to Portsmouth, where the English unloaded her artillery and everything else she had on board. The Portuguese now request me to intervene in this matter, and I am therefore writing with my own hand to the Queen. I charge you to speak to her about it and request her on my behalf to give instructions that the ship be restored to the Portuguese, together with her artillery and the rest of her cargo, as well as the crew. If the matter has not been settled by the time you depart from England, you will leave it in the hands of Don Alonso de Córdova in order that he may pursue it. As I am sure you will take as much trouble about it as if it were business of my own, I did not wish to allow the Portuguese Ambassador to send an emissary to England, but preferred to handle it myself.
PS. In Philip's hand: Count Egmont has done very well. He routed the French at Dunkirk, as you will already have heard.
Signed: Yo el Rey. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove, Relations Politiques, Vol. I.
460. Count Feria's instructions to Francisco de Lejalde
London, 19 July You will use the 8,000 florins sent to you from Flanders to pay the 1,000 English sappers whom his Majesty has raised in England, as follows:
First, you will pay out on Antonio de Guaras's vouchers, as his Majesty ordered, what was needed to carry them to Flanders, and then the 200 crowns which you gave on my instructions to Captain Juan Estrond, (fn. 1) who took over the 100 miners. Anything that remains, together with the 8,573 Spanish reales which you received on, my instructions from William Wightman, who was treasurer of the English troops serving last year under Lord Pembroke, you will put to the following uses:
You will give £100 to James Basset, of the Queen's chamber. This makes 400 English crowns as an instalment towards the 1,300 crowns pension which his Majesty has ordered to be paid to him each year.
To Edward Randolph you will give £25, the equivalent of 100 English crowns, in payment of his pension for the last six months of the past year, 1557, in consideration of the fact that he is going to serve his Majesty with the 1,000 sappers.
To Geley, his Majesty's porter, you will give £7 10s. as an instalment towards payment for his wages.
Any balance that may remain over you may use towards refunding yourself for the £125 which I ordered you to give to Lord (William) Howard, former Lord Admiral of England, on account of his pension for the last six months of the year 1557.
It is necessary for his Majesty's service that you should remain in England for the present to look after the pensioners and other servants his Majesty has here, making payments to them when you receive instructions to do so, and such other duties as Don Alonso de Córdova may from time to time assign to you on his Majesty's behalf.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.811.

Footnotes

  • 1. Adolphe de Bourgoyne-Wacken, Sieur de La Capelle, Vice-Admiral of Flanders. See Vol. XII of this Calendar for his difficulties with the then English Admiral.