Spain: October 1554, 1-15

Pages 55-71

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

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October 1554, 1–15

64. The Emperor to Mary IM
Arras, 1 October We have instructed the Lieutenant of Amont, our ambassador resident at your Court, to speak to you on our behalf, and we lovingly beg you to grant him credence as you would to ourself.
Minute. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.23.
65. The Emperor to the Deputy of Calais
Arras 1 October We are once more sending to the King of England, our son, Francisco de Eraso, our secretary. We desire that he may be able to cross over rapidly and in security, so we affectionately request you to furnish him with vessels and everything else he may stand in need of, and treat him with all possible favour, by doing which you will give us great pleasure.
Minute. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.25.
66. The Emperor to Simon Renard
Arras, 1 October When our secretary, Eraso, recently returned from his mission to our son, the King of England, he reported to us certain matters connected with the re-establishment of religion which in his opinion ought to be the object of further negotiations with the Queen and her Council, and we are now writing to tell you that we are sending him back. It may happen that you will be required to assist by speaking on our behalf to the Queen and some of her Councillors, and we have written to her that you are to do so, wherefore you will confer with our son on the matter in hand, inform him of the opinion that your experience of English affairs has led you to form, and then speak to the Queen or Council in conformity with his instructions. And you will write to us, as you are wont to do, detailed accounts of all fresh occurrences; for we are well pleased with your recent despatches.
Minute. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.23.
67. The Emperor's instructions to Francisco de Eraso
1 October (fn. 1) You will first tell the King of England, my son, that I was very glad to hear of his and the Queen's good health, as well as the other messages he sent me in reply to what you carried to him from me. That is all very satisfactory, and I have nothing more to say except that I pray God for confirmation of the signs indicating the Queen's pregnancy, for it would realise our dearest wishes. You will send me news as soon as you arrive in England.
As for the religious question, I have received the letter the King wrote to me before you left London, and your account of the reasons that moved him has convinced me that he acted wisely in not replying as promptly as he had been requested to do. The matter is one of great importance, and you will tell him that the course he has decided to follow seems to me the wisest at present, for I do not approve of trying to settle it without being strong enough to do so or having won over more of the leading men and a larger section of public opinion. It should not be forgotten that the King has been only a short time in England; and there is good reason for suspecting the zeal of those who would urge him to adopt a forward policy at this early stage, for past experiences furnish us with indications of what the results might be. So you will say I think he will be right in gaining time by insisting on sending a special messenger to his Holiness, as indeed it is proper he should do, and in letting it be known that he and I and Don Juan Manrique will exert ourselves to the utmost to induce the Pope to grant the brief in precisely the form we have submitted to him. Our motives for making this request are so strong that we feel sure his Beatitude will consent if his real aim is, as it ought to be, to win back the erring English; for the great inducement to be held out to them is to promise that they shall be left in undisturbed possession of the Church property which they hold under various titles, wherefore both the Pope's and the Queen's collaboration is required. There is certainly no surer way of winning the goodwill of the English and keeping them faithful in the exercise of the religion which they are now to practice. The King was of course quite right when he refused to make any offer to the English on the ground of the brief brought by Cardinal Pole, which is vague and insufficient, for if he were to fail to keep his word everything would fall into worse confusion than before and there would be danger of a rising. While the brief is being obtained from Rome, the King and Queen, availing themselves of competent advice, may tactfully make use of gifts and offers to the persons principally interested in order to bring them round to a proper attitude. In the meantime we shall see what the Pope is willing to do and frame our course for the future accordingly, taking such precautions as may seem necessary. The King is of course his own master in all these questions, and I only consider it my duty to aid him with my advice as long as I remain in this country.
Until we know how his Holiness is going to act, there seems to be no reason why Cardinal Pole should go to England, as the King prudently remarks in his letter. And when the Cardinal does proceed thither, his mission will only be to confirm the agreements that shall have been arrived at. The King and Queen would do well to send him a letter by the messenger who is going to Rome, graciously explaining the requests they are submitting to his Holiness and showing that their object is to increase his authority, etc., etc. You told me that the archbishopric of Canterbury was being reserved for Pole; and if this is the case he had better get himself ordained so as to be able to say mass, for he is not yet in priest's orders.
We are sending to the Queen and her Councillors letters of credence in favour of our ambassador, together with copies for the King's inspection, in case he thought it advisable to approach anyone in connexion with this matter.
As for the King's coming over here, I greatly desired him to do so for the reasons given in the last instructions issued to you, wherefore and because of the verbal message he sent to me by you he was quite right in thinking that it would be best to come at once. It was then supposed, as I told him, that I should depart for Spain in January at the latest; and he would of course have found means to carry on the religious business during his absence and pending the arrival of the Pope's reply. But as I have now fallen ill again and am worse than I have been other years, I fear it will be necessary to defer my journey until the spring unless I feel strong enough before then. Thus we will have time to meet and need not be in so great a hurry, and the present state of affairs in England makes it so advisable that he should-remain there that I do not think he ought to leave the kingdom now. Were he to be away, ill-disposed individuals and French partisans would have an opportunity of causing trouble which the King's tact might obviate, for I am sure he is taking great pains to win goodwill. We think he has done well to go to London, where he will more rapidly become known and his court will be quieter, for in spite of all his efforts we hear from accounts sent to Antwerp by English, Italian and other merchants that there have been some disturbances in the course of which lives have been lost. Ill feeling must be aroused by such incidents, and also by the large numbers of Spanish artisans and vagabonds, a matter in which English opinion ought at once to receive satisfaction for the credit of the good government which, as you tell me, the King has striven to set up.
One of our main reasons for holding that he ought not at present to leave the country is that he has been requested to summon Parliament. Unless some new commotion takes place we think he had better do this as soon as possible in order to advance his own coronation, which we believe is to be discussed, and also to have certain badly-needed administrative measures adopted. I trust he will give a favourable impression of his prudence and other good qualities, and that those who have the opportunity of conversing with him will be thoroughly satisfied. During and after the session there will be plenty of opportunities to negotiate and prepare for future action with the Council and other important personages.
After this you will tell him that in my anxiety for his success I was unable to refrain from instructing you to report to him what was written in letters from England at the time of the Browne (fn. 2) affair, and the complaints to the effect that the gentlemen of the bedchamber appointed to serve the King did in fact not wait on him or enter his chamber; besides which Fitzwalter, who came over here as ambassador, had remarked that he had so little intercourse with Spaniards that he was fast forgetting what he knew of their language. We understand that there has been and still is ill-feeling about this among lords and commons, especially in London where people have murmured saying that innovations are already being introduced. As for the Browne affair, you have told us what happened and how the matter was settled, so there is no more to be said, though I should have been glad if a different attitude had been adopted. In your opinion the other grievance was due to the fact that the gentlemen appointed had not come to court. You will tell the King that I beg him to be careful to please the English by summoning the foremost among them at any rate to his levee or at some other time of day, for though this was not always done by former kings and might therefore not be expected by the English, they see the Spaniards going continually in and out and feel aggrieved, whence it comes that the people talk bitterly and the ill-disposed are furnished with opportunities of which it would be wiser to deprive them. I feel certain that in future this will be done.
You have told me that with regard to the sums required to pay what is due to the merchants and support the Spanish horse and foot, the King is in favour of settling with the merchants for our credit's sake and of taking up money enough for the troops, as it is so very important, at exchange or else by taking a certain percentage from the amounts due to the Genoese and other merchants in Spain and thus making up the sum required. What you have told me of your project for raising a million, and of the terms and securities that would enable it to be done, has convinced me that it would be most opportune at the present juncture. Thus we should be able either to continue the war against the King of France, or make an advantageous peace, and handle affairs in Italy, Germany and England with increased prestige, not to speak of many other considerations which are not to be neglected now that England is so exhausted financially. One of the reasons why I am sending you over there is that I wish you to explain this in detail to the King and request him to make up his mind, as I desire the decision to rest with him. As you know, the merchants want their answer by October 15, so there is no time to be lost, especially as I mean to keep for my own expenses the 130,000 ducats that Antonio de Zérate has in cash. I calculate that this sum will see me through the time I am to remain here, and even though my credit be ruined by it I am determined not to let the money go unless I have reason to be sure of getting it back by the proper time. If, in view of our needs, the King thinks fit to raise something on grants in the Indies or mines or by any other of the expedients that have been suggested, you may tell him to act according to his own judgment, as if it all belonged to him, for my signature will not be required, and if it is wanted for anything I will give it, as I have already explained to him.
You will tell the King that the Queen (Dowager), when discussing my departure, spoke of retiring from the government of these States and wished to come to an understanding about it. I refused, saying that it was not a matter to be decided until the King came hither, when they would be able to discuss it together. However, I fear her mind is definitely made up; so in the meantime let us both think it over in order that when we meet we may decide what is to be done.
I am sure the King will decide the question of Count Olivares' appointment with all due attention to the points at issue, so I will say no more about it. I have signed the order for the salary of 40,000 ducats and the other appointments; and the King himself will settle the other matters mentioned in the memoir he sent me by you . . . . . .
As you know, Don Fernando Gonzaga has gone to England to kiss the King's hand and inform him of the trend of his affairs. You may tell the King of the decision I have arrived at concerning Don Fernando, who shall also be informed of it in due time. Thus the King will be able to make up his mind, and you will also tell him of my intentions where Don Alvaro de Sande is concerned.
You will speak to the King about my ambassador in England (i.e. Simon Renard), and say that I think he ought to give him a pension as a reward for the good service he rendered in the marriage-negotiations. The King will think over whether he had better be kept there, and if so in what capacity, and will let me know whether he considers his presence necessary or wishes me to recall him.
As for Prince Doria's project for selling his galleys to the Duke of Sessa, (fn. 3) you are familiar with the matter and may tell the King that he was right in giving the Prince leave to negotiate. It has several times been discussed, and I think if it can be arranged it would be well to do it at once, for the Prince is very old, and if he were to die the galleys might get into the wrong hands . . .
Signed. Yo el Rey. Spanish.
Simancas, P.R.7.
1 October A memoir of the Queen Dowager of Hungary, to the effect that the Savoy, Captain General in Chief of his Imperial Majesty's army, is to have a monthly salary of 1,000 livres. (fn. 4)
Copy. French.
Besançon, C.G.5.
69. The Princess Regent of Spain to the Emperor (Extracts)
Valladolid, 2 October I sent off a courier on September 13th with a letter that your Majesty has already received, or else will see by the enclosed duplicate. I am now sending Don Hernando de Rojas, majordomo to my nephew, the Infante, to visit your Majesty and enquire after your health and welfare, and also to visit the King and Queen of England, my brother and sister. I feel very anxious about them, and have also been disturbed by an account brought by a Spanish gentleman recently come from Italy by way of the French Court, to the effect that your Majesty had successfully invaded France with your army and were already as far as Amiens. God carry you onward and grant you the victory we are all praying for. He also said there were news that the King, my brother, had been crowned in London to the entire kingdom's satisfaction, and I am daily waiting for letters from his Highness, for we have heard nothing since the Admiral arrived here . . . . . (Spanish affairs; the outlook in North Africa.)
After the above had been written, Don Juan Tavera came from the King of England's Court, which he left on August 29th. His account and the letters he brought told me of your Majesty's health and the progress of events in England. May Our Lord be pleased to send us the good news we wish to hear! . . . (North Africa; Italian affairs.)
Minute. Spanish.
Simancas, E.103.
70. The Duke of Savoy to the Queen Dowager (Extract from a letter dealing with military affairs.)
The Camp near Le Mesnil, 2 October . . . . I have received the petition sent to me by you, and presented to you by Thomas Matheson, an English gentleman; but after much thought I cannot remember having promised him anything that I have not kept. However, as he has been recommended by the King and Queen of England, I think your Majesty might make him some present, as you say you mean to do.
Signed: E. Philibert. French.
Brussels, E.A.110.
71. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Francisco de Eraso
London, 2 October I wish to hear that you have arrived safely, and the King wants to know what his Majesty thought of the messages you had to deliver to him, and what he means to do about it all. The people here are all pestering us, most of them about their own suits, and the Queen in order to come to a conclusion touching Cardinal Pole's mission.
The latest news I have to write to you are that, as his Highness is writing to the Emperor, the Queen is with child. May it please God to grant her the issue that is so sorely needed to set affairs here to rights and make everything smooth! His Highness has come to London, and a good thing too; for the longer he put it off the more disorderly people became, but now he is here they are quieting down. Yesterday he went to the ladies' hall and danced with the Admiral's wife, and the Admiral with the Queen. Afterwards there was a torch-dance, and the King took out the Queen as a partner. All is on the right road, and that which is to come from over there had better not be delayed, for this pregnancy will put a stop to every difficulty.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
72. A second letter (fn. 5) from a Spanish gentleman who accompanied Philip to England, also addressed to a gentleman of Salamanca.
London, 2 October I do not believe you will object to my writing again to you, and indeed one who is your most devoted servant ought to have done so before. God knows how delighted I was to receive your letter in this strange land, for you are one of the worthiest gentlemen with whose acquaintance God has blessed me, and I am most happy that you should deign to command me as one of your humblest servants. In my letter from Richmond I gave you an account of everything that had happened since my landing, and I am now writing again in obedience to your commands, and will be exceedingly happy to do so as often as you wish. Indeed, were you not to ask me I should feel injured. The news I now have to give you are that most of the Spaniards who came hither with his Majesty have been indisposed, and some of them really ill, apparently because of the change of climate. Certain of the household servants have been at death's door, but thank God they have all recovered. Such are the misfortunes that await one in this country. May Our Lord help us and send us good health! The country, it is true, is a good one, but we are surrounded by the worst people that ever lived, at any rate in a Christian land. The English hate us Spaniards, which comes out in violent quarrels between them and us, and not a day passes without some knife-work in the palace between the two nations. There have already been some deaths, and last week three Englishmen and a Spaniard were hanged on account of a broil.
On St. Michael's eve (28 September) the King and Queen left a castle where they had been staying for some days and came to London, which I believe to be the largest and finest city in the realm. They are to stay here a few days on account of some celebrations organised by the Spaniards, who have got up a very fine bout at cane-play in which I hear over eighty gentlemen, all richly adorned in silver and gold, are to take part. I have seen their costumes, all of velvet of various colours, and I believe it will please the Queen and consequently all the English people, whose interest will be keen as the sport is unknown here.
There is certainly much to be seen in this country, especially in the great and populous cities like London, where we now are—a capital full of magnificent things, grand buildings and noteworthy achievements of industry. It is true I had always heard that the marvels described in books of chivalry fell far short of what was to be seen here. The Queen is well served, with a household full of officials, great lords and gentlemen, as well as many ladies, most of whom are so far from beautiful as to be downright ugly, though I know not why this should be so, for outside the palace I have seen plenty of beautiful women with lovely faces. The women here do not wear the hoods and veils so common in Spain, but walk about town uncovered and even travel in the same way, though some of them, when abroad in London, cover their faces with veils like those worn at home by nuns who wish not to be seen. All the women wear short skirts, and most of them very tight fitting black stockings and slashed shoes like the men's; indeed they dress in a manner which I am unable to approve of, and I do not think any Spaniard would differ from me.
We Spaniards move among the English as if they were animals, trying not to notice them; and they do the same to us. They refuse to crown our Prince, though he is their King, for they do not recognise him as such or as in any way their superior, but merely as one who has come to act as governor of the realm and get the Queen with child. When she has had children of him, they say, he may go home to Spain. Would to God it might happen at once! for it would be a good thing for him and I believe he would be very glad; we certainly should all be delighted to get away from these barbarous folk.
The Queen is said to be with child, though we know nothing more than what is being said in the palace. The King has paid her debts to the tune of over 250,000 ducats, and has also distributed over 30,000 ducats worth of pensions among the Council and great lords in order to keep them contented, and all these pensions are to be paid in Spain. So you see the profit Spain is going to realise from this marriage; and even after all this these English will have none of us. My own conviction is that were it not that Our Lord is watching over us in answer to the ceaseless prayers and processions which letters we have received tell us are being held in Spain, we should all be dead by now; for these barbarous English heretics are void of soul or conscience, fear neither God nor His saints, and refuse obeisance to the Pope who, as they say, is a man like themselves and has no right to order them to do this or that; so the only Pope they recognise is their King, or as at present their Queen, who may command them to do or not to do anything she pleases.
There are many thieves here, who live on nothing else but the fruits of their thefts. We have been warned to go home before it gets dark and stay within doors; for otherwise we have to be very careful if we do not wish to lose our cloaks and our lives. And this is the sort of life we lead here, though the officers of justice severely punish as many robbers as they can catch. Think of it, only the other day they hanged an Englishman here for stealing fourteen pence, which by Castilian reckoning amounts to about 84 maravedies, less than two reales and a half, for the penny (dinero) they use here is worth about six of ours. And in spite of all this severity, there are so many thieves that as I have said no one must walk the streets after night-fall. Another great drawback here is the dearness of everything, for all prices have risen hugely of late years, especially those of food. So the gentlemen who came with his Highness and thought that ten, for instance, would be enough, find that they need a hundred or more, and are obliged to face enormous expenses.
It is repeated here and taken to be perfectly true that the Prince (i.e. Philip) will go next spring (God willing) to take over the crown of Naples, which kingdom his Majesty has granted him. The Marquis of Pescara has already gone to take possession of the realm. God grant that it may all contribute to the welfare of Christendom and the glory of the crown of Castile! His Highness has given the Count of Olivares a post of great honour, for it is believed he is to be Viceroy of Peru. You may be certain that I will keep you informed of everything of importance that happens here.
Copy. Spanish. Madrid, B.N.K.165.
Printed by Gayangos, Viage de Felipe II a Inglaterra.
73. Count Giovan Tommaso Langosco di Stroppiana to the Bishop of Arras
London, 6 October I wrote to your Reverend Lordship from Kingston, and would not have filed to write again frequently had anything occurred worthy of your hearing. I can now tell you that he Bishop of Winchester, Lord Chancellor, preached last Sunday in the churchyard of St. Paul's, the cathedral, before a very large gathering of people. His sermon, as I am told, was on the confutation of heresies, and of the new religion. Towards the close he introduced most opportunely the history of Joseph, saying that all his brethren had not wished him to die, but all had agreed that he should be sold; and he wished to infer that the whole kingdom had sinned and offended against the Queen in one way or another, but that she forgave all past offences, provided none should be repeated in the future. That which offended her most was the matter of religion, her desire and intention being that, all present heresies and innovations set aside, the ancient rites and traditions honoured by their forefathers should be restored. Although no exception could be taken to this summing up, three Englishmen, one of them in orders and the other two laymen, went each one separately to the palace to give warning that the people of London had been so grievously irritated by the Bishop's sermon that they were getting ready to go and kill all the priests and the Spaniards who supported them. No such intention had ever been held or remotely thought of, but these scoundrels had made their plans in the hope of capturing the favor and the gold of the Spaniards, or of earning some reward at least for their information. They were believed, so that all Sunday there was a sense of fear in the palace; the guard was summoned and all the noblemen were warned to be wary. Finally the device was brought to light, when it was found that there was no semblance of what they had foretold. They have all been sent to prison, and I think they deserved their punishment. But if the matter had been referred at once to the Queen's Councillors the truth would have been discovers sooner and we should not have been kept in suspense so long. If these Spanish gentlemen go on lending faith to newsmongers they will have this sort of thing or worse repeated every day. By divine inspiration rather than through any human artifice or device, a certain perverse heretic and secret seducer of this people has been discovered. He is the author of all the plots, writings and books that have been published against our catholic faith, which he caused to be printed, as I hear, secretly at a certain place in Flanders, and disseminated among the people, causing great scandal and still greater harm. They say that England held no blacker criminal than he in matters of religion; he denounced many of his fellow conspirators and accomplices who have been seized too, and I hope they will soon roast them all; (ne feranno un grosso rosto) and in this way the affairs of religion, having taken a favourable turn already, may make daily progress.
On the twelfth of next month the Parliament of the kingdom is to meet, as one may gather, to discuss the establishment of religion, the King's coronation, the coinage, taxation, and the rules of intercourse between foreigners and the natives of the realm. The speculators who have their exchange in St. Paul's church conjecture thus much. Five vessels are being armed to chase certain French ships that scour the Narrow Seas between Dover and Calais, and are preventing Don Ferrante (Gonzaga) and many others who would fain do so from coming across. I hear that the French ships have seized 14 Flemish herring smacks and that the Flemish have captured a French armed vessel.
The Spanish gentlemen are going to-morrow week to give a show of cane-play in which certain Englishmen are taking part; and they are making friends.
London, 6 October, 1554.
P.S. I have kept the present letter by me three days owing to the lack of a messenger and I will add that we have heard that the French are arming, according to various reports, from 25 to 35 ships. The Queen is sending my Lord Clinton to bear the collar of the Garter, the mantle, and the garter, to the Duke, my lord. He is to leave in four to six days' time. I most humbly beseech your Reverend Lordship to send the enclosed packet to the Duke.
Holograph. Italian.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.V.5.
74. Francisco de Eraso to Philip
12 October (fn. 6) I am writing to Flanders, so that though the reply about the exchange did not reach them by the 15th it may do so by the 20th; and Portillo will start to-night with the tide. If your Majesty is too busy to write before he goes you need not trouble, for I will inform the Emperor that you and the Queen are well, and confirm the tidings that she is with child. I will also report your decision as to the exchange, and say what I think had better be done to meet the merchants' demands. Your Majesty will signify your pleasure to me.
Unsigned, but in Eraso's hand. Spanish.
Simancas, P.R.7.
On the same sheet:
75. Philip to Francisco de Eraso
Until this moment we have been discussing religious affairs with the Queen, and have decided that his Majesty's ambassador shall go over to report to the Emperor and confer with the Cardinal (i.e. Pole). You may write this to his Majesty, and explain why I am referring him to your letter. The ambassador will tell him what we think, and why we are sending a courier to Rome. I am also writing to Don Juan Manrique to go at once and negotiate the matter (with the Pope). I will soon send another courier so that the present one may return before the ambassador goes over and my letter to Don Juan starts for Italy.
Unsigned, but in Philip's hand. Spanish.
76. Simon Renard to the Emperor
London, 13 October Sire: Since the King's return to town, on St. Michael's eve, the people of London have ceased to be as insolent as they formerly were, and are beginning to appreciate the King's goodness, the honour done the country by the marriage, the peace and quiet in public affairs and the private profit that have been the results of it. The nobility are now mixing a little with the Spaniards and are greatly impressed by the King's humanity and kindness; so things are much quieter than in the past and will improve yet if these people are treated in the way made necessary by their national character. There was certainly much trouble at the outset merely because matters were not gone about in the right way, and because of the difficulty of language. Since the Council has been approached on the lodging question, measures have been taken that have made the townspeople less unwilling to let their rooms, and the only point to be settled now is the excessive terms they demand, and a way to deal with that will soon be found. It is true that the heretics are still worrying at the religious question, and were much upset by certain articles published by the Bishop of London, a summary (fn. 7) of which is enclosed. What gave offence was the use of the word “inquisition”; but grumble as they may, the articles are still being posted up, and they (the heretics) can do nothing while the Lady Elizabeth remains in prison unless they can hit on a chief able to take an initiative: no easy matter, for all the lords and influential men are so jealous of one another that there is no confidence among them. Above all, those who have received pensions from the King are doing such good work in the counties where they have been sent that one hears of nothing but the people's gladness about the marriage, and thus the malcontents are fain to delay putting their plans into execution.
The malcontents, for the time being, found all their hopes on the Earl of Arundel who, as they assert, is the enemy of the Chancellor, the Chamberlain and the Controller. They believe he will bring about a marriage between his son and the Lady Elizabeth and then pronounce openly against the Chancellor; but those who know him well say he has little courage, is unpopular with the nobility, of a peculiar character, haughty and proud, so they take it that he will not dare to come out into the open. And the Chancellor tells me that the Earls of Derby and Huntingdon have assured him that they will stand by him against Arundel. Then there are the French and Venetian ambassadors, who are always plotting. The Venetian's house is full of spies, English and Italian, among whose names I have heard mentioned Bartolommeo Compagni, Bernardino, (fn. 8) whom your Majesty knows, a servant of Palavicini who is seeking after a pension here, one Battista Mario, a Neapolitan, and several others who are all doing their best to make trouble and speaking ill of the Spaniards; but their activities might be brought to an abrupt close by turning them out of the country. So, Sire, things are going rather better with the help of winter's approach and the fact that there is often dancing at Court where Spaniards and Englishmen are beginning to mingle; and it is a good thing that the King should have decided to keep some English household officials, who will serve him with their Spanish colleagues. It is impossible to believe that God has brought about a marriage between two such exalted princes without meaning the Christian commonwealth to derive great profit therefrom, and your Majesty's states to be given rest from the attacks of your enemies.
If the persistent rumour of the Queen's pregnancy is true, as it seems likely to be, there will be no more quarrels or disputes here and the thorny question of the succession will be disposed of. I was very sorry to hear that it had been said at Court that the King was going to Flanders in a fortnight, for though I do not believe the King means to do so I fear it may come to the ears of the Queen or Council and upset them, as your Majesty understands it would, especially the Catholics, who find in the King's presence an encouragement to stand up against the wicked. I fail to believe your Majesty would approve of the King's departure before Parliament meets and matters are more settled, or before the Christmas holidays. Parliament has been summoned for November 12th, and it will be possible to bring forward a proposal for the King's coronation, though without giving him any right to the succession, and then hold the ceremony in January. A decision may also be reached as to Cardinal Pole's coming. The Earl of Huntingdon and his brothers, the Cardinal's kinsmen, (fn. 9) are already offering to go and conduct him safely hither, and Paget, who is back in town, told me yesterday that if Pole starts by giving a general dispensation to all holders of Church property before attempting to do anything else his mission will be fruitful, but there is no chance of inducing Parliament to discuss individual cases of tenure, and to try to do so would only compromise the whole undertaking. Moreover, if the war continues and your Majesty wishes to use English troops, the King may have as many as he likes, and the Queen and Parliament may be induced to vote a contribution. The High Treasurer has already said that help ought to be furnished against the French, and it has been decided to have the men-of-war ready for service. All the great lords of the realm will come to Parliament where the King will make their acquaintance, and little by little things will begin to take the shape God has ordained. If the King wishes to go to Flanders towards the month of February, then would be the time to do so with the assent of the Queen and her realm; but if he went too soon and without any urgent reason the result might be so disastrous as to cause the alliance to end in irreparable harm and loss of prestige. Religion would be overturned, the Queen's person in danger, Parliament would not meet, and the way out of the kingdom would prove easier than the way in. French intrigues would bid fair wholly to win over the country with the hope of support; and your Majesty is aware that the Duke of Northumberland, (fn. 10) Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth all cast their eyes that way, and there is no lack of people to make offers. Everlasting hatred would spring up between England and Spain and both countries sorely suffer thereby. We would be accused of failing to hold what we had and the disaffected would be encouraged. Matters standing in the Christian commonwealth as they do at present, a constant and sound policy is required, and main objects ought not to be allowed to be obscured by the dissatisfaction of certain private individuals who do not find things exactly to their taste, or are uncomfortable, or have not quite as much liberty as they could fancy, or happen to have a grudge against someone. Also, the affection shown by the Queen for your Majesty and the King makes her deserving of great consideration, and so united and loving a couple ought not to be torn asunder. For all these reasons I fail to believe the rumour about the King's departure, and I take it to be my duty to mention the matter to your Majesty, who will decide for the best.
The Bishop of London published his articles without the knowledge of the King, Queen or Council. When asked how he had ventured to do so, he replied that it was a matter pertaining to his own post. He well knew that if he had told the Council about it there would have been opposition, and he had acted out of his zeal for God's service, because in religious matters it was meet to proceed firmly and without fear; and he quoted the Old Testament to demonstrate that God helped those who upheld His laws, observed His commandments and espoused His cause.
The French, hoping to fall on Don Fernando Gonzaga on his way from Calais to Dover, sent out nine men-of-war, but they were too hasty and were seen cruising about there for seven or eight days. When the Queen and Council heard of this, they sent the Admiral to the French ambassador to tell him that they meant the Channel to be neutral waters, as the King of France had agreed, so if any capture were made there it should be considered as a rupture of peace. Besides this, five ships have been fitted out and are to be sent to join those now off Dover, and Wotton has been instructed to make the same statement to the King of France.
I hear that Don Pedro Laso was not satisfied with the reply given to the King and Queen of Bohemia's request, and said that the King would not take it in good part. As I believe your Majesty realises, it is very important that friendly relations be kept up, for serious consequences might attend an estrangement. The very suspicion of something of the sort has done harm enough by prompting the German princes to grow turbulent and intrigue with the French, whose one hope lies in Germany, where they hear the Dukes of Cleves, Wérttemberg, Bavaria and others are leagued together with the King of Bohemia. It is said that the King of France has tried to fan the flame of ill-feeling by proposing to make peace on the basis of the cession of the Duchy of Milan to the King of Bohemia. Your Majesty will reflect whether at the present juncture it would not be well to let by-gones be by-gones and prepare for the future by dealing gingerly with this situation, remembering that it has arisen between great princes who are relatives and allies, and that if there were to be a breach the Queen of Bohemia would probably be resentful. I will say no more, for it is hard to speak of the question without being brought to utter a commonplace from which grave consequences must be deduced. If the King of the Romans were to be Emperor and there were not a good understanding, dangerous disputes might crop up in connexion with rights of legitimate succession, and might have to be settled in an unusual manner. It has already been rumoured that when the King of Bohemia married he was promised the succession either to the Low Countries or the Duchy of Milan.
People are saying here that there are quarrels between the Duke of Savoy, Don Fernando Gonzaga, Battista Castaldo and other of your Majesty's captains; and matters have gone so far that representatives of the Duke and Don Fernando have made public the deliberations of councils of war, thereby seeking to accuse one another, take credit for successes and impose blame for reverses. The Savoyard ambassador has produced a writing in answer to what he says he hears Musy, Don Fernando's agent, has been issuing by way of an account of the affair at the mountain near Renty and the councils of war; and when Don Fernando's children came back to this court and met the Duke's ambassador, they openly showed their aversion by turning their backs in order not to salute him. I have been informed that the Duke of Savoy is dissatisfied about the pension claimed by Don Fernando and the troops now said to be quartered on his lands, and that he wishes to go away when the army has been disbanded and he has come here to visit the King. I am speaking of all this in order that your Majesty may know what is being said here, and that the decisions adopted in the Councils of war were the result of discord rather than of unison.
There are certain tidings that the French are collecting all their available ships in Normandy, and our informants say they have some thirty sail there. The reason is not known, but they are said to be sending the Vidame of Chartres to Scotland with a force of troops, or perhaps they wish to be protected against the fleets passing between Spain and Flanders, or intend to fall on the King on his way over, as there has been much talk about his meaning to go. Others believe they merely intend to harry the fishing-fleets, which are unprotected; but in any case they are aiming at creating trouble here, either by means of the English themselves or through Scotland or some other part, for they believe that if they succeed in provoking disorders here a party will pronounce in their favour, as Joverius, a Spaniard just come from Spain, has told me. It has occurred to me that, as they hear Cardinal Pole is coming, they may think they will have an opportunity of backing up the heretics, or at any rate mean to make an attempt.
A fortnight ago the Chancellor preached a public sermon in St. Paul's churchyard, in the Council's presence. He so skilfully explained and expounded the errors of heretics that the sermon was found very good by an audience of over 10,000 persons, as I have been told, and he also spoke most discreetly about the marriage, greatly praising the King and Queen and the results of their union. In spite of his sermon, I am told that he regrets that he has not been given a pension, and he is said to have taken presents from those who have. The High Treasurer tells me he is very remiss in everything to do with administration.
Letters for the summoning of Parliament have been drawn up on the model of those used under Henry VII, in order that good, catholic members may be returned. The people of London have, in a public assembly, chosen four persons who are believed to be prudent and moderate.
The man who used to compose and have printed, in an Imperial town near Brabant, certain slanderous books, has been found out and caught, as I believe the King will have informed your Majesty.
The King has come to a decision as to his English officers, who are to be employed in the same way as the other gentlemen of his household.
The King of France is trying to induce his people to pay a taillon, amounting to a third of the ordinary taille: a tax only imposed in cases of extreme necessity. Attempts have been made to persuade the Constable that Siena might be relieved; but he thinks it too late in the year and too costly.
The frequent meetings of German princes are being freely discussed here, and one Villard told me your Majesty would do well to send capable envoys to the one that is to be held at Frankfort, to find out what is proposed and secretly agreed to by the potentates, for he believes it will not be to your or the King's advantage, but rather an attempt to diminish your authority and encroach on the direction of affairs in Germany. May your Majesty be pleased to note that none of the princes has sent to assure the King of his affectionate devotion.
A friend tells me that the French mean to start another offensive towards Brabant as soon as weather permits next spring and before your Majesty is ready to take the field, and that this is the Constable's plan.
The French ambassador has sent me his secretary to beg me to write to your Majesty for a passport for him, because the King of France is recalling him and sending another in his stead. I replied that it was unnecessary because the Calais Channel was neutral. However, I am writing to ascertain your Majesty's pleasure and suggest that as the Channel is neutral you might grant him one, in exchange for which we might obtain others for servants of the King, such as Portillo, who are being sent to Spain, which would be an advantage. Your Majesty will decide.
I have not written to your Majesty these last days because I have been suffering sorely from the gout. I am sorry, Sire, that my health does not allow me to serve you better.
For the last eight months, Sire, I have received no pay and as I have been obliged to advance money of my own in order that the negotiations I had in hand should not suffer, I beg your Majesty to order my salary to be sent to me; but I am so much embarrassed that I do not know how I shall be able to pay my debts unless your Majesty helps me out with a subsidy (ayuda de costa).
P.S. In Renard's hand: I am enclosing a draft (fn. 11) of the speech which it is suggested the Queen might make to the Council about Cardinal Pole's coming, so that if your Majesty thinks he ought to come you may make any changes you may think advisable.
Signed. French.
Vienna Staatsarchiv, E.22.
Printed, with trifling omissions, by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV, from a minute at Besançon (C.G.73).
77. Simon Renard to the Bishop of Arras
13 October (fn. 12) The publication of the articles on religion has so greatly angered the people of this place, that on Sunday last the parishioners of one London parish took concerted action and went to the Bishop of London, to whom they protested against the articles, going so far as to say that they could not be observed. On Monday, two other parishes did the same thing, so it has been necessary to put off the date on which the articles were to have come into force until the first of November. The people are dissatisfied and restless, and it seems likely that in the other dioceses and regions the articles will prove as unpopular as they have here.
I am informed that at the Guildhall, where the Londoners meet together to discuss municipal matters, strange words have been spoken about the articles, and consequently about the King, Queen and Chancellor; for some said that, as they had been printed with the Queen's privilege, they must have been cast by their two Majesties' authority. It would be well to take some measures about these meetings at the Guildhall, for King Henry tried to suppress them, and precautions had better be taken lest rioting ensue. The Mayor has issued orders that during Divine Service all shops are to be shut and inn-keepers are not to serve refreshment, and a few days ago they began shutting the city gates in order to prevent any unknown person from entering. Spies and others who do not love the King have started a rumour that he wishes to seize the Tower of London.
As for the discontent of the Earls of Kildare (fn. 13) and Ormonde, (fn. 14) about which your Excellency, in your letter of the 18th of last month, asked for more details, it arose because they have no share in the government of Ireland, and were informed that certain members of the Privy Council said they were too young to hold office. The split in the Council has ended in nothing that is deliberated there being kept secret outside.
Your Excellency writes that you know nothing about Bernardin. (fn. 15) He is an Italian, born at Pavia, who has always served the English ambassadors as a spy in either the Emperor's or the French court, and has lately been with Morison in Germany and with Mason at Brussels. Some time ago the Constable of France turned him out of his house, calling him a traitor. He and others whom I will name to your Excellency at our next meeting make a profession of publishing concocted stories and lies. He serves the Duke of Ferrara, is frequently with the Venetian ambassador, is everlastingly at Court, acts as Paget's spy, is in correspondence with Hoby who is taking the waters at Liége, and uses a pension he has here as a cover for many evil offices, the details of which would amaze you. They know all about him at the Emperor's Court. He has never left the Duke of Savoy's ambassador since the latter arrived here, and he recently came to give me false information about the Chancellor and my Lord Fitzwalter and to inform me that Paget was again at his house near Hampton Court and only waiting to be called by the Council to come to Court, although he had been given four months' leave. The object of all this was to find out whether I knew he was to be summoned. And yesterday Paget arrived here and held long conferences with the Savoyard ambassador and other persons, both foreigners and Englishmen.
I hear that the Emperor's camp is the scene of rivalry and discord between the Duke of Savoy, Don Fernando Gonzaga, Busançois, Castaldo, Bugnicourt and Aremberg. (fn. 16) The decisions of the Council of war, it is said, were the result of conflicting opinions and not of any agreement, the council's secrets are all being let out and the members are busily loading each other with blame for mistakes committed. The Duke of Savoy is displeased because Don Fernando has been reinstated in the Council, and has sent his ambassador over here to prepare the way for him to leave court, such a grievance has he. I am credibly informed, also, that the Duke has several ministers who are violent French partisans, so I think it would be well to think this matter over, and I may assure your Excellency that when Poircin recently returned from Spain he said that after he had negotiated in execution of the commission given to him by the Duke, the Spaniards had paid him with words. I believe you are already aware that the French have tried to arrange a match between the Duke and the King of France's sister.
I understand that the King of Bohemia will not be pleased with the answers given to Don Pedro Laso here and at the Emperor's court. And in connexion with this point, my Lord, I beg you to reflect how important it is that the house (of Austria) should remain on good terms, and how much harm a rupture might cause, for the very suspicion of such a thing has already caused the potentates of Germany to rise and negotiate with the King of France. It would be a great pity to provoke the ill feeling that might easily be awakened because of this trifling matter, especially now that this war is still of uncertain upshot and the main hope of the French rests on the German princes. The Dukes of Cleves, Württemberg and Bavaria are allied with the King of Bohemia, who had been encouraged to hope to obtain the Low Countries or the Duchy of Milan on account of his marriage. It must be remembered that the Empire will soon fall into the hands of the King of the Romans, and the quarrels your Excellency is aware of might lead him to become troublesome. The King of Bohemia, it is true, has as yet had no pretext, but he might seek one in the treaties and make common cause with others who are inclined to listen to him. It seems to me, my Lord, that the King's success in his undertakings depends entirely on his attitude towards his problem, and that it would be well to appear to forget the past, temporise with regard to present difficulties, and carefully prepare for the future. I beg you to take my opinion in good part, for I am not trying to give my advice where it is not wanted, but am moved by my sense of duty towards his Majesty. I have such good reasons for speaking in this strain that I will be bold enough to say that, even if the Emperor will not do more for the King of Bohemia than he recently said, the King ought to be induced to grant his requests in order to make it clear that there is no misunderstanding between them. It would not cost very much money to do this between related and allied princes, and it would be worth while were it only for the sake of the Queen of Bohemia, who might otherwise consider that she had been badly treated. 1 submit these considerations to your better understanding.
I am told that the King of France is doing his utmost to send horse and foot to Italy, to raise money and strike a blow in Piedmont with a view to separating the forces that are besieging Siena. It is said that he has sent strong garrisons to the Picardy frontier and revictualled Marienbourg; that the garrison of Ardres has burned the country round Gravelines and that for a few days it was feared that the Emperor meant to besiege Ardres. There has been a report in France that M. de Guise is going to Italy, and that the King means to recall his ambassador here and replace him by a new one; that he means to summon the Estates and get them to vote the taillon, which is a sort of increased taille (fn. 17) imposed in cases of extreme need, and that he has raised 100,000 crowns and forbidden the Florentine bankers to do business.
Minute in Renard's hand. French.
Besançon, C.G.73.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV, under the date “15–20 October”
13 October (fn. 18) A note requesting Simon Renard to obtain a safe-conduct from the Emperor to enable the following persons to cross over from England to France: M. de Noailles, French ambassador; Dame Jebanne de Gontault, his wife; François de Noailles, chaplain to the King of France; two young ladies, a maid, three gentlemen and their servants; in all 35 persons, 22 horses and mules, together with furniture, boxes and luggage. M. de Noailles expresses his intention of doing the same for the Emperor's ambassador should he have occasion to ask it.
Copy. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.23.
79. Philip to Francisco de Vargas (fn. 19) : (Extracts.)
London, 15 October . . . . Affairs are progressing well in this kingdom, and I trust in Our Lord that with His favour they may improve with each day that passes. I am sure that, as you say, the English ambassador in Venice rejoiced over my arrival and marriage, for he is a faithful servant of the Queen, and has written to congratulate me with many expressions of devotion to my service, and I am answering him in suitable terms. You will give him my letter, thank him on my behalf and assure him that we are well disposed towards him in every way . . . .
After the above had been written, the ambassador who resides here for the Seignory came and told us, with great demonstrations of joy, that the Republic was exceedingly happy to hear from his letters of our landing in England and marriage. He said he had been ordered to make this declaration to us, and showed us the passage in his instructions which was full of the Seignory's happiness on account of our coming hither. We thanked the ambassador in the requisite strain, but we also instruct you to tell the Doge and Seignory how much pleased we were with their message, thanking them in phrases calculated to strengthen the friendship already existing between us; for by so doing you will render good service.
Signed: El Rey; countersigned: Gonzalo Pérez. Spanish.
Simancas, E.1498.


  • 1. This paper is undated, but must have been written on 1 October; see the preceding letter, from the Emperor to Renald.
  • 2. See Renard's letter to the Emperor, of 18 September, 1554, p. 49.
  • 3. Gonzalo Fernández de Córdova, Duke of Sessa.
  • 4. The Flemish livre was worth about 25. 4½d. (gold); and consisted of 40 gros.
  • 5. See p. 31.
  • 6. This paper is undated, but the Emperor's letter to Eraso, dated 20 October, makes it clear that these two notes were written on 12 October.
  • 7. This paper has not been found.
  • 8. This is doubtless the person elsewhere referred to as Bernardin or Bernardine. See the following letter, p. 68.
  • 9. Catherine Pole, daughter of the Cardinal's brother, Lord Montague, was the wife of Lord Huntingdon.
  • 10. Renard speaks of the past, Northumberland having been beheaded on 22 August, 1553.
  • 11. This paper has not been found.
  • 12. This letter is undated, but must have been written about October 13.
  • 13. Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare. Born in 1525, he had lived with Pole in Rome before returning to England after Henry VIII's death.
  • 14. Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormonde, born in 1532.
  • 15. Probably “John Bernardine”, see Vol. XI of this Calendar, p. 307, and the Foreign Calendar for Mary's reign, pp. 194, 318.
  • 16. Jean de Ligne, Prince of Barbançon.
  • 17. i.e., a tax in addition to the taille, cf. p. 67.
  • 18. This note is undated, but Renard, in his letter to the Emperor dated 13 October (p. 67), refers to it as just received.
  • 19. Imperial ambassador at Venice.