Spain: November 1554, 1-15

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

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'Spain: November 1554, 1-15', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, ed. Royall Tyler( London, 1954), British History Online [accessed 19 July 2024].

'Spain: November 1554, 1-15', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Edited by Royall Tyler( London, 1954), British History Online, accessed July 19, 2024,

"Spain: November 1554, 1-15". Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558. Ed. Royall Tyler(London, 1954), , British History Online. Web. 19 July 2024.

November 1554, 1–15

88. Philip to the Princess Regent of Spain (Extract)
London, 4 November On October 19th I received your letter of September 13th and one in your own hand, together with the duplicate of one dated August 3rd, which reached me by the over-land route. It was such a long time since I had heard anything from Spain that I was anxiously waiting for news of your and my son the Infante's health; thank God you are well! I can well believe that, as you say, you were very happy to hear from my letter written at Windsor (Vindilisor) of the conclusion of my marriage to the satisfaction of everybody and the arrival of the Regent, Don Juan de Figueroa, with the Milanese and Neapolitan matter.
Since then I have written to you by Don Juan Tavera, by a Portuguese gentleman who went by land and by Rodrigo de Heredia, my courier, to whom I am sending this letter besides the one he has already taken, as I hear his boat is still at Plymouth. Moreover, I also wrote by a merchant's courier who left here on October 16th; and all these letters will have given you what news I had of the Emperor's, my own, and the Queen's health, as well as the present condition of affairs here. All I have to add is that I hear his Majesty is very well, and I and the Queen are also in good health. We have summoned Parliament for the 12th instant, in order to negotiate important affairs, of the progress of which I will keep you posted . . . (Local Spanish matters.)
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
89. Gonzalo Pérez to Juan Vázquez de Molina
London, 4 November I have received your letter of September 12th, and we were so longing for this arrival that never did a letter cause so much joy. You really ought to write oftener, for we are in grievous anxiety when much time goes by without our receiving anything from you.
The people here have become so much gentler that you would fail to believe it, and indeed the King's kindness and the favours he is never weary of bestowing would soften stones. Religious affairs are going very much better, and now that Parliament is to meet and the Legate is coming, as many people here wish him to do, I believe all will turn out well with regard both to religion and to administration; so for the present there is no need to say more. The Queen is a saint, and I believe God will help us through her, though it is very sad to see both father and son away from Spain.
I kiss your hands for your expressions of joy because of the Emperor's remembrance of me in the Neapolitan and Milanese matter. God will that I may soon have to congratulate you on some signal favour received from the Emperor, for it is time he conferred one upon you, and indeed I gave Eraso a broad hint on the subject, as my duty bade me because of the goodwill you have always shown me; and I know you would have still warmer feelings were it not that ill-intentioned persons are plotting to harm me and perhaps you too. However, time will show them up and deal with them in the requisite manner. I have spoken to the King about Count de la Morata, and the trouble that has been made for him in Aragon, as well as his private affairs, urging the King to show him favour. He is writing about the first point to the Emperor, and to his sister about the second, so I hope all will be well.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
Printed by Fernández Navarrete, Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
90. Mary to the Emperor
London, 5 November I am sending to Flanders my dear and well-beloved, Lord Paget of 5 November Beaudesert, Knight of my Order, and Mr. Edward Hastings, Knight, my Master of the Horse, both members of my Privy Council, to make known my and the King, my husband's, good pleasure touching the coming hither of my cousin, Cardinal Pole, and to accompany him to England. I have instructed them to visit your Majesty and acquaint you with the circumstances of the Cardinal's mission. I beg you to give them credence and allow them to benefit by your good advice.
Holograph. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.I.
Brussels, 5 November 91. A minute for a passport for Adrian de Garcia, gentleman of the King of England, who is going from the Low Countries England.
Minute. French.
Brussels, L.A.71.
92. Simon Renard to the Emperor
London, 6 November Sire: The King and Queen, having heard my report on my negotiations at Brussels with your Majesty and Cardinal Pole, decided to speak to the Privy Council about the Cardinal's mission to England with a view to bringing the matter forward at the next session of Parliament, for they had assured themselves of the goodwill of the Earls of Arundel and Pembroke and some other Councillors whose attitude had been dubious. This was done on Saturday last, and it was unanimously decided that Paget and the Queen's Master of the Horse should go to Brussels and accompany the Legate hither, and that provided the holders of Church property were not molested in their possession, obeisance should be owned to the Church, for it had not been withdrawn because of any injury done to England by the Pope, or anything of the sort, but merely on account of the question of Queen Catherine's marriage, and most unreasonably. So Paget and the Master of the Horse are starting to-morrow. Your Majesty knows how much Paget did for the match and his constant devotion to your service, so I will only add in his favour that he is a man of great experience; and I trust that, with God's help, the Legate's mission may be executed in a manner conducive to His holy service and the welfare of Christendom.
While I was at Brussels, the French ambassador's brother went over to the French King and brought back letters of credence addressed to the Queen, in virtue of which he congratulated her on her marriage. The ambassador would have liked the King to be present, but it was not considered suitable that the King should comply with his wishes, as he had neither letters nor instructions to appear before him. The Constable of France has written to the Chancellor, but all I have so far gathered of the tenor of his letter is that it discusses means of making peace in general terms.
There is no doubt that the Queen is with child, for her stomach clearly shows it and her dresses no longer fit her.
Things are quieter in this realm than they have been for the last two months; only the English and Spanish servants are always picking quarrels, a matter for which remedies are being devised.
I suggested to the Queen that she might have a proposal to crown the King brought forward during this next Parliament, and she considered it reasonable. I cited the precedent of Queen Catherine, her lady mother, who was crowned. The upshot of the matter shall be made known to your Majesty as soon as possible.
Several English lords are offering to serve the King in this war, but they are being neither refused nor accepted, your Majesty's directions thus being followed.
Signed. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.22.
93. Philip to the Duke of Albuquerque, Regent of Navarre
7 November Letters from Spain have informed me that you were leaving for Navarre, and I was glad to hear it for though it is winter your presence there will be very useful; so if you have put off your journey, I pray you to undertake it at once, and to report to the Emperor and me on the situation there and whether there is anything new about Henri d'Albret (Don Antique de la Brit). In connexion with this matter, his Majesty has seen the memoranda (fn. 1) recently sent by Señor de Ezcurra and the offers contained in them. It seems to him that there is now more to go on than there has been in the past, for the allusion to M. de Vendôme deserves consideration, for neither his Majesty nor Queen Mary, my aunt (i.e. the Queen Dowager of Hungary), remember any proposal of such importance being made to us, although this is not in accordance with what Don Anrique says. Be that as it may, the negotiation had better be continued, and you will carry it on in the manner that most recommends itself to you. You will point out that my arrival here was delayed until the middle of July, at which time his Majesty was moving forward to meet the King of France whom, after inflicting heavy losses on him, he obliged to raise the seige of Renty; and since then it has been necessary to fortify a place near Hesdin, which is now ready and greatly menaces the French, besides extending our frontier by twelve leagues, whilst I have been obliged to busy myself with affairs in England which, thank God, are now going well. There has consequently been no time this year to give this question due attention, for the troops destined to put the plan into execution would, for the most part, have to be fetched from Germany, which is a lengthy business.
You will encourage him to hope that we are already considering how best to go about the undertaking, and that as soon as I see his Majesty, which will not be long, a decision shall be arrived at. In the meantime we hope to hear further accounts from you, and you will deal with Don Anrique and his agents in such a manner, though without committing yourself, that they may be persuaded of his Majesty's and my serious intentions. Try to learn as much as you can and help the matter on in the direction which you know we wish to follow, and in case it were really to come to something, make a rough calculation of the number of Spanish, German and English troops that would be required, as well as the cavalry, artillery, munitions and supplies. Think of questions of transport, and above all provisions and fodder for the horses, with which it may be supposed that Don Anrique will help us out, though as a rule this kind of arrangement proves uncertain. Have an eye to roads, valleys and mountains; note down when the army ought to be concentrated and where, and how many days' march would take it from that point to the place where it would have to attack. It would be a good thing if you could get possession of a map of the region, showing the lie of the land there. You will send us your opinion on all these questions, and an estimate of the total amount of the troops' pay and other expenses per month, on the basis of which we will be able to tell what naval preparations will be necessary. Act in all this with such secrecy that no one may get wind of it, for all our chances of success consist in being able to deal a surprise-blow. We would like to hear again whether Don Anrique's strong places will hold many troops, together with any observations it may occur to you to make; for thus you will be doing the Emperor and me good service.
Draft or copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
94. Pope Julius III to the Emperor
Rome, 7 November We have read your Majesty's letters and heard what Juan Manrique had to say about altering the powers on the point of Church property in England which we gave some months ago to Reginald, Cardinal Pole, our Legate de latere. We immediately called together those of the Cardinals whom, on account of their prudence, learning and piety we considered best qualified to discuss this question, and when we had exposed your Majesty's wishes to them they all agreed with us that it would be far better, for all reasons human and divine, to abandon all the Church property rather than risk the shipwreck of this undertaking. We consequently ordered new letters to be written in this sense under our seal, and sent off to the Legate by this same courier, as your Majesty will hear at greater length from the Legate himself and from Juan Manrique.
Original. Latin.
Simancas, E.881
95. Philip to the Princess Regent of Spain (Extract)
London, 8 November His Majesty has been consulted on the points mentioned in letters from Spain, and has decided on the replies to be given with regard to the following. The despatch has been drawn up ready for his Majesty's signature, and will be sent off by special courier as soon as Eraso arrives in Flanders. I am availing myself of the opportunity offered by a messenger now going, in order to save time in signifying to you what is to be done in accordance with his Majesty's commands; and you will let me know the measures that have been adopted.
With regard to the regulation of the rates of exchange, the price of money and importations from France, I have seen the report that was drawn up after these points had been debated and sent off. The rates of interest are so high that bankers are demanding leave to export coin from Spain, and I believe good will be done by a rise in the price of money and by permitting certain commodities and goods to be imported from Spain, but not any other categories the admission of which would be harmful. We have therefore decided in favour of these three measures, together with others that they will render necessary, so they are at once to be put into execution in the manner set forth in the report, which is again being sent to you. We are sure that the results will be beneficial to Spain and its inhabitants, though in view of our needs here there will certainly be some difficulty; and we would ask nothing better than that the payments on sums taken up at exchange should be punctually effectuated in Spain, though in war-time this is impossible because of the calls that are continually being made on the exchequer and the grave consequences that would attend any delay in producing the necessary sums for facing the expenses contracted by the army during the campaign.
You will at once see to the publication of the referred-to measures, so that if possible the new regulations as to exchanges may begin to be applied in this October fair. Let the Council of Aragon deliberate as to what steps shall be taken to prevent any but the specified varieties of goods entering Aragon, Valencia or Catalonia any more than they enter Castile, for otherwise there would certainly be a rise in the rates of exchange from Castile to the above-mentioned kingdoms, because all the money would pour out of them into France. If any difficulties crop up you will let us know of what remedies might be applied and are suggested, so that we may be able to issue the requisite orders over here. In the meantime, see to it that no prohibited goods find their way into Aragon, Valencia or Catalonia, either over-land or through the sea ports, for unless that abuse is put down all our measures will fail of their purpose and we shall be obliged to close the Spanish frontier to all commerce, including that with Flanders, England and Portugal . . . .
(The rest of this letter deals with proposals for raising money by the sale of privileges of various sorts, monastery lands, etc.)
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
Brussels, 13 November 96. A minute for the Emperor's letters patent to his governors of provinces and other officers to afford all assistance to Cardinal Pole, Papal Legate, who desires to pass through the Low Countries on his way to England.
Minute. French.
Brussels, L.A.71.
97. Count G. T. Langosco da Stroppiana to the Bishop of Arras
London, 13 November Parliament opened yesterday, after the accustomed mass of the Holy Ghost in the church of Westminster, at which the King and Queen assisted, clothed as follows: a great tunic down to the feet, and over it a mantle of crimson velvet with a very long train and lined with ermine thickly dotted with black spots, a large hood of the same covering the shoulders. On their heads they wore only caps and the tippet, their Majesties' usual adornment, but two lords carried before them two bonnets of crimson velvet also lined with spotted ermine. The Earl of Shrewsbury carried the King's and the Earl of Arundel the Queen's. Two other lords carried before them two great swords as signs of power: the Earl of Westmoreland bore his standing in front of the King, and the Earl of Derby in front of the Queen. Many persons were of opinion that one of these swords would have been enough, as husband and wife are one and the same thing. Then there were four macebearers with four great silver maces, six heralds with their velvet coats adorned with the arms of England, four pursuivants with damask coats after a different pattern from those worn by the heralds, though these garments are all coats of arms and adorned with the arms of England; but I do not know exactly what the office of these pursuivants may be. In front of the last-named came a great company of trumpeters preceded in their turn by thirteen bishops and a large number of lords, I mean those qui habent suffragium et votum deliberativum, all dressed in great scarlet mantles lined with ermine. First of all were the doctors of the law. I mean that only the lords who have a right to vote in Parliament were clothed in these mantles. The Duke of Norfolk, who has not attained his majority, and the Lord Warden, who is only a lord because of his office of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and not on account of any title of his own, were not so attired, but accompanied their Majesties notwithstanding.
The whole aforesaid company marched in procession to church, the King on horseback and the Queen in a sort of litter, open so as quite to expose her to the public view. The crush of people in palace and church was such that it was almost impossible to move; I believe there must have been 20,000 persons present. The people showed a wonderful enthusiasm for their Majesties, and such exclamations were heard as: “Oh! how handsome the King is!” “Oh! how kind and gentle he looks!” “Oh! what a good husband he is! How honourably and lovingly he treats the Queen!” After mass, when their Majesties were on their way from the choir of the church to the Parliament house, an old woman cried out: “An evil death to the traitors who said our King was misshapen! Look at him! He is as fair as an angel! And I hear that he is good, holy and pious. God save him and bless us!” I saw yesterday many other signs of love and goodwill which I could hardly have believed, and I have it from a great personage that the plans for the King's coronation are in a fair way to succeed.
The clergy of Westminster came to meet their Majesties at the church-porch. The King and Queen knelt and kissed the cross, and as soon as they had entered the church the “Veni creator spiritus” was sung, while they proceeded to their places at the end of the choir and sat down under a baldaquin with the wonted ceremony, the King on one side and the Queen on the other under a canopy. The mass of the Holy Ghost was then begun, the Bishop of Ely (fn. 2) officiating, and was performed according to general usage, but after the offertory the King and Queen remained seated, each under a canopy, one on one side and one on the other. When mass was over the Bishop of Lincoln, (fn. 3) who as I am told is a most learned man, preached a sermon in English, though he gave the gist of it at the end in Latin. His text was from Isaiah: “ego cogito cogitationes pacis, non afflictionis(fn. 4) and he said that those who had separated from the primitive Church, that was the Roman apostolic church ex succession Petri, did not harbour thoughts of peace, any more than did the introducers of new religions and new dogma, or the seditious or those who were disobedient to the King, the Queen and their magistrates. He discoursed at some length on the various forms of sinning against faith and religion, constantly bringing in his phrase “illi non cogitant cogitationes pacis”, and finally exhorted the King, Queen and lords assembled to attend Parliament, urging them to frame “bonas leges quae respiciant cultum et honorem dei” and the firm establishment of our true catholic religion, always having a thought for the public weal and the policy, defence and increase of the realm.
The service concluded, the gathering made its way to the Parliament-house where the Speaker, (fn. 5) as he is called, read his speech in presence of the assembled Estates. This lasted a good two hours and, I am told, dealt mainly with the religious question and demanded the approval of Parliament for the agreements made by the marriage-articles; though I am informed that it also contained much other matter. Present was a great concourse of lords and members for the country, more than have ever attended any other Parliament. Besides the great lords already mentioned, there were the Earl of Rutland and the Earl of Pembroke, who was accompanied by about 300 retainers, among them being 44 of his gentlemen clothed in black velvet cloaks with gold tassels or other ornaments and each one wearing his gold chain, and the rest attired in blue cloth with a device representing a serpent on one sleeve. These last also wore some velvet garments. Then my Lord Talbot came out very brave with a great following, but not nearly as sumptuously dressed as Pembroke's. There were a good many other noblemen present, such as the Earl of Sussex, the Marquis (Earl) of Huntington and more whose names I have forgotten. These English lords showed signs of joy at the Cardinal's coming, and I hear that the business in hand will be proceeded with slowly: may God inspire him and all the rest to serve Him for the good of His church.
I hear that the Marquis of Vaudémont has come hither with some peace proposals. I know it is superfluous to recommend to your Lordship the interests of my master, the Duke, for you ever have them at heart and are full of affection and goodwill, but in order not to neglect my duty I am mentioning the matter to you, merely as a reminder and not at all as a recommendation, and I trust you will take it in good part. It seems here that the French have spoken about real peace proposals to the Bishop of Winchester, the Lord Chancellor, whom they would like to use as a means of approaching the King, but I hear that his Majesty, as in duty bound, reffert omnia ad patrem. I beg your Lordship to let me know if you have any news of my master, the Duke, for I shall not be tranquil until I hear he is back from this French campaign.
Holograph. Italian.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.V.5.
98. Simon Renard to the Emperor
London, 14 November Sire: Since I last wrote, the Chancellor has told me that the French ambassador and his brother, the prothonotary (fn. 6) (who, as I wrote to your Majesty, went over to France while I was at Brussels), presented to him last Tuesday letters of credence from the Constable. In virtue of these they said that the Constable had always been a lover of peace between nations and greatly regretted the war between your Majesty and the King, his master, which he had never advised, but which had been urged on the King by sundry young lords he had about him. Once the King had decided for war, he had been unable to do otherwise than accomplish his duty like a good and trusty vassal; but now his thoughts dwelt on the incalculable damage suffered by Christian countries now and as long as the war should continue, and as your Majesty was powerful and his master obstinate there would be no end to it until one side was ruined and defeated. It had occurred to him that, in order to avoid so great a calamity, make plain his zeal for peace and act up to the high opinion your Majesty had always had of him, the Chancellor might speak to the King and Queen on the subject as a good prelate should and persuade them to play the part of mediators and bring about a peace. As soon as he (the Constable) heard of their willingness to do so he would at once approach the King, his master, with a view to inducing him to see reason, and indeed would come to England in person in order to forward so important a negotiation and establish a firm and lasting peace between the two princes. M. de Courrières had said in London that the Constable had formerly been reputed a lover of peace, but had since lost that reputation. Now, he wished to call God to witness that this war had not been undertaken on his advice, and would always prove that the opposite was true. They (MM. de Noailles) permitted themselves to speak all the more vehemently, because they were aware of the King's and Queen's great goodness and virtue; and when the Queen had given them audience on the foregoing Sunday she had dwelt on her intention, already affirmed before and after her marriage, to observe the treaties and keep the peace with the King, their master.
The Chancellor made answer that he did not think it meet that he should speak to the King on the subject or urge him to mediate, for he was one of the belligerent parties, but he would willingly approach the Queen on the matter if he could be quite sure the Constable was acting sincerely and recognised the fact that peace without justice was no true peace, but merely insidious temporisation; in fact he would not care to have a hand in the matter if it were not proposed to give back Piedmont and Savoy to the Duke of Savoy, and all other usurped territories to their rightful owners, for unless justice were rendered to them, there could be no lasting peace. They must realise, he added, that this question could not leave the Queen indifferent, for she was the King's spouse and the inheritance of her children, were God pleased to grant her issue, was at stake; so only fair and honourable terms had better be suggested. The ambassadors replied that there were several ways of making peace; for instance, a marriage might be arranged between the Infante of Spain and a daughter of the King of France, or some other couple. The King would not make much difficulty about handing over Savoy, though he had more claims on Piedmont; but the principal thing was to open negotiations. The Chancellor said he would speak to the Queen; but they must write and remind the Constable that peace must be founded on justice.
The next day, the Chancellor reported this conversation to the King and Queen. The King discussed it with several persons and came to the conclusion that the object of the French was to discover how matters stood in England and the Queen's intentions; whether England was likely to break with France or not; whether help was to be sent to your Majesty; the likelihood of war in this country; whether the King was inclined towards or desired peace; or whether the French plan might be to use peace negotiations as a cloak under which to intrigue here, as the French ambassador's brother had presumably come hither for a reason. Others point out that the French must either be moved by necessity or by the wish to deceive. Now, their necessity is evidently a factor, for they have been facing the expenses of war for a long time, and they will be unable to deceive if no trust is placed in their words and proper precautions are taken. If they hope to find out anything of importance there are means of hindering them, but to refuse to hear what they have to say would be to enable them to justify their position in the eyes of all Christian potentates. It seems likely, from what M. de Vaudémont said on behalf of the Cardinal of Lorraine and also from the Constable's overture, that they really desire peace; and your Majesty will have the choice of accepting or refusing their proposals. It was decided, after these deliberations, that I should draft a reply that might be used by the Queen if the ambassadors were to press her further, and also by the Chancellor; which I have done, and now enclose a copy (fn. 7) of it. I believe the King will have reported all this to your Majesty, but I thought I had better do so as well, for I remembered what you wrote to me when the likelihood of their approaching the Queen on this subject was discussed.
The ambassadors wished to have access to the King's Court and accompany him to mass in order to be able to open a diplomatic conversation; but no answer has been given to them.
The ambassadors told the Chancellor that the very day the prothonotary left the French Court news reached the King that three towns of his realm had declared themselves heretic, and that one of the Constable's chief reasons for wishing to make peace was to prevent the error from spreading.
Most of the English lords have come here to attend Parliament. Cardinal Pole's arrival is expected, and it is almost certain that his mission will succeed if he begins by dispensing the holders of Church property.
It is said that the French are making great plans in Italy for the relief of Siena, and that the Duke of Ferrara has informed his Holiness that his son who was recently in France is raising troops for this undertaking; but he thinks that before proceeding further with it he ought to try to bring about a reconciliation between Tuscany, Siena and your Majesty, for otherwise success is uncertain.
It is suspected here that the French are continuing the intrigues they started here last year with the Lady Elizabeth, and that some of her relatives are in touch with the French ambassador. A few days ago, Elizabeth sent for the Queen's physicians, who bled her in order to stop a running cold in the head from which she was suffering. The King has not yet decided which Englishmen he intends to have in his household, and several of them are dissatisfied about it.
The proposal to have the King crowned is to be brought forward, and I have already mentioned it to the Queen and the Chancellor, adopting a tone as if it had been settled at the last session of Parliament.
All the leading men of the realm and the provincial magnates, Sire, are going to be present at this Parliament, together with the representatives of the people, so your Majesty would do well to come to a decision as to what line you mean to adopt towards the King of France, for all manner of questions may now be settled, as well as the measures to be introduced next year. The King might be reminded that much depends on the members' satisfaction with his person and deeds, for if they are pleased and give a good account of him in the country it will be an excellent preparation for the future.
Parliament opened on Monday, and the King and Queen were present in their royal robes. The Bishop of Lincoln preached at the mass of the Holy Ghost, taking as his text the words from Jeremiah” ego cogito cogitationes pacis “, a theme which he eloquently developed, showing that those who did not harbour thoughts of peace included all the enemies of the unity of the Church. He summed up his sermon in Latin in order that the King might understand it.
The King has commanded me to stay here until Parliament is over and he comes to some decision as to giving me leave to depart. So although your Majesty was pleased to give me permission, I am unable to use it as you have referred the point to the King and I desire humbly to continue to do my duty by serving either your Majesty or the King.
Signed. French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.22.
Enclosure in the above letter.
An answer, drawn up by Renard, to be given by the Queen to the French ambassadors.
The Queen has heard what the French ambassadors said to the Chancellor on behalf of the Constable of France about making peace between the Emperor and the King of France, and the Constable's desire that the Chancellor should persuade the Queen to mediate. Her Majesty might summon the ambassadors to her presence, together with the Chancellor, and say that she fails to believe the Constable really wishes her to act in the matter, because he has already given his reasons for considering her intervention suspicious on account of her marriage with the King, the fact that the question of peace concerns not only her issue, if God is pleased to give her children, but the realm of England, and his belief that her will cannot be other than her husband's. She has also heard that overtures are being made to the Emperor through another channel; but if she believed that the Constable was proceeding in a sincere and unfeigned spirit, and that her intervention might be useful to the general welfare of Christendom, she would not fail, on condition that the terms suggested should be just and honourable enough to lead to the conclusion of a lasting peace, to do her best favourably to influence the Emperor and persuade the King, her husband, to forget all his just reasons for being resentful against the French, and set aside all his own interests in the cause of the public good.
99. Luis Vanegas to the King of the Romans
London, 14 November Your Majesty's letters reached Don Pedro Laso when he had already left England, so he sent to me from Malines your letter for the King of England, and wrote telling me to present it with the speech your Majesty had commanded him to utter, congratulating the King on his accession to the throne of Naples. I have done as I was bid, and the King is answering your letter, and says he kisses your hand for what you say to him in it, which he deserves for the dutiful and sincere love he bears you and his desire to render you service. His Majesty is very well, though beset by business and anxieties, one of the chief of which is that he has heard of the King of Bohemia's poor health. May Our Lord be pleased to make him as well as we, his servants, desire him to be! The Queen is in excellent health and three months with child. She is fatter and has a better colour than when she was married, a sign that she is happier, and indeed she is said to be very happy. The King also is, and his contentment will become greater as time goes on, for things are greatly improving, especially as regards religion; the English are going to return to their obeisance to the Pope and God's Church. This goes hard with many of them, and the great reason is that they had sworn never to consent to such a step. Your Majesty will admit it was a most Catholic ambition, to stick by their oath against God and His Church, and flout His commands. Praise be to Him, it was His cause, and He has forwarded it. So may He guide all matters in this realm! On the 12th of this month Parliament met: the same thing that is known as” Diet” over there (i.e. in the Empire), and” Cortes” in Spain. The King and Queen were present in great red velvet and ermine robes, and before the ceremony they heard mass and a sermon in English from a bishop, who dwelt on the thanks due to God for giving England so good a King, and that now was the time to give him the sword that belonged to him and to hand back the keys to the keeper of keys, the Pope. The session was then opened, and the King's speech was heard with the greatest satisfaction.
Cardinal Pole, otherwise known as the Cardinal of England, he who was kept back in Flanders, is now coming hither and is to be allowed to enter the country. Some of the foremost members of the Council and the Master of the Horse have gone to conduct him hither, and he is expected within eight or ten days. Great advantages to religious and secular affairs are looked for from his presence, for he is highly thought of as a Christian and a good man. The holders of Church property have not been asked to make any sacrifices, but are going to be left undisturbed; and I believe this is the main reason why they have given their consent on the main point.
It is believed that the King will certainly go to Flanders after Christmas and kiss his Majesty's hand; and I have no other news to give your Majesty for the present.
Holograph. Spanish.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, S.4.
100. Francisco de Eraso (?) (fn. 8) to Ruy Gòmez de Silva
Brussels, 14 November I sent a letter to you on the 6th instant by Soto, the accountant, and all I have to tell you now is that his Majesty, thank God, is well. Letters arrived last night from Italy, and though I feel sure the King and Prince (i.e. Philip) will have received others to like effect, I thought that for the sake of not losing the good habit of writing to you I might send you a summary and an account of the examination (i.e. information extracted by torture) of the Neapolitan who was caught some days ago trying to escape from Siena.
You will see what the Cardinal says about fitting out more galleys, and you may as well see and if you like make use of a memorandum which a friend of mine has sent me on the subject.
A letter, as you will observe, is being sent to the King about Piacenza. I must tell you that Count Giovanni Angusciola, (fn. 9) a native of Piacenza and a faithful servant of his Majesty, has for some time been preparing a plan to seize Parma; he has been encouraged from here since the truce was prolonged, and Francisco de Ibarra is in correspondence with him. He wants to know what to do, and I have ordered him to send full reports, especially to you, so that the King may have information in the light of which to come to a decision.
Nothing has been written to me of how or where Señor Hernando de Silva was wounded; perhaps you may have heard something about it.
Copy. Spanish.
Simancas, E.508.
101. An account of the negotiations at Brussels of Lord Paget and the other English envoys (fn. 10)
14 November Lord Paget and the Queen of England's Master of the Horse had audience of the Emperor last Sunday, November nth. After the customary salutations and formal greetings they made known their instructions and the Council's unanimous approval of the Cardinal's journey to England as Legate, declaring that he must go soon because of Parliament, and that they had been ordered to communicate the object of their mission to his Majesty before speaking with the Cardinal. They then went to the Cardinal, who had been informed of the object of their mission by his own agent lately returned from England and also by a message sent to him by his Majesty as soon as he had received the letter from the King, his son. On their way out, Paget was taken aside by his Majesty's orders and given to understand that his Majesty wished to thank him for his exertions in bringing about the match, and tell him frankly how much he regretted that since then Paget had displeased the Queen, though his Majesty had quite recently had the satisfaction of learning that he was once more in favour and had done good service where the religious question was concerned, a course that would enable his well-wishers to reward him for his pains on both occasions, and entirely forget what had happened in the interval. Paget was then asked whether his Majesty, adopting this point of view, might summon him to a private conference, and replied that he might do so whenever he wished, without the least shade of apprehension.
As soon as the envoys had left his presence, his Majesty read the letter the King had sent to him by them, and felt the more moved to receive Paget alone that he has a profound knowledge of English affairs, is capable of giving a useful account of them, and at present shows signs of being so well-disposed as to merit confidence. Moreover, his Majesty thought he had better see Paget before giving audience to Cardinal Pole, who was to take leave the following morning, in case there were any points arising from Paget's remarks that might advisedly be impressed upon the Cardinal as he was starting out on his journey.
So on Monday, immediately after dinner, Paget was summoned and began by asking what his Majesty wished to say to him. The day before, his Majesty replied, he had desired to see and speak with him privately, and had sent word to that effect, though he had not yet read the letter from the King, his son, which he had only opened when the envoys had left his presence. The contents of the letter, however, had increased this wish, for they expressly stated that it was most important to hold a private conference with him, because he had had long experience of politics in England and would, better than any other man, be able to render an accurate and detailed report on the existing situation.
Paget then spoke in general terms of the health of the King and Queen and their popularity in England. He had been entrusted with other missions to Flanders, he reminded the Emperor, and had once come over to suggest a marriage between the Queen, then Princess, and the Infante Don Luis of Portugal. Since then he had been thrown into the Tower for his Majesty's and the Queen's sake, for that was the real reason, after he had assured his Majesty that no violence would be done to the Queen's religious convictions, which in Flanders had been taken to convey a definite promise binding for the future, whilst the then rulers of England maintained that he had no authority to make more than a statement of their intentions for the time being. The upshot of these remarks was that he had always served to the best of his ability and exposed himself to grave perils, in spite of his constant desire to withdraw from public life. As he had some knowledge and experience of English affairs, he would be very glad to furnish his Majesty with any information in his possession, if his Majesty would be pleased to tell him on what points he desired to be enlightened.
Now, Paget's remarks contained two delicate points. First, the mention of his imprisonment, which he made out to have been occasioned by the interpretation here given to his words about the immunity from religious interference to be enjoyed by the Queen (then Princess). Second, it was to be feared that if, in compliance with his suggestion, his Majesty questioned him in general terms it might appear that his interest in English affairs was less lively than it might be, whilst if he went into details there was some fear of giving the impression that he was more forward in inquiring into their secrets than they themselves might perhaps like. His Majesty, consequently, was somewhat puzzled as to how to go about it; but Paget soon disposed of his embarrassment, for as soon as his Majesty had spoken of his gratitude because of Paget's part in the marriage negotiations, and deep regret when he had been afraid that, on account of the Queen's displeasure, there would be no opportunity of rewarding him according to his merits, not forgetting to insist on his redoubled joy on learning that he was in favour again and doing service that would make it possible to requite him for his good offices and forget the rest, Paget was unable to refrain from taking up the allusion to the Queen's displeasure. Speaking with due respect, but not without anger, he accused the Chancellor of being to blame for it. He, Paget, was a straightforward man and always spoke his mind, and when the measures to be laid before Parliament were being discussed at the Council-board, and it had been agreed not to try to pass any religious measure that might make trouble, the Chancellor had merely read over the headings of some articles on religion, disclosing a few points contained in them of which Paget had not approved. To express dissent at a Council meeting was no offence deserving bitter reprimand, and he had never wished to do otherwise than serve the Queen, but the spectacle afforded by the present government and his memories of dangers that had in the past menaced him and others had for some time past caused him to make up his mind to retire from Court and live more quietly in his own house.
Without waiting to be questioned, he then of his own accord began to discourse on the actual state of affairs in England. The Queen, he observed, had at this early stage in her reign been forced to recognise the services of the men of position who had followed her adverse fortunes and had helped her to come to the throne. There were a good many of them; and as to begin with, though unable altogether to trust the former holders of office, who had been her opponents, she had had to make use of them, admit them to the Council and show them honour, the result was that England, which had always been a monarchy, was now governed by such a crowd that it was much more like a republic. It seemed to him that the only way to correct this evil, given the Queen's gentle character and inexperience in governing, would be that the King should take over the task himself with the assistance of the best qualified Englishmen in Council, though that body's numbers ought also to be reduced. At the same time, it must be remembered that the English had a natural hatred for foreigners and were not without some hostility towards Spaniards. These feelings were much stronger among the people than among the nobility, and with a little goodwill on both sides it would prove quite possible for them to get along together. In connexion with the limitation of the membership of the Council, he spoke of the Chancellor's self-sufficiency and asperity, saying frankly that he was a better hand at stopping up a dangerous hole than at preventing the hole from being pierced. The Earl of Arundel he highly praised and warmly recommended to his Majesty, assuring him of the Earl's devotion in terms that showed him to be speaking of a close friend. He also said that Clinton was a brave man and had done good service. Of the Admiral he spoke more coldly, and further mentioned the Bishop of Norwich, (fn. 11) formerly ambassador here, and Secretary Petre, saying that if Petre wished to retire he ought not to be allowed to do so, but kept in office, for he had been there so long that he was as good as a Council register and reminded the members of everything that had occurred in the past. Among other things, he made it quite clear that whatever he might formerly have said he was now minded to go on serving the King to the last.
After the government and the Council, Paget spoke of the administration of justice, observing that it was a very important matter, for the insolence of the English had to be bridled. His Majesty replied by praising clemency, in order that Paget might not think he advocated violence, and stated that he had advised the Queen to try to govern by mild methods rather than by the show of authority and the letting of blood that had formerly been the rule, unless her mildness were taken as an encouragement to do evil, in which case it would become necessary for the subjects' own good to have recourse to measures hateful to those forced to apply them. Paget made answer that there was no longer any need for the great severity to which princes were often obliged to resort in order to make their dominions safe and put a stop to popular disorders. There was no one left to plot to seize the crown or attempt any great adventure, for all those who might have been suspected of such intentions were dead; so it would be better to deal mildly with the nobility and use, if necessary, a certain amount of severity with the common people whose nature it was to be rebellious, and who had grown unruly with the spirit of faction and lack of unison that had prevailed among the great during the late King Edward's reign. For that reason all the would-be usurpers had tried to obtain popular support; but order and discipline would put an end to all danger on that score.
Next, he dwelt on the religious question which had brought him over to Flanders, saying that he hoped all would go well in Parliament after the Cardinal's arrival, provided measures were observed and the Legate took care to be impartial, never allowing private influences to persuade him to show more favour to one man than to another. Most of the nobility were greatly concerned about Church-property, which had come into their hands as a reward for services rendered, as compensation for arrears of pay, by purchase or as the result of exchanges with the Court, wherefore it would be necessary, as had already been said, to leave them undisturbed in their possession and rid them of any doubts they might have conceived. Many of them were persuaded of the truth of their opinions, others had been born or bred in them, and all this could not be uprooted at once, but must be dealt with gradually and with moderation, in which case he trusted Parliament would go off well, for the right men had been summoned. Thus the supremacy of the holy apostolic see would be duly recognised, but the rope must not be strained to the breaking-point. At this, his Majesty remarked that he had especially wished to speak with Paget before giving the Legate leave to depart in order to see whether any of his remarks ought to be repeated to the Legate at his final audience; and he would not fail to urge him to be impartial.
Paget next touched on the financial situation in England and expressed his sorrow at seeing it so unsatisfactory, for whereas the country was formerly so well off as to be able to supply its friends and neighbours, it was now sorely embarrassed itself, and the Queen unable to find money for her household expenses and her officers' pay. The cause was lack of method, and it must be seen to, for with prompt attention and care he believed that within eighteen months finance might once more be set on a sound footing whether for peace or for war, whereby the Queen's authority would be strengthened and she would be enabled to defend her realm and help her friends. The French had formerly dreaded English sea-power, which had now so sorely declined that the Queen's ships were rotting for lack of money to keep them in repair. It was high time, he pursued, for the King to take his sword in hand, grow hardened to the heat and cold of campaigning, defend his subjects and strike terror into his foes; and he would find plenty of volunteers in England ready to follow and serve him. His Majesty remarked at this that he had taken great care not to drag England into the war, for he was anxious not to allow it to be said that the marriage had forced the country to join in; and for this reason, although the King desired to take his place with the army, his Majesty did not desire him to do so. Paget promptly replied that the scruple was most praiseworthy, especially in the present circumstances, but earlier treaties authorised his Majesty to demand England's help, and her archers and other troops would certainly strengthen his forces.
In reply to a question about Courtenay and the Lady Elizabeth, Paget said that in his opinion neither of them was of any great account; especially now that, thanks be to God, the Queen was with child their influence in the kingdom would entirely disappear. He had already told the Duke of Alva what he thought about them, which was that it would not be a bad thing for the King to summon Courtenay and thus reinstate him in the Queen's favour, after which he might be sent to Rome, as when Parliament was over the kingdom would have to pay its obeisance to the Pope and he would do very well for the mission. He might be kept there with this pretext for a year or two while things settled down at home, and at the end of the time he would have no more prestige in England than the meanest subject. As for Elizabeth, she might be married off to some poor German prince; for that would be the safest way to dispose of her.
This conference over, his Majesty received the Legate and after expressing his satisfaction at the happy state of religious affairs in England, exhorted him to act with impartiality, as Paget had advised, and gave him leave to depart, urging him especially to proceed in all things by the advice of the King and Queen, whose zeal in the good cause was such that it would not fail to guide him aright. He then dismissed Paget and the Master of the Horse, who are going to meet the Legate to-day, Wednesday; for he and his suite found it more convenient to start yesterday afternoon and go as far as Dilleghem.
The following considerations have occurred in connexion with Lord Paget's remarks on the conduct of affairs in England and his suggestions as to the steps the King might take in order to limit the membership of the Council, reform the administration of justice, religion and finance, make sure that the country is prepared for war, and deal with the Lady Elizabeth and Courtenay.
The arguments adduced by Paget and many other reasons combine to show how important it is that the King should take over the task of government and make it his especial care, for the object of the marriage is that he should do so, fulfilling his duty towards the Queen in the manner provided for by the articles, whereby it seems quite certain, he will give her the greatest satisfaction. No better advice could be given to him than to follow the example set by the late Catholic King (fn. 12) in his attitude towards Queen Isabella, for the circumstances are the same; his aim should be so to act that whilst he in reality does everything the initiative should always seem to proceed from the Queen and her Council. It would greatly help the King if the Queen were to assist, whenever able to do so, at the Council meetings at which he also is present, in order that the nobility and people may understand that all decisions are adopted with her and her Council's approval.
The limitation of the membership of the Council is a somewhat invidious, though necessary step, so the Queen herself had better decide to take it, and let everyone realise that she has done so. She will have previously been persuaded to keep the right members, as to whose choice it is impossible to express an opinion here, as it must depend upon the personal qualities of men unknown to us. It certainly seems that the Chancellor, Paget, the Bishop of Norwich and Secretary Petre are experienced statesmen whose services are indispensable, although they may not be entirely satisfactory in all respects, for as their failings are well-known and they are being picked out in spite of them, it ought to be possible to avoid drawbacks. As for the rest, they must be chosen in the light of knowledge of their characters. It would be a grave mistake to attempt to introduce any foreigners into the Council, but were any matter to crop up on which the King felt unwilling to come to a decision without obtaining outside advice, he might pretext its gravity to give the Council some time to think it over, privately consult whomever he chooses, make up his mind and then find arguments to persuade the Queen to adopt his view, in order that it might appear to the Council to be her own. For one of the characteristics that mark the English is that they never approve of any proposal advanced by a foreigner; and in this manner the desired result may be obtained without exciting resentment among them.
With regard to the administration of justice, it is true that Paget's words might be taken as meant to bolster up the nobility, but the clemency and moderation advocated by him are laudable provided they are not pushed so far as to prevent severity from being shown when called for. Care must also be taken not to alienate the sympathies of the people, who seem to be devoted to the King and Queen. The whole question, especially where punishment and leniency are concerned, is too difficult to be dealt with from a distance, so all that can be said is that each case must be rigorously or mildly handled according to its own merits, the position of the persons concerned and the general state of affairs.
We must praise God that religious matters are so far on the road to mending, and that a first success has been won with the return to obeisance to the apostolic see, for this error was the root and foundation of all the others. It may be hoped that God will grant His help in the task that remains, and that those who have been lukewarm in His service may be filled with zeal, whilst the excessive ardour of certain others may profitably be moderated. The reasons mentioned by Paget show the dangers of trying to right matters at one blow, so it will be well to remember how the Catholic King and Queen went about the reduction of the Moors at Granada, and how the apostles themselves, in the early days of the Church, were in the habit of putting up with certain things until such time as the weaker brethren had grown firm in the faith and become strong enough to bear the stricter rule.
We are unable to give any advice on the financial question, for we do not know how the disorder has arisen: whether it has been caused by malversation, or by the confusion created by too many hands, or by not having enough officials to transact necessary business. It is a delicate point, and one that concerns some of the foremost men in the land, so the Queen had better take it in hand in a manner calculated to show that no foreigners are busying themselves with it, and that only dire necessity and the wish to know how she stands have forced her to make inquiries. However, she may discuss it with the King and obtain his advice, while he may privately consult anyone he likes so long as the English know nothing about it.
As for fitting out ships and preparing for war in the manner hinted at by Paget, the time has not yet come to adopt a definite decision. If a vessel here or there is getting leaky it had better be caulked, and gradually preparations may be made; but the main point is to have enough money to face expenses, and the future must largely depend on what their Majesties (i.e., the Emperor and Philip) decide to do when they meet together.
The two remaining points concern the Lady Elizabeth and Courtenay. As for her, it has been considered that were she to be married in Germany to some prince whose states are near the sea-board, she and her husband might eventually become troublesome and try to start intrigues in England. So it has been suggested that Margrave Charles of Baden would make a better match for her, as he is of their Majesties' kindred, and his states are far from the sea and near here. Or she might be wedded in Spain to the Duke of Segorbe's son, whose lands are on the other sea (i.e. the Mediterranean), though there is a serious obstacle in the fact that she is defiled with English sects and either she or her servants might meddle in matters that the Inquisition would take seriously. The result would be scandal, and if her doings were winked at they might do real harm in Spain.
There seems to be no doubt that if Courtenay's case had been properly gone into there would have been no difficulty in putting him out of the way. However, it is much too late now, and as the Chancellor favours him, and Paget, who is of the opposite faction, thinks he had better be treated with clemency, it does not seem advisable to propose punishing him. Paget's suggestion therefore appears to be a wise one, especially as if he goes to Rome to present the realm's obeisance to the apostolic see he and his followers will lose all credit with the protestants. If he shows signs of being troublesome in Rome, his recall would afford an easy opportunity of trussing him up and putting him where he would be able to do no harm.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.23.
102. Instructions from Philip to Francisco de Eraso
November - (fn. 13) First of all you are to tell his Majesty, the Emperor, that as soon as I had read what he said in his instructions about religion I sent off a special messenger to hasten to Rome and back. Despatch was most necessary, for Parliament had been summoned for the 12th instant and could not be prorogued. Also, the matter had to be brought up at the beginning of the session, and not later as I would have had it in order to leave time for his Holiness's answer to arrive. Moreover, it had already been discussed with his Majesty, whose intentions I knew; so by my orders the messenger was told not to wait, especially as Ambassador Renard, who was present at all the deliberations, and had read my letter to Don Juan Manrique, was soon going over and would be able to report, and if Cardinal Pole had had to be consulted and his Majesty had been obliged to speak with him, time would have been lost, and delay would have been dangerous. This is why no word was sent to the Cardinal, though his Majesty had ordered it to be done. I addressed the courier to Don Juan Manrique, in order that he might proceed to Rome and negotiate with his Holiness, for I thought he was unoccupied at Florence, as I had not been told of what his Majesty had instructed him to undertake in the Sienese affair. Had I been aware of this, of course I would not have sent him conflicting orders which might well have puzzled him, but fortunately his Majesty wrote to him to the purpose I saw by a copy that has just come. It would not be a bad thing if the persons who took so much trouble in posting the courier on to Rome were to take a little more and let me know what decision has been come to about Don Juan's remaining (at Florence). His Majesty may be sure there are very serious drawbacks to that plan.
The ambassador (Renard), before leaving Brussels, sent me a courier with certain briefs in possession of the Cardinal and some account of the conference they had held together. The very next day, I had them examined by competent persons to see if they were sufficient, and the opinion given was that none of them was clear and thorough enough to satisfy these people (i.e. the English) as to the matter of ecclesiastical property; for not only did they not contain the requisite explicit clauses, but the very manner in which they were issued by his Holiness shows that his intentions were fluctuating. So, as there was no possibility of proroguing Parliament, and the business must be brought up early in the session, and no time remained for waiting for a despatch from his Holiness, even supposing he were willing to send the one we wanted, I ordered some members of both Councils to meet in the Queen's and my presence, to which I also commanded certain of the theologians whom I brought with me. I had the point at issue explained to them, and they all agreed that, as the righteous object in view was to lead the erring of this country back to the fold of the Church and induce them to become once more obedient, success in which would greatly redound to the service of God and the welfare of Christendom, I might without conscientious scruple take the matter into my own hands, especially as the briefs and the Cardinal's letter led us to believe that ample power would not be slow in coming. This I decided to do, feeling sure that the Holy Father would ratify and approve my course, and indeed be very glad I had adopted it. And God has now been pleased to permit my toilsome negotiations with the interested parties great and small to end by their making to me the offers of which I recently wrote to his Majesty. I have rendered humble thanks to Him for having achieved a result that had appeared altogether out of reach, and given us great hopes of severing this important province from error, in which case peace and justice will be established and everything will wear an entirely different aspect from heretofore. Thus no small glory will accrue to his Majesty; for I have only been the instrument, whilst the guiding impulse proceeded from him. You will relate how Parliament opened, and explain that next Saturday (i.e. November 17) business will begin to be transacted. As soon as the Legate arrives the religious question will be dealt with, and every effort will be made to finish in time for the members to go home for Christmas.
As for my journey to Flanders, you know that after your (former) visit I began studying the religious question, and on realising that there was some advantage to be gained came to the conclusion that I must not go away. And before you returned with the reply, I had decided on the convocation of Parliament. I am very glad that I followed the line his Majesty recommended, for it was certainly the best, as experience has shown. But I am so anxious to kiss his hand, see and talk with him that I must once more beg him to allow me to go over there as soon as this business is done. Now that the Queen is with child it will be easier, and I believe that January would be a good time. The Estates might be summoned to meet then, for as his Majesty has decided so soon to go to Spain, and certain regions are behaving in a particular manner, it is essential that they should recognise me in his presence and get to know me, and that I should begin to attend to affairs there. I trust in God that under His authority I may contrive to give them satisfaction; and I hope that all the advice his Majesty has for me, and all the hints destined to guide me, may be made known to me in good time, for my whole object is to be directed by his will. I hope his Majesty will so arrange matters that there may be no more unpleasant incidents like those that cropped up when last I was there.
His Majesty is of opinion that war must be waged next year on the King of France, as he is said to be in sore straits and it would be possible so to crush him as to prevent him once for all from throwing Christendom into a tumult and imagining that he holds peace and war in his hands; so all this will have to be kept in mind when supplies are being considered. For without having plenty of money in hand, his Majesty knows that we must not attempt anything on a large scale. It will be my first campaign, my first opportunity of acquiring or losing prestige; all eyes will be fixed on me, and as it is to be undertaken in the vicinity of those very regions where certain demonstrations have been made, I am particularly anxious not to demand more aid from them, but rather show them that my purpose is to bring them relief. You will therefore tell his Majesty that I beg him to signify his intentions and views very fully where I am concerned, for he is far better able than anyone else to form an opinion. I must confess that for some years past I have been desirous of leading a campaign, and am the more anxious to do so now that I am near a theatre of hostilities offering such great openings. And I would like it to be as soon as possible. Success in such matters depends on careful preparation, so if his Majesty is favourably disposed, as I hope, I will submit to him certain considerations that appear to me to deserve attention.
If his Majesty decides against an offensive, it will be necessary to make timely provision for defending our own, which will also cost a large sum of money, such are our debts and the great forces we are forced to keep up. And here again I see no way out except the splitting up (fn. 14) already referred to, for there is no question of getting out of Spain or Sicily more than enough to repay what remains owing and to provide for ordinary current expenses. His Majesty well knows how it is with Naples and Milan, and as he has shown me the great favour of bestowing them upon me it is only fair that he should support me in their enjoyment, as he has written and told you he means to do. And it would naturally be a sore grief to me if, during my possession of them, some disaster deprived me of my authority and reputation, which it has always been his Majesty's object to increase. As his Majesty has placed me in this position, his ministers in those dominions might reasonably hand the direction of affairs over to me instead of clinging to it themselves; for since he has shown me this favour there is no reason why his subjects should imagine that it is purely nominal, and that in reality everything is to go on exactly as before. And if necessary you will tell his Majesty why I say this.
As for the English, you will tell his Majesty that the greatest favour he can do me is to inform me of his own opinions; for I know that as long as I follow his advice I can never go wrong, so that is what I mean to do. Nevertheless, the persons who spoke to his Majesty about the matter he mentions took too much upon themselves, for not only did the Master of the Horse himself request to have that particular thing done, but he was delighted when it happened, as were all the lords, and there is no indication whatsoever that the people were so very dissatisfied about it, nor was there any reason why they should have been. True it is that when I landed and found out that they had organised a household for me with so many major and minor officers, I was quite naturally embarrassed, not so much on account of the expense as of the trouble it gave me. I believe this matter was not brought to his Majesty's attention, but that as he was ill at the time and left these points to others, there were several different objects in view, especially as I have found out that the Queen and Council were solicited from over there (i.e. Brussels). However, there is no good talking about it now, and all we can do is to get on as best we can, and I intend to give orders that some of them (i.e. the English officers of the household) shall serve permanently at table together with the rest. As for those appointed for the bed-chamber, they are accustomed to serving here in a very different manner from that observed at his Majesty's Court, and as you know I am not satisfied that they are good enough Catholics to be constantly about my person; nor would his Majesty like it either. We shall arrange matters as best we may; but what the Viscount (fn. 15) said was not as reasonable as people over there seemed anxious to believe, and he and the rest of the lords show every sign of being very well pleased with the treatment they receive. They are not only allowed to go and come as they choose, but are made much of and cultivated by the Spanish gentlemen; and they all get on together in a way that it would rejoice his Majesty to see. He would also be pleased with the calm behaviour of the people, for though there were a few unavoidable incidents, I have taken such trouble to punish the guilty that there is nothing brewing now. Many of the vagabonds and artisans have taken themselves off and others will go, so everything is shaping well, though especially now that so many people have met here for Parliament it is necessary to be watchful.
Spanish. Draft. The passages in italics are in Philip's own hand.
Simancas, P.R.7.
103. The Emperor to Simon Renard
Brussels, 15 November We have received your letter of the 6th instant, and thank you for sending ample information on events in England. We thank God that the Council are now unanimous in favour of Cardinal Pole's going thither as Legate, which gives ground for hope that the desired result may be achieved.
As for the King's coronation, the project is favourably considered over there and the Queen wishes it to be carried out, so we shall see what decision is arrived at by Parliament, and if there is no valid reason against it, we think our son, once crowned, would be able to manage affairs in England with greater authority.
You will do your best to discover what the Constable wrote to England about peace, and whether the French ambassador did not say anything more definite than the remarks you reported; and inform us of all you succeed in finding out.
The Legate left here the day before yesterday, and Lord Paget, the Master of the Horse and Clinton yesterday; and they all seemed well pleased with their reception. We are enclosing an account (fn. 16) of the negotiations that took place and Lord Paget's words to us, together with our own observations, for your guidance. Another copy is being sent with the letters which Paget is carrying to the King, our son, and in the meantime you may show your copy to the King and go over it with him, so that he may form an opinion on the matter.
Signed by Bave; the Emperor's hand being too gouty to hold the pen.
Besançon, C.G.73.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV. The original minute is at Vienna (Imp. Arch. E.23).


  • 1. In Paris (Archives Nationals, K.1489) there were formerly several undated papers relative to Henri d'Albret's intrigues with the Emperor's ministers. Carton K.1489, together with others removed to Paris from Simancas under Napoleon I, has been returned to Spain, but all the papers contained in it were microfilmed before leaving Paris, where the negatives may be examined.
  • 2. Thomas Thirlby, Lord Chancellor under Edward VI.
  • 3. John White.
  • 4. The opening words of the Introit for the twenty-third and twenty-fourth Sundays after Whitsunday: not from Isaiah, but Jeremiah 29, u. Renard recognised the author, see p. 85.
  • 5. The Speaker of the House of Commons at this time was Clement Heigham. This reference, however, may be to the Speaker of the Lords, Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester.
  • 6. François de Noailles.
  • 7. See the following paper.
  • 8. This letter bears no indication of the writer's name, but the tone sounds like the familiar one usually adopted by Eraso when writing to Ruy Gómez. Eraso seems to have returned to Brussels about November 6th.
  • 9. One of the men who murdered Pierluigi Farnese in September, 1547. See Vol. IX of this Calendar, p. 149.
  • 10. This memorandum is probably the work of the Bishop of Arras. One copy was sent to Renard, and another by Paget to Philip (p. 95).
  • 11. Thomas Thirlby.
  • 12. Ferdinand, heir to the Crown of Aragon, became King of Castile as Ferdinand V on his marriage to Isabella.
  • 13. This paper is undated but was probably written on November 14 or 15.
  • 14. l.e., this seems to refer to some scheme for selling large grants of land in South America, which the Emperor had always opposed on the ground that it would be the one great resource remaining to his successor.
  • 15. Lord Fitzwalter had said he was forgetting his Spanish; see p. 50.
  • 16. See the paper printed under the date of 14 November (p. 87).