Spain: November 1554, 16-30

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, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954), pp. 96-112. British History Online [accessed 19 June 2024].

. "Spain: November 1554, 16-30", in Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954) 96-112. British History Online, accessed June 19, 2024,

. "Spain: November 1554, 16-30", Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 13, 1554-1558, (London, 1954). 96-112. British History Online. Web. 19 June 2024,

November 1554, 16–30

104. Philip to the Emperor
London, 16 November Don Ramon de Cardona brought me your Majesty's letters of the 5th instant, and I have read the copies of the Duke of Florence's, as well as the instructions sent by the Duke of Ferrara to his ambassador in Rome and the replies his Holiness ordered to be sent off. For these favours I kiss your Majesty's hands, and will promptly obey your commands to make known to you my own opinion on these matters, for it seems important that replies should be despatched at once to the Nuncio, the Duke of Florence, Don Juan Manrique and Don Francisco de Toledo touching Sienese affairs. I will also mention their demands for galleys to carry out the undertaking, and the question referring to Montalto, a Farnese possession; but as for supplies for other states, which you spoke of in a former letter, the point is being dealt with and I will leave Eraso to report on it when he arrives at your Court.
What your Majesty says about the Pope's and the Duke of Ferrara's intentions appears to me to be admirable. My own view is the same; in fact no one would be able to deny the cogency of your remarks, and I believe the very persons concerned would be obliged to admit their truth were they repeated to them. I also agree with you as to the answer to be given to the Nuncio; for as you observe in your letter such courteous words can do no harm. You will always be able to make your will known to the ministers, and will have said nothing that might in any way interfere with your future liberty of action.
I also think that, as you say, letters ought to be written to Don Juan Manrique and Don Francisco de Toledo to inform them of the Nuncio's proposals and your reply. But when it comes to telling them that you are disposed to agree to the proposals, I must beg your Majesty first to weigh the matter very carefully, for it is of the utmost importance. It seems to me that your Majesty and the Pope have altogether different views on this question of the liberty of Siena, which is now being discussed, for Cardinal del Monte shows clearly enough how he understands it when he says in his letter to the Duke of Ferrara: “and his Majesty will be able to say nothing, for if he talked about keeping up the same garrison and defences there as formerly, we might reply that it would not be honest to do so”; and further on he adds: “the King (i.e. of France) may and must be satisfied if Siena remains effectively free, and exempt from danger of being disturbed; so let who will be satisfied with words and reservations”. Now, I believe that when your Majesty wrote to Don Juan Manrique and Don Francisco de Toledo that you would agree, you meant that Siena should be free in the same way as it was before the last rebellion took place, for I remember that when you decided to build a castle there you had already tried every form of government capable of safeguarding the city's freedom and of protecting it from the danger it is now exposed to of being seized by the French or some ambitious and grasping pontiff, or else by some third party, since the inhabitants' own rule is so weak that a much smaller potentate than those mentioned would still be able to play the tyrant there. So it was only when you saw it was the one manner of protecting Siena from these dangers and keeping it free that you resolved to build the castle; and although I have been accused of having supported the plan for my own reasons, if your Majesty will recollect what occurred at the time you will find that it was as I have said. Now, I see no signs that the Sienese republic is in possession of enough forces, or well enough governed, to persuade us that it is better able than formerly to govern itself without being overtaken by some disaster such as I have mentioned, or even worse; for if misfortune was then impending it has now occurred, since the French have obtained a footing there. If we wish to be disabused, we must face the fact that the French are not to be ejected unless it be by force, for if we trust to agreements and they meet no physical resistance from your Majesty or from me in your name, they will do nothing but go out of one door and come in by another.
I am anxious to show the whole world by my actions that I am not trying to acquire other peoples' states, and your Majesty I would convince of this not by my actions only, but by my very thoughts. At the same time, I wish it to be understood that I mean to defend all that which your Majesty has bestowed on me, and which has cost you much labour and your subjects much blood. The state of Siena is clearly the chief and direct door by which the King of France might attack the kingdom of Naples, and also that kingdom's main bulwark of defence; so no one can accuse us of trying to seize new dominions merely because we are taking the barest precautions for defending our own. Were it not that our experience, as I said above, proves Siena to be incapable of self government, I am certain that your Majesty would never have had a castle built there; and as for myself I know that love of Siena would never have made me dissatisfied with any arrangement come to about it, provided your Majesty's authority were safeguarded. But in view of past events I feel very positive that it would be prejudicial to your prestige and authority, and to the safety of the kingdom of Naples, to agree to any proposal that tied your and your successors' hands in the task of guarding against the dangers I have mentioned and others your Majesty's great prudence will not fail to suggest. For such an agreement would certainly be fruitful of harm, and to have consented to it would be to persuade the world that the Pope was right when he said that you accepted words in payment.
Your Majesty's letter brings it out that the heavy expenses incurred in that quarter are an inducement to consent to this proposal; and the present state of our finances is certainly such as to make us consider many steps to which we would otherwise not give a moment's thought. But we must take the point of view that this war is not being fought for Siena, but to protect Naples, and it is certain that were we not waging it there we would already have it going on in the kingdom; indeed that is what would have happened had not God blinded Peter Strozzi and caused his desire to gain something in his own country (i.e. the state of Florence) to delay him. In view of the fire and confusion war brings with it, no expense seems too heavy to keep its theatre on the other side of our frontier, for which purpose I would go so far as to sell much of what I possess in Naples, and I have instructed the Cardinal to do this rather than fail of this object. I hear that the Neapolitans themselves realise how deeply they are concerned in this. My opinion is that, even were there not a prospect of a successful outcome to our present plans, while Siena remains in its critical position we must keep the war from moving onwards even if we are unable to drive the French out altogether. We have an example of how advantageous such a course is in the King of France's policy of carrying hostilities into Piedmont and keeping them out of his own lands; though true it is that he acted with no just reason, whilst I, as your Majesty knows, have a most righteous cause.
I feel sure that your Majesty is mindful of our obligation to ensure the preservation and safety of the Duke of Florence's state, and how ill it would become us to be forgetful of it. As long as the French remain where they are his position must remain dangerous.
To conclude, I entirely approve of the reply suggested to be made to the Nuncio, and also of the letters to be written to Don Juan Manrique and Don Francisco de Toledo to inform them of the Pope's proposals. As for the point of the freedom of Siena, I would submit that they should be told that your Majesty's view of the question is not the same as the Pope's, unless the conditions alluded to above are obtained. If these are withheld, I am for fighting there rather than let the war advance into the kingdom of Naples. If we can keep the Pope steady we have good hopes, indeed almost a certainty of succeeding in our enterprise, wherefore I quite approve of what the Duke of Florence replied to him with regard to the personal matter, and think that line ought to be followed up so as to increase his interest in it. From what I make of the Pope's character, I believe he would be better pleased with some trifle in connexion with Monte San Sabino his birthplace, which he would like to keep up for his family, than with all the prospects of obtaining the protectorate of Siena which have been held out to him.
As for the galleys demanded to support the undertaking, though as your Majesty says it is true that they have been at sea two winters and ought to return to Spain for that reason and in order to bring back with them the eight more now ready, their presence is so necessary that I think you ought to order Don Bernardino de Mendoza to set out at once with all his galleys and all the rest he is able to get together. The more there are the safer they will be and the greater the effect, and the naval part of the undertaking ought to be carried out at once without giving the enemy time to fortify and dig himself in at the ports where he now is. If you are inclined to allow the Duke of Florence to place the management of the naval operations in Don Bernardino de Mendoza's hands, you might mention it in your letter to him. Your Majesty should also, as you say you mean to do it, instruct the Viceroy of Sicily to settle with Don Bernardino if anything remains owing to him from former years, for this lie will be able to keep his fleet supplied. As for the letter about Montalto, your Majesty's observations seem most prudent, for it would not be wise to make any attack on the Farnese's state at present because of possible results in the direction of Parma.
A few days ago there arrived here a brother of the French ambassador resident at this Court, bringing the enclosed letter (fn. 1) from the Constable for the Chancellor, in virtue of which he said that the Constable, seeing his master as anxious for war as a hot-headed boy, and your Majesty powerful, greatly feared that, unless the blaze were extinguished, vast harm to Christendom might be the result. So much did this prospect grieve him, that he had sent to ask the Queen to consent to mediate between your Majesty and the King, his master; and were she willing to do so, he would come over himself to negotiate, or send persons well-qualified to do so. The ambassador's brother then asked the Chancellor whether the Queen would give him audience and allow him to repeat the above to her; and they pressed us so for an answer that the Queen and I had no time to consult your Majesty. So we talked the matter over, and came to the conclusion that the French were trying to discover how far the Queen and her Council would be prepared to follow me were I bent on making war, for it is known that they have been at great pains to clear up this point. Consequently it seemed best so to frame the answer as clearly to show them that the Queen and Council were mine to command (estar en toda mi disposition), and also that if they were sincere in wanting peace their overtures should not be repelled. So it was decided to reply that they (i.e. the French) had had suspicions of the Queen ever since her marriage had been arranged, and she would not say they had been altogether wrong, for as I was her husband she was bound to be guided by my will, she and her kingdom, and therefore she could not help being a dubious mediatrix. Nonetheless, if they brought forward proposals likely to lead to a true and fair settlement, she would not fail to do her best to bring them to your Majesty's notice, whom she had never known to decline a just peace, and she would try to persuade me to be satisfied with your Majesty's decision. After this, they (i.e. MM. de Noailles) demanded a reply from the Chancellor, as they had not been allowed to speak with the Queen, and I gave him a writing to guide him in framing it. He told me that he had replied to that effect, only moderating a little the words of the first article, and making the second a trifle less pointed. So with this answer the ambassador's brother went back to France. If they take any further steps in the matter I will communicate at once with your Majesty; and as Eraso is so soon to depart I have instructed him to give you a more detailed account of what has happened. He is to carry this letter.
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
105. Philip's power to Francisco de Eraso
16 November Philip, by the Grace of God King of England, France and Naples, Prince of Spain; Whereas in order to provide supplies for various purposes of the greatest import to my Lord, the Emperor and King, and to myself, it is necessary for us to take up a large sum of money, to which end his Imperial Majesty has issued a commission to you, Francisco de Eraso; and as the merchants might desire me to bind myself, together with, or separately from his Majesty, (fn. 2) I by these presents, moved by my great confidence in you, give you full, ample and sufficient power to negotiate in my name, with merchants or other persons of whatsoever nationality, a sum of 1,000,000 ducats or more or less as may seem to you opportune, to be paid in cash in Flanders or in Spain at the fairs, on such terms as you may approve. And I empower you to give my bond that this sum, or whatever part of it is actually supplied, shall be repaid by his Majesty or by myself, together with the interest that shall have accumulated, at such time and place as shall be stipulated. I give my consent to, and pledge my royal word to confirm, all agreements and writings that you may consider necessary, and promise to have them carried out in the manner therein stated, without failure, delay, or attempt to interpret them in another sense. And for surety I expressly offer all my revenues and property, patrimonial or other, which I now possess or may hereafter possess. In confirmation of which I have signed these presents, and sealed them with my private seal.
Minute. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
106. The Bishop of Arras to Simon Renard
Brussels, 18 November I am unwilling to miss the chance of writing to you offered by the departure of the servant of Count Horn, though I have nothing to add to the despatch recently sent to you except that our camp, after leaving Hesdinfort, (fn. 3) went on to Auxy-le-Château. There the miners halted to destroy the castle and prevent the French from making it their winter quarters as was their wont; and as we had advanced so far beyond our fortifications that we would not have been able to repel an attack on them, part of our camp with almost all the cavalry went on with the Duke of Savoy towards Rue. When this place was reconnoitred it was found to be well-garrisoned, for the Rhinegrave's regiment was there, and as it would have taken live days to prepare to bombard it and we would have run out of provisions, it seemed better to leave it alone and to burn the surrounding country. So our forces pushed on as far as the sea, laying waste the land and driving the enemy before them whenever they met him. They drove the Duke of Nemours' (fn. 4) company, together with other troops, helter-skelter into the gates of Abbeville, but not all of them, for over 80 prisoners were brought back to our camp and the Duke of Nemours himself was twice taken, but finally managed to escape.
From Abbeville they marched up the Somme, which some of them forded after having dislodged with a serpentine a number of French arquebusiers who were posted in a house to guard the ford, and chased the enemy to the further side of Amiens, burning as they went.
Our camp then continued along the banks of the Somme, but on this side, as far as Ancre where they stayed three or four days on account of the fodder to be obtained there and also in order to be able to pick up the detachment that had been sent to burn round Doullens. So from Ancre to the sea they have neglected nothing except the town and castle of Doullens, too strong a place to be rushed. The plan is that they shall now march towards Cambray, burning as much as they can of the French territory to their right by way of protecting our frontier for this coming winter. After that the part of our camp that is no longer needed is to be disbanded. You may inform the King of the above.
Holograph. French.
Besançon, C.G.73.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
107. The Queen Dowager to Count de Beveren
Brussels, 20 November The King of England, my Lord and nephew, has by his letters of the 26th ultimo informed me of the seizure by certain subjects of these dominions of an English ship named the Edward Bonaventure, and has demanded restitution of the ship and goods found on board. This matter is one of no small importance to the King because of the friction that might arise between subjects of the two countries. Restitution and honourable amends must be made, and the Emperor's guilty subjects receive exemplary punishment, wherefore I am sending you a copy of the letter referred to, with the other papers (fn. 5) inclosed, and expressly order you on his Imperial Majesty's behalf to have the principal authors of this act of violence arrested. Among them is one Cornet Ewoutssen, of Flushing or thereabouts, and you will force those you are able to lay hands on to name their accomplices so that they may all be discovered. You will also take pains to find out what has become of the property found on board the said ship; for it is said that most of it has been taken to Flushing. Moreover, you are to arraign the guilty parties without delay or favour, and cause such compensation to be given to the Englishmen as shall satisfy the King and prevent any more complaints on the subject from reaching me. You will inform me of the steps taken, in order that I may report to the King.
Minute. French.
Brussels, L.A.71.
108. Simon Renard to the Emperor
London 23 November Sire: Since I wrote the letter sent off by Dr. Berca, the French ambassador's brother has taken leave of the Queen to return to France. He said nothing to her Majesty about peace, except for a vague reference, because the Chancellor had reported to him the substance of the reply the King desired to have made to his proposal, as I have already informed your Majesty. He insisted on hearing from her whether he might assure the King (of France) that she was with child, and as she would neither deny nor admit it, he said that he certainly might give his master this piece of news, which he asserted would greatly please him. The Chancellor has since then told me that the ambassador and his brother seemed well satisfied with the reply given to them, and they trust that peace may be achieved by the means suggested. This is all I have heard from the Council about that matter.
Wotton wrote to the Queen on the 6th instant that the French truly desired peace, and that the Constable had spoken to him in the same tone as the ambassador's brother employed here. But I somewhat suspect that the ambassador's brother's journeys have some intrigue as their object, for the ambassador tried to send his secretary over to France, but when the man reached Dover he was recognised, and instead of crossing over came back. Then the brother went off under the pretext of obtaining the ambassador's recall, of which nothing more has been said, and at any rate it was a matter that might as easily have been dealt with by letter as by word of mouth. Moreover, I have heard that several Englishmen have conferred with the ambassador; I have failed to find out any details but will do my best to learn the truth.
I have presented to the King a memoir of Paget's negotiations over there, as your Majesty ordered me to do by your letters of the 15th instant. You may perhaps remember what I wrote some time ago with regard to most of the points, especially the reduction of the excessive number of Councillors. It has proved impossible to achieve this measure, for it created too much bad feeling between the old and recent members of the Privy Council, especially as the new list did not include the High Treasurer, the Controller, Walgrave, the Lord Warden, Inglefield, Southwell, Baker, Peckham and Secretary Bourne, who consider themselves to be as deserving as those who, as they say, rebelled against and resisted the Queen. I believe that when your Majesty has considered how thorny a matter this has ever proved, you will not be in favour of the King's taking up the reins of government to introduce this reform; and I may assure you that Paget's mission to Brussels made the Chancellor so jealous that his supporters are unable to contain themselves and say that an attempt is being made to take the Great Seal away from the Chancellor and give it to the Legate.
With regard to finance, the Earl of Arundel certainly wanted the post of High Treasurer for himself, and so vehemently that feeling ran high between the two parties. And Paget wished to replace the Chancellor. But it is considered to be dangerous to raise Paget to such an office, although affairs really ought to be better managed than they are at present.
There is firm ground for hope that the authority of the Church will be restored, as Pole's coming has been consented to and Parliament has unanimously decided to repeal the Acts passed under the late King Henry by which the Cardinal was banished. So he is being awaited with feelings of respectful attachment: and the Bishop of Norwich and my Lord Montague (fn. 6) have gone to Dover, and the Bishop of Lincoln (fn. 7) and the Earl of Shrewsbury to Gravesend to meet him.
I believe that when Courtenay's and Elizabeth's affairs are discussed with the Queen, she will see that Paget proposed a match between them because he foresaw a chance of Courtenay's return to favour through the Cardinal's protection. Also, there is reason to fear that if he goes to Rome he will intrigue with the French. As for Elizabeth, it will not be easy to induce her to marry a foreigner; but still, as your Majesty has pointed out, she ought somehow to be got rid of.
Your Majesty mentions the question of having the King crowned. For the present, it is more a matter of satisfaction to him than of necessity; but the future remains to be considered, and the prestige he would derive from it, a prestige far greater than is at all realised by certain persons who take the ground that he ought not to be crowned here where he is a husband, but only in his own dominions and kingdoms. Now, in England the coronation stands for a true and lawful confirmation of title, and means much more here than in other realms. Nevertheless, your Majesty and the King will come to such decision as you think fit; and the point is not being laid before Parliament out of any uncertainty, or because that body has any right to deal with it, but merely to find out how opinion stands, and at what time it would be opportune to bring it forward; for the Act passed during the last session is quite clear and sufficient. Your Majesty cannot imagine how favourably Parliament received the King's declaration drawn up according to my written suggestions, (fn. 8) though some hint of it must have reached you from those who were present, as well as of the great affection felt for the King by these people.
Trustworthy advices from France state that the King has sent M. de Vendôme to Picardy to stop the Duke of Savoy, who has already returned for all that; and that M. de Damville, (fn. 9) younger son of the Constable, is being despatched to Italy with a force of horse to strengthen the garrisons in Piedmont and help on matters in those parts while the Duke of Ferrara's son and Peter Strozzi try to relieve Siena and accomplish something in Tuscany.
Baron de la Garde, known as Paulin (fn. 10) has returned from his sojourn with Dragut, but has not succeeded in obtaining audience of the King of France, although the Duchess of Valentinois has pleaded for him. He is accused of having persuaded Dragut to withdraw to Constantinople.
The Earl of Derby has communicated a letter which he found when walking, for it was thrown down so adroitly in front of him that he could not help picking it up. The gist of it was that if he attended Parliament he would lose his head, and to advise him to beware of making any concessions to the Spaniards, whose object was to seize the kingdom by force, and remember that the Queen had usurped a crown to which she had no right. This so greatly irritated Parliament that measures are being taken for the punishment of slanderers, and to legislate on the subject, for it is clear that pure malice inspired those who wrote it.
P.S. In Renard's band: The Queen is veritably with child, for she has felt the babe, and there are other likely and customary symptoms, such as the state of the breasts.
Signed. French.
Vienna, Staatsarcéiv, E.22.
Printed, except for the P.S., from a minute at Besançon (C.G.73) by Weiss, Documents Inédits, IV.
Enclosure in the foregoing paper.
Simon Renard to Philip (fn. 11)
Sire: I believe your Majesty to be sufficiently aware that on this present Parliament depend not only the re-establishment of religion, but also the prestige of the throne and the future course of English affairs. However, I have considered it to be my duty to remind your Majesty, by this memoir, that it is important to take care not to bring forward at this session any bill that might prove difficult to be passed, or even arouse opposition among the nobles or commons, and also that the bills to be brought forward should be carefully examined beforehand, in order that the members hostile to them should be won over or, failing this, the measures should be deferred until a more propitious occasion. It would seem to be not merely advisable, but necessary, that next Thursday your Majesty should make to the Parliament, through the Chancellor, a declaration as follows: You are very glad to observe the zeal with which members have set about taking the requisite measures for establishing God's service, assuring the kingdom's repose and tranquillity, and by the thorough administration of justice remedying those matters which stand in need of reform. Let them decide what they wish you to do, and you will spare no labour to answer the hopes they have conceived of you and show them that you are not only the husband of the Queen, but the spouse of their republic, for whose prosperity and welfare you are as sincerely ambitious as if it were your own. They are to realise that you mean not only to observe the articles included in the treaties, but also to ward off all innovations likely to menace the ancient customs and liberties of the land. You desire very warmly to see them do their duty like good and loyal vassals, for it will be greatly to their public and private advantage so to do; and you hope that Parliament will proceed in fitting unison and concord.
Members will undoubtedly take such a declaration in good part, and will repeat it throughout the realm, as they will also talk about whatever they have heard of your Majesty's person and actions. The impression thus created will be lasting, and quite proof against the assaults of false rumour. So may your Majesty be pleased to consider that it will be well for you to make the personal acquaintance of the members of the Upper House, and of the chief representatives of the people, and invite the more important personages among them to a banquet; though I say this with all submission.
It would be advisable that, while Parliament is in session, your Majesty and the Queen should assist at the meetings of the Privy Council when any measure of weight is before that body, and indeed that in future all important matters should be discussed in your presence. The reasons for this are known to your Majesty, and it would seem to be necessary in order to keep the requisite hold on so large, turbulent and discordant a council. This point is so important that I cannot omit to mention it.
Several Englishmen complain that your Majesty has not yet decided whether you intend to keep some of them in your service or not, for by the end of this month they will have been following the Court for half a year on account of their hopes. Wherefore may you be pleased to come to such decision as may seem best.
I beg your Majesty to take this memoir in good part, for as you have been pleased to command me to remain here, I am bound to continue to perform my duty towards your Majesty.
109. Ruy Gómez de Silva to Francisco de Eraso (Extract)
London, 23 November . . . . The King says he does not think you had better say anything to his (Imperial) Majesty about the Scottish undertaking; for he does not yet feel certain as to how the English will feel about it, and until he has made sure of the religious settlement he does not wish to take anything else in hand.
He also says that, as the Duke of Alva is pressing him for a decision, and you were instructed to talk to his Majesty about the matter you know of, you had better send him word, or rather write to him, of his Majesty's pleasure.
He was very much pleased about the chains which his Majesty presented to those who went to fetch Cardinal Pole. The Cardinal is to arrive here to-morrow, and has been admitted by Parliament. Please God all may go on as it has begun . . . . .
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
110. The Queen Dowager to Philip
Brussels, 24 November My Lord Clinton has requested me on your behalf to issue to Cristofero Carcano, a Milanese merchant in your service, a passport to enable him to transport to England certain munitions of war come from Italy by your orders. I have at once consented, but as experience has shown that such favours are often abused in order to send goods to enemy countries, I have stipulated that, before exporting the munitions from this country, the said merchant must furnish proof that they have come hither from Italy, and also promise to convey them to England and bring back a certificate showing that they have been handed over to your servants there, to answer for which he is to deposit sufficient surety before being allowed to export. And I very affectionately pray you to have word sent to me whenever you desire to have munitions sent from here, so that the above-mentioned abuses may be avoided.
Minute. French.
Brussels, L.A.71.
111. Count G. T. Langosco da Stroppiana to the Bishop of Arras
London, 25 November I have received your Lordship's letter of the 18th instant, together with one (fn. 12) from my Lord, the Duke (i.e. of Savoy), for which I thank you. I am now sending you one addressed to him, and beg you to have it delivered as soon as possible to his Highness, for it is important. There is nothing new here, except for the arrival of Cardinal Pole, who came yesterday by water from Gravesend and landed at the palace, where the King and Queen met him in the gallery looking over the river. They received him with great signs of respect and affection; both shed tears and the Queen felt her child move, so it may well be said: exultavit infans in utero pius. The Cardinal did not tarry long in the palace, but went to take up his quarters across the river in the Archbishop of Canterbury's house. I hear that he was well received by the country people, and he has been the object of many attentions from the lords assembled here for Parliament, several of whom went as far as Dover to welcome him. A game of cane-play took place to-day, but it left the spectators cold, except for the fine clothes of the players, and the English made fun of it. It would have been better to open the festivities with some more striking sport. The Marquis of Berghes has issued a challenge to meet him and three others in a tournament next Sunday. I hear that the King is later going to get up a very fine joust, at which he expects my Lord, the Duke, to be present. Having no more to say, I will now close.
Holograph. Italian.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.V.S.
112. The Emperor to the Princess Dowager of Portugal, Regent of Spain
Brussels, 29 November You will have read the letter written to you by the King of England by my orders and dealing with important matters; so I will refer to it, and merely add that another will soon follow in confirmation, and to serve as a reply to the other questions. I am sending off this present letter by the land route to let you know that whereas we had decided to make arrangements for taking up a million in gold, to be handed over by certain merchants at this October fair and at the fair of Villalón, nothing has as yet been achieved because of difficulties that have cropped up. First of all, the merchants have not yet had returned to them any part of the sum they advanced on the gold and silver brought by the last fleet; and that makes over 450,000 crowns which were employed for the upkeep of infantry and cavalry and our household and other expenses. Then, Comendador Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, Lieutenant-General in Piedmont, has sent a special envoy to inform us and the King that over 300,000 crowns pay is owing to the troops there down to the end of October, wherefore the men are growing mutinous and the French are preparing to carry out some exploit. So he fears that unless a prompt remedy is forthcoming there will be grave trouble not there only, but in the state of Milan and the rest of Italy as well, and gravely urges us to see to it, as there is no prospect of raising any money there. And as we have been able to get so little together here, we are writing to the (Spanish) Council of Finance to take up 300,000 crowns, making use for that purpose of such available sequestrated property as may be touched without doing too much harm, and agreeing to pay whatever rate of interest is necessary, for we cannot afford to wait until we are able to pay for the sum cash down. 200,000 are to be sent at once to Ambassador (i.e. Don Gómez Suárez de) Figueroa, with which and the 92,000 due from the merchants with whom, as we are informed, agreements had been made, he will be able to support himself. The other 100,000 are to go to Don Francisco de Toledo at Florence, to be used by him in accordance with instructions from here. Now that the King (i.e. Philip) has taken possession of the state of Milan, I am particularly anxious that nothing should happen likely to diminish his prestige, and that it should not be known that at the very moment of his accession there is such a shortage. Reports received show me that all sources of revenue are exhausted up to the year 1560, while there are still amounts to be paid on account of other transactions; but this present matter is more important than all the rest, so we pray you to urge the members of the Council of Finance to act with all diligence, as I am sure they will do, and to let us know of the result as soon as you are able to do so. It is said here that the May fair has been put off, so we take it that the October fair will consequently be prorogued, and you will issue orders to that effect, naming the end of January as the date, for there are good reasons for doing so this year. I am well, thanks be to God! and Eraso, who arrived the day before yesterday, left the King and Queen (of England) in good health. It is said that the Queen has already felt the child, for which I render praise to God. Religious affairs are turning out as we desired.
Decipher. Spanish.
Simancas, E.507.
113. Philip to the Emperor (Extract)
London, 29 November Advices from Rome state that his Holiness is certainly going to create cardinals on the feast of St. Lucy (i.e. December 13), and as your Majesty knows better than anyone else how important it is that you should have trusty and devoted persons in the College, I thought I ought to remind you about it in case you desired to send instructions. The time is so short that if your letters do not reach Rome before December 12 they will be too late, so I beg you to send by this courier, who is going post haste, a letter to your ambassador telling him what to ask for, and another to the Pope to accredit the ambassador. It would also be well for your Majesty to speak to the Nuncio at your Court and get him to write about the same matter.
I hear that one of those whom your Majesty recently mentioned as fitted to be cardinal was the Archbishop of Otranto, to whom it was objected that he was once a Lutheran, of which accusation his Holiness, having looked into the question, cleared him. Don Juan Manrique has written to me to the effect you will see from the copy (fn. 13) of an extract from his letter enclosed; so I beg your Majesty to be mindful of the Archbishop at this creation, for in him personal attainments, lineage, learning and an exemplary life combine to make a worthy prelate. To forget him after what has gone before would also be to offend him and all his house, whom I believe to be excellently disposed . . . . .
Holograph. Spanish.
Simancas, E.808.
114. Francisco de Eraso to Ruy Gómez de Silva (Extract)
Antwerp, 29 November I have written to you by all the couriers who have gone, and given you accounts of my journey. I reached Brussels last Sunday morning (i.e. November 25), and as soon as I had had a meal went to the palace to hand over the King's letter to his Majesty. Moreover, I gave him such verbal account as I thought necessary of our master's prowess, praising the wisdom of his conduct, his constant application to business, his rapidity of decision, excellent intentions and the prudence with which he handled the religious question. As to this last point, it is true, they maintain here that if they had not opened the despatch addressed to Don Juan Manrique and added something the effect in Rome would not have been as happy, but I explained the line the King, after consulting the friars, had taken as to Church property, so as to show there had been no danger. I also dwelt on the peace and quiet now prevailing in England, the King's popularity among great and small, and the kindness he shows to everyone, though not at all omitting to pay great attention to the exercise of justice. I have repeated all this as often as possible to high officials, gentlemen and merchants, and you may take my word for it that the King is so highly esteemed here that their one desire is to see him and be governed by him, which I think would be a very good thing. His Majesty listened to my words with the greatest interest and pleasure, especially when I told him how attentive the King was to the Queen and that everyone was aware of it, and also that one of the chief reasons of his popularity was the general delight at his genial manner. After we had conversed for some time, his Majesty remarked that he humbly thanked God for the favour shown him in all this, and that in truth the King had greatly changed. At this point the Queen came in with M. de Praet and the Bishop of Arras, and his Majesty commanded me to repeat all I had told him. Though I went over it rapidly, I made it all quite clear, and think it had the desired effect . . . . .
Holograph. Spanish.
Simacas, E.808.
Printed by Fernandez Navarrete, Documentos Inéditos, Vol. III.
115. Simon Renard to the Emperor
London, 30 November Sire: The Chancellor told me last Sunday that although the French ambassador's brother had already taken leave, he and his brother came to see him once more and asked him to repeat the verbal reply given to the Constable's letter, so that he might accurately report it. The Chancellor complied, adhering to the directions given to him for his guidance by the King. He tells me the ambassador was astonished when he showed him the articles M. de Vaudémont (fn. 14) presented over there on behalf of the Cardinal of Lorraine (fn. 15) by way of suggesting means of making peace, for he failed to believe things could have gone so far. The ambassador, when about to depart, told the Chancellor that he hoped some good might come of their meeting, begging him to continue to recommend the matter to the Queen's favourable attention. This is all I have heard or been able to find out, and I take it that the King will have sent your Majesty fuller information.
Cardinal Pole arrived here about two o'clock in the afternoon of Saturday last (November 24), accompanied by the lords and bishops who as I wrote to your Majesty had been sent to meet him at Dover and Gravesend, as well as other of his friends and relatives who had gone out to welcome him on the road. As he came by water the King received him at the river side, for the Thames flows past the royal house of Westminster, and there was no other ceremony than the carrying of the cross before him. On Monday he went to Court and agreed with the King, Queen and Council that on the following Wednesday (November 28) he should have audience of Parliament, which was for that purpose summoned to meet at the palace at two o'clock in the afternoon of the appointed day. The palace doors were guarded to prevent any persons from entering except those who represented Parliament, before whom, in the presence of the King and Queen, the Cardinal appeared. After thanking them for having repealed the measure of banishment of which he had been the object, he exposed the reason of his coming. The Pope and the apostolic see, he said, loved the kingdom, which had in the past been led into error with regard to heresy and disobedience to the Church, whence scandals, troubles and misfortunes had arisen. Some folk had proved stubborn in error, but God had warned and called them back through the Queen, whom he greatly lauded, while giving still higher praise to the King. The marriage was to be considered a miracle and the work of God, intended not only to benefit the kingdom but to bring about peace in the whole Christian commonwealth. He himself, an Englishman and a servant of the Church and his Holiness, had been glad to accept this mission in order to show the realm that he had not forgotten his mother-country, and offer to perform all offices in the power of a humble servitor of the King, Queen and country. If his mission were acceptable to them, might they be pleased to annul the laws and statutes against the Pope's and the Church's authority as being unreasonable and contrary to established truth; in which case he had powers so ample that Parliament would be well-satisfied. Before the laws had been repealed, however, or he had ascertained their will, he could not show his powers or make any use of them; so he added all the persuasions to be excogitated by a devoutly religious man wholly given over to God's service, and ended by an appeal to the King and Queen, saying that a good reign ought always to be directed in its beginning a pietate, religion et justitia. This speech lasted three quarters of an hour, and Parliament, after hearing it, asked for time to discuss and frame a reply. Yesterday, then, Parliament came to the unanimous decision that all the laws and statutes contrary to the Pope's authority should be repealed, the Church's authority be once more acknowledged, and the Cardinal admitted as Legate to carry out his mission, and play the part of a welcome mediator. Although about 500 persons were gathered together, there was only one dissident voice, belonging to a man who enjoys no consideration, and there was no hint of making conditions about the Church property, but only an expression of confidence that the King and Queen would not allow that question to be handled in a manner likely to compromise the attainment of the main object in view. To-day this reply is to be given to the Legate, who will then proceed to execute his commission. I thought it my duty to write this at once to your Majesty, well knowing that this long-looked-for, miraculous event, so big with consequences of the greatest importance to Christendom, will give you great pleasure. The courier returned so opportunely from Rome with his despatch and the corrected private power that he reached this place just one hour before the Legate had audience.
Your Majesty too well understands how great was the joy felt by the King and all his Court for it to be necessary that I should describe it. Indeed he had good reason to render thanks to God that such fruit, fertile in increase of authority for him, should already have come of the match, encouraging us to hope that God means to incline the enemy's heart to desire of lasting peace. I will not omit to quote the words spoken by the Cardinal when he saluted the Queen: benedicta inter mulieres, et benedictus fructus ventris tui. It is patent to all, and the heretics and erring are bound to admit that she has been preserved for the good of all Christendom and this realm's tranquillity.
Last Sunday the Dean of St. Paul's preached a sermon on the restitution of church property, which was ill-received and scandalised many; for he arrived at the conclusion that the possessors, even though they obtained dispensation, were obliged to give back the property. There was a general opinion that the Cardinal had put the Dean up to this, but as the preacher has been sent for and repremanded by the Council, (fn. 16) it seems that he must have acted without the knowledge of that body or of the Cardinal.
The Cardinal has behaved well so far and followed your Majesty's advice; so he is very popular and welcome here.
There was some cane-play last Sunday, in the course of which the people were very glad to see the King; and on Tuesday next (December 4) a tournament on foot is to open the holiday celebrations. On Sunday the Queen gave a banquet to the King and his gentlemen, and after supper there were dancing and masks. The King had that same day shown liberality to the ladies of the Court, who were dressed in the gowns he had given to them.
The French ambassador has visited the Legate and congratulated him on his arrival in England and his mission. He only made a few extravagant remarks about peace.
Signed, French.
Vienna, Staatsarchiv, E.22.
116. Simon Renard to the King of the Romans
30 November (fn. 17) Sire: Since the consummation of the marriage of the King and Queen nothing has occurred of enough importance to be worth your Majesty's attention. Moreover, I believe that Don Pedro Laso has already reported to you on his mission and told you all I might have written, for I twice related to him all I knew, and therefore do not wish to encroach on his office. However, since his departure two points have come up. First, the Constable of France has sent to ask the English Chancellor to persuade the Queen to mediate between the Emperor and the King of France. For his part, the Constable declares, he has always been zealous for the general welfare and a lover of peace, and he did not advise his master to make war. He knows that the Emperor is powerful and his master obstinate, so that the upshot may well be the total ruin of one or the other. France, he says, is infected with heresy and three cities have openly adopted it. For all these reasons it would be well to make peace, and if he hears that the Queen is willing to undertake the task he will come in person to negotiate. The Chancellor replied that if he saw it was desired to conclude a peace founded on justice and the restitution of occupied regions to their rightful owners he would do his best to persuade the Queen to consent, but if not he would have nothing to do with it, for he knew that peace without justice would be a wretched and treacherous peace and not lasting. So we are waiting to see what the Constable will do next. When M. de Vaudémont was at Brussels, he made the same proposal on behalf of the Cardinal of Lorraine, and when it was discussed whether he had done so with intent to deceive, or frankly, or because France was in a tight place, it was decided that after a war lasting over three years both sides must be exhausted and willing to listen to peace-proposals.
The second point concerns Cardinal Pole, who has been waiting a long time for a decision to be come to about his legatine mission to England. The King and Queen have recently sent to Brussels to confer with him as to the time and manner of putting it into execution, and to examine his powers. His powers proved to be too limited with regard to the dispensation to be granted to the holders of ecclesiastical property acquired by usurpation, by gift of King Henry, exchange or purchase, so a messenger was sent to Rome to obtain the desired extension which the Pope readily granted, since it is more urgent to save souls than to recover property, and the bishoprics and parishes have not been despoiled, but only the monasteries. When the power had arrived, the Cardinal's journey was arranged, and he reached London last Saturday, had audience (of Parliament) on Wednesday, and yesterday Parliament gave its answer to the effect that it would recognise the authority of the Church and holy apostolic see and repeal all the laws and statutes to the contrary passed by former Parliaments, pronouncing itself willing that the Legate should freely and without opposition execute his commission, whilst expressing confidence that a general dispensation would be granted to confirm the holders of Church property in their tenure. This is a great piece of work done and an admirable example to the whole of Christendom, being the result chiefly looked for from the Queen's marriage. That lady is well with child, God be thanked! for she has felt the babe and presents all the usual signs on her breasts and elsewhere. And if a satisfactory peace could be concluded it would be a second wedding of peace and the Christian republic. I believe that when the King has set his affairs in order here he will go over to the Emperor to take his share of the cares of state, as he is in duty bound. I also think he will soon send your Majesty an account of his activities and assure you of the great affection he bears to you and your children, and means ever to bear.
Draft in Simon Renard's band. French.
Besançon, C.G.73.
Printed by Weiss, Documents Inédits, Vol. IV.
117. Francisco de Eraso to Ruy Gómez de Silva
Brussels, 30 November I will make this letter as brief as possible, for the two I have received from you, dated 15th and 23rd instant, are in reply to others of mine, and there is no news except what Ambassador Figueroa's letter, which is being handed over to Secretary Gonzalo Pérez, says about Piedmont.
You tell me that the King, our Prince, feels some resentment because affairs that he now has a right to decide are kept waiting and in some cases dealt with here without his hearing anything about them until after the decision has taken place.
As far as I am personally concerned, I kiss your hand for this, for as a rope always breaks at the weakest point, I know that the hint comes from your goodness and desire to show me favour. For the rest, I will candidly speak my mind according to my lights.
Apart from the delay and confusion inevitable at the first, affairs have been kept waiting here because of two considerations. First, when couriers or travellers like Don Ramón and others, have arrived from Milan or Naples, his Imperial Majesty has sometimes wished to look at their papers and, availing himself of his great experience, decide the points at issue; and has ordered them to wait, which they have had to do for some time because of his Majesty's illness, so I am not surprised if the King has been struck by it. Second, as his Majesty has for the last four years not gone into any private cases, delay has been caused by having to wait to see whether he meant to have them dealt with here or sent on to the King, which would have been better. Then there have been the King's answer to the letter the Bishop of Arras says he wrote to him, and his resolution as to the departure of the regiments; but no further time will be wasted now, for as the Bishop of Arras is very soon setting out he will ascertain from his Majesty what he intends to have done about the Milanese and Neapolitan private cases that have so long been pending here. According to the reply he receives, the merchants will be told where they are to apply. Many of these merchants are still waiting for documents that were drawn up and ready to be signed months before the renouncement; and by the way it is a pitiful shame to see so many poor people waiting for a signature and lamenting their fate in the streets, and all for a matter which his Majesty might dispose of in scarcely more than an hour's work. For my conscience's sake I repeat this occasionally to his Majesty, and remind Adrian about it every day.
You also speak of the settlement of certain matters without the King being consulted. Something of the sort may have happened at the beginning, when there was no little confusion; replies were then sent off to officials and various questions related to the King's service were decided. But the only important case I am able to recall is that of Ascanio Colonna, (fn. 18) about whom his Majesty wrote from Valenciennes to the Cardinal of Sigüenza, (fn. 19) ordering his person to be carefully guarded and an inquiry held into his misdeeds. He also instructed the troops at Siena to be paid and issued a few other such commands in connexion with the same affair, thinking thus to render the King a service. It is true his Majesty has filled two or three posts at Naples that have become vacant since the renouncement; but he thought he might do this because possession had not yet been taken and there was no certain knowledge of when the posts had fallen vacant. I have dexterously handled the point referred to in your reply, and it will turn out to the King's satisfaction.
What I can truthfully assert is that if the King has been disappointed in this connexion, that has not been the Emperor's object, for I know quite well he does not wish to interfere in any matter concerning Naples or Milan, but leave it all to his son. Indeed when his Majesty sent Prince Doria's memoir to the King, he as you know insisted that a sharp distinction should be made between the affairs to be despatched by each. I will go so far as to say that if I understand his Majesty's desire, it is to rid himself entirely of both burthens and allow the King to manage everything; and this would truly be the best possible solution as far as business is concerned, for the present unsettled state creates drawbacks which can only go on growing more and more grievous as long as it lasts. All these questions shall, God willing, be decided when his Majesty and the King meet, wherefore I am in duty bound to remind you to do your best to bring about the King's speedy journey hither, for the sooner it takes place the better.
To conclude, if there has in the past been any carelessness, it is to be explained by the above considerations, and by no means to be interpreted as intentional on his Majesty's part. The Bishop of Arras, chief minister here, is wholly desirous of serving the King with devotion and integrity; so there is every reason to believe he will continue to do his utmost not to dissatisfy him.
And as it comes pat, I will tell you in confidence and all sincerity that the Bishop, among all the men I know, is one of the most upright and conscientious—one whose care it is that the King be truly served and who cares not a whit for his own personal interests. My reading of his words and deeds is that far from trying to get affairs into his own hands, his great ambition is to be allowed to withdraw to his own church and devote himself to study, and he says so with all imaginable frankness and ingenuousness.
That, however, I do not think would be a good thing for the King's service, for apart from the Bishop's goodness, which I have known him long enough to appreciate, his skill and knowledge of affairs are certainly considerable, and he is one of those who most regret the state they have now drifted into.
I was very glad to see that the King, in his reply, spoke out about the freedom of Siena, for considering how favourable circumstances are, a great deal of latitude was being left to Don Juan (Manrique) and Don Francisco (de Toledo). His Majesty has not read the letter yet, but I believe he says he means to do so to-morrow.
Eraso arrived here last night from Antwerp, where he went about money, which is badly needed for Piedmont, Orbitello and other places.
The memoir about fitting out galleys was sent with my letter of the 13th; but in case it went astray another is being forwarded now. . . .
The picture of Adonis reached this place with two holes in it. Any further damage must have been done between here and there.
As for the King's resentment, I feel certain that if I have come in for part of it—and I know that stones usually drop on the weakest—you will do for me what I deserve, for you shall soon be convinced that things really have happened as I said above. You will remember that as I trust more to your goodness than to my own deserts I thereby lay you under an obligation to protect me; and you must be persuaded that I shall never cease being grateful. His Majesty is well, thank God, and all is well here.
Copy or Decipher. Spanish.
Simancas, E.508.


  • 1.
  • 2. In a letter addressed to Hernández del Campo, and dated 27 October, 1554 (Simancas, E.808), Eraso complains that it is very difficult to raise money because ill-disposed folk are spreading a rumour that the Emperor does not intend to pay his debts.
  • 3. A fort built by the Imperialists two leagues S.-E. of Hesdin at a place referred to by Noailles as Le Mesnil; see Philip to the Princess Regent, 18 September, 1554.
  • 4. Jacques de Savoie, Duke of Nemours, was Emmanuel Philibert's first cousin, son of his father's younger brother Philippe.
  • 5. None of the papers here referred to have been found.
  • 6. Anthony Browne, Viscount Montague.
  • 7. John White, Bishop of Lincoln.
  • 8. See the next paper.
  • 9. Henri de Montmorency.
  • 10. Paulin had been on a mission to England in 1547. See Vol. IX of this Calendar.
  • 11. This memoir is undated, but was probably written about November 12.
  • 12.
  • 13. This copy is enclosed. Don Juan Manrique says that the Pope is keeping one cardinal's hat for the Emperor's nominee. The Archbishop of Otranto had been maligned; the Pope closed his enemies' mouths. The Archbishop would make a good cardinal: his family has always been devoted to the House of Aragon.
  • 14. Nicolas de Lorraine, Count de Vaudémont, a younger brother of Francis, Duke of Lorraine (1545).
  • 15. Charles de Guise, Cardinal de Lorraine, a younger brother of Francis, Duke of Guise.
  • 16. Dr. Feckenham was summoned to appear before the Council on 29 November, bringing his sermon in writing with him.
  • 17. This paper is undated, but was written on the same day as Renard's letter to the Emperor, dated 30 November.
  • 18. Ascanio Colonna, Duke of Paliano.
  • 19. Pedro Pacheco, Bishop of Sigüenza.