Spain: October 1549

Pages 456-465

Calendar of State Papers, Spain, Volume 9, 1547-1549. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1912.

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October 1549

Oct. 2. Vienna Imp. Arch. F. 28. Simon Renard to the Emperor.
(Extract from a letter in cipher.)
The King has had trustworthy news that Boulogne has been revictualled and the Dunette (fn. 1) repaired. He is sending the 2,000 lansquenets, who were in M. d'Albret's territory, together with 2,000 Gascons, to the forts before Boulogne. They are to pass through Poitou to Normandy and there take ship, as the goldsmith tells me.
The French are making fun of the King's journey and return, saying he will have to go to Rome to be absolved of the oath he swore never to come gack before he had taken Boulogne; and the people say that the gossip (i.e. the Constable) suffered from cold feet.
M. de Morette and three or four other gentlemen went towards your Majesty to witness the entry into Antwerp, and are not yet back. . .
Compiegne, 2 October, 1549.
Oct. 4. Simancas E. 1196. Fernando Gonzaga to the Emperor.
A few days ago the Pope summoned to Rome the gentlemen of Piacenza who conspired, sending the writing of which I join a copy. I thought the matter over, and then ordered the said gentlemen to give me a memorial in which mention should be made of the summons and of the reasons that had moved them to conspire against the person of Duke Pier Luigi, telling them I would give them further instructions. When the memorial had been presented to me, in the terms your Majesty will see from the copy I am sending, I decreed with the Council's advice that, on hearing the reasons adduced in it, the gentlemen should not consider themselves bound to present themselves in Rome, and commanded them not to do so under pain of confiscation of goods, and committing rebellion, because, as they were of Piacenza and under your Majesty's jurisdiction, anyone who had anything against them ought to apply directly to me. My motives for so doing were two: first, the obligation your Majesty has to protect these conspirators, and that I also owe them, not merely as your Majesty's minister but for the other reasons well known to your Majesty; and second, my opinion that no other reply ought to be given to such empty pretensions to continue a sort of indirect jurisdiction over Piacenza on the Pope's part.
Milan, 4 October, 1549.
Oct. 8. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Sire, on his return from his house about sixty miles from London, the Protector summoned some lords of the Council, such as the Earls of Warwick and Southampton and others who were here, to go to Hampton Court where the King was, but they delayed in going so long that the Protector began to suspect they were brewing something against him, specially as he and the Earl of Warwick had shown their dislike of one another in letters. Last Sunday the Archbishop of Canterbury was summoned by letters from the King, and caused a preacher to proclaim that all those who were loyal to the King should repair to Hampton Court where his person resided, and the same day the same appeal was made in all directions by letters from the Protector. The result was that over 4,000 peasants immediately assembled at court, where the Protector was without any members of the Council except the Archbishop of Canterbury, Controller Paget and Dr. Smith, one of the secretaries. On the same day, early, assembled in London the Earls of Warwick and Southampton, the Great Master of the Household, the Earl of Arundel, Mr. Baker, (fn. 2) Mr. North, (fn. 3) the first secretary Dr. Petre, other councillors, the Marquis of Northampton and several more lords, and summoned the Lord Mayor and all the city authorities, all of whom at once came to an agreement, seized the Tower of London, and put a garrison of their men into it. The Protector, immediately informed of this assembly and its doings, produced the King in the presence of the court. The King said he was displeased that an attempt should be made to take his uncle the Protector away from him, and prayed that all would help him in resisting, for he himself was clothed, and ready to arm. The Protector also voiced complaints that his destruction was being plotted on false accusations, and that he should never be found guilty, for it all sprang out of malice and rank treason. He then had the peasants divided into squadrons, and assigned them quarters as if he expected to fight; but about five in the afternoon he sent his wife off to her house, and she went out weeping, very badly handled in words by the courtiers and peasants, who put all this trouble down to her. Immediately afterwards all the peasants were sent away to their homes; and at about seven o'clock the King and the Protector departed with the guard and other members of the court for Windsor, where a great number of peasants are daily assembling. When they left, Controller Paget went up to one of my friends and said: “When you return to London tell the Emperor's ambassador in what condition you saw me, and that he was a great prophet.” Then, with tears in his eyes: “Recommend me to him.” Monday, which was yesterday, the Council met here in a public house in the middle of the town, and commons and nobles conferred at length both before and after dinner. The same day Lord Shrewsbury, one of the most powerful men in the kingdom, the Lord Chancellor (fn. 4) and all the others who were expected arrived, so now the entire nobility is here in arms, except for the Earl of Derby, who is to come to-day. The same evening very late the Lord Warden (fn. 5) and Mr. Wotton (Dr. Nicholas Wotton), who was ambassador in France a short while ago, came to me and said that the lords of the Council had sent them to inform me of what had occurred, in order that I might the better inform your Majesty. They then made a long speech on the state of the kingdom at the late King's death, and how it had afterwards been brought so low by the evil government of the Duke of Somerset, who had been moved by ambition to manage affairs for his own private profit and according to his will, without heeding the Councillors, who had endured so long, because he was a near relative of the King, in the hope that he would eventually be amenable to reason. But seeing that it availed them nothing, and that everything at home and abroad was going from bad to worse, as I myself had seen, and that Somerset persisted in his wickedness and called in the peasants to oppress the nobility and make himself master and tyrant of all, the lords of the Council, to whom the late King had entrusted his son and the kingdom, seeing the danger in which the King and the first estate of the realm were placed, had taken matters into their hands and hoped to put them into such shape that the country's welfare might be a little better assured. With your Majesty's favour they hoped to regain the esteem and reputation they had lost in so short a time through the bad government of the Duke, who had had no care but to build houses for himself and deliver the realm to the enemy. In reply, Sire, I said I was very sorry that things had come to such a pass, for I had hoped that better means for setting everything aright might be found; but as they said they had tried every means, and no way of remedying matters had been found, I doubted not that, like the wise and discreet men they were, they would act as God's service and the King's and his realm's required; for your Majesty loved their realm as much as your own, as Mr. Wotton, who had been ambassador in your Majesty's court, could bear witness. To this they said: “Things shall be righted now or never.” And with this they took their leave.
I perceive, Sire, that the Protector will be so loaded with crimes that he will never get himself acquitted of all of them, and it will cost him his life if he falls into his enemy's hands. The Council have some 5,000 horse and plenty of infantry with them, and there is not a man in town who does not curse the Protector. I am unable to think what makes Controller Paget stay so long with him, and I hope he will come to-day and conform with the rest, as several of the smaller fry have just done. I assured those who came to me of his integrity, which is well known also to themselves, and he will amply prove when he bears witness. I trust that nothing but good may come of this change, especially because it has been accomplished by common accord and without confusion; and it is affirmed that the Bishop of London will be taken out of prison, as it is thought will also be done in the Bishop of Winchester's case. As all the foremost Councillors are catholics, it may be that the Earl of Warwick intends to range himself on their side, for he has forbidden his household to eat meat on Fridays under severe penalties. In two or three days' time these people will set out for Windsor, which cannot hold out long; and it may be anticipated that when the Protector has been proclaimed a traitor by them, the very peasants will forsake him. However, it is said that he is making ready for defence, and summoning peasants from all sides by letters written in the King's hand. I will send news immediately I receive any.
The Lady Mary has sent to me, asking me to despatch one of my men to her at once, as I am doing, for I am sure she wishes to have my advice as to what she had better reply if interrogated. A rumour is on foot that she is to be set up as regent, but I doubt this, as I have heard nothing from the Council to such effect, but only that they would show her greater respect than in the past. I have recently informed the lady in question, by means of her servant, of what your Majesty commanded on this point. May it please your Majesty, when you have heard of the present state of affairs, to tell me what I am to do.
Ambassador Hoby arrived last Saturday at court, before the trouble began, and repaired to his house the same day; but on Sunday he came back, and I hear he is now at Windsor. He has sent me your Majesty's letter.
The Protector had told me that he had appointed commissaries on the question of the bulwark, the Lieutenant of Calais castle, Brian, and the Controller of the same place, named Hall.
London, 8 October, 1549.
Oct. 14. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Sire, after my last letters to your Majesty, dated the 8th instant which was Tuesday, the Protector persisted in fortifying himself at Windsor, keeping the peasants round him, and the King in his hands. But when the Council had made its proclamation in which the Protector was declared to be a traitor for having destroyed the kingdom by his avarice, taken everything for himself, unsettled the people, and finally carried off the King in order to make himself sovereign lord of all in defiance of the commands left by the late King, and in spite of the repeated admonitions of the Council, those who remained with him began to fail, until on Thursday evening news came that Paget had succeeded in depriving him of the possession of the King's person. Informed of this, the Council immediately sent a number of horsemen, servants of the King, to Paget, and on Saturday morning all the lords of the Council, accompanied by a fair number of men, though not enough to constitute an army, left for Windsor. As far as I have been able to hear they held no communication with the Protector, who was there under guard, but did so with Dr. Smith, whom they taxed with the proclamation, made at Windsor against the Council, of which he was the author. Tuesday, that is to say yesterday, at about five in the afternoon, the Protector was conducted through the town by some 300 horse as a prisoner, and with him Mr. Stanhope, (fn. 6) the Protector's brother-in-law and first of the King's gentlemen, Mr. Ling, the Protector's steward, Mr. Wolf, of the King's privy chamber, and a Mr. Bree (Bray?) (fn. 7) who had charge of the administration of justice in the county of Kent and was a great partisan of the new religion. In passing through the streets the Protector had seant respect shown him, and said repeatedly to the people that he was no traitor, but as faithful a servant of the King as any man. I do not know what will become of the Archbishop of Canterbury; nothing at all is being said about him, and I have not yet been able to find out what they intend to do with the Protector, but as they say the King, who arrived at Hampton Court yesterday, will be here with all the Councillors within two hours, I imagine that they will then send me some communication of their plans. I suspect they will despatch someone towards your Majesty, as well in order to justify their conduct as to make sure of your Majesty's favour, for when this undertaking was begun the Earl of Warwick had me told that they would soon send over a person who should be to your Majesty's taste, which led me to hope it might be the Bishop of Winchester or the Earl of Southampton, for at that moment Paget was not in good odour with the Council, though I hope he may have gained his point by now.
I hope to be able to write more fully to your Majesty within two or three days, but dare not omit to inform you of the above by the present courier, whom I am sending on purpose. I implore your Majesty to tell me how I am to behave now.
I have heard that Ambassador Hoby was not particularly well received by the Protector, and as I wrote to your Majesty his arrival fell at an unlucky time. Though he has always been devoted to the Protector, as his creature, he has not tried to do anything for him in the present business, for he was offended that the Protector should have given certain offices that became vacant at the death of Mr. Denny, (fn. 8) a Councillor, and were coveted by Hoby, to other of his henchmen. This is said to have been one of the causes of his return.
London, 14 October, 1549.
Oct. 14. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 18. The Emperor to Van der Delft.
We have received your letters of the 8th instant, and greatly appreciate the despatch with which you have informed us of the present state of things in England, concerning which we are of the same opinion as yourself. If the enterprise against the Protector is being organised by the Council's common consent, and if they already have so large a number of horse in such good order, whilst the Protector has only peasants and not in great numbers, together with the ill-will shown by the greater part of the kingdom against the Protector, he will have his hands full if he is to extricate himself. We could have wished, as we said not long ago at Bruges to Controller Paget, that he had not introduced so many changes during the minority of the King, especially in what concerns religion, for, as we also said to Paget, such is the fruit that is usually gathered from them. As we spoke to him so clearly, you need not fear, when opportunity arises, modestly to exhort those who have influence with the King to consider the evil results of religious change, and return to the old faith outright, or at least put matters back as they were at the time of the late King's death, so that when the present King comes of age he may not resent the alterations made during his minority. They should also have a care, as we recently said to the English ambassador, to do their utmost to put the kingdom into a better state of defence, and hand it over whole to the King when he grows older and wishes to take up the reins of government himself. And this may serve as a reply to what your said letters contain touching this point.
As for your desire to know how you are to behave in the present troubles, it seems to us best that you should meddle in nothing, and only show, as you have done heretofore, that you regret all disturbances that may distress the realm, and that you are sure we do also regret them. Therefore see to it that you temporise, and let us know from time to time of occurrences. If they urge you to say something more, leave it all to us, and we will be careful to reply to you according to the course events will take.
We think it best for the present that the Lady Mary, our cousin, should also limit herself by what we wrote a short time ago. If she is pressed for a reply, she will demand time and consult you, and we will consider what she had better say when we hear from you how affairs are progressing. We recommend you to be most careful always to inform us of what happens, and inform us quickly.
Brussels, 14 October, 1549.
Oct. 17. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Having the opportunity offered by the merchant's courier, I cannot refrain from informing your Majesty that to-day, 17th of this month, the King entered London after dinner, accompanied by the Councillors and all the nobles of the realm. He certainly looked as if he had had a surprise, for while he was in the Protector's hands, the Protector persuaded him that the other Councillors wished to harm him personally. So when he saw them come to Windsor with so great a number of men, though separated from the Protector by Paget's exploit, he still feared danger, but was soon afterwards disabused; and when he went from there to Hampton Court and dismounted, he thanked all the company for having rid him of such fear and peril. I have heard that though the lords of the Council arrived at Windsor on Saturday, they only spoke to the Protector on Monday, and that in full Council; but what happened in the hour and a half they spent with him I have as yet been unable to learn. It is true that when they first appeared they showed Paget no favourable countenance, which disturbed him greatly, but after he had been with them in Council he came out very joyful and showed quite a different face from before. Since then he has had long conversations with the Earl of Warwick, whom I had not omitted to assure of his integrity and loyalty beforehand. So, Sire, all the Councillors are now of one mind, and conduct affairs unanimously and in good order, and it may be hoped things will look better than they have in the past.
The Archbishop of Canterbury still holds his place in the Council, but I do not believe they will leave him there unless he improves, and it is probable that they are now tolerating him merely that all may be done in proper order. For the same reason they are not yet making any show of intending to restore religion, in order that their first appearance in government may not disgust the people, who are totally infected. But every man among them is devoted to the old faith, except the Earl of Warwick, who nonetheless is taking up again the old observances day by day, and it seems probable that he will reform himself entirely, as he says he hopes his eldest son may obtain some post in your Majesty's court where he may serve you.
The Protector's wife is still in her brother Mr. Stanhope's house, Mr. Stanhope himself being a prisoner in the Tower, as I wrote to your Majesty the day before yesterday, and a Mr. Bree (who is really called Gree) is also there. No one remembers Boulogne or Scotland, but they have abandoned Haddington.
London, 17 October, 1549.
Oct. 22. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
The day after I sent my letter of the 17th instant to your Majesty, I received your Majesty's letters by this courier, and will shape my course in accordance with them and meddle in nothing. However, it seems to me that they have less respect for me because of my indifference, and they are also very busy, for they have sent me no news except by the Lord Warden (i.e. Sir Thomas Cheyne), who came last night and told me he had been ordered to go over to your Majesty, and was going to start to-day, though he said nothing more. Seeing that his conversation stopped at that point, I asked him if he was going to reside in your Majesty's court. He replied that he was not going to stay, and hoped to return shortly. When I asked him if he was going alone, he answered that Mr. Philip Hoby was to accompany him, and without any more talk took his leave, begging me to give him a letter to your Majesty, which I am sending him. As far as I can conjecture, Sire, his mission is likely to be to relate to your Majesty all that has happened here and the Council's motives for acting, and to beg your Majesty to assist and favour them for the sake of the confidence the late King declared he had in you before his death. Subject to correction, it seems that your Majesty might well reply to this in the same terms in which you answered Ambassador Hoby, to encourage those who are well disposed to restore religion, and give better guidance to the wandering, in order that all things may be governed in this country to the service of God and the good of the realm. Nevertheless, Sire, I fear they will have plenty to do in this respect, for the common people are badly infected, but as they say Parliament is shortly to meet, one may hope that affairs may be reformed by common consent, for they are already beginning to manage business in a thorough manner. The said Lord Warden is a knight of the Order (i.e. of the Garter), treasurer of the King's household, Warden of the Cinque Ports, and his name is Sir Thomas Cheyne. In the late King's day, just after the peace with France, he was sent to that country in his master's name to educate the son of the present King of France. He is a good man and of the old religion, and I believe this honour to be shown him because he is one of the oldest men in the Council named in the King's will, and the most proficient in the French tongue.
The Venetian ambassador went to court yesterday to congratulate the lords of the Council on the success of their undertaking, which pleased them very much, as he told me. It may be that they are a trifle suspicious of me because I do not discover myself more. In any case, Sire, if it were your Majesty's good pleasure, I would gladly take a more prominent part in these doings, in order to bring them round to the service of God and this kingdom's true interests, and also out of regard for the prosperity of your Majesty's affairs. For I see signs of the greatest inconstancy in these people, especially in the Protector, who, though no man's friend in his government, yet acted as an open enemy to France, and nevertheless set aside this enmity to such an extent as to be willing to treat with France and hand over Boulogne before a single fort had been taken, as I have found out from a French gentleman named Bertheville, who lives here on a fat pension from the King (i.e. of France), as I have at other times informed your Majesty. This gentleman says he had instructions to draw up the agreement, but he fell ill at that moment, and after the taking of the forts in the Boulonnais was at once thrown into the Tower. It may be believed that this was done for no other reason than to avoid giving away the secret, for though it is murmured here that he (Bertheville) is suspected of receiving a pension from France, he has as yet been accused of nothing. He has written to a friend of his, asking him to beg the lords of the Council that he may be heard in his defence if they intend to accuse him of anything, which he does not yet know, and requesting him to remember the words he formerly said to him, to wit: that the Protector had instructed him to make an agreement with France and hand back Boulogne. He added that his illness had defrauded him of 10,000 crowns; and I have seen Bertheville's letter that contains all this. I am so prolix, Sire, because I am quite persuaded that the Council were then inclined to make terms with France, all the more because of several of Paget's remarks that have come back to me, and also certain words he spoke when abroad, not to mention the small care the Protector was taking to keep Boulogne well provided.
As far as I know, no communication has been held with the Lady Mary, but if they do suggest anything she will always act according to your Majesty's good advice. She wrote to me yesterday to send her my secretary, and I shall do so to-morrow. The last time he was there, she told him she had heard that the Council had been talking about marrying her, and that one of them had said nothing more ought to be done until news came from your Majesty about the Portuguese proposal. She, however, had not asked to know about the matter, or who had made the above answer in Council, for she would have to consent whatever happened, though she was less desirous to marry than to find some other means of getting out of this realm. She hoped that in any case your Majesty would have her in favourable recommendation.
London, 22 October, 1549.
Oct. 22. Vienna Imp Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
My Lord Warden, who has been deputed by my Lords of the Council to go over to your Majesty with Ambassador Philip Hoby, has asked me to give him a letter to your Majesty. It has seemed to me fitting to inform your Majesty that my Lord Warden is a good gentleman of great reputation, being the eldest of the Council and named expressly by the late King. He is very anxious to serve your Majesty, as his attitude towards your subjects has always proved. I will not speak at greater length here, as he will give your Majesty a full account of events in this quarter.
London, 22 October, 1549.
Oct. 23. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 1. Edward VI to the Emperor.
Whereas, by the advice of our Council and dear and well-beloved Councillors, we are now sending to you Mr. Thomas Cheyne, Knight of our Order and Treasurer of our Household, and Mr. Philip Hoby, Knight, gentleman of our privy chamber, not merely to see and visit you on our behalf, to hear good news of you and relate to you ours, but also to expose and recount certain matters which we have instructed them to communicate to you, we beg you to give them good and favourable audience, and believe them as firmly as you would ourself.
Westminster, 23 October, 1549.
Oct. 27. Vienna Imp. Arch. E. 17. Van der Delft to the Emperor.
Sire, may it please your Majesty to pardon me for venturing to write to you again without urgent cause, especially as I have written already for my Lord Warden. My present excuse is that Mr. Philip Hoby, who came here from his house in the country four days after the Lord Warden had left, has solicited me for a letter. I am well assured, Sire, that he has performed good offices here, by exhorting the lords of the Council to set up a good government and follow your Majesty's example by conducting their affairs with prudence, holding up before them how wisely and deliberately you proceed in all things, and remonstrating to them how important it is that they should seek to content you, for if they act well they should find in your Majesty not a friend only, but a father. In short, he has concealed nothing of the devotion he has for your Majesty, whom I thought well to inform of this. In three or four days I hope to write more fully.
London, 27 October, 1549.


  • 1. The breakwater in Boulogne harbour.
  • 2. Probably Sir John Baker.
  • 3. Edward, first Lord North.
  • 4. Richard, Lord Rich.
  • 5. Sir Thomas Cheyne. Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.
  • 6. Doubtless Sir Michael Stanhope.
  • 7. He is referred to later as being “really called Gree."
  • 8. Sir Anthony Denny.