Venice: June 1568

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7, 1558-1580. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1890.

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'Venice: June 1568', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 7, 1558-1580, (London, 1890) pp. 416-417. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

June 1568

June 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 426. Giovanni Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
The news of the defeat of the troops of the Queen of Scotland was true. She had assembled about eight thousand men, who had flocked to her from divers parts, and for greater security she wished to shut herself up in Dumbarton, which is a very strong castle, but she could not get there without crossing the Clyde, over which there is but one bridge near Glasgow, and that was already occupied by the enemy. It was therefore determined to cross the river where it flows into the sea, a number of boats being sent to the spot for that purpose. The Regent, aware of this, went in pursuit with four thousand men; whereupon the Queen appointed as her Lieutenant-General the Earl of Argyle, who had just joined her, and who is her brother-in-law through his wife, Queen Mary's natural sister, and he with six thousand men gave Murray battle.
The contest lasted for three-quarters of an hour, when the Queen's troops were worsted, but only one hundred and fifty of her followers were killed, for the Regent exerted himself extremely to prevent his troops shedding blood. The prisoners exceeded three hundred, including many noblemen, amongst whom, moreover, is that Lord Seton who was the chief instrument and leader in effecting the Queen's escape. Finding herself defeated, the Queen set out for England, accompanied by a son of the Duke of Châtellerault, by Lord Fleming, by the Earl of Maxwell, and some twenty-five other attendants, and she travelled a distance of one hundred and twenty-five miles without any rest. She stopped at a place called Workington, which is four miles within the English border. She did not discover herself, but was recognised by a Scotchman, who informed the warden of the castle, and the latter went immediately to receive her, with great marks of respect, and posted guards on all sides to prevent pursuit by the enemy.
When the Queen of England heard this news she appeared much pleased, and immediately despatched to Carlisle, where the Queen of Scotland now is, her Lord Chamberlain (sic) and the Governor of the place [Lord Scroop, Warden of the Marches], with clothes of silk and jewels for her wear, and in London a palace is being prepared for her with great pomp. Queen Elizabeth promises to give her all aid for the recovery of her kingdom, and has written to this effect to their Majesties here, who have besought her warmly thus to do; but it is said that she will not allow Queen Mary to come to France, as was believed to be her intention, but will detain her in England until she sees the result, it appearing that there is already some talk of an adjustment.
The same Scottish gentleman, John Beaton, who brought the news of Queen Mary's escape, in which he indeed took part, has come to me in her name, to say that all her valuables, and especially her jewels, are in the hands of the enemy, who got possession of them when they imprisoned her. She is now apprehensive of their being sent for sale abroad, and possibly to Venice, which is one of the chief and wealthiest marts in the world; and he therefore requested me to co-operate with him in assisting her by writing to your Serenity, in order that should any jewels reach our city and be recognised, from their extreme beauty and quality, or through any other circumstance, the Signory may be pleased to have them detained until the Queen can send the necessary proofs. This I readily promised him to do, assuring him at the same time, that out of the love ever borne by your Serenity towards his Queen, you would willingly comply with the present request or any other that could possibly be of service to her.
Paris, 6th June 1568.
June 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 427. Giovanni Corker, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Signory.
The Queen of Scotland is approaching London, and has sent Lord Fleming to Queen Elizabeth, who has given him leave to go to the French Court, where Queen Catherine de' Medici and the Guises are expecting the return of Montmorin, whom they had sent to England for news of the real situation of their daughter-in-law and niece, for it was already rumoured that instead of aiding the Queen of Scotland, Queen Elizabeth intended to detain her; and the ground of this suspicion rested on the fact of Middlemore's mission to the Regent Murray, demanding his rejoinder to the charges brought against him by his half-sister, and requesting leniency in favour of her adherents.
Paris, 24th June 1568.