Simancas
March 1562

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Institute of Historical Research

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Martin A. S. Hume (editor)

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1892

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229-233

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'Simancas: March 1562', Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892), pp. 229-233. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=86738 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

March 1562

6 March. 153. Bishop Quadra to Cardinal De Granvelle.
I wrote on the 28th ultimo and sent copies of what the cardinal of Ferrara and Morette had written to me. I have not spoken to the Queen on the matter as the signs up to the present are not to be feared. I have convinced myself this week that these people who are fitting out some ships to send, as they say, to Berwick with munitions and money are really going to send them to help the risings and tumults which this Queen has encouraged in Scotland. She cannot endure that religion should be upheld in that country or that their Queen should send representatives to the Concilio. They are also full of suspicion of the news that many of the gentlemen of this country, both because they are Catholics and because they are tired of what is going on here, have offered their services to the queen of Scotland and are in communication with her. Lady Margaret's affair also enters into this question. They have not done much against her yet, but perhaps when they have despatched these ships and placed them between England and Scotland and occupied the land passes they may lay hands on her and on some others with whom they are now temporising.
I also hear that this week there was to be a meeting in Lancaster (under pretext of a hare hunt) of some of these gentlemen, who are not favourable to the Catholics, the duke of Norfolk amongst others, and it is suspected that this meeting may be to fall unawares on some of the Catholics who are most feared but whom they dare not arrest without some such precaution for fear of a disaster. Those who are to meet with the duke of Norfolk are the marquis of Northampton, the earl of Huntingdon, the earl of Rutland, Lord Hunsdon, cousin of the Queen, and others. There is not a head amongst them worth anything except that of the Duke, and I should be astounded at his entering into such an enterprise as he is not at all attached to the present state of things in religion or otherwise. Quite the contrary. However this may be, it is quite certain that five or six ships are being fitted out which are to be despatched next week in the direction of Scotland, and which will very soon cause trouble there. I have thought well to advise you thereof by this special messenger. The sum total of it is that these people neither want a Concilio nor anything else that leads to harmony, but only to disturb everything and take advantage of the inquietude of neighbouring countries to hold their own.—London, 6th March 1562.
13 March.
Simancas, B.M. MS. Add. 26,056a.
154. Bishop Quadra to the King.
On the 31st January and 9th November I wrote your Majesty an account of affairs here and since then the news is that on intelligence being received here that an envoy of the King of Sweden (a Frenchman named Varennes) had arrived in Scotland to propose to the Queen that ambassadors from Sweden should be received to negotiate her marriage with the King, so much excitement was caused in England that orders were at once given to fit out five or six ships to sail for Berwick with arms and munitions. At the same time money was sent thither to pay the troops, and as Grey is somewhat discredited they talked about sending Peter Carew in his place. These ships were to stay on the coast of Scotland to obtain news of events in that country. All these preparations were commenced, but when the Marquis d'Elbœuf passed here on his way to France, it became known that this Varennes had not been well received or favourably despatched, and that the queen of Scots would not entertain the idea of such a marriage, the people here became calmer and the ships will not go until after Easter, if at all. They have only provided three or four small vessels at Dover to coast up and down and watch the ships that pass. The Queen received the Marquis (Elbœuf) with extraordinary warmth, and Lord Robert sent him a present of 3,000 nobles which he would not accept. The design is to win over these uncles of the queen of Scots in order that they may persuade her to marry the earl of Arran who being poor, a heretic and a subject, would make a good precedent for this Queen to marry Robert. But the principal object is to prevent the queen of Scots from marrying anyone powerful enough to cause them alarm. This Queen is trying to get the queen of Scots to come and see her in Newcastle or some other place on the frontier, but she will be very badly advised if she come. The visit of this envoy of the king of Sweden to Scotland has caused his ambassador here to be treated so scurvily that he has made it an excuse for his departure, and he will leave in a week. They say that in his last audience with the Queen very hard words passed between them, and he spoke out so plainly that she burst into tears ; but he has had to pay dearly for it since in the disagreeable and discourteous way in which they have treated him.
They have recently examined here the earl of Lennox and four gentlemen neighbours of his in York who had been summoned by the Council. I do not think there is much against him, but, although they gave him hope of speedy liberation, they sent him to the Tower the day before yesterday ; he having been previously under arrest in the house of the Master of the Rolls. They have sent for Lady Margaret and her sons and will treat them in the same way as the Earl, and will then declare Lady Margaret a bastard, on the ground that her father, the earl of Douglas, was already secretly married when he wedded Queen Margaret. It appears that this evidence was obtained two years ago, at the time the last war began between this Queen and the king of France in Scotland. These heretics both here and in Scotland are much afraid that if this Queen and the queen of Scots were to die Lady Margaret would succeed, and in view of the illness of the queen of Scots at the time they ordered certain proceedings to be taken to prove the illegitimacy. However this may be, the inclination of the people of this country is strongly in favour of Lady Margaret's son both amongst catholics and others of the highest standing. Two of them recently asked me if your Majesty would be willing for this lad to take refuge in Flanders or in some place in this country where help could be given to him. I could only say that your Majesty was not yet aware of what was going on here, and I did not know what your answer would be in such case, but I was convinced of the goodwill your Majesty bore to Lady Margaret on account of her virtue and goodness. I think one of these men called Cobham must have gone very far in this business, as he is very uneasy, and has sought an excuse for going to the baths of Liege (?). This week public announcement has been made that the intended depreciation of the coinage will not take place, and people are forbidden to discuss the matter under heavy penalties. It is certain that if the measure had been carried out it would have caused a disturbance. There is no improvement in religious matters, although Cardinal Ferrara has again ineffectually tried to open negotiations with the Queen by means of a Florentine called Guido Cavalcanti, but it has only made these people less alarmed than before, as they see themselves besought in such a way. What makes them the more pertinacious is that they hear that, Vendôme's pretended catholicism and zeal notwithstanding, none of the enactments against the heretics will be enforced, and that everyone (in France) will be allowed to follow his own religion. This is not quite what these people wished, as they expected religion there would have changed altogether, but still it is a great deal to be assured that no harm will come to them from France, their party there being so strong, and that no great progress can be made in the Concilio or its decisions respected in France. I hear this from Foix the new French ambassador here who hears mass and calls himself a Catholic, but whose acts are doubtful.
I have been suffering great need here for a long time past, both because the expenses I am obliged to incur are beyond my means, and because a large portion of what your Majesty has ordered to be paid is lost in exchange. As I have no private means to fall back upon I am thus obliged to be always importuning your Majesty on this matter, to my own terrible shame and confusion, as my wish is only to serve your Majesty. Pray do not let me suffer more as my office is degraded thereby, and your Majesty's interests suffer.— London, 13th March 1562.
14 March. 155. Bishop Quadra to Cardinal De Granvelle.
By my letter to his Majesty your eminence will be advised of all that is happening, and there is therefore no necessity for repeating it here. I write to Madame as usual.
This business of Lady Margaret will doubtless do harm to some and is not harmless to me, as the heretics have spread amongst the common people that I had a hand in it, although to me personally they dissemble. In truth, unless it be in my wishes about religion I have not offended them even venially, although I have tried to understand the feelings which moved them. The imprisonment of this good lady cannot fail to trouble many Catholics and others, and in my opinion things here cannot avoid disturbance shortly for the disorder and bad government are beyond belief. With all this the Queen is still persistent, and as I am told threatened with dropsy, which she barely escaped last September. There is no doubt of this as I have it from a doctor and two ladies who are in a position to know.
The last post from Spain brought me no letter even from my servant which seems very extraordinary, and I think I shall be obliged to go over there (in Brussels) after Easter. Pray favour me by speaking to Madame about it, and, if there be no objection, give me leave as otherwise I am at a loss to know how I shall be able to manage and pay what I owe, which at present is quite impossible, and moreover to wait so long for mails which bring me nothing. If I asked his Majesty what others ask of him it would not be strange if he answered that he could not send it, but asking, as I do, only for payment of what is owing to me so as to be able to serve him in this prison where I have been four years, and to get no answer at all either yes or no, and no instructions as to what I am to do or undo in affairs here appears to go beyond indifference and to be a declaration of the small account in which his Majesty holds my residence here. I beseech your Eminence to aid me to get out of this place without offence, even though it be without reward. This will content me as I am not ambitious, and care little about being rich. I am in such grief that perhaps I write what I ought not. Pardon it all for the love of the Lord.—London, 14th March 1562.
20 March. 156. Bishop Quadra to the King.
I have received a letter from your Majesty dated 9th February, and see that all mine to that date had been received. I have now to say that yesterday Mason and Petre came to see me from the Queen and told me that she had sent an ambassador to your Majesty's court to maintain the friendship between your Majesty and her which had existed from the time of your forbears, but that the said ambassador and his servants had received such harsh treatment in Spain, their trunks being broken open and everything examined, even their papers, and some of the people imprisoned, that she thinks her honour will not permit her to suffer it, and therefore desires to complain of it to your Majesty through me, and to beg your Majesty to have the matter remedied, as otherwise she will be obliged to recall the ambassador and hopes your Majesty will not take it in evil part. I said I would do all the Queen desired, but wished to know in detail where this harsh treatment had been suffered, and by whom, and also whether Challoner had brought it to your Majesty's notice, and what answer had been given. In view of these facts it will be easy, I said, to discover whether these acts had been casual or had proceeded from your Majesty's wishes, so as to appreciate them at their proper importance.
They said they knew no more than that the Queen had told them to say what they had said, with her own lips, but they believed that the affair had arisen through some of Challoner's servants who were landing in Biscay being treated in this manner. Although I fancy that they themselves (Mason and Petre) thought the occasion was hardly one to take so much to heart, they delivered their message and repeated several times the words about your Majesty not taking it in evil part if the Queen recalled her ambassador. This would not be much for them to do as I have conveyed to your Majesty in former letters that what they really aim at is to make people think that any dissension between your Majesty and the Queen must arise through the bad treatment of her and her subjects in Spain, and that she has no intention of offending the people in the Netherlands. I did not care to bandy words with them nor to discuss the indecorous treatment they have extended to me and of which I have not complained to your Majesty as I did not think necessary, but it would, I think, be advisable to revert to it to Challoner to show him that if he complains in Spain of these casual matters I have much greater reason to complain of the suspicion with which I am treated. Not a man dares to enter my house because of the distrust that is publicly shown of all those who associate with me, and not a person is arrested for State reasons without his being asked whether he has any conversation with me. They have done this in Lady Margaret Douglas's affair, but have never found what they seek.—London, 20th March 1562.