October 1562


Institute of Historical Research



Martin A. S. Hume (editor)

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'Simancas: October 1562', Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 1: 1558-1567 (1892), pp. 261-265. URL: Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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October 1562

10 Oct.
B. M. MS., Brussels Archives. Add. 28,173a.
186. The Same to the Same.
I have just received your Highness' letter of 1st instant with one from His Majesty to this Queen, and copies of others from the King to M. de Chantonnay respecting the communications to be made to this Queen. I have sent to ask for an audience, and will give advice at once as to the result of the interview.
The 3,000 men they have embarked in the ports of Portsmouth and Rye on the 26th ultimo were driven by contrary winds to shelter in the Isle of Wight, whence the captains wrote to the Queen to know whether it was her wish that they should continue their voyage. They were told to proceed with the first favourable wind, as they did, leaving, the island on the 3rd instant. As soon as the Queen received news of their arrival and good reception in Havre de Grace and Dieppe she gave orders to the earl of Warwick to leave with the other 3,000 men, as he will do within two or three days, the troops being already at the shipping-place awaiting him, All the more speed will be displayed in the voyage, because it is said that the king of France is nearer the coast, and they fear that as the troops that have gone over are few and fresh they might be surprised and beaten.
The duke of Norfolk arrived to-day at Hampton Court where the Queen is, and people still say that if more troops are sent to Franco the Duke will take command of the whole force.
Many persons offer their services to me every day in the belief that a rupture is imminent between His Majesty and the Queen. I think the best thing I can do in such cases is to pass them lightly over, thanking those who offer themselves, but not closing with them without orders.
I believe some Germans have arrived here, and amongst them an envoy of the countess of Embden. I do not know whether to think that he may have come about the shipping of some German troops there by the Rhine. I also learn at this moment that some persons have come from France secretly, and I will advise later what I can learn.—London, 10 October 1562.
16 Oct.
Simancas, B. M. MS., Add. 26,056a.
187. The Same to the Same.
The Queen has been ill of fever at Kingston, and the malady has now turned to small-pox. The eruption cannot come out and she is in great danger. Cecil was hastily summoned from London at midnight. If the Queen die it will be very soon, within a few days at latest, and now all the talk is who is to be her successor. Lord Robert has a large armed force under his control, and will probably pronounce for his brother-in-law, the earl of Huntingdon.—London, 16th October 1562.
17 Oct.
Simancas, B. M. MS., Add. 26,056a.
188. The Same to the Same.
The Queen is now better as the eruption has appeared. Last night the palace people were all mourning for her as if she were already dead. The Council were all present, and it seems they agreed amongst themselves, or tried to do so, but what it was I cannot discover. At one time I thought the illness was a feint in order to find out the temper of people, but I am now convinced it was genuine. She was all but gone. I think what they settled was to exclude the queen of Scots.
Arthur Pole with two of his brothers and his brother-in-law Fortescue, were taken on trying to escape to France, and it is likely to go hard with them.—London, 17th October 1562.
25 Oct.
Simancas, B. M. MS., Add. 26,056a.
189. The Same to the Same.
I advised your Highness of the Queen's illness and convalescence. She is now out of bed and is only attending to the marks on her face to avoid disfigurement.
In her own extremity of the 16th her Council was almost as much troubled as she, for out of the 15 or 16 of them that there are there were nearly as many different opinions about the succession to the Crown. It would be impossible to please them all, but I am sure in the end they would form two or three parties and that the Catholic party would have on its side a majority of the county, although I do not know whether the Catholics themselves would be able to agree, as some would like the queen of Scots and others Lady Margaret, who is considered devout and sensible.
The outcome of the Queen's illness is that Robert has been put into the Council in company with the duke of Norfolk. I believe Robert will despatch all business during the Queen's illness, especially French affairs, to which he is much attached.
There is great opposition in the Council to the war with France, but it will go forward nevertheless.—London, 25th October 1562.
190. Bishop Quadra to the King.
On the 27th ultimo they shipped from Portsmouth and Rye nearly 3,000 soldiers who were sent to Havre de Grace and Dieppe. They only arrived there on the 4th instant owing to bad weather, and on the 11th the earl of Warwick with 3,000 more left here accompanied by his brother-in-law Henry Sidney. He also encountered bad weather and was detained some days at Dover, but he will have now sailed. The English have not been so well received at Dieppe as they expected. They asked that a certain fort should be given up to them, but the people of the place refused, and I understand that they will leave there and all concentrate in Havre de Grace.
The Queen was at Hampton Court on the 10th instant, and feeling unwell thought she would like a bath. The illness turned out to be small-pox, and the cold caught by leaving her bath for the air resulted in so violent a fever that on the seventh day she was given up, but during that night the eruption came out and she is now better.
There was great excitement that day in the palace, and if her improvement had not come soon some hidden thoughts would have become manifest. The Council discussed the succession twice, and I am told there were three different opinions. Some wished King Henry's will to be followed and Lady Catharine declared heiress. Others who found flaws in the will were in favour of the earl of Huntingdon. Lord Robert, the earl of Bedford, the earl of Pembroke, and the duke of Norfolk with others of the lower rank were in favour of this. The most moderate and sensible tried to dissuade the others from being in such a furious hurry, and said they would divide and ruin the country unless they summoned jurists of the greatest standing in the country to examine the rights of the claimants, and in accordance with this decision the Council should then unanimously take such steps as might be best in the interests of justice and the good of the country. The Marquis Treasurer (Winchester) was of this opinion with others, although only a few, as the rest understood that this was a move in favour of the Catholic religion, nearly all the jurists who would be called upon to decide being of that faith, and this delay would give time for your Majesty to take steps in the matter which is the thing these heretics fear most, for upon your Majesty's absence they found all their hopes.
During this discussion the Queen improved, and on recovering from the crisis which had kept her unconscious and speechless for two hours the first thing she said was to beg her Council to make Lord Robert protector of the kingdom with a title and an income of 20,000l. Everything she asked was promised, but will not be fulfilled.
On the 20th he and the duke of Norfolk were admitted to the Council, and it is said he will shortly be made earl of la Marche (?)
The Queen protested at the time that although she loved and had always loved Lord Robert dearly, as God was her witness, nothing improper had ever passed between them. She ordered a groom of the Chamber, called Tamworth, who sleeps in Lord Robert's room, to be granted an income of 500l. a year. She also especially recommended her cousin Hunsdon to the Council as well as her household generally. This demonstration has offended many people. The various grants were made in the fear that another crisis might prove fatal, but as she is well again they all fall to the ground except Lord Robert's favour, which always continues, and as the Queen will not be visible for some time owing to the disfigurement of her face the audiences will be all to him alone except a few to the Duke (of Norfolk) whom they have forced into it.
I think French affairs will be dealt with by Lord Robert in the way he has always advocated, namely, for peace and alliance. Your Majesty's affairs will be referred to the Duke as they know he is friendly with me.
The Queen was unable to see me for the purpose of receiving your Majesty's protest against the French war, but I had an interview with the Council, where I was received with some alterations and innovations in the usual course that were full of malicious intent. I was introduced by the bishop of Rochester, and having read to them the document from your Majesty, Cecil spoke for the rest and divided his answer under three heads. First, that the Queen considering the Guises her enemies and their excessive authority in France dangerous, was therefore determined to resist it.
Secondly, that the king of France and his mother, being oppressed and almost prisoners, she was resolved to deliver them.
Thirdly, that as her co-religionists in France were persecuted and ill-treated she had decided to aid them. I replied that I had nothing to say about the Guises, and as to the second point I could only say that it was extraordinary, false and absurd. Everybody knew that it was not true, and it was nothing less than an insult to his Majesty (the king of Spain), who, as they well knew, considered the present government of France a good and a just one, to call its acts tyranny and captivity. The King my master, I said would, if necessary, use all his strength to protect his brother-in-law. As to the last point about aiding their co-religionists I said such a thing was so unreasonable and scandalous that I did not believe any one failed to see it and to recognise how badly they were acting in picking a quarrel in this way, which was only setting all christendom by the ears.
I pointed out, too, how improper it was for the Queen to promote religious changes in other countries, and how much more seemly it was for a Christian ruler to protect the ancient and true Catholic faith established by the law, and punish all attempts to overturn it.
Cecil thereupon began to treat the matter excitedly, confounding and mixing the various points, and made much of the Guises' share in the loss of Calais of which he said they had robbed this country through your Majesty. I said Calais had been lost by those who defended it not knowing how to hold it, and not owing to any relationship of the French with your Majesty as the Secretary inferred, and I thought it was very wrong that matters so unfit for open discussion should be written about in pamphlets, and that all this was only to make your Majesty unpopular, although it was so evident as to be patent to everybody.
The Secretary said that was so as there was no person who did not know that that war had been made only to please your Majesty and to the great danger of this country. I replied that members who were in the Council at the time of that war could speak of that best, as they were present now, when Pembroke, Arundel, and Clinton, said that your Majesty and the Queen alone had wished for the war and not a single member of the Council approved of it, followed by other angry and foolish expressions of the same sort.—London, 25th October 1562.
25 Oct. 191. The Same to the Same.
I subsequently asked them to deliver my servant to me without touching upon their obligation to do so, but only saying that the Ambassador Challoner had promised that he should be handed over. I said, however, that if they considered that he had revealed any plot or other matter which I had done here unworthy of my position I should be glad if they would investigate it first and communicate it to your Majesty. They answered that the Queen had sent and informed me what the man had revealed, and, as for handing him over, the Queen had no intention of doing so as he was not a subject of your Majesty, not having been born in your dominions. I told them that he was subject to your Majesty in virtue of his canonry in the diocese of Aquila and two benefices in that of Trinento, and this was as binding and legal as natural subjection. I saw they disputed it, and I did not push the question further. They took their stand on the terms of the treaties, but I told them that this case was infinitely more heinous than those comprised in the treaties, and consequently all the more unworthy of being excused and condoned by them, and if the only difficulty was to prove that the man was a subject of your Majesty, I would undertake to prove that on the spot ; and so the matter remained.— London, 25th October 1562.
Fragment, apparently a portion of the aforegoing letter.
27 Oct. 192. Bishop Quadra to the Duchess of Parma.
The Queen's improvement continues, and it is now considered certain that Parliament will be summoned, although if the nobles whom the Queen has ordered to be called together will privately advance her some money, as is the custom here, the Queen will be glad to avoid having a parliament, as she knows they would like to discuss the question of the succession, and she has not the least wish that it should be opened. Public feeling, however, is so disturbed that I do not see how she can avoid it, and I am told by persons of position that they believe the matter will be dealt with whether the Queen wishes it or not. It would be well that I should be instructed without delay what action his Majesty wishes me to take in this business, as to do nothing at all would not be advantageous nor would it look well.—London, 27th October 1562.