B. M. MS.,
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.
B. M. MS.,
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.
B. M. MS.,
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.
B. M. MS.,
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
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
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
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
Fragment, apparently a portion of the aforegoing letter.
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.