1. Count De Olivares to the King.
The English prior in Venice perseveres in his solicitations to Allen,
saying that it would be well to endeavour to convert the Queen of
England to the faith by fair means. I have told Allen not to
break the thread, but to avoid pledging himself to anything until
we can learn whether your Majesty desires to make use of the man,
whom Allen praises as a very appropriate instrument for deceiving
the Queen, whilst being himself deceived.—Rome, 2nd January
K. 1566, 22.
2. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I learn from Irun that the Huguenots have captured Pedro de
Sarmiento (fn. 1) in the Landes near Bordeaux. I assured him that the
way by Nantes, although longer, would be the safer, but he resolved
to go by Bordeaux with an experienced courier from here who
knew the road. As this will prevent him from speedily giving your
Majesty an account of the Queen of England's instructions by word
of mouth, I will set down the substance in writing, as he repeated
them to me. The Queen told him that she greatly desired peace
with your Majesty, and wished him to tell you so. The Treasurer
repeated this to him, and as Sarmiento is a sensible man, he asked
him in what way peace was desired, to which the Treasurer replied,
that if old scores were forgotten, and your Majesty would be a good
friend again, the Queen would withdraw the English from Holland
and Zeeland. Sarmiento asked for this in writing, which the
Treasurer said could not be given in the Queen's name, but he
asked him to convey it to your Majesty verbally, and if he, Sarmiento,
did not wish to follow up the negotiation, an ample passport should
be given to him, so that any other person your Majesty might wish
to send about it could come to England freely. Sarmiento carries
this passport with him.
He had several conversations with Walter Raleigh, the Queen's
favourite, and signified to him how wise it would be for him to
offer his services to your Majesty, as the Queen's favour to him
could not last long. He said if he (Raleigh) would really look after
your Majesty's interests in that country, apart from the direct
reward he would receive, your Majesty's support, when occasion
arose, might prevent him from falling. Raleigh (fn. 2) accepted the
advice, and asked Sarmiento to inform your Majesty of his willingness,
if your Majesty would accept his services, to oppose Don
Antonio's attempts, and to prevent the sailing of expeditions from
England. He would, moreover, send a large ship of his own, heavily
armed, to Lisbon, and sell it for your Majesty's service for the sum
of 5,000 crowns. In order that he might learn whether your
Majesty would accept his services, he gave Sarmiento a countersign,
and wrote to a nephew of his who is here (i.e., in Paris) learning
the language, telling him that the moment I gave him any letter
from Sarmiento he was to start with it for England. I let him (the
nephew) know that Sarmiento had been taken by Huguenots, and
he replied that he would instantly go to England and tell the Queen
and Raleigh, who, he was sure, would write to the Prince of Bearn
asking that he should be set at liberty. I greatly approved of this,
as it will be the easiest and cheapest way of getting Sarmiento out
of prison, and he is a person who can render great service to your
Majesty in the Indies, which country he knows well. (fn. 3) —Paris,
8th January 1587.
K. 1566, 26.
3. Charles Arundell to Secretary Idiaquez.
Your natural humanity, joined to the special kindness you have
so frankly extended to me, make me wonder how God can have
designed to bless me with such a friendship in these fickle times,
when honour is commonly neglected by persons otherwise estimable.
I know, however, from past experience how greatly you are my
well wisher, and it would be superfluous for me to ask you for other
new proofs of your favour, as it would equally be to profess my
obligation to his Catholic Majesty, in whose service I will never fail,
as it is of all things in the world that to which I am most attached,
body and soul. I doubt not that Don Bernardino's letters will have
reported as much of me, since all the important news he receives
from England come through me, and none else. (fn. 4) He has promised
to tell you this, and you will thus learn, as well as from the letters
I have written to Englefield, how valuable my services are, and how
necessary it is that I should be able to continue them, as I would
unless failure of means through non-payment to me of the King's
allowance should force me to leave this place. (fn. 5) As I am the sole
source of any trustworthy information furnished in the King's
interest, I must frankly avow that my state cannot endure either
the reduction already made in my allowance, the delay in the
payment of it in future, nor the deduction made here by way of tax.
I only complain of it to say that in your hands alone lies the
remedy for these shortcomings. If no remedy be found, affairs will
very shortly change for the worse in such a way that it will be
impossible for me to conduct them as they have hitherto been
conducted. I would go to Spain at once only that I fear to
importune his Majesty too much, and feel that I should be unable to
perform any adequate service there. I can assure you that the
honours and favours which his Majesty has bestowed upon me have
been so conspicuous that they have been the means of bringing
many persons of quality to correspond with me ; but, on the other
hand, they have greatly increased my expenses, and have, indeed,
plunged me into an infinity of disasters. I beg you will maturely
consider what my position must be, unsupported by the pension
promised to me. My will is good, as you know ; pray consider it
so, and allow me to employ it effectually. Signed Charles Arundell.
—Paris, 10th January 1587.
K. 1566. 27.
4. Advices from England.
The Scottish ambassadors (fn. 6) with a great company of Scots will
arrive to-night. It is not known where they will be lodged.
It is said that the earl of Leicester will not return to Flanders, but
that lord Grey, who was Governor of Ireland, will go in his place. (fn. 7)
This, however, is not yet certain.
M. de Belièvre is leaving for France.
There is not much talk now of hastily arming ships, but Drake is
slowly repairing some of his vessels.
5. Count De Olivares to the King.
Since I last wrote to your Majesty about England I have
discovered that the archbishop of Glasgow, the Pagets, and the
rest of their party which is trying to help the queen of Scotland
separately from Allen (with objects which I explained to your
Majesty in the statement I sent on 26th October by the archbishop
of Cambrai), have endeavoured to place the Queen's interests in the
hands of cardinal Mondovi. (fn. 8) I asked the latter confidentially about
it, and he told me frankly what was going on, expressing his
willingness to address the Pope on matters of State, which they all
avoid doing. I encouraged him, and told him that in the course of
the negotiations he might find opportunities of serving your Majesty.
I thought best thus to keep this door open, in order that I might
learn what was being done, and direct matters in your Majesty's
interest with all necessary caution. It was therefore agreed that
the Cardinal should accept the commission and act as I should
desire, giving me advice of all that passed.
I began to undeceive him with regard to the ideas they have put
into his head about the King (of Scotland), and the hopes that he
(the King) will change his course. My views of the matter will
have been confirmed by the news the Cardinal has since received,
that the King was trying to arrange that the son of his favourite,
the duke of Lennox, should stand next in succession to the Crown,
and marry a daughter of the heretic head of the house of Hamilton ;
the succession being secured to this daughter by means of murder
and forced renunciations.
This is an atrocious thing, and it is, besides, quite monstrous that
a man of the King's age should be so far from the idea that he
will have children of his own as to arrange for the succession of
They (i.e., the archbishop of Glasgow, the Pagets, etc.) are asking
the Cardinal to beg the Pope to send the Scotch Carthusian friar,
who was bishop of Dunblane, (fn. 9) and is now here, with a brief from
his Holiness to the king of Scotland, exhorting him to adhere to the
Catholic faith ; and the bishop is to be instructed to bring back
news of the disposition in which he finds the King. The Cardinal
intended to petition the Pope to this effect, hoping that his Holiness
would accede to the request, as the bishop offered to pay his own
expenses. I told the Cardinal that this was not a task to be
entrusted to a person upon whom so little dependence could be
placed, and recommended that he should manage to have it given
to the jesuit, Edmund Hayhoe, who is known to him, and is a
person of weight, even if they still desired to send the friar as well.
The jesuit concurs in the opinion that the King (of Scotland) will
never be a Catholic or a good King, and adheres to those who
made the proposals contained in my letter to your Majesty of
10th August. I can, therefore, through Melino (fn. 10) , arrange for him
to write what may be considered convenient.
The news of the movement of troops in Sicily, etc. is giving rise
to continued suspicion here of the "enterprise." The Pope has
not mentioned the matter further to me, nor I to him. He has
already 500,000 crowns towards the million, but he tells Juan Agustin
Pinelo (fn. 11) that he does not wish to touch that sum for the contribution.
Pinelo can find the money, for he is clever at it. He does not care
how.—Rome, 17th January 1587.
K. 1566. 28.
6. Sampson's Advices from England.
Two months since some letters were brought from Portugal for
Don Antonio by a man of 35 or 40 years of age named Lucas
Suarez. He came disguised as a beggar, and as such, he says, he
came to my door to ask for alms, which I ordered to be given to him,
and spoke to him myself.
Three other Portuguese have also brought letters from Portugal.
One of them, called Augustin Ferreira, was a servant of Duarte
de Castro. The others are named Manuel Luis and Joao Pereja
Pastrana, from the neighbourhood of Lisbon. These three came by
way of Toulouse. The duke de Joyeuse welcomed them, and made
them come hither (i.e., to Paris) with his household, when he gave
them 50 crowns to carry them over to England.
K. 1566. 31.
7. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I had to see the King about a Dunkirk ship that had been seized
at Havre de Grace and I took the opportunity of informing him of
the arrest of Pedro de Sarmiento, begging him to write and have
him set at liberty. He said he would write and ask his mother to
use her influence with the Prince of Bearn about it. I pressed that
this should be done with all the weight that his authority could
give it ; whereupon he said he wished to God I could make those of
the "religion" (i.e., the Huguenots) give him up. These words
really moved me to pity to see the state in which the King confessed
himself to be, for they meant that the Prince of Bearn and the
Huguenots had taken Sarmiento as their own prisoner, and would
not give him up except in exchange for M. de Teligny the son of
M. de La Noue. They say they found on him (Sarmiento) a great
quantity of papers and descriptions on parchment of English ports,
which are in truth the marine charts of the Straits of Magellan, and
plans of the cities which he had settled there by orders of your
Majesty. The papers they mention are the instructions he carried
to that effect, which he showed me when he was here, the English
pirates having taken them from him and Master Raleigh restored
them.—Paris, 24th January 1587.
K. 1566. 32.
8. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
With regard to England, I have to report that the officers of this
King (i.e., of France) state that the ambassadors sent by the king of
Scotland to see the queen of England about his mother, had told
the Queen that if she made any change in her treatment of the
queen of Scotland, he would open the back door of her kingdom to
the person who was for ever pressing him to do so, and would place
so many foreigners in England as should make her repent having
forfeited his friendship (fn. 12) . The news, however, is not true ; because
the last letters from England, dated 14th instant, report the arrival
of the ambassadors only the previous day, and that Belièvre was
leaving, so that no audience had been granted to the ambassadors
up to that time. M. de Belièvre is expected here to-morrow, and
one of the gentlemen who accompanied him, and has already arrived
in Paris, says that the queen of England had, in consideration of
the request of this King, granted the life of the queen of Scotland ;
but without pledging herself not to proceed to extremities with her
if she continues plotting as she has hitherto done. It was understood
that she was to be brought to the Tower of London, and no
person was allowed to speak to her, except through two gratings,
like a nun ; and at so great a distance from her that it was necessary
to speak very loudly, so that every word should be heard by others.
She is treated with the same severity in all things. She was allowed
to choose two women to cook her food, to ensure her against being
poisoned. I send these particulars to your Majesty, because there
is positive confirmation of their truth, and I can depend upon them.
The certainty is that the Queen (of Scotland) is in a castle called
Framingen (Fotheringay) in the county of Northampton, that they
have taken down the mourning hangings from her rooms, which are
now hung with tapestry again, but they have not restored her
canopy. My informant up to the 14th instant did not know what
arrangements in future would be made for her custody and household,
nor whether she would be kept at the same castle. The
seizures of English property in Rouen by the king of France
continue, and part of the merchandise has been ordered to be sold
to recoup the robberies which have been committed by Englishmen
against the French.—Paris, 24th January 1587.
K. 1566. 33.
9. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
With regard to the queen of Scotland I can only say for certain
that Charles Arundell tells me the English ambassador showed him
a letter from the Lord Treasurer saying that M. de Belièvre had not
shown signs of being so clever a man as was expected in this
negotiation ; and that unless some friend there had enlightened
him (by which Cecil evidently indicates himself) he would have
given even less satisfaction to the Queen. He was advised to ask
for a private audience without the presence of the resident
ambassador, and he did so ; being closeted with the Queen, who was
only accompanied by four persons, and consequently what passed at
the interview was not known but that he (Cecil?) assured him
(Stafford?) that the queen of Scotland's life would be spared,
although she would be kept so close that she would not be able to
carry on her plots as hitherto. This is what I have always assured
your Majesty was desired by the queen of England, as well as by
the king of France and his mother, namely, that the queen of
Scotland should be kept in close confinement.
Cecil also says that although he had constantly shown himself
openly against the queen of Scotland, the earl of Leicester and
secretary Walsingham, his enemies, had tried to set the Queen
against him by saying that he was more devoted to the queen of
Scotland than anyone. But she had seen certain papers in his
coffers which had told greatly against Leicester, and the Queen had
told the latter and Walsingham that they were a pair of knaves, and
she saw plainly now that, owing to her not having taken the advice
of certain good and loyal subjects of hers, she was in peril of losing
her throne and her life by having burdened herself with a war which
she was unable to sustain or carry on. She said if she had done her
duty as a Queen she should have had them both hanged.
Cecil also informs this ambassador (fn. 13) (who is a creature of his and
deeply in his confidence) that the Prince of Bearn had written to
the Queen, saying that the duchess of Guise was aware of certain
of his (or her) private affairs which could not possibly have reached
her except through this ambassador (Stafford) ; and Leicester and
Walsingham had taken the opportunity of attacking him (Cecil)
again, but that he had undeceived the Queen about it. He says
this is a fine way for Bearn to repay him for all the favours he has
done him. Charles Arundell tells me that Stafford flew into a
terrible rage at this, and swore he would never be satisfied until he
had been revenged on Bearn and the other too, no matter by what
means ; and that now was the time for your Majesty to make use
of him (Stafford) if you wished any service done. He pressed
Arundell to ascertain from your Majesty in what way he might serve
you, and you should see by his acts how willing he was to do so.
This was with reference to my request on many occasions to
Arundell that he would press the ambassador to enter frankly into
relations with me. His answer was, that he himself was quite
willing to trust me, but the Queen was so much set against me that
it would be most unadvisable. I caused Arundell to tell him that
your Majesty had been informed of his resolution ; and that, in
consequence of it, you had had a cipher sent to Arundell, by means
of which he might advise your Majesty direct of what Arundell said.
By this device the ambassador has been led to communicate to
Arundell everything he learns, under the conviction that not a word
reaches my ears. This ambassador is much pressed for money, and
even if he had not made such an offer as this, his poverty is reason
enough to expect from him any service, if he saw it was to be
remunerated. To this must be added also that he is a creature of
Cecil's, who, as your Majesty perceives, preserves in his breast an
attachment to the cause of the queen of Scotland, and is not sorry
that your Majesty should learn that he is not of the same opinion as
his mistress in taking the Netherlands under her protection. I beg
your Majesty to instruct me how I am to tell Arundell to reply to
the ambassador. If we are to continue negotiations with him, he is
so poor that a good present must be given to him. The ambassador
has told Arundell to write to your Majesty assuring you on his word
of honour that no naval force is at present being equipped in
England, and that not a ship will be fitted out there of which he
will not send full and timely advice.
Just as I was about to sign this, Charles Arundell has come in to
tell me that the ambassador sent for him in a great hurry last night
(as I had caused Arundell to say he was writing to Spain), to inform
him that a secretary of Lord Admiral Howard, his brother-in-law,
had just arrived here from England to treat of a business of which
your Majesty must be apprised instantly. Don Antonio recently
had shown to the Queen fresh letters from Portugal, assuring him
that if he appeared on the coast with a fleet, eight thousand men
would immediately join his standard ; and Leicester and Walsingham
with Lord Howard had persuaded the Queen that she should on no
account miss such an opportunity of troubling your Majesty, as
otherwise she would not be safe in her own country. She had
therefore been induced by them to advance to Don Antonio three
years of his pension of 2,000l. a year, as well as 18,000 sun crowns,
four of her own ships, five of the largest merchantmen in England,
two smaller ones, and thirty armed flyboats and canal boats from
Holland and Zeeland, which Leicester had arranged that the rebels
there should provide. They are to come fully armed and victualled,
and they would be ready in ten days to put into any English port
the Queen might order. This secretary comes hither to give to the
ambassador a verbal account of it, and to ascertain from him
whether the French Huguenots can arm three or four great ships to
join this fleet and accompany Don Antonio to Portugal. It was to
be kept extremely secret, and the ambassador replied that, if the
Queen wanted Huguenot ships, the secret would come out immediately,
as they would be sure to talk about it ; which he thought was
the best way to prevent them from asking for ships here. The
secretary said that if such were the case his orders were not to
proceed further on that point.
The ambassador told Arundell to advise your Majesty of this
instantly, which he said would serve as a sample and hansel of his
goodwill ; and within a fortnight or three weeks he would report
whether the despatch of the fleet was being persisted in, together
with the exact number of ships, men, stores and all other details of
the project. He said that, although the professed destination was
Portugal, it appeared to him that such a force was totally inadequate
to deal with that country, so that he thought if the business was
carried into effect, it would be rather for the islands or the Indies.
As it is so very important that your Majesty should have prompt
advice of such armaments, although the ambassador appears
ready enough to give intelligence on that, or any other point in
your Majesty's interest, it will nevertheless be advisable to send
him 2,000 crowns with which to buy a jewel. The money can be
given to him as an earnest, and with the promise that his services
shall be adequately rewarded.
Zeal for your Majesty also impels me to say that it will be well
to consider whether, in the case of the Englishwoman taking this
step (which, as your Majesty will recollect, I foretold), she should
not be assailed on the Scotch side. The taking of Brille by the
duke of Parma in the way I suggested should also be kept in view,
as that captain who made the offer is so willing and sincere in the
matter. (fn. 14) It is certain that until the Englishwoman is made to play
a game in which her own pieces are at stake she will always find
opportunities of retarding a direct invasion of her country with a
powerful armada by your Majesty. The news of this is so current
that not a letter comes from Spain that is not full of the great
preparations that are being made for the armada. This makes the
Englishwoman careful not to denude her own coast of ships,
desirable as she may consider it to trouble your Majesty. Most of
the vessels of this fleet of Don Antonio's are accordingly from the
Netherlands.—Paris, 24th January 1587.
K. 1566. 36.
10. Bernardino De Mendoza to Secretary Idiaquez.
Encloses a petition for a worthy English gentleman named
Dr. Nicholas Wendon, whom he is particularly desirous of serving,
knowing him to be truly zealous in the service of God and his
Majesty. He was formerly provost of St. Gery, in Cambrai, and
the duke of Parma, at the intercession of the writer and of Juan
Bautista De Tassis, granted him an allowance of 20 crowns a month.
This was more than a year ago, but he has not received anything on
account of the pension yet, owing to the many pressing demands in
Flanders. Dr. Wendon therefore humbly begs his Majesty to grant
him such an allowance payable here. He is clergyman of advanced
age, great personal worth and virtue, a great jurist, and is afflicted
with deafness. Begs Idiaquez to favour the petitioner and put him
on the same footing as the other English gentlemen receiving
allowances.—Paris, 24th January 1587.
The original petition of Dr. Wendon, referred to in the above
letter, is in the Paris Archives, K 1566. 55.
11. Count De Olivares to the King.
We have received news here of the great danger which threatens
the queen of Scotland. In my interview with his Holiness he
expressed an opinion that the king of France would exert his
influence with the queen of England to save her life. I replied that
it was most important that this should be done, and unless the King
(of France) secretly worked in an opposite direction, I had no doubt
that she would escape (death). I said if she was sacrificed he (the
Pope) might be quite certain that it would be by the knowledge
and consent of the king of France, as it was most unlikely that,
depending as she did entirely upon him to save her from his Holiness
and your Majesty, the Queen of England would venture to offend
him in so important a matter. He admitted this.
With regard to the question of peace, I told him (i.e., the Pope)
that although I did not withdraw what I had said in undertaking
the "enterprise" on your Majesty's behalf, yet it was always understood
that your Majesty acted under the supposition that France
should not be in a position to interfere. His reply showed that he
remained firm in his disapproval of peace being made. (fn. 15)
Allen and Melino have written to me. They are well informed
of affairs there (in England?) and moreover are spurred on by
necessity, which is a hard driver. They therefore find in everything
that happens a fresh reason for saying that the appropriate moment
has arrived, both for the main business and for the elevation of
Allen, and they look upon every hour's delay as a great evil. And
it is quite true that failing the queen of Scots, or if she remains in
her present condition, which comes to the same thing, it is the more
necessary for them (the English Catholics) to have some great
personage upon whom they may fix their eyes and hopes, and who
may console them and prevent them from giving way to despair.—
Rome, 27th January 1587.
K. 1448. 97.
12. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
By the letter from the duke of Parma, and your own, I am
informed of your opinions with regard to Robert Bruce's affair. (fn. 16)
Your remarks thereupon are very apposite. I always considered
the matter of importance, and every day makes it appear more so,
provided, however, that it is taken in hand at the proper time and
not undertaken out of season. It is therefore advisable that the
three personages should be kept in hand and encouraged to expect
the aid they require ; (fn. 17) but as the necessary forces are not now
readily at hand, and for other reasons which you yourself will
foreshadow, they must not be rash but must hold firm until they
are advised that the time has arrived. They must be pledged to
take up arms, and fulfil their promise as soon as the word is given
to them. You will direct your efforts to this end. The only thing
that may make it necessary to vary this course is the pension which
you say the queen of England has offered them, threatening to have
them expelled the country if they refused to accept it. This may
make it impossible for them to delay their rising, and I have
referred the point to the duke of Parma, so that after he has
discussed the matter with you he may decide whether it will be
well, if they are pressed thus, to allow them to feign to be in
agreement with the English until the hour has arrived for
successful action. Their conscience and honour will be intact,
because it will always be licit for them to separate from their
company, and their action will be looked upon with approval by
all right-thinking persons. In order to gain time you may write
at once to the duke of Parma, giving him your opinion ; but of
course it is understood that if the three personages can be kept
in their present position without drawing closer to the English,
even feignedly, it will be best, and the other alternative is only
mentioned in the case of their being forced to a declaration before
the aid is ready for them, and to prevent them from losing heart
and giving way altogether if such an event should occur. You who
are so well versed in the matter will consider it, and let me know
what is done.
I also note the three services offered by George Vibrant (Birnstra),
and two of them, at all events, are of the highest importance,
particularly that about (the surrender of) Brille, if the place can be
held afterwards, in which the principal difficulty lies. The only
thing that could be done was to send the man and his proposals to
the duke of Parma, and he will doubtless act for the best. I have
written, telling him that I approve of the suggestion, and that he is
to carry it forward.
You did well also in advising the Duke of the good disposition of
the Irishman, Colonel Stanley, now in Holland, in order that it may
be seen whether anything can be done through his means. As for
Antony Pointz, who you say has arrived in Paris from here, and
was going to Flanders, passing through England, you must look out
that he does not deceive us. Advise the Duke, as we do from here,
to keep a sharp eye upon him, and proceed with great caution in all
that concerns him, as a very bad opinion was held of him here by
all the most trustworthy English catholics. So that care must be
taken that he play us no trick, even if no good be got from him.—
Madrid, 28th January 1587.
K. 1448. 99.
13. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
I am grieved, as you may imagine, at the trouble in which the
queen of Scotland was ; and her valour and deep Christian feeling
only increase my sorrow. I trust God will have helped her, as he
always does help His own people in times of such affliction. If they
have not made away with her, but still keep her in prison, it will
perhaps be advisable to try to prevent them from going any
further, by whispering somehow to the English ambassadors in
France, that, failing her, I have the best right to succeed to the
crown of England. If you think the fear of this will make the
Englishwoman less ready to strike, you may try it, but otherwise it
had better be kept quiet.
As you say, it is probable that Belièvre's instructions on the
mission to England were not confined to his intercession for the
queen of Scotland, and it is of great importance that we should
know what they agreed upon. You will, therefore, make great
efforts to get at this, and if you succeed report to me the fullest
particulars. It cannot fail to have reached either the Scots
ambassador or Muzio, (fn. 18) or some others from whom you may learn
it. If they (the English and French) have entered into an
alliance try to discover the conditions of mutual aid, and all other
particulars. When we first heard of Drake's going to Holland, we
thought it could be with no other intention than that which you
now mention, of seeking some ships to augment their naval strength.
Although hulks are not considered fitting ships for the Indian
voyage, the other designs nearer home attributed to them, (fn. 19) will
hardly be attempted. Still I shall he glad to learn how this matter
of the Dutch ships ends ; and also about the rebel deputies who,
you say, have gone to England with the earl of Leicester. Above
all, I wish to know whether Drake was granted the license he
requested, what ships are being fitted out, their strength, and what
is their alleged destination. To discover this you will employ such
sources of information as are left to you, as it is evident by the
recent news you send that you still have some profitable ones. Do
your best to keep them, and gain others. It is most important that
I should have the earliest possible information.
Pedro Sarmiento has not arrived. He was stopped on the road
and taken to Mont de Marsan, where he now is, in the hands of men
belonging to the prince of Bearn. If he arrives here, which by
indirect means we are trying to arrange, we will hear what message
he brings from there (i.e., England), although we know how little
we can trust them (the English). If any means occurs to you to
get Sarmiento released, please try it.
The two letters in Portuguese you send have been noted. In
order not to imperil Antonio de Vega in England, you did well in
preventing Montesinos from coming hither. (fn. 20) We have understood
the matter just as well through you, whilst avoiding the danger.
You may correspond confidentially with Vega, and if he is in any
doubt about my grace and pardon reaching him through Portugal,
you may assure him of it, and of reward commensurate with his
service. Don Juan de Idiaquez will answer about Montesino.—
Madrid, 28th January, 1587.
K. 1448. 101.
14. Secretary Idiaquez to Bernardino De Mendoza.
The two letters from Antonio de Vega were received. The longer
of the two, which came under cover to Geronimo Lopez Sapayo,
contains the following words in effect :—"My uncle (fn. 21) is accompanied
by very few people, and, if it be wished, the bearer can be spoken
to about something which he will explain. He may be implicitly
trusted." The uncle is Don Antonio, and the bearer Montesinos,
and it appears to be suggested that this anxiety should be put
an end to once for all. This may be done without scruple,
as Don Antonio is a rebel, and as such, and for the crimes he has
committed, he has been condemned to death, first by ecclesiastical
judges, by virtue of a brief from the Pope, and subsequently by civil
judges in due form of law, after the matter had been well discussed
and decided by theologians, as you are aware. You will, therefore,
thank Montesinos for the other information, and afterwards, as if on
your own account, introduce this topic ; which you may say you
know Antonio de Vega has suggested to us here, and has intimated
that it may be discussed with him (Montesinos). If you find him
the man for it, you will tell him to get it done at once, and will
suggest that if he can do it by giving him a mouthful of something
it would be less dangerous to the people concerned than if it were
done by steel. If he undertakes the task you may promise him,
after it is done, a sum sufficient to tempt him, not exceeding
25,000 ducats, or even up to 30,000. You know how important it
is, and I need not urge you to advise me of all that is done. I will
conclude this letter by saying that we all have souls ; and a very
saintly and learned man has said that we do worthily by acting as
we are ordered. This is the reason why I write this, and why you
must carry it out. Antonio de Vega's other points will be dealt
with elsewhere. In the meanwhile you will encourage him, and
forward the principal one.—Madrid, 28th January 1587.
Note.—In a letter from the King to Mendoza of the same date as
the above, on French affairs, he rejoices at the news conveyed in
Mendoza's letters of 8th and 24th January, that hopes were
entertained that the queen of Scotland's life was safe. He is in
great anxiety about her.