K. 1564. 259.
118. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The 14 ships which I said the queen of England had decided to
send in aid of Drake (four of her own and 10 being fitted out by
merchants in the West Country, of 80 to 100 tons each vessel) I am
advised by Julius from London, under date of 16th ultimo, had
not then sailed. The four Queen's ships had come to the mouth
of the Thames, and could not leave there before the 20th, although
the weather was favourable. The Queen had no certainty as to
when the other ships in the West Country would be ready, but it
was expected they would be so at the end of the month ; so that,
notwithstanding the fine weather, they have been longer than was
The Queen's ship "Golden Lion" has arrived in London. She
was one of the best of those taken out by Drake, but came back as
she was making much water and it was feared she would sink. (fn. 1)
The captain (i.e. Borough) was a man whom the English consider
a great sailor, but as he could not agree with Drake, whose opinion
he opposed in many things, Drake tried to get him dismissed from
his ship ; but the seamen would not allow it, and he brought the
ship back to England, where directly he arrived the Queen did him
the favour of casting him into prison. Drake has sent to ask for
some victuals, and although he has provided himself with wine
and biscuit he may be short of all else.
They write from Rouen that many ships are being fitted out for
the succour of Drake, but they do not give the number, or the
ports they are in, so I do not consider the news serious. I hear
from Julius (fn. 2) and others that up to the 16th instant only the 14
ships I have mentioned were being prepared.
The Queen had decided to send Lord Grey to Holland, but when
news came that the duke of Parma had set down before the Sluys
and Ostend she had changed her mind and had ordered the earl
of Leicester to make ready to go ; but it was not known what
troops he would take.
Don Antonio was in London.—Paris, 1st July 1587.
K. 1564. 262.
119. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The duke of Parma has captured two forts from the Sluys
people and was attacking them with great fury on the 28th
Sampson is with me as I write this, very late at night, and there
is no time now to enclose in this the contents of the reports he has
from England dated 18th ultimo ; but they say that Don Antonio
is being more caressed by the queen of England than ever. The
succour she was sending to Drake, of four of her own ships and 10
merchantmen, was being got ready and the ships were to meet on
the coast of Cornwall. (fn. 3) Sampson says they are warmly embracing
here (i.e., in Paris) the coming of Don Antonio, and are considering
where will be a place of safety for him. Sampson humbly salutes
your Majesty and prays for favour as he is in great need and
living is very dear here. (fn. 4) —Paris, 1st July 1587.
120. Count De Olivares to the King.
Three days since there arrived here the Scottish friar who I wrote
on the 30th ultimo was expected. He is a certain William Creighton
who was here when I came from Spain.
As soon as he arrived Melino went to him, and afterwards
reported to me that he had brought news given by the archbishop
of Glasgow and Don Bernardino, that the gentleman, (fn. 5) who a year
ago came on behalf of the Scottish Catholics, and whom your
Majesty referred to the prince of Parma, with whom he has been
ever since, had been sent back at Whitsuntide with an answer from
your Majesty, offering 6,000 infantry for the end of August or
beginning of September, and the pay for as many more to be raised
in Scotland for six months for the help of the King, on condition
that he declared himself a Catholic, as he really was. The infantry
was to be supplied from Flanders, they (the Scots) sending the
vessels to bring them over, and in order to make all due provision
the Prince of Parma had drawn on Don Bernardino de Mendoza for
10,000 crowns. To divert the suspicion of the queen of England,
the Prince had commanded the troops to be shipped from some port
in France. Creighton was instructed to convey this intelligence
to the Pope, to Cardinal Mondovi, to Sanzio, and to no other
As I saw that this news, joined to other things, would confirm
the belief here that your Majesty had finally embraced the English
enterprise, and would strengthen the hope entertained of converting
the king of Scotland, by persuading the Pope that your Majesty
also entertained it, (fn. 6) I am endeavouring through Allen and Mondovi
(who, in addition to their zeal for religion, continue in the best
disposition about the succession) to have this man persuaded not to
impart this news to anyone. We are greatly aided in this by the
fact that Creighton himself has heard so much from various quarters
of the Pope's lack of secrecy, and has almost been converted to
the advisability of keeping silence. What I fear most is the arrival
of letters from the archbishop of Glasgow written in the belief that
this Jesuit had conveyed the news to his Holiness. I will report
what happens.—Rome, 3rd July 1587.
K. 1448. 124.
121. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Praise Muzio for his firmness with the Queen-Mother. Stop
the public talk about my support to the Guises. It is most
It is indeed a strange invention of those (French) ministers to say
that I was approaching the king of France with suggestions that he
should turn against England. I have no doubt that your hint that
they should be asked to produce the original letters will have
proved where the truth lay. I always thought that L'Onglé's hints
to the Nuncio and other persons here, to the effect that his master
(the king of France) was desirous of joining with me against
England, were for the purpose of feeling the ground, and the persons
he thus tried to deceive, have now been informed of what had been
said in Paris.
You must do your best to preserve the new friend, with whom you
are now on such good terms, but your communications must be kept
extremely secret, because if this means should fail us we shall lose a
most valuable source of information, and there are doubtless people
there who watch you closely.
I shall be glad to have news of Bruce when you receive any. I
think that the Earl of Morton, who has come hither, would have
been better advised if he had remained at home, as I fear that his
absence may militate against the business. He asserts that he left
the country by the King's wish, although not banished or forced ;
becaused he was assailed on all sides by his rivals of the English
faction. He has licence for five years and has left his wife and
children in the enjoyment of his estates. He has only recently
arrived here, and it is possible that after we have heard what he has
to say, he may be instructed to return to Scotland immediately, as
he may be of service there but cannot be so elsewhere.—Madrid,
6th July 1587.
K. 1448. 125.
122. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
I am very anxious to know if the 14 ships which you say were
being fitted out in England to reinforce Drake have sailed, and
whether only the six have arrived, or more ; also, what has become
of the 10 vessels which you report were lying in the Thames ready
for sea. The constant repetition of these instructions to you in all
the letters, to pay particular attention to these armaments, does not
arise from any lack of care in the matter on your part, but because
it is of such vast importance that we should have early information
of their movements, in order that they may be frustrated ; and we
are constrained, therefore, to keep the point before you. By the
account we recently sent you of what happened in Cadiz you will
see how the matter has been exaggerated in England. I hope in my
next to be able to inform you that the marquis of Santa-Cruz has
sailed.—Madrid, 6th July 1587.
K. 1448. 127.
123. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
Does not think there is much in Friar Diego Carlos' negotiation
for the submission of Don Antonio. If the latter likes to surrender
without conditions, well and good. In such case he might be
re-granted the title and revenues of the Priory of Ocrato, and might
live simply and decently in Malta.—Madrid, 6th July 1587.
K. 1448. 128.
124. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
You did well in preventing Muzio from committing such an evil
act towards the Catholic Scottish earls, who trusted him, as to
denounce them to their King. I much fear that the coming of the
earl of Morton hither will render Bruce's plans impossible ; and
as it is of the highest importance to know what has been done in
Scotland, in order that the earl of Morton may be instructed
accordingly ; you will make great efforts to send me news at once,
so that I may get it, if possible, before he leaves Spain and returns
home, which at present seems the best course, as he can be of no use
Your other point, as to which of the two offers made to the new
friend he should accept, requires some consideration ; but in the
present aspect of affairs it appears that he would be of the greatest
service in the Council when he returns home, although it would,
perhaps, be advisable that he should retain his present post as long
as possible, as, whilst he is there, he can give information as to what
is going on both in England and France with greater speed and
facility than he could elsewhere. Besides which some suspicion may
exist that their wish to remove him from there, by tempting offers,
may be with the intention of playing a trick upon him. At all
events it is quite certain that L'Onglé (fn. 7) here knows that he often
meets you at night, and he is more likely to have learnt it from the
other side than from here. You must, however, keep this fact to
yourself, so that you may arrange your communications with him
(Stafford) with the utmost secrecy, and at the same time to induce
him, for his own safety's sake, to stay in his present position as long
as he can. You can instance the accusations they brought against
his brother in England, (fn. 8) and other things in support of this ; but
do not hint to him that his communication with you has been
discovered by anyone who may use the knowledge to his prejudice,
for fear that he may take alarm and forsake the good path he has
hitherto trodden for a different one. If he must change his place,
persuade him to enter the Council, but if he cannot do that, let him
not refuse the other post (i.e., the viceroyalty of Ireland), and urge
him, wherever he may be, to continue his good services, which shall
he adequately rewarded. Keep his friendship in any case, and get
as much information as you can from him and others, reporting all
things to me.—Madrid, 6th July 1587.
125. Count De Olivares to Juan De Idiaquez.
As Allen and Melino found this William Creighton to be of the
same opinion as his countrymen in Paris, namely, that the king of
Scotland may be converted, and that the conversion of England by
the Pope should be effected, so as to secure the succession to the
king of Scotland, it has been thought best not to undeceive them for
the present, in order to prevent any attempt on their part to raise
trouble. They (Allen and Melino) are, therefore, temporising with
them, knowing as they do how much better for the English will be
your Majesty's rule than that of the king of Scots, even if the
religious danger did not exist. They are, as if of their own motion,
writing books to be spread in England enforcing this view, when
God ordains the hour (which, in view of Creighton's news, they
think cannot new be far distant) for the whole enterprise to be
undertaken. I asked Melino for a summary of the arguments they
intended to use in the book, and he gave me the document which I
now enclose. The principal arguments set forth are, in effect, those
which I submitted to the Pope in February 1586, and are re-stated
in my remarks to Clause 3, with the Pope's reply. (See Volume III.,
of this Calendar.)
They assure me that Creighton is keeping silent about the offer
made by your Majesty to the Scotch Catholics, and Allen and
Melino have done excellent service in arranging this. They are both
fittingly zealous in his Majesty's interests, knowing how important
it is to them that they should be so.
The enclosed sonnet has come out here ; they say it came from
Paris. I have no further news, only that the Pope dined the day
before yesterday in a very pretty vineyard belonging to Cardinal de
Medici here, but he rather damped the favour by ordering his dinner
to be brought and cooked by the officers of his own household, and
not allowing the Cardinal to see him alone for a single moment.
A gentleman of the House of Ursino recently died, leaving, in
default of heirs, two villages to Paul Jordan ; and Cardinal de
Medici had taken possession of them, as he rules all his affairs.
I have just learnt that the Apostolic Chamber has now seized them ;
and, above all, that the Pope gave the order for doing so in Medici's
own vineyard the day he dined there. What people to live with !—
Rome, 10th July 1587.
K. 1565. 32.
126. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
My news from England is dated the 1st instant, reporting the
embarkation of the earl of Leicester that evening for Holland with
4,000 or 5,000 Englishmen, who had been pressed for the service.
This infantry had already been embarked. The Queen had made
Leicester Lord Steward, and had given his post of Master of the
Horse to the earl of Essex, the eldest son (sic) of Leicester. The
Earl was accompanied by Lord North and Lord Ulevi. (fn. 9) An
Englishman had got out of the Sluys by swimming, with letters
from the commander, who promised the Queen to hold the place for
The four ships which were ready to go and reinforce Drake had
endeavoured to leave the Thames on the 29th ultimo, but the wind
drove them back, and up to the 10th instant news from the coast of
Normandy reports that the weather has been such as to prevent
them from getting into the Channel, as furious westerly gales have
been blowing. Ships have arrived on the coast from Lisbon, having
left the latter place the 18th, 20th, and 22nd, and they report that
they sighted no vessels on the voyage.
Nicholas Ousley, an Englishman, living in Malaga, sends advices
to the Queen, and on Walsingham's receiving certain letters from
him, he said he was one of the cleverest men he knew, and the
Queen was much indebted to him for his regular and trustworthy
information. (fn. 10)
Some news letters, in English, have been sent to me from Rome,
which letters had been received, addressed to an English gentleman
who had died here. The Count de Olivares had seen them, and
thought they ought to be sent to your Majesty. I knew of these
letters when they arrived here at the end of May. They were
written by one of Walsingham's officers, who is the son of a Spanish
Friar who fled many years ago from St. Isidro, at Seville, with a
nun of Utrera, to whom he is married. The son is a much worse
heretic than the father, and when he wrote the letters he had them
dated March, to deceive the Englishman who wrote them. He
wished to pledge the English gentleman here by this civility, in order
that he might send him some news. I mention this matter to your
Majesty that you may understand that, although those reports
have some appearance of probability, they are really hatched by
Walsingham's knavery.—Paris, 12th July 1587.
K. 1565. 24.
127. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I have kept back my letters since the 10th, as I was expecting a
courier to arrive (from England). He came on the 15th. The
Queen refuses the offer made from here to take one of your Majesty's
frontier towns, as she thinks it will not suit her to provide money
for Frenchmen to take a place which they will keep and not
surrender to her. The English ambassador is instructed to see this
King and point out to him the danger he will incur if he comes to
terms with the duke of Guise. The ambassador has orders to
prevent a settlement by all means, but no details are entered into.
After this despatch had been written, Fenner arrived in London
on the 8th (fn. 11) with the news which I sent in my last about England,
and which are confirmed by Julius, namely, that Drake was coming
to London to ask the Queen's permission to return at once and
encounter the Indian flotillas, which he had been informed were
bringing fourteen millions, which is an indication that he has fallen
in with the despatch-caravel. The Queen had decided to order him
to return instantly with the seven ships he had brought, and the 14
which were ready for sea, together with two merchantmen, which were
ordered to put to sea as soon as the weather served. Drake was
boasting that he had all along had exactly the weather he wanted.
Julius (who is very sharp) tells me that Drake's return was being
kept very secret, and requests me to inform your Majesty of it
instantly, so that if the news arrive in time the marquis de Santa
Cruz may sail for England, when he would infallibly encounter
Drake. Although Drake's booty was very valuable, the Queen
would not profit by it, as it has to be distributed amongst the sailors (fn. 12)
and this would set all the mariners in England agog to go out and
plunder. For this reason, he (Stafford) says it is important that I
should advise your Majesty at once, so that the armaments might be
pushed forward and the queen of England attacked, which would
end it all. He will send me what further news he obtains. I send
this by special courier.—Paris, 16th July 1587.
K. 1565. 25.
128. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Since I wrote the enclosed letter about England, a courier has
arrived here who left London on the 9th instant. The letters he
brings report that Fenner arrived in London on the 8th, advising
the arrival of Drake at Plymouth on the 6th, with four of the
Queen's ships and three merchantmen, he having left the rest of his
vessels on the coast of Spain. He brought with him four ships, said
to have come from Calicut, loaded with spices and precious stones of
the value of about a million ; and seven ships which had come from the
coast of Brazil. He (Fenner) reported that Drake was coming to
London to salute the Queen. As it is unusual for four ships to come
from India together, it is probable that Drake will have encountered
the "San Lorenzo" which wintered at Mozambique, and having
captured that, and other ships from St. Thomé, he said that the
whole four were from Calicut. As soon as I learn anything fresh I
will report to your Majesty. As I am closing this I hear from
Rouen that news comes from England that Drake also captured the
despatch-caravel from the flotilla from New Spain.—Paris, 16th July
129. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Referring to the interviews with Friar Diego Carlos, respecting
Don Antonio's alleged desire to submit, the writer and Sampson
have opened some correspondence between the friar and the pretender.
The tenour is obscure, but seems to confirm the sincerity
of the approaches. This view is further confirmed by the friar's
petition for pardon, and to be allowed to end his days in a monastery
in Spain. Sends with the general letters a communication from
Antonio de Vega and the advices of Richard Mirth dated 30th June.
"They are copied from a letter of his, as I wrote to him the great
risk to which letters from there to Spain were exposed and that he
had better send his news to me and I would have it ciphered and
forwarded to your Majesty."—Paris, 26th July 1587.
K. 1448. 136.
130. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
An account of what Drake did in Cadiz was recently sent to you,
and also what we had heard of his subsequent movements. For a
long while since we have been unable to obtain further news of him,
until now that we hear he has captured, near Terceira, a ship from
Mozambique which had remained to winter there last year. (fn. 13) He
also took part of the cargo of another ship from the Indies bound
for Portugal. The prize is valuable, but not nearly so valuable as
will be made out there. The marquis of Santa Cruz sailed from
Lisbon on the 11th instant with from 35 to 40 sail, very well found,
carrying 6,000 foot soldiers, a half of whom are old soldiers, and
3,000 very brave seamen, all first-rate men. At the same time the
Andalucian portion of the fleet sailed for Lisbon, consisting of 80 sail,
amongst which are four galleasses. The Marquis is going to ensure
the safety of the Indian flotillas and sweep the corsairs from the
seas ; and if God should allow him to encounter Drake, I trust he
will give him what he deserves. I tell you all this in order that
you may know the truth of what occurs.—Madrid, 28th July 1587.
K. 1565. 62.
131. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The Portuguese friar, Diego Carlos, has been desperately ill and
almost starving ; since the monasteries here do not give as much as
a cup of water to foreign friars without payment. He has received
orders from Don Antonio to return to England at once, as it is
rumoured that he is negotiating for a settlement with the King
(Philip), and Don Antonio fears this may injure him. When the
friar recovered he saw the writer and said he had excused himself
from returning on the ground of ill health. He assures Mendoza that
he is acting with Don Antonio's authority, and the latter has only
written as he has done to deceive spies. He demands similar terms
for Don Antonio as were accorded to the duchess of Braganza and
the prince of Parma when they renounced the succession in Philip's
favour. Mendoza ridicules the idea, and says that Don Antonio
must submit first. A long discussion ensued on the conditions that
in such case should be allowed to the pretender, his family, and
adherents. The friar concludes by promising to write to Don
Antonio, saying that Mendoza was authorised by the King to
negotiate in the matter. He (the friar) will never return to England,
ill or well. The Queen-Mother, in conversation with Sampson, was
delighted at the capture of the Indian ship by Drake, and said it
showed how powerless your Majesty was, as Drake in so short a time
had sacked a Spanish port, entered Lisbon harbour, (fn. 14) and if Don
Antonio had gone with him the city would have risen for him.—
Paris, 5th August 1587.
28 July ;
K. 1565. 34.
132. Document headed "The new Confidant's Advices from
England.—28 July 1587."
In consequence of certain despatches which the Queen had recently
received from France, she had sent orders to Drake on no account to
come to London, but to remain where he is and make ready with
all haste to put to sea shortly with the 16 ships she had ordered, the
14 which were ready before he arrived, and two more which have
since been added. It is suspected that the Queen had private
intelligence of something from her ambassador in France, which
made her change her mind. Although Lord Admiral Howard, Lord
Hunsdon, Cobham, and Walsingham, are of opinion that Drake
should return at once with the ships he had ready, so as not to miss
the opportunity of capturing the Indian flotillas, the Treasurer points
out what a risk they are running if these ships were lost, as might
be feared, since the marquis de Santa Cruz would certainly meet
them at sea now that so much time had passed. The question was
referred to the Queen, the Treasurer saying it was a matter she must
herself decide, like that of the beheading of the queen of Scotland.
The advantages, and otherwise, of sending the ships out having been
represented to her, she decided ; and there is now no sign of Drake's
returning or sailing with a fleet. The Queen has since sent him
permission to come to London, and has ordered her ambassador in
France to use the utmost efforts to discover the number of ships and
men of the Spanish fleet, and when it can put to sea.
Advices of 12th August (O.S.?).
No decision has yet been adopted with regard to Drake's putting
to sea or otherwise, and there are no appearances of his being able to
sail at short notice, although Drake is bragging publicly about
having no other wish than that the Queen should give him leave to
go with the ships that are ready, as he is confident that with them
he could take the Indian flotillas or fight the marquis of Santa Cruz.
He does not mean this, and has no stomach for the voyage, because
in discussing the matter with the Council he says that it is late now
to meet the flotillas off the Azores, and that the marquis of Santa
Cruz has had plenty of time given him to collect his fleet ; but still,
he says, he will go if the Queen orders him.
Out of the 19 ships left by Drake on the Spanish coast, eight
arrived in different ports in England on one day, having been
scattered by a tempest. They bring but few men back with them
as most have died on board of the plague.
On the arrival of news of the surrender of the Sluys (fn. 15) , and seeing
how heavily the war is resting upon them (the English) Walsingham,
when leaving the Council, being asked what news he had, replied
that he had none of any good, for the Queen would only follow her
own will, which would bring about her ruin and that of all her
Councillors. He said that although they had that day submitted to
her a proposal by which she might be entirely assured with regard
to Scotland she would not adopt it, but she would see her mistake
by and by. As the king of Scotland is in the hands of the English
faction it may be suspected that the proposal they submitted was to
Advices of 15th and 22nd August (O.S.?).
Letters from Lisbon, dated 25th ultimo report the sailing of the
marquis of Santa Cruz and the Andalucian fleet with nearly 13,000
soldiers, and this news gives them here (in London) anything but
The earl of Essex, who is a very handsome youth, Master of the
Horse to the Queen, and much favoured by her, has quarrelled with
Raleigh the other favourite, and during the dispute Essex boxed
Raleigh's ears. It is understood that the cause of the quarrel was
something about the Queen, and she has reconciled them, ordering
that on no account is anything more to be said about the matter.
One of Raleigh's captains, who was cruising in a pinnace to
plunder, sighted more than 60 sail off the point of Cornwall, coming
from the direction of Spain. He went ashore instantly, and, taking
post, arrived at Court at midnight on the 16th, reporting to
Walsingham that he had sighted the Spanish fleet making for
England. Walsingham at once took the news to the Queen, who
immediately summoned all the Councillors and held a Council on the
spot, whilst she was in bed. They resolved that the Admiral should
go directly to London and embargo all the ships in the river, whilst
the Queen's 14 ships should go out into the Channel, the news being
kept very secret. The alarm of the Queen and Councillors, however,
was so great that they could not prevent the intelligence from
leaking out. Within three days they learnt that the ships the man
had seen were a flotilla of 60 hulks belonging to Hamburg and
elsewhere which were coming from Lisbon.
The Queen has decided that Drake shall not go, but that his ships
shall be held in readiness for eventualities, and to counteract the
intentions displayed by the Spanish fleet. The English ambassador
in France is therefore ordered to use the greatest efforts to discover
what the intentions are. Captain Frobisher will leave in four days
and will be off Dunkirk with seven ships on the 26th, in order to
prevent the armed ships from Dunkirk from capturing English
vessels on their way to Embden, Holland, and Zeeland. Drake has
gone to Plymouth by the Queen's orders, to bring to the Thames the
ship he captured coming from Calicut. They only value the spices
she brings in some 300,000 crowns now ; and it is understood that
the sailors have pillaged a great portion of what she brought since
she has been at Plymouth.
133. Count De Olivares to the King.
I send your Majesty the warrant for the million, signed by the
Pope. All other points of the English business are going on well ;
as he wished, when he signed the warrants, that a capitulation
should be drawn up between himself and me, Carrafa asked that
some others should be associated with him in the settlement of its
terms, and the Pope nominated Santa Severina and Rusticucci, whilst
I appointed Deça to help me, as I did not wish to undertake so
important a business unaided. (fn. 16)
As the affair may now be considered almost settled I need not go
into all the pro and con that has occupied us for so many days, and
will only set forth so much as may be necessary for future guidance.
I must begin, however, by expressing my great surprise that hitherto
the Pope has positively kept the whole proceedings perfectly secret.
One of the clauses was with regard to the new King; and they tried
to stipulate that he should be chosen by common accord, but it was
in the end left to your Majesty, and the clause was so worded that
your Majesty might appoint the Prince or the Infanta. (fn. 17) There is no
doubt on this point, and the Cardinal (Deça) is of the same opinion,
although there was apparently a desire to lead up to the Pope's
recommending one of his nephews or the Infanta. I let it pass, as
the general wording embraces the whole thing, and because it was
most likely to secure secrecy in the meanwhile, but if your Majesty
thinks well, the course I suggested in my despatch of 16th instant
can be taken to lead the Pope to make the desired proposal to your
Majesty of his own accord ; or any other means may be adopted
that your Majesty thinks fit.
The matter of the investiture was so wrapped up that he passed it
over without cavil or difficulty.
The Pope was pleased with the proceedings, and his suspicions
were not aroused by the said clause, which may be brought to induce
the Pope to give the investiture to your Majesty, on condition of
your at once substituting another in your place, and this would be
No mention at all was made of the king of Scotland during the
whole of the proceedings, nor is anything said of his marriage with a
niece of the Pope. I have placed spies to gain information on this
point in case of need.
On the matter of the restitution of church property I was yielding,
as I thought your Majesty would be.
The Pope was under the impession that, in accordance with the
arrangement, your Majesty could receive the million on the arrival of
the Armada in England, and that as soon as you received it you
would go to Flanders. Your Majesty will see how hard he has tried
to ensure this, and I could do no more than I have done, seeing his
greed for money, although I must do him the justice to say that on
the present occasion he has suppressed it more than anyone could
have believed possible.
The Pope would not allow to be set forth in this document the
mode in which payment was to be made if the enterprise were
(not?) undertaken this year, on the ground of its omission making
the document clearer ; and it was not possible to press him much
on the subject, for fear of making him suspect that the enterprise
would not be carried out this year, in which case he might delay
granting the warrants and other papers. It is true that I have
given him no pledge as to time, but he must think it will be this
year. The lack was supplied by Carrafa's warrant enclosed, which
provides in the above-mentioned case that things shall remain on
the same footing as before.
It was also impossible to get Pinelli's warrant extended to the
month of December, as he (the Pope) said that he did not wish the
money to remain long in the possession of anyone, and that if
the affair was not carried through by the end of November it would
not be done this year, and if in the meanwhile it was seen that
the enterprise would take place in December he could extend the
warrant. The key of the mystery is his desire to make a noise by
sending this million into the castle at Christmastide if the enterprise
is not carried through by then.
I do not send the original warrants, which will be wanted here,
for fear of their being seized on the road, and the original of the
agreement is kept back for the same reason. I have an idea of
sending it all enclosed in one packet (without saying what it is) by
one of your Majesty's officers here.
They made an attempt to stipulate for paying the money in
Lisbon, on the ground that warrants had been offered for that place,
but I understood a loss would be incurred by this, and they
consented to Rome.
I have again talked with Pinelli as to what he can do in the matter
of discounting, after seeing the form of assignment which the Pope
gives him. He tells me that, as regards the first 500,000 crowns, as
he is bound to pay it this year, he thinks it will not be necessary to
discount it ; but the last 500,000 he will pay in advance at the rate
of 200,000 crowns a month, or more if possible, in accordance with
his promise. He also offers to arrange advantageously, on account
of your Majesty, for the remittances you may wish to make to
various places ; and for this service, and for the discount, he trusts
to your Majesty's liberality for his remuneration.
Your Majesty will please consider what should be done in your
interest, but this man makes much of the profit your Majesty will
reap by adopting the course he recommends. For my own part, I
am ashamed to say that, although I am your Majesty's accountant-general,
I understand so little about it. He says that if money be
needed in other places, besides those mentioned the other day, he
will seek means to provide it on his being given timely advice of the
various places where the money is to be provided.
In the matter of the grants (fn. 18) the same wording as before was
adopted, and I thought your Majesty would consider it best to have
it specified before the document was adopted in the consistory. I
have already written how cautious the Pope is about this.
As regards keeping the French in suspense and hopeful, his
Holiness promises to do this, as he is requested in the document, and
I will keep it in his mind.
They did not mention the furnishing of Italian troops and the
point was passed over smoothly. (fn. 19)
It has been impossible to press, as I should have liked, the matter
of Allen's hat, in order not to embarrass the rest. His Holiness
shows a disposition to grant it, but he dwells upon his not having
been informed of any particular time for the carrying out of the
enterprise ; and that I have received no instructions from your
Majesty, for Allen to go, or do anything. If I had orders from your
Majesty, or the prince of Parma, for Allen to perform any task, I
would take the opportunity of pressing his Holiness about it, but,
in default of this, I am trying to devise some other means for
shortening the delay.
I gave Allen your Majesty's letter. He is deeply grateful for
it, and for your Majesty's new favour and offices with the Pope on
his behalf. He and Melino are extremely well disposed in your
interest. His reply is enclosed.—Rome, 30th July 1587.
K. 1565. 35.
134. Sampson's Advices from England.
When Don Antonio was on his way from the Court, which is at
present at the Treasurer's house, he met, on Wednesday the 29th,
Drake, who was going thither with the Lord Treasurer, the Admiral,
and the Lord Chamberlain. Drake was very obsequious to Don
Antonio, and said that as soon as he had seen the Queen he would
go to London and speak with him. On the 30th Don Antonio went
to Walsingham's house, seven or eight miles up the river, and there
seems to be some great business between them. Don Antonio has not
written, probably in consequence of these visits, and of his expecting
some decision that he may be able to send to his people here, whom
he ordered to hold themselves in readiness. They report also that a
fleet of vessels was being prepared for Drake, but the number of
men and vessels is not stated. They affirm that 300,000 crowns in
cash was found on board the vessel from India, and it is said that
when the captain took leave of the ship he remarked that she carried
money enough to take Don Antonio to Portugal. There was great
rejoicing at the arrival of this ship, and they had hopes of getting
others like her.
M. de la Chatre, governor of Dieppe, writes to the Abbé Guadagna
that he has a letter from Don Antonio, saying that he has 16 ships
ready for an enterprise, and begs la Chatre to come to him with 700
French harquebussiers to share the honour and profit of it. La
Chatre excused himself on account of events in France, but said that
if matters were settled here he would not fail to join him.
Sampson. 15th August.
On the 13th Don Antonio was attacked with a colic, from which
he was in danger for some hours. He is now free from it, but as
short of money as usual. He is anxious that it should not be
thought that the approaches made to the king of France and his
mother with respect to his coming thither (to France) were made by
his orders, and he has written to his people instructing them to say
that they acted on their own responsibility.
Sampson. 22nd August.
Don Antonio has been very ill and still complains. Don Antonio
has not received anything from the plunder of the ship from India,
and has no hope of doing so.
They report that during the week in which the letter was
written, 150 sail, large and small, were sighted off the English
coast ; and everybody seemed much alarmed and confused, but that
the Queen had shown a stouter heart than any of them.
Don Antonio complains of want of money, but is in hope that
they will help him with an extra grant. So says his treasurer.