K. 1565. 38.
135. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
In answer to your Majesty's instructions, that I should report the
present position with regard to the negotiations between England
and France touching the seizures, no details have yet been dealt
with, the embargoes having been raised conditionally ; both the
aggrieved parties being left to proceed in separate cases of robbery.
Some time since some Havre ships captured two English vessels on
the ground of piracy, and the English ambassador has complained
to the King about it, assuring him that they were not pirates but
merchantmen. As, however, the captains of these two ships had
been condemned to be hanged at Dieppe, and their crews consigned
to the galleys, I understand the English ambassador says that if
they carry out the sentence it will not be extraordinary if the
English seize some French ships in England in return for these two.
By orders of his Holiness the archbishop of Glasgow has now
accepted the post of ambassador of the king of Scotland here, and is
received as such by their Christian Majesties.
In reply to your Majesty's inquiry as to the reason for the king
of Scotland's change of attitude towards the bishops, the King gave
no other reason than that they were persons who had rendered
service to his mother, and that they could better serve him here
than any others of his subjects, leaving the matter to be dealt with
more fully in the Parliament convoked for the 22nd ultimo. Up to
the present no information has reached here of the course of events
in the Parliament, but to judge by the past this action of the king
of Scotland is prompted more by considerations of policy than
affection for the Catholic religion.
The Scots ambassador has not yet received the present which the
king (of France) had ordered to be given to him, nor does he seem
to be despatching the gentleman sent to him by his King, which is
a sign that no resolution has been arrived at. The master of Grey
whom the king of Scotland held prisoner, has arrived here, the King
having released and banished him.—Paris, 5th August 1587.
K. 1565. 39.
136. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
The news I sent to your Majesty about Drake's arrival came
through Secretary Walsingham hither. It would seem that the
latter was anxious to exaggerate the news, because letters dated
14th and 22nd ultimo, confirmed by my own agents, and also
by sundry merchants, report that the English fleet was scattered
by a storm on the Spanish coast, and Drake with his own ship,
three others, and a tender, ran before it to the islands. Three
leagues from St. Michaels he fell in with the ship called the "San
Felipe" bound from Portuguese India, which had taken on board at
Mozambique the cargo of the galleon "San Lorenzo," which was not
fit to proceed on the voyage. Drake captured the "San Felipe,"
and landed her people on the island of St. Michaels ; after which he
sailed for England, accompanied only by the four ships, with his
own and the tender. He brought no other prizes but the ship from
India, and on the 22nd the Queen had no news of the whereabouts
of the rest of the fleet. She had therefore despatched a tender with
news of Drake's prize. Drake remained at Plymouth, some say on
the excuse of a wound in the leg, others because of an attack of
ague ; but the general opinion is that these are only pretexts for
fear that if he goes to London, and the plunder is not divided
amongst the sailors, as the Queen promised, they would mutiny,
and he could not sail again in the Queen's ship, which he brought
back. He was therefore hurrying forward the preparation of the
four Queen's ships which she had granted him, and the 12 merchantmen,
although it was not known when they would be ready to sail.
If, however, they were ready for sea, the weather up to the 29th
ultimo would have prevented their departure.
Drake had written to the Queen offering to capture the Indian
flotillas, or fight a pitched battle with your Majesty's fleet, and with
this object he had begged the Queen to increase the number of men
beyond the thousand she had ordered to go in the 14 vessels abovementioned
to reinforce him. He requests instead that 3,000 may be
sent, soldiers and sailors, but the Queen had not granted this.
I am hourly expecting news from England, and will at once send
the same by courier to your Majesty. In order to lose no time, I
am sending this by a person who is going to Bordeaux.
There is no advice from Holland and Zeeland of preparations for
ships to accompany Drake, although Diego Botello (fn. 1) was in high
hopes, as Sampson's advices enclosed will show.—Paris, 5th August
137. The Pope to the King.
Dear Son in Christ, greeting. This morning I held a consistory,
and Allen was made a Cardinal to please your Majesty, and although
when I proposed it, I alleged reasons calculated to give rise to no
suspicion, I am told that, as soon as it was known in Rome, they at
once began to say that we were now getting ready for the war in
England ; and this idea will now spread everywhere. I urge your
Majesty, therefore, not to delay, in order not to incur greater evils
to those poor Christians, for if we tarry longer that which you have
judged for the best will turn out for the worst.
With regard to the aid for the enterprise, I have at once ordered
the fulfilment of everything that count de Olivares has requested,
and I believe he sends particulars to your Majesty.
On undertaking this enterprise I exhort your Majesty first to
reconcile yourself with God the father, for the sins of princes destroy
peoples, and no sin is so heinous in the eyes of the Lord as the
usurpation of the divine jurisdiction, as is proved by history, sacred
and profane. Your Majesty has been advised to embrace in your
edict bishops, archbishops, and cardinals, and this is a grievous sin.
Erase from the edict these ministers of God and repent, or otherwise
a great scourge may fall upon you. Regard not the man who may
advise you to the contrary, for he must be either a flatterer or an
atheist ; but believe me who am your spiritual father, believe our
holy faith, your spiritual mother, whom you are bound to obey for
your salvation's sake. Human, canon, and theological laws, all
counsel you the same way, and they cannot advise you wrongly.
Octavius Cæsar and other pagan emperors respected the divine
jurisdiction so much that, to enable them to make certain laws
touching the same, they caused themselves to be elected pontiffs. I
have shed many tears over this great sin of yours, and I trust that
you will amend it, and that God will pardon you. The Vicar of
Christ must be obeyed without reply in questions of salvation, and
I, therefore, hope that you will submit.—Rome, 7th August 1587.
Note.—Father Tempesti (Storia della Vita e geste di Sisto Quinto)
gives a Latin version of this letter from the Vatican archives. The
reason of the Pope's anger was that Philip had undertaken himself
to nominate the new English archbishops and bishops ; and, rightly
or wrongly, the Pope was informed (by the Cardinals of the French
faction) that his intention was to appoint Spanish ecclesiasties to
the English benefices.
K. 1448. 137.
138. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
You were right in your conclusion that Drake could only have
taken one ship from India. The others must have been from elsewhere.
If he return to the islands he will meet the marquis of
Santa Cruz, and if he come to these waters again he will find someone
on the look-out for him, as the Andalusian fleet has gone to
Lisbon. We think here, however, that he will not attempt to
return at present. You will advise all you hear, with your usual
diligence, as it is of the highest importance that these reports should
be frequent and trustworthy.
It was well to mention about Nicholas Ousley of Malaga. The
matter has been dealt with. If you hear of anyone else acting in
the same way, report it.—San Lorenzo, 11th August 1587.