691. Thomas Fitzherbert to Secretary Prada.
Five years ago the late King appointed him to serve here in place
of Sir Francis Englefield, deceased, and fixed a salary of 40 ducats a
month to be paid to him. It was insufficient for the proper
maintenance of his position, but he was unwilling to ask for an
increase until he had served some years. He served six years in
France before coming to Madrid, as can be testified by the duke of
Feria and Don Diego de Ibarra, and he asks for an increase of
salary as a reward for his 11 years' service. He asks for the same
amount as Englefield received, namely, 300,000 (fn. 1) maravedis a year,
paid in three instalments, as he does the same as Englefield did,
and he cannot serve his Majesty fittingly on less.
The Council of State reports in favour of Fitzherbert's petition.
692. Report of the Council Of State to Philip III. on Baltasar
de Zuñiga's letter of 30th November, respecting the
negotiations for peace with England.
Zuñiga encloses a letter from the English envoys, clearly showing
that they were now hopeless that the rebels would join in the treaty.
He suspects the reason for this to be the breaking out of war in
Savoy. He replied to them coldly, but without entirely breaking
off the negotiations, in order that the rupture should not come from
our side. It is, moreover, possible that if the Savoy business is
settled they may soften somewhat, and in any case it would be
advantageous to co-operate with the English to secure a suspension
of hostilities. It is quite understandable that the English should
dislike the idea of complete submission (of Flanders) whilst willing
to consent to a long suspension of hostilities, as they fear greatly
the union of the States with your Majesty's dominions. Although
the Queen's councillors may fear what we hope for, namely, that
the communication and familarity that would follow a suspension
of hostilities would bring about the submission of the rebels in the
long run, and that the English might lose their alliance, it is
improbable that the Queen will look at it in the same light, and
will prefer present advantage rather than provide against future
The English Catholics and the Jesuits there (in England?) are
pressing greatly for the invasion of England to be undertaken,
which they say they will facilitate by means of the Catholics there
(in England). This will be effected by opening negotiations in your
Majesty's name with some leading personages, and Don Baltasar
de Zuñiga says that they desire above all that some decision should
be adopted with regard to the succession, as they are very distrustful
as to whether your Majesty will take the matter up. He is keeping
them in hand as well as he can, but arguments are no longer of any
avail. The Catholics tell him that the Irish enterprise will not be
of much use in the English affair, because although they are all
Catholics, they are not to be trusted in this matter owing to their
ancient enmity. He himself is of opinion that no money can be
better spent than that employed in the support of the earl of Tyrone.
He reports that the English and rebels are making preparations in
the Channel to molest the 'Infanta' on her way to Flanders.
The Council is of opinion that Zuñiga writes very sensibly.
There is no doubt that the Queen and the rebels will go at the pace
dictated by the king of France since his recent success. No doubt
also that the friendly intercourse between Spain and the rebels will
cause them to raise difficulties to the object in view. But negotiations
should not be broken off. Although on other occasions it has
been considered that a treaty of peace with England, with the
rebels left out, would do us more harm than good, if the Queen likes
to treat on her own behalf, the negotiations may be proceeded with,
as if peace be made with her, it may subsequently lead to a long
suspension of arms with the rebels, which will be easier to arrange
than a peace with them, as in the latter case they would insist upon
the foreigners remaining in the country. Zuñiga should be written
to, to this effect.
With regard to the English enterprise proposed by the Catholics,
there is no need to discuss it, as experience has shown the
impossibility of conquering the country from here, even under better
circumstances than at present ; but in order to keep hold of the
Catholics, it will be advisable for your Majesty to take some
resolution respecting the succession. If this be not done in good
time the Catholics may join the king of Scots, or some other
claimant. With regard to Ireland, there is nothing to add to the
reports already furnished to your Majesty by the Council, excepting
again to urge your Majesty to have the reports considered, and
come to a decision with the promptitude which the importance of the
Don Baltasar need only be thanked for his other advices.
Note.—The negotiations for peace referred to above as being in
the hands of Don Baltasar de Zuñiga are fully set forth in the
documents from the English commissioners in Cotton Vesp. CVIII.
693. Report of the Council Of State on a letter of Thomas
Fitzherbert, begging a Cardinal's hat for Father Persons.
Thomas Fitzherbert, an English servant of your Majesty, states
that, having learnt by letters from Rome that the duke of Parma is
endeavouring to obtain the cardinal's hat for Arthur Pole, an English
gentleman, his Holiness having promised to appoint six cardinals at
the Duke's instance, cannot refrain from laying before your Majesty
the prejudice which may result to God and your service therefrom,
unless the project is stopped in good time. The said Arthur Pole is
a son of the nephew of cardinal Pole, and of the blood royal of
England. He is a youth of 25 years of age, and was brought up
from his childhood in the house of the late cardinal Alexander Farnese,
in company with the cardinal Don Duarte, who is still alive, and is
on very kind and friendly terms with him. Pole is also much liked
by the duke of Parma, but he is as entirely foreign to all English
affairs as if he belonged to another nationality. He has therefore
neither the age and experience, nor the other qualities, necessary in one
who will have to be the principal intermediary in the reform of God's
church in England. In addition to this, it may be assumed that he
will not be a fit instrument to aid in the object desired by all good
English Catholics in your Majesty's interests, as the most intimate
English friends he has had have been two or three of those who are
opposed to your Majesty. From this it may be inferred that Arthur
Pole will lead their party, and if he becomes a cardinal will draw to
his side the good Catholics who are now adherents of your Majesty.
The only remedy for this is, that your Majesty should use your
influence with the Pope to raise Father Persons to the cardinalate,
as your Majesty has long experience of his zeal and prudence in the
service of God and your Majesty. If this be done, even if Arthur
Pole be made a cardinal, he will be able to do no harm, as Father
Persons will lead all good English Catholics, in consequence of
his well-known virtue and wisdom, and will be able to manage
everything for the greater glory of God and your Majesty's
service. He will also be able to exercise his influence in repressing
the French party in Rome, and upset the plans of the kings of
Scotland and France, as a faithful servant and creature of your
He (Fitzherbert) therefore begs your Majesty to instruct the duke
de Sessa to speak to his Holiness on the matter, and to beg him in
your Majesty's name to make Father Persons a cardinal as speedily
as possible, because if he raises the other to the rank first he may
try to prevent the promotion of Father Persons ; and also that your
Majesty will overcome Father Persons' principal difficulty, by
displaying towards him the same liberality as his late Majesty
showed to cardinal Allen, with a similar object. The interests of
God and your Majesty will thereby be served, and the English
Catholics will be very grateful.
The matter having been discussed in the Council, it has been
decided that Father Persons being worthy, on account of his virtue,
learning, and piety, of the dignity of cardinal, his elevation would
be welcome, but it is unadvisable to deal with the matter in
opposition to the promotion of Arthur Pole, as such a course would
be more likely to result in injury than advantage. The duke of
Sessa may be written to, with a copy of this document, instructing
him to take such steps as he considers desirable in favour of Persons,
on the ground of the advisability of encouraging the English
Catholics and promoting the conversion of the country to obedience
to the Holy See.
694. Report of the Council Of State to Philip III. on a proposal
conveyed to the ambassador Juan Bautista de Tassis by
Charles Paget. (fn. 2)
Charles Paget, who with his brother lord Paget, was for many
years an exile from England, receiving a pension from your Majesty.
After his brother's death he grew tired of his banishment, and
became reconciled to the Queen through her ambassador in Paris.
He writes to Tassis that he is already undeceived, and is again
desirous of serving his Majesty. He offers to give Tassis a piece
of information of the highest importance if he is given 30,000
ducats. The information he says is worth millions, but he refuses
to declare what it is, until Tassis is authorised to pay him the
30,000 ducats, after he has ascertained the truth of the intelligence.
The Council is of opinion that the authority may be given to
Tassis, as, if the information be really true and as important as is
asserted, the money will be well spent, whilst if it is not true it will
not be paid.—Madrid, 28th September 1600.