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Thomas Scott 'Vox Populi (1620)'

British Library, Additional MS 28640, ff. 92r-100r


Vox populi. or. Newes from Spaine translated according to the Spanish Copie.

author: Tho. Scotte of Norwold in Norff[olk]

His Catholike Ma[jes]tie had giue[n] commandement, that presently vpon the returne of Seigneur Gondomar (his Lieger Embassadour) from England 1618, a speciall meeting of all the principall States of Spaine (who were of his Councell) together with the presidents of the Councell of Castile, Arragon, Italy, Portugall, of the Indies, of the Treasure of Warre & especially of the holy Inquisition, should be helde at Mouson in Arragon the Dule of Lerma being appointed president, who should make declaration of his Majesties pleasure, take accompte of the Embassadors service, & consult touching the State, & Religion, respectiuelie, to giue satisfaction to his Holines Nuntio, who was desired to make one in this assembly, concerning certaine overtures of peace & amitie with [th]e English, & other Catholike projects, which might engender suspition & iealousie betwixte the Pope & his Majestie, if the misterie of were not vnfolded, & the grounde of those Counselles discovered aforehand.

This made all men expecte the Embassadors returne, with a kinde of longing, that they miught beholde the issue of this meeting, & see what good for the Catholike cause, the Embassadors employment had effected in England, answerable to the generall opinion conceived of his wisedome, & what further projecte would be sette on foote to become matter of publike discourse. At length he arrived, & had present notice giue[n] him from hi Ma[jes]tie that before he came to the Courte he should give his accompte to this Assemblie, which Commande he gladlie received as an earnest of hi acceptable service, & gave thanks that for his honour, he might publish himselfe in so iudicious a presence.

He upon the daye appointed came First to the Councell chamber Left margin: Secretarie excepte the Secr[etary] Not long after all the Councell of State, & the Presidents mette. There wanted only the duke of Lerma, & the Popes Nuntio, who were to be heade & feete of all the assembly. These two stayed long away for diverse respects. The Nuntio that he might expresse the greatnes of his Maister, & lose the Sea of Rome no respecte by this oversight, but that the benches might be full to observe him at his approche. The duke of Lerma to expresse the authoritie & dignity of his owne person, & to shewe howe a servant put in place of his Maister exacts more service of his fellowe servants then his Masieter himselfe.

These twoe, stayed till all the reste were weary of wayting, but at length the Nuntio supposing all the Councell sette, lanced forthe, & came to roade in the Councell chamber, where after discharge of mutuall duty from the conpany, & blessing from him, he sate downe in solmen silence, grieving at his oversight, when he sawe the duke of Lerma absente, with whom he strove as a Competitor for Pompe & glorie.

The Duke had sent before, & vnderstoode of the Nuntioes being there, & stayed something the longer, thaat his bouldnes might be observed, wherein he hd his desire, for the Nuntio having a while patientlie driven away the time92v the time with severall complements, to severall persons, had nowe almost runne his Courtship out of breath; but the Duke of Villa Hermosa president of the Councell of Arragon fedde his humour, by the discharge of his owne discontentment, vpon occasion of the Duke of Lerma his absence & beckned Segneur Gondomar to him, vsing this speech in the heraing of the Nuntio after a sporting manner. Howe vnhappie are the people where you haue beene, first for theire soules (being heretikes) then for theire estates, where the name of a Favorite is so familiar. How happie is our State, where the keyes of life & death, are so easily come by (pointing at the Nuntio) hanging at every religious girdle, & where the dore of Iustice & Mercy stand equallie open to all men, without respecte of persons. The Embass[ador] knewe this Ironicall stroke, to be entended as a by-blowe at the Nuntio, but fully at the duke of Lerma (whose greatnes beganne nowe to waxe heavy towards declension) & therefore he returned this answere. Yo[u]r Excellencie knoweth the State is happie, where wise Favorites governe kings, if the kings themselues be foolish; or where wise kings are who having Favorites. whether foolish or of the wiser sorte, will not yet be governed by them. The State of England (howsoever you heare of it in Spaine or Rome) is too happie in the laste kinde. They neede not much care what the Favorite be (though for the moste parte he be suche as preventes all suspition in that kinde, being rather chossen as a Scholler to be taught, & trayned vp, then as Tutor to teache) for of this they are sure; No prince exceeds theires in personall abilities, so that nothing could be added to him in my wishe, but this one, that he were our vassaile & Catholike. With that the noyse without gaue notice of the duke of Lermaes entrance, at whose first approche the whole house arose, though some later then others. Envie had hung plummettes on them to keepe them downe, the Nuncio only sate vnmoved. The duke cherished the observance of the reste, with a familiar kinde of carriage, too high for Courtesie, as one not neglecting theire demeanors but expecting it, & after a filiall obeysance to the Popes Nuncio, sate downe as president vnder the Clothe of State, but somewhat lower. Then after a space given for admiration, preparation & attention he beganne to speake in this manner. The king my Maister (holding it more honourable, to doe then to discourse, to take from you the expectation of Oratorie, vsed rather in Scholes & Pulpits, then in Councels) hath appointed me President in this holy, wise, learned & noble assemblie, a man naturallie of a slowe speech, & not to desirouss to quicken it by arte or industrie, as holding it action only p[ro]per to a Spanyard, as I am by birth, to a soldier, as I am by profession, to a king, as I am by presentation; take this therefore brieflie for declaration both of the cause of the meeting and my Maisters further pleasure.

There hath beene at all times from the worlds foundation one chiefe Commander or Monarche vpon the earthe. This needes no further proofe 93r then a looking backe into our owne memories & histories of the worlde: neither is there anie question (except among infidels & heretikes) of that one chiefe Commander in Spiritualls, in the vnity of whose person, the members of the visible Church are encluded; but there is some doubt of the chiefe Commander in Temporalles, who as the Moone to the Sunne might governe by night, as this by daye, & by the sworde of Iustice compell to come in, & cutte of such as infringe the authority of the Keies.

This hath beene so well vnderstood long since by the infallible chaire, as that thereby vpon the declension of the Romane Emperors, & the encrease of Romes spirituall splendor, (who thought it vnnaturall that theire Sunne should be Sublunary) our nation was selected by the B[ishop] of Rome before other people, to conquer, & rule the Nations with a rod of iron, & our kings to that ende adorned with the Title of Catholike king, as a name above all names vnder the sunne (which is) vnder Gods vicar generall himselfe, the Catholike B[ishop] of soules. To instance this pointe by Comparison, looke first vpon the grand Signeor the greate Turkem who hath a large Title, but not vniu[er]sall; for besides that he is an infidell his Commande is confined within his owne Territories, & he stiled not Emperor of the world, but of the Turkes & theire vassals only. Anong [Christ]ians, the defender of the faith, was a glorious stile while the king to whom it was geven by his holines continued worthy of it, but he stoode not in the truth, neither those that succeeded him; besides it was nothing to be called, what every [Christ]ian ought to be, defendor of the faith, no more then to be stiled with France, the most Christia[n] King, wherein he hath the greatest parte of his Title common with most [Christ]ians. The Emperos of Russia, Rome, Germany, extend not theire limits further then theire Stiles, which are locall, onely my M[aste]r the most Catholike King is for dominion of bodies, as the uniu[er]sall B[ishop] for dom[inion] of soules, over all that parte of the world which we call America (except where the English entruders vsurpe) & the greateste parte of Europe, with some parte of Asia, & Africa, by actuall possessio[n], & over all the reste by reall & indubitable right: yet acknowledgeth this right to be derived from the free & fatherly donation of his Holines, who as the Sunne to the moone, lends lustre by reflexion to this kingdome, to this king, to this king of kings my M[aste]r what therefore he hath (howsoever gotten) he may keepe & houlde. What he can gette from any other king, or Commander by any stratageme of warre or pretence of peace, he may take, for it is theires only by vsurpation, except they holde of him, from whom all Civill power is derived as eccl[esiastical] from his Hol[iness] what the ignorante call treason, if it be on his behalfe, is truth, & what they call truth, if it be against him, is Treason. & thus all our peace, our warre, our treaties, marriages, & whatsoever entendement else of ours aimes at this principall ende, to gette [th]e whole possession of the world, & to reduce all to vnitie vnder one Temporall heade, that our king may truly be what he is stiled, the Catholike & vniu[er]sall king. As faithe is therefore vniu[er]sall in the Churche 93v vniu[er]sall, yet so as it is vnder one heade the Pope whose seate is & must necessarily be at Rome where St Peter sate; so must all be men be subjecte to our, & theire Catholike king whose particuler seate is here in Spaine, his vniu[er]sall, every where. This pointe of State or rather of Faith, we see the Rom[an] Cath[olic] religio[n] hath taught every where & almost made naturall, so that by a keye of gould, by intelligence, or by way of Confession, my M[aste]r is able to vnlocke the secrets of every prince, & to withdrawe theire subjects allegiance, as if they knewe themselues rather my Maisters subjects in truth, then theires whom theire birth hath taught, to miscall Soveraignes. We see this in France & in England especiallie, where at once they learne to obey the Ch[urch] of R[ome]. as theire mother, & to acknowledge the Cath[olic] K[ing] as theire father, & to take theire owne king as an heretike, and an vsurper. So we see Religion & the Estate are coupled together, laugh & weepe, florish & fade, & participate of eithers fortune, as growing vpon one stocke of policy. I speake this the more bouldlie in this presence because I speake here before none but Natives, persons, whom (as partakers both in themselues & issues of these triumphes aboue all those of ancient Rome & therefore such as besides theire oathes) it concernes to be secrette. Neither neede we restraine this freedome of speech fro[m] the Nuncio his presence, because that besides he is a Spa[n] yard by birth, he is also a Iesuite by profession, an order raysed by [th]e providence of God & his Vicar, to accomplish his Monarchie [th]e better. All of them be appropriate therevnto, & as publike agents to the privy Councellors to this ende, wherein the wisedome of this State is to be behelde with admiration, that as in temporall warre it imployes or at the leaste trustes none but Natives in Castile Portugell, or Arragon; so in Spiritualls it imployes none but the Iesuites, & so imployes them that they are generallie reputed how remote soever they be from vs, howe much so ever obliged to others, still to be ours & still to be of the Spanish faction; though they be Polonians English French & residing in those Countries & Courtes; the Penitents therefore & all with whom they deale in theire spirituall traffique, must needes be so to, & & so our Catholike king must needes haue an invisible kingdome, & an unknowne number of subjects in all dominions, who will shewe themselues & theire faithes by theire workes of disobedience, whensoever we shall haue cause IeLeft margin: theires. suiticall vertue of these. This therefore being the principall ende of all our counselles according to those holy directions of our late pious king Philip .2. to his sonne, nowe reviving, to advance the Cath[olic] Rom[an] Relig[ion] in the Cath[olic] Span[ish] dominion, together, we are nowe met by his M[ajesty’s] command to take accompte of you Seigneur Gondomor who haue beene Embass[ador] for Engl[and] to see what good you haue effected there, towardes the advancement of this worke, & what further p[ro]jecte shall be thought fitte to be sette on foote to this ende, & this is briefly the occasion of our meeting.


Then [th]e Embass[ador] (who attended bareheaded all the time) with a lowe obeisance beganne thus. This most laudible custome of our kings in bringing all officers to such an accompte, where a reviewe & notice is g taken of good or badde service, vpon the determinatio[n] of theire employments, resembles those Romane triumphes appointed for theire soldiers; & as in them ir provoked courage, so in vs it stirres vp to dilligence. Our M[aste]r converseth by his agents with all the worlde yet with none of more regarde then the English, where matter of such diversitie is often presented (through the severall humors of the State, & those of our Rel[igion] & Faction) that no instructions can be sufficient for such negotiations, but much must be lefte in truste to the discretion, iudgment, & dilligence of the incu[m]bent. I speake not this for mine owne glory, I having beene restrained, & therefore deserved meanly, but fo forewarne others on the behalfe of others, that there may be more scope allowed them, to deale in, as occasion shall require. Brieflie this rule deliuered by his excellency was the carde & Compasse by which I sayled / To make profite of all humors & by all meanes to advance the state of the Rom[an] faith & the Sp[anish] factio[n] together vpo[n] all advantage, either of oathes or the breach of them; for this is an ould observacion but a trewe that for our pietie to Ro[me], his Hol[iness] did not only giue, but blesse vs in the conquest of the newe Worlde, & thus in our pious perseverance we hope still to be conquerors of the ould. And to this ende whereas his Excell[ency] in his excellent discourse, seemes to extende our outwarde forces, & private aymes only against heretikes, & restraine them in true amitie with these of the Rom[an] Religio[n]. This I affirme that since there can be no securitie but such Princes (though nowe Rom[an] Cath[olic]s) may turne heretikes hereafter, my aimes haue beene ever to make p[ro]fite all of all & to make my M[aste]r M[aste]r of all who is a faythfull, & constante sonne of his Mother Ro[me]. And to this ende I beholde the endeavours of the kings of happy memory, howe they haue atchieved kingdomes & conquests by this policy, rather then by open hostilitie, & that without difference, of aswell fro[m] theire allies & kinsfolke, men of the same religio[n] & profession, such as were those of Naples France & Navarre (though I doe not mention Portugall nowe vnited to vs nor Savoy that hardly slipte fro[m] vs) as of an adverse & hereticall faith. Neither is this rule lefte of as [th]e as the present country of France, the State of Venice, the Lowe countries, Bohemia (nowe all labouring for life vnder our plottes) apparantlie manifeste. This way therefore I bente my engins in Engl[and] as yo[u]r Ho[no]rs shall particulerly heare, neither shall I neede to repeate a Catalogue of all the services, I have there done, because this State hath bene acquainted with many of them, heretofore, by the entercourse of letters & messengers, those only I will speake of that are of later edition, done since the returne of the L[or]d Rosse from hence, & may seeme most directlie to tende to those endes formerly propounded by his Exc[ellency] that is th’advancement of the Span[ish] State & from Rom[an] Rel[igion] together.


First it is well observed by the wisedome of our State, that the k[ing] of Eng[land] (who otherwise is one of the most accomplishte princes that ever reigned) extreamely huntes after peace, & so affects the true name of a Peacemaker, as that for it he will doe or suffer any thing: & withall they haue behelde the generall bounty & munificence of his mind, & the necessity of the state, so exhausted as that it is vnable to supplie his desires, who only seekes to haue, that he might giue to others. Vpon these advantages they haue giuen out theire directions & instructions both to me & others, & I haue observed the[m] so farre as I am able. And for this purpose whereas there was a marriage propounded betwixte the[m] & vs, (howsoever I suppose our State too devoute to deale with heretikes in this kind in good earneste,) yet I made that a Cover for much intelligence & a meanes to obteine whatsoever I desired, whilste the State of England longed after that warr. hoping thereby though vainely to settle peace & fill the exchequer Exchequor. Here the Archb[ishop] of Toledo Inquisitor generall, stept vp, & interrupted Gondamor, saying, that maarriage was not to be thought vpon. 1. For Religions sake, leaste they should endanger the soule of th younge Ladie, & the reste of her company, who might become heretikes. 2 For the State, leaste by giving so large a portion to heretikes, they should enriche & enable them, for warre, & impoverish & weaken the Cath[olic]s.

To the first objectio[n] the Popes Nuncio answ[ered][tha]t his Hol[ine]s for the Cath[olic] Cause would dispense with the marr[iage] though it were w[i]t[h] a Turke or an infidell. & .1. thaat there was no valuable danger in hazarding one for the gaine of many, p[er]haps of all. 2 that it was no hazarde since women (especiallie young ones) are too obstinate to be removed from theire opinions, & abler to worke Salomon to theire opinions, then Salomon to worke them to his faithe. 3 that it was a greate advantage to matche with such, from whom, they might breake at pleasure, having the Cath[olic] cause for a colour, & besides (if neede were) be at libertie in all respects, since there was no faithe to be kepte with heretikes. & if his Hol[iness] may dispence with the murthers of suche, & dispose of theire Crownes (as what good Cath[olic] doubts but he may much more may he & will he in theire marriages to prevent the leprous seede of heresie, & settle the Cath[olic] bloud in the chayer of State. To the second obj[ection] the Embass[ador] him= selfe answ[ered] saying that the English generally hated the matche & would as he thought buy it of, with halfe theare estates, (hating the nation of Spany[ar]ds & theire religion, (as appeered by aan vproare & assaulte (a day or two before his departure from London) by the apprentices who seemed greedie of such an occasion, to vente theire owne splene in doing him or any of his a mischiefe) yet two sortes of people vnmeasurablie desire the matche might proceede. 1. The begging & beggerly Courtiers, that they might haue to furnish theire wants. 2 The Rom[an] Catholikes who hope thereby at leaste for a moderatio[n] of theire Fines & lawes, perhaps a Toleration, yea a totall Restauratio[n]95r stauration of theire Relig[ion] in Engl[and]. In which regarde, quoth he, I haue knowne some zealous persons proteste, that if all theire frends & halfe th[eir] estates could p[ro]cure them to the service of our Ladie (if she came to be married to theire prince) they would freely use the meanes, faithfullie to fight vnder her colours whe[n] they might doe it safelie. And if it came to portion they would contribute largelie of theire estates to the Span[ish] Collector, & make vp halfe the portion, out of themselues, p[er]haps more; so that by this marr[iage] it might be so wrought that the State should rather be robd’e & weakened (which is our ayme) then strengthned, as the Engl[ish] vainly hope. Besides in a smalle time, they should worke so farre into the bodie of the State by buying offices & the like, whether by Sea or Land, of justice Civill or ecclesiasticall, in Church or State (all being for mony exposed to sale) that with the helpe of the Iesuites, they would vndermine them with meere witte without gun-powlder, & leave the king but a fewe subjects whose faithes he might relye vpon, whilste they were of a faithe adverse to his, for what Cath[olic] bodie that is sounde at the hearte can abide a Corrupte & hereticall heade. With that the duke of Medina del {c}io Secco president of the Councell of warre, & one of the Councell of State rose vp and said, his predecessors had felte the force & witte of the Engl[ish] in 88, & he had cause to doubte that the Cath[olics] the[m]selues that were English & not fullie Iesuited, vpon any forraine invasion, would rather take parte with theire owne king, though an heretike, then with his Cath[olic] Majestie a stranger. The Embass[ador] desired him to be of another mind since First for the persons, theire bodies by long disuse of armes, were disabled & theire mindes effeminated, by peace & luxury; farre from that they were in 88, whe[n] they were fleshte in our bloude, & made heartie by customary conquests, & for the affectio[n] of those they call recusants (quoth he) I knowe the bitternes of theire inveterate malice, & haue seene f so farre into th[eir] natures, as I dare say they will be for Sp[ain] against all the world. Yea (quoth he) I assure your Honors, I could not imagine so basely of this k[ing] & State, as I haue hearde them speake; nay theire rage hath so perverted th[eir] iudgment, that what I my selfe have seene & hearde p[ro]ceede from theire king, beyond admiratio[n] even to astonishment, they haue slightly misreported, scorned, & perverted, to his disgrace, & my rejoicing, I magnifying in the meane time o[u]r defects as graces.

Here the Duke Pastrana presidente of the Councell of Italy steps vp, & said he had latelie reade a booke of one Cambden called his Annales where writing of a treatie of marr[iage] long since betwixt the Engl[ish] Elizab[eth] & the Fr[ench] Duke of Anjou, he there observes that the marr[iage] was not seriously eentended on either side, but politikely pretended by both States, counterchangeablie, that eche might effecte theire owne endes. & here quoth he the Engl[ish] had the better, & I haue some cause to doubte, since they can dissemble as well as we, that he they haue theire aimes vnderhand as we haue, & entende the matche as litle as we doe, & this quoth he I believe the rather, because th[eir] king as he is wise to consulte & consider, so he is a constant maister 95v of his worde, & hath written & giuen strong reasons against matches made with persons of contrary religion, which reasons no other man can answ[er] & therefore doubtles will not goe from, or counsell his son[n]e to forsake, those rules laid downe so deliberatelie. Yo[u]r Excell[ency] mistakes (quoth the Embass[ador]) the advantage was then on the side of [th]e English, because the Fr[ench] sought the matche, nowe it must be on ours, because the Engl[ish] seeke it, who will grante any thing rather then breake of, & besides haue no patience to temporise & dissemble in this or in any other kind designe, as the French haue long since well observed, for theire necessities will giue them neither time nor reste, nor hope elsewhere to be supplied. As for this k[ing] I cannot serche into his hearte, I must believe others that presume to knowe his mind, heare his wordes, & reade his writings, & these relate what I haue deliuered: but for the reste of the people, as the number of them, that be truly religious, are ever the leaste & for the most parte of leaste accompte, so it is there, where if an equall opposition be made betweene theire truly religious & ours, the remainder, which will be the greatest number, will stand indifferent & fall to the stronger side, where there is most hope of gaine & glory, for these two are the gods of the magnitude & the multitude. Nowe these see apparantlie no certaine supplies of theire wants but from vs. Yes quoth the Duke for even nowe you said the generall state loathing this matche would redeeme the feare Left margin: halfe of theire estates. thereof with halfe theire goods. It is therefore but calling a Parliament, & the busines were soone effected. A Parl[iament] quoth the Embass[ador] nay therein lies one of the principall services I haue done, in working such dislike betw[een] the k[ing] & the lower house by the endeavour of that Ho[norable] Earle & admirable engine (a sure servant to vs & the Cath[olic] cause while he liued) as the k[ing] will never endure Parliament againe, but rather suffer absolute wante then receive conditionall relife reliefe from his subjects. Beside the matter was so cunningly carried, the last Parl[iament] that as in the powder-plot the fact effected should haue beene imputed to the Puritans (the greatest zealots of the Caluinian secte) so the propositions which dammed vp the proceedings of this Parl[iament] howsoever they were invented by Rom[an] Cath[olics] & by them intended to disturbe that Session, yet were propounded in favour of the Puritans (as if they had beene hammered in theire forge, which very name & shadowe the k[ing] hates it being a suffficient aspersion to disgrace any person to say he is such, & a sufficient barre to stoppe any suite & vtterly to crosse it, to say it smelles of, or enclines to, that partie. Moreover there are so many about him, which blowe this coale fearing theire owne states, if a Parl[iament] should enquier into theire actions, that they vse all theire arte & industrie to withstand such a Councell, persuding the k[ing] he may rule by his absolute prerogatiue without a Parl[iament] & thus furnish him by marrying with vs, & other domestike 96r projects, without Subsidies, when levying of Subsidies & taskes haue beene the only vse Princes haue made of such assemblies. and whereas some free mindes among them ( resembling our Nobilitie who preserve the priviledge of Subjects against Soveraigne invasio[n]) call for the course of the Common lawe, (a lawe p[ro]per to that natio[n]) these other timeservers cry the lawes downe & cry vp the prerogatiue, whereby they pray vpo[n] the subjecte, by suites & exactions, milke the State that is pore, procure themselues much suspition among the better & more judicious sorte, & hate among the oppressed commons. & yet if there should be a Parl[iament] such a course is taken, as they shall never choose theire Shire knights & burgesses freely, who make the greater parte of the bodie thereof; for these being to be elected by most voices of Freeholders in the Cou[n]try where such election is to be made, are carried which way the greate persons who haue lands in those countries please, who by theire letters commande theire Tenants, followers, & frends to nominate such as adheare to them, & for the most parte are of our factio[n], & respecte theire owne benefite or grace, rather then theire countries good; yea the Country people themselues, will every one stand for the greate man theire Lord or neighbour or Maister, without regard of his honestie wisedome or religio[n]. That which they aime at (as I am assured, by faithfull intelligence) is to please theire Landlords & so renue theire lease; in which regarde they will betray theire country & religio[n] too, & electe any ma[n] that may most profite theire particuler. Therefore it is vnlikely there should be a Parliament & be impossible the k[ing’s] debts should be payd his wants sufficiently repayred, & himselfe lefte full handed with such a course, & indeed (w[hi]ch is generally thought) by any course but by a marr[iage] with vs; for which cause whatsoever p[ro]jecte we liste to attempte, enters safelie at that dore, whilste theire policy lyes asleepe, & will not see the danger. I haue made triall of these particulers & found fewe exceptions in this generall rule. Thereby I & theire owne wants together haue kepte the[m] from furnishing theire Navie, which being the walle of theire Iland & once the strongest in Christendome, lies nowe at rode vnarmed, & fitte for ruine. If ever we doubted theire strngth by Sea, nowe we neede not; there are but fewe shippes or me[n] able to looke abroade, or to liue in a storme, much lesse in a Sea-fight. This I effected by bearing them in hande, the furnishing of a Navie bredde suspition in my Maister, & so would averte his minde from this matche the hope of which rather then they would loose, they would loose almost theire hope of heaven. Secondlie all the voyages to [th]e Easte Indies I permitte rather with a colourable resistance, then a serious, because I see them not helpefull, but hurtefull to the State in generall, Carrying out gould & siluer, bringing some spice, silkes, feathers & the like toies, (an insensible wasting the commo[n] stocke) of coine & of bullio[n] whilste it filles the Custome-house & some private purses who thereby are inabled to keepe this discommoditie on foote by bribes, especially so many greate persons (even Statesme[n]) being venturers & sharers in the gaine. besides this wasteth theire marriners, not one of x returning, which I 96v am gladde to heare for they are the men we stand in feare of.

Thirdly as for theire West Indian voyages I withstand them in ernest, because they beginne to inhabite there, & to fortifie themselues & may in time there p[er]haps raise another Engl[and] to withstand our newe Sp[ain] in America, as this ould Engl[and] opposeth our present state & cloudes the glorious extent thereof in Europe. Besides there they trade for commodities without waste of theire treasure, & often returne gould for kniues glasses or like treasures trifles & that without such losse of theire marriners as in other places. Therefore I cross’de whatsoever entendments were projected for Virginia, or the Bermudaes, because I see they may be hereafter reallie helpefull vnto them, as nowe they serve for draines to vnloade theire populous state, which else would overflowe its owne bankes by continuance of peace, & turne heade vpon it selfe to make a bodie fitte for any rebellion. And so farre haue I prevailed herein, as I caused most of the Recusants, who were sharers, to withdr[aw] theire ventures & to discourage the worke; so that besides private p[er]sons (vnable to effecte much) nothing was done by the publike purse, & we knowe by experience such voyages & plantations are not effected w[i]t[h]out greate meanes to susteine greate difficulties, & with an vnwearied resolution & power, to meete all hazards & disastres, with strong helpes & continuall supplies, or else the vndertaking proves idle. Fourthly by this meanes likewise I kepte the voluntarie supplies forces fro[m] Venice , till it was almoste too late to set out, & had a hope that worke of secry secrecy shoud haue broken forthe to actio[n], before these could haue arrived to succour them. Fiftly I put harde for the Cautionary townes, which our late k[ing] Philip of happie memory so aimed at (accompting them the keies of the Lowe-countries) that they might be deliuered to his Cath[olic] M[ajesty] as to the proper owner, & perhaps had prevailed but that the profeste enemie to our State & Church (who died shortlie after) gaue Councell to restore them to the rebellious States, as one that knewe populer commonwealths, to be better neighbours, surer frends & lesse dangerous enemies, then potent Monarchies, & so by this practise rescued them from my hands, & furnished the Exchequor from thence for that time. Neither was I much grieved at this because the dependancy Left margin: on the Eng[lish] they had before seemed to be cutte of with the Eng[lish] seemed to be cutte of, & the interest the English had in the[m] & theire cause to be take[n] away, which must be fullie & finally effected, before we can hope either to conquer them or England, who holding together are too strong for the world at Sea, & therefore must be disvnited before they can be overcome: This pointe of State is acknowledged by our most experienced pensioner & suer frend Mouns. Barnevelte whose succeeding plotte to this ende shall beare witnesse for the depth of his iudgmente.

Sixtly the laste service I did for the State was not the leaste, when I vnderwrought that admirable engine Rawleigh, & so was the cause his voyage (threatning much danger & damage to vs) was overthrowne, & himselfe returning in disgrace, I pursued almost to death, neither I hope neede I say almost, if all things hitte right & all strings houlde. But the determination of my Commission would not permitte me longer to staye to followe him to executio[n], which I desired the rather, that by Conces-sio[n] I might haue wronge from the inconsiderate Engl[ish] a[nd] acknowledgment 97r of my Maisters right in those places, punishing him for attempting there though they might prescribe for the first foote. And this I did to stoppe theire mouthes heereafter, & because I would quenche the heate & valour of that nation, that none should dare after to take in hand the like or to be so hardie, as to looke out at Sea, or breathe vpo[n] our coastes, & lastly because I would bring to an ignominious death that ould Pirate who is one of the last nowe living, breade vnder the deceased Engl[ish] Virago & by her fleshte in our bloud & ruine. To doe this I had many agents 1. Diverse Courtiers who were hungry & gaped wide for Span[ish] gould. 2 Some that bare him at the hearte for inveterate quarrels. 3. Some Forrainers who havinge in vaine sought the Elixar hitherto, hope to find it in his heade.. 4 all me[n] of the Rom[an] faith who are of the Span[ish] factio[n], & would haue beene my bloudhounds to hunte him or any such to death willingly as persons hating the prosperitie of theire country & the valour, worth & witte of theire owne natio[n], in respecte of vs & our Cath[olic] Left margin: * cause. Lastlie I lefte behinde me such an instrumente composed artificially of a seculer vnderstanding & religious profession as he is every way adapted, to scrue himselfe into the closet of the hearte & worke vpon the Feminine levity, who in that Country haue Masculine spirits to command, & pursue theire plottes vnto deathe. This therefor I accompte as done, & rejoice in it, knowing it will be very p[ro]fitable for vs, gratefull to our Faction there, & for the reste what though it be a crosse to the people, or the Clergie; we that only negotiate for our owne gaine, & treate about this marr[iage] for owr owne endes, can conclude or breake of when we see our time, without respecte of such as can neither profite vs nor hurte vs. For I haue certaine knowledge that the Commons generallie are so effeminate, & Cowardlie, as that they at theire Musters (which are seldome & slighte, only for the benefitte of their Mustermaisters) of 1000 soldiers, scarce an 100 dare discharge a musket, & of that 100 scarce one, ca[n] vse it like a soldier. & for theire armes they are so evill provided, that 1 Corselet serveth many men, when such as shewe theire armes vpon one day, in one place, lende them to theire frends in other places, to shewe whe[n] they haue vse; & this if it be spied is only punished by a mulcte in the purse, which is the officers aime, who for his advantage winkes at the reste, & is gladde to finde & cherish by connivence, profitable faultes, which exrease his revenue. Thus standes the State of that pore miserable country, which had never more people & fewer Men: so that if my Maister should resolue vpon an invasion, the time never fitted as at this present, security of this marr[iage] & the disvse of armes, having caste them into a deade sleepe, a strong & weakening faction being ever among them, readie to assiste vs, & they being vnprouided of ships, & armes, or heartes to fight, an vniu[er]sall discontentment filling all men. This I haue from theire mustermaisters & captaines, who are many of them of our Religio[n], or of none, & so ours, readie to be bought & sould, & desirous to be my Maisters servants in Fee. Thus much for the State particulerly wherein I haue bente my selfe to weake[n] them & strengthe[n] vs, & in all these haue advanced the Cath[olic] cause, but 97v specially in p[ro]curing favours for all such as favour s that side & crossing the other by all means. And this I practise my selfe & giue it out to be generallie practised by others, that whatsoever successe I finde, I still boaste of the victorie, which I doe to dishearten the heretikes to make them suspitious one of another, especiallie of theire prince & best states men, & to keepe our owne in Courage, who by this meanes encrease, otherwise would be in danger to decay. Nowe for Religion & such designes as fetche theire pretence from thence. I behelde the policy of that late B[ishop] of theires Bancrofte, who stirred vp & mainteined a dangerous schisme betweene our Seculer priests & Iesuites, by which he discovered much weakenes, to the dishonour of our Clergie & prejudice of our cause. This taught me (as it did Barnevelt in [th]e Lowe-countries) to worke secretlie, & insensiblie, betweene theire con formists & non-conformists, & to caste an eye as farre as the Orcades knowing, that busines might be stirred vp there, that might hinder p[ro]ceeding in Engl[and] as the French ever vsed Scotland to call home the forces of Engl[and] & so to prevente theire conquests. The effecte you haue partlie seene in the Earle of Argile, who sometime was captaine for the king & Church, against the great Marques Huntlie & nowe fights vnder our banner at Bruxels, leaving the Crosses of St George & St Andrewe, for the staffe of St Iames; neither doe our hopes end here, but we dayly expecte more revolters, at least such a division, as will never admitte solide reconcilement, but will sende some to vs, & some to Amsterdam; for the king (a wise & Vigilant Prince) labouring for a perfecte Vnion betwixte both [th]e kingdomes, which he seeth cannot be effected where by the leaste Ceremonie in Religion is continued, diverse sharpe & bitter brawles fro[m] thence arising, whilste some striving for honour more then for truth, preferre theire owne way & will before the generall peace of the Churche, & the edification of soules; he I say seekes to worke both Churches to vniformity, & to this ende, made a ioury iourney into Scotland, but with no such successe as he expected; for diverse of ours attended the traine, who stirred vp humors, & factions, & caste in scruples, & doubtes, to hinder & crosse the proceedings. Yea those [tha]t seeme most adverse to vs, & our opinions, by theire disobedience & example helpe forwarde our plottes, & those are encouraged by a factious & headie multitude, by a fainte & irresolute Clergie (many false brethren being among theire BB) & by theire prodigall Nobility who mainteine these stirres in the Church, that therby they might most sacrilegiously seized vpon, in the time of the first deformation, & which they feare would be recovered, by the clergie, if they could be brought to brotherly peace, & agreement: for they haue seene the k[ing] very bountifull in this kinde, hauing latl latelie encreased their pensions, & setled to the Clergie a competent maintenance, & besides out of his owne meanes, (which in that kingdome is none of the greatest) having brought in & restored whole Bishopricks to the Church, which were before in Lay-mens hands, a greate parte of the Nobilities estates consisting of spirituall lands, which makes them cherish the 98r Puritanicall faction who will be contente to be trencher fedde with scrappes & Crumbes, & Contributions, & arbitrary benevolences, from their Lordes & Lairdes & theire Ladies, theire adherents & followers.

But (quoth the Inquisitor generall) howe if this acte of the kings wherein he is most earnest & constant should so farre thrive as to effecte a perfecte vnion, both in the Church & Commonwealth. I tell you in my conceipte it would be a greate blowe to vs, if by a generall meeting a generall peace should be concluded, & all theire forces bente against Rome / & we see this politike k[ing] aimes at this. True qu. Gondamor but he takes his marke amisse, howsoever he vnderstand the people & theire inclinatio[n] better then any man, & better knowes howe to temper theire passions & affections, for (besides that he is hindered there in Scotland vnderhand for the reasons before recited, & by other greate ones of ours, who are in greate place & authority among them) he is likewise deluded in this pointe even by his owne clergie at home in England, who pretende to be most forwarde in the cause; for they considering if a generall vniformitie were wrought, what an invndation would followe, whilste all or moste of theires (as they feare) would flocke thither for preferment, as men pressing towards the Sunne for light & heate, & so theire owne should be vnprovided. These therefore I say howsoever they beare the king fairely in hand and vnderhand against it, & stand stiffely for all ceremonies to be obtruded with a kind of absolute necessity, vpon them, when the other will not be almost drawne to receive any; when if an abatement were made, they might be drawne to meete in the middest. But there is no hope of this with them, where neither partie deales seriously but only for the present to satisfie the king, & so there is no feare on our side, that affections & opinions so diverse will ever be made one reconciled & made one. Theire B[ishop] of St Andrewes standes almost alone, in the cause, & pulles on himselfe the labour, the losse, & the envy of all, with litle proficiency whilste the adverse factio[n], haue as sure frends, & as good intelligence fro[m] the k[ing] as he hath & the same. Those perhaps that bring a packet from the k[ing] to him bring another from theire abettors to them, acquainting them with the whole p[ro]ceedings, & Counselles, & preparing them aforehand for oppositio[n]. This I knowe for th truth & this I rejoice in as conducing much to the Catholike good. But (quoth the Nuncio) are there none of the hererticall preachers, busy about this matche? me thinkes, theire fingers should itche to be writing, & theire tongues burne to be prating of this busines, especially the Puritanicall sorte, howsoever the most temperate & indifferente carry themselues. The truth is (my Lo[rd] quoth the Embass[ador] that priuatelie what they can, & publikely what they dare (both in Engl[and] & Scotl[and]) all for the most parte (excepte such as are of our faithe) oppose this matche, to the vtmoste, by prayers, Counsels, speeches wishes; but if any be found longer-tongued then his fellowes, we haue still meanes to charmes theire sawcines, to silence them & expelle them [th]e Courte, to disgrace them & crosse theire preferments, (with the imputatio[n]ofpragmatike puritanisme. For instance I will relate this one particuler A Doctor of theires & a Chapleine Chaplan in ordinary to the k[ing] gaue many reasons in a letter against this marr[iage] & propounded a way howe to supply the k[ing’s] wants otherwise, which I understanding so wrought vnderhand that the Doctor was committed, & hardlie escaped [th]e danger 98v of his presumptuous admonition, thoughe the State knewe his intente was honeste, & his reasons good; wherein we on the other side (both here & with the Archd[uke]) haue had bookes penned, & pictures printed directlie against theire k[ing] & State, for which theire Embass[ador] haue sought satisfaction of vs in vaine, not being able to staye the printe or to touche so much as the hemme of the authors garment. But we haue an evasion which heretikes misse, our Clergie being freed from the Temporall sworde, & so not encluded in our treaties & conditions of peace, but at libertie to giue any heretike prince the mate, when they liste, wheras theires are liable to accompte, & are musled for barking when ours may both barke & bite too: The Councell table & Star-chamber, doe so terrifie them, as they dare not ryot but came at [th]e stirrop, in excellent command, & come in th at the leaste rebuke. They call theire preaching in many places (standing vp) but they crouche & dare not stande vp, nor queste, behaue themselues like Setters silent & creepe in vpon theire bellies, & lic licke the duste which our priests shake fro[m] theire beutifull feete. Nowe quoth the Duke of Lerma satisfie me about our owne Clergie, howe they fare, for there were petitions made to this k[ing] in the name of the distressed afflicted persecuted & imprisoned priests, that his Maj[es]tie would intercede for them, to free them fro[m] the intollerable burthens they groaned vnder, & to procure theire liberties, & letters were directed fro[m] vs to that ende, that you should negotiate this command with all speed & dilligence. Most excell[ent] Prince replyed Gondamor I did your Commande, with a kind of Commande, my selfe not thinking it fitte, to make it a suite in yo[u]r name or my Maisters. I obteined them libertie to walke freely vp & downe, to face & outface theire accusers, iudges magistrates or BB. & to exercise theire functions almost as freely, altogether as safely as at Rome.

Here the Nuncio objected that he did not well in his iudgm[ent] in procuring theire libertie, since they might doe more good in prison then abroade, because they seemed to be vnder persecution in prison, & so were pitied of others, & pity of the person prepares the affectio[n]; besides thenthere they were carefull over theire owne lives to giue no offence; but abroade they might be scandalous in theire lives as they vse to be in Ro[me] & Sp[ain] & other Cath[olic] Countries, & so the opinio[n] of theire holines which vpholds theire credite & cause against the married clergie, would soone decay. But the Embass[ador] replyed that he considered the inconveniencies, but besides a superior command, he sawe the profite of theire libertie to be more then of their restrainte, for nowe they might freely conferre, & were ever practising, & would doubtles produce some worke of wonder, & besides by reason of theire authority & meanes to change places did apply themselues to many persons, whereas in prison they only could deale with such as came to be wrought, & were theire owne before, & this quoth he I adde as a secret, that as before they were maynteined by private contributions of devout Cath[olics] even to excesse so much more nowe shall they be able to gather greate summes to weaken the State & furnish them for some high attempte by the 99r example of Cardinall Woolsey barrelling vp gould for Rome. & this they may easily doe since all the Cath[olics] robbe the hereticall priests & withold tithes from them by fraude or force, to giue to these of theire owne to whom it is properly due, & if this be espied it iss an easie matter to lay all vpon the Hollander, & say he carryes the coine out of the land (who are forward enough indeede in such practises) & so ours shall not only be excused, but a flawe made betwixte them, to weaken theire amities, & begette suspition, betwixte them of each others love. But among all the priests (quoth the Inquisitor-generall) did you remember that ould revered father Baldwin who had a finger in that admirable attempte, against the Parl[iament] house. Such as he deserving so highly, adventuring theire lives so resolutely for the Cath[olic] cause must not be regardedforgotten but extraordinarily regarded thereby to encourage others to the like holy vndertakings/.

Holy Father quoth Gondamor my principall care was of him, whose life & libertie, when I had with much difficultie obteined of the k[ing] I solemnly went in person, attended with all my traine & diverse other well-wishers, to fetche him out of the tower, where he was in durance. As soone as I came in his sight I behaved my selfe after a lowly & humble manner that our adversaries stood amazed to beholde the reverence we giue to our ghostlie fathers. And this I did to confounde the[m] & theire contemptuous Clergie, & to begette an extraordinary opinion of holines in the person, & pietie in vs, & also to provoke the Engl[ish] Cath[olics] to the like devout obedience, that thereby at any time these Iesuites (whose authority was somewhat weakened, since the schisme betwixte them & the Seculers, & the succeeding powlder-plotte) may worke them to our ends as maisters theire sercvants, Tutors theire scholl[ars], fath[ers] theire child[ren], kings theire subjects. And that they may doe this more bouldly I haue dashte the authority of theire high commission, vpon which, whereas there are diverse Pursevants (men of the worst kind & Condition resembling our Flies & Familiers attending at vpon the Inquisitio[n]) whose office & employment is to disturbe the Cath[olics] & searche theire houses for priests, holy vestments, bookes, beades, crucifixes & the like religious appurtenances, I haue caused the execution of theire office to be slackned, that so an open way may be giue[n] to our spirituall instruments for the free exercise of theire faculties; & yet when the Pursevants had greatest authority a small bribe in the Country would blinde theire eyes, or a litle greater at Courte, or in the Exchequor, frustrate & crosse all theire actions, so that theire malice went of like squibbes, made greater crackes to fright children, & new borne babes, but hurte no ould men of Catholike spirits. And this is the effecte of all other theire courses of proceeding in this kinde in all theire judiciall Courtes, whither knowne Catholikes (as they stile them) are often summoned, & cited, threatned & bounde over but the danger is paste so soone as the officer hath his fee payd to him the[n] the execution goeth no further. Nay vpon my conscience they are gladde when there are offendors in that kinde, because they are bountifull, & the officers doe theire best to favour them that they may encrease & so theire revenewe & gaine come in freely, & if they should be sent to prison even that place for the most parte is made as a Sanctuary to them. As the ould Romanes were wont to shutte vp such by way of re{ }terestrainte99v restrainte as they meante to preserve fro[m] the peoples fury so they liue safe in prison, till we haue time to worke theire liberty & assure theire lives, & in the meane time theire place of restrainte is a study vnto them, where they haue opportunity to conferre together as in a Colledge, & to arme themselues in vnity against the single adversity abroade. But quoth the Inquisitor generall howe doe they for bookes when they haue occasion either to write or dispute?

My Lord (replyes Gondamor) all the libraries belonging to the Rom[an] Cath[olics] through the lande are at theire command, from whence they haue all such Collections, as they can require, gathered to theire hande, as well from thence, as from all the libraries in both the vniversities, & even the bookes themselues if that be requisite. Besides I haue made it a principall parte of mine employment to buy all the manuscripts, & other auncient & rare authors out of the handes of the heretikes, so that there is no greate scholler dies in the land but my agents are dealing with his bookes, in so much that theire learned Isaac Causabons librarie, was in election without questio[n] to be ours, had not theire vigilant king (who foresees all dangers, & hath his eye busie in every place) prevented my plotte, for after the death of that greate Scholler I sente to request a viewe & Catalogue of his bookes with theire price, intending not to be out-weighed by any ma[n], if mony would fetche them, because (besides the damage that side should haue received by theire losse, p[ro]secuting the same Left margin: * story against Cardin[al] Baronius) we might haue good advantage by {b} his notes, collections, castigations, censures & Criticismes, for our owne partie, & framed & put out others vnder his name at our pleasure. But this was foreseene by theire Prometheus who sent that Torturer of ours (the Bishop of Winchester) to searche & sorte the papers, & to seale vp the Studie giving a large & princelie allowance, for them, to the relicte of Causabon, together with a bountifull pension & provision for her & hers. But this plotte fayling at that time, hath not ever done so, nor had the Vniu[er]sitie of Oxford so triumphed in theire many manuscripts giue[n] by that famous kn[ight] S[i]r Tho. Bodly if either I had beene then imployed, or this course of mine then thought vpon, for I would labour this way or any other way to disarme them, & either to translate theire best authors hither or at leaste to leave none in the hands of any but Rom[an] Catholikes who are assuredlie ours. (& to this ende, an especiall eye would be had to the library of one S[i]r Rob. Cotton, an engrocer of antiquities, that whensoever it come to be broken vp (either before his death or after) the most choice & singuler pieces might be gleaned & gathered vp by a Cath[olic] hande: neither let any man thinke that descending thus lowe to pety-particulers, is vnworthy an Embass[ador] or of small availe for the endes we aime at, since we see every mounteine consistes of severall sandes, & there is no more profitable conversing for Statesmen, then amongst schollers & theire bookes, especially when the king for whom we watche, is the k[ing] of schollers & loves to liue almost altogether in theire element. Besides if we 100r ca[n] by any meanes continue differences in theire Church to make them wider, or begette distaste betweene theire clergie & Common lawyers (who are men of greatest power, in the lande) the benefite will be ours the consequence greate, opening a way for vs to come in betweene, for personall quarrelles produce reall questions. As he was prosecuting this discourse one of the Secretaries (who worth waited without the Chamber) desired entrance, & being admitted deliuered l[ett]res which he had newly received from a Poste directed to the President & the reste of the Councell from his Cath[olic] Maister, the contentes whereof were to this effecte. Right trusty & wellbeloued Cosens & Counsellors, we greete you well, wheras we had a hope of our agents in England & Germany to effecte that greate worke of the Westerne Empire & likewise on the of other side to surprise Venice, & so encircling Europe at one instant & enfolding it in our armes, make the easier roade upon the Turke in Asia, & at length to reduce all the worlde to our Catholike commande, & whereas to these holy endes, we had secrete & sure plottes on foote in all those places & good intelligence in all Courtes. Knowe ye nowe that we haue receiued late & sadde newes of the apprehension of our most trusty & able Pensioner Barneuelte, & of the discouery of other our intendments, so that our hopes are for the presente adjourned till some other more conuenient & auspicious time; We therefore will you presentlie upon sight hereof to breake of your consultation, & repaire streighte to our presence, there to take further direction, & proceede as necessity of time & cause shall require. With this Excellency his Excellencie & the whole house stroke with amazement crossed theire foreheades, rose vp in sad silence, & brake of this treatie abruptelie, & without tarrying tooke horse, & posted to the Courte, fro[m] whence expecte newes the nexte fayer winde. In the meane time let not those be secure whom it concernes to be rowsed vp, knowing that this aspiring Nebuchadnezzar, will not loose the glorie of his greatnes (who continueth still to magnifie himselfe in his greate Babell) vntill it be spoken thy kingdome is departed from the ./ Dan. 4. Finis.

This booke came forth about in Nov. 30. 1620 about the time of the proclamatio[n] for the Parliament to followe in Ian. or Feb. next after Ian. 30

The truth of those things that are here intimated concerninge Spaine & Gondamor must be defended by the Title of the booke Vox populi. But who so doth well vnderstand the Spanish aime, the Condition of our Papists, with the estate of many things as they lately haue be beene & nowe are amo[n]gste vs, may say that the authour hath for the most parte, fitted eche p[er]son & related truth, in likelyhoode, although in manysome things he may haue missed, & done weakely in others. /

Of the matche with Spaine I alwaies said that I should never believe it should vntill I did see it effected.

See the Interpreter. pag. fol. 35.


No introduction.


British Library, Additional MS 28640, ff. 92r-100r, John Rous's diary

Languages: English

Creation date: 1620


Other Witnesses

Seventeenth Century Print Exemplars

No bibliography

Modern Print Exemplars

  • Somers Tracts (2nd ed.), vol. 2, pp. 508–523

Selected Criticism

No bibliography

Keywords (Text Type)

  • vox populi

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • diplomacy
  • foreign policy
  • Spain

Transcribed by:

Tim Wales (Research Assistant)