viernes, 27 de noviembre de 1587

60 años

Relato del día: Las intenciones de FelipeII según Wilkes, diplomático inglés.

THOMAS WILKES to the EARL OF DERBY (commissioner for peace negotiations ).

Sending the copy of a discourse containing his opinion of the intended peace with Spain, which he thought to present to her Majesty but forbore, for reasons with which he will acquaint his lordship hereafter ; who will see by the said discourse "with what dangers not only the peace itself but the very mention and treating thereof will be accompanied. But sith her Majesty seemeth to have resolved, to have a peace, as a lady unapt for many respects to prosecute a war against so mighty a monarch as the Spanish King," he sets down, not as a Counsellor, but as a private subject what he thinks will be the surest course for her Majesty to take in attaining thereto. First it is to be considered why the Spanish King, being so resolved on war, should offer peace. It cannot be imagined that such huge preparations are against the Turk, France or Italy ; nor against Germany, the Hanse towns, Denmark or Sweden [Reasons against the probability of his wishing to attack any of these, in favour of his desire to punish England for her proceedings in the Indies, aid to the Low Countries and late hostile attempt upon Spain itself.]

Likewise : that there is no better way for him to hurt the English, unprovided of defence, than by treating of a peace to lull them into their accustomed security. Also, he can only command the narrow seas if he recover Holland and Zeeland, with all their shipping ; and what means so easy as a peace ? Even if he sincerely seeks peace for his own quiet, her Majesty must so provide for the safety of her State, as that the peace shall give no advantage to a reconciled enemy to deal her a greater blow after than before it is concluded.

But if all these reasons may not divert her from it, let her seek it alone, and not draw the United Provinces into it ; who for some years, without her assistance, will be able to defend themselves (as in his other discourse is alleged). But that she shall restore to them the cautionary and other towns held by the English, continue in good amity with them, permit them free trade in her dominions, suffer no annoyance of arrests to be made upon them for arrears of debt due to herself or her subjects while they continue their defence against Spain, for if that fail, and the Spaniard become possessor of these countries, England will never be quiet.

The security of England depends also upon the "success" of the wars in France. If the King of Navarre prevail, England will be the more assured, and Spain dangerously threatened. This peace will greatly benefit the King in that behalf, as the Low Countries being pacified, all his forces there can go to aid the Guises. Care must therefore be taken, in concluding the peace that the Duke of Parma be restrained from sending succours into France.

For the manner of their [the Earl and his fellow commissioners'] treating of this peace, he can say little not knowing what conditions her Majesty requires or Spain will give ; but he beseeches them to beware that they be not deceived by the cunning Spaniard ; it being "proper to our nation to be over-reached by their neighbours in all their treaties, because they come short of the cunning of other nations." They cannot be too jealous or suspicious of the Spaniards ; who "love not England, nor desire peace for the good of this land.

" Fears that the employment of his lordship and the rest in this service may turn to their notable prejudice for if they make a peace and it prove dangerous to the State, the imperfections thereof will be laid to their charge ; while if they return re infecta and no peace ensue, that also will be laid to their insufficiencies, so that whichever way it fall out, they will have no thanks for their labour. Advises his lordship to signify to her Majesty his doubts of the issue of their voyage, and to entreat either to be dismissed from it, or that she "will be pleased to conster the best" of his services on his return, assuring her that if he find danger like to follow from the peace to herself or her country, he will not for his life be an instrument to further it. Praying also that they may from time to time certify the dangers and doubts they may meet with, and receive directions from her Majesty's sacred hand.

This is as much as time will allow him to write, does he does only to obey his lordship and show his willingness to do him service ; beseeching him to keep it to himself, knowing that he [Wilkes] has so great an enemy [i.e. Leicester] as heavy construction might be made thereof to his disadvantages. "From my poor house in Wiltshire" etc. 
Copy, endorsed with date. 5 pp. [Flanders I. f. 39


Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, part 3, April-December 1587.

Holland and Flanders (2).

ed. Sophie Crawford Lomas and Allen B Hinds.

Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1929


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