What is Moray doing in all of this?
Interesting. Stewart (I can't help thinking of him as Moray - but yeah, if he hasn't gained the title and lands...) was a competent man, though possibly ambitious.Moray is Lord James Stewart; he's not the Earl of Moray ITTL, because that title and accompanying lands belong to the Earl of Huntly. OTL, Mary made Stewart Moray in gratitude for his service; during the early years of her reign they were very close. However, ITTL Stewart and Mary have not seen each other in years. Stewart is doing his best to maintain the peace in Scotland.
In a rather more diplomatic letter to Pius IV, Philip calls for the Holy Father to take extreme sanctions against the French, “for they lapse into darkness and ignorance.” The True Faith must be upheld in France; to do otherwise would in itself be heresy, for “aid unto heretics is heresy also, and a black mark on an otherwise virtuous soul.” Francis has fallen under the influence of the Protestant Mary, Philip writes, ignoring the fact that Mary is a Catholic. Remove Mary, and the problem shall resolve itself. Philip’s opinions vastly underestimate the depth of feeling in France in regards to religion. The Huguenots and their stand against the abuses being committed by the Church, particularly the Inquisition, are completely beyond Philip’s understanding, and his increasing rage at their success belies that fact.“Of the King of France it is said that he hath but no staff but the staff of a child, and that even that is shriveled, and so the Scottish mare is ridden by every knight in his court, and he turneth away. She is the source of all poison in France, and I have it from many a man in her court that she hath a lust within her, that her husband cannot satisfy. Her wickedness knows no brake, and so Francis, like France, is led astray, for her words are honey and also heresy. Scotland is a festering boil on the arse of France, and her queen a great whore and heretic.”
Philip reacts to this letter about as can be expected:Sooth, you have insulted me greatly, when I have given you no offense, and though I am as to a brother to you, you slap my cheeks and portray me the buffoon. I am as much a King as thou art, O my royal brother, and until now thou hast been a bosom brother. But I am much offended, and your words do me offense, and I shall not take the blow.
If your honor stings you but little, ignore me, but should thy conscience prick thee as conscience pricketh the heart of the basest rogue, then send word of apology for the foul rumor that you spread, which is calumny ‘gainst mine loving wife. Else you are shameless, and no Christian monarch, for you traffic in lies.
I send this with Reynard [Simon Renard de Bermont, Spanish diplomat], who hath displeased me muchly of late, as he is your servant. That he is in my presence, I should not like him, and send him with haste to you.
Speak you no more words against my Marie. Speak you no more words against my beloved son, Henri, for it draws in me great anger. A man asketh, “Be the queen of France a whore?”; thou sayest. A man asketh, “Be the Dauphin a bastard?”; thou sayest. The Holy Father asks, “Is France a den of heresy?”; thou sayest. I am sore wroth, that I am thrice accused: that my wife is a whore, I deny it; that my son is a bastard, I deny it; that my realm is a font of heresy, this I deny.
Your words displease me, [and] I shall have no more of them.
To the man who of recent calleth himself King of the French, from the King of the Spanish, greeting.
You scold me so in a nice long letter, which I am loath to receive. You have besmirched my good name, and my honor, for you call me a liar, and accuse me of trafficking in rumor; you take the side of a notorious debauch [sic] over that of my loyal and trusted servant [prob. Renard].
That the words of the notorious Machiavell Katerina de Medici are heretical, this cannot be denied, for it hath been vouchsafed by His Holiness himself, and none dare gainsay it. Save you, brother. If your realm truck with heresy, it is not my doing, but your own, and you would be wise to still your flapping tongue and heed closely the word of the Holy Father, who wishes only goodness for you.
In sooth, I am not offended, although the words of your letter were harsh, for you are but a young man, still green, and too easily moved to speak when you should not. Therefore, I hope you heed my advice, and be at peace, and still your tongue, and heed closely the words of those wiser than you, and you will find that your realm is more peaceable and secure. If not, then not, and I accept no consequence of it.
Thanks!Enjoying the writing.
That your Holiness’s rightness in the cause hath been denied by the French is without doubt, for they are feckless and prone to error. Of late, it is said that the King of France hath become in all things the servant of his wife, and that she in turn doth pour sympathy onto those heretics who dwell in her realms. For is it not true, that the Scots have rejected the True Faith? and that Maria [Mary] of Scotland doth but little to redeem them? For in secret she doth encourage their cause, and give offense to her husband by her adultery, which hath revealed itself in the guise of the blinded prince.
If Francisco [Francis II] is in peril by the wiles of his wife and cuckoo’s egg, we should be doing him favor to remove her from his presence, and also the great and vicious heretic his mother, Katerina de Medici. His so-called heir is a cuckoo, and thus not fit for a throne; nor are his brothers, for they have been led into error by their mother.
What, then, is to be done? The land of France hath a cancer, which is Protestantism, and it must be excised, for the patient sickens and dies. And while he recovereth, Francisco shall require a proper physician, one who is adept at statecraft and loyal to your Holiness, and a proper heir, who is Valois by blood, and not blind by adultery. What, then, is to be done?...