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The Case of Dr. Lopez

John Gwyer

<plain_text><page sequence="1">The Case of Dr. Lopez1 By John Gwyer I The unhappy story of Dr. Lopez, physician to Queen Elizabeth's household, who was executed for treason and attempted murder, has already been before the Society on two occasions. The first was on 27th April, 1908, when Major Martin Hume in a detailed examination of the case showed, I think conclusively, that Lopez was not guilty of the charges brought against him. The second was on 2 ist November, 1926, when the late Lucien Wolf, in the course of his paper on the Jews in Elizabethan England, added some interesting and enlightening particulars about Lopez's private life and family connections. It may seem otiose and even impertinent to raise the matter for a third time ; and I do so the more diffidently since I have few, if any, new facts to add. There is, however, one direction in which I hope to be able to carry my predecessors' investiga? tion a stage further. Major Hume and (in so far as he touched on the case directly) Wolf were primarily concerned to show that the particular charges brought against Lopez were ill-founded and false. In this they were successful ; and it is now generally conceded that Dr. Lopez was wrongly condemned. But that is not to say that he was a wholly innocent man. On the contrary?and I think that my predecessors would have supported me in this?his whole course of conduct, his silences, his evasions, and his occasional lies under interrogation, all demonstrate clearly that he had something discreditable on his conscience, something that he wished to conceal. But what was it ? Can we at this distance of time not only demolish the false case against Lopez but also reconstruct the true one ? I think that we can : not exactly nor in its full detail, but at least in the main outline. But any such attempt is, of course, full of hazards and difficulties, not least in the matter of presentation. Although there are certain outside sources, the main bulk of our information about the Lopez case comes from the official documents of the time?Bacon's narrative, Waad's report to the Privy Council, and certain other letters and documents among the State Papers. But all this was the material on which the Government's case against Lopez was based?the evidence, if you like, on which he was condemned. A double task therefore faces the investigator : first, to prove that this evidence cannot bear the interpretation which the Government put upon it ; secondly, to find another interpretation which it can bear. That is what I have tried to do ; but the process, naturally enough, has been long and intricate and the conclusions at almost every stage debatable. If I were to go through the whole story to-night, with all the facts and theories, all the arguments and counter-arguments, I should detain you for a very long time. What I propose to do instead is to give you no more than the results?that is to say, my own suggested reconstruction of the Lopez case, supported by just so much argument as is necessary to make it intelligible. This method, though the only one which the time allows, is, I am afraid, less scholarly than one could wish. I should certainly be the last person to claim that my version of the story was the only possible one. It contains some admittedly weak links and rests in part on little more than conjecture. Nevertheless, I believe that it comes near the truth?as near, perhaps, 1 Paper read before the Jewish Historical Society of England on 19th January, 1948. 163</page><page sequence="2">164 THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ as we are likely to get until some new discoveries of fact are made. I will try to indicate my sources and justify at least my main conclusions as we go along ; but for the rest I will ask you to treat what I have to say more as a theory or hypothesis than a proven case. II Any study of the Lopez case must begin with that enigmatic figure, Don Antonio, Pretender to the throne of Portugal. In 1559 King John III of Portugal died suddenly, leaving as his heir Don Sebastian, the three-year-old child of his eldest son, the late Infante John. Don Sebastian grew up but did not marry and was finally killed, at the age of twenty-four, in the disastrous battle of Alcatraz. An acute dynastic crisis followed. The natural claimant to the throne was Don Sebastian's cousin, Don Carlos, the only child of the late King John's eldest daughter, the Infanta Maria, by her marriage with Philip II of Spain. But there was strong opposition both within Portugal itself and generally in Europe to a union of the Spanish and Portuguese crowns ; and Philip, a cautious man, held his hand. He allowed the succession to pass to John Ill's brother, Cardinal Henry, a man already in his seventies, on the understanding that, when he died, Don Carlos should inherit. In the meanwhile, he devoted himself to intensive propaganda in Portugal, employing for this purpose a certain Don Cristofero de Moro, a Portuguese already in his service, of whom we shall hear more later. In 1581 Cardinal Henry died. By then Philip's propaganda had achieved considerable success among the nobility if not among the people ; but, on the other hand, two further claimants had emerged. The first was the Duke of Braganza, who claimed through his wife, the only daughter of John Ill's younger son, the Infante Duarte. Braganza's claim was dynastically weak, but he had the advantage of being native-born and a powerful nobleman in his own right. He was, however, a stiff, unadventurous man without any popular following, and with the added disadvantage of being under a personal obligation to Philip, who had negotiated his son's ransom from the Moors. The second, more colourful claimant was Don Antonio. He was the illegitimate child of the Infante Luis, yet another son of John III, by a beautiful Jewess named Violante Gomez. Strictly speaking, he had no claim at all ; but he possessed certain effective assets as a Pretender. His father had been extremely popular ; he himself was not without experience as a soldier ; and he had an easy charm and ebullience of character which fitted him for the role of demagogue. He could also claim the general support of the Jewish and Marrano population, who remembered his mother with affection. As soon as the news of Cardinal Henry's death reached Madrid, Philip's armies crossed the Portuguese frontier. Braganza, to the disappointment of many of his countrymen, held aloof, and such national resistance as there was centred round Antonio. It did not amount to much?a single brush with the Spanish army outside Lisbon and a few weeks of guerilla fighting in the hills round Oporto. Within less than three months after his great-uncle's death, Antonio, with a few private followers and part of the Portuguese regalia, had fled to France. But?and this is the important point?during his brief period of resistance he had been recognized as King, and even in some sort crowned by the rump of the Cortez which continued to sit in Lisbon. Consequently when he landed in France it was not as Don Antonio, the Pretender, but as King Antonio, the crowned and lawful sovereign of Portugal. His coronation, like his claim to the throne, was irregular ; but the mere fact that it</page><page sequence="3">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ had taken place gave him a certain status de facto, if not de jure. We need not follow the subsequent career of Don Antonio in any detail. It is enough to say that he found political support both in England and France and that two major expeditions were launched in his support. The first was an unsuccessful French attack on the Azores in 1582 ; the second, the ill-fated Counter-Armada of 1589, in which the Earl of Essex played a prominent part. Between them, these two expeditions showed clearly that Don Antonio did not enjoy the support which he had claimed among his own countrymen and that his private talents as a leader or a monarch had been decisively over-rated. After 1589, therefore, he was a discredited figure. He continued to haunt the French and English courts with a little band of ruined followers about him. He was allowed a small pension, and he still kept the name of King and certain of the less important attributes of Majesty ; but that was all. He had lost his importance ; and if he survived it was rather on the memory of the past than on any hopes for the future. Ill What, you may ask, has all this to do with Lopez, the Anglicized physician with his fashionable London practice ? The answer is that Lopez's brother, Diego Lopez Alleman, had married the sister of a wealthy international financier named Alvaro Mendes. Mendes, like Lopez himself, was a Jew of Portuguese origin. As a young man he had gone East, something in the manner of Cecil Rhodes, and laid the foundations of an immense fortune in the Indian diamond-fields. On his return to his own country he had been knighted?a rare distinction for a Jew?and had become, inter alia, the man of business and protege of Don Antonio's father, the Infante Luis. (The connection was probably through Violante Gomez, who appears to have been a distant relative of Mendes.) At about the time of Luis's death, Mendes left Lisbon for Italy and France ; but he preserved a deep respect and affection for his patron's memory, which he later transferred?though not, as we shall see, without some grumbling?to his patron's son. In the winter of 1581, when Antonio landed in France, Mendes was established there as financial adviser and confidential agent to Catherine de Medici. He occupied, that is to say, a powerful and, being the man he was, not inconspicuous position at court. He was among the first to welcome Antonio and gave him what seems to me shrewd advice. Antonio was to place no confidence in any immediate promises of English or French support. Instead, he was to go at once to the Portuguese Indies, where he would be assured of a welcome and where it would be some time before any effective Spanish force could be brought against him. Then, having consolidated his position in the East, he was to return to Europe with money at his back, a King in fact as well as in name, and negotiate an alliance with either England or France on equal terms. This advice did not commend itself to Antonio. He was, I suspect, a born sponger who preferred a shady but semi-royal existence in England or France to the prospect of hard work and harder campaigning in the Far East. Mendes, however, remained loyal. I doubt if he had much confidence in Antonio after their first meeting ; but he continued to the best of his power to forward his schemes. This was the point at which Lopez was brought in. For the next six months or so?the first period of Antonio's prosperity?we find in the background of all the intrigues and diplomatic discussions a constant family triangle : Alvaro Q</page><page sequence="4">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ Mendes in Paris as the banker and general adviser of the movement ; Lopez in London as the go-between with the English Court; and finally Lopez's brother-in-law, Dunstan Anes, as the financial agent in London. Of the three, Lopez was, I think, the most deeply committed. Aries, a cautious man, dealt prudently with finance, and only finance. Mendes had, in any case, a powerful independent position ; for him the failure of Antonio was only the failure of one speculation among many. But Lopez, a natural romantic, threw himself with vigour and without restraint into the political game. At this period we even find him referred to in at least one State Paper as the Portuguese Ambassador. The title, of course, was unofficial and honorary ; but it indicates how far he had gone and how great a set-back, therefore, his reputation was to suffer when Antonio's cause failed. Nor was it only his reputation that he injured. To almost all who served him Antonio was an expensive master. We know that Lopez was an investor and a loser in the Counter-Armada ; and I think it probable that he also lent Antonio money privately which he did not recover. At all events, he received from Antonio, whether as a reward or in payment of a debt, a bond or note of hand for 50,000 crowns. It was a worthless document since it was secured on the Portuguese revenue, which Philip not Antonio controlled, but it was destined to play an important part in Lopez's life. But now, to complete this part of my story, I must add a final word about Mendes. Some time during 1582 he left France for good and went like so many of his fellow Jews to Constantinople. His object was, as he put it, " to change his habit "?that is to say, to abandon the formal pretence of Christianity which he had been obliged to assume and end his days in the open practice of the Jewish faith. But he had also, I think, a particular reason for going or for going at that moment. His distinguished countryman Joao Miquez or Joseph Nasi, the Duke of Naxos, had recently died, and Mendes had reason to think that he might be able to continue in his own person the brilliant career which that extraordinary man had carved out for himself at the Turkish court. In this he was justified. When we next hear of Mendes it is, first of all, under his Jewish name of Solomon Abenjaish, and then very shortly afterwards as the Grand Commissary of the Turkish court and the Duke of Mitylene. From this new eminence Mendes continued to support Antonio's cause ; but their personal relations grew ever more difficult and acrimonious. The main quarrel was financial. I cannot attempt to disentangle the story here ; but it centred round something referred to in their correspondence as the " ffurniture ". This, I take it, was part of the Portuguese regalia?a set of diamond-studded state harness which Antonio had brought out of Portugal and subsequently sold or pawned to Mendes. The point of dispute was its value. Antonio put it at a high figure ; Mendes, who had supervised the manufacture of the harness during his earlier days in India, at a relatively modest one. I need hardly add that no agreement was ever reached. IV The story now moves forward to 1588, the Armada year. Some time in the latter part of July a shabby Portuguese presented himself at the Spanish Embassy in Paris. He said that his name was Manuel Andrada and that he was employed as a courier between Don Antonio, who was then in London, and Antonio's representative in Paris, Antonio de Escobar. He wished to take service with Spain, retaining his present employment but supplying the Ambassador with copies of the official letters</page><page sequence="5">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ 167 which he carried. He was willing, he added, to go even further. If his Catholic Majesty wished it, he would do his best to kidnap Don Antonio or dispose of him in some other way, perhaps by poison. This offer, or rather the first part of it, was accepted. There were more ways than one in which Andrada could be useful. " I know this man very well by repute," wrote the Ambassador in his official report, " as being closely intimate with the rebels of Holland and Zeeland." In other words, he would be a valuable source of information about the Netherlands?where, I fancy, he had been a spy before?even if Antonio's letters proved to be of no interest. But, in fact, for the next two years there was no need to look for subsidiary employment. Antonio's letters were full of interest, for this was the period during which the Counter-Armada was being planned and organized in England.1 All went well until one day in the spring of 1590, when Andrada was arrested in London. By this time the Counter-Armada had failed ; Antonio's reputation was broken ; and his postbag had declined proportionately in interest. Andrada, no doubt, was fully aware of this ; and he realized also that if he were to maintain his reputation with the Spaniards some further exertion was called for. He had therefore fallen back on his earlier proposal. Don Antonio was about to visit France ; and Andrada, with the help of a certain Rodrigo Marques, loosely described as " a person of quality ", had formed the plan of bribing the shipmaster to put in, not at Calais, but at some Spanish-held port such as Dunkirk or Gravelines. Details of the plot had been communicated in advance to the Spanish Ambassador ; but Walsingham's efficient security service had intercepted the letter and the arrest had followed. Andrada did not remain in prison for long. Within a few days Dr. Lopez had called on various members of the Council to solicit his release ; and within a few days more the petition had been granted. The speed of the whole transaction is highly suspicious. In one sense, no doubt, it was natural that Lopez should intervene. Andrada was his fellow-countryman and the fact that they were both followers of Antonio would have brought them into personal contact. But we know of no other reason why Lopez should have interested himself in a petty traitor, nor why his application should have succeeded so quickly. But we do know that Lopez was Walsingham's doctor ; and in view of what followed I think it almost certain that the petition was a put-up job. Lopez was acting not on Andrada's behalf but on Walsingham's. The reason becomes clear when we examine the terms of Andrada's release. It was by no means a free pardon. He was to return to Paris and he was given precise instructions as to what to say when he got there : "I might tell Don Bernardino de Mendoza [the Spanish Ambassador] that if he [Dr. Lopez] received His Majesty's orders to negotiate an arrangement, this was the time. He was sure that the Queen would concede any terms that were demanded of her, as she was in great alarm. It was not necessary to write about this ; but I should go to Calais and write to him from there to the effect that, bearing in mind the clemency that the Queen had extended to me, I was discussing with Don Bernardino de Mendoza subjects which would redound greatly to the advantage of her country ; and that, if a passport were sent enabling me to go backwards and forwards freely (which he promised should be sent at once) I could come and stay secretly at his house, where 1 It is a debatable point whether, and if so how far, Andrada's reports contributed to the failure of the expedition. My own impression is that they added little to what the Spaniards already knew from other sources ; nor would I exclude the possibility that, even at this stage, Andrada was already acting as a double-agent for Walsingham. </page><page sequence="6">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ Secretary Walsingham would come and speak with me. He [Dr. Lopez] had no doubt that the Queen would come to terms . . . and would force Don Antonio to do likewise . . . She would also cause the Netherlands to agree and he, Dr. Lopez, on his part would endeavour that everything should be done to His Majesty's satisfaction . . . When things were advanced sufficiently towards a conclusion . . . personages might be sent to make the formal contracts." The operative words in all this (from Walsingham's point of view) were those in the middle : " if a passport were sent enabling me to go backwards and forwards freely." By that stage in the war both England and Spain had improved their security arrangements to the point where it was extremely difficult for either side to introduce an agent into the other's territory except under some official or diplomatic cover. That was what Walsingham now intended to do with Andrada. If the Spaniards could be induced to swallow the peace-negotiation story?and at that date there was no political reason why they should not?Andrada would have free passage between the two countries and would be admirably placed, while he was in Spain, to obtain the type of political information in which Walsingham was most interested. That was the plan ; but I do not imagine that Walsingham was unduly explicit with either of his agents. It was his business to create the impression that the peace-negotiations were genuine and the more that Lopez and Andrada believed that, the more likely they were to convince the Spaniards. On the whole, Walsingham's scheme worked well. Andrada was received without suspicion in Paris and sent on immediately to Spain, where he arrived at the end of 1590 or the beginning of 1591. Thanks to Major Hume's researches in the Simanca archives, we know precisely what happened next. The Spanish authorities or, more exactly, Don Ghristofero de Moro, who interviewed Andrada, and Philip himself to whom the matter was referred, were partly but not wholly taken in. They decided that there was something in the peace-negotiation story, though probably not so much as Andrada pretended. After some discussion they agreed to send him back to England. He was given a little money and a ring of the value of ?50 as a present for Lopez, and was instructed to say that the Spaniards were willing to open negotiations but would not proceed further in the matter until he (Andrada) had received an official letter of credence from the British authorities. And finally, " under cover of all this, he must inquire and discover everything he can that is going on there and send us full advices of the same." By July, 1591, having suffered shipwreck and other adventures by the way, Andrada was back in England. But he found the situation sadly changed. During his absence Walsingham had died ; and Burghley, with whom he now had to deal, was far from sympathetic. He accepted Andrada's story but showed no inclination to employ him further. The truth was that Burghley had little of Walsingham's taste for the refinements of espionage and no particular confidence in Andrada as an agent. He was, he said, too mean a man for the Spaniards to have taken seriously as a peace-negotiator. If they had appeared to accept him, that could only be because they had seen through the whole scheme and hoped to turn it to their own advantage. This was not an inaccurate view of the case ; but it left Andrada unprovided for. During the next eighteen months he appears to have lived with Lopez and, I suppose, largely or wholly on his charity. Lopez complained afterwards that he had spent some ?80 on Andrada's support during this period and had received nothing in return except King Phihp's ring. Even that only came to him</page><page sequence="7">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ by accident. Andrada had not mentioned it in his statement and had originally intended to keep it for himself; but Lopez came to hear of its existence through Rodrigo Marques, to whom Andrada had talked indiscreetly, and insisted on claiming his own. It would perhaps have been better if he had not done so. V Before we begin the next chapter of the story I will ask you to consider a little more carefully Lopez's own position at this juncture. We do not know what his ambitions may have been ; but I suppose that they did not differ very much from those of any man similarly placed. He was a Jewish refugee. He had built himself a brilliant career in a strange country ; but he had not achieved that final indepen? dence and security which we may suppose to have been his aim. There were three particular respects in which his position was vulnerable. In the first place he was a Jew and, more than that, a Marrano in the stricter sense of the word. He professed a formal Christianity ; but he was also as Wolf has shown a secretly practising Jew and a subscriber to the underground synagogue at Antwerp. That in itself, if it had become known, would have wrecked his practice and lost him his asylum in England, even supposing that it had had no worse consequence. Secondly, by his association with Antonio he had involved himself in a political intrigue which had failed. He had stepped out of his safe professional sphere and committed what is perhaps the gravest mistake open to a refugee. He had taken sides in an internal political struggle?in this case the struggle between the aggressive anti-Spanish party headed by Essex, and the more cautious, conservative party headed by Burghley?and he had (in a sense) let down the side which had received his support. So far this had had no harmful consequence ; but it had shaken his position and left him open to attack in the future. Thirdly, he was, though not pressingly, in need of money. His practice was large and theoretically lucrative ; but many of those whom he attended or had attended?personages such as Leicester, Essex, or the Queen herself?were not I imagine either prompt payers or easy persons to dun. There were also his losses in respect of Antonio to be considered. I think it probable, therefore, that by this stage Lopez had little or no capital behind him and was living up to or even beyond his income. It is not a point on which it is possible to be precise ; but that is certainly what is suggested by the condition of his estate after his death. In all these circumstances it would not be surprising if Lopez's eyes had turned with longing towards Constantinople. He could live there in security under the powerful protection of the Duke of Mitylene ; he could practise his religion in peace ; and he could escape the dangers which his ill-considered incursion into English politics might one day bring upon him. All that stood in the way was his relative poverty. To travel to the Near East was not at that time an easy or inexpensive business ; and Lopez was a married man with a large family. We have some evidence from Bacon's narrative that Lopez did, in fact, contemplate a move? Bacon calls it a flight?to Constantinople. I would go further and say that this move, or rather the acquisition of the money which would make it possible, was from this point in the story onwards his dominant motive. The supposition cannot be proved ; but I will ask you to keep it in mind when you come to judge Lopez's actions. If I am right, the incentive was powerful, and though it led him into very devious paths, by no means discreditable in itself.</page><page sequence="8">170 THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ VI We must now return to the main story. In April, 1593, Burghley at last consented to employ Andrada again. He sent him on a mission to the Netherlands of which the exact nature is unknown but which we may connect with those " intimate relations with the rebels of Holland and Zeeland " noted by the Spanish Ambassador. I do not think, however, that it was a very serious or important mission. By June Andrada had apparently completed his work in Zeeland and was back in Calais awaiting further instructions. By August he was writing piteously to Burghley to say that if no more money were sent he would be obliged to sell his services to Spain in order to support himself. So far as we know this appeal went unanswered. Indeed, it may well have been Burghley's intention from the beginning simply to get rid of Andrada?to send him abroad and then, by withholding further payment, to ensure that he remained there. Andrada's appeal for money, however, had been disingenuous. He had already taken steps to provide for his own future. Either before he left England or, more probably, during a brief return to London in June he and Lopez had decided, even in the absence of official backing, to reopen their old peace negotiations with Spain. I cannot answer for Andrada ; but I do not think that Lopez's intention at this stage was in any sense treasonable. What he wanted, as he said afterwards, was " to cozen the King of Spain and wipe him of his money ". But how he proposed to do so is less clear. The Spaniards had already indicated that they would not continue the negotiations until a formal letter of credence had been produced on the English side. By what device Lopez expected to overcome this difficulty I do not know. Perhaps he intended to offer the Spaniards a false letter of credence, demanding at the same time a fee for his own services as intermediary. Perhaps he hoped that the Spaniards on their side would give some tangible proof of goodwill which he could then use to persuade the English authorities to re-enter the proceedings officially. The latter is perhaps the more probable alternative. A curious little incident seems to point that way. Lopez had finally extracted King Philip's ring from Andrada at the end of November, 1591. Some time later?the exact date is uncertain?he had offered this same ring to the Queen as a present. She had refused it ; but it is interesting to speculate on the motive of his gesture. Did he hope by this means to interest the Queen in the peace negotiations and thus secure their continuance, despite Burghley's reluctance ? Or was he seeking tortuously to provide some cover for himself so that if his future actions were called in question he could claim that the Queen had been aware, or partially aware, of what he intended to do ? I do not know. It is even possible that he had, in fact, hinted at his purpose and received something less than an absolute rebuff. It was scarcely in the Queen's nature to close the door entirely even on the most improbable and far-fetched negotiations. But this is mere speculation. All that we know for certain is that Lopez and Andrada decided privately and illicitly to reopen their contact with Spain, and that they hoped in some way to make a profit on the transaction. Had this been all, I do not think that the consequences would have been as serious as they were, even if the intrigue had been discovered. But at this point a new character appeared and with him the affair entered its second and more dangerous phase. Stephen Ferrara de Gama was a Portuguese, probably of Jewish origin, who had followed Don Antonio's fortunes from the beginning. He was, we are told, " a man of great wealth and livelihood," in his own country and one of the few Portuguese of any</page><page sequence="9">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ 171 substance who had taken part in the original rising. During his enforced exile in England he had become an intimate friend of Lopez. There existed between them, according to Waad, " a very strict and inward friendship," and when in London he normally lodged in Lopez's house. Now, by 1592 or 1593 Ferrara's position had become desperate. He was a married man with a family to support ; Antonio's cause had collapsed completely ; and the future offered nothing so long as he remained in England except a gradual bankruptcy. The alternative was to make accommodation with Spain and return as other Portuguese had done to his own country and the enjoyment of his forfeited estates. Accordingly in or about June, 1593, Ferrara decided to write through an intermediary to Don Gristofero de Moro, making a formal offer of submission. He proposed to add that he had also approached Don Antonio's son, Don Manuel, and various other Portuguese, all of whom had expressed a similar wish and had invited him to act on their behalf. At this point Ferrara took Lopez into his confidence. They were on sufficiently close terms to make it probable that he would have done so in any case ; but he had also the particular motive of securing through Lopez a channel of communication by which the Spanish authorities could reply to his offer. The final form of their agreement is best described in Ferrara's own words : " First I showed him the writing of Don Manuel in his own lodging and house before Manuel Andrada and we did all three agree [that] I should write to Don Gristofero de Moro how besides myself who sought to accommodate myself I did hold Don Emmanuel sure and that the said Andrada should procure answer in Calais whither he went ... I did agree with the Doctor [that] he should give me his promission of 50,000 crusadoes which he had of the King Don Antonio ... to present it to the King of Castile and that I might allege to him how I had won the Doctor and left him doing the King's service in persuading the Lords of England that they should not help the said Don Antonio in anything. Wherefor I gave him my word on behalf of his Catholic Majesty to see him recompensed the said account in such sort as it should seem good to him." The chronology here is a little obscure ; but I imagine that this interview must have taken place in June, i.e. during an unofficial visit to England made by Andrada after he had completed his mission in Zeeland but before his arrival in Calais.1 I also incline to the view that Lopez and Andrada had already decided to reopen the peace negotiations on their own account before Ferrara made his further proposals. But this cannot be proved ; and it is possible, though I think improbable, that both plans were evolved simultaneously, perhaps on Ferrara's initiative. At all events, when Andrada finally returned to the Continent he had two, if not three, separate missions to discharge ; and it is well that we should be clear what they were. First, there was or may have been some continuation of his previous mission for Burghley. As we said before he was still expecting money from Burghley as late as August ; and the fact that he was apparently able to enter and leave the country freely suggests some kind of official employment. Secondly, there was the mission in which he and Lopez were jointly concerned to reopen the old peace negotiations. Whether or not Ferrara was aware of this is uncertain. Probably he was, but he was not at this stage directly concerned. Thirdly, there was the mission on Ferrara's behalf to wait for and bring back the Spanish answer to the offer which he had already made through another channel of his own and Don Manuel's submission. 1 According to a time-table given in the State Papers, Ferrara's letter to de Moro was sent on 9th June, 1593, through the intermediary of Manuel de Palatios.</page><page sequence="10">I72 THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ In one sense, therefore, the plot had grown more complicated ; but in another it had been simplified. Lopez's primary object, at least in my view, was to obtain a large sum of ready money?from whom or on what terms scarcely mattered. His original or peace-negotiation plan had no doubt been directed to this end ; but it had lacked precision. So far as we know he had not named any price for his services ; nor had he offered the Spaniards more than they had previously obtained from him for nothing, or rather at the cost of a ring worth ?50. But now perhaps under Ferrara's influence the whole affair had become brisker and more concrete. Lopez had offered his services in two distinct capacities?first, as a go-between in the peace-negotiations ; and secondly, as a political agent in a position to thwart and disrupt the Portuguese faction in England?and he had named his price, the honouring of Antonio's worthless bond for 50,000 crowns. VII A third and final complication was now introduced into the plot. I spoke before of the Earl of Essex as the leader of the aggressive anti-Spanish party. In that respect he was Walsingham's heir. He had also inherited a part of Walsingham's espionage network, and after his death had become the English court's main source of foreign intelligence. In both these capacities he was keenly interested in Portuguese affairs ; and it was natural that after Antonio's failure he should turn his attention to the Duke of Braganza, the only other person who might serve as a rallying point for Portuguese opinion and a centre of resistance to Spanish rule. The chances of a Braganza rising were not perhaps to be taken very seriously ; but Essex wished at least to be informed of the position. For this purpose he recruited a young Portuguese named Manuel Luis Tinoco, another of Antonio's ruined followers. He instructed him?or so we may infer from subsequent events?to go to Portugal and discover whether Braganza would be willing to put himself at the head of a resistance movement and what support he would command if he did so.1 But unfortunately though he had taken over certain of Walsingham's functions, Essex lacked his predecessor's skill and experience as a spy-master. His instructions were apt to be imprecise. With his usual impulsive carelessness, he gave Tinoco his mission in general terms but left him to evolve his own method of carrying it out. Some contact with the Spaniards was clearly necessary, if only for the reasons which I discussed before. But it had to be a contact of a particular kind. Tinoco was a young man of no importance. If he had simply offered his services to Spain, as Ferrara and others had done, he would not have been welcomed with any enthusiasm. He might perhaps have been offered minor employment as a Spanish agent in England ; but there was no reason to think that he would be encouraged to return to Portugal, or if he did return that he would be allowed sufficient freedom of movement for his purpose. Tinoco's solution to this problem was in two parts. First, he would join forces with Ferrara, of whose negotiations over his own and Don Manuel's submission he seems to have been aware. That would ensure that his initial contact was made on favourable terms. Secondly, he would offer to disclose the names of Don Antonio's remaining supporters in Portugal, coupled perhaps with the details of some current plot, real or imaginary. That would ensure that he was sent to Portugal and given, if all went well, an opportunity to travel the country in 1 It is possible that this plan was actually proposed by Tinoco and merely accepted by Essex ; but the point is really immaterial. Either way, Tinoco was for practical purposes Essex's agent.</page><page sequence="11">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ 173 circumstances exactly suited to his purpose. That, at least, is what I suppose his plan to have been ; but the details are obscure. All that we really have to go on are three statements made by Tinoco after his arrest. In the first he said that his purpose throughout had been " to advance a matter which by his practice had been broken before the Earl of Essex " ; in the second that he and Ferrara " considering that by occasion of the Duke of Braganza they might have persuaded the nobles of Portugal, who were all for the Duke, that they would not lack help from the Queen, [had] thought good to compound with King Philip in order to win an opportunity to execute their purpose The third statement is less clear and is only referred to obliquely in Waad's report. Tinoco, he says, also spoke of a plot, apparently known to the Spaniards, to incriminate certain prominent persons in Portugal and offered to reveal the details. This offer was thought of sufficient importance to be referred to the Queen ; but she rejected it, owing (adds Waad) to her innate dislike of crooked dealing. One could speculate endlessly on the exact meaning of these statements ; and I do not claim more for my own reconstruction than that it is plausible and appears to cover the facts. But I think that there are three points which we can take as definitely established :?(1) That Tinoco was acting as Essex's agent; (2) that his mission concerned the Duke of Braganza ; (3) that some subsidiary plot in Portugal was also involved. Towards the end of July, therefore, Tinoco approached Ferrara and invited his help in some such scheme as I have outlined. Ferrara consulted Lopez and the two agreed with very little delay to accept Tinoco's collaboration. This may seem strange, a wanton and dangerous addition to a plot which was already complicated enough ; but the reason, I think, was simple. Tinoco was acting for Essex, and to associate him with their own schemes would cast a shadow of official approval over the whole. This was especially true of Ferrara, whose plans for betraying Don Antonio were by no means inconsistent with Essex's interest in the Duke of Braganza. So, I think, they must have argued ; but on one essential point they were wrong. Tinoco was, indeed, acting for Essex, but only in general not in particular terms. He had not been instructed to approach Ferrara, nor as we shall see was Essex even aware that he had done so. He only knew that Tinoco had undertaken a mission which would involve a contact with the Spaniards ; but how or through whom that contact was to be made had been left to Tinoco's own initiative. In fact, therefore, Tinoco's adherence meant no additional safety for Lopez and Ferrara, but rather the contrary. Under these conditions of misunderstanding Tinoco left England on 26th July. He carried with him the formal letter of submission from Don Manuel which Ferrara had already promised the Spanish authorities. Tinoco arrived in Brussels at the beginning of August and at once put himself in touch with Count Fuentes and Secretary Ibarra of the Spanish administration of the Netherlands. They received him?rather to his surprise, perhaps?with open arms, though not for the reasons or on the terms that he had expected. Indeed, I think that the whole of the next phase in the affair must have been a sad puzzle to him. He knew nothing, you must remember, of Andrada's previous mission or of the Lopez-Andrada peace negotiations ; and these had now become (from the Spanish point of view) the crux of the whole matter. By the time that Tinoco arrived Fuentes and Ibarra had already seen or at any rate been in communication with Andrada. They had heard all his proposals?the reopening of the peace-negotiations, Lopez's services as</page><page sequence="12">174 THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ a political agent, and the submission of Ferrara and Don Manuel. The last point they dismissed as relatively unimportant. Ferrara's offer would certainly be accepted ; but he and Don Manuel were not worth very much in themselves. What mattered was Lopez and the peace negotiations. Philip had evidently given instructions that if this proposal came up again it was to be taken seriously. This reflected, I think, a definite change of policy. Before, Philip had been willing to continue the negotiations without fully believing in them, but with an eye to the possibilities of espionage ; now he was anxious that the negotiations should succeed. He had embarked on what the newspapers are fond of calling a " peace offensive ". This did not mean, however, that Philip had lost his caution. In particular, as Burghley had foreseen, he did not trust Andrada. He was prepared to use him if necessary as a minor agent, but not as an intermediary in serious peace negotiations. This point must, I think, have been emphasized in his instructions. Fuentes and Ibarra were to press forward with the peace negotiations if any opportunity occurred ; but it was essential that they should find some new and more reliable link with Lopez. Such was the state of affairs when Tinoco arrived. Nothing could have been more opportune. He said that he was acting with or on behalf of Ferrara ; and Ferrara, as the Spaniards already knew, was in close touch with Lopez. Here was their new link ready made. Tinoco was interviewed and sent post-haste back to England with a message for Ferrara. It was to the effect that the Spaniards accepted his offer of service and wished to deal further with him and with Lopez on the matters already broached, but were not willing to do so through Andrada. In addition to this message Tinoco also carried a letter, probably in plain-language code, which emphasized the Spanish interest in the peace-negotiations as distinct from the other proposals, and named certain terms for their continuance.1 But of the contents of this letter Tinoco himself was ignorant. Fuentes and Ibarra had prudently told him no more than was necessary to enable him to deliver his message. VIII Tinoco returned to London at the end of August or the beginning of September?according to one account on the 4th September?and left again for Brussels, not much wiser, on the following day. He had simply been told that Lopez and Ferrara would consider the Spanish proposal and send their reply in due course through another courier. There were, I think, several reasons for this hurried and unsatisfactory procedure. Lopez, it appears, was out of town, and Tinoco, whose journey had been made clandestinely, could not afford to wait for his return. Nor is it likely that Ferrara would have wished him to do so. The letter or message which he had brought had made it clear that peace negotiations were now the paramount theme. But Tinoco was still Essex's agent ; and Essex was the last person in England to whom peace negotiations with Spain would be acceptable. Ferrara, therefore, told Tinoco as little and got rid of him as quickly as was decently possible. If he gave him any information at all it was perhaps some half-truth to the effect that he and Lopez were engaged on important negotiations of which Burghley but not Essex was aware. Apart from these considerations Lopez and Ferrara themselves required time for thought. The situation was developing rapidly and in an 1 This is partly conjecture. We can be reasonably certain that Tinoco carried a letter ; but we can only guess at its contents.</page><page sequence="13">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ 175 unexpected way. In one sense, the elimination of Andrada was all to the good?I do not imagine that anyone had ever regarded him as a trustworthy man. But it also made JLopez's position a little more dangerous. So long as Andrada remained the intermediary he could claim that the whole affair was merely an extension or continuation of an earlier plan which had had official approval. He might even be able to persuade the authorities that the Spaniards or Andrada had taken the initiative in renewing the contact and that he himself had been drawn into the transaction willy-nilly. But as soon as Ferrara and Tinoco were substituted for Andrada this story fell to the ground. He would be obliged to admit that he had been an active partner?indeed, the principal?in the whole intrigue. Ferrara's position was also affected. He had started with the simple and relatively innocent plan of coming to terms with Spain so as to provide for his own future and regain control of his estates in Portugal. To this he had added some participation in the schemes of Essex and Tinoco, which had seemed at the time to provide an admirable cover and even if necessary a plausible excuse for his own actions. He could claim if anything went wrong that his contact with Spain had been made at Tinoco's instance and for the purpose of facilitating Tinoco's mission. But he was now asked to throw all this aside and concentrate on the Lopez peace negotiations, with which he had not previously been concerned. Of course, if the negotiations were genuine and were taken up officially in England he and Lopez would become persons of consequence. There might be some trouble with Essex, who would feel that he had been double-crossed ; but so long as Burghley approved that difficulty could be smoothed over. But what if the peace negotiations were not genuine or were rejected by the English authorities ? Ferrara must have known that here he was treading on very dangerous ground. Nevertheless, Lopez and Ferrara decided to go ahead. No doubt they felt that they were too deeply committed already to draw back. The next thing to settle was the terms of their reply to the Spanish proposal. This, as we know from the subsequent correspondence and from one of Ferrara's statements,1 had contained four points : (1) Andrada was to be eliminated and Ferrara to take his place as the main channel of communication. (2) Lopez was to persuade the English court to take the negotiations seriously and produce as soon as possible a letter of credence signed by Burghley or some other responsible minister. (3) Fuentes and Ibarra, on their side, would produce a similar letter or commission to negotiate, which had already been asked for or was even on its way from Spain. (4) When these letters had been exchanged " personages " should be appointed on either side to continue the negotiations. When Lopez and Ferrara had deliberated on all this a new courier was recruited. Lopez, in Waad's phrase, " purveyed him of a base fellow " named Gomez d'Avila, and sent him over to Brussels on the 18th September with the promised answer. We do not know its exact terms but it was clearly a qualified acceptance. Only two reservations were made. First, Lopez was to receive 50,000 crowns 2 for his part in the transaction or, in other words, Philip was to take up Don Antonio's bond at its face value. Secondly, the letter of credence from Burghley 1 Cf. Ferrara's statement of the 30th January in Waad's report. This seems to imply that Tinoco knew of the existence of actual peace negotiations ; but this, I think, is an error. Tinoco's later actions suggest that he knew only that some negotiations were afoot, without being certain of their nature. 2 I have stuck to this figure throughout, but in fact the amount varied. Twenty or thirty thousand crowns were mentioned on one occasion ; forty or fifty on another. The difference is probably to be explained by discrepancies in the value of English, Spanish, and Portuguese currency.</page><page sequence="14">176 THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ would not be produced until after the equivalent Spanish letter had reached Brussels and was also available for display. It was suggested that when both these points had been settled Tinoco should be sent back to London with the final Spanish answer. Lopez and Ferrara then settled down to wait?not without confidence. If the Spaniards were foolish enough to send the 50,000 crowns before the letter of credence was produced then Lopez and Ferrara would simply withdraw from the game with their spoils. Alternatively, if they were informed that a Spanish letter of credence had reached Brussels they could approach Burghley with a good chance of success on the basis that a genuine opportunity to negotiate peace had presented itself and should not be neglected. Then, no doubt, recognition and reward would follow from both sides. But these hopes were short-lived. IX On the 18th October, a month after d'Avila's departure, Ferrara was arrested. The reason, according to Waad, was that his earlier correspondence with Gristofero de Moro, in which he had offered his service to Spain, had been discovered. A phrase in Bacon's narrative suggests that this information had reached the English authorities from an agent abroad?perhaps in Brussels. At first no one took the affair very seriously ; it was thought in Waad's phrase to concern only " Portugal matters ". After no more than a superficial interrogation, Ferrara was handed over to the custody of his nominal sovereign, Don Antonio, who was then lodging at Eton. At the same time, however, instructions were given that all incoming Portuguese correspondence should be stopped at the ports and any suspicious letters forwarded to the Earl of Essex, the Privy Counsellor or Minister normally responsible for Portuguese affairs. These instructions presently produced two or three obscurely worded letters, suggestive of espionage, from a certain Francisco Torres, in Brussels or Antwerp, to a certain Diego Hernandes in London. Ferrara, re-examined, admitted that they were intended for him, identified Tinoco as the writer, and added that Lopez was also a partner in the transaction. But he continued to protest that nothing was involved beyond his own attempt to come to terms with Spain. I think we must assume that this was the first that Essex had heard of any connection between his own agent Tinoco and Ferrara. Otherwise he would certainly have opposed Ferrara's arrest as an action likely to prejudice or endanger his own plans. As it was, his suspicions took another turn. He was afraid that he had been double-crossed by Tinoco or perhaps that Tinoco, not realizing that Ferrara was a Spanish agent, had talked indiscreetly to him about his Braganza mission. In either case, the prudent course was to press forward with a full investigation into Ferrara's activities.1 The next step was the arrest of d'Avila. He returned to England on the 4th November, carrying further letters addressed to Ferrara, and was stopped at the port in accordance with the earlier instructions. Most of his letters appear to have been unimportant and we have no record of their contents ; but one, presumably from Fuentes or Ibarra, excited suspicion by the very obscurity of its wording. The material passage was as follows : " The bearer hereof will tell your Worship the price in which your pearls are held ; and will advise 1 It is possible, however, as we shall see, that Essex had special reasons for wishing to conceal his relations with Tinoco from the rest of the Council. If so, he may have known of the link with Ferrara, but kept silent about it deliberately.</page><page sequence="15">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ 177 your Worship presently of the uttermost penny that will be given for them ; and receive what order you will set down for the conveyance of the money and wherein you would have it employed. Also this bearer will tell you in what resolution we rested about a little musk and amber, the which I am determined to buy ; but before I resolve myself I will be advised of the price thereof. And if it shall please your worship to be my partner I am persuaded we shall make good profit." In the light of our present knowledge this letter is not difficult to interpret. The passage about the pearls evidently referred to the main transaction, the peace negotiations, and meant that the Spaniards were willing to pay the price which Lopez and Ferrara had put on their services. Equally clearly the passage about the musk and amber referred to some other less important transaction which had been referred to Spain for a final decision. This was probably the matter of Don Manuel's submission; and one might even hazard the guess that the M of musk stood for Manuel and the A of amber for Antonio. But we cannot wonder that the authorities were puzzled. Here it seemed was something more than Portugal matters ; but they did not know what. The little which d'Avila could tell them only deepened their suspicions. He denied (no doubt correctly) any knowledge of the letter's meaning or even its contents ; but said that he had been instructed to tell Ferrara that a large sum of money, 40,000 or 50,000 crowns, would shortly be sent over, and that the letter referred to this transaction. At this point Lopez, who was still unsuspected, despite Ferrara's reference to him in his second statement, took a step which, if he had had the courage to carry it further, might yet have saved him. He sought an audience with the Queen and earnestly implored her to release Ferrara. He explained at length what hardships Ferrara had suffered in Antonio's service and how natural it was that he should now wish to accommodate himself with Spain. He then added that if Ferrara were released " there was no fitter instrument in the world to work a peace between the two Kingdoms and that they two (himself and Ferrara) had already laid a good foundation to work upon for that matter ". And in any case, he went on, was it not in itself a good deed to cozen the King of Spain ? But this speech, says Waad, " Her Majesty did both greatly dislike and sharply reprehend " ; and on that unsatisfactory and inconclusive note the interview ended. Lopez had said either too much or too little?enough to attract suspicion, but not enough to set the inquiry on the right lines. The next development appeared, therefore, all the more sinister. Ferrara, still in custody at Eton and ignorant of d'Avila's arrest, smuggled out a note to Lopez imploring him " in any wise to prevent the coming over of Gomez, for if he should be taken, the Doctor were utterly undone without all remedy ". Lopez replied that " he had [already] sent once or twice and would spare no expense, though it cost him ?300 ". Both these notes were intercepted ; but since Ferrara was still in Antonio's custody there was some little delay before copies reached Essex or can be said to have influenced the investigation proper. In the meantime (though this did not become known until much later) Ferrara had taken a further and still more incriminating step. He had tried to suborn his warder, a young man named Pedro, and had offered him a considerable sum of money to carry a message personally to the Netherlands. His exact instructions, according to the warder's later statement, were as follows : " Go thou to Stephen Ibarra, Secretary of Wars, and procure with him to see the dispatch or anything else he hath for me. And as soon as thou hast seen it, thou shalt put a word or two of thine own hand on a small piece of paper,</page><page sequence="16">178 THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ which thou shalt send unto me through the conveyance of Antonio Fallerio, which is in Flanders. And if Manuel Luis is there he will do anything for thee ; and if not, the Secretary will grant that thou shalt bestow that letter as in this I have requested thee. And let there be no negligence in answering of me . . . because it is a sure conveyance and dissembled that I may the better understand ..." (Various more detailed instructions followed about Pedro's journey, means of communication, etc.) We can, I think, follow the working of Ferrara's mind fairly closely. His first instinct, when arrested, had been to say as little as possible in the hope that the whole affair, being only Portugal matters, would soon blow over. When he was re-interrogated on the Hernandes letters he had stuck (essentially) to the same story but had also introduced Lopez's name for one of two reasons. He may have thought that the letters contained some reference to Lopez ; or, I think more probably, he may have hoped that Lopez by this time would have had the good sense to disclose the peace negotiation story to the authorities. When it became clear that he had not done so, that he had not dared to go beyond his hints and half-disclosures to the Queen, Ferrara's next thought was to prevent the arrival of d'Avila, whom he expected to be carrying further letters from Fuentes or Ibarra which would expose the whole intrigue. This was succeeded by another and better idea. What if the Spanish letter of credence had already reached Brussels ? If he could be certain of that might not he and Lopez still carry out their original plan and approach Burghley as accredited intermediaries with a formal offer from Spain to open negotiations ? If the offer were accepted, as it well might be, all the other aspects of the affair?the Portugal matters?would be condoned or forgotten. All that he required was a single word from Brussels?yes or no, had the letter of credence arrived ? X This was the state of affairs at the beginning of December when Tinoco set out from Brussels with the Spanish answer. When he arrived in Calais he learnt of the arrest of Ferrara and d'Avila and deliberated what to do. Finally, he made an official application for a permit to enter England, stating that he had information of importance to disclose. It may be significant?Waad comments on the point?that this application was made not to Essex, whose agent he was, but to Burghley. The reason was, I think, that Tinoco realized that he was now engaged on a wholly different mission from the one on which he had set out. He had left England in connection with Essex's Braganza plan ; he was returning in connection with certain negotiations to which he believed Burghley to be a party ; and he was well enough informed about English politics to know that Essex's affairs and Burghley's would not mix. Tinoco's subsequent actions were consistent with this view. It must have been a painful shock to him when he landed to be arrested and to find that his chief interrogator was Essex ; but he kept his head. At his early interrogations he said nothing of his real mission but spoke only of the Braganza plan and protested that he had acted throughout on Essex's instructions. When confronted with the Hernandes letters, he admitted their authorship but refused to say anything which might incriminate Ferrara. He added that Ferrara was in a position to do an important service to the State if he were released and allowed to communicate with Lopez. Having thus prevaricated as well as he could in Essex's presence, Tinoco sought a private interview with Robert Cecil (who had assisted at his early examinations)</page><page sequence="17">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ 179 and disclosed to him something, all that he knew perhaps, of his real mission. He also handed over two letters addressed to Ferrara which he had hitherto concealed. They were both to the same effect ; but the one from Fuentes was the more explicit :? " from the Count Fuentes to Esteban Ferrara de Gama. The bearer goeth instructed of that which here is offered, to inform you thereof by word of mouth. And for all that, I have thought good to write these few lines which [are] all to one effect. First, if you shall have commodity to go into Portugal as they offered Your Worship, let order be taken there that, in coming into Spain, you advertise Don Cristofero de Moro wheresoever he be and do communicate in secret with him and do follow the direction that shall be sent, that you may better accomplish the service of His Majesty, for in doing so we will take in hand to accomplish with Your Worship according to your desires. The other point is that of those shadows Your Worship speaketh [of] in your relation [which] have been the occasion not to treat of the Commission and that you desire to be informed of that which is offered [so that] you may do it. And sithence the principal matter is the service of the King and Your Worship as a man zealous doth desire it, consider well before you take in hand your voyage. If you can give order therein from thence, it shall be better than to discover it with your going ; but this and the whole is referred to him who is instructed in these affairs, as are these presents also. And that which above all importeth [is] that you go thither with the Commission, for the profit that is to come thereof and to Your Worship in particular. And if in this mean it shall seem good that Bernardo Nunes and Manuel Pays go to keep account ofthat which hath passed their hands, it cannot prejudice Your Worship anything in your affairs ; so much the rather, if they shall go in the service of His Majesty, as in their duty. In the particular of that young gentleman, it seemeth not convenient to move anything till we see the resolution of Your Worship, whom God keep. from Brussels this 12th December, 1593." All this may sound very obscure?it certainly seemed so to Cecil?but I think that we can construe it nevertheless. In plain language the letter would have read something as follows :? (1) We agree to your going to Portugal personally, if you can. You should report to Cristofero di Moro on arrival and follow his further instructions (para. 2). (2) We are sorry to hear that you are having difficulty in obtaining the letter of credence from the English authorities ; but there can be no question of our stating the Spanish terms in advance. You must remember that you are now a Spanish subject acting under instructions (para. 3, lines 1-8). (3) We should prefer you to go to Portugal under cover and not openly as a peace negotiator ; but on this point you should consult Lopez, to whom this letter should also be shown (para. 3, lines 8-12). (4) We repeat : the important point is that you should obtain the letter of credence. If you leave England, we may have to communicate with Lopez through other intermediaries ; but that will not affect your status (para. 4).</page><page sequence="18">l8o THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ (5) The question of Don Manuel can wait until these other points have been settled (para. 5). I cannot, of course, guarantee that this is what it meant. I can only say that with the possible exception of the third point, where the wording is very obscure, this interpretation seems to cover adequately both the text of the letter and the other facts of the case, so far as we know them. The only point of novelty is the proposal that Ferrara should go personally to Portugal. This, I imagine, was a hang-over from his original negotiations with Cristofero de Moro, which had centred round his return to his own country and his own estates. Indeed, it is probably true that this was Ferrara's guiding motive throughout, just as much as it was Lopez's motive to obtain money. But you will observe that, if my interpretation is correct, Fuentes' letter was the death-knell of both their hopes?Ferrara's and Lopez's. The answer from Spain for which they had waited had arrived : and their bluff had been called. Almost which ever way it is read, Fuentes' letter makes it clear that the Spaniards were giving nothing away. There was to be no reward and no recognition until after the commission (or letter of credence) had been produced. Nothing was said about a Spanish letter of credence ; and it is plain, I think, that Fuentes and Ibarra had been instructed to withhold their own credentials until after Lopez and Ferrara had displayed theirs. It was a complete deadlock. It would even have been useless at this stage for Lopez or Ferrara to have gone to Burghley and told him the whole story. That would have meant making a complete confession of all their illicit dealings with Spain over the past six or nine months, with a strong probability that their version of the story would not be believed. They could prove nothing, for the Spaniards had never committed themselves. Lopez and Ferrara had learnt too late that it was less easy than it seemed " to cozen the King of Spain and wipe him of his money ". XI We are now approaching the climax of the story. The Fuentes letter convinced the authorities, and especially Essex, that they had to deal not with Portugal matters but with something of major importance. They pressed Tinoco hard to explain the meaning of the letter ; but he could tell them nothing except that Ibarra had said that " it did contain very great and special matter importing the good, the quiet and establishment of all Christendom ".1 He believed that Lopez was involved. Further pressed and threatened with torture, he added that Andrada had told him that Lopez had been a Spanish agent for many years and that he (Andrada) had once brought him a ring, which he described, as a present from the King of Spain. This statement was made on the 23rd January. Almost simultaneously there arrived from Eton copies of the notes between Ferrara and Lopez which had been intercepted by Antonio's contrivance nearly two months before. The inevitable consequence was Lopez's arrest. Each new discovery seemed to point to him ; and the chief wonder is that he had remained at large for so long. We may take it, I think, as a tribute to his reputation and his standing with the Queen. At the time of his arrest Lopez's house was searched. No papers were found?according to Waad he had burnt them 1 Waad insists that the opening words of Fuentes* letter showed that Tinoco must have been aware of its meaning ; but a very similar formula had been used in the letter carried by d'Avila, who certainly knew nothing.</page><page sequence="19">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ all when Tinoco was taken?but instead the ring brought him by Andrada was " very strangely lighted upon ". This seemed to provide some confirmation of Tinoco's statement ; and suspicion was further increased when Lopez, questioned about the ring, foolishly denied that it was still in his possession. He had once had such a ring, he said, but his wife had sold it to a jeweller. Lopez's first formal examination?he had, of course, been questioned earlier on particular points?seems to have taken place three days later, on the 26th January. It was conducted jointly by Burghley, Essex, and Robert Cecil. Curiously enough, and perhaps significantly, we have no full record of what passed. Waad merely says that " Lopez, like a Jew, did utterly with great oaths and execrations deny all the points, articles, and particularities of the accusation ". But clearly, he must have done more than that ; there was too much evidence against him by this time to be met with a blank denial. Nor, even if he had attempted such an attitude, would three experienced interrogators have allowed him to get away with it. My own impression is that Lopez told the truth, though not perhaps the whole truth, and that Burghley at any rate believed him. Burghley knew the previous history of the Andrada peace negotiations. He knew how strongly Lopez had pressed at the time to be allowed to continue them. Probably he also knew of Lopez's two subsequent interviews with the Queen : his offer of Andrada's ring and the terms on which he had begged for Ferrara's release. With this information present in his mind I do not think that he would have found it difficult to believe Lopez's story. That is not to say that he would have sympathized with him or condoned his actions. On the contrary, he would certainly have thought that Lopez had acted dangerously, illegally, and in flat defiance of the instructions which he had been given, and that if he had been arrested as the result, he had only himself to thank. But I think that he would have believed the story in the sense that, having once heard it, he would not have searched for any further or deeper explanation of the case. This, of course, is surmise. I cannot prove that Lopez told the truth at his examination nor, if he did so, that Burghley believed him. But unless something of the sort took place it is difficult to find a rational explanation for the next episode? the turning point, as it proved, of the whole case. On the afternoon following Lopez's examination the Queen sent for Essex. We have no full record of their interview ; but we know (from Birch's Memoirs) that it concerned the Lopez case and was extremely stormy. It ended with the Queen's telling Essex that he had mishandled the whole affair and was " a rash and temerarious youth " to have meddled in matters which he did not understand. He left her presence in a rage and withdrew to Essex House where he remained for the next two days in a fit of the sulks, refusing to see anyone. What was the meaning of this remarkable outburst ? To the ordinary observer it would seem that Essex, so far from mishandling the case, had behaved throughout with vigour and competence. The Queen had followed the general course of events and had approved all the major decisions. What had she to complain of? Only two points suggest themselves. The first is Lopez's arrest. He was her personal physician who had attended her for many years ; and it is clear that she trusted him. At the time of Ferrara's arrest she had even given instructions that he was to be employed to translate the intercepted letters. His arrest, whether or not she knew of it before? hand, would therefore have come as a shock. But Essex should have had no difficulty in convincing her that the step had been amply justified by the evidence. Apparently</page><page sequence="20">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ he failed to do so. That must mean, I think, that the Queen had already heard and accepted a new version or explanation of the story which exculpated Lopez. This can only have come from Burghley. Indeed, I think that we should regard Burghley's presence at the examination as significant in itself. It was his only personal intervention in the case ; and it is probable that it was made at the Queen's request. She was more than doubtful of Lopez's guilt and wished to have the opinion of her most trusted minister and the man who knew most about the earlier background. This brings me to the second point. Why did Essex, as he evidently did, still refuse to believe Lopez's story, even after he had found that the Queen was willing to accept it ? Partly, no doubt, because Burleigh had elicited it. Essex and Burleigh were in perpetual rivalry and conflict; and every issue between them became sooner or later a personal one. Partly, perhaps, because he disliked Lopez. We have some evidence of an earlier quarrel between them. Lopez is said to have refused to take part in one of Essex's espionage schemes and to have spread scandalous stories about his state of health. Essex may also have borne Lopez a grudge?indeed, I think that he did?for having played so conspicuous a part in persuading him to support the worthless Antonio. In addition to all this, there may have been a third reason?the fact that Essex's dealings with Tinoco had now become inextricably involved with the Lopez case. You will remember that the essence of the scheme had been an approach to Braganza on the footing (apparently) that if he would put himself at the head of a revolt English support would be withdrawn from Antonio and transferred to him. But had Essex taken the Queen or the rest of the Council into his confidence ? I very much doubt it. The Cecils would certainly have been unsympathetic ; and the Queen, having recently burnt her fingers over Antonio, would have been unlikely to accept any further schemes for raising revolt in Portugal. Moreover, she had openly recognized Antonio as King ; and I think that her peculiar views on monarchy would have made it impossible for her subsequently to have withdrawn that recognition or transferred it elsewhere. No : Essex would certainly have kept his own counsel, at any rate until his plans were well matured. How much of this came out at the interview we can only guess. The Queen was an extremely intelligent woman and on occasion a shrewd cross-examiner. She would certainly have asked for an explanation of Tinoco's statements about his connection with Essex and his mission to Braganza ; and no doubt she finished in possession of the whole story. It was well calculated to make her angry. Moreover, coupled with what Burghley had already told her, it could lead only to one conclusion?that the whole affair was a gigantic muddle for which Essex had been at any rate partially responsible. And here he was, still obstinately refusing to believe the truth even when she told it him herself! This was the point, I imagine, at which she burst out that he was " a rash and temerarious youth ", meddling in affairs that were beyond him. It was not entirely untrue. XII That was the position on the afternoon of the 26th January. For the next two days nothing happened. The Cecils appear to have sent an emissary to Essex to see whether the quarrel could not be patched up ; but the case itself was in suspense. No further examinations were taken and no new evidence elicited. Then came the coup de theatre. On the 28th January, after two days of angry silence, Essex scribbled a note to Anthony Bacon, Francis' elder brother, who served as his chief intelligence officer. It ran as follows : "I have discovered a most dangerous and desperate</page><page sequence="21">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ l83 treason. The point of conspiracy was Her Majesty's death. The executioner should have been Dr. Lopez, the manner poison. This I have so followed that I will make it as clear as noonday." This was the first time that anyone had mentioned poison or a plot to assassinate the Queen.1 What had happened ? Primarily, of course, that Essex had lost his temper. He was not going to be frustrated by Burghley or treated like a schoolboy by the Queen. He had staked his reputation on the Lopez case and a case there should be, even if he had to invent one. As he brooded on this during his two days of angry silence a new explanation of the intercepted letters suddenly flashed upon him. What if the pearls, the musk and amber, the matter which imported the good and quiet of all Christendom, had referred not to peace negotiations as Lopez protested, but to something even more agreeable to Philip's heart?the death of the Queen ? Lopez, after all, was her doctor ; he was also a foreigner and a Jew. What could be more natural than that the Spaniards should have hired him to poison his mistress ? It was thus, I think, that Essex's mind worked. But he must, nevertheless, have had something to go on, some piece of new evidence to offer. It would have been useless to have raised the stakes in this way with no better cards in his hand than he had had before. Since we know that no evidence was obtained in London we must conclude that Essex's new informa? tion, whatever it was, came from abroad. It is not very difficult to guess both its nature and its source. There is one forgotten man in this story. We left Andrada in Calais, unemployed and having recently learned that he had been squeezed out of the peace negotiations by Tinoco and Ferrara. His one anxiety must have been to reinstate himself. He was dependent on espionage for a living and, now that Burghley and Antonio had both rejected him, his only remaining hope was to find service with Spain. His next step inevitably would have been to improve the original offer. If the Spaniards did not want him as a peace-negotiator he would propose something better?a bold and dashing scheme such as only he could carry out. I think we can guess what it was. When we first heard of Andrada he was suggesting to the Ambassador that if the King of Spain wished he could easily kill or kidnap Don Antonio. Our last glimpse of him is in a similar context. It comes from Tinoco, who, on his final journey to England had met Andrada on the road between Brussels and Calais. He was then, so he said, on his way to Paris in the service of Ibarra's cousin Diego :? " 6 I do hope [Tinoco reports him as saying] to do a great piece of work. But I will neither trust him [Diego Ibarra] 2 nor any man alive. But if I be seen, I will put myself forth to be his servant ; and I do not desire that my fortune may be more favourable unto me but only to guide me that I may have that good hope that the French King may put to his nostrils a nosegay of flowers or roses that I will make, for I will put powder amongst them that shall give him such a scent and smell as shall send him packing to another world. I carry the powder with me and I carry other powder about me likewise to dye my beard red and black as often as I shall have occasion.' And opening his mail he showed me the same . . . and told me further he carried a great commission to have Antonio Perez slain ..." 1 This is correct so far as dated statements and interrogations are concerned. But the chronology of Waad's report is sometimes confused and he was, of course, writing on the assumption that die poisoning story was true. 2 Or possibly Don Manuel, who seems also to have been in Paris. The reference is not clear.</page><page sequence="22">THE CASE OF DR. LOPEZ Here, I think, we have the source of Essex's information. For weeks before his chance meeting with Tinoco?indeed, ever since he had been excluded from the peace negotiations?Andrada had been talking wildly and indiscreetly. His constant theme, to which he seems always to have returned, had been assassination?Don Antonio, the King of France, Philip's ex-minister Antonio Perez, Queen Elizabeth. It was all one to him. No doubt he was a little mad. But some part of his rodomontade, perhaps even an actual boast that he had persuaded Lopez to poison the Queen, reached Essex's ears, probably from the same agent who had reported on Ferrara originally. Essex believed it ; and from that moment onwards Lopez's fate was sealed. We need not follow the case in detail any further. Once Essex had convinced himself and had persuaded the Cecils?partly for the sake of peace and quiet, partly on the strength of his new information?to allow him a free hand, the investigation degenerated into an odious but all too familiar routine. It is not difficult, if one is allowed a free use of torture or the threat of torture, to force almost any one to sign a confession in set terms : and that in effect was what was done. We have seen the process at work too often in our own day to wonder at its success in sixteenth-century England. For all practical purposes, Lopez, Ferrara, and Tinoco were condemned on the morning of the 28th January, when Essex scribbled his note to Anthony Bacon. What happened afterwards was little more than a formality?the hideous ritual which is thought appropriate to such occasions. But that was not quite all. There were still certain elements of drama left in the story. There were the Queen's doubts about Lopez's guilt ; her prolonged hesitation before she would sign the death-warrant ; and the curious legal chicanery by which her hand was finally forced. There was the unexpected arrival, after the trial was over, of an emissary from the Duke of Mitylene?he was described, not without awe, as the " Ambassador from the Great Jew that is in Constantinople "?to plead in vain for Lopez's life. There was even Tinoco's last and almost successful fight with the executioner. But I have already detained you for too long. I will add only one more detail. After Lopez's death the Queen took pity on his wife. She allowed her to retain or recover the whole of his forfeited estate with the exception only of one item?King Philip's ring. That the Queen kept for herself, and ever afterwards, we are told, wore at her girdle. It was her final, enigmatic comment on the whole affair.</page></plain_text>

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