Cecil Papers: September 1584

Pages 65-67

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 3, 1583-1589. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1889.

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September 1584

103. Sir Edward Stafford to Sir Francis Walsingham.
1584, Sept. 18. I have certain advertisement out of Savoy, that though the Duke of Savoy maketh shew to prepare the Duke of Nemours soon to go fetch his wife, he meaneth himself to go into Spain, Thereupon it is with great reason suspected the King of Spain pretendeth some great enterprise by this match with the Duke of Savoy, and to have him the executioner of it. He goeth into Spain purposely to resolve upon it, and to take instructions for the doing of it. The King here, though he will not seem to know it, is certainly advertised of it, and stormeth at it and saith he will be revenged. I am afraid they be but words and no deeds will follow.
The House of Guise maketh great assemblies in Lorraine, where the whole House is now, laying divers plots, &c. The King knoweth all this, and yet soemeth to contemn and despise them. Yet he is certainly advertised that from this town there goeth daily armour, both for horse and foot, in great quantity. The Guises about this day depart from Nancy, to meet with their mother in Burgundy, to bid her fare well. The Assembly in Montauban is broken up; Duplessis and M. de la Val are to make relation to the King of what they have done. He will not speak with them, nor anybody else here, but referreth them to Blois.
They are loth here to utter any matter of their resolution there till they have spoken with the King, but this much privately they have told me, that the King of Navarre hath there openly made a confession of his religion, and protested to live and die in it; and that for the towns, they have resolved upon divers considerations to request them at the King's hands for three years longer, and by their requests and reasons for them to delay as long as they may, and if no way he will be moved, to keep them still upon their hazards resolute not to deliver them.
Villeville, that was of the greatest credit with the King in matters of finance, is suddenly put out. Some think his process shall be made, yet he is not imprisoned; but there are other treasurers imprisoned and examined, who have not stolen the tenth part so much as he, for he being not worth ten crowns is come to be worth 800,000 crowns, besides what he hath spent in daily expenses more like a prince than a subject. I think it will be Treasurer's luck to be hanged, for the last time I was here I saw fourteen hanged in three months. It is thought this man is too rich to escape, and it is murmured that the King will research all them that have had dealings for money or farms of salt, silk, or such other customs, as Chiverny the Chancellor, Marshal Retz, Gondy, Villequier, Do, Bishop of Paris and others. But though he do, they will escape par la porte dorée, for the King lacketh money. There is pique at this time between the two minions, which the King seeketh so much to hide and to pacify, that he will have nobody come at him nor see him. I pray God it be not some cause of prolonging his going to Blois.
I have sent you a book of a new martyr, which as you may see is printed here, and is openly carried about the streets, the direction to the Spanish agent only is put out. At the first it was sold without putting out. I have also sent you another book closely printed here.
Even now word is brought me that there is presently one arrived from Despruneaux, who sends word that all things go forward to his desire, and that he cometh hither presently with deputies to bring the King full resolution. . . . . Making Mauvissière acquainted with the effect of despatches doeth no good but a great deal of harm. For I could never find yet that Mauvissière had credit to dispose the King to anything, but I have often found that his sending of the effect of our despatches aforehand hath made them readier with their answers.
Whatsoever the King maketh show of, I am advertized he doth not mean to go to Blois at all.—Paris, this 18th of September 1584.
Copy by Sir Edward Stafford. 3¾ pp. [Murdin, pp. 422, 423. In extenso. The original is in State Papers (France), Vol. LXXXI.]
104. Wheat for Ireland.
1584, Sept. 28. Warrant under the Privy Signet for the exportation of 300 quarters of wheat to Ireland.—Oatlands, 28 September 1584.
1 p.