Cecil Papers: December 1584

Pages 74-89

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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December 1584

118. Sir Edward Stafford to Sir Francis Walsingham.
1584, Dec. 8. Marshal Montmorency hath free liberty granted him by the King in his Government. Marshal Joyeuse it is thought will be driven quite away, the Grand Prior to be recompensed with the Government of the Isle of France. Joyeuse's wife here, lately with the King at Bois de Vincennes, besought him to be good to her husband, and not suffer him to be called away to benefit Montmorency. He desired her to be contented that for her son's sake he loved her husband and all hers, that he had enough to bestow both upon her son, and, for his sake, upon her husband and all hers. But for a private man to bring a general confusion in any of his greatest provinces, plainly he would not.
The King beginneth to reform marvellously the order of his house, and maketh three chambers afore they come to his inner bed-chamber; in the first, gentlemen to be modestly apparelled; in the next, men of great quality; in the last, Princes and Knights of the Order of St. Esprit, with himself when he cometh abroad. Into his private bedchamber nobody to be allowed, unless called in, but Espernon and Joyeuse. Marshal Retz and Villequier to be quite cut off from coming in, unless called for. He is about also to institute a new guard of three score gentlemen to be continually about him, with 600 crowns a year wages, and for that they are bound to keep four good horses and to wear continually a grey coat.
Espernon is very sick with the écrouelles joined with the sickness of Naples. They say it will be contagious, and then the King shall be in fear of haunting with him, and so his credit weakened with absence.— Paris, this 8th of December 1584.
Copy by Sir Edward Stafford. [Murdin, p. 424. In extenso.]
¾ p.
119. Sir Edward Stafford to Sir Francis Walsingham.
1584, Dec. 8. By a note here inclosed you may see that Zuffarino, a “Lugnoys.” is sent from the Duke of Parma to her Majesty. A very bad man. Marshal Retz is now newly come to court, having left a truce for a year between Cambray and Hainault and Artois. By that means victuals will go freely up and down. Lord Paget is said to be gone to the Duke of Guise, but I saw a letter that he had passed Lyons, and from thence gone by Milan to Rome. Piccolomini, whom the Pope banished, and who cared so little for it, is here. He meaneth about Mid Lent to go to England. Let me know whether Lord Derby or any other shall come with the Garter. I am questioned about it almost once a week.
I have sent you an answer made to the secret book of the faction of Guise against the King of Navarre. The author, who did but once peruse the factious book, is not desirous to be known. The book which it answereth is only shewed to the factious sort, and not left out of sight in any body's hand, so that there is no possibility to come by it. This I had I was fain to pull out in piece meal, and copy it with divers hands and so tack it up again. I have let Plessis have a copy. Let my Lord Treasurer see it.—Paris, 8 December 1584.
Copy by Sir Edward Stafford. 1¼ pp. [Murdin, p. 424. In extenso. The original is in State Papers (France), Vol. LXXXI.]
120. Sir James Hales to Lord Cobham.
1584, Dec. 11. Returns the instrument of Association furnished with the hands and seals of a hundred gentlemen, within four or five, and asks for a receipt for the same; also for direction concerning the gentlewoman remaining there that was bound over to her husband. Begs she may have some part of her money again, which the searchers' deputy of Sandwich took from her to the sum of 17l.—Canterbury, 11 December.
Endorsed :—“1584.”
1 p.
121. Sir Edward Stafford to Sir francis Walsingham.
1584, Dec. 28. Having some other cause to send to you, as by my other letter appeareth, I thought also fit to present you, for a New Year's gift, the fruit that is come of the safe delivery of our swelling mountain here, at whose hands was looked for some great matter, having been since his return from Blois continually occupied from two o'clock after midnight (his ordinary time of rising) until eight in the morning shut up in his cabinet, himself scribbling and two or three others under him. Some here conceived we should have some great matter, others some dangerous matter, but now the fruit of all is this little mouse ! Besides this which is in print, there is another order which makes men fear a very tyrannical intention; for, besides his ordinary guard of French in two sorts, Switzers and Scots, he hath erected forty-five “Taillagambi.” These must never go from his person, must have every one a cuirass under his coat, a book of printed orders and very strait order taken that not more shall be printed than one apiece, one for himself and one for each of his minions, &c. They have 1,200 crowns a year wages, and 500 crowns at entry to furnish them, with this condition added, that in the space of two years and two months they shall beg nothing of the King.
Besides these, he hath forty gentlemen of his chamber, who must perpetually wait at an inch, wearing every one a chain of gold about their necks; and for waiting, instead of 400 francs, they have now 2,000 francs a year. Besides this, twelve grooms of his chamber waiting every quarter, to whom he giveth a chain of 200 crowns, a velvet cassock, &c. He will have, besides, to attend him perpetually at the Court, thirty knights of St. Esprit; but all these put not so much fear into men's heads as the forty-five “Taillagambi,” for they be all put in by Espernon and Joyeuse, most of them Gascons, which maketh the greatest here to stand in awe of the intent of them.
The House of Guise hath not found the affections they looked for in the men of Burgundy, especially in the Parliament of Dijon, where they have no disposition to content them. De Maine will remain, and make his chief abode there to win them. Madame de Nemours at her coming into Savoy has not been received with the familiarity looked for of the Duke of Savoy. Upon the dispositions of his affairs on his journey into Spain, he has appointed him that married his bastard sister his Lieutenant-General, and honoured with no trust the Duke de Nemours, who lieth a league off Amiens, which maketh them in some doubt of the Duke of Joyeuse's good meaning towards them, and of his great desire to carry both the Duke De Nemours' sons with him into Spain.—Paris, 28 December 1584.
Copy by Sir Edward Stafford. 3 pp. [Murdin, pp. 425–427. In extenso. The original is in State Papers (France), Vol. LXXXI.]
122. Sir Edward Stafford to Sir Francis Walsingham.
1584, Dec. 28. Mayin d'Albene told me of Zuffarino's being in England, and that it was he, if any, that corrupted St. Soulene, and was the cause of the overthrow of Strossi. It were a charitable deed to take him, if possible, at his return; the passenger that should carry him should land him at Calais or any port in France. Matter of great importance to be picked out of him, both as to Soulene and the discovery of a great many Spanish pensioners he knew in England.
If Zuffarino should be gone before this arrive, let him be drawn again into England and there caught. May in d'Albene hath confessed it to be the Queen Mother's seeking and great desire.—Paris.
Copy by Sir Edward Stafford. 1 p. [Murdin, p. 428. In extenso. The original is in Sate Papers (France), Vol. LXXXI.]
123. Sir Edward Stafford to Sir Francis Walsingham.
1584, Dec. 29. For the surprised letter of Morgan's in cipher, which you sent, you shall hear what may be picked out of it. For that which you write, that by letters from hence there should be conceived some suspicion of some meaning to wrangle with Spain, by Tassis last coming to me, and by opinion that afore he had divers secret conferences with me, as also of his coming into England, that the Prince of Parma hath sent, I marvel much at it, and do not think there is any such conceit. For as for her Majesty's dealings with him the Prince of Parma hath sent, I can assure you they are advertised here that her Majesty would not hear him, and that she appointed him to deliver his message (if he would) to Lord Leicester, or else not at all, which he hath refused to do. And as for any suspicion of my dealing with Tassis secretly, there is no such thing, &c. Despruneaux deceived as to the Queen's meaning in sending Mr. Davison into Holland, &c. I pray you let my Lord Treasurer see the book I send, which is the Answer to the Justice in England translated into Latin, with some addition after the epistle; also shew him and Lord Howard the French book of the new Order of the King's house.—Paris, this 29 December 1584.
Copy by Sir Edward Stafford. 2 pp. [Murdin, p. 429. In extenso The original is in State Papers (France), Vol. LXXXI.]
124. Sir Francis Walsingham to Lord Burghley.
1584, Dec. 31. Signifies her Majesty's pleasure that a lease of lands of the value of 50l. a year should be made out jointly to two of her servants, Philip Scudamore and Francis George, gents., leaving a blank for the term of years, to be filled in at the signing of the lease.— London, 31 December 1584.
1 p.
125. Sir Thomas Scott, Sir James Hales, Edward Boys, Thomas Palmer, Wm. Partheriche, Kalph heyman, and George morton, to Lord Cobham.
1584, Dec. Pondering one especiall point of great moment in the instrument which we received from you to subscribe and consign, which is to prosecute every backslider, faithless and, by attestation, perjured person that shall, contrary to his subscription to this honourable and loyal association, not persevere, we, for the better performance of our promises and duties herein, are humble suitors that, before you deliver it to the Lords of the Council, it would please you to cause a copy to be fair written with the names of all such as have subscribed thereto, and to send the same with your note of testimony to the custos rotulorum, there to remain of record for every of us to have copies.—December 1584.
½ p.
126. Agostino Graffinia. to Lord Cobham.
[1584.] Reports that going to Antwerp to fetch his merchandise in the “Boll,” under licence from Sir Philip Sidney, and that declining to go to the Prince of Parma to kiss hands, as he had lived twenty years in England and considered it his home, the Prince accordingly sent for him. After asking him many questions about the country, the Earl of Leicester, &c., he playfully charged him with having come with some commission from the Queen to spy out the land and obtain information. Being able to show that he had no such important duty assigned him from the English Court, he was courteously dismissed.
Gives an account also of an interview with Cosimo Marini, a wealthy Genoese merchant.—Undated.
Italian. 4 pp.
127. Sir Edward Stafford to [Sir Francis Walsingham].
[1584.] Some bad disposed people have made divers prints to be scattered abroad here of a great stir in England, of hard dealing to imprisoning all Papists and confiscating their goods, that the Queen of Scots should be dead, and the King her son should have immediately escaped a great plot laid against him to the great danger of his person, and this is so common as divers both of my friends being sorry for, and others of good quality, not so well affected, being desirous as I think to be assured of it, have often times, and divers of them this week, sent to me to know the truth of it. I answer them (as it is a truth, but all of them do not believe me), that I have not heard a great while out of England, but with an assurance that these reports are not true.
Of the matters of the Low Countries they be here asleep, by reason of the deputies not coming nor sending. Some badly affected have gone about to put into the King's head that they never meant any such thing, which though he be not thoroughly persuaded of, yet that is won by this means at his hands that he hearkeneth to see the end, and then to believe as he seeth cause, and, in the meantime, to speak no more of any such matter than if it never had been moved.
Some badly affected to Her Majesty have gone about to put into his head that the treating of these things by them, and these same large offers in show, are but stratagems practised by her Majesty and her Council to make the King, upon the sudden according to the French humour, so well to taste of the matter and to [ ] of it, as she conceived hope he would, to avoid all inconvenience of loss of time while the length of the treaty continued, enter rashly into some matter for the furtherance of them as might breed some breach with the King of Spain; which being done, the King could hardly retire back, and so she, seeing pique between them, might then, seeing them together by the ears, as her accustomed wont was, let them alone and sit still and look on. But truly at that time it bred small effect in the King (I will not assure what continuance of their dealings may breed hereafter), for the King answered very honourably that it was a thing he could believe, that her Majesty had that meaning, because therein was great likelihood that she feared so much the King of Spain's greatness, as that she would not at this time spare any help; besides, that he hoped his actions had not given to the world any cause to think he would so rashly enter into so great a matter, but that he would first see which way to get out. It was added to him withal that her Majesty had insinuated herself to be protectress of Holland, Zealand, and the islands, which indeed is here very common, but the King made little show to believe it.
I would to God, if the States mean to do anything here with the King, that her Majesty and her Council think it fit that they would delay no time, but go roundly either to an agreement or a breach with the King; for else as the matter now sleepeth so will it die, for the King must be taken in his humour, when he beginneth to nibble at any bait, for else he will run away, and never bite a full bite whilst he liveth. There are divers shows that make men conceive that the King feareth the King of Spain, and therefore might be brought with good means to do something, for he beginneth a new research for other matters against all them that he conjectureth to have had any intelligence of Spain, as, among others, one thing, that there are perpetual watches at all hours about the Spanish ambassador's house, to see who cometh at him, and, when he goeth out of doors, continual secret attenders upon whither he goeth, and with whom he speaketh, so that few or none dare come at him, and I think ere long we shall hear of some body caught of those that haunt him.
I am even now advertized that Alscrant is taken at Château-Thierry, and laid to his charge that [he] had, both in his master's time and now, conference with the Spanish Ambassador by mouth, and with the Prince of Parma by letters.
Saint Soulene, a gentleman of great quality in Poitou, was this last week suddenly in Mons. Ruffek's house apprehended by the King's command, and is presently to be brought here to have his process made. Amongst other things laid to his charge is this, that he made private leagues and practices of taking of towns (as they say, in favour of the House of Guise), but the ground of this mislike of him is the overthrow of Strossi upon the sea, only grounded upon his not fighting. It is laid to his charge underhand, that he had received money of the King of Spain not to do it, and it is thought he shall be racked to make him confess the matter, and by whom he was practised, and how many he knoweth here that are corrupted by Spain.
When he is brought hither we shall know more, and thereupon shall hear more. In the mean time, I can assure you that nobody hath had for any attachment, a great while, such a reward as he that took Saint Soulene, for the King gave him 1,200 crowns and very great thanks with good words, and the Queen Mother added, that his good service should not be without a further recompense, for there were never any takers, whose taking was so profitable to this State and the King. Marchparot, I hear, is taken at Bordeaux by the King's command, who also they say went about practising leagues for the Duke of Guise.
The King is growing very secret to himself, and all things pass from himself, and such things as these done ere men can think of them. He groweth to have a will in all things to be done as he will have them. The Court of Parliament and all he will have obey his will without adding or diminishing, as upon those edicts which I sent you by Grimston, as though they were done by his commandment, yet because the Court of Parliament (as their custom is, to show they have an authority as by right, and the old custom they should have) did add in the end, as from themselves, the supplication as you see to be made to the King for a further redress, he sent for the first President and the Procureur Général, and so shook them up, as they all went shaking away for fear.
He groweth jealous, as seemeth, of every thing, and especially of the House of Guise, for in the chief towns of their own government, as Troyes, Chalons, Reims, which be in Champagne, in the Duke of Guise's government, and Dijon, and other important places in Burgundy, in the Duke of Maine's, he maketh, by the burgesses themselves and those that he taketh to be his confidants, the gates to be kept, and not to permit the governors themselves to come in the strongest. Yet these appearances do not make most of the Religion much the more to live in security, but in continual fear, though he have used La Val and Plessis so well in all their demands, as they could not require more; for he hath freely condescended the keeping of their towns for two years longer, and the payment of the garrisons that they shall put into them, a present commission to go down to establish the preaching in all places agreed by the edict, and the same to hear all complaints and redress them; the establishing the King of Navarre in his government, [and] all particular requests for the King of Navarre as much as they could desire. Only one of their requests he hath desired them yet to forbear, the seeking to alter anything in the Prince of Condè's government in Picardy, for fear of some stir, but they looked not for half they have gotten, and therefore insisted not upon that point, nor contested with him for any thing but propounding their suits, and when he replied at the first to them, answered him little, but left all to his consideration, and the next time they came, he agreed to all very liberally, which is the only way now practised to obtain anything at the King's hand, to stand at his discretion, and he refuseth few demands.
But, as I writ afore, many of the Religion stand in doubt of the King for all this, for, at the time of the Massacre, they say they were used as kindly as this and rather more, and therefore the generality still do fear, but they that be agents here for their causes be not so fearful, though not altogether out of doubt. Yet one thing maketh them that they cannot tell what to think, that in all these captures that are made there are none of the Religion nor of their faction, but all contrarily affected. I am besides utterly assured from good part that the King hath this week made above thirty “prises of corps,” as they call them, to be ready made, the seal and all put to them, and blanks made to put in what names he listeth, and these kept in his cabinet in his own custody, from whence the prevost that hath taken them that already are in durance is only directed, and from nobody else. For Spanish news, I am sure you hear how the King of Spain, for recompense of the Prince of Parma's service, hath been contented the Spanish garrison in the citadel of Piacenza should be taken out, and the Castle delivered into the Duke of Parma's own keeping, but the Venice ambassador showed me a letter the last day . . . to have still an [eye] over their abuses, and to bridle Mirandola and Ferrara, which he taketh to be addicted to France. He hath gotten him another hold of importance, which is the castle of Corregio, for the which there was great controversy between two counts of Italy, the one favoured by the Duke of Ferrara, the other depending upon Spain, whereupon strife further growing, the Governor of Milan took a colour for the relief of the one, to send him first 300 Spaniards, then 500 more of the garrisons of Milan and thereabouts, which garrison still remaineth there, and it is said that the owners, that pretended title to it, have compounded for the recompense of lands in the kingdom of Naples, and so the King of Spain remaineth possessor of that castle, which bridleth greatly Mirandola, . . . . narrowly to Ferrara and is not far from the Venetians' jurisdiction, which they all fear and storm at, and can find no remedy.
There pass this way many Spanish soldiers, come from the camp, so poor and naked as I never saw any. There have been within this fortnight two hundred at a time in this town, who report the extremity of the want of victual in their camp, and that they have been 24 months without pay, and exclaim greatly upon the Prince of Parma; which soldiers Mendoza seeketh to . . . . in giving them money by all means he can.
I have taken occasion hereupon to make them know here what good they might do if victual were stopped. They answered that it is so, as indeed, for any great quantity, they that do so well about the fruits do assure me it is, but when I do complain of them, they pay me with a Complaint of us, that we are in more fault, and there are no places whence they are so thoroughly furnished as from us, and go about to persuade me with assurance that there go English boats into Dunkirk, by sixteen and seventeen at once, laden with victual, which I thought fit to advertise your honour of.
Undated fragment, in Sir Edward Stafford's hand.
4 pp.
128. [Mauvissière to Henry III.]
[1584.] Since his last writing, the Queen continues the fortifications on the coasts so secretly, that he can with difficulty discover what is happening in the country, although he has a number of persons, who do nothing else than find out what is being said and done in that place [London], and in other parts of the country. Is advised to send persons expressly to those places on the coast, to which he has discovered that the artillery forwarded from London has been taken, in order to find out what preparations are being made in the said ports. Has not yet had any reply from them; will send it with all diligence when received. The common report is that Monsieur died at Château-Thierry, at which the English greatly rejoice, in one way, but not in another. For they thought that his Highness would make war on the King of Spain, and that he could say nothing against them, although the marriage of the King of Scotland and of his daughter took place. Now they become so jealous, that they do not know where they are. They see that it is quite against their former opinion. The Queen and all her Council have no fear that the ancient friendship between his Majesty and the King of Spain will be at all renewed. There is no need to trust the word of these people, for they do not trust his [Mauvissière's] much. Begs his Majesty to keep his enterprise secret, and not to reveal it either to his Council or to the Princes and others. There is still, and will be, time to put it in execution. It is necessary to be mute touching these affairs, until one sees that the time demands speaking. Fears there is some one in his Majesty's Council who declares what is determined in this matter, and who reveals it to the English Ambassador. His Majesty's enterprises are immediately known in England. For this reason it would be well to have those found out who frequent the Ambassador's house. By this means one could judge who, perhaps, is the traitor to his Majesty. The Queen has not taken of the Englishmen of mark who frequent his house. There were only the two that his Majesty knows to be faithful to him, who have absented themselves, because one of them heard it said, that the Queen wished to have him arrested. So, when he wishes to know the news, he has to send to them by night, or himself to go to them. There is nothing else worth writing to his Majesty, unless he begs to have some of the 25,000 crowns due to him sent, “for in this country one must have money, and credit is very small.”
[Postscript.]—Immediately Marien arrived from his Majesty, he spoke to Secretary Walsingham, and afterwards was taken to the Queen, who allowed him to go to the Queen of Scots, accompanied by an English gentleman, whom her Majesty forbad to allow Marien to speak to the Queen, except in his presence. Notwithstanding, has given instructions to the said Marien as to what he should say, and how he should act. Has written to some of his friends who are near the Queen of Scots. Immediately he has any good news he will send them. Has put Marien into communication with Douglas, who has sent [sic], knowing his Majesty's will concerning the Queen of Scots. Is desirous of appearing his Majesty's very faithful servant in all he has the honour to do for him.
Endorsed :— “Letter [of] Mauvissière to the French King.”
Copy. French. 2½ pp.
129. Proclamation Against Slanderous Reports.
[1584.] Fragment of a proclamation in Burghley's hand, headed : —“ageynst certen trayterous and slanderous reports made and published in forein contreys, for the due execution of hir lawes ageynst certen traytors and rebells, mete for all persons to understand that ar disposed to discern betwixt trewth and falshod.”
1 ¼ pp.
130. Ireland.
[1584.] A List of certain Irish Acts of Parliament which were sent into England by Sir Lucas Dillon.—Undated.
1 p.
131. Robert Fowle.
[1584.] A statement of the claim made by one Robert Fowle to a pension of 100l. per annum, promised to him in consequence of a composition made by him with the men of Connaught, by which her Majesty's revenues from that province were largely increased.— Undated.
2 pp
132. Papists
[1584.] The examination of three Papist prisoners at Rotterdam (lately students in the English College at St. Omer), who were taken at sea on their way from Calais to Spain.—Undated.
1 p.
133. Throgmorton's Conspiracy.
[1584.] Brief notes respecting the confession of one Manoel Lowis, who, with others, was implicated in Throgmorton's conspiracy.— Undated.
1 ½ pp.
134. The Low Countries.
[1584 ?] A translation from the Dutch of a “Placarde” or Proclamation, made by the States General of the Low Countries, against the exportation from those countries of any ordnance, munitions of war, or provisions, to any ports in Spain or Portugal, or to any havens in France, which take part with the King of Spain.—Undated.
2 pp.
135. Abstracts of Letters written to and by Don Bernardino De Mendoza, the Spanish Ambassador.
[1584 ?] (fn. 1) There are three letters of the Counte d'Olivarez, Ambassador of the King of Spayne at Rome, unto Don Bernardino de Mendoza, written in Februarie, wherein are no matters of great interest.
It appeares that they were both of them troubled with the heavie accident of the Duke of Guise's deathe, are gladde of anythinge that they see may make to the continuance and increase of troubles to the Kinge, and afraid lest the Pope shoid not take a course for excommunieatinge him as was desired. Don Bernardino having carefully and particularly informed ihe Count de Olivarez from time to time of all things to the King's disadvantage, requiringe him to certify the same to the Pope, and to sollicit him to have regard to the matter accordinglye, and not reject the sute of the rebells, as was feared he woulde, and he was rayther drawen to doe by the reports made by his legate in France of the said proceedings different from those of Don Bernardino, where-upon and the cominge of the Commissioners from the Duke of Mayne and the Town of Paris, whome though at the first the Pope gave them little hope of contentment, yett afterwards he gave very goode eare unto, and the newes of the daylie fallinge awaye of noblemen and great townes from the King, the Pope beinge thereby greatly encouraged, things were come to that passe, as the said Count de Olivarez affirmeth, it was loked at that time his last letters are dated, which is 19 Februarye, that the Pope shoulde publicklye the next daye, accordinge to some promise, declare himselfe in favour of those of the League, but himselfe is of opinion that, under colour of attendinge that shold be said by Cardinall Rambouillet at his cominge, he would deferre to proceade in the matter, and be well assured of the success of the Catholicques' proceedings, before he resolved himselfe, and till then hazard nothinge.
It seemeth, before this accident, they were in some hope and practise to drawe the King of France to joyne with the King of Spayne, but all was now broken off, whereuppon D'Olivarez writeth in his letter of the 6th Febr.”
'La union con nosotros parece que la a cortado et hito este acidente y la muerte de la reyna Madre su Sd alo menos doze que no ay que fiar del rey ny el quiera yr adelante en el dicho trato.'
And, in his letter of the 10th of Februarie, mentions a coppie of a letter of the King of Spaine in answeare of one written to him by the French King touchinge this alliance, sent by the Legate unto the Pope, D'Olivarez desiringe to have the same from Don Bernardino.
It semeth they like not of the marriage of the Duke of Florence with the Princesse of Lorayne, doubtinge of the confidence and intelligence growinge dailye betweene him and the Crowne of France, having forgotten that regard he owethe to the Crowne of Spayne, whereof D'Olivarez saieth he doubteth not, but Don Bernardino adviseth the King from thence, to the ende he doe open his eyes, as he for his part writes of that he understands in Italie, saying that he finds in them of Luca, and in all parts, that course and same cause of suspicion that Don Bernardino writes to him.
He hopes that some order wilbe taken for recoverie of Cambraye duringe this revolt in France.
It semeth the Duke of Nevers hath deceaved their expectation greatlye, and, in the letter of the 6 of Februarye, Olivarez writeth thus of Montmorancy :
'Estor del Rey presuponen tener acomodadas las cosas con Monmorancy y de lo que me escrive Don Josefo entiendo lo contrario y a su Sd ha escrito comando tiempo para deliberar y responder.'
The Commissioners of the Duke de Mayne and them of Paris did, at their first cominge to Rome, send worde to the Count D'Olivarez that they wold come and see him. He answered, by meanes of a Secretarie of the Cardinall of Sens, that they neded not use anie ceremonies with him, but wished them to consider whither it were not better for their purpose not to come at him.
If they might well come, his gates shold be open to them, and, howsoever, they shold assure themselves of his help and furtherance in anie thing. Whereupon he sawe them not, but had verie inward intelligence with them in the said Cardinall's house where they kepte.
In a number of other letters written about the same time from Venice, Palermo, Millan and Turin, unto Don Bernardino, there is no speciall matter but from the Governor of Millan, and from Turin is advertised how earnest and gredie the Duke of Savoye is to prevaile of this occasion for the enlargement of his territories, presuminge of the favour of the Pope and his alliance with the Duke of Nemours and de Mayenne, having divers offers made him of places in Daulphinie and Provence, etc.; but, as the Governor of Millan sayes, he knowes not whither he imbarke himself in these actions with the King of Spaine's leave or not, and thereuppon without precise direction will not yealde him anie the least favour or sufferance; so he at Turin saieth he hathe advised the Duke not to sturre, till he knowe howe it will stande with the King of Spaine's likinge, wherein he hath caused the Pope and the Duke of Terranova to joyne, but he doubts that the Duke, being passed into Savoye, shall finde them rayther that will kindle him to the enterprise then otherwise.
If these thinges maie be of anie momente, he requires Don Bernardino to write thereof to the Duke.
The Governor of Millan, 4 Martii, writeth that the Duke of Savoye, uppon intelligence that one Monsieur Sanzy sholde be arrived in Swisserlande to incite the Bernese against him, hath assembled forces, and combined himselfe with the Catholicque cantons for resistance of Sanzy his practices.
He hath taken up of Thomas Fiesko for the Duke of Parma 40,000 crowns for the levye of 8,000 Swisses for the Duke de Mayne. He marvailes no man comes neyther for the levie nor the monney, wherein they shold have his full assistance everie waie, and praies Don Bernardino to advertise the Duke de Mayne so muche, thinckinge that the Duke shall not so well anie other waye impeache the levies for the King, the Swissers makinge profession to serve, and there beinge no bodie that will wage them but the King of France.
There are two letters of the Duke of Parma unto the King of Spaine, the one written in December, signifienge onlye that he will observe the direction he hath receaved from the King not to give anie passporte for man of service to passe into Spaine, but preferre them as occasion shalbe offered in the Lowe Countries, to the ende they goe not to importune the Kinge as they doe for recompense, and therefore will lett none goe but maymed men, and such others as have urgent and necessarie businis, which shalbe contayned and specified in their passports, with a longe justification of his course touching this pointe.
The other, dated the 4 Januarie, written imeadiatelie uppon the death of the Duke of Guise, containinge these points.
His griefe for this accident, whereby he perceived the League in waye to be broken, and thereby the King of France in shorte time likelye to be free and disgaged to be able to disquiet the King of Spaine's proceadings in all parts, wherunto he shalbe the rather encouraged by reason of the open warre that is betweene Englande and Spaine together with the footinge her Majestie hath gotten in the Lowe Countries. The cominge of a gentleman to him from the Duke D'Aumalle, who pretended that, yf some forces of horse and foote might be caused to marche towardes the frontier, that it would be a meane to incourage the townes of Picardie, and speciallie Paris, being otherwise readie to rise against the Kinge. The Duke thought good to offer some assistance of three regiments of Lanzknights, one of Lorrenurs, which he caused putt in readinis to goe and serve them, offering the Duke D'Amaulle by his gentleman all helpe that he coulde be anie waie able to yealde, and an assignation of 50,000 crownes, monney, as it semes, restinge of a greater somme formerly allotted to the service of the League. Encouraged the Duke by the said gentleman at his returne, and wished them to consider of their proceedings, and to take a wise and grounded resolution, whereof the King Catholicque beinge informed might better judge and resolve what were meete to be done for his owne service, the good of Christendome, and their reliefe; and that for his parte he would doe his endevour to procure monney for to serve the turne, and otherwise proceade as there sholde appeare cause, havinge anie commission from the King, &c.
The Duke himself sent one Gabriell de Alegria, Secretarie to Tassis, unto the Duke de Mayne, to condole his brother's deathe, and to see what countenance he made and resolution he tooke, and to advertise him of that he bad advised the Duke d'Aumalle; this he saieth he thought meete to doe for the King's service, to the ende the league and union of the townes might not be suddenlye broken, albeit he doubted it colde not last longe, unlesse it be mayntayned and assisted spedelye with convenient provision. Gabriel de Alegria his report of his viage bothe to the Duke de Mayne and Lorraine, contayninge both theire estates and affections at large, is sent herewith.
One la Planche was sent to Charles Count Mansfelt from Basompierre and Menevilla, principal partisans of the Guise, and escaped from Bloys to Paris, to signifie the proceedings of that citie and their choice of Duke de Mayne for Gouvernor, with their resolution to resist the King, &c., and thereuppon to persuade that, yf some forces were now sent into Fraunce, they might gett the possession of manie townes and places of importance, whereof afterwards they might make their proffits, with such like matter to induce them to entreprise; whereunto he caused the Count to answeare as of himselfe, that they, beinge the King of Spaine's subjects, cold not proceade without commission, and that the forces to be sent in this manner cold not be assured of the townes they shold leave at their backs, and therefore wishe[d] them to returne and consider of all things necessarye thoroughlye, whereuppon he might give intelligence to the King, and himself resolve what were meete for the King's service and their reliefe, which he thought not amisse to doe to trye their humours, and in the meane time the King might resolve for the best.
The Duke of Lorraine sent his Secretarye Chastenay, uppon this accident of the Duke of Guise, unto the Duke of Parma. For anie thinge he coulde gather, it was but to see how the desolation of his house was taken, and particularly what offer might be made for defence of his estate, supposing that the King of Fraunce wolde seeke to ruyne him; he made speciall instance for the repaiement of certaine monney owinge to him for the intelligence of the Reyters and entertainement of those forces which he had helde in paye, without which monney he shold be greatlye distressed, wherein the Duke promised to helpe him as sone as was possible, and as much favour as cold be expected at the King of Spaine's hands.
He dothe seeke uppon his credit to procure some rounde some of monney to supplie those wantes, and hopes to levie some 60,000 crowns, which is a small matter. They maye consider how without a sufficient provision he shalbe able to hold out, not onlye for those extraordinarie charges, but also for the service of that countrie, beinge brought into such extreme necessitie, as he hath not to support anie thinge for paie, vittell, munition, or ought els, and those fewe marriners he hathe are readie to leave him, as they threate, yf they maie not be paied. He dothe not doubte but that the King in his greate wisdome hath taken order to send provision for supplie accordingly, but in the meane time delaie may cause greate mischeife.
There are of Don Bernardino to the King of Spaine of severall dates, of the 11 and 21 of Aprill, letters, whereof parte is suche as concerne his practise with the Duke de Mayne and the Ligueurs, and written as, it were from Antwerpe to Baltazar Catario, and in the same cifar which the Duke of Parma useth in the same cause, to whome there are the coppies of three letters, which were sent by Don Bernardino, and sent by those dispatches to Spaine, for justification of his dilligence, and necessarie advise not followed by the Duke so earnestly as it semeth.
The effect of his dispatche of the 11 of Aprill.
That a couple were executed at Paris for goinge about to murder the Duke de Mayne, by the King of Fraunce's solicitation, which notwithstanding, he used the Pope's legate for a meane to come to an accorde with the said Duke. Whereuppon the legate did write a letter to the Duke, which the Duke sent to Don Bernardino, requiringe him to advise him what answere was fitt to be made. Don Bernardino toke it to be a conninge of the King's to winne time, and kepe the Duke from joyning the forces of the Union, and therefore wished him in no sorte to condiscende, but by his answeare to cutt him off in such sorte as he shold not have recourse anie more to the like, and to shewe himselfe agrieved therewith to the Pope.
Afterwards the Duke de Mayne, secretlye repairinge to Don Bernardino by night, told him that his counsell was verie well liked by him and them of the Union, and that they had answeared the legate accordinglye, as also dispatched a Deane called Brisson with Instructions and letters to the Pope, the coppie[s] whereof are herewith.
Further communicated unto Don Bernardino his whole proceedings, as knowinge not otherwise how better to verifie the devotion he bare to the Kinge, and to the ende he might judge in what termes thinges stood with them, desiringe to be directed by the Kinge what course to holde with the Duke of [ ] in whome some defecte was founde of that assistance was by him first promised, and [? with] Montmorancy, whose wiefe had offered by her husband's direction all good correspondence, and to come to Paris with the Duke de Mayne, where she was goinge to the King, but that she heard of the good succes of the Catholicques.
The Duke likewise told him that his intention was to sett forwards to the fielde the 8th of that monneth, and that he had monney with him where with to entertayne the armie for 2 monethes, and for as much as for defrayinge of their charge from thence forwarde the States of the Union cold not be assembled to take order for supplie, he required the King of Spaine to be contente to laie out beforehande a goode rounde somme of the second paiement of the 300,000 crownes, to kepe them from dissolvinge now in the beginninge, as also beinge a matter that imported the Catholicque cause so farre, that he wold write to the Duke of Parma to sende the 300 horse he offered them, and were now on the frontiers of Luzemberge for to resiste Tinteville in Champaigne, where the Duke shold be forced to entertaine a power, least anie more townes shold be taken with the assistance of the heretiques; whereuppon he had sent a gentleman to the Duke of Parma, as also Don Bernardino had sent letters, prayinge him, as verie convenient for the King's service, to performe the same, in like manner as he doth the King himselfe to yeald to their request for the monney, the want whereof might perhappes force them to fall to accorde, whether they wold or not.
The rest of the particularities are ordinarie occurrents of the number of the forces on both sides, and proceadings in sundrie provinces, which he reportethe to the advantage of the League.
Certain dispatches of the Bishop of Mans, written to the King from Rome, were intercepted by them of the League, which were towching his audience with the Pope, who answeared him when he asked his blessinge for the King and not absolution, “that they were twoe things, and that he colde not give his blessinge before absolution, which he cold not give to him that kept the clergiemen in prison;” that he perceaved a very ill disposition in the Pope and that Courte; that yf things went well in France, all wold goe well in Rome, yf not, he looked for no good.
By a letter of the French Ambassador's in England, intercepted, he found the preparations in England to be for Portingall, althoughe men did diversely discourse thereof, some sayinge it sholde be for France, and made at Plymouthe as the aptest place to sayle for Normandye, Poytou, or wheresoever should be thoughte moste necessarie; others, for to wayte for the Indian fleete, as for his own part he thought, and not that their determinate journey was for Portingale, for the charge thereof being but 200,000 angels, as the Englishe themselves confessed, they could not be furnished with vittells and munition for so sufficient a nomber of men, as were requisite to attempte Portingale with good successe.
He hath written one letter aparte touchinge one De Vega, whoe left Don Antonio, and was by Don Bernardino now practised to retorne to him againe, and goe with him upon the viage, and there to serve the the King of Spaine according to such instructions as Don Bernardino hath given him, contayned in the letter at large, whereof there is a coppie.
The dispatche of the 20th of Aprill.
The composition between the King of France and the King of Navarre, with the particularities thereof, whereby he saieth the King doth now discover that he hath so longe hidden in his brest, the levie of 12,000 Swissers for the King, whose passage the Duke of Savoye wold impeache, but shold hardly doe, for that they had 500 French foote and 200 horse with them.
That the Englishe Ambassador had remained 3 weeks with the King of Navarre, and had made offers to the King, in the Queen's name, of 8,000 English and 4,000 Scotts, and of shippyng, &c., which the King was likely to accepte, for to devide the forces of the Union, which wold appeare shortlye, and whether the forces were levied for France or Portingall, as was generally affirmed. But he heard from Tours that the Queen wold help them with money yf she did not with men, as was sought by the King of Navarre she sholde, having townes of retraite delivered into her hands, whereof she wolde possesse the said King; which if it should happen, thoughe the matter of religion moved him not, yett, as it semed, in pollicie it were requisite, she having usurped his countries of Holland and Zealand, not to suffer her with her force to oppress the Catholicques of France, whereupon wold ensue the loss of his whole Lowe Countries, for prevention whereof he wold advise him to send “vegallant” force against the Englishe and heretiques, as he writes to the Duke of Parma.
Mons. Forgett is sent Ambassador by the King of France, whoe with the loane of 25,000l. hathe purchased the place of Secretary of Estate. He understands one principall point of his instructions to be, to complaine of him for departinge from the Court at Paris, which they gave out was to treate with them of Paris, and encourage them to resist the King. He prayes the King his master to urge Forgett upon this point, whether it were fitt for the Ambassador of the King of Spayne, when the King of France began to treate with heretiques, to remaine lodged in a village in danger of them, as he was assigned to doe.
He sendeth with this dispatche in the other more private cifar, with a letter directed to the King under the supposed name of Baltazar Catario, the copoie of three letters written by himself to the Duke of Parma, of the 15th and 17th April, wherein he complaines, on the Duke de Maine's behalfe, that the Lanzknights promised, and wheieuppon he made speciall reconninge to doe notable service upon the King, were but 2,500 ill-armed and Bisognios, neither cold it be said when they wold come, where he looked for them a month before and the full nomber of 4,000, which, Don Bernardino saiethe, yf the Duke had had when he departed Paris, he had made the King leape from Tours, and had barred him from sending garrison to Bloys, and that 4,000 there would have done him more good than 20,000 two months after. Whereupon he urgeth him to send them away, considering how much they importe the King's service and Catholicque cause, knowinge what a nacion the Frenche is, who sticke not to saye that the Duke, having promised this supplie assuredlye three monthes since, and not sendinge it, dothe it of pollecie, to drawe them into a necessitie of castinge themselves into the King of Spaine's amres, with other such like discourses not meete to be suffred, least they be discouraged and fall to accorde; whereuppon he prays him instantlye to hasten this succour now in the beginninge, whereupon depends the good cf the Catholicque cause, and consequentlye of the King of Spaine's estate, and prosperous success in his entreprises, it being impossible, this overslipped, that ever the like occasion shalbe offered againe.
He writeth further for the spedie furnishing of 23,000 crowns for the full levie of 9,000 Swissers, to the ende they may be redye afore them that are levienge for the Kinge; shewes the dangerous estate of the League as a new-raysed government, by reason of their mutual emulation, everie one standinge more uppon his owne particular then the common good; besides, that the time serves not to call the States of the Union together, wherefore he praies him to further the request made to the King for advancing of the foresayd second paiement, to the end now in the beginninge lest, for want, all their long labour fall not frutelesse to the grounde.
To which coppies he referres tho King, for knowledge of the state of the Union at that time, and for his own glorie, saies that it was God's great providence, though he endangered his sight therebye, that he came to Paris, as he did, to kepe the bodie of the Union from being dismembred; and to what purpose the cominge of the Lansknights, in such manner and sorte as was expected, wold have served, what paines he hath taken to put awaie so manie extravagant imaginations as were conceaved, where he assured them of the contrarie, and that the King of Spaine wold not abandon so just a cause, and his being at Paris was no small meane to entertaine them in opineon of the King's sinceritie, etc.
Endorsed by Lord Burghley :—“An Abstract of sondry letters written to Don Bernardino, and from him to the King of Spaine, the Duke of Parma, and others.”
6 ½ pp.


  • 1. This is an error for 1589.