Cecil Papers: March 1591

Pages 96-101

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 4, 1590-1594. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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March 1591

The Justice Clerk to Archibald Douglas.
1590/1, March 1. Commends to his favour the bearer, George Scot, some time page to his father, who has to “do” in England for help to get recompense for certain “geir” which was taken from him by some of the “lug.” Has sent Mons. Beauvoir de la Nocle four deer dogs and one bitch. “Desire his goodness to take my boldness in good part, for his favour was so loving and homely to me at my last being there, in accounting me as his son, that I could do no less than send him an highland, taken out of an highland and barbarous country. As for the state of this country I doubt not you are informed well anent it from time to time by sundry; but for myself, in good faith, supposing I would never so fain write it, I cannot do it for lack of knowledge, howbeit I be present daily and beholding the best I can. I think all compassed within one cloud as yet, which how soon it shall clear is uncertain.”—From the Canongate, 1 March, 1590.
2/3 p.
The Earl of Southampton to the Earl of Essex.
[1590/1,] March 2. Though I have nothing to write worth your reading, yet can I not let pass this messenger without a letter be it only to continue the profession of service which I have heretofore verbally made unto your lordship; which, howsoever in itself it is of small value, my hope is, seeing it wholly proceeds from a true respect borne to your own worth and from one who hath no better present to make you than the offer of himself to be disposed of by your commandment, your Lordship will be pleased in good part to accept it, and ever afford me your good opinion and favour, of which I shall be exceeding proud, endeavouring myself always with the best means I can think of to deserve it. As I shall have opportunity to send into England, I will be bold to trouble your lordship with my letter; in the mean time, wishing your fortune may ever prove answerable to the greatness of your own mind, I take my leave.—Dieppe, 2nd March.
Signed. Seal. ½ p.
Wm. Skynner to Lord Burghley.
1590/1, March 6. Through absence of those lawyers with whom I might best have conferred in the cause, being abroad in circuits this time of the assizes, I could not have so good commodity to satisfy your lordship as otherwise I should. But I did communicate it with Mr. B. who took short notes in perusing thereof, wherein he said you should be satisfied, intending to attend the Court next Sunday; but I desired you might receive his notes before, and for that purpose made a transcript of the book for him, that in returning yours I might have the other to remain with me to confer with Mr. Attorney of the Court of Wards at his return next week. Some with whom I had conference, of good reading and judgment, seem to concur in opinion with the party that made this collection in the chief point of law, viz., that the writ in the Register is no sufficient ground to warrant such collection and inference thereupon as Fitzherbert hath made in his Natura Brevium, tit. “prohib.,” fol. 41; being the rather induced thereunto for that Fitzherbert himself, in the title “Consultation,” setteth down so many cases wherein that writ will lie against a Prohibition, which all are collected and summarily reported by the writer of this collection. Howbeit the conceit that is had by him of this word (conveniant), as though the prohibition lay against lay people that voluntarily should hold meetings or come to the spiritual court without citation or summons, seemeth a very bare conceit, and to be refuted by the words contained in the attachment pursuant to the writ original whereupon he hath his dependence. Discusses other objections against Fitzherbert, the part bearing title, “Of oaths in Ecclesiastical Courts,'' &c.—6 March, 1590.
Seal. 2 pp.
E. Grimeston to [Lord Burghley].
1590/1, March 7. Mr. Yorke parted from hence on Saturday last, February 27, fully informed both of the King's estate, and how all things have passed here. Since, there are no new accidents, but having the opportunity of a messenger I would not neglect to advertise you how they proceed in this siege.
The King hath attempted nothing forcibly since his departure, but doth sap that bastion of earth which he did batter first. His men are now in the midst of it within less than a yard of the enemy, who still retire and entrench themselves; they themselves do almost despair to hold it, and that being taken it is thought assuredly that they will parley for they have very few soldiers in the town and their best men have been slain with the cannon, as their spies confess. There are daily spies taken, which have been sent out to draw in some succours, without which they cannot hold; but the King hath set so good guard as I hope none shall enter. The King “attends” bullets and munition to make his grand battery, the which I think will be ready within these three days.
There is news out of Picardy that M. de Longueville hath put himself into Chauny, fearing lest the Duke of Maine should besiege it, who is by Noyon with 3 or 4000 foot and 400 horse, whereof the greatest part are the Spanish forces that were left with him, having very few French.
The Count Soissons is this day retired home to his house. The King hath sent for the Cardinal of Vendosme his brother; he is thought nothing at all to favour religion.
Mons de la Chastre begins to stir in Berry; some think he will besiege Remorentin to see if he may take it whilst the King is busied here, but the King hath sent away Mons. de Montigny who is governor of the country, and, as I hear, Mons. de Chatillon shall follow.
M. de Guitry prospers greatly in Savoy. He hath taken Rumely, and is gone to Chambery, which is not thought strong nor able to hold him; which being taken there rests nothing in Savoy but Momelian l'Anonciado and Miolance, and Bourg in Bresse, which being blocked up, as he may, the King of Spain shall have no means to send through Savoy into the Low Countries.
They have fresh advertisements here that the Duke of Parma means to be in France by the middle of April.
It is written hither out of the Low Countries that Sir John Norris is returned into England with very few men, and that the States have refused to suffer the old bands [to] depart which her Majesty had appointed for the relief of France, saying that it would be the loss of the whole country if her Majesty did withdraw them. The Marshal Biron and M. de la Noüe did both tell me of it; as I can gather it makes them doubt that her Majesty will not be so ready to help them as they hoped, and as their present need requires.
Talking the other day with M. de la Noue about the state of Brittany I told him of Nawe, who governed the Prince much, that he had been Secretary to the Queen of Scots, and acquainted with all the dangerous practices against her Majesty and her estate; and therefore I feared (knowing his bad mind) that he might be drawn to be a pensioner to Spain, and to favour that party, which were very dangerous for the King's service in those parts : and therefore I wished him (as of myself) to make the King acquainted with it before his departure, that there might be some device to draw him from thence, which I thought her Majesty would like very well of, knowing the man and his bad disposition better than they did here. I can assure you the nobility of the country have been discontented to see him govern the Prince so much. I beseech your lordship to pardon me if I have erred in this discourse, which duty to her Majesty's service hath made me to use without receiving any commandment from you.—From the camp before Chartres, 7 March, 1590.
The Queen to the Lord Deputy of Ireland.
1590/1, March 7. Where Sir Richard Grenville, knight, hath, as he informeth us, compounded with the Lord Viscount Roche, Lord of Fermoy, for his interest in the Abbey of Fermoy in the county of Cork, for divers years yet unexpired; in consideration of the good service of the same Sir Richard and other good causes, we are pleased to grant to him and the heirs males of his body an estate as well of the site and demesnes of the said Abbey of Fermoy, late in the Lord Roche's possession, as also of the site and demesnes of Gilley Abbey in the same county, upon both the which said sites he hath been at great charge in building, after the expiration of the former leases, reserving to us our heirs and successors the yearly rents according to the best and greatest survey. And for the other lands and inheritances belonging to the said Abbeys, as the parsonages impropriate, the tithings of townships, and the other towns and villages not parcel of the said demesnes, our meaning is that they shall pass only but for term of years. Therefore our will and pleasure is that our said servant Sir Richard Grenville shall have an estate granted to him in them after the former leases now in being for the term of 40 years, only reserving to us, our heirs and successors the rents and services according to the greatest and best survey, or that by record shall be found due to us, with a reservation also of one year's double rent for and in the name of a fine at every one and twenty years end. And therefore our will and pleasure is that you shall cause such grants to be made to the said Sir Richard Grenville of the said two sites and demesne, to have and hold to him and the heirs males of his body, reserving the best rents that upon the expiration of the present terms that either by record or survey shall appear. And in like sort you shall make a grant to him of the other premises belonging to the said Abbeys for term of 40 years after the expiration of the present terms, reserving to us the best rent and services to be found by survey or any record. And further you shall cause commission to be directed to the Vice-President and other fit persons in the province of Munster, to hear the requests of Sir Warham St. Leger and Sir Richard Grenville for the enjoying of such lands as are commonly called chargeable lands, and were of the possessions of the late Earl of Desmond attainted, and to call the parties that make any pretence of title to the same lands before the said Commissioners to hear their claims, and thereupon to decide the titles to the benefit of the said Sir Warham St. Leger and the said Sir Richard Grenville as far forth as by law and justice the same ought to be. And if the parties that make claim to the chargeable lands shall not be induced to yield to that which may be thought right, then the Commissioners to be authorised' to impanel a jury to inquire of our title, and accordingly to order the lands to our patents as shall be found due upon the said verdict. And further also we would the said Commissioners might have authority to cause the lands limited to Sir Warham St. Leger to be duly measured, whereby a sufficient grant thereof may pass from us to the said Sir Warham St. Leger.
(In Burghley's hand.)—The form of this letter is reasonable, so as her Majesty shall please to make grant of the lands afore-mentioned to Sir Richard Grenville in special tail. W. Burghley.
Draft, corrected by Burghley.
Endorsed :—“7 March 1590.”
3 pp.
R. Douglas to Archbald Douglas.
1590/1, March 9. Your letter of 6 February came to my hands 6 March following, whereby I perceived that my letters sent to you by “Mr. Boues his moyen” were safely come to your hands and with reasonable good expedition. As to the discourse in the beginning of your letter, how the prejudged opinions, falsely engraven in his Majesty's heart of you by such as being your unfriends ' has ' been more partial to themselves and their own passions than to His Majesty and the weal of his service, might be best removed, I confess and must acknowledge that that were both the safest and most sure way if we had to do with a prince that either would freely hear reason or, when it were heard, judge of it according to the truth or appearance thereof; but such is the unhap of us and our time that we have to do with one who thinks and judges of all matters, not as they are, but according to the opinion of those to whom he gives himself as it were over. In cujus animo. nihil est liberum, non amor non odium, nisi jussa et indita. And there fore we must use the best means we may and fittest to produce the good effects according to his humour, not such as good reason would, for then we needed not to employ the credit of any but the simple truth, and the progress of your actions would be sufficient to confute all such calumnies and forged inventions as has been maliciously contrived and laid against you. And thus far for that discourse, whereunto I am sorry I could not answer without the touching the imperfection of His Majesty, a virtuous and good prince otherways, but it is to you who I am assured will be more curious to cover that imperfection than others who are more bound to do it. By my last, whereunto I have received as yet no answer, ye understand how far farther I had proceeded in the cause with my Lord of Spynie, since which I have not been idle, but have dealt both with him and my Lord of Menmur very earnestly, by whose persuasions I have reduced him to be contented to supersede the finishing of his securities of the lands of Abernethy until my coming to you, and in the meantime to be dealing earnestly with his Majesty with all the credit he has, which is in the highest degree, and with that of his friends, to remove those hard opinions unjustly conceived of you, and to see if he can persuade him, since they are already agreed that it is necessary for the benefit of his service that he should have one upon all occasions resident there, and that the cause why he has not one to be his inability to sustain such a person there, as were convenient he should, to think that ye were the meetest to be employed in that matter as one most able and willing and who would be least chargeable to his Majesty. In obtaining this we shall proceed the nearest we can to the course wisely laid down by you in your letter, and how soon it can be anything advanced in Grace of God I shall take my journey towards you immediately thereafter; but I see the state of matters here far altered since my last unto you, which makes me doubt whether it be convenient that, considering the time, it be meet for your estate that ye should upon these conditions embrace this course which, after that I have laid it forth unto you, ye shall judge thereupon yourself, and what you think meetest for you by your directions I shall follow the best way I may. It is thought by the wiser sort and them who look in the state of our affairs more deftlie nor the vulgar, that the course and familiarity that heretofore has been with the country shall be broken off and changed to the plain contrary, and that before the end of this instant summer it shall plainly and evidently appear. The causes why this is certainly meant are these. First, the Chancellor's growing again in credit, far by all men's expectation, as great as ever he was, since and little before which time his society and only fellowship with such as has been and wilbe enemies to the English course and friends, and advancers of the Spanish, such as the Lord Claude Montrose, Crauford, Maxwell, Huntley, and now last of all Arroll, by his leaving the fellowship he had of before with all the rest who are lovers of the religion and that course, from whom he is now altogether disjoint. Next, the inclination of the whole chamber that way who carries no little sway in our affairs. And then it is whispered secretly and thought most sure by them who are privy to his most secret intentions that it is resolved at the next parliament in July, after his Majesty's perfect majority of 25 years, to reduce the last Earl of Mortoun's restitution, thereby to take the earldom from him who is now Earl and part it betwixt the Duke and the Lord Maxwell, thereby to tie to them the Lord Maxwell, and hold the Duke surer nor they think he is. This will be very dangerous and breed a great division and a confusion in this state. Last of all, Fentrie and all the rest of excommunicate Papists and dealers with foreigners, who were before either in ward or durst not appear, are now released and most diligent or waiters on the court and principally on the Chancellor who has put them all in work again. So that except the King himself keeps matters back, as loath to enter in new “comber,” which will be hard to do, all his favourites being bent that way, undoubtedly his intelligence with that country wilbe quite broken up. Therefore you may advise upon these points and see what ye think meetest, for suppose I follow forth my course with my Lord of Spynie, yet until I have your opinion hereupon I will conclude nothing. Your lordship is greatly obliged to my laird of Menmur, a gentleman both wise, learned and well affected to honest causes. I have communicated with him at length upon these mineral matters and his answer with his own hand here ye shall receive. Sir James Sandilands, one of our favourites, is shortly to go in that country, as he says himself, only to see it, for indeed he is not meet to deal in matters of State, but yet he will have letters to seek the King's pension if he may have it. Mr. David Makgill will delay me perhaps this half year; therefore I pray you write to him to hasten his payment since ye are content to be paid of your whole debt in such small sums.—Edinburgh, 9th of March 1590.
Count of friesland.
1590/1, March 12. Warrant under the sign manual to the Lord Treasurer to give orders for the export free of duty by Matthew Grenesmyth , the Queen's subject residing in Embden, in the service of Edgar Count of Friesland, of thirty cast pieces of iron ordnance and 30 tuns of beer for the use of the said Count. Also by Francis Gendre, of 200 tuns of beer to Dieppe : and by Nicholas Renard, of muskets etc. to Boulogne for the French King's service.—Greenwich, 12 March, 33 Eliz.
Signed. 1 p.
E. Douglas to his Uncle, Archibald Douglas.
[About 1590/1,] March 16. I told at my departure from London that I would not see your [lordship] again in haste, and as I think (though I wish otherways) not so long as you live. I am informed that Mr. Secretary hath complained of many abuses ne to his honour, and I looked for no less. I knew he was beginning to loathe (loth) my service, and surely I might have been thought very simple, knowing, if I had not left him before he had left me and beggared me as many others are who were employed in like matters, that he would perhaps use me worse. So I would wish you to be plain with him the first time you speak with him and tell him this from me, that I am malcontent and that I will honour and serve his honour while I live, but not in any such service as I was wont to do, and that I am retired to a more solid life. Do not show him that T repent leaving his service, but rather amplify more. This is his own policy, but for God's cause, bewray me not. Mr. Richard at my information hath ordained Mr. Alexander Hay to deliver four score crowns to you.—Edinburgh, 16 March.
Holograph. Seal, 1 p.
The Syndics of the Council of Geneva to Lord Burghley.
1590/1, March 23. Are writing to thank her Majesty for granting their request for a voluntary collection in her kingdom in aid of themselves. Would not omit to acknowledge their obligations to him also in this matter. Beg him to continue until they feel the full effect of her Majesty's grant, for their enemy is massing a new powerful army to attack them, raised and led under the name and at the expense of the King of Spain, who has anew drawn from the garrison of Milan eighty “enseignes” of foot and some companies of cavalry, besides thirteen companies of Spaniards and Italians. God has prevented him from executing his enterprises against them. Hope God will give them the courage and means not to fall under this heavy burden.—Geneva, 23 March, 1590.
French. 1 p.
The Syndics of the Council of Geneva to the Queen.
1590/1, March 23. To the same effect as the letter to Lord Burghley of this date, thanking her for the voluntary contribution made in her kingdom for their aid.—Geneva, 23 March, 1590.
French. 2 p.
The Ship Ugara Salvagina.
1591, March 27. Report of Dr. Aubrey and Dr. Julius Caesar concerning the ship Ugara Salvagina. —Doctors Commons, 27 March, 1591.
Annotatid in the margin in Lord Burghley's handwriting.
Signed. 2 pp.