Cecil Papers: March 1598, 1-15

Pages 74-84

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 8, 1598. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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March 1598, 1–15

W. Udall to the Earl of Essex.
1597/8, March [1]. Great celerity must be used in the search of John Fortescue's house, there being many places of secret conveyance in it. All secret passages towards the water must be looked to. Fortescue has many provisions, upon many warnings given to him and to Sir John Fortescue by Topcliffe and others. Search should be made about 10 o'clock. Harry Henslowe and John Fortescue are to be committed severally, that they have no conference.
Holograph. Endorsed:—“B. of Lymmerick, March '97.”
½ p. (60. 29.)
Archibald Douglas.
1597/8, March 1. Whereas Archibald Douglas, here resident for the King of Scots' affairs, is licensed to eat flesh this time of Lent: you are to permit John Jenkinson, butcher, of Southwark, to kill quietly in his house during Lent, veal, lamb, and mutton, for Douglas's use.—At the Wardrobe, 1 March, 1597.
½ p. (204. 65.)
Examinations of Helen Fortescue and her daughters.
1597/8, March 2. (i). “The examination of Ellen Fortescue, wife of John Fortescue, in the Blackfriars, London, gent., taken the 2nd of March, 1597.”
Being examined what priest was yesterday with her in her house, affirmeth that there was not any, neither that she used yesterday any ceremony with ashes either with any priest or any other.
And that none of her daughters nor any of her household to her knowledge did yesterday use any ceremony with ashes; neither herself, children, or servants have any other years heretofore used any such ceremony in her house to her knowledge. These things examinate confidently affirmeth upon her word, but refuseth to affirm them upon her oath, saying that she doth not know the danger of an oath, and therefore denieth to be sworn that these her answers are according to the truth.
Examined what moved her to shut her doors and contemptuously to keep them shut against those that came by her Majesty's commandment yesterday to search her house, and requiring her upon her allegiance to set them open, saith that she was careful to put her plate and her husband's writings in safety before she opened her doors, and refuseth to take her oath that while she kept her doors shut she did not hide nor convey away any person.
Confesseth that she hath been a recusant from her infancy, and so continueth, and so purposeth to continue.—Helyna Fortescue.
Underwritten :—“Examinatur coram Johanne Croke. W. Waad.”
1 p.
(ii). “The examination of Katherine Fortescue, daughter of the within named Ellen Fortescue, taken the day and year within written.”
Examined what other persons were in her mother's house yesterday when the search was made more than those whom her mother presented and brought to sight, denieth that there were any to her knowledge, but refuseth to take her oath thereupon.
Denieth that she conferred with any priest yesterday or used any ceremony of ashes.
Confesseth that being sixteen years of age she never came to church, neither intendeth to come to church, affirming she will do as her father and her mother do, and as she hath been brought up, hoping that she doth for the best; and that now though her father and mother should go to church, yet she will not, for that she hath been otherwise brought up.
Signed. Subscribed as above.
2/3 p.
(iii). “The examination of Elizabeth Fortescue, one other of the daughters of the said Ellen Fortescue, taken the day and year before written.”
Examined of the same questions whereof her sister was examined, answereth in all points as her sister before hath answered.
Confesseth that being of the age of fourteen years she never came to church, neither intendeth to come. If the Romish religion should come, then she saith she knoweth not whether she would go to church or no. The reason why she will not go to church, she saith, is for that her father and mother have brought her up otherwise.
She denieth that she doth know of any person that was hid by her mother yesterday, but refuseth to avow it upon her oath.
Signed. Subscribed as above.
Endorsed :—“Th' examinations of Ellen Fortescue and her two daughters,” and in another hand, “In a manner Quakers.”
2/3 p. (49. 49.)
The Lord Chancellor of Ireland to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597/8, March 3. Introducing John Allen, Clerk of the Ordnance in this realm, and asking that he may be favoured in his suit to the table.—Dublin, 3 March, 1597.
Signed :—“Ad. Dublin.” Seal.
½ p. (175. 1.)
Henry Cuff to Henry Savile.
1597/8, March 4/14. My last letters were idle and I fear this will be the same. Still as obedience is better than sacrifice, I send them such as they are, as from *** to my most honourable Lord, to whom I pray you impart them. Upon the young gentleman's coming here S.A. had some large conference with Mr. Guicciardin, and afterwards by his secretary sent a note of some intelligence for his Lordship. From Spain he is advertised that the Adelantado is making forth eight ships of war for the 'waifting' home of the treasure from the Terceras. By reason of the Adelantado's late failure, the King is in some straights touching his affairs in Brettany, where his dependents protest that without immediate help they must compound with their enemies; the King means to send by sea 4000 men to Flanders under the command of Don Sancho Leyna; the merchants interested in his late breaking are now accorded with him to lend him seven millions de novo, viz.: for the next 18 months they are to pay monthly in Flanders 250, and in Spain 150 thousand crowns, for which the King has mortgaged the greater part of his revenues for three years to come. From France, that the peace between the crowns is likely to take place, for the empeaching whereof he [the grand Duke] wishes the Queen would employ her utmost forces, assuring himself that if it be delayed until the payment of this new partito be overpast, that proud King will soon be reduced to complete distress, and be at the discretion of the Queen and her allies. To effect this delay he thinks Villeroy and the King's mistress the fittest means, with whom he himself has very little credit, especially with Villeroy, who, he says, daily does him ill offices with the King. That the Duke should wish to interrupt the peace is not strange; for he thinks that the Spaniard hating him and the Pope not greatly affecting him, a peace would be his ruin, and the enthralling of all the other princes of Italy. I only wonder so wise a prince should either think peace so near to conclusion, or that so weak means could empeach it. I must excuse myself with the old rule, Nemo irascitur historico. The young gentleman was brought to S. A. by Mr. Guicciardine. His entertainment was very good; his charges borne at Pisa; and at his departure he was presented with a chain of gold. That his brother should come hither, he will in no case admit. He has written in answer to his Lordship; but, as his secretary says, little but compliments.—14 March, Stylo novo. Yours ever wholly, C.
Endorsed :—“Mr. H. Cuff to Mr. Savill. 14 March, '97, at Florence.”
1 p. (175. 2.)
Edward Gray to Lord Burghley.
1597/8, March 4. It pleased the Lord Eure to depute me in his office of Warden, and at his departure to give special directions to me for effecting such services as might be beneficial and good to the country, charging me to have a greater regard than ordinary in apprehending of Scottishmen passing through the realm without licence or safe conduct, as also Englishmen passing to and from the realm of Scotland without authority, as vagrant persons. Employing my diligence in this service and apprehending divers both Scots and English, amongst the examination of which it fortuned that I got information of an Englishman named Valentine Thomas who was lately passed through this town of Morpeth out of Scotland southwards with other two Scotsmen in his company, which Valentine Thomas is informed to be a great intelligencer and dealer with the King of Scots touching the matters of state, I being assured likewise that the Scotsmen would presently return again through this wardendry of the Middle March. Whereupon I laid diligent watch and private enquiry for the apprehending of them; one of which Scottish men being attached and brought unto me and examined, whose name is Robert Crawforth, by whose examination you may perceive what his accusation is against Valentine Thomas. After the taking of which examination I dealt effectually with the said Crawforth, partly with reward and farther promises, to bring the said Valentine Thomas through Morpeth town and to give me knowledge by some secret means of his passage; which service if he performed I promised him security of life and further reward. All which Crawforth hath effected, and I now have both himself and the Englishman in hold, not daring to set the Scot at liberty before I had signified the same to your lordship. Further it may please you, since I had conference with the said Thomas it seemeth by his outward protestations that he relieth only upon your lordship, alleging he was born upon your land and his father now your servant, and therefore he greatly requireth to appeal unto your lordship. Wherefore I demanded of him if he had any private authority from you or any other privy councillor to be a private intelligencer in Scotland; which he denied utterly. Therefore I thought fit in my simple judgment, finding the man to be cunning and obscure in his proceedings, to cause him to take pen and paper and to set down in writing his discontent and cause [why] he departed this realm; the which he hath done, written with his own hand, which I send you here enclosed.
I have not yet acquainted him what accusations the Scotsman in his examination hath used against him, the which I send also to your lordship, so that by the declaration of the one and the examination of the other you may perceive how far I have proceeded. Holding it not convenient in mine own judgment to enter into further examination or otherwise to charge the said Valentine Thomas to answer the several articles of the Scot till I had signified thus much to your lordship and my lord Eure, now present at London, I beseech your lordship to vouchsafe me your pleasure how and in what sort I shall proceed with him in so weighty a cause; not doubting but if he were safely conveyed to you, your lordship might out of your grave wisdom and long experience in such cases procure him to reveal such matters as may be acceptable to you and the state of this realm, which I cannot do by reason of my small experience in such weighty affairs. Notwithstanding, I shall be most ready to follow your directions either in proceeding to further examination, or otherwise to convey the parties in prison to your lordship if you grant warrant for their safe convoy. I crave pardon for so boldly signifying this matter to your lordship amongst other your more serious affairs, holding myself most deeply bound to you in all duty and affectionate service for your manifold favours heretofore shewed me, as also to my ancestors and my brother now the chief of my house; praying your acceptance of this my willingness to effect my acceptable service for the good of my country although it may fortune not to be so pertinent as I wish.—Morpeth Castle, this 4th of March 1597.
Endorsed: “Copy of the letter written to the Lord Burghley, Lord High Treasurer of England, by Mr Edward Gray.”
Much faded and damaged by damp.
2 pp. (49. 51.)
John Udall's Mission.
1598, March 4. (I.) Instructions for Mr. John Udall sent down into the North, 4th of March.
Whereas an offer of some service to be done in Ireland hath been made by a noble man or person of quality in Scotland to Carleton and Grime and by them reported to you, by you to Sir Ed. Dyer, by him to me, and by me to her Majesty, it is now her Majesty's pleasure that I send you down into the North to confer with the said Carleton and Grime, in which conference you shall observe these directions that follow:
First, you shall assure them that her Majesty taketh their dutiful cares and voluntary endeavours to do her service in very gracious part, and will according to the merit of the service, have a princelike consideration of them.
Secondly, because the party that should perform the service is utterly unknown to her Majesty and to her ministers, you shall inquire and take account of them how they know him to be a likely man and to have fit parts and means to achieve such an enterprise. For his parts you must let them know that it is necessary he hath these—valour, wisdom, secrecy; as also that he be free from all suspicion of cleaving to the popish and Spanish party in Scotland. For his means or opportunity to achieve it, you must inquire whether he have a fit pretence to go into Ireland, whether he be sure to be well received there, whether he can lodge or plant himself fitly for such an execution, whether he can carry with him followers or strength of his own to assist him in the enterprise and to assure his escape, or whether he trust to any party there; and lastly, whether he have so cast and laid his project as it be likely to take good success.
If you find that Carleton and Grime be already well informed and able to give you satisfaction in these particulars, then you shall so advertise by your letters which you shall send by the running post. If they cannot satisfy you in these things but refer you to your own judgment when you shall confer with the party himself, you shall then, if they can so contrive it, speak with him; and when by them or by your own conference with him you are satisfied that the enterprise is likely and the man proper to undertake it, you shall assure him to have all his reasonable demands satisfied and conditions granted that he can ask; and therefore you shall encourage him to go on with constancy and hope, letting him know that you are sent down of purpose to comfort and confirm him in his undertaking, and that you carry this instruction under my hand as a warrant for yourself to negotiate this matter and an assurance to him that he shall be dealt withal as well as himself in reason can desire.
But if he shall insist upon further assurance than this which you may shew him, then you shall convey him up secretly to some place near London where I may confer with him and give and receive further mutual satisfaction. Provided always that if you find no likelihood in th' enterprise nor the man not agreeing with this description which is before mentioned, then that you break off without opening yourself or any part of your commission, saving that you are sent to inquire and discover.
The rest is referred to your own discretion and diligence, adding only as the mainest caution that you both enjoin yourself and them all secrecy in this business.
What other news or accidents of importance that you shall learn during your abode in these parts you shall likewise advertise up unto me by letter, and you shall send your packets with a cover signed by the hand of him that shall be my Lord Scroope's deputy warden in that West March, to whom I will give you a letter of credit in that behalf. Essex.
Holograph by Essex.
3 pp. (176. 112.)
1597.—(II.) That you address yourself unto Carleton and Gryme to congratulate with them, to strengthen and confirm their endeavours, to impress and enforce unto them how far now they stand engaged upon the service.
To negotiate with the party to these ends: first, that you inform yourself of what place he is, what parentage and birth, also what wit, understanding and courage, and whether he be a man of resolution and martial, what courage he hath of himself, politic or humane, and so to capitulate with him of the means and the expedition, with what probable assurances, his demands, and the means to draw him hither, as near hither as you can conveniently, and unknown if it may be: and likewise to be well informed of what strength he is of in his country, and what faction and religion he holdeth, and what adherents he hath with [in] Ireland. That you make good and true observation of all these particularities for the use and benefit of the service, especially to judge wisely of him whether he be a man capable and well apted for such an affair.
An instruction from and under his own hand.
Instructions for this expedition with his lordship's [Essey's] own hand thereunto, and to negotiate them only to be shewed in England in your own hand, according to the trust reposed in you. And if occasion urge you to converse with the party in Scot[land] then that you leave them safe in the house of Carleton, lest otherwise by practice or danger you may be deprived of them; and to draw the party thither to see and hear them as an hostage for his assurance. Upon the expedition accomplished a substantial commission for 5 post horses, a letter of gratuity to Grymes and Carleton to strengthen them and confirm them in the business. A pass for the safe conduct of the party without the let or incumbrance of any person, magistrate or officer whatsoever.
Thus as well as I can I have disgested this negotiation what I think proper for the handling and service thereof, which you may alter and add as may seem best to your wisdom and better experience. At night I will attend you for the dispatch and further instruction.
Endorsed: “To Sir Edward Dyer.”
Holograph by Udall. The words in italics are in a cipher explained at the head of the document. Seal, broken.
pp. (176. 27.)
Theodora Evanwich, King and Great Duke of all Russia, to Eleazer Evanosinsuburo, “Governor of our inheritance of Evano Gorode.”
1597/8, March 5. Our servant, Master of our Horse, one of our Privy Council and controller of our house and upholder of our great lordships and kingdom of Cazan and Astrakhan, Borris Pheoderwich Goodenove, hath moved us, for the great love we bear to our loving sister Queen Elizabeth, to grant unto the English merchants John Merrick and his company to buy at our inheritance of Evansgorod wheat, rye, barley to the quantity of 6000 setfords and to ship and transport the same at their pleasure; all which we grant for the entire love we bear to our loving sister Queen Elizabeth. We command you of our inheritance of Evansgorod to deliver unto the above named John Merrick and his company 3000 setfords of rye, 2000 of wheat and 1000 of barley, and to receive of them for the said grain money according as the market goeth; and when he or any of his servants come with this our letter to you then presently with all speed deliver unto them such grain as is of the best and most driest.—In our royal city of Moscow the 5 day of March from the beginning of the world 7105 years. From the King his Secretary Posnicke Demstressin.
Endorsed: “1597, Copy of the Emperor's letter for delivery of the corn.”
¾ p. (49. 51.)
John Fortescue to the Earl of Essex.
1597/8, March 8. Though an unknown man I am bold to appeal to your clemency. I challenge any to prove that I have ever harboured any priest or Jesuit. In this search at my house, myself being in the country, there was nothing found but such things as my lewd and wretched butler had locked in a desk of his within that office, so far from my knowledge as is heaven from earth. Nothing could torment me more than to be thought undutiful by her Majesty, in whose service I have been these 21 years, and never “sutched” with any blot of such disorder. Is it likely I would cast away the maintenance of myself, my wife and children? Dear Earl, lend me your indifferent censure; I desire no more. This viijth of March 1597.
Holograph. Seal.
pp. (60. 28.)
Edward Pryme to the Earl of Essex.
1597/8, March 10/20. Thanks him for past favours and apologises for slackness in writing. I will give your Lordship to understand the state of this province of Brittany where I am dwelling and serving the Lord Marshal of Brysacke as his steward. The Marshal by a secret intelligence that he had with the inhabitants of Dynanne took the town and castle. This town is one of the best and strongest places of this province, by the winning of which Mercuer lost the one half of his forces, and this was the chiefest cause that Mercuer is come upon his knees to the French King with whom he is agreed. The conditions I cannot write as yet, but this much, Mercuer doth not remain in the province, the government is given to Sezar Monsieur, the King's bastard. Since the taking of Dinanne my lord hath taken by siege and cannon two strong castles, both within four leagues from St. Malo's, the names of which is Plecie Bertrane, the which was rased; the other is Gylldo by the sea side, in the which my lord hath left a governor; other two places named Hedy and Kybriacka have by composition yielded to my lord. At this instant my lord is before the tower of Sersones where he hath been now these ten days. This place is very strong. It stands upon a top of a hill by the sea side. Within this six days the cannons will be lodged. We hope that after that the cannon do begin to shoot, that they that are within will come to agreement. There are some one hundred brave men within the place. My lord his forces are some 3,000 foot, 200 horse.
The French King is at Ausignye, three leagues from Nants, where he means to be this good time of Easter. All the places about Angu and Normandy have cried Vyva le Roye. Vanes, in Bas Brytanye, a place wherein there was some 120 Spaniards within the castle, by policy the governor put the Spaniards out Sunday past the 15 of this [month], and cried Vyva le Roye. The Spaniards have but two places in this province, the which are Bleuett and Prymela, a castle by Morles [?Morlaix]. The French King means to besiege Bleuett; the place is good, notwithstanding time and force will carry it away. This is the state of Brittany, the which is by the grace of God in great “lyckud” to be in tranquility and both the Legers and Spaniards out of it before this summer be at an end.
By the way of Brest my lord received news of the loss of some Spanish ships that were coming to Bleuett with 2,000 men. Dom Joann was lost; he was the commander.
Promises further information.—At the Camp before the tower of Sersones, 20 March, 1598, new style.
My lord is commanded to march towards Bleuett, this siege being done with all the forces of Brittany, the which will be some 4,000 foot, 400 horse.
I am acquainted with divers of the Religion, as Monsieur de la Muche, governor of Viterye, Monsieur de Bremanfanye, governor of Chatillyon, Monsieur Dandeny, governor of Corle, Dandeny, governor of Conper [?Quimper], Monsieur “the Tenye,” governor of Penpall, and divers others; if your Honour will command anything to them I will do your command. Also mentions Monsieur “the Mongomerye,” and Monsieur de la Vardine.
Endorsed :—“C. Ed. Pryme, 20 Mch., 1597.”
3 pp. (204. 68.)
The Earl of Northumberland to Sir Robert Cecil.
1597/8, March 11. I must entreat your favour towards this gentleman, Mr. Goring, my neighbour and friend, who is to appear before you upon some complaints made against him. I cannot say he is altogether clear of what shall be laid to his charge, but withal I am sure he is prosecuted with a little spleen together with his offence. I leave him to the declaring his own excuse.—Petworth, this 11 March.
Holograph. Endorsed with date. Seal.
½ p. (60. 39.)
Paul Delahay to Richard Percival.
1597/8, March 13. Encloses letters for the Lord Treasurer and Sir John Scudamore. Death of Walter Vaughan, of the Golden Grove, Carmarthenshire. As to heriots due to Lord Abergavenny by his (Delahay's) father-in-law's death: in whose place his Lordship has made Sir Thomas Conizbye Steward of Ewyas.—Preston-upon-Wye, 13 March, 1597.
1 p. (2256.)
Paul Delahay to Lord Burghley.
1597/8, March 13. According to your will and command I have perused my father-in-law Cecil's will, and the 6th inst. celebrated the funerals, as followeth. First, 6 poor men of that parish in gowns went before the coffin; next to them, the preacher James Ballard, a prebend[ary] of the church of Hereford, and a Cecil by descent, in his mourning gown, accompanied with my uncle Perry, of Morehampton, followed. Next to them the coffin covered with black cloth, whereupon 12 scutcheons of Cecils', Perrys', and Harbatts' arms were fastened, three of which I commend to you, and carried by 6 of my father-in-law's men in black unto the churchyard, and then by 6 of his sons-in-law into the church. After the coffin followed his 8 sons-in-law in mourning cloaks and answerable apparel, and three of his nephews. After followed Matthew's wife, the 8 daughters, and my father-in-law's sister Alice in mourning attire. His wife refused to be present, albeit requested and a gown's cloth sent her. The church was hanged with black cloth and the assembly was such that the church could not contain them. After dinner there was a dole of 2d. bread and 2d. in money given to every poor person, being then in number 440. The next day a dole of 1d. bread and 1d. in money was given to every poor person, being then in number 140; and so in worshipful manner was the funerals celebrated to your lordship's commendations, for that to the credit of the house of Alterinis I gave out the charge to be yours, which amounteth to 100l. and mo, as by particulars shall be manifested. The funerals ended, notwithstanding your letter to my brother Cecil to allow of his father's will, such was his weakness through sinister counsel as to offer to withstand the same; whereupon, as well to satisfy his will as to procure the safety of the evidence concerning the lands assured unto my good master Sir Robert Cecil, [I] have accorded with him (as by articles may appear), then making full account that by a band of 1000l. forfeited by W. Powell, of Lansby, for not payment of 80l. arrearages of rent for his mother's dowry due to my said father-in-law, as for plate to the value of 100 marks, being the goods of my said father-in-law and to the said Powell conveyed by his said mother, part whereof was the cup of silver and gilt given to my said father-in-law by your Honour, as well to defray the charge of the funerals as to yield some comfort amongst others to my said father-in-law's children. But since I am informed that the said Powell lieth dangerously sick, and if he die am like to lose the said debt, wherefore I beseech your lordship to grant me the wardship of his heir David Powell, his brother Simon's son. Withal my brother Cecil lieth dangerously sick.—Preston-upon-Wye, the 13th day of March 1597.
Holograph. Seal.
1 p. (49. 55.)
Thomas Laple to the Earl of Essex.
1597/8, March 13/33. I am sorry that, having been all this time in the service of the French King, I never presented my service to you the only supporter of men of fortune. Yet if you need me I can bring a number of brave men, French and English, who live under my command and would adventure their lives in your service. The Duke Mercurie is surrendered to the King, leaving the government of Brittany, and the King's base son César is betrothed to the daughter of Mercurie. For the rest I refer myself to Captain God who has served in all these wars with me.—From the Siege of the Tower of Sesson, 23 March, Stilo Galliae.
Signed. Seal.
1 p. (175. 9.)
Jacomo Marenco to the Earl of Essex.
1597/8, March 13/23. I wrote last December about a matter I was treating of with a lady here, who would have wished to hear whether the proposition was for the Queen's service or not. But as your Excellency has not acknowledged the receipt of that letter, I must suppose it was not thought to be a matter of any importance. However Signor Antonie [Perez] will be here and will begin the affair, if it is thought proper. I shall leave on the 20th April, or at any rate by the end of the month, before which time I hope to receive any commands for your service or the Queen's.
At my leaving England I petitioned the Queen through your Excellency for leave to export fifteen hundred dickers of ox skins; and although she then refused me that favour, yet relying on your credit I now forward again my memorial to you for the same end; and would ask for a speedy reply to it.—Paris, 23 March 1598.
Holograph. Italian.
pp. (176. 125.)