Elizabeth: December 1575, 1-10

Pages 192-198

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 11, 1575-1577. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1880.

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December 1575, 1-10

Dec. 1. 478. News from Strasbourg.
On the 25th Nov. the Prince of Condé and M. de Meru departed towards Heidelburg to take their leave of the Count Palatine. They look for all the army to be assembled at the rendezvous near Phalsbourg or Tryckestine castle by the 17th inst. To comfort the Queen Mother and the King that their motion for a truce might be like to take place, the Duke Casimir has sent 7,000 reiters into the countries adjoining Tryckestine castle, which are mostly the King's, to remain till the rest be gathered together. The French forces who begin to come to the rendezvous are many, from Sedan, Lorraine, and other places where they have lain hidden. There are 2,000 reiters sent to conduct hither the Princes' Switzers, whom the Duke of Longueville will try to hinder passing through his countries.—Strasbourg, 1 Dec. 1575.
Endd. P. 1.
[Dec. 3.] 479. Henry III. of France to the Queen.
Does not think that she will take it amiss that a Prince of a house that has been and is still friendly to her should wish to show his devoted affection to her service. If it please her he will come that she may have personal knowledge of him. For his own part he will be so obliged that she can have no one more desirous to show good will to her than himself—Paris. Signed.
Add. Endd. Holograph. Fr. P. 1.
Dec. 3. 480. Catherine de Medicis to the Queen.
Makes her excuses for not answering the letter sent her through the Sieur de la Mothe Fenelon. Was glad to hear the honourable language she used to him respecting her. Her two sons are agreed in desiring a favourable answer to what they so much desire, and she assures her that it is the greatest wish of her heart to be called before she die the mother of so wise a princess. She will understand further by the Sieur de la Porte, a gentleman about the person of her son. Is using her best endeavours to promote the peace of the kingdom.—Poilly, 3 December 1575. Signed.
Add. Endd. Holograph. Fr. P. 1.
Dec. 3. 481. Duke of Montmorency to Lord Burghley.
Beseeches him to use his good offices to further the negotiation of the Sieur de la Porte for the Duke of Alençon, it being a matter which so nearly touches the well being and union of the two kingdoms.—Poitiers, 3 December 1575. Signed.
Add., with seal. Endd. Fr. P. 1.
Dec. 3. 482. Duke of Montmorency to Walsingham.
Knowing his good will to the welfare of both kingdoms, he requests him to aid to the utmost of his power the negotiations of M. de la Porte. — Poitiers, 3 December 1575. Signed.
Add., with seal. Endd. Fr. P. 1.
Dec. 4. 483. Catherine de Medicis to Walsingham.
Begs him continue his good offices to further the marriage of her son with the Queen. Has given charge to the Sieur de la Porte to declare to him how much she will be bounden to him in this matter.—Poitiers, 4 December 1575. Signed.
Holograph postcript to the same effect. Add. Endd. Fr. P. 1.
Dec. 4. 484. Robert Corbet to Lord Burghley.
The Commendator seems to be somewhat more inclined to the Queen's good motion than before. There is great fear which way the reiters will march that come to the service of the Prince of Condé, who are already at Mezieres. There is a noise amongst the Spaniards in the Court that the Queen levies certain thousands of men for Holland. There is also news amongst them that certain ensigns of Scots be arrived in Holland, and that the Hollanders stamp their money with the arms of the King of Scots entitling him Count of Holland; this news a holy Franciscan friar brought. The Spanish ships be arrived in Dunkirk. Instead of 5,000 soldiers besides mariners there are but 700 in all, and most of them sick and out of heart. The number of vessels is 32, very evil appointed. Is sending to Mr. Hastings. Encloses news.—Antwerp, 4 Dec. 1575. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 1⅓.
Dec. 4. 485. Advices.
The nobles and governors were here at the day appointed and were daily in Council, and are to depart every one to his quarter and abiding. The Estates of Artois and Flanders upon the demand of money have deferred their resolution until such time as they of Brabant have granted whereof Louvain, Brussels, and Bois-le-Duc have refused to provide any. They of Antwerp have made grant of their part upon condition to be deducted from it certain monies and charges disbursed by them during these troubles. It is reported that all Almains having charge here shall be discharged with their men. News came this morning from Zerickzee that all the piles and posts driven in to stop the entrance have been by the violence of weather borne away. Certain countrymen being let out of the town were examined by Mondragon, and declared those within to have plenty of all things. On Thursday there came 40 sail of Gueux to a place called Viane. All soldiers are commanded to go to their ancients. It is reported that the league between the Emperor and the Turk is continued for five years. The reiters march forward still, and the Count Palatine levies certain number of footmen to send after them.
Enclosure. Pp. 12/3.
Dec. 4. 486. Philip II. to the Corregidor of Biscay.
Passport for Sir Henry Cobham, ambassador from the Queen of England.—Pardo, 4 Dec. 1575. Signed and countersigned by Juan Delgado.
Endd. Span. P. ½.
Dec. 7. 487. Henry Mason to Lord Burghley.
Being sent for by the Grand Commendator for the passing of certain accounts touching his office of commissioner for the victuals for the King's camp and army, by sea and land in Holland, he chanced to find this bringer, William Winter, an ancient acquaintance. After dinner, and sundry conferences had between them, they by solemn oath promised one another to be secret and true. Has long desired to employ his service in all secret means according to Burghley's pleasure, which, if he accepts, he desires he will send back the messenger with all speed with such advice and instructions as he shall find good, when he will be ready to "frequent" his Lordship with all such occurrences as shall be most convenient to be discovered for the benefit of her Majesty and her country. Whereas he employs Edward Woodshawe and others they are by their own folly and negligence known, wherefore he desires that no man may perceive that they have any intelligence together, which to avoid he begs he will confer with this bringer, for the ill behaviour and prattling of the English merchants here mars all, as also Burghley's sending letters to their Governor to be conveyed to Woodshawe is blown abroad, and openly manifested to the ears of the Court. Humbly requests him to keep his letters secret, as there be some lurking about him who advertise the "Louvainists" of almost all such matters. Woodshawe is nothing secret in such affairs. Has been told by John Fowler, and other "Louvainists," that certain of Woodshawe's letters have been intercepted and sent to the Court, where he has been called to expound them. Doubts not but that he is enough advertised of the occurrents daily passing in these parts between the King and the Prince of Orange. The Spaniards have suffered great losses, and the Commendator has been obliged to send reinforcements, nevertheless by these last exploits the Prince has lost above 300,000 florins a month, which he was wont to levy of those villages and lands which now are under the King's subjection. The Prince has too many traitors about him, who are corrupted with money, for the King having sold the princedom of Salerno in Italy to Nicholo Grimaldi, for 9,000,000 ducats, the money being sent here is most part employed in these enterprises. Also there was taken last January between Arnheim and Nimeguen, a gentleman with a packet of letters, amongst which was a letter of credence from the Prince of Orange to his brother the Earl John of Nassau, which letter being written at large, and referring to the said messenger, declared particularly all the force, estate, means, and hope of the Prince of Orange and his adherents. The letter being about four sheets of paper contained all his secrets, "imploring" the death of his brother Ludovic, uttering the estate of himself and the country, their force by sea and land, how many ships, how and in what manner he levied money, what were his charges, and also the extraordinary costs of keeping men in his behalf in the Courts of England, France, and other Princes; also how long he was able to hold out, but much complaining of the inconstancy of the people of the Low Countries, their dogged nature, and unruly manner, which is most true, for there is not a viler or wickeder nation in the world, full of all murmuration, rebellion, and disobedience, without God's fear and of mischievous tongues, "and certainly take their tongues from them we take their chiefest weapons, and are men so long as the drink is in their heads, otherwise not." Moreover, the Prince incited his brother to use all endeavours for his aid amongst the Princes of Germany and the Prince of Condé, with levy of certain reiters to come into Friesland to draw the King's forces into those parts, so that he might the quieter succeed in Holland and Zealand. The said prisoner being committed to Mason's charge for 48 hours he got privily a copy of the said letter. Judges that the prisoner after being examined and tortured was privily put to death. This was the chief occasion why the treaty of peace took no place, for by the advertisements in the Prince's letter were practised these last enterprises. Since these last victories the Spaniards vaunt sore upon England, and the English "Louvainists" are not behind in such matters. Minds in him to advertise him of their practices. Advises him to take regard of the Isle of Sheppey and Gillingham, as he has heard divers discourses about them. Mr. Cotton and Mr. Copley have sent one Lewis to view the havens from Dover to Lynn. Hopes to send a copy of the propositions and answers made at the conference of the Estates and nobles. On the fourth they all returned to their places and governments. The Court here is advertised of a secret levy of 4,000 Englishmen, which come over to aid the Prince under Mr. Chester, Morgan, and others. There is great provision made for the wars at Antwerp, and a number of ships and galleys building in different places. Sends an "estate" of all officers in these Low Countries. Has just been sent for to the Court, and understands for certain that all the nobles and Estates are appointed to meet at Mons on the 10th inst., where shall be treated absolutely upon the answer to the Grand Commendator.
2. Encloses a list of all the councillors and civil and military officers of the King of Spain in the Low Countries.— Antwerp, 7 Dec. 1575. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 9½.
Dec. 8. 488. Dr. Dale to Lord Burghley.
1. Each man is in expectation of others' doings here. The King hearkens what the Queen Mother will do with Monsieur, and what they of Bourges and Angouleme will do. The Queen Mother is always in doubt of the persuasion of those that are about the King. They send daily to hear what is done by the reiters and them of the religion, and the contrary side are all in care of the practices that may be wrought with Monsieur and the reiters. The King has made no preparation, but trusted only to practices, by reason whereof he is more like to be taken unprovided. It is thought things are bent to little quietness. The reiters are about Verdun to see if they can get that town. — Paris, 8 December 1575. Signed.
2. P.S. (Partly in cipher.) Has taken order to hear from the Duke of Alençon, who has sent his token to him.
Add. Endd. P. ¾.
Dec. 8. 489. Dr. Dale to [Sir Thomas Smith and Walsingham].
Since his last despatch the King has ratified the truce, and proclaimed it openly in this town, in such a slender manner as appears by the Edict. The King sent la Chastre to Bourges to persuade them to receive Monsieur, giving very large commission to the Queen Mother and Montpensier to constrain them, and them of Angouleme by force if they would not receive him willingly. These things despatched, the King went a hunting, though he is wont very seldom so to do, as one assuring himself of quietness for this winter, and as he was coming home he received letters from Germany that the reiters approached near France, and would not be stayed by the truce. Whereupon the Council was assembled, and couriers despatched to stay the delivery of the towns to Monsieur till further order. Biron was sent back to the Queen Mother, and the truce concluded to be broken off. The next day it was resolved to try whether Monsieur might be severed from the Prince of Condé, and therefore the King sent to ask if he would be content to stand to the truce for his part; if he would, the King would perform his agreement although he remained in war with the Prince of Condé. The King was put in hope by Schomberg that the Germans would be won with money, so there were 7,000 francs appointed for them, the one half to be paid out of hand. The Queen Mother put the King in hope that both Monsieur and the malcontents would be satisfied if her agreement were put in execution. Forasmuch as Bourges would not be induced thereunto she was of opinion that Monsieur should have Poictiers. So it was thought she would have delivered it to him, for since she has travailed so far to make an agreement between her sons she cannot satisfy herself without bringing it to pass. While these things were in doing, news came to the King again that the reiters approached and would not be stayed, and that the forces of Danville and the Viscount of Turenne marched towards Monsieur saying they would come near the King, and not treat of any peace till they came to Bourg-laReine, within two leagues of Paris. Upon this it was concluded that the money appointed for the reiters should be made ready to save the King, if the reiters would not be stayed, and garrisons to be put in Montereau-faut-Yonne, Corbeil, Pont Charenton, and St. Cloud to stop the passages, and the Duke of Burgundy to depart with speed to his government in Burgundy. There is continual practice to corrupt the reiters, and the King is put in good hope that in time they will be won with money. The King has sent Monsieur such money as is grown due to him since his departure, with commission to take order for the payment both of his revenue hereafter, and also for such other money as shall be due to him by this latter agreement. The Queen Blanche has departed homewards, her father was fain to send her money. The Marshal de Retz waits upon her, and it is said he must lend her 10,000 crowns at the King's request. The Queen Mother remains still at Poitiers; she has sent La Chastre, La Mothe, and one of the captains of the guard to treat with Monsieur anew for a general pacification. Hears of John Furrier's arrival in Spain. This day is a proclamation made to command men to bring their victuals out of the country to Paris, and that all men in Paris should have victuals in store for three months. Has had advertisement from the camp of the Duke of Alençon that it is taken there that the truce is clean broken off, and Monsieur is departed from the Queen Mother, she knows not whither nor to what end. Therefore she has sent La Mothe and La Chastre after him. Bussy and D'Amboise is in Saumur for Monsieur.
Pp. 2½. Enclosure.
Dec. 10. 490. M. de Boissot to the Queen.
The necessity of this present way, has compelled them to follow the ordinary method of stopping the commerce and traffic with the enemy, of imposing some subsidy in order to support their excessive charges. Considering the great complaints made to them by Mr. Rogers they think that her subjects must have aggravated their accusations to her, and made out the worst in order to throw blame upon them. Do not doubt but that she will support and aid them in maintaining themselves against those who seek to engulf all professors of that religion of which she is the protectrix.— Middleburg, 10 Dec. 1575. Copy.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 22/3.