Elizabeth: December 1575, 11-20

Pages 198-206

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, 11-20

Dec. 11. 491. James Harvie to Lord Burghley.
In his last letter advertised of the account of such money as had been put to his charge. This last week they of Zerickzee were victualled and succoured with munitions. There is no appearance of any good meaning towards peace. There is bruited out again of a new army of 40 ships coming out of Spain. The Emperor has made peace with the Turk for certain years. The Genoese are in parley for agreement amongst themselves. The Palsgrave's son Casimir is entered into Lorraine with 10,000 reiters and great artillery, and attends the Prince of Condé with 8,000 footmen. The Tartarians have been in Poland and spoiled the country and carried off 100,000 people and sold them to the Turks. They of Poland be now electing a King.—Antwerp, 11 Dec. 1575. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. P. 1.
Dec. 11. 492. Robert Corbet to Lord Burghley.
At his last talk with the Commendator he entered into such a heat and choler that he thought they should rather have dealt with blows than words, saying, that if the Prince had not been maintained by England, the King his master's troubles in these parts might in short time be ended, to which he answered, that he did great wrong to the Queen considering how well she had dealt with him as touching some good conclusion of peace. To this he replied, that the Queen had often pretended to make quietness and peace here, but he could never see any conclusion thereof, beseeching her that if she persevered in that mind to make quietness to do so presently without further loss of time, at which words Corbet offered to go to the Prince and join with her Majesty's ambassador to see what they could do, but he would in no wise hear of it, lest it should be thought that he had sent him to seek peace. Thus it may be seen that he would willingly have peace, but that his Spanish heart will not that the same should first proceed from him. Sends a copy of his letter to the Lords of the Council. Perceives that it is the Queen's pleasure that he should repair home presently, which he will do immediately that he has heard from Mr. Hastings. Encloses the advices of this week. The Commendator will condescend to any reasonable conditions of peace, the same being proffered by others first to him, and withal his Papistical religion excepted. Whether this exception be unreasonable or not he leaves to Burghley to judge.—Antwerp, 11 Dec. 1575. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 1⅓.
[Dec. 11.] 493. Robert Corbet to the Privy Council.
Upon receipt of Mr. Walsingham's letter commanding him to return, he repaired to the Commendator to know his pleasure if he would command him anything to her Majesty, whose answer was that he had told him before all he had to say or could say, and that he was very sorry that he had not authority to deal with her Majesty touching a peace; howbeit, if she would treat with the Prince of Orange for some good conclusion of peace (the conditions being reasonable) he would most willingly accept the same, and with all speed advertise the King thereof, and be a furtherer to the uttermost of his power, always excepting religion, for to permit the Prince and his sect the liberty thereof, he knows right well the King his master will never condescend thereto. The Commendator would in no wise condescend that he should go to the Prince himself, but granted him a safe conduct for a messenger. Has sent to Mr. Hastings, but not written anything that the Commendator himself might not see, willing him to write again nothing but what he would any Spaniard might see. Declared further the grief that her Majesty has "consteined" is that her rebels be countenanced and maintained both in Spain and in the Low Countries, to which the Commendator protested that he knew none such. Thinks assuredly that whatsoever he outwardly makes show of for his honour's sake that inwardly he desired nothing more than some good conclusion of peace, measuring withal his weakness of men and money, both which dismay him no little, besides the discomfort he has of the evil will of the people.
Copy. Enclosure. Pp. 1¼.
494. Advices.
On the 8th inst. news was brought to the Commendator that certain ships of the Gueux about the island gave the onset with their ordinance upon the bulwarks so furiously and politicly that certain hoys and flat vessels prepared for the nonce got through into Zerickzee. The shooting lasted three days and continues still, so that great hurt and spoil must have passed between them. The High Dutch cry out on all sides for money, which greatly troubles the Commendator for the doubt he has lest those lying in Bois le Duc and Maestricht should revolt. The commissioners of the Dukes of Holstein and Brunswick for the money owing by the King for the reiters have departed without payment, save 200 crowns towards their charges. The Duke of Brunswick is at Nancy, and shall marry the Duke of Lorraine's sister. The nobles and governors who departed have cited those under their government to know what they are able to do and will dis burse to the King's use. The States of Flanders are departed homewards till the 13th, staying the answer of those of Brabant, who daily seem more unwilling to give anything. The reiters are about Mezieres, and there is certain number of horse and foot about Aquisgranum [Aix-la-Chapelle]. Out of Italy is continued the great preparation the Turk makes. They of Genoa are still in "parliamentation."
Enclosure. Pp. 1¼.
Dec. 11. 495. News from Venice and Genoa.
1. Venice, 11 Dec., from Pasquale Spinola.—The Earl of Oxford is in good health, and is resolved to see the rest of Italy if he can travel with safety, and will leave to-morrow for Florence. Has paid over to him yesterday all the money which he has been directed to do, of the which he carries with him a portion, and for the rest he has letters of Cambio payable in different places, for the repayment of which he has given orders to his receiver at London.
2. From Genoa by letters of the 6th Dec. there is good hope of an accord, though there is much jealousy about the designs of the King of Spain, and the Duke of Florence has sent troops to guard the city. The Turk makes great preparations as is thought for Malta. The Venetians have good hope of peace with the Turk, and of the restitution of the places taken from them in Dalmatia. The Genoese merchants cannot get repayment or any good answer from the King of Spain.
Endd. Ital. Pp. 1¼.
Dec. 15. 496. The Diet of Warsaw to the Emperor.
Beg that he will not be led away by the fact of the Archbishop of "Guezvensis" and a few others having voted for him, so as to oppose the election of Anna Jagellon, whom they have chosen for their sovereign on the condition of her marriage with the Palatine of Transylvania, as they are determined to defend their liberties and right of election by arms.—Warsaw, 15 Dec. 1575.
Copy. Lat. Pp. 2.
Dec. 16. 497. The King of France to Walsingham.
Begs him to use his endeavour to bring to a happy conclusion the negotiations of the Sieur de la Porte for the marriage of the Queen with the Duke of Alençon.—Paris, 16 December 1575. Signed: Henry. Countersigned: Pinart.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham. Fr. P. 1.
Dec. 17. 498. Dr. Dale to Lord Burghley.
1. Can write nothing more than is contained in the enclosure, unless he write gloss of his own, which is hard to do upon such a fickle text, for all goes here by guess. The King would fain have peace. The Queen Mother labours for it tooth and nail. Cannot perceive but Monsieur is willing thereunto. The cold dealings and the cold weather in France cool the state of the Germans. Time wears all parties. The reiters demand montes aureos. The Protestants look for peace, liberty, and good cause now or never. Monsieur must needs have much. The malcontents would all be contented and every man must be pleased. If this might be done with word, as it has been in times past, it were an easy matter. How to perform these things the wisest cannot devise which way. The King has no sooner a penny but it is snatched up beforehand. How to get such a mass of money men cannot tell. If it might be gathered, men had rather it were bestowed upon themselves than upon strangers. Very necessity must constrain the King to condescend to that which is demanded.—Paris, 18 December 1575. Signed.
2. P.S.—Begs him to help him to a successor.
Add., with seal. Endd. P. 1.
Dec. 17. 499. Dr. Dale to [Sir Thomas Smith and Walsingham].
Monsieur departed from the Queen Mother without any hope of the performance of these things that were promised, and also, it was thought, without any likelihood of the continuance of the truce. La Mothe and La Chastre, sent after him by the Queen Mother, travailed with him in such wise that he sent one expressly to the King to declare that he was determined to stand to the agreement, if the King would cause the promises to be performed, otherwise to desire that he might be at his liberty. Upon this the King caused Saumur and Niort to be absolutely delivered to Monsieur, and sent a herald to summon Ruffecq on his allegiance to deliver Angouleme. La Chastre put Monsieur in hope that Bourges would submit to him, or at least that the Queen Mother would procure that he should have Poitiers instead, and St. Jean d'Angeli and Cognac for Angouleme. It was devised that Monsieur should send La Noüe and Biron to stay the reiters. Upon this it was given out that there should be a general peace concluded, and indeed the reiters did not march for certain time. Notwithstanding the King made preparation for money and men, and sent his officers about the country to get victual into Paris and other places. This while the King was in very good hope the reiters would be stayed either for money or provisions or other practices. Understands their demands are to have at the least 500,000 crowns. Upon the 13th Biron and La Mothe returned to the King from the Queen Mother. La Mothe and Bellieure are appointed to go to the reiters to take order for the payment of their money if they can be agreed. The King of late has been at Poissy and at another nunnery by Pontoise. It is much discoursed of the cause of his going to these places. It was given out the first time he went that he went a hunting. It was secretly spoken that he went to meet La Noüe or some other that came from Monsieur and durst not come to Paris. Understands it to be true that La Noüe has been to St. Germains, and the King has spoken to him. La Porte is in this town. It is taken for truth that Monsieur is willing to do what he can for the quietness of the King. Montmorency travails therein to the utmost of his power. The King is put in hope it will come to effect, but there are others here that ever hinder it when it should come to conclusion, and persuade the King rather to bestow his money to suppress his adversaries by war than to depart with it to make a peace. Among others the Duke of Maine prepares himself with speed to set forward to assemble such power as may be had. Now La Mothe is come, means to deal resolutely for the despatch of the suits of the English. Mauvissiere's wife is departed towards England. The King is toward Fontainbleau to have further conference with them that come from Mensieur. The King hastens the assembly of his army, and not without cause, for the reiters approach and are within two leagues of Metz.
Enclosure. Pp. 2⅓.
Dec. 17. 500. M. de Villiers to Lord Burghley.
The Prince of Condé in letters to him of the 29th November informs him that, understanding the Emperor and some of the Protestant Princes opposed the levy of troops, as not approving of his actions, he sent messengers to the Emperor to show him what just and lawful cause he and the Duke of Alençon had for carrying on war. Since then there has been no hindrance to the levy. After the coronation of Rudolph on the 1st November last the Emperor dismissed the Diet. The reiters crossed the Rhine three days after the Walloons to effect a junction with the army in Lorraine. The practice of the French King's Ambassador has delayed the Swiss for some time. Conditions had been offered the Prince that he was obliged to reject; for one thing, because it was not in his power to dismiss the Germans after they had crossed the Rhine, and for another, because he feared that with his usual craft the French King had no intention of delivering up any towns, but only to get rid of the army that was threatening France. The King was much moved on hearing the Prince's answer.—London, December 1575. Signed.
Add. Endd.: Dec. 17. Lat. P. 1.
Dec. 19. 501. Robert Corbet to Lord Burghley.
Refers him to his letter to the Council for his proceedings. Sees no occasion why he may justly stay. Encloses the advertisements of the week—Antwerp, 19 Dec. 1575. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. P. ½.
Dec. 502. Advertisements.
On Tuesday Hanibal de Ladron entered the college at the Town-house, where the lords of the town assemble and demanded 12,000 crowns weekly from them for the payment of his soldiers; and was answered that they were unable to pay what they owed already, much less to disburse any new sums, whereupon he said they should deliberate, for he knew a way to get it if they would not. The Commendator understanding hereof showed himself in a great rage, but it is thought that he was both privy and consenting to it beforehand. There is as yet nothing resolved by the Estates for contribution. The Commendator seeks by all means to get them of this town to subscribe certain bills. Into Zerickzee entered on Saturday certain ships with victuals, so that most of the Spaniards despair of getting it. The Gueux have taken a fort called Crempen, which hinders the passage between Dort and Tergow [Gouda]. There are sundry letters out of the camp in Holland from the captains, ancients, and soldiers to the Commendator requesting payment, or else they will forsake all and come to him for their money. Certain waggons laden with cloth and silk towards the payment of the soldiers have been taken by the Gueux near Gertrudenburg. There are about 50 ships about the islands of Zerickzee and Duiveland, very strongly appointed. The Gueux have drowned a small island called Wolfaert's dyke, on which the Spaniards were raising a fort. The Duke of Brunswick is to be married on the 19th inst. About Nancy there are 6,000 horsemen and 8,000 foot, with 25 pieces of great artillery, marching towards France. Certain of the reiters have taken sundry waggons laden with silks coming out of Italy, and the Italians, to whom they belonged, have departed hence to ransom them. They were in value about 40,000 crowns.
Enclosure. Pp. 12/3.
Dec. 19. 503. Dr. Dale to Lord Burghley.
1. The King was five leagues towards Fontainebleau, and the Queen with him. As they were at their bait, word was brought that there were troops of horsemen seen in the forest between them and Fontainebleau. Upon this report, whether true or false, they came back in all haste and were in Paris again at 3 o'clock the same day. Monsieur would be right glad to quiet things, but the money which should serve to procure peace is turned to them that seek nothing less than peace, and the Almains will not be fed with words. It is not true that La Noüe was here. Is promised again that the matters of Warcup and Nutshawe shall be despatched out of hand. These doings will make a man Didymus in all things. —Paris, 19 December 1575. Signed.
2. P.S.—La Porte says Jacomo has not been heard of, and he doubts what has become of him.
Add., with seal. Endd. P. 1.
[Dec. 19.] 504. Dr. Dale to the Queen.
Spoke to La Mothe touching the suits of her subjects, and the next day La Mothe came to him and said the King had ordered Chiverny to despatch Warcup and Nutshawe's matters out of hand, that order was taken for letters to be written to them of St. Malo for the restitution of the ships and goods of them that have been lately spoiled there coming from Rochelle, and that there should be a commission made for the hearing of the rest of the causes. He said Monsieur had sent La Porte to her to give her special thanks for her former favourable negotiations with La Mothe, and to declare how much he felt bounden to her. The King has willed La Mothe to come with La Porte to thank her in his name. Took occasion to get audience of the King, who said he had a great desire to advance his brother, and if Monsieur had the good fortune to be liked of her, he would also think himself very fortunate, and if God sent him no issue then he would be glad for this crown to fall upon her issue. If he might see the day when his brother would so match, he would sing "Nunc dimittis" with Simeon. Said she would be more willing to treat if she perceived the King did so earnestly desire his brother's preferment, and that no man would be better welcome than La Mothe, who had been well acquainted with the matter, and was well liked of her. The King would gladly sever his brother from them that follow him, and thinks this would be an honourable means to satisfy his brother. The Queen Mother, takes it to be the only means to pacify these troubles. The voyage of La Mothe is not only in this respect, but to be privy to the dealings of La Porte. After his departure from the King, La Porte came to him, saying he was commanded by the King to come to him, but he was watched and had in suspicion. He has not so good hope of peace as he had at his coming to this town, for he sees so great preparation to the contrary, and them in so great credit which do hinder it. Has the like advertisement from other places. Monsieur would gladly wish quietness, but the King does not deliver the towns according to the agreement. Thus God brings these mighty Princes always to seek to her for their own ease. Her favourable entertainment of the Venetians was well bestowed, for they cease not to give most honourable report of her most noble virtues and personage, and of the happy state of her Court and realm.
Copy. Pp. 2¾. Enclosure.
Dec. 19. 505. Remonstrance of the Huguenots.
1. The Huguenots, and especially those out of the kingdom and in doubt of their fortune, fear that if the truce is agreed on, and their reiters and other mercenaries are dismissed, it will imperil the obtaining of such conditions as an army could enable them to demand.
2. When it is said to them that the King will deliver six towns to Monsieur and give their pay to troops under his command, and 500,000 crowns to satisfy the reiters, they answer that this does not confer on the Huguenots any of the advantage or security that a large and powerful army could demand. The King will be able during the truce to make provision of money, to seek help from other Catholic Princes, win Monsieur over to him, and spare neither estates nor honours to gain the Catholics who followed Monsieur or have declared for him. These practices will go on while they lengthen the negotiations for a peace by debating every article till in the end of the truce the Huguenots will be constrained to accept whatevers conditions the King pleases or return to arms. With their army they are assured of establishing peace with exercise of religion throughout the kingdom, and of obtaining their other demands. The truce will be prejudicial, because the King will be prepared for war and they themselves weakened.
3. They have refused peace on the terms the King has offered, for he grants neither the conditions nor the surety that they demand. Whether there be peace or war Monsieur will be bound by his oath to deliver the towns at the end of the truce. By the overtures of the Catholics he may be reconciled to the King. His party being composed of men of different religions and temperaments may not keep long in the good union and understanding in which it is at present.
4. For all these reasons the Huguenots are persuaded that if they let the opportunity slip of, by aid of their mercenaries, establishing their fortune, the safety of their lives and goods, and the exercise of their religion, they may not find hereafter the same goodwill in the Princes Protestant that they do at present, and therefore they consider it better to effect a peace by arms than to accept this truce.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 2½.
Dec. 20. 506. Dr. Dale to Lord Burghley.
The Scottish Ambassador has had favourable audience with the King, and secret familiar conference with the King and La Mothe by the procurement of the Cardinal of Guise. Is advertised it was concluded that La Mothe should have special charge to deal with the Queen for the Scottish Queen, under pretence of her old sickness, with which the King is advertised she is much troubled at this time. The Queen Mother is sick at Poitiers. La Fin, brother to Beauvais la Nocle, and one La [Porte] are arrived here from Monsieur touching new capitulations of peace. Is advertised the King's Council have resolved to bestow the King's money on war, notwithstanding Bellieure has gone to the reiters to entertain them with promise of money. The Duke of Maine is furnished with money, and has departed to assemble the King's forces. Understands the King's going to the nunneries of Poissy and Pontoise, and his voyage towards Fontainbleau, was but a devotion of pilgrimage, called a " noüaine," that he has vowed to certain nunneries about Paris for the success of his wars. He has gone this morning again to a nunnery that is on the way to Fontainebleau. It is found to be a vague report that horsemen were in the forest the last time the King was that way. Has been required and could not in common courtesy deny to write two letters, one for the Lieutenant of Brittany, and the other for Sarlabois, Governor of Newhaven [Havre] for two ships said to be taken by the Queen's subjects.—Paris, 20 December 1575. Signed.
Add., with seal. Endd. Pp. 1½.
Dec. 20. 507. Henry III. of France to Elizabeth.
Sends the Sieur de la Mothe Fenelon to thank her for her good speeches regarding him. Hopes she will favourably consider the petition of La Porte and La Mothe, for his brother, whose fervent desire is to do her service.—Paris, 20 December Signed.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Walsingham. Fr. Pp. 1½.
Dec. 20. 508. Louise, Queen of France, to Elizabeth.
Cannot allow M. de la Mothe to go to her without sending this letter to assure her of the great desire she has of her favour, and the wish she has to be her good sister.—Paris, 20 December. Signed.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Walsingham. Fr. P. 1.