Elizabeth: July 1577, 11-20

Pages 15-25

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 12, 1577-78. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1901.

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July 1577, 11-20

The French ambassador, at his last access to us, gave us to understand that the King his master had been informed both of ammunition sent to them of Rochelle, and of money sent to Germany by us, to make levies to invade his realm. The original of which dealings sprang not, he said, from ourself, but from evil instruments about us, who not loving peace are persuaded they do great service, if by sowing the seed of distrust in princes' hearts, they may kindle the fire of discord and trouble. Of which sort of evil natures he confessed his master was not wanting having some about him who would have abused their credit this way, if he had not given them good token of dislike of such manner proceedings. He concluded that be wished these jealousies might be removed. Our answer was that we found it strange that our good brother the King would so conceive of us without better probability, being led thereto only by light reports grounded upon no probable conjecture, but devised by that sort of men. If the reports had been true, the preparations feared from Germany had been ere this in France, for so it pleased the world to give forth long since, which though we could not bridle, we did not look that so uncertain a conjecture could have drawn the King to give any credit to it. For the truth of those matters they are things we are utterly unacquainted with. But as these were mere surmises, so we had just occasion to be grieved "to himward" for the matter we caused to be declared unto him by you touching James Fitzmorris ; in answer whereunto, though he denied he was ever acquainted with it, yet we had this probable conjecture, even by letters of Fitzmorris himself to his wife, which came to our knowledge. Wherein he set down in plain terms what promise of aid he had conceived of him for his intended invasion of Ireland. Which letters, joined with the sufferance of him there, being a person so notoriously known to bear an evil mind toward our star. could not but lead us to think as we wished you to declare to the King, that if he were not acquainted with any such matter, he might give such order that we might be clearly out of doubt. Besides this we gave him to understand of daily complaints from our subjects for spoils committed on them by the French. A point of very hard dealing, considering what order we cause to be taken here for redress of the like wrongs committed by any of our subjects on the French. Whereof if the King would look to have the correspondence on our part that he desires, he must answer with the like offices in matters wherein we are justly grieved. At the end he desired that we would give order to you to acquaint the King with such speeches as passed between us. And withal, let him plainly understand that if La Roche is not restrained from proceeding in his preparations, and our subjects better satisfied for the spoils they have sustained, and provision made that they shall not be spoiled hereafter, we shall be forced to resort to such remedies as we would be loth to put in execution. You shall receive from our secretaries a memorial of such as have been by those kinds of dealings molested and wronged. We are informed by merchants trading to Rouen and Brittany that new impositions are laid upon them, which have not been used in former times. You shall desire the King that these be removed, this alteration containing in itself small demonstration of that good unity which . . . . . [Leaf containing the remainder has been torn out.] Copy. 2 pp. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
For many reasons I am bound to desire to serve you, as well from my old friendship with the Licentiate Pasquier, as from what I owe to Señor Antonio de Guaras, and I am doing what I can that his Majesty may make up his mind in regard to him in such a way that he may be at ease, and allow you to be. This, I think, must be done in one of two ways, either that you should go there and stay ; or that he should come and be in your company, which though it would be less profitable would be the best, as I wished to write to you by this your servant, who is prudent and honest and anxious about his master's business.—Madrid, 13 July 1577. On the back, in another hand : At the prison I have given 50 ducats, which with 100 advanced are 150. Could you advise if there is any way of giving them? Endd. : Copia de la carta del secreto Zayas. Sp. ½ p. [Spain I. 2.]
From what you said to my secretary I well understand that the faculty is in danger of touching the majesty of my sovereign ; and since I put my trust in justice and reason, I am willing to believe that favour will not be shown to Pescione in such a way as to neglect the regard due to the King my master. And that you as a prudent man will not wish anything to be decided prejudicial to this cause without examination of my proofs by the Council. If in the meantime it appears to them that it will do good to trade I am willing that the sale should be entrusted to two respectable merchants to be approved by me, in order that the proceeds may be secured and kept safe. You will believe me that neither the value nor the quantity of the ginger is in any way a motive with me, save in so far as it ought to be taken into account.—London, 14 July 1577. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : from the Portugal ambassador. That his reasons may be considered by the Lords, the merchandise committed to sale by two merchants, and the money thereof to be reserved in deposito. Ital. 1 p. [Port. I. 2.]
July 15. 27. [DUKE CASIMIR] to THE QUEEN.
Although those, who by the grace of God have left the abominations of Popery, differ from us only on a point of the Lord's Supper, it is the case that at the instigation of those of whom we are and must be the common enemies, a movement has been set on foot to condemn in a solemn assembly those of the Holy Empire who hold the same confession as your Majesty. This they think they can attain the more easily, that since the decease of my father, I am the only prince of the Empire who openly professes it. This assembly is to take place at Magdeburg in October. Now although I am assured by the word of God, who guards His Church against all the plots of her enemies, and when matters seem most hopeless, then shows forth His power, yet, in order not to lose the opportunity given by God, it seems my duty to write to your Majesty, entreating you to weigh well the importance of this fact, and that the designs of the adversaries, alike papists, and those who having left them, condemn us, are not confined to the limits of the Empire ; and to consider if it were not expedient that when the assembly takes place, whereof I will enquire further and inform your Majesty, you should send to Magdeburg some man of understanding, of whom you have no lack, to set forth to those there what you deem to be needed for the preservation of our confession and the public tranquillity. I for my part shall not fail to send one of mine.—Lautern, 15 July 1577. Copy. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Germ. States I. 1.]
July 20. 28. INSTRUCTIONS given to Mr. Doctor ROGERS and ANTHONY JENKINSON, sent to EMBDEN to treat with the Commissioners of the KING of DENMARK.
A controversy having arisen between our brother the King of Denmark and us in regard to the traffic of our merchants into Russia, the King claiming that by virtue of an old league our subjects may not trade into the parts beyond Norway, while we, not being able to find any such record of former treaties between our progenitors and his, as might have satisfied him in all respects, desired that commissioners might be appointed to examine the rights of the matter and determine as may be thought convenient for both realms, it has been agreed to send our Commissioners on both sides to the town of Embden against the 24th of this present month of July for the purpose aforesaid. Our will and pleasure is that you forthwith repair to that town to confer with the King's Commissioners. On entering upon the conference you shall declare in how good part we accepted the motion for a meeting, from the first overture made by the King through our servant, John Foxall, who long since brought testimony of his earnest desire not only to have all controversies which might arise between us compounded in friendly sort, but also to enter into a straiter kind of intelligence than hath heretofore been between us. Wherefore we could not but dispose ourself to further this conference. In the conference you shall use all the best reasons you can, as you shall be prepared thereto by conference with Dr. Dale and the Judge of the Admiralty, for the justice of the case, and with our merchants who can sufficiently inform you how necessary the said voyage is for our realm and subjects, and for the continuance of the traffic into the dominions of the Muscovite ; with whom, you may tell them, we would have forborne to enter into any sucfh intelligence, had we not been thoroughly persuaded by view of all former leagues between our ancestors and the Kings of Denmark, that there was no bar to restrain us, while the intelligence itself was honourable for us and profitable for our subjects. So you may say that when they have seen what we can allege for our just dealing therein, being a trade of long continuance, used in the reign of our brother King Edward VI. and our sister Queen Mary, we trust they will so conclude by virtue of their authority, that the traffic of our subjects in the parts beyond Norway may be continued, and the good intelligence between our realms confirmed. And since our merchants have complained to us of impositions levied on them in the King's dominions, which have not been usual in former times, you shall upon information as to the facts received from the merchants, declare to the Commissioners our request that such customs as have of late years been imposed may be 'revoked' to the former order, and that this may be decreed and set down among other things ordered and agreed upon in this colloquy. And in case they make overture of any desire on the King's part to enter into a further bond of amity with us, you shall require them to set down such points as they shall conceive the King would have accorded by us ; that by advertisement of them to us—because, as you shall tell them you have no special charge in that behalf—you may receive such directions from us as may be to the satisfaction of the King. Marginal notes by J. Rogers. 2 pp. [Denmark I. 2.]
July 20. 29. Another copy of the same. 1½ pp. [Denmark I. 2A.]
July. 30. A PRIVATE MEMORIAL for DR. ROGERS, by commandment from HER MAJESTY, Signed with MR. SECRETARY WALSINGHAM'S Hand.
Because the state of these times, when the enemies of the Gospel league themselves against the professors of the same to root them out, is such that unless her Majesty be over careless of the maintenance of the Gospel truth, it will behove her to unite herself with those princes which are professors of the same, her Majesty's pleasure is that you declare unto the King's Commissioners, or to such of them as you shall find to be of chief place amongst them, and devoted to the true religion, that her Highness thought it convenient you should 'break with' him or them in that behalf, with request that for her Majesty's satisfaction they would make her mind known to the King, that on learning his willingness to enter into such understanding, she might send you full powers to deal therein accordingly. And that it may better appear unto the King what course her Majesty would wish should be taken therein, you shall deliver them this project, which it was her Majesty's pleasure I should commit unto you with strait charge to use such secrecy as is requisite. Copy by L. Tomson. 2/3 p. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
July 16. 31. Commission of John Rogers, LL.D., and Anthony Jenkinson to treat with the commissioners of the King of Denmark and Norway upon certain disputed points connected with the trade to Russia and the Iceland fisheries.
July 16. 32. Safe-conduct for the same.
July 19-20. 33. Credentials for the same to the Consuls, &c., of Embden and the Court of East Friesland.
Copies. Latin. 6 pp. [Ibid.]
After setting forth the distressed condition into which they have been brought by the long-continued wars, and especially by the defection of Marshal Danville, their need for instant help, and the impossibility in which they find themselves of paying ready money, the commissioners shall exhibit the record of the deliberations held at Nismes on May 25 and July 15, the latter consisting of a covenant on behalf of themselves and the other reformed Churches of France, to pay 50,000 gold crowns, to be paid after the capitulations resulting from the present negotiation. They offer as security all the towns of Lower Languedoc which are in their hands, as Lunel, Sommières, Anduze, &c., except Montpellier, Nismes, Uzès, and Aiguesmortes, and to help him to hold any others which he may take. They promise to enter into no treaty without his consent ; and ask that the Seigneur de Clervant may be employed as paymaster ; also that six cornets of reiters may be sent as soon as possible. The duke is entreated to take counsel with the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé, and to consider whether it be not expedient to remove from them all persons not professing the Reformed Religion, "especially certain personages of whom some have notoriously no religion, some were apostates, some justly suspected by their actions, though externally they profess the Religion ;" and to replace them by persons whom the churches shall select. Nismes, 17 July 1577. (Signed) C. de Mommorency (sic) ; F. de St. Jamond ; Des Vignoles ; Bossulus ; Payan ; Gentil. Copy. Endd. [? by La Personne], as above. Fr. 3 pp. [France I. 4.]
July 19. 35. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
I know nothing much worthy of advertisement, our actions here being mainly bent against Brouage, but think it no less convenient for her Majesty to be advertised when they do nothing here as when they do something. The king has lately sent to Brouage the Swisses which have always stayed to guard his person, and should be in number 1,200 being found on their marching to be only 600 or thereabouts. M. Larzsan [qy. Larchant], captain of one of the king's guards, conducts them, with some troops of horsemen, and because these came not forth as was promised, the Swisses would not depart from the place of their first remove until their coming, doubting to be entrapped by those of St. Jean d'Angely. But they may now reach Brouage by the 20th of this month. Lansac is said to be in the channel before Brouage with 20 ships, having lost his galleys in a storm, which are not returned. The ships of Rochelle will find it a good time to give battle by sea, the wind serving as well for this as to bring the ships which they say are coming to their aid from the Low Countries. It is thought here that unless Brouage be won shortly, the Duke of Mayne will be engaged to the great peril of himself and his army. Some say that La Noue is preparing forces in Gascony. They feel sure by what they hear from Germany that the reiters cannot come into this country these two months, and therefore they are bold to spend their time to their profit at home. The Guke of Guise remains here and there is no mention of the king departing. Danville fears the conclusion of peace, and undertakes to do great things in Languedoc if the war continues. I cannot express unto your honour the ill opinion that is conceived here generally of England ; and therefore I dare not write largely.—Poitiers, 19 July 1577. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. I. 6.]
July 19. 36. Draft of above letter.
Endd. 1 p. [France, I. 7.]
July 19. 37. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Summary of the matters given in 35. Monsieur has been long expected here, and is now looked for certainly on the 20th of this month, when it is also thought that Villeroy will be returned from the King of Navarre, and some think with a full conclusion of peace. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [France I. 5.]
July 20.
K. d. L. p. 405.
I arrived on the 10th at Alkmaar, where the Prince was. At the same time Nicolaus Drumesius was sent from the Pope's Nuncio and Don John, President Sasbout from the Privy Council to agree about Amsterdam ; Basdorp from the States-General, and one of the Schombergs from Germany, with the Emperor's letters ; also three gentlemen from the States of Guelderland, so that he had his hands full of business. Yet he desired me to dinner the day after my arrival, to understand what her Majesty had thought of the offers he made to her by me, as also to communicate to me certain letters intercepted of Don John's and Escovedo's, which concerned the realm of England. I told him of her Majesty's contentment with the assurance of his zeal and devotion towards her, given by Mr. Sidney and by myself ; which I said sufficiently appeared unto her by the offer he made of the union of the two provinces of Holland and Zealand with the Crown of England. Then I asked him to call to mind the conditions of the offer which he desired me, in April last, at Dordrecht, to propose to her Majesty. I repeated the talk which he then had with him, and said that I had declared from him to her Majesty how, being anxious to establish religion in Holland and Zealand, and wishing it to be confirmed and assured in England, he had thought it expedient that some further amity were made between the Crown of England and those provinces, which might the sooner be done, if her Majesty would consider what service he could render to her with them. And that her Majesty would assure him of her reciprocal favour on the condition which I had delivered from him ; first, the use of such ports as were in the said countries ; secondly, that as they possessed abundance of shipping and mariners, her Majesty should lack none of them, if she required them ; thirdly, if her Majesty were invaded by any enemies, that Holland and Zealand could readily assist her, and hinder her enemies. On the other side it should be required, first that her Majesty should maintain the traffic between the provinces and England as was contained in the League of Burgundy ; secondly, in the event of war being renewed against him, that her Majesty could forbid any of her subjects to traffic into any of the Low Countries which might hold out against him ; thirdly, that her Majesty should give no victuals or harbour to any Armada which might come from Spain against the Low Countries ; and lastly, in case war were renewed, that her Majesty would relieve their need with a yearly support. I told him that her Majesty had taken all the premisses in good part ; but as the union offered by him had many branches arising out of it, especially as to the establishing of a traffic into the said provinces together with a restraint of it into the rest of the Low Countries, a refusal of harbour to the Spanish nation, and the yielding of yearly supports, she desired him not to think it strange if she did not give a full and determinate answer. I explained the difficulties which hindered her present resolution. She would not have delayed to contract a bond so necessary for her preservation, if the parties with whom the contract was to be made, were of such liberty and freedom as were requisite. She had always sought to bring the provinces of the Low Countries to an unity ; and if she were now to seek to dismember the body by withdrawing the subject from the sovereign, she would enter into a matter which might greatly touch her honour, and might be an evil precedent in her own case. I declared to him her Majesty's manner of proceeding for a league of the princes of Germany, professing Christian religion, against the Pope, and desired his advice on the matter, which could not but help him ; and made him acquainted with the articles of it. Coming to his demands, I pointed out that the restraint of traffic was a very hard point, and likely to be of more hurt than profit to him, if it were known that he went about to take their trade from them. As to the traffic of the Hollanders and Zealanders with England, they should enjoy as much freedom as any other of like sort, trafficking within her Majesty's dominions ; and for the refusal of harbour to the Spanish navy, I said he need not fear that her Majesty would grant any. As for the yearly support he desired to receive, her Majesty hoped that his necessity would be less than in former time, if the pacification made at Ghent took that place which she thought it would ; and she was minded to be a mediator to Don John for the 'perfourment' of it. She advised him likewise on his part to avoid all occasions that might breed any breach between them. If contrary to his good endeavours a course were taken to cast him and these provinces into former troubles, I affirmed that her Majesty would have care of him ; and here I delivered to him a copy of the Viscount of Ghent's negotiation, wholly directed against him, and told him that the said Viscount had easily perceived that her Majesty was otherwise affected towards his preservation than Don John thought or wished. All which he heard very attentively, and began to answer me. First putting off his cap and rising he declared how highly he was beholden to her Majesty, and trusted she would daily confirm the opinion conceived of him. He was minded to send the intercepted letters to her by M. Famars, seeing that I was not yet to return to England. Touching her Majesty's answer, he said that it was very general, and that the time required that she should vouchsafe to resolve more particularly. He wished that her Majesty's enemies had as good a conscience as she had ; that the King of Spain did not "stick to deal" with the Duke of Norfolk for the subverting of her estate, and did not regard that the said duke was a vassal. Much more might her Majesty enter into unity with him ; he thanked God that by reason of his principality of Orange he was a sovereign, and as free in Germany as the best Elector of the Empire. He wished her Majesty the magnanimity of Edward the third, who as he remembered to have read in Froissart, was not afraid to enter into amity with 'Artevill,' castellan of Ghent, and to use his aid against the French king his master. The union which he had proposed would stand her Majesty in as great stead as himself or the provinces. Don John was making him offers by which he could secure his own estate, and provide as was requisite for his posterity ; even to find means that his debts should be paid, if only he would be quiet and not hinder his designs. Which offers if he should neglect, not being more particularly assured of her Majesty's aid, he should precipitate himself into war again very unadvisedly ; which if the countries were not more certainly persuaded of her Majesty's amity, it would be hard for him to make them hold out against Don John. Then he told me what had passed between Nicolaus Drumesius and himself. This Drumesius is a Fleming, born at Bruges, but altogether Italianated, well learned, and apt to persuade any man not well settled in judgement. After he had proposed Don John's offers to the Prince, he said that Don John and the Pope's Nuncio desired the Prince to appoint the time and place they might come to him, and they were minded to come disguised. The Prince said it was not meet they should come to him, and Drumesius upon this informed the Prince that Don John had commanded him to ask if the Prince would not aid him or the King of Spain in case they were minded to make foreign war, as upon Germany, England, or against the Turk. The Prince answered that he would not give aid against any such as professed his religion. Drumesius seemed to commend him for his sincerity, and departed. He tried to win some of the Estates of Holland to him, and spoke with Milius and Nortwick, who told me before the Prince what they had understood of him. They declared that all his drift was to persuade them to induce the Prince and the rest of the Estates, if they would not aid Don John against England, at least not to hinder his purpose ; that the best means to secure peace in the Low Countries was to divert the war upon some foreign prince. The Prince said he told me this that her Majesty might perceive how this negotiation of Don John and the Pope's Nuncio agreed with the letters written by Don John and Escovedo in April last, and now intercepted. With that he called for M. de Sainte-"Allagunde," whom he would have to bring the letters with him. While Sainte-Aldegonde was coming he asked me of her Majesty's health, and touching divers of the Lords of the Council, especially of the Earl of Leicester ; likewise of Mr. Sidney (of whom he had conceived a great opinion), and how Mr. Dyer did. Sainte-Aldegonde brought nine letters, written all in Spanish, the most part of every one in cipher, excepting one. Three of these were written by Don John, two of them to the King, the third to the King's secretary, Antonio Perez. The rest were all written by Escovedo to the King ; it appeared by the seals and signatures they were no forged letters. The Prince also showed me the letter of La Noue, in which were enclosed all the said letters, as he had intercepted them in France. I thought good to pick out of them notes of the chief things contained in them. The Duke of 'Arscott,' Count Lalaing, and M. de Hèze are specially touched in these letters, especially Champagny. Both affirm that there is never a man to be trusted but the Count of Mansfeldt ; and both write that unless the King do mean to proceed by way of force, he were best to send a child or woman to govern the country. Escovedo affirms to the King that if he provide not unto Don John money and forces to conquer the Low Countries, he is like to hear that Don John will be shortly in some other country. Also Escovedo thinks it good that the Spanish soldiers might be employed in France. It is evident their meaning is not to maintain the peace. Escovedo advises that the King give up winning towns in the midst of the country, and try to win the isles. Lest the King should think he gives that counsel for Don John, whose designs are to conquer England, he protests he gives it to further the King's affairs, and that the isles being taken, England will the easier be conquered, and thinks it to be a harder matter to obtain the isles than to conquer England, which I desire your honour to compare with the negotiation of Drymesius. Also they complain of want of money. On the 16th Sainte-Aldegonde departed for Brussels, to communicate the said letters to such as might be interested in them. I think Don John will learn of the interception of these letters, which will be the occasion either that he will depart out of the country, or that he will entrap the nobility of the Low Countries, or they will entrap him. Thus much passed on the 11th, on which day I was with him from 11 o'clock till 7. I dined and supped that day with him, and had convenient occasion to deliver her Majesty's letters to the Princess. After supper, as I wished the Prince good night, I desired that he would take in good part the answer of her Majesty, by which he might perceive not only a good inclination in her to further him, but also comfort by reason of the league with the princes of Almany. Which words he took in very good part, and so taking a cup of wine, drank unto her Majesty's health and wished me good night.—Horn in North Holland, 20 July 1577. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 7 pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 11.]
July 19.
K. d. L. ix. 422.
I have several times advertised your Highness of the conspiracies which are being made, chiefly to get possession of your person. As I have just heard from a sure quarter that they are only awaiting your return, whether to Brussels or to Mechlin, to put their scheme into execution, I was unwilling to omit informing you in order that you may take what steps you think proper. If they get you and others about you into their possession they hope to cause the abandonment of the Low Countries and the annihilation of the Catholic Religion.—Brussels, 19 July. Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fland. I. 12.]