Elizabeth: October 1577, 6-10

Pages 232-242

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

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October 1577, 6-10

Oct. 6. 306. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Know nothing worth writing except what is contained in the articles sent by this bearer to Mr. Walsingham, which I only had last evening, and must restore them in the morning, the same being so long and tedious, as time did not serve to make more than one copy. The King goes to Paris, and Monsieur has posted there, intending, it is said, to go to La Fère in Picardy to see his sister, the Queen of Navarre, but it is not to be doubted that this voyage hath a further meaning, which I hope to discover when the Court is at Paris. The messenger sent to Brouage to examine into the late accident between young Lansac and the English ships returned on the 3rd, and I hoped that some good results would follow before the King's departure, and sent my secretary to M. Pinart to remind him. But the King was gone before I could have audience, which will only tend to delay their final resolution till they see how her Majesty likes the matter. The circumstances of their doings did easily bewray their inward meaning, especially to me who am an eye-witness of their cunning devices.—Poitiers, 6 Oct. 1577. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France I. 43.]
Letter of credence for M. de Laubespine, Secretary of Finance, whom he is sending with news of the peace.—Champigny, Oct. 7. (Signed) Henry. (Countersigned) Pinart. Add. Seal. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. 44.]
Although I have advertised you in various ways that I have not the key of the cipher that you employ with Don John, I repeat it here, in order that you may at least send it, to let me understand your letters. The last (of Aug. 17, I think), both one and the other remain hidden, since I am too old to break my head by making them out without a key, as I did when I was younger. The most important news from here is that their Majesties and Highnesses are well, and that the affairs of this realm are in their wonted state of tranquillity. The great quantity of silver and gold that has come in the fleets is very satisfactory to all. I have asked you before for spectacles, and I now remind you of the same ; for although, thank God, I do not want them, I should like to oblige the Duke of Alva and other friends who feel the need of them. This goes to the French Court, to be forwarded to you by Maldonado.—Madrid, Oct. 7th, 1577. Add. Enclosure in no. 355. Sp. 1¼ pp. [Spain I. 9.]
The ambassador of the Queen of England has requested that English merchant adventurers may have exemption from tolls and other charges as heretofore, when they used to pass with their ships and goods, according to the voucher of the contents ; and having had divers communications hereon with him, we have thought good to advertise you of the same by the Treasurer Maumaecker. And in the meantime you shall let pass by Walcheren the first four vessels that shall come from England belonging to the merchant adventurers, without taking any toll or otherwise, shewing only their voucher, and having note taken of this, as Maumaecker will tell you more at length.—Brussels, 7 Oct. 1577. Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 16.]
I reserve to a more convenient season, when we can meet, my complete reply to yours of yesterday, enclosing the decree of the Council ordering the ginger to be consigned to Pescioni. I in no way approve this, but protest against it. The cause will be reserved to the King against this Crown. If the Council had wished to decide according to the rights of the case, the fair course would have been, as in the case of the French ambassador, who presented a letter from his King, that my right and justice should have been examined ; but I could not bring my proofs so quickly, Portugal being much further off than France. There were many lawyers here who offered to defend my case according to the law of the Empire. But as your Lordships did not think fit to hear me, nor even let me state my case ; not to mention that a faculty in a matter pertaining to the revenues of my sovereign has been given to the party whom modesty prevents me from calling a thief ; my only remedy is to refuse to recognise the decision, and to resist the manner in which the Council have shown consideration to the giver of the security, it being inconsistent with the dignity of my sovereign any sort of favour should be shown, save in the regard due to justice. So far as I privately am concerned, I am bound to thank your Lordship for the good opinion you have of me. You cannot fail to remember that security is never taken without the contentment of the owner of the goods. Moreover, I suspect the Judge of the Admiralty, to whom they have committed it ; and the approval of the French case and not of ours. I did not mean to be so long ; and will only say that I seek justice in respect of our goods stolen by the same English as were in the caravel of the Isle of Wight, and Captain Bast. And now they say that her Majesty's fleet has taken some out of a Danish pirate who had plundered our subjects.—London, 8 Oct. 1577. Add. Endd. : 18 (sic) Oct., "From the Portugal Ambassador. Ginger. Ship taken from a Dane pirate." Ital. 2 pp. [Portugal I. 4.]
Oct. 8.
R. d. L. ix., 567.
Last night, between ten and eleven o'clock, I received your letter touching the assurance demanded for the ships and goods of our merchants now in Spain ; wherewith I immediately repaired to the Court, but finding that his Excellency was at supper with the Duke of Aerschot, and that it would be very late ere he came home, I thought best to return again this morning. At first he was not a little astonished at the propounding of this new difficulty, untouched before either by the letters of the Marquis, by M. de Famars, or Carington [Carenzoni], considering that they were on the point of concluding upon the negotiations. Howbeit, when I had opened to him the great hazard and peril wherein her Majesty should embark herself for their cause, in respect of the number of ships, mariners, and wealth of her subjects now in Spain, which upon knowledge of her inclination to assist them here might be detained, to the infinite prejudice of her merchants and her whole realm, the value of them amounting to double as much as their desired assistance, he confessed the matter was very just and reasonable, but accompanied with so great difficulties that he could not tell what to answer. For to propound the same among the States now that upon the letters of the Marquis they have grounded themselves upon the succour of her Majesty would breed a marvellous astonishment ; and not to satisfy her Highness might perhaps alien her, and bring themselves into a worse state than before. But for the value of £100,000 lent to desire assurance for £400,000, he thought would prove a matter of very hard digestion among them, besides that he saw not what caution the States could give for the same. For the wealth of the Spaniards and Italians was insufficient to answer the tenth part of such a value, and to deliver any town into her Majesty's hands upon such a condition, he thought a thing hard or rather impossible to bring them to. So that he could not tell in the world what more to say, but that he would carefully consider of it, and do the best that lay in his power to procure her Majesty's full contentment, wishing at the same time that the shipping were with all possible diligence revoked. This in substance passed between his Excellency and me this morning, and I am sure he will not neglect it, though being here but as a private man, without authority or voice among them other than with the 10 or 12 nobles of Brabant, which make but one voice, and in all their consultations here things being overruled by number, and not always by reason (for the greater doth commonly master the better part), he cannot do as he would. So what to assure you I cannot yet tell, but I will be diligent at his elbow every day to urge some resolution, though a matter of this moment cannot be hastily concluded, especially among a multitude of so many and different heads and humours.—Brussels, 8 Oct. 1577. P.S.—I have not thought good (following therein his Excellency's advice) to break this matter with any but himself. Meanwhile they have, upon the letters brought by M. de Famars and Carrington, deputed certain among themselves to repair to Antwerp about the provision of money, which being so far advanced, I see not well how it may be altered or stayed. I would have propounded to his Excellency the matter of Holland and Zealand for caution, but the assurance between them and the rest of the provinces is not yet such that they would become a pledge for the whole. Howbeit I will sound the matter by circumstances. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 17.]
312. Draft of the above. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 18.]
You will remember how among other things which Duke Casimir proposed to her Majesty by Mr. Sidney, he mentioned an assembly to be held last September at Frankfort, to which he had solicited the reformed Churches to send ministers, in order that an uniform confession might be agreed upon and established, which all such potentates as profess the reformed religion should afterwards sign ; and, therefore, requested her Majesty to send some one of her divines to this assembly. You also no doubt remember how, in the private memorandum which you gave me, you desired me to "travaile" with the Prince of Orange to hinder this assembly, for avoiding of offence ; which as you shall see he did by writing to Duke Casimir that he feared lest the ambition and arrogance of some divines assembled together might engender rather discord than unity ; and because he doubted that the Senate of Frankfort would not favour such an assembly, he thought it had better be deferred, and that first the condemnations were to be hindered. Wherefore Duke Casimir began also to change his advice ; but as he had written into France, into the Low Countries, Poland, and Hungary, to cause ministers to come from these and other places to Frankfort, so he did not advertise them this counsel was changed, since the time was too short to certify. Accordingly divers ministers arrived at Frankfort out of divers countries, who on their arrival, understanding that the counsel for which they had been desired to come was altered, went on to Neustadt, in order to learn further the Duke's pleasure. The French churches sent Ludovicus Cappellius, Jacobus Coetius, and Joannes Hesnartus ; out of Poland and Hungary came Christopherus Thretius and Joannes Pretorius Zotensis ; for the Low Countries appeared Dr. Joannes Junius and Petrus Dathenus ; and for the reformed Churches in the Palatinate, Dr. Hieronymus Zanchus, Balthazar Copus, Daniel Tossanus. The Duke seeing so learned, godly, and moderate men to be come together, thought how he might use their presence to the establishing of some good counsel for the advancement of the reformed religion ; wherefore calling his councillors unto him, he thought good that they assembled to consult of three things : first, how this condemnation of the Ubiquitaries might best be hindered ; secondly, whether it were more expedient for the present time to make an uniform confession of the belief, and after what sort ; thirdly, who should write this confession, and how it might be signed by the reformed Churches. This being concluded, he sent Mr Languett and Mr Zowleger, his councillors, to my lodging, where the Duke, unknown to me, had appointed the divines to meet to consult about the questions mentioned ; who, in the Duke's name, requested me to moderate this consultation. I answered that his Excellency knew very well for what causes her Majesty had sent me to him, and that I had no commission to deal in such matters as were proposed. It was true that she had understood from Mr. Sidney the Duke's advice for an assembly to be held at Frankfort ; but that at my departure nothing was concluded on this matter. Nevertheless, being pressed by the councillors to give my opinion on the first question, I declared to them the great care her Majesty took to establish the reformed religion ; and inasmuch as she understood that some ambitious divines went about to condemn their brethren, and that very 'unorderly,' before they were heard, she had thought good to send an ambassador to the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, etc., in order that their purpose might be hindered by the intercession of her Majesty's authority. I judged that if Duke Casimir and the deputies thought good, it were not amiss if one were sent from them to those Electors, with a supplication on behalf of the reformed Churches, desiring them to stay the intended condemnation, and rather call together a synod, to let them be heard before they were condemned ; which counsel everyone approved, and M. Languet was appointed to make the supplication, and Dr. Knybbius, a lawyer, was 'designed' to be sent by them to the above-named princes, and to accompany her Majesty's ambassador, Mr. Beale. Touching the confession to be made, there were divers opinions ; for some thought it were not good to make it according to the Augustan Confession, and that the Lutherans themselves did as it were contemn it, and that it was made according as the time then required, and that now a fuller and perfecter might be made. Being asked my opinion, I said I thought it were good to have regard to the cavillations which both the Lutherans and the Papists used against us, which affirmed we did not believe as they of the Augustan Confession believed, and that, therefore, if it were thought expedient to make an uniform confession it would be good to make it so that it might appear unto all men that our confession agreed as near as the purity of religion would suffer with the confession of 'Auspurche ;' which opinion Dr. Zanchus and Dr. Junius liked so well that the others at last approved it likewise. Touching the last question, I was desired to 'supplie' her Majesty to send one or two of her divines, not only to be present at the assembly which they thought should meet on August 15 in the following year at Frankfort, but also might direct the writing of the confession. I was further asked to subscribe the petition which Dr. Knybbius was to carry to the above-named princes. I replied I would not do that, having no commission to do so. Then they asked me to subscribe as a witness only, which I thought I could have done if Master Beale at his arrival had not thought it superfluous. Wherefore M. de la Persona and M. Argentlieu, being asked to subscribe in the name of the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé, did as they were desired, and then the ministers subscribed likewise, and then it seemed not necessary that I should subscribe. What was concluded, Petrus Dathenus put in writing, whereof I send you a copy, as likewise of the petition sent by Dr. Knybbius and composed by Languet, that you may better judge of the whole action. If you judge it expedient that her Majesty sent some divine, I think Mr. Nowell, Dean of 'Powell's,' were a very meet man, being learned and discreet, and having laboured in making a Latin Catechism, would be more apt to be present at the writing of this confession. In sum, all things are left to her Majesty's arbitrament. Being come thus far, I think it good to write more particularly to you touching the reasons why the Prince of Orange thought the assembly which was to be held here the 'mart' last past could not take effect. First, he doubted that her Majesty would not as yet be easily induced to send her divines. Secondly, he thought if they were assembled at this last fair, they would give occasion to the Ubiquitaries to suspect that they went about something which might be against them. Thirdly, he judged the time was too short, for that they of Zurich and Switzerland were first to be talked with, seeing they differed from their brethren in the Supper of the Lord, in the word substantialiter. Fourthly, he thought it right that the magistrates of the place where the synod should meet, should favour so reverent [sic] an assembly as this would be ; and because he doubted of the magistrates of Frankfort, he thought that it might best be held at Basile or Zurich, or in some place of England. For the rest both the Prince and Duke Casimir judge that it would be necessary to consult how this uniform confession might be made and pointed. If you this consultation worthy of preferment, let me understand your meaning therein, that I may know how to rule myself in these matters.—Frankfort, 10 October 1577. Add. Endd. by Walsingham and Tomson. 3½ pp. [Germ. States I. 29.]
I trust you fully understand both by my letter sent from Neustadt by your servant Dransfield, as also by what I last wrote from hence, and by that which I send herewith, what is to be expected of the things which were committed to my charge, and especially of Casimir's expedition into France. If I had once received an answer from you, it would the sooner make the Duke to conclude, and would deliver me of many doubts, because of the reports touching a peace in France, otherwise ; for I am now idle and would gladly know what I should further do here. I have received but two letters from you since I left England, sent before you received my dispatches touching my negotiations with Duke Casimir, the Elector Palatine, and the Landgrave. I came for the nonce hither with Mr. Beale, in order that I might hear some news from you. I judge that you may best send letters by the 'stilliarde' to Collen, and from thence direct them to Frankfort, either to Wechelin's house, where M. Languet abides, or to Dr. Joannes a Glaupurche, my friends. At this present I thought it expedient to send my boy with this dispatch to the Court, that I might with the more speed receive an answer, by which I might satisfy the Duke and myself, and learn in what you would further employ me here ; for as concerning the league, I think you easily gather from the letters I have sent you, what hope is to be conceived of it, and will better judge when you hear the condemnations are hindered, which first are to be frustrated. It is marvel in what credit this Jacobus Andreas is at present with the Duke of Saxony, so much so that it will not be very easy to remove the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg from the purpose in which they are persuaded by him. When last at Neustadt I learned from the Duke, Dr. Zanchus, and M. d'Argenluy, that the Ubiquitaries had stipends of the 'clergies' in France, to withstand the Calvinists [Walsingham's mark in margin here]. The Duke told me that a great man in France had advertised him of it ; Dr. Zanchus said that both he and Andreas were with the Cardinal of Lorraine at Zabern, not far from Strasburg, Anno 1556, at which time the Cardinal offered Dr. Zanchus a stipend of 200 crowns a year ; and he affirms that Andreas had likewise a stipend of him. I can easily believe if the Cardinal would give a stipend to Dr. Zanchus he would specially have regard to Dr. Andreas. But M. Argentluy adds that le general le Fevre, General [i.e., Receiver-general] of Picardy, sometime treasurer to the Queen Mother, was sent to pay the Ubiquitaries their stipends. He thinks that if you wrote to Sir Amyas Paulett on this matter, one about him might talk to some clerk or commis of this le Fevre, and obtain some quittance given by Dr. Andreas for his stipends ; which would be an argument and means to divert the Elector from trusting him any more. Languet thinks nothing would do so much to alter the Elector of Saxony's mind. It is a piteous thing to observe the security of these princes, who will never hearken to the league which her Majesty proposes, more for their safety than for her own, unless by some adversity they be awakened. Yea, they travail as much to undo their brethren as the Papists to ruin their enemies. The 5th of this month the Elector Palatine deprived 100 poor scholars from their stipends, because they would not subscribe to the Ubiquity, giving them nothing to return to their friends ; besides such divines as daily he deprives from their livings. Dr. Zanchus is retained by Duke Casimir, who is as like his father in virtue, and desire to further the common weal, as his brother the Elector is forward and ready to evert that superstitiously which his father religiously and devoutly established. But I doubt not that Mr. Beale will fully write of these things to you. One thing remains, of which I most desire your honour ; to wit, that you will send me some bill of credit or more money, for I have already spent £21 more than I received. I desire you not to think that I do it to 'herd' up any sum ; hitherto I never could learn this art. If I had done well, I should have written long ago, but such is my shamefastness ; and being afraid lest you should judge me to be an unthrift if I had demanded some succour before, made me stay this long. Which needed not ; for by Mr. Beale and others, who shall come hither you will understand how dear travelling it is here. At least I have well tried it, and yet have laboured to be thrifty. I have been absent four months, and have been in continual journeys. I beseech you, therefore, to send me a letter of credit, or if you please to aid me with ready money, my friend Mr. Humphrie Dannet, cursitor of the Chancery, with whom I have left order for my affairs, will attend your pleasure.—Frankfort, 10 Oct. 1577. Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 2½ pp. [Germ. States I. 30.]
M. d'Assinburche [Assembourg] and Dr. Hetsteyne [Hettestein] who were sent hither to the diet from Don John, have often been heard. I have read a long oration which they made in defence of him, in which they "burthen" the Prince for not having observed the peace, and answer such objections as he might make against Don John. As to the cyphers intercepted, they deny that the sense of such matters as the Prince picks out of them can be gathered from them. The scope of his oration is that it might please those gathered so solemnly here to send deputies into the Low Countries for the establishing Don John's authority. They had an answer the 8th of this month ; to wit, that some should be sent as they desired. But first they will send to the Emperor. In summa, the Papists here are afraid to 'eneger' the Prince against the Catholics, and, therefore, have not thought good to 'decerne' anything more grievously against him, as some required. The Baron of Winnenburgche is returned from the Low Countries, and is now here. About the end of last month there was a meeting of divers princes at Munichen, in Bavierland, under the pretext to exercise shooting, in which manner of meeting commonly privy and secret practices are concluded. The Duke of Saxony was appointed to be there, but came not ; nor is it known what is concluded. Some think that Archduke Ferdinando, who was there, is levying for Don John. I will hearken diligently of this matter, and write to you of it. —Frankfort, 10th Oct. 1577. Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 1 p. [Ibid. 31.]
My mistress, the Queen of England, having been informed by her agents within the Holy Empire that steps are being taken to draw up a formula, in which under colours of the Augustan confession a condemnation is to be passed upon the Churches, not only the few in Germany, but all, whether in her Majesty's realm or in other provinces, who, in a small point, dissent from that confession, and thinking that if this matter proceeds it will lead to great evils within the Empire and elsewhere, has thought good friendly to forewarn you of the same by her unworthy ministers, to your Highness and the other princes. But whereas I have been unable, by reason of the distance, and that I was in haste to go towards the Elector of Saxony and Brandenburg, to aproach your Highness, I have thought it expedient to transmit to you her Majesty's letters, together with two writings signed by my hand containing the sum of those things, which by virtue of my letters of credence I was to signify to you. Which I beg you to take in good part, or to send me an answer to the house of Joannes à Glauburg, against my return from Saxony.—Frankfort, 10 October 1577. Copy. Endd : The copy of my letter to the Duke of Wirtemburg and Marquis of Brandenburg, 1577. Latin. ¾ p. [Ibid. 32.]
Oct. 10.
K. d. L. x. 7.
I have received sundry letters from one Wm. Morehous, a soldier, he has been among the Spaniards, and seems to have some familiarity with our rebels. His intelligence has not yet any great substance. Her Majesty's pleasure is that you shall from time to time communicate such matters as he has to open to you, and advertise hither. If you shall find him to bring matter for her Majesty's service, she will reward him accordingly. And upon a good piece of service done in deed, if his need be very great, you may, if your purse serve you, let him have some 20 crowns till you hear from home. But let some desert first go before, and inquire by some secret good means to learn what the man is.—10 Oct. 1577. Add. Endd : Recd. 23 Oct. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 19.]
Oct. 10.
K. d. L. x. 4.
In some of my former letters I wrote of a practice in hand for bringing down the Archduke Matthias to be Governor here. Yesterday the Duke of Aerschot informed the Estates that he is certainly on the way hither, and within a day, or two days', journey of Collen. The Duke himself, the Marquis, the Count of Lalaing, Egmont, Bossu, M. de Champagney, the Abbots of Maroilles and St. Gertrude, with two or three others, are said to be they by whose special commission this matter is compassed. How they will go through withal is doubtful. If he comes without the King's authority, they cannot receive him, sans violer l'obeissance due au Roi, one of the two strings they do commonly touch ; and if sent of the King it is to be doubted that it is not done without some stratagem, which will carry them from one extremity to another ; but we shall understand more within a day or two. For the matter of money, the States have deputed Commissioners to repair to Antwerp with Caringtzon, there to try what may be done in that behalf. The Prince's opinion is that her Majesty will do them a gracious pleasure and benefit in relieving their present necessity, but she will do well to bind them surely, wherein I find no difficulty for the principal ; but for the accidents touched in your last, I cannot yet see what caution will be there given. As soon as his Excellency has sounded them, he will acquaint me with their opinions. Between this and delivering of the bonds your Honour shall hear some news out of Spain. Of other matters, all that I have presently you may see by the occurrents herewith sent.—Brussels, 10 Oct. 1577. P.S. Even now the news is confirmed of the arrival at Colloigne of the Archduke ; about whose receiving they are already in earnest dispute, as the Duke of Aerschot this morning 'flang' in a fury out of the Council, because the Prince, debating of the peril in receiving him ere they had established things in some good policy and order, bade them look well about them what they did. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 20.]
319. Draft of the above. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 21.]
Oct. 10.
K. d. L. x. 5.
We hear that the Duke of Guise and his Highness met about Marche-en-Famine ; but yet there is no certain word of the marching of the Duke's forces, howbait of this smouldering fire the flame must soon appear. The bruit here is hot of the preparation in Portugal, coloured with an enterprise against the Moors, but destined as they doubt hitherwards. There are said to be 120 ships, whereof 20 of 600 tons and upwards, 30 of 300 tons, 30 of 200 tons, and 40 under that burden. Ressingham is returned hither to shuffle the cards among the States, wherein he has already played his part well. But were it not that the Prince is here, who having the whole people at his back, might be 'made a party' of any outrage of theirs, they would have gone near ere this to have trussed him up, so deadly they hate him. Others of his coat, as the Secretary Berty, Scaremburgh, and Assonville were in the way to return, since his Highness departed from Namur ; but the people assuring themselves that their return has no other scope than to do lewd offices, have countermanded them, with provision that they will take such order with them if they come hither, as neither the country shall be prejudiced, nor their enemy served any more hereafter by their treason. In the late defeat of the States' men, about 8 or 10 days since, such as had yielded to the enemy upon promise of life, have since, as we hear, been cruelly forced to 'pass the pikes.' His Excellency has desired leave to go to Breda for a few days, which I think he will do shortly. His well-willers utterly mislike his stay here. His presence does not yield the good hoped for, by reason of the factious corruption and partiality here ; and besides on his person depends the whole welfare of this state. The news is that the French King, wearied by the homē wars, hath licensed all such as will serve in the Low Country, either on one side or the other ; whereupon divers Frenchmen have offered to serve the Estates, but I see no inclination on this side to employ them. Enclosure. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 22.]
Oct. 10.
K. d. L. x. 3.
[Same news as in letter of even date to Walsingham.] I send you herewith the names of all such as are at present of the Estates, but in a note apart ; you shall see by my next who are the good patriots and favouring religion, of which latter sort among the nobility the Prince stands alone. What principal men of this country are with his Highness your Lordship may also see at the end of the catalogue.—Brussels, 10 Oct. 1577. P.S. [As to Walsingham.] Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 23.] Enclosure : A list of members of the States General, including "s'ensuit ceux qui sont avec Don Johan." Endd. in Burghley's hand : 10 October, 1577. The persons of the States following the common cause against Don John. 4 pp. [Ibid. 23A.]
Oct. 10.
K. d. L. x. 1.
[Same news as to Walsingham and Burghley.] Draft. 1 p. [Ibid. 24.]