Elizabeth: February 1578, 11-20

Pages 494-510

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

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February 1578, 11-20

Feb. 12. 640. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
The sufficiency of this bearer, Mr. Wilkes, may suffice to excuse the shortness of this letter, as I have told him all the occurrents worth reporting, and think myself fortunate to have had this means of conference with him. His report of the state of things here will, no doubt, be followed with profitable effect to the security of her Majesty, and the quiet of her subjects. There is no doubt that the French are arming by sea in Bordeaux, Britanny, and other parts, and that 40 pieces of great ordnance have been sent to Bordeaux from Poitou, Angoumois, and Saintonge. Spades, shovels, pickaxes, and hods are provided in great number ; great store of biscuit is prepared in Angoumois and elsewhere. There is at present at Bordeaux a store of 80,000 [sic] of powder ; and as I said by my last messenger, 18 guns and good store of powder have been sent from hence to 'Newhaven.' Those of the religion fear lest these preparations are for some exploit against Rochelle ; and they have reason to stand upon their guard. But if we do well in England, we shall fear as well as they ; and do not see but that we have greater cause than any others. I hear from every side that something is intended in favour of the Queen of Scots ; and considering the close understanding between France and Spain, it may be feared that the Spanish preparations mentioned in my last letter will join with the forces of this realm. My news of the embarking of Thomas Stukeley with 900 men is confirmed both by credible report and by letters from Rome and Genoa, which mention that he has four galleys and a great sum of money from the Pope to do something in Ireland, and that he is gone to Spain for further men and supplies. I am otherwise given to understand that he had 1,500 corslets out of the Castle of St. Angely in Rome. I hear also that one of the captains appointed to serve under La Roche has told a friend that La Roche's enterprise is against Ireland. I further received information yesterday in writing to the same effect ; which you will receive by this bearer, who can also inform you of the party that sent it. It is easy to see that her Majesty's happy and quiet government is envied ; that France and Spain find no better means to reduce their subjects to the lure of their tyrannical will than by troubling the quiet state of our country ; that some dangerous mischief is brewing, and that the execution thereof is at hand, and requires present remedy. The general opinion concurs that these attempts will be in favour of the Queen of Scots ; and this does not impugn the judgement of those who affirm that the enterprise is against Ireland, because no one doubts but that the least spark of division that shall be kindled in any part of her Majesty's dominions may be dangerous to all the other parts of her Imperial Crown. Thank God she knows it, and wants no means to prevent it. I must now trouble you with a word or two of the disorder of the French Court. After the assault made upon Bussy the 2nd of this month by Caylus, d'O, Saint-Luc, and others, Monsieur resolved to leave the Court ; and on the 7th a messenger was sent to St. Germain's to provide his lodging, his stuff packed, all his gentlemen and other friends, to the number of 300 or 400, booted ; and suddenly at 10 o'clock the journey was disappointed, to the great grief, as it appeared, as I know was in deed, of those belonging to Monsieur. Now it is said he tarries only this Shrovetide, and it is easy to see that this matter is taken to heart ; in that Saint-Luc being married to the sister of Count Brissac on Shrove Sunday, Monsieur would not honour the marriage with his presence, but spent that day in hunting at Bois de Vincennes, and the tourney appointed for the day did not take effect. I am informed that Gassot, 'comys' to Villeroy, lately returned out of Spain, affirms that a new league is formed between the Pope, the King of Spain, and the French King. The Duke of Lorraine arrived here last evening. I hear from M. Pinart that Mr. Warcup will be paid ; wherein I am referred to M. Bellièvre. If it is true, Mr. Warcup may thank my last conference with the Council. I also sent to ask M. Pinart if he could give me any better assurance of the release of the two barks at Brouage, but could receive no answer but that he was informed they were released, and gone to some other port for a freight, which was the reason they had not returned to England with the rest. I have no great opinion of their plain dealing in this matter, and therefore I think you will do well to urge the Ambassador there to procure a direct answer.—Paris, 12 Feb. 1577. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid. II. 13.]
Feb. 12. 640 bis. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
My last was dated February 1 [summary of occurrents follows] ; since which I have shipped in the Seaflower, Mr. William Bryon, one barrel of 'Newringborowghe' powder, weighing 6 centners, for a proof. It will stand her Majesty in somewhat more than 11d. a lb. Also 6 barrels of powder made here, weighing 'nete' 13½ centners, 16 lbs. This will stand her in something less than 10d. a lb. It is as good as any that Mr. Dale ships. If you will cause a proof to be made both of this and of the Nuremburg powder, and send advice, I will provide as much as her Majesty may from time to time need. But I beseech you cause the trial to be made by such as will give you true information ; for I know that Mr. Dale has such familiarity with all the officers of the Tower that they will pleasure him all they can. The samples I send are of the worst sort that I will deliver at the prices aforesaid ; which I know will 'answer' with the best that Mr. Dale ships, and yet the price under 10d. a lb., which I take to be good cheap. I understand that two gentlemen are gone towards England from 'Cassimerus' to her Majesty. Though you will hear from them about all things in those parts of Germany, I have thought good on the other side to send you such occurrents as we have from Spires.—Hamburg, 12 Feb. 1577. By letters from Heidelberg of Jan. 22 it is advertised to Spires that all the quarrels about partition of lands which have continued hitherto between the brothers the Count Palatine and Duke John Casimir were on the 21st friendly and thoroughly ended. Whereupon in the evening bonfires were made and divers kinds of sports and pastimes shown in token of public joy. Although the two eldest Landgraves have often tried carefully to 'agree' the aforesaid brethren they never could determine all their controversies ; but now it is agreed that according to the orders of the Empire in Germany each brother should appoint three of his own councillors, remitting them for this one act the oaths whereby they were bound to them, with this condition that what they in equity should determine, both brothers should allow and observe. Whereupon the Count Palatine has named the old lord Great Master of his household, called the Lord of Landschad, the old marshal Gothard, captain of the Castle of Germersheim and Mr. Doctor Justus Reuberus ; Duke Casimir has named Count Albert of Nassau, 'the N. Lord of Wamholte,' and Mr. Doctor Vierus. These after much debate have determined as follows : Duke Casimir shall quietly enjoy all those things which the Elector Frederick, his father, bequeathed to him by his last will and testament ; Neustadt being therein comprehended, for which there has hitherto been great contention between the brothers. Also he shall have the moiety of all ecclesiastical revenues, and other things appertaining thereto. Moreover, for matters of religion a league is confirmed between them, that if anything is attempted for that cause against either of them, one shall be bound to assist and defend the other. And concerning Duke Casimir's subjects of the Lutheran religion, and the subjects of Calvin's opinion under the Count Palatine, they shall not sustain any harm or burden in respect thereof. Likewise the ministers of God's word on both sides shall abstain from all accusing or inveighing against each other ; and in both princes' dominions they are prohibited from publishing anything in print touching these matters of controversy. God grant that these things may long continue firm and stable. All divines of Heidelberg have been heretofore charged to depart thence within 14 days ; but now the time is prolonged, so that they keep within their houses. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 29.]
Feb. 12. 640 ter. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
Duplicate of summary, and occurrents from Spires as in the last. The part relating to the gunpowder is omitted. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. I. 30.]
Feb. 12.
K. d. L. x. 281.
My Councillor Beutterich, whom I have sent into England, and by the same opportunity to the Prince of Orange, has assured me in his letters of the kindness which, in your regard for me, you have shown him. I write to thank you for the same, assuring you that you have done pleasure to a prince who will endeavour to show his gratitude both to the Queen your mistress and to yourself whenever occasion shall offer.—Neustadt, 12 Feb. 1578. P.S.—I pray you to let the enclosed packet come safely to Beutterich's hands. Add. Fr. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fland. V. 46.]
Feb. 12.
K. d. L. x. 279.
The little time since your departure has brought forth such alteration as you foresaw. Since the overthrow of the States, more, however, to their dishonour than to their loss, the enemy has become master of the field, and now holds Geblours, Louvain, and Tillemont. What he will next attempt, having failed of his hope to surprise Mechlin, is yet in expectation. Both there, and in Brussels, Lyre, Vilvorde, and all towns of importance, the Prince has placed garrisons. The States who before made difficulties about receiving him among them, have now commended to him the government of this war, as to their dictator. They have sent into Germany for 7,000 or 8,000 horse, and intend to call down a certain number of Swiss, of whom the enemy has 10,000 or 12,000 ; and live in hope that her Majesty will not leave them in the briars. They are levying at home all the force they can to affront the enemy in the field, and keep him from besieging any important town. Flanders, Artois, and the whole country offer very liberally and resolutely. Amsterdam has yielded to the Prince and States of Holland, and received a garrison. They have good courage, and would have better if they were once backed by his Majesty. The Prince and Estates are sure that you have done and will do good offices for them, so I know there is no need to solicit you in that behalf. If her Majesty will take any sea-town in Flanders, they will make no difficulty about yielding it for her security ; but Flushing is a 'demand desperate.' Only I would be loth she should now shrink from them, since it will be followed with our discredit and perhaps greater peril than we account of.—Antwerp, 12 Feb. 1577. P.S.—I presume that in my matter you have not forgotten your promise. Commend me to the gentlemen that were with you, and excuse me to Mr. Knevet for not writing to him of the bargain I was to make here for him. Tell him that I have sent divers times for the man, who answers that he has upon this alteration conveyed his best works into Zealand ; and has not time to do anything. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 47.]
Feb. 12.
K. d. L. x. 278.
Little has happened since my last letter, save that the States' men who were in garrison at Tillemont have abandoned it to the enemy, against whom, being master of the field, it was indefensible. Several cornets of his cavalry have appeared before Diest and other places, which they summoned ; 'but they find not every place astonished with a Spanish brag.' Some think the enemy has greatly 'overseen' himself in not more diligently following up his victory, a thing not so hard to get as to use. The longer he forbears the States, the better he arms them against himself. The Prince has, in this breathing while, placed so good garrisons in Brussels, Mechlin, Vilvorde, Lyre, that none of these places can be attempted without great difficulty. Before the Spaniards, who are said to be in Burgundy, and the Swiss are come to the enemy, the States hope to have a new army in the field, 'bastant' to make head against his. Amsterdam has compounded with the Prince. Scluse Castle, a place suspected to be held by some of the faction imprisoned at Ghent, devoted to the enemy, is this week taken by them of Bruges ; who, with the rest of the members of Flanders, have since the defeat shown themselves good patriots. They are resolved to send the Marquis back to England, if by their ambassador's next letter they are not put in better comfort of her Majesty's inclination. If the difficulty rests in the security, I think they will not refuse to give her Majesty any of the four coast towns of Flanders, or any other save Flushing, which I see is desperate to be obtained. Scluse, in respect of the trade to Bruges, is not among the least important towns. They send to me every day to know how things pass, but it is a month since I had a letter from you.—Antwerp, 12 Feb. 1577. P.S.—Please arrange that I have a new 'imprest of diets,' the old being long since spent. It would be better for me, and less trouble for you, if I might have a warrant for three months' diet always beforehand. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 48.]
Feb. 12. 644. Draft of the above. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 48a.]
Feb. 12.
K. d. L. x. 277.
[Same information as in last two letters.] 'They do here long for good news of her Majesty's resolution, which if they receive not by the next from M. de Famars, they have determined to return the Marquis again into England.' Their alternative is to divert the succours of the enemy, or to obtain help from their friends ; failing the first, they must have recourse to the second. 'As they have neglected all other offers to depend on her Majesty, so they hope she will not now neglect them or leave them in the briars.'—Antwerp, 12 Feb. 1577. Draft, damaged by water. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 49.]
Feb. 12. 646. DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
His Highness having seen a certain document, signed 'Asseliers,' by order of the Archduke Matthias, those styling themselves his Council of State, and the States-General, laid before him by the Baron de Selles, has made a verbal statement, as follows :—He leaves his predecessors in the government to answer for their own actions, and he thinks them quite able to defend themselves ; and declares that since his arrival in these parts he has required of the king's subjects nothing save the maintenance of the Roman Catholic religion and the obedience due by all laws, human and divine, to his Majesty. In order to obtain these two points he has laboured as everyone knows to satisfy the subjects, both by sending away foreigners and by other acts of kindness, for which they ought to be grateful to him. He was never so vexed by anything as he has been to see the small account taken of his Majesty's kindnesses, nor so amazed as at hearing that subjects, who in the past have been so loyal to their prince, have so far forgotten themselves as to be solicitors to certain foreign princes, a thing as disgraceful to them as it is of little profit, to put themselves at their obedience and rebel against their own natural sovereign without any cause given. They have as little reason to do this now as they ever had ; for though his Highness has repassed the Meuse and defeated their army, which had long been awaiting this for illegally hindering his entrance into the country, and though he has since advanced further, in order more effectually to fulfil his Majesty's good intentions, it is the fact that he is as ready as ever to content himself with the two points above mentioned and subject to the effectual carrying out of these as in the time of the Emperor Charles V, to maintain their privileges, and forgetting what has passed, restore all things to the former footing. And seeing that his Majesty's will is no other than has been said, and his Highness is ready to effectuate the same, there need be no difficulty, if the Estates will carry into effect what they have promised, as in their letter to his Majesty of October 8 last, in coming to agreement and restoring things to what they were in the Emperor's time. But there must be no tampering with the king's authority. The Archduke Matthias is closely bound to him by obligations known to all men ; and he will do well to consider and weigh what he owes to his Majesty, to the end that, while saying he wishes to serve him, he may not do the contrary, through the malicious and astute practices of the malign, heretical and rebellious spirits around him. The Archduke should have the more regard to this, for that he came without order and without the knowledge of his Majesty, who understands better than anyone else what is for the welfare of his States, which have always been the objects of such care to him.—By order of his Highness. (Signed) Le Vasseur. Copy. Fr. 2½ pp. [Ibid. V. 50.]
Feb. [13].
[Don John went that day to Héverlé, near Louvain.]
647. M. DE SELLES to the ESTATES.
You will be surprised that I have so long delayed to send you the reply of his Highness herewith enclosed. It will, no doubt, seem to you somewhat harsh ; but you must not abandon the hope that his Majesty will still be willing to carry out the promises which I have made in his name. Nor in truth can his Highness take any other resolution until we have his Majesty's reply to the dispatch which he is this day sending to him to finish the whole matter. His Highness has not thought it well that I should return to you at present ; which, however, I will do whenever you shall please to give me the assurance necessary to the completion of so good a work.—Hevere [Héverlé], Feb. 1578. (Signed) Jan de Noircarmes. [Noted] : Received Feb. 14. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 51.]
Feb. 15. 648. REPLY of the ESTATES to M. DE SELLES.
We have received your letter, with the paper signed : 'Vasseur, by order of Don John,' which we find not only harsh, as you say, but little conducive to his Majesty's service or the repose of the country. We hope that, in spite of his allegations, it is notorious to all the world that we desire only to remain in the ancient allegiance to his Majesty and the maintenance of the Catholic religion, according to the Pacification of Ghent, if Don John and his adherents give no reason to the contrary ; as he has done without ceasing ever since he wrote to us on Sept. 5 that his Majesty had recalled him, and would appoint another prince of his blood as Governor at once. We protest before the world that if any mishap befalls the Catholic religion, or if any provinces are drawn from their allegiance, for fear of falling under the absolute and cruel government claimed by Don John and the Spaniards, we must be exculpated, and the fault will not be ours but Don John's ; who, under colour of religion and allegiance, is trying to hide private passion and to come back to the government of the subjects here, to whom he has given such cause for distrust that they would rather endure all extremity than receive him. We are much displeased that when the troubles were appeased, and affairs in a tranquil state, Don John should, without considering the signal services rendered to the King and his ancestors, have come with armed hand to invade these countries, to the risk of our religion and allegiance. This we beg you to represent to his Majesty, letting him understand our good intention. And as for returning to us, you can do so, or stay where you are, as you find it advisable. Nevertheless, in case you wish to return, we will send you such assurance as you require, though we think it unnecessary ; seeing that no hindrance was given you when you were here, and none will be in future.—Antwerp, 15 Feb. 1577. (Signed) Cornelius Weellemans. Copy. Endd. by Wilson. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. V. 52.]
Feb. 15. 649. DON JOHN to the CLERGY, NOBLES, and MAGISTRATES.
Whereas his Majesty, showing his accustomed clemency towards his subjects in these countries, has lately sent the Baron de Selles to the Estates general and particular, with a letter setting forth his pleasure touching the last troubles, and the causes which have forced him again to have recourse to arms, namely, to maintain the Catholic Religion and due obedience to himself, as in the time of the Emperor Charles V, and whereas his said subjects are thereto bound, and have offered the same to his Majesty in a letter dated the 8th of September last ; he assures them that if they shall accomplish these two points, all shall be as before, and there shall be a cessation of arms and an amnesty. And although to effect this the Baron de Selles passed some time at Brussels with those who call themselves the Estates-General of the country, communicating his Majesty's instructions, in hope that since no new pretensions were raised, but simply the offer of the Estates was accepted, there could be no further difficulty, nevertheless, an answer was given to him, wherein not only they did not thank his Majesty for his benignity and clemency, nor remembering their letter of Sept. 8, but passing over everything in silence and dissimulation, and changing their promises, they wandered off to other points, using threats, and talking about a change of prince and else. Further, they have not up to now permitted the Baron de Selles to carry out his instructions towards the particular Estates and towns to whom he had letters, thus by their obstinacy hindering the King's subjects from knowing his mind ; so that up to the present neither his letters, nor those which we have written, with a view to peace, have come to their hands. They have also prohibited all writings, printed or otherwise, intended truly to inform the subjects of the King's good intention, and ours, and of past events ; which is not only the greatest barbarity and injustice in the world, but also tyranny and oppression or the people. For this reason it has seemed to us good to have the said letters of his Majesty printed, as well as the instructions of de Selles, which we doubt have been concealed from you. We pray all good Catholics and loyal subjects to take heart, and show what you would do and can do for the King's service, to free yourselves once for all from the tyranny of these heretics and rebels, who try to destroy the true religion, as their works show ; the others we call upon to return to reason and the right path, as human and divine law enjoin ; and all alike we bid to consider that the victory which God, in His goodness, has in these last days given to his Majesty was something miraculous, that we should have defeated the rebels before we had got his Majesty's forces together. Notwithstanding which advantage, he offers the same terms as in his letter. To which we admonish you all to conform, before the rest of his Majesty's forces coming from Italy and elsewhere muster upon you. It will not then be so easy to remedy the inconveniences arising from war. We declare afresh that we are ready to receive all bodies, or individuals ; that we take them in that case under the protection and safeguard of his Majesty, and will ourselves give safe conduct to all who wish to come or send to us ; according to our declaration made at Marche-en-Famine, the 25th of January last year.—Hevere, 15 Feb. 1578. Copy, headed : Lettres d'Induction de par Don Jouan, du 15 de Janvier [sic] 1578. Fr. 4 pp. [Ibid. V. 53.]
Feb. 15. 650. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
The great broil which happened so suddenly in this Court on Shrove-Monday night was as suddenly suppressed by the mediation of Queen Mother, the Duke of Lorraine, and the Chancellor, who considered (and wisely, in my opinion) that the mean way is not the surest in punishing great personages, and that in these cases it behoves to do enough or nothing at all. Therefore next day, seeking to repair that too much which they had done already, every man was set at full liberty, and La Chastre, committed to the Bastille, was likewise set free ; Monsieur content to embrace Queslus and others belonging to the King, who had offended him ; Bussy and Queslus reconciled ; and now nothing but dancing and masking, when at seven last evening Monsieur departed from Court, accompanied by Bussy and Cymieres, and, passing the water, was received by the Abbot of Sainte-Geneviève, and by his help escaped. M. Villeroy went after him this morning to know the reason, and Queen Mother went after noon to like purpose. I did not like to ask a passport in this troublous time, and without the King's passport it is impossible to have horses, so I send this to Rouen, to be conveyed by the help of Mr. Byckner and John de Vigues, who is now there. I asked audience for the 13th ; it is deferred till to-morrow.—Paris, 15 Feb. 1577. P.S.—La Roche has just been to me, by command of the King, to assure me that he means nothing less than to attempt anything to her Majesty's prejudice, with all the fair words and promises that could be devised. Time will not now permit me to report all our discourse ; but you shall hear by my next packet. It is easy to judge what his being sent to me means, and it may seem that the voyage is already half broken. I will break it altogether at my next audience if I can. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [France II. 14.]
Feb. 16. 651. N. LYMBORCH dit OST to DAVISON.
The bearer of these presents, Charles de Falckenburgk LL.D. wishes to confer with you on certain matters ; and I therefore beg that he may be kindly received, and admitted to your notice. To-day, at the table of Mr. Dannewitz and other gentlemen of the Archduke's household, with whom we were dining, we fell into talk of well setting on foot and carrying through, the war in defence of these countries, and I mentioned among other things several colonels and captains who had offered their most ready services to the Queen of England on behalf of the Belgians, and said they were expecting an answer every day. This pleased them all, and they said it would be most agreeable to our chiefs. Wherefore I would ask you, if any decision comes from the Queen, you would communicate it to me on the present or some other opportunity.—Antwerp, 16 Feb. 1578. Add. Latin. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. V. 54.]
Feb. 17. 651 bis. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
Hamburg, 17 Feb. 1577.—My last was dated the 12th inst., since when I have received yours of Jan. 24, dated at Hampton Court. Good intelligence is to be expected from the higher parts of Germany, the more so that a brotherly agreement is concluded between the Count Palatine and his brother. Your directions touching the treasure shall be diligently observed, and the answer to Mollner shall be made accordingly. There was a rumour here of the levying of 1,000 horsemen in Holstein for the service of Don John ; and 1,000 have also been taken up in Mecklenburg and the 'sea' [sic] of Bremen for the States. By virtue of your last letter, I have bought 40 centners of powder made here, such as Mr. Dale may well deliver at 10d. a lb., and also 6 centners of Nuremberg powder, that you may see the difference. I hope you will cause the trial to be made substantially. The dryness must be specially regarded, for it may be that by means of 'far carriage' and much wet, that the Nuremberg powder may be 'danker' than the other ; and therefore 'both thoroughly dried before the trial is requisite.' I have also written to Nuremberg for two centners of meaner powder for a trial, but now by virtue of your letter I mean to buy no more, but to ship this with the first. I hope you will take order for the receipt of it, for I have appointed my servant, John Price, to wait upon you touching your pleasure therein ; and since the officers are as I take it much addicted to Mr. Dale, I hope you will appoint such to see the trial as may inform you of the truth. Edward Goodman departed hence, with the King of Denmark's answer to her Majesty's letters, on the 17th ult., and has repaired to you, I hope, before this. By the occurrents on the other side, it appears that the counterfeit English Duke, who has lately been at Rome, is now going with soldiers to Portugal ; whence some suspicion may be gathered that the preparation for Africa is meant some other way. That you may the better consider it, to prevent a great mischief, I have thought good to send you, as nearly as I can arrive at it, an invoice of all the goods shipped from hence by the contractors for Portugal, most of which I take to be for the King's use ; and as a great part of them still lies in this river in sundry ships I have sent you the contents severally laden in each, for it may be that you have some such ground of intelligence as may give sufficient occasion to make a stay of them as they pass the narrow seas. The ships will soon be ready to depart, for they were laden before winter and kept here against their wills through the freezing of the river, which is likely to be opened shortly. It is told me by an archpapist that the great army of ships prepared in Spain and Portugal will divide, one half for Ireland, the other for 'Harling' in Friesland.
Occurrents.—From Rome, 4 Jan.
As signified by letters from Genoa of Dec. 18, nine galleys have arrived there from Vado with 1,500 soldiers, who were lately levied at Naples for the Low Countries. And at a place called Porto Venere, one of their chief captains was slain. The Lord Pompeo Colonna has been daily in readiness to pass from Sicily into Spain with two galleys and commission to treat with the King of Spain touching the new tolls lately raised in their country. And to 'acquit from them' that exaction, which they find 'burdenous,' he was to seek the discharge of it by offering a sum to be paid at one entire payment. If he can bring this to pass, they have promised him 20,000 crowns. The English Duke, who was written of, is departed for Civita Vecchia ; and though the bruit was he would go for England or the Low Countries, it is now given out that he is appointed on behalf of the King of Portugal, who will not publish his war against Africa till these folks can be brought over, to stop the passage of the enemy in many places.
— From Venice, 10 Jan.
By letters from Constantinople it is mentioned that on Nov. 13 last 'the Ochialim' arrived there in safety, and was very friendly received by the great Turk. The Signiory of Venice has sent a new ambassador thither and recalled the other that was there. After receipt of these letters the Signiory dispatched one with expedition to Spain. It is thought to concern weighty affairs, but nothing is known for certain. A Turkish merchant, lodging here in the house of a woman from Greece, who had by him in jewels, money, and gold, worth about 50,000 crowns, was this day in the morning found murdered, and all that he had taken from him ; for which act is apprehended one from Armenia, and committed to the hand of the Justicer. From Florence it is written that certain warm baths have been found near Scarchiano [qu. S. Casciano], which for 400 years past have been hidden and spoiled. By the physicians' report they have the same virtue as heretofore, to wit, to heal the 'crippell lame,' also the stone and all other diseases. A great multitude daily repairs thither, so that the water is scarce sufficient for those who carry and recarry it to and from all places. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson ; and below, in another hand : Mr. Hudson, negot. D. Casamir, with the 20,000l. to be delivered D. Casamir for the reiters at the rendezvous. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 31.]
Feb. 19. 652. POULET to the QUEEN.
As directed in a letter received from Mr. Walsingham on the 11th, I asked audience on the 13th, and had access to the King on the 16th. I reminded him how he had been pleased to say several times that he desired nothing more than the continuance of good amity between your Majesty and him, that he would not fail to show his affection by friendly offices, that he wished your Majesty to deal as sincerely with him as he intended to do with you, and that indeed without such plain dealing it was not easy to see how the amity could last for any time ; that the Scottish Queen had made so many demonstrations of her evil mind towards your Majesty that it was evident to the eyes of all the world, and he could not be ignorant of it, yet notwithstanding his Ambassador in England had often and with great instance solicited her causes to you ; that he had lately been very earnest for certain new officers to attend upon her, those being dismissed who had served in that place before, and had desired license to send some of his own servants to visit her ; that this kind of dealing could not but breed suspicion in your Majesty, appearing as though his Ambassador's principal charge was to plead the cause of the Scottish Queen ; that you found it strange that he should be so careful for one that has long since been discovered by her practices to be maliciously affected towards your Highness ; and that you had therefore commanded me to desire him to forbear hereafter to give commission to his Ambassador to deal so earnestly in such causes, as a thing inconsistent with good amity. He answered that the Scottish Queen was formerly so nearly allied to him, by her marriage with his brother, that he should think himself worthy of great blame if he were not careful of her well-doing ; he knew your Majesty would think him void of all good nature if he did not show his affection towards his brother's wife by all good offices ; he could in honour do no less than recommend her cause to you ; charity moved all good Christians to have compassion on the afflicted, and your Majesty had the reputation of being a merciful princess, and governing in great clemency ; he had desired nothing in her favour that might be dangerous to your State and Crown, and had not practised with her to your hindrance ; and he did not doubt but that you would take his doing in good part. I replied that if the Scottish Queen were not well entreated or honourably used, he would have reason to command his Ambassador to desire your favour towards her. "But," said I, "the truth is that she is treated with all honour, favour, and courtesy, and not in the quality of a prisoner," doubting if she were so well entertained when she lived at her own will in her own country. "You may be bold," said the King, "to think her a prisoner when she wants her liberty, without which all other things are accounted as nothing." "Indeed," said I, "she has not the liberty of her own country, of which she is restrained for just occasion." "I will not dispute of that matter," said the King ; "but what has been moved by my Ambassador that offends the Queen your mistress?" I told him as before, and that this curious dealing in these trifles argued his great affection towards her, and that your Highness could not but find it strange that he should be so careful for one so well known to be ill-affected towards you. The King answered that it ought to suffice your Majesty, whatever his Ambassador moved, that you were at full liberty to do as pleased you, and that he had not urged you in anything to your miscontentment. "But what has she done," said he, "that has so much offended the Queen?" I told him he could not be ignorant of her open challenge in time past to the Imperial Crown of the realm of England, or of the rebellion which was stirred there not long since by her solicitation ; and here I prayed him to pardon me for saying that, in my opinion, the amity of the Crown of England was to be preferred before any bond whatever between him and the Scottish Queen. "I will tell you more," said the King—and this he spoke as if he would make me know that he had told me a secret—"assure the Queen your mistress for my final answer, that I am well pleased she keep the Scottish Queen as safely as she will, so that she is treated with honour and courtesy ; and pray her to believe that I prefer her friendship before that of the Scottish Queen." I said I must confess that these two last conclusions were very honourable and reasonable, and did not doubt but that your Majesty would receive them thankfully. Then I told that La Roche had been with me, and had signified the strict command he had of him to attempt nothing to the prejudice of your Highness, and had used great speech to persuade that he intended nothing less ; yet, considering his former doings and his intelligence with some of your bad subjects, I said I had no hope that his bare word could satisfy your Majesty. The King answered that it was reasonable the seas should be open for his subjects as well as the subjects of England, but if La Roche offended your Majesty in your country or subjects, he would not fail to punish him ; adding that, for your better satisfaction, he had commanded him to write to his Ambassador in England. I said it would be too late to talk of his punishment when he had invaded your Majesty's dominions ; and therefore I could not see that you would be satisfied unless the voyage were utterly broken, or else that it would please him to assure you that La Roche should enterprise nothing against you ; which would be easy for him to do, La Roche being still at Court. "Well," says the King, "you shall assure the Queen from me, and upon my word, that he shall do nothing to the prejudice of her, her country, or her subjects." I concluded that I was glad to hear this resolute answer, and thought your Majesty would think well of it. I trust your Majesty has been informed by my letter of the 15th to your Secretaries of the sudden departure of Monsieur from this Court ; Queen Mother being gone after him, as one that has the skill to make and mar in France at her pleasure. Men discourse diversely of his journey. If I should be forced to say my opinion, I should not fail to set it down contrary to all reason, and so I might perchance 'meet with' the French humour. La Roche came to me the day before my last audience. I forbear to trouble your Majesty with the discourse between us, whereof I have written at length to your Secretaries.—Paris, 19 Jan. 1577. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 3½ pp. [France II. 15.]
Feb. 19. 653. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Helyard means nothing less than to leave her Majesty's service ; having repaired hither, as he says, with no other intent than to increase his knowledge by this voyage, and upon hope to get a piece of money of the lords and ladies here for his better maintenance in England at his return. He would have been back by this time if he had not been disappointed by some misfortunes. He intends to go shortly, and carry his wife with him. I have recommended the cause of Richard Arderne of Exeter and his fellows to the favour of M. Fontaines, governor of St. Malo, and have given him a note of the particulars. He promises speedy justice ; and I think him to be a very honest gentleman, and some courtesy has already passed between him and me. But Richard Anderne is much 'abused' if he thinks to obtain restitution upon the certificate which I received from him ; by which he charges two ships of St. Malo on the bare report of the mariners of a Scottish ship, affirming that in all likelihood those who robbed these Englishmen were of St. Malo. I wish one of the merchants that have been robbed would go to St. Malo (which may be done without trouble or expense, as the western merchants make their most traffic in that part), and there see if he can find the ship which robbed him in the haven, or can learn from friends in that town that she belonged to that port, or if the captain named Jolye, mentioned in the certificate, is dwelling there ; and if he finds these things to be true, then to require justice of the Governor.—Paris, 19 Feb. 1577. P.S.—I have been much comforted by your letters by John de Vigues ; and by nothing so much as to understand the continuance of your friendship. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 16.]
Feb. 19. 654. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
Please receive inclosed herein the copy of my letter of the 15th, sent by an English merchant, by way of Rouen. My conference with La Roche was as follows. He came to me on the 15th, sent by the King, to inform me that whereas he has of late been preparing for sea, and has been at great charges, reckoning to take with him 2,500 harquebusiers, the King having heard that morning that her Majesty was in some suspicion of his voyage, as if he intended to make some attempt to her prejudice, had commanded him not only to enterprise nothing that might tend to the disquiet of any part of her dominions, but also to come and assure me of his intent by his own mouth. He therefore prayed me to believe that as he could not be ignorant of his own poor estate, which he knew to be such as was in no way able to be 'noisome or offensive' to her Majesty, so he confirmed by many oaths and great protestations that he did not intend to disturb the quiet of any of her countries, or do injury to any of her subjects, and purposed to write to M. Mauvissière to this effect. So far he had said as commanded by the King ; now he would speak for himself, that he would say nothing untruly, that his body and goods were at the command of his prince, that his prince could not command him to lie. He had, indeed, been younger than he is now, and had spent much time fondly and foolishly ; but these five or six years he had done nothing that would offend her Majesty or the least of her subjects. He had had some familiarity with some that were not the best affected to the State of England, but that now he considered of the necessity of the continuance of the amity between these two realms, and had never conceived to practise anything that might disturb the same, and would not fail to continue that opinion. I answered that I was glad to see the King so well disposed to preserve amity with my mistress, and so careful to avoid all occasion of suspicion. He ought not to find it strange if her Highness were jealous of his preparations by sea in this quiet time, having himself alleged two sufficient reasons for it. I knew his speech 'reached to' Fitzmorris, and he would do great wrong to the King his master to have intelligence with the fugitives or traitors of his friends and allies ; the sequel might be dangerous to both realms, and I did not doubt that the King's command was of great force to restrain him from attempting anything contrary to it. I accounted no less of his own promises without direction from the King, and should be glad to see them confirmed with good effects. He replied that he thought the accident happened that morning —meaning the departure of Monsieur—would disappoint his voyage, and that finding the King unwilling he should do anything that might mislike her Majesty, he had taken order that day for the breaking up of 1,500 soldiers whom he had prepared for the journey, and who were marching towards the sea. France was, indeed, full of men that were to be obtained on the sudden ; if her Majesty would be satisfied with his word, he would be glad to proceed on his intended voyage, which would be greatly to his commodity ; nothing could hinder him but her ill opinion. He never entered into any practices with Fitzmorris ; there had been good friendship between them, and he had relieved him with money, but he had not seen him these 15 months, nor had he been in France for a long time. I told him Fitzmorris had lately been in France and in some parts of Britanny, and I should marvel if he had not spoken to him. He affirmed that he had not seen him nor heard of him. "Although it were no good manners," said I, "to ask whither you go, yet, as it seems that your voyage is not altogether disappointed, I should be glad to know enough to persuade me that your enterprise is not against any part of the Queen's dominions." "I do not think," says he, "that her Majesty pretends title to any country distant from hence 500 leagues, or that her dominions reach further than England, Scotland, Ireland, or her islands," affirming that he would not attempt anything against any of these places ; adding that, as he understood her Majesty had discovered of late by her ministers certain new passages and countries, he also assured me he would do nothing to the disturbance of that voyage, and offered me such further assurance as I could devise. I answered that I had no commission to ask any assurance from him, the same depending altogether, as I took it, on the good will of the King ; but would not fail to report what had passed between us. "I will tell you more," says he ; "I could undertake to do the Queen a good point of service." I asked him wherein ; he answered that he could deliver her of a great many of her bad subjects, who had some credit in him, and would follow him. "If there be any such," said I, "I would they were in the country you speak of, distant from hence 500 leagues, to await your coming." As I never saw him before, and could not tell whereunto this speech tended, I durst not move him any further therein. Thus I have set down, as near as my memory serves, the discourse between La Roche and me. I received this copy enclosed from him yesterday. In 8 or 10 days I hope to be able to assure you of the true scope of his voyage. I can bring them to no resolution touching Mr. Warcup, though I urge them shamefully. New baits have been laid for Périgueux and St. Jean d'Angely, but in vain. All is well in Dauphiné and Languedoc. Châtillon is much commended for his zeal in religion, virtuous disposition, courage, &c. He is said to love, honour and trust only those who are good and sound in religion. I would our other Princes of France would do the like. I am credibly informed that Stukeley was still at Cività Vecchia on the 28th ult. There had been some mutiny among his soldiers. Also that 26 ships had been stayed at Naples and 4 at Cività Vecchia, for embarking 2,000 Italians, levied by Paul Jordano Ursino ; and that towards the furniture of these men the Pope had delivered great store of corselets, harquebuses, pikes, and halberts. Some say these preparations are for an enterprise of the King of Portugal in Africa, others think they will be employed against England. One tells me that Stukeley is certainly coming to Ireland, but with what number of men and ships he does not know. It is affirmed by letters from Lisbon of Jan. 28 that great preparations are being made there for the sea ; and from 'Madril,' of the 2nd inst., that the like is done at 'Calis, Cartagenia, and Bilbo.' Further, I hear that one Mathew, native of Ireland, has intelligence with the King of Spain and the Pope, and that an Irish bishop is already departed from Bilbao into Ireland, disguised. My new friend tells me that the searcher of Gravesend is a bad fellow, and does many bad offices in favour of the papists. It may be that he mistakes the place.—Paris, 19 Feb. 1577. Add. Endd. 3½ pp. [Ibid. II. 17.]