Elizabeth: March 1578, 11-15

Pages 533-541

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

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March 1578, 11-15

March 11. 689. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
I was not less glad of your letter, which I had long looked for, than sorry to find the subject other than I had hoped, as well for the honour I bear you as for the I was in good hope that the long suspended and doubtful resolutions at our Court would have been recompensed with some agreeable news of the proceedings of your journey hither to the relief of these countries, the honour of her Majesty, and your own credit ; but by your letter I see that our long doubtfulness and irresolution has at length brought forth an unworthy conclusion, unwished I am sure by a number that foreseeing the good which might have followed would gladly have gone forward. I am not acquainted with the causes of the change of our resolution in that behalf ; but thus much I dare affirm upon the judgement of the wisest here, that if her Majesty had proceeded roundly in this action she would not only in a few months have settled a good and honourable peace, but also have thereby gained double honour and security, both in respect of the obligation of these countries, who must be bound for ever to her for so great a benefit and in removing an enemy further off from her, who in time with his affairs prospering (as God forbid) might be a dangerous neighbour ; and honour in being the cause of so great a benefit not to these countries only, but to the whole commonwealth of Christendom, which is like to participate in the fire already kindled here. Therefore I cannot but be sorry that she has drawn back from the enterprise, the rather in respect of your Lordship, whose Fragment of draft. Endd. : 11 Martii, to my L. of Leicester (but it appears to be embodied in his letter of the 16th, No. 702). Much damaged. 2/3 p. [Ibid. V. 74.]
March 11. 690. DAVISON to [ ?].
One Pooley, a soldier of yours, has by letter informed me of some hard dealing used by you towards him without just occasion, as he affirms, effered by him ; and has besought me to hear and examine the matter between you and him. Wherein although I have no great wish to deal, presuming the cause to be such that what you have done was grounded upon reason and justice, yet I thought good to request you to let me know the occasion of it, that understanding the matter I may the better take such order between you as justice shall require.—Antwerp, 11 March 1577. Draft on the back of the last. 12 lines. [Ibid. V. 74r.]
March 11. 691. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
I doubt not but you will look to hear often from me in this 'tickle' and unquiet time, and indeed it is to be thought that so many factions in so factious a country would breed some new matter worthy of advertisement ; especially when a number of the Malcontents being of the better sort do not contend only who shall rule, but who shall live. The state of this country at present is not to be considered in the King and his brother, but rather in their followers, who have gone so far on either side that they must go further, unless they will go no more. Our princes may be intreated, who are of so good nature that they can digest all sorts of offences, and in respect of their quality think they may compound safely in any quarrel ; but their ministers think themselves in surety no longer than while they are out of the danger of their enemy. Yet these things are covered with tolerable terms of unkindness and pass away calmly as you see, so that no dangerous effect has yet ensued. Anyone who compares these great quarrels with the cold dealing between these two princes will conclude as before on like occasions that they are nothing but sleight counterfeited to blear the eyes of those of the religion and to prepare by treachery the way for their ruin, which open force could not effectuate. This opinion is perhaps already arrived in your parts, and the event may confirm it. But the sequel is one thing and the first intent is another, especially here, where we like and mislike all in an hour, and therefore our first meaning may not be judged by the effects ensuing. There is no doubt that Monsieur had great reasons for discontent, and it is no less certain that he departed highly offended, and the King is much grieved and displeased at his departure. These three points are easily proved, and are open to the eyes of all save those who like to talk of what may be rather than to consider what is. You may reasonably conclude that the taste and boiling humours of this French nation will break out shortly into some dangerous action, which surely would come to pass if the third faction—I mean those of the religion— did not give the down weight between these two brothers. This is provided for with great diligence. The King seeks all means to content the Protestants, having lately granted the King of Navarre much both for himself and for the cause in general, which I have seen signed by the King. Monsieur has also sent to the princes and all others of credit and calling to assure them of his favour. Thus the Protestants are intreated on every side who were wont to be threatened ; and as they count this accident as providential for their safety, and they have resolved to profit by it, seeking at the King's hands to establish the Edict and entertaining Monsieur with words and proffers worthy of his quality and calling. The reasons moving me to think that they of the religion will deal in this sort are these : First, the ill-opinion conceived by Duke Casimir of the young princes, which he has not spared to signify by his letters, to their great miscontent. Wanting anything rather than courage they will now maintain peace, if for no other reason, to keep themselves out of his danger and have no need of his succour. No doubt Duke Casimir had good cause to dislike their proceeding in many things, and therefore as he had done well to reform them, so it is dangerous to 'leese' them, especially at this bad time, when reason and policy bid us not only keep our old friends, but seek new ones. Secondly, the disposition of these princes, who desiring nothing more than liberty and quietness, will avoid all occasion of war. I say nothing of their necessity, a bitter enemy to all honourable attempts, and I should be glad not to know of the partialities between those of the better sort. Lastly, the Protestants generally are weary of the war and will accept peace with any reasonable conditions. It follows that these French factions will stand upon their guard on every side, and so pass this year or the better part thereof without any great trouble ; and one good thing will follow of these partialities, that if the French do no good they will do no great hurt. And now her Majesty may answer the Spaniard and his English traitorous servants the more boldly. He comes from far, with many dangers, difficulties, and uncertainties, and with great charges ; so that the mere certainty that her ships are abroad and ready to receive them will keep them at home. I write this plainly of the Spaniard because I have conceived an ill-opinion of his arming by sea and am more than half persuaded that he has intelligence with Stukeley. If her Majesty will send her ships to sea she may perhaps save more by spending than she can do by saving, and her subjects may be assured to traffic safely. I do not deliver my opinion to you as a matter of truth, being partly acquainted with the rashness and inconstancy of this nation ; but have thought it agreeable with my duty to tell you what I see or think that may import her Majesty's service. And therefore I may not forget to tell you that many captains have been dispatched from hence of late, with their rendezvous at 'Reines,' Mézières, and other places on the borders of Germany ; and some of good judgement here believe that the exploit is intended against Duke Casimir. No doubt the King hates him deadly, and the Duke of Guise is no better affected to him, and the Spaniard may further it to divert him from succouring the Estates. I have been of the opinion that those of the religion would be stirred with this foreign quarrel ; but good and grave men have assured me of the contrary, for the causes above rehearsed. Monsieur sent two letters at once to the King by Rochepot, the first containing nothing but protestations of goodwill, fidelity, etc., and this was shown to all men. The other full of complaints, declaring among other things the great discontent of all the nobility of the realm to see the King ruled by a 'sort' of young men, not only to his discredit, but to the spoil of his realm. St. Aignan and some others which have been shaken up of late are retired to Bourges, and Drou is in the dungeon there ; and now Monsieur has asked leave to choose the governors of all the towns and castles that are in his appanage and remove them at his pleasure, and to levy certain companies of men for the security of his person to be paid from the tailles and other impositions rising within his appanage. The King has written to St. Aignan and the rest to be obedient to Monsieur's commands. Queen Mother was two days at Angiers before she spoke with Monsieur, who was lodged in the castle, and his brother in the town. First he was sick, and then she was sick ; and these little things serve to confirm the opinion of the Pope's Nuncio, who is said to have written to the Pope that the division between the two brothers proceeds of Queen Mother, who finding them wholly possessed by their young counsellors has devised this means to bring them both 'in her danger.' It is said that Monsieur goes to 'Château Bryan' in Britanny and that the King intends to make a journey into Normandy. Hopkins David (fn. 1) returning out of Italy arrived here the 8th inst. He has delivered me this Welsh letter inclosed, addressed as he says to Sir Edward Stradling [?] (fn. 1) from the master of the English house at Rome, praying me to discharge him of the said letter, which he feared might do him harm in England, not knowing that he would repair there with my messenger. I desired him to translate it into English, which I also send. Other things have been referred to his report, which he has given me in writing. I reserve it for my discharge, and inclose a copy. This ēdast [? written over an erased word, which may be Papist] promises to go to you with all diligence ; but considering the importance of this message, the dangerous papists that are in this town, that he was known to be with me, and might be seduced by ill counsel or conveyed out of the way by sinister practice, I have thought it most agreeable with my duty to send him with this messenger, having bidden him tell all men that because he comes from Rome I conceived that he might be able to say somewhat, but he knows nothing. This fellow has been a scholar in Oxford these five or six years, and is not so simple as he seems to be. The advertisement sent by Mr. Wythipole touching Naples has been written hither, and from hence to great personages ; but it is now thought not to be true in all points, being confirmed that the outlaws there have erected a new King and committed great insolence. It is certain that great sums of money have been sent hence in the last two days to Don John. Part has been sent hither from Nantes and the rest paid by exchange. I hear also from Geneva that 8 'mulets' laden with money passed through Savoy to Don John about the 12th ult. I also understand by letters from Florence of the 12th ult. that the ships arrested at Naples are not likely to be restored ; that two others are arrested in Sicily ; that the Pope makes great provision of money and has set a new subsidy upon his clergy ; and that the Kings of Spain and Portugal are making great levies of men in every corner. I received the enclosed bill from M. Pinart, who prayed me to recommend the causes mentioned in it to you. I pray God the Spanish Ambassador does not abuse her Majesty with fair words, their doing tending so apparently to our ruin that I do not see how words can excuse them. Their religion allows them to swear and unswear and to spare their conscience in nothing that may annoy us. If these Spanish colonies come once to be our neighbours, I fear they will aspire to be our masters. The best occasions are perhaps lost, but it is never too late to take all occasions to avoid mischief. God forbid that the irresolutions of these headless heads of the States should be the ruin of themselves and their neighbours.—Paris, 11 March 1577. Add. Endd. 5 pp. [France II. 23.]
[March 11.] 691 bis. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
As in my last, of Feb. 23, for want of matter and for good usance I troubled you with such occurrents as at that time I had heard of, so now I send you, on the other side of the paper, such matter as has since come into my hands. The credit of it I leave to the judgement of time, for as I am not the author of this or others that I write, I advertise nothing but what is written by others from sundry places, which I deliver for your consideration as they are brought to me. I am also to beseech you that if now or hereafter there be any service to be done for her Majesty on this side the seas for affairs merchantable, I may have the doing of it ; and I assure you it shall be done so effectually that I doubt not it shall be acceptable.
Occurrents.—From Wittenberg, 6 and 12 Feb.
The Turk threatens the Venetians with war unless they yield him Candia. About Wittenberg, Tantenberg makes 1,000 horse ready for the States, and N., cousin to the Bishop of Misnia [Meissen], as many. It is said likewise that the Count Palatine, Casimir, will aid them with 2,000. The Marquis George Frederick with 300 horse is gone to Warsaw to the King of Poland, from whom the ambassadors sent by the princes of Germany to treat the peace of Dantzic procured him beforehand the government of 'Borissa' ; the prince of that country being by sickness become unable to govern. The said Marquis pays for it 200,000 florins. He has now joined with him, as committed to the Diet of Warsaw on behalf of the Elector of Saxony, the noble, worthy, learned Abraham Bocke and Dr. Andreas Pauli, who were both employed on the peace. He will reduce to order the contentious divines of that province, who have so troubled those churches that at Königsberg there has in many weeks been neither preaching nor ministration of the Sacraments. In a meeting on Jan. 28, appointed by the Governor of Halle, the divines of Magdeburg, after an alteration of four chapters, have subscribed to the book made at 'Torge.'
—From Misnia, 12 Feb.
Last night six men arrived from Transilvania, 250 leagues from here, affirming that a certain Pole, long since banished by the Muscovite's persuasion, has surprised Moldavia and driven out the former governor. The Turks 'joining' thereupon have twice been put to flight by him. The Voivode of Transilvania has sent the Moldaves 4,000 to help them against him.
—From Leipzic.
A meeting is appointed at Frankfort for Aug. 25 next 'upon the mene' of the chiefest and most learned divines in Poland, Hungary, Transilvania, England, France, and the Low Countries. It is thought that the Palatine Casimir will also send divines thither.
—From the same place, 23 Feb.
Although the divines of Heidelberg were three months since appointed to depart within 14 days, they are still there, and in more assurance by the agreement between the two brothers. Yet the Elector shows more favour to those who profess the contrary doctrine concerning the Lord's Supper. The worthy Christopher Oemus [Ehemius], late Lord Chancellor, having been 14 months in private custody, is set at liberty, but not restored to his former state ; yet he has promised his service to both the brothers.
—From Spires.
In 'Cleveland,' upon forbidding of preaching of the Word, three towns, Marck, Bergen, and Cleve, refuse to pay their accustomed tribute and tolls. It is thought the Emperor will intermeddle with the affairs of the Low Countries and command each side to 'refrain arms.' To that end a diet is appointed at Worms for April 6th, where the four Electors on the Rhine will meet and confer with the Emperor. A like meeting is fixed at Prague, with the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg. In Switzerland are great 'garboils' between those who hold with the Pope and the contrary side, because the Pope's partisans will help the Spaniards ; so much that on the consul of Bern reproving them very earnestly, the chief of the Pope's side struck him with his fist. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 33.]
March 11. 692. Passport from Gravesend for Don Bernardino Mendoza. —Greenwich, 11 March 1578.
Signed by the Lords of the Council. Endd. ½ p. [Spain I. 11.]
March 12.
K. d. L. x. 322.
Conveying two procurations each for 50,000l. and constituting the addressees jointly and severally her agents to receive the sum and hand it to the Estates.—Greenwich, 12 March 1577. Add. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. V. 75.]
694. Copy of the above. 1 p. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
March 13.
K. d. L. x. 323.
I sent you a letter from 'Gravisend' touching my finding Mendoza there and Lantschat sent from the Duke of Deux-Ponts. As I went on to Canterbury and Dover, I heard that Mendoza was asked when the Spanish Ambassador would come. He answered that he was come from him and had left him at Amiens ; he had been sent on to ask her Majesty for the loan of one of her ships to bring him over to England, which being done the ambassador would arrive shortly. He met with Pappart, the Flemish merchants' post, who reviled him and called him marano. This I thought good to write to you that I might make a letter, having nothing else. Being come thus far, my host tells me that Don John besieging Nivelle, a town in Brabant, has received an overthrow and lost his artillery. The Marquis will bring the truth of this. I wrote this beforehand that I might deliver it to some of his company, as he is on the way from Bruges, three leagues from here. They say here that Don John thought after taking Nivelle to march towards Alost and make his way to Flanders, where he knows he will find victuals. The Almighty bless your honour and my lady with all yours.—In haste from 'Aldenburch,' as I was posting towards Bruges 13 March 1577. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. V. 76.]
Though I can always rely upon you to do what is right in my affairs, I have been much rejoiced to learn from the letters of Sebastian de Costa, a gentleman of my household, and Nunnalunez Pereira your goodwill towards the business for which I sent to you. You know well that I have determined upon an enterprise to Africa, and how to that end I desire to have the Germans and the munitions for which I have sent. I entreat you to inform the Queen of England, to whom also I am writing my resolution touching this enterprise, of what you have clearly understood in respect of it, and to assure her that my designs have reference solely to Africa, and to the prevention of the harm which the Turks of that country may do me, so that she may convince herself of a thing so certain and dismiss all information of a different kind (if so be that she have any), in which no man need believe. As I know you will do me good offices, I shall say no more.—Lisbon, 15 March 1578. Copy, translated from Portuguese. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Portugal I. 10.]
March 15. 697. THE KING OF SPAIN to M. DE SELLES.
We have received your letter dated 'Hevere lez Louvain,' of February 20 last, with the enclosures. We consider that you have acquitted yourself very well of your charge, and thank you for the trouble you have taken. Coming to the principal point contained in your letter that we would confirm the Archduke Matthias in the government, as desired in the Estates' letter of December 31, and still pressed by them, as you write ; or name some other in the place of Don John. Besides what you may have heard from us by word of mouth and what we wrote in our letter of February 22 we will say again, for you to announce it to the Estates, that it is not our will that the Archduke should remain as governor, although if the Catholic religion and the obedience due to us be really observed as in the time of the Emperor our father, we shall be content for the sake of peace and quiet to let them have at an early date another governor of the blood with whom they cannot reasonably be dissatisfied. But this can only be if they will return to their obedience and make peace, otherwise we cannot recall our brother nor the forces we have sent him. Accordingly there is nothing to be said about the pacification of Ghent since matters have to return to the condition abovementioned, in which case we will not only forget the past, but will restore and extend their franchises and privileges, treating them like good and loyal vassals and subjects. Lastly, we have heard with pleasure the plan suggested with regard to the Prince of Parma and the Prince of Orange for the more secure observance of the promises on either side. And by the said Orange refusing to adopt it his evil intentions are sufficiently declared, and our sincerity is sufficiently established by our brother's offer to place himself in the hands of the Estates.—Madrid, 15 March 1578. (Signed) Philip. (Countersigned) Dennetieres. Below : Collated with the original at Mechlin on April 23 by Jan de Noircarmes. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. V. 77.]
698. Another copy of the above. 1½ pp. [Ibid. V. 78.]
699. Another copy. 1¾ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]


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