Elizabeth: August 1577, 6-10

Pages 57-63

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

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August 1577, 6-10

Aug. 6. 80. WILSON to DAVISON.
William Shotten, Englishman, has long been in the King's service, hoping from time to time to receive the pay due to him. I am moved at the pitiful state of his wife, having a charge of children, and as I know the said Shotten to be an honest man I desire you to intervene on his behalf with those in authority for his pay and dispatch hither ; wherein you shall do a very good deed.—From the Court at Richmond, 6 Aug. 1577. P.S.—I have already noted this matter for Burley and Shotten to Don John, and had promise of favour, as Burley could tell you, unto whom give credit, and be good to him otherwise, for he is a tall fellow of his hands, and honest in his behaviour. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. II. 11.]
Aug. 6. 81. POULET to BURGHLEY.
I have asked Mr. Walsingham to send you a copy of my letter about to be sent to her Majesty. One of my clerks being now in England, I could not make another copy here. I know nothing worthy of writing but what is contained in that letter.—Poictiers. Aug. 6. Add. Endd. ½ p. [France I. 11.]
Aug. 7. 82. POULET to [WALSINGHAM].
Please receive enclosed a copy of my letter to her Majesty, and of another to my Lord of Leicester ; not doubting but that Nycasius and my son are with you long before this time. I thank you for your good remembrance in the dispatch of John Tupper. The bill of depredations received is less than sufficient for any causes to enter into any particular suit for anything mentioned in it ; the merchants must use their several endeavours, and M. Dorsey being now here is expressly reminded to give speedy justice. You would wonder if you knew the practices here used to come within me, under colour of great friendship, showing the distrust they have conceived of her Majesty. For my part I hope by the grace of God to beat them with their own rod. Please forward a copy of my letter to the Queen to my Lord Treasurer if he be not at Court. The bearer, Mr. Throckmorton, has prayed me to give him leave to go to England, being required by his mother, as he says ; who has promised to get him license to travel into Italy. To be plain with you, I think myself very happy that I am honestly delivered of him. He is a very young man, and has his imperfections, which time may mend. In many things I have dealt very plainly with him ; thus he hath been chargeable to his mother, which must be imputed folly, having his meat and drink with me for himself and his man. His mother prays that his coming over may seem to proceed of his own request, because the Queen shall not be offended at it. Mr. Harvye, who has lived so long in Spain and the Low Countries, passed through this town of late, and brought me letters from Sir John Smith.—Poitiers, 7 Aug. 1577. 1½ pp. (Address and endorsement gone.) [Ibid. I. 12.]
[Aug. 7?] 83. [POULET] to [LEICESTER].
My very good Lord, I forbear to trouble you with particulars of my late negotiations with the French King and his mother, though her Majesty will doubtless acquaint you with them, and they are worth consideration as "a matter that may serve to decipher some part of our French humors." I pray God they find not now her Majesty is afraid of La Roche and his companions, and then they will not fail to hold her at this bay until they have served the other turns. You will find in my letter to her Majesty that the King here makes mention of some ships that are gone forth already, which, if I be not deceived, could not be given out by him to any other end than to terrify her Majesty and withdraw her from some other enterprise. And my last audience [on Aug. 3. See Lettres de Catherine de Médicis, vol. v., p. 209] with Queen Mother serves to confirm this conjecture. She is content to say upon these news of preparations in England that the King will answer for La Roche's doings, which he might not do if his ships were gone out already with intent to attempt anything against her Majesty. Draft. ½ p. [France I. 13.]
84. Complaint of English merchants to the French King. Replies.
By the privileges granted by your predecessor, English merchants trading at Rouen and elsewhere in Normandy are exempt from all imposts on bleached cloth, canvas, woad (pastel), and other goods transported by them ; The King will write to his officers at Rouen to ascertain how the English merchants have hitherto discharged the marketdues, and used the exemption ; also as to the inconvenience of carrying their goods to the halles. For this he must be informed of what is involved in their demand.
Nevertheless in the viscounty of Rouen they are made to pay 2 sols, 6 deniers for one cwt. of canvas and 10 sols for one cwt. of bleached cloth ;
And not content [sic] with this, after the merchants have paid all dues, they are compelled to carry heavy goods to the halles and to leave it on the quays, and not permitted to transport them elsewhere, whereby they receive much damage.
And whereas your Majesty has lately imposed a market-tax on such goods as corn, wine, bleached cloth, canvas, and woad, the farmers and receivers of that subsidy want to levy it on goods bought and embarked before the publication of the edict imposing it, and the English have been obliged under that head to hand over 360 crowns. The King will promptly order restitution of the sum in question on its being made apparent that the facts are as stated.
Further, the farmers want to make the English pay for every bale of 5 cwt. as much as has hitherto been paid for those of 8 to 11 or 12 cwt. And for bales of cloth weighing 10 cwt. as much as for those of 18 to 22. Steps will be taken to regulate this as soon as the King has heard from his officers.
The farmers also claim to make them pay during the fairs held in the town of Rouen, which used to be free to all merchants, French or foreign. And, in fact, they have compelled them to pay caution for goods loaded during the fair. The King has deputed Receiver-general Lefebure and the advocate du Gué as commissioners to consider what regulations will fall to be made regarding the traffic at the fair ; and orders will be given in the course of August.
Moreover, another impost is said to have been laid on all drapery entering the port of Rouen, which is so excessive that commerce has been greatly diminished thereby. If it comes into force, the English merchants will have to give up trading there, to your loss and that of your subjects. Before decided on the subject of this article the King desires to be informed if the impost is so burdensome to the English merchants that their business will be diminished by it. He will write to the customs officers.
Therefore, being assured of your goodwill towards the English merchants, they beg your Majesty to confirm them in the enjoyment of their privileges, to order restitution of the sums they have had to pay, and to discharge their cautions. —Done at the Council held by the King at Poitiers, this 7 August, 1577. (Signed) Pinart.
Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [France I. 15a.]
Aug. 7. 85. MESSAGE from DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
[See below, no. 93.] Endd. : Copie Apportée de la part de Son Altèze aux Etats et y lue le viime d'aout 1577. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 12]
Aug. 8. 86. DECLARATION made by the SEIGNEUR DE GROBBENDONCK on behalf of his HIGHNESS to the ESTATES assembled at BRUSSELS in virtue of his Credentials dated at NAMUR, AUGUST 5.
His Highness having withdrawn to the castle of Namur for his own safety, though foreseeing the perturbation which may ensue among the Estates, he has provided for himself, yet has no intention of burdening or constraining them, or in any way contravening the pacification, or his promises to them. He desires nothing but a good understanding with the Estates, promising free passage and return to any who would come to him. In regard to the question of giving him a guard, while he has not thought it fitting to accept it with the limitations set by the Estates, but claims to have it of such men and officers as he thinks good, yet to free the Estates from any fear of his employing such force adversely to the pacification and the edict, his Highness (though he thinks he deserves that his promises should be trusted) is willing that his men when taking the oath to his Majesty shall also swear to maintain the pacification and the edict. His Highness is content that all soldiers shall receive their discharge, and that all new levies shall cease, he on his side giving the necessary order, and that in any event all acts of hostility shall be forbidden, provided that the same is done on the side of the Estates. And finally, if distrust of his Highness has taken such deep root in the hearts of the Estates by reason of his withdrawal as to seem irremediable, whereby he might be held an unpropitious governor of the country, he would be content that the Estates should write to his Majesty by some trustworthy person, to say how matters stand here, and how they are afraid that they cannot get on with his Highness nor trust to him, in order that he may send another Governor of the Blood, whether a son of the late Emperor or another ; to which his Highness, desirous of tranquillity, promises willingly to agree, and in the meantime to govern observing the pacification to the best of his power, claiming from the Estates nothing but the security of his person, and the two points so often offered by them, the Catholic Religion and the obedience due to his Majesty. Presented at Brussels in the Assembly of the Estates-General, this 8th of August 1577, by me, (signed) Gaspar Schetz. Copy. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 13.]
I have received yours of the 5th of this month stating that your people had gone out of Antwerp. I had heard the news before and was much distressed by it, seeing the great prejudice it will cause to his Majesty's service. I am glad however that you saved your life. Our Lord in His goodness will give us better fortune some day ; thanking Him meanwhile for all. You will, I think, do well to stay where you are till further orders from me, keeping your people as best you can, for, to say the truth, I have at present no means of sending you money, even if I had it. It is impossible, owing to the crossgrained nature of this dangerous time. You must get it in any way possible, by rating the villages near the town where you are, but as moderately as you can. I cannot tell you the perplexity in which I am for want of means. I am expecting shortly the total remède of his Majesty, according to what I have set forth to him by Escovedo. Earnestly entreating you to remain in the devotion which you have hitherto shown, the more that I am assured you would not fail in His Majesty's service, maintaining your people as best you can without withdrawing them. I will send the letters you require that they may obey you, and bear the respect that reason requires. Our Lord keep your most illustrious person. —Namur, 8 August 1577. P.S.—I have brought up to this town your five companies and seven of another regiment. As they have no commander and Baron Frundsberg is ill, it is well you should come in this direction as soon as possible, escaping as best you can and coming straight to me. Endd. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 14.]
Aug. 8. 88. Another copy of the same.
2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 15.]
Her Majesty was lately given to understand that the Prince of Condé, in his voyage to Germany, meant to touch in England and visit her Highness. The French Ambassador, having heard of this intention, requested her that if the Prince should arrive she would not suffer him to have any access to her, as otherwise it would be a plain demonstration to the world of a disposition to violate such treaties of amity as had passed between the two crowns if she should admit to her presence so notorious an enemy to the King his master as the Prince is known to be. Her pleasure therefore is, that in case he shall arrive in this country, you repair unto him with all diligence, and request him in her name for avoiding offence, to forbear to repair hither. Assuring him notwithstanding that any other favour she can show him consistently with her honour he shall receive at her hands, and she is sorry that for the reasons given she cannot receive him as befits a man of his quality and one who she is sure is as devoted to her as she to him. Her Majesty thinks it meet that his intention to repair hither, embarking as it is thought about the 7th of this month, be left secret (the Ambassador being now persuaded that he comes not), for if known it cannot be without peril. The enclosed letter if he shall arrive there, [Isle of Wight] you shall deliver to him, the same being from Du Plessis, to let him know why her Majesty thinks it not fit that he should repair to her, and to desire him to interpret it in good part. —Richmond, 7 Aug. 1577. Copy. ¾ p. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
Touching the Prince of Condé, since her Majesty has promised the French King's Ambassador not to allow him either her country or presence, her promise is to be performed. And the less offence he shall take with her, and the less mistrust he will have perhaps of her further favour of late granted for "Cass." But if it pleased God and her Majesty I would the case were so as she would not only allow him her presence, but that all the world might see she was both willing (as she is able) to defend not only so good a cause, being the general cause now of Christendom, but to provide like a wise princess for her own safety and surety ; for so would all other princes in Europe do. And all the world doth see if these her best friends quail with this cause it is not possible for her Majesty long to stand without God's miraculous assistance, for then hath she all the mighty princes of the world against her, and not one friend left to trust to or able to relieve her. God Almighty direct her heart the best way for her preservation every way. And so, returning both my brother's, my sister's, and my own most hearty commendations to you, I bid you, good Mr. Secretary, farewell.—This Saturday morning at Wanstead, 10 Aug. My brother is yet nothing well, but amending prettily. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France I. 14.]
Aug. 10. 91. Resolution of the Estates-General for a levy, (in addition to 80,000 already voted, and to the 700,000 livres Artois, of which Brabant is to furnish 100,000) of 2 millions of gold, half to be paid within 4 months from the 1st September next, and the other half in the next 4 months ; any State in default for its quota to be liable to execution, with costs, damages, and interest. Of this Brabant is to find 300,000 livres, with power to pay in two instalments of 125,000 and one of 50,000.—Given at Brussels, Aug. 10 1577. (Signed) Cornelius Weellemans.
Endd. : A Copy of the tax of the millions. 10 Aug. 1577. Fr. 1½ pp. Marginal notes by L. Tomson. [Holl. and Fland. II. 16.]