Elizabeth: April 1578, 21- 25

Pages 630-640

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

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April 1578, 21- 25

April 21. 809. Commission issued by the Archduke Matthias to Mr. John Cobham to raise 3 companies, each of 200 men, for the service of 'his Majesty, us, and the States General,' at the same rate of pay as other English troops, to run from the day of their muster.—Antwerp, 21 April, 1578. Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VI. 28.]
April 23. 810. RANDOLPH to DAVISON.
I cannot sufficiently commend to you the bearer, my friend Mr. Travers ; nor a little praise your godly purpose to have him there so near yourself. Our hap is the harder that such men are forced to seek other places than to do their duties at home. Neither you nor he shall lack what lies in my power to pleasure either of you.—London, 23 April, 1578. P.S.—I write you nothing of my return nor yet of the state of Scotland, because my time does not save ; but I assure you they are now in quiet, and at her Majesty's devotion, if she likes to receive them. Add. Endd. in later hand. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 29.]
April 23.
K. d. L. x. 425.
I am greatly beholden to you for your advertisements in former letters, and in your last, touching Mouffet ; of whom I never had a better opinion than yourself, the man being very well known to me for suspect. The first time I saw him here was with Mr. Leighton, whom at his last departure he accompanied towards the port, afterwards returning hither, under what pretext I know not, but his entertainment, not very plausible, at my hands hastened his repair back to Bruges, when he was no sooner arrived than apprehended. I do not hear what is become of him. Lord Seton is like to find more favour than he deserves, having procured some order for his release ; which I would hinder yet a while if I may, being less able to do hurt where he is than if he were at home. You may have heard by your nephew (by whom I had no time to write, owing to the suddenness of his dispatch) some particulars of the late incident at Gravelines. We have very little hope of it, though no other forces have entered but some Walloons whom la Mothe took in, in place of his lieutenant's company. [Remainder of the paragraph nearly identical with letter of 20th.] The treaty with the Duke of Alençon is now grown to some ripeness, through 'our only' fault. His commissioners, M. de Rochepot and M. de Pruneaux have arrived at St. Ghislain near Mons, whither the States have sent their deputies. The communications begin to-day. The considerations by which these men seem to be drawn to it are chiefly these ; that her Majesty having refused to take the open protection of them, and they unable to subsist long of themselves, are driven to back themselves with one neighbour or another ; that the Duke of Alençon has importuned them and made them good offers, which they cannot utterly reject without giving him occasion to take part with the enemy, with which they have been threatened ; that by this treaty they hope to effect one of three things, either to set the Kings in pique together, or the two brothers by the ears, or at least to make the King of Spain the more jealous of his estate, and the better inclined to peace. But I pray the event be not worse than they look for. If it were but the Duke's endless solicitation it would be enough to make them suspect his offers ; how much more if the man and matter be well examined. M. de Selles would meanwhile put them in hope of peace. He has ample commission to treat of it from the King, which the States have sent commissioners to Mechlin to examine. But you will hear from Mr. Wilks in what humour he finds the other side. We think it only a stratagem, to increase the negligence of these people, to hinder if possible the succours from Germany, and to break the intelligence between them and the French, as also, which is the main object, to see if by offering a peace agreeable to some, he can divide them from the rest ; which he hopes to effect under the mantle of religion. The reiters begin to march both for Don John and for the States, but none are yet arrived on either side. We shall see soon what the assembly at Worms brings forth. 'St. Aldegondy' is employed there for these countries. I am sorry to hear of the inclination for troubles in Scotland, of which our enemies hope to make their profit.—Antwerp, 23 April 1578. P.S.—Please impart this letter to Mr. Randolph, with remembrance of my hearty commendations. Draft. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. VI. 30.]
April 24.
K. d. L. x. 430.
I have so long forborne to write to you that I know not what reason to allege in excuse that may be accepted, unless it be my restless occupations, which Mr. John Cobham can bear witness afford me little intermission. Of the troublesome estate of things here I can write little that Mr. Cobham is not able to particularise. The enemy is still before Philippeville ; and though despairing to expugne it by force, the place being very strong, he hopes to take it by famine, being very slenderly provided to endure a siege. The rest of the towns that he has are for the most part of little moment, and easy to recover if the States were once the stronger in the field ; a thing yet unlikely. The forces from Germany are eagerly awaited ; 6,000 reiters are marching, but Duke Casimir's entry is not expected before midsummer. The old practice with the Duke of Alençon is again on foot ; the cause growing from our coldness and irresolution. I hope the result will be better than can in reason be expected. We have had some new overtures of peace here ; but nothing seems less compatible with the present state of affairs, especially in respect of religion, which under the liberty of arms increases as much as the contrary (which with the other point of due obedience, the King would conserve by force) is likely, if one may judge from causes to effects, to receive a greater blow than ever it had yet in these parts. It is a question whether the ruin of the one can be unaccompanied by the hazard of the other ; I mean the King's obedience. Mr. Cobham's haste to be gone and my little leisure shorten my letter.—Antwerp, 24 April 1578. Draft. Endd. 1¼ p. [Ibid. VI. 31.]
April 24. 813. POULET to BURGHLEY.
I never intended that my excuse should extend further than to crave pardon for my silence. Sometimes my dispatch is so sudden that I have not time to write to any other than the Secretaries ; and indeed should be ashamed to remember any other nobleman and omit your Lordship. I know how much I am bound to you, and will never cease to acknowledge it ; being destitute of all other means of satisfaction. Your example may suffice me to prefer my country to any other worldly thing soever, and as I have honoured and respected you long, and have been bound so to do for your many friendly deserts towards me, so I will say truly that this honour and respect have been grounded principally upon experience of your careful affection for the preservation of our declining state. God grant you long life to see the happy effects from your godly and politic counsel, confound the treasons of these untimely-born brats, who seek alteration of prince and religion, and give His grace to all Englishmen to be good English subjects, and to join with one heart and mind in the defence of their common mother that noble realm of England. Though I am unable to do the service that is required in these dangerous times, I will never yield to any man in forwardness to follow the directions of your Lordship and others of your inclination in all that concerns the duty of a natural child to a natural mother. It is not to be doubted that our state is dangerously sick, and it may seem that our violent mischiefs will not bear delayed remedies. I trust her Majesty will have regard to her own safety, to that of her subjects, to the preservation of our posterity, and especially to the maintenance of God's religion, so manifestly threatened on every side. It is easy to see that we are 'abused' on every side, and our enemies think it a great point of holiness to deceive us, they care not how. I pray God the late embassy from hence be not sugared with some dangerous poison. It is said there is treaty of a marriage between the Emperor and the daughter of Spain, and that the house of Austria is on that account wholly for the Spaniard. We are not satisfied here touching the preparations by sea made in Portugal, and think it is against the Low Countries or England. The Queen of Navarre is not yet gone to her husband ; something is always wanting. Garrisons are planted in the passages near adjoining and the gentlemen pensioners are commanded to wait, which argues some inward disquiet.—Paris, 24 April 1578. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France II. 32.]
April 24. 814. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
The chief cause of this dispatch is to let you know that I have nothing worthy of you, lest your expectation to receive something from hence might hinder your resolutions otherwise. My last letter, of the 15th, mentioned that Queen Mother would not return from Olinville till the 19th ; but the truth is that she came to her house of Filles Repenties unlooked for, at night on the same 15th, where she still remains, and has taken physic daily, rather, as I am informed, to prevent sickness than for any great 'grief.' I have sought by all convenient means to have access to her, which I know has been granted during this time to many others in matters of less imporance ; and therefore I take my delay as evident argument that their late motions are so many flatteries, and that they mean nothing less than to join with her Majesty in anything that may displease the Spaniard. I think we may believe that so long as the King's ears are possessed as they now are, and the helm here governed as it now is, the amity between the French and the Spaniard will be inseparable, and the friendship of the French toward us will reach no further than to serve their own turn to our disadvantage. We shall do well to look for no help from hence. If Queen Mother have any disposition to concur with her Majesty in compounding the controversy between the King of Spain and his subjects in the Low Countries, she was sufficiently informed before the departure of Gondi, to have wrought some good effect in her ; so that if his negotiation make no mention of that, it may be concluded that the first motion made to you there, and what has followed here, had no ground of good meaning, and we deceive ourselves if we look for sounder dealing at their hands. The King has called his gentleman pensioners, commonly called the gentlemen of his house, to attend on his person, and many of them are come to the Court ; and has appointed garrisons in some passages near this town, as Charenton, St. Cloud, and such like. It is easy to see whence this jealousy comes. M. la Noue is of opinion that the preparations by sea made in Portugal are to be employed against the Low Countries or England. An English priest called Hall, of the age of 55 years or thereabouts, and tall of stature, resorted lately to these Irish friars, and gave each of them a teston, commending himself to their prayers ; and said that he was going to England to confirm some of his brethren there, and thence into Ireland, where he trusted to see some of them shortly. The Irish bishop mentioned in my former letters remains here, having received 400 francs from the King, by way of reward. It is now said that the Emperor and the whole house of Austria are for the Spaniard, in hope of his marrying the daughter of Spain. I hear that one du May, servant to Monsieur, left this town on the 17th, with an assignation for 30,000 francs to be paid in Picardy to Rochepot and others for levying certain companies. But it is thought that their plan waxes cold, and we say here that the surrender of Gravelines was managed wholly by the French. There are frequent and long consultations here by those of the Scottish fashion. [In cipher] : Gondi's voyage is feared and misliked, as well by those of the religion as by Monsieur ; and there is some practice in hand to search his papers in his return, whereof I thought to advertise you, although I know he will receive nothing from you that you shall desire kept secret. Nutshawe, a merchant of Southampton, writes to me yesterday from 'Newhaven,' that he is imprisoned there and his ship and goods arrested, under pretence that the ship belongs to a Frenchman dwelling at Le Croisic, and was taken from him by a pirate two years ago or so ; whereas Nutshawe affirms that he has owned it nine or ten years. He prays me to advertise you of his poor estate, trusting that he will not want your favour.—Paris, 24 April 1578. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France II. 33.]
April 24.
K. d. L. x. 427.
You will understand by Mr. Wilks as much as I can wish, yet I would not 'let' to trouble you with a letter by Mr. Cobham. The negotiation with the Duke of Alençon is now on foot, and the Deputies met yesterday at St. Ghislain, the place appointed by the States on La Fougère refusing Brussels. It is, however, thought that at Count Lalaing's instance it will be transferred to Mons. What overture is made on either side I do not yet know, only the Prince and States 'bear me in hand' that nothing shall be concluded without her Majesty's knowledge. M. de Selles (whose arrival here I reported in my last, being so given to understand by one of the States who mistook the messenger for the master) has met Count Bossu and other commissioners at Mechlin ; to how little purpose you can learn both from Mr. Wilks and from the enclosed copies of the King's letters to Selles, containing his answer to the three material points propounded when Selles was at Brussels, namely the Pacification of Ghent, the recognising of the Archduke, and the revocation of Don John. I leave you to Mr. Wilks's report for the state of the enemy. The opinion of la Motte is little or no better. He has at present principally Jesuits with him, without whose advice he does nothing ; you can guess what fruit their association promises. The Archduke and Council here, not being satisfied with the answer which their commissioners brought from him last Saturday night, being in substance only a reiteration of the points contained in my last, dispatched them back again ; but they are 'eftsoons' returned with as little fruit as before. The profanation of sacred things, as the pulling down of the bells, which he says are as well christened, if not as good Christians, as himself, the melting of chalices, and the employment of other ornaments of the Church towards the maintenance of this war, very much sticks on his stomach ; but all this tends only to the kindling of division under the pretext of religion. Howbeit, St. Omer, a more important place than Gravelines, being now assured, and other places of importance thereabouts being likewise provided for, there is the less fear of anything he may effect. Upon a recent mutiny among the garrison of Maestricht for their pay, the enemy sent deputies thither to see if he might profit by the disorder to practise the delivery of the town into his hands, offering them more advantageous pay ; but the traffic being discovered, his ministers were apprehended and forthwith drowned in the Maes. A reward all the more just that the parties were of these countries. The time is drawing on for the descent of our reiters. They are said to be marching, but not a man has yet entered the country. It is said that 7,000 or 8,000 of them are coming to the enemy, and 10,000 lansquenets. The Emperor's affection to these States has appeared somewhat plainly of late, by his refusal to allow any of his own subjects to come to their service. We shall see by the resolutions at Worms what is to be expected of the other German princes. Escovedo, a chief firebrand and kindler of this war, is certainly affirmed to be slain in the Spanish Court. Mr. Gilpin is to travel into Germany with Carenzon to-morrow, about the negotiation of money ; for there is little hope of doing good here. Other occurrences you may understand by Mr. Wilks. —Antwerp, 24 April 1578. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VI. 32.]
816. Draft of letter similar to the above. Endd. : To Mr. Secretary Walsingham, and to my L. of L. the 24 April 1578. 1⅓ pp. [Ibid. VI. 33.]
April 24. 817. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Identical with that to Burghley of even date. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson, who makes a note in the margin. 1½ pp. [Ibid. VI. 34.]
Last week of April.
K. d. L. x. 423.
The haste of this bearer, who was ready to depart before I had knowledge of his journey, just as I was returned from Lierre (where I had been to stay a disorder happened between certain soldiers of our nation and one Cromwell the captain), will not afford you many lines ; yet I would not let him go empty handed. The condition of our affairs here is not much altered since my last, save in the progress of the traffic with the Duke of Alençon, which grows to some ripeness. MM. de Rochepot and Pruneaux have met the States' commissioners at Mons, and opened their offers and demands, but such as the others were not empowered to decide upon. The material points are chiefly : That the Duke has a singular goodwill to assist the States if they like to employ him ; that he has sufficient forces in readiness to effect it ; that he will undertake, within three weeks after the agreement, to beat the enemy out of the country ; and that he will do it at his own charge. He desired to know how the States would deal with him. The commissioners who had instructions to deal touching the assaulting of Luxembourg, to direct the enemy on that side, made a threefold offer on the part of the States ; either to give him the Duchy of Burgundy and anything else he could conquer of the Low Countries beyond the Maes ; or to reimburse the expenses he might sustain in this war ; or to assure him of a yearly pension of 100,000 crowns for life. But each of these rejected, the first as not in their power to dispose, the second as needless, he being able enough to take this war upon his own charge, and the third as derogatory to his quality, being a prince accustomed to give not to take pensions. But to content him, his commissioners desired to be assured that if without altering their form of government they should change their master, he might be preferred. If they would promise this, he desired two towns such as they should agree upon, to be handed to Count Lalaing for security. Lastly, whether they meant to proceed or not, the commissioners prayed a speedy decision ; not without threatening plainly enough that their master was determined either to offend or to defend them. The conclusion is referred to their coming to Brussels, but the likelihood is they will content him. Meantime I find them perplexed in their counsels, but I suspect a dangerous conclusion. If they reject his offers they fear he will take part with the enemy, or fall upon their frontier provinces, where his faction is great ; either of which will be dangerous and 'disadvantageable' for them. On the other hand, if they proceed with him, they are in doubt whether to judge his intent good or ill ; if ill, they see the danger, if otherwise, they perceive it is not free of inconvenience. But they hope better of their success in this action than I do, though I wish it better than I look for. Rough draft (perhaps for the letter of May 2, No. 834). 1 p. On the other side is a draft of a letter identical with that to Burghley, &c., of April 24. The sheet is endd. : To my L. of Leicester. Another to Sir Fr. Wals. [Ibid. VI. 35.]
April 25.
K. d. L. x. 431.
I have sent the present bearer to the Archduke Matthias and the Prince of Orange, and charged him at the same time with some letters for England, which I have directed him to deliver to you for safe forwarding when an occasion offers.—Lautern, 25 April 1578. Add. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VI. 36.]
April 25. 820. COPIES of LETTERS from DUKE CASIMIR to the QUEEN and various gentlemen in England.
1. To the Queen. Given below from original. [No. 823.]
2. To the Earl of Leicester :—
I know from Beutrich's report of your desire, corresponding with mine, that we may meet in some good place for the service of God and the Queen, and the defence of the oppressed. I assure you that the promise you made to Beutrich was not my least reason for complying with her Majesty's wishes ; to wit, that if I went in person you would not fail to come in person to meet me. So I hold you to that promise, and beg you to show me the effect of it, as I am sure you will do.
3. To Walsingham. Given below from original. [No. 824.]
4. To Wilson :—
I thank you for the greyhounds you have sent me, which are very acceptable, although just now to show the Queen my desire to serve her, I have undertaken to hunt other game than deer or hares. I hear from Beutrich that you are so well disposed towards me as to give me good hope that now you see upon what I am about to embark for the service of her Majesty, you will do me all the good offices I can desire of you. And as the first step to a good issue depends on the muster, it is necessary that there should be no default, and that her Majesty should furnish the other 20 000l. as Mr. Rogers has promised on her part. If there is any default I can assure that all that is hoped from my coming will vanish in smoke to the confusion of all employed in it.
5. To Sidney :—
Having accepted her Majesty's proposal that I should march into Flanders with moderate forces, which I should be glad to see augmented by a force from England, I have begged her to appoint some gentleman to be attached to me to assist me in her name at all deliberations. I have desired that this should be yourself, for the singular opinion that I have of your virtue, and the pleasure I should receive from often conference with you. If her Majesty thinks well to send some one, I pray you do not refuse this charge.
6. To Stafford :—
I have received your letter by Beutrich, and have heard the trouble you took to show him kindness. Having accepted her Majesty's offer, and knowing how well disposed you are to the good cause, I doubt not that you will make all efforts to bring matters to such a point that her Majesty may send an English force. There is nothing I more desire than to see Englishmen with my people, to do some good exploit ; and knowing how much your nation desires honour, I doubt not but they would do something good.
7. To Wilkes :—
I have heard with what dexterity you comported yourself in your Spanish journey ; and was glad to learn details from Beutrich.
8. To the Queen :—
I have of late been certainly advertised how at a meeting held between the Elector of Saxony, my father-in-law, and the Landgrave William, at Salza, to confer upon the differences arising over the Corpus Doctrinae, which condemns your Churches, the French Confession, and that to which I hold, and shall hold by the grace of God, all my life long, a resolution was taken which had been previously drawn up ; to wit, that on June 7 the theologians of those princes, who claim alone to have a true understanding of the Confession of Augsburg, should meet at Schmalkald, with some political persons, and pass the subscription to that book, which contains the condemnations mentioned. Now as I have never doubted your Majesty's singular affection to the advancement of God's glory, and have heard from Beutrich how ready you are to promote by your authority the general repose, and have even had actual evidence of what is told of you, in the journey of Messrs Beale and Rogers into Germany on account of the book in question ; I beseech you to send some good person to Schmalkald, who may point out to the ambassadors the inconveniences which may arise to Christendom and to the states of those princes who aim at this signing, if the book is circulated, exhorting them to moderation, as you can best instruct him ; and when he is in these parts, he can receive notes of the state of things and adapt himself to it. I am assured that if the stroke is parried now, it will be difficult, not to say impossible, ever to renew the attempt to get it signed ; and there is no prince in the world who can do more herein than your Majesty ; and I entreat you both for my sake, and that of the poor people who will suffer by the occasion of this book, to do it with all speed.—Lautern, 25 April 1578. Copies, (7) being in the hand of Daniel Rogers, and the others corrected by him. Endd. by him. Fr. 6 pp. [Germ. States I. 57].
April 25. 820A. Another copy of (7) in the above. 2 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
April 25. 821. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
As yet I have heard nothing of the commissioners for my discharge. My last was of the 10th, wherein I wrote of [summary of that letter].—Hamburg, 25 April 1577.
Occurrents—From Rome 5 March.
From Genoa is written that Bernardo Uccello was taken by the 'fuorusciten' or banished persons, upon a castle called Cantaluppo. They would have delivered him over to the Genoese Government, thereby to obtain the 'tex' which was set up and promised, concerning his 'misdemers,' to any who could take him. At Naples the heads of 19 of the 'fuorusciten' were brought in, cut off by the folks of Don Pedro Gonzalez, besides certain others of the 'fuorusciten' who were to be environed in a wood, and it is thought are by this time taken or slain. From Genoa it is also written that a post passed through with letters of Feb. 12, from Madrid to the Emperor's Court. It was thought he carried the King of Spain's resolution touching the Low Country war, but the import is not yet known. Yet by another post from Madrid, with letters of Feb. 2, it is said that he and his Council were well bent towards peace, though he will not 'let' to make all necessary provision for the war. The truth it is hoped will be known by another post next Thursday. The Spanish Court has moved from Escurial to Pardo, and the Queen with her two brothers gone thence. From the revenues of Castile 32,000 crowns have been divided among 134 persons. To Jeronimo Rodas are disbursed 1,500 for his good service in the Low Countries. Touching the controversy between the Duke of 'Bavyerne' and the new Bishop of Cullen, the Pope has committed the hearing of it to those 'whom in Dutchland it commonly concerneth,' Cardinals Maffei, Orsini, and 'Osterrich' are also appointed. The first meeting is to be held on Monday at the house of Cardinal Morone.
— From Venice, 14 March.
We heard before from Spain that 40 ensigns of Spaniards were assembled, and were to come through Italy. It is further said that Vespasiano Gonzaga is to levy more men in Italy against the Netherlands. This war is thought to be promised most by the Duke of Alva's advice. Last Wednesday the 41 who have to elect the Duke of Venice were locked into the conclave ; and though there are four especially, of the kindreds of Ponte, Tiepolo, Soranzo, and Gritti who are thought worthy of the dignity, it is thought that owing to the differences among them the final choice will fall on a Grimani or a Contarini. And to appease the disorders in this election it is through that the five ordered that anyone standing against the ancient custom shall be kept out of the said lordship ever after. The late Duke's widow is to have 300 crowns a year in respect of her late husband's good government. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 38.]