Elizabeth: January 1581, 1-10

Pages 1-17

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 15, 1581-1582. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1907.

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January 1581, 1-10

This week all things have been very still in these parts. My last to you was of the 25 ult. Very sharp words passed this week at 'Corttricke' between M. de Montigny and M. de Bours, about some 'government' amongst the soldiers ; so that the speech goes that M. de Bours will have no more government among them. It is also reported from Corttrick the Malcontents desire 'treves' for three months ; but it is thought it is only a device to win time. The Prince of Parma and the Count of Mansfeld have both departed on a sudden to Luxemburg, the cause not certainly known. Yet some say they are gone to 'make some passage' for the entry of some Swiss who are coming to serve the Malcontents. Speech continues of the peace in France, yet it is much feared by many that it will not hold. By letters from Artois there is some new preparation making within the French 'pale,' of wine and salt to be sent into Cambrai ; for of all [? other] things they have plenty. They write also that those of Cambray have beaten the Malcontents out of one of their 'Boullwarkes,' which they had made on one of the passages to the town. All matters on the States side are asleep, for there is nothing stirring among them that is worth writing. It is doubted however that they will be wakened ere long, for M. de Montigny came four days ago to Corttrick, so that it is feared he has some enterprise on some town in those parts.Bruges, 1 Jan. 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 1.]
I received this morning your letters of the 24th ult. and will not fail to accomplish the contents of them as opportunity serves. The rumour which was spread last week of the raising of the siege before Steenwick and forcing the Malcontents to retire, though not altogether vain, yet falls out otherwise than the report went. Yesterday there was some speech that the enemy had got the town, but that is also doubtful. The certainty is that he still besieges it, and finds it so well defended that it hoped the forces preparing for its rescue will come in time. Colonel Norris has of late encountered the Malcontents at Swartsluis and has defeated 11 ensigns of their foot and 600 horse, about 6,000 men in all, under Count Rennenberg. Some 400 were slain in the field, and divers hurt and taken, with the loss of very few Englishmen and none of note save Captain Ellis, who was too venturous and forward in service. The report goes here that Col. Michel, who serves the States, meaning to have placed two ensigns of foot in a town called Hattan [Hattem] with a strong castle, standing upon the river between Deventer and Campen, has been betrayed by the captain of it, and delivered into the Malcontents' hands. But it is said that since this revolt and 'treacherous part' of the castellan, those of Hattem, with aid lately come to them from Deventer, are besieging him and his confederates in the castle, and are likely either by composition or otherwise to recover it for the States. The Count of Schwarzburg, who keeps the Prince of Orange's lodging, in the castle of this town, has this week, for want of payment due to him by the States, taken the two abbots of St. Michael and St. Bernard, both councillors of State, and detains them as prisoners at his lodging, where he 'pretends' they shall remain till he is satisfied. In Flanders the Malcontents have burnt and spoiled divers villages near Ghent ; and it is said here that certain fresh companies of Italians are lately come to their aid, and have already reached Luxemburg. News came to-day that the Cardinal Bishop of Lige is dead. He was always a great friend to the Spaniards and Spanish faction. Antwerp, 1 Jan. 1580. P.S.Please have in remembrance my last letter, asking for your further advice touching the matter contained in it. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 2.]
Jan. 2. 3. STOKES to the SECRETARIES.
I send copies of four letters which the magistrates of this town received yesterday afternoon, and I have got copies this morning. One is but a piece of the King of Navarre's letter sent to the Prince by M. de Villiers ; the other a copy of the Prince's letter to the States-General and their answer ; and the last a copy of the Prince of Epinoy's letter to the Quatre Membres of Flanders. I 'bolden' myself in sending you from time to time such copies as I can get here before knowing your pleasure. If you wish me to continue, I shall willingly apply my services therein. There is a small charge, paid to the greffier's servant that writes the copies, of which I keep account.Bruges, 2 Jan. 1580. Add. Endd. p. [Ibid. XIV. 3.]
We have thought it needful to signify to your Majesty that some years ago our relative Dr Christopher Mondt of pious memory, an adviser of yours, lent some money to certain English merchants dwelling at London, namely Richard and Gerson Hylles, and others their partners, on condition of paying yearly interest, and that if ever Mondt or his heirs wished to call in the capital, it should be repaid in full, as set forth at more length in their notes of hand. Now though they have paid the interest duly to Mondt and us his heirs, they have for the last two years taken on themselves to pay according to the rate of the Antwerp Exchange, which is higher than the value of money in Germany, as it goes with merchants who trade there. Now as we are not bound to take money at that value, nor can we do so, and the merchants after being cautioned refuse to pay otherwise, it has come to pass that by their fault, at Midsummer of this year, three years' interest will be owing. Now this is not merely annoying, but ruinous to us ; and it is not a matter of collecting trade-profits, but of paying annual interest, since I and my co-heirs are not traders. Moreover since my father-in-law Dr Mondt paid out the whole loan in good coin, imperial dollars worth 17 batzen and a kreuzer, we think it fair that the interest should be paid in the same coin, or coin of not less value in Germany. Wherefore I beseech your Majesty on behalf of myself and my co-heirs that you will order the merchants if they wish to retain the loan to give caution for the capital by means of fit trustees and obligations in some town of Germany, Frankfort or Strasburg, and further to pay the interest in money of equivalent value in Germany. If they will not do this, that they pay the capital in good imperial dollars as they received it from Mondt or equivalent money, with interest (censibus et interesse) due up to the next Frankfort or Strasburg fair, without loss to us. We further hope your Majesty will consider the services rendered over a very long period by Dr Mondt to yourself and your predecessors ; and also that the letters of Duke John Casimir on our behalf will have great weight with you.Neustadt of the Palatines, 1581, 2 Jan. (Signed) Heinrich Boschman of Wolpershofen, son-in-law to Dr Mondt, a councillor to the Palatine. Add. Endd. Latin. 3 pp. [Germany II. 11.]
I received your letter by Mr Ashle on Jan. 3. They are all very 'attentive' here to hear from England, 'pretending' to stay the proceedings till they hear how her Majesty will proceed. It seems their minds are 'sadled,' for the factions draw each to one side as they are affected ; yet they dare not but accommodate themselves to the Queen Mother's dispositions, or at least to 'accomplish' with her ; she has taught them such good manners. The king's sickness has given strength one way to her government ; she uses the benefit of it, and is not now so sleepy, but vigilant, showing another countenance than a year ago. It will be seen how she will handle this new Spanish agent, since 'these other days past' she used quick speeches against King Philip's dealings in Portugal. I will abstain 'for to' visit him or use any 'accomplishment' to him till I receive her Majesty's pleasure from you, considering the king's proceedings against her in Ireland. I hear tell that Monsieur is soliciting the cause of those of the Religion by letters to the king, and has appointed the Viscount of Turenne to be his colonel of light horse. He has caused a new levy of companies of horse to be made in Normandy, Champagne and Burgundy, but God knows whether they will come in time to succour Cambrai. News has come to-day to Court that Colonel Balfour has been slain at Bruges and his brother taken prisoner. Captain Mercurio di Bua, Albanese, is appointed by Monsieur to bring a band of Albanese horsemen into France for his services, being about to depart on his service to Italy. The king proposes to send M. de 'Simeuyeus,' [qu. Chemeraut], Marchal des logis, on a message to Spain, after the peace is published. It was signed on the 25th and sent by M. de Villeroy on the 27th of last month. Villequier and d'O have let the king have 60,000 crowns, to receive them again on his 'casualties,' which may happen this new year ; whereby they will have means to help themselves. As I was writing of this, M. de la Fin came to take his farewell, being appointed to return to Monsieur, and having staid longer than he 'is contented,' since Villeroy went with his dispatch. I have received a letter from the English merchants at Bordeaux about the continuance of the new impost put upon them ; which I send that I may be further directed, notwithstanding that upon 'le Berge's' importunity I have written thereof to M. Pinart ; as also to certify him that an Irish ship has lately been robbed at Belleisle. But as I am but advertised of this, and the parties have not sent to me, I do not mean to move any further in it. I hear that his Highness was looked for this Christmas at Bordeaux, and is thought to be there at this instant. The English Roman 'sectuaries' resort fast towards Rome, where they whisper that all princes who are in friendship with the Roman high priest are confederated together, pretending their chief enterprises to be 'bestowed' against her Majesty's states. But they have hitherto reckoned without their host, and raised themselves against God's ordinances.Blois, 'this Twelfth Day.' Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France V. 1.]
Jan. 6. 6. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
I cannot at present write to you any certainty of the Commissioners' departure, since the king stays them till he receive answer both from her Majesty and from his brother. Marshal Coss is here at Court ; the Duke of Soissons is with the Princess his mother at Paris, preparing for the voyage. Secretary Pinart is also appointed, but whether Lansac or Pibrac will accompany them is not resolved but referred to Monsieur. He was looked for at Bordeaux on New Year's Day, and should be there by now. His Highness has given orders for the relief of Cambray ; though it is doubted what effect those preparations will take, because the enemy augments his force, and those in the town suffer from want of victuals. The king has pacified all matters in the Marquisate of Saluces by way of treaty, and with money. The ships which went lately towards Portugal have been driven back by tempest, and no certainty is known what is become of Don Antonio since his flight from Porto and Viana. By the latest advertisements from Spain it is understood that King Philip was at Elvas with 8,000 men passing towards Lisbon. The Queen Mother, since the king's weakness, commands very much in all affairs. Sundry princely marriages are framing in Italy, as I have advertised Mr Secretary. The banditi are much persecuted among those princes. They have had some trouble in Bologna, the ordering of which the Roman high priest has committed to Cardinals Sforza, Medici, and Este. It is reported that Tangier and Ceuta are now 'rendered' to King Philip. The king goes hence to-morrow to some of his houses near Paris, to recover his health by diet or physic.Blois, 6 Jan. 1580. P.S.Advertisements are now come from Spain by way of Lyons, that Don Antonio is in the mountains with 7,000 or 8,000 men. No great credit can be given to it, considering his late flight from Porto. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 2.]
Jan. 6. 7. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
Since the dispatch of my last, about Dec. 28, Secretary Villeroy went hence with the pacification signed and sealed with the great seal, and as I am informed is gone to see the 'rendering' of the towns promised in it, with further assurances to his Highness of the king's liberal dealing with him ; so far that he promises to make his annual revenue worth 300,000 crowns, and to give him towards the maintenance of his enterprise a monthly pension. I am not sure of the sum of this, nor is it, as I hear, fully resolved on. There went with Villeroy a secretary of Marshal Cosse, to receive his Highness' commands for the details of the negotiation for the Commissioners. The answer is daily awaited, and their journey stayed for it. It seems their Majesties are resolved to send M. Pinart for one of the Commissioners, but whether Lansac or Pibrac will go is not determined. The Count of Soissons is at Paris. A dispatch has been sent to M. Mauvissire to learn from her Majesty what particulars the Commissioners shall treat of, that they may go the better instructed of her mind, and so make the conference the shorter. So far as I can understand, it appears the king reposes himself very much on the Queen's disposition in entering into the greatest causes of this time which are to be had in consideration ; wishing likewise that his brother, either by way of marrying or otherwise, were assured of her amity before proceeding into a foreign enterprise. [Last two pars. marked in margin and underlined in parts.] The Almighty frame the meanings of these princes to proceed with good effect to His glory. Marshal Coss often has conference very privately with their Majesties. He is much esteemed and beloved by the nobility and gentlemen in the Court. He has been employed in 'martialling' the great quarrel between the Dukes of Montpensier and Nevers. Their Majesties sent M. Lansac to deal with Montpensier, who has answered the king very humbly, showing that long since he had referred the consideration of his honour in that cause to Monsieur, upon the occasion of his Highness coming to his house. Monsieur has a grievance against the Duke of Nevers, because since he has entered into dealing between them, he has caused a book to be printed of the controversy, which 'impeaches' the course he meant to have taken. On occasion of this, the Prince Dauphin with sundry gentlemen has repaired to a town and castle of his own within 15 leagues of Nevers, from which some inconvenience may grow. It has moved the king to order Rambouillet to go to the Duke of Nevers and Prince Dauphin with further commands and order to be taken between them. The Duke of Nevers by his courteous dealing draws to him the gentlemen of both religions, showing gracious usage to those of the Religion in that country. Marshal Coss has accorded the quarrel between Prillac and Douy which otherwise would have grown to a great faction, both being good captains and well beloved. Though the king has been sickly this Christmas and driven to keep his bed for some days, on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day he went to church accompanied by his knights of St. Esprit, whose names I enclose. The day after Twelfth Day he means to retire to Saint Germain, where, or at Olinville, he means to take diet or physic. Meanwhile the queen purposes to go to Chenonceaux, 10 leagues hence, and the ambassadors and Council remain here till towards Shrovetide, during which time Queen Mother is to deal in all affairs and give audience to ambassadors. On the 26th ult. I visited Marshal Coss after his coming to Court. In our conference he declared the travails he had taken in bringing about this pacification, as also to join the king and my sovereign (whom he called his mistress) in good amity ; which he hoped might be compassed through the affection Monsieur professes to bear to her in such earnest sort as she will shortly perceive by his service. He therefore wished that the entrance into amity might be accepted and speedily advanced to conclusion ; alleging how everything in time waxes old, and so loses beauty and liking, so that good friendship being taken in time gives great 'contentation.' But as he was newly come to Court, and had but once seen the king, he could not deal largely with me ; only he had heard some motion of a treaty. For answer I gave him to understand her Majesty's good will inclined to the King and his Highness ; which he liked well, saying that he hoped shortly to perform towards her that service which he had before promised, since he was bound to her for her gracious dealing with him in his adversity. So this Marshal showed to be on grounds of 'gratuity' well-affected to her. I told him how her Majesty looked that at his last being at Court, he would have imparted to me what answer the king had made touching the article in which they of the Low Countries requested him to show himself in their defence against King Philip openly, by aiding his brother. He said that at that time the king held himself coy, because peace was not concluded, and he was perhaps not so well satisfied as now of his brother's entire well-meaning. Besides, the king and Monsieur would commit a great error in their policy to enter into those enterprises without assurance of the Queen's liking, for there were many who could be contented to see two others in quarrels, whereby they being the third might live more safely. Whereon I took occasion to say further that I would speak thus frankly with him, being a principal personage bearing great goodwill to the Queen ; supposing that he well remembered how many matters had passed which yet give her reason to doubt lest there be something hidden under this pretence of amity, considering what happened before the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, and what injuries this king is content to bear, as the Spanish practice in the Marquisate of Salucesthe Catholic king's suborning of the French to continue their civil dissension, his giving pensions to some of his Majesty's greatest subjectsnotwithstanding all that, and the just pretensions of Queen Mother, the king has dealt so slowly and coldly in assisting the Portuguese, that the Spanish king's conquest has rather been furthered than the Portuguese relieved. Besides, they of Cambresis having forsaken King Philip have become subject to Monsieur, and so to him, yet are suffered to be overthrown by the enemy even on the frontier of France. So that other princes may justly doubt what comfort they may receive, when he suffers, on the skirts of France, King Philip's glory to be advanced to the prejudice of his own honour. Besides, the Pope's 'practises' have so great authority within this realm, that it is likely they will never suffer them of the Religion to have any repose. He may daily see with his own eyes that those personages who were the greatest promoters of the Spanish king's practices in the other young king's days have now not the least part of this king's favour. To this the Marshal replied, first imputing the ill-success of Portugal to the simple consideration of the Portuguese themselves, for they would not seek help in time, or bethink themselves of their estate. Notwithstanding, when there is good intelligence between their Majesties and the Queen, he doubted not but means would be found to remedy their estate. As for the Pope, he confessed his chief policy was to keep princes at dissension, a thing well known in the Court of France. He hoped the king meant so to order that matter that his subjects might be 'contained' in repose. This Pope could not live always, being in the extremity of age, and an assured peace in France would bring forth other matters to be considered ; so that the king and Queen Mother holding one purpose, and being assured of the Queen, many good things might be brought to pass, and those who are otherwise affected inwardly would be compelled to hold themselves satisfied. The affairs of Saluces he said the king had well accommodated, and all would pass well there shortly. Thus, as I saw divers noblemen waiting to converse with him, I took my leave, proposing to visit him again in a day or two. The 500 soldiers who were sent towards Portugal have returned to the port beside Nantes, whence they departed, being driven back as they say by contrary winds. News is come that Viana, Porto, and all those places on the seaside have yielded themselves to King Philip, so that Don Antonio was driven to fly to Coimbra, where he is either 'saved' or conveyed away, or otherwise small hope that he is alive. And Francisco Baretto, who was ambassador for Don Antonio, having had secret conference with their Majesties in August last, had like to have betrayed and delivered Don Antonio to the Spaniards at Porto, so that no doubt he has discovered to King Philip the meaning of this king and Queen Mother against him, so far as they 'passed' to Baretto. Likewise M. de Gratin [Glattens], brother to Pibrac and chancellor to the King of Navarre, since his coming to Court (which was on Dec. 31) has declared to their Majesties from Monsieur and the King of Navarre that by letters of the King of Spain to the Prince of Parma, intercepted at Bayonne, it appeared that the king understood their Majesties' intentions against him ; and had in those letters directed the Prince how to 'carry' himself thereupon ; with encouragement that ere long all possible remedy should be given. He had also dispatched Tassis to be resident in this Court ; who is now come hither, lodged as yet two leagues off, because he did not send before to demand a lodging. The king hearing this has desired Gondi to visit him, as of himself, and enquire if he comes as agent or ambassador. This M. de Gratin is sent hither as deputy for the Churches in Guyenne. The deputy of Normandy is also come, but 'he' of Languedoc not yet. M. Gratin after rendering to Queen Mother the King of Navarre's humble thanks for her solicitations in procuring the peace, 'showed her how' the King desired her to remember that he had been 'provoked' by her to enterprise something against King Philip towards Portugal, which, the peace being now concluded, he 'offered himself' ready to accomplish. The Queen pointed out that at this instant there was not so good means to deal that way as then, because Porto and other towns on the coast were delivered to the Spaniards. But she thanked the king for his good will, and desired that he would keep his good meaning in store, for she meant to employ him. She enquired of Gratin if the king was in good friendship with Monsieur, and whether he would go to Flanders with him. He assured her the king meant to 'run all those fortunes' with his Highness, of which she seemed to be glad. The Prince of Cond at his first coming into Dauphin remained some days at Gap, during which time he summoned the chiefs of the Churches and those of the nobilty in that country, reconciling them together, whereas before there was division between the nobility and 'popular sort.' From Gap he was accompanied by M. Chtillon and divers gentlemen to Nismes in Languedoc, where he yet remains, but not well satisfied, as he is not comprehended in the articles of this last treaty. His Highness and the King of Navarre have sent to him to Nismes, assuring him that the king has given his word to Monsieur that he shall be satisfied though he be not comprehended ; but those to whom his 'courage' is sufficiently known, doubt the peace will not long continue if he be not 'considered on ;' for he cannot endure any indignity, nor will he support any reproach, or to be so lightly esteemed. It was very true that he was rifled by the paysans between Pental [?] and Gap, being 'laid for' by the papists of the country by intelligence from Pental, and by leaving the common highway lighted upon the paysans, but by delivery of his money, horses, and fair speeches he escaped from them. Some of his men who went another way were slain, and he came in his hose and doublet on foot to Gap accompanied by Dr 'Butrecht' and two or three more. It is given me to understand that though the peace be signed and sealed it will not be published till the surrender of the towns, or some of them. As Jehan Liberge was sent to me from the King and his Council to desire me to solicit his cause by writing to you, I took occasion to go to M. Pinart, from I understood that Liberge had exhibited a supplication to the King, on which his Majesty had referred him to the Council, and they upon his report, if no further restitution is made to him, think it good that he should have a letter of marque against those of Waterford. Upon consideration of this, I have delivered M. Pinart, to be shown to the King and Council, a brief note containing what the Chancellor of Ireland wrote to the Privy Council, as also what you wrote to me concerning the same ; the course of which I have followed, as may appear by the enclosed note, with Liberge's supplications and petitions, and the decree of the Lords of this Council. In further conference, because M. Pinart told me that the King 'thought it long' that he did not hear the Queen's decision on what I had 'passed' with them, I showed him that my letters were received and her Majesty had a good intent to go forwards and join him in such sort as might be to his liking. There was some stay, because she had heard nothing of the King's will [?] by M. Mauvissire owing to his packet not being delivered by Mr Stafford, who carried it. On this M. Pinart informed me that he was at Calais when the last messenger from Mauvissire came to the king. He further told me that the matter of Saluces would shortly be settled either by policy or by money. The last news from Spain is that King Philip has entered Elvas with 8,000 men for his guard, determining to pass towards Lisbon. The Spanish Queen is buried at Sto. Lorenzo in the monastery d'Escuriale, a place appointed for the burial of those princes. Don Pietro de Medici has been very sick, and purposes when he is recovered to return to Italy, not being satisfied with his entertainment in Spain. The Empress is looked for this spring to 'govern' the Prince of Spain and her daughter's children, meaning to end her days in her native country, or else to be regent in Portugal. The Duke of Florence has lately given his brother, Cardinal Medici, 100,000 crowns out of the goods of Pietro Capponi, who is in London ; which sum Alessandro Capponi, father of Pietro, gives, that the rest of his goods may be released from further confiscation. The Duke has got into his hands the castles of Pitigliano and Soriano by composition with the father and son, who were seigneurs of them and were in controversy ; giving the father a pension of 300 crowns for life, and the son a 'present' sum of money. He has commanded Pitigliano to be razed, and put a garrison in Soriano. A bravo of 'Palestina' lately discharged a dag at Signor Juliano di Racassoue [?], Cameriero and favourite of the Duke of Florence, and 'because' it missed him, the bravo was taken. It is not known for what cause he did it. There is some tumult and fray among the common people of Naples, which will rather procure their punishment than 'relieve' their liberty. Disorders have happened at Bologna which have been rigorously punished by Cardinal Csio, to the ill-satisfaction of the principal people of that town. They request to have some indifferent judge, whereon the Pope has referred the case to Cardinals Sforza, Medici, and Este. Count Girolamo Pepoli has fled thence to the Seigneury of Venice, having asked a safe-conduct of them. The Duke of Ferrara has made a marriage between the Duke of Mantua's eldest son and the young Prince of Parma's eldest daughter, who will have for her dowry 300,000 crowns, of which her grandfather gives 100,000, Cardinal Farnese as much, and Madame Marguerite d'Austria, her grandmother, the third hundred. Count Carlo di Sanvitale accompanies her from Flanders. There is an opinion that the Prince of Parma will marry the Duke of Urbino's sister, whereby that state, being a 'feodary' of the Church, may by the means of the Spanish King with the Pope be annexed to the state of Parma, to satisfy him for his pretensions in Portugal. It is said that the Duke of Florence will marry his daughter to the Prince of Parma's eldest son, and that the Prince will return from Flanders to Italy. Cardinal Morone is deceased. His Deanery of the college of Cardinals is given to Cardinal Farnese. The Bishop of Rimini is named as nuncio to France. The Emperor continues sickly. His government is 'nothing acceptable,' either to the Hungarians, or to them of the Empire. The Moravians have overthrown 4,000 Turks ; at which the Grand Signior has been in great choler, and was like to have imprisoned the Emperor's ambassador. It is thought peace will be concluded between the Turks and the Persians. The Persians much desire it, for they are a nation of voluntary soldiers, and only bound to their princes to defend their own frontiers, therefore unwilling to make any foreign invasion ; being oppressed with the continual 'recourse' and multitude of the Turks who withstand them. The trade of the Genoese is forbidden at Rome because of the continuance of the plague. I sent from Moret to Rouen and so along the coast, to see what preparation of ships there was. At Rouen there were no French ships warlikely appointed ; the like at Dieppe. At 'Newhaven' five ships of war, but in no readiness for any voyage, and two Scottish merchants' ships. At 'Honflu' none, at Caen none, at St. Malo's none, at Morlaix, where Henry Monday and John Glanfield abide as the merchants' factors, none. By Nantes lie five galleys of which one is rotten, and in one are 14 English slaves in chains. There are also sundry French merchants' ships, but few fit for war. About Bordeaux there are no ships fitted for sea. Blois, 6 Jan. 1580. P.S.It is advertised that the Muscovites have given a great overthrow to the King of Poland, having slain 30 or 40 thousand of his best fighting men and principal personages. Add. and Endt. gone. 7 pp. [France V. 3.]
After a long, tedious, and 'chargeable' passage, I arrived here this forenoon, where I found Mr Hoddesdon newly 'reconveyed ;' to whom I have delivered your letter, with all other things concerning her Majesty's affairs in which he is to deal. Next Monday he has determined to take his journey towards Holland, where the Prince and States now are, with a great assembly from all the provinces, besides those of the Union ; so that it is thought divers conclusions will be taken for the government, better assurance, and defence of the country. You shall be advertised with as much speed as may be of the success like to be had of his first dealing with the Prince and States.Antwerp, 7 Jan. 1580. Add. Endd. p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 4.]
Since the receipt of your letters, which came to hand this morning, I have conferred with Dr Junius, opening to him how the matter stands, and what is likely to ensue if her Majesty is not satisfied without further delay. He answered that they of this town have always been very willing, and are at present ready, to accomplish their part, and therefore ought the rather to be held excused. Nevertheless, since I uttered some speeches whereby he gathered that though the blame might not perhaps be equal yet the danger might be general, and touch the merchants of this town as well as any of the rest, he promised the matter should be earnestly recommended to their Commissioners at Delft, and one sent expressly to-morrow with letters to them for that purpose, that at my coming thither they might join effectually with me in soliciting the speedy satisfaction of her Majesty's request. Therefore I mean to lose no time, but at once to take my journey towards Holland, and therein use as much expedition and as little charge as I conveniently can, although our expenses will be somewhat greater, since I must measure them according to the 'countenance' of the office which I bear. Yet I hope they will be found not to exceed, but rather to deserve further consideration. Last year I was at some charges, going from hence to the Prince in Holland, for which hitherto I have had no recompense ; the party, it may be, whom my commission then concerned, being now, as I understand, returned home very rich, will not think a jewel, or somewhat of like value, ill-bestowed for my travail and expenses employed at that time on his behalf. There is a quantity of very good powder to be sold here, of which I send you a sample. It was made to be carried into Portugal, but came too late to serve that turn. It is strong, and will continue good for twenty years, but cannot be 'afforded' under 11d. the lb. Her Majesty had better, in my opinion, give that price for it, considering the goodness, than 10d. for such ordinary powder as is usually brought from Hamborough to the Tower. If you will acquaint my lord Treasurer with the matter, and advertise me in convenient time what is to be done, I will gladly without any gain to myself, give her Majesty my service in making this provision, and I think that within a month I shall be able to deliver into the Tower, for the value of 6,000, in this kind of powder. Few matters of importance have passed here this week ; but it is reported that the Frenchmen have lately discomfited the Malcontents about Cambray, and victualled the town, Jan Baptista del Monte, lieutenant-general of the horse, being taken prisoner in the skirmish. At Louvain there is some variance between the townsmen and the soldiers by reason of the scarcity and dearness of victuals ; so that the matter is likely to grow to a tumult. By letters lately from Spain it is advertised that the king intends shortly to place his two daughters in marriage, one with the Duke of Savoy, the other with the Emperor ; and that on the 15th ult. he was crowned King of Portugal, and has caused Don Antonio to be put to death secretly in prison. Colonel Michel is not taken by the Malcontents, though he escaped 'their danger' very narrowly.Antwerp, 7 Jan. 1580. P.S.I have even now received a letter from Embden, which because it narrowly concerns the imprisonment of Mr Roger's servants, I think it well to send wholly to you, in order that you may perceive upon what terms they of Groningen stand with our company in that matter. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 5.]
My last letters to you were of the 1st and 2nd inst. wherein I told you of everything then current in these parts. This week a cornet of 'Albernoyes' [Albanois] that lies at Cassel, gave a 'larome' [qu. alarm] to Berghes ; and Captain Mornow, who lies with his cornet of horse at Dunkirk, was advertised thereof, and came with diligence thither, and 'gave the charge' upon them, and slew 40 of them and brought their horses into Berghes, and has taken the captain and lieutenant prisoner besides. They are very sore hurt, and are both Spaniards. M. la Motte and the captain of 'Bourboro,' whose name is M. Salee, have fallen out ; for it seems la Motte sought by some secret means to have brought some of his soldiers into that town and placed a new governor there. But M. Salee being advertised of it, with much ado withstood the enterprise ; so that it is hoped he will turn to the States. M. de Montigny, with part of the Malcontents, lies 'scattering,' some about Tournay, some beside Nynove ; and it seems they have some enterprise in hand, for they have made great provision of ladders and boats. It is thought to be upon Oudenard or Nynove. About three weeks ago those of Ghent took prisoner in a skirmish him that helped M. de Rassinghen and M. de Swevinghen to escape with the rest from prison. Last week they put him to death, and have set his quarters upon the town-gates. In revenge the Malcontents have by proclamation charged all their soldiers not to save the life of any soldiers that serve under the 'Gentners.' Yesterday the magistrates of this town received letters from France by a French gentleman whom Monsieur and the King of Navarre have sent with their packets to the Prince and States. He departed from them near Bordeaux on Christmas Eve, and he says the peace is proclaimed for certain in France, and that Monsieur and the King of Navarre are preparing to march hitherward with their forces about the 10th of March next. That good news has greatly rejoiced their hearts here, and specially those of the Religion, because the King of Navarre joins with Monsieur. This week two Scots gentlemen landed at 'Slus' from Scotland. They passed through this town, and are gone to Antwerp. It is said here among the Scottish soldiers that they are sent by the King of Scots to buy 3,000 corselets and 3,000 calivers, with pikes, halberds, and other munitions for the King's store. There are also great speeches of 4,000 or 5,000 footmen and 500 horse, all Italians marching from Italy to aid the Prince of Parma. Bruges, the 8th (corrected to 9th) January 1580, stilo anglea [sic]. P.S.Six days ago M. Argentlieu came from Ghent to this town, and went back yesterday to Ghent, whence he goes to the Prince in Holland. While he was here, it was my fortune to dine in his company at one of the 'Burghemesters'' houses, where he desired me to make his humble commendation to you, with further speech to be at your command in anything he is able to do. The magistrates of this town seek greatly to have him lie here continually, and those of Ghent, they 'sue' the like, to have him continue in that town, for they have made him large offers. But it seems he had rather be here with nothing than at Ghent with great sums of money. The magistrates of this town have written to the Prince about the matter, so that they hope to have him here though the Gentners have made the larger offer. His coming to Ghent was to bring to an end some differences between the Quatre Membres and the French soldiers of M. de la Noue for their pay ; for there were divers ensigns that had not 40 men, and yet would be paid for their whole number. So he has made some quiet end between them. M. de Terlon has also 'written' the magistrates of this town from Dunkirk that 600 Spaniards are come to Gravelines from Spain, whom la Motte is 'putting in service.' Enclosed I send a copy of the Prince of 'Pino's' letter to the Quatre Membres of Flanders, containing some speeches between him and the Princess his mother. (See No. 530 in last volume.) Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 6.]
Enclosed in above :
Jan. 8. 11. The Prince of Epinoy to the Four Members of Flanders.
I have at sundry times pointed out to you the necessity in which your English and other soldiers in garrison here are ; more especially in my two last, which you have not done me the favour of answering. And as I was unable to satisfy them, their chiefs have been to me, requesting power to send some of their number to you to solicit payment, judging that I am not making the requisite endeavours. I gave them leave, and strongly entreat you to satisfy them, which cannot be much trouble, with two months' pay. I doubt not they will point out to you their great povertyeither you want them to die of hunger, or you desire that our townsfolk should feed them. If it comes to that point, I assure you, you will cause us great disturbance. Again I beg you to consider the importance of the matter, and all that this town implies ; you have had sufficient experience I am threatened with attack, and from so good a quarter that I shall make up my mind to ask for more soldiers ; wherefore see that I get back those that I have. I will say no more, not to repeat myself. Col. Morgan informs me from London that the enemy had intelligence in Dunkirk. If you have not heard of it, you can take order as may be expedient. A persistent rumour is current here that the commander and soldiers of Bouchain have revolted and betaken themselves to those of Cambray. I have sent with haste to know the truth. The commander is the lord of Noyelles on the Scheld, formerly in the Prince of Orange's service, and even governor of Leyden in Holland during the wars. The troops are mostly French, which gives me some hopes. I pray God it be so ; and as the news is so good, though uncertain, I thought it well to impart it to you.Tournay, 8 Jan. 1581. (Signed) Pierre de Melun. Copy. (Filed with Stokes's letter, though it does not appear to be the one referred to by him. See No. 20, in which it was probably sent.) Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 7.]
Being informed that was lately come to Blois an 'English young fellow,' asking the way to Spain, I procured his coming to me ; when I learnt from him that his name was William Mydelton, son of 'Symond' Mydelton of Ingleton beside 'Staneruppe' [Staindrop] in Yorkshire [sic]. After I had used some persuasions and intreaty, he confessed that he was sent to repair to the Earl of Westmorland, whom he meant to follow into Spain. Upon some further conference, he discovered the manner of his sending to be in this sort. First, being brought up as a scholar at the college beside Raby Castle, he had been intreated by Barne Nattrys, late 'bayle' to the Earl, to undertake this journey, whereunto likewise his father and kinsfolk had enticed him, giving him at his departure . . . . marks in his purse. And first Barne Nattrys [gave] him a letter directed to the Countess of Westmorland at V . . . . . . . he delivered, and the letter being then in the Earl of Surrey's house, he was brought to her presence by her secretary John Rydle, lately come to the Countess. She received the letter and spoke with Mydelton in a chamber alone, desiring him to recommend her to the Earl, and to desire him from her to remember the words which passed between the Earl of Northumberland and him at Pyersebrigge Moor, when the Earl of Northumberland would have forsaken the enterprise and left him, refusing to carry arms against the Queen, whereon the Earl of Westmorland showed him a scroll in which were the names of a number of principal personages assured on his side. Upon the sight of which and suchlike persuasions the earl resolved on the enterprise. She also desired the earl to write to the Lady Margaret his daughter, for she will not believe but that he is dead. Likewise to 'signify' to him that the Lady Margaret had been the Queen's bedfellow at the Earl of Surrey's house ; that the Earl of Surrey was much esteemed by her Majesty, and like to be restored to as great dignities as his father if he were not hindered by some of the Council. With these speeches the Countess dispatched Mydelton, giving him only a ten-shilling piece in gold. John Rydle, the Countess' servant, directed him to repair to Dover, to Thomas Mydelton, searcher there, by whom he should be conveyed over sea. When he came to Dover, Thomas received him, and delivered him a white silk ribbon garter, which he said the Countess sent to the Earl, and should serve for a certain token whereby the Earl should receive him. John Rydle had brought it before William Mydelton had come to Dover. This John often resorts to Dover. Thomas Mydelton, the searcher, conveyed William Mydelton over with his money without searching, informing him of the way to Mons, where it was supposed the Earl then was ; which was about the time the Queen was at the Earl of Surrey's, as this party informed me. Having passed over to Calais he went first to Douay, where he spoke with old Norton in the English College ; by whom he was directed to Mons, to Mr Latimer, called among them the Lord Latimer. By him he was sent to Rouen, whence he repaired hither, taking his way towards Spain. He promises to return and speak with me. Otherwise his return may be easily known. He allowed me to search him ; but I could find no letter nor any other countersign about him. He had a gold ring, which one Antony Brakenbury, of "Pellybye" Hall by Gainsford, sometime servant to the Earl of Westmorland, had sent to the earl, but it had been stolen from him. It seems from this person that Barne Nattres is . . . . . with all their secret pretensions and traitorous meanings, as that there are some who make their secret preparations . . . hiding the same ; but he could not name them. Barne Nattry has heretofore both received and sent letters to the Earl of Westmorland. This is much as I could inform myself by William Myddelton the ninth of January 1580. In Cobham's hand. Slightly damaged. Endd. by L. Tomson : A secret advertisement from Sir H. Cobham touching Midleton. 2 pp. [France V. 4.]
Since coming into this country I have written you several letters, 'which I trust you have received them.' I wrote last by one Thomas Blanket, master of a ship called the Green Dragon. I hope you have received it ; there are some causes to make me doubt, and also danger. I will henceforth send all my letters to Mr. Locke, by whom I shall be certain of the delivery of them. There are both Englishmen and Spaniards who seek to find some letter of mine, and 'the most that I fear is of our own nation.' There is 'a nyll' [qu. an ill] company of them that 'occupy' into this country ; God amend it, for it cannot lightly payer [?]. In my letter aforesaid I wrote to you of the great preparation that the King of Spain was making by land and sea, and how the fame of it was much greater than the thing itself. Also that it was made only for Portugal, and that there is no cause much to fear any army that Spain can make from hence against England. In this I speak as I know by experience. I am certain you consider that to go from hence with a great navy, being uncertain where to harbour, what danger [sic] it is for them. Also to meet with the Queen's navy is not the least danger. I also wrote that if Ireland were provided, there was no further danger to fear, and that one thing was specially to be considered, that no credit should be given to the Spaniards, whatsoever they say or promise. As to what is done in Portugal at present, the realm is wholly yielded to the King of Spain, and since there is a plague in 'Lasheborne' the king stays his going thither. There is however great preparation of a new 'army,' of both Spanish and Portuguese ships. I am of opinion that some part of it must needs go to the East Indies, to settle matters there, and also to divers other places which belong to Portugal, which will not be well ended this four or five years, do what they can. It may also be that the gains of such a kingdom as Portugal, being as it is of so great benefit and assurance to Spain, may put the Spaniard in such pride that they may forget themselves, and so have no regard whom they fall out with. But be it how it may, there is nothing more certain than that if Spain breaks with England, it is in the power of England to destroy their pride, if God do not utterly forsake us.San Lucar, 10 Jan. 1581. Add. (seal). Endd. 1 pp. [Spain I. 64.]