1. THOMAS STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
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
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.]
2. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
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
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.]
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.]
4. HEINRICH BOSCHMAN to the QUEEN.
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.]
5. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
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
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
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.]
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
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
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
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 2.]
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
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
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'
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
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
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.]
8. THOMAS BRUNE to WALSINGHAM.
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.]
9. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
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
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.]
10. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
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
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
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
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 :
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
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.]
12. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
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.]
13. ROGER BODENHAM to BURGHLEY.
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.]