Elizabeth: April 1581, 1-10

Pages 106-115

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

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April 1581, 1-10

April 1. 107. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
Before my late journey into Holland I sent a sample of powder to England, according to which I meant upon advice to have provided a good quantity for her Majesty's use. And although the sample was as I understand well liked by you and the rest of my Lords, yet hearing at my return from Holland that such powder as had been sent home during my absence had not proved in goodness like the sample, I thought good to deal more moderately for a while, and make a stay in the bargain that I had begun. By this means it has come to pass, that whereas my meaning was at first to have delivered into the Tower before this time about the value of £4,000 in powder, there has not been sent above £2,000 worth ; and the powder-maker, to whom the ill-report of his powder from England seems very strange, has sold away to others a great part of what was made ready for her Majesty's service. His powder is generally esteemed here better than any other whatever, and his dealing seems the less to be mistrusted that he sets his mark upon every barrel, and is content to bear the loss of any that may be refused by the officers in England. I have myself been at the powder-house, and seen both the ordering and trial of his powder. In every 51-lb. he puts 38 of 'peter,' 5 of sulphur, and 8 of 'coal,' which cannot choose but make very strong powder. If the peter wanted refining, the powder would sparkle ; if it were 'overlaid' with brimstone, it would savour ill ; if it were not perfectly wrought, the coal would appear in trial. But this powder when proved neither has any evil scent, nor casts forth any coal, but goes off very strongly, and abounds with saltpeter. And although when it is newly brought from the sea, it seems to 'give' and be full of moisture, which proceeds from the great quantity of saltpeter that is in it, being an 'earthly' and moist substance, its strength decays not at all thereby, but will, as the maker avouches, continue good 20 years. The experience of this was partly seen in what the officers of the Tower, by reason of the moisture, refused for naught ; and yet the same powder being dried proved as good in all respects as any of the best sort. Thus much I am bold to write to you touching the powder. As for the maker, he is content to stand to all the loss that shall to this bargain, in which if he be not now at the first too hardly dealt with, it will make him the readier hereafter to employ his powder for her Majesty's provision ; and at any sudden service, it may be sooner furnished from hence, considering the newness of the place, and commodious shipping that is continually here both in winter and in summer, than from any other part of the east countries.—Antwerp, 1 April 1581. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 47.]
April 3 108. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
The military occupations in which I have been employed since my last have deprived me of the opportunity (m'ont tolluz la comodité) of writing to you. A disaster, which happened to some of our troops under M. de Thiant near Dixmude, where I had lodged them in the strongest and most advantageous place in all Flanders, foreseeing that the enemy would pursue us in our retreat after the failure of the enterprise on Artois, took place on March 23, by the fault of our cavalry, who contrary to all the laws of war had set no watch, nor sent out scouts, relying on the infantry who were guarding the trench on the road to Loo, over a dyke [?] where only one wagon could pass. Finally the enemy entered the quarters without alarm being given in such wise that they had no chance of mounting their horses and withdrawing them behind the great barrier at Dixmude which would give them the advantage of the artillery, and secure their retreat by a bridge over the river, close to (? clos de) the barrier. This disaster is regarded as very unluckly, for they having left the country on that account the enemy hastened in the direction of Cambray, where M. de Fervacques and M. de Rochefort are with 2,000 horse awaiting the King of Navarre and the other troops of M. d'Alençon. At this juncture a mutiny has supervened among the soldiers at Cortryk. They have seized the Governor 'Zuevecen' [Sweveghem], M. de Bour, and all their captains ; so that it looks as if they might be induced to take our side on the persuasion of the Prince of Epinoy, who has sent orders to assemble forces afresh with all diligence. To this effect M. de Villers, who before was at Bouchain, has been sent to take command in the absence of M. de la Noue ; and I think he will be accepted in the army of the Four Members, who are to meet to-day here at Bruges to establish a common purse for the war, and an absolute council for the same ; and it is my opinion that within a week we shall be able to assemble the forces contained in the roll I send you, and by their means divert some of these which the enemy intends to assemble, having sent for those in Friesland, foreseeing the little service they do in that part. The Prince of Parma is soliciting the return of the Spaniards, to which the nobles agree, not the towns. They are convoked to meet at Mons to accept this ; I know not what will come of it. We are 'building' sundry enterprises in divers places ; if one of them comes off, it will be well.—Bruges, 3 April 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 48.]
April 3. 109. "Conditions to be propounded unto the KING OF PORTUGAL by the General and his associates."
The king shall send into this realm, by the end of the present month, an ample commission for the said general and his associates for the better direction of such service as shall be committed to him by the king ; also letters of credit to the governors both of the Azores and other isles, and of his other dominions in America and Africa, for the well-using of the said general and such as shall serve under him. Also to have free egress and regress into his ports from time to time, as the necessity of the service and the safety of the general shall require. Also to put in readiness a proportion of victuals in those Isles of Azores for the refreshing of the general and his associates as they shall stand in need of it. The general and his associates shall also in consideration of their great charges in furnishing the ships, enjoy all such goods of what nation soever as by virtue of the king's commission they shall get from his enemies. Such merchants as shall be authorised by the general, may from time to time trade to the said Isles and his other dominions, paying only for a certain space of years, for such wares as they shall bring into or carry out of the said dominions, half custom. To send hither some trusty person with commission, or letters of commission to some trusty person here, to contract with the general for the supply of such wants as they shall stand in need of [sic] for the 'furniture' of the Isles, and for such other matters as may fall out to be treated of between the general and the king. For such powder and other munitions as shall be thought fit by the king to be sent to the Isles, a moiety of such money as it shall amount to shall be paid at once here, and the rest be 'answered in odd' to be delivered at the Isles at such reasonable price as the commissioner and the general shall agree upon. The king shall give order to his subjects in the Isles either to deliver into the general's hands some principal fort there, or else hostages whereby he and his associates may be assured that they will not revolt from the king, and also for the better performance of the above-mentioned articles. In case the Islands shall be treason or otherwise be delivered to the King of Spain before the general's arrival, whereby he and his associates shall be in danger of losing their charges, they hope that the king will have princely consideration of their charges. Memo, in Walsingham's hand and endd. by him. 3 pp. [Portugal I. 48.]
April 3. 110. Another copy of the above. 2 pp. [Ibid. I. 48a.]
April 5. 111. Power of attorney, granted by William Harbroun to Henry de Giardino, son of the late Hector of Antwerp, to recover a debt due to William from Andrea Stropeni of Venice. Witnessed by Peter Belviso and Vincent Compiano before Stephen de Portu, son of the late Nicholas, imperial notary. Vouched by Gio. Baptista Caza, French consul (with the seal of the consulate) ; and James de Germigny, French ambassador to the Porte.—Scio, 5 April 1581. Endd. : A power given di Giardino for the recovery of 20 ducats in gold of Andrea Strapenni 1580 [sic] in Scio. Latin and Italian. 2 pp. [Turkey I. 2.]
April 6. 112. [WALSINGHAM] to HODDESDON.
This business for the obligations from the States and town of Antwerp seems to me to go but slowly forward. The time of three months limited by your instructions and recorded by them will expire 'at the utmost' the 15th inst., and yet as I understand from Gilpin no order has been taken by them for her Majesty's contentment. I have often written to him to call diligently upon them for it, and I doubt not he performs the best he can. Notwithstanding you may yourself likewise put him in remembrance, as occasion serves, of following the same as earnestly as he may. I thought good to put him to the following of it, because it were too toilsome for yourself, and because (as I perceive the business will so draw it) recourse must be made to the States assembled at Delft ; which, both for avoiding of charges, wherein you know how sparing we are, and also for favouring you, wherein another of less quality may be faithfully bestowed, were too troublesome and unfit for you. Therefore you may give him such directions as you shall think requisite, and such copies of writings as shall be thought needful for the business, and be in your custody. 'And so committing this case in this sort to you, requiring the other to follow it, who is sufficiently acquainted with it, and his pains may be better employed, I leave you to the grace of God.' Draft in hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 49.]
April 6. 113. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I must confess that it grieved me, before the receipt of your last letter, that I had put the Lord of Arbrothe in such confident hope of the Queen's goodness, considering besides his birth and quality, the constancy in religion which I trust is such in him that no adverse fortune can well change his purpose. But it were more than pity that his heart should be further tempted, or that penury might any longer travail his mind ; the rather seeing he remains so assured towards her Majesty as this enclosed letter may testify, in which is also specified his hope to receive from me some certain news of her pleasure and bounty. I will 'stay' to put him out of comfort, till I hear again from you what may be the Queen's will herein, not thinking it my duty to set down any persuasions how profitable his being in England, and his assuredness to her Majesty, may be in these times ; but I shall remain ready to receive your commands and address my dealing thereto.—Blois, 6 April 1581. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. ½ p. [France V. 46.] Enclosure in above :
Soon after coming to Paris I received your letter, in which I perceived the continuance of your goodwill towards me, for which I thank you. As to where you desire to know what mind I am of, I assure you I remain of that same mind I was of at our last conference. Awaiting your advertisement, which I desire to be in the most secret manner.—Paris, 18 Mar. Add. Endd. Scottish. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 47.]
I received yesterday divers writings from our country of Scotland ; amongst them one from the Earl of Lennox, when he greatly regrets the evil reports and wrongful accusations of him made to the Queen of England, feigned and invented by his privie and envious enemies in Scotland, as appears by the confession of Mr Archibald Douglas's brother, and other matters come to light of late in that country, which I omit because I esteem you are already sufficiently advertised of them. 'Always' for the two points of which the earl is accused, to wit, the transport of the king's person out of the realm, and his intelligence with the Pope and the King of Spain for the hindrance of the Religion and its professors, to the first he says, seeing he has the honour to be so near and 'tender' to the king as he is, if he should attempt that which might in any way be either prejudicial to his person, or hurtful to the quietness of his country, he might be justly esteemed the most 'unhonest and mallewrous' [malheureux] man in the world ; taking God to judge it was never once thought or pretended in his mind. For the other point, if ever he wrote, or any other in his name, to Pope or King of Spain, or in his life received letters from either of them or other message by word, he craves trial and punition the most extreme that ever was devised. These are in effect his own words, as I think he has advertised the Queen by Mr Randolph. As for his opinion in religion, he has approved it by word, signed with his hand, believes it in his heart, and will maintain the same so long as he lives, hoping in God he shall never be 'kend' otherwise. This he desires me most earnestly to 'trowe' and make manifest to all men ; which 'renews a motion' to me, humbly to beseech you to have in remembrance the effect of my letter and credit delivered to your servant Mr Bruyne, whereof I hope a good success should follow.—Antwerp, 7 April 1581. Add. Endd. : From Colonel Steward. Scottish. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 50.]
April 8. 116. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Your letter which was 'written by' Mr 'Juan Roderygo de Susa' was brought to me from Paris by order of Mr Wade ; by whom I am likewise certified that Mr Burnham will be sent first hither after the coming of Roderygo de Susa. Touching what you write of Mr Wade's going in the company of the said Portuguese gentleman, wherewith you wish I should be content for a time to forbear his assistance, I supposed you thoroughly knew that Mr Wade had retired, and lived in Paris 'from' me ever since last October ; so that through distance I could not 'prevail' myself in any sort of him, for the use of her Majesty's services as at his departure I told him, and have since written the like, 'because' it pleases him to entertain our friendship with his often letters, which might seem to profit me otherwise than I had feeling thereof. I wrote to you more at large of that matter about Christmas, sending the letter to you open to Mr Wade, as it concerned him ; which he assured me was sent to you. Therefore whatever Mr Wade has accomplished at Paris for her Majesty's service is to be attributed to himself, so that I may not seem to rob him of his labours. Therefore as in my former letters I earnestly commended his industry, I now beseech you to favour him that he may be employed as he deserves. Since coming to this town, I have once, upon his letters, sent him 20 crowns by Touper, and since paid 30 crowns which he 'took up' of Lord Sands' money at Paris. The journey he made to Rouen I defrayed to him, for he went by your direction, so I doubt he stands in need of better support. M. Torcy has written his thanks to you, which are here enclosed.—Blois, 8 April 1581. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France V. 48.]
April 8. 117. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
Through the King's absence from the Court, all affairs remain in a slumbering state. Notwithstanding, he is looked for by the Queen with great devotion, and divers have now repaired hither, which has increased the hope conceived of his approach. Meantime it is understood that the Duke of Guise remains in Paris, having lately had some 'easy fits' of a tertian ague ; but yesterday his secretary brought his mother, the Duchess of Nemours, news of his better health. The said Duke, as I am informed, is procuring a marriage between his daughter and the Count of Soissons. The Duke of Montpensier has been moved to consent that the prince his son should take to wife the widow of Vaudemont, mother-in-law [sic] to the Queen regnant ; being daughter of the Duke of Aumale. The Duchess of Montpensier earnestly solicits this match. Marshal de Retz returned to this Court yesterday, very well mended of his indisposition, having left Lavalette's eldest brother governor of the Marquisate of Saluces, contrary to the promise which Count Retz had made to them of Carmagnola especially ; which it is supposed will much impeach his credit. It has been certified 'these days passed' that 22 galleys of the Spanish king's have been cast away by a tempest in the gulf of Marseilles ; but by the advertisements brought yesterday, it appears that 30 galleys from Spain have arrived at Genoa with much money, so that they esteem the 22 are parcel of the greater number. Upon the certain knowledge of Count Vimioso's coming to Monsieur at Bordeaux, signified in my former letter, M. Strozzi repaired to Monsieur's Court, where M. Saint-Luc and young Lansac are framing a voyage under Monsieur's authority, esteemed to be for Portugal. The Duke of Montpensier has refused to go to Guyenne, alleging his age ; notwithstanding the opinion continues that Marshal Biron must 'address' himself to this Court. Secretary Villeroy within these four days requested M. 'Gratin,' the King of Navarre's chancellor, and M. Chassincourt to come and confer with him ; which was done very privately in his chamber. The secretary persuaded them with many arguments that no way could be found so convenient for assuring the King of Navarre in the Christian King's good opinion as his repairing to this Court, where he may win friends to withstand his competitors, and in time fortify his party. He further said he was sure that if the king understood of the King of Navarre's coming forward, he would meet him half way. To this M. de Gratin and Chassincourt answered that the king might assure himself of the King of Navarre's fidelity and devotion in his service ; but because the peace was but newly made, and all doubts not yet cleared, so that it seems the King of Navarre's enemies still continue their evil dispositions, as was daily seen by the false bruits reported to his Majesty, they could not advise him to repair so suddenly to this Court. Notwithstanding, they doubted not but his Majesty would receive continual satisfaction of, his demeanour. In this sort the matter was left. When the Secretary enquired of them if they knew any good means for the deliverance of M. de la Noue, whom the King was desirous to restore to liberty, they answered that they understood no other way than through the King's soliciting and pressing the Spanish King. M. Villeroy wished the King of Navarre had such a personage about him as M. de la Noue, assuring them the King resolved to have him returned to France ; which could not be obtained, he supposed, except some of the House of Guise, or M. de Savoie, would give their word and promise that M. de la Noue would not hereafter bear arms against the Catholic King, save at the express command of the Christian King. M. Villeroy requested them to use expedition in the advancing of this 'pretence' ; so Mme la Noue is wished by her friends to repair hither for the better 'passing' of this purpose. The Queen Mother has since shown the like desire touching M. la Noue, and lately the Duchess of Nemours has conferred with one of the Religion touching his deliverance. This conjunction of these principal planets has given occasion to his friends to 'indivine' diversely. It is conjectured that the States which were held by the Malcontents at Mons have given occasion to the Prince of Parma to find it convenient to exchange M. de la Noue, because they required that a parlé might be held for the delivery of prisoners. Which being perceived here, these princes would bind M. la Noue to them and perhaps seek to win him from Monsieur. It is thought good to know the Prince of Orange's opinion touching the cause. It is certified from Libourne that Monsieur purposed to start about the 4th inst. towards Coutras. The King has assigned money to be conveyed to the Swiss. The Duke of Savoy has caused M. de Bacony and his son Bernardino di Savoie, sieur de Cahour, to be legitimated, being come of a base lineage of the House of Savoy ; with which the Duke of Nemours is somewhat displeased. Most of the strongholds and towns in Piedmont are commanded by governors of the Spanish faction ; notwithstanding the Duchess of Nemours, a politic lady, whose speech is thought to govern Queen Mother, works all means to render her husband and children 'gracious' in Savoy ; so that in time, the young duke being but feeble, there may appear out of that coast a storm which may prove very noisome to those of Geneva, and of that religion. The son of the Lady Garnache, now called Duchess of Ludonoyse [Lodunois], has abjured the Religion, betaking himself to the Pope and his faction, and is endowed with the Priory of Auvergne. The duchess is shortly to be married to M. de Bavaville [?], to the everlasting prejudice of herself and her lost son. The King's ambassador, who was at Rome, is 'licensed,' and on his return. The brother of M. de Maugiron, now lieutenant to the Duke of Nevers, is named as his successor. The Pope has caused all the beggars about the city of Rome to be conveyed by the brethren of Sta. Trinità in possession to the hospital of San Sisto. It is advertised that the Pope will send Mons. Campejo to the Emperor of Muscovy to persuade him to leave the 'rights' of the Greek Church, and submit to the See of Rome ; so to remove from the grace of God to a 'contrefaict gleering' sun. The Signiory of Venice have despatched ambassadors to Spain to congratulate King Philip's happy success in Portugal. The Bohemians make a difficulty in consenting to the Emperor's demands, unless their ministers be approved and accepted by the Archbishop of Prague, to which the Emperor will not consent. The Spanish king is changing all the governors in Italy. The Bishop of Glasgow has returned from Paris to this Court. The Emperor seeks to make means that either the Archduke Ernest or Ferdinand may be elected King of the Romans. The Abate del Bene's dispatch to Italy is still 'entertained' until the king's return hither. A bruit is spread in the Court to-day that the Scottish Queen has been very like to escape from England, which event is by some expected, and by others feared. The Duke of Osuna will be 'placed' Duke of Naples, and Don Giovanni Zuñiga 'returned' to Spain. There goes thither one of the visitors of the Inquisition, of the House of Figueroa.— Blois, 8 April 1581. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France V. 49.]
April 8. 118. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM].
I certified in my late letter that the Count of Vimioso was with Monsieur at Bordeaux, which is confirmed. He passed through Portugal in the habit of a priest, pretending to go to Rome, about the suit of a benefice, and traversed all Spain to Barcelona, where he took ship, and was landed at Aigues Mortes ; whence he went to Duke Montmorency, to whom he discovered himself. The Duke entertained him very honourably, giving him some horsemen to conduct him to Monsieur. When he was at Bordeaux he wrote to their ambassador de Brito that their king Don Antonio was in a sure place and in health, signifying no other certainty ; which letter I read. John de Couas brought this morning letters from Count Vimioso to the King and Queen Mother, which were sent from Brito. The Spanish news 'are' that the King of Spain has appointed many houses to be prepared in Lisbon to receive his train. This is as much as I can at present tell you of those parts. M. Strozzi travails very much to frame a voyage to Portugal, on which I hear tell that their ships will be arrested for transporting soldiers, if their affairs proceed, which often fails ; making many beginnings, but the works are left imperfect. The increasing empire of King Philip becomes suspicious to the world.—Blois, 8 April 1581. P.S.—Please let me understand in what sort I am to carry myself to the new-come resident ambassador of Spain, because I have abstained hitherto 'to' visit him. Add. and endt. gone. ¾ p. [Ibid. V. 50.]
We have received your kind letter for which we thank you, and trust that you will continue your favour to us and our heirs. As to what your subject Christopher Hoddesdon has said of our good will to the English merchants adventurers here, we can testify that whatever pleasure or profit we have given them has proceeded from a benevolent mind, and that we desire nothing more than further opportunities of showing it, and proving our regard for your Majesty. It must however be confessed that the hospitality shown by us to the English Company offends the neighbouring Hanse towns. We imagine this has not escaped your notice, but we shall not on that account cease to benefit others who have done us no harm. It is the common right of all nations, and we do not see why it should be refused to the English, unless one is to grudge them the use of light and sunshine. You may be sure that we shall continue to gratify the English nation by all means in our power. From our metropolis [sic] of Embden, the 4th of the Ides of April, 1581. (Signed), Catrina. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Latin. ½ p. [Hanse Towns, I. 63.]
April 10. 120. "The order for the entertaining of the COMMISSIONERS laid down 10 Aprilis 1581."
To have their first audience of her Majesty 16 April, being Sunday, 'at' after dinner. To dine with the Queen Tuesday 18th. To dine with the Earl of Leicester Thursday 20th. To see the solemnities of the Feast of St. George the Sunday after. To see the running at the tilt on Monday 24th after dinner, or to dine that day with the Queen. To see the 'course of the field' and turney on Tuesday 25th, and to dine with the Lord Treasurer. To dine with the Lord Chamberlain on Thursday 27th. To dine with the Queen on Sunday 30th. Endd. (partly by Burghley). ½ p. [France V. 51.]