Elizabeth: April 1581, 11-20

Pages 115-125

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, 11-20

April 12. 121. The LANDGRAVE OF HESSE to the QUEEN.
Whenever we think, which is often, of your and your father's kindness to us and our father and our brothers, we cannot but consider how we may show our regard for you. Hitherto we have not been able, though we hope you have no doubt of our good will ; and in this confidence we desire to commend to you Heinrich Westphal, the present bearer. He has lived long in our Court and has so approved himself by loyalty and good service that we have entrusted to him some of the principal Court offices, in which he has acquitted himself so that we hold him dear. Now, however, he is retiring in the desire of visiting foreign parts, and your realm first of all ; an intention we have thought it right by all means to promote. We beg you therefore to grant him secure passage and deem him not unworthy of the favour with which you are wont to receive noblemen. And whereas we have bidden him buy some English horses for us and our wife, we beg that he have letters for the secure transport and export of those horses.—Marburg, 12 April 1581. (Signed) Ludwig L. zu Hessen. P.S.—We have further heard from our secretary Nicholas Becker that he is sending his brother Jerome, who was for some years employed as clerk in the law-court of our brother Landgrave William, with Heinrich Westphal. As he also wishes to see foreign parts, and especially to live for a time under your rule, our secretary has asked us to commend him also to you ; which for the services he and his father have done us and our father, we could not refuse. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Latin. 1½ and ¾ pp. [Germany II. 17.]
April 13. 122. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM].
Though I have small leisure, I would not 'leave' to certify you that Juan Roderigo de Susa has been with me, accompanied by Mr Wade and 'Bourham.' They departed hence on the 10th inst., together by water towards Tours. He desired to have seen the Queen Mother to deliver the Queen's letter, but has been persuaded to speak first with de Brito, his King's Ambassador lying at Tours, and to receive advice and further intelligence from him. But it seems he does not propose to stay with him, being no great friendship between them, as he pretends. And I doubt he will not conveniently meet with the 'Viscount Vymyos.' It is thought that Monsieur will repair to 'Bourgys,' and so to 'Shattiou Tyrry,' towards Paris. The King is returned hither, in good liking. I have had audience of him to-day, only for 'matter of a compliment' on account of his absence and sickness, and so to 'use a visitation' in her Majesty's name. The King is gathering money by all means. As this bearer will not stay, I cannot further 'enlarge' these affairs.—Blois, 13 April 1581. Holograph. Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [France V. 52.]
April 15. 123. "A copy of a letter sent from Antwerp on the 15th day of this present month of April, anno 1581, concerning a certain conspiracy of the wife of M. d'Aussy, brother to Bossu ; which conspiracy should have been executed in Brussels upon the magistrates and Captain Tempell, etc., on the first day of May next coming, except God had prevented the same ; in manner and form following." The wife of d'Aussi having got a passport to go to Bergen, to persuade the inhabitants to 'hold of our side,' has under that pretext made a league with the Prince of Parma. And the better to bring the pretence to pass, she made alliance with a certain miller, who kept a paper mill thereabouts, who has conveyed letters from one to the other on all sides, as appears by certain attestations, and also that he was often absent and not seen for the space of two or three weeks, in the affairs of the said wife of d'Aussy, who made him many fair promises. And when the miller asked what would become of him if ever he were taken, she promised him that he should not be molested. "Yet nevertheless," said she, "if it fortuned you were caught, take this little root and eat the same ; then shall you not suffer any grief or pain at all, although they racked you." Hereupon it chanced that the Scottish soldiers at Vilvorde 'did mutinate' for lack of pay ; which being given to understand to the Prince of Parma, he sent one of his drummers to the Scots with letters. Which drummer not knowing his way to Vilvorde was directed to the said miller to be guided by him. The miller sent his brother with him to direct him to Vilvorde. The soldiers receiving the letters would not open them but in the presence of their captain ; and the captain opening them in their presence, found therein many fair words and promises, as we may easily presume it. But the soldiers hearing it, called out loud that they were not 'mutinated' for any other purpose but for money, and that they would become no traitors, but remain loyal to the Prince of Orange and the States till death ; and therefore took the drummer and the miller's brother prisoners, and transported them to Brussels ; and being arrived there, delivered them into the hands of Captain Tempell and the lieutenants, who at once examined the drummer, but could learn nothing of him, for he knew not what the letters contained. They therefore called the miller's brother, and asked him where he dwelt, and who had sent him with the drummer. He answered that his brother the miller, dwelling in the 'way of Brussels' had commanded it to him ; and therefore it was at once commanded that the miller should be set before the same captains ; who being brought before them, very much desired the soldiers that they would be so good as to restore his purse, which they had taken from him on the way. This they were not willing to do. Then he besought that they would at least restore the small root which was in his purse, which likewise they refused ; saying that if it were good for him, it would also not be bad for them. Thus leaving the miller before the captains, they went to doctors and potticaries to enquire what virtue the root might have ; who answered that it was the 'vehements' poison that might be found. So that if the miller had according to the persuasion of d'Aussy's wife eaten it, he would also by experience have found her words true, viz. that he should not have been grieved with any punishment, pain, or racking. The miller being racked in such sort that he hung for the space of two hours in the pulley, would yet confess nothing. But being let down, when they threatened to pull or hang him again, he said : "If you rack and punish me to death, I will confess nothing. But assure me my life, and I will not only 'declare you of Vilvorde' which you now ask me, but other matters of no small importance concerning your persons and the city of Brussels." The magistrates considering that for all the torments they had done to him he would declare nothing, concluded to 'warrant' him his life. The miller being so assured by them, asked for the Governor and desired that all the other magistrates should 'part' a little aside, which being done he declared all the treason saying : "What will you ask of me? Rather enquire these matters of d'Aussy, who is the chief of this ;" saying further that the said conspiracy and murder was to have been brought to pass in manner as follows. The said d'Aussy should on 'May evening' have bidden to a banquet Captain Tempell and all the magistrates in Brussels. When they should have been set at the board, a post should have come before the gate of the city ; the keys should have been 'fett' of Captain Tempell to let him in and 8 or 12 men should have gone to open the gates, whereas the captain and magistrates had made good cheer and were merry, and should have let into the city a great company of soldiers, who should have slain the watch. No less was 'attending for' the captain and magistrates, for they should have been murdered by some who were to be prepared thereto whilst they were making merry ; and then all the citizens and others accounted to be Protestants. The magistrates being informed of this, immediately Captain Tempell went to d'Aussy's house, and found him with his wife in bed. He caused both to rise, and carried them and all their family to prison. D'Aussy has confessed all the 'premisses' and says his wife persuaded him to it. She should have been 'by the justice' executed three or four days ago, but being big with child is for a while reprieved. Captain Tempell has sent for 12 soldiers out of every company that lies in 'Mechell,' Vilvoorde and those quarters, to come to Brussels, but to what intent he does so, we know not. The common speech is that the priests or spiritualty have also meddled in the 'premisses.' About 30 persons have been taken prisoners, and I think that ere long the number of them will be augmented. Copy (perhaps translation). 6 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 51.]
I have received yours of the 6th, and touching the delays used by the States and town of Antwerp, cannot but marvel whence they proceed ; especially considering this manner of dealing is contrary both to the resolution taken in Holland and to the promise made afterwards here, when about 6 weeks ago I urged the particular bonds of this town 'to be delivered' out of hand. At that time M. Junius told me the matter was fully agreed upon, and order given to the Pensionary Van der Wercke for the dispatch thereof. I had the like answer from Van der Wercke, who further promised to bring me this town's particular obligations within 5 or 6 days. Since then I have not dealt in the matter, for at the same instant a certain form of bonds was brought to Mr Gilpin, with order that he should wholly solicit the cause ; wherewith I am now, as then, very well contented, and thank you for easing me of 'this pains,' which being of itself troublesome, might through such continual delays be made more tedious. I will not fail to hasten forward his departure into Holland and furnish him with such directions as I am best able, and as shall seem most needful.—Antwerp, 15 April 1581. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 52.]
I should have answered your letter sooner, but I was awaiting that of M. de la Fontaine, to which you referred me, and it reached me only to-day. Moreover I believe it was only 'the second application' (secondes de rencharge), for he mentions a packet which I have not received. Touching the repayment, I think he will have fully informed you how everything has passed. The goods are still in being (en essence) but they will not get from them a third of the cost which have been necessary, and what has been spent in travelling cannot be recovered. Meanwhile, as soon as the peace was announced, I sent to the King of Navarre to have an assignment of that sum ; and I expect an answer about the beginning of May. To hasten it, I will send an express messenger, who will start to-morrow. In short I will omit nothing in my power to satisfy you with all speed. You know it is a question of public affairs, and our friends there can bear witness that my private matters have had nothing to do in it. Nay, I assure that if my own affairs were as easy as but for our common miseries they might be, I would willingly undertake it myself, subject to having recourse at leisure to the public. Kindly therefore induce those who are affected by it to have patience while I am labouring to content them.—Antwerp, 15 April 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. 53.]
April 15. 126. The PRINCE OF PARMA to the QUEEN.
I received by the present bearer your letter of March 12, written with a view to my liberation of Daniel Rogers, your envoy to the Emperor and other German princes, who was captured on the way by some of the king's troops. I will reply that I have always desired to do you service in all just matters within my power. But having told you in my last that Rogers was taken by the soldiers when in pursuit of the enemy, and found by his own papers, written in his own hand, to be practising against the king, while on the other hand he greatly excused himself, I could do no less than ascertain the truth more plainly, and sent councillors to hear how it all happened. And as it was discovered that there was matter touching not only the king's Low Countries, but also other his states and realms, I could not but impart it to his Majesty, advertising him further how I had been requested on your part to send back the prisoner, as your minister sent to the Emperor and other princes. I am awaiting his answer, and hope to have it shortly, not doubting that it will be that which the treaties demand, and that all reasonable satisfaction will be given you, for the sake of the amity, alliance, and ancient good neighbourhood which are between your Majesties. Whereto I will willingly give my aid for the duty of my office. As for the intention you expressed of applying the same treatment to Don Bernardino de Mendoza if I do not set Rogers at liberty, or send him back to England to be chastised if he deserves it, I cannot persuade myself that so just a princess, who knows (as she writes) the laws of war and what is becoming to the dignity of kings, should avenge the detention that Rogers merits (until his affair is judged and the king's will known), on such a person as Don Bernardino, the king's ambassador to you, being under your protection and safeguard, and who consequently cannot be touched without violating the law of nations and the treaties above mentioned. On the other hand, Rogers has not those qualifications. He was not even sent to the king, or to me as his lieutenant ; but rather too much (trop bien) into Germany, as has been said ; two very dissimilar cases. Nor has Mendoza given any offence, or done anything to be punished for the fault of another. On all these grounds I doubt not that recognising the reasons why I cannot release Rogers without the knowledge of his Majesty, you will not take it amiss if I await his resolution, which cannot be long delayed. Meanwhile I assure that no wrong shall be done' to your minister. On the contrary, he has received the best of treatment up to now, and will do so, solely in consideration of his being your minister. And as soon as I hear the king's decision I will let him know ; being assured that on the king's side nothing will be done to violate in the smallest point the treaties of peace and alliance, nor will he or I do anything that you can in the least resent.— Valenciennes, 15 April 1581. (Signed) Alesso Farnese. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 54.]
April 16. 127. STOKES to WILSON.
My last to you was the 9th. For this week the speeches are as follows : The Malcontents have divided their camp into two. One half lies between Douay and Cambray and the other between Cambray and the frontier. Both are in great distress for want of victuals and forage, for all is destroyed in those parts. The Prince of Parma lying at Valenciennes has received a letter, from the French king in which it seems there is some news to the liking of the Malcontents ; for upon the receipt of it they made a great show of gladness in shooting off their great artillery and ringing their bells in Valenciennes. It is said that the French king has written that Monsieur's coming to these parts is not with his consent. M. de 'Verfack' lies with his forces between Noyon and Cambray, well intrenched. The Malcontents set upon them, and had the repulse, for they found them in better order than they made account of, so they were forced to retire with some loss of soldiers and captains hurt. The speech continues that Cambray is in great want of many things, and that the Malcontents 'lie sharply' about it, and in hope to have it, for the cannon marches to it, so it is much feared that town will be lost. Though agreement is made with the mutinied soldiers at Cortryk, M. de 'Swevingam' and M. de Bours are both kept prisoners in the castle by command of the Prince of Parma ; for it seems they have received a great deal of tribute money from many villages thereabouts to pay the soldiers, and have kept it to themselves, and not paid one soldier. So they must make account of this money before they are released. They say it is 100,000 gilders that they have received.—Bruges, 16 April 1581. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Hol. and Fl. XIV. 55.]
April 18. 128. Proclamation by the King of Spain of amnesty for those who took part in Don Antonio's rebellion ; with certain exceptions, including Don Antonio, the Count of Vimioso, Dom Manuel de Portugal, Dom Pedro, and Dom Fernando, Dom Jorge and Dom Antonio de Meneses, Diogo Botelho, Antonio Moniz de Barreto, Joam Rodriguez de Sousa, Duarte de Crasto, Antonio de Brito Pimentel, Manuel da Fonseca Nobriga, Dom Joam de Portugal, Bishop of Guarda, Frey Manuel Dacosta, Frey Estevam Leitão, etc. —Thomar, 15 April 1581. (Countersigned), Symão Gonçalvez Preto. Endd. by L. Tomson. Portuguese. Printed by Marcos Borges, Lisbon. 5 pp. folio. [Portugal I. 49.]
129. MS. copy of above, in a later hand. Endd. 7½ pp. [Ibid. I. 49a.]
April 20. 130. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
After the king was come hither, I sought to have access to 'accomplish' with him in her Majesty's name upon the recovery from his sickness. I have 'at this present' certified to her the speeches he used to me, which were in effect words tending to the show of much goodwill. Since then, he has daily communicated with his Council more than he had ordinarily done heretofore ; but none is so private with him as M. Villequier, whom the Queen Mother likewise entertains, as a man doing good offices between their Majesties. The minions returned with the king, continuing in their accustomed favour, followed by divers gentlemen. Lavalette has the greatest train. M. Strozzi has returned from Monsieur's Court, accompanying the Count of Vimioso to Tours, where he left him, repairing himself to their Majesties, to whom he has related what the Count delivered to him, and also of Monsieur's desire for the enterprise of Portugal. Whereon the king has given order for the receiving of the Count when he comes to this town, and to give him public audience. He has commanded his officers to prepare lodgings and 'diet' for him, which the king purposes to defray, contrary to the expectation conceived. Juan Battista Taxis, the Spanish king's agent here, has had audience twice, at which he has complained of Monsieur's troops for the succour of Cambray ; affirming it was a kind of hostility and breach of amity between his master and the king, and beseeching him to take order therein. To this I am informed the king answered that he had dissuaded his brother from that enterprise, but finding him so obstinately bent on it, he thought it good rather to suffer him to enter into some foreign action than to make war with him ; being tired of civil dissensions. As for himself, he was desirous to live in peace with the princes his neighbours, and to maintain the amity between himself and the Spanish king. If the contrary happened, he doubted not but he would find power sufficient in France to withstand his invasion, and to welcome him when he thought good. Taxis further moved his Majesty that the preparations he understood were 'addressed' for the affairs of Portugal might be stayed, since his master was received for absolute king, by consent of the people. To which the king said it was a right of the queen his mother, whom he could not abandon in so just a cause. The agent being in this sort departed from the king, not much contented, repaired to Queen Mother, with whom he dealt in like manner, being answered in effect with such words as he had received from the king, saving that when he required that Count Vimioso might not be admitted and entertained by their Majesties, being a subject and rebel to his master, she, somewhat moved, answered him that it was not yet proved that his said master was justly King of Portugal yet, for there were others who had cause to seek to make good their rights as well as he. Therefore since the count was come into her son's realm, which is a free country, he should be received as appertained to a person of his quality. This much I thought good to advertise you, as it has been imparted to me, desiring you to inform her Majesty thereof. The Bishop of Glasgow had audience the same first day when the Spanish agent was admitted. He lamented to his Majesty not only the Scottish queen's detainment in prison, but also that the Queen took the Scottish king's rebels into her protection, as the Earl Morton and such others ; and offered the king very hard conditions, threatening him with a 'power,' which was sent to the borders of Scotland, and conducted by the Earl of Huntingdon. He besought the king that since she dealt in that sort, he would, according to the ancient alliance between his ancestors and the Crown of Scotland, assist the Scottish king, and receive him into his protection. To this the king answered, as I am informed, that there was so good intelligence between him and her Majesty, that he could not understand and deal in anything that might impeach their entire amity. Besides, he would in no way meddle in any matter which should prejudice the treaty of marriage. It seems by this that the Bishop of Glasgow meddles in the Scottish king's affairs, 'showing' to be his ambassador ; whereof it is supposed if her Majesty would 'take acknowledgment,' the Scottish king would not avow him. The Pope's nuncio, the Spanish king's agent, and this bishop, join in their audience and affairs. The ambassador of Venice seems not 'to run so thoroughly that course.' M. Strozzi has returned to Tours ; it is thought, to accompany Count Vimioso to this Court. The count has spoken with young Lansac, Saint-Luc, and Count Rochefoucault, by whom he has been feasted, and has received their oaths and promises for the enterprise of Portugal with men and ships. Strozzi has 'protested to' adventure his life, honour, and ability in the action of Portugal. He has sent me a 'note' for the ordering of the enterprise, a copy of which you shall receive herewith. I have been further requested by him to add to or alter it, which I have deferred to do till I have been directed by you. Let me have an answer of this, as also of the proffer M. Strozzi made for the service of her Majesty, which I signified in my former letter. Their Majesties have been somewhat in doubt what might be the cause of the assembly of all the deputies of the reformed religion, appointed to be held on the 25th inst. at Montauban, where the King of Navarre means to be also. The Prince of Condé has made 50,000 crowns of the king's salts, having deferred the publication of the Edict of peace till they were sold and the money paid to him. The necessity of his state, after so many demonstrations to their Majesties, compelled him to take this means to help himself. Fervaques, it is certified, is lodged by Peronne, in a house of Mme de Humières', purposing to fight with the Malcontents : being presuaded that it is better to hazard his life than to return without proof made of his valour. Notwithstanding, it is bruited in the Court that he has retired. There are come hither the principal of the chief presidents and procureurs of the Court of Parlement of Paris, the Courts of Aids, of Accounts and of the Requests. Their names, and the cause of their extraordinary coming to the king at present, you will find in the note enclosed. I hear from Lyons that on the 11th inst. a great wild wolf passed through the city with fearful howling, wherewith the people were astonied ; but it was pursued and slain by the boatmen. Whereon they prognosticate some ill chance to happen to the city. Poyrier, one of the chief captains of the murderers on St. Bartholomew's Day, having been prisoner two years in the Castle of Amboise, at the request of his friends is now released, to live privately in a monastery. It is advertised from Spain that the king has given a pension of 6,000 crowns, out of the bishopric of Seville, to Cardinal Riario, and a commandery of St. Jaques to the cardinal's brother. There has been an earthquake in Seville, where they die of the plague. A rumour has been spread in Spain that 25 English ships were arrived at the straits of Magellan, having made there a fort, and procured the people of that country to rebel. Also that Count Olivares, the governor of Milan, and the 'Visidores' of Naples and Sicily had embarked in the company of Cardinal Riario in the galleys that were to depart from Seville. Likewise that the Duke of Terranova had arrived at Palamos, where he stayed for the king's letters patent to authorise him to be Viceroy of Catalonia. It was thought in Spain that the Italian companies would be sent back, and that a terzo of Spaniards would be sent to Milan. The Duke of Osuna is 'named' to be Viceroy of Naples. Signor Ruberto Altemps, with his wife, 'have' been sent by the said Viceroy into Calabria, to be present at the 'birth' of the Princess of Bisignano, and to see that the matter be not counterfeit ; because the Duke of Bisignano has not had any child for a long time, and after his decease and failure of issue, the dukedom returns to King Philip. It is understood that the Duke of Sora is placed among the nobility of Naples by virtue of the King of Spain's letters, having larger privileges granted him by King Philip than any other prince has in like case enjoyed. The ambassador of Portugal has publicly with the ancient accustomed solemnity done homage to the Pope on behalf of King Philip for the kingdom of Portugal ; which being performed, he is appointed by the king to repair into Spain, as may be thought with shame enough. The Pope 'pretends' to take from the Spanish king the ordinary payments levied on the clergy in Spain toward the maintenance of the galleys for the war against the Infidels, from which the king receives yearly 1,200,000 crowns, and from another manner of payment there comes yearly into his coffers 800,000 crowns : likewise of the Cruzada he made 200,000 crowns yearly. These receipts from the clergy had been heretofore confirmed to him by the Pope's grants from three years to three years. Upon their withdrawal by the Pope sundry discourses and judgements are made. The Pope sends to the Emperor of Muscovy by the Muscovite ambassador, who is upon his return, a hallowed rose, twelve 'pair' of beads, valued at 100 crowns apiece, the image of our Lady esteemed at 700 crowns, and many Agnos Dei. Father Possavino, with three other Jesuits, 'are' sent to meet the ambassador in the confines of Poland, purposing to obtain a passport for him from the King of Poland, and so to accompany him to the Emperor of Muscovy, having commission from the Pope to deal with the Muscovite in matter of religion. The French ligier ambassador before his departure from Rome dined with the Pope at his little table, being accompanied from Rome by the Cardinal of Sens. Monsr Bolognetto, who was lately nuncio at Venice, has arrived at Rome suddenly ; whereon many comments are made, but nothing is certainly known. The Pope has lately sent to the Signiory of Venice to have certain of his ministers visit the schools and other places, for enquiry and reformation in matters of religion. The Signiory have granted that the same may extend to monasteries and no otherwise ; whereon it is suspected there will grow some little unkindness that way. The Bishop of Verona is constituted by the Signiory visitor of those monasteries, being a Venetian gentleman. They have discovered in Genoa that sundry noblemen's houses are infected with the plague. The opinion is conceived in Italy that Don Antonio is dead. The Turk has sent 30 galleys towards 'Mar Maggiore,' having appointed 30 more to pass into 'Tripolis in Syria,' for the Arabs of those parts were in rebellion. The Aga of the 'Janissari' and the 'Beljarbi' of Greece with many Turkish troops were 'assigned' to go to Persia. * The Pope has appointed Monsr Bolognetto, who has left Venice, to go as nuncio to Poland. The Bishop of Rimini is looked for about the beginning of next month as nuncio here in Monsr Dandino's stead. The Bishop of Lodi is appointed nuncio to Spain. The matter between the Venetians and the Pope, about the Inquisition, is appeased, and the Pope sends Monsr Campejo to reside as nuncio at Venice. Monsr Sta. Croce is on his way to the Emperor's Court to be nuncio there. Hamilton who murdered the Regent of Scotland has returned from the Prince of Parma, having passed through Fervaques' troops. He was sent from hence by the Spanish agent.—Blois, 20 April 1581. The paragraphs after * appear to belong to a different letter from the earlier part, though written on the same day. They are add. and endd. with date. There is on another leaf an endt. in the hand of L. Tomson : 20 Apr. 1581, from Sir H. Cobham, C. Vimioso ; which seems to belong to the earlier part. The pars. referring to Vimioso and Taxis have marginal headings by Walsingham. 4½ pp. [France V. 56.]