131. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
I had access to the king on the 13th instant, when I showed him
the grief you sustained for his sickness, being the princess who most
desired his prosperity both in body and estate. Wherefore I thought
it my duty for your satisfaction to seek means to come to his
presence as soon as he might please to admit me, that seeing his
recovery to be as good as his cheerful countenance showed, I might
certify you thereof.
He answered that he found by sundry offices performed towards
him that you were his good and gracious sister. But as for his
malady he said it was a humour fallen into his right leg, which
swelled and impostumed so much that he was constrained to have it
'launched' and kept open for a time ; whereon he had followed the
advice of the Italian proverb : Il braccio al collo, la gamba al letto ;
alleging that the accident to his leg was the only reason for keeping
his bed and absence from the queens.—Blois, 21 April.
Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 57.]
132. WILLIAM STEWART to WALSINGHAM.
Your letter dated the 6th inst. I have received ; whereby I
understand you have acquainted her Majesty with my humble
offer to do any good if I might be able ; whereof I have great hope,
as I wrote in my last, upon receipt of another from the Earl of
Lennox, if with sincerity he means what his own hand is writing.
If it be feigned, no question before long God will work the same to
his own ruin and overthrow, rather 'nor' by dissimulation the
evangel and 'Kyrk' of God should be in hazard, or the republic
and quietness of those three realms by him or his adherents be
molested ; with full assurance that God by His mercy and providence
shall 'cut gait' [?] all that intend any practices so far
'disagreeable' to their duty and profession. I am sorry to hear
the state of our country to be so doubtful and troublesome as it is ;
but 'mekill mare' if anything shall be 'machinett' there against
the Church of God. 'Albeit' where despair is of good to follow,
I would willingly suspend my travail, 'while' God gave a better
opportunity.—Antwerp, 21 April '81.
Add. Endd. Scottish. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 56.]
133. (1) Proclamation against overcrowding and brawling during
the stay of the Commissioners. Persons forbidden on pain of death
to draw sword or dagger, or to strike or wound. English version in
Domestic Papers, under April 17.
(2) The Prince Dauphin's exhortation to all Frenchmen to pay
attention to the proclamation, that they may take back a character
for good behaviour. (Signed) Pinart.
Burghley notes at the head : "This proclamation being made by
the Queen was turned into French by the Commissioners, according
to which they made another agreeable for their companies.
Cover torn off. Endd with date. Fr. 2 pp. [France V. 54.]
134. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
Since it may be that the account of my charges in Holland seems
very great, because the expenses of Mr Gilpin and Mr Bruin are
comprehended in it, I have thought good to set down a proportionable
and just division of it, whereby it will appear that there was
spent on that journey for myself and my servants not above
£22 12s. 8d. at most. Yet if frost had not hindered me on my
way, my charges would have fallen out less. But being measured
according to the time, they cannot I hope be found to exceed.
The sum of the whole expense defrayed on the
journey amounts to ... ... ... ...
of which I reckon for myself and three servants
For Mr Bruyn and his man ... .. ...
For Mr Gilpin and his man ... ... ...
Besides Mr Bruin had on going to England with
the packet ... ... ... ... ...
and afterwards I paid Mr Gilpin by your order ...
Making in all ... ... ...
In the account of the journey Mr Bruyne's sum is greater than
Mr. Gilpin's because I paid the charges of one throughout the
voyage and of the other only from my arrival at Delft till my
return to Antwerp. Thus I have shown in detail how the whole
charge arises.—Antwerp, 22 April 1581.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 57.]
135. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last to you was the 16th, since which time there are the
speeches which the managers of this town have received.
M. de Swevenghem and M. de Bours are both set at liberty upon
surety to bring in all such sums of money as can be justly
demanded of them ; which is a matter devised to content the
commons and the soldiers, 'and M. de Bours he is sent to the camp.'
The Malcontents have brought both their camps into one, which
now lies between Douay and Cambray, where they have intrenched
themselves very strongly, but victuals and forage are very scarce in
their camp. It is thought the want of them will force them to
remove ere long.
When the Frenchmen saw that the Malcontents had removed
their camps 'both into one,' next day 4 or 5 ensigns of foot and a
few horse followed them to see how and where they lay ; and they
ventured so far that the Malcontents cut between them and home
and overthrew most of them. For this small victory those of Lille
and Cortryk discharged all the great artillery in their towns ; which
was done more to comfort the hearts of the commons than for any
such cause of victory, for it seems they have much ado to keep their
By good advices from Cambrai they have victuals yet for 20 days
or a month ; in which time if no aid come from France the town
will be in some danger of being lost.
It is also said for certain that the Marquis of Risbourg upon some
'displeasure of government' has departed from the camp in great
anger and is come to Arras, of which place he is governor ; and
there it is said he will remain, and divers gentlemen are there
At Lille they are in great fear of the French, for there goes a
speech that the Frenchmen when they come will besiege that town ;
so that the rich men in the town are sending away their goods as
fast as they can, for which cause the commons are half in a mutiny
against the governor and magistrates.
At Saint-Omer they are in like fear of a siege, for they are
breaking down all the suburbs round about the town.
The camp that the Four Members of Flanders are preparing here
will be in the field very shortly ; and Colonel [sic] is come to
Ghent. His company it is said will join it.—Bruges, 23 April
P.S.—Even now a post has come to the Lords of this town and
the Frank, from M. de Fervaques, who lies with his camp at a town
called Bray on the Somme. The post came from thence on the
19th, and he says that Monsieur will be there in person before the
end of the present month with a great force ; and also says that
Fervaques's camp lies in villages 'hard under' Bray, and is not
above 5,000 men in all. Further that Fervaques has sent into
Cambray 36 horses laden with salt ; and this town of Bray stands
within 4 leagues of Bapaume and 7 leagues from Cambray. So
these news have much comforted their hearts here.
Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 58.]
136. STOKES to the SECRETARIES.
To the end you may see what M. de 'Farvaques' has written to
the Lords of Bruges and the Frank, I have this morning got the
copy of his letter, written at Bray on the 19th inst., which I
enclose.—Bruges, 24 April 1581.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 59.]
Enclosure in the above :
M. & D iv 6.
137. FERVACQUES to the BURGOMASTER of BRUGES and the
I have kept back this messenger till to-day in order to send you
a true advertisement of the news from his Highness, and of the
state of his army in which I have the honour to command in his
absence. I will begin by thanking you for the good advertisements
in your letters, since they are wholly conformable to his Highness's
service and that of your state, for which I will employ myself with
such zeal as will have consequent results. I may tell you that I
have brought the army into quarters here at Bray, on the Somme, four
leagues from the enemy. I have not risked an engagement so far,
as I am daily expecting news from his Excellency and his Highness,
who has just written that he will be with this army by the end of
this month at latest, and assures me that he will bring very good
troops well officered. Meanwhile we do not neglect warlike
preparations, but make our arrangements to try to throw some
provisions into Cambray. Only last night we attacked the suburbs
of Bapaume, without any of the enemy venturing to come out.
Our men behaved very well, and left 15 or 16 of the enemy on the
I am glad that you have had the foresight to send horse and foot
to the frontiers of Artois, to prevent the enemy from sending the
troops that he has in Flanders to help at Cambray, inasmuch as it
will be of great service to us in relieving the place as we intend to
do. We hope with God's help so to do our duty that the enemy
will be compelled to withdraw in disgrace through the common
understanding that ought to be between us, having the same
While awaiting news from his Excellency, as I do with good
devotion, I shall not let pass any occasion for warlike action. All
the captains of this army are in very good heart for it. I beg you
to let me hear from you frequently of all that passes, that I may
take the necessary steps to see to it in his Highness's service and
yours.—Bray on the Somme, 19 April 1581.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 59a.]
138. COBHAM to WILSON.
I have heard by Prim of your indisposition with the more grief
because it happens as I think in an evil season considering the
time and present occasions, which must needs be such and so many ;
and I suppose Sir Francis Walsingham will have his mind overburdened
with care for the satisfaction of so many affairs. I have
advertised him in detail of all the present occurrents, as well in the
joint letter to your honours as in private letters ; by which you will
have knowledge of them. But as these Italian news are sent me at
the making up of my letter, I would not fail to write them to you.
—Blois, 24 April 1581.
12ll. [France V. 58.]
Enclosure in above :
139. News from Italy.
They write from Naples that the viceroy there has prohibited
betting on the life and death of the Pope. In the middle of the
piazza a picture had been put up, with the figure of the viceroy
asleep in a chair, with a wand and the scales falling from his hands,
to signify that he was forgetful of justice, and behind him was one
drawing in money and putting it in a chest, with another figure
loaded with bacon, meaning to imply that he had an agreement
with the overseers of the market (quelli di gracia) and also with
certain merchants ; further, that the city was suffering in every way.
Wherefore a notice was published offering 10 m. reward, and the
pardon of five exiles to whosoever would declare the culprits.
We hear from Parma that the Duke had put to death 24 persons
concerned in the conspiracy of Count Claudio Landi, keeping
another twenty in prison ; and that the Count had been dismissed
by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, where he had been entertained, by
express order from the Emperor, to whom his Catholic Majesty had
written in favour of the Lords Farnese.
Signor Paolo Orsino, Condottiere of the Venetians, is dead, and
there are four claimants to his estate ; Signor Latino Orsino, Signor
Paolo Giordano Orsino, the Apostolic Chamber, and Signora
Portia di Cere, wife of Giordano. The case is to be tried in Rome.
Meanwhile by force of a certain trust on behalf of (?) the legitimate
and not the natural issue, the son of Signor Latino Orsino has
entered into possession. It is said he has been deprived of the post
of lieutenant to the castellan, and that Vincenzio Vitelli will have it.
Paolo Giordano Orsino has had 500 men levied in Aspra by Signor
Troilo Savello, to take possession of a castle called Zonigia belonging
to Paolo ; but Troilo would not go there, and they of the castle do
not want otherwise to change their master, Signor Fabio, son of
Latino, being in it, and other captains.
The people of Sorano wanted to rise against Signor Alexandro
Orsino ; who 'finding himself' with the Grand Duke's Capitano
delle battaglie with 1,000 men and the police of Siena, the insurgents
were taken prisoners.
They say that the Catholic king has abandoned his intention of
freeing the clergy from their burdens. And that when he has
finished holding the Cortes of Portugal he will go to hold those of
Italian. 1⅓ pp. [Ibid. V. 58a.] (The whole add. to Wilson, and
140. "The Speech uttered by Lord Burghley jointly with the
Commissioners of her Majesty to treat with the French."
Her Majesty has sent us to visit you on her behalf to repeat
what she declared to you on the occasion of a conversation which
the Prince had with her yesterday ; to wit, that she is pleased to
delegate certain members of her Privy Council to hear what you
had to say on behalf of the Christian king. Which she herself
had indeed the intention to do, if she had not been anticipated by
you, Mgr le Prince, seeing herself honoured by the sending of such
honourable personages as you, whereby is manifested to all the
world not only the perfect amity between your king and the Queen,
but also the sincere affection of the Duke of Anjou. And though
she did not make this declaration to you at your arrival, she doubts
not but that you took it in good part, and will excuse her, [the
circumstances] not being unknown to you, which were [the cause
of her so] acting. And now . . . we are here by her express
command to hear what you may please to say to us and communicate
it to her, which we shall gladly do to the best of our
On another leaf : As concerns me personally, I beg you, Sir, to
interpret my words in the best sense, as I am almost wholly
ignorant of the language ; inasmuch as Mr Secretary here, who
would be our mouthpiece, excuses himself on account of a catarrh,
and the other gentlemen here, who would be far better qualified
than I, cast it on me on account of the position I unworthily hold
in the realm. Wherefore I doubt not you will interpret my meaning
more favourably, than the language I may have used.
Draft. Heading and corrections in Burghley's hand. Fr. (all but
heading). 1¼ and ½ pp. [France V. 59.]
141. NEGOTIATIONS with FRANCE.
From Sir H. Cob.
A treaty for establishment of a firmer amity
between their Majesties was first moved by
Queen Mother, when the French Court lay at
'Chantillowe.' The reason that moved her to make that proposition
was the greatness of the King of Spain, which was to be
stopped by their Majesties. The same matter was afterwards
moved by the king himself, when the Court was at 'Dollenville,'
and by him caused to be signified to her Majesty, both by Sir H.
Cobham and by the ambassador resident here.
When the Court came to Blois, the king 'called upon it' again,
desiring to have the treaty finished, according to such order of
instructions and commissioners as had been before appointed on
both parts, before the commissioners came over here, that they
might have it ratified here by her Majesty.
What particulars should be treated of by the commissioners at
their repair into England, Mauvissière had orders 'to be informed'
of her Majesty.
For entering into the greatest causes of this time, which are to
be had in consideration, the king rests much upon her disposition ;
wishing his brother might first be assured of her amity, either by
way of marriage or otherwise, before proceeding to any foreign
certain points etc.
The amity with her Majesty has been moved
to the king by the marshals, for the better
effecting his attempts against the King of Spain.
The new-mentioned amity and league carried either closely
or faintly, but surely sparingly on their parts.
Memo. in hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him, with date.
Walsingham's mark. 1¼ pp. [France V. 60.]