Elizabeth: April 1581, 21-25

Pages 125-131

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

April 1581, 21-25

April 21. 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.]
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.]
April 22. 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.]
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 ... ... ... ... £42 5 6
of which I reckon for myself and three servants £22 12 8
For Mr Bruyn and his man ... .. ... £11 6 4
For Mr Gilpin and his man ... ... ... £ 8 6 6
Besides Mr Bruin had on going to England with the packet ... ... ... ... ... £13 6 8
and afterwards I paid Mr Gilpin by your order ... £23 2 4
Making in all ... ... ... £78 14 6
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.]
April 23. 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 commons quiet. 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 with him. 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 1581. 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.]
April 24 136. 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 :
April 19.
M. & D iv 6.
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 ground. 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 object. 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.]
April 24. 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 Spain. Italian. 1⅓ pp. [Ibid. V. 58a.] (The whole add. to Wilson, and endd.)
April 24. 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 power. 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.]
April 25. 141. NEGOTIATIONS with FRANCE.
From Sir H. Cob. 9 Nov. 20 December. 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 enterprise.
Answer concerning 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.
8 Jan. 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.]