Elizabeth: May 1581, 11-20

Pages 167-181

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

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May 1581, 11-20

May 12. 182. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM].
Being suddenly advertised that M. Pinart's eldest son, who arrived yesterday from Spain, was to repair to England, I would not fail to write to you, 'leaving' to certify anything touching Spanish or Portugal affairs, because I hope the king is sending him to relate some matters wherewith he would 'show' to gratify the Queen, and that you will be somewhat frankly dealt with by M. Pinart as to the relation of the present state of Portugal and Spain. M. Chemereau who was sent to King Philip in February has returned to his house, but not yet come to Court. The king, as I wrote the other day, has sent his mother to Monsieur, being ill-satisfied that he does not visit him, but resolves on enterprises without communicating them to him. He thinks that his brother will not be able to succour Cambray with the assistance only of his voluntary servants, but is rather like thereby to hazard his reputation and friends. The king further finds himself not sufficiently prepared to declare war against King Philip, not having paid the gendarmerie for a long time. Thus he weighs that enterprise, misliking the progress of it. Since his coming hither the king passes his time a-hunting often ; at other times he plays at Pallemaile, using exercises above his accustomed manner, and rendering himself more conversable and affable to the nobility and gentlemen than he was ever heretofore wont to do ; dining and supping daily openly, with better appetite than he has done for a long time. He has entertained the Duke of Maine with good countenance and long conferences. The Duke of Nevers accompanies the king at the Pallemale and his other exercises. The Duke of Montpensier is expected to be here at this feast. Count Montgomery and the greater part of the gentlemen have retired from the troops which Fervacques commanded, and gone to their dwellings. Marshal Retz and his wife have gone towards Paris to his house ; for he finds his services not so far accepted as he looked they should have been. The Abbot of Guadagna was very coldly answered by Monsieur when he was lately sent by the queen to meet him at Saumur ; with which she was somewhat moved, and resolved on this journey to Alençon, where she remains ; purposing, as she said at her going hence, to follow him. There is at present among these princes some froward mood. Strozzi has been advised that an Irish Bishop has arrived who has been a practiser in the matters of Ireland, with a captain in his company. I have sent to Nantes to enquire after him and have him followed to Paris, for I understand he addresses himself thither. The Bishop of Glasgow went yesterday towards Paris. He has signified in this Court that the Earl of Morton was executed, because Mr. 'Randall,' the Queen's ambassador, sought the means to deliver him out of prison by practice ; which being discovered, the Queen's ambassador was glad to convey himself away privily, having in the Queen's name required three things of the Scottish king ; first, to have Earl Morton set at liberty ; that M. d'Aubigny might be returned into France ; thirdly, that certain in Scotland should be delivered to her Majesty ; to which points the Scottish king did not give much ear, but in requital had sent an ambassador to demand of her Majesty that his mother might be set at liberty, that his right of succession might be declared in the Parliament in England, and lastly that Berwick should be restored to him. The Bishop says further that the Irish have received succours from the Scots, and that more Spaniards have landed ; so that Lord Grey has requested more forces, fearing to be distressed. The Bishop of Rimini is looked for here shortly as nuncio. He is severe, and addicted to the humour of Cardinal Borromeo, which gives some fear to the Protestants. I have requested M. de Reus [? Réaux] to write to Monsieur for his help in apprehending the Irish Bishop. M. Pinart's son thought to have started this day, but the king has resolved to send him first to the Queen Mother ; whereon I thought it best to send this by M. Brulart's means.—Blois, 11 May 1581. Add. and endt. gone. 1⅓ pp. [Ibid. V.]
May 12. 183. "The form of the Speech delivered to the Commissioners." To let them understand that whereas her Majesty did by her Secretary signify to the Commissioners, that she found it expedient upon conference with such her Commissioners as she deputed to treat with them that the treaty for sundry good causes should be suspended till she might hear from the Duke, whom as a principal party contractant this cause chiefly touched ; that now upon conference had with the Par [liament] considering how, through contrariety of wind or some other impediment, the answer cannot come as soon as she desires, being loth that they should be idle in the meantime, how convenient it were that the treaty should proceed ; and also for the satisfaction she 'delivereth' to yield both to him and to the rest of the Commissioners ; is now pleased that it should go forward, with this caution, that such things as shall be agreed on between the Commissioners shall hang in suspense till she receives answer from the Duke. Whereof if it shall please them to allow, we are ready to proceed to the treaty of such article as it shall please them to propound, being contained in their commission. In case they shall not assent to treat 'at the admittance of' the caution, it is to be replied that forasmuch as this treaty is not merum civile but religiosum it requires principally satisfaction of all difficulties in the parties contracting, whereof some are not meet to be communicated to others, but are only to be resolved between themselves. Moreover, the proceeding in the treaty, notwithstanding the caution, will very much advance the matter to an end after her Majesty's and the Duke's pleasure shall be known, and therefore most fit to be proceeded in. That if, notwithstanding the caution, they shall hereupon propound the articles contained in the treaty with Simiers, they may be asked whether they propound them as things agreed on, or as articles thought meet to be treated on for the better accomplishment of the matter they are come for. If they answer that they propound them as articles agreed on, it may be replied, first that their commission from the King makes no mention of those articles ; secondly, that if they say they may treat of them by virtue of the Duke's commission, that may be replied that though in the presence of the Commissioners mention was made of the articles, yet when you come to verba dispositionis or authoritatis in the commission there is no mention of them. Besides, the validity of the articles is called in question, for that signification was not made to the King touching her Majesty's assent to the coming of the Commissioners in such form as is contained in an instrument signed by de Simiers. After the delivery of the like speeches, at the end of the conference it was agreed that the Commissioners should set down in writing the summary of that which they conceived to be accorded in the conference. Mem. in Walsingham's hand and endd. by him : 12 May 158. The speeches delivered by the Lord Treasurer at the time of the conference. 3 pp. [France V. 73.]
Pursuant to the request made to the Queen of England by the Prince Dauphin and the other commisioners of the king, the Queen his mother, and the Duke of Anjou, the Queen's commissioners being assembled with those of their Majesties it was resolved as follows :—
1. That in virtue of their powers, and without regard had to the letter to the contrary which passed between the Queen, M. de Simier, the 28th of November, 1579, they shall proceed to the sight and reading of the marriage articles between the Queen and Monsieur, subject to the protestation respectively made ; to wit, that nothing which is decided shall be binding until the Queen has received an answer to the letter she wrote with her own hand to Monsieur.
2. That all the articles agreed upon between the Queen and Simier on 24 Nov. 1579, shall have full effect in the matters resolved upon.
3. And with regard to the first of the said articles, concerning the celebration of the marriage, the king's commissioners suggest that it should take place as follows : A lofty dais, otherwise called theatre, shall be erected, whereon the Queen and Monsieur shall meet, supported each by a bishop of their own religion, in whose presence the mutual promises shall be made, and oath taken in public to keep them inviolably. The Queen shall then retire to her oratory and hear the Service customary to her religion, while Monsieur goes to a chapel prepared to this end near the 'theatre,' where Divine Service shall be celebrated according to his religion, as permitted by the articles accorded to M. de Simier.
4. As to the coronation demanded by Monsieur after the marriage, seeing that the king's commissioners judge that the Queen desirous to see this good work effected has already prepared the will of her Parliament on the subject of such coronation, and with so much authority that it will oppose none of her wishes, they trust it will please her, in order that the contract may be passed (which is the sole reason for their coming) to grant the said coronation according to Monsieur's request, subject always to the consent, decree, and ratification of Parliament.
Endd. by Walsingham, and some passages underlined. Somewhat damaged. Fr. 1 p. [France V. 74.]
George Spindeler desires to serve your Majesty in preference to other potentates ; and though I do not know if you maintain soldiers, I could not refuse to forward his request. He has done good and honourable service, in superior posts, in Hungary, France, Denmark and the Netherlands ; and will acquit himself manfully and honourable on any occasion that you may employ him.—Coln on the Spraw [sic], 13 May 1581. Add. : 'Durchlauchtigen Furstin Frewlein Elisabethen' etc. Endd. German. 1½ pp. [Germany II. 19.]
May 14. 186. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was the 7th and 8th inst. Since that etc. On the 8th inst. the Gentners sent out all their forces and took a small castle and church which the Malcontents held within half-a-league of 'Halst.' In the castle were 63 soldiers, who yielded it by agreement, to depart without weapons ; and in the church about 100 stout peasants, well-appointed, who would not yield. For which cause the Gentners set fire round about it, and burnt them all ; so the castle and church are both razed down to the ground, which two places were the chiefest friends that the town of 'Halst' had in those parts. This week letters are come to Sainte-Aldegonde from Monsieur, in which he writes that he will be on the frontier in person with a good force of soldiers on the 20th inst. He has withal written that the States here in Flanders should send such forces as they can into the field with as much speed as may be. Upon the receipt of this the States of Flanders sent two days ago a small camp into the field. It is by 36 ensigns of foot and 12 cornets of horse, who are marching towards 'Feurne' and those parts ; so it will shortly be seen what they will do. M. de Villers is commander, and Captain Yorke sergeant-major. God send them better fortune than the last camp. Speeches have come to the magistrates of this town that a few days ago the town of Cambray was to have been delivered to the Prince of Parma by the treason of some Frenchmen and others in the town. But the matter was espied and revealed before it was ripe, so that many in the town are taken and executed, and since the enterprise has failed, the Prince of Parma lays the fault on M. de Montigny and other captains. Hence there is great discord and disorder in the Malcontents' camp, and the speech goes that Montigny has retired from thence malcontent, and the Prince of Parma has gone to Namur. But I doubt all this is too good news to be true. Also M. la Motte has gone from the camp to Graveling in great haste, and since coming home has well manned all his forts and bulwarks lying between 'Iper' and Graveling ; for the speech goes that the camp will be 'doing' with some of them. Four days ago those of Tournay, Meenen and Ypres had an enterprise upon Lille, to take it by surprise ; and when they were going to it, within a quarter of a mile of the town, it was revealed in the town. The matter was very ill-handled, for they made their enterprise too much known abroad ; so that many rich burghers have been taken in the town who were acquainted with the matter, who will lose their lives. It is now said that the Prince of Orange will shortly come to Middleburg in Zealand, and will continue there. Although there is disorder in the Malcontents' camp, it is feared they will agree well enough and send forces against 'their' small camp, which is weak and slenderly appointed.—Bruges, 14 May 1581. P.S.—I have received yours of the 6th and thank you for it. Also I enclose a copy of Monsieur's letter to Sainte-Aldegonde. Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 70.]
May 14. 187. WALSINGHAM to COBHAM.
Her Majesty's pleasure is that you shall forthwith repair to the king and his mother and thank them for their choice of a prince of the blood and other such honourable personages as have lately been sent hither ; which she accepts as a magnifest argument and testimony of their good meaning towards her. But since at the first meeting with the commissioners, upon view of a commission they showed to those appointed by her to treat with them, it was found that they were only authorised to treat of the matter of marriage, without mention of any straiter league or amity between the two Crowns, according to the overture made to you in December last, when Chiverny, Villequier, and Secretary Pinart were appointed to treat with you by their Majesties' order, they were pressed to declare whether they had not another commission. Whereupon they protested on their honour that they were only sent to conclude the marriage treated before by Simier. Her Majesty finds this very strange, considering that both the king and his mother have heretofore by their letters, as also by the mouth of their ambassador here, promised to satisfy her desire therein. For both, in their speeches to you, have sundry times shown how necessary it was, in respect of the growing greatness of Spain, that some straiter league should be made between the two Crowns, whatsoever became of the marriage, that being subject to sundry difficulties of importance, such perhaps that its proceeding could not be profitable to either party ; and therefore for more security it was always thought requisite that such as should be sent hither to treat of marriage should also have authority to treat of amity. Thus much has been delivered to the commissioners here ; who were also let understand that her Majesty would write to you to signify as much to the king and his mother, and pray them according to their promise, and as the necessity of the time requires (it being also doubtful what issue the marriage may take), that they might have a general commission to treat of amity. And to the end the matter might 'take the better place,' they were also requested to write to the king to the like effect ; wherein they made some difficulty, alleging that they did not think it reasonable to treat of amity otherwise than accompanied by marriage, and to such effect they promised to write, since at the time of the conference it was shown them that they had no authority to treat of amity otherwise than in general terms, which they in a sort confessed. And though they make scruples to write for a several commission to treat of amity, it is thought they will do it, but will not confess so much to us, because they fear that if they should 'amply discover' to us that they are also to treat of amity, it might hinder the marriage. But howsoever they write, her Majesty's pleasure is that you should earnestly urge the king and his mother, by laying before them their own promises, how necessary it is that the greatness of Spain should be looked to, the doubtfulness of the issue of the marriage in respect of sundry difficulties, and how dishonourable it would be that for lack of authority, commissioners of that quality and so many in number should depart hence without concluding either amity or marriage. And in case you find the king and his mother inclinable to allow such a commission to be sent, her Majesty would have you let them understand that it were expedient the number of the commissioners were abridged ; both because she considers that divers of the persons who are here cannot in respect of their callings and the necessary use that the king has of their service be long absent, and also it were not expedient that a matter of that importance, wherein secresy was necessarily to be used, should be committed to many. This cause requires expedition, and therefore her Majesty would have you solicit it in such careful sort, that you may return a speedy answer. Draft. Endd. by L. Tomson, with date. 2¾ pp. [France V. 75.]
Causes of delay.—The principal is because her Majesty is desirous to hear from Monsieur his resolution of certain matters pertaining to him which are only to be considered betwixt them two ; as will appear hereafter to be such indeed as properly belong to no others but themselves privately to determine. This was the cause why her Majesty wished and requested that the French king would not have sent the commissioners till she and Monsieur had so agreed that their coming might have been to good purpose ; and so can M. Marchaumont tell, who heard her dealings with Mauvissière the ambassador. A second cause of forbearing to treat upon the article of marriage was that her Majesty always expected that the commissioners who should come for the marriage, would also have another power to treat of some strait league betwixt the king and her ; and as she always desired this, so the French king and his mother always remembered it, using these terms sundry times, that though she would not marry, she was desirous there should be some special treaty of a league. But now, finding that they show no special power as she looked for, she has cause to forbear treating of one without the other. Thirdly, it seems needful to know in what terms the French king . . . . . . . . enable his brother, whereby the marriage with him may . . . . to the realm ; for as Monsieur's state is changed by his real acceptance of the sovereignty of the Low Countries, whereby he has directly entered into hostility with the King of Spain, and is by no appearance able of himself to pursue it without the king his brother to aid him with men and money, so cannot a marriage with him standing only upon his own power be agreeable to the state, or comfortable to her Majesty ; seeing she will be partaker of his fortune by marriage, notwithstanding any articles to the contrary. To this is to be added what is most certain, that she has often written directly to Monsieur to let him know that if he should take upon him the protection of the Low Countries, whereby he would enter into a war with the King of Spain, he must not think the marriage would be agreeable in her realm. Upon these causes, as well as such matters as are not yet accorded between her Majesty and Monsieur, we pray them not to think it without reason 'why' we have forborne to treat of the marriage before treating of a league, and especially till we saw how Monsieur was able to pursue his intentions in the Low Countries. But to content them against our own reasons, her Majesty will have us treat upon the marriage ; with this condition, that our treaty shall not bind her Majesty to marriage until she has heard from Monsieur ; thereupon shall finally assent to our treaty, or dissent from it ; which she is content to do [sic] 'because' the time shall not be lost meanwhile ; so that if upon answer from Monsieur she shall assent to the marriage, there may be no further delay for lack of treaty and conclusion to be made ready betwixt us. On treating of the articles it may be alleged that since they were written many alterations have happened of things that require in some special points a change to the satisfaction of her Majesty's people : The attempt of the Pope and the King of Spain in Ireland on pretence of religion. The people's yielding [?] thereto for religion ; The repair of Jesuits into England, and that from France ; The people's yielding thereto, not only to the change of religion, but also to the relinquishing of their obedience. The sending of 'Daubeny' into Scotland, by means of the House of Guise, who has laboured to dissolve all good friendship and love between the two countries. Upon these 'accidents' the realm here is grown more jealous of this marriage, not so much for mistrust of Monsieur's sincerity, but for the comfort that evil subjects will conceive . . . Memo. in Burghley's hand, and endd. by him : 16 Maii 1581. A Conference with the French Commissioners at Somerset House. Slightly damaged. 3 pp. [France V. 76.]
May 17. 189. "The substance of that which passed at the conference the 17th of May." It was declared to them by the Lord Treasurer that by her Majesty's order he and the rest of the commissioners were ready to proceed in the treaty of such subjects as yet remain unviewed. Whereupon the French commissioners desired that whereas the time appointed for the holding of Parliament was expired, the next session, appointed to be held May 29 might not be prorogued, and that within a few days after the session the article for the Coronation might be propounded ; requesting further that some fixed time might be set down within the session when that request might receive resolution. To which two points, after some debating, time was required to consider ; and that a blank might be left in the draft of the contract for putting in the time of the session, as also the term when the said request was likely to be obtained. It was accorded that article V. should pass as before agreed. Touching the VIth, they desired that the commissioners would name what sum they thought meet to be proposed in Parliament ; to which it was answered that it would prejudice Parliament to name any sum, seeing it was referred to their consideration. Besides, it was contrary to the course agreed to alter anything of what was accorded in the articles ; therefore, being referred to Parliament, Parliament was to determine it. The commissioners desired that it might be remembered that the sum proposed by Simier was also demanded. Article VII ministered matter of long argument, for the president [Brisson] showed many 'presidents' of dowries granted by Kings of France to such as were married in England, thereby to persuade the commissioners to content themselves with like sums ; which he alleged to be only 20,000 crowns. To which it was replied that there was a difference between a daughter of France and an inheritor of England. Secondly, that there was a difference in the coins ; every crown then being threefold 'richer' than it is now. Thirdly, that the duke requiring a present pension, and that of a great sum, it was reasonable that a dowry, being in consideration of the course of both their years not likely to 'fall out,' should be 'answerable' to it. They were also reminded that the King of Spain required no pension, and yet granted to Queen Mary an honourable dowry, besides that the Low Countries were assigned to the issue male of both their bodies ; the Prince of Spain being then living. After long dispute they offered 40,000 crowns dowry. The next articles containing no matter for consultation, it was agreed they should 'pass in contract' as they were set down in the treaty with Simier, and so it was ordered that the contract being reduced to form by the president should be sent to her Majesty's secretary. Memo. in Walsingham's hand and endd. by him. 3¼ pp. [France V. 77.]
May 18. 190. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
I certified you lately of Monsieur's coming to Alençon and of the Queen Mother's repairing to him. She arrived there on Wednesday the 10th, staying only two days, so that she departed the next Saturday, finding that Monsieur had prepared for his own departure, which seemed to her an 'occasion offered' that her stay was not desired. Howsoever the causes were dealt in between them, they took their leave with many tears. The Queen Mother went towards Paris, where it is judged she is to-day. Some hold the opinion that she was put in doubt that Monsieur had been persuaded to repair to Paris to make a party, with the further intention of declaring to those of the Court of Parliament the reasons which moved him to his enterprise for succouring Cambray and recovering Flanders, for which he was said to desire the aid of their counsels and good opinion. Therefore hereon she hastened to prevent her son's coming to Paris, to impeach his proceeding by pursuasion and other means. Some suppose otherwise, that since she finds Monsieur fully resolved on those actions, she is gone to Paris to provide him money. But howsoever she is affected, it is seen the King would have it thought that he is discontented with these proceedings. Notwithstanding, some personages in this Court have been advertised both that 'Roysters' are being levied in Germany of whom the Marquis of Brandenburg was to bring 3,000, and also that 6,000 Swiss are prepared for Monsieur's service. The Marquis of Elbeuf gathers sundry bands and troops of horse, and the like is done by other persons of quality. The rendezvous of Monsieur's horse is meant to be at Château-Thierry, and of his foot at Gisors near Rouen. So there are these shows for foreign attempts ; yet there rise doubts of some civil wars, because the King has given order for a 'camp' of 10,000 foot and 12,000 horse to be levied for the wars of Dauphiné, which will be commanded by the Duke of Mayne. On Whitsunday the King desired the King of Navarre's agent to let both him and the Prince of Condé understand, because he did not mean to surprise them, that since those of the 'Religion in Dauphiné' did not 'yield' to observe the Edict of Pacification, he would make them obey him. On this he had resolved, having already 'addressed' an army for the purpose ; with many words to that effect, with great earnestness and 'collor.' The agent besought him not to put the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé from him, since they 'had and do' seek to effectuate the Edict by all means they can use, with great desire to please him. And for the advantage of the public repose they had appointed an assembly at Montauban, where all things will be propounded for his better satisfying. He besought him to stay till he might hear what was done about them of Dauphiné. Lastly, finding the king so thoroughly animated against those of the Religion, he besought him to give him leave to go and find the King of Navarre, whereby he would have the better means to signify what he had received of his Majesty's pleasure. The king desired him to write it ; for he meant to execute all that he had said. But he would have him stay to witness his actions. The cause of the king's displeasure against those of Dauphiné is that they desire to keep Livron and Gap, which they have in their hands, instead of Noyons and Serre, town and castle. M. de la Hunaudaye, lieutenant for the king in Basse Bretagne, has entered the castle of Nantes, and having taken victuals and other munition out of the townsmen's storehouses and cellars, caused them to be brought into the castle with other necessary furniture. He is known to be a person most assured to his Majesty. The townsmen have sent complaints ; whereon the king has sent a valet of his chamber to M. de la Hunaudaye. It is supposed that this is a command of the king for some other cause. The king has sent for the Count of Lude, governor of Poitou, and de Roches-Barriteux, between whom has arisen a quarrel, which he means to accord, because they are both of great quality. His diligence in making unity and atonements with those who are head of parties and factions should signify that his mind is bent to have repose in the realm. It seems that the authority which Monsieur has left to the King of Navarre in those quarters, and the negotiation which Marsilliére, that king's secretary, has lately performed at Bordeaux, together with the absence of M. de Biron from thence would 'foreshow a meaning of further trust remitted' to the King of Navarre. I enclose a copy of Marsilliére's negotiation. I have in this sort set before your eyes the present shows, the speeches of the king, and the actions which either import the establishment of the public peace, and also the doubts conceived with the present occasions, together with the preparations of Monsieur, which being seen by you, it may be the better judged of, according to the commissioners' manner of trading there with you. A courtier of some quality communicated a matter of substance to the Duke of Nevers, between whom [sic] there is friendship, touching the reformation of certain particulars in the finances which might redound to the king's benefit. The Duke answered with these words : Nous avons autres écuelles à laver. So there are many signs that they are bent on some purpose of importance. Howbeit, I remember that at beginning of last year they likewise 'braved them' with many warlike words, making much preparation. Sundry bands were levied in all quarters ; so that their furious beginnings ministered cause to think on extremities ; but since, it is seen how all their 'hurleburles' served but to bring on the treaty which has been 'a harrowing' all this year and yet hardly 'contain from' civil broils. On which matter they have framed these two verses : Gallia quae nunquam fuit in sua commoda constans, In sua constanter funera caeca ruit. Certain opinion was conceived upon the occasion of Monsieur's return to Alençon, with his intent to repair incontinently to the frontiers of the Low Countries known, that their Majesties with the Court would remove from these parts toward Paris. Some of the Ambassadors thereon resolved before departing to see Tours ; so I, having likewise the commodity of the nearness of the place, went to Amboise on Thursday after Whitsunday, and on Friday arrived at Tours, spending the Saturday in seeing the town. On my entering the castle to view it, and from it the situation of the town, Count Vimioso being lodged there came down into the court to me and brought me to his lodging ; where I found him accompanied by M. de Strozzi, Count la Rochefoucault and divers other captains, and guarded by sundry French shot. At first I was entertained with his music which he had there, of Monsieur's. Then he drew me apart into a private walk ; where first he showed me that he had had a great desire to communicate to me what now upon this commodity he would briefly do in short words ; which he said was his manner, because though rain was profitable for the bringing forth of fruits, yet too much of it was noisome. Therefore as words served to express the mind, too many cumbered the hearer, and confused the sense of matters. He meant therefore briefly to show me how he was a prisoner in Barbary, where he passed some danger, being favoured by the Shereef's sister, who had got 2 or 300 horsemen to accompany her and him into Portugal. But being brought back with greater forces he escaped with much pain, partly through the intreaty of the ambassador of King Philip ; and also because the 'occasion' was found not to be in him, nor any dishonourable dealing ; whereby the Shereef was induced to release him. At his return he found the King of Castile at the frontiers of Portugal ; by whom he was much 'cheered' and honoured, and received the like entertainment from the Duke of Alva, his mother's great uncle. The four Governors of Portugal welcomed him honourably, persuading him to favour the Castilian king's 'pretence ;' to which he answered that if his right led his conscience to that, he would yield, and accommodate his mind accordingly. But he further told them that it seemed to him that the honour and dignity of the Crown of Portugal would be swallowed and utterly confounded when the King of Castile was become their king. They would have no more ambassadors of Portugal sent to other princes and no princes' ambassadors sent to them. Their conquests, won with great labour, would be made the prey of the slothful Castilians in such sort that no more fame of the name of the Royalty of Portugal would be left in memory than is now heard of the kingdom of Aragon, Granada, 'Lyon,' and others ; who are all 'bleamished' and confounded with the title of Castile. Upon consideration of this he was moved to desire the preservation of the dignity of his country. After he had thus signified his mind, the Governors sought to cause him to be slain and taken [sic] ; but his credit with the people and the 'estate' he held in Portugal was then able to preserve him. At the same time he was of opinion that Portugal needed a person as king who was a warlike prince, whereon he had cast his mind towards the pretensions of the Duke of Savoy, knowing he was also rich, and would be able to bring them captains, soldiers, arms, and munitions. On this the Duke's ambassador had solicited him, making offer of great sums of money, which he 'lightly hearkened' after. But being presently after sent to by Don Antonio he resolved to meet him on an island by St. Arene [? Santarem], where these few speeches passed between them. The count asked Don Antonio if he 'thought good' to be King of Portugal. Don Antonio said he desired to live but for that purpose. The count asked if he could be contented to obey, if better right were found to be in any other person. Don Antonio said he would submit to any natural Portuguese who should be chosen king. Lastly, the count desired him to be ready upon occasion, and so they parted. Since then, Don Antonio being chosen king, the count has run that course, being led thereto in his conscience by the justice of the cause ; and now being unable to withstand the oppression of King Philip's forces and treasons, he had been advised to leave Portugal, to seek aid of other Christian princes. Since coming to France he has requested only that their Majesties will for their money and other considerations suffer them to 'wage' forces sufficient to land them in some convenient port in Portugal, where they may have means to gather together such of his friends and accomplices as shall willingly adventure their lives for the chosen natural king, for the liberty and honour of their country. This request has seemed so plausible to them that they have received him with much honour ; permitting Strozzi by a secret commission to levy 8,000 men and put ships to sea, suffering victuals to be taken at the count's charges. A 'consort' is made that Strozzi shall command by sea and land as general, having the charge of a particular regiment, Count Rochefoucault, Saint-Luc, and young Lansac, with sundry others, having regiments under him. The expenses are made upon such composition as the count has 'passed' with those named and other private persons. He is sending a ship to fetch from the Islands money and other 'short merchandise' which is ready there for Don Antonio. It will be accompanied by five other ships ready to sail from Rochelle with the next good wind. For the state of their country the count is advertised that King Philip has been accepted as King of Portugal at Tomar, a town belonging to the count, where they have held their Court of Parliament in favour of King Philip. But the city of Lisbon have excused themselves from taking their oaths, because they have been sworn to Don Antonio, who is still living. Nevertheless, they have 'yielded' to obey King Philip's authority. The Duke of Braganza was present, and executed the office of Constable of Portugal, which belonged to the Count. So the cause grows, by politic means, more assured to King Philip, and becomes further doubtful to the faction of Don Antonio. Nevertheless, as long as they have the Isles assured there remains hope ; but they must be made good in their behalf with great expedition, before King Philip has leisure to 'assault them by his politics.' The Count of Vimioso is advertised that there are many Malcontents in Aragon and Catalonia, wherewith the Spanish king may be annoyed. He dispatched Don Juan de Sousa from Tours, with letters and instructions to her Majesty on the 10th inst. trusting his king and the realm of Portugal may find some of that royal comfort which Kings of Portugal have in times past upon like occasion from her predecessors ; but in no sort desiring her to attempt anything in their behalf to her trouble, or to the prejudice of her peaceable reign, only that they may have relief and succour as Christian people afflicted. This is the substance of what he repeated to me ; saving what I have signified in her Majesty's letter, which I suppose you will also see. M. Chemereau, sent from the king, remained only two days with King Philip, having but one audience which served for his receiving, negotiating, and parting. I am sure you are informed how MM. d'Entraigues often resort to the Bishop of Glasgow, as instruments for following the Scottish practices framed from hence. The Bishop of Rosse has 'assured' by letters that the Scottish king is in his heart a papist ; as I hear from papists.—Blois, 18 May 1581. Add. and Endt. gone. 3½ pp. [France V. 78.]
May 18. 191. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM.]
I thank you for letting me know so much of the proceedings. That course seems to me to be providently begun ; for however her Majesty shall be minded, it is good reason and most convenient she were more certain of the king's zeal towards his brother, and in some sort better assured of their Majesties' friendship towards herself. Therefore I am persuaded that the manner of the negotiation in that sort is to be thought necessary for the better clearing of the dangers which have arisen in these days. I cannot think how to understand their Majesties' interior meaning, but in show the king would have the world believe he did not consent to his brother's enterprises ; yet hitherto he has suffered and done many things in his favour. Many ways are used to get money of all their Majesties' confederates. It seems the king would have the charges of the enterprises in the Low Countries be borne by the Queen and the States, and that the Portuguese should have succour at their own charges. They have a meaning to bring the Indian fleet into some of these ports. Thus I conceive of their trade and present course. Count Vimioso desires to know in what sort they may hope for the Queen's favours ; and that you would send Sir Francis Drake towards the Islands with the best expedition that may be used. I am informed that M. de Foix has had his letters and instructions to be the king's ambassador at Rome. It is reported to-day that Monsieur has gone to Evreux, within 17 leagues of Paris. There are assigned for the Duke of Maine 100,000 crowns to furnish his camp of 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse. Twenty cannons are appointed for that war. I enclose a private note touching those preparations.—Blois, 18 May 1581. Add. and Endt. gone. 2 pp. [Ibid. V. 79.]
In my former letter I told you how I have proceeded with 'this' people in the matter touching her Majesty, which I solicited as a thing that imported them greatly to look speedily to ; laying open what hurt might chiefly ensue to this town by delay. Hereupon M. Junius brought me this afternoon these two letters which I enclose, whereby he hoped she would be somewhat satisfied, or at least the matter stayed for a time from coming to extremity. But as I have heretofore fully certified you upon what points they stand, and as I doubt not but it is also touched in their own letters, I the less need at present to iterate those matters.—Antwerp, 20 May 1581. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 71.]