Elizabeth: May 1581, 21-31

Pages 181-194

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, 21-31

May 21. 193. STOKES to WILSON.
My last to you was the 14th, since when the advertisements are as follows. The States' camp in Flanders lies in a village called Loo, within two leagues of Dixmude ; which they have fortified and made it strong only for their retreat when need shall require. In their camp they keep good order and do good justice ; so as they write they care not for the enemy, though their whole camp should come against them. Also the camp has summoned Rousbrugge, which is within two leagues of Loo. It is a place which commands all those parts, which la Motte of Graveling keeps, and there are in it 350 good footmen and a cornet of good horse, so that it seems the States' camp will lay siege to it, for they have received from Ypres and Nieuport certain pieces of great artillery to make their battery. It will be seen this week what they can do to it. The discord that was between the Prince of Parma and Montigny and others, certain bishops have so laboured the matter that all is agreed again between them, so that matter is all quieted. As yet the whole camp lies still about Cambray, though they have great want of victuals and forage. Yet it seems by the speeches that come daily from those parts they 'will not from thence,' for they hope to have the town, which cannot hold out long for want of victuals ; a 'casse' to be lamented to see that a place of so great importance should be lost for want thereof. Also by letters from those parts it seems the Malcontents will spare some of their forces from the camp at Cambray, and send them towards the States' camp at Loo. When they come, some blows will be dealt between them. A captain of a cornet of French horse, who has served the States these three years and more as soldier and captain, called Captain la Brave, has this week revolted from them and is gone to Cortryk to the Malcontents, where he is very much made of by M. de Swevenghem. It is greatly feared that he will do much harm against the States' camp, for he knows all the secrets that are 'pretended' on that side. This week have come no speeches of Monsieur, so that there is great longing for his coming. If he come not in time, it is feared that Cambray will be lost, for by good report of them that are come from those parts says [sic] that the Malcontents greatly vaunt themselves to have that town shortly ; and all Flanders by the end of this summer.—Bruges, 21 May 1581. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 72.]
I am disgusted (il me fait mal au cœur) to hear that the wines which I sent you last winter had gone bad and been spoilt. They were exquisite, and it may be long before God gives us any as good to share with you. I should have sent them by a special man, had not the Earl of Leicester dissuaded me, as you may hear from him. Now I am sending you this book which if you think good you will show to the Queen. It is the refutation which my people have published to that Book of Concord, which five or six ambitious and turbulent theologians printed eight or ten months ago under the authority of the three secular electors. I received your letter of March 6, and was very glad to hear her Majesty's good disposition, and I wish her all happiness, and may God deliver her from the snares of her enemies. They write me from Italy that under the cover and pretext of this marriage in England, and the Duke of Anjou's enterprise in the Low Countries, there is a great mystery hidden ; as to which you know better than I or others.—Fridelheim, 23 May 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Germany II. 20.]
I could not let this opportunity pass without sending you my news, and letting you know how the Estates and I have received letters from M. d'Anjou, written at Alençon on the 10th inst., in which he assures us that he will shortly be on the frontier with a good army to relieve the town of Cambray ; that the Queen was coming to see him at Alençon, with whom he hoped to discuss ways and means ; and further that he had left the King of Navarre and the Prince of Conde well satisfied, as well as all the Churches of Languedoc and Dauphiné, and that he hoped the peace would last. From another source I hear that he has sent the Abbé d' Elbène to the potentates of Italy to explain the true causes of his enterprise into these countries.—Amsterdam, 25 May 1581. Add. End. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 73.]
I have received your letter recommending Mr Morgan, in which I should wish to satisfy you ; but when Mr Norris came to this country, and he was known only by your recommendation and that of other my good lords and friends in England, it was promised him that he should remain colonel of all the English companies of foot. Now that he is known for his valour and we are under more obligations to him, I do not think we could give him a colleague. I am sorry I can do no more for Mr Morgan ; but if Mr Norris were content, I should be glad for love of you to do him any pleasure in my power.—Amsterdam, 25 May 1581. Add. Endd. : Cannot prefer Captain Morgan. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. XIV. 73.]
May 25. 197. The COUNT OF VIMIOSO to the QUEEN.
Having written to your Majesty by John Rodrigues de Sousa, I was informed that some sinister statement respecting me had been made to him [sic] and that he was given to understand that I complained of you, that you had not succoured the realm of Portugal as for sundry reasons and for your own greatness you were bound to do. This has grieved me so much that I cannot omit to let you know it ; nor shall I be at ease until you are assured that I could not be so wanting in respect (far tal mancamento), and I that you have the opinion of my doings that I deserve. If I learn the persons who have done me this treason, I hope I shall soon show them with my sword that they should always speak the truth to your Majesty and of me. I, Madam, am well-born, brought up where courtesy and honour are prized above all worldly goods, and where your name is held in highest respect ; and my particular desire is to serve you. Be pleased therefore to have that opinion of me, until (as I hope before long) I can show you that you are not mistaken. And although I have lost my kingdom and my estate, believe that I am confident not only of recovering them, but of acquiring others worthy to be employed in your service. And to make proof of my mind, and because I believe that the effect will come shortly, I will not make longer words in this matter. You know that I am come to recover the crown which the King of Castile has tyrannically usurped ; I cannot doubt of your Majesty's assistance, considering your valour, your magnanimity, the inclination you have declared thereto, and the engagement you have entered into. From France I am certain I shall have the forces that I shall want ; and from my own kingdom, which is ready to rise when I wish. My only lack is diligence, which I have not been able to use hitherto, because the men on whom my affairs depend cannot reply to me with the brevity which I want ; and so I have been forced to have recourse to your Majesty with the confidence which I reasonably have in you. If you will accommodate me here in France with 100,000 crowns for present business, I shall be able to free my country in a few months ; but if a long time elapses, it may be altogether lost, with all hope of its recovery. I give you my word that I will not embark without paying you the 100,000 crowns. And if, either from want of acquaintance with me, or for any other reason, you wish other security, you may give commission to your ambassador at this Court respecting what you would have from that Crown in its existing position, so that I may deal more in detail with him. And let it be in such wise that when we are agreed he may provide me with that sum, that time be not lost. And if you please, you may send a fleet to meet mine coming from the East Indies, and bringing many millions of gold, and convoy them all, with a passport from me, to England, where you can be repaid this as well as the costs of the fleet, and enrich your kingdom. But if this opportunity goes by, and the King of Castile makes himself master of my 'conquests,' I doubt much if it will be possible to get them back ; but I will not therefore lose courage, nor abandon my duty to the last day of my life. Deign to send me an answer one way or another to this letter as shortly as possible, so that I may come to a decision about my affairs. And please keep secret what I have written ; and be sure that at all times, in all fortunes, and in matters of the greatest importance I will not be wanting to your service. Now forgive me if I weary you with this my story, and command me when you will. For the rest I refer to the ambassador John Rodrigues de Sousa. From the King my master I received letters a few days ago, and he writes to your Majesty with such desire of your friendship and alliance as he will know how to show when he is allowed. He is in good health and out of danger of his enemies ; rather in hope that with your favour and help he may have his just satisfaction of them. When his letter for you comes, I will send it.—Tours, 25 May 1581. (Signed) Don Francesco. Holograph. Add. (seal—arms of Portugal). Endd. by Walsingham. Italian. 3 pp. [Portugal I. 59.]
May 26.
M. and D. iv. 59.
As your letter, and what the gentleman who bears this tells me, gives me reason to do, I hope that you will have met when you receive this, and for this reason I write generally. I think too that you have by now received the two that I despatched to you from Alençon and have over and above seen M. Neveu, one of my secretaries, whom I sent to you on the 14th. Thus you will have been informed of my present position and of the steps I am taking, levying forces in all parts, to be with my army on the 15th prox. I can assure you that there will be no default or delay, and I am resolved to be on the frontier by the end of next month for the relief and victualling of Cambray. Meanwhile I think it would be much to the purpose if all the remaining forces that you can dispose of without risking your garrisons could be assembled and brought towards the most suitable places, either to join me on my approach, or to divert part of the enemy's forces while I undertake the revictualment. I am writing to the Prince of Orange, that you may jointly see to informing of your decision. The matter is so important that it should be come to promptly, especially as you cannot now be ready sooner than I. Believe me, the delay caused by the peace-negotiations has troubled me more than you, so much is your relief at my heart. As I have written to the Prince of Orange, and as M. des Pruneaux is on the point of starting, who will give you better information than I can write, I will add no more.— Evreux, 26 May 1581. "Received 3 June." Copy in the hand of Fremyn. Endd. by him and by L. Tomson. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 75.]
By Mr Gilpin's letter, dated Amsterdam the 19th inst., I understand he has effected nothing with the States for her Majesty's contentment, whereat I marvel, considering they of this town seem to have an especial care of the matter, and since your letter to stand in greater fear of her displeasure than ever they did before, labouring by their deputies at the Assembly to draw the rest of the provinces to a like conformity. But as yet nothing is accomplished, and Mr Gilpin being now gone forward on his journey to the Emperor has left 'the order of soliciting this business' with Roger Ramsden, an English merchant resident in Amsterdam, who I hope will do his best therein. For my own part to show my readiness in her Majesty's service and my duty to you, I am more than half persuaded to repair to this assembly of the States and require performance at their hands of whom I received the promise so lately ; whereby, it being certainly known what course they will take, her Majesty may then deal with them accordingly. And although I must confess they deserve to be used with extremity, yet considering in what trouble they are wrapped, and how through their means the Gospel in these parts daily flourishes and increases, I cannot but for these respects wish them the more favour, and desire on their behalf that the arrest of their goods may at least be suspended till their resolution fully appear, which must of necessity show itself before this assembly is dissolved, no more place being left for excuses or delays. I would gladly know your advice how to deal if they should offer rather to pay the interest in guilders here where the principal was received than in London in sterling money. The guilders as they are rated will make no ill reckoning, but fully as good as any other kind of payment. Yet herein I mind to do according to discretion. Please remember the money which I paid to Mr Bruyn and Mr Gilpin, as also what I disbursed for the charges of us all in Holland, and now lately £50 more for 450 guilders 'disposed' to the relief of Mr Rogers. The note of the several contributions appointed to every province is not to be had in this town, but remains in the custody of Van der Wercke, to whom M. Junius has written for it. I will send it as soon as I receive it.—Antwerp, 27 May 1581. P.S.—I send a copy of the letter which I received to-day from the Earl of Embden, whereby it appears how busy the 'Hanzes' have been of late. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 76.]
May 27. 200. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I cannot resolve what certainty to put down in writing of these princes' manner of uncertain dealing. It seems that their own courtiers cannot judge the interior of their affairs, which break out into such strange actions. Therefore there is conceived the deeper suspicion of some cloaked enterprises. The night before Queen Mother's going hence, in private cabinet conference, she bitterly and with many tears complained to the king that she perceived her counsels were not acceptable to him, nor was she obeyed in anything. Therefore, since her case was such, she besought him to give her leave to retire. The king gave her many fair words, and told her, as for himself, he approved her counsels, having found them very profitable in his behalf ; but there were others who laid before him other reasons and advices. She begged earnestly to know of those who could think better for him than she, or who had in store better reasons for the government of his state ; that hearing she might know these parties, and make her account thereafter. She dealt so earnestly with the king that he discovered the personages, whose names as yet are unknown to me ; but I have also heard that Cardinal Birago, the Duke of Nevers, and Lavalette have entered into a secret friendship, by whose direction you may guess, considering the entire favour 'he yet remains in show with the king.' Lavalette has undertaken to restore to the Cardinal the seals, and that the Duke of Nevers shall be joined with Villequier in the 'supraintendentery' of the finances, and Lavalette's elder brother, the governor of Saluces, should marry the Cardinal's daughter, la Marquesa da Nele. This friendship is certain, but whether it 'pretends' the disgrace of Villequier and d'O, or shall be 'returned' on Lavalette, as yet the artifice does not appear. It may be Queen Mother has heard of it, the Duchess of Nevers being at Court, and 'Madame Marshal' de Retz. I know this 'cabaull' is otherwise sufficiently known to you. Lavalette has within these four days used some 'slight' language to d'O. It has been told me that the king is offended with d'O, because some little 'bills' passed secretly between him and Monsieur, whereon jealousy has arisen. Many of these stirs often arise, but other occasions qualify their operations, and so they rest in time appeased. I cannot tell if I should wish that her Majesty had some personage of gravity and judgement about Monsieur's person, to mark their management of affairs, and 'espy their merchandising,' who might also advise him, and stir him to those things which should 'prevail' her, and assist his designs so far as she means or likes. Therewithal I might have intelligence with him, so that by our instructing each other, her Majesty might have their actions the better discovered in these dangerous times ; since we stand in doubtful terms with King Philip, and have no assurance of these 'removing' princes ; her Majesty without issue ; the state 'remaining in hope' to be preyed on by the competitors of title, in such case that methinks you and the Lords could have little rest in your minds ; the troubles in Ireland not appeased, the dissensions in Scotland increasing, and the Queen's friends brought into evil terms, not without doubt that they should be infested with some malicious foreign conspiracy. But I beseech you to pardon me if I have in this sort thrust my pen into the writing of matters above my charge, and hope you will think that only my zeal to her Majesty moved me thereto. When I had written thus much, they bring me word that the king and young queen are now, about six o'clock this morning, departed on a sudden from this Court, upon the coming of advertisements that Monsieur has entered Rouen with 7 or 8 companies of foot ; and it is mistrusted lest he have got Havre de Grace to his devotion. Which being thus, I am much 'amused,' and beg that I may receive her Majesty's further commands, and hear from you in what sort I am to comprehend these dealings. The Queen Mother seems to 'run Monsieur's fortune in some sort, and the king the contrary,' but it is greatly suspected they have sufficient good intelligence together in some one purpose. I send you Count Vimioso's letter to the king.—Blois, 27 May 1581. P.S.—I have desired Mr. Gorye [?] to use all diligence. P.S.2.—The Duke of Montpensier returns to-day to his house. The Duke of Nevers came with the king to his dining-place and so takes his way to Paris. La Fin is with Count Vimioso at Tours, sent from Monsieur. It is thought the Court will remove hence to Paris this week. I suppose you have received the particulars of the coronation of King Philip at Tomar in Portugal. Holograph. Add. Endd. 4⅓ pp. [France V. 80.]
May 27.
M. and D. iv. 65.
I arrived yesterday at this place, where I have not been able to find either horses or waggon, and I have had to send for horses to the camp. I hope to be there to-day to see everything that is going on ; thence I will come to you to tell you the state of affairs in France. I may tell you in passing that his Highness was to be at Château Thierry on the 25th, which he has appointed as the rendezvous to his army. Monsieur de la Rochepot was when I left Paris, which was last Monday, still with his troops in Normandy on the other side of the Somme. Fervaques is in disgrace with his Highness for retiring from Bray. The king is doing all he can to hinder matters, and has sent to all the governors to stop the levy of troops. I send the orders that have been given yesterday to his Excellency. I reserve details till I have the pleasure of seeing you.—Dunkirk, 27 May 1581. Copy (at bottom is : Written by Colonel Neufville). Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV.]
May 27, 28, 29.
See M. and D. iv. 64, 70, 71.
202. Letters to the PRINCE OF EPINOY.
(1) From the Duke of Anjou.— . . . . I neither do nor say anything that is not for the sake of relieving Cambray ; and even (mesmant) my aforesaid absence was to that end, as you yourself will judge hereafter. Pray testify and affirm as much on my behalf to any who would doubt it. I neither interpose nor protract any term, nor delay any rendezvous which has been fixed ; on the contrary, I hurry them on all I can, that I may not fall in anything short of the promise I have given them. I must not forget to thank you for all the good offices I have received, or that you may yet bestow on me : and believe that I shall one day acquit my obligations towards you.—Evreux, 27 May.
(2) From la Rochepot.—When I received your letter by this bearer I was so near Monsieur that in order to speak to you with more certainty on all matters I would not send him back till I had seen his Highness ; which I did in this place. I can assure you that I found him more firmly resolved than ever to perform what he has promised, and determined to lose his life among 1,000 French gentlemen where he may acquit himself with honour . . . . . . and to do our business better than in the past ; at which time we will if you please continue the correspondence we have begun, wherein I will not fail on my side, nor to do you service when occasion offers.—Evreux, 28 May 1581.
(3) From the same.—Just as this dispatch was going I had the good fortune to receive news of his Highness. He writes that owing to contrary winds he has put off his embarkation. He had made arrangements before that to take such steps for bringing to a successful issue, and speedily, what he had promised to do for the Low Countries that those who await the result may have reason to be content. I tell you again, whatever rumours may come to the contrary, you may remain firm and give full credit to that which I assure you on my honour will not fail . . . . 29 . . . . Copies ; somewhat damaged. Encl. in No. 213. Endd. : Monsieur au P. d'Orange [sic]. Fr. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 78.]
May 30. 203. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
I think it convenient to let you know for her Majesty's information that the Abate del Bene and M. de Reus [Réau], both belonging to Monsieur, and dealing in this Court about his affairs, resorted to me this afternoon, telling me that Monsieur had written to them to desire his friends and servants not to find his sudden departure strange. He had undertaken a journey necessary for the better advancing of his greatness and compassing of his desires, and assured them that within a few days they should hear further news of his 'being.' Meanwhile his intention was to 'follow' the relief of Cambray. He had appointed the Marquis of Elbeuf his lieutenant in his absence, to whom his servants were to address themselves. As their opinion was that the Queen's ambassador would be one of his well-willers, they thought it convenient, they said, to address themselves first to me. They further mentioned that Monsieur had no noblesse with him, being waited on only by six or so necessary servitors ; with which small train he left Evreux last Saturday, the 27. Howbeit his harbinger and his guard were directed to Mantes near Paris, on the Seine. So they seemed to conjecture that he had passed into England ; which they seemed to conceive because M. de Néry went by in all diligence, being sent for by his Highness. They were also advertised that M. Marchemont lately sent two express messengers 'about the parting of Mousieur.' Nevertheless they did not seem certain about this, because they somewhat conjectured it might be that the Queen Mother had promised a secret meeting between the king and his brother at her house of Chenonceaux, where she, the king, and the young Queen are at present, accompanied by none of the noblesse, secretaries, captains of the guard, or gentlemen of the Court, and but few ladies, the Countess of Retz, Mme de Sipierre and Mme de Sauve, with four or five maids of honour. MM. d'O and Lavalette, the minions, having accompanied the king to Chenonceaux, departed the next day to visit M. 'd'Arx,' who has fallen sick about 20 leagues thence. Moreover, because Cangey, the chief valet of Monsieur's chamber, is gone with him, they 'think so much the more on the opinion' of Monsieur being at Chenonceaux, because Cangey has a house thereby. With these conjectures they left me unresolved whither he was gone. The Court news was that this morning the King and Queens' intent was to return hither to-morrow, and Queen Mother purposes to repair to Monsieur at Mantes. Thus it pleases these princes to make show of themselves in sundry forms, disguising their actions. Either the necessity of the time, or the little trust that is in men of the world, compels them to use extraordinary policies and fashions. The Abate del Bene and M. de Réau promised, upon knowledge of more certainty, to repair or send to me ; which I must believe, because they said it. I have thereon just dispatched one who will be at Chenonceaux to-night ; by whom I hope to be informed of some further truth, by such means as he can use. It was stated on the day the king went hence, which was the 27th, that Monsieur had taken Rouen ; which I signified as they told me. So that men of judgement doubt, upon the delivery of those 'famed brutes,' that there is some hidden masked practice. There remain here at Court the Dukes of Montpensier, Maine, Mercœur, Marshal Matignon, and all the chief councillors of the long robe and other head officers of the realm, by whom counsel is held daily and commissions delivered for levying men to serve in Dauphiné, as they would have it understood. The Duke of Nevers returned with his lady towards Paris yesterday. The Duchess of Nemours remains at Court. The Bishop of Rimini being come to reside here as nuncio should have had audience, but it is deferred upon the king's sudden departure. He is held to be a very severe Theatine ; he was schoolmaster to Cardinal Borromeo. The Pope has lately sent similarly qualified chaplains to the Emperor and into Savoy. The belief is renewed that the King of Spain intends to marry 'the Queen Blanche' of France, sister to his late deceased queen, of his own tribe. They advertise from Rome that the Pope has caused search to be made in the canons, whether he may 'dispense with' this Catholic Roman match. I thought it well to dispatch this bearer on Monsieur's departure, because it was doubtful where he was gone.—Blois, 30 May 1581. Add. and Endt. gone. 1½ pp. [France V. 81.]
May 30. 204. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Since writing the joint letter, I am informed that certainly Monsieur has taken his journey towards England. But the truth of it will appear before these come to your hands. It appears daily how these princes handle their affairs under many cloaks. It seems they have many parts to play ; they take on them such sundry shapes. Please send off some of my servants, that I may send the oftener, if greater occasions grow thereto.—Blois, 30 May in the evening. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 82.]
May. 205. 'Form of Celebration and Solemnization of Marriage between the Queen of England and the Duke of Anjou, agreed and decreed by consent of the Commissioners on both sides appointed to treat and conclude the matter of that marriage.' In [some lofty and conspicuous place corrected to] Westminster Abbey a stage (theatrum) shall be erected in some convenient spot in view of the people ; upon which the Queen and the Duke shall mount, attended by two bishops, one of the Reformed Anglican religion, the other of the so-called (pretensœ) Catholic, in whose presence and that of all the bystanders the Duke shall take the Queen by the right hand and address her in these words : 'Lady Elizabeth, I take thee for my wife, and promise to thee fidelity and conjugal dues, and that I will love, cherish, honour and keep thee in health and in sickness to the end of my days according to God's order and the use of the Church.' Which words being ended the Queen shall take the Duke's hand and say : 'Most illustrious Duke, I take thee for my husband, and promise thee fidelity and conjugal dues, and that I will love thee, honour thee and show thee conjugal obedience in health and sickness, so long as it shall be granted us by heaven (a superis) to live together.' Then they shall disjoin their hands and the Duke having placed a ring on the fourth finger of the Queen's right hand shall say : 'With this ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and of all my goods I make thee partner, in the Name,' etc. The Queen shall respond (occinet) thus : 'I accept the ring and will keep it for a pledge of this pact, during life.' Then joining hands they shall address each other, the Duke leading, the Queen following : 'I take God to witness that I will in chastity and entirety keep that which we have this day mutually promised sacredly and religiously in the presence of all this people before God and His Church.' After this the Queen shall repair to the place set apart for her public prayers, to the entrance of which the Duke shall accompany her ; after which he shall repair to another separate place in which the exercise of his religion shall not be denied to him. When the Queen's prayers are finished and she is ready to leave her oratory, the Duke shall betake himself to her at the door of the oratory, that they may return together from the church to the palace. An act of the proceedings shall for perpetual evidence of them be taken down by a notary specially authorised for that purpose.— Done by the Commissioners, the th May, 1581. Draft in hand of L. Tomson. Endd. Latin. 1½ pp. [France V. 83.]
? May. 206. "What the KING OF PORTUGAL asks of the QUEEN OF ENGLAND."
1. Twelve of her ships, well-found with artillery, men and ammunitions. 2. Two thousand harquebusiers, with captains and officers, to be paid in Portugal from the date of leaving their country till their return. 3. Bronze artillery of all kinds, as much as her Majesty will command, for the realm has much need of it. 4. One thousand quintals of gunpowder. 5. Two thousand quintals of iron balls of every sort. The payment to be made in Portugal, in money, jewels, or spices, as her Majesty shall please. I, the ambassador of Don Antonio, King of Portugal, have made this and signed it with my own hand. (Signed) Jm Roiz de Sousa. Endd. by L. Tomson. Italian. ¾ p. [Portugal I. 60.]
? May (or earlier— Autumn of 1580?) 207. DON ANTONIO'S REQUESTS.
What Don Antonio asks of her Majesty is, first, to take him under her protection, and that she will be pleased to favour his cause and right, because it is different from that of all the other claimants ; inasmuch as he is the legitimate son of Dom Lewis, brother of the last king, Dom Henry, and if not, because he is a man and descended from a man, and never since Portugal was a kingdom have women or the descendants of women succeeded. It was so in the time of King John of happy memory, who being aided by this realm, and being a bastard, succeeded to the crown by the election of the people, there being a daughter of King Ferdinand married to the King of Castile, and sworn princess of these realms in her father's lifetime. Afterwards in like manner, King Emmanuel father of Dom Lewis and King Henry [sic ; qu. "left the reversion of the throne to a bastard"]. In this respect, even if Don Antonio were not legitimate, (as he clearly is, and it can be proved), the people has to elect, and all wish for him, and make him their king, but he dares not oppose the power of the King of Castile till he knows that the Queen will aid him, as her forefathers of happy memory did. Don Antonio asks that the Queen will aid him by lending him men and munitions, and heavy and field artillery. If God grants him grace to be king of those realms, and the people recognise her as the last help of their liberty, he will repay in full ; if he dies in the enterprise, he will arrange, in whatever manner it may be, for her to recover her own, and leave directions for it to be paid out of his property. He further asks her to send eight or ten vessels to the port of Lisbon, to take on board seamen and pilots to go to our islands of Azores, and look out for the King of Castile's fleet which is coming to that kingdom ; for it will do much to make him drop the enterprises he has begun, and cease to go forward, for want of the money he expects with that squadron. He asks that she will agree to send a nobleman of hers to him, to give warmth to his cause, a spirit to the natives of that realm, and fear to the King of Castile ; and since it seems well to her to send letters to the Governors and to the Duchess of Braganza, I suggest to your lordship that she should send this nobleman first to stay with Don Antonio, for I know that he will entertain him, and thence he can do the other business with which he is charged. It remains to say that if God grants to Don Antonio to be King of Portugal, as he hopes, either by his legitimation or by the election of the people, since King Philip has taken up arms and made war before sentence was given, he will make a league with this realm on matters of navigation in such sort that her Majesty and her subjects will be contented, and the King of Castile very discontented, because in time he will be as weak a lord in the Indies as he now is in Flanders, because he is our neighbour there, and has to pass through our territories by force. Endd. by L. Tomson. Portuguese. 2 pp. [Portugal I. 61.]
? May. (fn. 1) 208. "The heads of the Speech to be delivered to JOHN RODERIGO DE ZUZA."
Wherein the king his master had requested her Majesty to have several ships at his own charges prepared against the 20th inst. to be employed in his service about the Isles of Azores, she called Sir Francis Drake to her to confer with him on that behalf, and finding that it was not possible to have the ships in readiness before the 6th of next month, and also that by reason of the contrariness of the winds about that season it would be a long time before the ships could arrive at the isles, she thought good to send Sir Francis to the king to inform him of this, and to enquire whether, the ships taking so long to prepare, and it being 'doubtful' that it would be very late before they could arrive at the isles, he would nevertheless have the preparation of the ships to go forward. Her Majesty understanding from Drake that the king still insisted on his former request that the preparation might go forward, found it expedient, since Drake could not inform her of sundry circumstances fit to be considered in this behalf, to appoint certain of her Council to confer with him, in order that she might be better able to understand the king his master's mind.
The particular points on which she required information were these :
First, how many ships he required and of what burden? What numbers of men he would have the ships furnished with, and of these, how many he would have mariners and how many soldiers, as also what munition he required? By what time he required them to be in readiness, in what place he means to use their service, to what end, and for how long? What probability he can show that the intended enterprise by sea will take such good effect as shall be profitable to the king his master, and honourable for her Majesty to assist? What assurance he has that the promised assistance by the French king will go forward, when it will be ready, and how to be employed? He must understand that her Majesty having appointed her ambassador resident to feel the king's mind in that behalf, does not find him so forward in this cause as she had looked for. In case the king does not join with her in the action she sees not how she can in policy reasonably proceed, 'but' it will be prejudicial for her and her subjects, by drawing her into an actual war, and most dangerous for him to attempt anything against the King of Spain until he is thoroughly assisted by both the French king and her. Memo, in Walsingham's hand. Endd. 3 pp. [Portugal I. 62.]


  • 1. Drake knighted April 4. John Rodrigues left England on the 6th, and returned towards the end of May