Elizabeth: September 1581

Pages 310-325

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

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September 1581

Sept. 3. 328. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was the 27th ult. since which these speeches have passed here. Monsieur has returned to Cambray and his forces lie in sundry places thereabout. Some speech goes that he has besieged Bouchain, but no certain advice of it has come. At Cambray he has displaced all the soldiers that were in the town and citadel, and placed all Frenchmen therein. M. d'Inchy remains still as governor in name, but commands little. This dealing does not greatly mislike the States here, though it sounds not well in the commons' ears ; but amongst the malcontents it is greatly misliked, and it is thought if this had not been, some towns of importance had 'parled' with Monsieur to have yield to him 'or' this time ; but this has marred all, for now they show themselves very stout against him. This week the Prince and States received letters from Monsieur [see Nos. 308, 309] in which it seems he has written them to send him with all speed money, men and victuals, for otherwise he makes some doubt he shall not be able to deal any further in the cause. This writing has greatly discomforted them and has put some doubts in their heads ; whereupon the Prince and States have sent M. de Sainte-Aldegonde in post to Monsieur. He passed through this town yesterday towards Calais, for as yet the passage between Tournay and Calais is not safe. The Prince of Parma with his whole camp lies strongly intrenched in the suburbs of Valenciennes, and there he lies still and does nothing, for he stays for some good forces of Allmans which he daily looks for ; at whose coming it seems he will then be stirring abroad. La Motte of Gravelines travels from town to town to persuade them to take in soldiers for this week. He has put into Douay 400 foot aud 300 horse. But for Lille and other towns, as yet they have refused to take in any, but it is feared they will be brought to it or it be long. The Flanders camp that lay at Loo now lies between Meenen and Lille, tarrying for the forces that are coming out of Brabant and from Tournay. When they are come, they will march and join Monsieur's army. If matters go well, it is thought that at the return of M. de Sainte-Aldegonde Duke d'Alençon will shortly after come to Tournay, against which time the Prince of Orange, who lies still at Ghent, had summoned all the provinces that are under the government of the States, the magistrates of every town as well as gentlemen, to be ready to accompany the Prince to Tournay, to bid Monsieur welcome into the country. It is said here that the Malcontents are not 10,000 men in all, horse and foot, and their foot very simple soldiers, who were in such great fear at Monsieur's first coming to Cambray that if he had followed his enterprise all the country had been at his command. But now it seems the enemy has taken some better courage, for they say they have some friends in France as well as the States. Notwithstanding, by good report, for all their stout brags, their courage might be very easily abated if Monsieur would show but some part of his force against them. But it seems there are some about him that keep them back ; so that his lying still in this order, doing nothing, has put some fear and doubt into their heads.—Bruges, 3 September 1581. P.S.—Enclosed I send you copies of the aforesaid letters that Monsieur sent to the Prince and States, which I perceive do something trouble them ; for a little thing makes them afraid here. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 98.]
Sept. 3.
M. & D. iv. p. 230.
I have certain news that 'le Château en Cambrésis' was taken last Thursday after dinner by an assault. It lasted from 10 in the morning till 3 after dinner, and everyone was cut to pieces. The enemy had gone with about 1,000 horse and 1,000 foot a league from Landrecies, skirting the forest, to render some help if it were possible, but they found some three soldiers escaped from the ramparts who assured them of the capture. This made them return incontinently to the suburb of le Quesnoy, and yesterday they all assembled in the suburbs of Valenciennes. The Prince of Parma is there in person, and all the chiefs, much cast down. The report goes that the said Prince was retiring to-day to Mons ; also that they were striking their camp, and that M. de Montigny was to march with his regiment for Lille. The Germans refuse to come unless they are paid. I am also informed that the enemy have decided to come and look for our troops at Ronck, but I hope they will be on their guard. The report went in the enemy's camp that his Highness was marching on Friday morning between Cambray and Arleux. M. de Thiant is here, and we have decided to leave our troops still at Ronck for to-day and to-morrow, hoping in the meantime to have tidings of his Highness and of you ; for necessarily they cannot stay longer, for the inconvenience they cause to those of Meenen. I beg you, therefore, to send me word speedily what I am to do with our troops ; if you wish us to join with those of his Highness in case he sends for us or appears at some convenient point ; or if you wish them to go and lodge at Warmarde or Kerckhove, to await the troops from Brabant. It certainly seems to me that it is a shame to delay so long. His Highness will have great reason to be dissatisfied on his coming into the country. I have assured him on the word of the Estates, as they desired me, that our troops were ready to join provided there was opportunity. Now that the enemy is getting frightened (intimidé), and that it only depends on his Highness to cross the Escarpe, we are not ready to join save with a very small force, which he will not look upon as any reinforcement ; and it will be a perpetual disgrace for the Low Countries to receive him with so small an array. And I am sure that he will make haste to join us if necessary, if only you will please to let the two companies of Ghent and the Scots march, together with the money for my English, which will reinforce our troops a little. —Tournay, 3 Sept. 1581. P.S.—I have taken good order that if the enemy turns his head our way, we may be informed in time. Meanwhile, I must say that to remain long in the place where our troops are is inconvenient to this town as well as to Meenen, since the villages all round bring provisions here daily. I have asked the Oudenarde people to send this by a mounted man, keeping the bearer from here with them, to have a quicker answer. Copy. Encl. in No. 344. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 99.]
Sept 4. 330. WALSINGHAM to the DUKE OF ANJOU.
I see from your last letter that you are well satisfied with the means taken by the Queen my sovereign to assist you at this moment in this need, of which I advised you in my last. I dare to assure you that she does it with a very good will upon what she has heard of your state, and your fortunate beginning. I hope that half is by this time in your hands, having been handed to Lord Henry Seymour, who went on behalf of her Majesty to give it to you. As for the rest, which is all ready, it has been suggested to bank it here, the roads on the frontier not being too secure. However, to avoid delay, and not let it be known to the world, as also on account of the probable loss on it, I beg you to let me know if it would be to the purpose to send it to Abbeville or Amiens by various English messengers, who would come here without making any show. Then some person in your confidence might be found, a dweller in the town or otherwise, to receive it, and let you have it as it is brought. Upon your decision as to the place, the locality, and the name of the person to whom messengers should apply, I must at once let the Queen know, that things may be made to fit to your satisfaction. And in order that she may see your good acceptance of this favour, as also that you have in no way caused the delay in the progress of the league which was so well forward, I have sent her your letter, which I judge will be very acceptable. Meanwhile, awaiting the answer, we are quite useless and idle, save in enjoying (nous traicter de) the good cheer which the king makes us. Nor will I here forget to congratulate you on the fortunate issue of your actions, seeing that all goes according to your wishes, and as your friends desire.—Paris, 4 Sept. 1581. Draft. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [France VI. 29.]
Sept. 7. 331. The DUKE OF ANJOU to WALSINGHAM.
Besides the letter which I wrote you yesterday, having just received yours, from which I see more and more the effects of the good will of the Queen my good mistress and the continuance of the friendship I have always hoped for from you, I will tell you that this, the most remarkable obligation by which the Queen could bind me to her, has come so opportunely, that I hope soon to pay her the interest of this good succour by a piece of news of no less consequence than that which has come about, having in my hands the means of accomplishing what I promise. It would ill befit me to refuse the liberalities of so great a princess, especially since I would have nothing of which she may not dispose as if it were her own. And let her be sure that with her aid I will give the King of Spain enough to employ him here without having leisure to trouble his neighbours. I approve what you send me word of, as to the other half of the sums which she has been pleased to grant me, that it be delivered at either Amiens or Abbeville, whither I am to send a trustworthy person. But it seems to me that Amiens will be most to the purpose, where one can deal most secretly. Thus you may give such order as you may think fit to have the sum sent by messengers, as I find that more expedient and more prompt than letters of exchange. For if the six weeks of fine weather which are still left to me are well employed, as I hope, I shall yet do some good execution. For I have got my army into condition, and bind it to me by payment, of which her Majesty will have the honour and the service ; for without her aid I could not have done it so promptly. Please tell me then when I shall send the man to receive it. I will have him ready. As for what you tell me about the alliance, I am writing to Vray to put it through (parfaire) as I promised you. I knew and heard nothing of Mauvissière's message, as you will see by my last. I am writing to their Majesties, who I am sure will be satisfied, seeing my resolutions conformable to what the Queen my mistress requires. I start tomorrow to secure the passage at Arleux and l'Escluse, to keep Cambray covered on the side of Douay, and be able more easily to join the States' forces. I will soon give you news of myself.—At the camp at le Castelet, 7 Sep. 1581. Holograph. Add. Endd. by Walsingham and Burghley. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 100.]
Sept. 7. 332. Copy of the above. Endd. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XIV. 100a.]
Sept. 7. 333. Copy of letters patent erecting the Viscounty of Joyeuse into a duchy-peerage.—7 Sep. 1581. Fr. 6 pp. [France VI. 30.]
By command of my master, the King of Navarre, I return to the subject of (fais cette recharge sur) the three points on which I lately communicated with you at Paris, and left a memorandum with you ; as well as writing to you the day before yesterday, after my arrival here. If peace continues in the realm, in order covertly or overtly to make war against the King of Spain, we have here great and important enterprises. But the King of Navarre expressly desires to be assured of the Queen's assistance, by the means of which he will make some effects seen, and will keep Hannibal amused at Carthage in such sort that he will be quite glad to leave his neighbours in peace. He begs you therefore to let him have an answer to the purpose, as we lately agreed. He will willingly bear one half the cost, overwhelmed as he is with the civil disasters, provided that the Queen will undertake the other, and help with some great ships. I think that 12,000 crowns per month, if the Queen will grant it, that is, assure it beforehand, and pay when the job is done, together with a like amount which the king will employ of his own, will light a fire in Spain which all their waters will not be able to put out. If on the other hand we are so unfortunate as to enter upon a civil war, which we shall avoid as far as we can without obvious ruin, I mentioned to you two other points, of which he has commanded me to remind you hereby. One is, that the Queen will be pleased, in accordance with her often-repeated promises not to let the King of Navarre perish in the just defence of so just a cause, to deposit a considerable sum of money in Germany, to be employed in the defence of the Church, and especially of the king, if any wish to crush him. Now, since you allege that we have heretofore failed in our duty, not having furnished our money, as we promised, I am charged to assure you, and do so upon my faith and honour, that the king has his money all ready, and is sending it into Germany, both from his own private funds, and part from the principal Churches ; and does not wish the Queen to spend hers in Germany, if she has had them taken there, until that of the Churches is there to be jointly employed. The other point is regarding the king's jewels which, to supplement and increase the sum, he would wish her Majesty to return to him, under an obligation to repay the sum for which they stand (ticnnent) within a certain time, which he will not fail to do ; or if not, that she would at least be pleased to send them into Germany, besides the sum which she will deposit there, to the hands of some friend of hers, who will place them in the king's hands, or those of his attorney, whenever he needs them for the service of the Churches of France. In which case the king will bind himself not to make peace till the said jewels are redeemed, or her Majesty is satisfied. On these three points he has bidden me to write to you, and asks for a certain and definite (solide) answer. And I also ask you strongly ; and can assure that I see this prince so disposed (en tel train). I speak truly, and without a servant's prepossession, that he will spare neither goods nor life for the public, and if he is honestly aided, he will do great things.—Nérac, 9 Sept. 1581. Holograph. Seal. Add. Endd. Fr. 1½ pp. [France VI. 31.]
Sep. 10-11. 335. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was of the 3rd. Since that time these are the speeches here. M. de Swevinghem, governor of Corttrick, has caused this week all the suburbs there to be burnt, which were very fair houses and rich. This week the States' camp has taken a small castle called Canoy by composition. It stands upon the river within a league and a half of Lille ; which imports the town of Lille very much. Also this week the same camp has burnt all the sluices on the river to Lille, which has 'strained' those of Lille very much of their welfare, for by the same river they had all their provision of wood, victuals and other necessaries. Since the taking of the castle of Canoy and the burning of the sluices has made great trouble among the commons of Lille, and la Motte of Gravelines lies in the suburbs with 4 cornets of horse and 5 ensigns of foot, and would put them into the town ; but the commons in the town will not suffer them to enter. Notwithstanding it is much feared that he or some others will come in with soldiers. The States' camp is removed, some say to the castle of Mouscron, which is between Lille and Corttrick, and some say they are gone to the castle of Hauterive, between Oudenarde and Tournay. Both places import the Malcontents very much, and would pleasure the States as greatly if they had any of them ; for if they had the castle of Mouscron, Corttrick could not be victualled without great force, and the castle of Hauterive is the only 'let' of the passage between Flanders and Tournay. Monsieur has also taken by main force the town and castle of Cambrésis, by assault, which began at 10 in the forenoon and ended not till 3 in the afternoon. He has put them all to the sword, for he has lost good soldiers at it, for it was strong and full of soldiers. So now he has all the country of Cambrésis at his command, and the taking of this town and castle in this sort likes them very well here, and has got him great good speeches among the commons here. The Prince of Epinoy writes that the Prince of Parma and all the chiefs of the Malcontents still lie in the suburbs of Valenciennes, very much 'estonned' at Monsieur's dealings ; for which cause it seems their meaning is to separate their forces into towns, for it is said the Prince of Parma goes to Mons, M. de Montigny with his regiment to Lille, and the rest to other places. The speech is, the Allmans whom the Malcontents looked for will march no further till they are paid ; and money they have not to pay them. It seems that Monsieur finds himself aggrieved against the Prince and States for their slackness in not sending their forces to his, and also for the breaking of their other promises with him ; and surely he has not written this without cause, for they are very slack in all their doings.—Bruges, 10 Sept. 1581. P.S. I.—Enclosed I send you two copies of letters ; one from Monsieur to the States, and the other from the Prince of Epinoy to the Prince of Orange. P.S. II.—Kept till this morning, 11 Sept.—Even at this instant letters are come to the magistrates of this town that the Prince of Parma in person is come beside Lille with 28 cornets of horse and 3,000 foot, thinking to have found the Flanders camp thereabouts. But they were gone from thence, and lie now under Oudenarde, where they lie out of all danger of the enemy. Also in like order the magistrates have this morning received certain news that the Prince of Epinoy has taken by surprise a strong town called Saint 'Ghelayne,' within two leagues of Mons in 'Henogo ;' a place of great importance for the States, for it will trouble Mons and the Malcontents very much. Further they have received news this morning of a strong town in Brabant taken by surprise, called Endowen [Eindhoven] standing by Sorteaghembush ['s Hertogenbosch], a town of great importance for the States. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 101.]
Sep. 13. 336. The FRENCH KING to the QUEEN.
We have received your letter of June 20 by Mr Somers, and that of July 25 by Sir F. Walsingham, and have heard from both that wherewith they were charged, and have had much discourse with the latter touching the maintenance of our mutual amity and alliance and other matters on which you sent him, and he has acquitted himself very worthily. We have given him the best answers in our power, wherewith he returns so fully informed, and we have also so fully advised M. de Mauvissière of the same, that we need not make this longer.—Paris, 13 Sep. 1581. (Signed) Henry, (and below) Pinart. Broadsheet. Endd. Fr. [France VI. 32.]
Sep. 13.
Letters de C. de M.p. 395.
337. The QUEEN MOTHER to the QUEEN.
To a similar effect. (Signed) Caterine, (and below) Pinart. Broadsheet. Add. Fr. [Ibid. VI. 33.]
Sep. 13. 338. The FRENCH QUEEN to the QUEEN.
Sir F. Walsingham on his arrival gave us your letter of July 25, and has said many honourable things to us on your behalf full of friendship towards us ; so that I could not let him depart without this to pray that this mutual amity may continue, as for our part it will never be diminished or altered.—Paris, 13 Sep. 1581. (Signed) Loyse, (and below) Pinart. Broadsheet. Add. Endd. Fr. [Ibid. VI. 34.]
On Sunday the 10th inst. after we had dined with M. de Lansac at his house not far from the Court, we had audience of the king. The rest as in 'Compleat Ambassador,' pp. 439, sqq. Draft in hand of Somers, and endd. by him : To my L. Thresorer, from Mr Secr. Walsingham, Sir H. Cobham and me, with date. 4¼ pp. [France VI. 35.]
Sep. 19. 340. COBHAM to (?) WALSINGHAM.
I received this morning your honour's letter by Sir Thomas Perrot, whereby I perceive you are as far as Amiens on your happy return to England, which is expected and desired of many, so that you are likely to be well welcomed. Since your departure nothing has happened but that yesterday evening Duke 'Joyeulx' was affianced to his spouse, and after that the courtiers danced, very 'sombtiously' apparelled, more than has been likely [qy. lately] seen. Last Saturday the king dined with the Portugal Alvare Mendez, accompanied by the Dukes of Lorraine and Guise and the minions. Count Vimioso has gone with Strozzi to meet Don Antonio at his landing. No other extraordinary matter has happened since your departure. —Paris, 19 Sep. 1581. Add. and endt. gone. ½ p. [France VI. 36.]
Sep. 19. 341. —to WALSINGHAM.
'Right honorabill Sir Francisce Walsingham,' your departure was very sudden to me. I sent my man to you as you know, to understand whether it was your letter or no ; for it was much doubted of me, understanding Wayde's subtilty heretofore, and perceiving your hand to be not like the first in the last. The cause was just, and worthy to be doubted of. My man also, not having speedy answer, or else playing by the way, came not to me till the next day, whereupon I presently took pen and wrote this 'effect,' being very sorry that the gentleman was too sick. For the other that might be pleasurable to the Q.M. [qy. Queen's Majesty] there can be no doubt but that every day by her friends here (if she have any) she may have great pleasure shown and wrought. For my abiding here, I think I may, considering the great charges that I am at here, 'better life lead' either in any other place of France, as Angiers, whither I am determined to go after I have made my next act now in October. For yours of C.D. I can answer by A.B. touching the plot ; be out of doubt I would it were but false and sophistical ; and that you marvelled why I sent you not by my man some intelligence, I think if I had, you would have thought me 'for' neither wise nor able person, to put a thousand men's lives in one, as my man's, hand. The last part of your letter you answered not in effect as you did in words. Believe me, it is not 20 crowns that shall make me a bondman, or make me say a false tale. But to what end these words ? but only that you may, and as I think do, learn them that for less will be well content to sell their country and all that is in it. But what you do or write to me, do so that I thereby come to no harm. You know that about your own person there are eyes of a lynx that can see 40 paces into the earth, as we read of Andogion's man Pardonzo. The like fellow saw good Mr 'Egmonde Radlyffe' going up to Hampton Court to you, and afterward made him lose his head for it. The same man is with you in England and does as much now as then ; for to be short, I know that you need not many words. One I pray you, love your friends and make not your friends your foes ; I mean not money friends, but true friends, and so you shall do well, and I shall daily pray for you and the conservation of my country. Committing you to the Blessed Trinity.— Paris, 19 Sep. 1581. Add. in Spanish. (Seal.) Endd. : Secret advertisements from Paris. 2 pp. [Ibid. VI. 37.]
Sep. 24. 342. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was of the 17th inst., since which time these speeches have passed. The Prince of Epinoy, general of the Flanders camp, lies with it between Berghes and Saint-Omer, awaiting the rest of the Flanders troops which are marching thither as fast as they can. When they are all together, the camp will be between 4,000 and 5,000 men in all. Also it is said that Monsieur's camp is in Picardy, marching hitherwards as fast as they can, and will come between Aire and Saint-Omer. Some say they will come in between Saint-Omer and Berghes, and join the Flanders camp. The 'Quatre Members' of Flanders make great provision of pioneers, artillery, and other necessaries against Monsieur's coming ; for it seems their meaning to batter down all the small places which the enemy 'keeps alongst' in the country between Gravelines and Ghent, and so to set that part of Flanders free from them, for they trouble the country very much. It seems those of Flanders will receive Monsieur very honourably and richly, for already those of Ghent begin to set their town in some brave order against his coming, in making and preparation of sundry costly shows. 'The like' will this town of Bruges begin this next week to set their town in some trim order ; for it is said that Monsieur will first come here, and here the Prince of Orange will be with him. Further, the Four Members are preparing a rich present to give him at his coming to Ghent, to the value of 100,000 guilders, and besides this, every town will 'present him apart' according to their ability ; so that it seems they will receive him with as great gladness as ever any prince was received. As I wrote in my last, the Malcontents have taken Saint Ghelayne again. It was yielded by agreement : 'to say,' the captains and lieutenants to remain prisoners and all the soldiers to depart without weapon, with white rods in their hands. When they came abroad in the fields, the peasants set upon them, and killed them almost all. The Malcontents with all their forces lie beside Valenciennes. Some say they will go and besiege Cambrésis, some that they will come into those parts to keep Monsieur from joining with the Flanders camp, for the report goes that his coming into Flanders troubles them very much ; for it seems they were in hope he would not have returned any more.—Bruges, 24 Sept. 1581. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 103.]
This bearer, who only demands justice, has thought that a letter from me may serve for a recommendation of his cause to you ; which I could not deny him, and therefore beg that this may serve to expedite his business.—'Monsuicth' [qy. Greenwich], 25 Sep. 1581. P.S. (autograph).—The Queen . . . . and sent me word this morning that she desired on Saturday . . . . . to Richmond. Between now and then there is time to advise. (Signed) P. Clausse. Somewhat damaged. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [France VI. 38.]
Sep. 27. 344. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I am sorry I have not had the advantage of communicating with you for half an hour ; but your departure being so near, and mine delayed at the pleasure of a prince to whom I owe so much respect, will be my excuse with you, since I did not get my dispatch till the day after your departure. As for what has been happening here : on the 20th his Highness having heard that the Malcontents intended to go and besiege Château en Cambrésis where he has 4 companies of French and 3 of Walloons, not wishing to risk it for the weakness of the place, sent a reinforcement of 600 soldiers under Captain Rochebrune to make it sure, as he did not wish it to be in danger. Meanwhile, seeing his forces both horse and foot to be small, the remnant of a volunteer army on which no reliance is to be placed, and further that Cambray had indeed been succoured, but the results of his victory depended on advancing, he has been abandoned by the greater part of those on whom he based his hopes ; which should serve as notice to all princes not to rely on these volunteers, the corruption of all discipline, but on men paid and bound by oath. So he cannot at present effect what he desires, but must wait till a convenient opportunity presents itself this next spring ; and send some 500 horse, with some infantry, into the Low Countries, to hinder the enemy's movements until the spring ; when his Highness intends to raise an army on a better footing than the present. Meanwhile he means to send the Prince Dauphin into the Low Countries to receive the oath in his name ; and to prepare the way, M. des Pruneaux is to go there within six days if the plans are not changed. M. de Fervaques departed on the 20th, as though ill-satisfied, to retire to his own house ; but it is judged that he will have gone to Château en Cambresis, to be there if the enemy comes, and where he will find 1,000 to 1,200 harquebuses to entertain him ; for so far as I can find out, his Highness wishes to keep the place for the sake of his reputation at whatever cost. Meanwhile he intends to make his way into the Low Countries, to take possession, in case he finds any difficulty with the Prince Dauphin ; and it is said that the King of Spain intends to have his son crowned king, and go to the Low Countries.—Flushing, 27 Sept. 1581. Add. (in English). Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1⅓ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 102.]
I am a poor merchant by my calling, and last year suffered severe damage on the sea, I and my partner being robbed of 70 last of rye, of the value of 42 gulden the last, by an English captain named Kranle [? Cranley], whereby I was put to great expense trying to see if I could get any of it back, but all in vain. So I, poor man, have come into great scathe, and know not how I am to set about matters in order to recover a little from my loss, pay my debts and maintain myself and mine. My fervent and dutiful prayer to your Serenity is therefore that you would, for the sake of Christ our common head, grant me as your companion in the Faith, a little writing to the most Serene Lady Elizabeth, Queen of England, that she would permit me to export free of duty a thousand or three [sic] tuns of beer, that I may in that way get back some of my losses. (Signed) Adam von Lövenich in Landt Gulich. Endd, with abstract of contents : 'Recepta Fridelsheym, 28 Sep. 1581.' German. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 104.]
Sep. 28. 346. DUKE CASIMIR to the QUEEN.
The complaint of this bearer of the injury received by him on the sea, as you may perceive by his petition to me which I send you, has moved my compassion so much that I must write these two words in his favour, in confidence that being a merciful princess to the afflicted, you will not fail to condescend to his request, which is in sum, that to compensate for his loss he may take out of your realm two or three thousand barrels of beer, quit of the dues which merchants otherwise have to pay.—Fridelsheim, 28 Sep. 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Germany II. 24.]
I send you a letter from my wife, by which you will see that your brother, who is in France, is urgently soliciting her to hand him 1,500 livres of your money, which is 150l. sterling [sic], assuring her that you will furnish me with it at once over here ; and I think she will have given him 400 crowns of this sum. I do not however desire that you should pay them here to a merchant whom I will send to you, until your brother has received them there, this being the least I should wish to do for you and for him.—London, 1 Oct. 1581. Add. Endd. : From the French Ambassador to Mr Fra Throckmorton, touching money delivered to his brother in Paris. Fr. 1 p. [France VI. 39.]
Oct. 1. 348. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Since your departure, the king continues to pass most part of his time in doing honour to these new married personages, in feasting the princes of Lorraine or those of his race with such other few princes as are at present in the Court. The king has been in like manner invited and 'cheered' by the Dukes of Guise Mercœur and Lorraine. On St. Michael's Day he went to a fair house eight leagues hence, called 'Lymeurs,' which he has bought of the heirs of the Duchess of Valentinois for 50,000 crowns, and has given to the Duke Joyeuse. Notwithstanding all these honours and liberalities used towards him, his mother has lamented to the king that she doubts this matching of her son with a princess will bring ruin to her house, considering the estate left to her son will not suffice to maintain the degree in which he is now placed, so that, his Majesty failing, she thinks that her son and his house will be thereby overthrown. The king would have satisfied the new duke's mother with high promises and many assurances, but the lady rests not fully comforted, and seems not greatly joyful. The king intends after all these feastings to repair to Gaillon, the Cardinal of Bourbon's house, to remain some days ; whereon here is an opinion conceived that Monsieur will meet the queen and king in those quarters. After this marriage is accomplished to the king's mind, the marriage of Lavalette with another of the young Queen's sisters will be spoken of. As I have been informed, it is agreed on in the Cabinet. It is signified to me that Monsieur has by sundry means intelligence in Saint-Omer for the surprising of it, some part of which practice 'should be' managed by Signor Don Giacomo de' Taddei. The king, as they inform me, has won M. de la Motte to deliver Gravelines, which has been compassed by the captain of Calais. If this be true, it will 'by apparent effect appear.' There is no other change in this realm, nor any appearance but that the public peace will continue ; yet they have not 'left' to spread rumours that divers provinces had joined in a confederacy to lament to the king by way of supplication how they are overcharged with excessive taxation in such sort that they can no longer endure the burden of it. They have likewise spread a rumour in Paris how the other night certain maskers to the number of fifty were seen about 11 at night on Our Lady's Bridge attired in long gray weeds all powdered over with black drops, and said in a loud voice : Peuple, depleurez l'innocence de nostre Roy, et vostre ruine. The staying of Monsieur about Abbeville gives cause to many to think he purposes to pass towards England, though I hear he stays to see what chance he may have at St. Omer's. Yet his voyage to England might continue the opinion of the amity which is held to be between her Majesty and him, and renew the hope and speech of marriage. You may perceive by the enclosed letter from Monsieur how the party who should have gone to the Prince of Parma and so to the Prince of Orange is now by some means held with Monsieur. I enclose herewith the copy of the answer I sent to Monsieur. The king sent M. de Gondi to me to-day, as he has done to the other ambassadors, to invite us to see his mask and dance ; wherein I have resolved to obey him. And now herewith comes Mr Burnham with your dispatch touching the Palatine of La Petite Pierre. I return the letter directed to him, because he is departed hence towards his country, as by sundry informations it has appeared to me and Mr Burnham can signify to you in detail. Mr Archibald Douglas has been sundry times with me, by whom I am given to understand that the Bishop of Ross is come to this town, making himself a party and a favourer of George Douglas's commission. But the Bishop of Glasgow cannot assent that the Scottish king should be accepted with title of King of Scots by the French king until the Scottish queen sends him, the Bishop, a commission to yield thereto. Nor does the Duke of Guise assent to it. Therefore George Douglas 'pretends,' if the Scottish queen's letters do not come, that he will return to Scotland, to be present at their Parliament this month with the Scottish king's gallant apparel which is made here, and with that of the Duke of Lennox, which is very sumptuous, beside the pages' liveries, which are short Dutch cloaks of black satin, 'guarded' all over with black velvet laid on with gold lace, beside their doublets of black satin cut, lined with cloth of gold, and their hose drawn out with the same. Withal they would make me believe that the Scottish king makes show to their Majesties here that he is desirous to pass over into France. In this manner I perceive Scottish affairs are here ; the consideration whereof I leave to you.—Paris, 1 Oct. 1581. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France VI. 40.]
Sep. 23. Enclosed in above :
There has fallen into my hands a man named Bureau, on his return from visiting the Prince of Parma. He has admitted that he went there on the solicitation of the Spanish Ambassador, who had him 'practised' at first by a certain Italian whom Bureau does not know, he says, except by sight. Being then first introduced to the ambassador by Maldonado he was asked if he would undertake something against the Huguenots in revenge for the trouble he had suffered ere now by their means, whereby they had placed him in danger of his life. He replied, he says, that he would do it very willingly, provided that he knew wherein he was to be employed and that they would help him. The ambassador asked if he would undertake to poison the Prince of Orange ; to which Bureau said he would do it very willingly, and that he must consider the means to be adopted. The ambassador then proposed, and persuaded him to go and see the Prince of Parma, with whom he must confer in the matter. He would introduce him and afford him facilities for executing his enterprise. Bureau agreed to this, and was dispatched, money being given him for his journey. That is the confession made as to the matter in my presence. I was half minded, and there was good reason, to put him to the question to extract more from him, being unable to believe that he had not a good deal more to account for than he said. However, after this confession he maintained that the very moment he had left the Spanish ambassador he had been to you and told the same story without concealing anything, in order that you might inform the Prince of Orange of this plan, and that thereupon you thought he had better see Sir F. Walsingham ; whom Bureau declares he saw and spoke to at his lodging at La Couture Ste Catherine, whither you had him taken. That you decided he had better go through with his journey, towards which you gave him 10 crowns ; and that when he came where the Prince of Orange was, he would find an Englishman who would speak to him and present him. This matter seems to me of such consequence that it is necessary to clear it up ; and, if it were true that Bureau had declared himself to you, as he says, to consider what ought to be done, namely, if one ought to make use of Bureau, who has spoken to the Prince of Parma under a password (signal) which the ambassador gave him, and which he says gives him the means of handling many things and doing good service, or if one should rather try to get further to the bottom of the business by putting Bureau on his trial. I do not wish to decide on either course, till I have an answer to this, which I beg you to let me have at once, saying if it is true that he spoke to you and Sir F. Walsingham.—Blangy, 24 Sep. 1581. (Signed) François. Add. Endd. : About Bureau, that should have killed the Prince of Orange. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. VI. 40a.]
Sep. 27. (2) COBHAM to the DUKE OF ANJOU.
There was a man who discovered to Sir F. Walsingham and me how he had been 'practised' by a Spaniard in this town to undertake something against the Prince of Orange. He was persuaded by us not to commit the act, but rather to inform the Prince, who would never be ungrateful. I could not say whether he was invited by the Spaniard to do the same by any other prince, but no doubt he can give your Highness fuller information. I do not remember his name, for he was called by several ; and further, I did not know how to understand what he said, not having previously known the man nor his profession. Pray employ me in all that appertains to your service, for such is the Queen's pleasure.—Paris, 27 Sep. 1581. Copy. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VI. 40b.]