Elizabeth: February 1581, 1-15

Pages 38-57

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

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February 1581, 1-15

Feb. 1. 36. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
The enclosed brief note, which seems to me to signify preparations to annoy your realm of Ireland, was sent me from the Queen Mother, enfolded in a letter from Secretary Pinart ; but with what mind it was sent by her, and how sincerely, you may better judge upon other proofs. I hope your Majesty will weigh how vehemently on many sides their malices are united and disposed against your person and dominions, envying your prosperous government ; by the consideration of which you may wisely be moved in these evil days to be more vigilant in preserving yourself and your estates, winning and compassing such assured friendship with princes, if it may be safely done, and other means whereby you will not only have power with your own forces to withstand the designs of your adversaries, but that something further may be thought of to divert the sharp humour wherewith it seems they are stirred determinately to trouble you. Moreover it is held assured that many secret practices are intended whereby the good disposition of your subjects may be altered ; and the Romish Bishop 'shows to be' thoroughly bent to maintain and encourage the rebels in Ireland. On the other side 'there be of his complyses which have sought drifts' to trouble and transpose the government of Scotland ; which is expected, and held almost 'effectued.' Upon the just consideration of these imminent dangers, your best servants hope you will be pleased to prevent and withstand speedily these confederated enterprises, by using your forepast magnanimity and counsels in applying remedies in time.Blois, 1 Feb. Add. and Endt. gone. 1 p. [France V. 14.]
I cannot forget the good advice and counsel in your letter of the 29th ult. to use all diligence in this service with little charge, 'whereto assuredly I have endeavoured myself to the uttermost of my power and all comeliness' ; but through the abundance of the ice which many times altered the course of my passage, together with the unconscionable dealing of the people, seeing the necessity of my travel, has caused [sic] my charges to be so great that I am almost ashamed to bring them into account. I have thought good to send them by this bearer, who can satisfy you of the truth of every particular, and knows that I have not one penny profit thereby, but in all duty to serve her Majesty as becomes me with the travail of my body. As touching my commission and the answer of the Estates, I refer to my letter enclosed, addressed to you and others who jointly commended these affairs to me. If I have not 'dealt orderly' in addressing it I desire your good advice for my better instruction. The Estates of Holland gave me very good entertainment. The report of their liberty and zeal I refer to this bearer, who knows 'therein,' as in all needful matters, as much as I myself do. Antwerp, 2 Feb. 1580. According to yours I have delivered to this bearer 20 Flemish, and have put it in my account, which has advanced the sum to 55 12s. 2d. sterling ; which please cause to be paid to John Pryce, or else give him order to enter it into your account, or otherwise as you shall determine. P.S.I have 'wayed' this day 50 barrels of the powder of which I sent you the sample, and find it very excellently well packed and good. In this packet are enclosed the Estates' answer and four other letters, two to her Majesty and two to yourself, all from the Prince and States. [Nos. 26-30.]
Annexed to the above :
A note of the money laid out by me, John Wilsford, on behalf of my master the R. W. Mr Christopher Hoddesdon, for the charges of his journey between Antwerp and Delft.
s. d.
From Antwerp, 9 Jan., for provision of victuals and other necessaries to carry aboard the hoy wherein we went towards Dort .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1 17 5
Expenses at Armieu [Armuyden] in Zealand from Tuesday night till Wednesday afternoon, with fresh victuals to carry aboard .. .. .. .. .. .. 3 3 6
Passage from Antwerp to Dort, but by reason of ice forced to land at the Plate [Dottiesplaet] .. .. .. .. 1 2 6
Dinner at Plate .. .. .. .. .. .. 0 18 4
Wagon-hire from thence to Somerdyke .. .. .. 1 1 6
Boat-hire from Somerdyke to Hornsfery [?] and bringing trunks ashore .. .. .. .. .. .. 0 10 0
Charges at Hornsfery one night .. .. .. .. 1 2 0
Wagon-hire from thence to Henfleet .. .. .. 0 18 6
Boat hire from Henfleet to Maseland Sluse .. .. .. 0 14 0
Dinner at Maseland Sluse .. .. .. .. 0 19 0
Wagon-hire from thence to Delft .. .. .. .. 0 16 0
Spent at Delft for diet and other charges during our abode there 34 15 0
Wagon-hire from Delft to the Hague, minding to have gone that way towards the sea, but not finding commodious passage, went by land .. .. .. .. .. 0 6 8
Charges at the Hague for one night .. .. .. 1 6 4
Wagon-hire from the Hague to Delftshaven .. .. 1 1 6
Charges at Delftshaven, dinner and supper .. .. .. 2 13 0
Passage from Delftshaven to Swartwater [Zwartevaal] in the land of Brill .. .. .. .. .. .. 0 18 0
Wagon-hire from thence to Hornsfery .. .. .. 0 15 0
Boat-hire from Hornsfery to Midle Harnesse .. .. 0 6 6
Charges at Midle Harnesse one night .. .. .. 1 4 0
Wagon-hire from thence to Old Tonge .. .. .. 1 2 0
Boat-hire from Old Tonge to Barrow [Bergen-op-Zoom] .. 1 0 0
Dinner at Old Tonge .. .. .. .. .. 0 16 0
Charges at Barrow ; dinner and supper with victuals aboard .. 2 7 0
Passage from Barrow to Antwerp, with charges by the way .. 1 8 10
63 8 3
In this account, besides the charges of my master and his company, is comprehended the expenses of Mr Bruyne and his servant from the time of my master's going till his return to Antwerp, and of Mr Gilpin and his servant from my master's arrival at Delft till his return to Antwerp.
Besides delivered to Mr Bruyne for carrying the packet to England .. .. .. .. .. ..
20 0 0
Summa du tout, Flemish .. .. 83 8 3
Facit sterling after 30s. Flemish the pound .. .. .. 55 12 2
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 17.]
Having on the 7th ult. received my commission by this bearer with letters and instructions from you I directed my course accordingly and on the second day after took my journey towards Delft, being forced by reason of continual frosts and much ice to spend five days on the way, so that I arrived only the 13th at night. On the 15th I went to the Prince, whom, after delivering my letters of credit, I found very well inclined, acknowledging not only his readiness to do her Highness all dutiful service but also assuring me of his utmost assistance in the speedy accomplishment of the negotiation. After which I dined with him, receiving all courteous entertainment at his hands. Next day, the prince being present, I had audience before the States ; by whom, after 'delivery of my credit' and rehearsal of my commission, I was answered that they confessed themselves for sundry respects much bound to her Majesty, alleging their former delays in contenting her in this matter to have grown through the altering and new choosing of such as represent the General Estates of their United Provinces. And although those now present, being for the most part but lately elected to the place, were at the least not thoroughly acquainted with those things that had been determined by their predecessors, yet they would not fail to show as much forwardness in effecting what might be acceptable to her Majesty as any that had 'supplied the room' before them. And to discharge their duty with more expedition they would appoint commissioners to treat with me touching the causes which I declared to them. Accordingly there resorted to me on the 18th the Lord of 'Barkham' [qu. Berghem], with a commissioner of Antwerp and the Pensionary of the Frank in Flanders, as deputed by the States to confer and report, but not to conclude anything. They used very mild and reverent speeches towards her Majesty, chiefly running upon the terms of their necessity, and complaining much of Artois and 'Henegoo,' of whom they wished it would please her to 'take some satisfaction' ; for those Provinces were bound to perform the same as they. In this they would think themselves greatly pleasured by her Majesty as being through her means eased of part of their burden. To this I answered that I might not deal in anything to which my commission did not lead me, and that by virtue of their general bonds she might lawfully take satisfaction where she pleased ; and therefore I counselled them without further delay to give her full contentment, according to equity and their bond, and then afterwards they might make suit against those of Artois and Hainault as they should themselves think good ; with other speeches tending to the uprightness of her Majesty's demand, and that which was given me in charge, whereupon [I] rested resolute as appertained. To which they were able to reply nothing ; but affirmed that she had always been very gracious and good lady to them, and that in reason she was to have all contentment required. After this conference I daily expected the States' resolution ; but I understood they could not agree about levying the just portions that every province must pay ; which as the prince himself told me was the only stay of the matter. He therefore requested me to have patience for two or three days longer, within which time he doubted not that I should receive an absolute answer. I declared the charge of my commission, and that I was to send away this bringer with all expedition, and therefore required to be heard again before the States, unless there were some likelihood of their speedy determination. He answered that there wanted no good will in the States, and that he himself would do nothing more earnestly than travail with them for my dispatch. So for three or four days together they were thoroughly debating what resolution they should make. On the 24th the Lord of 'Barkham' came to me requesting that I would not 'think much' if the States' answer were not yet brought to me ; the only let of it rested in the Hollanders and Zealanders, for, he said, all the other provinces were ready to 'answer' their several portions for her Majesty's satisfaction, only those of Holland and Zealand stuck at the matter, but he still hoped that through the prince's earnest persuasion they also would be wrought to agree with the rest. The cause why Holland and Zeeland made some stay in this matter was, as near as I can learn, that at their entering into league with the rest of the united provinces they 'conditioned' to maintain a certain charge yearly, which they would not exceed. They therefore alleged that they ought not to be burdened extraordinarily with any contribution towards the payment of this debt, upon which point there grew some dispute among the States, whereby the time of my dispatch being longer 'detracted' I sent them word on the 26th that I was upon departure, and therefore desired audience. Whereupon they fell to a short consultation, and after a two hours' 'respite' sent the Lord of 'Barkham' and the Pensionary of Bruges to accompany me to their council chamber, where the prince and the States being assembled, it was declared to me that as her Majesty has been always careful for them they were bound to provide for her satisfaction and security in this behalf, being ready to their utmost ability to accomplish all that she demanded. Yet since they would have one bond to be made with the assent of the commonalty of Antwerp, and the other with the general agreement of every province, they besought her to take patience till their next meeting, which should be within three months at furthest. To which I answered that I had already declared to them my full commission and the time prescribed by her Majesty, which I had no authority to prolong, nor could yield to anything that was not given me in charge. Yet I would willingly send her their determination, such as by writing they should deliver to me, referring the consideration of it to her Privy Council ; and so took my leave. Next day one of their secretaries brought me the enclosed answer, which is in words and matter all one with that which the day before was declared to me by word of mouth in the presence and hearing of the Estates both of Holland and Zealand, and of the other united provinces. This is the effect of my negotiation with the States ; which I thought to set down somewhat at large, that you might perceive why they gave me their resolution no sooner.Antwerp, 2 Feb. 1580. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 18.]
In my general letter I have written at large touching my negotiations with the States, wherein I endeavoured as nearly as I could to observe the charge of my commission and the meaning of your instructions. One thing I noted at my being in Holland ; that although the rest of the provinces are somewhat inclined to receive the French, yet the Hollanders and those of Zealand reserve to themselves a certain liberty herein, as bearing more affection to the Queen. Which I thought good to certify you, with such other news as 'are' lately written from Friesland, touching the 'success' in those parts.Antwerp, 3 Feb. 1580. Add. Endd. p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 19.]
Since my last letter I have been in the country by direction of the Four Members of Flanders to assist in bringing up the forces from Brabant and Flanders to the number of 15 cornets of cavalry and 2,000 good infantry, in order to break up 5 cornets of Albanese and 3 regiments of Malcontents who are in the town of 'Grandmont,' a place accessible from all sides. I think they would have been broken up, if some malignant spirit had not diverted the enterprise by false information that the enemy had entered in the night with 14 cornets, which broke off the execution of it, to the great disservice of the country. In Friesland the enemy has been beaten by Mr Norris, with great loss, and Schenk is dead. Some have put it about that we were beaten, but that is false. I told you that the peace was not published in France, by reason of sundry interruptions (intervalles) that have supervened in Guyenne. It seems to me that for this cause the coming of M. d'Alenon is put off till April. Meanwhile he is sending M. de Fervacques his commander-in-chief hither with 2,000 cavalry and 6,000 foot, who are drawing near Cambray. You know of the forces being prepared by the King of Spain in Italy, Germany and elsewhere, which has caused great 'alteration' and discontent among those of Hainault and Artois. They do not want to receive the Duchess of Parma in the government ; because Cardinal Granvelle is trying to have the Prince of Parma sent away, in order, as it seems, to return hither himself, since Portugal remains quiet. It further appears that M. Strozzi was on his way to the aid of Don Antonio ; but it is doubted that it may be to go to Scotland, since he is still in the Islands of Britanny. I would put more details before you, were not the bearer in a hurry.Antwerp, 4 Feb. 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 20.]
Mr Governor arriving at Delft delivered me your letter, and have [sic] by all means continued my former travail, as your servant, Mr Brune, if need so require, can testify ; as also what hope I had to obtain some good resolution ere the States' departure. For Mr Governor's 'success' I need not trouble you, but refer the enlargement of it to his own letters. Of such charges as I have been at, both in my travel into Holland and at my being there, and some small trifle spent before, I enclose the note, beseeching you to allow thereof, and to give such order for payment as may be convenient. I have imparted to the bearer divers particulars, desiring your plea, sure thereon to accomplish which I am always at your command.Antwerp, 4 Feb. 1580.
Annexed is the following :
Bill of charges spent with my servant being sent to Holland by order of Mr Secretary Walsingham from 15 Dec. last to 29 Jan. 1580 : sterling money.
s. d.
Provision taken with me on ship board .. .. .. 0 6 6
Passage to Flushing .. .. .. .. .. 0 6 8
The 19th [sic] for charges there one night and morning .. 0 6 8
The 17th for a wagon to Middleburg .. .. .. 0 2 2
Dinner there .. .. .. .. .. .. 0 5 0
Boat to 'Armewe' .. .. .. .. .. 0 3 0
Supper there and provision taken on ship board .. .. 0 8 4
The 18th for passage which I was forced to make to Dort .. 0 12 0
The 19th for dinner at Dort .. .. .. .. 0 3 4
Boat-hire thence to Rotterdam .. .. .. .. 0 3 4
Supper and other charges there .. .. .. .. 0 5 0
The 20th for boat-hire thence to Delft .. .. .. 0 3 8
Expenses there from Dec. 20 to Jan. 15 .. .. .. 13 6 8
Lodging, fire, and other 'petit' charges, Dec. 20 to Jan. 29 .. 2 0 0
18 12 4
More spent as occasion presented during the following of the suit in Antwerp touching Pallavicino and Spinola .. .. 3 0 0
Paid at several times for copies of writings and postage of letters from 'Cullyn' and elsewhere any time this two years and more 1 10 0
As for my travail and pains, wherein I have shown all ready service, I beseech you favourably to accept thereof.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 21.]
Mr Bruin, lately come out of Holland (by whom I thought to have sent this), can inform you of the state of things better than I. Yet I think it not amiss to touch thus much touching the general French cause. That matter is held to be so greatly advanced there that it is given out here that 6,000 foot and 2,000 horse are lately arrived on the frontier of Artois, and that another such band is at present levying between Paris and Soissons. Our news from Friesland comes mingled with good and bad, yet all so uncertain that I dare 'affirm' none. I will write these, because report may make them greater or lesser. For my own part, I have received no letters lately from thence. It is given out here, first that Mr Norris has defeated 3 cornets of the enemy's cavalry, and taken one of his 'skonces' before Stenwick, but with the loss of two of his captains, Mr Champernoll killed, and John Brown, my Lord of Leicester's servant, wounded and taken prisoner ; and that he himself afterwards, upon the coming down of the enemy's cavalry, was constrained with all his forces to retire to an orchard, where, seeing himself in danger to be besieged without any victual, he broke out and killed 400 of the enemy, and retired afterwards in safety to Meppell. This was done on Jan. 24. On Monday last it is also reported that he assailed the enemy before Stenwick, where, with loss of many of his men and himself wounded in the shoulder, he gave a great overthrow to the enemy, drove them away, and succoured the town. This news is confidently reported here, and it is all, both best and worst. Mr Yorke, I hear, is weary of his sergeant-majorship in Flanders. Many of the captains, 'from general misliking not to be commanded by him,' have entered into private quarrel with him, and begin to 'bandie' against him. I think he could wish himself in Friesland, 'his reputation saved.' You may do most with the prince, Mr Norris and him, of any others. Antwerp, 4 Feb. 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. 21.]
My last letter to you was the 29th ult. I have this week little to write. On Jan. 30, at Mons in 'Henogo,' most of the chief Malcontents met ; about many matters, but chiefly for three causes. The first was how to find money to pay their soldiers ; the second, how to 'defend' the French, for they would never believe in their coming till now ; and the third, whether they shall take the aid of the Spaniards or not. To none of these, nor to any other matter, have they resolved upon anything, so that they departed in great displeasure one against another ; which has put the Prince of Parma in great anger. Also at this assembly it was desired that all the walled towns in Artois and 'Henogo' should take in soldiers for their defence against the French, which generally they have refused to do ; save Mons and Douay, 'who' with much ado have consented to take each two ensigns of foot, but no horse. The Duke of Aerschot made a motion for the release of Count Egmont for M. de la Noue ; saying it is a great discouragement to all gentlemen to serve, that when they are taken they cannot be released. So there is good hope that M. de la Noue, who lies still at 'Lymborough,' will be released for Count Egmont. M. de Montigny with all his force, 6 cornets of horse and 10 ensigns of foot, lying in Saint 'Gheringsborghe,' which is an open place, those of Ghent meant to have set upon them ; and in gathering their forces to do it Montigny had knowledge thereof, and sent in great haste to the Marquis of Risbourg for aid. He is gone to him with 16 cornets of horse and 25 ensigns of foot, so that now those of Ghent dare not meddle with them, for they are but 9 cornets and 30 ensigns. Now that all the Malcontents are together it seems they will do something ; for they have sent to Alst 100 small boats, and every boat is made to carry 8 or 10 men. It seems their meaning is to pass over the river to spoil the country about Stecken and those parts. It is a rich country, for they have not been touched at all these troubles. On the 2nd inst. M. de Villiers, who was captain of Bouchain, took ship at Flushing for Calais, for the prince has suddenly sent him back in haste to Monsieur. The prince has written to the magistrates of this town that M. de 'Vervac' and M. de Rochepot are now on the frontier with 5,000 foot and 1,800 horse, whom Monsieur has sent to the aid of the States ; and withal that Monsieur will be here in person about the middle of May next. M. Argentlieu is come again to this town, and the magistrates hope to have him to continue here. It is said also that the Prince of Parma goes to 'Lewke' [Lige], to get Cardinal Granvelle to be bishop there.Bruges, 5 Feb. 1580. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 23.]
Feb. 5. 44. COBHAM to [WILSON].
I have had an answer from the Lord of Arbrothe that he will meet me at an appointed place in Orleans, on Tuesday the 7th inst. at night ; so it seems he continues well affected. I suppose he has great need of money to pay his debts, wherewith he must be supplied before he can conveniently depart thence. My messenger found him at Moret, where he remains. The 'Lard' of Ferniehurst is likewise in the same town. I cannot tell what to think of the stay Adams makes at Monsieur's Court, for he went hence on Monday the 23rd ult., a fortnight to-morrow. Queen Mother and the Commissioners find it strange that 'de Vrey' and la Fin are not heard tell of. The Pope's nuncio had audience yesterday. Much kindness passes between him and the Spanish ambassador. I should have had access to her Majesty on Shrove Monday, but Pinart and Lansac wished me to stay till she had heard from Monsieur. She intends to go to Tours on Thursday, to see certain silks and to be 'cheered' by Madame la Bordesire ; so to return, and repair hither the first Monday in Lent. Marshal Montmorency 'addresses himself' towards Toulouse, to have conference with Monsieur about Agen. Colonel Schomberg returned last week to Germany, to make some levies, and to stay others that are preparing there. The king last month caused M. le Grand Ecuyer to send his son-in-law, the eldest son of M. de Carouges, governor of Rouen, secretly to Geneva, where he spoke with M. de Guitry, who was there about the Prince of Cond's affairs. The Dukes of Italy, beside the confederacies they have made for the maintenance of their repose and the public peace, are making alliances by marriage, as I have already said. The like policy were to be wished, where there is need. In the secret advertisements from Rome they certify that the Spanish king is very indisposed. I have stayed this dispatch these two days for the return of my servant ; but seeing him tarry I would not defer it any longer. Blois, 5 Feb. 1580. P.S.It is understood that Lavalette is in some danger of losing the king's favour, which he has hitherto enjoyed, on account of his haughty carriage towards divers, and specially to the other minions ; besides that there has been a quarrel between him and Beauvais 'L'Angy,' captain of the guards, about having the colonelship which Strozzi enjoys. Monsieur has sent in all speed to Count Montgomery, at Loches, near Tours, to go with all expedition to Cambray. The Abbot of Guadagna has lost some of his favour or credit with Queen Mother. Add. and Endt. gone. 1 p. [France V. 15.]
Feb. 5. 45. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
Receiving lately a letter from Secretary Pinart I have enclosed it herewith. It specifies a note of an intelligence sent from Queen Mother to me, to be advertised to the Queen, which I have directed to her in my 'particular' letter. Further, where the Secretary writes of the sending of M. de Marchaumont into England, Marchaumont has passed through this town, having been with Chancellor Birague and Chiverny, Keeper of the Seals, who by the king's command have 'taken his oath' to be one of the king's Privy Council, and so is gone with his dispatch to Paris, where he stays only for the return of his secretary from Monsieur's Court, which is hourly looked for. He intends to remain about his Majesty to deliver assurances of his master's entire affection toward her. Before he left Chenonceaux the Queen Mother 'showed' to be unwilling that he should pass on till the Commissioners began their journey, telling him that the king did not like his voyage to England, and using, as I am informed, persuasions that if he had no other matter to treat of than the procuring of the marriage the Commissioners would be sufficient to bring that negotiation to a conclusion. To which it is said Marchaumont answered that since it was Monsieur who sought the Queen and was her servant, it was requisite and in reason that he should have one of his servants there to whom he had imparted his mind who might entertain the Queen's affection after his own manner ; in which respect he was sent to offer his master's good will to the Queen, after her own liking, and as she would have it pass. Then the Queen Mother desired him to take heed that he entered not into the broiling of matters, marvelling much that her son at this instant should so earnestly prosecute the negotiations for marriage, considering he himself had been there, and after some dealing passed the matter has quailed and been slacked till now. Marchaumont assured her that he meant only to accomplish the service of his master, carrying messages full of good will ; being commanded by Monsieur to deal in all things not as he should appoint but as the Queen might direct. The Queen Mother desired him not to intermeddle in any matters but for the marriage, for M. de la Mauvissire had written to the king that the Queen would have no other matter dealt in. I understand, moreover, that the commissioners only stay for further orders from Monsieur, as M. Pinart's letter also signifies. M. de la Mothe-Fnelon is daily looked for, but is not yet come to Court. I am informed that 'Taxis,' the new Spanish ambassador, at his audience of Queen Mother, entered further than I reported into persuasions not to hearken to Don Antonio's entreaty, which served only to put his master to charge, to 'take unkindness' with her, to trouble the realm of Portugal, and to maintain one who was not lawfully begotten ; wherein she could not reap such honour as belonged to her estate. Otherwise, if she moved therein upon any claim of her own, the king assured her, that for the respect he bears her, being his good mother, though he were peaceably possessed of all Portugal, he would upon just proof of her right, yield it entirely to her. To which she answered that she had not dealt much therein ; but she did not mean to part from the right that was thought to belong to her. Therefore, if his master did respect her, and was so bent to justice as he professed, he would not without trial invade a realm to which he pretended a claim, and others thought they had a good right. The ambassador then said there was another matter which he had to move to her, and to beseech her to be the means that her son should not seem [? seek] to impatronise himself of any parts of the Low Countries ; considering that if there were any claim to be made, it should rather belong to the king, his elder brother. It would not be needful for him to use any hostility, for his master respected the Christian King as his good brother ; wherefore he hoped that the king and she would 'persuade with' the Duke of Alenon to leave that enterprise, remembering that the king, his master, had married his sister and that he was uncle to her 'nieces' in Spain. The Queen answered that she did not understand the causes which moved her son to those enterprises ; but she heard tell that all or most part of that country sought him. Nevertheless, she and the king meant to be informed of his 'pretences.' Howbeit, she said, if he spoke these things to her 'as to lament of unkindness,' they had cause to rehearse further injuries than these ; as of the Spanish King's dealings in the Marquisate of Saluces, in maintaining some of her son's subjects against him, and stirring up others by gifts and pensions. Therefore, if he meant to take that course, she had more to say upon those occasions. The Ambassador, seeing her something moved, used modesty and great reverence towards her. She was informed that he said aloud to M. Lansac at dinner that it would be good for her to have one of his master's daughters in her Court, which would be a fit marriage for Monsieur ; whereby she seemed to be very much displeased, saying that if he had uttered those words to her, he would have had such a rebuke that never ambassador had received a greater, and she understands that he delivers like speeches again, she intends to give order that he shall not be 'forborne.' I have heard that the Queen has very lately taken occasion to be offended with the 'motion' of the Spanish King's daughter, upon the delivery to her of a letter that was surprised among the packets in which Cardinal Granvelle answers Captain Mondragon, who had wished him to be persuaded to these two points ; first that the king should 'compass' Monsieur by way of money to be his friend, and so frustrate those of the Low Countries of that hopeto which the Cardinal answered that he could not advise the king to dishonour himself by seeking the Duke of Anjou, one meaner than himself, who had injured him and made a party with his rebels ; he doubted not but the Catholic king had yet so many true subjects in the Low Countries and such power elsewhere, that he will shortly be avenged of his enemies and illwillers 'whatsoever.' For the second point, whereas Mondragon wished the king were persuaded to give his daughter in marriage to Monsieur, and by a new alliance to withdraw him from the Flemish practices, the rather because the King of France had no succession, and small hope of it, while if he married the Queen of England, the whole Low Countries will be put in hazard, considering the desire already shown to Monsieur, and the party which the Queen of England has in respect of religion, and their powers being united might prevail to this the Cardinal replied that he could not use persuasion to the king to seek to deliver his daughter to one that was his enemy and had allied himself with heretics ; wishing that the marriage with the Queen of England might go forward, whereby the Catholic king would have the better occasion to be revenged on Monsieur. This letter of Cardinal Granvelle was carried in the Queen Mother's pocket some days, but it is feared that a little alteration of time and change of persuasion will put her into some other humour. Fregoso, who was put into the Bastille at Paris, is deceased, 'and' given out that he is dead of the plague ; but it is thought he has been secretly executed by some such means as they use in like cases. The Commendator Birague, kinsman to the cardinal, enjoys the office which Fregoso had in the Marquisate of Saluces. The secretary to Germigny, this king's ambassador with the Grand Signior, is sent to Constantinople, since the late audience which the Spanish ambassador had. It is discovered that the Spanish king has 'persuaded with' the Genoese [qu. Genevese] to give him better assurance in their state, because he is advertised that the French king practises to reduce their commonwealth to his devotion. The last advertisement from Spain by way of Lyons 'import' that the king is very sick. It is further signified that he is troubled with a kind of falling-sickness, wherewith his senses are so 'astonied' that by fits it continues with him the space of four or five days. It is practised in the Turkish Court to bring the Grand Signior's mother, wife, and sister to the Romish religion ; wherein so much has passed that a secret hope is conceived. Assan Aga, viceroy of Algiers, has returned to Constantinople. Sinan Bassa has been repulsed by the Persians. At Constantinople they are afflicted with pestilence and famine. The Pope communicated to many of his household servants after his sacrifice of the Mass made this Christmas. He will have delivered to him certain prisoners whom he demanded heretofore of the Grand Master of Malta, it being agreed among those knights of all the nations that notwithstanding their ancient privileges, the Grand Master shall obey the Bishop of Rome's writs, which appears by the late confirming of the resignation of the Grand Priory of Auvergne to the son of Mme de Garnache.Blois, 5 Jan. 1580. P.S.I have received no letters from you since those of the 16th ult. by Henry Adams. Endd. by Walsingham. 4 pp. [France V. 16.]
I think myself happy, most noble count, that it has been my fortune, in my frequent sojourns in Belgium, to see and make acquaintance with the noblemen of your country ; at the same time I regret that I never had to do with you, whom all men constantly declare to be eminent among those noblemen in virtue, wisdom, learning and humanity, not only in family dignity. I think I have heard from others that virtue and honour have entered into a close alliance in you, so that you are as far superior to the other chief men in the endowment of wit and ability (genii et ingenii), as in nobility of birth. Further, you hold a conspicuous place among the king's councillors, and delight to deserve well of mankind and especially of suppliants. It would therefore have been a great pleasure to have had your closer acquaintance, and I should now find you more ready to relieve my misfortunes. All which is the reason why, although you do not even know me by sight, I decided to write to you and ask your aid because you hold so high an office and are so brilliant by your virtues. Consider with a favourable eye my unlucky lot ; being sent as ambassador from the Queen of England to the Emperor, and certain electors and princes of the Empire, I have been illegally and treacherously captured in a district not under Spanish jurisdiction by Schenk's reiters, who perpetrated this crime under no orders from your side. Let us have done with cruel suspicions ; if of late years I have been employed on various business for our Queen, let it not do me harm. Let my fidelity and industry in performing duties for my mistress bespeak your praise of me, not your hatred. In sum, either I have injured you, or I have not. If I have, let me be sent back to my mistress, your king's ally, whom you will find as just in punishing me, on the accusation of your king's ambassador, as I expect her to be liberal and kind in rewarding my services. If, as I hope, I have not injured you, acknowledge my innocence. Of the rest of my state, that I be not tedious to you, I have twice already written fully to the right honourable d'Assonleville, who if you wish (such is my confidence in him) will gladly impart all to you. If my hopes are fulfilled, and I obtain your favour in my liberation, I shall never regret this writing, nor you the kindness.Bredeford, 8 Feb. 1581. Copy in D. R.'s hand and endorsed by him. Lat. 1 pp. [Germany II. 14.]
Well and sensibly does that great man Decius Ausonius, consular, tutor to the Emperors Valentinian and Gratian, an experienced courtier, twice prefect in Italy and in Gaul, pray to God in these lines :
Nec vero crimine laedar,
Nec maculer dubiis ; paullum distare videtur
Suspectus vereque reus.
He could easily have seen in the Palace during his long stay with the Emperor how atrocious was suspicion at that time, and not unreasonably desired that his own reputation might be free from it. I doubt whether it is possible in this age, cankered as it is with civil wars, when suspicions are picked up and make their own way so widely, that those who handle public affairs should wholly escape them, and I think that any within our memory may rather hope for this happiness than obtain it. Still I think that men who study true virtue and renown should try all they can to get the better of unfair suspicions. This, then, is my reason for adding the present to my former letters. For I hear that the Commissioners, after leaving this place, opened certain papers of mine left by Schenck at Anholt, in which were some notes of instructions with which a little before my journey into the Low Countries I was, as it was commonly reported, to have been sent into Portugal ; and so discovered cryptic characters, vulgarly called cyphers. Hence sundry suspicions arose in their minds, as I heard from some ; and it is lest these should further prejudice my cause that I thought good to add this little to my last letter. So far as regards the notes of instructions, I may tell you that neither they nor any others that there may have been were approved by the Queen's sign-manual as authority ; but I thought it well to keep copies of them, as it is my habit to do in the case of political discussions. But whereas the Queen was often solicited by the Portuguese to help them in their difficulties, her answer is believed, as I have been told by living persons worthy of credence, to have been purposely delayed, because she could not get at any certainty as to the right of succession. She was, however, much annoyed at Don Antonio's assumption of the title of king without the consent or approval of the judges appointed by King Henry to decide the question. On hearing of it, therefore, she decided neither to write nor to send to Portugal ; nor would she admit Antonio's ambassador to audiences, and even forbade her councillors to meet him. As for the cyphers, I took several such with me because I had been ordered to put some together for correspondence with the Court ; and as I was thinking of starting an improved method of composing them, I thought I ought to make out the methods of others who would be held great authorities in that line, that I might think it out more carefully. So far as I can remember I never used a cypher up till now. I have often begun to consider the question of characters, but I have always been hindered either by shortness of time when a letter had to be written or something else. Often, too, the cypher given me was not satisfactory ; so that I have never used this kind of character.Bredeford, 8 Feb. 1581. Copy in D. R.'s hand. Endd. by him. Lat. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 64 (r).]
Feb. 10. 48. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
I have had conference with the Lord of Arbrothe, and find him in his speeches fully bent to sue her Majesty. He has 'yielded himself' willing to repair to England, and desires to have a sufficient passport signed by her hand, in virtue of which he may be licensed to repair to and return from England about such affairs as he has to deal with the Queen [sic]. He was besides earnest with me to have a few words written in her hand, signifying her liking of his repair to her. But I showed him that princes never or seldom do so much, but advertise by their secretaries or ambassadors their minds in such cases. So he rests presently satisfied ; nevertheless if it seemed good to you, it would more content him if you wrote a few lines to him, or to me so that I might show him the letter. Notwithstanding, he has promised to be ready about March 10 to depart for England, 'so as' he may receive the passport and some help towards the payment of his debts. Meantime he proposes, by retiring little by little from the Bishop's house, to take away suspicion of his departure. Likewise he will give the best order by commission to the rest of his creditors, 'taking days' for the repayment. I find from his servant that he cannot put himself in order without 300 or 400. It seems that he has care to do his business in honourable sort. He is for the present going, as he informed me, to 'Burgis' in Berry, to see and speak with the young Earl of 'Huntle,' his sister's son. Pray let her Majesty be advertised of this, and let me know her further resolution herein ; the 'raither' because I have assured him I will satisfy his demands by the 22nd inst. It is greatly feared that the companies which are ranging in la Beauce are to be employed in some intestine action and not for any foreign. The couriers who were looked for out of Spain 'come short,' and are not heard tell of. They now certify that the queens will be at Chiverny's on Monday, and so come to this town.Blois, 10 Feb. 1580. Add. gone. Endt. (which does not seem to belong to this letter) : Sent by the Q. the king's mother. 1 p. [France V. 17.]
Feb. 10. 49. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
I have taken occasion to write to you only upon this : that having sent the other day to the Court to have audience of Queen Mother, it seemed that Secretary Pinart at my servant's first coming to him, entered into questioning when the commissioners would go hence, and 'how chanced' that all those affairs were broken off, and whether in good earnest it was meant that the marriage-negotiations should proceed ; enquiring further if Parliament was begun and all those causes resolved on in England. To which my servant answered that he knew of no alteration, nor of anything meant contrary to what their Majesties had been given to understand. Lastly, M. Pinart asked if I had received any news from England, marvelling that they heard nothing from their Majesties, and purposing to wait till they heard. My servant, finding these speeches strange and his countenance altered, made enquiries of the secretary's servants, from whom he understood that the preparation for their present departure from the Court was suddenly stayed. M. Lansac also certified me of the change of his purpose to come hither ; 'having' prepared to receive them both yesterday according to their appointment, as may appear by the enclosed letter. It is advertised that Monsieur uses great diligence to accomplish all things accorded on in the articles of the peace. Puynormand and Saint Emilion are already surrendered. He has likewise sent gentlemen to enter into the other towns. Howbeit they of Cahors and Mende make great difficulty. The Queen Mother has been informed that the Prince of Cond is so ill-satisfied with the peace that he would make some party if he were not better considered ; which somewhat troubles the course of affairs. M. 'Beauvays la Nogle' has returned from his Highness, having accomplished those offices on behalf of the Duke of Nevers ; though the Duke of Montpensier remains still unsatisfied. There are many companies ranging about the countries of la Beauce, Gtinais, and Alenon, 'bearing the name that it is' for the service of his Highness. Meantime Cambray remains much distressed. About Saint Mathurin march Rochepot's and la Fert's companies ; which is not the way to Flanders, whereby other suspicions are conceived. Upon the intercepting of a packet, Montmorency and Biron this week advertised the Queen Mother of an enterprise the Spanish king pretends against this realm. The king has continued at St. Germain's ever since the 21st ult. with Lavalette, d'O, Arques, Chteauvieux and Lenoncourt. No others have access to him, except Horatio, who was sometime one of his pages ; and none but his guards are suffered to lie in the town. Notwithstanding, he dispatches many letters with his own hand. His four physicians, who resort to him, have counselled him to continue his diet all this month. At meals the above-named gentlemen serve him by course, and are nightly watched by the grooms of the chamber. Meantime the queens live at Chenonceaux, somewhat retiredly, having stayed their intended journey to Tours for a while. The Duke of Nemours governs the young Duke of Savoy peaceably and politicly, having a great party in that Court. He has sent his eldest son to the Duke of Ferrara. I should have been glad to receive your letters before this, for the last that came were dated the 18th of the past month ; so that I might better have satisfied M. Pinart's doubts, and also be put out of the pain I am in for some little fond rumours, which those here hear whispered without any foundation of truth, or without naming the person, but that some are brought into suspicion with her Majesty, whereof I can hear no certainty.Blois, 10 Feb. 1580. Add. and Endt. gone. 2 pp. [Ibid. V. 18.]
Feb. 11. 50. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I have been for some time away from this town, which has been the reason why I have not written to you. As for what has passed in these parts, his Excellency has been always in Holland, with the Estates of the Provinces, and it seems as if they would be there some months yet, in order to carry out the purpose of their meeting, which will greatly advance their affairs. In Friesland the enemy continues the siege of Steenwyk, and on the 6th inst. the States forces were to be employed in relieving it, as they wrote. Mr Norris has borne himself very valorously in those parts up to now, and there is hope that he will do some good in this relief. The Prince of Parma and the ecclesiastics of Hainault and Artois have proposed to bring back the Spaniards, which has caused some division between those provinces and the principal lords, and the Prince of Parma has been very busy appeasing them. He is preparing forces to hinder the entry of the French and the re-victualling of Cambray, which it is hoped will come about by the arrival of M. de Fervacques on the frontier, pending that of Monsieur's army. It will be a difficult thing to re-victual it, inasmuch as the Malcontents are strong there. Those of Cambray have dispatched M. de Rinsard to Monsieur, asking him to help them as soon as he can, in order to stop the people of that town, who are murmuring a good deal. Those of this town have made a fresh demand, namely the 25th [qu. 20me et 5me] penny and some other things, which have been granted, and will bring in a large sum, with which they reckon to pay their soldiers every month. Next Tuesday the matter will come before the Great Council, and if things turn out according to agreement there will be a means of setting affairs in order. As to Scotland, there are various rumours here ; and I will tell you what I have heard from some Scots, able men, who say that the English want to govern their state with a rod ( baguette) and as they pleased, and introduce such persons into the King's Council as they thought fit, and turn out any that did not suit them. It was not long since Mr Bowes, (fn. 1) being sent from her Majesty, made difficulties about delivering his message if M. d'Aubigny was not turned out of the Council ; and further, in the last 23 years, since the English were called into Scotland under cover of practice, they have caused two or three of their fortresses on the frontier to be razed and have burnt a number of gentlemen's houses at the discretion of partisans in their pay, of whom the Earl of Morton, formerly regent, is the principal ; who was imprisoned on the 1st of January last for having tried by all means to ruin and banish all who took the opposite side. They say moreover that the league with the English was the ruin of the nobility of the country for the good of a few pensioners of England. They had lost their great advantages from France, with which they had been allied for 700 years, and had always some great lord in France, a knight of the order, of their nation, always in some great post, captain of 100 men-at-arms, and a hundred gentlemen besides were kept in service every year, besides the convenience of many captains employed in honourable offices. Now, losing the advantages of France, and their country being poor, without resources, the younger sons of the nobility were constrained to serve their elder brothers or others, or to employ themselves in the mechanical arts. So that for their honours and 'utility' they were forced to seek to France, to recover what they had lost ; and the only means thereto was that M. d'Aubigny should be the restorer ; and he has at present great credit, as a prince of the blood, etc. A few months there left these parts one Mr James Balfour, who was coming from France and going into Scotland. He has greatly furthered this movement ; and if you do not attend to it very dexterously this little fire will light a big one for you. You know I am your servant. I send you such news as there is. Please let Secretary Wilson see it.Antwerp, 11 Feb. 1581. Add. Endd : From Monsr. F. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 24.]
Being at dinner with the Prince of Orange lately in Holland, there were present at the table two daughters of Egmont ; who hearing that I was an Euglishman, and in commission there for her Majesty's affairs, seemed for that respect to offer me greater courtesy, and within two days after sent three ancient gentlemen to invite me to their house at the Hague, where a little before my departure from those parts I received at their hands courteous entertainment. Upon this beginning of acquaintance they have since my return hither written their letter to me, which I thought good to enclose to you, desiring that you would advertise me how I may best frame some answer to their contentment. They are gentlewomen, as I understand, very well given, and endowed with divers singular qualities, both by nature and the help of good education. At my being with them I noted a certain rare modesty as well in their behaviour as in the order and government of their house ; the most part of their family being staid men and well grown in years. The elder of these sisters is about 28 years of age, the other 20 ; both unmarried and of sufficient reserve in Holland to maintain their degree, although a great part of their patrimony, lying in Artois and 'Henegoo,' remains at the disposition of the Malcontents. And forasmuch as their desire seems to proceed from a very good fountain, that is, from the affection which they bear to her Majesty, I am the more emboldened to commend the furtherance of it to you, awaiting your opinion and advice.Antwerp, 11 Feb. 1581. I beseech you that their letter may be either safely kept, or sent back hither. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. 25.]
Feb. 11. Enclosed with above :
52. The Ladies of Egmont to Hoddesdon.
'Monsieur le gouverneur,' when some years ago we heard talk of the rare and royal virtues of her Majesty, we were desirous (and notably since we have been in this country of Holland) to see her, and present our humble services ; considering, too, that she always held our late father in good affection and all our house. But the diversity of our affairs here, together with the few connections that we have in that country, to do it honourably, in any way conformably to our rank, have been the reason why we could not manage it. And since at present we have put our affairs, at least certain great difficulties belonging to them, on a better footing, being urged by the same desire, we have thought good to make it known to you, and jointly beg you, for the confidence we have in your affection for us, to be so kind as to send us a word to say if you think that if we were to make an expedition to kiss her Majesty's hand, it would not be disagreeable to her ; and in case you think it would not, to advise us as to the best means of making the journey, with the least danger in the passage, and the further steps we ought to take. If you will do us this kindness you will oblige us to show our gratitude by all means in our power.The Hague, 1 Feb. 1581. (Signed) Franchoyse d'Egmont, Sabine d'Egmont. Add. Endd. (in England). Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. 25 A.]
Feb. 12. 53. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was the 5th inst. The Malcontents are beginning to gather all their forces together at 'Ghetrinsberghe,' for thither are gone already two regiments of 'Allmans' and one of Burgundians, all foot ; which was their only want, so that the speech goes here they will have a camp in the field about the beginning of March or shortly after. M. Montigny, he remains still at 'Ghetringsberghe,' and the Marquis of Risbourg is returned back from 'wenst' he came beside Cambray, with the forces he brought with him. Surely they 'slepe' not their matters as the States do, for although there is some discord among them, and also want of money to pay their soldiers, yet it seems they will go through with their matters ; for they write from Lille they will be strong enough to keep the French out of the country. It is also written from Lille that M. de Bours is prisoner at Mons, by command of the Prince of Parma, being commanded not to leave the town. Since the last meeting of the Malcontents at Mons great persuasions have been used by letters and other ways to the town in Artois to take in soldiers, but 'by no means they will have none,' which makes the Prince of Parma fort malcontent against them. Because money is wanting, and must presently be had, the Malcontents have offered to sell certain abbey lands that lie in Artois and Hainault, but they can find none that will buy them. The late speech that was here, of a camp that the States would have made beside Ghent, is now all dead, for there is no more speech of it, nor any preparations for it ; greatly to the misliking of those that wish well to the cause ; so that it seems their only trust is in the coming of Monsieur, who is greatly desired here, and 'much feared' he will tarry too long, for it is thought the enemy will be strongly planted in the field before his coming, which will be greatly to the discommodity of the States. It is said he will be here shortly, for two days ago a post came from Paris with letters to the Prince, who declared at Ghent as he passed that he came from Paris and left Monsieur and the King of Navarre both there, and that the speech there was that both would depart for these parts in two or three days, and further, that between Cambray and Saint-Quentin 'it lies' full of Frenchmen awaiting Monsieur's coming.Bruges, 12 Feb. 1581. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 26.]


  • 1. Sic : 'Le sieur Bos' ; but Randolph must be meant