Elizabeth: December 1581, 21-25

Pages 411-418

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

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

Please subscribe to access the page scans

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

December 1581, 21-25

Dec. 21. 440. Translation of a certificate by Thomas Strigota, notary of the king's judgement court in the city of Angra and jurisdiction of the Isle of Terceira, of a deposition made by Henry Roberts of Bristol, captain of a ship and pinnace sent to the isles by command of Don Antonio, in the house of Lord Ciprian de Figuerdo de Basco Duceles [qy. Vasconcellos], governor of the island, to the effect that in lieu of pay the governor had given him an obligation upon 260 chests of sugar (including 160 of white sugar, containing 1745 'rouffes' 20lbs., and 99 of muscovado, weighing 1068 'rouffes' 26lbs.) ; the sugar to be delivered in London to Don Antonio or John Rs de Sousa, and Roberts's pay to be a first charge on the proceeds. Witnessed by Edward Perin [Prim] Correa and Sebastian de Octo, gentleman. Endd. : The Spanish Ambassador ; and précis of contents. 2 pp. [Spain I. 77.]
Dec. 21. 441. A similar certificate by James Trigo, notary of the accounts and substance of the king, and 'bekonchamber' of this isle, on behalf of John 'de' Barnes, Englishman, acting for Captain Henry Hawson, who 'was gone with a prize which he had taken, and until this day men know not of the said Captain.' The sugar to be delivered in Bristol to one having authority from Don Antonio. Witnessed by Manuel Fernandez de Valores and Sebastian de Ocoto, captains. Endd. as the last. Both have marginal notes by (?) Lisle Cave. 2¼ pp. [Ibid. I. 78.]
There is arrived here a bark of Lyme, which came from the 'main firm' [at] Villa Nova ; who informed me that the King of Spain is making ready certain shipping for this island. But I am 'not of that opinion but he' will employ them for some other place. He takes out of our English ships some four, some five, mariners, and it is thought he will make stay of them all in the end. There is shipping there, by their estimation, to the number of threescore sail. Since I wrote to you last about a prize I laid aboard, thinking she had been in England, she has arrived here, and my men, in safety ; but for any recompense, I can have nothing. The country here is very poor, for they are not able to pay us our pay but in sugars, and scant ; for they could not have 'answered' Captain Robarts' little part of his pay if this prize had not come in.— Terceira 'in Portingaile,' 22 Dec. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Portugal I. 68.]
Dec. 22. 443. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I cannot yet tell how to write you the truth of the news sent by the Captain of la Fère to the king, how the Prince of Condé had been at a house within the park of la Fère with intention to have surprised the town ; whereupon the king has sent thither, and has since been persuaded not to believe there is any such matter. Among the chief, the Cardinal of Bourbon has assured him that when the prince should be come into Picardy, it would be about his own particular affairs. I have been informed that a gentleman dwelling in Saint-Jean-d'Angely has written hither of the prince's departing thence secretly. This much only have I been informed thereof. It was suspected that Lansac had contrived some practice against Saint-Jean-d'Angely upon his passing by, when going to Don Antonio and Strozzi ; and there was the most mistrust because the Viscount of Aubeterre had gathered his friends together upon a quarrel he has with another gentleman of those parts. I have been assured that Count Brissac has 'delivered' to a great friend of his in this town, that he has secret commission from the king to 'do an exploit' against those of the Religion. The count has left his unicorn's horn, of great length, and other rich jewels with this friend, being a person of good quality ; therefore I am induced to give it the more credit. The king on the day he departed hence met with M. de 'Tyllene' [Teligny] and questioned him whence he came, and of his father, M. de la Noue. The Duke of Guise being present said to M. de Téligny that if he had power as he had will, his father should not live long in prison. I have stayed Mr Hastings 'going to horseback' to write these few words.—Paris, 22 Jan. Add. and endt. gone. 1½ pp. [France VI. 82.]
Dec. 24. 444. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
Since my last, the king has continued his journey 'abroad,' returning tonight to Noisy, the Marshal of Retz's house, intending I hear to be here tomorrow night. I have been given to understand that Strozzi before his departure required divers of his friends to confer with him ; when he discovered to them that the Queen Mother had commanded him to 'accept into his association' the Count of Brissac, young Lansac, and a captain of Provence. Thereon his friends declared that they very much misliked that manner of proceeding, esteeming that thereby his reputation would be prejudiced, and also the enterprise would grow suspicious to those of the Religion, in respect of the quality of those persons that were united with him. Moreover it is understood that the Queen Mother has delivered an assignation for 50,000 crowns to Brissac for levying men and for shipping. The Prince of Condé, after receiving three 'sundry' advices from persons of good credit that certain troops of gentlemen were marching by night, having their armour in carriages, and likewise that the quarrel which the Viscount of Aubeterre pretended to have was but a thing dissembled, serving for a cloak to gather companies together, sent thereupon for divers gentlemen dwelling about Saint-Jean-d'Angely, and declared it to them, with other intelligences of which he was advertised. So being moved 'upon those causes,' they have thought good to give some order in their affairs for their better safeguard. Marshal Montmorency has written to the king that he understands some have informed his Majesty that he had embraced some practice for the disquieting of his estate. He beseeches his Majesty that he may know the authors of those reports, that he may answer them according to their deserts in defence of his honour and loyalty ; declaring further that he is now seeking means to unite the gentlemen in the country under his government, and trusts he shall therein do his Majesty singular service, and establish the public peace. I think you will hear tell that there will be a meeting between the King of Navarre and Marshal Montmorency near 'Mazzars' [Masères] in the county of Foix. It is understood that if Monsieur proceeds in the matters of Flanders, the Prince of Condé will have means to serve him with troops of horse and companies of foot both German and French ; whereof I suppose you may be more certainly advertised. The king has commanded better garrisons to be put in all the towns of Normandy. On the departure hence of the Marshal of Retz, the king asked his mother why he returned from the Court. The Queen Mother answered that he had gone to Rouen to seek him a better countenance, considering that he had disgraced him in not vouchsafing to make him privy to any part of his affairs, during his last abode. Thereupon the king requested her to write to the marshal to come back to his house, because he meant either at setting out, or on his return, to 'cheer' with him at Noisy. But notwithstanding, 'when now' the king made no estimation of the Count of Retz, he had secret recourse in the evenings to the Queen Mother in her cabinet. They write from Geneva that the Duke of Savoy makes claim to the right of certain merchandise, which moves those of the town to doubt he means to quarrel with them ; whereon, mistrusting, they have sent to the Swiss Cantons. Notwithstanding, I have heard the Duke has 'showed' to be of better disposition than that he should do what now is advertised. I send enclosed a note of advertisements from sundry parts.— Paris, 24 Dec. 1581. Add. and endt. gone. 2 pp. [France VI. 83.]
Dec. 24. 445. M. D'ANFREMEZ[?] to WALSINGHAM.
This bearer will tell you how he has been at Hesdin, but could not speak to the Viscount of Turenne, nor could he whom I sent with him ; which I much regret, being very desirous to know better how he is disposed of. He is kept more closely (est plus captif) than he was before. I will leave this subject, to thank you for the good remembrance you have of me, and beg you to believe that nothing shall happen within my knowledge, which I may know will be acceptable to you to do you service, but I will employ myself therein with such affection that you shall judge by the effect that I lack nothing of goodwill. As for the expenses [?] which you again mention, it puts me in mind that you have not forgotten me ; and if anyone falls into my hands coming on your behalf, I will take such good care of him for love of you, and for the assurance I have of the kindness which will accompany them, that I shall never rid myself of them. If I am so fortunate as to have anything else that may be acceptable to you, you can dispose of me and whatever depends on me.—Abbeville, 24 Dec. 1581. Add. Endd. : from the Governor of Abbeville. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 84.]
Dec. 24, 26. 446. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
Since my last, which was the 17th, very few speeches have passed here but such as grieve me to write of, and that is for want of good government and a good commander all on the States' side here in Flanders is in great danger to be lost. What they write to the Prince of their necessity and danger, he answers with small comfort to be had at his hands ; so that I see he begins greatly to lose the hearts of the magistrates and commons in these parts, for after God, their only trust was in him, and now they have no counsel nor help at his hands, so that such as govern here are to seek what is best to be done for their safeguard. It is grievous to see in what great danger they are of their enemy, and have no good counsel which way to defend themselves, for there is no town here provided either with men or with munition for defence, which it is much feared the enemy will put to some proof ere long. With lamenting speech they say if they have not some comfort from England they must yield to the mercy of their enemies. Surely they do not complain without cause ; and they 'lay a great fault' in M. de Villiers, the French minister, 'of' this evil government, for the speech goes here that the Prince follows most his counsel in all matters. God send them some better government, for at present they are clean without it. The Prince of Parma has separated his forces in sundry parts, but the greatest part of them lie here in Flanders beside Corttrick, and some of them are come to Thorout, which is within 4 small miles of this town, and some are lying beside Ypres, so that by the spies of this town it is thought there will be dealing with 'Dixmewe' or Dunkirk ; for which cause Colonel Preston is sent from Meenen to Dunkirk with 3 ensigns of Scots, and if it were not for some discord there is among the enemy's soldiers for want of pay, there would have been doing with some town in those parts ere this. The rest of the enemy's forces bend towards Nynhove, which is very weakly furnished both with men and munition, for which cause M. de Villeneuve with his company of French, and Colonel Stewart with his of Scots were appointed by the Council at Ghent to go and lie there, which they refused ; wherefore the 'Gantners' drive them out of their liberties, so they are come to Eccloo, where they lie, within 5 miles of this town. So there is great disorder here for want of obedience, for there is no man that will obey. The government of the town and castle of Tournay is not yet given to any man. The speech goes that the Prince of Parma will keep it in his own hands. He has now placed both in the town and castle all 'Dutches,' and would fain place Mondragon as governor there, which has raised some angry speeches among the gentlemen and soldiers of the Malcontents. It is greatly feared that some trouble will fall out at Ghent, for the 'Gantners' begin to wax angry at this evil government on the States' side ; for which cause the Council that was there assembled are departed to Antwerp, for it seems they durst tarry there no longer.—Bruges, 24 Dec. 1581. P.S.—This morning, the 26th, certain news is come to the magistrates of this town, that the Marquis of Risbourg and M. de Montigny came yesternight to 'Russelers' with 1,000 horse and 3,000 foot, so that it is feared they have some enterprise in these parts. Some say they are come to lie in all the passages to Meenen to keep them from victuals, that town having all its victual from the villages thereabout ; for those of Lille offer large sums of money to get that town. Advice is also come to this town from Lille that the Duke of Aerschot is dead at Mons in Hainault, and the Duchess of Parma at Namur. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 135.]
447. Appended to the above ; without date, but probably of about this time. M. de Rochepot is gone to Antwerp to the Prince [Rochepot was at Middelburg on Dec. 20, and the Prince on Jan. 8] and it seems his soldiers are good Catholics, for they have sent to this town for some priest to say to them Mass, and here in this town a priest is hard to be found, so that they are not pleased that the Catholic religion is not better used here. Nor will they eat any flesh on Fridays and Saturdays, so that it is much feared these are too 'Popeholy' to do the States any good service. God turn all for the best. In Stokes's hand. 10ll. [Ibid. XIV. 135a.]
Dec. 24. 448. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote to you last on the 16th [sic]. His Excellency has been ill of a tertian. He has had three attacks, and is now free from it, thank God ; for if anything happened to him personally, these countries would be in a piteous state. It is a deplorable thing that good or bad fortune should depend upon a single mortal man ; yet it is a thing to see with your eyes in these countries. His Excellency last Tuesday sent M. de Rochebrune to his Highness to urge him to come hither as soon as his convenience allows, owing to the need the country has of his prompt arrival. Rochebrune also went by the place where M. de la Rochepot is on behalf of his Excellency to cause him to advance his troops towards Villevorde, inasmuch as the enemy's principal forces are in Hainault, which causes a report to be current that they are coming to Brussels. The governor of that town is at present with his Excellency, to get him to bring up 1,000 or 1,200 men to put into Brussels in order further to secure the forces that are there. Nevertheless there is no telling certainly what the enemy will undertake, if it is not at Dunkirk. The Gantois have refused to allow M. de Thiant's regiment to enter their town. It has been sent to Ninove, and the four companies which were there have entered into Ghent. M. de la Garde's regiment have not received one sou of what was agreed upon with them, wherefore the soldiers are very discontented, and M. de Haultepenne has sent to them by some soldiers returning from imprisonment that if they will seize their colonel and captains and put the town into the hands of the Prince of Parma, they shall be paid all that is due to them. For this reason the soldiers have sent a captain named Darville to his Excellency, the Estates of Brabant, and the magistrates of this town, to protest that if they are not paid what was promised them within 6 days, the city and regiment will be lost. They will no longer be humbugged into serving such ungrateful masters. The captain has received fair words, and a promise to content them. That is how they stand. I judge that this mission was to frighten these people, who do nothing except under compulsion, in order to get some means out of them. For M. de la Garde and his captains are such well-disposed servants of his Excellency that they will never do anything to his prejudice unless perforce. 'Messieurs' of this town have sent a courier to the King of Navarre, to whom they are giving 260 crowns ; to obtain from him leave for M. du Plessis to remain here with them, and assist them with his advice. Directly, when the States-General meet in this town, they will consider an assured way to give him a salary of 6,000 florins a year ; though I fear that ultimately they will take him in, inasmuch as they are bad pay, and do not often keep their promises. The Archduke Mathias is still at Cologne. It is said that at the Diet which is to be held the Empire will raise a good number of soldiers, both horse and foot, of which he will take the command, and be declared his Majesty's governor-general in the Low Countries, the Prince of Parma retiring, and that he will then employ himself in making war here for the recovery of the King of Spain's states. Yet a fresh body of French has arrived, which has joined the others. M. d'Hargenlieu writes me that the Prince of Condé has asked him to hold himself ready in the spring to accompany him with Monsieur for the war in the Low Countries. He excused himself on the ground that when his highness came to Cambray he had sent for him, and he had excused himself on account of his daughter's marriage. To accept the Prince of Condé and refuse his Highness would not look well (n'auroit point de grâce). Nevertheless, if his Highness would not object, he would be ready to do him all service. He is a person worthy to be with great people, and a devoted servant of yours.—Antwerp, 24 Dec. 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 136.]