Elizabeth: January 1582, 1-10

Pages 438-452

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

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January 1582, 1-10

Dec. 31- Jan. 2. 486. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote you last week a letter of the 24th inst., since which very few speeches have passed, save the following. The Marquis of Risbourg, Baron D'Aubigny, M. de Montigny, M. de Rassinghien and others are all at present at 'Roussellers,' and this week more horse and foot have come to them. By good report there are 2,000 horse and 4,000 foot lying in the villages round about them. Besides this they have caused 500 spades and pickaxes to be brought them ; so it seems they have some great enterprise in hand, wherever it will be. But there is some hope they will do nothing, for most of their foot are Almans, and they have made plain answer at 'Russellers' that they will not depart thence till they are paid. So they have sent to Lille for money, where it is thought they will have none. There are also certain cornets of French horse that served the Malcontents, who have left them and gone to France, and will serve them no longer. The evil government among the States' soldiers continues still in these parts. They spoil their friends worse than the enemy does. It is lamentable to see the spoil and the disorder there is here among them ; which the enemy understands very well, and that makes them come so near this town, so that here is great fear of their estate. And surely, unless they may have some speedy aid from England, whence their only hope and trust is, I cannot perceive what way they are able to hold out long ; for the enemy triumph or make great vaunts that all here in Flanders shall be theirs ere it be long, and so it is much feared of all men. M. de Rochepot is not yet returned from Antwerp. His troops lie still at Hardenburg, and so do M. de Villeneuve and Col. Steward lie still at Eccloo. M. de Rochepot's troops cost this town and the 'Free' every day 1,000 guilders in victuals and do no service for it, and yet spoil the poor peasant very much. Letters are come from Antwerp that Monsieur is coming from England, and will be in these parts very shortly ; and that the Prince of Orange is gone from Antwerp into Zealand to meet him there. This speech of Monsieur coming has much comforted the hearts of the magistrates, in hopes that his presence will set some better order among them.—Bruges, 31 Dec. 1581.
Jan. 2. P.S.—Kept till 2 January.—Yesterday morning at 9 o'clock the Malcontents came with 1,000 horse and 2,000 foot to begin the New Year withal. They had thought to have taken this town by surprise at one of the gates, which should have been first entered by 20 horsemen clothed in black like merchants. But by great hap, a poor peasant came before, and gave the town knowledge of their coming ; so when they came, they found the gates shut, and so they missed of their enterprise. At the gate they slew a French captain and took certain prisoners, and so returned back to 'Roussellers.' Also yesterday the Prince of Orange, with all the Councillors of State came into Zealand to be ready to receive Monsieur. The Prince of Epinoy with all the States of Flanders are also departing from Ghent thitherwards, to do the like service. So here there is great gladness of his coming, and at every tide he is looked for there. God send him well to arrive. If you do not give command to the English posts when they return to England to come by this town, it will be long before you have any letters from hence ; for it seems the post will return by Zealand, and then to 'Sluc,' and from thence along the sea-coast to Dunkirk, which is more for slothfulness and ease than for any danger there is of the enemy. Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 1.]
Jan. 2.
Lettres de C. de M. viii. p. 1.
As a mother desirous of her son's contentment, and the first to embrace and put forward the matter of my son's marriage with the Queen of England on account of the esteem in which I hold her virtues, the special friendship I have always borne her, and the good which I thought would certainly result to the realms of France and England, I cannot conceal from you that I desire nothing so much as to see the matter settled, and regret that, contrary to what I hoped, there has been delay. I wish however to hope that at last she will have some consideration for his devotion and firm affection, and will content him in that which he wishes more than his own life ; and I beg you to employ your good offices to that effect. You will hear more fully from Mauvissière and Pinart.—Paris, 2 Jan. 1582. Add. Endd. : To her Majesty from Q. Mother. Fr. ½ p. [France VII. 1.]
I have received all the dispatches and memorials which you sent me by this bearer ; to which, being occupied here with an affair as important to me as you are aware, I cannot reply as fully as I should like. Your dispatch too merits a leisurely study, being long, and containing many points by articles and 'instructions' as you have composed it. I thank you nevertheless for the trouble you have taken to give me so good advice. As to the memorial on 'economy,' which concerns the proper way of treating with the king in respect of this, I do not know whether it is a matter of which we ought now to take advantage (nous aider), or await a more suitable time when I have begun to put my army in the field ; inasmuch as I expect to be succoured very promptly by his Majesty, and if I put these conditions to him first, I should fear that he would stop and make everything that he would have promised me depend on the resources which were likely to be forthcoming from it. This is not a thing of which one can avail oneself as quickly as is needful for me ; so that I think the best thing will be to temporise a little until I see a start made in my affairs ; since I must put some end to that which has brought me into this realm before I can decide upon all the points contained in each of the letters which you have written me. Meanwhile I thank you for the good advice you give, confirming thereby my opinion of your regard for me.—London, 3 Jan. 1582. Copy, in same hand as that to which it is a reply, No. 378. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France VII. 2.]
Jan. 4. 489. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
[M. de la Guiche in answer 'delivered' to a friend of] mine how he delivered unto the use of D'Aubigny for 'Don Britayn' castle 25 barrels of powder, besides other munition ; which Glasgow and the Duke of Guise procured. And further they say parties sought more favour that way, which the French king was willing to perform if his other business did not hinder, especially to favour the King of Scots, to whom he was well affected ; doubting that in Scotland trouble would happen, and saying further it was pity there were no strong forts between England and Berwick. I hear say that Rosse caused the book of Campion, which I send you, to be printed. It is signified to me that Pinart is sent to see what her Majesty does after the departure of Monsieur. Partly in cipher. Endd. in later hand : a piece of a letter from Sir Ed. Stafford in cipher. Some notes of Walsingham's, apparently referring to ways of dealing with Monsieur, on back. ½ p. [France VII. 3.]
Jan. 4. 490. Decipher of the above, in hand of Walsingham and one of his clerks. Endd. : Sir H. Cobham's letter deciphered. 2/3 p. [Ibid. VII. 3a.]
Jan. 4. 491. HEADS OF NEWS from FRANCE.
"By letters from Sir H. Cobham of the 4th of January (really the 5th ; i.e. No. 493) 1581." It is reported that Marshal de Cossé is to surrender to M. de Chiverny his governments of Orleans, Blois, Tours and Chartres. It is thought that Monsieur has 'good affection' to be served by Biron, were it not for Biron's excessiveness in expenses, and 'passions by choler.' It is likewise expected the Prince of Condé will be appointed Monsieur's lieutenant-general. Queen Mother intends to meet her daughter the Queen of Navarre at Chenonceau, before her coming to the Court. The king means to remove to Saint Germain-en-Laye, to enter 'into the diet.' The Duke of Nemours is reported to be at the extremity of death in Savoy. On New Year's Day the king presented to everyone of the Order of Saint-Esprit, in a purse of orange-tawny velvet, 1,000 crowns, the knights being 32 ; which with other charges stood the king in 50,000 crowns. The king discontented with the Pope's proceeding against the Grand Prior of Malta. A book presented to the king by the Bishop of Ross, who seeks a benefice at the king's hands. The Pope's nuncio, with M. 'Malepina' received to audience. There is a quarrel between M. de Rocheguyon and Chanlivaut, 'one valiant' and favoured by the king, lately servant to Monsieur. Lavalette the elder came to visit d'Epernon his brother, 'being in the diet.' Gerbes slain by Captain Cesar, an Italian. Campion's and the Jesuits' death put in French. 1 p. [France VII. 4.]
Jan. 5. 492. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I would not fail, having the 'commodity' of this ordinary post, to let you know that I received your packet dated the 27th ult. in which were enclosed letters from Lord Cobham to his son and me. In answer to which my nephew has written both to you and his father. He takes his journey to-day 'in good hour' towards Lyons. I have also sent by this bearer certain books of the newest sort I could at present find ; beseeching you that if you think good they may be delivered to her Majesty. I have enclosed a note of the names of the books sent. As I have to-day a 'commodity' to send by the son of M. Pinart, I do not further enlarge these letters, only requesting that Lord Hamilton may be remembered if you please, because he has lately often sent to me. I also repaired the other day to M. Lansac, making declarations of what was contained in yours of Nov. 23, which did not come to my hands till the 1st inst. by means of a merchant of Rouen. It concerned the depredations committed by young Lansac's ship on the Mermaid, of Embden, belonging to Thomas Manwood. I was promised by old M. Lansac that he will write effectually to his son in that behalf, whereto I shall 'harken.' Further, I sent young Lansac's answer concerning Luke Ward's ship by Paul my Italian, hoping before this it is come to your hands.—Paris, 5 Jan. 1582. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France VII. 5.]
Jan. 5. 493. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
It appears from your last letter that M. Pinart mentioned, in some speech to her Majesty, that upon occasion taken by the king at my last audience opinion was conceived I had moved him for M. Lansac's repairing to England. This doubt has arisen without any occasion offered by my speech to their Majesties or otherwise ; but at the time of my access the Queen Mother asked the king almost whisperingly if it were not well that some man of greater quality were sent besides Pinart, since his brother was there in England. To which the king at once answered somewhat roundly, in my hearing, that he thought best to send Pinart thither because he was well acquainted with those affairs, until some further occasion were presented. So it may be that upon this motion of the queen's the king may have caused somewhat thereof to be written to Pinart in that dispatch. There appears 'now nor since' any meaning or likelihood that M. Lansac should be employed that way ; though at first, when he heard tell the marriage was concluded, he showed himself, as I heard, desirous to be sent to England. Of late nothing has passed other than the creation of seven knights of the Saint-Esprit, whose names I enclose. Now it is understood that Marshal Cossé is to surrender to M. de Chiverny his governments of Orleans, Blois, Tours, and Chartres ; whereon sundry opinions are grown in the minds of those who do not know the interior meaning of the Marshal. Some think he has yielded thereto to please the king, being in a little displeasure upon former occasions. Others suppose that he puts from him those governments that he may remain less obliged to the king's service, and so may the more frankly betake himself to follow Monsieur's actions. Others penetrate so far forward that they conjecture his office of Marshal of France will be transferred to the father of M. de Joyeuse, in consideration of the grief he has conceived because the king, with his disliking, married Bouchage his second son to Lavalette's sister : but I have learnt that the office of Marshal of France, being an office of the Crown, cannot be taken from any person of that quality but by deprivation through death. Some are of opinion that Monsieur would be contented to be well served by Biron, were it not that he is so excessive in expenses and sometimes too much commanded by his choler, so that he forgets 'the good respects' which were to be used to such as are of quality. It has also been signified to me that Monsieur intended to make the Prince of Condé his lieutenant-general. I hear too that those of the Religion will like it well, because he is a prince esteemed constant and valorous. Now again there is some news that the Queen of Navarre intends to repair to this Court, and will shortly set out if she be not 'letted' by sickness. The Queen Mother purposes, if it so happens, to resort to Chenonceau, where she will await the coming of her daughter, meaning to confer together before she comes to the king's presence. After the king has passed his time a little abroad, hunting, he has appointed to go to St. Germain's ; to enter into the diet he held last year for the conservation of his better health. The Queen regnant and the Councillors remain at the Louvre for a time, if these journeys take place. Advertisements have come from Savoy that the Duke of Nemours has fallen into some extremity of sickness, with danger of loss of life. The Duke of Guise has dispatched a gentleman to visit him, and Madame de Nemours keeps her chamber for sorrow. Saint-'Supplice,' brother-in-law to Marshal Biron, being deceased, his order of Saint-Esprit was brought to the king on New Year's Day. M. de Lavalette continues his diet. He has been often visited by his Majesty, who continues his gracious favour towards him, being now weakened with his diet. It pleased the king to present every one of the knights of Saint-Esprit, saving the seven new chosen, 1,000 crowns in a purse of orange-tawny velvet. They were in number about thirty-three, which amounted to about 33,000 crowns, so the keeping of this feast cost him all manner of ways 50,000 crowns. The Dukes of Joyeuse and Epernon are named this year for next year's election. Upon the knowledge, sent by letters from England to this Court, that Monsieur is most princely entertained by her Majesty, there is again a new opinion that the marriage will take better effect than at other times has been thought and said. The king finds himself not well satisfied with the Pope's present manner of proceeding towards the Grand Master of Malta ; whereon some principal courtiers deliver in speeches discontented words against the government of the Pope, adding how it seems to them the Cardinals would become governors of the world and captains. But there are too many ready to quench such little smoke as this is. The Bishop of Ross came this week to this town ; and presented himself to the king on the 3rd inst. after dinner. He had no long speech with him, but presented a little book. This morning the ordinary nuncio, accompanied by Monsignor Malespina, newly sent extraordinary from the Pope, had audience of the Queen Mother, coming from the Holy Chapel. Some petty quarrel has begun between the gentlemen followers of Marshal de Biron. And M. de Rocheguyon has a quarrel with Chanlivaut, a very valiant gentlemen, one secretly in favour with the king, having a pension ; not long since he was a servant to Monsieur. He has Fourron to second him. Word is brought to the Court that M. de 'Tinché,' governor of Cambray, has had evil hap upon 'assayli' [? a sally] made out about an enterprise meant towards the parts of Chateau Cambresis. The king has given M. de Gourdan his dispatch, but he is not yet departed ; and delivers order for the payment of the garrisons of Metz and Boulogne, to MM. Taval (Thevalle) and de Tres (d'Estrées). The elder Lavalette, governor of Saluces, is even now alighted at the next house, where his brother Duke d'Epernon 'holds his diet.' Captain Cesare, an Italian, has slain Gerbes in 'particular fight.' The Bishop of Ross seeks a benefice at the king's hands. I enclose herewith the book in French of Campion's and the other Jesuits' death, which is publicly sold in this town.—Paris, 5th Jan. 1581. The names of knights created of the Order of St. Esprit on New Year's Day last :—The Marquis d'Elbeuf, Marshal de Biron, Count de Lude, governor of Poitou, Count de Suze, Count de Queylus, seneschal of Rouergue, Monsieur de Maintenon, brother of M. de Rambouillet, M. Tavel (Thevalle) lieutenant of M. de Piennes, Governor of Metz. Endd. A note in Burghley's hand to the list of knights : By letters of 4 [sic] of Januar. 4¼ pp. [France VII. 6.]
Jan. 6. 494. The DUKE OF ANJOU to BURGHLEY.
I am under so many obligations to you that I shrink from making so many requests to you, but knowing your good will and my own desire to requite it well, I beg that while continuing it to me, you will often recall me to the Queen's good grace, since thereon all my good depends. I also beg that, as I prayed you when bidding you farewell, you will forward as much as in your power the payment of the sum contained in your promise, which I leave with M. de Marchaumont. The time which has elasped since the date of it is such that if there were any further postponement of its execution it would be of serious consequence to me. I expect so much from your friendship that you will show in any difficulty in respect of this, and believe that from no living prince may you reckon on more certain recompense.—Canterbury, 6 Jan. Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France VII. 7.]
Though I have at present no great matter of news to send you, since I am awaiting them here every day from your side, I would not, having this opportunity of your servant, fail to send you this line to recall myself to your good favour and beg you to keep me ever in that of her Majesty, whose servant I desire to remain, whereof I pray you to assure when occasion serves.—Middelburg, 6 Jan. 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 2.]
I cannot at present send you any great news of this country ; except that our soldiers and the enemy's are looking at each other, and not attempting much against one another, although they are quite near, and strongly posted. Our people have this week missed surprising Alost, where they did not lose a single man. The prince is here with several persons of quality awaiting his Highness's coming. The delays are doing us so much harm, that if God does not see to it the country will shortly receive a wound which will sting many ; for I see the country within a month without government if a remedy be not found.—Middelburg, 6 Jan. 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 3.]
Jan. 7, 8. 497. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last letters to you were the 29th and 31st ult. since which these are our speeches here at present. The enemy approaches daily nearer and nearer this town, and makes vaunts and shows as though they will in a short time lay siege to it ; for his dealings 'pretends' some such matter. Already on that side towards Ypres and Meenen they have entered and taken sundry gentlemen's houses which stood 'vacon,' and well moated with water, some of them not half a mile from this town, and the furthest not above a mile ; by which means this town is now something straightened of their liberty, and it is feared they will be cut shorter before long, if it be not foreseen in time. Because the enemy approaches daily so near this town, the magistrates yesterday took in a regiment of 5 ensigns of French, of M. de Rochepot's troops, being the regiment of M. de 'Viane,' who is a Protestant, and son to M. de Clervant in France ; and they say these captains and all these 5 ensigns are of the Religion. But it seems they were forced to take these Frenchmen, in hope of their better safeguard ; for the enemy makes great secret vaunts to have this town ere long. But surely these French are the poorest soldiers that ever were seen, so I fear the town will have little service at their hands. The judgements of all that have understanding of these matters greatly fear that if the States have not some speedy help, these parts here in Flanders cannot long continue out of the enemy's hands, so that those of the States' side here are in great pain and misery. The Marquis of Risbourg, Baron d'Aubigny, M. de Montigny and the rest lie all within a small mile and less of this town, each in a strong house apart, well fortified. Speech has come from Corttrick that the Prince of Parma has gone to Namur to the burial of his mother the duchess, who lately died there. The Prince of Orange and the Prince of Epinoy, with all the General States, are still in Zealand awaiting the coming of Monsieur from England ; whose presence is greatly desired here by the magistrates and commons, for they think his coming very long. If he were now here amongst them, it would give them great contentment, and occasion better government in their martial affairs, which is their lack. The troubles here in Flanders grow daily worse and worse on the States' side, and never so evil as now ; and still their hope is of Monsieur's coming, whose long absence it is greatly feared will be the loss of all. If he come not, then 'is it more doubted' of some revolt to the enemy on the States' side in these parts ; for without his presence, or the aid of some other prince they are not able to continue longer, and therefore the troubles here in Flanders on the States' side stand at present at a dangerous point. God send it better, for here is no man that 'sorrows' for the cause but such as are burgomasters and magistrates, whom [sic] God knows have simple understanding in martial affairs. Please command the English post to come this way, or else it will be very long before I shall get conveyance of my letters to you. They may pass to and fro without danger of the enemy. I say there is no danger.—Bruges, 7 Jan. 1581. P.S.—In mine of the 29th ult. I wrote you what answer I had of the Four Members of Flanders, 'to say' Bruges, the 'Free' and Ypres for the payment of the interest due to Pallavicino and Spinola for the whole year, which ended Dec. 31 last. I also wrote of two bills that Bruges and the 'Free' gave me for their parts of the first half of the year to be paid in Antwerp at four or five days' sight. I sent them to George Gilpin and Renold Copcott, from whom this morning, being Jan. 8, I received a letter wherein they have returned the bills to me, willing me to deliver them again to them of Bruges and the 'Free,' and tell them their order is to receive for the whole year or none. So I went incontinently to the Burgomaster and the 'Free,' and delivered them their bills again, declaring to them as I did before when I delivered your letters to them, 'without' they will give order to pay for the whole year, to receive nothing. They answered me as they did before, 'which' for their parts of the first half year it is ready at Antwerp, and for the last half year, when they may know from the General States what order they have taken therein and what their parts shall be, that the same shall be with speed paid ; and this is all the answer I can get of them. So they will write to their deputies that live in Antwerp to put the General States in mind that some speedy end may be made hereof, and also to talk with Mr Gilpin of the matter. So they humbly desire her Majesty to stand their good friend as much as may be ; for surely at present their state stands in danger to be overthrown if God and good friends help them not ; for there is no man here that takes these matters to heart but burgomasters and magistrates, who are simple men of war. They desire you to stand their good friend now in their most need.—Bruges, 8 Jan. 1581. Add. Endd. 3¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 4.]
Jan. 8. 498. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote a few lines to you yesterday, and have since received your packet of Dec. 30. I have delivered that to Fremyn, who returns his answer here enclosed. M. du Plessis is still in Zealand with the Prince. This morning I dealt with the 'Bourrowmaster' and certain others of the magistrates ere their entering into 'College.' They promised to deal effectually in the cause with all care and expedition possible to them, but I could not hear as yet what was resolved. So soon as I understand it, I will not fail 'per' the first to send advertisement. One of the 'burrowmasters' that now is, called Mr Peter Alostanus, sometime councillor to the Count Palatine, being a right honest and godly man, acknowledged it to be more than reason her Majesty should be satisfied, and yet protested their estate here was such and so charged with continual payments of the garrisons and other necessary provisions for their better defences that he knew not how the town could conveniently answer the whole interest according to her demand, yet would do his utmost endeavour to further all possible contentment.—Antwerp, 8 Jan. 1581. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 5.]
Jan. 8. 499. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
Although I am sure you are advertised of the condition of affairs here, which depend wholly upon the arrival of his Highness, and would otherwise be in a very bad position, inasmuch as the enemy is making preparations in Italy and elsewhere to reinforce himself in order to attack us, and although he is at present on the Flanders side, his design seems to be rather to tend towards that of Brabant [sic]. The Prince of Parma is at Namur, whither he has brought another regiment of Germans, and what is more, having artillery prepared there. So far as can be conjectured he will attack Diest, Sichem, and Bergen-op-Zoom, to block the navigation from Antwerp. Efforts are being made to meet this, and provide for their fortification. It is reported that the King of Spain is insistent with the King of France to have back Cambray, or else to declare war. That would be the greatest advantage that could befall us. During this pressure, the Turkish ambassador has departed, with one from the king, which is held an ingenious plan (bien instruit) to break up these great levies in Italy. Don Antonio was also on his way to Nantes, to get ready naval forces. A misfortune is that they will start too late, because the Spaniards are fortifying themselves so diligently in the realm of Portugal. The news of this meeting for a Diet continues. Which is all that I can lay before you at present.—Antwerp, 8 Jan. 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. XV. 6.]
You see I very soon write to you, all that you enjoined me at your house at all events. Signor Walsingham, I have been most cordially received by the academical people here, and the only thing lacking to my repose is that they cannot help me to a better issue ; for in truth, they would, if I mistake not, do it with all their hearts. As then you offered, I pray you to help for you can do it much better. You are the protector of the Religion and as a father to the rest of us. You are bound therefore to help me, if not as a lawyer, where I am little worth, at least as a man of religion, for so I could call myself, thanks to Him who has made me so. I ought to ask for what I should like, but not knowing the details, I cannot tell them to another. You will know of a prebend, or something else wherewith to help me. Generally I pray you of your goodness to aid me for that name of religious which you have among all good men ; for very great is the hope I place in you.—Oxford, 8 January 1582. Holograph. Add. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [Italy I. 3.]
I am informed that the ship of the pirate Roberts of Bristol has taken two Portuguese caravels coming from Brazil with sugar and other goods, one of which he has brought hither to a port beyond Bristol. Considering that these are the goods of the king my master's subjects, I beg you to signify it to the Lords of the Council, that they may order the goods to be stayed and detained in the hands of the Queen's officers, until the procurations of the owners for their recovery can arrive. You will do me singular pleasure herein, for I am much annoyed at having to be always troubling you about the robberies of pirates, and at seeing that in the four years I have been here, and in all the similar complaints I have made, it is never settled ; on the contrary, they have acquired more, and made no restitution of the plundered goods.—London, 8 January 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Spain I. 82.]
I have written you divers letters since coming to this country, which I hope you have received ; and while I am in these parts, if I may know any way that I may do you service, no man will do it with better will than I, in all things that may be. As I am informed, some false reports have been made of me to you and others of the Council. It is an easy matter to hurt any man in his absence, but I trust you will hear with both ears. My enemies you know, and why they are my enemies. Willford and all the friends he can make, 'is the man.' Let the matter fall out how it will, time will try all. But this is most certain, that it had been good for the company to have given Marsh and him £2,000, and never have admitted them to the offices they had. I will not trouble you with this matter ; but he has and does trouble all the merchants of England that 'occupy' into these parts, and has done more harm than his head is worth. I trust you know how good friends all papists are to the realm, and also how good those are who help rebels and maintain their quarrel as much as they can. I cannot see but some such as these be, are more made of than those who are vere good men. I am compelled to write thus largely to you, and not of malice to requit what has been maliciously wrought against me. The king is at Lisbon, where in my opinion he has and will have enough to do to put that realm in good order a number of years ; and it is also doubtful how it will end. There is great preparation here of two fleets to be made one after another ; the one for 'Alarache' in Barbary out of hand, and the other about Midsummer for the Tercera, with 30 ships and 10 galleys. How all this can be done, I know not, for this country is in great misery, and lack of all kinds of victuals and other necessaries, and specially of mariners and good ships. The fleet of 'Magalains' is departed to the number of 16 or 17 said ; as the 'port' is, to winter in Brazil. This bearer, called Christofell Halle, can report to you more at large if you please to hear him.—San Lucar, 8 January, 1582. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Spain I. 83.]
Jan. 9. 503. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I received on the 8th from Mr Gilpin your letter of the 3rd. I also delivered a letter to George Leycester, who says he will answer within a week. As to what is going on in these parts, people are talking diversly about the coming of his Highness, which is a subject not devoid of passion in some people, and notably in those of Flanders. They have sent deputies to his Excellency for an explanation of his Highness's long delay in coming hither, having been entertained for many months with his arrival, and seeing no effect thereof, except losses of towns, and their country eaten up and ravaged in all manner of ways, without hope of remission. His Highness's troops last arrived, commanded by M. de la Rochepot, do more harm than the enemy himself, who is content with pillaging as he goes ; but these have to be further paid for their violations and disorders which they commit besides, though they are not strong enough to attack the enemy, only enough to ruin their friends. They could have done very well without such succour ; for which they have to find 1,000 florins' worth of victuals daily, besides their other costs which have to be met. The spring, too, is coming on, and they see no appearance of preparations going forward, while their resources are failing. They wish to learn the causes of these disorders from his Excellency, who had promised them to come back ; and whether his Highness is coming or not, and in what time ; whether the King of France will declare against the Spaniards ; whether the Queen of England will enter into an alliance and in what force. They do not want to be abused any longer, and they have another resource in hand. It seems that Hembize and Dathenus have great partisans in those parts, and that they would willingly send for Duke Casimir with 8,000 or 10,000 horsemen, sending him 100,000 crowns ; and that with these troops it would be enough [sic] to eat up and ruin Artois and Hainault and all the country of Luxembourg held by the enemy ; that they are maintaining 100 companies in Flanders, which only devour the towns and the country without making war on the enemy, who always hold the field ; that his Highness's succour of Cambray was only to set himself right (s'accomoder) with that town, and that he had let Cambray [sic : qy. Tournay] be lost, instead of joining with the Prince of Epinoy, whom he had caused to leave that town, with the garrison ; that the last troops who came from his Highness had been urgent with Messieurs of the Frank to let them have priests to say mass and administer the Sacrament at Christmas—a fact ; and they had to find them and send them, as I saw in a letter from a pensionary, which caused great murmurings, and is a thing of much importance. They could have brought priests with them instead of giving those who drove the priests out the trouble of finding some for them. That is how things go in Flanders, which makes some others grumble [?]. God knows if his Excellency is mixed in it ; they cast on him all the disorders that have come about. The Flemings want the new Council of State abolished, and the States-General to govern in the customary way. They say that the English are abusing his Highness with vain hopes in order to gain time and make him contemptible here, and that all the commodity he can get from England will not be enough to quench the thirst of his minions. This little printed 'Remonstrance' of his Excellency makes them murmur, saying, 'What ! would he abandon us, after getting everything into a mess? Why did not he make this representation at the outset? He wants to be made governor. Is that why he is gone to Zealand, under the pretence of meeting the Duke of Alençon ?' That is what those who serve an insubordinate people have to submit to. You see how his Excellency is storm-driven ; and if his Highness does not come with the forces they desire, all who have had to do with summoning him are in extreme danger. For the rest, the enemy is so far attempting nothing. A week ago, M. de Thiant had an enterprise on the town of Alost, whither M. de la Rochepot sent 400 harquebusiers and a company of mounted harquebusiers, and M. de Thiant had 200 harquebusiers and 3 three cornets of horse. They successfully planted the ladders in the ditch, where there was not much water. They had cut them as they came, saying they were too long, and they turned out too short, which was why the attempt failed. The ladders remaining planted in the ditch, those in the town fired a few cannon-shots at our people as they retired and a good many harquebusades, which had little effect. So failed a pretty enterprise, which was quite feasible, and in which M. de Thiant showed that he should do all the duty of a leader of men, of whom there are few here. People are much astonished that M. de Sainte-Aldegonde allows himself to be thus abused in these delays, and that he is not clearer-sighted. Thus go matters here. They greatly deserve amendment, seeing the confusion that there is, and worse if it be not remedied ; for these are terrible practices, and God knows what will be the end. It is said that the King of France is much given up to his pleasures and to marriages ; and that it is to seal the eyes of many who judge otherwise of him ; and that meanwhile there are people working to arrive at their designs. The Duchess of Parma is believed to be dead at Namur, and the Prince of Parma to have been there for her funeral. M. de la Rochepot's troops remain at 'Midebourg' [sic] in Flanders, and those of Villeneuve and Stewart at Eccloo.—Antwerp, 9 Jan. 1582. P.S.—The Council of State is in this town, and meets daily. Add. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 7.]
Jan. 10. 504. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
In answer to the negotiation which you lately sent me, touching Mr Henry Knollys, it hath pleased Don Antonio to write this enclosed letter ; which after it has been seen, I beg it may be sent back to me, because I desire to keep 'the said king's' letter, if you think it convenient. Since my last letter, written by Secretary Pinart, I have received few advertisements. But whereas their Majesties had then purposed, as I signified, to pass their time abroad, they have now deferred those journeys, and there is preparation for the marriage of the Duke of Epernon's elder brother with the Countess de Bouchage, aunt to the Duke of Joyeuse. And it is thought the king will not willingly 'enter into his diet' till Shrovetide be passed. The Duke of Epernon's elder brother was made councillor of 'l'Efferes' [les Affaires] on the 7th inst. Of this Council there are accounted but eight personages. There is a quarrel 'renued' hotly between Laverdin and Randan, upon the occasion that Laverdin some years ago slew Randan's brother. The king has sent to them both to appease the debate and compound the quarrel. Marshals de Retz and Biron have ended the question between Rocheguyon and Chanlivaut. I send herewith a book made by an English friar, where methinks the author forgets his duty towards her Majesty and her father of most famous memory ; referring the consideration to her and your honour. I am given to understand that young Pinart has not passed the sea but stayed on the coast, 'upon some respects.' I hear that 'Mounburnio' who was with d'Aubigny purposes not to return again to Scotland. It seems that the Papists' expectation that way is not satisfied. The Bishop of Glasgow reports that there is a marriage 'propownde' by the Queen to 6,000 [qy. King of Scots] ; and that the Queen resolves to compass 'Rota' by fair or foul means. Don Diego de Botelho has been there these four days, having negotiated with their Majesties and with other principal persons.— Paris, 10 Jan. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France VII. 8.]