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.
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.]
de C. de M.
viii. p. 1.
487. The QUEEN MOTHER to WALSINGHAM.
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.]
488. The DUKE OF ANJOU to the DUKE OF LÜTZELSTEIN.
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.]
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.]
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.]
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
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
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.]
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.]
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.
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.]
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.]
495. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to WALSINGHAM.
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.]
496. VILLIERS to WALSINGHAM.
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
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
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.]
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
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.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 5.]
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.]
500. ALBERICUS GENTILIS to WALSINGHAM.
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
Holograph. Add. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [Italy I. 3.]
501. MENDOZA to WALSINGHAM.
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
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Spain I. 82.]
502. ROGER BODENHAM to WALSINGHAM.
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
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.]
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
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.]
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
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.]