54. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to WALSINGHAM.
You will hear from your man my decision upon the matter about
which you sent word to me by him. I send you a copy of the
instructions of the person who is making the journey, as you thought
good. When you have communicated them to her Majesty, please
keep them by you, for fear lest a copy should be seen elsewhere.
For the rest, I have taken order about what you mentioned, both
by your man and in your letter of the 25th ult. touching the
man who is to come to Middelburg.
I have been advised by all my friends to reply to the proscription
published against me, inasmuch as the insults were so atrocious
that I could not suffer them without wronging my honour and that
of my race, with the hurt of sundry others. I am sending it to
her Majesty, and I will ask you to do me the honour of presenting
it to her, and accompanying it with your recommendation. I send
copies also for the Earl of Leicester and the Lord Treasurer, which
I beg you to present.—Delft, 16 Feb. 1581.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 27.]
55. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to the QUEEN.
Your Majesty has doubtless so good advertisements from all
quarters that there is not much need for me to come forward to tell
you what has come to my knowledge as to the machinations of the
enemies of your person, your realm, and the Churches of England.
Their very enterprises, both in Ireland, where they have entered by
open force, and in England, whither they have sent persons to stir
up the people, are such certain proof that those who are furthest
from your kingdom, and know least of its affairs, are fully persuaded
of it. But since by your singular prudence matters have been so
settled in Ireland that those who were sent there have been utterly
undone, and up to now, by your wise guidance, England has been
preserved in peace, both of body and of conscience, I hope that God
will show no less favour in the future than until now. I am confident
that the meeting of Parliament, which I hear is now being
held, may be of much service to your designs and virtuous enterprises.
But inasmuch as the many obligations which this country and I
in particular have to you will not allow me in any way to fall short
in my duty, I have thought it better to trouble you with an advertisement
from me than by omitting it to be justly accused of letting
any harm come through my silence to the realm of England and the
Churches there which God has placed under your protection. I beg
you to take this in good part, and excuse my boldness.
The fact is that I have sure and certain information from friends
of mine in Italy that a league is to be or has been concluded between
the Pope, the King of Spain, and certain Italian potentates against
the realm of England, Scotland, and Ireland. This league is
promoted by some subjects of yours and of the King of Scots, who
being banished from your realms are trying by all means to return.
And inasmuch as religion seems to them a suitable foundation for
their enterprises, they have made it a pretext to bring in the Pope
and the aforesaid princes. Their principal design is known. By
the secret connivance of the Pope the King of Spain has crushed
the kingdom of Portugal, for the Pope seeing that there is no prince
in Christendom upon whom he can support his authority, save the
King of Spain, does what he can to make him swallow up other
kingdoms and commonwealths, thinking by this means to continue
the domination he has usurped over Christendom.
Now, although many princes have done much harm to the lordship
of the Pope, everyone knows that your Majesty has as it were
struck him to the heart, and shaken him more mortally than all
others, not only by having banished abuses from England and
planted true religion there, but also by having with all your power
assisted the reception of the same in Scotland, and having given a
sure refuge in your kingdom to many from all nations who were
persecuted for the truth of the Gospel. This is why the Pope and
his friends aim all their machinations at you, so that when you are
ruined they may the more easily finish with all the fair churches
that have been set up elsewhere.
And although the King of Spain is now making cruel war upon
us I am sure that you know well that he is persuaded he cannot
vanquish this country till he is sure of England and Scotland,
hoping that after that his enterprise will be easy to execute.
They have begun with Ireland, which has the advantage that
certain persons there had taken arms against you, and that
the voyage was easier for them. You have seen the originals
of the letters intercepted in France, copies of which were sent
also to the States and to me, by which it appears that
their intention goes yet further, and that they have decided
to go on, and lead more soldiers there. But I am also
informed that their practices go further still ; namely, that
they mean in the first place to embroil the realm of England
through certain whom they have at their devotion there, and afterwards
find means to beget division between England and Scotland.
To arrive at this they think to have suitable instruments in Scotland
also, and, even under colour of a marriage treaty between the
King of Scots and a daughter of Spain, either to lead the king willingly,
or to carry him off, and afterwards govern that kingdom
after their fancy. I have made so bold, when sending my Defence
to the King of Scots, to advertise him and the Lords of his Council
of the plots of the common enemies of all Christendom ; and hope
he will do me the favour of interpreting my action in a good sense,
since therein I seek only to serve him and Scotland. I hope also
to receive a like favour from your Majesty, and that you will take
it well if I humbly beseech you to remember how much good luck and
happiness the amity which has for some years subsisted between
England and Scotland has brought to your realm, and, by continuing
it, to break the pernicious designs of the enemies of one and
And inasmuch as we here see clearly that if such enterprises
are carried out they will cause us also notable damage, I beg
you to consider what we can do, according to our small powers, to
aid in breaking the designs of the common enemy ; and I hope that
we shall so do our duty that you will have reason to deem that your
benefits have not been conferred on ungrateful persons.—Delft,
16 Feb. 1581.
Add. (seal). Endd. Fr. 3¼ pp. [Ibid. XIV. 28.]
56. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to the QUEEN.
You have no doubt been informed of a proscription which the
King of Spain has issued against me, inasmuch as he has had it
published in all languages and sent it to divers parts of Christendom.
It has seemed to me and all my best friends that my honour,
which I have no intention on any account to endanger, could only
be satisfied by meeting this proscription with a just defence ; in
pursuance whereof I have laid my answer before the Estates of
this country, and also to maintain my honour with the princes of
Europe, who by reason of their pre-eminence are the succour of
poor princes and lords in affliction, I have been so bold as to send
it to them, and your Majesty in particular, humbly begging that
when you have seen it you will judge of it as the Estates have done,
who have been the witnesses of all my actions, whose judgement
you will learn from the report appended to my defence.
And inasmuch as you may find it strange that whereas the
King of Spain had already plundered me of all my goods after I had
placed my governments in the hands of the Duchess of Parma, then
Governess of these States, and retired into Germany, my native
country, where I lived peaceably with my brothers and friends, as
I proposed to continue doing ; and at the same time had carried
off from his studies my son the Count of Buren, and contrary
to the privileges of the country and his own oath brought him
as a prisoner into Spain, where he is still cruelly detained ;
and had over and above caused me to be condemned to
death by his minister the Duke of Alon ; for all these reasons,
undoubtedly great, I published no defence addressed to the king,
and yet do so now, and show in it that the crimes of which the king
accuses me are his own. I beseech you before judging of what I
have written to consider the quality both of the crimes with which
I am charged, and mine. For if the king had been content with
keeping from me my son and my property that is in his possession,
with offering as he does 25,000 crowns for my head, with promising
to ennoble my murderers and pardon them all their crimes, I should
have tried by all other means, as I have before done, to preserve
myself and mine, and re-enter upon my own, and should have gone
living in the same fashion as before. But when the king has
published all over the world that I am a public pest, the enemy of
the world, ungrateful, infidel, a traitor, wicked ; these, Madam, are
insults which no gentleman, even of the lowest who is a natural
subject of the King of Spain, could or should endure. So that if
I were his simple and natural vassal, after a sentence so iniquitous
at all points, and having been despoiled by him of the fiefs on
account of which I formerly took the oath to him, I should hold
myself absolved of all obligations towards him, and show endeavour,
as nature teaches all men, by all means to maintain honour, which
to every nobleman ought to be dearer than life and possessions.
But seeing it has pleased God to grant me to be born a free lord,
holding only from the Empire, as do all the free princes and lords
of Germany and Italy, and that I further hold the title of an
absolute prince, albeit my principality is not very large, such as it
is, and not being his subject by birth, nor having held anything
from him save on account of my fiefs, of which he has entirely
dispossessed me, I feel that I could not satisfy my honour, or content
my near relations, various princes with whom I am connected, and
all my posterity, save by replying in published writing to this
accusation put forth in the face of all Christendom. And although
I have not been able to do it without touching his honour, I hope
you will impute it rather to the constraint which the quality of this
proscription has laid on me, than to my nature or my will. For in
the point which some may think strange, that I am defending
myself in this sort, seeing that I once held several territories and
lordships of him, I will beg you to consider the atrocity of the
injury done me, such as no true gentleman ever endured, that I am
not his subject by birth, and as for my fiefs, he had taken them
away. But even if I had continued to enjoy them, the rights which
he claims cannot be refused to me. He holds the country of
Charolois of the King of France by fealty and homage as his vassal,
yet he did not abstain from making war on the Crown of France,
and never ceases from plotting against it. He bases this on the
ground that being a sovereign elsewhere it is lawful for him to
avenge himself for the wrong done him by the late King Henry.
When he made war on Pope Caraffa, inasmuch as he held the
kingdoms of Sicily and Naples of him as his vassal, he published
his defence, in which he maintained that he was absolved from his
oath because the Pope had not kept to the terms which a lord
ought to observe towards his vassal, according to mutual feudal
rights. But nothing is so natural as that a man should admit in
his own case the rule that he would have received by another.
So he must not find it strange if being outraged in so many ways
by him, and not being his subject, I use the means which God
gives me, and of which he chose to avail himself against his own
lords who had never offended him in any way approaching the
wrongs I have suffered from him or this mark of ignominy wherewith
he tries to brand me and my race.
And inasmuch as the Estates who have most nearly known the
truth contained in my defence have approved it, having given me
sufficient testimony to my former life, I humbly beg you while
approving my reply, to believe that I am neither a traitor nor
wicked, but that I am, thank God, a gentleman of a good and very
ancient house, and a very honest man, truthful in all my promises,
not ungrateful, not infidel, never having done anything for which a
lord and knight of my quality can take any reproach.—Delft, 16
Add. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 29.]
57. ROGERS to WILSON.
I wrote but a few days ago jointly to Sir F. Walsingham and to
yourself, yet I thought it well to write this severally to you, to the
intent you might understand that I have received as small
consolation and assurance of your aid, calling to remembrance your
bountiful nature and how gladly you travail to succour even the
poorest friends you have, if by any means you can do it. Wherefore
although I have not done you such service, 'as by which' I might
challenge your aid, yet because you have partly seen my readiness,
and are, I trust, persuaded of my devotion, I have no small hope that
you will so work for my delivery that you may enjoy such service as
I may by any means show you. Withal I persuade myself that you
will call to mind how for these 14 years I have taken no small pains
in advancing her Majesty's service, and what dangers I have passed,
to employ myself for the benefit of the common wealth ; not seeking
any gain, by such money as has been given or promised me for my
labour, but making the most of it for the advancement of her
Majesty's credit. If against all right I had not been taken and
spoiled as I have been, I hope I should especially in this journey
have declared my good will. Now it will be my perpetual ruin and
destruction, if you do not assist me with your constant aid ; constant
aid, I say, for I know the 'ruses' of the King of Spain's officers, who
will not cease to abuse you if they can, in forging I cannot tell what
devices to excuse the 'invading' of me. If they can persuade her
Majesty likewise, then Mendoza may brag, as he does, that he now
knows how to deal with her. But if so be that his papers have
been sifted because his Majesty's letters and other papers I had
were so spoiled and taken from me, the drifts and treasons that he
works in England will declare what spirit he has, and what
practices he goes about. I remember M. 'Sue.' showed me once a
copy of certain instructions he had from the Commendador, by
which he was commanded especially to learn of Guerras whether
two things were in good forwardness which he and Guerras went
about five years ago ; the one was a practice in the West of England,
the other concerned the Queen of Scots. I would to God that upon
occasion of the injury done to me, her Majesty's poor 'orator,' his
study had been forced, which would have profited her not a little.
There was lately here with the baron a gentleman who, at Rome,
was acquainted with the Bishop of Ross. He told another gentleman
here that the Bishop and Mendoza had great correspondence
with one another. Besides this, Sehenck and other captains of the
king's, who came of late from the Court of the Prince of Parma,
are full of 'cartes' and description of the West coast of England,
and have the isles of Anglesey and Man so 'particularly painted
forth' that I doubt whether you have seen the like. Item. The
North of Scotland they have wondrously well set forth, with all
the creeks and havens in Norfolk, and all their discourses are of
invading England. If it be thought a praise for Mendoza to work
the best for his master's service, I trust I shall be defended, and
my good will in working for her Majesty's not be counted a fault.
Since the time my man came to the Duke of Cleves, I have
received nothing nor heard anything touching such ways as are
taken for my delivery.
Please write to me, and 'that my servant return not' to the
Duke of Cleves, send your letters to my cousin Emanuel, who
knows certain ways by which I may receive them. I think someone
is, and will be, sent to Spain to condole for the Queen of Spain's
death. I beseech you that he may have instructions to deal for my
delivery, because I think they have sent to Spain from Mons, to
know what they are to do with me ; forasmuch as the injury that
has been done me is so manifest, I do not doubt, having been now
more than four months here, but that they will seek for pretexts to
'approve' what they have done ; and therefore if Mendoza be not
handled accordingly, I have small hope. My poverty I fear will
make the injury seem the lesser ; but if your lackey had been sent
by you anywhere and had received the like injury that I have, you
would think it done to yourself, and would not so easily 'put it up.'
In writing to the Court of 'Parm' I trust I shall not seem to have
done amiss in calling myself Oratorem Reginae, for so her Majesty
terms me in all the letters which were sent by me. I trust you are
persuaded that I have not done so upon any vain glory. In this
my adversity those who wish me no better success than I have had
will say many things to make my case worse, but I trust they will
not be believed before I am heard. Please deal with the Bishop of
London that he and his fellow bishops would favourably consider
my poverty in aiding my afflicted case, seeing that my journey was
undertaken for the Church's cause. I cannot now write more, but
I will take the next occasion to write to his lordship. The 'patrocinie'
which you shall show me now, I pray God to recompense.—
Bredeford, 18 Feb. 1581.
P.S.—Please instruct me how I may best rule myself here.
Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Germany II. 15.]
Lettres de C.
de M. vii. 358.
58. QUEEN MOTHER to the QUEEN.
I know that when M. de la Motte was with you on behalf of his
king my son, you found him agreeable and truthful in all things,
which is the reason that I am asking him to tell you something
from me. I am sure that it will be welcome from him, coming
from a princess so well affectioned to you as I am, and so desirous
of that which I see on the eve of accomplishment. Wherefore I
will not importune you further.—Blois, 18 Feb. 1581. 'Your good
sister and cousin, whom may God grant soon to have the honour
of styling herself mother.'
Holograph. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 12 ll. [France V.
59. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
Yesterday I received your letter dated January [sic ; qy.] 11,
whereby I understand her Majesty's liking to have me go through
with that bargain of powder which was lately offered me here at the
rate of 11d. per lb. I most thankfully acknowledge your readiness
in furthering as occasion serves the daily advancement of my credit
and service. Touching the bargain itself, I had no leisure to conclude
it before my departure into Holland, nor could I safely do it,
because I know not the Queen's pleasure. But in my absence Mr.
Aldersey agreed with the party for a certain quantity, some of
which, I think, is already sent away. Yet for more assurance and
the better choice of what shall be shipped home hereafter, I will
myself talk with the powder-maker, and so condition that either he
shall be bound to serve as good powder in every respect as the
sample, or I intend to bargain for none at all.
Concerning my proceedings in Holland, I refer you to my letter
sent by Mr Bruyne about a fortnight ago, wherein I have written
at large.—Antwerp, 18 Feb. 1580.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 30.]
60. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last to you was the 12th inst. Since then these are the
speeches here. By letters from Artois they write of a general
meeting of the Malcontents at Mons, appointed for the 27th inst.,
'about the grave causes of their last being there,' of which I wrote
you on the 5th. They also write of some great discord between the
Prince of Parma and the nobility of the Malcontents ; for which
the speech goes there among them that the Prince will depart to
Italy and the Duke of 'Baviers' come in his place till these troubles
They further write from Artois of a great force of Italians and
Spaniards who are marching hither with great diligence, whom the
King has sent from Italy. Their coming, 'by good report' troubles
the Malcontents more than that of the French.
The Malcontents make great haste in gathering their forces
together at 'Ghetringsberghe.' They will have their camp in the
field with all speed, and they give out that they fear not the French,
'which by their doings it shows no less ;' so that it makes matters
here among them to hang in the balance, till God send further trial
For the States' side here in these parts, they lie still and make
no preparation for their defence, much to the misliking of the wisest
sort. For this cause the Four Members of Flanders have sent into
Holland to the Prince, to 'move him thereof' that they may be in
Letters are come this week from Calais in which they write that
Monsieur will be at Cambray by the end of this month. His
coming is greatly desired here because the Malcontents hasten so
fast to have their camp in the field.
The Prince and States have made a stay in Holland and Zealand
of all ships of those countries that trade 'upon' Spain and Portugal ;
and will suffer none to go from hence to those parts for a time, for
it is said here that the King of Spain is arming ships for those
parts in Spain.
All manner of grain and other victuals begins to be very scant
and dear here, and daily will be dearer and dearer ; for which cause
certain companies of merchants of this place are sending to England,
to Sandwich in Kent, and to Norfolk and Suffolk, to buy some great
store of grain. If this be suffered, it will occasion some great dearth
in England, 'and those of Sandwich' [sic] and from the Isle of
Thanet and from Margate comes daily great store of wheat and
malt to these parts. Within these four days there is come to Sluys
from those places eight ships laden with wheat and malt, some to
this town, and more are coming.—Bruges, 19 Feb. 1580.
P.S.—I have received yours of 4th Feb. and thank you for the
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 31.]
61. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
By reason of the Prince's absence we cannot learn how matters
pass ; so I have not wherewith to trouble you, only for safe direction
of the enclosed from Mr Steward, who will earnestly expect
an answer thereto at your leisure. The other two letters to her
Majesty I know neither whence nor from whom they came, but
the postmaster's chief clerk meeting me 'said to have' two such,
requesting me to send for them.
Since the coming home of those deputed for this town in
Holland, having made [sic] their report, and the same being
communicated to the Common Council, have [sic] taken time
till next week to give their answer. Of this I think Mr Governor
will write further, having 'shewed' him what I heard from the
To know your pleasure both to my letters sent by Mr Bruyn and
the sundry speeches imparted to him, I 'expect' with humble
desire.—Antwerp, 19 Feb. 1580.
P.S.—If by your means my small account lately sent be passed,
I shall be glad you might by one line to Mr Governor desire him to
'answer' me so much as you shall think good to allow me.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. 32.]
62. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
The Queens came hither from Chenonceaux on the 14th inst. It
is supposed they will remain here till the King's return.
Du Vray has brought from his Highness a commission with full
instructions and dispatch for the commissioners ; so that having
already the King's and Queen's commands MM. Pinart, Lansac, and
Mothe-Fènelon departed hence to-day for Paris. On Thursday the
16th they dined with me, accompanied by la Fin, du Vray, Vétison,
and des Réaux, who are the only persons of quality dealing with
Monsieur's affairs in this Court ; when I was requested by M.
Lansac and the other two commissioners to write to you that her
Majesty might be moved to favour them with a ship or two by means
of which they may be safely wafted over, for M. Lansac pleasantly
says that being sent about her affairs, they would be loth to render
account to the captain of Gravelines. They desired further that as
they had not 'commodity' to transport their horses and carriages,
her Majesty would vouchsafe that they might be in some way
furnished, having in their train some 200 or 300. M. Pinart asked
that they might have a passport, as has heretofore been customary
in time of peace as well as in war.
They told me also that Monsieur having referred the selection of
the commissioners to the king and Queen Mother, they have now
agreed that the following shall be authorised, viz. the Duke of
Montpensier, the Prince Dauphin, the Count of Soissons, Marshal
Cossé, MM. Lansac, Carrouge, le Mothe-Fènelon, President Brisson,
and M. Pinart. Du Vray also passes as commissioner from his
The Queen Mother has lately 'given to understand' that she
greatly likes this journey, hoping that the marriage will have
good success. Last Thursday she had the matter debated before
her ; Cardinals Bourbon and Birague, Chiverny, Lansac, Mothe-Fènelon,
and the secretaries Pinart and Brulart being present,
assembled in Council. Du Vray 'was demanded' to show the
articles, when they entered into consideration of some points ; one
of which was touching the manner of ceremony and religion at the
celebration of the marriage, considering that the Queen would be
married after the form of the reformed religion, and Monsieur
according to his profession. Here it was thought some difficulty
might arise, so the councillors spoke their opinions thereon
diversly, alleging the example of the marriage of the King of
Navarre, where the persons were of different professions.
But du Vray told them that the manner which might best content
her Majesty and his Highness was, that a place being erected and
prepared on purpose there might be present a Catholic Bishop and
one of her Majesty's own bishops, who should utter the words of
matrimony and be witnesses to the consummation.
Another article was deliberated, concerning Monsieur's coronation
when married ; which was satisfied by du Vray, that the Queen liked
very well that all honour should be done him, but the 'effecting' of
it she referred to the Parliament and Estates of England.
Likewise for the allowance to defray his charges, she has been
content to consider it, referring it also to Parliament.
So the Queen and those in Council were well satisfied ; and after
that consultation incontinently by order from her, a commission
was drawn and an express messenger sent with it to the king for
Marshal Cosse and the other commissioners are discontent because
M. Marchaumont was sent before ; mistrusting that he carried
notice of what was to be delivered by them to her Majesty. Howbeit,
du Vray has assured them that Marchaumont did not see their
commission, which was made since his departure, and was not privy
to the instructions he brought from Monsieur ; because many days
after his leaving his Highness, he, du Vray, drew out the commission
with his own hand. With this the rest were well satisfied, and
Queen Mother had advertised Marshal Cossé of it, to the end he
may the willinglier go forward.
Du Vray was with me the 19th, and immediately after departed
for Paris to await the coming of the commissioners.
It pleased Queen Mother to grant me access to her on Saturday
the 18th, when she seemed to receive great satisfaction from the
going forward of the marriage, giving me to understand that she
had bidden the commissioners hasten their voyage. She also
recalled the good offices the Queen had used in furthering the peace
of the realm, for which the king and she thought themselves
Thus much having passed, I besought her to let me know the
king's and her resolution for the conference begun touching the
entry into a further amity for opposing the King of Spain's
She answered somewhat 'staggeringly,' that the king had imparted
his mind to her Majesty by M. de la Mauvissière, trusting the
marriage would bring all well.
I besought her to consider how, since she and the king had
thought it needful for the repose of the realms of England and
France that such an amity should pass between them and my
sovereign that by its means the King of Spain's ambition may be
'impeached' from any further progress and be stayed within the
limits of justice and reason ; and as they were pleased to descend
into these details, that Monsieur should be the 'person and actor'
against the King of Spain, maintained and supported by their
Majesties, it might now also seem good to the king to show his
mind clearly, how he meant to proceed therein openly or covertly
and what he thought convenient for the Queen to supply for her
She said they had waited for the setting out of the commissioners,
as she understood from M. de la Mauvissière was the Queen's desire ;
but she would send again to the king and I should shortly learn the
Through speaking of the urgent occasions they had for thinking
of this new association, there grew speech of Don Antonio, whereon
she told me that a few days ago there had been with her some
belonging to him, by whom she was assured that he is in safety,
and was minded shortly to be seen in France or England. I told
her methought it were good reason the 'certainty of his being'
should be more clearly shown her. She assured me she knew
no further, but when the truth was revealed she would impart it
to me ; wherewith I assured her that the Queen would deal and
understand in that cause as best might please her.
After this I moved her to give some further order for remedying
the new imposition taxed on the English merchants at Bordeaux
contrary to the contracts between the Kings of England and
France. She has promised they shall be redressed at once, having
commended the cause to Secretary Pinart and the Keeper of the
Seals, so that I look to have a special dispatch in that matter.
The king remains in his diet, and is not looked for at this Court
for three weeks.
Advertisement has come to the Queen of the surrender of Cahors.
The governor of Angers is appointed to see the dismantling of
Montaigu. Marshal Montmorency and the Viscount of Turenne
are joined in commission by Monsieur to see the peace established
in Languedoc and the parts adjacent.
'Desguières' and those of the Religion in Dauphiné have sent to
Monsieur, offering to be at his devotion. Notwithstanding this, some
secret treaty is spoken of, which 'should be marchandised' between
the Duke of Maine and Desguières. But I perceive it will be
They of Provence have lately been 'compassed' to send to the
king to lament the impositions with which they have been burdened
through the exactions of their governor the Grand Prior, Bastard
of France. They have exhibited a supplication to the king
beseeching him to take away the Grand Prior and give them the
Duke of Maine ; which will not, it is supposed, please their
Majesties, considering the House of Guise pretends a privy claim
There is a 'means framing' to intreat the Duke of Maine to
surrender the office of Admiral of France, because those who are
princes have never heretofore been accustomed to hold it, which
being brought to pass, the king is persuaded to make Strozzi
admiral, and thereby Lavalette, with the Queen's goodwill, shall
have the office of coroncl-general de l' infanterie de France.
The Duke of Guise has feasted his kinsfolk and the gentlemen of
Champagne this Shrovetide at 'Jenville' ; notwithstanding he was
a day or two with the Duke of Lorraine, as some certify.
I have been told that the Duke of Guise is sending certain
Frenchmen to Gravelines, to be conveyed to Scotland, and that the
shaluppes of Gravelines are lying in wait to entrap the Flemish
commissioners. Some of them are gone to embark at Dieppe.
M. Sainte-Aldegonde, with the Prince of Orange's bastard son, dined
with me yesterday, having come hither in the morning in post ;
and last night Sainte-Aldegonde had conference with Queen
Mother. They departed this morning towards Orleans.
The Prince of Condé has returned to Nismes, on which an opinion
is conceived that he will pass again to Germany, about the affairs
he had begun before last entering France.
M. Châtillon is at Rochelle, with which the Queen was at first but
ill-satisfied. Now she is certified that his being there is only to
make money of certain lands of his in Britanny.
La Vernay, captain of Monsieur's guard, is, after receiving
Cahors, to repair to the Prince of Condé, and to procure his meeting
with Monsieur at some convenient place.
The young Duke of Bouillon and his brother passed by water
'along' this town last week, going to their grandfather, the Duke of
I have been requested by Mme de la Noue to write to you that
her Majesty may be moved to have compassion on M. de la Noue,
who is put into the bottom of a tower in extreme hard prison, which
his wife hopes might be relieved if the Queen would be pleased to
use some straiter imprisonment to those Roman Italians who were
taken in Ireland, or would command some exchange to be offered
that way. M. la Noue is a 'servitor particular' of Monsieur and
so avouched by him ; whereon Navarette was taken and remains in
prison, whom Monsieur will also give in exchange. Any favour
which her Majesty might think good to use herein would be grateful
to a good part of the better sort in this realm.
It is now ordinarily seen that the Pope and the King of Spain
deliver to each other such prisoners as have fled out of their states
upon discontent or otherwise.
It is advertised that the Swiss of the Catholic cantons are likely
to enter into some dissension with the cantons of the Religion
through the evil persuasions of a seditious minister of the Romish
The queens commanded me to be at the Court last night to see
their young damoiselles' and ladies' maske. It entered first with a
solemn song, sung before them, passing two and two, apparelled
like the battuti or flagellanti, with their church-candles in their
hands, and nicely making shew to whip themselves with ribbons of
sundry silk instead of cord whips. I enclose the verses which were
sung. Having finished this kind of procession they departed and
afterwards returned, properly clothed in white silk with their black
visors, dancing a very rare and hard dance, full of divers and
strange passages. After that they uncovered their faces, continuing
to dance ; wherewith the Lenten feast finished. But the ladies went
with their masks to Cardinal Birague's lodgings without the Court,
where others of the ambassadors had supped, to whom, and to the
ladies, the Cardinal made a banquet.
Letters of the 2nd inst. from Scotland certify Earl Morton's beheading.
They say that messengers from d'Aubigny pass this way, carrying
intelligence from him to the Spanish king.
I am informed that his Highness has appointed for the succour
of Cambray 500 horse and between 2,000 and 3,000 foot, who will
for the present be under the command of Baron Pompadour,
Fervacques, Colonel Rochepot, and la Ferté. The landsknechts
who at the beginning of winter were sent into Guyenne, are
'licensed' and march towards Germany.
Captain Anselme has surrendered Sental to the king, but the Duke
of Savoy is to have it in his keeping for three months, till certain
sums of money and a castle, with other promises, be performed [sic]
by the king to Anselme. Meantime he has retired with his
companies into a fort of the Duke of Savoy's.
As I have heard that Bernardino Mendoza has not for a long
time had audience of her Majesty, I have stayed from visiting this
new Spanish ambassador. Please let me know her pleasure therein.—Blois,
20 Feb. 1580.
Add. and endt. gone. 5½ pp. [France V. 21.]
63. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
After passing my late conference on the 18th with the Queen
Mother, she informed Secretary Pinart of the language I had used
to her concerning the continuance of the treaty of the 'late-motioned'
amity. The secretary took occasion to declare to me how their
ambassador in England had written to the king that he had advertised
her Majesty of what MM. Villequier, Chiverny and Pinart had
dealt with me in conference, and that the Queen had answered she
doubted not but the marriage would bring with it all other assurances
of mutual benevolences. The king therefore had stayed hitherto
from proceeding further in that cause.
He assured me that the king had given him particular charge to
offer to me at the time of the conference (if I had directly and
readily consented to the proposals they then made to me of
Monsieur's enterprises) that he would 'break wars' openly with the
Spanish king if the Queen would do the like, seeing that he had
been injured in the Marquisate of Saluces as she was in Ireland at
that instant. Howbeit the king was loth to discover himself and
bring those wars on his back, but rather thought it convenient to
refer the proceeding to the Queen, which moved me to allege that
the Christian King had great interest in the cause and had been
injured and provoked by King Philip. Moreover it was honourable
for him to bridle his competitor, being also 'feeter' for him to
enter manly and princely into execution of an act of that quality
than for the Queen ; especially since his brother is the chief 'enterpriser
of the enterprise,' whom the Queen for the affection she bears
him, may be content to support ; a matter otherwise of great
danger and most rarely understood, that a Queen of England should
maintain a brother to the French king against another king with
whom she had been so long confederated. Nevertheles since
the present course of affairs had brought forth such an occasion,
the Queen has relied on the wise consideration of the Christian
King, with intention to deal so far as might be to his liking and
convenient for her. Therefore since this much is agreed on between
them, 'to retire into a strangeness, using detraction of time,' will
serve to no other purpose than to give breath to King Philip, both
with practices and forces to advance his designs.
Secretary Pinart confessed this to be true, wishing the negotiation
of the amity might go forward secretly ; enquiring of me if the
Queen would be content to give maintenance and continue it,
because otherwise to contribute at first, whereby the king might be
embarked in war, would not be what they could find good. But if
she would contribute monthly a convenient sum, he supposed the
king might be induced to hearken the willinglier, and to proceed
the franklier. I answered that I esteemed she might be by reasons
induced in some sort to yield thereto. Lastly he promised the
king's mind should be ascertained ; assuring me the king would not
suffer any of his fellow-commissioners to be privy hereto ; so it is
to be supposed the charge of that negotiation is committed to him
I learn from Sainte-Aldegonde that by the Spanish letters which
were intercepted, Cardinal Riario had offered the Spanish king
600,000 crowns in ready money to continue the enterprise 'pretended'
in Ireland and England, so as to employ his Spaniards that
way as well as the Italians. He also informs me that beside the
preparations provided in Spain to 'address' a navy of ships thence,
they had devised a fashion of long boats, the 'patrone' of which
he promises to send you. His 'skiff' was now gone to Rouen
The Spanish king has practised with young Lansac to make
some enterprise against her Majesty's realms, which I suppose has
been or will be imparted to her ; but he has refused, and is preparing
for a voyage to the Indies.
They tell me that King Philip is promised 12,000 Almains and
shipping, for [sic] them of certain free cities, as Lubeck and others.
Sainte-Aldegonde assures me his Highness had sent the intercepted
Spanish letters, with their ciphers, to the Queen.
Captain Giovan Battista Cernigi, fiorentino, has been with me,
stating his desire to pass over to England. I have received the
enclosed letter from him, directed to Messer Jacomo Mannucci.
It seems to me that the captain is old and not very healthful.
Edward Prin brought me your letters last night. By the small
conference I had with him he seems to be affected entirely to
Don Antonio. His intention is to go on to 'Towers' to see the
Portuguese gentlemen who are lately come thither. I understand
he will there hear certain news for this king.
I beseech you for M. Torse's [? Torcy's] sake to move her Majesty
on behalf of his friend, that she will the like privilege as the copy
enclosed 'imports' to M. de la Gaucherie. I send M. de Torsy's
letter in his behalf.-Blois, 21 Feb. 1580.
Add. 3 pp. [France V. 22.]
64. SEBASTIAN PARDINI to PHILIP SIDNEY.
Only two days ago I received your letter of Nov. 29 by the hand
of the ambassador Cobham. In the first place I desire to thank you
for the courteous offers you write me by him, for which I shall ever
be obliged. I am very sorry to hear of your illness and melancholy.
From the one you must be set free by the grace of God, and from
the other you will be loosed by a change of food [? ingoia]. As for
the marriage, I never have believed it ; and M. de la Mauvissière
and Marchaumont will bear me witness, and they were of the contrary
opinion ; now the issue is seen, so that if the King of Portugal
is to receive aid from the Queen on account of marriage, he is
excluded from it (?) ; and if her Majesty and also these people here
consider . . . if the Catholic king was peaceable King of Portugal
. . . united every power to aid him ; wherefore God of His infinite
goodness will aid him.
Strozzi is getting ready with the queen's 3,000 men, and the King of
Portugal as many immediately (?), and at the end of March they will
be ready to embark. This is all I can tell you.-Paris, 21 Feb. 1580.
Damaged. Add. Endd : Sebastiano Pardini to Mr Sydney.
It. 1 p. [France V. 19.]
65. WILLIAM DUKE OF BRUNSWICK to the QUEEN.
We arranged with John Horn, a subject of ours, a merchant living
at Ulzen, to buy in England and bring over to Hamburg at
Michaelmas 200 pieces of English cloth, such as we use every year
in clothing the servants of our Court. He reported a few days ago
that he had settled to buy the cloth and send the price over to
England ; but in the meantime he heard that the usual export duty
had been much raised, and that on that account he not only feared
great difficulty and loss, but was afraid that we should hardly get
the cloth in time.
Therefore as it is important that we should have it at the usual
time, and we doubt not that our intercession will have some weight
with you, we write to ask you to let our subject be free for this
occasion from the payment of the duty, or at least pay only on the
old rate. If you will do this we shall be grateful.—Zell in Saxony,
24 Feb. '81.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From the Duke of Brunswick the
younger. Request transportation without custom of certain cloths
bought here for him for his household. Lat. 1¼ pp. [Germany II. 16.]
66. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
Upon the warning which was given me secretly in England, I
declared to the Company at my arrival here what danger might
ensue by entertaining Mr Cartwright. This being opened to them
in a general court, they resolved, for preventing the worst, to write
very earnestly for Mr Travis's 'repair' ; but understanding his
determination to continue in England, they immediately in a second
letter requested his help in the provision of some other. Whereupon
he sent hither 'such a one' to supply his place 'as' would neither
preach nor take the ministry upon him ; whereby divers of the
assistants, seeing the Company deluded in this sort, have since their
return to England dealt with sundry learned men about coming
hither, but none will meddle with the charge save only one Keltrige,
whom by reason of his youth I judge not so fit as is requisite for
this place. I have therefore dispatched Thomas Longston to make
choice of another ; and beseech you to grant him your advice for
his better directions.—Antwerp, 25 Feb. 1580.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 2/3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 33.]
67. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
Antwerp, 25 Feb. 1580.—This week news 'are' come from Friesland
that Mr Norris has not rested, but by alarms and skirmishes kept the
enemy working and occupied, having fought to the advantage of
his, and with small loss defeated many of the others. Among other
times, in one skirmish which continued from morning to night, he
wrought so as to convey into the town about 100 men, and more
boys, laden with victuals. And this moist weather continuing
it is hoped that the enemy will be more distressed than the
On the 9th or 10th the Count of Rennenberg came from Groningen
to the Malcontents' army, with a 'conduct' of men, and brought
not only provision of victuals, munitions, and weapons, but also
money. The Colonel, having some intelligence of this, sent to a
village called 'Devorne,' two miles from Steenwyk, 200 of his men,
who came somewhat after the Count was departed with his money ;
but fired the village with all the provision that was therein, which
was very great, that place being the only 'victualler' of the enemy.
What men they slew is not particularly reported, for most that
were there escaped by flight. The Colonel's men brought away with
them 100 'horses of service,' which belonged to Schenck's regiment.
In Flanders and thereabouts the Malcontents do little but range
up and down, and for the most part lie about Cambray. At Mons
there is a general meeting of all the Malcontents ; the cause not
known, but thought to be about the Spaniards coming to their aid,
which is contrary to their last peace made at 'Collein.' There is
some discontent between them and the Prince of Parma, which
breeds a speech among them that he will return to Italy, and the
Duke of 'Bavier' be the king's lieutenant in these parts.
From France the news 'cometh' daily that Monsieur's forces
will be ready to march to these parts about the middle of March.
There is a report that the Malcontents will gather all their forces
with diligence about 'Gertsberghen,' to 'impeach' both the French
entrance, and the new supply of Spaniards and Italians whom the
king is sending from Italy.
The newly-chosen Bishop of Liége being the present Duke of
'Bavier's' brother is resolved, it is said, to 'fall wholly from being
neuter,' and join the Malcontents against the States.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XIV. 34.]
68. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
Yesterday I received 'per' an express foot-post the enclosed,
paying 20s. for postage, and returned him that day with answer of
the receipt of it, and promise 'by the very first' to send it to you
with humble entreaty for answer, which Mr Rogers most instantly
desires, and with a longing sorrowful mind awaits whenever it may
please you to write. He has sent me word by whose means letters
can be conveyed to him from 'Weasell,' and from this town we
have weekly conveyance thither.
All this week I could not learn what is being done by the
Common Council touching her Majesty's satisfaction, but shall be
able to write further by the next. Mr Steward expects to hear
from you, and then will accomplish the contents of his last. For
Friesland news I refer to your servant Mr Sone's letters. He has
better advertisements and more particulars than I can learn. From
other places there are none save that in Flanders the Malcontents
do little, etc. [the rest as in Hoddesdon's letter].—Antwerp, 25 Feb.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. 35.]
69. NEWS FROM SPAIN.
There arrived on Sunday last two youths from Calais, who had
been set on shore on Thursday between Boulogne and Calais, out of
a Fleming (as they think) that went from Dunkirk, and now came
from San Lucar. Their report is as follows.
At San Lucar there are threescore sail of great shipping, which
were wont to traffic to the Indies, and are now converted into ships
of war, as the common bruit goes, to come for England. There
are also 30 which were 'stayed to be sent' on their India voyage
whither they were wont to go, and are now with all speed 'a-providing'
for that purpose.
At 'St. Andero's,' Lisbon, and all the other havens about the
coast they provide shipping for furnishing the navy, as the common
speech goes, which is to come for England.
The marquis 'Amonte' has charge of 4,000 men, who are already
levied and lie at a place called 'Leape' [Lepe] near San Lucar.
It is said that the Turk has levied a great army, to what intent
the Spaniards know not ; but the fear among the common people
is, if they come for England, that he will come for Spain.
The common people of Spain are very willing to come for
England, by reason they are cut off from all traffic ; so they say
they must make Spain England, or England Spain.
The news they hear by report of the 'passage' which comes from
Calais, of Dunkirk, is that the Prince of Parma has sent commission
to Dunkirk that the men-of-war there shall bring no more
prisoners home to be ransomed, but take the spoil of all that they
take, and throw 'them' overboard, because the Flushingers deal so
cruelly with their men-of-war that they take.
The 'Dunkirks,' unless the king will give them pay and victual
their ships at his own charges, will go no more to sea ; for the
ransom of their prisoners was always their best profit, and they are
almost afraid, by the usage of their neighbours.
Endd. : 25 Feb. 1580 [?], and some notes, headed 'Q. Memor.' in
Walsingham's hand (one is 'Mr. Arch. Duglas'). 1⅓ pp. [Spain I.
70. QUEEN MOTHER to the QUEEN.
Recommendation of the commissioners appointed to conduct the
marriage negotiations and regret for the absence of the Count of
Soissons and Duke of Montpensier.—Blois, 25 Feb. 1591. (Signed)
Caterine. (Countersigned) Brulart.
Add. Broadsheet. Fr. [France V. 23.]
71. COLONEL JOHN NORRIS to WALSINGHAM.
I know you are already advertised of every particular of our
journey by Mr Carlell, who promised at his arrival in Holland to
write the whole discourse, and therefore I will crave your pardon to
play the truant. In all our journeys no man has won honour near
to Capt. Williams, both in our own camp and in the enemy's. Our
infantry, though by misery of the time, and sickness, it was very
weak, has borne the whole burden of the journey, and yet so
favoured by God that we have received no great loss. My poor
company of 'Cavagliery' is altogether dismounted and many of the
soldiers hurt ; but with as good a reputation as so small a troop
might attain to.—Campen, 26 Feb. 1581. (Signed) J. Norreys.
Add. Endd. (with date 1580). ½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 36.]
72. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last to you was of the 19th, wherein I wrote as the time gave
occasion. Two days ago there came to this town from Holland M.
de Laval, the eldest son of M. d'Andelot. He is gone to Dunkirk to
take passage into France, and his train is but seven persons in all.
By letters from Artois it is said that Monsieur has sent money
to Cambray to pay the soldiers there. They also write that at la
Fere they make great preparations for receiving him ; and that he
will be there shortly, notwithstanding it is greatly feared to the
contrary, and that all the great speeches of his coming are but
devised tales to comfort the 'pepolles' hearts ; for in two months'
time no letters have come from the States' ambassador in France ;
which is greatly misliked here by many, so that I see it makes great
doubts of the good dealings hoped for from France.
Secret speeches go here among the papists lately come from
France of some numbers of Frenchmen that are appointed to be
sent to Scotland ; and for the covering of it, it is given out they were
to be sent for the aid of the States. 'Surely this is greatly feared
here of many.'
By good advice given to the magistrates of this town, the Malcontents
vaunt themselves very much of the great victory which they
hope to have here in Flanders against the States 'or it will be long' ;
and give out withal that all the Scots that serve the States will not
continue here long, but will be sent home to make war against
The Malcontents are taking out all their old soldiers that lie in
garrison in towns and other holds, and putting High Dutches in
their places ; for it is said they will have a camp in the field with all
M. de la Noue's son departs shortly for France. He has charge
of 150 French horsemen serving at Nynove and Oudenard, but more
than half of them are gone away by stealth, to France and to the
This week divers Catholics of this town and hereabouts are
suddenly departed from this town with their wives and children to
Calais and Boulogne. All these matters make them doubt of the
French dealings ; and though there is no Catholic religion used in
this town openly, yet there are many of that religion 'in town,' who
begin to take some courage, by which it appears they are in hope of
some good matters 'towards them' on their side.
Many fearful speeches go here ; and that the troubles in Scotland
are a pretence to make some trouble in England and some alteration
here.—Bruges, 26 Feb. 1580.
P.S.—'Even at this present' yours at the 19th is come to hand,
for which I thank you. Surely the long tarrying of Monsieur, it is
thought by most men here, will turn the States here in Flanders to
great loss and hindrance, and besides many doubt of his coming ; so
that matters on the States' side in these parts stand in some danger
if he come not in time, for their good hope of France begins to fail
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 37.]
73. Two copies, in a hand of about 1700, of the king's commission
to the persons therein named to negotiate the marriage
between the Duke of Anjou and the Queen of England.—Saint-Germain-en-Laye,
last of Feb. 1581.
Endd. Fr. 2¼ pp. [France V. 24, 24A.]
74. "An extract out of the King's instructions given to the
Commissioners." (Signed) Pinart.
Endd. as above by (?) Walsingham. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. V. 25.]