Elizabeth: February 1581, 16-28

Pages 57-76

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

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February 1581, 16-28

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.]
Feb. 16. 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 the other. 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.]
Feb. 16. 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 Feb. 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 29.]
Feb. 18. 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.]
Feb. 18.
Lettres de C. de M. vii. 358.
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. 20.]
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.]
Feb. 19. 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 are ended. 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 thereof. 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 better readiness. 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 same. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 31.]
Feb. 19. 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 Deputies. 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.]
Feb. 20. 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 Highness. 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 his signature. 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 beholden. 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 dangerous greatness. 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 past. 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 answer. 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 stayed. 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 to Provence. 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 Montpensier. 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 Bishop. 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.]
Feb. 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 apart. 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 another way. 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.]
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.]
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.]
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.]
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 besieged. 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.]
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. 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. 35.]
Feb. 25. 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. 65.]
Feb. 25. 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.]
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.]
Feb. 26. 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 England. 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 speed. 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 enemy. 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 them. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 37.]
Feb. 28. 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.]
Feb. 28. 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.]