Elizabeth: March 1582, 21-31

Pages 571-589

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

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March 1582, 21-31

The favour you have shown me is great, and you can ascertain, in the fourteen years that I have been trading into this country, I have never done wrong to any man, nor intended it ; but to render to every one his own. My ruin and that of my friends has been caused by a bad man who went from here and has taken at Tercera a ship of mine coming from the Indies with more than 80,000 crowns (?) and another ship of 800 tons, which the king took from me (?) at Magallanes. And so I say that if you find that I have had the value of 50 pounds, you may have me chastised. All these gentlemen have suffered loss, and cannot help being in default. If you do not remedy it, trade will go on falling off, and if this business of Drake comes to an end in my hands, before they take away my powers, I will pay them all out of what comes to me. Her Majesty commands it to be done with the consent of the ambassador, who has a good expectation of finishing it, and I have told him how much its owners want. Now it is wholly in your hands to put us all right and to finish this business, wherewith all will be animated to give satisfaction on one side and on the other. Mr 'Vlifort' (qy. Wilford) will communicate with you more at large. London, 21 March 1582. Add. Endd. Sp. 1 p. [Spain I. 87.]
March 21. 621. HERLE to LEICESTER.
In the general letter I wrote to your lordship yesterday, I thought good to omit what follows, as matter of more importance and secresy, to be 'couched' apart. It is thought by Gaspar the surgeon, who has charge among others of the Prince's wound, that he cannot escape ; for the artery is touched, and accidents increase that make the cure out of hope, though better speech be blown abroad. I therefore send this bearer, my servant John Morgan, on purpose to signify this to her Majesty by your means ; and will not fail from instant to instant (having the 'insinuations' that I have) to advertise what alteration either his person, or the matters of State, suffer here. If her Majesty, or any of her Council privately, write to 'condole this action' with the Prince, it must be done at once ; and if I be thought fit, I will discharge the office of delivering those letters, and the further service that is commanded. There is an advertisement given by a Councillor of importance here, that there is somewhat practised against her Majesty's person in England by Bernardino de Mendoza. If there are particulars, I shall with the care and duty that becomes me advertise by special messenger what is certain. And seeing that the King of Spain has taken the course of dealing by such foul means, there is sufficient probability that he esteems neither his honour nor conscience, but is driven forward to infamy, and to become the Pope's instrument and 'bowcher' in whatsoever either ambition or revenge may stir him to ; which requires an eye to be had everywhere for her Majesty, and therein to the Pope's seminaries, and to the disguised Jesuits, particularly in England, persons resolute to do actual mischief, beside the course of their secret and ordinary practices. For a taste of King Philip's disposition and inward project you may read and judge of this paper enclosed, wherein he alone practised so foully the murder of the Prince of Orange, by promises that he never meant to perform ; whose scholar, the Prince of Parma, is worthy of his ancestors ('own grandfather' erased). Anastri, before he departed hence, obtained a large passport from the Prince of Orange with favourable terms, to go about his business whither he would ; whereby he had horses and guide from Dunkirk to Gravelines, where it is said he is. Monsieur and the States-General, before the Prince was hurt, granted to Guelderland an exemption from the 'Religions frede,' which imports much for a precedent. On Sunday a sermon was made by the Prince of pinoy's preacher in St. Michael's church, exhorting them to abjure the King of Spain, who had violated his oath and faith, and broken all their privileges and freedoms, not worthy to govern, being in tyranny and ambition the 'rejectedst' (?) prince of the world ; which he, a papist, signified to them by the virtue and power of the word of God. Verdugo grows strong in Guelderland. Aquisgrana is freed by the interposition of the 'Princes protestants.' The Imperial Diet begins at Augsburg on the 22nd of next month. The Emperor's harbingers are come there to order 'things of' lodging and provision. A marriage will be there between a daughter of Brandenburg and a Duke of Brunswick. The Pope sends the Bishop of 'Bressa' to the Diet as nuncio, and no legate as he had first determined. Please have regard to Paul Buys' motion, expressed in my former letter, and give me some answer therto. If the Prince die of this hurt, Buys is a person to be the more cherished for many respects. Count John of Nassan, the Prince's brother, is sent for hither to 'assist' these affairs. And there is some bitter invective and declaration of treasons inspired by Spain coming out in writing, upon this attempt against the Prince by King Philip. It is judged that it will be of more force and vehemence than the Apology was ; and to do him great hurt and gall. Toulon, a maritime town in Provence, was like to have been surprised by the King of Spain's means of late. The Prince of Orange affirmed that if the enemy were able, and determined indeed to besiege any town, he feared rather Brussels than either Dunkirk or Meenen.Antwerp, 21 March 1581. P.S.M. de Guise is still a great party in the Spanish causes, and has his instruments here. Appended : The confession of Anthony, a Spaniard, cashier to Aniastro. This examinate says that the practice to murder the Prince of Orange began eight months ago between King Philip and a secretary of his named Peter Assonzo, born in Biscay, who brought his father, John Assonzo, by letters to Lisbon, to confer of it with the king. This conference proceeded so far that John de Assonzo undertook to provide an instrument to execute the king's will, upon the conditions proposed : that the party should have 80,000 crowns in ready money, a comenda, an office, and have titles of honour. Gaspar Aniastri was dealt with herein by Assonzo the father, and brought to accept the execution in his own person ; but finding his courage, when he had better examined the matter, weak, signified that he was unable, but would find a person to supply his place, so that the former conditions were observed ; which the king ratified, willing that he should compound with his party at what price he might best, for, so the act were done, he would bestow upon Aniastri the mediator of it, the whole of his promise, to dispose of at his pleasure. Aniastri 'brake' herein with this examinate, Antonio his cashier, to take upon him the enterprise ; who, very willing, but unable, advised that John or Juan Jaureguy, Aniastri's book-keeper and a Biscayan born, should be persuaded in the cause, and he doubted not of his courage and resolution to perform what was required. This motion was found good and succeeded as is now apparent. John was promised great sums of money by Aniastri, and favours at the king's hands, and induced further to believe that they would not execute him 'upon' the fact, though he were apprehended, but reserve him prisoner for a time to learn more. Therefore Aniastri would depart in port four or five days before the enterprising of it, to acquaint the Prince of Parma in the king's name with the matter, that he might be ready with his army to approach the city of Antwerp, and in his company de la Noue ; whom he should offer by a trumpeter to deliver in lieu of Juan, for so was the king's pleasure. If they refused this, both la Noue should die and likewise the Prince of Orange's son who is in Spain, with all other prisoners that the Prince of Parma has in his custody. In confidence whereof Juan proceeded as resolutely as he did, and had such issue and reward as was seen last Sunday. The King of Spain is offended irreconcilably with two things concerning the Prince : the Apology, and the calling in of Monsieur. Copy. ? Enclosure in No. 623. Endd. by Herle. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 73.]
[Mar. 21.] 622. Another copy of the above confession with one or two corrections in Herle's writing. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 73 a.]
March 21. 623. HERLE to BURGHLEY.
I have written sundry letters to you since my arrival on this side, and will continue the same effectually, praying the assistance of your favour, and that I may hear my letters have come safely to your hands. At present I send this bearer my servant to my Lord of Leicester, with advertisements of importance. I enclose herein a copy of everything I am writing to my Lord of Leicester, verbatim, admitting no one syllable, assuring myself that my duty and care borne to her Majesty's service will 'like' you, and that accordingly you will be pleased to advance my poor credit and employment therein, for I am your creature, and so you shall ever perceive me. And my poor estate desires some regard to be had of me, when I strive by my own proper means to be doing somewhat that may exempt me from idleness and express my loyalty to my sovereign and the Lords. All which I commend to your wisdom, and to the natural affection that you bear to your house of 'Tylleglace' of which I am a poor branch. Please give your countenance in dispatching this bearer, my man, as soon as it is possible, for it is necessary to entertain now a continual intelligence from hence, which I would specially desire to be employed in, if I had her Majesty's countenance with an allowance thereunto, though it were never so small, for I have no help but my own. Please further to remember what I wrote to you of the Scottish matters, and to signify your mind therein ; for it is a thing only imparted 'with' your self, and as yet the Scottish colonel is here. Then touching Paul Buys, both for the cause that concerns Denmark, and for the provinces of Holland, Zealand, and other sea ports. Lastly, I would beseech you that if my man, this bearer, attend on you for my business, you will give him favourable access to you, and vouchsafe further to incline 'Mr S.' Walsingham's fast friendship to me, who is angry rather with my necessity than with my person, in that Wade is not satisfied at my hands. But I strive to do it, and will procure to my power his satisfaction.Antwerp, 21 March 1581. Add. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 74.]
March 21. 624. The PRINCE OF PARMA to the PEOPLE of BRUSSELS.
Wishing you to know as well as do those of these parts the zeal and affection with which I have ever proceeded and taken care for the good and tranquillity of these countries generally, of which I desire no fuller testimony than the pains which I have taken, the offices I have rendered, and the perils and risks to which I have exposed myself in trying to restore the whole to the ancient splendour and happiness in which these provinces once flourished, in pursuance whereof God, having been pleased to open the way to you by the death of the Prince of Orange, the sole and only instrument and author of all the miseries and calamities that you have suffered, will, I hope, have in like manner have removed from your eyes the bandage which hindered you from discerning the tricks and inventions whereby he fostered mistrust in you and perpetuated your miseries for the sake of his own covetousness and private ambition, to the point of desiring for his own ends to bring you under the yoke of those from whom you have in past ages received so much hurt and hostility : I have thought good to write this word in order to assure you that in the event of your wishing to avail yourselves of the opportunity which God offers, you will find no one in the world to aid you with more sincerity and promptitude than I shall do. To this end I offer you all that I am able in virtue of the special powers which I hold from his Majesty, from whom I am certain that you will receive no less favour and no worse treatment than those who, relying on the natural kindness with which he is endowed, have voluntarily thrown themselves into the arms of his royal clemency. Whereupon I await your answer, which I pray God may be such as I desire for the sake of your welfare and repose, and soon enough to give his Majesty cause to desist from the preparations he is making to arrive at this end by other ways perhaps more violent and less agreeable (duysables) to yourselves.Tournay, 21 March 1582. (Signed) Alexander (and below) Garnier. Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 75.]
The bearer of this, a doctor in the Civil Laws, having composed a small treatise in his profession, which he dedicates to her Majesty, has prayed me to write to you, that by your means he may be permitted to present his work. And although I have no knowledge of the man, other than by the report of others, to be learned in his faculty [sic], and am besides altogether unable to judge of the matter of his book, yet for the earnest request he has made me, I would do no less than write these few lines on his behalf.Antwerp, 22nd March 1582. Add. Endd. : '28 March.' p. [Ibid. XV. 76.]
March 24. 626. [WALSINGHAM] to GILPIN.
By yours of the 11th and 17th inst. it appears that certain particular provinces have offered their contingents for the interests past, which you forbore to receive by reason of former direction. Whereon, as I cannot but like of your dealing, I have now thought good to let you understand that as the payment made by one part will more easily draw on the rest to perform their duties, it is thought good that you should get into your hands as much as you may ; and for the rest, be instant with the States, that for the remnant that shall be 'unanswered' order may speedily be taken. And to the end the Queen may not hereafter be driven to these extremities of delay, and tedious 'poursuites,' that order may also be taken at this assembly for assurance to be made to the city of Antwerp for the satisfaction of those at whose hands she will look to receive yearly such interest as shall fall due during the 'prolongation' of the principal ; which she can be pleased not to call for very hastily, 'tendering' their present necessity, if she be duly and timely 'answered' the interest. As for the receipt of the money to be taken or made by yourself, your desire should have been satisfied, if the Company had not resolved upon sending you to the Diet of the Empire, for which journey you may put yourself in readiness. For the letters you are to have from her Majesty, one upon the point to be dispatched will be with you, if not as soon as this, immediately after. Meanwhile remember to leave order with Copcott for the following of her Majesty's business according to present directions delivered you.The Court at Greenwich 24 March 1581. Draft in hand of L. Tomson, with add. 1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 77.]
March 25. 627. HERLE to LEICESTER.
On Thursday last I dispatched a man of mine to you with letters of the 20th and 21st of this month, in which I advertised at large the state of things here. Since then the Prince's wound shows good appearance of amendment ; but till the seventh day is past, which determines about 1 o'clock this Sunday, and the ninth day also, no full assurance can be made, though his friends are of opinion that the danger is past. The Prince is of that courage that it makes the cure easier in him which would be impossible in a weaker person. The state of his wound is this, that the blow of the pistol has 'astonied' or contused the principal parts near it, which before they are brought to their feeling, cannot be without danger of accidents. At the blow, the Prince thought that the whole house had fallen upon him, not aware that he was hurt till the blood came trickling down. The paper that rammed in the bullet was driven far into the wound, accompanied with great force and quantity of powder, which spread itself the more, 'by how much' the piece was overcharged. The powder burnt his ruffs and tainted the tip of his ear, being discharged so near ; for there never was seen such assurance as of the wretch that did the deed. The powder has caused swelling and inflammation, which 'axeth his dissolving' ; and even now the 'eskar' or scurf is separated, and they begin to come to the depth of the wound, which is as big as a dollar, at the place of the first entry. The danger will be when they come to the searching of the 'eskar,' lest it be so deep as to cover some of the veins that may be hurt by the blow, and then the issue of the blood may be such as they are not able to stop. The Prince continues still silent, but writes what is to be done. He signed yesterday sixteen letters and some commissions. But the Council of the States-General will proceed in nothing till they see his full and perfect convalescence. They have prepared shows at Ghent and Brussels for the receiving of Monsieur, which must also stay 'his' time. Monsieur visits the Prince, and on Friday sent 'Roche de Brun' into France, with 'instructions' to the king of the state of things here, and what the persons detained in prison for the murder 'pretensed' have confessed. Their confessions you shall have as soon as they may be 'recovered.' Monsieur takes this act of the King of Spain to be done directly against his person, and that it may serve for a good caveat to all other princes ; affirming that they shall proceed here by criminal process against the King of Spain, and then divulge the act to the Imperial Diet and to the kings and princes of Christendom. To cut off the practices as much as they may, and 'entertainments' by letters, they have dismissed Taxis the postmaster and transferred the office to d'Ohain who is [qy. was] principal in title before, to whom the letters will be brought coming and going, that he may 'visit' them according to his discretion. It is intended that the King of Spain's arms shall be beaten down, not only here but throughout the other provinces, and Monsieur's erected in place of them ; with a further charge, that none of the inhabitants shall retain within their houses any private 'monument' of the king's arms. The mass is but weekly [qy. weakly] 'haunted' here, and the papists that refuse to abjure King Philip make show that they will forsake the town ; but when they 'peyse' whither to retire for safety or traffic, the matter is doubtful. By letters intercepted, that came from Gaspar 'Laniastri' at Gravelines, it appears that he intends to be at Calais shortly ; 'to meet wherewith' Monsieur has sent his provost with letters to Gourdan, for his stay till he know the French king's pleasure therein, at whose hands he looks to have him delivered to be brought hither. It is looked for here that the cashier and the priest (who is a Jacobin friar, confessor to John Jaureguy), will be executed this week, or next at the furthest. And it is deciphered that the Duke of Alva had a great part in this foul action, procuring John Destassonza [sic] his creature to be the manager of it. Bernardino de Mendoza is another creature of his also. Monsieur gives hopes that the Switzers, the French lances and shot 'a foot,' and the reiters, shall be ready in the field within ten weeks to serve here ; and also that the French king his brother shall declare himself against the King of Spain ; either of which is shrewdly doubted of and has small appearance. Yet tonight the Prince Dauphin certainly departed into France ; which has been hastened, for the castle of 'Dulowe' [Dilloo] is taken by the enemy, 'and prepares' us tomorrow to have his camp before Ypres to besiege it. There are neither able soldiers nor governor in it, nor are they able from hence to give succour to it. It is a place of great importance. The negotiation from hence with Montigny and the Malcontents has but slow progress. They now have more insight by this late precedent into the Spanish king's vindictive mind, and therefore for their own security should be the better inclined to Monsieur, if their envy of the Prince of Orange's estate and their own ambition do not hinder. As yet neither du Vray nor Neufville is arrived here. There is an oration dispersed among the Malcontents to entertain them the more in courage and duty to the King of Spain ; set forth in French in the name of the Lord Chancellor of England, as a speech of his, debated in Council, whether it were necessary for her Majesty to give aid to this side or no ; a thing penned by M. 'Doway,' projected by d'Assonleville, and authorised by the Prince of Parma, printed and sold in Tournay, though 'named' to come from Cologne. In this the king's forces, friends, and money, are so magnified and the Queen of England so abased that it touches her in honour, in my humble opinion, to 'take knowledge' of it as well for the invention as for the gross and lying terms that it contains. I am persuaded that Mr Secretary Walsingham has the book, otherwise I would send you one only copy that I have. Villiers is now brought in favour with Monsieur by the Prince's means, and du Plessis' mediation. This morning my good and familiar friend Guicciardin, the writer of the description of this country, came to me. He had immediately before been detained by the space of two days in the Town House, and examined whether he held any communication with one Bandino, a Florentine in Paris, a man of good account, but ill-affected to this state by sundry offices that he had done against it. Whereto Guicciardin answered that as one Florentine to another, letters had passed between them, but in matters of state, never anything. To this they made a second demand, whether he had written to Bandino that by the practice of the Queen of England, agreeing with the Prince of Orange and the States, all three in one, Monsieur was brought over hither to mock and scorn the French king, and plainly withal to break even his own neck, and to ruin him. Whereto Guicciardin protested that he was innocent of it, both in writing and in thought, commending her Majesty to be the worthiest and admirablest princess in virtue and integrity that ever was. And for the Prince of Orange and the States, he had given sufficient testimony of his well-deserving towards them. [This par. marked in the margin.] Next day they repaired to him again, praying him by the mouth of two burgomasters and four 'skepers' that he would not interpret ill that he was thus interrogated and stayed ; it was to do their country service, for some such 'purpose' and speeches as they questioned him of had passed between some men, and had been written also abroad. They prayed him to do the best offices he could to the States-General, to the Prince, and to Monsieur (whom they named last), they holding the same good opinion of her Majesty that he did. This advertisement Guicciardin delivered to me as a secret of importance, that concerned the Queen to consider of ; for it seems that they joined the other two with the Queen, in the article of his examination, to cover the jealousy that they have conceived of her in this action, and also to clear the Prince of Orange, who 'is judged that he wrought' by Sainte-Aldegonde in England to bring over the duke, whatever countermine he should be driven to use for it. Monsieur also takes it very hardly that the entertainment of England waxes so cold towards him ; for though he have received letters from her Majesty by 'Bruneas,' and twice by the post since, he looked to have had special messages, and tokens to have passed between her Majesty and him in some other sort ; which now perplexes him that he is so 'small' accounted of. Insomuch that one of the Prince's Council said to one of good reputation, that albeit the Queen of England would shake off Monsieur, and abandon her distressed friends when they looked most for comfort and accomplishment, yet that it was no policy to do it suddenly and all at once to him that she had entertained so notably, and to the country that depended on her, and in whose good success her assurance stood. This breeds daily more anguish and offence in them, for their estate stands upon extreme terms, how to be able to provide money to erect an army ; and drives them to many hard constructions and devices. Thereunto this advertisement may serve for some application : that a negotiation is intended shortly to be had from hence with a foreign prince. A person was named to be employed therein ; but he was thought unfit, in that he was over-favourable to the Queen of England and her causes. This party was advertised thereof, and desired me to have one in readiness to send specially over to her Majesty, when he will give me knowledge further of his negotiation. Since that time it is appointed that Govyll (Colville) shall go over with letters and credence secretly into Scotland, in the company of Colonel Stewart, who '(of my life)' is wholly French, as I can be able to prove when occasion serves. For Govyll, he is grown to a sudden fashion of silence and sadness ; and in malice he hates our nation as much as may be. Col. Stewart on this occasion will have 'a pay' of a round sum of his old debts, and promises therewith to bring over some supplies to fill up the old bands here. Next week he travels into Holland to see his lady of Battenburg, and thence comes to 'Camshire,' whence he and Govill will take ship for Scotland. He told me that he looked for letters from Mr Secretary by the next post ; and further that he heard the Earl of Arran was come to the king at Edinburgh, well accompanied and followed, d'Aubigny being then at Dalkeith, if whose quarrel with Arran the king had undertaken the decision and reconcilement. He asked me further whether any ambassador was lately sent into Scotland, which I could not resolve him in.Antwerp, 25 March 1582. Copy. Endd. by Herle : The copy of my letter to the Earl of Leicester, written on Sunday at Antwerp, the 25 of March 1582. No. 2. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 78.]
March 25. 628. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
This week, by Mr Borrowes or Mr Rawley I sent you a packet with a 'collection' of what passed here about the mischance happened to the Prince ; who, God be thanked, mends daily, 'the wound being very fair, his speech good and able to receive his sustenance' without harm or pain, so that within eight or ten days at furthest it is to be hoped he will be able to stir abroad and travail in business as heretofore. The course the bullet took was so strange that all the doctors and surgeons wonder at it, as a thing almost impossible, to make such a hole and passage through that part of the face, without hurting any chief part or member. The cashier of 'Jan Astro' has confessed all, . . . was a-working since August last, having been propounded to him ; but his heart would not serve to commit the 'fact,' and yet concealed it. One Juan de Zuncha was chief worker of it on the king's behalf with 'Jan Astro,' who was promised, as I heard for certain, 80,000 crowns, with a comanderia of San Diego, and advancement to some great office. Since his departure, this 'Jan Astro' wrote two letters to his servant that care should be had to execute the 'fact,' and pistol double charged, and with two bullets ; to remember that the Prince wore a gown, and therefore the pistol was surer than the dagger, by which it might be done so effectually that it might speed. The black monk that confessed and absolved the murderer could by no torments be brought to confess anything, till his own handwriting was found and laid before him, containing a note of what he had received for his labour. Then he said he had counselled him to the contrary, and had not revealed because he had not thought it had been so soon done ; but since, I hear again, he has 'opened' what he knew. The duke has not failed to be every day at the Prince's dressing in the afternoon, showing thereby the care he had of him, and desire and gladness of his recovery. Wednesday last was appointed and kept a day of fasting and prayer to the end it would please God to restore the Prince's health and send good success in 'these' troublesome time and business. The duke is very forward and diligent in furthering all needful causes, and insists hard for present resolution to 'draw' an uniformity among the provinces in all nations and occasions offered and falling out for their defence and resistance against the enemy. The Prince's hurt has somewhat delayed matters, but 'trusted' ere long will be otherwise. Nothing is heard of the enemy's proceeding or doings since the mischance happened ; only that 'where' he had laid siege to a castle lying between Ypres and Lille, on the river, he has left it, and now 'makes show' again to Meenen. Their forces increase daily, and make great preparations, victuals and munition to attempt some enterprise. Those of Ghent have thrust out many that refused to renounce the King of Spain and take oath to Monsieur. The like will I think very shortly be put into execution here, for notwithstanding the grant of popery, few repair to mass ; the cause of which is taken to be the fear of the oath.Antwerp, 25 March 1582. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XV. 79.]
Similar to that addressed to Brussels, No. 624. Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. XV. 80.]
March 25. 630. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
In four packets I have set forth to you the state of things here, the occasions and causes of the delay in affairs touching his Highness's establishment by the due oath to the other provinces, which up till now remains in suspense because the deputies from some of those provinces were insufficiently authorised. This they now are, and the oath-taking ought to be completed in three days, save for the provinces of Utrecht and Overyssel, which have not appeared. You and her Majesty have been duly advertised of a desperate man, who with a resolution fearless of death was determined to wish to kill his Excellency in his chamber. The result has been more fully particularised to you by other agents, and I will say no more of it, leaving you to think into what a predicament it has brought us ; what delay in our affairs, what hopes to the enemy for the advancement of his. God has saved us and all men from the most cruel massacre ever heard of. These incidents are highly pernicious to the good of this State, inasmuch as his Excellency's advice is lacking to the Council of State, where many posts are given to people of little experience, to the public detriment ; not by his Highness's fault, but that of those who advance them unknown to him. He has already perceived this ; whereon I have been asked to give advice. For my own part, I do all possible service to advance, first, the glory of God, secondly, the repose of the State, to the point of exposing my own estate ; beside my ordinary labours and troubles. I am waiting to know if you have received all mine since the return of the Earl of Leicester, to whom I have always imparted all the occurrents ; begging you to pass on to him the contents of this.Antwerp, Mar. 25, 1582. P.S.The Malcontents have retaken by composition a castle named 'Doux Lieu' [qy. Doulemont] on the Lys, three leagues from Ypres. It is feared they will attack that town or another, if fine weather favours them. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 81.]
March 25. 631. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote to you last week, whereby you will have seen the danger in which his Excellency has been, and the hazard incurred by foreigners. God be praised that the matter has passed as it has ; it may well serve for the future as a warning to great and small and for a great reproach to the King of Spain and to the great chief of the Papacy. As for the Prince, he is, thank God, doing well of his wound, with nothing broken or bruised in his mouth, only the flesh pierced ; and the side where the bullet came out is beginning to close up. By the end of this month he will be walking about his room. If a soldier had been hit in the same way, he would be walking about the town. You see how miraculously his Excellency has escaped, by the grace of God, who has further work for him to do. On the day of his wound, his Highness wept, and thrice smote his head against the wall ; they had much ado to appease him. This week will be executed the cashier and the Jacobin who were in the conspiracy. As for the principal, merchant Gaspar 'Anyase,' he has not been taken. He departed three days before the coup, for Calais, and they say he is at Gravelines. He has taken money from several merchants here, to be repaid at Lyons, up to 60,000 livres gross. He had large credit, and a passport from his Excellency. The prisoners' depositions will be printed. The priest has told everything ; confessed that he gave absolution to the assassin, etc. The enemy has taken the castle of Doulieu, and his forces are at 'Balieu' [qy. Bailleul] and Poperinghe. It is said they are going to Meenen ; others say to Dunkirk, into which the French have entered ; but Brussels is to be feared. If they go there, some French will be sent to Vilvoorde and a good number to Haudant (?), pending the preparation of his Highness's army, which goes forward pretty slowly. The States have not yet replied to the proposals of his Highness, which he reiterated to them last Wednesday. They promised him to do their diligence therein. His Excellency's wound as well as this delay in answering has hindered the departure of the Prince Dauphin as well as of other gentlemen to set their affairs in order ; and it seems to me that it will be June before we see his Highness's army in the field, if other diligence is not shown. These delays will be very mischievous. It was proposed at one time that the Prince of Cond should be his Highness's lieutenant-general in that army ; but this has been broken off, because he is not much beloved, and if he collected forces in France it would cause suspicion among those of Guise and other Catholics, which might be the occasion of the revival of troubles in France. The most expedient course for the furtherance of his Highness's affairs here was to give the post to the Prince Dauphin, on many accounts. His Highness has sent to the Prince of Cond to satisfy him. The Marquis of Elbeuf has sent to his Highness offering his services and his means. He declines with thanks ; and it seems that he is content to have once made trial of him, without going that way again. His Highness has been making presents : to M. de la Fert, an abbey near Meaux worth 10,000 livres a year ; to M. de Fervacques, 16,000 florins ; to M. 'Maydavit' a priory of 12,000 livres ; and several other small gifts to his courtiers to put heart into them to do their work at this juncture. He and the States sent yesterday to those of Overyssel, to know what they have decided to do ; inasmuch as they have neither come nor sent word since his arrival. His Highness's household establishment is not yet settled. Things go slowly. Guicciardin the Italian is imprisoned in the Town House for having received and written certain letters in the enemy's direction, which were intercepted.Antwerp, 25 Mar. 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 82.]
We have just received the letter which your Highness has been pleased to send us, which has been read and well understood by those to whom it was written. They are surprised, considering the importance of the matter, that it was not escorted by some more distinguished personage than a simple trumpeter. If we had thought [sic] that your Highness was fully informed of the enterprise on the part of the French upon the town of Lens, and its result, we would not have omitted to impart it to you. Wherewith we pray God to grant your Highness an elevation (lever) appropriate to your deserts.Ypres, 26 March 1582. Copy in Rossel's hand, encl. in his of Mar. 31, No. 638. Endd. Fr. p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 83.]
March 27. 633. COMBELLE to WALSINGHAM.
Inasmuch as I learn from my brother, on his return from England, that her Majesty was ill-content with me, for some report that had been made to her that I had not seen and saluted 'le Syr' Henry Seymour when he came to meet Monsieur on his return from Cambrsis, I thought it my duty to write to her. I do so by this dispatch, and humbly beg her to believe that there was on this point no diminution of my good will to her service. Herein I shall never fail, under the obligation of all the honour and favour I have received from her. If there was any default on my side, it was rather owing to the hindrances, inconveniences and confusions which are found in an army, and because I was not a good enough courtier, than to any other cause. And because I know the position you hold about her Majesty, and that you willingly undertake the protection of honest folk, well-disposed to her service, I thought good to beg you to present my letter to her, and make her approve what I have written by way of quite truthful excuses. Assure her, if you please, that she has hardly more power over her own men and natural subjects than her rare virtues have gained for her over me, of which she may have proof if she ever so honours me. My brother also says that he received so much help from you in the recovery of a chain and jewels which were taken from him over there, that he, and I with him, have great cause to thank you. Paris, 27 March 1582. P.S.Please let the Lord Treasurer and the Earl of Sussex know that I recommend myself humbly to their favour. Add. Endd. : From President Combelle. Fr. 1 p. [France VII. 42.]
March 28. 634. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Advertisements came yesterday to this Court that the Prince of Orange had been shot at with a pistol, and hurt in his face, not altogether without peril of his life, and the present loss of some of his teeth. It is said this was done in his chamber, and the malefactor 'presently in the place' slain by the prince's bastard and others. About him was found a bill of credit for 3,000 crowns, and also he had in sundry places on his body Jesuitical 'characters' written in Spanish, with a prayer in his bosom. It is conceived this desperate person is known to be a cashier to a Spanish merchant, and a Biscayan born ; and moved through the corruption of the Spanish king and Pope, at the instigation of the Jesuits, has sought to commit that wilful murder on a prince of the Religion, which is a most horrible 'fact' and unworthy of any man professing Christ. Howbeit, in these bad days malice oppresses religion. This unhappy warning may serve to all other princes to be more provident for their preservation. The papists are much cheered with this news, hoping that it is true ; expecting the prince's death, and the sequel of other like detestable 'facts.' I am informed that Dr Allen, with divers others of our wandering Englishmen, 'are' repaired hither from Rheims, following the publishing of the Pope's bull, to obtain benevolence and the liberality of all men towards the maintenance of their seminary. So all their preaching friars this Lent exhort the principal personages and the people to bestow alms on the English Romanists. They have made a book intituled De Persecutione Anglicana Epistola etc. which I send you herewith. It is set forth, as you may perceive, with the privilege of this king, and thought to have been written by Dr Allen. I am informed that Thomas Morris, a minister beside Hastings in Kent, is a receiver and conveyer of papists and their books. He has at his devotion two searchers thereabouts, who are both indebted to him. It may be this Morris can inform you of the printer's name of the books they have lately printed in London and distributed to divers gentlemen, of Campion's death, in verses ; or at least how they were 'delivered forth.' Our papists whisper that they expect some innovation to happen in Wales before the end of May. However, I have found by experience that they often give out frivolous hopes. They tell me that Sir Thomas Jarret has a son in the Jesuits' college here. His father's man brought him some 'relief' the other day. There are now come over these following : James Findlason, John Fitzsymons, Tichborne, Pooley, one Smith of London, and one Digby, a priest, sometime of Justice [sic] College in Oxford, who departed hence at Shrovetide. Mr Paget begins to show himself abroad again among our countrymen. I beg you again to let me know how 'these kind' of advertisements which I have sent from time to time concerning the papists fall out, by proof in any sort, to be veritable or in any way profitable for her Majesty's service ; because otherwise I should be loth to trouble you with such frivolous matter. Also to remember M. Torsey's suit, which I sent you six or seven months ago. I think it necessary to let you know that upon occasion of visiting the Duke of Savoy's ambassador lately, he entered into speech of his duke sending Count Montreal to her Majesty with the Order of the Garter, and such other compliments as princes use to do on first coming to their estates. He rehearsed likewise that his prince did the like offices to all other potentates, in requital of which they also sent their ministers, to 'congratulate' his beginning of government. This purpose he protested to have uttered to me of himself without any commission from his master. I leave the 'informing' of this to her Majesty as you shall think convenient ; but if it pleased her to cause the duke to be visited, and the King of Navarre being in the way approached nearer to these parts, it might prepare those two princes' minds to be better inclined towards her, and may cause her subjects to be better 'seen' and used in some parts, now that they are so ill intreated in Italy. This visit may be 'used' without giving any cause of jealousy to the French king. And so Duke Montmorency may be saluted from her Majesty, or from the Earl of Leicester, as may be thought best. Whereas in my letter of the 12th inst. I told you of the Pope's nuncio's dealing with the Franciscan friars, he has since bestowed whipping discipline on three or four of the chief, done in his presence, with some help of his own hands, for standing against his will on the privileges of the Gallican Church, opposing themselves to his injurious intruding authority. The Court of Parliament, being advertised of the nuncio's punishing those friars, have assigned certain persons to take information of the matter, in order that a process may be framed thereon. But Cardinal Birague and the Duke of Guise seek by all means to persuade the king to have this 'fact' passed away in silence, and have advised the nuncio to write some humble letters to the king ; which he waits to perform till he hears from Rome. I am informed that 'Bishop Glasgow' has signified to the nuncio that the captain of the Scottish king's guard has put himself 'on' the party of Morton's friends, at her Majesty's instigation. This king has granted to the Bishop of Paris that the bull in favour of the English papists, which I lately sent you, shall be published, and that there may be given them 500 crowns. To which the Cardinals of Birague and Guise are great contributors, to the value, as I hear, of 200 crowns. The Pope intends to make at Bologna in Lombardy [sic] a college for the English papists ; having assigned to them an abbey of 2,000 crowns a year, lately fallen void. The nuncio is advertised from Rome that the Queen has 'accorded' to renew the ancient association and league with the King of Spain, remitting on both parts the injuries past ; which negotiation 'should be' carried by the Spanish ambassador in England. The Abbot del Bene has visited the nuncio on behalf of Monsieur, and given him to understand that his Highness had obtained the church of St. James at Antwerp for the exercise of the Catholic ceremonies, which would be done daily as soon as priests might be had for the purpose. Yesterday came a courier from the Prince of Parma, who departed 'expressedly' towards Spain to carry the news of the Prince of Orange's hurt. The companies which have 'been said to be' gathered in Italy are not yet amassed, for want of money ; howbeit, it is understood the Spanish king has made provision for a million and a half by means of the 'Fouquers.' The Duke of Mantua has entered into great 'jealousy,' fearing lest the Duke of Savoy has some secret intelligence with the county of Montferrat, and has imprisoned divers in that country on suspicion. He has been advertised that the Duke of Savoy has given great provision to Captain Anselme, to 'entertain' sundry captains and divers companies of soldiers. In this Court they are offended that the Pope has sent Chiappino Vitelli's bastard son to be governor in Avignon, because he is known to be a pensioner to the Catholic King. This king has earnestly requested the Pope to remove him. A French gentleman of my acquaintance, dwelling near tampes, sent me word today that an English gentleman had passed by with five or six horses towards the upper parts of France ; which I cannot tell how to believe, because I am not otherwise advertised of it. Paris, 28 Mar. 1582. Add. and endt. gone. 4 pp. [France VII. 43.]
March 28. 635. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I cannot tell whether her Majesty 'can be pleased this king may be in any sort dealt with' about the manner of her subjects' proceeding in seeking to publish their bulls and false books ; delivering out pamphlets of cruel executions with much like 'comtemptius' speeches, wherewith truly I am within myself much vexed, and ready to obey what I am commanded therein. Meantime, if by way of 'conference' I show some of these books with the king's privilege to Pinart, I hope it will not be evil taken. There is much privy seeking to win all sorts of gentlemen repairing into these parts. I cannot tell what to think of Lord Hamilton's absence. Lady 'Fanhurst' [Fernhurst] is upon her return ; but it is said that d'Aubigny's wife is not 'of opinion' to pass into Scotland. I beseech you to 'do for me to her Majesty's liking' and to command me.Paris, 28 March 1582. P.S.The heirs to Marshal de Coss will needs have me depart out of their house ; yet I have offered them 1,200 francs a year 'by' rent of it ; so her Majesty's courtesies to the French will not move them to do the like. I will now therefore get among my friends of the 'faulxbourgs of St. Germayne's' if I can. Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 44.]
March 28. 636. 'Extract from a letter written to the Clerk of the Finances, Espallart of Dinant, the 28th of March.'
The river Meuse has for eight days past been blocked both below Mzires and above as far as Mousson, so that nothing can come down towards Namur or cross towards Luxembourg, for the soldiers, who are in large number along the river. News came yesterday from a good quarter that before three days there will be on the river by order of the king 2,000 horses for his Highness's service ; and this very day a merchant has certified me that there are 30 ensigns of infantry about Chalons coming from Lyons, who will soon be on the frontier of [sic] Mzires. On the occasion whereof it is rumoured (l'on bruyt) that one company of horse and one of foot are shortly to come to Philippeville to reinforce the garrison. M. de Barlaymont and the deputies of Namur are at Tournay, to present to the Prince of Parma 3,000 florins a month which the Estates of Namur have granted for the pay of their garrison. They say the foreigners are marching, and are already pretty near to Burgundy ; wherefore requisition [? ammonition] has been made of victuals everywhere, inventories having been made of all the grain in the towns and open country of Luxembourg, and his provision appointed to every householder for next August, with orders to keep it well. The Duke of Aerschot is marrying Mme de Beauvoix. The Prince of Chimay having refused to do the duty, d'Assouville is shortly to go on embassy to the King of France to know if he will avow or disavow M. d'Anjou's doings. M. de Gommicourt's return from Spain is expected shortly. Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 84.]
I hoped to be over there by the beginning of this month, which has been the reason that I put off replying to your last, as I wished, and as duty bade me ; but I have been delayed by the Duke of Bouillon for reasons to me unknown. From what he tells me in his letter of the 18th, I hope to be in London about Easter or soon after. When I arrive, I shall not fail to call on you at once. I pray God that I may also find my much-honoured lord and master the Earl of Huntingdon, to whom I am sending a reply to a very kind letter that he was good enough to write me ; which I have ventured of enclosing in the packet for you, since I was very anxious it should reach him safely. Please pardon the liberty I have taken, and in return I will serve you all my life. As to the particulars which you wished to know, you will here and now have only the following, time being short : all the entrepreneurs and the chasseurs are enemies of the lion and leopard, promising themselves to line their garments with its skin, etc. Coram pluribus utar ; hoping to show you by effects in all things where there may be an opportunity for your service that the aforesaid earl has bound me endlessly to his Excellency.From 'your' house at Rouen, 29 March 1582. Add. in English. Endd. Fr. p. [France VII. 44.]
March 31. 638. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
Although I am awaiting (je suis attendant) some instructions on my letters, continued regularly since the return of the Earl of Leicester, I would not cease to continue my advices. His Excellency after supping this evening in presence of his Highness fell into an extreme weakness through the opening or rupture of a vein, which had chosen (a voulu) to become ulcerated. The only remedy has been to hold the blood back by many blisters, applied on all parts of the body. This second event makes his friends uneasy. It is in the hands of God rather than of men. You have heard that two accomplices of the doer of the desperate deed have paid in public the penalty of a 'courteous' death, at his Excellency's desire ; and humanity worthy of his generous nature, yet mischievous to the futherance of our affairs. Were it not that those who are carrying on the war on the side of Flanders had succeeded in surprising Lens in Artois, they would have attacked some town in Flanders, which is now safeguarded by the capture of Lens. This has made the enemy quit Flanders to hasten in that direction, after burning the castle of 'Douxlieu' which they had previously taken with some loss of their men. His Highness took the oath to the States-General publicly and solemnly on the 17th inst. subject to all the points contained in the treaty, after which all those of the United Provinces did him homage. Since then he has set on foot the ordering of his estate, filling up the offices and posts at his pleasure. The system established makes us hope for good. As for the war, the plan (le dispositif) is great, if he is well followed, and granted the facilities required. You will have heard how the Prince of Parma has written to the towns of Ghent, Bruges, Ypres, Brussels and others, to submit themselves to the king's obedience and mercy, now that their chief the Prince of Orange was dead. This 'incongruity' and false information have so assured the town and the people that they have written and sent mocking letters, as you may please to see in that of Messieurs of Ypres in answer to that which the Prince of Parma had written them. I send you also that which went to those of Brussels. All other details I think your agents will have furnished you.Antwerp, last of March 1582. P.S.I have not had time to write to the Earl of Leicester ; who, if you please, will share this report. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 85.]