Elizabeth: March 1581, 1-15

Pages 76-87

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 1581, 1-15

Mar. 1. 75. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
I have written in my 'particular' letter to her Majesty, how the King of Navarre has offered to serve her in very princely sort and with great zeal. I beseech that by your means I may understand her mind therein, so that I may answer the king to his satisfaction. The ill-content which the Prince of Condé has received of this last pacification, breeds great doubt lest he may be provoked to become malcontent, whereby the peace of this realm will be disordered. Monsieur and the King of Navarre have nevertheless written earnestly on his behalf to their Majesties. Howbeit the king will not be induced to disburse any money or show any grace to the prince till there be further proof of his good demeanour. Advertisements have come to the Queen that 'Desguières' has taken certain castles in Dauphiné, and is at present laying siege to Briançon, into which M. de la Meure has entered by command of the Duke of Maine, but with a very small garrison. The duke himself has returned to Lyons, having sent to the king that he has no power, nor means to levy any ; whereon the king has given orders for money to be conveyed from hence, with express commands to the duke to be before Briançon by the 10th of March. The whole marquisate of Saluces is clearly restored to the king's obedience, in which the Count of Retz has done good and politic service. Captain Anselme at first continued to treat with King Philip, who by means of the Duke of Mantua had sent him an Italian engineer to view Sental and see if it was of sufficient strength to be maintained against this king, since the town and citadel of Carmagnola were restored to him by Bellegarde. Therefore Anselme finding the Spanish king deal hardly with him resolved to yield to this king's offers. The Count of Retz has compassed these matters with brave threatenings, wise persuasions, and gifts, using diligence to bring them to a good end. During this negotiation he advertised to Rome, Venice, and other Courts of the princes of Italy that his coming thither was only to bring the marquisate of Saluces to the king's due obedience, and for no other purpose. He was driven to advertise thus, because King Philip's ambassadors at Rome and other places in Italy had bruited that his negotiation tended to the overture of war against the Catholic king. But now that things are thus settled, what he will further attempt, time will show. The Duke of Nemours remains near Turin. M. de Biron 'leaves not' to use his accustomed artifices to the prejudice of the King of Navarre, though Villeroy has shown Queen Mother the king's clear dealing, of which good satisfaction has now been received. Monsieur and the King of Navarre remain at Cadillac. Something is discovered of the King of Spain's practices with some parties of this realm in Languedoc, which I hear Monsieur has signified to their Majesties. If it 'fall out more probable' you shall be further certified of it. The king has called back all his 'assignation,' and has stayed other payments, amassing money by all means. Monsieur is likewise 'engaging' most of his domain, and aliening some, for money. M. 'le Gratin,' the King of Navarre's chancellor, has sought to 'recover' money for the king at Paris. Chandu, captain of Queen Mother's guards, was last week sent by her into Normandy to Fervaques. He has informed her that Fervaques was at Verneuil and thereabouts, in Monsieur's territories, with 1,000 or 1,200 horse and 3,000 foot, awaiting the coming of the other companies from Beauce. News came to-day that he was approaching to pass the Seine. The Prince of Condé has sent to Queen Mother with request to satisfy him on four points, according to the justice and equity of his cause. First that he may be paid the 50,000 francs promised him by Monsieur for the expenses of his last journey in Germany to satisfy the wills of some that he respects. Secondly, that he may have good assignations for his pensions and arrears due to him. Thirdly, that the Queen would persuade his uncle, the Cardinal of Bourbon, to give up the jewels that were delivered to his custody when the princess his wife died, he himself being then in Germany. Lastly that the gardenoble of his daughter for certain lands in Normandy, which the Duke of Guise obtained from the king in his absence, may be redelivered to her. Young l'Aubespine 'exercises the room' of Secretary Pinart in his absence. The money assigned to the Duke of Maine is borrowed from burgesses of this town. Letters have come from Rome to the Nuncio 'importing' his staying here, wherewith he is discontented, not finding himself very acceptable in this Court. The King of Navarre has appointed with the Prince of Condé to meet him early in this month at Montauban, whither the deputies of the Religion from Provence and Dauphiné are to repair, to confer about establishing the peace, and to salve such 'inconvenients' as have happened during the war. Monsieur has appointed to be about the same time at Agen, so that the Prince may have 'commodity' to come to him.—Blois, 1 Mar. 1580. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France V. 26.]
Mar. 1. 76. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
I have according to the command in your last letter sent into Britanny, to Brest and other places, to see what preparation of ships there is on those coasts, but my messengers have not returned. Howbeit I hear by others that la Roche is preparing shipping near Brest and Vannes ; which is, as I am informed by some of the Religion, only to be employed about a particular adventure for his profit, and not for any other enterprise. However, I will seek to be better informed of it. Some of the Religion have informed me that the Spanish king seeks to levy mariners in Britanny and in Provence ; but if I do not mistake, they will be employed in the voyages which M. Strozzi is now 'addressing' anew. Young Lansac too has an enterprise on hand, which they say is to be bestowed on the common enemy. The King of Navarre has dealt very roundly in surrendering the towns, performing all things that 'belonged' to him ; which is confirmed by Villeroy. The courtiers begin to change their language towards him, uttering in their speeches bad dispositions towards King Philip and his Spaniards. The Queen Mother's indisposition, which is yet but a 'grudging' of an ague, if it increases might grow dangerous to her, the rather because last year she was sick about this time. I have not received any dispatch from England since Jan. 17, save one private letter from your honour dated Feb. 1, brought by John de Vicques ; at which I have been grieved, considering the time and state of affairs. I cannot proceed further with the Lord Arbroth, nor can I send to him till you deliver me your commands. Touching the answer to what I have sent, he must become very dishonourable and perjured if he inclines to yield to the Spanish proffers ; since at my last conference with him he gave me his hand, and pledged his faith that on his salvation he neither had nor would yield to serve any prince but her Majesty, if she will accept of him. I received a message from you in January, which brought comfort to me, of her Majesty's inclination to grant my suit. Pray let your speeches set forward that meaning and bring it to a perfect good deed.—Blois, 1 Mar. Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 27.]
This week I have received two letters from you, one of the 18th the other of the 25th ult., but before the last was delivered to me, I had written to the Ladies of Egmont to such effect as that of the 18th imported. I enclose a copy of my letter ; meaning hereafter to be silent, 'except' further commissioned. Although the reports from England had as it were utterly 'dismayed' me for shipping my powder from these parts, yet through the earnest desire of the powder maker, who is of good report, and also since he is paid a great deal of money beforehand, a few days ago I was present myself at the trial and packing of 6,000 weight ; which I find to be so answerable to the sample that I could by no means refuse it. I have shipped it in one Peter Olliver's ship, who is ready to depart on its arrival. I beseech you that some of good knowledge, and trusty, may be appointed to report on its goodness ; for the maker stands so much upon the credit and true making of his powder that he will acknowledge no fault in any, and therefore has sent his son to England with this post, to see how the matter is handled. If the fault of his former powder be only in the moisture, it may soon be remedied without any charge ; but however it proves, he is content all the loss should redound upon himself. According to your writing, I solicited those of this town concerning their bonds, and they are content to deliver them forthwith. And as M. Junius told me, order is given in this behalf to the Pensionary Van der Werke ; so that I make account they will be ready next week. But now I understand there is a certain form of bonds sent to Mr Gilpin, if you think good, I will remit the following of this cause to him ; being nevertheless ready, as occasion serves during my abode here, to further that matter or any other with my utmost endeavour. I will satisfy Mr Gilpin's charge for his late journey into Holland according to direction ; meaning to send the account of it to John Pryce, to 'solisset' for repayment of that as well as of the charges of myself, and Mr Brune, which I sent by my former. By it you may boldly avouch that I lose, besides my 'travell,' 12d. in every pound by the exchange ; for whereas I have charged that account 'after' 30s. the pound, the exchange went then at 29. I was requested by the 'conserviter' of the Scottish nation to certify you that he has received three letters from Scotland which all agree that the Earl of Morton will be set at liberty—which God grant. Also he says the King of Spain minds to come to these parts in his own person.—Antwerp, 4 March, 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 38.]
I have been 'hung up' by my public occupations from continuing my long-observed service of correspondence, to my great regret. You will not impute it to me, but to the incidents and events of a state like ours reduced to the extreme extremity. I say so, because the cause of the Malcontents against the forces of France has to be terminated by battles, and both parties will be brought to the extremity of combat ; inasmuch as the Malcontents are forced to it by necessity. They are assembling their forces at Bouge near Namur, where 4,000 Germans will shortly join them with 3 regiments of Burgundians. They pay all their men-at-arms for three months, whether in garrison or elsewhere. The troops that are at Grandmont will depart in three days. Some have doubted there would be a siege ; but mistakenly, since the French forces are so close, according to the report of our deputies, who are back. They give every hope of good success, especially in the assurance they give that the King of France will declare against the Spaniard. I fear there will be default, if he so ill as they say ; I perceive that a trick will be played to prevent Monsieur's coming ; and that to do that they will shorten his days, in order that the Guisart may make a fresh row in the house (rumeur in caza) with the support he has in Paris, Champagne, and elsewhere ; and he will be well backed by the Pope and the Spaniard. In Friesland our affairs are going on very well, and Streuwarden [?] is delivered. I leave it to Mr Norris to let you know the details. In the last few days three cornets of the enemy's cavalry have been routed by M. de Téligny, son to M. de la Noue, and Captain Lespine ; 50 men and horses killed, and two captains, Nicolai, an Albanese, and Symeon, taken prisoners, with several soldiers. I start to-day for Dunkirk, in order to set right the misunderstanding between the Four Members of Flanders, and pass a muster of all the garrisons in that quarter. I have to do the same at Ypres, in order to assemble a force to attempt something against the enemy under M. de Thian. I hope it will be the beginning of a camp to join with the French ; for they are working for the payment of soldiers in Brabant, Flanders, and elsewhere, and they will continue to do so if the decision taken is carried out. The deputies of the provinces will all be at the meeting of the Estates at Delft, fixed for the 15th inst.—Bruges, 5 March 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 39.]
I received your letter by your servant Thomas Bruyn, and have shown Mr Governor what you wrote touching the payment of the money spent in travelling to Holland and otherwise, and he has promised to see it 'answered.' So I 'am' not only to yield humble thanks for the favour, but to acknowledge myself at your command. Mr Brune has in part, and will for the rest, let me know your pleasure as to the particulars on which I conferred with him at our being in Holland, and I will direct my proceedings accordingly and also endeavour to try what can be learnt here 'by' such as are conversant among the Scots. The packet herewith was brought to me yesterday by one that came from Mr Rogers, and reported him to be in great want and calamity. The Prince of Orange is gone from Delft to Amsterdam, and therefore the day of meeting of the States has been 'prolonged' some days. For Friesland news I 'leave' to other advertisements. In these quarters nothing is done, only those of Cambray of late it is said have again been succoured with some wagons of necessary provisions. The commissioners that were with Monsieur in France have returned, 'Alegonde' excepted, who took another way. They bring news that the French forces will be here very shortly. The Prince of Parma is still at Mons with certain of the Malcontents. He celebrated there last week the funeral of the late Queen of Spain. His mother is at Liége, practising with the new bishop, to further the joining of the country with the Malcontents. The said bishop, it is reported, is going to Rome for a cardinal's hat, unless the Duke of Montpensier's son [sic] called M. de Bouillon (who 'pretends right title' to the princedom of Bouillon, which the Bishop of Liége has kept for a time) otherwise trouble him in his new government ; to which end, if credible reports be true, he is gathering forces, and will recover his own by arms. There is some speech that this new-chosen bishop has died 'upon' Cologne on his journey.—Antwerp, 5 March 1581. P.S.—The 'borrowemaster' Junius told me, since ending the above, that within four or five days he doubts not but this town will finally determine for the satisfaction of her Majesty's demands, to which end he would do his uttermost endeavour. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XIV. 40.]
My last was of the 26th ult. In it I wrote to you of some doubts there were among them here of the dealings on the French side with the States. But their hearts are since better comforted ; for three days ago the States' ambassadors that were in France, saving M. Sainte-Aldegonde, arrived at Flushing from Dieppe. One of them is of this town ; he is now here, and he says that Monsieur has taken the States' offer, and thereupon has taken his oath as Earl of Flanders, and further, that he will be here in person about the end of next month with a great force, and that the King of Navarre will be lieutenant-general of his army, and that many of the chief Huguenots of France come with them. This news has greatly revived their hearts here in this town. He also reports that the French King is very sore sick, and by the judgement of the French physicians he cannot live long, and that he has given the whole government of France to the Queen Mother for two months. The Malcontents about Cambray have intercepted a letter from Monsieur to M. d'Inchy, the governor, in which he has written that he will be on the frontier shortly with a good force, and will make his entry about the land of Luxemburg. Notwithstanding the receipt of this letter the Malcontents still vaunt themselves that they care not for Monsieur 'nor for none' of his forces ; and since the intercepting of it, they begin to bend all the forces that they are able to make towards Luxemburg, so that the speech goes here they have forsaken Cambray. And forasmuch as they are forced to make themselves as strong as they can in the field, they have agreed to raze all their castles and forts that stand 'scattering abroad' in these parts, and to bring all their soldiers together. So now they are breaking down divers old castles and forts between this and Cortryk, which will make this town lie the quieter. There are come to Cortryk 500 Allmans, all foot ; to lie there in garrison, and the old soldiers there will depart to the camp. M. la Motte of Gravelines is also gathering all the forces that he can get and spare, and sending them all to the camp ; so the Malcontents are making haste to have their camp in the field. For the States' side in these parts, as yet they lie still and do nothing ; so that it seems their only trust is in Monsieur. This week M. de la Noue's son with his company of horse has defeated a cornet of 'Albernoyse' besides 'Ghetringsberghe.'— Bruges, March 5, 1580. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XIV. 41.]
Mar. 5. 81. The French king's commission to the Count of Soissons, the Duke of Montpensier, the Prince Dauphin, Marshal Cossé, Louis de Luzignan de St. Gelais sieur de Lanssac, Tanneguy le Veneur sieur de Carrouges Count of Tillières, Bertrand de Sallignac sieur de la Mothefènelon, Michel de Castelnau sieur de Mauvissière, Bernabé Brisson sieur de Gravelle, Claude Pinart sieur de Cramailles first baron of Vallois, Pierre Clausse sieur de Marchaumont and de Courrances, Jacques de Vray sieur de Fontorte, to negotiate the marriage between the Duke of Anjou and the Queen of England. The Count of Soissons is prevented by delicate health, and the Duke of Montpensier by old age, from going to England.—Paris, 5 Mar. 1581. (Signed) Henry, and below Brulart. Original, Broadsheet, Fr. [France V. 28.]
Points out the importance of the proposed marriage to the welfare of Christendom, and begs Walsingham to do all in his power to further it.—Paris, 5 Mar. 1581. (Signed) Henry, and below, Brulart Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 29.]
As Mr Rogers since his imprisonment has 'made earnest means to me for the 200l. which you once gave me commission to pay him, I have, upon knowledge of his great necessity and your former letters, taken order to relieve him with some 300 guilders ; staying as yet from furnishing the rest till I know your further pleasure herein. I have likewise, according to your last, paid Mr Gilpin what he demanded for his charges, amounting to 23l. 2s. 4d. sterling ; which I desire may be repaid to John Price, with the former sum due to me, of which you already have the account. Your servant Bruine is gone towards Brussels about two days ago ; to whom, beside the 20 marks which he had of me at his last departure to England, I have now delivered another 20 marks, and received his bill for them, as I think you will understand from his letter herewith. I hear that the staplers are making earnest suit for a certain liberty to ship wools to Hamburg. If this should be granted it would both hinder the trade of Embden, and greatly confirm the 'Hanzes' in their obstinacy ; for having, as the proverb is, turned every stone, and left nothing unattempted, that might seem likely to breed us any annoyance, and yet finding at length the result of all their practices to be hurtful only to themselves, they are now as it were constrained to alter their former cogitations, and think by what means some agreement may be wrought, the effect of which will shortly appear, if the present restraint continues, as I am given by credible letters to understand. Besides which, the great abundance of wool which the staplers through this liberty might carry to Hamburg, would so nourish the Germans in the trade of 'clothing,' whereinto they have of late entered very far, that our English cloth would in time be but smally regarded, and thereby a great part of the realm brought to poverty ; so that (under correction) it may seem better there were no staple at all, than that this inconvenience should be suffered to take root.—Antwerp, 11 March 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. & Fl. XIV. 42.]
Mar. 12. 84. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Upon some conference which I had the other day with 'II Signor Strosso,' he informed me of his desire to frame an enterprise for Portugal or land in such place that he may give some annoyance to King Philip ; so that he may have leave of her Majesty to be received in some of her ports or out-islands if occasion required, or that she would join English adventurers with them. I answered that if the enterprise were conducted 'by the presence of his own person,' there would be the more hope conceived that it would extend to the public benefit against the common enemy, the King of Spain ; otherwise the arming of adventurers by sea heretofore had but done harm to all countries indifferently, but to the Spaniards least. He replied that their purpose would be commanded by himself, following the directions of Monsieur's commission, whereby they would be bound to land their forces on any coast that should be assigned to them. He also wished the Queen would command some enterprise to be made on Peru. I moved him to think of some device which might take from the Spanish King part of his forces, as by device to consume of his vessels or Armados. He liked this so far that he promised to send for one Jacques de Vienne, whom he esteems to be cunning in fireworks. I have entered thus far into his purposes, so that if you find it a convenient means to do some probable service that way, I suppose it may be brought to pass that Jacques de Vienne should repair to you ; or your pleasure may be to send one or more who have skill in those affairs, to join with him. And so they shall pass in a small boat charged with wheat, which must be 'all thoroughly conducted' on her Majesty's charges. Please let me have an answer herein, that 'in not proceeding' I may shift it from myself through an excuse. I have been told that Saint-Luc has some intelligence in Spain, to which I hear that his Highness had been made privy. M. 'Sentleger,' governor of 'Mountfort,' has within the last month caused a Parisian gentleman belonging to the law to be beaten in the open market place at 'Mountford,' because he had enticed a woman out of his house. Now this week 'Sentleger' having come to Paris to 'put himself in order' to go to Cambray, the friends of the Parisian have caused him to be apprehended, and his process is being prosecuted with great diligence in such a way that if the King's or Queen Mother's commands do not save his life, it is thought they have to-day executed him ; which would much displease Monsieur, for he is much esteemed by him. I am sorry her Majesty has not thought good to proceed to the release of the Lord of Arbrothe.—Blois, 12 March. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [France V. 30.]
Mar. 12. 85. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
After receiving your letter I asked audience of the Queen Mother. It was deferred two or three days through her indisposition and keeping her bed ; so that on the 9th I had access to her. I signified to her that in requital of her intelligence sent, the Queen being informed of the enterprise intended for the surprise of Metz had thought it expedient to impart it to her, whereby the King might prevent the intended malice. She received this in very good part, assuring me that on any such occasions she would not fail to render the like mutual amity. Upon entering into further conference of affairs she let me know that the king had given leave to Monsieur's troops to pass and that sufficient assistance would be given for the relief of Cambray. I am also informed that the king licensed the conductors of Monsieur's companies to lead them through 'la Mante,' and between 'la Mante' and the bridges. The Queen Mother also gave me to understand that Don Antonio had sent to King Philip to recover his favour and be pardoned for what has passed. I herewith enclose the advertisements that came by the last packets from Spain to their Majesties and other principal persons in this Court. Concerning the commissioners, I doubt not but you will hear of their departure from Paris. The king has caused the companies of men-at-arms of Matignon, Carrouges, d'O, d'Arques, and la Valette to make muster, having received wages. The regiments of MM. Beauvais-Nangis, Serillac, Lancosme, and de Grillon have been renewed and supplied. Those who deal for Monsieur in this Court have received some comfort from his Majesty's meaning to assist his Highness in his designs. The Queen of Navarre, after her husband's departure, sent for Marshal Biron to come to Cadillac. In Monsieur's presence she received the Marshal courteously, using this language to him : That since her brother had been pleased to seek the repose of the country, for the contentment of the King and general satisfaction of the state, she would not wish any private displeasure to stay so good a cause. She had therefore resolved to send for him and tell him that her meaning was to forget all past injuries, intending to remain his friend, and purposing to find means for him to come to the presence of her husband, whereby all matters should be cancelled by perfect reconciliation. Which speech the Marshal was very glad to hear, having, it is understood, so far yielded to the will of Monsieur that it is supposed he will be withdrawn from that government, and otherwise employed to his own satisfaction ; which will be a great contentment to the King of Navarre, and a show of further good meaning. However M. de 'Meausens,' passing last week from the King of Navarre's Court, not thoroughly well satisfied, has let slip some words as if there was a jar between Monsieur and the King of Navarre, but I hear it is not confirmed. It has been advertised to Monsieur that the Spanish king has furnished Pampeluna and other towns in Navarre with new garrisons. It is thought that his Highness is about this time at Agen, and the King of Navarre at Montauban, where the Prince of Condé will meet him. M. de Laval was lodged here in the Fauxbourgs one night very secretly ; where being advertised I went privately to him. I perceived by the conference I had with him that he is very well instructed in the present state of the Low Countries. He has gone to Monsieur to make relation of it. He recalled to me the goodness the Queen had had to Cardinal Châtillon his uncle, and another of his kinsfolk, so that he remains bound to her Majesty with great obligation, and requests that his service may be commended to her, which I beseech you to signify to her. Count Rochefoucault has been here some days in the company of M. Strosse. I am told that he would like to enter into association with young Lansac and Saint-Luc, for making some enterprise by sea. M. de 'Gratin,' chancellor to the King of Navarre, has returned and had conference with the Queen Mother. He has dealt with her earnestly in the affair of the Prince of Condé, the points of which I advertised in my late dispatch. He has received very comfortable answers, so far that the Queen has promised he shall be satisfied ; and Villeroy, who is gone from hence to the King, has 'assured' to bring good news of it. The King, who has been lately in Paris, went thence to Dolinville, where it is thought the Court will repair if he does not come here after Easter. I am informed of a league that is lately framing between the Catholic King, the Venetians, and the Pope ; for performing which each gives pledge to the other in this manner : The Venetians for their security deliver Padua to the Pope, and Brescia to King Philip ; the king delivers Milan to the Pope, and Cremona to the Venetians ; the Pope pledges Bologna to the king, and Faenza to the Venetians. I am told that the Duke of Florence has caused to be imprisoned the following : Cavaliero Marzi, Cavaliero Gasgoni [?], 'Mazin' degli Albizzi, Maestro Lorenzo de' Salviati, and others of the 'communalty' for breaking the fountains in the Duke's piazza, and casting down the arms of the Duke and Duchess.—Blois, 12 March 1580. P.S.—I wrote in my former letter of the commissioners' request to have convenient shipping to transport them, and horses prepared for their arrival. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [France V. 31.]
Mar. 12. 86. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM].
I have written earnestly to Cavaliero Giraldi, requesting him to consider the debt due to your honour, and dispatch therewith a man of mine to solicit an answer. When I receive it, I shall not fail to advertise you. As yet, however, I do not hear of his leaving France, except the Spanish king has sent for him, as he lately recalled the ambassador of Portugal who was at Rome. I was informed that Giraldi last month dispatched his secretary to Castile, to request payment of the money due for his legation, and to seek means to be reconciled to the Catholic king ; but what success he has had, I have not learned. There is small hope of his good hap that way.—Blois, 12 March 1580. Add. and endt. gone. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 32.]
Mar. 14. 87. W. WAAD to WALSINGHAM.
M. de Béze has written to 'Montgy' [qu. Montgoméry] that the Bishop of 'Verceil,' legate for the Pope in Switzerland, has behaved himself so well there that the Swiss are ready to go together by the ears for matter of religion. And in Germany there are evil signs of the like. 'Montgy.' promises to write to you by one that accompanies du Vray, by whom you may understand their proceedings ; one in whom they of the Religion put great trust. Those of Picardy are afraid that Fervaques' force is coming towards them. There is an Englishman here who gives himself out to be a Spaniard, and 'always on the place' keeps company with Spaniards. His name is Fowler, one that lives by brokerage and shipping, a lewd fellow and of a perilous wit. I have found means to be acquainted with him, and he offers to do any service he shall be able here, in Spain, or in Portugal, to go and come 'in any occasion' and to be rewarded according to his deserving. If he might be trusted, he were certainly an excellent instrument to be sent to those parts, for his tongue, his gesture, and person, serve him well to take upon him to be a Spaniard. I thought it well to advertise you of this, because you wished me to find some one for that purpose ; and it is everywhere affirmed that the King of Spain is arming by sea.—Paris, 14 March 1580. P.S.—Please mark if the packet I sent you by this bearer has not been opened. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France V. 33.]