Elizabeth: March 1581, 16-31

Pages 87-106

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, 16-31

Since I sent you the States' answer to my late commission, I have received no advice how it is liked. Yet as I understand from Mr Gilpin that the form of the bonds lately sent to him disagrees in some points with that answer, I thought good not to proceed any further without some directions from you ; for as it may appear by my letter to the Lord Treasurer, yourself, and Sir Walter Mildmay, I took the aforesaid resolution at the States' hands not as a thing fully accepted, but only as a matter to be referred to you. So if you will have the particular obligation demanded for the interest of one year according to the meaning of the States' answer, they of this town are ready to accomplish it ; which is as much as when I was in Holland the rest of the States could induce them to. Nor do they seem willing to bind themselves after any other sort, lest the States should thereby become negligent in contenting her Majesty, and so the whole debt be at last transferred only to them. By means of the stay which is being made with Jacques le Roy in receiving the rest of the bargain of powder, he has sold away a great part of it to others, and now lately 10,000 weight to the munition-masters of this town, finding 'the choice in England so curious' that he is as ready to leave off the accomplishing of his bargain for the provision of her Majesty, as I am to release him from it. According to yours of the 10th, which I received to-day, the bringer of it shall be furnished with 100 marks, or as much as he shall need, to make provision of the things he is to buy for your use.—Antwerp, 18 March 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 43.]
Mar. 19. 89. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last to you was the 12th, since which time these 'speeches have happened.' This week the Four Members of Flanders had an enterprise upon 'Betewne,' to have taken it by surprise, by means of some intelligence they had in the town. They gathered all their forces to the number of 9 cornets of horse and 20 ensign of foot, and one M. de Tiant was the commander of them for this journey. In marching thither, in the enemy's country beside Belle, by means of a river, they were forced to pass through a village under the government of the Malcontents, called Merville, wherein were 70 soldiers to keep it ; who with the peasants of that village and thereabouts to the number of 400 would not suffer them to pass, and so they rang their alarm bell and gave the first charge, and slew 7 or 8 Scots at the first blow, and there was also slain the lieutenant of M. de Tiant ; and then all the States' force charged them and drove them into the church, and set fire to it, and burnt them all. And besides this they burnt every house in the village, which is within two leagues of Béthune ; so that this fire being in the night made an alarm through all Artois, for which cause they did not go forward, but retired back again to Poperingen, and thence every man went to his garrison again. M. Montigny, lying at 'Ghetringsberghe,' hearing of this, incontinently marched towards them with 7 cornets of horse, and came yesterday morning to Cortryk, and there stayed till 4 in the afternoon, and then departed with his 7 cornets and 600 foot, whom he took with him from thence, and 'by report that saw him' go out of Cortryk, he had with him 30 or 40 trumpeters. So he came hard to 'Dixmewe' where the States' men lay, and were gone before he came ; and now he is returned to Armentieres, and it is thought he will have a revenge on those parts ere long. By letters from Artois it seems there is some trouble at Mons, because the Prince of Parma seeks to bring some soldiers into the town, which Count de Lalaing and the burghers will not suffer. 'It is' also greatly 'misliked of' divers principal towns in Artois and 'Henogo,' because they have agreed to take the aid of the Spaniards ; for which cause at Lille they have much ado to keep their 'commers' in quiet. The Malcontents have paid their soldiers for one month ; the money came out of the purses of the 'sprytealtie' of Artois and and 'Henogo.' The Prince of Epinoy has lately taken into his hands all the riches of the spiritualty in Tournay, and it is much hoped he will give the Protestants of that town a church to preach in ; for there are in Tournay 4,000 houses of the Religion. So there go great good speeches of that prince. These parts long greatly for the coming of Monsieur's forces, for it seems to them they tarry very long ; and still the speech continues here that they march, but nothing follows.—Bruges, 19 March 1580. Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 44.]
Mar. 20. 90. The KING OF SPAIN to the PRINCE OF PARMA.
On behalf of the English contained in a memorial enclosed herein, drawn up by Don Juan de Idiaques ; we have been told that each of them had in those states the entertainment monthly stated in the memorial ; and that last year, 1580, in virtue of the general rearrangement, it was taken away from them, and they besought us to let it return ; and we, considering their quality, and the causes for which they have left their country as Catholic Christians, have deemed it good. Wherefore we charge and command you that you give order that from the date of the said rearrangement the same entertainments may be continued and paid to them monthly as are declared in the memorial, at the time and in the manner that the soldiers of that army are paid, so long as they reside in those states.—Tomar, 20 March 1581. Copy. Endd. Sp. On a half sheet. [Spain I. 66.]
Mar. 20. 91. The DUKE OF ANJOU to the QUEEN.
Requests that she will give a favourable hearing to the commissioners. —Bordeaux, 20 March 1581. Autograph signature. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Broadsheet. Fr. [France V. 34.]
Mar. 22. 92. COBHAM to —.
Although I supposed you are well advertised of Don Antonio's affairs I will not omit to tell you what I have received concerning them. There is come to Antonio Brito de Pimentel at Tours, a servant of Don Diego di 'Botiglio.' He left Lisbon on Feb. 19, being sent by Diego's wife ; and declares that there is great seeking for Don Antonio in Portugal. Likewise the ships remain at Lisbon, about which, and the castle, there are 2,000 Spaniards for the defence of the Duke of Alva and the town. The opinion was that the Duke and Don Juan de Silva, with part of these, would go to Badajos, and Don 'Graviel' Ninio remain in the castle with the rest. King Philip intends to 'keep his three estates' at Tomar or Abrantes, which ever shall be clearest of the plague. Nothing is heard of any town that have taken arms or rebelled against him, but they are ready if succour comes. Antonio de Brito has assured Queen Mother that Don Antonio never sought pardon of the King of Spain, for if he were taken, there would be no remission for him ; wherefore he would never condescend to it on any persuasion. An Italian lately come from Bordeaux gives out that Don Antonio is within 15 leagues of those parts where Monsieur is, accompanied by Don Diego di Botiglio and the Count of Vimioso. He has made some description of their persons, but his report is not yet credited, but rather esteemed untrue.—Blois, 22 March 1580. Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [France V. 35.]
March 22. 93. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
I thought it well to send this bearer to you with this packet, that he might take occasion to enlarge to you 'the pretence he has to persuade a voyage' to the Azores. 'II signor' Brito Pimentel wrote to me by him, requesting I would recommend that action. There is some appearance that the enterprise may be just and profitable ; the more so, since the said Brito undertakes to procure Don Antonio's letters to the governors and chief officers of the Azores. Whence it appears their king is not far from hence, or else they have certain hope of his coming into these parts. MM. de Richelieu and la Fin have repaired to Signor Brito, and used 'persuasions to wish him' to consent that some ships might pass from hence towards those islands with the favour of Don Antonio, which he agreed to. But the Queen Mother 'differs' and 'prolongs' those enterprises ; with What mind, is doubted, though she shows to have great feeling of the Spanish artifices. Notwithstanding, hitherto nothing goes forward but in a dissembling wary manner, so that the wind may drive the shower to fall on any coast. I am told that M. Villeroy has brought some 'plausible resolution' in Monsieur's affairs from the king, but as yet I am persuaded to believe that opinion but slowly. They think his Highness will repair hitherward after Easter. The State of Venice cannot be induced to credit that the Christian King has any enterprise in hand against the Catholic King ; concerning which purpose I have passed many speeches with Queen Mother upon occasion of her words in conference. I understand that my cousin Elianor Bridges' affection, or some manner of the 'passage' of the same, has offended her Majesty ; wherein I beseech you to bestow your favourable speeches for the recovery of her favour towards her and to lessen her fault.—Blois, 22 March. Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 36.]
March 22. 94. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
Though there is at present no great matter to signify, I would not fail to advertise that the king has not only recovered from his sickness, having passed his time in some pleasant sports at Paris, but also sat in the Court of Parliament, showing himself there, as is this day signified by the courier who brought the intelligence to the queens. He has further assured his mother that he will be here on the Wednesday in Easter week ; whereon two 'furnitures of lodging' have been sent from here, to be 'placed in the way for his sojourning.' The Queen Mother has well recovered her health. Yesterday morning she gave me leave to have access to her while she was walking in her garden ; using many speeches to me, which were uttered very affectionately towards her Majesty, with desire of good assurance of amity, both by marriage and otherwise. [Tomson makes a note of this in the margin.] Whereon it seems they make a stay of their proceedings till that foundation be made to their desires ; which has moved them to hasten the commissioners' journey. She told me however that the Prince Dauphin has earnestly requested that the other commissioners might not pass over to England till he had overtaken them ; alleging that the others had had a month's warning, and he required but half a month to put himself in order to do their Majesties and Monsieur honour, and appear before the Queen as one of the rank he holds. He went from hence towards Paris on the 17th. I visited him and did reverence to him, finding him 'most willing of' the journey. He means to be accompanied by divers gentlemen of Touraine and of these parts. I am informed that young Count Brissac is gone to Marshal Cossé, and that divers gentlemen of great family are going in the company of the commissioners, as the son and heir of Count Saint-Aignan, and M. de 'Scipier.' I moved the Queen on behalf of the English merchants 'trading Rouen,' of certain 'extremities' done them by those of that city ; and she has written very earnest letters to the Eschevins and officers for their relief. I have sent you their notes and requests, that I may have your further commands therein. I also moved her Majesty, upon the information of the same merchants, that whereas a French pirate named Mattart had taken an English ship called the Mayflower at the mouth of the Seine, restitution might be made of the ship and goods and such punishment done upon the malefactors as in those cases is provided. She has written to M. de Meilleraie, Vice-admiral. It seems that the enterprise for the relief of Cambray goes forward but 'staggeringly' ; which is imputed to the government of Fervaques not being acceptable to the king, nor of such quality [sic] that sundry gentlemen like to be commanded by him in that action. I hear the king had in some sort signified as much to Monsieur, and M. Bonivet has repaired to his Highness to 'make overture' of divers gentlemen who are willing to serve him if they may be commanded by a person of quality agreeable to them. M. de Rochepot is looked for here within two or three days, being unwilling to serve under Fervacques. In her conference with me, the Queen Mother enlarged upon the grief she sustained that those matters succeeded no better ; showing great mislike of the person and manner of Fervaques. She concluded that she hoped Villeroy, whom she looked for to-day, would bring the king's resolution on behalf of Monsieur's enterprises. M. de Villequier has been here these ten days. The Queen Mother has had 'often and private' conferences with him, as a person most 'confident' to the king. A courier passed to-day from his Highness, to entreat their Majesties to shew favour to M. 'St. Ligier,' who is still in prison at Paris for the disorder he committed ; so it is the opinion that his life will be saved. The same courier brings intelligence of Monsieur and the Queen of Navarre coming to 'Boure' [Bourg-sur-Gironde] to a house of M. de Lansac's, where they mean to hold their Easter. The King of Navarre and his sister are gone to Bazas to celebrate their Easter, with the intention of meeting his Highness after these feasts at Montferrant, within two leagues of Bordeaux. All things pass very well towards the confirmation of the peace, saving that they of Dauphiné stand on certain points, to have the keeping of a few towns for some months to come. There are no present preparations of shipping for Portugal in near readiness. Strozzi brought Count Rochefoucault in the evening of the 12th inst. to Queen Mother, by whom he was graciously received and entertained with good admonitions. He has now returned to his own house a few leagues hence, where he remains. The Duke of Bouillon and his brother, after passing some days in this Court, where they were well received by Queen Mother and otherwise honoured, have returned to their mother at Sedan. The duke means to make his 'repair and abode' in this Court. The young brother, I hear, has a disposition to pass into England, in the company of the Prince Dauphin. I have been informed by a merchant of Rochelle that M. Châtillon having been there about 14 days sold his horses and embarked ; but for what place he knows not. I have not been otherwise advertised of this. The same merchant told me that he had sued to the Council on behalf of the township of Rochelle, that whereas a new subsidy was put upon the 'carseys' and cloths, at the rate of two sous on the cloth, they might be released from that imposition, since it was against their privileges. The Council have considered, and granted them a relaxation for a time, till their Majesties give orders for the further execution or abolition of the imposition. However, I have not been advertised of this by any English merchant 'trading Rochelle.' M. de Rohan still remains at Rochelle. M. de Vendôme, of the House of Savoy, a prelate not of very discreet 'government,' is by order of Malta, and the Consistory of Rome, deprived of his priorate of Auvergne ; which is meant for the son of Madame de Rohan, who formerly 'made claim to have been esteemed' wife to the Duke of Nemours. The plague not only continues, but begins to increase at Avignon. The Muscovite's ambassador in Rome is lodged in the Duke of Sora's house, where he is highly entertained ; whereby it appears that the practices of the Pope have been 'enlarged' into most part of Christendom. It may prove dangerous to all Princes, if God put not into their hearts the means to redress it in time while there is hope remaining. An ambassador is looked for at Rome from the King of Sweden, with commission to render the King's obedience to the Romish prelate. It is advertised from Malta that on account of the Pope's illsatisfaction with the Grand Master, the Nations had assembled a council and resolved to send ambassadors to pacify him. Among them was appointed for Italy the Prior of Naples, and for Castile 'il Baglivo Duero.' It is hoped the matter will be accommodated. The Pope's ratifying and confirming of the bull de alienandis bonis ecclesiasticis' and his ordaining of four cardinals, Orsino, Maffei, Albano, and Vecelli, for the execution of it, is not acceptable to the Christian King and the principal personages of this realm. Marcantonio, viceroy of 'Cecilia,' has used great charity to the prisoners of that kingdom, having with his wife humbled himself to dine with the Capuccini. The Emperor is thought by his physicians to be reduced to extremity, and by reason of his sickness to have become 'impotent of succession.' There is no great expectation of a continuance of his life. Cardinal Riario is expected at Rome, and King Philip being now established in Portugal, Cardinal Granvelle 'makes means' to return thither also. It is thought a peace will be concluded between the Muscovite and the king of Polonia, on condition that part of Livonia shall be given to Poland. The King of Spain has lately obtained peace for three years with the Grand Signior. I leave the information on the affairs of Portugal to this bearer, who is very well instructed therein. It is certified from Germany that 'Ernestus de Baviera' is gone toward Liège to be installed bishop there ; and that certain landsknechts have marched to Cambray for the service of King Philip. It is understood that the Venetians have demanded of the king 140,000 or 160,000 crowns which he owes the state ; alleging that they are to pay the debts which they incurred in the wars against the Turk, 'having imposed' on the city of Venice only 2,000,000 to be paid in 'terms of year.' Companies are levying in the territory of Florence for the service of Don Pietro, who is looked for out of Spain ; but which way they will be employed, is not stated. Villeroy is now arrived from the King ; and la Fin is looked for to-day or to-morrow. 'L'abbate di Guadagna' has returned from the king, on his dispatch to Rome. It is given out in this Court (Queen Mother being advertised of it) that the King of Scots is in the hands of certain papists who have made themselves strong ; and that the Earl of Morton was slain in prison.—Blois, 22 March 1580. Add. and endt. gone. 4 pp. [France V. 37.]
March 23. 95. COBHAM to —.
Having 'commodity' to write by this bearer, I would say that whereas upon your former letter I had sent to Morlaix and the parts of Britanny, to see such shipping as was along the coast, the party whom I sent returned this morning, telling me that four ships, commanded by captains of the Religion and 'named' to belong to M. de Rohan, have gone out of the river of Nantes. Two other ships have left Nantes, sent by order of M. Strozzi, commanded by Captain Antoine Scarlin, who was captain in the galleys, and Captain Laillet. Moreover three or four other ships are preparing for the voyage to 'the new found lands.' The rest of the barks are of small importance. At Croisic there are about 15 vessels preparing for the 'new found lands,' most of which are commanded by captains of the Religion, but neither warlikely appointed nor strongly manned. At Morlaix there are 5 or 6 ships, 'addressing themselves' towards Spain ; but they 'stay to pass' as yet. Also other vessels setting in order for the new found lands, not warlikely appointed. At St. Malo there are 4 or 5 merchant ships rigging to go to Spain, and sundry preparing for the new found lands, but in no warlike manner. So in Britanny there is at present no appearance of any embarking ; rather they of Nantes and other towns are in doubt of those companies which lately passed, and the townsmen make a privy watch without weapons. Howbeit, those in the towns walk at the gates with watchful eyes, and have resolved among themselves not to permit any forces to approach. The party made offer of himself among the captains and shipmasters as one willing to serve in any voyage to Scotland or England, but could discover nothing meant. M. de Chàtillon has been at Vitry since leaving Nantes, and went to visit M. des Réaux [qu. Rieux], his cousin. Thence he went to a town of his own in Britanny. The Captain of Angers is at Montagu ; but Captain Gasgon (?) is still in the castle with about 20 soldiers, having orders not to depart thence till the town is dismantled. The soldiers who were in the town have bestowed themselves among the companies, which are said to belong to Marshal Biron, having lately passed about Ronees not far from Angers. The companies of M. de Lancosme have passed on the other side of the river and lodged about Porte de la Pille. M. de Lancosme is to-day come to Court from Paris with the Viscount de la Garche, who is gone to Monsieur. Monsieur has given audience to a 'principal person' who has come to him from Portugal. His name is not known to me ; but the party who saw him said he was of high stature, a comely personage, with four waiting on him. There is some doubt the King will not be here so soon as was thought, because he is sometimes 'encumbered with a fainting.' I am given to understand that Monsieur 'should' come to Poitiers, accompanied by the Queen of Navarre ; of which this bearer can better 'ascertain' you. Viscount Turenne is employed to bring those of Dauphiné to agree to the pacification. It is however advertised that they have sent 40,000 crowns into Germany by M. Calignon, chancellor of that province, for the cause of Religion ; whom the Duke of Maine sought to have entrapped, but 'came short of his enterprising.' Secretary Villeroy has, I am informed, imparted to the king certain privy articles and agreements which have passed between Monsieur, the King of Navarre, and them of the Religion. Monsieur's servants have now conceived a new hope, that the king will favour the enterprise for the relief of Cambray ; but the issue is doubtful. M. de Laval has been with Monsieur, and is now returned to Laval, his house, having assured his Highness of his service. The preachers in the Court have 'persuaded' that none can receive the Sacrament worthily, who enjoy any of the Church livings ; 'a doctrine not easily believed of the courtiers.' This bearer seems well satisfied with the answers he received from Monsieur on the affairs committed to him.—Blois, 23 March 1580. P.S. (autograph ?)—The Count of Vimioso has been with Monsieur at Bordeaux. By him there is more certain news of Don Antonio. Add. and endt. gone. 2 pp. [France V. 38.]
March 23. 96. The DUKE OF MONTPENSIER to the QUEEN.
Thanks her for selecting him and his son as commissioners, but regrets that his age and his health will not allow him to serve.— Champigny, 23 March. Apparently holograph. Signature cut ofF. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [France V. 39.]
March 26. 97. Cobham to —.
It seems that this succouring of Cambray breeds much trouble in their minds and 'travaileth their Majesties' sprights.' For the king, though he is inclined to favour his brother, and is persuaded in some sort to be content that Monsieur should advance himself, his inclination is to enjoy repose and pass his time in pleasures, being not at all desirous of wars. The rather, because there are some persons who have laid before his eyes the weak state of the realm ; as the want of money, and that his companies of ordnance are badly horsed and worse armed, nothing in order. So that if he should be 'charged with enemies' upon his frontiers, there is no means ready to withstand. The Queen Mother has within these two days shed 'of her tears,' being irresolute in this action ; for on the other side she fears the Spanish king, and 'doubts the adventure of Monsieur's person,' seeing the weakness of the King. She would gladly be 'resolved' of the Queen's assurance in these actions ; fearing lest she should not stand by them as they will need. I cannot enlarge any further hereof, because M. de Nery hastes away.—Blois, Good Friday. P.S—Only this much : that the Prince of Parma sent lately to the king that if the prepared French forces approached Cambray, he had means to find a way to encounter them within the realm of France. The king is moved by this message, and has answered the prince that if he passed six paces within his frontier he would make him recoil . . . . . . Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [France V. 40.]
March 26. 98. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was the 19th inst., since which time, by great disorder and want of good government, the Malcontents have 'defeated' 5 cornets of the best horse the States had in Flanders, which was done as follows. The enterprise which the Four Members had in hand having failed, by their letters to M. de Tiant, a young gentleman of small experience, who had command of their forces for that journey, he was willed to depart and send every company to its garrison ; whereupon most of the footmen departed and some of the horse, and M. de Tiant, with 6 or 7 cornets of horse and 300 foot, stayed still about 'Dixmewe,' lying 'scattering,' and spoiling the poor peasants very disorderly. And because the country in those parts lies so full of water, and the ways so foul, it made them not fear the enemy ; so that M. de Montigny, who came from Armentieres to Poperingen, hearing how disorderly those men lay, came on the sudden at 3 o'clock in the morning on Maundy Thursday, with 6 cornets of horse and 400 foot, who had peasants for their guides, to bring them to the houses where they lay, and so set upon them. Yet very few were slain or taken, but most of their horses to the number of 160, rather more than less, are taken standing in the peasants' houses. The enemy followed the chase hard to 'Dixmewe,' where they met with 2 cornets of Scots horse and 3 ensigns of foot, who stayed them, and slew almost 100 of them, and forced them to retire—I mean the enemy. The names of the 5 cornets that are 'defeated' are M. de 'Tillenie,' Captain La Brave, and Captain le Pine (these three are French cornets), M. de 'Riova,' and Captain York. None of these were there, for they were gone to Ghent, and Capt. York had but 35 of his cornet there ; the rest were at Ghent ; and of these there were 17 or 18 of them with their horses burnt in a peasant's house by the enemy. M. de Tiant and his brother, and Capt. le Pine are all very sore hurt, so that now the enemy may go where they list, for here there is no man in the field to withstand them. Such is the evil government that the States have always here in these parts, which are their chief stay and worst governed. God send it better, or their matters here in Flanders cannot continue long. M. de Montigny with all his forces lies at Poperingen. M. la Motte is there with him, and they are fortifying that place strongly, which will put the town of 'Iper' to some great distress ; and it is feared when the ways are a little fairer they will lie nearer to this town. And because many speeches go here, which have continued long, of Monsieur's coming, and nothing else follows, the Four Members of Flanders being assembled at Ghent have sent a post express with letters into France to M. de 'Fervacose,' who lies with some forces in Normandy, to hasten them hitherwards ; for the enemy grows daily very strong, and as it seems, lies very 'sharply' about Cambray, by which they are lately 'straited' of many things. There is also great misliking of Monsieur here, because his forces tarry so long, he knowing the weakness of the States, chiefly here in Flanders, and who, after God, trust only in him ; and also how the enemy grows daily upon them. If these matters be not speedily holpen in time, it will grow to great displeasure on the States' side here, or it be long.—Bruges, 26 March 1581. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl, and Fl. XIV. 45.]
March 27. 99. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I wished the bearer of this to repair to you, being a merchant 'trading Bordeaux,' by whom you might be clearly informed how the English traders there have been dealt with ; as also that you might be particularly informed of the letters patent and others that have been sent from this Court. I perceive that Monsieur has resolved to keep this Easter at Libourne because the ways to Bourg were very foul. It seems that this merchant, by name Thomas Brownebricke, saw the Count of Vimioso and the entertainment given him by his Highness. The Queen Mother is dispatching M. 'Strosso' to Monsieur, to conduct the Count into these parts. He would afterwards prepare for some sea voyage, if the Count does not encourage him to land in Portugal. But after their old manner in these parts, they are quickly stirred up to enter, and prepare themselves for enterprises ; but either their wills or their means fail them before they can approach the execution, unless such motions or enterprises import some intestine revenge, wherein they slack not their wills, nor leave it unaccomplished. So these companies commanded by Fervaques are likely to vanish, and the succouring of Cambray will come to small effect, if Monsieur does not approach those parts himself. This is not desired by the king ; having shown his resolution to be that first he wishes Monsieur thoroughly to establish and effectuate the peace, and next, that he bring to good end the marriage with the Queen. This being performed, the king is content to take advice, and to join with her Majesty in the consideration of his brother's enterprises, and assist him thoroughly therein ; and further whereas he has been pressed to discover his liking to his brother's enterprise of Flanders, he has flatly refused to speak clearly, but reserves to deliver his opinion till he can confer with Monsieur. This conference is now in hand, and an opinion is conceived that their Majesties will towards May repair to Poitiers. Till then they seek to 'entertain' Monsieur in those parts, and are about to dispatch la Fin, to whom the king has spoken and shown his desire that way. On the other side, I have heard that his Highness is 'of opinion to' repair towards Flanders or the frontier ; I cannot learn whether by land or sea. Such means have heretofore been made, that the King of Navarre cannot find anyone who dares venture to buy any of his lands, nor does he get any merchants to buy his woods. So there remain many difficulties and discontents. The deputies of Languedoc on parting from the King of Navarre promised him to publish the peace within 12 days after their return, and surrender the towns at once ; which is esteemed to be performed. Viscount Turenne is with his uncle Marshal Montmorency, treating about the establishment of peace. The deputies of Dauphiné have returned, and are referred to the king, because they demanded such matters as Monsieur's commissioners would not 'stretch unto.' And I am informed that his Highness had requested the Duke of Montpensier to repair to those parts, to deal in the establishment of peace, which it is thought will be 'doomed' by the Duke. Monsieur has sent for the Prince of Condé to come to him. I am sorry to hear that the prince remains so ill-satisfied 'of his being in England.' M. 'Prunnyo' has been dispatched by his Highness to the Prince of Orange. Please let the enclosed packet be sent to the prince. I perceive by M. de Rohan's letters addressed to M. Strozzi that there is certainly some intelligence between them about a sea voyage. The king has commanded the companies of Lavalette and Sérillac to be placed in garrison in Saint-Quentin and la Fère. The Abate del Bene is not yet departed. Please let me understand her Majesty's mind concerning the affair of Strozzi, which I wrote of in my former letter ; and further my request that some of my servants may be returned, for it is a month since I received any letters.—Blois, 27 March. P.S.—The king is not looked for till the end of this week at soonest. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France V. 41.]
March 27. 100. [? PINART] to [? WALSINGHAM].
I have just received yours of the 25th, which I have imparted to Marshal Cossé, MM. de Lansac, de Carouges, de la Motte-Fènelon, President Brisson, and Monsieur's secretary, M. de Vray. We all feel ourselves greatly bound by the honour that the Queen has done us, and the arrangements she has ordered for our reception in her kingdom. As soon as the Prince Dauphin comes, which will be Wednesday evening, I will let him know the Queen's demonstration of goodwill in respect of our arrival and mission to her ; which we hope will be to the glory of God, the advancement of their Majesties and Monsieur, and the good of Christendom. Meanwhile the ambassadors who are here thank you much for your honourable offers, which they promise to requite when the occasion presents itself. For myself, I am much obliged, and will acquit it whenever you please to employ me.—Pallais, 27 March 1581. P.S.—I think we shall be ready to embark next Monday at latest, and sail, if the wind suits, about 6 or 7 a.m. But we must first know the intentions of the Prince Dauphin ; who we hope will be here on Wednesday, leaving Paris in post to-day, as he writes us. Signature cut off. Endd. with date only by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 42.]
Understanding that you meant to buy certain armour for your own provision, I endeavoured to do you what service I could in that behalf. But hearing that a friend of mine had lately sent over 6 corselets of proof, I thought good to advertise you of it, that if you liked them on sight you might deal further with the party concerning the price. As I understand he has very good means to provide the best sort of corselets that are made at Wesel, through the help of his brother-in-law, being a magistrate of that town, and one who can do much with all the armourers there. If you like to see the corselets, John Price will have them brought to you ; and 'the party that oweth them' will be ready in like case to give his attendance, for so I have given order to them both.—Antwerp, 28 March 1581. P.S.—This day I have paid to Adrian Mulan £26 sterling. I perceive he minds to take no more, because he finds all things dearer here than he expected ; otherwise I would have furnished him with 100 marks according to your commission. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 46.]
March 28. 102. [? MADAME PREVOST] to DU BEX.
Before I received your letter I had imparted to my son what it seemed to me he ought to do touching the affair of which you wrote to me, and thought he had told you in his letter. It was that I was minded to offer 7,000 crowns for the procuration, which seemed to me reasonable, considering the terms on which it was to be had [? ven selon que l'on en cusze], and would be going back to the rate of that which was bought last year. However, he told me that they wanted 7,500, which would be secured by some good composition for the 'fourth penny.' It might be so good that I should not be disposed to stick at the 500 crowns, as it is an opportunity of getting oneself better liked thereby ; and when one sees an opportunity it does not do to lose it, however small it be ; since it is bald, and does not present itself at all times, especially in so chilly (morfondu) a time as it is at present in this country. I am sure that he will write you what happens. If I had seen him since I heard of the opportunity of sending this word, I would have referred him to you. However, hearing that M. de Néry starts early to-morrow has been the reason why I have taken pen in hand before my said son's return ; besides that the less diligent women, to whose number I belong, fearing lest the said gentleman should start without taking this [sic] both to tell you that I have received yours after hearing news of you from him who had it, and to thank you for the gloves which you were good enough to send me. I think you foresaw the cold there is here. We have not to reduce our fires because it is after Easter, rather we need to increase them, for the heavy rains, hail, and winds which there have been all this month, principally on Easter Day, when there was such a violent wind in the morning that when all the people were at church the windows fell down in St. Mary's and other churches, whereby there was much damage. At St. Stephen's stones fell from the building by which some persons were killed and wounded. At St. Gervais' some plaster fell while everybody was in church and killed a girl on the spot. Another had her arm broken, another her leg wounded, and the chaplain of my chapel was knocked down and his whole body bruised. Everything was done for him that could be done at the moment, and since then he has been in bed with a fever. This has not been without great torment and fear. I am sending you only unpleasant [? ancuyeuse] news, but I will not forget to tell you the good ; which is that last Friday, while the preaching was going on, God delivered my niece Damonos (?) who had been very ill for three weeks and kept her bed. I was much afraid that childbirth would shorten her life : however God never leaves those who hope in Him, and when He knows that human means have all failed, he puts forth His power. He has given her a son who is doing well, and the mother better than she has done.— From 'your' house at Paris, 28 March 1581. I praise the Creator for the constancy which He gives His people, at the time when they have most need of it, and also for the inspiration which He gives to those of whom He is pleased to make use to minister to His people that which they need. Please distribute to them six crowns, which I hope to repay to you on your return, or to any one you may direct on your account. You will excuse [? euxsequerez] me, please, if I treat you too familiarly. Your humble neighbour and friend. Add : 'Monsieur Monsieur du Bextz.' Some Latin words scribbled on the back in a hand like that of L. Cave. Fr. 1¾ pp. [France V. 43.]
I have written by Custodio Leitao to the king my master how you promised that when you came to London you would give orders for the six culverins for the Isles which I begged of the Queen ; and relying on your word I have chartered a ship to take them, with other things needed for the defence of the Island wherein stands the recovery of Portugal, of which you are the protector. I would entreat you to order the delivery of the six culverins, each of 600 quintas, with their ammunition, I giving sufficient security for the return of a like number of the same weight to her Majesty's arsenal within six months, or payment of their value. I assure you that if I could have bought them elsewhere I would not have troubled you ; and that I should esteem more highly that her Majesty should do me this favour, than a jewel worth many thousand cruzados. Add. Endd. with date. Portuguese 1 p. [Portugal I. 46.]
? March. 104. [COBHAM] to [the SECRETARIES].
"The points sent to be resolved by me, which I received from your honours."
1. Who are at present the king's principal councillors and attend at Court?
None of the nobility were at the Court, for upon occasion of the king's sickness they had all retired. Also the house and place is very little. So that I understood no councillors to be present at my last repair to their Majesties but M. de Lansac, and Secretaries Pinart and Brulart.
2. Whose advice he uses in the intended association ?
It seems that all the councillors and marshals of France are made privy to the king's dislike of the Spanish invasion and usurping of Portugal. For all causes and affairs of state he uses the advice of the Queen, his mother. In this action she seems to be earnest. His councillors for the most part have thought it convenient for him to procure the entire friendship of the Queen, whereby he may the easilier proceed to the effecting of his pacification within this realm, and the more assuredly undertake any foreign exploit.
3. How the same parties are noted to be affected to the same?
The councillors and marshals profess to like it well, both in their private speeches and otherwise, and that at this instant they desire a breach with Spain.
4. How it is thought the king's minions will like it ; who will and who will not?
They apply themselves to the king's will, though it is understood that more particularly d'O and Villequier are inclined to it. With them the king confers most privately above others in his cabinet in the affairs of importance which are most to his liking ; Villequier serving for his secret councillor, being his old favourite and of most experience, while d'O is used as a secretary in the affairs which are first advised on in the cabinet ; so that the chief causes pass his knowledge before they are made ripe for the secretaries of state : and then for the dispatch he uses most willingly Secretary Villeroy. As for the rest of the minions, they like such of the king's enterprises as may bring honour and profit.
5. How they are affected to Monsieur?
I do not perceive there is any of them in such sort particularly affected to him, as 'asspecting' any favour from thence. But they look, with the change of their king, to lose their place and fortune.
6. Which of the king's Council are at Monsieur's devotion?
None of them, so far as I can learn, have declared themselves in any point partisans to him, or to favour his dealings otherwise than as the king or queen commands. Those depending chiefly on the queen respect him more.
7. How matters stand between him and the Duke of Guise ; where the Duke now is, and whether he has as much credit as before with the king and Queen Mother?
There is no appearance of any friendship between Monsieur and the duke. In times past there have fallen out occasions of unkindness. The duke has of late been little at the Court since the king's being at Dolinville ; having continued at Dampierre, his house 5 leagues from Dolinville. It seems in outward appearance that his credit is not so great as before, for he commands nothing extraordinarily, nor is he admitted to any private access to their Majesties. The king has not for a long time bestowed any benefit for the payment of his debts. But he remains well esteemed by the captains and courtiers.
8. Who are 'inward' with Queen Mother?
For her most special courses of state, the Count of Retz, Cardinal Birago, and for secretary of state, M. Pinart. To serve her in any matter of treaty, M. Bellièvre, la Mothe-Fènelon, St. Sulpice and M. de Rossi are councillors and persuaders of others, for the furtherance of her designs.
9. Whether the Abate Guadagni and Fregoso attend on her?
The Abate remains much about her, being often sent by her on messages which she would have dissembled ; supposed to be her confident minister. Galeazzo Fregoso was sent to the 'Bastyllion' about the 10th inst. The occasion of it is spoken of diversely. Some are informed that at his last being with Monsieur he persuaded him not to suffer the King of Navarre to disarm nor to leave the towns demanded by the king, for that it might prove his own overthrow ; using some further speeches, which inferred he had cause to distrust the king. The queen at Fregoso's return conferred long with him, but afterwards on the same day he was apprehended. They say this was discovered by the Abate to the Queen Mother. I have been otherwise informed that Fregoso entered into conference with his Highness, seeking to discover his intentions, offering him a means to deliver M. de la Noue. But his manner of dealing was such as his Highness misliked. He referred him to one of his confident ministers ; but warned the latter not to 'enlarge his mind' and to hear Fregoso fully. In the meantime he was sent to prison. They give me to understand he is discovered to be a pensioner of King Philip, by certain letters and papers intercepted.
10. Whether Queen Mother carries the sway she did?
It appears that the most important affairs are altogether communicated to her, and often first 'opened to her by means.' Because she otherwise strives to have her will. The dispatches of M. d'O, which are made in the king's cabinet in her absence, are imparted to her, so much as concern the state and foreign causes. She shows herself 'apassionated' in favour of Don Antonio. There is no one employed therein, but is favoured and well liked of her. The king's minions have through his favour procured themselves rich marriage. Lavalette will be married to the daughter and heir of the Marquis de Muy of Picardy. The king during his 'diet' sent for him and his wife and daughter to Dolinville, where the match was concluded. D'O takes to wife the daughter and heir of Villequier, which the king has framed ; whereon there is 'intrisicall' friendship between them. D'Arques is born to a rich patrimony, nevertheless the king has procured for him the daughter of M. le Grand, Count of Cherny. So they are well placed in good 'parentage' and alliance, besides the gifts the king bestows on them. If these points seem not to be sufficiently answered as may be agreeable to her Majesty and your honour's, upon the knowledge of the want, I shall seek to discharge it to her and your better satisfaction. Endd. : The answer concerning certain points sent to be resolved by me. 6 pp. [France V. 55.]
? March 105. ADVERTISEMENTS from (?) FLANDERS.
We hear that the king prepares 200 ships to make a new journey, and for this cause all the ships are stayed here and in Holland ; notwithstanding it is said abroad that they are stayed that the country may not be destitute of ships till those that are in Spain and Portugal are come home. The prince lies still at Delft and from thence gives order for all these things, and also the coming of Monsieur into the States ; and it is thought to be very shortly, notwithstanding the arrival of the Duchess of Parma in Paris in order to stay this enterprise, the acceptation and protection of the States. Some say it is to treat for a marriage with one of the King of Spain's and to 'offer him to his marriage this same States' ; which seems to be a very new thing. Perhaps you will know something of these matters there. By letters from Rome of Jan. 28 we understand that Don Antonio was not to be found, and that 20,000 ducates were offered to 'whom' would deliver him either dead or alive. Also that the Duke and Duchess of Braganza went to the King of Spain's Court, and his lands were restored to him, and divers towns belonging to gentlemen of Portugal ; and he had also got in his estate the jurisdiction of civil and criminal causes for himself and his successors ; and for the pretence of the duchess to the succession of the realm he agreed with the king 'granting him' his dukedom for his second child, and in recompense of his damages in Villa Viciosa and other towns of his the king gave him a good piece of money. It is also written that after these restitutions the king has got their hearts in such wise that they repented that they did not at first call him to be their king. The parliament was to have begun the last of February, and it was thought it would be kept at Lisbon, because the plague was somewhat busy at Elvas. His Majesty 'increased' his title : "King of Portugal and Algarves and of the Indies oriental and occidental." The Portugals much honoured Cardinal Alberto of Austria and desired to have him as their viceroy. The Duke of Alva asked leave to return home, which was granted him ; but we hear there was a fleet almost ready to go to Ireland. Don Peter de Medicis gathered new soldiers beside those he had before ; there is no certainty whether for the enterprise of this country or some other, because the horse and foot have retired from Portugal. By a ship arrived in Venice from 'Sorya' we hear that in 'Alepey' there was plague, and a great earthquake which pulled down many fair edifices ; and all the people were greatly amazed. This is written in a letter of Feb. 3. We hear also of the prosperous success of the Persian and how he overcame the great Turk in a battle. This news one of the Governors brought to Venice, fearing some novelties come to the Lords of Venice, for the 'redressing' of certain forts which they had in that country ; but 'for a good respect' they would alter nothing. By letters from Lisbon of 23 Feb.—There were five ships in readiness to go to 'Calico.' The King of Spain had determined to send for viceroy the Grand Prior, son to the Duke of 'Alvey' ; but the noblemen of Portugal would not give their consent to it, and so another gentleman was appointed to go. All the ordnance was taken away from the forts, and with the news that Don Antonio was in France it was all set up again, and the forts newly provided with victuals and men. In the same hand as Nos. 499, 503 in last volume. Endd. : Portugal Advertisements. 2¼ pp. [Portugal I. 47.]
Nov. 1580— Mar. 1581. 106. Summary of NEGOTIATIONS with FRANCE.
19 Nov. To her Majesty from Sir H. Cobham. Instruction a. Certain Ambassadors for the purpose forborne to be sent, for better secrecy of the whole business.
Instruction b. The matter to be dealt in at the beginning covertly and underhand.
Instruction c. Promise of assistance to be sent from hence to the French king, in case it be made probable that any good be likely to ensue therefrom.
Instructions d, e. The assistance to be given in money, 30,000 crowns at the beginning.
Instruction f. Overtures of further attempts to be referred to answer from hence.
Instruction g. Means to impeach the greatness of Spain to be delivered from them and to be considered here.
Instruction h. What princes may be drawn into this association. Scotland and the Low Countries to be comprehended in it.
9 November. To her Majesty from Sir H. C. i. The matter of consultation by way of commissioners deferred until the king returned to Blois from Moulins.
Ibid. These commissioners were like to be appointed, Pinart and Belliēvre.
12 Dec. From Sir H. C. k. Commissioners appointed, Chiverny, Villequier, and Pinart, and met in the King's garden 12 Dec.
I. These commissioners took occasion by the late invasion in Ireland to have Sir H. C. to move the question of a war offensive and defensive, and they would answer. And this proposition so to be made should contain a deliberation of this point, whether succours to be sent to Ireland, or forces to some other part of the Spanish kingdoms, to divert the begun invasion.
m. Resolved by them that the assistance of Portugal were not in vaine, but other attempt best to be taken in hand, either 'by' Italy or the Low Countries.
12 Mar. Strozzi moves a proposition to Sir H. C. touching some enterprise to be done upon Portugal, so that her Majesty would license him to be favoured or received upon need in any of her ports or out-islands.
In hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him : Extract of the negotiations of France. 1 p. [France V. 132.]