Elizabeth: October 1582, 6-10

Pages 372-379

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 16, May-December 1582. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1909.

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October 1582, 6–10

Oct 6 374. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham
His Excellency's banquet to his Highness and the chief men of his Court was on the 1st inst. in the form of a splendid and royal supper.
Our camp returned from the enterprise on 'Athen' [qy. Ath], a place in Hainault, without being able to effect anything of what was hoped. It is true that in returning it captured the castle of Gaesbeck, two leagues distant from Brussels, a place of much convenience for the security of the journey to Ghent. The soldiers of the garrison, 400 in number, after a few rounds of artillery, surrendered on terms of their lives and property, which were faithfully kept.
Today have arrived here two ensigns of French from Calais, and more are expected.
I have been told that the Prince of Parma, in these days past, sent two couriers one after the other with letters to the Emperor, the sum of which was that the camp of His Highness had been routed and that his Highness himself had been present, and had fled, near Meenen ; and all this to be able the more easily to lead the minds of the German princes to his intent. But if it be so, these utter falsehoods will be only too manifest, and have none of the desired effect.
From Italy and other parts I have nothing at present worthy of pen and ink, therefore I will only pray for the safety of our Queen and her friends.—Antwerp, 6 Oct. 1582.
Add. Endd. Ital. 2pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 28.]
Oct 7 375. Stokes to Walsingham
In my last, of the 30th ult. I wrote you but of few speeches. This week much less has been stirring, for in these parts at present all things on both sides are as still as if there were no troubles here in the country. But it is feared it will not so continue long, for they write from Lille that all the enemy's forces in Friesland and Guelderland are marching hitherwards, to join the Prince of Parma's forces in these parts. They also write from Lille that the Prince of Parma with the greatest part of his camp are marching to besiege a place called 'Lescluse,' which those of Cambray keep, standing in the river between Douay and Bouchain [sic], and, they write, troubles the enemy more than Cambray does.
Further they write from Lille that as the Prince of Parma marched hitherwards there were divers great fallings-out on the way between the Walloon soldiers and the Spaniards about the cruelty that the Spaniards used to the poor peasants as they marched; so that they hope these hard dealings of the Spaniards will turn this side to some goodness ere long.
They also write that the States of Artois and Hainault have answered the Prince of Parma that their towns will take in no soldiers, especially Spaniards, neither will they as yet consent to the giving of the fifth penny; so as they write the prince is malcontent at their answer, and will not leave it so.
They write from Calais that the Prince Dauphin is at Amiens, and that the Queen Mother of France will come thither to Calais.
This week divers French gentlemen have passed through this town for France, and as they passed they gave out they were sent by his Highness to hasten his army from France hitherwards. Many devised speeches are given out here to occupy the people's heads that way. But the principal matter the commons have so long looked for, that comes slowly, which is the aid out of France; for the long delay of their coming makes them fear they will not come this year.
The Prince of Parma has finished his two forts at Hallewyn, which keeps those of Meenen so short that they cannot range into the enemy's government as heretofore they have done, nor can they have any victual but such as is sent from this town; so that it is feared that in time those forts will put Meenen in some danger.—Bruges, 7 October 1582.
P.S.—Even now this afternoon the magistrates of this town are advertised that the Prince of Chimay with divers gentlemen that are come from the Malcontents have arrived at Flushing from Calais, with hope that more will follow them shortly. Such is their writing from Flushing.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl, and Fl. XVII. 29.]
Oct 7 376. John Norris to Walsingham
As not long since I gave you to understand of my journey towards Guelders, and of the supplies sent at the time from hence, so now I would not fail to advertise you of the success in that service, wherein it pleased God to prosper us so well that, within a few days after our arrival there, we raised the siege and victualled the town: and having left a sufficient garrison for its defence, withdrew our forces, which are about Nymegen, a town in Guelders standing upon a part of the river Rhine, and by direction from hence are to be employed for recovering from the enemy three small castles, Meghen, Batembourg, and 'Midler,' situate upon the Maas. This service being ended, they are to come into Brabant or else to return into Guelders if the enemy makes any further attempt in those parts. Touching the state of things here, being altogether a stranger therein, by reason of my late arrival, and hoping you are advertised of them by others, I trust you will hold me excused at this time.
During my abode in Guelders I received your letter of Sep. 8, which was no small comfort to me, finding by it your good will towards me, and the desire you have to preserve my credit and good name, which by the bad practice of some has of late been called in question; for which I give you humble thanks, beseeching you to continue the same, and having no doubt at all but that I shall at all times be readily able to justify and clear myself of anything which has been, or will, I trust, be objected against me.
I have given orders in Holland for the 'recovering' a couple of fair mares' and am likewise causing search to be made in these parts, that as soon as any be found worth sending they may be forthwith conveyed into England.—Antwerp, 7 October 1582.
P.S.—There was a bruit that Valenciennes in Hainault had lately been taken by M. Balagny, bastard son to the late Bishop Monluc; but it is not true. And yet I think it will be advertised for truth into England.
Written by Audley Danett. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 30.]
Oct 7 377. Audley Danett to Walsingham
The French enterprise, advertised by me in my letter of Sep 30, took no effect. The English, having marched as far as Alst, where they failed of the direction they looked for, returned hither again on Monday following. The French stayed longer, 'giving' some attempt on Hall, but found it too hot; and in the end gained a small castle, not far from Brussels, called Gasbek, and so returned hither on Thursday.
In the late service at Lochem there was slain 'out of' the town the Baron of Anholt, a man of great account among the Malcontents in those parts; whose death it is thought will much advance the quietness of the country. Since that time the late forces sent from hence to the relief of that town are sent for hither again, so that Mr Norris, Mr Knollys, Capt. Astell, and some other gentlemen arrived here yesterday, and the troops are looked for shortly.
The States of Guelders and 'Frise' have written to his Highness that those forces might stay some longer time in those countries, until it might certainly appear what course the enemy would take. They desire withal to have Mr Norris as general of the forces. I understand that the forces will return, but who will have the place of general is still in doubt.
The Prince is angry the States refuse his nephew Count William, who was not thrust upon them, but, as the Prince says, chosen by themselves. The duke, it is thought, would give the charge to some of the French rather than to any Englishman. And yet because the States have so earnestly requested to have Mr Norris, and it is thought no good policy to discontent a people who are not yet thoroughly settled to this new government, most are of opinion Mr Norris will be employed; and yet I fear some cunning invention will be found out to employ him in some other pretended necessary service, to avoid the occasion of this place, where they will be jealous he shall grow too great.
There are arrived at Flushing a se'nnight past certain merchantships from the isles of Tercera on Sep. 14, who 'assure' Don Antonio to be alive and well, accompanied with 40 or 50 good fighting-ships, and that the loss he had by the Spaniards was very small in respect of the bruit lately published.
It has been advertised to the duke that certain of the Scottish nobility, having 'practised' with the king, had appointed three ships to have carried him away into Spain pour ne pouvoir plus endurer l'orgueil des Anglois; whereof I suppose you will receive more particular advertisement from some other. This I observe, that of late the Scots here are suspected to be mostly Spanish. And although the common speech be that amongst them there are des bons et de mauraises [sic], yet since the loss of Lierre, which they think was a matter contrived by Lennox in Scotland, they dare scarce trust them in their towns, and as they are able, seek to weed them out of their garrisons, and call them to the service 'abroad'; as of late they have done by Captain Gordon's company at Malines, into which two of Captain 'Simple's' soldiers 'should' by cunning have intruded themselves, having direction from 'Simple' to practise with the rest of the company for the betraying of Malines. These two soldiers, being taken and racked at Brussels, have confessed the practice; and thereupon are apprehended a day or two past two officers of Gordon's company, greatly presumed to be of the confederacy. In lieu of Gordon's company they intend to place one other French company there, and there are said to be entered into the town between 400 'or' 500 French soldiers.
In Meenen the Scots are strong, and the commanders there, Col. Traill and Col. Preston, with some others, well thought of. The small sort adjoining the town, which they lately recovered from the enemy, is now held again by the enemy, and many 'pieces of fortification' erected there, greatly to the annoy of the town; which being victualled for a good time, and well-manned within, will cost dear to the enemy before they are able to win it.
The French arrive here daily in hoys from Calais, in 'pretty' numbers. It is also said that the forces talked of about Cambray will by the end of this week enter Artois, the marshal of the camp, M. Villiers, being sent thither on purpose to conduct them. They are said to be in all about 12,000, of which 4,500 are Swiss; who, as it is said here, have lately been paid by Queen Mother.
Last Friday our English merchants, at the suit of the burghers of this town, were sent for to the duke, to give the reasons of their departure to Middelburg. The only officer at home was Mr Bodley, the treasurer, who, with one or two more, answered his Highness that being private men, not thorougly acquainted with that business, and having no commission from the generality to deal therein, they humbly craved to be excused. It is resolved to send the 'doleances' of the burghers to her Majesty, with his Highness's letters to desire a stay of our merchants' departure, till the matter is further looked into. The Prince is somewhat troubled with this matter, for those of Middelburg, having it is said bought his house, which they have granted to the Company, it is thought he has been 'of counsel' with this remove, and so he is hardly thought of by the burghers and others, as it may appear at present.—Antwerp, 7 October 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 ½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 31.]
Oct 7 378. Cobham to Walsingham
Having of late been requested by Signor Geronimo Vanni, a banker of Lyons, to write in favour of this bearer, named Jeronimo Buffio of 'Coma,' that he might pass into England with the better commodity, I have esteemed it most meet and convenient for me to address and recommend him to you; beseeching that at his coming he may be favoured in such sort that he may receive justice in the suit he 'pretends' to make there to the right of certain goods Christopharo de Monti left at his decease, and which remain yet in the hands of Cesare D'Affo, a Florentine. This is as much as I have understood of the occasion of his going thither.—Paris, 7 October 1582.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France VIII. 64.]
Oct 7 379. Du Verger to Walsingham
Some months ago I sent an express messenger to the Queen of Scots, at whose return I learned from him how in my name and for love of me he received from you all honourable and favourable greeting, for which I would not fail to thank you, and offer in return all service that I can. But since it behoves me to reply to her Majesty upon certain letters which she has written to those of her Council, I beg you to do me further so much honour as to let her have this dispatch of mine with the greatest diligence and surety that you can. I address it to you, and have been so bold as to do so in order that by your means she may be able to receive it surely and promptly.—Tours, 7 October 1582.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France VIII. 65.]
Oct 9 380. Mauvissiere to Walsingham
This bearer, Signor Spatafora, an Italian, who sets great store by (fait grand esbat de) your favour, as foreigners do, and all of his nation, has asked me to write a word to you to recommend a petition which he wishes to make to her Majesty for means to go back to his own country. I could not refuse him this word to you; leaving the whole to your consideration.—London, 9 October 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VIII. 66.]
Oct 9 381. The Prince of Orange to Walsingham
As I am just now writing to the Earl of Leicester, I could not forbear to send this word to commend myself to your favour, and beg you to continue to let me have news of you. As for our news, I can write you none better than that his Highness, thank God, goes on improving in health, and gives great contentment to this people, and I hope God will bless him. Likewise that the king has granted that Marshal de Biron may come to his Highness's army, which will give us great support in all ways. Further, that his Majesty has before the whole Senate of Venice made great complaint against the King of Spain, in that, contrary to his royal dignity and honour, he has sent persons to kill his brother. To my thinking, all things cannot fail in course of time to beget some good result.—Antwerp, 9 October 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 32.]
Oct 10 382. Dr Hector Nunez to Walsingham
Last night I received by way of France the copy of the confession of the Earl of Vimioso, which he made before he died; by which appears that he has discovered the designs and practices of King Don Antonio with other princes. 'God send us all well to do, and send your honour health and prosperity.'—London, 10 October 1582.
Add. Endd. 7 ll. [Portugal I. 88.]
Enclosed in above:—(1.)
July 27 383. (1) “What Count Vimioso declared two days before he died at the persuasion of Friar Francisco Maldonado of the Barefoot Order.”
That he had been the occasion of Don Antonio's not leaguing himself with the king, by always opposing it, and procuring the dispatch of this fleet, besides what he will declare hereafter; and he being a Christian man declares it, holding it for certain that great harm will come of it if it be not remedied. And that this fleet came to look out for the fleet from the Indies [in tran. 'ships of Calycoultre'] and take as well the ships from New Spain, and then take the Island of St Michael to hold it with the other islands of the Azores and Tercera.
That Don Antonio had many advices from Portugal, and by them and the reports they brought knew that the king's fleet was divided, and therefore resolved to fight them before they came together.
That there came in Don Antonio's fleet many chief people of France, and that the greater part of them were lost on the day of the battle. [Omitted in the translation.]
That Don Antonio came in a very light patache and left the fleet the night before it was lost.
That Don Antonio had intelligence with the greater part of Portugal, and a promise that if he comes with an armed force they will rise for him.
That the King and Queen Mother of France had decided to bring 30 great hulks from Flanders, and in them 4,000 Germans, under the charge of the Baron of 'Ainlea' [trans. Anglucar; qy. Anglurc], colonel of those hulks, well-appointed and well-manned (muy artilladas y muy marinadas). and ship in them in France 4,000 soldiers, who, with more than 6,000 Hollanders who come in the fleet, will exceed 14,000 men.
That the general, Philip Strozzi, and the colonels, come with commissions from the King of France; the king is aiding this war covertly and the Queen Mother openly, and pays the infantry as well as the ships and the seamen. [Omitted in translation]
That the Queen of England is helping in this war, and has named a general for the fleet which they are going to send.[Omitted in translation.]
That 40 ships are expected from private persons in England.
That of the people that have lately been raised in France-[in trans. a gentleman called Laudarus [qy. Landereau] has charge of one regiment, and Don Antonio Meneses of another, and that with both will come about 3,000 men, and he does not yet know who will have charge of the other thousand.
That with these people and fleet his design is to go to Portugal, and he takes many harquebuses and pikes to give the Portuguese.
The Marquis asked him where he proposed to land his people He said at the islands of Bayone or at Lagos, if the weather was propitious [trans. if the time would serve] and if the weather were good, in any part of the coast where they could anchor.
He asked also if it would be any let to their designs that they had lost the battle. He said it would, and that he had spoken with some of those who left his ship by swimming to others among those that they should tell (?) Don Antonio that he would not have this news come to France, and that it was the thing to make them lose heart there, notwithstanding that writings had passed between the Queen Mother and the Queen of England [trans. and that he should go into the Isle Terceira to encourage them which were there. End of translation.]
And that the count had made all those capitulations and agreements, and that all would have been more advanced if Don Antonio had made better provision ; and that in all that he had said his conscience moved him and nothing else.
The Marquis asked him how Don Antonio was off for money. He said that in France he had none, but in Tercera he had some, and in France great quantity of jewels of much value. He said also that in Tercera he had money, and had to the number of 8,000 Portuguese with arms, and 1,200 French, and not much fewer English. That there he held thirty forts and that the fleet would go there to repair, and that Don Antonio would go there to reassemble his ships.
The count made this relation on the 27th July 1582, the day on which he died.
Endd. Span. 1¼ pp. [Portugal I. 88a.]
(2) English translation of part of the above, in hand of Hector Nunez.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. I. 88b.]